Sunday, January 02, 2005
( 1:18 PM )
Long-Range Planning...gone completely amok
Administration officials are preparing long-range plans for indefinitely imprisoning suspected terrorists whom they do not want to set free or turn over to courts in the United States or other countries, according to intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials....from the Washington Post today (free subscription required).
The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for potentially lifetime detentions, including for hundreds of people now in military and CIA custody whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts. The outcome of the review, which also involves the State Department, would also affect those expected to be captured in the course of future counterterrorism operations.
So, in case you didn't catch that, the US is planning to permanently imprison people who have never been charged with a crime. This is our government planning this.
One proposal under review is the transfer of large numbers of Afghan, Saudi and Yemeni detainees from the military's Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center into new U.S.-built prisons in their home countries. The prisons would be operated by those countries, but the State Department, where this idea originated, would ask them to abide by recognized human rights standards and would monitor compliance, the senior administration official said.
Would that be the same Guantanimo Bay detention center that we recently learned is a horrible den of torture and inhumanity?
What a dilemma:
"Since global war on terror is a long-term effort, it makes sense for us to be looking at solutions for long-term problems," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. "This has been evolutionary, but we are at a point in time where we have to say, 'How do you deal with them in the long term?' "
Just off the top of my head, I can think of lots of things to do in the long-term to prevent terrorism that don't include permanent detention and torture of people who have no charges against them. Oh I don't know, how about spending a couple billion dollars in aid to tsunami-ravaged Southeast Asia and actually HELP the largest Muslim populations in the world. At the same time, we'd be creating an environment of friendship and respect instead of the violence and fear we're working with now. Too radical? Just an idea.