Monday, May 05, 2003

Appetite for Authoritarianism Spawns an American Gulag
'Last week, the United States confirmed it is holding children under the age of 16 at Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In keeping with the other shadowy facts about this camp, it is not clear how large the children's wing at Camp Delta has become... The camp's children are among 664 detainees from 42 countries. Some were captured in Afghanistan; others were rounded up elsewhere. Many have been held without trial for more than two years.

'The Bush administration has argued that these detainees are not "people" under the Constitution but, rather, legal nonentities it may hold, release or even execute at its sole discretion. Recent reports indicate that the Justice Department has no intention of trying the vast majority of these prisoners. Rather, estimates on possible tribunal trials rarely exceed two dozen. The administration has simply decided to hold hundreds of people without trial or judicial review at the president's whim. There is a term for that type of prison: gulag.'

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