Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Road to Guantanamo

The Road to Guantanamo is a perilous trek. This film is about "the incarceration of three British detainees at a detainment camp in Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba" (Wikipedia Description).

Subsequent to the release of the docudrama, one of the Tipton Three confessed to participating in a militant Islamic training camp, a fact denied in the film. In my opinion, this is significant, but it does not excuse their torture (click on the TORTURE label in the left column for more on this topic). The standard of judgment is no less than Jesus' teaching: "Do onto others as you would have them do unto you."

Ask a mother of a U.S. service person how they would want their child to be treated if captured, then use that standard for all U.S. detainees--enemy combatants, illegal enemy combatants, prisoners of war, etc.

And I can understand the use of legal status hair-splitting, but to me this is ridiculous from a moral sense. It is said that prisoners of war have never had the right of habeas corpus, so those at Guantanamo shouldn't either. But the detainees at Guantanamo aren't categorized by the military as prisoners of war. They are strategically labeled as "enemy combatants" so they do not have protections provided by the Geneva Conventions that are given to prisoners of war.

If this is really a "war" on terror, then call them prisoners of war and show the world that we respect international law and common decency. However, if they are not prisoners of war, then they should be given some legal means for protesting their detention with legal counsel.

Denying human rights through legal and geographical cunning is below us. It is not right. Put yourself in their position or the position of one of their parents, and see if this doesn't run counter to the innate sense of right and wrong given us by the Creator.

Some argue that the treatment of detainees is not torture. Yet, the above poster was "refused by the Motion Picture Association of America. The reason given was that the burlap sack over the detainee's head was considered to be depicting torture" (Wikipedia). Has Hollywood become more honest and moral than the White House?

And this just in: Doctors blast Guantanamo treatment as unethical (CNN.com, 31 July 2007)

1 comment:

PrairieGirl said...

"This American Life" did a fantastic show on Guantanamo called Habeas Schmabeas. You can download the mp3 for free at their website:


This is one of the most embarrassing aspects of the Bush administration (oh, and that's among many embarrassing aspects!!)--their total disregard for international treaties, for human rights, for basic rules of law. And it is rarely, if ever, discussed by the media (except for lately, as the government is considering closing it down).

So interesting about the movie poster...frightening that Hollywood has better values than the president!