Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Guantanamo Bay detention camp

192 posts in this topic

 

But since people are talking about human rights, what about all those that have been tortured by just those people who are in Guantanamo?

How do you know that those people in Guantanamo have tortured anybody? They haven't actually been charged with anything, have they? Or does innocent until proven guilty only apply to white Christians in your book?

Have you never heard of the Tipton 4?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BBC: Dead detainee 'was to be freed'

 

One of the three men who committed suicide at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay was due to be released - but did not know it, says a US lawyer.

 

Mark Denbeaux, who represents some of the foreign detainees, told the BBC's World Today programme the man was among 141 prisoners scheduled for release.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ironic. Another reason you can't compare Guantanamo inmates with inmates in a stateside prison, who know what they've been found guilty of and how long they'll have to serve for it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, then - what the hell are you on about?

 

how exactly do you know that ANY of the people in Guantanamo have been responsible for any torture? read it in the Sun, did you?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to be pedantic, but I believe it's the Tipton Three and the Guilford Four. More highbrow input from me on this later...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

...In armed conflicts, individuals who don't fight in uniform are often shot on the spot, let alone put in jail. One does not need to be a historian to know this.

Unless they're US special forces, who obviously can't be unlawful combatants in spite of the fact that they're out of uniform. No, they're, erm ...we'll get back to you on that.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At best, these guys are POWs right? There is much debate as to whether they actually qualify under the Geneva Convention but let's leave that aside. Let's just assume that they are entitled to POW rights as afforded under the Geneva Convention.

 

By the Geneva Convention your detainment ends when:

  1. seriously sick and seriously injured prisoners of war must be repatriated as soon as their condition allows and no repatriated person may be utilized in active military service.
  2. release at the end of hostilities. The release of prisoners should form part of the armistice. If this is not possible then repatriation of prisoners shall be effected with the least possible delay after the conclusion of peace.
  3. prisoners of war dying in captivity they should be honorably buried and their graves marked and maintained properly. Wills and death certificate provisions should be the same as those for the detaining powers own soldiers.
They haven't actually been charged with anything, have they?

People need to stop thinking the rights afforded under civil law also apply under military law or the Geneva Convention. They don't. These guys were captured on the battlefield, not trying to knock over the local liquor store.

 

The problem here is precedent, or more accurately, the lack of it. In previous engagements by virtually every nation at war, captured-non-uniformed-guerrilla-type fighters were shot on the spot due to this very messiness. Instead, these guys were detained for intelligence purposes.

 

According to the Geneva Convention, assuming these guys are POWs they should be released at the end of hostilities. That's easy to say when countries actually declare war and armistice but a lot harder when people are fighting a cause not associated with or in favor of a particular nation. The admittedly badly named "war on terror" is never likely to end, thus releasing POWs at the end of it isn't realistic. Due to the nature of this conflict the Geneva Convention, as written, doesn't make sense. As such the convention needs to be changed to prevent this sort of limbo status. If non-uniformed guerrillas are to be treated as POWs then the Geneva Convention needs to be amended to say so. If there is a time limit beyond which POWs need to be release then the Geneva Convention needs to be amended to say so.

Personally I think all detainees should be granted full POW status and the rights afforded therein by the Geneva Convention; it wouldn't be hard to do and it certainly wouldn't mean any of them go free or even to trial. Then the Geneva Convention should be amended or scrapped and replaced with wording more relevant to the actual nature of the conflict in question.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's me, the Bush-hating, pro-gay marriage, ACLU member, left voting, pro-federalist neo-conservative! ;)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

These guys were captured on the battlefield.

Really? First I've heard of it. I understood that a lot of them were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And a lot of them were handed over by Afghani tribesmen in return for financial rewards - basically, therefore, arrested and held without charge for years on end on the say-so of a bunch of blokes who got paid thousands of dollars for pointing the finger.

 

Whatever the rights and wrongs according to the letter of the law, the USA isn't doing itself any favours by continuing to detain these poor people. Either charge them or set them free. The current situation might not be prosecutable under this or that convention, but it's nonetheless morally a criminal outrage.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just because the The Guardian says that these people were all Aloha shirt wearing, digital camera toting tourists, doesn't mean that it is necessarily the case.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and just because the US government says there were arrested on the battlefield, doesn't necessarily make it the case either

 

how will we know who is right until they are charged?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'm not trying to defend Guantanamo, because the fact that some of these guys have not been put on trial yet bothers me, however...

 

1) In armed conflicts, individuals who don't fight in uniform are often shot on the spot, let alone put in jail. One does not need to be a historian to know this.

2) The statistics Eurovol posted are from the United States Department of Justice, in other words the same country as Gitmo. I don't understand your comparison.

If it was considered the same country as Gitmo it would be bound byy the United States treaty obligations. The reason Cuban territory was used was because it could not be considered as a part of the US, giving the Yanks the opportunity to do what the hell they wanted including torture.

 

The principles are simple - if the prisoners are there under criminal charges then they should be charged and tried fairly. If they are held as enemy combatants then the Geneva convention should be adhered to. Neither is the case.

 

 

Guantanamo is not a retaliation because of the beheadings. But since people are talking about human rights, what about all those that have been tortured by just those people who are in Guantanamo?

I agree with the post above normally these terrorist would have been shot, at least then there would not be so much fuss made of them.

I don't know the statistics but I understand that there are only a fraction of the detainees that can be linked to enemy acts at all and most of these have or will shortly answer for these in court. the rest are mostly those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time like the Tipton 3. Note that zthe Tipton 3 were only released after concerted lobbying from the UK government over a two year period. The Yemmeni, Saudi, Syrian, Iranian, Lebanese and Chechens who are there have no such leverage with US authorities.

 

 

Yes i have heard of the Tipton 4.

it's 3 not 4. And if you have heard of them, what do you think?

 

 

At best, these guys are POWs right? There is much debate as to whether they actually qualify under the Geneva Convention but let's leave that aside.

 

People need to stop thinking the rights afforded under civil law also apply under military law or the Geneva Convention. They don't. These guys were captured on the battlefield, not trying to knock over the local liquor store.

but the point is that they are afforded neither the rights of criminals OR of military detainees. They are being illegally being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment with no legal representation, no diplomatic contact and no end in sight for most of them. I am frankly astonished that anyone could in anyway defend this abomination.

 

 

Really? First I've heard of it. I understood that a lot of them were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And a lot of them were handed over by Afghani tribesmen in return for financial rewards - basically, therefore, arrested and held without charge for years on end on the say-so of a bunch of blokes who got paid thousands of dollars for pointing the finger.

after the conflict the US military announced a bounty for any foreign militants found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Many of those turned in were actually working for islamic aid agencies or in the case of the Tipton 3, were tourists who ended up where they should not have been.

 

I should note now that there is almost no government in the world that has not comüplained to the US over the existence of Guantanemo. Even Tony Blair, an otherwise loyal lapdog of Bush, has registered verxy strong objections

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Either charge them or set them free.

 

how will we know who is right until they are charged?

POWs don't get charged. They never have. You're caught, you're put in prison, you stay there until your nation has issued an armistice. The logic behind this is to ensure that released POWs don't go back and start fighting against their former detainers - pretty understandable by all accounts. But this situation is unprecedented - there is no nation to sign an armistice. This has to be addressed by ammending the rules.

 

 

Whatever the rights and wrongs according to the letter of the law, the USA isn't doing itself any favours by continuing to detain these poor people. Either charge them or set them free. The current situation might not be prosecutable under this or that convention, but it's nonetheless morally a criminal outrage.

The rights afforded those under civil law is not the same as the right afforded those by military law or the Geneva Convention. There is no expectation by any law or international agreement that the detainees be charged ever. That might not be good (I don't think it is) but it is the way it is. "Morally outrageous" is a matter of perspective and I don't disagree with calling the certain situation that per se, but the real problem is that lack of applicable laws both domestically and internationally. If I have a single complaint about the Bush administration in relation to this issue it is that they're not actively looking to create laws (military, internation, whetever) that apply to the situation at hand; they're just leaving everything in limbo.

 

I agree that the US isn't doing itself any favors by maintaining the status quo. I'm a full advocate of granting them all true POW status under the law, creating laws applicable to the current situation, and setting up public military procedings *with civilian government oversight* that determine the future of their detainment (assuming those laws are military which they most probably should be assuming that the Geneva Convention is left the impotent document that it is in this case).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

But this situation is unprecedented - there is no nation to sign an armistice. This has to be addressed by ammending the rules.

Whats the legal difference here compared to say germany and japan post ww2? Theres a new government right? They arent still at war are they?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Whats the legal difference here compared to say germany and japan post ww2? Theres a new government right? They arent still at war are they?

Germany is actually an interesting case as the final treaty and declaration of peace only occured in 1990 (as I remember - need to check this). The FRG and the GDR both signed the treaty speaking for the people once governed by the Nazis. As I recall, most German POWs in Allied hands were released shortly after the official declaration of victory under the assumption that while no armistice had been signed they'd not be rejoining Axis forces. Exception being the Russians who retained lots for ~10 years or so.

 

EDIT: according to this site:

 

 

The conditions German POWs endured on the Eastern Front are beyond description. Shipped to separate camps in Siberia and elsewhere in the western Soviet Union, the German POWs were subjected to aggressive reeducation in communist ideology, as well as frequent beatings, torture, and execution. Food was always scarce.

 

The result was a horrific rate of death among German POWs. Out of the 90,000 Germans who marched into Soviet captivity at Stalingrad, only 5,000 returned from Russia. Most German POWs were held for ten years after the war.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to mention German POWs who were released in the mid 50s by the Soviet Union, the few who survived Siberian labor camps that is.

 

Guantanamo is the f-ing Club Med compared to some "detention facilities".

 

@DW

IIRC most German POWs were released by the US/Britain by 1948...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0