Force Feeding at Guantánamo
February 9, 2006 6:16 AM   Subscribe

U.S. Force Feeding Prisoners at Guantánamo [NY Times]. In response to hunger strikes, U.S. military authorities have taken tougher measures to force-feed detainees. This is accomplished using the sometimes deadly restraint chair, also known as the "we care chair". Well, that's what they get for being terrorists, right?[pdf]
posted by ND¢ (169 comments total)
 
see also: foie gras (somewhat graphic image)
posted by matteo at 6:25 AM on February 9, 2006


You make it sound like it's a bad thing.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:32 AM on February 9, 2006


foie gras is delicious. unjustly imprisoned foreigners are tough and stringy.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:32 AM on February 9, 2006


actually they've been in cages long enough they're probably a lot like veal.
posted by beerbajay at 6:35 AM on February 9, 2006


so the question really is: what happens when you mix foie gras and veal. i suspect it's to die for.
posted by beerbajay at 6:35 AM on February 9, 2006


"Well, that's what they get for being terrorists, right?"

No, that's what they get for trying to starve themselves to death. Before this turns into a bash America thread, ask yourself what the FPP would have been if we simply let them lay there and die. Damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess.

The restraint chair is to keep them from vomitting up their food - which they've been doing. According to the article they've reduced hunger strikes from 84 down to 4. I didn't realize there were that many on hunger strikes down there.
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:36 AM on February 9, 2006


See also.
posted by orthogonality at 6:40 AM on February 9, 2006


Damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess.


Or, you could not create a false dilemma, and try to release the prisoners who aren't guilty of anything that warrants their being imprisoned at Guantanamo. Which is probably a significant amount.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:40 AM on February 9, 2006


I didn't realize there were that many on hunger strikes down there.

one wonders why! ungrateful fucks!
posted by matteo at 6:42 AM on February 9, 2006


so the question really is: what happens when you mix foie gras and veal. i suspect it's to die for.

And sweetbreads, too. Now we're talkin'.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:42 AM on February 9, 2006


Yes j.p.Hung, how dare they undergo psychological trauma and/or try to assert some desperate control over their fates just because they've been locked up for some as yet undetermined period and have no recourse to any authority with the power to free them despite the lack of any independent assessment of their actions?
posted by biffa at 6:44 AM on February 9, 2006


I agree with J.P. - figuring that releasing them is not an option at this time, that there's a reason to hold them (which may or may not be evident to us, but just go with me on this...) which is the more humane thing? To let them starve themselves to death? Or forcefeed them?

We're bad guys because we're feeding them.

We're bad guys if we let them starve.

Yeah, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

On this one, I'd think forcefeeding them would be the moral thing to do. Letting them starve themselves - that's the immoral choice.

(Best still would be to process them out - but if that's not in the cards, then forcefeeding is better than tacitly assisting them to kill themselves.)
posted by JB71 at 6:50 AM on February 9, 2006


OMG!!!!


The HORROR!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by HTuttle at 6:54 AM on February 9, 2006


I think we forcefeed only to avoid the outcry if we let the prisoners starve. Surely most of these prisoners have been rendered useless for information, so I'm sure the powers-that-be would be happy enough to let them die.
posted by mullacc at 6:59 AM on February 9, 2006


Ahhh. Promoting a culture of life.

Seriously, though, I agree with j.p. hung -- damned if you do, damned if you don't. I don't know how common it is for hunger strikes to end in death by starvation among participants, but it looks bad for the jailers whether succesful or not.
posted by namespan at 7:00 AM on February 9, 2006


I can only imagine the powerlessness and desperation that might drive someone to intentionally starve themselves. However, once these men reach this state of mind where starving themselves to death seems like a good idea, they are strapped down in a chair, have a tube shoved in their nose, and have so much liquid forced into their stomach that they uncontrollably shit themselves. What do you do when what happens to you is so out of your control that even the pathetic gesture of starving yourself in protest is forcibly taken from you? I don't know whether that is more moral than letting someone starve himself to death. I don't think that those should be our only two options though.
posted by ND¢ at 7:00 AM on February 9, 2006


Hey, I've got an idea. These people have all been in this prison camp awaiting trial since 2001 or so. How about we try them?
posted by wakko at 7:01 AM on February 9, 2006


JB71, we're bad guys for holding them indefinitely without charge. Given the blowback that happens every time they release a prisoner, most of those people are NEVER going to get out, even though they have done nothing wrong.
posted by Malor at 7:02 AM on February 9, 2006


wakko writes "Hey, I've got an idea. These people have all been in this prison camp awaiting trial since 2001 or so. How about we try them?"


STFU. Rule of law only aids the terrorists, lib'rul.
posted by orthogonality at 7:02 AM on February 9, 2006


trial? what's that? i haven't heard about any for a few years. secret military tribunals on the other hand...
posted by beerbajay at 7:03 AM on February 9, 2006


Or, you could not create a false dilemma, and try to release the prisoners who aren't guilty of anything that warrants their being imprisoned at Guantanamo.

I wouldn't worry too much - even if they weren't terrorists at the time they were imprisoned, they probably are now.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:04 AM on February 9, 2006


"how dare they undergo psychological trauma and/or try to assert some desperate control over their fates"

So, because they are on hunger strike they must be innocent? We should just say, "hey, you seem serious, we'll just let you go"? I know few seem to agree but I'm of the mindset there are actually some criminals down there. I really dont' see what other recourse we have.
posted by j.p. Hung at 7:05 AM on February 9, 2006


ok...charging them and trying them would be a good start.
posted by j.p. Hung at 7:07 AM on February 9, 2006


the force feeding isn't the real issue. the issue is that they have been imprisoned for YEARS without trial.

the hunger strike and subsequent force feeding is appropriately drawing attention to that.
posted by beerbajay at 7:07 AM on February 9, 2006


If the Dems bite on this story, then they can kiss this fall's election hopes goodbye. Voters who have not shown any real outrage over having prisoners in Gitmo won't care at all that we are making them (gasp)...eat food!!
posted by wabashbdw at 7:08 AM on February 9, 2006


I really dont' see what other recourse we have.

PUT THEM ON TRIAL.
posted by c13 at 7:11 AM on February 9, 2006


...ask yourself what the FPP would have been if we simply let them lay there and die. Damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess.

Yep. That happens when one paints oneself into a corner.

If one runs a prison so ineptly and so inhmanely that 84 prisoners decide they'd rather starve themselves to death than go on living, then in my book, one is damned, period, and one's reaction to the hunger strike does not enter into it at all.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:15 AM on February 9, 2006


c13, um...I think I said that.
posted by j.p. Hung at 7:15 AM on February 9, 2006


it looks bad for the jailers whether succesful or not.

Seriously? A hunger strike is going to make Guantanamo look bad?
If those in charge are not yet thoroughly embarrassed, I doubt that A hunger strike could push them over the edge.
If people would prefer to starve to death rather that to continue to live under their present conditions, it seems cruel to prevent them.
posted by Zetetics at 7:17 AM on February 9, 2006


Okay, just for argument's sake (and lord, I may be stepping in it here but here I go anyway) - figure that a trial isn't going to happen. We're talking indefinite incarceration here, with perhaps some vague hope in the future to be freed. For whatever reason, figure that they're not going to have a chance at release for at least 5 years.

Now, given THAT premise, and given that there would be one hell of a moral outcry if one DID manage to starve himself to death - isn't the moral and responsible course of action to forcefeed those who try to starve themselves?
posted by JB71 at 7:18 AM on February 9, 2006


Yeah, but not before I updated the page...
posted by c13 at 7:20 AM on February 9, 2006


if you assert that it's moral to hold people for 5 years without charging or trying them, then arguing that it's moral and responsible to forcefeed them is easy.
posted by beerbajay at 7:20 AM on February 9, 2006


Beerbajay -

So you're arguing that the moral thing to do is let them starve to death?
posted by JB71 at 7:23 AM on February 9, 2006


So you're arguing that the moral thing to do is let them starve to death?

So says the American Medical Association, so long as the person isn't mentally ill or otherwise impaired. This isn't exactly the first time this question has come up, guys. Medical ethicists come down on the side of letting them starve themselves. Suicide is the lesser evil here. A defense secretary more interested in public relations than actual ethics, of course, might not share that position.
posted by queen zixi at 7:24 AM on February 9, 2006


< dick cheney> If we don't don't force feed the terrorists, we'll get hit again. < / dick cheney>
posted by three blind mice at 7:25 AM on February 9, 2006


Three blind Mice:

Well, you're looking at riots because of cartoons, you're looking at riots because someone dropped a Koran in a drainage ditch in Pakistan - if they don't force feed the terrorists I'd expect there'd be riots over that too.
posted by JB71 at 7:29 AM on February 9, 2006




JB71 said: which is the more humane thing? To let them starve themselves to death? Or forcefeed them?

The humane thing to do would be to grant them a trial. Barring that, it is to let them starve themselves to death. Guilty or not, they're human beings. They have the right to decide if they want to go on living or not. They have the right to decide what goes in their own mouths and what doesn't.

You assume that humanity is the motivating factor. I find that highly dubious, since the one thing they all have in common is that they're being held w/o charges.
posted by wheat at 7:32 AM on February 9, 2006


So, because they are on hunger strike they must be innocent?
No, desperate. They have given up hope of ever pleading their case in a court of law and see no other option but to starve themselves. But they are denied even the right to refuse food and exit gracefully that way.

There was rightly outrage when the "Suffragettes" (British women capaigning for the vote from 1897 to 1918) were force fed.
And possibly with this still in mind the British government allowed ten convicted IRA terrorists to starve themselves to death in 1981 rather than grant them "political prisoner" status.

I happen to believe that force-feeding is an outrage unless the recipient is mentally unsound.
posted by magpie68 at 7:37 AM on February 9, 2006


i the moral thing to do is let them starve to death?

Why is that so controversial? If they are not going to be put on trial, then YES.
posted by magpie68 at 7:40 AM on February 9, 2006


Now, given THAT premise,

Lenght of incarceration or chance of release has no bearing on it. They're adults--you nanny state, culture-of-life fool--they have the right to control their own bodies. If they choose to soil themselves as a form of protest, do the guards then have the right to sew up their spincters?

and given that there would be one hell of a moral outcry if one DID manage to starve himself to death

Nice try at sliding in an additional premise. Can you not see that avoiding moral outcry is a political consideration, while forcing them to eat or not is an ethical consideration? Obviously not. That's why I'm spelling it out for you. If you want to defend the action in terms of political pragmatics, fine. But don't try to make it about morality.

- isn't the moral and responsible course of action to forcefeed those who try to starve themselves?

Asked and answered.
posted by wheat at 7:40 AM on February 9, 2006


JB71, I felt a certain vertigo traversing your logic. But dammit man, we all gotta eat!

Recall that the incarceration itself is what's being protested. So what exactly does the incarceration followed by hunger strikes followed by forced feeding (all in the major media by the way) do for our chances in the "War on Terrorism"?

This incarceration finds you calmly suggesting it might last another five years. This isn't a annuity term being discussed here. Perhaps we are down the slippery slope too far already with acceptance of these kinds of tactics. Perhaps similar treatment will become common in the US, with your offhand assent? Shudder.
posted by telstar at 7:42 AM on February 9, 2006


Just to clear up what may be a misconception. This is not a Terri Schiavo-style sanctity of life crusade. This is a neocon agenda - get information from your prisoners, at whatever human cost, via whatever malignant constitutional interpretation you can hypothesize.

They are "worth" more alive than dead.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:43 AM on February 9, 2006


no, i'm not arguing for or against allowing them to starve themselves to death.

i'm saying if the basis for the situation is that it is somehow moral (for the government) to hold people without trial/charges indefinitely, then it's trivial to argue that it's moral to keep them alive. that is all.
posted by beerbajay at 7:43 AM on February 9, 2006


It's a tricky situation for any Government. Let them die and they become martyrs (look at what happened in 1981 in Northern Ireland), force feed them and you raise even more ethical issues.

Good on the prisoners for doing the only thing they can do to protest the insanity of their incarceration
posted by twistedonion at 7:52 AM on February 9, 2006


They should have all been brought to trial years ago.

beerbajay : if you assert that it's moral to hold people for 5 years without charging or trying them, then arguing that it's moral and responsible to forcefeed them is easy.
JB71: So you're arguing that the moral thing to do is let them starve to death?

You cannot possibly be that obtuse. The moral thing to do is bring them to trial and then either free them or imprison them in a real prison.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:52 AM on February 9, 2006


j.p.Hung: because they are on hunger strike they must be innocent?

No, but since they haven't been tried why don't we just assume that they are? Really, even if they have committed some crime there's still an entitlement - as a basic human right - to know what crime they are being charged with and then to be tried for that crime, within a a reasonable period of time and with a proper legal defense. Can't you appreciate the immense psychological damage it would do to someone to be locked up, to have no right to know the details of why and no way to challenge the decision and to have no idea how long you will be locked up?
posted by biffa at 8:05 AM on February 9, 2006


I'm seriously not trying to be obtuse here, Sonofsamiam. Just trying to figure out what's morally right. Yes, the right thing is to bring them to trial. Okay, that isn't happening, it may never happen, I don't know. I've got no control over that part, neither do you, so we take things from there.

At that point the consensus then seems to be is that they should be allowed to starve themselves to death. The ethical post that ND¢ brought up I don't agree with, but I'm not a medical ethicist.

I've had experience with someone who was starving themself, having had a girlfriend once with severe anorexia issues, and I'm finding it hard to have an open mind on this. So, I'm going to recuse myself from further discussion on it.
posted by JB71 at 8:09 AM on February 9, 2006


So you're arguing that the moral thing to do is let them starve to death?

It is the ethical thing to do. I'm not sure morals enter into it.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:10 AM on February 9, 2006


j.p. Hung : "So, because they are on hunger strike they must be innocent?"

If I remember the Human Rights principles that served as pillars for the creation and development of the modern Western democracies, they actually are innocent until proven guilt in a fair trial conducted by a court of law. But then again terrorists, even the ones who are not terrorists, shouldn't have human rights. Isn't that so?
posted by nkyad at 8:11 AM on February 9, 2006


Now, given THAT premise, and given that there would be one hell of a moral outcry if one DID manage to starve himself to death - isn't the moral and responsible course of action to forcefeed those who try to starve themselves?

If the Titanic is going down, should you rearrange the deckchairs or not?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:14 AM on February 9, 2006


Okay, just for argument's sake (and lord, I may be stepping in it here but here I go anyway) - figure that a trial isn't going to happen. We're talking indefinite incarceration here, with perhaps some vague hope in the future to be freed. For whatever reason, figure that they're not going to have a chance at release for at least 5 years.

Are you forgetting that it's our goddamn prison? We do actually have control over the situation, making your ridiculous argument unnecessary. The simple solution is to either put the prisoners on trial, or release them. This is what a civilized judicial system is for. We find people who are suspected of doing criminal things, put them on trial, and then they either go to prison or get released.

This is entirely backwards. Why would they not be put on trial? What possible reason could there be? Maybe the fact that hundreds of these prisoners would finally be proven innocent is something this administration fears?

Ask yourself why the administration would fear giving these suspected criminals a fair trial.
posted by odinsdream at 8:22 AM on February 9, 2006


Ask yourself why the administration would fear giving these suspected criminals a fair trial.

Because it -seems- scarier to have a few hundred "terrorists" locked up on an island you can swim to from mainland America? It's a gambit.
posted by wakko at 8:26 AM on February 9, 2006


If I remember the Human Rights principles that served as pillars for the creation and development of the modern Western democracies, they actually are innocent until proven guilt in a fair trial conducted by a court of law. But then again terrorists, even the ones who are not terrorists, shouldn't have human rights. Isn't that so?

yawn. nkyad, whilst this is all well and good, it's a campaign issue that has very little traction for Democrats - outside of Metafilter.

If Democrats want to change this, they need to change the government and the only way to do this is to stop whining about the treatment of brown-skinned foreigners and start talking about JOBS, HEALTHCARE, and THE ECONOMY. Those are the issues that get Democrats elected and as long as Democrats are talking about something else, they're not talking about the things that will get them in office.
posted by three blind mice at 8:27 AM on February 9, 2006


Maybe if one, just one prisoner starves himself to death the outrage might finally break the dam. However I doubt it as present day America , led by the present administration has proven itself as a nation with no moral value to those of us maybe lucky enough to live beyond its borders at the present time.
On preview: thank you nkyad.
posted by adamvasco at 8:27 AM on February 9, 2006


"Ask yourself why the administration would fear giving these suspected criminals a fair trial."

And ask yourself where is the democratic leadership on this? Ask yourself why they continue to miss the boat on topics that could actually win them votes. Everyone here is right, they should be charged and tried in a reasonable amount of time.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:29 AM on February 9, 2006


What the hell is wrong with our country, damn, take an objective look at this thread and ask yourself, WHY THE FUCK ARE WE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION? Most of the people being held in the brig down there are guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, perhaps with the wrong last name. Most of them are not charged with a single fucking crime, they have essentially all been denied any kind of due process of law, and the fact that they are desperate enough to starve themselves to death in protest seems to be of entertainment value to more than a few of those reading this thread. What the fuck is wrong with America? Is it really, truly all over for our "democracy"? Based on this thread, yeah, it looks like the American experiment has completely failed, and the good little consumers will do whatever they are told in order to maintain a lifestyle they can ill afford. I feel ashamed to be an American, and it's news like this that makes me feel that when we're hit again, the world is gonna say, "you fucking deserved it". The fascist mentality seems to be winning, and the America I was born into is long gone. Snark is not gonna cut it here - what is going on in our names down in Quantanamo is going to haunt us for many years to come. I, for one, am fucking furious, and yes, I call the offices of my congressmonkeys weekly and give them a piece of my mind about this, and other key issues. I don't know if it makes any damned difference, but it makes me feel just a tad less dirty about the whole fucking mess.
posted by dbiedny at 8:34 AM on February 9, 2006


oops Magpie, didn't read your post otherwise I wouldn't have linked to the exact same article
posted by twistedonion at 8:43 AM on February 9, 2006


this whole issue is absolutly disgusting. I am more stunned by the fact that we actually have to have this discussion than the fact that it is happening. where is the dignity in any of this? for fucking christs sake. I am puking as usual. how do you explain this to children? or don't you? let them grow up and find out how much adults suck.
posted by tarantula at 8:46 AM on February 9, 2006


50% or more of these people are 100% innocent.

That should have to be said any time Gitmo is mentioned.

Completely innocent.
posted by teece at 8:46 AM on February 9, 2006


WHY THE FUCK ARE WE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION?

What the fuck is wrong with America?

Calm down, dbiedny.

There is nothing wrong with America that a decent opposition party could not fix. Unfortunately, America's party of opposition is controlled by a bunch of feckless, unimaginative, ridiculous elitists known as Democrats who could not find a winnng campaign theme even if someone force fed it to them. There's your problem.

Bush might be a stooge, but being the stooge's bitch is even worse.
posted by three blind mice at 8:46 AM on February 9, 2006


I am not going to calm down. No fucking way.

I'm the child of a Holocaust survivor. The person I'm named after, my great uncle, was shot to death in front of my mother, who was splattered with his blood. The price of fascism is very high, and the signs of it infecting the US are more than subtle at this point. What is going down in Guantanamo, IN OUR NAMES, is deeply disturbing. Fury is a rational response, IMO.

This is no longer a discussion about the Republican versus Democrat BS that has taken the place of rational political discourse these days. Both parties are fucking useless. It's a corporate feudal state we have brought ourselves down to, and I for one am FUCKING FURIOUS.

We have to look for a new course for this country, and it seems to be that anger is a good way to reset ourselves. But I'm open to alternative suggestions.
posted by dbiedny at 8:58 AM on February 9, 2006


TBM:

"feckless, unimaginative, ridiculous elitists?" Sounds like republican scum to me. No difference between these assholes and the "Democrat" assholes. They both smell like shit.
posted by dbiedny at 9:00 AM on February 9, 2006


Welcome to Metafilter dbiedny,

You'll be popular here.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:06 AM on February 9, 2006


I'm the child of a Holocaust survivor. The person I'm named after, my great uncle, was shot to death in front of my mother, who was splattered with his blood. The price of fascism is very high, and the signs of it infecting the US are more than subtle at this point. What is going down in Guantanamo, IN OUR NAMES, is deeply disturbing. Fury is a rational response, IMO.

And I'm the child of a dentist. Look, this is an issue that all Americans should be concerned about, but they aren't. Your fury nothwithstanding. Get over it.
posted by three blind mice at 9:06 AM on February 9, 2006


50% or more of these people are 100% innocent.

That should have to be said any time Gitmo is mentioned.

Completely innocent.


Anything to back that up teece, other than your wishful thinking? I don't like what's happening in Gitmo any more than you do, but I know enough that if the Democrats want to loose another election, making unsubstantiated statements like yours - that appear to coddle the enemy - is a great place to start.
posted by three blind mice at 9:10 AM on February 9, 2006


What kills me most is the crop of total losers (on both sides) we'll have to chose from for 2008. Sadly, I think we are in for more of the same: Whores who only care about power and re-election.

Remember when a blow job was a scandal? Ahh...the good old days.
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:11 AM on February 9, 2006


the right thing is to bring them to trial. Okay, that isn't happening, it may never happen, I don't know. I've got no control over that part, neither do you, so we take things from there. - JB71

But the American military that put them in that prison, keeps them in that prison, and is force-feeding them in that prison DOES have control over that part. (Ya know, what odinsdream said).
posted by raedyn at 9:12 AM on February 9, 2006


I meant to say "the enemy" - that nameless, faceless, boogeyman that Republicans use to win elections.
posted by three blind mice at 9:12 AM on February 9, 2006


Don't calm down dbiedny. I completely agree with you and I think outrage is understandable in these times. It's a disgusting situation and regardless of whether you're a democrat or a republican, this is not what our country is supposed to be based on.
posted by gfrobe at 9:33 AM on February 9, 2006


There is nothing wrong with America that a decent opposition party could not fix. Unfortunately, America's party of opposition is controlled by a bunch of feckless, unimaginative, ridiculous elitists known as Democrats who could not find a winnng campaign theme even if someone force fed it to them. There's your problem.

Here's something that's wrong with America: 51% of the population voted for the people who are quite happy to lock up random foreigners without trial, shitting all over the principles that they like to swaddle themselves in. Don't try and blame it all on the politicians, the people can take a fair share in the blame.
posted by biffa at 9:38 AM on February 9, 2006


I wish it was wishful thinking, three blind mice.

Read this.

Some salient points from this:
* A high percentage, perhaps the majority, of the 500-odd men now held at Guantanamo were not captured on any battlefield, let alone on "the battlefield in Afghanistan" (as Bush asserted) while "trying to kill American forces" (as McClellan claimed).

* Fewer than 20 percent of the Guantanamo detainees, the best available evidence suggests, have ever been Qaeda members.

* Many scores, and perhaps hundreds, of the detainees were not even Taliban foot soldiers, let alone Qaeda terrorists. They were innocent, wrongly seized noncombatants with no intention of joining the Qaeda campaign to murder Americans.

* The majority were not captured by U.S. forces but rather handed over by reward-seeking Pakistanis and Afghan warlords and by villagers of highly doubtful reliability.
Google for Guantanamo, and the first hits you'll find will be from groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights watch, further verifying the account given in the link.

The average American assumes the folks at Gitmo are hardened terrorists. This is not true for many (probably most). They weren't even captured by American forces -- they were brought to us by rival warlords, in exchange for payment. Bush, Cheney, et. al know this, and continue, to this day, to lie about that fact.

Gitmo would be a disgrace to America if every single man there was a hardened terrorist.

The sad reality is that many (perhaps a majority), were either an enemy of an Afghan or Pakistani warlord, or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are not terrorists, they have no connection to terrorists, and they have been imprisoned without trial or real legal representation for years. In some cases, the US military has even admitted that a particular prisoner is innocent, and they continue to hold him, with no plans for release.

That is most certainly not idle conjecture. The fact that this is surprising to you, in spite of all the evidence being there for public consumption, shows just how far American has fallen.
posted by teece at 9:46 AM on February 9, 2006


but I know enough that if the Democrats want to loose another election

Yeah, yeah, we get it. How many times are you going to post this?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:53 AM on February 9, 2006


Anything to back that up teece, other than your wishful thinking? I don't like what's happening in Gitmo any more than you do, but I know enough that if the Democrats want to loose another election, making unsubstantiated statements like yours - that appear to coddle the enemy - is a great place to start.

Are you going to apologize for your own ignorance, three blind mice? I'm curious.

Because you are completely fucking wrong to think my statement on the issue was unsubstantiated. Indeed, you'd think before mouthing off on such a subject, you'd do a tiny bit of research on it.

What I stated is not exactly hard to find online. We've know for years that the primary method of gathering prisoners for Gitmo involved bribing warlords, and that many (most?) of the folks gathered that way were completely innocent of any charges of terrorism.

Apparently, you don't pay attention to Gitmo news at all, yet feel obligated to call me out for speaking on the facts.

Hmph.
posted by teece at 10:02 AM on February 9, 2006


That information is also contained in the last two links of this post.
posted by ND¢ at 10:09 AM on February 9, 2006


Yeah, yeah, we get it. How many times are you going to post this?

Glad you get it Armitage_Shanks, pity so few others seem to - even though I was typing very slowly and sounding out each word. Maybe when a Democrat has an idea worth talking about, there'll be something else to say.
posted by three blind mice at 10:14 AM on February 9, 2006


tbm: you might have a look at the last article in the FPP. Pertinent figures include that 45% of detainees at Guantanamo committed a hostile act against coalition forces and 55% did not. Apparently a hostile act includes running away when being bombed.
posted by biffa at 10:18 AM on February 9, 2006


At the very least, I hope they are force ffeding the prisoners something delicious.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:19 AM on February 9, 2006


Hey, Blind Mouse,

I'll "get over it" when you and the people who think like you come down in flames.

Fuck you and your politics, I will not stand for your SimpleThink idiocy and distractionary tactics. My comment about my mother being a Holocaust survivor is to point out that _some of us_ know what Fascism smells and looks like, and are not willing to stand by while this country is brought down by a pack of money-hungry wolves. Some of us know how to THINK, and are not programmed by the idiot box, partisan horseshit, talking points and soundbytes. If you find my words disturbing, that's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by dbiedny at 10:20 AM on February 9, 2006


Are you going to apologize for your own ignorance, three blind mice? I'm curious.

I'm curious too. A single link to a story in the National Journal? "It's in the paper, three blind mice, so you know it's a fact."

Google for Guantanamo, and the first hits you'll find will be from groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights watch, further verifying the account given in the link.

Echo chambers, teece. Just like Metafiler. A bunch of like-minded people linking to each other and saying "see, see".

Ignorance. You say 50% are 100% innocent. That statement is without factual basis.
posted by three blind mice at 10:22 AM on February 9, 2006


I'll "get over it" when you and the people who think like you come down in flames.

I held my nose and voted Kerry, dbiedny. It wasn't easy. I guess you voted Republican if you want me to come down in flames?

Don't assume because people disagree with you on an issue, that they are necessarily on the "other" side.
posted by three blind mice at 10:27 AM on February 9, 2006




The fascist mentality seems to be winning, and the America I was born into is long gone.

that america never existed, dbiedny ... during the cold war we propped up many fascist regimes that tortured and executed dissidents without any kind of legal proceedings ... back further, i could refer you to lynchings of minorities, the indian wars, our arrests of political radicals after ww1, our internment of japanese people during ww2, just for being japanese, etc, etc, etc ...

believe it or not, we're actually better than we used to be and the dirty deeds we do now ignite controversy

we have a long way to go
posted by pyramid termite at 10:30 AM on February 9, 2006


The truly sad thing is that at this point, I'm just glad we aren't force feeding them bacon and ham (or maybe we are -- I'm thoroughly past the point where I can even do the minimum research to find out).

I can't believe what has happened to US ideals. I wouldn't have thought it possible that they could fall so far so fast.
posted by willnot at 10:43 AM on February 9, 2006


P termite:

Points well taken. I am currently only directing this particular flavor of outrage at deeds done in my own adult lifetime. And that outrage is directed at ALL the crimes being committed in the name of our "safety" and "security". I live too close to NYC to feel safe or secure in any measure.

TMB:

Like you, I held my nose and voted for Kerry. But don't dare to tell me that I should put my anger in check, or simply accept the situation and "get over it". I will do neither.
posted by dbiedny at 10:43 AM on February 9, 2006


Ignorance. You say 50% are 100% innocent. That statement is without factual basis.

Ah. The ad hominem wrapped up in a pretense of rationality. (You'll note that the link I gave you points to its source).

You're completely full of shit here, three blind mice. Again, do your research -- what you'll find is that all of this evidence is sourced to documents from the US government.

So please don't talk to be about echo chambers and ignorance.
posted by teece at 10:46 AM on February 9, 2006


From page 5 of ND¢'s link.

The data in this Report are based on written determinations the Government has produced for detainees it has designated as enemy combatants. These written determinations were prepared following military hearings commenced in 2004, called Combatant Status Review Tribunals designed to ascertain whether a detainee should continue to be classified as an "enemy combatant." The data are obviously limited.

Obviously. But that doesn't stop the authors of that report from making conclusions based on this data. If I tried that at my thesis defense, it would have been a very short day.

I am not defending the practice of extraordinary rendition or the extra-legal existence of Guantanamo Bay - or the force feeding which in the scheme of things is a minor issue. All of this is an insult to American justice. But to make statements like 50% are 100% innocent does not help matters. The fact is neither you, nor I, have a clue what is really going on down there. For all we know it could be a Hollywood set.

Fuck you and your politics, I will not stand for your SimpleThink idiocy and distractionary tactics.

distractionary? Are you one of Bush's speechwriters, dbieny? C'mon, fess up.
posted by three blind mice at 10:53 AM on February 9, 2006


I’m with dbiedny & teece - fury. It’s just got to spread and focus. And I think TBM is pointing out there isn’t any focus right now.

I haven’t seen much in the way of protest. Doesn’t mean it’s not there, but I’ve looked and I haven’t seen much.
So what do you do?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:53 AM on February 9, 2006


Good question.
posted by ND¢ at 10:59 AM on February 9, 2006


And I think TBM is pointing out there isn’t any focus right now.

Thanks Smedleyman. That's exactly what I'm trying to say. Aimless fury is a waste of time and is exactly the result the Bush administration wants to create.

*Must learn to be more briefer.*
posted by three blind mice at 11:01 AM on February 9, 2006


Since 45% of them are completely innocent of anything I can understand why they would go on hunger strike. Then again, I really couldn't care less about the other 54%.
posted by xammerboy at 11:07 AM on February 9, 2006


three blind mice, you're being an astounding idiot here.

Any data the prof. used would be very biased in the favor of the government.

Even with such data, the conclusion is that 50% of the detainees are completely innocent by any normal meaning of the word. The actual number is irrelavent -- the stats we have show that it could be 40% or 80% -- who cares? We know an inordinate number of the detainees are innocent.

You think that's bad PR, I guess, so you're spinning furiously to avoid accepting that.

You'll also find (if you browse through those government docs), that at least one detainee was found completely innocent of any wrong-doing in his military tribunal. As far as I know, that man is still being held at Gitmo. With no plans for release.

Only by refusing to actually look at the evidence we have (which is nowhere near as scant as you seem to think), can you avoid coming to the conclusion I did: somewhere around 50% of the people at Gitmo are innocent of any crime; and they sure as hell are not enemy combatants or enemies of the state. That is a fact.

You're just being a fool if you can't see that the evidence points that way.

I am not defending the practice of extraordinary rendition or the extra-legal existence of Guantanamo Bay

Yes, you are. Your willful ignorance of what we really know about Gitmo is Bush's biggest ally on this issue. It's why nothing has been done -- most Americans are like you, and would rather not accept what the evidence indicates.

It's why no one bats an eyelash when Bush says, repeatedly, the straight-up lie that all those at Gitmo are terrorists captured on the field of battle.

That is an unequivocal lie. You aid and abet it with the crap you're doing here.

You've been caught red-handed arguing from ignorance here, three blind mice. Fess up, rather than continue to play the bull shit game.
posted by teece at 11:08 AM on February 9, 2006


For all we know it could be a Hollywood set. - three blind mice

No. The 735 acre minefield of 70,000 antipersonnel and antitank mines that surrounded the bases has killed twenty people. The American soliders and Cuban people who died there know it isn't fake. (Source) This minefeild has been dismantled in the last 10 years. (Source) But it isn't a figment of our imagination - that's a DOD image taken on the American controlled portion of Cuba.
posted by raedyn at 11:14 AM on February 9, 2006


It's all in the Matrix. Welcome to the Desert of the Real.

Wait, no it isn't!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:23 AM on February 9, 2006


who would jesus force feed?
posted by specialk420 at 11:23 AM on February 9, 2006


Ok, so my use of an imaginary word (distractionary) was not the best idea in the world. In my anger, my writing skills were momentarily compromised. A good reason to imply that I could be a speechwriter for the moron in the white house, oh sightless rodent fuckstick.

But I'd rather make up a word than conjure an imaginary reality, the one that so many Americans seem to live in day in and out.

I stand by everything I've written, and TMB, I hope that one day one of your loved ones is thrown into a secret prison to rot, without any due legal process. A dose of your own medicine is what you need, and might one day get.
posted by dbiedny at 11:25 AM on February 9, 2006


50% or more of these people are 100% innocent.

That should have to be said any time Gitmo is mentioned.

Completely innocent.


I've heard that, and I've also heard that some have been released only to be recaptured fighting for the Taliban.
posted by b_thinky at 11:30 AM on February 9, 2006


who would jesus force feed?

just pretend it's manna, open up and say "AAAAAAAAAAAAAH" to the nice gentleman in a uniform
posted by matteo at 11:32 AM on February 9, 2006


I've heard that, and I've also heard that some have been released only to be recaptured fighting for the Taliban.

I've heard that some people released from prison are later re-arrested for similar crimes. Clearly, the solution is never to let anyone out of prison, ever. Whether they've actually committed any crimes or not.
posted by EarBucket at 11:38 AM on February 9, 2006


I've heard that, and I've also heard that some have been released only to be recaptured fighting for the Taliban.

Shows you how good the government is at determining which ones are the "bad guys" (assuming that one of the good guys wasn't released, and so pissed off at his treatment that he decided to join the fight against America).

There are undoubtedly bad guys at Gitmo -- just as there undoubtedly good guys there. But the fact they have been deprived of all due process, treated inhumanely, and sentenced to an eternal lock-up without so much as a hope to confront their accused is enough by itself to shut Gitmo down.

The fact that the good guy to bad guy ratio might be 1 to 1 is enough to make me think somebody should be in jail for how badly Gitmo has trod upon American ideals.

It also makes me think Americans don't really give a shit about their Constitution all that much, too.
posted by teece at 11:55 AM on February 9, 2006


posted by dbiedny I'm the child of a Holocaust survivor. The person I'm named after, my great uncle, was shot to death in front of my mother, who was splattered with his blood.

I'm the child of wealthy humanitarians who were murdered right in front of me. I was spattered with the blood of my mother and father and I vowed to take back the night from those who prey on the weak.

I'm Batman.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:08 PM on February 9, 2006


posted by dbiedny [three blind mice], I hope that one day one of your loved ones is thrown into a secret prison to rot, without any due legal process. A dose of your own medicine is what you need, and might one day get.

Wow.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:14 PM on February 9, 2006


posted by dbiedny _some of us_ know what Fascism smells and looks like

What does fascism smell like? Have you tasted it? Does it taste like chicken?
posted by fandango_matt at 12:19 PM on February 9, 2006


fandango, while some might be amused by your snark, I'm not impressed. You might make fun of the fact that my mother got to watch her beloved uncle die in front of her eyes, with his blood on her face. I'm not describing a scene from a fucking movie, this was my mother's life. Those who make cheery fun of the theft of their country and liberties deserve neither. My comment to TNB about one of his loved ones suffering from the kind of fate he's happy to allow others to have is derived from my anger, the only rational response to the kind of apathy that I tend to see regarding serious subjects that are bought to light on MeFi. Sorry if I'm not being a happy, cheerful camper, this is serious stuff. HORRIBLE SHIT is being done by a bunch of thugs we call a government, in our names, and if you have any sense of ethics or morality, you would be outraged as well. How many will die before we, as a nation, wake up and take action? How much blood will be spilled for nothing? When will we at least TRY to stop this madness?

On preview, no, Fascism does not taste like chicken, it tastes like equal parts blood, bone, dirt, despair, sadness, shit and misery. Not that you give a damn, it's not got a lot of entertainment value to distract you from your boredom. Go back to your television and videogames, have a fucking donut with that snark sandwich.
posted by dbiedny at 12:30 PM on February 9, 2006


dbiedny : "I hope that one day one of your loved ones is thrown into a secret prison to rot, without any due legal process. A dose of your own medicine is what you need, and might one day get."

Grow up, will you? If you can't discuss something without resorting this kind of nasty personal attack, you probably should not be discussing anything. Not only here, anywhere.

fandango_matt : "What does fascism smell like? Have you tasted it?"

Fascism smells and tastes like corrupted blood, but the aftertaste is stronger and more bitter. There is also a certain suggestion of epic dullness to it, like a school band playing the same martial march forever and ever.
When I was born and for the first 19 years of my life, my country was governed by military dictators supported by the US so, yes, I tasted it.
posted by nkyad at 12:33 PM on February 9, 2006


dbiedny : "I stand by everything I've written, and TMB..."
dbiedny : "My comment to TNB about one of his loved ones..."

The first one would be Three Maced Blinds and the second Three Nice Blondes? If you're going to distribute insults all around, at least get your acronyms right...
posted by nkyad at 12:36 PM on February 9, 2006


nkyad, points taken, I apologize for my lack of manners and accuracy in writing. This topic really gets my blood boiling, and it's hard to hold my anger in check when I see folks making light of very, very serious matters which are critical to our health as a country. I'll cease posting in this thread now, I'm off to NYC for a lovely Sigur Ros concert tonight. I need a break from snark and negativity. The lovely sounds of Sigur Ros will do my soul wonders.
posted by dbiedny at 12:49 PM on February 9, 2006


Young Kid: Who was that, pa?

Old Man: That there was dbiedny, righteous defender of American principles.

Young Kid: Do ya think I might get to be as sensitive and have such awesome taste in Icelandic prog some day?

Old Man: Maybe. Maybe kid.
posted by bardic at 12:54 PM on February 9, 2006


Yes, let's go on and on about this.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:56 PM on February 9, 2006


"Your willful ignorance of what we really know about Gitmo is Bush's biggest ally on this issue. It's why nothing has been done -- most Americans are like you, and would rather not accept what the evidence indicates."

No Teece, the reason nothing has been done is because the Republicans are puppets of Bush and the democrats have completely failed their constituents - many represented here but few willing to admit their congressman and senators have blown it. All of these posts either attack the American Ideals or Americans specifically. I have seen few of you that actually place blame on the people YOU elected. Where the hells that outrage? There are people that can change this and it ain't the republicans - they've sold their souls down the river already.
posted by j.p. Hung at 1:00 PM on February 9, 2006


b_thinky writes "I've also heard that some have been released only to be recaptured fighting for the Taliban."

If the US ever inhumanely locks me up, for no reason, for five years, with so much as letting me talk to a laywer; you might find me up in a clock tower with a deer rifle the same day I'm released too.
posted by Mitheral at 1:02 PM on February 9, 2006


posted by dbiedny fandango, while some might be amused by your snark, I'm not impressed. You might make fun of the fact that my mother got to watch her beloved uncle die in front of her eyes, with his blood on her face. I'm not describing a scene from a fucking movie, this was my mother's life.

My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery; my mother was a 15-year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. Clearly, my parents trump yours.

Those who make cheery fun of the theft of their country and liberties deserve neither.

Really? So people aren't allowed to criticize their government? Your definition of free speech closely resembles the definition of fascism.

My comment to TNB about one of his loved ones suffering from the kind of fate he's happy to allow others to have is derived from my anger, the only rational response to the kind of apathy that I tend to see regarding serious subjects that are bought to light on MeFi.

The only rational response, eh? You might want to look into some anger-management courses, Mr. Furious.

Sorry if I'm not being a happy, cheerful camper, this is serious stuff. HORRIBLE SHIT is being done by a bunch of thugs we call a government, in our names, and if you have any sense of ethics or morality, you would be outraged as well.

Just because we're not shrieking about our mothers and the Holocaust doesn't mean we're not outraged, you sanctimonius nincompoop.

How many will die before we, as a nation, wake up and take action? How much blood will be spilled for nothing? When will we at least TRY to stop this madness?

When will the hyperbole end? When we at least TRY to stop asking rhetorical questions?

On preview, no, Fascism does not taste like chicken, it tastes like equal parts blood, bone, dirt, despair, sadness, shit and misery. Not that you give a damn, it's not got a lot of entertainment value to distract you from your boredom. Go back to your television and videogames, have a fucking donut with that snark sandwich.

Thanks, I will. Now please do us all a favor and shut the fuck up with your hysterics and hyperbole. If you're so outraged, go start your own blog.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:02 PM on February 9, 2006


“I hope that one day one of your loved ones is thrown into a secret prison to rot, without any due legal process.” -dbiedny

I was with you until about there.

But many folks like to type more than read. It’s what makes teh internets interactive.

“What does fascism smell like?”
Teen spirit.

Seriously. Think about it. ...and I don’t mean that in a Brian the Dog sort of snarky 1/2 serious way or a Stewie unending sarcasm sort of diatribe way. Nor a Letterman ride the joke until it drops way.
More of a Bud Abbott sort of thing...

...ok, look, the point it, fascism comes smelling sweet and cloying and inviting in the ‘rah-rah’ for us high school way.
It smells like money and the promise of money. And some people are more than willing to sweep the nastiness under the rug if they think they’ll get a taste.
Some people create the nastiness and foster those toadies.
Those people are evil and I’m happy to kill them as soon as I discover them.
But some are simply paralysed.
And the paralysis comes not from ignoring the right thing to do, but from not knowing what’s right and being overwhelmed by the larger picture.
It’s all well and good to speak of the timidity of those who won’t do anything (like Twain does), but the truth of that is they are distracted by countless alarms every day.
Not just the banal “my kid has 103 degree fever” sort of alarms, but the stuff on the news all day every day. It’s easy to get numbed.
And it’s not enough to ‘care’ you have to internalize it and realize “shit that could be me or my wife or my son.”

And it’s hard to bring that immediacy because it’s constantly being obfuscated and attacked.
And Joe Six Pack thinks “well, what if the feds are right?”

If we agree there is an evil here - then we’re only dickering over the most efficacious method.

Those who don’t see it need to be educated, but first you have to empty their minds of preconceptions.

And, more flies with honey - all that.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:10 PM on February 9, 2006


Metafilter: If you're so outraged, go start your own blog

And f_m, I think you meant to say: Just because we're not shrieking about our mothers and the Holocaust in a website doesn't mean we're not outraged, you sanctimonius nincompoop.

I just love the sound of "sanctimonius nincompoop" when you say it aloud. I think I will keep it for future use, if you don't mind
posted by nkyad at 1:18 PM on February 9, 2006


I've heard that, and I've also heard that some have been released only to be recaptured fighting for the Taliban.

I've heard that some people don't understand that time flows in one direction, and that things that happen in the future don't cause things to happen in the past.
posted by odinsdream at 1:25 PM on February 9, 2006


dbiedny: I don't think Gitmo is comparable to the Holocaust.
posted by b_thinky at 1:33 PM on February 9, 2006


b_thinky has heard that some prisoner released was later found to be fighting with or for the Taliban or whatever. No shit. Some of those guys, especially the innocent ones, are just the sort who would come out of there holding a grudge against us. Fancy that. Perfect reason to let them rot in there right?
I can't picture this if Gore had been permitted to take office. I know. You don't have to tell me. There would no longer be a builing left in the U.S. over two stories high.
posted by notreally at 1:34 PM on February 9, 2006


Not everyone in the US cares about what's happening in Guantanamo. But there ARE citizens who care and think it's bad. So what can those citizens do to fix the situation? How can they help persuade the US government to charge & try them (in normal open court, not secret military tribunals) or release them? What action can an average citizen take other than just being outraged and hurling insults on a website?
posted by raedyn at 1:40 PM on February 9, 2006


No Teece, the reason nothing has been done is because the Republicans are puppets of Bush and the democrats have completely failed their constituents - many represented here but few willing to admit their congressman and senators have blown it. All of these posts either attack the American Ideals or Americans specifically. I have seen few of you that actually place blame on the people YOU elected. Where the hells that outrage? There are people that can change this and it ain't the republicans - they've sold their souls down the river already.

You're not really serious about this, are you JP?

Are you asking me to be MORE outraged at the minority party (a party with almost zero power, by Republican design), than I am at the Republicans, the actual pond-scum motherfuckers that have taken a shit on the Constitution, the rule of law, and basics human decency since they got the Boy King elected? Or am I misunderstanding you?

Because that would be downright silly.

I have called my Senator and Representative, I've donated money, I've sent letters, I fought the disinformation campaign known as election '04 in what little ways I could, I even did a bit of canvassing. All of this was done to get a more effective minority party -- something the Dems have yet to wrap their heads around (and make no mistake about it, since 1994 and 2000, the Republicans have radically altered what it means to be a minority party in America, and the Dems have not adjusted).

But the people responsible for government right now are Republicans. You absolutely will not get change until you get people to realize the Republicans have fucked up something fierce.

Blaming Democrats for the behavior of Republicans plays no part in that. Democrats (as a whole) are responsible for running some bad political campaigns, and failing to understand the true nature of their powerlessness. Not much else. Certainly not Gitmo. The minority party can not even call for congressional panels or hearings any more.

It's Republicans pulling the strings. Making this into a faux bi-partisan affair does nothing positive.

Ultimately the American people bear full responsibility. So if you want to blame you and I, go ahead, too.

But these posts do not "attack American ideals or Americans" specifically. They attack the Americans in power (that is, Republicans) for their behavior, which is a violation of American ideals.

Pointing out the fact that, right now, America is behaving in a very un-American fashion is required if you want change.
posted by teece at 1:48 PM on February 9, 2006


I will be plenty happy to resume my temporarily suspsended Democrat-bashing as soon as it is the Democrats screwing up my country again.

Clinton was a better conservative than Bush is. (Never would have believed it at the time.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:52 PM on February 9, 2006


b_thinky has heard that some prisoner released was later found to be fighting with or for the Taliban or whatever. No shit. Some of those guys, especially the innocent ones, are just the sort who would come out of there holding a grudge against us. Fancy that. Perfect reason to let them rot in there right?

If you say so dude. The point is, some people say everyone in there is innocent and should be set free. Others say they are guilty and should be kept there. There is not much documented proof on either side, but no shortage of folks claiming they have all the answers.

Also, I don't understand that Gitmo is turning innocent prisoners into terrorists. If I'm falsley imprisoned for murder, I doubt I'm going on a killing spree when I get out. That's just me though... you might be different.
posted by b_thinky at 2:20 PM on February 9, 2006


"Clinton was a better conservative than Bush is."

right.

Teece, you keep believing the democrats in office are just helpless "victims" and the republicans can keep believing that Bush is a "conservative". No one will get anywhere but at least you can say you didn't give in.
posted by j.p. Hung at 2:24 PM on February 9, 2006


posted by b_thinky The point is, some people say everyone in there is innocent and should be set free. Others say they are guilty and should be kept there. There is not much documented proof on either side, but no shortage of folks claiming they have all the answers.

Well, yes, they are innocent, until they're proven guilty in a court of law. That's the way it supposedly works in this country.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:25 PM on February 9, 2006


No one will get anywhere but at least you can say you didn't give in.

I don't think you understand what I wrote at all. Oh well.
posted by teece at 2:27 PM on February 9, 2006


“I don't understand that Gitmo is turning innocent prisoners into terrorists.”

If it were my kid in there I’d be filling the streets with American blood. If it were me, once I got out I’d sue and use the funds to attack the people who tortured me. either way I’d Keyser Soze the bastards - kill their kids, kill their wives, kill their parents and their parents' friends, burns down the houses they live in and the places they work in, and kill people that owe them money, I’d scorch the earth and salt the ground behind me. For starters.
But y’know, I’m grouchy.

And I don’t care whether they’re guilty or innocent, I want the mistreatment stopped. I want the men responsible brought to justice. I want to know exactly what my government is doing and why.
The fact that there is a lack of clarity at all should be a glaring sign that something is wrong.
There is no excuse for treating anyone this way. Only madmen do. And we should not accept madmen as our leaders.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:04 PM on February 9, 2006


b_thinky says, "that's just me though...you may be different"
You got that right.
posted by notreally at 3:24 PM on February 9, 2006


There is not much documented proof on either side,

This is flat-out wrong, b_thinky. There's a decent bit of documented evidence from the government that came to light as a result of the military tribunals. Aside from the fact that what is happening at Gitmo is clearly un-American, the documents from the government show that a very significant portion of the Gitmo detainees are completely innocent.

Again, there is documented evidence that a very significant portion of the detainees are innocent. From the government. My guess is around half (and that number is borne out by the documents) -- who knows the actual number, and really who cares? Whatever the number, it's too many.

I'm not at all surprised you don't know this. I'm sure you'll ignore me telling you this. But it doesn't change reality.

Also, I don't understand that Gitmo is turning innocent prisoners into terrorists. If I'm falsley imprisoned for murder

Again, you are letting your ignorance show. The innocent folks at Gitmo have not been just falsely imprisoned (for no charge). They've been treated very, very poorly. They've had their religious beliefs violated. Their physical conditions, while not strictly torture according to Rummsfeld et. al, are considerably worse than that of the average prison inmate. They've now spent years in pretty hellish conditions.

Again, there's documented evidence of that, too. Again, I'm sure you'll continue to ignore it.

But in any event, that has absolutely nothing to with the illegality and fundamental wrongness of Gitmo. Preemptive imprisonment is not even remotely kosher.

The game I often seen played is this: sure, there is evidence of some innocent prisoners, and some mistreatment. But we don't know if they're all being mistreated, and surely they're not all innocent.

Which is to completely miss the point. If there is one innocent prisoner there, if one man has been mistreated, if 1 man has been denied due process, we know Gitmo is wrong, and must be corrected.

Well, we know there are dozens of innocents. We know at least several have been mistreated. We know every single prisoner has been denied due process.

So I'm quite justifiably fucking tired of that game.
posted by teece at 4:02 PM on February 9, 2006


dbiedny is my new hero. I couldn't have said it better myself, thank you dbiedny!

Three Blind Mice, you're a troll. STFU.
posted by nlindstrom at 4:11 PM on February 9, 2006


Lotta creeps around here today.

b_thinky: The point is, some people say everyone in there is innocent and should be set free. Others say they are guilty and should be kept there. There is not much documented proof on either side, but no shortage of folks claiming they have all the answers.

You're claiming that because the government has never bothered to sort the innocent from the guilty prisoners that it's fine to let all of them rot forever?

That's utterly despicable.

AND: If I'm falsley imprisoned for murder, I doubt I'm going on a killing spree when I get out.

Imagine you were an innocent man, kept in a concentration camp and tortured by a corrupt, evil foreign power for years and years -- and then you finally get out. It's quite likely that by then, there is nothing left of your old life -- that your home and family are gone, certainly all your money and property are gone. And that corrupt, evil power is still ruling your country and making people disappear in the middle of the night.

Do you just shrug and say, "Hey, I didn't need those five years. My health was overrated. The electric shocks were particularly bracing" and go and... what? Beg? Kill yourself?

Or do you devote the rest of your life to revenging yourself against the evil men who imprisoned and tortured you, thinking at least that you might protect someone else from your terrible fate?

And j.p."hung" -- you blame the Democrats for Guantanamo. Please explain your reasoning. Remember that the Democrats have been almost completely excluded from decision-making for five years. You might be able to claim that they are bad at politics. You can *not* claim that they are responsible *at all* for the bad decisions made by those in power.

Lots of creepy people around here today.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:32 PM on February 9, 2006


You know who else is a troll? Hitler.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:33 PM on February 9, 2006


Well said Smedleyman!
posted by Balisong at 5:18 PM on February 9, 2006


teece: If there is one innocent prisoner there, if one man has been mistreated, if 1 man has been denied due process, we know Gitmo is wrong, and must be corrected.

OK, what about our domestic prison system? Are there any innocents in there? Anyone being mistreated? So what are you going to do, free every last prisoner innocent or guilty?

What if, at Gitmo, information has been attained that stopped future attacks in the United States. That this has occurred is a near certainty. Gitmo is fucked up, and it sucks that we've been put in this situation, but if one American life has been saved becasue of that prison, then I'm all for it, because that one life saved could be my daughter, who's life I consider to be more valuable than all of Afghanistan.

You say I ignore the facts of Gitmo, which maybe I do, but you are guilty of the same. Gitmo has saved American lives, and to put the well-being of a Gitmo prisoner above that of your family is stupid.

Regarding whether or not the prison "creates" terrorists, lets not forget that everyone at Gitmo is innocent, and that the "guilty" are those who only chose to follow their own interpretation of their religion. So just the simple fact that we hold these prionsers is already inflammatory. Does this mean we shouldn't imprison the actual terrorists?

For the record, I agree that some of the detainees are innocent and I believe that every prisoner should be given some sort of due process and that should be done as soon as possible. But I disagree with anyone who throws out pretend facts ("50% of them are innocent", or for that matter, "they're all terrorists") and especially with anyone who wishes to put the well being of these prionsers above that of Americans.
posted by b_thinky at 5:18 PM on February 9, 2006


Well, that's the original Ugly American heard from.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:25 PM on February 9, 2006


OK, what about our domestic prison system? Are there any innocents in there?

You mean the prison system where suspected criminals get sent after they've had a fair trial?

Keep your eye on the fucking ball.
posted by odinsdream at 5:30 PM on February 9, 2006


Letting them starve themselves - that's the immoral choice.

No, treating *anyone* (guilty or innocent) so badly that they feel their only escape is to starve themselves to death, is immoral. We are supposed to be fucking civilized. At least that's what our PR goons have been saying all these years.

People, please cut dbiedny some slack. Not everyone reacts to injustice in a calm, rational manner. Some people feel it more acutely and have a tendency to lash out. I find this quite understandable myself. Anger can be an appropriate and healthy emotion, but it can also be a bit hard to control. I doubt dbiedny really wants more injustice to be done - I'm guessing they really want people to wake up and quit standing for this stuff.

I try not to think about Guantanamo so much because it makes me feel ill inside. I feel I should be doing something but I don't know what. I hate feeling so powerless when such injustice is being done in my name.
posted by beth at 5:33 PM on February 9, 2006


but if one American life has been saved becasue of that prison, then I'm all for it, because that one life saved could be my daughter, who's life I consider to be more valuable than all of Afghanistan.

I see things differently. I think torturing innocent human beings is way worse than one American dying. I think our way of life, our commitment to justice, is worth more than a single person's life, whatever their nationality.

Frankly, we all are going to die someday. Whether we live as monsters or as brothers and sisters to our fellow humans in the meantime does matter.

(And I don't even believe there is anything after death.)
posted by beth at 5:39 PM on February 9, 2006


Gitmo has saved American lives

This has not been proven. If you disagree, please cite definitive sources that prove otherwise.

And keep in mind: abrogating human rights to save a life is not universally acceptable. Otherwise we'd be ripping kidneys out of unwilling people for transplants, and that sort of thing.
posted by beth at 5:43 PM on February 9, 2006


posted by b_thinky Gitmo has saved American lives

How?
posted by fandango_matt at 5:54 PM on February 9, 2006


You know who else is a troll? Hitler.

Ad hominem!
posted by EarBucket at 6:20 PM on February 9, 2006


For the record, I agree that some of the detainees are innocent and I believe that every prisoner should be given some sort of due process and that should be done as soon as possible. But I disagree with anyone who throws out pretend facts ("50% of them are innocent", or for that matter, "they're all terrorists") and especially with anyone who wishes to put the well being of these prionsers above that of Americans.

b_thinky:

Cut the crap.

You're pitifully ignorant on this subject. You are "thinking" consists solely of believing the emotion-laden bullshit you've been fed by Bush et al. on this issue.

We have ZERO evidence that Gitmo has saved a single life. We have real, documentary evidence that many of the Gitmo detainees are not terrorists, were not fighting America in any way, and have committed no crimes. And we know for a fact they are held sans due process, against Geneva conventions, and in a manner entirely antithetical to core America principles embodied in our Constitution.

It is astoundingly dishonest and vile to call what I said a pretend fact, in that light, when you take it on pure faith that detaining bad guys and good guys alike, sans anything resembling due process, indefinitely, has saved your daughter's, or anyone else's, life.

if one American life has been saved becasue of that prison, then I'm all for it, because that one life saved could be my daughter, who's life I consider to be more valuable than all of Afghanistan.

This is disgusting and morally reprehensible. Congratulations. 200+ of enlightened democracy comes to that, huh? Nice.

Does this mean we shouldn't imprison the actual terrorists?

Your entire thinking about Gitmo is based around inane straw men like this. You have zero credibility with me on this issue.

Your stance is the disgusting one of "some nebulous "others," presumed bad on the gov't say-so alone (in spite of evidence to the contrary for many), might be detained illegally and immorally. What the fuck do I care? Maybe, just maybe, it somehow saved somebody's life."

That's sick. It's un-American. It's unequivocally wrong.

Good job.

(And you still can't get your head around the fact that many of the Gitmo detainees are not terrorists AT ALL. It's a fact, buddy. And we won't even give those guys a real trial).
posted by teece at 6:21 PM on February 9, 2006


if one American life has been saved becasue of that prison, then I'm all for it, because that one life saved could be my daughter, who's life I consider to be more valuable than all of Afghanistan.

As it happens, to me, yours and your daughter's life is worth ... oh, maybe getting ten minutes earlier to the cinema. Both of you, one bullet each. I'm happy to see you die, you vaguely disgusting person of no conceivable use to me, if it would buy me time enough to go through the Slurpie line as well as the movie ticket line. Hell, it's a bargain at double the price.

Do you still think the right to live and the right to kill should be based on subjective judgements of the relative value of lives, as judged on factors random to the subject, like nationality or race?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:54 PM on February 9, 2006


(Slurpee)
posted by b_thinky at 7:12 PM on February 9, 2006


Well, yes, they are innocent, until they're proven guilty in a court of law. That's the way it supposedly works in this country. - fandango_matt

Thus why they're not detaining them actually in your country. They somehow claim that by being on this island, they're out of the reach of any law. Super.
posted by raedyn at 7:27 PM on February 9, 2006


(Slurpee)
Choke on it.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:33 PM on February 9, 2006


Teece, you and I don't necessarily disagree on the evidence. I agree that some of the inmates are not terrorists (though I'll dispute the 50% figure you pulled out of your ass). Where you and I differ is that you choose to live in a fantasy world where there are no threats, nobody wants to kill Americans and everybody holds hands singing koombaya. I congratulate you for that. It must be fun in there.

The Bush administration says intelligence gained through interrogation and other methods has prevented at least 10 major attacks. It is said a significant number of the detainees are explosives experts, from whom we study terrorist methods of operation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That, however, is complete bullshit. Every detainee in Gitmo is innocent and the military just keeps them around just for some good ol' torturin' fun! Yep, nothin better to do! Yee-haw!

Please, consider reality someday.
posted by b_thinky at 7:51 PM on February 9, 2006


PP?
posted by notreally at 8:37 PM on February 9, 2006


it may've been said already... i haven't finished reading all 146 comments, but:

if i were to be arrested, incarcerated, and left to rot in a cell while awaiting some kangaroo court trial in the far off future, i think i might stop eating as well.

now.

to force feed me? to violate my body on whatever regular interval this procedure requires just so that i can't escape my "just" (eventual) trial by taking the easy way out and forfeiting my life? i'd say that's about as in-humane (torturous, even) as anything else i've considered to be so.

according to dr. c. george boeree's interpretation of victor frankl's observation of the human condition in terrible circumstances:
And throughout his ordeal, [Frankl] could not help but see that, among those given a chance for survival, it was those who held on to a vision of the future -- whether it be a significant task before them, or a return to their loved ones -- that were most likely to survive their suffering.
and so... these people are suffering without a vision of the future to hold on to. they're willing to die because they have no hope; they're not allowed to die because we're "graciously" nourishing them. their life has become suffering without meaning and without exit. i'd call it hell.

also: didn't the bad guy in 7even force feed that fat dude for a year while keeping him locked in a room? and then when they finally found/rescued him he died just from the intensity of the horror? yeah, yeah, it's a movie... just sayin'.
posted by narwhal at 8:57 PM on February 9, 2006


though I'll dispute the 50% figure you pulled out of your ass).

How many times do I have to tell you that this is based on documentary evidence (which is linked to in this thread), before you get it through your thick skull that this is not something I pulled out of my ass? Can you read?

For the last time for the very slow: 50% innocent is a reasonable extrapolation based upon the very documents the government has provided for the detainees at Gitmo. FACT. You have no counter argument. Is your version of reality one where you get to ignore inconvenient facts?

As for the rest of your post? You're building elaborate little straw men that you can break down.

Bush HAS NOT SAID that the Gitmo detainees have thwarted 10 terrorist attacks. He's said his war on terror has. He has provided no evidence that anything of value has been gained from Gitmo. What evidence we do have of his detainees shows that a majority are not terrorists at all. But the very fact that we have no idea what they may have done is enough by itself to condemn Gitmo. The fact that we've destroyed innocent lives is just insult on top of injury..

I have no problem fighting terror -- it's only in this alternate reality of yours, where you get to lock up anyone you please on a whim, that you claim I do.

Really, b_thinky. What is happening at Gitmo is un-Constitutional. No American life is worth destroying the Constitution. We can fight terrorists without destroying that document. It'd be nice if you'd grow a spine and own up to that fact.
posted by teece at 9:08 PM on February 9, 2006


"if one American life has been saved because of that prison, then I'm all for it, because that one life saved could be my daughter, who's life I consider to be more valuable than all of Afghanistan."


.


I just can't find any words to describe my anger, disgust, and sadness on how you sir feel about lives of millions of human beings.

Just remember that in this mind set, it should also be fair game for an Afghan guy to think that his son's life is more valuable than all of USA.

I wish we were all more civilized. :|
posted by lenny70 at 12:43 AM on February 10, 2006


"if one American life has been saved because of that prison, then I'm all for it, because that one life saved could be my daughter, who's life I consider to be more valuable than all of Afghanistan."

Nice paraphrasing of the mad scientist Dr. Necessiter in "The Man with Two Brains". (scroll down or find the word "nonsense").

We're getting off the topic a bit. I have only this to add. Medical ethics are clear on the subject.. The decision to force-feed is clearly a political one, and any doctor participating is an abomination on the profession.
posted by magpie68 at 1:48 AM on February 10, 2006


Teece, [...] Where you and I differ is that you choose to live in a fantasy world where there are no threats, nobody wants to kill Americans and everybody holds hands singing koombaya. I congratulate you for that. It must be fun in there. - b_thinky

Oh bullshit. Nowhere has Teece (or anyone else in this thread for that matter) claimed that there are no threats and that no one wants to kill Americans. You're making shit up to argue against. Quit that.

What has been said is that while the numbers may be debated, some of them are innocent (this information coming straight from the US government). If they were given due process with legal representation and charges and open trials then no one would have a problem with these people being imprisioned if they were convicted of something. Then the innocent ones would get released, the guilty ones would rot in prison and everyone would be happy.

Put this situation happening in the US. A group of 5 people in Vegas get guns and run around shooting a bunch of people. The government is understandably worried about this and says "reward for turning in the killers". Many people in Vegas think they'd like the reward money, so they think of someone they don't like and tell the police "He's the killer". The police pay each 'informant' for the 'information' and grab every person implicated and ship them off to a far off island without checking alibis or looking for evidence. Just the fact that their name was mentioned is enough to lock them up. Some guy at work that doesn't like you decided he wanted the reward money, and he gave them your name. So you got taken from your life and family and shipped away, even though you had nothing to do with it.

They authorities think there were 5 guys killing people and now they've got 30 guys off on an island prison. They decide they don't have to let any of these people talk to their families or a lawyer or give them trials. They know that probably a few of them really did kill some people, and probably some of them didn't, but they keep them all locked up, "just in case". So there you are in jail cell on an island with no contact with the outside world because someone (not you, but someone) wanted to kill people in Las Vegas. You'll be subjected to regular interrogations over a space of years because you 'might' have information. You're never going to get out, because you're never going to get a trial. You haven't even been told what you're charged with, because they're holding you without charge.

Do you think that's fair? Because some of the people in that group wanted to hurt people, should everyone be kept locked up?

That's exactly what's happened to the people in Guantanamo. And that's exactly the position you're defending, b_thinky. Yes, some of those people probably had bad intentions or did bad things. Fine, bring them to trial, bring them to justice. Tell us all in open court what they did THEN lock them up. And those that were implicated just for the reward should be investigated and if there's no evidence of wrongdoing, then release them like every other prisoner that we can't prove did anything wrong.
posted by raedyn at 7:18 AM on February 10, 2006


Fair trials are part of democracy. Democracy, remember that? The ideal that American is supposedly a shinning example of? That you're trying to teach the whole world about?

Practice what you preach.
posted by raedyn at 7:19 AM on February 10, 2006


b_thinky writes "The Bush administration says intelligence gained through interrogation and other methods has prevented at least 10 major attacks."

A) the Bush administration has very little credibility when it comes to stuff like this. After all they also knew to the point of including it in a State of the Union address that Iraq had WMD.

B) Supposing those "major" attacks were actually thwarted by intelligence (which seems unlikely because they'd be trumpeting at least the general details from the roof tops); how much of that intelligence was from Gitmo detainees who's knowledge at this point is several years out of date.

C) if the guys in Gitmo actually know this stuff because they are guilty of conspiring why not just charge them already? Could it be because the vast majority would be set free if they did backing up the claim that most are innocent. How can you possibly not extend the innocent until proven guilty to these men and still hold yourself up as the good guys and not the equivelent of some banana republic dictator?
posted by Mitheral at 8:03 AM on February 10, 2006


Mitheral - Your point C should be repeated 1000 times. From the rooftops. If they're all such effin bad guys, why not just charge them and push thorugh the legal process and be done with it?
posted by raedyn at 8:15 AM on February 10, 2006


Fandango Matt:

Screw you. I'll post my thoughts and comments here as I see fit. If you call an honest opinion "hysterical", well, you're part of the problem. I type from the heart, I'm horrified at what's happened in this country, how the law has been distorted and how any notion of decency has been tossed out the window in the name of "security" and "liberty". Your responses largely consist of snark and nonsense, and you want me to shut up, to hold my voice mute, to be quiet and fall in line.

Fuck you.

I will NOT back down from your noise.

There are many of use who are weary of the extreme right trying to take control of the conversation, of using sheer volume, snark and hatred to make their message louder and dominant.

To which I say, FUCK YOU, there are many of us who have reached a saturation point and will tolerate no more of this shit. My mentioning my mother and the horrors she went through is part of the one lesson the Jews learned during WWII - "NEVER FORGET".

To forget about the atrocities of Fascism is to allow them to happen all over again.

What is happening in this country is terrrifying, and I will voice my opinions on MetaFilter - and anywhere else I deem appropriate - because of my freedom to express myself.

You don't want to read my words, that's fine. I know that at least ONE person reading this emphasizes with what I'm feeling and thinking, and that one person is enough for me.
posted by dbiedny at 9:19 AM on February 10, 2006


The Pentagon has a multi-layered screening process to verify inmates belong at Gitmo. I do believe that some innocents were thrown in at the beginning, but this does not continue to happen. Why anyone has been denied a trial is beyond me. I don't agree with it and I've been saying that. But the fact that there are a few innocents in there isn't worth closing the prison and letting everyone go.

I don't agree with any claims that constitutional rights should apply to non-Americans. To my knowledge, one inmate turned out to be a U.S. citizen by birth, and moved away as an infant. Upon learning this, we transferred him to a domestic prison. It's also not an insignificant fact that the prisoners are treated better than they would be at prisons in their own countries.

Anyone who has a problem with me loving my kid either doesn't have kids or is a shitty parent.
posted by b_thinky at 9:24 AM on February 10, 2006


“Gitmo has saved American lives” - b_thinky
“But I disagree with anyone who throws out pretend facts” - b_thinky

I’m trying to cut you some slack, man. You’re not making it easy.

“...but if one American life has been saved becasue of that prison, then I'm all for it...” -b_thinky

I see that and call. I’d give my life if it meant the innocent there could go free. I shit you not. If I thought it would work I’d sit in front of the white house and set myself on fire to pull it off. I’d do whatever it takes within the limits of moral behavior* or die trying.
(*’Cause harming an innocent to protect other innocents makes no sense at all)
The flaw is, I don’t know what would work.
(Smedleyman: earnest, but not brainy)

+ what beth said:
“I think our way of life, our commitment to justice, is worth more than a single person's life, whatever their nationality.”

“Ad hominem!” - posted by EarBucket

I think you’re begging the question there.
You know who else used to beg the question? The Gestapo.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:29 AM on February 10, 2006


But the fact that there are a few innocents in there isn't worth closing the prison and letting everyone go. - b_thinky

Which, of course, no one here has suggested. Again, you're making up stuff to argue against. That's the logical fallacy called straw man.
posted by raedyn at 9:35 AM on February 10, 2006


You know who else used to compare people to the Gestapo? The Cheka.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:42 AM on February 10, 2006


“Anyone who has a problem with me loving my kid either doesn't have kids or is a shitty parent.”

You’re not a shitty parent. Many animals are good parents to their offspring.
The difference is in the scope of protection. You see many animals would kill or die to protect their offspring.
If it was caught in a trap it might gnaw off the leg to save it’s child. It might even wait by it’s child’s side and fight off the trapper.

The difference between a morally reasoning human and an animal is that a human would seek to eliminate all the traps even if it could mean the death of it’s own.

Extrapolating from your reasoning - you would not allow your child, for example, to ever fight in the military under any circumstances. You would never allow them to become a cop or a fireman, or even an astronaut.

My problem with you loving your kid is that it intrudes on my right to love mine. (If I’m an Afghani you seek to kill all our children for the sake of just your own)

Which is another thing about animals, they don’t cooperate the way we do. We dominate the earth and they don’t.

It’s not constitutional rights that are being applied - it’s generally agreed upon human rights.
The constitution applies to our leaders who are responsible for torturing innocent men - as well as guilty men.
The question of guilt or innocence, while relevent, doesn’t enter into their responsibility for their own actions.
Closing the prison is predicated on not having leaders with the power to do that - not on the fact of the prisoners themselves.

Any of that clear?
(I tend to go far afield sometimes and cloud up my own points)
posted by Smedleyman at 9:45 AM on February 10, 2006


My problem with you loving your kid is that it intrudes on my right to love mine. (If I’m an Afghani you seek to kill all our children for the sake of just your own)

I don't know of Americans that seek to kill all Afghans in the name of saving our own young. But Afghanistan did start a war with us (by hosting and protecting al qaeda) and we have the right to fight back. It is our right to take prisoners as we see fit, and if a few of their innocent get rounded up in that lot, well that's really too bad. There are 500 people at Gitmo and even if 250 are innocent, it's a lot less than the 3000 Americans that died minding their own business.

At the end of the day, Afghans have nobody to blame but themselves for either being al Qaeda, Taliban or letting those groups run all over them.
posted by b_thinky at 10:00 AM on February 10, 2006


There are 500 people at Gitmo and even if 250 are innocent, it's a lot less than the 3000 Americans that died minding their own business.

If you said this to my face, I'd laugh out loud. You are kidding yourself.

Two wrongs don't make a right ... OR DO THEY?!
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:07 AM on February 10, 2006


“I don't know of Americans that seek to kill all Afghans in the name of saving our own young”

Just using your metaphor - I probably streched it too far.

“if a few of their innocent get rounded up in that lot, well that's really too bad”

So then there should be no redress of grievances for the innocent?
Because terrorists tend to think in the same terms. That is - it’s ok to victimize innocents as long as you achieve your objectives.

If I think the American policies are screwing up my country it’s ok to drive a couple planes into buildings to attempt to force them to change those policies and if innocent people get killed that’s really too bad.

From that perspective then - are we right because we are more powerful?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:30 AM on February 10, 2006


I struggling to find the words to express my feelings about b_thinky's position, but then I came back to the beginning and re-read this jewel:
but if one American life has been saved because of that prison, then I'm all for it, because that one life saved could be my daughter, who's life I consider to be more valuable than all of Afghanistan.

Then the sad truth became suddenly apparent. b_thinky, you're a hateful racist - you're so full of hate that you're willing to sacrifice the 2000+ soldiers dead in Iraq, the ones who died in Afghanistan and no matter how many Afghan or Iraq men, women and children for your racist phantasy that a brown person from the other side of the world will somehow get near you daughter. And the problem the rest of world have is that you're probably representative of the American average. It is a terrible perspective to contemplate, the world dominated by the hateful racist Anglic white minority. It is this perspective that will eventually make your nightmare came true, because in the same way innocent man will eventually try to kill themselves to escape extreme injustice, the rest of world won't just sit quietly while you fulfill your dream of imperial Fascism.

b_thinky : "At the end of the day, Afghans have nobody to blame but themselves for either being al Qaeda, Taliban or letting those groups run all over them."

Yeah, since they didn't have the decency to die fighting the Soviets, Taleban or the Al Qaeda for us, let us go there and kill them ourselves.
posted by nkyad at 10:53 AM on February 10, 2006


So then there should be no redress of grievances for the innocent?
Because terrorists tend to think in the same terms. That is - it’s ok to victimize innocents as long as you achieve your objectives.


What you say is absolutely true, but I am comfortable with our country's current position. We do not seek to destroy or imprison every last person. I believe we take precautions when necessary, but there is no way to avoid making mistakes. That a small portoion of the killed/captured are not guilty of terroism is a tragedy, but such mistakes are nearly unavoidable and the fact that they are made is not reason to pursue this war any less aggressively.

That does not mean we shouldn't strive to learn from our mistakes, but our first priorty should be to save our innocents, and not theirs.

nkyad: I don't see what racism has to do with anything. I am a partially brown person and my wife and daughter are pretty much fully brown people. And our official religion (the one we don't practice since we're not very religous people) is the same as those being held in Gitmo. So save your everyone-who-disagrees-with-me-is-racist fantasy for another time, please.

The bottom line is this: until (insert prophet/savior of your choice here) returns, nations will be divided and wars will be waged. I want to be on the winning side and I don't feel bad about saying that.
posted by b_thinky at 12:07 PM on February 10, 2006


I want to be on the winning side and I don't feel bad about saying that.

You should.

the one we don't practice since we're not very religous people

I guess not.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:10 PM on February 10, 2006


That a small portoion of the killed/captured are not guilty of terroism is a tragedy, but such mistakes are nearly unavoidable - b_thinky

Sure, mistakes can be made. What I find astounding is your government's inability to admit to mistakes, and unwillingness rectify them. I agree with your assessment that it's regrettable to capture innocents. I believe the solution is to sort out which were mistakenly captured and release those people, while you seem to be saying the answer is to shrug and say "Shit happens. At least it isn't my kid".
posted by raedyn at 12:19 PM on February 10, 2006


“I want to be on the winning side and I don't feel bad about saying that.”

Not in dispute. The question is whether that is a pyrrhic victory or not. Whether allowing the encroachment of power on individual and human rights within the country and strategies that provably generate enemies and resistance is commensurate to the amount of protection we yield from that.
I suppose in some sense the question is also a value judgement as to what it is we want to protect. I don’t think there is any question you are correct in your desire to protect your kid.
I’m not going to quote Ben Franklin, but it’s obvious that there are diminishing returns when it comes to sacrificing legal protections for physical ones.
To my mind I’d rather take the risk of dying (or my kid dying) for access (for them) to a greater spectrum of individual options.

The one point I will make directly in opposition to your position - you make a presumption that those on the winning side want you on it as well.

Your own perspective yields no evidence of that. By your own words - you don’t know why they haven’t been given a trial (I don’t know either).
I question why, as a citizen, I am not being given that information. By definition in the US this is a government by the people. Any lie or even error of omission is suspect.
I question then on what side are the people who are behind this?

In other matters I see some tangible evidence that they are working on our behalf.

In this matter I see no evidence they are on our side. Does it then matter if they ‘win’?

You see - how much are you willing to sacrifice to join them?

To use another analogy - Abraham was willing to sacrifice his child. The difference there is he knew and had faith in God.

Our leaders are men. And their ends are not pure enough to be worthy of faith. We need facts. Absent those facts I see no reason to make any sacrifice.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:29 PM on February 10, 2006


The bottom line is this: until (insert prophet/savior of your choice here) returns, nations will be divided and wars will be waged. I want to be on the winning side and I don't feel bad about saying that.
posted by b_thinky at 12:07 PM PST on February 10 [!]
yeah.

that's my prime reason for hating "organized" religion: this notion of pre-ordained gloom and doom until someone better than us (on a cosmic level) fixes our little problems.

i hate to sound condescending, but then, this position condescends my fellow man & me, so i figure we're even.

i promise you that no human wrong-doing is so grievous that human effort & co-operation can't undo it. accepting our current problems as "inevitable" and "unsolvable" while sitting around glorying in your ability to pick the right team when the master comes home isn't going to make him happy.

while we're on the topic of prophets & saviors, i seem to remember a parable of jesus' regarding the master's gift of talents to three servants and the master's complete abhorrence of the one servant who buried his talents in the ground until the master returned just to dig them back up and say "i saved these for you."

i don't believe we were gifted with free will and the capacity for good and kindness so that we could sit around with our thumbs up our asses supporting wars from our armchairs while singing hymns to he who will bless us with a mansion in the sky when we die.

forgive me, again, for sounding condescending, but you condescend my fellow man & me.
posted by narwhal at 5:31 PM on February 10, 2006


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