04/13/2007 02:12 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Duke, Imus, Guantanamo Link

Read the right wing commentary today and it's all about the absurdity of firing Don Imus positioned against the poor Duke lacrosse players who were slandered and had their lives ruined (ruined is probably too strong a word here, but let's say they had a bad time of it) by the media, Al Sharpton, and an overzealous prosecutor.

"How come nobody cares about the wrongly accused lacrosse players?"

But the links between the Imus furor and the Duke rape case are as thin as the thread in Al Sharpton's finely tailored suit. The real comparison is what happened at Duke and what continues to happen in Guantanamo Bay. What was wrong in North Carolina is a prosecutor and a public media (see Nancy Grace) declared several men guilty before they were found guilty in a court of law and the accused suffered. People have been in Guantanamo for years now without being accused of anything, on little or no evidence. People get all excited when rich white people are falsely accused of crimes, but many of these people also support extraordinary rendition, torture, and detaining non-combatants without trials. What happened at Duke sucks. Innocent until proven guilty is part of our constitution for a reason. It should be continually present when thinking about law and justice. It's something we've left behind in the ever accelerating race to be tough on crime and the non-winnable "War On Terror!!!". Now we have an example the privileged class can relate to. Let's look closely at the case of these wrongly accused white people from Duke University and apply the lessons we learn to the law of the land, especially the land that we occupy in Cuba.

Stephen Elliott