Saturday, July 01, 2006

Our Cuban Gulag Archipelago

Karl Rove, speaking under a cloak of anonymity, decided to try out this meme in response to the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision:
A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the issue is still being debated internally, seemed to hint at the potential political implications in Congress. "Members of both parties will have to decide whether terrorists who cherish the killing of innocents deserve the same protections as our men and women who wear the uniform," this official said.
It's framed by a genius of propaganda. I suppose it would have been more artful if he could have gotten in children in there, like "terrorists who cherish the killing of innocent children." And he didn't mention the orphans who deserve tax cuts, or young, freckle-faced farmers who love their mothers.

But this is nitpicking. See how wonderfully the phrase "deserve the same protections" brings up reflexive responses: "why, terrorists don't deserve anything!", or "my god! terrorists don't deserve protection!" Many people will not even have to read the entire sentence before they start getting their rage-on. It's nicely done.

Unfortunately, the facts are biased once more — O treacherous world — and the rich, emotional argument that Rove is trying to weave will be snagged on one simple thorn: no one knows how many of the 450 people being held at Guantanamo are terrorists, because they have had no trials that would determine these facts. The administration was content, in their simplicity and blood-thirstiness, to seize several hundred people on a battlefield, determine through some manner that they were terrorists, and then proceed to torture them for four years while maintaining that they were unworthy of any Geneva convention protection, any protection that our own military affords to prisoners of war, any protection that we would demand that our own soldiers be given if held by a regime of any kind.

If they are terrorists, prove it. It is merely "proof" that is the "protection" that Karl refers to above. Once the charges are proven, then you can shoot them, feed them fish heads, or hold them in a prison cell until they die — I don't care which. But if you cannot prove it, then the keeping of anyone in these torturous conditions is a monstrous sin. We have elected a president, we do not have a king whose imperial judgement cannot be questioned.

Our actions towards the worst people will show our values. Bush's lack of judgement in Guantanamo has tainted America, and will do so for years to come.


Anonymous wrd said...

Problem is, many people in the middle of the US believe that if you're "brown" (and in the middle east), then you should die. Regardless. How often do we read press reports about the latest killing or rounding-up of 50 "insurgents" by US forces? Are they really all insurgents or just a bunch of innocent brown people? How do we know?

Rove knows exactly what he is doing. Give him credit for knowing his audience. He's also a pretty sick man.

Wednesday, 05 July, 2006  

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