Comments

John NJanuary 30, 2009 4:02 PM

Unfortunately, like Bruce, Jon Stewart spends far too much time espousing common sense. He is completely unqualified for public office in the US.

MaupassantJanuary 30, 2009 6:22 PM

Did anybody listen to Steve King? His plot involved a terrorist entering a U.S. embassy in the U.S. to ask for asylum. Hello? A U.S. embassy *in the U.S.*? Just how bad is your education system, guys?

Dick CheneyJanuary 30, 2009 9:33 PM

Keep in mind that all these guys (King, Bond, Boehner, etc.) who are dragging their feet are in the minority party, and right now they have nothing to gain by being honest and straightforward about acknowledging or addressing the many problems we face in the USA.

Their reckoning day will come some day (except for Bond, for example, who has announced his retirement at the end of his current term) and we can only hope their constituents remember their sniveling and whining when that day comes.

aikimarkJanuary 31, 2009 9:41 AM

1. OMG...Bruce watches The Daily Show!
(I wonder if Jon knows this)

2. Bruce owns a TV?

3. When will we see Bruce on the Colbert Report?

JKFebruary 1, 2009 3:48 AM

Humor is a very powerful antidote to fear. We need more people like Jon Stewart taking the absurd views of politicians to their absurd extremes.

I was extremely disappointed to note that the assumption that all of the detainees at Guantanamo are dangerous has even spread to Finland. A Helsinki-region newspaper asked "should Finland accept prisoners from Guantanamo?" in one of its daily polls last week. Only 15% of those who responded said yes. I always gave the Finnish people more credit for being aware of what was going on in the world and for being willing to stand up for what they believe is right. It was really disturbing to see the results of that poll.

Club MedFebruary 1, 2009 9:52 AM

This is not a question of “can our prisons can hold criminals.” The problem is these “bad guys” once in the USA with ACLU enablers will want their cases handled like those of shoplifters and bank robbers. Our legal system will look for valid search warrants, chain of evidence, Miranda warnings etc and at that point “enemy combatants” will become out on bail neighbors. Our military is very good at killing and breaking. That is what soldiers do. They are a last resort. If you wanted to imprison these folks like common criminals then we would have sent the NYPD to Afghanistan. I hope that seems just a bit preposterous to most folks. BTW GITMO is not closed yet. TBD.

Sam GreenfieldFebruary 1, 2009 12:06 PM

@Club Med: "The problem is these 'bad guys' once in the USA with ACLU enablers will want their cases handled like those of shoplifters and bank robbers."

Reference please? I don't think anyone has compared the prisoners to "shoplifters" or "bank robbers." Personally, I would like to see these prisoners handled either by civilian courts or by the processes already set up by the military courts for trying and convicting prisoners. And given some of the people already released from Guantanamo Bay, I'm confident that there are other people still imprisoned who have done absolutely nothing to justify their detention.

Federal courts have been able to try terrorism cases again and again (see Abdel-Rahman and McVeigh). Similarly, military courts have been able to try and convict prisoners without the requirements of civil protections like "search warrants" or Miranda warnings.

One of the problems with a legal limbo like Guantanamo Bay is that it gives carte blanche to the government to imprison anyone they want for whatever reason with limited recourse. I was happy when, after many years, the courts finally acknowledged the prisoners' basic right of habeas corpus.

Finally, it's funny that you should mention sending the NYPD overseas. The NYPD has more police officers overseas than any other metropolitan police force in the world, and regularly works with overseas police forces (For example, see http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/pr/... ).

GweihirFebruary 1, 2009 11:06 PM

Works in Switzerland too.

Incidentially, this guy makes a lot of good points. Good to be reminded the US populations is not only nil-wits and cowards (yes, I know this, but sometimes that impression gets really strong over here).

Michael DwyerFebruary 2, 2009 12:07 AM

@Club Med: "...at that point 'enemy combatants' will become out on bail neighbors."

Considering they are not American citizens, I'm pretty sure they would be deported. Your argument is silly jingoism, and I'm the idiot for rising to your trollbait.

BF SkinnerFebruary 2, 2009 7:23 AM

@Club Med "ACLU enablers " etc.

There are models of involuntary confinment that don't require throwing away our rights under law.

Mental and physical health for instance. A mental paitient who is a danger to themself or others can be confined for an indeterminate time at a judges discretion. This was described in detail when the GITMO camps were set up.

But that's not what the last administration wanted. They wanted a playing field with no oversight, review or constraint. The VP said repeatedly that the president answered to no one.

"When the President does it it's not illegal". bah.

@Michael Dwyer It's a double bind if we don't answer their foggy thinking then people are inclined to say to themselves "Nobody's gainsaying them. Must be true."

MikeFebruary 2, 2009 8:26 AM

It's just plain stupid to think that the prisoners in Guantanamo should a) be brought into this country and b) dropped into the US judicial system.

What is really going on here is that we have an unaccounted for situation in our system of international conduct. The prisoners need to be classified as Prisoners of War. The facility that houses them needs to be recognized as a POW camp where the detainees are treated with dignity and respect. Their release should not be a result of a court decision, but a political negotiation or an official cessation of hostilities with an appropriate prisoner release/exchange.

What hubris it is to think that America can define crimes around the globe. And even go so far as to define attacking your enemy as a crime if your enemy happens to be the US.

JasonFebruary 2, 2009 9:54 AM

Drop these guys into an American prison and they will probably be raped, beaten, and murdered by the other inmates.

Which, perhaps, is exactly the point.

DavidTCFebruary 2, 2009 12:37 PM

> Did anybody listen to Steve King? His plot involved a terrorist entering a U.S. embassy in the U.S. to ask for asylum. Hello? A U.S. embassy *in the U.S.*? Just how bad is your education system, guys?

Yeah, I caught that too, and said 'Huh?'.

Of course, the entire premise is inane.
While other countries might accept them as refugees, because they have been persecuted in various ways that other countries might accept...

...it is flatly absurd to think we'd accept refugees from ourselves. That doesn't even make logical sense. It's like challenging yourself to a duel.

Neither, incidentally, does the idea they'd be out of bail. First of all, they are an absurdly high flight risk, having no ties in this country. Secondly, they are unlikely to get bail on terrorism changes. Thirdly, who the heck would pay their bail? Fourth, we don't give people who are not legal residents bail. I'm sure there are many other equally valid problems with the idea.

The whole thing is just an amazing level of stupid.

One part that isn't stupid, however, is the idea that many of them would somehow be found innocent. Um, duh. Many of them _are_ innocent.

BF SkinnerFebruary 2, 2009 1:33 PM

@DavidTC - "Many _are_ innocent."

The GITMO Camp commandant estimated half to 3/4 had no business being there. Legal status and oversight of some sort is needed (and POW status would grant that).

Has everyone forgotton the Murielle boat lift already? Castro used it to clean out his prisons and mental institutions.

There were cases where the only reason the internee was there was someone had made an unverified claim and since the accusee couldn't respond to it how could he defend himself?

Yet to King and his ilk ALL at GITMO are "terrorists" by lable.

Civil LibertarianFebruary 2, 2009 8:29 PM

Following up on BF Skinner's comment, McClatchy provides much detailed info about the Guantánamo detainees at:
http://detainees.mcclatchydc.com/

Slightly off-topic but 'amusing' (in the sick way that much of the so-called "war on terror" is amusing): I learned last week from Steven Wax (veteran head of the Oregon Federal Public Defender Office who represented wrongly accused Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield) that the US wet feet/dry feet policy for Cuban refugees also applies at Gitmo. People have swam off Cuban territory, walked ashore at Gitmo, and been hired to work in support positions for the U.S. That's an interesting job application process for a military support position, no matter how menial it might be.

Truly, we have gone down the rabbit hole . . .

Leave a comment

Allowed HTML: <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre>

Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Co3 Systems, Inc..