Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fourteen Years Of Shameful (In)Action On Guantanamo

January 11 was the fourteenth anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo as the home of US prisons, prisons at which people are effectively permanently detained on grounds not even remotely legal under US law or international law. Erin Corbett of BORDC/DDF quotes Hina Shamsi of ACLU:
... Since its opening in 2002, only eight of the original 780 detainees at the prison have been convicted of a crime by a military commission, and of the 103 detainees that remain at the camp, 59 have been classified as ineligible for release or transfer.

“The national shame of Guantanamo’s existence continues 14 years later. And this is a shame that threatens, more than ever, I think, to mar President Obama’s legacy as he leaves office, and the potential that he leaves office without closing Guantánamo,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. And many are talking today about the importance of Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo – a promise he made in 2008 during his first election campaign.

The end of Obama's presidency is approaching rapidly, and it is clearer than ever that he has no intention of fulfilling his campaign promise... both times he was elected... to close the prisons at Guantanamo. It isn't going to happen on his watch; that's not something he wants listed in his oh-so-precious legacy.

If a Republican succeeds him, you know Gitmo will stay in business, You know none of the prisoners... including the ones for whom it has been established that they committed no crime... will ever be released or relocated. It's a de facto life sentence for... what? what precisely is their crime? when were they tried for it, if ever? Such a trial, if it happened, was not public, and it damned surely wasn't speedy... but more likely it never happened.

And if a Democrat succeeds him, well... Hillary will go along to get along, and let's face it, Bernie is never going to sit in the Oval Office. I'm not saying you shouldn't vote for the Democratic candidate, only that among her... or his... virtues, do not expect to find a passion for civil liberties in international matters.

Shame! Shame! Shame!

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