Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Bush Hangover: Guantanamo Undercuts Our Protests of North Korea

by Mitchell Bard

I woke up this morning to the chilling news that two American journalists had been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor by a North Korean court for the "crimes" of illegally entering the country and committing "hostile acts." We can only hope that the reclusive, bizarre and barbaric leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il (or those working for him), is putting on a show to get the attention of the rest of the world, and the two Current TV reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, will be allowed to return home soon.

The two journalists have clearly committed no crimes (as such a term would be understood in any rational section of the world), and the international community has to stand against the heinous actions of the North Korean government. Clearly, the United States should be at the head of such international action.

But today, I also read about Lakhdar Boumediene, and the truly disturbing story of what happened to him after the 9/11 attacks. An Algerian man living with his wife and two children in Sarajevo, Bosnia, he was working for the Red Crescent in October 2001 when he was arrested and charged with conspiring to blow up the American and British embassies in the city. An investigation revealed no evidence of his involvement in any plot, so a Bosnian judge ordered him released, but the Bush administration intervened, and in January 2002 he was shackled and flown to Guantanamo Bay.

... read the rest after the click.

My comment: How can we take the moral high-ground? How can we set an example for the rest of the world? How can we condemn North Korea in a way that doesn't sound hollow and hypocritical? Who have we become? How are we different?

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