The annotated Steve Chapman | Bleader

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The annotated Steve Chapman

Posted By on 06.19.08 at 09:07 AM

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I have hyperlinks! Let me show Steve Chapman them!

"To have a chance at freedom, a prisoner will have to make a plausible case that he's innocent. The administration had already planned to try 80 of the detainees before military commissions, which suggests it has abundant evidence of guilt."

"Presumably the Defense Department has information to show that many, if not all, of the others were connected to Al Qaeda or other enemy forces. If the government presents incriminating evidence that the inmate can't refute, a habeas corpus petition will be about as useful to him as a snowboard."

"Let's suppose there's an inmate whom the Pentagon thinks was fighting for Al Qaeda but lacks any supporting evidence it can use in court. Does he now have a get-out-of-Gitmo-free card? Not necessarily."

"In that case, says Northwestern University law professor Ronald Allen, the government could classify him as a prisoner of war—who, like POWs in previous wars, may be held until the hostilities cease. The trouble, from the administration's point of view, is that he would then be entitled to standard POW protections, such as being treated humanely and not being punished for refusing to answer questions. But at this point, that's a small price to pay."

Is Steve Chapman being facetious* when he says "suggests it has abundant evidence" and "presumably"?* Not to mention "a small price to pay"? Where has Steve Chapman been for the past four years? I mean, besides writing about national news for a national paper?

* I used to be able to tell these things, but around 9/12/2001 everything changed, especially the editorial boards of our major newspapers.

** Because as a generically patriotic American I still have some residual trust in the government, I'd go so far as to say it's plausible that many of the remaining "detainees" are guilty of something bad and possible that all of them are. But I think the point here is that I am way past presuming anything about the moral blot that is Guantanamo Bay.

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