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The idea that most of these people are in any way dangerous is dangerously delusional. So is the suggestion that even if they were, they'd be more of a threat than some of the home-grown hero wannabes in the US who are walking around preaching how they can't live without their weapons cache.

I suppose due process and a fair trial is too much to ask? Or is it pushing the limits of justice to expect that these people should have been accused of something specific, backed up by solid evidence, before being imprisoned in the first place?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 06:10:18 PM EST
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In a normal situation and especially going forward I absolutely feel they should be put on trial, charged with whatever evidence and otherwise treated like any other person in custody in the United States.

That said their cases were absolutely screwed up already by the Bush/Cheney administration.  There's no way most of them could be convicted of anything because apparently no real effort was made to handle them in that way.

In a less murky political environment it would be correct to admit our mistake, release those who cannot be convicted and accept the consequences.  In this environment such a decision would be impossible to defend against.  The instant one of these detainees was blamed (even if it was bullshit) for a terrorist attack or a dead american troop the shitstorm for Obama would be off the charts. It would cripple all policy efforts from then on and send us careening back toward the hawkish right-wing crap we've only just begun to escape.

I still think we must admit our mistake and I think Obama is moving in that rhetorical direction.  I don't pretend to have a better answer but I can't see the path of purity as being especially smart in this case either.  

The dark humorist in me suggest we release them all into Dallas, Texas and not let them leave the state.

by paving on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 08:05:44 PM EST
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Which environment? Why do you think you're in an environment?

You're repeating noisy right wing talking points and being scared of the right, as if they're still the de facto government and need to be placated and supplicated to, just in case.

But these people are:

  1. Insane
  2. Incapable of being anything other insane
  3. Pathologically noisy and unable to shut up
  4. Irrelevant to mainstream public opinion

People voted for Obama precisely because they'd had enough of being in a Bush environment, with all of the Kafka-esque arbitrariness that that implies.

The right has decided that Obama is basically Hitler. They're not scared of another terrorist attack - they're far more scared that he'll take their guns away and start rounding them up in concentration camps.

So on the one hand you have progressives scared what the right will say if something bad happens, and on the other the right is having its own very public schizophrenic breakdown.

Meanwhile most of the public wants simple justice restored.

Aside from all of that - can anyone explain to me who actually benefits from torture and 'preventive detention', and how they benefit from it?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 06:26:24 AM EST
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Aside from all of that - can anyone explain to me who actually benefits from torture and 'preventive detention', and how they benefit from it?

Yes. That would be the - uh - "contractors" (what do you call a værnemager in English?) who get the no-bid contracts to build, supply and maintain the concentration camps.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 09:44:05 AM EST
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To directly address your point yes, clearly the majority are not dangerous in any way.  Obama is laying the groundwork to release all of these people.  The sticking point are the handful who certainly ARE dangerous but we can't stick charges to due to lack of evidence.
by paving on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 08:07:11 PM EST
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