26 January 2010

Justice Dept. calls for injustice at Gitmo -- and Amnesty fights back

Last Friday, the Washington Post reported that a task force led by the U.S. Justice Department "has concluded that nearly 50 of the 196 detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be held indefinitely without trial."

The Post goes on to explain that the administration considers these detainees "too dangerous to release but unprosecutable because officials fear trials could compromise intelligence-gathering and because detainees could challenge evidence obtained through coercion."

So these dozens of prisoners are trapped in legal limbo because of problems resulting from the Bush administration's misguided detention and interrogation policies -- which are now the Obama administration's misguided policies. Some of these people could very well be innocent. But, if that task force gets its way, we might never know for sure. This is outrageous.

In a recent email to members, Amnesty International responded as follows:
"We're stunned that the Department of Justice would act in such flagrant and direct violation of civil liberties, human rights, and a Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that confirmed Guantanamo detainees' rights to habeas corpus.

"However it's also the clearest proof we've seen yet that in order to truly resolve the heinous policies and practices taking place at Guantanamo, we're going to need to look to outside sources to challenge the status quo. Holding people without charge, trial or clear process for reviewing their case is unacceptable.

"The White House and Congress must intervene and establish a new kind of task force -- a commission of independent, bipartisan experts to examine, report, and come to their own informed conclusions about the policies and actions related to the detention, treatment, and transfer of Guantanamo detainees.

"We've got to fight fire with fire - only an independent, bipartisan commission can help untangle the human rights mess created at Guantanamo."
How you can help:

Call on the White House and Congress to establish a new kind of independent, bipartisan task force to take a deeper look at the flawed policies at Guantanamo.

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