March 5, 2006


Williams: Cuba camp is setting a dangerous precedent America (Jonathan Petre, 06/03/2006, Daily Telegraph)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has launched a scathing attack on Guantanamo Bay, condemning the US prison camp as an "extraordinary legal anomaly".

Speaking during an eight-day visit to Sudan, Dr Williams said yesterday that detaining people indefinitely when they had not been convicted, and denying them proper legal rights, set a dangerous precedent.

He said that the camp in Cuba had created a "new category of custody", in which detainees were prevented from gaining "the sort of legal access that we would probably assume to be important".

The archbishop said: "Any message given, that any state can just over-ride some of the basic habeas corpus-type provisions, is going to be very welcome to tyrants elsewhere in the world, now and in the future.

"What, in 10 years' time, are people going to be able to say about a system that tolerates this?"

If you care about tyrants, how about joining in the fight to topple them?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 5, 2006 9:36 PM

In Rev. Williams' eyes, the other 99.9 percent of Cuba is wonderful.

Posted by: John at March 5, 2006 10:20 PM

We could have just killed them.

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at March 5, 2006 10:24 PM

Did the good archbishop have anything to say about the Sudanese government while he was there?

Probably not high up on his moral list, now is it?

Posted by: ratbert at March 5, 2006 10:42 PM

"that we probably assume to be...

What the heck kind of phrase is that? He doesn't even know if it is an assumption that anyone is making or not! Talk about a vast amount of ignorage there.

Posted by: Mikey at March 6, 2006 8:30 AM
"What, in 10 years' time, are people going to be able to say about a system that tolerates this?"
Same thing you're saying now about Cuba, Syria, Iran and China? Oh, wait, they've been doing that for a lot more than 10 years. Despite my years of cynicism, it is still stunning that people who have achieved this kind of rank can be so appalling ignorant and lacking in self awareness.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 6, 2006 9:48 AM

And the good Bishop Robinson has conquered his drinking problem and has returned to his lover and life partner, so far, here in the Broke back Diocese. Oh spread the good news.

Posted by: Genecis at March 6, 2006 10:16 AM

When are enemy combatants, that represent no country, considered to have rights? I mean, does the Geneva convention even have anything in it that would conver this situation?

Posted by: Bartman at March 6, 2006 11:54 AM

Bartman, Obviously not or Gitmo would have been closed by now.

Posted by: erp at March 6, 2006 12:29 PM

Bartman: You mean "unlawful combatants." These are war criminals who may be dealt with as such.

They are nonetheless entitled to humane treatment. Once in custody, they may not be summarily killed. They may be executed in accordance with the customary usages of war.

Guerillas and partisans may be lawful belligerants entitled to P.O.W. status if they are bearing arms openly as part of an organized military unit either in uniform of bearing some functional equivalent of a uniform, such as an armband or distinctive headgear.

Obviously, most or all of the terrorists and bandits we are hearing about in Iraq and places like that are war criminals fighting incognito and using criminal means. If I were preparing charges against them I would take the position that lawful hostilities have concluded and that all their activities are in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 7, 2006 4:24 PM