I thought it was the responsibility of professional American journalists to call attention to politicians who, after being elected, break promises they made on the campaign trail. And to write stories about the lies of former office holders whose illegalities while in office did great harm to the public good and the rule of law.
And yet the only new stories I’m seeing regarding presidential approval of torture and broken promises to close the Guantanamo Bay jail are coming out of European and Indian publications:
The former chief prosecutor for the US government at Guantánamo Bay has accused the administration he served of operating a “law-free zone” there, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the order to establish the detention camp on Cuba. Retired air force colonel Morris Davis resigned in October 2007 in protest against interrogation methods at Guantánamo, and has made his remarks in the lead-up to 13 November, the anniversary of President George W Bush’s executive order setting up military commissions to try terrorist suspects.
Davis said that the methods of interrogation used on Guantánamo detainees – which he described as “torture” – were in breach of the US’s own statutes on torture, and added: “If torture is a crime, it should be prosecuted.”
Davis’s Crimes of War project is leading pressure on the administration of President Barack Obama during Guantánamo’s 10th anniversary, with firm reminders of Obama’s unequivocal pledges to abolish military commissions and close the camp. Professor Thomas Keenan, the head of the Bard College human rights programme, which staged the conference, said: “The president campaigned on a pledge to close down the jail at Guantánamo Bay, and to end the use of military commissions to try its inmates. How is it possible that, two years after he was elected, there are still more than 150 prisoners there, and this November, one of them will go on trial before one of those very commissions?”