2:48 p.m. - 2005-01-03
For those of you too lazy to click on the link, the government is proposing that we detain some "suspected terrorists" for life. This is WITHOUT a trial. See, we suspect that they're terrorists, but we don't have any actual evidence that will hold up in court, but we should just lock them up forever because they MIGHT do something.
Fortunately, several senators think that chucking due process out the window is a colossal constitutional violation. Thank heaven that the Bush Brainwashing Machine hasn't accomplished all it's goals.
The other proposal? Building prisons in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, etc. to house the detainees from those countries, and then having the U.S. State Department "oversee" the prisons to make sure there are no egregious human rights violations. They are so good at that, you see. That's why Abu Ghraib was such a shining example of how we treat prisoners.
What bothers me the most, though, is that this article doesn't address the REAL problem…which is that we have had some of these people in custody for YEARS with no due process, no trial, no nothing. I'm so glad that our elected representatives have taken the position that keeping them for life is a bad idea, but somehow, keeping them for a few years…well, that might be okay. (Actually, I guess one official did say something like "you need to have a plan in place, whether you're keeping them in custody for a few years or for life", but it's still not really addressing the problem.)
People now have such short attention spans….and they are easily manipulated by fear. Well, we should be afraid. What separates this nation from others is our legal process. Yeah, it's pretty fucked up, but we do at least ensure that people know WHY they're locked up, and that they get to talk to their lawyers, and that they are brought before the Court at some point, and their guilt or innocence are determined. The Bush Administration, by yelling "9/11! Terrorists! Smoke 'em out! Iraqis have WMD's!" has managed to pass legislation (USA PATRIOT Act) allowing them to detain whoever they want for no reason other than alleged terrorist activities.
There is not one shred of evidence against these detainees that can be used in court. Did ya'll catch that part?
Let's face it. In today's society, cops can probably spot some scumbags. They probably have an idea about which people in a crowd would be likely to stir up some trouble. However, if the people haven't actually DONE anything, they cannot be held on the suspicion that they MIGHT.
That's what our government is doing.
As Yoda said, "There is only do or do not. There is no try." Either the detainees need to be brought before a court and charged with something and be allowed to answer those charges…or they need to be released.
I could rail on and on about how unjust this is, but it would be redundant. So I will close with some song lyrics from one of my favorite bands, the Indigo Girls:
"One day those toughies will be withered up and bent
We can only hope that the withering will happen before any more "suspicious" people are allowed to wither away their lives in jail.
Given the comments, I did some research. The following links provide some information on non-citizen rights. I plan to do some more research later tonight, but for now...
If anyone has links to information, please share. I'm interested. From what I just read, it looks like they are either supposed to be tried or deported...but neither of these things are happening. Think what happens when U.S. citizens are detained overseas. That's all I'm saying for now.