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June 24, 2007

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The Washington Post has begun the series "Angler" chronicling the sinister role of Vice President Cheney in designing this draconian method of detaining terrorism suspects. Of course there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the VP (not you!) was not the only one comfortable with these ideas. His boss, the Justice Department and even certain academics went along with this extra-judicial, extra-constitutional notion of frontier justice.

It is indeed ironic because many of the Gitmo detainees are probably guilty as hell and would have been proven so in a court of law. Yet we didn't have enough confidence in our own judicial system to rely on it to punish the guilty. Instead, we took the shadowy, lawless path which has severely diminished our credibility and even our respectability in the world.

What you point out, VP, is a slippery slope that threatens the entire legal edifice built up over centuries. The reviewer on Amazon.com, despite his homage to the founding fathers (elsewhere in other reviews), really betrays a mob justice mentality. In this he is not too different from Mitt Romney, the leading Republican presidential candidate for '08, who said in a debate last month: "My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo," adding that detainees should not have access to lawyers or to U.S. constitutional rights, because "they are terrorists." These guys don't seem to understand that "a government’s commitment to human rights is measured by the way it treats its worst [or suspected to be] offenders.” In a fresh Orwellian twist, there is now talk about shutting down Gitmo and relocating it to Afghanistan.

It was interesting to me that commenters on the thread below the Guardian article try here and there to make the same point point as you. But those reasonable comments are completely ignored in the larger discussion, just as they are by our so-called "leaders." How is it that this simple question is so successfully and repeatedly evaded?

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