Friday, January 11, 2008

Just a foreseeable consequence

Hell of a way to mark six years of the U.S. gulag at Guantanamo. From the Center for Constitutional Rights:

the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today dismissed an action brought by four former British detainees against Donald Rumsfeld and senior military officers for ordering torture and religious abuse. The British detainees – Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal, Rhuhel Ahmed and Jamal Al-Harith -- spent more than two years in Guantanamo and were repatriated to the U.K. in 2004.

In a 43-page opinion, Circuit Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a statute that applies by its terms to all "persons" did not apply to detainees at Guantanamo, effectively ruling that the detainees are not persons at all for purposes of U.S. law. The Court also dismissed the detainees' claims under the Alien Tort Statute and the Geneva Conventions, finding defendants immune on the basis that "torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military's detention of suspected enemy combatants."

Apparently if something is foreseeable, it ceases to be culpable. Besides, these prisoners are not "persons." All hail the torture regime.

1 comment:

Nell said...

Torture is indeed a foreseeable consequence of deciding that the laws do not apply to us, that people are not legal "persons", etc.

The fact that the federal courts are now packed with right-wing judges makes the outlook for accountability bleak.

I'm grateful to those who showed up at the Supreme Court today.

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