Addicted to torture


The US government captured Abu Khattala, a suspect in the Benghazi attacks, and has brought him to the US. He has been charged as a criminal and will be tried in the regular US justice system. But it was not long before politicians started clamoring that he should be sent to Guantanamo and face a military tribunal. And in a survey conducted by Fox News (interpret that as you will), 63% said that he should be treated as an “enemy combatant who should be tried in a military tribunal” while only 29% said that he should go through the regular courts system.

Why? Do they have so little faith in the US justice system to determine guilt and innocence? What does a military tribunal have that normal courts do not, other than vastly reduced credibility as a dispenser of justice? The passion for Guantanamo cannot be due to security since the US has some of the most secure prisons in the world and they routinely try and convict very dangerous people such as serial killers and gang members and then incarcerate them for long periods.

I suspect that when people say they want someone to be sent to Guantanamo, what they want is for them to be tortured. Guantanamo has become code for torture and when people say they want someone to be sent there, what they are saying is that they are not interested in guilt or innocence, they want to lash out anyone they perceive as an enemy. Sending him to Guantanamo also means that he can be detained indefinitely even on the remote chance that the military tribunal finds them not guilty

We no longer seek justice. We seem to want revenge and to satiate our bloodlust. I used to wonder how ordinary people in the times of the Inquisition could accept the idea of people being tortured because they had different religious beliefs. I am no longer mystified.

It is a very disturbing situation.

Comments

  1. says

    Odds are, the two Americans being held in North Korea are labelled “enemy combatants” and will get the same “justice” that Fox Nuisance wants for Khattala.

    Either everybody gets the same legal protections and rights, or nobody will.

  2. says

    He has been charged as a criminal and will be tried in the regular US justice system.

    How are they going to (per 6th amendment) try him with:
    an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed

    Rule of Law? What’s that?

  3. says

    Do they have so little faith in the US justice system to determine guilt and innocence?

    Does anyone in their right mind have faith in the US justice system to determine guilt and innocence? If they do, they’ve been thoroughly hoodwinked.

  4. busterggi says

    Marcus: That’s for sure – I hate going to court for my job. After the way I was screwed back in ’03 through ’05 I don’t even trust myself for the prosecution. Prosecutors & judges don’t mind destroying folks if its politically advantageous.

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    How are they going to (per 6th amendment) try him with:
    an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed

    Embassies and consulates are considered to be the territory of the country to which they belong. I would guess in this case it will be interpreted as the District of Columbia, which is the home territory of the U.S. State Dept.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    The important thing to remember is that Germany scored a goal in extra time.

  7. dukeofomnium says

    Usually when defendants committed crimes against US law in other countries, the US will try them in whatever district they land in when the bad guy is repatriated. This sometimes leads to a sort of forum shopping, when prosecutors try to figure out which Federal juries will hang the man the highest and fastest.

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