Shoring Up Gitmo's Precious "Actual Terrorist" Reserves

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At a first pass, it might seem like unvarnished good news that George Bush has ordered 14 high-level detainees, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, to be transfered to Guantanamo Bay from shady CIA "black sites" abroad, where the oversight is minimal and the interrogations are packed with torturey goodness. But over at TNR, Spencer Ackerman considers some motives for the move less heartening than the spontaneous reactivation of whatever cobweb-filled corner of Bush's prefrontal cortext corresponds to "respect for procedural justice." To wit: It might be an effort to ensure that Gitmo stays open in the face of calls for its closure or, worse, to make Congress choose between greenlighting the use of confessions obtained under duress and risking acquital of some world-historical sleazeballs.

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  1. CIA “black sites” abroad, where the oversight is minimal and the interrogations are packed with torturey goodness.

    And how do we know this?

    to make Congress choose between greenlighting the use of confessions obtained under duress and risking acquital of some world-historical sleazeballs.

    Do the Geneva Conventions contain an exclusionary rule prohibiting the use of confessions in “legal” proceedings against a prisoner?

  2. dear troll:

    please go back to texas.

    thanks.

  3. I’d go even further and infer that the Bush crew is transferring KSM as part of some broader plan to make him central to the ’06 mid-term elections. I smell Rove.

  4. Is punching “CIA” and “Black Sites” into a search engine really that much of a challenge? Well, in case it is:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/01/AR2005110101644.html

  5. “And how do we know this?”

    Because defenders of the use of torture gloat about how the US got purportedly valuable intelligence from Khalid Sheik Mohammed by torturing him? See, e.g., http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2005/12/torturing_khalid_shaikh_mohammed_worked/

  6. RC Dean =

    It’s been fairly well documented that Khalid S. Muhammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh have been held and tortured on behalf of US, provided good intel for a while now…

    Word on the street 1 place was originally in Diego Garcia, or some other Indian Ocean former british colony gone semi-soveriegn nation, native population = 0…or something like that… then he was transferred to Al Jafr prison in jordan, then who knows, but it was acknowledged that at all times he was technically outside US jurisdiction, on behalf of the US, in order to allow full access to any methods of interrogation CIA wanted.

    Where you been man?

    It might be an effort to ensure that Gitmo stays open in the face of calls for its closure or, worse, to make Congress choose between greenlighting the use of confessions obtained under duress and risking acquital of some world-historical sleazeballs.

    Who’s to say it couldnt be both? I think it might simply be putting heads on sticks outside the gates of the castle because they want some material examples of the WoT success to help put the fear in the increasingly blase citizenry…

    Maybe they’ll even orchestrate another 9/11 w/ the joos?!

    JG

  7. Well, Julian, I asked how we know that the detainees were tortured, and you send me to an article that says:

    “Virtually nothing is known about who is kept in the facilities, what interrogation methods are employed with them, or how decisions are made about whether they should be detained or for how long.”

    I guess that settles that.

    It’s been fairly well documented that Khalid S. Muhammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh have been held and tortured on behalf of US, provided good intel for a while now.

    Linkee?

    Word on the street . . .

    I guess that settles that, squared.

    My question about whether the Geneva Convention provides an exclusionary rule was a serious one. Anyone know?

    dear rich:

    suck it.

    thanks.

  8. “”It’s been fairly well documented that Khalid S. Muhammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh have been held and tortured on behalf of US, provided good intel for a while now.”””

    Since intel information is time sensitive, the later part of the statement can not be true. They only provided limited information when that information was current. I say limited because of terror?s cellular nature. They only knew what they needed to know. They have been out of the loop to provide anything useful for awhile.

    The tyrant?s best un-kept secret is torture is what you use to get the answers you WANT to hear.

    Dean, I believe your answer is no, it does not. But you can double check me here
    http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/91.htm

  9. RC

    >>>>>Do the Geneva Conventions contain an exclusionary rule prohibiting the use of confessions in “legal” proceedings against a prisoner?

  10. RC Dean:

    “Do the Geneva Conventions contain an exclusionary rule prohibiting the use of confessions in “legal” proceedings against a prisoner?”

    The question was “confessions made under duress,” and you don’t need to resort to the Geneva Conventions to exclude coerced confessions. Try the FRE or common law rules of evidence.

    Why do partisans hate the rule of law?

  11. “It’s better to let ten guilty men go free than to punish one innocent man.”

    I feel comfortable rephrasing that to:

    “It’s better to release terrorists to be tracked and monitored than to torture anyone.”

  12. CrisiS.

    >>>>>Why do partisans hate the rule of law?

  13. Don’t you think that question would be better posed to the people who obey NO recognized laws? i.e. Bin Laden, Khalid, Hamas, Hezballah, Taliban, etc, ad infinitum?

    1. Wrong. The groups you mention have an insane dedication to authoritarian “Law” as recognized by religious retards. So “NO recognized laws” is a misstatement. They actually enforce them under penalty of death. It’s true, look it up.

    2. The original question (a good one) was “Why do partisans hate the rule of law?” Strangely, your answer seems to be “Maybe you should ask Charles Manson!”

  14. I’m with .5b. Implant a radio tag somewhere deep in his colon. Release him. Let him gather all his top lieutenants for a welcome home party. Drop the hammer.

  15. from shady CIA “black sites” abroad, where the oversight is minimal and the interrogations are packed with torturey goodness.

    The goons in our government who were complicit in this were being so un-American that they might as well have been spitting on the flag. They should be prosecuted and punished for their savage crimes. Doesn’t it makeya sick that these monsters do this with our money?

  16. Rich H

    Charles Manson is not the icon you’re looking for. Indeed he had a dream about law. It was that, after he got the blacks and whites at each other and wound up with both sides dead he was going to come out of “the bottomless pit in the desert” and become the ultimate ruler, and he would make the laws. It’s in the book. Look it up.

    Laws are written for all to see and abide by alike. So your reference to the retards and their religious laws is also off the mark. No two of them agree on what their own laws are. Instead they are individually brutal and opportunistic, and oftentimes aimless, but always deceitful. They have no immediate goals other than to kill Jews and non-believers. It would be great for them if the non-Islamofascist world would suddenly stop reproducing, just so they wouldn’t have to kill so many in order to have their own way. And if any of their own kind are dumb, (or even just plain unfortunate), enough to be caught in the blast, then so much the better because there are just that many more Martyrs in Allahland.

    Rick Barton

    >>>>>>The goons in our government who were complicit in this were being so un-American that they might as well have been spitting on the flag. They should be prosecuted and punished for their savage crimes. Doesn’t it makeya sick that these monsters do this with our money?Rich H

    Charles Manson is not the icon you’re looking for. Indeed he had a dream about law. It was that, after he got the blacks and whites at each other and wound up with both sides dead he was going to come out of “the bottomless pit in the desert” and become the ultimate ruler, and he would make the laws. It’s in the book. Look it up.

    Laws are written for all to see and abide by alike. So your reference to the retards and their religious laws is also off the mark. No two of them agree on what their own laws are. Instead they are individually brutal and opportunistic, and oftentimes aimless, but always deceitful. They have no immediate goals other than to kill Jews and non-believers. It would be great for them if the non-Islamofascist world would suddenly stop reproducing, just so they wouldn’t have to kill so many in order to have their own way. And if any of their own kind are dumb, (or even just plain unfortunate), enough to be caught in the blast, then so much the better because there are just that many more Martyrs in Allahland.

    Rick Barton

    >>>>>>The goons in our government who were complicit in this were being so un-American that they might as well have been spitting on the flag. They should be prosecuted and punished for their savage crimes. Doesn’t it makeya sick that these monsters do this with our money?<<br />
    Nothing personal, but I wonder what’s parked in your driveway.

    What you seem to be saying is that it’s okay to buy clothes made in Thailand, or Citgo gasoline refined form oil pumped in Iran’s friend and cohort, Chile. It’s okay to even buy computer equipment produced in North Korea. It’s a sure fact that those things are cheaper than if they were produced in the States. But that’s only because we Americans won’t even pay each other the wages we have to have to live on, so we look to cheap labor in foreign countries to provide us with our “things” while complaining that our wages are too low, and that Mexicans are keeping them low.

    But while we look to other countries for our purchases, (and we surely shouldn’t look inside their shops where our purchases are assembled, or ask about their employee retirement or family leave plans), you also seem to think we should NOT ask them to provide us with security information that would keep some of us alive.

    In fact, there is right now a man training local Security Forces in Afghanistan that was a victim of just such thinking. His name is Allen West. (Do a Google search on him.) He got information from a terrorist cell leader, (who was never touched or lost any sleep), that saved his men’s lives, but the Army cashiered him because his methods weren’t covered in the Boy Scout’s Guidebook

    There are seven Marines and a Navy Corpsman, (one of the bravest group of men to ever put on a uniform), under investigation right now that one of our Congressmen has convicted of murder before they were even charged. All because we are trying to fight a pack of bloodthirsty Pit Bulls with our little Toy Poodle approach to this war.

    You can think they are being mistreated if you want to. They’ll kill you just the same. Right after they mutilate your wife and kids to death before your eyes.

  17. *All because we are trying to fight a pack of bloodthirsty Pit Bulls with our little Toy Poodle approach to this war.*

    So, raping women and shooting civilians in the head will help us win the war?

  18. >>>>>It’s no use to simply tell the troops that you have to follow the Geneva Conventions, which are, by necessity, in broad terms. Torture and abuse are outlawed. But does frightening a man violate the Conventions? Hardly. Of the many e-mails I’ve received about this case — mostly from Marines — the question raised is almost always, “Why are they prosecuting this man?”

    Why, indeed.

    It would be a great mistake to believe that the army’s action against Allen West will be unimportant. The community of warriors is both close and tight, and very well informed. They talk about these things, and take them to heart. When the facts of the case were described to a couple of the active-duty warriors I know, and their reaction was the same. They told me that court martialing West will damage the trust the troops place in their commanders. One went so far as to say, “They’ll wonder what the hell (Commanding General of 4th Infantry Division), General Odierno is smoking.”

    We must keep faith with the troops by holding them to clear standards, and punishing all who violate those standards with judgment and consistency. Allen West is neither a hero nor a war criminal. Reprimand and retire him, but then rid the command of those who really made this mess happen: those who are more concerned with their image than with the loyalty their leadership positions require them to show to their troops. They make the rules, and the rules have not been broken. Rules of leadership, maybe. But rules of warfare? Not by Allen West. . . . . From “Failure of Command” by Jed Babbin, Dec 4, 2003>>>>>

    >>>>>So, raping women and shooting civilians in the head will help us win the war?>>>>

    No. Anyone in uniform who rapes a woman or shoots a civilian in the head should be prosecuted just like any other criminal. But any military force who will prosecute one of it’s men for putting the lives of his men ahead of the lives of the enemy will readily lose the loyalty of the rest of that unit, and eventually the entire military structure.

    No military man, or woman, will ever willingly let himself, or herself be told that an enemy life is more important to Americans than his or her own. You wouldn’t, and it’s unrealistic to think anyone else would. When that concept of being in the US military gets put up on the recruiting posters it’ll be Mexico and Canada both that need to build a fence.

    >>>>>The way you belittle decency makes me suspicious that you’re willing to tolerate savagery.>>>>>

    Depending on your age, the Trade Center Towers was about as good an example of savagery as you may recall. I go back a bit further and can recall other acts of savagery. The 17 dead American sailors on the USS Cole in Yemen on a good will cruise was savagery. The bombings our two American Embassies on the same date in August, 1998, (one in in Kenya, the other in Nairobi), was savagery that left 258 dread and over 5,000 injured. The 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center garage that destroyed the first five floors of the building, leaving 6 dead and more than a thousand injured was savagery, as was Pan American Airways Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, where another 258 died. And the list goes on.

    To accuse American fighting men today of needless savagery is to ignore the facts. America does not need to declare war to fight one. America has had war declared on it from at least as far back as 1979 when our Embassy in Iran was over-run by “students” and all our citizens were taken hostage. That savagery lasted 444 days and cost 8 good American servicemen’s lives in a failed rescue attempt. One of the leaders of those “students” is now the President of Iran. He denies the WWII Holocaust, but tells us he is preparing to bring Holocaust, version II, to America and Israel both. Maybe you can counsel him about savagery.

    War IS savagery, and on the most personal of terms.

    We have not even “imagined” the savagery that will follow the next terrorist attack on the US. Think about it a minute. Who will get the blame? Will you accept any of it for having opposed our fighting now, with every tool known to man, to prevent future savagery?

    To respond to your remark about my own willingness to tolerate savagery. Tell me how can it be avoided? Hasn’t it alrready been thrust on all of us? Rhetoric like “don’t support Israel or Egypt” won’t cut it. So how about something concrete? Something even Bin Laden and Kofi Annan will back you up on, , , so you won’t have to rely, (or beat up on), the US military for your safe and secure sleep every night, and with all your freedoms intact afterwards?

  19. My question about whether the Geneva Convention provides an exclusionary rule was a serious one. Anyone know?

    Mr Dean, this is a good question, and I dont know.

    Re: your question as to whether there was ‘proof’ of torture – this is ridiculous. It’s an unquestioned status quo.

    newsweek did a story in 2005 about a half dozen senior lawyers in justice resigning over their opposition to what was being changed in the rules for interrogation, and the policy of extraordinary rendition to countries who are not signers of the the Convention against Torture specifically to allow for the unique treatment of the exact people we’re talking about.

    If you say, well we only know they changed the rules to allow what everyone considers torture, but we cant be sure they actually USED it…?

    Right.

    As to another question someone asked as to whether KSM was providing intel: what I read, this is apparently the case. Whether you think it was immediately actionable or not may not matter. The guy was the operational head of al Q. He would know everything about their methods, key supply sources, financing, etc. maybe not ‘ticking bomb’ stuff, but stuff worth knowing, nevertheless.

    I dont endorse torture. FYI. But you’d be hard pressed to find a better case for it than KSM>

    JG

  20. “My comment was lamenting that our government tortures, not that it asked for security info. I’m advocating decency, not pacifism. We can defend ourselves with out our government resorting to torture.” – Rick

    Rick,

    I think you’re confusing harsh treatment of illegal combatants (who don’t qualify for Geneva protections, tho Pres. Bush has repeatedly extended that protection to them) with torture.

    I think you’re also then leaping to the conclusion that the rape and murder of innocent women and children is also part and parcel of that harsh treatment.

    That’s a couple of long-distance leaps that could easily surpass the Olympic world record for the long jump.

    Bottom line:
    1. Illegal combatants are NOT afforded Geneva Convention (GC) protections – according to the GC.
    2. Bush extended protections to illegal combatants beyond what the GC provides (it’s in a memo that’s been all over the net).
    3. Harsh treatment is not the same as torture, and compared with actual torture, the list of approved interrogation tactics are a LONG way from what coalition soldiers, and Western citizens and journalists captured by the enemy face.
    4. Rape and murder are crimes beyond either harsh treatment or torture and are treated as such by the military justice system.

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