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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:00 AM
Original message
Edited on Tue Jul-31-07 09:56 AM by Time for change
The quote from the title of this post is what I often hear some people say in response to those who argue about how dangerous the Bush administration is. Listening to C-SPAN yesterday morning got me thinking about this some more. The host referred to our detainees at Guantanamo Bay as terrorists and later referred to them as detainees, as critics of our detention program call them.

Since the great majority of our detainees have never been tried in a court of law, referring to them as terrorists in a widely broadcast radio program does a great disservice to our detainees, as well as to the listening audience. That kind of talk by so-called journalists explains why some irate listeners call in with enormously ignorant comments, such as one I heard yesterday morning, complaining that these people shouldnt have so many special rights. By special rights I guess the caller meant the right to a fair trial. Well, dont worry guy, they dont have that right, and its doubtful that they ever will as long as your man is president.

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial was even more egregious, since you would expect someone writing for a major newspaper to have a little more sense or common decency:

The real goal of Guantanamos critics is to have these killers treated like common criminals in American courts. That would make it impossible to deny them the full array of U.S. legal protection. In many cases, prosecutors would lack enough evidence to convict them under normal trial rules The result of bringing Gitmo detainees into U.S. criminal courts would inevitably be their widespread release which means leaving them free to kill Americans again.

Heaven forbid!! Giving criminals a fair trial could result in their being released! That would be . un-American.


What is the difference between concentration camps and what we do with our detainees?

Heres what Wikipedia says about concentration camps:

The term concentration camp lost some of its original meaning after Nazi concentration camps were discovered, and has ever since been understood to refer to a place of mistreatment, starvation, forced labor, and murder. The expression since then has only been used in this extremely pejorative sense; no government or organization has used it to describe its own facilities, using instead terms such as internment camp, resettlement camp, detention facility, etc, regardless of the actual circumstances of the camp, which can vary a great deal.

So how does this differ from what we do with our detainees at Guantanamo Bay, in Iraq, in our secret prisons around the world, and what happens to those whom we outsource into the hands of various murderous regimes via our extraordinary rendition program?

Murder? An analysis of 44 autopsies reported by the ACLU, of men who died in our detention facilities, found 21 of them to be homicides. Mistreatment? There have been numerous human rights reports that have made it quite clear that severe mistreatment is the rule rather than the exception. Starvation? Theres probably not much of that. We try very hard to keep our detainees alive, so that we can torture I mean interrogate them on a regular basis. Forced Labor? I havent heard reports of that. So thats two out of four.

Why not regard our system of detainees from our War on Terror simply as a part of our prison system? Well, prisoners are generally charged with a crime, they have access to counsel and get to see the charges against them, so that they can defend themselves; there detention is usually not indefinite, unless they have been found guilty of some heinous crime; there is a record of their detention, their family is notified, and they get to see their family once in a while; and they are generally not subjected to torture, whereas George Bush specifically signed a signing statement nullifying a Congressional law that prohibited torture of our detainees.

How many of these detainees has George Bushs War on Terror claimed? It is hard to tell precisely because so much of the program is secret. But according to investigative reporter Stephen Grey, in his book, Ghost Plane The True Story of the CIA Torture Program, an estimated 11,000 men (and boys) have been illegally detained, without charges, for months or years, and without recourse to the human rights mandated by international law in the Geneva Conventions, in George Bushs War on Terror.

But at least these things dont happen on U.S. soil.


Recent developments and propaganda

Between July 2004 and March 2005, the Department of Defense conducted Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT) for 558 detainees of the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay and determined that 520 of them continued to warrant enemy combatant status.

Consequently, eight of the detainees deemed to be enemy combatants petitioned the U.S. Federal Appeals Court in Washington, D.C., for a review of the CSRT decision. On July 20, 2007, the Federal Appeals Court, in a decision written by Chief Judge Douglass Ginsburg, ruled that the U.S. government must release information bearing on the issue of whether the detainee meets the criteria to be designated as an enemy combatant.

Five days later, July 25th, the Combating Terrorism Center (CTS) released a report (which they had written at the request of the Secretary of Defense) claiming that 73% of the 516 detainees whose records they reviewed were a demonstrated threat as an enemy combatant. It is not clear when they were asked to conduct their investigation, but it should be clear to anyone who read their report that their investigation could have been conducted and their report written easily within five days.

As might be expected, the CTS report was a big propaganda coup for the Bush administration in its efforts to get the American people to accept its concentration camps I mean detention facilities as nothing out of the ordinary. It was that report that spurred the Wall Street Journal editorial and the C-SPAN segment that I quoted above, and newspaper articles such as this one, titled New U.S. study calls Guantanamo captives dangerous.

Apparently the DOD requested the Combating Terrorism Center to do their investigation in order to combat the negative publicity, and perhaps especially in response to the recent appeals court decision that demanded more information from the Bush administration thus implying that George Bush and his administration do not have the legal right to unilaterally determine who can be imprisoned, in the absence of a fair trial (Or more specifically, the court asserted our Fifth Amendment rights to due process and our Sixth Amendment right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state)

After all, if 73% of them are demonstrated threats and another 22% of them are potential threats, then various conservative individuals and groups, as indicated by the Wall Street Journal article, would jump to the obvious conclusion that for the sake of our national security we cant afford to give these terrorists a fair trial.

But lets take a close look at the CTS report.


Orwellian report claims 73% of Guantanamo detainees are a demonstrated threat

One might think that if a government commissions a research group in the hope that it will find evidence to validate the governments own decisions, that the government would allow that research group access to more evidence than the government itself used in a court case where its evidence was deemed insufficient. But one would be wrong if one thought that in this case. The Combating Terrorism Center was given access only to the exact same evidence that the federal appeals court found insufficient to prosecute the detainees.

To conduct their research the CTC simply reviewed government reports on the detainees. The primary finding of their report was that 73% of detainees were classified as demonstrated threat as an enemy combatant and an additional 22% (for a total of 95%) were classified as potential threats. Their definition of a demonstrated threat as an enemy combatant was a detainee who participated, prepared to participate, or intended to participate in direct hostilities against the U.S. and its Coalition allies. In other words, it included anyone who defended their country against the U.S. invasion of their country.

The largest category of demonstrated threat was the hostilities category, which included those who definitively supported or waged hostile activities against the US/Coalition allies. This label was put on 56% of the total 516 detainees whose records were reviewed in the study. By definitive, the CTC meant that there was an explicit statement made without qualification about the data field in the publicly available CSRT (i.e., the Combatant Status Review Tribunals) unclassified summary.

What evidence did the unclassified summaries contain that allowed the CTC to classify these people as definitive threats as enemy combatants? There was only one type of evidence noted in the documents: Fifty-six (56) individuals admitted to fighting the U.S. or coalition forces. However, there was no notation as to how many of those admissions were obtained under torture. As for the rest of those detainees who were relegated to the hostilities category, no evidence was provided. Individuals were found to have manned the front lines; or they were found to have directly participated in, or supported the planning or plotting of a combat operation. The other findings that led to the categorization of a detainee as a demonstrated threat were no more solid than that.

The CTC, to their credit, did admit in their report that The summary of details for any given CSRT unclassified summary is neither comprehensive nor all that specific. This is due, in large part, to the fact that much of the information used to determine an individuals status remains classified. However, they not only failed to note how much of the information was obtained under torture, they didnt even mention torture as a means of obtaining information. And just as bad, they failed to note that much of the information contained in the reports was obtained from bounty hunters who delivered captives into U.S. custody for large sums of cash. The report does however contain an analysis of the source of capture of the detainees, in which less than 5% are noted to have been captured by the U.S. government and more than half do not have the capture source stated in their records.


The U.S. detainee program in perspective

Thus in response to a myriad of criticisms of human rights abuses and the indefinite imprisonment of thousands of innocent men (and boys), the Bush administration commissioned a study to set the record straight; the researchers were solely limited to government documents to conduct their research; they classified detainees as definitive threats based on confessions obtained under torture or information supported by no (publicly available) evidence whatsoever, much of which was obtained from bounty hunters; they concluded that 73% of our detainees are definitive threats as enemy combatants; and from that the Bush administration got a big propaganda boost, as rags like the Wall Street Journal editorial page whine about the possibility that some of the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere might go free if we allow them to have the right to a fair trial a right that American citizens take for granted.

Let us also not forget that the term enemy combatant has no legal standing under international law whatsoever. It is simply a term that George W. Bush uses to avoid having to treat his prisoners humanely, as required under the Geneva Conventions, in his self-proclaimed War on Terror.

What if fair trials were given to our prisoners and a handful of guilty ones were released for lack of evidence? Lets say that guilty meant that they had fought to defend their homeland against U.S. invasion. Worse yet, lets suppose we actually had to let go a handful of real terrorists, for lack of evidence against them. That would probably swell the ranks of anti-American terrorists by what a tenth of a percent maybe? In the meantime, our widespread infamous violations of international law are swelling the ranks of terrorists by huge numbers. Does anyone with an ounce of common sense believe well ever solve the problem of anti-American terrorism by capturing terrorists and throwing them in dungeons to be tortured? The Bush approach is like trying to put out a fire by throwing kerosene on it.

Ill end this post now with an excerpt from Stephen Greys book about the CIA torture program, where he compares our detainee system to the Soviet Unions Gulag system under Stalin, and which I discuss in this post:

How much more than surreal, more apart from normal existence, was the network of prisons run after 9/11 by the United States and its allies? How much easier too was the denial and the double-think when those who disappeared into the modern gulag were, being mainly swarthy skinned Arabs with a different culture, so different from most of us in the West? How much more reassuring were the words from our politicians that all was well?

Our country has now put about 11,000 men and boys into this network. And yet most Americans like to think and claim that we dont have concentration camps.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. REX 84
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. REX 84 sucks ass.
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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. You beat me to it
"We don't have concentration camps in America"...yet.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. We also had them during WWII. nt
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Yes we do. Immigration Detention Centers built by Halliburton.
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JacquesMolay Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
18. Right, we got 'em, they're just low occupancy at the moment.
...n/t
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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #18
46. What? How many millions are in jail across the country? Among those...
... how many are actually innocent of the charges they have been convicted of? Therefore, how many who are really guilty are walking the corridors of power?

Let's not forget about Margie Schoedinger!

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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. Merika. The unrecognizable!
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. They stole my nation and left me a "homeland". If I had any brains I'd be scared. Recommended. nm
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
33. Homeland. Fuck a homeland. I want my nation back!
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
6. USA #1 Yeah TEAM AMERICA!
I am so proud of what we have allowed ourselves to become that I just shit myself.
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Vyan Donating Member (990 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
8. You don't have to go to Gitmo
Edited on Tue Jul-31-07 10:57 AM by Vyan
to find a Concentration Camp, you only have to go to Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas The T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a private detention facility in Taylor, Texas, is emblematic of new federal policy that detains all unauthorized immigrants from countries other than Mexico while the government determines whether they should be deported or have a legal right to be here.

The Taylor center is used for that purpose, but it and a much smaller one in Pennsylvania share a distinction: They are the only two such facilities in the country that hold immigrant families and children on non-criminal charges.


Vyan

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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Long-range planning...
The Gatekeeper: Watch on the INS
by Alisa Solomon

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0233/solomon.php

Detainees Equal Dollars
The Rise in Immigrant Incarcerations drives a prison boom
August 14 - 20, 2002

t was a shaky spring for the correctional workers of Hastings, Nebraska (pop. 24,064), as the stagnation in the nation's prison population and the increasingly high costs of incarceration jostled the sleepy town, some two hours' drive from Lincoln. On April 9, the 84 employees of the Hastings Correctional Center were told that the 186-bed facility would be closing at the end of June. State funds were scraping bottom, and the $2.5 million annual price tag for the prison was too big a burden to carry. "We really didn't know what we would do," says Jim Morgan, who had been working at HCC for 15 years and lives to this day in the house where he was born. "There aren't a lot of job opportunities out here, and most of us have homes and kids and couldn't even think about moving somewhere else." For two months, the workers scrambled, filling out applications at nearby meatpacking and cardboard-container plants and anticipating long hours in the unemployment office.

Then salvation came from, of all places, the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Days after HCC closed as a state prison in June, it reopened as an INS detention center.

"It's a win-win," says Morgan. The INS is desperate for more beds for its ever expanding detainee population. And the state of Nebraska, collecting $65 per detainee per day from the INS, rakes in more than $1 million a year over and above the cost of running the place.

County jailers have long known that housing INS detainees pumps easy income into the coffers. Nearly 900 facilities around the country provide beds for the INS, and in interviews over the years, several county sheriffs and wardens have described such detainees as a "cash crop."

more at link
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. I had some interactions with the INS a few years ago
I and my wife voluteered to take in an asylum seeker from Cambodia, whom the Cambodian government had tried to kill several times because of his human rights work as a lawyer.

Even though we agreed to sponsor him, he was kept in prison for several months while his case was investigated. My wife and I appeared in court a few times, just for moral support. The judge was a super asshole and seemed to want to either ship him back to Cambodia or let him stay in prison for a long time. Luckily an ambassador who he know testified in his behalf, and the judge was very impressed with that.

I never thought about the possibility that the prison where he stayed might have been for profit, and I don't know if it was.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. Spot the LIE...
Follow the MONEY. So ist das...
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #9
58. With the coming construction bust...
there will be a very large group of immigrants, legal and otherwise, out of work. The vast majority of them are from Mexico and other Latin American countries. I would imagine that going home won't be an option for them, and when their families begin to starve, I would also imagine that would cause some social unrest. As you say, long term planning.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. It's an outrage that we have prisons for profit in this country
The potential for abuse is tremendous, and with George Bush as pResident, abuse is positively encouraged.

And Chertoff's little trick was unconscionable. With a decent national news media that should have been a major scandal. I hope these people are treated a lot better than our detainees at Gitmo, Iraq, and in our secret prisons around the world.
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Marnieworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. amen to that too
It's the prisons for profit that propels the alleged War on Drugs. Incarcerating users is sinful and illogical especially for the #1 drug Pot, such a benign and often helpful substance. But yet it is rare when it is even discussed. People rot in jail as we work on more pressing needs. Even with due process there are a lot of people incarcerated that shouldn't be in a just system.
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Zywiec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
36. What are unauthorized immigrants? n/t
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Marnieworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
11. Thank you for this post
It's something that many of us are passionate about but we don't take the time to organize it all like this.

Yet another reason that we know that there is no actual journalism on TV. It's such a cut and dry horror, so unconstitutional and unAmerican and yet continues unchallenged on a wide scale. I think that most Americans still do not grasp this.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #11
43. I feel the same way about this
It is so sad that many, or more likely most, American don't grasp how bad this is.

As you say, it is largely the fault of our corporate news media. But I think that Americans need to share some of the blame to. Often people simply don't see what they don't want to see.

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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. Of course, what else can you expect from the WSJ...
The result of bringing Gitmo detainees into U.S. criminal courts would inevitably be their widespread release which means leaving them free to kill Americans again.

Shall we forget about the fact that they haven't been tried? Shall we forget the implications of thier not being tried - that no evidence has been presented to show that they have any guilt in killing Americans? It would be very difficult to believe that they could kill Americans again, when likely most of them haven't done so YET.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
13. I got majorly flamed and insulted on DU by a member who was angry that I used the term
'concentration camp' to describe the Japanese internment camps that Roosevelt set up during WW II. Cindy Sheehan was citing them as a result of a Democrat's policies. I agreed with her and got flamed, because this ignorant person insisted that *only* the Nazi's had concentration camps and that a camp without ovens and gas chambers cannot be 'concentration camps', even though they're used to *concentrate* people.

What logic, huh? There's a way to linguistically weasel yourself out of having to call them what they are. Once you remove the term 'concentration' from 'camp', it doesn't sound so bad anymore. That's exactly the tactics of the Bush-administration... on everything! Play with words, dress horrible things up as something nice.

Hmm, come to think of it, maybe it was a troll...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Sorry you got flamed for that
As the Wikipedia notes, with "concentration camps", as with many other terms, there is a substantial difference between its technical definition and what it has come to signify.

As with many other things there is a wide disparity in destructive capacity among concentration camps and among different systems of concentration camps. Some would say that the Nazi camps would better be called "death camps" than "concentration camps". Of course it isn't what they are called that is most important, compared to how they are run and what they do.

FDR's concentration camps were wrong, and Reagan was right to apologize for them (as much as I hate to give Reagan a point up over FDR). But it is important to note IMO that the concentration camps under FDR were a lot more benign than are the current ones under Bush that are used in his "War on Terror". There were atrocities that took place in the Japanese concentration camps under FDR, but to the extent that that happened the atrocities originated locally and were not encouraged by the top of our government. Bush and Cheney, on the other hand, positively encourages the routine and systematic committing of atrocities under their system. Their system holds a place somewhere in between the concentration camps under FDR and the Nazi death camps.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. Of course I agree with you on the huge differences between FDR's camps and the ones that Bush set up
Still, my admiration of FDR got a severe blow when I found out about them.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Differences
The biggest being that FDR's held over 150,000 American Citizens whose only crime was Japanese surnames. No crimes committed, not attempt to kill Americans. As least some of the few hundred folks in Gitmo actually tried to kill Americans.
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Der Blaue Engel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. But how do you know?
"As least some of the few hundred folks in Gitmo actually tried to kill Americans."

Is there any proof of that? How do we even know who's there or how many?

It could be that the only crime anyone in Gitmo committed was having brown skin and a "funny-sounding" name.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. You can check my post on Guantanamo detainees further down.
Edited on Tue Jul-31-07 09:22 PM by mmonk
Post #35
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #32
51. There is virtually no evidence for that
Unless you want to count those who were fighting in an army that was defending their country against the American invasion. For those people, international law requires that they be accorded prisoner of war status, and Bush has adamantly refused to give them that.

For the others, a few years into the "War on Terror", only five had even been charged with a crime, and none were convicted. Now we have the military tribunals, which are obviously under great political pressure from the Bush administration (as are all parts of our government) to come up with findings in their favor. And they do so, based on rules of evidence that our Constitution absolutely prohibits in normal criminal trials, using secret evidence that the defendents aren't allowed access to.
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #30
40. So I guess you like w more than FDR? Enjoy your stay at DU.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #40
68. Like FDR
NO I do not particualrly care for w. And I am a great admirer of FDR. However, the violation of human rights is wrong regardless of the party or the indivdual that commits them. Gitmo should be closed, that is something that can be done now. The interment camps of WWII are in the past. But we should not forget that they existed and were a travisty of justice.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #28
42. weirdly enough, I was sadder about FDR than about Mackenzie King ...
Edited on Tue Jul-31-07 11:27 PM by Lisa
Both of them had to make the final call on ordering the internments, in their respective countries.

I'm Japanese-Canadian, and have always liked and admired FDR, as soon as I was old enough to learn about things like the New Deal. (King, the Canadian PM, not so much!) A lot of Japanese-Americans supported the Dems, too. As I find out more about the times, I admire Truman more and more ... despite the decision to use the bomb.

I am resigned to holding this sense of ambiguity in my heart and mind. I wasn't alive during that time, but my parents were, and they were very careful to encourage me to look at the story from all angles, and not succumb to blind rage. While I try to understand the panic and hatred that made things like the internment possible, I also see the heroism of those people who tried to change the outcome. Church ministers and political activists tried to protest the internments, without any advantage to themselves (since in Canada anyway, even the Japanese-Canadians who were born here couldn't vote). Quite often they were attacked as traitors, or dangerously naive, by those in their own political movements.

The thing is -- Bush has the advantage of historical hindsight, but chooses not to use it. (Okay, so he didn't leap up and order mass internments of all Muslim Americans ... even he wouldn't be that foolish! So that's one blessing, albeit a tiny one.)

When I was growing up, my folks told me that I mustn't feel afraid or ashamed, about what happened to my family. They didn't tell me it was my duty to watch for unfair situations, but over the years, especially since 2001, I have tried to speak out, to remind people that the media are saying the same things about Muslims that were said about the Japanese in the 1940s.

Weirdly enough, my cousin was red-flagged while applying for a government job a few years ago. It turned out that they'd mixed her security information up with her mother's, even though I'd thought that the Canadian government had expunged the "enemy alien" notations from its files -- both of them were listed as potential security risks, and my cousin got a little visit from the local RCMP.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #42
55. I'm sorry about what your parents went through
I know what you mean about having a sense of ambivalence in your heart about this.

I actually feel more of that towards Truman because of his decision to use the bomb. But also towards FDR for his decision regarding the Japanese internment camps. To his credit, he did rescind the order for the camps in 1944.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #55
66. my aunt had an interesting experience -- when she was my age ...
... she had a chance to meet with a famous Canadian progressive (J.S. Woodworth). She told me that she greatly feared being disappointed ... she had admired him for many years, and was worried that he might brush her off or say something about the internment that would show he was like so many other political leaders at the time ("a sad necessity, had to be done", etc.). As it turned out, it wasn't like that at all -- even though she was so much younger, he was very approachable, sympathetic, and not a bit condescending.

Reading documents from the time, I now realize that she wasn't just experiencing jitters -- Woodworth and his colleagues were really torn about the internment issue. Even some Canadian leftists were deeply suspicious of "ethnic communities", and those who weren't afraid or bigoted, were concerned that appearing to be "Jap-lovers" (as the mainstream Vancouver newspapers put it) would sink any chance of the CCF gaining political power in BC. The CCF really had nothing to gain, and everything to lose (at least in the short term) by opposing the internment, because Japanese-Canadians didn't get the vote until after the war.

I try to remind myself that it's not the only time that people were let down by politicians they'd supported ... Jewish Americans and Canadians tended to vote for the Democrats/Liberals, and ironically this might have led the politicians to believe that since they already had a lock on that particular constituency, therefore there was no need to make an effort to appeal to them if it would cost support from other groups (e.g. by lifting immigration restrictions in the 1930s). And a lot of Muslim Americans voted for Bush in 2000 ... apart from a few photo-ops and halfhearted platitudes, he didn't exactly throw himself into defending their civil liberties and protecting them from his riled-up "base".
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. That's what they were.
Dachau had no gas chambers. (Actually it had one, but it was never used.) It was literally a concentration camp where undesireables were brought to work them to death. It did have four or six ovens to dispose of the victims. This is distinguished from a place like Auswitz which was a death camp built for the purpose of mass murder and disposal with ovens and gas chambers running full tilt.
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JacquesMolay Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. Maybe, to account for hyper-sensitivity, we should just call them ..
... internment camps. Like it or not, 'concentration' camp has taken on a new, historically-enriched meaning because of Hitler's pogrom against the Jews. Of course, I do recognize the inherent difficulty in making the switch - we have to tell the 80% of Americans who don't know what 'internment' means.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #25
41. no kidding -- I've heard people refer to them as "interment camps"
Edited on Tue Jul-31-07 11:35 PM by Lisa
(as in "burial" -- when they mean "internment")

I suppose, from the perspective of the people who spent time in them, it WAS kind of like being buried and forgotten. Technically, a lot of the places did have the trappings of generic concentration camps -- fortifications, armed guards, etc. -- and in a few cases, those living there were made to wear distinctive uniforms (like the coveralls with red "targets" on the backs, for at least one camp in Canada).

I should mention that everyone in my family who was born prior to 1945 spent time in the Canadian version of the internment camps. (I still cringe inwardly at calling them "FDR's camps" -- ironically, a lot of Japanese-Americans were Democrats!) If you ask Japanese-Americans and Canadians about "the camps", everybody knows what you mean. For a while, people called it "the evacuation" (at least in Canada), but I've noticed that there's gradually been a shift away from that. For one thing, some apologists have deliberately used the term to minimize what was done (as if it were a broken water main or flooded creek, and people were relocated for their own safety). And indeed, as the supposed threat posed by the internees is now recognized as a boogeyman (very few of them ended up in trouble with the law, much less as Japanese spies, saboteurs, or suicide attackers), I have heard some historical revisionists changing their tune and claiming that those of Japanese descent would have been lynched or burned out by their neighbors, and that the government "did them a favor" by "saving" them from enraged mobs. (By shipping them out into the middle of nowhere, and in many cases confiscating family assets and selling them to pay for the internment costs!) By the way, everybody from California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia I've spoken to about this has expressed outrage and dismay, that anyone would imply they are vicious, murdering bigots.

I know that the camps operated by the Nazis (and by the Imperial Japanese government) were much more horrible than those in North America. BUT, for countries that prided themselves on being democracies and fighting for freedom and human dignity ... any mass political internment facility is a bad thing. (I try to point this out to folks who insist that it was "justified" because of what Japan was doing to POWs and captured civilians at the time ... and I'm sorry to say that people are not always receptive. Even though it's pretty evident that my mom and dad, born here in North America, are simply not the same people as Hirohito and Co. -- and had absolutely nothing to do with the atrocities of WWII.)

I really hate ethnic profiling, mass internment, and forced relocation. I don't care whose idea it was, or who the targeted group is -- whether they are Jewish, Native American, Muslim, or anybody else. My family went through hell because of it -- my mom still wakes up crying sometimes because she doesn't know where she is or what's happening -- and I don't want to live in a society that demands my loyalty while doing things like that to people, citizens or otherwise, who are supposed to be under its auspices.



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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #13
44. It is important to note that the Japanese were treated humanely in those camps...
Not that it justifies them by any means.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #44
54. I agree -- It is very important to note that
There were individual abuses in the Japanese internment camps, but they weren't approved at the top levels of government, and there wasn't a systematic effort on the part of our government to make life miserable for them as there is in our current system. Nor was their detention ever meant to be interminable. That is a huge difference.

But you're right, that doesn't justify them, and our our government during WW II could have and should have done a better job in looking after their interests.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #44
62. LOL
If they were treated humanely they wouldn't have been in the camps.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. I guess I should say humanely for prisoners
They should not have been prisoners in the first place, though.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #63
67. in a democracy that believed itself to be championing human freedom and dignity ...
Edited on Wed Aug-01-07 02:33 PM by Lisa
Forcibly rounding up large numbers of people, including children, is a bit of a contradiction. In some ways, worse than having political prisoners (since many of them, like my 13-year-old mom, weren't in a position to take part in any political activity anyway). By definition, good countries oughtn't to do anything that looks like this, even if the camps are comfortable and well-run (they usually weren't -- a lot of people got sick from living in tarpaper shacks with poor sanitation). I don't know whether the inmates ever wondered if Canada and the US might seek a "final solution" ... but as the years went on, rumours did surface. (You can't stop people from being apprehensive, especially when they are cut off from the general population and have no reliable source of news.) People began to suspect that there might be a "prisoner swap" in exchange for Canadian and US POWs held by Japan. The ones who hadn't had the spirit quelled in them were quite indignant. Imagine swapping a child born in Vancouver, and a loyal British subject
(that's what they were back then -- "Canadian" didn't officially exist until the late 1940s), for an adult prisoner of war!

One of my dad's high school friends was deported to Japan with her family, after the war. She ended up dying there (probably tuberculosis, judging by the symptoms) -- the country was so shattered that there wasn't adequate medical treatment. I think he was kind of sweet on her, because he wrote a story about her a few years ago.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
19. So the Nazis are our benchmark now?
Anything short of a concentration camp is acceptable?

Also, they are not detainees. That is someone who is briefly stopped pursuant to Terry v. Ohio based on suspicion but no probable cause for a search or an arrest. People who are imprisoned during a war are called prisoners of war. Were they fighting us? Then POWs and international law and our own domestic law on POWs apply.

Finally it is not OUR policy. This is Bushco's doing alone.
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
39. sure does look that way
"lowest common denominator" issue... the Empire is sinking to new lows...
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
20. We slaughter them over there...
so we don't need to concentrate them over here.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. "People who are imprisoned during a war are called
prisoners of war." That is the problem with the people who are still in prison at GITMO and other places. Congress did not declare the Invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq as an "Official War". This is where the Legality of these "Detainees" runs into a quandry. What is their status?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. MISSING PERSONS.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. I read somewhere that there were over 33 detainees 'missing'. Reminded me of Chile and Argentina...
Will we one day find out the Bush-administration had them assassinated?

Whenever I read of persons 'missing' I think of the reign of Pinochet in Chile and the military junta in Argentina. It's scary that their tactics now seem to be practiced in 'the land of the free and the home of the brave'.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Here's a list of cases where evidence exists for a disappearance connected with Bush's WOT
http://www.chrgj.org/docs/OffRecord/Off_the_Record_List...

There are 39 on the list. But the true number is likely a lot higher than that. Remember, we know that many people are spirited away to secret prisons, but we don't know how many prisons there are. I'm no expert on this, but it seems to me that in the good majority of disappearances there would be no evidence existing as to what happened to them. The list of 39 represents those cases where a link was discovered, so to speak.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #34
61. Let's also not forget the complicity of European countries 'hosting' the CIA secret prisons
A EU report concluded that secret prisons were most likely to have been located in Poland and Romania. The Netherlands is also complicit, by allowing CIA-flights to land and tank on Schiphol airport.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Exactly -- BushCo makes a mockery of international law
The Geneva Conventions of 1949 (to which the U.S. is a signatory) specify numerous criteria for the humane treatment of prisoners of war, and also that anyone falling into enemy hands during wartime is to be accorded prisoner of war status unless determined otherwise by a competent tribunal.

Furthermore, anyone falling into enemy hands and who is determined not to be a prisoner of war must be charged with a criminal offense in order to be held in captivity, and they must be accorded all the rights of accused criminals. This includes informing the person of the reason for his detention, the presumption of innocence, access to a competent attorney, the right to confront witnesses, etc. The bottom line is that no person, whether prisoner of war, suspected criminal, or a person given any other designation, can ever fall outside the scope of these minimum international protections.

The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984 further protects all categories of persons against torture.

The Bush administration, however, has repeatedly claimed that Americas detainees at Guantanamo Bay (and elsewhere to a lesser extent) have no rights according to international law. Consequently, the great majority of those detainees have been held there indefinitely without charges, have had no access to an attorney, have not been tried or (if they have been tried) have been denied the opportunity to confront witnesses against them, and many or most of them have been repeatedly tortured. And by his repeated public pronouncements to the effect that the detainees are murderers and terrorists, George Bush has erased the presumption of innocence. The Bush administration claims that these detainees have no rights according to international law are based on three arguments none of which have any merit:

First, the Bush administration claims that by designating the detainees as unlawful combatants, their rights are thereby abrogated. There are two major problems with that argument. First, in the great majority of cases there has been no legal determination that the detainees are not deserving of prisoner of war status. And second, as noted above, international law specifies that there are absolutely no categories of persons who are without legal rights.

The second Bush administration justification for abrogating all rights of the detainees is that Guantanamo Bay is outside the territory of the United States. That argument is nothing but a shameful attempt to deny human rights on the basis of a technicality, and it has no basis in international law, since the United States has sole control over the detainees, regardless of whether or not they technically reside on U.S. territory.

Thirdly, George Bush claims that the detainees have no rights in international law because U.S. law trumps international law. That argument is even more ridiculous than the other two. If a country can legally claim the right to disregard international law simply on the basis that its own laws trump international law, then international law and all of its accompanying treaties would be devoid of all meaning.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
27. Here you go
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #27
52. Thank you -- This looks like a wealth of information
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
31. Yes Yes Yes, Nazis, Concentration Camps, Holocausts, Genocides, We Know, We Know.
Edited on Tue Jul-31-07 06:54 PM by OPERATIONMINDCRIME
Yup. Most people will ABSOLUTELY buy these arguments. No question. Their eyes rolling in their heads is just out of respect for the position. Seriously. Everyone's gonna listen to such extreme terms used in describing this administration. No one's gonna find any of it over the top or anything. Yup! They're all nazis running concentration camps while committing genocide and the next holocaust. Preach it to the people!

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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 05:32 AM
Response to Reply #31
47. MK-ULTRA baby! Tiger Force man! Operation Pheonix dude! Yeah!!! n/t
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #31
56. I know this is beneath your dignity, but
can you tell us one specific thing in the OP that you believe is an exaggeration, and what evidence you have for that?
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
35. Report on Guantanamo Bay Detainees
1. Fifty-five percent (55%) of the detainees are not determined to have committed any
hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies.
2. Only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining
detainees, 40% have no definitive connection with al Qaeda at all and 18% are have no definitive
affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.

-snip-

http://law.shu.edu/news/guantanamo_report_final_2_08_06...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #35
50. The study you quote used the same exact records as the Combating Terrorism Center did in the study
that I described in the OP.

The main difference is that the study you cite dug deeper into it, instead of just taking everything the government said at face value.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #50
59. Unfortunately
too many (primarily the "press') take things at face value. We seem to be a nation too lazy to inquire.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
38. Murdoch may as well own the Wall Street Journal; its editorial page ios nothing but a
rag anyway.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
45. I don't think we're in Nazi Germany, but the resemblances are worth noting
I think the most important thing to get out of this is that the right wing has no respect for the constitutional principles. The notion that today's conservatives are the heirs of the founding fathers, liberals in the classic sense, because they support constitutional principles but not big government social programs, doesn't hold because they don't support constitutional principles or the philosophy that they are based on. They don't support an independent judiciary, rights of the accused, or a limited executive branch.

Today's conservatives seek to create a monarchy and an aristocracy and place absolute power in their hands.
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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #45
48. I'd take a poll amongst Katrina survivors before minimizing any such comparisons.
Edited on Wed Aug-01-07 05:45 AM by bananarepublican
Perhaps a better comparison would be with the former apartheidt South Africa. I hope you are all aware of a government program (1st half of the 20th century) which administered the syphillus virus amongst a group of African American men in order to study its long term effects!

The AIDS virus could well be another story. Somehow, its jumping a species to predominantly attack the African continent and gays needs a bit more thought.

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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 05:37 AM
Response to Original message
49. Thank you
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
53. Kick and Nom#40 here comes Martial Law. Don't blink, because one major TERRA
Edited on Wed Aug-01-07 07:57 AM by sarcasmo
Attack and Martial Law will be imposed on our Country so fast it will make your head spin. Go ahead with the tinfoil nonsense, you deniers will be the first ones marching to the inoculation camps. REX84 equals inoculation camp, IMHO.
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Amonester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #53
57. Kick (and...)
the deniers' "surprise" will sound like "Have we been DUped?"

Now, where did I hear that by a Dem Senator lately?

Always way too late... as usual.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #53
60. The prison industry is LUCRATIVE,
the infrastructure is built, the laws have been subverted, all that'a needed now is for something to go boom.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
64. K&R
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
65. So the investigators can only glean through documents that have been cleared by the BFEE.
Thats really nice! Ware have I heard that before?

Certainly the official version of manipulated evidence needs too clearly prove to we the people, who have no pallet for truth, that they hate us for our freedom, and that a functional justice system would obviously empower those who intend to do us the most harm.

Even if they didnt intend to do us harm, they were after all, non-white Muslims running around and trespassing in there own country, of which our corporate elite is trying to steal from them ... Woops, I meant to say, our government is trying to Democratize.

I just hope that they, (as in the neo-cons) are not practicing and developing techniques that will be used on American citizens here in the U.S Naaaaa like they say It could never happen here And of course, that would be un-American!


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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #65
69. It's a little bit like
when they pressured the CIA to come up with findings that would support the case for war in Iraq -- or at least step aside and don't tell the people that the whole case for war was built on a pack of lies. The CIA knew. But George Tenet was cowed into helping them along.
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