February 26, 2009

"Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday the Guantanamo detention center is a well-run, professional facility that will be difficult to close..."

"... but he is still going to do it."

Get ready. They're not going to close it. Remember, I made a bet with Emily Bazelon, and I'm going to win:

82 comments:

Corky Boyd said...

"Get ready. They're not going to close it."

You are so right. They will find homes for a few outside the country, maybe at Bagram in Afghanistan, but Gitmo will still hold the really bad guys. The new song will be, we reduced our reliance the place.

The more things change, the more they stay the smae.

AlphaLiberal said...

Why can't they be held at any of our many prisons in the US?

Do people think those prisons are not secure?

And I actually started that audio thing but didn't want to listen to 8 minutes to find out what Ann's point is. What ever happened to writing?

Meade said...

"I did not witness any mistreatment of prisoners. I think, to the contrary, what I saw was exactly what was predicted by the astute blogginghead professor, Ann Althouse of the University of Wisconsin School of Law--a very conscious attempt by these guards to conduct themselves in an appropriate way," Mr. Holder said.

Skyler said...

Yeah, they said they were going to close Abu Ghraib, too.

AL: The supposed problem with US prisons is that then these people would supposedly be allowed access to our courts through habeas corpus. Why that would be is an internal problem in our legal system that should be fixed but it won't be fixed because of politics.

So, as is common in legal matters, a fiction is created to get around the stupid results of bad laws.

Prisoners of war, lawful or unlawful, should not have access to our article III courts. They need not be released at all for the duration of the war. In fact, since these are not sponsored by a state, they should be summarily executed. But we don't have the stomach for that lawful result.

Windbag said...

Over the next four years, we'll see many more of these put-up-or-shut-up moments. Obama will be faced with the choice of doing the sensible and right thing or doing what he said he'd do in his ignorance, in order to keep the fringe left happy. It'll be quite clear whose interests he puts first when it's all said and done.

AlphaLiberal said...

The supposed problem with US prisons is that then these people would supposedly be allowed access to our courts through habeas corpus

Well, that's my understanding. However, I don't think that is a problem. I actually believe in justice and the American way. This legal limbo at Gitmo is not the American way.

And, again, these aren't POWs. There are many people there, perhaps a majority, who were just swept up into the system, not from a battlefield but from civilian society.

I don't understand why anyone defends detaining innocents, let alone subjecting them to deprivation of basic human rights such as habeas.

Do people feel safer knowing innocents are locked up? What, so long as someone [Arab] is?

Salamandyr said...

Why the desire to house them in American prisons anyway? Were I a prisoner of war, I would not wish to be held with common criminals.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Unless as Alpha says, we're going to house them in our already overcrowded prison system, perhaps His Holiness can explain to the rest of the class why housing them at Bagram is going to be acceptable?

AllenS said...

Waterboard them, and find out who the guilty ones are, then let the others go. How hard was that?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't understand why anyone defends detaining innocents, let alone subjecting them to deprivation of basic human rights such as habeas.

Clearly you don't understand. Habeas corpus is not a human right. It's an American right.

TRO said...

Expiration date Number 2,366.

SteveR said...

Habeas corpus is not a human right. It's an American right.

Its that damn Latin, it always confuses people.

John said...

Ann,

Don't you feel guilty taking Bazelon's money? It is like making a bet with the crazy old lady at the laundry mat. I guess the money still spends but taking money for the mentally challenged like that isn't very seemly. I hope the bet isn't too much.

Next you are going to tell me you are taking Lithwick's money and that Ma'am will be going too far.

John said...

"Why the desire to house them in American prisons anyway? Were I a prisoner of war, I would not wish to be held with common criminals."

Doing so would violate the Geneva Conventions. Of course are these guys POWs or criminals? That is a hard question. It would have been nice if people like Bazelon and her ilk would have been thinking about the real issues rather than just screaming Bush Hitler for the last 8 years.

I don't blame BO for doing what he is doing. I blame BO for lying to his more derranged supporters like Bazelon and Lithwick and pretending this was some easy issue created by the evil Bush. He didn't do the country any favors by lying about the issue for the entire campaign.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Do people feel safer knowing innocents are locked up? What, so long as someone [Arab] is?

Clearly you further don't understand ethnicity either. Not every AQ terrorist is an Arab and the Taliban are predmoinately Afghan who are also, not Arab.

Just for future reference, Muslim Turks and Iranians aren't Arabs either.

Big Mike said...

OMG, OMG, OMG! I may be more or less agreeing with Alpha. I fear a bolt of lightning.

The Obama administration hasn't yet figured out where to house the prisoners that they can't afford to let go. Until they figure that out they need to back off the timetable. In the end they'll have to be housed in an American prison, and if any succeed in escaping then the Republican candidate in 2012 has a ready-made issue.

Can they perhaps reopen Alcatraz? San Francisco Bay in June is about like February in Afghanistan. Should make the Taliban prisoners feel right at home, more so than the weather in the Caribbean.

John said...

Here is the problem, the FBI and CIA totally messed it up. I was at a conference last weekend and met one of the prosecutors from down at GUITMO. None of the evidence against these guys has any chain of custody. The FBI and CIA jumped in and demanded to take the lead in all terror investigations back in 2001. Of course the CIA is not a law enforcement agency and had no idea how to collect evidence. The FBI is, but is serially incompetent. Moreover, while the FBI has some evidence collection ability, they mostly do things like seize entire offices of documents. Most of the FBI's work is white collar stuff. It is not battlefield or crime scene investigations. Neither the FBI nor the CIA had any idea how to actually do this stuff. Worse still, in the heady days following 9-11, I am not even sure they thought about anything beyond just grabbing these people and they were too arrogant to let the military, which has organizations like NCIS and CID who have some battlefield collection skills, do anything to help them. No it was an FBI, CIA show and they fucked it up from day one.

Now we are left with people who in all likelihood are extremely dangerous. We have a large amount of evidence, things like blackberrys, documents, training manuals and records and the like, that show how dangerous these guys are. But none of that evidence has a chain of custody that would make it admissible in court. You can't just say "here it is" and expect some thing to be admitted in court. You have to show where it came from and how it got to court. We can't do that on any of these cases. So the alternative is to either turn the guys lose or keep them forever without trial. Basically BO has a big problem. He can’t let them go, but his more deranged supporters will never support keeping them.

Sofa King said...

Well, it's a tough problem.

These guys aren't POWs for all the reasons stated in the Geneva Conventions.

That makes them detained civilians, who can be prosecuted under domestic laws.

Problem with that is twofold:
(A) The trials become a public spectacle and delayed for years and years, during which time they will consume legal resources needed by real domestic criminals, and
(B) Much of the evidence that would be necessary would either be unavailable (due to witnesses being killed or weapons destroyed) or inadmissible (e.g., not Mirandized, hearsay from other soldiers, poor chain of custody on seized weapons caches, etc.) You'd have to accept that there's a good chance you'd get few convictions, or else convictions on much lower charges, which brings up
(C) unless they all get life without parole, they'd presumably be released back into U.S. civil society, something few people are comfortable with

tim maguire said...

Way to reel in that sucker! Anybody with half a brain knew from the start that Obama would not close Guantanamo except maybe in the normal course of business as all things must close sooner or later.

Easy money!

TMink said...

"Do people think those prisons are not secure?"

Jail breaks using helicopters since 1996:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h8NwZBdS2QJynfVTBHLbwCsaVyngD96HEF3O0

I am happy that prisons are actually quite secure, but not completely. The only people I have found that escaped from Guantoanamo prison were Harold and Kumar.

I like the odds at Guantanamo.

Trey

Big Mike said...

Whew. I had overlooked Alpha's 9:49 posting. The lightning isn't going to strike after all.

Even there Alpha's got one thing right. It's my understanding is that none of the prisoners at Gitmo are POWs as defined under the Geneva Convention. Where he and I differ profoundly is whether the "many" he cites -- and I'm certain it's not a "majority" -- are just ordinary civilians swept up by "the system."

Alpha wants to believe any song and dance the prisoners come up with. Hey! They were just on their way to Aunt Matilda's wedding and had their Kalashnikov along to fire a few rounds into the air afterwards to celebrate. Pardon me for being more dubious.

Skyler's quite right. Under the Geneva Convention all we owe armed civilians found attacking or plausibly preparing to attack our troops is a quick execution. After WWII some unreconstructed Nazis tried guerrilla warfare (the Wehrwolf movement. When US forces captured members, they killed them outright.

John said...

Big Mike,

In less barbaric ages, you hung civilians making mischief on the battlefield. All we are doing by giving these guys gold plated legal protection is encouraging terrorism and unconventional warfare. If I am a uniformed soldier and play by the rules and am captured, I am locked up in a prison for the duration. If I am a terrorist and hide among the civilian population and am captured, I get the ACLU, big law firms and people like Alpha Liberal looking out for me and a chance to get out and go back to terrorizing people.

TreeJoe said...

Alpha -

Can you explain where your assertion that,

"There are many people there, perhaps a majority, who were just swept up into the system"

? I mean, we don't have evidence of that one way or another.

The only evidence we have (to my knowledge) is that a surprisingly large number of those released have been identified afterwards in a terroristic or battlefield role or suspected to the have been involved. I think it's about 11% of the total....and those are just the ones known to have returned.

So let me ask: What about the farmer who was hired to place a bomb, and got "swept up"? There's pretty much no evidence, and maybe he returns to his life when he is released, never to commit another similar act. Is this just?

Prosecuting these detainees under habeas places them in a situation whereby prosecution requires evidence and a situation that was not present during their detainment. Evidence was not collected (i.e. battlefield/soldiers, not forensics and investigators) and Miranda was not provided (they aren't police). How does that enhance the justice these detainees receive?

It's not a solution to a problem, it's an escape that ignores the problem.

Issob Morocco said...

Alpha Liberal you say these are innocent folks at Gitmo, maybe a majority. How do you know that? Also, what constitutes a battlefield, when terrorists wear no uniform, follow no warfare conduct codes and have no qualms about using women, children, mentally disabled people to wear bombs to please a tortured version of Allah. Terrorist hide in civilian society, due to the cowardly standards that they must use to be effective.

Kind of like Congress using the guise of stimulating the economy to pad their porky posteriors with spending that would not pass muster on its own.

TreeJoe said...

John and BigMike -

I don't think many people advocating for Constitutional rights for foreign detainees realize the consequences of their actions.

It is the equivalent of, say, Hamas firing rockets from a civilian population dressed in civilian clothes and directing the rocket into another country.

By offering them legal protection, instead of following the existing laws (i.e. on the spot execution), it is actually re-inforcing the decision to dress like a civilian, use human shields, and preparation to tie up their enemies resources through allegations (true or false) of torture, human rights violations, etc.

There may be real, illegal torture going on, and there may be true human right's violations. But the issue is tremendously clouded by terrorists actively training on using those issues.

Battlefield execution under specific circumstances is actually one of the cleanest solutions, as well as one of the strongest deterrents.

As long as it meets those circumstances and is ordered by a commanding officer under suitable review, I see no problem with it.

Joe

Joe said...

I predicted this months ago, I believe on this very blog. People forget, or just don't know, that the evil Bush administration has already sent away the majority of the prisoners they had. There are some that even the country of origin doesn't want back and the rest are evil bastards who should have been summarily executed on the field of battle.

MadisonMan said...

Sure, you made a bet. But it was pretty meaningless. What happens if Guantanamo closes? You didn't establish what happens if you win or lose!

I think Emily should serve you a huge egg salad sandwich if you lose.

MadisonMan said...

(Although I think you'll win)

Michael Hasenstab said...

Obama is waffling on closing Gitmo? Wow. Didn't see that coming.

What next? Decrease spending by signing big spending bills into law? Nah, that won't happen.

I trust that guy. He'll keep his word.

Michael Hasenstab said...

By the way, that Bazelon woman is seriously coiffure challenged. After you win the bet, Althouse, send her a gift certificate from a good salon.

John said...

Bazelon needs to go on What Not to Wear. She looks like my hippie fourth grade teacher from 1980. Didn't she get the memo that "earthy crunchy" went out with Clinton?

Curtiss said...

John said......So the alternative is to either turn the guys lose or keep them forever without trial. Basically BO has a big problem. He can’t let them go, but his more deranged supporters will never support keeping them.

Surely, this is not a surprise to Obama.

Host with the Most said...

Guantanamo will not close within one year.

That alone means Obama will have failed.

I'll be here to remind Michael, AL, dtl, and every Bush-hater.


Prediction:
Michael will say it doesn't matter because Obama's poll ratings will still be good.

madawaskan said...

John-

To be fair to the FBI and CIA though-they didn't know that the rules of the game would get changed on them-or they shouldn't have reasonably expected that somehow GITMO detainees would go through non-military courts.

Just the classified materials alone should have made their expectation of that-reasonable.

To get to the lying part-

Liberals knew that Obama lied.

Lies-well at least the smart ones should have known.

Obama said one of the biggest lies two nights ago that he does not believe in bigger government but somehow that's been all turned around by Krugman and Sullivan and the attack is on Bobby Jindal in regards to volcano monitoring....

Unbelievable.

Not to belabor the point-but I guess we have reached a point were America prefers to be lied to.

The thing is our enemies and Allies watch that-can you imagine trying to negotiate with Obama-after seeing how he pulls the wool over the eyes of his own subjects?

Host with the Most said...

And by the way, Bush-haters include those who never stood up to or made any statement against the radical Bush-haters.

They are the gutless equivalent of Germans who let the Nazi's take Jews to the death camps. Not as morally guilty, but close.

dick said...

I think you have a safe bet. Obama himself told us the other day about the plans for the prison at Bagram and if you read what he said he could have been describing Gitmo as well. Why would he close Gitmo just to have exactly the same sort of prison overseas in Afghanistan where you always have the potential of the Taliban attacking it. I realize common sense is in very short supply with this administration but even they should understand this one.

madawaskan said...

Host with the Most-

Ya don't get me started-intellectually lazy-that.

What's easier-being a Liberal-with mountains of evidence that you can cut and paste blindly from Vanity Fair, Elle magazine, Oprah, CNN, NYT, Washington Post, MSNBC, CBS, NBC..

Or the Libertarians with the moral courage of say-Switzerland or Sweden.

Dale said...

I got your back Host.

The Secret Service is already checking out blogs critical of Obama. No one saying "kill the President" on the blogs during Bush was prosecuted.

I'd like to see a commission examining death wishes/threats against the President of the United States during the Bush years. It just could be the good medicine to counter the "truth commissions" the National Democrats are stirring up. But who would run such a thing?

Michael Hasenstab said...

Why would he close Gitmo just to have exactly the same sort of prison overseas in Afghanistan where you always have the potential of the Taliban attacking it.

That is exactly the point. He'll have the Gitmo prisoners relocated to a prison in Afghanistan, from which they will escape one way or another. From Obama's perspective, the problem will have been solved.

MadisonMan said...

The Secret Service is already checking out blogs critical of Obama. No one saying "kill the President" on the blogs during Bush was prosecuted.

You make quite a leap there -- from checking out (whatever that means) to prosecuted.

I will posit that people who wrote Kill the President on blogs during the Bush administration were also "checked out."

Host with the Most said...

Speaking of Obama Administration Failures:

Despite the claims of "inheriting a record deficit" (Michael - are you listening?) Obama - in just the last week - now holds the title of creator of "record deficits".

Quoteth the New York Times:

a stunning deficit of $1.75 trillion for the current fiscal year . . . has continued to swell in recent months with additional bank bailouts, the first wave of spending from a newly enacted stimulus plan . . .

Hoosier Daddy said...

a stunning deficit of $1.75 trillion for the current fiscal year . . . has continued to swell in recent months with additional bank bailouts, the first wave of spending from a newly enacted stimulus plan . . .

While at the same time reducing the deficit to half in four years.

If he really does that, he will be a messiah.

traditionalguy said...

You can rule out Alcatraz because a NIMBO is in the Speaker's office, and the San Franciscans would try to set them free. That leaves releasing them in Alaska where wolves roam anyway. Nice attempt at PR Pres. Obama, too bad the facts got in the way.

Alex said...

Shut down Auschwitz now!!!!

AlphaLiberal said...

Various people ask how I know innocent people are held at Gitmo.

I've posted it so many times here I should just have a link back on my sucky blog for it all. I'll try to find it before I finish lunch. In the meantime, some logic from previous posts:

1) It's funny how conservatives, who don't think that government can do anything right, assume that the government only nabs bad guys and never the innocent.

2) I consider our legal traditions not to be a weakness but a strength.

AlphaLiberal said...

Found it! Here are a few stories demonstrating we've kept INNOCENT people in Gitmo and the other network of extra-legal prisons around the world. Many of them have been tortured or killed.

Innocent, but in limbo at Guantánamo
Guantanamo Detainees Found Innocent Are Still Held
Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo
Court Orders Release of 17 Innocent Guantanamo Detainees into U.S.
Guantanamo Bay Detainee Arrives in U.K. After 4 Years

Many people have also died in US custody. Over 100, I believe.

What's accomplished by doing these things to innocent people?

AlphaLiberal said...

And, I must say the posts here have been far less insulting than usual and some downright respectful.

To address the "what innocents" question:

In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths .

At the interrogators' behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

"Leave him up," one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

TreeJoe said...

Alpha -

I was one of the people who asked; I haven't been an AA commenter for long enough to know your history, so I'd appreciate the link.

That being said, I don't doubt there are some innocent people at GB. I questioned your assertion of a significant amount and possibly a majority.

My question to you is: It seems like our justice system, which you advocate the GB detainees receiving, would actually benefit the guilty due to the circumstances behind their detention (which, lets face it, were the best circumstances we could ask for).

So we can establish our Justice System is unsuited to administer JUSTICE to these individuals.

The Geneva Conventions don't apply to them, as has been established ad nauseum.

So my question to you is: If existing judicial systems are not suited for their trial, existing laws don't place them within any judicial system, and Justice is not served by trying them under a court that can not adequately assess their deeds....

Then what exactly are you recommending?

It seems your suggestion is the equivalent of letting them all go (which is an option) , but instead of doing that your option allows the process to draw out for many years and many millions of dollars, as well as untold resources tied up.

I've always found it interesting that Congress has not made any move to pass laws, including retroactivity, that would deal with detainees taken in such a manner as these at GB.

Seems telling to me.

Trying these individuals under Habeas would be a crime against justice and american values, because it would be a farce done to simply assauge the conscience.

The true options are:

1. Let go any whose evidence is not sufficient for trial, and try the others under existing laws (military tribunals, unless a new law is established)

2. Detainee all indefinitely in a center which avoids any conflict of indefinite detainment.

3. Force them on their native countries and whatever happens happens.

4. Mass execution on the battlefield (no longer an option)

Intermediary steps and trying to take them through a formal process which they haven't even been involved in to date is just, well, stupidity for the sake of stupidity.

Just my .02 :)

Joe

TreeJoe said...

Alpha,

This link, "In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths ."

That shows 2 people dying in 2002 at Bagram....Just thought I'd point it out since you posted it under the context of Guant Bay

JohnAnnArbor said...

4. Mass execution on the battlefield (no longer an option)

Our soldiers are not ignorant of what happens to the prisoners and how they're celebrated as victims by AL and others. I'm guessing that fewer prisoners are being taken, even if the opportunity presents itself.

And the idea that we're over there vacuuming up innocents at random to send to Gitmo is just stupid. The resources to hold and transport even one prisoner are very high.

And pardon me if I view news reports proclaiming prisoner innocence with skepticism. Reporters are, in general, very ready to believe anything that comes out of the enemy's camp. Remember the while Koran-in-the-toilet like they fell for? They only apply skepticism to Israeli and American statements.

dualdiagnosis said...

My prediction-

Gitmo closed, all detainees shipped to Bagram.

Problem solved.

holdfast said...

Alpha: "2) I consider our legal traditions not to be a weakness but a strength."

Well, that puts you at odds with liberal saints FDR and Wilson, but to their credit, at least they actually understood the consequences of losing a war, whereas alpha thinks it is like losing a game in his T-Ball league where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up.

AlphaLiberal said...

JohnAnnArbor,

You don't let facts affect your statements much, do you? I posted several examples of innocent people being held at Gitmo and elsewhere.

But you don't care. Why? Because you have a theory which says that doesn't make sense.

And, I'm not "celebrating" anyone. That's a blatant lie.

TreeJoe said...

To address other parts of your links:

The CSMonitor link was actually about Chinese detainees described in this W.Post story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/28/AR2007042801145.html?nav=rss_print/asection

Which says, "More than a fifth of the approximately 385 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been cleared for release but may have to wait months or years for their freedom because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to line up places to send them"

And quotes, "Compounding the problem are persistent refusals by the United States, its European allies and other countries to grant asylum to prisoners who are stateless or have no place to go."

So basically, 20% of those who were detained (at that time) had gone through an appropriate review process and found to be innocent or lack of evidence against them, and were attempting to be released.

If anything, that's an endorsement of Guant Bay. What was wrong with the other 80% that were not considered innocent or lacking sufficient evidence?

And is it not a good thing that the U.S. is not sending these people to countries in which they'll be worse off, and trying to figure out how to help them out of this nightmare their in?

So far, 2 of your links haven't really made your case...I'll continue checking the rest out later.

Joe

AlphaLiberal said...

And pardon me if I view news reports proclaiming prisoner innocence with skepticism.

so you think people have been released because they're guilty?

Denial. It's all you've got.

Sofa King said...

But if people are being released for lack of guilt under the status quo, that undermines your argument that placing them in domestic courts is necessary to get the innocent released.

TreeJoe said...

AlphaLiberal -

I read the account from the guardian of the "innocent man who had been 19 when he went to G.Bay and spent 5 years there". All I can say is that the story is fanciful in the extreme.

If you aren't familiar with the military, they tend to be efficient. Not with bureaucratic stuff, but with operations. There were alot of stuff in that guardian story that never would have happened....I.e. the guy who had a single toothache and the dentist who ripped out all his teeth, the man who had frostbite on one finger and who had all his fingers amputated, the prisoner with freshly amputated legs that was left in an open cell with pussy/bloody leg stumps and never had his bandages changed....plenty more like that.

But I liked this one, that apparently made it by the Guardian editors:

"So I didn't need a measuring tape to figure out that the cage was six feet by seven. It was around six feet high. All told, it was less than fifteen square feet. In Germany, there's a law that kennels in the animal shelter have to be at least twenty square feet. I knew that because I myself had been a dog owner."

6x7 feet is 42 square feet....I guess they had a narrative they wanted to push.

The military is full of isolated incidents of abuse, neglect, and single operations gone wrong. But show me an ongoing operation in recent times that functions like that kid says?

Heck, here are two recent articles about Obama and G. Bay.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/20/AR2009022002191.html

That was from a study Obama commissioned after he said he'd close it within a year. The study said G.Bay met Geneva conditions, even though they don't fall under Geneva.

Eric Holder also apparently felt it was a professional facility.

The problem with routinely beating up prisoners is that someone will unerringly object, to a high level, and the amount of doctor's bills necessary to keep people interrogation ready when they are beat-up and starved tends to grow. Neither breeds efficiency.

I'm just saying, your links so far have not been up to par. I've still got 2 to go :)

Joe

Skyler said...

AL wrote:

And, again, these aren't POWs. There are many people there, perhaps a majority, who were just swept up into the system, not from a battlefield but from civilian society.

I don't understand why anyone defends detaining innocents, let alone subjecting them to deprivation of basic human rights such as habeas.


There's a huge leap between not being captured on a battlefield and being innocent. Huge leap.

Someone else postulated that the Geneva Conventions don't apply because they weren't in uniforms or state sponsored. On the contrary, the Geneva Conventions clearly say such people can be summarily executed. And it doesn't matter if they are captured in a battle or in a hotel.

Big Mike said...

@holdfast, don't get me started on Woodrow Wilson. His administration imposed racial segregation on Washington, DC, and he segregated the Civil Service. His most notorious comment on segregation is that it was "not a humiliation but a benefit and should be regarded as such" by black people.

He ran for reelection on the slogan "He Kept Us Out of War" and immediately (well, 6 months) after his reelection he pushed the US into World War I and pushed through the Espionage Act and later the Sedition Act to shut down anti-war speech and publications -- the clearest violation of 1st Amendment rights since John Adams was president.

@Alpha, I do not believe that the people released are necessarily innocent -- merely the military doesn't have enough hard evidence to try them. In a place like Afghanistan, where everybody has an AK-47 handy, and maybe two or three to spare, separating those who use them to shoot Americans from those who use them to celebrate weddings has to be pretty hard. I don't expect anybody to get it 100% right. My difference with you is that you think they got it well over 50% wrong (from your use of the word "majority"). I'm pretty sure you're wrong on that point but without a handy-dandy mind reader we cannot possibly know. What I do know is that the US military in the 21st century is very professional and very well-trained. They don't screw up nearly as often as you would like to imagine. Afghanistan and Iraq are not Viet Nam, where soldiers had maybe 16 weeks of training before being sent out into the field to get shot at.

JohnAnnArbor said...

The fact that guys released from Gitmo ended up doing the terrorist thing again does not imply that those released are all--or even mostly--innocents. At best, they're guys who were captured and held in fast-moving operations where your precious CSI/evidence crap runs into something I call "reality." So there was no good evidence gathered for each capturee because--listen carefully here--they were captured in a freakin' war zone. The soldiers had better things to do--like staying alive--than dust for fingerprints or figure out precisely who shot who. Then, the bad guys end up prisoners, the press starts whining about "rights," and we end up with the idiotic situation of pretending Afghanistan is a big crime scene that can be roped off as needed to figure out exactly what happened with precise FBI investigations.

In WWII, such combatants were shot, either immediately or after a brief proceeding in the field to acertain that they were an out-of-uniform fighter and therefore there life was forfeit. We are amazingly nice now, because of people like you, AL. Releasing them to kill again, because of people like you, AL.

And all we get for it is comparisons to Nazi Germany. From people like you, AL.

Cedarford said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Various people ask how I know innocent people are held at Gitmo.


In the Muslims own minds, they are all innocent. They are all engaged in a fight sanctioned by holiest scripture and assuring they will go to Paradise.
Our laws are not accepted. Their laws say they are innocent.

To further complicate things for the Left, in constructing their Narrative of the "innocents of war" best sorted out at multimillion dollar civilian trials, they ignore almost everyone else is INNOCENT.

If you disagree, pls explain the guilt of a jihadi drafted in a Mosque who is told the choice is fighting or being branded a coward. Or uniform soldiers conscripted against their will in this or past wars.

Is someone who volunteers to serve in the American Armed Forces GUILTY while all Vietnam era draftees automatically INNOCENT?

Or what about the tens of thousands of civilian laborers of the Germans and Italians that were captured while working with their military in N Africa, Italy and susequently held in POW camps. Or people considered dangerous enemy aliens caught behind war lines and interned?

And as "big points" go, let us not forget the very nature of war is that most civilian law is circumvented. In the Gulf War, I didn't pull a trigger, but helped kill a couple dozen men, almost all "innocent" draftees - without trial. War means destroying property without compensation, wrecking or even ending the "lifestyle" of enemy civilians without recourse to their Mighty courts and Lawyers dressed in robes to file torts about the tank shell that gutted their home..

The whole Lefty Innocent vs. Guilty narrative breaks down.

Lets add that:

1. We in the West let 99.8% pf those held in POW or internment camps go at wars end because they committed no war crime.

2. GUILT of crime implies universiality across most legal systems for major "felonies". We do not do that in war, and what a war crime is as lodged against our own side - is always selective, victor's justice. We have a word for a team of men that flouts Geneva, engages the enemy by spying, blowing up trains inc. civilians or a passenger ferry full of "innocent people" carrying heavy water for Nazi nuclear research.
That word is hero.
All while we conceded that such people, our heroes, if caught, could be legitimately executed by the enemy.

3. Trying a single terrorist can cost between 30-50 million. Even when the Jihadi's activities are here, not on a battlefield and all lawyer niceities like a chain of custody is maintained. Lefties cite Moussaoui as "proof" it can be done. His trial cost 32 million. That is more than the death benefit amount the relatives of 90 fallen US soldiers get put together. It is three times the amount it would have taken to fix up Walter Reed in the same period as no funding existed for that, but tons of money to fly lawyers to France and the UK to investigate poor Moussaoui's family upbringing.
On top of the official cost, it was higher because it diverted 40 DOJ, Homeland security, FBI people away from counterterror activities to prepare the 32 boxes of vetted, revetted case documents and witness testimony for a flaming asshole screaming how he hated America and wished he could have killed plenty of his enemy, in court...

[For 6 years, the Left went wild with "terrorist rights", "rule of law", "being questioned by a female is clearly torture", "GITMO is a SYMBOL of Nazi America" and similar nonsense.
Now they have to live with the consequences. The enemy still exists, and seeks to kill in Big Blue Cities and Big Blue States.
A Republican wag said in the new age of Obama, the Dems could give as many "sacred civilian habeas" rights as they want, even allow them in the name of "precious enemy rights" to get a few nuke bombs. Because other than US soldiers who DEms would be blamed for helping to kill if any of their "innocents" make it back to battle, any WMD attack here is an effective Democrat reduction weapon.]

Simon said...

John said...
"Bazelon needs to go on What Not to Wear. She looks like my hippie fourth grade teacher from 1980."

Why is it that in the mine run of cases, people go on that show looking perfectly alright and the idiots on the show dress them up in all manner of gaudy, tacky rubbish that the people look like they can't wait to get out of? Wouldn't the show be better if the victims actually dressed badly or inappropriately for their build/age/etc., and were shown how to do so?

Hector Owen said...

Thanks, madawaskan. Your 11:30 AM comment reminded me of James Branch Cabell and Joni Mitchell, both in the same thought.

blake said...

It's symbolic of our struggle against the Romans....

So, let's see the left yells that Gitmo is a gulag, a torture camp, an American Auschwitz, and now when that turns out not to be true, they demand that it be closed anyway because, well, it has a bad reputation.

Does it seem to anyone else like ceding this point is a really bad idea?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

AlphaLiberal-

The first link you provide claims that the 5 people involved were not enemy combatants, but it gives no source for that claim.

The second link discusses 82 inmates, and claims their innocence, but provides no source except a Washington Post story that does not proclaim their innocence, and in fact says ( at least for some of them ) that "military officials made a point of noting that they had not been exonerated and were still classified as enemy combatants"

These articles seem to confuse 'cleared for release' with 'innocent'. In fact, people cleared for release may have been guilty of something, but not something serious enough to warrent holding them longer.

Note that I'm not saying that I have proof that they are guilty. And I'm sure that many innocent people were picked up, and probably a few of them ended up a Gitmo. But the links you are providing in no way prove that.

Skyler said...

Bliss, you don't understand. It's on a website, so it must be true. It's anti-American, therefore it's true.

Never mind that there's a war going on.

If any of the people held in Gitmo or other places are innocent, well, c'est le guerre. (I don't speak frog, so apologies for misspellings). Next time, people should be a bit more enthusiastic in denouncing our enemies and supporting us.

Mark said...

AlphaLiberal: "so you think people have been released because they're guilty?"

Guantánamo detainee resurfaces in terrorist group

BEIRUT: The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order that President Barack Obama signed that the detention center be shut down within a year.

Read the whole thing, as they say.

That's just the most recent story I could find after a simple Google search. There is of course this as well:

Lists of released Guantanamo prisoners who allegedly returned to battle

Read some of the linked bios. Fascinating stuff about those innocents released back into the wild.

madawaskan said...

Hector Owen...

Thanks for all of the new links at the link you left...

This- has been pinging around in my head for weeks now-

"From enthusiasm to imposture the step is perilous and slippery; the demon of Socrates affords a memorable instance how a wise man may deceive himself, how a good man may deceive others, how the conscience may slumber in a mixed and middle state between self-illusion and voluntary fraud."

[The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.-Edward Gibbon]

Also ironic-I was going to start a comment on another thread-which started-

"If I were writing science fiction, but I'm not..."

The Drill SGT said...

TreeJoe said...
John and BigMike -

I don't think many people advocating for Constitutional rights for foreign detainees realize the consequences of their actions.


short answer?

SGT's everywhere are telling their troops not to try to take prisoners unless the Old Man insists.

Not that they won't accept surrenders. But don't try hard to encourage prisoners.

Taking prisoners is inherently dangerous. Who needs the risk if the Jihadi's ultimately wil be released say the SGT's.

Two in the chest and one in the head. That prevents repeat offenders.

AlphaLiberal said...

Two in the chest and one in the head. That prevents repeat offenders.

You're a regular keyboard warrior.

AlphaLiberal said...

More tough guys.

Here is an interview with a former guard from Gitmo:

All I can say to this question is I am sure a lot really has changed in the way the day-to-day activities take place. Especially with regards to IRFing. But at Camp X-Ray, especially before ICRC (or International Committee of the Red Cross) arrived, I heard many times the IRF team being told (and telling each other before they went to get a detainee) that it was their time to "get some," which is to say inflict pain, get revenge. But we were instructed that the Number 1 Man on the IRF team was to hit the detainees as hard as possible.

Alex said...

Alpha - just more proof of the American Auschwitz. We need a Nuremberg trials 2.0 for Bush & Co.

Alex said...

Alpha - how many years did you serve and where?

JohnAnnArbor said...

AL, those stories are too perfect. What I mean is, it's what you guys WANT to believe, but it makes no practical sense or any other kind of sense. And it's at UC Davis, not known for giving a fair shake to the military. So, again, not believable. I saw a similar story recently by a supposed former veteran saying he slammed some elderly guy's face to the ground on command at Gitmo. The whole story was way too perfect and made no practical sense, and came from another anti-war group. But, of course, the reporter asked no questions and did no checking elsewhere, because, again, only the Israeli and American governments are questioned. Any charge against them is proven merely by being spoken, as far as people like you think.

Look, you want to believe we like to fly innocent guys thousands of miles and hold them for years to stomp on them for kicks, go ahead. People who actually think things through instead of relying on high-minded feelings know that the reality is--shall we say--more nuanced.

The Drill SGT said...

AlphaLiberal said...

You're a regular keyboard warrior.


Just the honest truth AL.

Alex said...
Alpha - how many years did you serve and where?


as for me, I was a Private, a Sergeant in Combat, a Drill Sgt in wartime, an officer in Command in peacetime, a reservist officer in war time, and my wife serves today in the Guard. 19 years total. 12 active and 7 reserve good years.

she has 3 active and 23 good years reserve.

shove it, AL.

I've been there, and got the tee shirt to prove it.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Drill - thanks for your service, and Mrs. Drill as well.

Skyler said...

Two in the chest and one in the head. That prevents repeat offenders.

That's what's called winning hearts and minds. Two in the heart, one in the mind.

The Drill SGT said...

JohnAnnArbor said...
And it's at UC Davis, not known for giving a fair shake to the military.


while I don't disagree with your conclusion, things have obviously changed.

I was commisioned at UCD in 74, and at that point, it was the most pro-military of the UC campuses. all those Aggies of course. Not that any of them were pro-military, but it's relative.

AlphaLiberal said...

Alpha - how many years did you serve and where?

I didn't serve in the military. Not that that's relevant. Many people didn't that your guys follow and worship: Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, etc, etc.

AND, it's a civilian government.

As to the rest of youse, you're in a dander over your precious worldview being punctured. Of course, you'll deny it as a matter of reflex, not any thinking.

IOW, "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."

Skyler said...

AND, it's a civilian government.

Amen to that. That's the best part of our government.

The other best parts were that we were capitalist and free. The two go together. Looks like we'll have to settle for having a civilian government now.

And if you think that invoking Cheney as a way to rattle us, I'll just tell you that Cheney is a very smart man, but a fool about military matters. He and Rumsfeld don't know anything about how to structure a military to win wars. They would rather play silly games with Gitmo and torture people than concentrate on winning the war.

The biggest weakness of a civilian run democratic nation is the attention span of the people when fighting a war. They decided that using minimal force levels was the best way to wage war. The opposite is true for us. We need to have a maximum effort, win as fast as possible no matter the cost and get it over with. They thought that two battalions and mercenaries can win in Afghanistan, and half the troops used to oust Iraq from Kuwait would be enough to conquer all of Iraq. Idiots.

The Drill SGT said...

Sjyler said in part... and half the troops used to oust Iraq from Kuwait would be enough to conquer all of Iraq. Idiots

more precisely, that half the troops would be able to "secure" Iraq, after we sliced through their Army. The point being, any one of our troops was as effective as 10-20 Iraqi's, but one troop can be in 20 places at the same time in a security mission.

Skyler said...

Conquer, secure. Eh, same thing. To conquer implies control, which requires security. If all we wanted to do is destroy it, then our army was plenty big enough. But people aren't scalable the way weapons systems are. You can use a bigger, more accurate bomb to destroy a bridge, thus requiring few people or planes. But the population cannot be handled the same way. Then it's the same as in the days of Darius, Xerxes, Rome, and forever in history. Controlling people is intensely personal and takes a lot of people being physically present, not in a teleconference room in Florida.