The Barbarians Manning the Gates

Read Obsidian Wings, Requiem.

Really, please read this, especially the last two thirds or so. It’s horrible.

Innocent people — people the government itself says are innocent — chained to the floor. Kept out of contact with their families. Denied reading materials in their language. Denied contact with their families. Denied not just contact with counsel, but even when they have lawyers, the lawyers are not told about hearings concerning the client — not even that the clients have been exonerated. Maybe two years before the fact slinks into open court. And it gets aired only because the court is considering a habeas petition.

When trying to describe the behavior of this administration regarding detainees in Guantanamo and elsewhere, not even Kafka provides us with a vocabulary or a set of categories. Compared to the casual barbarity of this crew, Kafka seems a weak thing, a bloodless amateur.

But not to worry. Americans’ tender consciences will henceforth be sheltered from having to face the facts about what this country’s government is doing in our name. Thanks to the ‘compromise’ brokered in the Senate regarding the Graham Amendment the odds are that we need not worry about new habeas motions — arguably need not even worry about the continued survival of existing habeas motions — that might produce facts dissonant with our comfortable ideas of the rule of law, minimal due process, or the lower bounds below which US officials could not routinely sink. Show’s over folks. Go about your business.

Barbarians are people who break what they don’t understand. And the current administration does not understand due process, human rights, or even common minimum decency.

Must the Senate prostate prostrate itself before these barbarians? [unintentional humor there, I’m afraid…]

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4 Responses to The Barbarians Manning the Gates

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  2. Patrick (G) says:

    Any lawyer arguing that the Government has the right to indefinitely imprison a man known to be innocent, should himself be imprisoned, indefinitely, by the judge to whom he is making that argument. For being a scofflaw in contempt of Court if a charge need be lodged.

    For the Graham budget bill amendment, it seems to me that the constitution defines two instances when Habeas Corpus may be set aside and neither applies with regards to the Camp X-ray detainees.

    To deny the possibility of Habeas Corpus review is not within Congress’s legislative power.
    To cancel Habeas Corpus reviews in progress also seems a tad ‘ex post facto’.

    Sadly, this is just the latest incremental attempt by the current Administration, and it’s Congressional allies, to abrogate the Constitution by fiat for itself.

  3. James Wimberley says:

    “Must the Senate prostate itself before these barbarians?”
    They haven’t got the balls to do otherwise.
    (Sorry, but I couldn’t resist it. Correct the typo but leave a trace)


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