Monday, June 12, 2006

One dead prisoner was to be released

In the previous post I noted that numerous Guantanamo prisoners have been released over the years while the rest are being held without any legal recourse. From that I extrapolated that it was entirely possible that there was a chance that one of the men who committed suicide could be innocent and killed himself out of a hopeless despair over his situation.

US officials, on the other hand, made absurd statements that the suicides were an act of war against the US. Now it turns out that one of the three had already been listed by the US government as a "safe person, free to be released." Apparently the US government had not told the dead man that he was eligible for release because they keep this a secret until they determine where they will send the former prisoner. An attorney for the man said: "His despair was great enough and in his ignorance he went and killed himself."

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Cully Stimson, said: "What I would say is that we are always concerned when someone takes his own life, because as Americans we value life even if it is the life of a violent terrorist captured waging war against our country."

How does that fit with the man who was declared a "safe person" and listed for release? And what does this man mean that these people were "captured waging war against our country"? None of these men were arrested in the US or for attacking the US. Afghanistan is not the US. And many of the men were arrested because people denounced them in exchange for a reward. Second, if the US is engage in a military conflict to fight against that invasion is not "terrorism". It may be wrong, that can be debated. But it is not terrorism. The men arrested opposing the US forces in Germany were not deemed terrorists but enemy combatants afforded the rights of all men caught in armed conflict. The Bush administration has created new categories where one is an "enemy combatant" and a "terrorists" at the same and afford no rights whatsoever, not even the right to avoid torture.

Republican Senator Arlen Specter has said that some inmates at the concentration camp are detained on "the flimsiest sort of hearsay". The men who initiated 9/11 deserve to be captured and punished. The men who run this camp deserve punishment as well.