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Guantanamo

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Guantanamo

Postby eric » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:41 pm

Note: This thread is located in the section of the forum dedicated to political discussion and debate. Expect to see some civil but controversial comments. If political discussion bothers you please move on.
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I'd like to see some gentlemanly discussion of this topic - any aspect of the issue you want. There are plenty of board members from around the world and I welcome current perspectives from you.

Guantanamo was a very hot topic before the last election. Many were outraged. From my perspective that outrage has fell silent and Guantanamo is no longer a topic, let alone a hot topic. Why?

Since President Obama took office and promised to close it in January of 2009 (two years ago) we've had a Democratic controlled Congress in both houses and the President is also Commander in Chief over the military facility. I can think of no other conditions that changed between the periods of 2002 thru 2008 and 2009 to present.

What's going on? Was this just a political football and not really an issue for the left?
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby ERNEST1T » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:50 pm

I believe it was a political football to an extent. But once the dems got the ball they realized they have to punt.
Reading GW's book decision points, theres a reason gitmo isn't on u.s. soil.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby eric » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:54 pm

As I see it, President Obama is keeping McCain's campaign promise to leave it open instead of his own promise to close it. I wonder why this doesn't bother his voters? Is it because everything else is going so dreamingly under his leadership?
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby Hermit » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:37 pm

If I were a Jihadi, I'd sure rather stay at Club Gitmo,
than get sent to a SuperMax prison. Does anyone
who whines about Gitmo being a "recruiting tool"
for terrorists really believe it will make any difference
what zip code we house these prisoners?
It is absurd to hold civilian criminal trials
for these combatants with the type of rules
we use in everyday criminal trials.
It also is a fact that most of the ones we
release go straight back to the battlefield.
Most of the ones still there are the worst of the worst;
too dangerous to ever be released and lacking
"proper" evidence to convict in a court.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby ERNEST1T » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:51 pm

Hermit wrote:If I were a Jihadi, I'd sure rather stay at Club Gitmo,
than get sent to a SuperMax prison. Does anyone
who whines about Gitmo being a "recruiting tool"
for terrorists really believe it will make any difference
what zip code we house these prisoners?
It is absurd to hold civilian criminal trials
for these combatants with the type of rules
we use in everyday criminal trials.
It also is a fact that most of the ones we
release go straight back to the battlefield.
Most of the ones still there are the worst of the worst;
too dangerous to ever be released and lacking
"proper" evidence to convict in a court.



That's the problem hermit, if you put them in a zip code at supermax they get all afforded constitutional rights.

Eric his voters don't care just like they don't care that he is really still waging the war with more drone attacks,the price of oil is going up thier not saying he's getting rich by manipulating the price. All they care about is he's our president ain't that great.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby Jameson » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:04 pm

I'm sure the reason we haven't seen President Obama follow through with closing Guantanamo is because he's now privy to the information proving why he can't.

We have an obligation to treat these people like terrorists. They aren't citizens and should not be afforeded the same luxury and rights as citizens. These are criminals of war, not Johnny from Arkansas stealing a car, Bob from Nebraska starting a Meth Lab or Bill from Michigan beating his child. These are people who's sole purpose it is to kill citizens of the free world. They aren't targeting specifically military targets, they aren't going after infrustructure, they are trying to kill citizens. Plain and simple.

30 years ago we wouldn't even know these captives exist, they'd be questioned in undisclosed locations, swiftly executed and all proof of their existence would be wiped out. I would prefer to know that our military and intelligence organizations are taking care of business instead of the current trend of showboating prisoners in front of reporters and news cameras to say, "Look who we got" for the sake of increasing approval ratings.

I want Guantanimo to stay right where it is, I want the Marines to continue to run it, and I think all knowledge of what happens it Gitmo, should stay in Gitmo instead of letting our liberal media dictate our foreign policy making us considerably less safe in the process.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby eric » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:36 pm

Has the president offered any excuse whatsoever on why he hasn't closed Guantanamo?

What disappoints me more than the president not explaining his failure to follow thru on his promise are the people he promised not demanding some sort of explanation.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby ewlewis » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:18 am

I feel that the reality of it all is that most Americans are far to apathetic to really care. The current administration is fully aware of this. Essentially this was just a big talking point to make him look like a man of action. He doesn't have to follow through with it, because most don't care anyway.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby eric » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:50 am

ewlewis wrote:I feel that the reality of it all is that most Americans are far to apathetic to really care. The current administration is fully aware of this. Essentially this was just a big talking point to make him look like a man of action. He doesn't have to follow through with it, because most don't care anyway.


Yeah but they seemed to care before the election. They were mad at someone who assured them he'd leave it open for not closing it down and apathetic about someone who promised to close it down leaving it open.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby Legend » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:17 am

eric wrote:
ewlewis wrote:I feel that the reality of it all is that most Americans are far to apathetic to really care. The current administration is fully aware of this. Essentially this was just a big talking point to make him look like a man of action. He doesn't have to follow through with it, because most don't care anyway.


Yeah but they seemed to care before the election. They were mad at someone who assured them he'd leave it open for not closing it down and apathetic about someone who promised to close it down leaving it open.

I've said it before, there are loads of folks that got on the Mr. Obama bandwagon because they haited Bush. It seems it was en vogue to hate G.W. Bush, and there were people who hated anything he did, no matter what. I live near a bunch of them. I believe a previous poster in this thread is correct; when he got into office and was presented the realities he either didn't know previously or just plain ignored, keeping his promise was not possible. I have noticed also, and have not forgotten his promise. The media seem to not press him on this issue. Hmmm.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby Bob » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:18 am

eric wrote: 1) From my perspective that outrage has fell silent and Guantanamo is no longer a topic, let alone a hot topic. Why?

2) I can think of no other conditions that changed between the periods of 2002 thru 2008 and 2009 to present. What's going on?

3) I wonder why this doesn't bother his voters?



Answers: 1) The only reason the Dems were against Gitmo was to make the Republicans look bad (politics to win the election). Now that the Dems are in power, the liberal media will say nothing to make Obama look bad. On the other hand, if Obama could close it he would ... but he can't. There is no alternative yet and the American people won't stand for bringing terrorists here. If terrorists were brought here, more Dems would be thrown out in the next election.

2) The condition that changed is Obama won the election, and as I said, the media won't raise the issue. I admit, even Fox News doesn't say much anymore. Maybe Fox is focused on more important issues like the attempted socialist take over of America by a radical minority.

3) His voters will adore and defend his actions no matter what he does. It's not a matter of logic.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby Bob » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:27 am

ERNEST1T wrote: All they care about is he's our president ain't that great.



Exactly.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby HappySquareHead » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:06 am

As someone who supported Obama, I know I'm disappointed that Gitmo's still opened...but like conservatives who were disappointed by GW's promise to partially privatize Social Security, we have no where else to go.

As for the liberal media's lack of criticism of Obama, allow me to suggest that perhaps you haven't been watching liberal media. It can be located on satellite stations LINK TV and FSTV. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! brings attention to the issue every chance she gets. Calling the media arm (NBC) of General Electric (a major defense contractor) liberal seems misguided to me. Time Warner (CNN), is simply an opportunist media organization like News Corps, though perhaps with less of an ax to grind.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby Hermit » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:27 am

HappySquareHead wrote:As someone who supported Obama, I know I'm disappointed that Gitmo's still opened...but like conservatives who were disappointed by GW's promise to partially privatize Social Security, we have no where else to go.


What would you do with the combatants we hold there?
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby HappySquareHead » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:13 am

Try them or release them to whatever country they came from. While there's a potential for harm from some individuals we maybe cannot convict, I fear more for the soul of the nation that expouses freedom and liberty and then openly jails and tortures individuals without valid evidence of wrongdoing.

Why is it that after over 200 years our constitution is no longer able to deal with criminals? These aren't the first terrorists that the United States have had to deal with. Think back to the first twin tower attack...the Oklahoma City bombers...bombing of the U.S Senate in 1983...acts of terror by the Ku Klux Klan, Puerto Rican Nationalists, White Christian Identity Groups, ecoterrorists, left-wing terrorists, the SLA, the Black Panthers, and the list goes on and on and on...

The two differences between those groups and today is that the potential of 3000 people being killed in a single event (a potential which always existed) has been realized; and the suspects in question are non-US citizens. This makes it easier to deny them constitutional rights.

What I don't get is why weren't these people dealt with extra-judicially to begin with? If they were thought of as so dangerous and the evidence against them so slim that they couldn't be convicted, why didn't we just make them "go away" like we have done with so many others? We've changed governments, for crying out loud...why capture and warehouse a relative handfull of private citizens from foreign countries when we could've just as easily made them disappear? When the truth came out (as it always does), we could've said, well, it was right after 9-11, and our intellegence community got a little carried away...people would accept that.

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Re: Guantanamo

Postby gnossos » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:06 pm

Well I think you know I don't like it.

I think it's died down for a large number of reasons. We HAVE taken a lot of people out of there. A lot of people view this as a first "step" and the missed deadlines as, I don't know, "oops"? Maybe blame naivety of a young politician over-estimating how quickly he could get things done? Further, there is at least a skeleton of a plan to get the rest out of there, but there are a lot of hitches with that with people saying "I don't want these people in the US, even if they're in jail".

So I think to a lot of people there's the impression that it isn't going fast enough, which is frustrating, but that there are in fact things in motion to help bring it to a close, even if evidence tends to indicate it will keep getting drawn out until... who even knows.

There's also a LOT of noise all over the place right now and frankly I think Gitmo just fell to the wayside of people's attention.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby gnossos » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:08 pm

also this:

"As for the liberal media's lack of criticism of Obama, allow me to suggest that perhaps you haven't been watching liberal media. It can be located on satellite stations LINK TV and FSTV. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! brings attention to the issue every chance she gets. Calling the media arm (NBC) of General Electric (a major defense contractor) liberal seems misguided to me. Time Warner (CNN), is simply an opportunist media organization like News Corps, though perhaps with less of an ax to grind."

is very true. If you actually listen to progressives, as opposed to those who play them for big cash on tee vee, you'll see that they really aren't all that thrilled with Obama. There's actually a very strong undertone of a desire for a third party system on both sides of the spectrum, it's just the people who most want it are pretty much divided down the middle and hate each others' guts.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby eric » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:01 pm

I do not accept as fact any idea that President Obama along with the legislature since he took office "could not" close the detainment facility at Guantanamo. It was an option - it was within their power and authority. They just know it is an extremely bad idea.

I do not accept as fact the notion that they couldn't have known it was a bad idea until President Obama took office. I wasn't privy to presidential intelligence either and I knew then and know now it would be a horrible move. At least half the country did then, and virtually everyone seems to accept it now, and they aren't privy to the inside info. McCain knew it. They knew the current administration at the time was privy to intel they weren't and challenged the policy anyway. So ignorance is certainly not an excuse.

Neither of those points require speculation. I will speculate that Obama knew when he made the promise that he wouldn't be able to keep it. Obama is a brilliant man, he is surrounded by very sharp politically astute people, and anyone at that level is in tune with how things work or has immediate access to experts who do.

The simple fact is this was politics as usual - he basically lied to get in office, or at best made a promise any reasonable thinking person would know he shouldn't keep. My point in all this is simply that we don't expect enough of our leaders on either side. We don't hold them to a high enough standard.

HappySquareHead wrote:Why is it that after over 200 years our constitution is no longer able to deal with criminals? ... This makes it easier to deny them constitutional rights.


If you are saying the detainment of these combatants and operatives captured in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of OEF/OIF is unconstitutional your argument is with the U.S. Supreme Court.

HappySquareHead wrote:What I don't get is why weren't these people dealt with extra-judicially to begin with? If they were thought of as so dangerous and the evidence against them so slim that they couldn't be convicted, why didn't we just make them "go away" like we have done with so many others? We've changed governments, for crying out loud...why capture and warehouse a relative handfull of private citizens from foreign countries when we could've just as easily made them disappear? When the truth came out (as it always does), we could've said, well, it was right after 9-11, and our intellegence community got a little carried away...people would accept that.


They are being dealt with the same as German and Japanese who were captured during WWII and held through the duration of the conflict. Again, you don't have to like this, but if you claim it is illegal now or then your argument is with the Supreme Court. That we don't just execute captives who have surrendered on the battlefield is progress - I don't get the complaint there.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby eric » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:09 pm

gnossos wrote:Well I think you know I don't like it.

I think it's died down for a large number of reasons. We HAVE taken a lot of people out of there. A lot of people view this as a first "step" and the missed deadlines as, I don't know, "oops"? Maybe blame naivety of a young politician over-estimating how quickly he could get things done? Further, there is at least a skeleton of a plan to get the rest out of there, but there are a lot of hitches with that with people saying "I don't want these people in the US, even if they're in jail".

So I think to a lot of people there's the impression that it isn't going fast enough, which is frustrating, but that there are in fact things in motion to help bring it to a close, even if evidence tends to indicate it will keep getting drawn out until... who even knows.

There's also a LOT of noise all over the place right now and frankly I think Gitmo just fell to the wayside of people's attention.


Just my friendly opinion but I think you would enjoy a lower level of frustration and inner conflict if you would begin "liking" the fact Guantanamo is open by conceding we need it there...
--OR--
Stop making excuses for someone who has let you down on this issue.

You were warned that this is a naive young politician during the campaign - that's what the other side was telling you all along and you undoubtedly argued against that assertion. Am I right? Personally, I give President Obama more credit - I did then, and I do now. I don't think he is that naive at all - he's a brilliant man surrounded by smart political people who know how the game works. I'm sure it was a calculated risk. Lie and get elected or don't look strong to the fringe left who he needed to take office.

Politics as usual.

He promised to end that too.
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Re: Guantanamo

Postby gnossos » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:48 pm

Oh, I was just explaining why I think it hasn't been a very noticeable topic of late. Let's just say my personal feelings are mixed.
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