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Guantanamo Bay detainee commits suicide

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by nonconformist, May 31, 2007.

  1. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    So what? When someone commits suicide (if he was a Muslim, he'll go to hell, which is kinda pleasant thought), it's his decision.
     
  2. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    OK. You can't be bothered with a justice system and rule of law. Hello, arbitray killing!:goodjob:
     
  3. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Detainees in Guantanamo are there legally. They don't have a POW status, they're spies according to the International Law and the US could legally execute them after a brief trial.

    Is that so hard to grasp? There is nothing illegal going on.

    :wallbash:

    This is LAWFUL! That's my point!

    If they were US citizens, if they were not illegal combatants, than they'd have a right for free and fair trial before a civil court, but they're not.

    Your argument is pointless, you want to apply certain procedures on situation in which they DON'T apply.
     
  4. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    Doesn't remove the fact that when you lock someone up, you assume responsibility for this person. You just don't want to be bothered with the implications.
     
  5. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    But is it just.
     
  6. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    You take responsibility for the conditions, not for his mental processes. They're well fed, they have more comfort than many other people who're held in detention elsewhere. If they decide on their free will to commit a suicide, you can't blame the US.
     
  7. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Is it just?

    What is just? Many people would say that it is perfectly just to shoot them immediately after capture and interrogation, since they're using illegal tactic in warfare, thus commiting a war crime.

    What do we do with war criminals?
     
  8. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    That's not what the US Supreme Court decided in 2004.

    Really, my entire argument is that there's nothing inherently wrong with the laws and courts as they exist, in the US and elsewhere in the western world at least.

    Just apply them.
     
  9. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    In this case, it is the INTERNATIONAL law which is applied, not national.
     
  10. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    Preferably?
    We collect the evidence, find them, put them on trial, and if their guilt is proven beyond a resonable doubt, we incarcerate them. For a looong time.

    But it's got to be in that order.

    As for Afghanistan; of course we can play politics the Afghani way — you know, kill people indicriminately, finger adversaries on trumped up charges, etc. But what would be the point? The western coalition for forces in Afghanistan is already a party in the conflicts. I fail to see how we would profit from becoming just another gang of local thughs.

    As for justice, this goes to the whole "winning hearts and minds" thing, which the Bush admin. has occasionally paid lip-service to. The West, US and the rest of us, need to retain the moral high-ground — and really do it, not prattle hypocritically about it, or engage in dreams of wish-fulfillment of how we would like our actions to be perceived.

    Guantanamo bay is a Major, Major Headcahe in this.
     
  11. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    You know international law is dependant on national approval, and the US isn't going along with it.

    Guantanamo Bay is outside US sovereign territory. That's why the US Supreme Court has no jurisdiction there. It's in violation of US law and the US constitution though. That's why it's there.

    So, in fact there is no law there. (Unless it's Cuban law, since it's still part of the sovereign state of Cuba, but obviously it won't be applied by the US govt.) Or rather, at this point the law is whatever the hell GWB says it is. It's a nice dictature is the sun, US made.

    Is this just?
     
  12. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    Since they were apprehended in Afghanistan (for the most part), technically Aghan law should apply to them. That's one reason the US govt spirited them out of there asap, into this legal no-man's-land it has created.

    I'm willing to bet the Afghan formal legal machinery looks like that of just about any present day state. It's the lack of application of it which is the problem.
     
  13. nonconformist

    nonconformist Miserable

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    Errr....yeah, tht would be fine if they actually were combattants, but you know, half to maybe 3/4 of them aren't.
     
  14. Quiet Sound

    Quiet Sound - This title left blank -

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    Link

    I already provided an instance in which the prisoner was simply going to spend the rest of his life in prison for no reason, as far as he knew.

    I didn't ask about happiness. I asked if you would be upbeat and full of hope, or depressed and full of hopelessness.

    Bare essentials such as legal representation, a speedy and fair trial, justice, etc. This is supposed to be America, not Saddam's Iraq where people live at the pleasure of the government.
     
  15. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    Justice has to be done in the open.
    The system for administering justice has to be transparent.

    We don't even have to agree on the exact principle a system for meeting out justice is based on. The minimum requirement is that the principle and the process can at least be understood by onlookers.

    Guantanamo Bay fails miserably here. By design.

    Is this hurting the US? You bet. It's internationally eroding any confidence in a US ability to administer justice.

    One possible historical analogy is the pre-1789 French monarchy's use of "lettres de cachet". Anybody could write a complaint to the king, denouncing someone for whatever. The king would issue a "lettre de cachet" and armed with this the the king's officers would turn up and take people away for incerceration, on secret charges, with no trial, forvever.

    Result: Total erosion of any confidence in the ability of the French state to administer justice, rumours and fear-mongering re. the masses of political prisoners held. Eventually it all fed into the need for a revolution.

    The reality of the situation, as eventually established by historians going through the archives, was that 90% of those incarcerated were so treated at the request of family members. These were people dangerous to themselves and the other people of their households.

    The morality of this little story is, that even if the US govt. is getting it mostly right in who gets picked up (indications are to the opposite), it is undoing its own legitimacy in the process.

    If it is getting it right, this can be proven in a normal court of law. If it is getting it wrong, it shouldn't be doing this. Guantanamo is either a great injustice or unnecessary. In either case it fills no positive purpose and is an enormous liability.
     
  16. Sparta

    Sparta Emperor

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    Just so you know, this is not necessarily the way the current administration sees it. Jose Padilla was a U.S. citizen, and they held him for several years without charges as an enemy combatant, and his lawyers' requests for Habeas Corpus were fought all the way to the Supreme Court before being thrown out on a technicality (link). When they were going to be re-filed, the administration finally caved and charged him, three and a half years after detaining him (during which time he claims to have been subjected to torture, resulting in his lawyers now arguing he is mentally unfit to assist with counsel due to PTSD), with charges that are pretty much unrelated to why they claimed to have abducted him in the first place (the original story was he'd planned a 'dirty bomb' attack, which is not mentioned a single time in the formal charges they are going for now).

    Whether any of this is legal or not is not necessarily, IMHO, the pressing issue. Morally, I personally think that a lot of this is indefensible, especially in the context of attempting to maintain any legitimacy in the process. Even beyond that though, surely you can see the possibility of this getting out of hand, right? I'd argue that it is already, but based on the above and what you know of governments keeping their powers in check of their own volition in the first place, doesn't all this seem a bit ominous to you?

    That's the kicker, IMHO. Why would anyone believe anything the U.S. administration has to say about anything at this point? I know I don't.

    FWIW, I think that Verbose has a great point also in that this is an administration that just loves to reiterate the argument that if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about when they target civil liberties left and right. Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, so if they're doing such a fine job in these thousands of extraditions, why don't they add some transparency to the processes in an attempt to salvage some modicum of an appearance of legitimacy? If they were doing even passably well with their success rate in targeting actual 'bad guys', it wouldn't take over half a decade to form a single case with a team of lawyers and questionable interrogation tactics on their side.
     
  17. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

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    Actually, I could swear I've read/watched shows about US citizens who fought for Germany during WWII. They were placed in POW camps right along with the others. Trial? Why? They were enemy soldiers.

    During the American Civil War, both sides placed soldiers from the other side in POW camps. Now the North, claiming that the South had no right to secede, obviously still considered them US citizens, and yet they got no trial. They were placed in POW camps.

    Gitmo is simply a camp for those who do not warrant POW status.
     
  18. nonconformist

    nonconformist Miserable

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    But people who don't warrant POW status are automatically granted the same rights anyway :crazyeye:
     
  19. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

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    Maybe in your world.
     
  20. nonconformist

    nonconformist Miserable

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    No, man, Geneva 1949.
     

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