Obama Issues Order Resuming Guantanamo Military Commission Trials

President Obama issued an executive order today clearing the way for more military commission trials at Guantanamo. The ACLU says Obama has now "institutionalized indefinite detention." It calls Obama's new review process "window dressing."

Here's the Order. Here's the administration's Fact Sheet. From Obama's statement. [More....]

From the ACLU's statement:

“The best way to get America out of the Guantánamo morass is to use the most effective and reliable tool we have: our criminal justice system. Instead, the Obama administration has done just the opposite and chosen to institutionalize unlawful indefinite detention – creating a troubling ‘new normal’ – and to revive the illegitimate Guantánamo military commissions.

“While appearing to be a step in the right direction, providing more process to Guantánamo detainees is just window dressing for the reality that today’s executive order institutionalizes indefinite detention, which is unlawful, unwise and un-American. The detention of Guantánamo detainees for nine years without charge or trial is a stain on America’s reputation that should be ended immediately, not given a stamp of approval. Moreover, the procedures for providing more process are flawed as they vest too much discretion and power in the Secretary of Defense, essentially asking the fox to guard the hen house.

Guantanamo should be closed and any criminal charges should be brought in our federal courts.

Where credible evidence exists against Guantánamo detainees, they should be charged and prosecuted in our federal courts, which have a proven record of prosecuting terrorism suspects and are the only way to provide the fair and reliable outcomes that Americans deserve.

“The only way to restore the rule of law is to put an end to indefinite detention at Guantánamo and the broken commissions system, and to prosecute terrorism suspects in federal criminal courts. Today’s announcement takes us back a step when we should be moving forward toward closing Guantánamo and ending its shameful policies.”

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    Another broken promise (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:13:38 PM EST
    Again Obama shows that there isn't a principle that he won't cave on.

    If he doesn't believe in anything, he has no business being in the White House. The job description involves leadership, a trait Obama seems to be in short supply of.

    I'm sure this will satisfy a lot of Republicans, but in spite of what Obama thinks, they aren't going to vote for him in 2012 regardless of what he does for them.

    Every decision (none / 0) (#7)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:16:17 AM EST
    made at this point is affected by how it will play out in the 2012 election

    Every decision (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by sj on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 01:04:03 PM EST
    made at EVERY point is affected by how it will play out in the 2012 election.

    We'll see if their calculations are correct.  If they are, then I wonder if it would be possible to expatriate my entire family.  Probably not.  Yet.


    It looks to me like this is a sop to (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:19:05 PM EST
    those who won't leave Obama alone about closing Guantanamo while at the same time effectively keeping the lid on all of our nasty little Gitmo secrets - the kind that if revealed would start calls for accountability.

    Another disappointing choice from a Democratic president who said he believed in the rule of law and transparency and accountability.

    Surely a consequence (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:59:42 AM EST
    of the complete refusal to hold anyone from the Bush Administration accountable for similar actions, by either prosecution or Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 11:14:18 AM EST
    that was a huge mistake. Since no one has held Bush responsible and let his mistakes see the light of day it has legitimized those horrible policies. Sad.

    I Miss Bush, Really... (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 11:38:16 AM EST
    At least when he was President, there was the bad guys and us, the principled masses who were going to turn our slide into the abyss, around.

    Now, I can't tell the difference, the hope I once had is gone.  When both parties agree to something so obviously wrong on so many levels it really makes me feel like this country stands for nothing.  Freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, all of it, a lost notion of decency I will never see in my lifetime, at least here, my homeland.  And the worse part is I will here those words every day from some JackA who doesn't have a clue to their true meaning.

    I hope to god that we can put-up a contender in the primaries, because there is no way in hell I am voting for Obama.

    Who is "we" (2.00 / 1) (#31)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 12:05:43 PM EST
    You said:

    I hope to god that we can put-up a contender in the primaries, because there is no way in hell I am voting for Obama.

    Obama's approval amongst democrats has been 80% and above for most of the year and looks to improve.

    I don't think you understand how much of a minority your position is amongst those who call themselves democrats.

    There will be no primary.  Your choice will be Newt/Palin/Romney/Pawlenty or Obama.

    I know who I am pulling for in that battle.


    You have to look (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 12:16:15 PM EST
    at the strongly approve numbers to get a better picture. He needs more than 80% though. Kerry got 80% and split independents 50/50 with Bush and still didn't win.

    Out of curiousity what (none / 0) (#53)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 08:14:21 PM EST
    would you put Obama's chances at re-election at? Personally I'd say its 80% on the low end at this point.

    First of (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:03:32 AM EST
    all we don't have a GOP challenger yet. Secondly, we don't know how demoralized the base is. Thirdly, none of the polls I've looked at say what the strongly approve and strongly disapprove are.

    You would say he had an 80% chance if his approval rating right now was in the 30's.


    We iz.. (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 02:51:31 PM EST
    ... the millions of disillusioned Obama supporters.

    Pretty sure I learned in third grade, 'we' is plural, meaning more then one.

    And sorry, but if those are my choices, I will stay home.  I'd rather have the party I don't like using the Constitution as toilet paper, then my own.  I'm not propping-up someone just because the the other alternatives are worse, that's the thinking that brought us GWB, and in all likelihood, BA2.

    You are crazy if you think Obama is walking through the primary, then again, the party isn't going to want to see their prize horse dragged through the mud by a real democrat.  The betrayal list is long, and like the above, my candidate said he would do X, yet did Y, again and again and again.  I'm sick of it.

    And you forgot a couple of real beauties, Newt, the Huckster, and Giuliani.


    One other choice you have available to (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 03:18:41 PM EST
    you is casting a write in vote for Bernie Sanders. The main benefit to doing this rather than staying home is that there is no way that the Democratic Party can claim that you voted for Bernie because he was not moderate enough.

    To add to Scott's point, it is more (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 03:21:22 PM EST
    than disheartening to see Democrats who called themselves progressives find ways to support policies advanced and legislation proposed and passed that, when they were coming from Republicans, were roundly and soundly opposed.

    The policies and legislation and executive orders and signing statements don't transform to good things just because they have Democratic fingerprints all over them.  And supporting and excusing and justifying these things has only served to legitimize them, and connect them with Democrats for the foreseeable future.

    Voting for people who did this - and who show no signs of reversing course (that was what Obama was supposed to be doing, remember?) - is crazy.  And telling yourself these people are better than those other guys, who are even worse, is like settling for the sharp stick in the eye over having your head slammed into a concrete wall.  Still crazy.

    I'm not voting for any Republicans, but I have come to understand that the only way Democrats ever seem to be able to recognize bad policy, bad legislation and bad governance is if it comes with an (R) after it.  It's just too bad that electing Democrats who are reading from the same script - minus the religious zealotry, the homophobia and the xenophobia - isn't the answer to changing anything.


    Well Put (none / 0) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 04:16:56 PM EST
    But I would add, 'This Democrat' to a lot of the above statements, he is the leader, the manager, and pretty much the one who the others look to when negotiating/voting.  He sets to tempo.

    I am realizing Clinton is probably the best President I will experience in my life time.  And what really sucks, is I was too young and too drunk in my 20's to appreciate the real gem we had.  I really hope I am wrong, but it's looking pretty bleak.

    This dark era in our history will no longer be regarded as the Bush days, it's going be a bipartisan black-eye when future generations look backwards.  

    At least with GWB I can could make the claim I didn't vote for him of his BS policies, not true with Obama, I voted for him and his policies, which, of course, are becoming BS policies.

    At this point, I would be surprised to find out we aren't torturing people or renditions.


    Oh please (2.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 08:15:52 PM EST
    Clinton wishes he was as good a President as Obama has been.  

    Seriously funny! (none / 0) (#56)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 08:32:57 PM EST
    Who knew you had such a sense of humor!

    I'm honestly (2.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 08:55:08 PM EST
    not joking- While admittedly they're both essentially moderate Democrats, Obama actually tried and did to get Healthcare passed (albeit it in a comprimised form) rather than just giving up when it got tough, Obama on both financial reform and DADT has essentially spent two years undoing the mistakes and pandering of the Clinton Administration (seriously, Clinton laid the groundwork for the current recession with his de-regulate/gut financial oversight mantra)- again neither was perfect but at the very least in Healthcare (and other things) Obama will have some lasting legacy whereas Clinton's longterm victories for liberalism essentially disappeared as soon as Bush took over.  

    I know you're not joking, ... (none / 0) (#59)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:45:06 PM EST
    ... that's what's so funny.

    BTW - Clinton could have gotten Obamacare passed very easily - all he had to do was agree to the Republican plan of '93.  You know they're virtually identical, right?  Clinton actually fought for real reform, rather than just making backroom deals with the pharma and insurance lobbies - not to mention flip-flopping on mandates.  "lasting legacy"?  You mean betraying all of his promises on health care and giving the insurance companies everything they wanted while doing virtually nothing to make it affordable?


    As far as GLB is concerned: 1) it was passed by a veto-proof, bipartisan majority of 90-8-1 in the Senate and 362-57-15 in the House.  This bill was barely opposed by Congress except for the language in the Senate version to kill the CRA. When Gramm backed down on that, there was overwhelming support. The vote was veto-proof. If Clinton had vetoed it, with a Republican controlled Congress and a majority of Democrats behind it, he would have been very publically rebuked by his own party in the form of an over-ride, 2)  More importantly, GLB did not cause the financial meltdown ...

    ... no matter how much the CDSers try to claim otherwise.

    "Lasting legacy"?  I guess so ... if by that you mean caving at every opportunity, flip-flopping on so many issues it's hard to keep track, and breaking his campaign promises, then, yeah ...

    ... Obama will have one helluva legacy.


    ROTFLMAO (none / 0) (#60)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:01:51 AM EST
    you apparently adhere very much to the Obama standard of passing anything even a piece of crap is better than nothing. I guess if you got served a piece of steak on a garbage can lid you would eat it.

    Gem? (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 06:09:16 PM EST
    I musta missed that...unless collecting a little higher vig for the ruling class protection racket is all ya need to do to qualify for precious stone status.

    It seems Bill Clinton's status as a (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 06:20:44 PM EST
    Pres. has risen since he left office.  But, so has GWB's per some.

    No comparison, really (none / 0) (#48)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 06:40:48 PM EST
    GWB left office with an approval rating of 34%.  Clinton was at 66%, the highest end-of-term approval rating of any POTUS.

    rose-colored glasses (none / 0) (#29)
    by CST on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 11:49:48 AM EST
    I remember a time when 99 senators voted for the Patriot act, and a bipartison congress sent us into a useless war and barreling down the path we are currently on.

    "America stands for nothing" (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by mcl on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 02:22:01 PM EST
    ScottW714 said: Now, I can't tell the difference, the hope I once had is gone.  When both parties agree to something so obviously wrong on so many levels it really makes me feel like this country stands for nothing.

    That's not true.  America does stand for something.

    America stands for torture, kidnapping and assassinating our our citizens without charges or a trial, and without even accusing them of a crime.

    Whenever America fought a war against a country that tortured people, I knew we were going to win. Nobody loves torturers. The entire world shuns them. Countries that torture do it because they're weak and afraid, not because they're powerful and confident.

    America is lost. We're a lost country, a lost people now heading down into the abyss in an ever-accelerating downward spiral.

    At least you agree with Republicans (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 02:30:31 PM EST
    They think America is lost because we stopped prayer in school, gays people can be open and marry in some places, women are running around getting abortions, and our general morality has taken a nosedive.

    So cheer up!  We have reached PPUS after all!


    I hate the decision (2.00 / 1) (#4)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 08:55:20 AM EST
    But I need to understand what Obama's alternatives were in the face of bipartisan congressional opposition.

    I believe that the Senate blocked the move of prisoners from Gitmo by a vote of 90-6, and that was before the last election.

    It would be helpful to understand what powers the president has in the absence of congressional approval.

    True that Congress shares the blame on this (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:04:20 AM EST
    for refusing to appropriate the money to close Gitmo, among other things.

    What I would like to see is the administration expedite the decision making process on the remaining prisoners. It can't possible really take this long to decide how or if to prosecute these guys. I believe most of it is stalling to read political tea leaves. At this rate the buck will be passed to the next president.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#19)
    by CST on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:18:47 AM EST
    I think part of the delay so far, is that the military commissions were suspended, but congress passsed a law saying you can't transfer the detainees for a trial in the U.S.  So essentially there was no path for it.

    For those that are there without reason, there is also the question of where you send them.  Getting other countries to take people in has been the another puzzle piece to all this.  Since congress is too full of chicken$hit to let them come here.

    Military commissions make me deeply uncomfortable, but I'm not sure what else you can do here other than just let people go, which... let's face it is just never gonna happen.  My major concern right now is this:

    "Obama also called for prosecuting Guantanamo detainees in U.S. criminal courts when appropriate, and issued an executive order calling for periodic reviews of suspects held under indefinite detention."

    emphasis mine.  That to me says that they aren't even going to go forward on military commissions for everyone.  They're just going to continue holding people at well.  Or, in the words of the ACLU:

    "The creation of a review process that will take up to a year -- designed to be repeated every four years -- is a tacit acknowledgment that the Obama administration intends to leave Guantanamo as a scheme for unlawful detention without charge and trial for future presidents to clean up"


    I need to understand... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:47:14 AM EST
    ...if there is ANYTHING at all that Obama truly believes in and will not compromise on.

    The answer, is seems, barring the most obvious and inarguable things, is no.  

    He is a profoundly addled human being.


    And even for the inarguable and obvious... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:49:56 AM EST
    ...he really doesn't seem to give a sh*t about good policy or the right thing to do. I have no idea why he wanted the job except to fulfill some screwed up gap in his psyche.  Clinton was a huge disappointment, but at least he came from genuine poverty and fought now and then. At least Clinton liked to political battle. Obama is a pol who doesn't like politics.  What is the phucking point???

    I'm asking genuinely.

    What. Is. The. Point?


    Dadler (none / 0) (#27)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 11:37:28 AM EST
    I stopped reading at "linton was a huge disappointment".

    And I stopped reading at (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 12:05:06 PM EST
    "I hate the decision."

    Seriously, how much are they paying you?


    Not union rates, that's for sure! (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by observed on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 12:28:31 PM EST
    to be more clear on my long comment (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 12:26:39 PM EST
    the alternative is to move forward and actually use military commissions or trials to get to a  verdict.

    Right now he's written an executive order that requires a review every 4 years.  Not a trial, not even a military trial, just a status update on indefinite detention.  That's pretty unaccceptable.


    Yes, that's the part that is so contrary (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 12:45:54 PM EST
    to what I consider American values. Try them (I'm not picky about the venue)  or let them go. It does not take 4 years to figure out which.

    As for where to let the un-tried go, I say as close to where we got them as possible. I believe we can deal with them on the loose. We are dealing with more dangerous folks every day.


    I grieve for this country (none / 0) (#1)
    by Kimberley on Mon Mar 07, 2011 at 09:13:27 PM EST
    It's not that we're losing a sterling reputation so much as the fact that things like close the window on the country ever really living up to its raison d'etre and its ideals.

    If this is truly constitutional and legal, then I am ashamed to have thought better of our Constitution and our legal system.

    Who seriously believed (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:01:46 AM EST
    he was going to close Gitmo?  When I heard him first say this, way back in the primaries, I knew right then and there that this man was going to be over his head if he got this job.  What an incredibly naive thing to say - "I will close Guantanamo within a year of taking office."  He had no freakin' clue what the ramifications of that would be - politically, logistically, judicially, etc.

    If anyone thinks he really was going to close this facility and actually have civilian trials here on US soil, then I think Jan Brewer in Arizona has a few bridges to sell you.

    Actually... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:19:30 AM EST
    I thought the closing of the Gitmo would be the biggest sweetest bone we'd get out of the Obama administration...I knew the drug war would roll on, an economy of grift would continue unabated, occupations maintained, domestic prisons teeming...but removing the stain of Gitmo I though feasible.

    I wasn't cynical enough...imgaine that.


    kdog, you feel you had not (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:21:06 AM EST
    enough cynicism, whereas in my case, I feel that I had too much naivete.  The reaction of Americans to having a prison on American soil, in general, was a surprise and much more so for prisoners of war.   After all, when you are at war, prisoners of war do happen.

    But, apparently, the fear of Muslims was easily stoked and the fact, for example, that at the end of WWII, there were about 175 camps all over the US, containing 425,000 POWs had no sway on current opinion. This despite the economic advantage to the depressed area of Illinois with the underutilized Thompson Correctional Center.

    While politically complicated for the president, the closing of Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp/Prison, a source of international disapprobation, could have been effected, a believe  with leadership--leadership that would have had a reach beyond Gitmo's closing.

    Of course, it could be argued that this was not worth falling on his sword over, and, as we heard so often in the early days of the administration, a distraction from the big things, but,  this was and is a big thing.


    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:38:27 AM EST
    the coast to coast bedwetting nimbyism was a bit of a surprise, perhaps it shouldn't have been.

    Or it could be something far worse than bedwetting or nimbyism, offshore torture giving the American people a warm and fuzzy feeling...yuck.


    The sheer hypocrisy (none / 0) (#55)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 08:19:00 PM EST
    of Feingold going soft at the end was enlightening.

    Because you have a big heart (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:20:29 AM EST
    I hope you learned your lesson!

    Don't get me wrong... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:30:57 AM EST
    I'd never place a wager on any politician keeping their word...but this one seemed like such a no-brainer for our image, a return to our core values, and something for Obama to claim as a great accomplishment.  And a positive policy change that would have no effect on Blankfein's bonus...I mean it gets no easier to do some good in this climate.  

    So more torture comes to light, thats nothing everybody with half a brain doesn't already assume has and is going on....and maybe some really bad dudes go free because of it...big whoop, still worth it and then some.


    I don't disagree, but (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:37:15 AM EST
    While I appreciate the sentiment, I think it's easy to say:

    and maybe some really bad dudes go free because of it...big whoop, still worth it and then some.

    If someone gets hurt or killed by these really bad dudes, I don't think they will have the "big whoop" attitude.


    Our supposed principles... (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:39:58 AM EST
    demand nothing less.

    I'm just saying it shouldn't be all like "the horror!!!"...guilty people are supposed to go free on the regular, by design...as caging innocents is the far greater societal sin...far far greater.


    Sure (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:04:27 AM EST
    but it's easy to have principles when you aren't the one making the decision or the one explaining to people that their family member was hurt or killed because a bad guy went free.

    ...guilty people are supposed to go free on the regular, by design

    No, this is absolutely not true. You are thinking of Blackstone's formulation, which postulated the principle that "...better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".   This actually is older than Blackstone and has references in the Bible.  

    Here's a mathematical take.

    Of course, there's also this thought:

    The story is told of a Chinese law professor, who was listening to a British lawyer explain that Britons were so enlightened, they believed it was better that ninety-nine guilty men go free than that one innocent man be executed.  The Chinese professor thought for a second and asked, "Better for whom?"

    I will never get down... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:22:30 AM EST
    with sacrificing innocents at the altar, purely based on a mathematical formula...all you have to do is imagine it is you or a loved one being the innocent caged to see the fatal err...if the fact that you, via your elected representation, are the violent criminal in such an instance isn't enough of a conscience pang.  We're talking about human lives, not integers in an equation.

    Speaking for me, I'd much rather be murdered by a guilty man released than suffer the conscience pangs of any of that cruel inhumane mess.


    Except that is the right wing parrot line (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:52:58 AM EST
    We have to destroy all we hold dear in order to "ensure" (which is impossible and we all know that) that one of these alleged bad guys doesn't do something bad again if released.  This is guilty until proven innocent.  It is a disgrace.  Our entire system is SUPPOSED to be based on "better ten guilty go free than an innocent person goes to prison."  But truth be told, most Americans are too lazy and stupid to even contemplate what that means, and the courage it requires.

    We haven't got that courage.  Perhaps we never did.


    I have felt for a long time that not (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:10:41 AM EST
    standing up for trying the detainees under the federal judicial system makes credible the conservative message - not limited to Republicans - that "these people" are too dangerous to allow on American soil, perpetuating a climate of fear that is always handy for justifying whatever abrogation of our rights is deemed necessary.

    I'm pretty much sick of that kind of manipulation and head games which is in service to nothing other than pure power.

    And, as I stated above, I do feel that one other reason there has not been more leadership in support of federal criminal trials is the need to keep from public view and knowledge what I suspect are horrors that would make Abu Ghraib look like summer camp.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I am absolutely dreading this upcoming 10th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 - just dreading it - and for all the reasons you might expect.  


    You have to be the home of the brave if... (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by canuck eh on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 01:51:30 PM EST
    you want to be the land of the free.

    I honestly think our forefathers (and mothers of course) would be ashamed of our cowardice- they actually fought to gain freedom; and then they actually fought to protect that freedom; then we happily hand it back to the powers that be- not have it wrested from us but HAND it back with a snivelling request that we be protected from the big, bad world


    Uh, no (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:05:33 AM EST
    Kdog's comment was that "some bad guys will go free - big whoop".  Presumed in his statement is that he is talking about those found guilty.

    So the presumption of innocence has nothing to do with this conversation.


    honestly when I see this (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by CST on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 10:48:49 AM EST
    "If someone gets hurt or killed by these really bad dudes, I don't think they will have the "big whoop" attitude."

    I just think of all the someone's who've been hurt or killed by us, and the "big whoop" attitude that the entire country responded with.

    What about the "someone's" in Gitmo?  They're people too.


    Yes they are (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 12:30:37 PM EST
    But again, since the specific comment was kdog's about "bad guys going free", that has nothing to do with my comments. We were talking (at least I was) about a larger point.

    But again, it's easier to stick to your principles and see this issue in black and white when you don't have to make the decisions.  Which is why I thought it insanely stupid when Obama said he would close Gitmo in a year.  I knew it would never happen and it clearly a case of a pol talking out of his a$$.  I'm just surprised how many thinking people didn't think all the way through and see that was impossible and bought it hook, line, and sinker.


    And how do we know they're "bad guys?" (none / 0) (#58)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 09:40:38 PM EST
    - Because they're in Gitmo.  And why are they in Gitmo?  Because they're "bad guys."

    Because kdog said so (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 09:21:41 AM EST
    in his example?

    Come on kdog (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 11:34:09 AM EST
    Core values?

    Our core values include protecting ourselves. FDR did military tribunals and put thousands of Japanese in camps. We see the camps as wrong, but the people did not at that time.

    About 60 years later the homeland gets attacked and guess what? People get angry. Leaders respond to people getting angry.

    The people held in GITMO are not army troops. They are suspect guerrilla fighters. Now you can argue that we could have been more careful in who we arrested and I won't argue with you. But we have had a screening process and released many. Figures vary but a fair number, I think the government claimed 20%, returned to attack us again. So the process was slanted on the prisoner's side.

    We are under attack both militarily and culturally by Islamic extremists who see their mission as converting the world to their brand of Islam.

    How would you combat them?


    The DOD's 20% Gitmo recidivism ... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 06:47:37 PM EST
    ... claim has been thoroughly debunked by numerous people, even forcing the NYT to finally apologize for being duped.

    you know what (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by CST on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 09:38:49 AM EST
    I see when I see that number?  80% of the people we locked up, for NO REASON, did not go on to hate us or fight us.

    But I guess they just fall into the "oops" category.


    Actually, "recidivism" is a misnomer (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 10:38:51 AM EST
    ... in that, since these men were released, there was (at the very least), insufficient evidence that they were involved in terrorist activity in the first place.  The actual number is 4-5% that have engaged in anti-coalition militant activities after leaving U.S. detention", which the DOD says includes "anti-US propaganda and media reports.  In other words, if you give an interview to the press (like three British citizens/detainees who were interviewed for a documentary), you fall under the definition of a "recidivist".

    I don't know what evidence there was against the "recidivists" to begin with, but if someone is detained for years without due process, it's surprising that there aren't a whole lot more of them, particularly since "recidivism" can mean simply talking to the media.


    False logic (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 09:49:42 AM EST
    Assuming that the 20% recidivism number was true, that does not mean that

    80% of the people we locked up, for NO REASON, did not go on to hate us or fight us.

    That could mean that 80% did not go on to hate us or fight us.  Or, it could mean that none of them got caught again.  Or it could mean 50% of them went on to hate us and fight us (but didn't get caught) and 30% didn't.  


    not really (none / 0) (#65)
    by CST on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 09:57:34 AM EST
    the 20% figure included those who were even suspected of turning.

    It was "suspected or confirmed" of engaging in terrorism.  I would imagine that they are all being tracked to some degree, so if someone isn't even on the suspected list, there's probably a good chance they aren't doing it.


    But that's not "recidivism" (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 10:00:22 AM EST
    By definition, "recidivism" requires a re-arrest.

    hence (none / 0) (#67)
    by CST on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 10:15:34 AM EST
    that 20% "recidivism" claim being de-bunked.

    It was always "suspected or confirmed".


    Sure (none / 0) (#68)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 10:17:12 AM EST
    Here is the (none / 0) (#69)
    by CST on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 10:26:15 AM EST
    nytimes article

    From the Editor's note at the bottom:

    "In the Pentagon report, 27 former Guantánamo prisoners were described as having been confirmed as engaging in terrorism, with another 47 suspected of doing so without substantiation.  The article should have distinguished between the two categories, to say that about one in 20 of former Guantánamo prisoners described in the Pentagon report were now said to be engaging in terrorism. (The larger share -- about one in seven -- applies to the total number described in the report as confirmed or suspected of engaging in terrorism.)"


    Although (none / 0) (#70)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 10:30:36 AM EST
    27 former detainees engaging in terrorism is nothing to sweep under the rug and claim "no big deal".

    yet (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by CST on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 10:42:37 AM EST
    locking up 458 people who never hurt us - is something to sweep under the rug and claim "no big deal"?

    Or are they just collateral damage?

    What's the difference between terrorism and torture?


    I never said that (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 10:58:35 AM EST
    But you will have to agree that it's a little disconcerting that we had 27 people who are now free and are known to be fighting against us and our interests.

    In this great big world (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by CST on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 11:09:49 AM EST
    There's a lot more than 27 people fighting against us.  Relatively speaking they are a drop in the bucket.  And those 27 are probably the least likely to ever get close to us.

    I think that the simple fact that Guantanamo exists has recruited way more than 27 fighters against us.  I find that very disconcerting.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 11:22:46 AM EST
    But the argument that "There's someone always out there" has nothing to do with these specific people.

    By that logic, we shouldn't lock up bank robbers because there will always be more dangerous criminals out there.

    And you could be right about Guantanamo and recruiting.  But then again, that would mean we have so many more criminals in the US because we have so many jails and people in prison here.


    not even close to the same thing (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by CST on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 11:41:55 AM EST
    as prisons - if this were a regular prison we wouldn't be having this conversation.  People in prison have a right to a trial, and you are generally required to get a warrant to arrest someone.

    Besides, people who go to prison aren't usually enemies of the state.  Criminals don't do much recruiting or organizing - and if they do, they do it to make money/ increase power, not to avenge themselves against the government.  The very purpose of Guantanamo lends itself to terrorism recruitment.

    And no, that's not my logic.  I'm saying we shouldn't round up 500 people off the street because 20 of them might end up turning into bankrobbers.  If you have information that 20 people are bankrobbers, you arrest them - and only them.


    Yes (none / 0) (#77)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:12:59 PM EST
    I don't disagree with that.

    But what I said was that it's a shame wehad 27 people in custody already that were released who now want (or are continuing) to do us harm.

    Opposite sides of the same coin.


    So much gop-slop, so little time (none / 0) (#50)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 06:48:59 PM EST
    So much factually-challenged, fundamentally-dishonest gop-slop nonsense, so little time.

    Gee, I hate to keep confusin' ya with the facts, but Iraq still hasn't attacked us and you still can't cough up any WMD or Saddam links to 9/11.

    As always, we'll just put that on your tab with the rest.

    The Empire of Japan, on the other hand, issued a declaration of war against us when they attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of 12/7/41.

    Honest. It was in all the papers.

    So, to recap: Iraq - no declaration of war, no wmd, no links to 9/11 and no attack on or threat to the US.

    Japan - attack on US by Japanese Navy and official declaration of war.

    Big difference. So, having reviewed your work, in all candor, apples to oranges would be a step or 10 up for you.

    Moreover, the only thing you've ever been able to prove with respect to this or any other relevant topic is that ya can't prove anything.

    You have all the credibility of curve ball.

    You've established integrity and earned the benefit of the doubt like charlie sheen has established he's earned sole custody of his kids.

    Always a pleasure.


    Stalling won't make it better (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 12:10:41 PM EST
    Gitmo became a reality because we thought we could be clever and out fox the international community and our own rule of law. It's blown up in our face.

    If we ever have any aspirations of improving relationships in the Middle East, we going to have to face this reality. The longer we postpone the inevitable the worse it will be.

    Gitmo and Abu Grah re enforce the reputation we have in the Middle East as "Not being an honest broker".

    It takes a certain amount of character and courage to admit when you're wrong. I would expect the leader of the free world to exhibit those strengths.