March 20, 2004

Guantanamo v Incommunicado

Iberian Notes, inside a longer post on the latest from Spain opines:

Here's the latest from Spain. The five people, three Moroccans and two citizens of India, who were arrested on Saturday have been placed in preventive and "incomunicado" custody in Madrid by Judge Juan del Olmo of the Audiencia Nacional. Under Spanish law, they can now be held for two years without an indictment, which can be extended to two more years. Spain doesn't need a Guantanamo; they can lock these guys up for four years without even having to indict them, much less try them.

This is a difference of approach that, merits close observation and investigation. What is the difference between preventative, 'incommunicado' detention by civilian authorities and military detention? What makes one better than the other? Is part of the EU's concern over Guantanamo because they fundamentally never understood that we don't have such tools as preventative and 'incommunicado' detention? That in the normal course of events we can't just toss somebody in a black hole for four years?

But if they didn't understand such things, why didn't they? Who should have been telling them? Journalists should, of course, but the State Department has a role in that too. Did they do their job on the subject? The foreign ministries of the various EU states also had an obligation. Citizens of EU countries should be asking how did their own authorities do on that?

Posted by TMLutas at March 20, 2004 11:48 AM