Defending the Detainees at Guantanamo (Part 2)

This is the second part of my interview with Candace Gorman civil rights lawyer for two of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

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Part one of this podcast is available here

Photo Credit: Tim Pearce

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5 Responses to “Defending the Detainees at Guantanamo (Part 2)”
  1. CharlesHo says:

    Overall, I think the Ms. Gorman has very valid points about the questionable ways in which we obtained many of the prisoners at Guantanamo. There also has been a bungling of administration in how they were and are being processed. I find the moral equivalency of saying isolation is “torture” merely sensationalist, however. An issue brought up by another source about why Guantanamo was chosen as the location was that Geneva Convention rules do not allow PoW’s or Enemy Combatants to be housed with a country’s native prison population. I’d be curious as to Ms. Gorman’s take on that point. In all this I think the fair question is to ask “how do we process these people?” You have U.S. civilian law, the USMCJ (military justice rules) or international Geneva Convention standards. Those seem to be the big ones to me. While I agree there needs to be some system and that the way this was handled was bungled, I don’t think you afford non-citizen prisoners (some of which ARE terrorists) the same rights as U.S. citizens. You can’t have our military folks being shot on the battlefield trying to administer Miranda rights and collecting shell casings as evidence while they’re dodging IED’s.

    • @Charles thanks for your comments on this post I think there is important material here and I am glad to know that someone is paying attention.

      When speaking about the detainees at Guantanamo bay there are a whole host of issues that come up. National security, torture, and due process are all things that we can think of in terms of this detention center and what went on there. But in order to keep my comments focused and not speak out of turn I will focus on the experiance of the detainees being defended by Candace Gorman. Not because these men are the two best examples of some point I might make, but because they are the two who are discussed in the interview.

      Neither of these detainees were encountered on the field of battle. They were not captured by soldiers in combat or even on a wanted list. They were turned in to the Coalition forces for a bounty. A bounty that asked for criminals. So there was never any danger of “military folks being shot on the battlefield trying to administer Miranda rights and collecting shell casings as evidence while they’re dodging IED’s.”

      I will concede, I have only responded to one of your arguments here in this comment, and I think there is a great deal more to say. But, I think I’ll leave room for others come in and discuss this too.

      I want to thank you again for listening to the interview. To me regardless of politics or background it was eye opening to me to hear about what is going on from someone right at the center of what’s happening in Gitmo. Even if you don’t share Candace’s perspective I hope this interview is resource to you in telling a side of this story that I don’t think is being told. Not a liberal or conservative side, but rather the actual stories of the men in question.

  2. CharlesHo says:

    Oh, I hear you and agree. Like I noted, she has some great points. The point I was making about military folks being in harms way simply relates back to the overall general question “how do we handle these folks?” As in her cases, it does sound like these fall into the category of “other” in regards to both how they were captured and how they should be released. My concern springs from whether folks are trying to afford U.S. citizen rights and due process to all the folks in Gitmo, for in that case they ALL go free because U.S. troops are not Inspector Gadget on the battlefield. As she made the great point about innocent people being brought in on the dragnet, there are surely some bad folks caught legitimately in the same dragnet and finding a way to not let them just go is what it’s all about in my book. I think this does provide information not readily available in the public sphere and I don’t blame you for not addressing the other point because the whole torture debate can go round and round. It used to be easy to say “do you believe in torture” because one knew it involved injury, typically even death, but now the definition of what some put into that category has become so diluted I don’t find it a simple yes or no anymore.

  3. Colleen says:

    This makes the song Guantanamera too heartbreaking for words. “Yo soy un hombre sincero, de donde crecen las palmas, ” “I am a sincere man, from where the palm trees grow” (Libya for instance). There they are in beautiful Cuba, tortured, incarcerated because, what? They stayed in the wrong guest house on a trip?

    • Its a frightening thought, and a beautiful song.

      It never occurred to me that a Guantanamera was a person the Guantanamo, but when you write the words down it makes perfect sense.

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