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[P]
Reflections on Independence Day

By MichaelCrawford in Op-Ed
Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 08:56:05 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

I think Independence Day is a good day to reflect upon the fact that my once great nation is getting ready to murder its prisoners of war. President Bush has selected six prisoners from the war in Afghanistan to stand trial in secret "military tribunals", at which they may face the death penalty.

One of the hallmarks of our justice system is the requirement that the accused must be permitted to confront the witnesses against them. Yet, when classified evidence is presented in these "tribunals", the proceedings will be closed to the defendants and their civilian attorneys. They will be allowed military attorneys who will be permitted to participate in the classified sessions, but these will be appointed United States military officers, who can hardly be expected to be representing the interests of the accused.


From a now irrelevent document that was once the highest law of the land:

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

By the way, I don't think Guantanamo Bay counts as the state and district wherein any of these crimes have been committed.

Neither the press nor the public will be permitted to observe the proceedings, one of the most important safeguards that has historically prevented the rise of political repression in America.

Another importance principle is the right of the accussed to assist in their own defense. Defendants who are extremely ill or mentally incompetent are normally excused from having to stand trial because they cannot assist in their defense - but if your military attorney cannot tell you what the classified evidence against you is, how can you participate in your defense?

In other wars, following the dictates of international law, the POWs have been permitted to return home at the end of the war. But the government has stated that even if the accused are found innocent in the tribunals, the won't be released.

The article above says that they are preparing to build an execution chamber at Guantanamo Bay. I wonder why they are even bothering to try to create the pretense of legitimacy by holding these "tribunals" and carrying out orderly executions? Why don't they just line them up against the wall and shoot them, like any other self-respecting tin-pot dictatorship would?

Look, neither the Constitution nor any international treaty makes provisions for these sham military tribunals that are planned. The government says they are not prisoners of war, that they are criminals. Fine, them bring them to the United States - not a military base in another country - and try them in open, civilian court before a jury of their peers. Evidence that cannot be openly revealed to the public would be inadmissible. If that can't be done, then they are prisoners of war, they should be returned to Afghanistan now that the war is over.

Remember, as Rick Boyle tells Doctor Rock in Oliver Stone's Salvador, no matter what happens, no matter what they say to you, don't get down on your knees.

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o getting ready to murder its prisoners of war
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Reflections on Independence Day | 237 comments (183 topical, 54 editorial, 0 hidden)
you stupid fuck (1.37 / 32) (#4)
by tofubar on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 09:20:56 PM EST

pretending to be a schizo, and now this?
maybe this will help:
If my walkman could talk cat, I'd smear it with catnip and pull it along
on the sidewalk after me as I walked and listened to it insulting the
pussy's that would try to hump it.  We would laugh and laugh and laugh
about them later, over a cup of cappiccino at the coffee shop where every-
one always wears black and looks bored.  I'd buy it nice new batteries
every day and sing "you have the power you have the power" as I installed
them, happily anticipating its grateful purr.  Then I'd shoot it.

-1, too US-centric nt (3.22 / 9) (#5)
by Nigga on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 09:33:45 PM EST


--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?

I would normally agree, but... (4.66 / 6) (#7)
by igny ignoble on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 10:00:49 PM EST

I think this is actually an important international issue.  Is it acceptable for the US to ignore internationally recognized conventions for the treatment of POWs?  Is it appropriate to summarily execute people with no checks and balances?

[ Parent ]
Aren't these people getting a military trial? (4.00 / 1) (#10)
by StormShadow on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 10:44:56 PM EST

I've written a few comments in this article and will not repeat them here.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
Military trial (4.40 / 5) (#11)
by igny ignoble on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 11:05:32 PM EST

Without any transparency or independent observers a military trial is just a kangaroo court.  If the accused have committed a crime, I'd love to see the evidence presented against them in an open international court.

[ Parent ]
Tell that to the Australian you've locked up. (4.66 / 6) (#12)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 11:32:32 PM EST

It's absolutely disgusting that Australia has spent large amounts of money, manpower and risk to support America on it's War On Terror and yet they will not let us try our own country-men on our own soil.

I thought we were meant to be allies!

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

you misunderstand (5.00 / 3) (#22)
by martingale on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 01:13:12 AM EST

Australia is a US client state. There is no question of equality, and why should there be? Australia can offer very little that America needs.

The reality is that by turning its back on Asia in favour of the US, Australia put itself into a position of greater dependency, and consequently less power. If you feel this is wrong, convince people to elect representatives with other priorities. Judging from the past several election results however, you must be in the minority.

[ Parent ]

This just shows you know little about Australia. (4.00 / 2) (#24)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 01:23:45 AM EST

The reason the Howard government got voted in was because:
  1. Fears of international terrorism and impending war meant that people didn't really want a change, and,
  2. The opposition sucked. Kim Beazley was going OK until he decided to stuff up his campaign by telling everyone that he would roll-back the GST. I don't think people were impressed - especially small-business people who didn't want to spend yet more money on swapping all their accounting systems again. The GST had been enough.
Certainly there were other factors involved in the reelection, but I suspect these were the main ones.

Incidently, I couldn't give a toss whether you think that Australia can offer very little of what America needs. This is beside the point - we should be able to prosecute our own people on our own soil. I would imagine that there would be uproar if another country decided to try an American off U.S. home turf - I would have hoped that our allies would be less hypocritical in the way they dealt with us.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

if you think so (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by martingale on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 02:01:20 AM EST

You're free to rationalize this any way you want.

You'll note that the Howard govt was voted in 96, 98, 01, and quite possibly again. Why else would he refuse to stand down if he didn't think he could win another one? And in view of the storms he's weathered so far, I trust his judgement about his prospects.

1. Fears of international terrorism and impending war meant that people didn't really want a change, and,
That seems to fit recent history, but doesn't fit so well the earlier pattern. Australia has made several important decisions in the last few years, including refusing to change into a republic, reversing active partnership in Asia, working towards a free trade agreement with the US, (which will require changes in the law for harmonization purposes), reversal of a liberal human rights policy, and I could go on (GST even against the experience of NZ, higher education, etc.).

The funny thing is that, after each election result or strange looking decision, the excuse has always been that the decision was forced due to lack of credible alternatives.

2. The opposition sucked. Kim Beazley was going OK until he decided to stuff up his campaign by telling everyone that he would roll-back the GST.

Which makes one wonder why the labour voters didn't switch en masse to the democrats or greens then...unless the liberals weren't such an unacceptable choice after all. Perhaps the voters just liked to hear Howard's voice on the morning radio instead. The Ways Of The Election Are Unfathomable.

Incidently, I couldn't give a toss whether you think that Australia can offer very little of what America needs. This is beside the point - we should be able to prosecute our own people on our own soil.
You won't see me arguing with you on that. I was merely pointing out that Australia's newly formed client state relationship does not make it likely this will happen. The UK has a similar problem, has been more vocal than Australia about requesting decent treatment for its "terrorists", and is bigger and much more powerful than Australia. If they aren't getting very far, there isn't much hope for Oz.

[ Parent ]
Liberal vs Labour govenments (none / 0) (#40)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 04:06:58 AM EST

The funny thing is that, after each election result or strange looking decision, the excuse has always been that the decision was forced due to lack of credible alternatives.

I voted in most of these elections, and the reason I voted for the Liberal government was that there just wasn't an effective opposition to vote for! BTW, you may want to take note that the independent parties like the Greens and the Democrats started taking larger slices of the electoral pie.

So I would say that this would be correct.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Incidently... (none / 0) (#26)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 01:30:14 AM EST

... after my little rant, I never addressed your first comment that "Australia is a client-state". I still can't address this as I don't know what a "client-state" is!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

look up the following nations' recent history (none / 0) (#32)
by martingale on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 02:09:52 AM EST

Albania,
Bulgaria,
Czechoslovakia,
Hungary,
GDR,
Poland,
Romania,
and how it relates to COMECON.

The word client here comes from the Roman concept of patrons and clients. The patron was a rich Roman who kept a large group of poor Romans around him, feeding them and paying them and protecting them in exchange for favours.

[ Parent ]

Australia doesn't accept US foreign aid. (none / 0) (#41)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 04:08:28 AM EST

If that's what you are implying. We just don't need it!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

does an FTA qualify? (4.00 / 1) (#164)
by martingale on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 11:59:27 PM EST

Aid handouts come in many forms. Since economic blocks are all the rage these days, an FTA with America can be considered aid (if you don't like that term, call it favouritism).

To decide for yourself if this is aid/favouritism rather than a mutually beneficial economic deal, ask yourself this: does a bilateral FTA benefit the US as much as Australia? Are US laws going to be changed to harmonize with Australian laws (the reverse is certainly true)?

A second factor here is that Australia depends on US military protection, and even expressed interest in helping fund the technically laughable US missile shield.

A third factor is Australia's support for recent controversial US decisions with respect to international agreements (environmental emissions etc), in the face of world wide agreement to the contrary.

Anyway, these are just arguments to support the claim I made about Australia being a US client state. Australia is still a strong democracy, and the direction it's heading into is agreeable to the majority.

[ Parent ]

Diplomatic blunder (4.41 / 12) (#16)
by qaz2 on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 11:44:24 PM EST

Even if these trials were just (which they're not), they're still a stupid thing for the Bush administration. As the six include two people from Britain and one from Australia, these trials will make the people in these countries even more angry with us. This is most important in Britain, the US's most important ally. Blair has already faced much criticism from the people and the legislature about Iraq; this may push the majority against him.

Can't talk for Britain, (4.25 / 4) (#18)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 11:54:53 PM EST

But I know that once the trials get underway things will certainly become dicey for the Australian P.M. when Aussies realise one of their own countrymen is being put on trial by a country we've fully supported and yet who won't let us try him in our own country.

Also:

Hint for Americans: always remember that the underdog gets heaps of support and sympathy in our country. The bigger and more aggressively you attack those who appear to have no defense, the faster Australians will support those that are being attacked.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

support for the underdog (3.00 / 1) (#133)
by speek on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 10:16:44 AM EST

Is a uniquely American attitude - don't you go try stealing it as Australian, dude.

Sorry, couldn't resist :-)

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Eh ? (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by TheMgt on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 01:36:33 PM EST

In a country that uses the word 'loser' as an insult ? Since when ?

[ Parent ]
guess you had to be there (none / 0) (#153)
by speek on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 06:10:45 PM EST

The joke had ripened on the vine of K5 these last couple days. I just picked it is all.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

*woof* (nt) (none / 0) (#223)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 06:33:24 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
UK (3.60 / 5) (#28)
by sinexoverx on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 01:38:44 AM EST

I have been listening to BBC4 for a few weeks now. If the BBC reflects the attitudes of the people of the UK then I would have to say that UKians are no more the friends of America than the French or Russians are. Their hatred of America seems to be strong enough that I doubt this little incident will change them one way or another. And those in the UK who do support the US, probably think we are doing them a favor by taking out their trash. I assume from what little I hear about Austrailia that it's the same way there. I am puzzled by the fact that the English (and just about every other nationality) seem to move to the US in droves. The area I live in is filty with them. I just hope they left their anti-US attitudes when they left the UK. If not then they are just hypocrits.

[ Parent ]
RE: UK (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by qaz2 on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 01:52:24 AM EST

The people of the UK may already be anti-US, but the government is not. This won't affect Blair personally, but it may tip the balance in the legislature, which would be bad for Bush, as the British government has been a strong US ally.

[ Parent ]
Oh, I don't know (4.50 / 2) (#33)
by sinexoverx on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 02:47:54 AM EST

But it seems to me that it is just a matter of time before the UK turns on us. If we needed the UK for another Iraq situation, I doubt they would back us up. It is mainly the older people who support the US and their time is fading. I will say that those in the UK who do support the US are extremely loyal to their friends here. Those pro-US Brits that defend us make me proud on my British heritage (my paternal line of ancestors left Pickering North Yorkshire in 1830). A good example of this support can be heard occasionally on the BBC by listening to a very good political debate program called The Moral Maze. You can listen to the lastest program "on demand". I highly recommend it. I would bet the next program will be about this issue of the British prisoners to be put on trial.

[ Parent ]
Why (5.00 / 4) (#47)
by nobbystyles on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:07:24 AM EST

Would the people of the UK turn against the US though? It's not because of your constitution, wealth or any shit like that. It's down to actions of your current govt...

[ Parent ]
Actually it is (1.75 / 8) (#49)
by sinexoverx on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:27:51 AM EST

The actions of the US are evidently internally consistant. We have a system of checks and balances and none of the branches of government have a problem with the current policy. You can dismiss that if you want but if you are not a US citizen your opinion does not count.

The UK people are anti-US mainly because of their socialist views. The UK is in for a much rougher future than the US. But then you don't believe that so I wasted some finger energy on that sentence.



[ Parent ]
Indeed I don't believe that (4.50 / 6) (#51)
by Simon Kinahan on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:41:40 AM EST

It can only be based on fundamental misunderstandings of British public opinion and socialism. But then if you get most of your information about the UK from Radio 4, I guess the former misunderstanding is understandable.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
And what (2.25 / 4) (#52)
by sinexoverx on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:47:42 AM EST

And what am I to base my estimate of UKian opinion on? The media in the UK is much more BBC based that any media outlet in the US based on any new agency. Oops, I see from your sig that you don't want me to post but only to moderate. OK, wish granted.

[ Parent ]
Oops (5.00 / 1) (#54)
by sinexoverx on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:53:39 AM EST

Sorry, I read that wrong. Post, don't mderate. Too much alchohol. Must moderate booze usage. Remoderating.

[ Parent ]
British public opinion ... (4.00 / 3) (#58)
by Simon Kinahan on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 07:25:43 AM EST

... is pretty broad, as with any other country. The newspapers probably represent the range of opinion better than the BBC. The BBC is supposed to be unbiased in its news reporting, but their opinion pieces (especially on Radio 4) tend to be somewhat to the left of the mainstream.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
The measure of UKian opinion (4.80 / 5) (#142)
by TomV on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 02:20:44 PM EST

Tragically, if you want a good idea of the issues and positions held to be important by an awful lot of my countrymen, I have to point you at the URLs of the two largest-circulation national newspapers, each with 3.5 - 4 million buyers, each copy widely handed around at work, the pub, etc, and both absolutely tailored to their readership's views in deference to the circulation war between them.
The Sun
The Daily Mirror
I feel it only fair to warn a certain subset of the world's population that they may find the acreage of fleshtone somewhat higher than expected for a national newspaper. But they're very popular...
TomV

[ Parent ]
Yeah, right we're socialists and wrong (4.33 / 6) (#53)
by nobbystyles on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:51:29 AM EST

So we must agree with everything your govt does and be loyal and faithful allies.

Sounds like the deal you guys were celebrating rebelling against yesterday.

[ Parent ]

Actually (2.80 / 5) (#56)
by sinexoverx on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 07:00:57 AM EST

Yes, the UK is a socialist state. And no, you don't have to agree with the US on every point. It is just like a personal relationship. You can talk about us, and disagree, but don't expect that we will respect you. I don't respect the UK just as you don't respect the US. That is all I am really saying. Respect is a two way street.

[ Parent ]
Erm (5.00 / 4) (#57)
by nobbystyles on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 07:04:36 AM EST

Socialist state, my arse. Maybe pre-Thatcher it was but apart from sightly higer social security benefits and a state run health service, the market is king here. Taxes are slightly higher than the US but not by much...

Try Sweden or France.

[ Parent ]

Tax rates (3.00 / 3) (#60)
by sinexoverx on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 07:38:42 AM EST

So what kind of tax rates do you pay in the UK? I tried to look it up but didn't get good info. In the US your average guy pays about 25%. I find it hard to believe that the UK has similar taxes because so many ex-Brits I work around say they moved here because of taxes (among other things).

[ Parent ]
Saw it in the Economist (5.00 / 3) (#67)
by nobbystyles on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 10:01:45 AM EST

The US state and Federal tax amounts to around 32% of GDP and the UK's is around 38%. 6% difference doesn't really amount to socialism. Also you get a free health if mediocre health sevice with the extra taxes...

[ Parent ]
State tax (4.00 / 2) (#88)
by sinexoverx on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:48:05 PM EST

Counting state tax is a bit misleading. Not all states in the US have a state income tax. I think that in Alaska the state actually pays each resident $1000 or more each year. The state of Washington has no income tax but they have a sales tax. I am not sure about Nevada but think they are state tax free too. There may also be others. Of the states that do have state taxes, the percentage varies a lot. The economist probably used an average. California and a couple other states probably skewed figures high.

[ Parent ]
Well (5.00 / 1) (#117)
by nobbystyles on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 04:13:08 AM EST

All you can work off is the average and California is one of the biggest states. And not to count state taxes is not really on as a lot of the services carried out by the UK central govt are carried out by the US states in the US system.

[ Parent ]
State taxes. (4.00 / 1) (#157)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:20:12 PM EST

I'm not sure about Nevada either off hand.  Alaska is a special case because of the deal they struck with the oil companies.  They get something similar to a dividend for living there.  The states usually get you one way or the other.  If they don't have income tax, they nail you with sales or property taxes.  If you include that with the federal, social security, and medicaire, someone making between 28 and 68 k can easily pay 45%...ouch.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
I want to live in that US... (4.00 / 1) (#156)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:17:34 PM EST

Hmm, in my US, it is more like 41% for a pretty average income (roughly $28k to $68k/year).  That doesn't include property taxes, all the various sin taxes, state and municipality, etc.  That's just federal, social security, medicaire.  I guess what makes them socialist is that the average person in a socialist country gets some benefits for all the taxes they pay.  Since I'm not incorporated, I don't get anything for mine :(

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
not 41%, you mean 26 to 34% maximum (4.00 / 1) (#169)
by anonymous cowerd on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 01:15:15 AM EST

WARNING: Numbers ahead.

You've made a mistake calculating. Take an income toward the high end of that range: $65000 per year.

If you had an income of $65K, were single, and claimed yourself as a deduction, let's break down what you paid. First the payroll taxes. Here's a chart.

1.45% on the entire $65000 for Medicare = $943
6.2% for FICA on the whole $65000 = $4030
7.65% total: $4973

Two notes on Medicare and FICA. First, if you work as an ordinary employee your employer pays a matching 6.2% + 1.45%. If you are an independent contractor, you get to pay both the employee's fraction and the employer's fraction for a total combined FICA/Medicare tax rate of 15.3%. If you're an employee, from your boss's point of view the cost of employing you (not even including insurance, etc.) was not $65000 but $69973. If your wish to maintain the rather fanciful position that the employer's part of the tax is part of your tax burden (you might call this the "boss's-eye view") then you must calculate your tax rate on the basis of a percentage of your "boss's eye" income of $69973 rather than of $65000.

The second note is that there is a cutoff for FICA at $87000. (I think that's last year's figure; it is adjusted annually for inflation.) In other words, you only paid 6.2% of the first $87000 and everything above that is not taxed for FICA. That obviously doesn't affect our hypothetical employee, but it is worth noting that he pays 6.2% FICA plus 1.45% Medicare equals 7.65% total, while a fellow with a million-dollar income pays 0.54% FICA plus 1.45% Medicare equals 1.99% total, a difference which in part makes up for his higher marginal rate for income tax. And in the case of independent contractors this payroll tax rate advantage for the million-dollar earner is twice as great.

The income tax part is a bit more difficult to calculate. I think that's where you went wrong, taking the marginal rate (27% last year, next year I think 25%) times the entire $65K, which is wrong twice. Let's use last year's rates; the marginal rates are slightly lower on this year's income. First at the barest minimum (i.e. you had no house mortgage, 401K, medical deductions, etc. at all) you still would deduct your personal deduction of $4750 from your income-taxable income, leaving a total of $60250 taxable. Now that $60250 is as it were sliced lengthwise into different tax layers - refer to this chart - the first $2650 is not taxed at all; the part from $2650 to $8550 is taxed at 10%, the part from $8550 to $30100 is taxed at 15%, and the part from $30100 to $60250 is taxed at 27%. Add the "slices" up and that's $590 plus $3233 plus $8141, for a total of $11964 income tax.

If you are employed, then your total taxes are $11964 plus $4973 or $16937, which divided by $65000 gives 26.1% From the "boss's-eye" construction you pay $11964 plus $4973 plus $4973 for a total $21910, which divided from your "boss's-eye" income of $69973 gives you a tax rate of 31.3%. If you are a bonafide independent contractor then you pay the same taxes, $21910, divided by $65000, giving you 33.7%.

Note that this is a "worst-case" calculation; it's pretty unusual to find people in the $65000 a year bracket who don't have at least a deduction or two beyond the minimum personal deduction. Particularly you'd expect an independent contractor to be able to take advantage of a few legitimate business deductions. But at any rate, the absolute worst case at the high end of the bracket you named is 34%, not 41%.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.
[ Parent ]

That's only Federal (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by epepke on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 02:42:15 AM EST

In addition, there can be any combination of the following:

  • State income tax (state of residence or state of work or both).
  • County income tax (county of residence or county of work or both).
  • Municipality income tax (municipality of residence or municipality of work or both).
  • School district income tax (school district of residence or school district of work or both).
  • Other miscellanous taxes, such as the "commuter" tax being considered by Atlanta, on the grounds of (I am not making this up) "they come here and work and flush our toilets and don't pay."

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
UK Comparison... (5.00 / 1) (#229)
by emh0 on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 12:36:03 PM EST

These figures are mostly from memory, but they should be roughly correct.

UK income tax works as follows:
0 to 4600 is not taxed
4600 to 6600 taxed at 10%
6600 to 35000 taxed at 22%
above 35000 taxed at 40%

On top of that there is National Insurance:
0 to 4600 not taxed
4600 to 31000 taxed at 8%
above 31000 taxed at 1%

Then there is local council tax, which is based on the value of your house. I think my council tax (in Hampshire) was about 700 this year, but thats just for a small appartment, so we'll say 1000 as a rough average for a moderate-sized house.

So, for someone earning $65k (about 40k):
Income tax: 2000x10% + 28400x22% + 4000x40% = 8048
NI: 26400x8% + 9000x1% = 2202
Council tax: 1000
Total: 11250 or 28%

Or, for someone earning $28k (about 17k):
Income tax: 2000x10% + 10400x22% = 2488
NI: 12400x8% = 992
Council tax: 1000
Total: 4480 or 26%

On top of that, there are various tax credits for working families, children, etc,etc, which can knock a lot off the bill for poorer families.

This obviously doesn't include sales tax, which is higher in the UK (17.5%), but this includes pretty much all income-based taxes, as far as I know.

Interesting - it actually seems to be lower in the UK, especially when you consider that health care, most of the cost of university education, etc., are free in the UK (i.e. included in taxes). I guess that's what happens when you spend nearly half a trillion dollars per year on the military :P



[ Parent ]
Dude (5.00 / 2) (#77)
by dr thrustgood on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 04:33:02 PM EST

My maternal line of ancestors left Poland around 1910. That does not give me Polish heritage.

--
Mutter mutter mutter King Crimson Mutter mutter mutter
[ Parent ]

Funnily enough (4.70 / 10) (#46)
by nobbystyles on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 05:58:51 AM EST

People were pretty pro-american in the UK when Clinton was President. So its not like the UK and other countries hate the US and all it stands for.

If you've got a shitty govt with an asshole as president that does what the fuck it wants with very little international consultation then, yes, people in other countries will dislike it.

[ Parent ]

It is not hatred (4.66 / 9) (#50)
by Simon Kinahan on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:32:46 AM EST

It is a lot more complicated than that. We share a great deal of our culture after all. To hate the USA would mean hating ourselves, too. Remember that Radio 4 is the radio station of the chattering classes. Just like America, the UK has plenty of intellectuals who seem to hate their own culture.

Although the average Brit admires a great deal about the US, there are several issues that trouble us. The troubling issues are with your government (not necessarily just the current administration), and apply nearly as much to our own government. The apparent willingness of both governments to ignore civil rights in the name security from terrorism is one such issue. Neither government appears to have been entirely honest about their reasons for embarking on the Iraqi war, and indeed the whole WMD thing seems to have been little more than an excuse. This issue seems to trouble us much more than you, although IMHO it should trouble you.

Some people are also concerned about the sheer power the US in world affairs. Part of that is envy, but part of it is a real worry about the way that power is deployed. The great difficulty the US forces now running most of Iraq are having seems to be evidence of a willingness to take on the running of another country without giving much thought to just what that involves. I think people see that as characteristic of US foreign policy.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

The laws of war are over (2.78 / 14) (#34)
by Blarney on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 02:55:01 AM EST

They aren't going to obey the laws of war. The US isn't going to release prisoners ever again, because they're not "soldiers" but "terrorists". We'll fucking kill them, because they're fucking ragheads.

And next time some poor girl from a noncombat unit gets captured, she's going to be sent back in hundreds of little pieces. But hey, who cares, we can always enlist more.

It's a good thing the last one was captured by... (4.50 / 4) (#35)
by Eater on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 03:00:36 AM EST

...civilized people. Besides that, you're probably right, though I doubt an American soldier captured by Osama's marry band would make it back in one piece either way, regardless of how eagerly Bush slaughters PoW's.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
-1 dead horse (3.33 / 18) (#39)
by godix on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 04:03:02 AM EST

The US is violating the spirit of the Constitution but isn't actually violating the Constitution itself. We're talking about non-American citizens who weren't captured or held on American territory here, the Consitution doesn't apply.

In a perfect world of equals the US would turn these people over to their respective governments provided we could be assured there would be a fair trial for them. America isn't going to do that voluntarily though. No other country is strong enough to force us. Regardless of what people wish reality is that might makes right, at least the right to do what we want with prisoners.

Calling Bush a moron, nazi, unelected president, dictator, etc. does no good, is generally wrong, and makes the person claiming such sound like a real idiot.

This will cause other countries to hate the US. The US doesn't give a fuck. Yes, this is the attitude that helped lead to 9/11. The US still doesn't give a fuck. If you don't like it fly a plane into one of our buildings. We still won't give a fuck AND your country will be under US military law in under a year.

There, I think I've covered every single arguement from when we had this topic covered over a year ago in the Camp Xray articles. I don't see this article producing any new arguements so it gets a -1 from me.


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned

Giving up is not clever. (5.00 / 11) (#45)
by mr strange on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 05:45:41 AM EST

"dead horse"

This issue isn't dead. It hasn't gone away even though it's already been chewed over a million times. In case you hadn't realised, this isn't an abstract debating point. This is an ongoing issue about freedom, justice and democracy. Human lives are at stake, and not just those in Guantanamo Bay.

If a statement is right, then it's just as right the hundredth time you say it. And the thousandth time. Why repeat yourself if nobody's listening?... Well, if nobody's listening you have no choice but to repeat yourself until they do listen. The alternative is called "giving up".

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

Change of tactics (2.33 / 3) (#62)
by godix on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 07:51:18 AM EST

Human lives are at stake, and not just those in Guantanamo Bay.

And yet you continue to do nothing about it except repeat yourself even though you know nobody's listening?
Well, if nobody's listening you have no choice but to repeat yourself until they do listen.

Have you ever considered doing something effective? Repeatedly bitching about this issue on K5 obviously isn't doing any good, perhaps it's time to try something else.



"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]
Good point! (5.00 / 3) (#64)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 08:33:39 AM EST

Perhaps you could tell us what would be most effective? After all, there are human beings imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, and they have been imprisoned without a trial for quite some time now.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

If you have a problem... (5.00 / 2) (#69)
by Hatamoto on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 12:26:07 PM EST

if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire...


the A-Team!

(cue inspirational 80s style mil music)

"I pity the fool who mess with these poor sucka guantanimans!"

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

LOL! (none / 0) (#121)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:03:59 AM EST

Of course! Why didn't I think of that?

Incidently, I thought that I would be really witty and find the voice-over for the A-Team to type in to this comment - you know, the bit that says "In 1984 a crack team of soldiers, etc" (or something to that effect) to introduce the show. Couldn't find it anywhere on google!

What I did discover was far more interesting. If you type in "television" into a google search, it asks if you meant television television, and when you click on this it asks if you meant television television television television, and when you click on this it asks you if you meant... well, you get the drill.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

C+, try harder (none / 0) (#126)
by Lacero on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 08:17:17 AM EST

A-Team

Found with the search terms: crime commit a team

Your television thing doesn't seem to work, is this some kind of complicated joke?

[ Parent ]

I pity the fool... (none / 0) (#127)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 08:36:16 AM EST

... who gets in the way of Lacero's awesome google skills.

You been greezin' your head with battery acid again?!

Shut up fool!
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Incidently... (none / 0) (#134)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 10:20:23 AM EST

... the google thing works OK with me. I am using Google Australia, don't know if that will effect things in any way.

Strange that you can't duplicate it.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Easy (2.00 / 3) (#79)
by godix on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 05:10:47 PM EST

For Americans: Become involved in politics. And no, protesting isn't being involved in politics unless you're going to follow up on it.

For non-Americans: Build up your military. If you aren't capable of forcing, or at least threatening force, to get what you want then you have little leverage over US actions.

The problem is that most people find whining a lot easier than actually doing something.


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]

Beefing up your military? (5.00 / 3) (#87)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:42:41 PM EST

If the US finds out about this before you declare war on them, you're as good as toast.

Basically, you've told us: like what the US does, or START WORLD WAR 3.

What kind of choice is that?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

No (3.50 / 2) (#91)
by godix on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 08:07:40 PM EST

I did not say start world war III. I said be in a position that you can threaten WWIII. US foreign policy can be best understood as a negotiation of power. If your country is powerful you get treated as equals. If your country isn't powerful you get ignored.

Incidently, it also helps if your country isn't officially supporting US actions. For Australians this means their effort is better spent campaigning and electing a different government rather than bitching on K5.


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]

For what it's worth, (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 08:55:58 PM EST

I've voted for a different government ever since I was eligible to vote. I have never voted for Tony Blair or his party. I absolutely do not condone his USian arse-licking. I am pissed off with the way he's running the country. I want him out of power ASAP.

Ironically, my best hope is this damn fool war he put us in. Once again, those dumb Americans killed off a bunch of British troops in a war we had absolutely no national interest in supporting. Fake dossiers, more Brits killed by Americans than by Iraqis, the bogus 40-minute claim, no WMDs to be found, staking his job on the war, he's really in the shit now.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Fake dosiers? (none / 0) (#104)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 11:41:20 PM EST

I didn't know about this. Can you elaborate further?

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

The UK dossier (5.00 / 2) (#138)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 11:26:00 AM EST

was supposed to be the ultimate super-proof of Saddam's evilness and his WMD, from the secret services, etc. In actuality it was a "sexed up" version of Ibrahim al-Marashi's PhD thesis regarding the original Kuwait invasion. The edit history present in the MS Word file showed that the document had undergone several last-minute revisions in key areas. The last four people to edit the document were Paul Hamill (Foreign Office civil servant), John Pratt (junior member of the Number 10 strategy unit), Alison Blackshaw (Alistair Campbell's personal assistant) and Murtaza Khan (news editor for Downing Street's website).

The latest on the story is here.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Microsoft (none / 0) (#149)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 04:58:18 PM EST

Trust MS Word to bring down a government.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Dodgy and Dodgier (5.00 / 2) (#140)
by freestylefiend on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 12:49:38 PM EST

The British government issued (at least) two dossiers regarding the war in Iraq. One, the so called "Dodgy Dossier" plagiarised a years old PHD dissertation. The other, originally thought to be written by the intelligence services, is at the centre of a row about who really wrote it.

The second dossier contains the claim that Saddam could deploy (at Britain?) illegal weapons (WMD) within 45 minutes. Much of the current controversy surrounds this claim. It is uncertain whether

  • the claim was true and written by the intelligence services, as we were told
  • the claim was true, but written by the government and passed off as having been written by the intelligence services to fuel support for war
  • the claim was inaccurate, but originated in the intelligence services and the government was mislead
  • the claim was inaccurate and the government insisted on its inclusion against the advice of the intelligence services
  • the current row is a distraction from the fact that no huge stocks of battle ready illegal weapons have been found in Iraq


[ Parent ]
Oh good plan! (4.66 / 3) (#100)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 11:19:11 PM EST

So in other words countries like Australia are meant to aspire to Iraq-like capabilities and make the largest super-power in the world nervous. After all, Iraq was meant to have WMD and thus they were meant to have the ability to create WWIII.

Right on. We'd better start an arms race as soon as possible just so we can get the attention of the United States of America - and all because we want a little justice and respect for our country.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Are you being intentionally stupid? (3.50 / 2) (#122)
by godix on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:07:30 AM EST

There's more to military might than WMDs. It is entirely possible to be a military power with just conventional forces. Australia is actually a good example of this, my previous comments on military power were more geared towards countries that think military is worthless (IE half of the EU). The reason why Australia isn't getting their captive back is not that they don't have a military but instead is that the Australian government isn't trying to get him back.

There's also a big difference between Iraq and Australia. America spent 12 years policing one of those after defeating them in a war, the other is an ally of America. The average American respects Australia, although they tend to think of them as a nation full of Crocodile Dundees. The Americans who pay attention to world events respect Australia, especially after Timor. There is a history of co-operation between us from the World Wars to Vietnam to Iraq. I actually find it hard to see America attacking Australia for any reason short of responding to an Australian attack on America.

You want justice and respect? Be prepared to enforce it. Fairness and equality are ideals, not reality. If a country doesn't have the force to demand it get treated fairly then it probably won't be.


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]

No, I'm responding to your comments. (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 08:55:46 AM EST

Albeit in a sarcastic manner that doesn't foster calm and rational debate very well.

I am well aware that their is more to military might than WMDs. I was using it as an example to highlight my point.

You said:

For non-Americans: Build up your military. If you aren't capable of forcing, or at least threatening force, to get what you want then you have little leverage over US actions.

This is what I was responding to, really. Australia is a non-American, yet we are an ally. I couldn't see how becoming a threat would be at all helpful. This was really my misunderstanding, because I didn't read the next bit your wrote, though I still disagree with this on principle.

You then said:

I did not say start world war III. I said be in a position that you can threaten WWIII. US foreign policy can be best understood as a negotiation of power. If your country is powerful you get treated as equals. If your country isn't powerful you get ignored.

Incidently, it also helps if your country isn't officially supporting US actions. For Australians this means their effort is better spent campaigning and electing a different government rather than bitching on K5.

I went ballistic about this because really, at the end of the day, this is not ideal for America OR for the rest of the world. Now that I've calmed down a bit (I got a bit het up there and I've already apologised for insulting you), may I suggest that if this is the case then U.S. foreign policy leaves much to be desired?

I leave it at this. You already know my position on things, and you've clarified your position also.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Hmmmm... (none / 0) (#130)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 09:25:04 AM EST

I seem to have not apologised to you, because I didn't insult you. I apologised to qpt. *sigh* I must be getting tired!

I did manage to link one of your comments to my diary incorrectly, however. Truly I'm getting tired.

Yours humbly, Ta b sh d y

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Oh yes (4.25 / 4) (#136)
by godix on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 10:32:12 AM EST

may I suggest that if this is the case then U.S. foreign policy leaves much to be desired?

I agree, I've long maintained we need to reevaluate our foreign policy towards pretty much every country in the world. American foreign policy was designed to fight Russia during the cold war and many evils we supported are best understood by that mentality (IE the ever popular 'America supported Hussein' arguement). I'm not even going to really criticize those policies since we won the cold war and the world, especially Europe, is the better for it. The problem is that once the cold war ended Americas cold war mentality didn't. I personally believe this is Clintons biggest failing as president. At the start of Bushs term he was actually reevaluating Americas military and foreign policy for a post cold war world. Ironiclly enough a terrorist trying to change Americas foreign policy did nothing but reinforce the 'us vs them' mentality that was starting to go away. Fighting with the UN security council over Iraq just reinforced the 'us vs them' even more. The peace protesters worldwide who are so full of anti-US feelings and attempts to demonize America aren't helping matters any either. Between Bin Laden, France/Germany/Russia, and the 'Bush is a nazi' crowd I doubt there's any chance at all America will change her foreign policy until a new president is elected, and then it all depends on who the new president is of course.

My real hope, although I know it's never going to happen, is that the US gains some consistency. I can only think of 3 countries that are American allies in almost any situation (Australia, England, and Japan - coincidently the only three countries I see the US unquestionably defending if they ever got in a war). Every other country is only an ally under certain circumstances. This needs to change, instead America needs to develop certain criteria in dealing with foreign countries and stick to it. If communism is so evil we can't taint ourselves by trading with Cuba then we should embargo China as well. If WMDs are so dangerous we needed to invade Iraq then we should invade North Korea regardless of the casualties. Traditionally we oppose India and support Pakistan and that's just ass backwards. If freeing women is great in Afghan then we should invade Saudi Arabia. If Americas military personnel can only be tried by America then other nations should have that same right. If the UN is so horrible that we have to withhold dues and bypass it then we need to just quit it. If we needed to enter Bosnia for human rights then why the hell weren't we in Timor, Ruwanda, Angola, or other hellholes? The two biggest problems with Americas foreign policy is that no one knows what it really supports and that it changes everytime we get a new president. Due to the way democracy works the second problem will never be fixed but I keep holding onto the hope we fix the first.

Incidently, I'm also very tired. I've re-read this a couple times before posting but if I missed any really dumb mistakes you at least know why. I did notice I used the inclusive 'we' alot which is rather stupid considering you and I aren't the same nationality. Just read every 'we' as 'the US' and my point will be clear (hopefully).


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]

Falklands (none / 0) (#174)
by dammitallgoodnamesgone on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 03:23:22 AM EST

Australia, England, and Japan - coincidently the only three countries I see the US unquestionably defending if they ever got in a war
You'll have not heard of the Falklands war then? 1982 - Argentina vs the UK. The US remained neutral, and France armed the Argentinians (whilst remaining the UK's ally - thanks to this knowledge getting out, UK/France relations have gotten frostier than usual.)

[ Parent ]
Well, ... (5.00 / 1) (#176)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 06:12:59 AM EST

The US *technically* remained neutral, but they allowed the British fleet to use their technology, their refeuling facilities, and so on, while leaning on Argentina as hard as they could. Britain's ability to project power around the world is very dependent on the use of US facilities, and had that been withdrawn, the Falklands war may never have been won.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
seems you (none / 0) (#209)
by vivelame on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 03:02:24 AM EST

were ill-informed... do yo read "The Sun"?
another stance here.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
Naive (none / 0) (#178)
by nusuth on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 09:23:35 AM EST

Ironiclly enough a terrorist trying to change Americas foreign policy did nothing but reinforce the 'us vs them' mentality that was starting to go away.

The very same fact makes me think that terrorists were very successful. I'm sure they were trying to get attention by killing a few hundred infidels, yet, -thanks to GWB- they managed to get their point across and have everybody agree with the point, even if not the way of expressing it. What else could they have hoped for with a couple plane hijacking?

[ Parent ]

French have two people at Guantanamo (4.66 / 3) (#129)
by Amorsen on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 09:18:17 AM EST

While the French do not have the largest military in the world, their nuclear weapons could make the world a distinctly unpleasant place for quite a lot of people. This is obviously not enough to get fair treatment.

Is the only way to get fair treatment from the US really to conquer them? And does that imply that only one country in the world at any given time can get fair treatment?

[ Parent ]

Good grief, can it be? (none / 0) (#131)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 09:27:50 AM EST

An Australian agreeing with a Frenchman? :P

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

France (3.00 / 1) (#132)
by godix on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 09:41:48 AM EST

Frances recent stand against force has left the distinct impression that they wouldn't use nuclear weapons. Although I imagine Greenpeace doesn't believe that.
Is the only way to get fair treatment from the US really to conquer them?

In the case of France, yes. France really pissed off American politicans recently, I doubt there are many Americans who are both capable of releasing the prisoners and willing to do so in the case of France. In Australias case I suspect we would quietly release the prisoner if asked insistantly.


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]
WMDs are your friend (5.00 / 3) (#144)
by yooden on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 02:56:15 PM EST

He's right there. The country that was attacked was the one where not a single WMD was found afterwards (Iraq), not the one which practically rubs them under the world's nose (North Korea). The USA would not risk a war against someone with the capability to do serious harm.


[ Parent ]
Fine then (4.00 / 1) (#197)
by RyoCokey on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 02:02:25 PM EST

Emigrate. If there's a guiding principle to human history, it's that you should always make sure you're on the winning side when the dust settles.

Additionally, I don't think this site is helping make me any less cynical.



"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should
[ Parent ]
Are you saying Australia won't give a fair trial? (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 08:36:31 AM EST

I think you'll find we will. Let me ask you: will your country give my countryman a fair trial? because the way that you've been going so far, I wonder if America will.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

No I'm not (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by godix on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 05:08:15 PM EST

What I was saying is that America should turn over prisoners only if we can insure their country will give them a fair trial. Afghan wouldn't so we try the afghans ourselves. Australia would so we should turn them over.
will your country give my countryman a fair trial

Unlike everyone else I'm not sure one way or the other. Just because I don't like some current US actions doesn't mean everything about the US sucks.


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]
the logic, the logic. (5.00 / 3) (#95)
by chimera on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 10:06:31 PM EST

well, since US does not present either accusation nor evidence towards any of those kidnapped and placed on Gitmo it is self-evident from your logic that none can be released since any sane nation wouldn't get a trial going unless there was either a charge or evidence pointing in that direction.

I take it you would be fully okay if, say, I round up the usual USians where I live and transferred them to a secure location for ever and ever claiming they were terrorists?

And yes, I say kidnapped. Unless the US do present charges or envoke POW status it is nothing but.

[ Parent ]

a point (4.66 / 3) (#73)
by omegadan on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 03:09:10 PM EST

I'd like to point out that the Constitution is not a contract between the the US Citizenry and it's government, but a statement of principle, and *all* persons charged with crimes by the US Government are entitled to its protections.

That being said, You are 100% correct. The horse is dead, and it's bones are bleached :) I also find it amusing that the bleeding hearts are *sooo* concerned for the saftey of people who have vowed to kill them. The fact that these people are even alive to HAVE trials is much less civility then we can expect from the people on trial.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Yeah (5.00 / 8) (#85)
by Politburo on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:31:59 PM EST

that the bleeding hearts are *sooo* concerned for the saftey of people who have vowed to kill them

If that's what you tell yourself to be okay with it, that's fine. Except that the government does not release the names of these prisoners, nor their offenses, only a vague "enemy combatant" or "terrorist". The evidence of these charges is kept secret for "national security" reasons. These proceedings allow the government to imprison or even kill whomever they don't like, and that should concern you.

Decisions by the tribunals can be appealed only to a panel of judges appointed by the U.S. Defense Department, and then directly to the president.

U.S. officials had refused to identify the six prisoners, but said all -- like the other prisoners at Guantanamo Bay -- were suspected of involvement with the al-Qaida, the Taliban or some other terrorist group.


From this AP article.

[ Parent ]
Killers (5.00 / 2) (#145)
by yooden on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 03:07:51 PM EST

I also find it amusing that the bleeding hearts are sooo concerned for the saftey of people who have vowed to kill them.

Have they? The point is that a trial is the customary way to decide upon that fact. If you take Bush's word for it, you should be aware that he could kill anybody with the same line of reasoning.

That much power should not lay in one hand, and for that reason Die Process is important.

[ Parent ]

That's just nonsensical (none / 0) (#189)
by RyoCokey on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 11:12:21 AM EST

I'd like to point out that the Constitution is not a contract between the the US Citizenry and it's government, but a statement of principle, and *all* persons charged with crimes by the US Government are entitled to its protections.

A statement of principle? Really? Where the hell are you getting this from?



"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should
[ Parent ]
Constitution doesn't apply, eh? (4.66 / 6) (#113)
by alevin on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 02:23:41 AM EST

The Constitution is what grants the Federal Government its powers. The Constitution is not a document of protection for people with whom the government comes into contact, neither citizens nor aliens. Rather it spells out exactly what roles the government has (thus the document constitutes the Federal Government). Any power not prescribed for in the Constitution is not a legitimate function of the Federal Government.

Nothing about this matter is Constitutional. Not the war that wasn't declared by Congress, not the deployment of troops that wasn't done with the purpose of repelling an invasion or supression of an insurrection, not the capture and detention of these men by the President. If they are executed, that will not be Constitutional either.

The two recent wars and the detention and trial of any captors from it are wholly illegitimate, as per the letter of the Constitution.
--
alevin
[ Parent ]

Hmm (5.00 / 2) (#115)
by alevin on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 02:35:51 AM EST

I am unsure how to reconcile your top-level post in this thread with this post. Perhaps you've come to see things the Constitutionalist's way?
--
alevin
[ Parent ]
Heh (4.50 / 2) (#123)
by godix on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:13:24 AM EST

After reading your first reply I was wondering if you'd notice my other post. The explanation is simple, in that other post I was talking about the way the Constitution is supposed to apply. In this post I'm talking about how the Constitution is actually applied. I tend to think we should follow how the Constitution should work but I'm realistic enough to know we won't.


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]
Important nitpick (5.00 / 5) (#160)
by ZorbaTHut on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 08:37:07 PM EST

"The Constitution is what grants the Federal Government its powers."

Actually . . . what grants the Federal Government its powers is the fact that people follow its orders. If all of America suddenly decided they didn't like the current government, we wouldn't have this government for long - conversely, if the Federal Government decided to use the Constitution for toilet paper, and the people of America didn't care, they would still have just as much power as they have now. (Possibly more.)

Paper is meaningless if people aren't willing to back it up. Right now, the evidence seems to be that nobody in "power" is interested in backing it up . . . and there are enough people who are quite happy with the present system to squash those who aren't.

[ Parent ]

Clarification (4.75 / 4) (#125)
by godix on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:25:32 AM EST

Ok, I've noticed a trend to the replies to me. Let me make something clear: I DO NOT SUPPORT THE POSITIONS I STATED. I believe in an ideal world the prisoners should be turned over to their respective countries. In an ideal world the entire issue would have been resolved over a year ago. In an ideal world America would follow it's Constitution properly. In an ideal world 9/11 would never have happened and this would never have been an issue.

We aren't living in an ideal world. Things won't go the way I think they should. Instead they will go the way of my original comment. Bitching on K5 ain't gonna change that any. By this point it's also highly unlikely it'll even change anyones mind. That's the point I was trying to get across; this article is too idealistic to apply to reality, it's on one of those issues no one will change their mind about (at least not through debate), and K5 has already went through these exact arguements over a year ago and nothing has changed since then.


"I think you're right"
- Rusty speaking about godix
Hey, it's my damned
[ Parent ]

Dead Horse (4.60 / 5) (#143)
by yooden on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 02:46:08 PM EST

Not talking about it sure helps to keep the current foul situation intact. That's why it is a bad idea.

The US is violating the spirit of the Constitution but isn't actually violating the Constitution itself. We're talking about non-American citizens who weren't captured or held on American territory here, the Consitution doesn't apply.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (...)" (The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies, my emphasis)

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury (...)" (The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment V, my emphasis)

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense." (The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment VI, my emphasis)

I have honestly no idea what you are talking about. Where are foreigners excluded from civil rights? Do you think that all foreigners are outlaws in the USA?

And, if the US Constitution does not apply, what law does allow the Bush administration to kill those people? What rights does Bush have which do not come from the US Constitution?

In a perfect world of equals the US would turn these people over to their respective governments provided we could be assured there would be a fair trial for them.

Why the fuck do you think a fair trial is what the Bush administration wants?

This will cause other countries to hate the US. The US doesn't give a fuck. Yes, this is the attitude that helped lead to 9/11. The US still doesn't give a fuck. If you don't like it fly a plane into one of our buildings. We still won't give a fuck AND your country will be under US military law in under a year.

That would be something new. The last two countries coming under US military law are more prominent for their access to large oil deposits than for the number of their citizens flying aircrafts into buildings.

[ Parent ]
Interesting concept (4.66 / 3) (#155)
by bc on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:08:56 PM EST

This will cause other countries to hate the US. The US doesn't give a fuck. Yes, this is the attitude that helped lead to 9/11. The US still doesn't give a fuck. If you don't like it fly a plane into one of our buildings. We still won't give a fuck AND your country will be under US military law in under a year.

You realise that this attitude does not scale.

When you have had 20 or so 9/11 style attacks from various places around the world, your military will be stretched [goatse.cx] way beyond its capability. The USA is a strong military power, but it is not omnipotent.

Nonetheless, I sense this is all academic, since all the evidence points to 9/11 being an inside job aimed at promoting fascism in the US, rather than anything else. As such, it seems like a runaway success!

♥, bc.
[ Parent ]

In a way (3.00 / 1) (#188)
by RyoCokey on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 11:10:22 AM EST

We'll have to start levelling them with nuclear weapons instead of occupying them. It's a better example, really.



"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should
[ Parent ]
Scale (4.00 / 1) (#190)
by Kax on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 12:03:55 PM EST

I'd wager we could currently engage in a number of Afghanistan-style conflicts, and if we were in a situation where we were getting hit with '20 or so 9/11 style attacks', you would see enlistment and military funding increase to match.

[ Parent ]
I hate you (none / 0) (#187)
by RyoCokey on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 11:05:57 AM EST

The US still doesn't give a fuck. If you don't like it fly a plane into one of our buildings. We still won't give a fuck AND your country will be under US military law in under a year.

I'd sig it, but I already have a wonderfully juicy sig. To force me into such difficult decisions, you complete bastard.



"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should
[ Parent ]
speedy and *public* trial (4.75 / 4) (#76)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 03:44:45 PM EST

I should have made it bold too in my story above - the 6th amendment gives the accused the right to speedy and public trials. The secret tribunals are unconstitutional for that reason alone.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


No, you're wrong. (2.00 / 7) (#168)
by Keeteel on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 12:14:37 AM EST

These people are not given the protection of the constitution because they are terrorists. These people should not be afforded ANY protections of the United States way of life. They made the choice to try to kill our soldiers and citizens, and they tried to defend a nation who was actively supporting terrorism. As far as I'm concerned they should have already been killed without leaving their original country.

If they gave a damn about the value of a human life, and freedom, they would have chosen a different life style. Terrorists do NOT deserve any rights, god man, you make me so angry when you try to act like these scum deserve equal rights.

[ Parent ]
The Constitution makes no exception for terrorists (4.50 / 4) (#172)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 01:31:03 AM EST

I'm sorry, but the Constitution makes no exception for anyone, not even terrorists. Even terrorists have the same right to a fair trial as any law-abiding U.S. citizen.

And while there are some rights only citizens have, the rights to a fair trial as embodied in the 6th Amendment apply to everyone, even non-citizens. Even terrorists.

If you can make arbitrary exceptions as to who the constitution does or does not apply to, you are well on your way to the United States becoming a police state, much like Nazi Germany. Allow me to suggest to you that what we all would suffer at the hands of our government in that event would be far worse than anything the terrorists could do to us.

You mistake me for being a friend of the terrorists. I'm not. I'm a supporter of the ideals with which this country is founded. Trying to preserve these ideals is the reason I write articles such as this, not to save the lives of terrorists.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Actually (4.00 / 1) (#195)
by jettero on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 01:36:52 PM EST

Though I think this whole either a human or a terrorist thing is pretty stupid...

the constitution does not apply to non-us-citizens... never has.

[ Parent ]

Constitution Applies to EVERYONE, says SCOTUS! (none / 0) (#198)
by PowerPimp on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 02:08:20 PM EST

NEWS FLASH!!! Since after the Alien and Sedition Acts, oh say around 1800, Supreme Court rulings have continually held that constitutional protections must be applied to all people. That's why they are called "INALIENABLE RIGHTS." They cannot be taken away without, Now say it with me: "DUE PROCESS OF LAW"



You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
Dunno... (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by jettero on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 03:46:50 PM EST

Just before those inalienable rights it says "we the people of the united states." And way back then, in 1800, those inalienable rights only reffered to land owning white males...

I think that what bush is doing is legal if only because those in power make the rules. This is nothing new. Though, I suspect this'll be found completely horrible 5 or 10 years from now.

[ Parent ]

We the people.... (none / 0) (#212)
by Greyshade on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 06:36:42 AM EST

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Unites States of America.

Note, the preamble does not state that the rights of the constitution are applicable to only US citizens, but that the people of the US are responsable for following and upholding the constitutional edicts.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Note the sixth amendment states that, not the US citizen, but the accused of the criminal proceeding shall be granted rights to a public trial with an impartial jury and have witnesses to testify both for and against him. Secret tribunals and summary executions are the marks of a fascist regime, not and open and democratic government.

[ Parent ]

argue (none / 0) (#213)
by jettero on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 08:55:40 AM EST

Look, I'm not arguing the point that it should apply to everyone. I'm just saying that the constitution only applies to those people the people in power want it to apply to.

It's a long tradition of ignoring people ... always perfectly legal at the time. Before the civil war black people didn't count. Before woman's suffereage, women didn't count. And today, aliens don't count.

Some day they will... but clearly, not today. He'll be squeaky clean. If people one day look back and say, "Dang, Bush was wrong to do that..." Well, they'll also remember that it was a different time back then. Everyone was scared of the threat of terrorism and he did what he had to do.

You can't really expect evil people to act altruistically. It's just not in their nature. And no good person could ever get elected to a high public office in this country. It's just not possible.

[ Parent ]

All the more reason... (4.50 / 2) (#180)
by piggy on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 09:52:34 AM EST

If they are terrorists, then that is all the more reason for us to operate completely within the bounds of the laws and rights afforded by the US Constitution or the various UN Human Rights charters. How better to make a distinction between the ruthless and illegal lawlessness of the terrorists and the just, right, and good rule of law that the United States fosters prima facie than to make such a clear distinction?

It is very dangerous to start making exceptions based on accusations and alleged crimes. It is certainly possible and not at all unlikely that every single person detained in Guantanamo is a rabid frothing criminal -- but it is not yet a supported and proven fact. Operating counter to the assumption that one is innocent until the accuser proves otherwise allows for McCarthy-esque witch hunts, old style Southern lynchings, or other government sanctioned repression.

As the fanatics are wont to exclaim, if we act like that, then the terrorists have already won!

[ Parent ]

Harsh language (3.50 / 10) (#83)
by omghax on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:18:51 PM EST

"...my once great nation is getting ready to murder its prisoners of war. President Bush has selected six prisoners from the war in Afghanistan to stand trial in secret "military tribunals", at which they may face the death penalty."

Facing the death penalty is not the same as being murdered. Please, stop with the hyperbole.

So.. (4.33 / 6) (#84)
by Politburo on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:26:45 PM EST

People who got the "death penalty" under people such as Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot all weren't murdered?

[ Parent ]
Of course not. (5.00 / 3) (#89)
by qpt on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 07:22:48 PM EST

They were legally executed.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Pol Pot & the Khmer Rouge - legal executions? (4.75 / 4) (#103)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 11:35:14 PM EST

I think not. Pol Pot and his supporters arbitrarily killed countless people during his regime. Often they were killed merely because they were "educated" and thus were considered a threat. The Khmer Reuge also tortured many of them before they killed them.

There is a reason that people say that Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge committed genocide.

Their victims were murdered.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Like you said, (5.00 / 4) (#105)
by qpt on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 11:57:26 PM EST

His regime. How could Pol Pot's actions be illegal if he was arguably the only candidate for a legal authority in the area in which he operated? I doubt he would've described his own actions as illegal, and no one else seems to have had jurisdiction.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Let me count the ways. (4.00 / 4) (#106)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 12:04:52 AM EST

  1. No due process.
  2. No crimes committed, arbitrary killings with no warning.
  3. The killings were human rights violations.
Should I go on? Because I could.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Don't get imperialist on me. (3.50 / 6) (#107)
by qpt on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 12:24:33 AM EST

  1. Due process is relative, of course. Different legal systems will have different requirements for what's due in a particular circumstance.
  2. In Western legal systems, agents of the government are enjoined to refrain from killings, except of convicted capital criminals or in war, but you've presented no evidence that Pol Pot's regime operated under similar rules.
  3. The notion that human beings have rights apart from those granted by the power structure under which they live is surely antiquated. Pol Pot's regime apparently did not accord the right of life to those killed and no other body had the clout to make such a decision stick.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

You are kidding with me, right? (4.25 / 4) (#108)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 12:47:38 AM EST

  1. I relooked at my understanding of due process.
    Due process: The idea that laws and legal proceedings must be fair.
    I would debate that they were not fair.

  2. That's ridiculous. If you are going to kill someone legally, then the killings should not be arbritrary, and only those who committed capital crimes should be killed!

  3. The notion that human beings have rights apart from those granted by the power structure under which they live is surely antiquated. Whoa! You would be wrong: dead wrong. All human beings have certain unalienable rights - this remark is one of the most stupid I've seen on Kuro5hin in a long, long while.

Yours humbly,
Ta b sh d y

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Ouch. (5.00 / 2) (#109)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 12:51:24 AM EST

Sorry for the harshness of my comments. Forgot myself there.

My apologies to qpt.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

No, I'm not. (4.00 / 5) (#110)
by qpt on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 01:28:50 AM EST

  1. As a legal doctrine, due process is characterized by regular procedural constraints on government action to preserve citizen's legal rights, not necessarily fairness. Since individual's under Pol Pot's regime arguably had no legal right to life, indiscriminate killing would not necessarily be a violation of due process.
  2. It seems obvious that a killing is legal so long as it doesn't contravene a law in jurisdiction over the parties engaged in the action. If you wish to introduce a competing conception, you're welcome to, but I'm going to be difficult to budge on that point. No matter how awful an act might be, if it doesn't violate a law in effect where it is performed, I have trouble seeing how it could be illegal.
  3. Is it stupid? From whence do the obligations to refrain from violating another's rights derive, if not from a political system, however rudimentary? How are verboten acts different than permitted ones, if stripped of consequences and human sentiment? Behaving "badly" will of course often subject one to a variety of formal and informal censures and is often imprudent, but what constraint is there on someone with the power to escape punishment? I realize that many have a near-religious belief in human rights, and I don't expect to convince anyone to abandon their beliefs, but you must realize that mere intelligence couldn't possibly be enough to convince someone that there were inalienable rights.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Very true... (5.00 / 2) (#167)
by nsk on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 12:13:18 AM EST

...but there's an underlying premise to your cogent arguments that I'd like to discuss.

Without talking about the self-evident or all-pervasive nature of human rights and their inalienability, lets just concentrate on the legal powers of a government.
Unless there are some fundamental legal/procedural concepts - apart from practical necessities that I will lay down in just a moment - that provide for any self-purporting entity to style itself as a 'government' in line with it's own legal notion of due process, there are really only two ways a government can form. These are:

a) A consensus or a mandate on the part of the people (or at least a majority) to submit to the administrations of a new regime,

b) A protogovernment entity that is more powerful and successful than any other wannabe institution and successfully subjugates enough of the population to gain sufficient authority to become, ipso facto, a government.

When considering the former case, a government can always loose its mandate, and either be forced to rethink its practices, dissolve itself, or appropriate some of the practices that latter governments would adopt.
When talking about autocracies that have risen to power by virtue of force and violence, yes. They may be committing heinous crimes as judged by third parties with completely different moral views but be completely in line with their own concepts of due process. I'd like to think, however, that at this stage, talking about 'due process', 'inalienable rights', 'self-evident truths' and 'justice' becomes really quite moot.

We hope you love the following panoply of violence and oppression; the tragic yet glorious (and oft-repeated) tale of revolt instigated by the repressed. In an immemorial role as chief protagonist of this wonderful microcosm of human nature, meet the dictator. In convincingly chilling supporting roles, we present the co-oppressors: the secret police, the informers, the ideological youth. No less noble are the counter-cast: the insurrectionists, guerillas, rebels, token political martyrs, and of course the suicide bombers.
Please turn off all mobile phones, pagers, and communications devices. Photography is prohibited. Enjoy the show.

--- Of course, I'm generalising.
[ Parent ]

what does unalienable mean? (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by speek on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 10:21:15 AM EST

I've never been able to figure that out.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Yeah, I saw that at the last second. (none / 0) (#148)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 04:55:11 PM EST

Try "inalienable".

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
ok (none / 0) (#152)
by speek on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 06:08:43 PM EST

What's inalienable mean? I'd love to claim I was really being that pedantic, but in reality, I'm just that stupid. Anyway, the word's been around forever, and I've never understood what they're getting at.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Inalienable (5.00 / 1) (#162)
by nsk on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 11:43:10 PM EST

Without consulting a dictionary (therefore with a distinct possibility of being semantically or conceptually wrong), inalienable used in the context of human rights basically refers to rights that are basic, and cannot be separated from human beings under any circumstances, and cannot be violated by any other right on the part of any other person.
--- Of course, I'm generalising.
[ Parent ]
cannot? (5.00 / 2) (#200)
by speek on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 02:19:47 PM EST

What does "cannot" mean? "Cannot" suggests that these inalienable rights "cannot" be violated, in which case, there's no problem, is there? But, I'm pretty sure these claimed rights do get violated, in which case, I'm wondering what is meant by "cannot".

And, if you're just going to change it to "should", then I'd have to agree that rights are just whatever your society and governing stucture define them to be, and nothing more.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

'Cannot' in the context of 'inalienable' (none / 0) (#211)
by nsk on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 06:17:59 AM EST

I posted a reply to this while servers and databases were being contrary, so now it's gone. But this is the gist of what I said...

I apologise for not being completely clear. Yes, I agree...just because a right is inalienable doesn't mean it's free from violation or complete disregard. What I meant to say was that it cannot be separated from a particular definition of humanity - specifically speaking, the definition nebulously shared by those who believe in the Declaration of Human Rights.

For a person speaking from that perspective, inalienable human rights are a part of the very definition of humanity in two ways: if you are human, these rights cannot be denied you and are self-evident and universally applicable; if you wish to be considered humane, don't fuck with them.

It's difficult to make a purely logical case about the absolute inalienability of rights that many of us consider basic (as has been pointed out in some other thread somewhere...perhaps loosely connected to this discussion. I forgot). I'm not going to try. Suffice to say, not everyone subscribes to the perspective that there are -any- self-evident and undeniable rights inherent to man/woman.

But that's my clarification.
;)
--- Of course, I'm generalising.
[ Parent ]

so, it's cultural (none / 0) (#217)
by speek on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 06:40:41 PM EST

Depends on how the culture defines what's human. Which, I suspect most people would be unhappy with as a definition of "inalienable rights". Anyway, I am not so strict with "cannot" as I implied before. I think "cannot" could just mean "cannot without consequences", in which case, I want to know what are the inevitable consequences of violating inalienable rights (that is, without a human power structure enforcing consequences).

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Consequences without a power structure? (none / 0) (#218)
by nsk on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 10:54:30 PM EST

Broadly speaking, you can't have humanistic consequences without an external power structure. (By humanistic consequences I mean those restricted to the realm of human behaviour and interaction, at various levels.)

Now, the definition of an external power structure is pretty vague, and I'll leave it that way because I think we both have the same gist. However, the majority of power structures relevant in this scope ARE human-generated, and for the purposes of argumentation I don't think we can infer any involvement and predict the intervention of non-human power structures.

To move off onto a slight tangent and address some of the issues you've (inaverdently?) brought up:

Saying that the definition of humanity is a cultural phenomenon is simultaneously a truism, and an oversimplification. If by 'culture' you refer to both the shape of and the interaction between religion/spirituality (organised or otherwise), traditional values/rituals/ideas, social morality, society and its sub-groups, and governments/administrative entities (tell me if I've missed a few) within a regionally denominated group of people, then I'd say you're right. If your idea of culture is a little more nebulous, then I'd question the truth of your statement.
That being said (feel free to disagree, of course), I would further put to you that most, if not all the things I've mentioned as being part and parcel of what we consider 'culture', are human-generated power structures of one sort or another.

Indeed, it could well be said that one needs a human-generated power structure - either to operate within or to make reference to - to define humanity as a broad and encompassing concept that becomes shared by a group/society. This statement appears a little tenuous, if not ludicrous, but it makes sense if we're agreed that culture or sub-culture is the predominant thing that influences our definition of humanity, at least in the modern-day world.

But going back to your question - what would happen were there no power structure to develop a definition of what it means to be human, and enforce those (if any at all) inalienable rights that stem from such a definition? The answer is probably complicated, but it probably has something to do with human nature. I mean, to be basic, if someone came up to you and told you you weren't allowed to say what you wanted, you'd probably get angry and ask them 'Why'. Since 'because I said so' isn't a valid answer, perhaps you'd start trying to logically argue your way into telling the other person he/she has no right to tell you to stuff it, and the reciprocal holds true, simply because he/she cannot prove in the absence of any external authority, that you don't have a right to speak. Alternatively you could pick up the nearest large rock and throw it at them.

To be even more basic, suppose someone came into your house (or lets take this example to an extreme: warm, snug, cave) and told you to piss off, you'd either do it because they were bigger and likely to kick the crap out of you, or be forced to fight/confront them to defend your right to hold property (which you'd probably see as a right). Or perhaps you'd try and be logical...

In the absence of a shared power structure, concepts of what rights are inalienable are hardly ever common across a large number of people, and therefore I would imagine that a brutal sort of Darwinianism might prevail.
--- Of course, I'm generalising.
[ Parent ]

and so (none / 0) (#224)
by speek on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 08:22:54 AM EST

If pol pot's regime kills people, have inalienable rights been violated? Is it murder? Or, is it legal for his regime to do that because the regime says it is?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

It depends... (none / 0) (#231)
by nsk on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 11:53:35 PM EST

...on whose frame of reference you subscribe to.

Personally, I would contend that those rights I believe to be inalienable have been stripped from the people who were murdered (and yes, to me this is/it was murder). Others may not agree with me. Some who sit on the fence may say that from Pol Pot's perspective, his atrocities were hardly that; they were not only justifiable through his eyes, but perhaps he felt that they were necessary to maintain his political power in Cambodia.

So: Pol Pot may think that killing those who oppose him is his prerogative, while I honestly believe that he's simply another megalomaniac in the same mold as the many autocrats who have graced history with their presence, and will undoubtedly continue to do so again.
--- Of course, I'm generalising.
[ Parent ]

in the end (none / 0) (#233)
by speek on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:10:59 AM EST

It's murder if enough people say it's murder. And there are consequences if someone with a big enough army thinks it's murder. Might makes right, as always.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

A little depressing, dontcha think? (none / 0) (#235)
by nsk on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:19:42 PM EST


--- Of course, I'm generalising.
[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#236)
by speek on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 08:38:02 AM EST

It's not a prescription, you understand - it's just reality. There are no inalienable rights that nature is prepared to defend.

What's depressing is how many people close their eyes to reality and see things like rights and morals dancing in the ether of their brain, and believe it has substance. Consequences is what I care about. And not all of them are depressing.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

dict.org is your friend! (none / 0) (#175)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 05:39:10 AM EST

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) :

 Inalienable In*al"ien*a*ble, a. [Pref. in- not + alienable:
     cf. F. inali['e]nable.]
     Incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred to
     another; not alienable; as, in inalienable birthright.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 :

 inalienable
       adj 1: incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another;
              "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
              rights" [syn: unalienable] [ant: alienable]
       2: not subject to forfeiture; "an unforfeitable right" [syn: unforfeitable]

Yours humbly (syn: meekly, ant: proudly),
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

you could have just said you didn't know either (3.00 / 2) (#199)
by speek on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 02:17:14 PM EST


--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

I thought you wanted a precise definition! (nt) (none / 0) (#238)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 09:14:23 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Think you have it backwards (4.33 / 3) (#139)
by michaelp on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 12:20:40 PM EST

wrt # 3.

Human beings grant the "power structure under which they live" whatever power it has to dole out or withold rights.

That is of course where the original idea of 'unalienable rights' comes from: rights that the people generally agree they should have & that whatever govt. they establish should protect & the power to do so is derived "from the consent of the governed".

This idea may be as 'antiquated' as the heliocentric solar system, however, since no other source for human institutions than human beings has been found, it still best describes the situation at hand.



"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Read Rousseau (4.00 / 2) (#159)
by gzt on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:31:21 PM EST

Your view isn't held by all social contract theorists, nor all rights theorists, nor all political scientists, nor all humans. I cite Rousseau because he's the most prominent example I have read [and that people discussing these things from your point of view would have the most common ground with].

Rights aren't a self-evident truth in Jefferson's conception, either, in case you're wondering.

[ Parent ]

For the same reason (none / 0) (#205)
by felixrayman on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 12:41:37 AM EST

that Richard Nixon's and Henry Kissinger's actions were illegal. Richard Nixon never described his own actions as illegal, quite the opposite ( I am not a crook ). Henry Kissinger actually DID describe his own actions as illegal but that's a different story.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Pol Pot's definition of "Educated" (none / 0) (#179)
by piggy on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 09:43:11 AM EST

It should be noted that, in addition to the lack to due process and all sorts of other legal technicalities mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the Khmer Rouge killed anyone who wore glasses. The logic was that the only reason one needs glasses is if one needs to read.

While there are parallels between this and the possibility that some of the detainees were merely at the wrong place at the wrong time, they are very far apart, and the connection should not be made lightly.

[ Parent ]

Why it's murder in this case (4.68 / 19) (#86)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:40:32 PM EST

If they're prisoners of war, then killing them in any circumstances short of an escape attempt or attack on their guards would be murder. In fact, killing a POW is an offence for which a soldier can be court martialed - there was a soldier court martialed for killing a prisoner during the invasion of panama.

Bush says they're not POWs, that they're "unlawful combatants". There is no such thing legally. If they're not soldiers, but bore arms against our military, then they're criminals, and should be tried in a public trial (as required by our constitution) and allowed to question the witnesses against them (again as required by our constitution).

These military tribunals have no basis in constitutional law. They're monkey trials. If the prisoners are executed, it would be what is known as extrajudicial execution. A simpler term for that is murder.

Calling the killing of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners murder has everything to do with the rule of established law and nothing to do with one's personal opinion on the death penalty.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Give me a government to return them to, then (NT) (none / 0) (#151)
by omghax on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 05:31:53 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Wrong on so many counts (3.66 / 3) (#182)
by Grognard on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 10:32:39 AM EST

If they're prisoners of war, then killing them in any circumstances short of an escape attempt or attack on their guards would be murder.

See Nuremberg Trials

If they're not soldiers, but bore arms against our military, then they're criminals,

Under US law?  I think not - the US criminal code has no jurisdiction over acts that take place outside of the US.

and should be tried in a public trial (as required by our constitution)

Cite for the requirement that a trial be public?  Trials for juveniles, trials involving national security are routinely non-public.

and allowed to question the witnesses against them (again as required by our constitution).

And once again, how is the US Constitution relevant here?  There is no jurisdiction here for the US civil authorities.

Like it or not, those in Guantanamo do not fall into a category protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor do they fall under the jurisdiction of the US Constitution.  Neither the UK nor Australia have jurisdiction unless the offense(s) alleged occurred on their territory.  The US military has jurisdiction because these individuals were turned over to them by the authorities where they were captured.  

In this case, possession is ten tenths of the law.  Given that the closest legal analogy for these individuals is that for dealing with pirates, their being provided with a trial is actually above and beyond.

[ Parent ]

Mea Culpa (none / 0) (#191)
by Grognard on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 12:18:45 PM EST

Cite for the requirement that a trial be public?

Double-checked and found it in the text of the 6th Amendment.

[ Parent ]

Murder (4.66 / 3) (#146)
by yooden on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 03:14:11 PM EST

His point is that these people are unlawfully killed. That is called murder where I come from. (Ok, actually it's called Mord where I come from.)

[ Parent ]
Actually the law allows it (NT) (none / 0) (#150)
by omghax on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 05:31:13 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Tell us more (5.00 / 1) (#171)
by yooden on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 01:22:15 AM EST

IIRC, Bush says that US jurisdiction does not apply for Gitmo. So which does? What is the legal base for this?


[ Parent ]
Courts (none / 0) (#181)
by Merk00 on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 09:57:21 AM EST

The Bush Administration has claimed that the Federal Courts do not have jurisdiction over Guatanamo Bay. That is very different than the US Government not having jurisdiction there (which it obviously does as it is in control of a military base there).

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Courts? What Courts? (3.00 / 1) (#193)
by yooden on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 01:15:48 PM EST

The Bush Administration has claimed that the Federal Courts do not have jurisdiction over Guatanamo Bay.

How convenient that the administration can decide whether the courts have any say about their doings. How pathetic that the courts don't do shit about it.

Again, on what authority does the administration claim jurisdiction over Gitmo without supervision by the judicature? Since you say that the jurisdiction comes from the presence of the military: Is the US military above the law in the USA? If there is any law providing the jurisdiction in leased territories, why is the judicature not able to execute supervision about application of this law? If there is no law, why is this different from trespassing, assault and battery, kidnapping and now, it seems, murder?

Face it, Due Process is dead in the USA. The administration can now openly kill whoever it wants, all it takes is to label him 'terrorist' to move him out of the courts' reach.

I cannot fucking believe that anybody can have doubts about this. The man is wiping his ass with your constitution while laughing in your faces.




First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.  Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out.  Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.  And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
    -- Martin Niemoeller

[ Parent ]

Really, really, really... (4.25 / 4) (#124)
by megid on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:20:20 AM EST

I dont want to ride on that again, but
  • Your country was a "great" as mine (Germany) once was -- good at war and little else. That unreflected patriotism always bothered me. Think a bit before stating that a specific nation is "great".
  • Those caged ones are not humans, so obviously human rights do not apply to them.
  • As a country with an excellent "institute of emotional engineering" you realize that there must be some kind of show for the people.
Shit, I really should tackle that sarcasm thing... Whatever.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."
So what? (3.00 / 4) (#137)
by Xtapolapocetl on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 10:40:56 AM EST

This will just make it that much more likely that Bush will eventually stand trial for war crimes. That's a bad thing how?

~Xtapolapocetl

--
zen and the art of procrastination

Oh give me a break (1.80 / 5) (#166)
by Keeteel on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 12:11:26 AM EST

This is just a plain insult on President Bush. Look, we had all the authority we needed to go to war - Our legislative branch authorized the war, the United States does not need the authorization of any foriegn body to tell us when we can defend ourselves and when we cannot. The United Nation FAILED to uphold its responsibilities and agreements as per the Gulf War disarmament, and resolution 1441. It become our responsibility to do what they were unable to do because of liberal countries like France who were more interested in exploiting the U.N. so they could profit for themselves.

A justified war by both legal and moral means does not under any circumstances give ANYONE the authority to try Bush for war crimes. Only a nation like France who lost its corrupt money would pull something like this, but as far as we're concerned France has no relevance to world politics anymore.

[ Parent ]
Hmm (none / 0) (#184)
by Xtapolapocetl on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 10:37:27 AM EST

This is just a plain insult on President Bush.

It was intended as such. That man embodies all that is wrong with this country (and I say that as someone whose political views fall closer to the right than the left).

Look, we had all the authority we needed to go to war - Our legislative branch authorized the war

Yes we did, based on lies by Bush. Where are the WMDs that we had such great evidence of before the war began?

The United States does not need the authorization of any foriegn body to tell us when we can defend ourselves and when we cannot. The United Nation FAILED to uphold its responsibilities and agreements as per the Gulf War disarmament, and resolution 1441.

Agreed, but that's beside the point. Crushing a country that clearly didn't even have the ability to defend itself doesn't exactly qualify as "self defense" in my book. It may have been different if the WMD thing was true, but it wasn't - it was UTTER BULLSHIT. Therefore this isn't about the US defending itself, but rather about the Bush family settling a decade-old grudge.

A justified war by both legal and moral means does not under any circumstances give ANYONE the authority to try Bush for war crimes.

How about the whole "enemy combatant" thing? How about lying to the American public (and the rest of the world, but again, that's beside the point) about the entire reason behind the war? How about the Bush administration blatantly violating international treaties and laws (Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, International Criminal Court treaty, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and let's not forget the Geneva Convention, and even the god damned United States Constitution)? What about the gross violations of human rights (right to a fair trial, etc) going on since 9/11 in Guantanamo Bay? Calling someone a prisoner of war when it's convenient, but then calling them something else when it comes time to release POWs? What about the "Oil for Cheney" program, as I like to call it (the whole situation with Halliburton getting the Iraq oil contracts in such a blatantly bullshit way - "mistake" in the contract, my ass)?

I'm going to stop now, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. I'm no friend of the Democrats, being more of a Republican myself in terms of political views, but I absolutely cannot stand purely corrupt politicians like Bush and his ilk. Beginning with the theft of the office, Bush's presidency has been built on nothing but lies and incompetence. And that's why, when shit like this happens, I hope for the day when Bush pays for his crimes. Anything that makes that day come sooner is just fine by me.

~Xtapolapocetl

--
zen and the art of procrastination

[ Parent ]
This one of the worst arguments (none / 0) (#186)
by RyoCokey on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 11:00:34 AM EST

...I've seen in a long time. To start with:

Crushing a country that clearly didn't even have the ability to defend itself doesn't exactly qualify as "self defense" in my book.

They broke the ceasefire by firing on our aircraft, destroying them, and not cooperating with the inspectors. If they weren't capable of defending themselves, perhaps they should have resisted the temptation to shoot our aircraft.

It may have been different if the WMD thing was true, but it wasn't - it was UTTER BULLSHIT.

That's hardly been established, as we had evidence that Iraq had large amounts of both Chemical and biological weapons listed as "undestroyed." We just don't know where they are. Even Hans Blix still finds it likely we'll find the weapons eventually.

How about the Bush administration blatantly violating international treaties and laws (Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, International Criminal Court treaty, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and let's not forget the Geneva Convention, and even the god damned United States Constitution)?

ABM Treaty was legally abolished with the agreement of both sides. This is how one usually terminates treaties. I'm not sure what your reference to the Toxic Weapons treaty or the Non-proliferation treaty refers to. The ICC was a terrible power grab, which was rightfully never ratified by the US, and hence does not apply. The last two (The Constitution and The Geneva Convention) are too vague, you'd need to cite instances.

What about the gross violations of human rights (right to a fair trial, etc) going on since 9/11 in Guantanamo Bay?

They're getting military tribunals, what's the problem?

What about the "Oil for Cheney" program, as I like to call it (the whole situation with Halliburton getting the Iraq oil contracts in such a blatantly bullshit way

Halliburton didn't get any oil contracts just some repair work which makes sense as Halliburton is not an oil company, it's a service company. Furthermore, Cheney has absolutely no stake in Halliburton.



"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry you're such a moron (2.42 / 7) (#147)
by mjfgates on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 03:19:13 PM EST

The Constitution of the United States restricts the actions of the US government only with respect to citizens of the United States. The Geneva Conventions and other laws of war do not apply to illegal combatants, which Al Qaida members are. There are no protections in international or US law for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Whether there should be, and what forms those protections should take, would be an interesting topic for discussion, but if you start by assuming such protections exist, well, you're just not going to reach any useful conclusions.

Reminds me of the flat earthers... (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:23:46 PM EST

The Bush administration can go on about their newly invented "illegal combatants" just like the flat earthers go on about the earth not being round.  Outside of the small groups advocating these positions , you would be very hard pressed to find anyone else that supports these positions.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
What trial is going to have that soldier girl?... (4.00 / 1) (#163)
by chanio on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 11:46:13 PM EST

I am worried for that American captain girl that refused to bomb the only Iraquian TV Station that was left.

Does anybody think that she is going to have a fair veredict?

During these extreme measures, even if an American soldier has the right to question an order, her martial court might become very little impartial.

Then, soldiers are degraded to mere machine wars. Without any valid opinion.

That is dangerous!
________________
Farenheit Binman:
This worlds culture is throwing away-burning thousands of useful concepts because they don't fit in their commercial frame.
My chance of becoming intelligent!
[ Parent ]

The Supreme Court Says Otherwise, fool. (3.00 / 1) (#196)
by PowerPimp on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 01:57:48 PM EST

Do I need to go and dig up the names of decisions that decided that the word "People" in the US constitution applies to anyone and everyone under US jurisdiction? Due Process, just like all the other rights specifically protected by the bill of rights(and many that are not specifically protected, but protected nonetheless) are not priveledges given only to Americans, the are NATURAL RIGHTS, inherent to all men independant of their nationality, race, religion or immigration status. They are all equally protected by the Constitution. This has been upheld by the supreme court many times. It is precedent, and it is the highest law in the land.



You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
No protections? (4.50 / 2) (#204)
by bobzibub on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 12:30:29 AM EST

"Should a question arise regarding a captive's entitlement to prisoner-of-war status, that individual should be accorded prisoner-of-war treatment until a competent tribunal convened by the captor determines the status to which that individual is properly entitled. Individuals captured as spies or as illegal combatants have the right to assert their claim of entitlement to prisoner-of-war status before a judicial tribunal and to have the question adjudicated. Such persons have a right to be fairly tried for violations of the law of armed conflict and may not be summarily executed."

from "The Commander's Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations"

http://www.cpf.navy.mil/pages/legal/NWP%201-14/NWPTOC.htm

Cheers,
-b


[ Parent ]

Double Standards as usual. (3.30 / 10) (#154)
by bc on Sun Jul 06, 2003 at 07:03:50 PM EST

Once again, we see the real true two-faced nature of the USA. Is it any wonder your nation is UNIVERALLY HATED by every other country in the world, when you demonstrate hypocracy on this scale ?

The constitution only applies to citizens of the USA. How ridiculous. Am I any less worthy of constitutional protection and freedom simply because through random chance I happened to be born in another country ?

The USA will never throw off the burden of being the worlds most hated nation, until it can get some sort of consistancy going.

Until then, we (the rest of the world) laugh at you "freedoms" and your "constitution".

♥, bc.

Right, that's it... (2.00 / 7) (#165)
by Keeteel on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 12:06:21 AM EST

Why should the constitution apply to non-American citizens? ESPECIALLY enemy soldiers who want to destroy our way of life. If they're not citizens here, they deserve none of our rights. They have the rights of their own nation, not ours. If they want to be treated the same way, like decent human beings, they should not engage our troops and citizens in acts of war. The very fact we didn't kill them on the spot, and are willing to give them a fair trial with EVIDENCE is proof we're upholding our values. Just like a criminal who is guilty, we will enforce the law. These people are murderers and deserve no rights as far as I'm concerned.

Unlike you, I'm damn proud of America and what we've done for this world. We're eliminating threats to global stability and peace - people who are willing to stop the spread of DEMOCRACY. I understand if they're trying to stop fascism from spreading, but if they challenge freedom to uphold oppression, they get no rights.

[ Parent ]
How do you know they're murderers ? (4.42 / 7) (#170)
by gibodean on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 01:19:28 AM EST

You claim that they are enemy soldiers, that they're murderers, they want to destroy the American way of life.

How do you know that all or even any of the people held in Cuba have those traits ?

The fact is you don't.  They're people picked up in Afghanistan by the US forces.  And until the evidence is presented showing exactly the crimes which those people committed, it is entirely possible that many of them were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Australian guy in there was fighting for the Taliban, just as many of them in there were.  How do you know this makes him a murderer ?  He was part of the armed forces for a country which was invaded by the USA.  He was not in Al-Queda. The Taliban itself was aided by the USA at one point to gain control of Afghanistan I believe.  So, it would have been OK then for him to be there ?  But now because the mighty USA wants to invade the country, suddenly it's not alright for him to be there ?

Until the evidence is released for each of those prisoners, showing their crimes, then as far as I'm concerned they're no more guilty than my grandmother.  If they are, prove it properly or don't pretend to be interested in justice.

[ Parent ]

Some obvious fallicies (none / 0) (#185)
by RyoCokey on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 10:39:44 AM EST

First of all, the Taliban was not the armed forces of Afghanistan and hence their members do not get POW status.

Secondly, the Taliban was not aided by the US during their rise to power. Earlier groups that fought against the Russians were, and the later Taliban wasn't precisely hated by the US, but they didn't help them.



"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should
[ Parent ]
Hey, this articles proves me right (2.80 / 5) (#183)
by RyoCokey on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 10:34:51 AM EST

There's obviously plenty of leftist nuts here who'll still vote tripe like this up.



"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should
[ Parent ]
The day you apply your constitution to the world.. (3.33 / 3) (#192)
by xutopia on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 12:57:16 PM EST

The day you apply your constitution to the world is the day your problems with other countries will end.

No these terrorists are not interested in hitting your freedom nor are they interested in hurting you out of jealousy because you are lucky enough to have a 10 miles per gallons car.

The reason why so many people in so many countries hate the US is because of the way the US foreign policy is. No it isn't about freedom, it isn't about peace, it's about the US not playing its role in the world as it should. The US is the bully in the school yard and that is why so many people hate the US.

Your country overthrew its fair share of democratically elected goverments just for the US interests. Funny how today Bush unsigned the Rome Treaty which would have made war criminals in the US accountable for their crimes against humanity.

Don't be fooled by CNN or FOXNews they are the biggest propaganda outlets in the history of the world. Listen to stations from abroad a little and drop that fanaticism towards your country. Nationalism is nothing but a cheap way to get you to agree with your corrupt goverment.

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - Albert Einstein

[ Parent ]

American designed to be apart from the world (5.00 / 2) (#206)
by StrifeZ on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 01:53:10 AM EST

Yes you are less worthy of protection under the constitution.

You have to understand. For 227 years and 5 days, the United States both the government and the people as both one monolithic entity and as unique parts (a duality if you will) has sought to do two things unilaterially... first promote the "American Agenda", the American way of doing things. Freedom, democracy, free markets, opprotunity, peace, governmental accountability, that sort of thing. Second (or more accuratley, concurently), it has sought to protect the United States, its citizens and its interests from all threats external. We were envisioned as the "city on the hill", always apart and watching, wary particularly of Europe. George Washington, upon leaving office in 1792 I believe, warned future generations of American leaders to not get involve in "entagling alliances". He was, of course, refering to almost exclusivly the European powers whose 1800 years of intermarriage, alliances and ill will will see countries warring for acres of land for decades at a time and alliances break and form every 50 years and nations dragged into a war with an ally because of some debt. He warned against the US becoming a part of that, the US should always remain apart.

To its credit as an office, nearly every single president since Washington has done his best to uphold these principles. The two exceptions, are of course, our almost 190 year old mutual military, societal and economic Alliance with Great Britian, one of the oldest living alliances, and the 52 year old NATO alliance which was formed because the US realized that leaving the Europeans to the same devices as previous centuries and the same xenophobic behavior would lead to another World War. Basically, NATO was formed because war via missiles and nukes became global and we couldn't trust the Europeans to not repeat past errors and start another war, so we made their defense our defense and removed the ability to wage war as a decision for them to wage. What Bush has done most recently, is just a reassertion that no one exerts influence over the United States. The only difference was, that unlike Truman, where the game was Seperation via control of europe, Bush has advocated Seperation via flipping the world the middle finger. Hard strategy, but the world will get over it next time it needs to be bailed out of its next mess.

What I've described is an America which reaches out to others only when it is in its own self interest. Why do we act like this? The answer is complex.

The first reason is, basically, we are not very much like you as a civilization and don't want to be very much like you. Even something as fundimental as work ethic is vastly different between Americans and most others in the world. There was a great piece in the New York Times I believe a few days ago contrasting European and American work hours. Basically Europeans work 30-40% less than Americans per week. There was a fascinating quote from a bookshop dealer, saying that recently, more and more frenchmen with relaxed work hours have taken the time to start to read more, so buisness is up. In the United States, if work hours were relaxed, many Americans would get a second job or do more work so they could get ahead. To Europeans, work is what MUST be done grudgingly between relaxation. To Americans, the work and the success and failures that come with it is reward enough. True, this is a bit of an idyllic description. There are plenty of Americans that hate to work and hate their jobs. But when examining the entire 142 million person workforce, wages are up, productivity is way up, far surpasing Eurozone, and generally the societal atmosphere the last few months since we won the Iraq war has been pretty good. Its been like everyone was holding their breath since September 11th, and on April 9th, everyone exhaled.

Getting back to the main point. No. You are not entitled to the protections under the constitution, nor is any other non-American. We are not you, you are not us. We have no desire to be like you, and for you to be privlaged to live under the law that was designed to protect tax paying, flag waving, freedom loving Americans would be a perversion of the intent of the constitution. It was designed to protect the American people from 1800 years of European rape, pillage and murder being repeated in the US. It was not designed to make America hospitible to non Americans. The only way, by definition, the Constituion of the United States would apply to you is if you either became American, or the international system evolved into a transnational system and everyone became American.

You are 100% right. It is a two faced nature. Except you imply it was done by accident. I'm telling you, it was designed that way, and we arent about to apollogize for what has turned out to be the right choice. We are the city on the hill. We are apart from you, beyond you. We do not want to be part of the same "sphere" as you.

That being said, anyone who immigrates and accepts American ideals, we welcome with open arms. But so long as you are apart, you are not our equals.

oh and by the way, the US has been laughing at the world for 227 years and 5 days, starting with the declaration of independence which made an unpreccedented assault upon the King of England, in doing so, declaring both disresect for European formalities and declaring an inssurection. So the world gets pissed we both as a government and as a populace care what the world thought with regard to Iraq. Get over it. We've wanted little to do with you people except when it suits our ends since our founding and that will never change.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
Will the UK confront the US over the tribunals? (3.50 / 2) (#177)
by nebbish on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 07:33:16 AM EST

Two of the men to be tried by the tribunal at Guantamano Bay are British citizens. This has been headline news here in the UK all weekend.

The British Foreign Secretary will be speaking to Colin Powell to urge him to repatriate the two men to the UK for a fair trial. The possibility of the death penalty being used could cause especial problems - the Labour government is very anti-death penalty and the UK public would be up in arms if a death penalty verdict is passed.

It is quite possible that the UK government could be forced into confrontation with the US over the circumstances of the tribunals at Guantamano Bay in the near future. As the US's main ally in Europe in the war against terror this could have interesting repercussions.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

You are wrong about the UK public. (2.00 / 1) (#194)
by bc on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 01:24:09 PM EST

There is extremely little sympathy for nominally British people who go and fight for the Taliban etc. The great British public are, by and large overwhelmingly in favour of the death penalty. However, our elite rulers find it distasteful and so Britain has got to the point where "death penalty" bills are never allowed to become a party issue by convention, and there is always a "free vote" on it, ensuring it never gets reinstated.

Indeed, this is one issue where British democracy clearly does not work. Another area is so-called "asylum seekers", which the great British public is just about sick of, but risks being accused of "racism" if they dare to suggest that allowing 1000s of unskilled Islamic criminals into the country is somehow not the best way to ensure stability.

♥, bc.
[ Parent ]

The Daily Mail and The Sun disagree (none / 0) (#221)
by nebbish on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 04:46:20 AM EST

There is extremely little sympathy for nominally British people who go and fight for the Taliban etc

The point is that we don't know they've been fighting for the Taliban or not, and might never know, as they will not receive a fair trial.

This morning's front page of the Daily Mail says as much (sorry no links), as has the Sun in the past.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

The Daily Mail and The Sun disagree (none / 0) (#222)
by nebbish on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 04:46:41 AM EST

There is extremely little sympathy for nominally British people who go and fight for the Taliban etc

The point is that we don't know they've been fighting for the Taliban or not, and might never know, as they will not receive a fair trial.

This morning's front page of the Daily Mail says as much (sorry no links), as has the Sun in the past.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Amendment VI (3.00 / 5) (#202)
by chunkwhite84 on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 06:27:14 PM EST

This Amendment VI (like all the others) is applicable to American Citizens.

Those who are captured by the US who are not American Citizens are not protectef by those rights! Simple as that!

Your entire argument is flawed.

Amendment VI (3.00 / 2) (#203)
by chunkwhite84 on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 06:28:56 PM EST

This Amendment VI (like all the others) is applicable to American Citizens.

Those who are captured by the US who are not American Citizens are not protected by those rights! Simple as that!

In addition to the grossly inapproperiate Independence day tie-in, Your entire argument is flawed.

Not according to the Supreme Court (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by frankwork on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 01:31:19 PM EST

While there are no enumerated rights for permanent residents, vistors, or illegal aliens in the U.S. constitution, the Supreme Court has generally ruled that bill-of-rights protections (specifically First Amendment, can't find anything on the others) also apply to non-citizens in the U.S.

[ Parent ]
Nazi US Saboteurs tried via Tribunal in 1942 (3.57 / 7) (#207)
by StrifeZ on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 02:12:49 AM EST

We've tried enemy terrorists via Military Tribunal Before. When you ask? Why in 1942 during World War II. It seems in 1942, some Nazi Sabetours landed on Long Island at night. Their goal was to penetrate America and blow up tank factories, rubber facilities, oil wells, stuff that could grind the US War machine to a halt. These sabetours would have blended in the American population, speak perfect english, and live as an American until they had inflicted enough damage to try to derail the US War Machine. Their goals were classic modern Terrorism. They were soldiers in a world war, just like we are now. Fortunatley, they were caught almost right away, tried via military tribunal via request of FDR and executed. Here are a few quotes. Check out the whole thing here.



In Washington, President Franklin Roosevelt decided all eight would be tried before a military tribunal. He wanted them all dead, he admitted in a memo to his attorney general. In the courtroom, all of the Germans said they had no intention of carrying out their orders to blow up installations.

<------------SNIP----------->

All were found guilty. Six were sentenced to die in the electric chair. Dasch, the whistleblower, received a 30-year sentence; Burger, who also cooperated, was sentenced to life in prison. On Aug. 8, 1942, the six were executed, their bodies buried in a pauper's grave.



Do my eyes decieve me?!?!? Do I see a president asking for military tribunals for enemy terrorists and advocating their executions, and his initials are not GWB? You bet, sister, FDR, the third most important president in American history came to the same conclusions that 61 years late, President Bush came to: terrorists, Nazis or Al Queda are on the same level with spies. They live as Americans, among the peaceful people, but their true mission is to secretly inflict harm to the country. Soviet spies have been executed. Nazi sabeteors/terrorists were tried via Tribunal and executed, and so shall be Al Queda.

I ask, what is the difference between Al Queda and the Nazis when it comes to terrorism? Al Queda has long been believed to want to target power plants, nuclear power stations and transformers. The Nazis in 1942 were doing the exact same thing! Same behavior, similar conditions (world wide war in daylight and in shadows), different years. The law is the law. The precedent has been set. The Al Queda terrorists, under the law, under historical precedent set during the last World War, will be tried, and if found guilty of aiming to inflict harm against the United States of America, executed. We did it in 1942, we will do it again in 2003/2004.

Here, I will draw a diagram for you K5 people.

xxxxxx|Nazi Saboteurs | Al Queda Terrorists
-----------------------------------------
Target Infrastructure | Yes |Yes
-----------------------------------------
Hide among population | Yes | Yes
-----------------------------------------
Work for foreign power in state of war | Yes | Yes
-----------------------------------------
Illegal use of Explosives | Yes | Yes
-----------------------------------------
At war against a religion | Yes | Yes
-----------------------------------------
At war against democracy | Yes | Yes
-----------------------------------------
Operatives are fanatics | Yes | Yes
-----------------------------------------
Threatened Death against Americans | Yes | Yes

Really what this comes down to is for some reason, people, like the writer of this article, have this pathological disdain for Bush and, while accusing others marching like cows to the slaughter, dont even have the common sense to check history. It took me 20 seconds to find that link. I ask the author, WHY DIDNT YOU? Check your facts before you type.

Sit on that a bit and stop foaming from the mouth. Christ. Some people...


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
I forgot the link (none / 0) (#208)
by StrifeZ on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 02:14:29 AM EST

Whoops. Here is the link. Click here.

Search on google Long Island Nazi 1942 and get a billion returns.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
There is a difference (none / 0) (#210)
by Eater on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 05:02:31 AM EST

The people in question today were captured on foreign, unoccupied soil. The only thing that sepperates them from front line soldiers is that they weren't wearing uniforms. This brings up the question of motive - were they not wearing uniforms to blend with the local population or because they simply didn't have the funds and organization to get uniforms? Considering how no one ever mentioned that the Afghan Al-Quada fighters were hiding among the local population in order to plant ambushes against US troops, it's safe to say that this didn't happen (often and intentionally).

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Not really... (none / 0) (#215)
by StrifeZ on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 01:38:42 PM EST

We invaded Afghanistan and since Al Queda was little more than a terrorist army without a country, just being honored guests in Afghanistan, capture and trial by Tribunal in the US is perfectly legit. As terrorists, by definition not having a uniform is one of their weapons. The first question I asked myself when reading the article about the Nazis was why did they bring a Uniform at all?

Basically what you're trying to do is get it down to some sort of akward nuance and say what Bush is doing is wrong just because hes Bush and you don't like the choice hes made. But law and history have shown, Bush made the legal choice. What this preccedent initially means is that terrorists caught inside the United States can ALSO be tried via Military Tribunal, meaning that Zacarias Mossoui, the Buffalo Six and maybe even American citizens caught working for Al Queda can be tried via Tribunal too. All that has to be acertained to make this jump is if by working for a foregin power, did these American citizens seek to void their American Citizenship. If the answer is yes, they can be sent to tribunals.

But for anyone captured in Afghanistan or in the US, the answer is clear: tribunal. No second analysis about it. The only people that still care are pathological anti-bushies.

However, I will say, when we capture Osama Bin Laden (and you know we will eventually, christ catching Carlos the Jackal took 15 years and Noriega took 2 weeks in a country we owned), he should be tried in federal court in an open to camera trial so the world can see the rule of law prosecuting, convicting and executing that monster.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
"As terrorists" (none / 0) (#219)
by Eater on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 02:44:38 AM EST

At the moment, the only thing that can possibly make these people "terrorists", and thus not prisoners of war but, is that they weren't wearing uniforms. That they were affiliated with a known terrorist organization has nothing to do with their status as PoW's (or not PoW's). Now, the Geneva Convention defines legal combatants, and also provides instruction on how to handle issues of uncertain legality (such as this issue). The current United States government, however, has not followed these instructions but has instead dubbed these people "illegal combatants" (without so much as a show trial) and now intends to put them up against a secret tribunal, not to determine their status but to determine their punishment. Sure, there may be a strong case for naming these people illegal combatants, but in order to do so LEGALLY a trial is still required.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Battle of the Bulge and Nazis dressed as US forces (4.50 / 2) (#216)
by StrifeZ on Wed Jul 09, 2003 at 01:52:35 PM EST

I also want to note that during the Battle of the Bulge, American Soldiers came upon Nazis dressed in American Uniforms, speaking perfect accent free English who would salute, and then shoot the American unit in the back when their heads were turned. The salution, implimented by the Generals, was that any Nazi caught wearing an American uniform would be executed on sight via a shot to the back of the head as spies and saboteurs. No trial. No POW. No prison camp. They would stand on ther knees and recieve a baretta 9mm to the cranium. Draconian? Yes, but it probably cut down the American casualties in the Battle of the Bulge big time. The Nazi's also did this on the Russian front as well.

Now lets talk about present day Afghanistan during the war and now. Al Queda and taliban who live among the population during the day and strike when American soldiers have their back turned are exhibiting similar behavior to what the Nazi's did during the Battle of the Bulge. Except now, instead of executing them on sight, we capture them, fly them 9000 miles to Guantanamo Bay, and they put them on Trial.

We are in a war against Al Queda and the Taliban just like we were at war against the Nazis. A formal declaration of war was passed by Congress after an unprovoked attack by enemy forces and US Soldiers deployed to deal with the threat. Under the rules of war, which are far older and time tested than any UN legal tomfoolery (despite the fact international laws concur with it on this issue), spies and saboteurs can be executed on sight. Al Queda and the Taliban, exhibiting the same behavior the nazi's showed, could very well be qualified as spies and saboteurs and executed on site.

So I ask you, what are you more willing to live with? Them being considered spies and executed on sight like the nazi's got, or them being considered enemy combatants and tried via military tribunal. The fact is, them being considered enemy combatants might be the wrong interpretation of the law, and if anything, gives them too many rights.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
Perhaps you can be even more traditional? (2.00 / 1) (#220)
by Eater on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 02:55:03 AM EST

Used to be that the time-tested and prefered tactic during conquest would be to simply put all the men to the sword... but then again, where would you get the swords these days?
In all honesty, I simply don't have the time or energy to refute your dull and obtuse arguements. For a troll you lack creativity, and for a hardened reactionary you lack reason. Though if you must have a bone to gnaw, let me point out that Afghan Al-Quada fighters did not dress up in American uniforms and, as far as I know, did not hide in the local population as their primary tactic but rather engaged in open combat in relatively uninhabited areas.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Who is trolling? (5.00 / 1) (#227)
by StrifeZ on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 12:26:52 PM EST

Who said I was fucking trolling.

I suppose anyone who doesnt take the K5 company line is trolling right? That is, Bush = Bad, Linux = Good, Iraq = unjustified, Micro$oft = real terrorists.

You know, for a site that pretends to be a discussion site about the topics of the day, people like yourself throw around the trolling accusation pretty easily.

Did you think for a moment that I might actually in real life want Al Queda detainees to be tried via Tribunal and executed? Did you think for a second that I may actually like Bush and his national defense strategy? Of course not, because K5 is suppose to be home of the Think Geek (tm) generation of net-intellectuals, and therefore disdain for anything Republican is an assumed given and deviation from that belief is an automatic troll.

As for Al Queda fighters dressing up as US Soldiers, no they arent doing that. They are doing something equally as bad however: blending in with the local population that the US can't just go and shoot everytime it has a hunch. There is no difference between dressing up as a US soldier and hiding among civilians when activly waging war. There should be no difference in punishment either. Spies get executed, saboeurs get executed, so should terrorists.

I want to point out that nearly all the attacks in Iraq (don't worry, I don't buy that Al Queda-Iraq connection nonsense) come between the hours of 1 am and 5 am, which means during the day, the rebels are hiding out among the population. In afghanistan, deemed a gun free city by ISAF, the only way you could get a grenade or bomb or RPG within a block of the US Embassy there, which happened about a month ago, was to hide among the population in the city.

Be careful with that troll accusation. Fighting terrorism with a heavy hand is the right way to do things.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
Read my comment next time (none / 0) (#237)
by Eater on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 05:31:14 PM EST

"Did you think for a moment that I might actually in real life want Al Queda detainees to be tried via Tribunal and executed? Did you think for a second that I may actually like Bush and his national defense strategy?"
Yes, yes I did. Which is why I called you an unreasonable reactionary OR a troll. Now, could you please cite specific reports of Al-Quada (and it has to be Al-Quada, not Taliban-friendly or anti-US rebels) fighters, in Afghanistan, hiding among the local population for the SPECIFIC PURPOSE of staging illegal attacks on US forces? And if you can achieve that feat, you have yet to prove that those are the same people as the ones being currently held as "illegal combatants", and if that is the case, then those SPECIFIC people are not entitled to PoW status, but all the ones who cannot be proven to have disobeyed the rules of war and exploited their lack of uniform with illegal intent should be treated as PoW's and released.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Silly Nitpick (none / 0) (#225)
by Lagged2Death on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 10:19:55 AM EST

...recieve a baretta 9mm to the cranium.

Italian handguns were actaully not standard US GI gear in WWII. The Italians, of course, were considered one of the "bad guys" in this conflict; naturally, they didn't sell us weapons with which to kill them and their allies.

I only mention this because it does make me wonder about what other historical items you might have wrong.

Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
[ Parent ]
Whatever (none / 0) (#228)
by StrifeZ on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 12:28:22 PM EST

or Smith and Wesson or whatever. I am not a gun guy. For all I know, Barretta was an American gun.

But I am a history guy, and my facts are right.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
Oh Please... (1.00 / 1) (#230)
by Lagged2Death on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 02:12:37 PM EST

For all I know, Barretta was an American gun. ...I am a history guy, and my facts are right.

Heh, thanks for clearing that up.

I was trying to be polite about it, but your chart of "facts" in this post, for example, seem to be a mix of speculation and error. Speculation because you don't know what the "Al Queda" suspects in Guantanamo are guilty of, or even charged with, because our government won't tell us. Error because virtually everything you say about the Germans is just flat-out wrong, as your own supporting links make clear.

Why pepper your account of WWII combat with pithy, irrelevant little details like the make of a gun? To lend it an air of authenticity? Why does it need that? What relevance does it have to the Guantanamo Bay debate, anyway? Just because we've done dreadful things in the past doesn't mean we can't stop.



Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
[ Parent ]
A Sorry Tale (none / 0) (#226)
by Lagged2Death on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 10:58:27 AM EST

I don't think the German saboteurs of 1942 are a worthy example or precedent at all.

The German saboteurs were a hapless bunch of losers. At least some of them were clearly in the sabotage program primarily as a way to escape Hitler's Germany, which they despised, and return to the US, where they had all lived for a time in the 1920s and 1930s. After landing on the Long Island beach, they deliberately left a trail of evidence behind them to hasten their capture. Despite this, the FBI didn't nab them until they turned themselves in outright, a couple of days later. They hurt no one, and performed no acts of sabotage.

And for this, the United States, champion of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, rewarded them with death.

Their execution was entirely a political act, not an act of justice or punishment. It may even have even been politically necessary under the circumstances. But if anything, it's an example of the horrific injustices that can be so easily meted out by a closed court, and is not an example to be emulated.

And of course, this doesn't even address the jurisdiction issue, which wasn't in question in the German case.

Story in The Atlantic Monthly about the German saboteurs.

Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
[ Parent ]
Can you see how stupid you sound.... (none / 0) (#232)
by Ohhell on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:11:30 AM EST

After landing on the Long Island beach, they deliberately left a trail of evidence behind them to hasten their capture.

I don't know.. this sounds a little stupid to me.. If they where really only trying to get back to america as you claim.. I would think it would be easier to just walk up to a cop and go.. "HEY.. I was sent here to destroy parts of your country..But I want to defect.. can you help please..". Your arguement is extreamly flawed purely on this point alone.

So.. in all honesty... what most likely happened is they got stupid and got caught and payed the price.



[ Parent ]
Read The Story (n/t) (none / 0) (#234)
by Lagged2Death on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:03:12 AM EST



Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
[ Parent ]
Reflections on Independence Day | 237 comments (183 topical, 54 editorial, 0 hidden)
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