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Gitmo Detainees Acting In Defiance?

According to this AP headline the detainees in Guantanamo Bay are "defying" our troops while in captivity.

First, lets take a look at the definitions of defy:

  1. To oppose or resist with boldness and assurance.
  2. To confront boldly and courageously.
  3. To call on another to do something requiring boldness.

In short, "defy" has positive connotations. It imputes a sense of bravery to the actions it describes.

Now lets look at some of the things these detainees in Gitmo are doing to our troops (from the AP article linked above):

The prisoners banged on their cells to protest the heat. They doused guards with whatever liquid was handy - from spit to urine. Sometimes they struck their jailers, one swinging a steel chair at a military police officer. . . .

Some prisoners at the U.S. base in eastern Cuba have gone on the attack, as in April 2003 when a detainee got out of his cell during a search for contraband food and knocked out a guard's tooth with a punch to the mouth and bit him before he was subdued by MPs. One soldier delivered two blows to the inmate's head with a handheld radio, the documents show. . . .

In another case, an inmate threw a partially full urine bottle at an MP in May 2002, apparently because he believed the soldier had intentionally kicked his hospital bed. When the soldier threw the urinal back, the detainee grabbed a steel chair and swung it at guards before they subdued him.

Throwing urine. Throwing "unknown liquids." From other sources we've heard that detainees have thrown feces at their guards and threatened to track down their families to kill them once they get out.

These aren't exactly the sort of actions I use a word like "defy" to describe. There's certainly nothing courageous about them.

And what happened to the troop who hit the inmate with a radio to get him to stop attacking his fellow soldier?

The soldier who struck the inmate, and was dropped in rank to private first class as a result, described it as a close call. "The detainee was fighting as if he really wanted to hurt us. ... We all saved each other's lives in my opinion," he wrote.

That's right, he was punished.

It is clear that our soldiers at the Gitmo facility at Guantanamo Bay act with restraint and professionalism toward their captives. In return, the captives act like animals. Sadly the media, from its "blame America first" perspective, can't see this as the truth of the situation and must continue to grant legitimacy to the actions of the terror criminals.

This is the same lack of perspective that leads people like Brian Williams to consider comparisons of our revolutionary forefathers to the terrorists we're fighting in Iraq worthy of discussion.

Rob Port is the owner and operator of Say Anything, where we leave moral equivalence to the pros.

Comments (9)

This is horse-ess, pure and... (Below threshold)

This is horse-ess, pure and simple. The LIbEralS here at home are giving these terrorists carte blanche to rise up against our soldiers. You can bet that these bed-wetters wouldn't have their panties in (as much of) a bunch if it were white, Christians instead of these exploda-Muslims.

The way these LIbEralS wage war is just plain embarassing. It's no wonder they keep losing elections-- and to W, just to add insult to injury.

Enough with the blaming lib... (Below threshold)

Enough with the blaming liberals stuff.
Republicans run the executive, the legislative, pretty soon the judiciary, and the fourth estate media. But the liberals are to blame.
Pretty soon you'll be blaming the liberals for Hurricane Andrew. It makes you sound weak, weak, weak.

I dont blame liberals for t... (Below threshold)

I dont blame liberals for the behavior of the prisoners. I do blame them for putting our forefathers on the same moral plane as the jihadists. I also want to know, since you pointed out republicans run things, when you will be quiet? and or go away?

Rob --You're reall... (Below threshold)

Rob --

You're really reaching here, at the least, acting in willful bad faith at the most. The idea that the journalist here is showing a bias toward the inmates and against US soldiers is ridiculous. You quote a dictionary definition to prove otherwise but its clear from the definition you quote that "defy" has a neutral, if not negaitve, meaning, given the context. But, of course, you leave out that perfectly apt and objective use of the word in this context. From your link:

de·fy (dĭ-fī') pronunciation
tr.v., -fied, -fy·ing, -fies.

a. To oppose or resist with boldness and assurance: defied the blockade by sailing straight through it.
b. To refuse to submit to or cooperate with: defied the court order by leaving the country.
2. To be unaffected by; resist or withstand: “So the plague defied all medicines” (Daniel Defoe).
3. To challenge or dare (someone) to do something: She defied her accusers to prove their charges.

What part of definition 1b or even definitions 2 or 3 suggests any kind of positive connotation? To refuse to submit or cooperate with has no positive connotations, its merely a description of actions. It can, however, have a negative connotation given the context. If I tell someone that they have a defiant child, am I suggesting I support the child's behavior? No. Indeed, from the CONTEXT, it's quite obvious I think negatively of the child's behavior.

You cite definition 1a, failing to understand that context of the article has a lot to do with determining the meaning of the word in this case. Either the reporter intends the neutral meaning (most likely) or is leaving it up to the reader to assess the value of the word. You decide 1a is what was intended over 1b. Why? Is there anything else in the article that suggests the reporter intended a positive connotation for the word? No there isn't. But for some reason YOU think there is. Why? I'd say it's because you're a vapid reactionary who sees liberal bias in his corn flakes but maybe you could suggest a better answer. What else in the article leads you to believe the reporter wasn't using the neutral to negative sense of 1b? Or are you arguing that "liberal bias" in general is the context your using to read the word in the way you have? Isn't that a neatly circular logic.

Maybe you could also explain why your 2nd and 3rd quotes are from the freaking thesaurus section of the link! Here again you fail to quote the second thesaurus suggestion:

"2. To refuse or fail to obey: break, disobey, flout, transgress, violate. Idioms: pay no attention to. See resist/yield."

Where's the positive connotation in this definition? Again, the context of the article would suggest the neutral to negative meaning of the word. It's YOU who have decided that the positive usage is the correct one in this context. But that isn't the only option, indeed, is isn't even the obvious option. Defy clearly has a neutral to negative usage just as common, just as acceptable, just as appropriate, as definition 1a. So what gives?

Oh, Jay Tea, do you want to jump in here and defend the mother tongue from this kind of idiocy?

when you will be quiet? an... (Below threshold)

when you will be quiet? and or go away?

I see the freedom of speech thing is now up for debate. Probably the fault of the liberals.

The way the article struck ... (Below threshold)

The way the article struck me the word had a positive connotation.

But hey, that's just one guy's opinion. No need to get all huffy about it.

Unfortunately it seems some... (Below threshold)
TJ Jackson:

Unfortunately it seems some of the troops have been punished for responding to provocations from these thugs. What speaks volumes is that criminals in US prisons would be badly punished for such actions. Why is the military acting with such limp wrists?

I see the freedom of spe... (Below threshold)

I see the freedom of speech thing is now up for debate.

Gordo, just curious: what was your opinion about McCain-Feingold?

Yes, Rob, you're right. I s... (Below threshold)

Yes, Rob, you're right. I shouldn't get all "huffy." The next time you make some outrageous claim that the US media supports our enemies instead of our troops, I'll take a moment and count to ten before I point out how your tone deafness is matched only by your utter contempt for the English language.

In the meantime, could you point to the exact sentence or paragraph in the article that backs up your understanding of how the word "defy" was intended?






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