June 27, 2009

"Agreeing with conclusions reached years earlier by the Bush administration: As many as 90 detainees cannot be charged or released."

After promising to close Guantanamo, Obama is facing reality:
On the day Obama took office, 242 men were imprisoned at Guantanamo. In his May speech, the president outlined five strategies the administration would use to deal with them: criminal trials, revamped military tribunals, transfers to other countries, releases and continued detention.

Since the inauguration, 11 detainees have been released or transferred, one prisoner committed suicide, and one was moved to New York to face terrorism charges in federal court.

Administration officials said the cases of about half of the remaining 229 detainees have been reviewed for prosecution or release. Two officials involved in a Justice Department review of possible prosecutions said the administration is strongly considering criminal charges in federal court for Khalid Sheik Mohammed and three other detainees accused of involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The other half of the cases, the officials said, present the greatest difficulty because these detainees cannot be prosecuted in federal court or military commissions. In many cases the evidence against them is classified, has been provided by foreign intelligence services or has been tainted by the Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation techniques.
Be like Bush. But blame Bush. The magic formula.

Or is it necessary to add the showy fillip of closing Guantanamo?
Under one White House draft that was being discussed this month, according to administration officials, detainees would be imprisoned at a military facility on U.S. soil, but their ongoing detention would be subject to annual presidential review. U.S. citizens would not be held in the system....

But some senior Democrats see long-term detention as tantamount to reestablishing the Guantanamo system on U.S. soil. "I think this could be a very big mistake, because of how such a system could be perceived throughout the world," Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) told Holder.
See? It's not even different enough to count for anything. And — presto — the foundation is laid for keeping Guantanamo open.

(Remember, I made a bet with Emily Bazelon, and I'm going to win.)

117 comments:

thesconz said...

It's no surprise that Russ Feingold's the only man in the room with principles.

DaveG said...

Right decision, wrong reason. Even those are getting harder to live with from such a sanctimonious political party.

TRO said...

Good decision made even better because he lied to his supporters about it during his campaign. Lied to them about a lot of things. That's something anyway.

AllenS said...

Since Bark Obama has been affirmative actioned through his life, he feels no need to try and apply any principles. He's never had to before, and he sees no need to now. The blame rests on the shoulders of his teachers, professors, and people who voted for him.

hdhouse said...

Hold the phone please. It is the "Be like Bush but blame Bush" crap that has got to stop.

President Airhead had 4-5-6 years to do anything with the detainees still there and did zip other than just play out his time in office and like so much of what is going on now, just hand the mess over to the next guy.

It appears that there is movement on half the people there. that alone is a 50% improvement unless of course you approve of just locking people up and that is the extent of the resolution...no trial, no proceedings...just lock 'em up.

Bush is the fool of fools to have set this in motion. Now adults have to deal with his spilled milk and it stinks.

Pogo said...

Ha ha ha, hdhouse sez Obama is only 50% Bush!

So there!

Pogo said...

hdhouse: "Obama is half the man Bush was, so leave Barry aloooone!!!

Pogo said...

Or mathematically,

2 x BHO = GWB


Already I feel better.

gaywrites said...

I don't really see how Obama is that much like Bush. When Bush was President there were roughly 240 detainees. Under Obama, it sounds like there will be at most 90 detainees (if the others are put on trial, transferred abroad etc).

Is Obama like Bush because the facility will still be open? I guess. But a fundamental difference remains in wanting to get as many people out of that facility as possible and to preserve some sense of due process. That is NOT like Bush.

AllenS said...

I've never found spilled milk that hard to clean up. Clean it up, don't stand around thinking that it will be a hard job, do it, clean it up. Don't cry over spilled milk.

Pogo said...

gaywrites, it's like this: Obama promised -promised- to close the effing place. Remember all the lefty bitching about Guantanamo? Remember? 'It's the US Gulag, a concenetration camp.' Barry ran on that promise, one lie among many, it seems.

Christ, the entire left is one goddmaned unprincipled stinking theft machine.

Eric said...

I doubt he lied. He doesn't give any indication of having thought it through until after he was seated in the oval office.

Eric said...

But a fundamental difference remains in wanting to get as many people out of that facility as possible and to preserve some sense of due process. That is NOT like Bush.

Uh huh. Those are pretty thin reeds you're grasping there.

Dark Eden said...

What's the phrase instapundit uses all the time? Fierce Moral Urgency of Change!

Bush was a Nazi Devil Demon Monster Worst Human Being Alive for running Gitmo. We heard all the time about the FIERCE MORAL URGENCY of shutting the place down forever and executing everyone involved and putting Bush in prison for his sins and maybe executing him too.

Obama does exactly the same thing, but releases a few prisoners. Reaction from the left? "Oh that's fine."

That seems infinitely more hypocritical than a Republican Governor having an affair.

gaywrites said...

Obama is hardly the first politician that is faced with the realities of life after the campaign. Most campaign promises either never happen or end up an alternate version of their former selves. I'm not saying I approve, I'm just saying that's not new with Obama. If you consider every unfulfilled campaign promise an outright lie (synonymous with say, WMDs in Iraq) than you have a fundamental misunderstanding of politics in America. No one would vote for ANY candidate if when we went to the polls we wouldn't vote for the candidate that didn't fulfill all their campaign promises.

I'm actually not that invested in closing Guantanamo. That's not why I voted for Obama. But some of this "Obama is like Bush" rhetoric is obnoxious. Promising to close a facility that cannot be closed but still trying to get as close to that as possible is not the same as never promising to close and never having any intention of changing the status whatsoever.

Pogo said...

"I'm actually not that invested in closing Guantanamo."

Now the left goes all Emily Litella on us.
Goddamn leeches just needed to get their suckers glommed onto the federal spigot; all that Abu Ghraib-Guantanamo crap was out and out grade A bullshit.



Oh. Never mind.

knox said...

This whole situation is the encapsulation of: If Republicans do it, it's bad, if Democrats do it, it's all good.

Maguro said...

We all know Barry has the best of intentions, so it's alright to keep the gulag open.

Pogo said...

Note how very quickly the left assumes the position.

"Thank you, Obama. May I have another?"

onparkstreet said...

"Promising to close a facility that cannot be closed..."

Oh dear. Not to pile on, gaywrites (because I am enjoying your comments) but, want to re-write that?

Obama is not really like Bush. As President, is exactly what he was during his time in Chicago/Illinois. That does not give me confidence, to put it mildly.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Do the people who think Bush wasn't interested in anything but keeping people locked up have any explanation to offer for the 420 or so Guantanamo prisoners he released?

gaywrites said...

Pogo,

You can't judge my values and my positions based on your impression of the left. Well, you can, but you shouldn't.

You know little if anything about me, or my politics. You can't assume I ever wanted Guantanamo closed and now I'm changing positions because it's not going to happen. Just because I voted for Obama doesn't mean I'm just "assuming the position."

First, it's unfair to me. And second, you wouldn't want me to characterize you based on certain opinions of people affiliated with a certain political party.

I simply said that Guantanamo, as an unfulfilled campaign promise, was not that much of a concern to me, and that even if it's not closed it doesn't convince me that Obama is all that much like Bush. You've obviously construed that to mean I'm some sort of two-faced liberal nut job with an unending loyalty to Obama. You're absolutely wrong.

Dark Eden said...

"Do the people who think Bush wasn't interested in anything but keeping people locked up have any explanation to offer for the 420 or so Guantanamo prisoners he released?"

See Bush was Evil so Gitmo was evil Because Bush was Evil so we know while he was running it he was evilly oppressing people.

However, Obama is Good, so Gitmo is good now because Obama is good so we know he is doing what he has to and nothing more.

Kind of shows the Anti War crowd was always full of shit. It was always the Anti Republican Crowd. The only reason they cared about the war was because an Eville Rethuglikkkan was doing it. Now a saintly Democrat is doing /exactly the same things/ and the anti war crowd is nowhere to be found. Kind of like NOW doesn't care when Democrats wrong women. How the NAACP doesn't care when Democrats are racists, etc.

Fred4Pres said...

I heard some folks recently protesting about the 200 we are holding at Guantanamo and several thousand who are held at Bagram in Afghanistan. Most of these persons are not high level detainees but terrorist soldiers. Irregulars, caught on the battle field or caught fighting.

If released it is reasonable to presume they will go back to fighting (and a high percentage do). Trying to kill Americans or allies of Americans.

We should not torture or abuse them. But such people definitely should not be let go. And while some due process is necessary to correct mistakes--these individuals are like POWs, execept they were not wearing uniforms. There is no point putting them up for trial, they are not in many cases criminal defendants. We used to hang or shoot such people automatically. Since that appears unacceptable, the alternative is to hold them.

Pogo said...

"You're absolutely wrong."

gaywrites, it wouldn't be the first time.

But after the cap and trade bill passed, the biggest tax increase in US history, on top of the inflation-ensuring increase in money supply and massive giveaways of gummint bucks to unions and Democratic donors, I am angry with anyone that voted for this clusterf*ck.

I assumed that all the rhetoric coming from the left about gay marriage and Guantanamo and bring-the-troops-homemeant something.
It didn't.
Just a goddmaned power grab that my kids will be impoverished over.

So if Guantanamo wasn't your bag, fine. But you're soon gonna learn it's emblematic of the Chicago way, e.g. the manner in which gays were/are used for donations and votes, with no intention of following through.

And by saying 'no big deal' over this lie, this promise unfulfilled, you are in fact getting ready to assume the position over something you did in fact care about.

Big Mike said...

"And second, you wouldn't want me to characterize you based on certain opinions of people affiliated with a certain political party."

Oh, c'mon gaywrites. You and other commenters from the left do so all the time. Let's see, I'm a Republican, so as far as you're concerned I must be a racist, homophobic, anti-Semite, fundamentalist Christian. Did I leave anything out?

Pogo can speak for himself (and I see he just did), but I don't think it's unfair to judge you by the company you keep. And you are running with a bad crowd.

gaywrites said...

Pogo,

I am furious with Obama over his promises for gays and lesbians. I've learned that LGBT folks aren't anyone's priority but I was hopeful (heh) that Obama would be different in that regard. If I ever roll over regarding Obama's approach to gays, I give you permission to put me in my place.

Lem said...

What did Althouse know and when did she know it ;)

This is what happens when elections become a theater of the absurd.

You demonize a president and everything becomes possible.

gaywrites said...

BigMike,

Show me an example where I've unfairly characterized someone that commented on this blog based on what I perceive to be their party affiliation.

I'm not sure what crowd I'm running with. I'm commenting here, aren't I? And not because I want to stir up trouble.

I come to this blog because, as a law student, particularly as a law student at UW, I'm interested in Ann's perspective. I also enjoy some of the debate that goes on in the comments. But I do my best, at the very least, to be fair to the other people commenting.

If I'm judged as a left-wing nutcase running around with the wrong crowd as opposed to being judged based simply on the substance of what I say, then I have plenty of other places where I can engage in debate.

MnMark said...

"I think this could be a very big mistake, because of how such a system could be perceived throughout the world," Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) told Holder.

Could someone explain this mania on the Left for concern about how we are perceived around the world?

Who cares? I couldn't care less what the French or the Palestinians or the Somalis or the Columbians or whoever "thinks of us". If we do what we believe is the right thing to do, the prudent thing to do, the thing that is in our best interests, who cares if other countries grumble? Do you really think that whether they "like us" is going to change THEIR decision making with regard to what they think is in their best interests? "Oh, we were going to do such-and-such, but we just *like* those Americans so darned much that we're going to do this other thing that's not in our interest just for those great folks in America." Get real!

Lem said...

Military commisions is the way to go.

It will just not have Obamas imprimatur, it will not be Obamas idea.

Doh!

Lem said...

I Gitmo is not closed by re-election time there is going to be a spanking new swiftboat landing at Obama beach.

Kansas City said...

MnMark has it right.

I think Gitmo was raised by an issue on the far left and it somehow polled well as a campaign issue, so Obama and other democrats ran with it.

The whole idea that "where" we keep the terrorists is important has always struck me as stupid. What difference does it make if they are held at Gitmo or some facility in the U.S.?

Pogo said...

"If I'm judged as a left-wing nutcase"

Yeah, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of this either. You are always fair in your comments, as well.

But I don't understand you or Althouse, how your reasons for supporting this guy failed to take into account the fact obvious to many that you were going to trouble your own house and inherit the wind.

I apologize for targeting your comment, at least you had the decency to offer a defense.

But because of your vote, I am forced to actively review my options for emigration. No big loss, I wager, but it pains me. Whatever. The Irish have skipped from island to island for centuries. Now I know why.

garage mahal said...

Be like Bush. But blame Bush. The magic formula..

Ah, Bush put them there for Obama to deal with. Did he not?

Imagine Obama receiving several warnings of an imminent terrorist attack, one of which he was eating an ice cream cone or arugula somewhere, and shrugged it off. 9/11 happens under his watch and after 8 yrs didn't catch or try any of the perps aside from a few grunts and a retarded driver. Rounds up several hundred random people and locks them up and tortures them, so we can't try them, and leaves this subsequent mess for the next Republican President. I'm sure you'd have the same reaction.

Pogo said...

garage,
Thanks for the quick version of the left's justification for not closing Guantanamo as promised.

It has the convoluted logic of a lying sixth-grader who stole from the teacher's purse, so it'll work well.

Magnifique!

Bruce Hayden said...

At this point, it probably doesn't matter much if the terrorists are brought here, or left at Club Gitmo. Originally, they were sequestered there because it was under strong U.S. control, it was secure, but not U.S. soil, and so presumably the terrorists would not be eligible for our Constitutional rights, which they would have, if they had been detained on U.S. soil.

But whatever legal distinctions there were originally, have mostly evaporated. And, apparently the War on Terror is over, so it would apparently be safe to maintain them in a half-way house in Chevy Chase (MD), at least until they have shown that they are capable of (re)entering society.

Bob Sacamano said...

"Ah, Bush put them there for Obama to deal with. Did he not?"

Um, no. The world had not shifted in its orbit to revolve around a experience-weak state senator when Gitmo was opened. W put them there because he needed to keep these POWs out of the hands of the American justice system and did not want to give control of their fates to the same countries that Clinton had under his extraordinary rendition doctrine.

I know you're frustrated because the demagogue in the WH is not proving to be the demigod you all thought he was.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

I don't really see how Obama is that much like Bush. When Bush was President there were roughly 240 detainees. Under Obama, it sounds like there will be at most 90 detainees (if the others are put on trial, transferred abroad etc).

gaywrites, if you are really a law student as you claim, may be you should try to see how exactly Obama has released more detainees than Bush.

That in essence would require giving up your prejudiced view of George W Bush - you always have suspected the worst about him and have never appreciated the difficult situation he was put in. Leftists like you never had the intellectual honesty to admit that the Bush Govt had its own legal arguments for a place like Gitmo in the first place.

You may want to read Thomas Joscelyn on some of the detainees that Obama has released so far - you can Google his name. Here is one link that i can send to you write off the bat.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/06/convicted_car_bomber_and_likel.asp

I simply said that Guantanamo, as an unfulfilled campaign promise, was not that much of a concern to me, and that even if it's not closed it doesn't convince me that Obama is all that much like Bush

Again, you besmirch Bush- you question his intentions and integrity. Some how you give Obama the benefit of the doubt for doing the EXACT SAME THING. But not Bush. Do you know the two of them personally or something to treat one differently from another.

Your quote about having lesser number of detainees is laughable if not outright tragic.What is the rationale for having a detainee in Gitmo ? Forget the numbers,but have you ever come to grips with the fact that Obama is NOW OFFERING THE EXACT SAME RATIONALE.

If anything Thomas Joscelyn is pointing out that there are a number of dangerous terrorists that Obama has released that Bush simply refused to - and that is indeed scary to anyone who has come to recognize the danger of Islamic terrorism.

You know little if anything about me, or my politics.

But people like you judged Bush over and over again without knowing anything about him or the predicament that he was in - without even giving a chance to listen to the arguments made by the Bush DOJ - people like you treat him as intrinsically evil and wrong. Something that you continue to do, to this day.

How does it feel now, that the shoe is on the other foot? Not so good, I suppose.

You can't assume I ever wanted Guantanamo closed and now I'm changing positions because it's not going to happen

Seriously, iam confused here - if you didnt care much for Gitmo, why is it that you point out that there are lesser number of detainees under the Obama administration than under Bush ?

And by the way, we still dont know what your position on Gitmo is - we have only been warned that we cannot assume anything about you.

As a law student, you are on the way to attaining one characteristic trait of lawyers - never being clear and concise.

garage mahal said...

Thanks for the quick version of the left's justification for not closing Guantanamo as promised..

"The Left", wants it closed. As did some Bushies and many conservatives that don't wet their pants with reckoning with some locked up people. If they are guilty, try them and lock them up. If they are innocent of the charges, let them go. What the fuck is so hard about that? Obama promised to close it within a year, and if he doesn't he will lose alot of support from the left, unlike the lemmings from the right that will support literally anything that Bush did. The adolescent sniping from people that offer no other solutions other than "he won't close it either! LOLOLOL" is pretty weak tea though.

Jim said...

"Ah, Bush put them there for Obama to deal with. Did he not?"

He did. But Gitmo is evil, Obama said. The guys who are there should be given trials, Obama said. He opened his mouth without having a clue what he was talking about. That's the issue here.

Either Obama was: (a) amazingly ignorant, or (b) outright lying last year. Either he knew that he wouldn't be able to close Gitmo and lied to you, or he didn't know because he was so monumentally ignorant about world events and the difficulties of dealing with asymmetric warfare as to be wholly unqualified for the office.

Given what we know about his stuttering actions on Gitmo, it's more likely (a), but we can't totally rule out (b). Which one makes Obama look better in your eyes? That he played you for a fool by claiming knowledge that he didn't have, or that he played you for a fool by lying to your face?

Either way Obama played you, and you're the one with egg on your face for believing him.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

Could someone explain this mania on the Left for concern about how we are perceived around the world?

MnMark, allow me as an outsider(I am from India) to explain this curious phenomenon which by the way is very prevalent in the Indian Left as well.

First and foremost, leftists whether in America or India think and sincerely hold in their hearts that there is something deeply and fundamentally wrong about both the these countries. Since you are more interested in America, i dont even have to remind you of how leftists are truly ashamed of this country for every harmful thing that it has done.

Behaving better would be a sign of "repentance" and apologizing to the rest of the world - see, we have "changed" ! - we arent those same bastards who you all love to hate !

Therefore you have to be ready to be judged by the world from here to eternity for all the wrongs that you have committed ( Hiroshima, Vietnam are just a few)

Of course no counter arguments WILL EVER BE accepted or rationally dealt with. America is fundamentally wrong and the leftists know it better than any one else.

I am an outsider and therefore i could be completely wrong - its just what i have theorized after observing politics in the US for the last 6 years.

Bender said...

So he and Holder criminally charge KSM and try him in civilian courts.

What happens when his (quite legitimate) defense is that his actions were an act of war and, as such, were privileged under the laws of war?

What happens when he asserts that it is a violation of the Geneva Convention (which many have insisted applies to the Gitmo detainees) to try a prisoner of war in civilian criminal courts?

If KSM can be criminally charged, tried, and convicted, should not Obama likewise be liable to criminal prosecution for authorizing the shooting of three Somalians in the head, or for the many killings by drone aircraft?

Just as Obama and Bush and every other American president and member of the armed forces is not and should not be and cannot lawfully be charged with a crime in civilian courts for acts of war, so can KSM, et al., not be criminally charged in civilian courts. If they are guilty of any crimes, they are war crimes, prosecutable, not in civilian courts, but in military tribunals (which EVERY president from Washington to Bush understood).

The only thing that Obama is going to succeed at doing is the ultimate release of every terrorist down there.

The Drill SGT said...

TRO said...
Good decision made even better because he lied to his supporters about it during his campaign. Lied to them about a lot of things.


In this case, I think Obama was both clueless about the complex issues involved and pandered to his left wing primary electorate.

He meant what he said in the campaign, but didn't understand the reality that these folks left are the dregs of the 800 plus we once had. Obama now must realize from reading the reports of the behaior of the previously released Jihadi's that they are likelyto retun to the fight. And the public will blame Obama when any of the residual 230 kill Americans.


A clueless rookie, not a liar on this issue.

Michael McNeil said...

If they are guilty, try them and lock them up. If they are innocent of the charges, let them go. What the fuck is so hard about that?

What's so “hard about that” is that it's completely discordant with the way that war works. In warfare, enemy soldiers may not (likely are not, if they're not illegal combatants) be guilty of anything, yet the accepted procedure isn't to just release them if not guilty, but to detain them until the end of hostilities — otherwise they'll just go back to killing more of your troops. That's the way it's always been done, and that's the way it's still done. The left needs to get real in this regard, and not continue to entertain gross fantasies about the nature of war.

Pogo said...

"A clueless rookie, not a liar on this issue."

Well, except lying about being a clueless rookie. =)

gaywrites said...

Nagarajan Sivakumar,

I am a law student. I claim that I am, because I am. JD candidate 2010, university of Wisconsin Law School. I took Constitutional Law I from none other than Professor Althouse.

Also, I don't have a prejudiced view of George W. Bush. I don't know what your "you have always suspected the worst of him" comment is based on, but since I don't think I know you, and I don't recall writing anything other than this about Bush, I'm not sure how you reached that conclusion.

The truth is, I don't know all of the legal arguments about Guantanamo. That's in part what I meant by the fact that I was not all that invested in it. I did not vote for Barack Obama because he wanted to close it, and John McCain's position on keeping it open did not bother me.

I don't question Bush's integrity or intentions. I think Bush, more than many President's we've ever had, honestly believes with every fiber of his being that Guantanamo was and is necessary for national security.

For reasons I stated, it's unfair to make statements like "people like you judged Bush over and over." You don't know me. Other than today, I cannot recall making any public statements about Bush.

"People like you treat him as intrinsically evil and wrong." I fundamentally disagree with President Bush on many issues, but I don't think he's evil.

I never pointed out that there are fewer numbers of detainees under Obama, I only assumed based on what Ann had posted that there would be fewer in the future. I pointed out the number difference as part of an argument that I believe that Obama has a very different view of the men in that prison and what should be done with them than Bush does, and that I thought that not closing the prison was a convincing enough argument for me that Obama was like Bush on the issues of Guantanamo.

My position on Guantanamo is this: I believe that suspected terrorists, while they may not have the same due process rights as the traditional criminal, our justice system should be doing everything in its power to make sure that justice is granted to any person we're detaining. If there are people in that camp that cannot be prosecuted for national security reasons and those reasons amount to more than simple pretext, than a determination should be made about what should happen to them other than a criminal trial. The Justice Department should be vigorous about ensuring that we don't fall into a lull about terrorism and suspected terrorism when it comes to the ability of the DOJ to prosecute.

Closing Gauntanamo is not the most important to me. Preserving due process is.

And please don't judge my ability to be either a good lawyer or "clear and concise" based on blog comments. I would hope there is an understanding that these comments are not polished, edited, or sometimes even perfectly logical arguments. I assume there is a little bit of shooting from the hip that goes on with most comments here, and I would hope I'm given that same degree of understanding.

Alan said...

To be fair to Obama: he is inheriting a "broken" policy, and there may be no way to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

If Obama could start from scratch, Gitmo, as it is now, would never have been created.

But now we have Gitmo as it is, and it is very very difficult to fix.

For example, we have a real conundrum over our "hardened" prisoners. If someone held me under unfair confinement for years-heck yeah, I'd want revenge if i was ever released, heck yeah I'd be a threat.

The very confinement of these men has made them more of a threat. So now we have the absurdist and almost circular reasoning that we have to detain people for a long time... because we've detained people for a long time. It sucks to be a detainee.

Meanwhile, even if Obama does want to change Bush's policies, he has to deal with Congress. So even he wants to release people, conflicts with Congress are a road block.

How he fixes this mess is anybody's guess at this point.

Jim said...

garage -

"The adolescent sniping from people that offer no other solutions other than "he won't close it either! LOLOLOL" is pretty weak tea though."

"Adolescent sniping"? Oh, that one's rich. That pretty much sums up everything the Left has ever said on the subject.

The bottom line is that the adults in the room understand something that Leftists never seem to get: the job of the American president is to protect the American people. Just because the Left consists primarily of children who are primarily best at stomping their feet and throwing temper tantrums doesn't mean that you have to kowtow to their every whim and demand.

It reminds me of the saying that "everyone on the planet is the perfect parent...right up until the moment they have kids."

That's the perfect description of the Left (the ones that aren't openly anti-American, that is). From the ivory towers of academia, the parties of the rich and famous, union halls, and living rooms across the country; Leftists have decided that "if only we did X,Y, and Z; the world would become a place of sunshine, lollipops and unicorns."

Because they never have the power to implement X,Y or Z; they can consistently claim how wrong everybody else is and how they are right. And the longer it goes on, the louder they get. Well, it got loud in 2008, and Leftists elected its ultimate personification: Barack "The Waters Will Recede" Obama.

Here was the guy who said "I believe X,Y and Z; and we'll show those evil Right-Wingers that they were wrong all along and we Armchair Presidents of the Left are their intellectual and moral superiors just as we have always supposed ourselves to be."

Now, all of a sudden, having the reins of power, Mr. Armchair President is finding out that the world doesn't magically become sunshine, lollipops OR unicorns when you propose X,Y and Z. There are real-world implications, and there are reasons why people have been trying to tell you for years that neither X, nor Y, nor Z was a viable solution.

Whoops! OMG! WOW!

Turns out that everything you were saying all along is now inoperable. You're not the intellectual superior you thought you were. You're not the moral superior you thought you were. In fact, it's the exact opposite. You were the immature child who stubbornly insisted that you were right even when all the evidence in the world said that you were wrong.

It's a tough reality to face, but it's long past time that you do.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Could someone explain this mania on the Left for concern about how we are perceived around the world?

I'm beginning to suspect that it's another empty talking point, to be casually discarded the moment it becomes inconvenient. Why else would the same people who hailed Obama as the One who would restore our international standing, show so little disappointment when the excuse for giving the Iranian dissidents the cold shoulder turned out to be that a statement from Obama wouldn't do any more good than a statement from Bush would have done?

garage mahal said...

Jim
Petraeus and Gates both want GTMO closed, along with many other high ranking current and former military brass, because they say GTMO recruits terrorists. Are you calling them liars?

gaywrites said...

I misspoke regarding Bush and Guantanamo. I meant to say: I think Bush, more than many other Presidents, believes with every fiber of his being that what he did was right in regards to his national security policy.

Big Mike said...

@gaywrites, I just got back from a meeting, I read your response to me, and I got ready to answer back but then I scrolled downa and caught Bruce Hayden's and Bob Sacamano's and Nagarajan Sivakumar's comments and it's hard to see how I'd top what they wrote.

(And then you posted a fresh comment while I was typing this one, so I have had to edit a bit.)

Earlier you asked me to show you an example where you've "unfairly characterized someone that commented on this blog based on what I perceive to be their party affiliation." You've even gone so far as to admit that Bush did what he thought was right for the security of the United States. Very big of you. Be nice if you admitted that what he did in fact, was the right thing to do.

Getting back to your aggrieved earlier remarks, you're quite right that I don't know precisely why you voted for Obama, but does it matter? Thanks to you and your professor and the near total lack of grasp of economics that both of you display, the United States where my sons are coming of age will be a vastly worse place that it was when I came of age -- and I came of age in 1968, in time to be drafted right out of final exam week, in time to witness cities burning, in time for political assassinations. But at least our economy was sort of working -- and thanks to your ignorant vote, I think they won't have that anymore.

Thanks heaps, chump.

The Drill SGT said...

Michael M said...yet the accepted procedure isn't to just release them if not guilty, but to detain them until the end of hostilities — otherwise they'll just go back to killing more of your troops. That's the way it's always been done, and that's the way it's still done. The left needs to get real in this regard, and not continue to entertain gross fantasies about the nature of war.

one small nit. The way it was historicly done was ou linedyour defeated foes up and depending on the circumstances:

- accepted their allegiance
- accepted a parole and ransom from their lord or families
- cut their heads off

regrdless, you didn't let them back into the fight

the POW concept, "giving quarter", was an optional decision by the winner.

Freder Frederson said...

the job of the American president is to protect the American people.

Actually, the job of the American president is to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Look it up. And contrary to what the Drill Sgt or Cedarford may have you believe, the oath required of military personnel is very similar. Their oath is to defend the Constitution, not the people of the United States, nor to blindly follow the orders of the commander in chief or their superior officers.

AllenS said...

Freder, once again is full of shit. Colonel Idiot said: Their oath is to defend the Constitution, not the people of the United States, nor to blindly follow the orders of the commander in chief or their superior officers.

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962)."

Bold added by me, Ex Army Paratrooper.

junyo said...

As did some Bushies and many conservatives that don't wet their pants with reckoning with some locked up people. If they are guilty, try them and lock them up. If they are innocent of the charges, let them go. What the fuck is so hard about that?

Um, because being at war with the United States isn't a crime?

You can violently dislike the US, thus constitute a threat, and need to be dealt with by people tasked with defending the US, without being a criminal. This is the reason why the Left's fetish with treating a war like a legal matter is retarded. The threat having been contained (by their being detained) why must you demonize them further via labeling them as "criminals"? Why must you impose your standards of criminal law on people around the world simply because these poor oppressed souls have sought to redress their grievances through the only means available to them? It's judicial imperialism is what it is.

Maguro said...

Petraeus and Gates both want GTMO closed, along with many other high ranking current and former military brass, because they say GTMO recruits terrorists. Are you calling them liars?

Um, no, but they could be wrong. Since when were generals considered infallible?

emily said...

The comment is also particularly revealing of the assumption among people like garage: To disagree with someone is immediately and automatically to call them a liar.

This is actually true of them -- they do unthinkingly make that charge against anyone who fails to toe their line 100 percent -- so they cannot even comprehend a more civilized approach.

Eric said...

Imagine Obama receiving several warnings of an imminent terrorist attack...

I would bet my last nickel Obama has already received several warnings of imminent terrorist attack. As does every administration. Every single day.

To be useful that kind of intelligence has to be specific enough to be actionable. The Al Queda intelligence was the useless "they intend to attack us" variety. Richard Clarke, who had access to that intelligence and became the darling of the left and the media (but I repeat myself) in the blame Bush parade, thought the most pressing threat was cyberterrorism.

You don't take the time to really understand this stuff, do you?

Jim said...

garage -

"Are you calling them liars?"

"Wanting" Gitmo closed is far different then "being able to close Gitmo."

I don't think there's anybody - Right or Left - who doesn't "want" Gitmo to close. But there's a wide gap between "want" and "able."

Petreus is a military man. He's not a diplomat. He doesn't have to deal with negotiations with the other countries that would have to take place to make that happen.

The Left is dead set against handing the detainees back to countries where they would receive far worse treatment, and the countries that can be trusted not to give them such treatment have refused. So there's a conundrum which no one - on either side of the aisle - has been able to solve. So until such a solution arises, the best solution is leave them where they are.

If Obama (and anyone on the Left had or has a better answer other than stomping their feet and saying "Close it now," they have yet to put it forth. There has been no attempt at an adult approach to the topic which recognizes the difficulties involved.

What have we gotten instead? Bush is evil! Bush is a tyrant! Bush is stomping on our constitution! and other playground-level taunts which are neither constructive criticism nor potential solutions.

So tell me how the Left should be taken seriously when they claim that Bush is evil but Obama is sunshine and lollipops for doing the exact same thing? Tell me how the Left should be taken seriously when they never actually add to the conversation by proposing realistic solutions? Tell me how the Left should be taken seriously when your idea of working things out consists entirely of calling names and posing purely for political points.

The Democratic Party has always known that it didn't have a good answer. But that has never stopped Pelosi, Reid, and Obama from saying all manner of horrible things about Bush and those who actually had the responsibility to deal with enemy combatants captured at terrorist training camps or on the battlefield.

Tell you what. You get together with your compatriots on the Left, and you decide that from now on you're going to act like adults instead of just throwing temper tantrums. Decide that maybe you should apologize for playing politics with matters of war when you didn't have anything other than criticism to offer. Decide that looking at the world the way it is rather than as it exists in a fantasy world is the basis for a realistic foreign policy and then we have something to discuss.

Until then, it's just more childish behavior from people who've shown that they'd rather exploit their own ignorance or lies than actually get things done.

Jim said...

Freder -

I guess the "commander-in-chief" isn't charged with keeping the country secure?

Really? Is this really the kind of nit you want to pick?

And you wonder why people think you don't have the first clue about foreign policy or national security?

That was just moronic if it was supposed to be some kind of refutation of my point. You can do better, can't you?

The Drill SGT said...

Maguro said...
Petraeus and Gates both want GTMO closed, along with many other high ranking current and former military brass, because they say GTMO recruits terrorists. Are you calling them liars?

Um, no, but they could be wrong. Since when were generals considered infallible?


Ironic that the General whom the Dem's said was too political, a traitorous liar, is now the source of all truth :)

Maybe he was just giving you the facts as he saw them both times?

Or was he lying both times, to serve his political Masters?

I'd say the first, but if he lacked character before, one should assume the worst now, right?

Jim said...

Eric -

"You don't take the time to really understand this stuff, do you?"

Every statement that garage made is straight out of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911." This is what passes for serious foreign policy on the Left. Go watch the modern-day Goebbels and regurgitate the lies and distortions over and over again until people just get sick and tired of listening to you and go away. Then once you're standing alone, you claim that your solitude is proof-positive that you were right all along.

Jim said...

Drill SGT -

"Ironic that the General whom the Dem's said was too political, a traitorous liar, is now the source of all truth :)"

Just further proof that they were lying to score political points when they called him "Gen. Betray-Us" (Get it, Petraeus, Betray-Us. HAHAHAHAHA We are sooooo clever. We made up an insult that rhymes with his name! We just graduated 8th grade! Yay Us! We're so smart and clever and smart and clever too!!!!!!!! PWN! eleventy! !1!!).

garage mahal said...

And you wonder why people think you don't have the first clue about foreign policy or national security?.

Coming from the same crowd that had 9/11 happen on their watch and invaded and occupied a country that had nothing to do with it? Ha. Keep squirming, you got nothing. Everyone knows it except you. Everything predicted turned out wrong. Everything that happened is simply rewritten.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, once again is full of shit.

Explain to me just how I am "full of shit". My point was that the oath of office, and of military personnel, is to the Constitution, not the people of the United States. Your citing the oath of enlisted personnel (but not that of officers, which is slightly different), supports my main point.

My secondary point is that military personnel should not "blindly follow the orders of the commander in chief or their superior officers." The part of the oath you chose to leave unhighlighted supports, rather than contradicts, that point.

garage mahal said...

The comment is also particularly revealing of the assumption among people like garage: To disagree with someone is immediately and automatically to call them a liar..

Actually that is Jim's favorite Sean Hannity debate tactic here, I just wanted to give him a dose of it.

AllenS said...

This is what I cited:

The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962)."

You're a bigger idiot than I first noted.

Jim said...

garage -

"Coming from the same crowd that had 9/11 happen on their watch and invaded and occupied a country that had nothing to do with it?"

WOW. Is Michael Moore actually typing the answers for you, or do you have to transcribe from a crib sheet?

Because we know that 9/11 was just a spontaneous act that began on January 21, 2001. None of those people entered the country, got pilot training, or did anything other than mind their own business before Bush too office. We know that on September 10th, they had just about had enough of cowboy diplomacy and so they up and decided that they needed to call all their friends and do something about it.

We know that Jamie Gorelick's decision to place a wall between government agencies had nothing to do with it. We know that Clinton's inaction and ineptitude in dealing with prior attacks on our soil had nothing to do with emboldening further actions. We know that there was actionable intelligence rather than just vague warnings prior to 9/11. We know that the country prior to 9/11 was ready to undertake the changes necessary to ensure our national security.

We know all of these things are true because Michael Moore told us they were true. The difference is that the rest of the planet knew it to be propaganda.

I return to my previous point. Your 8th grade taunts are more illustrative of your own lack of seriousness and credibility on the subject than anything else. You think our national security is your political plaything that you can use to keep score.

You're excused to go back and sit at the kiddie table. You've shown that you're still not grown up enough to sit with the rest of the adults.

Jim said...

freder -

"Explain to me just how I am "full of shit"."

You said it wasn't the job of the president to protect its citizens. That statement is self-evidently bullshit.

If you don't understand that, you really need to go back to high school civics.

Jim said...

garage -

"Actually that is Jim's favorite Sean Hannity debate tactic here, I just wanted to give him a dose of it."

I don't watch or listen to Hannity, but nice try. You were wrong on both the substance and style of the subject. Trying to blame me for your failures is the act of a child unable to accept responsibility. Grow up.

garage mahal said...

You forgot to say Michael Moore is fat. That's key.

Freder Frederson said...

You're a bigger idiot than I first noted.

Repeating your post with a different insult doesn't help. Here's a hint.

The UCMJ makes it an affirmative duty to disobey illegal orders. "I was just following orders" is not a valid defense in a court martial. We didn't accept it from German soldiers at Nuremburg, we don't accept it from U.S. soldiers under the UCMJ.

If you were in the military, you should know that.

Jim said...

garage -

"You forgot to say Michael Moore is fat. That's key."

His gluttony is not my concern. That people are still gullible enough to take him seriously is.

You may exist in a world where the fact that he is fat matters, but I don't. Just more proof that you haven't grown up. Now go back and sit at the kiddie table: your food is getting cold.

Freder Frederson said...

If you don't understand that, you really need to go back to high school civics.

Obviously, you need to go back to civics class. The job of a dictator like Hitler or Stalin is to defend the people. The job of a President is to uphold the government and the Constitution. The people can take care of themselves.

Jim said...

freder -

"If you were in the military, you should know that."

And you should know that your statements on the subject were false. You're trying to move the goalposts and claim you were only talking about "illegal orders."

That's not what you said. You said it wasn't a military man's job to follow orders. You were wrong. Trying to weasel out of it isn't going to work.

Jim said...

freder -

"Obviously, you need to go back to civics class. The job of a dictator like Hitler or Stalin is to defend the people. The job of a President is to uphold the government and the Constitution. The people can take care of themselves."

WOW. When faced with ignorance of this scale it's hard to know where to start.

The President is Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces. The job of the federal government is to "provide for the national defense." If you think that national defense is only from existential threats to the Constitution rather to the people who live under it, I really don't know to how to even go about explaining the depth of your ignorance to you.

Freder Frederson said...

You said it wasn't a military man's job to follow orders.

As usual, in an effort to discredit me I am misquoted. Look at my statement. I said that military personnel were not to "blindly" follow orders. That is a whole lot different than saying that they do not have to follow orders.

Freder Frederson said...

If you think that national defense is only from existential threats to the Constitution rather to the people who live under it, I really don't know to how to even go about explaining the depth of your ignorance to you.

You could start with explaining to me the justification for the Civil War under your rationale.

Jim said...

freder -

You're playing semantic games here. The context was whether the job of the President to defend its people and, by extension, military men. Unless you're trying to claim that any order by the commander-in-chief to defend the people of the United States is, by definition, an illegal order and therefore military men should not obey; then you're trying to dance on the head of a pin to avoid admitting that you were wrong to even assert such a thing.

Freder Frederson said...

Or do you still call it the War of Northern Aggression?

Jim said...

freder -

"You could start with explaining to me the justification for the Civil War under your rationale."

You're the one with the untenable assertion that it is not the job of the President of the United States to defend its people. I never said that it was the only job of the president: you're the one who specifically excluded defense of the people as a job of the president.

Under your scenario, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor FDR should have sat back and waited for the people to organize themselves and attack Japan. According to you, it wasn't his job since "the American people can take care of themselves."

Face it. It was a stupid thing for you to say. You didn't think it through before you said it, and you should retract it. How far along this ridiculous path are you going to go before you can't keep up with the frenetic pace of the dancing on a pin required?

Freder Frederson said...

I am not playing semantic games. You are deeply confused about how our government works, about the purpose of the three branches of government and the traditions and motivations that led to the founding of this country.

Jim said...

freder -

WOW. The guy who thinks that someone other than the President is commander-in-chief of our armed forces is going to tell ME that I'm confused about government.

Gotcha. Isn't it time for your medication?

Freder Frederson said...

Under your scenario, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor FDR should have sat back and waited for the people to organize themselves and attack Japan. According to you, it wasn't his job since "the American people can take care of themselves."

Actually, FDR did what a president is supposed to do under the Constitution (and which no president has done since him). He went to the Congress and asked them to declare war on Japan.

Since you apparently didn't know this simple constitutional principle. The UCMJ mentioned in that oath above. The Congress wrote that. They are responsible for prescribing the rules the military operates under.

Big Mike said...

Um, Jim, you're letting Freder and garage hijack the thread. Please note the Professor's warning above the area where we type our comments.

We started out by discussing whether Obama was deliberately lying when he insisted that he would close Guantanamo. I think he was, because (1) it's a promise that he didn't expect to be penalized for failing to keep (the anti-war looney fringe isn't about to vote Republican under any circumstances), and (2) all politicians lie, and for Democrats it's an automatic reflex.

garage mahal said...

So Obama is lying about a promise he made that has 7 months before it expires?

Jim said...

feder -

So you're saying that both Kennedy and LBJ illegally ordered troops into Vietname and that no soldier should have obeyed those orders?

There was never a Congressional declaration of war there either.

Same with the Gulf War under the first President Bush.

Same with all sorts of military actions that have been ordered by the president throughout our history that weren't accompanied by a declaration of war by Congress.

Face it. Your position flies in the face of more than 200 years of this country's history all the way back to the 1700's. Your position is that those orders were illegal because the president didn't have the constitutional authority to issue those orders.

It's a ludicrous position, and I'm having trouble understanding why you're having such difficult comprehending that.

Pogo said...

garage sings Brittany: Hit me, Barry, one more time."

Jim said...

Big Mike -

"Um, Jim, you're letting Freder and garage hijack the thread."

Probably true. Sometimes the ignorance and ahistorical nonsense that gets uttered here in the name of scoring political points gets the better of me. My bad.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

gaywrites,
I hope you are still following this thread .

First off, i believed you the very first time you said that you are a law student - hence my request to be clear about your position on Gitmo.
The truth is, I don't know all of the legal arguments about Guantanamo. That's in part what I meant by the fact that I was not all that invested in it.
It is kind of stunning to hear this from a law student - no offense meant - but you should probably pore over the arguments from both sides - this is a very complicated issue with no "right" answers -just better judgement calls. I dont know what area of the law that you are concentrating on, but if its constitutional law, you may want pay a lot more attention to what is unfolding.
I did not vote for Barack Obama because he wanted to close it, and John McCain's position on keeping it open did not bother me.
John McCain wanted to close Gitmo too.http://www.smh.com.au/news/us-election/we-should-close-guantanamo/2008/03/27/1206207240495.html
I don't question Bush's integrity or intentions.
It is VERY hard to believe that when you make statements such as these
But a fundamental difference remains in wanting to get as many people out of that facility as possible and to preserve some sense of due process. That is NOT like Bush

You have, it seems to me,come to two conclusions

A. There is a due process that is already mapped out for terrorists who represent no country or have any borders. ( The Geneva convention was among countries where soldiers identified themselves as citizens of one country - Al Qaeda terrorists claim that they are fighting for a religion and a cause which is trans national)
B. Bush is not willing to give these detainees their due process.

I will respond to the rest in another comment.

garage mahal said...

"Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens"

Britney Spears speaking of George Bush.

Man who does that sound like.

Michael McNeil said...

Actually, FDR did what a president is supposed to do under the Constitution (and which no president has done since him). He went to the Congress and asked them to declare war on Japan.

Utterly wrong. As the Democrat who was then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is now Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden explained in a speech given on October 22, 2001, an authorization for the use of force passed by Congress is the exact constitutional equivalent of a “declaration of war,” so titled. George W. Bush sought and obtained such prior authorization before going to war, both in the case of Afghanistan and Al Qaeda after 9/11 and in the case of Iraq in 2002. Thus, war was legally declared in both cases.

Incidentally, UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh has written in a number of postings on The Volokh Conspiracy that he agrees with Biden's analysis in this regard.

Note that Bill Clinton waged war on a sovereign nation (Serbia) without obtaining any such prior Congressional authorization.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

gaywrites,
here is part 2

You don't know me. Other than today, I cannot recall making any public statements about Bush.Please see my comments above - if you are not "judging" Bush, i fail to understand what exactly you are doing here.

I fundamentally disagree with President Bush on many issues, but I don't think he's evil. Good to know that - i am no fan of Bush either but i have seen too much vitriol thrown at him.

I never pointed out that there are fewer numbers of detainees under Obama, I only assumed based on what Ann had posted that there would be fewer in the future.
You actually did - here's your quote
I don't really see how Obama is that much like Bush. When Bush was President there were roughly 240 detainees. Under Obama, it sounds like there will be at most 90 detainees (if the others are put on trial, transferred abroad etc).
I pointed out the number difference as part of an argument that I believe that Obama has a very different view of the men in that prison and what should be done with them than Bush does, and that I thought that not closing the prison was a convincing enough argument for me that Obama was like Bush on the issues of Guantanamo.
Very different views ?? Based on what ?? Thomas Joscelyn has pointed out to the kind of people that Obama has released - this is not to mention the number of people who are back in the battlefield after being released from Gitmo.
My position on Guantanamo is this: I believe that suspected terrorists, while they may not have the same due process rights as the traditional criminal, our justice system should be doing everything in its power to make sure that justice is granted to any person we're detaining.
gaywrites, I am not American but from what i have seen, your Government has been as generous as possible to some of the worst criminals this world has seen or ever see.
Besides, you seem to be missing the point that the Bush DOJ seemed to make repeatedly - now you may not AGREE with it- but as i said this would be a judgement call.
AQ terrorists or any other terrorists are not covered by the Geneva conventions or any other known legal process. The Govt of the US is trying its best to treat them with a sense of fairness if not "justice". It does not have any obligations to give them every possible legal tool to defend themselves when it has a lot of evidence that shows the true character of these detainees - evidence that it would not produce in a civil court to protect its agents from being uncovered or cross examined.PLEASE PLEASE read Andrew McCarthy and his "Willful Blindness" if you want a point of view that contradicts the politically correct line of thinking on how to deal with terrroists.

http://www.amazon.com/Willful-Blindness-Andrew-C-McCarthy/dp/1594032130

McCarthy lead the prosecution of Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and others involved in the 1993 World Trade Center.
If there are people in that camp that cannot be prosecuted for national security reasons and those reasons amount to more than simple pretext, than a determination should be made about what should happen to them other than a criminal trial.

Its called Military tribunals - something that does not give the due process that you earlier wanted these detainees to have. Bush suggested this - and of course the Dems rejected it calling it as a kangaroo court.

And now of course after becoming President, its no longer a bad idea for Obama.

http://news.aol.com/article/obama-to-revive-military-tribunals/459839

Closing Gauntanamo is not the most important to me. Preserving due process is.

If you believe that there is a due process for detainees at Gitmo, please make it the subject of your dissertation -assuming that law students have dissertations to do. Seriously,it would be a tremendous exercise intellectually and morally.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

gaywrites, part 3 of my response including an apology

And please don't judge my ability to be either a good lawyer or "clear and concise" based on blog comments.
Please dont be offended - i was very confused by your earlier arguments - your response this time was much clearer.


I assume there is a little bit of shooting from the hip that goes on with most comments here, and I would hope I'm given that same degree of understanding.
You know what, gaywrites - i am used to dealing with a lot of sanctimonious comments from those on their moral high horses on how the US should be treating detainees - and it probably contributed to my sharp response. I didnt mean to be offend you and i apologize if i did.

Jim said...

Big Mike -

Back to the topic at hand... :)

I don't necessarily believe that he was lying. I think that, as we've seen elsewhere in his foreign policy, that he is just monumentally naiive about how the world works.

All of his life, from childhood on, he's been steeping in Leftist ideology that posits that all America's ills in foreign policy are the result of our failings rather than the natural product of having to deal with the real world and consistently being forced with a choice between the rock and the hard place.

We were all told that Joe Biden was going to be Obama's adviser on foreign policy affairs. He was there to add "gravitas" to the ticket. It was the reason that he was supposedly such a superior choice to Palin, and therefore evidence of Obama's superior judgment vis a vis McCain.

We all know how that one has worked out. Mr. "Gaffe-A-Minute" is the butt of more jokes than Dan Quayle and can barely handle tying his shoes in the morning without minders present to make sure he doesn't say something stupid while he does so.

So we have a guy who thinks that Biden is a foreign policy genius and once you realize what an astounding failure of judgment that was, it's easy to see where the rest of his foreign policy falls down.

When you start from the default position that whatever is going on is America's fault as Leftist ideology teaches, then it's easy to believe that if only we were nicer and more apologetic everything else would fall into place.

I believe he honestly that closing Gitmo would just be as simple as declaring that it was going to be closed in order to appease the terrorists. I think it's come as a genuine shock to him that the issue is far more complicated than he believed it was.

The same is true of Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Israel, Venezuela, and his relationships with our European allies. Every place he has started with the assumption that white people are necessarily bad (Europe) and people of color (everywhere else we're talking about) are necessarily good and just needed a colored face to talk to, he has been spectacularly wrong.

But I don't anticipate that he will change any time soon. He doesn't know any other paradigm through which to view the world. It's what he's been indoctrinated to believe, and he's completely bought into that failed ideology.

We're in for an extremely rough ride over the next few years. Europe is already longing for a return to the Bush years of a certain ally across the Atlantic, and this country is just starting to wake up to what an unmitigated disaster this foolhardy Leftist is. Four years from now, the only people with their eyes still closed are the ones who long ago decided they'd rather go down with the ship than ever admit that they were wrong all along.

Bob said...

Freder, FDR also went and attacked a nation which had not directly attacked the US. Namely Germany. We actually lost more troops fighting the Germans than the Japanese. Of course FDR used the declaration of war to intern thousands of citizens, censor the press, and conduct secret trials and executions of German agents caught operating against the US while out of uniform. It would have been great had Bush sought a Declaration of War but how would you have felt had he been granted those powers?

PS - reading you lecturing former military members on the oath of enlistment/commissioning oath is a bit rich. You must have stayed at a hotel last night.

Michael McNeil said...

it would have been great had Bush sought a Declaration of War but how would you have felt had he been granted those powers?

Once again, Bush did seek (the equivalent of) a declaration of war, obtained that authorization, and as a result the U.S. is legally at war.

Big Mike said...

@Jim, I tend to agree with nearly all of your points, but I was of voting age in 1968 when Dick Nixon had a "secret plan" to end the war in Viet Nam, and in 1976 when Jimmy Carter deplored some of the Ford administration's policies, but kept them in place after he assumed office.

You are willing to give Obama the benefit of some doubt. It seems clear to me that when Obama promised to close Guantanamo he already knew -- or should have known -- that this could happen only by sending the detainees to Bagram or into a maximum security prison in the US.

Cedarford said...

Freder Frederson said...
"the job of the American president is to protect the American people."

Actually, the job of the American president is to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Look it up. And contrary to what the Drill Sgt or Cedarford may have you believe, the oath required of military personnel is very similar. Their oath is to defend the Constitution, not the people of the United States, nor to blindly follow the orders of the commander in chief or their superior officers.


Give enemy-lover Freder credit, in a perverse and pathetic sense - for his continued insistance on an Enemy's Bill of Rights existing and his continued insistance that any American soldier who Freder imagines violates his imaginary Enemy's Bill of Rights - as violating the Constitution and their oath.

We do know that Freders enemy...and it is confusing at times to fugure out if he means Americans or Jihadis...clearly both conduct actions that seem outside the Sacred Parchment.

The (enemy) Americans are noted to violate 1st Amendment Rights by bombing enemy radio and TV stations.

We apparantly disregard the enemy's right to keep and bear arms, in clear violation of the US Constitution...if it in fact applies to enemy.

In fact, we kill and maim them without trial.
Without clearing it through ACLU Jews or judges or a jury!

We apparantly, in Freders mind, also violate the 4th by lacking a civilian judges warrant before raiding enemy homes, the 5th by unjust takings of enemy property like C-4, blow up their property like bridges w/o compensation..

We shred the 6th in war, trammel the 7th, disregard the 8th.

=============
We could go on and on about the stupidity of Freder's claims that soldiers can prosecute war on enemy forces without violating his imagined "enemy Constitutional protections"....but we all know Freder is both anti-American and an idiot, so why bother with his vapid nit-picking??
==============
Soldiers are not Talmudic scholars. And their Oath is focused in on the over-arching goals of the Constitution - as specified in the Preamble.

1. Provide for the Common Defense.

2. Preserve the blessings of Liberty for present and future generations...and key to that, as Lincoln elequantly explained...was not letting an enemy destroy the whole while people obsessed on one contradictory clause that might block protecting the whole.

3. Insure domestic tranquility - hard to do when Islamoids are slamming jets into skyscrapers occupied by tens of thousands, military center, or attempting to kill our elected leaders.
VERY IMPORTANT to have our troops do their utmost to try and neutralize future enemy Islamoid efforts.

Keeping it simple, that is roughly what each soldier believes they are swearing to when they take their Oath. That and following orders of their superiors.

AllenS said...

Big Mike, I returned from Viet Nam in 1968, and I also remember Nixon's secret plan. He caught nothing but grief when he didn't end the war. The press didn't wait for 1 year to expire, either. Obama was going to start removing troops from Iraq "on day one". Hasn't happened, but then, he isn't Nixon.

Jim said...

Big Mike -

"...or should have known..."

I wholeheartedly agree with you. The key point being "should have known." There's no doubt that anyone who gave serious thought to the issue recognized the complications, but unlike so many here who claim that Obama is some kind of closet super-genius I don't think there's much at all beneath his thin veneer.

I don't think the guy has ever ever been capable of serious thought because he's never seriously been challenged to do so. He's never worked in the private sector. He's never held a position with any real accountability. He's never competed in any political race in which the odds weren't heavily in his favor before he started. And he's never been held to account for a single word out of his mouth.

That's the perfect recipe for breeding a Leftist. If you never have to defend your ideas against a determined opponent or be responsible for the consequences of implementing them, then you're completely free to dream up not only pie-in-the-sky solutions but to imagine the fairy tale world in which they would work.

Should he have known it wouldn't work? Absolutely. But did he? Doubtful.

He was marketed to the American public as a pragmatic, center-left politician, but he's never been pragmatic in his career and center-left is beyond the horizon from the political territory he occupies. Pragmatism and centrism both require something which Obama completely lacks: an ability to understand that you can't have it all. That, in the real world, you don't get to just dictate what happens: you have to take into account what those who disagree with you are going to do and say in response. Obama's never had a serious opposition: so he's never had to be pragmatic or move away from his hard-Left politics to get something done.

He's being educated about it the hard way, and we're the ones who are paying the tuition.

Ralph L said...

Soldiers are not Talmudic scholars.
I'm confused. Are you praising soldiers or damning them?

Gabriel Hanna said...

garage mahal:Coming from the same crowd that had 9/11 happen on their watch and invaded and occupied a country that had nothing to do with it?

Pearl Harbor happened on FDR's watch.

The first country FDR invaded was Tunisia, which as a Vichy colony was neutral.

He invaded to attack the Germans, who didn't have anything to do with Pearl Harbor.

Not only did he never catch Hitler, his successor let Hirohito stay Emperor, and Hirohito died in bed in the 1990s.

Didn't you go to school?

Big Mike said...

@Jim, small nit. Obama ran in the Democratic Congressional primary in 2000 against a well-entrenched incumbent -- and got his head handed to him by a bit more than 2:1.

As for the rest, absolutely.

Don't worry, no matter what befalls in the next three years, come summer and early fall of 2012 the MSM will be talking about how much Obama has "grown" in office and while they will allow that he has made some mistakes (they won't be able to avoid that as his mistakes will be large and highly visible), on balance the editorial staff rates his presidency among the very best in the history of the Republc. Something like that.

Ralph L said...

I'd like to know who got Obama the speaking gig at the 2004 Dem Convention. Presumably, Kerry made the final decision, but someone must have suggested or pushed it. Odd that they've never owned up to it, that I've heard.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

I'd like to know who got Obama the speaking gig at the 2004 Dem Convention.
Two words - Emil Jones - he is one of the sleaziest pols in Illinois (but thats kind of redundant - ILLINOIS has nothing but sleazebags). He also happens to be the mentor of Barack Obama - it was Obama who asked Emil Jones to support him to run for IL Senate.

Presumably, Kerry made the final decision, but someone must have suggested or pushed it.
Kerry was the accidental candidate - he is not a powerhouse within his own state of Massachussets - he became the winner after Howard Dean showed that he was nothing more than a small governor from a small state who could never win an election outside of VT.

Besides Emil Jones is comfy comfy with Mayor Shortshanks and as we all know -the Daleys are the most powerful family in recent Democrat party history after the Kennedys.

Robert Cook said...

"As mans as 90 detainees cannot be charged or released."

America, the land of the free and the brave, the land of due process, habeas corpus, the presumption of innocence and soaring eagles and shining cities on the hill shitting on the slums at the foot of the hill asserts it must continue to imprison a number of men whom it can not charge but cannot release. In short, these men are stuck in a hole, presumably for life, without ever having been proved to be guilty of any crime, any terrorist acts, and with no opportunity to be made available to them to argue their case.

And we're different from any other third-rate police state...how?

Fuck Obama. He's an odious shit just as Bush was an odious shit, just as Clinton was an odious shit and so on back and back and back.

Ralph L said...

presumably for life
For the duration of the war, as in other wars, too damn bad, don't attack the United States. For some reason, our enemies choose not to keep live POWs which they could try to exchange for their people at Gitmo. Even the Palestinians figured that one out.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

And we're different from any other third-rate police state...how?

Robert Cook, if you really lived in a third world police state I could call the cops to take a look at what you wrote - and i would ask them to do the "needful".

You may not have a hand to type your precious rants against your country.

Dont make yourself look silly. Your country's Constitution has been raped repeatedly in the last 100 years - show me where the hell, the U.S. Constitution allows for the establishment of a federal agency for Education, Energy, Health care and just about anything else??

10th Amendment

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. "

Yesterday your motherf***ing representatives voted for a bill that was 1000 plus pages long without even knowing what it was in it.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/wheres-the-bill-49208987.html

Heck, the bill in its entiriety does not even physically exist ! Such is the fierce urgency of these crooks - duly elected by citizens with voting rights.

You are definitely on the path to being a third world country, so cry yourself a river.

chefmojo said...

In short, these men are stuck in a hole, presumably for life, without ever having been proved to be guilty of any crime, any terrorist acts, and with no opportunity to be made available to them to argue their case.

Mr. Cook,

They are not there because they are alleged to have committed crimes. This is the misconception that leftists cannot, or will not, understand, perhaps due to the fact that they have no respect or understanding of warfighting.

Guantanamo holds captured enemy combatants. Not criminals. Tribunals were set up to try them for violations of the laws of war, not for criminal acts. There is a very big distinction here. This is why it is crucial to keep them out of the criminal justice system. They're not criminals. They have been captured in a war and are being held in a legal limbo until someone figures out what to do with them or decides to try them for violations of the laws of war.

The left has insisted that the United States treat terrorism as a criminal act. It is not a criminal act, but an act of war, and should be adjudicated accordingly.

scinfinity said...

Is Obama like Bush because the facility will still be open? I guess. But a fundamental difference remains in wanting to get as many people out of that facility as possible and to preserve some sense of due process. That is NOT like Bush.

So talking about changing things but not doing so is better than not changing things?

Promising to close a facility that cannot be closed but still trying to get as close to that as possible is not the same as never promising to close and never having any intention of changing the status whatsoever.

Why do you assume Bush had no desire to close it? Because he didn't grandstand with a big ceremony to say he'll do it before not doing it?

Imagine Obama receiving several warnings of an imminent terrorist attack, one of which he was eating an ice cream cone or arugula somewhere, and shrugged it off. 9/11 happens under his watch and after 8 yrs didn't catch or try any of the perps aside from a few grunts and a retarded driver.

...and the mastermind of the plot. Don't want to forget him.

...actually, yeah, I bet you do want to forget that.

To be fair to Obama: he is inheriting a "broken" policy, and there may be no way to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Bush only had to invent a policy out of nothing, with nothing but carping and whining from Lefties SUCH AS OUR CURRENT PRESIDENT for being evil...and then sitting back and watch them changing absolutely nothing he did while never apologizing for the constant demonization for years.

Meanwhile, even if Obama does want to change Bush's policies, he has to deal with Congress.

How could he ever get closing Gitmo through a Congress with overwhelming majorities of people who claim to support...closing Gitmo?

Not only did he never catch Hitler, his successor let Hirohito stay Emperor, and Hirohito died in bed in the 1990s.

He also armed the Soviets, and using the Left's attacks on Reagan for "creating the Taliban" makes FDR personally responsible for all of the human rights violations the USSR was party to for the following 45 years.

Freder Frederson said...

For all you dumbasses who think you are so clever because you pointed out that the U.S. adopted a "Germany First" strategy in World War II (a "country that hadn't even attacked us"). You might want to recheck your basic history.

God, you are ignorant and stupid.

And I regard being called an "enemy lover" by our resident Nazi Cedarford a badge of honor.

Michael McNeil said...

For all you dumbasses who think you are so clever because you pointed out that the U.S. adopted a "Germany First" strategy in World War II (a "country that hadn't even attacked us"). You might want to recheck your basic history.

Okay, let's check that history. Roosevelt actually provoked war with Nazi Germany.

On April 2, 1941 (eight months before Pearl Harbor), in his “Hemispheric Defense Plan No. 1” FDR unleashed the U.S. Navy on all German undersea craft that might be detected west of a line (25° W. long.) just west of Europe (Iceland) and Africa (Cape Verde Is.) and thus including almost the entire Atlantic Ocean. U.S. forces also soon occupied Greenland (Danish territory, but Denmark was occupied by Germany) and Iceland (ditto).

Afterwards, as Walter A. McDougall (Professor of International Relations, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) writes in his article “20th-Century International Relations” in Encyclop√¶dia Britannica:

“Roosevelt and Churchill met secretly off the coast of Newfoundland and drafted a manifesto of the common principles that bound their two countries and all free peoples. In this eight-point Atlantic Charter (announced on August 14), reminiscent of Wilson's Fourteen Points, the signatories renounced territorial aggrandizement and endorsed the restoration of self-government to all captured nations and equal access to trade and raw materials for all. According to Churchill, Roosevelt also promised to ‘wage war but not declare it’ and to look for an incident that would justify open hostilities.

“When the Congress voted on November 7 to arm merchant ships and allow them into the war zone, it seemed that submarine warfare would again be casus belli for the United States. U-boats had already torpedoed the destroyers Kearney and Reuben James (the latter was attacking the submarine, but sank with 115 hands on October 31 [1941]). But in fact it took dramatic events in another theatre altogether to make Roosevelt's undeclared war official.”

Then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and then Germany declared war on the U.S. (which it was not obligated to do, under the terms of its treaty with Japan) — thereupon the United States, rather gleefully one suspects, declared war right back on both. FDR clearly saw the looming danger that the Nazis personified and was determined to meet it.

Aaron said...

Mmm, i wonder where all the people getting all sanctimonious on sanford, etc. for hypocrisy are, in terms of calling Obama on his blatant hypocrisy and promise breaking?

I'm not going to give Obama crap for promising to do the wrong thing and then surprisingly doing the right thing, but its funny how hypocrisy doesn't matter so much when it is your guy.

Robert Cook said...

"Guantanamo holds captured enemy combatants."

Says who?

Without proof, we have no idea who these men are or where they came from. Even the military has acknowledged that many of the "enemy combatants" in our hands over the past 8 years of our Terror War were simply sold to us for bounty by Afghani warlords and others. We offered money for "terrorists," and, magically, "terrorists" were dragged out of the woodwork and we bought them.

As a result, in waves over time, many of those "worst of the worst" have been released, such that we hold but a fraction now of those originally detained. (This is Gitmo; we have no idea how many innocents are still held in black sites abroad.)

This is the evil we do: we assert the status of our prisoners as "enemy combatants" or "terrorists" yet no proof exists sufficient to try them, and they are stuck in hell "for the duration." When does a Terror war end?

Never.