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Clarifying Rand's Position on Guantanamo

After expressing my concern about Rand Paul's statements regarding Guantanamo, I got a message yesterday from Rand Paul 2010 spokesman Chris Hightower (whom I know personally and for whom I can vouch as a really great guy).

He wrote to clarify some of Rand's position, and I'm posting the text of his clarification below with some of my own emphasis on certain parts:

The orginal post did not say that Rand Paul wanted to try the terrorists in the US but the Grayson campaign falsely asserted that it did. The question of closing down GITMO is a separate question.

Rand Paul feels that more important than the location of the prison is whether or not we should be detaining anyone, anywhere without a judicial hearing.

Rand Paul remains committed to his opposition to fighting "undeclared" wars. Rand Paul remains committed to the belief that we should not torture prisoners of war. Rand Paul remains committed to his belief that prisoners deserve trials and disposition not indefinite detention.

This current controversy, though, stems from whether or not prisoners of war should be treated identically to US Citizens. Should we read Miranda rights to prisoners captured on the battlefield? Should we release KSM because he was tortured? There are reports that a great number of detainees at GITMO were detained not on the battlefield but were turned in by competitors for their positions. The US should not detain anyone indefinitely anywhere whether in the US or otherwise.

While military tribunals may appear to some to be unjust, we currently try our own GI's in military court when they are accused of crimes such as rape and murder. Military court provides legal representation for the accused.

Rand Paul is opposed to the policy of scooping up people from around the globe and holding them in indefinite detention. Rand Paul believes that most of the detainees could have been tried, convicted, and or released long ago. Those whom the military has deemed untriable, like the Uighurs, should be deported to where they were captured not relocated in the South Pacific. Detainees who return to the battlefield and are captured should be imprisoned in the country in which they are captured.

So if you look at the wording of the press release on RandPaul2010, it seems to me there is ambiguity about this part: "Rand Paul today criticized the Obama administration’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and try terrorism suspects in United States Civil Courts."

If Rand Paul disagrees with closing Gitmo and trying the terrorists in the US, but would agree with closing Gitmo and trying the terrorists by tribunal and administering the courts' final dispositions and sanctions / releasing those who have not been found guilty of anything- then I could support him.

What I'm getting from Hightower's clarifications above is:

1. Rand Paul unequivocally opposes indefinite detention.

2. Military tribunals are good enough for our troops, so they're good enough for theirs.

Regardless of what I think about item 2 above, it is at least a defensible, principled argument and would not preclude my support for Rand Paul.

As for item 1, Mr. Hightower does everything but say explicitly that "we should close down Gitmo." If item 1 is true, I think we deserve clarification from the Paul campaign soon that he opposes trying them here in US civil courts, but that he does think that the detainees at Gitmo need to stand trial or be released if we have no charges to bring against them.

Whether or not I agree (and I think it is a very nuanced, multifaceted issue, so I'm not entirely certain of my own position), I can certainly live with that.

Your thoughts?


W. E. Messamore blogs at The Humble Libertarian.

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bump

bump for the son of Ron

Mises.org
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Thanks for the clarification.

Now regarding military tribunals.

A military tribunal may(will) be a secret(non-public) procedure.
But a normal court trial will be public, and any evidence and testimony produced will be entered into court records. Things discovered may be used to serve as foundation for further indictments of any other people who may be guilty of wrongdoings that come out in the trial

Now, why would people in the party of the previous administration want to keep things secret and out of court records?
3 guesses, and the first two don't count.

It's couldn't get any more obvious what the clamor from the "neo's" for a military tribunal is about.

Bump

For the thoughtful commentary.

allegory - ˈalɪg(ə)ri/ - noun - 1. a story, poem, or picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

Rand will be a great Senator!

 
Freedom, Prosperity and Peace

 
Freedom, Prosperity and Peace

Rand has my support 100%.

Rand has my support 100%. This post really clarified his position. Thanks!
www.RandsTeaParty.com Pledge now!

This should also be posted in the main forum.

The anti Rand threads are multiplying there and this seems to answer the question.

Yes...

You think Michael can condense all of these negative threads?

That you so much for

this, it helps me greatly.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

I linked to your blog and

I linked to your blog and this thread on my blog:
Clarifying Rand's Position on Guantanamo
My own thoughts
The problem then, seems to be the lack of any official declaration of war, like I've blogged about before. Had Rand been in the US Senate at the time, he would have forced an official declaration and there wouldn't be any question about whether or not these are prisoners of war and what their rights are vs regular citizens or "enemy combatants" (which seems to mean whatever Bush wanted it to mean).

But the fact is the Afghanistan war wasn't done properly and constitutionally, and now we have to figure out the best way to unscramble an omelet. I will state for the record that I disagree with Rand on the issue, but I do think it's possible for libertarians and anti-war people to disagree on the best way to unscramble the evils of the state. Murray Rothbard and Frederick Hayek disagreed on the best way to unscramble the central bank, but they were both classified as solid Libertarians.

Read the rest.

Clarifying Rand's Position on Guantanamo
~
A Way for Trey Grayson searchers to find Rand Paul
http://www.treygraysonforsenate.com
Trey Grayson For US Senate 2010 in Kentucky. See also http://www.jointreygrayson.com/ Spread these links around

SD Ron Paul liberty Operation up an running.
http://www.southdakotaforliberty.com/

Donate here https://rally.org/southdakotaforliberty/donate
Volunteer for Phone from Home here http://www.southdakotaforliberty.com/node/4

Exactly

This never would have been an issue had Rand Paul's position on declaring war been followed. That's why I want Rand Paul in the senate.

Thank

Thank you,

Tracy
http://randforsenate.blogspot.com/
~
A Way for Trey Grayson searchers to find Rand Paul
http://www.treygraysonforsenate.com
Trey Grayson For US Senate 2010 in Kentucky. See also http://www.jointreygrayson.com/ Spread these links around

SD Ron Paul liberty Operation up an running.
http://www.southdakotaforliberty.com/

Donate here https://rally.org/southdakotaforliberty/donate
Volunteer for Phone from Home here http://www.southdakotaforliberty.com/node/4

Thank you

Looking forward to further clarification. I put more weight in direct quotes from Rand than from his campaign manager, so I am assuming he really did criticize the Obama administration for wanting to close Gitmo. It's unfortunate this letter didn't provide Rand's statement about what indispensable function Gitmo serves. I'm assuming he believes there are real terrorists being caught in sufficient numbers to justify our taking over...what?...half of Cuba, for a place to process and keep them.

Policy-wise, wouldn't it make more sense to try them right there in their own country, so that if they are found innocent, they might conveniently return home? And then they would be in no danger of accidentally being confused with convicted criminals and tortured at Gitmo...which leads to their indefinite detention.

No problem with Rand here!

I admire your intellectual honesty and capacity for open reflection, Mr. Messamore!

I really don't have a big problem with trial and disposition of suspected terrorists at Gitmo. I know there are different ways of approaching this, and Rand's position does not present a problem for me like it does for the handful of catcallers here -- let me point out there are only about 200 detainees remaining at Gitmo. Hundreds have been released already - including those found to have been merely incidental combatants.

In contrast, there are about 95,000 people in Federal prisons just for drug offenses; the relative magnitude is glaringly obvious. I see _that_ as more problematic to our liberties than the existence of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

To call Rand a neocon over the Grayson-Gitmo flap, like some have, is just silly. Good people can differ on this. Go Rand go!

In Liberty,

Tom Walls

well said patriot

Rand is a Liberty candidate that carries the flag of the Republic to the Senate - Period.

We must support this soldier if we agree with 95% of his views or 99%...
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Are you flippin' kidding me? THIS thread will die?

Lord knows we have some GREAT speculation going on. Why listen to anyone who wants to clarify?

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.

Wes Messamore's picture

Thanks folks! I really think

Thanks folks! I really think the Paul campaign deserves to be heard out on this one and then we should draw our final conclusions and lines in the sand.

Wes Messamore blogs at http://www.humblelibertarian.com

A step towards clarification

...this thread has few comments? No, this one is not going down the black hole! Some of Ron Pauls positions on issues were not at first clear to me either ...but once explained and clarified then I understood his reasoning. I think we should give the same thought to Rands posititions and understand sometimes statements are not what they first appear.

*****
"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

Bump

That's comforting.

A Rand post worth bumping

Thank you.
Again, I wish the Paul gentlemen would just side with full truth, then they could come right out and point at the heart of the problem with these "detainees" (I like to think of them as "humans.") Considering the tightrope they are attempting to walk, I suppose that is as good a response as could be mustered.

I stand by my prediction that failure to stand fully on the side of truth will bite these fine gentlemen in their posteriors.

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.