Friday, March 23, 2007

Guantanamo is Eeeeeviiiil

I'm going to go out on a limb here...I don't think torture is going on at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. I haven't looked into it a great deal, but a lot of what I have seen is based on hearsay and assumption that the Bush administration isn't telling the truth.

Guantanamo Bay is one of the poster children of those who are against the war in Iraq. Allegations are thrown left and right that people at Guantanamo are being tortured. Matt Lauer, in a one-on-one interview with President Bush, clearly conveyed he thought the president was lying about torture when the President refused to discuss the way we interrogate terrorists. Let me say two things about that:

  1. I don't believe it
  2. If someone can convince me with evidence I will change my mind
Until then, I will believe administration officials, those US congressmen who have been there, and those military members who have served there that torture is not occurring in Guantanamo. I will not believe the United Nations, who has NOT been there.

Here's an attempt to impute evil to the Americans at Gitmo. To me it is not convincing.

The story linked above admits that the United Nations never even visited the facility to view the situation for themselves before stating that the United States is engaging in torture.

The healthiest claim made in the story is that we are force-feeding some people. Why? Because they are on hunger strikes, and if one of them successfully kills himself from lack of nutrition, you can guarantee that will be all over the news as 'proof' that Americans are torturing terrorists.

The story claims that because we are not at war we cannot hold enemy combatants for extended periods of time without trial. Hmmm... I'm pretty sure when I was over there I was in the middle of a war. From the looks of things, which happen to be improving, there are still a lot of fundamentalist Muslim terrorists who are trying to kill coalition forces and innocent Iraqi civilians.

I'm only hazarding a guess, but I'd call it war.


Rich Warnick said...

Frank, I can understand that you might doubt the UN's information about Guantanamo. What about the FBI? Are they lying?,,1981955,00.html

Frank Staheli said...

In about the last 4 years there have been 26 instances of torture. There are likely more that haven't been reported. They should all be punished. I don't, however, think that this indicates any systemic condoning and conducting of torture. If there are no punishments for such activities, however, it could easily get worse.

Dana said...

We've had American soldiers who were charged and convicted and sentenced to prison for the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Grahab )or however it's spelled). The soldiers guarding the terrorists (and let's not forget that they are terrorists) at Guantanamo know about that. I'm guessing that, knowing that some stuff got out of hand at AG, and soldiers were punished for things that happened when they thought no one was watching (and they were stupid enough to take pictures of it!), they aren't going to do things in Guantanamo that are going to land themselves in the stockade, especially since they know that every opponent of the war is going to be watching, is going to be looking for the least bit of evidence that the guards said a harsh word to the poor, innocent people locked up in Gitmo.

Every soldier stationed at Guantanamo has to know that he's nothing but a target for the American left.

Rich Warnick said...

Just a few bad apples, they say, but how does that account for the approval of torture at the highest levels of the US government?

I refer to the January 2002 Gonzalez memo that dismissed the Geneva Convention prohibition against torture as "quaint"...

and the August 2002 Bybee memo

These two bad apples were rewarded. Alberto Gonzales is the Attorney General (for another few weeks anyway) and Jay Bybee got a lifetime appointment on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The entire world condemns the crimes at Guantanamo, including our allies in the U.K. and Australia. SecDef Gates wants to close it down. It's a tremendous liability and has no intelligence value. There really aren't two sides to this, you know.

Elizabeth said...

re the comment

"they aren't going to do things in Guantanamo that are going to land themselves in the stockade,"

Dana, people do stupid things all the time. Many brutal, vicious people are also stupid. Look at the idiots at Abu Ghraib who PHOTOGRAPHED themselves committing war crimes.

Frank Staheli said...


You're dancing around the issue of torture. It may be of little intelligence value, but the charge remains that the people housed in Gitmo are there for good reason. I remain substantially unconvinced by your FBI article.


I think you support my main thesis. I agree that people are stupid, and therefore the fact that no pictures, etc. have emerged from Guantanamo supports that likelihod that very little in the way of torture is occurring there. But I'm still open to being persuaded otherwise.

Elizabeth said...

Frank: check out the magazine excerpt I posted on my blog a few days ago.