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Changing Guantanamo's zip code?

Mark Mardell | 02:07 UK time, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

President Obama's administration says it will remove a "deadly recruiting tool" from the hands of al-Qaeda.

Some Republicans say it will put Americans at risk. Illinois' Democratic governor, who'll be fighting for his own job next year, says the move will bring much-needed employment to the state. Amnesty International says it is merely changing Guantanamo's zip (postal) code.

Moving an undetermined number of people from the world's most notorious prison in Cuba to the American mainland is fraught with political difficulties. Those who think they should simply stay there will of course dislike this decision and warn of its possible consequences.

But for those who agree with closing Guantanamo, it may underscore a problem of logic, that was apparent but not much commented on, when the "trial of the century" was announced recently. At least it raises some questions.

if those who are accused of plotting 9/11 can be tried in a civil court, why can't all those detained be treated the same way? According to the administration's own argument, what hands al-Qaeda a "deadly recruiting tool" is detaining people without either the rights of prisoners of war or criminals.

How does moving their location from an island to a US state change that? If only "some" are to be moved to the new facility, and none are to be released into the USA, what happens to the rest?

And maybe I've missed it, but it is not clear to me if all those currently detained will face either criminal prosecution or military tribunal or if some will simply be held without trial indefinitely.

Comments

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  • 1. At 02:40am on 16 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    Lets see....keep our enemies off shore...and american citizens out of the cross-fire

    or...

    Bring them into America's heartland so they can be reached in our open society and american people can be killed in the cross-fire in efforts to free the observers of the one "true faith" and religion of peace

    Its a slam dunk, no-brainer.....of course Obama will put american citizens in harm's way to make a domestic political point...and for bonus points you get to pay off your local Chicago political bosses....its a "two-fer"...

    .............are you serious........or just too much of a political hack to really care about the people.....

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  • 2. At 02:45am on 16 Dec 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    Nice post, Mark. This is just the first step toward the promised closure of Guantanamo as a detention facility, and long overdue. Guantanamo came to represent the darker side of the American response to terror, only eclipsed by Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo held (and holds) numbers of those taken under dubious circumstances, given little recourse under law, left to languish for years without charge. What Guantanamo came to represent tarnished the image (part myth, of course) that the U.S. tries to project in the world- that we do have a side that seeks justice and truth.

    As you note, there are a number of issues that must be dealt with, but these are a knot not of this administration's making. It will take time to unravel all of the legal implications, but we have to start somewhere. If we wait until all of the details are worked out then it'll be years longer.

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  • 3. At 02:57am on 16 Dec 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    1 Do you have any hint of a clue of what you are talking about? This is just another gut-level emotional reaction that betrays the very principles this great nation was founded on. It wasn't "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, except when it is inconvenient, or we are talking about people we don't like or who are not nice." Unless you apply the principle in all instances, then you are on a slippery slope of relativism- if we change from the ideas of innocence until proven guilty and the other ideals we trumpet, then what's to say that the line won't be moved? We commonly put down states like Iran for branding anyone who opposes those in power as enemies of the state- but it's a short step from where we stand now.

    This facility will be beyond super-max in protection, and prisoners will be guarded by the U.S. military, in a separate wing totally segregated from the rest of the inmate population. And it's in a rural part of the state that has absolutely no ties (and would bristle at the allegation) to Chicago.

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  • 4. At 03:02am on 16 Dec 2009, rodidog wrote:

    Mark, these cases are being tried in Federal criminal court not civil court. Here in the U.S. there is a big difference between the two.

    Federal Judges have the power to order the release of any of these prisoners once they are within his/her jurisdiction. That includes into the USA. While such an out come might be improbable, it is not impossible.

    IMO, the change in location allows Obama to say "I closed Gitmo", everything else takes a back seat to that.






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  • 5. At 03:20am on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Mr. Mardell, it seems that you have not been paying attention. Not long ago, Secretary Holder explained that there was some discretion in some cases whether to prosecute in a civilian or military venue. When there is a choice, the government will choose that which is most advantageous.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with military justice, as the first such tribunal showed. (I discussed it elsewhere in this forum.)

    As to whether some detainees can be held indefinitely after being brought to US soil, we shall have to wait to see what the courts make of it.

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  • 6. At 03:32am on 16 Dec 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #5 GH1618,

    As to whether some detainees can be held indefinitely after being brought to US soil, we shall have to wait to see what the courts make of it.
    ------------------

    It is currently against the law for any Guantanamo detainees being brought onto U.S. soil, except for prosecution. Until that law is changed, either by congress or the courts, Gitmo will remain in operation. My understanding is that those detainees being sent to Illinois will face a Military Tribunal located inside the prison.

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  • 7. At 03:38am on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    rodidog (#6), that's right. The cooperation of Congress will be required. As the President seems to have given the go-ahead to acquire the Illinois facility, I expect that he knows he will get what he needs to be able to use it.

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  • 8. At 03:42am on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's a link to an article on Congressional opposition to bringing the Guantanamo prisoners to the US:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/sns-dc-congress-prison,0,3807015.story

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  • 9. At 04:03am on 16 Dec 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #7. At 03:38am on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:
    rodidog (#6), that's right. The cooperation of Congress will be required. As the President seems to have given the go-ahead to acquire the Illinois facility, I expect that he knows he will get what he needs to be able to use it.

    I'm sure your right. A little embarrassing otherwise.

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  • 10. At 04:55am on 16 Dec 2009, Michael Alexander Kearsley wrote:

    There are no doubt other parts of the world that the US could build a new military prison to house them, as I see it the problem with Guantanamo Bay is essentially that the lease on the area was arranged in the 1930s following an incursion of US troops into Cuba and is not recognised by Cuba. Whatever the merits or otherwise of the action back in the 1930s it would loosen tensions between the US and Cuba to hand it back.

    That said though, the reasons for holding them away from the US mainland are to minimise the risk from any escapes including one's aided by external elements, somewhere more remote would be better than Guantanamo Bay, if prisoners escaped from Guantanamo Bay there is the risk that Cuba might decide to shelter them.

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  • 11. At 05:07am on 16 Dec 2009, LoisWhiteBuffalo wrote:

    Paul Reynolds, HELP,
    "no useable evidence but too dangerous to release"
    Do you understand what is going on here? Every citizen of the former USofA is imperilled, the constitution is null and void. When a government can seize any person in any country, transport them to its gulag, (now) on its own territory, and hold them without evidence, charge, trials or term, because they are "too dangerous" to be allowed freedom, we are AT THE END.
    Get it? HELLO~~! End of Democracy, end of freedom. Its over folks. It was all a dream and is now a fraud. Obama's name is on it. Will he and Holder go down in history as the Hitler and Goebbels of the 21st century? Its certainly looking that way. What recourse do we as citizens have now? what about other "dangerous" "suspects" worldwide? They could be Brits next. Where is Churtchill?
    Lois White Buffalo

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  • 12. At 06:45am on 16 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    Lois - remember Messers Bush and Cheney? It was their administration and not Obama's that concocted the notion that persons - military combatants to be precise - could be held indefinitely, and that terrorism was the trump card that voided the rule of law. Obama and Holder have labored all these months to find a fair and legal process to restore the rule of law, even for the people whose natural rights were ignored and abused by messers energetic and covert, incorporated.

    To restore our honor and credibility before the world, and to 'remove a deadly recruiting tool' as well as remove a deadly precedent that now threatens our sons and daughters in uniform, the new administration will close Guantanamo's prison, treat as many prisoners as possible with the full privileges of the American system of justice, civilian or military as their cases require, and reduce the number whose cases cannot be publicly tried to as few as possible.

    The Bush administration has so bungled this business that a proper legal process is now impossible in a number of cases. Normally in those conditions civilians would be released. Implacable enemies of our freedoms, lives, and peace may be too dangerous to simply release into the world. The transparency, mercy, and propriety of the justice given to the others, and the proportion who are well treated by the new administration, must be great enough to cause the world to have confidence in the ultimate justice we show to all of them. That will be the best we can now make of the mess we were handed by messers Impetuosity and Coversion, inc.

    What would you suggest? Particularly in those cases in which the prisoner's own country refuses to receive them back, or promises a brutal welcome?

    You are right - our future is at stake, and depends much more on what we do with these few hundred captives than it ever did on the outcome of the 'war' that brought them into our care.

    Carefully now, what shall we do?

    KScurmudgeon
    bearing shame.

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  • 13. At 09:07am on 16 Dec 2009, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    "military combatants to be precise - could be held indefinitely"

    Well, if you want them treated as prisoners of war they can indeed be held indefinitely if the conflict has indefinite duration. However in the case of these individuals they were not wearing uniforms nor sporting a field-sign to indicate they were combatants under the rules of war nor the Geneva Convention. So they can be tried as war criminals, in the most precise sense, and dealt with accordingly. Then, should their sentence not be terminal, returned to their country of origin. Whatever further punishment they maay be eligible for there.

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  • 14. At 09:48am on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    How come nobody in europe has held streetwise protests on the 3 American hikers being held by Iran in far worse conditions.

    It is unlikely they crossed into Ieran more likely they were kidnapped. That should be the world's concern over minor discomfort of terrorists.

    The island was a good place to keep them it was U.S soil and if it pissed off the Castros and added benefit.

    How about a different subject like Climategate of the Harry Reid's bumbling of the healthcare bill.

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  • 15. At 10:03am on 16 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Maybe we did not complain about the 3 American hikers because:

    A) They were American, not Europeans like some of those held in Gitmo (you know the ones that we stupid Europeans actually asked specifically to be released)
    B) When Europeans (such as British yachtsmen) get arrested by the Iranians we expect our Government to get up off its rump and do something, which it did. By the way I didn’t notice you or any other American calling vehemently for their release.
    C) There are only 3 compared to the hundreds held in Gitmo, the needs of the many out weighing the needs of a few.
    D) We actually expect the US to act better than Iran not the same, illegally kidnapping and holding for ‘questioning’ foreign nationals.
    E) We don’t know all the facts, maybe (like the yachtsmen) these hikers made a mistake and did enter Iran, so did deserve their arrest.
    F) We expect that Iran will release the 3 American within a few days (again like the yachtsmen) whereas those in Gitmo have already been held for years, on evidence the US does not feel will stand up in a closed courtroom.

    You do realise that you only rent Gitmo off Cuba, the reason why Cuba does not currently benefit is because the rental agreement was signed with the US backed dictator that Castro removed. Castro and his brother don’t recognise the agreement, so won’t expect the money. Currently is being kept in trust by the US Treasury until someone replaces the Castro brothers, when a large chunk of cash will need to handed over to the Cuban people.

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  • 16. At 10:05am on 16 Dec 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    12 KScurmudgeon

    I agree with almost everything you say, except most of the men we have in Guantanamo are not (repeat, not) high level masterminds like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; these were just the guys with the guns who got caught. We do ourselves and the world a great disservice by imagining that every single "terrorist" or insurgent is a superman, a secret ninja master of combat and weapons and stealth, or Carlos the Jackal. These are average joes who were persuaded to pick up an AK-47, and not threats to global stability.

    If we have evidence that they are more than this, then they should be tried. If we do not have evidence, they should be sent home. We routinely (for better or worse) deport legal and illegal immigrants for minor arrests, whether or not they are found guilty, so there is absolutely no chance these people will be released to roam the country.

    It is cliched but true: Better 100 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man be jailed.

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  • 17. At 12:11pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #15
    You do realise that you only rent Gitmo off Cuba, the reason why Cuba does not currently benefit is because the rental agreement was signed with the US backed dictator that Castro removed. Castro and his brother don’t recognise the agreement, so won’t expect the money. Currently is being kept in trust by the US Treasury until someone replaces the Castro brothers, when a large chunk of cash will need to handed over to the Cuban people.

    _______________

    That dictator Batista is just as legitimate as the Castros. And the people were far better of under him and the mob.

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  • 18. At 12:13pm on 16 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    Those that believe our Islamic suspects in Guantanamo have Superman- like powers that will allow them to break through the most secured prisons in the world have been reading too many comic books. Escaping from a state of the art maximum security prison in the USA is a virtual impossibility, if in doubt ask any of the prisoners that have lived in those prisons for decades.

    Suggesting that sympathizers will infiltrate the USA to liberate their comrades is equally absurd. It would have been a lot easier for them to use communist Cuba as a platform to liberate their comrades in Guantanamo than trying to do it on US soil.

    Putting suspects on trial and holding them in US prisons may restore some of the credibility we lost in years past, and may allow us to regain the moral standing we once had in the world.

    On the issue of prisons being big business in the USA I will add that in some places they are the only source of employment.

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  • 19. At 12:15pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #15
    C) There are only 3 compared to the hundreds held in Gitmo, the needs of the many out weighing the needs of a few.
    _______________

    Do you really believe that? If so stop whining about the Palestinians because the Israelis needs far oputweight the Palestinians.

    So are you telling me that it is fine for Europe to protest when the Israelis defend themselves but you wont protest when a terrorist nation violates international law with 3 Americans?

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  • 20. At 12:33pm on 16 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – We will have to disagree about the ‘equal’ legitimacy of Batista versus Castro. Batista, who when losing an election declared a military coup against the freely elected leader, who basically money laundered for the mob and publicly executed children to stop the popular support Castro gained, who fled Havana with $300,000,000 stolen from Cuba and/or gained through his links with the Mafia. Castro, according to the New York Times was received by jubilant crowds.

    I don’t believe the same can be said of Castro and the lower and middle classes of Cuba may not agree with you. Despite the best efforts of the Cuban refugees (many of whom fled because of their links with Batista) and the CIA Castro has not been overthrown, nor has his brother, suggesting he still holds enough of a popular support in his homeland. 50 years of rule suggest you are wrong.

    Also I guess you missed points A-F (Except C) in my post then, or do just accept that they are correct? Regarding C, I don’t believe I have ever ‘whined’ about the Palestinians, though I would point out that regarding international law and the status of the Occupied Territories, the population of Israel is tiny compared the rest of the world, so maybe others should stop whining about people being anti-Israeli!

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  • 21. At 12:38pm on 16 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It's becoming increasingly clear that in all likelihood Barack Obama is on target to become a one term President. His policies are failing on every front and his popularity in the polls are falling with them. For once when America needed a leader it got a celebrity instead. People get the government they deserve and America deserves Obama having chosen him in their time honored process. The voters seemed unconcerned that Obama only had prior experience as a "community organizer" and a law journal editor or that his short term in government was entirely undistinguished. Nor that he took positions that backed him into tight corners he had to slither out of such as the episode with Reverend Wrong. So it is hardly a surprise that his original concept of a health care reform bill has been entirely transformed to the point where even his own party is at swords point with itself nor that his energy bill will likely go down to defeat if it doesn't change drastically. His procrastination and equivocation in taking his generals' warning and advice on Afghanistan his tepid committal to what he had previously ardently asserted, his lack of focus on the fact that America invaded Afghanistan to find and kill those who attacked the US and would do that again if given the chance and their supporters and not to transform Afghanistan into a democratic uncorrupt mini-America is turning out to be another disaster. Meanwhile in his efforts to rescue the economy the jury is still out with results so far also tepid and far from secure.

    In this context he has made a series of blunders with respect to the detainees at GITMO. As Khalid Sheikh Mohammed predicted when he was captured, "I'll see you with my lawyers in New York." By any reasonable interpretation of American criminal law he must be set free. Every constitutuional right required in a criminal investigation was denied him. He was not read his Miranda rights. He did not have immediate and continual access to a lawyer. All of the information obtained pointing to his guilt even though true was obtained under torture and therefore inadmissable. In fact without that evidence, the US government has no case against him. I expect him to be released on a motion to dismiss all charges by his defense attorney before the trial even begins. But even if a farce of a trial is held, all it will take is convincing one juror that his rights were violated and he should not be convicted to call a mis-trial. The government could be held up in circles for decades trying him again and again before it gets a guilty verdict and then decades more before his appeals are heard, appeals which under US criminal law will have strong grounds for reversal to acquittal. I predict this decison to try him in criminal court will be a disaster.

    If he is acquitted, if there is a terrorist attack on the US during the trial, especially in New York, if the other detainees ever escape their prison in Illinois or if there is a terrorist attack there the way there was the other day on a prison in the southern Phillipines, President Obama will be impeached...and he will be convicted at his trial in the US Senate if he doesn't step down first. He has sowed the seeds of his own demise and done great harm to America. That is what you get when you choose a popular celebrity instead of a real leader.

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  • 22. At 1:34pm on 16 Dec 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    Mark: you'll notice I stayed out of your first foray into gun control...there are some topics that bring out the screeds and that's one of 'em.

    Gitmo North, though -- if you can imagine a more desolate place in the winter than the edge of the Great Plains in the US (the Gobi Desert may be a close 2nd), or a nastier flood plain when the ice goes out in the spring, be my guest. Also, do some homework on the Federal Courts, as suggested by rodidog and GH1618. SaintDominick and my favorite realist, KCcurmudgeon, have some cogent items today re: staying real amid the hysteria and stupidity of the fearmongers. Nobody, after all, has escaped from one of our high security prisons...at least we do that well.

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  • 23. At 1:36pm on 16 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Putting suspects on trial and holding them in US prisons may restore some of the credibility we lost in years past, and may allow us to regain the moral standing we once had in the world."

    They aren't US citizens. They are people openly wishing to take over and change our country. I would prefer to fund bullets for a firing squad than housing this trash. I don't even want their bodies on US soil. Line them up, shoot them, air-drop their bodies into their country of origin. Still cheaper than housing them.

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  • 24. At 1:42pm on 16 Dec 2009, PartTimeDon wrote:

    #21. Get a grip!! Obama has had power for less than a year. I agree that his policies are not as successful as they could have been, but this is primarily down to three things:
    1. A almost blanket republican effort to obstruct and decry everything he does regardless of whether it may benefit the country.
    2. An all or nothing gamble to throw almost all the political capital he has into passing his healthcare plan.
    3. Economic conditions that haven't been this bad since the 30s.
    Also, choosing to ignore a genuine terrorist threat, coupled with set of policies that were genuinely bad for the country, muddled and based on some idiotic religious biggotry didn't seem to do Dubya much harm next election day.
    Obama is like Bush Jr in that he is trying to do what he thinks is right: It isn't right to hold people indefinitely without trial and it will take time to fix, but he's working on it and closing Guantanamo is a first step. It isn't right that 60 million Americans don't have health insurance and he is willing to put his presidency on the line to fix that.
    He is unlike Bush in that he isn't following personal vendettas, giving up his own spys for political gain and generally ignoring the rule of law. If any of these suspects are freed on procedural grounds it will be the previous administration's fault for not following due process.
    America claims to be a shining beacon on a hill and when you finally get a guy who tries to act like it, you don't like it cos it's difficult.

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  • 25. At 1:51pm on 16 Dec 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    #23 Tino: How can you call for killing people when you have no proof that they were ever a threat to you or anyone in the world? I side with Amnesty International on this issue. There is simply no basis for imprisoning people without a trial. If they are guilty of crimes, dig up the evidence and put them in court with access to lawyers and give them the ability to bring any evidence they have in defense. If they are not guilty of any crime but are suspected of wanting to commit a crime, let them free. Who knows how many people there are in this world who might want to commit a crime. Only the people who actually commit crimes are criminals.

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  • 26. At 1:54pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #20
    I don’t believe the same can be said of Castro and the lower and middle classes of Cuba may not agree with you. Despite the best efforts of the Cuban refugees (many of whom fled because of their links with Batista) and the CIA Castro has not been overthrown, nor has his brother, suggesting he still holds enough of a popular support in his homeland. 50 years of rule suggest you are wrong.
    ______________

    by that theory, you beieve the people of Burma like their oppresive junta, that the people oof NK enjoying straving and worshipping Kim

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  • 27. At 2:03pm on 16 Dec 2009, SusieFlood wrote:

    Mark

    OBAMA GOING DOWNHILL FAST

    The proposal is akin to closing Belsen and moving the prisoners to Austwitz.

    The hopes that we had for Obama's presidency are disappearing faster than snow off a ditch.

    America should hang its head in shame.

    Susie
    Carryduff

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  • 28. At 2:28pm on 16 Dec 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    if those who are accused of plotting 9/11 can be tried in a civil court, why can't all those detained be treated the same way?

    Because soldiers don't get tried in civilian courts, they get tried in military courts, unless they committed crimes against civilians. In such cases, civil authorities may request that soldiers be tried and judged in their jurisdiction under civilian law. Soldiers may also request that they be tried in a civilian court. Although the military does not have to grant either request it usually does.

    The fact that many of the detainees don't believe American courts have the right to try them, and that they self-identified as soldiers when they were captured, muddies the waters.

    How does moving their location from an island to a US state change that?

    The real reason for keeping them at Guantanamo in the first place was so the Bush administration could engage in torture without directly breaking US law. Once the detainees are on our soil anyone working at the prison, including American military personnel, will be subject to state and local laws as well as federal. And it will certainly be easier for their lawyers and the press to monitor the conditions under which the prisoners are being held, as well as to file charges against anyone who violates US laws.

    If only "some" are to be moved to the new facility, and none are to be released into the USA, what happens to the rest?

    Congress will either amend the law so that they can eventually be moved to the facility, or some other countries, preferably small island nations, will be bribed to accept them.

    And maybe I've missed it, but it is not clear to me if all those currently detained will face either criminal prosecution or military tribunal or if some will simply be held without trial indefinitely.

    At least 55 of the 210 detainees are currently being processed for trial as war criminals. I suspect that many others will also be tried that way once they've cleared the backlog, and those that are being held "indefinitely" will eventually face trial in either Iraq or Afghanistan when those countries feel secure enough to request their extradition.

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  • 29. At 2:33pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    One more point what Obama should say to Amnesty International but won't.

    Is your oppinion is neither needed or wanted.

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  • 30. At 2:34pm on 16 Dec 2009, modernJan wrote:

    It certainly would be more than just a changing of zipcode because the new facility is much less remote and there will be new personnel, really decreasing the chances of abuse.

    On the question of whether you can detain enemy combatants this long, that’s a question for the lawyers, really. It’s not forbidden by international law per se (the allies held German POW’s for 5 years without charges, perfectly in agreement with the Geneva Conventions.) It depends on whether America decides to view international Islamic terrorism as a criminal or a military problem.

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  • 31. At 2:40pm on 16 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – That’s it old boy don’t try and support your own argument, that the dictatorship of Batista was comparable to Fidel, but pick arguments in mine. To be honest I don’t know how many in what was Burma support the current regime (though I pay money each month to try and help those that live under that regime, by which I support the village of a 6 year old boy) or that of North Korea. Then again that wasn’t the point I was making, as you well know, you stated that Cuba under Batista did as well as under Fidel, I offered evidence to suggest that was not the case. Once again rather than repudiate my stance, as I did with you, you took a sentence and placed a supposition that was never made. Once is forgivable, moving the goal posts twice is a bit sad, unlike some I am more than able to argue my point, rather than change the argument to something I think I may win. Since you have twice been unable to do so I would humbly suggest that you are unable to do so, which is rather a shame. It is easier to respect, if not agree, with someone that stick to their moral guns, rather than someone who slithers from one argument to another like an oiled snake.

    Nero – Your back!! Hurrah, good to sea you, you old mad roman emperor you!

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  • 32. At 2:46pm on 16 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "23. At 1:36pm on 16 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "They aren't US citizens. They are people openly wishing to take over and change our country. I would prefer to fund bullets for a firing squad than housing this trash. I don't even want their bodies on US soil."
    ________

    How we treat prisoners, of any kind, is a measure of our character, not theirs.

    If we believe in the rule of law, and expect others to be law abiding, then we must be law abiding ourselves. You cannot have justice if you do not do justice.

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  • 33. At 2:48pm on 16 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "21. At 12:38pm on 16 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "It's becoming increasingly clear that in all likelihood Barack Obama is on target to become a one term President. His policies are failing on every front and his popularity in the polls are falling with them. ... "
    ________

    Nothing like a jolt of MAII's sunny optimism to brighten up a dull day.

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  • 34. At 2:48pm on 16 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Of course AI’s opinion is needed, after all – For evil to win all is required is that good men do nothing. While I may not always agree with Amnesty’s opinion, I trust those whose view is based on what is better for others, than those whose opinion is based on what is better for the individual that is to the stance of most (all) politicians.

    Amnesty’s view is often to lenient, but we need to hear because too lenient does not equate to wrong. They are the angel on the right shoulder to compare against the devil on the left, which is the media voice we hear all too often.

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  • 35. At 3:08pm on 16 Dec 2009, David Bush wrote:

    Just like 1776, you Brits still don't get it, but then many of our own people don't get it, either. The offense committed against the US on 9/11 was an act of terrorism committed on US soil and subject to the judicial process according to some. I personally disagree with that and equate it to Pearl Harbor and the attempted sabotauge against the US in WWII. In fact, we have traditionally treated spies and saboteurs similar to other types of combatants. Take the Nazis saboteurs who attempted to wreak havoc on us during WWII. They were incarcerated; had a military tribunal; and 6 were executed; one given a life sentence and one received 30 years. That is how I think these recent terrorists/saboteurs should have been treated. Why should they receive a civil trial with the rights of US citizens. Look at the Nuremberg trials. These, again, were special tribunals set up for combatants, and none were tried in US courts under US law. They are not citizens and don't have those rights under any statute of the law. Only a bunch of left wing radicals want them afforded these privileges and they are trying to change the laws. Heck, why don't we just throw out all the laws, throw these guys a big party and send them home with a few million bucks apiece? Well, as General McAuliffe so eloquently stated: "NUTS"! Or, to paraphrase another General: "If these terrorists didn't want to die, then they shouldn't have been there in the first place."

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  • 36. At 3:09pm on 16 Dec 2009, EuroSider wrote:

    Mark,
    I loved your phrase "deadly recruiting tool".
    Has this now replaced "Weapons of Mass Destruction".
    I bet the spin-doctors in the White House were up all night trying to find this phrase!
    So what now....another cliche to give the politicians an excuse for another war.

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  • 37. At 3:29pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #34
    Amnesty’s view is often to lenient, but we need to hear because too lenient does not equate to wrong. They are the angel on the right shoulder to compare against the devil on the left, which is the media voice we hear all too often.

    ________________-

    If Amnesty or Human Right Watch was even handed than they might have a use. but they always take the non U.S west or Israelis side. Witness their silence on Gilead Shalit or the three hikers in Iran.

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  • 38. At 3:35pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #31

    I suggest you read this:http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/06/15/enthralled-with-cuba/

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  • 39. At 3:37pm on 16 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    • Mr Bush – Sorry what do you Yanks get that us poor stupid Limeys don’t? That terrorist attacks happen on sovereign soil at times? Whoops every heard of the IRA. That the Nazis tried to sabotage and cause a country damage? Nope none of that ever happened to us weak Europeans, my the very idea of the Battle of Britain, doodlebugs and the such pure fiction only ever devised by the greater intellects of the US. Massive air and sea strikes like Pearl Harbour only ever happened to the US, tell that to those that survived the Blitz and attacks on London, Coventry and Hull. Sorry Mr Bush the sad fact is that us Brits understand terrorism and war just as well as you Yankee Doodle Dandies, we know what to do with spies and military agitators during a time of war, they get treated to the same respect that we demand of our enemies, under international laws written up in conjunction no less illustrious countries as the USA.
    • You seem to be under the illusion that the Nuremberg trials did not work under any system of law, that being a Nazis (or current enemy of the US) was instantly recognition of guilt. It wasn’t and isn’t, we who claim to be civilised and hold the moral high ground, must be seen to abide by the laws we created and expect the rest to follow. Ignoring the rules and articles of warfare, which despite Nero’s armchair denials have been in existence for quite a while, is a sign of moral ambiguity and decline, only dictatorships and the like ignore the rules that they helped create. Sadly some of us Brits expect the US to behave better, just as we mistakenly expect our own Government. Being a great nation means you are expected to act better, especially one that claims democracy and the rule of law and justice to be at its heart.
    • Then again I am just some sad Brit who cannot understand the modern world, unlike some peacock of a Yank. My apologies to all the reasonable Americans on this board, but really trying to teach granny how to suck eggs deserves a lowering of respect, a respect I actually hold quite high for the Citizens of the USA.

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  • 40. At 3:42pm on 16 Dec 2009, ann arbor wrote:

    Re: 33 IF, Re: 21 MAII

    MAII cheered my up. ;-)

    MAII was coherent, on task, and both intelligent and biased. (as opposed to unintelligent and biased)

    My concern is the new zipcode will become a Mecca of the West because it houses their "holy warriers". That is the problem of moving the focus to something accessible.

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  • 41. At 3:56pm on 16 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 20, D R Murrell

    "I don’t believe the same can be said of Castro and the lower and middle classes of Cuba may not agree with you."

    As I am sure you are already know admitting that the overwhelming majority of the population in countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador support their leaders is tantamount to high treason in some quarters in the USA.

    Acknowledging that the segment of the population that lived in absolute misery and without hope for a better life for centuries, and that those that were abused have benefited from the policies of rulers such as Castro, Chavez, Morales and Correa is simply unacceptable to most Americans.

    Such notion also makes the validity and logic of our foreign policy towards those countries questionable, a fact we are not yet prepared to accept. Wait a few years until the old guard in Miami passes away and things are likely to change for the better. In the interim, the USA is the only country that is not benefitting from the investments and business oportunities that exist in Cuba, Venezuela and other Latin American countries, and from having closer cultural ties with our neighbors.

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  • 42. At 4:00pm on 16 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Sigh, I am not enamoured with Cuba, thinking that Batista was not an enlightened dictator does not equate with think that Fidel was. Really by being a socialist (something my Father would doubt) does not mean that I think Communism is a good thing. Actually as an ideology I actually think Communism is quite good, but only as a philosophical ideology, not one that actually works in the real world. I also think democracy is a good idea, and would like to live in a real one, not the makeshift version I am stuck with. Again democracy works as an idea, not a physical reality, to work fully you need an educated and aware populous, rather than a population enamoured the dross of modern living, such as rubbish like X Factor, tabloids etc.

    I personally the faux democracy available works better than the faux communism, but referring this back to the topic rather than a discussion on Fidel (which is irrelevant to land held legally by the US) only as the faux democracy lives up to the limited ideals it claims makes it better.

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  • 43. At 4:03pm on 16 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Saint – It is sad but true, we must not question the opinions of our master, otherwise we undermine the freedom and democracy which we preach. The very idea that people might not choose democracy, surely undermines the idea that freedom of choice we apparently hold dear. I guess that makes certain persons happy while they smoke their illegal Havana cigars!

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  • 44. At 4:05pm on 16 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 35, David

    "If these terrorists didn't want to die, then they shouldn't have been there in the first place."

    Since most of those held at Gitmo are Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis are you suggesting they should not have been in their countries when they were apprehended by coalition forces that came from six or seven thousand miles away?

    I suspect that most of us have no problem with the US using military tribunals to try those against whom there is evidence of participation or involvement in terrorism, the problem is that most of those held in Guantanamo were just people fighting the foreigners that invaded their countries, the way we would under similar circumstances. That is the reason the Bush and Obama Administrations have released so many of them.

    The real problem with trying suspected terrorists in the USA is not that they were break through cells and walls and exterminate the American people, as some seem to fear, but the fact that our laws presume innocence until conclusive evidence of guilt is provided, and the sad truth is that with the exception of a handful of Gitmo inmates we don't have even minimal evidence of guilt and would have no choice but to release most of them.

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  • 45. At 4:07pm on 16 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Hmmm...All of a sudden people have forgotten,Zacarias Moussaoui,who is serving life sentence in usa, and also the shoe bomber,Omar Abdel-Rahman and ramzi Yousef in american jails...Logic has officially left the shores of usa...Welcome to the irrational fear and anxiety..

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  • 46. At 4:07pm on 16 Dec 2009, arclightt wrote:

    All: If these are prisoners of war, then it should be recalled that we kept thousands and thousands of prisoners of war here in the US for a number of years (remember WW II?). Are we so risk-averse that we dare not do what our fathers didn't think diddly-squat about doing, against an enemy that was at near technological parity?

    @12 (KSC): "The Bush administration has so bungled this business that a proper legal process is now impossible in a number of cases. "

    The only thing I'll point out here is that if the stupid Congress had been doing its job (i.e. seriously taking the nation to war, instead of screeching that it was the unthinkable horror (Ds) or seeing it as a video game (Rs)) the Executive Branch wouldn't have been able to make such a bungle out of it. Unfortunately, the Congress STILL doesn't get it. I shudder to think what happens when Obama or successor faces a real need to deploy combat forces...the Congress will once again hide behind the War Powers Act.

    Next time anyone in elected office appeals to my emotions on any issue so serious, I will make it a point to vote against him or her in the next election, and campaign against them if they are outside my ability to use my vote.

    @18(StD):"(all)".

    Well put as usual. Having served on four juries in my life, I can say that I would prefer that every one of these folks gets a jury trial, because the typical jury can make mincemeat of most attorney blathering in a few seconds or minutes (it ain't like what you see on TV, folks).

    I'd also like to put some extra rules in place such that the jury will not only sift the guilt or innocence of the defendent but will also judge the conduct of the attorneys, and those attorneys who are judged to have misbehaved in the courtroom will themselves face sanctions. Of course, the American Bar folks will never allow that to take place, but it's nice to dream.

    @23 (Tino): We didn't treat POWs from Germany or Japan that way, and they were far better equipped to destroy us. Your proposed course of action is only appropriate in places ruled by the likes of Pol Pot. That's not the way Americans believe, or behave, regardless of whether they are red or blue or whatever. Don't be led by your emotions; they will always betray you.

    @35 (DB): Which rights would you deny? The right to confront accusers? The right to defense counsel? The right to be tried on the basis of evidence?

    I suspect that because of the shenanigans of a few trial lawyers and a few warped judges you have lost faith in the entire American legal system. While I agree that there are certainly some attorneys and some judges who should be digging ditches or asking "Would you like fries with that?", the correct response is not to sacrifice the legal system. It's to go after the lawmakers, and make certain that they understand that the stupidity that has been allowed to infect the administration of justice will be dealt with, either with or without their help, and that those of us who want to see a return to first principles in this area know where the voting booths are.

    By the way, the maintenance of a sound legal system is part of "guarding each others' freedom" that is one of the fundamental responsibilities of American citizenship. I think it's probably true that we Americans have been too careless with our legal system, and have allowed it to be subverted to being a weapons system as a result. Time to talk to that man in the mirror...

    Regards to all this fine sunny Wednesday morning near the Capitol Beltway!

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  • 47. At 4:19pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Tino (#23) has firmly established himself as a member of the lunatic fringe with this post, which cancels out any credibility he might have had with his (somewhat) more rational posts in the previous thread, as far as I am concerned.

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  • 48. At 4:24pm on 16 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    They are not prisoners of war, but prisoner of a system...americans should have thought twice before buying these people to fill the prison or camp or whatever they called on a leased land in Cuba..Most of the detainees not charged are from Yemen..Closing gauntanomobay prison is not going to change anything...Lot more people were sexually abused outside this prison and abu ghairab, is america going to close all such places? that includes the famous park in Baghdad where the proud soldiers a few days after their invasion proudly paraded naked iraqi men with different slurs written over their naked bodies...

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  • 49. At 4:25pm on 16 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 40 ann arbor-

    "My concern is the new zipcode will become a Mecca of the West because it houses their "holy warriers". That is the problem of moving the focus to something accessible."

    Accessible? Have you ever driven the roads of Illinois? They will rattle the teeth out of your head!

    In a more serious note; Guantanamo Bay is more easily accessible by land, air, and sea. The Thomson Correctional Facility is deep in the heartland of the U.S.A. Any attempt to free the inmates by force would have to cross hundreds of miles by land, or manage to navigate hundreds of miles up the Mississippi River to get to the objective; then return across all those miles without being confronted by armed forces.

    If you do not have much confidence in the Department of Homeland Security, there are all those armed citizens we just heard so much about on the previous thread who will come to the aid of their Nation in a minute.

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  • 50. At 4:27pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII (#21) has gone out on a limb here, making specific predictions which can checked when the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is concluded. We shall see.

    Attorney General Holder has carefully reviewed the cases to be tried in federal court, and I expect he is more qualified to make the judgment than some anonymous poster on a BBC blog. I will wait to see how it turns out before I criticize him or the President for the decision.

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  • 51. At 4:36pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #41

    Such notion also makes the validity and logic of our foreign policy towards those countries questionable, a fact we are not yet prepared to accept. Wait a few years until the old guard in Miami passes away and things are likely to change for the better. In the interim, the USA is the only country that is not benefitting from the investments and business oportunities that exist in Cuba, Venezuela and other Latin American countries, and from having closer cultural ties with our neighbors.

    ___________-

    Ignoring the politics for a moment, why would anyone invest in Venezuela when Hugo steals their property. I suggest you google Hilton on margartia Island, Hilton developed a major conference center there and was forced to sell at a loss.
    Why can't you admidt that Hugo is a thief and a autocrat and Morales follows his lead.

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  • 52. At 4:36pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's a link to a little background on the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, to add to the remarks by Michael Alexander Kearsley at #10:

    http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/funfacts/guantan.htm

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  • 53. At 4:52pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #50
    Attorney General Holder has carefully reviewed the cases to be tried in federal court, and I expect he is more qualified to make the judgment than some anonymous poster on a BBC blog. I will wait to see how it turns out before I criticize him or the President for the decision.
    ________________-

    Holder's judgement leaves a lot to be desired. He declined to prosecute the Black Panthers for voter intimidation, despite legal oppinions saying the CIA acted legally he want to reinvestigate and prosecute.

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  • 54. At 4:56pm on 16 Dec 2009, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Mark: '"if those who are accused of plotting 9/11 can be tried in a civil court, why can't all those detained be treated the same way? According to the administration's own argument, what hands al-Qaeda a "deadly recruiting tool" is detaining people without either the rights of prisoners of war or criminals."

    Exactly!! Not to mention, of course, that damned constitution, the destruction of which "hands" aspiring dictators of this country a huge tool in the pursuit of that dream. But of course Obama is too hypocritical and contradictory to see this obvious truth.

    There is no reason why they all can't be tried and/or released. No reason. As Via-Media has already said, the overwhelming majority of the prisoners are not terrorist plot mastermines, but impoverished people persuaded to pick up a gun and fight along side terrorist insurgents, mistaken for terrorists and then promptly spirited to Guantanamo Bay. As they are not technicly military personnel, a trial by military tribunal would be unlawful. So the only way is through civilian courts or release. We certainly can't hold them indeffinitly; that is unconstitutional as well. So it really just boils down to how much the president believes in the strength of the constitution.


    As regards those Republicans who claim that some of the detainees transfer would endanger the American people, that is American political slang for: "We fear that we may be made to answer for our crimes of torture and the denial of these POWs' 5th and 6th amendment rights; and we don't want to. It might end our careers." So I wouldn't put too much stock in what the "party of "No" says if I were you; at least for now anyway.

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  • 55. At 4:58pm on 16 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – It makes me cry in my beer that Paris will not have even more money to spend. I found one story about Margarita being seized interesting the same story claimed that the Caracas Hilton had also been seized. While Margarita has definitely gone, the Caracas Hilton is still going strong $340.00 a night if anyone is interested. So Hilton do appear to wish to invest money. It makes my heart glad that Paris will still be able to buy handbags for her little doggy. Next!

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  • 56. At 5:05pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    MagicKirin (#53) has a good point with respect to the New Black Panther Party case. Here is an op-ed piece on the matter by Representative Lamar Smith of Texas (House Judiciary Committee) in The Washington Times.

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  • 57. At 5:11pm on 16 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 33 Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "Nothing like a jolt of MAII's sunny optimism to brighten up a dull day."

    Sunny optimism? Are you mad?

    Surely we have established by now that sunshine is fatal to MAII? [See also garlic, crucifixes, holy water and stakes through heart.]

    A mere ray of sunshine could turn him into a pile of dust.

    And we wouldn't want that, now would we....

    ;-)


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  • 58. At 5:22pm on 16 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 53 MagicKirin-

    "Holder's judgement leaves a lot to be desired. He declined to prosecute the Black Panthers for voter intimidation, despite legal oppinions saying the CIA acted legally he want to reinvestigate and prosecute."

    The CIA acted legally? What was the CIA doing in FBI jurisdiction?

    CIA involvement would be a sound, legal reason to dismiss charges against the New Black Panther Party. The CIA is not to be involved in domestic criminal investigations. That is the jurisdiction of the FBI.

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  • 59. At 5:25pm on 16 Dec 2009, LucyJ wrote:

    I blame this whole Guantanamo Bay mess on Bush. Before this decade, the USA was in good legal standing and a human rights advocate for the world. After this mess, the USA is now suddenly deemed as not the best human rights advocate, even though outside of the younger Bush decade, we have always been a good example of treating people right or at least better than most countries.

    So the good people of Illinois get to clean up the mess. Of course, Thomsen, IL is on the border of Illinois and Iowa is only a few miles away. I wish that the people of Illinois had a chance to vote on this. After all, this is bringing America's most hated villains in the heart of the USA. You would think we would have a say, but the people don't. Only our dirty, crooked officials do. They are people that only see dollar signs and feel the only way to make money is from the terrorists.

    Sadly, Obama has not come up with any better way to make money for our poor suffering states.

    I think it's stupid to bring these detainees to a town that is so close to Chicago. To put the prison there is basically putting Chicago as terrorist target # 1. There are more than enough people and landmarks. Chicago is the heart of America. We hold the country together.

    If there is a sudden rush of terrorists in Chicago, no one will notice. The Chicago police have enough to deal with, as is. I don't understand why Obama is not putting the world's most dangerous terrorists in a remote location in the West or even the island of Alcatraz. Somewhere where a sudden influx of people would be noticed. But Obama wants to do this the hard and unpleasant way by putting the people who loved him first in the most harm's way.

    Bringing the world's most dangerous terrorists here is President Obama backstabbing his home state. He is disgracing the Land of Lincoln by scarring/ruining our good reputation.

    But this is not Illinoisans' choice. Sometimes you have to bend to federal rule, even if you don't like it. This is a good example. Although our politicians' claim that they will do anything to get money for our state (Quinn and Durbin) the majority of the people of Illinois are much more wise and would prefer safety and peace of mind over bringing the people that hate us most here.

    Quinn is a liar. This year he signed a secret program into effect (much like Bush, without the people knowing) letting out thousands of prisoners of all charges including violent assaults back onto the streets after serving only days or months when many of them were supposed to serve years. Some of the released prisoners even killed police officers or people of the law. So to say that no one likes Quinn is shortening it. Quinn is an absolute disgrace and has done harm to our state. From Blago to Quinn, neither is good.

    Ironically, after this secret program Obama still wants to bring them here. There is a chance that one day some of these detainees will be released. Where will they go? We already know the answer. Back into the USA, where our kids will have to deal with them.

    I agreed with the closure of Guantanamo Bay. I and many others never thought it should have opened in the first place. Now, we have to deal with Bush's mess. Unfortantely, President Obama is not ending Guan. Bay the responsible way, because he is placing America's most dangerous terrorists within several hours of America's biggest Midwest city, making us the number one terrorist target. If Obama was truly a wise man, he would place the terrorists far away from any big cities. Instead, he has put his old state as the number one target.

    Only time will tell. But this is a huge back-stabbing to the people of Illinois. I won't lie. It hurts real bad.

    But it's not like anyone else wants these terrorists, either, especially since they know it will make them a terrorist target and possibly some terrorists could be released one day onto our soil. I can't blame them.

    Illinois has to be the toughest state of them all. We have to take the most hated, unwanted people in America because no one else wants them. But we will teach this to our kids and grandkids, "Never, ever let them set up terrorist camps in other countries, because they will bring them here next. We are living proof of that. What Bush did was wrong, even if the people of the USA were good people. Never let our country do that again. Take the moral high road. Even if you elect a good President after the bad one, you will still get stuck with the mess for the rest of your life. And most importantly, having to live next to these terrorists means that this battle is here for the rest of our lives and our children's lives in plain view. Perhaps this war will never be over."

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  • 60. At 5:31pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #55
    D R Murrell wrote:
    Magic – It makes me cry in my beer that Paris will not have even more money to spend. I found one story about Margarita being seized interesting the same story claimed that the Caracas Hilton had also been seized. While Margarita has definitely gone, the Caracas Hilton is still going strong $340.00 a night if anyone is interested. So Hilton do appear to wish to invest money. It makes my heart glad that Paris will still be able to buy handbags for her little doggy.
    ______________

    Forget the blond airhead, to build a hotel conference center is a major undertaking and risk. go to Vegas or Cancun and see the half built sights. this was a sucessful operation that Hugo decided to steal what makes him any better than when the mob muscles in?

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  • 61. At 5:32pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    publiusDetroit (#58), I think you were confused by MK's sloppy syntax and puctuation. It appears to me that he was writing about two distinct things in one sentence.

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  • 62. At 5:35pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    " ... we have always been a good example of treating people right or at least better than most countries."

    LucyIllinois (#59) may not be old enough to remember the My Lai Massacre.

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  • 63. At 5:47pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #58
    publiusdetroit wrote:
    Ref 53 MagicKirin-

    "Holder's judgement leaves a lot to be desired. He declined to prosecute the Black Panthers for voter intimidation, despite legal oppinions saying the CIA acted legally he want to reinvestigate and prosecute."

    The CIA acted legally? What was the CIA doing in FBI jurisdiction?

    CIA involvement would be a sound, legal reason to dismiss charges against the New Black Panther Party. The CIA is not to be involved in domestic criminal investigations. That is the jurisdiction of the FBI.

    ______________-

    Sorry was unclear they were two seperate issues

    Black Panthers were voter intimidation

    CIA was the supposed harsh interogations of terrorists.

    I was just refering to Holder's judgement and agenda

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  • 64. At 5:49pm on 16 Dec 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    @ LucyIllinois

    Thompson, Illinois is nowhere near Chicago. It's nearly 200 miles away!

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  • 65. At 6:02pm on 16 Dec 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    62. At 5:35pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    LucyIllinois (#59) may not be old enough to remember the My Lai Massacre.

    She may also not be aware of the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed civilians at Batang Kali, Malaya in 1948 - only now being investigated by the British authorities - 60 years after the fact. Or the fact that tens of thousands of Boer women and children died in British concentration camps during the second Boer War.

    Facts are nasty things when you're trying to prove how civilized you are.

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  • 66. At 6:05pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:
    @ LucyIllinois

    Thompson, Illinois is nowhere near Chicago. It's nearly 200 miles away!

    _________________-

    If they are going to IL why not put it next door to fellow terrorist's house Bill Ayers.

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  • 67. At 6:08pm on 16 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "We didn't treat POWs from Germany or Japan that way, and they were far better equipped to destroy us. Your proposed course of action is only appropriate in places ruled by the likes of Pol Pot. That's not the way Americans believe, or behave, regardless of whether they are red or blue or whatever. Don't be led by your emotions; they will always betray you."

    They were prisoners of war from nations in combat with us. These are members of a guerrilla force captured on the battlefield. If they didn't present an intelligence opportunity, I would be against taking them as prisoners period. I would prefer they be killed immediately, even if they try to surrender.

    You see, I don't really care for this "we are better than them nonsense". I know it. We are not trying to win a popularity contest here, and to be honest I don't give two ***** what the rest of the world thinks. What I do, however, care about is securing my way of life and the safety of my family. This means I am more than happy to give them zero quarter, mercy, or extension of my country's hard earned rights. They need to be fought at every opportunity with absolutely overwhelming force. These are not members of a standing army. They have no problem with lying and pretending their way into the country to commit underhanded attacks. They need to be killed, because you cannot reason with someone who sees it as their religious duty to kill you.

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  • 68. At 6:10pm on 16 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    After all, this is bringing America's most hated villains in the heart of the USA.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    atleast first try to find out the crime of of those yemenis who are going to be transported to IL before you call them America's most hated villians...

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  • 69. At 6:13pm on 16 Dec 2009, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Via-Media #2: '"What Guantanamo came to represent tarnished the image (part myth, of course) that the U.S. tries to project in the world- that we do have a side that seeks justice and truth."


    But I thought we do (or rather did, going off of the way in which Obama is handling the closure of Guantanamo.) How has this "side" ever been a "myth?" Up until Bush opened Guantanamo, I always thought that one of the things we had in common with the rest of the democracies in the world was that at our best, we did in fact seak justice and truth. Am I missing something? Please help me out.

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  • 70. At 6:15pm on 16 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "How we treat prisoners, of any kind, is a measure of our character, not theirs."

    Who is measuring our character and why should I care what they conclude. Again, what matters to me is the preservation of our way of life and the safety of this country's citizens. We are not here to be loved, merely respected and left alone to do as we wish.

    "Tino (#23) has firmly established himself as a member of the lunatic fringe with this post, which cancels out any credibility he might have had with his (somewhat) more rational posts in the previous thread, as far as I am concerned."

    You are more than welcome to your opinion. I am not here to be found credible to you, merely stating my opinion on what should be done with terrorists when they no longer provide valuable intelligence. If you choose to write off anything I say in the future because you disagree with one opinion of mine, that is your choice.

    "but impoverished people persuaded to pick up a gun and fight along side terrorist insurgents"

    So being poor is an excuse to release one from responsibility? Interesting how shooting at and possibly killing American soldiers can simply be ignored because poor people were 'persuaded'. I don't care what their reason was, their background, etc. These people were captured on the battlefield engaging in combat with my country's soldiers. Them being poor is beyond irrelevant.

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  • 71. At 6:15pm on 16 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    we have always been a good example of treating people right or at least better than most countries."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No, you have never been a good example of treating people's right, starting from your treatment of native americans, slaves to killing iraqis because of sanctions to sexual abuse by your soldiers, inside and outside different prisons to outsourcing the torture of your prisoners to now killing the people through drones to your prison in afghanistan...

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  • 72. At 6:19pm on 16 Dec 2009, washuotaku wrote:

    Mark, everyone wanted Guantanamo closed, Obama made that even his campaign promise. So he's making this promise come true, simple as that. Didn't change anything though, they are still in prison; but nobody asked that... they just wanted Guantanamo closed.

    At the end of the day, it's a simple check-list. If people still complain about it, then that's not Obama's fault because he did do his promise and when news reports look back they will not say he moved them from point A to B, it will be he closed Guantanamo.

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  • 73. At 6:30pm on 16 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 59 LucyIllinois-

    "If there is a sudden rush of terrorists in Chicago, no one will notice. The Chicago police have enough to deal with, as is."

    Are you saying that the good citizens of Chicago are lethargic and walk around in a daze all the time? Or are you saying that there are so many terrible people in the City of Chicago that a rush of some more terrible people into the city would just blend into the mix?

    "I don't understand why Obama is not putting the world's most dangerous terrorists in a remote location in the West or even the island of Alcatraz. Somewhere where a sudden influx of people would be noticed."

    Unless all 450 of the good citizens of Thomson, Illinois are completely lethargic and walk around in a daze, they might notice "a sudden influx of people" coming into their small community. It has been my experience growing up in a small town that everyone notices any strange face in town and watches to see what the person is doing in the area. The citizens of my home town were, and still are, ever vigilant when it comes to outsiders.

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  • 74. At 6:35pm on 16 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    There is huge symbolism attached to the whole Guantanamo episode of these past years.

    This decision drives yet one more nail into the coffin of the Bush-Cheney era, which was such a blot on America's reputation.

    As for what shall follow: well, what Bush & Cheney enabled was actually a subversion of the Constitution.

    There is no escape clause or loophole in America's founding documents that says: "While all men are created equal, some of their rights can be suspended if there are politically expedient reasons to do so according to the corrupt self-interest of any unscrupulous cabal that succeeds in capturing the executive branch of government in some devious way, at some point in the future."

    Presumably, Step One being getting these suspects into some regular detention system, Step Two will be subjecting them to a rigorous, yet transparent & non-secretive judicial process -- complete with oversight and guarantees of actual truth-finding.

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  • 75. At 6:43pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    washuotaku (#72) "Mark, everyone wanted Guantanamo closed, ... "

    Not true. Republicans generally did not. I'm an Obama supporter, but I don't have a problem with a detention center at Guantanamo Bay. It's certain practices which took place there, not the location, which are objectionable, in my opinion.

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  • 76. At 6:44pm on 16 Dec 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    66. At 6:05pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    If they are going to IL why not put it next door to fellow terrorist's house Bill Ayers.

    Better yet, put it down the street from me. Why should Bill Ayers' wealthy neighborhood get it? When they're done setting things up in Thompson, it'll be the safest town in America.

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  • 77. At 6:48pm on 16 Dec 2009, U13817236 wrote:

    "And maybe I've missed it, but it is not clear to me"...which pretty much sums up faux reformer Obama's whole woeful reign so far. There's a plethora of vagaries and inconsistencies here, as in every other area of policy. "Logic", just like justice, has never been among Obama's strong points. It's simply more of Bush's heavy-handed martial law, now with a 'politically correct' face. The most bizarre aspect, of course, is that "President Obama's administration says it will remove a 'deadly recruiting tool' from the hands of al-Qaeda", publically admitting they have real grievances with U.S. policy. But whatever little may or may not be "removed" by such shell games, it will be more than offset by the escalation in Afghanistan which will become their biggest new "recruiting tool".


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  • 78. At 6:53pm on 16 Dec 2009, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    KSkurmudgion #12: '"remember Messers Bush and Cheney? It was their administration and not Obama's that concocted the notion that persons - military combatants to be precise - could be held indefinitely, and that terrorism was the trump card that voided the rule of law."

    Not only that, but also the notion that it is ok for a nation to invade another nation's sovern teritory, capture its citizens and those of other countries, and wisk them off to a prison to be tortured.

    "Obama and Holder have labored all these months to find a fair and legal process to restore the rule of law, even for the people whose natural rights were ignored and abused by messers energetic and covert, incorporated."

    Well they obviously haven't "labored" enough, because if they had, they would have arrived upon the only constitutional, international law abiding, and universally acceptable solution to this problem; that of open, civilian trials or deportation, as 'Via-Media has so eloquently explained in post #16.

    And finally to those who think that the eventual closure of Guantanamo Bay will restore our credibility in the world and allow us to reclaim the moral high ground, I hate to burst your bubbles, but it most likely won't. The world has had little apatite, if any, for forgiving us after our past mistakes, just what makes you think they'll forgive us for possibly the biggest mistake in our history?


    I don't think people grasp just how much damage Guantanamo Bay's existance has inflicted on our international reputation. Never again will we be able to even gently chastise totalitarian China on its grose human rights abuses, an act which we would have been fully within our rights to perform much more harshly a mere decade ago. Never again will we be able to truthfully speak of ourselves as a "beacon" of light, hope, or anything else except of what nations should not aspire to be. Never again will we be able to discuss human rights at the United Nations with our heads held high and our conscience clean. Never. Shame we had to throw that all away, huh?

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  • 79. At 7:03pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    A bit overdramit in #78, I would say.

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  • 80. At 7:14pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #76
    Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:
    66. At 6:05pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    If they are going to IL why not put it next door to fellow terrorist's house Bill Ayers.

    Better yet, put it down the street from me. Why should Bill Ayers' wealthy neighborhood get it? When they're done setting things up in Thompson, it'll be the safest town in America.
    ______________

    Because it will drive the property values down and you don't derserve that. but Ayers does.

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  • 81. At 7:15pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    "Overdramatic," I meant.

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  • 82. At 7:39pm on 16 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    American prisons hold many individuals that the "terrorist" would be very afraid to be housed with. Responses from politicians should be taken as political and not based on fact. I am sure the Americans can find the equivelent to Devil's Island and I believe there is a man on an island off the coast of Turkey, imprisoned by himself. The question is one of justice. A predetermination of guilt would be contray to the American system although many would rather not go to the trouble of a trial. I would think that President Obama is attempting to re-establish some moral legitimacy to the process. The Republicans would probably want TV beheadings, but they had their chance.

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  • 83. At 7:40pm on 16 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 59 LucyIllinois-

    "Thomsen, IL is on the border of Illinois and Iowa is only a few miles away. I wish that the people of Illinois had a chance to vote on this. After all, this is bringing America's most hated villains in the heart of the USA. You would think we would have a say, but the people don't."

    Ref 80 MagicKirin-

    "Because it will drive the property values down and you don't derserve that. but Ayers does."

    It seems the good citizens of Thomson, Illinois do not agree with neither of you.

    Here is a link to a news report where local citizens express their approval of the relocation from Guantanamo to the correctional facility in their community.

    It would seem that property values are sure to rise in the coming days for the little town and it's environs.

    (Our posters from the Great State of Illinois may note that the proper spelling of the town name is T-h-o-m-s-o-n. Not Thompson, nor Thomsen.)

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  • 84. At 7:48pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #78I don't think people grasp just how much damage Guantanamo Bay's existance has inflicted on our international reputation. Never again will we be able to even gently chastise totalitarian China on its grose human rights abuses, an act which we would have been fully within our rights to perform much more harshly a mere decade ago. Never again will we be able to truthfully speak of ourselves as a "beacon" of light, hope, or anything else except of what nations should not aspire to be. Never again will we be able to discuss human rights at the United Nations with our heads held high and our conscience clean. Never. Shame we had to throw that all away, huh?
    ______________---

    I don't think people realize the overeaction to Guantanamo bay is. So somne terorists got humiliated, boo hoo. it is so minor an infraction that if it wasn't the U.S, it would be a non story. the three Americans in Iran are being treated far worse.

    We still hold the moral high ground over the U.N with their track record of the two rs rape and racism.

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  • 85. At 8:07pm on 16 Dec 2009, KingLeeRoySandersJr wrote:

    The Guantanamo Concentration Camp and all Concentration Camps should be closed and the prisoners returned to their own country. In a War people knowing only what they have been taught defend it. These people have served their time in the worst of conditions under sadist personnel.

    Governments work two ways. They can be what they say they are if individuals go along with everything or just the opposite if they choose.

    These individuals were only protecting their selves programmed like any other soldier. They were fighting in Self Defense protecting their self unto lethal force if it called for it.

    Governments can commit crimes especially against dissidence. In prisons I have seen Jailers under orders initiate prisoners to rape people, to beat people to were they can never take care of their selves, to castrate and poison.

    Indiscriminately individuals are being experimented on for life. (Negroids in Alabama were withheld proper drugs to see the prolonged effects of venereal diseases.)

    People have by agencies been framed for crimes they have not committed and killed. The US Government or any government can easily use the judicial system and the law enforcement reacting only on orders to incarcerate any individual in any facility to shut up or teach a person or persons a lesson to be subservient with no rights if it chooses.

    Now who is the enemy? Put your self in any of the lesser's shoes.

    No matter what your choice in serving your government you can be damned if you do or damned if you don't.

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  • 86. At 8:52pm on 16 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    57. At 5:11pm on 16 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    Sunny optimism? Are you mad?

    Surely we have established by now that sunshine is fatal to MAII? [See also garlic, crucifixes, holy water and stakes through heart.]

    A mere ray of sunshine could turn him into a pile of dust.

    And we wouldn't want that, now would we....

    ;-)
    __________

    That was a funny post.

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  • 87. At 8:59pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #85KingLeeRoySandersJr wrote:
    The Guantanamo Concentration Camp and all Concentration Camps should be closed and the prisoners returned to their own country. In a War people knowing only what they have been taught defend it. These people have served their time in the worst of conditions under sadist personnel
    ______________-

    Exhibt A of an overeaction

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  • 88. At 9:00pm on 16 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    70. At 6:15pm on 16 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    Who is measuring our character and why should I care what they conclude. Again, what matters to me is the preservation of our way of life and the safety of this country's citizens. We are not here to be loved, merely respected and left alone to do as we wish.
    __________

    It is a measure of our own self-respect. There used to be a saying, an expression of profound truth, now apparently gone out of use, and clearly outside your life experience: "Virtue is its own reward."

    You would throw out the Bill of rights for the sake of a bunch of miserable, good-for-nothing, terrorists.

    You clearly have no understanding of the immeasurable value of the gift of civil rights that has been passed down to us from our forefathers. This is our inheritance, our birthright. They are the most valuable thing we have. Civil rights are the jewels in the crown of liberty.

    And you would cast them out at the first excuse ...

    I am glad that you are not in charge of anything, because if people who think like you were put in charge we would have no civil rights at all.

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  • 89. At 9:06pm on 16 Dec 2009, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    GH1618 #79. . .

    And just what is over dramatic about my post? The world has never historicly forgiven us for our mistakes that easily; and even if they have, when down the line we expressed our opinion on what we view as a wrong move by another country, more often than not, our past similar such mistakes were brought up again as if to say, '"You did X, so you have no right to criticise me for doing Y." I don't know why that is. The way in which we came to world prominence, the tendency of our politicians to believe our country to be omnipotent, I really don't know. But it is a fact. Plane and simple. So 5, 10, 20 years down the road, after China has taken our place as the most powerful country and #1 economy in the world, when we try to make an attempt at criticising their human rights abuses, do you think they'll listen? No! Have we ever listened to less powerful countries when they said that Guantanamo Bay was wrong? No! So what makes you think that worse human rights abusers than us will listen to us? They'll merely laugh, bring up the Mi Lie massacre and Guantanamo Bay, say '"Pot, Kettle, Black" and be on their way. I'm not saying its right! I'm just saying that it is unfortunately what happens, all the time, in the international comunity.

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  • 90. At 9:24pm on 16 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    PursuitofLove (#89) "And just what is over dramatic about my post?"

    What is overly dramatic is the implication that if it were not for the misguided policies of the previous president at Guantanamo Bay, the US would be a "beacon of light" and what nations should "aspire to be." We could discuss human rights at the UN "with our head held high," whereas now we presumably can't. No longer can we "chastise totolitarian China." All this, which somehow survived the previous 200 years of the nation, was thrown away at Guantanamo.

    Give me a break. If you don't know what constitutes "drama" (in the modern sense, not the thespian sense) you are hopelessly obtuse.

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  • 91. At 9:24pm on 16 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The difference between you and those you went after was that you claimed that you belonged to some higher civilization which looked with disgust what the lower civilization does..But you ended doing what you thought you did or would not do..All you have in your self defence is you compare yourself with past which you critisize..One little shock and you fell from your perceived and imaginary civilization...Swiss think that by forbidding the minars on the mosque they retained the higher civilization, and you think by changing the episenter of torture and illegal detaintion from gauntanomobay to usa, you have climbed up the ladder of civilization....

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  • 92. At 10:39pm on 16 Dec 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    "To whom much has been given, much is also expected."

    The US has been blessed with much. Most of the world expects us to act with better conscience, gratitude and fortitude than has been shown in the last eight years. The US has erred greatly and the clay feet are slowly dissolving.

    It remains to be seen if the justice we are so proud of will finally prevail for these men. Guilty or innocent, they must be given a "day in court" to confront evidence and offer defense.

    If we would try to do battle with those we see as 'monsters' then we should have a care that we do not become monsters ourselves.

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  • 93. At 10:42pm on 16 Dec 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    69 Pursuit
    Apologies for mangling my 5AM comment. My remark was intended to be a reflection on the damage to America's image abroad, as other posters have more ably remarked.

    I also conflated with this an attempt to comment on the myth of American Exceptionalism, that we are somehow different than all other nations founded before or since, that our own (still largely unconscious) self-image conflicts with some of our baser actions. The goals and values are no less valuable for it, but we as a people and as a nation can no longer afford to delude ourselves into thinking that our every action is just, and that the rest of the world can bleep off if they are too corrupt to see how righteous we are. Myth, indeed.

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  • 94. At 10:55pm on 16 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    It remains to be seen if the justice we are so proud of will finally prevail for these men. Guilty or innocent, they must be given a "day in court" to confront evidence and offer defense.

    If we would try to do battle with those we see as 'monsters' then we should have a care that we do not become monsters ourselves.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have become worse monsters than those you fight against.. or perhaps you have always have been...

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  • 95. At 11:02pm on 16 Dec 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    92 aquarizonagal

    Beautiful post! Your eloquence and wisdom have been much missed!

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  • 96. At 11:20pm on 16 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #92
    aquarizonagal wrote:
    "To whom much has been given, much is also expected."

    The US has been blessed with much. Most of the world expects us to act with better conscience, gratitude and fortitude than has been shown in the last eight years. The US has erred greatly and the clay feet are slowly dissolving.

    _____________________--

    The U.S has nothing to apologize and the world owes us another debt of thanks. George Bush (despite his domestic mistakes) should be honored for leading the fight against international terrorism. Unlike so called leaders like Annan and Mandela he doesn't believe being non white gives you freedom to committ unspeakable evil.

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  • 97. At 11:35pm on 16 Dec 2009, rodidog wrote:

    I'm a little confused by those thinking these new military tribunals held in the Thompson prison are any more justifiable as those very same tribunals being held at Gitmo under the Bush administration. Since both these courts operate under the same code of military justice, how can it be said these prisoners are only now being given a fair and legal process as opposed to before?

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  • 98. At 11:56pm on 16 Dec 2009, Scott0962 wrote:

    Federal Supermax prisons house our nation's most dangerous and violent offenders, they're surely up to the task of keeping former inmates from Guantanamo safe and secure until trial but they definitely won't meet the standards of the Geneva Conventions or human rights groups. From a public relations standpoint they are no better than Guantanamo. It's not which prison we are keeping them in, it's how and when we bring them to trial or release them. Holding people indefinitely without charge or trial is uncivilized and something we'd expect from the Taliban or Al Qaeda, not from a country that styles itself the leader of the free world.

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  • 99. At 11:58pm on 16 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 96 MagicKirin-

    "George Bush (despite his domestic mistakes) should be honored for leading the fight against international terrorism."

    There is little doubt that the entire world will long remember George W Bush as the leader of the fight against international terrorism through the use of unspeakable evil.

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  • 100. At 00:16am on 17 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It's all President Bush's fault. These inmates at GITMO should all have been tried, convicted, and executed BEFORE he left office. Like Iran, Syria, North Korea it's all work he left undone. And now with someone as clueless as Obama and his supporters, we'll all be lucky if they don't just unlock the prison gates and let them walk out scot free. Speaking of terrorists walking out of prison scot free, anyone hear that Magrahi died yet? I didn't think so. When do you suppose the UK will sign its oil contract with Lybia or has it been done in secret already?

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  • 101. At 00:20am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "You clearly have no understanding of the immeasurable value of the gift of civil rights that has been passed down to us from our forefathers. This is our inheritance, our birthright. They are the most valuable thing we have. Civil rights are the jewels in the crown of liberty."

    Yes, I do. I just don't think they should be extended to people fighting my country to ELIMINATE THOSE RIGHTS. Extending rights to people who want to destroy those same exact rights is downright stupid. I am not even suggesting that any American citizen have their rights infringed upon in any way. I am simply saying I have absolutely zero problem completely, and without mercy, destroying those who wish to take them away and destroy my way of life.

    The terrorists themselves, in every charter and statement, say they intend to convert the world and kill anyone who won't. The world would then be forced to live under Sharia law. This is absolutely the antithesis of my way of life and I quite simply will not allow it.

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  • 102. At 00:29am on 17 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The world would then be forced to live under Sharia law.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Maybe the world should live under sharia law for a change..

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  • 103. At 00:46am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Maybe the world should live under sharia law for a change.."

    Yeah, over my dead body.

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  • 104. At 00:48am on 17 Dec 2009, HabitualHero wrote:

    #101 " This is absolutely the antithesis of my way of life and I quite simply will not allow it. "


    So.....you're a superhero?

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  • 105. At 00:55am on 17 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 101 Tino-

    "The world would then be forced to live under Sharia law. This is absolutely the antithesis of my way of life and I quite simply will not allow it."

    What wonderful determination!! Load up the jetliners! The Troops can be home for Christmas! Tino is not going to allow terrorists to take over the world. Our hero has arrived!

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  • 106. At 01:05am on 17 Dec 2009, Pass Torian wrote:

    Indeed, the same thing bothers me ... Is human zoo changing its zip code? Is that what civilized America is only capable of?

    If so, that is not much. Our own demands of China , Russia and others to respect rights of human beings cannot be taken seriously.

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  • 107. At 01:20am on 17 Dec 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    Super heroes are great part of US culture and mythology. This may be why some persist in denial of reality.

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  • 108. At 01:26am on 17 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    "Maybe the world should live under sharia law for a change.."

    Yeah, over my dead body.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Those who dont want to live under sharia law, can continue to live in the world that they have created inside their minds..From the war on terror to the just war..atleast both the sides are now using the same word to describe the war they are waging.Next , your leaders will say the word they keep it in their hearts and minds, that is, the crussades...The islamists are slowly but surely forcing you to call crussade the crussade..And by the way, crussaders had the same delusional ideas of granduer that the west has about its civilization.

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  • 109. At 01:34am on 17 Dec 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#97 Rodidog

    My understanding of US military courts are that these courts are not "tribunals." They are courts of law that require evidence, that the accused be confronted by their accusers, they the accused may speak and present evidence in their own defense. These courts are not of "Judge Roy Bean." They are courts that follow the rules of US laws.

    I will wait to be educated and corrected by any who may actually know more about this.

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  • 110. At 01:41am on 17 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 107 aquarizonagal-

    "Super heroes are great part of US culture and mythology. This may be why some persist in denial of reality."

    It appears that our special superhero has journeyed well past the denial of reality.

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  • 111. At 01:56am on 17 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @LucyIllinois #59

    "I blame this whole Guantanamo Bay mess on Bush. Before this decade, the USA was in good legal standing and a human rights advocate for the world."

    Before this decade? You are joking. USA has been involved in a succession of wars and overthrowing democracies, either militarily or by CIA, since the end of WWII.

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  • 112. At 02:06am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "What wonderful determination!! Load up the jetliners! The Troops can be home for Christmas! Tino is not going to allow terrorists to take over the world. Our hero has arrived!"

    Lol, exactly...

    Or I have faith that most of my countrymen (and women) are not as pathetic as this lot. Plenty of us would lay our lives on the line to prevent Sharia from taking hold in the US. I was simply explaining that I would be one of them.

    You are more than welcome to enjoy paying the Jizyah, however.

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  • 113. At 02:12am on 17 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    #111
    Here's a few:
    1950-53 Korea, 1950-55 Formosa (Taiwan), 1953 Iran, 1954 Guatemala, 1956 Egypt, 1958 Lebanon, 1959 Cuba, 1960 Turkey, 1962 Thailand, 1962 Cuba, 1962-75 – Laos, 1963 Iraq, 1964 Brazil, 1964 Vietnam, 1966 Ghana, 1965 Dominican Republic, 1968 Laos, 1968 Cambodia, 1968 Iraq, 1973 Chile, 1973-74 Afghanistan, 1976 Argentina, 1978-1980s Afghanistan, 1981 El Salvador, 1981 Libya, 1981-1990 Nicaragua, 1983 Grenada, 1983 – Honduras, 1986 Libya, 1986 Bolivia, 1988 USS Vincennes shoots down Iranian passenger flight 655, 1988 Panama, 1989 Libya, 1989 Panama, 1989 Philippines, 1989-90 – Panama, 1990 Liberia, 1991 Iraq, 1992-2003 Iraq No-Fly Zones, 1993 Guatemala, 1994-95 Haiti, 1998 Afghanistan, 1998 Sudan, 1999 - 2001 East Timor, 2002 Venezuela, 2003 Georgia, 2002 Yemen, 2002 Philippines, 2003 Iraq, 2003 Georgia, 2004 Ukraine, 2004 Equatorial Guinea, 2004 Haiti, 2005 Lebanon, 2006 Pakistan.

    There might be a few legitimate ones in there.

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  • 114. At 02:22am on 17 Dec 2009, Kittle wrote:

    Tino, you seem to be missing a point here. A right is a right and therefore available to all, irrespective of whether the people recieveing those rights would willingly give them to others, or wether you like the people who are recieving those rights. As soon as you are willing to ignore the rights of people because they don't like you or your country, then you are no better than they are.

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  • 115. At 02:35am on 17 Dec 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #109 aquarizonagal,

    My understanding of US military courts are that these courts are not "tribunals." They are courts of law that require evidence, that the accused be confronted by their accusers, they the accused may speak and present evidence in their own defense. These courts are not of "Judge Roy Bean." They are courts that follow the rules of US laws.

    I will wait to be educated and corrected by any who may actually know more about this.
    --------------------------

    Actualy, they are Military tribunals or commissions, not Courts-martial. It is this system inwhich military courts try enemy forces or combatants. They also have an active role in the case, which is different from a civilian court. Defendants do not have the same protections afforded by the Bill of Rights as in a civilian court.

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  • 116. At 02:40am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "As soon as you are willing to ignore the rights of people because they don't like you or your country, then you are no better than they are."

    There is absolutely no such thing as an inalienable/natural right to a trial in a US civilian court. I don't even believe in a concept of natural rights - the idea is ridiculous. Even if I am wrong - I do admit the possibility at least - the right to a trial by jury is certainly not one of them. These are rights we stated when we broke from British Rule. They were not the same rights we had under said rule.

    In addition, it makes no sense to respect the rights of others when they are seeking to take yours away. To do so is absolute insanity. I am not surprised, however, as this sentiment comes from the same people - generally - that advocate complete tolerance. This is problematic, as a system that affords the same tolerance to an intolerant position inherently becomes intolerant! If this makes no sense, I apologize but think about it. If there are 5 people in a room, 4 advocating complete tolerance (all with different opinions, but no desire to force their opinions on others) and one who is intolerant of other opinions outside their own. The four naturally will accept that it is the right of the 5th to hold whatever opinion he desires. Of course, the 5th's will inevitably dominate because he cares not at all about trampling over the other 4. Since they are ALWAYS tolerant, they cannot ever restore an open environment as, in their minds, not tolerating his nonsense is wrong. I submit that a greater evil takes place if the 5th person is not stopped.

    Thus, rights of all should be respected - until a person decides they do not wish to act in the same manner. Then they need to be stopped.

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  • 117. At 02:46am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "then you are no better than they are."

    I don't care about being 'better'. Again, who is judging and why does their opinion matter to me?

    What I do care about is my way of life. Since the openly stated goal of these terrorists is the elimination of my way of life and conversion to their religion, I simply want them stopped. You cannot talk someone out of a religious conviction, as their position is based on faith and thus empirical evidence is entirely irrelevant. There is no common ground because they see it as their religious duty to make the world Islamic, following their rules and living with only their given rights.

    I do not, therefore, care about being 'better' (side note: what does that nonsense even mean? what are the standards used to judge such an intangible quality?). I care about preserving my way of life and my rights, not theirs.

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  • 118. At 02:49am on 17 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @ Tino #116

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    Article 5
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Article 11
    Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

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  • 119. At 02:53am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    On the concept of natural rights: could someone explain to me exactly what these are?

    I have been reading up about historical ideas of the concept since Kittle's post. People have constantly disagreed about what they are, which reinforces my view that there is no such thing.

    Locke seems to have gotten it closest to what they may be, in my opinion:

    Life, liberty, property. I am not too sure about the last one, but I could certainly get behind the first two. I still don't see how they are natural rights, however.

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  • 120. At 03:03am on 17 Dec 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Mark Mardell:

    I think it is only changing the ZIP CODE than, doing what President Obama promised to do in 2008....

    =Dennis Junior=

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  • 121. At 03:03am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    #118

    Thank you for quoting the UN, which has nothing to do with natural rights. I could also care less what such a corrupt and inept organization has to say about, quite frankly, anything. The UNHRC for example is the most ridiculous example of their 'rights'. Their resolution against religious defamation is a disgusting affront to free speech. The council is full of countries with gross human rights violations.

    Also, what does your post have to do with anything? (Serious question, you entered no text of your own and I would prefer to engage you in conversation instead of reading the UNs declaration of human rights.)

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  • 122. At 03:03am on 17 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    # 102. At 00:29am on 17 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The world would then be forced to live under Sharia law.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Maybe the world should live under sharia law for a change..

    # 103. At 00:46am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Maybe the world should live under sharia law for a change.."

    "Yeah, over my dead body."
    _____________
    _____________

    Lord, what a pair.
    Neither one has a clue about democracy or civil rights.

    A marriage made in heaven if ever there was one.

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  • 123. At 03:49am on 17 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    rodidog (#97) "Since both these courts operate under the same code of military justice, how can it be said these prisoners are only now being given a fair and legal process as opposed to before?"

    It can be said that process is fair and legal since before a few decisions of the US Supreme Court, Rasul v. Bush (2004), Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), Boumediene v. Bush (2008), invalidated the original procedures under which the tribunals were held and forced new rules to be written which provide for due process. The rules are not the same as in civilian federal courts, but they are nevertheless fair. Hamdan received a fair trial and a just sentence.

    The location of the tribunals does not matter. Moving them from Guantanamo Bay to Illinois is mostly symbolic, I think, although it does make access easier for journalists.

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  • 124. At 04:00am on 17 Dec 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    Mark:

    "How does moving their location from an island to a US state change that? If only "some" are to be moved to the new facility, and none are to be released into the USA, what happens to the rest?"

    The answer to the first question is that anyone on U.S. soil (with one exception that I can think of, see below) has Constitutional rights.

    Also, it ends the domination of this issue by the Executive and Legislative branches. The Judiciary is now involved. The People imbue the Judiciary with sweeping powers and an independence the other two can only dream of. Of course, unlike the other two, the Judiciary doesn't have any soldiers.

    Practically speaking, our jurists are going to decide how the detention of individuals judged dangerous to national security are to be classified in Constitutional terms (I think almost certainly as POWs who do not have full Constitutional rights even when on U.S. soil and can be detained until we decide hostilities have ceased). International law allows this behavior.

    For those of you around the world who think we should let these guys go, you can go pound sand. We're not going to do it.

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  • 125. At 04:03am on 17 Dec 2009, washuotaku wrote:

    GH1618 (#75) "Not true. Republicans generally did not. I'm an Obama supporter, but I don't have a problem with a detention center at Guantanamo Bay."

    I made a generalization... yes some groups did not, but your making a gross assumption too. I am also a registered Republican and I didn't agree about Guantanamo Bay nor the plans the current administration wants to do now. I merely wanted to answer what I believe is the case to Mark is all.

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  • 126. At 04:08am on 17 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Andy Post (#124) "The answer to the first question is that anyone on U.S. soil (with one exception that I can think of, see below) has Constitutional rights."

    The detainees have some Constitutional rights even while held at Guantanamo Bay, which is why they were able bring suits in federal courts. (See the cases referenced in post #123.)

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  • 127. At 04:21am on 17 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 119 Tino-

    "On the concept of natural rights: could someone explain to me exactly what these are?"

    The concept of natural rights can be explained. It is doubtful that an egocentric person is capable of understanding the concept. Such a person would first have to understand that they are part of a community; no matter how self-sufficient they believe themselves to be.


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  • 128. At 05:18am on 17 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #67. Tino: "They need to be killed, because you cannot reason with someone who sees it as their religious duty to kill you."

    That works both ways - you see it as your obligation to kill them.

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  • 129. At 05:59am on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "The concept of natural rights can be explained."

    Perhaps I should be more clear. I understand the concept, I want you to list these natural rights and explain to me how they relate to the right to trial by jury you claim these people have. Since humans have existed since before courts, I have trouble imagining this to be one of them. Feel free to correct me when you come down off your high horse.

    "That works both ways - you see it as your obligation to kill them."

    It is different, I have no religious reason for my belief, thus I can be reasoned with. I also would not feel the need to kill them if they would leave my country alone. They won't.

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  • 130. At 06:51am on 17 Dec 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #123 GH1618,

    Good post and an excellent point. However, these cases had to do with the right of habeas corpus. These men had the right to question their detention.

    I'm not sure if theses cases actually changed other procedures or rules governing the military tribunals as you suggested. For example, military officers are both judge and jury, the exclusionary rule on evidence does not apply, an open and public trial, along with unanimous jury verdicts, are also not required. It's along these lines that I was suggesting the two courts operated under the same code of military justice, and as such, would provide the same level of justice.





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  • 131. At 07:53am on 17 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    Re natural rights - they are the obligations we owe to another human being because they are like us, also human. It is untruthful to treat a person as if they are not a person with the ability (and responsibility) to independently determine his or her own aims. This is why it is wrong to treat someone in ways that we would not accept being treated ourselves. That would be unjust.

    So, "Anyone who treats a person as the means to an end does violence to the very essence of the other, of what constitutes a natural right. ... It may not be irrelevant to mention here that Immanuel Kant, at the end of the eighteenth century, formulated the elementary principle of the moral order in the following imperative: as always in such a way that the other person is the end and not merely the instrument of your action. ... whenever a person is the object of your activity, remember that you may not treat that person as only the means to and end, as an instrument, but must allow for the fact that he or she, too, has or at least should have, distinct personal ends. This principle, thus formulated, lies athe basis of all the human freedoms, properly understood, and especially freedom of conscience." - Karol Wojtylwa (Pope John Paul II), Love and Responsibility.

    Just law and a just legal process adjudicates between persons, or between persons and the community, in ways that derive from and recognize this innate or 'natural' human characteristic.

    KScurmudgeon, who likes to dig to the root.

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  • 132. At 09:06am on 17 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #122
    "Maybe the world should live under sharia law for a change.."

    "Yeah, over my dead body."
    _____________
    _____________

    Lord, what a pair.
    Neither one has a clue about democracy or civil rights.
    __________________

    Except under Sharia Law many of us would be dead, Jews, Gays probaly christians and other non Moslems ,woman who think etc

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  • 133. At 09:59am on 17 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Shall we get past some of the hyperbole here, Syria is an Islamic state and has the highest Jewish population outside of Israel, it also has a high Christian community and has for centuries. Bahrain is an Islamic state, which has female ministers a reasonable (considering the size of it population) Jewish and Christian population. Both countries live under Shari’a law, though the definitely have different interpretations of that Law and neither has murdered is women, Jews, Christians, Hindus etc. Yes Islam has a rather poor view of homosexuality, then again there are large sections of Christianity that have similar views.

    Actually much like certain evangelical wings of Christianity some Muslims have an issue with evolution, most of them regrettably too stupid to be able to differentiate between evolution (which has been proven) and the Theory of Evolution (which currently remains just a theory, though a particularly good and robust one).

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  • 134. At 10:33am on 17 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #133

    No lets talk reaility and the slippery slope, the sharia law which allows Islam (the most intolerant of the major religions right now) any influence on the legal system is wrong.

    We see when war criminals like the Tailban have any controll what Sharia law does.

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  • 135. At 10:38am on 17 Dec 2009, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    The wrong question is being asked. It really makes no difference where the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are kept...in fact, they SHOULD be kept at Guantanamo Bay. What needs to be asked is WHY Obama wants to establish a MAXIMUM SECURITY POLITICAL PRISON on US soil! Are the taxpayers paying millions and millions and millions of dollars to house these war detainees or are we creating a Lubyanka Prison where anyone accused of threatening "Homeland Security" can be kept.

    Personally, I would be happier if the war detainees were kept in Guantanamo Bay. They are a problem that will not go away just by moving them...other than keeping the fatuous promise to close Guantanamo Bay which was just another of the facile campaign promises made by Obama.

    The establishment of a federal prison for political prisoners is NOT "change we can live with!" It is something deeply revolting and another clear indication of the authoritarian nature of the Obama regime.

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  • 136. At 1:47pm on 17 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #135
    The establishment of a federal prison for political prisoners is NOT "change we can live with!" It is something deeply revolting and another clear indication of the authoritarian nature of the Obama regime.

    ____________________

    They are not political prisnors they are terrorists. A political prisnor is the rightful PM of Burma.

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  • 137. At 2:39pm on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Re natural rights - they are the obligations we owe to another human being because they are like us, also human. It is untruthful to treat a person as if they are not a person with the ability (and responsibility) to independently determine his or her own aims. This is why it is wrong to treat someone in ways that we would not accept being treated ourselves. That would be unjust."

    This sounds reasonable to me. But I would not object to being in Guantanamo Bay if I was found fighting another countries army. They get 3 meals a day, access to their holy books, arrows pointing to Mecca, monitoring by the Red Cross, etc. The worst that has happened to any of them (waterboarding) is the equivalent of me horsing around with friends when I was younger and getting held under water too long. Not exactly something I would cry about either, if I was associating with people who planned to blow up civilian targets of another country and refused to share info to help stop that.

    I am not a huge fan of Kant, however. I must confess to preferring Nietzsche.

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  • 138. At 3:14pm on 17 Dec 2009, LucyJ wrote:

    While our current prisons in Illinois are so under-funded that our state is cutting down guard jobs and with Quinn who formed his secret-release prisoner program to let prisoners out early, President Obama and Congress need to put an extremely high level of guards, surveillance, funding, the works. The USA can not risk these people getting out. Although I highly regret this decision to place the prison in Illinois so close to Chicago (yes, several hours away is considerably close), I know our government has the best security in the world and we have to trust them to not cheap-skate on any of the details. Put in the best techonology along with more than enough military. Treat the prisoners civially, but not well. That is what prison is. It is not a reward, it is punishment. I don't like it, but I know it is inevitable. We have to be strong. No, the USA is not perfect, but we have done many good things in the world. Most countries would rather be our friend than our enemy. As President Obama said, you do have to use military at times which has been proven in history. (such as the Nazis.) Well, the Islamic terrorists are the modern day Nazi's. They want to murder others for not being Islamic extremists. (The German Nazis wanted to murder people for not being white.) They want to murder the West because we support Israel. (The German Nazis wanted to murder people for being Jewish or supporting Israel.) It is a repeat of history.

    What side will each country be on?

    The USA chooses to be on the side that has reformed itself to shut down Guantanamo Bay camps. The USA chooses to be on the side that is against the new-age Nazis, as we were against the old-school Nazis in that past.

    I do not think that all Germans in the Nazi era were evil. There were some people that were forced to kill or were killed themselves. There were some who died trying to help the Jewish or refusing to be inhumane. And for some, it was too awful to imagine. They could not bear the thought of reality, so they used ignorance as bliss.

    I do not think that all Islamic people in this age are evil, just the Islamic extremist terrorists or ones with bad intent. There are some that are forced to kill or be killed themselves. There are some that maybe want to help us and be free. Some don't want anything to do with terrorism, because they believe it is wrong or because they do not want to take sides. But you do not know who to trust.

    Well, now is the time to stand up and say, "Terrorism is wrong, whether it is Islamic extremists or otherwise. It is your country's choice to be on the side of terrorism or against it. Which will you be?"

    I know the USA's position. We are against the terrorists who blow up schools, because they do not want females to be educated. We are against the terrorists who murder innocents. We are in support of stopping this wave of violence which has overswept the Middle East, in particular because it could damage us or our allies. I believe we are on the right side of history.

    I am strongly against bringing the terrorists to Illinois, but if they do come here, the government has got to step up and make this the most secure prison in the nation. Use new techonology, excessive guards, heavy surveillance, surefire system, everything. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. We are counting on you, big government, who we pay so many taxes to, to keep us safe. We did not bring the terrorists here, you did. So use every possibly option for security.

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  • 139. At 3:48pm on 17 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 137 Tino-

    "I am not a huge fan of Kant, however. I must confess to preferring Nietzsche."

    Your preference for the philosophies of Nietzsche is evident in your postings.

    You say, "I care about preserving my way of life and my rights, not theirs." What are these rights you so cherish, and from where do you obtain these rights?

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  • 140. At 4:11pm on 17 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    rodidog (#130) "I'm not sure if theses cases actually changed other procedures or rules governing the military tribunals as you suggested."

    In fact, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld forced the Congress to pass the Military Commissions Act of 2006, under which Hamdan was tried. This replaced an ad-hoc system under which the Bush administration claimed to be able to proceed in any manner they pleased. There are some objections to the 2006 act as well (Obama voted against it), so there is now a 2009 act to replace it.

    Here's a link to a discussion of the 2006 act, by The American Society of International Law:

    http://www.asil.org/insights061114.cfm

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  • 141. At 4:24pm on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Your preference for the philosophies of Nietzsche is evident in your postings.

    You say, "I care about preserving my way of life and my rights, not theirs." What are these rights you so cherish, and from where do you obtain these rights? "

    The rights I so cherish are those stated in the US Constitution. They were obtained when we declared independence from Great Britain and forged our own path forward. Things like the right to bear arms, for example, clearly do not apply in every nation and thus are not 'natural rights'. They are, however, the rights of every US citizen. People died because they believed in this way of life. These rights are not to be extended to non-US citizens that seek to undermine those same rights.

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  • 142. At 4:27pm on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "There are some objections to the 2006 act as well (Obama voted against it), so there is now a 2009 act to replace it."

    Do you happen to know what aspects of the 2006 act the 2009 act changes ?

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  • 143. At 4:48pm on 17 Dec 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 126, GH1618:

    "The detainees have some Constitutional rights even while held at Guantanamo Bay, which is why they were able bring suits in federal courts."

    Yes, clearly. I do believe the Bush Administration did believe that the fact that they were being detained outside the United States proper (even the U.S. acknowledges that Guantanamo is occupied Cuban territory) denied them the protection of the Constitution.

    For what it's worth, I believe the U.S. Government acts as a unit wherever it takes action, i.e., if one branch is involved, then all are. So, if Consitutional rights are to be denied, they should be denied by the Judiciary. That's its responsibility.

    Also, somehow I managed to ignore our rather large prison population as another group that has restricted Constitutional rights.

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  • 144. At 5:27pm on 17 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 141 Tino-

    "The rights I so cherish are those stated in the US Constitution. They were obtained when we declared independence from Great Britain and forged our own path forward."

    Then your inquiry regarding the definition of "Natural Rights" appears to be based on the reference implying such rights, as provided by laws, in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence as found in the this exert; "...to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind...".

    Since you have stated, "...I have no religious reason for my belief, thus I can be reasoned with.", can we concentrate on the "Laws of Nature" noted in the Declaration so as not to confuse the issue with religious philosophies?

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  • 145. At 5:34pm on 17 Dec 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #137 Tino

    Isn't it a wee bit un-American to prefer Nietzsche (who opposed democracy, univerisal sufferage; and supported a strong aristocracy with violence against a worthless majority) over Kant?

    Given that you are a fan of Nietzsche then you would know that whatever is given as a 'natural right' is whatever the powerful have ascribed it to be. The 'natural' right to property is a case in point.

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  • 146. At 6:44pm on 17 Dec 2009, foxdogs wrote:

    Good article. Closing Gitmo is just more style vs substance from the Obama administration and accomplishes nothing. The Islamists had no problem recruiting before Gitmo and will continue to recruit after it's closed.

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  • 147. At 7:16pm on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Since you have stated, "...I have no religious reason for my belief, thus I can be reasoned with.", can we concentrate on the "Laws of Nature" noted in the Declaration so as not to confuse the issue with religious philosophies?"

    Certainly, I would prefer it that way. To make sure I understand you correctly: you are saying the natural rights are life, liberty, and property then?

    If so, I submit that our actions do not violate these rights.

    Locke, from whom Franklin is accepted to have borrowed the ideas from, stated that murderers forfeit their rights, as they act outside the law of reason. He also states that one is free to make their own choices except when those infringe upon another's liberty. Since the people at Guantanamo Bay were caught attempting to murder US soldiers and their stated goal (or at least the goal of the organizations they are aligning with) is to systematically end our liberties, we are well within our rights to infringe upon theirs.

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  • 148. At 8:21pm on 17 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 147 Tino-

    "To make sure I understand you correctly: you are saying the natural rights are life, liberty, and property then?"

    We can agree upon these qualities as being "natural rights", and a person can have those rights forfeited when it is proven that they have acted outside of the law of reason. This, of course, leads us to the concept that there exists such a thing as a "reasonable man". A basic concept of Common Law.

    How do we, as a community, go about forfeiting the "natural rights" of an individual; whether that individual is from within the community, or from without? Whom among us holds the authority to forfeit the rights of another individual? These basic, natural rights to which we agree exist.

    John murders Richard to facilitate John's intent to take Richards's wallet. Mary claims to have witnessed John murder Richard. Are we to take Mary at her word and immediately forfeit John's rights? Or do we investigate the facts and compare these facts to the evidence before forfeiting John's rights?

    Mary may be an unreliable witness. She may have her own motives for getting John's rights forfeited. John may not have violated Richard's rights to life, liberty, and property. If the community, or the assigned authority of the community, then summarily forfeits John's rights by way of Mary's self-interests, have not two wrongs been made? Should we, as a community, put our own rights to life, liberty, and property at risk on the unsupported word of one person?

    The reasonable man would see that the easy forfeiture of the rights of one man; whether of the community, or from outside the community, upon the word of a single individual would lead to chaotic results as all that is needed to forfeit precious rights for an individual is the mere accusation of another individual with a jealous motive.

    Therefore a system of justice is needed to protect the accused, as well as every member of the community, from false witness and error of judgment. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution created such a system of justice.

    Does this concept of justice reflect the law of reason in a positive light? Does it not protect the rights of individuals, rather than take those rights away from the individual?

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  • 149. At 8:40pm on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Does this concept of justice reflect the law of reason in a positive light? Does it not protect the rights of individuals, rather than take those rights away from the individual?"

    Yes, I pretty much agree with 100% of your post. I do think, however, that the situation we are in now is different in that these people were not accused by anyone. They were captured on the field of battle. Many of them openly state their intent to kill Americans and show blatant disregard for our rights. If they were rounding people up (even outside US soil) who were merely suspects, I would agree we need careful due process.

    In cases like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, why must we bother with a trial. The man has openly admitted to being guilty. It is a waste of my money to make some dog and pony show in which he gets airtime to promote his views. In my opinion, he should simply be killed and his body ingloriously disposed of.

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  • 150. At 9:07pm on 17 Dec 2009, OpenRoads wrote:

    re: 148 publiusdetroit

    I am in awe at your capacity to strike such a lovely tone of reason in debate. Thank you not only for your words but also for the example you set.

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  • 151. At 9:17pm on 17 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 150 OpenRoads-

    Thank you for your kind words. I must admit that I would tend to be frivolous when I first started on this blog. I learned by example (and a little coaching) from InterestedForeigner that a reasonable tone was much more effective.

    I have been enjoying this correspondence I have been carrying on with Tino. I wonder why his last post was referred to the moderators before it was revealed on the thread?

    Clean it up and send it again, Tino. I'm interested in your reply.

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  • 152. At 9:49pm on 17 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    I am not sure why it got referred, I am 100% certain there was nothing objectionable - except perhaps my position on what to do with these people...but I have already stated it before. Nonetheless, I too enjoy debate like this, and so I suppose I will retype it:

    "Does this concept of justice reflect the law of reason in a positive light? Does it not protect the rights of individuals, rather than take those rights away from the individual?"

    Yes, it does indeed. And I agree with pretty much all of your post. I think, however, the current situation does not mirror your example. For those at Guantanamo Bay, they were captured on the field of battle. They were committed to killing our troops and chose to surrender instead of die. Why should we foot the bill for them to go to trial when they were caught in the act? If a US citizen was involved, I would feel they deserve a right to trial by a jury of their peers - but only because that is a right of US citizen. The natural rights of these terrorists are forfeit as they want to murder and destroy our rights. Thus, if one is captured on the field of battle I do not think we should use the same procedures as normal (unless they were US citizens).

    Even more alarming to me is the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He has openly admitted his guilt, yet he deserves a trial at our expense? That is ridiculous to me. Kill him and be done with it.

    Basically, I truly am of the opinion that we cannot win by: being 'better', being nice, or being stupid. We are talking about a group of people essentially operating under divine mandate. That is literally impossible to talk someone out of. Thus, when a terrorist group says that by God's orders they will convert the world and kill the rest - that has to be taken at face value. When they prove time and time again they are absolutely serious and capable, we have a problem. The problem is never going to get solved when we extend the right to a trial by jury to people who are caught fighting our troops or openly admitting their guilt. In the cases where guilt is not assured, we should investigate and perhaps hold a trial by jury.

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  • 153. At 10:35pm on 17 Dec 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #140 GH1618,
    rodidog (#130) "I'm not sure if theses cases actually changed other procedures or rules governing the military tribunals as you suggested."

    In fact, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld forced the Congress to pass the Military Commissions Act of 2006, under which Hamdan was tried. This replaced an ad-hoc system under which the Bush administration claimed to be able to proceed in any manner they pleased. There are some objections to the 2006 act as well (Obama voted against it), so there is now a 2009 act to replace it.

    Here's a link to a discussion of the 2006 act, by The American Society of International Law:

    http://www.asil.org/insights061114.cfm
    --------------------------------------


    In all fairness, to myself, I was referring to the military tribunals as authorized by MCA 2006. Below are two links which discuss the differences and similarities between the 2006 and 2009 military commission act. While the two have differences they are also very similar.

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/mariner/20091104.html

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]



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  • 154. At 10:45pm on 17 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    rodidog (#153) "In all fairness, to myself, I was referring to the military tribunals as authorized by MCA 2006."

    Ok, but I don't have much of a problem with the MCA 2006. Compared to Tino's policy, for example, it's positively enlightened!

    I believe Hamdan was treated fairly under MCA 2006. He was acquitted of the most serious charge, and sentenced to less than the prosecutor asked for on the lesser charge.

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  • 155. At 11:12pm on 17 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 152 Tino-

    "The problem is never going to get solved when we extend the right to a trial by jury to people who are caught fighting our troops or openly admitting their guilt. In the cases where guilt is not assured, we should investigate and perhaps hold a trial by jury."

    The basic disagreement we have is whether these "natural rights" extend beyond our community. What advantage does the individual in the community gain if the community extends the protection of rights to those outside of the community?

    Our species has developed and become more efficient by becoming communities for the purpose of trading ideas, knowledge, goods, and materials. Communities quickly learned that they could become even more efficient and productive through trading with nearby communities. Exponential access to ideas, knowledge, goods, and materials.

    Bigville was big because it had developed a reasonable system of justice to protect natural rights. Individuals openly traded with each other because they knew that there was a reasonable system of justice that encouraged open trade protecting themselves and their property. Whoville discovered that it was profitable to do business with Bigville because of the reasonable system of justice protecting natural rights so that disputes could be resolved in a reasonable manner. Whoville began trading ideas, knowledge, etc. with Bigville. Both communities prospered because of that ability to resolve misunderstandings and disputes in a reasonable manner. Word quickly spread and Bigville kept getting bigger and more prosperous, as did Whoville as other communities came to Bigville to trade.

    The rights of life, liberty, and property were extended to those outside the community for the benefit of the community of Bigville as well as every individual within the community. The basic concept of civility. The basic building block to prosperity.

    Is the idea of extending the same respect and protection of the natural rights of the community to those outside of the community a rewarding practice? Would the community have become as prosperous as it is by not extending that protection of natural rights to those outside the community?

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  • 156. At 00:15am on 18 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    publiusdetroit,

    "Is the idea of extending the same respect and protection of the natural rights of the community to those outside of the community a rewarding practice? Would the community have become as prosperous as it is by not extending that protection of natural rights to those outside the community?"

    I am not sure if it would be 'rewarding'. I certainly feel it is good to see my country be as altruistic as possible, for example. I prefer to engage with the rest of the world in a civil fashion as well. I do not think it is rewarding to extend a US citizen's rights to people who seek to undermine the very people and system attempting to provide for them.

    I do agree with our way of life correlating with our prosperity. This, by default, does include our usual practice of providing our rights to non-citizens.

    The problem I see is that the situation is not like Bigville and Whoville. The people in these towns, based on your example, were able to interact peacefully. Whoville did not feel it necessary to change Bigville, they were content to be different but civil. Neither city had declared that their God was telling them to force the other into their religion/value system/legal system. This is the key difference.

    There is no middle ground because, to them, the issue is absolutely black and white. Either you are Islamic, or these groups wish to convert or kill you. It is in their eyes a god-given mission to restore the Caliphate and dominate the world. That is not a position that can be reasoned with.

    I am all for reasonable resolution to issues, but I cannot envision any kind of alternative to wiping out anyone with that viewpoint. They will not stop until we are completely changed or completely eliminated. That leaves us being forced into the equal but opposing position.

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  • 157. At 03:05am on 18 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 156 Tino-

    "I am all for reasonable resolution to issues, but I cannot envision any kind of alternative to wiping out anyone with that viewpoint."

    So much is at stake in how the United States proceeds through this legal dilemma of our own making. Our long-term trading parties and allies, as well as those who oppose us, are closely watching. Further circumvention of natural rights is not a reasonable action and will only further erode our standing among nations as a trading partner and as an ally. We stand much to lose.

    The more reasonable action is to return to the rule of law and protect the natural rights of those accused of attacking our nation. They are being accused and held by our Nation. No matter how despicable we find these people to be, there is no other reasonable way of proving their innocence, or guilt then by judiciary trials to acquit or convict.

    Those who are convicted should then be sentenced to a just punishment for their crime. Those acquitted should be returned to their own country.

    Their is an old, legal axiom; "Innocent men create laws, criminals define those laws." In other words, we only find out how well any law we create works when someone has been accused of breaking the law and the law is tested in court to determine innocence, or guilt of the accused.

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  • 158. At 04:51am on 18 Dec 2009, Edgeofurbania wrote:

    Close Gitmo? Yes it is necessary! But these criminals should be returned to the area they were captured in, to be used as bait, or examples. Haven't you watched enough Gunsmoke and Bonanaza to figure out how to deal with the lawless mentality? As we say here, "all politics is local", or "all fanaticsm is local"... "If you see a snake, just kill it - don't appoint a committee on snakes.
    " Ross Perot...

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  • 159. At 08:31am on 18 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    I find it slightly amusing that despite little or no evidence that the majority of those still held are simply labelled terrorist and criminals. Most of these people have been held for years, subjected to questioning techniques that stretch the definition of torture to breaking point, yet more people have simply been released because of insufficient evidence than have been successfully brought to trial.

    Yet people still ‘know’ all these people held there are guilty, shame then they cannot back this ‘knowledge’ with any real evidence or facts. I fully expect that a significant number of those held are nasty people who don’t like America, I also expect that a number of them are innocent, either simply in the wrong place at the wrong time or captured based on suspicions from people who had a grudge against that individual.

    Prove to me, hey simply prove it to a US military court/tribunal that these people are guilty, and I will be happy. Personally I thought the British and US legal systems were based a presumption of innocence, but it seems these days that the governments want to hold people indefinitely because their security agencies have suspicions. I must be in the minority that worry that these agencies, who are in the front line of our defence against the Jihadist rabid hordes, are basically that rubbish that they cannot find evidence to even formally charge suspects. If they cannot find this evidence, how do we expect them to find enough evidence to pinpoint actual attacks?

    As for people like Tino I am really at a loss to see other than which ideology they subscribe to, what the difference is between them and those Muslims that openly condone attacks on the West. “Our enemy wants to change the way we live, saying must either change our beliefs or die, and to protect ourselves we must force them to change their beliefs or kill them first.” What an enlightened philosophy, the Western Right and Jihadist Islam strange and disturbing bedfellows.

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  • 160. At 11:25am on 18 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    There's this huge prison next to Gitmo: it's called Castro Bros' Cuba.

    Yet I don't hear anybody here demanding its immediate shut-down.

    How come?

    "Comrade Napoleon is always right"?

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  • 161. At 11:36am on 18 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – I thought large sections of US population, including successive administrations called for the shutdown of Castro’s administration. Hey you guys even tried to force the issue. Really considering some of the regimes Cuba is pretty darn innocuous, some like Pinochet were actually supported by the US (oh and the late great bete noir Sadam). I also don’t recall Cuba grabbing hold of foreign nationals abroad and holding them without trial for a few years, though obviously you would not have an issue if they ever had, even if they ignored international agreements and conventions.

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  • 162. At 2:16pm on 18 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Except under Sharia Law many of us would be dead, Jews, Gays probaly christians and other non Moslems ,woman who think etc
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sure, as if the sharia law of hundreds of years in spain a few centuries ago, killed all the jews, gays, christians and women..if sharia law in india during india, killed all the hindus and women who think, if sharia law didnt allow the world's only Slave dynastity and a woman ruler...Right now, its the democracy thats killing muslims...and thats the only fact..rest, obama's speech, his closing down of a structure, and the rest are just reasons to justify the killings taking place in the name of democracy...

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  • 163. At 2:48pm on 18 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "As for people like Tino I am really at a loss to see other than which ideology they subscribe to, what the difference is between them and those Muslims that openly condone attacks on the West."

    The fact that my position is reactionary. I didn't wake up one day and choose it at random. I arrived here systematically after years. It is not possible to engage someone in reasoned discourse if their belief is that it is their religious duty to convert or kill you.

    Do you think holding hands and singing will work? I am not sure what you propose we do. Let them kill us because the idea of fighting back is yucky?

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  • 164. At 3:20pm on 18 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Tino – At least we agree that your attitude is reactionary. I also agree that it difficult to have a reasoned debate with someone who believes that they have a duty to force someone to conform with their ideology or destroys those that do not.

    Tino, when did you sign up to the army, stick your backside where your mouth is? I applied to join the Army in the mid 90’s, the only reason I was not accepted is that I was born with a hole in my heart that required extensive surgery when I was 8. Despite the operation being a complete success (having only a 5% chance of surviving till I was 20), I have been left with a heart murmur, which made the British military nervous. As someone who had there been conscription would have been excused due a medical condition and actually tried to serve my country, I find it amusing that you take my stance of not pandering to the bloodlust of the Right as pacifism.

    I have studied martial arts for years, including a number of weapons, have read the Art of War and despite his bloodthirsty nature am a fan of Genghis Khan. I am not, nor have I ever been a pacifist, what I am is a person that would rather us logic and reason to deal with a situation, rather than simple emotion. I do not fear Muslims, even the ones who would prefer to live under Shari’a law, it makes no sense because of the millions of people who want to live under Shari’a law only a tiny minority would seek to do me harm. I simply refuse to let that tiny number of people have sufficient power over me to make me feel afraid.

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  • 165. At 3:52pm on 18 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "what I am is a person that would rather us logic and reason to deal with a situation, rather than simple emotion."

    Then I ask again, what is your logical solution to the problem? How are you going to reasonably deal with people that will not stop unless we are converted or dead?

    I would be happy to leave them alone, but they would not just all of a sudden decide we don't need to be Muslims without Allah coming down to say so.

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  • 166. At 3:58pm on 18 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I also agree that it difficult to have a reasoned debate with someone who believes that they have a duty to force someone to conform with their ideology or destroys those that do not.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thats why if you look around, there is hardly a debate about obama's just war, the killings of muslims in the name of democracy.

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  • 167. At 4:00pm on 18 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    This sharia law and the iranian would be, could be nuclear bomb are the empty threats that the west is using. As it used ben laden and WMD to change the regimes of two countries...

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  • 168. At 4:02pm on 18 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    D R Murrell (#159) " ... subjected to questioning techniques that stretch the definition of torture to breaking point, ... "

    While your posts are normally rational, you are engaging in hyperbole here. The only torture that the US has been accused of is waterboarding (which is no longer practiced). This is a long way removed from the practices of Ivan the Terrible and Vlad the Impaler.

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  • 169. At 4:05pm on 18 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 159 D R Murrell-

    "Personally I thought the British and US legal systems were based a presumption of innocence, but it seems these days that the governments want to hold people indefinitely because their security agencies have suspicions."

    Most people in the U.S. have no experience with witnessing how our criminal justice systems operates. Unfortunately for them, they are about to learn much from prosecuting the accused suspects of Guantanamo; and much of it will not be easy to digest because evidence and confessions obtained through coercion and torture is not admissible. Many are likely to place blame on our criminal justice system. The simple truth of the matter is that the Executive branch, under George W Bush, was responsible for subverting due process which may make it impossible to bring evidence against many of the defendants.

    Shortly after Alberto Gonzales, and company, delivered their woefully disgraceful findings on the use of torture I read their findings with great distress. I clearly remember thinking, "They just handed every person being coerced and tortured for information a 'get out of jail free' card; no matter if the person being coerced and tortured actually committed a crime or not". I spoke with three different attorneys with whom I frequently converse on Constitutional issues. All three very well versed in Constitutional law. They were just as startled and disgusted with the findings as I was; and were quick to agree that the policies directed in the findings would lead to terrible consequences.

    I fear that we are about to witness those consequences.

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  • 170. At 4:46pm on 18 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Tino – Well one could for instance create a dialogue with those Muslims (the vast, vast majority) who don’t wish to over throw the West, treating them and their beliefs with respect. Not for instance claiming that all Muslims are potential terrorists, or that Islam is a dangerous religion which needs to be viewed with caution. Islam is filled with either moderates or those who really have better things to worry about than America.

    Cutting the apron strings to Israel or at least distancing oneself to the point of visible impartiality would be a good move. By the very fact that Israel is a political reality means that it has a right to exist, make it clear that it is the belief of the West. Equally make it clear to Israel that assumption that the US particularly with vouch safe any decision Israel make is over that Israel will be required to abide by international law, rather than a belief of a manifest destiny.

    If you want a capitalist answer, throw money at the problem, simple fact it costs less money to by friends than it does financing a war that will only reinforce radicalism.

    Shouting and waving your fists at people only reinforces the negative impression that radicals hold. The ambiguity of whether the US administration means radicals or all Muslims are a threat makes it easier for the radicals to turn uncertain youths. People unable to differentiate between the fact that people have a right to choose their religion and the legal system they want to live under and an ill defined understanding of what Shari’a is and the potential threat to Western democracy doesn’t help. Random Americans going on an internationally recognisable public message board suggesting that anyone who supports Shari’a law is a potential terrorist only reinforces the image that some hold about what American really are like. Coming across as a 2 dimensional stereotype deadens your own arguments.

    What was true in ancient China, was recognised by Churchill in the last century, still holds true: war is the end result of failed diplomacy. While you must always be prepared to use force, you must until there is no other option use restraint.

    Oh, and I see you missed my question about your military service record.

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  • 171. At 4:53pm on 18 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    GH1618 –Other types of treatment, such as the cells the detainees are placed in, constant barrage of noise and/or light are questionable. The fact is that the questioning techniques did stretch the definition of torture to breaking point, because as you rightly said they included waterboarding. Some of those subjected to waterboarding (and thus torture) are still being detained, so I am not sure I agree with the accusation of hyperbole, though I accept that I may have over stretched my point somewhat, due to a certain frustration with some posters.

    And I would definitely hope that no one was using the methods by Ivan and Vlad, especially Vlad’s idea of nice dining entertainment!

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  • 172. At 5:09pm on 18 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #161

    I happen to know Chile pretty well and have been a frequent visitor there.

    Had it not been for much maligned Augusto Pinochet, Chile would have looked today as another Cuba, since Allende was Fidel's great afficionado and tried to implemented his policies in Chile.

    According to all polls I know of, roughly half of Chileans believe that Pinochet was their country's saviour.

    I've been to Cuba as well and I can assure you that it's hard to find there that many Cubans who believe that Castro Bros's regime is much better or less corrupted than that of Battista's.

    And that despite a fact, that most of Castro Bros' harshest critics are already living happily in Florida.

    "Inconvenient Truth".

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  • 173. At 5:34pm on 18 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    D R Murrell (#171), I guess I just don't know what you mean by "stretching the definition of torture to the breaking point." Some things which have been done, while improper, are more in the nature of fraternity hazing than torture. Waterboarding is properly classified as torture, but it is at the low end of the scale.

    Indefinite detention has to do with the classification of prisoners as prisoners of war rather than criminals, for which detention until the end of the conflict is permissable. The problem with that is that the people being detained do not meet the standard definitions of soldiers, so are "illegal combatants." The whole business is pretty complicated. I will defer to AG Holder to sort it out.

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  • 174. At 6:13pm on 18 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Well one could for instance create a dialogue with those Muslims (the vast, vast majority) who don’t wish to over throw the West, treating them and their beliefs with respect. Not for instance claiming that all Muslims are potential terrorists, or that Islam is a dangerous religion which needs to be viewed with caution. Islam is filled with either moderates or those who really have better things to worry about than America.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But the west is not filled with moderates, their moderates are likes of obama, who believes in wars, blair, who lied to wage war, and bush, who just waged wars knowing that his westerners will always keep on making excuses and keep on waging wars..

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  • 175. At 6:45pm on 18 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 173 GH11618-

    "Some things which have been done, while improper, are more in the nature of fraternity hazing than torture."

    The statement reveals a lot about the social, ethical, and psychological depravity practiced by college fraternities. These fraternities must attract persons of very low self-esteem who willingly allow themselves to be so humiliated and abused.

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  • 176. At 7:00pm on 18 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    publiusDetroit (#175), I won't argue with that.

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  • 177. At 9:26pm on 18 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    169 publius
    "I clearly remember thinking, "They just handed every person being coerced and tortured for information a 'get out of jail free' card; no matter if the person being coerced and tortured actually committed a crime or not".


    And what is more .... if any of the Guantanamo inmates are ever released due to insufficient "admissable" evidence, the right-wing will blame Obama, not Bush and co.

    Seems like due process and the rule of law which they hold so dear is merely a facade to be swept away when it becomes "inconvenient".

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  • 178. At 9:30pm on 18 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    174 colonel
    "But the west is not filled with moderates, their moderates are likes of obama, who believes in wars, blair, who lied to wage war, and bush, who just waged wars knowing that his westerners will always keep on making excuses and keep on waging wars."


    Obama and Blair are not the "far left" of the poitical spectrum in the West (well, not in Europe certainly). Don't believe the media hype about socialism.
    There are many many people who feel betrayed by Blair, and who are currently wishing Obama could be doing more to resolve the ongoing situations.


    And, my dear Colonel, if you ever put "Bush" in a comment about moderate politicians again then you will get "moderated"!!!!!

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  • 179. At 01:31am on 19 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Well one could for instance create a dialogue with those Muslims (the vast, vast majority) who don’t wish to over throw the West, treating them and their beliefs with respect."

    So am I correct in inferring you do not think we currently have a dialogue with the Muslim world? How do you know what the vast, vast majority thinks? What percentage is this vast majority?

    From what I can tell, this vast majority seems to have a problem with stopping the unsavory elements giving them a bad name. All we would need is the 'vast majority' reporting the bad ones to law enforcement and this problem would disappear (and since they weren't on the field of battle vs. our troops and this would be BEFORE an attack happened, I would drop my objections to trials in civilian courts). Since this is clearly not happening, I would say the vast majority must not be so vast - and may not even be a majority. Even if they are they are quite obviously pretty ineffectual. In that case, what is dialogue going to accomplish?

    "Cutting the apron strings to Israel or at least distancing oneself to the point of visible impartiality would be a good move."

    It would be a terrible move to distance ourselves from the only reliably ally in the middle east with similar values.

    "If you want a capitalist answer, throw money at the problem, simple fact it costs less money to by friends than it does financing a war that will only reinforce radicalism."

    No amount of money or worldly goods can convince someone who is certain their path is mandated by God. Also, since the majority of terrorists come from middle class, high-school+ educated backgrounds, pouring money into education and aid simply makes better terrorists.

    "Shouting and waving..."

    To address the whole paragraph: Your idea that if we somehow are nicer to them, they will stop is ridiculous. It is the same illogical idea as "Closing Gitmo will leave them with one less recruiting tool!" What did they say before Gitmo? What are you going to say when we are out of the middle east? Oh of course, that supporting Israel is the problem. What about when they still continue after that? Remember, primary source material, like the charters of Al Qaeda and Hamas, refer to restoring the global Caliphate. Explain to me how you will talk them out of that one.

    As for my military service or lack thereof: I actually am disqualified as I have a history of thyroid issues (thyroid cancer on a personal level, though I am fine now post treatment) and more importantly GERD. Regardless, I would not be serving at this time I think. For a while I greatly desired to become a Scout Sniper for the Marines. Shaky hands put an end to that dream before the medical issues did, however.

    Regardless, it is irrelevant. I would prefer we had no ground troops there. Unmanned drones and airstrikes works fine for me. So would targeted assassination (just rescind the previous EO).

    "because as you rightly said they included waterboarding."

    This is such a joke. Did you never horse around with friends when you were younger? I lost count of the amount of times I have nearly drowned while play-fighting in a pool with friends way back when. You guys must lead some sheltered lives. See Daniel Pearl and some others they get their hands on if you want to see actual torture.

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  • 180. At 06:28am on 19 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    162. At 2:16pm on 18 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Sure, as if the sharia law of hundreds of years in spain a few centuries ago, killed all the jews, gays, christians and women..if sharia law in india during india, killed all the hindus and women who think, if sharia law didnt allow the world's only Slave dynastity and a woman ruler...Right now, its the democracy thats killing muslims...and thats the only fact..rest, obama's speech, his closing down of a structure, and the rest are just reasons to justify the killings taking place in the name of democracy...
    ____________________________________

    I have been carefully reading your posts, and come to the conclusion that muslim rulers are merciful to minorities only as long as they are compliant and subordinate. Non-muslims who are not subordinate are given very short shrift. And muslims who noticeably deviate from the locally official interpretation of Islam are sometimes declared to be non-muslim, not muslim enough - and loose the rights of full citizenship.

    Am I seeing this correctly? Is political and legal equality possible in a muslim state between people who act on significantly different religious or political positions?

    Western Christian nations made great distinctions between citizens of different religious persuasions until about 200 years ago, and many personal prejudices still remain although they do not have the sanction of law.

    You seem to use the terms 'Muslim', 'Jewish', and 'Christian' interchangeably for the religious belief or for the people of a common cultural heritage without regard for a religious position. It seems to me that you are generally discussing secular matters and almost never address yourself to religious things. Am I understanding you correctly?

    Some Christian believers are as offended at hearing Western Europe or America described as Christian when our culture is far from the teachings of Christ, as are many irreligious Westerners at allegations that they live in Christian nations or should adhere to Christian standards. In many places we are discouraged from wishing each other Merry Christmas because the phrase presumes acceptance of Christ.

    KScurmudgeon, trying to clarify your very interesting posts

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  • 181. At 11:48am on 19 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    I, for one, am pleased, that Yemeni terrorists (about half a population of Gitmo jail) will be repatriated to Yemen.

    Past experience indicates that Yemeni authorities would know how to deal with them more humanely. ;-)

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  • 182. At 11:56am on 19 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #180... "In many places we are discouraged from wishing each other Merry Christmas because the phrase presumes acceptance of Christ."


    Therefore, trying to be politically correct, I wish you Happy Holidays Season, instead of Marry Christmas, Happy Hannukah or Abundant Kwanza.
    (whichever's applicable). :-)

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  • 183. At 4:11pm on 19 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    180 curmudgeon
    "In many places we are discouraged from wishing each other Merry Christmas because the phrase presumes acceptance of Christ."


    I have to admit this has always confused me. Christmas is still christmas (in an existential sense) whether I believe in God and Jesus or not (and long-term readers will know my opinion of "god")..... and I am never unhappy to receive the good wishes of another.

    The christmas idea of "goodwill to man" (not the commercial charade it has become) belongs to everyone, christian or not. There is much that society can take from the teachings of various religions, without having to actually believe all the stories used to illustrate them.

    However, just to wind up the biblical literalists, this is quite fun

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/sumerians_look_on_in_confusion_as



    Happy Christmas everybody!

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  • 184. At 6:43pm on 19 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I have been carefully reading your posts, and come to the conclusion that muslim rulers are merciful to minorities only as long as they are compliant and subordinate. Non-muslims who are not subordinate are given very short shrift. And muslims who noticeably deviate from the locally official interpretation of Islam are sometimes declared to be non-muslim, not muslim enough - and loose the rights of full citizenship.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have been reading my posts carefully, but you have not been paying attention to what non muslims have been doing, with the red indians in north america and south america, with the jews and muslims from the times of crussades, and not to mention the greeks and romans did to jews, not paying attention to almost thousand yrs of muslim rule in indian sub contientent..a century ruled of brits and the area got divided in several parts..your recent history with jews in europe and your present in both iraq and especially in afghanistan where a genocide of pathans is taking place right in front of your noses, in the name of taliban and alqaida..its the democracy that has killed more muslims..As far as your citizenship argument is concerned, well those who support israel should be careful in bringing such an argument..

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  • 185. At 7:07pm on 19 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Obama and Blair are not the "far left" of the poitical spectrum in the West (well, not in Europe certainly). Don't believe the media hype about socialism.
    There are many many people who feel betrayed by Blair, and who are currently wishing Obama could be doing more to resolve the ongoing situations.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There are a few only a handful of westerners who are far left, and a couple of hundred who are left of the center..the rest are all what you would call, the rightists, or conservatives and I will simply call them fundamentalists in their basic attitudes or belifs..First it was ethnicity, than the christianity and now democracy...whichever belief system they operate from, they have always been fundamentalists..Even now the fundamental belif, that is body count or what you call election, the fundamentel priniciple that takes your focus and nothing else..Good that people feel betrayed by blair, now perhaps they would think about the betrayal your most hateful terrorist felt after the first gulf war, the palestinians have felt since 6 decades..I hope the british military would now hold blair accountable for sending the british soldiers to iraq on false premises..To change the regime of any country is not what the british soldiers pledge to do when they join the army..As far as the sturctures or building are concerned, they can be build and destroyed. So if Obama really think (which I doubt) that closing this facility will really change anything when it comes to muslims, then he is wrong..However I think he has to close it to give some sort of false impression to the americans, that they still belong to the high and mighty civilization...The civilization must know that if their political leaders ally with criminals through whom they carry out their torture or enhanced interogation techniques then no one will take them serously...The enlightended civilization is judged by the company it keeps and right now, the company is full of criminals..

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  • 186. At 7:10pm on 19 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Past experience indicates that Yemeni authorities would know how to deal with them more humanely. ;-)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Find out where these yemenis were captured from...gitmo gave the criminals a good dumping place, they dumped those people whom they didnt get along over to USA...The criminals are using the legitimate militaries to get rid of their opponents...

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  • 187. At 7:32pm on 19 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Western Christian nations made great distinctions between citizens of different religious persuasions until about 200 years ago, and many personal prejudices still remain although they do not have the sanction of law.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The distinctions never vanished, they become latent and when the testing times come, such distinctions surface again, thats what happened with the jews, and thats what happened the day after 9/11...when every tom dick and harry was all anti islam as if they from generations were being bulldozed by anti-islam propoganda..Your problem is that your religon, the chritistianty is anti-progress and you extend this to islam, which is not anti progress..the concept of fundamentalism is derived from christianity, because in order to do progress you had to make distinction between fundamentals of christianity and politics and social lives..Islam incoperates the life with religon and politics..

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  • 188. At 7:37pm on 19 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    This is such a joke. Did you never horse around with friends when you were younger? I lost count of the amount of times I have nearly drowned while play-fighting in a pool with friends way back when. You guys must lead some sheltered lives.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    How many times did you ever got bullied in the school? Horsing around with friends is one thing, but if you were horsed around by some bullies, you would not have given this non-sensical example to justify torture...

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  • 189. At 7:45pm on 19 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Therefore, trying to be politically correct, I wish you Happy Holidays Season, instead of Marry Christmas, Happy Hannukah or Abundant Kwanza.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If anything that is harmful to mankind is this political correctness.If it wasnt for the jesus, you wouldnt be greeting at all, as I think you dont get the urge to say happy holidays when its summer holidays..

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  • 190. At 10:20pm on 19 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "How many times did you ever got bullied in the school? Horsing around with friends is one thing, but if you were horsed around by some bullies, you would not have given this non-sensical example to justify torture..."

    Yes I would, I could care less who is doing it. The ACTION ITSELF is no worse than what the average 12 year old male does to his friends playing in the pool.

    When the person being water-boarded is someone who was captured on the field of battle versus US troops then I could care even less. Maybe these terrorists should grow a pair and stop crying about nonsense.

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  • 191. At 10:20pm on 19 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "If anything that is harmful to mankind is this political correctness."

    Good god, we finally agree on something!

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  • 192. At 10:56pm on 19 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Yes I would, I could care less who is doing it. The ACTION ITSELF is no worse than what the average 12 year old male does to his friends playing in the pool.

    When the person being water-boarded is someone who was captured on the field of battle versus US troops then I could care even less. Maybe these terrorists should grow a pair and stop crying about nonsense.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tell it to the parents whose children get bullied in the school, I now understand why in usa the bullied children and adults go on a shooting spree every year, its people like you telling them what you tell here..

    Those who were enhanced interrogated werent captured on the battlefields, they were bought from variuos human sellers, who picked up their sellable commodities from here and there..

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  • 193. At 08:49am on 21 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Yemenis account for almost half of the 198 detainees who remain at the US military base in Cuba. But officials fear many could re-join militant groups if sent back to Yemen." [BBC]


    Why would they fear that?

    According to all human rights groups they were all innocent and jailed unjustly, right?

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  • 194. At 10:14am on 21 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    190 tino
    "Yes I would, I could care less who is doing it. The ACTION ITSELF is no worse than what the average 12 year old male does to his friends playing in the pool."


    Tino, your ability to rewrite facts to suit your warped view of the world knows no bounds.

    If you equate waterboarding with swimming pool horseplay then you must have been one very unpopular 12 year old.....

    .... actually, the more I think about it, perhaps we all understand you better now. Such a tragic childhood is bound to reflect in the adult character.

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  • 195. At 10:17am on 21 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    193 meerkat
    "According to all human rights groups they were all innocent and jailed unjustly, right?"


    Perhaps you could provide a link to just one human rigths group who has said this.

    Your absolutist argument holds no water .... and in any case if even one of them were innocent of terrorist crimes then should they not be released, after a trial ..... or having spent years in Gitmo, are they now considered too much of a threat to allowed out.

    Heck, if you treated me like that, I'd radicalise.

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  • 196. At 10:49am on 21 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    189 colonel
    "If anything that is harmful to mankind is this political correctness.If it wasnt for the jesus, you wouldnt be greeting at all"


    While I agree with you about the over-use of political correctness, even without Jesus we could have been celebrating the Birth of Mithras with a lovely bull sacrifice (well, the men anyway - a bit sexist really) or dressing up and having a great time at Saturnalia, or even just burning stuff for Yule.

    Whatever or however (or even if) you celebrate, I wish you all a good one.

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  • 197. At 3:02pm on 21 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #195

    RomeStu!

    If all those poor folks at Gitmo (you know the facility next to this huge Gulag camp called Castro's Cuba?) are harmless, how come that you (yes, that includes U.K.) do't want to allow even few of them to settle in your countries?
    Nay, even transfer to your, I'm sure much more humane, jails?

    While, simultaneously screaming bloody murder when they are sent back to their native countries (Algeria, China, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc.)?

    We can't win, can we?

    Unless, of course, we adopt 'take no prisoners' policy.

    Although I'm not sure you'd like that very much, either.

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  • 198. At 4:33pm on 21 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    If all those poor folks at Gitmo (you know the facility next to this huge Gulag camp called Castro's Cuba?) are harmless, how come that you (yes, that includes U.K.) do't want to allow even few of them to settle in your countries?
    Nay, even transfer to your, I'm sure much more humane, jails?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The issue is not transfering them here and there, the issue is the justice system that totally collapse the first time it was challanged. The issue is your claimed high morals according to which you signed certain accords and how quickly those accords were ignored..There is no difference between you and those you accused of carrying out torture aka saddam, or taliban, is that they do not do the paper work to find out the loopholes..the mentality and the goal is the same..Obama's approach to the whole issue is like that of a doctor who treats the symptoms and ignores to diagnose the illness..Stiching up a bullet wound stops the bleeding, but unless the bullet is taken out, the wound will bled again and again and again.

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  • 199. At 8:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "If you equate waterboarding with swimming pool horseplay then you must have been one very unpopular 12 year old....."

    Lol. Seriously, 'almost drowning' in a controlled environment is not torture. Again, you can see real torture by reading/watching what they do to INNOCENT CIVILIANS they get their hands on. In addition, our own military (some, not all) go through SERE training and experience this or similar. There is no permanent damage if done correctly. Even if there was, these people were involved in combat versus our troops - and thus I really don't care. They deserve far, far worse than three square meals a day, constant red cross monitoring, Qur'ans, prayer mats, and decent conditions. Again, OUR OWN TROOPS EXPERIENCE THIS IN ADVANCED LEVELS OF SERE TRAINING. Please, cry more.

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  • 200. At 9:30pm on 21 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    199 tino

    No one is denying that there are far worse forms of torture that can and have been used.

    However part of trying to be the "good guys" (and that is very much how the West portrays its actions) involves not descending to the levels of those whom we purport to civilise / democratise etc.

    As to the fact that they were involved in combat against US troops .... well if they were Iraqi or Afghan, they have the excuse that the US & UK invaded their country. I know they were supposed to just welcome us, but perhaps they had a different view of freedom.

    As to the foreigners fighting the US - they were still "fighting" the US invaders. (cf partisans / freedom fighters v terrorists - it's only much later that history allows the winner to decide which was which).

    We will never agree on certain aspects, but I am not the bleeding heart you think - I fully supported the Afghan invasion at the beginning. (I've changed my mind a bit since then).

    I simply believe that our common future is better served by upholding our laws for everyone and showing them to be upheld. That is the mark of civilisation by which I wish my culture to be judged by the world.

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  • 201. At 10:42pm on 21 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    RomeStu,

    "I simply believe that our common future is better served by upholding our laws for everyone and showing them to be upheld. That is the mark of civilisation by which I wish my culture to be judged by the world."

    I understand, and even used to agree, with your position. Ultimately, however, I feel that we are eventually either heading to a massive confrontation with these people or we are going to commit cultural suicide. I guess I just do not understand who we are trying to convince of our goodness. The terrorists aren't changing their position based on how good or bad we act. Most other countries, like China, I imagine could not care what we do either way unless it affects them. So what is the point of trying to be 'better'?

    I have since changed my position to that of being comfortable with fighting fire with fire. However, and this is a huge asterisk so to speak, only in cases where it is 100% known they are on the side of the terrorists. Thus, for those captured on the battlefield I have no problem with subjecting them to something as benign as water-boarding. Things like mutilation, killing family, etc (real torture, in my opinion) are barbaric and should never be used. Yes, this may seem like drawing an arbitrary line, but I feel it is a somewhat concrete one (permanent damage/death contrasted with extreme discomfort). Especially when done in a controlled environment (basically, the same as the SERE training...physicians present etc), I simply see nothing wrong with it.

    "As to the foreigners fighting the US - they were still "fighting" the US invaders. (cf partisans / freedom fighters v terrorists - it's only much later that history allows the winner to decide which was which)."

    This is one of the reasons for my position, actually. There is no absolute good and bad, in my mind. Nonetheless, they are trying to kill me and my people as well as destroy my way of life. I have no problem with them getting what is coming to them.

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  • 202. At 11:20pm on 21 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    201 tino

    OK, you got me - I sneaked a last peak before heading for bed .... but this realy is my last for a while....


    You wrote
    "I guess I just do not understand who we are trying to convince of our goodness. The terrorists aren't changing their position based on how good or bad we act."

    IMHO you've missed the point. The ones we are trying to convince are the ones who aren't terrorists yet.

    There used to be very very few, but by our actions we have driven more moderate muslims to the extremes. I agree that few may change position because of how good we are ... but many may change because of how bad we are.



    Ypou continue
    "I have since changed my position to that of being comfortable with fighting fire with fire. However, and this is a huge asterisk so to speak, only in cases where it is 100% known they are on the side of the terrorists."

    Again it very much depends on the definition of terrorist. While Afghanistan's Taliban government supported al-Quaeda, one cannot say the same about Iraq. Sadaam was unpleasant, but he did not threaten the USA. Many people in Iraq and other Muslim countries have been radicalised by what they perceive as US imperialism. It is irrelevent what the truth is at this stage - the fact is that their interpretation of our actions (which was predictable) has made our world less safe.


    and finally
    "Nonetheless, they are trying to kill me and my people as well as destroy my way of life. I have no problem with them getting what is coming to them."

    Soem may want to kill you (not personnally!), but we are trying to stop them by bombing their villages, so they think we are trying to kill them. Do yo see how this escalates, irrespective of who started it.

    With over 100,000 dead in Iraq and who knows in Afhganistan, I'd say we were winning. Considering how we reacted when 3000 of our own died in 2001, how do you think 100,000 would feel. Even if 97% of the dead were active insurgents, that would still make it evens on the innocents.

    They have a saying in Italy "Un peso, due misure" (one weight, two measurements). This does not defend the terrorists, but simply points to the fact that we are not above justifying the death of innocents in our mission, and I'm sure that rings hollow in the ears of Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani widows.


    It's been fun - see you in the New Year.

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  • 203. At 03:38am on 22 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    As for "foreigners fighting U.S."

    I haven't been aware that U.S. invaded/occupied Algeria, Egypt, Chechnya, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Uighuria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen and opressed their citizens.

    Nor that U.S. participated in Crusades, the likes of Ahmadinnerjacket and ibn Laden are so fond of recalling.

    [I thought some quite different countries have done that.]

    And yet we see some of Algerians, Egyptians, Libyans, Saudis, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Yemenis fighting U.S. and attempting to terrorize its citizens.

    Which makes on wonder whether their attitude wouldn't by any chance have anything to do with all of them being fervent believers in an extreme form of a "religion of peace" would it, now?

    P.S. An attitude of some Pakistanis toward U.K. is off topic.
    Not that it isn't interesting or relevant.

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  • 204. At 7:19pm on 22 Dec 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Tino, I read your comments about waterboarding several days (well, almost a week) ago, but didn't dare comment then because I can get kind of hot-tempered. I see that you have elaborated on them further in the time since then. Anyway, I have cooled off now, what with my job, my family, my friends, and the beautiful snow so now I feel calm enough to let you know why you are wrong about waterboarding and horseplay. At least I'll do my best to remain rational and reasonable.

    You assume that waterboarding is minor, equivalent to children dunking each other. You are mistaken. Depriving someone of oxygen does produce pain because that is something you can't live without and the body reflexively tries to stimulate you to get oxygen. Your reflexes will not allow you to suffocate yourself unless you put yourself into a situation too terrible for your reflexes to overcome. If you don't believe me that being deprived of oxygen is torture then I must assume you have never seen the face of someone who died of drowning (before the funeral home messes with the body). If that's the case, I'm sincerely glad for you, but you should believe what I say. A person who drowns goes through perhaps two or three minutes of anguish before becoming somnolent, then unconscious, then dead. A person who gets waterboarded gets almost drowned hundreds of times over a period of hours. Thus the agony is prolonged much longer than would occur in nature.

    To compare that with children's play just doesn't work. At least children don't strap each other to boards and pour water over each other. A child who dunks another may easily get dunked back. A child has a fighting chance, whereas an alleged terrorist is strapped down, unable to resist. It's not fair play.

    Besides that, you seem to believe that that form of child's play is harmless. Well, it's not. The US has a higher drowning rate than Canada or the UK, although our rate isn't as high as Bangladesh's, I'm pretty sure. A lot of the people who drown are boys between the ages of 16 and 25. (Little children also have a high rate because they can fall into swimming pools or bathtubs and be unable to get out.) Boys playing roughly together in water contributes to the problem. If you're used to people splashing, going under for a minute or two, and calling for help, then it's less likely that you'll notice when someone seriously starts drowning. A reaction delayed by just a few seconds can and has killed people.

    You say that you have "almost drowned" many times. If that's true, when are you going to learn your lesson and be more cautious? Surely it wasn't fun getting pneumonia because you inhaled some water or having pain with every breath from ribs cracked during CPR? I think you may be exaggerating.

    The other thing I want to say is that alleged "terrorists" should be given the same fair trials that any other alleged criminal deserves. What if we have the wrong person? There should be a way for people accused of terrorism to get out if they aren't guilty. Torture should never be used, regardless of whether the person has American citizenship or not. It's just wrong.

    Peace and neighborly love to all who read this.

    Goodbye.

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  • 205. At 02:42am on 23 Dec 2009, U14270171 wrote:

    Tino

    "In addition, our own military (some, not all) go through SERE training and experience this or similar. There is no permanent damage if done correctly. Even if there was, these people were involved in combat versus our troops - and thus I really don't care."

    What part of there has been no trial do you get.
    If they were Bhopal Union Carbide CEO you would be bending over backwards to say "innocent".
    You really HATE trials don't you.
    for you Justice is a way of ordering frozen water.

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  • 206. At 02:45am on 23 Dec 2009, U14270171 wrote:

    TC Another excellent post.
    Happy Christmas to you.

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  • 207. At 2:51pm on 23 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    "The other thing I want to say is that alleged "terrorists" should be given the same fair trials that any other alleged criminal deserves. What if we have the wrong person?"

    They were caught on the field of battle. I cannot think of many things more cut and dry than that. Again, waterboarding causes no permanent damage - outside of maybe a new found fear of water. If it is done in the presence of physicians, who really cares about these guys? Certainly not me.

    "What part of there has been no trial do you get."

    What part of caught on the field of battle do you not get?

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  • 208. At 10:32pm on 25 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    170. At 4:46pm on 18 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:
    "Tino – Well one could for instance create a dialogue with those Muslims (the vast, vast majority) who don’t wish to over throw the West, treating them and their beliefs with respect. Not for instance claiming that all Muslims are potential terrorists, or that Islam is a dangerous religion which needs to be viewed with caution. Islam is filled with either moderates or those who really have better things to worry about than America."

    First let me say that you, DRM, Tino, PubliusD and others have been having a civil dialogue that is as fascinating as it is important.

    Problem one is that the Wahabis, Salafis, Darbandis, Taleban, Iranian Ayatollahs and such are just as Tino paints them. This creates a viscious circle as it potentiates the arguments of the most unreasonable western factions.

    The actions and words of Westerners afraid of those groups are observed in the Midle East and are used by those radical Muslim groups to increase anger at the "Anti-Islamic" West.

    Having lived and worked in several Middle Eastern countries for a decade, I can state that reaching a mutually satisfactory understanding
    with the Islamic world would be extremely difficult, if even possible.

    The reason is that while modern "Western" values regard all religions and cultures as equally valid, to be respected and to be tolerated, Islamic values do not return the favor. There is ONLY one true religion, Islam [and to Wahabis only one sect, theirs, is truly Islamic], so others are not equal and are only grudgingly, if ever, tolerated, much less respected.

    When we live in Muslim countries we are required to obey and respect their laws and customs, while many Muslims in the UK and EU seem to be rejecting the host cultures and demanding Sharia and excessive respect for Islamic sensibilities.

    We believe that one is free to believe or disbelieve, to change religion or abandon it. Apostasy, paganism or witchcraft [see the recent news reports] still carry the death penalty which mny Muslims are willing to enforce.

    It is all well and good to preach dialog and mutual respect, but in the absence of MUTUAL respect what is the use of a dialog? We have to keep trying, if only to keep channels of communication open to the moderates, of course, but I sometimes find myself inclining more toward Tino's views than makes me entirely comfortable.

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  • 209. At 03:05am on 26 Dec 2009, Tino wrote:

    208 JMM,

    "It is all well and good to preach dialog and mutual respect, but in the absence of MUTUAL respect what is the use of a dialog?"

    EXACTLY! It frustrates me to always see the Western viewpoint (multiculturalism, in the manner you describe in paragraph 5) ascribed to Islam. The problem is that the vast, vast majority of westerners have never read the Qur'an or Hadith. They seem to ignore the mountains of evidence that contradict their views. It really isn't that hard to grab an English translation of the writings and read them.

    Today there was another attempted attack on a flight into detroit. AGAIN, a well-educated (engineering degree) Muslim who is simply following his religion as it is put forth in his religious texts. When is enough enough? We cannot bribe them into loving us. We cannot be the good guys and lead by example. We simply need to take measures to defend ourselves. I fail to see the problem with this...

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  • 210. At 07:49am on 26 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    So the self admitted al-Qaida Nigerian 'associate' who's just tried to destroy a Northwest airliner has been studying where? :-)

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  • 211. At 11:57pm on 28 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    My avowedly belicose, anti-EU and hyper-nationalistic countrymen should bear in mind that it wasn't a rough tough American who took out the terrorist; it was a Dutch citizen [or should I say an EU citizen from the Netherlands].

    So, then, Europeans are willing and able to fight in their self-defense. Not that this will be well received in some quarters. It would not surprize me if a fatwa were issued against Holland for the infamous crime of self-defense against a Muslim terrorist.

    However, due thanks and congratulations to the passengers and crew who brought the plane in safely.

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  • 212. At 4:59pm on 30 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    So, then, Europeans are willing and able to fight in their self-defense. Not that this will be well received in some quarters. It would not surprize me if a fatwa were issued against Holland for the infamous crime of self-defense against a Muslim terrorist.

    However, due thanks and congratulations to the passengers and crew who brought the plane in safely.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Exactly which world do you reside in? More commotion is created by a drunk passanger. His experiment failed that of a teenager playing with different chemicals in a lab ending in setting himself on smokes..

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  • 213. At 5:04pm on 30 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Today there was another attempted attack on a flight into detroit. AGAIN, a well-educated (engineering degree) Muslim who is simply following his religion as it is put forth in his religious texts. When is enough enough? We cannot bribe them into loving us. We cannot be the good guys and lead by example. We simply need to take measures to defend ourselves. I fail to see the problem with this...
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Just as the worshippers of democracy come in all forms and shapes, from homeless to the harvard and oxford educated, their enemies also comes in all shapes and forms..Doesnt take a rocket scientist to understand that...However, the most vulnerable are those young muslims who are a bit sensitive, have some common sense and who go to west to study, they see the apathy and the true colors of hypocracy in the west....

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