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Author Topic: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system  (Read 1151 times)

jgruber

  • Guest
Here's a new development in the story of prisoners in the 'war on terror'.

http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000102&sid=ajlrO1MibuHI&refer=uk

Lawyers are acting on the recent supremes decision.

but here's my question.  How in the world can anyone justify holding prisoners (of war or otherwise) without access to either the IRC or the courts and without identifying them to the public when we are supposed to be a free country under the rule of law?  This is a serious question, not bait for an argument.  What is the legal justification?

Ginatio

  • Guest
Re: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2004, 03:08:14 PM »
clear and present danger from enemy combatants?

the ones in gitmo aren't on u.s. soil, aren't u.s. citizens, and were picked up in iraq or afghanistan bearing arms against our soldiers.

and their legal rights both in international law and war-time law is, i think, in a gray area that the government is taking advantage of.

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2004, 03:11:29 PM »
I can understand why governments would take advantage of the situation, but why no access to the legal system or IRC?  What is the justification for holding someone completely incommunicado?

clear and present danger from enemy combatants?

the ones in gitmo aren't on u.s. soil, aren't u.s. citizens, and were picked up in iraq or afghanistan bearing arms against our soldiers.

and their legal rights both in international law and war-time law is, i think, in a gray area that the government is taking advantage of.

Ginatio

  • Guest
Re: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2004, 03:18:12 PM »
I think originally they used the excuse that they were afraid the prisoners would send veiled messages somehow back to sleeper cells around the world... which is patently false, since these guys were all essentially militia men picked up in the sticks... and any other hapless soul in the wrong place at the wrong time.

i think what it boils down to is that they needed very little justification in the aftermath of 9/11, but now it's starting to catch up to them.

I can understand why governments would take advantage of the situation, but why no access to the legal system or IRC?  What is the justification for holding someone completely incommunicado?

clear and present danger from enemy combatants?

the ones in gitmo aren't on u.s. soil, aren't u.s. citizens, and were picked up in iraq or afghanistan bearing arms against our soldiers.

and their legal rights both in international law and war-time law is, i think, in a gray area that the government is taking advantage of.

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2004, 03:19:37 PM »
I don't disagree with you. I was just wondering if anyone who supported, condoned or tolerated the situation had offered a legal justification.

I mean this is Soviet style incarceration, isn't it?

I think originally they used the excuse that they were afraid the prisoners would send veiled messages somehow back to sleeper cells around the world... which is patently false, since these guys were all essentially militia men picked up in the sticks... and any other hapless soul in the wrong place at the wrong time.

i think what it boils down to is that they needed very little justification in the aftermath of 9/11, but now it's starting to catch up to them.

I can understand why governments would take advantage of the situation, but why no access to the legal system or IRC?  What is the justification for holding someone completely incommunicado?

clear and present danger from enemy combatants?

the ones in gitmo aren't on u.s. soil, aren't u.s. citizens, and were picked up in iraq or afghanistan bearing arms against our soldiers.

and their legal rights both in international law and war-time law is, i think, in a gray area that the government is taking advantage of.

Ginatio

  • Guest
Re: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2004, 03:26:27 PM »
I was privy to a panelist discussion of this when I went to Georgetown's open house... and the supporters basically all said that legally, these people presented a danger to the troops in afghanistan, so they were taken to gitmo to be investigated and interrogated to see if they had any connections with al qaeda.

alice fisher, who used to be some sort of head person down at gitmo, kept stressing the point that these people's files were being reviewed and re-reviewed every day in order to determine whether or not it was safe to let them go. and the reason the process is opaque is chalked up to national security and that they can't divulge information that would give away u.s. intelligence gathering techniques.

the other side was decrying the lack of a fair trial, and were arguing for military tribunals for the people in gitmo and a more transparent process so that the world could see justice was being done.

the problem that this presents, ultimately, is that one side wants to presume guilt until proven innocence, and the other side wants to hold trial before enough information is gathered to possibly implicate a prisoner.

at this point in the game (close to 3 years after 9/11), I don't see the harm in holding open court against the prisoners... and i don't know what the new justification is for keeping them there, if any.

id also be interested to find out, if anyone knows

I don't disagree with you. I was just wondering if anyone who supported, condoned or tolerated the situation had offered a legal justification.

I mean this is Soviet style incarceration, isn't it?

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2004, 03:29:48 PM »
A good explanation, but...

I can agree to holding them to prevent further harm.  It's similar to holding the defendant without bail.

But why were they held secretly and without representation?  They could at least give them limited access to lawyers.

Ginatio

  • Guest
Re: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2004, 03:35:33 PM »
well.. they're not u.s. citizens, and they're not on u.s. soil, so their right to an attorney is non-existant. i don't really see what an attorney could have done for them, regardless... they were essentially being held without charge, but with suspicion of intent...

i guess the military could have been nice and offered them representation, but their argument is that the case handlers at gitmo did just that... looked at their cases and tried to determine whether or not they should be let go on a daily basis.

and i'm not sure how secretly they were being held... didn't the red cross and other humanitarian organizations go in every once in awhile and check up on them?

A good explanation, but...

I can agree to holding them to prevent further harm.  It's similar to holding the defendant without bail.

But why were they held secretly and without representation?  They could at least give them limited access to lawyers.

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Prisoners held incommunicado and without access to the legal system
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2004, 03:39:17 PM »
non-citizen has rights.

not on u.s. soil changes it slightly, but it is under us control

I don't think the red cross has seen them, but I could be wrong.

well.. they're not u.s. citizens, and they're not on u.s. soil, so their right to an attorney is non-existent. i don't really see what an attorney could have done for them, regardless... they were essentially being held without charge, but with suspicion of intent...

i guess the military could have been nice and offered them representation, but their argument is that the case handlers at gitmo did just that... looked at their cases and tried to determine whether or not they should be let go on a daily basis.

and i'm not sure how secretly they were being held... didn't the red cross and other humanitarian organizations go in every once in awhile and check up on them?

A good explanation, but...

I can agree to holding them to prevent further harm.  It's similar to holding the defendant without bail.

But why were they held secretly and without representation?  They could at least give them limited access to lawyers.