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Human Rights Law: Never In Our Names
Guantanamo News Saturday
Baltasar Garzón, the crusading Spanish judge, continues to press for indictments of the Bush six in spite of objections from Spain's attorney general, Cándido Conde-Pumpido. The attorney general
said at a breakfast meeting with journalists in Madrid that he would oppose any legal action in Spain because the proper forum would be an American court and that any investigation should focus on those who actually mistreated detainees.
Analysis of the ICRC report on detainee mistreatment under Bushco continues to make news. Misguided minds continue to see the actions many of us consider torture to be reasonable and right.
For many in the United States, torture still stands as a marker of political commitment-of a willingness to "do anything to protect the American people," a manly readiness to know when to abstain from "coddling terrorists" and do what needs to be done.
It is a testament as much to the peculiarities of the American press-to its "stenographic function" and its institutional unwillingness to report as fact anything disputed, however implausibly, by a high official-that the former vice-president's insistence that these interrogations were undertaken "legally" and "in accordance with our constitutional practices and principles" continues to be reported without contradiction,And the controversy goes on and on without relief until one day justice is served. Links to the full ICRC report may be found here.
Opposition to transfer of Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil continues to make news. Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell
supports legislation that would prevent inmates currently housed at Guantanamo Bay from being transferred to a facility in Virginia.
During the time of the Bush reign not everyone was silent about the mistreatment of prisoners. Senator Dick Durbin made a strong statement of analysis and opposition.
I am confident, sadly confident, as I stand here, that decades from now people will look back and say: What were they thinking? America, this great, kind leader of a nation, treated people who were detained and imprisoned, interrogated people in the crudest way? I am afraid this is going to be one of the bitter legacies of the invasion of Iraq.The full statement is at the link above and very well worth rereading today as we continue to reflect on Guantanamo and its fallout.
US Attorney General Eric Holder sees the closing of Guantanamo as his most challenging task.
Holder vowed that "the ultimate solution will be one that is grounded in our Constitution, based on congressional enactments, in compliance with international laws of war and consistent with the rule of law."
The military public affairs office wants us to know there are wind turbines at Guantanamo helping to reduce the electric bills and aid the environment.
Guantanamo's turbines are small in comparison to those currently found in the U.S., but will provide significant fuel and oil savings over a number of years.Finding glimmers of good news at Guantanamo is tough these days but at least there is this small bit.
AlJazeera offers a critical commentary on the Obama administration's moves to date.
The litany of disappointing actions on human rights and civil liberties seems to be growing longer every day.
Where at first glance the US appears to be heading in a new direction, to what extent has the Obama administration turned its back on the abusive policies of the Bush era? And to what extent can we expect more of the same?The question remains on all our minds these days.
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