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View Diary: FBI and CIA Desperate Attempts To Cover Tracks (154 comments)

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  •  Spencer Ackerman has an article (20+ / 0-)

    at the Guardian: war prisoners not to be released, at end of war.

    Typically, when a war ends, so does the combatants’ authority to detain the other side’s fighters. But as the conclusion of the US war in Afghanistan approaches, the inmate population of Guantánamo Bay is likely to be an exception – and, for the Obama administration, the latest complication to its attempt to close the infamous wartime detention complex.

    In December, when President Barack Obama and his Nato allies formally end their combat role in Afghanistan, US officials indicate there is unlikely to be a corresponding release of detainees at Guantánamo who were captured during the country's longest conflict.

    The question has been the subject of recent internal debate in the Obama administration, which is wrapped up in the broader question of future detention policy.

    Already human rights groups and lawyers for the detainees say they anticipate filing a new wave of lawsuits challenging the basis for a wartime detention after the war ends – the next phase in more than a decade of attempts to litigate the end of indefinite detention.

    Guantánamo Bay detainees' release upon end of Afghanistan war 'unlikely'

    The prisoners held in Afghanistan should be remembered about this, too. It's a large and very grim system.
    •  There is no question that the US (17+ / 0-)

      has placed itself and its policies beyond the reach of international law. The refusal of the US Senate to ratify the treat establishing the International Criminal Court is but one example.

      •  Afghanistan is actually under ICC jurisdiction, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, BYw, aliasalias, koNko

        since early in the war.

        Afghanistan has been a “situation under analysis” since 2007, in which the prosecutor considers whether to open formal investigations into alleged crimes in violation of international law.

        ...

        The ICC prosecutor’s inquiry has continued for six years, longer than any other publicly pending ICC inquiry in such an early phase of examination.

        Afghanistan: ICC Prosecutor Finds Grave Crimes, Human rights Watch

        I don't know how ICC jurisdiction and reporting would work, for our own actions there.
      •  Harold Koh has an interesting take on that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett, Richard Lyon

        Full Disclosure: I respect Koh's work from the bench and the desk and had high hopes for him to influence the Obama Administration in a positive way. I think he did that but the jury of history will have to weigh-in later as you suggest.

        In a BBC HARDtalk interview 2013.05.30 you may find on the website or iTunes page, Koh basically makes the case that Obama has used the extent of his executive powers (a) to support and endorse the ICC and (b) close Gitmo. He allows that (b) remains a blight on Obama's record so far but insists on (a) and I think he actually has a point.

        Now where I part company with Koh is whether Obama used the full extend of his executive powers to deal with Gitmo whether that would take the form of "truth and reconciliation" (truth comes first, Bro) or through the Justice Department, and hes has shown more zeal prosecuting whistle-blowers than war criminals (funny how one has to move on when it comes to the latter but use the full extent of the law or more on the former; guess Obama doesn't like people talking about the bad stuff).

        Regrettably, Koh comes off the rails on drones. Slippery slope, Your Honor.

        I have the feeling that if there was a chance in hell of Congress ratifying the US treaty to the ICC Obama would have acted more on that, it's the kind of systematic change that appeals to his scholarly world view, but I just don't see him down in the weeds digging out the truth.

        Time to move on.

        No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

        by koNko on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:05:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't doubt that Koh is sincere (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          truong son traveler

          in saying that Obama would want to support and endorse the ICC, or close Gitmo, if the politics of it could be worked out.

          He also recently attempted to back the U.S. off from its position that international law does not apply internationally.

          But there is just an outright delusional quality to the international law people connected to the administration talking about the current situation as if we have normal policy dispute here.

          The U.S. treatment and conditions of confinement for prisoners at Guantanamo and in Afghanistan runs afoul of international law in ways so overwhelming, it is hard to express.

          We have a total national failure to deal with the most fundamental international obligations. It's not about policy disputes, or the limits of executive action.

    •  Maybe not a popular view (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, native, sweatyb, Just Bob, Don midwest

      but the Afghanistan war is not the same as a traditional war.  In a traditional war, there would be a negotiated peace treaty between the leadership of the opposing forces.  At that point prisoners of war would be returned to their home country.  That hasn't happened in this case because the leadership of the opposing force is still underground and continuing hostilities.  We definitely haven't had the peace treaty moment with the terrorist organizations that initiated the war.

      Having said all that, it makes me uncomfortable that we have Guantanamo and its prisoners.

      Understanding is limited by perspective. Perspective is limited by experience. America is a great place to live but it limits our ability to understand.

      by CindyV on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 11:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I look forward to a day when GITMO is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, truong son traveler, Garrett

      a tourist attraction a monument to America's shameful history, so that future generations of Americans cannot say this never happened.

      And hopefully history books will teach that one American president set up torture camps, and another American president refused to look back, to offer any accountability for such horrendous crimes, that he not only ignored it but worked actively to stop investigations in other nations.

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