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No, only the office about closing Gitmo is closing.

Office Working to Close Guantánamo Is Shuttered
www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/us/politics/state-dept-closes-off...
The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said. The announcement that no senior official in President Obama’s second term will succeed Mr. Fried in working primarily on diplomatic issues pertaining to repatriating or resettling detainees appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that it still intends to do so.

DB2
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A national disgrace. Perhaps Obama's biggest failing.

Close it now. If Congress won't allow them to be tried here, let them go. Close it now.

Anything less makes us hypocrites and damages our international standing.
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Anything less makes us hypocrites and damages our international standing.

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I'm sorry, but I really don't see how our international standing could possibly be further damaged. The world already views us as gun-toting savages and war-mongers. Not EVEN to mention money-grubbing Xenophobes.

AM
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The world already views us as gun-toting savages and war-mongers. Not EVEN to mention money-grubbing Xenophobes.

Probably. But it could still be worse. Heck, it was worse just 5 years ago.

And if Obama gave a good speech (which he's very good at), and then let them all go (since we KNOW Congress won't allow them here), it might actually elevate us in international esteem.

As a bonus, the Treason Party would have a conniption. ;-)
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And if Obama gave a good speech (which he's very good at), and then let them all go (since we KNOW Congress won't allow them here), it might actually elevate us in international esteem.

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Have you ever known Obama yet to do anything the military didn't want?

Just sayin'.

AM
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I'm sorry, but I really don't see how our international standing could possibly be further damaged. The world already views us as gun-toting savages and war-mongers. Not EVEN to mention money-grubbing Xenophobes.

Perhaps. But extrajudicial gulags have their own special flavor of human rights violation....and it appears that we're well on our way to just keeping these people locked up until they die, because we don't know what else to do with them.

Albaby
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keeping these people locked up until they die, because we don't know what else to do with them

Because Bush needed a bag of prisoners to prove he hadn't dropped the ball in Afghanistan by losing bin Laden.
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Let. Them. Go.

It's not my first choice, but I don't think my first choice is an option anymore (could we try them now, or would the cases get tossed on day-one?).

1pg
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Let. Them. Go

It would be political suicide.
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Because Bush needed a bag of prisoners to prove he hadn't dropped the ball in Afghanistan by losing bin Laden.

...and because we thought that we would be better off taking prisoners. We've learned that lesson, and now we just kill everyone on the battlefield that might have been seized under prior policy. I'm not entirely sure that the President having a secret "kill list" is much of an improvement over indefinite detention, apart from the fact that it's much more convenient to ignore.

Albaby
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It would be political suicide.

He can afford to do the right thing now. He can't run again, so it doesn't matter anymore. Accompany it with a good speech about justice and American values and ideals, and he should keep most of the country on his side. What we're doing is not who we are, or at least not who we used to be.

Also agree with albaby about kill lists. If we absolutely have to do that we should take our cue from the Israelis. Poison, a well-placed bullet, etc, is much more discriminating than a Hellfire missile.
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Because Bush needed a bag of prisoners to prove he hadn't dropped the ball in Afghanistan by losing bin Laden.



Bush never wanted to get bin Laden - especially since his family has been in bed with bin Laden's family for years.

AM
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Bush never wanted to get bin Laden - especially since his family has been in bed with bin Laden's family for years.

You wouldn't have a link handy, would you? I don't doubt it, I just want to forward it to some people.
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Bush never wanted to get bin Laden - especially since his family has been in bed with bin Laden's family for years.

You wouldn't have a link handy, would you? I don't doubt it, I just want to forward it to some people.

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No... it's just one of those things I picked up along the way in news clips or whatever. I could be totally wrong about it, but I know I didn't dream it up. Now that you mention it, I would be interested to see what's out there about it myself.

AM
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Holy cow. On first search there is a TON of stuff out there about it.
Give it a look.

AM
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Perhaps. But extrajudicial gulags have their own special flavor of human rights violation....and it appears that we're well on our way to just keeping these people locked up until they die, because we don't know what else to do with them.

Actually, we do know what to do with them. For the last 223 years, we have a system to deal with people accused of crimes. It doesn't work perfectly, but the it has served the Republic during world wars, a civil war, invasion by foreign armies, times of deep economic crisis, and the cold war.

I find the notion we can't use our legal system to deal with suspected terrorists completely absurd. It is an example of abject cowardice. If you don't like what the Constitution says, then work to change it. Trying to circumvent it because we're too frightened to live by our principles is just pathetic.
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I find the notion we can't use our legal system to deal with suspected terrorists completely absurd. It is an example of abject cowardice. If you don't like what the Constitution says, then work to change it. Trying to circumvent it because we're too frightened to live by our principles is just pathetic.

I'm not entirely sure it's an option, at this point. The practice of detention and interrogation without access to legal counsel (to say nothing of other practices) is fundamentally inconsistent with minimal due process in our judicial system. Ordinary application of the exclusionary rule might preclude successful prosecution of many, if not most, Gitmo prisoners.

Albaby
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Let. Them. Go

It would be political suicide.



that's what's nice about being Lame Duck
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I figured as much. Everything would be inadmissible.

We should just let them go. Maybe by submarine...we could put them ashore at, oh I dunno...maybe 39.8N by 127.5E. That would have some entertainment value too.
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If we absolutely have to do that we should take our cue from the Israelis. Poison, a well-placed bullet, etc, is much more discriminating than a Hellfire missile.

What makes you think we're not doing that too?

It isn't the sort of thing a state reveals at the daily briefing.
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and it appears that we're well on our way to just keeping these people locked up until they die, because we don't know what else to do with them.

It seems that most of the people in our jails are in the same boat. I wonder who's making money off of the Gitmo prisoners?

6
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We might be, but I would expect it to make the news. Even if it's "car bomb exploded killing terrorist leader". We can infer someone like us or Israel did it, but as you say there's no briefing on it.

But we only hear about drone attacks (which are unambiguously us).
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I'm not entirely sure it's an option, at this point. The practice of detention and interrogation without access to legal counsel (to say nothing of other practices) is fundamentally inconsistent with minimal due process in our judicial system. Ordinary application of the exclusionary rule might preclude successful prosecution of many, if not most, Gitmo prisoners.

It is not a comfortable option. However, if we really believe in our principles then we have to stand up for them, even when we're not comfortable. An analogy would be the ACLU's defense of Nazis in Illinois. If you really believe in exercise of free speech, then you have to defend it even when you don't agree with the speech. If you can censor speech you disagree with, then you don't have free speech.

That's the exact thing that's happening here. If we accept faceless government bureaucrats torturing and imprisoning people without trial because the bureaucrat claims they are an enemy of the state, we we don't really have individual rights in this country.

I realize there are many gray and unexplored areas with how this whole thing came about, and who these people really are, etc. But the decision to create an extra-judicial island prison was a disaster on every level. Had the Bush administration decided to go the legal route by putting these people on trial we'd be done by now.

Or for example, simply declaring them as POWs, then they could have safely warehoused them for essentially ever if needs be. That's perhaps not justice, but it would have been legal.

Instead we have this needless and embarrassing failure to live by our principles we claim we're fighting for. It is both hypocrisy and cowardice.
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Well said. Wish I could rec it 100 times.

We are cowards until we step up and let our system work as it should.
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I realize there are many gray and unexplored areas with how this whole thing came about, and who these people really are, etc. But the decision to create an extra-judicial island prison was a disaster on every level. Had the Bush administration decided to go the legal route by putting these people on trial we'd be done by now.

Or for example, simply declaring them as POWs, then they could have safely warehoused them for essentially ever if needs be. That's perhaps not justice, but it would have been legal.


I don't disagree that it was a disaster to have done it. I merely disagree that we have options today, now that we have done it. We didn't declare them POW's (because we didn't want to give them the rights of POW's). We didn't treat them as criminal suspects (because we didn't want to give them the rights of criminal suspects). So now that we have created this nether category of "detainees," we can't just easily import them into the domestic criminal justice system. If you don't follow the criminal justice rules when you start off, you face a nontrivial chance that a judge will make rulings that result in acquittal (even of the guilty).

So for many (perhaps most) of these detainees, it's either indefinite detention or release. It is quite possible that for some (perhaps many or most) that neither of those is a just outcome. That's why it's such a problem, without it necessarily being a current state of cowardice or discomfort.

Albaby
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If you don't follow the criminal justice rules when you start off, you face a nontrivial chance that a judge will make rulings that result in acquittal (even of the guilty).

Absolutely. That however, is and always has been a risk of our system which requires preserving the rights of accused. For example, rules of evidence have to be followed or else that evidence cannot be used in court (usually). That's true even if the evidence provides conclusive proof of guilt. Undoubtedly, numerous guilty people have been released on technicalities like that one. However, as a society we accept that preserving our rights means occasionally guilty people go free. The solution is not to reduce or eliminate our rights. The solution is to work to reduce procedural errors, such that the guilty are punished and the innocent are protected. That goal means more work on our part as well as some risk, but is certainly worth striving for.

Some years ago, I spent an interesting evening reading the combat status review tribunals for GTMO detainees when they were released online. A couple things jumped out at me. One was that some of the detainees were arrested in obviously compromising circumstances, like holding a rocket launcher or something. But several of them seemed to be held only because of the brand of wrist watch they were wearing. And several reported initially being relieved when they found out they were being turned over to the Americans because they thought they finally thought they would get a chance to prove their innocence. Those CSRTs were very hard to read.
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AM: Bush never wanted to get bin Laden - especially since his family has been in bed with bin Laden's family for years.

1pg: You wouldn't have a link handy, would you? I don't doubt it, I just want to forward it to some people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/04/washington/04intel.html?_r...

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/05/09/176601/rice-bus...

http://www.theonion.com/articles/privileged-children-of-mill...

rj
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I had found this, but wanted to find more before accepting its validity (i.e. just because it's on the internet....)

http://www.911myths.com/index.php/Bush-bin_Laden_family_link...
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I find the notion we can't use our legal system to deal with suspected terrorists completely absurd

It is not a case of "cannot use our legal system".....it is a case of not wanting to use it....revenge makes for poor evidence for procescution usually.

md
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Close Gitmo?
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Why yes, this time I really mean it. I promise. 0
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