Friday :: Jan 11, 2008

Guantanamo: Stealing America's Soul

by Mary

Today, on the day when the ACLU asked people to protest the continued use of Guantanamo by wearing orange, the sickness of that place continues to eat away at our Constitution and our birthright. As you know, Guantanamo is the Kafkaesque prison camp where human beings are basically locked up forever without any recourse whether or not they are guilty or innocent and are subject to the whims of despots who can do anything they want because they are beyond the rule of law. The sickness of the place is so deep that people who protest their neverending imprisonment by killing themselves are accused of engaging in war on the United States.

Today two hundred protesters marched in Washington DC to the Supreme Court wearing black hoods and orange jumpsuits and eighty were arrested when they entered the court grounds as in our country it is against the law to protest on the Supreme Court grounds.

Dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods, about 200 protesters marched from the Capitol to the court, calling for the prison to be closed. Some entered the courthouse while others kneeled on the steps.

All demonstrations are banned from the court grounds. The AP says those arrested inside the court were also charged with making a "harangue or oration." The maximum penalty is 60 days in jail, a fine or both.

On the same day that freedom-loving and Constitution-affirming Americans protested and were arrested for acting on their civil right to assemble and protest a federal appeals court ruled that innocent people who had been held and tortured in Guantanamo could not sue Rumsfeld for his part in instigating the obscenity of Guantanamo:

But in an opinion released Friday Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson of U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington wrote that the religious freedom act does not apply to the Guantanamo detainees because they are not "persons" for the purposes of U.S law.

The three-judge panel also held that the U.S. officials were immune from the torture claims because, as held by the trial court: “torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants.” In other words, the court held that the officials that allegedly engaged in torture did so as part of their assigned duties to interrogate.

Just consider that statement: the British citizens that had been held in Guantanamo were declared to be "not persons" by the court. This obscenity led one of the justices to write a separate opinion refuting that strange ruling.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown, an evangelical, while concurring in the court's opinion, wrote a separate opinion, criticizing the majority for using a definition of person “at odds with its plain meaning.” She wrote, “There is little mystery that a ‘person’ is an individual human being…as distinguished from an animal or thing.” Brown said the opinion “leaves us with the unfortunate and quite dubious distinction of being the only court to declare those held at Guantánamo are not ‘person[s].’ This is a most regrettable holding in a case where plaintiffs have alleged high-level U.S. government officials treated them as less than human."

So today, when the focus of the world is on the abomination of Guantanamo, a US court ruled that torture was okay when it was just part of your job. I bet the Germans and Japanese soldiers after World War II wish they had been held to the same standards.

Our country has definitely lost its way and until we repudiate and cut out the cancer eating our soul, the sick and damaged society that we have will continue to betray the lives and ideals of those who came before us. Can you imagine what George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest would think of the tyranny we've allowed to shat on their gift to us?

Shut the place down now.

Mary :: 7:13 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!