The Instigator
Messi-09
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Zman_82nd
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Guantanamo Bay should be closed down

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,011 times Debate No: 63326
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Messi-09

Pro

Guantanamo Bay is a notorious US military detention camp that is the site of many atrocities, and as a result should be closed down immediately.
Established in 2002 as part of the War on Terror and the aftermath of 9/11, this detention centre has been used to interrogate people who are suspected to have been involved in terrorism, particularly in the Middle East. However a better word for interrogation might be "torture."
When Obama was elected President, one of his core promises was that Guantanamo Bay would be shut down within one year:
"June 24, 2007: The Associated Press's Elizabeth White reports on a speech by Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, then a junior Illinois Senator, to a crowd in Texas."We're going to close Guantanamo. And we're going to restore habeas corpus," Obama says. "We're going to lead by example"not just by word but by deed. That's our vision for the future."
January 22, 2009: Freshly inaugurated President Obama signs an executive order to close the Guant"namo Bay Detention Facility within one year. He says the action is meant to "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism."
Yet five years later, Guantanamo still holds 149 detainees, 86 of which should be released.
Not only is this another broken promise by a politician, but this prison is still running, despite the fact that it contradicts America"s constitutional and moral values, deprives prisoners of their rights and is no more than a concentration camp, in which America"s desperate attempt to gain information about fundamentalism and terrorism is being carried out through inhumane and immoral methods.
Zman_82nd

Con

Yes, Guantanamo Bay is a notorious US military detention camp, but I do not think it should be shut down.

You make leaps from interrogation to torture without providing any evidence, surely if you had evidence, you would provide it to make your argument stronger. Guantanamo Bay is a military detention camp to interrogate prisoners THAT ARE DIRECTLY TAKEN OFF THE BATTLEFIELD to find information that is sufficient to military intelligence. You mention all of these atrocities, but if these atrocities existed, wouldn"t you think the world would be outraged by now? The Red Cross visits Guantanamo Bay frequently, they would be the first to figure out whether or not there are atrocities that are actually happening there. These men are not "tortured," they are fed 3 meals a day and are allowed to practice whatever religion they are. You can google dozens of articles where the Red Cross visits Guantanamo Bay.

The most ironic thing about this entire debate is that the people you're defending in this debate, respect me more than you, because in their culture they do not understand weakness.

http://www.cbsnews.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Messi-09

Pro

Thank you for accepting and I look forward to this debate.
As for the evidence, well this is a five round debate, and I used my first post simply to summarize what I would be arguing, instead of getting into all of my main points straight away. But if you want evidence so I can strengthen my argument, then I will be more than happy to provide it for you.
Firstly, you bring up that in their culture they do not understand weakness. Regardless, does that make it right to expose them to the conditions which they are currently being held in? What is actually ironic is that you are bringing up their culture as part of your argument, but yet Guantanamo Bay was established as part of the War and Terror and fundamentalism in their culture. Not to mention the fact that their religion is not even respected at Gitmo anyway.
You mention that the camps purpose is to "Interrogate prisoners that are directly taken off the battlefield to find information." Well can you provide evidence that all of the 779 detainees that have been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, have ALL been taken directly from the battlefield as you claim?
An example contradicting your statement can be found in the controversial case of Australian David Hicks, who firstly was charged with the crime of "providing material to support terrorism" in 2004. The first problem is that this crime did not even exist at the time of his capture (it was criminalized in 2006) and when he was arrested in 2001, he was unarmed and not in the battlefield.
You also fail to rebut my point about the current 86 prisoners who have been cleared for release but are still being held. Why have they not been released and why are detainees held long after officials have been aware of their innocence?
http://law.shu.edu...
This report is my evidence to prove that over 55% of the prisoners being held are actually innocent. In fact this has even been admitted by a former member of the Bush Administration Lawrence Wilkerson:
http://www.cbc.ca...
Next, the allegations of torture have been widespread since the Bay opened. You say that "these men are not tortured", despite medical evidence proving that prisoners are suffering long term abuse. http://edition.cnn.com...
In 2013, an Institute on Medicine report concluded that health professionals working with the military and intelligence services "designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees". Medical professionals were ordered to ignore ethical standards during involvement in abusive interrogation, including monitoring of vital signs under stress-inducing procedures. They used medical information for interrogation purposes and participated in force-feeding of hunger strikers, in violation of World Medical Association and American Medical Association prohibitions."
Is this evidence not enough? People suspected of being involved in terrorism are being thrown into this concentration camp, usually without any evidence against them, and tortured. If they refuse food, they are force fed several times a day, which involves shoving a tube up their nose and into the back of their throat to give them liquid nutrients, which is an extremely unpleasant experience. To see first-hand for yourself, I recommend you watch this video: https://www.youtube.com...
This demonstration clearly shows the pain and discomfort associated with the force feeding procedure used at Guantanamo Bay. If you say that they are not treated inhumanely, than why is that a US Federal judge has just recently asked for the release of force feeding tapes as part of a legal battle against the procedure? You also mention that there has been no world outrage? Well then why is there this ongoing legal battle and why have numerous world leaders from the EU criticized the legal status of Gitmo? Non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty called it "the gulag of our times" in an annual report and Human Rights Watch stated that "Washington has human rights standards in its own treatment of terrorism suspects." If this isn't world outrage than I don"t know what is. But if you still need convincing, simply type in Guantanamo Bay into your search engine and I"m sure you"ll find that over half the articles are to do with allegations of torture and abuse not five star accommodation.
To clarify, by torture I am referring to the various allegations of numerous detainees which include, humiliation, degradation, false confessions, held while innocent, physical labour, force feeding, water boarding, , sexual degradation, forced drugging, religious persecution, beatings, electric shock, sleep deprivation, sodomy, tortured with broken glass, barbed wire, burning cigarettes, sensory deprivation and stress positions.
Hick also claimed his head was slammed into concrete and he had to undergo routine sleep deprivation, forced drug injections, beaten while blindfolded and handcuffed, forced to take unidentified medication, sedated by injection without consent, struck while under sedation, regularly forced to run in leg shackles causing ankle injury, use of attacks dogs and up to 23 hours of solitary confinement a day.
http://www.theguardian.com... (another good example)
Not only this, but prisoners are being deprived of their rights according to the Amendments in Americas Constitution. Example, amendment one gives people the right to freedom of speech and religion. I wouldn"t call being force fed during Ramadan freedom of religion.
http://www.theguardian.com...
http://news.bbc.co.uk...
Amendments five and six, right to a speedy and public trial with a grand jury, which detainees do not receive and some, in their years of imprisonment have not had any contact with legal aid of any kind. Is this fair? Even a serial killer like Ted Bundy who admitted to killing women was given the right to a trial, but yet these "terrorists" who barely have any evidence, charges or justifiable reason for their imprisonment do not.
I also find it funny that this point is not raised when it comes to illegally interrogating "terrorists", but the constitution is conveniently mentioned when it comes to issues such as gun control and peoples "Right to bear arms", though I will save that for another debate.
To conclude, Guantanamo Bay is nothing more than an inhumane, cruel and unjustifiable concentration camp, where officials have lost all sight to the oaths they once believed in but have long forgotten, not to mention the world watching America break all legal and moral codes of human decency.
However I would like to raise one more point. We know that this camp was established as part of the "War on Terror". However the widely accepted definition of terrorism is:
"The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims."
As I look at this definition and then apply it to the issue of Guantanamo Bay, I do not think it would be unreasonable to say that America is fighting the War on Terror with terrorism itself.
Zman_82nd

Con

Zman_82nd forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Messi-09

Pro

Well given that my opponent unfortunately forfeited last round for whatever reason, I do not see the point in continuing as they have not provided a counter argument which I can rebut. This is only my third debate on this website, so I am not sure what to do. (I pretty much gave all my main arguments last round)
Zman_82nd

Con

Zman_82nd forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Messi-09

Pro

Messi-09 forfeited this round.
Zman_82nd

Con

Zman_82nd forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Messi-09

Pro

Messi-09 forfeited this round.
Zman_82nd

Con

Zman_82nd forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Messi-09 2 years ago
Messi-09
Did you forget about this debate?
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