Genuine American exceptionalism on due process

Glenn Greenwald on America’s disregard for due process:

If there’s any country which can legitimately claim that Islamic radicalism poses an existential threat to its system of government, it’s Pakistan. Yet what happens when they want to imprison foreign Terrorism suspects? They indict them and charge them with crimes, put them in their real court system, guarantee them access to lawyers, and can punish them only upon a finding of guilt. Pakistan is hardly the Beacon of Western Justice — its intelligence service has a long, clear and brutal record of torturing detainees (and these particular suspects claim they were jointly tortured by Pakistani agents and American FBI agents, which both governments deny). But just as is true for virtually every Western nation other than the U.S., Pakistan charges and tries Terrorism suspects in its real court system.

The U.S. — first under the Bush administration and now, increasingly, under Obama — is more and more alone in its cowardly insistence that special, new tribunals must be invented, or denied entirely, for those whom it wishes to imprison as Terrorists (along those same lines, my favorite story of the last year continues to be that the U.S. compiled a “hit list” of Afghan citizens it suspected of drug smuggling and thus wanted to assassinate [just as we do for our own citizens suspected of Terrorism], only for Afghan officials — whom we’re there to generously teach about Democracy — to object on the grounds that the policy would violate their conceptions of due process and the rule of law). Most remarkably, none of this will even slightly deter our self-loving political and media elites from continuing to demand that the Obama administration act as self-anointed International Arbiter of Justice and lecture the rest of the world about their violations of human rights.

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