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 Monday, 03 January 2005
Monday, 03 January 2005 21:08:45 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )

This scary article (found through instapundit and discussed on The Regular) ignores the real underlying problem of whether we as a people want to engage in the conduct of permanent imprisonment of individuals without any recourse or due process. Without any checks or balances. Is that really the kind of people we are?


God I hope not!


Regardless of where the prison is, and who administers the facility, we are talking about taking people and locking them away until death. People who have had no opportunity to present their case, no opportunity for explanation, no recourse at all. Some random soldier in the heat of battle decided their fate and boom, they are doomed forever.


I am totally in support of imprisonment for convicted terrorists and war criminals. That makes obvious and complete sense. But the word “convicted” implies meaningful justice and recourse, something that isn’t guaranteed in the situation under discussion.


Considering that the US itself was born out of the actions of a bunch of “unlawful combatants”, you’d think we’d give this a bit more thought. But then again, our founders knew damn well that, if caught, they’d have no recourse from their government – which is part of why they decided to fight.


Ultimately we are just following the tradition set forth by the government we overthrew in the 1770’s by engaging in this type of activity. Don’t believe me? Consider that what we are talking about here is to


  • “render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power” in the context of dealing with these prisoners by denying them access to anything but military tribunals.


By working with foreign powers, this permanent prison will be established


  • “combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws”. By sending these people to foreign countries we avoid any protection (and presumably appearance of responsibility) from US laws, customs, morals or ethics.


In any case, we are certainly choosing to follow these dictums:


  • “depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury”
  • “transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences”


Each of these is a complaint lodged against the King of England in the Declaration of Independence. It might almost be said that after just over 200 years we are back to where we were before the Revolutionary War, though now we are the British. Long live King George!

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