October 30, 2007

Guantánamo follies

First tragedy, then farce. First, to the “Expeditionary Legal Complex” now going up at Guantánamo, from Subtopia:

A Camp Called Justice

Like the sign reads ‘Camp Justice’ is – to its credit – just what it says it is: justice in the form of a camp. There is absolutely no pretense here whatsoever, nor can it be mistaken for anything else either, really, which is partially what makes it so disturbing. Not to mention how obnoxious and arrogant it is in its crude declaration of itself. CAMP JUSTICE. We're here. But, again – to be fair – the name does actually say it all...

They are rather proud of their inflatable complexes – their fly-by-night hovering courtrooms – that can be deployed, assembled, disassembled, re-deployed in a matter of hours... In fact, that is precisely what they want us to see – how justice can be ultimately made elastic and modifiable, how it can be architected to fit any set of legalistic circumstances or interpretation thereof; how it can literally remake the political landscape in its own image...

Next, from the New Yorker (via Willamette Week):

Underwear Diplomacy

Clive Stafford Smith is fond of citing the ironies of the justice system... at Guantánamo Bay... but perhaps the most bizarre of his experiences occurred in August, when... he received a letter from the United States Navy suggesting that he and another attorney had smuggled a pair of Under Armor compression-fit underpants... and a Speedo bathing suit to one of their clients...