And Do What With the Prisoners?

Well both Biden and Carter have come out demanding that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be shut down.

Former US President Jimmy Carter called on the Bush administration to close the prison at the US naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba in order to end “the terrible embarrassment and a blow to [the US’s] reputation.”

In recent statements from a two-day human rights conference in Atlanta, Carter said that the current US administration is continuing to discredit itself in light of ongoing reports of offenses against prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo.

The US Nobel Peace laureate said that the Washington must inform the detainees of the charges against them, and that no inmate should be held incommunicado.

Carter’s demand joined others, such as the appeal made by US Senator Joseph Biden, the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Biden demanded the shutting down of the Guantanamo prison last week. In statements to the ABC television network, the senator described the prison at the illegally occupied base in Cuba as “shameful.”

Okay, fine, but what are we to do with all of the detainees there? Let them go? Bring them to the U.S. and treat them like armed robbers, burglars and car thieves? I just can’t take such “demands” seriously without knowing what these guys are proposing to do with the detainees?

Update: Here is a related news item from the Washington Post

At least 10 detainees released from the Guantanamo Bay prison after U.S. officials concluded they posed little threat have been recaptured or killed fighting U.S. or coalition forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Pentagon officials.

Now it is not clear that Biden and/or Carter want the detainees released, but this is something we should keep in mind.

FILED UNDER: National Security, Terrorism, World Politics
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. Mark Mecca says:

    I don’t think they even know what they would do if they were in Bush’s position.

    The cynic in me thinks they are just playing to the gallery since they know that Bush wouldn’t be so stupid to follow their advice in the first place so it is a win-win for them.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    The cynic in me thinks they are just playing to the gallery since they know that Bush wouldn’t be so stupid to follow their advice in the first place so it is a win-win for them.

    I don’t think that is cynical at all. I think that is exactly what they are doing. It lets them posture knowing that such advice wont likely be followed.

  3. Dale Cox says:

    Maybe we should move them to a prison in Delaware. Afterall it was their Senator that came up with the idea. Maybe we could divide them up and send 1/3 to Delaware, 1/3 to Georgia and 1/3 to California (Pelosi jumped on the band wagon)

    Dale Cox
    Arlington, VA

  4. Steve Verdon says:

    Dale,

    If you move them to Cali, can you make it Northern Cali please?

  5. John Teague says:

    Maybe it would be good to send Biden, Carter and the other sell outers to Cuba. Let them join their buddies there. As the terrorist would say, “Allah willing” cause the true God is denied by these Judas goats.

  6. slickdpdx says:

    I think moving the prisoners onto U.S. soil may invite a host of legal and practical problems. Carter is so dopey he is completely in earnest. Biden is 100% insincere. And, as usual, no alternatives are offered – its just throwing stones.

  7. John says:

    The majority of the priosoners in Guantanamo are innocent. They have done nothing wrong. The U.S. cannot prove that they did anything wrong. If they could, they would not be held in the fashion they are now. This is why Carter and others want Guantanamo closed, becasue holding a prisoner without due process is against our constitution, therefore very un-American. A real patriot would realize that and acknowledge our mistake in creating such an evironment.

  8. Dustin Rasener says:

    What to do with the detaineees? It isn’t really important where we put them, so long as they are given the same legal protections that are afforded other prisoners. The point of this whole argument is just that these prisoners should be treated like any other prisoner. This country is founded, in part, on the idea of due process. No such thing exists in gitmo, and it is un-American (truly, not just simply name calling) to hold these prisoners who have no right to contact family or friends, and have no access to attorneys. They are being held indefinately and without charge; This is unconstitutional and unnecessary.

  9. lane says:

    Nothing wrong… that’s amazing. I guess the soldiers they shot at, wounded or killed deserved to die?

    These are “armed combatants” … what part of that term equates to “innocent”?

  10. Alonzo Chubb says:

    Former US President Jimmy Carter called on the Bush administration to close the prison at the US naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba in order to end “the terrible embarrassment and a blow to [the US’s] reputation.”

    -Something he is very familiar with. . .

  11. Dustin Rasener says:

    All of this name calling is sickening. You can say whatever you want about Carter and Biden, but it is irrelevant to the debate about the existence of the prisons in Guantanamo. Please present your arguments for/against keeping the prison and leave the name calling out. So far, I haven’t seen a single argument *for* keeping the prison; if you have a reason for holding this view, i’m all ears. If you just want to call names, keep it on the playground; name calling is useless in this debate.

  12. Either charge them for a crime and put them on trial or let them go. It’s pretty simple.

  13. John says:

    There are some prisoners at Guantanamo that did commit crimes. There are others that didn’t. But no one knows the truth, and until they are charged with something and they are allowed to defend themselves, they are being held illegaly and immorally.

    As to the question of what to do with them, I would suggest releasing all those whom we don’t know how to charge. We’ve already screwed things up by holding them there for so long (some up to three years without any charges), and yes some may go back into their homeland and continue fighting against us. But now that we know who they are, we can keep track of them and finally be able legally detain them when they commit a crime against us.

  14. Buzz says:

    As long as we keep foreign policy exactly 180 degrees from anything Carter recommends, we should be fine. There’s a good reason why this guy was trounced “like a narc at a biker rally,” to quote Dennis Miller, back in 1980.

  15. Dustin Rasener says:

    *yawn* Once again, how about some substance in your arguments. This last comment sounds to me exactly like a four year old calling him a loser.

  16. Jem says:

    If President Carter truly were concerned about ending “the terrible embarrassment and a blow to [the US’s] reputation.”, the simplest solution would be for him to refrain from speaking or writing on topics outside of peanut farming and Habitat for Humanity.

  17. Dustin Rasener says:

    Another post lacking in substance. ^^

  18. Anwar Raza says:

    Most of these detainees are not innocent. However, there are documented proofs that some of them are innocent or at least were not involved in a combat at the time of arrest. Remember, many of them were handed over to US Forces by Afghan war lords to get compensation or favors. They shoud be moved to US high security prisons and should be charged, if they did any crimes.

  19. DZ says:

    Your missing the point folks, these were enemy combatants, not “prisoners” who violated some U.S. tresspassing law. Our country was not founded on allowing foreign non-uniform militants due process based on U.S. law! How would you try someone you catch shooting at you on the battlefield – bring in witnesses from the combat zone? “….Osama, do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you ……Allah?” That is precisely why they fall under a seperate jurisdiction. You can not prove one of those persons are being held incorrectly, they are not innocent until proven guilty when they are found with the enemy in a combat zone, same reason we didn’t try German soliers after WW2 who fought against us – we held them either for exchange or until the war was over.

  20. windrider says:

    These are “armed combatants” … what part of that term equates to “innocent”?

    Many of the Gitmo detainees were caught in indiscriminate sweeps in Afghanistan where the guilty and innocent were caught in the same net. The same thing happened in Iraq where the Pentagon itself admitted that 90% of the detainees in Abu Aghrib were innocent…but they were still detained indefinitely, tortured, humiliated and, in some instances, murdered.

    Calling them ‘armed combatants’ is a political convenience and has no real basis in law. In many instances, these men were only doing what nearly all of us would do…if our country were invaded by a foreign country, we would pick up our guns and kill as many invaders as we could, and be called patriots.

    We have become the kind of country our ancestors fled, justifying indefinite detention with no due process, justifying torture and murder, making excuses for war crimes or ignoring them altogether.

    To oppose this is patriotic; to defend it is shameful and a betrayal of everything our founding fathers stood for.

  21. Helle Nyberg says:

    The existance of a place like Guantanomo tells a lot about the US and what it really stands for.
    Stay the course, dear Americans. But be real. The US has lost it´s credibility in the eyes of the rest of the world. And it takes a lot more than a military superpower to make up for that.
    Wait, and you will see.

  22. baxter says:

    What about unconstitutional don’t we understand?
    We gonna go back to the OLD WEST and hang’em high without a trial next?

  23. DZ says:

    Gitmo is an appropriate symbol of the U.S., its a symbol of strength and honor in a country that has one of the the worse human rights records in this hemisphere.

  24. O.H. Lee says:

    Charge them with treason. Find them guilty. Shoot them.

  25. Dale Cox says:

    This country is founded, in part, on the idea of due process. No such thing exists in gitmo, and it is un-American (truly, not just simply name calling) to hold these prisoners who have no right to contact family or friends, and have no access to attorneys.

    I beg to differ. Lets think for a moment how they were captured in the first place. 99% of them came from the battlefield in Afghanistan or were caught while they were retreating from the battlefield. That makes them combatants, legal or illegal is the point of contention, but they are combatants at the very least.

    That means they are either POW’s or illegal combatants. Our government’s position is that they are illegal combatants, here again there is a debate raging about their status.

    It doesn’t really matter to me whether they are illegal combatants or POWs because they will most likely want to fight again if let go. In the end we all need to remember that these are not your run of the mill bank robbers, petty theives or even murderers. They are people who have chosen to attempt to intimidate a sovereign government (not just ours but governments from PK to the UK) through the use of or threat of force. That makes them terrorists, not criminals, but TERRORISTS.

    As for their due process, I wholeheartedly agree that one of the things that make our country great is our right to due process. It could be said that they have had their due process in the form of the Case Status Review Tribunals (not to be confused with Military Commissions). During the CSRT, three military officers decided whether or not a given detainee was an enemy combatant. They did let 35+ detainees go. At any rate they have had hearings albeit belatedly (they should have had those hearings when they were captured). That is not to mention the 100 or so Habeas Corpus (right to protection for unlawful detention) petitions that they have filed and are working their way through the court system now.

    In short they have had some forms due process and if we just arbitrarily let these people go we would just pay for it later.

  26. overcat says:

    Nothing wrong… that’s amazing. I guess the soldiers they shot at, wounded or killed deserved to die?

    These are “armed combatants” … what part of that term equates to “innocent”?

    The soldiers they shot at, wounded or killed signed up for a tour of duty, unlike many other murder victims. The difference is that ordinary murderers, even mass murderers, are entitled to a fair trial. The same can’t be said for the prisoners held at Guantanamo. If they’re guilty, they should be proven guilty in a court of law.

  27. DZ says:

    You seem to be stuck on trying them as if they were U.S. citizens who committed your ordinary crime? This is not the case, even if they were innocent, do you think we’re going to be able to fly over their friends (if alive or willing)who just happened to be in the neighborhood as bullets were flying to confirm their innocense? It’s impractical even on their behalf to be tried as usual suspects, so you can’t apply the U.S. citizen standard to them.

  28. Ert says:

    Dustin Rasener:

    These are “armed combatants” … what part of that term equates to “innocent”?

    I think the basic American value “innocent until proven guilty” is where “innocent” comes in. You can’t just punish someone for the rest of their life because you say you want to. They can kill 50 people in front of 10,000 witnesses and they still have to have a trial. Saddam Hussein gets a trial. Everyone is entitled to a trial if you’re going to punish them for something.

    Shooting at, wounding, or killing enemy soldiers during wartime sounds to me like a pretty basic description of what war is. American soldiers shoot at people all the time, if they’re captured do we want them to be held for years without a trial? Those are not the values we want to export to the rest of the world.

  29. DZ says:

    If you state we should try every prisoner we take in from the battle field, how many trials would we have held for Germans? Japanese? Vietnamese? You hold prisoners until a time when either the war ends, you delcare them no longer to be a threat, or you negotiate an exchange – you don’t try them as if they committed robbery.

  30. EPH says:

    American soldiers shoot at people all the time, if they’re captured do we want them to be held for years without a trial?

    Captured American soldiers were held until the cessation of hostilites. Your argument is not a good one.

  31. Anderson says:

    Let me try to get one point into half the commenters’ heads:

    YOU’RE NOT AN “ARMED COMBATANT” JUST BECAUSE THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS YOU ARE.

    Disagreeing with that statement is the same as saying “I ♥ Tyranny.”

    Anyone who’s at Gitmo & is an armed combatant can be held, though probably should be treated as a POW–a debatable point, alas. (Germans and Japanese “shot at our soldiers” but were afforded POW protections.)

    But the issue here is, should there be some due process for a guy to say “hey, I was never an ‘armed combatant,’ I was sold to the U.S. Army by the local warlord”–as indeed seems to have happened in some cases. Or “I was in the area but minding my own business,” as actually happens on the “battlefield” in guerilla-like conflicts.

    There are people who we’ve locked up for THREE YEARS without making any formal adjudication of their status. That is w-r-o-n-g.

    One more thing: sure, we’ve released some people and then found them fighting us. You know what? If I were an innocent non-combatant, detained by another nation for years (and quite possibly mistreated in that time), and then set free with an “oops,” … I’d think about picking up a rifle and fighting said nation. As one soldier at Gitmo said, “these guys may not have been terrorists before, but they are now.” Thanks to Bush and Rumsfeld.

  32. Hoot says:

    Like everything this superstisious reactionary administration does the detentions at Gitmo are anathima to the liberty and equality before the law that our fathers and forefathers died for. Both POWs and common criminals are given some form of due process. Denying this to “enemy combatants” mearly provides our enemies the right to say “I told you so” about American justice. What should happen to people from other countries who shoot at Americans while we’re invading their country? Locking them up and throwing away the key is a nice idea but it’s just unAmerican.

  33. DZ says:

    So what your saying is there is this great conspiracy that runs from the battlefield to W’s office that says, “lets round up a few hundred people and waste our resources on holding them for no reason at all because we have no one better to detain?”

    I’m sure everyone at Gitmo says they are innocent and will gladly tell Amnesty Int’l that they are and they’ve all been tortured and beaten.

    I’m also not so sure the difference between Gitmo and other detention centers in the field of battle? I believe everyone’s interest lies in the propoganda being reported by Amnesty Int’l and the like.

    We are holding prisoners of war without trial and there will be those held who might be the unluckiest human on the planet (gun fell into their hands while they just happened to be standing in the middle of jihadists)and are not a threat, but that is war and one of the “hells” of war.

  34. Buzz says:

    If questioning Carter’s involvement is childish, there are over 43 million little kids out there. In the 1980 Presidential Election Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent president Jimmy Carter by winning 43,901,812 popular votes (50.9%) against Jimmy Carter’s 35,483,820 votes (41.1%). Reagan’s electoral college results were even more impressive: 489 votes against Carter’s 49.

    In short, it was the American people (as opposed to the American “elite”) who passed judgement on Jimmy Carter’s political leadership and competence some 25 years ago. Regardless of one’s feelings about the status of Gitmo, the fact remains that Carter’s credibility and insight on this issue (as with most others) is simply not relevant.

  35. Mark says:

    As nefarious as Guantanamo Bay is, detainees there are probably,in some way, glad they are serving time at Guantanamo instead of where they could be.

    “Rendition”
    “Rendition” is one of those words that bureaucracies craft to hide official monstrosities. “Rendition” has come to mean “surrender of aliens.” It is a quasi-legal practice under which U.S. intelligence agencies “render terrorists” to so called “friendly” governments, mostly in the Islamic world, for detention and interrogation and more.
    Ghastly stories have surfaced about how Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and other Muslim states abuse and torture rendered men, inflicting much more indignities on them than the Lindy England frat photos or the possible desecration of a Koran or two. The U.S. has recently sent “dozens” of detainees to Uzbekistan.
    Uzbeki specialties include the “boiling of body parts, using electroshock on genitals and plucking off fingernails and toenails with pliers” as well as the boiling of prisoners to death.
    Keeping in mind, the U.S. had earlier condemned these countries for there torture of prisoners.
    But why should that stop the Bush administration from outsourcing torture.(or as I like to refer to them as. Hypocrisy Incorporated.)
    Not only do these detainees deserve to be tried in a court of law, we should be AT LEAST investigating the Bush administration for their actions. Clinton was impeached for a lie he told about having sex with Lewinsky. Bush & Co. lies have killed thousands of innocent people and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Someone truly has to step up and say, “The Emperor Has No Clothes.”

  36. These prisoners did commit a crime: they were caught on a field of battle without uniforms and/or identifying insignia. They’re not POWs because of this and their existence, when at large is a danger to civilians. There’s a reason that soldiers wear uniforms: so the enemy will know who to shoot at. Releasing them is not an option now. When Afghanistan has a functioning government that controls all of the country, we could consider turning them over to their government.

    Furthermore, there’s nothing unconstitutional about us holding them at Gitmo because habeas corpus applies to American citizens and foreign nationals apprehended on our soil. These people meet neither criteria.

    Their ambiguous status is why they’re being at Gitmo. If they shut down Gitmo they should build another prison in Afghanistan and hold them there.

  37. Greg, Oregon says:

    Aside from the issue of whether or not they are being tortured, which is in itself reprehensible, keep in mind that these individuals were captured yet never charged with a crime. Nor have they been told why they are being detained. And herein lies the issue — they are detainees and not criminals. Holding detainees for 3 years in some cases and with very little explanation given to them (and us) as to why they are being held is both dishonorable and violates our own Constitution. They should be tried, and if found guilty imprisoned either in the US or returned to their country of origin for imprisonment (a far worse punishment in most cases than imprisonment here).

    I would be curious for those who support this treatment how they would feel about, say, Great Britain holding a family member of theirs without charges and indefinitely with no access to them. This is not just a violation of human rights — it’s a violation of certain principles we hold sacred. We should not be stooping to the level of the same people we are attempting to defend ourselves against.

  38. Mark says:

    Why are you comparing the Teflon President to Carter? Carter’s loss was a direct result of the American people being fed up with politicians. After the corrupt Nixon administration, then Ford taking over and giving Nixon a full pardon, then for some unknown reason, Carter pardoning G. Gordon Liddy. Of coarse the American people were going to put anything BUT a politician in the White House. That’s why they chose an actor. Let’s face it, Carter has done more to help people in the world as an ex-president than Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. put together.

  39. Alex Zorach says:

    One of the big problems with the Guantanamo bay prison is that a large number of people in the facility are being held there without charge. If the people being held are really terrorists, it should be easy to come up with concrete charges to file against them.

    When you ask the question of releasing people, you have to keep the question in context–if someone is being held without charge, releasing them would be the right thing to do. This accounts for a big chunk of the prisoners in question.

  40. Dale Cox says:

    The reason I suggested putting them in Delaware, Georgia and California was to point out that all of these people saying we should shut GTMO down don’t offer an alternative.

    Just letting them go is not an alternative. There are some REALLY bad guys down there. Not all of them probably not even a majority of them. The majority of them are probably just Taliban foot soldiers who were fighting for what they believed in. They’ll be let go when we are no longer fighting the Taliban (remember we are still fighting in Afghanistan).

    During WWII we shipped several hundred thousand German POW’s (about 400,000 I think) to camps in Arizona, Texas and other places out West. We held them until after the war was over so holding prisoners until the end of hostilities is nothing new.

    I don’t see what the big deal is in holding them until we are done fighting.

  41. Fritz says:

    Carter was not re-elected because he was a crummy president, one of the worst. At the time he was pushed out of office the Prime Interest rate was up to 19% or better. The US was in poor shape. What do you think real estate was doing? not to mention the stock market.

  42. Vito Pelluci says:

    Having myself retired from the USMC, as well as having lost a brother and a nephew in Iraq, I want every one of these detainees kept “someplace” where there is zero chance of them killing any american!

  43. Dale Cox says:

    One of the big problems with the Guantanamo bay prison is that a large number of people in the facility are being held there without charge. If the people being held are really terrorists, it should be easy to come up with concrete charges to file against them.

    Along with that is the fact that a lot of the evidence that has been gathered against them (and I no for a fact that the majority of it is physical evidence not just statements by others)would not be allowed in one of our Federal Courts because of the way we came into possession of it and or the fact that there is not a discernable chain of custody, etc…

    Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are just that – Military – not police officers. Its not like we went up to Usama bin Laden’s house and shouted “U.S. Marines, we have a warrant!” In short, we need to use a court where the rules of evidence are somewhat relaxed. If we ever get to see one of the Military Commissions go down I think alot of America will start realizing just how bad some of these guys are.

  44. Dale Cox says:

    Semper Fi, Vito.

  45. tim says:

    this discussion is amazing..
    these “detainees” were all captured on a field of battle where they were actively trying to kill the people who were there to free Iraq from a ruthless dictator, or they were captured in Afghanistan, which was then not so much a country but a bloody Godforsaken piece of land being held captive by a murderous cult, which was providing aid and comfort to a terrorist organization that had just successfully attacked the U.S.

    I have no interest in these “detainees” welfare. They do not claim alleigance to any state, only to a “religion” that promises eternal reward in the afterlife for killing anyone that isn’t them..including members of their own “religion” that refuse to participate in the “jihad” as directed by their “holy” book.

    In my opinion, these people have no rights and deserve no mercy. islam is not a religion these days, it is a cult. I feel the same toward these people as i did toward david koresh and jim jones..the world is better off without them.

    these are not innocents, they are dedicated murderers. if returned to their homes they will take up arms against us again.

    they serve no useful function to any civilized state. no state is soliciting their return. the world is best served by their incarceration or by their death.

  46. Richie says:

    What to do with the prisoners? Airlift them to the most remote desert part of Saudi Arabia and let them go. Let the “holy land” kill them.

  47. John says:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable [inalienable] Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    Amendment VI – In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    ARE WE REALLY THAT WILLING TO THROUGH AWAY THE “VALUES” THIS COUNTRY WAS BUILT ON OUT OF FEAR OF TERRORISTS?? IF WE ARE THEN THEY ALREADY WON!

    Toss in the patriot act and say goodby America. For as Jeferson said about a people who would give up liberty for supposed safety “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  48. Vito Pelluci says:

    Thank you Tim for your post. I am going to forward them to my family, and would only hope Senator Biden would read your thoughts.

  49. John,

    As long as they are not on American soil, this is not a constitutional issue. At all.

    I agree that some objective process should have been used to determine their status, starting with a determination in the field by NCOs or Officers. A tribunal at a later time could have made a final decision about their status.

    If that tribunal determines that they were no good skulkers that didn’t wear uniforms, then we detain them indefinitely in accordance with treaties we’ve signed, i.e. no torture, though I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the worst of them waterboarded. Oh well, maybe in a movie.

  50. Jehovah says:

    Aw these right wing excrement heads are the result of the “Over Priced” American Educational system. Oh and what a failure that was. Waste of oxygen.
    You are all a waste………and a waste of my time.
    Hope I never find this website again.

  51. John says:

    It’s a matter of rights, human rights not citizens rights. Our decleration of independance starts with the self evident truth that “all men are created equal.” There is no exclusion in our constitution that renders the sixth amendment right to a speedy trial null and void based on a determination by the president.

    The “detainees” are either POWs entitled to the rights of the Geneva convention or they are criminals and deserve a speedy trial.

    The way we are treating these prisoners and others that have been rendered up for torture has taken away any credibility we had when it comes to claiming to be a moral, or values, leader in the world.

    It is imoral and un-American to deny any human due process. Just because the president decides to give them a new name doesn’t mean they aren’t human.

  52. John,

    As much as I love the Declaration (it’s my only holy book), it doesn’t qualify as law and isn’y binding. First and foremost, it’s an explanation to the world why we were about to overthrow an established government. Since then it has become the most powerful statement on the rights of man ever written. It’s still not legally binding, though.

    At issue are two documents: the geneva Conventions and the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t apply because the detainees aren’t American and are not foreign nationals apprehended on our soil. Therefore the governing document must be Geneva. Those Conventions don’t allow skulkers (cowards that are out of uniform) the protections of POWs. I would have liked to see a process used to determine their status, but I have little doubt that they are there because they were fighting our troops without the courtesy of a uniform.

    Recidivism alone is reason enough to hold them until Afghanistan is stable.

  53. Steve Verdon says:

    The soldiers they shot at, wounded or killed signed up for a tour of duty, unlike many other murder victims. The difference is that ordinary murderers, even mass murderers, are entitled to a fair trial. The same can’t be said for the prisoners held at Guantanamo. If they’re guilty, they should be proven guilty in a court of law.

    This is just stupid. It has long been the case that prisoners in armed conflicts from the “other side” are held in captivity and not afforded the same legal considerations as citizens.

    Dustin,

    Stop your whining and snivelling unless you are also over at liberal blogs excoriating the posters there to not engage in snarky comments.

    Also, there is an argument for not releasing them, you just don’t want to acknowledge it. Several who have been released have gone back to fighting against the U.S. See the update.

    The “detainees” are either POWs entitled to the rights of the Geneva convention or they are criminals and deserve a speedy trial.

    Must be nice to live in a black and white world.

  54. Ed Strait says:

    If they were caught in a crime or as a combatant against our forces then they can’t be let go until the conflict is over. But let them go, h@ll no. Not until they can be jailed elsewhere.

  55. LJD says:

    I guess the total lack of understanding of international law and to whom our Constitution applies is the total failure of our leftward public school system. It not only indoctrinates our children to consider more carefully the feelings of the enemy over our own troops, but has produced a generation of hypocritical sheep. Keep following the MSM story line and watch your country crumble.

    So I have an idea for all those concerned about these “innocent” detainees: Raise some tax money to give each one of them around $50,000 (which does not even begin to compensate their “suffering”). Send them college in the U.S., where they can learn to REALLY hate America. Let them study benign subjects like nuclear physics and organic chemistry. Then hook them up with a box cutter and an AK (this is the good part) and enroll them in an exchange student program. All these freaks who care so much about them can open their homes to our extremist friends, and attempt to change their ways with good old free-love and hummus. We’ll see whree the outrage lies then.

  56. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘The US has lost its credibility in the eyes of the rest of the world. ‘

    Sorry but losing the respect of socialists and kleptocrats really isn’t a big issue for me.

  57. John says:

    Here’s who we lost the respect of…..

    A public opinion poll across 23 countries finds that in 20, a majority (17) or a plurality (3) of citizens think it would be mainly positive for Europe to become more influential than the US in world affairs. Currently, Europe is seen as having a mainly positive influence in the world in 22 countries. Among specific major countries, the one most widely viewed as having a positive influence is France —viewed positively in 20 countries.

    And thanks to good ole boy GW….

    The US edges out Russia for the dubious distinction of having the largest number of countries rating it as having a negative influence in the world, with 15 countries saying it has a negative influence and just 6 countries viewing it as positive.

  58. LJD says:

    Among the 20 countries who thought positively of European countries: 20 European countries.

    …and among those who thought more negatively about the U.S. than Russia: Iran, North Korea, Russia…

    How positively would the world view the U.S. when we pull all foreign aid for domestic development?

  59. Bithead says:

    Satisfy their deands by closing the prison and summarily shooting the prisoners as illegal combatants, as demanded by the Geneva Convention. They’re the ones demanding we follow the convention….

    Won’t they be happy when we do exactly that?

  60. Bithead,

    Don’t forget, they’re customarily entitled to a cigarette before the execution.

    I wonder how the people bitching about Gitmo would feel if we did just use field executions for those fighting, but not in uniform? Doubt they would care for it.

  61. DWT 13 says:

    To liberate them from Gitmo we should just open the gate and march them into the worker’s paradise of Cuba. Castro emptied his jails on us, let’s return the favor.