Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Response to Anonymous: Even Adolf Eichmann got a trial

  • Adolf Eichmann was a high-ranking official in Nazi Germany and served as an Obersturmbannfuhrer in the S.S. He was largely responsible for the logistics of the extermination of millions of Jewish people during the Holocaust. He is often referred to as the architect of the Holocaust. In 1961, Isreal put him on trial for crimes against humanity. He was convicted and hung to death in December of 1961.

  • In response to my Independence Day post, Anonymous left the following comment:
    Would you have opposed us keeping German POWs during WWII? Should we have given them all trials? You are ridiculous! These are individuals who were captured in battle!
    I'm sure yo would not mind someone being shaved or having being held in stress positions of they had information about a bomb near you daughters school.

    First of all, Anonymous (hey, I have a lot of friends who go by Anonymous. You know somebody named Bill W. by any chance? No? Darn. I was sure we had the same acquaintance), you are welcome here. I won't yell at you or call you names, and if I do, my sponsor will prompt me to make amends. So pull up a chair and make yourself welcome.

    I hate to say this, but you are making my argumentss for me. Please, allow me:

  • German POW's were treated in accord with the conventions regarding prisoners of war at that time. As part of the surrender of Germany deals were made regarding repatriation, thus allowing the majority of German POW's, regardless of any war crimes they may have committed, to return home. Guantanamo bears no resemblance to this; the people held there are held in violation of the Geneva Conventions (which we are signatories to) which govern the handling of POW's.

    So, we are not treating the folks at Gauntanamo with the common decency that we (Great Britain and the United States) afforded to the common Nazi POW. We are treating them worse, at least in a strictly legal sense.

  • As a matter of fact, not all of them were captured in battle. The summary I did of Mohhammed Nechle's Combatant Status Review Tribunal dossier revealed that he was abducted from Bosnia along with five other Muslim men after being released by Bosnian authorities because the Bosnians did not find that there was enough evidence to imprison them before they could be tried on charges related to terrorism. He was going to be free, innocent until proven guilty, then we took him. He has been in Guantanamo for three years without being charged with a crime and without a trial. Is he a terrorist? I don't know. That's the whole point to having a trial-to determine if these men are guilty. And if they are not, they should go free. Next time you argue with someone, try somebody who hasn't actually read up on the detainees. They will be an easier target.

  • Regarding the hypothetical bomb-in-my-daughter's-diaper-which-can-only-be-defused-if-we-torture-the-terrorist-scenario... Sure, I'd torture him. It's my kid, I'd have to. But torture is still always wrong and I should face appropriate punishment for that. But this ever so popular conservative scenario is ridiculous and will never happen. I refer you to the indispensable Fafblog's Medium Lobster; the Lobster also has good torture commentary here as well.

    I will leave you with a parting quote, from one of those radical anti-torture liberals:
    Now, I know that some of these guys are terrible, terrible killers and the worst kind of scum of humanity. But, one, they deserve to have some adjudication of their cases...

    I think, on balance, the argument has got to be--the weight of evidence has got to be that we've got to adjudicate these people's cases, and that means that if it means releasing some of them, you'll have to release them. Look, even Adolf Eichmann got a trial. I mean, there--we are signatories to numerous agreements on human rights, against torture, universal declaration on human rights, etc. So that means we have to do something with these people. And I hope we can move that process forward very soon.

    Senator John McCain
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