Civil Liberties

Voices of Gitmo

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This ACLU video profiles the Gitmo prisoners detained, tortured, and then released without charge.

You might keep the recent 2nd Circuit ruling Jacob Sullum wrote about yesterday in mind while watching.

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  1. Here’s another one:

    On Oct. 13, a former Guantanamo detainee named Yousef Mohammed al Shihri was killed in a shootout at a checkpoint along the Saudi-Yemeni border. Al Shihri and his accomplices were stopped by Saudi security forces after their suspicious behavior drew attention.

    Two of the travelers, including al Shihri, were reportedly dressed as women. Saudi security personnel decided to search the al Qaeda car and its passengers, but al Shihri and the others opened fire. Al Shihri and one other al Qaeda member were killed in the shootout, while a third was arrested. One Saudi security officer was also killed.

    Al Shihri’s death comes just weeks after one of his al Qaeda colleagues, Fahd Saleh Suleiman al Jutayli , was similarly killed in a shootout between the Yemeni Army and Houthi rebels in northern Yemen. Shortly thereafter, Al Shihri called his family in Saudi Arabia to tell them of al Jutayli’s death and to ask them to inform al Jutayli’s family.

    The Saudi security personnel who searched al Shihri’s car reportedly found a small cache of arms, including suicide explosive belts.

    Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/…..z0W0PRk2N7

  2. There’s nothing about being illegally detained and tortured that could possibly radicalize people into joining terror groups after the fact.

    1. Yes, you are so right. Because being detained by the United States at Guantanomo would make me want to take up arms in Yemen in order to impose a militant form of Islam, which often times necessitates the murder of innocent civilians.

      Give me a fucking break.

      1. Angry people often don’t care who they lash out at.

  3. What’s the point?

    That Bill Roggio, the editor of the Long War Journal is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies? Or that Mr. Roggio is a contributor to the Weekly Standard?

  4. “IF AN INDICTMENT IS ISSUED AND THE TRIAL, BEGINS, THE BROTHER HAS TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING:

    1 . At the beginning of the trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators ]before the judge.

    2. Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison.

    3. Make arrangements for the brother’s defense with the attorney, whether he was retained by the brother’s family or court-appointed.

    4. The brother has to do his best to know the names of the state security officers, who participated in his torture and mention their names to the judge.[These names may be obtained from brothers who had to deal with those officers in previous cases.]

    5. Some brothers may tell and may be lured by the state security investigators to testify against the brothers [i.e. affirmation witness ], either by not keeping them together in the same prison during the trials, or by letting them talk to the media. In this case, they have to be treated gently, and should be offered good advice, good treatment, and pray that God may guide them.

    6. During the trial, the court has to be notified of any mistreatment of the brothers inside the prison.

    7. It is possible to resort to a hunger strike, but i t is a tactic that can either succeed or fail.

    8. Take advantage of visits to communicate with brothers outside prison and exchange information that may be helpful to them in their work outside prison [according to what occurred during the investigations]. The importance of mastering the art of hiding messages is self evident here.”

  5. There’s nothing about being illegally detained and tortured that could possibly radicalize people into joining terror groups after the fact.

    I doubt that. For some reason the people wrongly convicted and put in prison don’t seem to kill the evil motherfuckers that put them there even after they are proven innocent and the same evil piece of shit tries to keep his conviction intact. If every person attacked their abusers, this world would be a better place. I’m talking about regular “criminals”, not those accused of terrorism.

    violence is the answer

    1. I think SugarFree was being sarcastic.

  6. Here’s your problem, Tim:

    Since the War on Terror GI Joe heroes let these guys go, whether they go on to commit new crimes or not the system is exposed as fallible.

    If they were released without charge and never go on to commit a terror act, then their detention was unjustified and the people who captured and detained them were wrong.

    But if they do go on to commit a terror act, then the people who captured and detained them and then decided they were harmless were also wrong.

    In order for suspensions of due process to be justified, the people in charge of the program have to be flawless individuals who don’t make mistakes. The entire point of due process is to take issues of crime and punishment out of the hands of individual magistrates is to prevent injustices from being committed as a result of executive branch malfeasance or simple error. So if your GI Joe heroes ever screw up, the entire program is completely discredited.

    And the graves outside Bagram make any argument that the mistreatment claims are being invented by these guys a plain absurdity. Unless those skeletons are history’s greatest method actors. And in any event, we know that torture occurred if only because Obama decided that the pictures he has were too gruesome for public consumption. Are those pictures Al Qaeda fakes?

    And bigbigslacker, domestic wrongly convicted criminals don’t have an organization they can walk up to and join that will pay them and protect them as they seek revenge upon their tormentors. They also don’t generally live in places outside of the reach of the criminal justice system that abused them. If they did, and if there was such an organization, I imagine that more corrupt cops and prosecutors would end up having bad days.

    1. Well, of course there will be mistakes and injustices in this sort of war. There’s no way to avoid that. The U.S., by even trying to some extent to use due process, is using Marquess of Queensberry rules against enemies that sneer at all laws of war. There’s no way that can work out neatly.

      Unfortunately, dragging terrorist suspects out of Third World hellholes for American-style trials just isn’t a practical means to fight this sort of fight. The released suspects who went back to terror show how flawed that approach is.

      1. Well, of course there will be mistakes and injustices in this sort of war.

        Then don’t complain about attacks on US interests. Because those guys can say, no matter how repugnant the attack, “Well, there will always be injustices and mistakes in this type of war.”

        1. Oh come on, you think we are being attacked because we haven’t followed neat criminal justice style rules of due process in fighting back? That doesn’t account for the Cole attack, either WTC attack, actual Al Qaeda statements, etc.

          You seem to be missing the point that “those guys” will say or do literally anything in pursuit of their goals. If we became a 100% pacifist, isolationist country tomorrow, do you think Al Qaeda would call the whole thing off? And if they did, would giving terrorists whatever they want be a good approach to foreign policy?

  7. Islamic terrorists are the biggest crybabies in the whole terrorist universe. Be they in Gaza or Guantanamo Bay.

  8. It is absolutely fucking amazing that anyone takes these people at face value. Even if a sizable portion of them hadn’t returned to the terrorist life, there word would still be worthless. Almost all of these guys were detained after fighting against American troops in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

    There cries of torture, etc. are about as believable as a death row inmante constantly professing his innocence.

    1. Actually, most of them were not captured on the battlefield, but turned in by personal enemies or opportunists looking for a reward. But you knew this.

      Also, where’s the crime in fighting an invading army?

    2. Almost all of these guys were detained after fighting against American troops in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

      How does that Kool-Aid taste?

    3. First:

      It is absolutely fucking amazing that anyone takes these people at face value.

      Then:

      Almost all of these guys were detained after fighting against American troops in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

      Amazing.

    4. I would like to leave you with a quote.
      “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
      Those that fail to learn from history CORRECTLY, are simply doomed.

    5. There cries of torture, etc. are about as believable as a death row inmante constantly professing his innocence.

      Is this just a coy way of calling my attention to the fact that 139 death row inmates have been exonerated in the last 35 years?

    6. A message to all who share Some Guy’s view: Are you fucking retarded or do you just enjoy drinking the government’s cock-juice? The people in the video were normal civilians who happened to be traveling in the wrong place (the US) with the wrong appearance (Muslim). Even if they are all lying about being tortured (I guess the guy with the dead eye, numerous witness accounts, military reports, and pictures aren’t enough evidence for you) and even if they were all terrorists fighting against American troops, they were still undeniably detained for years without being charged with a crime and without trial. Go join the Republicans, they need more brainless sheep to point and shout at the government’s Evil Enemy of the month.

  9. Voices of Gitmo? I thought this thread was about a choir.

    1. It is. The Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Choir.

      1. Oh john, the francophobia is sooooo Bill O’Reilly circa 2004. Get with the times.

        1. That wasn’t O’Reilley Francobash. It was Simpsons Francoreality.

  10. There are three sides to this story: the government’s, their’s, and the truth which undoubtedly lies somewhere between.

    As for why they were released and not charged, I’d imagine a good deal of it has to do with whatever evidence the government had being collected via foreign governments in violation of 4th amendment protections and therefore inadmissable in trial (correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the court struck down the provision of the PATRIOT act that permitted the use of such evidence) and/or the government not wanting to compromise intellegence sources that had gathered evidence against these men and making a calculated decision that none of them were influential enough in the Islamist community to be an overwhelming threat.

    As incompetent and corrupt as out government most certainly is, I still think they would not waste their time and resources on men whom they knew were not in some way (even if it be small and relatively insignificant) dangerous. Then again, I could be putting considerably too much faith into an institution that continually proves its outright incompetence.

    1. Wrong. There are numerous individuals who were released where the government openly admitted they had been detained by mistake or without cause.

      In fact, right now Obama is trying to come up with yet another variant on the military commissions idea in order to have a way to try people whose evidence chain has been corrupted by torture. So all the guys who are being held on the basis of evidence gathered “in violation of 4th amendment protections and therefore inadmissable in trial” are still being held while Obama plays petty dictator just like Bush.

      And the simple fact that the government still claims “state secrets” immunity from lawsuits filed by detainees, and Obama continues to sit on photographic evidence of abuse in defiance of a court order, means that I am absolutely entitled to completely disregard the state’s claims and accept the claims of the detainees at face value. If the government wants me to consider their argument even a little, I want all the evidence released. As long as any evidence at all is being suppressed, I get to assume that the government is lying.

      1. Simply because you, justifiably, completely disregard the state’s claims does not necessitate taking the detainees claims at face value. Like I said, the truth most often lies somewhere between the two stories (although I’d be more on your side that the truth is likely considerably closer to these detainees accounts).

  11. Why in God’s name are there so many neo-con commenters here? This video is about the rule of law, plain and simple, which the US has utterly shat upon since 2001.

    I’d think this kind of intellectual environment would be for, not against, the rule of law. But we actually have people DEFENDING Guantanamo here! Where the F are your principles?

    “Principles don’t matter to the terrorists, so why should they matter to us?” is basically the argument I’m seeing here, and I don’t know that a libertarian should even give that the courtesy of a rebuttal.

    1. Ever hear the expression “hard cases make bad law”? A country suffering repeated attacks by fanatic and lawless international terrorists is a textbook hard case, both legally and militarily. Neither the traditional criminal justice approach nor the traditional military response is a good fit. Both have big pluses and minuses, and yet mixing the two is inevitably flawed.

      Trying to deal with all that using pure libertarian principles is probably foolish, I’m afraid.

  12. I’ll believe the ACLU is a honest arbiter of constitution truth around the time the come out with their documentary on the gun seizures in NO following Katrina.

    As we unfortunately are learning down in Ft. Hood today, rules mean nothing of our enemies, deception is one of their primary tools, and this thing is long from over.

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