Guantanamomo

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Bush supporters continue to prove that they are fucking idiots. More than fucking idiots, they’re soulless and seemingly brainless bastards. I’m through using polite language for people who advocate murder and torture in the name of increasing their own comfort level. Nazi postergirl Ann Coulter, in her latest article, says of the treatment of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, “America’s gulag” (Amnesty International’s term):

“American soldiers make do with C-rations. Dinner on an America West flight from New York to Las Vegas consists of one small bag of peanuts. Meanwhile, one recent menu for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo consisted of orange-glazed chicken, fresh fruit crepe, steamed peas and mushrooms, and rice pilaf.”

Oh, I see. In Coulterworld, detainment at Gitmo is a luxury most working Americans would dream about experiencing! Instead of complaining, the prisoners should be paying hard cash for the experience!

Republican Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said of Gitmo: “[Its inmates] have never eaten better. They’ve never been treated better…courtesy of the American taxpayer!”

Thankfully, that great American-Canadian Eric Margolis wrote in response, “One wonders if Hunter plans to spend his next vacation there. It’s a great, all-inclusive resort, with programs like sleep deprivation, intense noise assault, cigarette burning, water torture, beatings, humiliation, religious insults. Deluxe wire cages are even included in the package. And what food!”

Meanwhile, the Internet’s conservative echo chamber pipes up with the predictable gems, like this steaming turd from regular Deonandan.com reader/contributor Darth Vadum: “The interrogation techniques used at Gitmo are relatively gentle.” Gentle? Compared to what? Decapitation?

Relatively gentle? Jesus H. Keerist. As part of a training exercise, a US soldier masqueraded as a detainee who was acting “uncooperative” and, for his troubles, was beaten so severely he suffered traumatic brain injury. A US soldier! He is, of course, suing. Yeah, relatively gentle. Just imagine how they treat a fellow who can’t cry “Uncle”.

Amnesty International, as everyone knows now, has gone on record as declaring the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo to be inhumane. They are not the first to make this assertion. Every few months another independent organization makes a similar finding, and each time the story barely survives a news cycle. What is special about this time is that Amnesty is famous for conveniently overlooking American atrocities. For them to have finally bitten the bullet and turned their critical eye on the activities of the nation which is home to most of their supporters implies that the misdeeds have become too widely known and undeniable. Don’t believe what the Bush supporters are spinning for us now: Amnesty does not make shit up. Their investigations are certainly leagues more efficient and above board than, say, the anaemic US military investigations into wrong-doings at Abu Ghraib.

As always, Charley Reese brings sanity to the debate:

“The fact is, the Bush administration has created a gulag, as Amnesty International recently charged. Certainly it is not on the scale of Stalin’s, but a series of prisons in Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan and in other, hidden places where people are held indefinitely without charges and without access to even humanitarian organizations can be fairly called gulags.”

Vadum adds this ridiculous justification in his blog entry, letting us know that he in fact is aware that maltreatment is going on at Gitmo: “Besides, those interned there are not lawful prisoners-of-war. They are unlawful combatants who are outside the protection of the laws of war.”

Well that makes it all okay, doesn’t it? You know, slavery was within the bounds of law when it happened on US soil, too. Does that make slavery okay? Under Nazi law, concentration camps were perfectly legal. Does that mean we must forgive the Nazis? When those who write the fucking laws do so to conveniently keep their misdeeds within the law, then the law means jack squat. The term “unlawful combatant” is a bogus piece of shit whose meaning has been massaged to assert minimal legal protection of the rights of non-Western soldiers –which is what the Afghan insurgents were, by the way: soldiers. Let us not forget –as so many Bush apologists would like– that in the opening days of the Afghanistan war, the civilized world had to pull the Bushies kicking and screaming to even allow the Geneva Conventions to be applied in the so-called “War on Terror.” These are not a people interested in law or its fair application, only in how to subvert it to service their own needs and agenda. Nixon’s got nothing on Bush The Younger.

Let’s make some things clear. Some of those interned in Guantanamo may in fact be dangerous criminal types. But many of those interned were in fact picked up at random by Afghan warlords who were paid $10,000 per head. Those who have so far been released are clearly innocent of any wrong-doing (why else would this paranoid Administration release them?) –yet they were imprisoned and tortured (yes, sleep deprivation, white noise and illegal imprisonment itself qualify as torture) for years without redress. Years. If the detainment of a handful of genuine bad guys justifies the inhumane treatment of God-knows-how-many innocents over a period of years, then we are equally justified in locking up Ann Coulter and every other 30-something blonde because they resemble Karla Homolka and hence might just be serial killers.

Don’t fall for this bullshit, people. Don’t let the USA, and hence Canada and the other indistinguishable Western allies, become the USSR of old. Don’t let fear, curmudgeonliness and bigotry let slip the spirit of the laws which define a people’s morality. Don’t let an in-bred President and his amoral henchmen subvert and make hollow the previously meaningful national mantras of freedom, fairness and civility.

I give the final word to Charley Reese:

“Look, we have laws against terrorism. If there are prisoners in Guantanamo who are guilty of terrorism, charge them, bring them to trial, convict them and put them away. If they are just prisoners of war, then obey the Geneva Conventions. I fail to see how this could possibly threaten our national security.”