Friday, June 30, 2006

US Supreme Court Rules On Gitmo: the Pendulum Swings?

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (PDF) The administration of President George W. Bush has just suffered a major setback at the US Supreme Court, which ruled today in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the detention of terrorist combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. SCOTUS Blog has the news:
The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Congress did not take away the Court's authority to rule on the military commissions' validity, and then went ahead to rule that President Bush did not have authority to set up the tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and found the commissions illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. In addition, the Court concluded that the commissions were not authorized when Congress enacted the post-9/1l resolution authorizing a response to the terrorist attacks, and were not authorized by last year's Detainee Treatment Act. The vote against the commissions and on the Court's jurisdiction was 5-3, with the Chief Justice not taking part.

The Court expressly declared that it was not questioning the government's power to hold Salim Ahmed Hamdan "for the duration of active hostilities" to prevent harm to innocent civilians. But, it said, "in undertaking to try Hamdan and subject him to criminal punishment, the Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails in this jurisdiction."

Four Justices concluded that Salim Ahmed Hamdan could not be charged with conspiracy before a military commission, but that did not have majority support, so its binding effect is uncertain.

Pajamas Media has the roundup in the Blogosphere, where the gnashing of teeth on one side and the triumphalism on the other is just beginning. Here are two of each from a genre of comments that should grow to a tidal wave...

Confederate Yankee: “Quite frankly, if SCOTUSBlog is correct in that SCOTUS is saying the Geneva Conventions apply to non-state terrorist entities, then the court is out of it’s ever-lovin’ mind. What is then to keep them from applying the Conventions to other non-state groups? Can drug cartels now claim to be protected under Geneva? How about serial killers? The message to the soldier in the field seems clear: Take no prisoners, and collect whatever intel you can gather off the bodies.”

Balloon Juice: “The Bush administration actually isn’t that hard to figure out. They love secrecy because they know that they are breaking the law. Part of that, probably a small part, comes from actual malicious intent but the much larger fraction probably just comes from the fact that they are not good enough at their job to do things right the first time.”

Captain’s Quarters: “The opinion should have some interesting tap-dancing. In any case, the Supreme Court has effectively negated the ability for us to detain terrorists. Instead, we will likely see more of them die, since the notion of having the servicemen who captured these prisoners forced to appear to testify to their “arrest” is not only ridiculous but would require us to retire combat units as a whole whenever their prisoners appear for trial. Congress needs to correct this issue immedately.”

Shakespeare’s Sister: “The Big Gavel falls, and the pendulum of politics begins its swing away from the far reaches of absurdity where it has hovered for too many years. May it never revisit those frightening places.”

The Washington Post called it a "stunning rebuke" for Bush, while the New York Times front page article was curiously restrained.

(Via Orin Kerr) Here is an interesting New Yorker article by Jane Mayer on The legal mind behind the White House’s war on terror.

I'll be following developments and reading analysis at Orin Kerr and Volokh -- here the point has been made that the Decision says the President should have gotten explicit Congress approval for the tribunals.

And so, Americans begin once more a serious conversation with themselves about the fundamentals, of democracy and war and peace. Because of certain changes in human connectivity, the rest of the world is in on the discussion too, as it affects everyone. The war on terror is a hot war mainly being fought on a day to day basis in faraway places like Iraq and Afghanistan, even as word and deed of it has engulfed the daily lives of everyone on the planet. But the frontlines are actually in our hearts and minds. There shall we win or lose this war.

19 comments:

AmericanPainter said...

The Supreme Court holds that common article 3 of the Geneva convention applies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda…..

Excuse me but when did Al Qaeda become signatory to the Geneva convention? Well of course they didn’t, wouldn’t, and don’t want to.

Why should we be held to a higher level than our enemy who beheads combatants and non-combatants alike with out mercy or a trial of any kind……It seems our Supreme Court has lost it’s ever lovin’ collective mind!!

So what should our soldiers do? Take no prisoners….hence no Gitmo?

Sheesh!!!

Rizalist said...

Not to worry AP...been reading some of the comments at Volokh...seems like the decision just wants the President to get explicit authorization from the Congress ...so Arlan Spectre is already proposing a Tribunals Bill...but Volokh's post says, "it didn't have to be like this."

It's an historic calibrationof the Separation of Powers Principle. The democratic Machine has to be adjusted every so often.

But the political implications are gonna be stunning...

Amadeo said...

From what we can discern so far, even the individual justices of the Supreme Court must have agonized over their own stands on this matter. The majority decision alone came in 73 pages, and divided into many parts where some justices concurred with some parts and dissented on other parts. Then we have the other justices explaining their dissent and concurrence on certain parts, and of course, the papers of the three dissenting justices. Thus, a battery of lawyers from the White House to the other departments such as Justice are trying to parse and figure out the overall decision.

So what’s next?

Rizalist said...

Amadeo,
It's getting to be a big bruising party over in the US blogosphere. We'll just have to watch what happens. I haven't really followed it too closely before this, though it's been building up to this since the NSA issue cropped up in December. Volokh's got a really good comment thread going on this...The decision is really heavy reading for me...

Heathen Dan said...

I applaud the decision since it forces GW Bush to seek congressional approval for his actions. Much of the negative comments by the right wingers are red herrings (See the above comment in Captain's Quarters and by AmericanPainter) that fails to appreciate how vital it is for the court to clarify the limits of executive power. Rather than engage in partisan politics and condemning the decision, they should be celebrating it.

The myopic views of the current crop of neo-conservatives in the blogosphere has resulted in their sacrificing their principles of small government and adherence to the constitution. They're now just unpaid spin doctors for the GOP.

The Bystander said...

"Why should we be held to a higher level than our enemy who beheads combatants and non-combatants alike with out mercy or a trial of any kind……It seems our Supreme Court has lost it’s ever lovin’ collective mind!!" --Americanpainter

Why? Because the American people will be no diferent from the so-called terrorists they are so angry at if they employ the same means and methods. Of course, Bush the "Great Liar" of the WMD fame will always find a way to annihilate his perceived enemies. Hmm... very much like what we have here in the Philippines. No wonder they are allies in this war "of" terror.

Enough with America's bullying tactics and double-standard application of its so-called democracy.

AmericanPainter said...

“Enough with America's bullying tactics and double-standard application of its so-called democracy.”
The Bystander

Ever hear of “fight fire with fire?” Using your logic I can kick your ass but you must not retaliate because YOU would be bullying! Doesn’t make much sense when the shoe is on the other foot, does it? The only double standard is the one you obviously suggest. Just let the terrorist do as they wish, to whomever they wish and don’t “bully” them. Now that notion is stupid! Careful Dude, your bias is showing! Sheesh!

The Bystander said...

Ever hear of “fight fire with fire?” Using your logic I can kick your ass but you must not retaliate because YOU would be bullying! Doesn’t make much sense when the shoe is on the other foot, does it? The only double standard is the one you obviously suggest. Just let the terrorist do as they wish, to whomever they wish and don’t “bully” them. Now that notion is stupid! Careful Dude, your bias is showing! Sheesh!-- AmericanPainter

If my comment is stupid merely because I am advocating for due process even for the most hardened terrorists, then your Constitution must be stupid for advocating the same principles.

They are terrorists according to yours and Bush's standard because they do not follow your line of thinking or because they have committed crimes against the American people. Therefore, you are suggesting to fight fire with fire? Ah, I get your point. That is, to be terrorists like them. Isn't that what Bush has been doing? He's the present day epitome of what it is to be a state terrorist.

AmericanPainter said...

“They are terrorists according to yours and Bush's standard because they do not follow your line of thinking or because they have committed crimes against the American people.”

I’m sure you must realize that the above is not only wrong but ignorant. More than 3000 innocents killed 9/11/2001 testifies to the crimes committed against the American people. None of what you allege Bush has done was done before that. That is the fire that Bush and the American people are fighting. We're fighting as much for you as for ourselves. If we lose our freedon, you're sure to lose your own.

It’s hardly worth explaining what you will never see, the difference in Bush and the terrorist. Bush won't back down like Gloria did but neither will the terrorist.

However A terrorist won’t meet you face to face for his deadly acts since his aim is to terrorize you, but we will. We won’t sneak attack you, we won’t plant a bomb in your commode or park a car bomb in front of your house. A terrorist wants to destroy us AND our constitution, therefore is unworthy of protection by the very consitition he seeks to destroy.

Of course your anti-American bias simply blinds you to the facts.

AmericanPainter said...

Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a pit bull dog?

It's easier to reason with the dog!

The Bystander said...

"I’m sure you must realize that the above is not only wrong but ignorant. More than 3000 innocents killed 9/11/2001 testifies to the crimes committed against the American people. None of what you allege Bush has done was done before that. That is the fire that Bush and the American people are fighting."

--No less than your very own Supreme Court says that Gitmo prisoners cannot be tried by military tribunals set up by Bush for he did not have the authority to do so and that the same is illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. All I'm saying is that all persons, terrorists or not, must be accorded the same humane treatment. This is supported by numerous treaties and conventions in international law. If to you that is plain ignorance then your country must be more ignorant than I am. It should not have signed the Geneva Convention if it does not have the discipline to abide by its terms.

"We're fighting as much for you as for ourselves. If we lose our freedon, you're sure to lose your own."

--Wow. I owe my freedom to Imperialist America? That's the problem with the U.S. having this "superiority complex", it immediately assumes that its interests are other nations' interests, that its cause is also others' cause. Excuse me, but it was never our country's interest to invade Iraq nor was such invasion sanctioned by the United Nations. And now you have the audacity to say that your freedom is also our freedom? America is not the guardian angel as you would like it to appear, Mister. If you say I have an anti-American bias, please ask yourself if your beloved country ever had its share of atrocities committed in other parts of the world!

"A terrorist wants to destroy us AND our constitution, therefore is unworthy of protection by the very consitition he seeks to destroy."

Haven't you asked why these so-called terrorists hate your country so much?

Applying your line of thinking, do you want Filipinos to take the law into their hands and simply cut the heads of these American servicemen who raped a Filipina in Subic? For me, they are the same level as terrorists because raping a woman and throwing her off in the pavement like garbage is the same as killing an "innocent" who happened to be in the World Trade Center. How's that?

If you want other nations to support your cause, practice what you preach.

AmericanPainter said...

“--No less than your very own Supreme Court says that Gismo prisoners cannot be tried by military tribunals set up by Bush for he did not have the authority to do so and that the same is illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. All I'm saying is that all persons, terrorists or not, must be accorded the same humane treatment. This is supported by numerous treaties and conventions in international law. If to you that is plain ignorance then your country must be more ignorant than I am. It should not have signed the Geneva Convention if it does not have the discipline to abide by its terms.”

Congress is about to change that.

“--Wow. I owe my freedom to Imperialist America? That's the problem with the U.S. having this "superiority complex", it immediately assumes that its interests are other nations' interests, that its cause is also others' cause.”

The cause of freedom is every nation’s cause. If you care nothing for your freedom, that sounds like a personal problem. There is no question of the superiority of the U.S., it is recognized by the entire world, except perhaps by you. Another personal problem.

Imperialist America?” I think you have us confused with the former Soviet Union. The U.S. makes no territorial acquisition, never has and never will. If so, the U.S. would own Germany, Italy and Japan as well as the Philippines. Wake up and quit throwing meaningless communist terms around that have no application.

“Haven't you asked why these so-called terrorists hate your country so much?”

That one is easy. Look at how they live, look how they treat women and enslave them. Their people are virtual slaves to their religious beliefs. They can’t bear the thought of freedom from slavery to religion as well as women wearing clothing of their own choice, having leadership roles and enjoying the freedom that they deny their own. They consider anyone not of their ilk to be infidels and not worthy of life.


“Applying your line of thinking, do you want Filipinos to take the law into their hands and simply cut the heads of these American servicemen who raped a Filipina in Subic? For me, they are the same level as terrorists because raping a woman and throwing her off in the pavement like garbage is the same as killing an "innocent" who happened to be in the World Trade Center.”

You equate one alleged rape with the killing of 3,000 people? That is really sick. By the way, you forgot to use the word “alleged” - to be accused is not the same as being guilty. I don’t even know if she WAS raped and neither do you. The van driver said the cops beat him into alleging the rape so I wouldn’t be so sure that it wasn’t a complete set-up deal. There are a lot worse things that happen that that in the corrupt Philippines. How’s that?


As far as support is concerned we’re always prepared to act alone if necessary. We know one thing for sure, there is no counting on the “cut and run” corrupt Philippines.

The Bystander said...

"The cause of freedom is every nation’s cause. If you care nothing for your freedom, that sounds like a personal problem. There is no question of the superiority of the U.S., it is recognized by the entire world, except perhaps by you. Another personal problem."

--Freedom PER SE is of course every nation's cause. Otherwise, a nation can't be called as such if it does not possess sovereignty. Who's arguing with you on that anyway? You seem to have a problem confusing your country's freedom with every nation's freedom. That is where we differ.

Besides, can you find anywhere in my statement disputing your country's superiority over other nations including ours? It's already a given. No question about that. That's why I said it is wrong to immediately assume that America's interest should automatically be our interest, that her policies should also be our policies. That should not be the case. Your country may have reasons for invading Iraq on the strength of a deliberately false intelligence report on the presence of WMDs but your country simply cannot impose your will on us if we decide later on to change course. Bush lied to the American people. You want us to just accept hook, line and sinker to everything he now says? That's bullshit. If your country really is an advocate of freedom, then you should respect other nations' freedoms, including the freedom to condemn your war! You insist that it is merely my personal problem. Well, I'd rather take this as a personal problem than accept your version of freedom.

"Imperialist America? I think you have us confused with the former Soviet Union. The U.S. makes no territorial acquisition, never has and never will. If so, the U.S. would own Germany, Italy and Japan as well as the Philippines. Wake up and quit throwing meaningless communist terms around that have no application."

--Let me remind you that being an imperialist or engaging in imperialism does not only mean acquiring the territories of other states. You're relying on grade school definition. I suggest you go over the dictionary and see for yourself what "imperialism" means:

"imperialism --

1. the policy of extending the rule or influence of a country over other countries or colonies;

2. the political, military, or economic domination of one country over another;

3. takeover and domination: the extension of power or authority over others in the interests of domination;

4. can also be cultural imperialism

Microsoft® Encarta® Premium Suite 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Or better yet, if you're still not satisfied with the above definition, maybe this will do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism

Based on the foregoing, does the definition of imperialism strictly say that it should only refer to the forcible acquisition of territories? Check your facts first before you make any hullabaloos about my use of the term "imperialist" or "imperialism".

America has never annexed territories in the past, you say? Review your history, Mister. "Imperialism" has no application in our discussion? What do you think it is doing to Iraq? Ah, I know what you will say -- that America is protecting its valued freedom and other nations' freedoms. Sheesh! Thanks for the concern Mister but no thanks!

"That one is easy. Look at how they live, look how they treat women and enslave them. Their people are virtual slaves to their religious beliefs. They can’t bear the thought of freedom from slavery to religion as well as women wearing clothing of their own choice, having leadership roles and enjoying the freedom that they deny their own. They consider anyone not of their ilk to be infidels and not worthy of life."

--You don't have to demonize Islam just to make your country's cause look and sound good. Just like other religions, Islam is likewise a victim of various interpretations. It just so happens that this "minor" interpretation is the most violent of them all. But this interpretation is not shared by many peace-loving Muslims. That's why they're called extremists.

But allow me to point out, lest I be misinterpreted, that I will never condone the killing of innocents whether it be perpetrated by extremists or done by state terrorists masquerading as soldiers and Presidents. To reiterate, I only want to emphasize that due process and humane treatment must be accorded even to the most hardened terrorists for this is the essence of the rule of law. Punish them if you must but only after they are given their day in court.

"You equate one alleged rape with the killing of 3,000 people? That is really sick. By the way, you forgot to use the word “alleged” - to be accused is not the same as being guilty. I don’t even know if she WAS raped and neither do you. The van driver said the cops beat him into alleging the rape so I wouldn’t be so sure that it wasn’t a complete set-up deal. There are a lot worse things that happen that that in the corrupt Philippines. How’s that?"

--The only difference between the two is the number of people killed. But as to the effects of these dastardly acts on the victims and their families, everything is substantially the same. You're right of course that "rape", legally speaking, still has to be proven. But it does not prevent me (founded on freedom of speech) from making moral conclusions of guilt on these American rapists (allegedly, Oops!).

"As far as support is concerned we’re always prepared to act alone if necessary. We know one thing for sure, there is no counting on the “cut and run” corrupt Philippines."

--You should be ready when the time comes that nobody would want to fight your war "of" terror. Already a number of American people now have doubts about Bush's war policies. The only consolation for me and the rest of those who oppose American bigotry is that your view is not shared by all Americans! Poor Bush.

AmericanPainter said...

“Freedom PER SE is of course every nation's cause. Otherwise, a nation can't be called as such if it does not possess sovereignty. Who's arguing with you on that anyway? You seem to have a problem confusing your country's freedom with every nation's freedom. That is where we differ“

I’m not at all confused, freedom not only defines a nation’s sovereignty it is also defined by individual freedom in the right to the pursuit of happiness. How would you define it and wherein lies the deference between our two country’s definition of freedom? I’ve seen a few differences since I’ve been in the Philippines. Citizens are subject to being beaten up by the same police that are supposed to protect them. The Filipinos that I’ve questioned have advised me to NEVER call the police if needing protection….according to them, they are to be feared! So much for the right to the pursuit of happiness in the Philippines! Better straighten out your own freedom before complaining about ours, we don’t have to fear our police.



“Besides, can you find anywhere in my statement disputing your country's superiority over other nations including ours?”


I was referring to your statement, “That's the problem with the U.S. having this "superiority complex". I might point out that the Philippines has an inferiority complex. It is your very jealous inferiority that results in many of your preposterous claims. I daresay, however, that your views are not shared by most Filipinos. Except for the minority of you, I’m treated here with kindness and respect. Filipino’s likewise receive the same treatment in the U.S. In fact, Filipino’s, in the U.S. enjoy priority status as a minority in job search, housing and any discrimination against them, as a minority group, is expressly forbidden by law. If a Caucasian and Filipino apply for the same job, both being equally qualified, the job automatically goes to the Filipino by law. So what were you saying about our brand of freedom? It’s obvious that you don’t even know us.



“Let me remind you that being an imperialist or engaging in imperialism does not only mean acquiring the territories of other states. You're relying on grade school definition. I suggest you go over the dictionary and see for yourself what "imperialism" means”

I don’t find where my country fits any of the definitions furnished by you.




“You don't have to demonize Islam just to make your country's cause look and sound good. Just like other religions, Islam is likewise a victim of various interpretations. It just so happens that this "minor" interpretation is the most violent of them all. But this interpretation is not shared by many peace-loving Muslims. That's why they're called extremists.”

I’m not demonizing Islam, just the terrorist who come from that background and why they hate us. Not all of the Muslims in the Philippines are peaceful either and your country must deal with them. So far, after 36 years, you’ve proven ineffective. We don’t intend to repeat your effort, like it or not! We will do whatever is necessary to protect our people unlike the Philippines. Just read your newspaper to know what is going on here.



“The only difference between the two is the number of people killed. But as to the effects of these dastardly acts on the victims and their families, everything is substantially the same. You're right of course that "rape", legally speaking, still has to be proven. But it does not prevent me (founded on freedom of speech) from making moral conclusions of guilt on these American rapists (allegedly, Oops!).”

Your so called moral conclusion is without basis in fact. You completely ignore the fact that the ONLY eyewitness was beaten by the cops until he alleged rape! The so-called justice being meted out in the trial is an absolute farce. The judge is permitting damaging heresy, unfounded, testimony which is grossly illegal even under Philippine law in an effort to justify a conviction. I might add that you found them guilty without trial or justification also. Talk about bigotry! Sheesh!!!!

But according to your way of thinking, discrimination is OK just so long as it’s YOU doing it but By god it’s wrong for anyone to discriminate against you!! And YOU have the audacity to claim WE are bigoted, when you instead define it with you own attitude!




“You should be ready when the time comes that nobody would want to fight your war "of" terror. Already a number of American people now have doubts about Bush's war policies. The only consolation for me and the rest of those who oppose American bigotry is that your view is not shared by all Americans! Poor Bush.”

It’s not OUR war. As I pointed out above, you have it in your own back yard ( See Dean’s posting, “Strange ABSCBN Report On 'New' Terror Group”)
it’s been bad but about to get worse. It’s been confined to the south, so you were able to ignore it, but now they have plans to attack Manila and all points of the Philippines. I guess by your logic it’s YOUR war but your Army is ineffective and has been for 36 years and your police may beat you instead of them. Who will protect YOU? You have more to worry about than you think! Good luck!

The Bystander said...

"I’m not at all confused, freedom not only defines a nation’s sovereignty it is also defined by individual freedom in the right to the pursuit of happiness. How would you define it and wherein lies the deference between our two country’s definition of freedom? I’ve seen a few differences since I’ve been in the Philippines. Citizens are subject to being beaten up by the same police that are supposed to protect them. The Filipinos that I’ve questioned have advised me to NEVER call the police if needing protection….according to them, they are to be feared! So much for the right to the pursuit of happiness in the Philippines! Better straighten out your own freedom before complaining about ours, we don’t have to fear our police."

--We were arguing/debating about U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis your assumption that "the United States is fighting as much for other countries as for itself". You went on further to say that "if your country loses its freedom, other countries are sure to lose their own". I objected to that presumptuous statement and countered by saying that your country's cause is not necessarily our cause and that Mr. Bush should stop assuming that his war should be supported by other states.

Now you retorted by lambasting me about police brutality in the Philippines and concluded that because our country is now experiencing repression under Bush's coalition ally, Gloria Arroyo, I no longer have the right to question Bush's war "of" terror masquerading as a fight for freedom. What you're stating now is a totally different issue to the one earlier discussed in the comment threads. Stick to the issues or else this discussion would lead to nowhere!

"I was referring to your statement, “That's the problem with the U.S. having this "superiority complex". I might point out that the Philippines has an inferiority complex. It is your very jealous inferiority that results in many of your preposterous claims. I daresay, however, that your views are not shared by most Filipinos. Except for the minority of you, I’m treated here with kindness and respect. Filipino’s likewise receive the same treatment in the U.S. In fact, Filipino’s, in the U.S. enjoy priority status as a minority in job search, housing and any discrimination against them, as a minority group, is expressly forbidden by law. If a Caucasian and Filipino apply for the same job, both being equally qualified, the job automatically goes to the Filipino by law. So what were you saying about our brand of freedom? It’s obvious that you don’t even know us."

--What's this? Another topic? I would understand if you've already run out of answers. Just say so. But please don't attempt to deliberately muddle the issues by discussing the topic of discrimination. What has that got to do with your country's propensity for bullying countries that do not toe in line with its policies? I do not even dispute that the U.S. is technologically and economically superior than ours. But this same "superiority" cannot be used as a license to intimidate other countries that do not support your cause. You have the right to go to war. But we also have the right not to. It's as simple as that. You may be superior but you're not GOD! Look in the mirror and ask yourself if the U.S. is really the freedom fighter as it claims to be. You're not infallible. Keep that in mind. Remember Vietnam?

"I don’t find where my country fits any of the definitions furnished by you."

--Oh really? In every discussion, there is what we call intellectual honesty. Unless you haven't heard about it, I would understand why you are saying what you are now saying.

"I’m not demonizing Islam, just the terrorist who come from that background and why they hate us. Not all of the Muslims in the Philippines are peaceful either and your country must deal with them. So far, after 36 years, you’ve proven ineffective. We don’t intend to repeat your effort, like it or not! We will do whatever is necessary to protect our people unlike the Philippines. Just read your newspaper to know what is going on here."

--Do you really honestly think that annihilating Bin Laden and his lieutenants would end your country's woes on terrorism? Go ahead with your war freak mentality. Kill them all! But I tell you, a military solution cannot and will never succeed on such a complex problem as terrorism. The U.S. shouldn't be too full of itself as if she alone knows all the answers. It's been 3 years since your country has invaded Iraq. Can't you see what's happening? More casualties for your beloved soldiers, suicide bombings, etc, just to name a few. Iraq has been as unstable as ever!

"Your so called moral conclusion is without basis in fact. You completely ignore the fact that the ONLY eyewitness was beaten by the cops until he alleged rape! The so-called justice being meted out in the trial is an absolute farce. The judge is permitting damaging heresy, unfounded, testimony which is grossly illegal even under Philippine law in an effort to justify a conviction. I might add that you found them guilty without trial or justification also. Talk about bigotry! Sheesh!!!!"

--Learn to differentiate between a legal conviction (finding of guilt in a court of law) and a personal moral conviction (founded on freeedom of speech / opinion). There's a whale of difference between the two. If you can't comprehend what the distinction means, stop murmuring about what actually happened during that fateful night. You weren't also there. So what you're saying in defense of these servicemen is also hearsay. So why would I now believe you?

"But according to your way of thinking, discrimination is OK just so long as it’s YOU doing it but By god it’s wrong for anyone to discriminate against you!! And YOU have the audacity to claim WE are bigoted, when you instead define it with you own attitude!"

--Is it discrimination to advocate for due process and humane treatment for prisoners of war? Who's now being discriminatory? Hahaha! You're so angry at my use of the word "bigot / bigotry". How else should I describe your country's attitude towards its perceived enemies? Besides, I have the right to say it. Not even you or Bush can stop me from expressing my sentiments about America's bullying tactics.

"It’s not OUR war. As I pointed out above, you have it in your own back yard ( See Dean’s posting, “Strange ABSCBN Report On 'New' Terror Group”)
it’s been bad but about to get worse. It’s been confined to the south, so you were able to ignore it, but now they have plans to attack Manila and all points of the Philippines. I guess by your logic it’s YOUR war but your Army is ineffective and has been for 36 years and your police may beat you instead of them. Who will protect YOU? You have more to worry about than you think! Good luck!"


--If the war on the so-called "terrorism" is not your war, then why is your country acting as if it's the policeman of the world? Your statement is illogical to say the least. Besides, why did you attack Afghanistan or invade Iraq if it's not your war? You mean to say that Bush is just being considerate and motivated by the most sincere desire to help? C'mon! That's pure nonsense. That's plain hypocrisy. Tell it to the Marines, AP. Bush has already lied to the American people and now you? My God...

As for the Muslim insurgency here in the Philippines, that's a totally different story with a totally different historical background. And what are you so aghast about? It's our internal problem. It's none of your business. If only to emphasize this point, I want to tell you, as one former Phil. President had previously said, that "I'd rather prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by the Americans." How's that?

AmericanPainter said...

“We were arguing/debating about U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis your assumption that "the United States is fighting as much for other countries as for itself". You went on further to say that "if your country loses its freedom, other countries are sure to lose their own". I objected to that presumptuous statement and countered by saying that your country's cause is not necessarily our cause and that Mr. Bush should stop assuming that his war should be supported by other states.”

“Now you retorted by lambasting me about police brutality in the Philippines and concluded that because our country is now experiencing repression under Bush's coalition ally, Gloria Arroyo, I no longer have the right to question Bush's war "of" terror masquerading as a fight for freedom. What you're stating now is a totally different issue to the one earlier discussed in the comment threads. Stick to the issues or else this discussion would lead to nowhere!”




You only want to rehash your illogical claims. Sorry but you don’t get to direct my response, which was to your claim that I’m confused about freedom. And your claim that our type of freedom is not your type of freedom. I then engaged in a description of the difference in our freedoms. Your freedom came up short so you’d like to direct it into criticism of the U.S. only. Criticism, however, is a two way street, you criticize mine and I criticize yours. Seems fair to me.


“What's this? Another topic? I would understand if you've already run out of answers. Just say so. But please don't attempt to deliberately muddle the issues by discussing the topic of discrimination. What has that got to do with your country's propensity for bullying countries that do not toe in line with its policies? I do not even dispute that the U.S. is technologically and economically superior than ours. But this same "superiority" cannot be used as a license to intimidate other countries that do not support your cause. You have the right to go to war. But we also have the right not to. It's as simple as that. You may be superior but you're not GOD! Look in the mirror and ask yourself if the U.S. is really the freedom fighter as it claims to be. You're not infallible. Keep that in mind. Remember Vietnam?



Again you want to redirect my direct response to your absurd claims, but I won’t permit that. Perhaps you would rather argue with yourself then you can direct both sides of the argument. Your claims of bullying are unsupported by facts. Oh but I forgot, you like to use your “moral conclusions” making facts unnecessary. OK - I’ll try not to confuse you with too many facts. I don’t see the U.S. bullying anyone but I see plenty of it here in the Philippines. Why don’t you clean up your own back yard before trying to clean up others.


“Oh really? In every discussion, there is what we call intellectual honesty. Unless you haven't heard about it, I would understand why you are saying what you are now saying.”


Speaking of “intellectual honesty” why don’t you provide something besides your “moral conclusions” to support your allegations? A few facts would help.



“Do you really honestly think that annihilating Bin Laden and his lieutenants would end your country's woes on terrorism? Go ahead with your war freak mentality. Kill them all! But I tell you, a military solution cannot and will never succeed on such a complex problem as terrorism. The U.S. shouldn't be too full of itself as if she alone knows all the answers. It's been 3 years since your country has invaded Iraq. Can't you see what's happening? More casualties for your beloved soldiers, suicide bombings, etc, just to name a few. Iraq has been as unstable as ever!”


There you go again….Where did you come to the conclusion that I might think that annihilating Bin Laden and his lieutenants would end my country's woes on terrorism? Did I say that? As I look back over my comment I fail to find it. Hmmmm….it must be another of your futile attempts to direct the argument. Sorry but that won’t work this time either. You keep quoting these worn out sound bytes from others like “military solution cannot and will never succeed.” What do you suggest WILL work, a love-in? I hardly think the terrorist are ready for that. You know nothing if you don’t know that one cannot reason with a terrorist.



“Learn to differentiate between a legal conviction (finding of guilt in a court of law) and a personal moral conviction (founded on freeedom of speech / opinion). There's a whale of difference between the two. If you can't comprehend what the distinction means, stop murmuring about what actually happened during that fateful night. You weren't also there. So what you're saying in defense of these servicemen is also hearsay. So why would I now believe you? “


Oh…….now I get it! The facts of what happened have no bearing on whether or not they are guilty???? Your conclusion based on what you think is enough to hang them???? Hahahahahahaha…..You are really hilarious!!!

I’m merely pointing out know facts, if that is defending them….so be it!


“Is it discrimination to advocate for due process and humane treatment for prisoners of war? Who's now being discriminatory? Hahaha! You're so angry at my use of the word "bigot / bigotry". How else should I describe your country's attitude towards its perceived enemies? Besides, I have the right to say it. Not even you or Bush can stop me from expressing my sentiments about America's bullying tactics.”


Is it discrimination to assume these servicemen are guilty of rape just because you want it to be so? Who's now being discriminatory? Hahaha! You should know bigotry, you’re full of it! You can express your sentiments…….just as long as you don’t confuse them with facts.



“If the war on the so-called "terrorism" is not your war, then why is your country acting as if it's the policeman of the world? Your statement is illogical to say the least. Besides, why did you attack Afghanistan or invade Iraq if it's not your war? You mean to say that Bush is just being considerate and motivated by the most sincere desire to help? C'mon! That's pure nonsense. That's plain hypocrisy. Tell it to the Marines, AP. Bush has already lied to the American people and now you? My God...

As for the Muslim insurgency here in the Philippines, that's a totally different story with a totally different historical background. And what are you so aghast about? It's our internal problem. It's none of your business. If only to emphasize this point, I want to tell you, as one former Phil. President had previously said, that "I'd rather prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by the Americans." How's that?”


Just in case you have failed to notice terrorist acts have been committed world-wide, not just in America. That makes it everyone’s war. If you want to put a polite term of insurgency to terrorist acts in the Philippines, that’s OK by me. But if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a DUCK! I’m only aghast at your apathy toward 36 years of terrorism in your own country, you need to look inward and solve your own problem rather than trying to solve the worlds problems which you are incapable of doing. As far as the Manuel Quezon (just in case you forgot his name) quote, it looks like he got his wish, the Philippines IS run like hell!!! How’s that?

The Bystander said...

"You only want to rehash your illogical claims. Sorry but you don’t get to direct my response, which was to your claim that I’m confused about freedom. And your claim that our type of freedom is not your type of freedom. I then engaged in a description of the difference in our freedoms. Your freedom came up short so you’d like to direct it into criticism of the U.S. only. Criticism, however, is a two way street, you criticize mine and I criticize yours. Seems fair to me."

--I knew it. You got the message all wrong. I did not say that we have different types of freedoms. Where in the world did you get that idea? My objection had to do with your preposterous claim that when America is fighting for freedom, it is necessarily fighting for other nations' freedoms. That's the only objection I had when you spoke about the topic of "freedom" for being presumptuous. I even made mention that freedom PER SE is everybody's concern. But what your country is fighting for is not really about freedom. It is about a country's bigoted attitude to impose its will over other nations sugar coated with "fighting for freedom" rhetoric to make the unnecessary war justifiable.

"Again you want to redirect my direct response to your absurd claims, but I won’t permit that. Perhaps you would rather argue with yourself then you can direct both sides of the argument. Your claims of bullying are unsupported by facts. Oh but I forgot, you like to use your “moral conclusions” making facts unnecessary. OK - I’ll try not to confuse you with too many facts. I don’t see the U.S. bullying anyone but I see plenty of it here in the Philippines. Why don’t you clean up your own back yard before trying to clean up others."

--Direct responses you say? Haha. Look who's talking. I even pointed out that this discussion would lead to nowhere because of your futile attempts at introducing side topics (discrimination, police brutality. etc.) which muddle the main issue. But sorry. I cannot allow you to deliberately confuse me.

I used the phrase "moral conclusions" only with reference to the issue of the American "rapists" at Subic. Can you point to any of my comments using such phrase? Read and understand carefully. Again, you're trying to muddle the issue. Besides, why would I believe your version of the facts concerning the incident at Subic? Were you present when the incident happened? Are you an eyewitness to the crime? I guess you too, just like me, merely relied on the news. So why would I now believe you? You don't have the competence much more the knowledge to impose on me what should and should not be the facts. You sound like your President Bush. That was why I said that at this point, I can only rely on my moral conclusions based on my understanding of the events. It is only a court of law (and not you) that has the competence to scrutinize the facts and the evidence presented.

The U.S. not bullying anyone? Bwahahaha! You're just blinded by your indifference and subservience. As I said, be intellectually honest. Reflect. Analyze. Revisit your country's history and there you will find what I'm talking about.

As to your advice, re: "cleaning up my own backyard", I never denied that our country is now the subject of repression by an illegitimate President. But I say the same thing to you: CLEAN UP YOUR MESS IN IRAQ OR ELSE YOU'LL END UP LIKE VIETNAM. Brute force is not enough to curb "terrorism". On the contrary, it is your occupation army that's losing lives by the day. What a sorry mess..


"There you go again….Where did you come to the conclusion that I might think that annihilating Bin Laden and his lieutenants would end my country's woes on terrorism? Did I say that? As I look back over my comment I fail to find it. Hmmmm….it must be another of your futile attempts to direct the argument. Sorry but that won’t work this time either. You keep quoting these worn out sound bytes from others like “military solution cannot and will never succeed.” What do you suggest WILL work, a love-in? I hardly think the terrorist are ready for that. You know nothing if you don’t know that one cannot reason with a terrorist."

--The answer can be deduced in your own statements. Again, your too literal in requiring that those exact words should be found in your statements. Okay, since you want me to prove if I ever encountered such statement in your comment threads, then I'll apply the same illogical principle to you: Can you find anything in my statements discussing "police brutality", "work discrimination". etc.? When you accuse me of making the wrong conclusions, be sure that you yourself are not "guilty" of it. Sounds fair, isn't it?

As to my alleged use of worn-out sound bytes, apply that to yourself and ascribe that to President Bush. He's fond of it. And if you really think that a military solution will work, I say again: GO AHEAD. KILL THEM ALL! Let us see..


"Oh…….now I get it! The facts of what happened have no bearing on whether or not they are guilty???? Your conclusion based on what you think is enough to hang them???? Hahahahahahaha…..You are really hilarious!!!

I’m merely pointing out know facts, if that is defending them….so be it!"


--Did I say the facts have no bearing on whether or not these American servicemen are guilty? As I said above, fact-finding and evidence presentation are matters best left to the competence of courts of law and not you for God's sake! You were not there. You are not an eyewitness. You are not the judge,lawyer, prosecutor, investigator handling the case. Why would I believe your version of the facts? At most, your "facts" are just plain hearsay with no probative value. Moreover, what I said about the guilt of these American rapists is my personal opinion based on my understanding and observation of the events that transpired before, during and after the commission of the crime. So what's wrong with expressing a personal opinion? Did I say my opinion should already be accepted as the vedict?

"Is it discrimination to assume these servicemen are guilty of rape just because you want it to be so? Who's now being discriminatory? Hahaha! You should know bigotry, you’re full of it! You can express your sentiments…….just as long as you don’t confuse them with facts."

--Again, look who's talking! An expression of personal opinion is entirely different from bigotry. If I say that these people are guilty of raping a Filipina, am I being intolerant? Bwahaha! Learn to use words properly before you mouth them.

Again, what facts? Me? Believe your version of the facts about the Subic rape case? Hahaha. You make me laugh, sarcastically.


"Just in case you have failed to notice terrorist acts have been committed world-wide, not just in America. That makes it everyone’s war. If you want to put a polite term of insurgency to terrorist acts in the Philippines, that’s OK by me. But if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a DUCK! I’m only aghast at your apathy toward 36 years of terrorism in your own country, you need to look inward and solve your own problem rather than trying to solve the worlds problems which you are incapable of doing. As far as the Manuel Quezon (just in case you forgot his name) quote, it looks like he got his wish, the Philippines IS run like hell!!! How’s that?"

--Non-sequitur. You know what that means? Just because terroristic acts are committed in various parts of the world does not mean that all affected countries should go to war. We are not as war freak as your LYING President Bush (same as ours) would want us to. Good thing not all Americans have the same mentality as you do, or else this world will explode. That's what I've been trying to point out -- don't assume that because you want to go to war, we should all go to war. That's pure baloney!

I can understand your eagerness to label every Muslim unrest in the Philippines as "terrorism" because you really don't have any idea of its historical background. Ya, as I said, the problem here is none of your business.

And who said we are trying to solve the world's problems? Whose country is doing it? With all your military might, have you stabilized Iraq? Nah.. Far from it. Your soldiers are dying almost on a daily basis. And now you criticize us as if your country is that perfect in solvong its own mess? No need to tell you how the US is lookong like a lameduck in Iraq -- helpless, clueless on how to finally bring peace and stability to a country that was once accused of storing WMDs but which turned out to be face. Hahaha!

Ya, you're right. I do not dispute that our country is run like hell. And even if the only choice is between Bush and Gloria, I'd still go for the latter. I'll reject, oppose and condemn American control outright without batting an eyelash! How's that?

AmericanPainter said...

HaHa Suit yourself - you're repeating yourself over and over and you're beating a dead horse!

The Bystander said...

"HaHa Suit yourself - you're repeating yourself over and over and you're beating a dead horse!"

--Bwahaha! Don't give me that crap. You're statement shows how shallow your reasoning has become. Not worth responding.