By Matthew Rothschild on February 18, 2013

The Kangaroo Court down in Guantanamo that is supposed to be putting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial is really getting bouncy.

Turns out that the U.S. government had planted listening devices in the smoke detectors in Mohammed's cell and in the cells of four other defendants.

That makes a mockery of the ability of the defendants to consult confidentially with their clients and get anything resembling a fair trial.

And there's mystery behind the mockery, since the commander of the Guantanamo prison testified that he didn't even know that this secret taping was going on.

On top of that, the courtroom microphones are very hot, so that when defense counsels are talking to their clients, the prosecutors may be able to pick up those conversations, too, as the Guardian has reported.

And the Guardian also says that during cell searches, guards are grabbing defendants' legal documents.

This has all the hallmarks of a star chamber proceeding, including the bizarre cutting off of the audio feed last month when defense counsel raised the issue of torture.

All of a sudden, by remote control from some U.S. intelligence agency, the feed was interrupted.

If this was happening at some trial in Putin's Russia, we'd be aghast.

But when it's happening down in Guantanamo, by our own government, no one seems to care.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Mixed Messages in Obama's State of the Union."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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