BY KAREN WEBB
I don’t want anyone to think I don’t have sympathy for the Lee and Ling families, but I also have sympathy for the families of all those detainees we have in prisons from here to Timbuktu without charges or trials.
Of course, no one thinks the two journalists working for Al Gore, of all people, were sent to North Korea to provoke a nuclear holocaust, but some of the guys we have at Guantanamo weren’t picked up in the war zone and around 600 have been released without charges or torture.
I was listening to Rachel Maddow discuss the situation with Andrea Mitchell. The Lee and Ling families have issued a statement that they think the three or four months away from their families is punishment enough. There are people at Guantanamo who have been there six, seven, eight years without charges, and President Obama says that even if we have no evidence we will keep them indefinitely, without charges or conviction, because of what we think they might do.
Maddow and Mitchell discussed these secret courts in North Korea when the guys at Guantanamo haven’t seen a courtroom at all, but not that many U.S. citizens are upset because they are our prisoners. They discussed the North Koreans being scared because their borders had been breached and they fear they will be attacked. They need Dick Cheney to wander into North Korea talking about borders being breached and people being attacked.
According to Andrea Mitchell, there is a leadership struggle in North Korea and they are worried about the same family being in control again. Jeb isn’t running, is he? They have a power struggle? We have a former constitutional law professor who said he would close our detainee prisons and give these guys justice of some kind and now he says we can keep some of them indefinitely.
Our attorneys, under a president who said he believed in equal rights for gays and is opposed to Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell, just argued that getting rid of DADT now is a threat to cohesiveness, according to a quote read by Maddow. I don’t know about Kim Jung-il, but I am beginning to think President Obama is having a power struggle with himself.
Maddow and Mitchell also talked about this being a humanitarian and not a diplomatic issue. I have no idea how the North Koreans can resist yelling “pot, pot, pot” at this outrageous display of hypocrisy. Maddow suggests using diplomatic chits. What chits? Just because we go after them on human rights abuses doesn’t mean we can’t have abuses of our own.
I feel sorry for the families of all those locked up without charges or trumped up charges. I can understand that the North Koreans are aware that we used Oriental water torture on one guy 183 times and they have been punished for doing such things in the past, but let’s hope and pray they take this chance to show up the great and all-powerful U.S and do the humanitarian thing.
If they do they should just sit up there on the high road that we can no longer claim and try not to tell the U.S. it is their turn to do the humanitarian thing because the U.S. will still have Middle Easterners locked up, without charges, when President Obama is a great-grandfather.
If we can hold people in prison in the U.S. to prevent them from committing a crime then I don’t think we can tell any other country what they should or should not do. I hope they do as we say and not what we do.
Only the U.S. is permitted to talk out of both sides of our mouth. We get to DO and SAY anything we please and let the devil take the hind post.
– Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer