772 Days Of American Terror

“Five of the nine Britons held without trial by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay are to be returned to the United Kingdom, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, announced yesterday.

As their families celebrated their release, international concern focused on the plight of up to 660 terror suspects, including a further four Britons, still being held in the high-security camp.”Source: The Independent

What do you call a group who kidnaps civilians for political reasons and holds them captive in conditions decried by Amnesty International?

I would call them a terrorist group.

I don’t care whether they’re drug-addled German students or the crypto-fascist clique now in control of the US government – they’re terrorists.

772 days and there’s not one shred of evidence that the British detainees have any terrorist connections. If there were, they wouldn’t be about to be returned. And what did David Blunkett say when asked about their ferociousness?

“…no one who is returned … will actually be a threat to the security of the British people”.

Great! Thanks for clearing that matter up, David! So why did you let the US terrorists hold them hostage for 772 days?

Imagine if your son or daughter, your wife or husband was seized by the government of, say, Korea and held captive for 772 days. When questioned, the Korean government simply replied that your loved one was a dangerous terrorist suspect. When asked to supply proof of this serious charge, even the barest atom of proof, the government replied that it did not have to since it was fighting to protect the freedom of the entire world. Can you imagine the outcry from the US? Can you imagine the blustering, righteous speeches from our own MPs? And yet, when the rogue nation is the USA, all international censure seems to fade and wither.

This is the arrogance of American imperialism: that the US government can simply do any damned thing it pleases and justify it on the grounds of the wind blowing a certain way or some invented WMD/terrorist link. It can illegally kidnap British citizens and hold them in a torture camp whose Orwellian logo includes the phrase ‘Defending Freedom’ and the British government just rolls over and whimpers affectionately.

The release of these detainees is not some sudden act of conscience by the US terrorists, it’s an act of political expediency:

“Clive Stafford Smith, the British human rights lawyer representing a group of detainees, has challenged the legality of the prison in Guantanamo Bay in the US Supreme Court. He said the decision was a “cynical” attempt to avoid embarrassment over the court’s likely ruling, which is expected in June – months before the US presidential election. “The US Supreme Court will say the Bush administration has been acting illegally,” Mr Stafford Smith told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme. “With the election set for November, George Bush doesn’t want that from the court that put him in office in the first place.”

The US government: peace by war, freedom by slavery, protecting life by murdering thousands.

And now, guilty until proved innocent.