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Old 03-16-2004, 02:12 AM   #16
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I can't help thinking of Minority Report when this topic comes up. It seems like the American gov't is playing pre-crime, of which of course there is no such thing. It blatantly goes against innocent until proven guilty. These men, all individuals, are suffering in the name of security for a nation of equal individuals in terms of rights and so on.
I know folks like you STING, are looking at the bigger picture and that is cool, it seems there is little justification when it comes down to this small picture though because your freedom shouldn't come at the cost of someone else's.
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Old 03-16-2004, 04:13 AM   #17
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Originally posted by STING2


By the the best means to insure the safety and security of the country.
this would basically mean that any country can do whatever it feels it takes to secure its safety

this can't be true, can it?

especially since views on who the enemy is
and what may be considered as necessary to combat him
seems to differ from country to country

the world would become an even more depressing place than it already is at times
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Old 03-16-2004, 06:37 AM   #18
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Originally posted by melon
On the other end, I must ask how credible "The Daily Mirror" is? It appears to be a tabloid newspaper, perhaps not so different than a Hearst newspaper back in the day.
Actually the Mirror isn't as "bad" as you'd expect a tabloid paper to be. In the last few years it's undergone something of a tranformation and it's actually won several awards for its journalism. It's not the best newspaper, but compared to the typical tabloids like the Sun and the Star it's fantastic.

Three of the released prisoners were interviewed by the Observer this weekend, which is perhaps a more credible broadsheet paper.

Quote:
'They'd herded maybe 300 of us into each container, the type you get on ordinary lorries, packed in so tightly our knees were against our chests, and almost immediately we started to suffocate. We lived because someone made holes with a machine gun, though they were shooting low and still more died from the bullets. When we got out, about 20 in each container were still alive.'
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'There were people with horrific injuries - limbs that had been shot off and nothing was done. I'll never forget one Arab who was missing half his jaw. For 10 days until his death he was screaming and crying continuously, begging to be killed.
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'We were covered with lice. All day long you were scratching, scratching. I was bleeding from my chest, my head.' Iqbal adds: 'We lost so much weight that if I stood up I could carry water in the gap between my collar bones and my flesh.'
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'A special forces guy sat there holding a gun to my temple, a 9mm pistol. He said if I made any movement he'd blow my head off.'
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Yet all witnessed or experienced brutality, especially from Guantanamo's own riot squad, the Extreme Reaction Force. Its acronym has led to a new verb peculiar to Guantanamo detainees: 'ERF-ing.' To be ERFed, says Rasul, means to be slammed on the floor by a soldier wielding a riot shield, pinned to the ground and assaulted.
The full article is at: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_ne...168937,00.html
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Old 03-16-2004, 02:48 PM   #19
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Originally posted by STING2


By the the best means to insure the safety and security of the country.
So it is right to sacrifice inocent people for your feelings of safety ?
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Salome
this would basically mean that any country can do whatever it feels it takes to secure its safety

this can't be true, can it?

especially since views on who the enemy is
and what may be considered as necessary to combat him
seems to differ from country to country

the world would become an even more depressing place than it already is at times
I think it would be irresponsible to not do whatever is needed to defend ones country. History shows that countries that do not take their security seriously suffer the consequences.

The United States has been at the forfront of creating international instutitions to help resolve differences over security issues as well as other issues. Without the United States, the UN and NATO would not exist.

While it is vital to resolve differences of security issues the failure to do so can never block the will and desire of a democracy to defend itself in the way it sees best.

Rono,

"So it is right to sacrifice inocent people for your feelings of safety ?"

Far more innocent people would die if actions that could result in the accidental loss of innocent life are not taken. It would be virtually impossible for any country to defend itself or for that matter any police force to operate, if the possibility of the loss of innocent life prevented any action from being taken in all circumstances.
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Old 03-16-2004, 10:47 PM   #21
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Certain countries see America as a threat to their safety and security. Their way of ensuring they are all ok is exactly what America is trying to defend itself against. So where on earth will it stop? It is not getting to the root of the problem. It is opening up an ongoing war which will never end, never see resolution, simply because some keep putting their own needs above someone elses.

On the last point, you see no problem at all with innocent men being locked up, tortured, abused and held completely without rights, for you? You are worth it? How? You are no more important than any of them. No one is. Individuals are suffering like this to protect a nation of people who are equals. You dont see this as unacceptable? Would you honestly be happy to rot in one of these cells if you were mistaken as a threat, all in the name of the bigger picture? As they beat you daily, deny you food and water, you would think 'well I'm doing my bit'. We're not all born martyrs and no one should expect to be one. No one should have to go through that.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:02 AM   #22
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Angela Harlem,

"Certain countries see America as a threat to their safety and security. Their way of ensuring they are all ok is exactly what America is trying to defend itself against. So where on earth will it stop? It is not getting to the root of the problem. It is opening up an ongoing war which will never end, never see resolution, simply because some keep putting their own needs above someone elses."

America has done more to insure the safety and security of democracy and human rights through out the world than any other single nation in history. If you disagree, please name the country you feel has done more to ensure the security of democracy and human rights through out the world.

The only people that could truely view America as a threat to their safety and security are the governments and leaders of countries that wage war on their neighbors, harbor terrorist, threaten their neighbors, commit gross human rights abuses, are against democracy, and seek to increase their power at the expense of their own people and others around the world.

The United States has helped to develop a large number of international institutions and Alliances around the world that have stabilized it, prevented World War, stopped the march of Soviet Communism, responded effectively to multiple crises and threats to international security, and has helped to create a world today that has never seen this many democratically elected governments, and a colective standard of living across the world that has never been this high. Yes, problems persist in many area's, but the world's ability to deal with these problems has never been greater.

There is not another single country on the planet that desires a more stable, prosperous and democratic world, than the United States.


"On the last point, you see no problem at all with innocent men being locked up, tortured, abused and held completely without rights, for you? You are worth it? How? You are no more important than any of them. No one is. Individuals are suffering like this to protect a nation of people who are equals. You dont see this as unacceptable?"

From a strictly idealistic standpoint, I could agree with you. But you seem to ingnore the realism in combating terrorism. You focus on the few that may have been locked up by mistake, yet ignore the potential lives saved and the rights preserved of Billions of others because the majority of the people who have been caught are terrorist.


What I find unacceptable is adjusting the current polices which would make it more difficult to capture and lock up dangerous people, but would perhaps prevent a couple of innocent people from being locked at the price of 100, 1,000, 10,000 or perhaps 100,000 dead civilians in the next terrorist attack.

Would you honestly like to find yourself or someone you love caught in the middle of the next terrorist attack because someone decided to relax the current policies on capturing and detaining terrorist? How many many deaths of innocent civilians is it worth to insure that no one is mistakenly locked up for 2 years?
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:02 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

Angela Harlem,

"Certain countries see America as a threat to their safety and security. Their way of ensuring they are all ok is exactly what America is trying to defend itself against. So where on earth will it stop? It is not getting to the root of the problem. It is opening up an ongoing war which will never end, never see resolution, simply because some keep putting their own needs above someone elses."

America has done more to insure the safety and security of democracy and human rights through out the world than any other single nation in history. If you disagree, please name the country you feel has done more to ensure the security of democracy and human rights through out the world.
I dont disagree with you STING on what you replied here. Unfortunately some do, they dont see America as a country which is promoting positives. They see you as the ultimate Western bully, imposing your views on them, by force if necessary. I'm not arguing the good America does, but the way it is viewed by others, as bad.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
The only people that could truely view America as a threat to their safety and security are the governments and leaders of countries that wage war on their neighbors, harbor terrorist, threaten their neighbors, commit gross human rights abuses, are against democracy, and seek to increase their power at the expense of their own people and others around the world.
These governments, leaders and terrorist groups are the problem. They dont want to know about America's ideals of freedom and democracy. They'll keep pushing back as long as America keeps pushing forward. These are the ones I was referring to regarding your military and government being a threat. If everyone has the right to defend themselves, where does it leave these countries? I agree with the comment you made earlier, about it being almost irresponsible. So how is this weighed against the very fact that it contradicts what America is trying to do? Not everyone can win here. If everyone should do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of their country, is it only ok up until it starts getting in the way of someone else's?
I'm not arguing this from my point of view. I agree with successful democracy. They do not though. How long do we all keep pushing it? Until they give in or slowly come round to our way of thinking?

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
The United States has helped to develop a large number of international institutions and Alliances around the world that have stabilized it, prevented World War, stopped the march of Soviet Communism, responded effectively to multiple crises and threats to international security, and has helped to create a world today that has never seen this many democratically elected governments, and a colective standard of living across the world that has never been this high. Yes, problems persist in many area's, but the world's ability to deal with these problems has never been greater.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
There is not another single country on the planet that desires a more stable, prosperous and democratic world, than the United States.
I agree, though do not think America is alone is it's desire for a stable, prosperous and democratic world.


Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
"On the last point, you see no problem at all with innocent men being locked up, tortured, abused and held completely without rights, for you? You are worth it? How? You are no more important than any of them. No one is. Individuals are suffering like this to protect a nation of people who are equals. You dont see this as unacceptable?"

From a strictly idealistic standpoint, I could agree with you. But you seem to ingnore the realism in combating terrorism. You focus on the few that may have been locked up by mistake, yet ignore the potential lives saved and the rights preserved of Billions of others because the majority of the people who have been caught are terrorist.


What I find unacceptable is adjusting the current polices which would make it more difficult to capture and lock up dangerous people, but would perhaps prevent a couple of innocent people from being locked at the price of 100, 1,000, 10,000 or perhaps 100,000 dead civilians in the next terrorist attack.

Would you honestly like to find yourself or someone you love caught in the middle of the next terrorist attack because someone decided to relax the current policies on capturing and detaining terrorist? How many many deaths of innocent civilians is it worth to insure that no one is mistakenly locked up for 2 years?
No, I am not ignoring the overall benefit of strict policies which aims to at least control the threat. I'm just not ignoring the very high price it comes at. A few hundred people being unfairly treated might not be a high price for you and how you view all this. If anything, it isn't even a criticism if it can be called that on the policies, but on the follow-up. It doesn't take 2 years to find someone innocent or not, not if an effort is being made to prove innocence or guilt. It cannot be said any effort is being made when many of these people are not even allowed a lawyer. I certainly dont think the policies need relaxing as the potential loss of more innocent life is paramount, but it surely doesn't have to be like this.
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2



From a strictly idealistic standpoint, I could agree with you. But you seem to ingnore the realism in combating terrorism. You focus on the few that may have been locked up by mistake, yet ignore the potential lives saved and the rights preserved of Billions of others because the majority of the people who have been caught are terrorist.

I find both sides of this argument to be too simplistic and too idealistic.

Yes there are going to be casualties of war, this everyone should understand. Unfortunately democracy is sometimes that casualty.

But if you display to the rest of the world that you don't care about foreign relations, you don't care about the rights of the innocent, you don't care about hazy reasoning and stating you're doing this in the name of democracy what are people going to think of democracy? You come off as a bully who's forcing your views upon the planet just because you can.

Sometimes fighting fire with fire just causes a larger fire. Locking up the innocent and treating them like this and just passing it off as tightened security measures does nothing but fuel an already growing hatred or our tactics.
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:09 AM   #25
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We really don't know what the circumstances are behind the detainment of these people. I don't think that American forces just went out into the street and plucked people at random and threw them in jails. That's nonsensical to me. So, therefore, I can understand that some mistakes were made because especially if people are detained in a hostile environment, you detain, and ask questions later.

However, I don't understand why people are rotting away for 2 years without access to legal services. This is lunacy. How is the security of the US and its people compromised if the detainees at Guantanamo are allowed to have legal counsel? Can someone answer that?
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:36 AM   #26
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We really don't know what the circumstances are behind the detainment of these people. I don't think that American forces just went out into the street and plucked people at random and threw them in jails. That's nonsensical to me. So, therefore, I can understand that some mistakes were made because especially if people are detained in a hostile environment, you detain, and ask questions later.
Well this individual happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Never armed no ties to the Taliban, so I think there is some form of randomly plucking. If they had evidence I think they would be charged.

Quote:
Originally posted by anitram

However, I don't understand why people are rotting away for 2 years without access to legal services. This is lunacy. How is the security of the US and its people compromised if the detainees at Guantanamo are allowed to have legal counsel? Can someone answer that?
I don't think anyone will answer this. I've asked it several times and all I've gotten is cyrptic rhetoric about security.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:53 PM   #27
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
But if you display to the rest of the world that you don't care about foreign relations, you don't care about the rights of the innocent, you don't care about hazy reasoning and stating you're doing this in the name of democracy what are people going to think of democracy? You come off as a bully who's forcing your views upon the planet just because you can.
I think in the end this will be the main problem

because America is more & more being seen as a bully
as far as I can tell even is Europe the public opinion is turning against America
this will inevitably lead (see the latest spanish elections) to a decrease in political support

public opinion is quite often misguided and for a large part non sensical
but its importance can not be underestimated
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:35 PM   #28
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these POWs had a different experience


Quote:
THE WORLD
Afghans Walk Free in Kabul After Long Guantanamo Detour

The 23 suspected Taliban were never charged. One alleges abuse, others disagree.

By Hamida Ghafour
Special to The Times

March 17, 2004

KABUL, Afghanistan Twenty-three Afghans who had been held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were freed from custody here Tuesday, many sporting denim jackets given to them by the American military.

The men, who were flown home by U.S. aircraft, had been detained as Taliban suspects for up to two years but were not charged. A U.S. military spokesman said they were released because they were no longer considered risks.

Upon being freed, several said they had been treated with honor by their captors, although one complained of torture and other forms of mistreatment.

"If you compare it to life in the village, it was good, except we didn't have any freedom," said Haji Osman, 35, who added that he was never told what he was accused of but said he bore no resentment. "The food was fresh chicken, fish, meat, rice and even bananas and oranges. I had no serious medical problems, just a toothache and headache and was given tablets on those occasions. I lacked nothing."

Another released prisoner, known only as Mohammed, countered, "The treatment was so bad, I can't find words to explain it. There was no respect for our culture and religion animals were treated better than us. If we did not follow their orders, they would beat us."

Mohammed, 27, said that some prisoners were prevented from sleeping for up to 45 days at a time and that a copy of the Koran was mutilated. He added that one American officer had taunted him by saying that the Taliban had been driven out of Kabul, the capital, so beautiful Afghan women could walk freely on the streets.

The former captives were flown to Bagram air base, north of Kabul, on Monday night and kept in a Kabul prison before being released to the custody of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Three additional captives, from Pakistan, were flown home from Bagram.

"They no longer were deemed a threat, and they no longer had intelligence value," said Maj. Michael Shavers, a spokesman for the Pentagon.

A Red Cross representative said the group was the largest yet to be released from Guantanamo. So far, 110 suspects have left detention there, and 610 prisoners, whom the Pentagon calls "enemy combatants," remain.

The Afghan prisoners were members of the Pushtun tribe from the southern areas of the country, with ethnic and cultural links to the ousted Taliban regime.

Osman, who owns a clothing shop in the southeastern province of Paktika, said he was sitting at home 15 months ago when soldiers came to his house and said they wanted to ask him two questions at their military camp. Instead of being returned home, he was taken to Guantanamo. There, he said, he was housed with 47 other inmates. Suspects who were considered dangerous were kept alone in their cells.

Last weekend, he said, "they just told me in my camp, 'You were captured by mistake. We apologize and the crimes which you have been accused of have not been proven. You can go home.' "

Osman's cousin, 18-year-old Noor Aslam, was kept in a cell by himself. He also said he didn't know what crime he was accused of.

"We were in the rooms most of the time but were given 30 minutes a day to take a walk and a shower. I was praying sometimes, reading the Koran and sleeping. I was thinking all the time, how can I get out? But there was no way to escape. We were surrounded by water."

Their cousin, Mohammedullah, said the Americans often received false tips. "Our people frequently feud with one another," he said, "and the best way to gain revenge is to tell the Americans someone is a Taliban or Al Qaeda."
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Old 08-05-2004, 06:39 AM   #29
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BBC News

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Three British men held by the US in Guantanamo Bay for more than two years have compiled a report alleging abuse and humiliation while in captivity.

The document, which will be released in New York on Wednesday, will be passed on to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

...

The UK Ministry of Defence acknowledged that such behaviour is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and has promised to investigate any such allegation.

For its part, the Pentagon has dismissed the claims of abuse as a fabrication.
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Old 08-05-2004, 09:09 AM   #30
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Investigate the claims by all means with an external and independent party however I wouldn't take the word of some Islamist Scum who happened to be on "holiday" in Afghanistan after 9/11.

Also Deep they are not POW's. Let me make this very clear, simply by being captured does not entitle you to the legal status of POW, you must meet certain requirements stated in the Geneva Convention, which I will now outline (Tip: This is one of THOSE discussions that I hinted at in the Nancy Reagan Reply ).
Quote:
Those entitled to prisoner of war status include:

* 4A(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfil the following conditions:

(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (although this is not required under the First Additional Protocol);
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

* 4A(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
* 4A(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.
If you do not qualify under Geneva Convention articles 4 and 5 as a lawful combatant then you are by definition an unlawful combatant. Because those that fight alongside the Taliban but do not follow a clear chain of command, wear clear and identifiable uniforms and do not subscribe to the fundamental laws of war they are not categorized as Prisoners of War. This is a conflict like no other, there is a very serious risk to the safety of thousands if the wrong man is set free. By all means they should be granted rights, they must not be abused or harmed and any such abuse must be investigated fully by an unbiased party but you cannot grant them the same legal rights, if you allow the judicial system to be innundated with the cases of such men where they must be proved a threat beyond reasonable doubt it gets very difficult. The 9/11 plotters did raise the ire of law enforcement, Zacarias Moussaoui for instance, but any attempt to get proper searches of computer files or personal files was practically impossible because the lack of solid evidence to justify the warrant. Terrorism is not like any other crime, it is dealing with mass murder on a horrific scale and the stakes are raised exponentially. Dealing with somebody who may commit murder the stakes are low, it is not worth incarcerating a person who may kill another individual, when you have terror suspects that one individual is raised to thousands, is it worthwhile imprisoning 300 innocent men for 3 years as well as 100 complicit men if it saves 100,000 lives? Where is the line drawn? How far should the rights of the suspect go? Is it right to risk the lives of thousands to provide a speedy and expedient pardon to those who have unclear roles in a potential attack but clear connections to those that do?

I will not answer these questions, they are very difficult and there are many things to consider. Let us move forward saying that those detainees are not POW's and they should not be given full access to the civil courts, where does that leave them - is there a system that can deal with such individuals that does not threaten national security but does allow them a fair trial with a right to defend themselves against the charges. The answer is yes, the Millitary Tribunal.

The granting of legal rights to detainees is actually enshrined in a case from WW2, it dealt with German saboteurs who were brought before the US Supreme Court. This is important because it is domestic law enshrining the use of Millitary Tribunals to deal with non-lawful combatants, this would apply to those that do not comply by the rules of war such as spies and terrorists.
Quote:
"...the law of war draws a distinction between the armed forces and the peaceful populations of belligerent nations and also between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful. The spy who secretly and without uniform passes the military lines of a belligerent in time of war, seeking to gather military information and communicate it to the enemy, or an enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property, are familiar examples of belligerents who are generally deemed not to be entitled to the status of prisoners of war, but to be offenders against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals. "
So what you have is a piece of domestic law that allows the trial of unlawful belligerents in the context of a Millitary Tribunal, the US Millitary Tribunals are not a Kangaroo Court, they will provide justice to the unlawful combatant in that their guilt or innocence shall be proven and the proper action taken.

They are not POW's they are Unlawful Combatants, they should be given a trial - they are, they should be given right of appeal in an independent review - they are.
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