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skunk
Jan 5, 2003, 04:29 AM
Over 600 people of 43 different nationalities have been held for over a year at Guantanamo Bay, contrary to international law, without charge or trial or access to legal representation. They are not allowed to see or speak to anyone else and are given 15 minutes of exercise twice a week. We are told these are the most dangerous terrorists, yet there has been no evidence offered that any of them has even committed a crime. They are described as "unlawful enemy combatants" which is a categorisation that does not exist in law, even US law: if someone is bombing you, it is clearly not "unlawful" for you to engage them in combat. The US was in this case the "unlawful combatant". Several hundred of these "unlawful combatants" have already been massacred by US forces in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Is the US not putting itself forward as the defender of justice? Does the rule of law not apply to the US? Why is the US refusing to allow its citizens to be subject to the International Court of Justice? Is this the kind of New World Order we are all supposed to be subscribing to? Is nobody ASHAMED?

alex_ant
Jan 5, 2003, 05:40 AM
Yeah, I always thought this whole thing was kinda curious myself. What has the US got to lose by giving these "enemy combatants" a trial? One would think a year would be enough time to extract all the information they know. Now the few but sometimes vocal Bush supporters here are going to jump on this thread and reply "Of course we have to detain them because they're EVIL MURDERERS and TYRANTS who want to KILL OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS, CAN'T YOU SEE THAT YOU MORONIC LIBERAL IDIOTS?!?!?" and then cease to participate once they are presented with calm reason, preparing their caps lock key for the inevitable showdown that will happen over on the next national missile defense thread.

World: Our president is an idiot, but please realize we (Americans) didn't all vote for him, and be merciful to us when the surface of the earth has been scorched and pulverized in the name of such things as "freedom" and "liberty."

skunk
Jan 5, 2003, 05:46 AM
Thanks (and I like the bit about the Caps Lock!!) :D

OutThere
Jan 5, 2003, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by alex_ant

World: Our president is an idiot, but please realize we (Americans) didn't all vote for him, and be merciful to us when the surface of the earth has been scorched and pulverized in the name of such things as "freedom" and "liberty."

No we didn't vote him in. The chads did:D

mymemory
Jan 5, 2003, 11:32 AM
Of course we have to detain them because they're EVIL MURDERERS and TYRANTS who want to KILL OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS, CAN'T YOU SEE THAT YOU MORONIC LIBERAL IDIOTS?:D

Yes, just to tell you something about that. Can you see that the US is doing the same thing as the vietnamis did with american soldiers after the Vietnam war? At list the american soldiers were in Vietnam but this time the american soldiers went to the other country and took this people, so that means that could be any body there. May be some one loking around that was catch by an upset american soldier, that happens a lot. I'm telling you becaue th Nationa Guard took me to jail (here in my country) 4 weeks ago just because I was around them and they said to the judge I was carryng a gun (I din't), just imagine that scenario but bigger.

I bet there are inocent people like any of us in there. All we can do is to trust in the judgment of the US goverment (yeah right).

Juventuz
Jan 5, 2003, 12:11 PM
This is just too funny, I had to respond....

Originally posted by skunk
Over 600 people of 43 different nationalities have been held for over a year at Guantanamo Bay, contrary to international law, without charge or trial or access to legal representation.

Actually a number of the prisoners were allowed to see representatives from their home countries, some have even been transferred to their home country.

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page4271.asp

On October 28, 2002, the Department of Defense announced that it had released four detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Oct. 26, 2002.

The Red Cross makes frequent visits to Gitmo to check up on the detainees.

http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList199/5C867C1D85AA2BE541256C94006000EE

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/guantanamo-bay_delta.htm


They are not allowed to see or speak to anyone else and are given 15 minutes of exercise twice a week.

Completely false, the prisoners are allowed to speak to each other regulary and are given more than 15 minites of exercise.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/guantanamo-bay_x-ray.htm
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/guantanamo-bay_delta.htm

The prisoners also receive religious and recreational items including nearly 600 books in languages including Pashto, Russian, Chinese and Tadjik; headwear and prayer beads; and leisure materials.

http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList199/5C867C1D85AA2BE541256C94006000EE

Don't forget that various European organziations, as well as the UN and Red Cross were making a big fuss about it. Then they were invited to tour the camp where they did and said that it was not as bad as a number of European newspapers had stated.

The detainees are no longer at Camp X-Ray, they're now at Camp Delta.

We are told these are the most dangerous terrorists, yet there has been no evidence offered that any of them has even committed a crime.

Never mind the fact that they were caught running around Afghanistan with Al-Qaeda, we all know that Al-Qaeda is a peace loving humanitarian organization. They were they to learn how to leave peacefully and to help their fellow mankind. :rolleyes:

If you honestly believe that the men in Gitmo are innocent then you need to wake up. The real world isn't as nice as you Europeans like to think it is.

They are described as "unlawful enemy combatants" which is a categorisation that does not exist in law, even US law: if someone is bombing you, it is clearly not "unlawful" for you to engage them in combat.

Who started this war? The US? No, it was the nice Al-Qaeda men who decided to hijack 4 planes and fly them into buildings, luckily the bastards never made it to their fourth target.

The US was in this case the "unlawful combatant".

The US didn't start the war, flying planes into building filled with innocent civilians violates the Geneva Convention. That's what started this war. It also violates the laws of engagement.

Several hundred of these "unlawful combatants" have already been massacred by US forces in Mazar-i-Sharif.

Complete utter myth, before you starting spreading your LIES you need to check your facts.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,186592,00.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1681513.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,607924,00.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,1284,776841,00.html

No where does it implicate the US as massacring Taliban forces, and the Guardian has written some very critical pieces on the US.

You want to talk about a massacre at Mazar-i-Sharif then you can talk about the one in 1998, that one the Taliban performed. Here are just a few sources on that one...

http://www.hrw.org/reports98/afghan/
http://www.refugees.org/world/articles/massacre_rr98_11.htm


Is the US not putting itself forward as the defender of justice? Does the rule of law not apply to the US? Why is the US refusing to allow its citizens to be subject to the International Court of Justice?

The ICJ is a farce, that's why. Countries who initially signed the treaty were given the option to take exemption if they saw fit, thus not having their citizens placed under the treaty. How convenient for them.

Is this the kind of New World Order we are all supposed to be subscribing to? Is nobody ASHAMED?

We're living in an uncertain world where we need to be vigilante and cautious. We're not dealing with a country or millitary here, we're dealing with a terrorist organization that has no borders, that can blend in easily and most of all wants to kill anyone who doesn't see their way. They don't care whether they're American or European, they will kill you. Look at what they've done so far and look and what's been stopped. They would have poisoned one of the water supplies in Rome, they would have blown up a plane on it's way from Paris to Miami, they would have blown up an airport. How can you sympathize with these people.

Sometimes taking the high road just doesn't work, you need to go down to their level if you want to win.

Also, for next time, please check your FACTS before you type.

Judo
Jan 5, 2003, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz


Who started this war? The US? No, it was the nice Al-Qaeda men who decided to hijack 4 planes and fly them into buildings, luckily the bastards never made it to their fourth target.

The US didn't start the war, flying planes into building filled with innocent civilians violates the Geneva Convention. That's what started this war. It also violates the laws of engagement.



Are you sure that's where the war started? Have you ever asked why they flew those planes into the into buildings?

I have no sympathy or respect for any terrorist group who kills people, nor do I have any sympathy or respect for governments that do the same.

I still don't understand why these people aren't givin a fair trial. I thought that was one of the things America was pround of, freedom to a fair trial, or does that just apply to Americans. Come to think of it that's just Patriotic Propaganda.
I wouldn't be supprised if there are innocent people in prison camp x/delta.

skunk
Jan 5, 2003, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz
This is just too funny, I had to respond....
Actually a number of the prisoners were allowed to see representatives from their home countries, some have even been transferred to their home country.
The references you give do not appear to help your case. We are told nothing about the 4 "returnees", probably because they were cases of mistaken identity in the first place.

The Red Cross makes frequent visits to Gitmo to check up on the detainees.
So what?
Completely false, the prisoners are allowed to speak to each other regulary and are given more than 15 minites of exercise.
Sure, they can speak to each other as they are not gagged. Nowhere is my claim about exercise refuted.

The prisoners also receive religious and recreational items including nearly 600 books in languages including Pashto, Russian, Chinese and Tadjik; headwear and prayer beads; and leisure materials.
At the behest of the ICRC. That's less than one book each to last a year.

Never mind the fact that they were caught running around Afghanistan with Al-Qaeda, we all know that Al-Qaeda is a peace loving humanitarian organization. They were they to learn how to leave peacefully and to help their fellow mankind.
If you honestly believe that the men in Gitmo are innocent then you need to wake up. The real world isn't as nice as you Europeans like to think it is.
It's a question of due process, which these men are being denied, just like the 52 American Somalis who were flown out of the States and dumped in Somalia without warning or trial. It's not good enough for the "world's policeman" to be so corrupt.
Who started this war?
The whole point is that WE DO NOT KNOW. Nobody has produced any testable evidence, nobody has been brought to trial. This is a travesty of justice being perpetrated by a nation which claims it is acting in our interests for the sake of freedom. It certainly wasn't any of the detainees who flew the planes, was it?

No where does it implicate the US as massacring Taliban forces, and the Guardian has written some very critical pieces on the US.
On the contrary, none of the links you so helpfully posted makes it clear that US forces were NOT involved.

Sometimes taking the high road just doesn't work, you need to go down to their level if you want to win.
This is the self justification of the lynch-mob. Think about how many people on death row in the States are found to be wrongly convicted, even WITH "due process". It's the minimum acceptable standard for a supposedly free and democratic society. Would you be happy being treated like this?
It could be any one of us in there.

alex_ant
Jan 5, 2003, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz
We're living in an uncertain world where we need to be vigilante and cautious.
Freudian slip?

skunk
Jan 5, 2003, 07:53 PM
Yes, I noticed that one, too!! :D :D

Juventuz
Jan 5, 2003, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by skunk
The references you give do not appear to help your case. We are told nothing about the 4 "returnees", probably because they were cases of mistaken identity in the first place.

Jumping to conclusions aren't we?? If there were cases of mistaken identities the media would be all over it, the men would be suing the US and they'd be causing a stink over it.

Sure, they can speak to each other as they are not gagged. Nowhere is my claim about exercise refuted.

Did you read the links that were provided??

At the behest of the ICRC. That's less than one book each to last a year.

They provided 600 books, not one book to 600 detainees. They set up a mini library, it's safe to say that not all of the detainees are reading all the books at the same time.

It's a question of due process, which these men are being denied, just like the 52 American Somalis who were flown out of the States and dumped in Somalia without warning or trial. It's not good enough for the "world's policeman" to be so corrupt.

Can we get a link for the 52 American Somalis dumped in Somalia?

The whole point is that WE DO NOT KNOW. Nobody has produced any testable evidence, nobody has been brought to trial.

You probably think our government staged it, along with all the other plotted attacks and statements that have come from Al-Qaeda.

This is a travesty of justice being perpetrated by a nation which claims it is acting in our interests for the sake of freedom. It certainly wasn't any of the detainees who flew the planes, was it?

No, the scumbags who flew the planes are rotting in hell right now. It's their close friends that are being detained at Gitmo.

On the contrary, none of the links you so helpfully posted makes it clear that US forces were NOT involved.

Oh ok, so I guess a quote like "There appears to be no evidence that the US knew of the deaths, nor that American officials saw or were involved in putting prisoners into unventilated trucks. " doesn't make it clear.

There's no denying that US and British special forces were at the scene after the revolt had started, but there is ample evidence that the US did not massacre hundreds like you claim.


This is the self justification of the lynch-mob. Think about how many people on death row in the States are found to be wrongly convicted, even WITH "due process".

It's a very small number, and in this day in age it is almost non-existant. Sure there were some who were wrongly convicted years ago and some have been vindicated and others are looking for their justice.

It's the minimum acceptable standard for a supposedly free and democratic society. Would you be happy being treated like this?
It could be any one of us in there.

Well first off I would never join an known terrorist group such as al-qaeda.

Do you really think the men at Gitmo were on holiday in Afghanistan and just happened to wander into an Al-Qaeda training camp and were given weapons? It's not like they were caught sleeping in some hotel or out by the pool, they were caught after firefights with coalition forces, they were caught while trying to escape firefights or while trying to escape to Pakistan. Don't you wonder why Arabs or Chechens are in Afghanistan fighting? Do you honestly believe that they are innocent?

Stop denying who they really are.

Juventuz
Jan 5, 2003, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant

Freudian slip?

How so? It's possible to be both vigilante and cautious.

alex_ant
Jan 5, 2003, 10:07 PM
Yes, I suppose it is. Might want to look up "vigilante" in the dictionary, though.

Juventuz
Jan 5, 2003, 10:11 PM
Ack, so I added the e by mistake.

noht*
Jan 6, 2003, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by Juventuz
(...)flying planes into building filled with innocent civilians violates the Geneva Convention.
speaking of the geneva conventions, may i suggest reading Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. (http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebCONVFULL?OpenView)

-noht

Juventuz
Jan 6, 2003, 10:24 AM
Well that would be very convenient if the detainees were classified as prisoners of war.

You see they're not, so the rules don't apply. The whole POW thing seems to be sticking point for many people, they believe they should be classified as POW's while others don't think so.

Thanks for playing.

skunk
Jan 6, 2003, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Juventuz
Well that would be very convenient if the detainees were classified as prisoners of war.
You see they're not, so the rules don't apply.
On the contrary, it is quite clear from the Geneva Convention that they ARE prisoners of war, whether the US chooses to call them that or not. Thanks for the link which makes this abundantly clear, noht.

alex_ant
Jan 6, 2003, 12:23 PM
So the sticking point seems to be: Should the captured al-Qaida prisoners be classified as prisoners of war or not?

My question is, what does the U.S. have to lose by classifying them as such? Why must the government be such asses? The argument always boils down to something stupid like: "Well, we would have to abide by the Geneva Convention IF the detainees were prisoners of war, but they're not, because look, they weren't wearing UNIFORMS when they were captured! Haha!" Or, "They're not prisoners of war because they weren't fighting for a government!" To me this seems a lot like weaseling one's way out of responsibility.

This is not Combat Against Terror. This is a War on Terror. War......... prisoners......... prisoners taken during a war........ prisoners of war. I don't understand the confusion here.

Juventuz
Jan 6, 2003, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by skunk

On the contrary, it is quite clear from the Geneva Convention that they ARE prisoners of war, whether the US chooses to call them that or not. Thanks for the link which makes this abundantly clear, noht.

On the contray, it is NOT clear that they are to be classified as prisoners of war. A formal declaration of war was never made and Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization that has no ties to any nation. If you look at Article 2 of Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949, which you claim makes it abundantly clear then you would notice it says...

"Art 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them."

Article 4 goes on to say...

"Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."

Had they been Iraqi soldiers caught then they could be classified as POW's even though no war has been declared. They are soldiers in an army of a nation that signed the Geneva Convention and are therefore guaranteed the rights under the Geneva Convention. The Al-Qaeda cowards are part of a terrorist organization that is not recognized as a military for any nation, nor have the ever signed the Geneva Convention.

If an IRA member was caught, are they considered POW's? No, they were treated as criminals in the British court system. If anyone of the detainees at Gitmo are brought to US soil then they would have to be put into the Justice System.

It's useless arguing because you believe one thing and I believe another.

Juventuz
Jan 6, 2003, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant
So the sticking point seems to be: Should the captured al-Qaida prisoners be classified as prisoners of war or not?

My question is, what does the U.S. have to lose by classifying them as such?

It's all very political.

Why must the government be such asses? The argument always boils down to something stupid like: "Well, we would have to abide by the Geneva Convention IF the detainees were prisoners of war, but they're not, because look, they weren't wearing UNIFORMS when they were captured! Haha!" Or, "They're not prisoners of war because they weren't fighting for a government!" To me this seems a lot like weaseling one's way out of responsibility.

This is not Combat Against Terror. This is a War on Terror. War......... prisoners......... prisoners taken during a war........ prisoners of war. I don't understand the confusion here.

Look at the post above for an explanation on why we could get away with not classifying them as prisoners.

It's not like they're being treated poorly, they get three meals a day, health care, they can practice their religion freely and they have lesiure activities.

There has been no declaration of war, you can declare a war against a terrorist organization it has to be against a state. All it comes down to is politics. It's cool to call it a war because the media gets more out of it than calling it an Operation, which is what it is.

job
Jan 6, 2003, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by skunk
On the contrary, it is quite clear from the Geneva Convention that they ARE prisoners of war, whether the US chooses to call them that or not. Thanks for the link which makes this abundantly clear, noht.

wrong.

the Al-Qaeda terrorists are not POWs, nor are they covered by the Geneva convention. The Geneva Convention is to protect the soldiers of a nation, not members of a faceless, nationless, terrorist group. Al-Qaeda is not a recognized nation by any country and thus it's members are not entitled to any rights given to normal soldiers.

that is explicitly stated in the Geneva Convention.

Al-Qaeda is not recognized as an "army" of any sort by any country, and thus the claims of Al-Qaeda rights under the Geneva Convention are effectively flawed.

Interesting to note however that while many European countries continue to criticize America's treatment of the captives, they say nothing about the continued political quagmire that continues to this day in Cuba. Political "dissenters" are thrown in jail and there has not been a free election in Cuba for decades. Free speech? Ha. That too has remained oppressed, even today.

Why is it that Europeans are so obsessed with criticizing the actions of the United States that they fail to take a stand against the actual perpetrators?

job
Jan 6, 2003, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz
The Al-Qaeda cowards are part of a terrorist organization that is not recognized as a military for any nation, nor have the ever signed the Geneva Convention.

If an IRA member was caught, are they considered POW's? No, they were treated as criminals in the British court system. If anyone of the detainees at Gitmo are brought to US soil then they would have to be put into the Justice System.

I firmly agree with your statements.

Had I read your post before my previous one, I would not have had to post it.

macfan
Jan 6, 2003, 01:44 PM
All detainees at Guantanamo are being provided: -- three meals a day that meet Muslim dietary laws -- water -- medical care -- clothing and shoes -- shelter -- showers -- soap and toilet articles -- foam sleeping pads and blankets -- towels and washcloths -- the opportunity to worship -- correspondence materials, and the means to send mail -- the ability to receive packages of food and clothing, subject to security screening.

As usual, the complaints about the Gitmo prisoners are quite overblown. They are being treated quite well and in the spirit of the Geneva Convention, even while not technically classified as POWs.

Juventuz,
You point on the IRA terrorist not being considered a POW is an excellent one.

skunk
Jan 6, 2003, 04:37 PM
"Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."
Sections 1, 2(a), 2(c) and probably 2(d) seem to cover them quite nicely. And if they are not PoWs, then they are criminals, and subject to normal judicial process. "Unlawful enemy combatants" is not an option. The PoW classification is presumably to prevent enemy combatants being tried for murder. I can just imagine the spectacle if they were.
What part of "weaseling out of it" do you not understand?

job
Jan 6, 2003, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by skunk
Sections 1

"Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict..."

Read it carefully. The use of the term "armed forces" is used in this context to describe the military of a recognized country, not a group of AK-toiting thugs.

2(a), 2(c) and probably 2(d) seem to cover them quite nicely.

"...belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied..."

Al-Qaeda does not have any territory of it's own, occupied or otherwise. Afganistan was controlled by the Taliban who assisted Al-Qaeda. Thus following from this, section 2 and any sub-section thereof cannot apply to the terrorists of Al-Qaeda as they have no territory or country of their own.

then they are criminals, and subject to normal judicial process.

Bingo. Except as non-American citizens, they are not entitled to any due process. As they are not citizens of the United States, they are thus not protected by the Bill of Rights. Examine the John Walker Lindh case for a moment. He recieved due process of law and had access to an lawyer. As an American citizen he is entitled to these rights. There is no wide-reaching legal contract or treaty that requires the United States to allow any non-American citizen to enter any type of judicial process.

"Unlawful enemy combatants" is not an option.

Of course it is. These people are:

a) Part of an outlawed international terrorist group, they are, in the most direct definition of the word, "unlawful." They observe no laws nor follow any.

b) They are not enemy soldiers. If they were, they would be given due process. Thus the designation of "enemy combatants" is as flattering and respectful of a title they are likely to receive.

alex_ant
Jan 6, 2003, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz
If an IRA member was caught, are they considered POW's? No, they were treated as criminals in the British court system. If anyone of the detainees at Gitmo are brought to US soil then they would have to be put into the Justice System.
Exactly, this is why this whole situation is messed up. The U.S. can declare the detainees prisoners of war, but then they would be required to give them additional rights & privileges, including the privilege of one day being able to be released, so they don't want to do that. Otherwise, they would be required to give the detainees a normal criminal trial. But wait! That's only if they're on OUR SOIL! And they're NOT on our soil because they're captive in a military base in CUBA! (But it's our soil, even though it's in Cuba, right? No, it's our military's soil!) So in other words, even though by all practical explanations they should be tried for their crimes, they're not, because the U.S. wishes to skirt the Geneva Convention as it does. I mean, come on, if another country like Libya did this to us, refusing to classify anti-Qadafi American "terrorists" as prisoners of war AND holding them captive indefinitely with no right to a trial, we would be absolutely outraged - as we should be!

Haven't you ever had an annoying friend like this growing up?:
(Given a plate full of disgusting cafeteria meat loaf at school) "I'll give you $10 if you clean your plate."
"OK" (You proceed to finish all your meat loaf) "I finished it, now where's my $10?"
"I said you have to CLEAN your plate! Ha ha, it's not clean, it's still got gravy on it!"
(So you proceed to wipe your plate clean with your paper towel)
"Now it's clean."
"Nope, it's still got little food molecules on it! Ha ha!"
And so on.

The U.S. is being the annoying friend here.

It's not like they're being treated poorly, they get three meals a day, health care, they can practice their religion freely and they have lesiure activities.
I don't really care if they're being given mints under their pillows and free HBO. What they deserve is one of three things: 1) POW classification; 2) A trial; 3) Release. I would push for (1), but I would settle for (2).

job
Jan 6, 2003, 06:32 PM
I agree with you that the situation is indeed "messed up."

However, I must politely disagree with your call to term the Al-Qaeda members as POWs. They are not a member of the armed forces (i.e. military) of any nation, which thus nullfies their "right" to be termed POWs.

alex_ant
Jan 6, 2003, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by macfan
All detainees at Guantanamo are being provided: -- three meals a day that meet Muslim dietary laws -- water -- medical care -- clothing and shoes -- shelter -- showers -- soap and toilet articles -- foam sleeping pads and blankets -- towels and washcloths -- the opportunity to worship -- correspondence materials, and the means to send mail -- the ability to receive packages of food and clothing, subject to security screening.

As usual, the complaints about the Gitmo prisoners are quite overblown. They are being treated quite well and in the spirit of the Geneva Convention, even while not technically classified as POWs.
Imagine the uproar if you were talking about criminals at an American prison. "You can have all these things, but you never know - you may be released next week or you may stay here all your life. It's really up to us. We're in uncharted legal territory here, so we can do pretty much whatever we want. *grin*"

macfan
Jan 6, 2003, 06:35 PM
The Al Qeada prisoners deserved to be taken out and summarily executed when they were captured, but that's not how we Americans generally do things. As for the Taliban prisoners, I'd have no objection to them being classified as POWs, but it would make no difference in their conditions or disposition since the Taliban has yet to surrender. Thus, I won't lose sleep over them.

Juventuz
Jan 6, 2003, 06:37 PM
Let's say that they're classified as POW's, then what? When would they be released and who would they be released to? Do we send them back to A-Qaeda?

You can hold a POW until the end of a war, now suppose we're still fighting this "war on terror" for another 20 years. Do we release them in 20 years? It's not like they have any of our soldiers and they can swap.

It's a sticky situation classifying them as POW's.

Juventuz
Jan 6, 2003, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by macfan
As for the Taliban prisoners, I'd have no objection to them being classified as POWs, but it would make no difference in their conditions or disposition since the Taliban has yet to surrender. Thus, I won't lose sleep over them.

There are no Taliban prisoners at Gitmo, the only place the Taliban are being held is in Afghanistan under the Afghan authorities.

macfan
Jan 6, 2003, 06:43 PM
I was not aware of that. If that is indeed the case, then those on Gitmo can stay there untill they die of old age.

alex_ant
Jan 6, 2003, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by hitman
Read it carefully. The use of the term "armed forces" is used in this context to describe the military of a recognized country, not a group of AK-toiting thugs.
Without providing a definition for an armed force, an armed force is any "force" that has "arms."
Al-Qaeda does not have any territory of it's own, occupied or otherwise. Afganistan was controlled by the Taliban who assisted Al-Qaeda. Thus following from this, section 2 and any sub-section thereof cannot apply to the terrorists of Al-Qaeda as they have no territory or country of their own.
The phrase "operating in our outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied" makes it clear that questions of territorial possession are irrelevant.
Bingo. Except as non-American citizens, they are not entitled to any due process.
Then they should be deported, as any other non-American citizen would be.
As they are not citizens of the United States, they are thus not protected by the Bill of Rights.
Considering the Bill of Rights is an amenment to the Constitution, and the Constitution certainly does apply to non-citizens within the U.S. borders...

Of course it is. These people are:

a) Part of an outlawed international terrorist group, they are, in the most direct definition of the word, "unlawful." They observe no laws nor follow any.
Let's assume you're correct and that this therefore makes them ineligible for POW status. It then follows that they should be tried.
b) They are not enemy soldiers. If they were, they would be given due process.
I hope you didn't mean for this to be a logical argument, because it's not.

alex_ant
Jan 6, 2003, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The Al Qeada prisoners deserved to be taken out and summarily executed when they were captured, but that's not how we Americans generally do things.
What do you mean they "deserved" it? No criminal deserves a thing until it is determined by law that they do... unless you're Ted Nugent and are a big fan of executing all murderers on the scene of the crime.

alex_ant
Jan 6, 2003, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz
Let's say that they're classified as POW's, then what? When would they be released and who would they be released to? Do we send them back to A-Qaeda?
I'd say this qualifies as pretty unimportant.
You can hold a POW until the end of a war, now suppose we're still fighting this "war on terror" for another 20 years. Do we release them in 20 years?
Yes, we could. My whole point, though is to argue for consistency:

a) If this is a war, then the captured should be considered prisoners of war.
b) If this isn't a war, then the captured should be tried.

Leaving prisoners sitting in cells indefinitely with no promise of release sounds like something China should be doing, not the U.S. I don't care what happens to these prisoners, if anything, so long as something does happen to them and they're not indefinitely incarcerated with no apparent reason or even explanation.

macfan
Jan 6, 2003, 07:04 PM
They deserved it because they and their friends were training and plotting to kill me and you and many others. They did not wish to give me or you a trial or due process or any other legal trappings. They simply wanted to kill me and you without warning. Thus, for them to be killed in the same way they killed would be nothing more than their just desserts. They were not executed on the spot because that's not how the United States and other civilized nations generally conduct themselves. I, for one, am opposed to the death penalty, but not killing these Al Qeada on the spot was an act of mercy and was more than what they deserved.

alex_ant
Jan 6, 2003, 07:12 PM
Originally posted by macfan
They deserved it because they and their friends were training and plotting to kill me and you and many others. They did not wish to give me or you a trial or due process or any other legal trappings. They simply wanted to kill me and you without warning. Thus, for them to be killed in the same way they killed would be nothing more than their just desserts. They were not executed on the spot because that's not how the United States and other civilized nations generally conduct themselves. I, for one, am opposed to the death penalty, but not killing these Al Qeada on the spot was an act of mercy and was more than what they deserved.
You should realize that's a moral argument, though, and not a legal one.

macfan
Jan 6, 2003, 07:24 PM
Absolutely, it is a moral argument. That's was I mean by they deserved it.

skunk
Jan 6, 2003, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz
Can we get a link for the 52 American Somalis dumped in Somalia?

Sorry, haven't worked out the link thing and it took me a while to find it, and it was 36 not 52:

Those Secret Snatches

Render Unto Caesar

By Chris Floyd

The rule of law is dead.

Even as a fiction, a dream of human betterment -- of "civilization," to use that word we hear so often on the lips of warlords and terrorists these days -- the idea of law has been discarded, trashed: Just so much excess baggage thrown aside in the relentless, mindless pursuit of raw power.

And perhaps the most remarkable thing about this regression, this throwback to our most primitive and brutal instincts, is that it's being carried out in plain sight, openly, proudly. The defenders of "civilization" no longer even pretend to be bound by law, by moral codes designed to quell the raging beast inside us all and draw us on toward higher notions of justice, liberty, and the integrity of the individual. Instead, they exult in their desecration of these ideals -- and are exalted for it.

This week, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush admitted it was snatching suspected terrorists in secret operations around the world and "rendering" them without due process or any legal hearing at all to repressive regimes where they can be beaten and tortured to extract information -- then killed when their usefulness is over. Their families too can be threatened with imprisonment or death: another useful extraction tool for the CIA and its proxies.

"After Sept. 11, these sorts of movements have been occurring all the time," a U.S. diplomat told the Washington Post. "It allows us to get information from terrorists in a way we can't do on U.S. soil."

Note the usual neat elision there -- from "suspected terrorist" to "terrorist." In fact, the CIA "rendering" operations take place outside all legal jurisdiction; there is no standard of evidence or level of proof required to brand someone -- anyone -- a "terrorist suspect" and put him on the next secret plane to Cairo or Amman. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people have already "disappeared" in this way, without legal counsel, without extradition, on nothing more than the word of an ambitious junior operative or a local informer -- or even a cranky neighbor.

It's not always done in secret, of course. In January, American forces openly seized five Arabs in Bosnia and sent them to the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for interrogation -- the kind you "can't do on U.S. soil," no doubt. This despite the fact that the men had earlier been freed by the Bosnian Supreme Court for lack of evidence against them -- and that the Bosnian Human Rights Chamber had issued an injunction protecting them from seizure pending further legal proceedings. That would be the same Human Rights Chamber set up by the United States after the Bosnian war to "protect human rights and due process." From everyone except the United States, obviously.

Nor are U.S. residents exempt from rendering. In January, just after the release of "Black Hawk Down," the story of kindly American soldiers being butchered by nasty, bug-eyed Somalis, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft grabbed three dozen Somali-Americans from their homes, classrooms and businesses and deported them -- without charges, without hearings, "not shriving time allowed" -- to Mogadishu, the London Times reports.

These were men, and one woman, who had been in the United States for many years, some of them from infancy. They had fled with their families from the murderous warlords who ravaged their country, and had found peace and prosperity in America. But now it was over. They were seized by Ashcroft's immigration officials, they were beaten, shackled, boarded onto planes and dumped in Somalia without papers, passports or any means of support. Most of them don't speak the language or even dare walk the streets, where foreigners -- especially Americans -- are viewed with hostility. They're now trapped in a fleabag hotel, broke, desperate, and besieged by local media screaming about "the terrorists."

Why were they taken? No one knows; or rather, no one will say. Ashcroft's minions claim they are "investigating" the situation, but will give no details. They never do. Perhaps some Somali warlord pointed to a rival clan, some past enemy -- and their children -- and whispered the magic words: "al-Qaida." After all, the Somali gangleaders are now courting Bush's favor, hoping to get the kind of money and weapons the Americans are doling out to their favored drug-dealers and warlords in Afghanistan, where dozens of innocent civilians have been killed by U.S. air strikes called in by mercenary chieftains knocking off their rivals.

That's the world the "defenders of civilization" have given us. They strut out in their thousand-dollar suits and preach to us about "civilized values" and "enduring freedom" while they pay their murderers and wave their cattle prods and "expand their nuclear attack options," plotting the death of millions. They're teaching every budding terrorist, every aspiring dictator, every mafia goon that violence, death and dominance are the truest human values, the way to wealth and glory.

So forget law. Law is dead. There is no law. There is only the reality of power. They can take you tonight, anywhere in the world, beat you and drug you and ship you to a dungeon in Jakarta if they want to. They can ram their cattle prods up your rectum and slap their electrodes on your genitals and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. No one will hear you scream; no one will even know where you are. You don't exist anymore. You're not a person, you have no standing under the law. There is no law.

From Counterpunch 3/15/02

Juventuz
Jan 6, 2003, 09:27 PM
That's portion of the article is a complete ripoff of the original article originally written by Janine di Giovanni of The Times of London.

What's even more interesting is the no other legitimate newspaper or television network anywhere in the world picked up on that story. It's the perfect tool to use against us nasty imperialists and not one other source ran with the story. Sure you can find the article reprinted on some websites, but nobody else picked up the story. I wonder why that is :rolleyes: