Thursday, May 11, 2006

Guantanamo: another voice in the chorus

The UK's Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, has added his voice to the chorus calling for the closure of the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, saying that its existence is unacceptable:

It is time, in my view, that it should close. Not only would it, in my personal opinion, be right to close Guantanamo as a matter of principle, I believe it would also help to remove what has become a symbol to many - right or wrong- of injustice. The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol.

(Emphasis added)

The latter is a point well made, and highlights the contradiction between America's stated values and its actual practices. But Lord Goldsmith's real reason for opposition isn't about American values, but about universal ones - and in particular the universal and inalienable right to a fair trial. Goldsmith criticises US military tribunals as lacking procedural safeguards and not conforming to international standards of justice. Unfortunately, he fails to address the most glaring point: that most of those detained in Gauntanamo won't receive even an unfair trial. Instead, they will simply be imprisoned for years, without any chance to contest the basis of their detention and without the US government ever having to present any justification.

This sort of arbitrary detention without trial is an oozing sore on the conscience of the world, and one that must be expunged. And the only way we can do it is by closing Guantanamo and giving every one of its inmates a fair trial in an open court under ordinary law. Guantanamo delenda est! Guantanamo must be closed.


Fully agree!

Posted by Libertyscott : 5/11/2006 09:02:00 PM

while i fully support the closure of such an illegal shithole, it unfortunately wont stop the arbitrary detention without trial from occuring.

I think that if gitmo was closed it would be more of a display than any real change. There are plenty of other places to carry out such "work".


Posted by Anonymous : 5/12/2006 09:39:00 AM