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The W - Current Events & Politics - U.S. Can Hold Citizens As Combatants
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calvinh0560
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Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
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I don't like this at all. There is a difference between holding combatants that are not US citizens and holding US citizens even if they are fighting for another country.
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Pool-Boy
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Since: 1.8.02
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#2 Posted on
Whats not to like? I mean, really, I would think that by taking up arms against the United States, you automatically forfiet your citizenship.
Seriously- why do they deserve more quarter than other "enemy combatants?" If anything, it is worse because they are committing treason.
No... sometimes a hard line is needed, and this is one of those times. If you take up arms against your own country, you forfeit any rights you were granted by it.



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Jaguar
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Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#3 Posted on
And where is the legislation that determines what it means to 'take up arms against America'. Or who exactly an 'enemy combatant' is. Or what actions are seperated from 'terrorist' and 'criminal'? Until that legislation is in place, these war-time measures are ripe to be abused.

Other experts questioned the court's rejection of arguments that Hamdi should be treated either as a prisoner of war, subject to rights under the Geneva Convention, or prosecuted for crimes using traditional methods.

Why not either of these methods rather than just holding onto people indefinately?

-Jag



War is when you kill people with no names.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
I'm going to agree with Jaguar on this one. I'm not comfortable with circumventing the Constitution to reclassify people as "enemy combatants". This is especially true for Jose Padilla since he was apprehended on US soil.

Of course, I still want to see both of them executed.



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Neo: Guns. Lots of guns.
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Pool-Boy
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Since: 1.8.02
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#5 Posted on

    Originally posted by Jaguar
    And where is the legislation that determines what it means to 'take up arms against America'. Or who exactly an 'enemy combatant' is. Or what actions are seperated from 'terrorist' and 'criminal'? Until that legislation is in place, these war-time measures are ripe to be abused.

    Other experts questioned the court's rejection of arguments that Hamdi should be treated either as a prisoner of war, subject to rights under the Geneva Convention, or prosecuted for crimes using traditional methods.

    Why not either of these methods rather than just holding onto people indefinately?

    -Jag


I think this is a situation where "legislation" is a going little overboard. Common sense works well in a lot of situations, and this is one of them.
If a guy allies himself with a power intent on making war with the US, he deserves to be treated like an enemy. Even simpler- if he tries to kill one of our soldiers, he deserves to be treated like an enemy.
This seems pretty simple to me- why in the hell do we need to legislate it?



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calvinh0560
Boudin rouge








Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    I think this is a situation where "legislation" is a going little overboard. Common sense works well in a lot of situations, and this is one of them.
    If a guy allies himself with a power intent on making war with the US, he deserves to be treated like an enemy. Even simpler- if he tries to kill one of our soldiers, he deserves to be treated like an enemy.
    This seems pretty simple to me- why in the hell do we need to legislate it?



Say some nut drives up to the gate at a air force base and shot and kills the kid who checks the cars. Does the government have the right to hold him without a trail. And if they do can they hold any nut who walks into anywhere and shots the place up?
No one is saying let this guy walk. This american on US soil is being held by the goverment without the right due to him under the US Constitution.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#7 Posted on
If you read the article, this stands out:

    The ruling focused only on those captured in hostile action overseas, stopping short of approving those same powers over Americans arrested on U.S. soil. Legal experts said that leaves a major question for courts to settle in the future.


The scenario you are describing still needs to be covered.



Your analogy is similar to:

"They already have cars that you can drive, why not blenders?"
"I can already write with my hands, why not my pancreas?"
"They already have beef that I can eat, why not granite?"

-- my new favorite quote from Slashdot comments.

TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
If a person is being prosecuted by the American government, they have certain "unalienable rights" that are here being alienated. Pool-Boy, THAT is common sense.
Pool-Boy
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#9 Posted on

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    If a person is being prosecuted by the American government, they have certain "unalienable rights" that are here being alienated. Pool-Boy, THAT is common sense.

See, you are forgetting the fact that their "unalienable rights" were forfeited BY THEM when they take up arms against this country.
How does this not make sense? I mean, really? If you make war against this country, and manage to get captured instead of killed, you are treated as a prisoner of war. I do not see why someone who was once an American deserves any special treatment.



My attempt at a webpage

Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#10 Posted on
If he was actually being held as a Prisoner of War, he'd have certain rights under the Geneva Convention. But he's being held as an 'enemy combatant', which seems to be the popular choice these days. As far as I know, enemy combatants have no rights.

-Jag



War is when you kill people with no names.
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    See, you are forgetting the fact that their "unalienable rights" were forfeited BY THEM when they take up arms against this country.


Says you.

It would help if the Bush administration would explain themselves with regard to when and why the "enemy combatant" designation is applied. As of yet, they have shown no inclination to do so; Bush points his finger and the target disappears, and stays disappeared until, well, Bush says so.

According to them, since we are in a state of war (though Congress has not declared war, no particular country has been named as the subject of that war, and the notion has been expressed that this could be a generalized "war on terror" that could last decades instead of a defined conflict with specific objectives), the military (that is, Bush as Commander-in-Chief) has the authority to apply "enemy combatant" status at will, and thus have "enemies" confined and stripped of all their legal rights and recourses.

The "enemy combatant" has no lines of communication with anyone, no right to legal representation, no way to present his/her case in a court of law, no way to argue that the prosecution may have been in error, and no way for the prisoner (or anyone speaking for him/her) to legally challenge the "enemy combatant" status (to be redesignated as a POW, under the Geneva Convention, or to be transfered to a criminal court for alleged crimes against this nation). The government doesn't have to provide any evidence that the designation and subsequent incarceration were justifiable, or that any evidence against the defendant even exists. He/she can just sit there and rot until the President decides that the "war" is over and that further proceedings should begin... however many years that may take.

And you don't have a PROBLEM with that?

Isn't that the kind of thing we used to point fingers at the Soviet Union for doing? KGB agents "disappearing" people in the middle of the night, "subversives" vanishing to shadowy gulags without recourse or appeal, totalitarian leadership placing themselves above scrutiny or investigation, that sort of thing?

If we're so much better than the nations we're about to attack, if our Constitution is iron-clad and our laws are fair and uniformly applied, why not use them instead of hiding behind a policy of "Trust us, we know he's one of _them_?" If Bush and Ashcroft have evidence that Padilla (or anyone else) has committed these crimes, why are they afraid to put him on trial and prove it?

What, exactly, are they afraid of?




"When I feel depressed, I sit under a willow tree by a cool river, and imagine that I am strangling a duck." -- Kotaro Sarai
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy

      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      If a person is being prosecuted by the American government, they have certain "unalienable rights" that are here being alienated. Pool-Boy, THAT is common sense.

    See, you are forgetting the fact that their "unalienable rights" were forfeited BY THEM when they take up arms against this country.
    How does this not make sense? I mean, really? If you make war against this country, and manage to get captured instead of killed, you are treated as a prisoner of war. I do not see why someone who was once an American deserves any special treatment.



Unalienable means they CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY. Period.

And the problem with this logic, or "common sense" if you prefer, is that you are assuming the accused "enemy combatant" is guilty, and that goes against every principle this country was supposedly founded on.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 9.1.03 2023)
ScreamingHeadGuy
Frankfurter








Since: 1.2.02
From: Appleton, WI

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#13 Posted on
I must agree about those certain "unalienable rights". I mean, even people who are not US citizens are granted the same Constitutional rights by the US legal system.

Also, to the "enemy combatant" thing - if it's a war, and they're captured, aren't they prisoners of war? Now, if there has not been an official declaration of war (which, I assume, is necessary in order for the Geneva Convention to be applicable), then anyone captured in combat COULD be classified as an "enemy combatant".



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Pool-Boy
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Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#14 Posted on

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan

      Unalienable means they CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY. Period.

      And the problem with this logic, or "common sense" if you prefer, is that you are assuming the accused "enemy combatant" is guilty, and that goes against every principle this country was supposedly founded on.

      (edited by TheBucsFan on 9.1.03 2023)


    So you are suggesting that in a combat situation, rather than return fire on those trying to kill our soldiers, they should try and capture everyone and give them a "trial" to determine their guilt or innocence before fighting back?
    I never claimed that the inalienable rights should be taken away. To be honest, that term is in the Declaration of Independance, not the Constitution, and is not a matter of legality. But for argument's sake, if they can't be taken away, they can still be forfiet. You simply cannot make war on this country and expect to keep the rights it grants you! You are FORFIETING those rights, not having them taken away.
    I think there is an extent that "compassion" goes too far. I mean, you have to love al Quaida and "try to understand them" even though it is clear that they hate us, and want us all to die. I am really tired of this "It's America's fault" mentality, and this discussion falls into that. We, as a nation, do more good in this world that ANY other country, period. If one of our citizens decides that is not good enough, and we are evil, it is clear that they are NOT wanting to be part of our society and legal system, and want to fight against it.
    Of course, unless they lose, then we are expected to show them mercy and simply welcome them back.
    Screw that. They made their bed.

    (edited by Pool-Boy on 9.1.03 1858)


    My attempt at a webpage

TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
"We, as a nation, do more good in this world that ANY other country, period."

According to...you? Obviously the rest of the world agrees...

"Of course, unless they lose, then we are expected to show them mercy and simply welcome them back.
Screw that. They made their bed."

You are ASSUMING they "made their bed." Why did Timothy McVae get a trial when so many people had already prejudged his guilt? Because you can't assume guilt. Allegations are allegations, and that is all. They are not proven. According the law you seem to want to rule the world, I should be able to poitn a finger at you and scream "Pool-Boy loves Bin Laden!" or some other "anti-American" slander, and have you locked up with no trial until the government decides you've unjustly suffered enough.
Stephanie
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Madison, WI

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.22

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Whats not to like? I mean, really, I would think that by taking up arms against the United States, you automatically forfiet your citizenship.
    Seriously- why do they deserve more quarter than other "enemy combatants?" If anything, it is worse because they are committing treason.
    No... sometimes a hard line is needed, and this is one of those times. If you take up arms against your own country, you forfeit any rights you were granted by it.



Somehow, I find myself agreeing with this. If you take up arms against this country, how can you turn around and claim the protections of the country you're fighting *against*?

Steph



I'm going twenty-four hours a day...I can't seem to stop
- "Turn Up The Radio", Autograph
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#17 Posted on
I'd be perfectly happy to leave these guys to rot in Camp X-Ray for taking up arms against our country. However, I'm not happy with my government circumventing the laws it was designed to uphold.

Oh, and just to help Pool-Boy blow a few more circuits, I think I'll play the race card:

Why is Jose Padilla arrested on American soil, accused of trying to make a 'dirty bomb' and held as an enemy combatant (no lawyer, no burden of proof to prove that he's actually guilty), while John Walker Lindh was taken prisoner in Afghanistan, yet returned to the United States to stand trial?

Yes, it's racisim, though not in the most obvious way. Lindh was a white middle class teenager, and the press was all over the story because of that. So the government had to return him. However, Padilla is not, and has not managed to draw much sympathy from the media. So the government can do what it likes. So who's the rascists? We are, for not making sure that Padilla and Lindh are treated the same in the eyes of the law.

-Jag

Of course, it is 3:30am right now, and so I may be just whacked out of my gourd. Or even out of my watermelon. Sheesh.



War is when you kill people with no names.
Pool-Boy
Lap cheong








Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#18 Posted on
Shoot, that whole John Walker think blows my mind... if it were up to me, he would be on Cuba with the rest of those asses.
Though I will say that I do not think race was as much of a factor there. Walker was the first visible instance of this, so of course the press was all over it. I think you and I could both agree that the press would much prefer that he be a black man, because they just LOVE playing the race card themselves.
Padilla, on the other hand, was a victim of new policy. There are kinks in this plan to be sure- the whole "citizens on American Soil as enemy combatants" is a touchy subject, and does deserve serious debate.
As far as McVae goes, I am sorry, that is a different situation entirely. NOW, sure, he would likely be held as a terrorist. HOWEVER, then, we as a nation still kind of felt invunerable to real serious terrorist attacks, and to us, he was just some wack-job militia guy trying to make a point. In addition, there was a serious burden-of-proof issue there, because the case WAS handled like a criminal investigation and not like a terrorist attack like it would be today.
Just because McVae seemingly got a break because the whole idea of "enemy combatants" was not around yet, does not mean you treat current perpetrators of a similar act the same way. The old way clearly was not effective, it is time to try something new.
Oh, and I only blow a gasket when someone willingly, and knowingly IGNORES an obvious fact (or argument) in favor of some misguided, unrealistic belief, such as the idea that someone taking up arms with a foriegn power of some kind against this country deserves to later claim the protections that country offers its people- America is supposed to be a land where you can take up your differences peacefully and in the voting booth, and not resort to making war. Giving up that very Democratic Ideal that is supposedly at the core of this nations beliefs and policy kind of disqualifies you from taking advantage of "lesser" ideals that we hold on to like the right to a trial by a jury of peers, etc....



My attempt at a webpage

TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
"If you take up arms against this country, how can you turn around and claim the protections of the country you're fighting *against*?"

Because those rights are promised to them maybe? Because the rights can't be taken away perhaps? If he is as guilty as so many assume he is, what is the harm in a trial? He will be proven guilty and locked up to go through whatever punishment is deemed appropriate.
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
Nobody's holding up Padilla as a model of citizenship. The fact that he (or Lindh, or Hamdi, or anyone else accused of "taking up arms" against the US) is subject to government prosecution isn't what's at stake here.

Question of the day: Are we at war? As in, declared, formal W-A-R against a nation-state, approved by all the proper authorities? Not an open-ended "We're at war against TERROR" generality, but an actual, definable war?

If we are in a formal state of war, and Padilla is considered to have "taken up arms" for the opposition, then Padilla should be a Prisoner of War, and dealt with under the Geneva Convention.

If we are not in a formal state of war, and Padilla is considered to have broken the laws of this nation by "taking up arms," then he's an accused criminal and should be subject to the American criminal justice system.

That's it. There are two choices: pick one. They're both perfectly valid methods of dealing with the situation. The "enemy combatant" nonsense throws the basic notion of presumption of innocence right out the window; THAT's why people are screaming, and THAT's the point nobody seems to want to address. We, as Americans, are supposed to be better than that.

It all comes down to that; Bush and Ashcroft say "Trust us, we know he's an evil terrorist, and we'll keep him locked up." Um, no. I _don't_ trust their judgement, I _don't_ trust their motivations, and I absolutely _don't_ trust a system that allows no recourse, no opportunity to present a defense and no resolution BEFORE even one scrap of evidence is presented.

Could you imagine if it had been CLINTON that had locked someone up on his say-so and simply thrown away the key like this? Limbaugh, Tom DeLay, Bob Grant and their ilk would all need larynx transplants, from wearing their old ones out screaming about it.

(edited by vsp on 10.1.03 0701)


"When I feel depressed, I sit under a willow tree by a cool river, and imagine that I am strangling a duck." -- Kotaro Sarai
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