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Go Go Gitmo....

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Balladeer
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0 posted 11-11-2008 08:43 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Obama plans U.S. terror trials to replace Guantanamo prisons

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Obama's advisers are crafting plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and prosecute terrorism suspects in the U.S., a plan the Bush administration said Monday was easier said than done. Under the plan being crafted inside Obama's camp, some detainees would be released and others would be charged in U.S. courts, where they would receive constitutional rights and open trials.

But, underscoring the difficult decisions Obama must make to fulfill his pledge of shutting down Guantanamo, the plan could require the creation of a new legal system to handle the classified information inherent in some of the most sensitive cases.

The plan being developed by Obama's team has been championed by legal scholars from both political parties. But as details surfaced Monday, it drew criticism from Democrats who oppose creating a new legal system and from Republicans who oppose bringing terrorism suspects to the U.S. mainland.

The tougher challenge will be allaying fears by Democrats who believe the Bush administration's military commissions were a farce and dislike the idea of giving detainees anything less than the full constitutional rights normally enjoyed by everyone on U.S. soil.

"I think that creating a new alternative court system in response to the abject failure of Guantanamo would be a profound mistake," Jonathan Hafetz, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who represents detainees, said Monday. "We do not need a new court system. The last eight years are a testament to the problems of trying to create new systems."

Senate Judiciary Committee member John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it would be a "colossal mistake to treat terrorism as a mere crime."
"It would be a stunning disappointment if the one of the new administration's first priorities is to give foreign terror suspects captured on the battlefield the same legal rights and protections as American citizens accused of crimes," Cornyn said Monday, noting that the Senate overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding Senate bill last year opposing bringing detainees to the U.S.
Obama did not vote on that measure. He has said the civilian and military court-martial systems provide "a framework for dealing with the terrorists," and Tribe said the administration would look to those venues before creating a new legal system. But discussions of what a new system would look like have already started.

"There would be concern about establishing a completely new system," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the House Judiciary Committee and former federal prosecutor who is aware of the discussions in the Obama camp. "And in the sense that establishing a regimen of detention that includes American citizens and foreign nationals that takes place on U.S. soil and departs from the criminal justice system — trying to establish that would be very difficult."

Prosecuting all detainees in federal courts raises many problems. Evidence gathered through military interrogation or from intelligence sources might be thrown out. Defendants would have the right to confront witnesses, meaning undercover CIA officers or terrorist turncoats might have to take the stand, jeopardizing their cover and revealing classified intelligence tactics.

According to three advisers participating in the process, Obama is expected to propose a new court system and may appoint a committee to decide how such a court would operate. Some detainees likely would be returned to the countries where they were first captured for further detention or rehabilitation. The rest could probably be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts, one adviser said.

Many of the about 250 Guantanamo detainees are cleared for release, but the Bush administration has not able been to find a country willing to take them.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-11-11-obama-guantanamo_N.htm?csp=34


Opinions, please? Is shutting down Gitmo and bringing the detainees to the US a good idea or a bad one? Is setting up a new legal system for them good or bad? Would incorporating the guilty into our prison system be better than having them at Gitmo? What can be said about the 250 that do not have enough evidence against them to prosecute them but are apparently so well known to their own governments that their own countries won't take them back? Should they be released in the US?

I'm not offering any yea or nay here....just asking for opinions. Democrats have used Gitmo as a reason to bash Bush for two terms. It is now under Democratic control and they can call the shots. Is Obama's plan in the making a good solution? Will Democrats who have screamed the loudest back off with a "Well, it's complicated" red face now that they hold the hammer? With the economic state wounded, unemployment super high, companies asking for bailouts, banks going under, and people worried about their retirement savings, is the Gitmo detainee question worthy of being one of Obama's "top priorities"?  Whay say you.......?
Grinch
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1 posted 11-11-2008 09:15 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Mike,

That’s odd, I was just reading an article on the same topic and was about to ask the same question.

The current Government has created a tricky conundrum here, the prisoners are tainted goods, they’re accused of being terrorists but there’s no evidence. Nobody wants them back because they might be terrorists. The only way I can see to resolve this is to confirm whether they are terrorists.

I think they all have to stand trial, if they’re guilty they should face the applicable sentence and if they’re innocent they should be released. If they can’t be released back to their own country and no other county is willing to take them they’ll have to be given asylum the US.

Alternatively America could turn he whole problem over to someone else and convince the UN to take over Gitmo, lock, stock, barrel and prisoners. They could argue that the UN is best placed to ensure the prisoners are given a fair and independent trial and a speedy release where applicable.

Or the government could simply do a reverse extraordinary rendition and parachute them back from where they snatched them from in the first place and pretend the whole sordid episode never occurred. Sort of like a shower scene from Dallas.

Balladeer
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2 posted 11-11-2008 09:52 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Somehow I think the public accepting that they be released in the US is as improbable as the UN taking charge of Gitmo. Parachuting them back seems to be the best solution right now

Thanks for your input, sir.
Ron
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3 posted 11-11-2008 10:12 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." The Friends of Voltaire by S.G. Tallentyre

Voltaire understood that Freedom of Speech, if it was to have any meaning at all, had to be universal. The infringement of one person's rights is an infringement of every person's rights, and the moment exceptions are introduced you can be sure someone will eventually try to apply those exceptions to you and yours. You can't support Freedom only when it's convenient and easy and still expect your Freedom to stand when it becomes inconvenient and difficult.

This country either believes in due process or it doesn't. Justice cannot be relegated only to an elite and still be justice. Sure, that means a few guilty people will escape punishment because the facts don't always support the truth. Better a hundred guilty escape than even a single innocent not, because again, sooner or later that innocent will inevitably be you or yours.


Balladeer
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4 posted 11-11-2008 03:48 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Nice speech, Ron.

Now, would anyone like to address the questions posed. What should Obama do?

close Gitmo?
Try the prisoners in the U.S.?
Create a new legal system to deal with them?
Sentence the guilty ones to American prisons?
Release the ones found innocent, whose countries will not accept them, into the U.S. society?
What should he do?

There were over 600 prisoners at Gitmo. There are now barely over 250. According to the White House spokesman 70% of those released have committed further terrorists attacks and been recaptured, with the exception of one who became a suicide bomber and blew up 40 people in Mosul.

Democrats have been demanding for years now to close Gitmo. The power is now in their hands to do so. What should their plans be to do it?
Ron
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5 posted 11-11-2008 06:26 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

close Gitmo? Yes.

Try the prisoners in the U.S.? Yes.

Create a new legal system to deal with them? I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know. But it seems we've been trying sensitive cases for a few hundred years. We manage to protect secrets even when they've been stolen, and we manage to protect law enforcement even when still undercover. I don't see anything unique or new?

Sentence the guilty ones to American prisons? Yes.

Release the ones found innocent, whose countries will not accept them, into the U.S. society? What do we do when someone is deported? Again, nothing unique or new here.

Despite the cries of a few politicians, terrorism is a crime. If this country doesn't know how to deal with criminals, it should learn. All criminals, not just the ones who frighten us.
Balladeer
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6 posted 11-11-2008 07:12 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Ron, we have been trying sensitive cases for a few hundred years, that's true, but not with the sophisticated(?) press we have today....not to mention a press that would have no qualms about divulging sensitive material for the sake of a headline or good lead-in to a newscast.

As far as how do we normally handle deportations, I don't know. If a middle-eastern country refuses to allow us to return them there, do we risk an international incident by doing so....or do we drop them in by parachute overnight?

As far as knowing how to handle criminals, I suppose we will soon find out if Obama knows.

Thanks for your input...


 
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