Guilty Even After Being Proven Innocent?

I received this delightful little ditty yesterday from a first-timer to Muslim Apple called bthorn, I wasn’t going to publish it and had it marked for deletion but then I reconsidered:

What is truly scary is that many of you are sympathetic to the Gitmo detainees.  Yeah, they were only caught on the battlefield, carrying a weapon, and trying to kill MY countrymen.  The fact that you feel bad for THEM and are completely silent regarding the actions which landed them at Gitmo in the first place only reaffirms my original belief that you all have the SAME radical, militant, oppressive, and murderous belief structure.  Still stuck in the 7th century.

Perhaps bthorn, you could explain this article to me from the Washington Post: 82 Inmates Cleared but Still Held at Guantanamo. Did you watch Road to Guantanamo?

From the Storehouse:

See You at Guantanamo

Trailer: Road to Guantanamo


  1. Gitmo is a disgrace to this country and to the good and noble people who live in it. Only an administration like the one we have now could have conceived of this monstrosity. Thank God they will soon be gone, inshallah.

    Ya Haqq!

  2. Irving: Guantanamo is a disgrace and its shameful that people support the continuation of this extra-judicial prison. Yes, thank God this administration will be gone in a little over a year but I wonder if they’ll get us into one more unproductive military intervention before they leave office.

  3. Hi —

    To my mind, Guantanamo happened because we panicked, and because we were being attacked by people motivated by things we didn’t understand (and still largely don’t, I would think). I don’t blame Bush for that, because I understand the feeling of ‘gotta do SOMETHING; these guys were caught with guns, they’re SOME kind of terrorists, let’s jail ’em in a place where we can interrogate the hell out of them’. It was probably not the optimal answer, but I don’t think we HAD an optimal answer. Or have now, for that matter. I understand that some of those people have been found innocent (which surprises me: did they not have guns, or did they but weren’t using them, or what? Like most, I didn’t read past the headline and the first paragraph). I do blame Bush for wanting to completely isolate them, once jailed, from our justice system, even while I think it entirely possible that giving them access to it might well result in freeing people who really are terrorist killers. I think that we can’t isolate them from our justice system without losing something key to our identity; but we did, and we did.

    I really can’t bring myself to believe that most people want to have the Taleban run their lives. I would suspect most don’t care who’s in charge as long as they’re left alone. Of course, thats what Al Capone would have said, too. We here tend to assume that giving people the chance to choose who runs the place is a Good Thing, but when we look at places like Afghanistan, it sure does look like maybe it isn’t. Or maybe it is, but its been the way it is for so long that its impossible to change without ripping the whole damn place apart — and taking the real chance of destroying it in the process. Otherwise stated: our way might be better if we were starting from scratch, but we’re not.

    None of which touches the idea that some (all? dunno) of these people are Muslims. I still see lots of references to Muslim and Fanatic in the same sentence in lots of places. I don’t believe that the first implies the second, but I know that lots of people do think that. Walks like a duck, etc. I don’t know what you do — not you personally — about that. Send a swat team of Catholic missionaries over there? Yeah, thats dumb. But I don’t know.

    I think that you automatically (or pretty close) assume that if someone is charged, or jailed, and they’re a Muslim, that the charging or jailing is religiously motivated, right off the bat. Not per se,but – aha, we have this guy, dunno if he’s a (fill in the blank: terrorist, car thief, bank robber), but hey, he’s a Muslim, so probably yeah, lets put him away. I would bet there ARE police and the like who do think that. I think they’re wrong, because being a Muslim doesn’t mean you’re evil — but it doesn’t mean you aren’t, either. I think that you’re willing to give someone in that position more slack than I am. I suspect that sometimes you’re right about doing that, and sometimes not.

    I strongly believe you, and people like you, have to continue to make the case, loudly and repeatedly, for what you believe. This is stuff that people here who do NOT share your beliefs need to hear. If you really think that Muslims are more likely to be jailed just because of that (have you heard the police term ‘Jailed While Being Black’? Exactly that concept), you need to get out there and yell and jump up and down about it. No, not literally — but don’t hide in the background, or wait for the grave, dignified leaders to talk. We need to hear what YOU think, too. What we do when two reasonable people strongly disagree — well, here, we talk about it. Elsewhere…. you know what I’m thinking, right?

    Hope this helps.

  4. Bill, I hear you. I think the Bush administration has handled Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo, this supposed war on terror, and a number of other domestic and international issues very poorly.

    Guantanamo like warrant-less domestic email and phone wiretaps are just symptoms of a continual policy to undermine the Constitution and when we do that we hurt not only those people some innocent some guilty rounded up and labeled as terrorists we hurt ourselves and our country.

    The patriots are not those who look the other way when the rule of law is pushed aside in difficult times or those that do not care that the rights of the weakest amongst us are being tramples upon, the real patriots are those who stand up and demand that we enforce our laws even when it is unpopular.

  5. Any civil society must respect the rule of law and justice for detainees. In this regard the US has failed. All prisoners deserve to be treated fairly. Simple as that.

  6. What I don’t get is why combat now equals terrorism, and why people in countries THAT WE INVADED are criminals because they fought us back. It reminds me of the tendency of bullies to get really angry and escalate the violence if they hit you and you have the temerity to hit them back.

    What was Afghanistan supposed to do, lie down and simper, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”

    It is only valid to detain prisoners of war if they attacked your country and were caught on your soil OR if you are still in the country you invaded and have to take enemy soldiers prisoner. Once the war is over or your troops move out? You let them go.

    I won’t make excuses for Bush. If he didn’t know what he was doing then he was even more wrong and he shouldn’t have run for the job of President in the first place. (Not that I believe he won it fairly, either time.) If he did know what he was doing then he is a criminal. Even prisoners of war are entitled to a fair and speedy trial. And I’m not going to call them “terrorists” just because “they had guns.” THEY WERE DEFENDING THEIR COUNTRY. Which we invaded. For no clear reason other than we wanted revenge for 9/11. Not like any of the actual terrorists were still alive to arrest and detain. And you know, bin Laden is crazy, but I’m not convinced he was responsible for 9/11. What I’ve read of his written statements does not seem to indicate that–he speaks of 9/11 as though it just happened, not as though he himself orchestrated it–and let’s not even talk about the video. Have we here not all been on this Earth long enough to figure out video can be doctored?

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