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Amnesty: 'Don't know for sure' about Guantanamo...

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posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 12:53 AM
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite highly publicized charges of U.S. mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, the head of the Amnesty International USA said on Sunday the group doesn't "know for sure" that the military is running a "gulag."

Executive Director William Schulz said Amnesty, often cited worldwide for documenting human rights abuses, also did not know whether Secretary Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved severe torture methods such as beatings and starvation.

If they don't know for sure why go public with statements like this. it does noyhing but cuase public uproar over something that they have no clue about. I thought Amensty would be a little smarter about things like this.
reuters.myway.com...




posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 01:00 AM
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Amnesty is just making unsumptions it nows nothing of what is going on at gitmo. And all these allegations are just that. I think that someone is just trying to get their name in the news. Its all rumors and lies as far as I'm concerned and if it were true then there would already be a investigation in the starts.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 01:07 AM
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I agree I think that Amnesty is just pooring fuel on the fire, and trying to get their name in the medias spotlight, all they are doing is making more people hate America, and giving more terrorist a reason to join the fight amnesty should think before they talk.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 01:13 AM
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This guy shulze is just trying to get his own political agenda across. Its rediculous. I can't beleive they would let someone like that speak for their Business. Now I can see more riots and other anti American protests going on were more people are killed and its going to look like its all America's fault when in actuality its Amnesty and what newsweek's fault for publishing stuff that they have no evidence of.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 01:51 AM
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Yeah, apparently Gauntanamo is actually more like a Summer Camp.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 01:53 AM
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Reuters blatantly misquoted Schulz. Read the transcript for yourself.

Schulz responded "we don't know" not in response to a question about Guantanamo Bay being a gulag, but regarding the inability to determine the extent of the torture. Sloppy reporting by Reuters and obscuring of the real issue here.


WALLACE: Mr. Schulz, if I may ask you a question, sir. Since your group focused on Guantanamo Bay, let's look at the numbers there. Let's get to some specifics.

According to the Pentagon, there have been more than 28,000 interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. There have been 10 -- I repeat, 10 -- confirmed cases of detainee abuse, all of them, according to the Pentagon, relatively minor in their physical nature.

Question: Where is the systematic torture at Guantanamo Bay?

SCHULZ: Well, it's quite interesting. You just said according to the Pentagon. And the Pentagon and the U.S. government have systematically precluded independent human rights groups from getting that answered.

Now, what we do know is that FBI agents themselves raised concerns about people being held in stress positions for up to 24 hours. What we do know is that a Kentucky National Guardsman testified to prisoners have their heads slammed against the wall. What we do know is that the International Red Cross protested prolonged sleep deprivation there.

Now, we don't know the full extent of the mistreatment there. We know that in other U.S. detention facilities, there has been profound mistreatment, including 27 homicides ruled by medical examiners to be inflicted homicides.

So we don't know for sure what all is happening at Guantanamo, and our whole point is that the United States ought to allow independent human rights organizations to investigate just as Sudan, Pakistan, and many other environments around the world...


When Schulz was asked about describing Guantanamo Bay as a Gulag, this is how he responded...


WALLACE: Mr. Schulz, the Soviet gulag was a system of slave labor camps that went on for more than 30 years. More than 1.6 million deaths were documented. Whatever has happened at Guantanamo, do you stand by the comparison to the Soviet gulag?

SCHULZ: Well, Chris, clearly this is not an exact or a literal analogy. And the secretary general has acknowledged that.

There's no question. But what in size and in duration, there are not similarities between U.S. detention facilities and the gulag. People are not being starved in those facilities. They're not being subjected to forced labor.

But there are some similarities. The United States is maintaining an archipelago of prisons around the world, many of them secret prisons into which people are being literally disappeared -- held in indefinite incommunicado detention without access to lawyers or a judicial system or to their families. And in some cases, at least, we know that they are being mistreated, abused, tortured and even killed.

And those are similar at least in character if not in size to what happened in the gulag and in many other prison systems in world history.

WALLACE: Mr. Schulz, let me ask you about one other -- you can tell me whether it's a similarity or a difference -- in the case of Guantanamo and the other U.S. detention facilities, they're taking people off the battlefield in the middle of the war on terror. In the case of the Soviet gulag, they were taking millions of their own people whose only crime was that they wanted to practice political dissent or their own religion. Do you see a moral equivalency there?

SCHULZ: Well, of course -- here's part of the problem, Chris -- because those who have been detained, not just at Guantanamo Bay but at other detention facilities around the world, have not been permitted to state the cases in their own defense; have not been permitted access to lawyers, we don't know for sure whether the assumption that you've just made is accurate.

We do know that at least some of the 200-some prisoners who have been released from Guantanamo Bay have made pretty persuasive cases that they were imprisoned there, not because they were involved in military conflict but simply because they were enemies of the Northern Alliance, for example, in Afghanistan or that they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So the question is: How did they get there in the first place? And ought they not have an opportunity to at least make their case for their potential freedom?


As far as Amnesty International "just trying to get media attention", I suggest you do some research. This organization has won the Nobel Peace Prize. They are not a fly-by-night group of sensationalists that "hate" anyone--they have been fighting for human rights for over thirty years. They are the premier source of information on human rights violations in every country in the world--so much so that the United States has cited them time and time again as justification for bringing sanctions upon nations that are in violation.

It is standard operating procedure for any country that has been identified as violating human rights to attempt to discredit Amnesty International. It is unusual that the subject of an Amnesty International report would be the wealthiest democracy in the world--which makes the violations so reprehensible.

Schulz comments on this....


WALLACE: Mr. Schulz, if I ask you, when you accuse the Bush administration of, in using your words, "atrocious human rights violations," where do you fit into that equation the liberation of 50 million people from oppressive regimes?

SCHULZ: These are two entirely different questions. You know, someone can do a good thing one day and a bad thing the other and it doesn't vitiate the bad thing that they have done good things as well. That is not the point.

Amnesty tries to hold one plumb-line universal standard to every government: to Chile, to Cuba, to North Korea, to China -- every government.

And the United States applauds Amnesty when we criticize Cuba and North Korea and China. Indeed, that's Secretary Rumsfeld, who just called us reprehensible. That is the same person who quoted Amnesty regularly in the run-up to the Iraq war when we reported for 20 years on Saddam Hussein's violations -- years during which Rumsfeld himself was courting Hussein for the U.S. government.


When Wallace accused Schulz of "America-bashing", he had this to say....


WALLACE: So you're saying if you make irresponsible charges, that's good for the cause?

SCHULZ: I don't believe that they're irresponsible. I've told you the ways in which I think that there are analogies between the Soviet prison system and the United States.

But the important point is -- the important point is -- and I should say first that we said alleged architects of torture. That's very important.

The important point is that Amnesty is not American bashing any more than we're China bashing or Cuba bashing or any other country bashing when we try hold one universal standard up for countries to be judged on.

That's all we're interested in and I don't do it. It is Amnesty's researchers who come from all over the world who do it.


The extent of damage control being attempted by the right-wing attack machine alone makes it obvious that there is something to these allegations. Amnesty International is a formidable and credible organization that the United States has relied upon for 30 years. Innocent people were held without the opportunity to defend themselves--for years. They said they were tortured. 27 deaths due to "inflicted homicides." Guards coming forward saying that they witnessed or perpetrated torture. Abu Ghraib. International Red Cross was denied access.

A transparent investigation needs to occur.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 02:15 AM
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This organization has won the Nobel Peace Prize.


So did Yasser Arafat.

Although I do agree with your assessment of the article. Schulz was misquoted - another example of a journalist pretty much inventing a scoop with a misleading headline and word, lets say, manipulation.

However, I'd probably rather be at Gitmo than Leavenworth. And that's not an assessment of Gitmo, that's an assessment of the US prison system.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 02:29 AM
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"It would be fascinating to find out. I have no idea," Schulz told "Fox News Sunday."
There's no question. But what in size and in duration, there are not similarities between U.S. detention facilities and the gulag. People are not being starved in those facilities. They're not being subjected to forced labor.
and if people are being held at secret detention facilities I guess that means that they are not so secret. I wonder how could you say things about facilities you don't know anythong about,were is the proof

how do they know these things with out being there?
But the important point is -- the important point is -- and I should say first that we said alleged architects of torture. That's very important.
come on don't try to start things that you have no real evidence on
the right wing is not attacking Amnesty for reporting, but for reporting something they don't know. no true evidence.

gu·lag also Gu·lag
NOUN:

A network of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union.
A forced labor camp or prison, especially for political dissidents.
A place or situation of great suffering and hardship, likened to the atmosphere in a prison system or a forced labor camp.

Gulag, system of forced-labor prison camps in the USSR, from the Russian acronym [GULag] for the Main Directorate of Corrective Labor Camps, a department of the Soviet secret police (originally the Cheka; subsequently the GPU, OGPU, NKVD, MVD, and finally the KGB). The Gulag was first established under Vladimir Lenin during the early Bolshevik years (c.1920). The vast penal network, which ultimately included 476 camp complexes, functioned throughout Russia, many in the wastes of Siberia and the Soviet Far East. The system reached its peak after 1928 under Joseph Stalin, who used it to maintain the Soviet state by keeping its populace in a state of terror. Gulag deaths of both political prisoners and common criminals from overwork, starvation, and other forms of maltreatment are estimated to have been in the millions during Stalin's years in power.
Perhaps the best known of the Gulag camp complexes was Kolyma, an area in the Far East about six times the size of France that contained more than 100 camps. About three million are thought to have died there from its establishment in 1931 to 1953, the year of Stalin's death. The Gulag scheme was adapted into the infamous concentration camp system used during World War II, especially as Nazi death factories. The Soviet system was publicized in the writings of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, particularly in his book The Gulag Archipelago (1973, tr. 1974). Millions were released from the Gulag under Nikita Khrushchev, and the system was finally abolished by Mikhail Gorbachev.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by PistolPete
However, I'd probably rather be at Gitmo than Leavenworth. And that's not an assessment of Gitmo, that's an assessment of the US prison system.


Off topic, but I thought it was interesting. A friend of mine was stationed at Ft. Leavenworth and he said it isn't as bad as the public prison system. In the military, they have background checks on people who enlist, so the criminal element is low, i.e. the majority at Leavenworth are first time offenders. As opposed to the public prison system, where the really violent people go (who couldn't join the military because of thier past criminal behavior).

@finnman68


pimp n.

One who finds customers for a prostitute; a procurer.

intr.v. pimped, pimp·ing, pimps

To serve as a procurer of prostitutes.


I was called a pimp once! Was this what they meant?



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 09:21 AM
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lmgnyc, that was a fantastic post.

It amazes me though to see so much of the "Amnesty sucks" mindset. Remember, Amnesty's reports were widely cited during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. When did their reporting allegedly become so agenda-based and unfairly biased towards the US?

I can't help but think that if it's good for the goose...



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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If Amnesty criticizes one of the "Axis of Evil" countries, apparently then it's okay. Just don't criticize the U.S.

www.editorandpublisher.com...



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 01:53 PM
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The Bush administration has clearly flip-flopped on Amnesty's policy in the past, go ahead and research it, 1-2 years ago Amnesty was the greatest thing to the American dream since sliced bread.

First Newsweek, now Amnesty, apparently it's quite easy to twist the rubber arm of those organizations who oppose/defy the Bush junta. Just look at what happend to Spain!


NWO/Illuminati mfer's have a long reach that's for sure!

[edit on 6-6-2005 by syntaxer]



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 06:31 AM
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Originally posted by lmgnyc
What we do know is that the International Red Cross protested
prolonged sleep deprivation there.

The Geneva Convention says that prisioners are to be given 4 hours
of sleep a day. 4 hours. It doesn't have to come all at once ... it just
has to be 4 hours within a 24 hour period. They can be kept awake
for 5 hours and then let sleep 1. Then awake 5 hours and then sleep
1. This is keeping with the Geneva Convention, which is MUCH MORE
than what the terrorists have been doing to our people and to
civilians in this war on terror.


As far as Amnesty International ... they have been
fighting for human rights for over thirty years.


Correction - Amnesty International USED TO be a group that was
alturistic and would fight for human rights. Now it's just another
radical political group with bias' and private agendas -
this one happens to be radical left wing.

Sad. Very sad. They USED to be a great organization.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
Sad. Very sad. They USED to be a great organization.


Give me a break FlyersFan!

Theeeeey, used to be a great organization until theeeeey went against President Bush and your political party.
Do you respect the policy of any organization that has gone against the Bush administration, past or present?


[edit on 7-6-2005 by syntaxer]



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by syntaxer
Give me a break FlyersFan!


Give you a break? Nope.
I'll give you some facts -

www.thelawjournal.co.uk...
www.littlegreenfootballs.com...
www.ngo-monitor.org... www.nationmaster.com...

We used to be a financial supporter of Amnesty International.
We used to tell people about it and 'talk it up'. Not anymore.
It's now just another politically biased bunch ... sad. Very sad.


Do you respect the policy of any organization that has
gone against the Bush administration, past or present?


Those that have done so with good reason - which Amnesty
International doesn't have. A recent example - The Minute Men
project is a great thing. It isn't liked by the Bush Administration.
I support them. The Bush administration promised a few hundred
million $$$ (or was it billions?) to fight AIDS in Africa. They
promised it and within hours Nelson Mandella was complaining
that Bush was a racist and hated blacks .. (yeah right, that's
why he just gave hundreds of millions of our tax money to
Africa to fight a disease over there .. while many Americans
here are in need of that money for health and/or education
) So I don't support the Bush Administration on that.
I do not support the Bush Administration on it's death penalty
policy so I support 'The Innocence Project' and others like it that
try to end the death penalty in America. Those are against certain
aspects of the Bush Administration and I support them.

I absolutely DO NOT support an amendment to the Constitution
banning gay marriage. I don't support gay marriage, and I don't
fight against it. I don't care. I just don't want the Constitution
touched. So in this I don't support the Bush Administration,
however I don't feel strongly about it to 'support' those who
fight him on it. (I don't care except for the messing with the
Constitution part)

So no, dispite your insinuation that I have a blind following to
G.W. and that's why i don't like Amnesty International - you can
see you are wrong. I don't like Amnesty International anymore
because they have, unfortunately, become just another bias
political group and as I said before ..... it's sad. They used to
do some good work.


[edit on 6/7/2005 by FlyersFan]



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 02:11 PM
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Maybe its time we lock these people up.....that includes the ACLU and Newsweek.

Their stories are putting our soldiers lives in danger and its high time we lock them up for sedition. A country cannot survive with treachery at this level....


Maximu§



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by syntaxer

Originally posted by FlyersFan
Sad. Very sad. They USED to be a great organization.


Give me a break FlyersFan!

Theeeeey, used to be a great organization until theeeeey went against President Bush and your political party.
Do you respect the policy of any organization that has gone against the Bush administration, past or present?


[edit on 7-6-2005 by syntaxer]


I am not a Republican and I have never, voted for G.W. Bush, but as far as I am concerned, FlyersFan has it right. AI used to be a noble organization, but like most other political bodies these day, they have sunk into the depths of rhetoric and doctrine, rather than facts and enlightenment. Until AI changes it's leadership and becomes more enutral, they can all go take a flying.........



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 03:35 PM
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My opinions on Amnesty International and its stance on America can be summed up with the phrase "whats good for the goose is good for the gander". Despite the misassertions of those intent on character assasination Amnesty International has not ignored the actions of the insurgents in Iraq nor the terrorist at large in the world. Any one who as actually looked at an Amnesty International report can see that. People please get off of your high horses and realize it's not Amnesty International that has changed but the actions of America.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 03:47 PM
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Here's how the Bush administration constantly flip-flops on all those who oppose their policies etc. Sure, they'll raise the bar when it's convient to suit their objective, however, if you go against 'THEM' then you're simply scum?

www.dod.gov...


Rumsfeld: Anyone who has read Amnesty International or any of the human rights organizations about how the regime of Saddam Hussein treats his people, heck he used chemicals on his own people as well as on his neighbors. So why would anyone be surprised or find it more repressive than expected? I wouldn't think so.


www.dod.gov...


Rumsfeld: Yeah, well, as far as I'm concerned, it seems to me a careful reading of Amnesty International or the record of Saddam Hussein, having used chemical weapons on his own people as well as his neighbors, and the viciousness of that regime, which is well known and documented by human rights organizations, ought not to be surprised.


www.dod.gov...


Rumsfeld: In terms of the modern period, it seems to me that Iraq clearly is up towards the top of the list. This is a regime that has prided itself on eliminating, brutally eliminating any dissent or opposition. We'll know an awful lot more when we get on the ground and have a chance to talk to the people and see more precisely exactly the techniques they've used. But we do -- if you read the various human rights groups and Amnesty International's description of what they know has gone on, it's not a happy picture.


So the rule here appears to be Amnesty is a legitimate source for human rights violations of other countries, but is an unreliable and irresponsible source for reporting on the U.S?

Take a look at those sources, all of them are dot gov's and 100% credible. FlyersFan, your sources are the after effects of the Amnesty spin ment to confuse what is truly reality. A new reality which is un-American that consists of children as young as 14 being imprisioned within Gitmo Bay..


Let's not discredit one of your sources since it represents my arguement;


" AI is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any government or political system"



[edit on 7-6-2005 by syntaxer]



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by finnman68
If they don't know for sure why go public with statements like this. it does noyhing but cuase public uproar over something that they have no clue about. I thought Amensty would be a little smarter about things like this.


Perhaps even if caused an uproar in American, it is better than nothing. I would rather people get angry about the abuse of prisoners and holding them without charges than not knowing a thing about what their country is doing off American soil.

They raise awareness, and if their claims are so fantastical then if anything they should inspire people to do their own research and find the truth, rather than sitting back and being complacent with the US's actions that deserve more critical attention.

That is just what I think...



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