Admitted AQ Leader Goes To Gitmo

Like Mark Twain, the demise of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay may have been somewhat exaggerated. The US has transferred nineteen captured terrorists to Gitmo this year, including the latest from Afghanistan. Only identified as “Inayatullah”, he admitted to running an al-Qaeda organization in Iran:

An Afghan national accused of links with al-Qaeda has been transferred to the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the Pentagon has said.
The man, named only as “Inayatullah”, was captured during operations in Afghanistan, a Pentagon statement said.
The US military say he admitted being the leader of al-Qaeda in Zahedan, Iran and planned and directed al-Qaeda terrorist operations. …
“Inayatullah met with local operatives, developed travel routes and coordinated documentation, accommodation and vehicles for smuggling unlawful combatants throughout countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Iraq,” the Pentagon said.

Guantanamo Bay serves a useful purpose, whether people want to acknowledge it or not. The US has no other options for terrorists captured on the battlefield, out of uniform and not representing any legitimate state authority. These terrorists present a real danger to the US while at large, and the US has every right to act in its own defense while at war with unlawful combatants.
People captured under these circumstances should have no access to American civil courts, for the simple reason that they are not criminals in the civil sense. Their “crimes” take place in theaters of war outside the United States, which would put the terrorists outside of the jurisdiction of these courts in any case. The framers of the Constitution never intended it to apply to foreign organizations waging war against the United States, and until this war, no serious person ever proposed that it should. Those who decry the supposed loss of habeas corpus cannot point to a single instance where enemies captured outside of the US out of uniform have ever been granted access to American courts to adjudicate their cases.
Critics have demanded the closure of Guantanamo Bay’s detention center, but none of them acknowledge the need for military detention centers somewhere to handle its function. Captured terrorists can’t just be released, nor does the military have the option of just shooting them. Gitmo has the virtue of not requiring the transfer of rabid terrorists onto the American mainland, where an escape in transition could have deadly consequences. Even if we closed Gitmo, we would have to do the same thing we do now with captured terrorists; we’ll just do it at a different address.
If terrorists don’t want to spend their lives at Gitmo, they have a clear option — stop being terrorists, or at least be smart enough not to get caught. Those who plot against civilians and our troops while violating the Geneva Convention requirements on wearing uniforms and avoiding civilian casualties do not deserve any other considerations than a military tribunal and the rest of their lives to regret their poor decisions.

12 thoughts on “Admitted AQ Leader Goes To Gitmo”

  1. After all the events of this week, I think we can finally openly question the left’s patriotism. The whole Gitmo thing was a joke. Only an idiot or someone not paying attention could compare Gitmo to the Abu Garab of Saddam’s era. We have all seen the reports (if we are honest and paying attention) that the prisoners at Gitmo get better health care and meals than many Americans. What other country but ours would handle their holy book with gloves so as not to offend. I don’t understand why the left hates us so….

  2. Yes, indeed they are ‘unlawful’, now do you know the law that they break?
    That is not a disingenuous question as it has a real and relevent answer to it. While I have looked at this question at length, it has not been an easy time. By the founding of the Nation, only one real form of truly unlawful and unjust warfare was really thought of as a menace. This law, even in the US Code, cites the law in question and is one of the few areas that the US must cite pre-existing law as a Nation because it involves other Nations. Indeed, this law is cited and referenced by the Supreme Court in these cases as well as drawing on the experiences of Lord Stowall, who had this view:
    “Lord Stowell asserted that a prize court is a court not merely of the country in which it sits but of the law of nations. The seat of judicial authority, he added, in words which have become classic, is indeed locally here, in the belligerent country, but the law itself has no locality.”
    That is the prize court of the Admiralty courts. It covers – piracy. Indeed this is the law of nations, explained by Blackstone’s Commentaries, which were based on the Black Book of the Admiralty, which, itself, drew on Roman Imperial trade law. This would become regularized and recognized by all Nations with Monsieur de Vatell’s work “Law of Nations”. The very same laws the US Supreme Court would cite, along with Stowall and also cite Blackstone and even the Black Book. It is the international basis for a nation to have proper and recognized interaction with other nations and gives, in full detail, what is legitimate and illegitimate warfare. The Paris, Hague and Geneva Conventions are all *based* on the law of nations as it is the only framework that makes treaties of this sort understandable, and gives roles and responsibilities to everyone, even individuals, in the interplay between Nations.
    In this enlightened age, with so much nation to nation work utilizing that framework implicitly, very few individuals ever need to cite it. So ingrained is it in our way of thought on how nations can and *should* interact, that we are highly offended at things that do NOT fit in that framework. We are not taught this in school, and my guess is only a very few courses in law schools deal at any length with this as there is now so much abundant law based on treaties that the underpinnings of the system itself are not looked at in detail. We are ignorant of it because it works and is an assumed part of nation to nation interaction. Untaught it goes unlearned, unspoken it is not carried with us in our lives. Yet it is the basis of what it means to be a citizen of a Nation and what our responsibilities are as part of that.
    The reason law of nations is so important as it defines ALL types of warfare. Piracy, because it dealt with commerce, fell more into the common law, but also it had a view as to the activity going on. While the disruption of commerce for profit is now seen as the issue, it is the means of doing so that Blackstone citing Edward Coke, would give us the basis to understand what that *was*: hostis humani generis.
    Enemy of mankind.
    Ok this is getting lengthy, and one may do their own research into the US Code, US Supreme Court decisions, the Constitution, Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence and the law of nations. I’ve given that all a very, very hard shot to answer the question: what are terrorists and why is their work unlawful?
    The upshot is that ‘piracy’ is a sub-category of something called ‘predatory warfare’.
    Terrorism is a ‘tactic’ used in ‘predatory warfare’.
    ‘Predatory warfare’ is not limited to the sea: it can be global in extent. It is the activity of those that are not nations using the means and weapons of war to attack sovereign nations and their citizens. We would later call these things ‘crimes against humanity’ but this, as seen by the piracy views, is much deeper than that. Piracy, when ruled against by a Nation, had the expectation that all Nations would recognize the threat to themselves by these enemies of mankind.
    While ‘predatory warfare’ has been more localized to bandit armies and such, even by the early 20th century it was recognized that they were crossing borders and that military means was suitable against them. The USSR would use the very first paratroop drop against bandits in 1929, as these were a threat in a region so remote as to require that. Our own westward expansion saw these criminals, waging predatory war for whatever reason, be it money, power, or the sheer joy in killing, as: outlaws.
    Truly, by Blackstone and Vattel: outside the law of nations. And that term goes far back into the nordic influence on the common law in which being turned away from community, to face the wilds on one own and have no protection of any law, as worse than death.
    So, for this already lengthy discourse, I will now cite one President who, indeed, had to deal with this and actually put that into force in the US Army Field Manual, and I will quote the section of this older manual:
    “Art. 82.
    Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers – such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates.”
    This was authorized by the President as Head of State under the law of nations, Commander in Chief and Head of government, which includes chief law enforcement officer. Which President?
    Abraham Lincoln in the Field Manual 100 as drafted by Francis Lieber in 1863, last reprinted in 1898. It is perhaps the best and most succinct description of ‘terrorism’ as an activity and what the US Army should do with them. The summary treatment is by one’s actions and has a direct civil penalty meted out for doing those actions while in the course of warfare.
    They have, indeed, broken the law of nations on warfare.
    Pirates, bandits, brigands, corsairs, and those who wage depradations against nations and their citizens outside of the law of any nation are all waging ‘predatory warfare’.
    Perhaps, someday, we will come to remember what it means to be a Nation. And follow the action of the Great Emancipator “Honest Abe” Lincoln to understanding what justice against predators means. Because we have become so advanced that we have forgotten what having a nation means to us and why it is important.

  3. Maybe President Bush should offer to move the Gitmo inmates to the home town of one of the Senate Democrats.
    /Mr Lynn

  4. Actually I believe we can shoot them, we just chose not to. In the past we did shoot “soldiers” captured out of uniform. It’s just out of not wanting to offend the bedwetters’ in the democrat party that we don’t shoot them.

  5. Curt LaRose is correct. According to the Geneva Conventions we can shoot these people out of hand, after capture. That is the penalty it states for being an illegal combatant.
    To be afforded the protections offered by the Geneva Conventions you have to follow the Conventions. If you do not — the Conventions allow your captor to shoot you.
    One thing I always agree with those that would shut down Gitmo is that the United States is not adhering properly to the Geneva Conventions. If we shot captured terrorist as franc tieurs and illegal combatants — as provided for in the Conventions — we would have a lot less need for Gitmo.

  6. I’ve got to agree with Curt and Mark above. A hasty and public shooting of a couple of those clearly found to be violating the rules the civilized world lives under would serve us in the end. The Geneva Conventions are about protecting civilian lives, and those who fight from outside the structure of a nation-state and in civilian clothes endanger everyone.

  7. “Like Mark Twain, the demise of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay may have been somewhat exaggerated.”
    Twain said the rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated.

  8. a) We have been getting some good intel from the detainees. Reason enough not to just shoot them.
    b) Illegal combatants are no better than bandits, murderers, and spies; and can be summarily executed.
    c) If they were legal combatants, then legal prosecution (other than for war crimes) would be a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Illegal combatants could, in principal, be tried as accomplices to murder, felony murder, etc (it would be hard get evidence from a battlefield as to their actually killing someone, but showing that the were part of a “gang” would be fairly easy). The big question is, who’s legal system has jurisdiction.
    d) Detention of combatants is to prevent them from attacking you again. SOP for wartime. It has nothing to do with Law Enforcement.

  9. All good responses.
    The left continues to rally for the closing of gitmo yet fail to offer a viable solution of where these prisoners should be held.
    Why should combantant ‘X’ have a right to an attorney in the already flooded American court system? Even more so, why should I pay for it?
    As long as our enemies continue their flagrant disregard for the stated rules of war, we should and will continue to prosecute them in an appropriate manner.
    Sadly for Americans (and those who fight beside them), the left has already weakened Guantanamo’s usefulness.

  10. They have no Geneva Convention status or any other legal protection, by their own choice. They should be dealt with as pirates, and not the glamorized “pirates of the Caribbean” kind…get whatever information you can from them, then hang or shoot them…and preferably wrap them in pig’s intestines before burial.

  11. I’m concerned that a lot of the posts above have a pretty wide blind-spot in them, namely that if a person is detained at Gitmo then, ipso facto, they are a terrorist. Nevermind the 93 of detainees that have been released just this year. Not to mention the dozens of detainees currently languishing in Gitmo, despite the Administration saying that they do not nor did they ever pose a threat to the US.
    If a man is being held indefinitely but is innocent, the US should afford him the opportunity to challenge his detention. Habeas corpus is absolutely necessary to determine the appropriateness of these detentions.

  12. Max, I wonder if you realize we are at war with the Islamic radicals? I’m sure that the bulk of German, Japanese, and Italian POW’s that were held indefinitely while WWII was ongoing would not have been a threat to the US or its Allies if released. I use indefinitely because at the time, no one knew how long WWII was going to last, just like we don’t know how long this war will last.
    As far as I can tell, all the Gitmo detainees are people who have been captured outside of the borders of the US. As such, I don’t see the reasoning for allowing them access to civilian courts.

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