Friday, June 19, 2009

Overwhelming majority oppose preventive detention without charges

prisoner  Glenn Greenwald               Thursday June 18  


A new NYT/CBS News poll just released today asked a question designed to test support for Obama's proposal to indefinitely detain Guantanamo detainees without charges -- and it found overwhelming opposition to that plan (click to enlarge):

The view that detainees should be charged with crimes or released is often depicted as the fringe "Far Left" view.  Like so many views that are similarly depicted, it is -- in reality -- the overwhelming consensus view among Americans (68%).  As is so often the case, it is the view depicted as the Serious Centrist position -- the U.S. should keep people in cages for as long as it wants without charging them with any crime -- that is the fringe view held by only a small minority (24%).  While some may express surprise at the outcome of this question, it really shouldn't be surprising:  Americans are taught from childhood that one of the primary distinctions between free countries and tyrannies is that, in the former, the state lacks the power to imprison people without charging and convicting them of a crime.  Is it really that surprising that an overwhelming majority of Americans see such charge-free imprisonment as wrong even when it comes to Guantanamo detainees, probably the single most dehumanized group on the planet?

read article

1 comment:

  1. "It would be good if the President who campaigned on a platform to restore those values would make such arguments more often, and even better still if he ceased advocating policies -- indefinite preventive detention -- that so violently undermine them."

    Too bad the president has no intention of keeping his word to the detainees. No more than he intends to restore our civil liberties lost. Instead, we inch closer to a total police state every day.