America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave; that America died 10 years ago today when its rulers decided they could lock up foreigners indefinitely without trial. Now, that privilege has been extended to American citizens as well.
Ten years ago today, the first detainees in the then new War on Terror arrived on American soil in Cuba; today, 171 of them are still there. When he isn't whining vacuously on behalf of convicted murderess Linda Carty, the British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith spends much of his time lobbying for the Guantánamo Bay detainees, and this afternoon he appeared on the BBC news to discuss the case of one such detainee, a man who although now cleared for release in 2007 remains there in limbo.
Not that there isn't fierce opposition in the USA, from both lawyers and politicians as well as many of us little people who have seen through the rhetoric of protecting us from those wicked terrorists by trampling over the rights, the liberties and in many cases the lives of others.
This is a video by Congressman Ron Paul. In this short speech he alludes to a US Government attempt to assassinate an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who has of course since been assassinated. Today, it is reported that a nuclear scientist has been assassinated in Iran; the finger has been pointed at Israel, in particular the Mossad. Others will undoubtedly accuse the CIA or maybe the CIA and the Mossad. Whoever carried out this act of murder may be no friend of Iran, but he (or more likely they) are no friends of ours either, because any execution without due process of law is no better than common murder, whatever the pretext or rationalisation.
Whether or not Uncle Sam was in any way implicated in this murder, the American Government has for the past ten years been detaining a group of men without due process, without law, and under conditions that can best be described as psychologicial torture. There is no doubt that in many cases some of them have been subjected to physical torture as well, indeed not only has the American Government admitted this but two of the people who up until recently were hoping to replace Barack Obama later this year have gone on record as endorsing such torture.
Thankfully, both Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain have now dropped out of the Presidential race. For all his faults, Obama has said he does not and will never endorse torture, but as he now has the right to detain American citizens indefinitely without trial, he can afford to show a certain magnanimity.
The 6th Amendment to that mighty document known as the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:
“In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
Correction, the above should now be rendered “read as follows”.
The 6th Amendment is now dead, as is the Constitution; the terrorists have won and without a shot being fired, because although the enemies foreign have yet to be defeated, the enemies domestic have triumphed, and they now rule us, or at least they rule America. Now, the President of the United States or any of his underlings can arrest you without warrant, and without bringing you before a Grand Jury can order your indefinite detention on secret evidence - including evidence that does not exist - with no right for you to confront witnesses - who may not exist, you can even be tortured because although the President does not and would not approve, he can't be everywhere, and what the President doesn't know won't hurt him.
Happy Anniversary Camp Delta, and may you have another happy and prosperous ten years.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com