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Closing Gitmo requires tough judgments on inmates

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“It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize,” the president-elect said.

Some of us have been saying that from the beginning. It's not the black and white case the others have been making it out to be.

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I'm sure Sarge and co. will want to keep these inmates locked up for good - even the innocent ones - while failing to mention that......the vast majority of Gitmo inmates haven't even been charged with a crime.

But Sarge and the other bush Yes-Men don't seem to care about that.

When you've been totally brainwashed by the "war on terror," facts and reality are unfortunately completely swept away by fear.

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Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England has slated about 60 for transfer from Guantanamo, including the Uighurs, but the Pentagon says they can’t go home because their governments won’t accept them, might release them and create a security risk, or might torture them.

One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry here. We can't send the Uighurs back to China because their government might torture them, but it was OK for us to do it.

Of course the Chinese would take them back. We ship PRC nationals who have been convicted of criminal offenses back home all the time (after they've done their time). Only in cases where there is really no functioning government in the home country is repatriation a problem.

The problem here is that there was never any honest discussion about the value of torture as an interrogation tool. In most countries it is used to elicit a confession. Local law enforcement has already decided the accused is guilty, or wants to pin the crime on him, probably so they can say the case was "solved." Once most people feel the pain they will confess to anything to stop it. "Sure, I did it. Whatever." And the police then say, "Look, we have a confession. See, here's his signature." But it would never hold up in court of law.

What the GWB administration tried to argue was that they were using it for another purpose, namely to elicit "actionable intelligence." In other words, we think this guy knows something and we want him to spill the beans about who else knows and where it's planned for, etc. Not to ratchet up the pressure through torture, particularly if he's a hardened operative, puts us at risk.

Yet according to Bob Gates, no "actionable intel" came out of any Gitmo interrogation. So it proved useless and also constrained legal prosecution of men held there who may pose a danger to the United States. Not to mention, the situation in Afghanistan has gone from bad to worse since Gitmo was opened. Great........

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roughly 250 remaining prisoners

Send them to Ashraf with the PMOI, problem solved.

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techall - "Send them to Ashraf with the PMOI, problem solved."

Even the ones that after 5 long years, the U.S. government has STILL failed to produce any charges against?

Why? If they are guilty of a crime, they need to be charged.

Otherwise, why are they still behind bars?

Naturally, you would change your words in an instant if you were locked up in Gitmo, bnut it's always safer when you're on the outside....

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"The Bush administration called them “the worst of the worst.”

and yet the Bush administration can't come up with any charges.

Is 'guilty before being proven innocent' the new standard legal practice of the U.S. government?

Since when?

I'm not implying all of these guys are innocent and should be let off scot free; what I'm saying is:

1/ Produce charges (if any) 2/ Let them defend themselves 3/ Try them fairly 4/ Apply justice where justice is due.

Like it's been done for centuries until bush changed the rules.

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SushiSaki3: Ashraf is not a prison it is a town/camp where a group of people who everybody in the world wants to kill (the PMOI) are afforded protection in accordance with the Geneva Convention but kept track of too.

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“It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize,” the president-elect said.

Now that he has been receiving the exact same intelligence briefings and access to all the classified information a President needs to make informed decisions.

He changed his tune pretty quick on these guys.

Maybe instead of the usual Bush bash you might want to consider Obama's words now and what others have been trying to tell you all these years regarding these folks.

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Sailwind - "Maybe instead of the usual Bush bash you might want to consider Obama's words now and what others have been trying to tell you all these years regarding these folks."

I notice you are not and never have asked whether Gitmo inmates are innocent or not, nor why they haven't been charged with a crime.

Seems like the execution of justice as it has been carried out for hundred of years goes completely beneath your radar screen for some reason..

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“Today, very dangerous men remain at Guantanamo Bay, which include terrorist trainers, bomb makers, recruiters and facilitators, terrorist financiers, and potential suicide bombers,” said Cynthia O Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman."

That would all be very scary if only her government could pin a case on any of these Gitmo inmates.

Which they can't.

So again - why are they still in Gitmo?

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Seems like the execution of justice as it has been carried out for hundred of years goes completely beneath your radar screen for some reason..

Seems like they are going to be there for quite some time longer as Obama and his team try to craft........

Obama, in an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” said his legal and national security teams are crafting procedures to determine the fate of each detainee “that abide by our Constitution.”

I'm sure you don't mind if it takes another two or three years for them to sit there until try to also figure out the best way to handle these guys. Since it is now Obama's problem not Bush's anymore.

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Bush has a large ranch right? Well, move on over there, and he can give em BBQ on weekends.

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That would all be very scary if only her government could pin a case on any of these Gitmo inmates. Which they can't.

Actually, they could, but they don't want to. Thats the whole reason for the existence of Gitmo. They didn't want these terrorists to be treated as common criminals, and subject to the US Justice system, with all the rights, and privileges granted to them. Even now, that stance makes a lot of sense.

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Well Gitmo is open for suggestions. How do you prove a man who shoots at you in war is guilty of anything more then that?

The part people like Sushi dont want to understand is that they are part of a terrorist group. The information of what they have done or havent done isnt public information its found out by intelligence gathering.The charges are not that of a civilian court. What do you do if you release one of them because you want to look good politically and he turns around and does the next big terror attack?

As far as the Foriegn fights. Some should be sent to there own countries. The rest can go to SushiSaki's house because they are just innocent people who are jailed for no reason. Please remember to hug each one of them Sushi when they come to your house. Are you going to have a welcome party for them? j/k :)

Some complain about things because its easier then actually providing a solution.

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Some complain about things because its easier then actually providing a solution." i have 1, do to them what they would to any of us, including their jt supporters, if they had in the same situation as the new admin

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Nippon5 - "The part people like Sushi dont want to understand is that they are part of a terrorist group."

Give us a break! Your assertion might be remotely believable if you or the bush administration had a shred of proof to back it up.

You do not, and your assertion evaporates into thin air leaving you looking like an unintelligent idiot, sorry for the choice of words.

"The charges are not that of a civilian court."

That's because bush and co. decided to opt America out of the following the long-agreed rules of the Geneva Convention, and decided instead to take America down a long and slippery slope of creating its own rules of engagement justice and in the process endangering any American serviceman or woman who may be captured by 'terrorists' in future.

What will those 'terrorists' do in such a case?

Simple - 'America tortures our people. Let's torture theirs.'

"What do you do if you release one of them because you want to look good politically and he turns around and does the next big terror attack?"

Lock them up without charge or access to evidence against them or a way to defend themselves for long enough and they'll be more than likely to attack you anyway.

Is that simple enough for you?

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skip - 'do to them what they would to any of us'

Problem is you or the U.S. government don't know what they did to you.

OK, here's a dare for you and Nippon5 - Tell us what any of these guys have done.

C'mon. Anything. And come up with evidence.

We are waiting...

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hold on sushi, right now, they have records of several people let go only to be put right back. They have also gotten a hold of Chemical Ali as well as been able to prevent several acts of terror.

Can you tell me when POWs were treated differently? I can't which is why I don't see why they should be tried by civilian courts only to have some lawyer get them off on a technicality..

Look, if I knew about a bomb near your family, and I refused to give you the info as to where and when, how would you treat me?

If my brother was to hurt you, wouldn't you want to take revenge on me?

If I have to wait for a bomb to blow up to gather proof, what does anything mean any more?

We have put many people in POW status over the years and enemy countries have done the same for us (I believe McCain was a POW for 2 or 3 years, beaten and was roughed up a bit.) Why must I stand above all?

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so much for them being so innocent sushi: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE50C5JX20090113?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true

I am willing to give them the same rights of court they would give me.

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sushi, what do you know that gives you so much faith in their innocence? Where is your proof that they are innocent?

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A terrorist group isnt subject to the Geneva Convention and therefore its not subject to standard war based laws. Thats a simple fact. Also since the crimes of most of the GITMO people did not happen on US soil its hard to bring them to a civilian court. Not impossible but very difficult.

As far as what they have done. Thats easy. Now Im not going to list all of the prisoners because the mods wont like it, but I will post groups and some single people and the charges that they can and should be charged with in a military tribunal.

Obama said it best. In voting for an amendment to the Military Commissions Act in 2006, Obama said it is “military courts, and not federal judges, who should make decisions on these detainees.”

60 of the Detainees have been cleared to leave GITMO right now, but no one wants to take them in. Khalid Sheikh Muhammad is charged with murder and war crimes. Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, 39, guilty of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorism.6 other detainies are being charged with aiding in the terrorist attack on 9-11. Others are being held and possible charged with attacks on the Cole, and the attacks on Us Embassies. You can google it, it comes up everywhere,

All the information isnt available to everyone, and wont be for some time considering the nature of Classified information. But they have charged over 20 of the worst guys in GITMO and have released over 500 people back to their own countries.

Considering your an Obama wingman you should understand his words about the people in Gitmo best. They can not be tried as civilians because the civilian legal system is not able to handle the classification issue and the terrorist acts issue.

If your willing to attack another human once you will do it again. Dont fool yourself into thinking GITMO created made them terrorist. If your logic is correct and we create a worse terrorist problem by letting them out then we should just kill them or keep em locked up. Thank you for the advice, it sounds like Obama plans to keep them in jail for a long time like you suggested.

As far as torture. You wont ever understand that torture is a large and complicated thing. Its not black and white. If a CIA agent uses a light to make you talk thats considered torture. If a terrorist cuts off all your fingers and lights your privates on fire its torture too. Different levels of toture are out there. What people are complaining that the US did was on the lowest level of torture, and what the terrorist do is on the most extreme level. Its still wrong to do it no matter what level, but its not an equal comparision and therefore your "if the US does it they can do it" BS arguement is not valid. Your comparing apples and oranges. Hell my wog hazing was worse then most of the CIA's tortures they do.

And again Sushi the commision would like to know when and where you want these wonderful peacful people. You might want to start getting futons ready for them all. :)

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Skip - "what do you know that gives you so much faith in their innocence? Where is your proof that they are innocent?"

To rephrase your question - what are they guilty of, and why have the vast majority of Gitmo inmates NEVER been charged with a crime?

If they haven't been charged with a crime, why not?

If U.S. authorities have evidence against these guys, why aren't they fronting up with it?

WHAT ARE THEY CHARGED WITH????

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I’m sure Danial Pearl was innocent too, so perhaps the US should operate in the same way. I will give sympathy & understanding when sympathy & understanding is given.

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Skip, Nippon5, etc - people like you scare me.

You talk as if you have a case and then have no evidence to back yourselves up.

And Skip, from the link you provided - "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Tuesday that 61 former detainees from its military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, appear to have returned to terrorism since their release from custody."

"...and 43 are suspected of having done in a report issued late in December by the Defense Intelligence Agency."

The Defense Intelligence Agency also claimed Saddam had WMD.

And this excerpt is interesting - "Until enough information is provided to allow the press and the public to verify these claims, they need to be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism," said Jennifer Daskal, a Washington-based lawyer for Human Rights Watch."

Hmm......

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A confession of the person isnt good enough for Sushi? Them holding a gun and shooting at someone isnt enough proof? Being caught with the weapons, or explosives isnt good enough. When you have a true arguement for your statement then post it, until then your flailing around like a fish on shore.

You have no idea how classified information works and therefore I will excuse your ignorance on the subject. Like all people they will have a trial and found innocent or guilty based off of the evidence, but since all the political people and the lobbist groups like HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH keep stopping the tribunals and court cases they may have a long wait for a trial. But considering the people they killed or helped kill didnt have a trial at all the terrorist should feel lucky.

And yes people like you scare the hell out of me. Anyone who thinks everything is so black and white, and that goverment is always scheming scares the hell out of me. Im glad I scare you, maybe you should be scared of those people you are afraid to take into your own home or country, instead of defending them as if they are sweet innocent puppies.

That glass house you live in should hold 100 of them detainies_? When are they moving in?

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All of the detainies are charged with War crimes. All of them.

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Nippon5, your case gets weaker with each post.

"A confession of the person isnt good enough for Sushi? Them holding a gun and shooting at someone isnt enough proof? Being caught with the weapons, or explosives isnt good enough."

That's all nice and scary sounding, but you still haven't provided any evidence that the men currently being held in Gitmo are guilty.

"You have no idea how classified information works and therefore I will excuse your ignorance on the subject."

Therefore, holding people indefinitely without access to lawyers or the evidence against them is now suddenly alright? Since when?

Was it before or after you started being brainwashed by bush government propaganda about the "war on Terror"?

"Like all people they will have a trial and found innocent or guilty based off of the evidence."

What evidence? For most Gitmo inmates, they have not been charged with a single crime.

WHAT EVIDENCE?

"...but since all the political people and the lobbist groups like HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH keep stopping the tribunals."

Stopping the trials? (I won't even ask for your evidence to back this assertion up...) You mean trying to stop the unjust U.S military tribunals that the U.S. Justice department has been having a lots of problems with? That one?

"But considering the people they killed or helped kill didnt have a trial at all the terrorist should feel lucky." "All of the detainies are charged with War crimes. All of them."

About the only fact related to your argument Nippon5 is that you still don't have any evidence.

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Nippon5, I have to say that if views like yours are held by the majority of Americans, it seems that extremist views have well and truly entered the American mainstream, apologies if you are not American.

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Nippon5, USAFDude said it straight yesterday -

"Obama's team should examine each detainee's situation, charge those accused of crimes and try them. If a detainee is suspected of a crime, then hold him and try him; on the other hand, no charges, no imprisonment. Now how freakin' hard was that to figure out?"

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sushisake: If U.S. authorities have evidence against these guys, why aren't they fronting up with it?

Because the evidence is considered to be classified. Presenting the evidence could compromise agents in the field or the methods they used to collect it, at which point presenting the evidence could actually lead to more death. It's the current Catch-22 with the legal system and I can say that I haven't figured out the solution yet but I can bet you haven't either.

Neither has Obama which is why he's saying it's going to take time. That means that in about a week you're going to have to make a choice....criticize Obama the same way you're criticizing Bush now or expose yourself as being nothing more than a partisan politician. I'm putting money on the latter. Others here will most likely agree.

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Superlib - "Because the evidence is considered to be classified. Presenting the evidence could compromise agents in the field or the methods they used to collect it,"

So, what you're implying here is that presenting the evidence could confirm that aspects of said evidence were obtained through torture?

Just a wild guess, but I think what this means is that the bush adminstration doesn't want any evidence of CIA or prison interrogators torturing inmates because then that would make a complete mockery of GWB's "We don't torture!" claim and risk lawsuits being bought against U.S. interrogators.

But again, where is the evidence against these guys, assuming any actually exists in the plane of Reality?

Nice try Superlib, but your carefully cherry-picked words simply do not obsure the fact that you too seem to have no idea whether Gitmo inmates are guilty.

at which point presenting the evidence could actually lead to more death.

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Oh, and Superlib, your obvious albeit lame attempt to imitate bush administration DoD practice of covering up everything it either doesn't understand, doesn't want you to know, or that is outright illegal with the super-convenient 'it's classified' didn't escape my attention. :-)

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Nippon5, your case gets weaker with each post. LMAO I dont think so. I think its your feeble attempts that are getting lamer and lamer.

"That's all nice and scary sounding, but you still haven't provided any evidence that the men currently being held in Gitmo are guilty."

Ok I guess your keyboard must not have the "g" key since you cant google anything. I showed you multiple cases, you just choose to ignore them.

"Therefore, holding people indefinitely without access to lawyers or the evidence against them is now suddenly alright? Since when?"

According to the laws that have been passed, and the interpetation of those laws, yes they can hold them until a military tribunal can hear the case. They are not being held as POW'S but as unlawful combantants. Since your fingers only can type on JT I have included the link to wiki (your favorite site) so you can read on the law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Commissions_Act

"Was it before or after you started being brainwashed by bush government propaganda about the "war on Terror"? "

Well other then the fact I wasnt for the war in the form it took, nor did I vote for Bush, I would have to say your barking up the wrong tree again.

What evidence? For most Gitmo inmates, they have not been charged with a single crime.

WHAT EVIDENCE?

Evidence isnt public domain and in this case its classified. I dont have it in front of me and neither do you, that doesnt mean it doesnt exist. You really need to do more research on the subject your just not on target at all when it comes to the whole GITMO detention and unlawful combatants.

"topping the trials? (I won't even ask for your evidence to back this assertion up...) You mean trying to stop the unjust U.S military tribunals that the U.S. Justice department has been having a lots of problems with? That one?"

Military tribunals are unjust? Do you know from experience or are you just flapping lip again? Considering most war crimes in history and crimes during wars have been tried by them I guess we have to assume they are somewhat justified in their actions.

"bout the only fact related to your argument Nippon5 is that you still don't have any evidence."

The only fact is you dont like my evidence and therefore you ignore it. That doesnt make it go away and doesnt make it not real. It just makes your arguement pathetic. Do some research.

"Nippon5, I have to say that if views like yours are held by the majority of Americans, it seems that extremist views have well and truly entered the American mainstream, apologies if you are not American."

6 months ago you praised Obama as the only saviour of the world. I guess since Obama and I have the same view on GITMO you either have to eat humble pie, or denounce your saviour. The only way Im extreme is compared to you, to most people Im in the center and very neutral. But since your so far out everyone in the middle looks to be so far away.

Obama said it is “military courts, and not federal judges, who should make decisions on these detainees.”

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The reason this requires "tough judgments" is because the evidence "is a mess":

A former military prosecutor said in a declaration filed in federal court yesterday that the system of handling evidence against detainees at Guantanamo Bay is so chaotic that it is impossible to prepare a fair and successful prosecution.

Darrel Vandeveld, a former lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, filed the declaration in support of a petition seeking the release of Mohammed Jawad, an Afghan who has been held at the military prison in Cuba for six years. Jawad was a juvenile when he was detained in Kabul in 2002 after a grenade attack that severely wounded two U.S. Special Forces soldiers and their interpreter.

There's a tremendous incentive to keep information "classified" so the general public remains unaware of embarrassing screw-ups. This may be true here.

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Nippon5, your already non-existant argument collapsed again right about here -

"Evidence isnt public domain and in this case its classified. I dont have it in front of me and neither do you, that doesnt mean it doesnt exist."

That's funny that you just completely contradicted yourself but still, when it comes to the crunch, you can't provide evidence.

Because, as you yourself said - it's classified.

Read my 11.54 reply to Superlib.

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Sushi you should quit your job and become a DJ, cause damn you sure can spin.

Superlib said that if the evidence was linked to an undercover operative in the field and you expose that undercover person, you risk getting him captured or killed. He didnt say to cover up any torture. I can gurantee some methods of torture have been used. I think sticky Dicky said it himself that they used certian types of torture to extract information. So your point of wanting to cover up any torture is mostly invalid.

5 more days then you will have to change your tune or defy your main man. Cause he isnt going to do anything about them that isnt already on the table.

And as far as USAFdude said. Seems we agree that each one should be put on trial.But they need to be held until such trial can be granted. The trial has to be a tribunal style. If found innocent then they go back to their countries, if found guilty then they stay in GITMO. ITs simple, but too many people dont like the idea of them being in a tribunal.

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I see a trend unfolding here.

I've been asking Nippon5 to front up with evidence, and now both him/her and Superlib are both signalling 'it's classified.'

Very convenient.

Some would call it stonewalling and it clearly highlights a weakness, no, a lack of argument.

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Again you dont understand the classification system. Many people with the need to know can read the information, but since you are a no one you cant. The system is used in all US goverment paper work. It is to protect the data form misuse by others. It can be used to cover up things, but Obama has the level to read it and he hasnt said once that they have no evidence to convict the people in GITMO.

You asked me for Evidence of detanies being tried, I gave you that. You asked for evidence of them being charged, I gave you that. You are now asking us to provide evidence that is in a classification system and sorry Im not able to do that. But afte being in the military with a TS clearence I can tell you that evidence on a terrorist attack or against a terrorist is going to be high on the classification list. And again you dont have the clearence to read it.

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Nippon5 - "but too many people dont like the idea of them being in a tribunal."

No, too many people - myself included - don't like them being in an unfair tribunal.

As you and I both know, Gitmo inmates are denied access to the evidence against them, they are denied lawyers, and they are completely unable to challenge the 'enemy combatant' designation that bush and co. can tag on anyone they like at will.

Bottom line is that these guys have very few, if any, rights.

And on top of that, there is no doubt a number of these guys have been 'swept of the battlefield,' have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, are dads whose wives and kids have not seen them for up to 6 years now and have no idea when they will again, if ever.

What get me worked up is that these guys are not being given a fair trial.

Blindly broadbrushing them as 'enemy combatant' when you have no evidence to back up your claims (I am speaking generally here) is sheer idiocy, and borderline criminal, and yet that is what the bush adminstration has done.

And let's face it - some Gitmo inmates are bad and dangerous individuals, but let's get justice back on track again and charge them with a crime.

If not, release them.

.

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To continue with my WaPo paste-in:

He said the case has been riddled with problems, including alleged physical and psychological abuse of Jawad by Afghan police and the U.S. military, as well as reliance on evidence that was later found to be missing, false or unreliable.

Vandeveld said in a phone interview that the "complete lack of organization" has affected nearly all cases at Guantanamo Bay. The evidence is often so disorganized, he said, "it was like a stash of documents found in a village in a raid and just put on a plane to the U.S. Not even rudimentary organization by date or name."

Things like this are much more likely to happen when the process is shrouded in secrecy without public oversight.

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I see a trend too. The ever changing request for information. As one form is found and given the request changes to a different form, rinse and repeat again and again.

No one is saying they dont deserve the trial in front of a tribunal. No one is saying the evidence is available to the general public. No one involved in the handling of the situtation is saying the people are innocent and should be let go.

Sushi is saying the US goverment has no evidence on any person in GITMO. That all people in GITMO are innocent and should be released. Sushi is saying that a tribunal isnt good enough for the detainies and they should have the luxury of a American civil trial. Sushi is saying Obama is wrong to want the trial to be done by the military. Sushi is saying that Obama is an extremist and his belief of haveing the people stay in GITMO until a tribunal can handle them is the most extreme view. Sushi is well just flapping it seems.

Night Sushi I need sleep.

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Thanks Betzee. I'm just a little confused as to why a cleary intelligent individual such as Nippon5 continues to defend these tribunals.

Militaryspeak is lovely if you don't have the guts to challenge it.....which is what people like Nippon5 and other backers of these tribunals clearly need to do more of.

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Nippon5 - "Sushi is saying ...that all people in GITMO are innocent and should be released. "

SushiSake3 [in a prior post]- "And let's face it - some Gitmo inmates are bad and dangerous individuals."

Nippon5 - "Sushi is saying that Obama is an extremist.."

You absolutely excel in making up total garbage. I only wish I had your talent. :-)

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Sushi

I the Navy you can get tried by the captain of the ship. You do not get a lawyer, you do not get to speak, you dont get to see any evidence against you. Why should a terrorist get more rights then a sailor? Think about who grants the right to a lawyer, who grants the rights to see evidence, who grants the right to a speedy trial? Its the USA that does those things, thats what sets them apart from other countries, but it puts a bad taste in allot of peoples mouths that a person suspected of terrorist activites will get the same rights as a citizen of the US does. It may not be right, but I think if you attack the country that grants those rights, you shouldnt expect to recieve them. With that said I do think the tribunal needs to happen fast, the evidence if able to be declassifeid shown and we need to move on from this. Maybe then people like you will lose one more needle that you use to stick into your anti American voodoo doll.

Now Im sleeping as I type.

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Nippon5 - "but it puts a bad taste in allot of peoples mouths that a person suspected of terrorist activites will get the same rights as a citizen of the US does."

The key word here is 'suspected.' And if he is innocent? Should he also be given no rights?

You've got to try him first. But most Gitmo inmates haven't even been tried.

Why? What is taking the U.S. military tribunal system so damn long to get their act together?

If the evidence is classified, then unclassify it and get it to the tribunals so th tribunals can do what they are supposed to do!

"It may not be right, but I think if you attack the country that grants those rights, you shouldnt expect to recieve them."

Here your argument is again going off the rails.

In your first example, you say 'suspected,' in your next 'if you attack' - as if it is a certain fact.

"With that said I do think the tribunal needs to happen fast, the evidence if able to be declassifeid shown and we need to move on from this."

OMG, finally, you have come to see the light - get the evidence out in the open.

Congratulations! Why the heck did it take so long? :-)

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Sushisake3: So, what you're implying here is that presenting the evidence could confirm that aspects of said evidence were obtained through torture?

Actually, you missed my point entirely. As Obama said the issue is difficult and takes a lot of time to read through the information that's available. Honestly, you don't have to take my word on it, just do the research yourself and you can make your own conclusions. And by research I don't mean JT articles.

The Catch-22 is created through a legal system that can't control the information once it's been released. You're 100% correct in that these men mostly don't know what the evidence is against them. And by the standards of US law that's not acceptable. But US law wasn't created to handle the unique situation that terrorism presents and it's actually reached the point where it's become counterproductive in a lot of ways.

Presenting the evidence against these types of suspects will give their bases information about how the data was collected, what is known and what is not known, etc. There are a lot of examples of how this can be counterproductive. If a suspect is shown transcripts of a conversation with him and another man then he knows that other man is an agent. That means the agent's life is now at risk because the defendant's lawyer will be able to contact anyone and tell them this information. If they have recordings of the suspect talking on the phone then he knows the phone is compromised and he can send out messages through is lawyer for his team to not use that phone anymore. If they show him details of a plan that's in the works then the suspect knows the plan has been discovered and again he can send a message to his soldiers/partners/whatever that the US known of the plan and to make changes.

That's just a few simple ways in which presenting the evidence basically shows the terrorists what cards the US is holding. Normally the US can counter this pretty easily if the suspects are in the US or have a limited scope. But this is global jihad and releasing that information can be much more damaging because the consequences cannot be controlled. What ends up happening is that everyone working against terrorism might actually end up making the terrorists more effective and thereby cause more civilian casualties....the people they are charged to protect.

The government would be put in a position where it would make more sense to not arrest suspects just to keep their data private. They'd have to carefully pick and choose which suspects were worth arresting because they'd know what they'd have to show the other side. Not only that, people are predicting that it could actually lead to terrorists willingly getting themselves arrested just to collect data on the US. These are people willing to blow themselves up....confessing to a terrorist activity and sitting in a US jail for the rest of your life doesn't seem so menacing, especially if you're able to see what data the US has, alter your attack plans, and kill more people in the end.

This is what Obama is probably wrestling with now. The laws of the US legal system are actually working against protecting US citizens. It's a unique situation that hasn't been encountered before.

Some other things.... The prisoners at Gitmo have protection under the Geneva Conventions. The US government doesn't have to give those protections because these people are not uniformed soldiers (there are tests to determine if someone should get protection or not). But because of public pressure the US said we would extend those rights anyway.

Bush does not have absolute control. All of his moves are checked by the Supreme Court. They're reversed some of the decisions he's made. That shows the checks and balances system is working.

Obama might close down Gitmo, but it would most likely mean moving the suspects to a different area and putting those on trial where the evidence shown isn't that damaging. He's saying the US won't use torture, but he's really saying that the US will adopt the Canadian-European method which means hiring other nations to do it for us.

Some cases have come up where the suspects were American or actually landed on US soil, and the courts have ruled that these men should be granted rights under the Constitution and those rights were granted. They were tried and convicted in US courts. Bush wanted to use military tribunals instead of US courts but the Supreme Court did not allow that. The people in Gitmo now were captured on their field of battle and have never set foot in the US.

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"Maybe then people like you will lose one more needle that you use to stick into your anti American voodoo doll."

RMAO! You seem to be like some of the other wingers on this site - if I or anyone else disagrees with your views or the views of the U.S. government then I automatically must be 'anti-American.'

That's beyond shallow, actually childish thinking, to say the least.

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Superlib, an excellent post. Thanks for enlightening me.

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Sorry, I hit the Submit button instead of Preview.

Anyway, like I said, Obama has some tough choices to make. I can understand how you'd be angry but again it's not black and white. Granting these men Constitutional rights could end up creating more US deaths because our legal system would give them a blueprint on how to do it. In this one very specific case the law is actually working against the ideal of protection and fairness for the people it was meant to protect.

So...no....I don't support giving these men Constitutional rights, trying them in US courts, and giving them information to create more net losses on our side. I'd be a fool to support that. There's no perfect way to provide checks and balances to make sure innocent men aren't being caught up in the system and that's the real danger. But for me it's a numbers game. We're putting the safety of a few hundred million people behind the constitutional rights of a few hundred people who aren't even American and who have never set foot in America. Now you probably understand why other countries don't want them....they don't want to be put in our position.

You should do some reading on your own since you claim it's such a passionate issue for you. Asking why the evidence hasn't been presented to these men tells me you haven't really invested any time on this issue since the reasons are often given in many articles. That's why I figured it was mostly a political football that you use to score points on internet message boards and not something you really care about beyond that. My info is a bit older since I haven't read anything new about it in the last year or so. Maybe you could even correct some things. The only thing I ask is that you do it honestly.

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He's saying the US won't use torture, but he's really saying that the US will adopt the Canadian-European method which means hiring other nations to do it for us.

I didn't know Canada outsources torture, I believe they handed over a few potential terrorists(found on Canadian Soil) that had plotted against the US and the Army hands over Afgan insurgents. Besides, it sounds alot closer to "Extraordinary rendition" which I believe was idea created by Americans.

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Canada does outsource torture. Just check out the case of Maher Arar. He was a Canadian picked up in New York City while in transit. The Canadian government provided information to the US government and asked that he be picked up. From there the US sent him to Syria for a year and he claims he was tortured.

That's how it works. The Canadian government denies that it tortures people and the citizens shout "O' Canada!" But in reality they just call others to do it for them so they can use plausible deniability. Canadian government officials have also been at Gitmo with US officials during interrogations. Again....the politicians speak out against Gitmo so Canadians can feel good about themselves, but in reality they're a partner with the US. The Europeans are the same, especially when it comes to rendition.

My guess is Obama is going to follow their model. He'll say the US doesn't torture people and it will technically be true. We'll just receive the information from others who do.

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My guess is Obama is going to follow their model.

Is that model not "Extraordinary rendition"? Which is already being used and was created by the US?

Maher Arar

He was suspected of plotting against the United States hence he was sent to the United States.

Canadian government officials have also been at Gitmo with US officials during interrogations.

To be informed/see what information was retrieved from Afgan insurgents, prisoners from American/Afgan war, which Canada agree to assist America in. Why would Canada waste more money on a war that is even their's to begin with?

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"I the Navy you can get tried by the captain of the ship. You do not get a lawyer, you do not get to speak, you dont get to see any evidence against you. Why should a terrorist get more rights then a sailor?"

By that logic you assume that terrorists against the US are American -- or do people from other countries usually work for the captain of a foreign ship?

What I mean is, your argument is seriously flawed, and the analogy thus moot.

These people were not American sailors working on a ship; many of them are more than likely innocent, and that needs to be investigated, and quickly, and proven beyond a reasonable doubt if they are to be charged. Otherwise, they need to be let go ASAP as the prison is rightfully closed. It will be, soon enough. The only problem is that many of these men, who were innocent when taken in, understandably now may have a very big grudge where they did not before. Bush has therefore succeeded in making them into potential terrorists. Hopefully they realize that not all Americans are as evil, and some 80% or more are against what has happened to the detainees (no trial, etc.), and will not hold it against the US when they are freed.

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So Smith then they are POWs. Too bad they don't get trials. Stop apologizing for these 'freedom fighters' who chose to fight against their and your favorite enemy. And all because you have one of those 'North of the Border inferiority complexes".

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Guatanamo. Bush´s greatest achievement.

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It's no coincidence that people inside the system, who can hardly be dismissed as members of the soft-bellied hippie peacenik crowd, are coming forward now as GWB is on his way out the door:

The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition."

"We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani," said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.

One question I have had is why haven't these cases been referred for prosecution? The evidence was collected long ago. Nothing new is going to come to light unless you bring out the waterboard, and a confession extracted under those circumstances is not going to hold up in court, be it civilian or a military tribunal.

The problem is clear now: while these men have been detained in connection with serious crimes which they may have committed, the sloppy evidence collection process, coupled with torture, doesn't give us a case against most of them.

What to do with them is going to be dumped in Obama's lap. His larger challenge is to restore faith in the government, it doesn't have to be like this or the federal response to Katrina. We can do better but it requires accountability to the public.

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Why have the vast majority of the men been released?

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Superlib, they haven't.

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Smith again your just talking to talk. My point was simple. Why would America provide better rights to a terrorist then you do a member of thier own military. t reports the people in GITMO had been taking during combat, or with the use of counter intelligence. They didnt just pick people off the street like you like to express. So once again because of your hatrid for the war you bypass the logic and babble about things you dont understand.

ANother funny note is when Smith attempts to analize logic by changing the content of the post. Dude get over it dont always try to show your back side. No where in my sentence you pasted did I say anything about terrorist being American. What I said was so simple a monkey could understand it. Maybe your just seeing things in an extremist way and refuse to read words for what they are.

Once again I will state the facts. None of you know what evidence or lack of the govement has on the subjects in question. Most of you have no clue what classified information is and how it is handled. Most of you are speaking from emothion and not logic. Most of you are trying very hard to be against anything Bush that you miss the point. All of you live in countries that wont take the detainies in. None of you know if the people in GITMO are innocent. Most of you ignore the fact that both Super, and I are stating they need to try these people in a tribunal and when able to present the evidence to the public in a timely manner. But at the same time we understand the issue of doing such and that it will take time (gosh just like what Obama said). No matter how many times SS spin alot tries to make it sound like we changed our idea the truth is SS spin is just starting to understand the situation better.

According to Smith. Terrorist in GITMO should have better legal rights then a mamber of the US military. Most people in GITMO are innocent people who happen to be giving flowers to children when the evil Americans took them for no reason what-so-ever.The Americans are using torture on every person in GITMO, trying to get them to admit to crimes. Smith things that letting over 500 of the detainies go is not processing the detanies for trial or release.

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sushisaki. out of the original 900 plus people only 255 remain. Out of the rem,aining 255 people 60 of them have been cleared but because other countries dont want them they have no where to go. GOOGLE it. Dont just take your blog inspired memory for the truth.

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"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, brought to Guantanamo in 2006 fron CIA custody, ha sclaimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks. He said he wants to be executed to achieve martyrdom."

This is one request which should be granted immediately.

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People with unimpeachable credentials who have first-hand knowledge of what has gone on at Gitmo are already speaking out. Expect more to do so after GWB is out of the White House. They are giving Obama cover to make changes without being tarred as "a terrorist-coddling metrosexual."

Susan Crawford knows full well if we can't prosecute someone we have no grounds to detain them. In explaining her decision she stated, "While these interrogation tools are legal by themselves, used in combination they add up to torture." If the GWB administration had adhered to the constitution, rather than taking us down this path, Obama would not be put in the position of releasing someone accused of a serious crime without any sort of trial because he was tortured.

Personally, I think the reason they won't release the Uighurs, who have been acknowledged to pose no threat, is because they know full well the Chinese government will grill them on what went on during their detention. And, the next time we protest China's treatment of its own citizens, "Oh, well, you do it too...."

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People with unimpeachable credentials

I've never heard of lawyers being described that way before...

;)

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Out of the remaining 255 people 60 of them have been cleared but because other countries dont want them they have no where to go.

Not to worry, we can strong arm 'em by pointing the very low recidivism rate. What's the point of being a superpower if you can't throw your weight around, right?

Almost a quarter of the Guantánamo detainees who have been released have been sent back to Saudi Arabia. Facing a substantial threat from terrorism in their own country, the Saudi authorities have been rigorous—some might say harsh—in imprisoning and punishing any terrorist deemed a danger. Yet in new statistics provided to us by the Ministry of Interior in Riyadh, zero of the 121 Guantánamo detainees received by the Saudis were deemed dangerous and ineligible for release.

It gets worse. Of those detainees returned to Saudi Arabia from Guantánamo, more than half have been released and are now free, most after spending a period of time in a halfway house designed to promote a smooth return to society. Only six former Guantánamo detainees have been rearrested in Saudi Arabia for any reason—an astonishingly low recidivism rate of less than 9 percent among those released.

Although the Saudi efforts to reintegrate these prisoners into society are certainly commendable, the only reasonable explanation for such a low recidivism rate is that the detainees were never guilty of terrorist acts in the first place.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4535

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bushlover: "So Smith then they are POWs. Too bad they don't get trials."

SOME are prisoners of war; the others are technically abductees who were (wrongly in many cases) assumed to be potential threats and kept without trial, and hence cannot technically be called POWs.

"Stop apologizing for these 'freedom fighters' who chose to fight against their and your favorite enemy. And all because you have one of those 'North of the Border inferiority complexes"."

Other than saying this is not worth commenting on, I just wanted to say that I'm happy you continue to undermine your own arguments at every turn. Keep it up! Oh... wait... I guess my pointing out the ludicrousness of your statement makes me anti-American and pro-terrorist, eh? Hahaha. Ah, the 'logic'.

Nippon5: Betzee shot so many holes in your argument that I don't need or really want to. Except, of course, to point out how childish you are in your attempts to disort people's comments through some inferiority complex of your own:

"According to Smith. Terrorist in GITMO should have better legal rights then a mamber of the US military. Most people in GITMO are innocent people who happen to be giving flowers to children when the evil Americans took them for no reason what-so-ever.The Americans are using torture on every person in GITMO, trying to get them to admit to crimes. Smith things that letting over 500 of the detainies go is not processing the detanies for trial or release."

Show me where I said ONE of these things, my friend. One. And of course, when I challenge you to do so I don't mean simply twisting one of my comments to say what you want it to. If you do that, I could just as easily twist your:

"I the Navy you can get tried by the captain of the ship. You do not get a lawyer, you do not get to speak, you dont get to see any evidence against you."

...to mean that you think all US sailors are Islamic terrorists. But that's not what you mean, now is it? So, likewise, stop twisting my arguments into what they are not.

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t reports the people in GITMO had been taking during combat, or with the use of counter intelligence.

Wrong, from linked source above:

Almost all of the detainees were turned over to U.S. forces by foreigners, either with an ax to grind or, more often, for a hefty bounty or reward. After U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan in late 2001, they doled out rewards of about $5,000 or more to Pakistanis and Afghans for each detainee turned over. Contrary to standard law enforcement practice, the U.S. military accepted the uncorroborated allegations of the award claimants with little independent investigation.

You think they are going to get to the bottom of it now, half way around the world after the passage of some years? No wonder people connected to Gitmo are speaking out.

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Nippon5: "None of you know if the people in GITMO are innocent."

We know that people are innocent until proven guilty, or so your courts and laws tend to try and state as axiomatic (and you guys yourselves have used on any number of occasions to defend the neo-cons, US military personnel in Haditha, Blackwater Guards, etc.). We also know that YOU don't know they are guilty.

"Most of you are speaking from emothion and not logic."

The pot calling the kettle black, to say the least.

"Most of you ignore the fact that both Super, and I are stating they need to try these people in a tribunal and when able to present the evidence to the public in a timely manner."

None of us have ignored the fact that you guys say they need a tribunal, and in fact ALL of us on here, including you guys, have stated that they have a right to a trial. Where we differ is in our saying they cannot be legally held indefinitely WITHOUT a trial, and as such, as even Obama says, they need to be tried speedily and soon.

"No matter how many times SS spin alot tries to make it sound like we changed our idea the truth is SS spin is just starting to understand the situation better."

I'm not sure what you mean here, and is 'SS' SushiSake?

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Superlib: Why have the vast majority of the men been released? sushisake: They haven't.

About 775 prisoners have been sent to Gitmo. 420 of them were released without charge, others were released to their home countries, others were sent to the US for trial, etc. There are 270 prisoners there now, but 55 or so have been cleared for release but their home countries refuse to take them, so that means the US is holding somewhere in the neighborhood of 225 people.

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Betzee I've never put much stock in the "axe to grind" point of view. Sure, I'm guessing it has happened because even one case makes that truth possible, but since we're talking about a total of +/- 800 people arrested I think it's fair to say that if it was just a money play by angry Afghans we'd have thousands and thousands of prisoners and a lot of rich Afghans by now. Either that or there aren't many axes to grind in Afghanistan.

And smith, I don't think anyone has "shot holes" into anyone else's arguments. The fact is that there is compelling evidence on both sides. Nippon5 is right to be outraged that suspected terrorists will be granted more rights than US military suspects. And others are right to say that there needs to be a resolution...you can't hold people forever without charging them. But the problem is that choosing against one path is the same as supporting the other by default. So whichever choice you make will have a negative consequence.

Generally speaking people have strong opinions on one side but the more they learn about the specifics of the situation they tend to gravitate more towards the middle. Again...like Obama said....there are tough judgments to be made. If it were a slam bunk on either side then the "right" decision would have been made a long time ago. Personally, protecting Americans takes priority over granting rights to non-Americans, in my opinion.

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And Betzee, I don't think the torture claims are really a reason why they don't want people released. A majority of the people have already been released.

Besides, stories about torture tend to make people realize what they consider to be torture and what really is torture are two different things. When we say someone was tortured we have images of nails being pulled out, electric shocks, etc. We don't think of solitary confinement, sleep deprivation (a common practice in Japan), etc. If anything hearing stories about Gitmo it will probably surprise them since my guess their image is different from reality.

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Betzee I've never put much stock in the "axe to grind" point of view. Sure, I'm guessing it has happened because even one case makes that truth possible, but since we're talking about a total of +/- 800 people arrested I think it's fair to say that if it was just a money play by angry Afghans we'd have thousands and thousands of prisoners and a lot of rich Afghans by now. Either that or there aren't many axes to grind in Afghanistan.

Well I guess ya missed the award winning film, Taxi to the Dark Side. I never put much stock in your claim you didn't read my posts, but people have to be held accountable for what they write.

The trials are held on Guantanamo. If they weren't, there'd be little point in keeping the prisoners there in the first place. And some of those held, such as the Chinese Uighurs, were released only after a court ruling. Except they weren't because the GWB administration is appealing that ruling even though they acknowledge "the men pose no threat." Someone 's obviously threatened by the prospect of their release.

As for this "their countries won't take them back" excuse, it's really lame. The government of Pakistan receives a lot of money from Uncle Sam every year, Karzai's government in Afghanistan is wholly dependent on foreign aid to survive. There's no way they could refuse to take someone back, particularly in the absence of a conviction. The Saudis striping OBL of his citizenship is a different matter. And they'd love to get their hands on him anyway.

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It's reassuring to me to find people with whom I disagree who nonetheless have a clear command of the issues involved:

As someone who has supported the military commission system, I must concede that it has performed abysmally, and Wednesday’s news reflects more of the same....

[E]ven those of us who have argued that there is a place for enhanced interrogation techniques have insisted that those techniques should be limited to intelligence gathering in dire threat circumstances; they are not for gathering trial evidence. You can call a proceeding in which coerced confessions are used for many things; one thing you can’t call it is a “trial.” Using coerced statements is a corruption of our entire understanding of what a trial is. Indeed.

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/tortures-blowback/?hp

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Sorry Betzee but my point was about the overall numbers. Unless you can show me that the +/- 800 number is incorrect you're not going to convince me that any significant number of the people in Gitmo are there because of whimsical, cash grabbing Afghans with axes to grind. If the criteria were indeed that easy to determine arrest then the numbers would be much, much higher, in my opinion. Showing me a movie about one man isn't going to change that.

And from time to time I do skip over your posts, especially when you turn into a delivery boy for other people's opinions days after a story breaks. I think I mentioned that to you some time ago (maybe years?) and you still bring it up. If I'd known it would have such a lasting impact on you I would have kept that thought to myself. Now I'm actually feeling guilty about what I must have done to you since it's still fresh in your mind. My apologies.

By the way, what's your solution to Gitmo? So far I've only heard endless criticism from you, or I should say from others that you copy and paste for.

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SuperLib: "But the problem is that choosing against one path is the same as supporting the other by default."

Dude, I hate to break your bubble, but that argument only works if you are choosing to turn left or right in a tunnel, and even then you can still choose to go back the way you came to GET to the tunnel, so even THEN it doesn't work. That logic is one of the reasons you guys do indeed have arguments shot full of holes.

I don't like GWB, that's no secret. I don't like Hamas, but that does not mean I support what Israel is doing in the Gaza. Nor does my dislike of Israel's extremism mean that I support Hamas. I'm sorry, but there are more paths than 100% right or 100% left, in this case and in others. In this case my arguing that the people need trials does not at all mean Nippon's idea that I therefore demand the immediate release of people who have not had trials, etc. My defending people who may have been incarcerated for complete lack of wrong doing does not mean I support terrorism. In those cases he's not even looking at black or white, he's taking one argument and declaring that it therefore means something completely beyond the opposite.

Bottom line, these people cannot be held indefinitely, and need trials. Nippon5 is NOT correct to be angry; he's asking for no exceptions to people not proven to commit crimes, but wants people in the military to be granted exceptions by comparison to how those in Gitmo SHOULD be treated (aren't yet). What's more, military conduct/code, and regulations have always adhered to a very strict set of standards -- well, until the US spread their military so thin they have to accept anyone who goes to the mall. Civilians get away with far more than one does in the military. Suck it up, or don't join, and since Nippon5 and many other posters on here can only fight wars from their armchairs, they're in no position to gripe about how civilians are treated better than people in the military when it comes to being tried (wrongfully).

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Then give us your alternative, smith. But please....spare me the convoluted messages that are nearly impossible to respond to. Let's keep the Israel/Palestinian debates there and skip the whole whole US army recruitment issue. And yes, I get your "no one is ever 100%" to blame position that's used when militant Arabs are the topic, so there's no need to go there again, either.

Giving the inmates rights could end up killing more Americans. Not giving them rights could result in innocent people being held without a fair trial. So please, give us your solution to the problem in real terms.

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I said many people are angry about the fact people scream the right of the terrorist are being violated, but those same rights get violated all the time in the military to actual US citizens.

Now read this again from my post Smith is trying to use to make his point. Notice I do not say Im angry, nor do I say they shouldnt have a trial. Seems he has to recreate the information written to base his arguement on. Its just sad.

but it puts a bad taste in alot of peoples mouths that a person suspected of terrorist activites will get the same rights as a citizen of the US does. It may not be right, but I think if you attack the country that grants those rights, you shouldnt expect to recieve them. With that said I do think the tribunal needs to happen fast, the evidence if able to be declassifeid shown and we need to move on from this. Maybe then people like you will lose one more needle that you use to stick into your anti American voodoo doll.

Superlib dont hold your breath on an answer. Like I said before." Some complain about things because its easier then actually providing a solution"

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superlib,

Your earlier argument regarding why these men cannot be tried makes no sense.

If a suspect is shown transcripts of a conversation with him and another man then he knows that other man is an agent. That means the agent's life is now at risk because the defendant's lawyer will be able to contact anyone and tell them this information.

Their lawyers are officers in the United States military. Do you think they're going to be telling other people?

Wow.

Taka

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What's even a more daunting chance than closing gitmo, is finding nations willing to accept these prisoners. Seems many of Europes biggest whinners want to close the facility but don't want these "innocents" anywhere near their own backyard... the hypocricy is staggering !

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