We are the 99%

February 13, 2008

Gitmo Trials

The P-G editorial today today:

Six men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks on the United States, held at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be put on trial in the near future.

It is appropriate that the accused face trial, as opposed to continuing to be held at Guantanamo without charge, in clear contradiction of the American principles of due process of law. Yet there are some real problems.

Then they rattle off five problems (though I think the first and last are related) they have with the trials. The first is the fact that it's taken more than five years to bring these guys to trial. The second is that one of the accused was waterboarded, though no one in the Bush Government is willing to say that's torture (I wonder why - could it be that it would admitting to a war crime?). The third problem the P-G sees is that the trial won't be in a regular courtroom (like the one that convicted Ramzi Yousef) but in a military courtroom, where the rules are different. The fourth problem is that the military court could ask for the death penalty - something the rest of the civilized world thinks is barbaric and finally the timing of the trial - just in time for the 2008 Presidential Election Season. Just in time to show what the he-men of the God's Own Party do to those evil-doer terrrists! Imagine the coincidence!

But there are other issues at play. Notably from across the pond:

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said he has "some concerns" over US military tribunals for six men charged with involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

The US government has promised fair trials for the Guantanamo Bay inmates, who could face the death penalty.

But human rights groups say the tribunals make this impossible and that the defendants were tortured.

Mr Miliband told BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show there was "absolutely no question" that torture was illegal.

And these are our biggest allies.

The BBC's Vincent Dowd in Washington says a confession gained from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed may prove problematic as the CIA admitted using "water-boarding" - or simulated drowning - as an interrogation technique.

In answer to a question from a Jeremy Vine show listener, Mr Miliband said the UK defined water-boarding as torture, adding that "we don't... we would never use water-boarding".

Mr Miliband said: "There's absolutely no question about the UK government's commitments in respect of torture, which is illegal, and our definition of what torture is.

No question to our closest allies that waterboarding is torture and that torture is illegal. Here's what's at stake. I'll let the British Foreign Secretary say it:
And I think it's very, very important that we always assert that our system of values is different from those who attacked the US and killed British citizens on 11 September, and that's something we'd always want to stand up for.
One thing, though. Didn't he just end that sentence with a dangling preposition?

I'm just asking - the guy's British, you know.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Oh yah, you made the usual assumptions people on left make. You think these folks are US citizens. Remember, US citizens first have to take an oath to defend the Consitution not attack it. Then you also assume these guys are just garden variety criminals. That's okay with the mistakes. That is why I am here to keep you on track. Glad to be of service.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

John, I don't know what's more entertaining, your ignorance of pertinent facts or your zany way of expressing your fallacies.

-- It's the US Constitution that requires due process for both citizens and non-citizens. You have a problem with the Constitution, do you?

-- Only naturalized citizens take an oath to "support and defend" the Constitution, so the vast majority do not, unless they are sworn in to certain offices or join the Armed Forces. Hmmm, so I have taken that oath and you probably have not. You have a problem with the Constitution, do you?

-- It's the US Constitution that does not make distinctions between types of criminals. You have a problem with the Constitution, do you?

Keep up the good work of "being of service." No one else could do it the way you do.

Smitty said...

the brits should worry about sharia law in England and let us handle our own affairs

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Didn't he just end that sentence with a dangling preposition?
Churchill said something like, "This is the sort of trivial nonsense up with which I shall not put."

EdHeath said...

At least we can surmise that Bush is planning to leave office next year. Otherwise he would keep his personal gulag open and filled indefinitely.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: So it says in our Constitution that non citizens have the same rights as me. Where? Mine says"...do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Not for the members of al queda who want to kill us. Hey, Sen. McCain voted to sustain the FISA rules. Yah buddy. McCain is your man for President. He was in the military, cannot disagree with him. He has medals. Or are you left wing kooks being hypocrites again. LMAO at shitrock and how stupid he is. LOL

"Fair and Balanced" Dave said...

From the plushest padded cell in Outer Wingnuttia:

John K. says: So it says in our Constitution that non citizens have the same rights as me. Where? Mine says"...do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Not for the members of al queda who want to kill us.

From the aforementioned US Constitution:

Article Six:
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.

(My emphasis). Note that nowhere is there any stipulation that this applies only to US citizens.

Article Fourteen, Section 1:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

(My emphasis)

Note that the first portion of the sentence I highlighted clearly specifies the limitations of the State with regard to citizens while the remaining portions clearly requires due process for all persons (not all citizens, all persons within a State's jurisdiction.

C.H. said...

Come on guys, let's stay positive...how 'bout we talk about some of the good news happening in the war on terror, like the fact the Imad Mughniyeh, one of Hezbollah's top leaders (and murderer of hundreds of Americans) is dead now.

Anonymous said...

In the 1950 Supreme Court decision, Johnson v. Eisentrager, the justices rejected the idea that non-citizens detained by U.S. military authorities outside the United States could use the writ of habeas corpus to challenge their detention.

“Nothing in the text of the Constitution extends such a right, nor does anything in our statutes,” said the court.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Nice try, Anon, but you are answering a question that wasn't asked.

Anonymous said...

Nice try Shitrock.

You dismiss anon 4:49 even though it is a very valid point in this thread. I do see why you would want to ignore the point as it would render your whining as baseless.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Shitrock tends to dismiss anything that does not fit the agenda. As for fair and balanced, well those rights apply to citizens. You took from an article of the document. The preamble establishes who those rights apply to. Besides, to ahve rights under the constitution, you first have to swear allegiance to the same. I win again! Too bad left wing losers.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

C'mon back when you have some game, guys. I'll be happy to make you look silly when you actually have something to say, but you're taking care of that yourself in this case.

What do you not understand about, "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws?"

Dayvoe, that guy the other day was right. You need to get us some classier trolls. These guys are just so predictable and easy to dismiss. OTOH, maybe not. It is fun watching them flounder.

Fillippelli the Cook said...

I, for one, love C.H.'s approach to things. I believe that, as a country, we should begin to apply his logic to a far broader spectrum of issues. Huzzah!

On the economy, for instance, don't look at all of the housing foreclosures as a problem, but a great opportunity for those with some extra cash laying around to make some incredible investments in real estate.

On health care, we all know that 47 million people (and counting) don't have insurance and that millions more have insurance but still struggle to pay their health care bills, but just yesterday I read that the same hospitals that complain vigorously about their financial struggles are buying up lots of these surgical robots, at $1.4 million a pop. So we clearly have the best health care system in the world.

And, yes, as today's PG reports, untreated sewage is flowing into the Yough river like IC light on tap at Primanti's, but the technology for home water filtration systems is improving every day, so no worries, mate.

Just approach life like it's an episode of "Barney & Friends" and all will be well.

"Fair and Balanced" Dave said...

In the 1950 Supreme Court decision, Johnson v. Eisentrager, the justices rejected the idea that non-citizens detained by U.S. military authorities outside the United States could use the writ of habeas corpus to challenge their detention.

First some background: Johnson v Eisentrager was a 1950 ruling involving a number of Nazi war criminals who were captured by US forces in China, then tried and convicted by military tribunal in Nanking.

Johnson v Eisentrager doesn't apply for a number of reasons:

1. The defendants in Eisentrager were nationals of a country that had been in an officially declared war with the United States. The Gitmo detainees are not citizens of any country currently or recently at war with the US.

2. The Eisentrager defendants never denied that they had been involved in acts of aggression against the US (and they admitted it without being waterboarded!). The Gitmo detainees deny involvement in any acts of aggression against the US.

3. The Eisentrager defendants had already been tried and convicted for offenses against the laws of war committed outside the US.

4. The tribunals were held in Nanking which was, at the time of the tribunals, under the control of the government of Chiang Kai-Shek (though by the time of the Supreme Court decision, Chiang's Nationalists had fled to Taiwan and Nanking was under the control of Mao's Communist forces). Gitmo is a US Naval base and therefore falls under US jurisdiction.

Fillippelli the Cook said...

Oh "Fair and Balanced," you and your nettlesome liberally-biased "facts." Get thee to a CPAC meeting or nearest McCain rally!

Schmuck Shitrock said...

<sigh>There you go again, Dave, confusing the issue with a bunch of facts. You liberals just never learn.</sigh>

Anonymous Wingnuts and Laughing Chickenhawks are always right because Jesus says so, and we know Jesus says so because Dick Cheney says so.