Do As I Say, Not As I Do…

That seems to be George W. Bush’s motto. We’ve all heard the stories about Guantanamo Bay and the prisoners there. They still can’t get anyone in the Administration to admit that Waterboarding IS torture. The CIA deliberately destroyed evidence of the interrogations that took place in Guantanamo.

There are those who claim that we should be able to do whatever it takes to get the information we need. Really? You mean someone being tortured is guaranteed to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him [his diety]? You mean some poor soul wouldn’t admit to the worst crime imaginable just to stop the torture?

We brag about our justice system. We demand OUR justice for any of our own soldiers, diplomats, or others of importance who are taken in other countries. According to OUR laws, you are innocent until proven guilty. So someone needs to explain why it is suddenly alright for this administration to condone torture, and to re-write our laws of justice via the Military Commissions Act denying justice and due process to prisoners. According to Bush, the detainees are considered prisoners of war and not subject to the same considerations. According to the law of Bush, these men are guilty until proven innocent.

Wikipedia explains International Due Process as:

International due process

Various countries recognize some form of due process under customary international law. Although the specifics are often unclear, most nations agree that they should guarantee foreign visitors a basic minimum level of justice and fairness. Some nations have argued that they are bound to grant no more rights to aliens than they do to their own citizens—the doctrine of national treatment—which also means that both would be vulnerable to the same deprivations by the government. With the growth of international human rights law and the frequent use of treaties to govern treatment of foreign nationals abroad, the distinction in practice between these two perspectives may be disappearing.

I read that to say that any prisoners we have who are foreign nationals are entitled to nothing less than the same justice we give our own citizens at the very least.

CommonDreams.org had an article on the Injustices of Guantanamo.

Published on Friday, February 15, 2008 by the Jurist

Injustice at Guantánamo: Torture Evidence and the Military Commissions Act
by Marjorie Cohn

The Bush administration has announced its intention to try six alleged al Qaeda members at Guantánamo under the Military Commissions Act. That Act forbids the admission of evidence extracted by torture, although it permits evidence obtained by cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment if it was secured before December 30, 2005. Thus, the administration would be forbidden from relying on evidence obtained by waterboarding, if waterboarding constitutes torture.

That’s one reason Attorney General Michael Mukasey refuses to admit waterboarding is torture. The other is that torture is considered a war crime under the U.S. War Crimes Act. Mukasey would be calling Dick Cheney a war criminal if the former admitted waterboarding is torture. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, has said on National Public Radio that the policies that led to the torture and abuse of prisoners emanated from the Vice President’s office.

The federal government is working overtime to try and clean up the legal mess made by the use of illegal interrogation methods. In a thinly-veiled attempt to sanitize the Guantánamo trials, the Department of Justice and the Pentagon instituted an extensive program to re-interview the prisoners who have undergone abusive interrogations, this time with “clean teams.” For example, if a prisoner implicated one of the defendants during an interrogation using waterboarding, the government will now re-interrogate that prisoner without waterboarding and get the same information. Then they will say the information was secured humanely. This attempt to wipe the slate clean is a farce and a sham.

Read the FULL STORY here.

We cannot preach justice, freedom, democracy when we don’t really practice it fully. We cannot brag about innocent until proven guilty or due process or even trial by jury when denying all those things to prisoners prejudged as guilty. The Military Commissions Act is nothing more than a circus in which these detainees will be found guilty, probably unknown to them until after the fact, and dealt with as Bush wishes.

If we continue to allow this to happen, then we all, as human beings, are accomplices and must hang our heads in shame.

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~ by swfreedomlover on February 16, 2008.

One Response to “Do As I Say, Not As I Do…”

  1. You don’t defeat monsterousness by becoming a monster yourself. I don’t care if someone declares it legal to torture these people or not, the fact is evil done in the name of good is still evil. By torturing them we are no better than they are. So what right do we have to go around preaching freedom and democracy and removing the death penalty etc if we behave in this fashion. It’s hypocrisy and it’s disgusting. Should we rename our country Hypocritia?

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