Cognitive Dissonance

While imprisoning and torturing hundreds of detainees in Guantanamo and elsewhere for years on end, the Bush Administration claimed that those detainees had absolutely no habeus corpus rights. In other words, they could be detained without ever having the right to contest their detention, being presented with the evidence against them or getting their day in court. The Supreme Court disagreed and finally some of the detainees were released because there was absolutely no credible evidence against them, including this man after seven years in Guantanamo.

Of course, many Americans, especially conservatives, believe that the government should be given complete deference, even with shady evidence, to detain people without any oversight whatsoever. It is ironic to think that these same conservatives who are so offended by any form of domestic government intervention have blind faith in the government’s actions abroad. They are bothered by the government acting within the law at home, but convinced that the government should not be subject to any laws when outside its borders. It’s like saying that you only trust someone when they are not subject to any rules.

Even more ironic is that our press and society can find fault with the imprisonment of American journalists in Iran or North Korea, but remains unphased when the American government detains a foreign journalist for five years without offering him any legal protections whatsoever. Even the North Koreans and Iranians feigned trials.


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