Tuesday 17 October 2017

Liz O'Donnell: Giving up some freedom is price we pay to tackle worst of crimes

Veronica Guerin: the journalist was murdered in a contract killing
Veronica Guerin: the journalist was murdered in a contract killing
Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

THE opening pre-trials of those suspected of plotting the 9/11 attacks is a cause of discomfort for many people.

The scale of the terrorist threat post-9/11 and the demand for retribution emboldened the Bush administration at the time to virtually abandon human rights norms and procedures. But these days, Guantanamo has come to represent a huge stain on the reputation of the United States in the eyes of friend and foe.

Barack Obama pledged to close down the detention camp but has been effectively thwarted from doing so by forces who do not share his values in this regard. Some prosecutions are not possible by virtue of the now inadmissible evidence used to ground them, such as the use of torture, including waterboarding, which has since been outlawed. Many of those detained languish in a legal limbo; some so desperate they are on hunger strike and are being force fed.

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