Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Koran at Gitmo

Max Boot notes that most of the Koran descrations were done by inmates at Gitmo.

At Gitmo, personnel receive instructions: "Do not disrespect the Koran (let it touch the floor, kick it, step on it)." They must "handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art." This means ensuring "that the Koran is not placed in offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet area." Only Muslim chaplains and interpreters are actually supposed to touch a Koran, and then only if wearing clean latex gloves. Moreover: "Two hands will be used at all times when handling the Koran in a manner signaling respect and reverence."

John Hinderaker beats up on the MSM for not talking about this.

It seems that the Army--or maybe it’s the United States--just can’t win. It is almost inconceivable that the Hood report could have been more favorable to the Guantanamo guards and interrogators, yet the international and American press treated it as a confession of wrongdoing, at times with a hint that the Newsweek allegation had proven true after all. Little (frequently, nothing) was made of the fact that it was the Muslim detainees, not American guards or interrogators, who had perpetrated precisely the acts that were the excuse for anti-American riots in the Muslim world.

No matter how virtuous American conduct may be, the many members of the press raise the bar higher, with no regard for the realities of warfare, the inevitable sordidness of prison life, or the frailties of human nature. It is hard to see any purpose in this hypercriticism--no other country, except perhaps Israel, is held to such an extraordinary standard--other than to make it impossible for the United States to detain and interrogate prisoners. Or to fight a war.

Discussions - 10 Comments

I loved the part about the magical urine that was blown by the wind, went through an air vent and - I’ll be damned - just happened to splash on a guy’s Koran!!

You know, considering all the prisoners who have so far been released from Gitmo (having never seen a trial or tribunal, or perhaps even a lawyer) - such release being a pretty good indication that there’s scant or no evidence that they’re terrorists, since apparently there are no limits on how long anyone could be held there before someone must prove the detainee’s guilty of something - it seems that tinkling on their holy texts is not such a good method for winning the hearts and minds of the world’s Muslims. It’s not nice, AND it’s a bad strategy. The whole "well THEY desecrated more Korans than WE did" argument - which requires believing a completely non-independent investigation by an organization that, at this point, is probably in full PR image-salvaging mode - rather seems to miss the point.

Why Mr. McCoy is wrong.

Combatant Status Review Tribunals

Then again, these tribunals are one of the MSMs best kept secrets.

Frank...I wish you’d show as much concern for the safety of Americans as you do for these combatants/terrorists. Has it ever occurred to you that playing "gotcha" with your own people is 1) counterproductive, and 2) unnatural? Any large organization will have some level of deviance, corruption, and disobedience -- if we forced major changes every time a cop, a nurse, or a teacher screwed up our institutions would be utterly crippled. Why are Liberals so forgiving of our enemies’ faults while being so very critical of our own? Do you realize that Christians have been imprisoned and even killed in Muslim lands for merely proselytizing? I think you need some perspective.

I was unclear with what I wrote in the first line of my 2nd para. Presumably all of those detainees who HAVE been released have been through some sort of review, tribunal or variant thereof. Those who remain, however, are often not so fortunate, relatively speaking.

TKC, aka "[email protected]" (!!!), I am not impressed with that link, a transcript from a press meeting. There ARE detainess at Gitmo who have been held there 3 years without a trial. That’s inexcusable.

Dain - "the safety of Americans" (oh boy, you’re starting to sound like Ralph Nader or something!) is actually what I was getting at. Having a non-terrorist Muslim get his Koran peed on and then going home to tell others about it isn’t doing us much good. Prisoner abuse and disrespect of their religion increases the potential for moderate Muslims to have a change of heart about Americans - only a change of heart for the WORSE. As for being "forgiving of our enemies’ faults," I’m hardly certain that most of the detainees at Gitmo, or at the prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq are, indeed, my enemy. I have serious doubts as to whether those prisoners have been, are, or would be plotting attacks against me or American citizens in general. Perhaps your standard for qualification as an "enemy" is less strict than that. You asked me, "Has it ever occurred to you that playing "gotcha" with your own people is 1) counterproductive, and 2) unnatural?" I feel I have very little in common with the architects and the operators of these far-off prisons (we’re all U.S. citizens, but the similarities end quickly after that), so the idea that I’m critiquing "my own people" doesn’t really apply, just as you probably wouldn’t consider most people at a Democratic convention to be "your own people." I would think that it’s entirely NATURAL for you, as a conservative, to critique and play "gotcha" with them. Has it ever occurred to you that defending anything and everything that is done by the Bush administration and the U.S. military could drain your soul?

Actually, Frank, I’m quite critical of Bush in some areas (e.g., immigration, spending), but Gitmo ain’t one of them. I also think you need to remember that these prisoners were fighting against us in Afghanistan and elsewhere...they are not just folks we picked up on the streets of Kabul. Come on, Frank.

As far as playing "gotcha" when Democrats are in power, I never have when I thought they were actually doing something to retain America’s position in the world, although that’s been quite infrequent. There’s a word for undermining the war efforts of your civilization...treason. I’m sorry, but the normal sniping allowed (and welcomed) in typical politics is much more problematic during wartime.

As for urinating on the Koran, it was somebody’s smart idea. Not wise, admittedly, but hardly a terrible tragedy. "Moderates" by definition should be able to forgive symbolic nonsense like this. If they can’t understand how something like this could happen in the context of recent history, then they aren’t very moderate, are they? And personally I think it’s time to stop being so "sensitive" around Muslims. They show little respect for others (imprisoned Christians, dead Jews, stuff like that). Since the only thing they apparently respect is power and force, we should be willing to accommodate them.

Mr. McCoy says: "TKC, aka "[email protected]" (!!!), I am not impressed with that link, a transcript from a press meeting. There ARE detainess at Gitmo who have been held there 3 years without a trial. That’s inexcusable."

You don’t try enemy combatants unless they’ve committed a war crime. Keeping them as prisoners until the ends of hostilities is perfectly legitimate. In the meantime they are being given a chance at a military tribunal to contest being held as an enemy combatant. What more should we do?

I suppose we could have used a traditional application of the Geneva Conventions: Since these men were captured in a combat zone with little reason to suspect that they were civilians, and since they were not in uniform, we would have shot them on site (as spies/irregulars) and moved on. No need to worry about Koran desecration then or other "human rights abuses" then.

Luke Florer is absolutely right. We should have just shot them on the battlefield and been done with it. Our mercy and humanity has gotten us nothing but disdain. Since the far Left and the Supreme Court seem to think that foreign terrorists held outside the US are entitled to the same basic constitutional rights as Americans in America under the American constitution, the price for keeping them alive (i.e., a public trial where we’d have to show our hand to al qaeda) is simply too high.

Must agree with Mr. Florer. Why keep and feed suicidal thugs bent on murdering you?

I would suggest a policy of "minimal capture". Since most of these Jihadi thugs are bent on going to a heavenly Islamist "Cathouse"; goodness grant them their wish. Capture a bunch; keep a few for intel and send the others off to their "Mustang Ranch" in the sky. Why spend public dollars on these cretins?

Maybe they should think about British prisoner ships during the Revolutionary War, Confederate prison camps, the Soviet Gulag, or Nazi POW camps before they start complaining about this nonsense. Maybe we should give them cable TV - oh wait, they kill people for such Western inventions.

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