Torture by law of the U.S. is illegal, and the means by which people are tortured at Guantanamo with water-boarding, humiliation, beatings, sexual exploitation and starvation does nothing to bring an accurate confession.
All too often prisoners provide false information to lessen or stop the abuse. Prisoners aren’t allowed an attorney, a trial or even the basic of rights under the laws of the United States. They’re in Cuba and those laws don’t exist.
The Geneva Convention rules don’t apply because the government doesn’t use the word ‘prisoner’ which then allows detainees to be treated without any rights whatsoever. By the U.S. military not using the word ‘prisoner’, the term ‘enemy combatants’ is used instead to skirt the Geneva Convention rules so as those rules do not apply.
Those who order torture and those who follow those orders through, are just as guilty of crimes against humanity. But who’s going to enforce those laws? Surely not our own government who created the torture tactics to begin with.
Many suggest that the Nazi’s were just following orders when they tortured and murdered millions of Jews in the Holocaust. The Nuremberg trials established the “just following orders” defense did not excuse the atrocities that an officer acted upon.
The U.S. is obligated to abide by our treaties, laws, and agreements. The Geneva Convention specifically forbids torture. We agreed to abide by the Geneva Conventions, yet seemingly those rules don’t apply to the U.S. government at Guantanamo.
Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush tried to evade the law by making up their own definition of what constitutes torture. They should pay the consequences. But sadly the powers that be can not be held accountable by the Geneva Convention because the definitions of those laws are re-worded and are not set forth to determine that those laws are being broken.
The military suggests that many detainees many times don’t cooperate and they are not successfully ‘screened’. They also suggest that what they do at Guantanamo is saving lives, because it’s “good for the American people”. This U.S. naval base has been re-purposed into a dumping ground for people who’s civil rights they’d rather not consider because it’s “necessary” for the good of our country.
If one were to condemn Guantanamo it certainly wouldn’t be an indictment of just the administration, but of the entire congress. Congresses silence can only be attributed to the consent, acquiesce or disinterest. But it’s at least safe to say they just don’t care.
The U.S. government is torturing people, giving them no trials, no lawyers. It’s so intrinsically wrong and goes against what this country is suppose to represent, it’s laughable. Maybe because we’re all not having a really good laugh is because the little ‘gitmo’ tricks have started popping up close to home.
The recent revelations of FBI abuse of the patriot act, all the bogus subpoenas manufactured evidence against American citizens. Maybe it’s just ruined the fun of ‘gitmo’ for the military and it’s government because it’s much more in the public eye and scrutinized now much more rigorously by our new administration.
Maybe we should start with the little things first though, like human rights. The executive branch has a particular expertise, in fact they’ve been brilliant at it. Calling the prisoners “enemy combatants” instead of prisoners so they don’t have to abide by the Geneva Convention so that the military can torture them, brilliant. Basing the camp in Cuba so the constitution really won’t get in their way, brilliant.
And under the pentagon’s new draft guidelines, they’ll have tribunals in Guantanamo that will have suspects to be jailed for life, or even executed on evidence that would never be admissible in any civilian or military court, brilliant.
Imagine what this country could become being able to execute someone on triple hearsay on a totally coerced confession. Absolutely Brilliant!
We condemn terrorists for, among other things, torturing hostages, while we torture our prisoners. We condemn China for holding “political prisoners” without due process, while we hold “terrorists” without absolute proof. We can not willfully claim the moral high ground while at the same time climbing down to roll in the muddy gutter of political expedience.