Do you think it is a wise move for Obama to close down Guantan?
I don't know much about GB but I do know that is where they put all the terrorist they catch, so I was just wondering what they plan to do with them?
Where are they gonna go?
I didn't know much Guantanamo Bay but I sure did learn alot about it and what they do to suspected terrorists there in the movie Road to Guantanamo - a powerful semi-documentary.
PS just thought i'd recommend it
I say we put 'em to work building cars ... oh, wait, there's no demand for cars any more ... OK, make 'em build houses ... oh, oh, that won't work ... all the banks are in a mess .. well .. we could make 'em ... nah...
Seriously, though, no clue!
Yes - I think it is a wise move.
He said he would close it, so if he goes back on that he will lose credibility.
They are "suspected" terrorists. Labeled that by the government. They have not had a legal trial, and have been held for some time with no trial.
No one else wants them though. They are not welcome at home, and there has been ongoing debate and discussion as to which country would accept them.
Goodness' knows why they weren't just shot resisting arrest in Iraq. Wouldn't even have this issue then.
But then you are so tough on killings through religious wars. How is that different?
I am against all wars and all killings whether they are for your government or your god. I was merely making an observation in the form of a question, not suggesting I supported it.
I am surprised that no one took the obvious easy way of dealing with this that's all. I am not saying I support the US government killing any one they designate as a terrorist out of hand.
You get out of the wrong side of bed this morning?
Not at all. Even had a catnap this evening.
I'm trying to get a handle on why I read one comment from you at one time and seemingly the opposite another time.
Well, first of all you need to look at how many jokes I make.
And not make assumptions that because I am a realist that I suggest that this is what I support and favor doing.
Whoever decided to bring these "terrorists" back and stick them in Gitmo and torture them did not show a lot of foresight.
If I was in charge they would have been shot resisting arrest. But - if I was in charge - we would never have invaded Iraq in the first place.
Call me a Renaissance man.
How about this ... just open the doors and give them to Cuba, it's short, sweet and it's not like Cuba likes us ... and, as a realist, if the Cubans shoot them, well, it's not the fault of the US, right?
Dang, if only old King George would have just let us drink or tea in peace, we wouldn't even be in this mess, We'd be a bunch of british colonies and it wouldn't even be our problem ... but NOOO... he had to get all kingly and actually expect loyalty from his subjects.
He didn't want loyalty. He wanted taxes.
I think you mis-spelt that. It should have been "royalty".
How about Texas? I think there's a ranch in Crawford that's about to go on the market.
I am astonished to hear see how everyone, even non-Americans, presume to know the who, what and when's about Guatanamo as if they were prisoner's themselves...please name specific people who have been "tortured", the means of their torturing, the date of the torturing, and what due process CONSTITUTIONALLY (and not in your humble opinion) these individuals are entitled to. Nothing makes me more disgusted than to hear complacent individuals who know NOTHING about NOTHING with regard to Gitmo or what due process these radical bandits are entitled to as a matter of AMERICAN Law. Continue reading your silly opt-eds...
In my view, if a couple of bandits were roughed up and held a few years with the result that JUST ONE real terroist was stopped from committing another 9/11 (which I personally witnessed), I would be satisfied that Gitmo served its purpose. These radicals have no right to due process and if the United State is generous enough to give them any due process, the nations of Europe, least of all the Middle East, have ZERO right to dictate how much.
I propose we release the contents of Gitmo into France and Germany.
I used to think that the terrorists in Northern Ireland should be killed. I used to believe that they had chosen to give up their rights as human beings when they decided to use violence against others as a political statement.
But I was wrong. If I decide that one life is worth less than another, I am missing the whole point. If I decide that one life deserves less respect than another, I am not fit to counsel others, judge, practice law, or govern.
Constitutional or legal arguments are but one part of the equation.
"Gitmo served its purpose." Gitmo served Al Qaeda's purposes more than those of the U.S. by increasing its ability to incite hatred against the U.S. and recruit terrorists for it's jihad. Ditto for our reckless, needless, costly invasion of Iraq.
OK, mr Renneisance man!
How will you denote that your post is (merely) a joke, and not a personal conviction, so we/I do not (falsly) accuse you, in the future?
It wasn't solely a joke dj.
It was an observation in the form of a question.
It's a joke, like my dad says, "kill em all and let God sort them out." My dad doesn't actually support killing people, my dad is worse, he would rather let them rot in jail for the rest of theri pathetic lives.
If I were in charge I would designate "terrorist island" leave them there to fend for themselves and let them all kill each other cause you know that is what they would end up doing until there was only one guy left who would them feel so remorsefull for having nothing at all he would probably then kill himself. Viola, problem taken care of. ;p
Guantanamo is a stain on American values & history. Shut it down, absolutely. We tortured prisoners there, held them without trial or representation. Bring them back to the US.....try them in US courts and if we can't prove anything against them, let them go. If they have no where to go, give them forty acres, a mule and a profound apology. THEN return guantanamo to the Cubans....why should we maintain a military base on Cuban soil? THEN we should repair our relations with Cuba, allow for commerce and normal relations.
Amen, brother! Closing our base at Guantanamo and cancelling our lease there is long overdue. It's been a thorn in the side of our relations with Cuba for years. I don't know why a base there is important. We could bring the ships, etc. to a U.S. East Coast port and turn the keys over to Cuba at the same time we move the prisoners to U.S. military or civilian prisons for trials.
The reason the Bush Admin liked Guantanamo is that it is military land, where they believed it was not answerable to U.S. law. I agree - it should be closed ASAP, and not only to smooth relations with Cuba (which has also not accepted a single lease payment from the U.S. during Castro's reign).
Shut down Gitmo for sure but do shut it down in a proper way. Of course, a lot of violations have taken place and it certainly has dented American image overseas. However, fact is a lot of the guys under detention there are hardcore terrorists. It offers a unique problem because it isn't easy to get "evidence" against these guys. Also, what do you do if you know they were planning something against you, but didn't carry it out (so they are a threat to you but you don't have and can't build any evidence against them). They've been picked up from Afghanistan and Pakistan in most cases and so to build up a case against them is hard. However, it is entirely possible that these same guys might (in the future) commit terroristic acts against the US - would anyone want that?? So, the need for extreme care. Certainly, just don't free all of them. I would think it would be a great solution if one of the friendly countries takes some of these prisoners, seems unlikely though.
The fact is that the law of the land requires evidence. You speak of "facts," yet say there is no evidence.
If any of them were not anti-American "terrorists" I am pretty sure they will be now.
I think it is sorta creepy. Like a horror flick where the good guy is downright evil or something (not suggesting anything) but it is like a Nicholas Cage, Sean Connary flick.
Just watch in two months there will be a movied called "Freed from Guantanamo Bay". lol
No doubt some of them are terrorists and hate America, and given the opportunity would strike. But now we have their names, photos, fingerprints, dna, retinal scans etc. We should be able to keep tabs on them, particularly if every other free government in the world is watching them as well. It should be difficult for them to travel. Many of them, however, were just rounded up in Afghanistan, some because accusers were paid a bounty for accusing them. We are not talking about a lot of people. There have been terrorists since the beginning of time and there will be terrorists into the forseeable future. We need to learn how to track, spot and prevent terrorism and dry of the swamp in which they breed...namely the swamp of poverty and disappointed expectations.
Having photos, fingerprints, etc does not mean that you can keep tabs on them - especially if they have sought refuge in a country like Syria or Iran or any other country that sympathizes with terrorists. It might be difficult for them to travel for sure, but many of these guys are not foot soldiers - they are the masterminds who think of things like 9/11. Guys like Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. They are the ones who are more dangerous than the mere foot soldier, who is just carrying out orders.
The fallacy of poverty being responsible for terrorism continues to be believed in. So strange that - look at the cases of terrorist acts. Have the poor commited them? All these folks were well educated and came from well-to-do families. Obama himself was a rich man. The folks who carried out 9/11 and the London bombings were educated young men who came from families that were not poor or starving.
You make two good points that many of the islamist/terrorists come from educated classes and Bin Laden himself from wealth. But I would still maintain that conditions of poverty and ignorance are the fundamental preconditions that enable such leaders to shape a movement. Holding people in indefinite detention without trial is a violation of human rights and the essence of our democracy. If we stoop to torture and injustice, we are little better than terrorists ourselves.
But it is still people being held for years without trial because of what they might have done or might do. If they are such a threat why have they not held the trials and convicted these people in 8 years?
I don't believe plans exist to close Gitmo...but to close the jail there and make a decision about what to do with the P.O.W.s...cus thats what they officially are.
Yep POWs. But the Bush administration didn't class them as POWs because they would have had to been treated along the lines of the Geneva Convention, no torture, water boarding, etc. It will be interesting to see how Obama investigates this. He said that nobody is above the law.
Barranca, I agree that Gitmo needs to be closed down. We might never know if holding those detainees made America safer or not. But, we'd find out when they are released and are out there on Arab streets.
That won't be proof that they were terrorists when they went to Gitmo Shil. If they do something when they come out it may be because they were there. I don't think it made America safer. Like the US support for Israel, just another cause for making enemies.
Shil, I don't think there is much doubt that our policies have radicalized and created more terrorists than if we had dealt with them swiftly and justly. Furthermore, modern societies are vulnerable to individuals and small groups with fairly simple, accessible weapons. The only way we will protect ourselves is with vigilance, cooperation with allies, strong values, a better way of life, and being ready to use force judiciously. If we let most of these bad guys go, they would melt back into countries like Syria, Yemen and Pakistan. And perhaps we would have to catch them again, and perhaps they will do damage before we do. If that is the price we must pay for justice, then so be it.
Agree with you barranca. But, on a general note, do you think terrorists need to be provided the same legal rights as any other US citizen?
How do you know they are terrorists?
A lot aren't. Or weren't, before they were tortured and locked up for years, of course.
The previous administration's thugs spent a huge portion of America's honor torchering those guys...I say take 'em back where they found them and set 'em free, since most of them are obviously just poor people that got captured while fighting for their convictions. Permit the thugs responsible for the torcher to experience the horror of "waterboarding" just to test the process, since its only enhanced interrigation, and let them decide if its torcher.
yes...and a 20-something law student knows everything...
I don't presume to know everything unlike our interlocutors above. That was my point.
And it's early 20's to be precise.
He's entitled to his opinion and his being 20-something or not really does not matter.
True...but I thought I knew it all when I was in my twenties also.
Does that mean that he would think the same when he is your age? Can you be sure of that? I am sure you don't think your life is a template that would be duplicated. Doesn't make it right for you to be judgmental about him. He shows a lot of maturity beyond his age. Its good that he has strong opinions - you don't have to agree with them, but at the same time, you shouldn't mock them.
Alas, it is the practice of people in this forum to mock when they do not have an adequate response to their interlocutor. You are very kind for coming to my defense and if that picture is you, you're quite pretty...no doubt 20 something.
Thanks for tip. I will have to learn more about this Miss Theron!
Hahahahaha Mark! Um, don't always approve of some comments, etc., but this was tooooooo funny. I actually think Mr. Nick is going through a right-before-30, pre-midlife crisis. Sigh. It happens to the best of us. Then you get over the hump and go on.... lol.
Nick--Didn't you say you had a girl friend from Venice? And isn't she a pretty blond?
Uninvited-- I actually, honestly, have leaned left and thought the same way as I do now--even as a teen or when in my early 20's. And I think as I've gotten older, I'm more apt to believe 'I know 'more,' if not everything.'' I think it is about temperment, not a function of maturity or age.
OK! Had to catch up on the fun since I'm home from work...
My politics haven't changed much since I was in my 20s either. However, I'm not as polarized about everything anymore. I'm more open to other points of view. Most people I have talked to have told me they were so secure and positive and "know it all" in their 20s, but by the time they reached 40 they weren't as sure.
I'm just saying that most people think that when they are in their twenties that they have everything all figured out, before they have really lived. And this particular 20-something makes a habit of creating posting after posting after posting that basically state what he sees are the facts and that anyone who disagrees with him is either stupid or ignorant.
It's not so much a question of maturity, more the assumption of legal expert status, from someone with limited academic and no practical experience of the law.
Besides, other countries have prevented terror attacks by using the law and giving people fair trials and not holding them for years without trial.
Other countries have prevented terror attacks thanks to the United States...and if I remember correctly UK and Spain among others have had incidents since 9/11 and these are just a few I happen to remember off the top of my head.
America is the number one target. Other countries have passed laws that human right activists have called "draconian." Why did they choose to pass special laws - if the existing laws were adequate to fight terrorists.
It just seems to me to be ridiculous that terrorists should be offered the same legal rights as normal citizens. You have a case like OJ Simpson, where everyone believed he had commited the murder, yet he used the law to his own benefit.
You want to give terrorists the same rights - so that they use the laws to their own benefit as well. Do terrorists show any respect for human lives, human rights? One could show themselves to be honorable guests to appeal to the world, but is it worth the risk to civilian lives. Perhaps, the reason for this idealism is because there have been no attacks since 9/11.
Sounds like you are assuming that they are guilty without trial.
Despite differences of opinion about internment, there is no excuse for torture. Apart from being an abuse, it never gives reliable evidence - people will say anything to make it stop.
Firstly, you need to recognize that "torture" means different things to different people. An ACLU liberal calls one thing torture; a sergeant calls something very different torture; therefore, torture needs to be defined. Secondly, enemy combatants do NOT have the same rights to due process as law abiding citzens of the United States, both constitutionally and according to general principles of equity.
You are the legal expert - What is an enemy combatant?
I define enemy combatant in this context as a "non-American citizen accused of participating in or assisting in terrorism." The Supreme Court during WWII in Ex Parte Quirin used this definition against eight Nazi sabateurs discovered carrying explosives in Long Island, NY. This is applicable the precedent used today for "unlawful combatants" which include those accused of terrorism and sabotage.
The Nazi's used the same justification for torturing thousands of Greek partisans during WWII. Is that precedent?
What branch of Law do 'Enemy Combatants' fall under?
How do you know that they have participated in terrorism before they have had a trial?
We don't know with mathematical certainity even after a trial, but if, in the totality of the circumstances a non-American citizen appears to be participating in or assisting in terrorism that is sufficient cause for them to be detained as they have been in Gitmo.
Feel free to be offended - I care not.
Torture is torture, and using psychological techniques is extremely dangerous. That is not a liberal view, but a scientific view - try researching the Stanford Prison Experiment or the Milgram Experiment, before bandying about the view that it is an 'ACLU liberal' definition. Torture gives unreliable evidence - if I waterboarded you, or deprived you of sleep for a period of days, I could quite easily make you sign a confession that you were Osama Bin Laden. The hypothetical sargeant you quoted is unlikely to have much knowledge of ethics, so I would be reluctant to listen to their opinion. She/He is a soldier, and I respect that, but I would not ask them to define torture any more than I would employ them to represent me in court.
If the prisoners are under military law, then they are under the protection of the Geneva Convention. Even your own Supreme Court believes this. Therefore, any official ordering or condoning this treatment stands accused of war crimes - maybe the comparison with the Nazi's is not so far away from the mark. 'Just obeying orders' is not an acceptable excuse for committing war-crimes - Nuremburg was the precedent for that.
Let me see if I have this correct - You are condoning that it is justified to lock up innocent people for a period of years. Is that American 'Freedom and Justice'? I used to have immense respect for the American sense of justice, but Guantanamo has destroyed that.
Fair point - I detest torture, and believe that it is a disgrace, so I stand by what I said about the
subject. However, splitting the two different aspects may be beneficial to the direction of this thread.
That is an unfair insinuation. I like Americans, the Bush Administration excepted, and do not wish any harm upon them - we were all disgusted by the terrorist attacks on 9/11. I have no doubt that the vast majority of US service people are decent and honest, so will not argue otherwise. Abu Ghraib was a disgrace, but it would be incorrect and disrespectful to extrapolate one incident to encompass the entire rank and file of the US forces.
The decision to allow torture, however, came from above - I stand by my statement that the upper echelons should know better, and should be charged under the Convention. UK troops were also implicated in atrocious behaviour, so I am not taking an anti-American stance. The US has now lost the moral high ground to judge any other nation for alleged human rights abuses.
You mean that your Supreme court is wrong? Are the prisoners under civil jurisdiction or military jurisdiction?
I think that you will find that I made no such assumption - merely comparing crime with crime.
I still believe in the principle of innocent until proven guilty, Nick. How long does the US need to build a case against these people. One year, five years? Justice moves slowly, but that is a long time to deprive a potentially innocent man of his freedom.
All humans are equal, but some humans are more equal than others.
It is a matter of public shame that the US has flouted the basic intention of the Geneva Convention in this manner. The definition of "unlawful combatant" leads to the deprivation of human rights, and can certainly include internment and torture as a "legal" manner of treatment. That does not make it right. Furthermore, you will notice that none of the prisoner camps are on US soil, indicating that what is "legal" in other places would not technically be legal were it to happen in the US itself.
Human rights are a human construct and therefore subject to interpretation and revision. Reasonable people can differ on what is entailed by the concept "human rights."
Good grief, man, reasonable people everywhere have already considered the issue. Human rights are not open for revision or interpretation -- why else do thinking people condemn genocide, racism, bigotry, dictatorships, terrorism, and torture? If you consider that the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is "open to revision" as you see fit, then you are using the same logic as the dictator who believes he is protecting his people by censoring free speech; the same logic that proposed an Ayrian uber-race was superior; the same logic that took away the rights of Africans and sold those humans into slavery; the same logic that donned KKK garb and believed that their mission was justified; the same logic that deprived women of the vote -- before we learned to take human equality as a real and inviolable right for every single human being on the planet. It isn't open to interpretation. It isn't opinion that can be molded or changed to suit circumstance.
The very existence of the declaration is an accident of history--a mere contingency that could have been otherwise, and meaningful only to the extent that the United States supports the UN. Suppose in an alternate dimension the Anti-United Nations made a declaration with the exact opposite set of propositions listed in the current Declaration. Would the declaration be legitimate? what about as a matter of practice? Where do human rights come from except from the agreement of human beings? It's mere opinion or "doxa" to use a apt term from Plato and always subject to revision.
Well. We could suppose an alternate dimension where an Anti-United Nations existed. In that alternate dimension you would be correct.
In that dimension and this dimension as well unless you have some Higher source for human rights. The United Nation is not the formulator of Universal Truths last time I checked.
As you well know, there are no universal truths governing human concensus. You are indeed free to be as uncouth, uncivilized, unscrupulous, and unrepentant as you like. However, that does not change the fact that the weight of rational human opinion is against you, as outlined in such un-binding documents as the Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention, which sought to ensure that the actions you advocate for Guantanamo never happen again. Addenda to such documents (whether concerning "unlawful combatants" or not) dilute the principle aims of these documents to keep people like you from having a voice in the fates of other human lives. Of course the law is at liberty to be rewritten to suit any occasion. That does not change the likelihood of future generations looking back on this episode of American history with shame.
Go Teresa! There is absolutely a reason people choose to major in, practice and teach the 'humanities.' Believe part of it is high existential intelligence. Those who 'can't', go on to practice some other voodoo, such as research only medicine or constitutionally based law. (That was satire.)
Good stuff Teresa. You should pay attention Nick. You might just learn something from your elders.
For what it's worth, multiple totally non-hypothetical interrogation officers have denounced the US's use of torture in Guantanamo and Iraq as both inconsistent with US law and ideals and counter-productive from an intelligence and security perspective. Here's an editorial by the leader of a "interrogations team assigned to a Special Operations task force in Iraq in 2006" and an article that uses mainly unnamed FBI and CIA sources, as well as another editorial that quotes Vietnam and Desert Storm era colonels involved in intelligence.
Torture is absolutely unacceptable from a moral perspective, and nearly useless from a practical one, even if we have certain knowledge or strong suspicion of an individual's involvement in terrorist activity. In the case of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, there's very good reason to think 80% or more of the prisoners involved were completely innocent.
Are statements more true if you type them in boldface? How does that work when arguing a point in a courtroom?
The use of torture in Guantanamo has been indisputably documented in Phillip Sands' book "Torture Team". Detainee 063. The actual log of his "interrogation" is in the book. Recently an American prosecutor refused to prosecute this prisoner precisely because he was tortured and the case against him was therefore hopelessly botched.
It is part of a right-wing, christian, fascist, terrorist conspiracy to destroy the United States of America.
Combined with a determined attack on the American public's financial situation by the right-wing, christian, fascist, terrorist banks.
Almost over - when the middle east and China own all the dollars, we shall see how sharia law combined with communist banking brings back "traditional family values" to america.
How do you think Mr. Hussein got elected?..........
I was kinda po'd that they had a vast right-wing chirstian conspiricy and didn't invite me.
"Unlike you, who has no interest in the safety and prosperity of US citizens, I am more inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to my servicemen and women, and view their discretion in a light most favorable to them. They serve to protect US citizens and interests, and I'm confident that 98% of the time our soldiers and our law enforcement officials act in good faith, even if they are not omniscient."
Appreciate your right to an opinion, and also your knack for stirring up discussion.
It could be on the above matter, however, that you are somewhat misinformed. There is not a uniform consensus on these matters within the armed forces. I think Colin Powell would disagree with you. I personally know a highly decorated army officer who would disagree with you about your entire stance here.
I am at work, so cannot say too much here. Fully support Sufi's take on this matter, however. Well reasoned.
It seems the US Supreme Court does make a distinction between lawful combatants and unlawful combatants.
From Enemy combatant
But the detainees in Gitmo were captured mostly in Afghanistan through the use of paid informants that could have been turning in innocent people for the pay. So the Geneva convention should apply seeing they were captured in Afghanistan.
There is at least one detainee in Gitmo that has been there since he was 15 years old. The Geneva convention would describe these as child soldiers and not recognized as either a lawful combatant or an unlawful combatant.
The above link also says,
Lita may be right in saying there could be a farm in Crawford, Texas for sale soon.
"mere agreements" are pretty important. I'm sure we would agree that an inch of steel is more likely to repel a bullet than an inch of pudding. Values and interpretations also have an objective as well as a subjective/cultural dimension. Why else would so many nations and peoples support for the most part a particular set of human rights? Strict relativism is tiresome, self-defeating and not the way people speak or live in the real world.
Yeah Susan, I can join the choir
Yet coming into 50s I am getting more sure in my views, but still maintain that I can be wrong
I hope everyone is aware that some terror "suspects" have been released and have already rejoined the ranks of their groups.
I hope that this closing of Gitmo is just a PR stunt to satisfy the international community and that he will just open it somewhere else under a different name.
Don't you find it ironic that the international community was calling for the closing of Gitmo but are now saying "hell no" to having to house the suspects on their land?
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