Friday, January 23, 2009

Reacting To The Ordered Closing Of Gitmo

Today's discussion on News Talk Online on about the ordered closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility brought varied opinions from callers.

Bahane in California says she is worried that some of the detainees will be released to once again attack in the future.

Leilani in Hawaii believes that at least some of the detainees are not terrorists, but that the inhumane treatment they have allegedly been subjected to will prompt them to become militant and fight the United States and U.S. interests in the future.

Callie from Pennsylvania says she's OK with a proposal to move the detainees to her state when Guantanamo closes. She says those involved in the first attack on the World Trade Center were and continue to be incarcerated in Pennsylvania.

Eric in Iowa argued that the detainees should be tried in the World Court and not by the U.S. government.

Ramin in the United Kingdom is concerned about the conditions under which other detainees that may be held in other countries in the Middle East and eastern Europe may be suffering.

George in New York predicts the closing of Guantanamo will result in no substantial change. Just like President Bush's closing of the Abu Ghraib prison, detainees at Gitmo will, he believes, be transferred to other facilities. He calls the Obama order a "good PR stunt."

Maria in London calls the U.S. treatment of prisoners - holding them without trial - fascist.

Lee from Nevada, though says the detainees are dangerous people and cares less about the way they have been treated. To the contrary, he finds it disconcerting that their treatment has been made public. "The transgressions," he says, "shouldn't have been revealed."

Silvia in Argentina has lived under a dictatorship known for torturing its citizens. She says we must all be patient. It takes time, she says, to get over human rights violations.

Ana in Florida says the closing of Guantanamo Bay gives the United States the diplomatic capital to fight against human rights violations in places like Burma, China and North Korea. The U.S., she says, needs to "lead by example."

Gary from South Carolina says he's not worried about the detainees' human rights. He's more concerned about his own rights to be protected against terrorism.

Younes in Switzerland calls the ordered closing of Guantanamo Bay a good thing, because even suspected terrorists deserve due process of law.

But our final caller, Kurosh in Belgium, says the ordered closing is "just an illusion of a new, fresh start. CIA detention facilities," he asserts, "still exist."


Silvia said...

This is the point I wanted to make ...

Why was it possible to create this detention center? Wasn't it in violation of the Geneva Convention? I'd like to know what was decided behind the scenes that allowed all of this to happen.

I believe in trying the detainees, in a court of law, but not in public. There are too many sensitive issues surrounding investigation of terrorism that can't be discussed in open court.

There's no excuse for using torture while interrogating prisoners. Questioning should all be done in a legal fashion. This doesn't just apply to Guantanamo but to all detention centers.

Human rights should be at the forefront of the war on terrorism.


Anonymous said...

To begin with, GITMO is not being closed. GITMO is a full military base. What is being talked about being closed is the detention center which was built to house the more than 200 inmates. And yes, I said "talked about." Because that is precisely what Obama plans to do. He has decided to call a commission to study how best to close the base. Government commissions, as we all know, are about as slow as molasses going uphill in the wintertime.

Next, we have the issue of IF it ever happens, where will these terrorists go? Remember: these are not people who were arrested on OUR soil. They're persons arrested by the military. They cannot be placed in a generic state prison. Nor can they be placed in federal prisons. The last option is something like Levenworth.

So let me recap: we're going to take terrorists who have been detained on an island (Cuba) on a military facility (GITMO) which you can only reach by boat, and we're going to being them to (I suppose) ANOTHER military facility. Only this one is smack dab in the heart of the USA.

Oh dandy!

GITMO was chosen because it's a)difficult to get TO; and b) difficult to get away FROM.

And if military prison wasn't good enough for them at GITMO (where they were actually treated quite well... re: ) then I'm not sure this posturing by the new President really serves any purpose other than to satiate potential critics.

Our critics from overseas aren't in any hurry to take these guys in, either. Funny how that happens, isn't it? (re: )

Well, maybe they can come live at the White House. I hear there's some spare rooms....

~LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

And No, Silvia, it's not a violation of the Geneva Convention. In fact, nothing that's happened can be. The Geneva convention covers participating signators. Terrorist groups have this bad habbit of not signing on to conventions and charters, unless you count the Hamas Charter, which calls for the annihilation of Israel.

And I agree, Missy. HUMAN RIGHTS should be at the forefront of the war on terrorism.

Daniel Berg would agree too, if our enemies hadn't severed his head from his shoulders.

-LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

Leilani is absolutely right. The biggest terrorist recruitment poster would be a picture of that 13 year old boy who was so unconscionably placed in Gitmo.

I also agree with Eric from Iowa. The US justice system is so tainted because of the Bush administration that any sentence meted down by a United States court would be looked at with suspicion. Let the World Court decide on the guilt or innocence of the Gitmo detainees. We have already blown that as it is well known in THIS country that justice delayed is justice denied.


Silvia said...

I refer who posted ~LD McLellan about the CONVENTION OF GENEVA geneva ,
United States using the special powers to fight against the terrorism cause the attack 11 9 , has Violated systematically the militar power and the 4 convencions of geneva , 1864 1906 1929 1949 that rule the treatment of the prissoners of war

The practical impact of the policy is uncertain. Legislation approved last year over Bush's objections bars the use of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment against detainees, approximating what is in the Geneva Conventions. Some military lawyers, however, said they think the memo will remove a certain ambiguity about what military interrogators may do in the name of extracting information.

Many involved in the debate, especially those representing detainees and military lawyers who have fought the administration's policy, see symbolic significance in the new order, coming as it did after five years of intense battling within the administration over the applicability of the Geneva Conventions.

Matt said...

The closing of Guantanamo Bay is a critical step in President Obama's plan to address the "war on terror." But beyond the executive orders and foreign policy decisions that he will have to make, President Obama will have to have a plan to communicate possible threats to the American people.

There has been an ongoing. in-depth discussion about this at featuring essays by Dr. Bernard Finel of the American Security Project, William Burns from the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), John Mueller from Ohio State University’s Mershon Center; and Camille Pecastaing, Director of the Behavioral Sociology Project at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. The discussions mainly center on about how the new Administration should deal with issues of terrorism – including what the government’s responsibility is in terms of communicating with the public about threats in the Middle East and elsewhere. This discussion may add to your posting about the challenges facing the closing of Guantanamo Bay.