Sunday, July 30, 2006


Another Step Closer

George W. Bush has said that he would "like to close" the detention camp at Guantanamo. Surprise, surprise: he lied.

The controversy over the US-run detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is to erupt anew with confirmation by the Pentagon that a new, permanent prison will open in the Cuban enclave in the next few weeks. Camp 6, a state-of-the-art maximum-security jail built by a Halliburton subsidiary, will be able to hold 200 prisoners. Commander Robert Durand, a spokesman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, said the $30m, two-storey block was due to open at the end of September. He added: "Camp 6 is designed to improve the quality of life for the detainees and provide greater protection for the people working in the facility."
Since Bush is lying about wanting to close Guantanamo, should we believe that the permanent camp will hold only 200 prisoners? They may have plans for a much larger detainee population:
U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill. [...] According to the draft, the military would be allowed to detain all "enemy combatants" until hostilities cease. The bill defines enemy combatants as anyone "engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners who has committed an act that violates the law of war and this statute." Legal experts said Friday that such language is dangerously broad and could authorize the military to detain indefinitely U.S. citizens who had only tenuous ties to terror networks like al Qaeda.
Consider how broadly the concept of "terrosist" has been applied for purposes of including people on the "no-fly" list, consider the groups that the FBI has been monitoring as "suspected terrorists", and you see how dangerous this legislation is. Is this permanent detention camp likelier to be populated by the likes of Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin than by members of al Qaeda? Or by you and me, if we say the wrong thing in the wrong place? It isn't paranoia if they really are out to get us. "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." George W. Bush, December 19, 2000
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