5 years of imprisonment and torture. Oops, he was innocent!

Discussion in '2007 Archive' started by npc, Jun 16, 2007.

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  1. npc

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    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1940199.ece
    Oh well, people make mistakes and we still need to hold more people in Guantanamo on sketchy evidence with no access to legal rights. Things like habeus corpus and presumed innocence are nice, but only Americans deserve those rights. Muslim foreigners who could be terrorists need to be locked up for our protection.
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

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    Obviously we just didn't torture him enough to get him to confess. We should have turned Lindie England loose on him!

    Boy oh boy, we are creating our own future enemies.
     
  3. carpro

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    Certainly. No matter what we do.
     
  4. hillclimber1

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    I like this take on the issue. Sure a few mistakes may be made, but our citizens protection should come first.
     
  5. James_Newman

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    Thats a cowardly stance if I ever heard one.
     
  6. rsr

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    I take it you didn't detect the sarcasm of the post ...
     
  7. hillclimber1

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    Nope, I saw it.
     
  8. npc

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    So you honestly think we should put others' welfare before our own? What a bleeding heart.
     
  9. Magnetic Poles

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    Didn't Jesus say to do this, and did so himself? I guess Jesus was a bleeding heart too, so he's in good company.
     
  10. Martin

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    ==I don't put much weight in such allegations of torture. This guy clearly does not like the United States, he clearly has a reason to try to make the US look bad. If he wants to complain about torture why does he not complain about the countries in the middle east that regularly practice all forms of horrible torture? His claims should be investigated. We can't just take his word for it. People who take such claims at face value need to learn to be more critical. There maybe parts of his story that are true and other parts that are false, the whole thing maybe false, I don't know. But I do know that I don't believe such claims until they are investigated and proven by someone with more authority than a newspaper reporter.

    "There were 19 days in the Dark Prison at Bagram airfield near Kabul, permanently in chains; 26 days of torture; long, long periods of solitary confinement. The tears well up and the usually fast-flowing words are choked off."

    Prisons in the United States use solitary confinement all the time, that is not torture. Being kept in a small cell is not torture. Being kept in chains is not torture. Being kept in a dark room is not torture. American prisons use those methods all the time. Rough treatment, uncomfortable treatment, does not equal torture. Prison is not meant to be fun, it is not the Comfort Inn.
     
    #10 Martin, Jun 17, 2007
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  11. npc

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    That was before 9/11, so it's irrelevant.

    Good reasoning. He dislikes the US because they locked him up on terrible evidence for five years (unless you think we should deny that too?). So we should just assume there's no torture going on and let the camp continue to operate as it has. Those FBI and Red Cross workers who alleged torture are probably in on it, too. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14936-2004Dec20.html).

    So possibly, all we're doing is imprisoning people for arbritrary reasons indefinitely, which isn't so bad. Oh, and using "coercive techniques" such as waterboarding (as Cheney admits). But making someone feel like they're drowning isn't torture. Drowning is actually quite comfortable.

    Quite sound logic! He should be talking about other countries that do worse things, not about what the US did to him personally. Every "victim" is obliged to acknowledge everybody worse off than him before complaining, or else he's a hypocrite.

    Exactly! If we can imprison convicted criminals we should have no problem doing it to random foreigners. Of course, if a different country held one of our citizens in the same conditions on no evidence it would be inexcusable, because Americans have special rights.
     
  12. Martin

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    ==The Camp should continue to operate because I don't want those people in domestic prisions/jails. They should not be given the rights (etc) of Americans and our local courts should not have to deal with the issues that would arise in prosecuting them (security, threats, etc). As far as torture, I don't believe there is real torture going on. Maybe rough treatment, but that is very different from torture. What is done to prisoners in Iran and countries like that in the Middle East (and China) is torture.

    ==I would have to understand their definition of torture. Semantics is very important here.

    ==If you talk to folks in the military they will tell you that people are not, willfully, being thrown in jail in an "arbritrary" manner. Unless you are calling our troops liars and the terrorists honest. Just because some guy at gitmo claims he is innocent, just because his family says he is innocent, and just because some anti-American newspaper, reporter, or group says he is innocent does not mean he is.

    Any claims of torture must be investigated. No claim should be believed until proven. The terrorists understand that by claiming to have been tortured they win sympathy from people in the Middle East, anti-American Europeans, and Americans who don't have critical thinking skills.

    ==I know what waterboarding is and when dealing with terrorists or suspected terrorists, during a time of war, I have no problem with it. These people are not drowning, they are not being physically hurt. There is no long term psychological affects. I know, I have lived beside a lake all the time. I have had more than my share of frightening experiences and guess what? I'm fine and I got over it.

    ==Has his claims been proven? Not that I know of. These are claims made by a man who may, or may not, be a terrorist. These are claims made by a man who has a grudge against the United States. These are claims made by a man who has a reason to lie. Unless, and or until, his claims are verified by a neutral body I can't take them that seriously.

    ==There is no evidence that the United States Military is, on a wide-spread basis, throwing people into jail at random. Keep in mind you are making very serious accusations against American soldiers and not the Bush administration. The soldiers I know, and I know plenty, would not willfully throw any innocent person into prison.

    It sounds to me that you have, uncritically, bought into the anti-American line.

    ==I don't believe that.
     
  13. carpro

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    History tells a different tale.

    There are still some Americans alive who can tell you what real torture is.
     
    #13 carpro, Jun 17, 2007
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  14. carpro

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    Recollections by Tom Moe


    "It was a hot box, the Gunshed, so hot we could hardly breathe. It was so stifling that just to breathe we often lay by a small slit under the door through which our jailers slid food.

    The food itself was used against us like everything else. It usually consisted of watery green soup (we called it weeds) and a chunk of tasteless bread. The soup was delivered boiling hot in the summer and stone cold in the winter. When it was hot we couldn't take a mouthful, since eating raises the body metabolism and thus body heat. If the guards didn't return too quickly, we would let the food sit until dark and the room temperature had slacked off to, maybe, 110 degrees.

    We perspired so much our skin became waterlogged, looking like pale cheese, a crumbling coat of slimy flesh often festering with rash and fungus. Horribly dehydrated, we got only two little teapots of putrid water a day, and we used some of it to dampen our faces and wash off the crumbling skin. On top of this, mosquitoes were thick, their wings creating a constant chorus, and the room stank of the waste bucket. Rat droppings seasoned the food along with razor blades, glass, stones and pieces of wire. Actually some of this unexpected booty came in handy.

    After about a year of captivity when, oddly, I was getting accustomed to the harshness, my journey took me down an even darker path. The situation developed slowly. First I was told I might win an early release if I would cooperate and meet with some visiting delegations -- anti-war groups or radical Hollywood personalities -- and tell them I had been treated well. I refused these special favors and at any rate would not participate in their propaganda. When they kept pressuring me, I went on a hunger strike -- an emaciated prisoner would not make good propaganda I reasoned. This got me off the go-home-early list but angered my jailers if only because I was not submissive. Thus began the really hard stuff.

    Things started with long sessions of standing immobile around the clock; next I was put on my knees for three, four, six hours at a time. This went on for days. It was the first phase, sort of a limbering-up session to wear me out and take the edge off my powers of reasoning. Then I was told to write a war-crimes confession, saying I was sorry I'd participated in the war. When I refused, I got to serve as a stress reliever for about 20 guards -- each took his turn beating me to a pulp. They pounded me for six or eight hours. By then I was getting pretty shaky.

    SNIP

    When my senses returned I discovered I had been blindfolded and trussed into the "pretzel" position. Thick leg irons shackled my ankles, my wrists were tied behind me, and a rope bound my elbows just above the joints. The guards tightened the bindings by putting their feet against my arms and pulling the ropes until they couldn't pull any harder. Then they tied my wrists to my ankles and jammed a 10-foot pole between my back and elbows. After a few hours the leg irons began to press heavily on my shins and feet like a vise. The ropes strangled my flesh, causing searing pain and making my arms go numb and slowly turn black.

    SNIP

    From my point of view, what went on next didn't last long. He began by kicking me in the back with all the strength he could exert. After this first savage kick, just one kick, I knew I'd been badly injured, maybe mortally. The pain was grave, more of a deep sickening feeling. My mind floated free of my body as if I were a spectator, not a participant. I was beyond pain.

    Sometime the next day the guards untied me, and I sprawled on the bloody floor, red fluid oozed out of every opening in my body. I had no strength to sit or stand; I just sort of unrolled. In spite of my sorry state, I did not want to look undignified, so I tried to get up. I managed to crawl to a corner and sit leaning against the wall, trying desperately to gather my thoughts. "



    Gitmo is a veritable country club. The inmates there don't know what real torture is and neither do the bleeding heart liberals that like to cry about their "torture".
     
    #14 carpro, Jun 17, 2007
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  15. npc

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    I'm glad we agree that habeas corpus and presumed innocence are for Americans only. For example, an American rapist deserves harsh punishment, but the justice system makes absolutely sure a suspect actually is a rapist before punishing them. But, why extend that protection to foreigners?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14936-2004Dec20.html
    These are certainly appropriate things to do to people who might or might not be terrorists!

    Of course the US is completely honest and we should always believe government officials and never people who have been accused of being terrorists. That's why we should believe them when they release people and admit they were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as in the linked article, and in previous instances ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/23/AR2005082301362_pf.html ).
    And to be sure, everyone who was in there had mountains of evidence. For example, suspects brought in and accused by bounty hunters, who disappear after collecting their rewards: http://law.shu.edu/news/guantanamo_report_final_2_08_06.pdf .

    I'm just going to let this quote stand for itself, so people can bask in the radiant glow of your empathy. SPF of 15 or higher recommended!

    Just to be clear, are you also denying that he was held for 5 years when it turns out there's no substantial evidence against him?

    You'd have to be pretty ignorant to believe it had gone that far. The report I linked above shows that only 55% "are not determined to have comitted any hostile acts". But surely we'll find reasonable proof for every one of those, eventually!

    The soldiers I know from San Diego would never march into an Iraqi village and massacre 24 civilians. And it's not as if humans, out of zeal and a misplaced sense of justice, have ever harmed the innocent while thinking they were doing the right thing.

    You're claiming that you wouldn't have a problem with foreign countries holding Americans in prison on sketchy evidence?
     
    #15 npc, Jun 17, 2007
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  16. npc

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    It sounds like Tom Moe has something against the Vietcong, so we should be skeptical of the story. Still, liberals need to understand that because Americans have been tortured in the past, we have a free pass to do anything to other people as long as it's not quite as bad.
     
  17. Martin

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    ==The American Constitution and Laws apply only to Americans and those here legally. It does not, and should not, apply to terrorists.

    If you want these folks in American civilian prisons then maybe we can put all of them in your county jail. Would you go for that?

    ==That story is from 2004! I am talking about the current situation.

    ==If you read what I said you would realize that I was talking about individual soldiers. Are you aware of the fact that soldiers who work in Gitmo are not allowed to wear name tags? Do you know why? Because the inmates/terrorists were threatening their families (etc). O, yes, they are just a bunch of innocent people wrongly held by mean ol'America. Give me a break! Most, if not all, of the people currently in Gitmo are there for very good reasons. Again if you think we should close Gitmo than we can move all the prisoners to your county/city jail. After all if they are so innocent you and your fellow towns people should not mind. Somehow I would be willing to bet that if that was about to happen you would be opposed to it.

    ==I am just saying that rough treatment does not equal torture. Waterboarding is rough, it is tough, and I am sure it is very frightening, but it is not torture. It has no long term physical or mental affects on people.

    ==Did I say that? No. I was talking about his unproven claims of torture. Let me quote what I said:

    "Has his claims been proven? Not that I know of. These are claims made by a man who may, or may not, be a terrorist. These are claims made by a man who has a grudge against the United States. These are claims made by a man who has a reason to lie. Unless, and or until, his claims are verified by a neutral body I can't take them that seriously."

    Don't try to twist statements out of context on me. I have no problem re-posting whole chunks of posts.

    ==What is the time frame of that report (yrs?)? The report you cite is a paper by a University professor. Has he had first hand access to Gitmo? Is he in a position to know all the facts?

    ==The majority of US soldiers would not do any such thing. Those who have been guilty of such crimes are in the minority.

    ==If the American in question was a non-military combatant acting in a hostile way (terrorism) against another country then no I would not. Countries have the right to defend themselves against terrorism.
     
  18. carpro

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    You can be if you want to be, but the Vietcong had nothing to do with his torture.

    The reason you're skeptical is because you don't want anyone to realize that you really don't have a clue what torture is or isn't.

    Moe's story is echoed by many other American POWs. You can stay in denial if you wish. It's expected.
     
  19. npc

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    Does "no person" mean "no American citizen"? Regardless, I'm not interested in whether it's legal; I'm interested in whether it's moral. Rapists, murderers, and other felons may not deserve rights, but we give accused felons legal rights in order to ensure that they are guilty.

    And surely the situation at Guantanamo has changed since then, what with the increased oversight and transparency, and all the policy changes to ensure prisoners aren't mistreated anymore.

    All the inmates? Citation? No quotations of soldiers please; we can't rely on them since they have something against the inmates.

    I will stop playing Devil's advocate. I do not think that everyone there is innocent, I even doubt that most of them are innocent. But how can you think they could all be guilty when several have been released already because there was not reasonable evidence against them? We know mistakes have been made which led innocent people to be incarcerated for years, subject to "coercive techniques". Do you think any provisions have been made to ensure it doesn't continue to happen?

    You're right. That doesn't sound like a lasting mental effect. And that psychology degree doesn't hold a candle to your firsthand experience of living near a lake.
    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/02/14/050214fa_fact6?currentPage=5

    He was released because it was concluded he was not a terrorist. His only reason to lie is that he was unjustly imprisoned for 5 years, but I guess you're not really worried about that inconvenience to him. His claims are supported by the FBI and Red Cross workers who complained that yes, abuse is happening; are those organizations neutral enough?

    Do you understand what "just to be clear" means? It means I want not to twist your statements, so I am asking for clarification.

    He cites Combatant Status Review Board Letters, released in 2005, provided by the Department of Defense. It's vaguely plausible that there is additional secret evidence against him. Do you think holding people on secret evidence is something our government should be involved with (and if so, for foreigners only or for Americans too?)? Considering the dozens of detainees who have been released because there was not enough evidence, do you think that all of the additional detainees have convincing evidence against them?

    There were 12 soldiers involved in the killings. Is it easier for you to believe that 12 out of 12 random soldiers just happened to be the kind to cooperate with a massacre and cover-up, than to accept that zeal, stress, and xenophobia can overcome good judgment? Let's do the math assuming that only 5% of soldiers could do such a thing: 5%^12= 0.000000000000024%. Sorry, but that squad comprised average soldiers in extraordinary conditions.

    So if someone were to form a terrorist group inside of the US, you would be fine with their victim country arresting other Americans and imprisoning them indefinitely, providing little evidence that the arrested were the terrorists they sought, and releasing a few after several years admitting "oops, well that one wasn't a terrorist and he can go now"?
     
  20. npc

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    What is this supposed to mean? I can't say whether someone's being tortured until I've been tortured myself? Have you been tortured before? You're just grasping for straws in order to defend an indefensible policy.

    All POWs had a reason to claim that they were tortured; they hated their captors. I don't deny that they are telling the truth, but by Martin's reasoning we can't extend them any credibility.
     
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