Joan Walsh writes:
You might remember Bagram from Alex Gibney's devastating "Taxi to the Dark Side," which detailed the December 2002 torture and death -- I would say murder -- of a 22-year-old cab driver named Dilawar by U.S. soldiers there. Or maybe you remember Tim Golden's riveting New York Times story in 2005, detailing the death of Dilawar and another detainee at Bagram.
After the Supreme Court ruled that Guantánamo detainees had the right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts, four Bagram prisoners tried to challenge their detention in U.S. District Court in Washington. The prisoners say the American military had detained and interrogated them without any charges and without letting them contact attorneys. According to AP, the suit was filed by relatives on their behalf; that was their only access to the legal system. The Bush administration defended against the suit by claiming all Bagram detainees have been deemed "enemy combatants" who had no right to U.S. courts. Today lawyers for the Obama administration decided to embrace the Bush defense.
I'm not sure what the legal or moral distinction between Guantanamo and Bagram might be, but the history of both hellholes is so bad that they not only shouldn't they try to legally justify holding people there, they should destroy them completely.
I guess if you're unlucky enough to live in a country the United States has invaded, you just have to take your chances and hope you don't accidentally get caught up in the Kafkaesque prison nightmare we seem to favor. There's no way out unless someone decides, out of the goodness of their hearts or perhaps on a whim, to let you go.