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April 27, 2008

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But but but, lemon chicken and sunshine!

9-11 changed everything!

(Especially morality)

I still think their plan - whether they accomplish it or not - is to have some or all of these prisoners to be tried and condemned to death before next January - while helpfully leaving the execution of the victims to the next administration.

'break his will to remain silent' Solitary doesn't do that.

If he is talking to ceilings he must be a Canadian(it's normal to hear voices and talk back to them). The voices don't tell him to do anything bad, do they?

Even after years of hearing about this sort of thing, it still occasionally makes my head explode to know that things like this are being done in the name of the United States of America.

What really drives me bonkers is that the Dems are doing essentially nothing to hold the Bushies to account. People, even those in high places, will do evil. The problem is when no one stands against the evildoers.

What really bothers me in this case is that I want to know if the guy had knowledge, was an actual accessory. As I’ve never had a “driver”, I have no idea what one might discuss with them or how integral to your plans they may be. A getaway driver in a bank robbery - guilty. A dude that picked up a customer at point A and took him to point B, even on a regular basis, not so much.

Given that OBL obviously hasn’t used him as a driver in, oh, well, a few years anyway – it would seem any intelligence value he has is pretty minimum. It’s not just that it is ineffective – it’s self defeating…

OCSteve: What really bothers me in this case is that I want to know if the guy had knowledge, was an actual accessory.

You hear of someone being kidnapped by your government, imprisoned by your government without due process for over six years under conditions that in and of themselves amount to torture, and you know that there is a reasonable probability that this prisoner of your government was tortured by your government's agents in your name.

And what "really bothers you" is whether he actually knew anything about Osama bin Laden's plans?

Would you care to rephrase that?

Even supposing that every single one of the prisoners that your government plans to try for "war crimes" was guilty of whatever it is they're being charged with (in this particular case, apparently it's "conspiracy and providing support for terrorism") that would not justify what your government has done to them.

Please. Rephrase. I hope what you meant was, it really bothers you that this man may well be completely innocent of anything but having taken a job as a driver.

But even if he were Osama bin Laden's co-conspirator, it would not justify locking him in a solitary cell at Guantanamo Bay for six years before bringing him to trial - leaving out for the moment the question about whether he was tortured above and beyond the six years of solitary imprisonment.

Jes: Would you care to rephrase that?

Yes please.

Some folks, mostly those on the left side of the divide, want to treat terrorism as a law enforcement effort. Instinctively I don’t agree with that, but I’d like to give it an honest chance to see if it could work. This is not an honest effort. This is a disaster. Some day in the future pundits (on the right) will say well, we tried to give them trials

It’s a joke. It’s disgusting. We’re a laughingstock among civilized nations and we deserve it.

The feces and hunger strike stories actually remind me of the "dirty protest" and such done by the IRA prisoners in the 1980s in Northern Ireland. Wonder if there's any connection or if it's just coincidence.

In any case, this shit is deplorable and I think I'm going to go donate more money to Amnesty International right now.

It would be nice, if it was just "laughingstock". "laughingstock" were Rumsfelds attempt to rename the GWOT GSAVE (global struggle against violent extremism) or some especially stupid Bushisms ("Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.")
What we have now are doubts, whether the latter was actually to be taken seriously.
Or take this (Greenwald today)

An article by The New York Times's Mark Mazzetti this morning discloses a letter (.pdf) from the Justice Department to Congress which asserts "that American intelligence operatives attempting to thwart terrorist attacks can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law." In other words, even after all of the dramatic anti-torture laws and other decrees, the Bush administration insists that American interrogators have the right to use methods that are widely considered violations of the Geneva Conventions if we decide that doing so might help "thwart terrorist attacks."

(This is not meant as an attack on OCSteve. I think this is what he means but the way he worded it could be misunderstood.)

Hartmut: No offense taken. Compared to what this administration has done, I’m not likely to take offense at your comment. Certainly I could be misunderstood because I don’t fully understand what the heck I am saying many days. Plus – you are officially my favorite German dude here on ObWi. ;)

What really bothers me in this case is that I want to know if the guy had knowledge, was an actual accessory.

Reading this, I asked myself, "Gee, self, isn't this what trials are for?" And self said, "A-yup." (not a shot at you OCSteve, BTW).

Some folks, mostly those on the left side of the divide, want to treat terrorism as a law enforcement effort. Instinctively I don’t agree with that, but I’d like to give it an honest chance to see if it could work.

I don't understand why this has to be some sort of either-or approach, i.e., either we're at "WAR!!!" with the terrorists, otherwise we're just issuing parking tickets. Can't we do some of both? Or alot of one and a little of the other?

Ugh: Yup. That’s kind of what I was saying but not very well. As I said to Jes the other day – sometimes it’s tough to even agree with people here. (Not aimed at you, just in general.)

OCSteve, according to some on the right what the left really wants to do is provide therapy for the terrorists.

Ah well, c'est la vie.

Anyway, I second Ugh on this one. Frequently, what is found out through law enforcement techniques could provide information that could result in the ustilization of some level of military intervention, i.e. cruise missiles, predators, special forces, etc.

The reality is, using 150,000 troops is only going to be counterproductive in any attempt to get terrorism under control.

And I say "under control" deliberately. Terrorism will always be out there. The key is to limit the rationale for terrorists to get any form of public support, limit the number of terrorists and be prepared to move quickly when something is discovered.

To put it another way. The current administration has provided a text book lesson in how not to deal with terrorism.

They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

Every time the man speaks, he weakens the nation.

Thanks -

What really drives me bonkers is that the Dems are doing essentially nothing to hold the Bushies to account. People, even those in high places, will do evil. The problem is when no one stands against the evildoers.

I agree with low-tech cyclist. Our system is deeply broken. Frankly, I doubt that Bush had much to do with that. I would go so far as to say that Bush is the symptom of a broken system. That is, the only reason this petty tyrant got to where he is and has stayed there is due to a fundamental flaw.

That flaw is I believe pervasive throughout our entire society. It is our culture that says that greed is good, might makes right, power and money are ends in themselves. It is the fiction of the corporation as person, the cult of the individual and the rise of a global elite who pursue only their own narrow self interests.

Governments no longer even matter, they are irrelevant and cannot even begin to police the vast multinational corporations who truly rule over us. What do you think would happen if any government, any nation even attempted to try to reign them in? They would be crushed overnight.

I think our society is devolving into a new feudalism. A global empire of unbridled corporate power. I don't know how we fight that but we'd better act fast.

". . .The [1829] Penitentiary was intended not simply to punish, but to move the criminal toward spiritual reflection and change. The method was a Quaker-inspired system of isolation from other prisoners, with labor. The early system was strict. To prevent distraction, knowledge of the building, and even mild interaction with guards, inmates were hooded whenever they were outside their cells. Each cell even included a personal exercise yard. Proponents of the system believed strongly that the criminals, exposed, in silence, to thoughts of their behavior and the ugliness of their crimes, would become genuinely penitent. Thus the new word, penitentiary. . . .
. . . Eastern State was viewed as a progressive reform in that it eliminated many of the excesses of physical punishment in colonial America.
Despite this, it was widely believed (then and now) to have caused significant mental illness among its prisoners due to its solitary confinement. The system quickly collapsed due to overcrowding problems. By 1913, Eastern State officially abandoned the solitary system" [link]

noen, the US government has a spending power that outweighs any "vast multinational corporation" and it has enormous physical and legal power at its disposal. Just because that power isn't being wielded in exactly the way you want doesn't mean that it (or any government) is powerless.

Frequently, what is found out through law enforcement techniques could provide information that could result in the ustilization of some level of military intervention, i.e. cruise missiles, predators, special forces, etc.

Has this happened even once, that you're aware of?

Law enforcement and military action are nearly completely disjoint in their objectives. Our military is not trained to raid and apprehend, and our courts systems don't typically issue execution warrants against people or organizations.

At least, I'd hope that's the case.

I watched the disgusting nterview with Scalia on 60 Minutes last hnight. Disgusting because the "reporter" was so madly in love with Scalis that all she could do was gush about his charm. She couldn't ask any follow up questions.

But that's a digression . Hhere's the point: after first staing that no one was in favor of torture (Is Scalia that clueless? No--liar), he then said that the Constitution only bans "cruel and unusual punishment".

"Punishment" being, in his preverted sociopathic amoral brain the key word.

The reporter was too busy masterbating inn response to his charming way of expressing himself to ask,"Is torture Ok if it is donea s a sex perversion or as entertainment as at Abu Graib?"

Or how about as an investigation technique? She did ask that and he brushed her question aside, Charmingly, according to the repirter.

Well I know the conservative cop out on this--the Constitution doesn't aply at Guantanamo.

It is important to understand that for many conservatives in the legal progession it doesn't apply here either.

Constitutional originalism for you, folks!
Word games used by arrogant people to disassociate themselves from the consequences of their words. Scalia issn't in favor of torture! It isn't his fault the the genuine true original meaning of the Cnstitution allows torture provided it is not done as punishment!

I'm not aware of anyone who advocates treating terrorism as purely a law enforcement effort. I suppose there's a subset of the tiny minority who opposed the invasion of Afghanistan who would take such a position.

On the other hand, it's completely ridiculous to use "war" to describe arresting an unarmed businessman getting off a flight from Britain to Gambia, for suspicion of involvement with terrorism. Or the Sarajevo "plotters." Or the millenium bomber, successfully tried in Seattle.

Let's take a quick trip down memory lane for Judge Coughenour's statement at sentencing:

"We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel. The message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart."

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