Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The truth about Guantanamo starts trickling out.

Thine alabaster cities gleam... not as brightly I'd say.

Guantanamo guard reunited with ex-inmates


John Jost said...

The end of that video is very stirring. It might help some people agree that any trials should take place here with all civil rights granted. Thanks for that link.

Mpeterson said...

I know that some of our other posters don't think there's a difference between "prisoners of war" and "enemy combatants" or that these distinctions in legal language destroy innocent lives.

They don't think it matters because they don't believe anything like that can happen to them.

He said.

(Hey, doesn't the fact that saying stuff like this is insanely cliche suggest that it's also obviously true? Hm.)

Rich Kasten said...

Wouldn't it be nice to see videos of reconciliation of these enemy combatants/prisoners of war? Oh wait, there are over 4000 innocent lives that are now dead so that can't happen... So much for the "journey of reconciliation".

This anecdotal story does not erase the destruction of lives many of these people have committed nor does it erase the 1 in 5 that go back to a life of terrorism after being released. (here is the link, since I missed your post about it http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2010725320_gitmo07.html)

Call them what you want, it is better to err on the side of caution then be subjected to a failure to protect world citizenry - especially when those citizens are doing the ungodly act of flying in an airplane - perhaps home to see their kids or returning from a vacation. How dare they?

So before feeling sorry for them, understand that these individuals were targeted as enemy combatants by our intelligence agencies. Agencies that I am sure you would be quick to condemn if they missed an opportunity. Thinking back, I remember "what did you know and when did you know it?".

Mpeterson said...

Well, what we called them makes a difference legally, Rich. They were intentionally called something different from "prisoners of war" specifically so that the Bush administration could dodge our treaty obligations under the Geneva Convention -- so that the US could torture whoever the Bush Administration wanted to.

I don't think 9/11 justifies us acting like the Soviets, that's all I'm sayin.

Rich Kasten said...

Remember the "torture" you are talking about was known by both parties (all the way up to Speaker of the House) and was not stopped.

Also, I assume then that you have the same problems with the Obama administration and their siding with Bush when it comes to the detainees in Afghanistan? http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.star-telegram.com%2F190%2Fstory%2F1216322.html&date=2009-02-21

Be it 9/11 or the Shoe Bomber or Yemen or Detroit - they all show a need to err on the side of caution. I see it no different than involuntary commitment where the people are considered dangers to self or others. The Executive order trumping the court order.

Kevin Scheunemann said...


There needs to be a sense of proportion and constrast here.

What about the truth of Zimbabwe?

Government run and government owned farms are starving the people of that nation.

Before the leftist takeover in Zimbabwe, and in the era of private, for profit, farms, Zimbabwe was the bread basket of Africa.

This leftist truth is way more disturbing than anything at Club Gitmo.

Club Gitmo is a big yawn. People say they don't like it, but nobody wants the Club Gitmo attendees in their backyard in America.

If the point is to rail against and criticize human suffering...let's start with destructive leftist policies in Zimbabwe. The prisoners in Club Gitmo are getting fat while people in Zimbabwe starve...on purpose.

Mpeterson said...

Rich: some of the 'detainees' in Afghanistan, yes. If they're going to be prisoners of war, then we need to treat them as prisoners of war. The other legal manipulations are shady... remember, the laws about this sort of thing don't simply protect these enemies once we've captured them, they protect the US too. Hence our current constitutional scholar/presidents moving the Gitmo prisoners to real prisons and reinstituting habeas corpus. I'm surprised you weren't worried that the government gave itself the power to simply call someone an "enemy combatant" and ship them off to Poland for interrogation. I'm especially surprised that this doesn't bother our libertarian from Kewaskum.

I'd say the difference between the US and Zimbabwe is that our values are the right ones for a democracy to have and Mugabe's values aren't.

So if you're arguing we should suspend those values, fine. I don't think we should, even and especially when we've been attacked.

Mpeterson said...

Oh, and one more thing... I don't understand why you keep calling Zimbabwe a socialist, or even leftist, country. There's nothing liberal or socialist about the place -- it's a dictatorship.

Under 'socialism' people still get to vote their leaders in and out of office. They haven't been able to do that in Zimbabwe since... forever. So, calling Mugabe a socialist is the same as the Soviets calling themselves socialists -- that was nothing but propaganda.

Of course, that would scuttle the rhetorical magic trick that lets you claim that any government programs which look to the needs of citizens, rather than corporations, are the same as Mugabe's death squads.

Grant said...

Before the leftist takeover in Zimbabwe, and in the era of private, for profit, farms, Zimbabwe was the bread basket of Africa

This is a painfully ignorant characterization. Yes, the land "reforms" have been an unmitigated, murderous disaster. But they were not preceded by capitalist utopia. The whites-only agricultural system was established by government, capitalized and subsidized by government and coordinated by government.

Kevin Scheunemann said...


If the point of this club Gitmo article is to rail against human suffering...

Zimbabwe is a far bigger pot of human suffering than Club Gitmo.

I agree the "white only" farm ownership structure was not a utopia, but that evil was replaced by a bigger evil: Nationalization (aka socialism).

Why do left wing policies that cause much bigger human suffering fail to get as much play on the Cow?

Or is human suffering exclusively caused by the right wing, no matter how insignificant by comparison to left leaning policies that are 100 times worse?

Mpeterson said...

Kevin, that's just dumb.