Is Limbo Legal?

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That's what the Supreme Court will begin to tackle today, when it hears oral arguments from representatives of some of the 600 men held in Guantanamo Bay. The first issue is jurisdiction—does the Court have any over foreigners held in a foreign land in the War on Terror? From the AP report:

The Bush administration asserts the right to hold and interrogate the men as long as necessary, without formal charges or the guarantee of a trial or access to a lawyer. The administration also asserts the men are not traditional prisoners of war, who would have guaranteed rights under the Geneva Convention.

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  1. jennifer,

    ‘Fallujah’ was not my argument. I don’t know what the point is. The ‘four’ were not combatants – they were guarding supplies going to Fallujah. Even otherwise, I was not saying they were entitled to Geneva rights. It was I who said, “the insurgents/terrorists did not signup for Geneva convention (either literally or by their behaviour), so we don’t need to waste our time if it should apply to them.

    To repeat my question to thoreau, what would you do if you were the boss?

  2. jennifer,

    I asked thoreau “why did you bring it up in this thread” since that was not relevant.

    I did not say thoreau “first said” that.

    did you read the post, or jump on a phrase and start typing?

    by the way, I didn’t know Bush said that “God appointed him to the white house”. can you help us search for the quote?

  3. The National Review has an interesting article on a relevent precedent:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel200404200903.asp

    It appears that German soldiers who fought along side the Japanese after the German surrender were charged with being illegal combatants: a war crime.

  4. “A lot of the Americans fighting in Iraq are not members of the American military, but work for private companies. So, technically, they would not qualify for prisoner-of-war status either, should they be caught.

    Sooner or later this is going to bite us in the ass. If we want to dish it out, we must be prepared to take it, too.”

    Well, four of the contractors were already burned to a crisp and mutilated. But then, the Iraqi’s didn’t treat actual American and British POWs very well either. Given that the enemy doesn’t treat our people very well to begin with, it’s not clear to me how our actions would end up “bitting us in the ass”.

    What we need to do is show how bad things work out for those who mess with us. International law is silly, what really matters is force, and its application.

  5. Zorel, I cut and pasted the following:

    Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen, meeting recently with militants to enlist their support for a truce with Israel, said that, when they met in Aqaba, President Bush had told him this: ” God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam [ Hussein], which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A37944-2003Jun26?language=printer

    Y’know, if God told Bush to invade Iraq, you think God would tell him where the fucking WMDs are. This is one reason why I stopped being Christian–I can’t respect anyone who does things in such a half-assed way.

  6. “Technically, according to Bush’s own logic, the Fallujah Four were not entitled to any Geneva Convention protection because they were NOT members of the US military, nor were they answerable to any military chain of command. They were civilians, working for a private company.”

    They would still be covered under the Forth Geneva Convention. Everyone falls under some Geneva Convention protection.

  7. “Everyone falls under some Geneva Convention protection.”

    Except, apparently, the guys we chose to put in Guantanamo.

  8. Riley,

    “They didn’t have uniforms…”

    Actually at least some of them did; a uniform need be nothing more than a bandana about the arm.

    “…didn’t represent a country…”

    In the case of members of the Taleban it is arguable that they did represent a country. Representation of a country, BTW, has, as I understand it, no real bearing on the issue; as it is the duty of the U.S. as a signatory to treat “enemy combatants” (lawful or not) correctly under its auspices. Indeed, as the conventions take into account civil wars, they implicitly do not require that a combatant be represented by a state.

    “…and by no means followed any recognized rules of fighting a war.”

    Again, in the case of the Taleban at least that is also incorrect. Indeed, I am not particularly aware of any acts by members of the Taleban that fall outside the customary or the convention’s “laws of war.”

    What is the far more important issue here is the Geneva Conventions is not a self-executing document; as such, it may have no cause of action allied to it, and thus is likely merely up to the political branches to uphold.

  9. Bush Seeks UN Support for “US Does whatever it wants” plan:

    http://www.theonion.com/onion3836/bush_seeks_un_support.html

    It’s really sad when a parody newspaper like “The Onion” is so dead on the money.

  10. Jennifer’s arguments have always been shaky, but if she’s so far gone as to think what Palestinian Abu Mazen said about Bush getting direct instructions from above (rather than seeking guidance through prayer, as every President in our lives has claimed to do) is true, then I think she might want to voluntarily take a little time off and reflect on what made her a such a ridiculous patsy.

  11. jennifer,

    “The Arabic-speaking colleague’s translation, was this: “God inspired me to hit al Qaeda, and so I hit it. And I had the inspiration to hit Saddam, and so I hit him. Now I am determined to solve the Middle East problem if you help. Otherwise the elections will come and I will be wrapped up with them.”

    Even then, there’s uncertainty. After all, this is Abu Mazen’s account in Arabic of what Bush said in English, written down by a note-taker in Arabic, then back into English.

    – – – – –

    even if you believe all of the above 3rd, 4th hand translations back and forth, it is much different from “Bush said that God anointed him as President”

    And you still did not answer my question, “what would you do”?

  12. what dipshit would compare guantanamo with displaying mutilated bodies. get a grip. by the way, since the geneva convention, it’s never really helped us in any war, only the people we fight against.

  13. Zorel and Ron-
    Are you saying that only the National Review can be trusted as far as Bush is concerned?

    Technically, Zorel, you did not ask ME what I would do but I’ll answer anyway: hold trials. That way, those who are innocent will be set free, while those who are guilty will be proven guilty before the world, and our enemies will no longer have the ability to point to Guantanamo and rightfully call us hypocrites as far as our “commitment to human rights” is concerned.

    I mean, Christ, CASTRO has criticized us for what we’ve done in Gitmo. When one of the most evil dictators in our hemisphere has legitimate reason to feel superior to us, you KNOW we’re fucking up.

  14. Zorel-

    I’m not against capturing people in a war when the gov’t has suspicions about them. What I’m against is holding them indefinitely without trial. I’m willing to grant that maybe war necessitates some deviation from normal criminal procedures. However, surely at some point there should be some sort of judicial process to determine whether the detention should continue or not. I’m open-minded about the details of how it should or shouldn’t be handled, but I’m 100% against the notion that the executive branch can detain somebody for as long as it wants. There should be a judicial process to challenge that detention.

    Second, as far as my comment about some people who think God annointed Bush, I just brought it up, because, well, we were talking about the issue of whether the President ever screws up, and I thought it was kind of funny that there are some people who think the President is divinely inspired. I wasn’t aware that I can only discuss points of view that have already been put forward on this forum.

    Third, here’s a thought experiment for those who don’t think terrorist suspects should have trials. (This isn’t specifically for Zorel, but he’s free to respond obviously.)

    Imagine some guy who’s frequently arousing the gov’t’s suspicion. He’s frequently audited by the IRS, even though they never find any actual violations of the law. He has an ongoing dispute with the National Park Service over various land issues, since his property borders a national park. He owns a lot of guns. He publishes a newsletter with some pretty loony anti-government essays in it. And one day he goes overseas to visit a friend of his, another man with similar views who moved out of the country “to get out before it’s too late.” While this man is visiting his friend, US gov’t agents capture both of them. The gov’t claims that the men were planning to blow up gov’t buildings, and that since they were captured on foreign soil plotting acts of war they do not have any right to due process.

    The cops search his property back in the US and do indeed find fertilizer that could be turned into bombs. They confiscate all of his property (which conveniently solves a few issues for the National Park Service…), including his guns. He’s held in Gitmo.

    Who here thinks that this man should get a trial?

    That’s what I thought. Of course, you’ll probably say “Ah, but his case is different from the other people being held without trial.” Why do you say that? Oh, because you looked at the facts and realized that something is fishy here. Well, that would suggest that maybe we should have a general rule requiring that when people are captured by the US gov’t they are guaranteed the right to contest their capture in some sort of judicial process.

    Hmm, maybe we could even put that into some really important set of rules, like, say, a Constitutional amendment.

    Finally, lest you think that my scenario is paranoid, imagine that a Democrat is in the White House and he appoints a far-left Attorney General. Now is my scenario so paranoid?

  15. what dipshit would compare guantanamo with displaying mutilated bodies. get a grip. by the way, since the geneva convention, it’s never really helped us in any war, only the people we fight against.

    Captain makes a good point: Fallujah involved mistreatment of the dead, whereas Gitmo involves mistreatment of those still alive. Dipshit.

  16. Here’s a similar God-wants-Bush story from the Guardian.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,1076027,00.html

  17. From the Guardian:

    Bush said to James Robinson: ‘I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen… I know it won’t be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.’

    Maybe the British are just PLO sympathizers? Whatever. I’m going to go make myself an English muffin. No, wait–make that a FREEDOM Muffin.

  18. captain,

    Actually, at least with regard to American POWs in Germany in WWII, the Germans honored for the most part their commitments under the Geneva Convention as it was promulgated at that time.

    But as I wrote earlier, much of this is beside the point; the conventions are not self-executing documents, and thus whether the courts can enforce is of some doubt.

    Furthermore, the nature of the rights under the convention are not really before the court; what is before the court is whether American courts have jurisdiction in matters where individuals are detained in Cuba. The crux of the debate revolves around what a court case from 1950 – Johnson v. Eisentrager – states about the nature of jurisdiction and sovereignty – that is whether the U.S. need have sovereignty over an area before the courts have jurisdiction there, or whether only territorial jurisdiction is required, and if the former is needed, whether the U.S. has sovereignty over Guantanamo. Whether as the ninth circuit states that Cuba merely has a “reversionary right” to sovereignty should the U.S. choose to leave Guantanamo, or whether Cuba remains the sovereign even when the U.S. is there.

  19. Bush told Woodward, “I’m surely not going to justify war based upon God. Understand that. Nevertheless, in my case, I pray that I be as good a messenger of his will as possible.”

    Now, if Bush believes he is a “messenger of his will,” isn’t that at least implying that Bush’s policies are God’s will? And since the war in Iraq was ordered by a “messenger of his will,” doesn’t that mean the war is “based upon God?”

    And if Bush’s policies are God’s will (as he seems to believe), then aren’t they beyond reproach?

    His reliance on the supernatural and his belief in it’s infallibility can partly explain why he says things like, “I do not need to explain why I say things. ? That?s the interesting thing about being the President. ? Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don?t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.”

    Even if that kind of arrogance doesn’t bother the loyalists here, or that the man doesn’t read the newspaper (arrogance and willful ignorance are a volatile combination) or that he believes what history will make of his actions doesn’t matter because “we’ll all be dead,” explicit belief in supernatural guidance and the infallibility of that guidance certainly is worth a few raised eyebrows.

  20. thoreau,

    your elaborate scenario about a “Montana freeman” like (or any other) person in the US is NOT a good parallel. to answer your question about your scenario, “sure, the guy should get a trial”

    that is exactly what was decided about people captured in the US (Z. Moussavi) even when they are not US citizens (as long as they are legally in this country).

    I don’t think the guys in Gitmo are US citizens who are being shipped off by Bush. They were “enemy combatants” captured by the US military in war zone. I can agree that holding them “indefinitely” is not right – but a full judicial trial is not practical. There may be some middle ground there.

    As for the “imagine a Democrat in the White House ..” bit – no need to imagine, we saw Janet Reno in Waco and in Miami 🙂

  21. Zorel? Ron? Any comments?

  22. Damn, I hate these simultaneous-posting things. However, I am interested in knowing if Ron still views my arguments as “shaky,” and if so, why.

  23. jennifer,

    I think we got side-tracked on “Bush being God’s rep” here. I am not a religeous person, so I have not much knowledge of such beliefs.

    In any case, my defence/support of Bush’s war on terror has my own reasons – not God’s. So, if Bush believes he is inspired by God, and that belief helps him do his job better, so be it. If you consider anyone else (so your personal dislike of Bush is not in play) like pro-athletes, who believe such things and go on to win … you won’t have a problem. right?

    So, the issue here is not what makes Bush behave in such a way (may be that is a separate discussion). Is the action supportable or not? If supportable, on what grounds?

    I believe I have described my position to those 2 questions without relying on God, or Bush.

  24. Zorel-
    I wouldn’t say that Bush’s beliefs help him do his job better; I’d say they’re causing him to do a lousy job, because his belief in God has made him incredibly arrogant. After all, he seems to be saying, when you question me you question God, and what gives you the right to do that?

    As for pro athletes, their jobs, even when they screw up, do not result in the death and dismemberment of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. If Shaq wants to believe that God gives a rat’s ass about whether he sinks that foul shot, no biggie. If Bush believes that GOD wanted him to invade Iraq, biggie.

    I distrust a president who takes orders from God for the same reason I distrust a guy who takes orders from his dog.

    Incidentally, Fark just posted an interesting piece concerning the electromagnetic parts of the brain that result in religious belief (and epilepsy):

    http://www.techtv.com/secretstrangeandtrue/story/0,24330,3486241,00.html

    People are dying because Bush had an electric brain fart. Jeebus Christ on drugs.

  25. “Except, apparently, the guys we chose to put in Guantanamo.”

    Are we violating the Geneva Convention with our treatment of them?

  26. “I mean, Christ, CASTRO has criticized us for what we’ve done in Gitmo. When one of the most evil dictators in our hemisphere has legitimate reason to feel superior to us, you KNOW we’re fucking up.”

    Castro has NO legitimate reason to feel superior to anyone this side of Mao and Stalin.

    How many people here think that the Gitmo detainees would rather be disidents in Catro’s Cuba? How many think that the political prisoners in Cuba would rather be Gitmo prisoners?

  27. Well, transporting prisoners who are gagged and blindfolded is considered torture under the Geneva Convention.

    They were forcibly shaved, in violation of their religion and the aforementioned convention.

    They’re kept in open-air cages, exposed to the elements, though the GC requires prisoners to be housed according to the same standards as the captors.

    Their clothing and personal possessions were confiscated, in violation of the aforementioned convention.

    By the military’s own admission, they are being subjected to “soft torture” while interrogated. The GC forbids torture, and also states that POWs need not give more than name, rank and serial number.

    Do you need more evidence?

  28. “How many people here think that the Gitmo detainees would rather be disidents in Catro’s Cuba?”

    Well, Don, I’d ask them myself, but nobody, not even the Red Cross, is allowed to communicate with them, in violation of the Geneva Convention.

  29. “Actually, at least with regard to American POWs in Germany in WWII, the Germans honored for the most part their commitments under the Geneva Convention as it was promulgated at that time.”

    This is correct. The Geneva Convention probably helped some, but basically the Germans were going to treat American and other Western POWs well in any case.

    “But as I wrote earlier, much of this is beside the point; the conventions are not self-executing documents, and thus whether the courts can enforce is of some doubt.”

    Following the GC seems to reinforce good behavior when the opposing sides are inclined to follow the rules. When one side throws the rules out, the GC becomes pretty much irrelevent.

    A good contrast is WW2, and the Eastern and Western fronts.

  30. People here are arguing contradictory positions. If the people in Gtmo are POWs, they aren’t entitled to trials. POWs are simply held as prisoners until repatriated. POWs don’t get trials because their detention isn’t punitive; their detention serves to keep them from returning to the battlefield and killing you.

    If you want them to get trials, then it’s because in your view they’re NOT POWs; in that case, citing the Geneva Conventions wrt treatment of POWs makes no sense.

    .
    Jose Padilla is a separate case, and I do not defend the administration’s handling of him in any way.

  31. David-
    Whether they’re POWs or not, they need to be treated humanely. They are not, and sooner or later this will come back to haunt us.

  32. David,

    Well the frustrating problem is that the terms POW, legal enemy combatant, illegal enemy combatant, legal combatant, etc., have at best imprecise meanings; indeed, this is partly the reason why the court decisions on these matters appear to be so confused. So you are correct in your assertion; but the problem is that your assertion doesn’t particularly solve the problem.

  33. Jennifer:

    1. They’re not living in luxury, but I would hardly term their treatment “inhumane.” Discomfort is not inhumanity. (Nor is there anything in the GC which prohibits blindfolds during transport, contrary to your above claim.)

    2. As a practical matter, is it really going to “come back to haunt us” one way or the other? Why would it? The sort of people that the US is in conflict with aren’t really the sort who care one way or the other, are they? Do you think the culprits at Fallujah were saying, “This is because prisoners at Guantanamo don’t get air conditioning”?

    3. As an even more practical matter, it’s not going to help your case to engage in hyperbole like “Castro has legitimate reason to feel superior to us.” It tends to lead to those who don’t already agree with you dismissing you as a crank. Criticizing the Bush administration’s position on Iraq is one thing. But arguing that Guantanamo is practically a North Korean prison is quite another.

  34. David-
    I stand by my statements; Castro is indeed correct when he says that what we’re doing at Guantanamo is wrong. Also, note that I did not criticize the lack of air-conditioning; I criticized the lack of WALLS. The GC clearly states that captives are to be housed in the same manner as their captors. So, unless the soldiers in Gitmo live in open-air barracks with concerte floors, we are in violation. Thirdly, when I refer to this coming back to haunt us, I do not refer to terrorists; I’m talking about other, legitimate governments who might decide to treat American prisoners (for whatever reason) as we treat the guys in Guantanamo. And when that happens, what grounds would we have to complain?

    Finally, while I don’t believe the word “blindfold” actually appears in the convention, it does require prisoners to be treated humanely. Do you think being blindfolded and gagged for periods of over 24 hours sounds humane?

    Wait until we see American POWs blindfolded and gagged for hours at a time, and then perhaps we’ll change our collective mind concerning whether or not this is acceptable behavior. And remember–we don’t even know for sure that all of these men are guilty.

  35. I have taken prisoners, back in 1950. If the Supremes decide you need to read the Miranda before you can take prisoners, Zoro’s solution, to shot them, will be mighty popular.
    POW’s will be removed from active battle zones, protected, fed and cared for, and repatriated at the conclusion of hostilities. Hostilities have not ended. Fuck off, Supremes. You want to treat prisoners, go get your own.

  36. “The administration also asserts the men are not traditional prisoners of war, who would have guaranteed rights under the Geneva Convention.”

    This is a gimme. They didn’t have uniforms, didn’t represent a country and by no means followed any recognized rules of fighting a war. As much as people would now like Geneva protection to be universal, a big part of the whole concept is “follow our rules and we’ll give you protection, ignore our rules at your peril.” If fighters can do whatever they want and not fear the consequences, then we’ve lost the best reason to have the Geneva Convention.

  37. WHY is the question “does the Court have any [jurisdiction] over foreigners held in a foreign land in the War on Terror?”
    Isn’t this a slam-dunk for the gov’t, to see the question phrased in those terms.
    Shouldn’t the question be “Do officials of the US Gov’t have granted to them the power to hold foreigners in a foreign land”?
    I would very much like to see how the Supremes, or anyone else, would derive a gov’t right to detain non-citizens outside the territory of the US. Where is this power enumerated?

    Shirley Knott

  38. A lot of the Americans fighting in Iraq are not members of the American military, but work for private companies. So, technically, they would not qualify for prisoner-of-war status either, should they be caught.

    Sooner or later this is going to bite us in the ass. If we want to dish it out, we must be prepared to take it, too.

  39. Does Bush have balls made of Old Hickory enough to follow a famous presidential precedent vis a vis a Supreme Court reprimand? “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!”

  40. Walter Wallis – amen!

    All the people here who are supposedly on the side of the detainees, don’t really seem to care about the real outcome of their arguments. If the military can’t do what they are doing, they will be forced to do what will be easier – paperwork wise!

  41. Ah, ah ha ha. Rules. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Surely, you cannot expect terrorists to keep the Geneva Convention in mind when they contemplate killing innocent civilians. As such, they should not expect the US government to afford the same protections to them. But realize, we must, that this is a slippery slope. This subjectifies the validity and application of the rules of war, if we are able to subjectively determine whether enemies are “enemy combatants in the war on terror”, or plain old-fashioned enemy troops. So, the government had better be prepared for others to subjectively apply those rules as well.

  42. OK, one more time:

    This isn’t about “protecting” terrorists. Giving a detainee a trial won’t protect him if he’s found guilty. It will just ratify his imprisonment.

    Instead, giving the detainees trials will be a way to find out if we mistakenly arrested and detained any innocent people.

    Of course, you could take the stance that we already know they’re guilty, so why bother? Well, just how do you know that they’re guilty? Oh, that’s right, the federal government said so. And of course they never, ever, ever lie about matters of national security, nor do they ever arrest innocent people mistakenly.

    Well, if you actually believe that the feds are so wise as to never make a mistake, then perhaps I can interest you in this prime beach-front lot in Nebraska…

  43. If I wore tinfoil hats, I would wonder if this was just the first step in a master plan to do away with pesky, expensive trials altogether. After all, only the guilty get arrested, right?

    Guantanamo is scary enough for non-citizens, but even a couple of citizens have been swept up and held without trial. How do we know they’re guilty? Why, because George Bush said so! Maybe Jose Padilla was storing Saddam’s WMDs under his bed.

    The President is reserving for himself the right to detain anyone he chooses. Right now he only locks up those he deems enemy non-combatants (and NO, you can’t see the evidence! Only traitors would ask to see that!). How long before this expands to cover drug dealers? Anti-war protestors? People who are traitors in that they don’t blindly follow whatever the government says?

  44. Well, Jennifer, some Americans (although thankfully none on this forum, as far as I can tell) would say that Bush was annointed by God to be our President. Seen in that light, I guess it’s impossible to screw up.

    Hmm, maybe the Pope should be our President. He’s supposed to be infallible, after all.

  45. Shirley Knott,

    The power is enumerated in the same ‘penumbra’ of our constitution where the courts have been finding more and more laws 🙂

    Thoreau,

    When you say, “trial”, what kind of trial (burden of proof) are you requiring? US criminal justice system has a burden of proof based on stuff you already know. Prosecutors here do have the opportunity to investigate and gather evidence to present to the jury.

    What do you suggest the US oppressors should do in Afghanistan or Iraq to “collect evidence” when they detain the “enemy combatants”?

    Say you are a platoon leader in Iraq and your team comes under fire, you retaliate … at the end there are a bunch of Arab men you capture. should you stop to gather evidence, interrogate all of them right there, be on the lookout for other enemy fighters who might attack you? What will you do?

    I will be waiting for your ‘specific response’.

    The alternative I see is, US soldiers should not take prisoners – then there is no one to complain, except the usual suspects about “civilian deaths”; but that complaint is always there (Jenin massacre, Fallujah massacre, etc.).

  46. Thoreau-
    Yeah, well the God who appointed Bush also claims that the Earth is flat and the sun revolves around it. Not to brag or nothin’, but I knew better than that when I was only four years old.

    Speaking of tinfoil hats, where are all the Bush apologists who regularly come on these posts and say “Go take your medication, you PMS-suffering bimbo!” to anyone who claims Bush and Company are endangering America’s freedoms? Now, more than ever, they need to come out and justify why The Home Team isn’t doing anything wrong.

  47. Whoops, looks like Zorel and I posted simultaneously there. Interesting that he brought up Fallujah–the Geneva Convention prohibits collective punishment, which is what our siege of the city was. I guess Following the Rules is what our enemies are supposed to do; not us.

  48. jennifer,

    Did the Geneva convention allow “enemies” to be ambushed, burned, and the charred bodies dragged/mutilated/lynched?

    Geneva convention (and a lot of the libertarian principles) will work for parties who agree to the rules.

  49. Zorel-
    Technically, according to Bush’s own logic, the Fallujah Four were not entitled to any Geneva Convention protection because they were NOT members of the US military, nor were they answerable to any military chain of command. They were civilians, working for a private company.

    Now, I am NOT saying “they deserved what they got.” The people who murdered them were slimeballs, no doubt. But we had no right to punish the entire city for the acts of a few, anymore than we should have destroyed the city of Chicago after the St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

  50. thoreau,

    if no one on this thread is claiming that God anointed Bush (as a defence), why would you bring that up, instead of providing a rational argument?

    is it easy to say stuff like that and feel good? or was that a ‘joke’ that I didn’t get?

    the Pope (even if he were to be a US born citizen) can’t be our president, since he is against the death penalty. (I know you were joking there)

  51. Zorel-
    It was Bush, not Thoreau, who first said that God appointed George Bush to the White House. Clearly, the Prez is not entirely in touch with reality.

    I wonder if God told him to gut the Constitution?

  52. “Thirdly, when I refer to this coming back to haunt us, I do not refer to terrorists; I’m talking about other, legitimate governments who might decide to treat American prisoners (for whatever reason) as we treat the guys in Guantanamo. And when that happens, what grounds would we have to complain?”

    Given the treatment American POWs recieved in North Korea, North Vietnam, Japan, Iraq, and even in the USSR (not really POWs–detained “allies”), your point seems downright silly.

    Our grounds for complaint is based in our ability to crush our enemies.

    We already set a bad “precident” at Nuremberg (and perhaps in the Japanese war criminal trials as well). Yet the bad “precidents” didn’t come back to haunt us–the nasties of the world are going to do horrible things regardless. If Nuremburg sets a bad “president”, it is the “war crime show trial president”, the torture and the horrible treatment would occur Nuremburg or not.

    The only bad “president” I see coming from Gitmo is that the terrorists of the world will realize they can continue to cause us harm post-surrender, via lawsuits and “humanitarian” appeals to lefty nut cases.

  53. “A lot of the Americans fighting in Iraq are not members of the American military, but work for private companies.”

    The only Americans ‘fighting’ in Iraq are members of the military. Contractors are engaged in non-combat activities, making them ‘non-combatants.’ Which means they aren’t fighting.

  54. Doug-
    Wrong. More and more news sources, on the left AND the right, are reporting that the civilians rented guns are doing actual fighting.

  55. Doug-
    Wrong. More and more news sources, on the left AND the right, are reporting that the civilian rented guns are doing actual fighting.

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