The Instigator
dayofquestion
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Brock_Meyer
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Should Guantanamo Bay stay open?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,659 times Debate No: 8563
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (5)

 

dayofquestion

Pro

There are several reasons that we should keep this "jail" open. They are the follows:

1. It will cost us a bundle, 80 million dollars, source: http://hubpages.com... par. 15, to shut down this prison.
2. Why close down a great working facility when all we are going to do is move the prisoners to another prison that will do the exact same thing?
3. Follow or copy and paste this link: http://www.realclearpolitics.com...

Guantanamo Bay, or Gitmo, should stay open.
Brock_Meyer

Con

The resolution is that the detention center at Guantanamo Bay ought to stay open. My position is that this is not true; my opponent's position is that this is true. I shall follow my rebuttal with my contentions and reasoning for why the detention center must be closed immediately.

My opponent gave the following reasons to support his position: (1) that closing the facility is expensive, and (2) that Guantanamo Bay serves the same function as other prisons and it is redundant to move them. The point numbered "3." is unworthy of rebuttal because: (a) Newt Gingrich is neither a policymaker nor a politically relevant figure, and (b) his comments have no relevance to the issue of closing Guantanamo Bay and moving the prisoners to other maximum-security facilities. Therefore, I shall address (1) and (2) in turn.

Contention (1) is hardly worth consideration. It is interesting how now that a federal government capable of spending $152 billion on an "economic stimulus", $296 billion on a "troubled assets relief program", and $15.4 billion on keeping a General Motors Corporation afloat, suddenly can't manage a meager 80 million to shut down a prison that violates human rights (more on that point later). It is either disingenuous or hypocritical to say that the government cannot spare those funds, given the enormous sums of money spent in a scheme to restart the economy that may or may not work.

Contention (2) is wrong because there is a clear difference in the functionalities of the Guantanamo Bay detention center and a similar maximum-security facility in the United States. This is because there is a stark difference in the kind of prisoners detained at these kinds of facilities. The differences are as follows: (1) Guantanamo Bay prisoners are held without trial or charges whereas prisoners in the United States are not; (2) "enhanced interrogation techniques (i.e. torture) are practiced on Guantanamo Bay prisoners and not on prisoners in the United States; and (3) Guantanamo Bay prisoners are held for the purpose of intelligence-gathering whereas prisoners in the United States are not(2).

Because of these differences, the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are not going to be moved to a prison that "does the exact same thing". However, the differences in these kinds of prisoners do not justify the use of different facilities. If Americans desire to see American values of justice upheld, they would want to see Guantanamo Bay prisoners tried and, if found guilty, detained in a prison for their crimes. "Detainment in a prison" for a terrorist, who is not more likely to escape than any other convict, can take place in a maximum-security prison just as effectively as detainment in a special facility like the one at Guantanamo Bay.

My reasons for believing the detainment facilities at Guantanamo Bay are as follows.

First, far too many detainees at Guantanamo Bay are falsely imprisoned. According to Thomas Wilner(1), "We now know, however, that many Guantanamo detainees never fought against anyone; they were simply turned over by Northern Alliance and Pakistani warlords for bounties of up to $25,000. For almost seven years, they have been held without a fair hearing or opportunity to demonstrate those facts. The Supreme Court ruled last June in Boumediene v. Bush that these men have the constitutional right to prompt hearings to determine if there is adequate reason for detaining them. Since that decision, lower courts have reviewed the cases of 23 detainees and have found no credible basis for detaining 22 of them."

Secondly, many Guantanamo Bay detainees were captured, contrary to popular knowledge, outside of conflict zones. According to the United Nations(2), "Many of the detainees held at Guant´┐Żnamo Bay were captured in places where there was – at the time of their arrest – no armed conflict involving the United States. The case of the six men of Algerian origin detained in Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2001 is a well-known and well-documented example, but also numerous other detainees have been arrested under similar circumstances where international humanitarian law did not apply. The legal provision allowing the United States to hold belligerents without charges or access to counsel for the duration of hostilities can therefore not be invoked to justify their detention."

Thirdly, the use of Guantanamo Bay as a detention center violates a treaty with Cuba, the country in which this facility lies. Cuba assented to the United States' use of Guantanamo in 1903 for the purposes "exclusively as coaling or naval stations, and for no other purpose"(4). The violation of this treaty, however, pales in comparison to the United States' violation of the Geneva Conventions in persisting in its use of "enhanced interrogation techniques", condemned as torture by the United Nations and practiced in Guantanamo Bay detention facilities(3). The violation of this treaty and others alienates the United States from other nations and from its core values.

Fourth, contrary to the claims of many, courts in the United States can successfully try terrorists. Again, according to Thomas Wilner(1), "Our courts are fully capable of [trying terrorists]. They have rendered 145 convictions in terror-related cases in the past. And their decisions have far greater credibility than any jerry-rigged commission system ever could." Because civilian courts can handle the cases of suspected terrorists, they can convict terrorists that have proven links to crimes against the United States. In addition, they can free those individuals unjustly captured and held without trial or charges.

On this point, the objection that "tortured detainees would be released because of this torture". Against this objection, Thomas Wilner states(1), "no actual case has been identified where the government would be precluded from obtaining a conviction against a known al Qaeda operative because most of the significant evidence was obtained through torture. True, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said a lot of things under torture. But he has also freely admitted that he is an al Qaeda fighter."

Fifthly, just as United States courts are capable of trying Guantanamo Bay detainees, United States prisons are capable of handling Guantanamo detainees. According to Suzanne Nossel(5), "Because military prisons elsewhere in the U.S. can handle those inmates that are not repatriated – One of the reasons originally given for housing the Afghan detainees at Guantanamo was that this was a particularly violent and rebellion-prone group , as evidenced by the ferociousness of the Taliban's fighting during the war. Nevertheless, there is little sign that as an inmate population, the Guantanamo detainees pose any particular challenge with which a mainline military prison could not cope. Other enemy combatants like Jose Padilla have been held on U.S. soil without incident."

In summary, the detainment camp at Guantanamo Bay was created to avoid scrutiny and to avoid United States law and the enforcement of those laws. It is an exercise in tyranny, justified by some on the utilitarian grounds that the torture of some might prevent the deaths of others. However, closing this detainment camp does not mean the United States cannot detain people. The Bush Administration chose it to evade United States law. Because of its place outside of American borders, where American or Constitutional law has no jurisdiction, the Administration argued that those inside of it are beyond having human rights. According to Thomas Wilner(1) and Hamdam v. Rumself, the Supreme Court has overruled these arguments. There is neither reason for the detention facility Guantanamo Bay to exist nor politico-ethical arguments to be made in its favor.

*Sources in the Comments section.
Debate Round No. 1
dayofquestion

Pro

dayofquestion forfeited this round.
Brock_Meyer

Con

My opponent forfeited the last round.
Debate Round No. 2
dayofquestion

Pro

dayofquestion forfeited this round.
Brock_Meyer

Con

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 8 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
I think this would be eassy to win
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by ilovgoogle 8 years ago
ilovgoogle
dayofquestionBrock_MeyerTied
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Vote Placed by Larsness 8 years ago
Larsness
dayofquestionBrock_MeyerTied
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Vote Placed by bonobos 8 years ago
bonobos
dayofquestionBrock_MeyerTied
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Vote Placed by dayofquestion 8 years ago
dayofquestion
dayofquestionBrock_MeyerTied
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Vote Placed by Brock_Meyer 8 years ago
Brock_Meyer
dayofquestionBrock_MeyerTied
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Total points awarded:07