Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Guantanawho?

I picked up yesterday's NYT and noticed that in a tiny little box, it said that George W. Bush thinks that the US military-operated detention center at Guantanamo should be shut down. I have to say that I couldn't agree more (nor could the UK Attorney General), but seeing him so easily dismiss something that his administration has fought for makes me feel like something is fishy. A few months ago, Dahlia Lithwick put together a great piece about the quiet way that Guantanamo has been slowly taken apart, with sporadic releases of these prisoners Bush has described as "the worst of the worst." And now, via Political Animal, we learn that the Bush administration is working to keep intact the troubling legal apparatus that allows Guantanamo to exist. It could be that this administration is learning from a mistake, but it seems to be learning the wrong lesson. The fact that there are no substantive reasons for keeping people imprisoned at Guantanamo is a good problem to solve, but intentionally keeping this loophole open shows that it's something they anticipate doing again. Is this about justice, or is it about approaching midterm elections? And how much, exactly was learned from this evisceration of the rights of the imprisoned?
Mr. Bush said in the interview with ARD on Thursday that either way the court rules, "they will get a trial which they, themselves, were unwilling to give to the people that they're willing to kill."
Slow. Learners.

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