General who opened Guantanamo prison says, shut it down!


Of course, this is now a retired general with (1) nothing to lose by saying the above and (2) no actual influence on policy any more.

Points for debate:

  1. Is he right?

  2. Is it going to make any difference?

  1. Yes
  2. No.


Americans largely aren’t going to know or care who this guy is.

  1. Yes.

  2. No.

Lehnert apparently adopted as a personal and operational mission the goal of ensuring that GTMO operated under the Geneva Conventions and a principle of basic human rights, oorah. Our Dear Rumsfeld was less concerned with that approach, instituting a second command more or less in parallel with Lehnert’s, one focused more on interrogation/intelligence gathering. Lehnert was out of GTMO inside two years.

I wouldn’t say MajGen Lehnert ever had much actual influence on policy at GTMO.

  1. No

  2. No

Expand #1 - Sometimes even the most civilized country has to act tough in a reactionary sort of way. 3,000 innocent civilians were killed in 9-11 and if a brutal prison camp is one way to keep that thing from happening again, then use it. As Central Africa has demonstrated, a population could avenge the death of 60 of its people by killing 1,000 on the other side. Guantanamo isn’t quite there yet.

Buying innocent people and torturing them doesn’t make you safer. Torturing your enemies into inventing false intelligence to give you doesn’t make you safer. Giving your enemies a symbol they can point to to show you need to be stopped doesn’t make you safer.

Lowering yourself to such barbarism isn’t just immoral, it’s stupid.

Nevertheless, the beatings will continue until [del]morale[/del]safety improves.

Very dramatic.

Exactly on both counts.

Standard qualifier…it depends. :wink:

  1. Is he right? Depends…what was the viable alternative? If not Gitmo then where would we hold them? Or would we not hold them (never take them? summary execution? put them somewhere else? where? how would it be better/different?)

  2. Nope. Why should it make any difference? Again, what would the alternative be? Let them go? Send them somewhere else? Where? How?

I should think the general federal prison system on the mainland is quite secure enough.

So, your viable alternative is to put foreign nationals accused of terrorism into US federal prison populations? And you think this is a GOOD alternative? :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think people held in extrajudicial detention can be kept in prisons in the U.S. They’d be released on writs of habeus corpus, having not been convicted of a crime under U.S. law in a trial.

  1. Yes
  2. Probably not

the_diego, one problem with that is that some of the anti-US violence seems to be in reaction to our own acts. True, some of the anti-US sentiment derives from other sources such as radical interpretations of Islam that the US is not responsible for, but I have to say that the US’s behavior for the past ten years has done quite a bit to stoke the anger and interfere with natural peace processes. There are probably quite a few people who were inspired by Islamism but were on the fence as to whether or not they should actually pick up a gun or bomb and commit violence, but the US’s behavior pushed them over the edge into violence.

Stupid or not it’s being done (in the past 5,000 years I think, and often with results. Torturing to get information has a brutal logic to it. Torturing to get false intelligence, I see little sense. Everything you do becomes symbolic to your enemy. That’s why it’s either total war, or wait for the next attack.

What you and the CIA fail to comprehend is that the former is often the latter. Torture someone until they tell you what you want to hear, and they will probably tell you what you want to hear. But unless you’re just collecting confessions for your show trials, that’s pretty fucking useless. If you’re actually trying to gather intelligence, its the answers you don’t know in advance that you want to hear that are important.

I don’t think it’s that simple. Intelligence gathering is a game of cross-referencing, just like in credit and market investigation. You have to validate whatever piece you sift through. Rare is the information that throws off everything you’ve gathered in years, is truly genuine, and will reap untold returns. That’s the reason why intelligence gathering is tedious, expensive, and a major argument against the gitmo facility.

What makes you think the guys there now are innocent? When Git’mo opened, you could make that case, but lots of those people with borderline cases have been released. Now, it’s mostly guilty people whose countries don’t want them extradited. Yes, Git’mo is problematic fora number of reasons, but it’s not like we have many better alternatives available.

You cannot validate evidence using torture. Everyone knows that some forms of study are more accurate than others, and while there is no need to jump straight to double blind studies for intelligence gathering, literally torturing people until the results conform to the interrogator’s biases is always going to be a turd in the pool.

Then you should have no trouble proving that in court.

That guy is full of shit. If you see his picture in that article, he is a one-star general, but he retired as a 2-star general, that is a significant pay hike as well as prestige when getting jobs out of the service. If he felt that strong about it, he could have just resigned his commission and have been done with the military. As a military member, I would advise anyone to take statements by retired military personnel with a grain of salt.

Is he running for anything?

Guantanamo Bay is a beautiful place in the middle of no where … the enemy can huff and puff all it wants to, but they can not penetrate it, they can not visit it, they can only stir up people to be against it.

The society of the other countries the prisoners belong to wants to give them comfort and aid, cookies, Korans, letters from home, a hug, slippers, something to smoke, etc.

I don’t feel sorry for them … I don’t want to hear their complaints or their lies or their plans to get even when they get back home, as many of the prisoners have already returned to terrorism that were released from Guantanamo Bay prison.

There is no proof, and I don’t want any, that if these prisoners were held somewhere else in America with more access that that place would be subject to suicide bombings to make their cause and reasons more demanding.

Let the professionals do their job … they already have plenty of rules and regulations on how to do it.

Who are the professionals in this sentence? The place is currently still open because Congress passed a law barring it from being closed. I’d say if you really wanted to let the Professionals do their job, rescinding that law and allowing the DoD and DoJ to do what they want with the detainees would be what you’d want.

And while there’s no way to know for certain, I suspect the result would be the closure of the place.