Thursday, June 19, 2008

Laws Of Civilizations

There continues to be a flood of articles reviewing how damnable the United States treatment has been to detainees of invaded and occupied lands. While these cases are extremely well documented in various press, it never hurts to review some excellent reporting on the subject.

Easing of laws that led to detainee abuse hatched in secret by Tom Lasseter for McClatchy examines who created these protocols for dubious practices and cruel punishment.

It was a few bad apples, however they wore nice suits.
"The quintet of lawyers, who called themselves the “War Council," drafted legal opinions that circumvented the military's code of justice, the federal court system and America's international treaties in order to prevent anyone — from soldiers on the ground to the president — from being held accountable for activities that at other times have been considered war crimes."
Their names are Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William J. Haynes II, John Yoo, and Timothy E. Flanigan. Of these five, only Addington still remains in the Administration serving as Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff. All of these men are implicated by memorandums and legal opinions of setting up a rogue system of international justice where protections which the U.S. Armed Forces takes for granted for itself on the battlefield would not apply to anyone culled in Afghanistan and then Iraq.

Quite interestingly enough a Justice Department lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, offered up this reasoning (paraphrased from his book) for many of the legal tacks taken by them:
"The five lawyers saw legal opinions drafted by Yoo and others in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel as a shield ... that would make it hard to convict someone of acting on legal advice from the premier legal office in the administration."
Nothing like covering one's hindquarters as a good start when patriotically fighting the "war" on terror.

Recall as well that these people picked up on the battlefield were the "worst of the worst", demanding such harsh techniques and of course torture to extract information. McClatchy has information on former Guantanamo prisoners/detainees posted to its web site. In five minutes, one can learn a bit more about Aminullah. He is a free man again in Afghanistan after confinement and imprisonment from October 2002 to the middle of 2008. Clearly, there is the point that he was with the Taliban when U.S. forces arrived, but part of his story is that he joined the northern alliance when they swept through his province. Additionally, there is some evidence that he may have been given up to the U.S. based solely on his ethnicity. Clear cut case of Aminullah being a monster, yes?

In the page above the following quote ends the article:
"Asked why the Americans had detained him, Aminullah shook his head and said, 'Only God knows.' "
My guess is that President Bush would have the same answer to that question.

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