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"Our commitment to the rule of law"
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, February 09, 2006

"These are people picked up off the battlefield in Afghanistan."
— President Bush, June 20, 2005


The National Journal has a disturbing cover story about Guantanamo Bay, which Stuart Taylor summarizes here... (cover story now at this permanent link)
[Corine Hegland's] exhaustively researched cover story in this issue — studded with probative details and human stories that every serious student of the war against terror should read — provides powerful evidence confirming what many of us have suspected for years:
  • A high percentage, perhaps the majority, of the 500-odd men now held at Guantanamo were not captured on any battlefield, let alone on "the battlefield in Afghanistan" (as Bush asserted) while "trying to kill American forces" (as McClellan claimed).


  • Fewer than 20 percent of the Guantanamo detainees, the best available evidence suggests, have ever been Qaeda members.


  • Many scores, and perhaps hundreds, of the detainees were not even Taliban foot soldiers, let alone Qaeda terrorists. They were innocent, wrongly seized noncombatants with no intention of joining the Qaeda campaign to murder Americans.


  • The majority were not captured by U.S. forces but rather handed over by reward-seeking Pakistanis and Afghan warlords and by villagers of highly doubtful reliability.

These locals had strong incentives to tar as terrorists any and all Arabs they could get their hands on as the Arabs fled war-torn Afghanistan in late 2001 and 2002 — including noncombatant teachers and humanitarian workers. And the Bush administration has apparently made very little effort to corroborate the plausible claims of innocence detailed by many of the men who were handed over.
All of this was known well before the administration went about assuring us that the Gitmo detainees were just terrorists and Taliban; just unlawful combatants who should be glad they're being treated so well, the ingrates.

And sure, there've been tribunals — tribunals which admitted as evidence coerced testimony like this...
The tribunal hearings, based largely on such guilt-by-association logic, have been travesties of unfairness. The detainees are presumed guilty unless they can prove their innocence — without help from lawyers and without being permitted to know the details and sources of the evidence against them. This evidence is almost entirely hearsay from people without firsthand knowledge and statements from other detainees desperate to satisfy their brutally coercive interrogators. One file says, "Admitted to knowing Osama bin Laden," based on an interrogation in which the detainee — while being pressed to "admit" this, despite his denials — finally said in disgust, "OK, I knew him; whatever you want."
This is why we have due process. This is why we have transparency. This is why a free people who want to remain that way ought to insist we apply due process and transparency even to suspected terrorists.

Instead, we've largely stood by while the Bush administration has run roughshod over innocent people; while the Bush administration detained innocent civilians and lawful combatants, and abused them into false confessions. And then that administration had the temerity to say that legislation removing legal recourse by those people "reaffirm[s] the values we share as a Nation and our commitment to the rule of law"....

"[I] appreciate the legislation's elimination of the hundreds of claims brought by terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that challenge many different aspects of their detention and that are now pending in our courts."
President Bush, December 30, 2005


Remember: the people who told us that the detainees at Guantanamo Bay were all Taliban, captured on the battlefield or otherwise terrorists are the same people who swear, really, that the domestic surveillance program is "solely for intercepting communications of suspected al Qaeda members or related terrorist groups."

We can trust them, because they would never mislead us.

UPDATE:

Dale Franks has obtained more information on the genesis of much of this information, the implications of it, and some very important questions that arise as a result. It's a must-read post, including information like this...
Many of the detainees appear not to have been caught with guns in their hands, not caught on the battlefield, and in many cases, not caught in Afghanistan. They came into our custody from third parties "whose political & financial incentives were to release actual senior [Al Qaeda] operatives, who would have had cash, and deliver the rest" to US Forces, i.e., people who weren't readily identifiable combatants at all.
Meanwhile, from one of the NJ stories...
Add a healthy dollop of cash spread around by both hunters and prey, and a U.S. military bureaucracy dedicated to protecting Americans against a threat from an unfamiliar corner of the world, and you have an unsettling formula for determining who got caught and who got away. It was "win-win," Haqqani said. "The Americans get their prisoners, Pakistanis get their praise, the guy who captures the prisoners gets his reward, and Al Qaeda gets its escape."
And it appears we simply bought captives. What kind of captives? Whatya got?

He also posts on the legal problems surrounding the detention issue.

Show/Hide


MORE:

Glenn Reynolds writes that, given the "inaccurate reports we've heard about that facility, I think I'll wait for confirmation on this". His skepticism is understandable; other readers have also expressed skepticism about the sourcing and potential agenda behind this story, so part of Dale's important update on this story bears repeating:
This information derives from 132 detainee files from DoD that the Department of Justice filed in court, and 314 redacted transcripts that the DoD released to the Assiciated Press under a FOIA suit. ... ...even though National Journal only had info on 132 detainess, they did have between 10 and 60 pages of DoD info on each of the men.
This comes from the DoD's own files. And there's a lot more. Make sure you read the updates linked above, or just go to the main page and scroll.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Sadly, Jon, the detainees DON’T MERIT DUE PROCESS AND TRANSPARENCY, by law. Did John McCain or Kurt Vonnegut merit due process and transparency in their PoW camps? No they didn’t. They aren’t US citizens and they weren’t in the United States and they did not commit a CRIME, therefore the term of art "Due Process" does NOT apply. They merit interrogation and by-and-large just and humane treatment, but not due process.

Also, as I understand the Geneva Conventions we could have SHOT THEM OUT OF HAND, as "Illegal Combatants", LEGALLY. We didn’t.

They are akin to the street gangs/Mafiosi in that they don’t wear uniforms and that they have interest in lying and proclaiming that they were merely goat herders at the wrong place and time. So yes it IS difficult to separate the goats from the herd, and sometimes the cost of doing so is that we guess wrong and they re-join the fight.

The only thing I would grant would be that the review tribunals and inquiries be repeated and fair.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Okay, I just rushed (as I’m on my way out of work) through the NJ story, and I don’t see that the NJ has much to back their story up except the claims of the accuseds’ attorneys.

The "Opening Argument" segment by Taylor summarizes his analysis of the investigation, but I didn’t see any links to anything online to back it up.

I think I’ll reserve judgement on this one.

 
Written By: W
URL: http://
Once again a refreshing and insightful post referencing an article I found fascinating. Thanks Jon.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Correct, Joe.
Full on agreement.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Joe is largely right here, Jon.

And this story is strangely congruent with a study just released by Seton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux and attorney Joshua Denbeaux. These two fellows, as described by Jeralyn Merritt, are
... counsel to two of the detainees at Guantanamo, [and the report] contains the first objective analysis of the background of those held at Guantanamo. The report is based entirely on data supplied by the Defense Department, and is intended to provide "a more detailed picture of who the Guantanamo detainees are, how they ended up there, and the purported bases for their enemy combatant designation."
Did you get that? Somehow, two attorneys for two of the detainees superceded all bounds of human intellectual and emotional capabilities as we have come to understand them and released the "first objective analysis" of the Gitmo situation. And, of course, this was based on data that was just sitting around undisturbed since, y’know, the whole detainee abuse angles has been under-reported.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
as I understand the Geneva Conventions we could have SHOT THEM OUT OF HAND, as "Illegal Combatants", LEGALLY. We didn’t.

How benevolent of us, not to shoot people that are just as likely to be innocent as guilty.

I’ll second W’s wait-and-see suggestion, even as I back away slowly from this blog’s comments section.
 
Written By: kenB
URL: http://
as I understand the Geneva Conventions we could have SHOT THEM OUT OF HAND, as "Illegal Combatants", LEGALLY.
Then you don’t understand the Geneva Conventions. Before shooting them out of hand, we are required to set up a tribunal to determine their combatant status.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
There’s nothing to lose and we uphold our social ideals by doing so.
Nothing huh?

Things that don’t have a price are valueless and therefore worthless. Allowing everyone, including our enemies, to enjoy the fruits of our societal successes (and make no mistake; this is exactly what things like "due process" and "transparency" are) devalues said sucesses until they are, indeed, worthless.

We have a great deal to lose.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
I don’t believe Jon was suggesting they do.
This is why we have due process. This is why we have transparency. This is why a free people who want to remain that way ought to insist we apply due process and transparency even to suspected terrorists.
Uh JOSH, did you READ the post? Try again, I didn’t just pick the phrase "due process and transparency" from thin air.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Dale you are correct sir, and after they were adjudged "illegal combatants" we could have shot them out of hand. They are at Gitmo BECASUE THEY HAVE BEEN ADJUDGED ILLEGAL COMBATANTS.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Dont jump on me for bringing up an old topic, but doesnt what MichaelW is talking about have some reference to that post about natural rights as constructs of societies?
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
Jon’s larger point, that he tries and I’d argue tries to argue poorly with this evidence, is however, correct. We can not simply trust government, whether run by Dubya, FDR or Bill Clinton, to "do the right thing." I am pleased that people are examining the "Eavesdropping" program and that people are discussing the detainees at Gitmo. This is necessary, to keep the gov’mint honest.

My point, here is that Jon is wrong about demanding due process and transparency, those are things NOT acorded to PoW’s OR to Illegal Combatants. Not that If the President does it it’s not illegal. Please NOT try to pin that position on me.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
we are required to set up a tribunal to determine their combatant status.


Are you sure about that? Here’s article 5 from the GC:
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.
(emphasis mine)

The tribunal mentioned by the GC pertains to whether a known belligerent falls into one of the POW categories, not whether the captured person is in fact a belligerent at all.
 
Written By: kenB
URL: http://
I’m for a wait and see (due process for readers) attitude also. Based primarily on this from Stuart Taylor-a person I respect.
The tribunal hearings, based largely on such guilt-by-association logic, have been travesties of unfairness. The detainees are presumed guilty unless they can prove their innocence — without help from lawyers and without being permitted to know the details and sources of the evidence against them. This evidence is almost entirely hearsay from people without firsthand knowledge and statements from other detainees desperate to satisfy their brutally coercive interrogators.
I think I would also conclude that this report is based upon hearsay from people without firsthand knowledge. And they didn’t even have to face "brutally coercive interrogators."
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I read Jon’s post and then the comments. I couldn’t decide if the post was: 1) The product of Jon’s BDS; 2) Step two in the organized campaign to elect Democrats in “06, building on the NSA “scandal”; 3) left wing bleeding heart efforts by the same folks who bring us the huge expense of the death penalty issue; or 4) a combination of the above.
Then I thought: How are you going to learn anything if you just knee jerk based on the earmarks that the post is the “usual stuff” from the “usual suspects”? Maybe it isn’t the usual Bush bashing and it could be the start of a new awakening. So, I read the cited article. It was exhaustive, all right, but not the evidence.
The bottom line? It’s hard to know who is a terrorist. Part of their training is to memorize a story that makes them appear to be innocent. They probably know that story better than they know the truth. Their story is filled with detail; the charges against them are more general, thus “the weight of available evidence” suggests that they are innocent, get it?
I got it. Democrats looking to get Bush are turning over every stone for stories that can be made part of the “Bush administration is a bunch of lying fascists” story. Repeat it enough and you get loyal BDS supporters to reach for their wallets and post on their blogs. Bush lied about the NSA “scandal”, now here are further lies about Guantanamo. Wait for it....”You should have listened to us when we told you he lied about WMD!”
It’s the big lie. Go back to Feingold’s speech, which is the broad stroke master plan of the campaign. Foks, we can have 9/10 back again if you just vote for Democrats. Actually, there is a kind of beauty to it. I can’t wait for the next chapter. Where else has the fascist Bush administration lied just like they did on WMD?
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Sadly, Jon, the detainees DON’T MERIT DUE PROCESS AND TRANSPARENCY, by law.
Our law does require a degree of due process for them — which we’ve granted, albeit in what appears to be a kangaroo court manner — but it does not require much in the way of transparency. However, my argument was that we, as a civil, free and moral society, need to have due process and transparency.
They merit interrogation and by-and-large just and humane treatment, but not due process.
Yeah, well, it appears that the lack of due process and transparency has result in them not getting just and humane treatment.
Somehow, two attorneys for two of the detainees superceded all bounds of human intellectual and emotional capabilities as we have come to understand them and released the "first objective analysis" of the Gitmo situation.
"based entirely on data supplied by the Defense Department".
There’s nothing to lose and we uphold our social ideals by doing so.
Precisely. We do that, not because they’re good people, but because we are. And because the only way to stop government from being tyranny is to restrain men at every step. Checks and balances, oversight, due process and transparency may sometimes protect terrorists, but that’s the price we pay so that it also protests us.

It we don’t protect the suspected guilty, we have no reason to expect protection.
My point, here is that Jon is wrong about demanding due process and transparency, those are things NOT acorded to PoW’s OR to Illegal Combatants.
At no point did I argue that the detainees are subject to the same laws as are we. But we ought to subject government to the same scrutiny, skepticism and oversight in either case.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Good post, Jon. Giving due process to suspected terrorists is simply enlightened self-interest, a form of soft power. Yes, in the short run it can be a hassle, but in the long run it sends a powerful signal to both friends and foes that we are so strong that we can grant even our enemies certain rights. It’s basically a form of status display that helps to build confidence with our allies and demoralize our enemies.

It’s not that we have to, it’s that we *can* that is important.
 
Written By: cllam
URL: http://
It we don’t protect the suspected guilty, we have no reason to expect protection.
With this enemy at least, we don’t have a great deal of reason to expect "protection" in any event.

I’m with Bob on this one.
Being good guys, doesn’t do as much good, if we’re dead.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Jon is right here. American Citizens [you know...like some of us] can now pretty much just disappear without due-process. Daddy dropped me off at school two years ago and he never came home...he just vanished! UnAmerican.
 
Written By: gunny
URL: http://
The main problem is that our enemies refuse to wear uniforms. It’s not our fault that they refuse to do so. The blame lies on them, not our forces. Perhaps the media could write a story on that: the reason so many innocents are caught up is due to the fact that AQ refuses to fight according to the rules of war.

I guess next war we need to air drop uniforms as well as all those MREs.

We have also released individuals who have then been killed on the battlefield. Let me guess, they too said "no, no, no I did not know Bin Laden." Why else would we release them.

And of course since 9/11 we haven’t found any Arab charities or NGO’s who were involved with terror, not a one!

Not to mention, it’s quite common to be fleeing into Pashtun villages or the Tribal Areas of Pakistan 30 days after the war begins...yep, I do it all the time. Especially if I’m an innocent aid worker.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
What’s happened here at QandO? Add a little profanity and this post could have been written by Kos.
 
Written By: clark smith
URL: http://
What’s happened here at QandO? Add a little profanity and this post could have been written by Kos.


Huh. Well, if you only want to hear support for the Administration’s line, maybe you should stop reading us and read Powerline or Bit’s Blog. That way, you can ensure you never read anything that might challenge your cherished beliefs.

I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable that way.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
To some of us dirty-hippy-commie-lovers these arguments are tiresomely familiar. We are supposed to be the good guys, so we should act like good guys. Is that too difficult?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Precisely. We do that, not because they’re good people, but because we are. And because the only way to stop government from being tyranny is to restrain men at every step. Checks and balances, oversight, due process and transparency may sometimes protect terrorists, but that’s the price we pay so that it also protests us.

Amen Brother Jon — you sing it and I’ll turn the pages.

Look folks, I voted for Bush in ’04, but I didn’t sign on for much that has happened since. If that means I — and Jon — sound like Kos, well I think Kos would be shocked to learn that since I can’t stand him and he often disgusts me. But I’m also not going to abandon the rule of law and fundamental American values just becasue some on the left may be cynically appealing to those things in order to get Bush. They are right about the NSA thing and other matters, even if they are right for the wrong reaons.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
I agree that if this report is true, it’s outrageous. Certainly it merits further investigation. But before accepting it at face value, you might want to ask yourself how the administration, or anyone else for that matter, benefits from detaining innocent people in Guantanamo at taxpayer expense. Then ask yourself who might have an incentive to paint some (or all) of the detainees as innocents. The fact that there might be some incentive there even if the story isn’t true doesn’t prove that it isn’t true, but it does counsel caution in jumping to conclusions.

By the way, your comment in the update shows that you completely missed the import of the excerpt you quoted.

[They came into our custody from third parties "whose political & financial incentives were to release actual senior [Al Qaeda] operatives, who would have had cash, and deliver the rest" to US Forces, i.e., people who weren’t readily identifiable combatants at all.]

How is this evidence that we were buying captives? It seems to me to be evidence that we weren’t, or at least that we weren’t paying enough.
 
Written By: Hans Pew
URL: http://
...so the primary concept behind this post is that coerced and purchased testimony of innocence is automatically more trustworthy than coerced and purchased testimony of guilt?

Or is it that prisoners in Guantanimo are automatically more trustworthy than their captors, by virtue of the fact that they are prisoners?

Or is it the idea that somehow the rights due American citizens should be extended, free of any duties or price, to literally anybody anywhere in the world?

Or that prisoners taken during war should be treated now somehow differently than they have been treated by American soldiers in the past because... well, because they’re Moslem?

Sorry, folks. There have been so many lies and so much propaganda printed about the Horrors of Guantanimo that any new story, absent overwhelming and uncorrupt backing, is simply to be taken as just more partisan win-the-war-on-the-Administration-by-losing-the-war-on-terror tall tales.

Got any mishandled Korans you want to sell?

 
Written By: DaveP.
URL: http://
How is this evidence that we were buying captives? It seems to me to be evidence that we weren’t, or at least that we weren’t paying enough.
Sorry, I realize the quote excerpted was not enough to give you a full flavor of the background cited in the reports. I’d update the post to add to it. One of the stories mentions this...
Add a healthy dollop of cash spread around by both hunters and prey, and a U.S. military bureaucracy dedicated to protecting Americans against a threat from an unfamiliar corner of the world, and you have an unsettling formula for determining who got caught and who got away. It was "win-win," Haqqani said. "The Americans get their prisoners, Pakistanis get their praise, the guy who captures the prisoners gets his reward, and Al Qaeda gets its escape."
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Jon, Mona- I am sure that you are pleased that, on September 11, none of the twelve murderers were subjected to any violation of due process and did not have their cell phone communications with Osama tapped. I am sure that the 2700 who died on that day, and their families, share your pleasure that the Bush Administration made no attempt to conduct a surveillance program aimed at people in America who communicate with known terrorists outside America. I am positive beyond correction that, should another few thousand die in another terror attack, you will be proud of your part in revealing to the perpetrators the methods we used to attempt to secure our population so that they could improve their security. You are truly good Americans.
 
Written By: DaveP.
URL: http://
Two things. These allegations seem to stem from the prisoners themselves or there lawyers.

Johnny Cochran assured everyone that OJ was innocent and that the LAPD "framed him" to protect the "real killer." Whatever. Lawyers are part of the ADVERSARIAL process. They will say anything as will their clients, even if it doesn’t pass the nodding test for even slight acquaintance with reality.

Secondly, there is no way we can conduct a war on terror with people willing to kill us over cartoons published in Denmark or any other trivial reason (our real offense is that we exist) by judicial means.

No one in Al Qaeda conducted a court of law to sentence thousands to death for being Americans, and we didn’t serve Hitler with a subpoena but rather destroyed Germany’s war machine and most of their cities.

If you believe without proof the words of hate-filled Muslim terrorists (who believe "Freedom go to HELL!") you are not naive. You are a FOOL.

The larger issue of Gitmo is that we have lots of prisoners we can’t do anything with. We’ve already extracted their intelligence value but those we have released have gone back to JIHAD and have killed Westerners, Americans, or Chinese engineers in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some we cannot send back to their countries of origin without them being shot on the spot (China for example, we have half a dozen Chinese nationals).

Most reporting is shoddy or wrong on purpose. No Koran was actually "flushed" by Americans down a toilet, the "Hellfire missile" held up by Pakistani villagers after the Predator attack on Zawahari’s dinner party was an old Pakistani Army artillery shell (and blindingly obvious to anyone who looked at the photo without sympathies for terrorists or spent five minutes watching the History channel).

So it’s pretty hard to believe this report given press bias and a record of being wrong many times before.

Yes we have these guys in custody and they are due SOME sort of legal process. They are not however due the legal considerations that people inside the US are when accused of a domestic crime. Acts of War against the US legally, morally, and politically have always been held as qualitatively different and treated outside the domestic legal situation. I seriously doubt that more than single digits held at Gitmo are "innocent" any more than Tookie, OJ, or that guy in VA that everyone said was innocent were innocent. As long as we are at war with Muslim fanatics we should hold these fanatic murderers who want nothing more than to kill Americans and have said so.

Hold them at Gitmo? No. They deserve a special prison that’s harsher than Alcatraz and very secure. As a point of fear for terrorists who want to kill Americans ... life in a nasty damp cold place filled with misery awaits them as they undertake Jihad. They may not be afraid to die but there’s a solution for that. Forty to fifty years of pure isolated misery.
 
Written By: Jim Rockford
URL: http://
Screw you, Dave. Security and liberty are not antithetical. I don’t oppose surveillance of terrorists or suspected terrorists, but I do think they should get warrants before they do it. I don’t oppose detaining unlawful combatants, but I do think they should follow the law and exercise good judgement in doing so.

Screw you and everybody like you who thinks we can either be secure or be free — safe or decent. That’s a false dilemma and it will excuse all manner of tyranny.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
If I recall correctly, about 3,000 men have been held at Guantanamo, and about 2,200 have been released. Some of those released have later been killed or captured in action against US or Coalition forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

It seems improbable to me that the U.S. would release three-fourths of the detainees, including many genuine jihadis, and yet insist on holding innocents against whom there is no evidence.

Furthermore, it seems improbable that any Arab would be in Taliban Afghanistan who was not a jihadist - in sympathy, at least, if not in arms. Arab "teachers" in Taliban Afghanistan would be teaching Taliban jihadism - nothing else was allowed. "Humanitarian workers" would likewise be operating with Taliban/al-Qaeda funding and protection, by their own particular choice. There are lots of other Moslem countries where teachers and aid are needed. If they went to Afghanistan, it was because they supported the Taliban and al-Qaeda. They were as much a part of the jihadist regime as the teachers and medical workers of Hamas are part of _that_ terrorist group.

Finally, I cannot endorse the call for ’transparency’. Jihadists have called for revenge on those who have provided information against them or assisted in their capture. Some have been killed. "Transparency" would require either leaving them exposed to retaliation or creating an enormously expensive "witness protection program". Perhaps more review is required, but it needs to be secure, not open.
 
Written By: Rich Rostrom
URL: http://
Live with it, Jon. That’s what you’re proposing, like it or not. I ask you now: Will you stand proud at the September 11 Memorial and say, "They died for my inalienable right to call Al Quaeda on my cellphone!"?
 
Written By: DaveP.
URL: http://
I would be very careful of the "data supplied by the defense department" bit. That phrase has been used extensively to add legitimacy to weak evidence. Koran-flushing story anyone?

Often the "data supplied by the defense department" are just records of claims made by detainees themselves. It doesn’t meant that these are actual conclusions made by DoD officials.
 
Written By: Arnold
URL: http://
I would be very careful of the "data supplied by the defense department" bit. That phrase has been used extensively to add legitimacy to weak evidence. Koran-flushing story anyone?

Often the "data supplied by the defense department" are just records of claims made by detainees themselves. It doesn’t meant that these are actual conclusions made by DoD officials.
 
Written By: Arnold
URL: http://
It seems improbable to me that the U.S. would release three-fourths of the detainees, including many genuine jihadis, and yet insist on holding innocents against whom there is no evidence.
A reminder that the documents that are being referenced were released by DoD. Now, unless you can point to other evidence which damns them, I’m not sure how you draw this conclusion.
Perhaps more review is required, but it needs to be secure, not open.
Again, given the documents in question and the agency releasing them, I’d agree much more review is required. Also required, again based on the documents DoD has released, is some application of common sense.
Much of the evidence against the detainees is weak. One prisoner at Guantanamo, for example, has made accusations against more than 60 of his fellow inmates; that’s more than 10 percent of Guantanamo’s entire prison population. The veracity of this prisoner’s accusations is in doubt after a Syrian prisoner, Mohammed al-Tumani, 19, who was arrested in Pakistan, flatly denied to his Combatant Status Review Tribunal that he’d attended the jihadist training camp that the tribunal record said he did.

Tumani’s denial was bolstered by his American "personal representative," one of the U.S. military officers — not lawyers — who are tasked with helping prisoners navigate the tribunals. Tumani’s enterprising representative looked at the classified evidence against the Syrian youth and found that just one man — the aforementioned accuser — had placed Tumani at the terrorist training camp. And he had placed Tumani there three months before the teenager had even entered Afghanistan. The curious U.S. officer pulled the classified file of the accuser, saw that he had accused 60 men, and, suddenly skeptical, pulled the files of every detainee the accuser had placed at the one training camp. None of the men had been in Afghanistan at the time the accuser said he saw them at the camp.

The tribunal declared Tumani an enemy combatant anyway.
One guy accusing 60 of the prisoners and being taken seriously even after it has been shown that many of those he accuses of being in Afghanistan weren’t there at the time he claims they were?

Does that amount to damning evidence where you’re from?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
So, if I’m to understand the thrust of this post: The Guantanamo detainees aren’t entitled to due process protections, but we should give those protections to them anyway, in order that (1) we can pat ourselves on the back for being more enlightened, civilized people than the barbarians we’re fighting, and (2) we don’t start down the slippery slope of refusing due process protections to people who actually are entitled to them.

Okay. #2 doesn’t strike me as a very serious concern: it’s a pretty big leap from incarcerating foreign belligerents, or suspected foreign belligerents, without due process to, on any widespread scale, incarcerating American citizens without due process.

With respect to #1... at what price moral vanity? Giving these guys due process protections is not without cost: it’d shield innocents, sure, but it’d also shield the guilty. We accept the cost of the guilty going free in our domestic criminal justice system because someday, some way, it might be one of us sitting in the dock, needing those procedural safeguards. That’s not a serious concern, here, since the bad guys are more interested in head-chopping than discussing the finer points of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence; so the only reason we’d do it is to show what a good bunch of folks we are. Is that worth the cost of the guilty going free, and returning to their butchery?
 
Written By: Brett
URL: http://
Often the "data supplied by the defense department" are just records of claims made by detainees themselves. It doesn’t meant that these are actual conclusions made by DoD officials.
Your supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff, for heaven sake. See above in my previous comment. The evidence came from a US Army officer who looked into the Tumani case and found the following:
The curious U.S. officer pulled the classified file of the accuser, saw that he had accused 60 men, and, suddenly skeptical, pulled the files of every detainee the accuser had placed at the one training camp. None of the men had been in Afghanistan at the time the accuser said he saw them at the camp.
It is just that sort of nonsense which gives the entire process a bad name.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Also, if Rich is correct and 3000 men have been held at Gitmo and we only have 132 case records that have been made public it’s wrong to attribute much statistical significance to them.

It would not be a representative sample. People who are actually innocent would tend to be oversampled since there would probably not be classified information regarding them.
 
Written By: Arnold
URL: http://
Also, if Rich is correct and 3000 men have been held at Gitmo and we only have 132 case records that have been made public it’s wrong to attribute much statistical significance to them.
Yeah, screw what they contain, it’s all about statistics, isn’t it Arnold?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I don’t buy this NJ story. However, those who do will continue to believe it never matter what evidence is brought forward to refute it. There are so many anti-Bush stories out there that have been proved wrong - yellowcake, for one. The goal of those who present these stories before they are conclusive is simply to harm the president. The fact that it harms the war effort means nothing to these people.
Hey - if this story is true, it will out. The damage done by the hyperbolic reporting of things like the Gitmo Koran abuse is incalculable. Why can’t reporters until they have something definitive, say semen on a dress, before crying wolf?
 
Written By: Mike
URL: http://
More leftist blather. Give them a two-minute tribunal and then shoot them. And those lawyers too.
 
Written By: Phil
URL: http://
... at what price moral vanity?
This line posted earlier really sums up my thoughts after reading this post. Moral vanity means nothing now to all those souls who lost on 9/11. In my estimation, "wrong place, wrong time" seems to trump the strictures of the "moral vanity" concept regarding this war on terror as a whole. The ultimate winners of this war will be those who survive...those who survive must always be in the right place at ALL times, right or wrong times.

All those who died on 9/11 were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The CIA officer who lost his life in Afganistan at the outset of this war, trying to sort out captured Taliban killers from San Francisco high schoolers found on the battlefield was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Likewise, every "innocent" Muslim who is rounded up during hostilities is in the wrong place at the wrong time. The ultimate question, "what are you going to do about this?" is the political football. The Executive Branch grabbed this football with two hands on 9/12 and hasn’t fumbled yet. The Legislative Branch (the Tower of Babble) has been trying to play catch up ever since.

The previous reader’s question, "what price vanity?" can only be answered by how much edge you are willing to give to your enemy. I myself am willing to give the enemy no edge...so my only answer to all those, guilty or innocent, who are netted by those who are protecting me is..."wrong place, wrong time." I am sure that any self-respecting Islamo-Fascist would tell me the same...just before he cuts my head off.
 
Written By: Brian
URL: http://
Detainee 063, a Saudi, had stubbornly claimed that he had gone to Afghanistan merely for love of falconry. By July 2002, the FBI knew that in August 2001 he had flown from a foreign country to Orlando, where a customs agent turned him away while a cohort, Mohamed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, waited for him outside.
Sounds like exactly the type of guy these lawyers want to set free. We’ve no proof of anything - you can’t prove he’s an enemy combatant merely from the fact that Mohammed Atta was waiting for him at the airport. And golly gee whiz - maybe he REALLY DID go to Afghanistan for the love of falconry. The military can’t prove he didn’t. So set him free! And find him a good job, too — maybe a 747 pilot or something.
 
Written By: A.S.
URL: http://
"you might want to ask yourself how the administration, or anyone else for that matter, benefits from detaining innocent people in Guantanamo at taxpayer expense"

There is no need for anyone to benefit from the situation in order for it to occur. Bureaucratic inertia is sufficient.
There is also precedent. As I mentioned on another thread, the Phoenix program in VietNam had some similar problems, due to some similar causes.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Screw you, Dave. Security and liberty are not antithetical. I don’t oppose surveillance of terrorists or suspected terrorists, but I do think they should get warrants before they do it. I don’t oppose detaining unlawful combatants, but I do think they should follow the law and exercise good judgement in doing so.
Screw you and everybody like you who thinks we can either be secure or be free — safe or decent. That’s a false dilemma and it will excuse all manner of tyranny.


Jon - Try to view terrorists like internet spammers. They will not stop trying to secure their objective after being stopped one time. I’ve been told that much of what the NSA examines are creative ways that our enemies invent in order to communicate with one another (such as international calls routed to a transfer station within the USA to complicate tracing...such as coded Email directives with thousands of phoney carbon copy addresses to throw off detection of the few legitimate recipients, etc.) How long does a warrant process take for hundreds of bogus wire leads, when communication between the legitimate terrorist parties is calculated to be over and untraceable by the time the NSA can narrow down the legitimate leads?

More importantly, why do you agree with former President Carter’s actions in 1978...in transfering his Executive Branch authority (to listen in to those who threaten our National security) to the Legislative Branch, who in kind transfered this authority to the Judicial Branch?
Do you believe that Federal Judges are more competent at discerning what is and isn’t a threat to our National Security than the President? They certainly didn’t show themselves to be capable when they denied the FBI the ability to take possession of, then unknown, Zacharias Moussaoui’s hard drive in August of 2001.
 
Written By: Brian
URL: http://
all societies have a natural right or duty to their members to ensure their survival. rights are irrelevant if there is no one to ensure them. why shouldn’d we have faith in our governments? either we are under attack or we are not. if we are not than i agree with you about the need for due process and all the rest. if we are under attack than what good are the former if we don’t survive the latter?
 
Written By: richard ponce
URL: http://
I can fully sympathize with all of the anti-Guantanamo posters.

Of course I would love to catch every single AQ member with a rifle in his hand, and with several witnesses, video tapes, and a signed confession.

Unfortunately, Al Qaeda is not fighting in Iowa but in rugged Afghanistan. So, if the fighters are fleeing and hiding among civilians, please, oh critics, what is YOUR SOLUTION?

Catch and release anyone not caught at the "crime scene" of a battlefield?

What is your solution when you find out hundreds of AQ members are in Pakistani villages in the tribal areas where even Pakistani forces can’t go?

PLEASE LET US KNOW. Yeah, it’s fun to Monday Morning Quarterback and grumble that we only paid cash and got low level types...but seriously, enlighten me as to how you would have got the big fish...

Enlighten me as to what you would do with the two Arab males caught entering Afghanistan in burqas in 2001-2002? Uhhhhh, no crime, no foul. Their lawyers say they are innocent, what to do now? I guess we have to let them go.

What the critics want is a perfect world with a perfect bureaucracy that will sort the wheat from the shaft with signma six levels of precision.




 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Oh, I guess we can ask for more hearings, more boards, a better screening process etc.

Which is fine by me, but the lawyers won’t stop until they all get full US citizen rights for every single detainee or better yet an international tribunal where French and German judges can let the freedom fighters get a fair hearing.

I’d also be interested in seeing information on how they released people who went back to fight...this would be the opposite of the poor charity worker who was sold out by Pakistani villagers.





 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
What the critics want is a perfect world with a perfect bureaucracy that will sort the wheat from the shaft with signma six levels of precision.
No one here expects a perfect world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive for a more perfect world ... there’s a difference, figure it out.

When you quit trying for that, when you are sure you’re there and nothing better can be had, you deserve what you end up with ... and you really have no room to bitch about it.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
1) Hamza v. Rumsfeld, supreme court ruled that Hamza was indeed an EPW and subject to military due process. It’s only caveat was that it seemed that Hamza was not getting appropriate representation or had access to enough information to mount a defense.

2) In Hamza’s case he was actually being charged with a crime. This was not an issue of his EPW status aside from his attornies trying to get him tried in civilian court or failing that getting additional information to mount a defense before the charges presented.

3) this is not a civilian criminal case, however one might like to make it. Guilt or innocence in EPW detention only matters when the disposition of the prisoner includes charging them for specific crimes, such as indictment for terrorist activities or war crimes against humanity. Otherwise, the due process in place is not to establish "guilt" or "innocence" as a combatant or detainee, but to establish whether the detainee is or can be again a threat to US and allied forces should he be released. The fact that he/she was already detained already makes them an EPW (enemy prisoner of war; we don’t say POW anymore actually), the question only being whether they fit the high end "belligerant" classification of the four established EPW classes or if they are more towards the "civilian/displaced person" class. If the answer is even vaguely "yes" to "belligerant" and "continued threat" then the person can continue to be detained without any formal charges under military or GC code of law being brought as long as they are belligerants from an ongoing war. At most, such a person may come up for review to determine if this status has changed, if additional crimes are committed while they are imprisoned, or if the war is considered "over" and they can be released (among the many other considerations for "threat" determination). This is a fact and has been the case in every war we’ve ever fought in. By the way, if you failed to notice, Afghanistan is not over, therefore...

4) Establishing continued threat is a major factor in continuing detainment and has very little to do with whether the person being reviewed for potential release was on a battlefield with a gun, was in his house full of propaganda or was drinking tea in a civilian cafe with a known warlord. Again, this is not about guilt or innocence in the manner of civilian court systems. This determination would be based on much more than whether he had taken up arms or swore he didn’t want to kill Americans. In fact, unlike civilian courts, the military courts have to take into consideration things like where this man came from. What was his village? Where was it located? Is it currently in an area such as southern Afghanistan near khandahar where Pashtun tribes are still loyal to the Taliban and launch attacks against Afghan government and coalition forces? Is the village known to be loyal to a specific warlord? (as an example)

you see, this is not civilian criminal court where the persons return environment does not factor into questions of detention. This is war where a mistake means the guy goes back to his village, volunteers or is coerced to pick up a gun and kills either Afghan national forces, coalition forces or civilians. This is one reason why the military process is kept separate from the civilian courts. It is simply not the same. For people to demand that it is and prove "innocence" or "guilt" as the sole criteria for detention is foolish beyond measure.

6) Using knowledge, admissions of or against, Al Qaeda is neither a sound way to establish guilt nor anyway to determine innocence. In fact, the entire line of questioning "Do you belong to, work with or know anyone that is Al Qaeda?" is bogus.

Here’s a fact. Almost every person interviewed, regardless of status or circumstances of detention, insisted that they did not belong to Al Qaeda, didn’t fight for Al Qaeda, didn’t know anyone from Al Qaeda and had no idea if anyone in the prison was a member.

Surprised? Does this mean that none of the prisoners were members of Al Qaeda or an affiliated group? Does this mean none of them were combatants or affiliated with “Al Qaeda”?

No. Here’s where the questioning and the defense line is a problem: Al Qaeda is the name of a data base full of known mujihadeen and groups of mujihadeen kept by bin Laden at the beginning of the 90’s, all of whom go by their own established names. Much like how we see groups in Iraq such as Ansar al Sunnah or Ansar al Islam or the Revenge Brigade and numerous other small Islamist groups that we know are affiliated with "Al Qaeda in Iraq", the umbrella name of al Qaeda in Afghanistan was not widely used or known. In fact, the term Al Qaeda was used by bin Laden to describe, not his organization, but the conglomerate of these organizations as "the base" for the mujihadeen movement (the literal interpretation) in an interview with Peter Bergen not as a name he was giving his group. Al Qaeda as a group name for these small dessimanated groups was the name that WE latched on to and used to describe it.


It was not really adopted as a nom de guerre by any group until Zarqawi used it to establish his bonifieds in Iraq by swearing allegiance to bin Laden and calling his new organization Al Qaeda in the land of two rivers (ie, Iraq). Until then, each statement from bin Laden and Zawahiri had used multiple variations on the idea of Global Jihad. you may recall the 1998 declaration of war was made in the name of the "World Islamic Front".

Thus, questioning along these lines was foolish and unproductive. It is these questions and responses which gives the civilian defense attornies and other organizations the ability to claim that their clients are not members of Al Qaeda and have no affiliation.

Hopefully both the civilian and military intelligence agencies have learned this lesson, because, if they didn’t, we may never crack the Islamist terrorist movement.

7) I should have put this as number 1 item, but if you are wondering how I know this, I read 126 interview pages that had been released to the ACLU last year under the FOIA. This is old info that another attorney is trying to make hay out of. Glenn Reynolds is correct in some sense, I wouldn’t get to hot in the pants for this issue unless or until you read the actual documents, not a fixed report with "samples" from either position.

8) Brutal interrogators? Read the interviews. Five cases of abuse during interrogation were noted in the documents I saw. However, this abuse was not exactly "physical" in nature and I wouldn’t refer to it as "brutal" unless you believe that a woman rubbing her body on a man is "brutal". Appx 10 other instances of "abuse" were noted (it’s in parenthesis because they were allegations and no collaborating info from the DoD was available), largely in context with transfering detainees from cells, breaking up fights, pushing and shoving. We aren’t talking about institutionalized torture in terms of beatings. we’re talking about petty incidents with little physical or mental damage.

When most of the detainees were interviewed, they couldn’t recall any such "brutal interrogations" but swear that the guy in the cell next to them heard from the guys in cell block b that some guys were being tortured.

As I said, read the documents yourself.

 
Written By: Kat-missouri
URL: http://themiddleground.blogspot.com
And how many of the GITMO detainees that have been released have been recaptured or killed on the battlefield? By my count and it is probably conservative 39 plus one who is running around in Kashmir killing innocents. Sorry I don’t buy the whole most of them are innocent meme. If they were in Afghanastan working with the taliban they were most likely AQ or wanting to become part of them.
 
Written By: Oldcrow
URL: http://
Your "major points" highlighted,etc. don’t really hold water. First, you note the detainees weren’t captured by American troops. Really? Think about the war we fought in Afghanistan. We had Special Forces troops advising Northern Alliance troops over there not several Marine divisions charging up the battlefield. How would "our troops" have captured them? And what battlefield would they have been captured on? You are now an "expert" in this. Name a single Afghan "battlefield". Even if you aren’t caught on a battlefield does that make the capture invalid? I guess we should let Saddam go by that standard; after all, he was just minding his own business in that spider hole and he’s innocent-just ask him. I’ve read your referenced sites and the reason to believe your conclusions seems the same as previous article-the detainees say they’re innocent so they must be.
 
Written By: Richard H
URL: http://
Is the truth relevant in Gitmo?
I am not a bright man and am certain that people here have more education and innate intelligence than I do. Sometimes we need to be reminded though of how the world works and anyone can have an opinion. Here is mine:
Fairness and justice and the rule of law are permitted by power. In America, the power of law and justice is in the hands of the elected officials and the courts. The elected officials have already committed to a course of action at Gitmo. Unless the courts have jurisdiction, they cannot rule on laws that may apply.

Gitmo will not release anyone unless they can be tracked back to reveal their terrorist connections. This will continue as long as the political will does not change. Arguing whether or not the people at Gitmo are terrorists will not change the present situation unless it can impact the politics.

To change Gitmo will require that the political will changes. Truth at Gitmo is not relevant unless it builds a case that the political will should be changed or it wlll be relevant when the courts have jurisdiction.

We Americans believe that our liberties and Bill of Rights do not apply to our enemies . We have a worthiness test that we apply to those who vex us. We sometimes feel the same about our Christian values in that they do not apply to our enemies in all cases. When the tools at hand are laws, we arrest our enemies; when the tools at hand are weapons, we force and threaten; when the tools at hand are torture and incarceration, we apply those also.We rationalize our use of tools to fit the opportunity at hand.

I have little hope that the injustice at Gitmo will change in the next 3 years regarding truths revealed that change political will.
I do have hope that the courts will be the correcting force eventually.





 
Written By: Dale
URL: http://
And how many of the GITMO detainees that have been released have been recaptured or killed on the battlefield?
How many criminal released from prison have resumed a life of crime?

Does that mean others accused of crime shouldn’t receive due process?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
so the ends justify the means, huh?

this sort of thinking explains so much that is wrong today.
 
Written By: AD
URL: http://
Allow me to second Jon’s "screw you" to Dave. To the deceased of 9/11 and their families I say this: "We will not let the barbarians win. They killed our fellow citizens, destroyed billions of dollars worth of property, and effectively shut down our country for a week or more. But we have rebounded, and we will not alter our freedoms under the rule of law; that is, terrorists win when they f*cking terrorize us into behaving like craven cowards and exchanging liberty and our fundamental principles of government and decency in meek submission to fear of them."

Not me, buster. Not in this lifetime.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Of course it would be POSSIBLE for the US to capture and lock up innocents from Afghanistan. But what makes this report unbelievable to me is that the US has absolutely no MOTIVE to do so. It is not easy to detain, transport, and now house these people. Why would we do it if it is so easy to prove their innocence?

I don’t see the source of the above information. Of course the prisoners themselves claim thier innocence. If that is the source of the information, I can tell you that 95% of the criminals in US prisons are also innocent.
 
Written By: Mike
URL: http://
Boom!

Deer caught in headlights!

Details at 11

P.S. Your e-mail of the other day was infected. Check your pc.

:-)
 
Written By: jb
URL: http://
Does that mean others accused of crime shouldn’t receive due process?
Written By: McQ

We are not talking about criminals moron we are talking about terrorists and if you don’t know the Difference then you are not worth debating. As for criminals yes if they continue to commit crimes then lock them up for life, ever heard of three strikes laws? Oh thats right you are a moonbat and believe they are just misunderstood just like the terrorists.
 
Written By: Oldcrow
URL: http://
And if they are not getting due process explain to me why when we started Gitmo there were close to 3000 detainee’s and now we are down to 500 or less? The answer is they are getting due process, remember the case Hamzi V US? The due process they get is the same as what US military members get under the UCMJ if it is good enough for them then it is way more than good enough for the detainee’s.
 
Written By: Oldcrow
URL: http://
McQ,
I apologize for the Moron comment, my blood pressure rises when I hear someone talk about the detainee’s as if they are common criminals and they are not.
 
Written By: Oldcrow
URL: http://
OK, I spent way to many years in the Army, and if you believe that all members of either the military, CIA or other agency are all full of goodness and light, you are much mistaken.
Torture should never be done to anyone for any reason. John McCain was tortured for 5 years, and he is one of the most outspoken against torture.
I saw it being done while I was in Vietnam, mostly by the ROK, but once in a while by our guys. Nobody ever got any good information, ie: actionable intelligence, from it. It doesn’t work.
Our reputation in the world, whether deserved or not, suffers from our president or the VP saying that we should torture. As for those countries in europe who strongly say we shouldn’t do it, read their history first. Up until about 1950, they were very violent, both to themselves and to each other, they know deep in their bones that torture doesn’t work.
What about the Israelis? They don’t use physical torture. They know it doesn’t work.
It harms us more than the people we torture.
I have spent most of my adult life, more that 50 years, either in the military, or working for it as a civilian. I know military people, and a very large majority(enlisted) don’t think that torture works. However, our officer corps has become politicized, or are afraid for their careers, and therefore will do whatever they feel they need to do to satisfy their superiors. This is pretty much the same way Vietnam started to unravel.
As for Carter in 1978, and his signing the FISA bill. Don’t ever forget that this law was in response to what Nixon did. He totally misused numerous government agencies. Congress, at that time, felt that they had no choice. It wasn’t just the democracts. Congress was very different then, persons on both sides cared a whole lot more for the country, than do the people in congress today. Both sides think more about power, and the party they belong to than they do about the good of the country. I think that is very sad.
I think that Jon has got the right idea, but I see in the people presenting differing views a lot of opinions gathered from the talking heads. Overall these ideas are very shallow, and actually do great harm to our country. No, I am not a dem, but I am also no longer a rep.
 
Written By: Timothy Richley
URL: http://
Howdy.

I’m a liberal and proud of it if you force me to define who I am, but i have positions all over the map, and I read any respect to a degree any blog that espouses consistent, rational, and relatively mainstream convictions.

Before you reflexively bash all those angry Kossacks out there though in passing, as whom you’ve been forced to agree with, you should understand something about their audience I’ve been listening to this hatred-based hypocrisy and demagoguery from conservatives since I was 13 years out, hearing Bob Grant on talk radio on a school bus. There’s plenty of ’old-school’ liberal positions i’m lukewarm on, but I would never vote for a republican, because I associate them reflexively with authoritarian hate speech. And I hate Mccathyian hate speech. It threatens me a lot more than Muslim terrorists. I’m sure my country is strong enough to handle al-quieda, but I’m not sure about the second one.

I read a lot of blogs, and I’m seeing the fallout against the naked disrespect for any form of rules whatsoever on the part of the Bush administration and supporters. I see it from Andrew Sullivan, George Will, and Arlen Specter. I see the pushback coming from everywhere, and it consoles me when I fear that we’re on the verge of becoming a protofascist state. It helps me see the average republican as a decent guy with maybe a few misguided pricinples, instead of someone out to destroy me and everyone who disagrees with them.

Kudos for maintaining your independence. I don’t know who in Gitmo is innocent or guilty, but they need to be charged with a crime or released. Indefinite detention is a hallmark of dictatorship and political suppression, and any halfway consistent libertarian site ought to agree with that statement.

PS: All this ex-conservative pushback on the net, combined with disillusionment of my own republican leaning, live-free-or-die family, also helps reassure me that the Bush Authoritarian moment’s time is soon at hand.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"As for Carter in 1978, and his signing the FISA bill. Don’t ever forget that this law was in response to what Nixon did."
"I see in the people presenting differing views a lot of opinions gathered from the talking heads. Overall these ideas are very shallow, and actually do great harm to our country."
Written By: Timothy Richley

—————————————————————————
Timmy - I’ll promise not to forget what Carter signed the 1978 FISA bill for, if you tell me how domestic over reaching by Nixon and those before him equates to limiting a US President in 2002 from tracing foreign communications from suspected terror operatives to possible cells awaiting instructions in the US or the other way around. As detailed in my previous post, if the enemy is originally thwarted from doing this, and comes up with more creative ways of communication which can be conducted and concluded BEFORE the federal warrant process can be completed...then why should a US President in 2002 adhere to such innanity when national security is at risk? For 192 years before Jimmy Carter, the Executive Branch had the constitutional authority to monitor such communication without the authority of the legislature or the judiciary. Twenty-four years after Jimmy Carter, we have an enemy who is willing to destroy our freedoms by manipulating our technology and our rules. Some of us believe that we should hit the enemy back as hard as they hit us, without hurting our own chances for victory, (you can keep the rat poison underneath the dining room table and still enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.) Overall, if calling an enemy an enemy and treating an enemy as an enemy is just shallow thinking to you...I pray that your level of thinking is not indicitive of our brave fighting men and women.
 
Written By: Brian
URL: http://
Scanning down this thread, the troll argument appears to be: We trust GWB that all prisoners at Gitmo are al Qaeda, and anyone who questions this supports al Qaeda.

The trolls here just don’t get it. They have NO IDEA whether any of these prisoners are guilty of ANYTHING. Maybe they all are, maybe none are. Their argument is basically that they don’t want to know and they don’t have to find out. They are OK with imprisonment of innocents, as long as it gives them the illusion of security. Meanwhile, bin Ladin is still free. It is more important that we are doing "something" than that what we do is effective. Fascists.

"I pray that your level of thinking is not indicitive of our brave fighting men and women."

No you don’t. Your bloviations are irrelevant to actually fighting terrorism. You are using the phony "war on terrorism" as a stick to beat your political opponents.
 
Written By: Joel
URL: http://
From a relatively objective point of view, the fact that there are any kind of reports at all about questionable methods used in gathering the detainees at Guantanamo Bay indicates that what we are hearing is only the tip of the iceberg. Putting aside any idealistic notions about how decent human beings should treat each other, and speaking pragmatically, it seems to me that, at the very least, the United States should try to retain whatever respect it still may have from the rest of the world, in order to receive any kind of continued support for any resonable efforts we may make in the "war on terror." Chaotic, sloppy gathering of prisoners does not deserve respect. Behaving like animals toward our captives makes us look like animals ourselves.
 
Written By: Rosa
URL: http://
Has anyone seen any proof of released former Gitmo detainees actually being killed by American forces?
 
Written By: matt
URL: http://

 
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