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The Guantanamo dilemma


It takes somebody who really knows what he's doing the better part of a minute to shoot and reload a musket. Longbows are faster, but they can still only launch one arrow at a time.

You have to wonder if the doctrine of habeas corpus, first developed in English Common Law and later enshrined in ours, would be as unconditional had bad guys in those days cared nothing for their own lives and could get their hands on weapons that were capable of annihilating large swaths of the population.

Much as we revere our rights, we live in a tricky new age. Would you want to be the one who stood on principle and sprang some nutball who later came back with a suitcase nuke and laid waste to one of our cities? All of our civil rights advocates would come down with a sudden case of laryngitis while everybody else screamed for your head.

There is one good thing about lawyers: if you pay a smart one enough, he'll figure out a legal path through any thorn bush. I understand they're hiring some pretty sharp ones right now in the Obama Justice Department.

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This shouldn't be a close call in my opinion. They certainly are not eligible for our Constitutional rights. And as non uniformed enemy combatants they aren't even entitled to those rights provided under the Geneva Convention. If we're going to err in a time of international terror, lets take OUR side for once. These guys aren't petty thieves or jaywalkers, and most of them are treated with civility. We sould lock them up until we're convinced otherwise. Unfortunately, there are constituents to placate, and Obama has to choose at least some promises to keep. Next change.

Obama said he would do this and he was elected. Now he's doing it and people are starting to worry. Maybe they should think before they vote? But I'm sure they will find a way to put the blame for this on the republicans.

Those who were responsible for the first WTC bombing were tried under the rule of law, convicted and now reside in federal prison in the US. Timothy McVeigh was also a terrorist. He was tried, convicted and executed in Terre Haute, IN. There seems to be this idea that if Gitmo closes, the detainees will be set free to wander around town. That's not going to happen and the fearmongers know that. The argument is based on a false premise. Habeas Corpus isn't something to be afraid of. Throwing it away because you are afraid won't cure your fear. It will just send a message to the rest of the world that the US doesn't respect the rule of law for anyone and is unworthy of respect as a world leader. We're better than that.

Pointman.... you blow my mind. The bomber from the first WTC center bombing is about to be released. He got 30 years, IIRC. You think upon release he is going to post his resume on and look for a job? Or do you think he will get back to the drawing board with his old cronies? Just because we did this before does NOT mean it is the right thing to do. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor before, should they do that again? The fearmongers aren't conservatives, they are the terrorists (hell, it is in their name. They monger terror). Open your eyes.

I'm sorry--where did you hear that the 1st WTC bombers were about to be released? Do you have a link to that information because I can't find a word about it. The rest of your argument doesn't make sense--how is protecting the rule of law and habeas corpus the equivalent of supporting the Japanese in bombing Pearl Harbor??? The point is that we have done a very good job with prosecuting and imprisoning dangerous criminals in this country, so let that system continue instead of making up "boogeyman" arguments for destroying exactly what makes America a true democracy. Denying fair trials to people because you are afraid of them is irrational. My eyes are open--yours are squeezed tightly shut in fear. And fear makes good people want to act just like the oppressive regimes America has fought against. Don't throw the rule of law away or there may come a time when we really need it and it won't be there for us anymore. THAT'S something to be afraid of.

All good points ilsa and I do agree, to a point. Some of the Gitmo detainees have been released and yes, they found their way back to kill more American troops. So far every state that has been considered to house the Gitmo detainees has said "not in my back yard", including Puerto Rico. So where are they going to go? Shouldn’t that have been determined before the decision to move them was made? This shows a total lack of common sense in my opinion. As far as trying them, where? They are not uniformed soldiers so the Geneva Convention is out. They didn’t commit any crimes in the United States so that’s out. And you have soldiers doing the job of policemen without any training in the law or criminal investigation. These are civilian combatants captured on the battlefield and should be tried by a military court, not a civilian court. They are Muslim extremists and will never change. They only have one goal, to kill as many of us as they can and they are happy to die in the process. America has failed to understand that this is a religious war…to them, and failure is not an option. We have never fought a religious war in this country and we are not sure how to win. At least not in this politically correct era.

And cruxNC, ilsa was right, your argument doesn't make sense so I see no need to reply anymore than this.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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