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UK calls for Guantanamo closure

#1
BBC said:
UK calls for Guantanamo closure

The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, has called for the closure of the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. He is reported to have serious doubts about whether the indefinite detention of "enemy combatants" is legal or fair. In a speech in London, he said the camp had become a symbol of injustice and its existence was "unacceptable".

Full text: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4759317.stm
And, apparently:

BBC said:
Bush would like end to Guantanamo

US President George W Bush has said he would like to "end" the detention centre in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. But in an interview on German TV he says he must wait for a Supreme Court ruling on whether inmates could be tried by military or civilian courts.

Full text: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4983314.stm
Ahhhh! Now it's the Supreme Court's fault for G-Bay. And I thought the only reason for G-Bay was because the US legal system couldn't be trusted to find the detainees guilty!
 
#2
Dubya passing the buck again...Wonder what Tony will say?
Seriously tho,If in all the time these prisoners have been detained,surely the U'S would've been able to prove something by now.I'm not advocating terrorism here but keeping people detained indefinatly makes a mockery of what we went to war for.It makes,in a way,us no better than what was going on in Iraq before Saddam was removed.
 
#3
spike7451 said:
Dubya passing the buck again...Wonder what Tony will say?
Seriously tho,If in all the time these prisoners have been detained,surely the U'S would've been able to prove something by now.I'm not advocating terrorism here but keeping people detained indefinatly makes a mockery of what we went to war for.It makes,in a way,us no better than what was going on in Iraq before Saddam was removed.
I'd not go that far, for instance I can't recall the last time we tortured our national football teams for losing. But yes, there is a little irony in what the U.S went to do and is now doing.
 
#4
Death_Rowums said:
spike7451 said:
Dubya passing the buck again...Wonder what Tony will say?
Seriously tho,If in all the time these prisoners have been detained,surely the U'S would've been able to prove something by now.I'm not advocating terrorism here but keeping people detained indefinatly makes a mockery of what we went to war for.It makes,in a way,us no better than what was going on in Iraq before Saddam was removed.
I'd not go that far, for instance I can't recall the last time we tortured our national football teams for losing. But yes, there is a little irony in what the U.S went to do and is now doing.
You're right there. But with the allegations of torture against the G-Bay,who know's what goes on there.Is the 'interrogation' done by the Slime a breach of the basic needs & right's of a human being?Do they stick by the 'book'?Who knows but we (I hope!) are far more civilised & respectfull of our fellow man than Sadamm will ever be.
 
#5
So we're demonstrating our 'independence' by calling for the closure of Gitmo just when opinion in DC is swinging that way anyway? Well how brave of HMG.

Or rather, how pathetic.
 
#6
AndyPipkin said:
So we're demonstrating our 'independence' by calling for the closure of Gitmo just when opinion in DC is swinging that way anyway? Well how brave of HMG.

Or rather, how pathetic.
Or a deliberate, combined PR offensive... :wink:
 
#7
Is this from the same Goldsmith responsible for ensuring rapists and murderers etc are free to stalk our streets? The samer Goldsmith responsible for politically driven prosecution of troops whose feet he is not fit to lick?

When Goldsmith and his ilk sort out the failures of justice in this country, then they can criticise The States.

A pity we cant deport HIM to Guantanamo.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#11
...and in true " Special Relationship ? my ARRSE ! " fashion, Amerika responds:

UK told US won't shut Guantanamo

The US has rejected the UK government's calls for closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for terror suspects.
US officials said the camp housed dangerous people who could pose a fresh threat if they were released.

The UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said on Wednesday the camp's existence was "unacceptable" and tarnished the US traditions of liberty and justice.

The criticism shows a significant shift in the UK's stance on the camp run by its US ally, our correspondent says.


The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol
Lord Goldsmith


UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has, in the past, called the prison camp at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, an "anomaly".

But in the strongest criticism yet from a UK government minister, Lord Goldsmith said the camp had become a symbol of injustice.

"The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol," he said.

Lord Goldsmith is said to have serious doubts over whether the indefinite detention of "enemy combatants" is legal or fair.

International criticism

Responding to the criticism, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the US "would like nothing better" than to close Guantanamo down at some point in the future.

Echoing the words of US President George W Bush - who in a TV interview on Sunday said he would like to "end" the detention centre - he said: "Nobody wants to be a jailer for the world."

"But the fact of the matter is that the people there are dangerous people," Mr McCormack said.


Fundamental rights must be protected if we are to preserve our democracies but given the current threat to our national security we have to be flexible
Lord Goldsmith


"One thing we don't want to do is release people now who might at some point in the future end up on the battlefield facing our troops or somebody else's troops, or committing acts of terrorism against civilians."

A Pentagon spokesman said: "The dangerous detainees at Guantanamo include terrorist trainers, bomb makers and would-be suicide bombers, many who have vowed to return to the fight."

Around 490 detainees are in Guantanamo Bay, which opened in January 2002.

There has been international criticism of conditions at the US camp and the length of time detainees have been held there without trial.

Rights groups have said the detainees, held on suspicion of involvement in terrorism, are mistreated through cruel interrogation methods - a charge the US denies.

'Proportionate response'

Lord Goldsmith told the London-based Royal United Services Institute there was a case for limiting some rights for collective security.


But he said the right to a fair trial should never be compromised.


Nine British nationals at Guantanamo were returned to the UK in 2004 and 2005 after government intervention.

Lord Goldsmith said the UK was "unable to accept that the US military tribunals proposed for those detained at Guantanamo Bay offered sufficient guarantees of a fair trial in accordance with international standards".

He went on to defend the European Convention on Human Rights and the UK's Human Rights Act.

"Fundamental rights must be protected if we are to preserve our democracies but given the current threat to our national security we have to be flexible about how we achieve this," he said.

Lord Goldsmith also defended the creation in the UK of new criminal offences in the Terrorism Act 2006 to counter "some features of al-Qaeda type terrorism which distinguish it from other forms of crime".

"Where we depart from traditional ways of guaranteeing civil liberties we should be clear that our actions are proportionate to the threat and needed to meet it," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk_politics/4760365.stm
...better late than never? This just in......testicle development surges at court of King Tony, shock horror, probe...pic.P3.....


Le Chevre
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#14
tomahawk6 said:
Maybe we could transfer the prisoners to the Black Hole of Calcutta instead. Or maybe the Maze ? It's available I think ?
T6 - if you are going to attempt to shame us red-handed Imperialists with our dark deeds from 200 years ago at least TRY and get the facts straight....the Black Hole of Calcutta was perpetrated by disgruntled pukka native types against the white running dog sahibs of the East India Company ( a sort of 18th C Halliburton....)

According to a survivor's account, disputed by Twentieth century revisionists, 143 British and Native troops were packed into a room within a captured fort which measured 20 feet square. By morning 23 were left alive.

The dungeon was a strongly barred room and was not intended for the confinement of more than two or three men at a time. There were only two windows, and a projecting veranda outside and thick iron bars within impeded the ventilation, while fires raging in different parts of the fort suggested an atmosphere of further oppressiveness. The prisoners were packed so tightly that the door was difficult to close.
One of the soldiers stationed in the veranda was offered 1,000 rupees to have them removed to a larger room. He went away, but returned saying it was impossible. The bribe was then doubled, and he made a second attempt with a like result; the nawab was asleep, and no one dared wake him.
By nine o'clock several had died, and many more were delirious. A frantic cry for water now became general, and one of the guards, more compassionate than his fellows, caused some to be brought to the bars, where Mr. Holwell and two or three others received it in their hats, and passed it on to the men behind. In their impatience to secure it nearly all was spilt, and the little they drank seemed only to increase their thirst. Self-control was soon lost; those in remote parts of the room struggled to reach the window, and a fearful tumult ensued, in which the weakest were trampled or pressed to death. They raved, fought, prayed, blasphemed, and many then fell exhausted on the floor, where suffocation put an end to their torments.
About 11 o'clock the prisoners began to drop off fast. At length, at six in the morning, Siraj-ud-Dowla awoke, and ordered the door to be opened. Of the 146 only 23, including Mr. Holwell (from whose narrative, published in the Annual Register for 1758, this account is partly derived), remained alive, and they were either stupefied or raving. Fresh air soon revived them, and the commander was then taken before the Nawab, who expressed no regret for what had occurred, and gave no other sign of sympathy than ordering the Englishman a chair and a glass of water. Notwithstanding this indifference, Mr. Holwell and some others acquit him of any intention of causing the catastrophe, and ascribe it to the malice of certain inferior officers, but many think this opinion unfounded.
So, that's alright then.....

And NOBODY in The Maze ( all of whom were sentenced via a court of law) ever received treatment remotely similar to that routinely given to detainees in Gitmo and other US administered detention centres.

Let me guess - you're from Bawston right ?


Le Chevre
 
#15
Of course, Americans are not unfamiliar with a prison where a distivctive garb was used , loud music played at all hours, sleep deprivation and tort... ooops 'enchanced interrogation techniques' and scant regard for the Geneva convention.

Hoa Lo Prison , Hanoi.

Whilst I detest Goldsmith with a vengeance and his selective amnesia when it comes to interpretation of International Law , he does make a point.

This is not America

"But the fact of the matter is that the people there are dangerous people," Mr McCormack said.
They are now Mr. McCormack. Wouldn't you be , if you were innocent, banged up and exposed to hostile interrogation?
 
#16
The point I am making is that Gitmo is not the harsh environment that the bleeding hearts like to make out. It is a prison,but it is a better place than if they were held in an Afghan prison or even Long Kesh. These people are terrorists and are unlikely to be reformed. I would have preferred that they be held in Afghanistan, tried and sentenced. Instead the powers that be decided that a tropical locale was better, where the terrorists can relax after the stress of jihad. They eat quite well.The Pentagon budgets $2.5 million per year for feeding the prisoners, which works out to $12.68 per person per day. Meals in federal prisons cost $2.78 per convict daily.
 
#17
These people are terrorists and are unlikely to be reformed
Sorry , have there been trials extablishing they are terrorists? Repeating the same phrase over and over does not make it the truth , and until we finally have these people in front of a Jury or a tribunal , to assess their guilt or innocence, we cannot say that every inmate of Gitmo is a terrorist , can we.

Now, if I was banged up in Caribbean chokey , innocent, and had that proven in law , believe me, someone would be reaching for their chequebook to compensate me for my time and discomfort.
 
#18
tomahawk6 said:
The point I am making is that Gitmo is not the harsh environment that the bleeding hearts like to make out. It is a prison,but it is a better place than if they were held in an Afghan prison or even Long Kesh. These people are terrorists and are unlikely to be reformed. I would have preferred that they be held in Afghanistan, tried and sentenced. Instead the powers that be decided that a tropical locale was better, where the terrorists can relax after the stress of jihad. They eat quite well.The Pentagon budgets $2.5 million per year for feeding the prisoners, which works out to $12.68 per person per day. Meals in federal prisons cost $2.78 per convict daily.
Does America not have the innocent until proven guilty concept in their law? We do in Britain and I cannot understand how a supposedly civilized country can hold so many people without putting them on trial. It is undemocratic and I think will go down in history as a dark point in American history. I am sure it is entirely probable a large number of the people being held have committed offences but until they are tried in a court of law I consider they are being detained unlawfully.
 
#19
Warrior_Poet said:
Is this from the same Goldsmith responsible for ensuring rapists and murderers etc are free to stalk our streets? The samer Goldsmith responsible for politically driven prosecution of troops whose feet he is not fit to lick?
Unless my memory is playing me false, this is the same Goldsmith who apparently did a 180 degree reversal on the question of whether it was lawful for the UK to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Nevertheless, whatever his personal shortcomings, he's quite right in calling for Gitmo to be closed.
 
#20
IRA suspects were given a lawyer and then a trial ? Or were some held without trial ? I don't think terrorists should be treated in the criminal jusctice system. They should be given a trial by military tribunal and then executed.
 

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