Plans are underway to build a death chamber at Camp Delta, the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay. “We’re getting ready so we won’t be starting from scratch,” Major-General Geoffrey Miller explained to the Associated Press. The execution facility is being constructed for those among the 680 “most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the Earth” (as Donald Rumsfeld put it) who will be sentenced to death by secret military tribunals. The administration has defined the men captured in the war against the Taliban as “enemy combatants,” and thereby argued that since they are not “prisoners of war, ” they are not entitled to the legal protections guaranteed by the Geneva Convention.
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.