AN ANNIVERSARY TO LAMENT

No, I am not writing about my wedding anniversary. My ex-wife may lament that day but I do not. In fact she probably doesn’t either. Our marriage produced two wonderful sons who we both love and cherish.

But today, January 11, 2012, is the tenth anniversary of a shameful and despicable chapter in our nation’s history. On this date in 2002 Guantanamo Bay opened for business as an unlawful detention center for alleged criminals, placed there without the normal Constituional protections established for our nation’s criminal justice system.

It was established in the name of fighting terrorism. I got news for you. Terrorism is simply a form of murderous criminal activity and should be treated as such. That would mean the proper arrest of suspected terrorists, the filing of appropriate charges, indictment and trial before a civilian jury.

But that’s not the way it works at Guantanamo.

Instead, accused terrorists are confined there, without charges and mostly without lawyers, have not been given any judicial hearings in large part, and many have been physically and psychologicall tortured. It AIN’T enhanced interrogation. Torture is torture.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/10/10081516-tortured-guantanamo-bay-prisoner-seeks-release-of-secret-videos

There has been some improvement at Guanatnamo with lawyers appointed but our Constitution guarantees a trial within a reasonable time and several years is not reasonable.

President Obama promised to close the facility within a year of taking office and move the prisoners to prisons in the U.S. There was resistance from Congress and Obama chickened out.

Now. with the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act it is even less likely for Guantanamo to be closed. That law requires detention of suspected terrorists in certain categories and can even be extended to American citizens.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/guantanamo-bay-10th-anniversary-indefinite-detention-american-citizens_n_1197547.html?ref=mostpopular

The one factor that may result in fewer detainees brought to Guantanamo is that now the Obama administration has taken to murdering alleged terrorists using drone attacks in foreign nations.

The most prominent of these attacks was last year when Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen, born and bred, was killed. He supposedly had connections to 9/11 but he was never formally charged nor an arrest warrant issued for him nor extradition proceedings initiated to bring him home for trial. Nope, he was simply murdered.

So this day is not an anniversary to celebrate. Rather we should hang our heads in shame at the violations of our Constitution and of basic morals.

If the date is observed at all, it should be with anger and tears.

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