Guantanamo Bay

rynner2

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#61
Barack Obama would consider charging Bush administration over Guantanamo
Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s vice-presidential running mate, has indicated that a new Democratic administration could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration over the treatment of detainees in Guantanamo bay.

By Toby Harnden in St Paul
Last Updated: 8:10AM BST 05 Sep 2008

Mr Biden said at an event in Deerfield Beach, Florida: “If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued, not out of vengeance, not out of retribution, out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president - no one is above the law."

His statement is the strongest indication yet that an Obama administartion might seek legal redress against the President George W. Bush. It could undermine Mr Obama’s message of bipartisanship and moving beyond the battles over Iraq.

In April, Mr Obama struck a similar note when he promised that he would ask his attorney general to review the Bush administration’s decisions to differentiate between "genuine crimes" and "really bad policies".

"If crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," he told the Philadelphia Daily News. "You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve."

Democrats on Capitol Hill have issued a blizzard of subpoenas to Bush administration aides as part of a inquiries into the authorisation of brutal interrogation tactics used at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Three White House officials have been held in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to subpoenas. Former counsel Harriet Miers, former chief political adviser Karl Rove and current chief of staff Josh Bolten have all refused to appear.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... o-Bay.html
 

ted_bloody_maul

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#62
Seems to be a curious spin on Biden's comments by the Telegraph here. Biden's denying that he was referring to Bush and says that they won't be pursuing him.
 

rynner2

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#63
ted_bloody_maul said:
Seems to be a curious spin on Biden's comments by the Telegraph here. Biden's denying that he was referring to Bush and says that they won't be pursuing him.
And is that a clockwise or an anticlockwise spin? ;)

If you have further information, post it here - we're not all mind-readers.
 

ted_bloody_maul

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#64
rynner said:
ted_bloody_maul said:
Seems to be a curious spin on Biden's comments by the Telegraph here. Biden's denying that he was referring to Bush and says that they won't be pursuing him.
And is that a clockwise or an anticlockwise spin? ;)

If you have further information, post it here - we're not all mind-readers.
Well, given that it's the Telegraph I'd have to guess that it'd be an anti-clockwise spin - anything to turn back time.

Joe Biden: Bush home-free of charges

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- President Gerald Ford pardoned President Richard Nixon.

Does an Obama-Biden administration have something else in mind for members of the Bush administration who have refused to cooperate with congressional investigations of its activities? Or perhaps even President Bush?

No way, says Joe Biden, the Democratic senator from Delaware who is Barack Obama's running mate -- and, he suggested in an apperance on FOX and Friends this morning, he does not know where that sort of talk is even coming from. Charges such as contempt of Congress, for instance.

"That is not true,'' Biden said to a question of pursuing criminal charges against members of the Bush administration. "I don't know where that report is coming from.

"What is true is the United States Congress is trying to preserve records on questions that relate to whether or not the law has been violated by anyone,'' Biden said. "No one is talking about President Bush. I never heard anyone mention President Bush in that context.

"No one is talking about pursuing President Bush criminally."

For those dispossessed of psychic powers
 

rynner2

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#65
ted_bloody_maul said:
"No one is talking about pursuing President Bush criminally."
Well, the Guardian did, with this headline:

Obama might pursue criminal charges against Bush :shock:

But they later retracted that:

"This article was amended on Thursday September 4 2008. We originally omitted the word 'administration' from our headline. This has been corrected."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/se ... 8.joebiden

So basically we are talking about crap journalism here. (And the Telegraph link I gave earlier actually reproduced a whole load of text twice.)

But crap journalism does not equate to 'spin', since spin is supposed to either bolster someone's image, or else to demean their opponent's image. I can't see how either scenario works in this case. Who benefits from this alleged spin?
 

ted_bloody_maul

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#66
rynner said:
ted_bloody_maul said:
"No one is talking about pursuing President Bush criminally."
Well, the Guardian did, with this headline:

Obama might pursue criminal charges against Bush :shock:

But they later retracted that:

"This article was amended on Thursday September 4 2008. We originally omitted the word 'administration' from our headline. This has been corrected."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/se ... 8.joebiden

So basically we are talking about crap journalism here. (And the Telegraph link I gave earlier actually reproduced a whole load of text twice.)

But crap journalism does not equate to 'spin', since spin is supposed to either bolster someone's image, or else to demean their opponent's image. I can't see how either scenario works in this case. Who benefits from this alleged spin?
Who knows but it's not the first time that Biden's been the subject of intrigue emerging from non-American news sources in the last week. He seems to have been misquoted by Israeli Army Radio on the subject of Iran, a story that the Telegraph's old stable-mate The Jerusalem Post was first to report, it appears. The author of the Telegraph article (which may be the genesis of this story/interpretation) was formerly the Telegraph's man in Jerusalem. That might be joining the dots a little but the Telgraph's not exactly shy of pushing a particular agenda which would be favourable to the Republicans and the Israeli hawks, iirc. Who knows what the motivation might be or what they believe might be gained from such reports but for me at least it does provoke curiosity.
 
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#67
If Obama and Biden do become the Leaders of the Free World, then the first thing they should do is stop Israel's pocket money, for a week, or two. ;)
 

Ginando

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#68
Pietro_Mercurios said:
If Obama and Biden do become the Leaders of the Free World, then the first thing they should do is stop Israel's pocket money, for a week, or two. ;)
and hopefully Britain will cease to be Mini Me to the USA's Dr Evil
(Unashamedly stolen from someone on TV, but it was an image that made me chuckle)
 

rynner2

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#69
Guantanamo 'a stain on US military'
Darrel Vandeveld tells the BBC why he quit as a Guantanamo Bay prosecutor
By Gordon Corera
Security correspondent, BBC News

The tribunals used for putting suspects on trial at Guantanamo Bay are a "stain on America's military", a former military prosecutor has told the BBC in his first interview since resigning.

For Lt Col Darrel Vandeveld, a devout Catholic, the twin responsibilities of religious faith and military duty led to a profound moral crisis.

His resignation has led to charges against six inmates being dropped, at least for now, and called into question the possibility of a fair legal process at Guantanamo.

"I know so many fighting men and women who are stained by the taint of Guantanamo, so I'm here to tell the truth about Guantanamo and how a few people have sullied the American military and the constitution," he told me during an interview in his home town of Erie, Pennsylvania.

A reservist, Darrel Vandeveld was called up as a military lawyer after 9/11 and served in Iraq, Bosnia and Africa.

In 2007, he became a prosecutor for the military commissions which tried terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, a role he took enthusiastically.

"I went down there on a mission and my mission was to convict as many of these detainees as possible and put them in prison for as long as I possibly could," he told the BBC.

"I had zero doubts. I was a true believer."

But his zeal did not last long.

When he arrived, he says he found the prosecutor's office in chaos, with boxes scattered around the floor, files disorganised, evidence scattered in different places and no clear chain of command.

And more seriously, he soon discovered that defence lawyers were not receiving information which could help clear their clients, including evidence that suspects had been "mistreated" in order to secure confessions.

It was one case in particular, that of a young Afghan called Mohammed Jawad, which caused most concern.

Mr Jawad was accused of throwing a grenade at a US military vehicle.

Col Vandeveld says that in a locker he found indisputable evidence that Mr Jawad had been mistreated.

After Mr Jawad had tried to commit suicide by banging his head against a wall at Guantanamo, Col Vandeveld says that psychologists who assisted interrogators advised taking advantage of Mr Jawad's vulnerability by subjecting him to specialist interrogation techniques known as "fear up".

He was also placed, Col Vandeveld says, into what was known as the "frequent flyer" programme in which he was moved from cell to cell every few hours, with the aim of preventing him sleeping properly, and securing a confession.

A devout Catholic, Col Vandeveld found himself deeply troubled by what he discovered.

But the classified nature of his work meant he was unable to share his growing doubts with friends and family.

As a result, he took the unusual step of emailing a Jesuit priest called Father John Dear, who is a well known peace activist.

In his email, Col Vandeveld talked of having "grave misgivings".

Father Dear was initially unsure if the email was serious and fashioned a quick reply.

"I sort of didn't believe it. But on the off chance he was a military prosecutor I wrote back and said 'quit'."

Col Vandeveld says his jaw dropped when he read the email, adding: "I lived in dread of that answer."

But eventually he did resign and has chosen to speak out about what he saw, giving the BBC his first interview.

"I never suffered such anguish in my life about anything," he says, looking back over the period.

"It took me too long to recognise that we had abandoned our American values and defiled our constitution."

Col Vandeveld was prosecuting six cases, including that of Binyam Mohamed, the last British resident held at Guantanamo.

After his resignation, charges in these cases were dropped but with the possibility they may be re-filed at any point.

Col Vandeveld declined to discuss details of Mr Mohamed's case and others which remain classified.

But Binyam Mohamed's lawyers say he was tortured as part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme and are hopeful that he may not be charged again, on the grounds that this might reveal too many details of the rendition programme.

Col Vandeveld was forced to undergo a mental status evaluation after expressing his concerns and his military career is over.

But he has returned to his community in Erie where local newspapers have praised the stand he took. He has no regrets.

In response to his claims, a Pentagon spokesman told the BBC: "We dispute Darrel Vandeveld's assertions and maintain the military commission process provides full and fair trials to accused unlawful enemy combatants who are charged with a variety of war crimes."

President-elect Barack Obama has said he wants to shut Guantanamo but no-one thinks it will be easy.

Col Vandeveld believes that it is possible though.

"No justice will be obtained at Guantanamo," he said. "And if that entails moving them (the suspects) temporarily to the US for trial: so be it."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7761315.stm
 
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#70
U.S. Injected Gitmo Detainees With ‘Mind Altering’ Drugs
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/gitmo/
By Robert BeckhusenEmail Author July 11, 2012 | 3:02 pm | Categories: Terrorists, Guerillas, Pirates

U.S. Army soldiers inside a cell block at Camp Five at the Joint Task Force Guantanamo detention center on Nov. 14, 2006. Photo: Army

Prisoners inside the U.S. military’s detention center at Guantanamo Bay were forcibly given “mind altering drugs,” including being injected with a powerful anti-psychotic sedative used in psychiatric hospitals. Prisoners were often not told what medications they received, and were tricked into believing routine flu shots were truth serums. It’s a serious violation of medical ethics, made worse by the fact that the military continued to interrogate prisoners while they were doped on psychoactive chemicals.

That’s according to a recently declassified report (.pdf) from the Pentagon’s inspector general, obtained by Truthout after a Freedom of Information Act Request. In it, the inspector general concludes that “certain detainees, diagnosed as having serious mental health conditions being treated with psychoactive medications on a continuing basis, were interrogated.” The report does not conclude, though, that anti-psychotic drugs were used specifically for interrogation purposes.

The only drug explicitly named in the report was Haldol, first marketed in the 1960s and still used today as a relatively cheap — and hard-boiled — anti-psychotic sedative in psychiatric hospitals (more commonly in emergency rooms). Haldol has declined since the widespread introduction of newer anti-psychiatric drugs in the 1990s.

Its side effects are not great. A full list would be too long to reproduce here, but they include depression, muscle contractions and suicidal behavior. A patient on Haldol can develop long-term movement disorders and life-threatening neurological disorders. There’s a possibility (though not common) of heart problems that can lead to sudden death.


Haldol’s main effect, though, is that it makes you really groggy. Now combine that with sleep deprivation and intense, fearful questioning. Brent Mickum, an attorney for detainee Abu Zubaydah, said Zubaydah was “routinely overdosed” with the drug, Truthout notes. (Zubaydah was also waterboarded 83 times in one month.)

The inspector general report also notes that former Guantanamo prisoner and former Saudi policeman named Adel al-Nusairi, was never given Haldol shots during interrogations, but was forced to take monthly injections as he was diagnosed as ”schizophrenic and psychotic with borderline personality disorder.” Other ”uncooperative” detainees were also forced to take injections.

An unnamed detainee told the inspector general he was given unidentified red and blue pills while traveling to Guantanamo from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2002. ”At the time they said it was some candy,” he said. After eating the “candy,” the prisoner said he felt like in a “state of delusion” for several days.

At least one detainee, so-called “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla was tricked into believing he was injected with a “truth serum” during an interrogation, possibly a form of LSD or PCP. In reality, it was a flu shot. Still, it’s a “serious breach of medical ethics,” Georgetown University law professor and health policy specialist Gregg Bloche told Truthout. “It undermines trust in military physicians and it’s an unfair insult to the integrity of the vast majority of military doctors, who quite rightly believe that this sort of thing is contrary to their professional obligation,” Bloche said.

The military’s response has been muted. A Pentagon spokesman refused to comment to Truthout as “doing so might not only compromise security,” but added that the military’s operating procedures “are ‘living’ documents, subject to regular change and updating.” The inspector general report noted comments from Guantanamo’s former medical commander that drugs were giving “to help control serious mental illnesses,” and that the practice was approved by an ethics committee.

But did they consent? (No.) Did the medics consult the prisoners’ medical background before administering drugs? Were prisoners still under the effect of the drugs during interrogation? The report concludes: very likely.

And what kind of confessions were interrogators receiving? They may not have been the most reliable, or truthful. Worse, men with serious mental disorders were given heavy sedatives, while interrogations continued. Not many medical professionals would call that treatment.
 

rynner2

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#71
Frankie Boyle hunger strike in support of Shaker Aamer

Frankie Boyle says he has not eaten for four days in a bid to highlight the case of Shaker Aamer - the last UK resident being held at Guantanamo Bay.
The Scottish comedian has joined campaigners who are attempting to fast for a combined total of 1,000 hours.

Mr Aamer, from London, has been detained in the military prison for 11 years without being charged or tried.
Since February, 100 of the 166 prisoners still held have been refusing food in protest at their detention.
Human rights campaigners Reprieve are supporting the hunger-strikers by encouraging supporters to give up food temporarily.

Clive Stafford-Smith, a lawyer and the charity's legal director, is one of those fasting.
"Frankie's action is more important than mine," he wrote.
He added he wanted the "symbolic" campaign to provoke debate and pressure US President Barack Obama to make good on his promise to close the camp.

Boyle, normally known for his acerbic and often controversial brand of humour, told his 1.4m Twitter followers he was on the fourth day of his hunger strike.
On Thursday he tweeted: "Day two of hunger strike feels a bit like being drunk. Feel pretty good, but no doubt I'll wake up to find myself in bathroom eating soap."

He has also been promoting Reprieve and publishing links to campaign sites calling for Mr Aamer to be freed.

The 47-year-old, whose wife and children still live in south-west London, has been cleared for release.
He told the BBC in May he was losing his mind, health and life in Guantanamo - the military prison used by the United States to detain al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners since 2002.

US authorities said he led a unit of Taliban fighters against Nato troops and had met Osama Bin Laden. But Mr Aamer has always said he was in Afghanistan with his family doing charity work.

At least 14 British nationals and residents were held at Guantanamo Bay at one time, with Binyam Mohamed's release in 2009 leaving only Mr Aamer there.
The UK government has said it is continuing to press the US to get him released.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23389757

Yeah, come on Barry, do what's right!
 

rynner2

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#73
theyithian said:
A fast and a hunger-strike are two very different things!
True, but Frankie Boyle says he has not eaten for four days in a bid to highlight the case of Shaker Aamer - the last UK resident being held at Guantanamo Bay.

In that he's succeeding - you and I have posted about it, and others will have read about it here without posting.
 
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#74
And let's face it. Guantanamo is a suppurating disgrace to every concept of humanity and justice that the West is supposed to stand for.
 

rynner2

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#75
Yemen man detained at Guantanamo Bay to be freed

A US government review panel has determined a man from Yemen detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for more than a decade can be released.
Mahmud Mujahid, 33, had been accused of being an al-Qaeda fighter and bodyguard to Osama Bin Laden.
He was held at the detention centre since 2002 but never formally charged.

He was the first to appear before a review board convened by US President Barack Obama in an effort to close down Guantanamo, which houses 155 men.
The six-member review panel determined he no longer posed a continuing significant threat to the US on Thursday.
He was reportedly one of dozens of prisoners previously deemed too dangerous for release but who could not be prosecuted due to lack of evidence or adequate jurisdiction.

A Pentagon spokesman told US media on Thursday no decision had yet been made on when Mr Mujahid would be released from the facility.
"It's been a long time coming," Mr Mujahid's lawyer, David Remes, told the Associated Press news agency.
"He never should have been held and now after 12 years he should be reunited with his family," he added. "There is no longer any excuse for keeping him at Guantanamo."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25677251
 

Quake42

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#76
More from the charming Mr Begg here:

Moazzam Begg among four arrested in Birmingham terror raids

Former Guantánamo detainee is held along with two men and a woman on suspicion of Syria-related offencesShare

A man arrested in terrorism raids in Birmingham on Tuesday morning is Moazzam Begg, the former Guantánamo detainee, the Guardian has learned.

West Midlands police said those arrested were connected to alleged Syria-related terrorism offences.

Begg, 45, was arrested in Hall Green, Birmingham, and is suspected of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas.

He was previously incarcerated by the United States in Guantánamo Bay before being released without charge. In recent years he has been a campaigner with the group Cageprisoners, which campaigns for those it says are unfairly targeted by the west's war on terror.




Police said three men and a woman had been arrested on suspicion of terror offences connected to the conflict in Syria.

A man, aged 36, from the city's Shirley area, and a 44-year-old woman and her 20-year-old son, both from Sparkhill, were also arrested on suspicion of facilitating terrorism overseas. The offences are all Syria-related, the force added.

All four are being held at a police station in the West Midlands and their three home addresses are being searched by officers from the West Midlands counter-terrorism unit.


The West Midlands police counter-terrorism unit confirmed to the Guardian that Begg was one of those arrested in Birmingham.

Police stressed that arrest does not imply guilt. Police said: "We can confirm that Moazzam Begg was arrested this morning.

"We are confirming this name as a result of the anticipated high public interest to accredited media. We would take this opportunity to remind you of the requirement to report responsibly, that this is an arrest, not a charge, and that our naming does not imply any guilt."





Officers said they were in the process of removing vehicles and electronic equipment for forensic analysis.

Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, head of investigations for the regional counter-terrorism unit, said: "All four arrests are connected. They were pre-planned and intelligence-led. There was no immediate risk to public safety.

"We continue to urge anyone planning to travel to Syria to read the advice issued by the Foreign Office."


Begg wrote openly about visiting Syria in 2012 and said he was researching "several leads regarding British and American complicity in rendition and torture in Syria". Begg was stripped of his UK passport after visiting Syria.


Begg said he was stopped by police at Heathrow airport in 2013 and told that his passport was being confiscated as it was "not in the public interest" for him to travel.


A Home Office order given to him at that time stated that he had been assessed as being involved in terrorist activity because of an earlier visit to Syria.


Begg wrote that the removal of his passport was politically motivated: "I am certain that the only reason I am being continually harassed – something that began long before any visit to Syria – is because Cageprisoners and I are at the forefront of investigations and assertions based on hard evidence that British governments, past and present, have been wilfully complicit in torture."


In January of this year Begg condemned Britain's approach to Syria and the alleged criminalising of those who go out to fight there. He wrote: "It is not hard to understand why Muslims would want to go out to Syria to help. Scores of them go every month on humanitarian aid missions and face endless questioning at ports by British police under schedule 7 anti-terrorism powers. It is also understandable why people want to go out and fight for what they believe is a just cause, even if the wisdom of them doing so can be questioned."


One of his last Tweets at around 10pm on Monday night was about the Syria conflict and read: "If you want to understand the history of the brutality in #Syria read the story of this sister, & let the tears flow."



Begg was captured in 2002 and detained by the US without charge first in Bagram, Afghanistan, and eventually at Guantánamo Bay. During his detention by the US he says he was tortured and he was released without charge in 2005, when he returned to Britain.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014 ... r-offences

Amnesty should rue the day it got involved with Begg and his "Cageprisoners" outfit; not to mention the sacking of the whistleblower who raised concerns about it.
 

Quake42

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#81
Lots of fawning media attention (incouding, bizarrely, from the Daily Mail) over Shaker Aamer, who returned to the UK a few weeks ago but for some reason has been all over the papers this weekend.

Shaker Aamer attacks extremism as he tells of joy of Guantánamo release
Last British resident to be released from US military prison says pain was washed away when he saw his wife
Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held at Guantánamo Bay, has said 14 years of pain were “washed away” in joy and tears the moment he was reunited with his wife. Aamer, 48, returned to the UK in late October, freed from the US military facility in Cuba where he had been held without trial.
Even when the plane was in the air, he said, he feared it was a trick that would end in his being imprisoned again in some other country, such as Saudi Arabia. Only the sight of the green fields and woods around Biggin Hill airport in Kent, and his first breath of what he recalled as “deliciously cool, damp air”, convinced him he really was back in England.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/13/shaker-aamer-attacks-extremism-guantanamo-release

Although Aamer is always described as a "British resident", he is a Saudi national who lived in the UK only briefly prior to heading off to Taliban-contrlled Afghanistan. In the various soft-soap interviews, as far as I can tell not one has asked any of the following questions:

(1) Why was he travelling to the badlands of Tora Bora on a fake Belgian passport?

(2) What was the "charity" he was supposedly working for in Afghanistan? Neither Aamer nor his supporters seem able to confirm the name of the organisation or indeed its purpose.

(3) He was cleared for release back to Saudi in 2007, but chose instead to sit in jail for a further 8 years until he could be deported back to the country of his choice (the UK). Why did he do this?

I have no idea why we are taking this guy back. He isn't British, he hasn't lived in Britain for over 15 years and he seems unlikely to add anything to the economic or cultural well-being of the country.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#82
The discussion about the status of the enemy combatants held at Guantanamo was, understandably, removed from the China thread for being off-topic.

Yesterday's terrorist incident at London Bridge does however illustrate the dangers in releasing such islamic fundamentalists. The al-Qaeda inspired guy who murdered two people and injured three others yesterday had originally been arrested for plotting bomb attacks in London. The parole board who sanctioned his release (even when fitted with a security tag) after just 6 years ought to hang their heads in shame.
I doubt whether such islamic terrorists can ever be rehabilitated into society, even if kept well away from a imam or quran. The public deserves to be protected from such people.
Similarly, significant numbers of enemy combatants held at Guantanamo have returned to terrorism after their release:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists...tainees_alleged_to_have_returned_to_terrorism

It's hard to see how releasing such people can ever be justified.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#86
Pity they didn't do it six years ago; would have save a lot more.
The guy was cunning. He had agreed to participate in a "deradicalisation programme", which seems to have been a factor in convincing the parole board that he was not a risk to the public.
That such programmes obviously do not work and can be used as justification to release terrorists early, is deeply troubling.
 

INT21

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#87
I don't see how the idea of 'deradicalisation' could even be considered as an option. These people are either brainwashed to an unbelievable degree to be capable of doing the vile deeds they do, or they are natural psychos just looking for an excuse to satisfy their desires to cause pain.
 

GNC

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#88
But deradicalization programmes DO work - what they need is time and money. However, certain authority figures drastically cut the budget for them. I will say no more.
 

GNC

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#90
Clearly they don't. The man in this recent incident had been on a deradicalisation course and pretended to be 'OK'.
They didn't work for him, but many would-be radicals grow out of their delusions given enough exposure to alternative viewpoints. Who's to say if they weren't seeking to save money and kept him inside longer he would have improved? Anyway, the facts are still coming in, so best not to speculate too hard.
 
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