December 9, 2003
WILL SUPREME COURT OPEN "BREACH IN GUANTANAMO WALL"?
** Editorialists view the
U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments on jurisdiction over the
Guantanamo cases as a "landmark."
** Washington's policy of
holding prisoners for indefinite periods of time without any legal recourse
goes against democratic values.
** The Guantanamo prisoners
should be either charged and brought to trial, or released.
Euro writers cautiously hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision
to review the cases of some Guantanamo detainees-- Liberal Der Standard of Austria argued
that "the judges are not interested in continuously having their role
undermined" and "the U.S. constitutional system, which is far more
efficient than its critics repeatedly claim, is clearly alive and
kicking." Madrid's conservative
daily ABC opined that the decision "opens a breach in the
Guantanamo wall." In Germany,
centrist Der Tagesspiegel portrayed permitting one Guantanamo detainee
to see a lawyer as proof that "the Supreme Court is at the heels of the
Bush administration." Berlin's
right-of-center Die Welt, however, cautioned: "It is thinkable that
the conservative court will approve the government's position."
All writers decried the open-ended detentions at Guantanamo Bay,
arguing that the situation is "intolerable in a democracy"-- Left-leaning writers in particlar stressed the
contrast between the U.S.'s reputation as a "beacon of openness" and
it's actions in Guantanamo. The
socialist Insight of Ghana judged, "We do not see what can justify
the long detention of suspects without charge and trial.” The left-of-center Irish Examiner held
the Guantanamo model to be "more characteristic of a banana republic
rather than of a country which proclaims itself to be democratic." Even Brazil's center-right O Globo saw
evidence that "many English people accuse Bush of betraying the English
Analysts called for the U.S. government to bring charges against
the prisoners, citing their rights under 'democratic societies'-- Highlighting legal arguments, editorialists
argued that the treatment of the Guantanamo detainees is without basis under
most Western systems of law. Argentina's
leading Clarin emphasized that the prisoners are "deprived of their
most elementary legal resources...particularly, that of challenging in court
the veracity of any accusation."
Social democratic Dagsavisen of Norway acknowledged "that
some of the prisoners are...terrorists who deserve punishment. But if that is the case, they must be judged
under satisfactory conditions and have a right to defend themselves." Liberal Dagens Nyheter of Sweden
argued that "prisoners in Cuba should either be released or tried in an
open and impartial court."
EDITOR: JAMES DEACON
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
anlaysis is based on 31 reports from 17 countries, from 5 November-7
December. Editorial excerpts from each
country are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Rights Vs. Security"
An editorial in the independent Financial Times argued
(12/4): "The stakes are rising over
treatment of those detained by the U.S. in the so-called war against
terrorism.... The legal arguments are
sharpening because the courts are increasingly challenging the government over
the detainees.... Yet fundamental
constitutional rights, such as the guarantee that an accused can call witnesses
in his defence, should not be brushed aside--especially with capital
offences. It would be still more
outrageous for access to witnesses to be denied because they are held
abroad--an invitation to move detainees overseas to keep them out of the
courts.... There may be dangerous people
held at Guantanamo but the shambles surrounding their detention, interrogation
and possible trial makes it harder to bring them safely to justice. Further pressure from the U.S. courts could
help the government out of this mess by requiring the release of more detainees
and ensuring the trial of the remainder in conditions that do not ride roughshod
over basic rights."
"Camp Delta Is A Legal Black Hole For U.S."
Lord Brennan QC, former chairman of the English Bar commented in
the independent Financial Times (11/24):
"The U.S. government seems unmoved by the plight of the Guantanamo
detainees. It is about to spend $25m to
give Camp Delta the capacity for up to 1,100 prisoners. Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser,
last week made clear that there is unlikely to be any change in policy any time
soon.... The Camp Delta phenomenon is
intolerable in a democracy. The land of
the free is not some geographical legal nicety; it embraces a concept of
American justice inextricably linked with American power, wherever it may be
"The Negation Of Everything That The United States Professes
To Stand For"
An editorial in the center-left Independent argued
(11/19): “The state visit of President
George Bush has come to signify all that has gone wrong with transatlantic
relations.... The Prime Minister...has
been let down by Mr. Bush over the post-war strategy for Iraq, over the Middle
East and, most urgently, over the disgrace that is Guantanamo Bay.... There is much that we do not know about the
prison regime at Guantanamo Bay, for the simple reason the US
authorities--traditionally a beacon of openness compared with their counterparts
in Europe--have kept international observers out.... The prison camp at Guantanamo Bay is an
absolute negation of everything the United States professes to stand for. There is no openness. There is no accountability. There is no justice.... Mr. Bush said he envisaged a solution to the
Guantanamo conundrum that Mr. Blair would be “comfortable” with.... No solution to the shame of Guantanamo should
be about comfort or compromise. It is
about human rights, state obligations and the sanctity of the law in a
democracy held up as an ideal for the rest of the world. Anything less is much a travesty of our
common values as Mr. Bush’s three-day stay in Britain is a travesty of a state
Supreme Court Could Rescue U.S. Prisoners From Legal Limbo"
An editorial in the independent Financial Times opined
(11/12): “There is now a ray of hope
that the open-ended incarceration of the 660 non-U.S. prisoners at the U.S.
base at Guantanamo Bay will be challenged.
The Supreme Court is to consider appeals filed on behalf of some of the
prisoners against rulings by two lower courts.... Because the base is leased--though in
perpetuity--this has allowed U.S. government lawyers to argue that technically
it is not sovereign U.S. soil. The
creation of this legal limbo into which to dump prisoners is a blot on
America’s otherwise proud human rights record.... By considering the cases the Supreme Court is
clearly indicating its view that it--not U.S. politicians--should be the proper
arbiter of how far the U.S. legal writ runs....
One safeguard would be for Mr. Bush to announce--perhaps on his state
visit to Britain next week--that he would allow appeals to civilian courts from
any verdicts passed by his military commissions."
GERMANY: "The Supreme
Court At Their Heels"
Washington correspondent Malte Lehming stated in centrist Der
Tagesspiegel of Berlin (12/5):
"The rule of law prevails in the United States, but in its fight
against terrorism, the government has suspended a number of legal
principles. A case that is really
outrageous is the treatment of prisoners in Guantánamo.... Now finally something has been set in motion
in this scandal. One of the prisoners in
Guantánamo and one of the two U.S. citizens got the right to see a lawyer. Why?
Because the Supreme Court is at the heels of the Bush
administration. Three weeks ago it said
that it would take over the case. The
sudden conciliatory measures of the Bush administration may be tactically
motivated to induce the supreme judges to take a lenient attitude. Nevertheless, it is a first sign that the
steady pressure was not in vain."
Guenter Nonnenmacher observed in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (12/2): "Washington
now seems to have understood that the captivity of the more than 600 prisoners
in a quasi 'law-free' area in Guantánamo Bay is damaging the U.S. reputation
abroad. What the security agencies can
learn from the prisoners who are being kept without a trial, who have no access
to lawyers and no contacts with family members, all this does not balance the
loss of confidence, which is being inflicted on the American state. Protests against Guantánamo Bay came not only
from well known groups, but also from close U.S. allies like Britain and
Spain. But the decisive factor for the
changing practice--a large number of them are to be released soon or
transferred to their home countries--was made by the Supreme Court which,
contrary to the legal position of the administration, said that it its responsible
for the case. It really gives us cause
for thought to see how adamantly a government has defended the violation of
elementary, legal rules for years."
"Rule Of The Law"
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine commented (11/12): "U.S. President George Bush promised the
world a new order: 'Peace and security,
freedom and the rule of law.' This was
in 1991 and was closely linked to the arguments in favor of the first Iraq
war. His son George W. Bush is also promising
a new world order but with different words.
George W. Bush talks more defensively but is acting more offensively
than his father. That is why he has
trouble finding support outside the country's borders. The declared goal of this president to free
the world from terrorism is more fantastic than the idea of a new world order,
and more reckless is the selection of the means to use. The U.S. government's treatment of the
prisoners in Guantánamo is not 'the rule of law,' but, on the contrary, the deprivation
of the law from those who are subject to the law. Thus far, U.S. courts declared that they are
not responsible despite their tendency to rule on everything. Maybe the Supreme Court will change this
attitude. If not, America will put an
overstretched definition of security above the law, i.e. power."
"Rule Of Law"
Uwe Schmitt judged in an editorial in right-of-center Die Welt
of Berlin (11/12): "Whatever the
reasons for the Supreme Court to hear the case of 16 prisoners in Guantánamo
Bay, the end of their ordeal and the ignominy of the U.S. rule of law is by no
means certain. It is thinkable that the
conservative court will approve the government's position.... But the Bush administration cannot help [but]
take note of the implicit criticism of the court that an outlaw status exists
in Guantánamo. The judges may have been
worried that the U.S. Constitution could be damaged. There may also be concerns in the U.S. military
that other countries could take revenge on U.S. GI's in a next war, but the
least likeable reason could be the tendency to give in to international
pressure and criticism.... There are
arguments for the adjustment of valid martial law norms to asymmetric wars, but
there are no good arguments in favor of the lawlessness among U.S.
ITALY: "The Prisoners
Of Guantanamo Are Protected By The Supreme Court"
Eugene R. Fidell, attorney and President of the National Institute
for Military Justice argued in left-leaning, influential daily La Repubblica
(11/11): "The first, thin fault
line is opening in the dike which protects the intangible Camp Delta, the U.S.
prisoner camp in Guantanamo Bay (Cuba).
And the legitimacy of its regime of segregation is once again under
discussion. The U.S. Supreme
Court...has, in fact, decided to address the appeal which asks it to state its
opinion on the claims regarding the juridical extraterritoriality of the
"Guantanamo Is Illegal--The Prisoners' Appeal Discussed In
Ennio Caretto noted in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della
Sera (11/11): "The U.S. Supreme
Court will decide if the detention of Talibans and suspected Al Qaeda
terrorists in Guantanamo, Cuba is legal.
After two years of prison, the over 600 Muslims, among whom are British
and Australian citizens, will be able to obtain a [Supreme Court] statement by
June of next year. A group of attorneys
from London presented a petition that defines the island concentration camp
'un-constitutional.' The dispute
threatens to widen the gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world on the
treatment of prisoners, condemned by the Red Cross. It could even ruin Bush's visit to London
Combatant On U.S. Soil"
Christian Pippan, Visiting Fellow at the New
York University School of Law, wrote in a guest commentary in centrist Die
Presse (11/26): “Since 9/11, the
search for an appropriate balance between the freedom and safety of U.S.
citizens has become a decisive factor in American political life. Another effect of 9/11 is that Washington is
more vehemently than ever convinced that the worldwide promotion of democracy
and rule of law is an important part of maintaining national security. Washington often refers to the American constitution
model in this context, in which the mutual control between the governmental
powers plays a central role. However, if
the President now assumes the right to stow away any person accused of
supporting a terror network in a military prison--for an unlimited period of
time--it is becoming increasingly hard to believe in the reliability of this
model. Its allegedly exemplary status is
threatening to be reversed into the opposite.”
"Clear Sign Of Life"
Foreign affairs writer Christoph Winder
commented in liberal Der Standard (11/12): “On Monday this week...it was announced that
the judges of the U.S. Supreme Court have decided to examine whether the
detainees at Guantanamo will be able to resort to the U.S. federal courts in
the future.... This decision of the
Supreme Court is remarkable in several ways:
It shows that the judges are no longer scared of confronting the Bush
administration, which--under the guise of fighting terrorism--had always
claimed the right to treat the prisoners of Guantanamo any way it liked. The sudden change of mind of the judges must
also be seen within the context of the separation of powers, where the balance
has shifted considerably towards the executive branch over the last two
years. It seems that the judges are not
interested in continuously having their role undermined by the government. This also means that the U.S. constitutional
system, which is far more efficient than its critics repeatedly claim, is
clearly alive and kicking."
Turns On Camp"
Marion McKeone, U.S. editor, commented in the centrist weekly Sunday
Tribune (12/07): "The Bush
administration appears poised to grasp some of the thorny issues raised by the
detention without trial, charge or access to lawyers of some 600 detainees at
Guantanamo Bay.... But the past week has
seen the beginning of a change in attitude towards the prisoners amid clear
signs that as many as 140 detainees may be released over the next eight weeks,
including eight British nationals....
Washington sources say the administration is mindful of the difficulties
that could be caused by appearing to offer preferential treatment to citizens
of western allies over citizens of Muslim states such as Pakistan or
Egypt. 'There has to be an appearance of
some consistency here', one said.... For
several weeks now the Bush administration has been seeking a solution that
would address the concerns of coalition partners and the courts without
appearing to have backed down on the issue."
"When Bush Talks Of Democracy, Just Remember Guantanamo
Pat Brosnan commented in the left-of-center Irish Examiner
(11/21): "George Wubya's allegiance
to democracy is fragile and very selective....
The policy of members of his administration is to consider any criticism
of President Bush, especially in relation to Iraq, as an unforgivable attack on
America itself. Of course, it's
not. The problem is that for countless
millions of people around the world who admire what America has always stood
for, it was disconcerting to see Mr. Bush trample over the United Nations in
his stubborn drive to invade Iraq....
Seeing that this multilateralism was one of three pillars he revealed
for world peace, we should not be too sanguine about his commitment to them
and, if anything, we should be even more worried about world peace. At least while he's in the White
House.... What we saw on the streets of
London was not a form of paranoid anti-Americanism, but a protest to underline
the fundamental injustice of the invasion of Iraq and what flowed from it. One thing that helps to shatter our belief in
Mr. Bush's love of democracy is the appalling way suspected terrorists are
being held in Guantanamo Bay with absolutely no rights.... Whatever about their guilt or innocence, the
conditions under which they're held are more characteristic of a banana
republic rather than of a country which proclaims itself to be
NORWAY: "A Disgrace
For A State With Rule Of Law"
Social democratic Dagsavisen commented
(11/28): “The treatment of prisoners
[at] Guantanamo by the U.S. is a disgrace for a country that would like to be
regarded as a state with Rule of Law....
Conditions on Guantanamo cause disgust all over the world.... It might well be that some of the prisoners
are dangerous warriors and terrorists who deserve punishment. But if that is the case, they must be judged
under satisfactory conditions and have a right to defend themselves. Protests against what is happening on
Guantanamo have been far too low-voiced.
It is about time that the most loyal allies of the U.S. clearly voice
their concern. Are you listening,
(Foreign Minister) Jan Petersen?”
SPAIN: "The Judges
Look At Guantanamo"
The conservative daily ABC opined (11/12): "Nothing justifies the confinement of
the prisoners in Guantanamo in a regime of legal and personal annulment, as a
group stripped of the most basic rights of defense, that everyone deserves no
matter who they are...because of the esteem and respect that every democracy
and state owes itself. All of this is
disproportionate and, to European eyes, intolerable.... The U.S. is creating a precedent that it
should see as a grave danger to its moral and political leadership. The affinity of democracies is based on
common risks and dangers, perfectly identified with international terrorism, but
also on common values and principles.
Bush's Government has to accept this double-sided relationship with its
allies.... This is a strategic mistake
because it gratuitously harms the strength of the reasons that democracies have
to affirm their superiority over terrorism and their rights to eradicate it
unconditionally.... The discussion that
the U.S. Supreme Court proposes opens a breach in the Guantanamo wall and for
this reason is good news, even though that breach exposes an inconceivable
spectacle in an admirable and great democracy."
"Guantanamo, At Last"
The left-of-center daily El País commented (11/12): "The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court
[to examine the case of the detainees at the base of Guantanamo]...marks a
change and is a milestone, without prejudging what it will say by next
summer.... The sentence of the Supreme
Court...will serve to make it clear whether U.S. jurisdiction is applicable or
"Rights In Limbo"
The centrist daily La Vanguardia stated (11/12): "The inconceivable legal situation of
these prisoners (in Guantanamo) is intolerable and the Supreme Court's
admission of the prisoner’s lawyers actions constitutes a first victory for the
defenders of human rights.... The Bush's
election campaign now has another worry besides the situation in Iraq: the incredible and inhumane legal situation
of the prisoners in Guantanamo."
"A Legal Limbo"
Conservative daily ABC editorialized (11/5): "Although the cases of Guantanamo have
been used as propaganda to discredit the U.S. and its allies policy against
terrorism, the matter is much simpler:
the United States, with a democratic and model judicial system in many
aspects, can't allow a necessary, urgent and complicated fight against terrorism
[to] be tarnished by an effort to send reassuring messages to its own public
opinion at the expense of legal guarantees that everybody, including terrorism
suspects, has to have.... To apply the
death penalty to those accused of terrorism, as in other cases, is not
effective or morally acceptable for those who are fighting terror in the name
of freedom and judicial security for all of us."
The Stockholm conservative morning daily Svenska Dagbladet
editorialized (12/4): "Pressure has
increased on the government in the wake of the latest media reporting of a
possible release of, among others, the Swedish citizen Medhdi Ghezali who, for
two years, has been detained in Cuba.
The bounds of decency have long ago been crossed and something must
happen now. The fact that the U.S.
refuses to see any alternative to holding Ghezali detained under the pretence
that he is uncooperative is unacceptable.
The Swede is not formally accused of any crime, and is not linked to
terrorist activities. If the Bush
Administration does not realize that the only way to wriggle out of this
precarious situation would be to either let the Cuba prisoners have their cases
tried in court or else release them, the international community must step
in. Sweden should therefore, as soon as
possible, rally the EU member states in a joint action to exert pressure on the
U.S. The EU cannot possibly allow its
citizens to be detained without suspicions, without having a shred of evidence,
and without giving them the chance to have their case tried in court."
"The U.S.' Black Hole In Cuba"
The independent, liberal Stockholm morning daily Dagens Nyheter
ran an op-ed by editorial writer Nils Funcke that stated (12/4): "Today the Swedish citizen Mehdi Ghezali
has spent time in a black hole for 691 days without knowing what he is accused
of, and without having a lawyer to talk to....
The U.S. is maintaining that the Cuba detainees have links to al-Qaeda. They are therefore not considered to be
civilians or POWs, but rather illegal combatants for whom neither civilian
legal principles, nor the Geneva Convention or other laws of war, are
applicable.... But protests against the
detention are growing by the month.
Internationally the issue has become a disadvantage to the U.S., and
Secretary of State Colin Powell cannot travel anywhere without having to
address questions on the Guantanamo Bay issue.... I have myself no idea whether Ghezali is
guilty or not. But the matter is
ultimately that he and the other 660 prisoners in Cuba should either be
released or tried in an open and impartial court. Ghezali is not the one who should prove his
innocence; the U.S. is the one to prove that he has committed a crime. For the sake of international law and the
Samir Ragab, Editor-in-Chief of small circulation pro-government Al
Gomhouriya opined (11/24): "The
U.S. arrests whomever it wants and discretely ships them to Guantanamo.... The former Iraqi regime members...have not
been presented for trial.... News
agencies say 14,000 Iraqis are now jailed in American prisons in Iraq, with a
total media blackout.... This means the
situation does not much differ from that of Saddam Hussein who hid Kuwaiti
prisoners in mass graves...and slaughtered Iraqis. Where are the human rights organizations that
used to turn the world topsy-turvy over fragile allegations? Were they American made?"
"Guantanamo: Two Views Of Justice"
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald
editorialized (11/27): "After
almost two years in legal limbo in the cages of Guantanamo Bay, David Hicks is
about to have his fate determined....
Movement towards a resolution of these cases is, however, scant cause
for satisfaction. [The Australian
government] seems comfortable with the idea that if a prisoner is not put on
trial he will continue to be held until what the U.S. calls war on terror is
over. Yet it is not always clear what
the war on terror is, much less when it might end.... Many politicians speak as though Mr. Hicks
and Mr. Habib are guilty without trial, or are not worth considering."
INDIA: "Taliban: The
Wilson John opined in the centrist Pioneer
(11/26): "There are now clear
indications that an eager Pakistan is busy reclaiming what it had lost during
the brief period of confusion in the U.S. in the wake of the September 11
attacks--an active role in Afghanistan.
The resurrection of the Taliban is, therefore, a desperate attempt on
the part of the Bush regime and the general in Islamabad to find that unicorn
called victory. One small but
significant sign was the release of five Pakistanis from the notorious
Guantanamo Bay on November 22, and 20 Pakistanis from the Sheberghan jail in
northern Afghanistan on November 23.
Although the Hamid Karzai Government claimed that the release was an act
of clemency for Ramadan, the act was in fact part of Washington's renewed bid
to cobble together a new group of former Taliban leaders with the active
support of the willing and jubilant ISI and Pakistani Army."
GHANA: "Acts Of
Bi-weekly, urban circulation, avowedly socialist Insight
stated (12/1): “Two of the most
prominent British judges have spoken out against what they describe as the
lawlessness of the United States of America.
The judges were speaking about the detention of al-Qaida suspects [at]
Guantanamo Bay in Cuba outside the jurisdiction of any court anywhere in the
world. The judges insisted that all
people no matter what they have been accused of are entitled to a hearing and
representation by counsels of their choice.
It is our hope that the authorities of the U.S. will listen to these
words of wisdom and begin to act in ways which will do credit to their wild
claims of being respecters of human rights.
We do not see what can justify the long detention of suspects without
charge and trial.”
"The Law In Guantanamo"
The leading Globe and Mail commented (11/12): "By insisting that the 660 prisoners at
its naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are beyond the reach of judicial
review, the United States has done more than strengthen security at the expense
of liberty. It has thrown out a basic
democratic norm, the time-honoured right of habeas corpus. It is therefore welcome news that the U.S.
Supreme Court has agreed to hear whether civilian courts have the jurisdiction
to consider prisoners' challenges to the lawfulness of their detention. The core value at stake is that the state be
subject to the law, rather than a law unto itself."
"Guantanamo Ruling: Threat To Individual And Collective
Oscar Raul Cardoso, leading Clarin international analyst,
opined (11/11): "The step-by-step
degradation of individual and collective liberties in the U.S. after the 9/11
attacks is taking place at such a pace that even a basically conservative
Supreme Court such as the U.S. tribunal couldn't overlook for a long time the
threat that this direction poses to the constitutional guarantees and even to
the most basic humanitarian rights. This
is the first message that one can infer from the Supreme Court's decision to
listen--against the position of the Department of Justice--to the legal claims
of some of the 660 detainees in Guantanamo....
For the past two years, the Guantanamo detainees--but also, some of the
terrorists detained in U.S. continental jails--have virtually become 'non
persons', deprived of their most elementary legal resources: the protection of habeas corpus, the right to
know the terms of the accusation and, particularly, that of challenging in
court the veracity of any accusation.
But it's not only the damage inflicted to the Guantanamo pariahs--many
of them, teenagers. There are also other
arbitrary procedures against foreigners...justified in the need to fight
terrorism. However, the foreigners' case
is but the tip of the iceberg in this 'social control' campaign that Bush wants
to impose on U.S. society. David Cole, a
lawyer who recently published an interesting survey 'Foreign enemies: double standards and constitutional liberties
in the war against terrorism' explains this and says, 'What we do to foreigners
today very often paves the way for what we will do to U.S. citizens
Center-right O Globo opined (11/28): "Following the U.S. example,
Great-Britain has decided to face the unpredictable threat of terror granting
more power to the State at the cost of individual liberties.... In this dangerous course no one sins for
caution. Any excess committed in the
name of security is enough to disfigure the concept of a democratic society and
tarnish an admirable tradition of freedom and legality.... One example of unacceptable abuse resulting
in irreparable damages is the treatment Americans give to war prisoners in
Guantanamo.... There the subdued are at
the mercy of the winners without the protection of legal devices, which
represent the highest achievements of civilization."
"The English Message"
Center-right O Globo asserted
(11/23): "In no other place in the
world do demonstrations against the U.S. seem more misplaced than in
England.... What explains Bush's lack of
popularity amongst the English?
Obviously there's the Iraq war issue that mobilizes pacifist groups all
over the world. There's also the intent
to hit PM Tony Blair, to whom many don't forgive for having lead the country to
a costly, unjustified military adventure....
But apparently that's not all.
Curiously many English people accuse Bush of betraying the English
democratic ideal. With the treatment
given to war prisoners in Guantanamo and other demonstrations of disrespect to
principles of co-existence, Bush would be destroying the U.S. image such as the
pattern of a democratic society.... The
English took advantage of Bush's visit to tell him in three days what the rest
of the world has been trying to tell Americans for the last three years."
"Guantanamera At Bush’s Rhythm"
An op-ed by journalist Reinaldo Spitaletta in
Medellín daily El Colombiano stated (11/12): “For the 'hawks'...in the imperial power of
North America, those prisoners are just enemies of 'freedom' and
'democracy'.... According to General
Geoffrey Miller, in charge of the prisoners...the idea is to turn Guantanamo
into a killing field.... Yes, this is
another sad period of time in world history that evokes the crimes and horrors
by the Nazis."
"Bush the Harmful"
Columnist Gustavo Berganzain wrote in
influential El Periodico (12/5):
"With Bush, the U.S. has openly violated the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention by maintaining hundreds of prisoners
of war confined in Guantanamo. The
detainees are not only isolated, with no possibilities to communicate with the
outside world, but they are also being deprived of their right to an impartial