Monday, October 15, 2012

What right to know?

In our government's ongoing quest to keep us in the dark about all that it does in our name, government prosecutors have requested that a military judge set to preside over the trials of five Guantanamo detainees prevent those detainees from revealing the extent of the torture regime they were subjected to.

This from the same government that felt no compunction to subject these men to utter brutality in contravention of all international conventions on the treatment of prisoners. Oh, they were so proud to let the public know they were waterboarding detainees back in the day. But, when faced with detainees testifying about what they were forced to endure out come the requests for protective orders and other devices to keep the truth from being known.

So much for that crap about the truth setting you free.

Our government is supposed to be accountable to the citizenry. If we are to be proper guardians of the public trust then there should be no government secrets. We have a right to know exactly what our government does in our name. Of course it is much easier just to sit there like a lemming and pretend that everything's okay.

Prosecutors are arguing that the torture regimes constitute confidential information that should not be released to the public. To quote a legal term, that is absolute bullshit. Can you imagine any other criminal forum in which the court would deny a defendant's right to testify that he had been subjected to torture?

If the judge is anything other than a stooge for the prosecution the request should be denied. It is time the world heard exactly what Presidents Bush and Obama authorized. It is time the world heard exactly how the Bush and Obama administrations conspired to violated international law. It is time the world heard the truth about what our government did.

Presidents Bush and Obama are war criminals and should be brought to justice. There is no excuse for a (nominally) democratic government to subject people to torture. Our government is quick to condemn other governments who do the same - yet it's all right for our government to do it and then try to keep it secret.

I just hope I live to see the day that Bush and Obama are forced to stand inside the dock at the International Criminal Court and answer the charges against them.

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