# Guantanamo

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Kunax, Feb 16, 2006.

1. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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Mr. G:

I don't believe in social Darwinism. I believe human beings should act like they are the intelligent, considerate beings they like to think themselves to be.

Which reflects on your deficient moral standards all the more. Don't you think?

3. ### Prince_JamesPlutarch (Mickey's Dog)Registered Senior Member

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Simon Anders:

Who cares? They are terrorists. It's really immaterial.

We have to wage the war somehow. It's really immaterial at this point.

5. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Your choice and identification of enemy is immaterial ? Your means are immaterial with regard to your ends ?

Alienation of allies, destruction of motivation and morale among fellow warriors, confusion of goal, strengthening of enemies and justification of their cause, is immaterial ?

7. ### AsguardKiss my dark sideValued Senior Member

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Apathy is great isnt it

8. ### VkothiiBannedBanned

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G, that Mr G sure is an Onanist.

But, the caravan he's in has buggered off somewhere - "passed us by", or was that "pissed and high"? I wonder which bedouin he gets his stuff from?

9. ### Prince_JamesPlutarch (Mickey's Dog)Registered Senior Member

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Iceaura:

Alienation of allies? Who cares. What are they going to do?

...How are we lowering morale by capturing people?

Confusing which goal? Our ultiamte goal is to eradicate Islamic terror. How are we not doing that?

Strengthening our enemies? They should be scared as fuck that we're going to come to get them and torture them. In fact, I am sure they are.

There is no justification of Islamic terrorism at place at all. Whatever we do cannot be worse than what they are.

10. ### pjdude1219The biscuit has risenValued Senior Member

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are you incapable of seeing the dangers that lie down that path or are you just fucking nuts enough to not give shit.

11. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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It's what they are not going to do, which is fully and enthusiastically cooperate with us.

It's the torturing of them that lowers morale. People like to think they are the good side. And they like to sleep well at night.

That's our ultimate goal ? For which we are willing to give up everything fought for in, say, WWII ?

And, on the flip side, everybody who is scared as fuck we are going to come and get them and torture them, their children, relatives, or countrymen, is likely to be our enemy. That is getting to be a large number of people. People often have courage in the face of evil. The people who have courage in the face of evil often make effective, dangerous enemies.

Nobody is going to believe that except you and your fellow torturers. You have made yourselves odious, and raised the American flag over your scenes of brutality and sadistic perversion.

12. ### OilIsMasteryBannedBanned

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Nuke Guantanamo and let archaea and bacteria settle the ashes.

Last edited: Jun 19, 2008

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iceaura: "That's our ultimate goal ? For which we are willing to give up everything fought for..."

We've fallen into the same mentality that afflicted Germany in the 1930s. Assuming there is no further provocation, I'm hopeful that we are backing away from our recent slide into militarism and authoritarianism.

OilIsMastery: "Nuke Guantanamo and let archaea and bacteria settle the ashes"

But for reason and respect for USAmerican ideals to prevail, vile sentiments such as OIM repeats must be consistently rejected in polite company. Fascism arose with similar sneering and depraved humor. The duhumanizing hatred that underlies remarks such as OIM is making should always be taken seriously. No terrorism justifies a great society abandoning its moral bearings, and allowing the vernacular of political thugs to gain respectability.

14. ### CharonZRegistered Senior Member

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http://brokenlives.info

15. ### CharonZRegistered Senior Member

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Actually I have no idea what you mean by that. Goose-step was banned a while back (probably the soldiers could not keep giggling to themselves). Everyone hates the trains, well and who does not hate bureaucracy.
In any case there are similarities to the rise of the NSDAP and at least in part what is happening here. Hitler`s party was at the beginning not that significant, and were regarded as too extreme. However in parallel communistic ideal and parties were on the rise and Hitler later on was backed by the conservative industrials in fear of the communists. This was at least one of the reason how he could be elected as the Chancellor.

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Interesting- thanks, CharonZ.

Here's a direct link to the file (it's a 1.87 MB .pdf) for anyone who may prefer reading it without having to register at brokenlives.info:

Back in 2005, the official detainee count released to the public (I can't find a more current tally) had topped 83,000. Is it present leadership's deliberate policy to create enemies and sully the reputation of the USA? It seems that way.

Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
17. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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Are they really terrorists?

But are they? That's part of the problem with Guantanamo. The question has hung out in the dialogue, generally ignored by those who would simply say, "They're terrorists", for at least a couple of years now. I've addressed that point twice in recent weeks:

From the same episode of This American Life quoted in those two posts:

Hitt goes on to consider some numbers.

• Only 5% of Guantanamo detainees were acquired by American troops, either on the battlefield or anywhere else.
• Only 8% of the detainees were classified by the Pentagon as Al Qaeda fighters.
• Michael Donleavy, head of interrogations at Guantanamo, complained in 2002 that too many "Mickey Mouse" prisoners were being sent to the camp.
• Of 600 men at Guantanamo, "only a relative handful" could give useful information about Al Qaeda; that number was estimated between one and two dozen.
• 86% of the detainees at Guantanamo were acquired by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance.​

Again, from the transcript:

The thing is that even if we managed to haul Osama bin Laden himself in front of an American court, he would still be granted the presumption of innocence. Of course, it could be that, like others, he would confess his guilt before the court and invite "martyrdom". Nonetheless, until that sort of thing happens, he is actually presumed innocent before the law.

What, then, is the basis for stripping this presumption? That these are foreigners? Hardly. Foreign nationals under American jurisdiction can expect equal protection before the law. That they are guilty? Well, we're back to the start of the circle, aren't we?

There are presently about 270 prisoners at Guantanamo, held without charge, and many complain about abuse. Mohammad Jawad, for instance, in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent Boumediene decision, told of a two-week sleep-deprivation program he was subjected to in May, 2004:

Jawad's case presents an interesting quandary. According to Major Frakt, the sleep-deprivation routine occurred two months after Guntanamo's military commander specifically banned the treatment, which is referred to colloquially as the "frequent flyer program". Yet the prosecution argues, on the one hand, that Jawad allegedly told a doctor at the camp, after the cell-swapping program ended, that he had no psychological problems; this, of course, only several months after he had tried to kill himself. Additionally, prosecutors wrote that there is no evidence that Jawad was tortured.

How does that work out, then? Two weeks of arbitrary sleep deprivation—a practice specifically banned at the time by Guantanamo command, that even the infamous John Yoo agrees may fall, under certain conditions, within the American torture statute, and is banned under the Geneva Conventions°—and there is no evidence that Jawad was tortured. What are the lines, then, between coercion, abuse, and torture?

Does it really matter, then? Especially if we simply shrug and say, "They're terrorists" without ever having proven that point? Turning a blind eye to the situation, a deaf ear to the question, is not a solution, but merely an evasion.

Perhaps as a matter of personal sentiment, such details are inconsequential, but in the broader picture including human society, the rule of law, and the value of justice, such issues are essential.
____________________

Notes:

° banned under the Geneva Conventions — This would be covered by language that no coercion is allowed to extract information, and one could at least argue that, since Jawad's treatment was arbitrary and not attached to any specific interrogation, is somehow thus exempted. To the other, what is the point of showing such arbitrary cruelty to those not convicted of any crime? Likewise with military prosecutors' assertions that even if there was evidence of torture, the solution would not be to release the prisoner, but rather to exclude that evidence; how finely we split hairs about torture and interrogation—e.g., to say that he did not give information during the "frequent flyer" maneuvering, but at some other time, thus the information was not extracted by coercion—is about the only arguable justification for the claim that Jawad wasn't subject to outlawed coercive practices. This is a thin, even anorexic, argument, though.

Works Cited:

Chicago Public Radio. "Habeas Schmabeas". This American Life #310. March 10, 2006. http://thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1123

Sutton, Jane. "Guantanamo prisoner cites 2-week sleep deprivation". Reuters. June 19, 2008. http://uk.reuters.com/article/featuredCrisis/idUKN1936906020080619

PBS. "Bending the Rules?" News Hour With Jim Lehrer. May 13, 2004. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/jan-june04/interrogation_05-13.html

Correction: A typographical error in reproducing the This American Life transcript overstated the currency exchange rate approximately ninefold. The five million Afghani does not equal $1213, but rather$113. My apologies.

Last edited: Jun 21, 2008

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Tiassa: "Does it really matter, then? Especially if we simply shrug and say, "They're terrorists" without ever having proven that point? Turning a blind eye to the situation, a deaf ear to the question, is not a solution, but merely an evasion.

Perhaps as a matter of personal sentiment, such details are inconsequential, but in the broader picture including human society, the rule of law, and the value of justice, such issues are essential."

Indeed. How we confront or evade these issues in the USA will define our generation in history.

19. ### AsguardKiss my dark sideValued Senior Member

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apathy is the dictators way into sociaty

To quote star wars

"so this is how democrasy dies, not with a wimper but with a cheer"

20. ### Mr. Greality.sysValued Senior Member

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Yes, you do.

That's why you're so invested in playing the kindly authoritarian, correct-thinking hall monitor.

That's why you habitually complain that I'm not an appropriately compliant thinker.

You're free to believe whatever floats your boat.

You're free to believe that you are being as intelligent and considerate as you think you are, even as you publicly express denial that I should be afforded the very same freedom to believe, consider and think I am as free as you.
I think you own deficient.

21. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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Mr. G:

I don't think I've ever made that complaint.

I actually find you immensely entertaining. You're so easy to annoy.

I'm hardly denying your freedom of speech, Mr. G. I'm exercising my freedom to respond to your nonsense.

22. ### Prince_JamesPlutarch (Mickey's Dog)Registered Senior Member

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I always hear the words of Nietzsche when I talk to James R:

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound. Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their souls not only honey is lacking. And when they call themselves 'the good and just,' forget not, that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but — power!

23. ### pjdude1219The biscuit has risenValued Senior Member

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Yeah like thats going to happen any time soon.