Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Argument to Leave Guantanamo Open

Matthew Yglesisas outlines the arguments made to keep Guantanamo open...

The basic conservative position, as I understand it, is that the very same federal officials who can’t be trusted to prevent a breakout from a military prison in Kansas can be trusted to administer a system of indefinite detention and kangaroo courts fairly. Other arguments I’ve heard people make, apparently with a straight face:
  • The fact that the Bush administration has let dangerous terrorists go free means Obama should keep innocent people detained.
  • The fact that the Bush administration screwed up the paperwork on detainees shows that there was more wisdom to Bush’s policies than Obama acknowledged on the campaign trail.
  • Obama’s promise of change was empty and hypocritical because it will take time to implement his executive orders.
  • The “Guantanamo” issue is primarily about the physical location of the facility rather than the legal status or treatment of the detainees.
  • Since many liberals live in San Francisco, anyone who thinks it would be ill-advised to transfer prisoners to a museum in the San Francisco Bay that hasn’t been a prison for decades is a hypocrite.

There’s some really out of this world stuff.


Ben said...

Sure if you pick the dumb arguments it's easy to make them look...well...dumb. Unfortunantly, the Gitmo issue just isn't that clear cut.

It's not that everyone still in Gitmo is "innocent", but rather the evidentiary requirements to prove their guilt are problematic.

It isn't that we necessarily want to detain everyone that's still there, but rather there isn't always a place for these people to go. We can't, sometimes for their own protection, -force- countries to allow these folks back in.

As much as it pains me as a lawyer, and former prosecutor to say, the legal system doesn't always have the answer.

Chris said...

In spite of what Ben says, I still think we need to do *something* with these people. Get them to trial, something... At the very least, I'm hoping the Obama administration will tell us what's going on with these detainees. We need to do things right. We need to lead in human rights, not just talk about them. These are bad people, but we still can't just send them to jail forever without any legal proceedings...

I need more coffee. I fear I'm not making much sense.

noneed4thneed said...

You have enough evidence to take them to trial or you don't. However, they probably have enough to take them to trial, but the information was gained through torture and the prosecutors know they can't use that in court.