The Obama administration has sought to "close" the camp only in the most meaningless sense of that word: by moving its defining injustice -- indefinite, due-process-free detention -- a few thousand miles north onto U.S. soil. But the crux of the Guantanamo travesty -- indefinite detention -- is something the Obama administration has long planned to preserve, and that has nothing to do with what Congress has or has not done. Indeed, Gul was one of the 50 detainees designated by Obama for that repressive measure. Thus, had Gul survived, the Obama administration would have sought to keep him imprisoned indefinitely without any pretense of charging him with a crime -- neither in a military commission nor a real court. Instead, they would have simply continued the Bush/Cheney policy of imprisoning him indefinitely without any charges.
"The administration's original plans to create a detention center in the United States and prosecute some detainees in federal court have all but collapsed in the face of bipartisan congressional opposition."
There is a creature. It has to feed.
It stops at nothing to fill its need.
The people live in gruesome squalor,
So that the creature may grow taller.
Those with nothing have to bleed,
To help the creature spread its seed.
They learn to dine on fecal matter,
So that the creature may grow fatter.
The creature tells of evil gnomes,
Coming to destroy our homes.
And trolls who come with gun and knife,
To threaten our way of life.
The creature has enslaved our town,
But no one thinks to bring it down.
Provided with so much distraction,
The people can't be moved to action.
And when the people are all dead,
Still the creature needs its bread.
When we've been sucked completely dry,
The creature needs its food supply
(a parasite cannot survive unless its host remains alive.)
It has amassed such awesome wealth,
Maybe it can eat itself.
"No, you’re wrong there–quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it."
Another baffling assertion. Who are these people that are unconditional cheerleaders of the Obama administration on this site?
I feel like half of the people who voted for Obama expected him to be some super hero who would somehow bulldoze through ALL of the other people in this nation who do not agree with him.
So now it's not Obama's fault, but the democrats? So who should we vote for in Congressional elections? Granted Obama kind of had his hands tied on this one.
I think it's fair to says that many of the ones that are left have given people reason to think they harbor a serious grudge.
Louis MacNeice - Prayer before Birth
I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.
I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.
I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.
I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.
I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.
I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
come near me.
I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither
like water held in the
hands would spill me.
Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me.
1. So many of them cannot be convicted because either they're innocent, or there isn't sufficient evidence.
2. The countries they were abducted from won't take them back.
3. If they didn't have a burning hatred for America then, and weren't dangerous, they sure as hell are now.
What else can he do with them?
The preservation of the crux of the Bush detention scheme was advocated by Obama long before Congress' ban on transferring detainees to the U.S. It was in May, 2009 -- a mere five months after his inauguration -- that Obama stood up in front of the U.S. Constitution and the National Archives and demanded a new law of "preventive detention" to empower him to imprison people without charges: a plan the New York Times said "would be a departure from the way this country sees itself." ...
It was Barack Obama's position -- not that of Congress -- that detainees could and should be denied trials, that our court system was inadequate and inappropriate to try them, and that he possessed the unilateral, unrestrained power under the "laws of war" to order them imprisoned for years, even indefinitely, without bothering to charge them with a crime and without any review by the judiciary, in some cases without even the right of habeas review...
... those blaming it on Congress either have little idea what they're talking about or are simply fabricating excuses in order to justify yet another instance where Obama dutifully "bolsters" the Bush War on Terror template. Indefinite detention and military commissions are continuing because Obama worked from the start for that goal -- not because Congress forced him to do so.
We have gone from being the first country that established the principle that prisoners of war should be treated respectfully to a country that operates black sites and sends prisoners to other countries to be tortured–when we don’t torture them ourselves. ...
And there’s no outrage on Main Street. There’s no outrage in Washington. There’s only outrage on the internet. And half the internet rage is coming not from the acts themselves but rather partisan bullshit surrounding them. ...
The first time I voted in a Presidential election, in 2000 (for Harry Browne), no part of my consideration of any of the candidates had to do with whether they wished to torture people or assassinate American citizens. It didn’t have to be, because it wouldn’t cross anybody’s mind to have a position on it. ...
Then in 2008, one major reason why I voted for Barack Obama was because he forcefully claimed to be opposed to such policies. And I was mad that that was actually a voting issue for me, because you’d think that not torturing people is a moral no-brainer.
But, as it turned out, Obama lied.
Now, as I look to vote in 2012, I realize that just like in 2000, no part of my consideration for any of the candidates will involve their positions on torture, war crimes, secret prisons, renditions, etc.
Because both candidates will be in favor. Without apology.
Why doesn’t this policy apply to detainees in Bagram and elsewhere? After all, we’ve got people who are just as indefinitely detained in Bagram right now as we’ve got here... So if this new indefinite detention system is such great humanitarian shakes, why not roll it out everywhere we’ve instituted indefinite detention?...
The Administration is congratulating itself for the prettier face they just put on indefinite detention. But they only did it where their forever jails attract the most attention, in Gitmo. If these newfangled PRBs are such a great thing, shouldn’t they be rolled out everywhere we’ve got forever detainees squirreled away because “it is necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States”?
It just seems like, if there is a purpose at all for this newfangled indefinite detention, then that purpose ought to apply across the board. But to the extent this EO applies only to a subset of those detainees we’re indefinitely detaining, then it seems to be just an attempt to pretend Obama hasn’t given up his plans to close Gitmo, “action” he can point to while blaming Congress for the delay, even while the Obama Administration does nothing about those detainees in Afghanistan that they can free without Congressional strictures.
The preservation of the crux of the Bush detention scheme was advocated by Obama long before Congress' ban on transferring detainees to the U.S. It was in May, 2009 -- a mere five months after his inauguration -- that Obama stood up in front of the U.S. Constitution at the National Archives and demanded a new law of "preventive detention" to empower him to imprison people without charges: a plan the New York Times said "would be a departure from the way this country sees itself." It was the same month that the administration announced it intended to continue to deny many detainees trials, instead preserving the military commissions scheme, albeit with modifications. And the first -- and only -- Obama plan for "closing Guantanamo" came in December, 2009, and it entailed nothing more than transferring the camp to a supermax prison in Thompson, Illinois, while preserving its key ingredients, prompting the name "Gitmo North."
None of this was even arguably necessitated by Congressional action. To the contrary, almost all of it took place before Congress did anything. It was Barack Obama's position -- not that of Congress -- that detainees could and should be denied trials, that our court system was inadequate and inappropriate to try them, and that he possessed the unilateral, unrestrained power under the "laws of war" to order them imprisoned for years, even indefinitely, without bothering to charge them with a crime and without any review by the judiciary, in some cases without even the right of habeas review [...]
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