Dems May Push to Close Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib

The Boston Globe reports today that House Democrats may try to force a closure of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other secret prisons by cutting off funding for them.

Representative John P. Murtha, the chairman of the powerful Defense Appropriations subcommittee and a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said he wants to close both prisons by cutting their funding, "to restore our credibility worldwide." If he succeeds, it would force the administration to find a new location for high-value terrorism suspects.

Murtha said Nancy Pelosi supports the closure move.

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    Secret? (1.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Fredo on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 11:02:45 AM EST
    What's so secret about Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib?

    It would be nice to bear in mind that as of VE Day in 1945 there were 400,000 Germans imprisoned on U.S. soil.  Many of them claimed to be innocent bystanders, forced to work for German army units and captured along with them.  None of them was ever charged with anything.  None of them had a right to any hearing before any tribunal to determine whether they should be held.  At Guantanamo, every detainee has had such a hearing, and every one has access to the courts of the United States on a habeas corpus petition.  Save your tears.

    Anybody have any suggestions about the "safe" countries we should send them to?

    Where to Send Them? (1.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Fredo on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 06:25:44 PM EST
    Various simpletons might be interested in the following item from the infallible Associated Press:

    "PARMA, Ohio -- The former imam of Ohio's largest mosque became a man without a country after being convicted of concealing his ties to terrorist groups.

    "Fawaz Damra was rejected by 72 countries and left with no choice but to be deported to his native West Bank, leading to his arrest by Israeli authorities on Jan. 4."

    One is entitled to hope that the Israelis will hang him or, better still, torture him to death.  Ha ha ha ha ha.

    "Various simpletons..." What an @$$, go (none / 0) (#63)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:13:43 PM EST
    condescend yourself.

    So if the GOP (none / 0) (#1)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 05:25:54 PM EST
    wants to keep these prisons, they will have to come to Congress and ANSWER QUESTIONS.


    Slush Fund (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 05:52:25 PM EST
    These guys are from Iran Contra. It should come as no suprise that the Afghan opium crop was bumper this year.

    They don't need Congress' crappy money anyway.

    Fully Support this (none / 0) (#3)
    by cjkinsey on Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 06:09:36 PM EST
    It has been five years since this prison has been opened, and not one person has been convicted of anything. Not one person, has been convicted, even though these are the worst of the worst, as described by Rumsfeld in 2002.

    It is time to close down the prison and release the people to safe countries that will not torture them.


    I think it is worse than that because some have (none / 0) (#5)
    by JSN on Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 08:08:48 PM EST
    not been charged with anything. If these folks are so dangerous we and they should be told why.

    An absolute monarch can toss someone in the dungeon and forget they are there. We fought a war to get rid of King George and now he is back.


    JSN... some facts instead of fiction (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 11:14:06 AM EST
    Most of these are being held as simple unlawful combatants.. i.e. They were attacking US forces or aiding those attacking. I do not believe they are POW's, the Left has claimed they are. If so, why do you think we should release a POW while the war is going on.

    A few have been charged with specific crimes, and those are the ones that will now be tried.

    The question is, are the others unlawful combatants?

    DOD has said thisL

    So as of this morning, we have conducted 507 CSRT tribunals.  So we've had hearings for 507 tribunals or for 507 detainees as of this morning

    Quite a few have been released, and some have immediately returned to attacking us. I would call this "America's Terrorist Fighter Handicap.


    completely ignoring facts (none / 0) (#22)
    by Sailor on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 02:38:47 PM EST
    Most of these are being held as simple unlawful combatants
    there is no suhc term, it's made up by bush etal. it's against the GenCons, and the supremes have stated GenCons apply. GenCon art 75 clearly states that this type of treatment is illegal.

    The DOD can say any lie they want, it doesn't mean anything except they are willfully violating US and international law.


    Sailor (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 07:43:55 PM EST
    I think you need to read Gabriel's reply to cjkinsey.

    He also says (none / 0) (#43)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 07:10:14 AM EST
    Quite a few have been released, and some have immediately returned to attacking us

    Conveniently ignoring that had he been imprisoned and tortured in Gitmo without reason or evidence or justification or because someone 'sold' him in Afghanistan or Iraq the first thing he would do on release is take up arms against those who put him there.

    He also conveniently neglects to mention that the vast majority of those released simply have done no such thing - meaning that though he still calls them terrorists even after the military has deemed them to not be - they are not doing exactly what he thinks they would be doing. His fears are inside his own head, the result of being Brainwashed And Spin Dried and spoon fed paranoid delusions by Bush.

    His own arguments defeat him, as do Bushs'. His is the defective thinking used to justify Bushs' WOT to the '26 Percenters'.

    He still thinks that 'Security Trumps All'. He's right, it does. He just hasn't yet realized how it does. I think that 'security' should be spelled 'suckerity'.

    He can't help it.


    edger - Your inaccuracy is becoming legend (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 10:14:35 AM EST
    he still calls them terrorists even after the military has deemed them to not be -

    Could you please show me that??

    I wrote:

    Quite a few have been released, and some have immediately returned to attacking us. I would call this "America's Terrorist Fighter Handicap.

    What would you do? (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 10:09:21 AM EST
    The facts speak for themselves. Some of those released attacked us, again. I believe that most of these people have attacked us. Historically their status would be as a guerrilla, whose fate would have been to bequickly executed.

    Instead we have chosen to call them unlawful combatants beause we did not believe they were prisoners of war, but we didn't want to execute them. Instead, we wanted to be sure of their status. That's the purpose of the review panels. Why do you not recognize the desire to have both justice and protection in this?

    If you were in charge, and if your troops captured someone in battle, what would you do with that person?

    Call him a nice guy who just happened to be shooting at us?

    We are not perfect, Walter. Never have neen, never will be. But the social/religious culture we fight is truly terrible.

    This AP story is but one of thousands about what has been done  by those we fight.

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghanistan's hard-line Taliban religious rulers stoned a woman to death in northern Afghanistan on Monday after she was found guilty of committing adultery.

    Can you imagine that? Stoned to death? The evil our fathers killed, that we buried with Hilter, the evil of Stalin and Pol Pot and all the other killers who claimed to be leaders, has not gone away. Instead it has crawled from its crypt and manifested itself in the killing of women in soccer fields, in denial of education and basic human rights of girls and young women, in leaders to spray their own people with poison gas, in parents who cheer when their own children blow themselves to bits in suicide attacks and then accept payment for these activities. Payment from leaders whose own children will never be wasted in these useless attacks. The evil of brothers and fathers killing daughters because they have dishonored the family's belief in a code that cries out for change, yet is not changed but continually preached in Mosques.

    Walter, I suspect you find yourself morally superior to those who support the war. You cry for those who may have been captured wrongfully, and who have been released.

    I too note that some wrong may have been done. Some may have been picked up wrongfully. There has been some abuse, and some torture. That was wrong.

    We reject such and correct such. Our whole history is covered with the righting of our own wrongs from the Civil War to Martin Luther King. From codifying women's right to vote to codifying everyone's right to vote, regardess of race or sex.

    In this matter, Walter, our sins are like a single grain of sand on an endless beach when compared to the sins of those we fight.

    You can cry for those who have attacked us, who are imprisoned, and yes some unjustly.

    I will cry for the stoned woman in the soccer field, the workers in the World Trade Center, the passengers in the airliners, and the millions of others destroyed by this evil.


    Tell me something please, Jim. (none / 0) (#46)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 10:15:13 AM EST
    How, and when, and why did you come to the conclusion somewhere along the way that George Bush is smarter than you are?

    Do you think that little of yourself?

    "Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the prime training ground for foreign terrorists who could travel elsewhere across the globe and wreak havoc, according to U.S. counterterrorism officials and classified studies" by the CIA and the Department of State, Warren P. Strobel reported July 4, 2005.
    "Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of 'professionalized' terrorists.

    "Iraq provides terrorists with 'a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills ... There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries', ... said David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats."


    Edger (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 07:05:38 PM EST
    And what does that mean? We are involved in a war, not a battle.

    Really. You need to get out more.

    BTW - I make no claims, but at least I know the meaning of the word, "some."

    Something you do not if I can believe one your comments immediately above.


    Don't forget the questions (none / 0) (#59)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 07:49:29 PM EST
    that you didn't answer, Jim.

    cjkinsey (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 11:02:52 AM EST
    Will these countries also keep them from re-attacking the US??

    Hunter proceeded to discuss some of the at least 10 detainees who have been released from Guantanamo Bay, or Gitmo, only to re-join the fight against the U.S. coalition

    Among the names.. is Mohammed Yusif Yaqe, ...(aka).. Mullah Shazada. Yaqeb was released in May 2003. He ....become the head of Taliban (search) operations in southern Afghanistan and was killed one year later in a fight with U.S. forces.

    One of the more notable cases involved Mohammed Ismai... one of two teens held at Gitmo..He was recaptured four months later fighting American troops... The memo notes that at the time of his capture Ismail was carrying a letter "confirming his status as a Taliban member in good standing."

    Mr. Ismail, was released to great fanfare at Guantanamo...(he).. "did a press conference at which he thanked the United States for educating him, because we teach them to read and write at Guantanamo."

    Currently, 545 detainees are housed at Gitmo,.. An additional 146 have been released and 62 have been handed over to other governments, according to the memo.

    I am sure (none / 0) (#10)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 11:40:36 AM EST
    You have a list of safe countries at hand that will take them.

    Squeaky makes a good point (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 07:04:46 PM EST
    How many "other secret prisons" do they have around the world that are exactly that? Secret. That no one knows about. They would have been anticipating something like Murthas plan for awhile now, I'm sure.

    Laudable goals, (none / 0) (#6)
    by JT on Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 09:15:24 PM EST
    but wasn't Abu Ghraib turned over the the Iraqis a long time ago?

    Safe countries? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 11:56:27 AM EST
    C'mon, use your imagination guys. This should be a piece of cake for George considering the enormous progress he's made in establishing respect for and trust of America around the world the past six years.

    There's gotta be at least one.. maybe even two... countries still left in the world where successive US administrations over the past century haven't undermined, usurped, overthrow or destabilized their governments or set up corrupt and oppressive client states, pillaged natural resources, killed innocent citizens with aerial attacks, or otherwise turned into evil insane America hatin' terrists.

    Y'all 'll think of somewhere, I'm sure. How about... Texas?

    Take yer time. Ya got all day...

    Holy (none / 0) (#27)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 07:05:02 PM EST
    Waco batman!  Keep thinking.

    Indeed. Nearly as waco as (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 07:37:04 PM EST
    using an AC130 Gunships  on 70 defenseless civilian nomadic herders who drive camels to work looking for water in the middle of a desert dried up with drought for the past five years.

    You figure, Wile? Ever seen what an AC130 can do?


    Oh (none / 0) (#29)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 07:42:53 PM EST
    yes, 24 years worth, I did see spooky at work a couple times.

    Then you know better. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 07:46:55 PM EST
    Don't you.

    What was the (none / 0) (#31)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 07:45:10 PM EST
    topic again?  Try to stay on.

    The topic was... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 02:39:31 AM EST
    How we are so great at recognizing terrorists. Locking them up, shooting at them...that sort of thing.

    Guantanamo Bay=An American oubliette. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Bill Arnett on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 12:18:47 PM EST

    Trials are not required. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Gabriel Malor on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 12:36:56 PM EST

    I have talked about this before here at TalkLeft. For your edification, I will explain the laws that govern our actions with regard to the Guantanamo prisoners once more. The reason I do this (repeatedly) is because international law explicitly prohibits prosecuting prisoners for the act of making war for their countries.

    Because you obviously are not aware of international law, you demand that the prisoners be charged with something or released. Unfortunately, such an act with respect to POWs is explicitly prohibited. Futhermore, with respect to unlawful combatants, they also cannot be prosecuted for making war for their countries. Unlike POWs, however, they can be prosecuted for the acts which make their combatancy unlawful.

    That pretty much sums up our duties with regard to the Guantanamo detainees. Those that are POWs cannot be charged with a crime. They can only be held until the end of hostilities (which is why we're seeing more and more of them released back to their countries). The unlawful combatants can be charged for the acts which made their combatancy unlawful. That's what all the hubub about the MCA 2006 was about. Those trials will be starting soon.

    However, for those who are interested in a more in-depth discussion about the laws we are bound to follow, continue reading:

    First, international law places certain obligations on countries that take prisoners. The most important of these laws is the Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. The United States is a party to the convention and it therefore has a duty to abide by its text.

    It is important to note that the convention applies regardless of whether an "official" war has been declared. Furthermore, POWs are entitled to their rights regardless of whether the detaining power even recognizes the sovereignty of their country.

    But this brings up a new issue: just who is protected under the convention? Article 3 provides minimum protections that apply for members of the following groups: (1) persons taking no part in hostilities; (2) those members of the armed forces who have surrendered or been put out of the fight because of illness, wounds, or detention.

    But the Geneve protections do not stop there. Some combatants are entitled to special protection. These combatants, when detained, are called "Prisoners of War", a term of art in international law.

    Prisoner of war status under international law (Article 4(A) of the Geneva Convention (III)) is conferred on the the following:

    (1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces;
    (2) Members of militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organzied resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict...provided that such fulfil the following (cumulative) conditions:
         (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his suboardinates;
         (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recongizable at a distance;
         (c) that of carrying arms openly;
         (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
    (3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
    (4) Persons who accompany armed forces without being members thereof (e.g. journalists, non-military medics, etc.)
    (5) Members of the merchant marine and crews of civil aircrafts.
    (6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist. (Levee en masse.)

    It should be noted that though the cumulative conditions binding irregular forces under (2) are not listed for regular armed forces, those forces are not absolved from fulfilling the same conditions. Under the Geneva Conventions, the only time the cumulative conditions are eased is in the case of levee en masse.

    So, some detainees, but not all, will have extra protections. However, for the purposes of determining whether charging them with something is mandated, it is mostly unnecessary to categorize them. Both POWs and unlawful combatants can be held until cessation of hostilities, but it is entirely at the discretion of the detaining power whether they will be tried for any crimes.

    Note once again, that while no one can be prosecuted for the act of making war for one's country, unlawful combatants are treated differently than POWs. Ex parte Quirin, a Supreme Court case decided in 1942, outlines the difference:

    By universal agreement and practice, the law of war draws a distinction between the armed forces and the peaceful populations of belligerent nations and also between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful.

    It is possible and legal for detaining powers to put unlawful combatants to trial. But it is not a command of international law in the sense that it is required of a detaining power.

    Either way you look at these prisoners, merely holding them without charging them with a crime is exactly the result intended by international law.

    SSDD. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Bill Arnett on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 12:53:28 PM EST
    Now ::that's:: edification. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 01:00:03 PM EST
    Whitewash. Rinse. Repeat. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Bill Arnett on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 01:08:13 PM EST
    Ivan Ilyich (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 01:18:53 PM EST
    Tried that too.
    "What if my whole life has been wrong?"

    It occurred to him that what had appeared perfectly impossible before, namely that he had not spent his life as he should have done, might after all be true. It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false. And his professional duties and the whole arrangement of his life and of his family, and all his social and official interests, might all have been false. He tried to defend all those things to himself and suddenly felt the weakness of what he was defending. There was nothing to defend.

    At least in the end he asked the question honestly.

    Hadn't the hippies tried to tell my generation (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by aw on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 08:40:58 PM EST
     Rod Dreher: "Hadn't the hippies tried to tell my generation this"?

    On 9/11, Dreher's first thought was : "Thank God we have a Republican in the White House."
        It wasn't supposed to turn out like this. Not under a Republican President.

    Great post too long to describe or how it's relevant here. Also follow link to Mahablog within. More really good stuff.glenngreenwald


    Great post by Glenn. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 09:02:58 PM EST
    And the 3 minute audio of Dreher speaking on NPR is even more striking than the printed words, but definitely worth a read or a listen. Jonah Goldberg sounds like the ground is shifting terrifyingly under his feet as he tries to discount and dismiss his friend Dreher.

    Very relevant, aw. Thanks for that...

    It reminded me in some ways of Ken Kesey, also relevant but hard to describe why:

    How do we know we're warriors? How do we know who we are? We do, we do. Go ahead and brighten up that little spark in your life. Brighten it up and when you see each other there, don't turn away from each other.
    And so my friend says, "You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can't count the number of apples in a seed." We are the seeds.

    or transcript

    question (none / 0) (#19)
    by syinco on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 01:32:08 PM EST

    I appreciate the reiteration of some of the issues and the relevant law that is at work here.

    The crux of the issue (moral considerations aside) seems to me to be at least an implicit condition or assumption in the relevant international law/treaties that a cessation of hostilities can be well-defined and can reasonably be expected as a matter of course in the military conflict, but that this condition may not be satisfied in the current state of affairs.  

    So I am curious, from a legal perspective, whether there is any question of relevance of international law in such a situation, or whether international law otherwise applies explicitly to such a situation.

    Also, if you think that this condition I suggest is satisfied in our broad war on terror, I am curious as to what you think might define a "cessation of hostilities".  Apparently, it must be something more than "Mission Accomplished". ;)


    Cessation of hostilities (none / 0) (#23)
    by Gabriel Malor on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:24:21 PM EST

    You are right to note that the current war has put a strain on traditional ideas of active warfare. I have written about the requirement that hostilities be closed before POWs must be repatriated at least twice here at TalkLeft. My first comment of substance on the matter was on 10 November 2006. My second comment was on 13 November 2006 (notice also comment #17).

    I will now reprise those comments here.

    The Supreme Court in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld makes clear the current requirements of international and domestic law with regard to the cessation of hostilities. As that is the most recent discussion of these issues and since the Supreme Court's pronouncements on the state of the law are the last word on the issue as far as the domestic justice system is concerned, I looked there for a discussion of this issue.  That case can be found here. I am excerpting only the two most relevant parts.

    First, the part about the requirements of international law:

    It is a clearly established principle of the law of war that detention may last no longer than active hostilities. See Article 118 of the Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Aug. 12, 1949 ("Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities"). See also Article 20 of the Hague Convention (II) on Laws and Customs of War on Land, July 29, 1899 (as soon as possible after "conclusion of peace"); Hague Convention (IV), Oct. 18, 1907 ("conclusion of peace" (Art. 20)); Geneva Convention, July 27, 1929 (repatriation should be accomplished with the least possible delay after conclusion of peace (Art. 75)); Praust, Judicial Power to Determine the Status and Rights of Persons Detained without Trial, 44 Harv. Int'l L. J. 503, 510-511 (2003) (prisoners of war "can be detained during an armed conflict, but the detaining country must release and repatriate them 'without delay after the cessation of active hostilities,' unless they are being lawfully prosecuted or have been lawfully convicted of crimes and are serving sentences."

    Then a bit of dicta that drives exactly to the question you raise, syinco:

    [W]e understand Congress' grant of authority for the use of "necessary and appropriate force" to include the authority to detain for the duration of the relevant conflict, and our understanding is based on longstanding law-of-war principles. If the practical circumstances of a given conflict are entirely unlike those of the conflicts that informed the development of the law of war, that understanding may unravel. But that is not the situation we face as of this date.

    Now, Hamdi was decided with regard to the War in Afghanistan. However, the principles which O'Connor outlined will be applied to all international conflicts the US is involved in.

    Let me put it this way: were I the lawyer of a detainee who was not a member of an identifiable combatant group or sovereignty, I would attempt the argument that cessation of hostilities with my particular detainee's group has already occurred. In the alternative, I would rely on O'Connor's dicta above to say that a broad-strokes "War on Terror" cannot be understood to mean my client can be detained until the end of all terrorism anywhere.


    thanks (none / 0) (#26)
    by syinco on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 04:24:50 PM EST
    Gabriel - thanks for taking the time on the direct response and references.  I will read further and digest ...



    gabe's opinion is irrelevant ... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Sailor on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 09:07:33 PM EST
    ... and the opposite of the supreme court's. I think I'll go with the highest court in the land rather than some amateur.

    The phrase 'unlawful combatant" was made up by bushco, it does not exist outside of bush's attempts to circumvent US and international law.

    gabe completely ignores Article 75 which sets thhe minimum and applies to all persons taken.

    Bush Administration in particular has observed that those who do not meet this definition should be determined to be "unlawful combatant" and that by this definition legal protection under the Geneva Conventions is not warranted. Nathaniel Berman in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law suggests that by declaring that some detainees do not merit the protections of criminal law, because of their combatant activities, and that they do not merit the protections of jus in bello due to the unlawful nature of their combat, the use of the term in current legal discourse seems "designed to put detainees beyond the reach of any law."[1]

    Article 75.-Fundamental guarantees
    1. In so far as they are affected by a situation referred to in Article 1 of this Protocol, persons who are in the power of a Party to the conflict and who do not benefit from more favourable treatment under the Conventions or under this Protocol shall be treated humanely in all circumstances and shall enjoy, as a minimum, the protection provided by this Article without any adverse distinction based upon race, colour, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or other status, or on any other similar criteria. Each Party shall respect the person, honour, convictions and religious practices of all such persons.

    2. The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents:

    (a) Violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular:

    (i) Murder;

    (ii) Torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental;

    ( iii ) Corporal punishment ; and

    (iv) Mutilation;

    (b) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault;

    (c) The taking of hostages;

    (d) Collective punishments; and

    (e) Threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.

    Sailor, I quoted from the Supreme Court (none / 0) (#38)
    by Gabriel Malor on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 09:55:07 PM EST

    Had you bothered to read my comments, you would have seen that I quoted directly from the Supreme Court not once, but twice. Please re-read them. Of most interest to you and your "Bush made it up" claim will be the language from Ex parte Quirin I quoted in #13.

    And "gabe completely ignores Article 75" because you're quoting from the Additional Protocol 1 of 1977, a treaty that the United States never ratified. AP 1 was particularly contentious because the rather convoluted Article 44 extends POW protections to everyone. Paragraph 4 of that article reads:

    A combatant who falls into the power of an adverse Party while failing to meet the requirements set forth in the second sentence of paragraph 3 shall forfeit his right to be a prisoner of war, but he shall, nevertheless, be given protections equivalent in all respects to those accorded to prisoners of war by the Third Convention and by this Protocol.

    The whole point of requiring combatants to behave in a certain way (for example, by not wearing civilian clothes or hiding in places of religious worship) is to protect civilians. AP 1 removed that incentive, essentially saying that no matter what acts a combatant takes in war he will be protected.

    For that reason, the US and Israel have refused to ratify it or otherwise recognize it in law. It endangers civilian lives. So, you can quote it all you want, Sailor; the Supreme Court won't be.


    ignorant of law and facts (none / 0) (#49)
    by Sailor on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 11:38:20 AM EST
    look up case law where the US has cited article 75, it's established international law.

    You also ignore International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture), both of which the United States has ratified.

    You can't torture people EVER, and you can't hold them forever.


    Ignoring? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 12:15:29 PM EST
    I never said the US could torture people EVER, nor did I say they could hold them forever.

    I said that, under the Third Geneva Convention, they could be held until the end of hostilities, be they POWs or be they unlawful combatants. Please try and quote me accurately.


    once again, no such term ... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Sailor on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 01:06:52 PM EST
    ... as unlawful combatants.

    It was made up by bush to justify illegal torture and imprisonment.


    They did define the term in the 2006 MCA (none / 0) (#54)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 01:44:32 PM EST
    "The term 'unlawful enemy combatant' means - (i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or associated forces); or (ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense."


    Of course, by the first definition (i) most of the people held in Gitmo (those who were released) were never an 'unlawful enemy combatant' or they would not have been released, so there was no basis for holding them in the first place.

    And by the second definition (ii) anyone who bushco says is one is one, except that they are not one until they are labelled one by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, even if they've waited years for the tribunal, except that The Status Hearings Fail to Satisfy the Supreme Court's Ruling, and the status hearings do not even measure up to the military regulation they claim to mirror so they cannot by any reasonable criteria be seen as a "competent tribunal" either.

    So there was no basis for holding them in the first place either. In both cases people can be and are illegaly held for years with no status whatsoever.

    All smoke and mirrors and typical bushco BS.

    There is no such thing as an 'unlawful enemy combatant', unless of course someone wants to argue that the MCA is invalid law....

    (AP) The Pentagon called them "among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth," sweeping them up after Sept. 11 and hauling them in chains to a U.S. military prison in southeastern Cuba.

    Since then, hundreds of the men have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay to other countries, many of them for "continued detention."

    And then set [them] free.

    What is an unlawful combatant? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 03:05:14 AM EST
    There's no such thing in the Geneva Conventions. You are substituting a U.S. court case from WWII for current international law.

    Here's what the ABA says about Quirin:

    The Quirin case, however, does not stand for the proposition that detainees may be held incommunicado and denied access to counsel; the defendants in Quirin were able to seek review and they were represented by counsel. In Quirin, "The question for decision is whether the detention of petitioners for trial by Military Commission ... is in conformity with the laws and Constitution of the United States. " Since the Supreme Court has decided that even enemy aliens not lawfully within the United States are entitled to review under the circumstances of Quirin, that right could hardly be denied to U. S. citizens and other persons lawfully present in the United States, especially when held without any charges at all.


    Step by step (Again) (none / 0) (#48)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 10:56:59 AM EST

    Once again I will try and spell this out for you. The Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War designates five types of individuals and gives them "protected status", that is POW status.

    I listed the five groups in comment #13 and I'll summarize them below. If you want to go and read them for yourself, go here. Article 4 is the one you want. It begins:

    Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

    And then it lists (1) armed forces; (2) militias and irregulars that fulfil certain criteria; (3) armed forces that belong to a sovereignty not recognized by the detaining power; (4) civilians who accompany armies; and (5) levee en mass.

    That's it. No one else gets "protected status" as POWs. Those that are protected are called "lawful combatants." They get all the protections of the Third Geneva Convention. Those that do not fall into one of those categories are "unlawful combatants" because they are conducting themselves in violation of the laws of war. Upon detention they are subject to prosecution for the acts which make their combatancy unlawful.

    Most notable for our purposes when discussing the current war on terror are the cumulative conditions expected of militias and other types of irregulars. They are:

    (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his suboardinates;
    (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recongizable at a distance;
    (c) that of carrying arms openly;
    (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    Though it's not explicitly mentioned, regular armed forces must also fulfil the cumulative criteria. The conditions are designed to keep armies from hiding within the civilian population and thereby endangering it.

    In the current conflict, the cumulative criteria are especially difficult for terrorists and insurgents to achieve. That's why most of the terrorists and insurgents captured have been categorized as unlawful combatants.


    Current International Law (none / 0) (#51)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 11:45:38 AM EST
    I quoted Ex parte Quirin because I feared that you would continue to claim that the designation "unlawful combatant" was something new cooked up by the Bush Administration. I could just as easily have quoted Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, decided in 2004:

    The capture and detention of lawful combatants and the capture, detention, and trial of unlawful combatants, by universal agreement and practice, are important incidents of war. The purpose of detention is to prevent captured individuals from returning to the field of battle and taking up arms once again.

    Trials are not required. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 12:43:51 PM EST
    Especially when you can get exactly the intended results by such treatment of people.

    Hating America (none / 0) (#20)
    by Fredo on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 01:50:47 PM EST
    "...countries still left in the world where successive US administrations over the past century haven't undermined, usurped, overthrow or destabilized their governments or set up corrupt and oppressive client states, pillaged natural resources, killed innocent citizens with aerial attacks, or otherwise turned into evil insane America hatin' terrists."

    It sounds like you're doing a pretty good job of hating America in your own right.  The characterization of American actions over the past century seems, to be polite about it, quite hysterical.  No nation in history has done more to advance and support the notion of democracy and individual liberty than the US has done in that period, and the billion-plus people in Europe and Asia who have benefited from the use and the threat of US military force are well aware of it--and grateful for it.

    In any event, you are continuing to avoid the question of what countries would accept these people, and what they would do with them.

    I suggest their home countries. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 02:00:13 PM EST
    It's not necessary to hate your country... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:10:27 PM EST
    ...when it is the despicable men with evil policies and objectives that deserve every bit of scorn and derision that may be hurled their way.

    I would have thought a person like you, with such a high opinion of yourself and your intelligence that you affect third-party speech, would recognize that people can find plenty to fault with this government and still fervently love America.

    The two positions are not incompatible.


    Their Home Countries (none / 0) (#24)
    by Fredo on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:38:51 PM EST
    If they are returned to their home countries, they will either be freed to carry out their vows of murder, or they will face death by torture.  Neither seems like a preferable alternative to the present course, although if they were to be tortured to death by their own countrymen I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over it.

    I have yet to hear what it is about Guantanomo and Abu Ghraib that makes them "secret."  And I would be interested to hear a theory as to how it is possible to disprove a false charge of maintaining secret prisons.  But I suspect that nothing very illuminating will be forthcoming here.

    So you have no suggestions. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:42:58 PM EST
    Except the implication that you are doing them some kind of service by keeping them in Gitmo. Not surprise here. They love you for it too?

    show proof (none / 0) (#36)
    by Sailor on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 09:08:38 PM EST
    If they are returned to their home countries, they will either be freed to carry out their vows of murder,
    Show proof of anything regarding them. bush hasn't and refuses to.

    Want proof? Just scroll up the page to: (none / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 09:48:23 PM EST
    cjkinsey (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 11:02:52 AM EST

    Hope that helps.

    Be sure and read the link.


    ignorance, over and over ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Sailor on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 11:39:26 AM EST
    ... is still ignorance.

    Fredo (none / 0) (#39)
    by Che's Lounge on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 11:16:35 PM EST
    Stop being disingenuous. Everyone knows Gitmo is not secret. The article refers to Gitmo and other, secret prisons. You use stupid punctuation omissions to look foolish.

    Curious.. (none / 0) (#47)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 10:21:29 AM EST
    What percentage of the prisoners (from impoverished, war torn nations) were "turned in" by their neighbors in responce to promises of a sizeable reward?

    Guantanamo inmates say they were 'sold' (none / 0) (#55)
    by Bill Arnett on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 01:52:34 PM EST
    An interesting account of the selling of innocents to America.

    It doesn't break the arrest numbers into percentages, but it is obvious that many hundreds were sold into captivity.


    Hope it's useful to you, jondee.


    It's who is doing the ::buying:: (none / 0) (#56)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 02:04:22 PM EST
    that bothers me even more than the fact they were sold. :-/

    Speaking of the lynch mob.. (none / 0) (#60)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:45:21 AM EST
    "Better still torture him to death"? If that isnt an expression of the terrorist mindset, I dont know what is. Take heart Frodo, maybe they'll make videos available.

    He just hasn't peaked yet, Jondee. (none / 0) (#61)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 10:58:34 AM EST
    Actually, it appears to be all downhill now. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Jan 16, 2007 at 02:15:03 PM EST