Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist.
Closing Guantanamo Bay isn't the same as dumping all these people out in the street. They'd be transferred to other prisons, presuming that we actually have some evidence to charge them with something.If we don't have that evidence, we shouldn't be holding people prisoner. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with Americans that think it's ok to hold people without evidence, charges, or trial?Closing Gitmo just means that we can't hold people prisoner without evidence anymore. No government should have that power.What I'm curious about is whether this guy was a militant jihadi to start with, or whether he decided to become one after we tortured him for a few years. Maybe we'd know if we actually, you know, looked into that sort of thing before throwing people in jail to rot. If only we had some system in place to determine guilt or innocence... somebody should work on that.
It's wrong to hold Americans without evidence. Foreign Devils are another matter entirely.
Oh you touchy Liberal. Let's give them counseling too.
I love how the new automatic assumption is, "Hey... it's OUR fault this guy went out and decided to bomb people again. After all, we are the ones who tortured him in prison and then let him go."How many Americans were tortured in Vietnam or Korea, let alone any who found their way into Nazi hands? Who knows what the KGB would have done to get intel from Americans? Now how many of these Americans decided to change to a life of murdering innocent people? I think the real issue is this:We hold the belief that we are a special country and many state that if we are so special we should be held to a higher standard. Fair enough. The problem I have is with these sarcastic people who instead of holding America to a higher standard decide, they want to hold our country to an impossible standard. They just seem to get their jollies out of assuming without evidence that everything is America's fault and that nothing we do is ever right. We've made errors as a country before and most on the right admit to that. The problem is that those who hold America to the impossible standard have decided we will always make mistakes and never do anything right again. And yet... they remain in the country they loathe, use our services and don't move away when they have every right and ability to do so. There is something extremely hypocritic about that.
There is pretty strong evidence that the prisoners already released from Gitmo have become active members of terrorist organizations. Videos are out there, plus this latest article.The thing about holding an enemy combatant is that you do not need overwhelming evidence to hold them. That is one of the main reasons why we never moved any of these prisoners to US soil. Had we done so, they would have fallen under US law.As nice is it would be to be to have damning evidence against a prisoner of war, odds are, there was no CSI team taking fingerprints during combat. Any evidence that we do have would probably not be sufficient to convict in the US legal system.That, by no means, is any indication that they are innocent. It only means, that using the test of "guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt" would fail, and like OJ in 1996, they would walk free.
"I love how the new automatic assumption is, "Hey... it's OUR fault this guy went out and decided to bomb people again. After all, we are the ones who tortured him in prison and then let him go.""I didn't say that. I said we should submit these people to the process by which we've determined guilt or innocence for, I dunno, the past couple hundred years? Maybe? I guess I'm way out in left field on this one for actually caring whether someone is guilty or not before throwing them in jail forever."It's wrong to hold Americans without evidence. Foreign Devils are another matter entirely."I hope you're joking."Oh you touchy Liberal. Let's give them counseling too."Are you talking to me? I'm a libertarian you moron. Being skeptical of a government that wants to hold people without trial (and which already has more prisoners per capita than any other country in the world, China included) is a perfectly reasonable position and it sure as hell doesn't make me a Lefty."They just seem to get their jollies out of assuming without evidence that everything is America's fault and that nothing we do is ever right."I asked for a trial. That request reveals an underlying faith that the legal system is at least moderately functional. It's the assholes who want to hold people indefinitely without trial who are the hypocrites for saying that America isn't a perpetual screw-up but then acting like the legal system is completely incompetent.CBMTTek, I have no problem treating POWs like POWs, but we haven't been doing that. The government basically just pulled a definition of "unlawful combatant" out of its ass and codified it in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, basically just giving the president the right to designate damn near anybody as an unlawful combatant and do whatever the hell they want after that point. We tossed the Geneva convention out the window at that point, and following the instructions of the agreements that we are party to is hardly an impossible standard of absolute and eternal perfection.Here's a solution for you assholes who think a trial is just too much: when you fight someone on the battlefield, shoot them. I large number of Guantanamo prisoners weren't even fighters, they were just picked up by US forces one sometimes ridiculously feeble evidence, such as wearing a Casio F91W watch. (apparently they were terrorist tchotchkes at one point)If someone is fighting, either shoot them or make them a POW and treat them the way we're supposed to treat POWs. Don't just make up some bullshit new status so you can arrest anybody you want and hold them forever without trial. This is America, we shouldn't have any Gulags.
I don't get the assumption that many have that all these guys were tortured. It has been acknowledged that something like 3 guys were waterboarded, and perhaps there has been some other abusive behavior. However, I just don't buy the assumption that each of the hundreds of people who has pass through Guantanamo has been strapped to the rack.I do concede that some of the people held there are innocent. After all, we are offering million dollar rewards for capturing some of these guys, and a million bucks is a big incentive to turn in some random guy who was coveting my sheep last week.In reality, many of these prisoners will be moved to another location that doesn't carry the symbolism of Guantanamo. Others will probably be killed on the battlefield before they are even taken prisoner.
Closing Guantanamo IS the same as dumping them. If they are sent to their home countries, they will likely soon be released and commit more murders. If they are held at some other prison in the US, then what's the point of closing Guantanamo? It's like moving a piece of trash from one side of the street to the other.The Law of War/Geneva Convention is not what you WANT it to be or WISH it was. It is what it IS. Under the GC, a person captured on a battlefield is classified as a combatant or noncombatant by the detaining power - that would be US. By default, all combatants are POW's except if they violated the provisions of the GC. That determination is made at the time of capture. Under the GC, the detaining power holds a tribunal only if their status is in doubt or if we intend to execute them. Who determines if there is doubt? WE DO, i.e. the military or the Commander-in-Chief.The Law of War is designed with military necessity as its paramount principle. Battlefields are not crime scenes. Soldiers are not police. There are no CSIs. There are no "witnesses" and there isn't any "evidence."When soldiers assault an objective, they kill or capture anyone they do not positively identify as a noncombatant. For those captured, they search, segregate, safeguard, silence, and speed them to the rear. There is no "evidence" collection. Enemy weapons are usually DESTROYED on the spot.The soldiers then move on to their next objective. Private Smith likely could not recognize Achmed the Terrorist who he captured on OBJ X-Ray two years ago. Private Smith might not even be alive for Achmed's "trial."Legitimate POW's are not criminals. They've broken no laws. They have no lawyer and get no trial. And they can be legally detained for the duration of a war. The two wars are still ongoing. How in the hell does anyone believe that an unlawful combatant deserves more rights and a sooner release than a legitimate POW?Your opinion about whether they deserve a trial, legal counsel, habeus corpus, etc. is irrelevant. The Law of War requires none of that. American jurisprudence doesn't apply. This is the first time in the history of the US that any courts have ever given unlawful combatants such sweeping "rights." Since no "evidence" was collected, Andrew is right - the burden of proof is impossible to meet, especially if it requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt!No one was "tortured" at Guantanamo. They underwent tough interrogation which made them highly uncomfortable. US soldiers in training undergo far worse cold, heat, pain, hunger, and intimidation. In SERE school, students are locked in tiny boxes or wall lockers. They're put into barrels with a small hole at the top and water is poured through the hole. Waterboarding is no more damaging or stressful than spending two minutes in a cloud of CS riot control gas which I've done at least a dozen times! Prisoners in Supermax prisons have spent far longer periods of austere isolation.By making them uncomfortable and interrogating them over time, we expose their lies. Their stories change. They turn on each other. Once we learn the truth from one, we use it against the others. THIS is how we determine who is lying and who is telling the truth. Those who were not terrorists were RELEASED.But, oh, Achmed SAYS he was tortured. He SAYS this torture MADE him into a Jihadist. Just ask him! He didn't need to be trained to say this. He just had to read liberal bumper stickers.But Achmed WAS trained to say this by Al Qaeda, and you believe him. But you don't believe the dozens of loyal, well-trained American Army, FBI or CIA interrogators. How special!Bush=Evil. Rumsfeld=Evil. Abu Ghraib. GITMO. WMD. Alberto Gonzales. Halliburton. Cheney. Tortured Achmed. US policy toward Israel. All the pieces fit together, just like UFOs, the Kennedy Assassination, and Global Warming.
Robert, I don't take issue with treating captured fighters as POWs like we would treat soldiers or with subjecting them to domestic law like we would treat criminals. I do have a problem with the government creating a legal category for people who are not fighters at all but the government still wants to imprison them forever without a trial.A prisoner should either be classified as a POW and treated as such or classified as a criminal and treated as such. The third Geneva Convention provides instructions on POWs, and the fourth Geneva Convention defines who is and what protections are to be afforded to people who are not classified as POWs. Granted, the Fourth Geneva Convention only applies to nationals of nations that have signed it, but since Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (among others) have all signed it, it applies. Having a third category where the government can do whatever it wants to anyone arbitrarily placed in that category creates a precedent where the government can deny its captives any or all rights if politicians feel that the rights of the imprisoned are inconvenient.Considering the rate at which American civil liberties are being eroded, I find any such precedent of unlimited government power over prisoners highly disturbing.
I agree with a lot (but not all) of your economic commentary, and I'm in a position to know a little bit.But I'd like to know how Obama will have "blood on his hands" due to the illegal recidivist activities of someone released from Guantanamo BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION?
AlanExcellent point! But you see, to give back as good as we got, such "facts" shouldn't get in the way of ideologies. The left never gave a damn under whose watch was what.Ergo, being consistent with true leftist thought, I blame Obama, even though if I were to be intellectually honest, he is not to blame.I fully intend on making liberals and leftists suffer the idiocy of their arguments and dishonesty of their arugments we've had to suffer for these years;Ergo, Obama is the terrorist, kicks puppies and punches old people.Why?because I feel like it and in my leftist, dumbed down, intellectually dishonest psyche, that is all that matters.If you weren't such a racist, you'd understand ;)
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