Response to Katherine Kersten defense of Guantanamo
Kersten article CiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiacyKUUr">here.
Racism is the belief that skin color and ethnicity predetermine an individual's behaviors and capabilities. In the logic of Katherine Kersten ("Guantanamo was no game," June 14) and her ilk, the mistreatment, indefinite detainment and torture of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be permitted -- even encouraged. Why not offer the same judicial fairness Americans receive to these prisoners, as has been precedent? They're Muslim foreigners, so they must be guilty. In Kersten's fantasy world, all Guantanamo detainees are "terrorists who use women and children as human shields," even though the Pentagon announced more than two years ago that 82 inmates were cleared of charges but remained in detention because there was no place to send them (Washington Post, April 29, 2007) -- a number that continues to grow.
In order to guard against the injustice of assuming a person guilty until proven innocent (as opposed to innocent until proven guilty), the framers of the Constitution included Article I, section 9: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." How many detainees were invading the United States? Instead of being "the worst of the worst," in the boast of Dick Cheney, most were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. A number of Chinese Muslims (called Uighurs) have been concluded to pose no threat to US citizens, but they remain in detention.
Guantanamo Bay is rightfully known worldwide as a disgrace -- a gulag that President Obama has decided to close down with wide support. Time will prove the Bush Administration's Guantanamo policies a regrettable chapter in American history. Katherine Kersten, whether consumed by racism, ignorant of the Constitution, or simply lacking in conscience, is wrong to defend the outright injustice that is Guantanamo.
No profanes - sacred