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Old 05-26-2005, 12:35 AM   #16
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Are they above reproach?

I doubt you would really suggest that any questioning of AI would be the equivalent of labeling them as "corrupt".
Your way of automatically questioning everything that could be against your administration is unbalanced. More than that, when it is about help organizations, I personally find such criticism to be disgusting. It is even more disgusting that you are trying to badmouth independent help organizations who (are known by all the world to) have a very high moral value.

But yeah, most conservatives will always follow their leader, no fucking matter what, we gotta stick to what we got buddies mentality. Makes me wonder if you would support concentration camps.
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Old 05-26-2005, 12:42 AM   #17
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Plus, being a lawyer with some ethical values (which I do think you posess), you should really be worried about ANYONE being held for three years without charge.

Like W.C. Fields said:
The only thing a lawyer won't question is the legitimacy of his mother.

So do we have to add the White House on that list?
(only when it´s republican, mind you)
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Old 05-26-2005, 12:57 AM   #18
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So...The US government is above reproach then?
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Old 05-26-2005, 02:45 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Rono
Ehm the red cross has restricted acces but if you realy think that putting people away without trial is like hollyday and a good thing , i have more words from the past to describe you.
What words? I am simply stating that Gitmo is nothing compared to the Gulags. Guantanamo is hardly a bad place when compared to a Soviet Gulag.
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Old 05-26-2005, 02:47 AM   #20
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Relativism?
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:03 AM   #21
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No just a statement.

A statement that is saying that there is a difference between Soviet Gulags and Guantanamo. This is in opposition to the equivalence argument.

We could play it point by point as well.

Soviet Gulag
> Forced labour with harsh working conditions
> Poor quality of care; you could starve to death and you could also die if you got sick .
> Political opponents of the Soviet State sent there as well as their relatives, guilt by association.
> High fatality rates, go well over one million in total between the 1930's and 1950's.
> Systematic brutality by those that ran the Gulags designed to crush the individual and crush any "counter-revolutionary" ideas ~ political "re-education".

Guantanamo Bay
> A holding center for terrorists and illegal combatants. They are declared to be in the camp.
> Does not have a forced labour program.
> Detainees given food that meets their specific religious and cultural needs.
> They are allowed a right to pray and the call to prayer runs.
> Deaths in custody have been investigated by the millitary, the results of these investigations if/when leaked are widely printed in the press.
> No system of capital punishment for prisoner infractions.
> Investigations into claims of torture or mistreatment when they are made and punishment of those responsible, a chain of command within the camp as well as accountability.
> Full and proper medical care given to prisoners.
> All current accusations of torture do not come close to what occured in the Soviet Union. I find it absurd to compare things like: a woman showing her breasts, continuous playing of crappy music, having detainees sit or stand for hours at a time, flushing a Koran down a toilet or exploiting the cultural aspects of a detainee during interrogation to find out exactly what they were doing when captured and information regarding Islamist terror organisations to electrocutions, beatings, removing teeth, removing fingernails, breaking hands or just executing those "counter-revolutionary scum" in a Gulag. The severity and intent is different, and I would argue that in the context of dealing with non-indigenous ununiformed combatants who do not respond to standard interrogation techniques exploitation of cultural weaknesses is justified, making them feel uncomfortable is fine provided that no physical harm comes to them. When an interrogation is conducted by a professional answers are yielded in an effective and proper manner ~ torture is too unreliable to be a standard technique, "breaking" a prisoner will not get the right information. The intent of the interrogator in Guantanamo is to establish the facts. This contrasts to many cases in the Gulag where torture would be a punishment for infractions and where the guilt or innocence of an individual was totally inconcequential. The US has no interest in detaining innocent people longer than they have too because it is very bad PR. It is just that there is a very grey band with the men in Gitmo who's actions and deeds prior to their capture are not clearly identified and who's motives could be sinister. It takes a lot of work to determine if it is safe to release them (please bear in mind the US has released "innocent" men who turned out to be operatives or in one case a Taliban Field Commander ~ just like there are genuinely innocent Afghans who were setup by others to get bountys and who's identity and stories had to be corroborated).

I do not in any way shape or form approve of the deaths in custody, they are disgusting and do not occur when a suspect is worked on properly. Kicking detainees while they are tied down is wrong and those responsible must be tried and punished accordingly. There must be accountability at every stage. Having a working system will require the tribunals to go ahead, but they are delayed time and time again as the legal framework is nailed out (rights of appeal etc.).

The US domestic legal framework does not accomidate for terrorists operating outside the US. They are captured fighting on battlefields against US soldiers without wearing uniforms and violate sanctuary (the very action of being ununiformed while carrying concealed arms puts innocent lives at risk and gets civilians killed ~ it goes against the one of the fundamental principles of civilization, one that emerged from the middle east) - they are not entitled to POW status and there is no reason to afford them all of those rights. Holding illegal combatants is the right course of action, identifying exactly who they are and then proceeding is also the right thing to do.

There are marked differences between Gitmo and a Soviet Gulag, one may as well compare it to a Nazi concentration camp.
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:58 AM   #22
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I'm not inclined to compare what we do to what someone else does. I would not have made a comparison to a Gulag or to a Nazi concentration camp. We do not reach that level. I think such arguments are simplistic. That being said, I believe as the leader of the free world (for now), our behavior should be above reproach.

I look at what we sometimes do and it is gratuitous to me, for no purpose other than humiliation. I'm not naive, but I want to better than this. What purpose did they really think all this would serve? Was there really much belief that we would get enough information from these people to justify all this? How high level are these prisoners? How much information can they have?
Some of the very first people accused of abuse come from my home. Not only do they represent my country, they represent my part of the country. I've got a dog in this hunt. How do I defend this behavior? How do you? "It's not as bad as...." doesn't cut it for me. That smacks to me of moral relativism.
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Old 05-26-2005, 04:06 AM   #23
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Americans are not better people than the rest of the world, you are filled with your share of bad folk.

You are not beyond repproach and the idea that America should be smacks of elitism and a belief in American international exceptionalism. You can however differentiate your country by openly trying these individuals and punishing them for what they did and ensuring that it does not happen again in an transparent manner.

Abu Ghraib pictures were taken over the course of a few days be the same group of individuals, it is clear from the investigation that Karpinsky did not run a proper chain of command and that it was a failure in leadership that enabled it to happen.

There has been no evidence presented that the particular things that happened at Abu Ghraib were sanctioned by anybody. It was abuse of prisoners, it took away their dignity and it has flamed international hatred of the US ~ if it was run to get information then it has to have been one of the dumbest means of getting informaton from a cost/benefit perspective. I mean your intelligence guys must have really been off their game if they allowed the guards to retain the pictures knowing full well the damage that it could do if it was ever found. But it was found, and the millitary announced to the public about infractions against prisoners, and they investigated what was going on and commisioned a widespread investigation, and then the pictures got to the media, and then the media gave you all a great bit of self-flagellation for a great long while.
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
There has been no evidence presented that the particular things that happened at Abu Ghraib were sanctioned by anybody.
Contrary to your opinion, for me there was no evidence that Abu G. was not sanctioned by above. Eveyone who has the slightest knowledge of how command chains in military and police works will tell you that they´re 99% sure it was sanctioned.

If there were reporters like Woodward and Bernstein around, probably they would uncover those scandals. Any military personel, however, will tell you that they never ever even think of torturing unless it is a direct order from above.

Same for shooting. Military only shoots on demonstators when getting the order. An example just so that you understand that in the U.S. the same things happen like in the former Soviet Union or China when times get rough .

Remember Vietnam? On the evening of May 1, 1970, antiwar protests turned violent when the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corp) building was torched. In response, the Governor of Ohio, James Rhodes, dispatched the National Guard to Kent. During another demonstration on Monday, May 4th, members of the National Guard began firing at demonstrators. Four students were killed and eight injured. Another two students were killed when Mississippi State police fired on a crowd of students at Jackson State University.

As you can see on the website of the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Station, the Naval Base Command Suite consists of the Commander Naval Base (also Commanding Officer Naval Station) Captain Leslie J. McCoy, the Chief Staff Officer Naval Base (also Executive Officer Naval Station) Commander Jeffrey K. Hayhurst, and the Command Master Chief, (TBD).

If I look at the pictures of those men, they do not show any signs of being mentally ill. They all look like good and responsible commanders. But who will be responsible when torture is discovered? Those Army officials? Or Rumsfeld, who, in his position, is directly responsible for what happens to what extent? Will Rumsfeld hide behind some officials again?

The only entertaining thing is how cowardly the Army supports Rumsfeld, when it´s their heads that will be rolling in case of torturing scandals.


An article to catch up on the news for ye:

Senator urges action as Briton reveals Guantanamo abuse

David Rose and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday May 16, 2004
The Observer

Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed. The disclosures (...) prompted demands last night by senior politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to make the videos available immediately.

They say that if the contents are as shocking as Dergoul claims, they will provide final proof that brutality against detainees has become an institutionalised feature of America's war on terror.

In the wake of the furore over the abuses photographed at Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has continued to insist they were the work of a few rogue soldiers, and not a systemic problem.

The disclosures come as the top American commander in Iraq, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, announced he has barred all coercive interrogation practices, including forcing prisoners into stress positions for long periods and disrupting their sleep, except in very rare circumstances.

...(Dergoul), the 26-year-old, from Mile End in east London, spent 22 months at Guantanamo Bay from May 2002. Today he tells The Observer of repeated assaults by Camp Delta's punishment squad, known as the Extreme Reaction Force or ERF.

Their attacks, he says, would be prompted by minor disciplinary infractions, such as refusing to agree to the third cell search in a day - which he describes as an act of deliberate provocation.

Dergoul tells of one assault by a five-man ERF in shocking terms:

'They pepper-sprayed me in the face, and I started vomiting. They pinned me down and attacked me, poking their fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and flushed.

'They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on me, kicking and punching. Finally they dragged me out of the cell in chains, into the rec[reation] yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.'


(...)

Lieutenant Colonel Leon Sumpter, the Guantanamo Joint Task Force spokesman, confirmed this last night, saying all ERF actions were filmed so they could be 'reviewed' by senior officers. All the tapes are kept in an archive there, he said. He refused to say how many times the ERF squads had been used and would not discuss their training or rules of engagement, saying: 'We do not discuss operational aspects of the Joint Task Force mission.'
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:32 AM   #25
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Eveyone who has the slightest knowledge of how command chains in military and police works will tell you that they´re 99% sure it was sanctioned.
So the millitary investigators who concluded that there was no direct orders have no knowledge of how the chain of command works.
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:34 AM   #26
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer

> Political opponents of the Soviet State sent there as well as their relatives, guilt by association.
Without charges we don't why the hell they are being held, so we can't make this differentiation, children were being held there at one time so I think guilt by association has very much been practiced here.
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:35 AM   #27
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So the millitary investigators who concluded that there was no direct orders have no knowledge of how the chain of command works.
No they may just be looking out for their own.
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:43 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


Are they above reproach?

I doubt you would really suggest that any questioning of AI would be the equivalent of labeling them as "corrupt".
No, AI is certainly not above reproach, as we've discovered with the UN. But Amnesty has long had a reputation for careful investigation, high scruples, and impartiality. I think it's unfair to suggest that "we'd expect nothing less" than criticism of the United States from an organization that takes to task abusers on human rights worldwide--including, for example, the Chinese government for its harassment, abuse, and imprisonment of Chinese Christians.

There is no reason to suspect that AI's motivations here are suspect, or that their findings are motivated by being "out to get" the United States or its government.
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Old 05-26-2005, 06:45 AM   #29
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Originally posted by pax


No, AI is certainly not above reproach, as we've discovered with the UN. But Amnesty has long had a reputation for careful investigation, high scruples, and impartiality. I think it's unfair to suggest that "we'd expect nothing less" than criticism of the United States from an organization that takes to task abusers on human rights worldwide--including, for example, the Chinese government for its harassment, abuse, and imprisonment of Chinese Christians.

There is no reason to suspect that AI's motivations here are suspect, or that their findings are motivated by being "out to get" the United States or its government.


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Old 05-26-2005, 07:05 AM   #30
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Inmates Alleged Koran Abuse
FBI Papers Cite Complaints as Early as 2002

By Dan Eggen and Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, May 26, 2005; A01



Detainees told FBI interrogators as early as April 2002 that mistreatment of the Koran was widespread at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and many said they were severely beaten by captors there or in Afghanistan, according to FBI documents released yesterday.

The summaries of FBI interviews, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of an ongoing lawsuit, include a dozen allegations that the Koran was kicked, thrown to the floor or withheld as punishment. One prisoner said in August 2002 that guards had "flushed a Koran in the toilet" and had beaten some detainees.

But the Pentagon said yesterday that the same prisoner, who is still in custody, was reinterviewed on May 14 and "did not corroborate" his earlier claim about the Koran.

"We still have found no credible allegations that a Koran was flushed down a toilet at Guantanamo," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a statement last night.

The newly declassified accounts, written primarily in 2002 and 2003, were released in the aftermath of an international uproar over a now-retracted story by Newsweek magazine, which reported that an internal military investigation had confirmed that a Koran was flushed down a toilet. Some administration officials have blamed the story for sparking riots overseas that left 16 people dead.

The disclosures came on the same day that Amnesty International released a report calling Guantanamo Bay "the gulag of our time" and labeling the United States "a leading purveyor and practitioner" of torture and mistreatment of prisoners. Amnesty and the Constitution Project, a legal advocacy group, made separate demands yesterday for an independent investigation into allegations of detainee abuse at U.S. facilities.

While detainees and others have lodged complaints of abuse at Guantanamo Bay, this is only the second major release of internal FBI memos on the subject. The accounts released yesterday by the ACLU consist of summaries of FBI interrogations of Guantanamo Bay detainees and therefore do not provide corroboration of the allegations.

Some captives said they witnessed mistreatment of the Koran. Three told FBI interrogators that they had only heard about incidents from other inmates, the records show.

Yet the interviews underscore that U.S. government officials were made aware of allegations of prisoner abuse and Koran mistreatment within months of the opening of Guantanamo Bay in early 2002, and echo allegations made by the International Committee of the Red Cross and a Muslim chaplain, as well as the detainees and their attorneys.

Pentagon officials said last week that they had not investigated claims of Koran desecration because they had not been presented with any specific or credible allegations of such activity. But they also said that they were reviewing allegations related to mistreatment of the Muslim holy book.

Whitman said in his statement last night that al Qaeda members have been trained to lie about their treatment during incarceration, and that officials at Guantanamo Bay have had "a great deal of sensitivity to the importance of the Koran and other religious items and practices and . . . extensive procedures were put in place to respect the cultural dignity of the Koran." In January 2003, the Pentagon issued rules for handling the holy book.

FBI officials said the interviews were conducted to gather intelligence, but the records show that dozens of prisoners volunteered allegations of abuse and complained bitterly that poor treatment was causing many to refuse to cooperate with interrogators. Numerous prisoners reported hearing plans for mass suicides, and another "asked agents to kill him."

One prisoner said he and other detainees had been "beaten, spit upon and treated worse than a dog" at Guantanamo Bay and added that military canine units received better treatment. Another prisoner complained about sexual assaults of other captives and said he believed the treatment "might create a new terrorist."

About a dozen of the FBI interviews included allegations that guards or interrogators at Guantanamo Bay either mishandled the Koran to outrage prisoners or engaged in religiously offensive behavior that included, in one instance, throwing a prisoner's prayer cap in the trash.

The records also include numerous allegations that guards or interrogators at Guantanamo Bay used sexually suggestive techniques designed to humiliate Muslim men. One said he was forced to stand naked in front of a female interrogator. Another said he was "touched sexually" by male guards.

The government has said two female interrogators at Guantanamo Bay have been reprimanded for sexually related techniques, including one for smearing ink on a detainee and telling him that it was menstrual blood.

The FBI records also include at least 19 separate allegations of beatings or other severe violence on the part of guards or others in control of the prisoners in Afghanistan or at Guantanamo Bay. One captive said he was kicked in the stomach, back and head by U.S. military personnel at an unknown location and suffered a broken shoulder.

"The evidence that there was systemic and widespread abuse of detainees in U.S. custody continues to mount and the government continues to turn a blind eye to this evidence," said Amrit Singh, an ACLU lawyer.

In releasing its annual report on human rights yesterday, Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into alleged abuse at U.S. detention facilities. Executive Director William F. Schulz asked for the prosecution of the "architects of torture policy" at the highest levels of the Bush administration.

"The refusal of the U.S. government to conduct a truly independent investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and other detention centers is tantamount to a whitewash, if not a coverup, of these disgraceful crimes," Schulz said in a news conference at the National Press Club. He later called on foreign governments to investigate leaders such as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld if the United States is unwilling to do so.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said: "The allegations are ridiculous and unsupported by the facts. The United States is leading the way when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity."

The Constitution Project, based at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, urged Congress to begin an independent investigation similar to the one conducted by the Sept. 11 commission to examine how abuse occurred and to develop policies to prevent such incidents.

Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.
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