Saturday, November 04, 2006

What’s wrong with this picture?

From today’s Washington Post:
“The [U.S.] government…asserts that the detainees’ [interrogation] experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public.”
and yet:
“The government argues that once rules are set for the new military commissions, the high-value detainees will have military lawyers and ‘unprecedented’ rights to challenge charges against them in that venue.”
Do they have no sense of the absurdity? If they are truly arguing that national security needs make impossible any disclosure of the treatment detainees have received at our hands, they are also saying that the detainees can never be released from custody. Therefore, no purpose is to be had in going forth with any sort of court proceeding, “military commission” or otherwise, because clearly the outcome has already been ordained. Clearly, the detainees will be held until they’re dead, because otherwise, who knows what “state secrets” they might divulge?

I also find it interesting that the government functionaries tasked with spouting these absurdities are usually females, apparently because the press tends to be gentler with them. Do Kathleen Blomquist, the “Justice Department spokeswoman,” and Marilyn A. Dorn, a “CIA Information Review Officer” honestly believe the talking points they are spewing forth? That our “interrogation techniques” are so precious that they must be protected at any cost, including the prevention of any meaningful legal defense being provided to our prisoners?

We are watching as our legal system descends into territory normally held by such paragons of liberty and due process as Muammar al-Gaddafi and it is hideous to behold.


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