Sunday, October 12, 2008

Let My People Go: An Update

Last Wednesday I reveled in the decision of a federal judge to free the Uighurs being held at Guantanamo Bay. I also noted that the government would no doubt file for a stay of that order while they prepared an emergency appeal. The government did in fact file for that stay and obtained it. The Uighurs remain in detention at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

An editorial in today's NY Times has come up with a pretty good analysis of why the government persists in the persecution of these 17 men.

A federal judge in Washington has struck an important blow for the rule of law by ordering that 17 detainees be freed from Guantánamo Bay. But the Bush administration is fighting the ruling to avoid having the case become an open window into the outlaw world of President Bush’s detention camps. ...

...The Bush administration told the countries it was trying to persuade to take the detainees that they posed no threat. It has stipulated in court documents that they are not a threat. But after Judge Urbina’s ruling, the government suddenly claimed the 17 men were a threat, and managed to obtain a stay of the judge’s order from the federal appeals court in Washington. ...

The administration is not afraid the Uighurs will take to the streets against the United States government. It is afraid they will take to the microphones.
[Emphasis added]


The Bush administration has made it abundantly clear that it will not allow the release of anyone from Gitmo detention. It has, with the assistance of Congress, made a pretense of providing due process, but only after ordered to do so by the US Supreme Court. And that "due process" is a jerry-rigged system: the military commission trials are designed for guilty verdicts.

When the Supreme Court made it clear that the detainees were entitled to the ancient right of habeas corpus, the government moved to a different seat at the Mad Hatter's tea party, as the case of the Uighurs makes clear. It dare not lose control of that abominable base and its inhabitants.

It will fight every judicial intrusion, filing frivolous appeals based on "facts" that the government knows are untrue just to keep the base in operation and the men held there in captivity. Freeing even one of the Uighurs, who have done absolutely nothing wrong (which the government knows and has even told other countries in an attempt to get those countries to accept the men) provides just the risk that the editorialist mentions. Once freed, the man might talk, might describe the conditions under which he was held, the interrogations he endured. And that might just blow everything wide open.

Bush clearly can't have that, not on his watch. He'd much rather leave that mess (along with all of his other messes) to his successor.

100 days.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to the microphones, the Bushes are also quite obnoxious about their stand. Releasing any Gitmo prisoners into the US general population is interpreted by the Bushes as impertinent opposition to their world view. They are not going to take it lying down. They may still come up with more lies to stop the judges chutzpah.

8:40 AM  
Blogger shrimplate said...

What do the Bushies want? Besides absolute power for its own sake, I mean. What could they possibly gain from wrongly imprisoning a bunch of Uighurs?

It's psychopathological.

12:23 PM  

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