Comments: Obama Will Close Gitmo by Xmas 1961

Oh c’mon Bernard, everyone knows we only interrogate in a harsh manner. Plus they are forcing us to torture them by being inscrutable. It’s their fault entirely, in fact, we’re just innocent bystanders victims of circumstance. It’s really unfair that they make us do these things.

Posted by Rob Payne at September 25, 2009 06:47 PM

we're not a nation that locks people up without charging them. That is not who we are! No we're a nation that locks people who live near people who don't look like us up forever without charging them if we don't kill them with bombs first.

But don't forget, the democrats remind us, Bush did worse and just because Obama seemed to promise to be less bloodthirsty than Bush is no reason to forget that Bush wanted to kill and torture brown folks, too. What a collection of malevolent assholes make up our political class.

Posted by drip at September 25, 2009 07:23 PM

REMOVE JAY BYBEE FROM THE 9TH CIRCUIT BENCH, call pelosi @1-202-225-0100, TORTURE AND MURDER ARE CRIMES.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 25, 2009 07:37 PM

Professor, ALL the detainees at Guantanamo have to go somewhere before it can be closed. That seems to be the trouble, and you might recall there was a ruckus about it on the Hill.

Tom Englehardt has a good article over at Tomdispatch on some of the difficulties Obama has dealing with his generals.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175118/a_military_that_wants_its_way

I like your uncle's advice, as a rule of thumb, but the Gettysburg address was a very good speech and Lincoln wasn't so bad.

As for Obama, he is pissing off his Generals more than any President has in a long time--Brian Williams apparently actually said the other night he thought more than anyone since JFK (a friend of mine heard it; I didn't).

I saw in the post that the Dems are apparently also having trouble raising money now because the financial sector doesn't like some of their behavior lately.

So the military is pissed at Obama and the Big Money that was behind him isn't so thrilled with him now either. Clearly, he must be a complete lackey.

Posted by N E at September 26, 2009 12:20 AM

N E: CLEARLY!

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 26, 2009 01:17 AM

N E: 2 words--Iran, stoneage.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 26, 2009 01:53 AM

@ N E. Five more words: BAILOUTS, AF/PAK ESCALATION, AIPAC CAVEIN.

Posted by Coldtype at September 26, 2009 02:17 AM

In some ways Lincoln was a lot like Bush. He suspended habeas corpus and imprisoned 18,000 suspected confederate sympathizers without trial. Sounds kind of familiar somehow. And I think the odds are that McChrystal will get the troops he wants though it may have to wait for a more politically opportune moment. A lot of this animosity twixt the good generals and Obama may just be an act for the rubes.

Posted by Rob Payne at September 26, 2009 02:29 AM

The Big Money pharma and health insurance are scraping by too. The banks are just giving their Obomb good PR by bitching a little, and their greed is so infinite even the slightest hint of restraining their welfare checks is terrifying to them. What bankers have a problem with him, not his Golden entourage. My question is why don't we refer to Rahm Emanual as "Obama's Brain"? Are we afraid of sounding racist, that a black man would need a Jewish brain? Clearly Rahm crawled out of the same sewer as Karl Rove, only with a thinner waist and thicker hair. These Ivy League boys need some guidance, they're too busy working on their smirks to worry about managing their own political extortions and corporate fillatio appointments.

Posted by Marcus at September 26, 2009 02:38 AM

Rob Payne:

The rubes get plenty of acts, but that DEFINITELY isn't one of them. (Those caps were in honor of Mike Meyers). And saying Lincoln was a lot like Bush is just funny. Why stop there? Why not say Lincoln was a lot like Hitler? Then you could take one more hop from there to Obama being a lot like Hitler and get invited to all the birther events!

McChrystal's leaked report in the non-leaked portion apparently said they would need 500,000 troops over 10 years, so I doubt McChrystal even wants that and certainly I doubt that he expects it to happen. That's a strikingly LBJ/Vietnam-type number, and a number that McChrystal certainly knew Obama wouldn't find appealing, which makes me think it a number with a purpose different from being accepted. With so much duplicity for US RUBES (not "the rubes"; let's not kid ourselves that we aren't they), it's hard to be sure, but McChrystal could be pushing Obama away from the ground strategy toward an air strategy that would involve fewer U.S. casualties though perhaps a whole lot more af/pak loss of life. Or maybe McChrystal is up to something else, but whatever that is seems to be much more to the liking of Petraeus than Obama.

Mike Meyers: You need to drive on over to Jackson and relax. Drink a latee with all those emigree Californians and sit and try to spot some bankers! Drive by Dick Cheney's house and see if they arrest you! Go moose-watching! The possibilities are endless.

Marcus: Maybe Rahm Emmanuel could be called "Obama's mouth," but brain would give Rahm a little too much credit and Obama not enough. If Obama is anything, it's smart. Rahm is probably smart enough, but mostly i think his specialty is calling someone a motherf*&ker while stabbing him through the heart.

Coldtype: Don't just read the headlines!

Mike Meyers again: Did we bomb Iran when I was asleep? I thought that hadn't happened. Did a fortune teller inform you that Obama is going to bomb iran unless you call Nancy Pelosi?

That was fun!

On another note, I see from the news of the morning that Brazil thinks they should be able to speak about the situation in Honduras without raising their hand and getting the teacher's permission. Who do they think they are? Haven't they read the Monroe doctrine? Oh, wait . . .

Finally, it has occurred to me that this Guantanamo problem may have a solution after all: Princeton! There has to be space somewhere there for Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah if only in an empty storage space, a dorm room, or even just a conference room in the math department! And that way their treatment could be monitored pending final determination of what the heck to do with them, since an apology and release doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon for those two. Professor, we need a petition!

Posted by N E at September 26, 2009 08:01 AM

One of the things about centrist liberals is that they often try to please the right and yet they are still hated by many. Clinton moved the Democratic Party to the right and was the object of pathological hatred by them, while many on what passes for the left thought he was one of them.

Basically, the right gets angry because they hate subtlety--it actually offends them to see a smart supporter of American imperialism trying to work well with foreigners. They're more pleased by open displays of chest thumping than by someone achieving the same goals in a way that pleases the editors at the NYT.

As for Afghanistan, Obama painted himself into a corner portraying it as the neglected war he was going to win. He might realize now that it could be his Vietnam. He's always made a point that he's not antiwar, just anti-dumb war.

Posted by Donald Johnson at September 26, 2009 09:31 AM

As for Obama, he is pissing off his Generals more than any President has in a long time--Brian Williams apparently actually said the other night he thought more than anyone since JFK (a friend of mine heard it; I didn't).

N.E.: That worked out well, as I recall...

Posted by Woody at September 26, 2009 09:49 AM


Chris Floyd has his usual wise and accurate words regarding Obama and his military industrial complex problems...spot on as he often is.-Tony


http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/1846-happy-junta-grounds-militarist-machiavellis-maneuver-for-more-war.html

Posted by tony at September 26, 2009 10:44 AM

N E: Yeah, call Nan (1-202-225-0100) ALL YOU like if YOU think it will help. I'll call, same as always, but I shan't mention Iran one way or the other. I don't start wars and I sure as hell don't try to stop them. I just AVOID PAYING for them and if possible try to help the victims. THAT'S as big a bite as I can chew. NOBODY needs a fortune teller to see this one coming, just an open pair of eyes. (sometimes I'd rather be blind)

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 26, 2009 11:11 AM

N E, it's a good thing you don't love Obama; the kneejerk defenses you produce as an avowed non-Obama-lover are bad enough.

The Gettysburg Address is a good speech, true, but as I recall it wasn't considered good when it was originally delivered. I suspect that what Bernard's uncle was talking about was grand, bombastic rhetoric, the kind that so many people love to deliver and to hear. And I wonder if part of the Address's later appeal wasn't due to people who thought it would be great to have schoolchildren memorize it, since it was so brief.

I wonder about Brian Williams's remarks you mention. I'm distrustful as always of the corporate media's fondness for personalizing and theatricalizing politics, reducing everything to conflicts between persons like a pro wrestling match. But just because Obama is pissing off the generals and big money -- even assuming these things are true, and Big Media are seldom reliable on these points -- doesn't mean he's right.

Posted by Duncan at September 26, 2009 11:16 AM

Off topic, or then again maybe not, a few years ago when the last peak of "bomb Iran" was going the folks at Hullabaloo too turns guessing when that war would start and I won by guessing "not until there's a Democractic president".

There seems to be little dissent on the blogs as to Obama's ignoble lie about Iran. "To his credit" Greenwald covers it but without really ever saying Obama is simply lying here just as Bush did and presumably for the same reasons.

It's a bit like saying "I don't know" when asked if Obama was born in Kenya, but Greenwald seems to be ahead of anyone else I could find that was an "A list" blogger. progressives seem to have entirely adopted the right wing's foreign policy.

Posted by DavidByron at September 26, 2009 12:17 PM

N.E.
Actually, now that you mention it, Obama is quite a bit like Hitler. He is the leader of a fascist nation that is attempting to take over the world. Why it’s a perfect parallel that bears more exploring. Somebody should look into this.

Posted by Rob Payne at September 26, 2009 12:33 PM

progressives seem to have entirely adopted the right wing's foreign policy.. Seems like old times. Viet Nam. Cold Warriors. Grenada. Panama. Bosnia. And if McKristol can't win in Afghanistan, it's going to be real interesting to watch his plan for Iran, a country with a government, an army, an attitude and lots of weapons.

Posted by drip at September 26, 2009 02:17 PM

Tony: I really like Chris Floyd, and maybe he's right about Obama, though I don't think what Presidents can and cannot do interests him. But my disagreements with Floyd about things like Obama's bona fides are inconsequential in comparison to what I agree with him about. I agree that his overall analysis of the National Security State is generally spon on.

Rob Payne: Hahahahaha!

drip: The U.S. military would initially slaughter the Iranians, but the Iranians probably have some pretty good plans to cause all hell to break lose for a long time if they get attacked, and not just in Iran. Plus, the Russians and Chinese would help them, either overtly or covertly, out of self interest. So it would probably become a protracted nightmare all over the place in Central Asia and the Middle east and possibly even end the Empire of the United States, which Brzezinski predicted it would do on the Daily Show more than two years ago. That's why Cheney was overruled about attacking Iran, which he favored for years. And that's why we're unlikely to go that direction now: Not because we're nice, but because even our power isn't that great.

Duncan: The Gettysburg Address is a great piece of writing, was immediately recognized as such, and I'd bet always will be. Your speculation about people liking it "later" because it's short so kids could memorize it is definitely more creative than calling me "kneejerk," and it raises your grade in creative nonsense to a B. But if you want to throw insults around, you still need to significantly improve your game.

Donald Johnson: I think the differences between the right wing and the "liberal centrists" (as you call them) are a little more real than you suggest. There are real policy differences. It's not JUST a question of a preference for chest thumping over committee meetings. The right is unilateralist as opposed to internationalist, less concerned in particular about our alliances with France and Germany and Japan, hostile to the United Nations and international agreements, favors unchecked Presidential power, and is more connected to the defense and energy sectors rather than banking. That being said, both parties are essentially pro-military business parties, just of different types.

As for Afghanistan, had Obama taken a position of being anti-war in general, or had he not supported winning the war in Afghanistan, he wouldn't have been able to raise enough money to win the election, nor had the support of CIA, which was undoubtedly enormous because it has so many connections, especially in the media. But I don't think Obama made an open-ended commitment to win in Afghanistan regardless of the cost or duration, nor compromised his right as Commander In Chief to make final decisions concerning grand strategy. So the military is on edge. The Petraeus crew probably never really believed Obama's campaign speeches anyway, and I'm sure they think he isn't living up to his campaign promises. Even though Obama was in effect pre-selected by way of the ordinary process by which Prseidential candidates are chosen and then campaign against each other, he isn't directly controlled.

Posted by N E at September 26, 2009 05:41 PM

Tony: I really like Chris Floyd, and maybe he's right about Obama, though I don't think what Presidents can and cannot do interests him. But my disagreements with Floyd about things like Obama's bona fides are inconsequential in comparison to what I agree with him about. I agree that his overall analysis of the National Security State is generally spon on.

Rob Payne: Hahahahaha!

drip: The U.S. military would initially slaughter the Iranians, but the Iranians probably have some pretty good plans to cause all hell to break lose for a long time if they get attacked, and not just in Iran. Plus, the Russians and Chinese would help them, either overtly or covertly, out of self interest. So it would probably become a protracted nightmare all over the place in Central Asia and the Middle east and possibly even end the Empire of the United States, which Brzezinski predicted it would do on the Daily Show more than two years ago. That's why Cheney was overruled about attacking Iran, which he favored for years. And that's why we're unlikely to go that direction now: Not because we're nice, but because even our power isn't that great.

Duncan: The Gettysburg Address is a great piece of writing, was immediately recognized as such, and I'd bet always will be. Your speculation about people liking it "later" because it's short so kids could memorize it is definitely more creative than calling me "kneejerk," and it raises your grade in creative nonsense to a B. But if you want to throw insults around, you still need to significantly improve your game.

Donald Johnson: I think the differences between the right wing and the "liberal centrists" (as you call them) are a little more real than you suggest. There are real policy differences. It's not JUST a question of a preference for chest thumping over committee meetings. The right is unilateralist as opposed to internationalist, less concerned in particular about our alliances with France and Germany and Japan, hostile to the United Nations and international agreements, favors unchecked Presidential power, and is more connected to the defense and energy sectors rather than banking. That being said, both parties are essentially pro-military business parties, just of different types.

As for Afghanistan, had Obama taken a position of being anti-war in general, or had he not supported winning the war in Afghanistan, he wouldn't have been able to raise enough money to win the election, nor had the support of CIA, which was undoubtedly enormous because it has so many connections, especially in the media. But I don't think Obama made an open-ended commitment to win in Afghanistan regardless of the cost or duration, nor compromised his right as Commander In Chief to make final decisions concerning grand strategy. So the military is on edge. The Petraeus crew probably never really believed Obama's campaign speeches anyway, and I'm sure they think he isn't living up to his campaign promises. Even though Obama was in effect pre-selected by way of the ordinary process by which Prseidential candidates are chosen and then campaign against each other, he isn't directly controlled.

Posted by N E at September 26, 2009 05:41 PM

N E:


McChrystal's leaked report in the non-leaked portion apparently said they would need 500,000 troops over 10 years, so I doubt McChrystal even wants that and certainly I doubt that he expects it to happen.

It might be useful to look at Spencer Ackerman's explanation of the 500,000 troops request before concluding that McChrystal doesn't really mean it.

Posted by Don SinFalta at September 26, 2009 06:07 PM

it would probably become a protracted nightmare all over the place in Central Asia and the Middle east and possibly even end the Empire of the United States, which Brzezinski predicted it would do on the Daily Show more than two years ago

That's nothing; Osama bin Laden predicted it eight years ago.

Posted by DavidByron at September 26, 2009 06:49 PM

DonSinFalta: Thanks, it certainly is useful. The speculation definitely got me confused, and now I'm really unsure what McChrystal is up to.

DavidByron: Oh good grief! Don't talk to me about anything Osama bin laden supposedly predicted.

Posted by N E at September 26, 2009 07:24 PM

I had posted a comment Friday night but I guess, it has not been approved/diaspproved by the moderator yet or has gotten lost in the cyberspace.

Posted by Rupa Shah at September 27, 2009 09:42 AM