Good morning. Here’s your paranoid thought of the day.

We have a quasilegal military prison in Guantanamo Bay. The status of the prisoners there is precarious. Military justice applies, and events are recorded and public records made.

We also have a murky gulag of international detention centers, to which various foreign terrorism suspects are flown in unmarked planes. It is not known how many prisoners there have been or what their fates have been. Nothing is publicly recorded.

At least one U.S. citizen has been detained in an irregular manner in a military prison, and his case has been well-reported and debated.

How do we know that U.S. citizens and others are not being simply picked up off the streets and disappeared? Any witnesses could be threatened into silence with the Patriot Act.

And if it isn’t already happening, how will we know? People go missing all the time. It’s a big country. They could try it out with some random people who don’t seem to matter before they went after someone who might be noticed.

13 thoughts on “Good morning. Here’s your paranoid thought of the day.

      1. oooh, i got one
        see also: sending people you don’t really know crazy, indignant e-mails because they don’t comment enough on your posts or whatever

      2. Re: oooh, i got one
        Oh, you’re talking about the complete cold shoulder that you gave me when I commented on your posts. I am so very past that.

      1. The part where, after the Communists collapsed, the Rumanians opened up the files of the former Stalinist secret police to find out what happened to all the people supposedly disappeared, silenced, forced into becoming informers, etc., and they were shocked to discovery that its reputation for competency was vastly exaggerated.

      2. Right, tuttle/buttle
        I thought you meant the part where it turned out one of our gulag bases was in Romania.
        Inefficiency and incompetence go hand in hand with secrecy. Once you’re not accountable you can be oppressive and useless.

  1. There may not be much of a press to report the disappearance of U.S. citizens, but I’m sure we would hear about it. People talk. That’s still a viable means of communication. Even if Carnivore were to gobble up every message on the web, we would still have word-of-mouth.

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