Sunday, 2 January 2005

The Gitmo Detainees

We’re in a bit of a box with the Gitmo detainees. [Their ambiguous status is] [n]ot of our own making, to be sure, but we are left to deal with it. Jeralyn wants to see all of them released, though given the recidivism rates of the others that have been released, it seems like a bad idea. We release these guys, they perpetrate acts of terror and we send the military after them. These guys are a bunch of fucking skulkers to begin with—they don’t wear unforms and hide among civilians—which will result in further civilian deaths either from their acts or our response to their acts. Probably both. I doubt this is what Jeralyn really wants. And no, sitting back and taking it, or making excuses for future acts of violence, is not an option.

Sean is less sympathetic to their ordeal. He suggests we definitely hold them, and if the title to his post can be believed, summary executions would be OK as well.

There could be a middle ground. We could simply concede that they are POWs—even though they are in violation of the Geneva Conventions—and tell them that they will be released when hostilities have ceased in Afghanistan. That alone will take a decade or more and, once the entire country has been secured, we can turn them over to the government of Afghanistan. Fewer civilians will die—ours and theirs—and we’ve stuck to the letter of the conventions, even if it ambiguous.


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[Permalink] 1. Richard Aubrey wrote @ Mon, 3 Jan 2005, 11:03 am CST:

Why would you think this (seeing the bad guys back on the battlefield) is not what Jeralyn wants?
It is the only possible result of her position.
Is she ignorant of the certain result?
Or doesn’t she care?


The problem is that we really don’t know if they’re actually bad guys. Presumably if there were evidence, they’d be tried in front of a tribunal.

[Permalink] 3. Richard Aubrey wrote @ Mon, 3 Jan 2005, 12:42 pm CST:

We do know they’re actually bad guys. They were taken in arms, as the saying goes. That makes them bad guys. If they qualified as POWs, that would regularize their status, but they don’t.
If they go before a tribunal, they may be found to be common murderers or something else for which the laws of war prescribe immediate execution.
Some of the ones who must have seemed to be the most innocent—since they were let go—are back in the fight. The ones we kept must have more evidence against them than the ones we let go, so their propensity to get back in the fight seems likely to be even greater in a situation where even one is too many.
The left’s intent here is to get them in front of a jury made up of meatheads like those who gave OJ a pass.
Talking about tribunals is nice, but Jeralyn doesn’t like those, either.


How is Gitmo “not of our own making”? The folks there didn’t magically appear out of thin air. We (or the government, at least) chose to drag those people halfway across the world, rather than giving them to the Saudis or Pakistanis to deal with in the first place.


I should have been more clear. Their ambiguous status is not of our making. They fight without uniforms or identifying insignia. Leaving the in Saudi or Pakistani hands isn’t a solution I would favor. Don’t really trust either country.


Robert, I think we’ve passed way beyond the point of common sense on this one.

People wonder why there are abuses (and Lord knows that doesn’t excuse them) but no matter what we do, someone won’t be happy.

It’s really a no-win situation. In a perfect world, Congress would define EXACTLY what DOD could and could not do, but we all know that will never happen because that would mean they’d have to take responsibility if that didn’t work.

We’re still living in a nutty country where the same Congress that overwhelmingly approved the Patriot Act, the next day turned around and condemned it as though it had been rammed down their throats at gunpoint.

Kerry, who helped authored the damned thing and bragged about it, started yakking about repealing it and midnight knocks on doors. What an incredible ‘hat. I once compiled a list of the man’s contradictory quotes and it’s enough to make your head ‘splode. But he’s no different from anyone else: Biden, Kennedy… they’re all hats.

And we put them there.

I need a drink.

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