Monday, November 17, 2008
The excruciating problem of danger that can’t responsibly be proved in court is everyday life for a president. Senators and law school profs can bloviate with impunity about “American gulags” and “legal black holes.” Not presidents.
Friendly reminder that McCarthy was on the team that prosecuted the "blind sheikh" after WTC I. He knows whereof he speaks on the strengths and weaknesses of the law in the war with the Islamist jihad.
Is that the guy from the same Mosque in Jersey City connected to both bombings? the one where they watched 9/11 from lawn chairs (as if they knew it was going to happen?)
I contend that most Americans would be just fine not knowing that we take these guys out, "try them", and kill them. We're in a war, and the guys in Gitmo were culled out of many combatants for a reason. They should've died in country ... meaning I agree that Gitmo shouldn't exist as a detention facility, because it should be empty. We have enough backlog in our courts already, and public displays of how unprepared we are to try these guys with rights afforded our Citizens is an insult.
Another PR exercise lost. This is general comment.
What galls me is that most, if not all, of the rights being abused by the Bush Admistration were never rights accorded before BushII.
Even the Supreme Court reversed precedent to create the new rights.
In years to come the hiStorians will record that, as with so many events, the Administration did not defend its actions.
I would go as far as saying people died and reputations ruined as a result of this most basic failing.
Expect serious backpedaling here, just like we can expect serious backpedaling on the withdrawal from Iraq.
It's one of the reasons why I found this latest campaign by the Dems especially misleading.
There is no way that Obama or anyone else in the adminstration is going to be able to extricate ourselves from the Iraq without serious destabilization of the Persian Gulf.
Closing Gitmo is the same kind of thing, the last thing that Obama will want is to be seen as being soft on terror. That's why he proposed the hair-brained scheme to bomb the Pashtun tribal areas in Pakistan with, or without, Pakistani consent.
It is one thing to run a campaign and another to govern. This may be something that sounded vaguely appealing to a left wing cafe audience (read academics) during the election, but I don't think it's an issue that resonates with the American public like "soft on terror". Hell, I'll bet 75% of American teenagers can't spell Guantanamo, much less find it on the map.
This is the kind of thing that will be quickly forgotten in the aftermath of the election, or do we seriously expect that the new AG will make this her highest priority?
Or better yet, we close down the detention facility at Gitmo while quietly opening another one someplace else.
All it will take is one attack.
the last thing that Obama will want is to be seen as being soft on terror.
He's already seen as soft on terror. When you get the Hamas and AQ endorsement, you're not exactly projecting a hard line kind of aura.
The Gitmo dilemma is more concrete. There already have been a number of "repeat customers" from ones previously released. He knows this already, or will soon be told of those recividists. Unless Obama has a heart darker than any of his detractors can even imagine in their wildest dreams, there simply is no way to cut these clowns loose on the world and sleep at night knowing what they'll do.
Kudos to Davod for pointing out what can't be pointed out enough, the single most catastrophic mistake of the Bush administration being it's pathetic failures in "marketing", if you will.
Guantanamo, however, is such a political bellwether, and one the GOP should put front and center. Truly it is the across the board microcosm of Bush policies and oppoition to same: so easy to oppose because socking people away in this "camp" is crummy and discomforting. Now that it is BHO who makes the call, all of a sudden..."OMG, you mean there are ACTUAL REASONS that we are doing it? That we can't bring them here without forcing CIA agents and methods out into the open, thus devestating anti-terror efforts? And we sure as hell can't afford politically to just cut them loose and have any future attack lead back to them?
"You mean, THIS is why we have Gitmo?? Why didn't anyone tell us any of this before? Well, our poor benighted President BHO has SO many tough decisions, I'm sure whatever he does with Gitmo is fine, including.... what we've been doing for years if necessary."
My point exactly, Obama is seen as being soft on terror.
Obama closes the Gitmo detention facility and gives his critics more ammo.
Or Obama reevaluates and leaves it open. Are the liberals going to unelect him for this?
Bill Clinton pulled this stuff all the time. As long as there is not a significant downside for Obama he will backpedal.
What I remember the President and his minions saying was that he would LIKE to close it, and WISHED he could close it. Well, he's the f'ing President and can close it whenever he damn well pleases, and he didn't. Probably for the same reasons that have recently been explained to Obama.
I think we should close it. After we deport the inhabitants to the Gobi Desert. Future detainees should be held in the Negev, if they are to be held at all.
"Sec. of Defense Gates, Sec. of State Rice, Senator John McCain AND even POTUS Bush have all announced that they think Gitmo should be closed"
Why? Not beacause there is not a need, but because of the need to combat the bad publicity.
And why doos Guantanamo have such a stigma attached to it?
Bringing the bad actors here for trial will bring out the radicals here in the USA (Just as the US going to Iraq eventually resulted in the ratbatgs going to Iraq).
Letting go everyone who we do not want to bring before a public court will result in more deaths. I feel sorry for the Muslims killed by the odd reprobate we release.
What I remember the President and his minions saying was that he would LIKE to close it, and WISHED he could close it. Well, he's the f'ing President and can close it whenever he damn well pleases, and he didn't.
Of course not. Why let a little thing like a Supreme Court holding that the detainees cannot be held indefinitely [what's it now? 7 years for some?] and are entitled to hearings in federal court stand in your way. "He is f'ing president" and they're just a bunch of men and women in black robes.
Why don't you read your own cited article, Anonymous?
It says absolutely nothing about the time period held or whether the camp can be kept open.
All it says is that prisoners can *appeal* their detentions if they meet certain criteria.
But if you think that the Executive has been ignoring Supreme Court decisions, you're free to take your case up with President Obama.
It is normal for enemy soldiers captured in action to be held until the end of hostilities, at which time they are returned to their nation of origin. If they are illegal combatants, their fates (according to the much-vaunted yet little-read Geneva conventions) are determined by military tribunals, the details of which are left up to the holding power. Many countries (including the British, pre-war, when they still had spines) hang or shoot such people as spies and/or saboteurs, without recourse.
The rotten assholes in Guantanamo (who are collectively responsible for thousands of murders) deserve nothing less.
Establishing Camp X-Ray was a mistake. These guys should have been remanded to a secret location in the middle of nowhere and handled in secret.
Obama will close Gitmo, bring the jihadis to the US, for trial in criminal courts under civilian rules.
Where nearly all if not all will be released, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the architect of 9/11. Just like his pal Ayers was released. Because none of these terrorists were Mirandized by Soldiers. Who are now cops with rifles.
Result: Americans dead by the truckload, as these guys go on to kill with impunity, probably here at home, and Obama OWNS every death. Every dead American is on HIM.
He wanted it, he owns it. He has to choose a side -- his terrorist buddies or America. He's going to choose his terrorist buddies, and pay the political price.
I don't know. Maybe we should release the detainees. Then we leak classified documents to the NYT stating that the detainees have had nano-sized RFID chips implanted somewhere in their scrotums, and that an unknown number of them had flipped and were now US Agents.
feeblemind, I like your style on that.
For those convinced that Bush was all about inventing new powers, it pays to remember that courts, including the SCOTUS, upheld some of his arguments. Not all. I can see a reasonable libertarian argument that we don't want a president who is always treading at the edge like that, but pretending that what he's done is just obviously illegal and every reasonable person knows that is just silly.
Round and round we go on this.
Once again, these are not criminals; they are combatants in a war.
The standard that it's better that a 100 guilty men go free rather than one innocent man go to jail simply cannot be applied. It just cannot.
Should we do whatever we want with them? No, we shouldn't.
But as CJ Roberts pointed out in Boumedienne, the US government has given more protections to these detainees than any government in the history of warfare. The Nazis at Nuremberg - cited by President-elect Obama - had nowhere near the protections that we have afforded these individuals.
Well, with a liberal Administration in power, we'll see if these folks can come up with something new. My guess is that the "reality-based" community will discover an new and different reality.
SMGalbraith is right. Neither the Constitution nor the Supreme Court oblige that captured terrorists must be given the rights of Prisoners of War. Most recent cases preserved the distinction between ordinary criminal law and military justice.
But the President-elect and many progressives don't recognize that the war against terrorism demands terrorists be interrogated and sequestered, not tried and punished, as is the goal of criminal justice. Still, the incoming Attorney General may be among the few leftists who understand the difference.