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Bush opens door to possible closing of Guantanamo

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by No Worries, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Bush opens door to possible closing of Guantanamo
    Wed Jun 8, 2005 06:17 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush left the door open to an eventual closing of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay on Wednesday amid mounting complaints and calls for it to be shut down, including a broadside from former president and human rights champion Jimmy Carter.

    "We're exploring all alternatives as to how best to do the main objective, which is to protect America. What we don't want to do is let somebody out that comes back and harms us," Bush said in an interview with Fox News Channel when asked whether it should be shut down.

    Calls for closure of the prison camp for foreign terrorism suspects at Guatanamo Bay, Cuba have risen over the past few days after Amnesty International set off a furor last month by calling it a "gulag" and comparing it to the brutal Soviet system of forced labor camps in which millions died.

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, added her voice to the criticism on Wednesday by supporting those calling for the closure of the detention camp, including Carter and Sen. Joseph Biden, the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    "I think that we need a fresh start, ... a clean slate for America in the Muslim world," Pelosi told reporters.

    The prison camp has been dogged by allegations of abuse since it was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the subsequent U.S.-led military action in Afghanistan.

    The Pentagon this week ruled out closing Guantanamo.

    But adding to the controversy was the disclosure last week that American guards or interrogators at Guantanamo had mishandled the Koran, Islam's holy book, by stepping on it and soaking it in water.

    In one case, a guard's urine splashed through an air vent onto a prisoner and his Koran.

    Bush said the prisoners at Guantanamo were treated fairly and rejected as absurd the description of it as a gulag.

    "I will tell you that we treat these prisoners in accordance with international standards. And that's what the American people expect," he said.


    But Pelosi's support added weight to the argument that the prison is harming the United States' image abroad.

    Her comments came less than a day after Carter, a Democrat renowned across the globe for championing human rights causes, urged the United States to shut down the prison. He urged that detainees be treated fairly and given due process under the law.

    "To demonstrate clearly our nation's historic commitment to protect human rights, our government needs to close down Guantanamo and the two dozen secret detention facilities run by the United States as soon as practicable," Carter said.

    Biden, a Democrat from Delaware, declared the detention camp "the greatest propaganda tool that exists for the recruiting of terrorists around the world."

    The Guantanamo prison, which is located at a U.S. naval base on Cuba, was opened in January 2002. While many former detainees have already been released or sent back to their home countries, it still holds about 520 non-U.S. citizens, most caught in Afghanistan and detained without charges for more than three years.

    © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.
     
  2. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Title? I don't need no stinking title.

    Good read.

    http://slacktivist.typepad.com/
    When you have to resort to the NABA defense, you're in bad shape. That's NABA as in "Not As Bad As."

    We've heard a lot of this lately from the nabobs of NABA in the Bush administration. The American abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, we are reminded, was Not As Bad As the abuses committed there by Saddam Hussein back in the day. The lawlessness of Guantanamo Bay, the president insists, indignantly, is Not As Bad As the kind of thing Joe Stalin used to do. And while more than 100 prisoners have been beaten and tortured to death in American custody during the past three years, that's Not As Bad As the death toll from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 -- the event that we have taken as license to adopt means that are almost, but perhaps Not (quite) As Bad As the means of the terrorists we rightly condemn as immoral.

    I do not merely concede these points, I heartily embrace them. Take the whole sordid affair -- the Lynndie photoshoot, the torturing to death of innocents and adversaries alike, the "extraordinary rendition" of unknown hundreds or thousands on the slenderest of suspicions -- and it still doesn't put us in the same league as the A-list All-Stars of Evil.

    But, good God, is this what America is now reduced to? Do we really have to go all the way over to Stalin or Saddam to find an example of someone whose behavior is reassuringly worse than our own? How are we supposed to maintain a shred of pride in our nation or in ourselves as a people when the best we can say for ourselves is that we're Not As Bad As the worst people we can think of? Do we really need Stalin in the class to blow the curve so we can pass this course?

    We've become like Lot, the troglodytic drunk who, while screwing his own daughters, took comfort that at least he was Not As Bad As his old friends and neighbors back in Sodom.

    Former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter yesterday became the latest to call for the closing of America's shameful prison camp in Guantanamo, Cuba:

    Carter is right. Or at least almost right. It is not really the "reports concerning abuses of prisoners" that are the cause of America's desperate, shameful appeal to the NABA defense, it is the actual abuse of prisoners.

    We're supposed to be the good guys. Detention without charge, torture, abuse, extraordinary rendition, disregard for the Geneva Conventions and the unadorned murder of prisoners are not things that the good guys should tolerate, let alone actively embrace.

    Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib II and the entire apparatus of secret American torture cells around the world are premised on the idea that because we are fighting demons we must adopt their demonic methods.

    That experiment has failed. The demons cannot be harnessed, cannot be controlled. Guantanamo, like Abu Ghraib, has become a national disgrace.

    Burn it down, gentlemen. Burn it down and salt the earth.
     
  3. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

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    Another victim of global oursourcing....

    So if Amnesty is responsible for putting more heat on the inhumanity of Gitmo, then is their hyperbole justified?
     
  4. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Well folks, including those old softees --the military, who were concerned that the image of the United States would suffer if we got into secret prisons, prisoners without lawyers, detainees without the "quaint" as Alberto Gonzalez considers rights under the Geneva Convention have proven to be right.

    Belatedly they are trying to retreat from their mistake. The bozos in the Bush Administration have done long lasting damage to the image of the US as a fair nation that will take many many years to undo
     
  5. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

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    Well, if I could spell in my last post, it would've alluded to the detainees the military sends to buddy nations such as Egypt or Jordan.

    Perhaps we'll go as far as hiring military contractors who aren't bound by the Geneva Convention to handle the interrogation of enemy combatants.
     

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