Ignoring both law and justice

December 1st, 2003 – 7:59 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

As news comes that around 100 inmates may be released soon from the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, it seems like a good time to reflect on remarks made last week by Lord Steyn, one of Britain’s Law Lords. He took the United States to task for the detentions of suspected “terrorists” there, and some of his comments can be found here.

As matters stand at present the U.S. courts would refuse to hear a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay who produces credible medical evidence that he has been and is being tortured. They would refuse to hear prisoners who assert that they were not combatants at all. They would refuse to hear prisoners who assert that they were simply soldiers in the Taliban army and knew nothing about Al Qaeda. They would refuse to examine any complaints of any individuals. The blanket presidential order deprives them all of any rights whatever.

As a lawyer brought up to admire the ideals of American democracy and justice, I would have to say that I regard this as a monstrous failure of justice.

Lord Steyn makes good points on the many ways that the United States has chosen to ignore human rights in it’s quest to win the “war on terror,” and his remarks are well worth a read.

[via Dan Gillmor’s eJournal]

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