Friday, October 24th, 2008 | Author:

I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that our country now has three types of prisoners.

Category I: Criminals

Those who are suspected of violating the laws of the United States can be arrested and jailed. However, they are theoretically subject to the protections of the Bill of Rights and other laws, and we can’t just arrest someone and throw away the key.

Category II: Prisoners of War

Those who are fighting against our country in a military capacity can also be jailed. They, however, are subject to the rights proscribed in the Geneva Convention.

Category III: Enemy Combatants

Bush and his neo-con handlers don’t like the first two categories, because they demand that these prisoners be treated like … well, people. You know, with truth and justice and all that. So they created a new category called “Enemy Combatants” and guess what? They don’t have any rights. They can be captured any place in the world and transported to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and held for as long as the military wants.

For instance, there is “Internment Serial Number 669.” (Yeah, they don’t even like to acknowledge that he has a name. ) He was arrested/captured/kidnapped (pick one) in 2002 in Pakistan, and has been held without charges ever since. That’s six years, folks. Now, if that was me, I would be a little ticked off, and apparently so is Ahmed Zaid Zuhair.

“ISN 669 has a very long history of disciplinary violations and noncompliant, resistant and combative behavior,” according to Army Col. Bruce Vargo, commander of Guantanamo Bay’s guards.

Well, yeah. Six years is a very long time. And as we would say when we were kids, “How would you like it???” He’s been one of many on a hunger strike, they’ve been force-feeding him through his nose, and it’s not at all a pretty picture. He does have a lawyer now and some papers have been filed in federal court in Washington – but it’s still six years later.

There is finally a court battle taking place where the “Justice” Department and the prisoner’s lawyers are battling over just what this third category of “enemy combatant” means. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon is expected to issue his own definition Monday before beginning weeks of hearings over whether the men at Guantanamo may be detained legally. Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking.

I suspect that ISN 669 is probably not a very nice guy, but we as a nation should not be allowed to run around the world and scoop up all the not-very-nice-guys … because that makes us worse than them.

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)

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