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November 13, 2005

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Which makes one wonder just how the Senator came to construct the arguments he trotted out to push his amendment. They are evidently not based on the motions.

Graham's 'conclusions' about the supposedly frivolous nature of these motions is simply not borne out by the documents themselves.

"After various delays (my personal favorite being that the government claimed that no one in all of Washington DC was capable of clearing the videos, that therefore they had to be sent to Guantanamo for clearance, and that transporting them would take two weeks),"

I've updated me blog post again with a link to this.

Without disagreeing with anything else, I have to say that I think the above might be indicative of a deliberate run-around, or it might be quite reasonable.

How might it be reasonable? Because it doesn't seem impossible to me that a standard might be applied that says that the experts in what the Guantanamo prisoners might or might not be doiong to try to communicate with the outside world might be at Guantanamo, and that that's where operational control over what the prisoners do or do not see is, and that since they have the, perhaps, most appropriate expertise, as well as the responsibility, that it's reasonable policy that they be the ones to rule on what the prisoners do or do not get to see.

Now, that might or might not be what's going on there, and if it were some variant of that, such a hypothetical policy might or might not be wise or sensible.

But it doesn't seem at all unlikely to me that such a policy might have been implemented here, and that wouldn't strike me as particularly farcical or necessarily arbitrarily made up.

Oh, and on the two weeks shipping, well, Amazon always gives a date for when a package will arrive that is about two weeks more than is remotely reasonable or accurate; I assume that's so customer's will have far fewer grounds for complaint. This doesn't seem to be an unusual general policy in my experience.

But other than this point: right on!

Part of an inherent problem here is one that is general in politics: politicians have to struggle to find minimal time, even when inclined, to actually study policy issues on their own, and, frankly, their staff doesn't have much time, either (this is one reason I've always been dubious, at best, about term limits, although of late I've moved from firm opposition to being tempted by the idea in limited circumstances).

GF, I don't think anyone thinks it's unreasonable for the DOD to look at the DVD before allowing the prisoner to see it. Or family snapshots. It's hardly frivolous, though, to ask for the court to help overcome DOD objections to even doing so. Especially after the DOD has created the situation that makes the DVD necessary.

What I find most stunning, though, is that DVD would take this position. By and large, the families are a positive influence on these prisoners. Cutting off all contact isn't just inhumane, it's counterproductive. Instead of the families presenting a positive picture of home life (and, at least implicitly, a negative picture of jihadi life) we have these guys talking to each other about how righteous, courageous, and pure they are.

But then I'm the kind of person who thinks we ought to have a Navy officer -- a Muslim chaplain -- talking through the Koran with these guys, instead of the system apparently preferred by DOD: having them talk to each other about what Islam requires.

I'd like to think that even CB would agree with me on this . . .

"It's hardly frivolous, though, to ask for the court to help overcome DOD objections to even doing so."

Possibly I was unclear when I wrote "But other than this point: right on!"

GF, I don't think anyone thinks it's unreasonable for the DOD to look at the DVD before allowing the prisoner to see it. Or family snapshots. It's hardly frivolous, though, to ask for the court to help overcome DOD objections to even doing so. Especially after the DOD has created the situation that makes the DVD necessary

Is it just me, or wouldn't it behoove the DOD to create the illusion that they are quickly passing on information so interrogators could more easily sort out who may be communicating with the outside world and who might not be? How hard would it be to buy a DVD burner, make a copy and send the original to be played to them? Clearly, the messages going into Gitmo are not going to cause any ticking bomb scenarios.

It seems that this tactic, despite appearing to be due to possibly legitimate reasons, is simply to increase the uncooperativeness of the prisoners with their appointed counsel, thus allowing the government to stymie legal efforts as well as create an atmosphere within the camp that justifies the repressive tactics used by the jailers.

The other, even more disturbing scenario, is that the DOD and others feel that the lawyers who are representing detainees are likely potentially involved in any conspiracy with Al Queda and the detainees to plot mayhem, hence cannot trust them. Tinfoil-ish? I don't know

In theory, there are plausible rationales for the government's position concerning various issues. But overall, what has happened is a complete refusal by the executive to obey the law, and when the court's tell them that they have to, a sort of legal guerilla warfare to circumvent court rulings by endless procedural manuevering.

Hence, screw up the right to counsel by deceptively having interrogators pretend to be counsel, and obstructing in every way possible the ability of actual counsel to do anything.

Our government has decided to engage in lawless detention and torture -- pure and simple. And lie about it endlessly. And pretend that everyone killed in captivity allegedly deserved it because they are all terrorists anyway.

Except for those released as innocent years later. As for them, never mind.

The Bush administration is sick. People who support this behavior by them need their heads examined.

I'd like to point out (I'm going backwards through these posts) that this says that Graham is a fool, not having his staff check out such things, or he's in on everything.

The idea that he honestly believes what he's saying implies that he's a fool. If you don't believe that, then the only conclusion is that he's evil.

Another GOP fraud balloon punctured.

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