Thursday, June 2, 2005

A Picture of Arrogance

Our President (joined in chorus by his partners-in-crime, Cheney and Rumsfeld) has called the Amnesty International report on human rights "absurd" in its exposure of the American government's criminal abuses in Gitmo, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib. I'm sorry, Dubya, but it seems as if your halo is getting a little tight around the cranium.

And I'm not talking about the use of the word "disassemble" for "dissemble" (and then delivering the wrong meaning)—that's just another in the catalog of Bushspeak that we would really love you for if you weren't such a heinous, deceitful, ignoble, and arrogant coward otherwise.

No, I'm referring to the utter vapidity of the notion that the American people (let alone everyone else around the world) are going to continue to accept denial and insolence as forms of truth. Your game's about up, Tex: the cover's coming off your can of Karl Rove whitewash.

So let's assume that AI, the Red Cross, and other independent global organizations, observers, and journalists, are all wrong about the details. Let's figure the FBI screwed up again in coming to the conclusion that abuses and violations of the Geneva Convention have occurred in abundance on your watch. Sweep all that evidence off the table (or, as you would have it, under the rug), and let's see what remains.

Actually—come to think of it—that's what AI allowed in its measured response to Bush's insane charges:

At Guantánamo, the US has operated an isolated prison camp in which people are confined arbitrarily, held virtually incommunicado, without charge, trial or access to due process. Not a single Guantánamo detainee has had the legality of their detention reviewed by a court, despite the Supreme Court ruling of last year.

In other words, no matter how gently you treat them and their Koran, no matter how much they "disassemble" before you, no matter how great a threat they present, they must be granted due process of law. This is the United States of America: that's what we do here.

Well, it's what we say we do; what our Constitution says we must do, anyway. The reality—both in Gitmo, Iraq, and here at home—is another story altogether. And it's only getting worse.

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