Makes depressing reading Ponder. Was in Saudi Arabia just as the first Gulf War came to a close. Spent about 14 months there, regularly seeing on the TV News announcements of beheadings; one truly shocking one, was for that of blasphemy (if I remember rightly) because of the Sharia religious law. Totally medieval, but I don't suppose a more sophisticated method of execution is any better morally, but certainly to the prisoner, it probably is.
Also not good is the 11th year of Guantanamo - apparently there are around 84 prisoners who have been cleared for release having been found to be "of no threat" are still waiting for release. The ongoing suspension of Habeas Corpus is a horrible mess that doesn't look in any way to be getting fixed.
[Between 60 and 80 of the 164 prisoners at Guantanamo cannot be prosecuted for various reasons, but are considered too dangerous to be released. The government intends to hold them indefinitely without charge under the authorization of military force against al Qaeda and its supporters following the September 11 attacks.]
[...“Instead of propping up a broken system at Guantanamo with the Periodic Review Boards, President Obama should end indefinite detention,” said Zeke Johnson of Amnesty International. “The U.S. government should ensure that each detainee is either given a fair trial in federal court, or released to a country that will respect his human rights,” he added.]
I'll just ask, is it human to engage in terrorism (or any kind of indiscriminate killing) fueled by religious zealotry (or any kind of zealotry or on behalf of any flag or government)?
If it is not, then why are why talking about human rights? Those who engage in such things have no human rights.
If it is inherently human, then we shouldn't be shocked or surprised by any of it.
The idea that people wring their hands over human rights in war - or in peace if we have all decided not to behave like humans - is funny to me. Like shaking your fist at the birds and cursing them for chirping and flying around. It's also kind of funny to me that so much attention is focused on the Middle East and America when two separate acts of genocide in the past 20 years killed almost two million Africans, and I'll bet most people reading this can't even name the two countries. Not to mention the millions lost to the slave trade, in Bosnia, Germany (hello Adolph!), and North America (where my great great grandmother's Oglala Sioux tribe was nearly made extinct by newly minted "Americans"). Meanwhile we're having debates over less than 100 guys in Guantanamo. Sorry, but that's funny to me.
This is the world we have. How do you convince people blinded by the delusion of a book or a flag to behave like peaceful humans? You will never convince them they are wrong and that peace is preferable to enforced winning. The path of peace in such a world is the path of voluntary slaughter. So what do you do?
I don't have an answer. My gut tells me we can all live together and almost everyone is cool if you just sit down and talk to them. That's been my experience, anyway. But that's not the world we live in at the moment. In this world that we've been given, you have to deal with large groups of people who believe the extinction of "non-believers" is righteous and endorsed by GOD. To treat them same way you would treat a sane person is suicidal. For all of us.
So, again, what do you do? I don't know if there is anything we can do. It would seem that we're fighting against human nature.
Unfortunately it is human to engage in acts of terror, it's also immoral and cowardly, but it is done sometimes out of sheer desperation and powerlessness as well as evil, twisted thinking.
The point is in the " War on Terror" Habeas corpus is under attack around the world, this simple but crucial civil writ allows people being detained to demand that charges be placed against them, followed by a trial. It safeguards the illegal detention of prisoners from sometimes years of unlawful detention (Guantanamo) because said authorities think they might have or might be able to get or "feel it in their gut" that that they have rightful suspects - this is definitely not in accordance with international law or civil/human rights.
Yes governments around the world have and do suspend it in times of war and I am not arguing against the arrest and detention of suspects, but it is the ongoing abuse of this right by denying prisoners the right to challenge the detention and demand that charges be made that is contentious and complicated. Men have spent years in Guantanamo on no charges, been force fed during hunger strikes and denied basic civil rights.
Many have been cleared by the authorities of anything and pose no threat to national security are still not released.
Excerpt from Bradley Manning's letter in the New York Times Aug 22 2013
Private Manning added:
It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized that (in) our efforts to meet the risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.
In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.
Guantánamo Rulings Change Little
By JOE NOCERA
Published: July 22, 2013 New York Times
[... And so it goes at Guantánamo Bay. The lawyers representing the detainees make motion after motion, appeal after appeal. It gets them nowhere. With the exception of that one Supreme Court ruling — which had been systematically undercut by the court of appeals — the court system has opted out of dealing with the problem that the Guantánamo prison represents to the country. If the detainees are ever going to get relief, it will have to come from elsewhere...]
The truth is, there is one person who could get them out tomorrow — if he chose. That same person could stop the military from force-feeding the detainees. I am referring, of course, to President Obama. Yet despite decrying the Guantánamo prison, the president has refused to do anything but stand by and watch the military inflict needless pain and suffering, much of it on men who simply shouldn’t be there. Indeed, in many of the legal briefs filed on behalf of Guantánamo prisoners, the defendant is Barack Obama.
“Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that ‘[t]he President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” wrote Judge Kessler in her pained but eloquent opinion. One longs for the day when he finally acts the part.