Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Secret prisons...

So, today we found out that President Bush had ordered the CIA to hold prisoners in secret prisons. He assures us that they were not tortured, and reminds us that torture is illegal. Here's a question.

What would he hold people in secret prisons, rather than at Guantanamo Bay, unless he was hiding something?

I can't prove that anyone was tortured in CIA secret prisons. However, we know that the CIA engaged in torture in Iraq. Why would we believe that they were hesitant to torture people in the secret prison sites? After all, torturing people in Iraq was much more dangerous (it was a war crime) in Iraq.

Of course, if the prisoners say that they were tortured, we'll be told that they were lying. And, of course, anyone who says differently would be revealing secret information, and would be putting the United States at risk. Remember how angry people were when the Abu Ghraib photographs came out?

So, if they were tortured, who would ever tell us?

But let's ignore the question of torture for the moment. There's another question: why was this done right now? A possible answer is provided here.

The president wants to get the authority to run military tribunals with as few restrictions as possible. By transferring people who are extremely dangerous into Guantanamo, he's hoping it will force Congress to write legislation to his liking.

But that's not all he's trying to do. He knows it full well that the Democrats won't stand for unfair trials. Even our worst enemies deserve a fair trial. I don't care what anybody says about how dangerous they are; first we must prove that they are that dangerous. Only then can we punish them.

I can't imagine a greater injustice than declaring an innocent person to be a member of one of the worst terrorist groups on the plant. Before we put people in prison, or execute them, we must be sure that they are guilty. And the only way we can do that is with a fair trial.

But I'm sure that you can hear the outcry already: "The Democrats are soft on terror."

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