Imprisoned for nothing
I still am having trouble with the idea that US government has deliberately kept in prison, for years, men who have done nothing wrong—and the government knows that, but still will no release them.
Why? Colossal egos in the military, people who cannot admit they were wrong. But now they know they were wrong, so that’s not it. I guess it might better be stated “colossal egos in the military, people who will do anything rather than let it be known that they made a mistake.”
But that can’t be it. We have civilian control of the military, and our president who has the authority to release prisoners (“Scooter” Libby owes his freedom, after his conviction, to that fact). Obama, of course, will not act—but why?
I truly do not understand this. If I was one of those men, imprisoned for years and knowing that I did nothing wrong, I would probably go insane. Hell, I think I’d go insane if I were one of the people knowingly keeping innocents locked up. That is so evil that it’s hard to grasp.
Picture yourself, minding your own business, and suddenly you are captured by soldiers (who do not speak your language), roughed up, tortured, and imprisoned. What would you think?
UPDATE: Here’s an excellent column by William Pfaff on the topic. From his column:
. . . Yet something still might usefully be said about this situation, obviously a phenomenon of totalitarian character, emulating, no doubt wittingly, the destruction of judicial constraint in the Nazi system by means of arbitrary imprisonment in concentration camps and by methods generalized in Gestapo and SS practice, and in Stalinist Russia by its secret police and forced labor camps. In the last, bizarrely enough, a system of known (or knowable) sentences existed in places – a system of cause and effect – which has never existed at Guantánamo, an absence apparently exploited deliberately as a means of terrorization and the psychological destruction of prisoners. Sentences did end for those who survived the Gulag.
Guantánamo has also been a factor in what it is not unreasonable to call the totalitarianization of American political culture, taking place through the effective prohibition (or demonization) of certain political stances, or the advocacy of certain political positions, deemed “unpatriotic” and therefore unacceptable in the political discourse of the nation – including, in some cases, in congressional discourse and debate.
This amounts to the development of an American version of Newspeak. You can speak of certain things only in politically antisepticised and inherently falsified language. In combination with the domination of electoral politics by paid political advertising, thereby disqualifying candidates lacking the funds of their rivals, and the Supreme Court’s rejection in 1976 of the argument that “an unconstitutional means test for election” to public office in the United States thereby exists, a plutocratic form of government has been legally ratified.
This was reinforced by . . .