November 12, 2005

Ron Wyden's Vote Betrays American Values

I don't know how to explain Senator Ron Wyden's vote to strip the Guantanamo detainees of their right of habeas corpus. Does he really believe that the detainees have no right to the courts? That our government can hold them indefinitely without ever having a whit of evidence that they are the danger Bush says they are? How could he have forgotten about the number of detainees in Guantanamo released without charges only because the Supreme Court said they had a basic right to have a hearing?

Does Wyden support the Bush administration's assertion that these detainees are not accorded the protection of the Geneva Convention?

The following are rules applicable in all conflicts, regardless of whether the countries in question are signatories of the Geneva Conventions and regardless of whether the warring party in question is recognized as an independent state. Warring parties must obey the rules spelled out in the common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which requires that prisoners of war and wounded combatants be protected from murder; discrimination based on race, religion, sex, and similar criteria; mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; humiliating and degrading treatment; and sentencing or execution without a fair trial.

In addition, the following are forbidden towards any persons in an area of armed conflict:

  • Torture, mutilation, rape, slavery and arbitrary killing
  • Genocide
  • Crimes against humanity which include forced disapparance and deprivation of humanitarian aid
  • War crimes which include apartheid, biological experiments, hostage tacking, attacks on cultural objects, and depriving people of the right to a fair trial.

Does he trust the Bush administration to treat these detainees humanely if there is no oversight such as provided by the detainees having access to lawyers? What oversight has the Congress performed that would allow Wyden to think that it is okay to strip the one kind of oversight that was in place?

What exactly was he thinking? I think Wyden owes his constituents an explanation for that vote.

Posted by Mary at November 12, 2005 01:45 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |

Senator Joseph McCarthy described Communist dupes fellow travelers and card-carrying members. How can we classify the Americans who support and run these detention camps as torture temples? How in the world did they gather enough campaign funds to win election? How could any decent person abide with such a program?
Perhaps an American can explain these behaviors to a foreigner such as I.

Posted by: Mazal at November 13, 2005 10:50 AM

Is it possible that supporting the torture regime will be a hanging offense when the trials are held?

What will they tell their children as they are sent to the gallows. "I thought torturing them was a way of protecting you!"

Somehow, it just doesn't ring true.

Posted by: siegestate at November 13, 2005 12:15 PM

It's baffling. Completely baffling. I can only suppose there is some fact in play we on the outside are unaware of.

The fact I am aware of if Wyden takes his position for granted.

An explanation regardless is in order.

Posted by: Cicolini at November 14, 2005 10:29 PM