Skip Nav
Opinion
7 Feminist Moments From GOT Season 7 That Will Make You Damn Proud to Be a Woman
Humor
Politician Swimsuits Are Here to F*ck Up the Beach — and We Can Already Feel the Bern
Disney
Why Life Wouldn't Be So Magical If Disney Princesses Were Millennial Women

McCain: Rights to Gitmo One of the Worst Decisions in History

John McCain has called last week's Supreme Court ruling that extends the
right to challenge one's detention to detainees at Guantanamo Bay “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

McCain said the decision highlighted the importance of nominating conservative justices to the court. McCain explained that although he still wants to close the prison and opposes torture, the decision threatens American security.

"These are enemy combatants, these are people who are not citizens, they are not and never have been given the rights that the citizens of this country have," the Republican nominee said. I wonder how a detainee could prove he is in fact an American citizen, without the right to challenge detention.

McCain eagerly distinguished himself from Barack Obama, who supported the decision saying: “This is an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus.”

Is it possible to simultaneously support the closing of Guantanamo, and detention without charge?

Source

Join The Conversation
juju4 juju4 9 years
Yes, I definitely didn't mean that he couldn't recall the experience.
stephley stephley 9 years
Okay, I get now that you saw 'forgot' in very strong terms.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
But it is puzzling to me that someone who has had his unique experiences would be against the supreme court decision. If you look at the entire picture, not only is it puzzling to presume that he must have forgotten what it's like to be a POW for him to oppose the decision, it's completely farfetched. There are a lot of other possible and significantly more likely explanations. And, once again, for whatever reason people are dancing around the fact that he has consistently opposed torture and he has consistently stated that he believes Gitmo should be closed. The only thing that I can think here is that people are so used to supporting any court decision that gets them the change they desire that they are unable to even entertain the idea that you can believe the court overstepped its bounds or misinterpreted the Constitution even when you agree with the general change they are trying to effect. So if a rape victim spoke out against a ruling that protected other rape victims, it would be wrong to question that? Being a victim gives you a free pass? Not a free pass, it gives you ownership of an experience. No, it doesn't mean you can't question any position a person has. But, it's unbelievably arrogant to assume someone must have forgotten a painfully traumatizing experience if they have the gall to disagree with you on a related matter.
stephley stephley 9 years
"I really doubt such a statement would be so cavalierly made about someone who had suffered a rape or other seriously traumatic experience." So if a rape victim spoke out against a ruling that protected other rape victims, it would be wrong to question that? Being a victim gives you a free pass? There's nothing offensive about dealing with McCain's POW experience in terms of statements and decisions that he makes as a presidential candidate - his military and prisoner experiences are offered as evidence of a greater and deeper experience. As voters, we have every duty to consider them when we make our decisions.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Great conversation going on in here.
juju4 juju4 9 years
My comment wasn't meant to be offensive, and I am sorry if it offended someone. But it is puzzling to me that someone who has had his unique experiences would be against the supreme court decision. I don't take this subject lightly, in fact the complete opposite, which is why I believe that even in times of war we should respect human rights. I don't believe that POWs suffer ONLY when they are physically tortured......isn't unending imprisonment without defense and without proof of guilt pretty unbearable on its own?
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Just in case you wanted to skip the wordy post, here is a condensed version A 2003 memo by John Yoo, a former Justice Department official, which was declassified last week, went so far as to discuss the potential of the President to approve the maiming, drugging or applying "scalding water, corrosive acid or caustic substance" on detainees."
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I thought the Declaration stated the principles that America stands for. If it is your principle that All Men Are Created Equal, you weaken that by trying to fit in exceptions. "It might be safe to assume that most prisoners there ARE guilty, and guilty of really horrible things...but if we are locking up even one innocent man/woman, and not even giving them the chance to defend themselves, then we are going against the principles that our country was founded on" I agree 100%. Since they had Habeus Corpus for 220+ years until 2006 with the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and then the Supreme Court just ruled that it was unlawful, I think that it is safe to say that our Constitution supports the idea that EVERYONE gets due process. I can understand we are in sensitive times, but I do think juju had a point...she wasn't just being glib. I do think it is pretty amazing that McCain would support a level of treatment of prisoners that prevents them (and our military) from finding justice. I know he supports the Field manual application for the CIA, but he is at the same time not supporting other legislation that prevents very cruel behavior. These bills that he opposes are important, IMO, because the administration can't be trusted. When you have an Adminstration who produces memos like this, you have to prepare for anything: A 2003 memo by John Yoo, a former Justice Department official, which was declassified last week, went so far as to discuss the potential of the President to approve the maiming, drugging or applying "scalding water, corrosive acid or caustic substance" on detainees."
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I see, megnmac, thanks.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
Kim - The Constitution guarantees says no "person" shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. It doesn't matter WHO they are - citizens or not. The Constitution grants powers to the government and limits those powers (5th & 14th Am). It was written for the US - and embodies the rules for how the US operates. There are not separate rules when we accuse an illegal immigrant of a crime, they are still entitled to a fair trial. We bind ourselves to this code of honor and the rules don't change based on who we're facing.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
torgleson - I don't know.. I'm just thinking that since it was written for the US, not for the World, that it only applies to Citizens.. but again I don't know.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Well, it goes on to say, "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I don't think inalienable rights from your Creator have any kind of fine print about paying taxes or being a citizen. Being a citizen to get access to education or welfare programs? Fine, of course. But only special snowflakes born in the U.S. have the right to not be held without trial? To me, this is so obviously wrong.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
okay so lets assume that "enemy combatants" are not covered, shouldnt americans follow their own laws? this is an american institution ran by americans, they are obligated to uphold the constitution to the best of their ability. they have had seven years to get their shit together, its time to stop suspending the constitution, stop finding ways around the geneva convention and stop living like we are on code red all the time. if we cannot protect our country and uphold our values, then we are no better than russia and china. as far as mccain goes, he is a hypocrite. he knows whats happening in gitmo, he knows why we have yet to try anybody and but in an effort to appeal to the conservatives, he walks around in mock shock that the supreme court chose to uphold habeas corpus.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
torgleson as far as the "all men are created equal" thing... I could be wrong but that is in our Declaration of Independence so therefore only applies to US citizens, no? Since it was a document to dissolve political bands we had with England, or Great Britain, no? I am obviously no expert on History so my questioning with "no?" at the end of the sentences is truly a question as to the accuracy of my understandings.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
That is a term actually used by military personnel. I wasn't trying to be clever, and I don't think a turn of phrase that rhymes is on the same level as trivializing 5 years of torture endured by somebody.
stephley stephley 9 years
One person's glib is another's clever remark: 2. "When in doubt, take them out." You should consider everyone's sensibilities as carefully as your own.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I was thinking about this post further and how much it bugs me that people think rights should be attached to paying taxes. By that logic people who owe back taxes should be denied due process. I'm pretty sure it's "...all men are created equal..." not "...all men who are U.S. citizens and have paid their taxes are created equal..." Perhaps I am missing something (and I'm sincerely conceding this as possible), but how do we justify treating citizens of other nations differently than we treat U.S. citizens?
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
I was also offended by that. I hope such glibness is unintentional.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Again, I think we'll have to agree to disagree here. But, I find it incredibly unlikely that anyone who was held captive and truly tortured - not AC in their room, not missing a meal here or there or being woken up occasionally but truly tortured for FIVE YEARS - would forget what that was like. And I have to say that I find that sentiment amazingly offensive. I really doubt such a statement would be so cavalierly made about someone who had suffered a rape or other seriously traumatic experience. That's aside from the fact that he has been steadfastly against any sort of torture and outspoken about his desire to close Gitmo. It is possible to disagree with an interpretation of the law and still desire the same outcome as those who agree with it.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I don't think it is the limit either....but the prosecutor, the girl's lawyer, and obviously his lawyer were all ready to call it a day when the judge decided that he might put him in jail for 50 years just to make a point with the media. I base my opinion on the fact that if the DA and the girl's attorney are okay with it, and her attorney actually was commenting with some leniency on his behalf, and the woman herself actually said she didn't think he deserved jail time....then the only reasons that the judge behaved the way he did were self motivated. My point might have been better made this way: even when someone is guilty, they should have the right to due process. Even the guilty have rights. And it seems like in GB, we can't even prove that they are guilty of anything yet. It might be safe to assume that most prisoners there ARE guilty, and guilty of really horrible things...but if we are locking up even one innocent man/woman, and not even giving them the chance to defend themselves, then we are going against the principles that our country was founded on. I agree with comments made above that it seems like John McCain has forgotten what it is like to be a POW with no rights.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Well, I guess a lot of this is subjective and we'll just have to agree to disagree. Juju - Ok, I see what you meant a little more there. I still don't know that I would consider 42 days in psychiatric evaluation to be the "limit on how much we can punish" a grown man who drugged and raped a 13 year old girl.
juju4 juju4 9 years
Jennifer76 -- in the doc they were showing how Polanski plead guilty, served time in Chino for observation and that was supposed to be the end of it. Both the prosecution (rodger dunson) and the defense were in agreeance....and then the judge wanted more publicity and essentially started trying to stage court room events so that he looked like he was laying down the law. The judge even held a press release on a pending case! It was a lot more detailed than that, but the point I was trying to make is that even when folks are guilty of something, there is a limit to how much we can punish them. It is way off topic, but something that stood out to me when I was watching that last night. In my opinion, keeping people incarcerated without proof of guilt is very unjust. And the punishment has to fit the crime. How can we be punishing these people (locking them up with no end in sight) if we can't even define the crime or prove that it took place?
stephley stephley 9 years
Hey Jill, those skewers hurt if he pokes you!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
It's really exciting to read all of your comments. I feel smarter already! ;)
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Thank you Stephly. A kabob chef?
Obama Family Buys Kalorama, Washington DC, Mansion
Trump White House Gender Wage Gap
Former Obama Official on Trump Hiring Lawyers
Barack Obama and Joe Biden Friendship Post-White House
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds