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What's happening with those poor devils at Camp Xray ???

 
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2003 05:47 pm
CBorg - only by circumventing convention and international law. If these camps were being maintained at locations in either Afghanistan or the USA, then there would be some sort of accountability. The letter of the law is not being broken, just the spirit of it - these are the first little steps that lead to the greatest injustices.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 12:51 am
Scrat wrote:
What specific rights are being violated and how?


Taking the declaration of independence as the most general list of rights, Camp X-ray violates liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These people are being imprisoned without a trial, which, by definition, violates their right to liberty. It also means they can't pursue any happiness that isn't available in a prison camp 10000 miles from their home. Pretty much a killer constraint.

If you wish, we can go through the Bill of Rights amendment by amendment. But it doesn't change the picture.

-- Thomas
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 07:12 am
Scrat wrote:

What specific rights are being violated and how?


Scrat, you have got to be kidding!

Some foreign military power takes you away from your life, your job and your family and holds you 15,000 miles away from home.

They do not allow you to speak to your loved ones.

They do not allow you to defend yourself legally. You have no ability to appeal your imprisonment. You aren't even able to talk to a lawyer. There are no specific charges leveled against you.

Americans are willing to accept this treatment of the Afgani's becuase they are just Afgani's. We don't seem to consider them worthy of human rights becuase we don't seem to consider them human. But they are human. And, just try to put yourself in their shoes. Wouldn't *you* consider this treatment quite unjust if it were happening to us?

When this type of thing happened to American citizens in Iran during the 70's we all agreed it was.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 10:29 am
ebrown_p wrote:
Scrat wrote:

What specific rights are being violated and how?


Scrat, you have got to be kidding!

Some foreign military power takes you away from your life, your job and your family and holds you 15,000 miles away from home.

They do not allow you to speak to your loved ones.

They do not allow you to defend yourself legally. You have no ability to appeal your imprisonment. You aren't even able to talk to a lawyer. There are no specific charges leveled against you.

Were you doing nothing wrong before some foreign military power did this terrible thing to you?

Let me share a little personal history with you...

Once when I was in my late teens police came and took me and held me in a cell against my wishes for a night. I was alone, without access to friends or family, and was freed the next day at the whim of a judge. Crying or Very sad

What terrible nazis those police were! Evil or Very Mad

Oh, but wait... I forgot to mention that I was drunk at the time, making a ruckus in a residential neighborhood and had the poor sense to be sarcastic and combative to the police who were called to see what was going on. Shocked

I share this little slice of my life to show you how important it is to include the context in considering such things. Your heart-wrenching description of the plight of your hypothetical Afghani completely ignores the question of what he was doing that warranted his arrest and detention. (I recognize that the context is probably not important to you, but it seems very important to me.)
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 02:07 pm
Scrat,

Rights are rights. What you are doing when you are arrested is legally and morally irrelevant.

Your example shows how ludicrous your argument is.

In your sad story there are a couple of things that I know are true. First, the police arrested you because *you* were making a ruckus. They did not go around arresting "guilty-looking" teens.

After you were arrested, you were most likely allowed to call your family to let them know where you were.

If you had been held more than one night you would have had the opportunity to defend your innocence. You would have been given access to a lawyer and to the press. During the time you were held, if you were not let out on bail, you would have certainly had access to your family. These rights would have been given to you whether you were clearly guilty or not.

*Even though you were guilty* the police were required to treat you this way. If they violated even one of these rights, they will be held accountable *even* if you are proven guilty.

We have these rules to protect rights because it is intolerable for someone to be stripped of their until their guilt is proven. The very idea that an innocent person is held is offensive to most Americans.

These "hypothetical" Afgani's are not hypothetical. They are being held without charge and without legal counsel. The government has already admitted that many of them are "innocent". Some of them are 13-15 years old.

Context Schmontext. I don't care if you were part of a group of long-haird hippy freaks, hopped up on acid burning flags and eating baguettes and Brie.

If the police locked you up for an indefinite period of time without charging you, didn't provide you a lawyer or a chance to appeal your fate, I would say they were acting like Nazi's.

I wouldn't put up with this the treatment we are giving to these people, and neither would you.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 02:31 pm
ebrown_p - Ah, I see the problem now: You seem to think that an un-uniformed, armed combatant captured during war has the same rights as an American teen arrested for D&D. I would challenge you to explore this belief, as I believe it is flawed and not supported either by facts or law.
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 02:38 pm
Thomas wrote:
Taking the declaration of independence as the most general list of rights, Camp X-ray violates liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This is an American, and not Afghan Declaration of Independence (I doubt that they have any, since they have never been any other country's possession), and it refers to the rights of Americans.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 03:29 pm
steissd wrote:
This is an American, and not Afghan Declaration of Independence (I doubt that they have any, since they have never been any other country's possession), and it refers to the rights of Americans.


Apparently you have never read this declaration, or you've forgotten what it says.

In the declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness


Note that it says "all men", not "all Americans". (Back then, "men" was used in the sense of of "humans". ) And while this declaration of independence isn't binding for Afghanistan's government, it does bind America's government so I don't see what your point is. Likewise, the bill of rights, too, applies to people, not just American people.

-- Thomas
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 03:36 pm
Thomas - When the police threw me in jail overnight for breaking the law, were they denying me my civil rights?
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 06:30 pm
If the police threw you in jail for months without charging you with a crime, letting you talk to your family or allowing you to have legal counsel, they would have denied you your civil rights.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2003 07:19 pm
due process, what a concept! sounds socialistic to me, perhaps even radical socialistic.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 02:28 am
Scrat wrote:
Thomas - When the police threw me in jail overnight for breaking the law, were they denying me my civil rights?

No. But I'm afraid that's a very bad analogy for at least four reasons. 1) The US Army isn't the police. 2) Camp X-ray isn't a jail. Jails have to follow the law. According to the Bush administration, Guantanamo Bay can break any law it wants in Camp X-ray -- national or international. 3) We're not talking "overnight" here. We're talking 18 months. 4) It isn't clear whether any of these guys has indeed broken any law. Nobody ever bothered to initiate a trial to find out. The fact that the Army couldn't find a crime to accuse them of in 18 months strikes me as evidence that they don't believe they have much of a case.

Do you honestly believe these differences are small enough to be neglected?

A complimentary way of answering your question would be that yes, the police violated your civil rights. But this violation was smaller than the expected violation of other people's rights by you, had the police not put you in jail that night. Camp X-ray looses under that kind of analysis too.

-- Thomas
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 07:00 am
Scrat, It just struck me that while you are arguing *against* our case, you haven't clearly stated your case. You haven't stated in what cases it is OK for us to imprison foreign nationals for over a year. Is there *anything* that the US might do that you would consider wrong.

Please answer these questions for me:

1) Is it right for someone who is "innocent" (i.e. wasn't part of terrorist camps or militia and commited no acts of violence) to be imprisoned for a year and a half? (The Pentagon admits that there are at least a certain number of people in this category. Including a non-militant taxi driver who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.)

2) Under what circumstances should a person who has been imprisoned for over a year be given the opportunity to prove his innocence?

3) When should a person who is sitting in prison for more than a year be told why -- i.e. what the charges against him are?

4) What responsibility does the government have to be sure that someone is guilty before imprisoning them for over a year.

Scrat, please think of what it would be like for you to be imprisoned for a year and a half -- especially if you were innocent and just picked up as part of a group by soldiers with no legal training. A year and a half is a long time. I would feel a huge loss if I lost this much of my life.

Scrat, Afgani's are human beings just like you. They have jobs. They have families. They love their kids. Being locked up 15,000 miles away from home without being charged with a crime (much less convicted) is an affront to humanity.

This is more then a violation of rights. It is an injustice.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 09:35 am
ebrown_p wrote:
If the police threw you in jail for months without charging you with a crime, letting you talk to your family or allowing you to have legal counsel, they would have denied you your civil rights.

So you are, in fact, arguing that a non-uniformed enemy combatant has the same rights as a teenager arrested for D&D. Great. Can you cite for me a source that supports that notion?

Or is it possible that those poor hapless souls in Camp X-ray don't happen to fall into the same category, nor into any of the categories into which you wish to put them?
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 10:35 am
Scrat wrote:
Can you cite for me a source that supports that notion?

The UN declaration of human rights, which the USA has commited itself to when it joined that organization.

Scrat wrote:
Or is it possible that those poor hapless souls in Camp X-ray don't happen to fall into the same category, nor into any of the categories into which you wish to put them?

Even if these Afghanis were in the "no such category" category, that wouldn't make your case any stronger. Let's assume, for the sake of the discussion, that they are. Due process would then dictate that the US let them go, because they're innocent until proven guilty of some specific crime. After that, the USA can make an effort to extend international law so it handles these Afghanis' category. By doing this, they would estabish clear rules for the next time something like this happens. Instead, America just asserts, without producing any evidence, that these Afghanis are guilty of some yet-to-be-specified crime, and locks them away until the crime is specified. Which may never happen, for all the Bush administration cares about.

No matter how you spin it, Scrat: These are banana republic practices with a touch of Orwellian Big-Brother-ness!

-- Thomas

PS: I notice you make no effort to refute my arguments. May I conclude you now agree with them?
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 11:05 am
Thomas wrote:
Scrat wrote:
Can you cite for me a source that supports that notion?

The UN declaration of human rights, which the USA has committed itself to when it joined that organization.

What specific rights outlined in that document have been violated? (You will need to also show that there is no provision for the denial of those rights during wartime or for other reasons. As we all know, certain rights can be denied for cause.)

I find the notion that there is no provision to detain enemy combatants during a time of war absurd. I find the notion that such detainees have rights to council and other such niceties simply unsupported by facts and international law. I find no person here in A2K who seems to disagree with that who has been willing to offer evidence in support of their beliefs.

You say they have these rights. SHOW ME THAT IT IS SO.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 11:38 am
Hmmm ... It's funny Scrat, but for someone who likes to lecture other people on not answering your questions, you're sure not very forthcoming about answering mine.

scrat wrote:
You say they have these rights. SHOW ME THAT IT IS SO.

Here we go:

In the Universal declaration of Human rights, the founding members of the UN, including America wrote:

Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.


Note the absence of any loopholes for George Bush's "enemy combatant" comedy. If there's any right where you don't understand how America violated it, I'll be happy to explain. But I'll be much happier if you try responding to my questions, instead of lecturing other people about failing to do so! Smile

-- Thomas
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 11:44 am
Thomas wrote:
The Geneva Conventions didn't know about guerrillia warfare..

Scrat wrote:
You say they have these rights. SHOW ME THAT IT IS SO.

IMO, Mr. Thomas has involuntarily fulfilled your request by showing that the Geneva conventions do not defend the terrorists (well, some people prefer politically correct term "freedom fighters", but I am an old-fashioned man that prefers to call the boy by his real name). Therefore, they have no rights at all
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 12:14 pm
Thomas - I thought you were attempting to answer my question. Confused

By the way, I'm still waiting for you to do so. Your citation doesn't do anything to educate me as to WHICH right or rights you claim they have been denied and (assuming you provide that information) you have done nothing to show that they remained entitled to that right (those rights) given their status as un-uniformed enemy combatants captured during wartime.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 12:32 pm
Quote:
Therefore, they have no rights at all and theoretically it is possible to do with them anything necessary or desirable.


steissd

It's hard to believe that there is someone who really says/writes that above.

Even the White House has a more human idea it:

White House on Status of Detainees at Guantanamo
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