Colin Powell: Close Guantánamo prison camps

#1
WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday he favors immediately closing the Guantánamo Bay military prison and moving its detainees to U.S. facilities.

The prison, which now holds about 385 war-on-terror captives, has tarnished the world's perception of the United States, Powell said.

''If it was up to me, I would close Guantánamo. Not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I'd close it,'' he said.

''And I would not let any of those people go,'' he said. ``I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, well then they'll have access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus. So what? Let them. Isn't that what our system is all about?''

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said Congress and the Bush administration should work together to allow imprisonment of some of the more dangerous detainees elsewhere so the military camp at the remote U.S. Navy base in Cuba can be closed.

The Defense Department estimates it would take about three years to conduct 60 to 80 military trials, if the administration authorizes that many.

Some Democrats in Congress have sought to close the camp, which sprawls across a bluff on the Navy base overlooking the Caribbean. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and other lawmakers have proposed shuttering the camp and shifting the commission trials to the United States.

Powell, who was secretary of state in President Bush's first term, said the U.S. should do away with the military commission system in favor of procedures already established in federal law or the manual for courts-martial.

''I would also do it because every morning, I pick up a paper and some authoritarian figure, some person somewhere, is using Guantánamo to hide their own misdeeds,'' Powell said. ``And so essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantánamo open and creating things like the military commission.

''We don't need it, and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get for it,'' he said.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_dade/story/135188.html
 
#2
I welcome Colin Powells speaking out against the injustice of locking people up without trial. However, taking the highlighted part of His offerings into consideration, there could be a perception that He is demanding the right thing for the wrong reasons.
 
#3
"States which demonstrate a high degree of respect for human rights are likeliest to contribute to international security and well-being. "

Colin Powell, 31 March 2003
United States Secretary of State

Guantánamo was built on some very convenient legal opinions that were highly always questionable and are now shown to be pure fiction.

If in a deep and steep sided hole, stop digging.
 
#4
PartTimePongo said:
WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday he favors immediately closing the Guantánamo Bay military prison and moving its detainees to U.S. facilities.

The prison, which now holds about 385 war-on-terror captives, has tarnished the world's perception of the United States, Powell said.

''If it was up to me, I would close Guantánamo. Not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I'd close it,'' he said.

''And I would not let any of those people go,'' he said. ``I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, well then they'll have access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus. So what? Let them. Isn't that what our system is all about?''
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said Congress and the Bush administration should work together to allow imprisonment of some of the more dangerous detainees elsewhere so the military camp at the remote U.S. Navy base in Cuba can be closed.

The Defense Department estimates it would take about three years to conduct 60 to 80 military trials, if the administration authorizes that many.

Some Democrats in Congress have sought to close the camp, which sprawls across a bluff on the Navy base overlooking the Caribbean. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and other lawmakers have proposed shuttering the camp and shifting the commission trials to the United States.

Powell, who was secretary of state in President Bush's first term, said the U.S. should do away with the military commission system in favor of procedures already established in federal law or the manual for courts-martial.

''I would also do it because every morning, I pick up a paper and some authoritarian figure, some person somewhere, is using Guantánamo to hide their own misdeeds,'' Powell said. ``And so essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantánamo open and creating things like the military commission.

''We don't need it, and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get for it,'' he said.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_dade/story/135188.html
Here, here.

sven I tend to disagree, he is stating that they need due process because some people are putting people in Guantanamo to cover up their own actions not because they deserve to be there. The reason for due process is so that authorities cannot do that.
 
#5
Jest

"he is stating that they need due process because some people are putting people in Guantanamo to cover up their own actions not because they deserve to be there. The reason for due process is so that authorities cannot do that. "

Therefore, if You take His comment to its logical conclusion, He would support Guantanamos ethos if the above wasn't happening. His reasoning is therefore flawed, the camp should be closed simply because it is wrong to incarcerate peole without giving them their day in court
 
#6
Colin Powell said:
''We don't need it, and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get for it,''
. . . and that has been obvious since day 1, to any clear headed person with a sense of decency.

Which rules out the incumbent president of the USA, and our lap-dog PM, since B'liar colludes in the illegal arrest, detention, interrogation (and - dare we say it - torture?) of so-called 'suspects'. 8)
 
#7
Stonker said:
Colin Powell said:
''We don't need it, and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get for it,''
. . . and that has been obvious since day 1, to any clear headed person with a sense of decency.

Which rules out the incumbent president of the USA, and our lap-dog PM, since B'liar colludes in the illegal arrest, detention, interrogation (and - dare we say it - torture?) of so-called 'suspects'. 8)

I hate to be a defender of Blair (I never thought it would happen) but I am sure that he has spoken out about 'Gitmo'. But that aside I couldn't agree with Colin Powell more - it has only ever created a rod with which the Arab nations can beat the USA. Right to a fair trial is part of the essence of the USA justice system - Stop it now. Hold trials in camera if necessary but subject these individuals to the criminal justice system.
 
#8
Sven said:
Jest

"he is stating that they need due process because some people are putting people in Guantanamo to cover up their own actions not because they deserve to be there. The reason for due process is so that authorities cannot do that. "

Therefore, if You take His comment to its logical conclusion, He would support Guantanamos ethos if the above wasn't happening. His reasoning is therefore flawed, the camp should be closed simply because it is wrong to incarcerate peole without giving them their day in court
Maybe if you take that quote on its own but if you read the rest of the article inc my bold he is also saying that that is what the justice system is for; to deal with criminals and put them on trial. Further to that he is also saying that it does not look good if a country like the US cannot follow the rule of law. All of the arguements that have already been given for the closure of guantanamo.
 
#9
Postie said:
I hate to be a defender of Blair (I never thought it would happen) but I am sure that he has spoken out about 'Gitmo'. But that aside I couldn't agree with Colin Powell more - it has only ever created a rod with which the Arab nations can beat the USA. Right to a fair trial is part of the essence of the USA justice system - Stop it now. Hold trials in camera if necessary but subject these individuals to the criminal justice system.
Words are cheap.

He has tolerated (or colluded in) extraordinary rendition, and extraordinary rendition = flying idividuals who have been arrested without due process, to countries where they can be 'legally' tortured.

That is no way to hold the moral high ground: say one thing, do another.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#10
Given that Colin Powell has fought for those things which the Founding Fathers said they believed in (such as due process and the rule of Law), been shelled by his own side, held the second highest military office in the U.S AND put his retirement job on the line for his beliefs I think a few folk may start listening.

Good on yer General, hear feckin' hear !

Don Cabra
--
 
#11
Problem with closing Gitmo is two fold...

First, despite what some bleeding hearts have yammered, there are some really nasty sociopaths incarcerated there who will need to be kept somewhere...

Second, which is a much larger issue and arguably a greater threat... we DO NOT want radical Islam spreading in our prison system faster than it already has started to do.

So... what alternatives do you folks suggest? Personally, I'm all for handing the existing prisoners over to Turkey and not taking any more of them alive.
 
#12
Khyros said:
Problem with closing Gitmo is two fold...

First, despite what some bleeding hearts have yammered, there are some really nasty sociopaths incarcerated there who will need to be kept somewhere...

Second, which is a much larger issue and arguably a greater threat... we DO NOT want radical Islam spreading in our prison system faster than it already has started to do.

So... what alternatives do you folks suggest? Personally, I'm all for handing the existing prisoners over to Turkey and not taking any more of them alive.
In bold above.
How the hell would you know? None of them have had a trial yet.
 
#13
goodkurtz said:
Khyros said:
Problem with closing Gitmo is two fold...

First, despite what some bleeding hearts have yammered, there are some really nasty sociopaths incarcerated there who will need to be kept somewhere...

Second, which is a much larger issue and arguably a greater threat... we DO NOT want radical Islam spreading in our prison system faster than it already has started to do.

So... what alternatives do you folks suggest? Personally, I'm all for handing the existing prisoners over to Turkey and not taking any more of them alive.
In bold above.
How the hell would you know? None of them have had a trial yet.
Simple... I know several men who have been stationed there to gaurd and deal with the inmates, including a just returned senior chaplain. What, do you honestly think all the inmates are good kids that mean CIA operatives snatched off the streets of European cities? Please... that is idiotic and naive. Most of them are filth captured during raids on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan during the early months of OEF. We are talking hardcore extremists who one does not turn their back on as they have so far used every opportunity to attempt to kill or injure both personnel staffing the facility and visitors from press & Red Cross.
 
#14
Kyros Stop It! You are frightening me.
Here is a mate for Kyros and a good laugh for the rest of us.

This is the five and a half year old Arkansas Governator, Mike Huckabee (yes folks, the name's real!), speaking slowly from an auto cue, having just come around, after having had a frontal lobotomy operation.

"If...we...let...one...of...them...out...he...might...fly...a...jet...into...one...of...our...skyscrapers."


http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/11/huckabee-gitmo/

(loved the quip from the first American poster. 'They should stuff a bible down his mouth and flush his head down a toilet')
America, just what would we do for laughs without it?
 
#15
Khyros said:
goodkurtz said:
Khyros said:
Problem with closing Gitmo is two fold...

First, despite what some bleeding hearts have yammered, there are some really nasty sociopaths incarcerated there who will need to be kept somewhere...

Second, which is a much larger issue and arguably a greater threat... we DO NOT want radical Islam spreading in our prison system faster than it already has started to do.

So... what alternatives do you folks suggest? Personally, I'm all for handing the existing prisoners over to Turkey and not taking any more of them alive.
In bold above.
How the hell would you know? None of them have had a trial yet.
Simple... I know several men who have been stationed there to gaurd and deal with the inmates, including a just returned senior chaplain. What, do you honestly think all the inmates are good kids that mean CIA operatives snatched off the streets of European cities? Please... that is idiotic and naive. Most of them are filth captured during raids on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan during the early months of OEF. We are talking hardcore extremists who one does not turn their back on as they have so far used every opportunity to attempt to kill or injure both personnel staffing the facility and visitors from press & Red Cross.
Khyros, I don't doubt you for a minute, but there are those who would and do. The point about the whole fair trial issue is to ensure that these people are seen to be guilty.

At the kind of level these decisions are made, people should be looking to the strategic consequences and delegating the tactical to those responsible for administering criminal justice.

To put it another way, they should have realised that swinging d1ck posturing over pseudo-legal proceedings is no substitute for effective policing; and if you abandon genuinely admirable standards for short-term expediency, you had all the other bad guys round the world their dream PR victory.
 
#16
Kyros,
What, do you honestly think all the inmates are good kids that mean CIA operatives snatched off the streets of European cities? Please... that is idiotic and naive.
So what about that fellow kidnapped by the Americans in Gambia and taken to Gitmo who only had some battery or other in his possession?
 
#17
That particular yahoo of a governor is worth a good laugh or two but my points are still valid concerning how to proceed.

Gitmo is no vacation spot (well... it used to be a few decades ago...) but replacing it with another isolated facility will do nothing to solve the problem. Most of the incarcerated who were able to be released have been... what is left are the head aches. We cannot put these detainees in our regular prisons and their home nations aren't willing to accept them back so what else can be done? American civil laws do not apply to foreign nationals captured on the battlefield so trying them is not applicable and guess what, the Geneva Conventions provides no protection for them either (look up the articles concerning irregulars and partisans...)

Take one average example... the aformentioned chaplain told me about one fellow who hailed from Qatar that cut his jihad teeth in Bosnia during days before NATO got involved, he spent a couple years in Chechnia, and was a small arms instructer at a facility in A-stan when he was wounded and captured during a raid by coalition forces. So far, the guy has tried to claw the eyes out of one gaurd and strangle a Red Cross interviewer and now requires a six man team to hold down whenever anyone enters his cell. What the heck should we do with him eh? The Qatar government has stated they will execute him if he is repatrioted back there and no other nation has offered to house this person. So... what do we do with him?
 
#18
Kyros:
Simple... I know several men who have been stationed there to gaurd and deal with the inmates, including a just returned senior chaplain
I'm sorry I'm seriously not with you on this one. Here in Britain you wouldn't ask a prison officer to pass a legal opinion as to the guilt or otherwise of those in his charge.
He would no doubt inform you that the limit of his legal duty was to make sure the prisoner remained in detention. And that it was not within either his competence or job description to pass an opinion as to whether the man was guilty or not.

And I have heard that the guards anyway weren't allowed to engage in chatter with the prisoners at Gitmo. Also do you expect us to believe that a detainee there spilt his guts to the guards about his terrorist actions then?

Your story doesn't hold water.
 
#19
goodkurtz said:
Kyros,
What, do you honestly think all the inmates are good kids that mean CIA operatives snatched off the streets of European cities? Please... that is idiotic and naive.
So what about that fellow kidnapped by the Americans in Gambia and taken to Gitmo who only had some battery or other in his possession?
Your reaching... a half remembered news bite concerning a very suspect story is not much to go on. Post something solid please.

If any of the folks caught up in this deserve a day in court, it is the few left in custody who were caught and incarcerated here off of our streets. Of course, the easy cases of mistaken identity or unsubstantiated claims have all been discharged and what remains are ones involving ongoing investigations and surveilance. See... "Al Qaida" and it's myriad of factions aren't the only problem. We have a few homegrown militant Islamic organizations which are a hell of a lot more difficult to pin down (great example is the group that our DC sniper, Malvo, belonged to which now been revealed as having no fewer than fourty compounds across the nation.)
 
#20
goodkurtz said:
Kyros:
Simple... I know several men who have been stationed there to gaurd and deal with the inmates, including a just returned senior chaplain
I'm sorry I'm seriously not with you on this one. Here in Britain you wouldn't ask a prison officer to pass a legal opinion as to the guilt or otherwise of those in his charge.
He would no doubt inform you that the limit of his legal duty was to make sure the prisoner remained in detention. And that it was not within either his competence or job description to pass an opinion as to whether the man was guilty or not.

And I have heard that the guards anyway weren't allowed to engage in chatter with the prisoners at Gitmo. Also do you expect us to believe that a detainee there spilt his guts to the guards about his terrorist actions then?

Your story doesn't hold water.
Quite a few of the detainees are quite proud of their actions and have been known to taunt the gaurds and other staff by bragging about them.
 

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