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News GITMO detainees and Obama's promise

  1. Aug 19, 2010 #1
    As a candidate in 2008, Obama promised to close the GITMO facility in Cuba in his first year in office. As of Aug 11, 2010 GITMO is still in business with 176 detainees.


    For sure, no one wants these people. Efforts to to find facilities in the US have failed or have not been pursued vigorously by the US government; and no foreign country seems to want them. Besides, I'm sure many of these people would be a major security risk to the US and others if they were released to another country.

    If you were in Obama's shoes, what would you do? This isn't a poll. I would like to hear some discussion. I frankly don't know what I would do. Bringing them to the US and trying them in open court presents major security issues and could compromise US anti-terrorist efforts if certain information were to come out.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
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  3. Aug 19, 2010 #2


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    I'd just push DOD and DOJ to get these guys through whatever trial process they're subject to and probably keep them there if they're not exonerated. Existing federal prisons are overcrowded as is and they're about to become far more overcrowded if more states take Arizona's path of arresting violators of federal immigration laws.
  4. Aug 19, 2010 #3


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    With a couple hundred detainees, I think Nimbyism is a much bigger issue than overcrowding.
  5. Aug 19, 2010 #4


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    It is, but then again, isn't that why we put the most secure prisons in the middle of deserts and on islands? I'd say a military base in Cuba is a perfect place. The only reason Obama initially wanted to shut it down was for the symbolic value due to the bad press it had gotten. There is no feature of Gitmo that makes it necessary that more abuses will occur there than at any other federal or military prison.
  6. Aug 19, 2010 #5
    Does anyone know exactly what kind of trial process these people are subject to? They are "detainees". With a few exceptions, most have not been charged with a crime. They are not POWs because we are not officially at war and they belong to no recognized national army. They are not rebels or insurrectionists subject to military action because they have not challenged, by use of force, US sovereignty on its own territory as the Confederates did in the US Civil War.

    Obama is a constitutional lawyer. He knows that our laws only allow us to classify these people as criminals, and therefore they are subject to the rights and protections that criminal defendants have in the US. I think they are more than common criminals, but US laws don't distinguish between common criminals and international terrorists. In France, you are assumed to be guilty until proven innocent. In the US it's other way around. I'm not advocating the French model, but if we bring these detainees into the US, we must charge them or release them. We can't hold them indefinitely without charges.
  7. Aug 19, 2010 #6
    Given the space in several SuperMax prisons, it is PURE NIMBY and politicians seeing opportunities to scare idiots.
  8. Aug 20, 2010 #7
    I agree NIMBY is a factor but not the critical one. The government could find secure facilities if was highly motivated. It doesn't seem to be. Right now, the detainees are in a legal limbo. If they are brought to the US, the government must charge them with a crime or I'm sure the courts will rule they must be released. Then the question is, where do they go? Nobody wants them.
  9. Aug 20, 2010 #8
    ...Isn't that the definition of "not in my backyard"? The fact that there are few elected officials even willing to engage in the debate is still a result of the consequences of it beginning in the first place.
  10. Aug 20, 2010 #9
    Obama promise the moon to get elected. What promise he kept so far. He is even entertaining extending Bush's tax cut. He lies whenever he open his mouth.

    We should just keep them there. We are at war. Record showed big percentage of released detainee gone back to commit terror act after released.
  11. Aug 20, 2010 #10
    Healthcare leaps to mind...
  12. Aug 20, 2010 #11
    Against most people's wish.
  13. Aug 20, 2010 #12
    OK, but I asked: "What would you do?" You're in charge. If you bring them to the US, you can expect the courts to force you to release the ones you can't charge with a crime (probably most of them). Bush was trying to find countries to take them with little success.

    On the other hand many members of your party are screaming at you to keep your promise. International pressure is also growing. Do we keep them in Cuba until they all die of old age? Do you really think we can get away with that?
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  14. Aug 20, 2010 #13
    We have no choice but to keep them there. We don't want them to be here.

    Problem is we worry too much what other country think. Most of the world hate us because we are strong and our hesitation in various wars since WWII. Every war since WWII, we fight with our hands tided, hesitate to commit. We were so eager to get into a war, but after getting into the war, then we got cold feet, engaging in all the nation building. As a result, a lot of people there got killed……together with our soldiers.

    Why are we so worry about how other country think of us, we just have to do whatever it works for us. The important thing is our interest.
  15. Aug 20, 2010 #14


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    yungman, I'm curious, it's obvious that English is not your first language, but you seem to consider yourself a loyal American, more loyal than many American citizens. Is this due to your choice to immigrate to America? My mother immigrated here by choice as an adult and was also a very loyal "American".
  16. Aug 20, 2010 #15
    We have choices that range from "dissapearing" them, killing them publicly, through incarcerating them in a brand-spanking new supermax in Colorado, to releasing them in the middle of NYC. We ALWAYS have choices, it is just a matter of evaluating which is the best choice; a mixture of obedience to our own laws, and practicality. These people are NOT more secure in camp delta than they would be in a supermax overseen by professional corrections officers.

    Your last question is a valid one, but remember, we demand behavior in a certain vein of other countries, and by OPENLY violating those standards we undermine that attempt at authority. This is a matter that should have been covert, or not done at all; it was the blatant nature of Guantanamo that was such a cock-up, and the discovery of CIA "Black-Sites" that was such a disaster. I for one, and thrilled with the practice of Extraordinary Rendition, but NOT with that practice being discovered. The former is useful, the latter undermines us as a country. Do you see my point here? Appearances can matter, even at the national level.
  17. Aug 20, 2010 #16
    Yes I am an immigrant from Hong Kong and I love this country. I think people have to live in the other part of the world to really appreciate this country and want to do everything to protect her.

    It is heart breaking to see people born in this country take this great country for granted, always think of what this country did wrong. I wish people that think this way would go live in a foreign country for two years without the option of coming back earier, then they'll see how great this country is.
  18. Aug 20, 2010 #17
    I do think we live by a much higher standard than other countries. But my point is why we want to set an example. We should just concentrate on our own welfare.
    I for one think we should not try to change other countries or insist other countries to live up to a certain standard. Like the arab countries, they have been killing each other for hundreds of years, why do we even want to spread democracy there? Don't mistaken I am for isolationism. But it would be naive to think we can change other cultures.

    Bottom, we need to do what is best for us and don't worry about other countries, and at the same time, don't try to make other countries to follow us. Going to war in Af is justifiable because they attacked us first. But going into Iraq is something else. Then the nation building in Iraq is just plain stupid. Now we got rid of Sadam and Iran is running wild.
  19. Aug 20, 2010 #18


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    Doesn't that depend on their status? The US has has perfectly legal POW camps inside its borders before.

    Well yes towards the end with the roughest lot, but Bush shrank GITMO substantially from its 2003ish peak population and 2008, returning many of the less threatening lot.
  20. Aug 20, 2010 #19
    As I said, we are not in a declared war and they are not part of a uniformed military. Having said that, I suppose the US could have declared them to be POWs, but chose not to; probably because we wanted to interrogate them. We have always referred to them as "detainees".
  21. Aug 21, 2010 #20


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    The US *cannot* declare them POWs! If they were POWs, then the Geneva Convention would require that, at the termination of hostilities, they be repatriated.
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