Friday, March 23, 2007

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. . .unless they are at Guantanamo

NYT - New to Job, Gates Argued for Closing Guantánamo
In his first weeks as defense secretary, Robert M. Gates repeatedly argued that the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had become so tainted abroad that legal proceedings at Guantánamo would be viewed as illegitimate, according to senior administration officials. He told President Bush and others that it should be shut down as quickly as possible.
This idea was shot down, however, because some members of the administration wanted to make sure that the detainees didn't gain any Constitutional rights.
There is widespread agreement, however, that moving any detainees or legal proceedings to American territory could bring significant complications.

Some administration lawyers are deeply reluctant to move terrorism suspects to American soil because it could increase their constitutional and statutory rights — and invite an explosion of civil litigation. Guantánamo was chosen because it was an American military facility but not on American soil.
It is funny (ironic) to me that the United States was founded with the grand notion that all men are created equal, but when it comes down to it, we don't seem to think that all men (human beings) are entitled to the same rights or considerations. If they are not American citizens or housed on American soil, we don't have to treat them in the way that we claim to believe all of human-kind should be treated.

If we truly believe that our justice system is the best possible (although not perfect) form of determining guilt or innocence and doling out judgments while preserving the inalienable rights of the individual, why are we so bound and determined not to use it in the case of terror suspects. The short answer, of course, is that we think they don't have any rights. They are guilty until proven innocent. Actually they are guilty. Period. Or maybe even exclamation point. They are guilty, we know it, we shouldn't have to prove it. We should just be able to torture them and execute them. End of story.

I'm sorry, but that is just not the moral foundation that my country was founded on. It seems to me that if we can't try and convict them according to our stated standard of justice, the same standard we hold our own citizens to, then we have no business being the ones to punish them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I feel if we let these detainees have the same rights as you and me; we should have open borders and no immigration standards. Aren't we violating all "equal" men's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?