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In a new independent study, UN experts are blasting secret detention of terror suspects, claiming that “if resorted to in a widespread and systematic manner, secret detention might reach the threshold of a crime against humanity.”
However, the report fails to demand closure to the famous “public” detention centers at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram, where human rights have been systematically violated for several years without consequences to anyone. President Obama has officially broken his promise of closing Guantanamo Bay within a year of assuming leadership, now saying that Guantanamo will be closed by the end of his first term.
But we don’t need to go to Guantanamo or secret Afghan prisons to record any crimes against humanity under the Obama Administration. They happen much closer to home. Terror suspects aside, the United States is home to 186 secret detention centers to house non-criminal long-time immigrants and even United States citizens. In many cases, even family members have little idea as to where Immigration and Customs Enforcement keeps their detained loved ones.
Former executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, James Pendergraph, is on record saying that “if you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.” We can certainly call that a widespread and systematic crime against humanity. Now, can we put Immigration and Customs Enforcement on trial in Hague?
In response to the report, the United States did what it has always done: ignore the report, ignore the experts and hope it all goes away. Don’t you love the sweeping changes that Obama has brought to the Presidency?
Photo Credit: Karen Eliot