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Unconventional
May 25, 2003 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Remember the outrage of the US Govt. as the Iraqi's paraded POWs before television cameras - a pretty clear-cut breach of the Geneva Convention?
It appears the US Govt. isn't so concerned about what behaviour breaches the convention, anymore.
"The International Committee of the Red Cross so far has been denied access to what the organisation believes could be as many as 3,000 prisoners held in searing heat [near Baghdad airport.] All other requests to inspect conditions under which prisoners are being held have been met with silence or been turned down."
posted by Blue Stone (62 comments total)

 
Yeah, I was pretty pissed when I saw this. I supported the war with reservations based on the concept that a war could be fought as cleanly as possible. Very few people would describe me as overly idealistic, but it seems that was the case. Cluster bomb usage, Haliburton contracts and troops opening fire on crowds of protesting Iraqis pushed me to the edge, and this finally shoved me over. Add U.S. efforts to overthrow brutal dictators to the list of things I'm bitter and jaded about.
posted by Wingy at 12:03 PM on May 25, 2003


Wingy:
If more people say stuff like that, we'll need another circus war in Iran real soon.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:17 PM on May 25, 2003


Add U.S. efforts to overthrow brutal dictators to the list of things I'm bitter and jaded about.

of course, he's still on board with the theft of the election rights of minorities, the theft of the election itself, the patriot act and it's brother, the just-less-than-martial-don't they-know-it's-a-war attitude of every minor functionary in law enforcement, and so much more i could just vomit now excuse me ack pht garg retch...
posted by quonsar at 1:43 PM on May 25, 2003


Quonsar: could you please outline the specific training routine you employed to become such an enormous prick?
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:22 PM on May 25, 2003


Maybe he answered one of those spam ads. ;)
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:27 PM on May 25, 2003


Since we're on the subject, maybe somebody could explain this to me: During this last war, a bunch of TV stations -- I was mostly watching BBC World myself -- were reporting from the field, where they showed Iraqi soldiers being held as POWs, being handcuffed with plastic strips, fed military rations and watched over by US troops. How is it that this does not violate the Geneva Convention, and the Iraqi reporting does?
posted by gentle at 2:32 PM on May 25, 2003


Quonsar: could you please outline the specific training routine you employed to become such an enormous prick?

buy my book.
posted by quonsar at 2:35 PM on May 25, 2003


There is one point that the administration is correct: the UN is an ineffectual debating society. The funny part is that the administration is somewhat responsible for how weak the UN is. W. dared the UN to cross him and the UN backed down. W just invaded a sovereign nation without provocation, and more importantly, without UN censure.

Saddam was a bad guy, an evil dictator, but he wasn't a direct threat. He was an impediment to a larger plan concerning control of resources in the Middle East at large. Iraq wasn't about Iraqi liberation, or even Iraqi oil, it was about creating a jump off point to militarily influence other oil rich states.

So, if the US can invade sovereign nations, detain citizens of any country without any rights, steal resources, build puppet governments that are more beholden to Haliburton then their own populations, then it is the UN's job to censure the US government's actions.

Guess what, the UN hasn't done anything but sit on it's hands and debate.

I guess what I'm saying is the US forces are no longer bound by the Geneva Treaty. They should be, but they aren't until some other organization or government enforces the Geneva Treaty.

My worry is one day we may lose a battle and US forces will be treated with the same lack of respect and dignity the US has shown towards the Iraqi and Afghani soldiers. W is creating a world order where nothing is certain, the laws only serve the mighty and liberty is sacrificed not for safety, but for the illusion of safety.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:08 PM on May 25, 2003


What's really surprising is that anyone thinks this is surprising.

quonsar: how much? where do I send my cheque?
posted by Fabulon7 at 3:14 PM on May 25, 2003


What, you people didn't get the memo?
Okay, I'll break it down for you:
Unprovoked invasion of other countries == bad.

Mistreating a few prisoners and breaking the Geneva convention is just adding insult to injury.
posted by spazzm at 3:35 PM on May 25, 2003


It's only a warcrime when the enemy is doing it.
posted by entropy at 3:52 PM on May 25, 2003


elwoodwiles: very well said.
posted by jpoulos at 3:53 PM on May 25, 2003


We are making these prisoners listen to 24 hour blasts of Metallica, Barney and Sesame Street songs. How does anyone think that can do anything but lead to more terrorism, it would drive me over the edge. Looks like British hands are none too clean, either.

And for more in the "war sucks" department, the Christian Science Monitor recently ran a story on efforts to document civilian casualties - preliminary estimates point to a range of 5,000 to 10,000 dead. One of the groups that is gathering information is CIVIC. Salam Pax has been involved in this effort working with his friend Raed, and he has accounts and photos on Where's Raed. Also, apparently he was interviewed by the Guardian recently so that should put to rest the speculation as to his existence.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:54 PM on May 25, 2003


"all have the right, under the laws of war, to be visited and documented by the International Red Cross. 'There is no argument about the situation with regard to the Iraqi armed forces and even the Fedayeen Saddam,' said the ICRC's spokeswoman in Baghdad, Nada Doumani....'we are still waiting for the green light, more than a month after the end of the conflict. This is in breach of the third Geneva Convention.' She said the laws of war should give the ICRC access 'as quickly as possible'. "

elwoodwiles nails it.

PS: When will you guys wake up & smell the new coffee. When the next election is stolen?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:57 PM on May 25, 2003


Maybe you'd like to read th Geneva Convention regarding prisoners of war, but I know it's much more fun to speculate over a speculative article in the Guardian, that paragon of unbiased reporting.

The American POWs were interviewed on Iraqi TV, and there was every reason to expect them to wind up like several of their fellow POWs: mutilated and tortured to death.

Do let me know when U.S. soldiers start that, won't you?
posted by hama7 at 4:05 PM on May 25, 2003


The American POWs were interviewed on Iraqi TV, and there was every reason to expect them to wind up like several of their fellow POWs: mutilated and tortured to death.

Do let me know when U.S. soldiers start that, won't you?


I get it. We don't follow the rules, but hey, neither do they, and they're worse! Two wrongs do make a right.

I know logic isn't your strong suit, Hamas Heaven, but give it a try. Not everything the United States does is evil, but not everything it does is unquestionably beneficial.
posted by SweetJesus at 4:22 PM on May 25, 2003


hama7's irrefutable guide to yummy uhmurkin goodness:
this one time in 832BC, this one guy cut, maimed, skinned, dragged, dipped in goatshit, raped and eventually killed an innocent bystander, in front of his 13 year old daughter, for the pure fun of it. then he took the daughter, raped, cut, and brutalized her before chopping off her breasts for souveniers. eventually he fed them to his horse. call me when u.s. soldiers start doing that.
posted by quonsar at 4:39 PM on May 25, 2003


My worry is one day we may lose a battle and US forces will be treated with the same lack of respect and dignity the US has shown towards the Iraqi and Afghani soldiers. W is creating a world order where nothing is certain, the laws only serve the mighty and liberty is sacrificed not for safety, but for the illusion of safety.

I think this is perhaps the most important point in the discussion so far: Nothing really matters to TPTB except themselves and therefore whatever they do to advance their (perceived) interests is acceptable when the future risk is to others.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:48 PM on May 25, 2003


Do let me know when U.S. soldiers start that, won't you?

You mean like at Bagram Air Base?
posted by maurice at 5:16 PM on May 25, 2003


Oops. this link should work.
posted by maurice at 5:19 PM on May 25, 2003


of course, he's still on board with the theft of the election rights of minorities, the theft of the election itself, the patriot act and it's brother, the just-less-than-martial-don't they-know-it's-a-war attitude of every minor functionary in law enforcement, and so much more i could just vomit now excuse me ack pht garg retch...

Quonsar- Perhaps if I give you my password you could just post those things for me. It'd save me the effort of holding unique opinions.
posted by Wingy at 5:20 PM on May 25, 2003


If it's not blaming the U.S. troops for not stopping the Iraqis from looting themselves, repeated forecasts of "quagmire" or hopes of mass allied casualties, it's that the U. S. is secretly abusing prisoners of war. Any feeble excuse to blame the U.S. for something.

"If you're going to make a post related to Iraq and the impending war, please reconsider, as the topic has been discussed previously many times."
posted by hama7 at 5:27 PM on May 25, 2003


hama7:
Do let me know when U.S. soldiers start that, won't you?

I don't feel like slogging it out here about the US breaking the Geneva Convention. Let's just say I'm not surprised. But as proof that U.S. Soldiers might not always be the most honorable folks in the world, I would like to note that soldiers killing their wives might be against, I dunno, some convention somewhere.

And if you're looking for illegal official policy, does anybody remember Tailhook, for Christ's sake? Official coverups and shit...yeah, the military is always straight and narrow, hmm?

on preview...maurice, you really suck at that. :)
posted by taumeson at 5:33 PM on May 25, 2003


Conspicuous in its absence from this article is any explanation or statement from any US military official as to why these people are denied any ICRC access. US funny business, slanted journalism, or both?
posted by alumshubby at 5:49 PM on May 25, 2003


Maybe the Guardian's motto could be "We report -- you deride."
posted by alumshubby at 5:50 PM on May 25, 2003


When will you guys wake up & smell the new coffee. When the next election is stolen?

IMHO the GOP is going to legitimately win in 2004. As Winston Churchill (maybe) said, the most compelling argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.
posted by copmuter at 5:54 PM on May 25, 2003


...then it is the UN's job to censure the US government's actions.

I partially agree. It's also the job of Americans to take the errant government out of power at the earliest possible time.
posted by holycola at 6:30 PM on May 25, 2003


Winston Churchill also said: "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."

More here. Ben Franklin's are good too.
posted by hama7 at 6:54 PM on May 25, 2003


"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust."

-- Demosthenes
posted by homunculus at 7:16 PM on May 25, 2003


Do as I say, not as I do. So what else is new?

Ugh.
posted by ehintz at 7:21 PM on May 25, 2003


Didn't anybody notice that there was no qualification to the word "prisoners"? The Geneva Convention is very specific as to who is covered by what protocol. If these individuals were caught out of uniform, with no identity papers, and engaged in hostile activity, they are not classified as "soldiers", but as "spies", and may be treated accordingly. (They could be executed without violating the Convention.)

Also, other activities not in keeping with the Convention may leave you open to military tribunal prosecution, such as using human shields, faking surrenders, abusing or killing POWs or civilians without due cause. If convicted, many of your GC protections can be removed.

Iraq is *very* different from Afghanistan, as far the the GC is concerned. The Taliban had no recognizable army or uniform, whereas the Iraqis were very ordered that way. Thus, any argument about violations becomes much more clear cut.
posted by kablam at 7:57 PM on May 25, 2003


[quote]If it's not blaming the U.S. troops for not stopping the Iraqis from looting themselves, repeated forecasts of "quagmire" or hopes of mass allied casualties, it's that the U. S. is secretly abusing prisoners of war. Any feeble excuse to blame the U.S. for something.
[/quote]

You make me laugh in a I'm-living-in-a-David-Lynch-movie sort of way.
posted by The God Complex at 8:01 PM on May 25, 2003


(madamjujujive, here is another article on the story you linked to re British Lt-Col Tim Collins.)
posted by hattifattener at 8:38 PM on May 25, 2003


Do let me know when U.S. soldiers start that, won't you?

Uhh, ok, how about the two detainees at camp x-ray who died of blunt-trauma injuries? And perhaps you don't remember how seriously our government considered torturing suspects?
posted by Hildago at 9:56 PM on May 25, 2003


thanks for the update hattifattener - I hope the original story about him is indeed untrue, particularly because he's an officer.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:34 PM on May 25, 2003


Who is anybody kidding? There is no oversight and no humanitarian supervision with this administration. It's all fork-tongued lipservice until the tide shifts so far into a police state, that lying will be unnecessary, as to ever speak out anyhow will be arrestable on suspicion of aiding and comforting the enemy. It's all in the cards.

This particular quote really unnerves me (especially as we see an American occupation really begin to take shape)(and even though it's from the good guys):

'They are prisoners of war because they have been captured during a clear conflict between two states. If they served in the armed forces or in a militia with distinctive clothing which came under the chain of command of one of the warring states, they are protected under article 143 of the Geneva Convention.'

This is pre-fucking-posterous, even if they are "protected" by the Geneva Convention! This was an illegal attack and invasion from the beginning. This is the prisoners' country our American troops are now in. Their country, where their moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas and on and on and on subsisted while the American troops' ancestors did their thing as well, half a world away. How dare we hood, gag and hog tie these people! This is their land. And it is the utmost of the supremest of arrogance that these people not be treated as humans.

I'm also marginally sick of this shit from my fellow hand-wringers: "If we do X to them, they're going to do Y to us." We knew all of the above going into the war. All the good military brass have gone to school. They knew it too. What do our trite civilian warnings mean to them? They know that nothing but complete repression of pockets of certain opposition is what wins military incursions. One must wonder if the American media is also ran as such. The editors and decision makers must know that nothing but complete repression of pockets of certain opposition is what wins military incursions televised for the mass media-pacified throngs at home. And that brings the bux. Win! Win! Win! Win by oppression.

Gah, these yahoos! If the United States completely gets away with this and these vile specimens of a presidential administration grow old and peacefully die of old age this planet is kaput. America is proving to be so goddamned cruel across all the boards I don't know what to do anymore.

Count this as an admixture of both mine and quonsar's vomit.
posted by crasspastor at 11:26 PM on May 25, 2003


Count this as an admixture of both mine and quonsar's vomit.

I wanna throw in.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:43 PM on May 25, 2003


I wanna throw down.

(GWB, that is. Oops, hope I don't get unGeneva'd for saying that.)

Also, what homunculus quoted.
posted by divrsional at 4:42 AM on May 26, 2003


Uhh, ok, how about the two detainees at camp x-ray who died of blunt-trauma injuries? And perhaps you don't remember how seriously our government considered torturing suspects?

Or indeed, executing them.
posted by bwerdmuller at 5:04 AM on May 26, 2003


I'm sorry. I cannot give sympathy to anyone who seeks nuclear weapons and cannot control their impulse to use such a weapon. They forfeit their lives. And I don't even need to wait until they use their nuclear weapon(s) against their hated enemy, be it Israel or the US or India or Pakistan or whoever.

Because, you see, once they use such a weapon, the only way to retaliate is by utterly exterminating them as a people. Genocide. With nuclear weapons. And this is a *Bad Thing*.

If the alternative is to exterminate 10 or 100 thousand of them, or how-so-ever many in torturous, inhumane ways, then so be it. Their nation may survive, and their people, if they reform their ways, shall survive.

And any amount of hand-wringing about how we should have tried to be friends with them, or that we just should have talked at them, or maybe we should have done this or that or the other to "reach out" and understand "their needs" is utter CRAP.

They wanted nuclear weapons and were willing to use them. This is their only epitaph. Not that we cut their throats with knives, or beat them, or drowned their babies, or used weapons from hell itself to destroy them.

They wanted nuclear weapons and were willing to use them. Not that they were loving and caring of those who were of their own culture and beliefs and who were willing to share their 4th Century religion with them.

But that they wanted nuclear weapons and were willing to use them. Not that our political leaders were less than perfect, were not idealistic true believers, or suffered from any other human failure especially belonging to the wrong political party.

But that they, those who are NOW DEAD or soon SHALL BE, wanted nuclear weapons and were willing to use them.
posted by kablam at 10:02 AM on May 26, 2003


I cannot give sympathy to anyone who seeks nuclear weapons and cannot control their impulse to use such a weapon.

US Plans for New Nuclear Arsenal

Pentagon Planning New, More ‘Usable’ Nuclear Arsenal
posted by kirkaracha at 10:20 AM on May 26, 2003


So far only one country has demonstrated itself as incapable of controlling its impulse to use nuclear (or at least atomic) weapons.

And its not Iraq.
posted by Grangousier at 11:32 AM on May 26, 2003


the only way to retaliate is by utterly exterminating them as a people. Genocide. With nuclear weapons

Nice little homicidal fantasy there; careful you don't bite yourself. But among its many very serious deficiencies of reason and sanity, is fact that Iraq was, as is so very often pointed out, a dictatorship. So in your proactive fantasy of vengeance for something that hasn't happened and wasn't about to, how is it an appropriate retaliation to exterminate a people for the actions of a tyrant who doesn't represent them?

If the alternative is to exterminate 10 or 100 thousand of them, or how-so-ever many in torturous, inhumane ways, then so be it.

Uh, I thought you said the only way to retaliate was to kill them all with nukes? I see now you do have an alternative in mind... oh, it's more mass killing of whole populations! What a surprise! For the actions of the tyranical dictator whom they don't control and we needed to liberate them from. Mmm, and this time you've added lots of details like "torturous" and "inhumane". Damn, you're having a good time, aren't you. And your post just gets more and more excited and more hypothetically self-justifying as it goes on.

In a word, shit. I don't think I've ever seen genocide-porn before.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:08 PM on May 26, 2003


Which is precisely my point. This is END GAME. Either Baghdad is under occupation or Berlin is a glowing hole. Either Tehran has a regime change or Paris ceases to be. Maybe North Korea becomes a democracy or New York cannot be inhabited for 10,000 years.

Violent peasants cannot be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. And unlike the US government, they *are* peasants. And sneer if you like but *this* is now policy.

Now ask yourself, what is more important, the right of the Iraqis to live under a dictator, or the right of Londoners to not be nuked? I vote for London.
posted by kablam at 1:46 PM on May 26, 2003


I'm just frickin glad you don't have a vote in London.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:11 PM on May 26, 2003


Good point, Grangousier. WW2 is such powerful evidence of the US's baleful and Europe's civilizing influence on international relations.
posted by Wood at 3:48 PM on May 26, 2003


the only way to retaliate is by utterly exterminating them as a people. Genocide. With nuclear weapons.

posted by kablam


hehe...anyone else see the irony?

Which is precisely my point. This is END GAME. Either Baghdad is under occupation or Berlin is a glowing hole. Either Tehran has a regime change or Paris ceases to be. Maybe North Korea becomes a democracy or New York cannot be inhabited for 10,000 years.

When did the endgame become zero-sum? I don't see anyone offering a Tehran-Paris choice. And, what's your proof? No one is defending Saddam or his despotic regime, but likewise, no one is claiming that he was bent on annihilating Berlin. Before we kill millions of people, we'd better make damn sure there's a.) a very, very good reason, and b.) proof -- undisputable, clear proof of their intentions and capabilities.

And unlike the US government, they *are* peasants.

What exactly do you mean here? What makes them "peasants"? Are you ignoring the (quite large) class of educated Iraqis? Everyone in Iraq is agrarian, tilling the soil in hopes that one day they'll dig a furrow right through Potsdamer Platz? I think not; your claims are patently absurd, and I doubt you can back them up.
posted by Vidiot at 5:17 PM on May 26, 2003


She said they were looking into whether the US and UK were abiding by their responsibilities under the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. ...Bush administration reported to give a flying fuck.
posted by squirrel at 6:08 PM on May 26, 2003


Kablam is crackers, folks. Let'm be.
posted by squirrel at 6:25 PM on May 26, 2003


It just doesn't compute to you, does it? That you *can't* whine or argue or debate with people like Wahabbis and radical Shiites who will only be satisfied when you are DEAD. They are vandals who do not and will not see you as human. They are filled with hate and fear at everything that you *are*. They will not compromise, except tactically, as did the Ottomans before them. Otherwise they will always scheme to put you down. For most of them, even your conversion to their brand of Islam would not be enough. You, and everything you represent, MUST BE DESTROYED.
That being said, before, they could be left alone *because* we felt that they could not project that hate. But now we know better. And with the same mindless insane bitterness they would use to make a suicide attack on the World Trade Center TWICE! (remember the truck bomb), if they HAD a nuclear weapon they would USE IT.

I mentioned London, Berlin and Paris. Well, what about ROME, the very heart of Christianity? Will it still be the fault of the US if somehow they get a nuke and kill millions?

Would your argument be that they were provoked? That if we hadn't invaded Iraq that it wouldn't have made other moslems *so mad* that they had to develop a nuclear bomb to attack the US and other western nations? Or a million other excuses. Go ahead and make your apologies for them now, instead on on the graves of a million innocents.
posted by kablam at 8:00 PM on May 26, 2003


uh, squirrel, you're right.
posted by Vidiot at 8:34 PM on May 26, 2003


It just doesn't compute to you, does it? That you *can't* whine or argue or debate with people like Wahabbis and radical Shiites who will only be satisfied when you are DEAD.

Anyone curious what that would look like in Arabic with "Wahabbis" and "radical Shiites" subbed out for whatever label might be pertinent for an extremist to sub in?
posted by crasspastor at 9:14 PM on May 26, 2003


Geesus, did kablam forget to take his medication?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:15 PM on May 26, 2003


as did the Ottomans before them.

You manage to hold up the pretense of critiquing Wahabism for about two sentences, before you slip into your more comfortable position of basic religious hatred. Cheers, asshole!

It just doesn't compute to you, does it?

No, thank god.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:00 AM on May 27, 2003


ps. The US has floated plans to turn Guantanamo Bay into a death camp, with its own death row and execution chamber. Prisoners would be tried, convicted and executed without leaving its boundaries, without a jury and without right of appeal, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported yesterday.
posted by y2karl at 8:57 AM on May 27, 2003


Remind me again why we should want the USA acting as the world's policeman?

I think there's a saying about absolute power that applies here.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 AM on May 27, 2003


y2karl, you're statement is only correct if you refer to every long-term state and federal prison facility with the capability to prefrom executions as a "Death camp" as well.

Let's leave the juvenial rhetoric at home.
posted by pjgulliver at 9:46 AM on May 27, 2003


pjgullver, that's an absurd comparison. State and federal prisons do not try and convict the accused, they carry out sentences on the lawfully convicted. They respect all civil rights except those denied to convicts by (publicly enacted) law. They also do not perform executions except as provided for by law, which includes a comprehensive set of public hearings and appeals. Legal representation, as well as public and judicial oversight are present at every stage, as is access by the press.

Let's leave the inaccurate (and would it be petty to say misspelled?) characterizations at home.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:01 AM on May 27, 2003


Geroge..commenting on my mefi spelling and grammer is not petty at all. I'm often typing quickly, and I realize that it generally sucks.

However, I think refering to the Gitmo facility as a "death camp" is patently absurd, and denigrates the victims and survivors of history's true death camps.
posted by pjgulliver at 10:28 AM on May 27, 2003


pjgulliver, I think history's death camp victims had bigger problems than comparisons to Guantanamo Bay, like maybe the fact that they were being murdered. How does this comparison "denigrate" them? Does it make them more or less dead? Does it seek to excuse the crime of their murder? What in hell are you talking about?

A "death camp" is a place you can herd people into and, if you choose, execute them without due process of law, out of sight of the public and press and generally without being responsible to anyone outside your chain of command. Sounds perfectly and precisely accurate to me, and if the worst thing you can say about it is some nonsense about denigrating some historical victims, that seems like pitifully small objection in context of the sheer magnitude of the thing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:41 AM on May 27, 2003


GS: In my mind, "death camp" almost exculsively refers to those set up by the German's in Europe during the 1940s. For instance, almost everything you write above could easily be applied to the Soviet Gulag system, and, as horrible as that system was, and as much as we abhor the word "gulag" because of it, they are generally not refered to as "Death camps." In my opinion describing Qitmo as a "death camp" was as clear an attempt to link current American policies and actions to those of the Nazi's as a protestor holding up a sign saying "Bush = Hitler."

So yes, I do think by trying to squeeze the complicated issues of Gitmo into the "death camp" label, is not only false, but does denigrate the victims of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century.

Additionally, the term "death camp" implies that it is a camp who's overriding purpose is the execution of large number's of people. The term implies that mass-execution is a facility's raison d'etre. This clearly is not the case in Gitmo, and to suggest otherwise is so patently assinine that if that is your view, I simply can't argue it with you.
posted by pjgulliver at 11:23 AM on May 27, 2003


pjgulliver: that's a much better argument. I don't think anyone's suggested that the principal aim of Gitmo is large-scale executions, so if that's the point of distinction, I would not necessarily agree with you but at least I can see it.

However, the idea that we in the U.S. would ever seek to use an offshore facility to systematically execute even a comparatively small number of people in a manner free from public oversight and without honoring any recognized body of law is utterly horrific in my mind, and this fine point of distinction of what to call it is rather unimportant.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:30 AM on May 27, 2003


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