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Speaking of those who "question the scale of our ambitions," does it really take a year to close Gitmo?

Bogus.

And if anybody wants original thinking on Gitmo, try this.

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pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

that Switzerland, Portugal and France have offered to take in the prisoners who can't return to their home countries.

Gitmo is a travesty. It's hard to believe, well, maybe it isn't, but I used to think we were better than this. Freaking Bush administration. Please don't make it worse, Obama, by prolonging this injustice.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

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. Nothing would please the VRWC more than for Obama to release a prisoner who then causes some meaningful damage to Americans or American interests. The rest of us, I presume, do not want that to happen.

Also going to take some time to sort out where to ship the prisoners, both those who can simply be released and those who are held for some sort of more constitutionally compatable trial. Several European nations are now proposing to take a few of them, something they would not do for Bush, so that's good; maybe get the residual down to 200 or so. Of those, maybe 50 can be released back to their home country and another 25 or so can be released into the US.

That leaves 125, most of whom were minor players but after seven years of detention and some amount of torture may well be pissed off enough to come back at us. They'll need some therapy and perhaps compensation, enough to at least ease the pain. Where do they go while that's happening?

They can't just be put into the general population at Federal penetentiaries, the inmates will kill them. They would have to be put in what's called Administrative Segregation, or AdSeg; a fancy term for solitary confinement, lockdown 23 hours a day, for who knows how long. The entire Fed system doesn't have enough AdSeg room for the hundred or so who might qualify; might as well just keep them in Gitmo, probably safer for them, as even in AdSeg revenge murders are carried out.

That leaves an estimated 25 or so who actually are bad people, at least from our POV. Again, there is neither room nor safety in Fed prison AdSeg. Should they be held at a military brig in the middle of some large base? Sort of a Gitmo Delux? How is that an actual improvement? Maybe a cosmetic shift has some political value, but it does not resolve the very real dilema that they are in all probability people who represent a danger but who also probably can't be prosecuted because the information to be used as evidence against them is tainted by torture.

It isn't unreasonable to take three months to sort through who is there and find the truth about why. Most of the population there now can probably get moved out starting in another three months or less. Figuring out what to do with the hardcore 25 or so will take a little longer, so while I think it can be done fairly quickly I'm also not privy to all the information required to make sound judgments; a year to shut it all down doesn't seem excessive to me.

Really easy to demand immediate change; much more difficult to lay out specific steps to achieve it. Those calling for immediate trial or release need to also put up detailed plans for how to deal with the very real complexities involved. I look forward to reading more of those, and fewer simplistic demands of NOW NOW NOW.

On a broader scale, Gitmo is the poster prison but hardly the root cause for the wrongs we've been doing. Changes need to be made and formalized regarding torture and habeas corpus, and while the former is administratively straightforward it still involves some team crawling through the statutes to make certain that no other legal problems are created by whatever wording is chosen. As for habeas, the legal problems are anything but straightforward - but that requires a longer comment.

For the moment, let me summarize by saying that all of these captives existed in a legal limbo until the Military Comissions Act went into effect. Obama says he wants to get rid of that mess and institute something else; the question is what. The problem is complicated by the fact that we hold not just the 250 or so prsoners in Gitmo but have thousands of others in US custody in Iraq, Afghanistan and surely more than a few in secret prisons elsewhere; Gitmo, while made famous by the press, is the least onerous and least difficult part of the problem. Whatever replaces the current structure needs to resolve the fate of all those those prisoners and do it in a way that keeps the relatively few real dangers contained.

Not, I think, a simple task. Obama has put the process underway, and nothing would have happened had he not made a start. These decisions, while spare, are a positive development. I'll give him a few months to sort out what comes next and how to best get it done.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Your failure to present any detailed response confirms my analysis of the situation, and the vacuous nature of NOW NOW NOW demands. Couldn't have been more perfect.

Submitted by hipparchia on

coupla questions for ya:

did you pull these numbers out of a hat? or are those reliable estimates from somewhere?

i did my best to get out of history and civics classes so i could spend more time dissecting frogs and blowing up the chemistry lab [and don't even ask about physics lab] so i'm clueless here: what did we do with our pows from previous wars and how long did it take?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Please. From dozens of articles from various sources over the last couple of years. Why the hell would I just make them up?

"Other wars" is exactly the problem. We aren't at "war" with these people, or at least not at war with a governmental agency. There are no guidelines for what to do with people who have no particular allegiance to a formal governmental agency. Probably the right thing to have done initially was to bring them into the civilian judicial system, but then there would have been problems with torture and BushCo liked yucking it up with the whole "24" thing. Big men.

The whole thing is a giant-ass mess, like everything else BushCo has touched, and like everything else it won't sort out overnight. During WWI, WWII, Korea, we kept our POWs until after the end of the war without any sort of trial or arraignment, just military administrative detention without appeal. When will this "war" end?

Submitted by hipparchia on

i'd seen that number before, and if it's been independently verified [more or less] then we don't need a year, or even 3 months, to sort through just to figure out who the bad guys are.

also, 25 is a doable number for civil trials, and for finding a place other than guantanamo to keep them.

as for the allegiance thing, iirc, and it's been a few years since i argued this particular subject, but the geneva conventions spell out what to with mercenaries and what to do with prisoners of war. any other non-state actors weren't specifically mentioned, possibly because nobody in the western world envisioned an al qaeda, but most countries [not us, but we should] have chosen to interpret them leniently: anybody who's not easily identifiable as a mercenary gets treated as an ordinary pow.

my question wasn't how long did we keep the pows from other wars, but once the decision was made, how long did it take us to shut down all the places where we were keeping them?

when will this war end? dunno, with the next president maybe? just because we can keep pows till the war 'ends' doesn't mean we have to. so what happens if we turn them loose? they might hurt us again!!!!!

i'm not buying the assumption that any of them necessarily have both the capabilities and the connections that they had before we took them prisoner, so turning them loose isn't any guarantee that they'll turn around and fly more planes into our buildings tomorrow.

also, as long as we're stomping on the middle east [and/or appearing to unilaterally back israel's belligerence] our 'interests' are at risk, even if we keep all these people locked up forever and ever. and anything that happens, obama, and democrats, will be blamed for, because, as has been said more than once, the republicans are not interested in playing well with others. keeping people locked up just because the president and his party haven't yet learned to deal with, and work around, the inevitable vituperation is just plain immoral.

Submitted by hipparchia on

did you hear me mention palestine? no, you did not. as long as we're meddling in the middle east, even if all we do is give $$ and arms to israel, our 'interests' are 'at risk'.

assumptions. you're assuming that if we let a few former terrorists go free, they will automatically pose a high risk to our safety, so high that we can't afford to let anybody go until we can sort all the way through a possibly unknowable mess. i'm questioning that assumption.

if you'd stopped at we owe a lot of people a lot of recompense and this will take time, i'd possibly have agreed with you, but this whole looking for an extra-constitutional, non-geneva-convention way to bring some people to trial with little or no or tainted evidence... [adjusts tin foil hat] does make me wonder if obama was chosen as the nominee because his reputation as a constitutional law scholar provides cover for whatever illegal, immoral decision finally gets made [a kinder gentler john yoo, if you will]. the information got scrubbed off the web early early in the campaign, but most of obama's teaching was in voting rights and racial issues, with constitutional law coming in a distant third place, as i recall. [wanders off to look for more tinfoil]

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

"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. One year you find reasonable based on what, the enormity of the task of figuring out what to do with 250 people? If what you say about the enormity of the unknowns in the task are true, what evidence do you have that even a year is reasonable time? Why not make it two years or three? Or is it just that one year is the number that Obama's administration threw out there, so it MUST be reasonable?

"Nothing would please the VRWC more than for Obama to release a prisoner who then causes some meaningful damage to Americans or American interests. The rest of us, I presume, do not want that to happen."

Don't want which to happen, the VRWC being pleased, or meaningful damage to Americans and American interests? Newsflash, GITMO ITSELF IS MEANINGFUL DAMAGE TO AMERICANS AND AMERICAN INTERESTS! The sooner the damn shat bed is thrown out, the sooner we can make some progress in repairing the damage.

"Also going to take some time to sort out where to ship the prisoners, both those who can simply be released and those who are held for some sort of more constitutionally compatable trial."

Wrong. Although we should be skeptical of Bush Admin pronouncements of guilt, lack of evidence should be taken as tacit acknowledgement of innocence. Something like that "innocent before proven guilty" thing that somebody talked about once. All those people should be asked for their forgiveness, and asked where they would like to go. They have been wronged, shamefully wronged, and although no amount of compensation will be compensation enough, something can surely be arranged that will help them in the remainder of their life, and take some of the stain off our collective treatment of them.

"Several European nations are now proposing to take a few of them, something they would not do for Bush, so that's good; maybe get the residual down to 200 or so. Of those, maybe 50 can be released back to their home country and another 25 or so can be released into the US.

That leaves 125, most of whom were minor players but after seven years of detention and some amount of torture may well be pissed off enough to come back at us. They'll need some therapy and perhaps compensation, enough to at least ease the pain. Where do they go while that's happening?"

Well, there you go, you have the problem solved and that took you what? Like ten minutes? Maybe Obama should hire you to get this done.

"They can't just be put into the general population at Federal penetentiaries, the inmates will kill them. They would have to be put in what's called Administrative Segregation, or AdSeg; a fancy term for solitary confinement, lockdown 23 hours a day, for who knows how long. The entire Fed system doesn't have enough AdSeg room for the hundred or so who might qualify; might as well just keep them in Gitmo, probably safer for them, as even in AdSeg revenge murders are carried out."

Hold on now, these "minor players" are going to go from years of torture and illegal imprisonment into solitary confinement in federal prisons while they get "therapy and compensation"? Are you fucking kidding? Whatever happened to "time served"? These people have been criminally wronged by our government, what part of that is so hard to grasp? They should be treated in the same way as the innocents caught up in this meat grinder.

"That leaves an estimated 25 or so who actually are bad people, at least from our POV. Again, there is neither room nor safety in Fed prison AdSeg. Should they be held at a military brig in the middle of some large base? Sort of a Gitmo Delux? How is that an actual improvement? Maybe a cosmetic shift has some political value, but it does not resolve the very real dilema that they are in all probability people who represent a danger but who also probably can't be prosecuted because the information to be used as evidence against them is tainted by torture."

And that is the problem, isn't it? The shat bed. Well, that is Bush's problem, done of Bush's own volition. Obama is president now, no more excuses, and a chance to break from that past. If he is delaying to protect Bush (and the torturers at Gitmo) that is a problem that he is bringing onto himself. He is taking the shit from the shat bed and smearing it all over himself.

"It isn't unreasonable to take three months to sort through who is there and find the truth about why. Most of the population there now can probably get moved out starting in another three months or less. Figuring out what to do with the hardcore 25 or so will take a little longer, so while I think it can be done fairly quickly I'm also not privy to all the information required to make sound judgments; a year to shut it all down doesn't seem excessive to me."

Starting in three months or ending in three months. Bush was already letting people go. And in the meantime, can't their suffering be eased by different detention? The Ritz maybe?

"Really easy to demand immediate change; much more difficult to lay out specific steps to achieve it. Those calling for immediate trial or release need to also put up detailed plans for how to deal with the very real complexities involved. I look forward to reading more of those, and fewer simplistic demands of NOW NOW NOW."

Meh, strawmen alert.

"On a broader scale, Gitmo is the poster prison but hardly the root cause for the wrongs we've been doing. Changes need to be made and formalized regarding torture and habeas corpus, and while the former is administratively straightforward it still involves some team crawling through the statutes to make certain that no other legal problems are created by whatever wording is chosen. As for habeas, the legal problems are anything but straightforward - but that requires a longer comment."

Meh again, how about using the same standards for torture and habeas corpus that worked for decades and centuries before Bush? It isn't "changes" that need to be made, it is "changes" that need to be undone. And what does that have to do with closing Gitmo? More Bush and CIA contract torturer ass-covering?

"For the moment, let me summarize by saying that all of these captives existed in a legal limbo until the Military Comissions Act went into effect. Obama says he wants to get rid of that mess and institute something else; the question is what."

The question is why not compensate and release the innocent and "minor players", since they have suffered enough? Regarding the other 25 (your number), the bed is shat, the bell is rung, and there is no way to unshit the bed or unring the bell. These people are also wanted by other countries, countries that haven't shat our bed. They should be released to those countries to stand trial for their crimes. Actually, this could be the case for some "minor players" as well.

"The problem is complicated by the fact that we hold not just the 250 or so prsoners in Gitmo but have thousands of others in US custody in Iraq, Afghanistan and surely more than a few in secret prisons elsewhere; Gitmo, while made famous by the press, is the least onerous and least difficult part of the problem. Whatever replaces the current structure needs to resolve the fate of all those those prisoners and do it in a way that keeps the relatively few real dangers contained."

It is only complicated by those other situations by people wanting to drag their feet. Should the perfect now delay the good? Should basic human rights now be delayed for US government ass-covering on other fronts?

"Not, I think, a simple task. Obama has put the process underway, and nothing would have happened had he not made a start. These decisions, while spare, are a positive development. I'll give him a few months to sort out what comes next and how to best get it done."

Actually, I can't think of a task that is MORE simple. Throw out the shitted bed. If those who shat it are exposed, that HELPS our credibilty in the world. A clean break with bed-shitting. The task is only made complicated by people wanting to shit future beds. So now we are praising Obama for making "starts"? How about we give him a month to come up with reasons why it can't be ended and atoned for in three months, rather than excuses for why it is reasonable for him to say one year? Would it have been acceptable to you if Bush said he needed another year to close Gitmo?

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

but no substantive rebuttal to the position that the decision-making process will have to start from scratch because nothing from BushCo can be trusted, as well as the obvious difficulties in the way of safely placing those who can simply be released.

You do complex projects, herb; why is it that with Obama you can't tell the difference between setting a goal and the intricacy required to accomplish it? Easy enough to say "Look, an empty hill where the wind blows, let's put up a wind farm!" and all the time required for site assessment, enviro, permits, secure funding, line up contractors, establish supply chain, etc etc and then actually get the rigs up in the air. Ten minutes to say "Here's what we'll do" and how long before the juice starts to flow?

I'll put up some comments from others downthread; that's where I'll be if you have something of substance to contribute.

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

I don't have the time or inclination to retype the substance you apparently couldn't bother to read before calling it substanceless. Once again, you squeek and belly-ache that you aren't argued with substantively, but when people bother to take the time to go through your screeds and respond point by point in a manner as substantively as you provide, you brush it off and move on to your next screed.

In other words, you are teaching me that I should just say what Lambert says to you: "I don't have the time to sort out the mindfucking from what's worthwhile."

BTW, thanks for the parable about my own experience (as perceived by you) pointing out lessons you think I should learn. Now that is class. Unfortunately, even using your example disproves your point of my supposed lack of understanding how complex, intricate problems require time to complete. Since I am indeed responsible for and organize (my small part) of huge, and highly complex technical projects, I do indeed have a very clear idea of how quickly complex projects can be successfully completed when the will is there. If the will isn't there, well then .....

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

read your shit spew, got real tired of that same word over and over. No substantive response, that's the problem. Just chopping up what I wrote and then making up a bunch of stuff and ranting isn't substantive. If you don't waste your time writing insubstantial responses, then I won't have to waste my time reading them.

Win-win.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

It isn't at all unreasonable to give the Obama administration a little time to sort out what is going on with these prisoners.

They've been held for how long? If the freaks in the Bush administration couldn't manufacture charges, these guys sure won't. The Obama administration had better already know what's going on (cue Marvin Gaye).

I'm hoping they're sending new guys down there to oversee the release of prisoners to wherever and the closing of what certainly has been a huge black eye for America.

One year is unacceptable.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

What has the matter of how long prisoners have been held at Gitmo got to do with how much of the truth the Obama administration knows or what the proper course going forward might be? I see no relationship.

If you think BushCo hasn't lied to Obama, you're mistaken; they lie like they breath, without pause to think about it.

The whole process, from arrest to setting up a show prison to torture to breaching the Geneva Conventions six different ways to setting up one half-assed biased quasi-judicial farce after another, BushCo has been lying to everyone including themselves for so long about this stuff that they long ago lost any sense of the truth.

I am not shocked that the Obama people need more than a day to sort it all out. Again, if you have answers to the difficulties I outlined above, I'd be delighted to read them.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

What has the matter of how long prisoners have been held at Gitmo got to do with how much of the truth the Obama administration knows or what the proper course going forward might be? I see no relationship.

You see no relationship between the fact that no one (1,2?) has been charged with anything in over six years, in some cases, despite the best efforts of the Bush administration to find some? Six years. Next you'll be telling me that Obama doesn't want to leave Iraq because they still might find WMD's. :)

No, Obama doesn't get a year. There are logistics to be worked out, certainly. But it shouldn't take a year, unless he's afraid to do anything lest he be called soft on terror. Heh.

Submitted by lambert on

One is to read bringiton who, it seems, is all for people getting "fed up" in theory, but never when it comes down to actual cases like this one.

The other is to read what the center for Constitutional Rights says:

January 21, 2009, New York – Center for Constitutional Rights attorneys for Guantánamo detainees responded today to portions of President Obama’s draft executive order to close the offshore prison camp that appeared in the news.

According to accounts, the president will order that Guantánamo “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” In addition, President Obama requested yesterday that the notorious military commissions be halted for 120 days while his administration reviews the cases.

CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren issued the following statement:

It only took days to put these men in Guantanamo, it shouldn’t take a year to get them out.
We are proud that President Obama made addressing Guantánamo one of his first acts in office. Yet we are disappointed that he outlined no concrete steps for closing the base and gave his administration an entire year to sort out its plans – meaning that some men could have been detained indefinitely in terrible conditions for eight full years. Surely he could do better.
President Obama should commit to dismantling the military commissions, not just suspending them, and to prosecuting any cases before federal criminal courts – real courts with real laws.

CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last six years – sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first attorney to meet with a former CIA “ghost detainee.” CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country in order to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. CCR represented the detainees with co-counsel in the most recent argument before the Supreme Court on December 5, 2007.

Life is short. Some choices are easy to make.

NOTE I always admire bringiton's tactical sense; in this case, co-opting NOW NOW NOW. An excellent indicator that this riff is effective! However, there are some things that ought to be done NOW NOW NOW. Restoring Constitutional government and the rule of law is one such. Handing a trillion or so to Hank Paulson's golfing buddies with no transparency and no accountability is not. Nice try. Over and out.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Over the NOW NOW NOW thing. Some targets are simply too tempting to pass up, although my issues with impulse control may be a factor.

And yet...

Neither gq nor lambert nor the wonderful people doing great work at the Center for Constitutional Rights have offered any answers to the very reasonable concerns I detailed. When proffered, I'll be happy to discuss any and all plausable propositions. Until then, I can only assume that no one - including Obama, gq, lambert, and Vincent Warren - has the answers at hand. It must be, as I wrote, a tad more difficult to do than simply saying NOW NOW NOW.

Submitted by lambert on

... from what's worthwhile. Sorry. Lotta real work to do, know what I mean?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

on the factual matters at hand, the mechanics that will allow closing down Gitmo immediately without creating more problems?

Or is the mindfucking only supposed to flow in one direction?

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Kind of like how the Patriot Act was only supposed to be temporary until its sunset kept getting further away until the sun never set, right? Color my cynical, but I'll be surprised if we are even reminded of Gitmo in a year. Presidents count on America's infinitesimal attention span.

Is it really wrong to expect more from a person who expected us to expect more of him? If we're all being too difficult, it's only because he demanded that of us by setting an incredibly high bar from himself. So, who's to blame when he comes up short? I'll tell you isn't: us.

But, we've always been at war with Eastasia...

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

Presidency? Because at 7:35 pm EST Justice Roberts gave the oath again, and Obama took the oath again.
So that's the "he's not really the President" thing out of the way.
Cabinet confirmations -- five of seven on the first afternoon, not too shabby, and Hillary today.
I read someplace there'll be an order on Gitmo tomorrow, so that's either day 2 or day 3, depending on how you count it.
Now, I realize we'd all like to see the shutdown happen already, and I know I'm not the only person who thinks we need jobs yesterday in big bunches.
But there are things you can do overnight, things you can do in five minutes, and things you have to make sure you do right so there's no blowback -- and I would bet real money Gitmo is one of the last category.

I'm looking at lambert's typical response to bringiton (what is it between you guys? can y'all not have a debate without lambert deciding to take toys and go home as a preemptive strike?) and I'm thinking that here is an instance where we all need to take a breath.

NOW NOW NOW NOW worked for Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld / Powell in the runup to the Iraq war, and worked again for Bush / Cheney / Bernanke in the runup to the bailout for the big banks and finance houses.

Neither one of those decisions was walked through in order to prevent blowback, and my bet is we'll all end up wishing both of them had been for a long time to come.

NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW isn't how you do stuff correctly; it isn't how you do stuff you don't have to go back and fix because, not to put too fine a point on it, you got in such a hurry you effed up every possible way you could.

So I'm all for getting closing Gitmo underway, but being sure that we close it in a way that will keep it closed -- and in a way that, unlike so much of the Bush administration's legacy, will be humanly possible to clean up in a timely fashion.

It might take as much as a year, but it may be well worth the time to do this correctly instead of in the biggest of all possible hurries.

Of course, that's just my bullying again.


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

Submitted by jawbone on

From IBIO's NYTimes link about Obama's executive order on torture, dark prison sites, etc.:

The orders, which are the first steps in undoing detention policies of former President George W. Bush, rewrite American rules for the detention of terrorism suspects. They require an immediate review of the 245 detainees still held at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to determine if they should be transferred, released or prosecuted.

And the orders bring to an end a Central Intelligence Agency program that kept terrorism suspects in secret custody for months or years, a practice that has brought fierce criticism from foreign governments and human rights activists. They will also prohibit the C.I.A. from using coercive interrogation methods, requiring the agency to follow the same rules used by the military in interrogating terrorism suspects, government officials said.

And, now for possible loopholes?

But the orders leave unresolved complex questions surrounding the closing of the Guantánamo prison, including whether, where and how many of the detainees are to be prosecuted. They could also allow Mr. Obama to reinstate the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation operations in the future, by presidential order, as some have argued would be appropriate if Osama bin Laden or another top-level leader of Al Qaeda were captured.

The new White House counsel, Gregory B. Craig, briefed lawmakers about some elements of the orders on Wednesday evening. A Congressional official who attended the session said Mr. Craig acknowledged concerns from intelligence officials that new restrictions on C.I.A. methods might be unwise and indicated that the White House might be open to allowing the use of methods other than the 19 techniques allowed for the military.

So far, so good on these issues.

Now, about a real stimulus, without sappy sops to Repubs? Another $500 per taxpayer is not going to result in many jobs.

Ah, we're never satisfied....

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

Obama, or his team, or some combination of them, are making me wonder if maybe I was wrong about how much they would do. Or maybe even *could* do.

That said: what Favreau, Obama and others did to Hillary (and Edwards, and Kucinich, and yes, also, what Rahm is doing to Howard Dean) SUCKS.

No forgiveness there.

But maybe the BHO administration won't turn out to be as bad as I was afraid it would.

Hey, Limbaugh's upset with them already. So there's that much good, to go on ...


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I'm not, even though on these subjects he's made a good start. Obama is at best a mixed bag; soon enough he'll expose the dark side.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

is a bonus in my book.

GODS but I'm sick of that gasbag blowhard asshat dimwit nimrod "comedian".


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Since I'm not worth the time to read, thought some commentary from others might be worthwhile. In addition to the single negative assessment offered above, here are the thoughts of a few clearly delusional slavish Obots after they've passed the Kool-aid jug around.

Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

These executive orders represent a giant step forward. Putting an end to Guantanamo, torture and secret prisons is a civil liberties trifecta, and President Obama should be highly commended for this bold and decisive action so early in his administration on an issue so critical to restoring an America we can be proud of again.

Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

By shutting Guantanamo, ending torture, and closing the CIA secret prisons abroad, President Obama has given America a much-needed and significant break from the Bush administration policies that, with utter disregard for our Constitution, trampled our nation’s values and ideals. Today’s executive orders are significant steps towards restoring the rule of law in America....

Some caveats follow, need to track follow through, make sure the orders are actually followed, that kind of stuff, but obviously the ACLU is in Obama's pocket and can no longer be trusted.

Jennifer Daskal, Senior Counterterrorism Counsel at Human Rights Watch:

With the stroke of a pen, President Obama will make great progress toward restoring America's moral authority. By shutting down a global symbol of abuse, he will deprive terrorists of a powerful recruitment tool. The executive order will allow the Obama administration to begin a thorough and sensible process to close Guantanamo. We hope and expect that by January 2010 every detainee will either be facing criminal charges in a fair process or be released.

She said "hope"! That cuts it; Human Rights Watch has sold out, absolutely clear that they care nothing about human rights.

Elisa Massimino, Executive Director and CEO of Human Rights First:

It's exactly the kind of bold action that is necessary. Both the speed and the content will send a clear message to our own people and the rest of the world that what he said ... he meant.

President Obama promised to reject the false choice between our safety and our ideals as a nation. Today he's making good on that promise. These orders mark a clean break from the Bush Administration's policies of torture, unjust trials and prolonged detention without charge. Those policies fueled terrorist recruitment and stained the reputation of the United States. Today is the beginning of the end of that sorry chapter in our nation's history. The message this sends to the world could not be clearer - the United States is ready to reclaim its role as a nation committed to human rights and the rule of law.

By announcing an end to the policies that brought us Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, President Obama has ripped down al Qaeda's recruiting poster. The firm and definitive one-year deadline for closing Guantanamo creates time pressure to resolve the inevitable challenges fixing this mess poses, while allowing enough time to address those problems in a thoughtful way consistent with national security.

What's that you say? Addressing things in a thoughtful way? Concern for national security? What the hell! Why do that when a pell-mell heedless rush is clearly what's called for.

But wait, there's more!

For the past several years a group of retired admirals and generals have been working through Human Rights First to lobby against the Bush administration on torture, the use of secret prisons, Gitmo and other prisons where people are being held without due process. They began working with the Obama transition team last summer, laying out the processes and policy considerations for closing down the prisons and restoring American policy to civilized norms. If you saw the ceremony, they were the distinguished looking fellows standing behind President Obama. From their press release:

President Obama's actions today will restore the moral authority and strengthen the national security of the United States. It is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that the United States never sanction the use of interrogation methods that we would find unacceptable if inflicted by an enemy against captured Americans.

We commend President Obama for acting quickly through these executive orders to enforce a single standard of humane treatment for all U.S. intelligence interrogations. As Commander in Chief, he has provided clarity throughout the military chain of command.

By unequivocally rejecting torture and other cruel and inhumane treatment, shutting down secret prisons, providing Red Cross access to prisoners in U.S. custody, rejecting the legal opinions that facilitated and excused torture, and announcing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison, President Obama has rejected the false choice between national security and our ideals. Our Nation will be stronger and safer for it."

Clearly, I am not the only person who has been co-opted by Obama's secret mind control ray. Don't know why I'm so easily taken in; perhaps my head isn't as hard as some other people's.

[Note: All of the executive orders around the issues of torture, prisons and disposition of prisoners can be viewed at Human Rights First.]