Justice for some (possibly) and liberty for others (maybe)

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, January 26th, 2005
9:35 am and is filed
under The War on Stupid.

BBC – Guantanamo four face questioning: UK anti-terror police are expected to begin questioning four Britons released from US custody at Guantanamo Bay… But Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens said evidence obtained by MI5 while the four were in Cuba was “absolutely” inadmissible in UK courts. In an interview with the Independent, Sir John said his officers would have to find other evidence before the suspects could be tried in the UK. He told the newspaper: “If an admission is made, it is a totally different ball game… it could be used as evidence.

Actually, given the likely mental state of someone who has just been released from 3 years of detention and torture, I’d be inclined to question the admissibility of a full confession extracted immediately upon ‘release’… but that’s the hole we’ve dug for ourselves.

Speaking of holes we have dug…

Guardian – Clarke backs down on detainees: (As Guantanamo four arrive back, the home secretary prepares to act on suspects held in UK.) The home secretary, Charles Clarke, is expected to announce today that he will accept the law lords’ ruling that the indefinite detention without trial of 12 terror suspects in Britain breaches human rights laws.

So, we have ‘our boys’ home and we’re (maybe) dealing with a similar issue on our own soil. I suppose it would be too much to expect to have a government strong enough to make a stand for everybody being held for years on end without charge or trial in Guantanamo Bay… and being tortured there or elsewhere.

HRW – U.S.: Justifying Abuse of Detainees: The Bush administration contends that no law prevents the Central Intelligence Agency from engaging in inhumane treatment of detainees abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. In responses to U.S. Senate inquiries, White House Counsel and Attorney General-nominee Alberto Gonzales claimed that the prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment – enshrined in a treaty the United States ratified in 1994 – does not apply to U.S. personnel in the treatment of non-citizens abroad. While asserting that torture by all U.S. personnel was unlawful, Gonzales indicated that no law would prohibit the CIA from engaging in cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment when it interrogates non-Americans outside the United States. The interpretation would permit the CIA to commit in secret detention facilities abroad many of the shocking forms of abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib.

Even if every one of these men is guilty, their detention without charge or trial violates the rule of law.

Even if every one of these men is guilty, their torture at our hands or the hands of others is morally indefensible.

Even if every one of these men is guilty, treating them in such a manner does not combat terrorism… instead, it fosters it.

I’m no fan of fucktards who convince others that the path of liberty and justice involves blowing up civilians (and that goes for al Qaeda, the US government and our own government) but you have to acknowledge that this kind of behaviour just makes it easier for al Qaeda to find willing recruits.

And even without this minor practicality the following question has to be asked:

If we’re forced to surrender our own morals and humanity in the War on Terror – then what the bloody hell are we fighting to save?

UPDATE – Via Bob PiperWhy isn’t Mark Thatcher in Belmarsh?

UPDATE – BBC – Guantanamo men released: Your views

UPDATE – BBC – What impact does being locked up all day, away from any other human beings, have on an individual’s mind?

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