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Thin end of the wedge

I was going to post this on Sunday but could find no reference to it on the BBC, CNN, et al. Maybe some bright spark in the Maison Blanche took a leaf from Jo Moore‘s book and decided it might be a good day to drop bad news.

Ah, Metafilter are having a heated discussion on the subject.

US Said to Mull Lifetime Terror-Suspect Detentions

“The Bush administration is preparing plans for possible lifetime detention of suspected terrorists, including hundreds whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts, The Washington Post reported Sunday…. As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask the U.S. Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence, defense officials told the newspaper.”

Left I on the News has a good piece on it too.

Pah, I’m off to watch some mindless but enjoyable telly.

10 Responses to “Thin end of the wedge”

  1. Mary
    January 4th, 2005 01:57
    1

    Accckkk! And it’s my tax money that is going to help implement this prison. The lunatics are in charge here. New madness every day.

  2. Chloe
    January 4th, 2005 04:04
    2

    This is a great example of democracy in action, isn’t it?

  3. meg
    January 4th, 2005 05:32
    3

    The article says

    “The new prison, dubbed Camp 6, would allow inmates more comfort and freedom than they have now, and would be designed for prisoners the government believes have no more intelligence to share, The Post said.

    “It would be modeled on a U.S. prison and would allow socializing among inmates,” the paper said. ”

    Should we as taxpayers be paying for it?
    I don’t know.

    Send them home?
    I don’t think so.

    Nobody wants to house prisoners but at least they are trying to make it more tolerable. As part of my job I toured a maximum security prison. It looked like a Hyatt Hotel. All warm and cozy in muted tones of blue and mauve with basketball, TV, art, computer training classes more fancy than the schools have. The food is superior quality. Do prisoners deserve it? Only if they are innocent, even then it’s probably better than they had at home.

  4. Daisy
    January 4th, 2005 11:07
    4

    Meg, I don’t have a problem with where and how the prisoners are housed [although “modeled on a U.S. prison” isn’t the most reassuring of thoughts], it’s the fact that they are imprisoned in the first place. We’re talking about suspected terrorists – the US government is unwilling to take them to trial:

    build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence

    yet unwilling to release them.

    If there is no evidence to convict these men after all this time, why are they not released? You might like to read this post, it says what I want to say far better than I can express it.

    You write
    …Only if they are innocent, even then it’s probably better than they had at home

    I keep reading this and wondering if it was written by the Meg I’ve come to know – do you truly believe that they would be better off in a US run prison than at home with their families? What do you know of their pre-arrest living conditions?

  5. meg
    January 4th, 2005 21:54
    5

    From the article you reference

    “One proposal under review is the transfer of large numbers of Afghan, Saudi and Yemeni detainees from the military’s Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center into new U.S.-built prisons in their home countries. The prisons would be operated by those countries, but the State Department, where this idea originated, would ask them to abide by recognized human rights standards and would monitor compliance, the senior administration official said. “

  6. anan
    January 5th, 2005 06:23
    6

    am i the only one here who’s screaming?

  7. Daisy
    January 5th, 2005 13:34
    7

    Michelle, the point is that these men are for the most part being held without evidence and without trial and there seem to be no plans to hold any trials. Where they are held is incidental, it’s the fact that they are being deprived of their freedom. This new announcement indicates that they will never have their freedom.

    The US government, despite its “interrogation” techniques and “intelligence” has no idea which, if any of the men being held have links to Al’Qaeda.

    If they were released today, what would happen? Would some of them dash to the nearest supplier and purchase everything necessary to carry out a terrorist attack? I don’t know. Only a series of unbiased trials could begin to answer that question.

    But I suspect that holding these men without trial and with nothing being done to stop the abuse allegedly being carried out sends a dangerous message to potential terrrorists on the outside. America and the UK are already hated by many in the Middle East, the holding of prisoners without trial can only deepen and spread that hatred.

    The issue of prison conditions (for any man, woman or child of whatever race, colour or creed) is totally separate. For what it’s worth, I believe that conditions should be compatible with human dignity and acceptable standards in the community.

  8. Daisy
    January 5th, 2005 13:43
    8

    And the proposal in the last paragraph that you highlighted seems to be a very odd, roundabout way of releasing the men without actually releasing them. Political speak for “Oh well, we can’t keep them without trial because those pesky human rights people keep kicking up a fuss and we can’t actually have trials because some of them will be found not guilty and then we’ll be found to have imprisoned them with no due cause. Let’s spend millions more dollars building new prisons and hand them back to their home countries so that they can do the dirty work.”

  9. anan
    January 6th, 2005 16:30
    9

    just a note. The people being held in Guatanamo Bay are p.o.w.s from a war which had no basis and no justification and which is, to all intents and purposes, over.

    They were people defending their homes and children, and they are being held and tortured in an arrogant disrespect of the geneva convention.

    Al Quaeda is a joke in the Middle East, as it is seen as a creation of the CIA without any basis in the culture or peoples of Islamic countries. And in fact, it’s well known that bin Laden was on their payroll until the CIA ‘lost control’ of him (supposedly)

    Most people in the Middle East don’t hate Americans… they want to be like them. If the US gov’t really wanted democracy there, all they’d have to do is provide more consumer goods and western-style schools.

    Instead, they’ve read ‘capitalism’ into ‘democracy’ and tried to shove it down their throats… in a way that is specifically designed to provoke conflict. Terrorists? There were mostly admirers before, but now the US is training Muslims how to be terrorists, by example.

    These detention centers have been in existence since before 911, as well as the attempt to blame any act of mass violence on Muslims. The fact that others are found guilty, later, is never mentioned. Can anyone here spell ‘concentration camp’?

    i am not saying that Muslims are perfect; but i think we’ve all had a gutful of being called ‘terrorists’, and taking the punishment for a crime (911) that has never been proven with a single piece of solid evidence.

    I think it is painfully obvious by now that the US had vested interests in it’s designation of the term ‘terrorist’ and it’s subsequent ‘war on terror’.

    And i don’t want my kids to be tortured for those interests in a concentration camp, just because they have Muslim names.

  10. Bloggerheads
    January 5th, 2005 15:07
    10

    Gitmo goes permo

    Guardian – US plans permanent Guantanamo jails: The United States is preparing to hold terrorism suspects indefinitely without trial, replacing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp with permanent prisons in the Cuban enclave and elsewhere, it was reported ye…

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