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Criminal Justice?

Thursday, Feb. 07, 2008 4:50 AM

Today marks the Chinese New Year, 4706 on the lunar calendar, and the start of the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac.

The Year of the Rat is held to be an auspicious and prosperous time for all.

It's a sign of how far we've fallen when CIA Director General Michael Hayden can appear before Congress and openly admit that the CIA waterboarded three terrorist suspects - Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd al-Rashim al-Nashiri - and nothing happens.

It's clearly against the law, but I don't see Attorney General Michael Mukasey rushing to prosecute those responsible, as he said he would do if presented with evidence of a crime.

And the Associated Press is confirming the existence of a secret 'Camp 7' at Guantanamo Bay, where 'key al-Qaeda members' are held to prevent them from retaliating against other detainees who have spoken to interrogators, and to prevent a terrorist attack on the facility.

I have to wonder how much of this is practical and sensible security, and how much is because our existence has become defined by a self-made boogeyman.

Tracy Barker, a former Halliburton/KBR employee who claims she was sexually assaulted while working in Iraq, won't get her day in court.

Instead, her accusations will be heard in 'secret arbitration,' because it's stipulated in her contract.

Leave it to a company associated with Dick Cheney to institute secret courts for criminal proceedings.

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