Today I noticed this (my emphasis):
To the Republicans--
You have done a very nice job of making non-issues the issue. Great! You get an A for Spin. Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter have decided to mimic Martha Stewart and talk about Orange Glazed Chicken that was/is served to detainees. In fact, someone out there, Karl Rove I assume, has paid to publish The Gitmo Cookbook. Again--great! A+ for distortion, distraction and getting your irrelevant message out there.
Well, I didn't think it actually needed to be said, but no, Karl Rove has nothing to do with this site or the cookbook (Oh, if only we had his numbers!). This is the brainchild of one Laura Curtis, who as far as I know does not even have Rove's assistant's assistant's cell phone number. The genesis of the idea came from this very site. Now while I'm taking Chris' remark above as tongue in cheek, I think there's a certain irrelevancy in bringing up Rovian conspiracies as a way to attack something...particularly in a piece excoriating Republicans for bringing up irrelevancies.
As for the cookbook itself being irrelevant to the larger issue of Gitmo conduct, I again disagree. It is indeed relevant, as a way to show just how bend-over-backwards we are being toward these detainees who want to get me a shotgun and kill every American I see. Kevin Craver puts it into perspective in an excellent post:
So what are Gitmo inmates served for breakfast and dinner (they eat an MRE lunch)? Among the delicacies are baked tandoori chicken breast, mustard-dill baked fish, Lyonnaise rice, and fish amandine. Where you get your ingredients is up to you, but the dishes at Gitmo are certified halal, which means the ingredients conform with Muslim dietary laws.
As for a little further perspective, let’s look at what it takes for meat to be certified halal — it’s a lot more complicated than an imam looking at it and saying, “looks OK to me.” Because animal blood is considered haram, or unclean, the halal way to kill an animal is to slice through the arteries after saying “In the name of God, most gracious, most merciful.” The animal has to be conscious — it is unclean if it is stunned first. If you forget to pray before you cut, the meat is unclean, because Muslim dietary laws forbid eating meat slaughtered in the name of anyone but Allah.
Many Islamic food stores not only certify their meats as halal, but also have videotape of the slaughtering so the discriminating and strong-stomached Muslim customer can cook for the family with a clean conscience.
This is what we do for men who were captured trying to kill our troops, and for at least one who helped plan Sept. 11. What did the hijackers feed their passengers that fateful day? Come to think of it, what meal, if any, did Iraqi hostages get before their heads were sawed off?
If the allegations are that we're torturing Gitmo detainees, then their conditions at Gitmo become very relevant...and one of those conditions is necessarily the food they are given. It's also relevant because it becomes part of the sniff test...if routine "torture" is the order of the day at Gitmo, does it really make sense to believe we're physically torturing people in the manner of Nazi concentration camps but then turning around and giving them halal-certified food?
Chris' post then goes on:
It might have been the right thing to do for the Republicans, Conservatives and "The Girls" I mentioned above to study a little about guerrilla war, fighting terrorists, and psychological operations before they threw their hissy fits about the idea of closing Git mo. Closing down prisons that have the reputation Git mo has is a certified, recognized tactic in the kind of war we are fighting. It is not some evil, liberal plot to destroy America.Ok, that's fair as far as it goes. But look at who is aiding the terrorist tactic of putting out propaganda with the intent of closing down Gitmo. I don't think the serious non-strawman argument is, or was ever, that there's some evil liberal conspiracy afoot. Rather I think it's being snatched as a way for the Left to attack President Bush. And if it means going along with a tactic our enemies are using, well isn't that illustrative in and of itself? And we don't even need a conspiracy theory.
Chris goes on:
They also might have done some good had they acknowledged the few incidents at Guantanamo and in Iraq where soldiers stepped over the line and did bad things. They might have made the whole discussion easier had they said that this stuff shouldn't happen and those responsible for it should be punished. Hell, the Administration might have done that too. If we had been honest about the number of things we had done wrong, accepted responsibility for them and punished the people who did it instead of dancing around and looking like we were hiding things--we wouldn't be having some of the problems we are having now.
Again, that's fair as far as it goes. But I do need to point out that the Pentagon has in fact been investigating these things, and doing so even in lieu of media attention. The incidents at Abu Ghraib, for example, were under investigation well before a newsie got wind of it. And I think the Administration has been pretty honest about things. The soldiers who did do bad things have, in fact, been punished (or were those courts-martial something else?). But remember, the mere existence of an allegation does not make it true, nor is it necessarily worthy of attention. Didn't Newsweek go forward with a rumor...a RUMOR...about Korans being flushed down toilets? That the Administration denied it didn't seem to matter much at the time, did it? I guess the point here is if the default assumption is that the Administration is lying, don't waste time complaining that it isn't acknowledging allegations.
Posted by John Tant at June 16, 2005 08:13 AM
The trackback entry for this page is : http://www.inthehat.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/957
|Eddies in the Space-Time Continuum linked with Are You Kidding Me?|
|# June 16th, 2005 8:22 AM kris|
|Of course, let's emphasize that we wouldn't say "NO" to Karl Rove's money ;-) |
|# June 16th, 2005 9:41 AM Laura|
|Actually the idea was Kris's - see? |
|# June 16th, 2005 9:54 AM kris|
|Heh, I'm good at idea generation, but thank God there are people like Laura who will actually DO something with it! |
|# June 16th, 2005 10:20 AM BrianH|
|Don't I get a cut of that crazy Rovian conspiracy money?????
|# June 16th, 2005 10:24 AM Chris|
|I did mean it tongue and cheek--and I think I am going to buy your cookbook--Thanks, Chris |
|# June 16th, 2005 11:10 AM james|
Well, I didn't think it actually needed to be said, but no, Karl Rove has nothing to do with this site or the cookbook (Oh, if only we had his numbers!).
what john means, of course, is at least as far as he knows, karl rove has nothing to do with this site.
|# June 16th, 2005 4:55 PM BOYHOWDY|
|"...If you forget to pray before you cut, the meat is unclean, because Muslim dietary laws forbid eating meat slaughtered in the name of anyone but Allah."
Doesn't seem odd that in the hands of the hated enemy, that these prisoners _trust_ that the food they get _actually_ meets the halal standard required? I mean - obviously we tell them that it is, but if _you_ were a prisoner of _theirs_, would you believe anything they told you? Especially when the meat could be made 'unclean' by so simple an action as not praying before killing the animal? Doesn't it say something about us that our enemies are willing to take our word for something as important to them as this religious requirement, and as easy to lie about?
But _we_ don't believe us? weird!
|# June 18th, 2005 12:16 AM mbrlr|
|We have tortured people, we have treated people contrary to the Geneva Conventions, and we have done nasty things to the Koran in front of prisoners just 'cause we could. Real smooth moves for the world power, you betcha.
I don't care if we served them stellar banquets every damned day, they're there in contravention of every belief we've ever had as a nation and certainly testing the boundaries of our laws. None of them are bin Laden and the longer we keep them there in those conditions, the more terrorists we create in the Islamic world. Stop this nonsense and bring us back to the rule of law.
|# June 18th, 2005 6:45 AM Laura|
|If you think what has been done to Gitmo prisoners is torture, you ought to rethink your definition of the word torture. And as to our treatment of the Quran, it has been exemplary, FAR beyond the book deserved, and FAR beyond the treatment Muslims - terrorists or not - accord other religions symbols and artifacts. Try taking a bible into Saudi Arabia. |
|# June 18th, 2005 7:14 AM JohnTant|
|vis a vis doing "nasty things" to the Koran in front of prisoners, I wholeheartedly agree. There are certainly numerous and rampant confirmed incidents of the Koran being flushed down toilets. Being torn up. Being stood on. Brig. Gen Jay Hood investigated and found this to be true.
The only thing is, it was the Gitmo detainees themselves who were doing the "nasty things." Apparently this is like blacks calling each other Nigga...only devout Muslims are allowed to pee on their Holy Book.
Indeed, as Mark Steyn pointed out, Robert Mugabe destroyed a mosque, and nary a word from those easily-excitable Muslims. But rumor-mongering hyped-up stories sexed up by political opponents of President Bush are somehow on a par with killing Jews.
And funny...was there not a recent suicide bombing of a mosque in Kandahar, an act which Mark Steyn again pointed out had desecrated every Koran in the building? Not much outcry there, eh?
If you think what the gitmo detainees are experiencing is "torture," then as Laura says you are dumbing down the definition into meaningless. More than that, you are dumbing it down to insult all of the people in the world who have experienced real torture.
Say, mbrlr, where do you live? You wouldn't mind if we relocated those POWs to a minimum-security facility down the road from your house, would you?
|# June 18th, 2005 9:28 PM mbrlr|
|Well, we once relocated the Japanese to two places in Arkansas, so it would be right in line with that, wouldn't it? I'll start calling Guantanamo "Rohwer" in honor of that comparison.
"Far beyond the book deserved". Why do you say that and how do you conform that statement to the First Amendment? It isn't the Koran that's making these folks hate us or do these things, but our treatment of it won't help matters.
And it wasn't just Gitmo detainees acting up. It was the folks keeping and interrogating them and that would be...us. So we've all become terrorists, using their methods rather than those a democracy with rules and reason should employ. It's a concentration camp, all the nice words and supposedly good food notwithstanding. It's *our* concentration camp and may God help the Republic.
|# June 18th, 2005 9:57 PM Laura|
|mbrlr, no book deserves deferential treatment. It's a frigging book. We can burn flags, Saudis can burn bibles, crucifixes can be placed in urine and called art. This crap about we heathens wearing gloves and holding it with two hands is an utter and complete load of shit that ought not to be done. We owe these people NOTHING. POWs from other wars were not entitled to any court time, and they were held for the duration of the war. That's how it works. And, yes, it is emphatically and factually true that Muslims respect their "Holy Book" less than we do, evidence showing this has been cited on this website and many others, and if you read MSM reports carefully, between all the troop bashing, you will find it there too.
You don't have a ** idea what a concentration camp is if you think Gitmo is one. I'm done with you. You are insane. God help the Republic from asshats like you.
edited: Deleted f word
|# June 18th, 2005 10:06 PM Laura|
|Concentration camp. |
|# June 18th, 2005 10:43 PM mbrlr|
|Goodness, Laura, you seem upset and it wasn't my intent to do that. All I said was we were acting contrary to treaties we've signed and engaging in actions that violate the Constitution and our basic beliefs as a nation. You seem to think the Republic needs protection from me, but I rather believe the same thing about those who hold your views. But if there's no room for dissenting views or outlanders such as me in here, there's no reason to have a place such as this. Where's the fun in conversation on the issues? Or any real examination of them?
We are holding prisoners, some of whom are noncombatants and who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, in a camp where we engage in actions that are not sanctioned by treaties we have signed and we have no means or mechanism to get them home. The lack of planning and foresight sort of exemplifies the problems with the war.
I'm sorry, but it is essentially the same as a concentration camp when the United States engages in actions that are contrary to treaties, treating prisoners as we would never expect or abide US prisoners being treated in camps of our enemies, and simply treating prisoners in ways contrary to our own long-stated views about the treatment of prisoners. We're held to a higher standard, or at least we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. We're the United States and we're bound by our Constitution, for heaven's sake.
If I'm insane, so are a good many other Americans.
|# June 18th, 2005 10:47 PM mbrlr|
|Good site re concentration camps. I'd say ours is in the better part of town, but it's still a concentration camp and its very existence violates every principle of this Republic. BTW, is there a site that makes a comparison between the ones we've shipped off to other countries to be tortured and the gulags, etc. |
|# June 18th, 2005 10:48 PM mbrlr|
|Should have been a question mark at the end of the last one. |
|# June 19th, 2005 1:27 AM Walleye|
If the treaty you have been referring to is the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, then you are out of luck based on Article 4 supported by the Military Order regarding Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism. That aside, to continue to compare the conditions in Guantanamo Bay to a concentration camp demonstrate your ignorance of what happened in the concentration camps as well as what is happening at the detention center in GITMO.
You say that since we are the United States we should be holding ourselves to a higer staandard when it comes to treatment of detainees and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I think you would find that if you were able to compare how PVT Lynch was treated while in Iraqi care or how any of the POWs from Gulf War 1 were treated, you would find that the detainees in GITMO are being treated quite well.
A better comparison may be to look at how terrorists have treated US citizens (nearly all non-combatants by Geneva Convention classification). Mr. Berg comes to mind. I don't know that he was granted due process nor any protections under international law. Nope, pretty sure they killed him... Then there's all the 9/11 victimes. I think it is safe to say the passengers and crews on those jets were "detained" by their captors and we are all starkly aware of how that turned out.
So, it seems to me, we're doing pretty well. Can we do better, sure we can. The Abu Ghraib incidents were inexcusable and the perpetraitors are being dealt with as they should be. If further investigations into GITMO produce substantiable charges, those individuals will be dealt with as well.
But to say that what has reportedly happened in GITMO is anything like the forced labor, starvation, torture, and genocide that took place in the concentration camps, is ignorant and absurd.
|# June 19th, 2005 2:30 PM Laura|
|Do your own research, troll. You consistently respond to facts with rhetoric, abandon threads where facts that prove you wrong are posted, and make absolutely ridiculous comparisons. You're not worth my time. |
|# June 19th, 2005 5:42 PM Madcat|
|The Gitmo Cookbook is a great idea. Perhaps Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee should write the foreward. Bush was correct in calling the analogy by Amnesty Int'l of Gitmo to a Soviet Gulag "Absurd." The statements of Sen. Durbin really have made me mad and I emailed him expressing so and did as Newt Gingrich asked on Sean Hannity Radio Show emailed my Senators (Feinstein and Boxer) calling for the censure of Durbin. Newty knows best what would work with these guys-hit'em where it hurts the most. At the very least these guys have food and their HEADS still on! If they had been picked up at home in downtown Riyadh they would have some real torture-not "killer" puppet shows with "sissy-slap" plastic gloves and wearing paper hats and photographs, etc. The Saudis would have shown no mercy when it came to removing their HEADS, like the mercy Al-Queda showed Nick Berg and Daniel Berg, to name a few. I am so fed up with Dems in Congress.. They truly are Dummocrats! This is a great site along w/ Michele Malking and Matt Drudge... |
|# June 21st, 2005 1:02 PM mbrlr|
It's common for those who know they have no argument to attack others for making a valid one by insisting they haven't made their case. The jury right now is the American public and they seem to have caught on to the bill of goods they've been sold.
|# June 21st, 2005 1:11 PM BVBigBro|
|I agree mbrlr. That jury voted last november and expressed its' opinion rather clearly. |
|# June 21st, 2005 2:49 PM cokane|
"these detainees who want to get me a shotgun and kill every American I see."
What ever happened to innocent till proven guilty? You have no factual basis for the assumption that these men are in fact terrorists. Some of them probably are, but some of them probably are not. They haven't had a fair trial or any kind of due process so nothing's been proven.
Until you've proven that they're guilty, then their incarceration is a crime, and a very un-american crime at that.
|# June 21st, 2005 2:55 PM kris|
|No factual evidence? Uh, they were fighting with the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
Also, Gitmo detainees do have reviews:
Do the detainees continue to pose a threat to the United States and its allies, or are they of sufficient intelligence value to keep at this controversial outpost in the war on terror - or both? Those deemed to be neither are eligible for release.
Finally, incarceration until proven guilty is not a crime. Do you remember OJ Simpson coming to the courthouse each day during his trial? No, you don't because he was sitting in jail.
|# June 21st, 2005 2:58 PM BVBigBro|
|cokane: the people held in Guantanamo were taken in arms against the USA, in a foreign country, and not in the uniform of a combatant country. They have all, in fact, received hearings to determine their status. Some were released. They have no rights under the Geneva convention or under the U.S. constitution, nor have they ever had such rights by any other adminstrations interpretation of international law. Such people in the past were summarily executed. |
|# June 21st, 2005 3:18 PM cokane|
|BigBro thats a good name for the views you espouse. ;]
from your own linked news story:
"without seeing a lawyer or evidence, that decides his fate"
Seems like there's little way to defend yourself against charges if you cant see whats argued against you and if you have no access to a lawyer. This skirting of due process is far more offensive than any lack of meals or torture allegations. There's no due process so the people can't even know if these are real terrorists. Perhaps with a real trial, with real evidence presented to the defendant and a lawyer to try to rebut that evidence we could get to the bottom of things.
As is... we have no due process so we can't even know if these men actually are terrorists. We aren't even trying to prove whether they were terrorists or not. It seems to me that this government is not trying to solve the terrorism issue at all, but just finding a convenient temporary solution. Finally, OJ was held in a JAIL during his trial not a PRISON, only an idiot would think that was a fitting analogy.
|# June 21st, 2005 3:22 PM cokane|
|reading that article further I find it laughable that you even linked it. You call it a "review" but really it is just military bueraucracy at its finest. We could call K's fate in "The Trial" a "review", but that would be not be a very fair use of the term. |
|# June 21st, 2005 3:30 PM BVBigBro|
|There are no charges against these people. They were taken out of country. What would you charge them with? What court could have jurisdiction? How do you charge someone for violating US law when they are in a foreign country.? There is no skirting of due process, they are in the military's jursidiction. That is an unfortunate consequence for anyone who decides to take up arms in someone else's fight.
The point is they cannot, and never will be charged with anything. At some point in the future they will either be released to God knows where, imprisoned forever, or they will be executed.
|# June 21st, 2005 7:59 PM mbrlr|
|BVBigBro, you just made our point beautifully for those of us on the side that opposes both the war and the internment camps, but I'm not sure if you realize it. |
|# June 21st, 2005 9:11 PM BVBigBro|
|I realize it completely, but the point is in any past engagement these people would all of been shot or hung the next day and no one would have said a word. That was Washington's policy. That was Lincoln's policy. That was Lee's policy. That was Teddy's policy, and that was FDR's policy. These people were kept alive specifically to spare the feelings of everyone who wants to kiss a terrorist and make them feel better.
I dislike George Bush intensely. Crap like this is the reason I have to vote for him.
|# June 22nd, 2005 12:14 AM mbrlr|
|It wasn't the policy of any of those Presidents to treat prisoners in this way. And it certainly shouldn't be our policy now both for legal and practical reasons. Legally, it's not valid once away from the horror of 9/11 that's allowed the administration to take us down this path and practically, all we've done is ensure that many folks in that area of the world will be thinking of us in "jihad" terms for many, many years to come.
|# June 22nd, 2005 12:58 AM cokane|
|military tribunals have run for decades punishing criminal war acts such as terrorism. Military tribunals offer a public defender just like normal trials. There are differences between it and a civil trial of course, but it is a public affair, with a record we can access. This option isn't being taken; just prison time.
International Tribunals are another option for foreign nationals accused of terrorism.
Actually civil trials aren't out of the question either. If for example we caught someone accused of the earlier trade center bombing in al-Qaeda we could prosecute them in a civil court, under normal rules. It's been done before.
Actually all 3 of these options have been done. Israel, when they do apprehend foreign nationals for terrorism, try them in either civil courts or military tribunals.
The advantage is we can actually go through a well established process of proving whether these are the actual perpetrators we desire. We can actually solve the problem of terrorism through these means. I think indefinite prison time solves nothing, except to appease public concerns over "safety", but it will only be effective temporarily. To effecively combat terrorism in the long run you need to create proper channels for PROVING terrorist involvement. Otherwise, we really have no way of knowing whether the government is apprehending the right people. Why can't you understand that this will lead to a long-term failure in the War on Terror?
Right now the government can arbitrarily round up any foreign national it wants in Iraq or Afghanistan, as well as a couple of other places. The people in those places have no recourse if the US or certain parts of the US abuse their power. That is imperialism.
|# June 22nd, 2005 8:22 AM BVBigBro|
|Yes mbrlr, they did treat out of uniform combatants that way. But don't tell me. Tell it to Major Andre, or to the Germans from Skorzeny's commando groups that we tied to posts and shot in the Ardenne. Tell it to the confederate raiders that were routinely strung up by Union armies unless Lee had given them an official designation. The whole point is that these people are NOT prisoners.
The reason I can't stand this is that the idea that these people should get Geneva Convention treatment renders the document meaningless. The Geneva Convention codified rules of conduct that developed over several centuries. It established principles by which people would be treated, and armies would conduct themselves, during wartime. One of those principles is that armies acting outside the accepted code of conduct should have no protection. Those are the people being kept at Guantanamo, not POWs. Geneva did not exclude these people as an oversight. It did so intentionally in accordance with centuries of precedent because such people cause wars to degenerate to levels unnecessarily cruel to civilians.
Now I'm being asked to believe that all those people over hundreds of years were all wrong; that the real way to discourage such conduct is to treat it as a legitimate form of conducting warfare. That is pure nonsense, and precisely the kind of thinking that ensured George Bush got reeelected.
|# June 29th, 2005 8:09 PM Whatdawow|
|Amazing ! Very well done. The artwork on the cover is first rate. Keep up the good work. |
|# December 5th, 2005 11:39 PM mbrlr|
|BTW, the Ardenne? Pre Geneva Convention. Major Andre? Pre Constitution. The Confederate raiders? They were spies before...gosh! The Geneva Convention. Anyway, actions like that were foolish because they led to further "back at ya" incidents on both sides until even uniformed soldiers were treated improperly. Andersonville wasn't just because the South was poor by that point.
We're now in the position of explaining to the Europeans that we're acting like the very people we're fighting, but we're better because...well, gosh, we're all in this together, aren't we? Aren't terrorists bad folks. So, let's talk about something else, EU. Besides, you might be next, you know. We all have to stay in this together! En espanol, tripe like the preceding stuff we're now arguing to europeans is known as caca de vaca. It fits.
It makes me sick that my country should have been led to this point, not by terrorists, but by our President and his cabal.