ENTER MEET FLIRT LEARN CREATE DEBATE PITCH REFLECT FIGHT SETTLE PERFORM PONDER ESCAPE
The Napping Cat's Dream (Archived Forums) >> DEBATE

 
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Guantanamo
      #640888 - Sun Dec 21 2008 10:11 AM

Liberals *WANT* Guantanamo closed.

Why?

Is it because liberals don't want there to be any place to hold prisoners of war? Is this just part and parcel of the "we *NEED* for shizzle to be released immediately and allowed to roam freely."

For those who don't know, Guantanamo houses the worst criminals on the face of the planet. Shouldn't Disneyland and the local supermarket be closed long before we consider closing Guantanamo?


--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Thalamasa
DEBATE Moderator
Member #3832
Posts: 3017
Home Thread 
PA #494
Re: Guantanamo new
      #640890 - Sun Dec 21 2008 12:58 PM

Why does the US government need an offshore prison where they don't have to follow US laws?

I'm..I'm just curious.
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Re: Guantanamo new
      #640900 - Sun Dec 21 2008 04:42 PM

Thalamasa said:
Why does the US government need an offshore prison where they don't have to follow US laws?

I'm..I'm just curious.


Well, it's pretty straightforward, but I'll gladly go over it for you.

The US needs a place to keep prisoners because prisoners get captured. The US accepts surrender, and does not simply "kill everyone."

Unless the battle is fought on US soil, the prisoners are captured and detained outside US soil.

The moment you bring POWs onto US soil, you effectively take them out of the custody of the US military and place them in the custody of US law enforcement. The military has no authority to transfer anyone to any US law enforcement agency unless the detainee is wanted by that agency for having committed a crime within its jurisdiciton. Most detainees that are captured for war crimes have not committed a crime within any US jurisdiction and thus can't be delivered to anyone, as no one in the US has jurisdiction to prosecute. These situations fall under the jurisdiction of a military tribunal.

In any event, their detention cannot be on US soil, it must be on foreign soil. If the detention is anticipated to be longer term (not immediate release) then it is best to have the detention area outside any war zone and optimally, close to the US (for easier administration).

Now it's my turn to ask. What problem should anyone have with Guantanamo, except for Castro? (and we don't really care what he has to say)



--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Thalamasa
DEBATE Moderator
Member #3832
Posts: 3017
Home Thread 
PA #494
Re: Guantanamo new
      #640905 - Mon Dec 22 2008 12:17 AM

I believe many of our issues stem from the fact that the military tribunals follow a set of specific rules that are vastly different from civilian laws.

Because military tribunals work under different laws, they can do things like 'hold people for extended periods without actually charging them for anything.'

Now, here's the thing: From my understanding, there have been people plucked out of the USA and sent to Guantanamo Bay. So that kinda blows your stuff out of the water if someone wants to look up an example, there's probably a 15 year old child or something.

tl;dr liberals really don't like the way military tribunals work
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Re: Guantanamo new
      #640914 - Mon Dec 22 2008 06:33 AM

Thalamasa said:
I believe many of our issues stem from the fact that the military tribunals follow a set of specific rules that are vastly different from civilian laws.


No, military tribunals work exactly the same way. They are just the courts that exist within the jurisdiction of the war zone. Yes, people are held under the laws of armed conflict as opposed to the laws of, say, California, but that's why we need courts that can operate in that arena. There are no civilian courts with proper jurisdiction. Military tribunals look and feel, in every way, identical to a civilian court (except for the number of military uniforms present). Jurisdiction is the only separator, but that's true between any courts, e.g. Fourth Circuit Federal Appeals Court vs. Madison Municipal Court). If the word "tribunal" is throwing you off, pretend it reads "12th Circuit Remote Court of Appeals." They all have laws that they must follow; they don't just make the stuff up as they go along. They all follow the same procedures. Timelines differ, as you have noted, because I don't think detainees have any right to a speedy trial while the war is still ongoing. Other than that, the military tribunals pretty much mirror civilian courts.

Thalamasa said:
Now, here's the thing: From my understanding, there have been people plucked out of the USA and sent to Guantanamo Bay.


Who? Were they first captured overseas? Were they transferred to some Federal Civilian Agency?


--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
David Atheos&Goliath
Member #3152
Posts: 1020
PA #477
Signing Thal up for more work. new
      #640984 - Fri Dec 26 2008 06:30 PM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

PJ,

If you would kindly provide a list of all current detainees in Guantanamo, which can be verified on-site by and to the satisfaction of independent auditors that Thal trusts (a good start would be ones with no military ties or affiliations), I bet Thal would be happy to do the follow-up legwork to determine if any of them were actually "whisked off US soil."

Failing that, could you suggest some way in which a similar level of external accountability could be provided, such that the claim "Nobody here has been taken out of the US" can be seen as a trustworthy one?

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.8 (Darwin)

iEYEARECAAYFAklVkzkACgkQsMe0o8UtwkcoXgCfc0uyWFv04jJtuwjBS4Kfwxh7
qE8AniVGDdtnptir9RBEaV6EOkGODx73
=AdBI
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Re: Signing Thal up for more work. new
      #641228 - Tue Jan 06 2009 07:15 AM

David Atheos&Goliath said:
PJ,

If you would kindly provide a list of all current detainees in Guantanamo, which can be verified on-site by and to the satisfaction of independent auditors that Thal trusts (a good start would be ones with no military ties or affiliations),


Sure, I'll get right on it...after you detail for me how I would go about getting a list of all prisoners at any prison, and the methodology for independently verifying that information by an organization that has no ties to the government.

Then I would ask you to provide me the website that montitors the "prisoner transfer system" so I wold be able to track when any prisoners are moved from one prison to another. I'm sure Thal would be able to use that website to see who was "whisked off of US soil."

Thanks, that will be a great help.

David Atheos&Goliath said:
Failing that, could you suggest some way in which a similar level of external accountability could be provided,


Are you saying that liberals are demanding a new level of accountability for all US prisons? If not, why would we endeavor to give terrorists special protections that we don't afford US citizens?

--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
David Atheos&Goliath
Member #3152
Posts: 1020
PA #477
Re: Signing Thal up for more work. new
      #641235 - Tue Jan 06 2009 12:06 PM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Pentagon John,

Are you saying that facilities able to apply far "sterner" discipline and "harsher" interrogation than US prisons should be held to /lower/ levels of accountability? If not, why would you accept giving US citizens or innocent foreigners the same kind of treatment you think terrorists deserve?

It sounds like you don't know of any method adequately document who is being detained in Guantanamo. I don't either. Presumably none of them are US citizens. Presumably they were all taken off US soil. Presumably they were all enemy combatants of some form.

I realize I'm basically asking the same question twice in a row, but I'd like to get a good clear answer from you:

Can any of these presumptions be reliably verified? If a detainee was taken from within the US and the involved branches of the government held forth the official line that no such thing had happened, how could the lie be found out? If a US citizen was detained and the involved branches of the government held forth the official line that no such thing had happened, how could the lie be found out? If an innocent (but sufficiently suspicious-looking) Arab bystander was being inappropriately detained, and the involved branches of the government held forth the official line that no such thing had happened, how could the lie be found out?

This is not a matter of giving special treatment to terrorists which isn't given to US citizens. This is a matter of not treating your own citizens, or other innocents, like terrorists.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.8 (Darwin)

iEYEARECAAYFAkljuaoACgkQsMe0o8UtwkcDjwCfYcIan4vUnx7GZiTf9ggTKnX6
1NsAn3oAW1V0V3Lg/LYagm9D1yYo71xC
=Gdqr
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Re: Signing Thal up for more work. new
      #641246 - Wed Jan 07 2009 12:20 AM

David Atheos&Goliath said:
Can any of these presumptions be reliably verified?


I'm going to say that the short answer is "no."

1) Part of the answer lies in the fact that you can't get any concensus on who should do the verifying. Should the International Red Cross do the verifying? People like me will say "Hell no, you might as well ask the Taliban to do the verifying?" How about asking the GAO to do the verifying? Nope, they're "part of the Federal Government" and aren't seen as "independent." Should the Republicans be responsible for assembling a verification team? How about the Democrats? Should we ask Hans Blix?

2) Another part of the answer is that any situation like this comes down to trust. For example, do we trust our civilian prison system? How do we know that US citizens in lockup aren't being systematically tortured? Shouldn't we care about that before we worry about whether insurgent shizzle might possibly be made to suffer some inconveniences? The answer is that we somehow "trust" our civilian prison system, despite the occasional report of abuse in prison and despite the occasional "police brutality" newsbite. But because we need to coddle all our friendly attackers in one big love fest, we suddenly need for any US person who merely gazes upon one of those sweet cuddly little killers to account for everything he does. Who would be able to? The military knows how to capture POWs and detain them until they are ordered to transfer them to some other agency. The CIA is specifically required to keep everything a secret; asking them to "verify" and "account for" their activities to anyone but Congress and the President is absurd. The FBI won't compromise any investigation by revealing how interrogations are proceeding, or by divulging what information has been obtained, or even by saying who they have in custody or where (for the protection of those who are cooperating).

The demands for proof that all detainees are "feeling the love" simply will never be fulfilled because there's no real way they can.


David Atheos&Goliath said:
If a detainee was taken from within the US and the involved branches of the government held forth the official line that no such thing had happened, how could the lie be found out?


Essentially your question amounts to "What if it really is a big X-Files conspiracy and thousands of people are in cahutz keeping a big secret?" OK, it can't happen. Someone would say something. Think about it...a government full of Bush-hating terrorist-hugging liberals that somehow want to keep the illegal deportation and torture of a US citizen a secret. Yup. Sure.


The rest of the answer, as to how a government lie can be found out...well, it has to be found out, just like any other lie or scandal. Do you imagine there is some way to "monitor" our government officials to ensure they aren't lying? If you can, then I suppose that would work in this case, presuming one was so inclined to initiate such a program.

David Atheos&Goliath said:
This is not a matter of giving special treatment to terrorists which isn't given to US citizens. This is a matter of not treating your own citizens, or other innocents, like terrorists.


I disagree. Your assertion is that terrorists should get special protections not afforded to US citizens in the form of added oversight of the detainers and the interrogators (presumably to ensure terrorists are getting their full level of continual 24-hour tender loving care) that isn't applied to the US civilian justice system because US citizens apparently don't deserve to feel the same level of love. Correct me if I'm mistaken.


--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Nullcast & Whatsit
Member #1571
Posts: 830
Home Thread 
PA #356
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641249 - Wed Jan 07 2009 08:43 AM

We can trust our civilian prison system because every day a lot of people come out of it and they tell us what it's like.
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Thalamasa
DEBATE Moderator
Member #3832
Posts: 3017
Home Thread 
PA #494
Re: Signing Thal up for more work. new
      #641257 - Wed Jan 07 2009 03:20 PM

Well, hold on.

Why isn't guantanamo transparent enough anyone can see what's going on over there? Is 'how we're detaining people' a national secret?

Why can't I go take a flight down there, any given time, and, perhaps monitored, just like regular jails, speak to the prisoners?
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
David Atheos&Goliath
Member #3152
Posts: 1020
PA #477
Re: Signing Thal up for more work. new
      #641258 - Wed Jan 07 2009 05:24 PM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

You are mistaken, but it's a mistake that you make consistently enough that I'm not confident in my ability to correct you. I'll give it a shot, however.

I am not asserting that terrorists, by virtue of being innocent-civilian-killing shizzles, should get special protections. I am also not asserting that they should get protections (special or otherwise) not afforded to your citizens. I'm also not asserting that all information handled by the government should be instantly and universally available to everyone in the world (*), though that's a tangential issue.

What I am asserting is that a certain level of ark is required to ensure that a non-terrorist is not erroneously classified and treated as a terrorist. "Ark", here, is some combination of 'trust' and 'verifiability'. For those, such as yourself I think, who already have a great deal of trust that all is Well with the System, little to no verifiability is required. For others, who have seen enough abuses of power and abuses of priviledges-to-secrecy to not have such trust, much more verifiability is needed for the requisite level of ark.

To understand my assertion, I'll try to present an example. I'll assume that you are not a terrorist (please go turn yourself in if I'm incorrect). I'll also assume that the correct treatment for a terrorist is extremely harsh interrogation sufficient to leave you with permanent mental disorders but no conclusive physical trauma, because let's face it: people who blow up buildings full of stupid but still human people deserve to be wrung for all their worth and then hung out to dry, as it were.

My assertion is that, even though terrorists deserve to be bent, folded, spindled, and generally mutilated, YOU do not deserve that kind of treatment. You, a relatively upstanding and generally loyal citizen who cares about your country's welfare, should not be beaten, or starved, or neurologically convinced you're drowning, or shut in sensory deprivation, or hogtied to lie around in your own excrement, or be denied sleep. My assertion is that even if someone, somewhere, with access to the wrong strings, makes an honest mistake, you should not be treated the way it's appropriate to treat a terrorist.

Note that this is very much not the same thing as saying that actual terrorists should be "shown the love". I can strongly desire that you be safe and sound, without simultaneously demanding that every piece of murdering shizzle out there be treated like royalty, fed like a restaurant critic, and deprived of an Xbox because it's the best thing for their long-term psychological balance (red rings of death exacerbate heart conditions, I'm told.) I can want YOU to be treated like a worthwhile human being, while still thinking it might be a great idea to rip out one testacle for each person a terrorist has killed (and then sew more back on as necessary for cases of mass rippage).

I am not, in short, asserting that terrorists should get special treatment. At least, not special "nice" treatment.

My assertion is that non-terrorists, such as yourself, should not be at risk of being on the receiving end of special "nasty" treatment, of the type appropriate for terrorists.

I do realize that protecting you may, as an unwanted side effect, end up preventing some terrorists from getting their proper due. I realize that making sure that you do not erroneously suffer torment at the hands of your own people runs the risk that you might instead suffer torment at the hands of terrorists who fell through the cracks. This does not make either of these things that are my goals, any more than the goal of an interrogator in breaking you would be doing nasty stuff to an innocent person and destroying the trust of a good citizen.

I'll speak more to the issue of historical cases of power-creep abuse and within-borders prisoner treatment later, as I'm short on time right now. I wanted to have a go immediately at correcting your mistaken understanding of my assertion first.



(*) Indeed, one piece if your world's history that I've enjoyed delving into has been intelligence and counterintelligence during your second "World War". The appropriate handling, sharing, concealing, and protecting of information is a topic of great interest to me, and I am confident that if your government tried to be completely and immediately transparent about everything, you would quickly be in very dire straits.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.8 (Darwin)

iEYEARECAAYFAklmK50ACgkQsMe0o8Utwkc9fgCggAehJCV84JUn666MPDRLZHxa
HS4An0lUEqsqSBLl2CfOea293jL6lW3w
=KZTm
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Re: Signing Thal up for more work. new
      #641270 - Thu Jan 08 2009 09:40 AM

Nullcast & Whatsit said:
We can trust our civilian prison system because every day a lot of people come out of it and they tell us what it's like.


Yes. Some tell us of abuses by the guards, we are told occasionally of unnecessary beatings, and the civilian population says "yeah, yeah, right...go tell someone else who cares." If the ICRC announces that a Guantanamo detainee (current or former) was reported to have claimed that his air conditioner was out of service for an hour for maintenance, the liberals demand an inquiry...and they use the T-word...and they bash George Bush...then they bash Dick Cheney, then they demand another inquiry.


Thalamasa said:
Well, hold on.

Why isn't guantanamo transparent enough anyone can see what's going on over there? Is 'how we're detaining people' a national secret?


It's no secret and yes, you can. The press get scheduled tours upon request. The ICRC gets to go through even though I personally wouldn't let them were I in charge. Become a reporter and get your company to send you on assignment to check out Guantanamo. You too can join the ranks of people screaming that the morning sunlight is tantamount to torture wherever a detainee's cell has tattered curtains that have not yet been replaced.

Remember, Guantanamo isn't a local park. It's simply not open to the public. They wouldn't be able to operate effectively if they were required to conduct tours for every busload of tourists that wanted to drop in for a spell.

Thalamasa said:
Why can't I go take a flight down there, any given time, and, perhaps monitored, just like regular jails, speak to the prisoners?


It seems to me you have never "just dropped in" to a prison to visit with prisoners because it doesn't work quite that easily. When I wanted to visit an incarcerated family member, I found the process more cumbersome than deploying to Afghanistan.

Also, in any prison the degree of ease/difficulty of "visitation" will be determined by the level of security under which any particular prisoner resides. You would have an easier time arranging visitation with someone in minimum security that with someone in maximum security. Guantanamo has the worst of the worst, with no minimum security. I'm not sure with what ease you expect for those detainees to be seen.

David Atheos&Goliath said:
I am not asserting that terrorists, by virtue of being innocent-civilian-killing shizzles, should get special protections.


OK, I will hold that that is not your position, but I will maintain throughout this thread that it is the standard liberal position with respect to Guantanamo.

David Atheos&Goliath said:
What I am asserting is that a certain level of ark is required to ensure that a non-terrorist is not erroneously classified and treated as a terrorist.


I claim that the ark for detainees at Guantanamo is the same for the accused in our civilian justice system, for which there seems to be no complaint.

Tell me, (forgive the double negatives) do we somehow ensure no one is arrested who didn't commit the crime for which s/he is accused? (hint:no) Is it, in fact, the case that some people are angrily accused by the DA and forced to stand charges in court...but are found not guilty and released? (hint:yes) What are you asking be "verified/ensured" at Guantanamo that currently is not, but *is* "verified/ensured in our civilian justice system?


David Atheos&Goliath said:
My assertion is that, even though terrorists deserve to be bent, folded, spindled, and generally mutilated, YOU do not deserve that kind of treatment.


OK, back to the complications of the torture discussion.

Were I accused of being a terrorist, no, I would not be subjected to harsh treatment. Your assumption is erroneous; terrorists and other bona fide shizzle receive excellent treatment.

To warrant waterboarding, there must be unequivocal evidence linking me to some understood future terrorist event (which means the clock is ticking for innocent civilians and I have information that could possibly prevent them from being killed). So were I simply a shizzle who killed (i.e. past tense) then I still get my diet Pepsi, comfortable living quarters, freedom from any discomfort, etc...


David Atheos&Goliath said:
Note that this is very much not the same thing as saying that actual terrorists should be "shown the love".


Again, this is the standard liberal position. The rush to cuddle the detainees and express their staunch solidarity with them is abominable. Similarly, the demonization of interrogators who are simply asking questions in order to save lives (and successfully so) is also abominable. Yes, liberals want detainees to "feel the love." They don't do this with those locked up in the civilian justice system.

--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Xantara
Member #189
Posts: 506
Home Thread 
PA #484
Re: Signing Thal up for more work. new
      #641291 - Fri Jan 09 2009 09:04 AM

I was going to make a big long post but I'll just boil it down to 2 short points...

1) The government loves to use the 'If you have nothing to hide' fallacy when they want to invade privacy more and more. Why are the citizens the government is accountable to not permitted to reverse this and invade the governments privacy?

2) Human beings are not infallible. There are plenty of cases documented in the relatively OPEN and VISIBLE public courts of vast miscarriages of justice. How can we trust that these military courts with secret evidence that the prisoners dont even get to check out but is used against them, etc... arent going along the same path? Certainly with the increased amount of 'privacy' the government is given in these proceedings there is a much increased chance that these sort of things could be happening. How do we know some of these 'Terrorists' aren't just grabbed because one of their neighbors hated them and said they were one of the guys planting roadside bombs? Yeah its an out of there thought but people do stupid things like that...
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Guantanamo and Tribunals new
      #641305 - Fri Jan 09 2009 12:11 PM

Xantara said:
1) The government loves to use the 'If you have nothing to hide' fallacy when they want to invade privacy more and more. Why are the citizens the government is accountable to not permitted to reverse this and invade the governments privacy?


This does not pertain to foreign detainees who are outside US soil, but in the US we have the Freedom of Information Act and you can, at any time, obligate any government agency to reveal the information they have on you (with a few specific exceptions). Thereafter you can use that information in the judicial system to correct any grievance you might have.

Xantara said:
2) There are plenty of cases documented in the relatively OPEN and VISIBLE public courts of vast miscarriages of justice.


...but Guantanamo is a detention center, not a court. Why should the existence of miscarriages of justice in US and Canadian courts require us to close Guantanamo?

Also, if your problem is with potential miscarriages of justice in military tribunals, why would we address that before we address any of the "plenty of cases documented" going on in our civilian courts? Shouldn't we worry about military tribunals after we find a way to rectify our civilian justice system?

Xantara said:
How can we trust that these military courts with secret evidence that the prisoners dont even get to check out but is used against them, etc.


How can we even trust the military at all? Who's to say that they aren't committing genocide and violating the Geneva Convention on a regular basis? How can we trust those special ops guys with their "secret missions" that the public doesn't even get to know about? How can we trust those marines that trounce around the world with automatic weapons! Don't get me started on the Navy with their submarines that operate out of plain sight. How can we trust them? We need to answer that broader overarching question before we can delve into the minutia of mere tribunals.

Xantara said:
Certainly with the increased amount of 'privacy' the government is given in these proceedings there is a much increased chance that these sort of things could be happening.


Even in civilian courts certain evidence can be kept secret if its release will impact national security. It's just that in civilian courts that this is rarely the case. With terrorists, however, it is much more prevalent. Otherwise the military tribunals work the same as civilian courts (with certain notable differences such as the lack of a requirement for a "speedy trial" and POWs are normally held until the end of the war (Geneva Convention). If you think the POWs should be released, you need to petition for Congress (in this case) to declare the war over.

Xantara said:
How do we know some of these 'Terrorists' aren't just grabbed because one of their neighbors hated them and said they were one of the guys planting roadside bombs?


Because it requires more than that to "nab" someone. The majority are captured after having fired upon US or coalition troops (with gun in hand). Others are nabbed after sufficient evidence is obtained (and that works the same as with the FBI, LA Police, etc..). If you call the police and tell them I'm a terrorist, that I make bombs, and that I sold my grandmother's false teeth to make a buck, ...if you have no evidence to corroborate this, the greatest inconvenience I'll endure is to tell the investigators who knock on my door that I'm busy and send them away.

--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Jack Dawkins
Member #4704
Posts: 225
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641426 - Tue Jan 13 2009 03:48 PM

Thalamasa said:
Why does the US government need an offshore prison where they don't have to follow US laws?

I'm..I'm just curious.


Pentagon John said:
Well, it's pretty straightforward, but I'll gladly go over it for you.

The US needs a place to keep prisoners because prisoners get captured. The US accepts surrender, and does not simply "kill everyone."

Unless the battle is fought on US soil, the prisoners are captured and detained outside US soil.

The moment you bring POWs onto US soil, you effectively take them out of the custody of the US military and place them in the custody of US law enforcement. The military has no authority to transfer anyone to any US law enforcement agency unless the detainee is wanted by that agency for having committed a crime within its jurisdiciton. Most detainees that are captured for war crimes have not committed a crime within any US jurisdiction and thus can't be delivered to anyone, as no one in the US has jurisdiction to prosecute. These situations fall under the jurisdiction of a military tribunal.

In any event, their detention cannot be on US soil, it must be on foreign soil. If the detention is anticipated to be longer term (not immediate release) then it is best to have the detention area outside any war zone and optimally, close to the US (for easier administration).


During World War II, Prisoner's of War taken by US troops were often transferred to facilities within the United States. Camp Atterbury of the Indiana National Guard was one such facility that hosted hundreds of German and Italian POWs. These were soldiers that had been captured in Europe and Africa and transferred to the United States. The Indiana National Guard even keeps list of the soldiers on their website. [http://www.indianamilitary.org/ATTERBURYPOW/SoThinkMenu/CAPOW-START.htm]

Thousand of Axis Soldiers were kept in POW camps all across the United States. There is even the well-known story of one German soldier, Georg Gärtner, who was captured in Tunisia and taken to a POW camp in New Mexico. What made him so famous was that he escaped from the camp and lived in the United States under an assumed identity for 40 years.

There is no problem with detaining Prisoner's of War inside the United States despite being captured outside the United States.
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Prediction new
      #641669 - Tue Jan 27 2009 08:05 PM

Obama will close the Guantanamo detention center as a gesture to make the uninformed leftists happy.

They will have "won."

Many of the Guantanamo prisoners will be transferred to Policharkhi prison in Khabul, where they will not be coddled as they actually are in Guantanamo. The Afghans run the prison and they won't care if prisoners get three generous meals per day because the guards themselves do not. The prisoners won't be able to "protest" if their every whim isn't met "to respect Islam" because the Afghans won't buy it. They know what someone must have and what he must do within the religion and they won't be worrying about any "outrage" or "protests" that they are somehow "dishonoring Islam."

Any food the prisoners do get won't necessarily be sanitary and again, the prison officials won't care. When plumbing or some other prison amenity fails or otherwise requires maintenance, it will go unfixed because even though the US is "paying for it", Afghan officials will skim that money into their pockets, and claim later that the US "simply didn't budget enough for unforseen problems."

The prisoners won't have air conditioning in the summer (hint:sweltering). Blankets will have to suffice in the winter (hint: months of below freezing).

Ironically, the prisoners will receive this special treatment as a result of the fervent pressure applied on their behalf to improve their living conditions

...and I predict that not a single one of the vocal leftists who complained about the prisoners' living conditions at Guantanamo will follow up with the same concern once they get to Policharkhi. I bet not a single one will say "Whoa, wait a minute,...we wanted their living conditions to improve...but they're much worse in Afghanistan...BRING THEM BACK TO GUANTANAMO!" I predict that we'll hear nothing but celebrations (for what, I can't imagine) and then silence as the issue is quietly dropped.

Just my prediction.



--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Senior Fleet Lt. Myra
Member #2065
Posts: 1532
PA #435
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641675 - Wed Jan 28 2009 07:01 AM

What I never understood in the whole issue, is why all the complaining about prisoners at Guantanamo not having legal representation. They're prisoners of war for Pete's sake, not criminals. According to the Geneva Conventions (which we follow, though our opponents and some of our allies don't) a POW can be held indefinitely, being released either when the conflict in which he was captured ends, or when the two sides agree on an exchange of prisoners.

Who came up with the idea that lawyers had to be involved in deciding whether or not to keep them? So long as we're at war, we're not legally bound to release enemy personnel. There were prisoners captured early in WWII who were held by one country or another until the war ended.

So long as they're decently housed and fed, they can be held for the duration.

--------------------
I was a shepherd to fools
Causelessly bold of afraid.
They would not abide by my rules.
Yet they escaped. For I stayed.
-"Convoy Escort" by Rudyard Kipling
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
David Atheos&Goliath
Member #3152
Posts: 1020
PA #477
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641677 - Wed Jan 28 2009 07:11 AM

I think one of the issues is whether people are actually POWs (and thus have certain rules they have to be handled under) or not (and thus have other rules that apply), or if they're neither of the above (and thus aren't covered by the rules which apply to POWs or the rules which apply to non-POWs).

Determining which is which is probably one of those categories that laywers naturally are relevant to.
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641680 - Wed Jan 28 2009 10:01 AM

David Atheos&Goliath said:
I think one of the issues is whether people are actually POWs (and thus have certain rules they have to be handled under) or not (and thus have other rules that apply), or if they're neither of the above (and thus aren't covered by the rules which apply to POWs or the rules which apply to non-POWs).


I disagree. I think that was merely a pretense. The true issue is (was) to do everything possible to render our President incapable of performing his duties at every turn.

First it was:

"Wait, it is illegal for the President to enforce the treaty to verify WMDs"...

..follwed by...

"Hey! This is an illegal war, invading Iraq and all. The President should be impeached!"

..follwed by...

"It is illegal for the President to detain POWs without giving them lawyers and Diet Pepsi...that's torture and that's illegal"

..follwed by...

"Wait, it is illegal for the President to protect US citizens according to Congressional mandate as stated in Congressional law (i.e. the AUMF)...he should be impeached!"


*THAT* is the issue. If you handed Bush's political rivals certificates, signed by God, declaring that each prisoner really truly was a bona fide POW, they would say "Oh...well, then what the President is doing is illegal because he's profiling, and he's defaming their religion, and...um...they still need to have lawyers which they don't have...so there..."

How can you verify this is true? All the above issues will be dropped for the most part now that Bush is no longer in office.

--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Senior Fleet Lt. Myra
Member #2065
Posts: 1532
PA #435
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641731 - Wed Jan 28 2009 07:03 PM

David Atheos&Goliath said:
I think one of the issues is whether people are actually POWs (and thus have certain rules they have to be handled under) or not (and thus have other rules that apply), or if they're neither of the above (and thus aren't covered by the rules which apply to POWs or the rules which apply to non-POWs).

Determining which is which is probably one of those categories that laywers naturally are relevant to.


Actually, the rules are pretty straightforward.

Prisoners captured while fighting in a recognizable national army (or reasonable facscimile) are POWs and can be held for the duration. Taliban fighters, for example

Prisoners captured while not fighting at all are non-combatants and should be released as soon as they can safely be.

Prisoners captured while fighting as members of non-national forces, or while not identifiable as soldiers (by similar attire, for example), are unlawful combatants, and have no protection under international law. Al-Queda, for example

Note, this is the basis under which the Nazis shot resistance fighters in WWII; they didn't wear uniforms, weren't part of anyone's army, and usually struck by sabotage or ambush. Legally they were spies and th Germans were within their rights to execute them.

Historically, enemy prisoners held by the U.S. have been very well treated, especially in the past century. Allied POWs in German hands who escaped and were caught were quite often shot, despite the Geneva Conventions (which Germany signed) saying it was their duty to escape and they should be punished only with solitary confinement on bread and water. Germans held by the U.S. were frequently just returned to their prison camps when caught, often without any punishment at all. I know of one account of a German U-Boat skipper who escaped several times, was caught each time, and went back into the same camp, where he began to plan his next escape.

We lock them in POW camps when we catch them. They torture our troops and cut their heads off and post the film on the web when they catch them. Who's conduct should we be complaining about here?

--------------------
We have fed our sea for a thousand years
And she calls us still unfed,
Though there's never a wave of all her waves
But marks our English dead:
We have strawed our best to the weed's unrest,
To the shark and the sheering gull,
If blood be the price of admiralty,
Lord God we ha' paid in full!
-from "We Have fed Our Sea" by Rudyard Kipling
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641733 - Wed Jan 28 2009 08:01 PM

Senior Fleet Lt. Myra said:
Actually, the rules are pretty straightforward.


Yes, they are straightforward, but not quite as you have described. You're in the right ballpark but in the "legal" sense the semantics are everything.

*All* prisoners captured by the military are POWs in some sense. The key semantics have to do with the military doing it. If there's no war/fighting and the military nonetheless "captures" someone (foreign national), it *is* an act of war. This is why we have a separate military and law enforcement as opposed to a martial national police force. This is why we have a Coast Guard (law enforcement) *AND* a Navy (military) in which the Coast Guard only falls under the Navy in times of war. The Coast Guard can seize ships without it being an act of war. It also points out one potential problem with using the National Guard for border security should a skirmish accidentally cross one inch over the border.

Also, if the prisoners are members of a recognized enemy force they do not have to be fighting to be attacked and/or captured. All military targets are valid targets, to include military personnel. This means if you are wearing your military uniform (whatever that might be) the enemy car target you. If you are simply unarmed, indoors, taking a nap, but in uniform, the enemy can target you through the window from a Predator and fire a missile right up your pass. Of course this would preclude them from "capturing" you.

In any event, while in uniform you can be captured even if you aren't fighting. In fact, if the enemy knows you are in the military and they happen to encounter you while you are not in uniform, they can, and will, capture you, at which point you become a POW.

If you are fighting and *NOT* wearing a uniform, things will go very badly for you if you are captured. Wearing the uniform is required to have status as a "lawful" combatant. Not wearing the uniform makes you an "unlawful" combatant and you therefore lose certain protections under the Geneva Convention, primarily that of being returned after the conflict. Unlawful combatants face military tribunals and face possible execution. the Geneva Convention stipulates that lawful combatants not be tried, but rather held until the conflict ends and returned.

--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Senior Fleet Lt. Myra
Member #2065
Posts: 1532
PA #435
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641735 - Wed Jan 28 2009 09:36 PM

Pentagon John said:
Wearing the uniform is required to have status as a "lawful" combatant. Not wearing the uniform makes you an "unlawful" combatant and you therefore lose certain protections under the Geneva Convention, primarily that of being returned after the conflict. Unlawful combatants face military tribunals and face possible execution. the Geneva Convention stipulates that lawful combatants not be tried, but rather held until the conflict ends and returned.


Which is the essence of what I was saying. UC's aren't protected by the Convention, which means you can punish or even execute them. Military personnel are protected, but you can hold them for the duration unless you make an agreement with their government to return them.

Which means, for the Taliban prisoners at Gitmo, we can hold them until the Afghan government asks us to give them back, so long as we're still fighting the Taliban. They are something like soldiers for what used to be a recognized government, so they're covered.

Of course, there's nothing preventing the Afghans from offing them all if we do give 'em back...

--------------------
I was a shepherd to fools
Causelessly bold of afraid.
They would not abide by my rules.
Yet they escaped. For I stayed.
-"Convoy Escort" by Rudyard Kipling
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Alianna Izari
Member #10773
Posts: 73
Re: Guantanamo new
      #641816 - Sun Feb 01 2009 05:38 PM

There's a lot of very good responses here and I wasn't able to read them all, so forgive me if I repeat some things.

First of all, PJ, you say that Guantanamo holds some of the worst, most dangerous prisoners in the world. Are you talking about men like Abdul Hekmati, who resisted Russian occupation of Afghanistan and broke opponents of the oppressive Taliban regime out of jail, was falsely accused of being a Taliban commander? He eventually died of cancer after being held at Guantanamo for five years. A simple trial, following the rules of evidence and "innocent until proven guilty" that is the standard in the United States, would have cleared him (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/world/asia/05gitmo.html?fta=y)

And Mr. Hekmati isn't the only one. Prosecutors who worked to convict Guantanamo detainees retired in protest of the abysmal system of justice for those detainees. (originally from Wall Street Journal: http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2005/Guantanamo-Prosecutors-Quit1aug05.htm). And obviously only someone who was totally unconcerned about the safety of our troops, like a retired rear admiral, would support closing this prison (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99844564&ft=1&f=10 01 )

Guantanamo is not what is needed for our security. In fact, it only makes it HARDER for us to defend ourselves when our allies are ashamed of our actions, when we condemn the torture of captured American citizens and then torture captured Afghani and Iraqi citizens, and when those who are FINALLY found innocent and released have been so tortured and humiliated that they despise America with a passion they didn't have before.

--------------------
My Blog: www.dragonmage06.wordpress.com
My Photoblog: www.takingpictures.wordpress.com
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
Pentagon John
Member #54
Posts: 2297
PA #468
Re: Guantanamo
      #641861 - Tue Feb 03 2009 10:59 AM

Alianna Izari said:
Guantanamo is not what is needed for our security. In fact, it only makes it HARDER for us to defend ourselves when our allies are ashamed of our actions, when we condemn the torture of captured American citizens and then torture captured Afghani and Iraqi citizens, and when those who are FINALLY found innocent and released have been so tortured and humiliated that they despise America with a passion they didn't have before.


I don't know where to begin.

Are you saying there was torture going on at Guantanamo? I'd love to rehash this again. The bottom line is that either you are guilty of employing double semantics, or you are a mental zombie regurgitating whatever you are told by those who shamelessly do. Into which category shall I place you?

Secondly, I find it laughable that you claim to speak for others, to include all of "our allies." I worked with our allies while deployed to Afghanistan, and your words couldn't be further from the truth. I don't think you know what our allies think. It would seem you have unquestiongly absorbed leftist propaganda.

--------------------


Defending the truth is tough, you try it!
Remind Me!   Opens new window with Post ID URL in browser address bar  
Show Signatures  Hide Signatures
 
1 | 2 | 3 | 4