Gitmo, continued from "Republicans Against Evolution"

That’s one way to look at it. Another is that the president is the supreme commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces who has the power to order his Marines out of Gitmo without asking for congressional approval. Of course, there are all the other prisons we maintain overseas that we don’t talk about. He could have closed them as well.
However, let us not forget that these immoral prisons are the work of the opposing party so it seems they are very much alike.

There are perhaps three or more ways of looking at Guantanamo Naval Base.

The first is the naval base, which itself is of dubious legality, but aside from that, it’s of strategic convenience.
The second is the prison/pow camp, with all the assorted indignities of an ordinary prison brought into a military context.
The third is the status of Guantanomo as a convenient legal black hole, in which agents of the US Government are free to ignore any claim based on human rights.

One can close the second and third senses of Guantanomo without necessarily affecting the first sense. But agitating for closing the first sense of Guantanomo devalues the moral imperative of the latter two

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Set them free. The time served is plenty. If we have evidence against them, give them a trial. We can fly lawyers to Gitmo you know. As far as the repercussions setting free people we have tortured and raped… well, sometimes you have to pay the piper.

Yeah, those folk aren’t centrists. Just because someone puts centrist in the description does not make it so.

Geez, this is one of the annoying things about modern english. Here, let me fix the statement for you so you don’t think I’m directing it at you personally (whom I don’t know and have not met)

One can’t call a party ‘anti science’ while ignoring ones own parties ‘anti science’ rhetoric.


In Cuba? That’s an international incident with the Cuban government right there. Some of the prisoners have already been freed, but many of them have no place to go. Their home countries don’t want them, and no other country will take them (especially not the US). Plus, we have the problem of paying for transporting them being expressly forbidden by Congress.

If there were some easy way to close Gitmo we would have done it already.

And? What would be the horrible backlash? Are you arguing we should keep them in Gitmo because it would be hard for the prisoners to get back home or go anywhere?

I very much doubt that. There is a political will in place to keep them in Gitmo.

You see nothing wrong with releasing people into a foreign country that doesn’t speak their language, doesn’t want them there, and is already hostile to the US?

Just open the doors, wipe our hands, and say “not our problem anymore” to the Cubans? You really think this is a solution?

I see plenty wrong with it. But it’s probably worse to keep them locked up.

Yes, I think it is a solution. Not a good solution. But a solution nonetheless. It’s certainly better than keeping these innocent people behind bars in direct violation of our own laws.

Just because we don’t have a nice and neat resolution to the problem our lawmakers created is not a good reason to continue to abuse the basic human rights of people. Set them free and then deal with the consequences. We can’t do wrong and expect there be no negative repercussions.

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Proper solution is to repatriate (or negotiate to release them where they want to be released) with both public and financial apology. If they’re innocent, we owe them at least that much, and we owe the world at least that much.

Even if anyone was guilty, taking the high road would be the best way to rob others of a justification for disliking us.

We were idiots to get into this in the first place. Proper response to 9/11 should have been a combination of “A flea may bite a lion, but the flea remains a flea and the lion remains a lion,” and extremely targeted espionage and force to scratch the itch. Instead we handed them a darned near complete victory, damaging ourselves worse than they could have hoped to damage us. And we still haven’t learned that lesson and started focusing on how to stop hitting ourselves.


I couldn’t agree more. It disturbs me when I think about how little faith I have that repatriation, apology, and compensation will ever be put on the table for these poor souls. Most of these people are only guilty of protecting their home/village/country from foreign invaders. The rest are guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let’s not forget that in Boumediene v. Bush the Supreme Court decided that the rights afforded by the Constitution include the Guantanamo prisoners. Yet, 5 years later, no trails. This is corruption and immorality at it’s worst.

I’ve been called a spiteful asshole before; but if I were in his position, I’d get one of my legal eagles to stitch together one continuous stream of John Yoo quotes, justifying my Unitary Commander In Chief Double Secret Powers to do whatever I want on the eternal global battlefield, just to spite everyone who thought that those sweeping claims were a good idea when they justified exactly the opposite policy…

(Of course, Obama doesn’t actually seem to be against our delightful little clandestine shadow wars, so there isn’t really any policy opposition to be had. On the plus side, we let them choose the flavor of the nutrient slurry we pump through their nasogastric tubes; because America Cares!)

Can’t say that enough times.

Quickly and painlessly executing everyone in Gitmo (and in our many other, less well known foreign torture chambers) eight years ago would have probably caused less suffering and death overall than the path Obama has taken.

Ow! Stop hitting yourself! Ow! Ow!

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I don’t follow your point here fuzzyfungus. I think it’s lost in the forest of snark.

Do you think the president lacks the power to order a troop withdrawal?

I don’t actually know how that would shake down. I assume he could do so, it’s a ‘commander in chief’ sort of thing to do; but I can’t think of an analogous situation where it has been tried. Military-operated prisons are otherwise either for internal discipline or connected to actual prisoners of war from actual wars, complete with finite scopes and end dates and stuff.

I can’t think of a situation where congress pushed in the direction of something and the president gave them the runaround by ordering the military to just walk away from what congress wants.

My suspicion is that congress couldn’t really stop a determined DoD move (assuming that the DoD is actually making a determined move, rather than dragging its feet), since everyone in Gitmo could be on an officially nonexistent flight to nowhere and disappear behind a blank wall of National Security denials within a matter of hours. If they moved more slowly, though, I’d imagine that the situation would devolve into simian posturing in congress, while the governors of one or more conveniently located states would muster a posse to go and score Tough On Terrorism points by filling in for the departing troops.

What would happen if the troops were ordered to stop playing warden; but remain to prevent somebody else from starting? That could get ugly.

[quote=“dacree, post:9, topic:18262, full:true”]
Most of these people are only guilty of protecting their home/village/country from foreign invaders. The rest are guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.[/quote]

That may be the case for some of them, but not all of them. If they were all just goat farmers rounded up in a witch hunt, then you wouldn’t have everyone saying “we won’t allow this person back into our country”.

Gitmo was probably one of those good ideas at the time, but quickly turned into a cluster fuck. It’s like me with all my hobbies, where I box something up to deal with it later, and 15 years later I am surrounded by precariously balanced towers of boxes and TLC wants to feature me on a 2hr special of Hoarders.

Obama expressed interest in closing it during his campaign. It looks to me that after gaining office he was faced with the reality that doing so isn’t that simple. I am sure one of the thoughts on his mind was that one in a million chance someone he release came back and killed 1000 people, it would be an event forever associated with his name.

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Here’s the thing - we are all innocent until proven guilty and our laws also extend to our prisoners, even in Gitmo. The Supreme Court of the United States has already made that determination. So, those men are innocent of any wrong doing until they are brought to trial and found guilty in a legitimate court. If the feds have any evidence that these detainees committed any crimes, they should present that evidence in open court. Otherwise, these people are innocent.

If they were all just goat farmers rounded up in a witch hunt, then you wouldn’t have everyone saying “we won’t allow this person back into our country”.

Who is everyone and when did they say that? The reasons I’ve seen for detainees not returning to their country of origin has been because they already fled them because of the risk of persecution for religious practices, political beliefs, or ethnic background. Many of these people fear going back to their own country.

Assigning some post facto guilt due to the fact that they aren’t welcome home is a weak argument at best.


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