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Gitmo: The View From Inside.

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This is a video done by Stefan Molyneux about Guantanamo Bay, America's largest "POW" camp. I've always been somewhat opposed to Gitmo, and while I don't think it definitely ought to be shut down, I think it's caused enough injustice that those in charge should at least be released from command.

The whole problem is we don't even know a lot of the people there are guilty of anything, and after fair trials many are actually proven innocent of any charges...Proven innocent after being tortured and assumed to be guilty of some of the worst crimes we can conjure up.

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I've got my own thoughts on Guantanamo, but this video doesn't affect those opinions at all. The video spurted out facts that I guess I'm supposed to take on face value; it misrepresented circumstances of capture and detention with exuberant, out of context story telling; and was emotionally over the top. It's one thing to be passionate about something, but quite another to use or accept that passion as argument--I personally think his passion was misplaced, but I don't know anything about this guy other than the video I just watched.

I watched the whole video, which was probably being too nice to the author, but I was bored and curious. In a way, I'm glad I watched it until the end because his last 'example' was completely over the top and ridiculous. The child which he talked about, which could be legally--and I would say morally--detained and interrogated, could be detained for any number of reasons, including a cordon and knock situation (which the author of the video disparagingly describes as random). The child's sad state of development, and potential view that soldiers and marines are 'space aliens,' has no baring on whether he should be detained or not; or if he should be transferred to Guantanamo Bay, for that matter.

The author misrepresents the detention situation in Afghanistan and Guantanamo. What I gathered from the video is that detainees taken in Afghanistan are arriving in bulk to Guantanamo, and they are selected to be detained there at random. An argument may be made that that facility never received the bulk of detainees taken in Afghanistan, and after the war progressed there, Guantanamo surely did not receive or process the bulk of Afghan detainees. If this video was actually released on 09 Apr 2009, this guy definitely needs to get a grip. Although I don't know exact numbers, there have been what, less than 800 detainees at Guantanamo; meanwhile, months after the start of the war in Afghanistan, there were over 3,000 detainees held in multiple places in that country--some of those came to make up the initial population of Guantanamo. Given that over time U.S. and NATO troop strength has increased, I'm going to say that the numbers of Afghans detained and processed, in and out of detention facilities in Afghanistan has increased as well.

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My understanding of Gitmo is as follows:

The detainees are a mixed lot. some captured in battle and some turned over to us by the Northern Alliance. Now it is possible that the NA was using us to do its dirty work. I've been given to understand that we sould not like the NA but this is an alliance, not a love-fest.

In view of that, What should have happened was their ought have been some rational means used to separate the guilty, those who harmed or meant to harm us from the innocent ASAPand the and the innocent made as whole as can be done. Once that was done I would have no qualms about doing to the guilty anything we felt like and the more brutal the better.

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In view of that, What should have happened was their ought have been some rational means used to separate the guilty, those who harmed or meant to harm us from the innocent ASAPand the and the innocent made as whole as can be done. Once that was done I would have no qualms about doing to the guilty anything we felt like and the more brutal the better.

In normal legal parlance this is what is called a "trial".

The main objection to Gitmo has been the lack of trials to determine guilt.

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I've got my own thoughts on Guantanamo, but this video doesn't affect those opinions at all. The video spurted out facts that I guess I'm supposed to take on face value; it misrepresented circumstances of capture and detention with exuberant, out of context story telling; and was emotionally over the top. It's one thing to be passionate about something, but quite another to use or accept that passion as argument--I personally think his passion was misplaced, but I don't know anything about this guy other than the video I just watched.

I watched the whole video, which was probably being too nice to the author, but I was bored and curious. In a way, I'm glad I watched it until the end because his last 'example' was completely over the top and ridiculous. The child which he talked about, which could be legally--and I would say morally--detained and interrogated, could be detained for any number of reasons, including a cordon and knock situation (which the author of the video disparagingly describes as random). The child's sad state of development, and potential view that soldiers and marines are 'space aliens,' has no baring on whether he should be detained or not; or if he should be transferred to Guantanamo Bay, for that matter.

The author misrepresents the detention situation in Afghanistan and Guantanamo. What I gathered from the video is that detainees taken in Afghanistan are arriving in bulk to Guantanamo, and they are selected to be detained there at random. An argument may be made that that facility never received the bulk of detainees taken in Afghanistan, and after the war progressed there, Guantanamo surely did not receive or process the bulk of Afghan detainees. If this video was actually released on 09 Apr 2009, this guy definitely needs to get a grip. Although I don't know exact numbers, there have been what, less than 800 detainees at Guantanamo; meanwhile, months after the start of the war in Afghanistan, there were over 3,000 detainees held in multiple places in that country--some of those came to make up the initial population of Guantanamo. Given that over time U.S. and NATO troop strength has increased, I'm going to say that the numbers of Afghans detained and processed, in and out of detention facilities in Afghanistan has increased as well.

I should have clarified a lot of what he said after the half way point is, IMO, non-sense. You point out why the story of the young boy taking up arms against the U.S is a terrible example of any point he is trying to get across.

However, the fact remains that terrible things were done in a cruel place to people who had no trial and who were later found out to be innocent of any charges leveed against them. This seems to be a very big problem. I have no sympathy for the guilty scum in Gitmo, but we don't know who is guilty and is innocent. That is the problem. We treat these people like animals, and we aren't even sure they did anything. Due process was established for a reason, and I see no just reason why we should ignore it in these circumstances.

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In normal legal parlance this is what is called a "trial".

The main objection to Gitmo has been the lack of trials to determine guilt.

There was also the idea of a military tribunal to make the determination of culpability, which is a sort of trial but under different rules.

Where it went bad was when the Bush Administration wanted to have it both ways. By not having them classified as "enemy combatants" they could withhold Geneva Convention rights and then they wanted to withhold from them the ordiary rules of jurisprudence (for which the detainees would have to be classified as "enemy combatants" and given Geneva Convention rights) So the whole thing ended up in limbo and the US ends up looking like the bad guys. In this case it was self-inflicted.

The military tribunal may have been a good ideas since they were picked up as a result of battle or other military actions.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I should have clarified a lot of what he said after the half way point is, IMO, non-sense. You point out why the story of the young boy taking up arms against the U.S is a terrible example of any point he is trying to get across.

However, the fact remains that terrible things were done in a cruel place to people who had no trial and who were later found out to be innocent of any charges leveed against them. This seems to be a very big problem. I have no sympathy for the guilty scum in Gitmo, but we don't know who is guilty and is innocent. That is the problem. We treat these people like animals, and we aren't even sure they did anything. Due process was established for a reason, and I see no just reason why we should ignore it in these circumstances.

I apologize for the late reply. I must say that I could have sympathy for someone who has been detained and interrogated for an extended period of time and done nothing wrong, but in these circumstances I don't have much sympathy because I recognize that these people were captured in a war zone. Just like so many, if not most locals killed in Iraq, may not have been fighting against U.S. military when they were killed, many, if not most detainees are going to be captured while not actively doing anything during capture. If people don't want to deal with these types of situations, don't have a war. Even though I don't think these people have the right to due process, I must agree with you in the sense that a policy dealing with holding and eventual trials (i've got no problem with the military tribunals originally planned) should have been developed in more detail and been more transparent. The administration definitely had a flippant attitude toward the situation and seemed to act very slowly.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Two of the Guantanamo prisoners may be taken for care in Lithuanian prisons, after Guantanamo is closed. Just in case you wanted to know. PM me for more info if you are interested.

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  • 1 month later...
Where it went bad was when the Bush Administration wanted to have it both ways. By not having them classified as "enemy combatants" they could withhold Geneva Convention rights and then they wanted to withhold from them the ordiary rules of jurisprudence (for which the detainees would have to be classified as "enemy combatants" and given Geneva Convention rights) So the whole thing ended up in limbo and the US ends up looking like the bad guys. In this case it was self-inflicted.

http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/91.htm

Please read Article 4 of the Geneva Convention where it outlines exactly who gains protected status as a Prisoner of War under the convention. I keep hearing people claim that the US is acting in violation of the Geneva Convention but these insurgents or terrorists or Agents of Man-Made Disasters or whatever we're supposed to call them this month aren't covered. In any other war in the last century they'd have been lined up against the nearest wall and shot.

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I don't think that's quite what he was getting at. I think SP understands the bit about the Geneva Convention. The problem is, SP seems to think they must *either* be treated as lawful combatants under Geneva, *or* as ordinary criminals with all the fourth through eighth amendment rights that that entails.

This is a false dichotomy. Combatants not covered under Geneva (because, say, they are not wearing uniforms) are not thereby ordinary criminals (as often as not they can be considered spies) and can legitimately be shot summarily when they are captured, as we did with Germans who tried to continue the fight after the German surrender in 1945.

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I apologize for the late reply. I must say that I could have sympathy for someone who has been detained and interrogated for an extended period of time and done nothing wrong, but in these circumstances I don't have much sympathy because I recognize that these people were captured in a war zone. Just like so many, if not most locals killed in Iraq, may not have been fighting against U.S. military when they were killed, many, if not most detainees are going to be captured while not actively doing anything during capture. If people don't want to deal with these types of situations, don't have a war. Even though I don't think these people have the right to due process, I must agree with you in the sense that a policy dealing with holding and eventual trials (i've got no problem with the military tribunals originally planned) should have been developed in more detail and been more transparent. The administration definitely had a flippant attitude toward the situation and seemed to act very slowly.

The war was started by the US, and what you are calling a 'warzone' was in fact other peoples' homes until the US decided to bring a war over there. I don't mean to be hostile. I have heard that the war was started by 9/11, however the terrorists almost all came from Saudi Arabia, and no war was waged against the Saudis. I have no problem with removing the Taliban from power because they were a tyrannical government, but killing or arresting people without knowing their guilt is unacceptable. Due process is absolutely necessary, especially when someone when you have arrested someone and have the time to make a rational decision. Imagine yourself in their place - imagine if China had invaded your country, declared your city a 'warzone' and arrested innocent people. And even if some of these people were arrested on the battlefield - what does that prove, other than the fact that people are defending their homes from violent invaders? How do you 'know' that they are evil, anti-freedom hate filled villains, when they have not been given the trial they need to defend themselves? A rational man could by justified for resisting foreign invaders if they were damaging property and killing innocent people. The US has surrendered the moral high ground on this one long ago.

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I have heard that the war was started by 9/11, however the terrorists almost all came from Saudi Arabia, and no war was waged against the Saudis.

That is the most naive statement I've ever read regarding this war. The terrorists, those who support them and those who shelter them were all in Afghanistan, not in Saudi Arabia. If you read up on WWI, you'll find that when the Allies finally counterattacked they went in to Germany rather than Austria, even if Hitler was Austrian.

If you can't understand that, you've no business stating your opinion on the matter.

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Due process? This isn't a criminal situation. Someone didn't get busted on a street corner for handing out crack. They were shooting at US troops, or blowing up a marketplace, or making IEDs. They were NOT fighting war according the the rules of war outlined in the Geneva Conventions, so therefore they have no rights under those conventions. US Soldiers don't walk around taking witness statements while being followed around with forensic teams. If these guys are given a civilian trial, any civilian lawyer worth his salt can get them off. Therefore we have 3 choices.

a. Lock them up

b. Shoot them

c. Let them go

Edited by NotCrazyDan
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The war was started by the US, and what you are calling a 'warzone' was in fact other peoples' homes until the US decided to bring a war over there. I don't mean to be hostile. I have heard that the war was started by 9/11

You heard wrong, and you are wrong.

The war was started by Saddam Hussein, when he ordered the invasion of Kuveit, a Western ally and independent country (as defined by the UN), in 1990. A cease-fire agreement with very specific terms was signed later that year, between Iraq and the UN (under who's mandate the war was fought, primarily by the US military) when the Iraqi forces found themselves defeated and driven out of that country. Later, other battles were fought (mainly bombing raides of Iraqi WMD sites, which were violating the cease-fire, ordered by Bill Clinton), and other agreements were signed by Iraq, afterward.

Here is a publicly available text of an agreement, signed by Iraq, in 1998:

Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the Republic of Iraq

1. The Government of Iraq reconfirms its acceptance of all relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolutions 687 (1991) and 715 (1991). The Government of Iraq further reiterates its undertaking to co-operate fully with the United Nations Special Commission (Unscom) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

2. The United Nations reiterates the commitment of all Member States to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.

3. The Government of Iraq undertakes to accord to Unscom and IAEA immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access in conformity with the resolutions referred to in paragraph 1. In the performance of its mandate under the Security Council resolutions, Unscom undertakes to respect the legitimate concerns of Iraq relating to national security, sovereignty and dignity.

4. The United Nations and the Government of Iraq agree that the following special procedures shall apply to the initial and subsequent entries for the performance of the tasks mandated at the eight Presidential Sites in Iraq as defined in the annex to the present Memorandum:

a) A Special Group shall be established for this purpose by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Executive Chairman of Unscom and the Director-General of IAEA. This Group shall comprise senior diplomats appointed by the Secretary-General and experts drawn from Unscom and IAEA. The Group shall be headed by a Commissioner appointed by the Secretary-General.

:devil: In carrying out its work, the Special Group shall operate under the established procedures of Unscom and IAEA, and specific detailed procedures which will be developed given the special nature of the Presidential Sites, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.

c) The report of the Special Group on its activities and findings shall be submitted by the Executive Chairman of Unscom to the Security Council through the Secretary-General.

5. The United Nations and the Government of Iraq further agree that all other areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation shall be subject to Unscom procedures hitherto established.

6. Noting the progress achieved by UNSCOM in various disarmament areas, and the need to intensify efforts in order to complete its mandate, the United Nations and the Government of Iraq agree to improve co-operation, and efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of work, so as to enable Unscom to report to the Council expeditiously under paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991). To achieve this goal, the Government of Iraq and Unscom will implement the recommendations directed at them as contained in the report of the emergency session of Unscom held on 21 November 1997.

7. The lifting of sanctions is obviously of paramount importance to the people and Government of Iraq and the Secretary-General undertook to bring this matter to the full attention of the members of the Security Council.

Due to Iraq continuously ignoring that cease-fire agreement, the United States Congress gave the Executive the authority to resume its military assault on Iraq, and the US Allied Forces achieved a quick victory over Iraq's armed forces in 2003, thus concluding the Gulf War. Any questions?

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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