“No one would accept it if a local prosecutor used sleep deprivation and attack dogs to coerce an inmate’s confession. No judge, county or federal, would admit hearsay testimony in a trial. No jailer would be allowed to eavesdrop on confidential communications between a defendant and his lawyer. The reason is simple, and important. No matter how horrendous a crime, the law must be obeyed at every step, from arrest to final verdict. When shortcuts are taken, confidence in the law suffers. Our nation suffers.” So wrote American Bar Association president, William H. Neukom.
What has happened to detainees? Per the Nieman Report, “It’s a stunning bit of reporting … These editors and reporters, of course, are the successors to the Knight-Ridder Washington bureau — the lone mainstream-media organization credited for its skeptical, forthright, consistent questioning and reporting in the run-up to the Iraq war.”
McClatchy summarizes the five-part series: An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad.”
As a former journalist and an American I am proud of the courage and depth of coverage these reporters displayed, and the newspaper that supported their work. In a country with an independent court, a free press, burgeoning social media and the right to vote, we Americans have the right and the responsibility to vote for the return of the Rule of Law.