Gitmo Tribunals?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Aronson, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Aronson

    Aronson Retired Staff Member

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    The supreme court rulings + President Bush + US polarized Senate= Good Lightning Round Discussion.

    Keep it clean, and let's discuss.

    Go!
     
  2. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Simple.

    Stop taking prisoners. :mad:
     
  3. AFDAD2010

    AFDAD2010 Member

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    So let me get this straight: an enemy that doesn't wear any uniforms, hides in mosques, blows up innocent civilians, likes to cut off heads of prisoners -- those people should receive the benefits of the Geneva convention?
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Correct.

    Meanwhile, our troops get captured, tortured, killed, and mutulated, and it's all our fault because the terrorists say they did it to avenge a rape by an American soldier, and the media runs with it.

    :rolleyes:
     
  5. Harrison

    Harrison Candidate

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    They don't deserve it, that's for sure. But I think it's important that our military doesn't sink to the terrorists' moral standards. The United States needs to be identifiable as the good guy. If the military must have its Gitmos, it needs to do a better job of keeping them a secret.
     
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Then we'll lose.

    Of course, even if we took our nukes and went after entire cities we knew were plagued with terrorists, we STILL wouldn't be down at their level, because we STILL aren't targeting civilians just for the hell of it, as THEY do.

    I'd rather we just win. We can worry about how the rest of the world identifies us after the enemy is crushed, his allies cowed, and our cause victorius.

    Brother, ain't THAT the truth! :unhappy:
     
  7. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    I agree with Harrison. I really wonder if any valuable intelligence whatsoever has been gained from our torturing of prisoners. All we have done is reaffirmed their hatred for the United States and made them more confirmed in their beliefs. With our ignoring the Geneva Convention, we have set ourselves up for the next war when our enemy will use our present conduct as a justifiable excuse to drag captured aircrew down main street beating and humiliating them.
     
  8. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    :confused: I dunno.... Not sure the world's fanatics see justifiable excuses the same way we do. Somalia comes to mind. Beatings and humiliation would have been mercy in that case. These people hated us long before Gitmo and they will never identify us as the good guy. They are rearing a brand new generation to hate us as we speak. Not teaching Mary had a little lamb to their 5 year olds over there..... Its scary.
     
  9. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    You seem to have swallowed the line that we ARE torturing the prisoners. Do you actually believe that garbage?

    As for the Geneva Convention, a) they don't fall under it, b) they are not signatories to it, and c) they throw off whatever protections it could conceivably give them when they violate it during acts of aggression. Hell, if we read the Geneva Convention correctly, they'd be shot on sight as sabotours and spies.

    I also highly doubt that our torturing them in any way reaffirms their hatred for us. Gitmo didn't even exist in this capacity on one bright sunny September morning when they decided to tickle us with love. Imagine what they would have done to us if they'd REALLY been mad at us! :rolleyes:
     
  10. Harrison

    Harrison Candidate

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    I'm not suggesting that we'll win over the people who already hate us. But what about in a place like Iraq where unemployed young men can decide to join the Iraqi army or the insurgency? That's why I'm so big on the military's image.
     
  11. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    1. We declared “war” on terrorism. By reaping the PR associated with being at war, we must also accept the responsibilities. One of those is adherence to the Geneva Convention which we signed. It states in Article 1:
    ”Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations.”
    We are bound to it even if they aren’t.

    2. Article 4 states that enemy combatants can include the following:
    “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.”

    3. Quote from AFDAD2010:
    “So let me get this straight: an enemy that doesn't wear any uniforms, hides in mosques, blows up innocent civilians, likes to cut off heads of prisoners -- those people should receive the benefits of the Geneva convention?”
    Changing one or two words, this could be a description of the VC in IV Corps in South Vietnam in 1970. I spent a year there successfully in the intelligence-gathering business, all within the confines of the Geneva Convention.

    4. A conservative Supreme Court agrees that we should operate within the Geneva Convention.
    Like Harrison says, we are a “moral” nation. We should set the benchmarks. If we must stoop to the levels of our enemy, maybe the price of victory isn’t worth it.
     
  12. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Then we'll lose. Simple as that.

    You can't fight an enemy with one hand tied to one of your feet. By engaging this unconventional enemy this way, we are going to LOSE.

    Besides, they're not in uniform. We should then shoot them as sabotours when we're done with them, in accordance with the Geneva Convention, and thus save ourselves all the negative press.

    So where are Amnesty International and the rest of the Useful Idiot Brigade when these "militia" (notice how we elevate TERRORISTS yet call our own troops TORTURERS and MURDERERS) are chopping peoples body parts off? :rolleyes:

    Also, they need to be organized uniformed groups representing a nation state. Terrorists, by definition, are none of that.

    Not according to the usual suspects. We had torture chambers in the jungle, too, and the VC were the good guys, remember? :rolleyes:

    And if I could "change one or two words", I could make anything match my view.

    Which court would that be? Certainly not ours, I'm sad to say.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't follow the Geneva Convention. I'm just saying it doesn't apply to terrorists. As such, Gitmo doesn't fall under it.

    You're right. When they nuke New York, we should take the moral high ground and send a strongly-worded protest to the United Nations, who will pass a resolution stating that the terrorist act was not nice, and since it happened to America, the attack is regrettable but understandable, and could America please speed up it's payments to rebuild the UN building.

    "Maybe the price isn't worth it?" Are you SERIOUS? :eek:

    Well HELL, then! I guess you're right! It's far better for us to surrender and live under Sharia law than to waterboard some terrorist scumbags at Gitmo. Let me start a burkha business. What size do your wife and daughters take?

    Victory is all that matters. This nation once understood that, but now half of us see US as the enemy and the evildoers. We used to have the moral strength to wage nuclear war and decimate entire cities full of civilians in order to WIN A WAR and SAVE AMERICAN LIVES.

    Obviously, we don't anymore.

    We've lost. Hail Allah. :frown:

    Still waiting for definitive proof that we, as a matter of official policy, are openly torturing prisoners, BTW. Please use a source other that some moonbat anti-American group, if you don't mind. They were the ones spitting on you in the airport when you came back from the jungle.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    would the operative word here be "openly" or would it be "official Policy"??
     
  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Either would do. Also, I'd like to know the definition being applied to "torture". Are we putting them on the rack and disemboweling their children before them, or are we simply making them not get much sleep? There's a difference, despite the fact that these days not giving them the knife with which to attack the evil American guards seems to qualify as "torture".
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  15. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    It’s hard to hit a moving target. I had better answer this before you ask for sworn statements with three signed witnesses. I’m almost sure, that when the court marshals for Abu Gharib finally settle, that the similarities between the treatment of prisoners in Gitmo and Abu Gharib were not entirely coincidental and the genius of some bored E-4 on midwatch. I think I can probably also dig up some court martial testimony attesting to midnight flights to Egypt and other countries that prescribe to the torture means of gathering intelligence. Lastly, we have a DOD and an Attorney General who have spent a lot of taxpayer dollars defending the idea that the Geneva Convention does not apply in this case. I certainly hope they were not wasting our money on hypothetical suppositions.

    Warfare has changed. We can’t sit around and pout, like some third grader, because the other team doesn’t “play fair”. Anytime some third world country has what they feel is a legitimate gripe against the US and cannot match us with B-1s, B-2s, tomahawks, CVs, and armored divisions, their “smart” bomb will be someone at the controls of a 747. Like Harrison stated, we had better learn to fight this type of war, which includes the gathering of viable intelligence and hitting them where it hurts and quit acting like a bully with our feelings hurt. If we don’t, not that I endorse or support it in any way, we probably do deserve to lose.

    The "war on terriorism" is hiding in the mountains of the Pakistani/Afghan border. We have got to get what's important, him.

    By the way, I came through LAX three times when returning from Vietnam and, not only was I not spit on, I never saw anyone spit on, never saw a group of potential spitters, or even heard of anyone getting spit on. Could I have a sworn statement with three signed witnesses that there were spitters during Vietnam.

    Why don’t we drop this. We probably agree on a lot more than we disagree and I doubt if I will change your mind on the rest. And I know you aren’t going to change mine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  16. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Sigh. This is what I hate about the internet. Conversations take too long, and hastily-typed words can all to often be misunderstood without the inflection inteded behind them.

    Permit me to clarify my positions on this entire issue.

    I am not against the Geneva Convention. It has its purpose, which is perfectly noble. Were we at war with China, and were capturing uniformed soldiers of China, then I would support the Convention 100%.

    My argument here is not against the Convention, and it is not FOR the use of torture, either. If this were a discussion as to the effectiveness of torture, then I would be all ears listening to what you think if for no other reason that you have at least one more year of experience in the general field than I'm ever likely to have. The idea that, given enough pain, anyone will say ANYTHING (accurate or not) is perfectly reasonable to me and a good enough argument to recommend against the use of indiscriminate torture when other, more effective and even humane, means are available.

    I have always argued that since these vermin represent neither country nor flag, we should apply whatever means necessary to get accurate, timely, and actionable intelligence from them. If I can tickle them with a feather to make them talk, that's good enough. If I have to keep them awake for a week, fine. If I have work them over with a nine-iron, then so be it. Once that information is in-hand however, any further activity falls into the realm of sadism, and that goes beyond any line you or I wish to draw.

    My argument here is against the ACCUSATIONS of torture, and the automatic assumption that not only HAS it happened, but that it CONTINUES to happen and with OFFICIAL sanction, and with particular brutality.

    The people making the accusations are and always have been decidedly anti-American, giving US flak about the death penalty, supermax prisons, and the like. These people have an AGENDA. They take accusations by the prisoners themselves or propaganda made up either by leftists (yes, LEFTISTS. You don't see the folks on the right or middle doing this crap) and run with it without checking facts. The media picks it up and runs with it because it forwards THEIR agenda and sells copy. Remember the NYT article where they interviewed a "former Gitmo prisoner" who was alleging torture? Front page! Problem was, HE WASN'T. They would have known if they'd simply checked facts, but the story was what they wanted to believe, so they ran with it.

    Where were all these bastards when our troops were being beaten silly by Saddam's troops during GW I? That was a war between nation-states conducted by troops in uniform, and our guys were beaten, forced to eat feces, and subjected to other TRUE tortures. Where was Amnesty International then?

    In Vietnam (as you well know), our prisoners were REALLY tortured, and the same idiots who whine now about us were, back then, accusing those prisoners of lying (remember Jane Fonda at the Hanoi Hilton?).

    So to begin with, I find the accusations to be politically, rather than factually, motivated. That immediately brings their credibility into doubt for me. Since those making the accusations have a track record of both being against the United States and of openly lying, I choose not to believe them, or at the very least to treat their accusations with extreme cynicism and give OUR forces the benefit of the doubt.

    Second, the term "torture" has been flung around with such reckless abandon that it has lost its meaning. Putting a bag on someone's head or making him sit before a snarling dog or piling them up naked on top of one another is NOT TORTURE. Yes, it is conduct unbecoming, and those idiots who did it are being rightfully punished, but that is NOT TORTURE.

    Being kept awake for prolonged periods, being questioned for long periods, being forced to stand for long periods is NOT TORTURE.

    TORTURE is electric shock, sticks under the fingernails, cutting off fingers, being hung from the ceiling by your wrists while they are tied behind your back, and so forth. I think further descriptions are unecessary. You probably have either seen or heard about more than I'd ever WANT to.

    So where does all this leave us?

    1) We have an entire movement with an anti-American agenda taking what known terrorists and mass-murderers say and believing it, while accusing the United States (which, despite any of numerous failings you can name, is STILL the most moral nation on this rock) of all sorts of heinous acts. Our troops are compared to the Nazi SS or followers of Pohl Pot, but the killers in Gitmo are portrayed as victims. When those troops who step out of line are prosecuted and punished, we are accused of coverups. Meanwhile, the enemy gets a propaganda windfall based on lies and exagerations, and which costs him nothing to produce.

    2) Acts which would be at home at any fraternity house prank (including the Service Academies) are elevated to "torture", thus inflaming the enemy and confusing those who seek the truth. Again, the agenda-drivers exagerate the facts, painting US as the bad guys. Menawhile, the enemy TRULY tortures anyone it captures and then MURDERS them, and the same accusers remain silent.

    3) The Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists. They do not meet the definition you provided above. Sadly, they don't have to follow it either, but they don't and wouldn't anyway, so that's a moot point.

    We have lost the language and our own freedoms are being used against us, and not just by the "official" enemy, but by his willing dupes here in our own country who seem to hate the leader of this country more than they hate those who murdered 3,000 Americans in one morning. That's not an exageration, either. Just listen to them!

    Another thing. I am quite certain that the CIA and other interested parties have developed techniques (be they physical, chemical, or psychological) to break a person and make them sing like a canary without having to resort to what can legitimately be called torture. This is another reason why I reject the notion that we are "torturing" prisoners. Why bother? We don't NEED to anymore.

    In closing (I really need to get back to work), I find that this entire issue is a combination of political opportunists fanning bogus flames, legitimate folks who feel outrage because they want America to take the high road (such as yourself), and a media that has its own agenda. I can (and do) highly respect those who want to ensure that America does the right thing, but I revile the others, and it's just a shame that so many of the legitimate are being misled by those others.

    I will say it again: We should apply whatever means necessary to get reliable information in a timely manner. Beyond that point, anything else is simple abuse and should not be allowed. A lot also depends on what kind of information we're after. If we're looking for terrain information, that's one thing. If we're trying to stop a nuke that's being smuggled into Houston, that's quite another. Torture for its own sake is definitely one of the things we are fighting AGAINST, and I don't condone it in any way.

    No foul, man. We're brothers here. :thumb:

    I honestly don't think your mind needs changing. I don't think we're that far apart even on this point. If we really WERE torturing people for kicks, and there was proof, and it went all the way to the top, I'd be right there with you demanding action. I just don't believe that it is, and for the reasons I've given. Isolated incidents, perhaps, and those are properly dealt with. But to the extent of the accusations? Hell no.

    On the last note: I am both glad and thankful that you never ran across those airport vermin yourself, but you know that too many of your brothers-in-arms did. It is undeniable. Unlike them, I thank you for whatever you did in that jungle that was for the good of our country. :smile:

    CRAP, that was a long post! :eek:


    ETA: Hey! You're in NC! You have any ideas how to take care of a lawn in this state? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  17. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Zap, I'll get back to you in about a month. I don't have a lot going on now so I should be able to get the above post read in about two weeks. That will give me another week to digest it, and a final week to come up with a reply. Don't know anything about lawns in NC. I imagine this summer has been tough with the heat and the dry. I'm still building so all I have is red mud and weeds.
     
  18. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    :yllol:

    I'm putting it in for a PhD. Maybe I can get one of those internet ones! :thumb:

    I just have weeds. :frown:
     
  19. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Now that the veterans have had their say and made their peace :wink: ---
    Kudos to you kids, Aronson and Harrison, who are willing to bring up and get involved in this discussion. You have shown that you are thinking and thinking intelligently about important issues. Way to go! Heck, I would even write you recommendations--- as long as you aren't in the same congressional district as my daughter..haha:thumb:
     
  20. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    I can't help with the Gitmo problem. Just an arm chair quarterback. I can advise Zap on his lawn issue. SC ain't all that far from you. One word. Forgetaboutit. Call Truegreen-Chemlawn. We have sod & I watched the poor hubby research this stuff to death, mix potions, spend a trillion bucks on bags of iron & fertilizers. He'd kill sections, then lay new sod. He bought books, he tried different water schedules, tested soil, airiated & sanded. I could go on & on. I watched this game go on for five years. The Chemlawn people starting coming at the start of this summer. We have beautiful golf course grass this year. They come every six weeks & do somethin' or another. Give it up man. You'll drive yourself crazy & spend a fortune. Can't survive without a sprinkler system either. Good luck! :shake:
     

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