Friday, January 23, 2009

Just charge them with a crime, or do not

First of all I just want to say that this the first time in my life I've been actually surprised in a good way about a sitting president. I was worried that Obama would be all talk, but instead he dove right in from day one. He set in motion progress on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, ended extraordinary rendition, ended Bush's spending freeze on overseas family planning, stopped legally sanctioned torture, and stated that Gitmo must be closed within a year.

The last thing is what I wanted to write a few paragraphs about. Most importantly why the fuck is it that we are just NOW having this debate? When we are finally going to start bandaging this wound, thats when all of a sudden the press makes the public aware of the details.
Here is a quick summary:
-Gitmo stands on a territory that the US never gave back to Cuba after driving the Spanish out in the very late 1800s. They pay a pittance in lease, which is why there can be a US military facility in a country that the US has an embargo on.
-Gitmo was chosen as the camp for captured "enemy combatants"
-Gitmo was chosen because it lay outside of any state, commonwealth, or province of the United sates. This meant that it could be argued that civilian law or even federal courts were outside their jurisdiction to regulate it. (Obviously this is fail, the federal government has jurisdiction over all military bases and BIA reservations, etc. basically everything in between)
-There is no such thing as an "enemy combatant", it is nowhere in the Geneva conventions. It was created so that the captured individuals would not be "prisoners of war" and thusly be protected under the Geneva conventions(that treaty everyone signed to prevent Naziesque atrocities from being committed in the future).
-Can't remember which legal stooge came up with this bullshit (my guess is either gonzalez, thurmond's scion, or the taft scion) but they wanted to ensure they wouldn't be prosecuted for the warcrimes they were going to commit. If these attorneys had come in to a possession of a pair of testicles at any point they could have written the exact opposite and these chickenhawks probably would have never tortured in the first place for fear of punishment. That of course assumes they weren't just told what their legal justification should say. The point is they argue that because Afghanistan is a "failed state" that makes the people captured "enemy combatants" rather than "prisoners of war". Precedent? Fuck precedent!
-A brand new secret military tribunal process was set up to try "enemy combatants" just for the war on terror.

So now that Gitmo is going to be shut down, all of a sudden the media finds it journalism to write about what Gitmo was in the first fucking place. So now the debate is: Where will they go?

The first suggestion comes from Christopher Bond(R-Missouri) to reopen Alcatraz. I guess the Republicans aren't still salty about their loss(sarcasm). Ok so apparently the Republicans think that incarceration in a maximum security federal prison is a terrible idea, because the prisons will become magnets for attacks! Firstly it gave me pause that any Republicans would have have concern for the lives of a prisoner. Like there would be planes flying in to supermaxs all over the country. I realized that they could be arguing it would put the guards lives at risk, which I suppose is understandable. The argument though is ridiculous, prisons are made to hold criminals, they act like this is the first time prisons have been used to house criminals. Mcveigh, Unabomber, Moussaoui, Abdel-rahman(the blind sheikh), etc are all in the ADX Florence and they haven't gone through a terrorist attack or a terrorist break out.

How about if you fucking idiots stop making shit up and creating new laws for this and that, new exceptions to why we can't possibly live like we used to, and how the post 9/11 world will destroy us all?

Have a Federal prosecutor's office evaluate the cases and decide whether or not to charge these individuals with crimes. If they have committed a crime then have a trial.


Establish that they are in fact prisoners of war, and go through the maritime/military law.

Where will they go?? They're not fucking superheroes we don't need to build an Arkham Asylum here or a fucking "negative zone", just put them in a cell. Like abdel-rahman already is in a fucking cell, just like binalshibh is already in a fucking cell, and just like every other CRIMINAL that has been convicted is in a cell.

I hope Obama keeps going. This is the kind of shit that Clinton would never do for fear of being labeled liberal. Obama knows what he wants, and how to get it, I just hope that what he wants is what he has been talking about. Most importantly we need an exit strategy immediately. I hate presidents, but honestly I have to say this was good shit the past few days.