Saturday, January 17, 2009

Legitimate Lockup -- Understanding Gitmo

I've been continuously appalled at the lack of intelligence on the part of those that wish to close Gitmo and bring those detainees here -- to US soil. Obviously, the media has been remiss in reporting the reasoning behind holding them there, and has instead focused on the lack of a warm-fuzzy feeling of good-will when contemplating the plight of these poor, underprivileged, misguided, freedom-bashing terrorists. I was glad to see Obama state that he wouldn't rush into dismantling the detention center (even tho he does want it closed). I hope he sees the wisdom of having this detention center before he does serious harm to our nation. Here are the main points for my opinion:

I. The US has never in the past, does not currently, and should never in the future agree or disagree to any so-called "human rights for all" merely to promote warm-fuzzy feelings all around; that would be immature, unprofessional, and completely irresponsible. We grant rights to our citizens. Period. Full stop. End of sentence.
    A. Each nation on earth grants & restricts the rights of its citizens according to the individual charter or constitution of each state. Our nation DOES NOT grant rights to citizens of other nations, but if citizens of other nations attack our troops, our citizens, our land, or our interests, we have reserved the right to take steps to protect all of the above. (As have all other nations.)

    B. By our nation's "right" of self defense (as recognized by the UN as well as numerous international treaties) we have choices of how we prefer to stop the commission of any of the acts of aggression. It is fully legal to "shoot until dead" any aggressors that choose to act against us; however, our nation takes the "high moral ground" of exercising the "right of restraint" as often as possible. Attempting to capture and incarcerate these terrorists is much more expensive, but our current government (all 2 days of it that's left anyway) would rather spend the money than leave piles of bodies. What most bleeding heart liberals propose to grant these detainees goes well past what is legal (and moral) and even further -- far beyond the edge of lunacy, right into the heart of it.

II. There is no "political loophole" for Guantanamo.
    A. It is FULLY legal (by ALL international treaties) to hold enemy combatants for the duration of whatever conflict they were involved in at the time of their apprehension. Has been for many years. "The Great" FDR did the same thing, yet no one had a problem with it back then.

    B. The right of incarceration of combatants has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Cuba has, or has not, ratified conventions binding the US. Instead, they are detained in Cuba because no other country in the world wants them held on their soil. (Since our lease of Gitmo from the Cubans is not subject to a lease extension anytime in the near future, we can pretty much do as we please.)

    C. Some would like to classify these detainees as "civilians" rather than "unlawful combatants;" this would mean they are covered by the 4th Geneva Convention. The 3rd Geneva Convention (1949) outlines incarceration of combatants, here is my opinion on these detainees:

      1. These are not people that have racked up excessive library fines, stolen a handful of rice to feed their families, or jacked a bubble gum machine for kicks. They are actively engaged in warfare against our nation, citizens, and soldiers. They want us dead or our nation destroyed -- and have gone to war to attempt to bring it about by any means necessary. That is what excludes them from civilian status. Since they operate well outside the bounds of the convention (engaging in some type of combat while not in the direct employ of a nation) they are obviously (to me) enemy combatants, not civilians, and as such, fully subject to the 3rd, and not the 4th.

      2. Even tho the people in Gitmo are UNlawful combatants, they have still received the same humane treatment as lawful combatants, less the representation. The detainees receive three (Muslim) squares a day, medical, clothing, showers, hygenics articles, freedom to worship, mail privileges (screened), and regular visits from the Red Cross. Our govt has gone well beyond the bare minimum in their care.

    D. As I see it, the "problem" today is actually a pseudo-problem: (primarily) socialists are using this as a platform to push their ideology on the American public. Much of the media is either in lock-step with these political ideals, or ignorant of the implications of pushing this. Don't be in a rush to jump on this bandwagon until you've explored the endgame:

      1. My definition of Socialism is pretty straightforward. Most people understand the redistribution of wealth and supposed "equal opportunity" of Socialism. It is more than that. Socialism also advocates collective ownership AND central administration of not only all types of production and all of the distribution of all of the goods, but also, every aspect of the entire system of exchange. Old-school hardliners propose total state control, while most of those found here in the US think everything could be structured into a pseudo-free-market economy.

      2. The danger of collectivism for OUR society is in the details of administration. Most of the liberal media (due to their influence from countless socialistic professors across our nation) think that the current opinion of "the people" should dictate all US policy. However, "the people" is an abstract, barely-definable concept (in terms of quantification). Who is to say which portion of "the people" make the easy decisions? let alone the controversial, hard ones? As soon as we digress from our only framework of "fairness, justice, and equity" (our Constitution and codified laws), we begin a downward spiral toward a complete dictatorship; in which one person (the dictator) is the voice of "the people" and is highly unlikely to keep their interests at heart.

      3. The media is being used. It appears their dislike of Bush has become a flagpole on which they hoist their own standard: a socialistic worldview. By couching their abhorrence in terms that appear to put "we the people" into positions that are opposed, disliked, or hated by any segment of the "victimized global citizenry" they instigate class- and racial-tension in our country. Possibly even escalating to a general "struggle" during a transformation from capitalism to communism. While this is not a true "proletarian revolution" in any sense, it would be fatal for our economy.

      4. I doubt there is a physical "playbook" for this, but it's obvious to me that the media operates in concert to promote their agenda.

      5. We (the people) cannot swallow their line, to insist on melding these detainees (citizens of the world) into the collective melting pot of US citizenry because it is "humane." It is not humane, it is a criminal surrender of our rights, as citizens of the USA, to proffer the same rights we have under our Constitution to those who are our sworn enemies and wish for nothing less than the complete destruction of our nation.

      6. The phrase "citizens of the world" is a feel-good, fallacious attempt to desensitize the patriotism of citizens -- every nation's citizens. Accepting it as a valid argument would be an extremely dangerous step by any sovereign govt. The result of wholeheartedly subscribing to this ideology is a socialistic, one world govt in which all rights are subservient to the good of the whole.

      7. It is also a straw man argument. There are no "citizens of the world" -- just as no aspect of "humane" and "ethical" should be afforded those that have actively participated in any attempt to destroy of our way of life, our soldiers (many of whom are my friends), or my country. Any attempt to eradicate any of the above must be stopped.

III. These Gitmo inmates DO NOT DESERVE a trial.
    They are NOT criminals, but enemy combatants. The US has detained enemy combatants in EVERY major conflict in our nation's history. Just like soldiers, enemy combatants may be detained or face military tribunals, but they NEVER get a trial. (The "Nuremburg Trials" weren't trials, they were international tribunals, convened after the cessation of all conflict.)

IV. For any that still do not understand the importance of the semantics, I'll make it very simple: there are only 2 kinds of enemy combatants. (Both types participate in armed aggression against our nation.)
    A. "UnLawful" enemy combatants (Gitmo detainees) participate as private citizens while NOT employed by any state (i.e. not soldiers in a military), or while affiliated with a terrorist organization. Thus, the Gitmo detainees fully conform to every definition of unlawful enemy combatant recognized by every member of the UN (every definition I've ever read anyway... going back to the Hague Convention). Unlawful enemy combatants are not POWs, because they bear arms, operating as soldiers and or terrorists outside the guidelines of the 3rd Geneva Convention.

    B. While it is legal to detain both types of enemy combatants, only LAWFUL enemy combatants ARE ELIGIBLE for all of the protections afforded POWs -- under ALL the treaties and conventions that have been signed to date.

V. There is one final aspect of trying these detainees on US soil that most people overlook. If they are afforded US rights, they must also be tried by US laws, and face US punishments. Ergo -- they have committed treason.
    The laws currently on the books in the US (for treason) call for death, so in that sense, I would not be opposed to allowing any unlawful enemy combatants currently being (legally) detained at Gitmo a military trial on US soil. As long as all guilty verdicts result in immediately carrying out the execution of the convicted. (Of course, since they've not broken any civil statues, they wouldn't be eligible for civil trial with juries and appeals processes, only military trials.)

In conclusion, I'll offer my advice to the ignorant (that so frequently proffer opinions garnered from the liberal media as fact):
    If you are going to look to some source (such as the media) for general information, check the info they are disseminating. If they feed you false information, even if only intermittently, then make sure you are consistent in checking sources and seeking the truth on any matters of importance to you (or your nation).

Every media personality with any semblance of intelligence or integrity knows full well that Gitmo detainees are there lawfully, detained legally, and completely ineligible for ANY trial of ANY type on US soil. Anyone in the media that does not inform others of this is (whether knowingly or in ignorance) participating in an effort to undermine our nation, our government, our military, the rights of our citizens, and our way of life.

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