Sunday, May 6, 2007

We Don’t Need No Stinkin Lawyers

In an effort to continue to circumvent due process, this administration wants to limit access to the detainees in Guantanamo and their attorneys, attorneys which by the way they didn’t want them to have in the first place.

The Justice Department has asked a federal court to impose these tighter restrictions on the attorneys. They argue that it is a breach in security to have them meeting so much with their clients and also to be able to view classified documents. These classified documents are the ones being using to prove the status of the detainees. This is eerily similar to the run up to the war strategy. The strategy where the administration would plant a story in the media and then quote the story later as proof of their quote’s authenticity, better known as a circular argument and propaganda.

Imagine being on trial for your life and the judge saying, “You are meeting too often with your lawyer and he cannot see the evidence against you.” When did America stop being America? Was it September 11, 2001? If it was, then all those people died in vain and we have made a mockery of their memorial. While I personally consider lawyers one step up from earthworm on the food chain, if I were fighting for my life in a court of law, I would probably have one. Are not the fundamental rights of being a human being reserved for those people in our control, but outside of our borders as well? One wise American said that there are certain rights that are inalienable, they belong to everyone. The true test of a democracy is not how it treats its allies, but how it treats its enemies. The world is watching us to see if those noble words we espouse real or just something we put on cereal boxes.

If these men are who we say they are, then won’t that come out in a trial with or without attorneys? Can the attorneys make evidence disappear? Either justice works or it doesn’t and if it doesn’t then lets dispense with the formalities and start executing these men now. That would be more humane than what they are receiving now.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t about lawyers or national security risks. This new strategy is about keeping dirty laundry in the hamper. This administration does not want its ugly secrets to become public and by keeping these attorneys at bay they can hope to continue their campaign of terror. Some of these attorneys have brought to light much of the information we have of the deplorable conditions found at Guantanamo, exposing this dark place to the light of morality. By doing so, they have now become “enablers of the terrorists” and therefore security risks. This argument has just about worn thin, anyone who does not fall in and goose step to the administration’s beat is at best naïve and at worse a terrorist sympathizer. The exercise of our democratic rights should not come with questions of our patriotism or our feelings about terrorists. Torture or terrorists should not be the framework of the argument. One should be able to disagree with one and not be accepting of the other. This is not the 3rd grade playground; we are adults who have the capacity to see the world in more shades than these. So, according to the Bush administration we don’t need no stinkin lawyers!

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