Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Found Innocent? Get back to your Jail Cell!

[I figured I should probably get back to posting something.. every once in awhile, so here it goes]

America use to stand for things like "Land of the Free" and "Innocent until proven Guilty".. you know that stuff Superman and your 4th grade teacher taught you. It seems that America is gone and is being replaced by a much uglier America. An America where what we believe to be true is truth and what we feel like doing is the right path. This is neither the America I want to live in nor is it the America we should let develop.

While discussing the charges against Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's driver, the Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said that even if found innocent of all charges the military believes it would be too "dangerous" to release detainees. Hmm.. that sounds about as Un-American as a Religious Re-education Camp.

He also relayed to reporters that another 20 detainees were looking forward to the military tribunals and most of those defendants would also be kept for "some time" after their trial if found totally innocent of all charges. All other detainees not be tried or released although there is an "effort" to return those detainees (that there is no evidence against) to their home countries so that they can be released or incarcerated.

Hmmm.. wait.. twenty detainees have a trial.. what about all the others? Don't they deserve to be tried for their alleged crimes? Shouldn't they at least have the chance to prove they are not guilty and did not commit the crimes that they are accused of? Shouldn't we, the public, have a chance to exact justice on those who are truly guilty? Instead of letting both innocents and guilty people rot doesn't the public deserve to know that criminals, killers and terrorists are being brought to justice? Shouldn't we have the chance to know that those guilty of the most heinous crimes are being put to death for their transgressions? Is it really too much to ask!

I hope that I've been clear. I want Guantanamo shut down not because I think everybody out there is a perfect little angel but because I believe in Justice. Justice for all. Release the innocent. Punish the guilty. Give these people fair and speedy trials so that they may find their place along side the free and their families or to be condemned and punished with the guilty.

Give Justice a Chance.

Flaming Moderate [If you wish to contact me, I also read strongmoderate's email account, just address the e-mail to me.]

Gitmo detainees subject to detention even if acquitted: Pentagon - Raw Story


Tom Harper said...

The whole thing sounds pretty un-American to me too. I'm not a bleeding heart when it comes to crime and punishment, even though I'm generally liberal. I'm even in favor of capital punishment.

But we need to take every possible precaution to make sure the suspect is guilty. Whether somebody is charged with jaywalking or crashing an airliner into a skyscraper -- our legal system cannot be compromised.

If we make one exception, we become just like all the third world dictatorships we used to hold ourselves above.

Flaming Moderate said...

I can't think of too many ways of saying "EEEEEExactly", Tom. So, I'll just say it: EXACTLY!

I hate to bring up Fareed Zakaria (especially after that little scathing review by Strong) but I can't resist, in his 2003 book The Future of Freedom he points out that the big difference between European and American Democracy (Liberal Democracies) and sham democracies that pop up around the world, hold elections with only one party or beat up the opposition (Illiberal Democracies) is Rule of Law. Where would we be without the belief that no one is above or beneath the law, that the law of this land applies to everyone no matter who they are or what they do. That's the Liberty that millions of soldiers throughout the past couple centuries have fought for.