Wednesday, June 01, 2005

This is Going to Go Over Well

Muslims sold to US Authorities.

There will be plenty of apologia for this on the right and among government apologists generally. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that it does not look very good.

BTW, can we stop this Gitmo thing now? Dare I point out it seems to be doing more harm than good? How bout we shut it down? Any strong arguments to the contrary? No? Just silence and the status quo? Nice.


Uncle said...

Of my many complaints about the last national campaign was that basically no one discussed Gitmo at all specifically. It's the 900 pound gorrilla in the room that no one wants to talk about. There is no justification for it. But I suspect no one wanted to discuss it because they don't have a clue what to do with those folks once Gitmo is gone. We're stuck with most of those folks and no one wants to admit it.

Adam P. Short said...

We're not stuck with them any more than we're stuck with the millions of people at various stages of criminal prosecution inside the U.S.

The answer to Gitmo is and has always been very simple - transfer these folks to the regular justice system. The ones you have a case against - try them. The ones you don't - let them go.

Not complicated. The problem is political, not logistical.

Uncle said...

Of course it's political. We basically know we can't try them, not at this point, we have no admissible (forget credible) evidence. "let them go", where?. I'm fairly certain part of the problem they currrently have is that they can't get anyone to take them. They've talked themselves into a corner. They keep claiming how valuable and dangerous they are. How do you convince any country to let you return such folks? Let them stay here? A handful of them might actually be folks you don't want to let in so to speak. Once agian this administration has plunked itself in the middle of a lose/lose situation. Had they thought it through up front they would have at least started building a case in the off chance they actually wanted to build one. They aren't much of that bent though.

RBP said...

We definitely need more transparency here. The names of the prisoners, the circumstances in which they were arrested, what specifically they are charged with. The framework is there, in international law, (as far as I know) but this doesn't suit the neocons vision. 9/11 is the pre-text; re-making the middle east is the goal. It's hegemony pure and simple, and the facts, at least the most basic ones, such as lack of WMD's; coddling some despotic tyrrants in the region, while toppling others in order to "spread democracy"; gathering up large numbers of unknown and unidentified men and women and detaining them with no official justification, all support this conclusion. These are fairly incontrovertible facts. It's these things, along with many others, such as, the Downing street memo of 2002, that paint a pretty accurate picture of what is going on.

Why is this not the picture most people have? That's for a different post I suppose.

Adam P. Short said...


OK, but it's sloppy to talk about it in terms of "there's no alternative to GITMO so we can't shut it down." The problem of people in the country who are not supposed to be here but whom no country will claim is not a new one. The INS, the organization we have to deal with the problem is ill-equipped to do so, but that's not the prisoners' fault.

There is no justification for the continued operation of the American prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The prisoners there should be turned over to federal authorities, who should try them and release them or, in the case of prisoners without legal status in the United States, remanded to the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

We're talking, at most, about a thousand prisoners. If the INS needs to spend a million dollars on EACH of these people in order to determine their proper country of return, that's a billion dollars. Not chump change, but how much more progress toward our supposed goal of lessening the terrorist threat against the United States could we possibly make with a billion dollars? Another few days in Iraq, will that bring that kind of ROI?

And of course most countries, if we are to be honest, could not effectively object if the U.S. determined through a transparent process that the person should rightfully return there.

So in reality there is nothing really stopping us from doing this, except that lessening the terror threat is not and never has been a serious, primary goal of this administration.