Despite being held for 14 years without charge at Guantanamo Bay; despite the torture, beatings, and psychological trauma he says he endured there; and despite signs that British intelligence agents knew of the abuse, 48-year-old Shaker Aamer says top UK officials should be granted legal immunity if it will enco
I can respect this brother's position, but as a subject of the US, I have to insist on full legal accountability for the myriad criminals who continue to operate in the clear and torment the people of the world. We simply cannot restore any semblance of law until this episode ends with justice.
Just so, Brother.
Aamer sez: "... Obama ... that if he wants to be the hero, to close Guantánamo. If he really wants to establish justice, if he really wants to live by his word ..."
Sorry, Bruv, but I don't believe those are two big priorities for the prez.
I agree. I just wish that there was a clear means to bring about such legal accountability. I'd be happy to learn about any international efforts to hold a people's tribunal, truth commission, and/or war crimes trials against US government officials and contractors, who have had leadership roles in crimes against humanity such as torture, detention without charge or trial, and mass killing of civilians.
Brilliant. Humane and strategic and drained of any particle of vengeance, aiming toward peace and reconciliation. Repentance is the most powerful force of change for a society because it comes from the middle of the criminal and transforms the guilt into something immensely powerful. That will to change one self for the common good demonstrates the ability to change and the [more powerful] positive side of human tendencies, the urge toward peace and good will. And coming from exactly a source whose experience that makes this strategy so strong. Thank you Mr Aamer. This is one smart and very big man and I admire him enormously.
And everyone is capable of repenting. Making it available and easy would be a big difficult step on our part, but finding our way to that is part of the change, veering us toward sanity.
If we look at the truth commissions of South Africa, the point is for the country to acknowledge
for all to see the sickness and then attempt a way forward.
If we also look at what we as a country continually do to our prisoners,
those we deem to be wrong, it is pure madness, built upon retribution and revenge.
Not a whiff of rehabilitation.
At some point we have to move beyond this trained mind set of "get even"
"eye for an eye" and attempt to build anew a better response.
Truth commissions are one way forward.
I'd like to see them for all classified crimes.
Don't we have a legal responsibility?
When the victim sees it clearly, shouldn't we as well.
Don't make that mistake! Psychopaths are not capable of repenting because they are not capable of feeling remorse or guilt.
But they are superb at feigning it.
Guantanamo Bay is not a prisoner of war camp. It is a concentration camp. It is a crime against humanity. It is state-sponsored terrorism.
It's a defensible position. But I still think it's the wrong one. There's so much at stake besides the national group hug that is reconciliation tribunals. Eventually, they become like confession at church: misbehave badly, get busted, hang your head in (fake) sorrow and then start all over again. Frankly, that's what our already tawdry congressional hearings do.
We desperately need more than theater now, even if it' the hard way. To me, this is about a nation trying to find its way to a real justice. We cannot continue to let elites do this kind of damage and then let them off with a finger wagging as if they've learned their lessons.
We have to end the reign of criminal impunity for global elites,and we need to end it now.
This breaks my heart that anyone can be tortured the way this man was. I could cry a million buckets for these poor abused souls. And dang it, OBAMA!!!! who promised us in 2008 he would close Guatanamo -- but betrayed us by keeping it open!!!!! I hope the day also comes where all the war criminals are brought to justice and publicly shamed.
The biggest problem with that, Diane, is that they're literally unable to feel shame. To them, shame, like compassion, is just a stupid weakness that can be used as a weapon against us.
We are getting closer and closer through brain imaging to finding that sociopaths and other pathological people do indeed have malfunctions of one or more of the brain's basic check and balance subsystems.
An excellent source is Eric Kandel's Brain Series on Charlie Rose.
In his discussions, we see specific brain subsystems that fail to provide checks to pathological actions.
Where a normal person would have reserve or abhorrence set in, no such firing takes place in a damaged brain. And yet the person can exhibit otherwise normal behavior traits. Even "superb" performance.
While he was unwilling to posit explicitly that sociopathic behavior may be a biological malfunction,
it was clearly visible in many behavior traits discussed.
This one sets up a very difficult legal remedy. Rather like jailing Typhoid Mary.
Dave Lykken, ages ago, did a very nice experiment in which he found that psychopaths don't generate adrenalin in response to the same stimuli "normals" do. Mostly, they don't generate it at all. But they react to exogenous adrenalin!
Possibly because I trained in clinical and social rather than physio, I'm skeptical of claims that psychopaths have imageably-distinct neurology.
But your point about Typhoid Mary is well-taken. Although psychopaths are in very real and important ways non-human, their behavior is not, on some level, "their fault".
But we don't not kill cobras because cobra-nature is not their fault, so it would be (and has been!) massively self-destructive to let psychopaths continue to run around loose. Since they are apex-predators and know very well how to ring changes on our emotions, we have to box them up for our own protection.
The main question would be: where? The best SWAG I've read is that maybe 2% are obligates, the rest are what Hare calls "successful"--they can maintain when they need do. If they're another, say, 10%, that's over 1G individuals. I don't even know whether they could all be made to fit in, say, Oz and NZ, leaving aside the question of weather, water, and, not least, the rights of the Aboriginal people.
It's a tough question, but one we'll need to answer.
No, no, no! A thousand times no. These officials, and I do not mean the stupid low-level creeps they get to do the dirty, I mean Blair, Bush and all the bigshots need one-way passage to the International Criminal Court. And too bad that is a civilized court without the death penalty -- which they all thoroughly merit.
Lykken, haven't heard that one in a while. Good info.
"what Hare calls "successful"--they can maintain when they need to"
Boy is that an understatement, makes one wonder if the Cheney's of the world actually start with a pathology that initiates their careers and subsequent crimes.
Even though Mary was an innocent, we still had a lot of dead people as a result of her presence.
And she couldn't be left to her own ignorance.
I guess the one that gets me, is if we keep killing the perpetrators, as it were, we'll never get to a solution. Lot's of otherwise normal 'rank and file' people do horrendous things. And I would rather study them for a solution than simply extinguish them.
There are lots of trigger systems rampant in the world, and most people don't even know
they have just been activated to do someone else's crime.
Resident in NZ as a political refugee from Blair's illegal invasion of Iraq, I don't think we need any more psychopaths dumped on us. How about somewhere in the vast Pacific like Christmas Island - site of the UK's Operation Grapple and US operation Dominic, or off the West coast of Scotland on Gruinard....?
And the rights of the other 25 million who live in the fair lands of Oz and NZ. Keep your psychopaths in the USA; you have plenty of jails for the bastards, and plenty of guns if you need to shoot them.
Innocent until proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
That means we have to put up with people whom we may not like. It is THE key point that underpins our civilisation. Screw brain imaging. Only a psychopath would pursue its research and think of using it.