~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]
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kusala.diaryland.com

2006-04-26 - 10:48 a.m.

Combatants

U.S. to Free 141 Terror Suspects
The Guantanamo prison detainees pose no threat, an official says. Most of those still in custody have no charges pending against them.
By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer; April 25, 2006

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL STATION, Cuba The Pentagon plans to release nearly a third of those held at the prison for terrorism suspects here because they pose no threat to U.S. security, an official of the war crimes tribunal said Monday.

Charges are pending against about two dozen of the remaining prisoners, the chief prosecutor said. But he left unclear why the rest face neither imminent freedom nor a day in court after as many as four years in custody.

NPR's This American Life recently did a great episode called "Habeas Schmaebeas" about all kinds of issues dealing with this mess, especially the fact that so many of the prisoners were certainly not "picked up on the battlefields" of Afghanistan, as Bush/Cheney have often been quoted as saying. This piece is truly essential listening for further insight into this debacle. Go ahead, click on that link and listen. Do it.

There's enough spin on this story that I can't begin to do justice to it, and so many others have written and spoken about it so much more eloquently than I ever could. And basically, I'm getting tired of it because it's painful and vaguely depressing: last night I had to turn off the radio during a Justice Talking debate between a liberal attorney and a former counsel to the Department of the Army.

However, the liberal, Prof. Peter J. Rubin, made a great point when he rhetorically asked why the standard criminal justice system is deemed sufficient for trying Z. Moussaoui -- someone who has ostensibly been very involved in the inner workings of a terrorist organization -- yet a transparent system has been totally eschewed in the hundreds of Guantanamo cases, only two dozen of which have charges pending.

All I could really think of when I first started reading the above LA Times article was that these 141 guys are being released because the tribunal admits that they "pose no threat to U.S. security."

How do you give someone back 4 years of their life that were taken away as if those years were nothing?

I guess, to some, that's really not the point, or even an issue to be considered.

If there are times that the individual needs to be sacrificed for the "greater good," I suppose we should all feel lucky every day that we're not one of the ones being sacrificed. But maybe we need to keep in mind that we could be. Really.


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