Guantanamo protesters tried …

… Actual Guantanamo inmates, however, are still waiting for their day in court.


~ by Daniel on 29 May, 2008.

8 Responses to “Guantanamo protesters tried …”

  1. Guantanamo inmates are battlefield combatants captured in a war, basically POWs. They don’t get a day in US court, they get a military tribunal after the war is over. The US court system would release them to carry out still more aggression against the US

  2. @ dcbarton: Thanks very much for your comment. The thing is, many of the inmates at Guantanamo (and other US-controlled prisons) are not combatants. Further, many have never been formally charged with anything. The US Constitution’s 4th Amendment guarantees due process and yet we deny even the most basic tenets of this ideal to so-called “enemy combatants.” What happens to the American ideal of the rule of law? If we can incarcerate “enemy combatants” without charges, then we can start calling all sorts of people “enemy combatants” with no explanation whatsoever. If we are going to detain people, let’s give them charges and a day in court. Besides, we are paying tax money to incarcerate people indefinitely. What a waste!

  3. First, the 4th Amendment does not apply to people captured on a battlefield outside of the US. Everyone of those people were caught in the battlefield, fighting against Americans. That makes them battlefield combatants. To insinuate that we just detain whoever we want is just wrong. It is the equivilant of the people who claim that we don’t capture anyone, we just kill everybody, and believe it or not, there are actually people out there that believe this. We aren’t incarcerating them indefinately, just until they get a military tribunal, that takes time. Many have already been released, and many of the ones that have been released were later killed fighting against us again after their release

  4. @dcbarton:
    Thanks again for your comments and replies. I appreciate all points of view and discussion as they force me to seek out the facts.

    While the 4th Amendment may not apply to so-called “battlefield combatants,” due process under the law is something considered a human right. Denying it to anyone sets a bad precedence. We previously kept these “battlefield combatants” in POW camps (which one would hope is a step up from the hellhole in Gitmo). Why do we now imprison them in conditions so deplorable that they actually organize their suicide attempts? I will try to cite some factual information for you below.

    I don’t believe that our military kills *everyone* without capturing them (they leave that to contracted mercenaries, like Blackwater). However, in a report accessible here:

    there is evidence that we capture innocent men. In fact, the report estimates 55% of the detainees are not determined to have committed any hostile acts towards the United States or its coalition allies. 60% are there simply for “associating with” groups the US government considers hostile or terrorist. Might I add, the US government calls many who don’t agree with its policies a threat, and take steps to remove them; I recall *peace activist* John Lennon nearly being deported.

    A staggering 86% of the men in Gitmo were captured not by US forces but rather by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and then handed over to the US military. In this case, the problem isn’t even with the US military, who I am not trying to criticize with this post or comment rebuttal anyway.

    As for some going right back and fighting Americans, I didn’t say they were always wrong in who they got, only 55 – 60% of the time. Then again, if I were a young man (many captured were juveniles[!]) detained for no reason in a strange foreign land, I might consider raising my hand against my captors as soon as I’m free.

    In a list available here:

    you can also see that many of the men captured were captured in non-combat zones like Bosnia and Gambia.

    One captured man, since released: Fahd al Bahili ® (Resident in Malawi, Director of the Committee of Amir Sultan ibn Abdul-Aziz for Humanitarian Aid) A director for a humanitarian aid organization! That just goes to show how the US government’s policy is to act now, ask questions later (quietly, so nobody can tell when they’re doing something illegal).

    And yes, we *are* incarcerating them indefinitely, as in “we don’t know when your court date is, but you’ll get one sooner or later (probably later).” You may also recall that the tribunals were ruled illegal by the US Supreme Court (report here: The word “indefinite” means “no set date.”

    As you can see, our detention of these men, even where justifiable, appears to be tip-toeing the line of legality and human rights.

  5. When American lives are at risk, the military cannot afford the luxury of trying to decipher innocence at the time of capture. You mentuion one man who was with a humanitarian group. Remember also that Hamas claims to be a humanitarion group, and Hamas does do some humanitarian aid, but they also repeatly attack Israel with rockets that murder innocent Israeli children daily. I’m not sure how old you are, I will guess that you are fairly young, young enough to not remember that last time we were in a war. You can cannot apply peace time law to a war time situation. These are not people that are just trying to get a little money without working. They are people that want all the world brought under Islamic rule, any who refuse will be put to death. “Act now, ask questions later” is how to keep Americans alive and win this war. Before you question our handling of detainees, try thinking about how they handle detainees. Remember Americans, beheaded, torured(really tortured), burned, hung from bridges? Heard about the Iraqis that dare to work with the Americans for a free nation, power drills run into every square inch of their bodies? Fingers, toes, arms and legs cut off? Heads cut off? Children blown up by suicide bombers just because they are going to non-religious schools or little girls are now allowed to go to school? If you object to how Bush hahandles this war, you would really hate if I was in charge, I would fight to win. There would be no GITMO, there would however be alot of really big graves. The only way to win any war is to make fighting the war painful for the enemy. Sofar, only I and the Islamists understand this. If we kill enough of them, innocent or otherwise, they will back down and surrender before they are completey wiped out. If we do it like the crusades, and this is the same type of war as the crusades for the same reason as the crusades, then we won’t haqve to face another war with Islam for another 400 years.

  6. @dcbarton:
    As far as your contention that so-called “total war” is the most effective way to wage combat actions, I would whole-heartedly agree. The lack of “total war” measures partially explains why WWII ended sooner than the Iraq Quagmire, despite being fought in two theatres. However, the Iraq situation has never been desperate enough to necessitate such dramatic strategies and the Bush administration could not garner enough public support to enact them (hence why they must lie about so many of the measures taken, because average Americans find civilian casualties and torture distasteful now that they can see it on TV).

    However, this is not an endorsement on my part for total war in Iraq and the Middle East. Perhaps if we were *actually* threatened or if our interests were truly at stake, there *might* be cause to discuss such measures. However, the invasion and occupation of Iraq were entirely offensive measures, undertaken on the basis of what are now documented as lies to exploit public fears post-9/11.

    Do you really believe that Iraqis ever posed a threat to America, especially now, after crippling their nation’s infrastructure? We are not in a war, we are in an occupation. It’s not “wartime.” Wartime is everyone here at home making sacrifices — rationing food and gas, collecting scrap metal, buying bonds, etc. This is war-playtime, enacted to make money for Halliburton and Blackwater.

    Your contention that Muslims want to create a worldwide Muslim culture is a bit silly. Terrorists and organized militia groups in the Middle-East and elsewhere are generally reacting to decades of oppressive US and Western foreign policies. After all, it was the United States that funded Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Then, when these guys stopped playing ball, our government decided to start the public fear-mongering over them. I don’t agree with terrorism or militia violence, I am simply pointing out that the US government created them in the first place. If the US stopped funding Israel and if the US stopped putting corrupt tyrants in powerful positions, there would be no terrorist acts committed against the US.

    You said Bush “handles” this military operation — he fumbles it. And yes, I would hate it if you ran this war. To condone torture and other medieval-style punishments against prisoners “because they do it to us” is hardly a justification. My love for the United States is really for its constitution, crafted to institute the rule of law and adhere to a moral high ground that values human life and the quality of that life. To see it abandoned in favor of an “eye for an eye” mentality is sickening; I would rather die than live in a country where this becomes the accepted norm, let alone codified into law. Your seeming satisfaction with the indiscriminate killing of innocents and civilians makes it sound like you have no concept of the scale of destruction, indeed, the innate inhumanity of modern warfare. Which is sad, because people like you are the ones who started this whole debacle in the first place. The simple fact is that your fears, and those of other Americans, have been manipulated by a fantastic PR campaign (as exposed recently by the NY Times) to gain support such un-American policies, a disgusting abuse of power by those who purport to represent the American public.

    And yeah, it is very much like the Crusades. A bunch of white people from far-off countries show up un-invited in the Middle-East, and in the name of their God (but mostly for money), kill lots of civilians, destroy infrastructure, create client states, and basically hang around unwelcome for a long time thereafter.

  7. We started this? We started the Islamic extremists? We had to deal with them at our founding. That is why Jefferson had the Koran that Keith Ellison used to be sworn into congress. Jefferson wanted to understand why the Barbary pirates were capturing our ships and sailors. According to them it was because “you are infidels, nothing personal”.
    The only fear I have to contend with is that my children will see the death and destruction in the United States that I witnessed in Tehran in 1978 when Carter’s blunders brought the Ayatollah into power.
    AS far as the Crusades, read a little more history, they started when Europe was about to fall under complete Islamic rule.. It is a fatal mistake to think that our support for Israel is the reason we were attacked. Listen to what the Islamists say. They want the entire world under Islamic rule. If I’m wrong, how would you explain the Philippines? The Muslams wanted autonomous control of Mindinao, when they got that, they started fighting for control of the entire nation. The last election herld in the Philippines, the army was fighting the Muslams in the streets of Cebu City because if the Muslams couldn’t win, there shouldn’t be an election. The war in Iraq isn’t about Iraq, it is about a bigger picture and there is a threat against the US whether the left recognizes it or not.

  8. Yes but Jefferson also made the United States one of the only Western nations to do trade with a Muslim nation, being that European powers were still officially Christian and so decided it was basically sinful to deal with them. But pirates are pirates, Muslim or not, so of course they are going to take ships.

    At any rate, many Christians also want the world (or just the US) under Christian rule. Should we torture and kill them also? Should we start with John Hagee? Jefferson himself insinuates that Christians were a threat to our democracy:

    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

    Anyway, the US government, through one-sided and exploitative foreign policies, DID cause the current wave of anti-Americanism found in the Middle-East. As I already said, Reagan’s administration empowered, funded and armed both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, as well as Pinochet in Chile and the fascist regime currently in charge of Colombia (and many, many more). What end result can we expect when doing business with such thugs? The US is reaping what it sowed: a generation of oppressed and socially marginalized young men with no economic prospects, clinging to guns and religion because it’s all they’ve got left. So what does the US do? Comes down, in violation of international laws, with an even heavier hand, torturing these men in secret prisons around the world and even in Gitmo, the most famous prison in the world. Because that’s how you promote democracy and freedom …

    I can’t see how Europe was “about to fall under complete Islamic rule.” The Moors took Spain and were stopped from going further by Charles Martel — in the 8th century. Indeed, when the Berbers first started their westward push across North Africa, there was no Muslim religion. If Europeans were so concerned with ridding their continent of this religion, they would have crusaded in Spain. Instead, they went down to Jerusalem to sack and plunder.

    There is nothing for Americans to fear from these people if we leave them alone and stop infringing on their nations’ sovereignty. As for Iran, roughly 60% of its students are women and Western values are pretty heavily entrenched at this point. The fanatics control government but the population is much more moderate. Kinda like the US.

    You shouldn’t fear for your children until REAL terrorist acts are committed in the US, against buses, trains, and shopping malls — everyday targets that make people fear stepping outside for a gallon of milk. Seriously, fear of some kind of organized Islamic force is completely irrational. They can’t even reconcile themselves well enough to co-operate in their own region of the world. You’d be better advised to stop driving a car — accidents are FAR more likely to disrupt your way of life, hurt your family or even kill them. If we take this terrorist rhetoric and apply it to REAL killers, we should be fighting a war on Chrysler. But I don’t see you suggesting we kill Chrysler shareholders every time an American civilian dies in a crash.

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