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The price of those high minded principles

My friends from the left have been dancing with joy now that Barack Obama has signed the executive orders to close Camp Delta, to close all secret CIA detention centres, and to ban “torture”. But when you hear stories like this one it becomes very clear that such high minded principles may come at a very high price indeed.

Barack Obama signs away Guantanimo Bay

Barack Obama signs away Guantanamo Bay

THE emergence of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch underscores potential complications in carrying out US President Barack Obama’s order that the detention centre be closed within a year.

The militant, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in the deadly bombing of the US embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana, in September. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with al-Qaeda in Yemen.

His status was announced in an internet statement by the militant group and was confirmed by a US counterintelligence official: “They’re one and the same guy.”

The development came as Republicans criticised the plan to close the camp in the absence of any measures for dealing with the detainees. But it also helps to explain why the new Administration wants to move cautiously, to work out a plan to cope with the complications.

Almost half the remaining detainees are Yemenis and efforts to repatriate them depend in part on the creation of a Yemeni rehabilitation program — financed in part by the US. The Saudi Government has claimed that no graduate of its program has returned to terrorism.

“The lesson here is: whoever receives former Guantanamo detainees needs to keep a close eye on them,” the US official said.

The minions of the left who cheer so loudly now  have no answer to the very difficult problem of just what to do with the 248 inmates of “Club Gitmo” They may talk about these men as if they are accused of trivial acts , as if  they may be common thieves or even your garden variety murderers.  Speak most eloquently about civil rights and the presumption of innocence, they may even deny that these men (or any Jihadi) see themselves as warriors in a war for Allah but one thing that I do know is that when (not “if”) more of the  “Club Gitmo” men return to their Jihad,  many of those same lefties will be loudly denouncing the governments that let them go for not knowing about  or stopping the next  atrocity  in the first place.

Getting the balance right is the real trick …

Cheers Comrades

😉


15 Comments

  1. PKD says:

    Guess you’ve started off at the top my reverse name 10 list of RWDB who’ll come up with any sort of excuse to try and justify the existence of Gitmo.

    As Obama said, the US now rejects the false choice between security and their ideals.

    Try and get your head round that concept will you Iain before excusing the torture and unfair “justice” system of Gitmo? (Yes – I choose to put the “” around the word justice, and you choose to put it around torture, which sums things up between Bush and Obama I guess!)

    I mean, I see you’re still casting the same old smear that anyone in Gitmo must have doen something wrong and you can’t quite fathom that there could well be people innocent of any wrong-doing caught up in the net…don’t you?

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Justify Club Gitmo? that would be entirely a moot point now wouldn’t it? So I’m not even trying to do that.
    What I am saying here is that it is easy to have high minded ideals but making them work in the real world is not as easy as you lot seem to think.

  3. PKD says:

    So…you still cant face the possibility that there could well be people innocent of any wrong-doing caught up in the net.

    You’re more concerned with letting guilty people out, rather than with the torture and the keepng of potentially innocent people falsely imprisoned indefinitely…

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Sure I’m concerned that any innocent people may end up in any Jail but you seem to want to pretend that there are no inmates at “Club Gitmo” who are actually very dangerous men.
    I’ll ask you this: would you be demanding the release of the criminally insane from mental hospitals as well? After all they are often detained indefinitely with out charge. As I say in my last line “getting the balance right is the real trick”
    I have yet to hear from you any thing but “they should be presumed to be innocent” what about the public safety issues?
    When the country of origin of these men won’t or can’t take them back what then?

  5. PKD says:

    but you seem to want to pretend that there are no inmates at “Club Gitmo” who are actually very dangerous men.

    Not at all. I am fully aware that there are in all liklihood dangerous terrorists in Gitmo, just as their are also likely to be innocent people caught up in there.

    The point is no one really knows who is who without a fair trial process. The difference is that bothers me, where it doesn’t seem to bother you one bit. And BTW a fair trial process would take care of your concerns about public safety issues as the guilty ones would be doing time; the innocent ones are, umm, not terrorists anyway!

    And unlike Gitmo detainees, mental patients are processed fairly and without the sort of political prejudice you and the Bush administration display to the Gitmo detainees. They have a legal guardian appointed to represent them, and are processed medical, not politically.

    Theres a BIG difference to political prisoners than to medical patients Iain. Only a fool would suggest otherwise.

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Of course some people know who is who, the US military would not be holding any of them if they did not think that they were bad guys, but I agree that satisfying a legal process is harder.

    But you are wrong about mental patients, in some jurisdictions all it takes is the signature of a couple of doctors and its in the loony bin for you!

  7. Shawn Whelan says:

    Well President Barack didn’t really ban what the leftoids call torture. He says the Army can’t do these things but has still left a loophole allowing the CIA to carry on as they have been doing. Waterboard away!

  8. PKD says:

    But you are wrong about mental patients, in some jurisdictions all it takes is the signature of a couple of doctors and its in the loony bin for you!

    Umm not wrong – as I said doctors have to base their decision on medical expertise NOT political bias. And defend their decision against legal representation where appropriate. Of course if you’d like to name us some of these supposed Aussie jurisdictions where this process and safeguards are widely flouted – then I’m all ears.

    Somehow I doubt you’ll be able to name even one.

    Again – big difference Iain, B-I-G difference between political prisoners and medical patients!

    the US military would not be holding any of them if they did not think that they were bad guys,
    And the US Army doesn’t really know who is who (and remember that the vast majority of Gitmo detainees were not directly detained by US forces) any more than say the police do when they suspect someone. And like the police, the Army will have made (presumably) honest mistakes along the way.

    You’re just wilfully closing your mind to the fact that the US Govt. also needs to go through a fair trial process to determine those mistakes for Gitmo detainees as for anyone else.

    Anyway I think you’ve more than proven my point about wanting to find any old ‘reason’ to excuse the deplorable behaviour of the Bush administration with Gitmo.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    Umm not wrong – as I said doctors have to base their decision on medical expertise NOT political bias. And defend their decision against legal representation where appropriate. Of course if you’d like to name us some of these supposed Aussie jurisdictions where this process and safeguards are widely flouted – then I’m all ears.

    It is not political bias that saw these men locked up it is their deed and words and the fact that most of them were foreign Jihadis captured in Afghanistan. Now you can pretend all you like that they were all tourists on a “cultural exchange” with their fellow Muslims but you would be way past the position of even the new US government.

    And the US Army doesn’t really know who is who (and remember that the vast majority of Gitmo detainees were not directly detained by US forces) any more than say the police do when they suspect someone. And like the police, the Army will have made (presumably) honest mistakes along the way.

    Maybe they have made “honest mistakes” but I expect that they got it right more often than they got it wrong just as the police get it right more often than they get it wrong. You still refuse to face the fact that the chance that these men are starry eyed innocents is much less likely than the possibility that they are in fact dedicated Jihadists who will return to their campaign at the first opportunity. If only say 25% are really dedicated to Jihad would you be happy to have those dedicated men living in your community?
    As I said before it is a matter of public safety which is why Obama is giving himself so much time to resolve the matter.

    You’re just wilfully closing your mind to the fact that the US Govt. also needs to go through a fair trial process to determine those mistakes for Gitmo detainees as for anyone else.

    Well I stand by my belief that the detention of enemy combatants in a time of war is both lawful and morally defensible. The New administration will be in for an interesting time if they decide to treat these men as civil criminals under the ordinary criminal code. However I bet that the Obama government does not do that, rather I expect that they will use something closer to military justice and probably closer to the system devised by the previous administration than you would like.

    Anyway I think you’ve more than proven my point about wanting to find any old ‘reason’ to excuse the deplorable behaviour of the Bush administration with Gitmo.

    For the last few years GWB has been trying to solve the problem that holding these men posed to his government and had it been easy I bet that he would have done it long ago. It is not easy so the facility was not closed. I bet that there will still be the many of these men in one form of custody or an other by this time next year. So perhaps we should wait and see what actually happens rather than both of us going over the same ground again and again.
    But remember when it when suggested that Australia should take some of these men that even Mandoub Habib was very keen to point out these men are no boy scouts…

  10. PKD says:

    It is not political bias that saw these men locked up it is their deed and words and the fact that most of them were foreign Jihadis captured in Afghanistan

    Wrong – you’ve obviously forgotten our 1st debate on this where I showed you that (something like) over 80% of the detainees were captured outside of Afghanistan away from the conflict there by the likes of Pakistani police doing round-ups. Go and dig the thread up if you want the evidence as I’m not going to do it twice!

    Now you can pretend all you like that they were all tourists on a “cultural exchange” with their fellow Muslims but you would be way past the position of even the new US government

    But I don’t. You’re just putting words in my mouth. I stated already in this thread that their will be a mix of real terrorists and those caught erroneously. Did you miss it?

    If only say 25% are really dedicated to Jihad would you be happy to have those dedicated men living in your community?

    Of course not – which is why i wanted them to be TRIED!!!

    Are you happy then that if only 25% are real terrorists that the rest, although innocent, must sacrifice their lives to indefinite detention because the administration was too lazy to try them fairly?

    And [what] if one of those people was a relative of yours?

  11. Iain Hall says:

    Wrong – you’ve obviously forgotten our 1st debate on this where I showed you that (something like) over 80% of the detainees were captured outside of Afghanistan away from the conflict there by the likes of Pakistani police doing round-ups. Go and dig the thread up if you want the evidence as I’m not going to do it twice!

    That may have been the case when we began to debate the matter so many years ago but is it so now? We are in the situation where the numbers now are what 20% of what they were then? I would suggest that you do some research and tell me what percentage of those at Club Gitmo now were captured in Afghanistan. I bet that you will find that it will be more than 20%

    But I dont. You’re just putting words in my mouth. I stated already in this thread that their will be a mix of real terrorists and those caught erroneously. Did you miss it?

    No but my point is that you want to suggest that the “actual terrorists” are going to be a small minority of the detainees, I reckon that after the gradual filtering process and various releases that there will now be more dangerous men as a proprtion of the group than you will admit.

    Are you happy then that if only 25% are real terrorists that the rest, although innocent, must sacrifice their lives to indefinite detention because the administration was too lazy to try them fairly?

    Well as I picked the 25% figure out of the air then let me suggest that the numbers might be 95% are actual terrorists would you be happy to see them all released for the sake of the 5% who are innocent?

    And [what]if one of those people was a relative of yours?

    I have actually been it the situation of having someone I know banged up when he was accused of a serious crime, and while I felt for his suffering I knew that he had actually done what he was accused off and that he would have to do his porridge.

  12. PKD says:

    I would suggest that you do some research

    Errm, no Iain – I originally provided evidence that over 80% of detainees were captured outside Afghanistan.

    If you now wish to prove a counter-point that most of those have been freed and the ones left now are mostly from Afghanistan then *you* do the research to back your claim up.

    Otherwise its just yet another un-substantiated wlid and factless claim Iain.

    And even if there are only 5% innocent (another unsubstantiated claim from you there Iain but no matter) then its still 5% too many in my books.

    Tell me Iain, how many innocent people do you think it acceptable to lock up indefinitly in the name of the war on terror? 1? 10? 100? More?

    I’ll give you my answer now – zero. Somehow I supect you’ll avoid likewise answering this one directly…but feel free to prove me wrong and give an actual number!!!

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Errm, no Iain – I originally provided evidence that over 80% of detainees were captured outside Afghanistan.

    🙄 Is that just too hard a concept for you to get you head around PKD? In any case given the rather arbitrary border between Pakistan and Afghanistan i really do not think that it matters as much as you want to suggest that many were captured in Pakistani territory as the fled from the Us forces intent on taking out the Talliban. Even lawyers fro the detainees don’t hide behind a line on the map as you seek to do (see this PDF)

    If you now wish to prove a counter-point that most of those have been freed and the ones left now are mostly from Afghanistan then *you* do the research to back your claim up.

    Otherwise its just yet another un-substantiated wild and fact less claim Iain.

    NO PKD you mistake my quite legitimate speculation that a declining population at Club Gitmo for any kind of claim at all. I am doing a little googling around but it defies all reason fo you to think that the demographics of the population would remain unchanged as the numbers fall.

    And even if there are only 5% innocent (another unsubstantiated claim from you there Iain but no matter) then its still 5% too many in my books.

    I picked that number out of the air for a hypothetical and you know it and you know the actual number does not matter.

    Tell me Iain, how many innocent people do you think it acceptable to lock up indefinitely in the name of the war on terror? 1? 10? 100? More?
    I’ll give you my answer now – zero. Somehow I suspect you’ll avoid likewise answering this one directly…but feel free to prove me wrong and give an actual number!!!

    Now that there is a new Commander in chief the “war on terror” is an out dated term but the struggle for civilisation against the Islamists goes on none the less.
    But I’ll ask you just how many people would you accept being charged and held for crimes they did not commit in civil criminal matters? It is all well and good to say that you would demand zero mistakes but the only way to guarantee that would be to imprison Zero people. Hmm we would have a really safe world under your regime Comrade PKD
    I’ll put it this way I agree that in a perfect world that Zero innocents imprisoned would be best (but impossible to guarantee) So as a realist I will say that we have to try our best to minimise the possibility but we have to be humble enough to appreciate that no system will be perfect.

  14. PKD says:

    Well I look forward to seeing the results of your Googling Iain in coming up with the current demographics – however they’ve changed it’ll be interesting reading! You might try the US Govt as 1st port of call, its where I got the original statistics…

    Any if you remember our debates of captial punishment, you’ll know I too have long accepted that zero mistakes from a practical perspecitve is impossible in any legal system – hence my dislike of captial punishment.

    But making mistakes (in locking the wrong people up) made in the process of proecuting is one thing; making mistakes by rounding up people and throwing away the key is quite another. And that 1st option to me should result in far fewer mistakes being made.

    So no – we wouldn’t “imprison zero people” (nice try there BTW) as we should be trying everyone of the Gitmo detainees – fairly, or release if there is no evidence.

    Hopefully you’ll understand where I’m coming from now…

  15. PKD says:

    BTW if you would like to cherry pick which part of that PDF makes your case?

    I’d personally note for you Iain from the report that 66% of the detainees were captured by Pakistan, and that after 4 years the US Govt still doesn’t know if 18% of the detainees are affliated with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or anyone else!

    And people wonder why the Bush’s kangaroo court still only managed to get one conviction!

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