Cheney Loves Guantanamo
June 13, 2005
Dick Cheney just doesn't get it.
The Vice President appears untroubled by the torture scandal.
He said he was "offended" by Amnesty International's use of the term gulag, but he wasn't evidently offended by the practices that Amnesty was highlighting: the beatings, the hanging of people up by the ceiling, the sexual humiliation, the anal probes, or the forcing of detainees to lie in their own excrement.
Nah, that's not offensive to Cheney.
And so he's in no hurry to shut Guantanamo down, despite the stain, perhaps indelible, that it's leaving on the U.S reputation.
Other Republicans understand this.
Chuck Hagel says Guantanamo, rightly or wrongly, symbolizes to people all over the world that the U.S. is "an empire that pushes people around."
But not Cheney.
He tells Fox News that the detainees at Guantanamo are "bad people."
That's what the Administration has been saying all along, even though "40 percent of those penned up at Guantanamo never belonged there in the first place," according to an article by Joseph Lelyveld in The New York Times Magazine on June 12.
And Cheney's categorization is itself a prejudgment. Amnesty International USA notes in its May report, "Guantanamo and Beyond: The Continued Pursuit of Unchecked Executive Power," that "throughout the ‘war on terror,’ senior members of the U.S. Administration have shown contempt for the presumption of innocence by collectively labeling the Guantanamo detainees as ‘terrorists’ and ‘killers.’"
Even those at Guantanamo who do have ties to Al Qaeda or the Taliban deserve to be treated according to international law, not tortured and abused.
They also, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, deserve judicial hearings, but the Bush Administration has been dragging its feet on these, every inch of the way.
And that's the Cheney style.
When it comes to "bad people," he doesn't believe in the law.
This is the precise attitude that led directly to the torture scandal.