Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Love It or Leave It

Tom DeLay orchestrates the passing of CAFTA. Bush rolls on signing an energy bill drafted at the Oil Guild. A solid conservative awaits his coronation for the Supreme Court. The Democrats field a congressional candidate, and Iraq war vet, who attacks the (p)resident who, once again, wins (this time by proxy). A guy who thinks there are legal exceptions for torture is the Attorney General. The Patriot Act continues its lurid march to renewal, with a number of provisions set for permanent status. And that should give you some idea of how close they are to wrapping up the WAR ON TERROR. Twenty-one U.S. humans die in two days “over there.”

Guess all those prognostications about Bush’s early demise and lame-duckness were just a bunch of liberal journalists getting carried away with themselves.

And anyway here’s the upshot; your country, ladies and germs, as currently constituted:

Salon reported Aug. 2 the case of two rather unfortunate gentlemen. For starters their names were Abu Bakker Qassim (Baker) and A’del Abdu al Hakim (Aikins), which did not bode well when they were arrested by Pakistani police and turned over to the free country for $10,000 in bounty money.

Baker and Aikins claim to be two men who left homes in China, yes the always lurking Middle Empire, to escape religious persecution. Their plan was to set up in Turkey, give it another shot, but Sept. 11 happened while they were in transit. Instead of the Bosporous they got a trip to the tropics, Guantanamo Bay, Gitmo that is.

They’ve been stuck there ever since even though something called the U.S. Combatant Status Review Tribunal determined these guys were not “enemy combatants,” rather just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And the scribe bets it was easy to get that out of something called the U.S. Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

Happy ending to a terrible story right? Hey, this isn’t the 1960s and Ramsey Clark is not the Attorney General.

Baker and Aikins remain in custody. The Pentagon never shared the tribunal’s ruling with anyone outside Guantanamo and the two men were locked in a Kafkavian nightmare whereby they could not regain their judicially granted freedom without contacting the outside world, a privilege denied them under WAR ON TERROR precepts.

They sat around another four months in a place Amnesty International considers part of a new American “gulag.”

Baker and Aikins finally got to tell their attorneys of the decision clearing them as enemy combatants, and the government, according to Salon, confirmed the account last week.

But they still didn’t get out. Their lawyers are now asking a federal court to order their release, but the administration is dragging its feet, because it can’t send the men back to China because THEY'LL PROBABLY BE PROSECUTED.

And the scribe thinks there are better ways of avoiding persecution than sitting in jail like, say, two first-class tickets to Istanbul, a fair market loan from FEMA, $50,000 cash, a written apology, and hardy recommendations to the Turkish government (a purported ally).

In any case, they won’t even spring them to a hotel in the civilian part of Guantanamo because, “They’ve been in there with some bad people.”

And whose fault is that?

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