1. Victims of crimes do not get to enact in-kind retribution against the perpetrators. Welcome to Western criminal justice since before the US split off from England.
2. Not everyone in Guantanamo had anything to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda (some even are innocent because the US Military & Intelligence services sometimes do make mistakes). Does having a crime committed against the US in the past now entitle them to do whatever to whomever for all time? If so, does this rule get to be applied outside the US or is the US special?
3. Legally reprisal is only allowed for the purpose of getting the adversary to obey the laws of armed conflict. It cannot be taken for revenge, spite or punishment.
Or basic morality we teach children? 2 wrongs don't make a right. Or more eloquently put by MLK: "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."
> "Wood suffered a splitting headache from caffeine withdrawal. “Out here, I’m probably only drinking seven or eight coffees per day,” he told me. (During the layover in Casablanca, he had drunk a Red Bull and twenty-two shots of espresso.)
That's an insane amount of caffeine!
Free speech may just be a more effective social control mechanism than democracy.
> Not only will America go into your country and kill all your people, they'll come back twenty years later and make a movie about how killing your people made their soldiers feel sad.
The US is not only not exceptional in this regard, it's not even the freest country in terms of press:
I'd note the caveat that "aggressive" speech is included, but it also is simply meant to cover offensive speech. Maybe someone from the UK can chime in on whether section 127 is used for actual crime-inciting speech, or whether it's handled under a separate law.
Edit: And this is being silently downvoted, too...
“Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to anything done in the course of providing a programme service”
Thank you for making that distinction, and based on the interpretation of "a programme service" you may well be correct.
I wonder whether this brings up a separate issue, as the post I responded to was rather rightly questioning how you can have limited rights to free speech and supposedly have a free press. If that is indeed a compatible notion, it seems worrying in a different way.
The report is partly based on a questionnaire which asks questions about pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructure. The questionnaire takes account of the legal framework for the media (including penalties for press offences, the existence of a state monopoly for certain kinds of media and how the media are regulated) and the level of independence of the public media.
--Presumably the evaluation 'downvotes' the independence and self-censorship of US media?
It's easy to say 'well it's obvious that your statement is not offensive or hateful' but in doing so, you're doing little more than projecting your values. Many people would vehemently disagree. So who gets to decide what's offensive or hateful? Without free speech the answer there easy - whoever is in power. And what they're going to decide is, at some point, going to end up being abused to their own benefit. And even without abuse it's often going to be little more than an exercise in entrenching a status quo. One fun example there is that Britain still has a law on the books such that advocating for the abolition of the monarchy is technically punishable by life in prison. Quite progressive though, it used to be death! 
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason_Felony_Act_1848
This is completely separate from that authority being right or wrong, or the individual granted rights being right or wrong.
People get upset and offended about "being told what they need", they think an abridgement of rights is a personal affront to them and their ego, but I don't think it's actually about any of that. It's more a recognition that any body set up to decide will sometimes (not even always, or most of the time, but sometimes) be wrong. Not personal, but meaningful in aggregate.
Apologies if you already recognize this argument. I feel like US political discussions tend to have other subtexts around these issues, which set me on a bit of a tangent.
There may be limits in practicality in ability to claim them but it doesn't make it less of an affront any more than inability to escape a life of literal slavery is okay because the slave is physically incapable of breaking their chains and killing every last master and overseer.
But in everything else I would say you seem a little too attached to yourself as a decider. You are a stand-in for literally any other person. Hence everyone else shares the same rights. The whole thing is a legal approximation of fairness. But we get mixed up and call it our identity.
The goal shouldn't necessarily be to be the best individual You are because of how awesome that is to be You. We are a society. A fair society functions well valuing individual rights because it works out in the aggregate.
But I am going too far in a tangent. Enjoy your day.
That you cannot see rights as belonging to people fundamentally is a disturbing mentality - for it suggests throwing it all away whenever it is expedient. Which is no way for an ethical or moral framework.
Which has a definition so open to interpretation that killing you to "donate" your organs would be justifiable or taken further turned into very expensive furniture it would be justified because your flayed corpse embedded in plastic would be worth a billion to some depraved collector. Don't worry about the arbitrary deaths - all were done by lottery for the benefit of the rest of society.
If ever there were a glaring example of the blind extremes of American exceptionalism this comment is it. Exactly which countries are you comparing the US to that would not tolerate similar "lavish helpings of self-directed criticism"?
If one were to take that kind of comment at face value then one would have to assume that those making them consider Eritrea and Burma to be the kind of benchmark a country should compare itself to. Of course, the real background is just ignorance of how well other developed countries function.
I never said 'tolerate', and I think it's more promotion that tolerance being the plan. The Americans have really become experts at strategic self-criticism.
I remember learning about Italian Commedia dell'arte and how the satire of power was a cathartic mechanism of control, yielding an outlet for pent up feelings, and assisting in the maintenance of the status quo by directing the desire for change to the outlet, rather than to actual change. Could be related, just saying.
They are noting America's exceptionalism at self manipulation. They are sardonically praising the Machiavelian nature of our society.
Except that the U.S. is losing out to China which builds out physical infrastructure-- everything from highways to supplying the digital chips, devices and firmware that provide internet access and control electrical grids. That system is vastly superior for asserting international power than OP's alleged system of U.S. "do-cruelty-then-expose-cruelty." (It's also more sustainable in the long run as evidenced by the Iraq war vs. say, China's current influence in Africa.)
Given that reality, such journalistic exposés are perpetuating a system that causes the U.S.'s sphere of influence to decrease relative to another superpower. At the same time, the dominance of the U.S. "do-cruelty-then-expose" system in political circles makes it difficult to adapt and use soft power where it would be more efficacious geopolitically.
The more exposés we get, the faster this vicious cycle diminishes the ability of the American system to use cruelty to gain power.
Therefore I must conclude that OP supports these exposés as a way to decrease the reach of the U.S.'s cruelty.
I don't necessarily support this cynicism train-- was just curious where it went.
I think the OP's point is that these exposes are a kind of release that allows those who would otherwise agitate for change do nothing because they get a sense of justice merely from reading such a piece. So the OP is expressing a sort of smug disdain for 'The New Yorker' here because they are complicit in easing the America conscience.
I personally do not believe this. I think this kind of breaks down because this creates a weird damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If the media does publish expose journalism then their creating catharsis that aids American human rights violations. If they don't report these things then citizens don't know there's anything to protest or attempt to change.
Perhaps the OP is just generally fatalistic, I don't know.
>In practice, many military-police officers killed time by watching movies and getting drunk at the Tiki Bar; they also took flights to Afghanistan, to pick up more detainees.
Who does the labor to maintain and sustain Guantanamo? Not Americans, foreign contract labor working below American minimum wage. They may stay there for 3 years to try to save $300 to go back home and start a business or for much longer to earn an American green card. Somehow, their subservient role often translates into providing undocumented personal services for their American bosses. With the American interrogators living a class-privileged life, the base is what America itself is becoming, an experiment to observe the grievously absurd manifestations of an irrational social structure.
And yet, the article cites it costs $10M per year to keep one detainee at Guantanamo. Where's all that money going?
We do need democracy, informed democracy. The people need to be able to tell their government not to do things like this.
There is no evidence that those two concepts can be mutually exclusive. But a lot of evidence to the contrary.
How can you not know that stuff like this is happening?
Makes little sense to me. I've gone to Evangelical churches for decades and can't imagine this behavior. Do we have addicts and alcoholics? Yes, of course. Do the single women flock towards them, one after the other? Not once in my observation. Evangelicals generally frown upon drinking (and drugs, of course.) There are some who imbibe or use on a regular basis, but these are generally few and far in between. (Not judging, just saying-- who would want to sit in a pew and condemn their own life choices? It's much easier and better on your psyche to go find a church that isn't so uptight about these things. The Catholics, for example, regularly hold parties where alcohol is served. Much easier!)
It just seems to me that the New Yorker is trying to paint a picture. I wish they'd stick to straight-up story telling without the gratuitous swipes.
« In June, 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantánamo detainees could challenge the grounds for their detention. It became fashionable for high-profile corporate-law firms to represent Guantánamo clients, pro bono, but many detainees rejected representation, because they thought it was a ploy to lend legitimacy to an unjust detention. »