Thursday, July 26, 2007

How Surprising!

The Pentagon is back to the old "winning hearts and minds" tactic, only this time the hearts and minds belong to the American public. In a report issued by a terrorism study group at West Point, the Pentagon hopes to prove that most, if not all, of the detainees at Gunatanamo Bay are very, very bad men, according to an article in today's NY Times.

Accelerating the public relations battle over terrorism suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, a new study of detainees in 2004 and 2005 requested by the Pentagon argues that many were a proven threat to United States forces. They included fighters of Al Qaeda, veterans of terrorism training camps and men who had experience with explosives, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, it said. ...

It paints a chilling portrait of the detainees, asserting that publicly available information indicates that 73 percent of them were a “demonstrated threat” to American or coalition forces. In all, it says, 95 percent were at the least a “potential threat,” including detainees who had played a supporting role in terrorist groups or had expressed a commitment to pursuing violent jihadist goals. The study is based on information from detainees’ hearings in 2004 and 2005.
[Emphasis added]

All of this means, of course, that those very, very bad men should be denied even the most basic human rights, such as the right to challenge their detention and the right to see the evidence that will be used against them in the dog-and-pony-show trials known as Military Commission Hearings. Otherwise these very, very, VERY bad men might actually be judged innocent, and we can't have that. That would release "potentially" dangerous men back into the world.

We are being told that we must accept this "neutral" report (commissioned by the Pentagon and prepared by a group at one of the Pentagon's own training grounds) because it is based on "publicly available" information gathered from transcripts of the very reliable dog-and-pony-show trials from 2004 and 2005, which the US Supreme Court held to be unconstitutional. The fact that the secret evidence, which is highly classified and which neither the detainees nor the American public have any right to see, might tell a different story should not bother us, because these are very, very, VERY bad men.

This report is reliable because it was prepared to inform us as to what really is going on, and, well, because the Pentagon doesn't want us to be mislead by the very, very, VERY bad men and their attorneys.

The authors made clear that one of their goals was to affect public attitudes. They said the report should “enhance our collective understanding of the threats facing the United States, its allies and its interests and how we respond to them.” [Emphasis added]

You know what?

I call bullshit.



Anonymous Nora said...

All right, if they're so clearly awful human beings who have broken international law, prove it.

Bring the charges against them, in open court. Show the world what we know about them. Show the world how terrible they are.

Prove it, Constitutionally, beyond a reasonable doubt, in open court, with the defendants given all the rights to which criminal defendants are entitled by law.

THEN I'll believe them.

This is, after all, the administration that originally claimed that Jose Padilla was going to explode a dirty bomb, that held him for years, incommunicado, and that finally charged him with mere conspiracy and, according to the reports of the trial which have been posted on Firedoglake, have made a piss poor case of the conspiracy charges, producing only one piece of (disputed) paper that has his fingerprints on it, amidst clouds of suggestions and insinuations.

So do I believe these people when they protest that they really are going after the worst of the worst? Of course not. Why should anyone?

6:07 AM  

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