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November 14, 2005

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Comments

"Most of the evidence of abuse at Guantanamo has emerged from lawyers' discussions with their clients"

There you go again.

These are *allegations*, not evidence.

You are a person who describes allegations made by terrorists as "evidence" because you find it politically useful. You know the damage which such allegations have caused and will continue to cause and you gleefully further it.

You're not that gullible. You're not that credulous. Yet you do it.


Shame upon you.

am, if you think that all the prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay are terrorists, and that therefore none of their statements can be true, you are being very credulous indeed.

Further, the allegation that all of the prisoners are terrorists, and their experience of torture (however much it resembles other experience of torture committed by the US military, documented at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere) must be untrue is also a political allegation.

(Has it been established as a phrase: "Rovian argument" - to accuse others of what you yourself are guilty of?)

No Justice at Guantanamo

TalkLeft citing an article by two defense lawyers saying Rasul has essentially ignored, delayed, circumvented.

"Almost a year and a half after the Rasul ruling, not a single one of the more than 500 men and boys still held in abysmal conditions of confinement in Guantánamo has seen the inside of a U.S. district courthouse...."
...
Charleycarp does some very good work explaining the most basic process of American Law over at Crooked Timber:

Magna Carta Trashed

The good stuff by CC starts at about #74. A reasonable conversation with "rd"

If you start at the beginning you can follow my customary descent from reasonableness into madness. It is embarrassing but I am not really sorry. I am very grateful that there are stronger, more self-controlled people than myself working on this.

I am crying myself to sleep tonight. Grief and gratitude, I suppose.

"Most of the evidence of abuse at Guantanamo has emerged from lawyers' discussions with their clients"
Let's note that the word there is "abuse," not "torture." So that's what's under contention at the moment: abuse at Guantanamo, not torture.
You are a person who describes allegations made by terrorists as "evidence" because you find it politically useful.
FBI agents aren't terrorists, are they?
Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation observed what went on in Guantánamo. One reported on July 29, 2004: "On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves and had been left there for 18, 24 hours or more."

Time magazine published an extended article last week on an official log of interrogations of one Guantánamo detainee over 50 days from November 2002 to January 2003. The detainee was Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi who is suspected of being the planned 20th hijacker on Sept. 11, 2001, but who was unable to enter the United States.

Mr. Kahtani was interrogated for as long as 20 hours at a stretch, according to the detailed log. At one point he was put on an intravenous drip and given 3½ bags of fluid. When he asked to urinate, guards told him that he must first answer questions. He answered them. The interrogator, not satisfied with the answers, told him to urinate in his pants, which he did. Thirty minutes later, the log noted, Mr. Kahtani was "beginning to understand the futility of his situation."

Are the FBI agents and logs terrorists? Or what?

Remember that we're talking "abuse," not "torture"?

Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt:

U.S. Guantanamo Bay interrogators degraded and abused a key prisoner but did not torture him when they told him he was gay, forced him to dance with another man and made him wear a bra and perform dog tricks, military investigators said on Wednesday.

The general who heads U.S. Southern Command, responsible for the jail for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, also said he declined to heed his investigators' recommendation to punish a former commander of the prison camp.

A military report presented before the
Senate Armed Services Committee stated the Saudi man, described as the "20th hijacker" slated to have participated in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, was forced by interrogators to wear a bra and had women's thong underwear placed on his head.

U.S. interrogators also told him he was a homosexual, forced him to dance with a male interrogator, told him his mother and sister were whores, forced him to wear a leash and perform dog tricks, menaced him with a dog and subjected him to interrogations up to 20 hours a day for about two months, the report said.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, who headed the probe into FBI accounts of abuse of Guantanamo prisoners by Defense Department personnel, concluded that the man was subjected to "abusive and degrading treatment" due to "the cumulative effect of creative, persistent and lengthy interrogations." The techniques used were authorized by the
Pentagon, he said.

The man was not named during the hearing, but the Pentagon identified him as Mohamed al-Qahtani.

[...]

Army Gen. Bantz Craddock, who as head of Southern Command oversees Guantanamo, said he rejected the recommendation by Schmidt and his fellow investigator Army Brig. Gen. John Furlow that Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the prison's commander at the time, be formally admonished for failing to properly monitor and limit the interrogation of that prisoner.

[...]

The investigation, announced in January, followed the release by the
American Civil Liberties Union of FBI documents describing alleged prisoner abuses by Defense Department personnel at Guantanamo. The documents were obtained by court order under the Freedom of Information Act.

The FBI documents described prisoners at Guantanamo being shackled hand and foot in a fetal position on a floor for 18 to 24 hours, and left to urinate and defecate on themselves. Others said Pentagon interrogators impersonated FBI agents at the base and used "torture techniques" on a prisoner.

Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt: terrorist? Gullible liberal?

You may not be as deeply informed about prisoner issues if you believe that people are giving credibility to detainee statements, and that that's what all the fuss is about. It's not. It's about what U.S. personnel and investigators say.

Sean Baker was a United States Army MP; he isn't also a terrorist, is he?

Etc., and so on. Perhaps you might like to engage in discussion of specific issues, rather than mindread people you don't know, and accuse them of moral failings for beliefs they don't have based upon things they've not said.

Or perhaps not. We'll see.

Oopsie. Lost one /blockquote. It should read:
Thirty minutes later, the log noted, Mr. Kahtani was "beginning to understand the futility of his situation."
Are the FBI agents and logs terrorists? Or what?
Sorry.

And just to get it out of the way, in case it might come up, please do keep in mind that if you want to suddenly switch accusations to some variant of "oh, well, that's not torture, and that's a defensible way to treat terrorists, after all," that a) we already established that we're talking about "abuse," not "torture," and b) that would be entirely switching the topic. To put it simply, you need to either defend your accusations and calumny, AM, or kindly withdraw them. Switching topics or goalposts would be admitting you couldn't do that (and there's no shame in that!), so I'm sure that's not what you'll do.

I'm not well-versed on the finer points of law, but aren't allegations "evidence"? Are the courts prohibited from considering them when rendering judgment?

If I'm correct, am is confusing "evidence" with "proof".

"I'm not well-versed on the finer points of law, but aren't allegations "evidence"?"

As I understand it, my saying John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln or Saddam ordered the death of Kurds will usually be hearsay, and inadmissable.

Saying I saw JWB shoot Lincoln is a statement of fact, not an allegation. I could be lying or mistaken. If a Gitmo prisoner says he was tortured, it is not an allegation. If his lawyer says his client was tortured, based in what was related to him, it is an allegation.

I just thought an "allegation" was an unproven claim of wrongdoing. I understand that not all allegations will be considered admissible evidence, but in this case we are clearly talking about first-hand accounts. Wouldn't those be considered evidence? Isn't eyewitness testimony "evidence"?

Bob, you're confused about the meaning of the word 'allegation'. All it means is a fact that someone says is true, usually about the wrongful acts of another person. It has a perjorative overtone, in that if you call something an allegation you imply that there is no better evidence for it than the statement of the person making the allegation, but that's an overtone, rather than part of the definition.

Saying I saw JWB shoot Lincoln is a statement of fact, not an allegation. I could be lying or mistaken. If a Gitmo prisoner says he was tortured, it is not an allegation.

Both of these are allegations. Allegations are evidence, sometimes persuasive, sometimes not, sometimes admissible in court, sometimes not, but there isn't a systematic distinction between 'allegations' and 'eyewitness evidence'.

"perjorative"

You'd likely catch that if it were in a brief (just trying to help prevent it showing up in future; this is not a Personal Attack, he said on apparently necessary general principles).

Copy-edit to your heart's content -- my spelling's generally ghastly, and it's gotten worse in the years since MS Word has started automatically correcting common errors.

"...it's gotten worse in the years since MS Word has started automatically correcting common errors."

Never for a moment since non-human spell-checkers arrived have I doubted that they are the work of Satan.

The only reason to turn one on is to disable one's own porf-reader, and wind up with numerous properly spelled words that are the wrong words. (Hey, this argument works for Jes, right? :-))

A kibitzer points out that I was hasty and therefore inaccurate in my last post. This sentence:

Allegations are evidence, sometimes persuasive, sometimes not, sometimes admissible in court, sometimes not, but there isn't a systematic distinction between 'allegations' and 'eyewitness evidence'.

would better have read:

Allegations are statements, sometimes supported by persuasive evidence (such as the personal knowledge of the allegor), sometimes not, sometimes provable in court, sometimes not, but there isn't a systematic disjunction between 'allegations' and 'statements supported by good evidence, including by the testimony of the allegor'.

"am, if you think that all the prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay are terrorists, and that therefore none of their statements can be true, you are being very credulous indeed."

am ain't credulous. By now, the weight of the evidence is that anybody professing to believe the adminstration isn't honest; they support Bush's right to torture anybody he wants to.

I've given up on this, after reading John Cole's latest sh*t (http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=6048 and http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=6047). I'll accept that certain people are deluded, but it's delusion, as in detachment from reality/ignorance. There is no other side on these issues worthy of respect.

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