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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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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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Old 01-25-2002, 06:23 PM   #31
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Speedracer, read the post again. I did not say anything about your accusing the Afghani civilians of "complicity". I said "we say the Taliban were their government so it's OK", as in we base our justification that Afghani civilian deaths are "acceptable" upon a presumed association of these poor people with the Taliban.

And to directly refute your point, this was posted by someone on December 13 in this forum: "I will agree, however, that the Afghanistani people did not provoke the attack, however, you have to remember that the large majority of the Afghan population is Pashtun, and the Pashtuns were the ones who put the Taliban into power. I am not saying that the Afghan people supported Al-Qaeda, but I do think that they supported and, after a view years of knowing what they meant, were either indifferent or starting to realise that such a cruel government was not working; the point is, the Taliban didn't just appear and magically put themselves into power, they represented what at the time was a majority and what the majority wanted."

So apparently at least one person (and there were more - I just don't have time to search for them) do base at least part of their justification for killing Afghani civilians upon their "association" with the Taliban.

If I told you that 1000 more American civilians would have to die in order to remove the Taliban, would that be "acceptable"? If not, then why the difference between Afghanis and Americans? The main difference (for the 99% of us here who can get beyond race and religion) is presumably many people's impression that the Afghani civilians are "associated" with the guilty parties.

And quite frankly, I think the term "inevitable side effect" is bogus beyond belief. A side effect is when someone else's family is blown up. A disease is when it's one's own family, right?

I have no need to and never have misrepresented your views.
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Old 01-25-2002, 08:03 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by sv:
Speedracer, read the post again. I did not say anything about your accusing the Afghani civilians of "complicity". I said "we say the Taliban were their government so it's OK", as in we base our justification that Afghani civilian deaths are "acceptable" upon a presumed association of these poor people with the Taliban.
What is the difference?

Quote:

And to directly refute your point, this was posted by someone on December 13 in this forum:

<snip>
So apparently at least one person (and there were more - I just don't have time to search for them) do base at least part of their justification for killing Afghani civilians upon their "association" with the Taliban.
Okay, that's one post from five weeks ago.

You write: "when we want to justify the bombing of Afghani civilians, we say that the Taliban are their government so it's OK." (emphasis added) Obviously the term "we" is used for rhetorical effect, but it has the effect of pointing to either the entire forum or the entire nation, as if to say that the entire forum or nation holds the view described above, which is not the case.

Quote:

If I told you that 1000 more American civilians would have to die in order to remove the Taliban, would that be "acceptable"?
Let me put it this way: if you replace the Afghanistani civilian victims with Americans, it doesn't change anything for me. I would still support the military campaign.

It's unfortunate that anybody had to die, American or Afghanistani, soldiers or civilians, because they all have their own lives and families and children. But the Taliban and al-Qaeda were sufficiently dangerous that something had to be done, and I don't think it could have been done in an orderly, peaceful, bloodless way.

Quote:

And quite frankly, I think the term "inevitable side effect" is bogus beyond belief. A side effect is when someone else's family is blown up. A disease is when it's one's own family, right?
Perhaps I should have said "consequence" instead of "side effect." In any event, it was not intended to be a diminutive term.

Is there anything else that I should clarify? Let me know.

[This message has been edited by speedracer (edited 01-25-2002).]
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Old 01-25-2002, 09:02 PM   #33
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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.
You what else is neato?

THE UNITED NATIONS didn't recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government, either.
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Old 01-25-2002, 11:03 PM   #34
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I'm sure that the U.S considers Musharaff, a man who used military force to overthrow a democratically elected Government legitimate. Maybe its because he has started wearing suits instead of a Military uniform.

Illegitimate Governments are a non issue with the U.S.
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Old 01-26-2002, 03:14 AM   #35
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I'm not sure if anyone will agree with me here but I do not believe that as soon as someone sets foot on American soil that he or she has all the rights of an American citizen. There is a good reason why the INS exists. Citizenship is not all that easily obtained. There is a difference between natural rights and the "Rights" of an American citizen.
Note: this does not have to with OJ(who is guilty as sin) but with a post a couple up.
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Old 01-26-2002, 10:51 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by sv:

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?)
Quote:
Later posted by sv:

U2Bama-

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

I find your attempt to deny putting words in U2Bama's mouth rather disingenuous.

The "question" you put to U2Bama was clearly a rhetorical question intended to attribute an opinion (that OJ should have been subjected to vigilante justice) to him.

In general, if you get Bama pissed off at you on a personal level, you've done something wrong.
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Old 01-28-2002, 08:59 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer:
In general, if you get Bama pissed off at you on a personal level, you've done something wrong.
Yes, speedracer, I usually strive to keep my cool on here. I have found that to be increasingly difficult lately. What I posted was quite mild compared to the emotions that were going through my mind.

I'll stoop to sv's level for a spell:

sv, you won't be happy until we unequivocally free the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees and either (1) release them to the streets of the U.S. so they can orchestrate terrorist attacks and kill more dirty Americans or (2)send them back to Afghanistan so they can overthrow the new government and start oppressing women, harassing Hindus, and stoning adulterers again?

I've had too much of this place!

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Old 01-28-2002, 09:27 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama:
Yes, speedracer, I usually strive to keep my cool on here. I have found that to be increasingly difficult lately. What I posted was quite mild compared to the emotions that were going through my mind.

I'll stoop to sv's level for a spell:

sv, you won't be happy until we unequivocally free the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees and either (1) release them to the streets of the U.S. so they can orchestrate terrorist attacks and kill more dirty Americans or (2)send them back to Afghanistan so they can overthrow the new government and start oppressing women, harassing Hindus, and stoning adulterers again?

I've had too much of this place!

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Yes, I would add to the list.. a possible #3... Each Al Queda unlawful combatant taking their index finger and giving us all wet willies while dancing to their cultural version of Tunak tunak.

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Old 01-30-2002, 05:45 PM   #39
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I'd like to remind everyone here that the Geneva Convention makes does make a distinction between Lawfull Combatants and Unlawfull Combatants. Lawful Combatants are soldiers who where a uniform and serve in a specific countries military. Unlawful combatant is anyone that is a combatant but does not fit the description of a lawful Combatant. Only lawful Combatants can be considered POWs and are entitled to the rights of POWs. Unlawful combatants are not POWs and do not have the same rights as POWs. Unlawful Combatants do not where a uniform and attempt to look like and hide behind innocent civilians in order to accomlish the simple objective of murdering civilians and getting away with it.
Al-quada detained in Cuba are Unlawful Combatants and there for not POWs. They are also not American citizens and there for the Bill of Rights does not apply to them. The only law they can be under is US military law with the exclusion of laws that apply to POWs since none of them are.
Their human rights have been respected up to the point of security and safety of the guards that have to move them and confine them. While the guards have not attempted to mishandled any of those detained, Al-quada have attempted to kill guards that are moving them and would at any time given the opportunity. In order to ensure the safety of those transporting and guarding Al-Quada, they have been chained and drugged. This ensure's the safety of the guards and the Al-Quada detained as well. So there does not seem to be any problem and its great that so many of these terrorist have been caught so far.
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Old 01-30-2002, 07:01 PM   #40
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I quite understand that the detainees are accused of being in the "unlawful combatant" category, and that LEGALLY they're not entitled to U.S. Bill of Rights protections. I quite understand that they're currently under U.S. military law.

My contention is that this is morally wrong and an affront to human rights.

1. Many of the detainees may not be Al-Queda members at all. The U.S. military could be wrong about their identification. The U.S. military could be lying. The detainees could be Afghani citizens who defended themselves against U.S. attack by firing upon U.S. military personnel. The detainees could be non-violent political enemies of U.S. policy or people who witnessed human rights abuses committed by U.S. soldiers. THE ONLY INFO WE HAVE IS PROVIDED BY U.S. SOURCES (i.e. the prosecution). There might be evidence that would prove the innocence of some of these detainees, but since these people have been "disappeared" by the U.S. government and are not permitted legal representation, this evidence might never surface. The problem with just accepting these detainees' non-status is that THEY MIGHT BE INNOCENT. And assertions that they have threatened guards are again only from U.S. government sources. A judgement of guilt (and if you're going to detain someone indefinitely and deny them legal status they'd better be guilty) needs to be based on proof, not upon the assertions of the prosecution.

2. STING2, how do you know that the human rights of these detainees have been respected? U.S. government assertions are hardly a good way to figure this out - they are the jailkeepers! In fact, the opinion of nearly every human rights organization that has weighed in on the matter so far is that something is very wrong. While they probably have little hard proof of wrongdoing, these organizations are quite experienced in gauging whether a prisoner's human rights have likely been violated based upon the behavior patterns of the jailkeepers, the appearance of the prisoner, and whatever limited access to the prisoner they are allowed.
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