Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Policy change, not law

Like most progressives, I'm long since given up hope that the ascension of the Obama administration means any real back-tracking from the U.S. acting as a rogue world Tac Squad, snatching up "enemies" without legal process, imprisoning or killing them, murdering with drones (or spooks?) in other peoples' countries. Empires do those things -- the U.S. is still (and precariously) top world empire.

But I still don't expect to see them state their disdain for legal niceties aloud, even under cover of anonymity. A Los Angeles Times article this morning followed up on the readjustment made by Mohammed Jawad since his release from Guantanamo under U.S. court order last month. He's the Afghan kid we picked up at about age 13 and charged with throwing a grenade at U.S. troops. The "evidence" was coerced statements from him and others. A U.S. federal judge called the case "an outrage 'riddled with holes.'" He was sent back to his country after 7 years in captivity. (I have to admit to wondering why attacking foreigners he perceived as invaders would be a crime anyway; isn't that what homegrown nutcases with their NRA arsenals think "patriots" ought to do?)

Anyway now we've got a quote from an official unhappy about the release that explains his department's view of these cases:

A Justice Department official who asked not to be identified says the case was dropped when conditions changed.

"He was held so long with evidence based on torture," the official says. "The president decided, one, that we won't torture and, two, that we won't rely on statements based on torture. It's not really lessons learned. It was the result of a policy choice the president made."

Apparently there are no concerns of law or justice here -- just a new king who orders a different policy than the old king.

1 comment:

Darlene said...

Hypocrisy, thy name is politics.

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