February 21, 2009

The Guantanamo Bay military prison meets the requirements of the Geneva Conventions.

According to a Pentagon review ordered by President Obama. So... great. I'm proud of our military. But am I proud of our President who first promised to close the place and then got the study showing the facts relevant to the question whether it should be closed?

Let's see if he can say now, as he has before, I screwed up.

142 comments:

Bob W. said...

That's a great summation of the article, Prof A!

Diamondhead said...

Act first. Ask questions later! But remember to always refer to issues as "complex" and say "uh" a lot. That way people sense you're quite a different thing than George W.

al said...

You're proud of someone who makes decisions before knowing all the facts?

The order should have been reversed but that would require Obama to have a clue about what he's doing and his first month has made it clear he doesn't.

Richard Fagin said...

At least give the President credit for not just turning the turbaned killers loose to commit more mayhem.

Pogo said...

We should cut him some slack. It's not like when he was a Senator he had any access to these same facts or anything.

Michael Hasenstab said...

At least give the President credit for not just turning the turbaned killers loose to commit more mayhem

Yet.

Bob said...

Pogo said...

We should cut him some slack. It's not like when he was a Senator he had any access to these same facts or anything.


Yep. He could have gone down there anytime he wanted on a fact-finding mission, but doing so would require acknowledging that the detainees were being treated humanely by the Bush administration.

AllenS said...

He simply doesn't know what he's doing.

Korla said...

Let's see if the people who voted in him and the Democratic near-supermajority can also say it: "We screwed up."

Darcy said...

I hope he does say he screwed up and then gets a lot of grief from the lunatics. They both deserve some of that. And then I hope he gets a real backbone about it and offers a secure alternative or leaves it open.

I hope...I hope...oh, never mind.

Aaron said...

Pentagon did nothing wrong, says pentagon.

EnigmatiCore said...

I think it is great that Obama has, previously, said "I screwed up".

I think it would be better if he had said it each time he had screwed up so far, which he hasn't even come close to doing.

I think it would be better still if he could cut the rate he screws up to a fraction of what it has been since he took office.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I hope...I hope...oh, never mind"

You hope for some change?

AJ Lynch said...

Next he should have his staff analyze 100 randomly-selected mortgage foreclosures to determine the facts and causes.

Following that, he could revise his mortgage bailout plan intelligently.

Pogo said...

With Obama's bully pulpit, maybe Harvard law school can begin teaching about "due diligence".

That would be cool!

chuckR said...

Fire.
Ready.
Aim.

Or some combination of those of those three words.

UWS guy said...

I like all of you hope obambi keeps America's high profile gulag open...I mean it's not like we're housing any innocents in there.

Let's make sure all those "turbaned" animals know who's got the power.

Darcy said...

Change, EnigmaticCore? Yeah. But not the change most people voted for. Just hope left.

And LOL, Pogo. Now that would be a change, apparently!

EnigmatiCore said...

Oh, cool! Here comes UWS Guy throwing around the race card!

Let me be the first to say, f' off.

Pogo said...

So, UWS guy, is Obama a neocon?
Is he wrong, then, about this?
Will the left make chimp pictures of him now, too?
Or will you bend over and take it, and pretend you really meant this all along?

Pretty soon, Obma's gonna get a house in Crawford, the way he's going on the military stuff; have a swagger n' everything. Haw.

jayne_cobb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diamondhead said...

Aaron, if no one at the pentagon could perform a trustworthy review, why did Obama request they perform it?To give the nutters a plausible excuse to ignore the findings?

Big Mike said...

To the 61% of the people surveyed by Fox who approve of the Obama presidency. What were you thinking?

jayne_cobb said...

You'd better be careful.

Any more criticism of Obama and Robert Gibbs might call you out at his next press conference.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

There have been way too many screw ups and I for one can not and will not forgive him.

EnigmatiCore said...

I think UWS wants to have a constructive dialog on race, don't you?

Sofa King said...

Okay, but did they find out who ordered the "code red?"

jayne_cobb said...

I don't know if that's possible as we're all too cowardly to discuss the subject.

Bart DePalma said...

Mr. Obama does not have a plan, he has constituencies to please.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I think it would be better if he had said it each time he had screwed up so far,

That would lead to the inevitable I Screwed Up Crisis, which would be followed by the I Screwed Up Bailout, with funding expropriated from the taxpayers who didn't screw up.

Greg Toombs said...

But but but... he's so nuanced.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

A true story.

This morning I took my morning loaf and went right back to bed.

5 minutes laters there was a frantic pounding on my door.

It was my neighbor below me.

My toilet overflowed and water was pouring through his bathroom. He told me water was coming through his lights and everything.

My morning loaf overflowed my toilet.

I am so embarrassed.

I am sorry.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

My toilet is in a constant state of "rumble" right now.

Any suggestions fellow commenters?

How do I stop the "rumbling"?

Deana said...

ChuckR -

Exactly. You nailed it exactly.

I get the feeling that more often than not, the Obama Administration does X because it "sounds" good and only afterwards, begins looking at the details.

Maguro said...

Aaron, if no one at the pentagon could perform a trustworthy review, why did Obama request they perform it?

Right...and why did he order the Pentagon to perform the review rather than, say, the Senate or a specially chosen blue-ribbon panel of left-wing lawyers? Maybe O got the answer he was looking for.

dbp said...

Bush is President:

Guantanamo is an American gulag.

Obama is President:

Guantanamo complies with Geneva.

AJ Lynch said...

Titus:

Call Joe The Plumber.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

Seriously, any plumbers in the house?

My toilet is rumbling.

I am afraid to pinch another loaf.

What should I do?

I did pinch a second loaf after my original overflown loaf and when I lifted my ass off the throne the loaf was totally gone. So it must of went down the hole immediately without a flush. It was like magic.

But I still have this loud rumbling sound and the water is moving around.

Graham Nash said...

Let's see if YOU will ever say that you've screwed up, about anything important.

dbp said...

Titus,

You probably need a new Ballcock Assembly.

You could do this yourself or pay a small fortune for a plumber to come on a Saturday.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

By the way I would do the neighbor downstairs, who is straight.

When I came back to his apartment to see how his bathroom was I fantasized him saying everything is ok and then pulling out his hog. That didn't happen though.

He is kind of a spaz. He moves really fast, talks fast, is from New Jersey, kind of geeky, but hot. I would do him. He is 38. I googled him. We would be a pretty good couple. He is a Product Manager for a company.

Greybeard said...

Aaron-
How difficult do you suppose it would be to have Al Qaeda come in and do a truly objective investigation?

Jason (the commenter) said...


But I still have this loud rumbling sound and the water is moving around.


Open the back up and play with the float. And make sure there's nothing interfering with the flush ball (the thing that plugs the water down in the bottom).

JAL said...

high profile gulag

UWS you are a creep.

Do you know *anything*about the Soviet gulag?

How dare you.

[Not feeding anymore, but just had to say it.]

kynefski said...

Please repair the link. I read an article about conditions at Guantanamo rather than the one about why it shouldn't be closed.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

Ballcock Assembly?

I beg your pardon?

You don't need to get fresh with me. I don't appreciate being spoken to in such a disgusting manner. I am a lady and demand respect.

I can't even change a light bulb so I will need to get someone in to help me I guess.

Maybe it will just stop?

How about if I just jiggle the flusher a bunch?

Did pieces of my loaf leak through his apartment? That is so sad if it did. It was a runny loaf too so it was probably a combination of loaf and water going into his unit.

JAL said...

Titus -- Since you are one of Bloomberg's 40,000 (out of 8 million)who pay 50% of NYC income taxes, I bet you know someone who has the number of a NYC plumber who will come out on a Saturday and check out the neighbor's leaking ceiling and your presumedly guilty plumbing.

Just a thought.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

OK Jason I am going in to the bathroom and using your guidance.

Wish me luck.

JAL said...

Note to Jason (the commenter) -

One has to be very careful with one's language, or we will be barraged ....

TitusFreezeFrame said...

Jason, you are a da man.

I opened up the top of the toilet and the water was real low.

The reason being was that I put little toilet cakes or pucks in to keep the water clean. The toilet puck was covering the hole and as a result the water was low and making a noise. I took the puck or cake off the hole and everything is better.

What is your rate? I will send a check immediately. Thanks so much. Jason made my day and saved me some bucks, unless of course the plumber would of been hot and I did him then Jason deprieved my of some good blue collar hog.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

No more noise, no more bubbling. Everything is fabulous again at my loft in the hood.

Happy days are here again.

Strike up the band!
Everything's Coming Up Roses!
Send in The Clowns!

Jason (the commenter) said...

unless of course the plumber would of been hot and I did him then Jason deprieved my of some good blue collar hog.

Oh, I feel bad. Let me make it up to you. Last week I pinched a loaf a took a picture of it. Here it is.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

Am I going to have to pay for any damages in my neighbors unit?

When I went back down to see how his unit was he said everything was fine. I asked if we should contact the condo association and he said no. Now I am paranoid. He knows I have a fancier unit and drive a beamer and have rare clumbers.

Now I am worried.

PatCA said...

Yes, good for the Pentagon. But where does it say Obama approves of it? Maybe he just commissioned the study so he could have grounds to agree with W's position? Anyway, it's a good thing.

All in all, he's prosecuting the war correctly, I would say. More bombings of camps in Poky-ston today. Well done.

The economy? Oy....don't get me started.

traditionalguy said...

The Europeans, that Our President also hopes to represent in the near future, tell the Guantanamo Hell Island Story to their Moslem immigrants in their slums down the road in England, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, etc. to look like they don't torture Moslems like the Americans. This Obama action to shut America's Hell Island down is a form of European Community organising. Now, why does Obama want to win votes within the populations in those countries????

TitusFreezeFrame said...

What a morning here. Quite a bit of drama. But through it all I had the rare clumbers. Who's steady, no drama personalities, kept the craziness to a minimum.

Thank God for rare clumbers. They are the best thing in the world. We are going for a walk now.

And thank you Jason. I will put you in my morning prayers.

Greg Toombs said...

Titus is the opposite of nuance.

Anton said...

"A Pentagon review of conditions at the Guantanamo Bay military prison has concluded that the treatment of detainees meets the requirements of the Geneva Conventions."

...and that the detainees do not fit the requirements for coverage under the Geneva Conventions. But that wasn't mentioned...

No surprise in any the above...

Dudley Do-right said...

He can't close Gitmo because he's going to need Gitmo....like Stalin needed the gulags in Siberia. He's going to need a place to put those who don't agree with the One's "vision" and who resist "re-education". He's going to need a place to put people like us.

The fact that Gitmo isn't a gulag now doesn't mean it'll never become one.

Chip Ahoy said...

Observing dedicated partisan liberals grow up is going to take more patience than I possess. Therefore, I disengage emotionally and instead decide to find them funny. Here goes, ha ha ha ha ha ha.

I sense Obama knew all along Guantanamo is being run scrupulously and legally but said what he knew needed saying in order to get elected. Had he been honest with those people he looked to for putting him in office his chances would have narrowed considerably. This article speaks about the electorate more than it does about Obama.

Welcome to the real world. We've been waiting for you .

Chip Ahoy said...

On the other hand, this is a review by the Pentagon so expect it to be rejected outright.

Simon said...

He isn't going to say that he screwed up, because this report says nothing to the reasons for his promise to close Guantanamo. Obama isn't closing it because it doesn't meet the Geneva Convention's standards, he's closing it for two reasons:

(1) It's a symbol of the Bush era, and closing it signals the rest of the world that the U.S. is repudiating the policies of that era, and,

(2) He promised his supporters that he would (indeed, it could be argued that he owes his nomination to that promise). With so many other campaign promises broken or about to be broken, he has to keep at least a few high-profile promises, and keeping this one fits in with his own agenda and serves a legitimate goal (see (1)).

Jason (the commenter) said...

I bet the commission he set up to investigate doing away with "don't ask, don't tell" will also come up with a politically convenient answer.

Hiding behind commissions and task forces; can't Obama be a god damn leader and make decisions on his own?

JAL said...

And every one knows (if they live in the Reality Based Community) that there is not One. Single. Thing. that George W. bush did Ever. that was Right, much less Good.

However. This particular blog is worthwhile because its participants include some people who voted for Barack Obama and support some of his goals and policies, but who are able to communicate in rational, civil, and thoughtful ways. They are worth listening to.

Some of them even think Guantanamo is not a gulag, but a necessity in a difficult time.

(Oh, right -- doesn't President Obama spend a lot of his currency these days talking about difficult times and difficult decisions? Like doing the President of Pakistan's bidding and taking out the bad guys there? If GWB had done that all the major media and the lefty blogs would have been shooting blood out of their eyes.)

JAL said...

If anybody sees DBQ, tell her Victoria is paging her over at Sundries, please.

TitusFreezeFrame said...

I kind of wanted to say to my downstairs neighbor, "Sorry about my shit leaking through your walls...want to do it" but I thought that it would not of made for a subtle transition.

Would that of been wrong for me to ask him that while my shit was probably permeating his apartment?

Curtiss said...

Titus, why do you substitute "of" for "have"?

AlphaLiberal said...

Uhm, Ann?

That's the Pentagon investigating itself and finding it did nothing wrong.

Can you see any problem there? Or do you honestly believe everything coming out \of the Pentagon is the truth?

New reports of worse than feared torture have emerged. And, with Bush and the fear of reprisals gone, insiders are stepping forward with their stories.

AlphaLiberal said...

And, Ann, you jump right over the legal implications of a base intentionally sited offshore to attempt to evade the rule of law.

Or that a lot of the people being held there were snatched up through use of bounties in foreign countries. Why do you trust a bounty system to round up genuinely guilty people and not, also, sweep up innocents?

Why do you put so much faith into a bounty system?

For a law professor, that's a hell of a blind spot you have there.

Palladian said...

"However. This particular blog is worthwhile because its participants include some people who voted for Barack Obama and support some of his goals and policies, but who are able to communicate in rational, civil, and thoughtful ways. They are worth listening to."

And then comes along AlphaLiberal to skwew da whole thing up!

"New reports of worse than feared torture have emerged. And, with Bush and the fear of reprisals gone, insiders are stepping forward with their stories."

And, of course, those brave truth-tellers are always, always honest! Unlike the evil Pentagon!

Hey, guess who controls the Pentagon now? Barack Obama! Are you calling part of his government dishonest?

Oh, and this comment by Ralphaliberal is a good illustration of one of my Golden Rules of Commenting: any comment that starts out with "Um,...." can be safely skimmed over because the commenter is generally a complete douchebag.

AlphaLiberal said...

It is very disappointing that a law professor would support the use of bounties and kangaroo courts to detain individuals indefinitely.

So much for Ann Althouse's commitment to the rule of law.

As for the 800 detainees that have been at Gitmo overall, 5%, statistics show, were picked up directly by US forces -- the rest were largely traded for bounty or arrested by other countries and turned over to the US. In addition, many of the Tora Bora fighters whom we would have liked to capture got away. So, the result has been that we picked up individuals who were not necessarily hardened terrorists. There are, by many reliable accounts, several dozen dangerous terrorists currently in Gitmo.
Source

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"And, Ann, you jump right over the legal implications of a base intentionally sited offshore to attempt to evade the rule of law."

And what, precisely, are the legal implications of intentionally situating a base offshore to evade the rule of United States law (beyond the UCMJ, that is) that trouble you?

AlphaLiberal said...

Palladian, yes, I believe the Pentagon under Obama will be dishonest. It always has been.

You could ask Pat Tillman's family about how the Pentagon lied about his death, when it turned out he was killed by friendly fire.

The Pentagon has a life of it's own and they are not going to come forward and admit they'd been lying to us all this time.

Frankly, anything coming from most of our major institutions in our society should be taken with a grain of salt.

AlphaLiberal said...

Simon, I explained a few of these above. Like the idea that a bounty system is sufficient to indefinitely detain someone.

I've never heard a strong defense of this bounty system. Care to give it a shot?

UWS guy said...

First off Enigmatic Bore...my "turban" quote was exactly that, a quote from an unironic poster above me.

Secondly, at "How dare you!". That gave me a laugh. America's gulag isn't as bad as the Soviets' ergo America's gulag is just fine.

You see when America does something it can't be wrong. I'm actually for the CIA and other clandestine services to torture our enemies (which they have done and in some cases it resulted in the bloody death of captured AQ), but unlike you chicken-hawk pussies I own up to this fact.

So there.

AlphaLiberal said...

And, Simon, I linked to an interview with a former JAG prosecuter at Gitmo who was gung ho until he saw the system at work. He has now come out against it.

By all means, have a read.

Sofa King said...

I've never heard a strong defense of this bounty system. Care to give it a shot?

Necessity.

AlphaLiberal said...

Two more points on accepting a Pentagon investigation of the Pentagon as The Truth:

1) Any institution investigating itself is of dubious value.

2) Someone (Clausewitz?) said "The first casualty of war is the truth." (something like that).

AJ Lynch said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Chip Ahoy very accurately predicted that libtards like Alpha would reject any report from the Pentagon.

AlphaLiberal said...

But Sofa King, why should anyone believe bounty collectors turned in terrorists and not personal enemies, village idiots or brothers-in-law?

OK! Must shovel!

AlphaLiberal said...

AJ, did you believe their report on Pat TIllman?

Palladian said...

AlphaLiberal is still standing across the road trying to levitate the Pentagon with his mind.

Sofa King said...

But Sofa King, why should anyone believe bounty collectors turned in terrorists and not personal enemies, village idiots or brothers-in-law?

A fair question, but not one you are entitled to ask. None of your objections have been about efficacy, but about process.

Trooper York said...

Hey everybody loves garage mahal.

Just not enough to give him a tag.

Maguro said...

Secondly, at "How dare you!". That gave me a laugh. America's gulag isn't as bad as the Soviets' ergo America's gulag is just fine.

Do you have any idea what the word gulag actually means? The gulags were forced labor camps where millions were literally worked to death. None of that is happening at Gitmo, so for you to say that Guantanamo Bay as "America's gulag" is just self-serving, holier-than-thou bullshit.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

When I first saw this post my eyes skipped to the end and I thought, Ann, that in light of this and other revelations (such as the Obama administration's almost unbelievable ineptitude with respect to the nation's economy) you were rethinking your vote. I was, I must admit, a little disappointed when I read the whole thing and realized that it was much less exciting than I expected.

I wonder if the voters who comprised President Obama's margin of victory are beginning to rethink their votes, though. While the Kool-Aid chuggers seem entirely blind to the Carteresque appearance of the administration in its first month, it seems like mainstream Americans are rapidly losing faith in the President's ability to lead the country in the right direction.

Simon said...

Alpha, I don't think that pointing to the system by which inmates arrive at the system is responsive to a question about the legal implications of situating the facility beyond American territory. At least, it isn't without more (I suppose it could be with a bridging argument, although none suggests itself).

The bounty system is an imperfect response to a policy challenge: the need to take custody of persons belonging to a broad class whose identities may not be known to us but may be known to others, and the need to take custody of specific persons who are beyond our reach but who are certainly within the reach of someone.

I'm not gung ho for the system, by the way, I simply defer to the President - and that includes President Obama - on decisions that depend on privity to information the President has and I do not.

AJ Lynch said...

"Libtards" is my new favorite word.

Big Mike said...

Alpha, I'd trust the Pentagon before I'd trust any other agency of the federal government. I've seen them screw up (I actually worked in there a couple more decades ago than I like to think about) but I've seen every other agency screw up worse. It just doesn't make the papers when the EPA okays mercury-filled florescent bulbs or DOT mandates airbags despite scientific data indicating that they are a serious danger to children in the front seat, whereas Pat Tillman made every paper.

Simon said...

Maguro said...
"The gulags were forced labor camps where millions were literally worked to death. None of that is happening at Gitmo, so for [critics] to say that Guantanamo Bay as 'America's gulag' is just self-serving, holier-than-thou bullshit."

It's illiterate bullshit, too. Gulag - more precisely, GULag - is an acronym for Главное Управление Лагерей ("Main Administration of Camps" (emphasis added)), which is in turn an abbreviation of that directorate's full title: Главное Управление исправительно-Трудовых Лагерей и колоний ("Main administration of Correctional working camps and colonies" (emphasis added)). Note the plural forms, emphasizing what we already know about the subject: The Gulag was a system, comprised of many camps, for which the administrative department overseeing it has become a shorthand (much as one refers to "the Pentagon" as a shorthand for the command structure of the U.S. Armed Forces). This being so, it would be strange to refer to one camp as "the American Gulag," a fortiori when it is not only one camp but the camp.

(There's a private joke in that last sentence for those who speak Russian.)

Paul Zrimsek said...

This is not the Pentagon I thought I knew. But will something that big fit under the bus?

SMGalbraith said...

It's illiterate bullshit, too

Characterizing that smear - Gitmo as the American gulag - as illiterate bullshit is, frankly, insulting real illiterate bullshit.

It's bullshit on stilts (to paraphrase Bentham).

Recall that Solzhenitsyn was sent to one of the forced labor camps of the Gulag for merely writing a letter to a friend in which he criticized Stalin's military leadership during the war.

Eight years for that.

The final straw for me with Andrew Sullivan was when he too began calling it "Bush's Gulag." I'll forgive the historical ignorance of those on the left about the camps but Sullivan knows better.

He's a disgrace.

dick said...

What is funny about this is that Obama has just decided that the prison in Bagram will be used to house prisoners picked up for exactly the same reasons as the prisoners at Gitmo. And this is announced on the same day as the Pentagon study of Gitmo. Hope and Change and Liberal Hypocrisy in action.

EDH said...

AL,

Some of the points in the source you cite don't add up to me.

Vandeveld: The Catholics have a long history of 'justified war,' and I expected the priest would urge me to do my duty as ethically as I could and try to change the system from within. Instead, very quickly and simply, he said that I should quit, that I was cooperating with evil, that the whole world knew that Gitmo is farce. That gave me significant pause and caused me a crisis of a sort I'd never encountered. I took a few days, went to monastery in DC, thought and prayed over the decision, analyzed it as intelligently as I could, and decided the priest was right and I should ask to be released.

So, let me get this straight. This prosecuter supposedly in the thick of things Gitmo, but who only documents his position in terms of one prisoner's case, relies on a priest who tells him "that [he] was cooperating with evil, that the whole world knew that Gitmo is farce"?

Yikes, talk about faith-based reality!

Riptide: What is your take on Obama's order to close the detention camps in Guantanamo Bay within the year?

Vandeveld: Clearly, it's the right decision and it will be the first step in restoring a measure of credibility to the U.S. Already, we're beginning to see a favorable reaction on the part of the allies in the EU who had resisted any idea of resettlement for detainees no longer deemed to be threats.


Okay, riddle me this. If Gitmo was so bad, at least before, why wouldn't those countries have been more apt to take prisoners back then, if there concern was for the innocent prisoners?

Cedarford said...

AlphaLib - I've never heard a strong defense of this bounty system. Care to give it a shot?

Ever visit a Post Office?
Say you objected to the posters?

Did you ever write the FBI and say you objected to the 10 Most Wanted List and rewards offered for getting dangerous people like the Unabomber?

SMGalbraith said...

Ever visit a Post Office?
Say you objected to the posters?


Well, the US government also has a $50 million (Senate vote) bounty out for bin Laden. Similarly for Zawahiri et al.

I don't recall complaints about that monetary reward.

Not to mention the bounty for the thug Eric Rudolph who blew up abortion clinics.

Hard to tell when some people are feigning ignorance or are just that.

Freeman Hunt said...

Obama didn't screw up. He altered the reality of Guantanamo with the godlike powers of his mind.

AlphaLiberal said...

AJ Lynch:
"Libtards" is my new favorite word.

Let me guess your age. 12? Or just your maturity?

Sadly representative of too many people on the right.

AlphaLiberal said...

Cedarford makes a serious point:
Ever visit a Post Office?
Say you objected to the posters?

Yes and no. You're comparing apples and watermelons.

Those people are on those posters as a result of some type of investigative process. And, when caught, they will not be held indefinitely, will not be denied due process or denied habeas corpus.

Many, not all, of the people in Gitmo were delivered to US forces who then heard of them for the first time and whose guilt was based on the word of the bounty collector.

"One of these things is not like the other."

Revenant said...

There are plenty of reasons to close Gitmo despite its being completely legal. I don't AGREE with the reasons, but they do exist.

For example, most of the populations of our allied democracies disapprove of the prison. It has been argued that we should close the prison to make them happy.

HelenParr said...

If people rejected the message (Gitmo is O.K.) because of the messenger (W), then I'm fine with people trusting the new messenger (Obama) so they can believe the truth (Gitmo is O.K.)

Obama has been like Baby Bear, or is it Goldilocks?, getting things 'just right' about the third try. The campaign response to the Russian incursion into Georgia is the first that springs to mind. I'm adapting to listening to his third iteration before I believe him.

I'm flexible.

Alex said...

What is there to think about? The lefties say it has to be closed down immediately because Gitmo is the worst Gulag that ever existed because ChimpyMcBushHitler ran it.

Michael Hasenstab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
birdie bob said...

Professor, are you ready to admit you made a mistake in voting for Obama? Also, the detainees at Guantanamo, as illegal enemy combatants, never came under the jurisdiction of either the US Constitution or the Geneva Convention.

Paul Snively said...

Darcy: I hope he does say he screwed up and then gets a lot of grief from the lunatics. They both deserve some of that.

As psychodrama, preferably with catharsis, I couldn't agree more. As political process at the federal level of the government of the United States of America, I couldn't agree less.

Darcy: And then I hope he gets a real backbone about it and offers a secure alternative or leaves it open.

That sounds, to me, a great deal like our hostess' stated hope: that Obama would govern from the center, serve as an effective foil to the extreme elements of the Democratic legislature (Reid, Pelosi, et al.), and accept ownership of the issues facing our society (the two-front war, the economy, etc.

How do you think that's working out so far?

Darcy: I hope...I hope...oh, never mind.

Yeah. That's roughly where I'm at, too.

JAL said...

It has been argued that we should close the prison to make them happy.

So what ... we send the internees over to our European allies so the Germans (for one) can set them free? (As they did with one of the 911 planners who stayed in Europe.)

How does that work?

Paul Snively said...

HelenParr: Obama has been like Baby Bear, or is it Goldilocks?, getting things 'just right' about the third try. The campaign response to the Russian incursion into Georgia is the first that springs to mind. I'm adapting to listening to his third iteration before I believe him.

Microsoft generally gets their products to be barely usable by version 3.0, too, but life is still too short to use their products!

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
From Inwood said...

Actually, if Panetta’s ticking time bomb happens, then this report will be inoperable, you know.

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

None of that is happening at Gitmo, so for you to say that Guantanamo Bay as "America's gulag" is just self-serving, holier-than-thou bullshit.

Not to mention it trivializes the horror of the people who lived in and / or survived the gulags. Ditto the victims and survivors of Hilter's and the Japanese concentration camps.

Marginalize, minimize, trivialize because the vocabulary and thought process is so constricted in the Reality Based Community.

4:41 PM

Alex said...

JAL - my point is that to the left Gitmo is "America's gulag", "America's enduring eternal shame".

David said...

Steve McQueen was a bounty hunter. Are we going to dishonor Steve McQueen?

The U.S. Navy was based on bounty hunters. Helped us win the revolutionary war.

Federal Prosecutors are bounty hunters. Prosecute a high profile person successfully and get either (1) a big fine for the Treasury, or (2) a high paying job at a law firm. Or both.

Corporate whistleblowers are bounty hunters. (Liberals love them, right.)

So are plaintiff mass tort lawyers--another liberal heart throb.

I could go on and on.

It all depends on what the bounty is being paid for, I guess.

ObamaNation said...

AlphaLiberal said: "You're comparing apples and watermelons."

You racist bastard.

I always thought that you were a conservative racist, masquerading as a liberal. This proves it.

UWS guy said...

I'll substitute internment camp for gulag. As everyone knows that America has a clean record on the former.

So you can quit the wailing and gnashing of teeth over stalins Russia.

Alex said...

UWS - I wonder what America would have to do short of dissolving itself to rectify it's moral misdeeds over the last 200+ years.

JAL said...

Got it Alex.

Isn't this the left doing the moral equivalence dance?

And yes, we look back at the internment and can be ashamed. We are so much more humane and enlightened now.

So what is the point of this gulag exchange now? We are evil because of the WWII internment and we have some bad dudes locked up who want to blow us up or cut our heads off if we don't bow to their god? (And not incidently dismantle the United States of America?)

Alex said...

JAL - isn't America guilty of so many evils?

* Manifest destiny = genocide against Native Americans
* slavery of blacks until 1865
* Jim Crow until 1960s
* Women not given the franchise until around 1920
* Imperialism against the Philippines in the turn of the 20th century
* Internment of Japanese during WW2
* Firebombing of Tokyo/Dresden
* Atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki
* Carpet bombing in Vietnam
* atrocities in Vietnam, including napalm, Agent Orange, Mai Lai massacre, other massacres
* Reagan firing the air traffic controllers in 1981
* Bush's illegal war against Iraq
* Bush's lies about WMDs

I'm sure the list can go on for pages

PatCA said...

Which country do you approve of, Alex?

I suggest you investigate them for a year or so (maybe 8 years) and you will find they are just as "evil" as we are.

Maguro said...

Alex, you forgot the introduction of the designated hitter rule in 1975. An ongoing national shame.

Seven Machos said...

Good point, Maguro. I would also add that there aren't nearly enough decent fast food restaurants within walking distance of my house. It's such a hassle to take the train or jump in a cab.

Seven Machos said...

UWS -- Yes, those internment camps were dreadful. To think, we would enslave millions of Japanese people and force them into hard labor, killing a huge percentage of them from ill health and another huge percentage from outright execution. Just like Stalin.

Muggins said...

Uncle Sam spent $500 million to improve the prison, it ought to pass. Call it "Vacation in Cuba". Ask yourself, would you choose Attica or Guantanamo?

Alex said...

Muggins said...

Uncle Sam spent $500 million to improve the prison, it ought to pass. Call it "Vacation in Cuba". Ask yourself, would you choose Attica or Guantanamo?

1:53 AM

Gitmo is worse then Auschwitz.

John said...

I feel like I'm in the back of a bus being driven by a 12 year old.

Frumson Wooters said...

Aaron,

Having the military investigate the Pentagon is merely peer review.

And peer review is a perfectly valid basis for making political decisiona about global warming, is it not?

Why the squawk?

Frumson Wooters said...

Aaron,

Having the military investigate the Pentagon is merely peer review.

And peer review is a perfectly valid basis for making political decision about global warming, is it not? Why is it not valid for other political decisions?

Frumson Wooters said...

Aaron,

Having the military investigate the Pentagon is merely peer review.

And peer review is a perfectly valid basis for making political decisions about global warming, is it not? Why isn't it valid for other political decisions?

Yos said...

The Messiah admitted. Isn't it about time that YOU admit "I screwed up"? after all, you voted for mr. "I screwed up"...

Revenant said...

Having the military investigate the Pentagon is merely peer review.

No, it is self-review. Peer review would be if some other government have Gitmo the thumbs-up.

A Jacksonian said...

I regret the length of this, but the margins do allow and an elegant revelation is not forthcoming.

Bounties on those waging Private War? Why yes, I do go over that, in part, when looking at the nature of the enemy, and, really, the best place to start is with On the Laws of War and Peace by Hugo Grotius, Book I, Chapter 3:

"I. THE first and most necessary divisions of war are into one kind called private, another public, and another mixed. Now public war is carried on by the person holding the sovereign power. Private war is that which is carried on by private persons without authority from the state. A mixed war is that which is carried on, on one side by public authority, and on the other by private persons. But private war, from its greater antiquity, is the first subject for inquiry.

The proofs that have been already produced, to shew that to repel violence is not repugnant to natural law, afford a satisfactory reason to justify private war, as far as the law of nature is concerned. But perhaps it may be thought that since public tribunals have been erected, private redress of wrongs is not allowable. An objection which is very just. Yet although public trials and courts of Justice are not institutions of nature, but erected by the invention of men, yet as it is much more conducive to the peace of society for a matter in dispute to be decided by a disinterested person, than by the partiality and prejudice of the party aggrieved, natural justice and reason will dictate the necessity and advantage of every one's submitting to the equitable decisions of public judges. Paulus, the Lawyer, observes that "what can be done by a magistrate with the authority of the state should never be intrusted to individuals; as private redress would give rise to greater disturbance. And "the reason, says King Theodoric, why laws were invented, was to prevent any one from using personal violence, for wherein would peace differ from all the confusion of war, if private disputes were terminated by force?" And the law calls it force for any man to seize what he thinks his due, without seeking a legal remedy."

He first defines what Private War, or less solemn war, is - a thing retained by all people as it is a liberty given us under the Laws of Nature. Indeed, the beastial human is one who uses Private War to their own ends without seeking recourse to the organs of society known as government. Therefore, under the Law of Nations, that is not Public War (to which we are accustomed) but Private War waged with no higher authority from society's organs.

Now does the State have recourse to less solemn Public War against those who wage Private War? Grotius continues:

"IV. Public war, according to the law of nations, is either SOLEMN, that is FORMAL, or LESS SOLEMN, that is INFORMAL. The name of lawful war is commonly given to what is here called formal, in the same sense in which a regular will is opposed to a codicil, or a lawful marriage to the cohabitation of slaves. This opposition by no means implies that it is not allowed to any man, if he pleases, to make a codicil, or to slaves to cohabit in matrimony, but only, that, by the civil law, FORMAL WILLS and SOLEMN MARRIAGES, were attended with peculiar privileges and effects. These observations were the more necessary ; because many, from a misconception of the word just or lawful, think that all wars, to which those epithets do not apply, are condemned as unjust and unlawful. Now to give a war the formality required by the law of nations, two things are necessary. In the first place it must be made on both sides, by the sovereign power of the state, and in the next place it must be accompanied with certain formalities. Both of which are so essential that one is insufficient without the other.

Now a public war, LESS SOLEMN, may be made without those formalities, even against private persons, and by any magistrate whatever. And indeed, considering the thing without respect to the civil law, every magistrate, in case of resistance, seems to have a right to take up arms, to maintain his authority in the execution of his offices; as well as to defend the people committed to his protection. But as a whole state is by war involved in danger, it is an established law in almost all nations that no war can be made but by the authority of the sovereign in each state. There is such a law as this in the last book of Plato ON LAWS. And by the Roman law, to make war, or levy troops without a commission from the Prince was high treason. According to the Cornelian law also, enacted by Lucius Cornelius Sylla, to do so without authority from the people amounted to the same crime. In the code of Justinian there is a constitution, made by Valentinian and Valens, that no one should bear arms without their knowledge and authority. Conformably to this rule, St. Augustin says, that as peace is most agreeable to the natural state of man, it is proper that Princes should have the sole authority to devise and execute the operations of war. Yet this general rule, like all others, in its application must always be limited by equity and discretion."

The answer is: yes.

Via the Law of Nations any Nation has the right to go after those who wage Private War. In fact that is one of the prime reasons to HAVE civil government: to ensure that no one takes up to waging Private War and cause society to collapse by doing so. And do note that this power tends to be in the Executive area, although we, in the United States, have Constitutionally divided levying of forces and formal declaration into the Legislative realm, the Executive and Head of the Armies and the Navies has the responsibility and means to go after such individuals on the power of the Presidency: that is what Jefferson called upon and left Congress fuming that it did not have the power to stop him asa the power of the Head of State, Commander of the Armies and the Navies and Head of Government vested the external protection of the Nation against those waging Private War in the President. Getting a deeper commitment means going to Congress.

In Book III, Chapter 2 this power is then examined:

"IV. Another method of obtaining redress for any violation of persons, or property is by having recourse to what, in modern language, are called REPRISALS, which the Saxons and Angles denominated WITHERNAM, and to which the French gave the name of LETTERS OF MARQUE, and those were usually obtained from the crown.

V. It is generally understood that recourse may be had to this method of redress not only against a foreign aggressor, but also against a debtor, if justice cannot be obtained in due time: but in NOTORIOUS cases, which admit of no doubt, this right may be enforced even beyond the strict letter of the law. For even in DOUBTFUL matters, the presumption will always be in favour of judges appointed by public authority. For it is unlikely that they should GREATLY, or WANTONLY exceed their power; especially when, if so inclined, they have not the same means of enforcing their decrees against foreigners, as against their fellow subjects. Indeed even in disputes between subjects of the same country, they cannot annul a just debt. Paulus, the Lawyer, says that a REAL DEBTOR, though discharged, owing to some informality or inability of the law to enforce payment, still remains a debtor according to the law of nature.

And when, in consequence of a judicial sentence, a creditor, under pretext of seizing his own property, had taken from a debtor something which did not belong to him though it was in his possession: upon the discharge of the debt, a doubt arising whether the thing should be restored to the debtor, Scaevola maintained that it certainly ought to be restored.

There is a difference between the two cases. For subjects, AS SUCH, cannot make any violent resistance to the execution of a sentence, which they may not deem satisfactory, nor can they prosecute any right in opposition to the law. FOREIGNERS may use violent means to enforce a right: tho' they are not justified in using such means, while there is any possibility of obtaining redress in a legal, and peaceable manner.

It is on such grounds that reprisals are made upon the persons and property of the subjects, belonging to a power, who refuses to grant redress and reparation for injuries and aggressions. It is a practice not literally enacted by the law of nature, but generally received through custom. It is a practice too of the greatest antiquity: for in the eleventh book of the Iliad, we find Nestor giving an account of the reprisals, which he had made upon the Epeian nation, from whom he took a great number of cattle, as a satisfaction for a prize which his father Nelcus had won at the Elian games; and for debts due to many private subjects of the Pylian kingdom. Out of this booty the king having selected his own due, equitably divided the rest among the other creditors."

The Letters of Marque and Reprisals language is the exact power given to Congress to more fully extract redress against those that wage less solemn or Private War against the United States and yet cannot be properly addressed by the President's powers alone. They may be in hiding, continually moving, or have some advantage in place, position or power to otherwise thwart standard military redress. Do note the citation by Grotius going back to the late Bronze Age and, indeed, later evidence and documentation in our modern times confirms this from the Hittite foreign affairs archive as a clear statement that those waging less solemn war back then were known and the method of treatment against them varied from that of Public War.

The concept behind the bounty is to extract exacting punishment on a 1:1 basis against those waging Private War. Grotius upholds that as does de Vattel under the Law of Nations, and it is seen not as 'revenge' but gaining an exact amount to ameliorate damages done by those waging Private War. Thus, say, if al Qaeda did $1 trillion to the commercial real estate market and insurers, Congress could, legitimately, set up means for those wishing to take up Public War and be held accountable to those standards set by Congress, to go after al Qaeda property and individuals with a given price on their head. Traditioinally those funds garnered either go to those who have received damage and hired such people to go after these less solemn enemies, or to the individuals holding the Nation's Letters for doing such work. This is a most civilized way to go after those that have done this sort of act. Indeed Blackstone offers a definition of piracy fully in line with this definition of Private War in Book 4, Chapter 5:

"LASTLY, the crime of piracy, or robbery and depredation upon the high seas, is an offense against the universal law of society; a pirate being, according to Sir Edward Coke,10 hostis humani generis [enemy to mankind]. As therefore he has renounced all the benefits of society and government, and has reduced himself afresh to the savage state of nature, by declaring war against all mankind, all mankind must declare war against him: so that every community has a right, by the rule of self-defense, to inflict that punishment upon him, which every individual would in a state of nature have been otherwise entitled to do, any invasion of his person or personal property."

Not only do you have the right to personal, self-protection against such people, but the Nation does too.

Bounties, then are perfectly legitimate, indeed quite weak tea, when it comes to maintaining the order of civilization under the Law of Nations. While our common law heritage shifts much of the Admiralty into a civil court, the military side of those concepts date back to the 14th century and the first international compendium of trade laws in The Black Book of the Admiralty. It is of no surprise that much of modern, western laws on the sea and its uses date back to Roman times, but those laws from Rome are, themselves, a recognition of the international order amongst States that goes back much farther into antiquity as defining how States work amongst themselves and what the other recourses are to ensure that trade is regularize and protected on the high seas. Those ideas also apply to the land based areas and one can find, even before the Trojan War, accounts of Kings and Princes often going after 'armies of thieves' or brigands as they would pirates. This actually brings up the case of Captain Morgan who, if it is remembered, staged two attacks ON LAND and yet was accused of piracy. He went back to England to clear his name via the Admiralty Courts system as he had no knowledge of a peace treaty between England and Spain and was acting under orders previous grant from the Crown. He was not only cleared of piracy charges, but Knighted for his courage to come back and demonstrate his good faith on those orders.

Thus bounties, far from being the abnormal state of affairs amongst Nations, is a relatively normal and regular part of being civilized and making others accountable to those civilized standards of needing to take up arms only under National Sovereign authority. In the US that is via Congress making laws and the Executive acting upon them, which includes the ability to set bounty on mere criminals overseas and goes all the way up to handing out Letters to private citizens or their companies willing to take the risk to damage those that have attacked the Nation in the less solemn realm on the private side.

The US is not serious about fighting al Qaeda. Congress has not done its job at all and is remiss in not allowing for exacting 1:1 punishment to be meted out by our citizens willing to privately take up arms against our enemies under Congressional authorization. We have extreme limits on Public War means with the National armed forces: private individuals are still held accountable to that, but when authorized have their own leeway to take activities against such enemies as the Nation may not have the ability to get to. If we started handing out Letters to those willing to go after the logistical supplies flowing to al Qaeda on the order of $1 trillion for 9/11, plus the hundreds of millions caused in the Embassy bombings and USS Cole attacks (at the very minimum) that would keep a very, very high price tag on al Qaeda and put on notice that any supplying them are legitimate targets.

We did not start that war.

We can end it, but we must be civilized and follow the procedures and protocols we designed to protect us. That is what they are there for and any wishing to degrade them wishes to diminish the harsh aspect of civilization that marks us off from our animal nature and yet still hold those accountable who revert back to it. Those wishing to deprive us of this right must know that they are not more civilized, but more decadent in seeking to elevate those who basely take power to themselves to do as they will and not be held accountable up to the same level as those who maintain citizenship in Nations by acting lawfully. When the law is used to punish those being victimized, then it is ill law and points to an ill society, one that has gone decadent into a high state of decay.

hm said...

"proud" of him, ann?

yes, i'm glad he chose to break another campaign promise and not precipitously close guantanamo.

but, no, i can't be "proud" of someone who for years demagogued this issue for his own gain -- much to the detriment of our country.

i can't be "proud" of him because he NOW chooses to behave responsibly when it, of course, is in his interest to behave responsibly.

BellyLaugh said...

Jacksonian: I'll bet you come off as a ridiculous windbag in person too.

Nagarajan said...

Those people are on those posters as a result of some type of investigative process. And, when caught, they will not be held indefinitely, will not be denied due process or denied habeas corpus.

Many, not all, of the people in Gitmo were delivered to US forces who then heard of them for the first time and whose guilt was based on the word of the bounty collector.


AlhpaLiberal, you demonstrate the reason why "LibTARD" came to existence. And i dont want to insult you personally. I say this sincerely.

Al Qaeda/Taliban/terrorists do not have any protections WHATSOEVER under Geneva conventions. NONE. What ever is granted to them is nothing more than the generosity of the American Government. In my view, it is more than generosity - it is downright stupidity.

Habeas Corpus was not granted to the prisoners of war in WW2 - even those people who were covered by Geneva Conventions. AQ does not wear any uniforms, does not represent any state, and it sure as hell does not follow the Geneva Conventions itself.

The real hard question is - how sure are we that these people are actually connected to Al Qaeda ? that's a very good question. You question the bounty hunters who captured these prisioners and transferred them to the US armed forces in Afghanistan, before they were transported to Gitmo.

You how ever overlook the fact that the US forces had to rely on local support to get hold of people who either fought/trained in AQ camps or were suspected to having ties.

I will admit that some these people may very well be innocent - however there are many many innocent people who get screwed by circumstantial evidence in civilian cases in the US. They go through the "system" and are afforded a trial and after all that end up in jail ! What do you have to say about that ??

People who recognize that the current system is imperfect at best still support it because they know that there are actual terrorists in the prison as well. People against whom you cannot prove a case in a civilian court, but only in a military tribunal.

No one in the Pentagon is INSANE enough to allow their men to testify openly in a court as to how they secretly gathered their intel. Liberals like you may welcome such a prospect, but the Pentagon would NEVER EVER allow such nonsense.

Also, you have NEVER uttered a word about actual terrorists who are in Gitmo - if you think most of these people are innocent, i would like to what evidence you have to make that claim ?? What do you have to say for the terrorists who ARE in Gitmo ? Do you think that the US military is wasting its time, energy, and the lives of its men and women to keep innocent prisioners ?

You think they just listened to the bounty hunters and took these people in ?? without doing any intel work on them ??

Think about it this way - what use does the Pentagon have chasing false terrorists ? Are you questioning their professional conduct now? That they are all doing this as a show for the American people ??

This war is definitely unchartered territory for the US Government. It also didnt start post 9/11. If you cared, you would have found out that the program of extraordinary rendition was carried out by the Clinton Admn when a certain Leon Panetta was WH Cos. Today, he is the head of DCI.

So, lets review - the US Govt started the process of rendition BEFORE 9/11 under the Clinton admn. the Bush Govt has continued that policy for good reason. And now the Obama govt is doing the same.

What due process do these people have ? In fact rendition is carried out to explicitly AVOID the due process of extradition. Are these "suspects" treated any better than the ones at Gitmo ??

Liberals like you have simply not thought through the issues at hand - you have been more than content to blame the evil BushChimpHitler. You are more than ready to assume the worst of your military service men and women.

You read ONE case and immediately passed judgement on what Gitmo is. Is this what you liberals call empirical evidence ??

You utter shallowness when it comes to the war on terror shows - and it reflects rather poorly on you.

Do youtself a favor - keep yourself up to date on what the Obama administration is doing. Read Instapundit, Volokh and other legal oriented blogs.

The head of the DNI is a guy who refuses to call waterboarding torture - THIS GUY was appointed by Obama !! Go figure.

LibTARD may not be the right word - but how do you describe people who have a really shallow idea of what exactly is going on, do not think through the implication of habeas corpus for stateless terrorists, are ready to condemn the evil Bush for nothing more than political purposes and are ready to assume the worst of their military while ready to grant assumption of innocence to EVERY ONE at Gitmo ??

OldGrouchy said...

Two comments, seriously:
1. It's that famous side effect of a circular firing squad! Ouch, that hurts!
2. Remember those old words of wisdom (?): Ready, fire, aim!

JAL said...

Alex says Gitmo is worse then Auschwitz.

Right.

Wiki - "Following the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Oświęcim was annexed by Nazi Germany and renamed Auschwitz, the town's German name. Up to then, there had been no special significance attached to the name; for example, "Duke of Auschwitz" was for centuries one of the minor titles held by the Habsburg Emperors (see Francis II), which at the time was completly innocuous and unimportant.

The camp commandant, Rudolf Höß, testified at the Nuremberg Trials that up to 3 million people had died at Auschwitz. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum has revised this figure to 1.1 million,[1][2] about 90 percent of whom were Jews from almost every country in Europe.[3] Most victims were killed in Auschwitz II's gas chambers using Zyklon B; other deaths were caused by systematic starvation, forced labor, lack of disease control, individual executions, and purported 'medical experiments'."

Michael McNeil said...

Alex the loon sez:
Gitmo is worse then Auschwitz.

As a result of a debate on another list, yesterday I completely read through (scanning over irrelevant or duplicative material) all 244 pages of the FBI's report on detainee abuses at Guantanamo, which one can access here (pdf).

Few real abuses, and no “torture,” was revealed — while, one might note, nothing like the abuses by those unsupervised out-of-control night-shift guards at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was observed or documented. Here's a summary of what can be found in that report:

In one solitary case, a detainee exhibited some injuries to fingers and face, reportedly due to his fighting with his guards — totally unbelievable, right?

Another was seen to have a nosebleed, supposedly because he'd thrown himself to the floor in a fit of defiance. That's somewhat suspicious, but not too implausible.

In another instance, a prisoner was observed to have duct tape placed over his mouth — reportedly because he wouldn't shut up.

Sometimes interrogators were seen shouting at the detainee they were interrogating, or blowing cigar smoke at him.

In one case (asserted by a prisoner, not witnessed by the submitter), a woman interrogator supposedly removed her blouse, snuggled up against the detainee's back, fondled his genitals, and finally streaked her then-flowing menstrual blood on his face (sure).

In other instances, women interrogators would reportedly wet their fingers and touch a detainee's face — making him feel unclean. (Just awful abuse, right?)

Then there was a reported case where a woman interrogator supposedly performed a lap dance on a prisoner. (Can you please torture me too that way? Pretty please?)

Another reported case had an interrogator “squat” over a Koran (but not actually defile it) in view of a prisoner being interrogated.

The most common report was of loud “satanic” music playing while bright strobe lights flashed on a prisoner chained to a floor ring in an interrogation chamber. Now that's torture! (Not.)

Sometimes the air conditioning was said to have been turned up, or turned off — resulting in temperatures sometimes too hot, or getting all the way down to (gasp) 55 degrees! (A common phenomenon in my own home, as it happens, since during winter I normally heat only a single room, via a wood stove. Indeed, the temperature in my home right now is 55 degrees F. [13 Celsius]. I didn't realize it, but I'm torturing myself!)

Note that I don't claim that conditions experienced by recalcitrant detainees under interrogation at Guantanamo were comfortable. However, all situations documented fall a) enormously short of real torture, while b) 55 degrees in particular is hardly life or health threatening.

All the while, one listens to detainees swearing that they're simple farmers erroneously detained (yet, mysteriously, whose hands are soft and not heavily calloused the way farmers throughout the ages' hands have always been), whilst having traveled to all kinds of places round the world: Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan — disturbingly, America — beaten for weeks in Saudi Arabia, etc., etc. But they're supposedly just simple farmers accidentally roped into the gulag, sure.

Other interviews by FBI agents investigating conditions at GTMO reveal prisoners reporting being mistreated by “lack of mail/delay in mail,” “not being allowed to grow their hair/beards to desired length,” and so forth. Horror of horrors!

It's very clear that what went on at that “American gulag” at Guantanamo would lead any actual torturer (at say the real gulags the Soviets formerly maintained, or at Nazi death camps) to laugh uproarously at how utterly tame it was and naive the Americans running the place were.

What a waste of time perusing through all that stuff.

While Alex is completely absurd.

AlphaLiberal said...

More information on conditions at Guantanamo Bay:

Contrary to statements by the military, conditions at Guantánamo have not improved for the majority of detainees and are still in violation of the law. In this report, we describe the current conditions of confinement for the men at Guantánamo and make recommendations for bringing Camps 5, 6 and Echo into immediate compliance with "all applicable laws" governing the conditions of confinement of detainees, as required by President Obama's Executive Order.

From the Center for Constitutional Rights

Did the Pentagon even address legality in their report?

AlphaLiberal said...

Michael McNeil,

Are you sure you're deserving of such arrogance?

The document you're passing along is from 2004. The Bush Years. Read slowly: Bush investigating Bush is a worthless investigation.

For you to insult someone based on your deep embrace of a Bush/Cheney cover-up document really makes you look pretty dumb.

You know, like the one of the last people who should be calling someone a "loon".

AlphaLiberal said...

Reading on:

"It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways -- all orchestrated by the United States government," Binyam Mohamed 30, said in the statement released by his attorneys at a London news conference.

From the Wash Post.

Not all of the torture he reports occurred in the US or Gitmo. Some was in "secret prisons in Morocco and Afghanistan and legal limbo in a system where he was held without charge for much of his detention."

AlphaLiberal said...

I meant to post the other day in a response on the bounty system for finding guilt:

Do you feel safer knowing our government is locking up the wrong people in many cases? It's hard to imagine why that would make a person feel safer.

Michael McNeil said...

AL, as mentally clouded as Alex, arm-waves:
Are you sure you're deserving of such arrogance? The document you're passing along is from 2004. The Bush Years. Read slowly: Bush investigating Bush is a worthless investigation.

2004 was the height of the period when “Bush” was supposedly running roughshod over individual and constitutional rights.

Moreover, “Bush” investigated nobody. It was the FBI — with very different authorized methods from the DOD — that was investigating the latter. If AL thinks that everybody at the FBI (not to speak of the DOD) is automatically subservient to “Bush”’s will, then he's embracing the conspiracy-theory approach to (ir)rationality — as in, everybody's against me. But, of course, conspiracy theories are, in general, idiotic.

It's simply impossible to unanimously usurp entire largish organizations in a basically (little-d) democratic society, any more than the theory (believed by millions of foolish people around the world) that 4,000 Jews were warned on the morning on 9/11 not to turn up at the office at the World Trade Center. Such a secret known by even dozens much less hundreds and thousands of people cannot be kept — yet nobody has turned up with proof that they were involved in such a plot. Hence, that conspiracy theory can be dismissed simply by examination.

Somewhat similarly, when the FBI (part of a totally different Cabinet department, containing many people who joined up during prior administrations) comes in to investigate, and finds virtually nothing after interviewing not only the DOD interrogators, along with many others at the base who too have eyes and can see, but also the detainees themselves, the idea that “Bush” had overarching complete control of the resulting message is absurd.

For you to insult someone based on your deep embrace of a Bush/Cheney cover-up document really makes you look pretty dumb.

I don't “deep[ly] embrace” the document, whereas AL does embrace his conspiracy theories, as is obvious to anyone (other than, as least by all appearances, like dissemblers) who reads his postings.

You know, like the one of the last people who should be calling someone a “loon.”

AL's one too, as is anybody who thinks (or defends the assertion) that Guantanamo is remotely like Auschwitz. It doesn't take much brains to see that that's utter rubbish — but brains clearly aren't AL's forte, or he'd choose the causes to defend more carefully.