The last two of the three hikers detained in an Iranian prison on accusations of spying were finally released Wednesday and gave a press conference at le Parker Meridian in Manhattan yesterday. More interesting than their prepared remarks, was the whisper of journalists who eagerly tried for quick interviews during the several hour media frenzy.
The most conspicuous murmur was: ‘what the hell were you doing hiking on the border of two hostile countries with which we are at war?’ Whether they are spies or hikers became moot; the two are not mutually exclusive– maybe they are spies who were hiking? One television journalist said, “Only Americans would think they can cross into someone’s backyard without permission.”
There is no question that imprisonment without due process is wrong, as is cruel and unusual punishment– there wasn’t a journalist there who didn’t seem happy that Shourd, Bauer, and Fattal returned home. However, shouldn’t the U.S. government adhere to its own standards for justice in regards to the inmates detained in Guantanamo who have not received due process, or been read their Miranda rights, or been granted access to legal counsel?