You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

February 24, 2009

Well, That Settles That

By: John Caruso

The U.S. government has investigated the U.S. government and, shockingly, determined that it's not doing anything wrong:

The U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay prison camp currently complies with the Geneva Conventions' standards for humane treatment, a top U.S. Navy officer concluded on Monday in a review ordered by President Barack Obama.

Vice-Admiral Patrick Walsh led a team of investigators on a 13-day visit to inspect the camp at the U.S. naval base in Cuba and said he had found no violations of the Geneva treaties' ban on cruel, humiliating or degrading treatment.

As usual, though, some misinformed malcontents refuse to accept official self-exoneration:

[The Center for Constitutional Rights'] report, "Conditions of Confinement at Guantanamo: Still in Violation of the Law," covers conditions at Guantánamo in January and February 2009 and includes new eyewitness accounts from attorneys and detainees. The authors address continuing abusive conditions at the prison camp, including conditions of confinement that violate U.S. obligations under the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Constitution and international human rights law.

"The men at Guantánamo are deteriorating at a rapid rate due to the harsh conditions that continue to this day, despite a few cosmetic changes to their routines," said CCR Staff Attorney Pardiss Kebriaei. "They are caught in a vicious cycle where their isolation causes psychological damage, which causes them to act out, which brings more abuse and keeps them in isolation. If they are going to be there another year, or even another day, this has to end."

Despite President Obama’s executive order of January 22, 2009, requiring humane standards of confinement at Guantanamo and conformity with "all applicable laws governing the conditions of such confinement," including the Geneva Conventions, attorneys assert that detainees at Guantanamo have continued to suffer from solitary confinement, psychological abuse, abusive force-feeding of hunger strikers, religious abuse, and physical abuse and threats of violence from guards and Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) teams.

So we're left with a simple choice: we can either trust the U.S. government, which only has our best interests at heart and hasn't lied to us within at least the last 8 picoseconds, or believe some grant-grubbing nogoodniks at the so-called Center for so-called Constitutional Rights.  I think the choice is clear.

This does unavoidably raise one question, though: why does Pardiss Kebriaei hate us for our freedoms?  We can only speculate, but I have to think it's for our freedoms.

— John Caruso

Posted at February 24, 2009 02:19 PM

Who needs a moral highground when U own the biggest guns?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 24, 2009 03:45 PM

I think I remember back in the day when an obscure Lt. Col. name of Colin Powell was sent to Viet Nam to investigate something or another at Mi Lai. He did his job exuberantly and, with marked dispach, found that his fellow soldiers had acted patriotically and with brio. Damned ungrateful natives.

Posted by: Jesus B Ochoa at February 25, 2009 10:06 AM

You are welcome to pile on and call me naive, but I have a very strong hunch that Obama's game plan involves thinking a few moves ahead. It will take at least half a year for his people to get a firm hold on the reins of power, and any turf wars with the military in the meanwhile will end badly, just as it did for Paul Wellstone when he got up in Jesse Helms' grill right after arriving in D.C.

So far I see Obama doing nothing that prevents further action. Our government is riddled with embedded Bushies who would rather see us occupied by the Taliban than live in an American successfully run by Obama. If I were O, I would establish myself, run a few tests, and then I would embolden my subordinates and key people to take a few heads.

If by year's end no heads have been taken, then we're hosed. But under no practical scenario would it be possible for ANY Democratic President to jump in and start knocking heads immediately. That just simply cannot be done, not without putting the entire country and world at risk of economic meltdown thanks to the most selfish and boneheaded political movement in American history: the new reborn Republican-Dixiecrat party (and seriously: stop calling them conservatives because they're not, never have been, and by occupying that space in our discourse they prevent substantive, meaningful debate from occurring).

I have no clue if O is doing well or not, but my hunch is he's doing a lot more than we realize, and that more progress is being made than is being reported.

Who among you would want the job of belling the Army, CIA and all those embedded Bushies? Or let me put it this way: right now the Mafia is the only organization that was linked to JFK's assassination that isn't currently involved in thwarting Obama's agenda.

Posted by: Mark Gisleson at February 25, 2009 02:45 PM

I too am convinced that Obama's super-duper double-plus-secret progressive agenda for change is on course because he hasn't done anything that could be construed as doing anything which leaves the door open later for doing something that would really be something later.

Anyway, uh, I sure hope O doesn't get assassinated or anything.

Posted by: AlanSmithee at February 25, 2009 03:47 PM

Oh, Alan, Alan, Alan, He's Black, that's super-duper change in itself, just by being who he is, where he is.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 25, 2009 05:37 PM

How can you tell?

Posted by: AlanSmithee at February 25, 2009 06:00 PM

I don't know, he just plain looks like a blackman to me.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 25, 2009 06:11 PM

I hate you, Mark, for making Alan Smithee right.

Posted by: SteveB at February 25, 2009 11:13 PM

Well, at least he ain't no Mexican.

Posted by: Jesus B Ochoa at February 26, 2009 12:34 PM

Jesus B Ochoa: Any Mexican with common sense would be better than Mccain and a hands down win over George Bush or Dick Cheney. Every Mexican I have EVER met had much more RESPECT AND LOVE FOR AMERICA than those three have. Many Mexican Americans died in Hanoi Hilton without rolling over, died in the rice paddies without a freepass from daddy, spilled their blood in the mud without the excuse "I had better things to do."

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 26, 2009 01:02 PM

Anyone catch the Limbaugh speech on CNN today?

Yowza but the guy was goading his constituency to some ugly action! Who coulda knowed what was coming? Anyone watching that thing coulda knowed that some ugliness comes this way.

Posted by: amoe at February 28, 2009 11:09 PM