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Obama moves to reshape U.S. policy by closing Gitmo

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Good, keeping that promise. < :-)

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U.S. would confront global violence without sacrificing “our values and our ideals.”

Now this is who we are! We are not tyrants nor are we thugs, we are Americans.

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US foreign policies going up in values and ideals via Obama administration. Way to go.

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The entire concept of the prison was very anti American. Wonder how many secret prisons the CIA has established throughout the world? They need to be closed as well. Yes it is time to finish such outrageous policy and lead the world by positive example instead of trying to emulate the poor policy of some of America's adversaries.

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The world will rejoice when the prisoners in Guantanimo are released onto the streets in the US. That's the kind of hope and change that America voted for last November.

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Maybe this is some fine lesson of how Super power turns into Super loser at same time. The Vietnam war costed 40 000 americans lives and extermination of 8 million vietnamese lives, this last middle east war is costing america over 10 trillion dollars and millions of their own citizens losing own homes plus global economic crisis.

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The world will rejoice when the prisoners in Guantanimo are released onto the streets in the US. That's the kind of hope and change that America voted for last November.

Wolfpack, don't worry; I'll protect you by following President Obama's orders.

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Appeasement is his middle name.

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Good to see Obama moving to capture the moral high ground. This war on terrorism is a war of ideas as much as anything else, OBL and his friends are a bunch of extremist xenophobes who would ram their backward version of Islam down the throats of all, muslims and infidel alike.

To win the hearts and minds of the masses (and alienate the extremist elements of fundamentalist Islam), it is necessary that the West (and the US) capture and keep the moral high ground. Only bxmbing the crap out of these people results in new generations of extremists. Look at Israel's attitude to Palestine as an example. This recent foray into Gaze will achieve little in the longrun except help swell the ranks of Hamas, who the foolish believe are an organization who protect the rights of down-trodden muslims. While continuing to carry a very big stick with which to bxmb the crap out of its enemies where necessary, the West (and the US) have to engage these people and address some of the injustices they perceive if the war on terrorism is going to be won. If this doesn't happen, the war on terrorism will continue as a stalemate.

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Appeasement is his middle name.

Translation: Wah! Wah! WAH! My guy lost! It's not fair! Who cares what the majority of Americans say?! I want MY guy! Boo hoo HOOOOOO!

Do you have any idea how hard I'm laughing at you right now? xD

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ROFLMAO at USAFdude. Priceless. It doesn't matter what Obama does, the right wingers will make it seem like it is one step closer to the end of the world. Lets agree to disagree. You guys got a dude with bush, and the left got one with Carter.

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Good for President Obama. At least one Bush nightmare now seems on the outs.

Obama's role for the next few years is going to be custodial, cleaning up the mess that Bush made.

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Blair said he hoped to rebuild trust in the nation’s intelligence agencies. These agencies “must respect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people, and they must adhere to the rule of law,” he said. As director of national intelligence, Blair will oversee the CIA, National Security Agency and other assorted intelligence units.

What the heck? If he does that, what the heck am I gonna do w/ all the info I've collected for 15years. Knocking out their "modus operandi", my neighborhood might clear out. I've spent countless hours tracking these guys.

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Wolfpack,

If we can rush to war without a plan for reconstruction surely we can make a plan to close Gitmo within a year and still make some provision so that you do not have to be worried about the worst of the worst buying a house next to yours.

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"Obama's role for the next few years is going to be custodial, cleaning up the mess that Bush made."

Derogatory remarks like that have no place in the age of Obama.

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wuzzademcrat,

Dizzy Dean once famously said, "It ain't braggin' if you done it." Similarly, saying that Bush made a mess isn't derogatory if that's what he did.

I'd agree with you, however, that it's time to move on. However your earlier snipe that closing Gitmo is evidence of appeasement indicates that you're not ready to do so.

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I think there's some on this board who would rather keep people incarcerated forever without charge (as was effectively the policy of the last U.S. president) all the while talking about their own right to freedom and justice.

I think most people would call that blind hypocrisy......but hey - who am I to judge? :-)

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"Obama's role for the next few years is going to be custodial, cleaning up the mess that Bush made."

I see nothing derogatory in this remark; in fact, I find it quite true and relevant.

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Heh, President Obama has done more to benefit America's image in his first 3 days than the last president did in 5 years. That's funny. :-)

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To win the hearts and minds of the masses (and alienate the extremist elements of fundamentalist Islam), it is necessary that the West (and the US) capture and keep the moral high ground."

OF course I would much prefer that, but what seems to be the problem is how those elements you claim are just elements when it seems much bigger than just elements, I would go as far as saying about half that religion is extreme and so I don't see it winning over hearts and minds. Besides, would your heart be won after the fact?

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additionally, these men are far from heroes, which many are claiming them to be. While not all there are sinister, they were/are on the other side in a war (irregardless of what war).

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"additionally, these men are far from heroes, which many are claiming them to be. While not all there are sinister, they were/are on the other side in a war (irregardless of what war)."

Even the dads who were scooped up?

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Skip,

I would go as far as saying about half that religion is extreme and so I don't see it winning over hearts and minds. Besides, would your heart be won after the fact?

Although I disagree with you about the percentage of Islam that is radical, I will say, you raise a VERY good point when you ask, "would your heart be won after the fact?"

I will concede, the chances are slim. However, by continuing to use methods that are immoral and illegal, the chances are even slimmer. Also, it provides great ammunition in the recruitment of new converts to the cause. Kind of a, "if you want to cry about the evils of America, we'll give you something to cry about" logic.

As for the Gitmo occupants...obviously, neither of us want them to leave there and commit acts of terror, but...if they weren't angry at America before, we've given them pretty good cause. Keeping them incarcerated without due process is not an answer. It is a continuation of a mistake, thus laying the problem in someone else's lap (now I wonder who would do something like that? rhymes with tush perhaps).

Which brings me to my last point. During the debate over whether Gitmo should be closed, many people, mostly right-wing zealots have stated, "if you want them out and think they are so innocent, why don't you let them stay at your house?"

I started thinking about that. Why should I, as someone who was asked that question by many people, shoulder the burden of housing people that I didn't think should be detained with due process in the first place? If anyone should house these people, it's the people who cheered the idea of incarcerating them without due process in the first place! When we have no choice but to release them because we cannot charge them (as is the case with 420 of them already), why should I have to clean up the mess? I was against it from the start! Let those who thought it was a splendid idea show some (and I'm going to use a word that makes our resident neo-cons cringe) ACCOUNTABILITY for this. If no one else will take them, I say we send a few to western Japan to stay with my boy in his parent's basement, a few a sarge's mansion, a few more can stay with sean hannity, rushbo and bill orally and the rest can set up camp in Crawford, at rummie's pad and on dick cheney's farm in Wyoming. They either caused or supported the problem. Let them handle the fall out for their mistake.

That's how I think it should be handled.

Taka

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And after the incident in US military-run detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, we (the Outsiders of America) find it hard to listen to any American news, or human rights preaching coming out of America. Smart move in closing the iconic Gitmo, as for now the outsiders have to take note again and not mistake America as a veil of hyprocrisy under the notion of all men being equal.

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Taka313,

Yes, I think I'd had that this should be the solution if we ever have that problem. If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were Cheney's houseboy, would he get to wear a white jacket or would he have to wear a studded collar?

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Taka - "Why should I, as someone who was asked that question by many people, shoulder the burden of housing people that I didn't think should be detained with due process in the first place? If anyone should house these people, it's the people who cheered the idea of incarcerating them without due process in the first place!"

Very well said, especially the point about accountability.

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taka: As for the Gitmo occupants...obviously, neither of us want them to leave there and commit acts of terror, but...if they weren't angry at America before, we've given them pretty good cause. Keeping them incarcerated without due process is not an answer. It is a continuation of a mistake, thus laying the problem in someone else's lap (now I wonder who would do something like that? rhymes with tush perhaps). If they weren't angry at America... were they not fighting for an opposing force against America? They were already angry.

As for Gitmo being Ironic... ok, but there is always a but somewhere, did we cut off their heads? Did we rape the females? Did we maim them, denied them medical services, denied them their right to practice their religion, did we try to hve them convert - we even provided Muslim Chaplins. Again, I am not for torture, but I want a definition in legal terms of what is considered torture. If said torture provided info, which I am sure none of us have been privy to, was it too much of a price? The waterboarding issue is a hard one. I think I would have preferred that over getting my finger nails pulled off. Flushing a koran down the toilet? I really like to know how that was possible, unless someone stood over the toilet for hours on end tearing it page by page and it probably still couldn't flush down - its not made from tissues you know.

Look, what ever I say is moot. Its going to close and ain't nothing i can do bout it. So, I'll back the prez, reluctantly but will give him my support, but I wouldn't let my guard down and I would not want any of them near me until I am 100% sure they were safe and sane. What I would do if I were president, I would fly them back to where they were picked up. Give them some food and water and let them trek it back. for those who were brought to us, drop them off in said country.

lastly, why do you want people like Khalid to walk free?

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skipthesong,

I'm not sure that Taka313 wants people like Khalid to walk free. I'm not even sure where you get that idea. I think that the point about Guantanamo is that if these are people who have committed crimes, charge them and prosecute them. If we can't find a crime which we can prosecute them for, then they are no longer "people like Khalid".

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sez,

What do most countries do to people they catch on the battlefield? Hold them until the war is over and then let them go. For the bigger fish, I believe they were hung after a UN trial.. Why such a difference with these guys?

No, I don't think taka wants Khalid to walk, but I do feel that is what is going to happen in a US court and will walk free for the most far fetched technicality.

Also, according to Mike Moor, those detainees are getting better medical treatment than the average American, so basically we are going to let a better product fight us again.

Again, the decision is Obama's to make and I want argue it, but I don't hve to be happy about it, but I can suck it up.

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Sushi: "Heh, President Obama has done more to benefit America's image in his first 3 days than the last president did in 5 years. That's funny. :-)"

True, but I mean you can't really say bush 'benefitted' the US's image at all, given that he completely destroyed it.

Anyway, it's funny to watch the naysayers on these issues; they're simply sore that they now have a president who actually lives up to his word, since they want to see him fail so badly, and want to point out his lies as we did correctly with bush. Bush did not accomplish ONE goal he set out to, I believe, save for vetoing stem-cell research, etc., while already Obama has done so much in a short time, and all based on promises he made and following through on them.

Good job, Obama. And I also agree that it's time to move on, so I'll do my best. Too hard to resist sniping at the obviously jaded attitude of the naysayers, though.

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"If anyone should house these people, it's the people who cheered the idea of incarcerating them without due process in the first place!"

Let's get even more absurd: since US soldiers apprehended them, it is the families of US soldiers who should house them!

Weeeeeeeee

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The only thing that has changed here is the goal posts have been moved. He's not going to give them full constitutional protection. He is not going to let be be under the Geneva convention. He is going to cobble an ad-hoc justice system that in the end of the day will be about as effective as trying Bush's trying the military tribunal route.

He may say he is closing GITMO in a year. Sounds nice doesn't it. The fact is he is going to transfer them to Ft. Leavenworth or the Navy Brig in Charleston or Camp Pendleton California. GITMO may be outta business but in name only. They are still going to rot in legal limbo just going to be in the States now.

He is just putting lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig. I'm rather suprised at all the slamming that was done on Bush when he had to decide what to do with these guys and none toward Obama, because he is essentially doing exactly the same thing. No rights, No trails, just studying a procedure now as to what Ad-hoc system will work instead of the one Bush came up with to support a campaign promise that he if you really look at has broken already.

And he doesn't really want you to know it.

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smithinjapan - Is it OK if we release the Gitmo prisoners in Canada?

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Obama said he was signaling that the U.S. would confront global violence without sacrificing “our values and our ideals.”

In Obamaspeak, "our" means socialist ideologies that could result in another major attack on U.S. soil. If that happens, look for Obama to be impeached and removed from office for his incompetence and amateur outlook on world events during a wartime situation.

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Of Obama were to move them to Leavenworth, or Charleston or Camp Pendleton, then he should also release them into the general populations of these prisons. The problem of dealing with these "freedom fighters" would be solved within a day.

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Here is one American who is PROUD of Bush (and ashamed that a fraud such as Obama/Soetoro could be elected. Connecting himself the the Rev. King is outright arrogant and disgusting.) Just because the entire media out there basically crucified Bush and relentlessly pounded it in your head that "Bush is bad", doesn't make it so. People think for yourselves! Don't be victims of the Pravda-mentality. Gitmo, doesn't bother me at all. The prisoners were illegal combatants; neither POWs eligible for Geneva Convention protections nor civil criminals protected by the U.S. Constitution. (I bet most of you revere Lincoln; but he suspended Habeous Corpus INSIDE the U.S.) Obama is destroying the U.S. The Constitution is now his doormat, but the Kool Aid is free.

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Obama has just provided jihadists their first victory after a long string of defeats. It is a naive and reckless move that caters to world opinion and puts the safety of every American man, woman and child at grave risk.

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Socialist idealogies? Give me a break. I think the majority of folks in the US wouldn't know what a "socialist ideology" was if you fell over it. This seems to be a simple cop out. What is the plan don't address the issues, just (attempt) to marginalize the messenger. Of course, it would be different if the Curious George and his rightwing friends had been willing to put their own kids in harms way (John McCain has done so), but that was not going to happen.

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skipthesong,

Yes, most countries hold prisoners until the war is over and then let them go. But there will not likely be an "over" to this war soon. Bush promised that it would last your lifetime, for example, and even if that were not true, there is no end in sight at present. I'm not even sure we have a strategy for ending it.

So, as far as I am concerned, there is a big problem with keeping prisoners indefinitely, indefinitely subjecting them to torture, indefinitely not charging them with any crime except a presidential designation of crime. I have no problem with holding people for longer periods of time than American civil law allows, but 6 years is too long. If these people ever "were" enemy combatants, they "are" not now. If there is no crime they can be charged with they need to have something less vague than a "when the war on terror ends" to look forward to.

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Hey wait why dont we just do the Republican thing and blame President Clinton for the closing of Gitmo?LOL

Man I will miss Bush and his supporters covering up for his messes.....

Git is soon to be gone, and in my book that will clear just one of the many stains of our rep that Bush and his cronies brought us.

Wait to go President Obama......Next no more no bid contracts!

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Joe

He ain't closing GITMO, he's just changing the address.

The right really won't complain since he is not going to give them full rights and protections at all. The left won't cry, 'give them their full rights and trial now Mr. President as you promised.'

They will just be happy that GITMO is closed and will be real quite that these poor innocent sweeties are now rotting in legal limbo in the States now.

Hope his team works out a workable system to try these guys. I figure at least one year to implement it. Another two years for the inevitable legal challenges and a supreme court decision if the procedure is legal or not. Oh these guys are going to locked up for at least another three years minimum before anything moves forward again.

I pretty cool with that. Seem's the left is also, because they sure aren't complaining or really demanding Obama move fast on this. The prisoners at GITMO never really had the left's support if they did they wouldn't let Obama wiggle out of this like he is doing right in front of your eyes.

Let's study the issue some more! Good job Obama this is pure politics and you played your base quite well. They are giving you a pass so you can sort this out at the expense of the very prisoners they were so 'concerned' about.

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Obama moves to reshape U.S. policy by closing Gitmo

And in other news, members of radical Islam are laughing their asses off at America.

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It has been a strange 8 years under the Bush Administration. What took me by surprise was how easily some Americans could accept the concept of "torture". The US and this Administration pushed democracy, freedom and human rights while conducting questionable behavior at Gitmo and other activities. Discussions w/ Intelligence officers who would be predisposed to torture if any info could be extracted. All this is leading into an economic quagmire and many in the Asia-Pacific perturbed by what has been occurring the last several years.

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I don't know why the US needs Gitmo anyways when they have Gaza, where the prisoners have absolutely no rights and the prison guards do not have to show any mercy.

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Correction: ....many in the Asia-Pacific disturbed..

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there is a big problem with keeping prisoners indefinitely, indefinitely subjecting them to torture, indefinitely not charging them with any crime except a presidential designation of crime. I have no problem with holding people for longer periods of time than American civil law allows, but 6 years is too long" Ok, I agree with you on that.

But, what do you think of "And in other news, members of radical Islam are laughing their asses off at America." I have a feeling that many of them are taking this as a victory and I also believe this may add some motivation to their actions knowing that if captured, they are going to be treated nicely.

Since when the hell was it ok for Americans to be nice?

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apec: It has been a strange 8 years under the Bush Administration. What took me by surprise was how easily some Americans could accept the concept of "torture".

please allow me a second. I don't like torturing anyone. But, I still have no gotten a clear cut assessment of what they are doing to them. If you were to say for example kidnap my kid and hid her somewhere, I'd torture the hell out of you, your family, friends, even your pet to get the info to the location. If I knew you were about to blow up a bunch of people, again I'd torture the hell out of you in order to find that bomb before it blows up.

I said in an earlier post that some of the allegations did not warrant a torture definition. If you want to flush my bible down the toilet (not physically possible) I'd just laugh.

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Jack Murtha said, "Go ahead and close the place down and bring the prisoners to my district."

You people in western Pennsylvania in Jack Murtha's district, you need to know that he has offered the welcome mat for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay to be brought into your neighborhoods. This is about Obama making political rather than security decisions.

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To Skipthesong:

I understand the situation, but bothered by how the Administration went out of its way to institutionalize torture legally. To go around the spirit of the Geneva Conventions technically, while pushing human rights sanctions on Myanmar just doesn't sit well. From my perspective, for the US to function well, the US Administration really needs people at the top who understands the complete picture, or just the appearance. Logically, a person can't be for torture AND human rights - or can they? Also, the US can't be going to the PRC advocating non-censorship when censorship is being promoted in the US - or can they?

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The big media companies that once invested in serious accountability journalism are shells of their former selves. The Tribune Co. — in other words, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune — has slashed its Washington staff by more than half. Newspaper chains such as Cox are fleeing D.C. altogether.

The end result: There are few reporters in this country doing the kind of investigative reporting that hold government officials’ feet to the fire. Think back eight years to the pre-Iraq war reporting and consider what happened when the big media guys slept at the wheel and let no criticism emerge in their reports or editorials. If they had lived up to their responsibility the nation, and world, would have been better served.

Rigorous reporting is even more important when you have one-party rule in Washington. Democrats, like Republicans, are simply less likely to scrutinize a president of their own. The end result here: Don’t expect the Democratic Congress to investigate the Obama administration or hold a bunch of tough oversight hearings. That means the only real check on Obama is the same one it’s always been — the voters.

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President Barack Obama ordered major changes Thursday that he said would halt the torture of suspects, close down the Guantanamo detention center, ban secret CIA prisons overseas and fight terrorism “in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals.

Are there some americans that have a problem with this? or are there some americans that say "Torture, Yes We can"

Are there some americans that think the idea of secret prisons where people are tortured is a good thing? Are these the same americans that got panties and knickers so twisted over the Soviets doing the same?

Rednecks, zealots and others wake up! The world is changing. Violation of basic human rights is no longer tolerated. Bush is gone. incaretrating people without charge (imagagine if it was you) is no longer part of US policy. Bad thing or good thing?

America is back on the way up!

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Violation of basic human rights is no longer tolerated

Tell that to radical Islam.

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skipthesong,

You've asked me what I think of "And in other news, members of radical Islam are laughing their asses off at America." Mostly what I think about that is that it is an undocumented quotation that needs sourcing.

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His first mistake.

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Violation of basic human rights is no longer tolerated

Tell that to radical Islam.

Yes, radical Islam, or any country that persecutes people, need to hear this message.

That means the USA has to set an example.

The other thing to remember is that if you can take rights away from someone you can take rights away from everyone.

I guess you neither want or expect your turn in the barrel, but if you don't respect the rights of others it will come. That sword cuts both ways.

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TexasAggie appears comfortable for the US to torture and incarcerate people indefinitely without charge.

Even those that haven't been found guilty of any crime.

Which happens to be the majority in Gitmo.

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Good on Obama for keeping a promise he made. Hopefully he will continue walikng in the right direction, lead by example and not hypocrisy.

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I'm not sure anyone can really call it a good move or a mistake until we know what's going to happen to the prisoners.

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The American "right wing" is going nuts trying to disrupt this new day. There has been a change in the members of the executive branch and they refuse to abide by the will of the majority. The President has issued orders to close a controversial prison and that is that! It was a part of his campaign promises so it should not be a surprise. How novel a politician keeping his word! Now the few in America are showing their ugly heads and causing trouble in any possible fashion. Get over it! Oh George W Bush is no longer the President and has no say anymore. The New President is going to implement new policy. The election and transition are over crying is not going to help. Whining is not going to change things. It will be interesting to see how the new administration conducts the closure.

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It does not matter what the American right wingers think. With the exit of Bush they are dead meat. Obama on his first day in office moved to end torture and illegal detention under international law. Good for him I say again.

Even before a week of the Obama presidency has passed I am breathing a cautious sigh of relief. American presidents are elected short term monarchs, and this time the Americans seem to have an enlightened and human ruler. Amazing how so much can change utterly in a matter of hours.

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Let em rot........Seems to be the "wa" just not at Gitmo. Good job Obama

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"We don't torture"

Obama: We know you have information on your terrorist buddies and their plans for another attack."

Terrorist: Death to America!

Obama: Read this man his rights, and give him three square meals a day and a Koran. Perhaps he'll tell us something in the future.

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Obama just provided Jihadis a moral victory. It remains to be seen what becomes of any of the detainees but if they are released and are later involved in terrorist activities against the United States, the blood is on Obama hands.

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This is a huge mistake. I was looking forward to teh next episode of 24.

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Ah, nice to see some of these right wingers coming out of the wood work to rant.

Let me make this clear, I am not on the side of the far left or right. Rather I am a man who walks down the middle. Conservative on some issues and Liberal on others. I see this as a good move. If you look back in history, you will see that benevolence rules over malice any day. Take Darius the great as an example. Hatred breeds more hatred and two wrongs don't make a right.

This maybe a PR move by the President, and I myself believe that it was a little hasty. However, the overall goodwill that it brings with it overshadows the negatives. With more goodwill, Obama gets more power and influence to get some of our allies back and to make it harder for our allies to say no to his requests.

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Guys, this isn't a matter of good will, letting terrorists loose or any other of those things. This is a matter of fundimental human rights. If the USA is free to abuse rights like this then there is no hope for the rights of any of us. Gitmo has to be closed. The people there can be charged with crimes or let go. If they are charged they have a right to a lawyer and a fair trial. They should not be tortured. It's really quite simple and what any of us should expect. At least in the USA.

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Yes, it is about doing what is morally right, I agree. But, I was merely speaking on the possible effects that closing Gitmo could have since some on this board seem to think nothing good or beneficial can come from it.

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It never fails to amaze and amuse me how much these self-deluded right-wingers pretend to understand the minds of Islamic fundamentalists.

Most amazing is their failure to completely miss the gross contradiction in their clear implications that those who hate the terrorists must adopt the terrorists' values in order to defeat them. (Such is the right-wingers' lack of faith in Western, democratic values.) There is simply no rung low enough on the morals ladder these right-wingers won't go under in their crusade for what they think is right -- which makes them losers right out of the box.

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When the right-wing and other assorted nuts give support to torture they throw their lot in with those who chant "Death to America". If America lowers itself to the values of its enemies, then it ceases to be America. Human rights, habius corpus, even the rule of law all suffered under Bush's misguided policies.

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Yes, buddha4, just as it's easy for some ignorant slug to be influenced to shout "Death to America," it is all too easy for so many ignorant, American slugs to be influenced to adopt the same mentality.

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It never fails to amaze and amuse me how much these self-deluded right-wingers pretend to understand the minds of Islamic fundamentalists.

I don't know...I've always thought of them as different sides of the same coin, with the Islamist fundamentalists just having a better work ethic.

Taka

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Gitmo and the policies behind it will not strengthen security in the US. The security of the US will come within, not without. It will be the local cop or fire fighting personnel who will have hundreds of citizens serving as eyes and ears to maintain local security because the people know and trust them. It is the FBI who will coordinate at the national level the info collected from hundreds of thousands participating to ensure domestic tranquility. It is the Intelligence services to do the same overseas. Gitmo intensifies hatred on all sides and is a death spiral for all participants. There are better options, but always keep your powder dry and forever vigilant.

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Big mistake!

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hold on a precious moment here, just who's exact idea was it to close this jewel of a great facility Gitmo? expansion plans were hitting it on the projected budget, and assured security was getting better and superior all the time.

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Let's not forget -these people are so incontrovertibly dangerous that they've been held and tortured for years and the Bush Stasi didn't even find enough to charge them with.

President Obama was apparently sincere when he took his Oath of Office, swearing to protect the Constitution. There's a bit in there about Due Process being an inaliable right. Bush thought he didn't need to uphold that part. But then, to be fair, he is on record as having called the Constitution "Just a goddamned piece of paper".

But it's always fun to see the last of the Kool-Aid drinkers foaming at the mouth when a new and validly-elected president starts to put the pieces back together.

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A couple of former prisoners have been seen in al Qaeda videos. Something to think about.

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I like how people say that these captured terrorists -- apprehendedi n battle from the battlefield -- have been "held without being charged". The USA held thousands of German, Italian, and Japanese combatants sixty-plus years ago, too, without charges being laid at their feet. The reason they were held? THEY WERE TRYING TO KILL AMERICANS DURING A TIME OF WAR!!!!!!!!!!

What is the "charge" that is laid at these Terrorists' feet at Guantanamo Bay? THEY WERE TRYING TO KILL AMERICNAS DURING A TIME OF WAR!!!!!!!

That's why POWs are called "POWs" - they are captured durign a time of war. The USA is currently engaged in a war agaisnt Islamic Terror. The terrorists being held in Gitmo, Cuba, are POWs. They are and have been charged with one thing, and the only thing that should keep them in Gitmo until the War on Terror is over: they are enemy combatants who tried to kill Americans, captured on the field of Battle.

Mr. Obama, with a swipe of his pen (the pen is mightier than the sword?), has made it easier for enemy combatants in a time of war to kill Americans.....

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Blue Tiger -

Didn't the Bush administration swear blue that the people in Gitmo were not POWs?

A lot of them were not 'apprehended in battle on the battlefield', they were sold to the Americans by bounty-hunters. They have been charged with nothing yet.

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And I'm sure, cleo, you have some sort of reference or proof to back up your claim that these weren't POWs? As far as I've heard, President Bush said nothing of the kind....

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Blue Tiger -

After a discussion with his top national security advisers, President Bush said Monday (Jan 28 2002) the detainees being held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba "will not be treated as prisoners of war."

http://edition.cnn.com/2002/US/01/28/ret.wh.detainees/ The White House announced Thursday (Feb. 7 2002) that Taliban fighters among the Afghan war detainees would be afforded the full protection of the Geneva Conventions but would not be classified as prisoners of war.

http://edition.cnn.com/2002/US/02/07/ret.bush.detainees/

he ruled out giving the men POW status, arguing that they were "killers" and "terrorists" who did not belong to a recognised army. "We are not going to call them prisoners of war," Mr Bush said

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1788062.stm

Mr Rumsfeld, who has been an outspoken defender of the base, said there would be no question of the Bush administration reversing its decision on the detainees. "They are not POWs, they will not be determined to be POWS," he said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/jan/28/september11.afghanistan2

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Close Gitmo. Let them loose in US cities and let the people take care of them.

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Well posted, cloe, and thank you, but the detainees there are and were still classified as "enemy combatants" by the Bush Administration and those media outlets you listed, as well as others. Though Former President Bush may have denied that they were POWs, the fact tremains that these Gitmo Inmates are exactly that: Captured Enemy Combatants (read: POWs)....

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but the detainees there are and were still classified as "enemy combatants" by the Bush Administration and those media outlets you listed, as well as others

So why haven't they been tried accordingly, instead of under Bush's kangaroo court rules?

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the detainees there are and were still classified as "enemy combatants" by the Bush Administration

The same administration that swore blue there were WMDs in Iraq, Saddam was only minutes away from nuking Europe, and his balsa-wood-and-duct-tape unmanned drones were about to spray mainland USA with biological and/or chemical agents. Why would you give credence to any claims put out by a bunch of proven liars?

Bush tried every which way to make out that 'enemy combatant' did not mean 'POW'.

the fact tremains that these Gitmo Inmates are exactly that: Captured Enemy Combatants (read: POWs)

Because Bush sez so? Not so.

Recent official data shows that only 5 per cent of prisoners at Guantanamo were captured by US forces. The rest were sold by Afghanistan and Pakistan.

http://www.newstatesman.com/200610090029

They knew Americans were looking for Arabs, so they captured Arabs and sold them — just like someone catches a fish and sells it,” he said. The detainee said he was seized by “mafia” operatives somewhere in Europe and sold to Americans because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time — an Arab in a foreign country.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8049868/

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