Many people have heralded the election of Barack Obama as a return (or birth) of a new Age of Internationalism and of Reason from the U.S.; a handful of my friends and readers jumped on my skepticism during my VT Blogosphere TV interview, especially jumping all over my criticism’s of Obama’s proclaimed desire to close down Gitmo. Well, I ask you, where’s the Reason, the Internationalism, the Humanity, from this: the Obama Administration has declared that prisoners at Bagrahm in Afghanistan have no rights.

From the Associated Press:


The Supreme Court last summer gave al-Qaida and Taliban suspects held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the right to challenge their detention. With about 600 detainees at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and thousands more held in Iraq, courts are grappling with whether they, too, can sue to be released.

Three months after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Guantanamo Bay, four Afghan citizens being detained at Bagram tried to challenge their detentions in U.S. District Court in Washington. Court filings alleged that the U.S. military had held them without charges, repeatedly interrogating them without any means to contact an attorney. Their petition was filed by relatives on their behalf since they had no way of getting access to the legal system.

OK, I know some will make the argument that these are military prisoners and don’t have U.S. Constitutional rights; to which I say poop.  People whose freedom is taken away and who are locked up have a human right to challenge their incarceration, if we have to set aside the objectionable idea that the State or any outside authority should have domain over our freedom.  If we are supposedly a people who values human rights, dignity, and the rule of law, we should act that way; our nation doesn’t, not under Obama or any other regime.

And then there’s Secretary of State Clinton, who is representing the Obama Administration (and you and me) when she goes to Asia and says of China “… our pressing on those issues (human rights) can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis,”.  No, no, we wouldn’t want something as trivial as the Rights of Liberty and Justice and Equality to get in the way of saving the capitalist order, that would be nuts.

Advertisements