November 18, 2009

"Obama admits Guantanamo won't close by Jan. deadline."

WaPo headline.

Well, then, I have won the bet I made with Emily Bazelon last January:



And I'm glad Guantanamo will be kept open. It's needed and useful. But Obama is being weaselly about it:
"People, I think understandably, are fearful after a lot of years where they were told that Guantanamo was critical to keep terrorists out," Obama said. Closing the facility, he added, is "also just technically hard."
Obama came to office pledging to shut a detainee facility that had become a symbol for prisoner abuse at the hands of American officials. He signed orders to shut the military prison by January 2010, but White House officials quickly encountered resistance from members of Congress opposed to moving prisoners to U.S. soil and from other countries they had hoped would accept detainees.
It's Bush's fault for making people fearful, don't you know? It's not that he's actually come to see the value of the place.
There was also a tangle of legal issues involving what to do with suspected terrorists who had been tortured in prison in a way that jeopardized the integrity of the evidence against them, or who for other reasons could not stand trial.

Last week, the administration announced that it will try five Guantanamo prisoners -- including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-declared mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- in federal court in New York. The fate of dozens of other detainees remains in limbo.
So, presumably, this new announcement was timed to follow last week's announcement that KSM would be tried in NYC. Maybe what came first was the realization that Guantanamo would need to remain open, and then something was needed to placate those who put their hope in Obama that he would close the place. Oh, what will we do? I've got an idea! Let's put on a show! Let's try KSM in NYC!

138 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

So what did you win from Emily Bazelon?

Dogwood said...

This administration needs to post "Caution: Children at Play" signs on every entrance of the White House.

Henry said...

Brazelton: "Well, you know, expectations are obviously so enormously high for Obama."

It's been all downhill from the expectations, hasn't it Emily.

Pogo said...

"I've got an idea! Let's put on a show!"

LOL.


'I'll make the costumes, and we can use your dad's barn!'

This site needs a commenter who can write show tunes.
Chip can animate.
The 1931 Obamafeld Follies.

m00se said...

Of course, the longer he keeps the Bush institutions around, the longer he can point back to Bush to fix blame on his current problems.

Henry said...

Next best moment: "You think all 245 you are left are there for a really good reason?"

Brazelton seems stunned by the idea that the number of actual terrorists the U.S. has captured in years of combat could be more than single digits.

She's all into the symbolic acts, isn't she? Check out her statement starting at 7:16. Hers is a view of Al Quaeda as an radical theatre troupe. Why not let them out?

Scott M said...

I wonder what the ratio of jobs created/saved is to Obama's prisons closed/moved.

I suppose to get a good number, though, you would have to have an accurate count of congressional districts and numbers of prisons. I'm not sure the administration can handle either task.

And they want to do what with healthcare?

MadisonMan said...

The terms of the bet were never mentioned. Echoing Fred, what did you win?

I wouldn't trade it, whatever it is, for what's behind door #3. Maybe curtain 2.

Dave said...

'It's not that he's actually come to see the value of the place.'

How do you know he has?

As for putting on a show, you are correct. The world will get to see the benefits of the american judicial system and of an open society. No 'show' could offer a greater contrast to the barbaric vision of KSM and his associates.

Kansas City said...

It does seem like the Obama administration is slowly being exposed as amateur hour; however, what damage will their incompetance and naivite produce?

I have never understood the logic of closing Guantanamo. We have terrorist prisoners, we need a place to keep them, and we have a top quality facility at Guantanamo. If we close it, we just need to put them somewhere else.

I suspect the "close Guantanamo" policy was always just a useful political line to criticize Bush and win some votes (although it gained such traction, even Bush and republicans supported it). The notion that Guantanamo was some type of damaging symbol to the world and incitement for terrorism always seemed to just be made up nonsense without any factual basis - it assumed that the keeping terrorists in Guantanamo was bad, but moving them to Peoria would fix the problem. It always seemed obvious that if keeping these terrorists imprisoned was a problem, that problem was not caused by the geographical location of the prison and it was a problem that did not have a solution that would not cause greater problems.

If Obama and his folks genuinely believe that closing Guantanom will produce signficant benefits, then I suppose it is even worse for us than if they know it was just a political line.

rdkraus said...

No worries mate. BO has already convicted the bad guys and sentenced them to death. From the Corner today:

In a meeting with the press in China, President Obama said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be "convicted" and had "the death penalty applied to him" ... and then said he wasn't "pre-judging" the case. He made the second statement after it was pointed out to him — by NBC's Chuck Todd — that the first statement would be taken as the President's interfering in the trial process. Obama said that wasn't his intention. I'm sure it wasn't — he's trying to contain the political damage caused by his decision — but that won't matter. He has given the defense its first motion that the executive branch, indeed the President himself, is tainting the jury pool. Nice work.

See. A show trial. The verdice is already in.

Maguro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maguro said...

Lucky old KSM gets all the benefits of the American judicial system and our open society, but the rest of the detainees get to rot in Bush's gulag. Meanwhile, we continue to kill their associates in AfPak with missiles and laser-guided bombs without any pretense of due process.

How does any of this make sense?

Triangle Man said...

I wouldn't trade it, whatever it is, for what's behind door #3. Maybe curtain 2.

What if I show you a goat behind door # 3?

Scott M said...

@Dave

I sincerely hope so...though I'm very skeptical.

@rdkraus

He has given the defense its first motion that the executive branch, indeed the President himself, is tainting the jury pool. Nice work.

I hadn't seen this yet, but will check it out. If 100% true, it will rank up there with the "police stupidity" comment that kicked off the Great Cambridge Beer Summit.

Kirk Parker said...

Pogo, let's be sure to bring Trooper back as the scriptwriter.

Floydster said...

It's needed and useful.

Only if you feel the need to violate American and international law.

Oh, those laws against things like torture are so pesky!!

Comrade X said...

That was an easy fix, but goes so far in improving our country and our country's reputation worldwide.

a quote from a friend of mine in January re Gitmo.

Ricardo said...

If today has a consistent theme, then "the bet" was for something that has to do with food. A dinner out? A piece of cake?

holdfast said...

rdkraus:

So what you are saying is that Obambi just handed KSM another argument in his "I can't get a fair trial" defence?

rdkraus said...

Totally.

But even worse. The whole idea is to make it "look" like a fair trial, and here comes President Bozo to announce the verdice and death sentence before it even starts. He's undermined all those high falutin (sp?) arguments about showing what fair guys we are.

rdkraus said...

Why can't I spell verdict ???

??????????

Der Hahn said...

I live about a hundred miles from the white elephant state pen that Illinois wants to sell to the Feds for 'Gitmo in the snow'.

The way this gets pushed as a good decision because it will create jobs for prison guards is disgusting.

If a private company wanted to buy the facility and run it for profit, every single one of these Democrat Congresscritters pushing for it to house terrorists would be claiming it was a horrid idea.

Oh, and Dave, see rdkaus's post above. KSM is going to remain in US custody until he dies, regardless of the outcome of the trial. The world isn't going to see the US justice system at work, it's going to watch the Obamanauts fulfilling their wet dream fantasies of putting Cheney and W in the dock.

Scott M said...

@rdkraus

Why can't I spell verdict ???

I'm far more concerned about your apparently inability to spell falootin' correctly.

PatCA said...

Bams has also announced that there may be, oh, more or less 75 prisoners there who are too dangerous to release. Hey, why don't we move them to NYC too? Then we can have show trials easily produced whenever the Dems need a lift or a diversion.

So, basically, he is changing the location but not the spirit of Gitmo.

*clunk* The sound of his approval numbers tanking.

Comrade X said...

this is the 2nd time Obama has broken his word on Gitmo. The first was when he decided to keep Gitmo open for 25% of his term after promising to close it Day 1.

So how long will it be open? 50% of his term? 75%? 100%?

Scott M said...

"apparent"

lol

Scott said...

Some former British colonies (like Malaysia and Singapore) have preventive detention laws -- if the government deems you dangerous or a nuisance and doesn't want to run you through the courts, they can just pick you up and put you away indefinitely, without trial.

Gitmo was the United States government's way of creating a preventive detention system which would otherwise be barred by the Constitution.

Our country needs a constitutional framework for dealing with stateless enemy combatants. But rather than confronting the issue on its own terms and trying to pass an amendment, the Bush Administration did the chickenshit thing and did an end-run around the Constitution. Obama isn't up to the task, either.

rick said...

I am guessing unemployment will not be 8 per cent by February either.

Triangle Man said...

I live about a hundred miles from the white elephant state pen that Illinois wants to sell to the Feds for 'Gitmo in the snow'.

Madison is about 100 miles from Thomson, IL, and Chicago is about 150 miles.

John said...

"Baylzon seems stunned by the idea that the number of actual terrorists the U.S. has captured in years of combat could be more than single digits."

That is because she is an idiot. These people have convinced themselves that 9-11, Bali, Mubai and the like never happened and the whole thing was invented by George Bush to get re-elected. In less dangerous times, people like her are just amusingly stupid. In civilized times, they are never allowed to have a voice in things. In dangerous times, their ignorance is not funny, it is a menace.

I note none of the liberal trolls have showed up on this thread to take the beating they so richly deserve. I thought GUITMO was a conenctration camp and the US holocaust? Is BO now a war criminal?

Triangle Man said...

So how long will it be open? 50% of his term? 75%? 100%?

He'll get to it in his second term.

rick said...

rdkraus comment regarding the Bamster tainting the jury pool reminds of the old west where the sheriff tells the crook ....." we're gonna give ya a FAIR trial, then we're gonna hang ya"

m00se said...

"Due process".

Explain to me the due process of Predator strikes in Pakistan? What, there is none necessary as they are acts of war?

1) We're at war with Pakistan?
2) Aren't the detaninees in Gitmo prisoners of war, therefore not entitled to "due process"?

Fabulous amounts of bullshit...

c3 said...

I believe our President is gradually understanding the fuller meaning of this speech

garage mahal said...

I'm with Guiliani - Bush sent Moussaoui through our judicial system. Now that was awesome. This, under Obama, is treasonous though.

shoutingthomas said...

Bazelon must retire from public life.

She's argued that the white firemen who were denied promotion in Boston profited unfairly from their families' generational involvement in fire fighting.

To quote Steve Sailer: "[Bazelon] is the granddaughter of Judge David L. Bazelon and cousin of feminist Betty Friedan."

Bazelon must cease writing, and particularly cease any involvement in the law, since her position was gained through white privilege.

When do you plan to quit, Emily?

John said...

"I'm with Guiliani - Bush sent Moussaoui through our judicial system. Now that was awesome. This, under Obama, is treasonous though."


Perhaps it was a mistake in both cases? Bush got raked for putting Moussaoui into the criminal justice system.

Beyond that, how is that closing GUITMO thing going? How does it feel to have Obama make you look like a complete moron? For seven years you and your ilk screamed bloody murder about GUITMO and now Obama is keeping it open. Either he is a war criminal or you are an awfully cheap date. Don't worry though, I am sure he still respects you and he is going to call you real soon.

t-man said...

[B]ut he said he hoped to still achieve that goal sometime next year.

Wasn't that a movie with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn?

I wonder how Excitable Andy will spin this.

wv: kibill- what former President Clinton ate while in the doghouse during the Monica Lewinsky unpleasantness

Scott M said...

@t-man

"Same Time, Next Year" and for the love of God don't ask me how I know that from memory.

I was a tad too young to be swept up in all of the Alan Alda cult of personality, but I read and re-read my Bloom County collections all the time and he's mentioned over and over again as the epitome of the sensitive new 80's guy.

Is that where American men started down the road to wussydom?

Dogwood said...

Our country needs a constitutional framework for dealing with stateless enemy combatants. But rather than confronting the issue on its own terms and trying to pass an amendment, the Bush Administration did the chickenshit thing and did an end-run around the Constitution. Obama isn't up to the task, either.

IIRC, Congress created a military tribunal system for dealing with the detainees, we should use it.

John said...

"IIRC, Congress created a military tribunal system for dealing with the detainees, we should use it."

We are for other detainees. The commissions are still going to go forward. Remember how people like claimed the tribunals were so bad? Well Obama is going to use them. I hope garage and jeremy are enoying Obama sodomizing them because I gaurentee you Obama is.

AllenS said...

When the actors are chosen for the 1931 Obamafeld Follies, could I play the waterboarder? Please?

garage mahal said...

Beyond that, how is that closing GUITMO thing going? How does it feel to have Obama make you look like a complete moron?

Why would I look like a moron? I didn't send anyone to Gitmo that we now don't know what to do with, and neither did Obama for that matter. You should be the one feeling like a moron for clapping for the clusterfuck that is GITMO.

c3 said...

Is it "GUITMO" or "GITMO"?

John said...

"Why would I look like a moron? I didn't send anyone to Gitmo that we now don't know what to do with, and neither did Obama for that matter. You should be the one feeling like a moron for clapping for the clusterfuck that is GITMO."

We know exactly what to do with them. Try them by commission and hang them. Your side claimed we couldn't do that. Your side claimed that GUITMO was another Auschwitz and the worst thing in American history. Now, your side is keeping it open. And you have all been revealed to be complete hypocrites who never meant a word of anything you said about GUITMO.

Is Obama being easy on you? Is he using protection? I hope so.

garage mahal said...

We know exactly what to do with them. Try them by commission and hang them.

And, Bush didn't do this, because?*
What was the hold up? And why did he release nearly half the prisoners that entered GITMO?

*You probably know why, but I doubt you will admit it.

traditionalguy said...

The Obamanation is screwing with us the best that he can. It's one step backwards and two steps forward. He cannot do it all at once or us frogs he is cooking will hop out of the water he is boiling us in. If Barack is not a moslem believer, then he has decided to impersonate one to fool them. But they are smarter than that. But are we smart enough to percieve his tricks when we wish him to succeed as the first Black President so much?

Alex said...

Sorry, but the left said that Gitmo was worse then Auschwitz. They should have closed it DAY ONE. They didn't. The left is full of shit.

former law student said...

Scott's right -- Using Guantanamo to house a hodgepodge of Muslims -- under American control yet beyond judicial oversight -- was Bush's endrun around the Constitution. Obama vowed to shut it because his administration intended to comply with the Constitution. But fearful Republicans now argue that these terrorists are so dangerous that they must be kept at least 90 miles away from the mainland. It is the pushback from gutless whiners which has delayed the closing of Guantanamo.

Alex said...

If our country had any testicular manhood, we'd execute every single jihadi as soon as we tortured every last bit of info out of them.

Alex said...

FLS - all this leftie hand-wringing about po' innocent Mooslimes just means we will let Egypt do the torturing, and those guys REALLY torture. Nothing milquetoast about the way they do it. Pulling fingernails out and shit like that.

Scott M said...

My simple question to garage and his side is...where is the level of bitching and moaning about Guantanamo now, especially after your knight in shining armor fails on his promise to close it?

Is it any less worse than Auschwitz now? Is our reputation any less tarnished now? Have we lost less moral authority?
Is it a smaller black eye?
Is it any less illegal?

Even if you buy any of the tripe the left leveled at Gauntanamo, not a sausage of it changed just because someone else is in the White House...except that he's your guy now and to criticize him would be to aid and abet the conservatives...

So much for objective truth. Hurrah for hype over substance.

Alex said...

Scott M - remember we Americans are little Eichmanns.

Alex said...

Bill Whittle explains why uniformless jihadis should be tortured and killed w/o "due process":

http://www.pjtv.com/v/2716

Maguro said...

It is the pushback from gutless whiners which has delayed the closing of Guantanamo.

Hee hee. Everything is the fault of the all-powerful Republicans who can't even mount a filibuster in the Senate.

John said...

"Scott's right -- Using Guantanamo to house a hodgepodge of Muslims -- under American control yet beyond judicial oversight -- was Bush's endrun around the Constitution. Obama vowed to shut it because his administration intended to comply with the Constitution. But fearful Republicans now argue that these terrorists are so dangerous that they must be kept at least 90 miles away from the mainland. It is the pushback from gutless whiners which has delayed the closing of Guantanamo."


That is pathetic. What is Obama not President? He can't take a little criticism from the other side. If GUITMO is unconstitutional and so bad, Obama is pretty pathetic in not closing it because the opposition won't like it.

Everything liberals said about GUITMO was a complete lie. They dind't care about and only claimed it was bad as a way of scoring political points. It will still be open in 2012. Liberals are lying hypocrites.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Is Obama being easy on you? Is he using protection? I hope so.

Marion Wormer: You can take your thumb out of my ass any time now, Carmine.

Animal House, 1978

Big Mike said...

I think we should close the Gauntanamo facility and release all 245 detainees on the streets of Chicago.

Mayor Daley will know what to do.

Cedarford said...

Lets not forget that it wasn't just Obama campaigning to close GITMO.
The excretable John McCain was marching arm-in-arm with Obama on closing what the great war hero who suffered so much" (TM) called an "abomination". Joined of course by the even more excretable Teddy Kennedy, Jean Claude Kerry, and Lindsay "the human weasel" Graham demanding GITMO be closed ASAP.

(For Cult of Palin fans - no doubt she opposed closing GITMO. but she was nothing in the big scheme of things in the debates. At least the people who were actually campaigning for President against Obama and McCain were put on record. Hillary triangulated but in the end didn't demand immediate closure "pending consultations to see who'd take the terrorists. Fred THompson and Mike Huckabee said keep it open, fuck the ACLU, Kenneth Roth of HRW, and the Euroweenies. Romney famously said he hoped to DOUBLE the number of Islamoids there.)

================
garage mahal said...
"We know exactly what to do with them. Try them by commission and hang them."

And, Bush didn't do this, because?*
Progressive jews of the ACLU tied things up in court and blocked tribunals. Then after narrow 5-4 SCOTUS decisions, Congress changed the military commission laws and they were back to square one of prep for trials.

What was the hold up?
ACLU, others on the Left, Democrats in Congress, Muslim lawsuits, fear the CIA would be forced to reveal sources, agents, and methods if Congress or the Courts enforced new terrorist rights.

And why did he release nearly half the prisoners that entered GITMO?

Political pressure, Garage. In the end, Bush was all about Iraq, more pork for his Corporatist pals, and worship of the "Heroes"...he knew that a few thousand terrorists on the run were no real problem. If he released a few that later went on to kill, so what? Blame it on the liberals.

*You probably know why, but I doubt you will admit it.

That is what is called "projecting", Garage. You know why, but you won't admit it.

Big Mike said...

Show trials!?! Just like Moscow in the 1930's! We're only 71 years behind the Soviets.

Except that the Soviets are gone now, and there's only the 21st century Democrat party.

Comrade X said...

Gitmo that we now don't know what to do with

we're all war criminals now.

Robert Cook said...

Dogwood said,

"This administration needs to post "Caution: Children at Play" signs on every entrance of the White House."

No, the signs should say "Don't Worry: Business as usual."

m00se said,

"Of course, the longer he keeps the Bush institutions around, the longer he can point back to Bush to fix blame on his current problems."

No, by keeping Bush institutions and policies in place, Obama has now claimed them as his own. They are his institutions and policies now. Fucking loser and war criminal.

John said...

I will give you credit Cook, at least you are consistent. You are wrong but you are consistent. And yes they are Obama's policies now. Anyone who objected to them under Bush and doens't now is a hypocrite.

Robert Cook said...

Kansas City wonders,

"I have never understood the logic of closing Guantanamo. We have terrorist prisoners, we need a place to keep them, and we have a top quality facility at Guantanamo. If we close it, we just need to put them somewhere else."

Guantanamo was not utilized as a prison camp for these men simply as a "place to put them." It was an attempt to circumvent legal requirements regarding their treatment that would pertain if they were imprisoned in America. The Bushies hoped such legal requirements would not apply to prisoners kept outside our borders. The Supreme Court repudiated their thinking on this matter several times.

Scott M said...

Anyone who objected to them under Bush and doesn't now is a hypocrite.

This is the thrust of the entire argument. Consistency will slide of the left's back like rules for filling vacant Senate seats in Massachusetts.

Robert Cook said...

Alex makes up stuff,

"...the left said that Gitmo was worse then Auschwitz."

Did they? Where?

Triangle Man said...

Why are people capitalizing Gitmo? Is there a backronym? Can we make one?

Scott M said...

@RC

A simple, quick search yielded numerous hits with articles and blogs in which Guantanamo is either called American's Auschwitz or some making some other comparison between the two.

You could be right, though. I don't see the word "worse" anywhere.

That's a mighty fine needle you're threading there.

Dave said...

@ Scott M
I'm guessing you don't watch or read much liberal commentary, like MSNBC or various liberal bloggers. One thing the left has not been timid about is criticizing Obama on a wide variety of issues.

He's been criticized from the left on health care, on the environment, on the decision to use the military tribunal system for some detainees, etc. Should he fail to close GITMO, he will come receive his share of scorn from the left for that, as well.

But it is important to remember that he has said that he will miss the deadline to close GITMO, not that he won't close it at all. Perhaps, you, like Ann, believe he will keep it open. That remains to be seen.

John said...

Cook,

These people are not entitled to due process under US law. They are entitled to an Article 5 trubunal under the Geneva Conventions to determine if they are EPWs. The mistake Bush made was not conducting Article 5 trbunals early. There is a long history of these tribunals in international law. The are a rough and ready tribunal conducted by military officers. Once it was determined that someone like KSM was not abiding by the laws of war, we could then hold him and subject him to trial by military tribunal just like we did at Nuremburg and Tokyo.

Further, by granting KSM a trial you are encouraging terrorism. The reason why for 100s of years people found on a battlefield in civilian clothes were hung, was to protect civilians. If combatants hide among civilians, militaries are forced to target civilians. If you abide by the laws of war and wear a uniform, you can be shot on site and held as an EPW with no due process. But, thanks to people like you, if you are a terrorist, you get a gold plated trial in New York. You are helping to make asyemtric warfare both effective and more desireable and lower risk than ordinary warfare.

Lastly, it is a really bad idea to have a trial where the accused is so vile and dangerous no jury or judge would ever let them off. The saying “bad cases make bad law” is a cliché for a reason. The judge in the KSM case will bend over backwards to make sure KSM is convicted. The appellate courts will do the same. No one wants to be the guy who let him off. The problem with that is that they will make all kinds of screwy and destructive rulings justifying the use of government power that will then be precedence for other criminal cases. Some day when a guy gets convicted on a two bit federal charge thanks to the KSM rules that will no doubt result from this trial, we will have Eric Holder and his liberal and libertarian enablers to thank. KSM and his case is like a virus that should be isolated from the civilian justice system.

Know nothings like you are helping to destroy both the international laws of war and our justice system. It is astounding how foolish you are.

Robert Cook said...

ScottM:

Thanks, but one can always find isolated hotheads who will make all sorts of inflated and inapt comparisons.

By saying "the left said blah de blah," Alex asserts that a significant or majority of those who opposed Bush's illegal wars and ancillary practices and policies are in agreement with and have promoted the comparison of Gitmo to Auschwitz. That's just not so.

miller said...

It's not "Gitmo" -- it's GUILTMO, as in a tool used to berate Amerikkka and Amerikkkans for being the WORST PEOPLE EVAH!

Thanks, MC President and Holder! You have made us all so much safer from the raised eyebrows of the Fwench.

garage mahal said...

Political pressure, Garage. In the end, Bush was all about Iraq, more pork for his Corporatist pals, and worship of the "Heroes"...he knew that a few thousand terrorists on the run were no real problem. If he released a few that later went on to kill, so what? Blame it on the liberals.

Then why not release them all and blame it on dirty hippies and the ACLU? Answer is half are/were terrorists [that we can't try because we tortured them, and can't kill them because everyone knows who they are] and half weren't guilty of anything, but the result from bumbling desperate Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld sweeps.

Scott M said...

@Dave

I do, in fact, listen to quite a bit. In fact, I was listening yesterday when Mark Thompson (Make It Plain, Sirius Left) made the statement in all seriousness that the only reason we used the atomic weapons on Japan and not Germany was because Japan was full of people-of-color (should I capitalize People Of Color?). Not because Germany officially surrendered in May and the first successful test blast wasn’t until mid-July, mind you, but that evil, racist Americans would rather fry yellow people than possible family members.

In any case, I don’t really have a horse in this race, so I don’t care when/if he closes it, honestly. I’m far more concerned about the level of discourse on this topic than the actual topic. I have heard plenty of what I would deem rumbling and half-hearted complaining about President Obama not keeping his promise to close the camp, but nothing like the electrified railing against Bush when he was the one in charge. What I hear, instead, is a lot of excuses and blame on the other side. Any honest, passionate bitching that I’ve heard from radio punditry on the left was prefaced, both times, with “I know we’re not supposed to air our dirty laundry out where conservatives can see it” which, to me, is simply outrageous in the context of honest debate.

I agree with Cook. It’s his problem now. It’s been damned near a year. Politically speaking, this is another body on the dog pile of issues the RNC is going to crucify the DNC with next year if he doesn’t do something about it PDQ.

@Robert Cook

Thanks, but one can always find isolated hotheads who will make all sorts of inflated and inapt comparisons.

Good point. I’ll invite you to remember your own words the next time you feel the urge to paint with a very broad brush re conservatives.

Robert Cook said...

Scott M:

By all means; I'd appreciate it.

Arturius said...

Actually I think we as Americans should simply adopt the same kind of stiff upper lip realization that our British cousins took with regard to the IRA; that is, accept that Islamic jihadists are what they are and simply attempt to contain their actions to an acceptable level of violence.

If we lose a few thousand civilians every 5-10 years, its a small price to pay for living up to the standards we have established for respecting due process.

Michael said...

Scott M:

It is "peoples of color"

Scott M said...

@Michael

It is "peoples of color"

I'm very sorry, but Mark Thompson, who from the photographic evidence is a black dude (Black Dude?), said "people of color". I couldn't hear the caps over the radio so that's why I questioned it.

Since I'm pigment-challenged, I could never truly understand. Thus, I have to ask.

John said...

Actually I think we as Americans should simply adopt the same kind of stiff upper lip realization that our British cousins took with regard to the IRA; that is, accept that white supremicists are what they are and simply attempt to contain their actions to an acceptable level of violence.

If we lose a few thousand black people and gay people every 5-10 years, its a small price to pay for living up to the standards we have established for respecting due process.

Doesn't sound so good does it? Further, if we dick around they will get their hands on bio or chemical weapons and we will lose a lot more than a few thousand. And further, the British were total assholes to the Irish. They had detention policies that would make Dick Cheney blush. What the hell are you talking about?

Kansas City said...

I don't understand Dick Cook's response by my post. I stated:

"I have never understood the logic of closing Guantanamo. We have terrorist prisoners, we need a place to keep them, and we have a top quality facility at Guantanamo. If we close it, we just need to put them somewhere else."

Cook said:

Guantanamo was not utilized as a prison camp for these men simply as a "place to put them." It was an attempt to circumvent legal requirements regarding their treatment that would pertain if they were imprisoned in America. The Bushies hoped such legal requirements would not apply to prisoners kept outside our borders. The Supreme Court repudiated their thinking on this matter several times.

OKAY, Cook is correct to some extent, but how does anything he said respond to my point? He claims the Supreme Court repudiated Bush's attempt to "circumvent legal requirements" [whatever that means, I think you can tell Cook is not a lawyer]. If that is true, now it is just a matter of where to put them, because "legal requiremnts" need to be complied with when they are in Guantanamo.

Arturius said...

And further, the British were total assholes to the Irish. They had detention policies that would make Dick Cheney blush. What the hell are you talking about?

Well the British were total assholes to a fair amount of the people who were subjects of the Empire but I'd say they did a better job of PR with regard to their historical legacy than we are with ours, but I digress.

My point is that we are simply going to have to accept that there are Islamic jihadists and probably always will be and they're going to always be gunning for us. We also have to accept that we have a legal system that provides for due process of the law. Simply put, we can't pretend KSM is getting due process at the same time we're launching Predator drones at 'suspected terrorist' camps because that's not how due process works. Either go in and arrest them or leave them alone.

I appreciate your concern John, I really do, however, my comment was more to garage mahal, Robert Cook and others who think that combating Islamic jihadists is akin to taking on the Cosa Nostra.

Scott M said...

@Arturius

While I think your argument about the detainees vs their cave/camp dwelling brethren is an interesting one, in the context of predator drones and due process, there's a fine point to be made.

If I'm part of a platoon of infantry that's assaulting an objective and a firefight ensues, if I'm in the squad that's sweeping across the target area, I'm double-tapping everything in sight, whether they're horizontal or vertical. The laws regarding prisoners only kick in after the area is secure and we start rounding them up.

In this sense, there is no due process while we're sweeping through (akin to the predator), but there is a HUGE amount of regulation regarding how those POW's are dealt with immediately after an attack (akin to the detainees).

This may be different, but that's how it was when I was in.

John said...

They are waging war on us. We have every right to act in our own self defense and the self defense of the sovereign nation of Aghanistan and kill them. The are just irregular forces. It has always been legal and proper to kill irregular forces when the host country refuses to control them. Our strikes in Pakistan are perfectly legal.

Maguro said...

Simply put, we can't pretend KSM is getting due process at the same time we're launching Predator drones at 'suspected terrorist' camps because that's not how due process works. Either go in and arrest them or leave them alone.

Go up to their caves and serve them arrest warrants? That's a good one!

I've got a better way to make our behavior consistent. Let's carry on with the drone attacks and hang KSM after a quick military tribunal.

Robert Cook said...

"They are waging war on us. We have every right to act in our own self defense...."

That's mighty handy that we can be acting in self-defense in wars that we started.

"Our strikes in Pakistan are perfectly legal."

Why make fine distinctions? Everything we do everywhere in the world--invasions of countries, assassinations, kidnapping, torture--is legal and just and just plain right, because we're America, by gosh!!

Robert Cook said...

Kansas City said,

"I don't understand Dick Cook's response by my post."

Your question implied that you thought we were utilizing Gitmo primarily because it was a handy and secure place to hold our captives. I was just pointing out that that had nothing to do with the decision to hold them there.

Alex said...

Cook - you seem to have a deep abiding hatred of the USA. What has this country done that's so horrible to you?

Arturius said...

That's mighty handy that we can be acting in self-defense in wars that we started.

Robert, I'll grant you Iraq, but are you implying that the 9/11 attacks were initiated by our own government as a casus belli to start a war in a country that has zero strategic value for the United States?

Unless you can point to some credible evidence that the Bush administration had some grand scheme for Afghan/Iraqi conquest 8 months into his first term, I doubt we'd be in either country had it not been for 9/11.

Alex said...

Arturius - we got attacked on 9/11 for having a base in KSA. Bin Laden said so.

Alex said...

Not only that but Al Queda bombed the Khobar Towers in 1996, that should have sent us the message to GTFO of KSA. Instead we kept our imperialist presence. Now, mind you without Western expertise, no oil would be pumping out of the ground in KSA...

Robert Cook said...

"Robert, I'll grant you Iraq, but are you implying that the 9/11 attacks were initiated by our own government as a casus belli to start a war in a country that has zero strategic value for the United States?"

Not at all. I'm saying that stateless terrorists attacked us on 9/11, not Afghanistan.

Alex said...

Cook - who funded the 9/11 terrorists? If you did any research at all you'd know that it came from KSA, Yemen, Egypt... Do you deny that?

Robert Cook said...

"Unless you can point to some credible evidence that the Bush administration had some grand scheme for Afghan/Iraqi conquest 8 months into his first term, I doubt we'd be in either country had it not been for 9/11."

Persons inside the Bush administration have spoken of Bush's desire immediately upon being appointed President to effect "regime change" in Iraq. One of these was Paul O'Neill, his first Treasury Secretary:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml

There's also this: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1221.htm

Alex said...

Cookie - you gave away the game when you said Bush was "appointed". You lose, loony.

John said...

"Why make fine distinctions? Everything we do everywhere in the world--invasions of countries, assassinations, kidnapping, torture--is legal and just and just plain right, because we're America, by gosh!!"

Cook. It is okay that you don't know anyting about international law. Most people don't. But it would be nice if you would at least try to learn something. It would be nice if you at least tried to understand the history of irregular warfare and self defense. Sometimes, you almost make intelligent points. But then you revert back to willful ignorance. It is like believing these things is more about emotional satisfaction than knowing or learning anything. Sad.

Robert Cook said...

"Cook - who funded the 9/11 terrorists? If you did any research at all you'd know that it came from KSA, Yemen, Egypt... Do you deny that?"

Then shouldn't we have invaded Yemen and Egypt instead of Iraq and Afghanistan?

Scott M said...

@Cook

Persons inside the Bush administration have spoken of Bush's desire immediately upon being appointed President to effect "regime change" in Iraq.

You do realize that an act of Congress was signed by Bill Clinton in 1998 that called for that very regime change and even, if memory serves, pointed to Saddam by name?

If my calender works, that predates Bush's entire administration, does it not?

Arturius said...

Not at all. I'm saying that stateless terrorists attacked us on 9/11, not Afghanistan.

Robert, you seem to be overlooking that the 'stateless terrorists' were using Afghanistan as a safe harbor, in point of fact, we're considered guests of the Taliban which were for all intents and purposes, controlling the country. Perhaps its a minor point to you but hardly irrelevant in the fact that we could have either 1) gone to Afghanistan in retaliation or 2)followed the Clintonian policy of launching a few cruise missiles followed by somber lip biting.

Or just done nothing at all which, by the tone of your posts on this subject, seems to be your preferred course of action.

Robert Cook said...

"You lose, loony."

I'm sure it makes you feel good to think so.

Alex said...

Except Afghanistan has never been a "state" the way we define it. It's just a landmass with constantly warring tribes. It's more accurate to say that the Taliban used Afghanistan as a home base to train terrorists. Some of the 9/11 hijackers did train there, not all. Some of them trained in Iraq on a mock-up airliner in hijacking techniques. However the war in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, just provided the pretext.

Nobody forced Colin Powell to go before the UN with that ambiguous photograph of supposed WMD site. If he had any principles, he'd have resigned right before that and gone to the fawning liberal press and become their darling.

Robert Cook said...

"You do realize that an act of Congress was signed by Bill Clinton in 1998 that called for that very regime change and even, if memory serves, pointed to Saddam by name?"

And...? An invasion of a country that has not attacked us does not become legal merely because Congress passes an act calling for "regime change." But in fact, the "Iraq Liberation Act" merely announces "support" for regime change. That's not a call for invasion or a declaration of war. It might mean only supporting groups within Iraq who manage to remove Hussein themselves.

Robert Cook said...

"Nobody forced Colin Powell to go before the UN with that ambiguous photograph of supposed WMD site. If he had any principles, he'd have resigned right before that and gone to the fawning liberal press and become their darling."

Yes, he would have. But he has no principles.

Alex said...

Cookie - it seems nobody has any principles, except for you.

Scott M said...

Cookie - it seems nobody has any principles, except for you.

Point of order. Attacking the individual and not the argument is the lowest rung on the debate ladder.

If Al Gore had resigned in 1998, I would have voted for his principles on that fact alone. Off topic, I know, but I've always felt that way. He never would have gotten the nomination at that point, unless his resignation would have given the Senate enough votes to seal the impeachment.

Robert Cook said...

"Or just done nothing at all which, by the tone of your posts on this subject, seems to be your preferred course of action."

Or how about--when bin Laden and his men escaped our forces at Tora Bora, we withdrew from there entirely and worked closely with our allies in the region to hunt them down the way police hunt down escaped criminals here at home? We don't invade a city or state and place it under massive police occupation, treating all residents therein as "the enemy" because some dangerous criminals are on the loose in the area.

Invading Afghanistan and remaining there all these years serves no purpose and has no legitimate rational or goals.

Robert Cook said...

Oh, there are plenty of people with principles...but none of them seem to be in charge.

Scott M said...

Oh, there are plenty of people with principles...but none of them seem to be in charge.

I would like to know how wide-spread political correctness is in democracies around the world. Certainly here, it's led to exactly what you state above...it's nigh impossible to gain high levels of political leadership without compromising your principles.

PC is a crystal-clear example of internal rot.

John said...

"Or how about--when bin Laden and his men escaped our forces at Tora Bora, we withdrew from there entirely and worked closely with our allies in the region to hunt them down the way police hunt down escaped criminals here at home? We don't invade a city or state and place it under massive police occupation, treating all residents therein as "the enemy" because some dangerous criminals are on the loose in the area."

The problem with that is that the Taliban when they were in charge of Aghanistan refused to turn over Bin Ladin. So we had a right to invade them. If we had left Afghanistan, the taliban would have taken back over and let Bin Ladin set up shot. The "law enforcement" model of terrorism only works if the terrorists don't have state protection.

Alex said...

PC is a crystal-clear example of internal rot.

PC is in the eye of beholder. What you really mean is leftist multi-culti ideology that seems to worship/celebrate eastern cultures and denigrates our Western heritage.

Robert Cook said...

"I would like to know how wide-spread political correctness is in democracies around the world. Certainly here, it's led to exactly what you state above...it's nigh impossible to gain high levels of political leadership without compromising your principles."

I don't think the problem is connected in the least with "political correctness." I'd say it has virtually entirely do do with money...who's got it and who wants it. Our political process is so compromised by the huge amounts of money flowing into Washington that "we the people" are barely noticed by "our" representatives. It is the interests of the powerful and wealthy institutions--the corporate oligarchs--who are served.

Alex said...

I don't think the problem is connected in the least with "political correctness." I'd say it has virtually entirely do do with money...who's got it and who wants it. Our political process is so compromised by the huge amounts of money flowing into Washington that "we the people" are barely noticed by "our" representatives. It is the interests of the powerful and wealthy institutions--the corporate oligarchs--who are served.

Any evidence for that Cookie? Our biggest government institutions like Social Security, Medicare, Education department have NOTHING to do with private moneyed interests and everything to do with your beloved socialism. Private interests giving money to politicians are simply hedging against future harm to themselves done by people like you who hate private business.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

FLS - then they are pirates and you know what the USA did to Barbary Pirates right? We executed them on the spot.

Scott M said...

Anything that strangles strong leadership is squarely to blame. Money, special interests, fads of philosophy, etc. These things are all symptoms.

However, when a leader cannot even speak plainly without fear of insulting this group or that based on completely artificially trumped up bullshit (which most of PC is) we've really taken a very long leap off a very short pier.

Honestly, I believe the main culprit to be the modern 24-hour news cycle. Not necessarily bad in and of itself, but the unintended consequences on strong leadership are very evident.

By the way, Cook, set term limits and you reduce the lasting, creeping affect money has on a representative. We would still need a way to combat empire-building amongst the non-elected professional bureaucrats, but that can be done as well.

former law student said...

These people are not entitled to due process under US law. They are entitled to an Article 5 trubunal under the Geneva Conventions to determine if they are EPWs. The mistake Bush made was not conducting Article 5 trbunals early. There is a long history of these tribunals in international law. The are a rough and ready tribunal conducted by military officers. Once it was determined that someone like KSM was not abiding by the laws of war, we could then hold him and subject him to trial by military tribunal just like we did at Nuremburg and Tokyo.



I wish commenters here could appreciate that circular reasoning is not actually valid reasoning. At some point conservatives must give up their delusions. Article 5 applies only to forces of nation states. Al-Qaeda is not a nation state. The forces of al-Qaeda are not an army subject to Article 5, because al-Qaeda is not a nation state. (Neither is al-Qaeda a group of insurgents in a civil war.) Being out of uniform is meaningless when there was no reason to be expected to wear a uniform in the first place.

Because they were not soldiers, al-Qaeda could never have been "EPWs," so they must be treated as civilians, specifically civilian criminals.

Maguro said...

Because they were not soldiers, al-Qaeda could never have been "EPWs," so they must be treated as civilians, specifically civilian criminals.

So...because non-state terrorists don't qualify for the protections given to soldiers under Geneva, they're automatically entitled to even more protections as civilian criminals?

Really?

Alex said...

Notice how desperate liberals are to claim Al Queda terrorists as civilian criminals with ALL the Constitutional protections! One has to wonder why they are so protective of the ultimate scum-of-the-earth pirates.

John said...

"I wish commenters here could appreciate that circular reasoning is not actually valid reasoning. At some point conservatives must give up their delusions. Article 5 applies only to forces of nation states. Al-Qaeda is not a nation state. The forces of al-Qaeda are not an army subject to Article 5, because al-Qaeda is not a nation state. (Neither is al-Qaeda a group of insurgents in a civil war.) Being out of uniform is meaningless when there was no reason to be expected to wear a uniform in the first place.

Because they were not soldiers, al-Qaeda could never have been "EPWs," so they must be treated as civilians, specifically civilian criminals"

Like most liberals you know just enough to be dangerous. You are half right. When you lose your ARticle 5 hearing, you lose your EPW status. That does make you a crimnal and not an EPW. But that does not mean that we are obliged to give you trial in New York. We only have to treat you with the bare minimum. We can't torture you or sumarily execute you. But we can try you for your war crimes and do what we like. This is why we have to set up military tribunals. We could try you in civilian court, but we don't have to.

That is where liberals miss the boat. They think that not being EPW means that you are entitled to a full criminal trial. You are not. You are entitled to the bare minimum of process. There are good reasons not to put these people into civilian court. Military tribunals are perfectly legal under international law. They are not used on EPWs or limited to state actors.

You almost get it right, but not quite.

Alex said...

The only part I never quite get is why we give due process to heinous criminals who happen to be citizens, but deny it to these filthy terrorists are not any more evil then our home-grown murderers/rapists. There is a fundamental lack of justice in it all.

Frumson Wooters said...

Marvelous gag: "Oh, what will we do? I've got an idea! Let's put on a show! Let's try KSM in NYC!"

Response, "It sounds crazy but it just might work!"

Funny. Thanks

former law student said...

One has to wonder why they are so protective of the ultimate scum-of-the-earth pirates.

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet devised by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution. -- Thomas Jefferson

Alex said...

FLS - and yet Jefferson ordered war on the Barbary pirates(not any nation state), and no due process for them.

Robert Cook said...

Thomas Paine, (from today's Greenwald):

"An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

Word.

Alex said...

Cook - keep posting out of context quotes. As if they mean anything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Constitution_is_not_a_suicide_pact#Jefferson.27s_formulation

Due to political considerations, however, Jefferson disregarded his constitutional doubts, signed the proposed treaty, and sent it to the Senate for ratification. In justifying his actions, he later wrote: "[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means."[

Scott M said...

I dearly love Thomas Paine.

What do you suppose, Cook, he would have do say about the House's healthcare reform bill wanting to throw me in prison for not buying into their farce?

Robert Cook said...

Alex,

Your quote from Jefferson does not undermine Paine's apt comment, and it also shows that Jefferson, while possessed of a fine mind and high ideals, was also an ambitious politician and a human being, possessed as are we all, by conflicting impulses. I see this quote as of a kind with the weasel words used by politicians of all eras to excuse their failures to live up to their promises, to our ideals, and to the rule of law.

Scott M: I think any health care reform that requires Americans to buy insurance is not health care reform at all, but a sell out to the entrenched interests, to the powerful and wealthy insurance companies. This is another case where money perverts the workings of government to serve the oligarchs and not the people. I don't think it realistic to assume anyone will be thrown in jail, but given how readily police officers taser old women, 10 year old girls, college students asking questions at open fora, and unresisting suspects, anything is possible.

We need to remove the health insurance companies from the health care model in this country completely and for always. This is why the only legitimate health care reform can be single payer, taxpayer funded universal care available to all.

Alex said...

Cook - pwned.

Mule Ears said...

I'm betting that Obama/Holder want a dismissal or acquittal. If KSM is convicted after a protracted and messy show trial, it proves nothing about our legal system. But if the case gets tossed, it demonstrates that we follow our own rules, even to our detriment, and that the villainy of Bush/Cheney continues to have nasty repercussions. My theory is convoluted, but it explains the give-him-a-fair-trial-then-hang-him rhetoric.

John Lynch said...

He didn't say it's staying open, just that it won't be closed by the deadline he set.

Scott M said...

Cook

Sorry, but I have to call bullshit. There are enough PO'd people in this country over the "health care reform" that there will be en masse defections from participating (ie buying into the system or paying the resulting fines) that they will either have to scrap the whole thing (which they'll never do once it's signed by a pres) or start throwing people into jail.

I'm sure there were people around with the income tax started that said "they'll never start throwing people in jail".

The Drill SGT said...

Alex said...
If our country had any testicular manhood, we'd execute every single jihadi as soon as we tortured every last bit of info out of them.


I'd go for the woosie, civilized metrosexual way.

Try them, sentence them to death, then tell them to convince us to postpone the sentence if you provide useful info worth our while feeding you

Cedarford said...

FLS - I wish commenters here could appreciate that circular reasoning is not actually valid reasoning. At some point conservatives must give up their delusions. Article 5 applies only to forces of nation states. Al-Qaeda is not a nation state. The forces of al-Qaeda are not an army subject to Article 5, because al-Qaeda is not a nation state. (Neither is al-Qaeda a group of insurgents in a civil war.) Being out of uniform is meaningless when there was no reason to be expected to wear a uniform in the first place.

Because they were not soldiers, al-Qaeda could never have been "EPWs,"


FLS, your problem is humanity defines "soldiers" far more broadly than diplomats 60 years ago discussing the aftermath of a war between nations and need to redefine rules to better protect non-combatants (not "innocents" BTW, because you don't become "guilty" donning a uniform and going into harm's way for your side).

You think the pile of words they made is now the immutable center of the universe...and legalistic definitions ....now mean that any person who picks up a gun or explosive and journeys to another land or within his own CANNOT BE A SOLDIER (by mere words in an old text).

No, FLS, if you ever have the misfortune to confront enemy..even non-state enemy..you will be under no illusions that they are simple common criminals vs. combatants.

Soldiers.
Warriors.

or

Jihadis. (SoA, as Hasan would say)

jr565 said...

Maguro wrote:

So...because non-state terrorists don't qualify for the protections given to soldiers under Geneva, they're automatically entitled to even more protections as civilian criminals?


Here here. Does a soldier, captured in the middle of hostilities, obeying all the laws of war get to be tried in criminal courts according to Geneva? So then, by not adhering to the laws of war, somehow a terrorist has more rights than someone who is is an honorable combatant who has to stay confined for the duration of hostiliites.

Kev said...

y the way, Cook, set term limits and you reduce the lasting, creeping affect money has on a representative. We would still need a way to combat empire-building amongst the non-elected professional bureaucrats, but that can be done as well.


It sure can. I'm not only for term limits for elected representatives, but for bureaucrats as well. Nobody should spend an entire career suckling at the government teat.

wv: gotonest--what a bird does after a long day of work.

Anthony said...

I blame George Bush.

former law student said...

Does a soldier, captured in the middle of hostilities, obeying all the laws of war get to be tried in criminal courts according to Geneva?

"Get to be tried"? He's not tried at all. He becomes a prisoner of war, humanely treated till the end of hostilities. Think of the excellent treatment Italian and German POWs received in the US during WW II.

Jefferson ordered war on the Barbary pirates(not any nation state),

We were at war with the Barbary States that authorized the Barbary pirates as privateers.

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