Guantanamo: Obstructing Justice, When Justice Is Nowhere to be Found
by ItsNeverOver, Tue Jun 03, 2008 at 12:06:13 PM EDT
The cloud that the U.S.'s maligned reputation had cast over our trip was especially palpable when we traveled around the city of Guantanamo. Here was a structure, a prison, which stood to represent American-branded justice, yet its very existence went against everything our country stood for: the right to a fair trial, the notion of innocent until proven guilty, and protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
Brownback had caused a stir in legal proceedings twice, when he tried to call out procedural abuses by the prosecution in order to be fair to the defendants. Seeing as how a top DoD official was quoted as having said, "We can't have acquittals," I guess we are to assume that the Pentagon did not appreciate Brownback's attempts to turn Dick Cheney's show trials into some form of a fair and balanced legal process.
The fact that a judge can be dismissed for adhering too closely to the protocol of a set of bogus legal procedures shows just how much the Patriot Act has manipulated this country's brand of justice. The detainees in Guantanamo are real people whose lives have been changed forever, and the Pentagon wants to use their trials to make some political point about our government's ability to catch terrorists. If the Pentagon is so confident in the guilt of the detainees, why would they go to such great lengths to assure these men are convicted?
Liberty is a fundamental value in the American landscape; it is why the founders of this country insisted on inserting a Bill of Rights into our Constitution. I would like to, one day, be able to travel abroad and not have to excuse the behavior of my government to everyone I meet. Closing Guantanamo is essential to restoring our international reputation as a country that values the individual liberties of all people.