Archive for Monday, January 26, 2009

Sad chapter

January 26, 2009


To the editor:

Wednesday, President Obama, as promised, ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. Sadly, but predictably, Thursday’s Journal-World editorial titled “Strange Priorities” questioned his decision, asking “How much important information … will be denied …?” The front page carried an article regarding Sen. Brownback’s opposition to Obama’s plans.

These complaints fly in the face of the known facts:

• Numerous experts have stated that very little “actionable intelligence” was obtained from Gitmo interrogations. Further, the detainees have been there for five years; any information they may have is obviously outdated.

• Many government officials have stated that the majority of people still held in Gitmo are not high value detainees (as was once claimed) but of low intelligence value and pose no threat to U.S. security. The large majority of detainees already released to Great Britain for example, were not held or tried by that country due to lack of any evidence that they were terrorists.

• In October of 2008, Army Lt. Col. Darrell Vandeveld resigned as a prosecutor at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions, citing he had “grave doubts” about the integrity of the system. Vandeveld was at least the fourth Gitmo prosecutor to resign on the same basis.

• World opinion is overwhelmingly against the U.S. on Gitmo; even our staunch ally in the war on terror, Great Britain, has repeatedly refused to endorse Guantanamo Bay.

It is long past time to close this sad chapter in our history and return to our values of “liberty and justice for all.”

Doug Burger,


notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

"The front page carried an article regarding Sen. Brownback’s opposition to Obama’s plans."Did you (can you, even) read the story, Mr. Burger? Sen. Brownback's opposition is to closing the base without a plan in place as to where to put the detainees. Despite your soapbox preaching, this only makes sense, since (a little omission from your list of facts) some countries don't want their detainees back.He is doing his job, representing the people who sent him to Washington, who don't want the detainees sent to Leavenworth. The legislation he proposed doesn't oppose the president's plans, it requests that Congress be notified of the plans prior to their implementation. It's pretty amusing how liberals always complain that our former president did whatever he wanted with no checks and balances, but when a Senator requests that the current president have a little accountability, that's 'opposition.'Get a grip. Maybe you want them in Leavenworth, so when some federal judge orders their release and their own countries won't accept them back (I wonder why that would be), they'll end up wandering our streets. I hope Sen. Brownback can push this through. Fine, close Gitmo, but let's figure out a plan for where they're going first.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 4 months ago

You say liberty and justice for all. Sounds like you think the 9-11 attack is settled.I disagree

notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

couranna1 (Anonymous) says… "Brokeback does not want it in kansas..."Neither does the governor. Got something snippy to say about her, too, couranna?Neither do the people of Leavenworth. Is there some reason they should?"Bring the legit detainees to Leavenworth now baby"Fine.They can stay at your house. Or perhaps they could build a nice little camp next door to the school where your kids go to school.But I guess that's about typical - couranna cares more about even the 'legit' detainees than the safety and other concerns of her fellow Kansans. What a peach.

Maddy Griffin 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm glad Obama wants to close Gitmo. It's an embarrassment and a disgrace. We need to treat our prisoners the way we want our soldiers treated should they be captured and held. The "Golden rule" should apply in all interractions with other countries.

bondmen 9 years, 4 months ago

Above all liberty for Al-Qaedaites. Get real Mr. Burger - they'd cut your neck or make you into a lampshade if you were on the front lines defending your country. Instead you're safe behind the lines criticizing imprisoning jihadi criminals. Do you think our Constitution protects non-citizens engaged in killing infidels like yourself?Just goes to prove once again liberals are incapable of defending themselves - they need conservatives and patriots to do that work for them.

budwhysir 9 years, 4 months ago

All in the name of politics. Some say close it some say keep it open, no one has the answer. Keep on arguing is the best solution for no solution

notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

duplenty (Anonymous) says… "Yes, that's exactly what will happen! Sigh"Exactly which part are you having trouble with, dup? Hasn't it been one of the rallying cries for closing Guantanamo that some of these detainees are being held for indefinite (but years-long) periods of time without charges, or in some cases sufficient evidence? Are you saying the courts will allow that to continue once they are on U.S. soil? Or maybe your crystal ball can tell us where they'll go when set free if their home countries refuse to accept them back? Please do enlighten us with your predictions and solutions, dup.I am in no way saying Guantanamo should remain open. I merely pointed out that our elected Senator is acting in a completely appropriate manner, looking out for the interests of his constituents by demanding these questions be answered before Guantanamo is closed. Are you seriously going to argue it would be responsible to close it first and worry about the details later?

jaywalker 9 years, 4 months ago

Agree with nota's last statement. Like McCain said, the easy part is stating you're gonna close Gitmo. Having a solution in place isn't just prudent, it's an imperative. And Brownback is acting exactly as he should. But the act of closing the place down seems to be nothing more than symbolism, which of itself seems like nothing more than auto-erotic satisfaction. What's the point? Still have to house these men 'til they're tried. We have a perfectly good prison off American soil.........why not just make certain there's no more abuse and carry out what needs to be done there?

Chris Ogle 9 years, 4 months ago

Where is Merrill when we need a good l o n g cut and paste.

Phil Minkin 9 years, 4 months ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says… Why didn't Doug mention more than 10% of detainees who've been released were documented to be actively engaged with AQ again? Oh, that would be because Doug lifted his info from a far-left website or a dishonest liberal media outletExactly who released them and why? The announcement demonstrtated to the world our commitment to justice and the rule of law. The gov. now has a year to come up with a viable plan for trials, detention or release.

notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

duplenty (Anonymous) says… "Talk about fear-mongering. It's so stupid as to be laughable."As I've said before, simple minds are easily amused, dup.And, once again, sceneb... er, duplenty ... doesn't answer the questions, add one more time he claims an answer would somehow be beneath him when he has no answer.So, we'll try again (and no doubt get the same lack of an answer): Are you claiminging the courts will not let them go, and if that's not your contention, where do YOU say they'll end up? Gat any answers at all, laughing boy?

madameX 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't think the courts will let anyone go unless they can provide good reasons why they should be let go. Which means that they'll have to do more than just ask nicely. The burden of proof would be on the detainee to prove that he's being wrongfully held and/or doesn't pose a threat to the US rather than on the government to prove that he's dangerous and should be held. That's how habeas corpus works.

madameX 9 years, 4 months ago

I stand corrected, although I think my point, that requesting a release via habeas corpus does not necessarily guarantee a release, still stands. Which was made in support of someone else's point that assuming that somehow all these detainees are going to wind up roaming the streets of Leavenworth is incorrect.

Gary Sandell 9 years, 4 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says…Not quite, madameX.A writ of habeas corpus is a summons with the force of a court order addressed to the custodian (such as a prison official) demanding that a prisoner be brought before the court, together with proof of authority, allowing the court to determine whether that custodian has lawful authority to hold that person.In other words, it would work like this:Detainee requests a great writ.Leavenworth (or whatever detention facility) must then bring the detainee to court along with proof of the authority upon which they are holding the detainee.Since most of the detainees are being held with little to no evidence, it makes it impossible to the detention facility to provide such proof.-------------------------------Not quite logic."The writ of habeas corpus serves as an important check on the manner in which state courts pay respect to federal constitutional rights. The writ is "the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action." ....Lectric Law Library The "key word" in this definition, Logic, is "State". Leavenworth is a "Federal" institution, not a "State" institution, like Lansing Correctional Facility. The detainees confinement in a Federal institution would be based on Federal laws, not the State of Kansas laws. I believe the Federal courts would be making the decision on where the detainees would be held so, the "writ" would be a mute point since they are not being held in a "State" facility, under Kansas' control..

Left_handed 9 years, 4 months ago

gsandell was using quotation marks for emphasis. Pretty straightforward, really.

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