What principles should guide the disposition of Guantanamo’s inmates?

Newly leaked documents suggest that a number of detainees released from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp had been previously classified as high risk. Today’s Question: What principles should guide the disposition of Guantanamo’s inmates?

  • Zeke

    One of the fundamental principles of liberal democracy is that politicians cannot and should not decide whether people’s liberty should be removed. Anyone with any sense of justice knows deep down that everyone accused of a crime deserves a trial, no matter what the crime, no matter where they were caught, no matter what their nationality, and no matter where they’re currently imprisoned. Only a graduate of a prestigious law school could attempt to construct a justification for what even a child knows is inherently wrong.

  • Duane

    To began with, you don’t use it as a campaign issue as our President did in his campaign. Some people may call it a lie, but I feel it was the nativity of an inexperience politician. I feel we have the principles to bring this matter to a proper close, only if we allow the wheels of military justice to operate without attempting to make it a political issue as was done during the prior eight years. We need to place trust in the hands of our judicial system.

    .

  • uptownZombie

    If they committed a crime they should stand trial, if they did not then they should be let go. If those that are let go turn around and commit a crime against us then that is what we deserve for interning said person for years without just cause and thus creating a hatred for us that we said existed beforehand.

  • Brian

    We were a country that believed in liberty and justice for all; now because of misdirected government control such as the TSA and Homeland Insecurity we have lost our freedoms.

    Anyone detained, foreign or domestic deserves a non-military trial if accused of a crime.

    Our government representatives promised to protect and follow the constitution unfortunately most are ignoring it.

    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both- Benjamin Franklin

  • steve

    the principles of democracy dictate that there is life, liberty and justice for all! when people get in and twist this maxim it destroys liberty and security! this is inherently wrong and should be a case of what not to do in this delicate situation!

  • Kyle D.

    The same rules that govern any other prisoner. The outcome of a trial based on what they allegedly did isn’t in question– no U.S. jury would let the inmates walk.

    The problem is that they were held for so long, without access to legal representation, and subject to things that are massively illegal. If we treat them according to the legal procedures that are good enough for just about everything else we do, we have to admit that our system allowed serious legal abuses, and that the prisoners saw a United States that was more like the USSR where justice is concerned.

    Keeping them as military prisoners keeps their treatment out of legal precedent for everyone else and lets Americans sweep the abuses of Guantanamo under the rug.

  • Ron

    What is happening at Guantanamo is a disgrace, not only to the principles of this country but to that of any country which aspires to be great. I agree with the poster Brian – our leaders have gone off the edge since 9/11 in regards to justice, and at a great personal and financial cost.

    These prisoners deserve competent legal representation, the right to see evidence, face accusers and a fair and speedy trial and – if the prosecution can make the case – fair sentencing. Anything less than that is not only unfair and unjust, it is cowardly.

  • Matthew

    As long as we recognize a “war on terror,” and have soldiers, Marines, and airmen in harm’s way in the global endeavor to fight terrorism, the disposition of any terrorists who are captured and detained as part of the war should be classified as prisoners of war whose rights are protected not by the U.S. Constitution but articles of the Geneva Convention. In other words, no habeas corpus; no due process; no jury trial rights… But having said that, NO TORTURE.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Gitmo has caused far more harm than it has prevented. Among other things, we need to officially and explicitly apologize to the world for failing to live up to our own ideals, for giving totalitarian regimes and terrorist organizations evidence to regard us as mere hypocrits, and for thereby setting back the cause of human rights worldwide by several decades. A congressional resolution to that effect would be ideal. Then, In order to prove America’s detractors wrong about us, I suggest we release any prisoners we can’t put on trial, give them official, public apologies, and offer some significant compensation. Then we should put Darth Cheney and the other war criminals we’re sheltering on trial.

    None of this will happen, of course, because we’re too proud to admit our mistakes, and because there are too many jingoistic zealots (idolaters of America, actually) who will denouce any such thing as “unpatriotic.”

  • Kevin VC

    There are questions as to why they are even there…

    Guilt by association seems to be the consensus of many Americans.

    I would group them into 3-4 areas.

    1st, just in the wrong spot at the wrong time. No documentation that they did anything other then maybe being in the wrong area. ‘Might be’ sympathetic to taliban, but really unclear.

    2nd: In wrong spot, reported supporting Taliban. Trial as enemy combatant.

    3rd: Not just supporting, but actively persuing US Troops, carrying out raids, or attacks.

    4th: Rogue element organizing raids, terrorist activity, and really the leadership.

    1st group I would process faster, since they were light weights at best. And then on down the light.

    Much of this is determined based off evidence.

    There is talk many are there without evidence. Granted NOT easy to do in a war situation, but there are laws, international laws, on how to handle this.

    I really do not get this, are they waiting for the next Category 5 hurricane to clean out the problem for them?

  • Lawrence

    Based on what I’ve read and heard, and suspect, the detainees fall into the following categories: a) innocent civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time and quite possibly illegally detained by us for poor reasons at best; b) former American supporters who we believe are now MidEast nationalists; c) people we hope to charge with treason or terror or both prior to our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan; d) actual war criminals that should be tried in a war court (but aren’t) because their crimes were committed as a result of our ongoing war against Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of who these detainees are, the information we received from them in most cases does not appear to have helped us all that much in toppling Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • James

    Gitmo… I thought fearless leader was going to shut that place down?… Maybe he needs more time.

    Send them all home and say “Sorry”

    Then pull all of our military from around the world, post them on our boarder spaced every 50 yards, with orders to shoot anything in or out.

    Develop our own energy source, feed our own population and watch the rest of the world do their own thing.

    DTOM

  • Brian

    DTOM

    You;ve hit the nail on the head