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Innocents in Gitmo

Discussion in 'Middle Eastern Politics' started by PLC1, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Not all of the "terrorists" locked up at Gitmo are the "worst of the worst", nor are they all terrorists by any means.

    Thanks to the Supreme Court and the fourth estate, the truth just might come out finally.

    Read the rest here.
     
  2. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    Yeah, right, and neither were any of the ones that have been released, and returned to terrorism.

    Dead Taleban Leader Was Guantanamo Detainee
    Thanks to SCOTUS and the "fourth estate" our troops in the field may very well once again be facing the "worst of the worst" who have managed to conceal their identities as Mehsud did.
     
  3. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I see. Are you against the idea of putting them on trial to see which are really terrorists and which are goat herders who were turned in for the reward money?
     
  4. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Just a background on the law and legal precedence behind the Bush administrations actions in regards to GTMO.

    The decision to deny Al Quada and Taliban detainees POW protections was the proper interpretation of the treaty. The US position on this regard has been in place since the 1980's.

    The battle started under the Reagan administration when the issue of the Protocol I amendments to the Geneva Convention came up.

    The POW protections in the Geneva Conventions were designed to give soldiers an incentive to fight in ways that minimized suffering among combatants and civilians alike. If a soldier wears a uniform and complies with the basic laws of war, he would be treated well if caught. But if (as terrorists do) he wears ordinary clothes and hides among civilians, he endangers the innocent and acts treacherously toward rival soldiers, and thus receives no rights under the Geneva Convention.

    In the 1970's, so-called national liberation movements, such as the PLO, tried to alter the understanding of the laws in Protocol I by extending POW and other "combatant" protections to all fighters (such as members of the PLO) who hid among civilians.

    This effort dovetailed with the agenda of the nascent human rights movement and groups such as the Red Cross. They saw this as an opportunity to to import more demanding human rights standards into the laws of war by rejecting Geneva's traditional reciprocity requirements by ensuring that there were "no gaps" in the basic protections provided to even the most vicious and law defying combatants. The United States refused to ratify Protocol I and therefore it never became part of United States law.

    When the Bush administration acted in 2002 to deny these "combatants" legal protections under the Geneva Conventions he was acting in step with this long held US position that these type fighters should be denied these legal protections. As Will Taft said, "The lawyers all agree that Al Quada and Taliban fighters are presumptively not POW's."

    The problem came about because in 2001 almost all of the United States European allies had ratified Protocol I and viewed the US rejection of it as a rejection of International Law (incorrectly), and through the same lens of the "de-signing" of the ICC treaty, as well as the failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol (which was a good move by the US), and the withdrawal from the ABM treaty with Russia as a "cowboy" like attitude that the US had taken which would go against their international law norms.

    Legally, their views were incorrect, as the United States had never adhered to this Protocol of the Geneva Conventions and therefore was not bound in any manner by it. Their disagreements came mostly in the form of customary law arguments which are ruled void if a US law is in place.

    This also followed the legal precedent set by the Clinton White House when he held over 40,000 Cuban "boat people" on the island so that they would not be able to request the political asylum as they would be able to if they were on US soil. Clinton also created the rendition programs and first got the legal order that the US was in an "armed conflict" with Al Quada in 1998 to avoid the ban on murders and assassinations should they find Bin Laden.

    Bush's decision to hold prisoners in this facility had clear legal precedent and was no by means against the law or even controversial within all branches of the administration. Only now through the eyes of European international law (that the US never ratified or ascribed to) we are being forced to grant these people legal rights, which is most certainly ridiculous.
     
  5. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    This "innocents" is a howler - a hallucination in the parallel universe inhabited by appeasers. Just cuz the guy was caught on the battlefield holding a hot AK-47, there's no reason to assume he's the enemy! :) Did they check him for dog tags? :D
     
  6. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    No, but these trials should come in the forms on military commissions. Trials were started last week for some of these members, and they went about quickly making it a mockery. Imagine the spectacle that a civilian trial would entail to try these people. I think if they are innocent it can come out in a military commission, where they are not able to turn the proceedings into a mockery.
     
  7. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    And yet, many innocents have been incarcerated for years, while real terrorists have been released.
     
  8. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    We are supposed to compromise the entire operation because a report said that a few dozen people may be innocent? The people who are in GTMO were not just randomly selected and sent there, they are picked up on the battle field or implicated in terrorist activity.

    One released detainee, Abdallah Salih al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti, committed a successful suicide attack in Mosul, on March 25 2008. Al-Ajmi had been repatriated from Guantanamo in 2005, and transferred to Kuwaiti custody. A Kuwaiti court later acquitted him of terrorism charges.

    Here is a so-called "innocent" who gets acquitted and promptly shows why the US must be cautious in this situation.
     
  9. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Read the report. It does not say that "a few dozen may be innocent."

    Many were, in fact, randomly selected, and were not picked up on the battlefield.

    And yes, some who were released should not have been.

    So, the conclusion to all of that is that we should just continue to incarcerate innocents and release the guilty rather than have trials to determine who is who? If we continue to do what we have always done, we will get what we always got.
     
  10. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    No, but they are starting to come to trial now under military tribunals as they should. As you know Bush gave the order right away for this to happen, but it took years to form and implement the actual courts and procedures that would be used for this. But again, the trials have started, after the few years that it took to build a court system basically from the ground up.

    And I am tired of being told to "read the report", I read every stupid report that gets posted here, so stop telling me to read them again like I didn't.

    It says, "McClatchy interviewed 66 released detainees along with a number of local officials, primarily in Afghanistan, and reviewed available U.S. military tribunal documents and other records. Most of the 66 were low-level Taliban grunts, innocent Afghan villagers or ordinary criminals, the McClatchy investigation found."

    He also says, "has found that dozens and perhaps hundreds of men" This is quite the wide range he throws in here without much evidence, and he does this after admitting that many of those released were indeed part of the Taliban.

    So basically, yes there were low level detainees who had ties to the Taliban. They were already released. I do not see the problem here now. your report further states, "The McClatchy investigation concluded, however, that many of the detainees there posed no danger to the United States or its allies and were imprisoned because U.S. officials were fearful of mistakenly letting a militant go free."

    Maybe they were referring this type of militant. One released detainee, Abdallah Salih al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti, committed a successful suicide attack in Mosul, on March 25 2008. Al-Ajmi had been repatriated from Guantanamo in 2005, and transferred to Kuwaiti custody. A Kuwaiti court later acquitted him of terrorism charges.
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Nearly six years into a war that was to have lasted less than six months, and they're starting to come to trial. Well, we wouldn't want to rush anything, would we?
     
  12. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Clearly you have never worked in the government. Nor do you understand the legal nightmare that the creation of these tribunals really is. (and no I do not mean that is a question to their legality) It is nowhere near as simple as it was for FDR.
     
  13. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Clearly, I never have worked for the government, nor do I have an appreciation for the bureaucratic nightmare that doing so must entail. I further do not suborn the idea of keeping people locked up for years without charges or trials, even if someone did say that they were "enemy combatants" or "terrorists."
     
  14. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    The legal precedence was clear on that matter. This new ruling is interesting, but I do not see much really coming of it as it only allows them to challenge their detention in civilian courts. Given that civilian courts are packed full of Reagan appointees (and that Reagan rightly rejected Protocol I as I discussed earlier) I do not see many, if any, having their detentions overturned.

    Further, if Bush can pass a new law before his term ends, it will render the ruling meaningless.
     
  15. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    SCOTUS wants all these civilian trials overseen by ONE judge to ensure consistency among the trials and verdicts... The judge appointed to the post will make all the difference. If that judge is chosen by the same majority that brought us this ruling, well... I can only imagine the resulting public circus.
     
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