America's favorite gulag in the news.
We'll start with this Nicholas Kristof op-ed in the Grey Lady, comparing and contrasting the Zimbabwean legal system with the American legal black hole down GTMO way (hint: Zimbabwe comes off better). Note that Kristof devotes several paragraphs to our friend Candace and her client, Abdul al-Ghizzawi, whose plight we are quite familiar with.
[We can best be summarize his plight as "he may be dying of chronic liver disease that the government would rather not treat because it has no idea how to treat so it's all al-Ghizzawi's fault; for fun, some members of the medical staff told al-Ghizzawi that he had AIDS, though they later denied it; the military categorically refuses to release al-Ghizzawi's medical records, and a senior military intel officer assigned to al-Ghizzawi's original Combatant Status Review Tribunal ("CSRT") found that the evidence on which al-Ghizzawi is held is 'garbage' and hence he should be released but the government decided that a do-over CSRT was required until it came up with the answer that it wanted, a situation troubling enough for the United States Supreme Court to grant an extraordinarily unusual motion for reargument in the Boumediene case." Candace has filed an historic original habeas corpus petition with the U.S. Supreme Court for al-Ghizzawi, and the decision on that petition may well come down at the same time as the long-awaited Boumediene case.]
Kristof's column also mentions newly released Sami al-Hajj. Our friend Andy tells us about Sami (in a series of posts)... in short, al-Jazeera camerman Sami al-Hajj has been transferred to Sudan from GTMO after his six year ordeal (including an attempt to participate in the hunger strike responded to with force-feeding); Sami is anything but reticent concerning his treatment, as well as our government's efforts to try to turn him into a mole against al-Jazeera, probably the most prominent independent media in the Arab world (and with whom the Bush Administration, and the President in particular, may have been obsessed) and describes his treatment as nothing short of torture.
Could we finally be seeing momentum on this issue of the United States's... problematic treatment of what should be its humanely treated prisoners of war? Maybe, but as I often say, that's probably not how you bet.
The Bush Administration has 260 days to go. That's around the number of men left at GTMO. We will not be seeing an average of one a day released; at best, this President will release no more than a few dozen more, and hand off at least 200 or so prisoners to the next President, with kangaroo-court-commissions proceeding for the so-called "worst of the worst," who notably include Salim Hamdan ("OBL's motor pool mechanic and occasional driver") and Omar Khadr (a 15 year old boy captured in a combat situation, and held in abysmal conditions ever since, including the deliberate decision not to treat his combat wounds).
In the end, there may well be some kind of Nuremberg-like scenario at the end of Guantanamo and the war on terror, but if there is any justice in the world (something your talking dog is at best agnostic on), it might come off a wee bit differently from how the Bush Administration envisions it. This has been... "Shining Light on the Darkness at Caribbean Noon".