Guantanemo: An Icon of Lawlessness

We’ll return to our regularly scheduled program…TFNP, after this note, but between reading this Amnesty International Report, and recent articles in the NYT, I feel compelled to express outrage. I can’t help but believe that history will judge the United States of America’s behavior in these past few years in the same light as our behavior in Central America in the 70’s and 80’s and in Viet Nam.

Would the USA tolerate this treatment of its citizens by another government? Would the international community accept this threat to the rule of law and human rights? Surely not, and yet the USA continues to perpetrate just such abuses in the far from hypothetical Guantánamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, where almost 550 detainees of more than 30 nationalities remain detained without charge or trial. On 11 January 2005, the Guantánamo prison will enter its fourth year. In its more than 1,000 days of executive detentions, Guantánamo has become a symbol of a government’s attempt to put itself above the law. The example it sets is of a world where basic human rights are negotiable rather than universal. Such a world, although built in the name of national security, is dangerous to us all.

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