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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A-hunting 

A-hunting we will go
A-hunting we will go
We'll catch a little fox
And put him in a box
And never let him go!

So take 500 plus or minus in Guantanamo, and add to them 100 or more spread around the globe in the CIA's prison system -- and of course don't forget the thousands and thousands now jailed in Iraq.
Almost none of them can be proven guilty of anything at all, at least not according to the standards of law that you or I would want to be judged by -- like in a trial, with admissable evidence or witnesses, and a defense attorney, and a judge. But neither the military nor the spooks are willing to let any of them out.
This story describes what has happened in the CIA:
. . . The CIA program's original scope was to hide and interrogate the two dozen or so al Qaeda leaders believed to be directly responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, or who posed an imminent threat, or had knowledge of the larger al Qaeda network. But as the volume of leads pouring into the CTC from abroad increased, and the capacity of its paramilitary group to seize suspects grew, the CIA began apprehending more people whose intelligence value and links to terrorism were less certain, according to four current and former officials. The original standard for consigning suspects to the invisible universe was lowered or ignored, they said. "They've got many, many more who don't reach any threshold," one intelligence official said . . . the debate over the wisdom of the program continues among CIA officers, some of whom also argue that the secrecy surrounding the program is not sustainable. "It's just a horrible burden," said the intelligence official.
So what did they think was going to happen -- that their CIA officers were going to show restraint? That they would give some priority to determining whether these people were guilty or innocent, and then let the innocent ones just go home?
Nope. No more restraint than the military has shown in Iraq or Guantanamo, where the guiding principle seems to be that the only trustworthy Arab is the one on the other side of the barbed wire.
So you have people who are supposed to be in charge of US national security, who are quite willing to imprison people they KNOW are innocent, just because they cannot figure out what else to do with them.
And someday it will be 2010, and then 2020 -- and are we still going to be reading stories about Guantanamo and secret prisons?
Or will all the journalists be locked up by then too?

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