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Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

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  • Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

    An 8-month McClatchy news investigation has yielded a significant amount of information on Guantanamo and its prisoners. It gives credibility to what some may still consider hearsay - that many prisoners were not terrorists, that they were abused in custody, and that while in custody they made solid ties to radical Islam which otherwise would not have existed. Guantanamo in and of itself has more than likely worsened America's defenses against the forces of radical Islam.

    For the sake of clarity, my intention is not to blame anyone but the higher level authority (apparently the White House) that put forth the practice and policy that is the Guantanamo facility. Since putting the system in place, they have continuously misrepresented it in public and fallen under International disfavor. People have a right to know the truth, and this report gets at it.

    A McClatchy investigation found that instead of confining terrorists, Guantanamo often produced more of them by rounding up common criminals, conscripts, low-level foot soldiers and men with no allegiance to radical Islam — thus inspiring a deep hatred of the United States in them — and then housing them in cells next to radical Islamists.

    The radicals were quick to exploit the flaws in the U.S. detention system.

    Soldiers, guards or interrogators at the U.S. bases at Bagram or Kandahar in Afghanistan had abused many of the detainees, and they arrived at Guantanamo enraged at America.
    The report containts documents, videos, testimony and the profiles of 66 Guantanamo detainees.
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/detainees/

  • #2
    Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

    I am starting to think that you have this pristine ideal that America should follow. Please enlighten all of us. Do you honestly think that America is the only one to "mistreat" its prisoners? Just being in a prison could be considered mistreatment, both physically and emotionally. A good friend of mine was accused of a crime in a foreign country and was treated horribly. This country was a NATO member and the things that were done to him were truly horrific. He was physically and emotionally abused and still has some psych issues even 13 years afterwards. He was given a trial and then aquitted. No appologies were issued and the property he had on him when he was arrested by the police came up missing.

    I guess that if the government thinks that these "prisoners" even remotely could harm the US, then I agree with their tactics. We are arguably the last superpower in the world and everyone wants to take a crack at us.

    Take any prisoner locked up in the US and asked them if they are abused...what do you think they will say?

    You are entitled to your opinion and I respect it. However, sometimes our opinions obscure the truth and the objectivity of the issue at hand.

    B
    "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." Gen. George Patton

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    • #3
      Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

      Originally posted by Bc2ID View Post
      I am starting to think that you have this pristine ideal that America should follow. Please enlighten all of us. Do you honestly think that America is the only one to "mistreat" its prisoners? Just being in a prison could be considered mistreatment, both physically and emotionally. A good friend of mine was accused of a crime in a foreign country and was treated horribly. This country was a NATO member and the things that were done to him were truly horrific. He was physically and emotionally abused and still has some psych issues even 13 years afterwards. He was given a trial and then aquitted. No appologies were issued and the property he had on him when he was arrested by the police came up missing.

      I guess that if the government thinks that these "prisoners" even remotely could harm the US, then I agree with their tactics. We are arguably the last superpower in the world and everyone wants to take a crack at us.

      Take any prisoner locked up in the US and asked them if they are abused...what do you think they will say?

      You are entitled to your opinion and I respect it. However, sometimes our opinions obscure the truth and the objectivity of the issue at hand.

      B
      I think you hit the nail on the head with this one

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

        Originally posted by Bc2ID View Post
        A good friend of mine was accused of a crime in a foreign country and was treated horribly. This country was a NATO member and the things that were done to him were truly horrific. He was physically and emotionally abused and still has some psych issues even 13 years afterwards. He was given a trial and then aquitted. No appologies were issued and the property he had on him when he was arrested by the police came up missing.
        Wait, so your argument is, "everybody does it"?
        In game handle: Steel Scion
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        • #5
          Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

          Yeah as arguments in defense of torture go, that's as weak as it gets.
          Beatnik

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          • #6
            Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

            Well, the problem is not that some terrorists are abused, but that some innocents are - in the future, we might be able to determinate if someone is guilty or not, but until then, there will always be innocent people suffering for crimes they did not commit, and we can't really do anything against that.

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            • #7
              Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

              Originally posted by Bc2ID View Post
              I am starting to think that you have this pristine ideal that America should follow. Please enlighten all of us. Do you honestly think that America is the only one to "mistreat" its prisoners?
              I absolutely do not think America is the only country to mistreat prisoners, nor do I think it is anywhere near the worst among nations that do - in fact I know it is not. America sets its own pristine ideals, such as public statements by its President and other politicians stating 'We do not torture.' This is mostly what I'm speaking to - specifically, that while the intentions of the Guantanamo Bay may have been solid enough (dealing with the issue of those captured during the war in Afghanistan and the broader 'war' on terror), its execution and management have been less than solid. Worse than this, though, is the way in which this has been portrayed to the American public. That's what I am primarily speaking to - that information keeps coming forward that clearly contradicts what America's leaders are saying.

              All of this must be taken under the assumption that America is and should be held to a higher standard than many if not most other nations. America's actions and political statements seem to substantiate that belief. If you disagree with that, than my arguments will probably seem unfair. I am of the belief that as a superpower, America is and should be held to a higher standard - especially in cases where it sets that standard. As one CIA official was quoted in a recent NYTimes article on their rendition program (which ultimately delivered prisoners to Guantanamo) in regard to torture - "I thought we were better than that."

              Originally posted by Bc2ID
              Just being in a prison could be considered mistreatment, both physically and emotionally. A good friend of mine was accused of a crime in a foreign country and was treated horribly. This country was a NATO member and the things that were done to him were truly horrific. He was physically and emotionally abused and still has some psych issues even 13 years afterwards. He was given a trial and then aquitted. No appologies were issued and the property he had on him when he was arrested by the police came up missing.
              Interestingly, your friend's story doesn't sound all that dissimilar to what prisoners at Guantanamo have reported. I'm not saying that if the mistreatment in your case happened in Turkey (for the sake of example) it's OK, I'm just saying that America is (and probably should be) held to a different standard, especially when its leaders openly say so. I hope that you understand my actual intention with bringing things like this into debate is so human rights is taken more seriously around the globe. If America is setting an example with Guantanamo, that is not a good example to other nations, nor does it discourage or otherwise curtail terrorist motivation throughout the Islamic world.

              Originally posted by Bc2ID
              I guess that if the government thinks that these "prisoners" even remotely could harm the US, then I agree with their tactics. We are arguably the last superpower in the world and everyone wants to take a crack at us.
              Then I would ask how trusting are you of your governments ability to identify an individual as a threat. Again, take your friends case. I'm sure someone or some agency perceived him as a kind of threat and acted on it. Is that justification enough? I would argue that it is not - especially if there is evidence that false identification combined with mistreatment is occuring. How does your friend now feel about this country that (falsely?) imprisoned him?

              Originally posted by Bc2ID
              Take any prisoner locked up in the US and asked them if they are abused...what do you think they will say?
              This is an entirely different matter. I'm not simply talking about torture or abuse, I am talking about the broader operation and its actual effectiveness compared with public claims.

              Originally posted by Bc2ID
              You are entitled to your opinion and I respect it. However, sometimes our opinions obscure the truth and the objectivity of the issue at hand.
              I agree - though I try to make an effort at maintaining objectvity, which in a way is the reason I take a lot of these issues on in the first place.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

                Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                Wait, so your argument is, "everybody does it"?

                Not at all. Take the broader approach and look at the issue at hand. I really wish that people would not picture America as being pristine and virginal. Our society is ruled by people and the last time I checked, people make mistakes. No one system is perfect and each individual system serves a purpose.

                Mosley has brought up a very important aspect in the war on terror. Do I totally agree with him, not at all. Do I think that his argument has merit, of course I do.

                Folks, we are in a time of war. The people we elected make decisions on a day to day basis that effect our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. If you disagree with them, then I suggest you get out and vote! If you did not vote during the last election and were of age, then you have no right to complain. You had your chance and to play "Monday Morning Quarterback" does not cut it.

                I am not suggesting that "because everyone else does it then we should too." That is insane! What I am saying is that our country is mild in comparison to that of our fellow NATO members. (That is what my story was about.) I believe that our government is doing its best to keep us safe and trying to seperate the bad apples from the good.

                Then again maybe we should just hand out Love Beads and sing Koombaya!
                "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." Gen. George Patton

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                • #9
                  Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

                  Originally posted by Bc2ID View Post
                  I believe that our government is doing its best to keep us safe and trying to seperate the bad apples from the good.

                  Then again maybe we should just hand out Love Beads and sing Koombaya!
                  There is the catch. I, and others, do not think our government is doing its best. I think there are some in government that use the current "war" to push an agenda that include restricting the rights of citizens. They want to extend governments, especially the White House, powers.

                  Not all, but some.

                  I would bet that if Guantanamo was just about security many of the bad things brought up never would have happened.

                  A lot of it is some people covering their asses after the attacks happened. Some of it is a simple pissing contest because Dick doesn't think anybody should be able to tell him what to do. Some of it is ignorance of those put in power. But worse than that it is willful ignorance in that they either can't or won't listen to others.

                  Even if you dispute the above and it is simply not being perfect. Are we supposed to accept mediocrity? Not push for better? Why should we let politicians off the hook? After all they where not forced into their current position. They fought hard to get the job. Make them earn it, I say.
                  Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                  - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                  - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                  - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                  - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                  - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                  - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                  • #10
                    Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

                    Originally posted by Bc2ID View Post
                    Then again maybe we should just hand out Love Beads and sing Koombaya!
                    Or, and this is purely a hy-po-thetical, we could simply use proven, valid interrogation techniques that don't jeapordize the legal and just prosecution of admitted terrorists.

                    Crazy idea, I know.
                    Beatnik

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                    • #11
                      Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

                      In the eyes of a prisoner..they are all innocent.

                      In the eyes of a reporter..if it bleeds it leads.

                      Why are we listening to either of these groups? All sides of this issue have their own "inside" take. I choose to believe none of them. As I have stated before..most prisoners state that they are being abused. If you don't believe me, look up how many lawsuits are filed each month claiming mistreatment. People would rather believe a prisoner of war or "non-combatant prisoner" than their own government.

                      As to the reporter, it is his job to dig up dirt on the government as that is how he gets paid. Funny how I never seem to believe what an "Investigative Reporter" has to say, but what he doesn't say. What I like to research is the story that is not being told. So this guy interviews some prisoners in Guantanamo and they all claim abuse, mistreatment, and of course they are all not guilty. SHOCKING!


                      It seems as if this all stemmed from that one incident in Iraq where they tied up a bunch of criminals and made them play leapfrog. One incident or a group of incidents under a corrupt jailer should not condemn the entire government. If it does then place yourself in a bubble because there is corruption everywhere you look.
                      "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." Gen. George Patton

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                      • #12
                        Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

                        Originally posted by Beatnik View Post
                        Or, and this is purely a hy-po-thetical, we could simply use proven, valid interrogation techniques that don't jeapordize the legal and just prosecution of admitted terrorists.
                        What are these? Do you have experience in interrogation? Let me tell you all about the interrogation tactics that are taught and used in our US SERE school.
                        "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." Gen. George Patton

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                        • #13
                          Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

                          The tactics our soldiers are taught to resist in SERE were the basis of the 'enhanced interrogation' behavioral menu used in Guantanamo, then in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I assume you realize that the point of SERE is not to teach valid interrogation techniques, rather it's to instruct/vaccinate our special forces troops on techniques to resist possible interrogation abuses they may encounter if captured. Of course, Rumsfeld perverted this program, using it as a basis for our own torture program, but that wasn't the program's intent, and the assertion that the inclusion of those techniques in interrogations makes them valid or reliable is a fallacious one.

                          The tactics I'm referring to are the rapport building tactics that have historically been used (and are still being used in most cases) when interrogating prisoners. I've had graduate training in psychology and am very familiar with the behavioral sciences, and the near-consensus is that torture is a far from reliable source of valid information. This is not news. See Scott Shane's (who wrote the very detailed article on KSM's interrogation in the NYT on Sunday) interview on Charlie Rose last night for much more detailed analysis on this if you like.

                          But the simple fact is that, despite the Bush administration's efforts to subvert the law, these prisoners are entitled to their day in court. And with testimony elicited from torture, their successful prosecution is anything but assured.

                          Originally posted by Bc2ID View Post
                          It seems as if this all stemmed from that one incident in Iraq where they tied up a bunch of criminals and made them play leapfrog. One incident or a group of incidents under a corrupt jailer should not condemn the entire government.
                          This could be the most ignorant statement ever made in The Sandbox, which is really saying something. You might want to revisit your sources of information on what actually happened at Abu Ghraib, because it wasn't leapfrog and it certainly wasn't a corrupt jailer. It was systematic humiliation, physical and psychological torture, beatings, dog attacks, painting prisoners in feces, anal rape, and even a few deaths. And the prisoners weren't all insurgents; the insurgency was just starting back then, and most of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib were Iraqi civilians. Go watch HBO's Ghosts of Abu Ghraib or Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure for what actually happened there. It was a systemic program ordered from Rumsfeld himself, not "a few bad apples" (Rumsfeld's quote) or "a corrupt jailer".
                          Last edited by Beatnik; 06-24-2008, 07:46 PM.
                          Beatnik

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                          • #14
                            Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

                            As I stated "a group of incidents". The whole Abu Ghraib incident does not invalidate the rest of the prisons. The guards were definately an extension of their boss and the administrations position, regardless of what you read in the newspapers or what is stated on Charlie Rose. I guess we should just let them all out and see what happens...eh?
                            http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d...00/2516469.stm

                            Yes I am quite familiar with the object of SERE, its applications, methods, and results. I am also well versed in psychology and more importantly behavior. When you boil it down this is more about politics and how trustworthy you think a news story is.

                            This debate only scratches the surface concerning interrogation tactics and proper prison etiquette.

                            Funny how everyone is concerened about how we treat prisoners, but no one mentions how our own troops are treated in a foreign country. Why do some expect us to play by the rules when no one else will? When push comes to shove, I want results not an exercise in sharing and caring.
                            "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." Gen. George Patton

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

                              No one said anything about 'invalidating' "the rest of the prisons" (other than Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA dark sites, prisons in foreign countries where are prisoners are rendered, and several prisons in Afghanistan). I simply pointed out that you were grossly misinformed (at best) of the reality of what actually transpired in Abu Ghraib, and by extension, Guantanamo.

                              No one suggested "letting them all out", either. I suggested following the law when interrogating prisoners. And no one mentioned our troops' treatment in Iraq because this is a thread about Guantanamo. Your implication that I/we are more concerned with the welfare of prisoners than with our troops is insulting. I've had more than a few friends wounded in Iraq, but that doesn't mean I think we need to torture (sorry, play leapfrog with) every cab driver arrested in Iraq because they were hurt.

                              Your obvious plea to emotion with linking to an unrelated news story also did nothing to advance your point.

                              Feel free to reply with an actual data-based retort instead of these paper thin straw men and pleas to emotion, as they do exactly zero to advance your point, whatever that may be.
                              Beatnik

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