Talk:Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp

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AustinM: Please provide a {{{author}}}, {{{title}}}, [[{{{publisher}}}]], [[{{{date}}}]]. for this inclusion,

Some liberal groups have accused the US of practicing torture at Gitmo, such as cold-hot shock rooms, electrical shocks, simulated drowning, food and water deprivation, chaining, forced walking on broken glass and barbed wire, and psychological torture.

Thank you. RobS 13:00, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

It's not just liberals who have made the accusation either.--Murray 13:06, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

Yes, that is precisely what i'm driving at. Why is the term liberal used here then coupled with an innuendo for "non-liberals", preesumably? RobS 13:20, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

Word usage


Some human rights groups and other activists claim the US has practiced torture, such as cold-hot shock rooms, electrical shocks, simulated drowning, food and water deprivation, chaining, forced walking on broken glass and barbed wire, and psychological torture.[1] As torture is illegal in the US and in nearly all other nations in the world, the camp is critisized by governments around the world.

The US opposes torture, but not all the things listed in the passage above are "torture". There have been attempts (almostly entirely by political opponents of Bush's Iraq policy) to change the legal definition of torture.

I suppose that this a a strategy. Instead of having two classes of forbidden interrogation techniques (1) torture, which is simply uncivilized and (2) "excessive roughness" (for lack of a better word) - these advocates make the following argument:

  1. torture is bad
  2. we must not do what is bad
  3. rough interrogation techniques are torture
  4. therefor. they are bad and we must not do them

The Bush administration agrees that some coercive interrogation techniques are bad, but refuses to concede that they are examples of "torture".

This passage needs to be fixed:

  • Do not say that the listed techniques are torture but that advocates consider them to be torture or "want them to be classified legally as torture" or "have been trying to get the word 'torture' redefined".
  • Distinguish between rough interrogation techniques that the US acknowledges having done and those it asserts it has not done
  • Also distinguish between such techniques the US agrees are "torture" or "too rough" and those it insists on continuing to use, such as waterboarding.
  • Mention that there is a controversy over whether frightening a prisoner is always torture, tantamount to torture, or just rather clever.

Other ideas that need mentioning are:

  • The efficacy of coercive interrogation: is it useful to gain evidence for legal proceedings, or does it just help to stop terrorists from carrying out their next operation, or what?

Moreover, we should distinguish between US Liberal and Conservative positions on this, rather than using weasel words like "has been criticized" or "some groups and activists claim".

There's also the perennial problem of classifying various advocates. Is Human Rights Watch liberal? How about Amnesty International? Many liberals and liberal groups do not admit to being liberal, a trend that began with Michael Dukakis protesting the "L-word" a quarter century ago. --Ed Poor 08:31, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Good analysis. RobS 13:54, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Here is some more analysis:

  • Liberals generally say that the Geneva protections for POWs "applies" (or "should apply") to these people.

Usually the word this as, "The Geneva conventions apply to the gitmo detainees, but the US ..." This is deceptive, because both the US (and these partisans) are in agreement on one thing and in disagreement on another thing:

  • They agree that the US is bound by the Geneva Conventions
  • They agree that the Geneva Conventions "apply" to anyone captured in a combat zone
  • Prisoners should not be "tortured"


  • They disagree on whether stateless persons, not wearing uniforms, etc. are entitled to "POW status".

POWs get all sorts of special privileges, because they are citizens of another country which is a party to the Geneva Conventions. Geneva isn't a universal code of human rights, but an treaty between nations. Warring nations who want to settle disputes with force but don't seek the total destruction of their enemies - in other words, civilized countries - agree to limit their war tactics. We don't mistreat your civilians and POWs, and you don't mistreat ours. But uniformed men on the battlefield are fair game. (Think of the gangs in West Side Story agreeing that the gym is neutral territory, leaving girls out of it, choosing where to have a big fight, etc.)

Spies get nothing. Stateless people get nothing. Nothing special, I mean. The legal and diplomatic goodies due POWs are reserved for a specified class.

Remind me to move all this into some article like:

Okay, gotta go. --Ed Poor 20:43, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Another thing: the Gitmo detainees are at war with the Geneva Convention. RobS 20:56, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
Let's look at David Hicks, a citizen of Australia. There is nothing stateless about that, other than the fact that the Australian government tends to disown you if you upset the Bush administration. Most of the photos I have seen of him in Afgahnistan have him wearing a uniform. He, in his mind, believed he was fighting for the freedom of an oppressed people who had been invaded by other countries. In some ways very similar to any resistance fighter in Europe in WW II except they didn't wear uniforms. You do need to ask why the US won't bring those people for trial on US territory - are they afraid that then they will have to apply US or International Treaty law instead of Bush Law? --Bilby 18:07, 29 March 2007 (EDT)

David Hicks

Bilby, I don't get where you're going with the Hicks trial. Are you saying he's innocent; that he's guilty but the law should be changed; that he was a terrorist but terrorism isn't bad; that he did a bad thing but shouldn't be punished because the law wasn't in place; or what?

It doesn't seem like a balanced entry at all; are you trying consciously to make it trustworthy? --Ed Poor 19:13, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

All I have added is the run down of what has happened at the trial so far today. As far as I can see it is a factual account of what occured in recent hours. His guilt is for the court to decide. There is a lot of debate about the charge as it is being used retrospectively. Although American law had that charge since Oklahoma, the military law didn't. It was put in place and then he was charged with it a couple of months ago after five years in jail without charge. These are just facts. How they are to be interpreted is up to history but America is not winning friends around the world by treating people like this!--Bilby 19:18, 26 March 2007 (EDT)
The most significant part of that is the ex post facto law. Or the claim about it. Can you source the claim? And also dig into it, find out what the US says about that claim.
Handling breaking news is touchy. Are you sure you can handle it neutrally? --Ed Poor 20:54, 26 March 2007 (EDT)
"neutrally" is always an interesting word. I have a bias, all writers do. But I know it and am trying to report "facts" as I receive them through a variety of media. I could add a quote from St Helen Prejean ""Guantanamo Bay is an abhorrent aberration of everything that my country ought to be about," she said in Sydney yesterday. "I think it's because we do execute people. It just so smacks of empire." " but recognise that it contains a bias which would not be accepted by this site - it would get edited away very quickly as being not sourced correctly, or being too opinionated - but only because the "neutral" editors have their own bias. The TV reports today claimed that David Hicks was asked if he could speak English or if he needed an interpreter - his response was that he might be difficult to understand because he spoke Australian English. I reported the first half, you edited it and reported the second. Perhaps we should wait for the trial transcript and just put that intstead - if it is ever published.

If there are two halves, and you and I each reported only one half, does that make us both half-witted? ;-) Please put in both halves. --Ed Poor 15:01, 27 March 2007 (EDT)

So David Hicks has pleaded guilty? To ONE charge of providing material support for "terrorism"? A charge at the very lowest end of the scale, and one which could be levelled at any partisan who has ever had a rebel leader doss down under their roof. And the sleek lawyers and obese pigs of the gutter press in Australia are taking this as confirmation of his evil, and crowing about it from every tabloid. Needless to say, they (and I imagine most of us) would have been pleading guilty to personally ordering the attack on 9/11 after ONE WEEK of the treatment being dished out at Gitters. And Hicks has been there, without charge, for five years! Shame on you all! Note, there are NO British or American prisoners there. The Brits demanded theirs back, and the Yanks put theirs on trial. Only Hicks, who was a hero in Bosnia, and who has never killed anyone, is rotting in this filthy jail.

What about this?

"Guantánamo has become a major, major problem ... in the way the world perceives America and if it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon ... and I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system", Powell told NBC's Meet the Press.

"Essentially, we have shaken the belief the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantánamo open and creating things like the military commission. We don't need it and it is causing us far more damage than any good we get for it", he added.

-Colin Powell on NBC's Meet the Press [[2]] --Bucklesman 09:48, 12 June 2007 (EDT)

No wonder they got rid of him!!!--Bilby 10:13, 12 June 2007 (EDT)

Held without charges?

I dispute this statement: "In this prison, the people being held are accused by the US government of terrorism." It does not have a reference on this claim.

The Supreme Court (search) delivered a mixed verdict Monday on the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies, ruling that the U.S. government has the power to hold American citizens and foreign nationals without charges or trial, but that detainees can challenge their treatment in U.S. courts. Mixed Rulings on Terror Detention Policies

Padilla was held indefinitely without charges and so was Hicks. Clearly, there would not be a need to file for habeas corpus if the detainees had been charged. TheAgency 10:14, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Recent removal of large section

I have just undone an edit which removed the large slab of information under the heading "detention camp" on this page. The information is well sourced, relevant and looks at both the Bush Administration's point of view and some cases which may not be totally agreeable to that Administration but are still true. I would like to see further justification for the removal of that section if it were to be done again. --Bilby 18:18, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

  • You would, would you? Most of what I removed was hopelessly full of liberal deceit and we can do without that, thank you. You should always email or post to an Administrator's talk page before reverting what we have done. If you consider what you added as citations to be reputable, and all you added was without deceit and extreme POV editing, we can do without your services. Unfortunately you will still be a teacher, if you are indeed one. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 18:44, 11 September 2007 (EDT)
  • Apologies - I now understand what "conservative" means. After farewelling a few of the people I have found to be welcoming and encouraging in this Coservapedia I shall withdraw my use of the site as both a contributor and a reader. I hope that you, and the like minded people who need to rewrite reality to fit in with their world view, continue to enjoy using this site. --Bilby 19:36, 11 September 2007 (EDT)
  • Actually I might stick round to see what's happening now - looks like fun! --Bilby 19:53, 11 September 2007 (EDT)
  • There's that phrase again, like minded, a dead give away everytime. It's used in Nazism, the Internet & the Culture of Violence, and it is used in Wikipedia's Reliable Sources policy.
Who do yout think you're fooling, chump? Rob Smith 20:45, 11 September 2007 (EDT)
Only myself. Obviously.--Bilby 20:48, 11 September 2007 (EDT)
  • The user was previously warned about his POV editing in this very article. Pity he continued to quote mine and twist the actual facts to suit his fancy. Godspeed to him! --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 21:27, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Broken External Links

All but the last of the External Links seem to be broken. Does anyone know where these pages are now? Here are the problematic ones:

  • Naval Station Website: Immediate "Server not found" (returned 404)
  • Joint Task Force Website: 403 Forbidden
  • List of detainees at Guatanamo Bay: returns File not found." (with only one quote mark)
  • US Dept of Defense site: Times Out (404)

Thanks! --David B (talk) 18:44, 2 April 2016 (EDT)