Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kafka and Uighurs at Guantanamo

By Ray McGovern
November 26, 2008

“There is no right to due process for an alien who is not here,” insisted the 44th Solicitor General of the United States, Gregory G. Garre, proudly representing the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

Read on.


Florence Chan said...

It's always a pleasure to read Ray McGovern's posts, although the topic is painful for most to think about.

An apology to the world is indeed the best way to start. To paraphrase Susan Sontag (when she was talking about courage and resistance): It's not merely an appeal to our conscience; it's in the best interest of this country.

Anonymous said...

Ray McGovern is among our most reliable moral canaries.

Immediate release for all for whom there is no probable cause and those, if any, should have speedy trials!

For all those wrongfully held, damages are in order, not to mention reparations for the Iraqi people.

Did Obama not criticize the Iraqi government for holding $80 billion while we're spending our treasure to 'rebuild' Iraq? I believe he was silent on the fact that we've killed as many as a million Iraqis, at least according to that Lancet/Johns Hopkins report now perhaps 2 years old.

For those who provided a fig leaf of justification, those who ordered violations of international and/or national law regarding torture, inhumane treatment, felonious assault or battery, and those who implemented the orders - trial at The Hague seems the proper redress.

I think it premature, unfortunately, to get too excited about the election of a former professor of constitutional law. I would like to agree with Ray's implied, if tentative, optimism but what are the clues: (1) Obama has sanctioned the use of drones to dispatch "suspected" terrorists; (2) he wants to expand our use of military force in Afghanistan and has intimated he'll not respect Pakistani sovereignty if he thinks Osama and his pals are there; (3) to my knowledge he's not condemned the chain of command for its use of extraordinary rendition, torture, the goings on at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo; (4) he's apparently chosen Eric Holder to be the Attorney General and Mr. Holder at the least facilitated the pardon of Mark Rich, apparently was responsible for something of a cover-up regarding the excessive use of force at Waco, and is believed to have been less than candid in testimony before Congress - is this a man who may be expected to enforce our criminal laws against George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice and others? I'm afraid not; (5) all indications seem to suggest that, whatever Obama's moral sense may be, he will find it impolitic to investigate and prosecute our domestic war criminals, just as he found it pragmatic to give the telecommunications companies a pass for their FISA violations.

(6) Lastly, is it believable that Obama is not, by now, knowledgeable about the indications that Bob Gates participated in both the October Surprise and the Iran Contra episode? I don't think so.

An hour or so ago I heard a report that John Brennan, reportedly a participant in our extraordinary rendition shame, has let Obama off the hook by withdrawing from consideration as National Security Advisor, so as not to "distract".

Lamentably, this is not a sign that either Obama or Brennan regrets his past conduct... only that Brennan would have been an unwelcome distraction.

We know that Obama has criticized the Iraq war. However, my recollection is that he's always done so in the context of its being the 'wrong war' and a war that's 'cost' us too much money.

Have any of you heard him condemn the war as immoral, our conduct of the war as criminal?

Is it thinkable that he's not become conversant with the major works on conspiracy theory? Not aware of our government's, at the least, censoring what really happened on 9/11 and, certainly possibly, allowing 9/11 to happen for reasons... well you know....

Count me among those who would like to think Obama is not merely possessed of the talent to persuade people that he's an idealist. So far he's offered little cover that would justify that conclusion.

Thanks to Bob Parry, Consortium News and Ray McGovern for continually giving us difficult to obtain information and invariably shining the light on our highest ideals. If we allow our lowest and most reprehensible moments to be thrown under the bus of expediency it will take more than light revive our ideals.

George Collins
Goffstown, NH

Mark E. Smith said...

And what about Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and tens of thousands of others on death row or spending lifetimes in prison here in the U.S. for crimes they didn't commit or for the crimes of being poor and non-Caucasian?

What about the documented torture of prisoners who are U.S. citizens and on U.S. soil?

What about a "justice system" so far removed from reality that proven factual innocence is not grounds for an appeal or a retrial?

Even Kafka would have had a hard time imagining this.

Face it, the U.S. never abolished slavery or stopped committing genocide. And our Constitution was written in such as way as to ensure that we never would.

A country where nine unelected Supreme Court justices make decisions that cannot be appealed, is not a democracy, and a country where the people cannot hold their elected representatives accountable is not a republic.

The crimes against humanity upon which this country was founded and built, genocide and slavery, have never stopped. The military-industrial complex (genocide for profit) and the prison-industrial complex (enslavement for profit) are two of our biggest industries, and our government serves industry, not people.

Only a total economic crash can stop us from continuing to imprison, torture, and kill innocent people as both a profitable business practice at home and as foreign policy abroad. If you are of a religious persuasion, you should pray for it, because we can hope for no other salvation.

Mark E. Smith said...

Of course our government doesn't want to set the Uighurs free. It has nothing to do with guilt or innocence. We bought them. We paid for them. They belong to us. They are our property and we can do with them as we wish. That's the American way and always has been.

dailysketch said...

It is highly amusing that McGovern, who worked for the largest terrorist organisation the world has ever seen, has not seen fit to apologise himself for the crimes he implicitly supported while working for said organisation.

It would be interesting to see if a former member of Al Qaeda would be taken as seriously.

Even if he has had his St.Paul on the road to Damascus moment, a complete apology from MsGovern for the crimes committed by the CIA while he worked there would not be amiss.

And his own hypocrisy is evident for all to see when he calls for "all prisoners at Guantanamo" to be "released, repatriated, resettled, or (if there is probable cause to believe any have committed a crime) brought to trial, in strict accordance with international and national law, and the principles of fundamental justice regarding criminal proceedings.", while for the really serious serial criminals he feels "an open apology" will suffice.

I say this to McGovern and all Americans: the world (that is us ordinary people not our corrupt governments) will never accept your apology unless those responsible for all the crimes committed by the terrorist state par excellence, be brought to justice. This justice should include the death penalty and the confiscation of all wealth from those found guilty and their families.

Of course, this will never happen.