Friday, March 10, 2006

An unclear response

I've finally received a reply from Don Brash's office on Keith Locke's motion to condemn the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. He (or rather, one of his staff) writes:

We understand the concerns that you express about the situation at Guantanamo Bay. We have received similar representations from other New Zealanders.

Our Foreign Affairs spokesman, Murray McCully, has raised the matter with the Minister of Defence, Hon Phil Goff. Please be assured that we will continue to keep an eye on the situation in the future.

Which neatly manages to avoid the question entirely. Does National support or oppose Keith's motion? Do they support or oppose the continued detention without trial of 500 people on mostly dubious "evidence" and in conditions which "must be assessed as amounting to torture"? It's entirely unclear.

I'll continue poking at this, and I'll try and get an answer out of McCully about where exactly National stands on Guantanamo.


What utter complete garbage you write about Guantanamo. And why do you always link to your own posts as if they are evidence?

I'm reviewing the statements of three detainees and they all reek of "odd coincidences" and inconsistencies, such as being able to freely skip from Yemen to Kuwait to Iraq to Saudi Arabia to Pakistan to Afghanistan to "preach Islam" during times of heightened tensions, or accurately describing a known hardened terrorist camp outside of Jalalabad yet claiming he doesn't know anything about the terrorists who run it.

The most ridiculous I've encountered so far is the claim of one Saudi Arabian that he travelled to Iraq in the early 2000's because it offered his dad better healthcare. Yeah right. And you believe the claims of these turkeys.

As for the claims of 'torture', please provide substantiated evidence rather than the flakey stories of self-admitted Al Qaeda affiliates such as Moazzam Begg.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur : 3/10/2006 04:10:00 PM

OK al, lets say you're right and the released detainees are a bunch of dissembling terrorist lackeys. And lets assume that those still incarcerated are equally culpable.

Surely, then, you're impatient to see them all appear before a properly constituted court with actual judges and real lawyers so you can watch as they wilt beneath the weight of the evidence brought against them.

Why is it, do you think, that the Bush administration hasn't set this in motion already?

Posted by Jarvis Pink : 3/11/2006 10:20:00 AM

So, backtracking through posts on this, we seem to have the Greens, the Maori Party and probably United Future prepared to condemn torture where they see it.

And on the weaselling side we have the Labour Progressive coalition and the Nats.

Anyone heard from Rodney?

Posted by Jarvis Pink : 3/11/2006 10:45:00 AM


The problems highlighted by the UN investigation are based on admissions by US officials as well.

For example, prolonged solitary confinement with sleep deprivation lasting for many weeks comes under the definition of torture. Nor is it trivial: the US interrogators reports note that they've broken some prisoners that way, to the point that they're talking to people who aren't there and no longer able to rationally answer questions posed by interrogators.

As for the "reeking of odd coincidences" - so? No-one doubts that there are real terrorists and real Al Qaeda members in Guatanamo. What we're all sure of is that there are a fair number of innocent bystanders there too. Trials exist to separate the innocent from the guilty. Let's see some.

Posted by Icehawk : 3/11/2006 09:14:00 PM

Al; is this an official public admission that men are being held for years without charge or trial in Guantanamo Bay, undergoing conditions amounting to torture throughout, because they were travelling Imams or simply a person who had moved to Iraq?

Back in my day the idea was to charge people with actual crimes, but as Mr Blair says, those terrorists are rascally when it comes to not breaking any actual laws.

Posted by tussock : 3/12/2006 12:01:00 AM