Friday, January 08, 2010
One Gitmo alumnus in five -- 20% for those of you who do not do math at home -- resumes militant "activity" upon his release.
For the life of me I do not understand why liberals want to drain Gitmo. These clowns are combatants, and unlawful ones at best. We are at war with al Qaeda and its allies. Al Qaeda not only drew first blood in that war, but it went out of its way to declare it a war. Al Qaeda can end this war at any time by suing for peace. When it does, either because it comes to its senses or we have killed off everybody who matters, then the war will be over and we will have a new obligation to release the prisoners. Until then, what's the big deal? I mean, really?
There will always be buffoons whose world view is the lyrics to Lennon's "Imagine".
By and large, they survive because conservatives, in the form of military and intelligence operatives, protect the society.
Nobody really thought they would assume control...a true recipe for disaster.
Always click the link. It says:
"At least two people were placed on that [previous] list for making statements critical of the U.S., critics said. Another was classified as a recidivist after being arrested for allegedly being involved in an uprising in the predominantly Muslim town of Nalchik, in southern Russia."
I take these recidivist claims with a grain of salt.
As for closing Gitmo, it's a recruiting symbol for Al Qaeda. Southern Roots is wrong - take away the symbol and it's harder for them to use a new place against us.
And finally, Gitmo included lots if not mostly non-combatants. That's a difference between this war and past ones.
You have to balance this against the number of ordinary Muslims who get radicalized or just lose interest in taking America's side against terrorism because of things like Gitmo. If every single one of the people we released went to Afghanistan and took up arms for the Taliban, I'm thinking we'd still come out way ahead.
@TH: On top of everything else, you are relying on a perfect correspondence between the people in Gitmo and the people who deserve to be in Gitmo. If you can prove it, I dare you to. Statements like yours were made every step of the way regarding this facility, and every time they released someone (disproving all previous assertions that there was no incorrect incarceration) the capacity for error in the system was ignored. Just because you have had some teeth removed, it does not follow that you have no teeth left.
If we accept that some people are being abducted off the face of the known world unnecessarily, the next question is how many? How many are we willing to allow? Blithely skipping over these questions with the baseless assertion that to a man "These clowns are combatants", ignoring the ramifications of that blanket guess being wrong, is exactly the problem that causes uproar. Even paying lip service to the less superficial aspects of the problem would be infinitely better than repeating the same tripe more aggressively and frustratedly.
PS: Terrorism is nowhere even close to the top of the list for causes of death among americans. If you want a really depressing read of the top, check the first column of this chart.
"You have to balance this against the number of ordinary Muslims who get radicalized or just lose interest in taking America's side against terrorism because of things like Gitmo."
Name one. Earth to Neal - 9/11 happened *before* Gitmo and *after* we dutifully tried the perpetrators of the *last* WTC bombing in civilan court. DID NOT DO ONE GODDAMN THING TO STOP THE TERRORIST ATTACKS YOU IDIOT! And never mind the fact that most of their own countries are miserable, abominable human rights hellholes.
But why let the facts get in the way of a good story, namely that it's all Booosh's fault (or some reich wingnut etc. etc.)? If you really believe all that drivel you posted I feel sorry for you.
"Terrorism is nowhere even close to the top of the list for causes of death among americans. If you want a really depressing read of the top, check the first column of this chart."
That is really startling. It really makes you stop and think whether we have been just wasting all that money and effort to catch and convict murderers when they are so far down the list.
"As for closing Gitmo, it's a recruiting symbol for Al Qaeda. Southern Roots is wrong - take away the symbol and it's harder for them to use a new place against us."
Since the Jihadists war against America and modernity predate the establishment of Gitmo, by 25 years at least, it will continue long after Gitmo is dismantled. The prison has absolutely nothing to do with the war against us.
It's truly bizarre how this prison has become part of the political fallout of Obama's election. He regrets making it so, I'm sure, now that he's starting to get a clue, because there are all these gullible fools out in the citizenry (like Brian) who took him at his word during the campaign. "Guantanamo is a recruiting tool", said he, and those foolish people believed it to be true. Some Americans seem to think that dreams are reality.
This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 1/9/2010, at The Unreligious Right
Does this mean that as many as 4 in 5 -- 80% -- were never committed to "militant activity" -- that they might actually have been "innocent." 20% recidivism? -- our general US prison system is over 50% by any measure.
We need to hone in on the small number of terrorists who aim to do harm on US targets at home and abroad (e.g., embassies and inbound flights) and have the capability to do so. This number isn't a billion, and may be only 10,000 or even less. Few of this number are still in Afghanistan.
That's if you actually care about reducing the terrorist threat and aren't just using "terrorism" as a domestic political football. TSA is nearly totally irrelevant to this -- NWA Flight 253 proved this. It also proved that our hard core enemies don't care that Obama isn't George W. Bush. At this point, Gitmo is a sideshow -- Obama's just can't admit that his campaign promise wasn't thought through.
Putting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial in lower Manhattan was always a dumb idea -- now it's dumber still.
I'm 100% with the Democrats on this. They aren't "recidivists," they are misunderstood young men who would respond to the pressures of society in a much better fashion if they were only given the appropriate respect and understanding. They mean well but just haven't had the opportunity to channel their energy into more socially acceptable efforts. It would mean a lot if Obama and Holder would have them tried not in military courts, not in US civilian courts but in sharia courts able to handle their special needs.
Gary, I'd name the dozen-plus Uighurs who had absolutely nothing against us when we imprisoned them, and after years in Gitmo we determined were too dangerous to us to release in the US.
A more general point is that this is a counterinsurgency campaign and needs to be handled like one. I don't think conservatives understand that or have incorporated it into their thinking, except in the most superficial "Iraq the Model" type of claim.
TH, I must say that I am quite disappointed with the tone of this post. You often post relevant links, and I commend you for that, but the commentary of this post neglects the complex realities of these detainees and simply doesn't make sense.
The fact of the matter is that DoD has not released its rubric for determining 'recidivism'. What exactly constitues militant activity? Posing for a facebook photo with an automatic rifle and facemask? Joining an Islamist political party? Posting on internet forums that criticize American foreign policy?
Surely, it is disconcerting that some of these detainees are returning to the battlefield. However, your claim that Gitmo detainees/ "clowns are combatants" is simply not always true. There are many well-documented cases to prove this point wrong. I am not a bleeding heart liberal, and do not advocate for the immediate release of all detainees (especially those proven to be combatants), but I think that it would behoove you to re-examine some of your premises.
"especially those proven to be combatants"
I forget -- how many trials did the English carry out before killing thousands of non-combatants by firebombing German cities in World War II? And how many surviving German children were able to grow up in a better world because the English did not hesitate to carpet-bomb German cities full of non-combatants?
The issue is -- Are we at war? If we are, then "recidivism" is at best stupidity on the part of those who released the combatants to fight again, if not treason.
And if we are not at war, then why are we taxpayers paying for Thousands Standing Around?
In response to a couple of the comments here, I should say that one of my assumptions is that I believe the claim that Gitmo helps al Qaeda "recruit" is on its face ridiculous. Never in the history of the universe has an insurgency been able to recruit on the basis of such a mild transgression. People just do not pick up arms or strap on suicide belts because a couple of hundred people are wrongly imprisoned. It has never happened, and never will. The roots of insurgency are always far more compelling. No, the "recruitment" rationale is a utilitarian talking point meant to disguise the real argument, that it drives the civil libertarian left here batshit. Outside the United States, it is just the latest justification for anti-Americanism, which will just rotate to another justification if we close Gitmo. So from my point of view, and I believe that any hard-headed examination of the issue would support my point of view, Gitmo comes at effectively zero cost to American security or, for that matter, long-established American principles (a longer argument, to be sure, but one for which history is on my side). You hold on to prisoners until the end of the war. Al Qaeda can end the war when it wants. What about putatively "innocent" prisoners? There would be no such people if al Qaeda wore uniforms and did not use civilians as camouflage. Those two practices make the civilian casualties in this war al Qaeda's fault, not ours.
For the life of me I do not understand why liberals want to drain Gitmo.
Because the detainees must be innocent, or their worldview requires massive reorientation. And that would be an unacceptable outcome.
Are you any relation to Yogi Berra?
As a Red Sox fan I must admit that the HOF catcher for the Evil Empire is a pretty bright guy whose verbal "miscues" for the most part were done for humorous effect. I don't think that Brian is saying this for humorous effect.
What about putatively "innocent" prisoners? There would be no such people if al Qaeda wore uniforms and did not use civilians as camouflage
This is actually a good point and something that I hadn't heard before.
I actually DO believe that places like Gitmo are assisting in Al Queda's recruitung efforts.
No rational human being is going to give his life and treasure for a cause that cannot win.
If Muslim men see that the United States treats it's terrorist prisoners well, gives them lawyers, feeds them and houses them on a tropical island and forbids torture....then, let's face it, most of these guys are going to think that they are dealing with WIMPS!!!
Of course it's a recruiting tool. Under Obama's rules of engagement, WE - ARE - LOSING - THIS - WAR.
Hell, a realistic potential for victory is a fantasitc recruiting tool.
My way...well...a quick military trial, a firing squad with bullets dipped in pig's blood and a hasty cremation.
See if anybody wants to sign up for that.
Bloodlust is understandable. 911 wasn't that long ago. But it's also worth remembering that the Underpants Bomber was turned in by his father. The frequency that events like that happen depend on the extent that we're perceived to be the good guys, even regarding people we capture.
As for TH's claim of good treatment, I doubt it:
"Under the rules for lawyers representing Guantánamo detainees, Mr. Stafford Smith said, the government has ordered him to destroy the photographic evidence now that Mr. Mohamed has been freed. He added that it had made similar requests in other cases of released detainees."
More relevant info in a simple google search:
"A more general point is that this is a counterinsurgency campaign and needs to be handled like one. I don't think conservatives understand that or have incorporated it into their thinking, except in the most superficial "Iraq the Model" type of claim."
Ah. So it's the CONSERVATIVES who need lessons in fighting counter-insurgency. And they are fools for considering the Iraq model (which succeeded, BTW) as a model. Which, lest some of conveniently forget, was ordered by a conservative president and supported by conservatives against the berserk opposition of "The War is Lost/Redeploy to Okinawa/I'll Support the troops when they shoot their generals/Bush is Hitler/We'll cut of funding for the war" screeching Code Pink-blessed liberals.
As I recall, it was the leftists who wanted to reduce troop numbers and impose stricter rules of engagement. Obama explicitly refused to supply his own appointed commander with the troops he said he needed to accomplish the mission that Obama gave him, and then apparently forgot about (or ignored), for domestic political reasons (to try not to piss off his base too much). Oh, and the Democrat leadership refuses to help pay for this, in an era of record breaking deficits and money printing.
Is this how one fights a counter-insurgency campaign?
"the Underpants Bomber was turned in by his father. The frequency that events like that happen depend on the extent that we're perceived to be the good guys, even regarding people we capture."
That assertion is made completely without evidence.
It couldn't have been because his father is a decent person who didn't want to see hundreds of people murdered, could it? No, it's all about our public image.
But if we listen to your ilk our international image is in the shitter. Yet, this man tried to turn in his own son and save our citizens (and was ignored for his troubles). DESPITE Gitmo, and Abu Ghraib, and waterboarding, and secret NSA programs, and our strafing of Afghan villages (according to Obama's 2008 assessment), and so on.
It almost seems like our wartime measures haven't turned decent normal Muslims (like this guy's dad) into screaming, bloodthirsty jihadis. Quite a puzzle.
Yeah...the abuse is horrific:
* Solitary Confinement
* Sitting in hard chairs
* "hitting" prisoners
* Psychological stress
* Forced tube feeding of hunger strikers
etc. etc. tc.
Maybe I'm cold...but being in prison is supposed to be unpleasant.
Being in military prison is supposed to be really unpleasant.
For every New Yorker who chose to jump off the World Trade Canter rather than be immolated, I feel that there are an infinite number of bearded fascists who dhould pay a heavy price.
...and I don't think I'm being provocative here. These animals don't need lawyers, they need a prison guard with an attitude.
Brian, your statement "Bloodlust is understandable" is deeply offensive, and reveals why you are unable to even understand the arguments presented to you. You believe they are just code and cover, acceptable-sounding rationalizations for entirely primitive aspirations. I'm sure you can find some who fit that category, but I suggest you are interpreting a great deal in that echo chamber, hearing what is not there. We are concerned with practical effect on our enemies first, secondarily with how it "looks" to people who try to put the worst spin on all our actions.
More generally to the thread, there is a distinction between the justice of our actions in Gitmo and the wisdom of them. There are many here, myself included, who would gladly enter in to the discussion of whether closing Gitmo is in our ultimate strategic interest. But our enemies will not just slink away saying "Well, shucks, I guess we have no further complaints then" if we closed Gitmo and gave each of them a million bucks. They will fasten onto whatever else they think will work, true or not. It is not possible to discuss the strategic value of closing Gitmo with people who willfully ignore that reality.
As to justice, do not try and sell the idea that all who are released were therefore innocents who were falsely detained. They are nol prossed by an American jurisprudential standard. Prosecuters drop charges on people they know are guilty all the time, knowing that they lack the evidence to convict. Again, I might be willing to discuss what should be done with those who might have a claim of actual innocence - but I cannot have that discussion with someone who insists on regarding all those released as essential innocents.
This thread of comments betrays any number of idiot thoughts from the left.
Some seem to believe the meme that the mere existence of the Guantanamo prison is a recruiting rallying point for al Qaeda even though al Qaeda's true recruiting tool is hatred of moderntiy and of it's cultural emblem, America. Guantaamo hardly registers in the pantheon of al Qaeda recruiting themes like hatred of women, education, gays, non-Muslim religions, economic freedom, political freedom etc etc.
Some here seem to believe that prisoners at Guantanamo are mistreated, when just the opposite is true. Every fair-minded reputable visitor to the prison has complimented the care and feeding of these murdering scum. Even the prisoners themselves seem to prefer Guantanamo to the oft-mentioned alternative site in rural Illinois.
Some have argued that certain prisoners have been unfairly sent to Guantanamo, and the mistaken imprisonment of the few justifies the closure of the prison. This incoherence, if it were true and were it to become the general rule by which all justice systems were to be judges, would obviously close all prisons everywhere. There is no prison on earth that doesn't have some innocent men in cells. I trust the military to weed out those innocent men, and all the past evidence suggests thats what's happened.
Guantanamo is a necessary place. Even the president recognizes that fact, since he's yet again delayed the closure of the prison. He hopes, I suppose, that the less aware of his supporters will be distracted to other subjects so he can keep the worst of the worst quietly imprisoned there until hell freezes over. Good luck to him, and Isuuport this policy.
From my reading of the news we get Jihadists seem to me to be committed ideologues, and not at all "mindless". Hopelessly violent, though, yes; on that we agree. Risking the release on any of these prisoners into the United States with a transfer to American soil and a commitment to the civilian courts couldn't seem any more reckless.