Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Boooooring. Old news. He’s probably a liberal.

Posted by Charles II on October 30, 2011

Ed Vulliamy, The Guardian:

The former chief prosecutor for the US government at Guantánamo Bay has accused the administration he served of operating a “law-free zone” there, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the order to establish the detention camp on Cuba.

Retired air force colonel Morris Davis resigned in October 2007 in protest against interrogation methods at Guantánamo….

Davis said that the methods of interrogation used on Guantánamo detainees – which he described as “torture” – were in breach of the US’s own statutes on torture, and added: “If torture is a crime, it should be prosecuted.”

Davis, an expert on the law of war, and former judge advocate for the US Air Force, said that prisoners at Guantánamo have “fallen between” the conventions and rules governing prisoners of war. He questioned the notion of a “war on terror”, saying: “Prisoners of war are supposed to have been captured on the battlefield. Abducting people off the streets of Indonesia and other places far from Afghanistan is pushing the envelope on what is a battlefield. The whole world is in essence the battlefield.”

Professor Thomas Keenan, the head of the Bard College human rights programme, which staged the conference, said: “The president campaigned on a pledge to close down the jail at Guantánamo Bay, and to end the use of military commissions to try its inmates. How is it possible that, two years after he was elected, there are still more than 150 prisoners there, and this November, one of them will go on trial before one of those very commissions?”

I don’t think this is boring, old news, or that Col. Davis is a left-wing ideologue. I think it’s an indictment of both the Bush and the Obama Administrations that should be forwarded to the International Criminal Court.

2 Responses to “Boooooring. Old news. He’s probably a liberal.”

  1. MarkH said

    If it was Pres. Obama who made this choice you might allege something, but it was members of Congress who stopped him from bringing those prisoners to continental U.S. Charge them with crimes if you like. But, remember the U.S. isn’t a member of the ICC. Bush made sure of that before going on a crime spree. BTW, How much cash did he pass out in Iraq? Where did it go?

    • Charles II said

      Actually, some Guantanamo detainees were tried in US court. See, for example Ahmed Ghailani.

      The problem was that Obama failed to fulfill his promise quickly and allowed resistance to grow, as this recounting of the history by Owen Fiss makes clear.

      As Fiss says, Obama may have done the wrong thing reluctantly, but he did do the wrong thing, and he has to take some responsibility for what happened.

      And, I should note, we have been following this issue from the very beginning (see here, and here). For genuine advocates of human rights, criticism is not something to be turned on or withheld when it happens to be someone of one’s own political party.

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