Justice Collins, in a hearing over torture and detention, made this comment:
America's idea of what is torture is not the same as ours and does not appear to
coincide with that of most civilised nations.
Scott McLellan brushed off criticism of Gitmo with these two sentences: "The detainees are being treated humanely," he said. "Remember these are terrorists."
First, they are not terrorists. They are alleged terrorists. Increasing reports are demonstrating that many of them were just picked up on the denunciation of a neighbour.
But second, what an astonishing qualifier. He should have said, "The detainees are being treated humanely, because that is what America does and because they are human beings too."
But why did he add the "they are terrorists" line? Is it to say, "We're treating them humanely, but, wink wink, we all know they're bad people, so it's okay"?
If he's saying, well, we're under no obligation to treat alleged terrorists humanely, we've come to a pretty dismal place. I had always believed that the "innocent-until-proven-guilty" thing was part of our values and didn't depend on the citizenship of the accused or the crime of which he is accused.