Monday, June 04, 2007

5 years are nothing...

Canadian detainee Omar Khadr, who was 15 when he was captured after a deadly firefight in Afghanistan and who is now 20, saw his case thrown out by the judge, Army Col. Peter Brownback, because he had been classified as an "enemy combatant" by a military panel years earlier — and not as an "alien unlawful enemy combatant."

The Military Commissions Act, signed by Bush last year, says only those classified as "unlawful" enemy combatants can face war trials here, Brownback noted during the arraignment in a hilltop courtroom. "The charges are dismissed without prejudice," Brownback pronounced as he adjourned the proceeding.

Later today, a lawyer representing the only other detainee charged with war crimes at GITMO (!), Salim Ahmed Hamdan, asked another military judge to throw out that case, based on the Khadr ruling. The judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, called a recess before the prosecutor could make a statement.

Khadr will remain at the remote U.S. military base along with some 380 other men. Nobody knows how many there are, since "nobody" knows...Sadly, the press reported that Khadr seemed oblivious to the ruling. He calmly watched the judge throw out the case — looking not at Brownback but at a computer screen at the defense table that showed a live TV broadcast of the proceedings. Khadr could see himself on the screen...

Meanwhile, in an act of serious heroism, Miss Condi (prez Putin's new BFF) fresh from picking a fight with Spain, held court amongst several latino men at the more than boring General Assembly of the Org of Am States in Panama. She made one of her typical surreal and contradicting statements, pointing out (to the world's surprise) that
"We, the members of the OAS, must defend freedom where it is under siege in our hemisphere, and we must support freedom whenever and wherever it is denied. In that regard, a process of change is taking place in Cuba". Call the press! Castro is dead!

Between so much reference to the classical 'freedom' and 'liberty' that we have grown fond of, she nevertheless managed to say something important for all of you accused -by the WH- of being 'unpatriotic'
. Please read and then smile, condescendingly.
"Freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of conscience are not a thorn in the side of government. They are the beginning of justice in every society. The unfettered public discussion of ideas is the greatest guarantee for the rule of law and the surest protection against the whims of rulers. Disagreeing with your government is not unpatriotic and it most certainly should not be a crime in any country, especially in a democracy. Open dialogue and debate is not only a fundamental principle of democracy, it is a practical necessity for good decision-making, for transparent oversight, and for effective policy implementation. This is the only way that democratic governments can hope to make economic development and social justice real for their people."
Well, Venezuela's sec of state got really angry at her when she said, in that soft womanly tone of voice, that a commission should be sent to Caracas to 'check out the democracy'. Venezuela -of course- brought up the GITMO and Fence/Wall issue. They challenged Condi to show the world (letting the 'free press' into GITMO) just HOW much the Bush administration cared and care about democracy. Further, they called for a destruction of the Wall/Fence.

Condi, now slightly enfuriated (must be some tough times at the office...Putin didn't call?) replied that "ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN" were enough to "secure" a free democracy in the US (we kid you not). Then, to everybody's dismay, she stood up, and briskly walked out of the General Assembly.

Five years are really nothing...

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