It is hard to imagine going on vacation to the Iraq-Iran border, but personally, I would like to give the three Americans now awaiting trial in an Iranian jail the benefit of the doubt. Obviously, Iran – a country that we consistently threaten with obliteration – thinks differently. But according to the Associated Press, the two American detainees are not fairing so well in prison. Both are sick and have only now received their first visitors since October. We, as readers, are supposed to look down on the tyrannical, human rights abusing Iranians because they have incarcerated — pending trial no less — these wandering Americans (because Iran wants to have weapons like the U.S. and Israelis do). Of course, I am not a fan of Iran either, but as I have written before, such a stance is extraordinarily hypocritical coming from a nation that has held and continues to hold countless detainees without trial in Guantanamo, Bagram and who knows where else.
In the same spirit of hypocrisy, the Nobel Prize winning Obama not only continues to promote the Bush Administration policy that the U.S. president has the unchecked power to detain indefinitely anyone it wants without trial, yet — as Glenn Greenwald described yesterday — the White House is now criticizing Pakistan for doing that exact same thing. Ironically, Pakistan’s defense is that “their courts are not up to the task of handling such a large volume of complex terrorism cases.” Does that sound familiar to any Republicans out there who have no faith in our justice system either?
Of this hypocrisy Greenwald writes:
Let’s teach those Pakistanis that we’re not going to tolerate their lawless and tyrannical detention of people without charges and trials. We won’t put up with it. Especially not when it’s “justified” with the Orwellian claim that their real civilian courts can’t handle the prosecutions and they’re “afraid” that Dangerous Terrorists might be released if they give them due process because they’re unprosecutable. Kudos to the Obama administration for teaching them that countries that live under the Rule of Law simply don’t deny people trials based on such excuses. It’d be one thing if they were assassinating these people without any charges or trials — that, of course, would be understandable — but not detaining them. We’re the Leader of the Free World and we simply can’t be seen associating with or supporting regimes that would do such a thing. Besides, unlike the U.S., it’s not like Pakistan really faces an Existential Threat from Islamic radicals or anything, so (unlike us) they really have no acceptable excuse for doing these things.
Meanwhile, a bomb goes off in Northern Ireland, yet Christianity and Christians remains free from ill repute.