06/26/2005: "The Torture Never Stops"
The Torture Never Stops
A group of U.S. Congressmen, members of both the House, and Senate made a trip to “The Gulag” at Guantanamo Prison in Cuba, yesterday. When they came out, they gave the thumbs up sign and said that everything was A-OK. Wow, do I feel better. Now I can rest easy in the assurance that no torture is going on down there because the Congressmen who went for a visit said so. They took a tour of the cell blocks, watched some live interrogations, and even enjoyed the same food given to the prisoners, or should I say “detainees.”
These are people who have spent the last 3 years in the Gulag, without being charged with any crime. Which of course goes directly against the U.S. Constitution, but the detainees are in Cuba, you see, and not subject to American Law even though the U.S is holding them. The detainees have no right to due process, In which they would have to be charged with crimes or released. Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Michigan., disagrees with me. "I think they're doing the best they can to define due process here." Schwarz said during the trip. Well I don’t know Joe, does taking people out of a foreign country, bringing them to another foreign country, and torturing them for over 3 years without ever charging them with any crime sound like the best we can do? I’d hate to see his idea of the worst we can do.
The prisoners also can not file a writ of Habeas Corpus, which is a mandate from a Judge, to an official of a prison, bearing the order that the inmate be taken to court for a hearing to determine if that person is being held in prison lawfully, and so it can be determined if the prisoner should be released from Custody. The website Lectlaw.com gives some ways in which this might be able to help the Guantanamo detainees were they in The U.S:
"In Brown v. Vasquez, 952 F.2d 1164, 1166 (9th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 112 S.Ct. 1778 (1992), the court observed that the Supreme Court has "recognized the fact that`[t]he writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action.' Harris v. Nelson, 394 U.S. 286, 290-91 (1969). " Therefore, the writ must be "administered with the initiative and flexibility essential to insure that miscarriages of justice within its reach are surfaced and corrected." Harris, 394 U.S. at 291."
Now that seems like a nice thing to have on your side, but the detainees that are being held don’t have any of these rights, they could just be held indefinitely until they die. So that makes me happy to know that life on the gulag is all nice and comfy, for the guests. "The Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago," said Rep. Ellen Tauscher who is of course a Democrat. Leave it to the Democrats to be hoodwinked into this ridiculous ploy by the Bush administration to alleviate all of the negative press they have been getting of late about the whole Guanatanamo situation. I guess Ms. Tauscher forgot that a few years ago “Gitmo” was a military base, not an illegal prison; She also doesn’t seem to realize that most of the evidence of torture has come just recently not a few years ago. Perhaps she has it confused with Abu Gharib, which came out a couple of years ago, but hey you seen one torture chamber, you seen them all I guess.
Of course it was only a month or so ago that Amnesty International came out with their report detailing abuses and torture at Guantanamo, and labeling it “The Gulag of our time.” President Bush responding to the report called it “absurd” despite the fact the US has already admitted to torture at Gitmo according to Pentagon News and other sources
The administration has been claiming all along that there is no torture at all going on in Guantanamo, and that it is practically a country club. Dick Cheney as much said so when he uttered “Hey they are living in the tropics down there”. The members of congress wanted to find out for themselves, so they got on a plane and headed to Cuba. Once they arrived they were briefed by the commanders, and then got to enjoy the same meal the prisoners eat every day, Orange Chicken, Rice, and Fried Okra. They then went on a tour of the facilities and got to watch interrogations behind one-way mirrors, after which, it was joyously reported by AP: None of the interrogators touched detainees.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, acknowledged, "What we've seen here is evidence that we've made progress." Gee Shelia, you don’t suppose that since members of the U.S. Congress were touring the facility that everyone might have been ordered to be on there best behavior? Do you suppose that they are so dumb that they would torture the detainees right in front of you? Its not like it was some kind of secret inspection visit where everyone in the camp didn’t know you were there. I wonder if Ms. Lee knows that that last week, when United Nations investigators of Human rights asked to be let inside of Guantanamo for an inspection citing “Credible and Persistent reports of inhuman, cruel, degrading treatment of detainees, and allegations of torture, they were refused prompting Cheney to issue his living in the Tropics remark.
Bush has persistently refused to sign an order barring all forms of torture of U.S. Prisoners.