Tuesday, June 07, 2005

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION dropped the Koran-soaked-with-urine story down the Friday news hole; but Juan Cole pulled it out and released it again -- on Monday.

Quran Splashed with Urine at Guantanamo

The Pentagon released this news late Friday in order to defeat the US news cycle, which closes down for the American weekend. I deliberately kept it for Monday morning.

The Pentagon now admits that it found evidence in its files of the Quran being "mishandled" at Guantanamo. (Muslims would say "defiled.") All this after poor Newsweek was pilloried by the Bush administration. Moreover, I cannot for the life of me understand why the Pentagon thinks all the interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo were carefully recorded for posterity.

Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware has now called for Guantanamo to be closed down. Absolutely right.

The main reason is not that it is a continued scandal and creates a very poor image among Muslims worldwide of the United States. This allegation is true, and the US press has done a poor job of covering the continued fall-out of the Quran desecration story among Muslims world-wide. But it isn't the main reason the prison should be closed.

The main reason is that the Bush Administration established the prison at Guantanamo in hopes of gutting the Bill of Rights. They wanted the prisoners there to be beyond the law, outside the framework of judiciality. They would have no lawyers. They would be tried only if the administration wanted to try them. They would be held indefinitely. They would be outside the framework of US law and also of the Geneva Conventions-- though Rumsfeld keeps slipping and calling them prisoners of war.

Way to go, Juan!

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