Sharon Kelly, Harvard Law graduate and crusader against torture, also happens to be a friend of Pax Arcana (via the well-connected and sparkly Mrs. Pax Arcana).
Sharon recently posted on the Huffington Post — which is like Pax Arcana only less about zombies and Vikings and more about politics and how stupid every other political blog is — an article about her recent visit to the U.S. military installation at Guantanamo Bay.
In her post, she argues that the perception of Guantanamo as a location somehow detached from the U.S., despite its proximity to Florida, have obscured the important legal questions raised there. Despite the government’s best efforts, Guantanamo is like reverse Vegas: What happens in Guantanamo never stays in Guantanamo:
From what I’ve seen, the Military Commissions with their separate rules aimed at walling off access to the larger American justice system are off to a bad start. Injustice in Military Commissions proceedings will no more be a problem of Guantanamo than torture remained a problem of Guantanamo rather than a problem for the United States as a whole. It is the defense, not the government, which is appealing to larger, universal principles in these proceedings: A military defense attorney examines the basic premises of our adversarial justice system, a detainee asks to exercise his right to pick his own lawyer. If these demands are not met, it is difficult to see how trials in-absentia will meet the needs of the United States for a transparent, fair and fair-seeming mechanism to reestablish our moral authority.
Now that you’re totally bummed out by all this talk of torture, I’ll throw you a Sharon Kelly fun fact: Not only is she leading the fight against torture, she was also in the room for this:
You go, Sharon.
On the Ground at Guantanamo Bay [Huffington Post]