Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Deep South Rules 

The DoD has determined that one of the 600 detainees at Guantanamo was illegally held by the U.S. and should therefore be released to his home country, after only two years and four months behind bars:
The [Navy] secretary, Gordon England, refused to identify the prisoner or his nationality, but he said a military panel at Guantanamo Bay had determined that the man was not an enemy combatant, the status under which the Defense Department has held foreign terrorism suspects at the remote base.

England, who was in charge of the process, said the Defense Department had asked the State Department to arrange for the man’s return to his home country within days or weeks. A spokeswoman for the Defense Department said the man was caught in May 2002 in Afghanistan.

England said he did not believe the U.S. government would give the man any financial or other compensation.
Rousted, held without charges, probably beaten, eventually handed a bus ticket and told to get out of town. Did they remind him to be grateful he wasn't lynched?

We had thought the Guantanamo system of uncodified, improvisatory justice seemed oddly familiar, but we could not come up with a precedent in the American legal system. Once it hit us, though, it was blindingly obvious: the model we have chosen to emulate is the one that worked so admirably in the Deep South for the first six decades or so of the last century.

We are the pot-bellied cracker sheriffs of the world and whatever we say goes. Now what the hell are you looking at?

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