One of the things we are told by the great and the good who deign to rein over us is that western society stands as a beacon of hope and democracy in an uncertain and hostile world. Obama talks of the ‘City on the Hill’ and the BlairCameron melange talk about defending our values of ‘freedom and justice.’ All very good - but what does it mean in practice?
In short the inspirational words are worth less than a bucket of cold spit.
Judge them by what they do - not what they say.
Obama: Guantanamo. Came into his Presidency vowing to close it down. 5 years later it is still there. Well over two-thirds of the inmates turned out to be innocents caught up by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bounty hunters claimed their filthy loot and swanned off. The prisoners have been incarcerated without charge or trial for all these years. Tortured - yes BBC, waterboarding is torture - rendered far away from families and transparency, the inmates have begun a determined effort to kill themselves by hunger striking. Shame on you Obama. Shame on the U S of A too. And shame on our western media for having amnesia about the place.
Blameron: Camp Bastion. Not wishing to be behind our ‘special relationship’ buddies it turns out we too are running a watered-down version of Guantanamo in Afghanistan. Frightened squaddies and gung-ho Hoorays have been seizing folk they consider to be insurgents and locking them away in Camp Bastion. It was admitted by the egregious Hammond yesterday that between 80 and 90 have been locked up - some for as as long as 18 months - without charge and without trial. The limit is supposed to be 4 days.
The Daily Hate weighed in on behalf of the government and the daft this morning, having a go at Civil Liberties lawyers for exposing what is going on (and en route - having a pop at the BBC for airing the matter on ‘Today.’ ). Would the cretins responsible for the article still feel the same way if the journalists arrested for phone hacking and bribing public officials had been treated the same as the Afghans? Arrested and locked away incommunicado for weeks going into months then years? All without being charged or put on trial? No access to legal representation? How would Rebekkah, Andy and their chums have coped? At least they know that they will get their chance in court to defend themselves.
Ah! But that wouldn’t happen because we have such things as Habeus Corpus, civil liberties and the rule of law - the very things we deny our captives.......