Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On Boumediene v. Bush part II.

Part I is here.

Lakhdar Boumediene was captured in 2001 - not on the battlefields on Afghanistan, not in Iraq, not in some cave somewhere plotting the next attack on the United States. No, he was captured after the Bosnians arrested him for plotting to attack the US. After an investigation, the Bosnians released him, finding the evidence of any wrongdoing lacking. However, instead of releasing Boumediene as they'd initially planned, instead, they turn him and several other Bosnians over to the United States under pressure from the latter - an "early victory" in the war on "terror." Such began Boumediene's story.

He was awayed to Guantanamo Bay - where only the "worst of the worst" were kept. There he stayed, a man who, after a formal police investigation was found to have done nothing wrong and had already had the charges against him dropped once, for 7 1/2 years. While under American custody in an area where the government speciously asserted American Law didn't reach (a wonderful, magical world called Gitmo! where only the guilty - read: whoever we say is bad - is held indefinitely), he was tortured, abused, beaten, shackled, denied sleep for up to 16 days, denied adequate access to legal counsel, and denied even the opportunity to see the (lack of) evidence against him. Finally, the Supreme Court - see PART 1, above - got its hands on the case and ruled in favor of Boumediene, and afterwards, a Republican-appointed judge held what had been determined to be the case 7 years ago - namely that the evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Boumediene lacked.

ABC News did a story with Mr. Boumediene where he highlighted what he went through.

One can only imagine what a journey like this could do to one's psyche. It might drive someone to hate his captors, perhaps join the opposition. Maybe, just maybe, it creates those very terrorists that we'd been trying to capture. Maybe, just maybe, those who turn to terrorism after their detention, after their release due to lack of credible (or usable) evidence of their wrongdoing are not acting in a state of recidivism, but instead are being created anew, and reports stating otherwise are inaccurate...

Perhaps, just perhaps, it's not as dangerous to house terrorists in the United States, and perhaps, just perhaps, we could trust our department of justice in holding terror suspects without the histrionics recently displayed.

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