The President for change who was going to close the concentration camp in Guantanamo has done a complete U-turn by not only failing to close the death camp within 12 months but has now reinstated “Military Trials”.
The logic of course is that these men held for almost ten years, with no charge are too dangerous to free or impossible to convict due to evidence obtained through torture. The Americans refuse to try them in civilian courts where the burden of proof required is far lower than in a military kangaroo court.
You would have thought that prosecuting Osama Bin Laden’s personal bodyguard for close to a decade would have been an open and shut case. Despite all the hype, American military courts could not prosecute Abu Jandal and today he is a free man.
In a similar case, Salim Hamdan spent seven years in Guantanamo, he was freed after no charges were forthcoming. Instead of being the dangerous terrorist the Bush administration made him to be, he was found to be a low-level aide and freed.
But for every man who wins his freedom, another man will die of “natural causes”, Awal Gul, 48, was accused of being a Taliban commander and part of the al-Qaeda network. He had been held without charges since October 2002.
Then there’s the case of Saber Lahmer, one of six men kidnapped by US agents in Sarajevo and taken to Guantanamo. After being held without charge for over eight years they were acquitted of all terrorism related charges.
Guantanamo’s role has been far removed from making the world a safer place by keeping dangerous terrorists locked up, instead it acts as a focal point of an unjust foreign policy, that acts as a rallying call for those who despise the hypocrisy in America’s actions.
The White House may well say that it has made the system fairer, but it’s simply a return to square one.
America knows better.
Like Johnny Cochran said during the OJ Simpson murder trial, “If the glove does not fit…you must acquit”
The Akh urges Obama to stop being a hypocrite, try these men in a civilian court, you cannot hold anyone without charge indefinitely.