Monday, January 14, 2008

Detainees Non-Persons - All Non-Americans are NON Persons under US Law & Gitmo Protests

Protests Against Guantanamo and The Use of Torture by The United States. Meanwhile US Court decides " Detainees " are " Non-Persons " as part of new American Style " Nuremberg Laws ".

" International and U.S. law prohibits torture and other ill-treatment of any person in custody in all circumstances. The prohibition applies to the United States during times of peace, armed conflict, or a state of emergency."
( see below Geneva Conventions )

And from USA Today::80 arrested in Guantanamo protest at Supreme Court, 011108

Police arrested 80 protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court today during a protest marking the sixth anniversary of the first terror suspects imprisoned at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay. Similar protests were held in Australia, Europe and Africa.

Dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods, about 200 protesters marched from the Capitol to the court, calling for the prison to be closed. Some entered the courthouse while others kneeled on the steps.

All demonstrations are banned from the court grounds. The AP says those arrested inside the court were also charged with making a "harangue or oration." The maximum penalty is 60 days in jail, a fine or both.

In London, about 100 people in orange jumpsuits gathered near the U.S. embassy, AFP reports. Hundreds also marched through Sydney.

Later this year the justices will rule whether the Guantanamo prisoners can challenge their detention in civilian courts. Currently they are subject to military tribunals. The Pentagon has released several hundred detainees, with 275 remaining.
The World is Now populated by large numbers of so-called " NON-PERSONS "!!!
Odd how those Americans who are so concerned that a fetus or an embryo is defined as a " person " yet adult human beings who are not American are now to be classified under US law as " NON-Persons" .

Anyway, so here we go again. So now according to the latest legal finding American courts have the right to decide which individuals or groups of individuals are to be considered " persons " and which are not .

It reminds one of Hitler's Nuremberg Race Laws of 1933 . The Nazis believed that Jews were to be deemed in legal terms as being " non-Persons ". Once they were so classified then the laws pertaining to other German Citizens did not therefore apply to Jews. In this American case all those who are not American citizens are " Non-Persons " and so can be detained without due process and can be abused and tortured or whatever . The issue then is that one cannot by definition be accused or found guilty of abusing or torturing a human being who is designated as a " Non-Person ". " Non-Persons " under American Law ( if this decision is not over-ruled by a higher court ) have no human rights or rights that American citizens have unless those American citizens are themselves deemed as " Non-Persons" .

To some this argument is unimportant since to many Americans anyone deemed a terrorists should not be granted any legal rights even if it is found out later that they are not terrorists . This little slippery slope can then lead to the belief that ethical concerns are only of importance in cases dealing with so called " persons" and therefore cannot be applied to " Non-Persons".

" detainees captured in Afghanistan aren't recognized as persons "

Does this mean that all those outside the United States are not recognized as " persons "- This would appear to a rather racist and xenophobic view of the world's populations - Afghanistans , Iraqis , Russians , Chinese Europeans are not " persons " according to this legal finding . So if American soldiers or CIA, FBI or police or private contractors such as Blackwater were to apprehend a Canadian citizen in Canada or some other country outside other than United States as a detainee these representatives of America can do whatever they wish to the individual who is not a " person " under American law. This was a lower court decision and not one of the Supreme Court of the United State . This sounds like something some conspiracy theorist would invent. Yet here it is in black and white Canadians are not " person ". This goes against International Law and the Geneva Conventions .I would find it hard to believe that most Americans consider all non-Americans as not being " persons ". Are they therefore a little less than human. Are only Americans to be considered to be " persons ".

Sometimes the law is wrong . In this case it is indeed pernicious .The common sense view is that all humans who inhabit this sad little planet are persons .One doesn't get to just pick and choose based on one's prejudices and xenophobic and racist viewpoint. Ah well the same old same old .

In Voiding Suit, Appellate Court Says Torture Is To Be Expected, By Greg Gordon ,McClatchy Newspapers, Friday 11 January 2008

Washington - A federal appeals court Friday threw out a suit by four British Muslims who allege that they were tortured and subjected to religious abuse in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a ruling that exonerated 11 present and former senior Pentagon officials.

It appeared to be the first time that a federal appellate court has ruled on the legality of the harsh interrogation tactics that U.S. intelligence officers and military personnel have used on suspected terrorists held outside the United States since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The detainees allege that they were held in stress positions, interrogated for sessions lasting 24 hours, intimidated with dogs and isolated in darkness and that their beards were shaved.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the detainees captured in Afghanistan aren't recognized as "persons" under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because they were aliens held outside the United States. The Religious Freedom Act prohibits the government from "substantially burdening a person's religion."

The court rejected other claims on the grounds that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft had certified that the military officials were acting within the scope of their jobs when they authorized the tactics, and that such tactics were ``foreseeable.''

``It was foreseeable that conduct that would ordinarily be indisputably `seriously criminal' would be implemented by military officials responsible for detaining and interrogating suspected enemy combatants,'' Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote in the court's main opinion.

After being held for more than two years, the four men were repatriated to Britain in 2004, where they were freed within 24 hours without facing criminal charges, said Washington lawyer Eric Lewis, who represented them along with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights.

Three of the men — Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed — say they traveled to Afghanistan from Pakistan in October 2001 to provide humanitarian relief but were seized by an Uzbek warlord in northern Afghanistan the next month and sold to U.S. troops for bounty money. The three said they were unarmed and never engaged in combat against the United States.

The fourth, Jamal al Harith, said he'd planned to attend a religious retreat in Pakistan in October 2001 but was ordered to leave the country because of animosity toward Britons. When he tried to drive a truck home via Iran and Turkey, he says, his truck was hijacked at gunpoint and he was handed over to the Taliban, who jailed him and accused him of being a spy. When the Taliban fell after the U.S.-led invasion, he was detained and transported to Guantanamo.

and from Talkleft: The Politics of Crime Federal Appeals Court Dismisses Released Detainees' Lawsuit By Jeralyn, Section Terror Detainees , Jan 11, 2008

In a separate concurrence, Judge Janice Rogers Brown agreed with the result but attacked the majority for using a definition of person “at odds with its plain meaning.” She observed, “There is little mystery that a ‘person’ is an individual human being…as distinguished from an animal or thing.” Judge Rogers Brown concluded that the majority’s decision “leaves us with the unfortunate and quite dubious distinction of being the only court to declare those held at Guantánamo are not ‘person[s].’ This is a most regrettable holding in a case where plaintiffs have alleged high-level U.S. government officials treated them as less than human.”

One of the detainee's lawyers had this to say:

“It is an awful day for the rule of law and common decency when a court finds that torture is all in a days’ work for the Secretary of Defense and senior generals. It violates the President’s stated policy, our treaty obligations, and universal legal norms.

and further:
And from Presscue Guantanamo detainees are not human beings - US judges
Fri, 01/11/2008

On the sixth anniversary of the imprisonment of detainees at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, a United States judge threw out lawsuit brought by four former British detainees against Donald Rumsfeld and senior military officers for ordering torture and religious abuse, ruling that th the detainees are not "Persons" under U.S. Law, which according to another judge, means that they are less than "human beings".

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also ruled that torture is a "foreseeable consequence" of military detention in dismissing the action brought by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal, Rhuhel Ahmed and Jamal Al-Harith, who spent more than two years in Guantánamo and were repatriated to the U.K. in 2004.

In a 43-page opinion, Circuit Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a statute that applies by its terms to all “persons” did not apply to detainees at Guantánamo, effectively ruling that the detainees are not persons at all for purposes of U.S. law.

The Court also dismissed the detainees’ claims under the Alien Tort Statute and the Geneva Conventions, finding defendants immune on the basis that “torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants,” and ruled that even if torture and religious abuse were illegal, defendants were immune under the Constitution because they could not have reasonably known that detainees at Guantánamo had any constitutional rights

“We are disappointed that the D.C. Circuit has not held Secretary Rumsfeld and the chain of command accountable for torture at Guantánamo," Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, co-counsel on the case, commented. "The entire world recognizes that torture and religious humiliation are never permissible tools for a government. We hope that the Supreme Court will make clear that this country does not tolerate torture or abuse by an unfettered executive.”

and :
from James Oliphant at Democratic Underground.comCourt throws out Islam-based Gitmo claims-judge rules detainees 'not persons',Jan.11,2008

from the Washington Post we get merely a reporting of the facts in the case without any comment since why should the Washington Post or the American media in general bother reporting on legal cases off " Non-Persons" it reminds one of other authoritarian governments which believe they have the right to designate some individuals or groups of individuals as Non-persons ie Nazis and the Jews , Gypsies etc.

U.S. appeals court dismisses Guantanamo torture suit,By James Vicini,Reuters, January 11, 2008

also see the articlefrom Touchtone Archives:
Crossing the Nuremberg Line: William L. Saunders on Cloning & Human Dignity

The Nazis killed six to nine million people in their concentration or “death” camps, most of them Jews. Nazi laws had already defined Jews and other “undesirables” as non-persons. Eventually these “non-persons” were herded into the camps for extermination. But before the death camps were even constructed, the Nazis had engaged in an extensive campaign of euthanasia against the sick and handicapped.

The crucial work justifying this was a book published in 1920, called The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life. As made clear by Robert Jay Lifton in his book, The Nazi Doctors, the incurably ill, the mentally ill and feeble-minded, and retarded or deformed children were all regarded as “lives unworthy of life.” The Nazis “medicalized” the idea, maintaining that the destruction of unworthy lives was a “healing treatment.”

The first “Children’s Specialty Department” was established in 1940 after Hitler came to power, under which “all therapeutic possibilities will be administered according to the latest scientific knowledge.” A network of 30 killing areas within existing institutions was set up throughout Germany, Austria, and Poland.

In the extermination camps, Nazi doctors engaged in inexplicably cruel experiments on Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and others. They exposed them to extreme cold to see at what temperature death would occur. They injected them with poisons to see how quickly certain elements moved through the circulatory system. They took twins and subjected them to all manner of terrible conditions to see how genetically identical persons reacted to different conditions.

and check out the article from Freedom Germany: The Lessons Not Learned Long before gas was turned on in a concentration camp, a climate of hatred against Jews had been methodically and relentlessly established.By Linda Simmons Hight

Some in Germany today object to hearing comparisons drawn between discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities in the 1990s and that which occurred in the 1930s. After all, they point out, there are no ghettos, concentration camps or gas chambers. So, to hear them tell it, there is nothing happening.

But those pointing out the harsh and real parallels have never sought to extend them to the Holocaust itself. This is a smokescreen thrown up to obscure the actual point: that the Holocaust was only possible because of the long and vitriolic propaganda campaign of deadly disinformation that led up to it. The “final solution” was the culmination of a campaign so thorough in its viciousness that it became possible to round up millions of citizens from the midst of civilized nations and murder them. It was an operation that turned the Jews into “socially dead beings” (see Book Review). And it evolved over time. Focusing on this part of the Nazi era places Germany 1997 in context.

In 1920, just one year after formation of the Weimar Republic, Hitler first publicly articulated his anti-Semitic position. From that time forward, the propaganda machine was in full roar on its mission to “solve” the “Jewish problem.” The means were to manipulate public opinion so utterly that Jews would be universally viewed as no more than expendable animals.

And as for The Geneva Conventions and American Law :

And from Human Rights Watch Summary of International and U.S. Law Prohibiting Torture and Other Ill-treatment of Persons in Custody

International and U.S. law prohibits torture and other ill-treatment of any person in custody in all circumstances. The prohibition applies to the United States during times of peace, armed conflict, or a state of emergency. Any person, whether a U.S. national or a non-citizen, is protected. It is irrelevant whether the detainee is determined to be a prisoner-of-war, a protected person, or a so-called “security detainee” or “unlawful combatant.” And the prohibition is in effect within the territory of the United States or any place anywhere U.S. authorities have control over a person. In short, the prohibition against torture and ill-treatment is absolute.

I. International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions

The primary source of international humanitarian law (also called the laws of war) is the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which the United States ratified in 1955. The Third Geneva Convention concerns prisoners-of-war; the Fourth Geneva Convention safeguards so-called “protected persons,” most simply described as detained civilians. Detainees must at all times be humanely treated (Geneva III, art. 13, Geneva IV, art. 27). Detainees may be questioned, but any form of “physical or mental coercion” is prohibited (Geneva III, art. 17; Geneva IV, art. 31). Women shall be protected from rape and any form of indecent assault (Geneva IV, art. 27).

Torture or inhuman treatment of prisoners-of-war (Geneva III, arts. 17 & 87) or protected persons (Geneva IV, art. 32) are grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and are considered war crimes (Geneva III, art. 130; Geneva IV, art. 147). War crimes create an obligation on any state to prosecute the alleged perpetrators or turn them over to another state for prosecution. This obligation applies regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator, the nationality of the victim or the place where the act of torture or inhuman treatment was committed (Geneva III, art.129; Geneva IV, art. 146).

and check out :
Red Cross Geneva Conventions

It is forbidden to kill or wound an adversary who surrenders or who can no longer take part in the fighting.

The wounded and sick must be collected and cared for by the party to the conflict which has them in its power. Medical personnel and medical establishments, transports and equipment must be spared. The red cross or red crescent on a white background is the sign protecting such persons and objects and must be respected.

Captured combatants and civilians who find themselves under the authority of the adverse party are entitled to respect for their life, their dignity, their personal rights and their political, religious and other convictions. They must be protected against all acts of violence or reprisal. They are entitled to exchange news with their families and receive aid.

Everyone must enjoy basic judicial guarantees and no one may be held responsible for an act he has not committed. No one may be subjected to physical or mental torture or to cruel or degrading corporal punishment or other treatment.

The Bush Regime has committed many acts which are in fact War Crimes. But many Americans believe that such International laws such as the Geneva Conventions do not apply to American troops or other forces such as the CIA, the FBI, Special Ops or Private Contractors etc.

If other countries including my own Canada believed in these laws they would publicly condemn the Bush Regime. Either they no longer believe in the Geneva Conventions or they are too afraid to criticize the Americans.

Here's another example of a War Crime :


The soldier involved thinks its funny and awesome

take care,

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