28 3 mins 11 yrs

They hate us for our freedoms …

As someone around here has said previously, if governments could have foreseen the liberating power of the web they’d have strangled it at birth.

The latest dispatches posted on wikileaks – which we mundanes were never supposed to know – tell us of known innocents held for years at Guantanamo Bay. They include children, old men and the ill “whom there was no reason to send to Guantanamo” in their captors own words.

Around 20 children were detained in the camp, several of whom had already suffered horrific ordeals at the hands of Taliban commanders before being rounded up by US troops […]

Six of the innocent men in Guantánamo were aged over 65, including an 89-year-old man with prostate cancer, senile dementia, major depression and osteoarthritis […]

The US policy of offering a $5,000 a head bounty to anyone who could hand over a member of the Taliban or al-Qaeda also led to dozens of innocent men and boys being kidnapped and sold by Afghan forces, Northern Alliance soldiers and groups of anonymous armed men.

Truly the federal government, like all governments, is the home of sociopaths, weirdos and cowards. To know that innocent men and children have been taken thousands of miles from their homes and held for years yet not protest and speak out is a truly wicked and cowardly act.

When Julian Assange was arrested in London some of the wilder comment demanded that he must face the most grim of penalties because he endangered the lives of our troops. On the contrary, it’s the use of overwhelming violence to take away and hold for years known innocents that causes the kind of rage which endangers their lives. Will those who demanded the worst for Assange likewise demand the same punishment for the gangsters in the federal government who allowed this to happen? Will we see consistency?

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  1. Having argued against Gitmo for years on this site I am happy for any exposure of the practices there.

  2. Pete,

    Thank you for blogging this. I have to admit that my sarcasm detector was on full setting when I began to read your post. But you came up trumps on this one.


  3. It is obviously wrong to detain anyone known to be innocent.

    As it is wrong to free terrorists who return to the various ” battlefields ” – which has happened with Gitmo detainees, repeatedly.

    The ” government is the home of all devils ” type of comments take away from what could have been a valid post.

    Gitmo was the least bad solution for the days and years after 9/11.

    Where injustices happened there, they should be dealt with.

    But Gitmo again is the least bad solution, and all of its opponents, including yourself, have never come close to coming up with a better solution to a new situation that came upon us in the fall of 2001- large scale, stateless, terrorist war.

  4. Mahons,

    Who would you say was most directly responsible for this obvious malpractice, – would it the politicians, the military, or some mysterious ‘other sector’ of the administration?

    There must have beeen several commissioned officers, whether mere Captains or even Colonels or higher, who knew exactly what was happening and yet still said, and did nothing. Or perhaps by their silence they were mutely offering that old excuse, ‘I was only obeying orders!’, – the one that was heard so often at Nuremburg. – These are the people who should be held responsible, if for no other reason than that they have soiled their country’s reputation – yet again,

    I have no beef with real terrorists being held, but even the most thick-headed private, in the most lowly unit knows when someone is being wrongly held and abused. An eighty-nine year old man with prostate problems, – good grief he probably had to be helped to have a pee, let alone fire a gun.

  5. Phantom –

    Guantanamo Bay isn’t the subject of the post. It’s the taking and holding for years known innocents.

  6. Erenst – I am afraid it was no mystery, the blame lies with the last administration as well as the present one. In fact, I fault the Obama adminsitration more because they originally opposed it then showed the lack of leadership (and morality) in maintaining the practice.

  7. Phantom,

    A plausible explanantion, but not good enough. The chain of command is only as strong as its weakest link. In this instance, the weakest link is not the lowliest oik, but those in the local ‘chain of command’, the career officers who fear to ‘rock the boat’.

    To them ‘pride in serving’, extends no further than a well pressed uniform, and a few colourful ribbons, doing the ‘job’ properly seems to be the least of their concerns, – let alone their country’s reputation. I could also mention ‘setting an example’, but enough is enough…

  8. Oh, I agree.

    If senior people ” did not know ” it is because they didn’t want to know – plausible deniability, etc.

  9. This is awful news….IF it’s true. And that’s a big ‘IF’, let’s not forget.
    I don’t immediately regard everything and anything I read in either the Daily Mail, nor the Guardian as being the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why should I? They are both coming at it from their own angle and with their own agenda.
    So, why are we to regard Wikileaks as any different? It’s not necessarily to be trusted at face value any more than any other media outlet. It’s just a website hosted by a finite group of people, presumably with certain viewpoints and certain goals.

  10. If they were kidnapped and handed over as threats to bad, if the story is true to bad, if the 85 yr old really existed and had all those problems hed got better care at gitmo than whever they took him from.

    War is not pretty, get over it.

    Assange is still a spy and still needs a bullet in the head

  11. I don’t have the identical position as Troll, but he’s not nearly as wrong on this as some would like to think.

    If this is true – and it is revealing that some who claim to be skeptics on everything else under the sun, take these revelations as Gospel – it is noted that those in US custody tend to still be alive, while those in the custody of AQ or friends tend to die quickly and horribly.

    And it is noted that the US hasn’t suffered another major terrorist attack since September 2001 – something nobody would have predicted nine years ago.

    Guantanemo Bay remains sound policy, and even now is the most humane alternative conceivable. Which is why Obama and the Fraudulent AG had to eat their words and keep it in operation.

    While all who are clearly innocent should be freed, viva Guantanemo!!

  12. Troll, Phantom –


    So you’d be cool if foreign soldiers invaded your country and took away scores of Americans who’d done nothing, yes?

  13. Sure war is not pretty, – ‘been there, seen that, done that!’ – You know it, I know it, we civilised folk all know it! – so why insist on making it any worse than it need be?

    Do we really have to act like barbarians, – just because we can? that make us worse than those we are fighting? – because we know it to be unecessaary, they dont!

    Perhaps, if we were carrying out a war with extreme unction, a war of last resort, then just maybe extreme measures may be justified. Our politicians have decided that this is no such thing, – even they cannot decide whether this was a real war, or some elevated military excercise.

    That such a relative few ‘bad apples’ can ruin the reputation of a nation that deserves better, just doesn’t make sense under any circumstance, – unless, of course, all that publicity about being so civilised, is just that, – a whole load of publicity! All the talk about ‘pride in serving your country’, tainted, yet again, but a few numbskull troglodytes!

  14. Holding those known to be innocent is wrong, and those who were knowingly responsible should be punished.

    All I say is that Guantanemo Bay was the right tool in 2001, and it remains the right tool in 2011.

    And that Troll has exhibited a level of moral clarity that shouldn’t be laughed at, or condemned. Defense lawyers don’t win wars. Guys like Patton and Ulysses Grant win wars. In a larger context, some of us forget the situation we’ve been in during the last ten years.

  15. It depends on what you see as morality.

    I think that Patton and Ulysses S Grant and Churchill were extremely moral men, when looked at in any larger moral sense, in a time of war.

    And we are in such a time now, whether people realize it or not.

  16. What I want to know is, are there any spare cells available over there?

    With the recent revelations in the telegraph about islamic terrorists being trained in the finsbury park area of london, I would be keen to send you some new additions.

  17. Phantom

    I was referring to his ‘too bad’ shrugging attitude to the kidnap of innocent children and pensioners.

  18. Ernest, #1 none of us have read the documents, we don’t what all the details are. I would like to actually see all the details and circumstances.

    and I’m sure you know as well as I that children make perfect explosive delivery systems, ask any arab

    personally anything assange puts out has to be taken with a grain of salt

  19. Colm

    Bad things happen in war, even the assange reports don’t say americans kidnapped these kids, they were turned over as terrorists by their fellow citizens. so too bad

  20. I don’t think tha analogy holds any water as we have ample opportunity to determine the guilt or innocense of any detainees. Lets face it, on the Island of Cuba the most unjust prison is apparently not run by Castro.

  21. Forget Wiki Leaks, lets just base it on confirmed mainstream reporting for the moment. People have been imprisoned without trial (or charge) for years. The evidence against some nonexistent and evn the evidence agaisnt some who may be guilty so tainted by torture and coercion that it may not be possible to convict them.

  22. Troll,

    Is there smoke without fire? – After the various events at Abu Graib, – where the British Army were involved, and the various other recent events along those lines involving the US military, who would give them the benefit of the doubt? – no-one!

    I agree that children have been used, but are the interrogators and jailers totally devoid of discretion and discernment. Does it really take years to determine if someone is guilty?

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