If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.
April 9, 2010 9:13 AM   Subscribe

"George W. Bush Knew Guantanamo Prisoners Were Innocent." In a signed declaration filed as part of a pending lawsuit on behalf of former Guantanamo Bay detainees and obtained by The Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, a high ranking aide to former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, makes the stunning claim that: "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror." (via)
posted by saulgoodman (101 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
shocking.
posted by brevator at 9:14 AM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't find it shocking. Depressing, yes, but hardly shocking. You want your Axis of Evil? i've long thought it was Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush. Seriously.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:16 AM on April 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


You'd like to think these are problems isolated to the Bush administration, but do we really expect any different out of any other administration. It seems like every administration ends up in some sort of really disillusioning scandal.
posted by jlind0 at 9:18 AM on April 9, 2010


It's a mark of how bad a man and a president Bush was that this is totally unsurprising. I can't wait until conservatives start rewriting his history into hagiography, as they are doing with the equally dismal, amoral Reagan.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:18 AM on April 9, 2010 [18 favorites]


It's a shame that we don't have the moral and intestinal fortitude to do what's right concerning these war criminals and make amends with the world.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:18 AM on April 9, 2010 [19 favorites]


Well, it was pretty obvious.
posted by delmoi at 9:19 AM on April 9, 2010


Not that Obama is much better on that front, mind you, but eh.. A little improvement is better than nothing.
posted by vivelame at 9:19 AM on April 9, 2010


I can't wait until conservatives start rewriting his history into hagiography

The wait was over before he left office.
posted by brundlefly at 9:19 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where can I sign up to take a shift on the "I Told You So" booth?
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


You'd like to think these are problems isolated to the Bush administration, but do we really expect any different out of any other administration.

I expect different and better from the Obama administration. Please, it's got to be better.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:20 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


All my Bush related outrage was kinda spent, like, last year. It's gotten to the point where photos of Bush eating kittens could surface and I would be like "meh".

Although I figured that a lot of the shenanigans wouldn't be uncovered until years later, by then no one will care as they too have spent all their ire.
posted by hellojed at 9:20 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


:O
posted by contessa at 9:20 AM on April 9, 2010




I don't find it shocking. Depressing, yes, but hardly shocking. You want your Axis of Evil? i've long thought it was Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush. Seriously.


I think that was sarcasm.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:20 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where can I sign up to take a shift on the "I Told You So" booth?

Take a number, Whelk.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:20 AM on April 9, 2010


I think that was sarcasm.

D'oh!

It's past my bedtime.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:22 AM on April 9, 2010



Not that Obama is much better on that front, mind you, but eh.. A little improvement is better than nothing.


Female friend of mine on this topic - "Well, you know I kinda wish I spent the money I spent on his campaign on decent health insurance but a compromising centralist is still better than a government that would have been a combination of Dr. Strangelove and The Handmaiden's Tale."
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM on April 9, 2010 [35 favorites]


Lawrence Wilkerson is a fascinating person. Here he speaks on the The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:24 AM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


So even though we knew they were innocent we had to mercilessly torture them and even kill some of them just to keep up the illusion that we were saving the world from bad people. This country is not what it should be or thinks it is. God help us.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:27 AM on April 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


Referring to Mr Cheney, Colonel Wilkerson, who served 31 years in the US Army, asserted: “He had absolutely no concern that the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent ... If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.”

Problem is, I can see a lot of people in this country agreeing with that sentiment. Sort of a "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out!" mentality.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:28 AM on April 9, 2010


I hope Wilkerson has good security. I'm sure his boss' old friends still have connections.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:30 AM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry, Whelk, already occupying that booth. Not only have I been telling my poor patient husband for years that these revelations will continue for years to come, but I've been predicting as well that the Bush administration will go down in history as one of the most corrupt and subversive of our constitution of all time.
posted by bearwife at 9:30 AM on April 9, 2010


I'm just having a hard time wrapping my head around the Bush admin's reasoning--releasing innocent people is bad for America's efforts to complete a military mission that virtually everyone agrees depends on the popular support of the occupied nations? Really?

(The detainees referred to here have, of course, been released at this point, hence the lawsuit. Here's a US News summary of where things stand in President Obama's efforts to close Guantanamo; they've been quietly releasing detainees into any foreign country that will accept them for some time now.)
posted by saulgoodman at 9:33 AM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Problem is, I can see a lot of people in this country agreeing with that sentiment. Sort of a "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out!" mentality.

Yeah, there's a lot of that out there. It crops up in the death penalty debate as well.
posted by brundlefly at 9:34 AM on April 9, 2010


You'd like to think these are problems isolated to the Bush administration, but do we really expect any different out of any other administration. It seems like every administration ends up in some sort of really disillusioning scandal.

False equivalency is false.

When it comes to W, I'm glad the other shoe keeps dropping being thrown at his head.

He'll no doubt go down as one of the worst presidents in US history. (And to think Hannity's been saying that about Obama. And touting a Palin/Bachmann ticket. Hah!)
posted by defenestration at 9:37 AM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


SSSSUUUURRRRREEEELLLYYYYYY TTTTTHHHHHIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSS
posted by cavalier at 9:38 AM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


And none of this is going to change until you start taking these people to task. The precedent set by Ford in pardoning Nixon has been extremely harmful for responsible governance in the US. The wanton abuse of impeachment in the Clinton affair further coloured the oversight of the executive as a partisan exercise in the eyes of the public. The White House has continued gathering more and more power whilst simultaneously eroding the mechanisms of accountability. At this point, it's probably going to require someone being caught red-handed in some egregious criminal activity to bring back the idea of responsible oversight.
posted by Jakey at 9:39 AM on April 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


Axis of Evil
Asses of Evil
FTFY
posted by HyperBlue at 9:39 AM on April 9, 2010


Surely something something...
posted by chillmost at 9:43 AM on April 9, 2010


The precedent set by Ford in pardoning Nixon has been extremely harmful for responsible governance in the US.

I'd say it started with Lincoln pardoning the south, but my guess is it was likely an expectation even before that. It sure as hell didn't start with Ford and Nixon though. Punishing the 'other side' is a pandora's box that would never, ever be closed again. It'd tear us apart.

I expect different and better from the Obama administration. Please, it's got to be better.

How's that 1-year-until-gitmo-closes-thing coming along?

It's funny to me how people just assume its got to be better, meanwhile we're still fighting two wars, we're surging in Afghanistan and the Iraq plan is basically a slightly modified version of the Bush plan. And yes, Gitmo is still going strong. Wonderful.

Not a single anti-war protest anywhere to be found though.. Except for that nutty Cindy chick. At least she actually believes the shit she's selling and not just rooting for or against some sort of party-based team.
posted by rulethirty at 9:47 AM on April 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Maybe I'm cynical, but this basically seemed obvious. If they had any actual evidence, they would have been throwing it around from the start.

From the beginning of the Iraq war push, nothing Bush or his team ever said in public had anything to do with what they privately, personally believed to be true; they simply spoke whatever words they thought they needed to say to accomplish their goals. They weren't even lying, as such; they were simply using language as a means of control rather than a means of communication.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:47 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are there not ANY US Attorneys with the fidelity to their sacred Oaths, and The Laws of the United States to bring charges based on these -- and all the other accumulated -- alleged criminal acts?
posted by mikelieman at 9:48 AM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Look, we could report on this here in the United States, but people like this Wilkerson guy just hate America, and give our readers and viewers headaches.

Would you like an update on Tiger Woods' glory-shame-redemption arc?

Totally doable.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:49 AM on April 9, 2010


Palin/Bachmann?

I think we have a new definition for "The worst case scenario"
posted by Grimgrin at 9:53 AM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


How's that 1-year-until-gitmo-closes-thing coming along?

Coming along, despite serious opposition. Seriously, do you "Obama isn't doing what he promised" people actually check to see whether he is doing what he promised or not? Or to see if it's his fault when things don't happen 100 percent as we hoped?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:57 AM on April 9, 2010 [23 favorites]


I have no doubt that the Obama administration has released or is trying to release anyone who they believe is not a threat, and is attempting to move people out of extra-judicial limbo and try anyone who can be successfully tried. Continuing detention without proper trial is a very damaging issue for this administration.

But we must acknowledge that if someone was released and was then responsible for a future act of terrorism, or ended up killing American soldiers, it would be a monumental story. The President would be a pariah, seen as someone who cannot protect the country. It would end any hope of implementing liberal or centrist policies in this country for the forseeable future. Sadly I think we need a Commander in Chief who acts with utilitarian pragmatism rather than on strict principle.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:59 AM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just wrote to the White House and asked that they offer an official public response to these allegations. I'd recommend everyone else do the same. You can contact the White House here.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:05 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This country is not what it should be or thinks it is. God help us.

Constantly thinking your god is going to help you is much of the reason you need help.
posted by dobbs at 10:05 AM on April 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Referring to Mr Cheney, Colonel Wilkerson, who served 31 years in the US Army, asserted: “He had absolutely no concern that the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent ... If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.”

Jesus.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:06 AM on April 9, 2010


I Can't Believe It's Not Torture (TM), mixed with I Can't Believe They're Not Terrorists(TM), bake for almost a decade, and you have a wonderful dish of I Can't Believe It's Not Freedom (TM).

Remember, if we don't conserve human rights, if we let everyone have them and use them, then we'll run out! Do your part! Be a Conservative!
posted by yeloson at 10:19 AM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sadly I think we need a Commander in Chief who acts with utilitarian pragmatism rather than on strict principle.

We need one that believes in the rule of law, and that has the guts and integrity to tell people that pitching principle when they're frightened is not only cowardly, but ultimately self-destructive.

Also, this is what the "pragmatism" you're talking about looks like.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:19 AM on April 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


What's that you say? The powers that be will do ANYTHING to expedite their plans, and then will lie to us about it again and again?

I am SHOCKED.
posted by chronkite at 10:25 AM on April 9, 2010


Or to see if it's his fault when things don't happen 100 percent as we hoped?

Now that Truman's dead, I guess the buck never stops.
posted by DU at 10:28 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


What can I say, I love torturing innocent people. Guilty as charged.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:29 AM on April 9, 2010


SSSSUUUURRRRREEEELLLYYYYYY TTTTTHHHHHIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSS
posted by cavalier at 12:38 PM


Before I read this thread, I guessed the first "surely this" comment would be within five of the first one. I am moderately pleased that I was off by a factor of five. Things are improving.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:31 AM on April 9, 2010


I think this is very different than the usual post-Bush administration revelation of wrong-doing because, in this case, Wilkerson--a former aide to a Republican political figure--filed the court declaration making these claims.

He's a credible witness who was in a position to know, and presumably, any claim he makes in a written and signed court filing would expose him to perjury charges.

This is a very serious and credible charge of wrongdoing. Not just another one of those mealy-mouthed quickly retracted half-accusations former Bush officials use to sell their tell-all memoirs. This is an accusation with real legal implications.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:33 AM on April 9, 2010


we must acknowledge that if someone was released and was then responsible for a future act of terrorism, or ended up killing American soldiers, it would be a monumental story. The President would be a pariah

That's an argument worth having. People need to grow up. As a fucking society, a civilization. When the calculus is done on how many guilty must be let go to ensure that an innocent man is not imprisoned, and is so inverted that you're calculating how many innocent men must be locked up for every guilty one, it's long since past time to have that conversation.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:37 AM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


bearwife, your husband is not arguing with you is he? (didn't think so.) As an educator, I tried to be neutral in my first year writing classes when this sort of thing came up during Bush Cheney I & II, evven though I wanted to shout YES! SEE! ITYS! at every jingo-hawk-wannabe.

One of my students was an 18 y.o. Kuwaiti who did a pretty damn good research paper on the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Some of his co-students tried to argue with him (during small group editing review) about some of his conclusions about how much of HR-6166 went against what he was taught about the U.S. Constitution in his (British run) high school in Kuwait. And they didn't argue with him because they thought he was mistaken, but that these provisions were necessary! I would like him to be able to tell his doubters "I told you so."

Can we schedule some time for Saud in the booth?
posted by beelzbubba at 10:42 AM on April 9, 2010


EXT.  SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA - TWILIGHT

In the far distance, a lone figure is slowly making its way toward us. Each footfall stirs up a tiny cloud of dust. It is clear that he is struggling just to keep moving forward. It takes a very long time for him to get close enough that we can differentiate anything specific about him from the sere and gritty landscape that threatens to overwhelm him. As he comes nearer, we can see that he is clothed in rags, is covered in grime--his hair wild and his beard unkempt. Beyond that, there is nothing to indicate who he is, or was. His exhausted expression is that of a man who has lost all hope. He takes a last few steps before falling to his hands and knees, atop a pile of documents with large amounts of text blacked out, fluttering scraps of red, white, and blue cloth, and shreds of parchment that might once have been the Constitution of the United States of America. He lifts his face, and speaks directly into the camera.

EVERYMAN

Surely this—

posted by tzikeh at 10:43 AM on April 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


When the calculus is done on how many guilty must be let go to ensure that an innocent man is not imprisoned

Obama inherited this nightmare, he didn't create it. He's working to release the innocent and charge the guilty, but throwing the prison open would be suicide, rather than justice. The people who are in there who are guilty deserve a trial, and the ones who are innocent deserve reparations, and that's a process, rather than a decision.

I wish it were moving faster. I wish it was easier. Of course, I also wish it hadn't happened in the first place, and I wish I could fly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:44 AM on April 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Before I read this thread, I guessed the first "surely this" comment would be within five of the first one. I am moderately pleased that I was off by a factor of five. Things are improving.

Aw. What fun is a meme if it goes away? Seriously though -- They got away with everything. They won. The general populace is too apathetic to care. The majority leadership is too impotent to prosecute. Unless you get every blockbuster movie including a 30 minute "Here is the state of your country" montage, get non-profit orientated news reporting in every household, and basically make social studies a/k/a/ government education a mandatory yearly or bi yearly necessity to keep your citizenship, what are you going to do to get the population to care again?

(Jeeezy Chrizzy, maybe I am just too cynical today. )
posted by cavalier at 10:44 AM on April 9, 2010


After all, once you accept the rationale on which this proposal is based -- namely, that the U.S. Government must, in order to keep us safe, preventively detain "dangerous" people even when they can't prove they violated any laws -- there's no coherent reason whatsoever to limit that power to people already at Guantanamo, as opposed to indefinitely imprisoning with no trials all allegedly "dangerous" combatants, whether located in Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Western countries and even the U.S.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:47 AM on April 9, 2010


DAMMIT, chillmost and cavalier. I seriously must preview if I'm going to leave a comment window open to work on in between loads of laundry and cups of tea.

Fuck it anyway. It's not that any of this is surprising; it's that it isn't surprising that it isn't surprising.

(After the Peter Graves thread, I was certain someone would pony up the $5 to register the name Shirley This.)
posted by tzikeh at 10:49 AM on April 9, 2010


Besides the whole "pissing on the Constitution" thing, I honestly don't get what the big deal is if a few people get out of Guantanamo and go right back to Al Qaeda. (For the ones who weren't radicalized when they went in, I bet they sure are by now!).

I mean really, except maybe one or two like Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, none of these guys have any special skills. They're just grunts. Do you think they can't be replaced anyway? Do you think they're just going to run out of recruits if we put enough people in jail?
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:52 AM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just wanted to point out again, most of them have already been released.

/broken record
posted by saulgoodman at 10:54 AM on April 9, 2010


The part that really caught my attention was this:

General Powell, who left the Bush Administration in 2005, angry about the misinformation that he unwittingly gave the world when he made the case for the invasion of Iraq at the UN,

So, if I understand this correctly, he believed Saddam had WMDs, he told the UN that he believed Saddam had WMDs, he became "angry" about having told the UN that Saddam had WMDs because Saddam had none, and then he resigned, seemingly in protest (that's how "angry" people resign, right?).

It's the word "angry" that confuses me. He was angry at himself? He resigned in protest against himself?
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:57 AM on April 9, 2010


I think he was angry about being misled into believing the Nigerian Yellow Cake memo had been authenticated. It was part of the evidence he pointed to at the time.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:59 AM on April 9, 2010


Sadly I think we need a Commander in Chief who acts with utilitarian pragmatism rather than on strict principle.
Ugh. First of all, I think you're misunderstanding Utilitarianism, which is itself a principle, not simply a "do whatever pragmatic" approach to ethics. Utilitarianism's view's (very broad brush) that one should act to increase the total amount of benefit for everyone. Utilitarian ethics wouldn't privilege the life of an American over anyone else, for example. The idea of going to war to "protect our interests" or whatever would not at all be acceptable under Utilitarianism.

---

Anyway, the argument for sticking to the rule of law is a pragmatic one. On pragmatic terms, these terrorist, really pose almost no threat. 9/11 was a fluke caused by incompetence in the bush administration. There are only a few hundred or thousand Al Quaeda people in the world. But releasing a few by accident because you don't want to imprison hundreds of people is not going to significantly increase the danger to the U.S.

Indeed, it would probably reduce the overall risk, because it would piss fewer people off.
posted by delmoi at 11:04 AM on April 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think he was angry about being misled into believing the Nigerian Yellow Cake memo had been authenticated.

On second thought, maybe not. Here's another article quoting Powell that seems to contradict that thought:

And the Niger reference in Bush’s State of the Union speech? “That was a big mistake,” he said. “It should never have been in the speech. I didn’t need Wilson to tell me that there wasn’t a Niger connection. He didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. I never believed it.”
posted by saulgoodman at 11:07 AM on April 9, 2010


Wilkerson quote:

Less important but still busting my chops as a Republican, is the damage that the Sith Lord Cheney is doing to my political party.
posted by dragonsi55 at 11:10 AM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


AZ: I can't wait until conservatives start rewriting his history into hagiography, as they are doing with the equally dismal, amoral Reagan.


They have no choice. It's either that or admit they're a party of incompetence and criminal human rights abuses. But I just don't think W. can really support the hagiography, and as for Cheney, the guy is a hero to what? Sadists and John Bircher types? I knew they'd never get charged, but I always hoped history would kick their asses, so why do we have Cheney (Liz) running around spouting off like she or her father have even a smidgen of credibility left?

All I know is, it's up to whoever lived through the fucked up aughts to never stop telling the truth about these criminals to anyone who will hear it or read it.

Let them spin and revise and build a hagiography, but the truth will eventually be ascendant.
posted by Skygazer at 11:23 AM on April 9, 2010


>> Less important but still busting my chops as a Republican

The "you're making the GOP look bad" bit is just a punchline to a detailed, thorough, and rather devastating prosecutorial argument from Wilkerson.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:26 AM on April 9, 2010


Sadly I think we need a Commander in Chief who acts with utilitarian pragmatism rather than on strict principle.

We don't need a Commander in Chief at all, we need a President. The President is only Commander in Chief of the military, not of anyone else, and referring to him as Commander in Chief in other contexts is undemocratic and opens the door to abuse of executive power.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:49 AM on April 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


You've gotta break some eggs to make an omelet. Now watch this drive.
posted by spicynuts at 12:00 PM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh boy can we prosecute the former administration for war crimes now!!?!?!111

Seriously. Why aren't we? Really. I mean it. Why aren't we?
posted by clarknova at 12:14 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like, duh...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 12:14 PM on April 9, 2010


bearwife, your husband is not arguing with you is he? (didn't think so.) </em

My husband, who I wish would check out all the people he agrees with on the Blue, had an Impeach Bush and Cheney bumper sticker on his truck (keeping company with his Bushit! and Ban Weapons of Mass Deception ones) for 7 years before the two of them left office. Most everything they did made him froth at the mouth, but nothing so much as the detentions and torture. So I kept telling him, all will be revealed, just wait.

Not leaving the booth.

posted by bearwife at 12:14 PM on April 9, 2010


Uh, sorry, italics should have stopped after (didn't think so.) Failure to use narwhal button.
posted by bearwife at 12:17 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Willamette University International Human Rights Clinic
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on April 9, 2010


Previous post about Adel Hamad.
posted by homunculus at 12:22 PM on April 9, 2010


The President is only Commander in Chief of the military, not of anyone else

Guantanamo Bay is a military installation and in practical terms, if Obama decided to release the remaining detainees he considered a threat, they would be released. After all the torture and abuse, that would be the principled thing to do. I also believe that in the case of those individuals, it would be the wrong thing to do, because it would significantly increase the risk of a Democratic president being seen as responsible for terrorism, and could result in a return to Republican torture policies (as well as everything else that comes with a President Gingrich or Bachmann)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:28 PM on April 9, 2010


if Obama decided to release the remaining detainees he considered a threat, they would be released.

Actually, I don't even think that's true. Congress would probably pass a law blocking their release or something. The Republicans, remember, tried to block the transfer of many of the Guantanamo detainees to the US before their trials (warning that's a FOX news link; makes me feel a little dirty linking to FOX anything).
posted by saulgoodman at 12:34 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "Female friend of mine on this topic - "...a compromising centralist is still better than a government that would have been a combination of Dr. Strangelove and The Handmaiden's Tale.""

Chris Floyd:

Barack Obama has ordered the murder of an American citizen, without trial, without due process, without the production of any evidence. ...

This is what you support when you support Barack Obama. It does not matter if you think his opponents in the factional infighting to control a bloodsoaked empire and its war machine are "worse" than he is in some measure. When you support him, when you defend him, when you excuse him, it is arbitrary murder that you are supporting. It is the absolute negation of every single principle of enlightenment and human rights professed by liberals, progressives -- indeed, by honorable people of every political stripe -- for centuries.

posted by Joe Beese at 12:43 PM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


You are correct, Saul. In Michigan, where we have some vacant prison real estate and around 20% functional unemployment, the guvermint suggested we house a few of the folks, as did Illinois, another rust-belt economy. In both cases the NIMBY wails could be heard 1000 miles away. Mostly gawd-fearing sorts who hate terror freedom.
posted by beelzbubba at 12:43 PM on April 9, 2010


Constantly thinking your god is helping you is much of the reason you need help.

FTFY
posted by Jon-A-Thon at 12:43 PM on April 9, 2010


Obama's looming legal trap in Afghanistan: The president may create another Guantanamo -- in Afghanistan. Here's why it could backfire on him in a big way
posted by homunculus at 12:56 PM on April 9, 2010


It does not matter if you think his opponents in the factional infighting to control a bloodsoaked empire and its war machine are "worse" than he is in some measure

Of course it matters. This isn't a game of some sort. It absolutely matters if one side will make the lives of most people better and one side will make the lives of most people worse, even if both sides also do evil to one extent or another. We don't have the choice of a morally pure third option; the choices currently at hand are Obama or the Republicans. What is problematic are people who treat politics as a game and support their side in essentially everything, good and bad. I agree with that. America would be a better place if fewer people treated "Democrats" and "Republicans" like "the Red Sox" and "the Yankees".

But for many of us speaking of "supporting Obama" or "supporting Republicans", etc, is troublesome. I do not "support Obama". I support many of his policies. I oppose some of his policies. And I call evil a few of his policies. But to say that it doesn't matter that, were his opponents in power instead, I would support a few of their policies, oppose some of their policies, and call evil many of their policies? That's the viewpoint of the politically immature who can't see shades of grey. Or Nader supporters. Which may be the same thing. Obama does some evil. He also does a lot of good. His opponents would do a lot more evil and a lot less good.

Insisting on moral purity in an impure world is a recipe for disaster.
posted by Justinian at 1:00 PM on April 9, 2010 [39 favorites]


Although I may grudgingly vote for the lesser evil, please don't come around asking for money and time.
posted by ryanrs at 1:30 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


After favoriting Justinian's comment, I want to bold it, double the font size and make it blink.

Maybe not the blink.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:49 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Miss me yet?"
posted by aught at 1:52 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Due to my favorites option misfiring yet again, I am limited to saying, hear hear! and right on! about Justinian's comment.
posted by bearwife at 1:55 PM on April 9, 2010


please don't come around asking for money and time.

Would you rather have someone else come around demanding your sons and daughters?
posted by No Robots at 1:56 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


General Powell, who left the Bush Administration in 2005, angry about the misinformation that he unwittingly gave the world when he made the case for the invasion of Iraq at the UN

Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine protest resignation is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world?
posted by zjacreman at 2:02 PM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Related: Dawn Johnsen withdraws her "nomination" as head of the Office of Legal Counsel.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:20 PM on April 9, 2010


I thought we had jails for that sort of thing. Or at least, The Hague does...
posted by Chuffy at 3:45 PM on April 9, 2010


Would you rather have someone else come around demanding your sons and daughters?

Universal conscription would be a lot better than the current system.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:51 PM on April 9, 2010


instant runoff elections are needed in this country
posted by dibblda at 4:51 PM on April 9, 2010


surely... this?
posted by infinite intimation at 4:54 PM on April 9, 2010


I'm going to mail George Bush a turd.
That's not a crime is it?
I mean, if I took a big crap in a FedEx custom critical white glove service pack so the turd stays fresh and temperature controlled and arrives in a timely, hand delivered manner ... I mean the secret service isn't going to come after me yeah?

I'm going to talk to some friends of mine, see if we can't inundate George Bush with feces. Can't be that expensive.
I could probably afford one or two packages at the least. More satisfying than contributing to a political campaign.

...I'm going to go eat some corn.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:21 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Insisting on moral purity in an impure world is a recipe for disaster.

Insisting on this sort of pragmatic, hands-off political approach is exactly why the progressive left has zero clout in Washington. The instutution knows all too well that when the cards fall, everyone left of center will sigh, shrug, and fold. This is exactly why we were stuck with a milquetoast health care bill: every single progressive holdout in the House, dozens of which had explicitly promised to never vote for a bill lacking a public option, held their noses and voted yes anyway.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."
posted by mek at 6:52 PM on April 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Universal conscription would be a lot better than the current system.

For an unjust and illegal war? I don't think there is a "better" here. Just shades of monstrous.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:08 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."

The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
posted by Justinian at 8:36 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe not the blink.

LETS DEMAND THE MARQUEE TAG.
posted by Justinian at 8:39 PM on April 9, 2010


Justinian, in context, your quote describes that behavior as indicative of the apocalypse.

I guess we're in agreement.
posted by mek at 8:45 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not a single anti-war protest anywhere to be found though..

How about: D.C. antiwar march draws thousands on seventh-anniversary of Iraq invasion

OK, perhaps nowhere on American Television.

Oh yeah, there were some tea partiers that weekend; they get all the airtime.

Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey, thanks for the Wilkerson video link - those are fascinating.
posted by and for no one at 9:54 PM on April 9, 2010


Sometimes I hate being right.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:22 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thirding the Wilkerson videos. Those actually gave me hope - there's one person out there who sees the big picture and can speak about it honestly. But I haven't watched pt3 yet... Thanks!
posted by sneebler at 11:05 PM on April 9, 2010


Here's another fascinating Wilkerson video, Vice President Cheney and America's Response to 911. It's him talking about his experiences as Powell's Chief of Staff.

My favorite quote from the talk is paraphrased as so:
People have said "I don't recognize this Dick Cheney".

But a Congresscritter once said to me in confidence "I've known Dick Cheney since he left Wyoming and came to Washington. This is the same Dick Cheney as he's ever been.

"The difference is, before he became Vice President, he always had adult supervision.
"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:07 PM on April 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Afghan prisoners are being abused in a "secret jail" at Bagram airbase, according to nine witnesses whose stories the BBC has documented.
posted by homunculus at 12:00 PM on April 15, 2010


A Kinder, Gentler Gitmo: Obama hasn't departed from the Bush administration tactics on national security, he's just changed tone.
posted by homunculus at 5:17 PM on April 23, 2010


For an unjust and illegal war? I don't think there is a "better" here. Just shades of monstrous.

Wouldn't universal conscription reduce the chances of unjust and illegal wars? Well, maybe not, but it would reduce the chance of war in general, I think. That's "better," imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:40 PM on April 26, 2010


Gitmo Abuse ‘Contaminated’ Government’s Case, Attorneys Say: First Military Commission Under Obama Begins with Forceful Defense of Terrorism Suspect

Confusion Reigns at Gitmo After Khadr Is a Courtroom No-Show: Detainee Refuses to Wear Ski Goggles and Earmuffs
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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