I'm guessing I've a biggin is probably right and the boy's father is a terrorist. But we do not know and there isn't too much proof. Many of these now orange suited "tourists" (ho, ho) have just gone on holiday to interesting resorts, and in a completely unprovoked manner have been picked up by coalition forces.
For example a typical philanthropic trip by a British muslim took him to the pretty little town of Falluja in Al-Anbar province, undoubtedly he was able to take in some sight seeing whilst doing good work for a charity (bless his little cotton socks - not sure if they wear them under the dishdasha?). Unfortunately his sojourn was cut short when he was spotted by US marines passing ammunition over a wall in the close proximity of a fire fight.
No I'm with you SLRboy innocent until proven guilty, so let them out in the meantime, and undoubtedly they will continue their philanthropic lifestyle in the meantime. (By the way what is an SLR? - isn't it something from a bygone era).
Yeah - I will not be purchasing the Independent tomorrow.
Why is my dad far away in that place called Guantanamo Bay? Young boy's plea to Tony Blair
By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent
Published: 09 January 2007
Ten-year-old Anas el-Banna will walk to the door of Number 10 Downing Street this week to ask for an answer to the question he has been trying to have answered for four years: Why can't my Dad come home?
His father, Jamil, is one of eight British residents languishing among the almost 400 inmates at the American base at Guantanamo Bay, which opened five years ago to the day this Thursday - the day of Anas's protest.
Mr Banna, was taken to Guantanamo Bay four years ago after being seized in Gambia along with fellow detainee Bisher al-Rawi. He was accused of having a suspicious device in his luggage. It turned out to be a battery charger. No charges have been made.
He suffers from severe diabetes, but his lawyers say he has not been offered medication and has been denied the food he needs. His eyesight is now failing.
In 1971, the British Govt decided to reduce the threat of terror in NI by mob-handed internment of 'suspected terrorists' among the ulster catholic population, and to do it just on the say-so of any RUC policeman (at that time, almost every one a protestant).
A large number of individuals were banged-up in this way, without trial, who had never committed any terrorist offence: many were 'guilty' of nothing more than playing Gaelic football. It was simply the best recruiting campaign ever mounted for the IRA,
The way in which Guantamo is being populated, coupled with the way in which its residents are treated, is - in my view - having a similar effect, on a wider scale. It is one of many counter-productive initiatives incorporated in a "War On Terror" which is fundamentally ill-conceived, and incompetently managed at the highest levels.
If as B'liar insists, we are aiming to show the world that western democratic values are better and fairer than those of Islamic fascism, then banging people up, on the basis of dodgy intel without benefit of due process or proper legal representation is a bloody funny way of doing it.
The Independent has been doing as good a job as any broadsheet - and better than most - of bringing matters like this to public attention.
Of course there is always the idea of not actually taking any prisoners, so when these poor innocent passers-by as they so obviously are get caught up in a firefight with SF in torabora (intriguing rock formations there, they were on a field trip from Leeds university) then just let squaddies brass the fcuk out of them and let god sort it all out.
Or did you think the US got the population of Camp Delta from storming suburban Chiswick in the dead of night and spiriting away kebab shop owners in unmarked black planes?
Internment did not work of course but the source of the population, the mentality of the threat and the international dimension were all very different.
You may indeed be correct about the source of all the residents. They all were in the early days, btu time moves on and of course there is no way to trace the history or even identity of the current crop.
I would suggest that legality and effectiveness are almost mutually exclusive. Delta is by any sensible measurement of international law over the line, but the effectiveness of long term continued debriefing has produced considerable and very valuable product which has focused and in some cases re-directed collection effort in the right place. That will have saved lives. Whether or not this will "win" the war on terror in the long run rather depends on which side of the can win/unwinnable fence you sit on.
Sort of opens up the moral debate of achive your aim at what cost debate.
We will not win the battle against global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as that of force. We can win only by showing that our values are stronger, better, and more just than the alternative. That also means showing the world that we are evenhanded and fair in our application of those values. We will never get real support for the tough actions that may well be essential to safeguarding our way of life unless we also attack global poverty, environmental degradation, and injustice with equal vigor.
I struggle, when I read articles like the one below, to see any evidence that the 'strategy' of the coalition against Al Qaeda embraces the first of the two highlighted B'liar statements.
For GuantÃ¡namo Review Boards, Limits Abound
By TIM GOLDEN
New York Times December 31, 2006
GUANTÃNAMO BAY, Cuba â At one end of a converted trailer in the American military detention center here, a graying Pakistani businessman sat shackled before a review board of uniformed officers, pleading for his freedom.
The prisoner had seen just a brief summary of what officials said was a thick dossier of intelligence linking him to Al Qaeda. He had not seen his own legal papers since they were taken away in an unrelated investigation. He has lawyers working on his behalf in Washington, London and Pakistan, but here his only assistance came from an Army lieutenant colonel, who stumbled as he read the prisonerâs handwritten statement.
As the hearing concluded, the detainee, who cannot be identified publicly under military rules, had a question. He is a citizen of Pakistan, he noted. He was arrested on a business trip to Thailand. On what authority or charges was he even being held?
âThat question,â a Marine colonel presiding over the panel answered, âis outside the limits of what this board is permitted to consider.â
Under a law passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in October, this double-wide trailer may be as close to a courtroom as most GuantÃ¡namo prisoners ever get. The law prohibits them from challenging their detention or treatment by writs of habeas corpus in the federal courts. Instead, they may only petition a single federal appeals court to examine whether the review boards followed the militaryâs own procedures in reviewing their status as âenemy combatants.â
But an examination of the GuantÃ¡namo review boards by The New York Times suggests that they have often fallen short, not only as a source of due process for the hundreds of men held here, but also as a forum to resolve questions about what the detainees have done and the threats they may pose.
Some limitations have long been evident. The prisoners have no right to a lawyer, or to see classified evidence, or even to know the identity of their accusers. What has been less visible, however, is what many officials describe as a continuing shortage of information about many detainees, including some who have been held on sketchy or disputed intelligence.
Behind the hearings that journalists are allowed to observe is a system that has at times been as long on government infighting and diplomatic maneuvering as it has been short on hard evidence. The result, current and former officials acknowledged, is that some detainees have been held for years on less compelling information, while a growing number of others for whom there was thought to be stronger evidence of militant activities have been released under secret arrangements between Washington and their home governments.
Military officials emphasize that the boards are an administrative forum and were never intended to replicate judicial standards of fairness. But they say the hearings offer prisoners a viable opportunity to rebut the governmentâs evidence.
. . . . .
Although a growing number of lawyers have begun to conduct their own investigations into accusations against their clients, a former military intelligence officer who has presided over dozens of review boards was dismissive of those contributions.
âAs far as what the habeas lawyers have to say, for the most part it wouldnât factor in because they have made themselves not credible,â said the officer, a Marine colonel who suggested that the lawyers took detaineesâ claims of innocence at face value.
The lawyers respond that the obstacles to their input in the process raise questions about the militaryâs desire to learn everything it can about the detainees. More than a week after the hearing for the Pakistani businessman accused of ties to Al Qaeda, a Washington lawyer who had been trying to help him told a reporter that he had not even known the session had taken place.
âThere is no hint of any kind of due process in this,â said the lawyer, Gaillard T. Hunt. âHeâs got no right to an investigation. But substantively, it really doesnât matter, because they can always just say they have this classified information that he canât see.â