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Old 06-02-2005, 07:37 AM   #181
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers


Any truth or any proof? I'm not trying to stir, but do you think those at AG would have faced any prosecution if those photos weren't on the front page of every newspaper in the world?
I believe that there would have been prosecution, yes with or without the photos.
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:39 AM   #182
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SO apprently, supporters of AI believe it is alright to refer to Quantanomo as a GULAG.

And I as a former servicemember am not supposed to be upset about this.
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:43 AM   #183
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I'm kind of annoyed by our postmodern tendency to compare every and anything to past constructs. Concentration camps are concentration camps and gulags are gulags.

It's been said that the "concentration camp" would have gotten great inspiration from the American "concentration camps" of the Civil War, but those are long forgotten. Regardless, even that comparison would be short-sighted, because cruelty and mistreatment is time immemorial. Even the Old Testament of the Bible records fairly explicit genocide supposedly commanded by God against the Canaanites with "The Ban."

Anyway, this isn't meant to support Guantanamo Bay or whatnot. It's more of a plea for leftist-leaning groups like AI to please please please expand their vocabulary. :P

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Old 06-02-2005, 07:48 AM   #184
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Guess I am still steamed beyond belief about things that have been said in here and in other threads.
Perhaps some un-steaming might be in order...?
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:49 AM   #185
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Originally posted by melon
I'm kind of annoyed by our postmodern tendency to compare every and anything to past constructs. Concentration camps are concentration camps and gulags are gulags.

It's been said that the "concentration camp" would have gotten great inspiration from the American "concentration camps" of the Civil War, but those are long forgotten. Regardless, even that comparison would be short-sighted, because cruelty and mistreatment is time immemorial. Even the Old Testament of the Bible records fairly explicit genocide supposedly commanded by God against the Canaanites with "The Ban."

Anyway, this isn't meant to support Guantanamo Bay or whatnot. It's more of a plea for leftist-leaning groups like AI to please please please expand their vocabulary. :P

Melon
As usual someone else says it better than me.

http://www.osa.ceu.hu/gulag/
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/gula.html

Maybe AI could learn a little by reading about a Soviet Gulag. AS I had relatives die in concentration camps, I also had Russian relatives die in the Gulag.

[Q]'American Gulag'


Thursday, May 26, 2005; Page A26

IT'S ALWAYS SAD when a solid, trustworthy institution loses its bearings and joins in the partisan fracas that nowadays passes for political discourse. It's particularly sad when the institution is Amnesty International, which for more than 40 years has been a tough, single-minded defender of political prisoners around the world and a scourge of left- and right-wing dictators alike. True, Amnesty continues to keep track of the world's political prisoners, as it has always done, and its reports remain a vital source of human rights information. But lately the organization has tended to save its most vitriolic condemnations not for the world's dictators but for the United States.

That vitriol reached a new level this week when, at a news conference held to mark the publication of Amnesty's annual report, the organization's secretary general, Irene Khan, called the U.S. detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the "gulag of our times." In her written introduction to the report, Ms. Khan also mentioned only two countries at length: Sudan and the United States, the "unrivalled political, military and economic hyper-power," which "thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights."


Like Amnesty, we, too, have written extensively about U.S. prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay, in Afghanistan and in Iraq. We have done so not only because the phenomenon is disturbing in its own right but also because it gives undemocratic regimes around the world an excuse to justify their own use of torture and indefinite detention and because it damages the U.S. government's ability to promote human rights.

But we draw the line at the use of the word "gulag" or at the implication that the United States has somehow become the modern equivalent of Stalin's Soviet Union. Guantanamo Bay is an ad hoc creation, designed to contain captured enemy combatants in wartime. Abuses there -- including new evidence of desecrating the Koran -- have been investigated and discussed by the FBI, the press and, to a still limited extent, the military. The Soviet gulag, by contrast, was a massive forced labor complex consisting of thousands of concentration camps and hundreds of exile villages through which more than 20 million people passed during Stalin's lifetime and whose existence was not acknowledged until after his death. Its modern equivalent is not Guantanamo Bay, but the prisons of Cuba, where Amnesty itself says a new generation of prisoners of conscience reside; or the labor camps of North Korea, which were set up on Stalinist lines; or China's laogai , the true size of which isn't even known; or, until recently, the prisons of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Worrying about the use of a word may seem like mere semantics, but it is not. Turning a report on prisoner detention into another excuse for Bush-bashing or America-bashing undermines Amnesty's legitimate criticisms of U.S. policies and weakens the force of its investigations of prison systems in closed societies. It also gives the administration another excuse to dismiss valid objections to its policies as "hysterical."[/Q]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...052501838.html
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:04 AM   #186
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What bothers me about this whole argument is that even if we accept that GITMO is not "as bad" as a Soviet gulag, that does not make the situation there any more acceptable or any less shameful. Particularly since the U.S. continues to hold itself up as a beacon of human rights, dignity, and liberty, the fact--the FACT--that the human beings held there are being denied due process and are in all likelihood being subjected to abuse does not somehow make it okay. As long as it's not "as bad" as the gulags, we're still all right? I'm not sure about that.

AI isn't doing this to bash the U.S. They have no vested interest in U.S. bashing; what good would that do? They're trying to point out what is a very grave situation in GITMO, and one which does, imo, give the U.S. quite the black eye, as if we needed one more.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:24 AM   #187
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What is due process when it involves a terrorist organization? They are clearly not POW's as defined by the Geneva Conventions.

The Supreme Court will decide how to handle it. It will take time, but in my opinion they are getting due process.

It may not be as fast as you aor I may like. But, it is because this is a totally new kind of a conflict, one not involving a nation, but a group.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:26 AM   #188
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Quote:
Originally posted by pax

AI isn't doing this to bash the U.S. They have no vested interest in U.S. bashing; what good would that do? They're trying to point out what is a very grave situation in GITMO, and one which does, imo, give the U.S. quite the black eye, as if we needed one more.
There is absolutely nothing productive that can be gained other than publicity by choosing the word Gulag, log...whatever.

Moderates, which I still think I am, are not going to move AI's way because of it. It is counterproductive, and it lessons the credibility of the organization in the eyes of people like myself.
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Old 06-02-2005, 09:07 AM   #189
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
There is absolutely nothing productive that can be gained other than publicity by choosing the word Gulag, log...whatever.

Moderates, which I still think I am, are not going to move AI's way because of it. It is counterproductive, and it lessons the credibility of the organization in the eyes of people like myself.


AI has a tradition of non-partisian efforts for human rights.

Perhaps they have been tempted by the dark side of partisian politics
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:02 AM   #190
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Quote:
Originally posted by pax
What bothers me about this whole argument is that even if we accept that GITMO is not "as bad" as a Soviet gulag, that does not make the situation there any more acceptable or any less shameful. Particularly since the U.S. continues to hold itself up as a beacon of human rights, dignity, and liberty, the fact--the FACT--that the human beings held there are being denied due process and are in all likelihood being subjected to abuse does not somehow make it okay. As long as it's not "as bad" as the gulags, we're still all right? I'm not sure about that.
I can't speak for others, but I just want to say that I certainly don't condone how things are going at GITMO. It is definitely shameful and not acceptable, and something should be done to rectify that.

I don't like AI referencing the word "gulag" - I think that was a mistake and quite foolish - but I support what they do and share their concerns.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:12 AM   #191
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Wow, I wish that if I was ever arrested I could get sent to Gitmo,
You are equally deserving of being detained there, as are many of the prisoners.

So I support your wish to be held there, perhaps indefinitely.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:14 AM   #192
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FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!!!

Now we're wishing detention in not-quite-POW-and-not-quite-terrorist-detention-camps on each other?!

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Old 06-02-2005, 10:15 AM   #193
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I have gone to the A I site and read quite a bit.

I have not seen the word gulag

perhaps I missed it.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:27 AM   #194
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Originally posted by pax
FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!!!

Now we're wishing detention in not-quite-POW-and-not-quite-terrorist-detention-camps on each other?!


Pax,

I have not read every page in this thread yet.

I did come across his post here
in its entirety.

Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Wow, I wish that if I was ever arrested in Soviet Russia I could get sent to a place as good as Gitmo, halal food, call to prayer, no summary execution, visits by the Red Cross. Sure I would be mistreated drastically by having to suffer the pain of fleetwood mac cover bands and being exposed to pornography (the highest form of torture, a fate worse than death).

They don't wear uniforms, they put innocent peoples lives at risk, they violated the principles of sanctuary ~ they have no entitlement to POW status. If the US really was the mirror image of the Soviet Union then it would do what it is legally entitled to and just shoot anybody captured without uniform.
it was his smug dismissal that promted my reply.

I really don’t wish Wanderer or any other person to be held as “Ghost detainees”
or the other violations of basic rights the world seems to recognize.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:56 AM   #195
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader




AI has a tradition of non-partisian efforts for human rights.

Perhaps they have been tempted by the dark side of partisian politics

my favorite part of that article...

Quote:
Mrs. Khan compared the U.S. detention center at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where more than 500 suspected al Qaeda and Taliban members are held, to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's "gulag" prison system.
At the same time, Mr. Schulz issued a statement calling Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top administration officials "architects of torture." Mr. Schulz suggested that other countries could file war-crime charges against the top officials and arrest them.
Mrs. Khan needs a nice round of electric shock therapy to bring her back to reality.
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