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Thread: Kiyemba v. Obama

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    Senior Member thereom4's Avatar
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    Kiyemba v. Obama

    "Kiyemba v. Obama is a habeas corpus petition filed in the D.C. District Court on behalf of 17 innocent Uighur men who have been imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay for almost seven years. The government acknowledged as early as 2003 that the imprisoned Uighurs were improperly detained and eligible for release. They remain imprisoned because a transfer to China would be illegal as they would be at grave risk of torture or other forms of persecution; and the US government has both refused to accept the men into the US and been unwilling or unable to find other countries willing to accept them."
    -http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/kiyemba-v.-bush

    This case is set to be argued on March 22,2010 in the SCOTUS. But......maybe not. I read an article today in Slate (take the source for what it is. I enjoy reading it) that said that "The government is now seeking to have the case 'dismissed as improvidently granted' " because homes for the men in countries like Switzerland have been found for them. This is a great thing because sending them back to communist China is not an option. They most certainly would be tortured and killed. But government's petition to have the case dismissed as improvidently granted still leaves the question unanswered: "Does a district court have the power to order the release of a person who is unlawfully held by the U.S.
    government?"
    -http://www.slate.com/id/2245024/

    I hope the SCOTUS still hears the case. Very interesting.
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    Needs to get Outside Inquartata's Avatar
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    OK, but...um..."improperly detained and eligible for release" is the same as "innocent"?
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    Senior Member thereom4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    OK, but...um..."improperly detained and eligible for release" is the same as "innocent"?
    Really you can't be found innocent if you've never been tried. As far as I'm concerned "improperly detained and eligible for release" in this case is the same as "innocent", but they're just hedging their bets. You know in case the detainees decide they do want to become terrorists after all.

    It's funny these things called filters. Those 3 Americans in Tehran accused of being spies are also being held indefinitely. They haven't been charged (accused, yes) with anything. Their release if we play into the hands of the psycho Holocaust denier means the release of 11 Iranians being held in the US. I wonder if (God willing) the Americans are freed, Iranians will also be making the distinction between "improperly detained and eligible for release" and "innocent"?
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    Needs to get Outside Inquartata's Avatar
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    Or it's possible that they are in fact guilty---eg not innocent---but for technical legal reasons cannot be tried.

    If I kill someone, but the police screw up and all the evidence gathered is tainted and unuseable, I may not be tried...I may go free...but I may not be "innocent".

    From what I've read they probably should be released; but I'm not comfortable with the 'i'-word.
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    Senior Member lindajdunn's Avatar
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    Innocent or just not guilty

    One bit of nit-picking: Technically, we don't find people innocent. We just find them "not guilty".

    In England, one can be found "not guilty", which is a different finding than "not proven". In the US, we only have one verdict and thus "not guilty" ofen doesn't really mean "not guilty". We don't differentiate between those cases where it's clear they were prosecuting the wrong person and those cases where everyone is reasonably certain the defendant is guilty but there's just not enough evidence for a conviction.
    Last edited by lindajdunn; 02-18-2010 at 06:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    OK, but...um..."improperly detained and eligible for release" is the same as "innocent"?
    Let's repeat this mantra "Innocent until proven guilty" Hmm? If there is a case we should try them. If there is no case then free them. Simple as that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    OK, but...um..."improperly detained and eligible for release" is the same as "innocent"?
    I was under the impression that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, or has that changed?

    Improperly detained implies that innocent people should not be detained indefinitely, or based on the whims or flimsy rationale of those in power. If I'm not mistaken we even have Constitutional amendments that directly address these issues.
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    Senior Member thereom4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    Or it's possible that they are in fact guilty---eg not innocent---but for technical legal reasons cannot be tried.

    If I kill someone, but the police screw up and all the evidence gathered is tainted and unuseable, I may not be tried...I may go free...but I may not be "innocent".

    From what I've read they probably should be released; but I'm not comfortable with the 'i'-word.
    But then what are they guilty of? They were turned in (sold) for $5000 a head in Pakistan. They fled to Pakistan from China because according to the Chinese government Uighurs are terrorists. Since when did an ethnic and religious (minority) group become equivalent to terrorist? *Sarcasm
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    Quote Originally Posted by thereom4 View Post
    But then what are they guilty of? They were turned in (sold) for $5000 a head in Pakistan. They fled to Pakistan from China because according to the Chinese government Uighurs are terrorists. Since when did an ethnic and religious (minority) group become equivalent to terrorist? *Sarcasm
    We can't let the Uighurs stay here!! This country is not a place for people fleeing religious persecution in their home countries!! It's not like this country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution, right?
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    Senior Member Fiat Slug's Avatar
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    Why don't we send them back to Afghanistan? What claims do they have for release into the US?

    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Analog View Post
    Let's repeat this mantra "Innocent until proven guilty" Hmm? If there is a case we should try them. If there is no case then free them.
    I would agree with the last sentence, if we were dealing with criminals. The penultimate sentence is arguable, because they are not just criminals. The first sentence includes the 'i' word again, though, so no, I decline to "repeat it as a mantra", thanks very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hauptman View Post
    I was under the impression that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, or has that changed?
    Technically it only means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. It doesn't really mean that we are constrained to believe that an acquitted defendant didn't commit an act. ( Legally we must behave as though he didn't, but that's another matter. )

    "According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the presumption of the innocence of a criminal defendant is best described as an assumption of innocence that is indulged in the absence of contrary evidence. It is not considered evidence of the defendant's innocence, and it does not require that a mandatory inference favorable to the defendant be drawn from any facts in evidence."

    A you can see, the law and its principles live in a world parallel to but on a slightly different wavelength than the lay world.


    Improperly detained implies that innocent people should not be detained indefinitely, or based on the whims or flimsy rationale of those in power.
    Or guilty people, either.

    Still calling them "innocent", I see. When that has no more been proved than that they are guilty. Tsk.

    Anyway, even though classified as NLEC's, they were still nonstate combatants captured in very suspicious circumstances. They are not exactly garden variety criminals under the US criminal justice system.

    Look, I find it plausible that they were at that training camp in Afghanistan for military training intended to be used against China, rather than against the US. I find it acceptable that since (a) the training was putatively never used, and (b) China is China, maybe sending them there is not prudent or just. But neither am I really comfortable with the idea of releasing them in the US. They are after all still Islamic militants, members of a terrorist organization...in short, I am undecided. I do NOT think that simply because no one else will take them we are FORCED to let them go here.

    Hard cases make bad law, unfortunately. And this is a hard case...
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindajdunn View Post
    In England, one can be found "not guilty", which is a different finding than "not proven".
    "not proven" exists under Scottish law, not English law. Two different judicial systems.
    au revoir

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    Technically it only means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. It doesn't really mean that we are constrained to believe that an acquitted defendant didn't commit an act. ( Legally we must behave as though he didn't, but that's another matter. )
    Actually, that is exactly the matter. We cannot treat them as criminals and keep them locked away indefinitely, or as you seem to be saying, "until they can be proven innocent". I'll give you benefit of the doubt that you are merely being contrary, and not suggesting that we live by that standard.

    They are certainly Muslims, but militants? terrorists? That is far from certain. They certainly belonged to what they believed to be a Muslim organization that offered them shelter and protection, but were they aware that it was a terrorist organization at the time? That is also far from certain.

    As to whether we should let them stay in the U.S., if no other country wants them it would be morally abhorant to send them to China when it is certain they will be persecuted, and possibly killed, for their religious beliefs.
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    Senior Member thereom4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post

    Anyway, even though classified as NLEC's, they were still nonstate combatants captured in very suspicious circumstances.
    "Five were people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, some of them picked up by Pakistani bounty hunters for U.S. payoffs."¹

    and


    "The other 10 were deemed low-risk detainees whose enemy was China's communist government -- not the United States, according to senior U.S. officials."¹

    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    They are after all still Islamic militants, members of a terrorist organization
    Then I guess The United States of America is a terrorist organization. We refused to submit to the crown and even went to war over it. I think it was called The Revolutionary War.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    This is a hard case...
    Indeed.

    ¹http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301362_pf.html
    Last edited by thereom4; 02-18-2010 at 07:57 PM.
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    They were in a military training camp, learning military skills. I think that makes them militants. And since it was a camp run by fundamentalist Muslims, I doubt that any but Muslims would have been accepted.

    They belonged to an organization which is listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations, so the retort about the US being a terrorist organization is no more than a gratuitous tu quoque...

    Maybe they were just naifs who wandered in, but that requires us to swallow an awful lot of coincidences.
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    Senior Member thereom4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    They were in a military training camp, learning military skills.
    Yes this is true but they are not OUR enemies. That's already been established.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    They belonged to an organization which is listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations
    Whether they belonged to the organization or not is irrelevant (they said they don't. Though there were admissions that they were training so that they could fight oppression of their people in China) as Uighurs/Uyghurs eligible for release have been "no longer classed as 'enemy combatants' "

    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    The retort about the US being a terrorist organization is no more than a gratuitous tu quoque...
    I'm sorry I'm American. I don't speak French.

    Edit: So it's Latin. I haven't spoken Latin since I was in grade school.

    Source: wikipedia/weakapedia (though the footnotes/references are quite helpful)
    Last edited by thereom4; 02-18-2010 at 09:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thereom4 View Post
    Yes this is true but they are not OUR enemies. That's already been established.
    Well, maybe they weren't before...


    Whether they belonged to the organization or not is irrelevant (they said they don't.
    Yes, yes.

    Are you at all familiar with the concept of lying to save your ass?



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    Senior Member thereom4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post
    Are you at all familiar with the concept of lying to save your ass?
    I'm sorry I don't speak Politician.
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    Very droll.

    More power to you.

    However...the question remains forceful.
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    Senior Member thereom4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquartata View Post

    However...the question remains forceful.
    Eh. Forceful to those who feel the need to lie to save their ass. I prefer omission myself. You learn more when you keep your mouth shut or occupied with food.
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