Sunday, October 01, 2006

Imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for three years for telling a joke

Via Patri Friedman at Catallarchy:
“As best as they can tell Badr Zamen Badr and his brother were imprisoned in Guantanamo for three years for telling a joke. Actually, for telling two jokes. They ran a satire magazine in Pakistan that poked fun at corrupt clerics, sort of the Pashtu edition of the Onion. The first joke that got them in trouble was when they published a poem about a politician…He called them up, he threatened them, and as best as they can tell, he told authorities they were involved with al-Quaeda.”
In other words, political leaders in other countries have used the United States to get rid of their critics, by using false claims of involvement with terrorism. When you accept hearsay evidence, don't conduct an investigation, and don't allow a trial, the process unsurprisingly gets abused, and people get imprisoned for years not because they've done anything wrong, but because they've criticized the people in power.

And now, with the Military Commissions Act, we've set ourselves up for similar abuses inside the United States by removing protections that have existed since Magna Carta.

No comments: