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June 23, 2005

Rasmussen Reports on Guantanamo

June 22, 2005--A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 20% of Americans believe prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have been treated unfairly. Seven-out-of-ten adults believe the prisoners are being treated "better than they deserve" (36%) or "about right" (34%).
--Rasmussen Reports

In spite of the politically motivated lies of the left which have been invested in a massive disinformation campaign, they've convinced virtually nobody. The only people who are convinced are those who, arguably, will believe anything that slanders America and/or the current administration: the far left contingent. These are people who want us to believe it's true and therefore, as tools of the campaign, are willing to say so in polls like this one.

Nice try guys.

Posted by Jeff at June 23, 2005 05:35 AM

Comments

Polls about Iraq however, show that more and more Americans want the U.S to pull out of Iraq. More and more Americans also think that their country should not have invaded Iraq in the first place.

But who cares about polls, we need to have facts about Guantanamo. And according to this article (http://shows.airamericaradio.com/maddow/node/743). that isn't easy. It is hard for a journalist to visit the camp, even if the President invites you to do so.

Posted by: dollev at June 24, 2005 05:05 AM


"more and more"? So one person wanted to pull out of Iraq two months ago, two people wanted to pull out last month, and this month three people do? That's "more and more".

Besides, (and fortunately), setting policy according to polls is a bad idea.

Posted by: Jeff at June 24, 2005 02:13 PM


The poll was mentioned in the Rachel Maddow show on july 22. Maddow said this: "6 in 10 Americans think we need to withdraw some or all of our troops from Iraq. 51% of Americans say we should never gone to Iraq in the first place".
I'm not saying that the poll is incoherent with the survey you wrote about. The questioned Americans are probably not so much against their government's "anti-terrorist policy", they are against the price they have to pay for it themselves. And the Iraq policy is starting to demand more than the average American is willing to pay (money or blood) for it. Ignoring human rights, when it comes to Guantanomo bay, is o.k to them.

"Besides, (and fortunately), setting policy according to polls is a bad idea."

I agree. Policies should be based on facts.

Posted by: dollev at June 25, 2005 02:55 AM


No Jeff. It shows how uncivilised the US public has become (if it is a representaive cross-sectioned who were polled).

It shows what a sorry-state of affairs currently exists in the once proud protector of the weak.

It shows the decline of morality in the USA, which now is nearer to Germany in the 1930s in it's view of its place in the world.

Any one who condones what is happening in Gitmo has my pity, as well as a certain amount of contempt.

Posted by: kenny at June 25, 2005 05:44 AM


@dollev: I'm against the price that I have to pay for public schools and the welfare state. So what?

@kenny: I won't defend against that. There'd be no point. Heck, maybe you don't like vanilla ice cream, either.

Posted by: Jeff at June 25, 2005 06:01 AM


I love vanilla icecream.

Rather like the shame Germany carried after WWII, I think decent minded Americans, Reps and Dems alike will look back on the whole Dubya era with regret: "how did we allow this to happen? How were we suckered into that?"

:-(

Posted by: kenny at June 25, 2005 06:55 AM


"I'm against the price that I have to pay for public schools and the welfare state. So what?"

I really don't want to vent an opinion about U.S. domestic policy and i'm not sure why you are bringing this up in the first place.

Back to the topic of your blog entry, the prisoners in Guantanomo. Is there a bottom line for you where you will say "that's it, i can no longer defend my government on this". For example when the Guantanomo prisoners are being held captive for another five years. Five more years where they are stripped from basic human rights like having a fair and public trial, contact with their family and loved ones; stuff that every ordinary serial killer would take for granted.

Where do you draw the line Jeff?

Posted by: dollev at June 25, 2005 03:15 PM


A fair and public trial is a "basic human right"? I will attempt to type through my laughter. Call Geneva - someone commenting on a weblog wants change the conventions.

Contact with friends and family members is something that they certainly shouldn't have, unless the interrogators are able to use such contact to make a prisoner LESS comfortable. Nothing that makes them *happy* should ever be provided to them. To assert otherwise is to be absurd.

And, for the record, serial killers are deprived of contact with their friends and loved ones through a great and noble process which deprives them of oxygen: the death penalty.

So where would I draw the line with the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?

If they were being tortured, for example, I'd draw the line. There, that was easy. Aren't you glad you asked? And, since I'm a far more compassionate person than those on the left, I'd also require for torture to have actually happened at Guantanamo before I'd accuse America of participating in it. I think that'd be fair. Don't you?

But how about specifics. I am absolutely against:

1) The housing of political prisoners who have done nothing wrong, but instead have a different point of view than the government. This is taking place just a stone's throw from Guantanamo Bay in a REAL GULAG - one run by Fidel Castro.

2) I'd be against gassing them on a massive scale, as Saddam Hussein did to the people of his country.

3) I'd be against loading their vehicles up with bombs, then detonating the bombs remotely once the vehicles entered areas crowded by civilians, killing the drivers and the crowds, like the foreign terrorists are doing in Iraq today.

4) I'd be against them having their heads sawed off and videotaped to create enlistment tools for people who get a rise out of that sort of thing, and to attempt to strike fear into those of us who don't.

5) I'd be against taking them hostage and having them make videos to their friends and loved ones telling their loved ones that they're going to have their heads slowly sawed off unless their loved one's country's heads of states supply them with money, or weapons, or other demands.

6) I'd be against them having their hands chopped off if they displeased our president, as was the case when some displeased Saddam Hussein.

7) I'd be against having their heads sliced off, then having their heads delivered to their wives, as Saddam Hussein did.

8) I'd be against having them brutally beaten for failing to come in first in an Olympic Games event, because they'd failed to demonstrate Iraq's supremecy.

There are, of course, mitigating circumstances (for a movie version, see the Dirty Harry flicks). Suppose, as a hypothetical, there was one individual who, on September 10th, was caught attempting an obviously terrorist act, and who also obviously knew of another terrorist act (i.e., September 11th) about to take place. And suppose one of his obviously overzealous interrogators failed to read him his rights, and beat the details of the would be September 11th attacks out of him - thereby preventing, say, 1/2 of the 9/11 attacks.

And suppose, for example, he was caught along with another individual who, instead, was afforded all of his rights as prescribed by law, and who a day after the attacks spilled the beans about all that he knew - knowledge which, had it been beaten out of him, would've prevented the other half of the attacks.

Just suppose.

I'm not sure that I'd be as happy with the one who followed procedures ("I was just following orders" - we've heard that before) and failed to prevent the attacks. Of course, the judgment in that hypothetical is based upon 20/20 hindsight.

But it shouldn't be forgotten that these are the people being made uncomforable in Guantanamo.

Posted by: Jeff at June 25, 2005 04:32 PM


"A fair and public trial is a "basic human right"? I will attempt to type through my laughter. Call Geneva - someone commenting on a weblog wants change the conventions."

Geneva? I can't recall that i called the Guantanamo prisoners POW's. Not that they shouldn't have that status, but the U.S. decided to label them as terrorists, that gives them the status of criminals. Criminals go to a court to be trialled. No, they aren't labeled as criminals, before they are trialled and judged by a court of law. It is the proper way to do things.

"So where would I draw the line with the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?

If they were being tortured, for example, I'd draw the line."

No you don't. You downplay it, like in your post of june 15. "There's no severing of limbs, nobody is being put on a rack and having their spines stretched, no one is forced to watch as their compatriots are chopped up with chainsaws."
I would never compare Guantanomo with what happened in the nazi camps or soviet gulags. But what seems to be happening over there according to the FBI report, are flagrant breaches of human rights. I can also imagine that the all of it combined, could make life for detainees unbearable and that the treatment can cause irreparable damage to someone's physical and mental health.

"1) The housing of political prisoners who have done nothing wrong, but instead have a different point of view than the government. This is taking place just a stone's throw from Guantanamo Bay in a REAL GULAG - one run by Fidel Castro."

How can you be sure that any of the prisoners at Guantanamo are guilty of anything? Or is the mere fact that they are in prison proof enough for you?

"2) I'd be against gassing them on a massive scale, as Saddam Hussein did to the people of his country."

Yeah i almost forgot about that one. "In 1988, Saddam's forces attacked Kurdish civilians with poisonous gas from Iraqi helicopters and planes. U.S. intelligence sources told The LA Times in 1991, they "believe that the American-built helicopters were among those dropping the deadly bombs."

In response to the gassing, sweeping sanctions were unanimously passed by the US Senate that would have denied Iraq access to most US technology. The measure was killed by the White House." ( http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0802-01.htm )

But ok., worldwide known medieval and nazi cliches are a no-no to you.

"3) I'd be against loading their vehicles up with bombs, then detonating the bombs remotely once the vehicles entered areas crowded by civilians, killing the drivers and the crowds, like the foreign terrorists are doing in Iraq today."

You don't have problem when civilians are bombed by foreign stealth bombers?

But you made your point. You are against torture when it is very graphic, or when the method that is used is done in classic medieval, nazi or saddam style. If they will do that in Guantanomo you will stop supporting it's existence. But what is happening there over now, is fine by you. Or i should say, *seems* to be happening over there, because there is no way to know for sure what is going on exactly. There is also no way of telling why these people were imprisoned and how (or even if) the U.S government will determine that these people are indeed guilty of something. Beard + quran + kalashinikov is not always equal to terrorist, especially in a country like Afghanistan, where there hasn't been peace in 25 years.

Regarding your "what if" story about 9-11: if the plains would have been equipped with bulletproof doors that had locks, 9-11 would have been a day like any other. It's a tragedy that people think they can achieve things by throwing their rights out of the door when they can accomplish the same, and even more, with common sense.

Posted by: dollev at June 27, 2005 08:10 AM


"...the U.S. decided to label them as terrorists, that gives them the status of criminals."

No, it doesn't. At least I don't see that it does.

"Criminals go to a court to be trialled. No, they aren't labeled as criminals, before they are trialled and judged by a court of law. It is the proper way to do things."

And the current method for those in Guantanamo is "the proper way to do things", as best as I can tell.

"...what seems to be happening over there according to the FBI report, are flagrant breaches of human rights."

No, they aren't.

"How can you be sure that any of the prisoners at Guantanamo are guilty of anything? Or is the mere fact that they are in prison proof enough for you?"

If they'd been put there by Fidel Castro, it would not be enough. However, they were put there by angels: The government of the United States of America. In either case, whether it be Castro or the United States, carrying signs and picketing them is very low on my priority list. If I'm not picketing against Castro, you think I'd do it against the United States? If it's a matter of voting, then, take heart: I voted for the candidate least likely to put up with Castro's crap. Priorities. Priorities.

"In 1988, Saddam's forces attacked Kurdish civilians with poisonous gas from Iraqi helicopters and planes. U.S. intelligence sources told The LA Times in 1991, they 'believe that the American-built helicopters were among those dropping the deadly bombs.' "

A suspect was arrested following a stabbing which occurred last week. The maker of the knife was...oh, wait, I don't care. Had the suspect driven a General Motors car to make a getaway, I wouldn't hold that against General Motors, either.

"You don't have problem when civilians are bombed by foreign stealth bombers?"

Of course I do. I also have a problem with the devastating side-effects of chemotherapy.

"Or i should say, *seems* to be happening over there, because there is no way to know for sure what is going on exactly. There is also no way of telling why these people were imprisoned and how (or even if) the U.S government will determine that these people are indeed guilty of something."

Ever been married? Wife ever leave the house? Marriage *seems* to be okay, but there's no way of telling what she's doing when she's not directly in your line of sight. Best you hire a private investigator to find out. There's just no way of telling if she's indeed guilty of something. But, back to Guantamo: is there a way for me, personally, to know why any individual in Guantanamo was imprisoned? No. Is there a way for Rumsfeld to know? Yes, I think there is.

"Regarding your 'what if' story about 9-11: if the plains would have been equipped with bulletproof doors that had locks, 9-11 would have been a day like any other. It's a tragedy that people think they can achieve things by throwing their rights out of the door when they can accomplish the same, and even more, with common sense."

I find it ironic that this last statement ended with the words, "common sense". Sorry.

Posted by: Jeff at June 27, 2005 09:11 AM


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