20 Jul 2013

A Letter From Guantanamo Bay

Big Brother 20 Comments

Josie Harris reads a letter from a guy who’s been in Guantanamo Bay for 11 years without being charged with anything. In the background is rapper “Mos Def” actually being force fed to demonstrate how awful it is.

If you’re pressed for time, just start watching at the 1:00 mark. It’s disturbing but it’s important for Americans to realize what their government is doing to people.

20 Responses to “A Letter From Guantanamo Bay”

  1. Dan says:

    What a bunch of psychos.

  2. James says:

    The party responsible for this (1) is a government subject to checks and balances and electoral discipline and (2) is doing this to address a real problem and (3) claims, based on the information they have, that this will be effective.

    I understand why anarchist libertarians won’t find this persuasive, but why is this not enough to make mainstream statists believe that Gitmo is actually a case of good policy?

    • Ken B says:

      Actually, I’m not convinced I find it persuasive and I’m pretty far from an anarchocapitalist.

      But readers here can answer a related puzzler for me. Didn’t Rothbard argue that private cops should be able to beat information from the people they round up? Oh I know he had caveats like
      “Checks and balances” and “real problem” and the need to prove afterwards that they were “effective” . I’m just curious.

      • razer says:

        Ken, like all statists, this should warm your heart. Didn’t you say you’d never go against the majority even if the rule is wrong or something that effect?

        DH probably thinks we’re going to too soft on these people. I mean, look what he advocates for innocent citizens who decide they should not be bound by a pact that their great, great grandfathers chose for them — nothing short of the death penalty. so this is child’s play. I wonder what LK thinks of this. I’m guessing is warms his hear as well considering his idol advocated genocide against those he felt genetically inferior to himself.

        • Ken B says:

          No, but don’t let that stop you misquoting me if it makes you feel more like one the bunch here.

      • K.P. says:

        Yes, in chapter 12 of the Ethics of Liberty

        “Suppose, for example, that police beat and torture a suspected murderer to find information (not to wring a confession, since obviously a coerced confession could never be considered valid). If the suspect turns out to be guilty, then the police should be exonerated, for then they have only ladled out to the murderer
        a parcel of what he deserves in return; his rights had already been forfeited by more than that extent. But if the suspect is not convicted, then that means that the police have beaten and tortured an innocent man, and that they in turn must be put into the dock for criminal assault.”

      • Major_Freedom says:

        “I’m pretty far from an anarchocapitalist.”

        Are you sure about that?

        Do you initiate force to extract capital from private owners, so as to collectivize them in some way?

        Do you tax anyone?

        Do you ACT in such a way that contradicts anarcho-capitalist ethics?

        I think I’ve just stumbled upon a new heuristic approach in ethical debating: Ask the person who claims to be this or that ethical adherent, to reconcile their verbally expressed self-imposed ethical standards, with their ACTIONS.

        Ken B, I assert that you are closer to being an anarcho-capitalist than you may realize. If you live most of your days respecting other people’s property rights, if you live your days not taxing anyone, nor collectivizing any private owner’s means of production by force, then I would argue that you are an anarcho-capitalist.

        What I think is happening with you, DK, LK, and every other declared non-anarcho-capitalist on this blog, is that you all accept the ethical principles and abide by them in your Earthly lives, but you don’t want other people to actually associate you with it, for whatever reason, be it for career opportunities, friendships, family, or maybe your own desire for how you want to be approached by others, or whatever.

        So Ken B, as a practising anarcho-capitalist, what is the reason you profess not to be one?

        • Ken B says:

          I breath too, and most anarchocapitalists do that.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Come on Ken B, that was weak.

            People doing what they do for biological reasons is not the same thing as doing what people do for ethical reasons.

            Give me an example of you engaging in ethically applicable behavior that CONTRADICTS anarcho-capitalist ethics.

            • Ken B says:

              Supporting laws against slavery. This is a twofer as it makes me unislamic too.

              Before you howl, you support voluntary sales into slavery I believe and I don’t.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Perhaps you’re not fully aware of the distiction between what you say and what you do Ken.

                My point concerns your actions, not your thoughts per se.

                “Supporting laws against slavery.”

                Supporting how? Merely thinking it? Or are you stopping slavery using force against slave masters?

                I’m talking about your actions.

                According to my actions, since I do not actually go out and use force stop slavery, as of yet anyway, that makes me a practising pro-slavery person.

                I am not just trying to call out you and others as being anarcho-capitalists. It applies to me too.

                “Before you howl, you support voluntary sales into slavery I believe and I don’t.”

                Well, my actual position is that voluntary slavery is an oxymoron. I don’t accept that it can exist. I hold slavery, analytically, as being involuntary.

                Now, if you mean Mr. Smith signing a contract that says Mr. Jones is allowed to use force to prevent Mr. Smith from exiting the contract during its applicable duration, with Mr. Smith willfully subjecting himself to having Mr. Jones use force if necessary to make Mr. Smith work if Mr. Smith changes his mind, then I would not call this slavery, whereas you likely would.

                The difference is that I do not deny the legitimacy of the choice made by Mr. Smith, whereas you must if you are going to consider yourself against (what you call) voluntary slavery. Bad choices that result in (after the fact) unwanted and discomforting contractual enforcement (that was previously agreed to) are not sufficient, in my view, for identifying something slavery.

                You can CALL that slavery if you want, but I don’t. So I am not sure what name should be used, since we disagree, and language requires consensus.

                I would not think it justified to use force against Mr. Jones for doing to Mr. Smith what Mr. Smith consented to previously. If it were so justified, then no contract can be effectively enforced, and thus no contracts would be contracts in the first place, but empty promises.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Actually, now that I mulled on it a little more, I don’t think I am a practising pro-slavery person on the basis that I do not go out and stop it. I think I would have to enslave someone to be called a practising pro-slavery person.

                On the other hand, since I am not going out and stopping the state’s watered down enslavement of myself and others, I could be considered a practising pro-slavery person from the slave side.

                You still have to explain something that you do, that falls under the rubric of ethics, that contradicts anarcho-capitalist ethical norms.

                You’ll probably wait longer than Murphy’s reply to your OLG argument (which wasn’t a refutation by the way).

              • Ken B says:

                ACs are defined by their ideas not their actions.

              • valueprax says:


                Good catch. You’re not a pro-slavery person for not actively obstructing slavery and it’s nice to see you’re able to reconsider your own logic instead of just assuming that because you’ve said something publicly you must defend it at all costs to avoid an ego-blow. Well done!

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Torturing “people” is an outcome of concluding it is justified to torture a person who planted a bomb that is going to kill innocent people, to extract information from him.

        Rothbard didn’t argue it’s justified to torture an innocent man, but since people are not perfect, torturing innocent people is possible, but not justified. Rothbard argued that if an innocent man is tortured, then the torturer would be liable, and his principles would call for equal punishment.

        With the punishment for unjust torture being torture itself, that would put a “check” on people torturing others unless they were pretty darn sure. It’s not like everyone torturing each other in the streets with impunity, nor even private cops torturing anyone they want with impunity. That is a gross mischaracterization of what Rothbard argued.

        I used to disagree with torture in a blanket sort of way, but for me the sticking issue is answering the question of whether or not it is justified to torture a man who really did plant a bomb that is going to kill innocent people, and he refuses to talk unless he is tortured.

        It’s choosing between not torturing a criminal and allowing innocent people to die, and torturing a criminal and saving those people. Assuming of course torture would work, and other technicalities that are not precisely the target question.

  3. Tel says:

    I believe that governments have both the right, and the moral obligation to defend the nation’s borders from invasion.

    I don’t accept that going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan can legitimately be seen as defensive, and as the wisdom of hindsight dawns on us, this fact becomes more and more evident. We were lied to at the time, and it could easily happen again.

    In the case of Gitmo, a lot of the prisoners were purchased by the USA with bounty money, but the bounties were not specific, they just started an open market for whoever might seem a bit like terrorists. Sure enough, the locals discovered they could make money by grabbing people and dragging them in. So if those people didn’t hate the USA before they went to Gitmo, they are sure going to hate the USA afterwards, and maybe that was the whole point.

    I often wonder whether George W Bush was a very stupid President doing what he thought was right, or a very clever man just pretending to be stupid, doing what he knew was wrong. Speaking of people who pretend to be stupid, can Joe Biden really be as dopey as he acts? It has to be some sort of running gag, right?

    • skylien says:

      What if it is already happening again? What if the increasing involvement in Syria is due to a mutual defense pact between Syria and Iran that might allow the USG to attack Iran without much WMD hullabalu. (Well the only thing that really could stop them from pushing this plan through is China/Russia).

    • Major_Freedom says:

      “I believe that governments have both the right, and the moral obligation to defend the nation’s borders from invasion.”

      Suppose my household is comprised of myself, and my spouse, where we have joint “power” over the household.

      Suppose I start calling my household a “Nation” and my spouse and I “government of 409 Citrus Drive.”

      Suppose my neighbor Tony down the road is threatened with invasion of his household.

      Would it be justified for me to defend my household from Tony if he threatened my household with invasion if I don’t pay him money to help defend his household from his invaders?

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