Rumsfeld Defends U.S. Policy on Guantanamo Prison
“I recognize that in our society the idea of detaining people without lawyers seems unusual, detaining people without trials seems unusual. After all, our country stands for freedom and it stands for the protection of rights,” Rumsfeld said.
But he said the prisoners are not “common criminals.”
“They’re enemy combatants and terrorists who are being detained for acts of war against our country. And that is why different rules have to apply,” he said.
Even prisoners of war are entitled to a trial and have certain rights. And the statement “detaining people without trials seems unusual” is so weak. Detaining people without trials is unconstitutional! Yes, these are not American citizens, but the Bill of Rights is written to help ensure that the American government treats people humanely. There are also international treaties to consider.
I’m not saying that these people should simply be set free. But, they should be given a chance to have a trial and speak with counsel. If some of those people are innocent, the American government has just stolen years of their lives that they can never get back.