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View Diary: Guantanamo detainees use Hobby Lobby in prayer rights fight (83 comments)

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  •  I believe the concern is to stifle information (7+ / 0-)

    flow and coordination between prisoners, which, if they're in solitary, I understand.  However, I also agree with you that prolonged solitary is not right.  Everyone deserves their day in court and keeping people, especially those at Gitmo who haven't done crimes (not sure if these guys did or not), well keeping people without charges/trial is un-American.

    •  Even that concern is just absurd on its face. (19+ / 0-)

      The prisoners have no knowledge that is useful at this time - years after their extra-legal imprisonment.  They'd have no clue who is where or who is doing what.  Just to keep people from talking to each other is another petty justification for petty actions.

      It's such a shame that Guantanamo wasn't shut down. We continue to get these tales of abuses large and small. The operation of the prison erodes our humanity as much as it does the prisoners'.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:08:14 AM PDT

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      •  Segregation is important (3+ / 0-)
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        ColoTim, penguins4peace, Mad Season

        Keeping prisoners separate is always important. "The Great Escape" is just a movie but it has some important truths.  Allowing prisoners to coordinate in any way is dangerous.  More importantly, community - things like prayer - are critical to maintaing hope and resistance.  Its my job as the jailer to deny you anything that would strengthen your resolve to resist or give you hope.  Read "This Kind of War" about the Korean War.  There is a whole portion of the book that relates to POW experiences.  It talks about how American prisoners did the worst partially because they had no community, no discipline, no structure.  The North Koreans spoke English and exploited what they heard and conducted effective psyops on the Americans.  The Turks on the other hand maintained discipline and community and were able to communicate freely and that had a major impact on their survival rate.  

        If GITMO were a "normal" prison with a punishment/rehab agenda this kind of segregation would likely not stand up.  But because of its quasi-POW construct, it will likely survive legal challenge.  

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:34:48 AM PDT

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        •  It is inhumane. It is wrong. Even the (8+ / 0-)

          administration admits these are not POWs.  We shouldn't be trying to mentally destroy human beings which have never even been tried.  We've swept up far too many people with no justification and imprisoned many for more than a decade on what?  

          Suspicion?  Some guy's word down the street, looking for quick cash from the reward for turning in "terrorists"?

          We shouldn't be operating on the level of North Korea, North Vietnam or a Soviet Gulag.  At least the America that I want to be a part of should not be doing such things.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:39:33 AM PDT

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          •  Oh believe me, I know (5+ / 0-)

            I know first hand about the people who got sent to GITMO because their neighbor wanted to bang their wife.  Or the ones there because we offered half the GDP of their village ($50) for every person they turned in.  

            But here is the funny part - most of those guys are gone.  Released by W in the waning days of his administration.  I am shocked we have not heard some W staffer crow about how many more people the evil Republicans released compared to Obama.  Trust me, it will come some day.  They will tell how they did their due diligence and released people who were "safe" while President Obama was terrible and never released anyone.  Never mind they basically cleaned out all the people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and left behind the hard core cases or worse the ones with no information to judge.  

            As for it being inhuman, yeah probably.  Thats why I get to go through training on how to survive if it ever happens to me.  War sucks.  Its supposed to suck so much you don't do it.  Thats why it gets started by chicken hawks.  

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:52:39 AM PDT

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        •  god forbid we should allow gitmo prisoners (2+ / 0-)
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          Garrett, davidincleveland


          i found your post slightly revolting. not your words-which i am sure have some truth to them-but how they reflect on american justice and common humanity. have any of these people actually been found guilty?

          •  Some have been, but I think most have never had (4+ / 0-)

            their cases come to trial and there are still 70 or so who have been determined to not be guilty of anything but for one reason or another (I believe one reason is that their original country won't take them back) they can't be sent back to where they were captured.  These people were accused and found innocent, or were accidentally swept up and they've done nothing wrong but they can't be released.  The US has to go to great lengths to bribe other countries to take them but also guarantee that they won't be just imprisoned in those countries (because theoretically they won't have the safety and security of Gitmo).  These folks should, imo, be compensated by the US for false imprisonment such that they never have to work again (indeed, I think many cannot work).

            I don't have good answers for how to close Gitmo's prison, but I've long been in favor of doing so.  The trials and those guilty can be handled by federal courts on the mainland and should any be found guilty, their sentences can be carried out at federal or military prisons.  Gitmo is a stain on America's honor and I just hope it's not permanent.  

            The Congressmen who wet their pants at the idea of Gitmo prisoners coming to US soil would stop once they see the money invested in trials and imprisonment.  They also should be called cowards and mocked for their lack of trust in America's justice system.  Many, however, are in the camp to prevent Obama from achieving the campaign promise because he's a black, Democratic president.

            •  Sadly GITMO is not that bad (1+ / 0-)
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              compared to many US prisons where we put US citizens.  

              The "return to sender refused" ones are really tough.  No one wants them or the ones that are willing to take them back only intend to execute them.  Total no-win for the US.  Got no answer, just too hard.  

              It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

              by ksuwildkat on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:09:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I agree - kinda (1+ / 0-)
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            If we were denying hope for a reason, I would have no problem with it.  But at some point, its just because.  Here is what I mean - when you first capture someone on a battlefield you want them to have maximum hope.  Hope is why guys decide to stop fighting before they are dead.  Hope is why they decide fighting is hopeless and choose the path of hope.  But once they re captured, you want to get information from them.  You execute your 5 Ss - Search, Segregate, Silence, Speed to the rear, Safeguard.  Now you can get into interrogations and its important for them to lose all personal hope so you can give it back to them.  They need to believe that the ONLY path to hope flows through you as the interrogator.  So I do everything possible to take hope from them and then selectively give it back - when I get what I want.  If these guys were denied community prayer because of a hunger strike I am all for it.  If they are allowed to defy a rule, to make their own decisions, they have hope and will to resist.  That spreads (See Hunger Games) and you have a problem.  So you have to crush that.  You have to make them know that you make the rules and you alone.  Comply and you get good things, no-compley and you don't.  

            So here is where I have issue with some of the folks at GITMO - they have been compliant for a long time.  At some point, you are withholding hope for no reason other than thats what you have always done.  That is bad.  Because if you lose all hope you don't care and then you will do anything.  We all possess superhuman strength and will.  Lack of hope unleashes that.  

            BTW - we spend a LOT of time teaching people how to non-comply as POWs.  Small victories over your captors are so important that we encourage even the tiniest forms of non compliance.  

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:06:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Prisoners at GITMO are allowed communal (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim, davidincleveland

          prayers during Ramadan. The motion here was filed on behalf of two prisoners who are being denied that right because they are involved in the hunger strike at the prison. It happened in 2013 and that policy is being implemented again this year.

        •  Prisoners coordinate a number of things. (1+ / 0-)
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          They can coordinate hunger strikes.  They can spread information (truth or heresay) that could lead to protests and unrest/noncooperation.  They can give each other tips on surviving their confinement and treatment.  They can find out news from newer people.  They may try and coordinate escapes or pass tips, but I'm thinking the likelihood of success is low, but when despair and desperation set in, the attitude could be "why not - what more could they do to me?".

          I'm not supporting this - I'm just explaining part of the rationale behind doing it.  It's not just to punish prisoners, though that's a major effect of it.

    •  if the US has such shoddy procedures where (5+ / 0-)

      communal talking is creating a risk of any kind maybe we need new procedures.i mean really- talking is a danger when you have people on an island with US military guards and last i heard they were in cages outdoors. did they ever actually build the prisoners real indoor facilities?

      gitmo is a national disgrace and always will be.

    •  prolonged solitary=psychological torture (1+ / 0-)
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      Fiona West

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