Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 17, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE WORST OF THE WORST?....Are the detainees at Guantanamo Bay really the "worst of the worst"? Some surely are, but for the most part we really don't know. And the reason we don't know is that we know almost nothing about most of the detainees in the first place.

Mark Denbeaux of Seton Hall University has co-authored a study of 517 reviews written by the government for use at Combatant Status Review Tribunal hearings, and the results of the study mirror the findings of Corine Hegland's recent investigation for National Journal. The full report is here, and as the chart on the right shows, one of the study's findings is that only 11% of the Guantanamo prisoners were captured on the battlefield by coalition forces. A full two-thirds of them were rounded up in Pakistan and turned over to the United States, likely in response to flyers like this distributed by the United States:

Get wealth and power beyond your dreams....You can receive millions of dollars helping the anti-Taliban forces catch al-Qaida and Taliban murders. This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life. Pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing for all your people.

The Seton Hall study also concludes that fewer than half of the Guantanamo detainees are accused of any hostile action against the United States, and that evidence of association with al-Qaeda or the Taliban is often laughably weak. An awful lot of these prisoners have simply been turned in for reward money or else done nothing worse than be conscripted into low-level positions in the Taliban.

Figuring out what to do with prisoners captured in Afghanistan presents a real problem, and civilian style courtroom trials are simply not in the cards for many of these people. At the same time, the limbo we've placed them in is simply not something that Americans should accept, especially for the half or more of the prisoners who are known to be either innocent or essentially harmless.

Even critics of the administration can probably agree that a certain amount of confusion over the status of the Guantanamo detainees might have been excusable for the first year or so. But four years? It's long past time to do the right thing and give these men fair hearings, followed by release for those who have never been near a battlefield and have never fought against the United States.

Kevin Drum 12:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (113)

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Comments

Agreed Kevin... so what do you recommend?

Posted by: sadderbudwiser on February 17, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I think we should give these men fair hearings, followed by release for those who have never been near a battlefield and have never fought against the United States.

But I already said that, didn't I?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on February 17, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin! Sarcasm! Good for you.

Posted by: craigie on February 17, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

How about each detainee gets to go hunting with Cheney for 4 hours. Cheney only has one drink (but it's his usual keg). Any detainee who survives, can go home.

Posted by: craigie on February 17, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be in the cards. I heard/read someplace today that the U.S. is expanding Gitmo and building more-permanent facilities. So is the plan just to hold these guys until they kick off in a few decades?

I can't imagine the horror of being kidnapped, essentially, from your Afghan village, then shipped, blindfolded and maybe drugged, to some place on the other side of the world and being kept locked up there, sometimes being fed through a tube up your nose, for 4 or 5 years , with no idea what the hell is going to happen to you. What a total abomination.

Posted by: Trent Lott's Hair on February 17, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe I'm having a huge duh moment and this is a really stupid question, but why can't we just set up some sort of review panel to go through these guys on a case by case basis to determine whether they're bad guys or mistaken bad guys? I guess the obvious answer is that in many cases there's simply no way to know for sure. But we can't just keep them locked up forever, can we?

Posted by: Matt on February 17, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

Dangerous going in may not be the same as dangerous after coming out. Personally, several years of unfair dentention would definitely bring out some anti-American sentiments in me.

Along those lines, how soon do you think before Bush/Cheney offers something along these lines for an excuse: "While they may have been been innocent of particular crimes at the time of detention, they have since shown a marked increase in hostility towards the US, and therefore cannot be released for fear of terrorist activities they may participate in at some point in the future."

Posted by: Dug Steen on February 17, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Dug -

I think that's pretty much guaranteed to be what happens next. These are dark, dark days for the Republic. Or should I call us the Death Star?

Posted by: craigie on February 17, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

OT, but I noticed the ad for HotelWorkersRising.org and I had to laugh.

You see, it's a union-sponsored effort, and today they met with L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat and a former member of the racial separatist organization MEChA.

A while back, another Democrat and former member of the racial separatist organization MEChA, Gil Cedillo, said the following: "Latinos have displaced other work communities - clothing, hotel, and restaurant industries that used to be done by blacks and anglos."

I guess being a "progessive" is a delicate balance between supporting good jobs for Americans and helping flood the U.S. with cheap foreign labor designed to drive down American wages. And, a similar delicate between not being racist and supporting racists.

-- The Quail Hunter: a community blog

Posted by: TLB on February 17, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

At the same time, the limbo we've placed them in is simply not something that Americans should accept

uh.. yeah... I wouldn't hold your breath. It's pretty apparent that for too many Americans pseudo-efforts to make them feel safe trump any rights when it comes to us foreigners. You do this because you have the power to do this. And you will continue to do this until you feel your power is less of a safeguard than strong international rules. The corrupting influence of power does not just pertain to individuals.

Posted by: snicker-snack on February 17, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Well, since we shoot lawyers on sight, how can we condemn the random imprisonment of a bunch of camel jockeys.

Thanks, Dick, for the new moral standard.

Posted by: Matt on February 17, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Why do the Dems feel the need to jump every time Kofi Anan issues a report critical of the US?

Is it their deep-seated need to be liked by the UN and other countries? Is it some bizarre guilt thing that inflicts all Liberals?

Lots of House members and Senators have toured Guantanamo. From their reports, the medical treatment is good, and the food is good. Evidently many of them have better conditions at Gitmo than they had before they were detained.

Kofi Anan should clean up the UN before he sticks his nose in our business.

Posted by: MountainDan on February 17, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Dangerous going in may not be the same as dangerous after coming out. Personally, several years of unfair dentention would definitely bring out some anti-American sentiments in me.

True... learning terrorist tactics used to be a sort of learn-as-you-go, apprenticeship sort of thing. Now, thanks mostly to the US, there are universities-- hell, doctoral programs-- with laboratory work all over the world, although the most intensely competitive programs are now in the Middle East. I guess it's good to know that some people are getting more advanced educations thanks to the Bush administration's efforts.

Posted by: latts on February 17, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Back into your little cabin, Grizzly Adams.

Posted by: floopmeister on February 17, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently Rita Cosby will soon be breaking the story that Cheney had Natalie Holloway declared an enemy combatant and shipped off to Gitmo.

Finally, Rita can move on.

Posted by: jcricket on February 17, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Mountain Dan, one spelling error indicates carelessness, but two in the same message indicates idiot-like tendencies. It's Kofi ANNAN. Also, even if we do pay attention to you and your babbling, I thought the American dream was founded on liberty before all else (something I agree with); yet, when it comes to the darkies in our detention center, a hairbrush and three square meals a day more than suffices as any semblance of due process, rule of law, and universal civil liberties is thrown by the way side. Go figure.

Posted by: Chuck Darwin on February 17, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Lots of House members and Senators have toured Guantanamo. From their reports, the medical treatment is good, and the food is good. Evidently many of them have better conditions at Gitmo than they had before they were detained.
Posted by: MountainDan

please spare me dipshit ... if it's so wonderful, feel free to relocate your own pathetic ass there. for red staters, a gitmo address is likely an upgrade.

Posted by: Nads on February 17, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

There you go again. Questioning the decisions of our fuhrer, er, president. No more questioning!

Now, shut up.

Posted by: NowShutUp on February 17, 2006 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

These prisoners won't be let out until Bush is out of office. To release them would be to admit to a mistake - maybe a criminal mistake. That's not to be allowed.
My question is, can a former president be charged with the crime of ordering the illegal detention and torture of foreigners while he was in office?

Posted by: St. Nowhere on February 17, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK


At what point does it become acceptable to side with the "terrorists?" Oh, we're doing things morally wrong, but they're just isolated incidents, right? Besides, what they do is more morally wrong, isn't it? So what is the tipping point? Does one exist? I guess everyone decides for themselves. For most, I suppose it would be when they are the object of the injustice. How many confirmed camps would it take before those not yet confined to one of them would change allegiance? Are those who don't change still on higher moral ground in their nationalism? If, ten years from now, after five years of detention in a camp with no charges brought (because you are innocent of any wrong-doing), you are liberated by an advancing army composed of Islamic and Chinese soldiers, would you be grateful to them? Is it really only fascism if it happens to you personally? So far, just political partisanship, would you say? It's only really fascism when an army marches in victoriously and proclaims their defeated enemy was fascist. Is that how it works? Fascism, being morally wrong, could never win, right? Meanwhile, while we're ahead, we just have differing opinions on what's best for the country.

It's my opinion that the system is rotten to the core. Trouble is, once that conclusion is reached, all bets are off. Worse, they're all lost. Which is why so many cling to the fantasy of an underlying benevolence in even those they criticize most. Sure, it's like taking the blue pill. It's like religion. It's like madness. It's like suicide. But it just feels safer, you know?


Posted by: jayarbee on February 17, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

93% were NOT apprehended by the US.
Then who ARE these people???

Embarrassing and shameful. This is being done in my name? Oh please, STOP this madness. You righties use 9/11 as THE excuse for everything. What about the 1300 Katrina victims? 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, Katrina, Katrina, Katrina, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq.

Bush/CheneyCo are a sickness. Heal yourself!

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on February 17, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

I am ignorant about the type and details of the treatment given to German POWs after the WWII, so I may be way off the mark here, but I think that it is easier for Americans to accept the horrid fate of these prisoners because they are brown and they come from an alien culture.

Posted by: lib on February 17, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

Why would anyone (that's you, Kevin), say that civilian style courtroom trials simply are not in the cards?

That is what should happen. These folks fall into some sort of category other than the bullshit "enemy combatants." The are POWs, or criminals, or war crimes defendants, or something else.

I write this because the idea that any person or group of people cannot be dealt with through the judicial system is exactly what Bush and others want us to believe.

It is false. It is wrong. It is against everything that this nation has and should hold dear. Christ, charge them and prove it, or release them. Everything else is illegal and, more importantly, morally wrong.

This is not a difficult issue. Do you allow your fear of 600 or so people completely overwhelm your respect and reverence for the Constitution. Stop with the whole being very, very afraid thing, and stop with the idea that we live in special, super duper dangerous times. They are, or are not, terrorists.

I am not afraid of terrorists. True, they might kill me, but I am not afraid of them. Nor should our country be.

Posted by: abjectfunk on February 17, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

well, the problem with not doing things the right way in the first place is that it limits your options. You get into a spiral. Same thing happens in your own life when you lie... you have to tell more lies and then things spiral out of control....

We cant try them because it would be an embarrasment to our government and because there is no way for them to get a fair trial now. We cant just let em go...

its a mess. The only hope for these people is regime change....

Posted by: winterbear on February 17, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Another piece of evidence that God is a figment idiots' imagination.

Posted by: lib on February 17, 2006 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

It's long past time to do the right thing and give these men fair hearings, followed by release for those who have never been near a battlefield and have never fought against the United States.

I agree. Perhaps if we write to our elected representatives we can get this taken care of.

Posted by: republicrat on February 17, 2006 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

What, let them go and admit we made a mistake? When pigs fly.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 17, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

Hey republicrat, you made me smile.

And now I feel sad because we live in a country where "if we write to our elected representatives we can get this taken care of" is a joke.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 17, 2006 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

Since it looks like we're going to have to release them, I wonder if in retrospect it was a mistake to torture these guys.

Posted by: Boronx on February 17, 2006 at 3:24 AM | PERMALINK

We could always just gas and then incinerate them.

Posted by: Obergruppenfhrer on February 17, 2006 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

Vee know nuh-sink...

Posted by: Sgt. Schulz on February 17, 2006 at 3:50 AM | PERMALINK

What if they just disappear? The Atlantic is so big.....

Posted by: Jorge Rafael Videla on February 17, 2006 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think Scottie'd be able to pull off the "We moved them to the East" line convincingly enough.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on February 17, 2006 at 6:52 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that we have had no tribunals suggests that the government knows detainee lawyers would tear their prosecutions to shreds, doesn't it?

Posted by: bob h on February 17, 2006 at 7:03 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but 911 changed everything.

Posted by: Al on February 17, 2006 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

Yep! I think you are right. You said my point buddy.

Posted by: ashley on February 17, 2006 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

Evidently many of them have better conditions at Gitmo than they had before they were detained.

Barbara Bush, is that you?

Posted by: shortstop on February 17, 2006 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

I can only wonder what the response would be if flyers in keeping with these:

Get wealth and power beyond your dreams....You can receive millions of dollars helping the anti-Taliban forces catch al-Qaida and Taliban murders. This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life. Pay for McMansions and doctors and school books and housing for all your people.

Were to be distributed over, say, Flint MI.

People would probably be rioting over a chance to turn in their annoying neighbor with the barking dog to the authorities.

Posted by: CFShep on February 17, 2006 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

lib: I am ignorant about the type and details of the treatment given to German POWs after the WWII, so I may be way off the mark here, but I think that it is easier for Americans to accept the horrid fate of these prisoners because they are brown and they come from an alien culture.

I've heard stories that German POW's were allowed to leave the POW camps and attend movies in nearby towns.

Posted by: tripoley on February 17, 2006 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Guantanamo is a national shame--and that it receives such little ingoing media attention is sickening. It's horrifying to think of 16-year-olds scooped up for reward money and kept uncharged in cages. How any suicide attempts do we know of--60? And we already know what goes on there because the British prisoners who were released have talked. If these people were white Christians NO WAY would this situation be off the front pages for even a minute. The world has become Orwellian--"enemy combatants" (?) What I haven't figured out is when did the press become SUCH incredible idiots and why is it taking so long for a sea change to happen there? The news on Kos that Halliburton has just received an over $300 million contract to build detention camps in case of a "national distaster" makes me dizzy. No ovens, just detention facilities...for now.

Posted by: Andree on February 17, 2006 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder just how many of the prisoners were volunteers. If you were living in a shitty little village in the arse-end of Pakistan and you saw an opportunity to set your village/tribe/family up for life what would you do? No need to pay an agent a large sum on money to get a crappy job in the Middle East (including Iraq), three square meals a day and the odd interrogtion. At the end of it you may get the chance to sue the US Regime for wrongful imprisonment and torture. Doesn't sound too bad to me.

Posted by: blowback on February 17, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

It seems obvious to me that all the Gitmo detentions, wiretapping, etc. are intended to give the appearance that this administration is doing a good job....national security is invoked to hide fuck-ups more than anything else.

Posted by: richard on February 17, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I assume you meant to type "Even defenders of the administration" rather than "Even critics [etc]"

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 17, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Evidently many of them have better conditions at Gitmo than they had before they were detained.

Barbara Bush, is that you?
Posted by: shortstop


Rolling on floor.

Posted by: CFShep on February 17, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

I've heard stories that German POW's were allowed to leave the POW camps and attend movies in nearby towns.

Yes, that's quite true. Many German and Italian POWs were allowed to leave their camps to work on farms and factories in local towns, and they were also allowed out to the movies, dances, etc. The sad irony is that in the South the white German POW could get in to the movie while the black American couldn't.

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

It seems obvious to me that all the Gitmo detentions, wiretapping, etc. are intended to give the appearance that this administration is doing a good job....national security is invoked to hide fuck-ups more than anything else.

It's Potemkin village security. A lovely pretty appearance for the rubes, but take a look behind and you'll see it's merely a facade held up by some planking.


Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

You know what's really sad Stefan, is that Islamic jihadists are sure to get a fair trial with the dems in charge yet the innocent unborn baby hasn't a chance.

This is another issue for that up-coming winning campaign. "Lawyers for jihadists and the suction syringe for the unborn"! It's a winner!

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop, why don't you poll this and I am sure that within a few minutes you'll learn that "half of America" supports civilian trials for combatants. Your polling capability is uncanny.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Evidently many of them have better conditions at Gitmo than they had before they were detained.

Except for, you know, all the stress positions....oh, excuse me, "yoga classes."

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

You know what's really sad Stefan, is that Islamic jihadists are sure to get a fair trial with the dems in charge yet the innocent unborn baby hasn't a chance.

"Innocent" unborn baby? Prove it, because that fetus looks kind of shifty to me. If that fetus really is innocent it should be able to offer some proof, shouldn't it? Maybe you're willing to take the chance that the fetus is not actually a terrorist, cleverly hiding inside an American woman and just waiting its chance to be born so it can strike at America, but I'm not. For all we know we have sleeper cells of Al Qaeda fetuses hidden in wombs across this country -- it's the perfect disguise, when you think about it. I say we get them before they have a chance to get us! Sure, some of the unborn babies may later turn out to be innocent, but isn't it better to abort 1,000 innocent fetuses if it will mean we'll get that one that turns out to be a terrorist?

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Evidently many of them have better conditions at Gitmo than they had before they were detained.

Except for, you know, all the waterboarding...oh, excuse me, "scuba classes."

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Jay, I know ignorant and obtuse is your schtick, but really, what part of "prisoners that are not jihadists" do you not understand?

Posted by: Gregory on February 17, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

It's no wonder you guys are in power with those brilliant minds that are convincing America that:
1. America is less safe now than prior to 9/11 (despite any further attacks)
2. Iraq is a qaugmire (despite three successful elections, a representational gov't and a burgeoning military and security force)
3. The economy sucks (despite brisk GDP, low inflation and historically low unemployment)
4. Islamic Jihadists are people too (despite televised beheadings and the blood of millions of innocent muslims on their hands)
5. Bush hates black people (despite more African-Americans and minorities in his adminstration than any other)
These are all mainstream issues for you to run on and retain power........oh wait. Nevermind.
Hey I wonder what Cindy Sheehan is doing?

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Excellent Stephen, you are coming around. Now let's apply that to the jihadists and muslims and just start indiscriminately killing them because God forbid one of them might be harmful to their mother.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Evidently many of them have better conditions at Gitmo than they had before they were detained.

Except for, you know, all the beatings...oh, excuse me, "self-defense classes."

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Say a Pakistani youth wanted to turn himself in for the "money" (that's a good one) and subject himself to Gitmo so his family could reap the rewards. Wouldn't that be Pro-Choice? I thought you guys were for that?

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

You apologists are the dumbest ever.

What makes us better than the terrorists isn't that we're not Arabs or Pakistanis. It's that, as a matter of policy, we don't lock up innocent people. We don't target innocent people.

No government is perfect. But what separates us from them is that we're the ones who are TRYING NOT TO LOCK UP, TORTURE, AND MURDER INNOCENT PEOPLE.

When we start saying it's OK to lock up innocent people, what the hell are we fighting for? Not American values anymore.

Posted by: theorajones on February 17, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

We're not "murdering" them, we are "aborting" them. You should understand that, it's called Pro-Choice! And we are detaining them to make sure they are not harmful to their mothers, after all "women's rights" and "right to privacy" trump all. Let's keep that straight!

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

The point that needs to be made is that, contrary to what Bush likes to believe, 9-11 did NOT change the world, and 19 men in hijacked aircraft is NOT sufficient reason to repeal the Constitution or to change the fact that the U.S. was founded on the principle that all men are created equal and endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights.

If the U.S. is really, as Ronald Reagan like to say, a "beacon of light" to the rest of the world, then we should put these men on trial, determine their guilt or innocence based on the evidence and let the criminal justice system work the way it is supposed to. To incarcerate other human beings (shame on those of you who refer to them as "camel jockeys") without proof or the right to defend themselves is antithetical to the American way. 9-11 didn't mean we could emulate the Soviet gulag.

President James Madison had to hide in the woods outside Washington D.C. when the British burned the White House during the War of 1812. He didn't repeal the Bill of Rights and incarcerate any British citizen without a trial as a result.

Let's keep our heads here folks, and deal with terrorism in a smart, AMERICAN sort of way. We will have become just like the terrorists, if we treat other human beings like animals or worse...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 17, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

But what separates us from them is that we're the ones who are TRYING NOT TO LOCK UP, TORTURE, AND MURDER INNOCENT PEOPLE.

Sadly, I think that sentence would now more accurately describe America if you removed the "NOT."

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Jay, man, we are on the same wave length. I was just about to say that. Go get 'em.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

We will have become just like the terrorists, if we treat other human beings like animals or worse...

Again, sadly, I think that sentence is more accurate if you remove the "will" and change "if" to "since."

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

It's fun isn't it conspiracy.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Oh my god, yes. I love it!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

The sock puppet show started early today, no?

Posted by: shortstop on February 17, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

So far Mr. Kriz, you are the only one that has referred to them as "camel jockey's", well done! Detainees at Gitmo are fed Islamic traditional food, given Koran's, allowed time to pray in their traditional fashion and are given proper bedding. Many of them have already been released and many more are being trasnsitioned for transfer or release. It seems to me that this is much more comfort than the left has offered to unborn children, or far more jurisprudence than the left has offered to Tom Delay. So what "American" fashion are you talking about?

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Jay takes moral equivalence to heights that an academic post-modern Marxist could only dream of.

Posted by: Wombat on February 17, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

The sock puppet show started early today, no?
Posted by: shortstop

I suspect it's all those cheap imports from China. Used to have to wait for Mommy to do the wash.

I'm waiting for the 'rights of the unborn' to show up ovah on the Teflon thread...their right to be poisoned in utero by Dow and so forth.

How the unborn choose cookware...

Posted by: CFShep on February 17, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut I think you are very, very smart. And pretty darn handsome to boot.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Ditto, Jay

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Ya, Jay, I feel the same way about you.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Lawyers for jihadists! The stockades for Cheney and Delay! Have I got that right there wingnut? Oh I'm sorry....wombat.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Wombat: Jay takes moral equivalence to heights that an academic post-modern Marxist could only dream of.

Yes, if only I had known there was some mysterious link between Guantanamo detainees and abortion, I would have changed my thinking years ago.

Posted by: tripoley on February 17, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

That was me at 10:30 a.m., #2. I don't know how "Jay" got in there, giggle!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

LIBERALS THINK?

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Liberals think you're hot, Jay. And so do I.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

LIBERALS THINK?
God damn, Jay, you crack me up. Liberals Think. What a hoot.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so fucking funny! I mean, Jay's so fucking funny, ya.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

So now you libs think you can win elections with the outing sock puppets strategy! Well good luck with that at the polls!

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Is Jay's defense of Gitmo really that it's better than being aborted? Ah, let's consider the possibilities of this argument.

1. 40 million people have no health insurance. But at least they weren't murdered while unborn!

2. We're being flooded with illegal Mexican immigrants! But the liberal solution is to abort them all in Mexican wombs!

3. Katrina victims still have no homes. But if the liberals had their way they would all be aborted!

Good God.

Posted by: Elrod on February 17, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Jay and I have to leave now. We have stuff to do. And when we do it there's no resultant unborn to murder.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Jay and I have to leave now. We have stuff to do. And when we do it there's no resultant unborn to murder.

Just wait... in another few years conservatives will define life as starting before conception and you will have to give up your favorite pastime. My advice: get it out of your system now.

Posted by: tripoley on February 17, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

I see Jay can't respond intelligently to my posting, so he spews some nonsensical garbage about abortion and Tom DeLay. Either you and conspiracy nut are high school kids that show up on this forum in between masturbatory sessions over Brittany Spears photos or you are simply unable to think and reason coherently. That's all I can come up with. You embarass yourself with such idiotic posts.

When you have a well-reasoned response for why detainees in Gitmo should not be treated like human beings, let the adults around here know, O.K.?

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 17, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Elrod, great points! So let's dig into this a little deeper shall we!
1. 40 million Americans without health insurance (inlcuding myself). Representational of only 1.3% of the population and many of them CHOOSE not to have health insurance (including myself) because of the cost. Can you say TORT REFORM! Or can you only say "Nationalized Health Care". And if Nationalized Health Care ever does come about, you think it's expensive now?
2. I thought the liberal solution to illegal Mexican immigrants was to give them driver's licenses and SS cards? Wow, that's a shift in policy!
3. Katrina victims do not have homes, they are currently living in four star hotels!

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

We'll treat them as human beings when you treat the unborn like human beings. Deal?

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

"That is all I can come up with". That is the liberal dilemma in a nutshell. Well done Mr. Kriz.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Stephen ha ha, very funny. I think conspiracy nut I already explained that Britanney Spears is not exactly our type. The day two men can produce a fetus to be murderd is the day you can start calling me imoral. Good luck with that strategy at the polls!!!

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute, Jay. You are not producing a fetus with me any longer?? But you promised

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I see the liberals are successfully distracted. '08, here we come.......hey I wonder Cindy Sheehan's doing?

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

" I've heard stories that German POW's were allowed to leave the POW camps and attend movies in nearby towns."

That's because in those days America really WAS "the good guys". We're not, anymore. W threw it away.

Posted by: CN on February 17, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

I thought you liberal's loved homosexuals. Now you're going to use conspiracy nut's and my relationship against us? Oh nice winning strategy there.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

It's a regular troll-on-troll lovefest.

I just love watching sockpuppets get it on.

Who gets to be on top? The right hand, no doubt.

No, the other right hand.

There ya go.

Hot damn.

Posted by: CFShep on February 17, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy, our work here is done. They have finally taken that one small step to dementia and joined Cindy Sheehan.

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Ya, not quite done, Jay. C'mere, baby boy.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 17, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK
Maybe I'm having a huge duh moment and this is a really stupid question, but why can't we just set up some sort of review panel to go through these guys on a case by case basis to determine whether they're bad guys or mistaken bad guys?

That's what the Combatant Status Review Tribunals are supposed to do; unfortunately, as Kevin's early Guatanamo post illustrated, even clear evidence that they were rounded up with no connection to any combatant group and handed to the US, even when they were -- like all the vast number of others accused by the same person -- demonstrably not in Afghanistan when they were supposedly in Afghanistan fighting for the Taliban, they are still categorized by those Tribunals as "bad guys".

The panels are designed to provide a thin veneer of legitimacy without actually questioning anything, which isn't surprising, since an honest review would require the Administration to admit that the whole detention effort was more to scare and impress the American people (look at all the bad guys! look at what we're doing to protect you!) rather than actually protect them from actual terrorists.

It is written "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free", but the last thing the Administration wants is the American people set free, so the last thing it is going to let them do is know the the truth.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 17, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Do the right thing? George Bush?

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

"Ya, not quite done, Jay. C'mere, baby boy.
Posted by: conspiracy nut"


OooooOOOooooweeeeeee!

Posted by: Jay on February 17, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

I notice that people are still writing about the American jailing and torture of innocents in the conditional, i.e. " if we do this" or "we should not go down this road" when, in fact, we've already done so. It's a hangover from a time when we were the unapologetic good guys, and it's understandable that it's hard for us to wrap our heads around the thought that this is no longer true. If we were honest, though, we'd realize that statements like "America doesn't act like this" are no longer true and that America is, in fact, now the sort of country that spies on domestic dissidents, jails the innocent and tortures people. It's what we've become.

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: The panels are designed to provide a thin veneer of legitimacy without actually questioning anything,

"A thin veneer of legitimacy" -- isn't that the motto of the the Department of Homeland Security?

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"A thin veneer of legitimacy" -- isn't that the motto of the the Department of Homeland Security?

Either them, the Gonzales Justice Department, or the White House Counsel's Office in this Administration.

Heck, its a fitting motto for the whole Administration.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 17, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Kofi Anan should clean up the UN before he sticks his nose in our business. Posted by: MountainDan on February 17, 2006 at 1:02 AM

Did Bush clean up the US before he stuck his nose in Iraq's business?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 17, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

America is, in fact, now the sort of country that spies on domestic dissidents, jails the innocent and tortures people.

God, that's depressing. Succinct and true, but depressing.

Posted by: latts on February 17, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Has anyone noticed that according to the chart 8% of the detainees were arrested in the U.S.?

I thought the point was that we needed a way to handle foreign threats because our legal system had no jurisdiction outside our borders.

Does it not have jurisdiction within as well?

It's getting to the point where we are going to have to change the name of this country to New Russia.

Posted by: Mark on February 17, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's getting to the point where we are going to have to change the name of this country to New Russia.

Tired of Old America? Try new and improved New Russia! Just one-third the freedom but one hundred percent more surveillance!

Posted by: Stefan on February 17, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

They have all lost what little mind they had.

VOTE ALL THE BUMS OUT
EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE GONE.

HOW ABOUT A COMMEN SENSE PARTY?

The Republican Party has become a
Cult with Bush / Fox and Rush
the Kool Aid of choice.

Deprogramming Required

Posted by: Honey P on February 17, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK
Has anyone noticed that according to the chart 8% of the detainees were arrested in the U.S.?

You know, if you keep pointing that out, that percentage is likely to creep incrementally upward.

And we won't hear from you anymore.

I thought the point was that we needed a way to handle foreign threats because our legal system had no jurisdiction outside our borders.

No, that's not the excuse, nor is it true, since our legal system does, in fact, have jurisdiction over a wide variety of acts committed outside of our borders, including conspiracies to commit terrorist acts targetting US persons, property, etc.

The excuse has mostly been that it is too dangerous and also too inconvenient to force the government to provide evidence in a regular court and meet the applicable standards of proof when dealing with captured combatants.

When the detainees are actually captured on the battlefield, by the military, there is some validity to this. Having members of a combat unit deployed in the field be called back to testify in a US District Court and demanding proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a clear member of a enemy force actually captured on the battlefield under such circumstances had committed a crime cognizable under US law would be unreasonable.

OTOH, when you start talking about people with disputed connections to any combat force, handed over to the US in response to bounty offers or captured in the US, the justification becomes much less viable. Because, if you allow that, the Administration can just name anyone, anywhere an enemy and toss them into military custody.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 17, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Jay (who sorely lacks a Silent Bob),

"40 million Americans without health insurance (inlcuding myself). Representational of only 1.3% of the population"

Well, 'representational' isn't a word. Unfortunately, your math skills are Cohenian to boot.

There are just barely 300,000,000 people in the US.

30,000,000 would be 10% of them.

You say there are 40,000,000 uninsured.

40,000,000 > (that's IS GREATER THAN) 30,000,000

40,000,000 > 10% of the US population

That's more than 10 times your claim.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: Arr-squared on February 17, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

If they did not have the prisoners in Guantanamo they would have nohting to show for the war on terror.

So far not one case with proof the prisoner is a AQ member. When it is all told it will turn out that all are innocent, maybe some are taliban having fought against the northern alliance in Afghanistan, and the rest just got cought in the middle.

So it is the US committing the war crimes, not the prisoners in Cuba. And the whole world knows it.

If they had anything on anyone that would stand up in court they would have made it public to get all the propaganda milage they coud get.

The war on terror is a failure like all the other Bush policies. FAILURE written all over Bush and his cabal.

Posted by: Renate on February 17, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

The lefty position is simply "war on error".
Continuing imprisonment without action on those "rounded up" without due process is vigilantism.
The longer due process is ignored the more tempting it becomes to continue to do so. If there was a valid excuse of imminent danger when does the danger become less imminent ? The whole thing plays like throwing good money after bad.
The question is, when does one have the courage to start the hard business of making things, if not right, less wrong ?
Well, will this fly ?

Posted by: opit on February 17, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus! This sounds like they're just after numbers & don't give a shit who they round up. It reminds me of something I read in Gulag Archipelago, where the author (know his name but don't want to try & spell it) said that the NKVD was worse than the Gestapo because the Gestapo might torture you bad, but if they came to decision that you were innocent, they'd let you go. The NKVD was only interested in quotas & were fully aware you were innocent & didn't give a shit. God help our country...

Posted by: Paul in KY on February 17, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK
Jesus! This sounds like they're just after numbers & don't give a shit who they round up.

Well, it makes sense, if the decisions are all politics and no policy, and if the decisionmakers think they can keep the dirty details secret. In the absence of substantive process, who you pick up makes very little difference to how it appears politically, especially if you think you can easily discredit those who claim you've picked up the wrong person.

Of course, with substantive process, who you pick matters to how things look because systematic errors will tend to be revealed.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 17, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

The fact of it is that these guys are going to sit in Gitmo until we elect a Democratic president. Until then the power in place will always find a way to keep them. Their only hope is that a new administration would actually have the courage to abide by the law even if it is inconvenient.

Posted by: kendall on February 17, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Representational' most certainly is a legitimate word when used in the context of - for one example - 'representational art' as opposed to 'abstract'.

Falls under the 'To depict or portray' meaning of 'represent'.

That the trolls can't distinquish 'representational' from 'representative' is possibly another sad commentary on the state of our educational system.

Or, alternatively, something to do with the brand of fabric softener Mommy uses to control the static electricity which might otherwise cause reception problems with their tinfoil hats as they commune with Dear Leader.

Posted by: CFShep on February 18, 2006 at 7:01 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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