Human Rights

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Hungry_Ghost, May 26, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    They've been given tribunals. They are being held because they are terrorists. Again, hardly arbitrary.

    Please answer the question I posed then try again. :)
  2. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    They got arrested, sent to Gitmo and some were later released because they suddenly realized they didn't have one ounce of evidence against them aside from the word of somebody looking for some quick cash.

    I've heard the stories, but haven't seen any evidence. Where would be the best place to look?
  3. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Go look for the interview with one of those people. I forgot his name, he was a shopkeeper in Afghanistan that got turned in by rivals who wanted a part of his business. He was sent to Gitmo and later released because as I said, no evidence.

    What, are you going to deny they're arresting people brought in by bounty hunters and the like?
  4. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    I have no argument against humanely treating these detainees without subjecting them to torture or other such things.

    However, are we to simply say: "It is true that you have no respect for the rules of war. You blow up people, cut off heads, torture, rape, maim and kill without regard. But, that's no matter. We'll give you the same rights as an individual serving in uniform abiding by the rules of armed conflict?"

    IMHO, these individuals give up their rights to treatment equivalent to a POW, because they do not abide by the same rules as uniformed individuals are supposed to under the rules of war.

    The fact is that some wish to extend these protections to terrorists (even to the point of allowing them access to the US court system) while utilizing fallacious and exaggerated claims about the United States to suit a sociopolitical agenda.

    The due process should not involve the same type of protections involved with POW's or with American citizens.

    These are not POWs, they are illegal enemy combatants. They give up any such protection as they wear civilian clothes while fighting an unconventional war.
  5. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    What, are you going to deny they're arresting people brought in by bounty hunters and the like?

    No, I'm not. I just don't know. Neither do you.

    The problem is this: As we hear that these stories are "sooooo" believable due to the pattern the US has set, The truth is this:

    Of all the accusations leveled against the US, only 2 have been verified. Hardly a pattern.

    Both of the verified ones, abu Gharib and ONE intentional koran violation, were already discovered by the military long before the news ever got out. Action was already being taken before the military was contacted about the stories.

    The one koran violation involved a soldier, who has since been dismissed last year, standing on a Koran.

    A second soldier was reassinged after he reported himself pissing near a vent and his urine traveled down the vent and onto a detainee and his Koran.
  6. Medical-Droid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2001
    star 2
    Out of idle curiousity, then, what would be the status of Americans captured in Iraq by insurgents, as they are civilians of a (from their point of view) hostile nation who are not following the proper conduct of soldiers in a war? Or the status of American soldiers who were captured in Vietnam (given that some of the soldiers performed atrocious actions (e.g., the My Lai Massacre))? Or captured CIA intelligence agents? Each of these represents a qualitative difference from the conduct expected of "uniformed individuals...under the rules of war."
  7. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    Geneva Conventions regarding POWs:

    Article 4

    A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

    1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

    2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

    (a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

    (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

    (c) That of carrying arms openly;

    (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

    4. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

    5. Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

    6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

    B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention:

    1. Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment.

    2. The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the present Article, who have been received by neutral or non-belligerent Powers on their territory and whom these Powers are required to intern under international law, without prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these Powers may choose to give and with the exception of Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. Where such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage and treaties.

    C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical personnel and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present Convention.

    Article 5

    The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation.

    Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having c
  8. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    DM, I think you may have fallen into the trap of automatically labelling a 'detainee' as a 'terrorist' or an 'illegal enemy combatant'.

    The cornerstone of any judicial system should be the the presumption of innocence. That is why we should follow the pattern of issuing formal charges and requiring burdens and standards of proof.

    Some of those detainees may have been 'caught' carrying out acts of terrorism, some were 'caught' in the company of Taliban troops, some were 'caught' merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The point is that these 'detainees' are held without charge - in other words, without a case to answer.

    That practice contravenes Articles 9 & 10 of the UDHR.

    After they are charged and tried and sentenced -they become 'terrorists' or 'illegal enemy combatants' but until that time, they are just 'detainees'.

  9. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    Nope.

    There is no right for an individual to have a trial when caught on the battlefield fighting without a uniform on and violating the rules of war.

    This isn't a 'criminal justice' civilian matter, it's a matter of war. It isn't 'cops and robbers' here.

    Military tribunals are sufficent in these cases.
  10. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    But some of those 'detainees' were not 'caught on a battlefield'. Habib for example was 'caught' on a bus during a holiday in Pakistan. He was not a combatant.

    This isn't a 'criminal justice' civilian matter, it's a matter of war. It isn't 'cops and robbers' here.

    Regardless of whether it is a criminal, civilian or military matter, don't you think that you should at least have a case to answer whilst being detained? It is a pretty sad state of affairs when you are incarcerated and interrogated but can't even talk to your lawyer or articulate precisely what you have been charged with.
  11. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    DM, since you're so adept at ignoring what I say, you have my blessing to create a sock called Ender__Sai or Ender-Sai or Eender_Sai or Ender_Saai or something. That way you can make up whatever you want, and although you'll still be factually inaccurate as always you can at least make someone more wrong than you. [face_plain]


    //Yes, I'm disgusted at being ignored for the sake of saving patriotic face.

    E_S
  12. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Out of idle curiousity, then, what would be the status of Americans captured in Iraq by insurgents, as they are civilians of a (from their point of view) hostile nation who are not following the proper conduct of soldiers in a war?

    Of course they are following proper conduct. What makes you think they aren't?
  13. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    LoH: That's an interesting point. I'll have to read up more on that individual's case. However, if he was actually seen fighting in such a fashion, then what I've stated still applies.

    As a side note, I found it amazing that the "American Taliban" kid wasn't charged with treason. His actions were witnessed by video and by more than two individuals, meeting the qualifications for such prosecution.

    We have a rather large problem with these terrorists trying to 'blend-in' with their surroundings and not making themselves distinctively seperate from the civilian population.

    Do these individuals retain the same rights as a normal combatant?

    I think not.
  14. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Detainees such as Mamdouh Habib represent a unique class - "the terrorist suspect", ie, they are suspected of terrorist activities and have been monitored by security agencies but there is no evidence linking them to any particular act of terrorism.

    It is this class of 'detainee' that is the most frightening in terms of human rights abuse - no evidence of any wrong doing whatosoever, no charge, no legal representation, interrogated and detained without justification.

    Habib also claims he was tortured at Gitmo and independent medical and psychological opinion confirms he is not lying.

    The only problem I have with what you are saying stems from the lawyer in me.

    However, if he was actually seen fighting in such a fashion, then what I've stated still applies.

    This can be problematic and begs the questions: Seen by who? How credible is the witness? Can that evidence be tested? What if the detainee denies the evidence? Do you have an opptunity to cross examine the witness?

    The answer would be 'no' according to your position. I believe this is fundamentally wrong and I hope I am never detained without charge and without an opportunity to defend myself on the basis of some "witness evidence" that is never properly tested in a court of law.
  15. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    E_S said to DM...you have failed consistently and repeatedly to illustrate how Amnesty was incorrect, under customary international law, in labelling the acts linked to the US government as human rights violations. You have only ever attacked Amnesty in the process, not the actual criteria for which they have used and when called up on it, you revert to attacking Amnesty and their stupid hyperbole. Since you won't deal with the issue, I need to use bold and a primary colour to make sure you can't claim you didn't see the reference.

    I know this wasn't asked of me, but I can't let it go...

    I am not saying that Amnesty was incorrect, under customary international law, in labelling the acts linked to the US government as human rights violations.

    My issue is their exagerations of what we stand accused.

    First and foremost, we are far from one of the biggest human rights violators of 2004. They are wrong.

    Second, they accuse us of alot of stuff with absolutely no evidence. None at all.

    They accuse us of having secret prison camps based on some unnamed "reports." C'mon, this is supposed to be their big report on 2004, and they have no sources? Give us something!

    Thay also, without evidence or names, talk of people "disappearing" in our custody. Who? When? Where did they get this information?

    They also accuse us of rendition, again with no details. Hey, I've read the stories too, but there is no evidence to back them up.

    Then, finally, they call Gitmo a gulag. Then they admit they have no idea what is going on there. If that's the case, why did they call it a gulag to begin with?

    Because it is a pack of lies, that's why.

    Notice I gave this critque all with out ever calling into question the definition of a human rights violation.

    EDIT: And while I'm on a roll, let me also point out that they took a swipe at the ligitamacy of the war every chance they got.
    Also, every time they mentioned the War on Terror or the word war in relation to the War on Terror, they would put it in quotes, just to be petty and patronising.

    My post from the first page stands: They are nothing but a bunch of left-wing wack jobs.
  16. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    LoH: protections of the civilian criminal justice system do not apply to unlawful combatants.

    If an individual is caught on the battlefield fighting in an unlawful fashion (as these terrorists are), then they relinquish their rights under 'POW' status under the Geneva Conventions. The US is under no obligation to reward terrorists and unlawful combatants with legal protections of laws they do not respect.

    We're dealing with war here, not 'cops and robbers' types of things.

    I have to research the case of the British fellow, but I'm highly suspicious of such a man in such a place at such a time. I believe the 'American Taliban' received prosecution under American law because he is an American citizen, so maybe this British character should receive the same under British law.
  17. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah, I understand the 'combatant' distinction, (although I don't necessarily agree with the concept of an 'illegal' combatant, to my mind if the US declares war on a political party or a nation state and sends in troops then each side are 'combatants' are far as I'm concerned and should be afforded the appropriate protections under the Geneva Convention) but I'm talking about terrorist 'suspects'.

    I too an extremely suspicious of Habib (who is actually Australian and not British) but I don't think that mere suspicion should be grounds for unlawful and unjustifiable detention, not to mention rendition.

    My point was simply that not all of the Gitmo detainees are necessarily terrorists or illegal combatants and the US should not be detaining these people without charge and without a right to legal counsel.
  18. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    But do you understand my point LoH that granting them a right to a civilian lawyer and a civilian trial would give them the same protections as an American citizen which these individuals do not warrant?

    "Suspects" in this term doesn't mean 'criminal suspect', it means a suspected terrorist illegal enemy combatant held in detention until further review by military tribunal.

    I also certainly do not agree with your point concerning extending Geneva protections to those that do not abide by the rules of war.

    I do agree that we should provide individuals with humane imprisonment pending a military review and tribunal after a reasonable period of time. That includes: food, water, shelter, clothing and right to religious practice.

    Technically, illegal enemy combatants found in a battle can be simply executed after a short military tribunal without recourse to the prosecuting army. I'm not speaking of individuals grabbed off the street; I'm speaking of captured terrorist insurgents not suspected civilian collaborators. They give away their rights to 'POW' status when they disregard the rules of war.
  19. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5


    I understand where you're coming from DM.

    However, I think anyone caught carrying out terrorist activities or even suspected of terrorist activities should only be detained following the issuing of formal charges and should be dealt with by an impartial tribunal of fact, whether that be a military tribunal or a civilian tribunal within a reasonable time.

    This is encapsulated in Articles 9 & 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    It is when detainees such as Habib or David Hicks are held for years without having been charged with any anything (whether that be a contravention of domestic or international law) that I think the US are in breach of basic human rights.

  20. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    I think anyone caught carrying out terrorist activities or even suspected of terrorist activities should only be detained following the issuing of formal charges and should be dealt with by an impartial tribunal of fact, whether that be a military tribunal or a civilian tribunal within a reasonable time.


    Agreed, LoH.

    ...although for 'unlawful combatants', a military tribunal is sufficient, IMHO.
  21. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    There are many good points being made in this thread, but let's take a step back from the battle lines, ok?

    You know who you are.

    V-03
  22. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    No, I'm not. I just don't know. Neither do you.

    I've read reports from several 'respectable' news sources. That's just about as close as evidence as I'll be able to get. Look, this guy was released from Gitmo, he told this to the press. They checked, he was confirmed as being released from Gitmo. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK HE'S LYING ABOUT HOW HE GOT DETAINED?

    If it wasn't arbitrary then why the **** do you think they released him?

    For ***** and giggles or maybe, just maybe because they didn't have any evidence against him?
  23. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I like this criterion for a "lawful" combatant:

    having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance


    In other words, something which would end the rebellion in five seconds by saying, "Hey Americans, bomb HERE."

    According to the Geneva Conventions, the Rebels in Star Wars, as well as the rebels in the Amreican Revolution, were unlawful combatants.
  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    yes but since the Gitmo detainees don't meet the criteria for the Fourth Geneva convention, it's pointless bringing it up.

    Also, there are four major conventions and only one applies to our discussion, the fourth. Can we stop saying "The Geneva Convention"? :)

    E_S
  25. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    yes but since the Gitmo detainees don't meet the criteria for the Fourth Geneva convention, it's pointless bringing it up.

    That's cool, I understand that.

    But can you respond to my last post? I think I bring up some valid points and I'd like your take on them.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.