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View Diary: Secret Afghani Trials For Detainees (32 comments)

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  •  Bush must be upset--25% acquittal rate nt (3+ / 0-)
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    Valtin, blueness, davidseth
      •  higher aquital rates than US courts (0+ / 0-)

        and much higher than if all of our cases went to trial (as opposed to the 90%+ that get plea bargained away.

        I don't shed too much of tear - most of those guys were caught at terrorist camps or while engaged in active combat with US forces.  That ought to be good enough.

        I'm more troubled in instances where someone was fingered and brought in on local testimony alone.

        "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

        by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 12:48:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  please (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          danger durden, davidseth

          provide competent evidence proving that, as you state,

          most of those guys were caught at terrorist camps or while engaged in active combat with US forces.

          Thank you.

          •  I've been to Iraq (0+ / 0-)

            most of the detainees we caught were those we engaged in direct combat with.  I'll assume it is the same over there.

            "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

            by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 12:58:22 PM PDT

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            •  with respect, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              davidseth

              that's not good enough. Many of those held at Guantanamo (and other sites) maintain that they were not involved in combat or terrorism. If you are going to assert that

              most of those guys were caught at terrorist camps or while engaged in active combat with US forces

              you need to prove it, with competent evidence admissible in a US court of law. Particularly when you precede your assertion with the callous throwaway that you "don't shed too much of a tear" for these people who have been immured in extralegal limbo for up to six years.

              •  Here is a list of all the detainees (0+ / 0-)

                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                Scroll thru and you can find where many of them were picked up.

                Happy reading.

                "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

                by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:34:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  no sir (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  davidseth

                  Wikipedia is not a reliable source even for lay research. Your bar is higher: competent evidence admissible in a US court of law proving that

                  most of those guys were caught at terrorist camps or while engaged in active combat with US forces

                  On this site, it is those who make an assertion, who are required to prove it.

                  •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

                    we're just a couple of folks on Daily Kos having a conversation. Not sure that our bar should even be as high as Wikipedias.

                    If you don't want to believe me, don't believe me. I don't care.

                    "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

                    by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:53:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  well, (0+ / 0-)

                      it's an important question, because many of these people claim that they have been imprisoned unfairly. There have been reputable reports that, as an example, some of these people were simply "sold," by personal enemies or bounty-seeking greedheads, to zealous US operatives still aflame from the attacks of 9/11. They have then been held, for up to six years, in extralegal limbo, where some of them have been abused and tortured. The US government has systematically worked to deny them the ability to demonstrate their innocence in anything reasonably resembling a standard US civilian or military court of law; the subject of this diary, these trials in Afghanistan, is but one example of this.

                      •  But I stipulated that (0+ / 0-)

                        That i am disturbed by those that weren't caught on the battel field.  

                        Did that in my original post.

                        But those that are caught in camps, or in the company of a bunch of know AQ fighters or on the battle field?  F' em.

                        So, if you want to say that group is 30%, fine.  If I want to say it is 60%, fine.  It doesn't change the validity of the point.

                        "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

                        by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:34:19 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  You fight someone who invades your country (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              davidseth

              and you are a "terrorist".

              Nice.

              Why were you engaged in "direct combat"? Where you storming Osama bin Laden's cave?

              Why were these people fighting you? Would you fight an army that came to the United States? Would that make you a terrorist?

              •  I've always drawn a distinction (0+ / 0-)

                between terrorists and insurgents.

                And, to answer your question, it would depend upon the manner in which I fought the foreign army that came to the united states.

                If I targeted soldiers and followed the rules and customs of warfare, I would not be a terrorist.

                If however I targeted civilians in an attempt to create ethnic strife and chaos, then yes, I would be a terrorist.

                When I was over there, I never took it personally when someshot at me, or fired mortars into my area or blew up my HMMWV with an IED.  I knew I was a legitmate target.  However, I did take it personally when a terrorist drove an explosive laden ambulance into a funeral and blew it up, killing 25 people and wounding many others, including the people I performed first aid on and the little kid whose body I had to step over repeatedly while performing that first aid.

                Yeah, THAT is terrorism.  Do you see the difference?

                "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

                by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:27:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I see the difference (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueness

                  And I hope you understand that you have just branded the U.S. leadership as terrorists for repeatedly targeting civilian targets in bombings.

                  Here's a comprehensive study of U.S. targeting of civilians in the current Afghanistan war.

                  When U.S. warplanes strafed [with AC-130 gunships] the farming village of Chowkar-Karez, 25 miles north of Kandahar on October 22-23rd,killing at least 93 civilians, a Pentagon official said, "the people there are dead because we wanted them dead." The reason? They sympathized with the Taliban1. When asked about the Chowkar incident, Rumsfeld replied, "I cannot deal with that particular village."....

                  Television photos taken by Britain's Sky News showed footage of the F-18 dropping bombs, hitting a mud and timber family home. The TV report said ten members of a family were missing under the rubble and another twenty were injured. A five year-old girl lay in a wheelbarrow with a bloodied face.

                  You can read the rest of the gruesome details on your own.

                  For U.S. targeting of civilians in bombings in World War II (a crime that aped the Nazis, but was done on even a grander scale). There was, of course, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo with civilian deaths in the tens and hundreds of thousands.

                  In his article, "The Firebombing Of Japan: An Apology -- Errol Morris Presents Robert S. McNamara, Larry Calloway points out that McNamara said in an interview with Morris, "[T]hat when [General Curtis] LeMay served under him in the Kennedy administration, the old general commented that if Japan had won the war they both would have been charged for acting like war criminals." To many, including especially those who served in the military during the war, this is ridiculous, morally absurd. Before getting into this, I should note that just on the fire bombing of March 9-10, 1944, near 100,000 Japanese civilians were killed, more than died in the Hiroshima atomic bombing. In the war overall, bombing of Japanese cities might have killed about 337,000, including my estimate of 165,000 by atomic bombs, the quintessential city and civilian killers. Equally indiscriminate bombing of German cities by the United States and Britain may have killed about 410,000 German civilians.

                  When you are in a war, you have to think the moral calculus is simple, or you wouldn't prosecute the task. But the reality, as you stand back from it, is far different, even monstrous.

                  •  War is Hell (0+ / 0-)

                    I've seen more than I would care to.

                    I will state that I never saw civlians targeted, and I will state that great care was always taken to avoid unnecssary property damage and loss of life.  Sometime too much so in my opinion.  That is my basis in fact - first hand knowledge.

                    I am sure that in all of your little pro-insurgent/terrorist website propaganda there are two sides to each of those tales.

                    As for WWII - yeah, civlians were targeted by both sides.  Go ahead and call FDR and Truman terrorists.

                    "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

                    by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 03:03:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I believe you in what you say you saw (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      blueness

                      I resent being your saying that I write or spread "little pro-insurgent/terrorist website propaganda".

                      As for the fundamentalist Islamicists, I was against them for decades. I spoke against both the mullahs in Iran and the Afghan mullahs over twenty years ago. The U.S. alliance with the latter paved the way for the growth of Islamic reaction, as some warned (though few listened).

                      I never set a criteria for being a terrorist... you did! I only drew the conclusions. And it's clear, if you listen to the McNamara interview in the documentary Fog of War, that they knew they were doing war crimes, and that they would be prosecuted and hanged if the U.S. lost the war. Of course, the Japanese engaged in horrendous war crimes. But then why did the U.S. often protect these Japanese war criminals after the war, such as those in the infamous Unit 731?

                      Study history and learn what really happened.

        •  Sorry, but that's a low acquittal rate. (0+ / 0-)

          Compared to US courts.  I have no idea what you're basing these statements on.

          Visit The Dream Antilles, a lit blog. Another Proud Member of the Mariachi Mama Moratorium On Bickering.

          by davidseth on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:26:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right here (0+ / 0-)

            Our jury conviction rate is 84%.  (Japan's aquital rate is less than 1%, China's 9%)

            http://papers.ssrn.com/...

            Where are your numbers from?  Or, are you just talking?

            "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

            by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:29:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. (0+ / 0-)

              You're looking at 84% conviction rate in FEDERAL jury trials, which are the pick of the litter, picked by prosecutors because they're supposed to be strong cases.  The overwhelming number of cases tried in the US are not tried in federal court, they're tried in state court. here are NY numbers.  Look at 2006:

              109,661 convicted, 37,960+856+13,812=52,628 not convicted, for a whopping total of 48% (rounding up).

              And that doesn't count misdemeanors, where conviction rates are even lower.

              Visit The Dream Antilles, a lit blog. Another Proud Member of the Mariachi Mama Moratorium On Bickering.

              by davidseth on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:37:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You wouldn't look so ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

                if you actually understood math.  You have to add the convictions to the non convictions to get the total number of cases, you then use that as your denominator (that means the number you devide by) to get your %.

                Looking at 2006, they had 162K cases.  109K resulted in convictions, or 67%.  53K were dismissed by one way or another.

                Now, they also had 2699 go to trial.  Of those 68% resulted in convictions.

                So, it is still higher.  Also, ALL jury trials are picks of the litter.  The prosecutor only wants to take those to trial s/he realistically feels they can win.

                You have done your side a grave disservice.

                "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

                by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:51:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OK I f*cked up the math. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueness

                  As far as "my side" and the "grave disservice" I allegedly did to it, "we're just a couple of folks on Daily Kos having a conversation."

                  Visit The Dream Antilles, a lit blog. Another Proud Member of the Mariachi Mama Moratorium On Bickering.

                  by davidseth on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:06:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's fair (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blueness

                    I can appreciate your admiting the mistake instead of weaseling around it.

                    My grave disservice remark was just a tongue in cheek tweak.  As one of the few conservatives on this board, I seldom get unqualified victories as posters arguing a losing battle are frequently rescued by someone else.  

                    I have to spike the ball when i get the chance.

                    "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

                    by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:38:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hmm. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      blueness

                      I don't usually think of this as a debating society.

                      So note, if you will, that even with your correct arithmetic, the resulting conviction rate is significantly lower than those in these kangaroo courts, which was my point in the first place.

                      So you're here to argue?  to win ideological battles?  I don't get it.  Mind explaining to me what you're doing?

                      Visit The Dream Antilles, a lit blog. Another Proud Member of the Mariachi Mama Moratorium On Bickering.

                      by davidseth on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:55:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Why would anyone (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        blueness

                        want to go somewhere were everyone just agrees with them and parrots what they say?  I'd rather jump into the snake pit (not calling anyone here snakes, just an analogy).  It's a lot more fun.

                        "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

                        by headhunt23 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 03:08:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  Can you imagine how awful the proof is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samer, kurt, blueness

      if you get a 79% conviction rate in a kangaroo trial?

      Unbelievable.  These trials are supposed to end in long term imprisonment.

      Visit The Dream Antilles, a lit blog. Another Proud Member of the Mariachi Mama Moratorium On Bickering.

      by davidseth on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:24:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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