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Old 01-12-2005, 08:13 PM   #16
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What will Bush critics say if these people are released, a terrorist act takes place later, and then its discovered that some of the released people had key roles in that attack? Say 30,000 or more people are killed in this terrorist action, will those that say "release them" still think it was the right thing to do given the circumstances?

One has to weigh the risk and potential cost before releasing any of these people.
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Old 01-12-2005, 08:25 PM   #17
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What will Bush critics say if these people are released, a terrorist act takes place later, and then its discovered that some of the released people had key roles in that attack? Say 30,000 or more people are killed in this terrorist action, will those that say "release them" still think it was the right thing to do given the circumstances?

One has to weigh the risk and potential cost before releasing any of these people.
I'd say they better do their job and get the evidence needed to lock them up legally.
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Old 01-12-2005, 08:29 PM   #18
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By legally do you mean that you advocate detention only after the evidence on each individual has been accumulated and presented before the courts?
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Old 01-12-2005, 08:33 PM   #19
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By legally do you mean that you advocate detention only after the evidence on each individual has been accumulated and presented before the courts?
Um aren't they already detained? Apparantly they had enough evidence to be detained in the first place right?

If not why are they there because they look like a terrorist?
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Old 01-12-2005, 08:39 PM   #20
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Individuals from places like Egypt, Britain and Australia captured in Afghanistan or N-W Pakistan in the months following 9.11 would have been sent to Guantanamo because of the nature of being in that particular place at that particular time and with those particular religious beliefs (people who attended mosques simmilar to Finsbury and then take religious education travels to Pakistan rank as highly suspect and should send alarm bells ringing). Many of those now in Guantanamo were in places like Kosovo and Chechnya before going to Afghanistan and do qualify as highly suspect. Gathering the evidence for the movements of these individuals prior to being detained is difficult and the risk of simply releasing them due to lack of evidence one way or the other is too great.

We are not talking about simply murderers here, if you allow a few murderer to go free then you may have a dozen people killed in the long run - in this situation if you allow a but a few genuine operatives to go free you could be risking thousands of lives. The scale changes and it becomes imperitive that the true nature of those detained is determined before release. Better to have a few dozen innocent men be locked up for a few years than allow the guilty to be released and kill thousands. Detention until trial or release - but have consistent oversight by political bodies and NGO's in regards to treatment of them and have a driving force kicking the investigators in the arse to get as much information as quickly as possible.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:40 AM   #21
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We are not talking about simply murderers here, if you allow a few murderer to go free then you may have a dozen people killed in the long run - in this situation if you allow a but a few genuine operatives to go free you could be risking thousands of lives. The scale changes and it becomes imperitive that the true nature of those detained is determined before release. Better to have a few dozen innocent men be locked up for a few years than allow the guilty to be released and kill thousands. Detention until trial or release - but have consistent oversight by political bodies and NGO's in regards to treatment of them and have a driving force kicking the investigators in the arse to get as much information as quickly as possible.
But there's a big differnce in a few years and a lifetime. You're not exactly addressing the subject.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:58 AM   #22
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So we throw out the rules because they threw out the rules? Some of these men could be completely innocent, at the wrong place at the wrong time, yet we don't give them a trial? We apparantly had enough evidence to pick them up right?

If we let these men rot without a chance of justice then we're no better than the enemy we're fighting. Is this an example of your "big idea" of freedom?
We've released many detainees that were judged not to be a threat. The people that are there are there for a reason. If this were a conventional war, they'd "rot" until a peace was agreed to then they would be released.
There are no rules for the detention of stateless terrorists, so no, we're not throwing out the rules.

and remember, they aren't American citizens and are in no way entitled to the priveleges of American citizenship such as a speedy trial by one's peers. Who would be the jury consisting of a terrorist's peers? The other detainees? They'll get military justice in the form of a tribunal. I happen to like our military and trust they'll provide justice under the watchful eye of the press and keep our soldiers as safe as possible.

And I'm sorry, we are better than the enemy we're fighting. If you can't see that, there's really no point in arguing. You may think the US military is corrupt and brutal and has nothing better to do than detain and torture perfectly innocent people, go right ahead. I'll stand by the men and women sacrificing their lives for this country.

and my big idea of freedom only applies to the 99.9% of the people who don't go around blowing themselves and their own people up in the name of Allah.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:39 AM   #23
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well, these people, obviously, havent blowed themselves up yet.

lets take this from another point of view.. lets say a country, bazoolinia, see US citizens as a grave threat to its existence and detains 1000 of them on an island. they have no solid evidence on the detainees, but theyd rather keep them behind bars, just in case they go out and do something bad. the world would simply go nuts over this. but hey, if they're stateless 'terrorists', who cares? theyre not even people on their own right.

how would you respond to that? wouldnt there be a public outcry? wouldnt bazoolinia be labeled as a police state who has no respect for justice or human rights?

now, because these people dont belong to a certain country DOES NOT make them any less of a human being. they deserve a fair trial, they ARE innocent until proven guilty and frankly, if these are 'pre-emptive' arrests, you might as well invade their countries and detain all of middle east! oh wait, US did invade iraq didnt it? you CAN NOT capture and detain someone because you 'believe' they might do something bad in the future. if you have solid evidence, fine, if you dont you are violating all basic human rights that are bestowed upon ANY human, whether they have a country or not, or whether US likes or not.

however, i didnt expect anything less from an administration who declared that 'torture is ok as long as the victim has information you need'. i believe the detention process should not be limited to these people or people detained in iraq, any muslim anywhere is apprarently a big threat to US citizens. why not detain them all, and lock them away in some remote island so they can rot in peace?

also, do you really believe only american citizens have the right to a fair trial? that the rest can just rot in their cells until their captors decide that theyve had enough?

also, i dont know if americans trust their own military courts and frankly i dont care either, since these people were NOT captured doing anything illegal on american soil, they dont have to be subject to american military courts! if i was their lawyer, id demand for an international court for these people. but, of course, they dont have lawyers!

now, i am against fundamentalism and terrorism of any kind, maybe even more so than you because there was a time it used to be on the news constantly in my country... terrorists blew up a school, fundamentalists kidnapped businessmen, tortured, cut them up and brutally murdered them. turkish government was criticized for being too harsh with their treatment about the suspected terrorists, even the terrorists they had solid evidence against. years later i read books on these cases, and i saw how wrong we were sometimes. you can see the name of one guy inside the POP CD, fehmi tosun. he was one of those people who was 'lost' at that time. now, i and a lot of us recognize those mistakes, and learn to accept them.

it seems to me neither the bush administration nor their supporters even view these as wrong, which is incredibly shocking for a country who has always inspired the ideals of freedom and human rights. obviously they only apply to american citizens then. pity. i am so disappointed in america at the moment. i know a lot of people all over the world feel the same way. where did it all go wrong?
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:17 AM   #24
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The point you are making about US citizens being detained is flawed. Have a well funded and organized cell of radical US citzens conduct a mass murder operation killing 3000 Bazoolinian civilians? Had the US government incited their citizens to wage genocidal wars against the Bazoolians and moreover did the US government offer training and funding towards radical US citizens intent on bringing about a Pax Americana enforced upon the world by exterminating all that stood in their way? Is that the conditions that you are placing upon your scenario because if they were the parameters I would be more inclined to agree with you but as it stands you are overlooking the threat posed by radical Islam and the suspect nature of the individuals detained in Gitmo. You overlook the reason that these people would travel to Afghanistan and remain there after 9;11, why they would become connected with the theofascist Taliban regime or Al Qaeda, the issues surrounding their religious idea's; specifically radical Islamists practicing what they preach by going to fight for what they believe in with the Taliban. When you take these into consideration and then extrapolate the risk posed to innocent people around the globe by just a few genuine operatives (I consider that most would be the pion jihadists, a number of Taliban field commanders and a much much smaller number of Islamist operatives who undertook field training before going back to their respective nations to conduct operations) it becomes neccessary to identify exactly who these people are, what they were doing there and if they are a persistant threat. You should not wait until somebody with clear intent, training and connection kills a lot of people before arresting them - if you can prevent such bloodshed then arresting those who are connected with terrorist groups (which is a crime) then it should be done.

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also, i dont know if americans trust their own military courts and frankly i dont care either, since these people were NOT captured doing anything illegal on american soil, they dont have to be subject to american military courts! if i was their lawyer, id demand for an international court for these people. but, of course, they dont have lawyers!
Fighting on a battlefield as an unlawful combatant (please refer to articles 4 and 5 of geneva convenion in regards to POW status) is grounds for detention or in certain cases execution (I am not advocating that simply saying that spies and terrorists can be judged in a millitary tribunal and killed and it would be in accordance with such rules) until the ending of hostilities.

They were captured fighting coalition soldiers in Afghanistan, were not wearing uniforms or fighting in a manner fitting with the rules of war - these are all reasons why they can be detained.

And for the record they do have lawyers both civilian and millitary appointed who fight dilligently for their right to a fair trial, access to consular officials as well as oversight by NGO's in regards to their treatment. They are hardly being ignored by the world - they get the most attention, politicising and heartfelt liberal posterboy mentality than most political prisoners. I think that this is a good thing too, you need to have people kicking governments in the arse to get them to do their job right, having trials to demonstate the guilt or innocence makes detention a moot point and I think that the process should be done as quickly as possible without jepordising the trials. For the record as well the US millitary tribunal is one of the finest in the world, it served as a model for the courts in many post-war nations and is not the moral equivalent of the Stalinist show trials of the early 20th Century - justice for these men will be delivered through this process or on appeal to higher courts with their legal representation.

for an example of what I mean by appointed legal representation direct attention towards David Hicks millitary lawyer who is clearly working for his clients release in a manner fitting a free and democratic society - going to the media - I tip my hat to him for fighting for his client http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1029437.htm

You treat these men as if they were being detained totally unjustly, as if somehow it is not suspicious for an Australian (e.g. David Hicks aka Muhammed Dawood aka Abu Muslim al-Austraili a most charming Islamic convert who found that his true religious duty was to go out and fight with various Islamist militias around the world and fight for "justice") to be taking a Taliban holiday after September 11. There are plenty of nasty pieces of work up there in Gitmo of whom evidence is being collected and intelligence obtained. They may not be directly involved with AQ or terrorism however it would be a criminal to simply let these suspect individuals go without determining the facts regardlng their trip to Afghanistan/Pakistan and its nature. This takes time of course and that is where the problems start but in principle there is nothing wrong with locking up radical Muslims who happen to be western nationals captured in that place at that particular time until the nature of the threat can be determined.

The concept of lifetime detention should not apply in all but the more extreme of cases where enough evidence exists to say that they are a threat but their specific involvements are not fully known. In most other cases I think that release as well as full surveillance for a period of time would be the least worse option (living your life and being tracked versus being inside a cell - they are each crappy options but one is the lesser - and cheaper - evil). I am just throwing these ideas out there, I do not agree with them all but they certainly warrant consideration, this entire business is very shady and pretending that it isn't only ignores the issues - for instance how much does a nation sacrifice its civil liberties for extra security, is that price too heavy or not enough, should the power rest at the executive branch, should it be in the hands of the government at all? These are all questions that can be thought about and debated in context - if you just try and see it from the other point of view your opinions can be tempered. An interesting side note to this is that most European states have harsher anti-terror laws than the USA Patriot Act and have no problem locking up suspects without trial for substantial periods while evidence is collected.
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:52 AM   #25
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but american military does not exactly make the best jailors in the world does it?
here is an article from Newsweek:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6804092/site/newsweek/

U.S.: Unanswered Questions
Alberto Gonzales will likely be confirmed. But that won't stop the widening scandal over Gitmo detainees.

Jan. 17 issue - Ibraham Al Qosi's stories seemed fairly outlandish when they first surfaced last fall. In a lawsuit, Al Qosi, a Sudanese accountant apprehended after 9/11 on suspicions of ties to Al Qaeda, charged that he and other detainees at Guantanamo Bay had been subjected to bizarre forms of humiliation and abuse by U.S. military inquisitors. Al Qosi claimed they were strapped to the floor in an interrogations center known as the Hell Room, wrapped in Israeli flags, taunted by female interrogators who rubbed their bodies against them in sexually suggestive ways, and left alone in refrigerated cells for hours with deafening music blaring in their ears. Back then, Pentagon officials dismissed Al Qosi's allegations as the fictional rantings of a hard-core terrorist.

But in recent weeks a stack of declassified government documents has given new credence to many of the claims of abuse at Guantanamo. The documents are also raising fresh questions about the Bush administration's handling of detainees at a time when a prime architect of that policy, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, is facing a Senate confirmation vote as the president's nominee to be attorney general.

Many of the documents come from an unexpected source: the FBI. As part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the bureau has released internal e-mails and correspondence recording what their own agents witnessed at Gitmo. Coupled with accounts from other agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency—also released as part of the FOIA lawsuit—the FBI reports amount to a powerful case that many of the scenes alleged by Al Qosi and other Gitmo detainees may actually have happened. (Al Qosi is still in Gitmo, facing charges before a military tribunal.) And the reports suggest that the interrogation scandal is not going away any time soon, even if Gonzales is confirmed, as expected.

Many of the FBI accounts came from conscience-stricken agents troubled by what they had witnessed. One agent reported seeing a detainee sitting on the floor of an interrogation cell with an Israeli flag draped around him while he was bombarded by loud music and a strobe light—almost exactly what Al Qosi had alleged. Another reported seeing detainees chained hand and foot in fetal positions, in barren cells with no chair, food or water.

In one account that seemed to parallel the sickening scenes from Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq, an FBI agent reported the way in which a female U.S. Army sergeant sexually humiliated a shackled male prisoner during Ramadan and even "grabbed his genitals."

Pentagon officials acknowledge that, frustrated by detainees' refusal to talk, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had approved "aggressive" interrogation techniques to be used at Gitmo. But last week, stunned by the new disclosures, Gen. Bantz Craddock, chief of the U.S. Southern Command—which runs Gitmo—ordered a full-scale inquiry into the FBI agents' allegations, which appear to go far beyond anything authorized. Craddock wants to know why allegations from seemingly credible government agents had not come to the U.S. military's attention sooner.

After hearing of the FBI memos, NEWSWEEK has learned, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy fired off angry letters to FBI Director Robert Mueller demanding to know why he failed to disclose his own agents' complaints when they questioned him about Gitmo in a hearing last May. Feinstein last week called Mueller's evasive answers at the time "gobbledygook." When her comment was reported on NEWSWEEK's Web site, Mueller called Feinstein to express regret that he hadn't kept her better informed. As the inquiries continue, he may not be the only U.S. government official who has further explaining to do.

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Old 01-13-2005, 09:07 AM   #26
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We've released many detainees that were judged not to be a threat. The people that are there are there for a reason. If this were a conventional war, they'd "rot" until a peace was agreed to then they would be released.
There are no rules for the detention of stateless terrorists, so no, we're not throwing out the rules.
See this is what I don't get. You say without doubt that they are there for a reason, yet we've already released some so obviously they aren't all there for a reason. Obviously they picked some up that aren't a harm to us.

And when I say rules, I speak of the rules of humanity. You don't keep people behind bars for them to die if they aren't convicted or have had some means of justice given to them. When you throw out those rules then no you are no better than your enemy because you are saying that you don't care innocent or not you are going to die.

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And I'm sorry, we are better than the enemy we're fighting. If you can't see that, there's really no point in arguing. You may think the US military is corrupt and brutal and has nothing better to do than detain and torture perfectly innocent people, go right ahead. I'll stand by the men and women sacrificing their lives for this country.
Oh nice twisting of my words. Here you go again with your if you question this your not supporting our country bullshit. Spare me please.
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and my big idea of freedom only applies to the 99.9% of the people who don't go around blowing themselves and their own people up in the name of Allah.
Well if you had evidence that all these detainees did in fact fit this description then we wouldn't be having this argument because I would agree. The problem is we don't therefore there are possibly innocent men left to rot and this destroys all your ideas about freedom.
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Old 01-13-2005, 09:27 AM   #27
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Without getting into the whole "what if we release a terrorist who later blows something up" debate, which would take a day of typing and thinking to explain, I'd like to make a slightly off topic observation.

How do you think history will judge these actions? If its true that those who win the war write the history, and we assume the US will win the war (however its being defined at the moment) then will this become a more common practice in the future. I don't really know the answer to this, just wondering what opinions people have.

As far as history lessons go, I think of this a little closer to the jailing of Asian Americans and Asians in America during WW2. The govt. has apologized for that innumerable times in the last ten years or so, but I don't think the persons responsible for this decision in the 40's would have apologized or thought they were wrong to have done this.

Lastly, I think if we take the attitude that escalating violence around the world requires more extreme measures from Americans, so be it. However, I hope that the extreme measures we take are within the ideals that we claim to cherish and judge the rest of the world by. I'm not sure the jailing of persons without charge or proof fits within those ideals.
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Old 01-13-2005, 09:38 AM   #28
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Having read the memos...over in war.....I am not in agreement with Newsweeks take on them.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:57 AM   #29
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but american military does not exactly make the best jailors in the world does it?
|
Compared to who? I haven't read any accounts of treatment of Jihadi prisoners of other nations. For some reason having to do with freedom of the press I don't think we'll ever know what caliber jailer most other militaries make
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Old 01-13-2005, 11:37 AM   #30
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it may be because most militaries dont follow the practices that are at work in guantanamo.

these people have not been convicted. some are most probably innocent.

and also, i think militaries usually suck at being jailors - as a rule. so the emphasis there was not on 'american' but on 'military'. young, inexperienced and inconsiderate soldiers are usually pretty willing to hurt the enemy, even after theyre captured. if their superiors overlook these acts, they will certainly continue to do so. and these people are also subjected to 'unconventional' methods of interrogation.

now this is not about americans, it happened chechenya with the russians. it happened in the many places under juntas, hell it happened in turkey in the 80s.

but the thing is, everyone agrees it shouldnt have happened. now here youre arguing just the opposite.
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