Re: some U.S. observations and notes

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sat Dec 22 2001 - 14:28:55 MST

Chris Hibbert wrote:
> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > What bugs me is that those who harp on things like our detention of the
> > Japanese have absolutely nothing to [s]ay about how the Japanese treated
> > OUR citizens (and those of Britain, Australia, etc) who were
> > non-combatants within Japanese control.
> You misunderstand the nature of the distinction. (Notice that I didn't
> have to call you a fool or label your politics in order to frame the
> disagreement? Try that sometime.) The US government claims to act on
> behalf of citizens. Any legitimacy it has comes from the consent of the
> governed. The Japanese government doesn't care what I think (except
> when they act in a way that gives us cause to go to war with them.) I
> want our government (little as I want a government) to act in ways that
> are allowed by the laws, and consistently with freedom. They didn't,
> and if we don't protest, they'll feel like they can get away with it
> again.

You misread my earlier post (Notice that I didn't call you a fool
either? It takes a lot more than that for me to say something like that,
and you've got a long way to go). I specifically wrote earlier that the
Geneva Conventions SPECIFICALLY allow the detention of ALL foreign
nationals who are citizens of countries from which attacks on the US
have been launched, supported, funded, or based. Given that OBL and his
followers are based in many different countries (Sudan, Somalia, Iraq,
Saudi, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Phillipines, etc), we are fully
allowed BY INTERNATIONAL LAW to detain and filter any and all citizens
of those countries. We are required to house and feed them to standards
established under the Conventions and overseen by the International Red
Cross for the duration of the conflict, although we can, if we choose,
release individuals that we determine to be non-threats as we choose,
but any individuals who are found to be suspected of being illegal
combatants can be separated from the general population.

Under the Geneva Conventions, illegal combatants are completely
unprotected. They can be summarily executed or interrogated. Spies, for
example, are illegal combatants who have in many cases been summarily
executed, or executed after being heavily interrogated. Illegal
combatants do not have ANY rights under the UN Universal Proclaimation
of Human Rights. For example, when turncoat Aldrich Ames sold out to the
Soviet Union, the information he provided to the KGB resulted in the
arrest of 12 'illegals' who were executed, and this result is entirely
permitted under the Geneva Conventions. The US has traditionally held
itself to a far higher standard than that spelled out in the GCs,
primarily because it has found it more profitable to hold spies it has
caught in prison in order to exchange them with opponents when our own
spies have been caught.

Now, the US is being far more gracious than is actually required as a
minimum by the Geneva Conventions. In Afghanistan, Afghan and al Qaeda
prisoners are not tortured in any way by US forces, no drugs, no
physical force is used. In this instance, prisoners who have been fully
expecting to be executed are far more willing to talk when faced with
such tender and respectful treatment (these are apparently low ranking
types though. Upper rankers are being far more reticent, it seems).

> They came for the Japanese and noone complained. We learned. When they
> came for the Arabs, there was a big uproar. Not that they couldn't
> detain them, but they had to be careful. There are a lot of people who
> think they aren't being careful enough. Not many would argue that the
> police investigation and the questioning shouldn't be done, but they
> want our government to learn from past bad examples and respect people's
> rights. We don't know which of them are innocent, so we should be real
> careful to treat them all as if they probably are until there's good
> evidence otherwise.

Of course, it is entirely because of this attitude that the 911 attacks
were able to occur. We had Moussawi in jail for a month before the
attacks, with him refusing to talk. If we were able to interrogate him
further, then over 3,000 lives would have been saved. How many lives are
such rights worth, especially in the case of people who are not even

Outside of OBL and al Qaeda, the rest of the blame for 9-11 falls
squarely on the shoulders of the ACLU and their ilk.

> For the actual terrorists who were on airplanes, it didn't take the
> investigators long to come up with reasonable evidence that they were
> connected to Al Quaeda. Anyone that they couldn't come up with similar
> evidence on in a similar period, they should be treating with kid
> gloves, and that doesn't seem to be happening.

You don't know that. You have absolutely no idea how prisoners are being
treated in detention. Most people questioned have simply been mailed
letters asking them to come in for an interview.

> > [...] The Japanase government has never apologized
> > for this treatment, generally denies that it took place in their history
> > books, and has never paid a dime to the survivors or their families,
> That's a different problem from the actions of our government in
> depriving citizens of their rights, and I have no problem with those who
> focus on it.
> > and our government prevents our citizens from suing the Japanese over
> this.
> I agree that this is wrong. I shouldn't have to complain about either
> of these wrongs in order to complain when our government throws citizens
> (or others who should be presumed innocent, my my reasoning) in
> detention camps, and confiscates their belongings.

You can consider what the US did wrong. Under the Geneva Conventions, at
least SOME of those detained were detained legally. Natural born
citizens of Japanese decent were not proper detainees, and IMHO their
detention was wrong. Detention of Japanese immigrants was not wrong
under the Geneva Conventions. If you think that such detention is wrong,
then you need to lobby to amend the Conventions.

> The fact that the Japanese (were/may have been) worse isn't a defense of
> the US government's actions.

Especially when it's time to blame the US for nuking the Japanese...

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