Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:30 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:I would prosecute all the inmates who

B) We have a 100% knockout full proof case.

So you're proposing that the requirements for their indictment be *more strict* than otherwise required under US law? People go to trial when prosecutors convince either a grand jury or a judge to indict them. Not just in cases where the proof is incontrovertible.


Yes.
If I were the fed gov, I would not take ANY chances that we would could lose the case. Because then you get in the situation of A) Freeing what could be a dangerous criminal and B) Might have to pay restitution and C) The political nightmare of world headlines reading "US jails innocent man for 5 years".

Therefore, I would not take any case into court that wasn't full proof. I use alternative methods to deal with the others. (I advocate just setting them free)

Iv wrote:Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is presented as the architect of the 9/11 attacks. Probably true but too many of the proofs hold against him result from torture.


KSM, pled Guilty so I think we can "legitimatly" throw him in a hole somewhere.

And again, I doubt we have any criminal masterminds at Gitmo, and it is not as if there are 40,000 Al Qaeda members saying "If we only had Akmed from Gitmo, we could really pull something off"

I don't think there is any reason to believe that we would be in MORE danger, if we just released them. There are already thousands of crazies out there who wish our deaths.


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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Iv » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:35 pm UTC

According to this article (in French, sorry) : http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article ... 222_1.html
There are 17 Chinese people of the Uyghur ethnic group. They have been washed from terrorism accusation and would like to stay in America in case of liberation (for they would probably be imprisoned in China if sent there, the Uyghur province has a strong separatist movement and China has been known to use the same techniques as in Tibet there). So... Now what ?

Ixtellor wrote:KSM, pled Guilty so I think we can "legitimatly" throw him in a hole somewhere.

If torture is authorized, you can get acceptance of any charge from anyone. Witches confessed having sex with demons and flying through the air, there is one such terrorist that admitted participation in almost every terrorist act against the USA since 1970. They do not believe they will have a fair trial anyway so what incentive do they have at claiming innocence ? It is an observed and known fact, and an argument against torture since several centuries that the person interrogated will tell everything he guesses the interrogator wants to hear. Not the truth. Torture is a convenient way at creating culprits when you don't have one. That has been a practice of only the worst governments in history. I'm glad US will stop this now. I think some people are right : it will take 50 years to fully grasp the reach of Bush's actions and their consequences.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:15 pm UTC

Iv wrote:If torture is authorized, you can get acceptance of any charge from anyone. Witches confessed having sex with demons and flying through the air, there is one such terrorist that admitted participation in almost every terrorist act against the USA since 1970


I think it is universally excepted, including by his own lawyers that he wanted to plead guilty without duress. While we can only guess at his motivations, the theory is that he wants to be martyred. So while I agree with your point, I am pretty confident it doesn't apply to this case.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:02 pm UTC

crowey wrote:For those that would be persecuted if the returned home, couldn't America grant asylum to them?


Why would we want them in our country? There's reason to believe these people may be dangerous.

Yes, the government screwed up. That's no reason to endanger us civilians.

Azrael wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:I would prosecute all the inmates who

B) We have a 100% knockout full proof case.

So you're proposing that the requirements for their indictment be *more strict* than otherwise required under US law? People go to trial when prosecutors convince either a grand jury or a judge to indict them. Not just in cases where the proof is incontrovertible.


I think Ixtellor was proposing a high degree of prosecutorial discretion rather than any change in how the system works.

In practice, people go to trial when the prosecution and defense can't agree upon a plea bargain, as long as the preliminaries (indictment, arraignment, etc.) are done.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby MarshyMarsh » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:32 pm UTC

I find it interesting that no one has yet "agreed" asking the prisoners what they want, is probably the most logical idea.
Here in good ol' liberal Britain there is a very negative attitude towards Guantano Bay (along with many other countries in the world), largely fuelled by the 'based on true events' "Road to Guantanamo", in which British Citizens (muslims) attending a wedding in the middle east decided to jump to border into Afganistan to have a peek at what was going on (this is shortly after 9/11). To sum it up the US captured them and they were detained for a long time before someone realised the mistake, even British Intelligence helped interrorgate them. There was no evidence, the US even fabricated false evidence to try and make a conviction. They were ordinary British Cockney lads who suffered some bad luck after getting lost in a foreign country. Here is the wikipedia link (allthough an unreliable source the synopsis there is a good read): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_to_Guantanamo

Alot of the people in Guantanamo Bay are probably innocent, the ignorance the western world has towards the east has allowed this to happen. I would say the US governement, realising it has done something wrong, should talk to the detainees and see how they feel and try to cater to what they want, obviously some of them are most probably terrorists, but to treat them all as a block of people would be wrong.

So far "most of the people" on this board as talked about them as if they were cattle, not taking into account what the people themselves would want, they are people after all. If the West wants to make an impact on the middle-east then it should trial suspected terrorists according to how a western civilian would be trialed. A Military Tribunal would be very unjust.

I would like everyone to read this article: http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=949 it is about Operation Pastorius and many parallels can be drawn.
Last edited by MarshyMarsh on Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:49 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Azrael » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:36 pm UTC

Iv wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:
crowey wrote:For those that would be persecuted if the returned home, couldn't America grant asylum to them?

I very much doubt the prisoners would accept.

Sure, but that is no reason to not ask them about it.


Reading a thread before condemning the participants therein: It's a good idea.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby MarshyMarsh » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:49 pm UTC

Edited my post, I apologize about missing that comment. My EEE trackpad elantel drivers dont scroll in firefox very well.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby The Cat » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:14 pm UTC

I agree that they should be given a choice. However, I did find this part of your link rather interesting.

Lie Lab

In 2007 two members of the Tipton Three - Ruhal Ahmed and Shafiq Rasul - agreed to participate in the Channel 4 documentary Lie Lab in an attempt to prove their innocence of allegations made by the US Government. The technology used on the show was developed by Professor Sean Spence from the University of Sheffield. It uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to look at the activity in the pre frontal cortex to determine the truthfulness of statements[12]. Having previously claimed that he had entered Afghanistan for the purposes of carrying out charity work, Ruhal Ahmed admitted on the programme that he had visited an Islamist training camp, where he handled weapons and learned how to use an AK47. Rasul refused to go through with the test.[13]


Thanks for the damninteresting link, it looks like there are some good articles. I see where you are going with that, but its pretty thin. I was with you until Ruhal admitted to weapons training in the Islamic camp. This combined with being captured with Taliban forces, looks really shady. I'm not buying the innocent stupid tourist bit.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby MarshyMarsh » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:18 pm UTC

That Lie Lab link is very interesting, however from the information I have managed to gather about fMRI scanners, suggests that they are not that accurate. The researchers claim a 90% success rate however this was in controlled group environments where the questions asked were simply "Did we show you a picture earlier?" (having shown some the picture, and the others not). To me these doesn't seem like a good lie detector. I believe they pointed this out on the programme itself (I saw the second episode), the main researcher of the machine seemed to keep pointing out the ambiguity of the experiment. The machine in question is also better at telling lies than telling truths which is it's fundamental flaw.

I do agree however that the Trio being in Afghanistan is a little suspicious, especially for a whole month without being able to recross the border or making little effort to do so. Yet after 9/11 the country did go completely to pot, and accustions of the Trio meeting Osama Binladen I believe were proved false on the programme (according to the fMRI scanner).

You also have to call into question how far this goes against civil rights using a lie detector, most people here agree Guantanamo bay breached human rights, so should take a similar stance on a lie detector.

I normally don't source from wikipedia, although a bountiful wealth of knowledge can be misleading. I do however find their plot synopsis very precise due to the anal retentiveness of many of its users.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby The Cat » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:03 pm UTC

That Lie Lab link is very interesting, however from the information I have managed to gather about fMRI scanners, suggests that they are not that accurate. The researchers claim a 90% success rate however this was in controlled group environments where the questions asked were simply "Did we show you a picture earlier?" (having shown some the picture, and the others not). To me these doesn't seem like a good lie detector. I believe they pointed this out on the programme itself (I saw the second episode), the main researcher of the machine seemed to keep pointing out the ambiguity of the experiment. The machine in question is also better at telling lies than telling truths which is it's fundamental flaw.


You also have to call into question how far this goes against civil rights using a lie detector, most people here agree Guantanamo bay breached human rights, so should take a similar stance on a lie detector.


Lie Lab

In 2007 two members of the Tipton Three - Ruhal Ahmed and Shafiq Rasul - agreed to participate in the Channel 4 documentary Lie Lab in an attempt to prove their innocence of allegations made by the US Government.


They agreed to go on the show, there are no civil rights violations for going on Lie Lab. The lie detector doesn't come into play when Ruhal Ahmed admits he had weapons training in the Islamic Camp. Shafiq Rasul backed out at the last minute. The human rights violations at Gitmo have nothing to do with Lie Lab.

I think their whole story stinks, but they should have been tried in a court of law. In this case, they should have been tried in England.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby MarshyMarsh » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:38 pm UTC

Would you agree though that they should of at least been given some sort of compensation for the barbaric treatment they received? It is a very sensitive issue because of the extreme of gitmo, what would you guys think would be a fair 'price' (US"$)

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Tajfoon » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:46 pm UTC

I don't really think anything would be a fair price. Although they should get some moneatry compensation. But i think the best way to redeem the error would be to admit to it. For the american goverment to officially admit that it was wrong.
In an ideal world the people responsible would also be named and prosecuted, but that will never happen.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby The Cat » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:17 am UTC

Would you agree though that they should of at least been given some sort of compensation for the barbaric treatment they received? It is a very sensitive issue because of the extreme of gitmo, what would you guys think would be a fair 'price' (US"$)


If you look at my other topics, I think you will see that I am not a supporter of Gitmo, Torture, or the past administration. I would agree that some of these prisoners need compensation. However, that would be on a case by case basis. Lets not forget that many of these people are terrorists. I wish some of them would have been tried and convicted properly so we could throw them in a hole for the rest of their lives. What I really wish is that the past administration would have handled themselves in a more decent and professional manner.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Zauderer » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

The Cat wrote:Lets not forget that many of these people are terrorists.


They are not terrorists, just as somebody investigated or on trial for murder is not a murderer until conviction.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:20 pm UTC

Zauderer wrote:
The Cat wrote:Lets not forget that many of these people are terrorists.


They are not terrorists, just as somebody investigated or on trial for murder is not a murderer until conviction.


If you murder someone, you're a murderer regardless of what any court says or does. It just hasn't been proven yet.

Likewise with terrorists. The fact that we may not be able to prove which of these prisoners are terrorists and which aren't does not change the fact that they are likely to attempt acts of terrorism against the United States from now on.

Court proceedings do not change reality.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby The Cat » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:02 am UTC

They are not terrorists, just as somebody investigated or on trial for murder is not a murderer until conviction.


I agree, however, if you would have read further, I said that they should have been tried. Read some of my other posts in "should Bush be tried for war crimes" or "does torture work". Apology accepted! And yes, there are guilty people in gitmo! And yes, they all should have been tried in a court of law! Enough said.

Court proceedings do not change reality.


What people perceive reality to be can be manipulated by either side. Let the court decide, not an angry mob.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:39 am UTC

The Cat wrote:
Court proceedings do not change reality.


What people perceive reality to be can be manipulated by either side. Let the court decide, not an angry mob.


Unfortunately that's just not feasible in many of these cases. Equipping these people to attack us, or making ourselves vulnerable to them by allowing them to live unhindered within our borders, would be reckless. If we're going to release these people, release them in such a way that they will be no threat to us.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby The Cat » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:04 pm UTC

Unfortunately that's just not feasible in many of these cases. Equipping these people to attack us, or making ourselves vulnerable to them by allowing them to live unhindered within our borders, would be reckless. If we're going to release these people, release them in such a way that they will be no threat to us.


How is that not feasible, they are in our custody? I guess you believe that the reckless policy of torture has somehow made our country safer. Don't forget that these practices have fueled terrorist recruiting efforts and financial support. The terrorist leaders hate Obama because his new policies will make their efforts more difficult. There will always be a threat, its how you deal with the threat that's important. Cut off the head, the tail grows back. Strangle there funds and win the hearts and minds.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Zauderer » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:49 pm UTC

MarshyMarsh wrote:Would you agree though that they should of at least been given some sort of compensation for the barbaric treatment they received? It is a very sensitive issue because of the extreme of gitmo, what would you guys think would be a fair 'price' (US"$)


Yes. All inmates should receive monetary compensation; however those that are convicted in the end should receive less (but their time in Guantanamo should count towards their prison time).

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

The Cat wrote:
Unfortunately that's just not feasible in many of these cases. Equipping these people to attack us, or making ourselves vulnerable to them by allowing them to live unhindered within our borders, would be reckless. If we're going to release these people, release them in such a way that they will be no threat to us.


How is that not feasible, they are in our custody? I guess you believe that the reckless policy of torture has somehow made our country safer.


No, I think it's turned even the innocent prisoners against us, making it more difficult to safely release them because they will simply turn to terrorism.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Zauderer » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:16 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:No, I think it's turned even the innocent prisoners against us, making it more difficult to safely release them because they will simply turn to terrorism.


I don't think somebody should be kept in custody for a long period because he might commit a crime (but hasn't committed one and isn't accused of one).

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:48 am UTC

Zauderer wrote:
Philwelch wrote:No, I think it's turned even the innocent prisoners against us, making it more difficult to safely release them because they will simply turn to terrorism.


I don't think somebody should be kept in custody for a long period because he might commit a crime (but hasn't committed one and isn't accused of one).


Me neither. But I think people who are likely to commit acts of terrorism shouldn't be given a government handout and free entry to the United States, either.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Iridos » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:34 am UTC

I agree that the question of compensation will be a very interesting one. What will a "hefty compensation" look like?

Perhaps some food for thought here:
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Now - is being killed worse than being held captive and tortured for years, or is it better?

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:36 pm UTC

I can't help but think that any monetary compensation you give the prisoners will be perceived as insulting. No amount would be enough to compensate for what they've been put through. If I'd been put through that, I'd be howling for the blood of my captors no matter what they tried to buy my co-operation for. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be offered though.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:12 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:I can't help but think that any monetary compensation you give the prisoners will be perceived as insulting. No amount would be enough to compensate for what they've been put through. If I'd been put through that, I'd be howling for the blood of my captors no matter what they tried to buy my co-operation for. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be offered though.


Funny. I'd spend the monetary compensation on a truck bomb.

Which is why we shouldn't give it to them.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby ManaUser » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:49 pm UTC

Philwelch, it sounds like you want to punish them for our crimes. That's not acceptable no matter how pragmatic it would be. Based on that logic we would have to treat anyone anyone who is the victim on a a serious crime as a potential killer since they seek revenge. But we don't do that because it isn't right.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:Philwelch, it sounds like you want to punish them for our crimes. That's not acceptable no matter how pragmatic it would be. Based on that logic we would have to treat anyone anyone who is the victim on a a serious crime as a potential killer since they seek revenge. But we don't do that because it isn't right.


It's also not right to the people who would be blown up by those truck bombs.

We have two conflicting duties here. Me, I say the US government should choose their duty to Americans over their duty to foreigners. That's their job. They're going to backstab some group of people either way, let it be the enemy.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Azrael » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:41 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:We have two conflicting duties here. Me, I say the US government should choose their duty to Americans over their duty to foreigners. That's their job. They're going to backstab some group of people either way, let it be the enemy.

Foreigner = Enemy, eh? That's a significant insight into why we have this problem to begin with.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:50 am UTC

Azrael wrote:
Philwelch wrote:We have two conflicting duties here. Me, I say the US government should choose their duty to Americans over their duty to foreigners. That's their job. They're going to backstab some group of people either way, let it be the enemy.

Foreigner = Enemy, eh? That's a significant insight into why we have this problem to begin with.


Aside from the hundreds or so we've already released because we consider them no real threat, most of these folks are either suspected terrorists or were caught fighting shoulder to shoulder with the same group of people we're doing battle with in Iraq and Afghanistan. By any strategic measure, they're the enemy. They're prisoners of war, albeit held with no legal authority and no official designation as such.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Clumpy » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:18 am UTC

Seriously, it's hilarious that American citizens (and news tools) are afraid of these suspected terrorists being hold in American prisons. With machete killers and serial rapists in our prisons a couple of Mahmoud Awanakillyas aren't going to make much of a difference.

Philwelch wrote:Aside from the hundreds or so we've already released because we consider them no real threat, most of these folks are either suspected terrorists or were caught fighting shoulder to shoulder with the same group of people we're doing battle with in Iraq and Afghanistan. By any strategic measure, they're the enemy. They're prisoners of war, albeit held with no legal authority and no official designation as such.


That's not how habeus corpus works. And if we're really committed to democracy and freedom we'll uphold the same rights for every human being that we grant to ourselves.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby ManaUser » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:47 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:We have two conflicting duties here. Me, I say the US government should choose their duty to Americans over their duty to foreigners.

So if we gave them citizenship it would fix everything!

No seriously that it is an overly simplistic view. I agree that there are conflicting duties but Us vs. Them isn't the only way to slice it. I tend to think of it as a good old Freedom vs. Security issue. I'll refrain from quoting Benjamin Franklin here, but you can probably guess how I feel. Besides, if the duty to Americans is what matters, I'm an American, and I would much rather live in a country that upholds human rights, due process, laws of war and all that good stuff. Yes, even at the cost of a small risk to my personal safety.

And I'm not saying bringing them here is the best solution. But if they can't be proved guilty in a fair trial and if it happens that no other country will take them I don't see any other morally acceptable choice. Regardless of where they go, they deserve compensation for their mistreatment.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:11 pm UTC

Clumpy wrote:Seriously, it's hilarious that American citizens (and news tools) are afraid of these suspected terrorists being hold in American prisons. With machete killers and serial rapists in our prisons a couple of Mahmoud Awanakillyas aren't going to make much of a difference.

Philwelch wrote:Aside from the hundreds or so we've already released because we consider them no real threat, most of these folks are either suspected terrorists or were caught fighting shoulder to shoulder with the same group of people we're doing battle with in Iraq and Afghanistan. By any strategic measure, they're the enemy. They're prisoners of war, albeit held with no legal authority and no official designation as such.


That's not how habeus corpus works. And if we're really committed to democracy and freedom we'll uphold the same rights for every human being that we grant to ourselves.


I'm all for releasing them. I'm against giving them money.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby SummerGlauFan » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:28 pm UTC

An interesting twist on this issue is the government is still deciding on what to do with the people it knows (or strongly suspects) ARE terrorists. For example, an Army base in Leavenworth, Kansas is a candidate for recieving the inmates that will still be in custody after Gitmo is closed. However, residents here in Kansas have a "not in my backyard" attitude. They are afraid the inmates will escape and start running around attacking Kansas. Nevermind the army prison is in an army base.

Anyone else notice a similar reaction if you live near one of the facilities that are/were under consideration?
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby The Cat » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:56 pm UTC

If the prisons are built to house Charles Manson and other such criminals, I don't think the goat herder from Afgan is going to be much of a risk. The problem comes when they are unable to convict.....

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby drunken » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:01 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:I can't help but think that any monetary compensation you give the prisoners will be perceived as insulting.


Strange, not a word from anyone about my previous suggestion of legal action against the torturers. "I am sorry we made your life hell for 5 years heres some cash" vs "I am sorry these guys made your life hell for 5 years we are going to make their lives hell for the next 40, here is your invitation to come to the trial and tell everyone how evil they are. You are also permitted to laugh at them and cheer when they are found guilty"

Thats far more effective compensation. The goal should be:

a) Showing anti US zealots that the voting population of the US are not responsible for and are doing their best to prevent all the things that are hated about the US.
b)Making them feel like revenge has already been achieved greatly reducing the chance that they will search for further revenge.

I am not from the US so a) is pretty much irrellevant to me. I care about people though so I don't like to see people tortured and I don't like to see people bombed. Any measure that prevents suffering seems like a good idea to me.
***This post is my own opinion and no claim is being made that it is in any way scientific nor intended to be construed as such by any reader***

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Minstrel » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:35 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:I think we should try them all with military tribunals vice civilian courts. My reasoning is spoilered ahead.

I stated all this in a News and Articles thread, but I think it's relevant here:
Spoiler:
The American justice system is flawed in that if you tamper or destroy evidence, if you hire a good lawyer, if you get jurists that don't exactly understand how 1000 purchased cell phones could turn into IEDs, or if there's not enough evidence to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt (which means there's about a 98% chance of guilt), then the terrorists are let go.

Think of the OJ Simpson case, and now think of a trial where you have to prove INTENT, where the consequences of a finding of innocense is thousands of dead Americans.

This point was best put by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia in his dissenting opinion against the Supreme Court ruling that gave Guantanamo Bay detainees the same rights as American citizens:

Justice Anthonin Scalia wrote:The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the nation’s commander in chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed. That consequence would be tolerable if necessary to preserve a time-honored legal principle vital to our constitutional republic. But it is this court’s blatant abandonment of such a principle that produces the decision today.

Today the court warps our Constitution in a way that goes beyond the narrow issue of the reach of the Suspension Clause. … It blatantly misdescribes important precedents … It breaks a chain of precedent as old as the common law that prohibits judicial inquiry into detentions of aliens abroad … And, most tragically, it sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving to a civilian court, under whatever standards this court devises in the future, that evidence supports the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner. The nation will live to regret what the court has done today.


Strongly agree with this point of view.

The idea seems to be prevalent that because we have let people go, they must all be innocent. This is a false corollary. Many of those captured in Iraq were ordinary civilians who fell on hard times and were paid by the various terrorist/sectarian groups to do what they did (placing IED's, shooting at soldiers, etc). Their release held little risk because they were unlikely to do the same thing again with a more secure situation in the country.

And certainly, the idea that we could possibly give these people a trial with the same standards as a US citizen would receive and prove guilt is ludicrous. Soldiers capturing enemies in Fallujah are hardly able to collect the same evidence as crime scene investigators in L.A.. Trials in previous wars have understood that and this one should be no different. This is not a guarantee that anyone will be found guilty (and indeed, many in previous wars were let go), merely an acknowledgment that holding the same standard of guilt in this situation is not practical.

As to what to do with those prisoners that we do let go, I'm at as much of a loss as anyone else. I suspect it will be combination of everything mentioned already: we'll find a few countries here and there that will take a certain #, and eventually disperse them among those countries, while others will just go home.

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby ragnaruss » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

First off, I'm from England, just FYI.

I think its about time America manned up, you took these people, and you tortured them. There is no getting away from that and you must reap what you have sown.

Anyone who couldn't be convicted in a civilian court, and that is excluding any evidence obtained via torture or anything else that would normally void evidence, should be released, without question. People are Innocent until proven guilty, no exception.

They should be given new identities if they wish, as well as the option to to stay in the US or to go home(or to any country willing to accept them).
They should recieve significant compensation, enough for them and their families to live off of.
The people at Gitmo who partook in the torture should be convicted of torture on their part and serve their time, evidence allowing of course.

The point of law is to apply it fairly to everyone at all times, it may put America at greater risk, but tough luck - the people in Gitmo are INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY.

And I would be happy to have the people in the UK because as far as I can see these people have every right to be free and are victims of an overzealous and overreaching government.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:46 am UTC

ragnaruss wrote:The point of law is to apply it fairly to everyone at all times, it may put America at greater risk, but tough luck - the people in Gitmo are INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY.

And I would be happy to have the people in the UK because as far as I can see these people have every right to be free and are victims of an overzealous and overreaching government.


I'm glad you'd be happy to have these people in the UK. I'd be glad to have them there too.

There are millions of good, innocent Americans who didn't torture a single person. The first duty of the American government is to these Americans. I don't want to see a single innocent American sacrificed just to right some wrongs that other Americans committed against foreigners. No, it's not fair that innocent Afghans and Iraqis were wrongfully imprisoned, but it would be equally unfair for innocent Americans to be wrongfully blown apart with bombs. The government committed an injustice by these people, but that doesn't justify the government committing another injustice by their own people. You don't make civilians pay penance with their lives for what their government did. And a government should never sacrifice their own civilians to pay penance either.
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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby drunken » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:42 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:You don't make civilians pay penance with their lives for what their government did. And a government should never sacrifice their own civilians to pay penance either.


While I agree with you in principle, I am afraid this is just not the case. Quite often governments do sacrifice their own civilians for penance and many other stupid reasons. The US government is no exception, far from it. This is not the most important point though, the most important point is that the civilians are responsible for what their government did. The US us a democracy. I challenge any US citizens here to claim they didnt know what was going on in Guantanamo. I was on the other side of the world and I knew. Maybe it would be sad if one of the tiny fraction of people that demonstrated against the thing got bombed, but even demonstrating isnt enough of an excuse in my mind. If you are from the US then you locked those people up, either by action or inaction, you let your society ignore their plight, you are now keeping them locked up because you know they are engry about the whole thing, and lastly, and most terribly, you are not even considering bringing to justice the "small minority" of torture supporters for whos actions you claim complete absence of responsibility.

These people can come stay with me if my government would allow it and I would even try to convinvce them that the US doesn't deserve to be bombed for what it did to them. It is sad that everybody assumes they will want to but it would also be understandable if they did. Terrorism is actually a very minor threat though and apart from the WTC most US deaths on US soil from terrorist attacks in history have been perpetrated by US citizens, especially christians. (Please note the link does not include anti abortionists or animal rights activists. Although these attacks only collect deaths in 1s and 2s there are a lot of incidents and they certainly qualify as terrorism)

I guess my main point is you reap what you sow and the few members of the country's population that actually stood up and fought for the rights of the detainees when this all started will have to live with the tiny extra danger in their lives. I imagine they will understand why it is there and accept it for what it is: the price of the atrocities committed by their elected representatives.
***This post is my own opinion and no claim is being made that it is in any way scientific nor intended to be construed as such by any reader***

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Re: Guantanamo prisoners dilemma

Postby Philwelch » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:30 pm UTC

drunken wrote:
Philwelch wrote:You don't make civilians pay penance with their lives for what their government did. And a government should never sacrifice their own civilians to pay penance either.


While I agree with you in principle, I am afraid this is just not the case. Quite often governments do sacrifice their own civilians for penance and many other stupid reasons. The US government is no exception, far from it. This is not the most important point though, the most important point is that the civilians are responsible for what their government did. The US us a democracy.


So acts of terrorism and mass murder are justified so long as you commit them against a democracy. Is that really the argument you're trying to make?

It doesn't hold up anyway: what if the terrorists blow up people who voted for Gore and Kerry? Or people who aren't of legal voting age?

I'm making the presumption that you're British—if you aren't, please substitute one of your politicians and one of his acts of violence against some other country. May I murder all of your family just because Tony Blair was involved in an act of aggression against Iraq?
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
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