Tuesday, December 15, 2009


per·son (pûrsn)
1. a human being, whether man, woman, or child
2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.
3. You know, except if they're imprisoned by the US on Guantanamo Bay:
See unperson
What, don't believe me? DC circuit court ruled it so and the Supreme Court upheld it, making it the law of the land.
Today, the United States Supreme Court refused to review a lower court’s dismissal of a case brought by four British former detainees against Donald Rumsfeld and senior military officers for ordering torture and religious abuse at Guantánamo. The British detainees spent more than two years in Guantanamo and were repatriated to the U.K. in 2004.

The Obama administration had asked the court not to hear the case. By refusing to hear the case, the Court let stand an earlier opinion by the D.C. Circuit Court which found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a statute that applies by its terms to all “persons” did not apply to detainees at Guantanamo, effectively ruling that the detainees are not persons at all for purposes of U.S. law.
Furthermore their rights under the Geneva Conventions were waived because “torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants.” Makes sense to me. I mean if you don't want to be tortured, you shouldn't allow the US to say you're an enemy combatant.

Furthermore it was ruled that anyone being charged with torture wasn't liable, because after all, how was our government supposed to know that laws governed their actions and that detainees had rights? Again: makes sense. Courts have been affirming this standard for years; no one can be reasonably expected to believe that detainees have rights in this country.

Don't worry, this is only for the purposes of US law. If these guys wanted to get credit cards and adjustable rate mortgages, they'd still be allowed to.

So just in case you were worried, don't be. The garish social morays of the 20th Century, where torture was called torture and men were prosecuted for it, is dead and buried. Torture is no longer a war crime, it's a "foreseeable consequence". People who torture are no longer "war criminals", they're just men who couldn't be expected to know that laws mean something. As we've seen: laws don't mean anything. And what's most heartening is now we have two Presidents and a Supreme Court who agree. I just hope they call up the Oxford dictionary people, we'll want to get that whole "person" definition modified up to US legal standards ASAP. Otherwise we'll just look like idiots.

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