Hey you guys!
I know this is the wrong forum for this thread :) But I know people read this forum quite a lot.
There is a petition going around to close Guantanamo Bay Prison. For those who don't know, GTMO is basically a prison run by the American gov't that houses so-called t.errorists. They torture them, they beat them, and they give them absolutely no trial. For anybody who believes in 'innocent until proven guilty', this place is a disgrace. It has even been the 'home' of Omar Khadr, who was charged with a crime that he allegedly commited at 15 years old. Still a minor.
If any of this intrigues you, PLEASE sign the petition below. At the very least, read the short letter by the former GTMO Prosecutor, who has organised this petition. Share it with as many people as possible, using Facebook, Twitter, whatever!
Thank you so much!
I respectfully disagree, Destinee. I know a great deal about Omar Khadr. He killed my uncle's brother, Sgt. Christopher Speer, in cold blood. After pretending to be his friend. He blinded another soldier and Sgt. Speer was killed trying to save said soldier. In his TRIAL (yes, they do get a trial), Khadr pleaded guilty. Also, Khadr is not longer in G.itmo; he is now in Canada.
G.itmo is not a prison for criminals, it is a prison for enemy combatants; those who commit acts to t.error, murder, and war on our brave Ameican soldiers.
To anyone reading this, please thoroughly research the facts before signing this petition. Don't believe everything you read. Thank you.
Guantanamo is a stain on our national character. We cannot pretend to be an example of peace, light, and freedom while allowing a place like this to exist. If conditions like this existed in, say, Britain or Japan, we'd be all over denouncing them for human rights violations and probably cut off ties as allies. To allow government-sanctioned torture to take place on US soil is hypocritical at best and evil at worst.
WarriorPuella- Of course we have to have some system in place to deal with enemy combatants, and of course they should face justice for the crimes they committ. But holding them indefintely without a just hearing or trial and torturing them in the meantime is NOT justice.
Like you asked, I thoroughly resarched the facts. Not all of them get trials- they've been promised trials that haven't happened yet. (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has yet to stand trial for the 9/11 attacks. That was almost twelve years ago.)
And the trials that do happen are almost never fair. They happen in front of a military tribunal, not a jury. Typically, someone being tried by the US military is entitled to the same rights as someone in a civilian court- such as the right of the accused to access all evidence against them (denied to Guantanamo prisoners), the right to appeal verdicts (also denied to Guantanamo prisonsers) and the right to avoid self-incrimination (denied, denied, denied). For heaven's sake, these guys are tortured. Is a guilty plea still valid if it's been forced out of you through extreme pain and death threats?
Des: I almost signed it, but then they asked for a whole bunch of personal information. Why do they want my email address and stuff? Do you know?
Guantanamo should not exist, reasons why have already been stated, just throwin' my opinion in real quick.
I believe the reason for the personal info is so they can be sure the signatures are valid. The U.S. government has high standards for the validity of petitions.
American soldiers have routinely killed civilians but nobody maims or blinds them as 'punishment'.
He pleaded guilty to get out of GTMO and into Canada.
He was also a minor like I mentioned.
But ignoring him altogether, there are dozens of others without trial.
I gave it, Change.org is a trustworthy site. I agree with stuntdude on that.
Later on I'll post vids. Right now I'm tired :(
Okay. I signed it.
Please don't take this the wrong way. This topic really fires me up...
Are you really so morally bankrupt that you cannot see the difference between a t.errorist and an American soldier fighting for your rights and freedoms? Let’s identify the goals of each: an American soldier takes an oath to protect America, the American Constitution, and the American values. A terrorist kills soldiers and civilians alike to make a point in the name of the leading deity of their death cult. They do not do it in the name of a country or value; simply to destroy anything or anyone who supposedly insults their “God.”
Destinee: Yes, he pleaded guilty to get into Canada, but that makes him no less guilty. If you don’t mind my asking, do you honestly feel safe knowing that Omar Khadr is running loose around your country? No offense intended, just wondering.
Imagine: You say G.itmo is a “stain on our national character.” What, exactly, is our national character? To passively allow t.errorists to k.ill our people on our land (and off!)? I GUARANTEE that there is not a single individual who is currently imprisoned in G.itmo who has not done something to deserve it. How can we have ANY national character if it is constantly being attacked and if said attackers face no consequences? I don’t necessarily agree with the act of putting off trials, but overall, I have no problem with G.itmo.
Thank you for researching the facts, I do appreciate that. However, I disagree with you concerning the “unfair” trials. There are certain rights that you give up when you launch an attack on our country.
stuntddude: You say that Change.org wants to ensure the validity of signatures…If it’s allowing minors to sign, I’m going to say they’re failing rather awesomely. ;-)
I would also like to express my deepest disappointment in everyone’s blatant hypocrisy on this thread. You criticize G.itmo, you say how inhumane it is, and yet basically tell me that my uncle’s brother had it coming to him when he died FOR OUR COUNTRY. How is that humane? I say that it is, to quote Imagine, a “stain on our national character” that so many Americans feel sorry for the t.errorists who have m.urdered our people, have damaged our country, and have irrevocably changed our way of life, yet distain and insult the heroic men and women who risk/give their lives so that you have the freedom to do just that.
Is there no national pride or loyalty to be had from American citizens any longer? Are we so concerned with being “politically correct” that we can no longer stand up for what is right and good in the world? Well, you know what? I don’t care about political correctness. Long live Archie Bunker! ;-)
I do, however, care about my country. Do you know why? Because however messed up our government is, however corrupt it has become, America is still the greatest nation that has ever existed on Earth. This, my country, my America, is the greatest thing I can imagine. I am proud of my country. I am loyal to my country and the things for which it stands (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness).
But guess what t.errorists do when they commit acts like 9/11 and the Boston b.ombings? They take away Americans’ right to life, which, in turn, keeps said Americans from enjoying liberty and pursuing happiness. In turn, we are forced to retaliate in order to maintain our freedom. Did we start the fight with Afghanistan or Iraq? NO. We actually helped the Afghan mujahideens in the 1970s and ‘80s (admittedly, this was a political move designed to counter the S.oviets, but that does not change the fact that we helped them). We were still giving them funding as late as the 1990s. The mujahideens later became Al-Qaida and the T.aliban, who proceeded to blow up the World Trade Center. Gee, that went over well (NOT). Thanks so much, Carter (NOT).
Anyway. God bless America. Pax tecum.
Read the PATRIOT ACT. It goes quite nicely with GTMO.
Everyone Else: Being convicted of a terrorist means that you lose all the basic rights guaranteed to you by the Constitution as a United States Citizen. That much I will always agree with. If you are convicted of terrorism, then you don't deserve the rights guaranteed to you were you a United States citizen. Now should up until the point you are convicted, should you have the right to a trial, YES. Most definitely, you are suspected of doing something, they haven't convicted you. One could still be innocent.
Imagine: During a time of war, an enemy combatant is always held in military tribunals, judged and sentenced by miliatry officials. If you are deemed an enemy combatant, then one you don't have rights as a U.S. citizen, so they can hold you for however long they want.
Guantanamo Bay Prison in my opinion has good intentions. It should stay open and continue to house the Nation's undesirable #1s. Perfect Prison too. Escape it and you are in CUBA on 3 sides, on the fourth side is a long cold swim to the Florida Keys. However, there need to be better regulations and standards than there is now. The government shouldn't have complete control to do as they wish.
WarriorPuella: First of all, I'm not a minor.
Secondly, you're attacking a straw man. I never said that we should 'passively allow terrorists to kill our people on our land'. I never said the attackers should 'face no consequences.' I never said that your brother had it coming, that I disdain or insult the heroic men and women who give thier lives for my freedoms, or that America is a bad place to live. You aren't attacking my position.You aren't attacking my reasoning. You're attacking my patriotism- just because I happen to disagree with you. How am I supposed to not take that the wrong way? Is there a right way to take it?
There are more than two options in this debate- to either torture people in the name of loving America or to be so 'morally bankrupt' as to assume that terroists shouldl go free. Of course they should be stopped. Of course they should be punished for their actions. But that doesn't mean we have to violate just about every moral code in the book ('love thiny enemies'?), the Geneva Convention, and our own Consittution in order to do that.
If someone shoots someone else in an LA gang fight, he's just taken away that person's right to life (ON AMERICAN SOIL!), which, in turn, keeps said person from enjoying liberty and pursuing happiness. Thus, we should be allowed to imprison this person with a sham trial (or no trial at all) and torture him in the meantime? I don't think so.
You GUARANTEE that there is not a single individual who is currently imprisoned in Gitmo who has not done something to deserve it? The burden of proof is on you here. Go ahead. Explain how you know for absolute certain that all one hundered and sixty-six people in there are such heinous murderers that they deserve to be tortured. (Oh wait, you can't. That's why we have trials).
"What, exactly, is our national character?"
I thought the answer should be fairly obvious...
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." (Declaration of Indepenence)
To uphold those ideals, we created the Constitution:
"No person shall... be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." (Bill of Rights, 5th Amendment)
"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence." (6th Amendment)
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." (8th Amendment)
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." (9th Amendment)
Tell me where it says "these rights shall only apply to American citizens who have not committed a crime." Tell me where it says "these right shall not apply to people who we can GUARANTEE don't deserve them."
Hm, wait a second, it doesn't.
Of course they should be punished. But they should be given a trial. Of course they should be made to answer for thier actions. But they should be granted the 'due process of law' granted to everyone on American soil.
Of course I honor and respect our servicemen, many of whom have been captured, tortured, and killed by own enemies. How is refusing to sink as low as these scum unpatritotic? How is refusing to use their tactics a crime against American soldiers? How is fighting fire with fire a service to our country?
Guantanamo is not a place of justice or American ideals. It is based on the assumption that "might (or anger) make right." It only exists because people want revenge- and they dont' care if they are getting revenge on the right people or if they are dragging an entire country's beliefs, examples, and ideals down because of it.
The problem is not political correctness. I do not oppose Guantanamo because the people inside are religious and ethnic minorities. I oppose Guantanamo because the people inside are PEOPLE.
Imaginedangerous: I’m sorry if I incorrectly assumed about you being a minor, but I was talking to EVERYONE, not just you.
I guess I sounded a bit harsh, and I do apologize for that. However, I have encountered many people who have basically told me to give it up, blatantly distained this country and our military, and lots of other things. I do get very passionate, as I stated, and I also saw no reason for you to be much different than the other people. I incorrectly assumed as to your patriotic character. That was my mistake, and I apologize.
I certainly agree that we should not “violate just about every moral code in the book (‘love thiny enemies’?), the Geneva Convention, and our own Consittution.” I assume that you are referring to the Third Geneva Convention which focuses upon the humanitarian treatment of POWs. However, Article 4 defines a prisoner of war as the following:
“Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.
(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.
(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.”
T.errorists do not have a “fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance,” and do not fall into any of the other categories, which actually ensures that they do not fall under the category of “Prisoner of War.” This is addressed in Article 5 which states, “Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.” I believe that is what the trials are for. Could you please tell me why the trials given to G.itmo prisoners do not fall under the category, “competent tribunal?” Is it because their 5th Amendment rights have been revoked? The 5th Amendment states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Also, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 states the following: “No alien unlawful enemy combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights.” Would you please point me to the part of the Constitution that G.itmo violates?
“The burden of proof is on you here. Go ahead. Explain how you know for absolute certain that all one hundered and sixty-six people in there are such heinous murderers that they deserve to be tortured.”
You are correct. I have no way to prove this, unless I was to thoroughly research each and every case, which I have neither the desire nor the time to do. I was saying that as a figure of speech and did not intend it to be taken literally. Allow me to rephrase that: I’m reasonably certain that at least most G.itmo d.etainees are there due to sufficient evidence which may or may not have currently been proven by a trial.
“Tell me where it says ‘these rights shall only apply to American citizens who have not committed a crime.’ Tell me where it says ‘these right shall not apply to people who we can GUARANTEE don't deserve them.’”
Indeed, it doesn’t say any of that. However, unlawful enemy combatants do have their Habeas Corpus rights suspended. The Supreme Court also ruled, in 1942, that “Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful.”
“But they should be granted the 'due process of law' granted to everyone on American soil.”
I agree wholeheartedly, Imagine. But, as shown, G.itmo is perfectly legal and does follow the “due process of law.”
“How is refusing to sink as low as these scum unpatritotic?”
Well put. However, I would like to point out that, as G.itmo is perfectly lawful, we actually are not “sink[ing] as low as these scum.” When American troops are captured, they are given NO opportunity for a trial (even a delayed one), they are t.ortured (really t.ortured, not simply made uncomfortable in order to encourage them to share information- yes, water boarding falls under that definition too, by the way; no one ever d.ied or was m.aimed because of water boarding), and often severely injured and/or b.eheaded. We don’t do that in G.itmo.
“they are dragging an entire country's beliefs, examples, and ideals down because of it.”
Al-Qaida does not represent any one country, and thus G.itmo cannot possibly drag down their country’s “beliefs, examples, and ideals.” G.itmo holds t.errorists from all over the world (China, Britain, the Middle East, etc.). Are you really averse to dragging down the “beliefs, examples, and ideals” of Islamic e.xtremists?
Finally, I would like to ask you what your ideal model of a military prison is, since G.itmo doesn’t meet your standards?
I don't necessarily agree with everything WarriorPuella says, but this is perfect. I agree with it 100%:
"I do, however, care about my country. Do you know why? Because however messed up our government is, however corrupt it has become, America is still the greatest nation that has ever existed on Earth. This, my country, my America, is the greatest thing I can imagine. I am proud of my country. I am loyal to my country and the things for which it stands (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). "
No offence, but that ^ is just dumb.
Love your country fine. But don't be blind about it.
By what basis is America the best nation to have ever been created? It's just a dumb, patriotic statement with no basis.
I love Canada and I love Pakistan. But I wouldn't say that they are the best nations ever created.
Patriotism shouldn't be blind. Then it becomes another form of tribalism.
^ Agree with Destinee. It's a beautiful sentiment and everything, but sometimes patriotism goes overboard and becomes blind servitude.
I personally am patriotic to America because she is currently the greatest nation on earth. And I'll fight to keep her that way.
I don't think my patriotism is blind. As I said, I don't agree with everything WarriorPuella said (I don't, for example, suppot Guantanamo Bay - I think it goes against the ideals that make the US such a great place). However, I do agree with that statement because, for all its flaws, I sincerely believe that the United States has the best and most effective governmental system yet created. Its definitely not perfect, but in the scheme of things I am very proud to be an American.
Well okay then. I'm just saying, as long as you know what your country is doing, you are a great patriot. What I was thinking about when I wrote my previous post, was Hit.ler's Germany. He was a patriotic person and he got his whole country to be patiroitc.
What I'm saying is, patriotism is like a weapon. A tool. It can be used for good or bad purposes. You just gotta be careful with it, like any other tool.
As for Guantanamo Bay, I don't really know much about it so I'll let you guys argue it out, lol.
Good point about Hitler. Blind nationalism can definitely turn bad.
I don't know if it's what you meant before, but I'm thinking you were trying to say that since America has been the greatest nation on earth, that no matter how corrupt she might become now, you won't be giving up on her.
Not sure if that's what you meant and Destinee and I missunderstood.