November 12, 2008

"Guantanamo Closure Called Obama Priority."

So reads the WaPo headline. Here's the text:
The Obama administration will launch a review of the classified files of the approximately 250 detainees at Guantanamo Bay immediately after taking office, as part of an intensive effort to close the U.S. prison in Cuba, according to people who advised the campaign on detainee issues.
So they'll launch a review...
Announcing the closure of the controversial detention facility would be among the most potent signals the incoming administration could send of its sharp break with the Bush era, according to the advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak for the president-elect. They believe the move would create a global wave of diplomatic and popular goodwill that could accelerate the transfer of some detainees to other countries.
It could happen that other countries will open their doors to these people if only we close Guantanamo. It could happen. They love our goodwill gestures, right? (I say, sarcastically.)
But the advisers, as well as outside national security and legal experts, said the new administration will face a thicket of legal, diplomatic, political and logistical challenges to closing the prison and prosecuting the most serious offenders in the United States -- an effort that could take many months or longer....

Moreover, the new administration will face hard decisions regarding not just the current Guantanamo Bay detainees but also how it will handle future captures of terrorism suspects.
Yes, what about all the problems, all the reasons why we have Guantanamo and executive detention?

Don't you wonder what Obama will say after all of that intensive effort at thinking all this through?

I'm going to bet that Obama will keep Guantanamo open. Don't worry, he'll break it to us comfortably, with the most cushiony possible rhetoric. And all you Bush haters will be just fine with it.

MORE: Here.

82 comments:

Simon said...

If you're right about him keeping Guantanamo open, I'll accept that as tangible evidence that you're right about his broader willingness to stand up to the left. If he does that, he won't be the first black President for long, because the Kossacks, the anti-war crowd and the angry left generally will flay him alive. If he'll take kind of beating for the good of the country (and keeping Guantanamo open still strikes me as being in the national interest, even after Boumedienne), my opinion of him will rise somewhat.

Original George said...

The last prisoner will be leaving around June 2012 so that Pres. Obama can campaign for re-election saying he's fulfilled his 2008 campaign promise.

holdfast said...

I would note that Gitmo does not seem to be receiving many new tenants these days. I suspect that Tangos who seem like truly HVTs are being kept by the CIA and that the "informal" policy of the Army and Marines is that there's no need to take excessive prisoners (i.e. if someone truly surrenders on the battlefield, then fine, but don't go out of your way to encourage or compel surrender where a 500lb bomb will do the trick). Also, I know that they have programs in Iraq to sort of reprogram the low-level guys who were in it for the money to feed the family so that they can be released. Gitmo was an improvised respose in a tough situation - I think it was one of the least bad alternatives and don't disagree with Bush for using it, but I don't think it is to anyone's benefit to make it permanent (the prison I mean - the base at large should of course stay, if only as a thumb in Castro's eye).

The campaign against Gitmo is a truly excellent example of the "lawfare" wagaed against the US by Al Quaeda and their friends/dupes in the west.

Palladian said...

So the Obama administration already has leakers? Are these people leaking because they were told by Rahm to leak? Or are they leaking because they want to spread the good news about the impending closure of "America's Auschwitz"? Or are they leaking because they drank way too much Cristal at the Yes! We! Can! Pass! The! Canapes! victory party?

RobertL said...

I called this the same way a while ago.... And, certainly, it will make all the sense in the world to the dimwits at the NYT when he does.

Palladian said...

If Gitmo is closed, I think the top 250 or so donors to the Obama campaign should be required to take one prisoner from the facility into their home.

That should take care of sending a bunch of them back to the Middle East, anyway.

Palladian said...

It will be weird to see all the Bush hater zombies' heads slowly shift from a frowning side-to-side motion to a smiling up-and-down motion.

Smilin' Jack said...

They believe the move would create a global wave of diplomatic and popular goodwill that could accelerate the transfer of some detainees to other countries.

Because nothing stimulates goodwill in other countries like exporting suspected terrorists to them.

Matt Eckert said...

I would hope that all of the terrorists that are currently being held in Guantanamo will be sent home as soon as possible.

In a pine box.

garage mahal said...

This is a real test for Obama whether he will appease moonbats like Condi Rice and Robert Gates and close this glorious gulag.

MayBee said...

Moreover, the new administration will face hard decisions regarding not just the current Guantanamo Bay detainees but also how it will handle future captures of terrorism suspects.

I only wish the fact that there are "hard decisions" about closing Guantanamo had been discovered sometime during the Bush administration.
Bush kept Guantanamo open because he loved Gulags and hates brown people. Obama will keep it open because there are no easy solutions.

MadisonMan said...

Don't close it, make it an entrepreneurial zone. The prisoners can grow organic chocolate -- or coffee -- and it can be sold at fine boutiques everywhere.

Wouldn't you buy chocolate produced that way?

Titusisathug said...

I agree with Romney and I want to double Guatanamo.

Matt Eckert said...

Obama will not close Guantanamo. He will release the terrorists so he can have room for Republicans.
Thats what communists do.

Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SteveR said...

There isn't a growing population at Gitmo anymore because we have time to sort them out and kill them now, unlike the early days in Afghanistan.

You're right, he'll keep it open and his adoring fans will think its a great idea.

Jack said...

It will be weird to see all the Obama hater zombies' heads slowly shift from a frowning side-to-side motion to a smiling up-and-down motion.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Ann, you keep clinging to this idea that Obama is some kind of moderate trapped in a leftist body. I don't get it. He moved to the middle during the campaign for obvious reasons. His supporters understand this. Now that he has won, I see no reason to think he will not move back to govern from the left. He will close Gitmo and devise some type of show trials for the worst of the bunch. The rest will be set free to kill again. This is what he says he intends to do. I have no reason to doubt him. I'm sure he will toss the moderates a bone sometime before 2012 for reelection purposes but not on something so iconic to the Bush haters.

Henry said...

The Althouse banner is back to cruel neutrality.

The honeymoon is over. Love it.

Rich B said...

I am sure the Garage Mahal's comments are going to be amusing to read, as we wade into the Obama reign. This is what, the 8th day for the 9th wonder?

Doyle said...

Ann voted for Obama in spite of her deep love of unnecessary wars and illegal detention policies.

mnotaro said...

I'm afraid this is only the beginning of things to come with the liberal illuminati running our country. They will promise promise promise then do what ever the heck they want. Obamatrons think he is some sort of messiah, non-human, angel from heaven... Well, I've got news for you-Obama is just a politician like the rest of them!

paul a'barge said...

Here's an idea. Let's execute them all and then close Guantanamo.

How about that?

Wouldn't that get the panties in a wad of all the Libertards?

Henry said...

Ann voted for Obama in spite of her deep love of clear thinking.

knox said...

Ann voted for Obama in spite of her deep love of unnecessary wars and illegal detention policies.

Doyle, turn that frown upside down! Obama's gonna make it all better...

sean said...

I would presume that, with Bush out of office and Obama having promised to close Guantanamo at some unspecified time, the issue will fade from the world's attention. At most, in five years, it will be a story about bureaucratic incompetence ("They still haven't closed Guantanamo!"), rather than American brutality. And the European elites and leftist professors who hate us have plenty of bureaucratic incompetence of their own, so they'll understand.

Meanwhile, as you'll notice, the federal courts never actually order any GWOT captives released; they just rule that the administration can't do whatever it was planning on doing. This is in line with C.J. Rehnquist's suggestion, I believe, in his book on Japanese internment, that the courts should preserve the idea of constitutional rights (which they didn't do during WWII), while in fact letting the executive do whatever it thinks necessary.

Hoosier Daddy said...

They believe the move would create a global wave of diplomatic and popular goodwill that could accelerate the transfer of some detainees to other countries.

Wait, if Gitmo was truly Auschwitz Part Deux, why wouldn't those concerned nations have begged us to take those poor Islamofascists off our hands to more humane and tender treatment?

I'd also like to know what other countries they have in mind. Jordan? Morroco? France?

Yet another example of journalism by throwing feces on the wall and thinking its art.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm going to bet that Obama will keep Guantanamo open. Don't worry, he'll break it to us comfortably, with the most cushiony possible rhetoric. And all you Bush haters will be just fine with it.

I'm gonna bet that Obama breaks about 60 to 70% of his campaign promises and no one will be in the least bothered because he will cloak it all in glittering generalities and as you say vague rhetoric......or it will still all be Bush's fault that Obama can't pull it off.

integrity said...

Doyle said...
Ann voted for Obama in spite of her deep love of unnecessary wars and illegal detention policies.



No, I think she may be a pathologically competitive person. Probably from voting for so many dems that lost. She wants to win now. She would vote or say she was voting for whoever it appeared was going to win(I doubt she voted for Obama, as a couple of days later she was making pseudo apologies to her commenters for her vote). One can deduce this from the attitude she displays toward holding the people she voted for accountable. It's stunning to watch an attorney get so worked up over her guy being held to account, it's personal and competitive. Almost a God-complex(how dare you punish somebody I voted for? I know everything and will not be questioned or allow them to be questioned).

Watch the tantrums you see from this site when Bush and Co. are held accountable for their actions on all fronts. And Obama will have no say in the matter whatsoever.

I'll remind you, a few months ago Professor Althouse said Obama will only win in the bluest of blue states. Wherever the wind blows is how she goes. The capability of someone to be able to say they voted for Obama and also support Romney reveals a lot. There seems to be only game playing, no political core. Either that or a manic-depressive in need of meds, LOL. Obama AND Romney? Think about it. That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

ron st.amant said...

Triumphalist conservatives are so afraid of the system of government they hail as the greatest on Earth.
So they do everything they can to circumvent that system in order to protect it. Slowly destroying the very thing that is under attack.

al-Qaeda can never destroy America. Terrorists can never destroy America. America is more than a place it is an idea and the only way that idea can be destroyed is by forgetting what that idea is.

Gitmo is the single biggest blight on American moral authority abroad, even bigger than the occupation of Iraq. Closing it, and proving to everyone, and most importantly to ourselves, that America is better than our enemies because we do not resort to their tactics is the only way to defeat the enemy.

franglosaxon said...

Ugh, it just makes me squirm to see these little fascists in here hiss about executing people without trial. I am so freaking relieved that I don't have to live in a world controlled by such scumbags or the people sympathetic to them.

Seriously, what is so hard to understand about presumed innocence and the right to a trial? I know for some people the lack of American citizenship means that a human can be treated carelessly. But I doubt the founders of this nation, who believed in universal human rights, would be clamoring for more extra-judicial executions of foreigners...

No doubt there is real evidence tying most of the guys who are left in gitmo to bad acts... if so, why can't they be tried and punished under our laws? Because the Bush justice dept. condoned practices so bad the cases can't be tried? I guess that's Obama's fault too?

Matt Eckert said...

Guantanamo is not a problem if we do not take any prisoners.

Nits make lice.

Palladian said...

"Gitmo is the single biggest blight on American moral authority abroad"

Until it's closed, whereupon people "abroad" will find another blight to inflict upon our moral authority. But you little girls keep your hopes up. The cool kids may still like you yet.

SGT Ted said...

...and that the "informal" policy of the Army and Marines is that there's no need to take excessive prisoners (i.e. if someone truly surrenders on the battlefield, then fine, but don't go out of your way to encourage or compel surrender where a 500lb bomb will do the trick).

This is already happening, but they don't even need to use 500 lb bombs. They just shoot first, rather than risk a capture that results in them going free again to kill others.

Gulag? Where the prisoners get fat, eating the best diet they had in their lives? Oh the horror!

I know people who have run GITMO. garage mahal would be embarrassed at having been such a sap for believing the bullshit enemy psyop propaganda that he slurped up like koolaid, just because he hates Bush. The only reason Condi and Gates want it closed is to deny the propaganda value that the left has given to Al Quaeda for free.

Al Quaeda says thanks garage, we'll behead you last.

What morons these leftists be.

Spread Eagle said...

What is it at now, fifty or so, confirmed former Guantanamo detainees who, after release and rejoining the fight, were killed in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Whether or not Obama shuts down the gulag, or pulls out of Iraq, or anything else along these lines, he's going to have to do some dramatic things in this area to throw bones to his kookjob base.

franglosaxon said...

See above comment. It's not godwin's law to call this type of shit fascism. Humans are not nits. What I don't get is that these types of little pissants condone us spending billions of dollars to rebuild the societies of people they turn around and call parasites in the same breath... high flown rhetoric about "Bush freeing millions" and "bomb them to the stone age" in the same breath.

Luckily folks like Matt here don't run anything anymore except their own sense of grievance.

SGT Ted said...

And the usual idiots show up and show their complete ignorance about how POWs and war criminals are dealt with. Two completely seperate issues. POWs cannot be tried for simply being a soldier on the battlefield. Un-uniformed fighters who hide amongst the civilian population are war criminals by definition and can be shot summarily on the battlefield, per the Geneva Convention. Thats what the law actually is, not the leftwing civil liberties UN Convention on the Rights of Suicide Bombers wet dream bullshit that passed for received wisdom amongst the internationalist crowd.

Daniel said...

I think we need to limit assumptions drawn from statements that begin "Obama will..."

"Obama will keep Guantanamo open..." and then these horrendous things will happen.

"Obama will close Guantanamo and free all the prisoners..." and then these other horrendous things will happen.

"Obama will govern from the far left..."

"Obama will govern pragmatically..."

We don't know. These are simply representations of fear, hope, concern, etc., having more to do with the people predicting than the administration doing. He hasn't done anything yet other than pick a chief of staff. He hasn't really said what he will do yet, beyond the promises of the campaign, which half of you don't believe anyway. We've moved out of campaign mode. What he "will do" is very shortly not going to be a theoretical conversation anymore. It will be an empirical one, based on what he says and then does.

Michael McNeil said...

integrity sez:
a few months ago Professor Althouse said Obama will only win in the bluest of blue states

“A few months ago” was before the historic financial meltdown. Obama supporters like to pretend that had nothing to do with his sudden lead in the polls.

garage mahal said...

One thing 9/11 did do was out the bedwetters that would give up their last inch of liberty as long as President Bunnypants told them it was needed.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yay! To your post and to these all these excellent comments, but not to Guantanamo possibly, perhaps, could be, sort of, think about it, subjunctively, sometime in the future, unofficial spokesman, mayhap, peradventure, perchance, maybe closing.

Original Mike said...

Haven't had time to read the comments yet. But it's not necessary. I'm sure Doyle took your bet, Ann. And Freder too.

Original Mike said...

They believe the move would create a global wave of diplomatic and popular goodwill that could accelerate the transfer of some detainees to other countries.

If they are really that naive, we are in deep doo-doo.

Arturius said...

What is it at now, fifty or so, confirmed former Guantanamo detainees who, after release and rejoining the fight, were killed in Iraq or Afghanistan?

A phrase that Obama should bear in mind is "perception is reality". Post 9-11, the perception was Bush failed to recognize the threat despite the 'red flags' waving all over the place. Evidently a PDB stating "bin Laden determined to strike in the US" was deemed by most to be sufficient justification that Bush 'do something'.

Should, your personal God forbid, Al Qaeda hit inside the country again after Gitmo is closed, the perception will be that Obama is weakening our defenses, Gitmo being just the first in line.

Most people don't spend much time doing critical thinking and as a rule, look for the most simplistic answer unless of course you're a conspiracy theorist.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Closing it, and proving to everyone, and most importantly to ourselves, that America is better than our enemies because we do not resort to their tactics is the only way to defeat the enemy.

As Ace would headline, "Enemies defeated by closing Guantanamo Bay thereby proving to our enemies and to ourselves that we're better than they are, and by coordinated sustained attacks, but mostly by coordinated and sustained attacks."

(originally forgot end quotes up there ^^^, and that wouldn't do)

The Drill SGT said...

This is already happening, but they don't even need to use 500 lb bombs. They just shoot first, rather than risk a capture that results in them going free again to kill others.

2 in the chest and 1 in the head.

Folks don't realize how hard and risky it can be to take prisoners.

Pogo said...

I wonder what history tells us about what happens to nations that are no longer willing or able to defend themselves?

Methadras said...

What's the matter Ann? Already got a little bad taste of Mr. Barely's policies in your mouth already? Quick honeymoon wasn't it. He's already living up to the Mr. Barely moniker in his presidentialistic state.

Cedarford said...

Send the Gitmo prisoners to Mahattan, center of the NYTimes and NYC ACLU Jew's effort to release them. Ask the NYTimes and ACLU to assist them in their years and years of housing needed while their court cases and appeals go through civilian courts and the Islamist warriors are confined to Manhattan.

And no dumping them on Harlem, as the ACLU and others have said it is wrong to situate dumps, recycling places, and sewage plants in black neighborhoods. No, send Ahmed the One-eyed and Sinabazzah the Sultan of Semtex to a nice, progressive professional couple living on the West Side.

It would be even nicer if they were situated directly in NYTimes and ACLU lawyers homes to live and worl on their heroic life story that the Bush-Hitler threatened to cut short or their many, many rights as terrorists to be reclaimed in sypathetic NYC courts..

The Drill SGT said...

The basic problem is that there are two pools of detainees left at Gitmo.

1. Those who are real threats to our society. For those folks, we can't find anyone to take them who would not either kill them or release them. If we could find an Arab governent that would lock them up, the'd be gone already.

2. then there are those who we think aren't a huge threat to the US, but are threats to somebody else, e.g. those pesky Chinese Moslem terrorts. The Chinese would take them in a heartbeat and put a bullet in their heads. Nobody else wants them, but a Federal Judges thinks the are safe to release in DC.

The Drill SGT said...

C4 has it right. Every Pro-Bono lawyer with a Gitmo client who is arguing about how great a travesty of justice it is for his poor religious cholar to have been pcked up and held for 5 years should get a chance in open court:

Judge: Counselor, you say that your client is innocent and safe. If that is the case, I will release him into your personal custody on the condition that you are responsible for him and must take him into your home until such time as the US finds a country willing to accept him.

Defense Lawyer: Are you F'ing crazy, Achmed here is dangerous :)
He needs to be locked up

alternately the Code Pink ladies should take them home as house keepers :)

dualdiagnosis said...

ron st.amant said.
Gitmo is the single biggest blight on American moral authority abroad, even bigger than the occupation of Iraq. Closing it, and proving to everyone, and most importantly to ourselves, that America is better than our enemies because we do not resort to their tactics is the only way to defeat the enemy.


What other tactics to abandon? Live bullets?

Beldar said...

I agree with the notion that Obama will find himself obliged to re-think the subject of detaining some of the enemy combatants captured on foreign battlefields.

Post Boumediene, however, the main reason for keeping them at Gitmo — that it's safely under U.S. control, but not U.S. soil — has disappeared. (NB: That decision was horribly, horribly wrong, but it's at least as healthy as Mr. Justice Kennedy, and probably moreso given the election returns.)

The symbolic value of closing the detention facilities at Gitmo will therefore come to outweigh, in the Obama Administration's calculus, the expense and inconvenience of moving them somewhere like Leavenworth, or to one of the Supermax facilities.

I would calculate differently because I believe that most of the opposition to Gitmo, domestic and foreign, is silly, naive, and hypocritical; moreover, were I the Executive, I would not want to acquiesce is Boumediene by moving the detainees onto U.S. soil, even though changing that bad law is either a lost cause or one whose fruition is going to be long delayed. This explains, in part, why the Obama transition team has not invited me to interview for the position of attorney general, I think.

Beldar said...

Bah. How can you be satisfied with Blogger, Professor Althouse, when it doesn't permit HTML-crafted em-dashes?

Beldar said...

Simon: I assume you haven't gotten a call about interviewing for the AG slot either, huh?

jimspice said...

The plan is not just to let them all go. The plan is to put them on trial. If they deserve it, it shouldn't be a problem putting them away for a very very long time.

dualdiagnosis said...

jimspice- how many of these detainees were given a Miranda?

Synova said...

The plan is to put them on trial. If they deserve it, it shouldn't be a problem putting them away for a very very long time.

On what grounds?

That we now claim the jurisdictional right to try those who commit terrorism in foreign countries... grab them and haul them to US soil for their trial in our courts?

Holding the prisoners at Gitmo *at all* is dependent on them being war prisoners and captured as a part of war. The problem with *that* is that as prisoners of war, if they were combatants or planners or leaders, they qualify for execution and not much more.

If we want to see them in a court, they should appear in court in the country where their "crime" was committed.

Synova said...

jimspice- how many of these detainees were given a Miranda?

Heh.

Well, that's how far that would go, isn't it.

Might as well just send them home... or stick them on a plane to France.

(Seriously.)

mccullough said...

We can close Gitmo now and put most of the detainees on trial because they have become useless sources of intelligence.

The real issue for Obama will be what to do when new suspects are captured.

Does he believe in getting information from them? What if they don't want to talk? Will he provide them a lawyer and try to get them to talk. And how will he get them to talk.

The Drill SGT said...

The problem with *that* is that as prisoners of war, if they were combatants or planners or leaders, they qualify for execution and not much more.

Sorry, but your use of terms is either careless or wrong.

Real POW's, caught will in compliance with the GC, are under the GC are entitled to good treatment, mail, Red Cross Packages, etc.

Illegal combantants, who purposely violated the GC, targeted civilians, did not wear uniforms, hid amongst civilians, without a clear chain of command, are NOT entitled to be rewarded with full GC treatment. To do else, would reward bad behavior.

The thugs at Gitmo are NOT POW's. Nor are they criminal defendants, at least we hope they aren't, because we did not Miranda them or keep a chain of custody, etc, etc.

there lies the issue.

Patm said...

"I'm going to bet that Obama will keep Guantanamo open. Don't worry, he'll break it to us comfortably, with the most cushiony possible rhetoric. And all you Bush haters will be just fine with it."

Exactly. All of the evils of the Bush regime will become reasonable, non-excessive and "smart" once they get Obama-tized.

Hypocrites.

franglosaxon said...

Drill Sgt., if the people who want to fight us in Afghanistan put on uniforms and declared their hostile intent openly, they would be vaporized within minutes from the air.

Therefore, in your worldview, there is no possible "honorable" way for people to fight us. We are fighting the war on terror with the consent of local governments, so there is no way the GC can apply at all, right?

De jure, I will grant you all that. However, in practice, we know for a fact that we swept up blameless people into the extra-legal system we set up. Innocent people died, at our hands (see "Taxi to the Dark Side"). Now, it's well understood even by such knobbly-kneed liberal fucktards like myself that collateral damage is a necessity of war. However, it is in our STRATEGIC interest, per COIN doctrine and General Petraeus, to minimize such instances.

And what about the guilty? If we are operating under the consent of the Afghan government, those terrorists fall under the scope of their laws, courts, and jails. Why are they in our custody at all?

Michael McNeil said...

Bah. How can you be satisfied with Blogger, Professor Althouse, when it doesn't permit HTML-crafted em-dashes?

What do you mean? I use em-dashes in Blogger comments — e.g., here — all the time. Simply put — into the comment box — and voila!

Synova said...

My terms are wrong.

I do notice you didn't supply the *correct* term, however. ;-)

Which is sort of what I was trying to explain... these people are not lawful combatants. Enemy soldiers aren't criminals, even if they're responsible for many deaths. They are properly POW's. When the conflict is over they get to go home... just like Saddam's troops got to go home... just like the case I read where one of Saddam's officers walking through a US checkpoint on his way home was saluted by our soldiers.

But these guys are prisoners of a war, or in a war or something, but are not in any way lawful combatants. As I understand the rules this means a hearing of sorts in the field, "yes we caught these guys doing such-and-such" and then the officer present says, "shoot 'em."

But we didn't do that.

I don't know on what authority we could try them and *sentence* them to prison, though maybe we could do that. Give them all release dates somehow.

Returning them to the place they committed their crimes for trial there seems like the only logical thing to do. But that is also the point at which it is suddenly discovered by everyone that the other countries in the world tend to be much much worse to their prisoners than the US is or ever has been to any prisoners that *we* hold, "legally" or not.

Synova said...

And what about the guilty? If we are operating under the consent of the Afghan government, those terrorists fall under the scope of their laws, courts, and jails. Why are they in our custody at all?

Return them.

I'm all for that.

Or to whatever country they are from...

You know... rendition.

Synova said...

...if the people who want to fight us in Afghanistan put on uniforms and declared their hostile intent openly, they would be vaporized within minutes from the air.

Therefore, in your worldview, there is no possible "honorable" way for people to fight us...


The point of the GC wasn't to even the playing field.

As it is, they *can* fight us... by relying on us to follow the "rules" while they are excused from following any of the rules designed to protect civilian populations or those soldiers captured during war.

The result is that the enemy doesn't have to persuade an army that the cause is necessary or just... and how could they? The result is that a relative few can act independently to create great havoc, death and misery. How many men decided, on their own authority, to start this war? A dozen, two? A couple score?

And out of some sense of fairness, we're supposed to operate on terms that allow them to do this?

franglosaxon said...

The way that Bush supporters interpret the GC means that the GC will never again be applied, anywhere, ever.

Once people are in the sole custody of the US military, I'd argue it's in our best interests to follow the broad outlines of the GC, even if they weren't wearing uniforms. Because we are a people of laws.

garage mahal said...

Because we are a people of laws.

Hahahaha. You're new around here aintcha.

Synova said...

The GC was set up as a reciprocal document.

I promise not to mistreat your soldiers when I catch them, and you promise not to mistreat mine.

I promise to do everything I can to avoid hitting hospitals or even battlefield medics, and you promise to avoid hitting mine.

I promise not to target non-military people, you promise to wear uniforms so I can tell who not to shoot at.

I promise not to bomb schools, hospitals and places of worship, and you promise not to use these places as military forts.

In the end, we don't summarily execute people who break all of these agreements (and who, to be fair, never signed on to them anyhow) not because we're a people of LAWS, but because we're compassionate and pragmatic.

Maguro said...

The GC was set up as a reciprocal document.

Not only that, it was intended to provide incentives for civilized behavior. Awarding GC privileges to those who flout its conditions perverts those incentives and rewards lawless behavior.

Oligonicella said...

franglosaxon said...

"Because we are a people of laws."

Unless, of course, that law is the GC, which you think we should 'rise above'. Kinda hypocritical.

SGT Ted said...

Once people are in the sole custody of the US military, I'd argue it's in our best interests to follow the broad outlines of the GC, even if they weren't wearing uniforms. Because we are a people of laws.

Yes, and the GC broadly allows the summary execution of those who violate these laws on the field of battle. One of the laws being that you wear a uniform if you have the balls to declare and fight a war.

Bush has even gone so far as to guarantee POW status to what are actual war criminals, who certanly do not treat our uniformed military reciprocally; the jihadis behead them and put it on the internet. If we were to shoot them summarily as war criminals, it would be well within what the GC allows as punishment.

You are quick to excuse war crimes by jihadis while upbraiding the US when we are actually applying the GC. It's disgusting. You need to grow up.

Original Mike said...

Not only that, it was intended to provide incentives for civilized behavior. Awarding GC privileges to those who flout its conditions perverts those incentives and rewards lawless behavior.

If there is one trait which typifies liberal thinking more than any other, it is the complete inability to understand, or at the very least acknowledge, the concept of incentives.

veni vidi vici said...

"But I doubt the founders of this nation, who believed in universal human rights..."

Except for those of their fellow nationals that were considered only 3/5 human, or merely "savages" in the case of the ones that were here first.

Idiot.

gemma said...

I think you are nuts Ann. . . he will do what he has told us he will do and then......what???

knox said...

One thing 9/11 did do was out the bedwetters that would give up their last inch of liberty as long as President Bunnypants told them it was needed.


Are you seriously trying to intimate that democrats are the brave, manly ones in this equation?

Revenant said...

Except for those of their fellow nationals that were considered only 3/5 human

Of all the examples of historical ignorance about the Founders, the "3/5" fallacy qualifies as one of the most irritating.

Nowhere in either the Constitution or the debates surrounding it is it said that slaves only counted as 3/5 human, or 3/5 of a person, or any other such nonsense. The rule was that the slave states were only allowed to count 3/5 of their enslaved population for purposes of assigning representatives. This was a compromise between the free states, who didn't think ANY slaves should be counted, and the slave states, who thought ALL the slaves should be counted.

Every time you complain about the 3/5 rule, you are whining that slavers didn't have more power in Congress -- power that would, naturally, have been used to strengthen pro-slavery law. That's what it would have meant, to count 100% of the slave population instead of only 60%. Any intelligent slave of the time, had you asked him, would have preferred 0%. Not because slaves didn't count as people, but because any intelligent person who hated slavery would oppose granting slavers additional votes on the basis of the slaves they owned!

So the true tragedy of the early Constitution wasn't that slaves were "3/5 of a person". It was that they were counted at all.

Revenant said...

we are a people of laws.

Exactly. We are a people of laws, not a people of warm fuzzy feelings for our enemies. Guantanamo violates no law or treaty, ergo there is nothing wrong with us continuing it as is.

Eric said...

I think he probably will close Gitmo, because with the courts claiming jurisdiction there isn't any reason to hold people there. But he won't let them go - they'll end up in Leavenworth or some other hellhole (which is fine by me). And his supporters will be happy, even if there's no practical difference.

The reason he won't let any go is bad behavior on their part will reflect back on him politically. No way he goes into 2012 with people saying his actions caused the death of American soldiers. No matter what his core beliefs are, he's a politician.

And Maguro is right. If the GC don't encourage good behavior, they're counterproductive - it would be best to renounce them. As far as I can see the Jihadis have tortured all their prisoners to death, so even if they otherwise qualified for GC protections this fact would disqualify them. I can't find the relevant clause, but there is language to the effect of "signatories must treat opposing forces as signatories as long as they make an effort to comply with these terms".

ron st.amant said...

Palladin writes: But you little girls keep your hopes up. The cool kids may still like you yet.


Once again the GOP meme that Americans opposed to Gitmo, and indefinite detainment, just want to be popular (oh and he adds that we're girls now too...please come to my house and say that to my face).

It's not about being popular for a warm fuzzy feeling. It's about not having our allies turn away from us when we need their help to do the heavy lifting required.

The longview is that the 'war on terror' is an ideological struggle. We must convince the moderate elements in Muslim countries that their long term survival, indeed survival of the world, lies with us. We cannot do so if we violate the essence of what makes us who we are. Belief in liberty, freedom, justice.

If we tolerate Gitmo, then are not living up to the ideal of America.

SukieTawdry said...

They believe the move would create a global wave of diplomatic and popular goodwill that could accelerate the transfer of some detainees to other countries.

Who are these people? If this is the kind of counsel Obama intends to heed, Gitmo will be the least of our worries. If the detainees were "transferable," BushCo would have gotten them out of its hair long ago. Such naiveté about global "good will" is hardly reassuring and downright disturbing.