Friday, January 11, 2008

Protests Against Gitmo; Court Upholds Torture as Part of "Employment Duties"

Bridgethought of the Day: If torture is all part of a days' work, then we've lost the Republic. Then there is no "public good", no "decency", and no human "rights" or "civil rights". Then, as in all dictatorships, budding or full-fledged, security is the law of the land, the superceding principle. It excuses all atrocity. Why are we so horrified by personal atrocities, by individual crimes, but blase about mass atrocities? Because we've been deadened by propaganda, by aligning humanity with "us" and nonpersonhood to "them".

At least there are many protests, and 81 were arrested in Washington,D.C.

Those arrested face a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail, a fine or both, for
violating an ordinance that prohibits demonstrations of any kind on the grounds
of the court. ...

Those arrested inside the building were
charged under a provision that makes it a crime to give "a harangue or oration"
in the supreme court building.

Earlier on Friday, a US court of appeal ruled that four former
Guantanamo prisoners from Britain have no right to sue top Pentagon officials
and military officers for torture, abuse and violations of their religious
rights. ...

The court cited a lack of jurisdiction over the claim and ruled that the
defendants qualified for immunity for acts taken within the scope of government

"The alleged wrongful conduct was incidental to the defendants' legitimate employment duties," Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson wrote in the ruling.

Eric Lewis, the lawyers who argued the case for the detainees, vowed to appeal to the US supreme court.

"It is an awful day for the rule of law and common decency when a court finds that torture is all in a days' work for the secretary of defence and senior generals," Lewis

More likely, the judge feared for her own future. Note lack of jurisdiction. Expect the Supreme Court will be even more afraid. After all, checks & balances are receding into the past...

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