Little to say for myself

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

....and justice for all

I'm vexed by all this talk about talks over the plight of UK citizens held in Guantanamo bay (the issue is summarised neatly here). I know we should be grateful for small mercies, and believe me I am, but I'm also concerned about the implied message being sent across the world.

I have a number of questions:
  • Has the "leniency" (no death penalty) offered to UK citizens been offered to citizens of any other country?
  • If not, on what legal grounds?
  • Is the UK Government the only one to ask for this, or is it the only one granted it?
  • In the absence of legal argument, what logic has the US administration given for making this concession (a logic that both provides for the UK citizens to be excused, and ensures that execution is still valid for the others)?
  • Are there any other examples in US history of discriminatory sentencing being established on the basis of race or nationality, at least since the end of segregation?
  • Would this issue be regarded as an example of "affirmative action" towards the UK?
  • Are there any UK citizens currently on Death Row in the US?
  • If so, has anyone recorded how they feel about this?
  • Can anyone hold George W. Bush to account for condemning those held as "bad people" before even the military tribunal has convened?
  • Is this the kind of unprincipled horse-trading with people's lives that the US is hoping will be enshrined in the new constitution of a democratic Iraq, or are they adherents to the principle "Do as I say, don't do as I do"?
Oops, my line of questioning started to get a bit loaded there. You catch my drift.

I suppose this all just goes to show that the US actually doesn't care what anyone else thinks, doesn't recognise the need to act logically, or set a good example to the world, and sees itself as beyond any need for accountability to international law.

Wait just a minute there.... Looking at it slightly differently for a moment:
  • Which is regarded as the worse punishment in the eyes of fundamentalist Islam: the glorious martyrdom of the death penalty, or the ignominy of incarceration for life?
  • If the latter, does this mean that, in fact, the UK Government is negotiating a worse punishment for its citizens?
  • Is this really just a sly way of ensuring that no more Al Qaeda recruitment will take place in the UK, since those captured would be denied their destiny?
Now I'm beginning to get the picture. Wow - these politicians really know what they're doing after all.

posted by Plig | 14:09 |

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