Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Uighur ugliness 

Last June, five Supreme Court justices dreamed up a constitutional right for aliens held as enemy combatants to challenge their wartime detention in court. Now the bitter fruits of the Boumediene decision are plain to see: In Washington, a federal judge has ordered the release — into the United States — of 17 men captured near Tora Bora after the American invasion of Afghanistan.

The men are Uighur Muslims from China. And therein lies the key to this convoluted tale. The outpouring of media sympathy for the Uighurs suggests that they were on holiday when they were mistakenly swept up by invading Americans. In point of fact, they had trained at jihadist paramilitary camps, where they were schooled in bomb construction, close combat, assassinations, and the like. Specifically, the Uighurs are tied to an al-Qaeda affiliate, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a designated terrorist organization. As terrorism researcher Thomas Joscelyn has documented, several of them were fighting against our troops. Their capture was entirely proper. And predictably, many of them have joined forces with other jihadists held in Guantanamo Bay to riot and assault American guards.

China would be delighted to take these guys, but we have separate treaty obligations that prohibit us from releasing prisoners to countries that might mistreat them. So the courts will not allow them to remain in Gitmo and the law prevents their repatriation, so they must be released into the United States.

The incentives here are insane: If our soldiers take prisoners on the battlefield without collecting evidence against them sufficient to win a conviction in a criminal court, and if those prisoners come from countries that might mistreat them (that is, virtually every country we would fight in a war), we risk having to release them into the United States.

Obviously, we should just stop taking prisoners.

Read the whole thing.


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Oct 14, 11:58:00 AM:

And people wonder why we have secret prisons.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Oct 14, 01:19:00 PM:

Obviously, we should just stop taking prisoners.

Both the left and the right in this country will nod in vigorous assent.

But they will read what they see as the truth of this conclusion in entirely different ways.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Oct 14, 02:41:00 PM:

Yes, we must respect the constitutional habeas rights of Uighur Muslims caught on the battlefield during a war but we also demand a "Truth Commission" be created to force Bush Administration officials to acknowledge their crimes.

Somewhere that makes sense; but it's not in any place that I'm familiar with.  

By Blogger Ray, at Tue Oct 14, 04:09:00 PM:

Clearly, these men should be released inside the federal courthouse, and provided with government-subsidized housing across the street from the judge who made the decision to release them.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Tue Oct 14, 04:43:00 PM:

sirius -

Obviously, we should just stop taking prisoners.

Both the left and the right in this country will nod in vigorous assent.

But they will read what they see as the truth of this conclusion in entirely different ways.

Two in the back of the head



Ray -

Now would that housing you suggest have a sub-prime mortgage associated with it?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Oct 14, 05:01:00 PM:

Yes, if we will not completely stop taking prisoners, we will take a lot fewer. I doubt that many will see the Kumbaya option instead of prison.  

By Blogger smitty1e, at Tue Oct 14, 06:17:00 PM:

Obviously, we should just stop taking prisoners.
Only if you've really achieved a John Lennon utopia there, with nothing left to fight over.
The implication of this sentence, in the real world, would likely be systematic Law of Armed Conflict violations.
We'll be having none of that.  

By Blogger Consul-At-Arms, at Wed Oct 15, 02:09:00 AM:

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2008/10/re-uighur-ugliness.html  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Oct 15, 06:56:00 AM:

My crack about "not taking prisoners" was, of course, sarcastic. In case any of you missed that. I would, however, adopt the presumption that ther eis nothing unlawful with keeping somebody in an offshore prison if they would prefer it to being returned to the country of their citizenship. The default should not be to release them into the United States.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Wed Oct 15, 02:29:00 PM:

They had better hurry up and get registered or they will not be able to vote in November.

Seriously, the Adopt a Terrorist (tm) program has only a limited number of these fine Uighur's left, so if you want one, you need to send in your money now!  

By Blogger Cas, at Wed Oct 15, 06:32:00 PM:

BOTH of these judicial decisions are just so asinine, on so many levels...
So, should we just set them loose on America's streets?
OR, should we try to convince our brave service-members to just kill them all on the battlefield, "take no prisoners!" (NOT!)
Both options are stupid, and contrary to "common sense." And they prove how STUPID it is to wage a war against Islamo-Fascist Jihadists as if they were common gangsters; the "law enforcement option" will not work.
Have these judges seen the videos of the jihadis sawing prisoners heads off?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 15, 10:47:00 PM:

How solid a gripe could Beijing make if he Uighurs were put into the custody of the China on Taiwan?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Oct 16, 12:26:00 AM:

Three of the original 22 Uighurs were "alleged" to have fought in Afghanistan, although none of them against Americans. Unclear if any of the three were part of the 17 now under discussion as opposed to the five that were dropped into Albania.

My understanding is that not only did the tribunals not believe the allegation, but the military prosecutors also don't believe it.

I hope military professionals on the ground in Afghanistan get accurate info, because what's been expressed as a sarcastic comment could otherwise seem to them like a desperate choice.  

By Blogger Tank, at Thu Oct 16, 09:02:00 AM:

Let 'em loose here. Does anybody think that they will not glow in the dark? Lots of things can happen to foreigners who do not know their way around; muggings, killings, etc. I wouldn't take bets on their shelf life or that of anybody they meet or talk to.  

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