Never Known Anyone Convicted Abroad?

Then you must be a GOP shill like Bill Kristol.

There’s a teevee show in the U.K. called BangedUp Abroad that shows what happens to people who get caught and are tried abroad.  There are any number (thousands) of foreigners in our prisons and jails who were tried in our courts under our rules.  It happens all the time.  Remember Manuel Noriega?  Or the less-well known Jose Medellin?

I once dated a guy who spent time in a Mexican prison.  No one screamed about him getting some sort of special treatment.  No one screamed about Noriega getting special treatment.

Before Bush and Cheney, it seems that our courts were doing an ok job.   But for Bush and Cheney, we wouldn’t have the problem that is Gitmo.  It would only be a setting for a popular movie.

One particularly disturbing thing I find about the GOP and wingnut outrage about this incident is the comparison to 9/11.  There is no comparison, and yet it is ok to make it, again and again.  It should be clear, lots of people died on 9/11, including quite a number of unionized people, and no one died on the flight to Detroit.

All is lost if we give in to DeMint, Kristol, King and the others.

Here’s hoping some more people — of all stripes — start behaving reasonably and stop trying to make every little fucking thing about the elections  in fucking November 2010.

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26 responses to “Never Known Anyone Convicted Abroad?

  1. “One particularly disturbing thing I find about the GOP and wingnut outrage about this incident is the comparison to 9/11”

    You know what this is, as the left does it all the time.

    It’s not like real outrage, it’s just a gift that came along that can be used to discredit Zero and the dems. Admittedly, it is pretty lame. But you gotta use what is available.

    The dems did stuff like this for 8 years. I know this has been said a million times, but did you expect things to be different when your guy is in power?

    As to your hoping that people of all stripes behave reasonably and stop trying to make every fucking thing about the elections in 2010…..I think you can forget it.

    If Obama and the dems keep fucking up like they have been, who knows how many seats they will lose?

    I am looking forward to a ringside seat as the kos kids and the rest of the unhinged left has a melt down. Of course, things may not go that bad for them, but one can hope.

    Happy new year, Michelle, or my shell, or whatever you name is.

    • Hi, TJ.

      My name is Michelle — it is all over this blog.

      I don’t think President Obama has been fucking up, and I am not a kos kid, so I don’t get on that crazy train ever.

      I have tended, starting many years ago, to support my preferred candidates at the local level and then look forward. I’m quite happy with the representation I have now.

      There is no excuse, nor is there any traction for the GOP’s attacks. They just got out there way too early and looking at Gallup, they are yet again on the wrong side of an issue.

      You can gloat all you want, but there is almost a year before anyone makes a political decision in this country as far as federal offices are concerned.

      On the state level — popcorn is the best decision as Perry and Hutchison duke it out. Perry being the emperor wannabe king and Hutchison being George W’s go to girl for good coverage back in the day. It will be fun.

      Happy New Year to you, TJ.

  2. Michelle it is, then.

    I wasn’t suggesting you were a kos kid. That reference came about as an extension of the one thing leading to another , GOP-outrage-elections thing. And the reactions I expect if the kos kids feel like the dems may lose some ground.

    As to your feeling like the O is doing what you would like, good for you. I think there is plenty of evidence that enough people think otherwise as to derail alot of what he is trying to do.

    And if they are not able to derail him, well, one can always hope there is a bloodbath for the dems come November.

    I am not gloating, as the outcome has yet to be determined.

    However, I am just contrarian by nature. And I detest the left.

    They do get their panties in a twist when things aren’t going well for their team. I recall during the election the left was all angst-ridden about something happening to O…”oh, what if someone does this or that – oh my!”. Neurotics.

    These parasites don’t give a rat’s ass about either you or me. They just play us off one another endlessly; so that they may remain in power and prestige.

    I’d like to see them ALL bounced from office.

    Amd on that note, good night!

  3. The short answer is that we are at war, and those captured in war get treated under different rules than criminals. We didn’t give German POWs trials during WWII (though there were special military war crime trials afterward), and we shuld not treat the jihadi scum any better.

    • Could you explain how being tried in a U.S. civilian criminal court is better than being held as a POW under the rules of the Geneva Convention?

      • We can interrogate POWs without lawyers for both military intelligence and evidence of wr crimes, we can use their unMirandized statements against them in military trials for war crimes, and we can hold them indefinitely until the end of the conflict without any trial (or the possibility of their being found not guilty or having charges dismissed).

        • Interesting that you brought up war crimes. It is the biggest difference here — defining whether one is part of a military enemy or someone accused of attempted murder.

          On the one hand, killing is the objective and for the most part legal. On the other, killing is the objective and not legal at all (with the caveat of state sponsored killing as in the death penalty).

          I should have clarified my question, though. I meant how it was better for the accused, not better for the U.S.

          • I don’t care what is better for the terrorist — and see no need to read such folks their rights or pretend they in the civilian justice system.

            There should be no need for our military to read Osama his rights when he is captured.

          • Well, you could have cut to that in your previous response. You are the one who said that being in the civilian system was better.

            At any rate, the man wasn’t “captured in war;” he was arrested at the airport — an American airport. And that was my point.

            Lastly, I wonder a bit about your understanding — or lack thereof — of legal matters. Select people have been Mirandized at particular bases in order to preserve evidence. It’s been done since 2008. I’d think that if your desires were followed by the professionals in the FBI or other law enforcement, you’d be feeling much like the Iraqis are now regarding the Blackwater mercenaries.

          • Je was caught committing an act of war — and a war crim, no less — against the United States. Personally, I support treating him as FDR did German saboteurs in the case the Supreme Court case Ex Party Quirin — Tried before a military commission and executed shortly thereafter.

          • Don’t ever go to law school. You wouldn’t like it at all.

            It wasn’t an act of war. He tried to blow up a plane. That’s an act of terrorism. It wasn’t a war crime. It was a crime. There is more than enough evidence that in all likelihood he will be convicted and never see freedom again. Of course, that last sentence is speculation on my part, since there is the legal process to go through, but I feel pretty sure that will be the outcome.

            And please, drag yourself into the second decade of the 21st Century, k?

          • Hey, Michelle, check your calendar. it is not September 10, 2001.

          • I am withered by your repartee. I will shut down my blog and contemplate my inability to conceive the passing of time.

            I am in your debt.

  4. Late to the party, but what the heh. This thread explicitly shows the difference between the two schools of thought about these terrorist activities:
    Criminal action or act of war.

    The referenced German spies were captured on US soil with arms and munitions. They had not committed any “crimes.” Well, maybe illegal immigration, possession of arms, etc.

    The Roosevelt administration had a clear choice, civil or military justice.

    As to the underwear bomber, he stated that there are more like him getting ready.

    Under our civil courts, he has all the rights of a US citizen. Including the right to remain silent.

    Under a military court, he does not. In fact, he could be “compelled” to give up what he knows.

    So for our societal good and safety, which would be preferred? Seems obvious to me.

    • A few questions, Mike. Who recruited the German spies? When were they captured on U.S. soil? Who sponsored them and who armed them? Were they tortured? Was their trial fair? Were all of them executed as the other commenter suggested?

      Where is the attempted plane bomber from? Is the U.S. at war with that country? Where was the alleged bomber supplied? Is the U.S. at war with that country?

      And given the amount of evidence that has already been made public, do you think that the alleged bomber’s silence would have any effect on his trial?

      I’m thinking you are more interested in forcibly getting information out of him than seeing him tried and punished for what he did. Do you really think that he knows anything of import? Do you really think he was or is valuable to his organization, or rather expendable?

    • As to the underwear bomber, he stated that there are more like him getting ready.

      Oh, really?

      Well then, that changes EVERYTHING. (Homer)

  5. Oh, and there is a difference between “crimes of war” and “war crimes.”

    A war crime is done against the rules of Land Warfare. A document that Al Queda has never signed and never will.

  6. Ha ha ha … good thread, and a clear distinction between the 2 schools of thought on the “war on terror”, namely whether to be rational and responsive to each new twist in a conflict that has no clear ground rules while still behaving as a civilized society, or to be very very afraid all of the time and “kill them all”.

  7. Very good thread. And a good distinction was made between the 2 schools of thought regarding the ‘war’ on terror (it is a war! it is a war! [stamping of little feet]). The commenters fall into the “be very very afraid all of the time and kill everyone who doesn’t like us” school. Oh, and tossing out the Bill of Rights is fine because of course we’re living in such special times and Al Qaeda is so much more of a threat than either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Yeah, right.

    • You know, Roberto, it is very difficult for some to admit to being wrong — especially about something as grave as terrorist attacks and illegal wars. It’s also very difficult for a stubborn 27% of the U.S. voting population to admit that they lost an election and they can’t just have it their way any longer.

      Very difficult indeed.

  8. “A few questions, Mike. Who recruited the German spies? When were they captured on U.S. soil? Who sponsored them and who armed them? ”

    The German spies were members of the Nazi military machine, who were captured on US soil. Obviously, they were sponsored and armed by a country that had both declared war upon the United States, and to which the United States had declared war.

    Which is the gotcha moment you’re looking for, I think. But it doesn’t apply as I’ll explain below.

    “Were they tortured? Was their trial fair? Were all of them executed as the other commenter suggested?”

    I don’t know if they were tortured. They had no trial, there were convicted by a military court who sentenced them to death. Most were executed, there may have been one or two who were imprisoned.

    “Where is the attempted plane bomber from? Is the U.S. at war with that country? Where was the alleged bomber supplied? Is the U.S. at war with that country?”

    Is Al Queda a country? No, but they seem to think they are at war with the US. A pertinent analogy may be the IRA and the British government during the 70’s and 80’s.

    “And given the amount of evidence that has already been made public, do you think that the alleged bomber’s silence would have any effect on his trial?”

    On his trial? No, but that should not be the only consideration from a societal viewpoint.

    “I’m thinking you are more interested in forcibly getting information out of him than seeing him tried and punished for what he did. Do you really think that he knows anything of import?”

    Ummm; if he’s not talking we don’t know what he does know. He may know more than he realizes, and certainly more than we know today about method, means and techniques.

    “Do you really think he was or is valuable to his organization, or rather expendable?”

    Kind of silly question; by definition a suicide bomber is expendable. However, because he was “supposed” to commit suicide, he may have information useful to the intelligence beaurocracy.

  9. A war crime has been both historically and legally defined. Study the Nuremberg trials and you’ll see what I mean.

    Crimes of war is a catch-all definition for what the military would call collateral damage. I know, harsh term for innocent civilians impacted by war. But that’s really the way we were taught in the military. BTW, both are to be avoided.

    The comparison about Great Britain and the IRA is meant to show a state of emergency, a Brit term, existed between a nation and an organization not defined by a national border. It’s the closest analogy I could think of in historic terms.

    If you read the literature about that struggle, you’ll see many similarities between GB and the US in their approach to terrorism.

    • Well that was very unsatisfying. I didn’t ask about “war crimes,” I asked about your declaration that “crimes of war” was somehow different. It’s a “catch-all” definition? I rather think it is your personal definition and had nothing to do with any military training. It’s nice that you suggest that “both are to be avoided.” Like Hiroshima.

      Your comparison regarding the IRA is weak. The IRA evolved over time, but it always had one purpose — the independence of Ireland, including the North. (Well now their remnants are just the ones that didn’t accept the peace agreement.) The border was well defined. You can even go on Google maps and see where the walls are for certain tiny little anti- UK and anti-Ireland borders are. The Irish were fighting for their country.

      Yes, they used terrorist tactics, much like the Israelis did when they, too, were fighting the British for a homeland.

      Perhaps you think that Israel was made completely because of Holocaust guilt after WWII? You probably think Israel doesn’t have nukes either.

      There is no Venn diagram you could draw that would make any sense comparing the IRA and al Qaeda.

      But on a hopeful note, perhaps your analogy will bring an end soon, like the Irish peace agreement, between the U.S. and al Qaeda. There’s always hope!

    • Oh and Mike, just a heads up — if you ever cross one of your wingnut friends — be aware that they can follow you to your workplace. I know. But I am not going to do what people who you would call friends did to me. They found out where I worked and threatened to get me fired. It’s been going on for years. Mike, if you learn one thing here it is this: I won’t out you for where you work because we disagree.

      If you could communicate that to your friends on the wingnut side, I would greatly appreciate it.

      In other words, don’t use my tax money to comment on blogs, ok Mike?

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