Saturday, June 04, 2005

Verdict :Guilty by reason of zealotry,

Guilty until proven innocent
Perhaps one the most dangerous, and most damaging, features of the war on terror is the hollowing out of one of the core tenets of our judicial system--the presumption of innocence. Witness the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo, Bagram, and elsewhere who have been denied legal rights on the grounds that, well, they're not entitled to any. This argument is of course premised on a presumption of guilt.

This attitude is not exclusive property of the Pentagon, most of the institutions in our society have a kind of defensive mechanism that goes off whenever things aren't going quite right and questions start to be asked. Its a larger issue about how humanity goes about dealing with crisis.