Friday, April 1, 2022

#91 / That's Our Secret


Pictured is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, often called  Abu Zubaydah, who was brutally tortured by the United States government. A report published on the Vox website, published on March 3, 2022, is titled: "The Supreme Court hands the CIA a victory in a horrid case about torture."  
Here's is a brief excerpt from the Vox article: 

There’s no reasonable doubt that Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, a Palestinian man who is often referred to as “Abu Zubaydah,” was held by the Central Intelligence Agency at a black site in Poland. Nor is there reasonable doubt that he was tortured at this black site.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court held on Thursday, in United States v. Husayn a.k.a. Zubaydah, that these widely reported facts are “state secrets,” and that the US government may refuse to confirm or deny them.

The upshot of the Zubaydah decision is that the Court prioritized somewhat vague concerns about national security — that foreign governments might lose faith in the United States if the US government reveals “secret” programs that aren’t really secret — over getting to the bottom of a gross human rights violation.
Here is what I think about this disturbing news report. I think that insofar as the United States of America professes to be, or wants to be, a "democracy," the "government," the "state," must be responsible to the people. 

And.... the people can't be in charge of the government if the people don't know what the government is doing, or has done. 

In other words, "state secrets" are OUR secrets. 

If our courts think that the United States government can carry out a brutal regime of torture, and then say that what the government has done is a "secret," we're in real trouble. We're in a real "it tolls for thee" scenario. 

If our government doesn't have to answer to the people of the United States for what it is doing, and for what it has done, then when the bell tolls for some tortured victim of the United States government, as that victim's body is brutalized or buried (and even if that victim is a really "bad guy"), we need to understand that the bell is tolling for all of us. 

State secrets? Those are OUR secrets, and we need to know. 

A shameful performance by the United States Supreme Court!
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