(That's Evil in Broadcasting, by the way.) For a few months now I have taken to the extremely unhealthy* habit of eating my lunch in my car, listening to Rush Limbaugh. I do find him entertaining, but it's also "work," because I give a bunch of interviews myself to the vast right-wing conspiracy and so I need to stay on the cutting edge of societal evolution.

Anyway, the other day Rush was talking about plans to close Gitmo, and how incredibly stupid it would be. And I kid you not, his entire argument was, "OK we bring these people to the States and give them trials with lawyers and the whole nine yards. What is the prosecution gonna do, call in the CIA and ask them, 'Can you please explain why you arrested these people?' Can you possibly imagine the CIA coming in and testifying? So these people are going to be acquitted, and then what are we supposed to do with them? Turn them loose? You can't ship them back to their countries, they don't want a bunch of murderous thugs either."

I kept waiting for Rush to at least give a nod to the issue of whether these people were actually guilty. And I don't think he ever even discussed that aspect of it. He took it for granted that (a) if the CIA/military grabs people and throws them into Guantanamo Bay, they must be bad guys and (b) we can't trust our normal legal system to keep obvious killers behind bars.

Now for point (b), in fairness to Rush, he touched on the issue about the CIA not being willing to divulge the reasons for these guys' guilt. But even here, I am filling in the blanks for Rush; he was talking about the CIA just to illustrate the (ostensible) absurdity of the notion of a trial in the first place; I don't think he was bringing it up to show why our system of justice--which has a chance of finding killers guilty and acquitting the innocent when it comes to US citizens with Constitutional rights--wouldn't work when it comes to accused terrorists with funny names.

It never ceases to amaze me how people who are very suspicious of government in certain respects, can be so confident that US officials would never detain an innocent person.

Also, isn't it odd that the same conservative pundits who think our legal system is a joke, are also the ones who want to spread "our way of life" to the rest of the world via bombs? If our culture is so screwed up that our "justice" system can't even be trusted to correctly identify trained killers who want to maim American civilians, then what the heck are we so proud about?

* I think the correct term is unhealthful habit; i.e. it's not like my habit will die young because it is so unhealthy. But I can't bring myself to use the term unhealthful. It is snootiness up with which I will not put.


  1. what the heck are we so proud about?

    Good question!

    And why is it that we are so stubborn and find it so hard to admit mistakes?

    And why do we get so much satisfaction from the mistakes of others?

    Human nature, closely tied to our tribal predilections are a start.

  2. Anonymous12:17 AM

    Gitmo really is a tragic situation. Other governments won't take them, and the gov sure isn't going to let them go here (in a country they have substantial reasons to hate with all of their being). The feds have really put themselves in a bind and it wouldn't surprise me if the detainees eventually disappear (or rather, are "released in an undisclosed country".

  3. Anonymous10:52 PM

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