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Justice For None

March 9, 2011

Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.
– Plato


"Rights" are such a quaint idea these days anyway...

What is it about treating people with human dignity and respect that the powerful in this country find so repellent?

President Obama signed an executive order Monday that will create a formal system of indefinite detention for those held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who continue to pose a significant threat to national security. The administration also said it will start new military commission trials for detainees there.

That’s right, evidently the President, by virtue of his office, has the power to declare any human being on earth to be “dangerous”, and order them held without charge or access to courts indefinitely.  King George is laughing his ass off in Hell.

And then there’s this

In the wake of the White House’s new executive order allowing Guantanamo detainees to be held indefinitely, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) unveiled legislation that would, among other things, affirm the military’s right to detain, hold and interrogate detainees at its discretion without Department of Justice or Attorney General Eric Holder involvement.

So not only has the President codified Bush’s policy of wiping his executive ass with the Bill of Rights, but the authoritarian fuckheads in Congress want to hand our justice system over to the military.  But only in terrorism cases, so there’s nothing to worry about right?  Wrong.  Don’t think for a second that innocent people, including U.S. citizens won’t get caught up in this mess, or haven’t already.

This has been coming for quite some time, so it’s not a surprise.  It is however a big kick in the balls to everyone on the left who voted to end the nightmare in Gitmo, something that Obama promised to do by the way.  But the President has instead chosen to take what used to be a highly controversial executive overreach enacted by the neocon assholes of the Bush administration, and turn it into a happy, bipartisan policy that everyone in the Village now accepts as perfectly normal and necessary.  Thanks for nothing, prick.

And to anyone who thinks President Obama’s hand was forced in this by Congress, I say bullshit.

It is true that Congress — with the overwhelming support of both parties — has enacted several measures making it much more difficult, indeed impossible, to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the U.S. But long before that ever happened, Obama made clear that he wanted to continue the twin defining pillars of the Bush detention regime: namely, (1) indefinite, charge-free detention and (2) military commissions (for those lucky enough to be charged with something). Obama never had a plan for “closing Guantanamo” in any meaningful sense; the most he sought to do was to move it a few thousand miles north to Illinois, where its defining injustices would endure.

The preservation of the crux of the Bush detention scheme was advocated by Obama long before Congress’ ban on transferring detainees to the U.S. It was in May, 2009 — a mere five months after his inauguration — that Obama stood up in front of the U.S. Constitution at the National Archives and demanded a new law of “preventive detention” to empower him to imprison people without charges: a plan the New York Times said “would be a departure from the way this country sees itself.” It was the same month that the administration announced it intended to continue to deny many detainees trials, instead preserving the military commissions scheme, albeit with modifications. And the first — and only — Obama plan for “closing Guantanamo” came in December, 2009, and it entailed nothing more than transferring the camp to a supermax prison in Thompson, Illinois, while preserving its key ingredients, prompting the name “Gitmo North.”

Go read the whole thing, it’s fantastic.

Equal justice before the law is the defining characteristic of any free society.  Does that ideal even exist anymore?  Until the people of this nation decide that basic human decency is a virtue we should strive for, and hold our leaders accountable for failing to uphold the human rights of others , we are doomed to the same decay and eventual downfall that many past empires have suffered.

May our children forgive us…

He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it.


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