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Day Two: Obama Tackles Gitmo, Military Trials, & Interrogation

Day Two: Obama Tackles Gitmo, Military Trials, & Interrogation

An executive order signed by Barack Obama today orders the closing of Guantanamo Bay within a year. The order, along with two others calling for the reviewing of military trials of terror suspects and the banning of harsh interrogation methods, mark a sharp break from Bush administration policies unpopular around the world and among many Americans.

After the signing, the president said:

The message we are sending around the world is that the US intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism and we are going to do so vigilantly, we are going to do so effectively, and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals . . . We intend to win this fight, and we intend to win it on our terms.

The Guantanamo Bay order requires the closure of the prison no later than one year from today, but also sets up a review process for figuring out what to do with the prisoners. The order on military trials creates a task force to review detainee policy. The interrogation order revokes a previous Bush order and forbids harsh tactics, while requiring all agencies to grant the Red Cross access to detainees. It also creates a special task force to look into rendition policies, and CIA interrogation practices. Are you happy with these executive orders?


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dashar dashar 8 years
Any type of imprisonment means they don't get to be martyrs, Gitmo doesn't exist for that. The field army manual applies to all prisoners. Period. There is also a Geneve accord for the treatment of non-PoWs. In any case, since torture is one of the least effective means of acquiring information, why do we want to use it?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
And the field army only applies to armed conflict against a organized, disciplined enemy who follows the Geneva Convention. Let's not lose sight that the men at Gitmo are murderers, and have no problem killing civillians in an effort to effect their ideologies. That willingness to kill civillians is something that the US tries very hard not to do.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
"the threat of gitmo means nothing to someone who is prepared to blow themsleves to bits for some holy war against the western infidels" The threat of Gitmo was that the potential terrorist doesn't get to make himself a martyr. That is a huge concern for someone who wants to get his 72 virgins.
dashar dashar 8 years
Army Field Manual 34-52 Chapter 1 "The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to unpleasant and inhumane treatment of any kind is prohibited by law and is neither authorized nor condoned by the US Government. Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear." It isn't true that people didn't have to deal with the types of terrorism that we do today. The only difference is, the threat is closer to home. In Korea and Vietnam, there were frequent terrorist bombings and soldiers often didn't know what side the civilians were on. Matthew Alexander, author of "How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq". Alexander is a US military interrogator who deplores the use of torture in interrogation as ineffective at extracting intelligence -- and he argues that it's very effective at outraging potential enemies and turning them into murderous extremists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFtOE8yUtB0&feature=related for his claim that torture has cost American lives, not saved them.
CYL CYL 8 years
Awesome. It always stuck me as hypocritical for the US to have Gitmo..despite what the country is supposed to stand for.
smouri smouri 8 years
If you are being cynical, it can be seen as political moves. It can also be seen as having a world view, where certain basic rights should be followed for your fellow human beings, even those who act against you in an act of war... I choose to see it as the latter...
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
All strictly political moves.
stephley stephley 8 years
Thanks, Smouri
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Indie, produce it and I'll make sure to watch it :D
smouri smouri 8 years
I just wanted to repost my comment from a post on the same subject on november 11th, to give some perspective on guantanamo from a more philosophical level: So I wrote this paper as a graduate student a couple of years ago, with a focus on how there has been a shift in the way the US(Bush) has governed since 9/11. The patriot act is a legal document, which represents the terms of governing that the italian scholar Giorgio Agamben has calls the 'state of exeption'. It is where the potentiel threat is stated as a situation where is is okay to suspend basic legal rights for its citizens and others. Guantanamo bay is part of this suspension of rights, where the detaines are not prisoners of war.Even though Bush uses the phrase 'war on terror', his government has chosen to disregard the genevea convention concerning POW, and placed them in the 'state of exception' where they are not officially registered in the US legal or military system. They are detained, but never charged. This suspension of rights started with The Military Order of 13. of November 2001, and has continuted with keeping Guantanamo open until now.It is deemed necessary in regards to the present situation, but that really is a very subjective argument on what is necessary. There are other choices. In the historic perspecive, this line of thought in governing was first introduced by the german philosopher Carl Schmitt in the 1920-30. And used in the way of governing in Germany the following years. The classification of jews as citizens without legal rights, is one example of where the german constitution at the time, included the state of exception in regards to part of the population, if they could be regarded as a potential threat to the state. Needless to say that i fully support the closing down of Guantanamo bay, and letting these socalled unlawful combatants get a trial for which they have been detained. I believe that an suspension of basic human rights must never be an option in the way a country governs...
indielove indielove 8 years
*than Faux News etc, etc. Jude, I haven't even organized the time slots yet, how are you sure that you won't be able to watch it? One thing is that I have to make sure it doesn't cut into my Gossip Girl hour. If you miss it(Hainan Knows Best), then HARD CHEESE!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I would watch it if it didn't interfere with my weekly Love Actually viewing.
indielove indielove 8 years
"People who didn't have to deal with the kind of terrorism we deal with today, times change and so should that manual, to re implement it shows how little Obama really knows about military and the enemy we are fighting." There should be a tv show, a radio show at the very least, and it should be called: Hainan Knows Best. Should be far more entertaining that Faux News or Rush Limbore.
indielove indielove 8 years
"Then why is what was done there such a big deal, if it wasn't a big deal to them. The whole point of gitmo, and what many of you are failing to see, is it was a place to gather information more than anything. therefore the tactics. I" Enlighten us some more, oh wise one. Once more for the cheap seats in the back!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
With regard to the whole transfer of prisoner issue and where they will land once they leave Gitmo a lot of opponents are using the NIMBY arguement saying that they are concerned for their personal safety and don't want them imprisoned in their county or state. I thought about that for a moment and then I took into consideration that yes the (guilty) one's at least are murderers but they are also terrorists, not the cold individual minded murderers that we're use to seeing on Law & Order. They work in packs and they require a complicated network or higherarchy and communication to be operate. If I were these people I would be much more conserned with the individual minded murderer than a terrorist being imprisoned in my back yard.
stephley stephley 8 years
Hain, Obama's getting plenty of military input. And the military people who update that field manual are here today, dealing with the same crap the rest of us are.
Myst Myst 8 years
This is something that I'm very ambivalent to. One one hand, I see the need for places like Gitmo but on the other hand, torturing prisoners to get an answer, if any, hasn't really proven to be very effective. I love 24 as you can see my icon but I don't take it literally as some of the more conservatively inclined people I've met who quote 24 all the time, I don't mean you Haus.... just some of the people I encounter on a daily basis.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Pink- you say all we need is time, but there are many who want these same terrorist suspects to be released after 72 hours if not charged... "It's not as if someone like me wrote the Army Field Manual Haus. The people who wrote it were/are military experts who drew on years of experience and history." People who didn't have to deal with the kind of terrorism we deal with today, times change and so should that manual, to re implement it shows how little Obama really knows about military and the enemy we are fighting.
wren1 wren1 8 years
:cheer: This thrills me. I have so much respect for our president, a feeling that's been missing for too many years. Yay!
stephley stephley 8 years
To me, it's just insult to injury.
Lukin Lukin 8 years
I'm very happy that Guantanamo and all its practices and implications are under review and serious scrutiny. It sounds like the Obama administration is handling it the right way. I don't care if they are "just terrorists" who doesn't "deserve humanity" (the general words of most of the pro-Gitmo people I know) -- I firmly believe it is up to the United States to demonstrate to the world that we are above that, and we won't stoop to the level of terrorists. For some reason, I have always been supremely uncomfortable with the idea that we are conducting such serious matters of "national security" on an island we don't have a favorable political relationship with in the first place.
stephley stephley 8 years
Well, I'm all for total pacifism, but I don't think it will sell in most countries, especially big, powerful ones. A good number of military people have spoken out against torture, gone to their superiors, even resigned because of it, so I don't think it's so common that this won't help. And it says very clearly to the next generation that we do not condone this behavior. Gotta take your victories where you can get them and build from there.
clarabelle98 clarabelle98 8 years
Yeah, but stephley, I think it's more like putting a bandaid on a gaping knife wound. How MUCH good will it do?
PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
I agree with *mydiadem* first comment. I think we can do the job without the harsh torture. There are many ways to get the honest answers that you need from a prisoner or other, it just takes time.
stephley stephley 8 years
It's a start.
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