Friday, January 23, 2009

There's a New Sheriff In Town!!!!

I keep hearing and reading two things regarding Pres. Obama closing Guantanamo Prison Camp. Number 1, that we need somewhere off the mainland of the US that we can keep these really terrible people so we can use the "enhanced" interrogation techniques so we can get all the information we need from them and can stop any future attacks. To which I call, bull... we don't need torture to make these guys talk. Besides torture doesn't always work, and the information you get is not reliable.

Then you get the ones who say well what about the smoking gun type scenario. I say, watch this video. Because this guy can explain it much better than I ever can. I have posted on him before. This is his appearance from December on Keith Olbermann. But you can tell Matthew Alexander, (not his real name) knows his stuff. My other posts can be accessed by looking back in the list to the left. He has written a book about it and has written an Op-Ed in the Washington Post. So, watch this and see what you think. Then we will talk about the Number 2 reason.

There is also this part of it..where there is parts of the media now saying that there is an opening for the CIA to still use harsh techniques...well I say no there isn't and not so fast. Here is David Shuster from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with his take on it and his guest to talk about it.

Now, Number 2 reason mostly the right is giving for NOT closing Guantanamo is there is no where to put the people who are there, because you can't just let them go. If you just let them go they are just going to come back and fight and kill you all over again. Well again I say Bull...but lets look at it with an expert in these things. I sure am no expert...This also looks at the issue of torture again. This mans name is Professor Mark Denbeaux, of Seton Hall Law School Center for Policy and Research, and he is representing 2 of the prisoners at Guantanamo. But he has done his research about the prisoners.

To just simply say to release them would be to allow them to return to the "battlefield" and allow them to start killing all over again is to assume they were killing in the first place. So many of these people were innocent and should never have been picked up. Some of these people were children when they were grabbed off the streets, off the pastures tending sheep, out of their homes and some just disappeared from where ever they were found.

Their families have no idea if they are dead or alive.

Their story may be the strangest one you'll hear out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Even after being cleared of any wrongdoing, five innocent men were kept captive at the detention center at Guantanamo. Today, these men who started out in China and ended up in Cuba are now free and in the Eastern European country of Albania, the only country that would take them. They spoke to the ABC News Law & Justice Unit in their first American interview.

'In The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time'
Many of Guantanamo's prisoners proclaim they're innocent. What's different about these men, Muslims from China's Uighur minority, is that even American authorities said they were innocent, referring to them as "no longer enemy combatants" or "NLEC." Nevertheless, they remained imprisoned more than a year after their names were cleared -- after the U.S. government determined they did nothing wrong and posed no terrorist threat to America or Americans.

Why were they kept at Guantanamo so long after they were deemed innocent? Simply put, no country -- including the United States -- would accept them. They couldn't go back to China because they believed, as did the American government, that as Uighur Muslims they faced persecution by the Chinese government. With nowhere else to turn, they were taken in by Albania, a country with a Muslim majority.

Even as they struggle to find a place to call home, they are working to move past the ordeal of incarceration.

"We were isolated from the rest of the world," said Abu Bakkir Qassim, speaking through a translator.

Speaking for the group, he told ABC News: "We spent a pointless four-and-a-half years in Guantanamo."

In December 2005, a U.S. federal judge said of the men's detainment, "This indefinite imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay is unlawful."

Michael Sternell, a lawyer who represents three of the men on behalf of law firm Kramer, Levin, Naftalis and Frankel told ABC News, "These men have suffered more than anyone should ever have to in a lifetime in just the last four-and-a-half years. They were detained simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time."

This is just one story of many.

The prisoners come from more than 40 countries, and include more than 50 Pakistanis, about 150 Saudis and three teenagers under 16, a majority of them captured in Afghanistan,

That alone should be a crime. How can anyone hold a child in conditions like they describe in Guantanamo.

After everything we have heard so far from the wiretaps, torture, to the other things that just keep being exposed, now the Pentagon comes out and says they don't agree with this, well I say sorry, you have NO credibility with me. You are really part of the problem here. Your side lost, that is why you are being replaced with new people, so sit down, shut up and let the big boys take over.

There's a new sheriff in town...and he is cleaning house.

1 comment:

D.K. Raed said...

Excellent, Annette! It's a tough subject and that's why I for one am glad Obama has given himself a year to figure out exactly HOW we are going to deal with the problem. But the torture stops now, that's important. The GITMO detainees are now treated as regular prisoners. Not great, but much better than before.

I wonder about future use of Guantanamo. It is a US military base on foreign soil. It does not have to represent prison torture. As long as we are engaging in any military ops, we can expect some Foreign Enemy Combatants. The advantage to holding them offshore is to keep them out of our regular justice system which requires things they could not get here (like a jury of their peers). But holding them offshore should not mean they are interrogated, tortured and held without trial forever. In fact, I don't see why hearings & trials couldn't begin fairly quickly after capture. Obama will be figuring out what kind of trials are appropriate, but my guess is some kind of special military court, not our regular US civilian judicial system.

As usual, I'm amazed at how incompetent the bush people were. Everyone (except their suck-up enablers) knows torture yields bad info; therefore it's worthless. They tortured anyway & that's why they did not want to see trials (tainted evidence plus the teensy details of who authorized extra-legal methods & why we should not be holding them accountable for geneva violations). Well, Obama has ordered trials & hearings, so now it can all be examined, and that is an excellent thing.