Guantanamo and Orwell

November 27, 2008 | By | 2 Replies More

Andrew Sullivan sums it up.

Guantanamo has been an incredibly ghastly episode for America.  If any other country had done half of what we have done, our government and media would have condemned its behavior nonstop from day one.   Yet I constantly meet people who think that all of the prisoners ever held at Guantanamo were beyond a doubt “terrorists.”

To make it clear, I suspect that many of the prisoners at Guantanamo presented threats to American interests.  On the other hand, we owed a duty to every one of of those prisoners to quickly determine who was a threat and who wasn’t.  Based on the statistics Sullivan cites, however, we had no clue whether most of those prisoners had done anything wrong.  Yet we did next to nothing.


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Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Hank says:

    Indeed, the Gitmo hypocrisy was glaring from day one (the fact that Camp X-Ray wasn't even built in the US – but in an avowed enemy state, no less! – makes it pretty clear the Busheney administration was looking for a legal grey area). The day it closes, the shame can start to be cleansed from America – and the other nations of the world (like my own) who allowed their citizens to be kept there for years without charge, without mounting effective challenges to its legitimacy. Until Guantanamo, Americans proudly & loudly claimed at every opportunity to be a nation of laws, justice for all and inalienable human rights and most of the time they were justified in doing so. Upon Guantanamo's inception, however, Busheney showed exactly how much they valued the core of American democracy. If you're one of THEM, even if we just THINK you are, you can kiss you rights goodbye.

    To go a tad further in the vein of hypocrisy and double-standards, I've always been of the opinion that if what happened in Florida 2000 (and subsequently, shamefully, in SCOTUS) had happened in any other country on earth, the US would've been among the first countries to demand a full recount and urgently recommend sending in independent UN observers to ensure it was carried out fairly.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Comment at Daily Dish about Guantanamo:

    "I'm consistently bothered by the fact that in any discussion of how we treat suspected terrorists, everyone seems to forget about the 'suspected' part."

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