Recently, there has been an increasing amount of talk centering on the possibility (or even probability) that President Bush and his administration are going to declare martial law and bring around a new fascist state. There has been a lot of predictable nodding and hand-wringing on one side, and just as equally predictable laughter and [...]
On January 11, 2002, the first prisoners arrived at Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba. Despite much public objection, calls by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, and several legal battles, we still hold over 400 prisoners in Guantanamo today. We are told that these men are the “worst of the worst”, “obvious threats to national security”, “Islamofascists”, and “terrorists”. We use these epithets to justify our new definitions which allow us to hold them outside the regulations of the Geneva Conventions, outside of previous United States law, and outside of our general moral concerns. It is worth a moment of our time, then, to consider who these men actually are, what we intend to do with them, and whether our means will justify our bespoken ends.
Of the 775 men and boys who have been held as “enemy combatants” at Guantanamo, about 340 have been released, 110 are scheduled for release, around 70 are to stand trial, and around 250 “may be held indefinitely”. Only ten have been charged with anything at all.
Recently, a study published by Johns Hopkins University estimated the Iraqi civilian deaths at 655,000. This was a careful, scientific study, peer-reviewed and meticulously backed-up by other sources. The statistic is horrendous, the implications ominous. You would think that someone other than the families of those killed would care. Oddly, however, it seems that in [...]