The Instigator
THEBOMB
Con (against)
Tied
19 Points
The Contender
Eccedustin
Pro (for)
Tied
19 Points

Should guantanamo bay detainees recieve protection from the Geneva Convention and Constitution

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,668 times Debate No: 14064
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (6)

 

THEBOMB

Con

Con means that Guantanamo Bay detaniees should not recieve protectio. Pro means they should. Pro argues first. I will argue Con.
Eccedustin

Pro

Should the Guantanamo detainees be given constitutional rights? I believe so. Should they receive protection under the Geneva convention? I also believe that they should.

My first argument is that our constitution was created to preserve the rights of American citizens from abuses and ensure our protection from our government. It is true that our constitution was created specifically with American citizens in mind, however that should not be an issue. All of us humans are the same, Americans or not, and we deserve the same and equal treatments and rights. I see no reason why Americans should be more privileged than illegal combatants from another country.

My first argument is based on the spirit of America. We, as Americans, pride
ourselves as being the better compared to other countries. If this is true, then should we not take the higher ground? We should. We should give everyone a fair trial, because we are America and we should be a fair country.

My second argument is based on the spirit of the law. If we hold a prisoner without a trial for as long as we desire, then what is the point? With a trial, we dig up evidence against them and fairly prosecute them and sentence them. If we believe that they might have done something wrong, but the evidence is lacking, then they should be locked up in the first place. If we have strong evidence, we should be afraid of trying them in a court of law.

There is always a risk that we might let someone free who is guilty, who might do more harm in the future. This is always a risk, however in my opinion it is much worse if we imprison one man who is innocent. As the saying goes: Its better that 10 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man be imprisoned.

My third argument is based on international perceptions. The U.S. is severely lacking in international clout. We are considered to be the "watch dogs" of the world, and all of the military scandals in the past few years have done much harm to our perception internationally. If we imprison people, innocent and guilty, without trial for indefinite periods of time then it can only do harm to our international perceptions.

My last argument is based on science. The Geneva convention protects prisoners against torture. Torture is a barbaric technique used for thousands of years, but scientifically it is not sound. The only reasonable cause we could ever have for torturing suspects would be to get information out of them. However, scientific studies have proven that torture itself is a useless technique for getting information.

http://www.newswise.com...

In summary, We should treat others as we would treat our own citizens. We should not imprison people unless we have just cause, and we should always give them a fair trial. If our evidence is lacking, and we are afraid of a trial, we probably should have them in prison to begin with. It is worse to imprison one innocent man than it is to let many guilty men go free, and in a system where there are no trials or rules of evidence then this is a big risk. Also, if we do this incorrectly we are risking international scorn, and in a globalized world we can not afford any more animosity form the international community.
Debate Round No. 1
THEBOMB

Con

The United States detention facility located at Guantanamo Bay operates in full accordance of international and national law. There are misconceptions about Guantanamo Bay and how Guantanamo Bay breaks national and international law. The first of these misconceptions is that the United States government has to either put detainees on trial or release them this is false, the United States government is under no obligation to put detainees on trial or release them. The United States is currently part of an armed conflict in Afghanistan and the Geneva Convention only requires that enemy combatants be released only "after the cessation of active hostilities." This means the United States has no obligation to release prisoners kept at Guantanamo Bay even if there is no criminal reason why detainees were kept and the only reason was they were fighting against United States forces. Many insurgents are kept away from the world because the insurgents were deemed too dangerous, by United States military tribunals, to be released back into the world. Thus, the United States government is allowed to keep insurgents away from the world until the fighting in Afghanistan ceases. Even the United States Supreme Court ruled it was legally permissible to keep enemy combatants and gave the president authorization to hold detainees for the duration of combat in Afghanistan. If the highest court in the United States recognizes the legality of Guantanamo Bay then Guantanamo Bay must be legally permissible.
The second misconception about Guantanamo Bay is that detainees can seek aid under the Geneva Convention. First there has to be a basis in recognizing the difference between an enemy combatant and a prisoner of war. According to the Military Commissions act of 2006 the Taliban and al-Qaeda were labeled as unlawful enemy combatants. This meant that they do not follow the rules of war, they do not carry their arms openly, and they do not have any distinctive insignia. A prisoner of war, as defined by the Geneva Convention of 1949, is a person who has fallen to the enemy, and follows these rules: being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates, having a fixed insignia recognizable at a distance, carrying their arms (weapons) openly, they conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. The Taliban and al-Qaeda cannot be labeled as prisoners of war as they only fulfill one of these requirements and have no fixed insignia, they do not carry their arms openly, and they do not conduct operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. The Taliban and al-Qaeda openly violate the Geneva Convention and cannot seek aid under the Geneva Convention.
Many people believe that detainees do not receive due process. The Taliban and al-Qaeda openly violate the Geneva Convention. This makes it much more difficult for the United States Military to determine upon the capture of a combatant if they are part of the enemies forces. This forced the United States developed a system of screening each detainee which exceeds any guideline set by the Geneva Convention and by United States military standards. Ironically, because the Taliban and al-Qaeda directly disobey guidelines set by the Geneva Convention members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban have received more due process then if they followed the Geneva Convention.
Detainees in Guantanamo Bay have absolutely no right to seek Habeas Corpus relief. Habeas Corpus relief refers to legal action brought by someone who believes that he or she is being imprisoned unjustly. Habeas Corpus is a fundamental part of the United States Constitution. The United States Supreme Court ruled over fifty years ago that if a non-citizen enemy combatant is captured, during wartime, and imprisoned outside of the United States he or she does not have the right to Habeas Corpus. This case involved 21 German nationals who were convicted of espionage and then kept in allied occupied Germany. The 21 Germans petitioned a United States federal judge to release them under the writ of Habeas Corpus saying they had been wrongfully imprisoned. The United States Supreme Court ruled that the German prisoners had no right of Habeas Corpus because there was no point in time that the German prisoners ever set foot on American soil and thus they were beyond the American court system. Guantanamo Bay detainees are basically in the same situation as the German's over fifty years ago. Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay never set foot on any territory that the United States is sovereign over, the crimes they committed were in Afghanistan and thus, they are beyond the United States judicial system. The only way to show that Guantanamo Bay detainees should receive habeas corpus relief is to show that the detainees did not receive due process. Regulations exceed the requirements set by the Geneva Convention and the United States military so, there is no reason why the Guantanamo Bay detainees should receive habeas corpus relief.
Eccedustin

Pro

I want to first thank my opponent for his response.

My opponents first argument is that the detainees at Guantanamo bay should NOT receive protections under the constitution or the Geneva convention. I want to make it clear right now, my opponent preceeds to argue not that but to argue that Guantanamo bay is legal and is following the rules. This isn't the point of his own argument. He initially contended that the detainees should NOT receive protections under the constitution or the geneva convention, and I disagreed and argued appropriately.

I was not arguing that the U.S. is under obligation to give detainees a trial (though they, in fact ARE). I was arguing that they "should". That is what my opponent made the debate about.

Con says that the reason insurgents are kept away from the world is because they are deemed "too dangerous". I would counter, if this is true, then why should a trial not be necessary? Couldn't a closed trial, under the laws of the U.S., allow us to find just cause to keep them under detention?

My opponent argues that the supreme court has ruled that it was "legally permissible" to kep enemy combatants detained without a trial or protection under the constitution. This is patently FALSE and INCORRECT. On June 12, 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that the Guantanamo captives were ENTITLED to the protection of the United States Constitution. (1) (2) (3)

Also, before that, On January 31, 2005, Washington federal judge Joyce Hens Green ruled that the CSRT itself was "unconstitutional".

My opponent argues that the detainees have no legal right to seek protection under the Geneva convention. The supreme court disagrees. The Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld ruled that the Geneva convention, including the 3rd Geneva convention and article 2 of the 4th Geneva convention (humane treatment) applied to ALL detainees in the "war on terror". (4)

Con claims (once again incorrectly) that the detainees do not have the right to receive habeas corpus under the U.S. constitution. However, Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote for the majority in the Supreme court case mentioned above actually said and I quote that the SCR tribunals were "an inadequate substitute for habeas corpus".

In summary, Not only has my opponent changed his entire argument from what he initially made it to be and titled it as, but my opponent also is woefully and horribly incorrect in just about everything he has been claiming.

I wonder if my opponent must have wrote this argument 8 years ago or something, because just about ALL of his information is patently false.

Sources:

1. http://www.dispatch.com...

2.
http://abcnews.go.com...

3.
http://news.google.com...

4.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
THEBOMB

Con

THEBOMB forfeited this round.
Eccedustin

Pro

As my opponent has not responded to me, there is nothing more left for me to say. My last argument still stands...
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Metalingus 5 years ago
Metalingus
Cheers to you, Eccedustin, for taking a stand on this issue. The prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, in my opinion, have suffered unfair and unjust treatment at the hands of the Bush Administration, and been denied rights promised by Habeas Corpus. Seeing as they are in the hands of the American government, these prisoners should receive the same right to file Habeas Corpus just the same as any other American prisoner that feels they are wrongfully imprisoned. The fact that I'm not the only one who sees the matter this way is comforting.
Posted by Eccedustin 6 years ago
Eccedustin
This debate is going nowhere....
Posted by HEADPHONEGUY 6 years ago
HEADPHONEGUY
lol
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
THEBOMBEccedustinTied
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Total points awarded:52 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was right, they are not U.S citizens.
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 5 years ago
Rockylightning
THEBOMBEccedustinTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: votebomb balanced.
Vote Placed by CoDFreak 5 years ago
CoDFreak
THEBOMBEccedustinTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: The Con was incredible. You gots dis!
Vote Placed by bozotheclown 5 years ago
bozotheclown
THEBOMBEccedustinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: aLKhf;osieahfgow
Vote Placed by boredinclass 5 years ago
boredinclass
THEBOMBEccedustinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: con forfeit, plus no sources
Vote Placed by XStrikeX 5 years ago
XStrikeX
THEBOMBEccedustinTied
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