Floating Gitmos

The Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force have all had their share of major scandals in recent decades but the least known branch of the military, the Coast Guard, has been comparatively unscathed. Apparently the branch was jealous of its siblings because it decided to operate its own floating Guantanamo Bays:

Now, it turns out, there’s a secret US detention system in the War on Drugs, too — and this one is aboard US Coast Guard cutters sailing in the Pacific Ocean.

In an effort to staunch the flow of cocaine and other hard drugs from South America to Central America and points north, Coast Guard cutters have been deployed farther and farther from the shore in the Pacific Ocean. When these cutters capture a boat carrying drugs, the smugglers are brought onto the ships and kept shackled to the deck, sometimes outside in the elements, until the Coast Guard makes arrangements for them to be transported back to the US for trial.

Can you imagine the outrage that would occur if a foreign military captured an American citizen, held them without trail for an arbitrary length of time in inhumane conditions, and then shipped them off to their own country for a show trial? It wouldn’t go over well. But the United States can get away with doing so because it currently has enough military power that small Central and South American countries can’t do jack shit about it. And if one of those countries did try to free one of its kidnapped citizens, they would likely be declared pirates and quickly find their navy sitting at the bottom of their harbor.

One of the defining features of the United States has become its hypocrisy. It seems that the national motto has become, “Do as I say, not as I do.” While American politicians will flip their shit on C-SPAN when other countries build secret prisons and treat prisoners inhumanely, the country they’re supposed to be in charge of is doing the exact same thing.