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Old 01-24-2002, 05:44 PM   #16
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As usual, the people who profess themselves to be the most outraged at any challenge to "the American way", are the least bothered by the complete denial of very basic (and what in my former naivety I used to consider very American) protections for foreigners and people they think (based on their complete review of the evidence from 1000 miles away from an 8th-hand source) are guilty: innocence until guilt is proven, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, entitlement to a fair trial (so we should have just shot O.J. without a trial, U2Bama?), the right to legal representation.

Regarding the 2000 immigrants who have been "disappeared" indefinitely (apparently)by the U.S. government without legal representation (a separate issue), it seems to me that jailing someone arbitratily upon the whim of the government is what the Bill of Rights was trying to prevent. It's hard to believe that all 2000 were jailed under any realistic suspicion of terrorism.

As a side issue, I think people need to quit calling themselves "conservatives" and "liberals". Those are very simplistic categories that don't do justice to anyone's beliefs.

If you want to be simplistic, try this: either you believe everyone (yes, including non-whites, Muslims, Arabs, football players, defendants not yet proven to have committed any crime, everyone) should receive basic human rights or you don't. I do.
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Old 01-24-2002, 06:39 PM   #17
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Mark Steyn wrote an excellent article in reply to the British who are whining and moaning over the "torture" of U.S. detainees:

"How ridiculous can you guys get"

An excerpt? I thought you'd never ask!

So take it from me, Don Rumsfeld’s Club Fed huts are cool in the day and balmy at night. They’re a lot more comfortable than the windowless ‘concrete coffins’ of Belmarsh in which your terrorist suspects are banged up 22 hours a day. True, it’s a shame they have to have wraparound wire mesh to spoil the view, and there are no banana daiquiris from room service, but the idea is (in case you’ve forgotten) that they’re meant to be prisoners. And, unlike the three-to-a-cell arrangements in, say, Barlinnie, the Talebannies each have a room of their own, so they won’t be taking it up the keister from Butch every night. They get three square meals a day, thrice-daily opportunities for showers, calls to prayer, copies of the Koran, a prayer mat — all part of a regime the Mirror calls ‘a sick attempt to appeal to the worst redneck prejudices’.

It’s correct that, for hygiene purposes, they were shaved, which was ‘culturally inappropriate’. But then, if the US wanted to be culturally appropriate, they’d herd ’em on to a soccer pitch and stone ’em to death as half-time entertainment. As to whether or not they are prisoners of war, there is a legitimate difference of opinion on their status: you can’t ask them for name, rank and serial number, because the last two they lack and, if Richard Reid is anything to go by, they keep a handy stack of spare monikers. This is new territory. But surely the Fleet Street whingers must know, if only from the testimony of their fellow Britons among the inmates, that there is no ‘torture’ (the Mail on Sunday), not even by the weather.

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Old 01-24-2002, 09:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by sv:
entitlement to a fair trial (so we should have just shot O.J. without a trial, U2Bama?)
DO NOT put words in my mouth, sv. NOWHERE did I imply that O.J. should have been shot for his murder of 2 people; I merely asked melon if he thought an alternate approach to potential trials of the detainees would be a media spectacle like the O.J. Simpson trial. If you cannot see that trial for the media spectacle that it was, then you must not have been around when it occurred.

How does the lack of a media spectacle automatically mean that the accused will be shot without a trial? Can you point out to me where I implied this or suggested it for O.J., or did you just drop that in there as a show of YOUR IGNORANCE?
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Old 01-24-2002, 10:44 PM   #19
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To the people who think these people are being mistreated, answer one question for me. Would these people be living this good in their own country?

This is probably like a vacation for them. Hot, running water, three meals a day, and free medical care.

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Old 01-24-2002, 11:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by sv:

Regarding the 2000 immigrants who have been "disappeared" indefinitely (apparently)by the U.S. government without legal representation (a separate issue), it seems to me that jailing someone arbitratily upon the whim of the government is what the Bill of Rights was trying to prevent. It's hard to believe that all 2000 were jailed under any realistic suspicion of terrorism.

Granted a large number of them probably did not have Arabic flight manuals and box cutters on their persons when they were apprehended, but it isn't too hard to imagine them being arrested for things like illegal passports and such.

[This message has been edited by speedracer (edited 01-24-2002).]
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Old 01-24-2002, 11:11 PM   #21
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I hate to sound cold-blooded, but what on Earth is the big deal? Is there really any actual proof of what is going on? There seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding this, and I can remember the British government being distressed about it, until we sent in a team or something that said everything was alright. Maybe someone can prove me wrong, but things simply don't look so bad over there.

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Old 01-25-2002, 12:40 AM   #22
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Who here has actual evidence that any detainess are being mistreated? Perhaps the same people who thought that Australia was defying every human rights act since Eve ate the apple I reckon.

Very interesting comaprisons.
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Old 01-25-2002, 03:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase:


The trials are a whole other bowl of soup. I hope we can strike some kind of balance between "Stalinist puppet trial" and internationally televised court-room entertainment.

Such a balance is not easily achieved.

There is no need for the public to know all the particulars of these trials, and it is quite possible that some of the US's evidence, were it to be released to the public, would create a security hazard.

On the other hand, the public needs some assurance that the trials are being conducted fairly.

Perhaps the trials should be conducted in secret by a neutral country. Just a thought.
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Old 01-25-2002, 03:32 AM   #24
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Heard thru my sources some of the detainees DID NOT like their Fruit Loops they were having for breakfast and their Ensure Power Bars for lunch.

And there accommadations were a bitmore meager then they had anticipated..

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Old 01-25-2002, 08:57 AM   #25
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I haven't heard anything shocking, but it's fair enough that the allies are asking questions.

Btw, may I remind everybody that this thread was started not by the usual bleeding-heart suspects but by someone who wanted an argument?

It really is a non-issue at the moment.
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Old 01-25-2002, 01:34 PM   #26
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U2Bama -

If you calm down long enough to read what I wrote, you will see that actually I asked you a question (hence the question mark). I didn't attribute any statement to you.

Here's your quote verbatim: "Do you suggest he run it like the O.J. Simpson trial, with Court TV and all that on hand? Maybe it would give the detainees a chance to 'beat the system' despite their guilt as O.J. did."

Clearly there's an implication (to put it mildly) here that the U.S. court system would be insufficient to try the detainees, as even guilty ones might be able to "beat the system". But (and as before, the question mark at the end of this following phrase means this is a question, not a putting-words-in-your-mouth offense) is the proper solution to deny these people a fair trial based upon a presumption of innocence? I would say no.

As for my "not being around" for the O.J. trial, as it turns out I lived in Brentwood, CA at the time. Nicole's condo was 2 1/2 blocks from my place. Which doesn't make me an expert but at least we can dispense with the suggestion that I wasn't around.

I would argue that a media spectacle trial is a hell of a lot more likely to be FAIR than a secret trial or no trial, with no legal representation for the defendant.

As for why the O.J. trial ended up in a verdict which appears to many people incorrect, I have a few things to say. 1) Despite what the media has presented to us, we really don't know for 100% sure that O.J. did it, though I agree it's pretty damned likely; 2) The reason we don't know is that much of the key evidence was provided by LAPD officers of very questionable credibility - in fact, the tendency of these officers to "convict" people (especially black people) they arrest is EXACTLY WHAT THE U.S. IS DOING, and is a large reason why the jury was biased towards acquitting O.J.; and 3) And basically a contributing factor to O.J. getting off was the fact that in our rather unfair system, the quality of one's court representation is determined by how much money one has. O.J. was able to buy the best lawyers with the best contacts, to hire independent entities to examine and challenge every single piece of evidence, and to use every legal procedural maneuver to his benefit. When all you need is the tiniest bit of doubt to acquit, that makes a big difference. I think it's safe to say that Joe Schmo from South Central wouldn't have had these opportunities to defend himself.

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Old 01-25-2002, 02:09 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by sv:


As for why the O.J. trial ended up in a verdict which appears to many people incorrect, I have a few things to say. 1) Despite what the media has presented to us, we really don't know for 100% sure that O.J. did it, though I agree it's pretty damned likely; 2) The reason we don't know is that much of the key evidence was provided by LAPD officers of very questionable credibility - in fact, the tendency of these officers to "convict" people (especially black people) they arrest is EXACTLY WHAT THE U.S. IS DOING, and is a large reason why the jury was biased towards acquitting O.J.;
Really? Perhaps my memory is hazy, but there was plenty of blood (OJ's and the victims', IIRC) splattered around the inside of OJ's car and clothes. The only piece of evidence OJ managed to lose was the actual weapon, and a shopkeeper did testify that OJ bought a huge knife shortly before the murders occurred. I thought the reason OJ won was because (1) Mark Fuhrman is a racist idiot and (2) Christopher Darden completely botched the glove demonstration (he should have known that the moisture-shrunken glove would have been too small when fitted over a safety glove fitted over OJ's hand). Also remember that OJ lost the civil "wrongful death" lawsuit.

Quote:

3) And basically a contributing factor to O.J. getting off was the fact that in our rather unfair system, the quality of one's court representation is determined by how much money one has. O.J. was able to buy the best lawyers with the best contacts, to hire independent entities to examine and challenge every single piece of evidence, and to use every legal procedural maneuver to his benefit. When all you need is the tiniest bit of doubt to acquit, that makes a big difference. I think it's safe to say that Joe Schmo from South Central wouldn't have had these opportunities to defend himself.
Are you arguing that lack of quality legal representation makes it harder for an innocent defendant to be acquitted? I would instead argue the inverse--superstar legal representation makes it easier for a guilty defendant to be acquitted. In theory, neither OJ Simpson nor Joe Schmo gets arrested *and* sent to trial by a grand jury unless there's some pretty compelling evidence.

I have no idea how this will all translate to the trials of captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters, though. It's worth pointing out that there is very little precedent for how such trials should be conducted, since al-Qaeda is an independent organization and the Taliban is/was a government that n-2 of the countries of the world do not recognize as legitimate.

[This message has been edited by speedracer (edited 01-25-2002).]
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Old 01-25-2002, 04:03 PM   #28
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Speedracer -

I agree OJ was probably (99%) guilty. But when you're on a jury and a man's life is in your hands, possibly you require more than 99% to convict. I'd say there's definitely 1% doubt that OJ did it, given that much of the seemingly hard evidence could have been doctored (and the LAPD, in particular, has a distinguished history of doing so). That's what I meant when I said we really don't know FOR SURE if he did it.

I'm arguing that both cases are true: people with court-appointed defenders are much more likely to be convicted than those with private attorneys, whether they are innocent or guilty in truth. Also, those with outstanding legal representation and more importantly the financial resources to use it properly are much more likely to be acquitted.

Interesting: when we want to justify the bombing of Afghani civilians, we say that the Taliban were their government so it's OK. But when we want to deny Taliban members Geneva convention POW/human rights, it was an illegitimate government and so the detainees have no legal status. Neato.

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Old 01-25-2002, 04:09 PM   #29
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WildHoneyAlways, I agree that there is a difference between human rights and the rights of American citizens. But my understanding was that the U.S. believes that the right to a fair trial with legal representation was something that should be applied to all. Certainly the U.S. uses this as diplomatic ammunition against its enemies all the time - but apparently talking the talk and walking the walk are very different things.

The problem is that you just cannot assume someone is guilty because the U.S. military,or the President, or U.S. intelligence agencies say so. They lie. All the time. They have everything in the world to gain by acting like they are bringing the culprits of 9-11 to justice - politically, economically, militarily.

People are innocent until PROVEN guilty - not until someone stronger than them says they're guilty.
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Old 01-25-2002, 05:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by sv:


Interesting: when we want to justify the bombing of Afghani civilians, we say that the Taliban were their government so it's OK. But when we want to deny Taliban members Geneva convention POW/human rights, it was an illegitimate government and so the detainees have no legal status. Neato.
I must have pointed this out to you before, but I'll say it again.

Nobody that I know has argued here that killing Afghanistani civilians is justified because they were complicit in the crimes of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

I and others have argued that it is justified because it is an inevitable side effect of the military campaign to remove the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and that the good that will come from removing the Taliban and al-Qaeda makes the killing of these civilians acceptable.

Now you and others have argued that these military objectives can be accomplished without killing Afghanistani civilians, or that these military objectives do not justify killing civilians. Fine.

But this is at least the third time that you have misrepresented my views on the matter. Please stop.

That is all.

[This message has been edited by speedracer (edited 01-25-2002).]
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