The New York Times Uses the Inevitablity Tense

Neil Lewis of the New York Times writes an update on what's doing at Guantánamo, U.S. Erecting a Solid Prison at Guantánamo for Long Term. In the course of a perfectly solid piece of reporting, Mr. Lewis falls into the tense of Historical Inevitability,

The camp currently houses about 660 detainees in varying degrees of security. The new prison could be where prisoners sentenced by military tribunals would serve their terms. Although the rules for tribunals include the possibility of capital punishment, Colonel Hart said there were no plans to build an execution chamber. [Funny – the BBC reported that there were “plans” last June — in the sense of contingency plans, not in the sense of a firm decision.]

None of the detainees sentenced to prison terms or execution could be taken into the United States to serve their sentences because upon arrival, they would immediately gain new rights and avenues to challenge their detentions. Officials chose Guantánamo as a location where United States constitutional protections would not apply, and two federal courts have agreed that the naval base here is not legally part of the United States.

Got that? “None of the detainees sentenced to prison terms or execution could be taken into the United States to serve their sentences….” It's inevitable! It's a law of nature! What he means, of course, is 'Administration officials are afraid to bring any detainees to the US, even those convicted in the special military courts that the American Bar Association has condemned as too one-sided, because the Adminstration rightly fears the application of the Due Process clause of the Constitution.'

In fact there is nothing inevitable about Guantánamo. It's time to demand that the detainees be patriated—bring them to the US. Show the world we are not afraid of due process.

Please see my earlier item on Guantánamo

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One Response to The New York Times Uses the Inevitablity Tense

  1. So if courts in the USA say Guantanamo isn’t under their jurisdiction, doesn’t that mean they would have to recognize Cuban jurisdiction? Have any habeous corpus petitions for Gunatanamo detainees been presented to Cuban courts?

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