Thursday, June 15, 2006

No Mo' Gitmo

I read today that Mr. Bush down south is considering putting an end to the Guantanamo Bay extrajudicial detention facility that he set up in the wake of the 9/11 fiasco.

Of course - like you, dear reader - my first thought was: "what would Sir Winston S. Churchill, wartime Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and its attendant Empire, have to say about this whole enemy combatant thing?"

Interestingly enough, this:

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him judgment by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian Governments, whether Nazi or Communist... Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilisation."*

It's important to note that the good Mr. Churchill was writing here in October of 1943, while Britain was still actively at war with the Nazi tyranny (and allied to the Communist one), and that therefore the Nazi/Communist comparison is both relevant and appropriate, thus Godwin's Law does not apply. Furthermore, he goes on to expand that such powers ought still to exist, but should be reserved to the legislature -- the British Parliament having retained its power of attainder. The United States Constitution expressly forbids just such an exercise of authority.

I can't help but think that the two world leaders in question would fail utterly to see eye-to-eye on a good many other points, as well.

*Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. V - "Closing the Ring," Riverside Press - Cambridge, 1951, p. 679.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger Jenn & Owen said...

Dude, when did your blog switch from the bimonthly format? This is much better!

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Jenn & Owen said...

Rather, I should have said,

Infrequent posting
led to infrequent reading
now I'm all caught up.


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