Friday, July 01, 2005

Final Response on Gitmo and Terrorists

This is my final response about Gitmo and the status of the terrorists there, pursuant to a comment by my reader, Terry G.

WE ARE AT WAR. There's the context of this discussion. All statements made must be viewed in that light.

Gitmo is not an extralegal prison. Show me what laws it violates. I can't imagine one. And it violates no treaties. Prisons are what they are. Nothing illegal about it.

The only illegal thing is the combat status of the terrorists. Under the laws and treaties adopted across the globe, they are illegal combatants. No treaty, including the oft cited Geneva Convention with amendments, covers them. There is safety in being a soldier in a nation's armed forces. The nation whose uniform you wear when caught is responsible for your acts as a soldier. But if you choose to hang out your own shingle, your risks are your own for going private. They did, their risk, their bad. As a result, they have no rights. No right to due process. No right to a speedy trial. No right to anything. Those rights are only afforded to persons who violate laws within the United States. The Constitution does not benefit persons taken captive in times of war.

Also, Geneva Convention covered combatants (i.e. an enemy nation's uniformed soldiers), are not entitled to due process. We hold them until the war is over and we do not try them (to do so would actually be a violation of the Geneva Convention).

Lastly, the implication that they are being tortured needs to be based in fact. And the unpleasant circumstances which were revealed do not indicate torture. These people's health does not change despite their discomfort.

Facts are important in this debate. So let's not make mistakes about the "rights" that these people have. They have none. They are blessed to get what they get.


Blogger Terry G. said...

I claim Gitmo is extralegal in that it exists outside the law. Maybe I need a better word to describe it. Of course it violates no treaties, laws, or constitutions. It explicitly operates outside of those framweworks, by fiat of this administration.

I can tell we'll vehemently disagree on what the so-called War on Terrorism means, if the conflict in Iraq is legitimately part of that war, and what victory in this type of war might look like.

Reasonable people can disagree as to what torture involves. It's not a fine line. I think we both can agree that humiliation and degradation are SOP at Gitmo.

I might even agree that these people are indeed illegal combatants, do deserve to be treated like dogs, and are in fact providing useful information. Except, there is no way for me to verify any of these claims.

Thanks for your thoughts.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry g has conerns that he can't verify the government claims about the treatment/information gleaned at Getmo. I understand his concern. But do we have the need to know? A congressman during WWII told about the ability of our submarines to go to a certain depth which was deeper than the Japense know was possible. They reset their depth charges and we lost a lot of boats and crews. I served aboard submarines over 30 years ago and to this day I will not discuss our operating depth.

7:18 PM  

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