Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

March 8 Show: call in to 317.489.9219 as we talk about Gitmo, Ukraine and other topics from JT's Grill.

   After 9/11,the United States government took actions that were unrelated to defense against terrorists. The Patriot Act was passed by a docile Congress. In it, protections (i.e., rights) of the Constitution were out to the side in the interest of national security. The United States also transported people to the former Navy coaling station at Guantanamo Bay, on the island of Cuba, to be held.

   "Gitmo" was a loophole. If individuals had been arrested and charged with criminal offenses in the United States, those individuals would have been subject to United States laws and procedures. If individuals had been captured under auspices of military actions, the individuals would have been subject to international treaties and accorded basic procedural rights. Amongst the most basic rights in such procedures are being told the charge or charges one faces and being given an opportunity to be tried.

   The United States government found a loophole. If we called the people, who became known as "detainees," nonmilitary combatants, they were (1) not under arrest for criminal offenses therefore not subject to laws and procedures of our courts (2) not combatants, therefore unprotected by laws and procedures of international treaties to which the United States is a signatory (although indigenous peoples of North America have had experience with US recognition of treaties to which it is a signatory) and (3) could be spirited away to the island of Cuba, where the constitution we wrote for the Cuban people in 1899 specifically provided the United States Navy a coaling station on the land on Guantanamo Bay, and where the detainees could be held in limbo. If the detainees were on soil neither American nor subject to treaties, they could be held indefinitely.

   As it turned out, many of the detainees were innocent of little more than pissing off a neighbor in Afghanistan who turned the person in for a $5,000 reward after the neighbor accused the person of being with Al Qaeda.

   More recently, Russia has taken actions against Ukraine after the president of Ukraine fled that country, with billions of dollars he had skimmed from the government. The president was a pal of Vlad Putin.

   We will discuss these topics on CDN today, streaming live from JT's Grill at 2402 East 54th Street.

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