New York Times on Guantánamo Bay

The New York Times has just published an incisive critique of the way our current administration in the United States is handling the affairs of Guantánamo Bay, particularly since passing the horrendous Military Commissions Act of 2006. This is a must-read for anyone who feels a sense of responsibility for the world and wishes to be active in shaping this country into a place where truth and justice really are upheld.

The article focuses on the review board at Guantánamo Bay, which reviews the cases of the people held in its prisons. Here are some choice quotes:
“Some limitations have long been evident. The prisoners have no right to a lawyer, or to see classified evidence, or even to know the identity of their accusers. What has been less visible, however, is what many officials describe as a continuing shortage of information about many detainees, including some who have been held on sketchy or disputed intelligence.”

“Still, a recent study of the review process found that detainees arguing their innocence were routinely denied witnesses they tried to call, even when the witnesses were other prisoners at Guantánamo. Lawyers for the detainees complain that the government has made almost no effort to have the panels consider information they have gathered and has often blocked their attempts to learn the accusations against their clients.”

“Even before Mr. Bush decided in February 2002 that the United States would not observe the Geneva Conventions in fighting terrorism, Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, dismissed the idea of Geneva-style hearings for the detainees, maintaining that they would never be entitled to the prisoner-of-war status that such tribunals could grant them in other conflicts. ‘There is no ambiguity in this case,’ Mr. Rumsfeld said.”

“‘It wasn’t the job of the intelligence community to verify their guilt or innocence,’ said Col. Brittain P. Mallow, a retired Army investigator who led a task force that gathered evidence for war crimes tribunals that are expected to prosecute about 50 to 70 of the remaining 396 detainees.


And the march toward full-fledged fascism goes on.