The Sixth Amendment

February 7th, 2011 § 0 comments

Julian Assange’s lawyer has suggested that allowing his extradition from Britain could be the first step on the road to Guantanamo Bay. I don’t know whether this is a realistic claim or not. That rather succinctly sums up the point I wanted to make here: by placing Guantanamo out of the reach of the law, the US government have made it unaccountable – that was precisely the decision that allowed them to run it as they have. What has become particularly apparent now is that accountability does bring some benefits, not least of which is trustworthiness. Even if the US really wouldn’t send Assange off in an orange jumpsuit, the nations considering his extradition have no way to know that; America can no longer be taken seriously in claiming that ‘our laws prevent us from doing that’.

Little comfort to those held without charge or trial, I admit, but perhaps a sign of some consequences, however minor, finally being felt.

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