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Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

 
 
Fountofwisdom
 
  2  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:34 am
@Woiyo9,
Yes. You cannot defend civilisation by abandonning its principles. If we had behaved in the same manner as the Nazis we might as well have joined them.
0 Replies
 
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:37 am
@old europe,
The thing is if it had been the other way round, and it was Taliban treating Americans in this way, we would hear endless comments about barbarism.
You should treat others as you would wish to be treated.
Woiyo9
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 12:29 pm
@Fountofwisdom,
Ummm. They did treat certain Americans worse that anything some of you call torture.
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 12:52 pm
@Woiyo9,
I don't see how that would justify torture committed by American soldiers or other US officials.

Also, for reference, here is an example of what I would call torture:

Quote:
Dilawar, who died on December 10, 2002, was a 22-year-old Afghan taxi driver and farmer who weighed 122 pounds and was described by his interpreters as neither violent nor aggressive.
When beaten, he repeatedly cried "Allah!" The outcry appears to have amused U.S. military personnel, as the act of striking him in order to provoke a scream of "Allah!" eventually "became a kind of running joke," according to one of the MP's. "People kept showing up to give this detainee a common peroneal strike just to hear him scream out 'Allah,'" he said. "It went on over a 24-hour period, and I would think that it was over 100 strikes."

The Times reported that:

On the day of his death, Dilawar had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.
"A guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.
"Leave him up," one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying. Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen.
It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time
.


In the investigation and prosecution that followed, none of the US soldier involved was sentenced (ignoring reductions in rank or bad-conduct discharges) to anything more than 75 days in prison or a $1000 fine.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:32 pm
@Fountofwisdom,
Fountofwisdom wrote:
Is this from the people who claimed Iraq had wmd? i think if I had been imprisoned without trial, tortured and abused, then I would possibly have a touch of anger towards my jailors. I notice none of these 61" terrorists" have actually been tried,


There is no need for a trial in order to detain a captured enemy soldier until the end of the war.



Fountofwisdom wrote:
I think it would be a good idea if America adopted the idea of innocent until proven guilty.


We do adopt that idea.

But guilt and innocence don't really apply to the issue of captured soldiers detained until the end of the war.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:35 pm
@George,
George wrote:
Oralloy wrote:
...c) Spies and unlawful combatants (can be detained until the end of the war without need for criminal charges, can be held incommunicado without need for criminal charges, can be prosecuted for being a spy/unlawful combatant, can be prosecuted for merely engaging in combat, and can be prosecuted for war crimes)...

They should be prosecuted. If there is no evidence of the unlawfulness of their
combat, then they should not be detained.


We have the right to detain combatants until the end of the war.

If you deny us this right, that will grant us the right to simply execute all enemy soldiers upon capture.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:38 pm
@old europe,
old europe wrote:
No.

If you treat them as Prisoners of War, they should enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention regulating the treatment of Prisoners of War.


If you refer specifically to Geneva 3 of 1949, that does not apply to spies and unlawful combatants.




old europe wrote:
However, if you don't treat them as Prisoners of War, but rather detain them as criminals or terrorists, then they should enjoy the protections of detainees under the US criminal justice system.


Maybe if they are detained as criminals.

But there is no requirement to do so if they are detained as unlawful combatants.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:43 pm
@old europe,
old europe wrote:
Woiyo9 wrote:
They are being treated as POW's in Guantanamo.


As far as I know, they've never officially been designated Prisoners of War.


Depends on what you mean by POW.

They certainly aren't going to be designated as falling under the Third Geneva Convention of 1949.

But if POW merely means that they are a captured enemy soldier to be detained until the end of the war, they have been given that designation.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:57 pm
@old europe,
old europe wrote:
Common Article 3 doesn't talk about an "armed conflict", but about an "armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties".

Common Article 3 doesn't even mention the term "Prisoner of War".

Common Article 3 does not confer POW status upon anybody.


What does "POW status" mean?

If you mean Geneva 3 of 1949, then no it doesn't confer that status. Only Geneva 3 of 1949 can confer that status.

However, Common Article 3 does provide basic rights for people who are captured enemy fighters.



old europe wrote:
I don't have a problem with treating the detainees as POWs. It's just not what this administration has done.


Depends. The Bush Administration certainly treats them as captured enemy soldiers to be detained until the end of the war.



old europe wrote:
In fact, this administration has fought tooth and nail to avoid the detainees being designated POWs.


They've fought to keep them falling under Geneva 3 of 1949.

They didn't have to fight very hard though, since that convention doesn't apply to unlawful combatants.



old europe wrote:
Holding somebody as a POW has a certain meaning, and that's not "detaining somebody we label 'enemy combatant' until the end of times".


Well, it means detaining them until the end of the war.



old europe wrote:
There's a definition of the rights of POWs and of the limits of POW status, and even though the United States have signed and ratified the treaties which outline those rights and limits, this administration has at no point treated the inmates of Guantanamo accordingly, and has stated often enough that it had no intention whatsoever of doing so.


The torture violated their rights.

But other than that we treated them according to the rules so far as I can see.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 09:51 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

Woiyo9 wrote:
Still think closing Guantanamo is a good idea?


Depends on the alternative.

We have the right to prevent captured enemy soldiers from returning to battle.

The norm that "it is wrong to execute the enemy without quarter" evolved in concert with the principle that "captured enemy soldiers can be detained until the end of the war, to prevent them from returning to combat".

If the left succeeds in denying America the right to detain captured enemy soldiers until the end of the war, that will remove any legal prohibitions against us simply killing them in cold blood.

So, if the alternative to Guantanamo is to simply massacre the detainees, I'm fine with closing Guantanamo.

If the alternative to closing Guantanamo is to just let captured enemy fighters return to the battlefield, then no, that is a very bad idea (and it will result in the military switching to the aforementioned "no quarter" stance even if they don't admit it).


Was thinking more about alternatives.

If Obama took the position that unlawful combatants have no right to engage in combat, and therefore commit attempted murder every time they attack our soldiers (and commit murder every time they kill our soldiers), he could bring them all up on multiple charges of murder and attempted murder.

Giving federal sentencing guidelines if people use automatic weapons, each count of attempted murder should be good for 30 years.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:03 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
If you refer specifically to Geneva 3 of 1949, that does not apply to spies and unlawful combatants.


The Third Geneva Convention does apply to spies and unlawful combatants. It affords them the same protections as Prisoners of War, unless otherwise determined by a competent tribunal:

Quote:
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.



oralloy wrote:
Maybe if they are detained as criminals.

But there is no requirement to do so if they are detained as unlawful combatants.


But there is a requirement to determine whether they are POWs or unlawful combatants. No competent tribunal, no "unlawful combatant" status. No "unlawful combatant" status, therefore equal protections as POWs.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:57 pm
@old europe,
old europe wrote:
oralloy wrote:
If you refer specifically to Geneva 3 of 1949, that does not apply to spies and unlawful combatants.


The Third Geneva Convention does apply to spies and unlawful combatants. It affords them the same protections as Prisoners of War, unless otherwise determined by a competent tribunal:

Quote:
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.



oralloy wrote:
Maybe if they are detained as criminals.

But there is no requirement to do so if they are detained as unlawful combatants.


But there is a requirement to determine whether they are POWs or unlawful combatants. No competent tribunal, no "unlawful combatant" status. No "unlawful combatant" status, therefore equal protections as POWs.



That depends on whether this is a "war between states" or a war where one side is not represented by a state.

If one side doesn't have the legitimacy of statehood, only Common Article 3 applies. That appears to be the thinking of the US courts when they ruled that Common Article 3 applies.

But if we count this as being a "war between states" (perhaps by recognizing the Taliban as the former government of Afghanistan), you are correct that they have to have a tribunal determine that they are an unlawful combatant before they can be treated as one.

(Of course, the only real difference between "the rules for detaining an unlawful combatant" and "the rules for detaining a POW" is that unlawful combatants can be held incommunicado while POWs have the right to write home and receive mail.)
0 Replies
 
 

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