Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Astonishing Irrational Rationalization - The State of our Union

I'm always alert for new, truth-telling websites, that speak truth to power on one subject or another. So, this morning I listened with interest to a host interview Andy Worthington, a British investigative journalist, who has spent considerable time investigating the conditions and prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. According to Mr. Worthington, there are approximately 160 prisoners that remain there, of which approximately 35 or so actually have a proven connection to Al Qaeda or to a terrorist event or group and who should stand trial. So, why are the other 130 or so kept in prison?

It turns out that over 600 prisoners who have no connection to terrorism have already been released back to their home country and who, it has been determined, were only in prison because they were sold to U. S. authorities through a "buy a prisoner" scheme that we, the United States, created early in the Bush Administration by Chaney, Rumsfeld, et al. The deal was that we will pay $5,000 to anyone identifying an Al Qaeda terrorist, or any other terrorist. So, halfway around the world in Afghanistan and Iraq, where $5,000 is like a million dollars, and a person can buy a house, a car and live a year in comfort on that money, a person can sell his neighbor out to U.S. black rendition sites and prisons just by claiming he or she is a terrorist. That person, more than likely innocent, goes to prison, subject to untold interrogations and is held in prison without habeas corpus rights while we watch stupefied and dumb struck to faux-Doctor Phil embarrass a troubled married couple or Bill O'Rielly crucify an unsuspecting victim in his so-called culture war on national television.

And then comes the rationale for holding innocent prisoners from the Right, an astonishing irrational statement but which is the rationale used by conservatives in Congress and state governments that have refused to allow trials under our criminal justice system. I paraphrase: "Even though we don't know whether these prisoners are terrorist, and can't know that until the facts are presented to a court, we don't want a trial to be held in our civilian courts because they are terrorist. And, we can't release those who are innocent of any terrorist charge what so ever, confirmed by a complete lack of evidence or evidence that proves beyond any doubt, because we have radicalized them in our own rendition and prison system and we estimate that forty percent of those we release will now join a terrorist organization, even though recidivism in the 600 we have already released has not occurred nor is there any evidence that any of those 600 have joined a terrorist organization."

I guess we can now be jailed because of what we think or if in someone else's mind it is thought that we will fall in a percentage of people who will, at some concocted time in the future, commit an act of terrorism.

We have lost our way. That is the State of our Union.


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