Libertarian Opinion

Colin Powell: The Federal Prison System is Just as Rigged as Gitmo But Without the Stigma

I remember the media circus around Colin Powell possibly running for president and what party he would choose. The media built him up as the non-partisan military man of honor who was going to save us. What a joke. He disgraced himself with his lying Iraq war sales pitch but now he’s back actually speaking some truth.

If it was up to me I would close Guantanamo, not tomorrow, but this afternoon. Close it. And I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern is well, then they’ll have access to lawyers. Then they’ll have access to writs of habeas corpus. So what. Let them. Isn’t that what our system is all about. And by the way America, unfortunately, has two million people in jail, all of whom had lawyers and access to writs of habeas corpus.

In other words, the federal prison system is just as rigged as any military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, so moving the detainees there will end in convictions just as surely. Notice how he starts off sounding like the great civil libertarian and ends up awkwardly admitting how screwed up the federal injustice system is without any more criticism than a muffled ‘unfortunately’. I wonder if he has watched the PBS documentary “Torturing Democracy”? I wonder if he knows what it feels like to go through the federal incarceration system for a victimless crime or on trumped up charges.

By George Donnelly

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4 replies on “Colin Powell: The Federal Prison System is Just as Rigged as Gitmo But Without the Stigma”

That’s actually mildly encouraging, when he says “unfortunately”. That indicates “People like Colin Powell know that there’s a big problem with the US legal system.”

Colin Powell is less of a tool than other state insiders. That’s what made it so embarrassing when he lied “Saddam has WMDs!” A misinformed intelligent person is sometimes the most effective liar!

I think that’s further evidence of a downward spiral on his part. He seems to be progressing from more principled and compassionate to less so. The “unfortunately” was very muffled.

Wait, what? How did you get “the Federal Prison System is Just as Rigged as Gitmo But Without the Stigma” from what he said? He didn’t say there were two million innocent people in jail. I would take his ‘unfortunately’ to simply mean ‘it’s a shame these people are criminals’.

Powell said that millions of people are in the federal prison system even though they had lawyers. Fill in some backstory about how so many of those are accused of non-violent or victimless “crimes”, how the US has the highest percentage of imprisoned population in the world, about the many cases of innocent people being convicted of crimes they didn’t commit and personal experience in that system. That’s how I get from there to there.

Have you watched the PBS documentary “Torturing Democracy”? The 1988 documentary “The Thin Blue Line” is also good.

What may be most offensive about this is to hear a powerful black man in America boast that so many peaceful and/or innocent people have already been imprisoned with the best protections of the injustice system, that the government can trust this same system to imprison the scapegoats of Gitmo, many of whom were picked up overseas without probable cause and then imprisoned and tortured for years, before even any formal accusations were filed against them.

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