Plea Bargaining as Blackmail, and the Quest for Exhoneration under Imperialism

News is emerging that two Britons, Poet Talha Ahsan and IT engineer Babar Ahmad, who were extradited to the US last year after years of detention in the UK without trial, have taken the only option available to them - the plea bargain.

Some of the current coverage gives less context than others, for example the recent Telegraph piece omits the plea bargain issue which I believe is fundamentally miscarrying justice here. The BBC's Dominic Casciani has been following the case has penned an article at least includes this.

Thankfully we do not need to rely on the corporate media to know more as both men's families have run family campaigns ( Talha | Babar). Dr Ian Patel of KCL's International State Crime Initiative wrote a good article about Talha's particular predicament in the New Statesman earlier this year, while Turab Shah's extradition film (27 mins), which was made prior to the extradition, provides a good grounding on them both. Not to mention Clare Cameron's 3 minute short on Talha's family called 'Dinner Time'.

Plea bargaining is a legal form of judicial blackmail. However, the term 'bargain' is a misnomer as this scenario pits an arrogant part of a superpower against a young Muslim male away from home in War on Terror Times. Through a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to something in exchange for the prosecution's leniency. It is torture at an epistemological level and poet Talha has Aspergers syndrome to boot.

Recent extraditees, David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Christopher Tappin entered plea bargains in order to get on with their lives. As a result they were repatriated, but not exonerated. In the video below David Bermingham talks about his experiences of extradition and plea bargaining to an audience in the UK Houses of Parliament.

I remember him saying how only an insane man would not take a plea. 

Then I think of these two men who have spent pretty much all of their days over the past year in solitary confinement in Supermax prison conditions widely recognised as torturous. 

Supermax is terrible and Florence ADX even has a documentary about it.


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