"No Crime on My Dime!" I want to see this word phrase chanted all over the country, written to newspapers, posted as plaques, posted to the internet, dialed in to radio talk shows, etc.
Because the common assumption among most Americans (not those writing or reading here) is that most "Terrorist" detainees are automatically guilty until proven innocent.
"Terrorists should be tortured, and swift! They don't deserve a trial" said a Republican vote-activist at the Farmer's Market who I talked with. "If a bomb is in someone's car, they should go to jail" he continued.
Ignorance is not always bliss, at least not for those subjected to the whims of others. Because obviously, you and I both know that bombs can be planted in someone's car, people can be "framed", etc and it does happen. In fact, it even has been known to happen.
But where Guantanamo detainees are concerned, it's more than just a matter of false incarceration. It's much worse than that.
According to the ACLU's attorney Ben Wizner, more than 99% of Guantanamo detainees are innocent (posted by Ben Wizner to the Blog of Rights, ACLU's website, after his own visit to Guantanamo). The Red Cross estimates 75% or more are innocent, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Amnesty International are vociferous, and what's interesting is that they all agree: These "terrorists" in captivity are almost solely innocent, by proof from their attorneys.
Held without charge in most cases, tortured as euphemism (more about this later), with no access to their attorneys (if they are lucky enough to have one) and no day in court, these men are more than just suffering as do wrongfully incarcerated prisoners. In fact, they endure the equivalent of murder on a frequent basis, while that is called "interrogation". Confessions squealed up under the most horrific forms of physical violence---false confessions of course--- are permissible under the Military Commissions Act as "evidence" in "Court" which is conducted in absence of the detainee. So the military judges basically have arbitrary power based on false confessions squealed up under what "violence" can hardly begin to adequately define. More info:
For example, Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild, writes that the Military Commissions Act defines torture as pain levels equivalent to severe organ failure or death. She writes about testicles of detainees' sons being squeezed flat, and other horrible things. Subjected to threats to their families if they don't "confess" to a horrific terrorist crime which they never committed, or else having their own testicles carved with scalpels if they don't cough up such false guilt (an "admission" of "guilt" which counts against them in court, and no legal help available nor access to any human counsel), these mostly innocent "Terrorists" actually have been reported to experience mental illness symptoms (in some cases), to "show signs consistent with extreme stress" (as per Ben Wizner on the Blog of Rights), etc.
Is this what innocent people "Deserve, and swift" while the guilty walk around free?
Is this what the Obama Administration is covering up, with Attorney General Eric Holder's false invocation of the "state secrets" privilege?
Hey, what of the question about the efficacy of torture? Does it actually work? Consider: Out of sheer self-preservation, just to get the torture to stop, false confessions abound under torture. Don't let any CIA agent fake you out with statements that torture is good for obtaining needed intelligence: They are lying. What's more is that they know it. Studies have proven that treating detainees kindly results in reliable information, as compared to the false "information" obtained by severely abusing detainees in this way.
This needs to be spread around the country, because most people ignorantly assume otherwise.
If Obama wrote executive orders forbidding torture, he is faking us out. Or, he is covering his own hide at the expense of others, to say the least. Because obviously, if he prosecutes the Bush Administration, he will himself be vulnerable to Bush's own whims (whatever those may be) and the rest is um, history.
Let's hope that he is not planning to torture any more victims, innocent or guilty, and that he also is not planning to render any more people to countries overseas for torture. Let's hope instead, that Attorney General Eric Holder's false invocation of the State Secrets privilege is to protect Obama from assassination, but not an indication of Obama's actual plans for further abuse. We've got to keep an eye out: Only time will tell.
We simply must, as a collective, put pressure on the Media to print the clear and non-truncated facts about torture.
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