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"One Year Gitmo" Apologists, Please Read

herb the verb's picture

Seventeen that can be released immediately.

Please read the letter attachment. Apparently, there are 17 "guests" there which all parties (even the Bush admin) agree should be released.

Pretty much as I said in my "substanceless" comment in Lambert's post questioning whether it should take a year to close Gitmo, there are people there who all parties agree should be released. The question is only how long they have to suffer before that happens.

So how many more like these seventeen? Obama apologists say things like:

"It isn't unreasonable to take three months to sort through who is there and find the truth about why."

Sorry, just because "BushCo assuredly did not tell all during the transition, and much information may still be hidden away in places that will be difficult to ferret out." doesn't mean the people who are universally agreed should be released should wait three months, let alone three days.
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gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I would question those who run a two year campaign, promising to close Gitmo for most of that time but not having any well thought out plans about how to go about closing it. What good are those hundreds of advisers? Gitmo doesn't pose the massive amounts of logistical problems as getting out of Iraq, and even then, Hillary said she would force her people to give her a plan within 3 or 4 months. A good executive makes shit happen in a timely manner. If it will take one year to close Gitmo, how long will it take to get out of Iraq?

Unfortunately, holding the executive accountable for competency gets tied up into personalities--"you Obama haters"--and discussion is squashed.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

and I quote:

What is "a little time"? You mean "a reasonable amount of time", yes? I would say 2-3 months is reasonable.

Now you discover the Uighers, who I included in my estimate of "25 or so" who could be released quickly without trial into the US, and suddenly you're outraged? A bit late to the party with this one.

All justice systems, fair or tyrannical, functional or dysfunctional, share a common structural bias; it is always fairly easy to become entangled and it is always very difficult to get disentangled. They all work that way because it is the only way that even a perfectly fair and equitable justice system can operate and be effective. It is an inherent element in having a justice system of any sort, a strictly required attribute that when the rest of the system is fair acts in practice to serve the integrity of the process and bends the system towards correctness in judgment.

When the process is flawed and unfair, as has been the case with those at Gitmo and elesewhere under the BushCo regime, that tendency towards entanglement becomes a tool of corruption just like the rest of the system under a corrupt regime. But it will not disappear simply by shifting the system towards fairness, as it appears to me clearly that the Obama adminstration is doing.

The process of dissentangling remains, and the destructive effects on the entire justice system that would result from short-circuiting the process are greater than the potential gain. Only someone entirely naive would argue in favor of dismantling the stability of the structure in favor of a short-term benefit, with chaos to follow.

(And don't bother with holding the judge up to support your claims; he knew perfectly well that BushCo would not comply. It was a positioning move, precisely a part of the complex process of getting these people out of the system without wreaking total havoc.)

The Uighers will be out soon. If you'd really like to help move that along, they are still looking for sponsors and homes where they can reside. By all means, sign yourself up.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Obfuscation is your strong suit and I understand that, other readers are bright enough to understand the concept and see through the fog. I said two to three months total. In order to do that you clear out the non-issues immediately, so what I previously said holds.

One year is not reasonable. It takes an interesting viewpoint to use evidence that little time is required to infer that much time is required. But you are an interesting guy.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Lacking any of the substance or nuance that is required.

From the comments of the linked post comes this proposal (much like my own) which I find has much merit.

"Yes indeed there are local DC families ready to take in these men. In fact:

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina ruled in October that the Bush administration must release the Uighurs because it no longer considers them to be enemy combatants. He ordered the government to bring the men to his Washington courtroom within 72 hours so they could be placed in the custody of local Uighur families who have offered to take them.

Of course, the previous administration refused to comply with the court's ruling. One hopes the new administration will comply ASAP.

As for closing GTMO and resolving the the fate of those imprisoned there, my solution for the vast majority of the remaining prisoners is simple:
1) full and immediate Presidential pardon and signed letter of apology
2) immediate cash payment and warrant for continued USG financial support for a period up to 2X the length of imprisonment
3) immediate removal from GTMO to a suitable US locale for language training and cultural education (e.g., Green Zone's "halfway house");
4) an unconditional offer for US permanent resident alien/refugee status with promise for eventual US citizenship via naturalization process
5) resettlement to a US locale of the prisoners choice upon completion of the "halfway house" period
6) unconditional offer of USG assistance in repatriation to the prisoner's nation of choice

For the VERY FEW prisoners at GTMO who have been charged with crimes (e.g., KSM), they should be immediately removed to the U.S. for federal criminal prosecution. If there is insufficient "untainted" evidence to establish prima facia criminal cases, then these prisoners should be treated as the rest in 1-6 above. If these men are truly so dangerous and criminal, it will be a short period before they re-commit crimes for which they could be prosecuted. Similarly, for the cases that do go to trial, those acquitted by the juries should be processed as outlined above.


Posted by: Serving Patriot | 25 January 2009 at 10:39 AM

All emphasis mine.

So you see? No need for me to take them in! Everybody happy. Plus, no parsing about "what it all will mean". That horse left the barn when they were illegally detained and tortured. Any stalling will be to try to retain aspects of the Bush policy, not to repudiate it. To pick the edible apples out of the rotten barrel.

Apologies if that last metaphor was too "earthy", I know there are delicate flowers reading.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Obfuscate? My, such a big word. Pity for you it does not apply.

Here's the whole exchange, all in one place, as written by you, for readers to - as you suggest - judge for themselves [emphasis added]:

By herb the verb on Thu, 01/22/2009 - 10:47am

"It isn't at all unreasonable to give the Obama administration a little time to sort out what is going on with these prisoners. BushCo assuredly did not tell all during the transition, and much information may still be hidden away in places that will be difficult to ferret out."

All true. But let's get the obfuscations and excuses from the rest of your comment aside first and discussion the heart of it. What is "a little time"? You mean "a reasonable amount of time", yes? I would say 2-3 months is reasonable. Six months at the outside.

Clear enough for me; I was a bit suprised that you'd agree on three months as a reasonable amount of time to sort through BushCo's mess, but I always try to think the best of people. Now I understand I was wrong; thanks for clearing that up.

I'll stand by my agreement with the ACLU and the 90% or so of legal scholars who hold Obama's executive orders to be a very good start indeed, with the of course reasonable proviso that we all need to keep an eye on the process to make certain that it moves along expeditiously.

You, of course, are welcome to speak your mind, and then clarify as needed. Perhaps in future you'll take the trouble to sort out subjects before writing in a way that appears to convey agreement with that with which in fact you do not agree. Otherwise, tough for others to sort out what you actually mean.

Now that I'm clear on your meaning, let me specifically - and clearly - say that you are wrong and have no idea what you are talking about.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

I already clarified several times I meant 2-3 months to get it DONE and Guantanimo CLOSED not "sorted". That is also clear in the context further down in that first comment.

More of your mind-fucking and selective, out of context quoting, which you also did with the ACLU quotes (which I did read). Lame.

Again, it takes an interesting mind to use an example that things can be done immediately as evidence that they should take a long time. But you have an interesting mind, and sure enough, can find a way to do it.

Black is white, up is down.

Salmo's picture
Submitted by Salmo on

ABC News reported that the Uighurs had an offer of sponsorship from a Lutheran refugee resettlement group (, and the hangup was our DOJ's appeal of Judge Urbina's order. I saw nothing indicating that this was no longer available to them when I checked Google. Do you believe that the Uighurs are still in legal limbo for lack of a sponsor, or that the prospect of a group of former detainees where news media can easily report on the total disaster our nation has made of their lives is too great a burden for our elected and appointed officials to bear?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

There was this report of Lutherans, which I heard fell through once the Uighers who are strict Muslim found out they'd be housed with Christians; then supposedly there were sponsorships offered from Uighers already residing in the DC area, but I later heard a radio report that it turned out most of them weren't yet US citizens so couldn't sponsor other immigrants.

Even herb fell through as a sponsor, and we all had great hopes for that approach.

Who the hell knows, and that appears to be the case across the board. It will take some time to sort out what we have to deal with. That Obama can't trust anything BushCo told him shouldn't come as a shock, but for some apparently now BushCo can be relied up on if making such a specious claim supports their otherwise unsupported agenda.

Or maybe the argument is that we should just open the gates and let them run free, or something, I dunno what, and the topic has at this point exhausted my willingness to engage. Empty rhetoric, no substance, no support, nothing to be learned from further discussion.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

According to their earlier press briefing. Good thing we have competency in that Department. Lets see if Hillary and the State Dept. are really gonna run the show. (Not that other departments don't have competency at the top, but it is nice to have a workhorse rather than a hoper running the state department.)

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Despite the flapping, there is only one reason that Gitmo "can't" be closed quickly: Obama doesn't want to release any of them here in US.

Going in with that requirement means some may never be released, despite not having committed any crime whatsoever.

Since we can't legally send them to many of their home countries to be tortured and/or executed, most would have to go to third countries. Unfortunately that isn't all that easy since nobody else wants them either.

But never mind the implications of what all these world leaders are saying (including Biden and Obama), that little bit of wanting to have our cake and eat it too (by that I mean, wanting to regain our standing as a human rights leader while also taking full advantage of the repression of the Bush Presidency and making no painful tradeoffs), that isn't the reason they won't be released any time soon, the real reason is that it is "complicated" and we "can't trust the Bush Administration so we have to start fresh".

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

This, the first link herb provided, stating "Obama doesn't want to release any of them here in US" is from the Washington Fucking Times, where only the truly desperate go to source their claims. Coming from that rag, who the hell knows what was actually said or in what context. The Washington Fucking Times.

From the second link herb provided saying "can't legally send them to many of their home countries to be tortured" we learn that Philip O'Neil, Boston University School of Law lecturer and the author of National Security and the Legal Process (Oxford University Press) has this to say in an interview about closing Gitmo:

Do you think one year is a realistic timetable?


So there's one more legal expert who very clearly agrees with me and disagrees with NOW NOW NOW and thanks for that, herb.

The third link herb provides documents the challenge Obama will have in finding countries to accept some of the Gitmo inmates:

Australia said Friday that it would not agree to American requests to accept more detainees from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and Britain signaled reluctance to take in significant numbers of former inmates, underscoring the difficulties both the departing and incoming administrations in Washington face in trying to close the camp....

If nobody else wants them, and we can't send them home because they'll be tortured and killed, and we can't turn them out on the street here in the US, (even herb doesn't want to take any of them) then what exactly can we do?

From the fourth link herb provided, we read this from senior Europeans:

"We have to clear things with the American side," Schwarzenberg [Karel Schwarzenberg, Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic] said. "What kind of people, what is expected to be their status? This is not a question that can be solved within weeks or months."

Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, argued that no member state could act until Obama's administration has its Guantánamo case files in order and demonstrated that prisoners posed no further security risks.

Another couple of senior people who agree with me that this is not a simple matter and that it will require a careful review of records and prisoner status before acting, a process that will not be possible to complete NOW NOW NOW. Thanks for this one too, herb.

After documenting further the near-unanimous agreement that Gitmo is a tough nut and will take some time to crack, herb tries to reassert his claim for NOW NOW NOW by asking us to "...never mind the implications of what all these world leaders are saying...." Well of course. Ignore all informed opinion that contradicts your own unsupported assumptions, that's the ticket to rational decision-making.

One thing is clear; nothing more to be gained here.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

From Biden's appearance on "Face The Nation":

"We won't release people inside the United States," Vice President Biden insisted on Face The Nation. "They’re either going to be moved and tried in American courts, tried in military courts, or they’re going to be sent back to their own countries."

Apparently US sponsors aren't necessary, as per Joe Biden.

Of course if you ignore the relevant quote from Biden, none of what I wrote makes sense. But that is why BIO is just so darned good at his job of polishing turds, he has an uncanny knack of glossing over facts that show that what he is polishing IS a turd.

Of course it's going to take a long time if you stipulate from the outset that you won't accept any adverse consequences in doing the right thing. THAT IS THE FUCKING POINT!

Nothing more to see from BIO's "trust Obama, he knows best" issue fogging.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

You put it in quotes, attributed to me - "trust Obama, he knows best" - so put up a citation that shows where I said that. Hell, show where I've said anything even suggestive of that position, even remotely close.

Go on; put up or shut up.

Nothing but a gust of wind here; typical.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

And if I could edit that (and I don't know why that option isn't coming up) I would update it to say:

"Nothing more to see from BIO's intended "trust Obama, he knows best"-style issue fogging on this topic."

There. That's better, not a direct quote, but your intention is plain. If it isn't to cover Obama's ass on the "One Year Gitmo" thing, then what is your intention? To defend that it NEEDS to take a year to close Gitmo?

Now as for that 2 dollar word "obfuscation" that you had a problem with, here is a definition:

"Obfuscation is the concealment of meaning in communication, making communication confusing, intentionally ambiguous, and more difficult to interpret."

Websters says this:

Pronunciation: \?äb-f?-?sk?t; äb-?f?s-?k?t, ?b-\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): ob·fus·cat·ed; ob·fus·cat·ing
Etymology: Late Latin obfuscatus, past participle of obfuscare, from Latin ob- in the way + fuscus dark brown — more at ob-, dusk
Date: 1577
transitive verb
1 a: darken b: to make obscure
2: confuse
intransitive verb
: to be evasive, unclear, or confusing
— ob·fus·ca·tion \?äb-(?)f?s-?k?-sh?n\ noun
— ob·fus·ca·to·ry \äb-?f?s-k?-?to?r-?, ?b-\ adjective "

I think that pretty accurately sums up your modus operandi (what Lambert would call "mindfucking" but I find that word much too unrefined), especially regarding selective, out-of-context quoting, parsing and wordgames.

Have the last word, the floor is yours.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

your entire argument is nothing but mental masturbation. You find a spot that makes you feel good and rub it frantically. That your fantasy has nothing to do with reality makes no matter, you just rub and rub and rub.

I could give a flying fuck about defending Obama or anyone else I think is wrong. That's just one more foul fraudulent mendacity you've concocted to try and defend your indefensible position. You, on the other hand, along with the thankfully dwindling tribe of Rabid Hillarians, see Obama as BAD BAD BAD and seek to punish him for everything he does regardless of value or correctness. Your aim is the same as that of Rush Limbaugh, to undermine Obama and destroy him. All that rubbing feels so good you can't stop long enough to see what is happening around you, or judge the consequences of your actions.

Your argument here is empty of fact, logic, truth and any semblance of reality. That is why 99% of informed opinion agrees with me, as the sources you have cited yourself support. Other than a couple of other outraged bloggers, you have little support for your positions for one simple reason -

You. Are. Wrong.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

"Your argument here is empty of fact, logic, truth and any semblance of reality."

You obviously don't know what my argument is, so instead you start talking about masturbation.

My argument is that the only reason it will take a year to close Gitmo is primarily one of political courage. Obama is refusing to release any of the detainees in the US (fact, right out of Biden's mouth which you refuse to acknowledge), that other countries don't want to take them (fact, as linked, which you refuse to acknowledge), that the reasons for not trying them in criminal courts is primarily a political expediency question (opinion, but widely shared by people on both sides of the issue and even by yourself, as linked by me), and that NIMBY considerations are more at play than humanitarian ones (as linked in nearly all of the articles).

So, you start in with the ad hominems, "hillarians" (of which I'm not one) and then with the concern trolling:

"Your aim is the same as that of Rush Limbaugh, to undermine Obama and destroy him. All that rubbing feels so good you can't stop long enough to see what is happening around you, or judge the consequences of your actions.

I don't want to undermine or destroy Obama, unless urging him to try or release Gitmo prisoners sooner than one year is "undermining and destroying", an awfully low bar. So what are the "consequences of my actions" anyway. Sounds heavy for a blog post! Who knew how powerful I was!

And the masturbation, who can forget the masturbation.

That's weak BIO, you probably don't even remember what the hell you are arguing for, you certainly can't figure out what I'm saying.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on


Have the last word, the floor is yours.

Just as reliable as everything else you've said on this topic.