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Guantanamo Must Close, Military Tribunals Offensive To American Ideals

April 5, 2011

There is no way that anyone in America, be they Democrat or Republican, can feel any sense of pride about the news concerning the decision to try Sheikh Mohammed in front of a military tribunal as opposed to a civilian court.

No one can be proud that many Democrats grew timid in the face of attempts by Republicans to willfully mislead the nation over the civilian court route for terror suspects.  At the end of the day I am as dismayed with the Democrats for not standing on fact and principle, as I am over the short-sighted shenanigans from the Republicans.

One of the challenges that faced President Obama at the outset of his administration was how to close Guantanamo and stop the military trials that tipped the democratic ideals of justice on its head.

I have no doubt that history will correctly judge President Bush who created the legal and international fiasco that is Guantanamo with the harshness that he so richly deserves.  But now there must be those Democrats in Congress who allowed themselves to be used by the GOP who also need to face the pages of history.

Military commissions that hand out justice is a wretched way to conduct business and it richly deserve the wrath of the international community.  Meanwhile federal courts have sentenced hundreds of terrorists in an effective and legal fashion that does not undermine our ideals.

The facts speak to that very clearly.

Since 9/11 there have been 6 convictions in military tribunals, while over 400 hundred convictions have occurred for terrorist suspects in civilian courts.  Did America implode from the hundreds that were tried and convicted and I just missed the headlines?  Or are Republicans doing what they do best?

Which is annoy the hell out of reason, and work overtime to twist and distort the facts.

The larger  ideals upon which our nation was formed seems to mean less and less as time goes by.  To a frightening degree this is happening more and more among conservatives who one would think might better understand the reason legal process matters in a democracy.  The problem is that too many red-meat Republicans control the party and thoughtful, educated discourse is often never engaged in anymore.

Conservatives have thrown up false notions about how anti-terrorism goals would be undermined if Guantanamo were to be closed, or how all would be in peril if civilian courts were allowed to render justice.  That just distorts the truth, and allows for terrorist elements to use Guantanamo against America.

I am embarrassed by Guantanamo, and also by the military tribunals that continue to occur there.

Caffeinated Politics supported the idea of the federal government buying a prison in Illinois for the express purpose of housing the remaining detainees at Guantanamo.  It made sense in 2009, when the idea was much in discussion, and holds even more merit now.

All that is required now are the intelligent and forward thinking members of Congress to separate themselves from the rest and make it happen.

President Obama is ready to sign such a bill.

The world community is ready to make it happen.

History will judge it a brighter moment for American foreign policy.

6 Comments
  1. April 7, 2011 7:41 PM

    I know you do not live in a bubble, and know you are aware of the lack of journalistic standards of FAUX News. I watch at times this network and can tell you every time I do that I can point to falsehoods.

    Gitmo is the topic of this post so Peter King who FN loves to drag out to underscorse thier mission of the day was appropriate to use here. There is no way to honestly claim that any other news outlet can be compared to FN. FN is an arm of the RNC and all the far right elements, and now also of the Tea groups.

    While King may have his opinions the point of FN is not to shoot down racist and misleading ones with other points of view, or to inform the viewers of the mistakes.

    In case you missed the point that was misleading was the fact King made it sound as if Gitmo prisoners would be housed in a prison with other prisoners from this nation. That was NEVER planned, and in fact just the opposite was planned.

    So the only people Gitmo prisoners would be talking religion with in northern Ill. are the same ones they chat with in Cuba. They were never to be in general population, as the prison in question was for the sole purpose of Gitmo cases.

    The purpose is to create fiction by saying something over and over.

    Like Iraq was involved with 9/11..or the WMD mess…lies over time morph into ‘facts; among a certain demographic in this nation.

    Stuff like that which FN does all the time is not valid journalism. There is no way to defend it as it happens all the time…that is what they do for a business.

    Roger Ailes has a mission.

    BTW…I can only show you the stuff from You Tube, so to make a point about what I found to make a point is..well what should I have used?

    Related point to FN misleading viewers…

    Neil Cavuto has stressed up and down that there is no validity to the the fact government spending creates jobs. None…zip……

    I might have countered…

    When Ike was able to muster throught the interstate highway project across the nation who does Neil think was hired to do the work?

    When the Boston Tunnel..the ‘Big Dig’ was undertaken who was hired?

    I could go on and on….point is the whole FAUX NEWS network is a partisan slugfest without care for facts and logic.

  2. Patrick permalink
    April 7, 2011 6:14 PM

    While this report is related to gitmo by tangent, I have to ask: This is the best you could do?

    Sure, the host does say “absolutely.” At one point, one of the hosts asks about inmates being “radicalized” in prison–a fair question given the topic. Prisons are well known recruitment grounds for every sort of criminal gang, like the KKK, for example. I never heard either host use the word “extreme.” These words are used by Rep. King, but he is a guest on the show, not a host. While you certainly know more about terrorism and homeland security that the ranking republican on the committee, I don’t have the background to determine which of his statements were factually “misleading,” but he certainly has his opinions.

    Perhaps you could examine another example more directly related to the gitmo detention center.

    I would expect that the PBS news hour has a very high standard of journalism, higher than fox. However, to suggest that they are without bias or that other networks–msn, cnn, etc… are without bias and therefore real journalism is rather childish. As far as news networks “pounding” an issue–that’s called the “news cycle.”

  3. April 6, 2011 9:37 PM

    The continued use of the words “radical” and “extremist”, and the FAUX News hosts who say “absolutely” etc, to the misleading answers to questions they ask (link below) makes for false news stories. This type of beating of the drum over and over does not allow for a real debate or explantion to the public on this matter. This is how FUAX News covers a story. By ‘reporting’ a story in this fashion is not representative of the truth or the fuller aspect to the story. That is not journalism.

    I recall the Peter King interviews as he was there all the time so when I did a search for him on the You Tube it was easy to post one here to answer your question.

    Now I could also find a PBS Newshour video of the same topic handled in more inclusive fashion, but you are aware already of the differences between journalism and FAUX News.

    When FAUX News picks a topic and pounds on it over and over with a political agenda there is no way not to see the goals that are intended to be reached.

  4. Patrick permalink
    April 6, 2011 5:23 PM

    Could you identify one false story from Fox news regarding Gitmo? It shouldn’t be hard since you say they are “endless.”

    I am a teacher and understand that radical terrorists who have fought American soldiers around the globe or who have targeted American interests need to be kept in a secure location far from civilians–like Gitmo. I’m sure your understanding of history indicates that terrorist groups, islamic terrorist groups, have on several occasions tried to use violent force to free their evil minions. Gitmo is the most safe location for them to be housed.

    Obama and his fellow liberal democrats had control of congress with an unassailable super-majority–the same one they could have used to advance the cause of gay rights if they had really cared about them. It is really bogus to claim that this is all part of some “political reality” when leadership sometimes requires that you do the right thing if that is the way you see it. To me, actions speak louder than words. Look at what your hero has done, that is reality.

    “Political reality” is saying stuff to string along your base (read gay rights community) when you know darn well that you don’t care enough about the issue to expend some political capital. After Obama was elected you were so certain Gitmo would be closed in a year; how much of a pass does he get? You’ll justify and blame everything on Republicans until the end of his second term. It is your party that is sleazy, not mine.

    While we should both have reason to question our justice system, the fact is that the terrorists at Gitmo are combatants out of uniform who indicate they are at war with America and therefore should be tried in military courts, convicted and, hopefully, executed.

  5. April 5, 2011 11:46 PM

    No, the conservatives did to Gitmo what they do to so many issues, and that is run endless false stories on FAUX News, and then the echo chamber of talk radio so that common sense and awareness takes second place to the most base motives of your party.

    You seem to enjoy that.

    The sleazy way your party does business seems fine with you. It does not work for me.

    The President understands politics. He knows what needs to be done. He wants Gitmo closed, but also understands the dynamics that must be in play for that to happen. That is after all the way Washington operates.

    What puzzles me is that you are a teacher and should be able to grasp the need to close Gitmo, and yet seem unable to admit to what needs to happen.

    Do you really think that these folks at Gitmo will commit a jail break from a federal prison and hold up in Milton?

    Are you so unsure of your justice system that you think it not able to handle these cases?

  6. Patrick permalink
    April 5, 2011 10:42 PM

    Why would you assume that the democrats are not standing with “fact and principle” on the issue of Gitmo? Do they all lack the “intellectual heft” to see the world as you do? Could it be possible that they have access to more facts and better advice on the issue than you do?

    If the president had wanted Gitmo closed he would have done it in year one. Something has convinced even this president that while gitmo is not a point of pride, it is a necessity.

    You would be better advised to note that the “arab street” will hate america just as much on the day after gitmo is closed as it did on the day before. It is hard to appeal to them with western notions of justice when it is western tolerance and justice they despise.

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