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Letters to the Editor

Fear tactics

August 13, 2009

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To the editor:

For the record, I must say that I could not disagree more with Sen. Brownback and the rest of our “just say no,” to everything, Kansas congressional delegation (minus one notable exception). Kansans should step up, show some courage, as we have often done in the past, reject the scare tactics being used by too many of our political “leaders,” and help the Obama administration take the necessary steps to close the shameful prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. If that means holding some of the suspected terrorists at Fort Leavenworth until they are finally given a fair hearing, trial, or etc., so be it.

Because I am a Kansas historian by profession, I was interviewed for and quoted in an Associated Press article by John Milburn published in the Aug. 6 Journal-World. In a feeble attempt to characterize my take on 1940s Kansas attitudes toward German POWs and the victims of our nation’s Japanese internment policy, I might have left the wrong impression. The times, issues, and attitudes were different, of course, but there are some important parallels.

Then, as now, unfounded fear and prejudice helped Americans justify the inhumane and unjust treatment of a “suspect” ethnic minority simply because they were perceived as being different and untrustworthy; but for whatever reasons, Kansans of the “greatest generation” did their duty when it came to captured German enemy combatants. Why not do so this time? We just might, if we don’t fall prey to fear tactics, again.

Comments

none2 4 years, 8 months ago

This whole debate makes no sense. We spend money right and left like there is no tomorrow. Do we want to add the cost of relocation to all that?

Leave them where they are at. If they are mistreated, stop it. If they are supposed to get a court appearance, give it to them. It is so simple, you can choose to do the right thing whether it is in your back yard or in someone else's. Unless the Cuban government is threatening to drop a bomb on the camp, they can be as well taken care of there as they would be here.

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ardoardoardo 4 years, 8 months ago

Again,you people act like they'll be detained indefinitely.

Once the jihadis are given a fair hearing, and it is determined that Sergeant Smith didn't read Mohammed his rights within 72 hours of finding him wiring a school to explode with a bunch of 7 year old girls in it, Mohammed and all his buddies will be released exactly where?

And those of us with 7 year old girls are supposed to not give in to “fear” because we have received assurance from which notorious non-liar that he will keep us safe?

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Shelley Bock 4 years, 8 months ago

Bring them to Lawrence. Construction jobs building the facility; lots of jobs for security running the place. As someone pointed out, build it as secure as Leavenworth and no one will break out. Leavenworth seems to love their facility, why can't Lawrence have one too.

Besides, this would give all of you against the idea a good excuse to buy all the firearms you can get your hands on. Wife won't complain when she's got her own AK-47. Just don't be demanding on her.

Once again, the majority of the Kansas congressional delegation works against bringing jobs to Kansas. I do wonder "What's Wrong with Kansas"?

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kubacker 4 years, 8 months ago

Detain them in a facility on West Campus, because there is no chance Islamic extremists would ever make their way to Lawrence and blow up half the town to punish the infidels and divert the attention of our 19 city cops.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Please don't bring them Leavenworth, bring them to Lawrence!

Great idea! Maybe we can put the homeless there as well.

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

“God, I miss Cheney.”- ardo cubed

you are probably the only one left on the planet

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bad_dog 4 years, 8 months ago

"God, I miss Cheney."- ardo cubed

Go hunting with him some time. Given his record, chances are pretty good he won't miss you...

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ardoardoardo 4 years, 8 months ago

Bush was idiotically merciful.

Obama is an idiot. And no, they won't escape, but they will be released.

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ardoardoardo 4 years, 8 months ago

"We should follow the same rules for them that we expect for ourselves."

We expect, that when our soldiers are engaging in killing civilians, out of uniform, when they are caught, they will be summarily executed in accordance with the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions,.

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grammaddy 4 years, 8 months ago

The prisoners at Gitmo have not had trials. They deserve that much. How can we hold up our democracy as the best in the world if we don't give them that. We should follow the same rules for them that we expect for ourselves.

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RogueThrill 4 years, 8 months ago

It's pretty awesome sitting in my arm chair talking about why and how we should kill a bunch of prisoners. I feel like a big man.

Of course, when someone mentions detaining them in a high security federal prison 100 miles down the road I turn into a gigantic, quivering wuss.

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bornInABarn 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow. When I lived in Kansas people weren't afraid of the bad people that were locked away in Leavenworth. There wasn't widespread fear that they would break out and terrorize the locals.

What happened? Has the security gone to hell there? Is it easy to break out now? Or, do you think that these Gitmo detainees are some breed of super villains that's going to manage to escape and wreak havoc on the state? This isn't the movies. These are just people, and they have now superpowers that they can use to break out.

Lock 'em up. What are you scared of?

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Practicality 4 years, 8 months ago

Dr. Dean,

Although I am not against housing the terrorists here in Kansas, I do think there is a difference to the parrellel that you are trying to make.

"Kansans of the “greatest generation” did their duty when it came to captured German enemy combatants."

Correct me if I am wrong, but what was the Allied stance on captured German enemy combatants caught out of uniform? Wasn't it execution?

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urban16 4 years, 8 months ago

You people are shameful. Let me guess, you actually (and falsely) consider yourselves Christians also...

You do of course realize that we already have hundreds of terrorists in our prisons, many of them put there by Bush/Cheney? Why weren't you protesting then? Could it be that you are so devoid of ideas and rational thought that you have devolved into a semi-catatonic state that only allows you to oppose our President, even when his proposals would vastly improve our country?

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farfle 4 years, 8 months ago

A lot of these detainees are not even combatants. They were just taken to gather information. They deserve fair treatment. It's time we started taking care of our reputation in the world as well as our character as a nation.

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RogueThrill 4 years, 8 months ago

Holy crap you people are shameful.

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ardoardoardo 4 years, 8 months ago

"If that means holding some of the suspected terrorists at Fort Leavenworth until they are finally given a fair hearing, trial, or etc., so be it."

Sooooo, were the German POW's held until they were "given a fair hearing?"

No.

Soooo, once the jihadis are given a fair hearing, and it is determined that Sergeant Rock didn't read Ahmed his rights within 72 hours of finding him wiring a school to explode with a bunch of 7 year old girls in it, Ahmed and all his buddies will be released exactly where?

And those of us with 7 year old girls are supposed to not give in to "fear" because we have received assurance from which notorious non-liar that he will keep us safe?

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ardoardoardo 4 years, 8 months ago

"You know, maybe we can put some sort of gps-homing beacon inside their bodies and then send them back into the 'war zone'….maybe they would lead us to more bad guys. then: push button:boom boom!"

God, I miss Cheney.

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BigPrune 4 years, 8 months ago

Please don't bring them Leavenworth, bring them to LAWRENCE! Build a detention facility on west campus then all the human rights activists in Lawrence can make sure these enemies of our country are being treated nice. Perhaps these folks can bring them meals and learn more about their beliefs and techniques in beheading innocents with a butter knife, suicide bomber warfare in public places, proper public hanging displays, recruiting the mentally handicapped for suicide missions, etc.

These people need to put their money where their mouth is.

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

Can we relocate them to the battlefield?

you know, maybe we can put some sort of gps-homing beacon inside their bodies and then send them back into the 'war zone'....maybe they would lead us to more bad guys. then: push button:boom boom!

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ardoardoardo 4 years, 8 months ago

"did their duty when it came to captured German enemy combatants. Why not do so this time?"

I agree. Shoot them on the battlefield, as we did with captured illegal German enemy combatants.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, fiddle!

These people are un-uniformed combatants, not subject to the controls of the Geneva convention and in point of fact, specifically exempted from the protection of those accords.

They should feel lucky that they were not shot on sight!

Barack Hussein Obama seems to think that he controls or has all the money in the world, so he should buy Devil's Island from the Cheese Eatin' Surrender Monkeys and house the "detainees" there!

"Papillon:. indeed!

Tell you how pitiful the situation is, the BBC says that the Lockerbie Bomber is going to be given "compassionate realease", although the Scot government is currently denying it.

We'll see.

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