No Country for Old (or Dangerous) Men…

Below is a video that played on NPR’s Fresh Air that focuses on the remaining detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Yes there are still detainees being held there). The video stems from a Washington reporter’s recent visit to Guantanamo. I’d like you to listen to the video and then write about the parts that you find most interesting…and there is MUCH here that is interesting. Remember your first post will be held until I approve it. After that, each week’s comments should post automatically.

19 responses to “No Country for Old (or Dangerous) Men…”

  1. Nehlsen says:

    There always seems to be so much concern for the rights and privileges of these prisoners of war. It also is interesting that so many are focused, such as “Fresh Air” with their status as being charged with a crime or convicted. I do not believe any prisoner of war, conventional, modern, or guerrilla insurgency should allow these privileges and rights expected by U.S. Citizens. Whether they did a crime or not, the vast majority of them were detained in military operations against U.S. forces.
    I do not know if closing Gitmo prison will save a lot of money as I am sure the U.S. would still maintain the naval asset regardless of the prison. If it does tho, they should definitely be moved back to the Middle-East rather than U.S. soil. I believe it would be best to remove them to host nations where they can enjoy all the rights and privileges of those nations prison systems. Releasing them if their is enough evidence would be absurd, but those with no connection should be dismissed, perhaps even monitored.

  2. Kelsey Nunley says:

    I think it is interesting the two drastic views that people have on this topic. Some people think the detainees need to be transferred but others believe more people should be sent there. I also find it interesting that most of the detainees have not even been charged with anything, but are still being held there. Not only that but the conditions are decaying rapidly and not suitable for people (detainees or guard force) to be living in. Also the medical situation is not safe, since the detainees cannot be transferred out, they have to send equipment and specialists to them, which not only takes a long time but also it very costly. So I think, if the government were able to transfer these detainees to maximum- security prisons in the US, they would save a lot of money and the conditions would be a lot better for everyone.

  3. gregoryp says:

    Nehlsen says ” I do not believe any prisoner of war, conventional, modern, or guerrilla insurgency should allow these privileges and rights expected by U.S. Citizens.”

    But wouldn’t we want our own prisoners of war treated humanely or released if not convicted?

  4. Pete Glowinski says:

    There is no video to watch/listen to on this page (is it only me?) and there is no reference to look it up on NPR. After some searching, I’m not sure which is the correct piece, but I chose this one to comment on:

    This piece is about a NYT reporter, Charlie Savage, who has been traveling and reporting on Guantanamo for over 10 years.

    There are 149 detainees there right now, and 70 of those are considered high value assets (60 are not charged with anything) with no clear rehabilitation strategy or plan on what to do with them except for indefinite detention. Lawyers for some of them have been arguing that since they are prisoners of war, and the war is “over,” they should be released. I wonder where they even get lawyers for these guys? A noble effort to want to defend the indefensible, but really- where do they come from I wonder, and what type of rights do these prisoners have? Certainly, I think of the Geneva Conventions, but some of the groups these “terrorists” come from are not recognized, and therefore have no legal status. The Conventions are applicable to “captured legal combatants” only.

    One of the most interesting things, are the recent ISIS beheadings where the slain journalists were put in “guantanamo orange” jumpsuits, to make some type of ulterior statement about the prison. As if to seek some kind of retribution regarding the “mistreatment” of the prisoners there. The hunger strikes and forced feeding come to mind. I don’t even know where to begin to comment on issues like that. I try to imagine a situation I could be in where I had no other option to express myself and my rights, than to attempt suicide by starvation. That is a state of mind that I don’t think anyone can understand except those there. I think its torturous to keep those prisoners alive against their will. I argue they are suicidal because they are rational beings and can not see any other option. Why are we keeping them? To force feed them until we’ve figured out what to do with them? Until they grovel on their knees to the Infidels and say they’re sorry and there will be no more jihad? That’s not going to happen.

  5. gregoryp says:

    Pete, I can see the video on my screen. At the bottom of the screen there is a “play” button. You can’t see that?

  6. Jaclyn Rowe says:

    One of the things that I find interesting is the amount of money that the taxpayers are paying in order to keep the Guantanamo Bay open. “This year the taxpayers are paying more than $400 million to operate Guantanamo…. 149 detainees who are there…it’s nearly $3 million a detainee.” (Savage) That is ridiculous the money that being put into this. They also mentioned how it averages around 30,000.00 a year to house a prisoner in the US in prisons. That’s a huge difference!
    Another thing that I find interesting is what Gross said, “So usually when prisoners of war are released there’s a peace treaty signed; the war is officially over. It’s unlikely we’ll have a peace treaty with al-Qaida. So I mean, theoretically, the al-Qaida detainees could be there forever.” (Gross) Its interesting and for me questioning, why won’t be have a peace treaty ever with al-Qaida? And since we probably wont, according to this, these al-Qaida detainees could be locked up forever. So in 30 years from now, if we all get along, and there is peace between all, but no peace treaty, these prisoners would still be locked away at Guantanamo Bay? The whole segment was really interesting and definitely got me thinking about the Guantanamo Bay situation.

  7. Alyssa Fernandez says:

    I think that one of the most shocking facts stated in this interview about Guantanamo captives, is the fact that the Obama Administration has transferred 83 captives and after their release, five of those 83 captives continued to take part in terrorist activities. On top of those five terrorist that were released, there are two more released captives that are suspected of having affiliations with terrorist groups. Also, I personally did not know that there was such a thing as “indefinite detention without trial. In the case of these detainees, i found it very interesting that the supreme court justice denied relief to one of the detainees and ordered the continuation of this persons indefinite detention. In no way am I disagreeing with the choice made by the Supreme Court, because obviously they had to have some reasoning as to why they denied his/her release, i just found it interesting that the Supreme Court was involved in a case of a Gitmo detainee. Going off of the idea of indefinite detention, both the interviewer and interviewee stated that in retrospect, these detainees could essentially be there forever. The laws regarding these issues of detainees were written in the nineteenth and twentieth century, when warfare was completely different than warfare today.

    Overall, my view of this article/interview was not changed much. I think it is wrong that many of the people in Gitmo have not been charged with anything, but i also believe that anyone suspected of being involved with groups that are plotting terrorist activities against the United States need to be detained, especially in our state of war today. This is the conflict facing America today. We have to choose between treating these detainees “fairly”, or potentially protecting the United States from future terrorist attacks. Like previously mentioned, there are five detainees released, potentially seven, that have been involved in terrorist acts against the United States after their release from Gitmo recently. In my personal opinion i think that we need to continue to detain anyone who is suspected of terrorist involvement in the United States, and also be somewhat stricter and more careful on the detainees that we choose to release.

  8. Pete Glowinski says:

    I can see it now, but not before. Strange. Glad I got the right one 😉

  9. Jasmine Window says:

    I have to admit that I am not all that familiar with the Guantanamo prison, so the majority of the interview was found to be interesting to me. To save on both time and space, one thing I found most intriguing is why Obama and the state’s efforts to close this prison down is being disputed. Though I understand that no one wants to be held responsible for releasing a detainee and they go and commit further terrorist acts, but will every prisoner be sentenced to life for possibly being involved with a group that commits terrorism? All in all, I must say that I agree with Obama and the state. Especially if there are other countries willing to take some of the released prisoners. The interview stated that it cost taxpayers approximately $6 million for each prisoner to reside in Guantanamo. Even if all detainees aren’t released at once, American taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay so much money to a cause that has no benefit to them directly. If in a higher position, I would propose that the 70 detainees who have a possibility for transfer be released to a location willing to take them, on the grounds that they are required by law to stay in that given location. Though that thought may still cause many people to worry, I just don’t see the fairness in making people pay additional taxes to keep a prison open for those who don’t even like us.

  10. Jasmine Austin says:

    What I found most interesting was how much it was to keep Guantanamo Bay open. The fact that between 149 detainees it cost nearly $3 million a detainee is insane. I understand that to build things, to keep people there, repair things and because of the location everything has to be barged in or flown is and can be very expensive but wow!! Also the fact that the Bureau of Prisons says it costs about $30,000 a year to house an inmate in a maximum-security prison in the United States is huge difference in comparison to Gitmo. It’s interesting that it can only get more expensive from here on out.

  11. Sarah Arndt says:

    I think it’s interesting how we are inconsistent with the treatment of these prisoners. We have them in an area where the floor is caving in, and heated by a fan in extremely hot conditions, yet we provide them with modern books for them to read and a library and TV and other privileges. Also how we are holding over 60 prisoners on no charge? How is that different from assuming you were Jewish if you had brown hair and brown eyes during World War 2? I find it interesting that we aren’t giving these prisoners who aren’t there on any real charge, a trial, and are assuming that they are dangerous because of a bumper sticker. I struggle with this because I am unsure of where to stand. If it were our American Soldiers who were being treated this way, I would be disgusted. However, if these prisoners are as dangerous as they are perceived, they shouldn’t deserve the privileges of TV or books or any of that, they should get the minimum basics without being inhumane.

  12. Chelsea Bredeson says:

    After listening to this post, I agree with Obama wanting to close Gitmo prison. Although there are some detainees that are an actual threat, I think it’s completely inhumanitarian to keep the guards and the innocent people in those terrible conditions. The healthcare that is provided to detainees is also absurd. Because of Congress restrictions, even innocent detainees can’t be transfered for healthcare; the healthcare has to be imported. Let’s just add to the already toppling expenses. Lastly, I find it interesting that even though it is unlikely for them to be transferred, detainees do get the right to go to court and make their statements of innocence. I think thats fair for people such as missionairies.

  13. Greta goes says:

    I think it’s interesting to see people’s views on this topic. I feel like this is not a topic that is spoken upon often. I think that we should keep people there. There is no reason to release them or shut it down if it protects the u.s. This country needs to realize that it is not in-humane to have this place. If out people get locked up somewhere, I can almost guarantee that they are not going to be treated how the u.s treats it’s prisoners. I think that most people fail to realize that. All in all I enjoyed watching this and it gave me a few things to think about.

  14. Michael Grum says:

    This is a topic that I have not put much thought into until now. I did not know exactly how much Guantanamo was costing the United States. I knew it would be a lot of money but when they talked about it I was surprised. It seems understandable that they would want to get rid of that huge cost, but then what do you do with the prisoners? The purpose of Guantanamo is too important and necessary to not have some place to hold these dangerous prisoners. On a different note, the worry put into what almost seemed like trying to make sure that the living conditions of these prisoners was great concerns me. In no way am I saying that there should be torturous conditions, but I also do not think that there needs to be anything more than just the bare essentials for the prisoners. They are not there on vacation so why would we need to worry and spend money to make them comfortable? It’s prison, it won’t be comfortable. I would want our U.S. citizens to be treated properly if held in another country’s prison however, so like I said before, the essentials. This goes for medical treatment too. It seems like most of the problem is the location of this facility. On a quick thought, maybe we could have a better facility in a better location? That seems like a good fix to the problem that in the long run would save a lot of money while keeping this necessary function of holding these prisoners.

  15. After watching this video I found out many interesting things. One topic I found the most interesting was that numerous views the people had on criminals. I was shocked to know that many individuals who are incarcerated are held without even being charged. In many holding environments the conditions are not up to living standards. I personally think that even if one is a criminal they should be treated the same just as any other human being.

  16. There was also no video on my iPad, laptop, or desktop for me to watch, I also commented on the article.
    The prisoners who were prisoners at war should not be prisoners anymore, since the war is over. Why are these prisoners not released? Over seventy of these prisoners are prisoned with no charges held against them. I found this was interesting. They also described them as their identity has been stripped away, and now they have a new identify as nobody but prisoners in Orange jumpsuits.

  17. Many medical conditions can occur through out the facility causing other sickness to develop. If the main goal is to protect the society we should be making sure that everyone is safe and protected. Just because one who committed the crime, we need to make sure that they stay alive to help correct their mistakes in the future.

  18. Amos Malone says:

    One of the most intresting things that really stood out to me was President Obama role in everything on how he pledge to close Gitmo. Savage claim that obama has actively been trying to close Gitmo. He is not just talking about it but he he putting in effort into closing Gitmo. And than he start to talk about how there are two sets or in his words buckets of people. How one set of people in the U.S. Government that reaaly dont have any intrest in holding but have problems in getting rid of because the people come from trouble backgrounds while other people in the U.S.Government want to hold on to it but just relocate it. than Obama had someone in charge of it because he had other things on his plate. and the person that he had in charge really wasnt moving nothing at all everything went to quiet a stand still. The prsioners did not like that and they went on a hunger strick because they felt like they was forgotten about and Obama had enough and appointed someone to take charge and make moves. everything started to turn around and moves were being made. But now in 2014 everything seemed to die back down. I hope that everything pick back up for the sake of the prisoners. And also how much America pay to keep Gitmo up and running is just ridiculous.

  19. Matt Knickerbocker says:

    I think one thing that should be said is about the promise that was made by Obama to close the Guantanamo prison. This comes out kind of political but I find its just one promise of many that Obama could not keep. Another thing is the blame put on president Bush for Obamas mistakes which seem never ending. Obama said it was one of his top priority but as the guy in this interview says that its is a stop and go thing for Obama and now no one at the top was even working on the project. The guy in this interview says that we are not being humanitarian with prisons by keeping them there until the war with al queda is done. Again i diagree the war with them is still going on and thus those prisoners should still stay. The ISIS does not keep our prisoners of war and not kill them which as he stated are under the rules of war. The ISIS beheads our men and send the videos to our nation. This is not humanitarian.

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