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[P]
Justice -- Guantanamo Style

By geoswan in Op-Ed
Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 06:51:24 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The USA has been keeping approximately 600 detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has called them "the worst of the worst". Other sources have described them otherwise. Abdurahman Khadr, who the CIA placed, as a mole, within the detainee population, said most of the detainees were innocent, or were merely local Taliban militia-men, with no intelligence value.

Well, after no public review of their status, the Guantanamo detainees are finally getting their day in court -- kind of. There are actually three separate kinds of reviews slowly underway.


Three separate reviews?
  • A dozen or so of the detainees are being arraigned before tribunals which can determine guilt, or innocence, and can punish a guilty verdict with a death sentence.
  • The status of all the detainees are finally being publicly reviewed. Under the Geneva Convention this should have been done before they were shipped to Guantanamo. These tribunals started three weeks ago.
  • The status of all detainees will now be subject to an annual public review.

    The trials

    Four of the 600 detainees have been charged. A proceeding that would correspond to a preliminary hearing, if they were being tried under more well understood procedures. Charges are being prepared against a further eleven of the detainess. So far it looks like the remaining 570 detainees will not stand trial any time soon.

    While General Altenberg, the officer, appointed by Donald Rumsfeld, to oversee the process, has assured the press that the procedure will be fair, different rules apply.

  • There are different rules of evidence. Under US military and civil law only voluntary confessions are supposed to be used as evidence. But, it is believed that the prosecutors will argue that coerced confessions will be allowed here.

  • Altenberg has the authority to shut down any of these tribunals in the middle.

  • Under US military and civil law the prosecutors are obliged to share with the defense evidence which would clear their clients. The prosecutors will not be under this obligation during these proceedings.

  • The prosecution will be allowed to use the testimony of anonymous witnesses and hear-say evidence.

  • Some of the detainees could face a death penalty, if they are convicted. But an acquital does not mean they will be released. The Department of Defense can still keep them imprisoned, if they are still seen to be a threat.

  • Unlike a trial under the US justice system the accused are not allowed to discuss their cases in private with their attorneys. In fact, there have been terrific difficulties discussing anything at all.

    Sundel said that although the commission is supposed to be responsible for getting translators he was told to find his own. Then the government held up her clearance so he had to find another, who didn't work out. A week ago, he won clearance for an interim translator.

    "I've operated in courts martial, federal courts and one international tribunal, and this is the only hearing I've entered with not even a clue as to what was going to take place," he said.

    And, if the problems with obtaining clearance for the translators was not enough, according to this story, the US is playing games over paying the translators.

    The two tribunals to determine combatant status

    Donald Rumsfeld shocked many when he announced, in late 2001, that the prisoners captured during the invasion of Afghanistan would not be considered POWs. He said that they would be treated in a manner consistent to the spirit of the Geneva Convention, but that they would not be afforded the protections of the Geneva Convention.

    The Geneva Convention says how a captor is to treat combatants, captured on the battlefield, with weapons, if there are doubts that they really qualify as POWs. The Captor is supposed to hold a tribunal, for each combatant whose status is in question. The proceedings of the tribunal are made public, so the rest of the World can see that the occupying power is conducting its occupation in as fair and humane a way as possible. The captive has a right to speak. The captive has a right to hear the evidence -- if any against them.

    Up until three weeks ago none of the Guantanamo detainees had had any kind of public review of their status. Up until three weeks ago none of the Guantanamo detainees had had any kind of opportunity to hear the evidence against them.

    The tribunals to give each detainee an annual review

    There has been little public attention paid to the situation of the Guantanamo detainees. But there was enough criticism that the USA announced that, about four months ago, that the Guantanamo detainees would start to have an annual public reviews of their status, where it would be determined if the US still needed to detain them.

    None of these annual reviews has yet to take place.

    The determination as to whether those captured in Afghanistan were 'unlawful combatants'

    Under the Geneva Convention these prisoners should have had a tribunal to determine whether they should be treated as POW, before they ever left Afghanistan. Without a determination how did they know that the detainees were not innocent bystanders? Falsely accused? Or whether they should really have been treated as POWs?

    The Bush administration has detained people as illegal combatants as if they would never have to answer for their actions. They seem to have broadly defined all of Afghanistan as a battlefield, and have felt entitled to seize anyone there. And, hubris seems to have made them go too far. They captured and detained two American citizens, on US soil, and held them too as "unlawful combatants".

    This decision was subject to criticism. If they had evidence against them, why weren't they being charged under US law? Why weren't they allowed to see a lawyer?

    One consequence of the detention of Hamdi and Padilla has been that the Supreme Court ruled that the detainees are entitled to contest their detention in US courts. Some have argued that the DoD finally instituted the tribunals to review the status of the detainees solely so they could establish that they had legal jurisdiction over their detention, and not an unpredictable US-based civil court. Thirty one detainees have had their detention considered.

    My impression is that the tribunals are not only years overdue, but they are being conducted in a very unprofessional manner. I feel quite critical of the coverage as well.

    According to the Army spokemen these tribunals are all held in public. But the press reports were saying that only some of them were held in public. My reading of the various press reports was that they were public only in theory. The press weren't at some of the tribunals because they were not advised of the time, and were not admitted to the base.

    The tribunals are held in a 10 foot by 20 foot trailer. Why? This means that, with the three officers presiding over the tribunal, the detainee, his "representative", a translator, there is only room for three members of the press.

    The detainees aren't allowed lawyers, so each has a military officer appointed as his representative.

    The detainees are anonymous. The press is not informed of the true names of the detainees during their tribunal. The US authorities has tried to keep the identities of the detainees private. Approximately half of the detainee's tribunals are held without the detainee being present. This is one of the areas where the press coverage has been very weak. The tribunal of one of the detainees who stood before the tribunal had a 45 adjournment. The press report said that the tribunal had already been underway for some time when someone realized that the detainee hadn't signed some kind of document first. Apparently the detainees don't get to appear in public if they don't sign the document.

    So, what the heck does the document say? The dozen or more detainees who the DoD spokemen said "did not choose" to appear before their tribunals -- did their refusal merely amount to an unwillingness to sign this mystery document?

    So, what the heck does the document say?

    Is it some kind of release, some kind of "cover your butt" device, dreamed up by military lawyers who know they have no legal authority over the detainees? Does it say that the detainee will voluntarily accept the decision of the tribunal, and stay in Guantanamo, of their own free will, if the tribunal determines their release would represent a threat to US national security? Does the document say they will not sue the US government for unlawful detention if they are released?

    I am going to put interesting, related links at the end here.

  • Guantanamo detainees enter legal minefield -- Even if a detainee is acquitted he will not automatically be freed. Military authorities can keep him at Guantanamo if they consider he is still a threat...
  • Confessions 'key' to Guantanamo hearings -- Four suspected Al Qaeda associates held in Guantanamo Bay and charged by the US with war crimes are expected to argue that interrogators coerced them to give false confessions...
  • U.S. military tribunals start in Cuba this week -- Kevin Barry, a former lawyer with the U.S. Coast Guard and an official of the National Institute of Military Justice, said: "Everybody in the profession is trying to figure out what's going on. A lot of these rules have been made up as they go along, and they are still making up new rules."
  • U.S. Prepares for Guantanamo Arraignments, Set For Tuesday -- a slightly longer version of AP story published in the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
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    Related Links
    o "the worst of the worst"
    o Abdurahman Khadr
    o their day in court
    o General Altenberg
    o this story
    o have had their detention considered
    o Guantanamo detainees enter legal minefield
    o Confession s 'key' to Guantanamo hearings
    o U.S. military tribunals start in Cuba this week
    o U.S. Prepares for Guantanamo Arraignments, Set For Tuesday
    o Also by geoswan


    Display: Sort:
    Justice -- Guantanamo Style | 405 comments (401 topical, 4 editorial, 3 hidden)
    No need for a tribunal beforehand. (2.20 / 5) (#1)
    by RyoCokey on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 01:01:41 PM EST

    A tribunal is only required if the power in question doubts their PoW/Non-PoW status. There's no mechanism for outside review. As the US did not (Largely because there was no eligible force in Afghanistan,) there was no need for a tribunal.



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    Re: No need for a tribunal? (3.00 / 8) (#2)
    by geoswan on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 01:38:55 PM EST

    A tribunal is only required if the power in question doubts their PoW/Non-PoW status.

    Did you ever hear why Soviet Justice was superior?

    Under the British system of Justice a suspect was innocent, until proven guilty.

    Under the Napoleonic system of Justice a suspect was guilty, until proven innocent.

    But under the Soviet system of Justice a suspect was guilty until proven guilty.

    Rumsfeld called the Guantanamo detainees "the worst of the worst". But many of them just had the bad luck to have been rounded up because they were foreigners. Foreign aid workers, foreign tourists, rounded up and handed over to the US, who were told they were dangerous Talibans, because the US was paying $5000 a head for every Taliban or al Queda handed over.

    There's no mechanism for outside review.

    And let me suggest that this was a serious mistake. The USA spent a lot of money, imprisoning guys with no intelligence value, because there was no review, no accountability.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm sure (1.00 / 8) (#4)
    by NaCh0 on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 04:16:26 PM EST

    It's common for a bunch of innocent foreigners to vacation in a war zone with their AK-47s.

    --
    K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
    [ Parent ]
    No (2.75 / 4) (#220)
    by scruffyMark on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:48:07 PM EST

    They didn't have AK-47s, you see. Some seedy warlord's seedy lackey handed them over, bound and gagged, and said, "They had AK-47s. I'd like my $5000 now."

    [ Parent ]
    Uh (1.00 / 3) (#246)
    by kurioszyn on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 12:56:37 AM EST

    Ah, so they are simply bunch of fucking aid workers.

    Great.

    Do you think US military is run by such moronic idiots as to spend 2 years interrogating these people without having a single clue as to their true motives ?

    Or is it just a fucking grand conspiracy ?


    [ Parent ]

    Yes (2.66 / 3) (#251)
    by ender81b on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 04:51:09 AM EST

    Do you think US military is run by such moronic idiots as to spend 2 years interrogating these people without having a single clue as to their true motives ?

    They are the military, not the attorney general, not the Central Intelligence, not the Justice department... They aren't really trained for this type of thing.,

    [ Parent ]
    US Army (none / 1) (#294)
    by kurioszyn on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 04:31:19 PM EST

    That's correct.
    When I said US Army I really meant US government because interrogations and decisions regarding these folks are not made by US soldiers guarding that place.
    You know damn well that CIA and other specialists are doing the questioning.


    [ Parent ]
    Um... (2.80 / 5) (#256)
    by The Rizz on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 06:15:13 AM EST

    ... yes?

    [ Parent ]
    Please (1.16 / 6) (#293)
    by kurioszyn on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 04:28:32 PM EST

    Oh please ...

    Hit any prison anywhere in the world and the chances are most people there will swear by their innocence and will complain about their treatment.


    [ Parent ]

    Didn't read the article did you? (2.75 / 4) (#303)
    by The Rizz on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 07:45:41 PM EST

    If you did, you would notice that those in question were cleared of all charges.

    The detainees in question were able to prove that they weren't even in the country when they supposedly committed the "crimes" they were being charged with - it just took 3 years for the US officials in Guantanamo to even check that simple, easily verified alibi.

    Somehow I think beating the living crap out of and torturing someone because you're too fucking lazy to even check some basic facts are just a bit of a problem.

    Perhaps you should try to actually RTFA before you dismiss it out of hand.

    [ Parent ]

    Its notable (none / 0) (#389)
    by GenerationY on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 04:18:32 AM EST

    it took three years with MI5 and the British Government applying pressure. There will be no such help forthcoming for nationals of other countries who weren't part of the coalition of the willing and even less for those from Iraq etc.

    [ Parent ]
    Not quite... (2.88 / 9) (#3)
    by Znork on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 02:03:43 PM EST

    "Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal." Article 5, Geneva conventions relative to the treatment of POW's.

    Either they're POW's or a tribunal should be held to determine they're not (and until that's been done they should be considered POW's).

    It's not like it's horribly difficuly to read and comprehend the geneva convention, unless you have a really pressing desire to engage in war crimes.

    Well, whatever gets peoples rocks off, I guess.

    [ Parent ]

    And who has the legal standing to (2.33 / 3) (#5)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 04:23:24 PM EST

    raise such questions? Who creates the tribunal?

    I've never known a weasel to lie to me, whore himself out for money or pretend that the weasel competing with him is hungrier than he is. Goddamn it, w
    [ Parent ]
    Anyone? (none / 1) (#7)
    by Znork on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 04:52:24 PM EST

    The idea isnt a certified court of some sort, altho that might be preferable. A competent tribunal can be a military tribunal of the conquering party, or another responsible official group of people capable of judging the circumstances under which the combatant was apprehended.

    Someone capable of distinguishing between a foreigner sold by seedy villagers to seedier warlord soldiers under dubious circumstances and an actual illegal combatant caught engaging in hostilities.

    [ Parent ]

    The acting party in the Geneva Conventions... (3.00 / 2) (#161)
    by RyoCokey on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:15:16 PM EST

    ...throughout the whole treaty is the signatory power. As such, only the signatory power's doubts are relevant, and only they can set up a tribunal to decide. There is no outside oversight written into the Geneva Conventions.



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    [
    Parent ]
    can someone please answer me a question? (1.27 / 73) (#6)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 04:47:36 PM EST

    why is so much thought wasted on a handful of mostly terrorist assholes in guantamo, when thousands of issues in this world affecting orders of magnitude more lives go unspoken of by punitive liberals?

    i consider myself a liberal, i really do

    but i embrace the more action-oriented liberalism that seems to have died away in western democracies in the mid 20th century

    instead i see before me a landscape of knee-jerk reaction to whatever conservatives do, but no positive agendas put forth of their own

    this renders western liberalism hostage to whatever conservatives define it as

    who is a fellow liberal in my world?

    global liberals, not in any way the garden variety propaganda-addled sheep that passes for liberalism in western democracies

    who i consider to be a fellow REAL liberal: the pakistani fighting for woman's rights in islamabad, the filipino fighting the exigencies of the catholic church in manila, the west african fighting female genital circumcision in togo, the saudi arabian fighting for democracy in mecca, the chinese peasant fighting corruption in rural china

    these are my fellow liberals, these are REAL problems affecting REAL people in the world with potential for REAL positive change as i understand their causes

    but all i see around me in the west is punitive liberalism, reaction-oriented liberalism, liberalism founded on negativity and hopelessness and obstruction rather than positive action-oriented change, and lowest common denominator driven propaganda about globalism and capitalism

    and things like stupid typical story: endless focus and hand wringing by thousands of sheep on things like guantanamo, when if you actually gave a shit about the world, there are a million REAL problems begging for your attention

    punitive liberals in western democracies make me vomit, they are not real liberals at all, simply the flotsam and jetsam of history stuck in a negavitity-oriented rut, full of as much potential and virility for fighting REAL PROBLEMS in this world as fucking roadkill baking in the sun

    get a life you fucking guilt-ridden rich punitive liberals of western democracies

    go to the third world, see it as it REALLY IS, not as you hear about it in your ideology drenched tracts, do some thing POSITIVE for a change in this world

    because all you guys are are just walking stereotypes as defined by conservative assholes- they act, you react, so therefore your pov is simply a mirror image moronic reflection of original conservative stupidity... the mirror image of stupidity is not intellgence, it's just more stupidity, and all you punitive rich fucking useless children of rich western democracies seem to be capable of doing is reflecting the pov of someone else

    but don't let me interfere with your endless obsessions over guantanamo, so sorry

    god forbid i should suggest that there are better problems to worry about in this world, i'm so sorry for not towing your lowest common denominator propaganda

    you stupid useless fucks


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    Reasons why (2.75 / 8) (#8)
    by aphrael on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 05:37:49 PM EST

    why is so much thought wasted on a handful of mostly terrorist assholes in guantamo

    I have no evidence that the people in Guantanamo are mostly terrorist assholes, except for the government's assertion of that fact.

    It is not OK with me that my government feels it can claim that someone is a terrorist and whisk that person away with no independant review of their claim.

    If they have that power, then my freedom rests on nothing other than their whim in not depriving me of it, and the notion that I live in a liberal democracy is a farce.

    That's why.

    [ Parent ]

    congratulations (1.05 / 17) (#12)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 05:58:09 PM EST

    you are officially the spokesman for punitive liberalism

    enjoy your irrelevance to any real problems in this world

    conservatives love you: you fit their stereotypes perfectly

    can i ask you an honest question sir?

    when are you going to do something positive in this world rather simply react to what others do?

    for what your concerns amount to is simply the mirror image of what conservatives do

    therefore, you follow the conservative agenda, you just think you are clever for resisting them, when really you are profoundly stupid: you live in the conservative's pocket

    you apparently have no ability to define your own agenda, or make your own actions, you can only resist in kneejerk fashion the bullshit agenda of others

    pointless

    while you go on with your "great cause", other issues in this world concerning real evil and real difference that real liberalism can make occupies none of your thoughts

    you are not a real liberal, you are a false rich western asshole mired in teenaged-level psychology of criminalizing the actions of your government as if they were your parents not allowing you to have the car keys

    pray tell, fine sir, when are you going to point your glorious pointless outrage at a problem that actually matters to anyone besides your little rich western navel gazing concerns?


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    huh? (2.66 / 6) (#13)
    by aphrael on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:06:23 PM EST

    false rich western asshole mired in teenaged-level psychology of criminalizing the actions of your government as if they were your parents not allowing you to have the car keys

    Am I? I suppose by international standards any American citizen is rich, but i'm not rich by domestic standards. I'm not interested in criminalizing; i'm interested in making sure there's a process by which abuse of power can be corrected. My understanding of history says that any power which can be abused eventually will be - and i'd rather make sure the process is in place in advance of the abuse than react to the abuse after it has happened.

    [ Parent ]

    you're self-centered (1.00 / 14) (#14)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:16:07 PM EST

    you can only understand problems as they affect you, you can't understand that there are people in the world with lot bigger problems than you

    and no, i don't mean guantamo detainess when i say that: by your own words, you apparently can only define their plight as how far it affects your rights

    so you go ahead and cover your ass, but don't pretend to me or yourself or anyone else than that what motivates you is anything more than pure selfish interest, and that you can only apparently understand any problem in this world as it relates to you and your little geopoltical patch of earth

    and for that reason, you are not really a liberal, as far as liberalism is concerned with empathizing with others who are worse off than you

    navel gazing

    you do it well

    but don't pretend that you understand the real world or real problems in it, or that you matter to them

    you small narrow-minded little man


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Wow. (2.50 / 2) (#15)
    by aphrael on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:23:30 PM EST

    as far as liberalism is concerned with empathizing with others who are worse off than you

    You deduce from the fact that I am concerned that the actions of my government have the potential to be abused that I am incapable of empathizing with others who are worse off than me?

    Wow. That's an awful lot to assume from this conversation.

    [ Parent ]

    no assumption at all (1.00 / 8) (#20)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:49:18 PM EST

    i am merely taking your pov to the logical conclusion of its real world effects, something you apparently fail to see


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Concern (2.80 / 5) (#17)
    by aphrael on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:25:54 PM EST

    you can't understand that there are people in the world with lot bigger problems than you

    Of course there are people in the world with bigger problems than mine. I do not expect them to be concerned with my problems.

    As a citizen of a democracy, however, I'm responsible for the functioning of my state; and when my state is doing something that betrays its own fundamental basis, I have a responsibility to object to it.

    I don't see how fulfilling my responsibility as a citizen equates to not understanding that there are people with bigger problems.

    [ Parent ]

    very interesting (1.12 / 8) (#19)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:48:09 PM EST

    you again assert your selfish concern with only your rights and your little geopolititical patch of earth

    so, you underline your selfishness

    meanwhile, you pretend to be concerned about people in guantanamo, who don't even live in your society... because what happens to them might affect you?

    "but what happens to them is perpetrated by my government!"

    ah... the door is opened to the wider world... let us see if you can grow and learn a real global liberal conscience and pov, rather than your little narrowminded tribal provincialism and selfishness

    because geopolitical borders are trivial and meaningless

    it's a small globe, and what happens in kandahar matters in kansas, and not just as reflected through the prism of your petty local concerns, which seems to be the only way you will digest them

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Please don't feed the troll circletimessquare -n/t (none / 0) (#317)
    by Milo Minderbinder on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 11:32:12 AM EST


    --
    M & M ENTERPRISES, FINE FRUITS AND PRODUCE.
    [ Parent ]
    Nonsense (2.50 / 2) (#27)
    by pyro9 on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:18:34 PM EST

    What a lot of nonsense that is. I should do nothing about the condition of my own life or that of my country unless or until it becomes somehow 'officially' the very worst problem anyone anywhere faces?

    I'll take that claim seriously the day I hear that you are walking around with two broken legs (yes walking) feeding starving children, refusing to have your condition attended to on the grounds that you probably won't die of it, but the children may die of theirs.

    Somehow, I don't expect that to ever come to pass because, somehow, I don't think you're that increadibly stupid.

    It's not unreasonable to point out to an unsympathetic person that they could as easily be next. If decency won't compel them to do the right thing, having them do so out of enlightened self interest is likely better than nothing.


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    how very ironic (1.00 / 8) (#30)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:26:07 PM EST

    that you trot out your right to self-preservation and concern for one's own society in a story having to do with mostly foreign mostly terrorist assholes in land annexed from another country as a backdrop

    if had any inkling of realization about you, you would see that the subject matter of guantanamo is all about global concerns, and is a doorway into a more global outlook, which is what i am arguing

    and yet you insist on asserting your provincialism louder and louder as the obvious and inevitable becomes more apparent

    you

    just

    don't

    get

    it

    you are profoundly blind and closed-minded


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Nor do you (2.50 / 2) (#34)
    by pyro9 on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:51:05 PM EST

    I suppose you will claim that only those who have no concern for their own society have virtue?

    Perhaps I've decided that I should focus my attention where I have some marginal hope of helping?

    You see, I have no authority at all in Afghanistan. I don't even speak the language. At least in theory, in the U.S. I have one vote, and the right to convince others to do the same.

    Interesting that you claim to have a global view and open mind, but cannot be bothered to consider the motivations of the people right next to you or to consider their opinions except on a scale of how closely they validate your own.

    You see I am open minded enough and have a wide enough view to consider that the original poster MIGHT just be a decent person trying to do what he can where he can.

    mostly foreign mostly terrorist assholes in land annexed from another country as a backdrop

    Given how the WMD worked out, I'll reserve judjement of these people until I see real evidence rather than a handful of assertions from from the Bush administration.

    OH, that's right! I won't get to see any of the 'evidence' because they've been denied the right to a public trial (and in some cases to be present for their own trial apparently). I wonder if someone who goes to all that bother to hide the proceedings might have something to hide?


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    in a world post-9/11 (1.11 / 9) (#36)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:03:48 PM EST

    how can you possibly hope to have a valid pov if it is not global?

    I suppose you will claim that only those who have no concern for their own society have virtue?

    if you understand who i am or what i am talking about, my point is that only those who have concern for their own society have virtue

    what you don't seem to understand is that "their own society" in a world if the internet and jet air travel is equivalent ot the world

    it is impossibile to think any problem can be solved in this world other than through a global perspective

    any tribal subset of the world cannot be considered as separate and a whole entity anymore

    wake up


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    On global povs (none / 1) (#305)
    by white light on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 03:45:20 AM EST

    it is impossibile to think any problem can be solved in this world other than through a global perspective

    I have misplaced my pen. Can you help me?




    ..do you really want to help foster this type of laziness?
    [ Parent ]
    Ah, the joys of Trollbating (none / 0) (#318)
    by Milo Minderbinder on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 11:33:19 AM EST

    YHBT. YHL. HAND.
    --
    M & M ENTERPRISES, FINE FRUITS AND PRODUCE.
    [ Parent ]
    Are you suggesting (2.00 / 4) (#16)
    by levesque on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:25:38 PM EST

    no one question Guantanamo?

    [ Parent ]
    i am suggesting (1.25 / 8) (#21)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:52:05 PM EST

    that millions of rich western sheep obsessing over a handful of mostly terrorist assholes in guantanamo is a travesty of provincial thinking, and a truly global liberal perspective would spread some of those millions of well-meaning but ignorant whores of whatever gets the attention in their lowest common denominator media channels to REAL PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD where they can actually make order of magnitude more difference


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Are you suggesting (2.00 / 6) (#23)
    by Torka on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:02:48 PM EST

    no one question Guantanamo?

    [ Parent ]
    are you implying (1.83 / 6) (#26)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:07:09 PM EST

    that you are an echo chamber?

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    I think he meant... (3.00 / 3) (#41)
    by levesque on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:33:25 PM EST

    Could you could answer my question.

    [ Parent ]
    i answered it you fucktards (1.00 / 10) (#45)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:25:51 PM EST

    ONE

    MILLION

    SHEEP

    FOCUSED

    ON

    ONE

    MOLEHILL

    IS

    STUPID

    maybe some of the sheep can turn their attention to those fucking mountains

    do you understand? do you need more double spaced caps?

    stupid fuck


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Are you suggesting (2.36 / 11) (#62)
    by Torka on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:53:47 PM EST

    no one question Guantanamo?

    [ Parent ]
    Are you suggesting (2.00 / 2) (#88)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:46:10 AM EST

    no one question the systemic contamination of the US meat supply by agribusiness monopolies?

    or that no one question the human tragedy of "illegal" immigrants who are essentially slaves?

    instead you make noise about the legalities surrounding the detainment of mercenaries and irregular combatants fighting with our troops.

    where's your outrage for the US and allied prisoners murdered by the enemy?

    [ Parent ]

    Are you suggesting (none / 1) (#230)
    by Torka on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:01:07 PM EST

    no one question Guantanamo?

    (still waiting for a straight answer from somebody, fourth attempt)

    [ Parent ]

    Look here redundant one... (2.00 / 2) (#371)
    by Orion Blastar on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 01:03:23 PM EST

    You can question Guantanamo all you want. There is not one thing you can do about it. Those captured were not part of any military and were in a war zone shooting at US troops and planting bombs. Under the GC they should have been shot on sight, but you bleeding hearts are soft on terrorists, so we captured them instead. Since we cannot tell, without a fair trial, which ones are guilty or not, we have to treat them all the same for a matter of national security. It would be unfair to treat some one way and some others differently.

    Why don't we release all of them into your care? You will be responsible for them and any terrorist acts they commit. Could you handle that?
    *** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
    [ Parent ]

    Just answer my fucking question, coward. (none / 1) (#382)
    by Torka on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 02:56:37 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    I did answer it (2.00 / 3) (#403)
    by Orion Blastar on Sun Sep 05, 2004 at 12:20:46 AM EST

    if you are too stupid to understand the answer, then that is your problem.
    *** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
    [ Parent ]
    Ok. (none / 1) (#281)
    by levesque on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 12:02:40 PM EST

    Are you suggesting no one question the systemic contamination of the US meat supply by agribusiness monopolies?

    No.

    or that no one question the human tragedy of "illegal" immigrants who are essentially slaves?

    No.

    instead you make noise about the legalities surrounding the detainment of mercenaries and irregular combatants fighting with our troops.

    No, it is not "instead". And if you used the same kind of wording in your two previous points they would sound superficial too.

    where's your outrage for the US and allied prisoners murdered by the enemy?

    Do you expect people to speak about everything at the same time?

    [ Parent ]

    Insults (2.50 / 4) (#28)
    by levesque on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:23:43 PM EST

    sheep obsessing, terrorist assholes, ignorant whores...

    I don't think that helps. Look at your proposition: Get to the real problems rather than the ones that are convenient problems. Then you don't expand, educate or propose, you insult. 'Cause it's convenient?

    But really, where there is suffering there is need, so how do we concentrate our efforts where there is most bang for the buck, most long term systemic change? But that in no way belittles the usefulness of objecting to the small injustices in this world.

    [ Parent ]

    i'll play nice (1.11 / 9) (#33)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:39:28 PM EST

    with no insults, when you play smart

    i'm sick of the noise over guantanamo, because when i see SHEEP acting like SHEEP i will tell them they are being SHEEP

    capisce?

    do whatever you want to do dude, you go on with your bad self over the molehill that is guantanamo with the hordes of your propaganda bound fellow sheep, while mountains beg for your attention- but you are completely wrong about bang for your buck

    more bang for your buck can be found in concerns elsewhere, which i outlined in my top-level comment, despite what you say about my lack of alternatives

    bang for your buck as i understand it is real world change wrought by real world effort

    for guantanamo, i see a thousand wasted cycles by a million sheep

    for other issues, i see no attention, no concern, no effort

    the real world effect of guantanamo? confined to and bound by domestic concerns

    the real world effect of the alternatives i outlined top level? affecting millions, for much little effort, and neglected by you

    additionally, concerns over guantanmo are bound by the concervative agenda... you react ot guantanamo only because "the bad guys" the conservatives, did what they did

    what does it take for oyu to venture out with your agenda in the world, rather than kneejerk simplistic reaction to what conservatives do? that merely binds you to the conervative agenda, making your effort tantamount to conservative stereotyping

    because your hands are bound by what you think you can or cannot do does not bind my ability to point out that you CAN have an affect on those other problems you doubt your ability to impact

    don't expect me to be bound by your provincialism

    nor should you expect me to shut up and stop being critical of you for being bound by tribal concerns as you are


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Less confused now hopefully (2.00 / 2) (#40)
    by levesque on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:21:37 PM EST

    I'll play nice with no insults, when you play smart

    I just think that insults are not an efficient way to get real results.

    more bang for your buck can be found in concerns elsewhere, which i outlined in my top-level comment

    That is what I was referring to... I'm in no way suggesting Guantanamo is a valid focus in this context.

    me -"so how do we concentrate our efforts where there is most bang for the buck, most long term systemic change?"

    Everyone has a limited time to affect change. You did refer to many "real problems" but what I meant was what about priorities to help you in your long term goals. What about working where the most change can be rendered contagious. How can this be evaluated rationally.

    But I'm in no way suggesting that one who brings up Guantanamo injustices is wasting their time.

    me -"But that in no way belittles the usefulness of objecting to the small injustices in this world."

    [ Parent ]

    have you ever watched entertainment news shows? (1.00 / 8) (#42)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:59:01 PM EST

    where they obsess over paris hilton's dog or britney spear's bf?

    shallow right?

    the same sort of lowest common denominator vapid sheeplike behavior drives interest in guantanamo

    so, in the same way expressing interest in guantanamo isn't wasted time, then you must also say interest in paris hilton isn't wasted time

    both are driven by media channel programming

    no original care or thought

    i will lambast and insult sheep when i see and positively identify someone's behavior as sheeplike

    and when it comes to interest by rich western children in guanatanamo, it most certainly is sheeplike media-driven behavior

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    I don't disagree (none / 1) (#68)
    by levesque on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 11:16:17 PM EST

    You seem to be describing a shalowness continuum from 0% relevance to 100% relevance used to describe the validity of concerns in the global context of massive but widely unknown injustices in an effort to move people to more relevant action.

    I'm not sure if lambast and sheepfulness have any effect on helping external reality in this way.

    [ Parent ]

    well that was a fancy way to say you don't agree (1.14 / 7) (#69)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:14:10 AM EST

    I'm not sure if lambast and sheepfulness have any effect on helping external reality in this way.

    i think that you treat teenaged behavior as teenage behavior

    you don't argue reasonably with children

    you spank them


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Ok (none / 0) (#234)
    by levesque on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:29:14 PM EST

    I disagree if you think spanking is an effective way to exact significant long term change.

    [ Parent ]
    Ok (none / 0) (#380)
    by levesque on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 07:33:25 PM EST

    On a meta level I'm not sure

    And it takes all kinds and stuff

    Some of the best new info, for me, comes from posts where some of the text I find insightful and the some other part I find offensive.

    [ Parent ]

    Media (2.50 / 2) (#103)
    by ensignyu on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:05:21 AM EST

    As far as I've seen, the media doesn't particularly care about Guantanamo. Most people, including liberals, don't care either. The media sure obsesses over lots of pointless things, but Guantanamo is neither pointless nor obsessed over.

    I do agree that there are lots of issues, domestic and abroad, that deserve much more attention than they're being given. You also have to realize that we can't solve the world's problems all at once. The only issues that will even be considered by policymakers are the ones that get attention, i.e. the ones that the media has been sensationalizing the ranting about. The ones that liberals, conservatives, and everyone else has an opinion on. Well, the politically-inclined anyway.

    I could declare loudly that if we would spent the slightest effort on AIDS prevention and birth control, a lot of problems would be solved. Nobody's interested in that though, so nothing's going to happen. Ditto with a lot of other problems that have been around for a while. It's not "news." You might argue that liberals should make such issues news, which is probably harder than it sounds.

    I wouldn't know. I'm just a privileged armchair liberal. It's at least better than being an armchair conservative, and my reasons are not entirely selfish. I'm just not particularly selfless, and neither are most people. That's reality. You should be glad that K5-ers at least look beyond CNN and Fox News. If you have a specific issue, write an article or something. Politely, please.

    [ Parent ]

    you are selfish (1.25 / 4) (#130)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:30:04 AM EST

    you can only understand world problems as reflected through how they effect your own rights

    what about the rights of others in this world for the sake of caring about them period?

    media channels are media channels

    just because it isn't on fox news doesn't mean it isn't propaganda

    there are tired typical bullhorns of propaganda for all spectrums of ideologies

    how about some original thought


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    K5 (none / 0) (#237)
    by ensignyu on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:39:29 PM EST

    I suppose you think K5 is one of those "bullhorns of propaganda"? Have to get news and perspective from somewhere. Mostly online newspapers. I don't watch television at all. If you suggest that we eschew the media entirely, you're probably asking too much.

    And yes, I am selfish. And lazy. Along with the world. Most people are destined to be follwers, not leaders. Get used to it.

    [ Parent ]

    Are you suggesting (2.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Torka on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:54:48 PM EST

    no one question Guantanamo?

    [ Parent ]
    a quick question... (3.00 / 3) (#18)
    by romperstomper on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:34:07 PM EST

    who i consider to be a fellow REAL liberal: the pakistani fighting for woman's rights in islamabad, the filipino fighting the exigencies of the catholic church in manila, the west african fighting female genital circumcision in togo, the saudi arabian fighting for democracy in mecca, the chinese peasant fighting corruption in rural china

    What great battle are you fighting that puts you on the same plane as these people?  

    You complain about western liberals being nothing more than reactionaries.  I just wonder what real projects you're working on for the "REAL" liberalism movement out there.  So far, all I've noticed you doing is criticizing others for bringing up an issue you feel is of little import.  

    Personally, I see little difference between you and the "stupid useless fucks" you criticize.  At the end of the day, both were here, posting on Kuro5hin.  I doubt many starving babies were fed by your sensationalist rant.  

    [ Parent ]

    i'll be in surigao in january (1.00 / 14) (#22)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 06:58:11 PM EST

    but you go ahead and doubt the conviction behind my words

    go for it

    but first, you need to suck my big bulbous dick, you fucking asshole

    now that you've questioned the strength of my convictions, and questioned my right to say what i do, i'd like to do the same to you, you fucking asshole

    wanna play this game?

    go ahead, your turn

    punitive liberals may be clueless sheep in need of swift kick in the ass, but at least they're not you: a rich western fuck bent on criticizing those who call to others to help in this world

    exactly what is served by questioning my convictions except your own petty selfish excuses to continue your marie antoinette life while so many suffer in this world?

    i know what is served: yourself

    the fate of others is not your fault, but it is your responsiblity, if you are rich, and if you live in a western democracy, you are. your problems are petty bullshit in comparison

    open your mouth asshole, go ahead, open it again, i got a load for you


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Oh lordy lordy! (2.50 / 2) (#29)
    by romperstomper on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:24:19 PM EST

    I'd say you're about 2-3 posts away from a busted blood vessel.  

    But seriously, you keep fighting the good fight.  Ridding the world of apathy one arrogant rant at a time.  

    but you go ahead and doubt the conviction behind my words

    You definitely write with conviction, albeit the conviction of a failing drama student.

    exactly what is served by questioning my convictions except your own petty selfish excuses to continue your marie antoinette life while so many suffer in this world?

    i know what is served: yourself

    True.  And it's shameful, especially in comparison to the commendable work you do on this site.  

    But in the interests of not talking to you any longer, allow me to resign from this thread.  I'm sure we could both throw insults back and forth all the live long day, but I'll opt out at this juncture.  

    Enjoy your time in Surigao.  I'm sure your rational approach will bring a better reputation to the many rich western democratic useless clueless fucking assholes here.  
     

    [ Parent ]

    snicker (1.11 / 9) (#32)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:27:32 PM EST

    i see you backing off, besides your bluster

    glad i could make a difference

    ;-)

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Child sex tourist? (none / 1) (#326)
    by azurensis on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 05:15:02 PM EST

    Got a load for all the kiddies too?


    [ Parent ]
    Put the straw man down (1.50 / 2) (#87)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:36:47 AM EST

    Right now american children are being drugged to modify their classroom behavior.

    Right now corporate giants are rebuilding the oil and beef trusts of a hundred years ago.

    Right now 80% of minority children living in the inner city are illiterate.

    And the liberals in Washington don't give a shit. Instead they expend their energies protesting a war that they will not stop. Kerry campaigns that while the Iraq war was bad, we can't end it either!

    [ Parent ]

    Way to put your troll hat back on. (n/t) (1.50 / 6) (#31)
    by sudog on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:26:47 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    ah yes, this bullshit again (1.00 / 8) (#38)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:05:50 PM EST

    i'm the troll, but when you behave the same as me you are not a troll


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    The joy of multiple standards... ;) [nt] (2.00 / 3) (#65)
    by egeland on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 11:03:50 PM EST



    --
    Some interesting quotes
    [ Parent ]
    You refuse to face up to your own words.. (none / 0) (#337)
    by sudog on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 08:40:48 PM EST

    ..turn hat and become someone on the *other* end of the violence chain, and you call me a troll?

    Hahaha..  you're a funny guy. So, tell me--when did you stop calling yourself a troll in K5? (And since when do you mod 0's? I've never modded you a zero. Not once--even when 75-85% of your posts deserve it.)


    [ Parent ]

    A: because it could have been you. [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#35)
    by pb on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:00:45 PM EST


    ---
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]
    q: could have been me what? (nt) (1.00 / 5) (#37)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:04:43 PM EST



    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    hello, mcfly... (1.66 / 3) (#47)
    by pb on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:39:10 PM EST

    Pb: Knock Knock.
    CTT: Who's There?
    Pb: CircleTimesSquare.
    CTT: CircleTimesSquare what?
    Pb: CircleTimesSquare lock you up and throw away the key.

    CTT: No way man, that only happens to terrorists!
    Pb: You mean people who are accused of being terrorists.
    CTT: Yeah, so, they're probably...
    Pb: Yeah, so, I accuse you.
    CTT: Ahhh!

    Pb: Yeah, that's what I thought...
    CTT: [Can't speak, due to duct tape]
    ---
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    nice analogy, now let's get back to the future ;-) (1.12 / 8) (#50)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:56:14 PM EST

    Pb: we have to preserve our rights by fighting for the rights of the mostly terrorist assholes in guantanamo
    CXS: ok, but these rights already don't exist in china, iran, syria...
    Pb: but i don't live in those places, that's not my problem
    CXS: they will become your problem
    Pb: how?
    CXS: 9/11-style, that's how... lack of human rights somewhere is lack of human rights everywhere, bigotry somewhere is bigotry everywhere
    Pb: well 9/11 was payback for the evil the american govt did in the cold war
    CXS: ok, so what is guantanamo about then, helping those who delivered our deserved payback?
    Pb: no it's to preserve our rights
    CXS: our rights to do what, commit cold war evils in the world?
    Pb: no, to do good in the world
    CXS: you mean like fight for the rights of others in the world?
    Pb: no, the us doesn't do that, it only suppresses the rights of others in this world
    CXS: but you said guantanamo was about preserving your own rights
    Pb: yes, it is
    CXS: so what's the best way to do that?
    Pb: by fighting for human rights
    CXS: where?
    Pb: in guantanamo dummy!
    CXS: what about syria, iran, china
    Pb: not my problem
    CXS: (scratches head)

    it's amazing how someone can be so close but so far away

    if you understand who i am or what i am talking about, my point is that only those who have concern for their own society have virtue

    what you don't seem to understand though is that "their own society" in a world of the internet and jet air travel is equivalent not to kansas, not to the us, but to the world

    it is impossibile nowadays to think any problem can be solved in this world other than through a global perspective

    any tribal subset of the world cannot be considered as separate and a whole entity anymore, there is no subset of the global society anymore

    it is amazing to me that guantanamo, a situation fraught with international causes and effects, is still only seen by you through the prism of your own domestic rights... that's incredibly blind and selfish

    if you really cared about your rights, you would fight for "your" rights.... and "your" rights are the rights of chinese, iranians, syrians

    you can't think locally anymore, it's impossible to solve problems that way anymore

    you are blind to reality: all problems are global problems, there is no such things as a local problem anymore

    wake up

    you're operating on extinct assumptions


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    It's a question of responsibility. (none / 1) (#73)
    by pb on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:13:27 AM EST

    Like a bull in a China shop -- you break it, you bought it.

    As for the rest of your inane ramblings, well, some things never change. :)
    ---
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    the whole world is not your fault (1.20 / 5) (#128)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:27:22 AM EST

    but the whole world is your responsibility

    you are talking about fault, not responsibility, when you say "you break it, you bought it"


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    responsibility for your actions [nt] (none / 1) (#207)
    by pb on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:07:33 PM EST


    ---
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]
    It's think globally, act locally, dumbass. (2.50 / 2) (#118)
    by Russell Dovey on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:09:47 AM EST

    If everyone cleaned up their own shit, all the shit would be gone. But if you have everyone complaining about everyone else's shit, no shit actually gets cleaned up because they're all too busy defending THEIR SHIT.

    So Guantanamo Bay is the USA's to clean up, just as Woomera, Nauru, Baxter and the other flyblown desert gulags Australia throws traumatised, innocent refugees in are my problem.

    So get to it, circletimessquare.

    "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
    [ Parent ]

    As if (2.33 / 3) (#123)
    by asdfqwertygh on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:22:26 AM EST

    what other people fail to clean up (or simply cannot clean up without help) doesn't affect you, create problems for you? Please.

    [ Parent ]
    someone gets it (nt) (1.00 / 3) (#127)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:26:28 AM EST



    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    That's the fucking point. (none / 0) (#247)
    by Russell Dovey on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 02:01:42 AM EST

    If they took five seconds to clean up their own shit, we wouldn't need to spend five days fighting our way through their armies just to clean up their shit!

    Just take care of your own shit, and all the shit will disappear!

    "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
    [ Parent ]

    Easier said than done, dude. (none / 1) (#248)
    by asdfqwertygh on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 02:16:38 AM EST

    You know why America stepped into WW2? Europe couldn't clean up their own shit, but if America just ignored it it'd be American's shit soon enough. If you ignore big problems elsewhere, they're going to come back and bite you. "Just let them do it" is fucking useless if 'they' can't fix it.

    [ Parent ]
    Bullshiat! (none / 0) (#253)
    by Nursie on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 05:06:40 AM EST

    You iknow why america stepped into ww2? Because the japanese blew shit out of it's navy in pearr harbour. That's why the US got off its ass and stepped in.

    Also, that's a slightly different and unusual situation, WW2 was all out global warfare, not jumped up charges of WMD posession followed by a lightning fast occupation.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    think globally act globally (1.20 / 5) (#126)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:25:57 AM EST

    ther eis no someone else's shit

    everyone's shit is your shit

    you shit is everyone else's shit

    in the world of the internet and jet air trtavel, i don't know how you can still insist on subdividing the globe along arbitrary random geopolitical lines

    there are no american problems, there are no european problems, there are no indian problems

    there are only human problems

    welcome to the here and now


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Look, this is stupid. (3.00 / 2) (#201)
    by Russell Dovey on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:44:35 PM EST

    The rulers of the USA are using the country as their own collective cumrag and you don't give a shit?

    What kind of idiot waves away blatant evidence of a nascent military junta in his own country? Do you think for even a second that the freedom and prosperity you currently enjoy, allowing you to help deserving people in other countries, will continue under a dictatorship?

    "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
    [ Parent ]

    Wrong, stupid troll. (none / 0) (#325)
    by azurensis on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 05:13:21 PM EST

    Your shit is certainly not my shit.

    Your shit is pointless.


    [ Parent ]

    And yet here you are... (3.00 / 2) (#51)
    by skyknight on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:56:54 PM EST

    wasting your time with latte sipping, K5 reading, self-hating liberals of western democracies... Irony?

    It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
    [ Parent ]
    yes, it is ironic (1.37 / 8) (#52)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:58:25 PM EST

    that you should be wasting your time here accusing me of wasting my time here

    ;-)


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Worse still... (2.33 / 3) (#53)
    by skyknight on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:00:37 PM EST

    is that you are engaging in meta-insult, and that I am now rejoining it with meta-meta insult.

    It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
    [ Parent ]
    ah, life in an echo chamber (nt) (1.33 / 6) (#57)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:25:45 PM EST



    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Nice troll. [nt] (none / 1) (#59)
    by ELP Fucking Rules on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:37:52 PM EST



    I may disagree with what you have to say but I'll kill you for my right to say that.
    [ Parent ]
    i believe everything i say (nt) (none / 1) (#67)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 11:10:12 PM EST



    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    I disagree (none / 0) (#138)
    by MX5 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:02:16 PM EST


    "Next week on the programme, bats. Are they really blind or are they just taking the piss?" -tfs
    [ Parent ]
    you disagree that i believe everything i say? (none / 1) (#163)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:22:05 PM EST

    are you that voice in my head again?

    damn, forgot to take my meds again ;-P


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    kind of :-) (none / 0) (#402)
    by MX5 on Sat Sep 04, 2004 at 05:07:24 AM EST

    it's probably a bit late in the thread to be saying this, but what I mean is, even you don't think that the stuff you say you believe is true.

    you said somewhere else (sorry, can't find the comment where you made the point) that posting here was a way of giving an outlet to one side of yourself. Therefore it would be more accurate to say that *a part* of you believes everything you write. So what about the rest of you?

    personally I have no problem with flip-floppers; people think/believe different things at different times, otherwise they wouldn't be human. You're no different.


    "Next week on the programme, bats. Are they really blind or are they just taking the piss?" -tfs
    [ Parent ]

    Well said (1.66 / 3) (#86)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:32:16 AM EST

    Liberals and self-proclaimed progressives have lost their edge. There was a time when real liberal politicians like Truman, FDR and Alfred Smith really gave a shit about people and pushed for real social change.

    Today's liberal is concered about people's feelings and getting their buddies bullshit jobs. They scream about gay marriage while most cities in the country are in a state of decay.

    [ Parent ]

    hey conservative (1.00 / 7) (#124)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:23:10 AM EST

    fuck off, this isn't your party

    punitive liberals may be morons, but conservatives are still evil assholes

    let me clean house and spank some errant children, then i'll deal with the likes of you


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Obviously a troll, but I'll bite anyway. (none / 1) (#89)
    by Chakotay on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:07:49 AM EST

    The USA has started military activity in Afghanistan and Iraq to defend freedom and democracy - a worth goal indeed!

    But how can they maintain that, if they themselves blatantly disregard the rights of prisoners?

    To change the world, start at home!

    --
    Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

    [ Parent ]

    home=the world (1.25 / 4) (#125)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:24:03 AM EST

    there are no local problems anymore in today's world

    all problems are global

    starting at home=anywhere in the world, because the world is home


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    So, I start et Guantanamo! (3.00 / 2) (#266)
    by Chakotay on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:27:05 AM EST

    What's your problem? :)

    --
    Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

    [ Parent ]
    This is going to sound a little harsh, but.... (1.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Russell Dovey on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 09:48:57 AM EST

    Fuck you, you whining American inbred hick. Didn't you ever learn that you should clean up the shit in your own backyard before complaining about other people?

    Why the fuck should anyone listen to America when it tells the world what to do? What the fuck makes you the judge, jury, and executioner?

    Instead of invading other countries because they're badly governed, maybe you should invade your own again, like you once had the balls to do!

    "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
    [ Parent ]

    the truth for you my friend (1.25 / 4) (#122)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:21:57 AM EST

    there is no such thing as local problems anymore

    there is no "american" there is no "european" there is no "indian"

    there is only human

    all problems are global

    i would hope someone with anarchist in their email address would grasp that concept

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    You keep saying that again and again and again. (2.00 / 2) (#133)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:41:32 AM EST

    Bear in mind that it doesn't make what you're saying more true, or anything.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    saying it again and again doesn't make it true (1.25 / 4) (#141)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:15:00 PM EST

    but it is true

    i simply say it again and again because so many here seem to have a problem with the idea


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Maybe they have problem with this idea (none / 1) (#146)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:37:47 PM EST

    because this idea is simply not true? Consider this possibility for a moment.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    in a world of 9/11, the internet, jet air travel (1.50 / 2) (#149)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:42:44 PM EST

    how can it not be true?

    you can't divide the world into cute little fiefdoms anymore

    there is no american, there is no european, there is no indian

    there is only human

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Why? (2.50 / 2) (#154)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:05:08 PM EST

    The world is, as a matter of fact, divided into cute (and, mostly, not-so-cute) little fiefdoms, by forces way outside of my control.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    says chicken little (1.50 / 2) (#158)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:12:29 PM EST

    there are no americans, there are no french, there are no iraqis, there are no bangladeshis

    there are only human beings in this world

    the little fiefdoms are arbitrary and random tribal turf wars

    to say anything else as a basis for a moral pov is wrong, it's immoral, it's like saying that human rights ends at the rio grande

    seeing only human beings, and no artificial barriers, is the only moral pov you take on regard to human rights and the universality of them

    you think you can't change that? you think the artificial barriers to the universality of human rights and democracy actually amounts to a hill of beans?

    watch, my self-limited friend, watch history and learn

    you will think of me again in old age, as history's trajectory reveals itself to you


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Heh. (2.50 / 2) (#164)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:22:20 PM EST

    there are no americans, there are no french, there are no iraqis, there are no bangladeshis

    Your wishing so doesn't make it true. Sorry.

    there are only human beings in this world

    Not alll of them CTS, fortunately.

    to say anything else as a basis for a moral pov is wrong, it's immoral, it's like saying that human rights ends at the rio grande

    They do in fact end at the Rio Grande, whether you want it or not.

    you think you can't change that?

    I do indeed think so.

    you think the artificial barriers to the universality of human rights and democracy actually amounts to a hill of beans?

    That didn't quite parse. Sorry.

    watch, my self-limited friend, watch history and learn

    That's precisely what I'm trying to do. Apparently the history teaches different lessons to different people.

    you will think of me again in old age, as history's trajectory reveals itself to you

    I doubt it somehow.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    snicker (1.00 / 3) (#167)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:28:39 PM EST

    "to say anything else as a basis for a moral pov is wrong, it's immoral, it's like saying that human rights ends at the rio grande"

    They do in fact end at the Rio Grande, whether you want it or not.

    dude, did you give any consideration to what these words might render you as as far as the larger discussion at hand goes?

    did you give any thought as to what other people might think of you after reading htis thread?

    what exactly do you think you are proving? that you are a selfish asshole?

    ok, fine, you win, your a selfish asshole

    do you think everyone will come to think like you?

    you go on with bad self, by all means, you keep being you

    we will see how far your pov takes you in this discussion... or in this world, we will see how far mine does

    you're just a selfish asshole, by your own words, so don't think i'm too impressed by you or your pov

    so you're small and selfish, so what?

    you're a dime a dozen, as if you actually matter to anyone but yourself- by your own words, and you are proud of it!

    well good for you! clap clap clap

    please, by all mean, be proud of the sunlight that comes out your ass, and get to work on being able to suck your own cock

    because with an attitude like that, i fail to see many chicks who would want to do it for you

    lol

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

    smooches fucktwit

    you lose


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Heh^2. (none / 1) (#172)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:52:46 PM EST

    dude, did you give any consideration to what these words might render you as as far as the larger discussion at hand goes?

    Nope. I give some amount of consideration to what I am. What I am rendered as is not worthy of any.

    did you give any thought as to what other people might think of you after reading htis thread?

    I dunno. "Here's a guy that prefers truths to wishful thinking". Or maybe "what an asshole". Or "what a troller". Or "what a baiter". Does it really matter? I will probably never meet any of them in my life.

    do you think everyone will come to think like you?

    Not really, but there's always hope.

    you're a dime a dozen

    Yes. And you're a unique and precious snowflake. Maybe. I fail to see why or how, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt on this one.

    because with an attitude like that, i fail to see many chicks who would want to do it for you

    One is quite enough for me, thank you very much. For some reason I happen to be a conservative as far as "family values" are going.

    you lose

    That's a possibility. We're playing what game?

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    "i"'s guide to winning friends (none / 1) (#184)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:58:26 PM EST

    and influencing people

    "be selfish in everything you do, everyone will respect you for it and think you're really cool"

    "how do i know that?"

    "because i'm really selfish and i respect myself and think i'm really cool"

    lol

    you're a walking self-referential joke

    keep it up, you make me smile ;-)


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Hm. (none / 1) (#202)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:46:21 PM EST

    I'm not set out to be "cool", and I respect all people, selfish or not, as long as they don't do nasty things. I guess I can't expect the same from the rest of the world, sigh.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Dumbass. No local problems? (2.00 / 2) (#194)
    by Russell Dovey on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:35:08 PM EST

    So the world causes my city to have a public housing crisis? Hey, I thought it was the slothful greed and fucking apathy of our glorious political leaders, but no, it's the world! You fucking foreigners, give us public housing! It's your fault that we elected pathetic losers, not ours!

    The anarchist in my address means, to me, that people are more important than the machine-systems that enslave them. That these systems are the true rulers of this world, and if we stopped worshipping them and focused more on the people around us, we'd all be a lot happier.

    So stop shouting down anyone who criticises the insane and brutal nature of American society, okay? Making it obvious to everyone what's really going on is the only way to win against the system.

    Billions of small actions are the way to beat this monster, not hundreds of doomed ones.

    "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
    [ Parent ]

    Here is an answer... (2.00 / 2) (#105)
    by dasunt on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:16:38 AM EST

    why is so much thought wasted on a handful of mostly terrorist assholes in guantamo, when thousands of issues in this world affecting orders of magnitude more lives go unspoken of by punitive liberals?

    It could be that the US Government's careful skirting of the Geneva Convention in regards to POWs will probably end up harming US soldiers. [ For those curious, look for the Geneva Convention's subsection on ununiformed militias. ]

    Or it could be that the US Government can point the finger at any US CITIZEN, scream "terrorist", and all of the sudden that person "disappears", no trial, no laywer, nothing.

    But hey, perhaps it is irrational, ivory-tower liberalism that thinks secret police, secret arrests, and secret trials are a bad idea.

    You, OTOH, would happily paint a giant star on the courtroom's ceiling and not give it a second thought.



    [ Parent ]
    this is the problem (1.25 / 4) (#121)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:20:01 AM EST

    you can only understand a problem as it is reflected through the mirror of your own rights

    therefore, you are essentially selfish


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Selfishness (2.00 / 2) (#134)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:42:43 AM EST

    is a virtue. Discuss.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    lol, says "i" BWAHAHAHAHA ;-) (nt) (none / 1) (#142)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:15:35 PM EST



    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Why this maniacal laughter? (none / 1) (#148)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:41:45 PM EST

    Ah, I see. You think something around here is funny. Too bad, then.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    philosophy 101 (1.33 / 3) (#150)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:49:02 PM EST

    giving to charity makes someone feel good, so even if they give $100,000, the good feeling they get for giving might be worth more to them than $100,000 so giving to charity is selfish

    buying and selling shares on the stockmarket also has the effect of properly pricing the value of company, thereby serving the public good by properly illuminating the undervalue/ overvalue of something in the public trust, so being a stock broker is selfless

    these are all nice philosophical points asshole, but they don't illuminate the topic at hand, especially because where you and i can say something is both selfish and selfless, WE ARE DEALING WITH PEOPLE WHO DON'T ADMIT THAT

    so my points still stand

    anything else fuckface?


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    I must have missed it (3.00 / 2) (#160)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:15:12 PM EST

    when they taught me to hold a discussion. Nice trick it is, calling your opponent names. Totally wins you an argument. Why haven't I thought about it myself?

    By the way, when I'm saying that selfishness is a virtue, I mean just that. None of this strawman stuff you're trying to erect. Care about yourself and leave the rest of the world alone, and hopefully, the rest of the world will repay you with the same.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    Dont mind... (none / 0) (#224)
    by Znork on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 05:34:04 PM EST

    ...cts, he's somewhat retarded and has a severe inferiority complex over his inability to coherently express his point of view. That usually has him sputtering expletives in an attempt to cover his fallacies, in the belief that they will distract from the logical faults in his point of view. It usually fails, as most everyone simply ignores him, concluding he has nothing interesting to say, by the time he goes totally inane.

    [ Parent ]
    Interesting (none / 0) (#269)
    by dasunt on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:56:08 AM EST

    you can only understand a problem as it is reflected through the mirror of your own rights

    I was framing a selfish reason for you, who asked why we should care about foreigners locked up in a US prison.

    I find it humorous that when I give you a direct reason to care, you call me selfish.



    [ Parent ]
    It's a defense mechanism (none / 1) (#106)
    by debacle on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:20:24 AM EST

    When a plant does not have enough sunlight to survive properly it will forgo bearing fruit and produce larger leaves to absorb more sunlight.

    We liberals don't have enough power to survive properly, so instead of bearing fruit - we still have an agenda, though diversified, even if it's not our number one focus right now - we try and make our leaves bigger to overcome the republicans.

    I understand your concern, and I think that a presidential canidate should not simply be running as the anti-Bush, but whatever.

    It tastes sweet.
    [ Parent ]

    you limit yourself with that rhetoric (nt) (none / 0) (#120)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:19:06 AM EST



    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    The problem with liberals (none / 1) (#215)
    by Cro Magnon on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:33:18 PM EST

    is that when they stopped producing fruit, they started producing nuts instead.
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Remove the plank from your OWN eye... (2.66 / 3) (#107)
    by mcherm on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:31:15 AM EST

    Circletimessquare, although you use flaming rhetoric, you do indeed raise a legitimate question. Why should we so much effort worrying about these individuals (who may well be terrorists anyhow), when there are many more people throughout the world in more desperate need.

    From Matthew 7: "First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." There are indeed many people throughout the world who desperately need my help -- so many that it is beyond my ability to help them all. But then there are the people who I am oppressing. To me, it is more important that I make an effort to stop oppressing people than that I make an effort to make OTHER people behave.

    And I am a US citizen. my government is oppressing these prisoners. It is my responsibility to bring it to task and to object to the evils it performs in my name. That is why I "waste" so much effort as to care about these individuals... because it is in my name that they are being mistreated.


    -- Michael Chermside
    [ Parent ]

    it's a global world now (1.25 / 4) (#119)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:18:28 AM EST

    there is no such thing as a local problem anymore

    all problems are global


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    circletimessquare... (3.00 / 3) (#139)
    by DavidTC on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:04:57 PM EST

    ...is a troll. He comes in and whines every time anyone gets upset about the actions of the US government, claiming there are much more important issues that we should be upset about, and that we should impotently project our outrage over towards whatever he considers important, instead of aiming our outrage towards things we actually have the ability to alter, like US government policy.

    See here, where he was claiming we had better things to be upset about than a little torture.

    I had more to say, but there's a handicapped person outside I need to go kill because they're diverting aid that should be going towards freeing Tibet. Damn wheelchair ramps! I think I'll start a charity dedicated to killing wheelchair bound people and sending the money saved to free Tibet. It will be a Great True Liberal Cause.



    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA ;-) (none / 1) (#153)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:03:28 PM EST

    i have no ego problems: let me be the first to say that's some funny shit ;-)

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    circletimessquare a Troll? Really?! (none / 0) (#260)
    by mcherm on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 07:30:55 AM EST

    Of COURSE circletimessquare is a troll!!

    But sometimes even Trolls raise legitimate questions. In this case, I thought it was worth answering the question, regardless of the intent with which it was asked.

    -- Michael Chermside
    [ Parent ]

    Been there. Done that. (2.66 / 3) (#129)
    by Herding Cats on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:28:51 AM EST

    First, I have done work like that. I ended up not resigning my contract and returning home due to health problems in my family, but I was there and I know what this hardship means. Water you can't trust. Food that barely staves off the hunger pains. Medicines that are too few and far between to do any good. Books that would be rejected as Poor Quality in even the poorest school districts in the industrial world. If I hadn't been needed by my grandparents, I would've stayed there for four times as long. There may be millions of people in this world that need aid, but you only get one family.

    Second, I can be just as concerned about the poor bastards at Gitmo. Why? Because, regardless of nationality, the Bill of Rights affects all people on American soil. And, as the State Department has repeatedly said, that area of land is American soil. Therefore, they have the same rights as any other American does. Hell, even illegal immigrants have more rights that those poor bastards at Gitmo. If you can't stand up for the Bill of Rights here in America, you shouldn't call yourself an American liberal, IMO.

    I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions -- adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.

    ---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    [ Parent ]

    wow (1.14 / 7) (#131)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:31:13 AM EST

    i hear concern for oneself

    i hear concern for gitmo because it has to do with you

    everything goes back to you

    me, me, me

    selfishness


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    And where, exactly, did you pick that up? (3.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Herding Cats on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:39:39 AM EST

    Please quote from the original post in your reply.

    And tell me, while you're at it. Have you gone over there? Have you seen it with your own eyes and can tell true story after true story regarding what those kids have to deal with? If not, then you have no stance to be a critic on this issue.

    Further, you said, and I quote your original post in this thread, "these are my fellow liberals, these are REAL problems affecting REAL people in the world with potential for REAL positive change as i understand their causes[.]" So would it affect a single thing if I tell you where I was?

    I'll save my location for your response.

    I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions -- adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.

    ---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    [ Parent ]

    i'll be in surigao in january (1.25 / 4) (#140)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:11:43 PM EST

    look at your top level post

    all of your decisions referenced back to you

    look, you're a good guy, but don't pretend your being selfless when your words reference so much selfishness

    you have done something selfless, but i'm just reacting to the stream of selfish quotes in your top level quote

    you can be selfish in this world, you can be selfless in this world, both are no problem... but don't misclassify one or the other, don't claim selflessness when you are being selfish (or visa versa for that matter)

    let your selfless and selfish acts stand apart

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Okay then... Let's pick this one apart, shall we? (2.50 / 2) (#152)
    by Herding Cats on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:00:08 PM EST

    look, you're a good guy, but don't pretend your being selfless when your words reference so much selfishness

    Where is the selfishness? Did I go to Burundi to take care of personal matters? No. I went because, as a basic human being, I couldn't sit and watch people suffer like that. I used to get letters once per month that kept me up to date with what was happening to my friends over there, but now, thanks to the FNL, those that used to send me letters are dead. Want to call that selfishness? That those I cared for and lived with for a year are dead and I, because I decided to take care of my family members, am not?

    you have done something selfless, but i'm just reacting to the stream of selfish quotes in your top level quote

    If you refer to the use of the word "I", then please say it that way. You can't talk about a personal experience without using that word. Well, actually you can, but it comes out too jilted and formal for this kind of topic. I'm passing on to you information about something that still makes me, personally, wake up in a cold sweat. Because this is personal. I can still see some of their faces at night and if I did the right thing to come back to the States. If I hadn't, I'd probably be dead. Only probably, because people get shuffled around through the various camps on a regular basis, so MONUC might have assigned me to a different place than Gatumba when we were moved from Tanzania.

    And I did not go over there for a "selfish" reason. No resume-building exercise. No back-pats and kudos from friends and family. No corporate sponsorship after I came back home. None of the "selfish" reasons that people do things "selfless" things. I went because even though my country, as well as most of the world, turned their collective backs to them, I refused to.

    That is why I fail to see the selfishness you refer to. I went, not because I wanted to, but because no one else would do what needed to be done.

    Just as you will do yourself in Surigao.

    I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions -- adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.

    ---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    [ Parent ]

    dude (1.25 / 4) (#155)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:08:26 PM EST

    i didn't say you went to burundi for selfish reasons

    i said you had selfish and selflessness in your words, and don't confuse one for the other

    you LEFT burundi for selfish reasons

    perfectly good ones too!

    but because you went to burundi doesn't get you a lifelong get out jail free card "i care"

    it proves you do care, but don't start painting your selfish actions with a selfless tone

    let your selfish actions be what they are, let your selfless acitons be what they are, but never the twain shall meet

    capisce?

    your selfless actions stand on their own, they need no defending, especially from the likes of me!

    but don't be trotting around here saying your selfish actions are enameled with the aura of selflessness because you have been selfless in the past

    your selfish actions stand on their own

    your selfless acitons stand on their own

    got it?

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Still asking (none / 0) (#169)
    by Herding Cats on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:34:11 PM EST

    Where are my current selfish actions that you're referrign to?

    I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions -- adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.

    ---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    [ Parent ]

    dude (none / 1) (#188)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:01:25 PM EST

    why did you leave burundi

    :-/


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    So (2.50 / 2) (#191)
    by Herding Cats on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:09:44 PM EST

    Taking care of sick family members = selfish?
    Keeping your grandparents from having to live in a nursing home for the rest of their lives = selfish?
    Feeding, housing, and maintaining your elders = selfish?

    You have a wierd sense of what is selfish... If I was selfish, I would've just left them to rot in a nursing home. I didn't. Instead, I took care of them until their health deteriorated to the point where they required 24/7 medical care.

    I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions -- adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.

    ---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    [ Parent ]

    ok you win (1.25 / 4) (#192)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:13:55 PM EST

    you went to burndi, you did good

    therefore, every other thing you do in your life is unselfish

    you're st. francis of assissi

    whatever

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Why would I want to be him? (2.50 / 2) (#193)
    by Herding Cats on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:20:01 PM EST

    You need to be dead to be a saint. Well, dead and Catholic, of which I am neither.

    And you're the one that brought up me being selfish in the first place when you had no reference to base it on. If you knew of my childhood, then yes, you could call me selfish until the cows fly over the moon. But based off the details I had shared, there was nothing to consider selfish, which is why I responded.

    Unless you were actually trolling for a conflict?

    I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions -- adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.

    ---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    [ Parent ]

    i am a troll (1.00 / 4) (#196)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:38:36 PM EST

    but you will excuse me if i don't think that a great unselfish act of yours paints all other actions of yours as unselfish

    in other words, the original conflict had to do with your opinion of guantanamo

    what did you refer to make claim as to the unselfishness of your opinion of guantanamo?

    your time in burundi

    well, i think your time in burundi is beyond criticism, it is in fact something for recognition

    but that doesn't mean that your opinion about guantanamo isn't selfish

    see my point?


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    How is it selfish? (2.75 / 4) (#203)
    by Herding Cats on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:48:11 PM EST

    Can it be selfish to want the same rights granted by the founding document of my government to be applied equally on our own soil?

    I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions -- adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.

    ---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    [ Parent ]

    you're a massive fuckwit, cts, and you know it. (none / 0) (#374)
    by Russell Dovey on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:54:54 PM EST

    If you're such a saint, why do you ever come back to the USA?

    "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
    [ Parent ]

    I fully support your assertion. (2.00 / 3) (#157)
    by sllort on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:10:21 PM EST

    There are many people on this site who need to go out in the world, such as yourself. I strongly support your/their voyage to surigao and other places without any access to the Internet.

    However it would remiss of me if I failed to mention that there was some vertical spam in this thread that I had to zero.

    Have a nice trip.
    --
    Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
    [ Parent ]

    wtf? (1.33 / 3) (#159)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:15:05 PM EST

    who are you?

    "i'm sllort, and i have a superhero complex"

    {cue uplifting martial music as sllort hand circletimessquare to the police and flies away, projected by his mighty anal musculature}


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Have fun in oingo boingo. (2.33 / 3) (#171)
    by sllort on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:52:07 PM EST

    Have you ever seen Jenna Jameson talk to Bill O'Reilly? That's the kind of Kung Fu I practice.
    --
    Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
    [ Parent ]
    what? it's a dead man's party??? (none / 1) (#187)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:00:23 PM EST

    are you danny elfman? ;-P

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    May I say something? (2.00 / 2) (#181)
    by Nursie on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:27:11 PM EST

    I'd like to say that perhaps, as a citizen of a nation (and whether you like it or not, you are a citizen of a nation), that perhaps in your quest to rid the world of pain, torture, injustice, famine, poverty, slavery and all the other evil, it would be a damn good starting point to stop your own government from perpetrating said injustice? On whatever scale?

    Otherwise one becomes unable to hold any moral high ground, and loses any credibility, because whilst you are trying to help the world, your own tax dollars are being spent on furthering injustice and inequality.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    that's exactly the whole point (1.33 / 3) (#189)
    by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:03:09 PM EST

    you are navel gazing

    you are obsessed with the molehills of suffering the us causes while ignoring mountains of it elsewhere

    that's exactly my whole point

    you don't have any wisdom about the world, you only have knowledge of, and concern for, the west

    there is a bigger world out there kiddo, take a look at it sometime, it might shock you


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]

    Then we disagree (3.00 / 3) (#223)
    by Nursie on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 05:23:17 PM EST

    Because I think we should clean up our own act first, and in doing so we unravel some of the various forms of harm we cause the rest of the world. Dissolution of third world debt for instance, an action that we could take, or rather our governments could, would have a massive impacts on the rest of the world.
    Ending agricultural subsidies would be another area (and one in which I think the EU even outdoes the US) that we could institute reform in and it would have hugely beneficial effects on the rest of civilisation.

    I do agree people in the west could do a hell of a lot more, especially in terms of getting out there and directly helping, but I also think that some of the stuff that's perpetrated in our names and by our governments is worth some attention.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    It is so much easier (3.00 / 2) (#335)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:29:28 PM EST

    to remove a molehill in your own yard than it is to remove a mountain in someone else's yard, that you have no credibility in the latter task if you are unwilling to perform the former.
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    [ Parent ]
    Because. . . (3.00 / 4) (#200)
    by Dr Caleb on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:44:00 PM EST

    why is so much thought wasted on a handful of

    Stop right there . . .

    "It is better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man".

    Regardless whether these people are or are not 'terrorists' (whatever the fuck that word means now), their imprisonment without trial diminishes everyone. To falsley accuse and imprison anyone destroys the last 3000 years of western democracy and the principals that Apollo set forth in the trial by a jury of your peers.

    Would you feel so mighty if some of these guys were simple farmers that owed some Afghan Warlord a couple chickens, and the Warlord turned them in to get the $5000 reward?


    Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

    There is no K5 cabal.
    [ Parent ]

    AND YET ANOTHER CTS TROLL (nt) (none / 0) (#210)
    by vivelame on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:13:40 PM EST

    no, really, cts, don't bothering thanking me for exposing you, i really don't mind :-)

    no no, i won't reply! :-)

    --
    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 ]

    Why did you say (nt)? (3.00 / 3) (#213)
    by Cro Magnon on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:29:47 PM EST

    Looks like tee to me.
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Inexcusable: (2.58 / 12) (#9)
    by Happy Monkey on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 05:48:03 PM EST

    Under US military and civil law the prosecutors are obliged to share with the defense evidence which would clear their clients. The prosecutors will not be under this obligation during these proceedings.

    There is no justification for this clause.
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    say what? (none / 1) (#218)
    by scruffyMark on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:43:13 PM EST

    Do you mean - it is unjustified that the prosecutors are under no such obligation?
    or - it is unjustified that this paragraph be included in the article?

    [ Parent ]
    The former. (none / 1) (#228)
    by Happy Monkey on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 06:52:33 PM EST

    And it is not just unjustified, it is unjustifiable.
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    [ Parent ]
    Perspective (1.31 / 29) (#10)
    by jubal3 on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 05:49:18 PM EST

    I never cease to be amazed at the outrage over Guantanamo.
    1. The tribunals, though late under the Geneva convention, are completely reasonable under the circumstances.
    2. The people detained are largely considered to be unlawful combatants. As such, they have no rights whatsoever. In fact, every other power under such circumstances, has executed such people summarily, With the EXCEPTION of Israel.
    3. What exactly do you propose the US do with people taken prisoner in a combat zone, bearing arms, who are believed to be taking part in Anti-US violence? They can't be released, they'll just go back to killing Americans. They haven't committed a "crime" under US law, for which they can be charged, etc, etc, etc.
    We're talking about 600 people, MAX, and everyone is outraged. Hussein was massacring thousands every year and the Liberals screaming about Guantanamo never said a word. Sudan isn't new, they've been killing the Animists in the south like cattle for 12 years, and the liberals never said a word.

    The outrage over Guantanamo isn't  humanitarianism, it's just another excuse to bash the US.



    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***

    The usual thing (2.88 / 9) (#25)
    by pyro9 on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:04:49 PM EST

    3. What exactly do you propose the US do with people taken prisoner in a combat zone, bearing arms, who are believed to be taking part in Anti-US violence? They can't be released, they'll just go back to killing Americans. They haven't committed a "crime" under US law, for which they can be charged, etc, etc, etc.

    The same thing any civilized nation would do, declere them to be Prisoners Of War, and imprison them accordingly until hostilities cease.

    The people detained are largely considered to be unlawful combatants. As such, they have no rights whatsoever. In fact, every other power under such circumstances, has executed such people summarily, With the EXCEPTION of Israel.

    You mean the Bush Administration and a few others consider them unlawful combatants. That doesn't make it so, and shouldn't relieve them of the rights our Constitution claims all people have. The President does NOT have the authority to declare the Constitution null and void whenever it suits him.

    We're talking about 600 people, MAX, and everyone is outraged. Hussein was massacring thousands every year and the Liberals screaming about Guantanamo never said a word.

    Nobody says Saddam was a worthy or just leader at all. Perhaps U.S. citizens are speaking up about this because it is the U.S. government doing this in their name. Unlike the situation in Iraq where U.S. citizens had no legal standing, we DO have a right to insist that our own government not violate the one and only document that lends it legitimacy.


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    Wrong (1.20 / 5) (#44)
    by NaCh0 on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:10:56 PM EST

    That doesn't make it so, and shouldn't relieve them of the rights our Constitution claims all people have.

    US Constitutional rights do not apply outside of US territories.

    --
    K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
    [ Parent ]

    So, is Gitmo US territory? (2.66 / 3) (#46)
    by geoswan on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:39:05 PM EST

    I read a debate about this. The guy who argued that Gitmo was US territory was pretty convincing.

    [ Parent ]
    You mean the Supreme Court (none / 1) (#70)
    by Wah on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:44:48 AM EST

    Yea, they tend to be somewhat the final authority on such matters.
    Still, the Pentagon created the review hearings in response to a June 29 Supreme Court ruling that said U.S. federal courts have jurisdiction over the cases of those held at Guantanamo.

    --
    umm, holding, holding...
    [ Parent ]
    Say you go on vacation (1.33 / 3) (#85)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:24:15 AM EST

    And rent a car. Is the car your property?

    No.

    The US rents Gitmo. Its not a territory.

    [ Parent ]

    What have cars got to do with anything? (2.80 / 5) (#95)
    by squigly on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:47:18 AM EST

    The US rents Gitmo. Its not a territory.

    Why not?  The US has exclusve possesion of it.  I'd say it's a territory even if the US doesn't own it.

    But this is just playing with definitions.  I'd have thought that the US president should be expected to keep to the spririt of the law he has made an oath to preserve, protect and defend.

    [ Parent ]

    Thanks for agreeing with me. (2.00 / 3) (#178)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:04:53 PM EST

    If you have studied US History at all, you would have no expectation that any president would uphold the spirit of the law.

    From the income tax to social welfare programs to drug laws, US presidents and Congresses have trampled on the spirit of the Constitution for over a century.

    [ Parent ]

    They usually do a better job than that, (none / 0) (#315)
    by squigly on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 11:08:28 AM EST

    If you have studied US History at all, you would have no expectation that any president would uphold the spirit of the law

    I can have my ideals.  Besides, most of them have.  The exceptions are generally not considered to have been good presidents.

    From the income tax to social welfare programs to drug laws

    None of this is prevented by the constitution is it?  I thought income tax was explicitely permitted.

    [ Parent ]

    hmm (2.80 / 5) (#101)
    by Wound on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 09:40:41 AM EST

    So if it's not US territory then perhaps the detainees could appeal to a cuban court?

    Being held without charge and without the right of appeal against your detention is a tool of tyranny, not democracy, and has been something that civilised countries have not done without since the time of King John and the magna carta. Surely you don't want the great US of A to go back there?

    [ Parent ]

    No shit. (2.75 / 4) (#112)
    by DavidTC on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:46:46 AM EST

    You know, I don't care what the legal 'location' of Cuba is. I do know that the Constitution is supposed to be restricting what the government can do, and I suspect it was intended to apply under all circumstances to our government, not just whenever it's decided it 'technically' applies.

    But, regardless, whether or not the government can legally ignore its constitutional responsiblities just by offshoring, I hope I'm not the only person seriously worried about the mere attempt. I coulnd't care less whether or not that's 'legal' or not, it's not acceptable.

    Anyone remember when it was the conservatives screaming about the fourth amendment?

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    Extraterritorial Zones or Mandates (none / 1) (#179)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:06:55 PM EST

    Look it up. The British pioneered the concept during the 19th Century.

    [ Parent ]
    extraterritorial mandates (3.00 / 2) (#182)
    by geoswan on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:31:47 PM EST

    Is that how the USA refers to the base at Guantanamo Bay? Because I think you will find it differs from all the British mandates. The British, in theory at least, were administering the territory of the mandates in the interests of the original residents.

    The theory and the practice may have differed at times. But the British never planned to stay forever. And they did, eventually, leave.

    Perhaps Hong Kong is worth comparing with Guantanamo Bay. The British had a 150 year lease. And when ti was over, they left. The USA has, IIRC, a perpetual lease. The USA has no obligation to leave -- ever.

    I think there is a fundamental difference between a perpetual lease and one for a fixed term, even 150 years.

    [ Parent ]

    Car rental - good idea (3.00 / 3) (#216)
    by scruffyMark on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:40:13 PM EST

    So if I run someone down in a rented car, it doesn't count as manslaughter cause the car isn't my property?

    Oh, wait, ethics applies to actions, regardless of the owndership of the tools of action.

    [ Parent ]

    That's a pretty silly way to look at it (3.00 / 2) (#219)
    by aphrael on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:44:41 PM EST

    Cuba has no jurisdiction over Guantanamo, right? So US law must apply; otherwise, no law whatsoever applies.

    The same concept pops up in US military bases all over the place. If US law applies on base in Rammstein - which it does - then it applies on base in Guantanamo, as well.

    [ Parent ]

    US - Cuban prisoner exchange (none / 0) (#270)
    by geoswan on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 10:10:13 AM EST

    Thus saith wiki

    Although diplomatic relations do not exist between the U.S. and Communist Cuba, the U.S. has agreed to return fugitives from Cuban law to Cuban authorities and Cuba agreed to return fugitives from U.S. law, for offenses committed in Guantanamo Bay, to U.S. authorities.

    So, if US law, US jurisdiction, does not apply at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, then how can there possibily be fugitives from US justice for the Cubans to return? This suggests to me that US law does apply.

    [ Parent ]

    Rent is no excuse (none / 0) (#320)
    by pyro9 on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 12:24:23 PM EST

    If the cops find a kilo of pot in the trunk of a rented car, who gets charged with posession, the renter, or the rental company?

    The Constitution is/was framed as restrictions on what the U.S. government may do anywhere. In spite of the intense weaseling going on now, it simply does lot leave any room to interpret it as a restriction within a geographical boundary.


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    The Constitution (2.66 / 6) (#56)
    by Happy Monkey on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:21:59 PM EST

    does not grant rights to citizens. It denies them to the government, wherever the government operates.
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    [ Parent ]
    Outsourcing? (3.00 / 7) (#64)
    by pyro9 on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 11:01:24 PM EST

    So as long as we are careful to outsource our human rights violations, we're fine?

    Besides which, they are prisoners of the U.S., garded by U.S. soldiers in an U.S. run facility. In the morning when they run a flag up the pole, it's the U.S. flag. Let'sjust say it quacks like a duck.


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    Constitution (2.25 / 4) (#170)
    by gidds on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:37:25 PM EST

    US Constitutional rights do not apply outside of US territories.

    Ah yes, that wonderful document which begins "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all Americans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of anyone we don't like..."

    Andy/
    [ Parent ]

    That's not the constitution (2.50 / 1) (#221)
    by jubal3 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:49:19 PM EST

    You're quoting the US Declaration of independence, which, while important historically, has no authority under U.S. law.


    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]
    From the US Constitution (none / 1) (#322)
    by Shajenko on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 01:34:59 PM EST

    Here's something from the Constitution then:

    Amendment XIV, Section 1:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Rounding up people and jailing them without any sort of trial for years is not due process.

    [ Parent ]
    Try reading what you paste (none / 0) (#323)
    by Grognard on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 02:43:26 PM EST

    nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Which of the 50 states is running Guantanamo?

    [ Parent ]

    Pay attention... (none / 0) (#339)
    by Shajenko on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 09:51:10 PM EST

    "State" in this instance means any government or agency of any government, which includes the US government.

    [ Parent ]
    Strike 2 (none / 0) (#340)
    by Grognard on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 09:59:49 PM EST

    "State", as used in the US Constitution, has a very definite meaning - specifically, it refers to the several states that make up the union, as opposed to the federal government itself.

    [ Parent ]
    Really? (none / 0) (#349)
    by squigly on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 07:40:53 AM EST

    I thought the US was considered a state.  

    Otherwise, parts of the constitution wouldn't apply in D.C.

    [ Parent ]

    State vs state (none / 0) (#351)
    by Grognard on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 08:24:15 AM EST

    The United States is a state.  Parts of the US Constitution that regulate the activities of the States would not apply in DC.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Perspective (3.00 / 16) (#43)
    by geoswan on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:06:54 PM EST

  • The tribunals, though late under the Geneva convention, are completely reasonable under the circumstances.
  • I'd be very interested in learning how you can assert this with such certainty. Yes. They are very late -- embarrassingly late. And, it appears if it weren't for the interest the US Supreme Court has taken into legality of detaining the prisoners without charging them with anything, or reviewing why they should be detained, that the DoD would never have reviewed their status.

  • The people detained are largely considered to be unlawful combatants. As such, they have no rights whatsoever.
  • Largely consider to be 'unlawful combatants'? Well, there is an idea that has become popular here in the West, in recent centuries. It is called the presumption of innocence. The basic idea is to postpone reaching a verdict until after you have considered the evidence.

    Yes, I know that Donald Rumsfeld has called the Guantanamo detainees "the worst of the worst". But this does not seem to have been the truth. It seems the most senior Al Queda leaders are kept on ice in more secret bases.

    "No rights whatsoever?" How do you figure that? Yes, POWs have more rights than 'unlawful combatants'. But to jump to the idea that they have no rights sounds very un-American to me.

  • What exactly do you propose the US do with people taken prisoner in a combat zone, bearing arms, who are believed to be taking part in Anti-US violence? They can't be released, they'll just go back to killing Americans. They haven't committed a "crime" under US law, for which they can be charged, etc, etc, etc.
  • Let's review some facts.

  • Afghanistan's Taliban government was harboring Osama bin Laden and al Queda. Al Queda attacked the USA. And the Taliban wouldn't hand them over.
  • The USA, with some help from other nations, invades Afghanistan, to aprehend bin Laden and his group.
  • But, the guilty parties, those connected with the attack on the USA, number perhaps 20,000.
  • Everyone else in Afghanistan, who resisted the invasion, is merely trying to defend their homeland.
  • A number of the detainees were not caught on the battlefield, for any reasonable definition of 'battlefield'. Nor were they armed.
  • The US paid a bounty to their Northern Alliance allies for every warm body they claimed was an al Queda or Taliban fighter. The evidence that many of these guys were dangerous Taliban was that some Warlord said he was.

    I don't see how you can describe someone trying to defend their homeland as "anti-American".

    Many of the detainees are barely literate farmers. No matter how much they hate "crusaders" they will never represent a threat to the USA.

    If they would represent a threat to American forces in Afghanistan, then hold them as POWs.

    Even brutal, repressive dictatorships have laws against murder, and other serious crimes. Even if the prisoners haven't committed crimes under US jurisdiction, when and if Karzai can give them a fair trial you can hand them over to him for crimes they committed under Afghan jurisdiction.

    We're talking about 600 people, MAX, and everyone is outraged.

    Playing a numbers game sucks. You wouldn't want to hear anyone say that only 3,000 people died on 911, would you? But since you brought it up, there are said to be 585 detainees currently held at Guantanamo. As of June 73 detainees had been released. 658, by my count.

    Hussein was massacring thousands every year ...

    Saddam's violations of other's human rights does not, in any way, excuse abuse by coalition forces.

    The outrage over Guantanamo isn't humanitarianism, it's just another excuse to bash the US.

    I am not bashing the US. I am criticizing some US policies.

    [ Parent ]

  • Perspective (1.50 / 2) (#245)
    by kurioszyn on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 12:49:24 AM EST

    "Saddam's violations of other's human rights does not, in any way, excuse abuse by coalition forces."

    Yeah but it simply highlights truly wicked priorities of some of these "concerned" people ...

    When you are up in arms attacking relatively minor infractions having ignored much larger atrocities for years, one can reasonable conclude that human suffering is not your overriding concern.


    [ Parent ]

    Apples and Oranges (none / 1) (#255)
    by The Rizz on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 05:57:33 AM EST

    These "larger atrocities" you talk about have been complained about for years. Perhaps you just weren't listening. People often ignore things that happen far away - they only seem to take notice when they are close to home.

    Regardless, there are some very important differences between the two events:

    The major difference is that this time we can do something about it. Saddam has been considered an "evil man" for years, but he was not under U.S. jurisdiction. Murders commited on foreign soil are not in the US's jurisdiction, whether in Iraq, Afghanastan, or even Canada.

    In the case of Saddam, the only way to get him out of power was either assassination (which is against international law), or war. Simply put, while we had an excuse in the first Gulf War (i.e. Iraq's invasion of another country), we never had a valid excuse after that point. (We should have killed him and taken over the country then, but that's another discussion.)

    As such, complaining about his behavior on forums/etc. was a moot point. (He was evil, everyone agreed he was evil, his own country would do nothing about it, and no other country had just cause to go to war, so what was there to discuss?)

    In this case however, the USA is committing war crimes and atrocities that are of the type that justify an invasion under international law (detaining foreign citizens wihtout trial, using torture, murder, etc. against them, and so on), as well as being against US law. The constitution requires that anyone detained by the US government be given a fair trial, access to competent legal representation, etc. etc.

    (Oh, and before you start, this whole argument that since they are not US citizens they have no rights is complete and utter bullshit. The US Constitution says that unless a right is specifically limited by the Constitution, it is considered to be given - NOT the other way around. i.e., because the Constitution does not say that foreigners do not have these rights, then it is considered by implication that they do have these rights.)

    Now, as it is the US who is committing these crimes, and people feel that it just might be possible that we can make a difference in this case (we are supposedly, after all, not living in a fascist government run by a tyrranical dictator), that is why you are hearing more about this case than you did about Saddam in Iraq.

    [ Parent ]

    US (1.00 / 2) (#295)
    by kurioszyn on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 04:42:09 PM EST

    "this time we can do something about it"

    And we are doing something about it , aren't we ?

    What is taking place right now is precisely what one would expect from a civilized society.
    I don't know what is your problem here.

    " The US Constitution says that unless a right is specifically limited by the Constitution,it is considered to be given - NOT the other way around."

    Hehehehe.
    You are kidding aren't you ?
    It says there, among other things, that  my right to own arms should not be infringed upon.
    Every been to Chicago or NY ?

    Face it - America you are talking about has been dead for decades now.
    These days, the constitution is what a bunch of high priests in black robes says it is, and there is not much we can do about it.

    But that is a completely different topic so I will stop right here.

    [ Parent ]

    Umm I basically agree (2.00 / 5) (#48)
    by godix on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:41:26 PM EST

    but there's one huge flaw in your arguement. What authority decides who's an unlawful combatant and who isn't and how trustworthy is that decision? IF Guantanamo is full of Bin Laden wanna-bes then I have no problems with it, the military is actually treating them better than I personally would. That's a mighty big 'if' though and I've seen little to no indication that's the situation.

    That being said, you're right. If people were REALLY concerned with humanitarianism there's a whole lot of situations that deserve far more attention and outrage than Guantanamo.

    "Kerry's brother, Cameron, remembers their father's putting down John's "sophomoric" ideas while discussing foreign affairs around the dinner table." - New
    [ Parent ]

    uh ? (none / 0) (#244)
    by kurioszyn on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 12:43:13 AM EST

    " What authority decides who's an unlawful combatant and who isn't and how trustworthy is that decision"

    Uh .. what do you mean what authority ?

    What other authority we have control over ?
    UN ? Some sort of "international court" ?

    [ Parent ]

    I'd like some help with definitions (2.83 / 6) (#60)
    by m a r c on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:52:20 PM EST

    basically what is the difference between unlawful combatant and enemy solider. If someone is captured in Afganistan how do the US determine if they should be granted POW status or not? If the US doesn't recognise the Taliban as the goverment of Afganistan but considers it a terrorist organisation, then surely ALL captures soldiers would be considered unlawful combantants.

    And with regards to your 600 people max statement, i don't understand your logic. Ok here's this unjust thing that we're doing, but this other thing is even more unjust, so our actions are ok.
    I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
    [ Parent ]

    It doesnt matter (2.66 / 6) (#77)
    by Znork on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:00:08 AM EST

    "If the US doesn't recognise the Taliban"

    Because the convention does not allow that excuse. Wether or not the opposing force is recognized as 'legitimate', if it is an 'opposing force' behaving according to the rules of war, the members of that force should be treated according to the convention.

    Recognition of a government is irrelevant. The appeareance and behaviour of the opposing enemy is the determining factor.

    [ Parent ]

    Your words (2.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:23:38 AM EST

    if it is an 'opposing force' behaving according to the rules of war, the members of that force should be treated according to the convention.

    now explain how the Taliban was adhering to the rules and customs of war.

    [ Parent ]

    And that is the point. (2.80 / 5) (#137)
    by Znork on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:00:19 PM EST

    No competent tribunal asked the detainees and/or possible witnesses how they were adhering to the rules and customs of war.

    I frankly dont care wether Al Qaeda members fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan are locked up and the keys thrown away.

    But they really should be proven to be such first by some form of reasonable responsible party.

    [ Parent ]

    Proof (1.66 / 3) (#165)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:22:36 PM EST

    Your mistake is in assuming that some sort of "trial", with all the trappings of a US criminal court proceeding are required.  It's not.

    While many have pointed out the requirement for a "tribunal" where "doubt" as to status exists, no one has been able to show how such a tribunal should be composed, what procedures it should follow, who is legally competent to express doubt, etc.  The reason for this inability is that those issues are not specified anywhere.

    In the absence of those specifications, the US declaring the inmates of Guantanamo unlawful combatants is valid.

    [ Parent ]

    Except... (2.80 / 5) (#211)
    by Znork on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:19:39 PM EST

    "In the absence of those specifications, the US declaring the inmates of Guantanamo unlawful combatants is valid."

    Without a competent tribunal you are not allowed to do that, and they are to be afforded the rights of POW's.

    [ Parent ]

    Cite the language (1.50 / 2) (#232)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:23:38 PM EST

    that states that a tribunal is required to deny them POW status.  The convention merely states that it is required if there is a doubt.

    [ Parent ]
    Here's the cite. (2.66 / 3) (#261)
    by Znork on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:08:26 AM EST

    "Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal."

    All categories in Article 4 are qualified for POW status. It's not 'if there's a doubt wether they're POW's or illegal combatants', it's 'if there's any doubt that they are qualified for POW status.'.

    [ Parent ]

    It's still dependent on the word doubt (none / 1) (#262)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:16:26 AM EST

    Who is legally competent to raise the issue of doubt?  

    Obviously the power holding them is not in doubt as to their status.

    [ Parent ]

    Then... (none / 0) (#273)
    by Znork on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 10:45:53 AM EST

    ... you mean the power holding them does not doubt their POW status?

    In that case the US has some reading to do when it comes to how you can treat POW's...

    [ Parent ]

    Don't be dense (none / 0) (#276)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 10:57:23 AM EST

    The section reads (emphasis added):

    "Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4...

    In other words:


    • The person belongs to one of the Article 4 categories = no doubt

    • The person does not belong to one of the Article 4 categories = no doubt

    • I don't know if the person belongs to one of the Article 4 categories = doubt - tribunal required

    Clear now?

    [ Parent ]

    You know you're intentionally misreading that. (none / 1) (#279)
    by Nursie on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 11:28:39 AM EST

    "Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4..."
    This implies that any decision other than that they belong to one of the article 4 categories requires a tribunal.

    In your parlance:
    • The person belongs to one of the Article 4 categories = no doubt
    • The person does not belong to one of the Article 4 categories = doubt - tribunal required
    • I don't know if the person belongs to one of the Article 4 categories = doubt - tribunal required
    Doubt that someone belongs to an article four category does not just mean "well we can't decide, lets talk about it". It means that if you think that they come under any status other than one of the protected categories then there must be a tribunal.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    I'm intentionally misreading it? (none / 0) (#282)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 01:02:14 PM EST

    This implies that any decision...

    Perhaps I missed where the word "implies" was redefined to mean "states"...I surely missed where "doubt" was redefined.

    If the Convention were meant to require that anything other than POW status required a tribunal, then it should have been written that way.

    [ Parent ]

    Or perhaps... (none / 0) (#290)
    by Znork on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 02:52:13 PM EST

    ... you're unintentionally misreading it. You're implicitly adding an 'or not' to the text which isnt there. The text does not refer to doubt over wether they belong on the group _or not_. It refers to doubt over wether they are part of one of the groups. If the text had read 'Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, ... , belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4 or not...' you'd be correct. But it doesnt, so such an interpretation is inaccurate.

    [ Parent ]
    We'll have to agree to disagree (none / 0) (#301)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 07:31:54 PM EST

    I don't agree with the way you're parsing it and you don't agree with the way I am.  

    Absent the opinion of someone with better credentials in international law than either of us have displayed, I doubt that either of us will change our minds.

    [ Parent ]

    Perhaps... (none / 0) (#280)
    by Znork on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 11:31:41 AM EST

    ... you need to work on your english language comprehension?

    You're right in the first one, in the two other cases there is doubt _as to wether the person belongs to any of the categories_.

    Clear now?

    [ Parent ]

    Read other comments (2.50 / 4) (#147)
    by godix on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:37:59 PM EST

    The actual text of the Geneva conventions has been posted in other comments so I'm not going to repeat it. However the basic idea behind the conventions is to protect civilians. If a fighter hides amoung civilians them and pretending to be an innocent civilian themselves then they're unlawful since the opposing side has reason to start treating civilians as enemies. If a fighter seperates himself from civilians, IE by wearing a uniform and living in a seperate compound with only military people, then they're lawful because the other side isn't prompted to treat civilians as enemies. The status of the nation is pretty trivial for this classification, it is entirely possible for a nation we recoginize to have unlawful combatants while nations we don't recognize are lawful.

    "Kerry's brother, Cameron, remembers their father's putting down John's "sophomoric" ideas while discussing foreign affairs around the dinner table." - New
    [ Parent ]
    Umm.. as POWs? (2.85 / 7) (#61)
    by egeland on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:52:27 PM EST

    What exactly do you propose the US do with people taken prisoner in a combat zone, bearing arms, who are believed to be taking part in Anti-US violence?

    Treat them as POWs?

    The people detained are largely considered to be unlawful combatants. As such, they have no rights whatsoever. In fact, every other power under such circumstances, has executed such people summarily, With the EXCEPTION of Israel.

    If they are unlawful, charge them with their crimes and grant them a fair trial.
    If they are "lawful combatants", treat them as POWs under the terms of the Geneva Convention.
    If you advocate that it's OK to strip people of their right to human treatment and a fair trial, then I suggest you might need to take a good hard look in the mirror and consider what kind of human being you are.

    We're talking about 600 people, MAX, and everyone is outraged.

    Because the so-called protector of the innocent, the mighty US of A, is stomping all over the rights of people.
    That Hussein was bad has nothing to do with this treatment of captives. Are you seriously saying that it's OK to imprison and (potentially) execute captives (who may have been innocent bystanders) because some other people elsewhere have been doing worse things? That makes no sense.

    The outrage over Guantanamo isn't  humanitarianism, it's just another excuse to bash the US.

    Criticism where it's due. If the US is such a good 'police of the world', then it should hold itself to its ideals (remember that pesky Bill of Rights you have?) rather than stomp all over people and their rights.

    --
    Some interesting quotes
    [ Parent ]

    Not killing Americans (2.92 / 13) (#72)
    by driptray on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:23:28 AM EST

    They can't be released, they'll just go back to killing Americans.

    I don't think you understand just who the people in Guantanomo are.

    Before the Americans started the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban were at war with the Northern Alliance. The Americans came in, and gave a lot of cash and supplies to the Northern Alliance. This helped the Northern Alliance to capture and kill a whole lot of Taliban soldiers. These are some of the people who ended up in Guantanomo.

    Many of them never fought Americans, and many of them would never have been aware of 9/11. They were just fighting their local enemies, the Northern Alliance, a bunch of dudes that were just as nasty and repressive as the Taliban. The whole Al Qaeda/9-11/American invasion thing would have been completely irrelevant to these guys. They are NOT going to "go back to killing Americans" if they are released, because they were never doing that in the first place, and it would never have occurred to them.

    Although I can imagine it might have occurred to them now, after having spent a couple of years in Guantanomo.
    --
    We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
    [ Parent ]

    well (1.85 / 7) (#76)
    by the sixth replicant on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:45:35 AM EST

    they might now

    Ciao

    [ Parent ]

    hey RinzeWind (1.33 / 3) (#186)
    by the sixth replicant on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:59:53 PM EST

    how can you give a 3 to the parent but 0 to me when we both agree - that is, we both think that the enemy combatants now have found a new enemy when they had none before

    ciao

    [ Parent ]

    Yes, the Geneva Convention protects them (2.80 / 5) (#183)
    by geoswan on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:53:41 PM EST

    Yes, the Geneva Convention protects 'unlawful combatants'. This wikipedia article explains that the 1929 Third Geneva Convention protects POWs. And the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention protects everyone else in a war zone, including 'illegal combatants', whose rights include:
    ...respect for their persons, their honour [including rape, or any form of indecent assault], their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, ... [to] be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity'...

    Their rights also include protection from the dietary manipulation General Miller authorized, the sleep deprivation, and the extremes of heat and cold.

    [ Parent ]

    You are missing the point. (2.75 / 4) (#250)
    by McSnarf on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 04:19:20 AM EST

    Any democratic country will usually do it's best to uphold international law and agreements.

    Countries which do not are places like Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia...

    Welcome to the shitbag list, proud US of A.
    Head count is not the issue. International law is.

    And you just managed to forcefully convince 600 people that the US is the devil. Imagine being held in Myanmar, under similar conditions, for years. Would you accept a "Err... Sorry... We were too stupid to find out if you are guilty or not of some crime. Please sign this and go home!" scenario ?

    If every country gets the government it deserves, you must have done something outright nasty.

    [ Parent ]

    Why do Zionists say these things? (1.00 / 2) (#341)
    by crunchycookies on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 10:31:21 PM EST

    Israel is Murder Incorporated. Yes I know, they don't assassinate, they do "targeted killing". They don't torture they use "moderate physical pressure". They don't steel land because "God gave it to them". They don't commit genocide they "adjust the ethnic makeup so as to maintain Israel's Jewish character".

    To think that the same people who suffered so greatly in the Holocaust could proceed down the same road. Genocide is not so bad when you are on top! It is ironic that both crimes were disguised through the use of euphemisms and other mangling of the language. Israel is justifiably the most despised country in the world. We seem to be heading down the same road. I hope that we turn back before we become exactly like Israel.



    [ Parent ]

    Another thought on Israel. (none / 1) (#342)
    by crunchycookies on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 10:43:10 PM EST

    The laws that we make today for our convenience will likely be applied to the Israeli's when they are finally defeated. Perhaps you have heard of the expression; what goes around comes around?



    [ Parent ]

    Wrong. (none / 1) (#343)
    by eberkut on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 12:59:32 AM EST

    <i>Sudan isn't new, they've been killing the Animists in the south like cattle for 12 years, and the liberals never said a word.</i>

    Hmm yes indeed _this_ isn't new but the fights taking place right now in Darfur have nothing to do with the civil war going on since 1983 between muslims and animists.

    In Darfur there is basically no religious conflict, western media are interpretating as it by always adding the adjective "muslim" to the janjawids militia. Which is quite stupid since the SLM and the MJE, the two rebel groups that started the conflict circa 2001/2002, are based on muslims tribes as well (For, Massalite, Zaghawa, and more).

    Anyway, just being a smartass.

    "you can tune a file system but you can't tune a fish" (man 8 tunefs, BUGS)
    [ Parent ]

    "With the EXCEPTION of Israel" ? (none / 0) (#361)
    by NegativePrick on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 11:14:54 AM EST

    You now I guess in a way you're right! I mean Israel just assassinates those "unlawful combatants" outright with out even bringing them to trial / : Your justifications are as weak and biased as the rest of the blinded faithful trying to justify the invasion of Iraq. You really have to do better ...

    [ Parent ]
    The Geneva Conventions were great in 1949 (2.15 / 20) (#11)
    by Lode Runner on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 05:55:50 PM EST

    but the world has changed sufficiently that it's useless to appeal to them anymore. We need a new set of internationally recognized rules of war that take into the account the reality of nebulous meta-national groups like Al-Qaeda.

    When we released thousands of Korean and Chinese prisoners in the early 1950s, we could be reasonably certain that those men would do us no harm because the national authorities to whom they answered had agreed to a cessation of hostilities. When we deal with nation states there's some degree of accountability, but we have no such guarantees w/r/t the Guantanamo inmates. Send Angry Ahmed back to Yemen and then what? He'll bribe his way out of prison and be building bombs before we can say "thank goodness that war's behind us."

    Maybe we could treat them like criminals, but Al-Qaeda is an ideological movement rather than a greed-motivated gang. Or maybe all nations should consider belonging to Al Qaeda as tantamount to treason and treat the prisoners accordingly, i.e. execute them or incarcerate them until they die.

    Probably the espionage model is best: if you seek to harm US civilians and we cannot hold anyone accountable for your actions besides you, then you ought to be locked away forever.

    Al Qaeda? (3.00 / 6) (#71)
    by driptray on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:06:12 AM EST

    You're assuming that the Guantanomo inmates are actually members (if there is such a thing) of Al Qaeda and/or terrorists. That's a pretty poor assumption - most of those that have been released from Guantanomo have been totally innocent, and many of the remaining inmates are only there because they do not have a foreign government demanding their release.
    --
    We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
    [ Parent ]

    There are no innocent Islamists, (1.14 / 7) (#75)
    by Lode Runner on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:48:20 AM EST

    just those whose liberty is politically expedient to US and European governments and those whose isn't. That said, it's indeed necessary to try these guys when enough incriminatory or exculpatory evidence accumulates. Normally, I'd be happy to give inmates the benefit of the doubt, but these guys are dangerous enough that I'm willing to make an exception.

    Remember, they were captured on a battlefield whose limits were ill-defined, and whose belligerents (Al-Qaeda + Taliban) went without uniforms or the mechanism to broker a surrender. How do the Geneva Conventions deal with this when they don't even acknowledge that such a scenario exists?

    Note also that most of the Taliban who're in Guantanamo are safer where they are now than in Afghanistan.

    [ Parent ]

    Actually... (2.88 / 9) (#78)
    by Znork on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:14:01 AM EST

    "they were captured on a battlefield"

    Or they were tourists caught on a bus and sold by villagers who wanted to make a quick buck.

    The Geneva convention deals with the scenario perfectly well. Either someone is apprehended during military operations against their enemy. Then they may, or may not, be qualified for POW status, something to be determined by a competent tribunal. Until such a tribunal has done so, they should be regarded POWs.

    Or they're not caught engaging in military activity, in which case they're subject to whatever laws of the region that they've been violating (or not). Which should be determined by a court.

    The one scenario that's not dealt with is the 'sold into human slave trade to be held by sexual sadists in a resort for degenerate civil servants or member of the armed forces of the conqueror' scenario. It's just not legal to do that under any form of law, no matter how much one wants to.

    [ Parent ]

    Right (1.25 / 4) (#92)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:33:32 AM EST

    Or they were tourists caught on a bus and sold by villagers who wanted to make a quick buck.

    Forgot about all those package deals to travel to Afghanistan and see the...uhm, well...surely there's something...

    [ Parent ]

    well, if you had set one foot outside (2.66 / 3) (#206)
    by vivelame on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:05:58 PM EST

    North America, maybe you'd know there are interesting cites/sights mostly all over the world. Gee, some of Afghanistan's even on the Unesco World Heritage List, but who would be interested by that, uh.
    You might even actually enjoy a culture trip to Afghanistan.

    --
    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 ]
    Tourism (none / 1) (#229)
    by Wallas A Hockpock on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 06:55:00 PM EST

    You mean the stuff the Talaban blew up?

    [ Parent ]
    I've always considered it a tragedy (none / 1) (#235)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:34:17 PM EST

    that the French aren't better compensated for their condescension - after all, it's one of the last things they do well, and so much effort is put into it - yet there's so little profit.

    Having sites to see is only half the equation, mon cher...when a civil war is going on around them (not to mention the Taliban's little fireworks shows), tourism does tend to suffer.

    BTW - I didn't notice exactly when they began offering the culture trips to Afghanistan?

    [ Parent ]

    what's more: (2.00 / 2) (#239)
    by Lode Runner on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:51:44 PM EST

    1. None of the Gitmo inmates have claimed (thus far) that they were travelling in Afghanistan as sightseers. Plenty of "charity" junkets and religious school trips (from Pakistan mainly), but no architectural or epicurean tours.

    2. Thanks to the US liberation of Afghanistan the number of backwoods American rednecks with firsthand experience on the ground in Afghanistan now vastly exceeds the number of world-weary French with comparable experience.

    [ Parent ]

    maybe they thought that (3.00 / 3) (#254)
    by vivelame on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 05:50:34 AM EST

    around the Northen Alliance's strongholds they'd be mostly safe?
    Anyway, that's beside the point. Id' just like to remember you that civilians do wander in warzones. Local inhabitants, relatives, tourists, journalists, missionaries, and so on. Even Americans, go figure! (Nick Berg, or various X-ian missionaries got killed in Iraq.. No need to condemn anyone for their death, after all, they were in a war zone, right?)


    --
    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 ]
    No (none / 1) (#259)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 06:57:16 AM EST

    (Nick Berg, or various X-ian missionaries got killed in Iraq.. No need to condemn anyone for their death, after all, they were in a war zone, right?)

    Murdering the stupid is still a crime.

    [ Parent ]

    but jailing him for years (none / 0) (#284)
    by vivelame on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 01:25:53 PM EST

    and torturing him isn't?
    go figure.

    --
    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 ]
    Jailing definitely isn't (none / 1) (#288)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 01:57:41 PM EST

    and torture (officially sanctioned torture) hasn't been proven.

    [ Parent ]
    what war? (2.50 / 2) (#145)
    by Lode Runner on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:22:57 PM EST

    Does Al-Qaeda have lists of its soldiers? Did it declare war? Did it define the confines of the battlefield the way real armies do? Where were the uniforms? And so forth.... the GC don't handle any of this stuff.

    You'd think with all those Islamic charities operating in Afghanistan in late 2001 that the Afghans wouldn't be so destitute.

    [ Parent ]

    So... (none / 1) (#222)
    by Znork on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 05:03:16 PM EST

    ... if you catch someone who cannot fulfill the criteria for POW status shooting at your troops, put him in front of a few officers and a legal aide, write down a protocol over the circumstances the individual was caught, determine why they're not compliant and hand him off to a court and charge him with attempted murder.

    It isnt that complicated. Nobody's saying you cant deal with these individuals, should they be determined to be unlawful combatants. The criticism the US is taking over this issue is that the current administration wishes to believe it can legally get away with basically 'disappearing' individuals without any judicial process at all.

    The Geneva POW convention is for protecting soldiers obeying legal orders in war. In such circumstances they can get away with shooting at other soldiers without being subject to ordinary law. But should they not be classified as soldiers and entitled to POW status they're still not 'outside the law', that just means they're 'inside the law' and can be brought to justice in criminal or military court for shooting at soldiers.

    If these guys really are the 'baddest of the bad' I frankly cant see the problem with actually charging them with it.

    The only way there would be a serious problem affording these people any form of judicial review would be if a whole lot of them basically were caught and shipped off to Guantanamo on nothing more than hearsay from people who got paid for delivering them.

    [ Parent ]

    you've got it all figured out (none / 1) (#226)
    by Lode Runner on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 06:03:32 PM EST

    except for the tiny problem of there being no civilian courts equipped to treat cases of murder (or attempted murder) in the heat of military combat. Where would you find witnesses to corroborate the charges?

    Then there's the sticky problem of jurisdiction. Who has the right to try a Saudi who attacked American troops in Afghanistan given that Saudi Arabia did not declare war on the USA? Ashcroft is correct in assuming that if we: 1) hand these guys over to Afghans they'll be shot summarily; 2) hand them over to the Saudis, they'll go free. Neither "ally" can be trusted extract intel either. Best if we hang onto them until we have in place some kind of apparatus to deal them.

    Finally, where are you getting this story of Guantanamo inmates being kidnapped by Afghan villagers and then sold to Americans? You've repeated it, and I've seen no credible verification of these claims. Frankly it sounds like some b.s. made up by wanna-be jihadis and Taliban who got caught sneaking around Afghanistan and who were handed over to the US forces. And you're so completely credulous. . .

    [ Parent ]

    I'm getting confused. (2.50 / 2) (#316)
    by DavidTC on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 11:16:14 AM EST

    As to why people seem to think picking up a gun and shooting at enemy soldiers is 'illegal'. I quote the Geneva convention that defines prisoners of war:

    A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
    6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

    Basically, anyone who 'carries arms openly' should be a POW, assuming they aren't an actual member of the armed forces or a militia(1), in which case they need to be wearing their uniform also.

    And this 'illegal combatant' stuff is getting a bit silly. You can't illegally fight in a war(2), you can just fight in a manner that is illegal. Calling them 'illegal combatants' is like calling shoplifters 'illegal shoppers'.

    And this is ignoring the fact that fighting off armed invaders of the country more than likely wasn't illegal under Afghan law in the first place, and hence their actions were not illegal per se. This whole 'illegal combatants' phrases is NewSpeak. They're possibly 'captured soldiers not subject to POW status', but that isn't 'illegal' in any way.

    As for people suggesting they aren't 'following the rules and customs of war', I suggest those people read those rules and suggest exactly which ones they were violating, and then realize even if they were violating them, it takes a tribunal to decide that.

    1) Whether or not Al Qaeda was legally a 'milita' is an interesting question. If it was, and they did not have distinctive uniforms, then possibly their actions were illegal. But I don't think it was. It wasn't formed to fight off an invasion of Afghanistan, hence, it is not a militia, anymore than security guards from the mall are a militia.

    2) Well, okay, members of the Red Cross and paroled POWs and some other people can illegally fight in a war, as in, simply bearing arms is a violation of international law. But none of those categories apply to anyone in Cuba.

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    Tourists? (none / 1) (#277)
    by Xptic on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 11:07:27 AM EST

    >Or they were tourists caught on a bus and sold by villagers who wanted to make a quick buck.

    I have heard this argument a few times.  It does not make sense.

    "Gee, honey, Afghanistan sounds liek a great place to spend the summer."

    Everyone knew what was going down.  If you were there, you were either an inhabitant who was a willing member, an inhabitant who was an unwilling member, or a muslim 'tourist' looking to kill American soldiers.

    Willing and unwilling members should be treated the same.  After all, everyone in New York, either willingly or unwillingly, helps put bullets in US guns.  No innocents died on Sep 11.  None died in the subsequent invasion of Afganastan or Iraq.

    And if you were a muslim 'tourist' spending time at your summer home in one of those locations, you are either a willing participant or just too stupid to live.  Give them a fucking Darwin award and shoot them.


    [ Parent ]

    Yeah, well... (none / 1) (#291)
    by Znork on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 03:21:37 PM EST

    "It does not make sense."

    Frankly, to me it doesnt make sense that people go hiking, camping, bungy jumping or canoeing in dangerous rapids either.

    "Gee, honey, wanna go tie a rubber band around our legs and jump head first into concrete?"

    The fact that it makes no sense to me does not change the fact that there are people who do that.

    Would you propose we ship those people off to Guantanamo bay?

    Now, apart from muslim tourists, there are a number of other conceivable reasons someone who isnt you or me might visit Afghanistan. There's a whole lot of first and second generation refugees from Afghanistan who could have personal reasons for wanting to visit the country of their birth or parents birth. There's allegedly nature that is apparently inviting to some odd people (who also fall into the category I see as lacking in sense). And there's culture that some may find attractive (again, not that I would find it particularly inviting).

    "Give them a fucking Darwin award and shoot them."

    Yeah, well, now they didnt do that, which probably wouldnt have raised many eyebrows. Instead they shipped them off for long term extrajudicial imprisonment and alleged torture.

    And then the US administration released some of them rather than charging them with crimes (which they were perfectly within their rights to do, had they been engaging the enemy in illegal combat), which suddenly lends a whole new level of credibility to those tales the ex-prisoners are telling.

    [ Parent ]

    Apples & Oranges (none / 1) (#306)
    by Xptic on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 03:58:52 AM EST

    >Frankly, to me it doesnt make sense that people go hiking, camping, bungy jumping or canoeing in dangerous rapids either.

    You cannot possibly belive that recreational activities such as those listed could be equated with stepping onto a battlefield with the most powerful warfighting machine ever trained.

    >Would you propose we ship those people off to Guantanamo bay?

    If they decided to go thrillseeking in a war zone, then yes, ship them off until we can decide if they pose a real threat vice just being stupid.

    >Now, apart from muslim tourists, there are a number of other conceivable reasons someone who isnt you or me might visit Afghanistan.

    Granted, but their sense of timing really sucks.

    >And there's culture that some may find attractive

    Agreed.  That attractive culture, for most of them, involved killing Americans.

    >Instead they shipped them off for long term extrajudicial imprisonment and alleged torture.

    They have no government and therefore no law.  How can any punishment be 'extrajudicial' when there is no judicial system to hold them accountable for their actions?

    >lends a whole new level of credibility to those tales the ex-prisoners are telling.

    You cannot belive anything that either side tells you.  Unless it can be verified by an independent agency, it never happened.  In a lot of those cases, those tales were based on the fact that women were standing guard over them.  In their fucked-up religous minds, having a woman guarding them is torture.  With that as a base for what they consider torture, what else constituted torture?  Not giving them 2-ply toilet paper?  Refusing to let them build mosques?  Making them sleep in beds vice in caves?  Really, once you understand how fucked up their minds are, nothing they say is credible.

    Although the same could be said of the US leadership.

    Face it, if they were in Afghanistan and they were muslim, they probably wanted to kill Americans.

    Actually, if they are in the Middle East, they probably want to kill Americans.  My guess is that given a chance, any muslim in the ME would probably kill an American without hesitation.  As vocal as Europeans are about peace, I doubt Europeans would try and kill me for no other reason than the fact that I'm American.

    Why should we waste any sympathy on people who treat women with contempt?

    Why do these people even matter?

    Like you said, if they'd been shot in the desert, it would be a non issue.  Why does it matter if they spend the rest of their lives in the relative comfort of the Carribean Islands eating three meals a day at US taxpayer's expense?

    [ Parent ]

    Astonishing (3.00 / 3) (#252)
    by baloo on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 05:05:47 AM EST

    To hear such comments from anyone.

    What's this: battlefield whose limits were ill-defined? Is that an argument for taking in anyone close at hand and simply throw the key away?

    What do you mean: Note also that most of the Taliban who're in Guantanamo are safer where they are now than in Afghanistan? You mean there held there for their own protection?! Why not simply ask them if they want that protection?

    Your comments, sir, are yet another proof-in-case that the US et al are just as a totalitarian society as those it seeks to destroy.

    The thing that gets me most is the fact that you still perceive yourselves as a free, open and democratic one.

    Sheesh, the world would, unfortunately, be better off without this country who wages this mock-up "war on terrorism". Listen up: nobody, nobody, wants your "help".


    [ Parent ]
    quick question (none / 1) (#298)
    by Lode Runner on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 06:23:38 PM EST

    Which would you prefer: living under American hegemony or living under Osama's or Saddam's?

    I've never quite understood why people who aren't targets of Al Qaeda so violently begrudge the USA for defending itself.

    Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to commend you for your bravery. If it turns out that the USA is indeed as facistic as you claim, then your courageous act of dissenting on a website hosted in the USA and therefore subject to its draconian laws deserves recognition. The death squads may have already been dispatched, so I hope this acknowledgement reaches you in time! I'm a goner too, just for writing that, but such is the cost of speaking our minds. . .

    [ Parent ]

    This is where you've got it wrong (2.50 / 4) (#308)
    by baloo on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 04:51:06 AM EST

    I'd prefer to be asked, not being told, especially by some foreign body, of how I'd like to live my life.

    I prefer to live under no single hegemony of any kind. But the fact remains that there is actually only one nation on earth trying to run one.

    Have Osama or Saddam ever showed any, whatsoever, tendencies to try to pressure the whole world into following their will? I think not. Do you, sir?

    Osama's actions mostly revolve around trying to unify and strengthen an old fashioned arab-muslim conservative view upon the arab-muslim world. While I don't agree with his ideals and values, I don't think its my God given right to "go o'er there and nuke the hell outta 'em". Especially when an absolute and crystal clear majority of those bombed have nothing in common with the man allegedly being hunted down.

    How, exactly, did the USA defend itself by bombing the Afghans?

    Is al-Qaeda really so much weaker now? The whole point of organizing in classical terrorist fashion is that it is impossible to go in and just "take 'em out". The "war on terror" is and cannot be - there is no enemy to wage war against. Unless, of course, the USA truly sees the entire rest of the world as its enemy (which would explain a lot). Once again, this is the whole point of the classical terrorist organization method. The only way to long-term diminish the terrorist "soldier"-base is to remove the reason of their utter and total despair - help them lead a fruitful life according to their ideals and values. If the USA doesn't like those ideals and values it can, over time, try to influence those other - just like you would with a fellow American who has a different view on gun-slinging/arbortion/whatever.

    Saddam was nothing more than a petty dictator trying his best to uphold and increase his riches. He's never tried to take on the world and has certainly never tried to go any kind of holy mission trying to get the world to follow his lead.

    How, exactly, did the USA defend itself by invading Iraq?

    To try to conceal a predisposition to fear and bullying is the same tactics that the mob is going for.

    If Armageddon comes, my "dissenting" on a web site hosted or non-hosted on USA soil would not matter in the face of the great beast. That is what the USA is doing its best to teach the rest of their world - the USA does as it pleases, no matter the consequences for other people and nations.

    The fact that the USA behaves like a fascist terror-inducing raving maniac armed with nukes and fleet groups doesn't fill it's righteous voice with any authority or truth. Because the USA is currently the best fighter in the bar doesn't make his bar-brawl just.

    [ Parent ]
    any good doctor (none / 1) (#353)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 04:09:32 PM EST

    will treat the symptoms as well as the disease. When an enemy launches attacks you destroy his base AND you to address his grievances if such grievances are legit'. In the case of Al-Qaeda, it's not the USA's responsibility to create an environment where sheiks can pursue the resurrection if the 9th-century caliphates.

    Ever notice how people who're unable to stand up for themselves tend to denounce the use force?

    RE defense: I'm not sure how destroying the Taliban wasn't an act of self-defense. They were clear hosting an organization that was attacking us; and when they were asked to remove said organization, they refused. As for Saddam, he was asked if he was developing weapons of mass destruction and he--for what now appear to be domestic reasons--refused to answer. Finally, your trivialization of Saddam's murderous tenure doesn't exactly lend credibility to your claims that you care so much about liberty and self-determination; your issue seems to be a disdain for American power, and I'm delighted to inform you that you're stuck with it.

    [ Parent ]

    Some doctor (none / 1) (#354)
    by generaltao on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 05:57:23 PM EST

    Your response to the previous post would carry alot more weight if:
    1. You hadn't skirted the issue of addressing the root causes as you did. (Did you deliberately ignore the issues Al Qaeda uses to drum up support or are you genuinely unaware of them?)
    2. You had provided a citation backing up your assertion that the Taliban "refused" to turn over Bin Laden. (I'm treating your reference to Al Qaeda as a reference to its leadership.)
    3. You hadn't falsely claimed that Saddam "refused to asnwer" questions about his posession of WMD.  Iraq and Saddam clearly stated several times that they posessed no prescribed weapons and that they had destroyed their stockpiles.  Saddam even said so in an interview he granted Dan Rather weeks before the war.
    4. You hadn't tried to somehow imply that any discussion of America's wrongs, while some perhaps more serious wrongs over which we have no influence whatsover are taking place elsewhere in the world, was an indication that the poster didn't care about human rights.  That's just silly.
    You also made this comment:
    "Ever notice how people who're unable to stand up for themselves tend to denounce the use force?"

    That's an interesting observation and you are right.  Please continue on a similar line of thought and ask yourself whether the manner in which the US has conducted itself internationally would be so obviously "right" if it didn't have the power to do as it pleased?

    Shouldn't righteousness that can only be exercised when in posession of overwhelming power against any potential opposition be questioned as maybe not-so-righteous?  Doesn't it raise a bit of a red flag that this supposed "right" that America had to attack Iraq is a "right" other countries don't have unless the US says so?

    [ Parent ]

    somehow I don't see us agreeing on (none / 1) (#355)
    by Lode Runner on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 07:33:02 PM EST

    the so-called root cause of Al Qaeda's grievances. Maybe you buy their arguments that they're champions of an Ummah under seige, but I don't and won't ever. They're angry because Islam is a failure as a civiziling credo and they're blaming outsiders for it.

    I'm not sure if I can prove that the Taliban refused to hand over Osama. I've yet to read an informed piece that states that the Taliban in any way acceded to American demands, but maybe you know something I don't.

    Everybody also knows that Saddam played the shell game with the inspectors long after he declared he had no weapons. He made it look like he had something to hide; and most likely he believed he did. Would you want to be the general that informed Saddam that he did not, in fact, have the stockpiles he'd used throughout the '90s to threaten the Shiites and Kurds?

    I'm not sure why you think I'm not critical of America, but I do have a pretty good idea about why you're arguing for the existence of "perhaps more serious wrongs over which we have no influence whatsover [that] are taking place elsewhere in the world". Answer: just because you cannot have any influence over Saddam's actions if you refuse to remove him by military force does not mean that force isn't a valid option. Sounds like a case of "if it can't be done my way it can't be done" -- this is also why I don't take most recent anti-war arguments seriously.

    Was the USA acting within its rights by invading Iraq? Perhaps not if Saddam was as benign as you're making him out to be, but some of us actual care enough about our liberty directly confront the world's most brutal despots. When you look at all the crap Dubya takes for daring to call the North Korean and Iranian regimes evil. . .

    [ Parent ]

    Taliban offered to hand over Osama (none / 0) (#363)
    by driptray on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 04:21:16 AM EST

    I've yet to read an informed piece that states that the Taliban in any way acceded to American demands, but maybe you know something I don't.

    The sequence of events was:

    1. The US demanded that the Taliban hand over Osama.

    2. The Taliban um and ah, saying they're not sure if they can do that, and they're not really sure where he is.

    3. The US make an ultimatum - hand him over or else we invade.

    4. Within the ultimatum deadline, the Taliban say they now know where he is, and that they are willing to hand him over, but to a neutral third country rather than directly to the US.

    5. The US ignores the Taliban offer and invades Afghanistan.

    Even if you felt the Taliban's condition about the "neutral third party" wasn't good enough, it showed an obvious willingness to negotiate. They were clearly worried about America coming in and blowing them all up, and they wanted to cut a deal.

    But no, the US wasn't interested in negotiation. They weren't interested in averting a war. It pisses me off that the lunacy of declaring war on Iraq has lent retrospective credibility to the war on Afghanistan - that in contrast to Iraq, people feel it is both more legitimate and more successful. It's neither.
    --
    We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
    [ Parent ]

    Please look up the definition of ultimatum (none / 0) (#366)
    by Grognard on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 06:59:09 AM EST

    At that point, time for negotiations is over.

    [ Parent ]
    Sure... (none / 0) (#367)
    by driptray on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:59:52 AM EST

    ...but the Taliban met the US's terms. It was up to the US to negotiate if they wanted something beyond the terms they'd originally set.

    And you're ignoring the fact that ultimatums are a stupid way to conduct foreign policy, for the reasons we see here.
    --
    We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
    [ Parent ]

    No (none / 0) (#368)
    by Grognard on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:40:42 AM EST

    The US terms were that he be turned over to the US.  The Taliban came back with the offer to turn him over to an Islamic court, if the US provided them with evidence that they felt warranted his being turned over - hardly a compliant position.

    And you're ignoring the fact that ultimatums are a stupid way to conduct foreign policy, for the reasons we see here.

    Looks like the Taliban found that ignoring ultimatums isn't the smartest policy.

    [ Parent ]

    standard procedure. (none / 0) (#377)
    by caridon20 on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 10:43:20 AM EST


    The US terms were that he be turned over to the US.  The Taliban came back with the offer to turn him over to an Islamic court, if the US provided them with evidence that they felt warranted his being turned over - hardly a compliant position.

    This is what ANY goverment would have done with ANY extradition request.   You demand to se evidence and you make shure that the extradition is to a respectable justice system.

    Now the talibans idea of respectable justice system  differs from ours but their reaction was basicly fair. and normal.

    /C

    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    It wasn't an extradition request (none / 0) (#379)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 12:42:22 PM EST

    We're not talking about a criminal matter, we're talking about an act of war.  

    By harboring bin Laden (the Taliban didn't even take the minimally necessary step of interning him - like Switzerland did in WW2 with belligerents it caught in its territory), Afghanistan made itself a party to that act of war.

    They gambled that the US wouldn't act and lost, heavily.

    [ Parent ]

    BS: (none / 0) (#385)
    by caridon20 on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 11:47:27 AM EST

    No, it was a criminal act.

    A WAR is betwen 2 countries not betwen a country and a person.
    Even if we stretch the definition of WAR to betwen a state and an organisation. I dont recal US having declared war on Al-quaida. (I dont recall it having declared war on Afganistan or Iraq either as i understand should have been nesesary but that is the american peoples problem not mine.)

    So it was a request for extradition and nothing else.

    The fact that the US started a war because it dident agree with the talibans desition is another thing entirely.

    /C
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    So... (none / 0) (#386)
    by Grognard on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 12:58:03 PM EST

    A WAR is betwen 2 countries not betwen a country and a person.

    ...civil wars are not wars?

    I dont recal US having declared war on Al-quaida.

    I bet you believe that a declaration of war is a requirement for a "legal" war...betcha can't actually find a citation to back that up.

    [ Parent ]

    correction (none / 0) (#387)
    by caridon20 on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 04:01:10 PM EST

    My misstake, i should have said between 2 gouverments to cover the civil war case.

    But you havent answerd the point.
    That asking for OBL  was a extradition request.
    let me point you to some nice articles about it.
    Note allso that the Taliban was prepared to deliver OBL IF the USA provided evidence to support their allegations.

    C

    http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2001/09/18/story24069.asp

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,177983,00.html

    http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/09/30/ret.taliban.binladen

    http://www.j-n-v.org/AW_briefings/ARROW_briefing004.htm

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0110/S00046.htm
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    You will notice (none / 0) (#388)
    by Grognard on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 08:04:44 PM EST

    that in none of those articles is any US representative quoted using the word "extradition".

    Just because a reporter uses it thinking it's a synonym for what the US was demanding, doesn't make it so.

    Note allso that the Taliban was prepared to deliver OBL IF the USA provided evidence to support their allegations.

    To a third country, not the US.  Even if the US were obligated to provide evidence to the Taliban, that condition was a guaranteed deal breaker.

    [ Parent ]

    reality check (none / 0) (#390)
    by caridon20 on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 07:15:29 AM EST

    ok first a little reality chek.
    would you have extradited Lyndon to vietnam to stand trial for war crimes after the vietnam war ?

    Dont think so, no matter how much evidence Vietnam would have presented, at most you would have agreed to trial in a "inpartial" country.  

    Same thing here.  They were ready to extradite OBL to pakistan or if a council of clerics found the evidence compelling to the US

    se:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0110/S00046.htm
    within the framework of Islamic shar'ia law evidence of his alleged involvement in the New York and Washington attacks would be placed before an international tribunal. The court would decide whether to try him on the spot or hand him over to America."

    Se: "HAND HIM OVER TO AMERICA"

    I think you are mistaking right and might (a common mistake)

    you see a war dosent prove who is right only who is left.   The US is right now able to invade any one (or 2-3) country. that dosent make them right. and the way they have used this ability lately makes me hope that this ability will dissapear
    (preferably in a non violent way)

    Because as long as the US insists on solving conflicts with force we vill not come closer to a rule of law in the international arena and a rule of law is the first step towards justice.

    /C
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    The mistake is yours (none / 0) (#392)
    by Grognard on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 08:29:11 AM EST

    I think you are mistaking right and might (a common mistake)

    Intra-national law involves a group of people submitting to a common authority that enforces it.  In "International Law" there is no common authority - the "law" is really a matter of mutual agreement without an enforcement mechanism.  Ethically, might may not make right, but in international relations it carries a lot of weight.

    you see a war dosent prove who is right only who is left.

    okay, then...I see we have degenerated to the level of simplistic sound bite drivel...please return when you have learned how the real world works.

    By the way...I notice you didn't provide evidence of any US official calling the demand for bin Laden an "extradition".

    [ Parent ]

    no its not. (none / 0) (#395)
    by caridon20 on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 10:49:26 AM EST

    So you have admitted that the USA uses the bully in a sandbox method to get their will through ?

    As they use force when they cannot prove their position ethicaly.

    I did not prove any evidence because it is irelevant to the question of how to deal with things.

    They can call it a extradition request, order to hand over, or anything att all.  The point is that the substance of the request/ultimatum/whatever was an extradition request.  "hand this guy over to us so he can be charged with crimes"

    I would still like it if you tried to keep this civil but that is aparently imposible. And please stop quoting wery small bits of my argument and ignore the rest it is a very juvenile thing to do.

    The entire point is that while the US has the ability to use force to get things it's way. this will only anger the rest of the world and in the end the US will become a pharia. I care about this because the US could be a force for good instead of its precent state as a force for greed and selfinterest.

    /C
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    You're not paying attention (none / 0) (#397)
    by Grognard on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 11:30:01 AM EST

    So you have admitted that the USA uses the bully in a sandbox method to get their will through ?

    It is standard practice for nations to pursue their national interests through any means available - diplomacy sometimes involves threats.  Force is merely another option when the stakes warrant it.

    As they use force when they cannot prove their position ethicaly.

    Proving a position ethically is immaterial in international relations - do you really believe any nation is going to surrender its own interests based on the ethical strength of their opponent's argument?

    They can call it a extradition request, order to hand over, or anything att all.

    Your refusal to concede the difference does not erase the difference - making an extradition request is entirely different than demanding that a neutral nation surrender a combatant that it is harboring.

    The entire point is that while the US has the ability to use force to get things it's way. this will only anger the rest of the world and in the end the US will become a pharia.

    right...been there, done that...the US became a pariah in the 80s for its warmongering confrontational behavior towards the Soviet Union under the misguided leadership of its cowboy President - remember how that turned out?

    I'm sorry if you find it uncivil of me to be contemptuous of the naive, simplistic attitude towards foreign affairs that you seem to share with a lot of other, but so be it.  You won't find any support anywhere in history for the approach to international relations that you seem to adhere to.

    [ Parent ]

    I pay attention you dont. (none / 0) (#398)
    by caridon20 on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 06:04:40 PM EST

    Proving a position ethically is immaterial in international relations - do you really believe any nation is going to surrender its own interests based on the ethical strength of their opponent's argument?

    It usually causes you to lose the moral high ground and that in turn stops you from getting things through the UN sec council for example.

    Your refusal to concede the difference does not erase the difference - making an extradition request is entirely different than demanding that a neutral nation surrender a combatant that it is harboring.

    when did the USA declare war on OBL ?   Because if there is no war then he is not a combatant.
    He IS however a suspected criminal.  
    And if it was a war then the Talibans duty would be to NOT give him over so your argument falls.

    Your argument seem to be "we are mighty so we have the right to dictate what other governments should do... or else.   The problem with that is that there is always a reaction to this. And I think you are going to pay the price for the invasions the next 5-15 years.

    right...been there, done that...the US became a pariah in the 80s for its warmongering confrontational behavior towards the Soviet Union under the misguided leadership of its cowboy President - remember how that turned out?

    Jup, you lost a lot of the goodwill you had left over from WWII  most of the rest got lost by GWB these last 4 years.  If the US would come and ask for help with anything big today what countries do you think will back you up ?   Spain changed governments because they helped you, and both Australia and England are close to a regime change because of their help to you.

    I'm sorry if you find it uncivil of me to be contemptuous of the naive, simplistic attitude towards foreign affairs that you seem to share with a lot of other, but so be it.  You won't find any support anywhere in history for the approach to international relations that you seem to adhere to.

    "I find you to be a rude, simplistic ignorant asshole."
    Now in what way did that help my argument?
    In no way.  So lay of the insults dickhead or I'll stop being polite.

    History actually supports my view of international relations.
    The international community have the last 300 years gone from a true might makes right situation to situation where states are more and more governed by laws and treaties.  The last 30 years we have even seen  treaties that states will have to obey even if they haven't signed them. (a historical first.) the countries that are trying to stop this movement to a rule of law are

    1. Small dictatorships.
    2. Russia, China and the USA.
    Fine company you have :)
    This process of law-creation is very slow.  It measures its time in centuries not in years so you do not notice it in the everyday life, but take a look in history and think a bit.

    /C
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    Replies (none / 0) (#400)
    by Grognard on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 06:34:52 PM EST

    It usually causes you to lose the moral high ground and that in turn stops you from getting things through the UN sec council for example.

    I see...so when the UN failed to act on Bosnia, Rwanda, and Kosovo, it was due to a lack of moral high ground?

    when did the USA declare war on OBL ?   Because if there is no war then he is not a combatant.

    Al Qaeda has been trumpeting it's war on the US for a long time - it just took the US a long time to realize the need to take it seriously.

    And if it was a war then the Talibans duty would be to NOT give him over so your argument falls.

    Not if they wanted to claim neutrality.  They had the opportunity to repudiate his actions by turning him over - they chose to become co-belligerants by failing to do so.

    And I think you are going to pay the price for the invasions the next 5-15 years.

    You'd best move the revenge period out...if your theory of payback were to hold true, then Germany (x2), Japan, North Korea, Vietnam, etc. would all be way overdue in collecting.

    Jup, you lost a lot of the goodwill you had left over from WWII  most of the rest got lost by GWB these last 4 years.

    The "good will" lost by Reagan amounted to sour grapes by those who had been preaching appeasement all those years and wound up looking like the cowardly sheep they were - hardly a constituency whose loss I'd mourn.

    If the US would come and ask for help with anything big today what countries do you think will back you up ?

    Whichever ones stood to profit by what we were proposing - still haven't caught on to how things work, have you?

    Spain changed governments because they helped you,

    And what a fine moment in Spanish history that was.

    and both Australia and England are close to a regime change because of their help to you.

    There's an old saying about counting chickens before they're hatched.

    History actually supports my view of international relations.
    The international community have the last 300 years gone from a true might makes right situation to situation where states are more and more governed by laws and treaties.

    Do a little research into something called the League of Nations - toothless debating societies tend to fall by the wayside when they try to dictate to the major powers.

    Russia, China and the USA.

    Explain why its in the best interests of any of these nations to be dictated to by lesser nations.


    [ Parent ]

    their offer wasn't in good faith (none / 0) (#372)
    by Lode Runner on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 07:18:35 PM EST

    b/c there isn't a court in the world--with the possible exception of a couple in Kandahar--that the Taliban would've considered to be "Islamic" enough to try Osama. Perhaps they wanted him to leave, but I don't think they ever entertained the notion of putting him in a situation where the Americans could get their hands on him.

    And, hey, there's an election coming up in Afghanistan. Depsite of you, not because of you.

    [ Parent ]

    And you know this how? (1.75 / 4) (#84)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:19:55 AM EST

    You may very well be right, but you have no basis other than the claims of released inmates to make such a statement.

    If you've ever known anyone whose worked in a high school principal's office, you'll know that everyone is innocent and everyone has an excuse.

    [ Parent ]

    What proof do we have otherwise? (3.00 / 3) (#108)
    by dasunt on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:31:27 AM EST

    Should we believe the US Gov't, or should we believe other sources?

    Both sides are not unbiased.



    [ Parent ]
    One does not need to know (2.75 / 4) (#114)
    by schrotie on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:51:20 AM EST

    One does not have to know if a suspect is free of guilt. Either he is conclusively proven guilty or he is completely free of guilt as far as the law is concerned. In dubio pro reo. Ever heard about that? Or would you rather like to start a little witch hunt? I admit that the US has to catch up on that part of history, but maybe they should do it to their own people. But then imperialism would be no fun then, would it? :-)

    [ Parent ]
    Semantic warfare (1.50 / 2) (#176)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:00:18 PM EST

    There is no guilt or innocence in this matter.

    The detainees are unlawful combatants, captured while engaged in combat with US forces.

    Their guilt or innocence in any particular crime is immaterial to their current confinement.

    [ Parent ]

    O wise one (2.75 / 4) (#214)
    by scruffyMark on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:30:40 PM EST

    The detainees are unlawful combatants, captured while engaged in combat with US forces.

    In this case, the US has already violated the Geneva Convention - they should have gotten a tribunal immediately after their capture, not four years down the road, to determine whether they would be dangerous if released. Their guilt or innocence in any particular crime is immaterial to their current confinement.

    Please tell us: exactly what facts are material to their current confinement, and under what perversion of moral principles does it become OK for the US not to torture them, while not even bothering to hold even the most superficial examination of those facts for four years?

    [ Parent ]

    Under espionage... (2.33 / 3) (#109)
    by DavidTC on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:32:39 AM EST

    ...we send them through the perfectly competent court system after charging them with spying.

    However, I'm still fairly confused as to what we'd charge them with, anyway. Shooting at Americans during the American invasion of Afghanistan was not illegal under any law I am aware of, Afghanistan or US or international.

    Calling them 'unlawful combatents' is just stupid. Their behavior was not criminal. They might, in theory, be not covered by the Geneva convention, but that doesn't make their actions unlawful.

    The real issue here is that we're not supposed to charge soldiers with 'crimes' in the first place, as they did nothing illegal. We're supposed to hold them until the war is over, and then return them. Charging soldiers with crimes invites other countries to charge our soldiers with crimes.

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    Perhaps your opinion would be different (1.33 / 3) (#173)
    by cdguru on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:59:03 PM EST

    if they were shooting at you, instead of some random grunt in the army.

    If these folks were "soldiers" and part of a "Taliban army", then the Taliban would be a body to negotiate with for release of their prisoners and would be in control of the forces operating in their country. Unfortunately, the Taliban more-or-less ceased to be around the time of the invasion. These folks simply took to the hills and let the country collapse around them. So that rules out the "Taliban army" idea.

    If I recall the situation, we told the Taliban to turn over bin Laden or we would come and get him. The Taliban said "Naa naa naa go ahead and try" and ran for the hills, leaving the country without a government.

    I'm not sure what you do in a situation like that. Leaving it be isn't going to work - it is not an example you would want followed. I guess you could take a more isolationist view and say we should have just ignored them and hoped they would go away, but that didn't seem like a realistic option at the time. And, after the next attack it will probably not seem very realistic either.

    [ Parent ]

    Doesn't work at all (2.66 / 3) (#212)
    by scruffyMark on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:25:34 PM EST

    If these folks were "soldiers" and part of a "Taliban army", then the Taliban would be a body to negotiate with for release of their prisoners and would be in control of the forces operating in their country.

    If German soldiers captured in WWII were "soldiers" and part of a "German army", then the German government would have been a body to negotiate with for release of their prisoners four years after the end of the war? Bollocks.

    Just because the Taliban were thoroughly defeated, and there's now no one left to negotiate with, doesn't mean they weren't the government of Afghanistan - they did run the country for a number of years after all.

    And even if they had been some guerrilla group and not a government (however brutal and dictatorial), how does it follow that some poor schmuck that they recruited by force, stuck a rifle in his hands and didn't give him a uniform (because they couldn't even afford uniforms themselves) should be detained for four years without any tribunal to examine whether he is in fact a desperate terrorist, or a chickpea farmer who got half an hour of basic training before being shoved off to shoot at the armies invading his country?

    [ Parent ]

    I always see this little tidbit repeated (none / 0) (#236)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:43:14 PM EST

    didn't give him a uniform (because they couldn't even afford uniforms themselves)

    but never actually substantiated.  The Taliban had sufficient funds to buy arms and ammunition (some of which they could even spare to bravely defend themselves against offensive carvings of Buddha) and build lavish mosques, but they lacked the funds to buy uniforms?  Please.

    [ Parent ]

    they *had* uniforms. (none / 0) (#285)
    by vivelame on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 01:38:44 PM EST

    the black turban thingie, you know. It's enough for the GC to apply.

    --
    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 ]
    If combined with the other conditions of Article 4 (none / 0) (#289)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 02:16:46 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    The Taliban.... (2.00 / 2) (#275)
    by DavidTC on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 10:54:12 AM EST

    ...is dead. They can't negotiate for anything.

    But that has nothing to do with anything. If the war is over, no one needs to. We're just supposed to release them.

    However, I'm not certain we had any captured Taliban soldiers in Cuba. I thought we actually followed the Geneva convention with them. As such, we can't charge them with crimes, and will return them as soon as the war is over, which means we should have already done it.

    The people we have supposedly were fighting for Al Qaeda, not the Taliban.

    However, defending an organization from force, even a terrorist organization, isn't illegal. People do not commit crimes by shooting at enemy soldiers, even if they are not in uniform. If they aren't in uniform, they don't get certain protections under the Geneva convention, that's all.

    What is illegal, of course, is committing war crimes, like attacking civilians to cause terror, or even planning to do so. That we can charge them with...of course, many of these 'terrorists' had nothing to do with that. They either were not with Al Qaeda, or they were drafted from surrounding villages at the last minute by money or threat after the Americans attacked.

    Who is guilty at what level is unknown, and why we need trials. We needed them years ago. We need to be able to say 'You were with Al Qaeda for years, and were going to be part of another attack. You go to jail for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.', 'You were paid one hundred dollars to guard the base, and had no prior connection with Al Qaeda. You are released with time served.', and 'You were apparently just wandering around in the wrong place at the wrong time.' and everywhere in between.

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    re: The Taliban (none / 0) (#278)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 11:19:41 AM EST

    ...is dead. They can't negotiate for anything.

    A cursory glance at the news coming out of Afghanistan should put that to rest.  While they are out of power, they certainly are not extinct.

    But that has nothing to do with anything. If the war is over, no one needs to. We're just supposed to release them.

    The operative word being "if".

    [ Parent ]

    Different Circumstances (none / 0) (#321)
    by Shajenko on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 01:12:07 PM EST

    if they were shooting at you, instead of some random grunt in the army.
    If they're shooting at you, you have every right to shoot back, and possibly kill them. This argument is about what happens after they've been captured, disarmed, and held in custody. At that point, they're not shooting at anyone anymore, and there's time for a rational decision on what to do with them. Which means you're held to different standards of conduct than when you're on a battlefield being shot at.

    [ Parent ]
    Terrorist groups *are* organized crime. (2.83 / 6) (#117)
    by mcc on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:00:36 AM EST

    Maybe we could treat them like criminals

    I think that is an excellent idea. If nothing else this would satisfy the persons upset about Camp X-Ray, since criminals are allowed to have fair trials.

    [ Parent ]

    they're more than gangsters (1.50 / 2) (#227)
    by Lode Runner on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 06:20:25 PM EST

    The rules we have in place to prosecute criminals don't deal with people who're out to destroy the entire society.

    If you can find a precedent wherein the US government prosecuted a case against traditional gang of organized criminals (Mafia, Cartels, etc) that had as one if its precepts the command to "kill Americans wherever you find them" then maybe you can make the case for calling Al-Qaeda organized criminals and leaving it at that.

    [ Parent ]

    I don't even understand the idea (2.80 / 15) (#24)
    by debacle on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 07:04:08 PM EST

    Of an unlawful combatant. I mean, what the hell does that mean? Is it different from a lawful combatant? Would a lawful combatant be considered a POW? How can someone who is killing other people be considered lawful? How could they be considered unlawful?

    I don't wish to bash the US, but this is just another example of epicycles. Instead of using the system we have, or using a tested system, we create a system that turns the input into the desired output.

    I say we abandon the heliocentric model sooner or later and follow someone with a brain in their heads.

    Sure, worse things happen like some of you are saying. Thousands die to abortion or starvation or car addicents or heart attacks each day. You have to pick your battles though. I don't think that this is about those 600 men and women as it is the blurring of the powers of the executive branch, as well as the boundaries of the United States' policies. Continuing to distort the system for poorly thought out reasons can only result in a system that looks like a pulsating mass of silly putty where we should have a powerfully outlined designation of power. We lost federalism to centralism, are we going to lose democracy to a bureaucratic dictatorship?

    I ought to write a conspiritorial article on the many similarities between Palpatine and Bush, but I'm too lazy. Just imagine that I did.

    It tastes sweet.

    For those of you who are confused (2.80 / 10) (#66)
    by EvilGwyn on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 11:06:01 PM EST

    The definition of an unlawful combatant is as follows:

    a) Someone who was fighting for the losing side
    b) Someone who was supporting someone on the losing side
    c) Someone who looks like they might be fighting on the losing side

    Hope that helps

    [ Parent ]

    missing 2 (1.50 / 2) (#74)
    by Wallas A Hockpock on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:19:01 AM EST

    Someone no in a uniform. Someone not a member of a recognized state contoled military organization.

    [ Parent ]
    Special forces often don't wear uniforms. (3.00 / 5) (#91)
    by rob1 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:26:14 AM EST

    Are they unlawful combatants?

    Someone not a member of a recognized state contoled military organization.

    Recognized by who? The US Department of State? The UN? Many countries refuse to recognize each others existence (e.g.China/Taiwan).

    And, more to the point, why should state forces have legal protection not provided to non-state forces? What's the moral justification for this?

    Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
    [ Parent ]

    When caught out of uniform, yes (none / 1) (#93)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:35:53 AM EST

    Are they unlawful combatants?

    yup...one of the reasons that SpecFor units are composed of volunteers.

    [ Parent ]

    So, (2.50 / 2) (#96)
    by rob1 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:47:52 AM EST

    the US would not object if captured non-uniformed SpecFor were held indefinitely by foreign countries as unlawful combatants?

    Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
    [ Parent ]

    Objecting is one thing (2.75 / 4) (#98)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:55:52 AM EST

    having a legal basis to the objection is quite another.

    [ Parent ]
    that's basically (1.50 / 2) (#208)
    by vivelame on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:09:39 PM EST

    what's happening to these "mercenaries" in Kabul, btw.

    --
    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 ]
    I would have thought (none / 0) (#233)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:26:30 PM EST

    that your position would be that Karzai is an American puppet - strange activity for a puppet, non?

    [ Parent ]
    Q&A. (2.50 / 2) (#97)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:54:38 AM EST

    why should state forces have legal protection not provided to non-state forces?

    They shouldn't, and they don't. In theory at least.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    You appear to be correct (3.00 / 6) (#100)
    by rob1 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 09:27:52 AM EST

    Just reviewed the definition of Unlawful combatant at Wikipedia, which includes text from the Geneva Convention. The definition of lawful combatant is broad enough to include anyone in an armed force, militia or resistance movement that belongs to a "Party to the conflict".

    So the US appears to be arguing that the Taliban were not a "Party" to the Afghanistan invasion. So who was, then? The US was having a war all by itself?

    Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
    [ Parent ]

    Special Forces (2.66 / 3) (#144)
    by cdguru on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:22:56 PM EST

    If they are caught out of uniform, they get shot. Period. Answer: don't get caught. Unfortunately, most of the "special forces" actions in the recent past have involved forces that do not follow the Geneva Convention, and so uniform or not, they get shot. Or tortured. Or both.

    State sponsored forces are given protections not afforded to non-sponsored forces because it is assumed there is some type of recourse against the State. It is assumed that non-sponsored forces are outside of this kind of formal responsibility. The primary tenent of this kind of asymmetrical warfare is that there isn't any responsible body that you can take action against. Because of this lack of responsibility and chain of authority, no protection is given to such forces.

    [ Parent ]

    define uniform (none / 1) (#104)
    by 49399 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:12:23 AM EST

    if the state of talibans were recognized, would we go to WAR against them?

    [ Parent ]
    Uniform and recognition. (2.50 / 2) (#209)
    by Dr Caleb on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:11:50 PM EST

    The term 'Uniform' is quite clearly in the Geneva conventions. The Black turban and black vest worn by Taliban is quite clearly a uniform under that definition. I don't know what they used as a rank insignia.

    The Taliban government was recognized as the legal governing body of Afghanistan when the US was seeking oil pipeline right-of-ways from the Caspian Sea.

    And IIRC, the US did declare war on the Taliban.


    Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

    There is no K5 cabal.
    [ Parent ]

    It did not. (3.00 / 2) (#217)
    by aphrael on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:43:08 PM EST

    The Congress authorized the president to use all means necessary to deal with the people responsible for the events of September 11. It explicitly did not declare war on the state of Afghanistan.

    [ Parent ]
    Yes (2.80 / 5) (#94)
    by epepke on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:36:38 AM EST

    I mean, what the hell does that mean? Is it different from a lawful combatant?

    Yes.

    Would a lawful combatant be considered a POW?

    Yes.

    How can someone who is killing other people be considered lawful?

    When acting under the auspices of a recognized government. Hence, lawful.

    How could they be considered unlawful?

    When not acting under the auspices of a recognized government. Hence, unlawful.

    Now, I'm as upset about Camp X-Ray as most people. Furthermore, the Geneva Convention has procedures for what happens when people are captured and don't clearly have POW status, and if you ask me (which nobody does), that provision should apply to signatories of the convention even when the person is captured outside of a country that is a signatory. However, it's not just a made-up idea.


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


    [ Parent ]
    Hm. (2.00 / 3) (#99)
    by i on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 09:06:50 AM EST

    When not acting under the auspices of a recognized government. Hence, unlawful.

    I'd like to see this point of view supported by some kind of legal document. Preferably one from the 20th century.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    Now that's silly. (2.75 / 4) (#116)
    by mcc on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:58:10 AM EST

    When not acting under the auspices of a recognized government. Hence, unlawful.

    This would basically mean anyone taking part in a revolution of any kind does not need to be offered POW status.

    For example, as far as I'm aware America did not recognize the government of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Based on this would it not have been the case that they could have at the time just declared the North Vietnameese "unlawful combatants" and refrained from giving them Geneva Convention considerations?

    [ Parent ]

    Geneva Convention Text.. Prisoners of War (2.85 / 7) (#135)
    by HighOrbit on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:55:49 AM EST

    Bascially, soldiers of "unrecognized" governments and even guerillas are protected. But they have the meet the other criteria.

    I lifted this from Article 4 of the Geneva Conventions relative to Prisoners of War.
    A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
    • 1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
    • 2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
      • (a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
      • (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
      • (c) That of carrying arms openly;
      • (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
    • 3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
    • 4. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.
    • 5. Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.
    • 6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.


    [ Parent ]
    Consider #6 (none / 1) (#258)
    by slaida1 on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 06:32:29 AM EST

    6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

    Was this the reason Bush was so hasty declaring war over (=territory occupied)?

    Seriously, these rules are stupid because they grant POW status for only those who can fight openly ie. with enough resources to put up a fight without getting outright slaughtered. I'd say war isn't over until everyone agrees it is.

    [ Parent ]

    Sigh (2.75 / 4) (#264)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:23:53 AM EST

    Seriously, these rules are stupid because they grant POW status for only those who can fight openly ie. with enough resources to put up a fight without getting outright slaughtered.

    One of the main goals of the Conventions is to limit, as much as possible, the impact on civilians.  Since those who do not fight openly place civilians in greater danger, those actions are not protected.  It's really very simple.

    [ Parent ]

    While true (none / 0) (#364)
    by slaida1 on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 05:47:37 AM EST

    ..those conventions break and/or don't apply to guerrilla warfare of modern times. Maybe back then it was easy enough to hide in and act from forests away from civilians but now there's all kinds of scanners which reveal combatants hiding in forests. That's why I'd stress the spontaneous resistance by inhabitants of the 6th clause. As long as one keeps that status, he should be treated as POW when captured. It's debatable where spontaneous act ends and planned/teamwork begins. Maybe convention assumes that spontaneus civilians end up dead before they can organize themselves?

    It isn't easy, I'd say it's impossible to avoid civil casualties, but hey it's something invading forces must deal with. Don't like it, don't invade. World+dog were against Iraq war but Bush ignored it and did it anyway. Now, world+dog use conventions as a mallet against US, Bush doesn't care. Guantanamo's symbolic value is nearing what the of the statue of liberty has but in opposite direction.

    [ Parent ]

    In other words (none / 0) (#365)
    by Grognard on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 06:56:42 AM EST

    your opinion has no basis in the Conventions.

    What you think is right is all very nice, but we're talking about what has been agreed to under the Conventions and why.

    [ Parent ]

    Fighting Openly Protects Civilians (none / 0) (#324)
    by HighOrbit on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 03:04:11 PM EST

    these rules are stupid because they grant POW status for only those who can fight openly
    No, these rules requiring legal combantants have "a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance" and "That of carrying arms openly" are made so combantants target each other and not civilians.

    I'll give you a perfect true life example from Iraq. Soldiers are manning a checkpoint with signs instructing drivers to stop. A civilian car driven by somebody not in uniform approaches the checkpoint. He fails to slow down or stop (did he just not see the sign? or is he attacking?). When the car gets to the check point it explodes killing some of the soldiers. The next day at another checkpoint, a car approaches the checkpoint and fails to slow. The soldiers know that the enemy pretends to be civilians. They can't tell if they are under attack or not, but since their buddies were killed yesterday, they are not taking any chances. They open fire and riddle the car with bullets killing a woman and three children. The wounded driver (father) says he just didn't see the sign in time to stop.

    The woman and three children were killed because the insurgents were violating the laws of land warfare (Hauge & Geneva Conventions) and pretending to be civilians. When combantants pretend to be civilians, then civilians are endangered because you can't tell them from combantants. This is why the laws of armed conflict require combantants to wear a uniform (or distinctive insignia) and that they openly carry their weapons and don't pretend to be civilians.

    [ Parent ]
    Civilians spontaneously resisting (none / 0) (#362)
    by slaida1 on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 02:25:33 AM EST

    A civilian car driven by somebody not in uniform approaches the checkpoint....When the car gets to the check point it explodes killing some of the soldiers.

    That sounds like spontaneous resistance by an inhabitant who refused to accept occupation. Also, how does inhabitant who spontaneously wants to resist invading forces would have any sidearms to carry openly or any better method than a bombtruck or -boat to make a difference?

    He is an (civil) inhabitant = he doesn't have/wear uniform, he acts spontaneously = best weapons he could spontaneously get hold of are home made explosives, he acts alone = best delivery method for large amount of explosives is he himself driving his own car/boat. He doesn't pretend to be civilian because he is civilian.

    They open fire and riddle the car with bullets killing a woman and three children. The wounded driver (father) says he just didn't see the sign in time to stop.

    Our lives are in danger every day. For example, we routinely drive our cars 100kph in opposite directions, leaving only 1-2 meters in between lanes. That's 1-2 meters for a 200kph sure-kill collision for only slight turn of a steering wheel... Think about it. That father made a fatal mistake of similar proportions albeit it isn't routine everyday stuff to pass checkpoints manned by extremely stressed triggerhappy soldiers.

    I understand both sides and can only say: shit happens, I'm glad most of it happens far away from me.

    [ Parent ]

    Um.. Car Bombs are not Spontaneous (none / 0) (#373)
    by HighOrbit on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 07:42:34 PM EST

    It would stretch the imagination as to how a carbomb could be "spontaneous" as you have to take considerable time to prepare it. The spontaneous clause is clearly limited to the first few days of an invasion. And furthermore, a carbomb is by definition concealed and therefore violates the "carry arms openly" clause.

    [ Parent ]
    Arrgh, unfair! (none / 0) (#381)
    by slaida1 on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 01:30:04 AM EST

    What effect can spontaneous resistance make if rifles aren't available and bombs aren't allowed? Do that clause only allow completely useless pitchforks and stones resistance?

    [ Parent ]
    Fair is not the goal (none / 0) (#383)
    by Grognard on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 06:26:49 AM EST

    and anyway, nobody said bombs aren't allowed, they said fighting openly was required.  Carrying a bomb in a vehicle that is distinctively and visibly marked as belonging to the resistance would suffice.

    [ Parent ]
    error (none / 0) (#391)
    by caridon20 on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 07:20:53 AM EST

    the vehikle ned not be marked any more than a building  you are hiding in needs to be marked.
    the only demand is that PERSONS fighting be klearly marked at the time of battle.
    so it is totaly ok  to wear civilian clothing when planing an ambush,and when moving to tha ambush site as long as tou don distinctive clothing vell ahead (say 10-15 min)  of the actual combat.

    /C
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    The error is yours (none / 0) (#393)
    by Grognard on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 08:32:43 AM EST

    Masquerading as civilians is forbidden.  It may offend your juvenile sense of "fair play", but there it is.

    [ Parent ]
    temper please. (none / 0) (#394)
    by caridon20 on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 10:19:28 AM EST

    first. calling someone juvenile will not help your side of the argument.

    second.  from the reference guide to the geneva conventions.
    http://www.genevaconventions.org/

    under geruillas:
    "In international conflicts, guerrillas must distinguish themselves from the civilian population if they are preparing or engaged in an attack. At a minimum, guerrillas must carry their arms openly. (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 3)"
    [the italics are mine.]

    the specific text:
    "3. In order to promote the protection of the civilian population from the effects of hostilities, combatants are obliged to distinguish themselves from the civilian population while they are engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack. Recognizing, however, that there are situations in armed conflicts where, owing to the nature of the hostilities an armed combatant cannot so distinguish himself, he shall retain his status as a combatant, provided that, in such situations, he carries his arms openly:

    (a) during each military engagement, and
    (b) during such time as he is visible to the adversary while he is engaged in a military deployment preceding the launching of an attack in which he is to participate."

    proof enough ?
    I never said you could masquerade as civilians. that was your words.

    /C
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    Not my words (none / 0) (#396)
    by Grognard on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 11:02:54 AM EST

    I never said you could masquerade as civilians. that was your words.

    Yours:

    the vehikle ned not be marked any more than a building  you are hiding in needs to be marked.
    the only demand is that PERSONS fighting be klearly marked at the time of battle.

    Using an ostensibly civilian vehicle as a car bomb is neither distinguishing yourself from the civilian population nor carrying arms openly.

    Your words:

    so it is totaly ok  to wear civilian clothing when planing an ambush,and when moving to tha ambush site as long as tou don distinctive clothing vell ahead (say 10-15 min)  of the actual combat.

    which is in direct opposition to the quote you listed above:

    provided that, in such situations, he carries his arms openly:

    (a) during each military engagement, and
    (b) during such time as he is visible to the adversary while he is engaged in a military deployment preceding the launching of an attack in which he is to participate."

    Clear now?

    calling someone juvenile will not help your side of the argument.

    I did not call you juvenile, I said your sense of "fair play" was juvenile - you could be in your 80s and still adhere to such a ridiculously naive notion.

    [ Parent ]

    read again. (none / 0) (#399)
    by caridon20 on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 06:26:44 PM EST

    i do not in any statement use the words masquerade as civilians. You do.  try a littele reading comprehension next time ond stop trying to twist words.  

    The quotes are not in conflict, the convention talks about transportation if there is a need to have it marked.
    se the section on  medical units.
    ex:
    "Each Party to the conflict shall also endeavour to adopt and to implement methods and procedures which will make it possible to recognize medical units and transports which use the distinctive emblem and distinctive signals."  

    but when talking about guerillas and their identification. it does not talk about transportation it only mentions combatants.

    The term he "carries his arms openly" is fairly loose but i dont think that you are required to wave the bomb over your head or stick the guns outside the car to be coverd it is enough to not actively hide them.

    I was commenting on the interpretation of the geneva conventions not voicing an opinion so you have no idea of my "sence of fair play"

    As noted in other threads you like to use derogatory remarks to the persons you are debating with. it is a very childish way to act but i have come to expect it from you.

    /C
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
    [ Parent ]

    Reading comprehension (none / 0) (#401)
    by Grognard on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 06:46:46 PM EST

    From your post:

    the specific text:
    "3. In order to promote the protection of the civilian population from the effects of hostilities, combatants are obliged to distinguish themselves from the civilian population while they are engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack. Recognizing, however, that there are situations in armed conflicts where, owing to the nature of the hostilities an armed combatant cannot so distinguish himself, he shall retain his status as a combatant, provided that, in such situations, he carries his arms openly:

    Please explain how using an ostensibly civilian vehicle constitutes compliance with this section.

    it does not talk about transportation it only mentions combatants.

    Which, if unmarked, causes them to be indistinguishable from civilians, right?

    I was commenting on the interpretation of the geneva conventions not voicing an opinion so you have no idea of my "sence of fair play"

    My apologies - I went back and found that it was slaida1 who made the inane "argh, unfair!" post.

    [ Parent ]

    Vietnam (2.75 / 4) (#143)
    by cdguru on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:17:33 PM EST

    There were two armies that were being fought: Army of the Republic of North Vietnam, and the Viet Cong. ARVN troops wore uniforms, VC did not. I believe in both cases, the US did treat captured individuals as POWs and this treatment was subject to Red Cross review.

    However, at no time were any US prisoners afforded Geneva Convention protections and this did tend to "color" the acts of US soldiers when dealing with ARVN and VC captives. To some extent, if you are at war with an enemy that brutalizes POWs, the enemy can expect some brutalization in return. This isn't "right" and "proper", but it is a fact of life.

    [ Parent ]

    ARVN vs. NVA (2.66 / 3) (#302)
    by Flippant Chicken on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 07:40:54 PM EST

    The ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) were the southern Vietnamese soldiers. You mixed them up with the NVA, or North Vietnamese Army.

    [ Parent ]
    A Lawful Combatant is.... An Unlawful Combantis is (none / 1) (#111)
    by HighOrbit on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:45:08 AM EST

    quoted from http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/wars/a/loac_2.htm
    Lawful Combatants. A lawful combatant is an individual authorized by governmental authority or the LOAC (Law of Armed Conflict) to engage in hostilities. A lawful combatant may be a member of a regular armed force or an irregular force. In either case, the lawful combatant must be commanded by a person responsible for subordinates; have fixed distinctive emblems recognizable at a distance, such as uniforms; carry arms openly; and conduct his or her combat operations according to the LOAC. The LOAC applies to lawful combatants who engage in the hostilities of armed conflict and provides combatant immunity for their lawful warlike acts during conflict, except for LOAC violations.

    Unlawful Combatants. Unlawful combatants are individuals who directly participate in hostilities without being authorized by governmental authority or under international law to do so. For example, bandits who rob and plunder and civilians who attack a downed airman are unlawful combatants. Unlawful combatants who engage in hostilities violate LOAC and become lawful targets. They may be killed or wounded and, if captured, may be tried as war criminals for their LOAC violations.

    An unlawful combantant is basically anybody fighting who does not satisfy the criteria of "lawful".
    Undetermined Status. Should doubt exist as to whether an individual is a lawful combatant, noncombatant, or an unlawful combatant, such person shall be extended the protections of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention until status is determined. The capturing nation must convene a competent tribunal to determine the detained person's status

    Note it says "competent tribunal", not a full blown court of law.

    [ Parent ]
    Combatants or Criminals (none / 1) (#249)
    by bento on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 03:52:08 AM EST

    " Unlawful combatants are individuals who directly participate in hostilities without being authorized by governmental authority or under international law to do so. For example, bandits who rob and plunder and civilians who attack a downed airman are unlawful combatants."

    Criminals. If you are committing violence or other harmful acts without being under the color of a lawful government, you are a criminal. "Unlawful Combatant" is something this administration made up. The people who engage in these acts are military or they are criminals; those are the categories international law recognizes. Personally, I'm willing to let the US government pick the criteria to decide which, but it's one or the other.

    [ Parent ]

    Cite please? (none / 0) (#265)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:24:55 AM EST

    those are the categories international law recognizes

    Where exactly is this binary distinction made?

    [ Parent ]

    Look at the Obvious (none / 0) (#297)
    by bento on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 05:41:42 PM EST

    There is a legally-recognized and UN-associated agency called Interpol that is concerned with tracking criminals internationally. Hence, there is international recognition of the category "criminal". The UN also calls for troops to be sent into battle in various areas, so they obviously recognize as well the concept of fighters in armies, i.e., combatants, and recognizes a distinction between them, as the former is never legitimate and the latter sometimes is.

    Now, where do you get this stuff about "unlawful combatants"?

    [ Parent ]

    In other words... (none / 1) (#300)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 07:26:19 PM EST

    you got nuthin'.

    Interpol is an organization for international cooperation between law enforcement agencies, they do not enforce some sort of international criminal law - it would have to exist in order to be enforced.

    Now, where do you get this stuff about "unlawful combatants"?

    The Geneva Conventions define the requirements for status as a lawful combatant.  What exactly would one call a combatant who does not meet those standards?


    [ Parent ]

    Oh Please (none / 0) (#304)
    by bento on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 11:44:13 PM EST

    If Interpol interdicts criminals, they obviously acknowledge that criminals exist wherever the law is written down. If the Geneva conventions specify standards for a lawful combatant, and specify standards no other kind of combatant, what you would call anyone who does not meet those standards is a "non-combatant". In assuming there is such a thing as a combatant who does not meet Geneva standards, you are falling into tautology.

    [ Parent ]
    Please acquire a dictionary (none / 0) (#313)
    by Grognard on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 08:40:37 AM EST

    and learn the definition of "combatant".

    If all combatants were equally eligible for GC POW status, then there wouldn't be a need for legal standards for which ones were eligible, now would there?

    As to the role of Interpol, look here.

    [ Parent ]

    A criminal. (none / 0) (#329)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 05:59:35 PM EST

    ie, someone who has broken a law.
    ___
    Length 17, Width 3
    [ Parent ]
    Bzzt (none / 0) (#333)
    by Grognard on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:20:28 PM EST

    Criminal codes make up a fraction of most law.  

    Speeding is a violation of law, but not a criminal offense.

    [ Parent ]

    That may be the US version... (2.66 / 3) (#268)
    by mirleid on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:37:01 AM EST

    ...but it is not what the Geneva Convention says. Have a look at the relevant Wiki. I am specifically referring to it here because it is a good starting point, there is a very good and extensive collection of links at the end, not because Wiki should be taken as the definitive source on anything...



    Chickens don't give milk
    [ Parent ]
    No, that's everybody's version (none / 0) (#292)
    by HighOrbit on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 03:58:28 PM EST

    The author on the about.com article was paraphrasing the Third Geneva Convention into plain english. How does his paraphrase not agree with the original? Basically, you have criteria to be considered a lawful combatant that are defined in GCIII and Hauge Conventions. If you don't meet those criteria, then you are "unlawful", are not protected, and become personally liable for your actions.

    By the way.. the "Official" authoritative documents are found at the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross. They have the Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949 and Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907.

    [ Parent ]
    Wrong (none / 0) (#345)
    by mirleid on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 04:22:38 AM EST

    As per the IVth Geneva convention (which you yourself have quoted), people not meeting the criteria for being taken as POWs (ie, the so-called "unlawful" combatants) are still protected.
    Article 4. Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.
    As the Wiki states (and which can be verified by reading through both IIIrd and IVth Geneva Conventions), the critical distinction is that people not eligible for POW status can be tried for their belligerent acts (which POWs cannot, unless those acts constituted war crimes or crimes against humanity). Further, the conventions state that that
    Art. 23. In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden (a) To employ poison or poisoned weapons; (b) To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army; (c) To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion; [...]
    Item c makes no distinction between lawful and unlawful combatants, meaning that, while unlawful combatants can be fought using the same means as lawful combatants, they cannot be killed/shot at leisure as the poster that initiated the thread suggested. Particularly, one of the sentences that you quoted is particularly worrying in terms of vagueness of circumstances:
    Unlawful Combatants. Unlawful combatants are individuals who directly participate in hostilities without being authorized by governmental authority or under international law to do so. For example, bandits who rob and plunder and civilians who attack a downed airman are unlawful combatants. Unlawful combatants who engage in hostilities violate LOAC and become lawful targets. They may be killed or wounded and, if captured, may be tried as war criminals for their LOAC violations.
    An unlawful combatant is not necessarily a war criminal: if one such combatant killed a uniformed soldier of the occupying force, then, the convention states that said combatant can be tried under ordinary (ie common) law, using the normal due legal process, for murder, which is not the same thing as being tried by a military tribunal for the same crime (different processes, and guarantees).

    Chickens don't give milk
    [ Parent ]
    One of these doesn't belong (2.25 / 4) (#113)
    by Ahmed Rashid on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:47:09 AM EST

    > Thousands die to abortion or starvation or car addicents or heart attacks each day.

    Nice subtle troll.

    [ Parent ]

    How? (none / 1) (#271)
    by Xptic on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 10:34:00 AM EST

    How is it a troll?  Right or wrong, all these deaths could be prevented.  Abortions through better adoption programs and education; starvation through more money spent on food and less on bombs; car accidents through better city planning and more public transit; and heart attacks through more exercise and less fatty foods.

    Just listing a series of preventable conditions does not make one a troll.  He/she did not say that abortion was murder or wrong, just that it is preventable.


    [ Parent ]

    the war on terror needs some serious rethinking (none / 0) (#296)
    by wakim1618 on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 04:43:34 PM EST

    What is the US going to do with the legitimate threats? In the past, states simply shot them or put them in camps and declared anyone outside these camps to be enemies of the state (e.g. the US in the Phillipines). That is no longer acceptable. But then what is a legitimate threat? It can't be someone who may be willing to take up arms against the US. In this, there are many muslims in the US who are pissed off and they haven't undertaken suicide bombings within the US. At the same time, there are thousands of pissed-off disaffected youths who are not Muslims who commit violent crimes within the US each year. To me, this is a serious puzzle that may speak volumes on the current situation. What is the nature of the terror threat? Unfortunately, some republicans seem to believe that they already know the answers. And the democrats seem to relish pointing out the crazier ones and bashing them - not very useful.

    Afganistan at the time seemed like the thing to do since there were training camps and disrupting them would have gained the US some breathing space and time to devise a strategy. But that has not happened. There is a great deal of politiking instead.


    If I wanted dumb people to love me, I'd start a cult.
    [ Parent ]

    The terrorists have already won (2.00 / 2) (#312)
    by cpghost on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:43:02 AM EST

    We lost federalism to centralism, are we going to lose democracy to a bureaucratic dictatorship?

    Isn't that exactly what the terrorists are seeking? With unrelenting zeal, we're helping them to achieve their goal. With only one attack, they brought us to give up essential freedoms, to ignore our own Supreme Court decision, etc...

    Terrorists have been attacking european countries in the past; multiple times. This never resulted in those countries to shred their consitution into pieces like we're doing right now.

    /me shaking head in disbelief.


    cpghost at Cordula's Web
    [ Parent ]
    outrage is cheap (2.71 / 7) (#39)
    by wakim1618 on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:17:41 PM EST

    Lotsa things that many Americans wish didn't have to be done have been done. Some make excuses. Others spend their energy attacking those who make excuses. But it doesn't address the question of how to identify those who pose legitimate threats and what to do with them. My limited acquaitance with historical applications of the Geneva conventions (e.g. the kangaroo courts in Japan after WW2) leaves me thinking that fair trials under the Geneva conventions are something to aspire to - rather than regular practice. Most of the wars fought in since WW2 involved summary executions (e.g. Malaya , Algeria) of prisoners and collaborators.

    I think it would be useful to provide links or background on episodes where a country managed to abide by the Geneva conventions. For my part, I wonder if western countries are getting better or worse in its treatment of enemy combattants.


    If I wanted dumb people to love me, I'd start a cult.

    So, in other words... (none / 0) (#55)
    by chuhwi on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:15:46 PM EST

    You can't handle the truth?

    [ Parent ]
    p0litics (1.00 / 12) (#58)
    by wireless orc on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 10:34:30 PM EST

    I abstain!

    fear (2.33 / 15) (#80)
    by the77x42 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 05:10:12 AM EST

    The reason these 'terrorists' will never be released is because they are perceived to be so radical. If you released a Vietcong, Nazi, or Japanese immigrant (see British Columbia's brutal history of Japanese interment camps in WWII), it's not conceivable that they are going to go back to their country, strap a bomb to their chest, and blow the shit out of a public bus.

    Unfortunately, the US has done a good job to make it seem like all terrorists are willing to do anything to kill people, and the above scenario is given far more weight than it should. The US isn't fighting an organized army with this war on terrorism, they aren't even fighting a real country -- they are going into complete chaos and expect the worst.

    This is the ultimate problem with the US's 'war on terror'. Since they are attacking people whose fundamental values are completely different from theirs, not only do they not agree with them, but they don't understand them. The easiest solution is to lock them in a cage.

    Hitler wanted world domination -- his rationale was understandable. Saddam originally was invading another country for profit -- that too was understandable. Vietnam was forming into a communist state that was perceived to be a major threat -- but since they thought it was for the good of the country, it was understandable. Terrorists just want to inflict harm to dissolve US foreign policy. To the Americans, this doesn't make any sense. Oh what confused people will do...

    Even though I'm displeased with the US in this respect, I think it's far worse that every other country in the world is just sitting around ignoring this farce of a war and the illegal detainment of these prisoners. Where the fuck is the UN? NATO? Canada? Europe? Is everyone castrated?


    "We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
    "You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

    Good point (2.80 / 5) (#110)
    by ThaboZ on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:37:11 AM EST

    Unfortuanatly the NATO is just a USA frontend these days. the USA criminal warmongers decide who to attack and who not.

    The EU is plit (btw, also rumSSfeld) had a hand in this by speaking about "The Old Europe" that did not support their criminal occupation war against Irak and the "New Europe" that did. The EU's chairperson is the Dutch Prime Minister that lied to his own people about going to war, the reasons for etc. They should be in prison for treason but i dont see that happen soon.

    Face it, this are harsh times for people that want freedom and democracy for all the people in the world. The most important factor are the american people, they are the only ones that can get rid of the the current gang of criminals that running that country. They are the ones that can force the government to close these modern concentrationcamps. There are a lot more SECRET places in the world where the american fascists torture an unknown number of prisoners.

    On the bright site there is a growing self consience in de South Americas. In Venezuela for instance the people successfully beat the yankee fascists driven "democratic opposition".

    And ofcouce in many european countries people just would love to see a neutro-bomb on the white house since its occupies by know liers, warmongers and criminals that made world a lot more unsafe.

    [ Parent ]

    unfortunately (none / 0) (#241)
    by the77x42 on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 09:22:22 PM EST

    i have a strong suspicion that Bush is going to get another term. i just can't see Kerry being the guy that is going to replace him. i think Gore would have been a far better candidate.

    if i were the Dems, i'd be screaming about the deficit to try and get more young people to vote. they're going to be feeling the brunt of it in taxes within the next decade. you can't waste all this money on a frivolous war and expect the creditors to turn a blind eye.


    "We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
    "You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

    [ Parent ]

    Thanks for your... (none / 0) (#404)
    by dhk on Thu Sep 09, 2004 at 05:12:31 AM EST

    clear statement. Being German, I would never have used the word "concentration camp" for obvious reasons. On the other hand, since you used it, I would not object.
    this are harsh times for people that want freedom and democracy for all the people in the world.
    Sure, but this was never easy. There has been a time, and most people in Europe are still grateful for the role the USA played in WW-II, where the US American soldiers stood for freedom and democracy. Looking to Guantanomo Bay and Abu Ghraib, it is a pity to say but true that this motivation is obscured behind the news from these places.
    - please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Castrated Countries (3.00 / 3) (#115)
    by dufflebunk on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:52:22 AM EST

    The other coutries are all shaking their heads at "the land of the free" becoming it's own enemy.

    [ Parent ]
    Land of the free? (none / 1) (#311)
    by cpghost on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:34:25 AM EST

    he other coutries are all shaking their heads at "the land of the free" becoming it's own enemy.

    It's currently "the land of the scared free." Dark times come and go.


    cpghost at Cordula's Web
    [ Parent ]
    I'd say more (none / 0) (#347)
    by Nursie on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 06:04:25 AM EST

    "The land of the scared slightly less free"

    And bad times come and go, that is true. But invasive or restrictive laws are very seldom repealed because politicians find them useful.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: fear (2.75 / 4) (#156)
    by gidds on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:09:52 PM EST

    If you released a Vietcong, Nazi, or Japanese immigrant... it's not conceivable that they are going to go back to their country, strap a bomb to their chest, and blow the shit out of a public bus.

    Erm... It's not inconceivable that any Iraqi might do that. (I'm sure the vast majority are moral, law-abiding people, but I'm also sure that there are one or two loonies as well.) In fact, it's not inconceivable that any USian might do that... So it's hardly a good excuse.

    Maybe the solution is to suspect everyone, and turn the whole of Iraq into a giant prison camp.

    (Er, except you seem to have done that already...)

    Andy/
    [ Parent ]

    Statistics (2.00 / 3) (#174)
    by ZorbaTHut on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 01:59:06 PM EST

    Speaking from a simply numerical standpoint, I think it's safe to say that a larger percentage of Iraqis have blown themselves up with intent to harm civilians than Americans have blown themselves up etc etc etc.

    I'm not saying this is a good justification, mind you, or that it's a large percentage. But statistically speaking, it's a reasonable point.

    No, I don't have numbers to back this up, though I'd be interested in seeing some, whichever way they prove it. I could be entirely wrong. :)

    [ Parent ]

    , Statistics (none / 0) (#405)
    by CmdrGravy on Sun Sep 12, 2004 at 03:13:42 PM EST

    That's a fair point but it doesn't take into consideration the fact that the US does not have an Iraqi army occupying it and laying down the law from the turrets of tanks and cockpit's of attack helicopters. Were that the case I would expect the % of American terrorists to rise and match the number of Afghani and Iraqi terrorists.

    [ Parent ]
    the other countries have (2.00 / 2) (#199)
    by vivelame on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:43:30 PM EST

    lost their beacon.

    --
    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 ]
    Detention camps? (none / 1) (#310)
    by cpghost on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:31:59 AM EST

    In the movie "The Siege", the US military installed a detention camp in NYC for all americans with arab origin. This looked like absolute fiction back in 1998. Now, it's become awsomely realistic.


    cpghost at Cordula's Web
    [ Parent ]
    Illegal Combatants (1.70 / 10) (#136)
    by cdguru on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:00:15 PM EST

    The question that I keep coming up with is why are these people detained? There are only a few real scenarios:
    • These people were captured holding weapons, out of any recognized uniform, in a war zone. All of Afganistan was a war zone, and most of the fighting did not occur with the Afgan army, if they had one. Fighting goes on today with warlords and other people defending their position and unwilling to accept any sort of central government. If this happened in any other war these people would not be taken prisoner, they would just be shot.
    • I suppose if these people were thought to have extreme intelligence value, they might be captured and detained. From how this operation was carried out, determining if they had intelligence value was very hard to determine. Once that determination was made and there was no value, if they were collected on a battlefield (anywhere in Afganistan, really), then they should have been shot. Period.
    • OK, now we come to the real sticking point. If these people were turned in by neigbors as being "the enemy" or rounded up in house-to-house searches and somehow identified as being "significant". I have to question the whole process. Why would anyone do this? Did the Clinton purges of the military leave our armed forces without anyone with any sense at all? Is this part of the "peace dividend" that we all got as part of the end of the Cold War? Assuming this did happen, clearly it is in everyone's best interest to sort these people out from the first two classes.

    Absolutely, if the people are combatants, they have no "Geneva Convention" rights. They reject every tenent of the Geneva Convention by carrying on an asymetrical war involving non-combatants in a guerilla fashion. Such people were not treated to the benefits of the Geneva Convention any time previously and they do not deserve such treatment now. Partisans in France were not uniformed, did involve non-combatants and were routinely shot on the spot by the German occupiers. Contrast this with uniformed airmen who were treated as POWs and monitored by the Red Cross.

    The problem I see is that there may very well have been significant numbers of the third class included with those of the first two classes. These people have a completely uncertain situation and it needed to be reviewed a long time ago.

    People in the first two classes aren't really subject to any review at all. What kind of review would you have? A company of soldiers each one in turn getting up and saying, "Yes, this man was holding that rifle over there or one just like it and we took him prisoner."

    I think the problem that the US government has right now is it is unclear to everyone who they have detained. Making this clear is obviously not a priority, which is unfortunate as it leads to speculation and probably inflating the numbers of the third class with others that are clearly combatants, illegal or not.

    We won't know for sure (1.75 / 4) (#151)
    by Orion Blastar on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 12:53:54 PM EST

    unless we have a trial to figure these things out. So basically treat them all the same to avoid being unfair. They weren't wearing uniforms and could not prove that they belonged to any military. So yes, the GC very well may not apply here.

    As far as rights go, are they US Citizens and have the rights of a US citizen? They have the rights of a global court, if one exists.

    I agree, they should have been shot on site, no military uniforms, no military connection, they had weapons, bombs, etc, and violated the GC and any other rules of warfare. Just like in that F911 video, the house that was bombed was not military, but the people in that house fired on US troops, shot RPGs, and did other things that got them considered a threat. Michael Moore would not tell you that. Sure, they weren't military, but they were violent and attacking, and thus the bombing was justified. Got a bleeding heart, and you are soft on terrorists, then go and bleed me a river for all I care.
    *** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
    [ Parent ]

    Proof by assertion? (2.80 / 5) (#177)
    by geoswan on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:04:44 PM EST

    The question that I keep coming up with is why are these people detained? There are only a few real scenarios:

    From reading your comment I have to wonder if you are suggesting that instead of extended detention the prisoners should be taken out and shot once their intelligence value has been plumbed.

  • These people were captured holding weapons, out of any recognized uniform, in a war zone.
  • How do you know the circumstances of their capture? We still don't know the identities of half of the detainees, let alone how they were captured.

    Put yourself in the shoes of an Afghani who finds an unwelcome foreign invader on your land. If the USA was invaded and occupied by foreigners, would you consider taking a weapon and resisting them? If you did so would you want the rest of the world to hold the invaders to some kind of ethical treatment if you were captured? Or would you understand if they said, "fighting without an uniform? Go ahead and take him out and shoot him. He doesn't even deserve a trial."

  • OK, now we come to the real sticking point. If these people were turned in by neigbors as being "the enemy" or rounded up in house-to-house searches and somehow identified as being "significant". I have to question the whole process. Why would anyone do this?
  • Because the American intelligence paid their Afghani allies a bounty for each Taliban or al Queda fighter they handed over. I invite you to read this account from a British detainee of his capture, imprisonment and detention.

    Assuming this did happen, clearly it is in everyone's best interest to sort these people out from the first two classes.

    And, if the USA was following the Geneva Convention, this determination would have been done as soon as possible after the capture. The US forces followed the Geneva Convention, and conducted these tribunals following the first Gulf War.

    Absolutely, if the people are combatants, they have no "Geneva Convention" rights. They reject every tenent of the Geneva Convention by carrying on an asymetrical war involving non-combatants in a guerilla fashion.

    The coalition forces are also fighting in an asymetric war, and are also causing civilian casualties. You might rationalize that the casualities's surviving relatives will understand, someday, that their loss was somehow necessary. Well, don't you think the opposition elements rationalize the loss of life of innocent civilians in exactly the same terms?
    Such people were not treated to the benefits of the Geneva Convention any time previously and they do not deserve such treatment now. Partisans in France were not uniformed, did involve non-combatants and were routinely shot on the spot by the German occupiers.

    Wow, thanks for filling us in. I didn't know that the ethical standards of the Germans in World War Two were now held as an example others should copy.

    The problem I see is that there may very well have been significant numbers of the third class included with those of the first two classes. These people have a completely uncertain situation and it needed to be reviewed a long time ago.

    How many Guantanamo detainees have been charged, so far? Four charged, charges contemplated against a further eleven. That is 2.6%. American intelligence thinks they have enough evidence to charge a very tiny fraction of these guys, even with the relaxed standards of evidence, that allows them to use hearsay evidence, anonymous witnesses, and confession coersed through brutal interrogation techniques.

    People in the first two classes aren't really subject to any review at all.

    Actually, that runs counter to a principle practiced in western culture in recent centuries. It is the principle of the presumption of innocence.



    [ Parent ]

    You're missing the boat here (1.50 / 2) (#180)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 02:19:35 PM EST

    Actually, that runs counter to a principle practiced in western culture in recent centuries. It is the principle of the presumption of innocence.

    Guilt or innocence is irrelevant - this isn't a criminal matter.  Captured combatants (lawful or not) are not being held as part of a sentence - they're being held to keep them from returning to the fight.

    Certainly those held may also be subject to charges for war crimes, but that does not mean that only those charged with war crimes can be detained.

    The only ones who should be released are those who were either not combatants or who, for whatever reason, no longer pose a danger of returning to the fight.

    [ Parent ]

    life sentence (none / 1) (#190)
    by kromagg on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:09:11 PM EST

    Basically what you're saying is we should no long try to rehabilite (one point of view) or punish (the other point of view) criminals by locking them up for a couple of years. We should lock them up indefinitely untill we are convinced they are no longer criminals. And with we I mean the US government off course (the executive branch). Too many propaganda is rotting your brain methinks.

    [ Parent ]
    Reading comprehension (1.50 / 2) (#198)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 03:43:19 PM EST

    Go back and re-read, slowly...

    We're not discussing a criminal matter, regardless of how some try to cast it as such.

    [ Parent ]

    What makes them unlawful (none / 0) (#328)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 05:56:02 PM EST

    If they aren't criminals? But regardless of the use of the word criminal, you are advocating the indefinate imprisonment of people on the unverified say-so of individual soldiers.
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    [ Parent ]
    The Geneva Convention does (none / 0) (#332)
    by Grognard on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:17:57 PM EST

    Since they do not fall into the categories defined for lawful combatants, who are entitled to POW status.  They might also be war criminals, but that's a separate matter.

    But regardless of the use of the word criminal, you are advocating the indefinate imprisonment of people on the unverified say-so of individual soldiers.

    Which is a definite improvement (at least from their viewpoint) over the rules that existed up until the end of WWII - rules that would allow them to have been shot out of hand.

    [ Parent ]

    Um... (none / 1) (#225)
    by Znork on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 05:39:48 PM EST

    "Captured combatants (lawful or not) are not being held as part of a sentence"

    No, lawful combatants are being held to keep them from returning to the fight. Illegal combatants should be apprehended, charged with murder, attempted murder, sabotage, terrorism, warcrimes or whatever is appropriate, sentanced if found guilty and jailed or shot.

    If they were engaged in combat with troops, either they're POWs and should be treated according to the convention, or they're suspected criminals and should be treated as such. That's what a competent tribunal is meant to determine. There's no third 'lock them up because we feel like it' option.

    It isnt a criminal matter as long as the convention is upheld, and everyone is treated according to it. But to void the convention for any captive you need a competent tribunal to do so, after which it does become a criminal matter.

    [ Parent ]

    Should != Shall (none / 0) (#231)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 07:20:25 PM EST

    Illegal combatants should be apprehended, charged with murder, attempted murder, sabotage, terrorism, warcrimes or whatever is appropriate, sentanced if found guilty and jailed or shot.

    Please cite some legal authority (beyond your anal cavity) that lists this requirement.  There is nothing that requires that illegal combatants be charged with war crimes.

    But to void the convention for any captive you need a competent tribunal to do so, after which it does become a criminal matter.

    Once again, you read far too much into the words of the convention.  A tribunal is required to clarify status "if there is a doubt", nothing more.

    [ Parent ]

    POW or court (none / 1) (#369)
    by ttsalo on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 10:08:35 AM EST

    Please cite some legal authority (beyond your anal cavity) that lists this requirement. There is nothing that requires that illegal combatants be charged with war crimes.

    UN Charter of Human Rights, European Charter of Human Rights, just about every Constitution of the western democratic nations. How's this for starters? The American idea of "third category" for people who are stripped of their human rights with no court oversight or evidence needed is frankly disgusting. Nations have been under much, much greater threats and still kept to the civilized principles: everyone gets a POW status or determination of guilt in a criminal court.

    But for some reason, US administration thinks the the US laws can't handle this, and instead of making laws to handle the whole matter in a legal, controlled way, they just decided that they can do whatever they want, including indefinetely imprisoning US citizens on US soil with no evidence or court oversight needed. Sadly the people of US don't see anything wrong with this.



    [ Parent ]

    Right (none / 0) (#370)
    by Grognard on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 11:20:48 AM EST

    UN Charter of Human Rights, European Charter of Human Rights, just about every Constitution of the western democratic nations.

    Each one of these states that an illegal combatant must be charged with war crimes?

    The American idea of "third category" for people who are stripped of their human rights with no court oversight or evidence needed is frankly disgusting.

    Lack of POW status does not mean "stripped of their human rights".  POW status entails a much higher degree of privileges than just basic respect of ones human rights.

    including indefinetely imprisoning US citizens on US soil with no evidence or court oversight needed.

    I believe the Supreme Court just ruled on this - which would mean that there is court oversight.

    [ Parent ]

    Before you start spouting crap... (none / 0) (#267)
    by mirleid on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:32:44 AM EST

    ...about stuff that you have little or no understanding of, you should check your facts...

    Wiki is really simple to use...



    Chickens don't give milk
    [ Parent ]
    Pfft. (2.50 / 2) (#283)
    by Kasreyn on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 01:14:23 PM EST

    The Geneva Convention was written by and for large, militarized powers to formalize treatment of war prisoners in the sort of wars they were used to fighting.

    When a militarily weak nation like Afghanistan or Vietnam tries to fight a powerful enemy like the U.S., sticking to the sorts of combat that would ensure them Geneva Convention protection would make their defeat certain. Perhaps, in their P.O.W. cells at the end of the war, they can take comfort in the fact that they weren't "illegal" combatants. :P In reality, the members of the military of any "underdog" nation in that sort of war would be engaging in gross malfeasance if they did NOT do everything in their power to actually WIN and expel the invaders - which would require taking exactly those actions the Geneva Convention condemns. The rules described by the Convention limit one to conventional, unit-to-unit parity, battlefield combat; exactly the sort of combat where superior force is an overwhelming advantage. Obeying those rules is certain military suidice for a group in the position Afghanistan or Iraq were in.

    While it may not have been consciously designed for any other purpose than to give legitimacy to the traditional lynching of enemy commanders after a war, the Geneva Convention has the (probably unintended) side effect of making a small nation's only logical military strategy against a larger one into a "war crime". As such, I'm not surprised it's ignored as often as it is.

    As to uniforms, this one kind of amuses me. I'm imagining a Taliban officer calling up a uniform supply company like Cintas and ordering 5,000 cotton desert camo uniforms with "Death to America" emblazoned on the breast. Ha. They were too busy losing a war to bother with uniforms.


    -Kasreyn


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    [ Parent ]
    The underdog theory (none / 1) (#287)
    by Grognard on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 01:54:59 PM EST

    The Geneva Convention was written by and for large, militarized powers to formalize treatment of war prisoners in the sort of wars they were used to fighting.

    Actually the purpose of the Conventions is to lessen, as much as possible, the effects of warfare on non-combatants.

    When a militarily weak nation like Afghanistan or Vietnam tries to fight a powerful enemy like the U.S., sticking to the sorts of combat that would ensure them Geneva Convention protection would make their defeat certain.

    hmmm...then Vietnam owes China a huge apology for not losing that little border war back in the late 70s.

    In reality, the members of the military of any "underdog" nation in that sort of war would be engaging in gross malfeasance if they did NOT do everything in their power to actually WIN and expel the invaders - which would require taking exactly those actions the Geneva Convention condemns.

    Not so...witness the example of Robert E. Lee at Appomatox who realized that such tactics could only result in further suffering with no chance of success, contrasting it with the example of Adolf Hitler who decided to see Germany devastated rather than surrender because it had proved itself "unworthy" of him.  Which one was guilty of malfeasance?

    They were too busy losing a war to bother with uniforms

    They had time for a lot of other things during their five year tenure, I think they could have found time for uniforms.

    [ Parent ]

    Vietnam (none / 0) (#330)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:07:55 PM EST

    hmmm...then Vietnam owes China a huge apology for not losing that little border war back in the late 70s.

    Vietnam didn't follow the Geneva Convention. But we did (for the most part). We weren't yet morally bankrupt enough to set up permanent detention/interrogation camps of our own.
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    [ Parent ]
    I think you missed something (none / 0) (#331)
    by Grognard on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:13:35 PM EST

    Vietnam didn't follow the Geneva Convention. But we did (for the most part).

    Unless you're Chinese, of course.  I was referring to the conflict in the late 70s between the People's Republic of China and Vietnam, not the Vietnam war.

    [ Parent ]

    And in that conflict (none / 0) (#336)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 07:38:47 PM EST

    did Vietnam abandon the guerilla warfare that they used against the US?
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    [ Parent ]
    Yup (none / 0) (#338)
    by Grognard on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 08:50:27 PM EST

    Straight up, pitched battles fought between the NVA and the People's Army - which had its collective rear handed to it.

    [ Parent ]
    The US forces followed the Geneva Convention? (none / 0) (#356)
    by geoswan on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 11:03:14 PM EST

    To what extent did US forces follow the Geneva Convention in Vietnam?

    I found this pretty chilling.

    [ Parent ]

    We gave it lip service at least... (none / 1) (#358)
    by Happy Monkey on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 08:38:31 AM EST

    ...and tried to keep our illegal detention camps secret.
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    [ Parent ]
    Really. (none / 1) (#359)
    by jolly st nick on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 09:53:59 AM EST

    If these people were turned in by neigbors as being "the enemy" or rounded up in house-to-house searches and somehow identified as being "significant". I have to question the whole process. Why would anyone do this? Did the Clinton purges of the military leave our armed forces without anyone with any sense at all? Is this part of the "peace dividend" that we all got as part of the end of the Cold War?

    OK, I get this much, you don't like Clinton. But don't you think part of the reason this process may seem so mystifying is that you're trying too hard to lay responsiblity at his feet? Surely you can find plenty to criticize among the things he actually did.

    The prima facie evidence in this case points, if reports of widespread detention on hearsay are true, in the direction of the Bush administration. They had been in power a year at the time, not a long enough time to make structural changes to be sure, but enough that their policies were in effect. We know they have a "take no chances" stance with respect to taking people into custody in potential terrorist incidents, and have been working on legal doctrines to empower themselves to to use extraordinary measures. The decision to round these people up was certainly approved by the civilians at the pentagon, and undertaken by the commanders they had chosen for this operation. And subsequently, they have done little to clarify the actual status of the people they have in custody.

    It seems to me that all these factors point clearly to this process being a conscious policy decision, not something that happened by accident.

    My point here is not to write and anti-Bush screed, although I am certainly capable of producing one. However, I think that partisan "logic", which we're all guilty of from time to time, is no logic at all. It's just a way of deflecting responsibility from our preferred guy. When (possibly) Kerry is in office, the shoe will be on the other foot. The world needs people to acknowledge that everybody screws up; if not then nobody is ever held responsible.

    [ Parent ]

    Shivers down my spine (3.00 / 26) (#205)
    by emwi on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 04:04:31 PM EST

    every time I read the comments to a story like this.
    So many ready to give up a decent system of justice, so many supporters of murder and genocide. To "them" of course. So many terrorists in their mind.
    Congratulations, Osama, Mission accomplished- you managed to show the true face of your enemy.

    You don't get it. (1.69 / 23) (#238)
    by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:50:29 PM EST

    Those guys in Gitmo are terrorists. Just like the people we're shooting up in Iraq are terrorists, too, or else they wouldn't be shooting back at us. We may not know what are the acts of terror they have committed -- as if they'd tell us -- but make no mistake: if we release these Islamists, then they'll go right back to their terror ways, a life on the edge of subsistence, farming precious Afghan rocks, beating up their wives, and on weekends flying to Baltimore to blow shit up and kill Americans. They've been pulling that stunt since 9/11. We are in mortal danger.

    Friends, if you see a terrorist, run like hell.

    --
    Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.

    Run away? (1.50 / 2) (#243)
    by Ig0r on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:30:25 PM EST

    Typical liberal solution to your problems: run away from them!

    [ Parent ]
    Decisions, decisions: troll or plain stupid? n/t (none / 1) (#263)
    by mirleid on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 08:19:50 AM EST



    Chickens don't give milk
    [ Parent ]
    (+3) Encourage (3.00 / 3) (#286)
    by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 01:41:17 PM EST

    Hey, I recognize that, its sarcasm! Mixed with wit to produce an actual SATIRE of the way the GWB of the world think, act and speak. And it's funny because it's true..

    Bravo Spaghetti, worthy of Swift...

    Apparently there are afew k5ers that don't get it eh?


    We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
    [ Parent ]

    It's very very simple. (2.86 / 15) (#240)
    by jd on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 08:53:14 PM EST

    The US Government is not, and never has been, interested in trying these people. Nor has there been any evidence that they were that interested in the intelligence value. Look, some of the prisoners were 9 years old! D'you seriously think they were senior members of al Queda's staff at that age? The Bobby Fischers of global terror?

    Get real.

    Let's look at the bulk of prisoners held by Iraqi police and the US Army in Iraq. Members of the former Iraqi army? Insurgents, with blueprints to atomic weapons? No, mostly pickpockets and petty thieves.

    When the CIA/US Army first used a Predator drone to attack what they claimed was a high-value convoy of al Queda members, possibly including bin Laden, it turned out that they'd successfully shot two hellfire missiles into a bunch of peasents collecting scrap metal.

    Bush doesn't want the list of public humiliations to grow any longer. He's suffered many of them, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mindless bungling, stupid PR stunts that backfired, etc. He doesn't need 600 Afghans to turn round and sue theUS Government in US court for criminal abuse, war crimes and terrorism.

    Because that's what the prisons amount to. Terrorising groups that may swing against the US into complying with them. Those hardliners who have already made up their mind won't be affected one way or the other. Neither allies, nor comitted enemies, will be swayed. As with the election, it's the swing vote that matters. Nobody else.

    George Bush is seeking to influence that swing vote by scaring the pants off anyone who opposes him. But finding opponents - at least, those who will stand up - is kinda hard. It's much easier to make large numbers of bystanders "vanish".

    Serbia pulled a similar tactic, with their mass killings and rapings. In the US' case, the deaths are somewhat slower - only 30 or 40 that are known about, due to US forces, and maybe another thousand or so from Afghan allies. Rapings - unless you're an Iraqi prisoner - are also less common. But they do happen, and the intent seems to be much the same. Sex and death are powerful weapons, in war. Nobody wants to be a victim. Those who feel most at risk will naturally tend to swing in the direction of the US, to avoid being brutalized. Especially in Muslim countries, where such dehumanization is regarded as religiously indistinguishable from hell.

    Simply put, those who have already suffered will likely suicide from the shame their culture generates, feeling all the while that they are cursed and defiled beyond any hope. Those who are undecided about the US occupation are just average Joes. They're no more likely to fight a revolutionary war than your average McDonald hamburger flipper. Their sole hope of escape, then, is to embrace those people who occupy their lands.

    I noticed that a lot of people on K5 have slammed Afghans and Iraqis as terrorists who deserve death, who deserve to be shot, for no other reason than the US chose to turn their homelands into battlefields.

    Those K5'ers aren't alone in their feelings. A lot of Americans believe the same. That is why the Iraqi soccer team in the Olympics expressed their distate and hatred of Bush using THEIR success into a propoganda tool for him. That is why, when George Bush declared that HE had liberated them so that they could be in the Olympics, many of those "liberated" souls in the Iraqi soccer squad turned round and said that if they weren't in Greece, they'd be in Iraq shooting at the Americans.

    So much for feeling liberated.

    But back to the prisons. Those incarcerated - on no charge and with no basis (more than a few were "arrested" in countries other than those in which hostilities have taken place) - may well be convinced that they can clense themselves of shame by suiciding in spectacular fashion.

    This is probably another reason very few will ever be released, no matter how innocent they are. There are SIX HUNDRED people in various stages of mental collapse, with no reason to want to preserve their own life, and with no real reason to preserve anyone else's.

    The US Government has created one of the largest armies of potentially kamakazi-minded fanatics outside of the Middle East. In addition to the absolute PR disaster, if the bulk were found innocent, releasing them without some very comprehensive psychiatric help would run the risk of those found innocent getting their revenge on the US system in blood.

    The reason the trials are in (effect) secret is so that the status quo can be maintained, and maybe to kill off (remember, death is a valid sentance) a few of the more provocative prisoners who might be interested in breaking out or causing the US guards some trouble.

    The secrecy has nothing to do with national security. The prisoners have nothing to do with national security. This is about controlling a dangerous monster that the US has single-handedly created, fed and coerced.

    Bobby Fischer? (none / 0) (#272)
    by Xptic on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 10:38:46 AM EST

    I think the name you were looking for was 'Josh Waitskin'

    [ Parent ]
    The Invasions Will Continue... (1.50 / 2) (#274)
    by Xptic on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 10:50:52 AM EST

    ...until world perception of the US improves.

    On a slightly more serious note, your comment about the Iraqui soccer team hilighted my jajor concern.  In my view, Iraquis, Saudis, even Taliban are not the real enemy.  The enemy is virtually every muslim.  The reason?  Our support of Isreal.

    We (everyone on the planet) have made a real mess of the world.  The US keeps trying to fix things.  In doing so, we make enemies.

    Face it, the 'in thing' now is to hate America while sipping Coke and wearing Nike.

    [ Parent ]

    So True.. (none / 0) (#348)
    by wraith0x29a on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 06:27:30 AM EST

    A sugar-laden fizzy drink and overpriced shoes made in some hell-hole factory in China more than make up for destabilising the entire Middle-East and causing governments the world over to start treating Orwell's '1984' as a guidebook rather than a novel.

    Have you considered running for President this year?


    "There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
    [ Parent ]
    What? (none / 0) (#357)
    by Xptic on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 05:49:24 AM EST

    Every time a Coke is drank or Nikes are worn, America gets richer.  I just think it's a little hypocritical for EUians to stand in high and mighty judgement when they are doing everything in their power to make US richer.

    Fact is, EUians need us to be the bad guys.  Some say EUians don't have the stomach for war.  I think it's the other way around.  The worst atrocities ever have been committed by EUians.  The US is keeping the tiger in the cage so to speak.  If we allowed Britanica to invade Iraq, the cities would be firebombed till nothing stood vice our (mostly) precision air strikes.  Germany would put them all into ovens vice Guantanimo Bay resorts.

    As for 1984, I think we are no where near that.  It's just crap that people keep spouting without understanding the issues at work.  The US tries to be a mostly free soceity.  The problem is that the PEOPLE of the US don't want to be free.  Well, actually they don't want their neighbor to be free.  They want to know what their neighbor is smoking, who he sleeps with, where he vacations at, all kinds of stuff.  Then, if he deviates from patterns, he can be flagged as a potential terrorist.

    The point is, we, as a country, have made that choice.  We actually want to be tracked.  We love it.  A small minority doesn't like it.  A small minority also does not like the US sugar tarrifs.  But the point is that we VOTE for changes.  We have voted to keep tarrifs.  We have voted to allow ourselves to be tracked.

    That's true freedom.

    No, I could never be President.  All my opponent would have to do is dig up my K5 and /. posts and I'd be toast.  :)

    [ Parent ]

    The Rise of Political Intelligence (2.57 / 7) (#242)
    by gdanjo on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 10:25:06 PM EST

    We've seen it in all "systems" - IBM discovers "pixie dust" to "bypass" all previously-thought limits to HD capacity; Intel is still churning 2x performance each 1.5 years, and if they really wanted to, they could significantly ramp this up; Accountants are learning to bypass the tax office, so much so that some companies pay little to none (to "negative") tax; and Politicians, as ever, are learning to bypass all laws and morals that were thrown before them to prevent this type of cancerous resource grab that has plagued all of history.

    Want to be seen as a Good Guy, but still gain the advantage that the Bad Guy, bereft of all rules, is able to milk from seeming nothingness? Not a problem, just redifine the meaning of "Bad Guy": instead of using it as a passive judgement of one's actions, pro-actively define it to mean "the Other Guy". Want to act in any way you like? Create a "pseudo-truth" that has some basis in reality, but is actually plainly false - it just happens to benefit to your juggernaught. For example, unicorns have some basis in reality, by being a "horse" (which exists) and having a "horn" attached to it (which exists). Therefore, unicorns exist. While we debate the truth of this statement, I've approved a massive research grant to my favourite cronie to find this newly-proven existing entity. Oh, it turned out that they don't exist? My bad.

    The US government is becomeing too clever for it's own good - it's undermining all the foundations that allow it to exist, and have allowed it to become the behemoth it is. (Actually, in the more general sense, it is becoming as stupid as all power-grabbers in history; it's the new Religion). But Georgy boy doesn't care, he'll be too busy grooming his son to find a way around the new system of rules that will be created to prevent Bushisms from ever happening again. And so it will go on, for all future history.

    This is NOT a fight between morals and principals, between philosophies, nor is it a debate in any sense of the term. It is a power grab, pure and simple - those close to it, grab as much as they can, and run like the hilt when they succeed.

    Some have the balls to keep coming back, and won't stop 'till they own you and yours as well.

    This is just another form of exploitation (though, in this case, it is the foundation of "rules" that is being exploited, to the detriment of the US people), nothing more, nothing less. "'Twas always thus, and always thus shall be."

    The good news is that most people that live by the sword, die by it too. History - the uber-politician's "sword" - will right these wrongs, one way or another.

    And that makes me a little less angry.

    Dan ...
    "Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
    Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
    -ToT

    Its like vietnam... (none / 1) (#257)
    by tonyenkiducx on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 06:16:48 AM EST

    The US government has been drawn into a fight they cannot win, because they are fighting the will of the individual not the state(Government). Allthough in vietnam and the terrorists case there is a leadership, the people involved are willing to offer up their lives without being forced, for a cause they believe is right and just. And theres always more people than governments. For every person in guantanamo now, there are probably an extra 10 terrorists in the world. And for every 10 terrorists there is probably 1 willing to offer up his life. For every person in guantanamo now, there is probably another 1000 people who hate America, and another 100 Americans who hate their government. The American government is normally good with numbers(Well give you $200,000,000 aid for 2000 troops on your soil), so I dont understand why this simple piece of guesstimation has escaped them?

    Tony.
    I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called
    Calculations (none / 1) (#299)
    by anothertom on Wed Aug 25, 2004 at 07:16:20 PM EST

    You will need 10 soldiers equipped with weapons for $5,000 each, to keep the 1,000 who hate america down. Hatred is a cheap resource - if you are producing weapons - this will never change, because there is no peace industry


    [ Parent ]
    Terrorist is such a dirty word (2.60 / 5) (#307)
    by odano on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 04:42:15 AM EST

    Can we please stop using the word "terrorist". This word is nothing more than propoganda any way it is used. Reuters for example has a policy that they will only use the word "freedom fighter" when describing these events, because they actually strive to be impartial. I mean, wasn't the "shock and awe" compaign the definition of a terrorist? It was designed to scare the enemy into surrendering. According to this, George Bush and the United States Military is nothing but a terrorist group. And since very few people would use this to describe them, can we at least call our opponents "freedom fighters" or "enemies".

    odano
    Stockton Computer Repair | Biggest US Cities
    The word "terrorist" (2.80 / 5) (#309)
    by cpghost on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:21:40 AM EST

    If the presumption of innocence applies, then we should refrain from qualifying the detainees at Gitmo as terrorists. Perhaps they (or some of them) are, but calling them so is only valid, after they have been convicted in a court of law. Right now, they are POW, even if the US Government says otherwise. We could even qualify them as "alledged terrorists" or "suspected terrorists", but not yet as terrorists.


    cpghost at Cordula's Web
    [ Parent ]
    None of them are. (2.83 / 6) (#319)
    by DavidTC on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 11:35:01 AM EST

    It would be damn stupid for them to be terrorizing civilians in Afghanistan during the war, and, by defination, you cannot 'terrorize' the military, who were the only Americans there.

    Some of them also might belong to a terroristic organiziation, and, as such, might be correctly called 'terrorists', but that's not what they wetre captured for...they were captured for shooting at American and Northern Alliance forces, which isn't terrorism is anyone's book.

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    Sorry (2.00 / 3) (#314)
    by Grognard on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 08:55:07 AM EST

    Can we please stop using the word "terrorist".

    but no, we can't.  The word is being applied, rightly so, to a group of people attempting to wage war outside of the bounds of the laws and customs of war.  They are not soldiers, they are not insurgents (as Iraqis fighting against US occupation are), nor are they just common criminals.  

    Referring to al Quaeda as "freedom fighters" is so bizarre as to be laughable.

    [ Parent ]

    Insurgents? (none / 0) (#346)
    by Nursie on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 05:59:06 AM EST

    "they are not insurgents (as Iraqis fighting against US occupation are)"

    I never got this. Why do people call them insurgents? I thought insurgents had to come in from somewhere else? These are Iraqis fighting in Iraq, I'd call them a "resistance". Not a legitimate one, but a resistance all the same.

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    To be honest (none / 0) (#350)
    by Grognard on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 08:19:06 AM EST

    I used that term to differentiate them from terrorists - "resistance" is just as valid as far as I'm concerned.

    [ Parent ]
    Sorry if I sounded hostile there (none / 0) (#352)
    by Nursie on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 09:45:50 AM EST

    but I guess I was asking why the press and govenrments call them insurgents and the conflict an insurgency. It always seems bizarre, and almost a way of justifying why we're fighting them "Oh they're just insurgents, they don't belong here, lets j=kick 'em out!"

    Maybe it's just to simplify things so people don't ask too many questions.
    I think the forces out there absolutely have to put them down and end the conflict with them, but I wish it was acknowledged as a little more complex than "an insurgency".

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Insurgents (none / 0) (#360)
    by Mudslinger on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 08:47:06 AM EST

    I thought insurgents had to come in from somewhere else? These are Iraqis fighting in Iraq, I'd call them a "resistance".

    Actually, no, insurgence is synonymous with uprising, rebellion, revolt. An insurgent, accordingly, is simply someone who participates in the insurgence.

    Here's a definition of insurgents at the wordIQ Encyclopedia.

    [ Parent ]

    Oh, the irony. (none / 0) (#375)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 09:38:45 AM EST

    A group of people attempting to wage war outside the bounds of the laws and customs of war (customs of war?!?) are known as terrorists. What do we call George W. and Rummy, et al. again?

    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]
    Head of State and Cabinet Member (none / 0) (#376)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 10:20:27 AM EST

    and yes, there are customs of war.

    NGOs aren't allowed to play in the same league as nations, and rightly so.

    [ Parent ]

    Yes. Also known as idiot and moron. (nt) (none / 0) (#378)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 11:09:23 AM EST



    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]
    G.W. Bush, Terrorist (2.00 / 3) (#334)
    by jaeson on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:25:14 PM EST

    According to this, George Bush and the United States Military is nothing but a terrorist group. And since very few people would use this to describe them

    There are large numbers of Americans who consider Bush to be a terrorist and would have no reservations calling him exactly this. Haven't you seen the shirts and posters with a picture of Bush, and a caption that reads "International Terrorist"?

    [ Parent ]
    Yes; a large number of Americans also believe... (none / 0) (#384)
    by gargouillade on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 11:46:52 AM EST

    Yes; a large number of Americans also believe in aliens. We're a partially literature country of credulous morons who are unable to have political campaigns without having the Spawn of Satan run up against the Antichrist. Unless I have missed something, and George W. Bush has been intentionally trying to kill civilians (as his PRIMARY objective) and thus put fear and awe and shock and all that (tm) into the hearts and minds of our sworn ideological enemies, to SMITE the WICKED FOE ... Eh. Moot point.
    ...
    [ Parent ]
    Slam Dung! (2.75 / 4) (#327)
    by Pingveno on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 05:47:10 PM EST

    Rummy slam dunks the inconvenient Constitution and Geneva Conventions in the toilet! Double score!!!!
    ------
    In other news, more than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
    We suck. (1.25 / 4) (#344)
    by simeonscott on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 03:38:45 AM EST


    weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    Justice -- Guantanamo Style | 405 comments (401 topical, 4 editorial, 3 hidden)
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