Saturday, September 12, 2015

GOP: No Closure of Gitmo or Jailing Terrorists in Federal Prisons

Aerial View of Gitmo (Camps 5 and 6)

Looks Peaceful Doesn't It????
(116 remain out of 680 detainees held from 800 original number)


A total of 116 prisoners still remain in Guantánamo. It is important to remember that 44 of them, like the majority already released over the past several years have been cleared for release some five years ago by President Obama's Guantánamo Review Task Force.

A total of 779 prisoners have been held at Guantánamo since it opened on January 11, 2002. Of those, 653 have been released or transferred.

President Obama promised to close the facility ever since he was a presidential candidate back in 2008, saying it runs counter to American values to keep people in prison, many without criminal charges, or due process for this long.

Opponents have argued the detainees are essentially prisoners of war which is legally false — cite the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (dated: August 12, 1949 (GCIII) defines the requirements for a captive to be eligible for treatment as a POW.   

A lawful combatant is a person who commits belligerent acts, and, when captured, is treated as a POW. An unlawful combatant is someone who commits belligerent acts but does not qualify for POW status under GCIII Articles 4 and 5 (which is the term the U.S. uses since President Bush pushed that through Congress and the courts). More on those definitions are here.

This update is from the AP — it sheds still more light on the resistance to closing the place, including Congress, and now in several states where Federal officials wanted to jail them.  

I ask again as I have before: What if our POWs in the undeclared VN war were still held in Hanoi. Would the GOP still act the same way. After all, North VN said that war was illegal and our captured personnel were "war criminals." Maybe the GOP should ask Sen. John McCain one more time.

Finally, why is the GOP so distrustful of our Federal prison system?

Thanks for stopping by.

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