On Disappearing People 98


If you thought things had much changed under Obama, think again. There has been much publicity for the news that US forces have captured an alleged ISIS chemical weapons expert, Suleiman al-Afari. There was considerably less publicity for the news that he is being held in yet another new US black prison detention site. It is situated on the territory of the USA’s Kurdish allies in Irbil, Iraq, but was constructed and is run entirely by the US military. Many detainees have vanished into its gates. Very few, if any, have come out again.

Yet again the US is simply disappearing people into secret prisons on foreign soil. Obama has in effect maintained the Bush doctrine that “enemy combatants” are neither alleged criminals nor soldiers. They do not get the rights of alleged criminals to decent treatment and a fair trial, nor do they get the Geneva Convention rights of soldiers captured during a war. They are non-persons who can simply be pitched into a black hole.

Even if they actually are terrorists, that does not leave them devoid of rights. I would also argue that to treat terrorists other than as common criminals, deserving of formal criminal process, contributes to their glorification and gives them a status they do not deserve. But formal process is essential because we know for certain that they often pick up people who are entirely innocent.

I leave aside the argument that it is the United States which caused the collapse of Iraq and it is with Blair and Bush that the guilt ultimately lies. But I leave it aside with the comment that it is an argument deserving of much weight.

I never quite made up my mind whether Obama was a decent man who was corrupted/bullied into adopting the neo-con agenda, or whether he was a play-acting sociopath all along. I do know that Clinton is a hardened warmonger who positively relishes the notion of “enemies” being killed. She is just a sociopath; she doesn’t bother much with the acting.


98 thoughts on “On Disappearing People

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  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    What is it with “commenters” like Macky, k. Crosby, Herby, etc?

    They keep coming back for more punishment.

    They’re the gift that keeps giving….. 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    The comments on internment and the IRA have been interesting and instructive.

    With the exception of OldMark’s (and mine), obviously), all of them carry a strong whiff of “interning IRA terrorists was wrong”; that whiff is disguised by use of the highly questionable general claim that internment did not work.

    For many people it would seem a short step from asserting that interning IRA terrorists was wrong to thinking that IRA terrorism was somehow right, or at least justified.

    Given that terrorism by dissident IRA groups still takes place, it can only be in the interests of the state and the people whom the state exists to protect for a vigilant eye to be kept on people with such views or potential views. I am sure those charged with state security are living up to their responsibilities.

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    No need to get at anyone alcyone, if you want to share your problems here, you can.
    Are you denying that mental health is a burning issue nationally?

  • Dave Price

    Habbabkuk wrote:

    “… all of them carry a strong whiff of “interning IRA terrorists was wrong”… ”

    I can see how someone might sniff the concept “wrong-headed”, from a distance, and pick up just the scent of “wrong” – especially if that person’s nose is out of joint.

    Next, having stepped in this smelly stuff, you try a bit of fancy footwork:

    “For many people it would seem a short step from asserting that interning IRA terrorists was wrong to thinking that IRA terrorism was somehow right, or at least justified.”

    Alas it’s just a straw man for you to try to wipe your shoes on.

    Anyway, turns out it’s interesting that you say:

    “Given that terrorism by dissident IRA groups still takes place…”

    For many people it would seem a short step from asserting that terrorism by dissident IRA groups still takes place to thinking that internment did not work.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The only exceptional American I know of is me.

    I was reminded of this when I was visiting Cambodia, and telling the hotel keeper. an Aussie, about all my complaints about what Washington has done, and is doing, especially getting rid of troublesome Aussie PM Guogh Whitlam.

    After hearing me out, and correcting my pronunciation of first name, she aded: “You don’t sound like any American I have ever run into.”

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    Dave Price

    Are you Macky’s comrade in foolishness, Dave?

    To make it easy for you:

    “terrorism by dissident IRA groups still takes place…” = 2016. Now. Today.

    Still with me?

    Last attempt at internment = in the 1970s.

    Are you following?

    Conclusion: whether internment worked in the 1970s has nothing to do with the existence, in 2016, of splinter IRA terrorost groups.

    If you’re still confused, let me know and I’ll help to help you once more. 🙂

    Conclusion

  • Simon

    http://bit.ly/253Lw3L
    Is Obama any different? The fullest insight we’re likely to get about how the US makes it’s (disastrous) decisions just appeared in The Atlantic. It’s a defense of Obama’s decision not to bomb Syria in August 2013. There you’ll read that Obama was _alone_ in arguing against intervention, that he prevailed at the last minute and with difficulty. Among the sea of hotheads pushing for intervention, the two hottest were candidate Kerry and candidate Clinton.

    Criticise him all you like, he’s the best we’ve seen, and will see, in our lifetimes. The most we can hope for is that something rubbed off on Clinton. But there’s no sign.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Your inner identity conflict is no basis for condemning the vast swathes of Palestinians and other refugees wandering the borders.” Fed Up

    More lies from Fed Up.

    Fed Up, are you a racist, that you seek to ascribe false views to me (views that are diametrically the opposite of the views I actually hold) and then to ascribe those false views to, “inner identity conflict”? You – not I – have just played the ‘race card’.

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