How does closing gitmo help us if we just transfer them somewhere else?

Zombie Acorn

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Three days ago the white house denied that they had made this decision (leaked memo), I expected Obama to give a press conference on this issue, but I have yet to see one. I don't see how simply transferring these people to Illinois puts us in any better condition, in fact I think it is worse. We now have to worry about transporting these *******s around the US if they ever do get a trial (something I have yet to hear about) which is going to create even more problems. Basically Obama is moving gitmo into the US, even if there are civilian trials they will not be fair, Obama has already stated that they will not allow terrorists to go free. The policies are just about the same as Bush, we are making political show trials and will continue to detain these terrorists regardless of outcome.

http://www.palmettoscoop.com/2009/12/15/white-house-names-first-gitmo-transfer-center/

Nearly one-third of the suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo Bay military prison facility in Cuba will soon be on their way to Illinois.

White House officials said on Tuesday that 35 and 90 detainees will be housed at the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Ill.

But that still leaves roughly 215 inmates that need to be housed elsewhere. And President Barack Obama continues is still eying the Charleston Naval Brig, something that does not sit well with South Carolina officials.
 

abijnk

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Oct 15, 2007
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I think it has to do, at least in part, with the idea of "out of sight out of mind." If they are hear on our soil we aren't as likely to forget about them as we would if they were left in Guantanamo. Also, part of it is the stigma. Gitmo has become synonymous with the failings of the country to handle detainees in a just and humane way. Closing it sends a message at the very least that we are trying to do better.
 

IntheNet

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Oct 6, 2009
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How does closing gitmo help us if we just transfer them somewhere else?
It doesn't. But it does give BHO a warm fuzzy and that is why it is being done. It is no surprise he is choosing a facility in his former Senate district to reward. Politics as usual. I recall that most of the military and homeland security professionals cautioned against closing Guantanamo; the survivors of 09/11/01 supported the maintenance and continued operation of Gitmo. These same survivors of 09/11/01 also objected to Obama's choice of New York to try the terrorists. They were ignored on that as well. My main question with the closing of Guantanamo and transfer of inhabitants to this soil will be one of liability; will AG Holder at the Justice Department, or BHO at the White House, take direct responsibility should one of these terrorists brought to this soil be able to carry on jihad from within? What of subsequent terrorists/battlefield combatants captured in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are they too to be subject to our very best defense lawyers and housed within our correctional system? Why not just do away with the Defense Department and send lawyers and police to fight our wars and read our enemies Miranda Rights?
 

mkrishnan

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Jan 9, 2004
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This has been in the news in Illinois for quite some time.
True, but it only got this kind of confirmation today, non?

I agree, Zombie Acorn. I'm not convinced anything is made better by moving these people to Illinois, and I fear that this provides more rationale for inertia and doing nothing rather than providing them with some form of due process.

OTOH, the current administration has made some progress on agreeing to prosecute some detainees, so at least that I consider a good thing.
 

Gelfin

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Sep 18, 2001
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The actual logistics of prisoner management are the least of our problems with Gitmo. Relocating those prisoners washes away some of the stink of the past administration's intentional placement of prisoners in legal gray areas so they could narrowly parse treaty obligations to argue no human rights law in the world applied to them.

That prison is a horrible legacy. Yes, closing it is largely symbolic, but it is a very important symbol.
 

Zombie Acorn

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It was officially denied by the white house on the 13th that a decision had been made, and then announced today (not by Obama to my knowledge, I imagine he wanted to stay away from this issue).


I think it has to do, at least in part, with the idea of "out of sight out of mind." If they are hear on our soil we aren't as likely to forget about them as we would if they were left in Guantanamo. Also, part of it is the stigma. Gitmo has become synonymous with the failings of the country to handle detainees in a just and humane way. Closing it sends a message at the very least that we are trying to do better.
Gitmo isn't the problem, this is just another instance of dealing with symptoms of a problem and then leaving the real issue to fester, we don't know what to do with terrorists that we have captured abroad, moving them into the US doesn't solve this issue, and giving them a civilian trial is going to be expected in which case they have full rights to mount a defense which includes access to all information potentially used against them or practices used to obtain the evidence.

It doesn't. But it does give BHO a warm fuzzy and that is why it is being done. It is no surprise he is choosing a facility in his former Senate district to reward. Politics as usual. I recall that most of the military and homeland security professionals cautioned against closing Guantanamo; the survivors of 09/11/01 supported the maintenance and continued operation of Gitmo. These same survivors of 09/11/01 also objected to Obama's choice of New York to try the terrorists. They were ignored on that as well. My main question with the closing of Guantanamo and transfer of inhabitants to this soil will be one of liability; will AG Holder at the Justice Department, or BHO at the White House, take direct responsibility should one of these terrorists brought to this soil be able to carry on jihad from within? What of subsequent terrorists/battlefield combatants captured in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are they too to be subject to our very best defense lawyers and housed within our correctional system? Why not just do away with the Defense Department and send lawyers and police to fight our wars and read our enemies Miranda Rights?
I think this is just an example of Obama setting deadlines, failing to properly deal with the issue, and then pushing something through because it is not politically popular to miss your set deadlines. While closing gitmo isn't necessarily bad in my mind, opening up a new gitmo in Illinois is.

OTOH, the current administration has made some progress on agreeing to prosecute some detainees, so at least that I consider a good thing.
If we are going to do civilian trials the court has already been tainted, Obama said he would not let terrorists go if they were found not guilty. Thats not a fair trial.

The actual logistics of prisoner management are the least of our problems with Gitmo. Relocating those prisoners washes away some of the stink of the past administration's intentional placement of prisoners in legal gray areas so they could narrowly parse treaty obligations to argue no human rights law in the world applied to them.

That prison is a horrible legacy. Yes, closing it is largely symbolic, but it is a very important symbol.
They are going to be in legal grey areas INSIDE of the US now, how is that helpful? I also don't agree with your dismissing problems with prisoner transfer for court appearances (this town is 150 miles out of Chicago from my knowledge). One incident is all it will take to destroy any veil of security that Americans currently hold, this is a huge liability for Obama.
 

Gelfin

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Sep 18, 2001
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They are going to be in legal grey areas INSIDE of the US now, how is that helpful? I also don't agree with your dismissing problems with prisoner transfer for court appearances (this town is 150 miles out of Chicago from my knowledge). One incident is all it will take to destroy any veil of security that Americans currently hold, this is a huge liability for Obama.
The term "gray area" was meant not just metaphorically, but geographically. The extraterritorial nature and weird occupational status of the Guantanamo Bay facility is integral to the claim that the prisoners there are subject to neither United States nor any foreign law regarding treatment of prisoners.

I don't think it's fair to say I dismiss the issues surrounding prisoner transportation, but I certainly don't see what makes these people so much more difficult to transport than the thousands of other criminals, as bad and worse, including terrorists, we already successfully handle within the United States. These aren't supervillains. They're mostly guys too dumb to find a place to hide in Afghanistan. Your terrorized portrait of them as unstoppable bogeymen offers them more respect and power than they merit.
 

leekohler

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Dec 22, 2004
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True, but it only got this kind of confirmation today, non?

I agree, Zombie Acorn. I'm not convinced anything is made better by moving these people to Illinois, and I fear that this provides more rationale for inertia and doing nothing rather than providing them with some form of due process.

OTOH, the current administration has made some progress on agreeing to prosecute some detainees, so at least that I consider a good thing.
Did you read the link?
 

Counterfit

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Aug 20, 2003
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It is no surprise he is choosing a facility in his former Senate district to reward.
US Senators serve the entire state, so there is no "district". Unless you meant his state Senate district, in which case, you'd be wrong.
I recall that most of the military and homeland security professionals cautioned against closing Guantanamo;
Nothing like some appeal to authority logical fallacy!
the survivors of 09/11/01 supported the maintenance and continued operation of Gitmo. These same survivors of 09/11/01 also objected to Obama's choice of New York to try the terrorists.
If I recall correctly – or at the very least, better than you – the survivors of 9/11 and the families of victims did not all share the same opinion on these two issues.
 

Zyniker

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Feb 14, 2008
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...
...I fear that this provides more rationale for inertia and doing nothing rather than providing them with some form of due process.

OTOH, the current administration has made some progress on agreeing to prosecute some detainees, so at least that I consider a good thing.
You are working under the mistaken assumption that enemy combatants are entitled to due process. They are entitled to no such thing.
 

Shivetya

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Jan 16, 2008
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Simple Z, it is called relying on ignorance of the base. Its called checking off marks on the scorecard while hoping no one is realizing your shaving a stroke or two here and there.

Its called, politics as usual.
 

IntheNet

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Oct 6, 2009
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You are working under the mistaken assumption that enemy combatants are entitled to due process. They are entitled to no such thing.
Good point... too bad the liberals don't understand that!

Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, is right on target here... this reckless decision on terrorist transfer to America's backyard means Obama is against American safety and against U.S. law...

Lawmakers Spar Over Decision to Transfer Gitmo Detainees to Illinois Prison
FOXNews.com
December 15, 2009
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/14/illinois-prison-house-gitmo-detainees/?test=latestnews
"The American people and a bipartisan majority of the Congress have already rejected bringing terrorists to U.S. soil for long-term detention, and current law prohibits it," Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement. "The administration has failed to explain how transferring terrorists to Gitmo North will make Americans safer than keeping these terrorists off of our shores in the secure facility in Cuba."
 

mkrishnan

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Jan 9, 2004
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Did you read the link?
I'm confused... your link? Your link was dated the same day as Zombie's post. :confused: As far as I understood from WBEZ, Chicago news was also treating it as a breaking story that day. Granted that it had long been under discussion, and might yet be as vapor-ware as the Google Phone until there are actually detainees there.

You are working under the mistaken assumption that enemy combatants are entitled to due process. They are entitled to no such thing.
It is perhaps mistaken by people who do not believe in American values... it is my assumption, but in my case it is not mistaken.
 

leekohler

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Dec 22, 2004
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Chicago, Illinois
I'm confused... your link? Your link was dated the same day as Zombie's post. :confused: As far as I understood from WBEZ, Chicago news was also treating it as a breaking story that day. Granted that it had long been under discussion, and might yet be as vapor-ware as the Google Phone until there are actually detainees there.
I thought I linked to an article about how prosecutions would proceed. Didn't I? Regardless, while this may be news to most of you, this has been in discussion and in the news a lot here for over a month. It came as no surprise to anyone here. We've been pushing for it. I'm proud to say we'll be doing it. A lot of people say they want Gitmo closed. But when it comes to where the detainees will go, they don't want them anywhere near them.
 

yg17

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Aug 1, 2004
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I thought I linked to an article about how prosecutions would proceed. Didn't I? Regardless, while this may be news to most of you, this has been in discussion and in the news a lot here for over a month. It came as no surprise to anyone here. We've been pushing for it. I'm proud to say we'll be doing it. A lot of people say they want Gitmo closed. But when it comes to where the detainees will go, they don't want them anywhere near them.

I get a kick out of that. These are maximum security prisons. No one has ever escaped from one. And there are far more dangerous people in supermax facilities right now, but we don't worry about them escaping because they're white :rolleyes:

And Thomson, IL is a rural town of less than 600 people. I think if Khalid Sheik Mohammed escapes, he's going to stick out in that place like a sore thumb, whereas someone like Eric Rudolph might blend in.
 

leekohler

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Dec 22, 2004
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I get a kick out of that. These are maximum security prisons. No one has ever escaped from one. And there are far more dangerous people in supermax facilities right now, but we don't worry about them escaping because they're white :rolleyes:

And Thomson, IL is a rural town of less than 600 people. I think if Khalid Sheik Mohammed escapes, he's going to stick out in that place like a sore thumb, whereas someone like Eric Rudolph might blend in.
Exactly. It's gonna be really good for that community too. Those folks are more than happy to get the jobs.
 

mkrishnan

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Jan 9, 2004
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I thought I linked to an article about how prosecutions would proceed. Didn't I? Regardless, while this may be news to most of you, this has been in discussion and in the news a lot here for over a month. It came as no surprise to anyone here. We've been pushing for it. I'm proud to say we'll be doing it. A lot of people say they want Gitmo closed. But when it comes to where the detainees will go, they don't want them anywhere near them.
Ahh, okay, I think I see what you're saying now. I understand that there's a general commitment to moving at least some detainees to trial, but I also believe that there's a general commitment to the concept that there is a class of detainees who can be neither tried nor freed, and must instead be indefinitely / permanently imprisoned without a trial (which I cannot condone). I do grant that Obama has moved forward on trying the detainees.

As long as that plan continues, I do agree with you that people shouldn't be wimps about putting the detainees in their area... quite the contrary, as my position has always been that they must all be tried (and promptly) or they should be freed altogether. Michigan FWIW wanted them too.
 

Zyniker

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Feb 14, 2008
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It is perhaps mistaken by people who do not believe in American values... it is my assumption, but in my case it is not mistaken.
If you wouldn't mind, please quote from the Constitution or laws of the United States where it says that an illegal enemy combatant is entitled to due process, representation, and a day in a US court. I could save you the trouble, but you won't believe me when I tell you those 'rights' are not there as they do not exist.

For example, the right to counsel? "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy" is how the Sixth Amendment begins. Guess what? Proceedings against an enemy combatant are not criminal proceedings. There exists no right to counsel for those brought before a military or other tribunal for acts that contravene the laws of war. Terrorists have no right to counsel.

You would have loved the Soviet Union.
How typical and how horribly mistaken and uninformed. Simply because I know to whom Constitutional rights flow and to whom they do not does not mean that I wish to live in a country/united group of republics that has no such rights.
I simply wish that my government would follow our foundational documents and stop acting with flagrant disregard for both law and international custom. Terrorists are neither enemy soldiers nor citizens of the US. They do not even qualify for the protection offered resident aliens (for fairly obvious reasons).
 

leekohler

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Dec 22, 2004
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=
How typical and how horribly mistaken and uninformed. Simply because I know to whom Constitutional rights flow and to whom they do not does not mean that I wish to live in a country/united group of republics that has no such rights.
I simply wish that my government would follow our foundational documents and stop acting with flagrant disregard for both law and international custom. Terrorists are neither enemy soldiers nor citizens of the US. They do not even qualify for the protection offered resident aliens (for fairly obvious reasons).
So we should treat them as terribly as we want? What about people who are falsely accused and detained? No big deal? That's just too bad? What if you were in such a situation in another country?

We must always apply our values (not necessarily our Constitution) to all we come in contact with. Otherwise, we are no better than they.
 

Rt&Dzine

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Oct 8, 2008
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How typical and how horribly mistaken and uninformed. Simply because I know to whom Constitutional rights flow and to whom they do not does not mean that I wish to live in a country/united group of republics that has no such rights.
I simply wish that my government would follow our foundational documents and stop acting with flagrant disregard for both law and international custom. Terrorists are neither enemy soldiers nor citizens of the US. They do not even qualify for the protection offered resident aliens (for fairly obvious reasons).
Detainees.