33 More Guantanamo Detainees Sent Home

In addition to the Afghan detainees released last week, the Pentagon has announced that an additional 33 detainees have been sent back to their home countries. There are 395 detainees still at Guantanamo, only a small fraction of whom have been charged with a crime.

Despite the fact that 16 were sent to Saudi Arabia, the Washington Post says:

State Department officials have been working to reducesignificantly reduce the number of Guantanamo detainees through lengthy negotiations with other countries, although the United States is unwilling to release detainees into the custody of nations where they would likely be abused, tortured or killed.

Hello? Saudi Arabia doesn't torture prisoners?

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    IF THESE GUYS ARE TRULY THE "WORST OF THE... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Bill Arnett on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 01:13:46 PM EST
    ...WORST" of all the enemy combatants, what the heck are we releasing them for?

    It couldn't POSSIBLY be that our government lied to us (again and again and again) could it?

    Nah, what am I thinkin'? Our government never lies, right?

    Silly me.

    This is what's supposed to happen. (1.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 08:15:41 AM EST
    Two things with regard to the Guantanamo detainees:

    (1) Notwithstanding Jeralyn's snark about these detainees not being charged with any crimes, the Geneva Convention (III) prevents POWs and from being charged with crimes and prosecuted. They can be held and that is all. They cannot be charged with making war for their country. Such action would be a war crime.

    For those detainees who are not considered POWs, but rather unlawful combatants, GenCon (III) also provides that they can be detained like POWs, but that they can also be prosecuted for the crimes that made their combatancy unlawful. Note that is a possibility, not a command.

    So, either way you look at these prisoners--as POWs or as unlawful combatants--they can, as required by the GenCons, be held without charges until the cessation of hostilities. This brings me to my second point:

    (2) International and domestic law require that POWs be released at the "cessation of hostilities." The idea was that combatants could be held so long as it appeared that they could rejoin the competing forces. Justice O'Connor noted in Hamdi that she (and the Court) expected that this principle would be honored even in an unconventional war where an official cease-fire is, due to the type of conflict, unlikely.

    It appears that the Bush Administration took her at her word.

    wrong as usual (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Sailor on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:05:09 AM EST
    the GenCons don't allow inhumane treatment or torture of anyone. You can't even interrogate anyone.

    "unlawful combatants" is a made up term that only exists in bushlickers minds.

    bush and his enablers should be charged with war crimes.


    Dodging the point? (1.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:06:43 PM EST
    The point is that, contrary to Jeralyn's assertion, these folks, if they were POWs, could not have been charged with a crime.  And if they were unlawful comatants, they could be held or charged for the acts which rendered their combatancy unlawful at the discretion of the detaining power.

    You are correct to say that the GenCons prohibit inhumane treatment or torture, but that has very nothing to do with whether they are held without charges. Way to ignore the point, Sailor.

    Like the doctrine of preemption, this is yet another thing that, for whatever reason, lefties seem to think originated with the Bush Administration. You may wish that "unlawful combatants" is a made-up term, but your wishes have little to do with reality.


    Yes, dodging the point (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:28:37 PM EST
    Are you back to wilful obtuseness, gabe? Or shall we again just dismiss the modifier?

    The point that Jeralyn made so clearly is that there are 395 detainees still at Guantanamo.

    And regardless of whether or not the GenCons prohibit inhumane treatment or torture, we know we can count on you gabe, to find some way, as in your comments here today, to screw down your blinders tight enough to miss the other point that Bush and his administration will either ignore the Constitution and laws of the land and international law and signed treaties, or torture their interpretations beyond recognition also.

    Responsibility and wilful missing of points:

    Accessory (legal term)

    Accessory (definition)

    Complicity (definition)

    Legalizing Torture:

    THE BUSH administration assures the country, and the world, that it is complying with U.S. and international laws banning torture and maltreatment of prisoners. But, breaking with a practice of openness that had lasted for decades, it has classified as secret and refused to disclose the techniques of interrogation it is using on foreign detainees at U.S. prisons at Guantanamo Bay and in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Even on paper, the administration's reasoning will provide a ready excuse for dictators, especially those allied with the Bush administration, to go on torturing and killing detainees.

    Accessory (moral)

    Keep your brown shirt clean, though. Appearance is important...


    wrong again! (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Sailor on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 02:48:52 AM EST
    And if they were unlawful comatants, they could be held or charged for the acts which rendered their combatancy unlawful at the discretion of the detaining power.
    No, they cannot be held by discretion, there must be an actual war and they must be treated humanely.

    They can't be interrogated, they can't be sent to secret prisons, and the Red Cross must be given access.

    They can be charged with crimes:

    Article 82: A prisoner of war shall be subject to the laws, regulations and orders in force in the armed forces of the Detaining Power; the Detaining Power shall be justified in taking judicial or disciplinary measures in respect of any offence committed by a prisoner of war against such laws, regulations or orders.

    American Convention on Human Rights (Pact of San José, Costa Rica, 1969)

    Article 5 Right to Humane Treatment

    Every person has the right to have his physical, mental, and moral integrity respected.
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.

    Punishment shall not be extended to any person other than the criminal.
    Accused persons shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be segregated from convicted persons, and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons.

    The WOT is a never ending PR term, just like the war on crime, the war on drugs or the war on poverty. And the term 'unlawful combatant' appears nowhere in the Geneva Conventions or the Conventions Against Torture.

    You not just flunked international law, you've flunked humanity 101.


    The labelling of a person as an... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Bill Arnett on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:03:53 PM EST
    ...enemy combatant is nothing more than a semantic dodge used by the criminals leading this country to salve their consciences and seek avoiding the consequences of their illegal acts.

    Anyone believing that there is any other meaning to what the commission of these crimes represent is as delusional as bush and  passively complicit in his crimes.

    That's the way the WORLD outside of law schools view the actions of America and Americans, making endless excuses citing this or that, or imagining authority that does not exist, or acting as if America is still the greatest, most powerful, and the most JUST of all nations is to perpetuate a fantasy world that does not exist here where the rest of the civilized resides. You know, SANITY.


    Hostilities? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 05:14:00 PM EST
    be held without charges until the cessation of hostilities

    Curious...what hostilities?  Iraq can't count right?  We've taken prisoners before that war/occupation started.  Aghanistan...isn't that over? Just an occupation now in support of the postwar govt.  

    There certainly aren't any battles taking place on US soil right now, unless I'm mistaken.

    Or can you legal-ese a way to turn the rhetoric of a "war on terror" into a real war?


    Dissonance (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:35:11 AM EST
    What the Washington Post says:

    the United States is unwilling to release detainees into the custody of nations where they would likely be abused, tortured or killed.

    What the Washington Post means:

    the [ the bush administration ] is unwilling to release detainees into the custody of nations where they would likely [ not ] be abused, tortured or killed.

    Gabe (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:57:56 AM EST
    They are not POW's because no decalaration of war has been established. But we can go around in circles with this all day.

    You say POW, I say no war decalared.
    You may reply that it's not a conventional war. I don't care. I still say they are not POW's. Besides, we had a better conviction record when we used the established justice system in this country (see WTC I).

    I would think that GWB has been the biggest enabler of terrorism since Menachem Begin blew up the King James Hotel. He's justifying their cause on a daily basis, and financially ruining us in the process.

    BTW, Harry Reid has just endorsed an increase in troop strength in Iraq. Happy holidays war lovers. You got your wish. Stupid Dem followers just got grifted again. So before you maroons get to the next logical step in your lemming-like fanasy lives, know this for a fact: ANYONE who even THINKS of drafting my kid better be well armed and ready to use it. This is war, right? Fine. You want it? You got it. Try me. I know what I'm getting myself for CHRISTMAS.

    Screw George Bush and you idiots who think the Dems will change anything.

    Che, calm down my friend... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Bill Arnett on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:15:47 PM EST
    ...some of the best analysis of Reid's actions today speculate that by giving bush/st. john, LIEberman what they want PROVIDED it gets the troops out by '08 is what Reid wanted. That gives all the aforementioned parties what they want on a STRICT TIME TABLE, to which, if they refuse to agree, Reid will oppose sending more troops with every fiber of his being.

    I understand your passionate feelings towards this war, and when I first read about Reid/more troops, I felt exactly as you did. Further reading and reflective thought brought me around to agreement with Reid's "rope-a-dope" scheme.

    But rest assured, I will be in the bunker with you if these a$$h0les even THINK they are going to draft my son to die in an Iraqi desert for oil.


    Declaration of War (1.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:17:40 AM EST
    Che, we've been over this at least twice here at TalkLeft before.

    First of all, there is no constitutional requirement for a formal declaration of war. The US Constitution gives to Congress the power to "declare War." That's it. Congress can choose whatever means it likes to make such a declaration (despite the protestations of a Congressman that thinks the UN Charter "replaces" the constitutional power of Congress to declare war).

    An authorization for the use of military force is the same thing as a declaration of war. Even Congressional Democrats agree:

       M: (Inaudible) Talbot(?). Senator, thank you for this broad gauged approach to the problems we face. My question is this, do you foresee the need or the expectation of a Congressional declaration of war, which the Constitution calls for, and if so, against whom? (Scattered Laughter)

        JB: The answer is yes, and we did it. I happen to be a professor of Constitutional law. I'm the guy that drafted the Use of Force proposal that we passed. It was in conflict between the President and the House. I was the guy who finally drafted what we did pass. Under the Constitution, there is simply no distinction ... Louis Fisher(?) and others can tell you, there is no distinction between a formal declaration of war, and an authorization of use of force. There is none for Constitutional purposes. None whatsoever. And we defined in that Use of Force Act that we passed, what ... against whom we were moving, and what authority was granted to the President.

    Che, you say "no war declared," but Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court all disagree with you. That doesn't necessarily mean you're wrong, but it sure doesn't help your case. Somehow, you have to make the argument that when Congress gave the military permission to fight Afghanistan, it somehow wasn't declaring war on Afghanistan. Good luck.


    The simple fact that (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:55:04 AM EST
    the President, and the Supreme Court, and most of the the Congress disagree with Che is what helps his case most.

    The AUMF didn't apply to Iraq and now... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Bill Arnett on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:28:17 PM EST
    ...possibly Iran and Syria.

    Uh, yes it did. (1.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:11:35 PM EST
    In fact the AUMF 2002 (PDF) specifically referred to Iraq. For crying out loud, it was entitled:


    And most relevant, for those looking to see if Congress has properly exercised its power to declare war:

    The President is authorized to use the
    Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary
    and appropriate in order to--
    (1) defend the national security of the United States against
    the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council
    resolutions regarding Iraq.

    More disingenuousness, gabe. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:47:59 PM EST
    You know very well that Bill was referring to the 2001 AUMF which had no relation to Iraq.

    Nor did the discussion here up to his mention of it have any relation to Iraq.

    Accessory, gabe.

    My, that brown shirt fits you so well.


    Now you will see (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:15:46 AM EST
    gabe disingenuously try once again to conflate legal with 'right'. Supposed to happen my a$$...

    Irrelevant anyway (none / 0) (#14)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:22:04 PM EST
    And now that I think about it, where POWs are concerned, it doesn't matter whether a war has been officially declared or not. POWs are entitled to their rights under the Geneva Convention (III) regardless of whether the detaining power even recognizes the sovereignty of the opposing power.

    Moreover, Article 2 ensures that even where one party claims that no actual war exists, the lawful combatants are entitled to POW status:

    the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

    detainees sent home (none / 0) (#17)
    by diogenes on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:56:04 PM EST
    If the 16 GITMO detainees were Saudi citizens, then where else should they go but to Saudi Arabia?  Blamed if you release them, blamed if you keep them.

    You're close (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:58:36 PM EST
    Maybe someday you'll figure out that they should not have been in Gitmo in the first place. But maybe Bush and his supporters should have been.

    Not even them Edger..... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 05:17:25 PM EST
    We'd give 'em "three hots and a cot" like common criminals.

    We've got principals brother:)


    Awwwwww..... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 07:08:00 PM EST
    Yeah, you're right...

    Besides, Karma has worse plans for them. :-)


    I know Karma personally - she's a b*tch! (none / 0) (#24)
    by Bill Arnett on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 02:45:14 PM EST
    Gotta stop readin' the paper. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Che's Lounge on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 06:55:11 PM EST