Monday, January 03, 2005

Its about defending the constitution, folks 

Well, a Google search for today's "Guantanamo" headlines reveals that the news about the US Guantanamo plan is being covered in the US and around the world -- with considerable differences in tone.
The foreign coverage speaks to the heart of the story - that the US government plans to jail people for life without evidence or trial. The Sydney Morning Herald headline is "Senators dennounce plan to jail suspects for life without trial" and various other Australian newspapers echo this approach. UK Guardian ("US plans permanent Guantanamo jails") and Telegraph ("Guantanamo suspects face a life in captivity"), the Gulf Daily News in Bahrain ("US may hold suspects for life"), the Pakistan Daily Times ("Washington mulls life-term detention for terror suspects") and other headlines in the Indian Express, Xinhau China, Al-Jazeera, the Mathaba Net in Africa, the Mail & Guardian in South Africa.
In the few American newspapers that have run the stories, the headlines are usually either innocuous - like the Lexington Herald Leader ("US planning detainees' future") the Knoxvill News Sentinal ("US reviews imprisonment plans") - or themselves condemn people without trial, like the New York Post's "Feds Eye Life for Terrorists".
There are two slightly longer takes: the Chicago Tribune today publishes a story headlined "Legal tide turning on detainee issue" saying that US lawyers are now getting on board the detainee issue, though its main focus is still on the Gonzales AG confirmation hearings rather than on the detainees themselves. And Salon today publishes "Indefinite and secretive" which explains helpfully that "The new prisons are intended for captives the Pentagon and the CIA suspect of terrorist links but do not wish to set free or put on trial for lack of hard evidence." I guess even Salon thinks there is such a thing as "soft" evidence, which is sufficient to justify life imprisonment on its own, unexamined merits.
So I looked around the progressive blogosphere for outrage and found only a few postings: this diary at Kos and this at All Spin Zone, and the Washington Post stories posted on Buzzflash. That's it. Digby is covering the torture issue very well, but I haven't seen any imprisonment posts there. I have likely missed checking some others, but I couldn't find anything posted on this either at Liberal Oasis, Seeing the Forest, My DD, Blogging of the President or Eschaton. (I know some other blogs, like Frogsdong, Oliver Willis, Pandagon are on hiatus or away for the holidays so I didn't expect to see anything there.)
Now, I know democrats don't want to be seen as "soft on terrorism" and the progressive blogospere generally follows the party approach, but come on, folks -- this isn't terrorism, its your own damn constitution that needs defending -- the United States should not imprison people for life without evidence or trial. You're better than this - or at least, you used to be.
UPDATE: My Blahg is on it, and so is Stageleft.

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