Guantánamo Prison - the dark side of the "free world" - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-19-2004, 06:33 PM   #1
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Guantánamo Prison - the dark side of the "free world"

A fight against Terrorism or a fight against the constitution of the USA and international rights?

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The Court and Guantánamo

Published: April 19, 2004

The Supreme Court will hear a pair of cases tomorrow that will help set the ground rules for the war on terror. Detainees at Guantánamo, some of whom have been held for more than two years, are seeking an opportunity to challenge their confinement. The Bush administration insists, however, that they can be imprisoned indefinitely. That position is legally and morally wrong, and rather than help America's defense, it makes the nation more vulnerable. The Supreme Court should rule for the detainees.

More than 600 detainees are being held in the American military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Most were captured in Afghanistan while American troops were fighting the Taliban forces there. Their advocates say many were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, or innocent men whom bounty hunters handed over as terrorists in order to claim rewards. The cases the court is hearing involve Kuwaiti, British and Australian nationals whose families say they were not involved with Al Qaeda or engaged in military action against the United States.

The detainees are seeking only the most basic elements of due process: to be informed of the charges against them, to meet with their families and lawyers, and to have a forum for contesting their imprisonment. They do not claim a right to have the American court systems review their cases. A military tribunal would be sufficient.

The administration argues that as noncitizens being held outside the United States, the detainees have no right to be heard in federal court. But the law gives the courts jurisdiction over "all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States," which certainly describes these cases. The federal habeas corpus statute also gives anyone held by the government, which the detainees certainly are, the right to challenge their confinement. Even if the government's narrow view of jurisdiction were right, it is irrelevant. Guantánamo, as the Navy concedes on its own Web site, "for all practical purposes, is American territory."

International law also strongly supports the detainees. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, following American and British legal traditions, states that "anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court."

Legal arguments aside, the Guantánamo policies are a tragic mistake. They are being followed closely abroad, where they are greatly harming America's reputation for fairness. And — as a group of retired American military officers argue in a friend-of-the-court brief — they will come back to haunt us when Americans are taken captive.

Most important of all, the treatment of the Guantánamo detainees is not true to America's guiding principles. "The practice of arbitrary imprisonments," Alexander Hamilton observed in Federalist No. 84, has been "in all ages" one of "the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny." Much has changed since Sept. 11, 2001, but one thing that has not is this nation's commitment to freedom, and to the rule of law.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:32 PM   #2
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"Most important of all, the treatment of the Guantánamo detainees is not true to America's guiding principles. "The practice of arbitrary imprisonments," Alexander Hamilton observed in Federalist No. 84, has been "in all ages" one of "the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny." Much has changed since Sept. 11, 2001, but one thing that has not is this nation's commitment to freedom, and to the rule of law."

I have my doubts how the court will rule especially with Scalia being Cheney's buddy.
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:35 PM   #3
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Ah yes...if only Alexander Hamilton lived in a world in which the push of one button, or the flying of 4 jetliners could kill thousands or even millions.

Different worlds.
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Old 04-19-2004, 10:25 PM   #4
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I think the people who founded this country were persons of character, who wouldn't have backed down from their principles when the going got tough.

I hope the Supreme Court realizes we can't just toss "illegal combatants" into prison and forget about them. They are entitled to the basic legal protections they seek. We cannot continue to see ourselves as the worldwide arbiters of truth and goodness if we are not willing to play by the rules by which we want everyone else to play.
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:12 PM   #5
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I think that it does a disservice to the US around the world by not giving these alleged scumbags a proper trial, the western world stands for the rule of law proper trials will reaffirm our commitment to it. I myself think that anybody who fought for the taliban in any capacity or support their beliefs are scum and should be locked away, but only after a fair trial to determine guilt.
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
I think the people who founded this country were persons of character, who wouldn't have backed down from their principles when the going got tough.

I hope the Supreme Court realizes we can't just toss "illegal combatants" into prison and forget about them. They are entitled to the basic legal protections they seek. We cannot continue to see ourselves as the worldwide arbiters of truth and goodness if we are not willing to play by the rules by which we want everyone else to play.
I predict a loss for the Bush team on this issue.

And I agree that John Adams may have been a founding father that behaved the way you describe Pax. I cannot make a blanket statement about them all.

I still believe that a majority would recognize the difference in the world and believe it to be better to take action first and worry about the legality of it later. The court will sort it out. It is a new situation to be in and our Constitution is working perfectly to sort it out. For better or worse, we will have official rules to work by when the court rules on the case.
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
I still believe that a majority would recognize the difference in the world and believe it to be better to take action first and worry about the legality of it later.
When later? Some of the people there have been imprisoned for over two years already. Several people were released earlier this year without any charge against them, meaning that they were imprisoned for two years through no fault of their own. How long is acceptable to imprison people without charge?
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:44 AM   #8
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later....is the administration doing anything in say 2023? that might be a good time to actually DO what they keep wanking on about and find out once and for all if these people ARE terrorists who are being detained. they cant say they are fighting this, when it is nothing more than convenience imprisonment.

the administration has no idea who they have locked up. this guantanamo crap is the biggest load of bullshit. and i am not a sympathiser nor against fighting terrorism, nor any of that. this is simply about the piss poor way this is being handled. actually, it has little to do with what these people might be guilty of. guilty or not makes no difference. this is why half of america and a large portion of the rest of the world hates bush.

well done to him.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:40 PM   #9
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wow.

yeah.

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Old 04-21-2004, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Ah yes...if only Alexander Hamilton lived in a world in which the push of one button, or the flying of 4 jetliners could kill thousands or even millions.

Different worlds.
I see your point, these are different circumstances with things those guys could only have imagined. In those days there was honor even among enemies, but the terrorists of today are a different breed that require a different situation. But there are governments, past and present, who would have simply 'done away' with them and denied knowing how they 'disappeared.' At least they're alive and you know right where to find them.
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Old 04-21-2004, 05:27 PM   #11
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:09 AM   #12
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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Public Statement

AI Index: IOR 41/024/2004 (Public)
News Service No: 098
20 April 2004

Commission on Human Rights, 60th Session (15 March - 23 April 2004)
The human rights scandal of Guantanamo Bay
Amnesty International welcomes consideration by the UN Commission on Human Rights of the situation of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. This is long overdue.

More than two years after the first of the detainees arrived in the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Camp X-Ray and its successor Camp Delta, the United States Government continues to exert unfettered executive power in total disregard for the rule of law. Hundreds of detainees remain held in tiny cells for up to 24 hours a day without any legal process.

International law has been flouted from the outset. None of the detainees was granted prisoner of war status nor brought before a competent tribunal to determine his status, as required by the Third Geneva Convention. None has been granted access to a court to be able to challenge the lawfulness of his detention, as required by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 9) to which the United States is a party. Detainees have been denied access to legal counsel and their families. When a state, let alone one as powerful as the United States of America, adopts a selective approach to international law and standards, the integrity of those standards is eroded.

While welcoming that the Commission will consider the arbitrary detention of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Amnesty International is concerned that the Commission has not been asked to consider other human rights violations involving the detainees. These include the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees and refoulement to countries where released detainees are in danger of torture or other serious human rights violations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has taken the unusual step of going public about the deterioration in mental health it has witnessed among many of the detainees as a result of the indefinite and isolating incarceration regime. Amnesty International considers the totality of the conditions in which most of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay are held amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

According to a statement by the Department of Defense on 2 April 2004, 146 prisoners have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay to their countries of origin leaving "approximately 595" detainees in the base. Most have been released upon return, but at least 12 have been transferred for continued detention in their home countries. While welcoming releases, Amnesty International is concerned that some detainees may be at risk of serious human rights violations if returned to their home countries for continued detention. Amnesty International considers that the US authorities have a responsibility to ensure that the human rights of the detainees will be fully respected after their transfer.

Guantanamo Bay is a human rights scandal, and Amnesty International believes that the Commission on Human Rights must urgently address this situation in all its aspects. Amnesty International considers that draft resolution L.88 on the question of arbitrary detention in the area of the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo is a welcome development, but it does not go far enough.
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Old 04-22-2004, 04:06 PM   #13
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That reminds me--gotta send in my membership renewal.

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Old 04-22-2004, 04:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
I still believe that a majority would recognize the difference in the world and believe it to be better to take action first and worry about the legality of it later.

Dread,


Do you realize how self-serving this sounds?


Americans go nuts when our citizens are locked up in other nations and we believe they have not recieved OUR concept of due process.
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Old 04-22-2004, 05:30 PM   #15
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Oh please...tell me Deep how self-serving does it sound.

Do you have anyone else you like to lecture or do you save it all for me?

It is self serving if you take it out of the context of the debate.

Again, part of the reason 9/11 was not stopped was because of the "legality" of things.
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