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Matt Bors gives comfort to Al Qaeda sympathizer

A recent Matt Bors editorial cartoon regarding Salim Hamdan, the alleged Al Qaeda terrorist and Osama Bin Laden driver, made its way to Guantanamo Bay where it was translated for Salim by his attorneys. Apparently to his glee.

Matt writes on his blog:

Through the miracle of e-mail forwarding technology, the comic made its way down to Gitmo last week and into the hands of his lawyers. The cartoon was translated for Hamdan and I’m told he was quite amused.

At first I was excited. I have been spilling ink on Gitmo for years–now my comics actually made it past their defenses on to the land where iguanas have more rights than humans. Then reality set in…

This puts 2 degrees of separation between me and Bin Laden (and only 3 for anyone who has met me–MUWAHAHA!) With the flimsy standards of evidence preferred by the Bush administration, does this mean I could be tried in a military tribunal for giving aid and comforting humor to the enemy?

Community Comments

#1 Stephanie McMillan
@ 5:08 pm

Great cartoon, Matt!

#2 Carl Moore
@ 5:10 pm

If your wife, brother or father died on 9/11, how cavalier would you be about Hamdan’s guilt or innocence? I suspect your derisive attitude toward the trial would be somewhat less smug.

#3 Matt Bors
@ 5:26 pm

In that case I would be ten times more derisive.

I would be outraged that the murder of my relative was used to launch an illegal prison camp, subvert the constitution, and justify torture and detaining people–in some cases children–for indefinite periods without so much s charging them with a crime.

Guilt or innocence can’t even be talked about outside of a fair judicial process. Hamdan was a driver for Bin Laden, taking part in their network. The way he was arrested, held and tried for that has been a national disgrace.

#4 Eric Millikin
@ 6:01 pm

Think of it like this Matt: When you’re sent to Gitmo, one of your comics will already be there waiting for you!

#5 David
@ 7:02 pm

Wow! I wonder how it ended up at Gitmo. Now they know that there are people (cartoonists) out there that haven’t forgotten them and are speaking out against torture!

#6 Phil Wohlrab
@ 11:16 pm

This guy was Bin Ladins driver/ body guard, who supposedly swore a loyalty oath to Bin Ladin, and was caught with two surface to air missles in his car.
If this guy was just a useful idiot, I feel bad for him, however, you are who you hang out with. If I decided to go associate myself with armed criminals for the thrill, and they started killing people, I’d be targeted for being in conjunction with their activities.
Thats why I wouldn’t do something so incredibly stupid. In this case, this poor fool was hanging out with Al Queda, and escorting Bin Ladin’s butt and his weapons all over the place. If we had hit Bin Ladin in an attack, and this driver was killed as well, it would scarcely be a footnote. He knew what he was getting himself into. Glad the cartoon cheered him up though.

#7 Carl Moore
@ 1:12 am

“Guilt or innocence canâ??t even be talked about outside of a fair judicial process.”

I don’t recall German and Japanese prisoners receiving “fair judicial process.” Was the Roosevelt administration also guilty of launching illegal prison camps, subverting the constitution, and detaining people for indefinite periods?

The problem of what to do with illegal combatants (people who make war without wearing uniforms and not being loyal to any country) much less prisoners of war, which Hamdan and the others in Gitmo are not, is a supremely gray area open to many different legal interpretations. The recent Boumedienne decision by the Supreme Court is testament to this fact. The justices split 5-4 indicating genuine uncertainty whether to grant Habeus rights to detainees held on foreign territory (this was the purpose of Gitmo – to keep detainees out of our criminal judicial process since these guys aren’t bank robbers, they’re illegal combatants) Never before in U.S. history has a court, any court, granted habeus rights to foreigners caught fighting us on foreign territory. Many legal scholars have written how this decision will damage our security in the future and it is a decision that rests on shaky, very shaky, legal ground.

Climb down from your high horse Mat, and realize this is not a black and white issue easily categorized as the evil Bush administration vs. the good guys, ie., liberals.

#8 Rick Stromoski
@ 4:52 am

>>>>Was the Roosevelt administration also guilty of launching illegal prison camps, subverting the constitution, and detaining people for indefinite periods?


#9 Wiley Miller
@ 6:50 am

I recommend reading this editorial:

#10 Matt Bors
@ 8:53 am

“I donâ??t recall German and Japanese prisoners receiving â??fair judicial process.â?”

I don’t follow your logic. Many wars haven’t resulted in desirable human rights standards being upheld. Does that mean they don’t exist? btw, The Japaneses were prosecuted for waterboarding American POWs.

Regarding habeas: Jose Padilla, an American citizen, was held without charge as an “enemy combatant” for years on American soil. Regardless of what he did this is horribly wrong. It isn’t Bush v liberals–it’s Bush v the Constitution.

The close decision in Boumedienne shows how close we are to solidifying these dangerous practices into law.

#11 Chris Evans
@ 9:29 am

What I’m sick of is the, “You’re either for us, or against us.” reductive arguments on both sides of the issues. I’m also heartily sick of, “We have to be as bad as our opponents, because good guys can’t win in this world” type arguments. I’m tired of ignorant jingoistic people telling me I’m “unpatriotic” when I satirize outrageous abuses on human dignity on all sides.

#12 Beth Cravens
@ 11:00 am

I wonder what all those GITMO prisoners are going to do when we have to finally let them out. Will they become solid citizens of their country?

#13 Jim Lavery
@ 11:25 am

Here’s what will happen:

#14 Kevin Moore
@ 12:13 pm

Rights are only applicable to people we like.

#15 Kevin Moore
@ 12:19 pm

…illegal combatants (people who make war without wearing uniforms and not being loyal to any country)…

So long as I put on a uniform and pledge allegiance to wherever my finger lands on a World Atlas, I can invade, kill, torture, imprison and destroy whomever I want?

#16 Quint Nelson
@ 7:32 pm

Gee Matt, why don’t you & your buddies just hug the bum and send him home. Maybe he can spend the night at your house before he heads back to OBL? You guys can have a beer with him and yuck up 9/11 stories, since guys like you seem to think America got what it deserved.

Really, the left-wing aplogists just won’t be happy until we’re all dead…but at least no one’s rights got “trampled”. Way to go Matt!

#17 Matt Bors
@ 11:08 pm

What a dead-on accurate assessment of me, Quint! My, you know how we liberals think.

I’d love to knock back some cold ones with the gitmo detainees and share ideas about establishing a worldwide Islamic caliphate. Alas, not all of them are of drinking age as we detained some 14 and 15 year olds without charge and held them in an offshore prison camp to get around domestic and international law. Maybe they can have applejuice.

#18 Malc McGookin
@ 12:40 am

There are many many Americans who can barely raise their heads above the parapet of the foxhole of ignorance they spent their whole lives digging.

Everyone in Gitmo’s guilty. If not of active participation, then of sitting in the bleachers and cheering for the wrong team.

Half of those men whose faces were plastered all over the world’s newspapers as the perpetrators of the 9/11 atrocities are actually still alive and living in the Middle East. The FBI have still not explained how they performed this magic trick, and they’ll never have to as long as the critical jury they face consists of Quint and his buddies.

#19 Wiley Miller
@ 6:27 am

Yeah, well… if they aren’t guilty, then why were they arrested, huh?! Answer me that, you lilly livered liberal swine!!!

Courts? We don’t need no steenking courts!

#20 Jesse Cline
@ 7:06 am

It really disturbs me how partisan this issue has become.

Locking people up indefinitely without a trial – BAD

Aiding and supporting terrorists – BAD

I think Gitmo is a national disgrace, doesn’t mean I feel sorry for Bin Laden’s driver. He knew what he was doing. That crap about just needing a job is obviously what he would say. You think anyone in that sort of position isn’t going to be well connected and trusted? You think the mafia or any other syndicate just hires a guy out of the yellow pages? Give me a break.

I also think he deserves the 5 year prison sentence he just received. But that doesn’t mean I think he deserved to be locked up there for years with no trial and subjected to God knows what kind of torture. We are supposed to be a nation of civilized people with law and order, and any way those practices just rally more people to their cause.

#21 philwohlrab
@ 9:04 am

“Alas, not all of them are of drinking age as we detained some 14 and 15 year olds without charge and held them in an offshore prison camp to get around domestic and international law. Maybe they can have applejuice.”

It’s ashame but there are terror tots who were raised in the ways of jihad as infants.

#22 Matt Bors
@ 9:07 am

Jesse, I think you are right.

It’s only about feeling bad to the extent that no one should be locked up without a trial or charges–even terrorists (oddly enough, that way to determine if they are terrorists is with a trial and charges.) Many innocent people have been locked up down there and we should feel bad for them.

The light sentence definitely wasn’t expected by the Bush administration. For all of those who defend the military tribunals at gitmo as legitimate justice, will you urge Hamdan to be returned home in six months when his sentence is up?

#23 Quint Nelson
@ 9:07 am

Yep, you guys should have that party with all of those Gitmo guys who never did anybody harm! OK Matt, go ahead a serve apple juice, none of them are supposed to drink alcohol anyway…although a few of those 9/11 guys partied it up in Vegas a few weeks before the “mishap at the WTC”.

Cheers to all of you Jihad-hugging liberals! However, not all of us are going to sit around and sing “Death to America” right before we get our throats slit or beheaded like you are.

When people tell you that they are going to kill you, then some of us will take it seriously. You guys can continue to live in your dream world until the next “mishap”.

#24 Matt Bors
@ 9:10 am

“Itâ??s ashame but there are terror tots who were raised in the ways of jihad as infants.”

Terror tots sounds like a tasty treat.

#25 Ted Rall
@ 9:28 am

Carl wrote:

I donâ??t recall German and Japanese prisoners receiving â??fair judicial process.â? Was the Roosevelt administration also guilty of launching illegal prison camps, subverting the constitution, and detaining people for indefinite periods?

As Rick wrote, “Yes.” Manzanac, anyone?

To elaborate, though: The Roosevelt Administration did pledge to provide German and Japanese POWs with their rights and privileges under the Geneva Conventions. Although that didn’t always happen in reality, it was the official standard. This contrasts with today. The Bush Administration claims that “enemy combatants”–a bogus term that does not exist in any law–are not entitled to Geneva protections because they’re terrorists.

The trouble is, it’s not up to Dick Cheney to decide who is and isn’t a terrorist. It’s up to the courts–and this Administration doesn’t want their POWs to have access to them…because they literally have zero evidence that they’ve done anything wrong.

Also, Matt is incorrect. The youngest kids at Gitmo (Kidmo?) were taken there at age 12.

Nice democracy you got there, America. Too bad it burned down a long time ago.

#26 philwohlrab
@ 9:28 am

True! maybe halloween candy

#27 Rod McKie
@ 9:40 am

Sets a precedent: Impeach Bush’s nanny!

#28 Wiley Miller
@ 10:30 am

You just don’t get it, do you, Ted.
How are we supposed to spread the light of freedom without burning the Constitution? Eh? Answer me that, smart guy!!!

#29 Chris Evans
@ 11:30 am

FIRE! Ha ha ha ha!! Give me a nice torch lit parade over fretting over “human rights”, “habeas corpus” — but put the shoe on the other foot — I’ll bet if one of Quint’s freinds or family members gets “disappeared”, tortured, and tossed out an airplane door over the ocean, he’ll be one of the loudest railing over the gutting of the “rule of law” and “due process”.

#30 Jeff Darcy
@ 11:47 am

The HBO bio on John Adams opens with our far from liberal founding father defending in court the British soldiers accused of the Boston Massacre.
Imagine a crowd of Americans at at mall just picked up and thrown in a prison camp or you being arrested because somebody who just doesn’t like falsely you. That’s what happened to some of those people at gitmo. Swept up in the chaos. Turned over in some cases by someone who owed them money and didn’t want to pay it. Guilty of only being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Iraq -when the worst president in U.S. history held office

#31 Quint Nelson
@ 12:44 pm

The worst President in recent memory was Jimmy Carter. Jeff, just because you’re a sniveling liberal doesn’t change the facts.

Jimmy the Not-So-Great was a total failure. That’s how your worst nightmare, Ronald Reagan, became President.

Gee, how can you forget those crashed military helicopters in the Iranian desert “liberating” the US hostages under Jimmy’s direction?

And if your buddy Obama is elected, we’ll have Jimmy Carter Part II.

#32 Wiley Miller
@ 1:20 pm

Wow… real firm grasp of historical perspective there, Quint.

#33 Beth Cravens
@ 1:22 pm

Quint, I don’t see how expecting your government to obey the laws of the land makes someone a sniveler or a Jihad-hugger.
What good is our constitution if it’s not upheld by the one person who swore on a Bible that he would protect and uphold it?
So sorry you’re a squinty eyed, knuckle dragging, ham fisted right winger. It must be really painful to be that mad all the time.

#34 Jesse Cline
@ 1:33 pm

“doesnâ??t change the facts”

Do you realize how silly that statement is? You just stated your opinion as fact.

No one knows who the worst president is. There is no way to measure it so its always going to be an opinion. There are a lot of facts stacked up against President Bush, and in my opinion history will view him right up there with Herbert Hoover…

When you make comments like “sniveling liberal” it just shows how you are unable to enter an argument without making an ad hominem attack. That is the tell tale sign of an intellectual weakling. Of course I just made one right now so I guess that means I’m not so smart either. Good thing I can draw.

#35 steve s
@ 2:26 pm

“Gee, how can you forget those crashed military helicopters in the Iranian desert â??liberatingâ? the US hostages under Jimmyâ??s direction?”

This is your best shot at Jimmy Carter? This is your basis for the worst president ever? Why do these forums cause people to act like monkeys?

@ 3:20 pm

“Why do these forums cause people to act like monkeys?”

This is a forum for cartoonists.
Self explanatory.

KRANKY is a cartoonist.
KRANKY acts like a monkey.
All cartoonists act like monkeys.

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