Obama Administration Reserves Right to Indefinitely Hold Detainees Acquitted of Charges

225px-official_portrait_of_barack_obamaThe Obama Administration continues its retention and expansion of abusive Bush policies — now clearly Obama policies on indefinite detention and blocking the investigation of war crimes. Jeh Johnson, the Defense Department’s chief lawyer, has stated that it is a “policy question” whether acquitted individuals will be released or held indefinitely.

In May, President Obama announced that he supported indefinite detention of individual in violation of both domestic and international law. He has even found his detention policies to be a subject of jokes.

Liberals continue to be largely silent in the face of policies that they once denounced and protested. It is rare to hear any coverage or questions of the Administration’s refusal to investigate war crimes of torture, for example. Liberals seem to be quickly developing a cult of personality that has supplanted the most basic principles of human rights and international law. As with the Republicans under Bush, the Democrats are refusing to push the Administration to investigate torture or comply with international law. Before the inauguration, various generals and senators claimed that Obama and Holder assured them privately that no one would be investigated for torture. It now appears that these stories were likely true. Democrats must choose between their principles and their politicians — and they appear to be making the same choice as their Republican counterparts.

For the story, click here and here.

348 thoughts on “Obama Administration Reserves Right to Indefinitely Hold Detainees Acquitted of Charges

  1. Brings to mind Martin Niemöller He was an anti-Communist and supported Hitler’s rise to power at first. He became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler. Unlike Niemöller, they gave in to the Nazis’ threats. Hitler personally detested Niemöller and had him arrested and eventually confined in the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps.

    His poem is well-known, frequently quoted, and is a popular model for describing the dangers of political apathy, as it often begins with specific and targeted fear and hatred which soon escalates out of control.

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

    link: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller

  2. John W. Dean wrote all about this phenomena, i.e. between lock-step authoritarians and the task of organizing liberals being as difficult as herding cats, in “Conservatives Without Conscience”

    Nonetheless, the dialogue about Obama being no better than Bush needs to expand to the 4th Amendment issues; which are the clearest and least disputable examples of the Executive trashing the Constitution.

  3. I seem like we have two different people in one president,Thats the best way I can put what I am seeing.

    The one who made many reasonable campaign promises and the one that we have now.

    Well?

  4. The one who made many reasonable campaign promises and the one that we have now.

    Well?

    Down here in Tennessee they call folks like that “liars”.

  5. BuelahMan:

    Point well taken.I just wonder am I the only one seeing that “two person ” in one that I was talking about?

  6. Yes, Sir.

    I just don’t believe it is any mental condition, but downright lying thru his teeth.

    Political expediency has been the man’s mantra from way back in his “community organizer” days. I was saying during the campaign (over and over) that he was lying. Not just misleading, but outright lying to Progressives to get their vote.

    he lied continuously about where his money came from.

    Yes, he could come back and say, “Technically, I didn’t say this or that”. And that is the secret to Barack Obama. He is a smart liar… one that can elude to certain things and make his audience “assume” things he never “technically” meant.

    This is all sideshow politics from the one who said he wanted to change politics.

    He is a liar and a cheat.

    But worse are the fools who fell for it and got us in to this position of dealing with yet another POS politician intent on enriching himself and his coffers.

  7. Liar is such a harsh word. He is merely being flexible regarding his position on specific topics. Just as “enhanced interrogation” means it is not torture, being flexible on facts is not the same as lying.

  8. “Liberals continue to be largely silent in the face of policies that they once denounced and protested…Liberals seem to be quickly developing a cult of personality that has supplanted the most basic principles of human rights and international law.”

    The worst thing that happened after 9/11 was that good men and women placed politics over principal. That mentality destroyed the Republican Party. Drones would not or could not criticize their leadership for appalling actions and policies. Now it appears that Democrats are prepared to go down the same road. I will never understand why.

  9. eniobob said; “The one who made many reasonable campaign promises and the one that we have now.”

    BuelahMan responded; “Down here in Tennessee they call folks like that “liars”.”

    ‘Round these parts, we call ’em politicians. The started to crop up all over the place when we stopped spraying that there accountability. First there were red ones, then blue ones, then black ones. I can even see a yeller one startin’ to sprout. It seems they come in all colors, and they don’t care what direction they lean.

    One day farmer Brandeis thought he figured out a way to stop ’em from growin’. -He was usin’ sunshine. -Them politicians don’t like sunshine. At times, they’ll even threaten each other with a little sunshine.–Don’t ya worry none…it’s just a threat. Them politicians is pretty good at protectin’ one another.

    Now we been hearin’ tales of some seye-n-teriffic people, (we call ’em patriots) cummin’ up with a way to stop ’em from growin’. -They plan to use sumptin called a “Constitution”. Only problem is…them patriots can’t seem to agree on how to ‘terpret some of the words. -They’re spending all their time arguin’ over the how to apply it.

    I think it’s time to take the “conservative” approach. -We should apply it “liberally”. -And repeat daily until all the politicians are gone. -When we do, a new crop will begin to grow.
    We can call them Representatives

  10. We just celebrated the 4th of July. If that has any real meaning to the people of this nation, then we must oppose Obama.

    I read with interest the comments about Sara Palin supporters and how they refuse to see her for who she is and how THEY are so stupid. I am asking people who feel that way to question if this is how they are reacting to Obama. Obama has made his choices very clear. His choices/actions are anti-Constitutional and they are evil (and I will use that word). Perhaps we like to think we cannot be fooled or manipulated but everyone of us is vunerable, depending on the pitch and our life circumstances. This is the liberal Milgram experiment and we are failing it.

    We are allowing Obama to torture (see Harper’s magazine for this month). We are allowing Obama to engage in surveillance against our citizens without warrant or oversight. We are allowing him to take people off the street anywhere in the world, take them to Bagram and deny them any rights to challenge Obama’s actions. We are allowing one man to have the power of imprisonment, life and death over whomever he chooses. This is the power of a dictator, not a president. If Obama suceeds at becoming our dictator, in large part it will be the result of citizens who remain silent in the face of crimes by this govt.

    There is no secret plan. Obama has been clear and consistent in his actions concerning human rights and civil liberties. It is not plausible to say that he is working under cover to achieve the exact opposite of what he is actually doing. If he did not want indefinite detention based on his say so, he would not be asking for it. Again, this is a liberal Milgram experiment. We must not fail it.

    Following is testimony concerning torture in Gitmo, right now, under Obama, (from Harpers): “In February, Lt. Colonel Yvonne Bradley..described a now familiar situation…’Binyam {Mohamed, her client} has witnessed people being forcibly extracted from their cell…SWAT teams in police gear come in and take the person out; if they resist, they are force-fed and then beaten…It is so bad that there are not enough chairs to strp them down and force-feed them for a two-or three-hour period to digest food through a feeding tube. Because theyre are not enough chais the guards are having to force-feed them in shifts…Every U.S. institution that could prevent force-feeding has failed to do so. Congress has failed to act, as hve the courst, as has the president”

    If this treatment of detainees is acceptable to you. If it is acceptable to you that Obama has the power to imprison people on his say so, then I ask you, “why do you believe this is so?”.

  11. A lie is a untruth told or intimated with intent to mislead.

    This is precisely what Barack Hussein Obama has done.

  12. Several months ago I had an interview for a top government position. I am very qualified for the position and meet all but one requirement. In the short Q and A portion of that interview I was asked this question. I answered No, and the interview was immediately terminated.

    Q: Can you lie and how good are you at doing so.

    I later found out that Obama was awarded the job.

  13. A single term will be more than enough for our “Constitutional Scholar.”

    No prosecution = No second term.

    In fact, a general strike comes to mind to tame our anti-Republic president.

    When I mentioned a Constitutional Convention, I was serious. The only way left to citizens to correct the abuse of the law by Mr.Obama, the Neo Cons, and Corporate, may in fact be a total rebuild.

    Let us set a deadline for prosecution of say, December 2010. If that deadline is not met, we can assume Mr. Obama can not be recognized any longer as a viable president. Instead of the dead process of impeachment, we should begin finding our own delegates and begin appointing them.

    Get serious, lawyers. This ain’t Kansas no more. While the People still have unfettered access to the Internet, we ought to begin thinking seriously about a system rebuild.

    http://www.light-to-dark.com/neo_con_trifecta.html

    Procrastinate at your own peril.

  14. Constitutional Scholar, another fabrication by the media or is it.

    During his April 14, 2009 press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had an exchange with Helen Thomas about detainees being held at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. During this exchange, Gibbs denied that Obama “taught on constitutional law.”

    In a December 2007 KJFK radio interview with Christiane Brown, the same interview during which Obama promised to have his Attorney General to investigate the Bush administration — a promise he has now kept, Obama stated that he “taught constitutional law for ten years.”

    Q Why is the President blocking habeas corpus from prisoners at Bagram? I thought he taught constitutional law. And these prisoners have been there —

    MR. GIBBS: You’re incorrect that he taught on constitutional law.

    Q — for many years with no due process.

    I just got back from the store and bought my daily pack of smokes. I told the clerk I hope to quit soon as I handed him my money. I kept standing there and the clerk asked if I needed something else. I said no, just my change. He started laughing and said there is no change.

  15. When you start telling lie’s you have to continue to tell them to cover the last one. Do you really want another lier in the Whitehouse, we just got rid of one that was in it for eight freakin years.

    Obama says yesterday he met his wife in class (00:39)

    Barack Obama joined the Chicago law firm, Sidley Austin, as a summer intern in 1989. That’s where he met his future wife, Michelle Robinson, who was his adviser.

    Michelle obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. Obama began Harvard Law School in in the fall of the same year. They were never at law school at the same time. This is just another senseless Obama lie to add to the ever-growing list.

  16. “Liberals continue to be largely silent in the face of policies that they once denounced and protested. It is rare to hear any coverage or questions of the Administration’s refusal to investigate war crimes of torture,”

    Prof. Turley, This is completely disturbing (& the topic which originally led me to you blog). What is being done? Are there legal actions (domestic or international) being taken to prosecute those responsible for these torture, detention & surveillance programs/policies?

    “Liar is such a harsh word”…. but accurate!

    Bdaman…so sad & so not surprising.
    a politician is a politician is a politician!

  17. lthuedk,

    Where do I sign? I’ve suggested before modification to remove corporations from play by Amendment, but I’m not against a Constitutional Congress as long as the original document is restored and retained with no degradation of rights or liberty. Unfortunately, the K St. purchased crowd will – I’m afraid all the evidence until now is pointing to this – will not be removed from interfering with the Constitution absent violence. I, like many of the regulars, would prefer peaceful process, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking it may be approaching time to bust some heads. In 2010, We the People should work to remove every incumbent no matter their affiliation and start with as clean a slate as possible. If we don’t have a restoration of our rightful government and civil rights by 2012, the same action – removing anyone currently in office – should be taken as well. Who we put into office should be put in with the understanding the graft stops here and now or someone gets hurt (and it won’t be We the People). If after 2012, we are still steadily marching toward fascism, I say game on. If you’re a politician at that point and you’re still towing the corporate line instead of the public’s line then you should get the crap knocked out of you. They bought the tickets, they should get the ride, but the time for talking in line grows shorter by the minute.

    MAKE THE GOVERNMENT WORK FOR WE THE PEOPLE OR FIND OUT THE HARD WAY WHO YOUR BOSS REALLY IS, WASHINGTON.

    Or has history taught you all nothing?

    10:1 is how much we outnumber ALL government employees. We outnumber the Feds by a helluva lot more than that. So instead of checking the math on how much K St. graft they’ve taken in, Congress should pay more attention to THAT math instead. My loyalty to the US ends when the Constitution is abandoned without chance of peaceful restoration. That’s the duty required of me when I swore to protect it and that limit is rapidly approaching despite Obama’s empty words about respecting the rule of law. You know Congress, the same duty you douchebags have been pissing on just as much as the Neocons you graft weasels enabled. Don’t act surprised when there’s no place left to run. And as much as they’ll try to label We the People as “terrorists”, we all know the difference between a freedom fighter defending the Constitution and a terrorist. And no one in Congress (but especially the leadership and the Senate) is actually trying to protect the Constitution anymore expect maybe Kucinich. The rest of them are asleep at the wheel or complicit in the crimes. The rest of those jackasses will say whatever it takes to stay in office and push their “The End of the World As Long As It Profits Me” agenda.

    And this is the road we are on. The fork in the road is coming soon. When that fork is reached? I wouldn’t trade places with a politician or lobbyist no matter their affiliation for all the money in the world. There’s only one transaction left for those people at that point and Charon collects his own tips.

  18. I still consider myself a progressive, a person who wants the government to work for the common good of its citizens on many issues like education, health care, and most of all justice. But if the Democratic Congress were to pass single payer health insurance tomorrow and Obama sign it into law, I would neither vote for nor donate money to them ever again or at least until the issue of war crimes and restoration of Constitutional rights were resolved. If Obama continues to go down the wrong road, I will consider him just as much a war criminal as Bush or Cheney. From now on my money goes to the ACLU and Amnesty International to fight Obama in the courts.

    This story appeared on another large blog last night via the Wall Street Journal. You would be encouraged to know that many liberals commenting there share my resolve not to support the president in any manner if justice does not prevail in this case. Of the larger liberal groups perhaps the most egregiously disappointing in this matter has been MoveOn.org which was very vocal about the Bush administration but giving Obama a total pass now.

  19. “The road to Auschwitz was built by hate, but paved with indifference.”
    -Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich

    America, wake up.

  20. “I still consider myself a progressive, a person who wants the government to work for the common good of its citizens on many issues like education, health care, and most of all justice. But if the Democratic Congress were to pass single payer health insurance tomorrow and Obama sign it into law, I would neither vote for nor donate money to them ever again or at least until the issue of war crimes and restoration of Constitutional rights were resolved.”

    Internally illogical.

    Providing health care for all is the very definition of protecting the common good.

    “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have” – Winston Churchill

  21. Buddha said; “In 2010, We the People should work to remove every incumbent no matter their affiliation and start with as clean a slate as possible.”

    Amen! -But we won’t do any better by electing their Democratic or Republican counterparts. -The “Big Two” must go.

  22. It’s called term limits folks. Senators and Congressman should be limited to the time they can serve just like the president. The assholes don’t even read what they sign. This is where the problem LIES.

  23. The senate is a place,where they say that everything is collegial,and cordial.

    So I guess they are being “bright and courteous”as they tell us to kiss our @%$%$ good-bye.

  24. The things that are going on “in plain sight”, but under the radar of most are unconscionable and decidedly unAmerican. We are moving closer and closer to becoming a police state. It’s pretty clear to some of us — law abiding, patriotic, good, loyal citizens — that fascism has come to America. How to turn back the tide, is another question altogether. As Judge Anthony Napolitano wrote, we are indeed “a nation of sheep.”

    I saw a Rachel Maddow interview with a veteran who had pressed Obama on a couple of issues specific to vets. Obama was convinced and the vets were happy. I’m paraphrasing, but the veteran told Rachel Maddow that they told Obama, “We can be your best friends or your worst enemies.” It didn’t sit right with me at the time and it doesn’t sit right with me now. It seemed like “a threat.” Perhaps the vet could explain the remark — I’m not saying that it was a threat, but it was a bit alarming.

    John Dean has said that when we learn the whole truth about the crimes of the the last 8 years, it will be “worse than Watergate.” It will, I’m guessing.

  25. Bman,

    I don’t think there is any comparison to what’s going to happen with the “tea parties”. That was a bunch of people without a clue what to be angry about but enough spare time and bile on their hands to think standing on corners railing against the wrong thing is a good idea. Challenging Obama’s citizenship and bitching about taxes when they have no concern at all over the Bush Admin opening the torture door or attacking a country that DID NOT attack us on 9/11 made them simply look foolish and uninformed. What I am talking about is more serious than that by a long shot.

  26. I agree with others who suggest the following in one form or another:
    1. a general strike
    2. withdrawl of all money to either the Democractic or Republican party or any candidate who will not support criminal prosecutions of past and present war criminals.
    3. all money sent to groups which are challenging the govt for abusing our rights and acting in an anti-Constitutional manner

    I cannot support violence but I do support financial jujitsu. Money is a linchpin in this society. In my opinion, it’s what has to be cut off to get anywhere.

    I hope that people who spoke out against Bush’s abuse of power on this blog will step forward to condemn it under Obama. The action of banding together to say something is wrong, in itself, is powerful. If Obama realizes his supporters will openly and publically criticize him for unlawful acts, he may think twice before proceeding down this disastrous course.

  27. I do think it will take the strong condemnation of Obama supporters to get very far in stopping him. Obama knows that his opposition is limited to Republicans who don’t mind a dictator, as long as it’s one of theirs, and to a rather small group of human rights and civil libertarians, pro-Consitutionalists from every party. If we in the human rights and civil liberties and Pro-Constitutionalist camp would be able to garner your support for publically opposing Obama when he is acting counter to the rule of law, we would have a large group of many strong voices.

    Please read Glenn Greenwald’s article on this. Please join us and remain publically silent no longer.

  28. Buddah is laughing:

    Thanks for taking me seriously. Actually the frustration to communicate through the years has compelled me to state exactly what I mean by pictures and with that, I envision a Declaration of Independence II and whatever that entails.

    It will be up to those entrenched anti-Constitutional corporatists and Neo Cons to act violently and produce martyrs. I will not go any further here except to say I’d take a bullet for our Constitution and will not hesitate to go the distance. What is needed is a coalescence of similar thinkers, and a tangible action plan, which includes delegate selection.

    This site is uniquely equipped for that purpose, if the Professor agrees. If not, I’ll button it and keep to myself.

    I’m quite finished with our out of control authoritarian government. As I see it, while we still have a free speech-based Internet we should exercise our rights and that means organizing a C.C. to get the job done. Since Obama’s NSA will be watching and listening, I determined a while back that any reformation must be entirely public, including any and all action plans. They get to see whats coming.

    In other words: An entirely in their face reformation. I know I’ve touched a nerve too many times and got used to Pentagon, State Department, Justice, and Treasury visits to my website. I’m not commercial, have no money changing devices at my site, and that means I cannot be manipulated. I serve to protect and defend and that is the government’s problem.

    So, I come here looking for dedicated, brave legal minds who might help with the process. I do believe the window of opportunity will eventually close for this sort of action, so there is some urgency.

    First the committee to select delegates needs advertising and a place to begin.

    Finally, “Don’t Tread On Me” is a saying I’ve never taken lightly as it’s very much in my blood. I know the risks.

    http://www.light-to-dark.com/unanticipated.html

  29. lthuedk,

    Your site is freaking awesome!!!

    So glad you posted the link. Your artwork is phenomenal.

    I hope to post an image or two and will ask before doing so. I especially like the “bird”, but I have much more perusing to do.

  30. If you are pro-constitution, you are pro-democracy and everything that goes along with it…

    The best thing you can do is become involved locally, first, by contacting your elected representatives and figuring out how you might contribute some of your time.

    Start your own Movements!

  31. When I started posting to this blog I found the voices against the misuse of presidential power and abrogation of the rule of law to be both impressive and impassioned. I never saw one regular poster on this blog back down from stating that Bush and Cheney were acting illegally. I never saw anyone remain silent. Never. Why are you silent on this? Please help me understand.

  32. “9-11 was facillitated so to give the Bush Admin a reason to go to war, no different than Teddy allowing Pearl Harbor to be bombed so he had an excuse to go to war.”

    Frankie, not Teddy.

    Bluto: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor! Hell, no!”

  33. Beulahman,

    As a news aggregator, Huff Po isn’t all bad, but yeah, their original content is becoming more and more indistinguishable from the propaganda methods used at FAUXNews to prop up that fascist Bush. It’s a real Obama Cult now. All personality and little or no action. Ariana is all for justice as long as it doesn’t send any of HER rich friends to prison. Go take any one of her semi-criminal guests columnists from Congress to task some time and see where her editorial policy lays. Anything read there, unless it’s linked from another source, should be evaluated in that light.

  34. BIS,

    As a news aggregator, Huff Po isn’t all bad, but yeah, their original content is becoming more and more indistinguishable from the propaganda methods used at FAUXNews to prop up that fascist Bush.

    I agree. And C&L still puts up great videos, as well (and I am still subscribed there because of 2 or 3 regular bloggers there). But I never stop chastising John Amato for turning into a Party Clown. Every chance I get, as a matter of fact.

    Same with Cenk at Young Turks (of whom I wrote about yesterday)

  35. I would like to hear someone address if and how Mandamus might be used to force Obama to have to investigate and prosecute our torturers. I think Congress has standing to use Mandamus against a sitting President but not sure. If not the President than maybe AG Holder? I realize Mandamus is a stretch and making Dems challenge their own President this way an even bigger stretch, but that doesn’t mean we can’t raise these issues and force them to have to explain why they won’t act when they have a legal obligation to do so.

    Also I don’t hear much discussion about getting Congress to repeal the Use of Force Authorization they gave to Bush that Obama is claiming gives him many of the same powers Bush had to abuse our laws. So why aren’t more people demanding that Congress repeal this authorization?

  36. BuelahMan, Thank you very much. Thanks for taking the time to look and comment.

    You know there’s no need to request my Fair Use images. Just right click, save and use. I intentionally make the images large enough to fill an 8 x (hint, hint).

    I’d like to thank Professor Turley for not assuming anything, including any spamming-which I do not do. I communicate with pictures and never request or accept monetary support. Anyone visiting my site knows I am entirely dedicated to my country-not to the dollar. It is I who owes the country everything I have, and that includes every patriot-visitor kind enough to stop by.

    all the best

  37. Jill: “this is a liberal Milgram experiment. We must not fail it.”

    As in Stanley?

    Strong language.

  38. I am far from silent. I am simply not interested in being bombarded with more fear-based rhetoric.

    I remain unpersuaded Obama is just another slime-ball politician trying to grab as much, and more, power as Bush Co. did for his own personal financial gain and/or misguided religious beliefs.

    I do think that at least in a few respects, even if he could, Obama would be foolish to leapfrog the constitutional processes, as Bush did, to undo everything himself that was not his doing in the first place for matters of expediency, only. I think looking before leaping is still a reasonable idea.

    In other respects, I believe he either can’t or is choosing not to even with all the power you mistrust him to hold for reasons which we are either not fully aware or privy to at all, yet.

    Change for the better is always lot harder than you think and then you only wish it were that easy.

    By now, we all should have learned, it certainly is going to take a smidge more than sitting at a computer all day and clicking endlessly. You still gotta get out in the world and actually mingle.

    Unless you’re aim is herding cybersheep with bank accounts, that is.

    I think Americans are basically lazy and I wish people would get off it and start thinking for themselves before jumping on the latest bandwagon just because suddenly one has pulled up in front of them.

  39. One of the strengths of learned men is caution in matters of importance; it is also a flaw to be manipulated by lesser men. It was Nixon himself, the Manipulator-in-Chief, who said that “education strengthens the mind, but weakens the backbone.” I suspect Obama has been counseled by legions of bureaucrats and military types with tales of woe if he steers the ship of state off of its Bushian course. This is more an issue of political courage than anything else. Many in the military industrial complex still take the words of cold-warrior, Gen. Curtis Lemay, to heart:

    “Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.”

    This is the opposition mind-set Obama is facing.

  40. mespo,

    Obama is the author, not the victim of his policies. If you look back at his voting record, his vote on FISA, his inaction as a member of the press was taken away as he calmly lunched with the telecom CEO’s and other donors, you will clearly see the man you see today.

    If you think Obama is so weak that he cannot surround himself with any other people than left overs from bush and clinton, that he cannot bother to ask for dissenting opinions on matters of life, death and imprisonment, then I must ask again, why would you support such a person?

    Obama put the very advisors you speak of in place. He has consitently chosen, not a cabinet of rivals, but a group that believes exactly as he does. It is not true that he could never have found anyone else to appt. It is not true that he could not fire these advisors and get new ones who honored the Consitution. At what point will you stop excusing him and hold him to account for his own decisions.

    You say he has such opposition to deal with. That is not supported by the facts. His policies are not in opposition to his advisors, the are the same. Both he and his advisors are in opposition to our Constitution and to the people of this nation.

  41. I remain unpersuaded Obama is just another slime-ball politician trying to grab as much, and more, power as Bush Co. did for his own personal financial gain and/or misguided religious beliefs.

    This is so much beyond Obama’s desires. This reaches far above him.

    We aren’t dealing with personalities… we are dealing with an Elitist coup.

  42. This is more an issue of political courage than anything else.

    Since when do we need another political pussy as POTUS?

  43. Personally, I would hate to see Obama hand over anything that might be potentially useful in the near future.

    I’m thinking specifically of things like the Nixon era Independent Counsel Rule used to nail President Bill Clinton, which having been withdrawn shortly thereafter on Ken Starr’s own suggestion, would actually have come in a handy more a few times during the last two Bush Co. terms.

  44. BeulahMan:

    “Since when do we need another political pussy as POTUS?”

    ******************

    Well we could have a real tough guys like Kim Jung Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Which do you prefer?

  45. This is wrong, and illegal.

    At this point the inertia argument isn’t valid. To reuse some tired imagery: Nobody expects the ship of state to turn on a dime, but after this long, we should at the very least feel that it has turned.

    Other political considerations are not more important. If any part of the Federal government is free to operate outside of the U.S. Constitution, then it has stopped by by, for and of the people and started being only for itself.

    I remember countless times telling Republicans that I would be just as opposed to Bush’s actions if they were being done by (then) candidate Obama. Well they are not only being done by Obama, but championed by him.

  46. Well we could have a real tough guys like Kim Jung Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Which do you prefer?

    Will you write just anything to obfuscate a point?

    Or are you that oblivious?

    You knew precisely what I meant, but if you didn’t:

    We do NOT need a POTUS (or any elected official) who simply says anything to appease whomever the audience is at the time, which leads to political expediency that changes as often as your underwear (assuming you shit yourself every time you write such drivel as your response).

    In other words (and this may be excruciatingly difficult for you to comprehend), I want someone who tells the truth. Someone who is NOT a liar.

    Now, do you understand or should I break it down into pre-teen ideas?

  47. Excuse me: “…this long we should at least feel that it has begun to turn…” and “…stopped being by, for and of…”

  48. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/browse/

    Out of the 515 campaign promises Obama made, he’s taken NO ACTION on 387 of them. That’s 75% of his promises he’s done nothing at all about. The bulk of these are related to health care reform, but include promises to end warrantless searches and seizures in the form of wiretaps and other “unimportant” civil rights like that.

    A lie can be passive just as an attack can be lest you forget the warning of Burke for what is required for evil to flourish.

    Of his 32 promises kept, they are all “easy” by DC standards – not a challenge in the lot. But it includes such useful promises kept as assigning at least one Republican to his cabinet and buying the girls a dog.

    Yeah, that’s the record of a change maker.

    The 6 promises he’s broken outright aren’t important either. Nothing important like tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials or tax cuts for businesses that create American jobs.

    Stellar showing! If you’re a lying jackass.

    And his stalled promises? Anyone shocked they are almost all about restoring the rule of law and punishing any criminals within the system.

    Fear? Hardly. There’s some whinging out there, but I’m hearing a lot more than that lately. Anger? Yep. It’s readily available at almost any blog or news site on the net or corner bar where talking politics isn’t considered taboo. People are simply tired of the government giving them the finger and it’s only going to get worse.

    There is a difference between fear based rhetoric and just anger at being screwed with by equivocating fascist scumbags who take your money and sell you and your rights out to foreign powers and corporations. Some people only learn that lesson the hard way.

    If anyone should be afraid, it’s Washington. Their survival in power is not guaranteed or a divine gift that cannot be taken from them.

    Life is circular. All energy and mass are conserved.

    This is where we started:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    And this is where we’ll be back to shortly absent some real deep change in DC and but soon.

    Symmetry. But not fear.

  49. Buelah,

    Might I suggest that mespo’s mild taunt was rooted in an initial lack of clarity caused by the brevity of your post. The statement/question “Since when do we need another political pussy as POTUS?” is open to interpretation whereas your clarification afterward was not.

  50. And other practices which were either expanded or started during There is some sort of domestic operation going on that involves warrantless surveillance of individuals, including surreptitious home entries (”sneak ‘n peek searches”).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the NSA is behind it all, given the phone and e-mail surveillance that’s come to light. When it comes to the fore, “it will be worse than Watergate”, as John (Jon?) Dean has said in reference to the abuses during the Bush years. Given my Kafka-esque experiences, I would agree. Yep. “Worse than Watergate.”

    These goons never leave any evidence, but are definitely up to something that many (and, hopefully, most) Americans would never condone. I don’t know the exact role of law enforcement, but some are involved — there’s no doubt about it. If one dares to speak up about these sadistic, Machiavellian practices, one is quickly dubbed “crazy” or delusional. Well, Martha Mitchell was thought to be “nuts” when she complained about widespread corruption in the Nixon White House. We know how that turned out…

    These operations/practices are buried in the world of mental illness. Some of those who are being targeted and surveilled are definitely mentally ill, some have been pushed in that direction and others are stone-cold-sane — at least as sane as the next guy and certainly more stable that those conducting these cruel programs of harassment. If all this sounds like something that someone who is absolutely “nuts” might “dream up”, think again. This is why it works and continues. Who would ever believe it? Well, someone had better or we’re totally screwed in this country.

    Bury the “warrantless surveillance(and worse)” of dissidents; whistleblowers; the mentally ill; perhaps those whose names were spit out by a faulty fusion center algorithm; those who oppose the war in Iraq and God-only-knows-who-else — bury it in what will be thought of as a “nutty conspiracy theory” and no one will ever believe it. It’s brilliantly cruel and decidedly unAmerican. It goes against the grain of the rule of law. It must be exposed and stopped.

    (Are these COINTELPRO programs?? Something’s seriously amiss and I would challenge someone to step up to the plate and blow the whistle on something that is pure “madness.” And this ain’t in my head! If only it were!)

  51. Previous comment was submitted hastily. The first paragraph should have read:

    And there are other practices which were either expanded or started during the Bush/Cheney years that are ongoing. There is some sort of domestic operation going on that involves warrantless surveillance of individuals, including surreptitious home entries (”sneak ‘n peek searches”) and harassment.

    At this point refer back to my previous comment.

  52. […] Obama administration into new territory from a civil liberties perspective.”  Law professor Jonathan Turley was more blunt:  ”The Obama Administration continues its retention and expansion of abusive Bush policies […]

  53. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    111th CONGRESS

    1st Session

    H. R. 1966
    To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to cyberbullying.

    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    April 2, 2009

    Sec. 881. Cyberbullying

    `(a) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

    `(b) As used in this section–

    `(1) the term `communication’ means the electronic transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received; and

    `(2) the term `electronic means’ means any equipment dependent on electrical power to access an information service, including email, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones, and text messages.’.

    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 41 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

  54. Mespo:

    Detaining the innocent is simply wrong. No amount of tortured logic can make it otherwise.

    Further, Obama is not a creature of his advisors; they are his creatures. He appointed them & he can dismiss them. In reality, he has chosen the voices he wants to hear.

    Do you really consider abandoning the Constitution a mark of “caution in matters of importance”. Here’s the context of the quote from Curtis LeMay:

    “Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at the time….I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal….every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.”

  55. I’m also stunned that anyone can justify imprisoning the innocent. As Gyges said, it is both immoral and illegal. We should just do away with the courts and save some money I guess. Is this what we’ve come to as a people?

  56. We’ve been down this road before. Detaining any human being indefinitely without a trial is a “policy question” only in the same sense that the legality of torture is a “policy question,” meaning not at all. Instead of eliminating the illegalities of the Bush administration which were so roundly and properly denounced during the campaign, the Obama administration appears to prefer simply wrapping them in nicer packages with brighter ribbons. Instead of changing the moral direction of this country, we are changing the descriptive euphemisms. This is a form of intellectual and moral dishonesty for which I was frankly unprepared.

  57. Uighurs that were recently released have got to be singing Oh wait a relief it is.

    Obama’s song to Bush- Anything you can do i can do better, I can do anything better that you.

  58. But then again
    July 8th, 2009 at 8:58 am
    A former Guantanamo Bay inmate is leading the fight against U.S. Marines in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, a senior U.S. defense official confirmed Tuesday.

    Mullah Zakir, also known as Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, surrendered in Mazar-e-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan in 2001, and was transferred to Gitmo in 2006. He was released in late 2007 to Afghan custody.

    Now as the United States is pushing ahead with the massive Operation Khanjar in the southern province of Afghanistan, Zakir is coordinating the Taliban fighters. Some 4,000 U.S. Marines and hundreds of Afghan forces have faced some resistance as they sweep across the province, reclaiming control of districts where Zakir and his comrades were running a shadow government.

  59. Having “Constitution Rights” has no meaning when the “president” claims the power to imprison the innocent. That was a tortured answer he gave. Check into the details and you end at where we started today.

  60. There is no “then again” to this story. We are a Constitutional govt. who follows the rule of law.

  61. Jill-
    Great points. I frequently hear a rewording of Nixon’s famous “when the president does it it’s not a crime” when people who vehemently opposed Bush’s practices now find them acceptable under Obama, as if “when Obama does it, it’s not a problem.”

    I attended Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College a few years ago and he offered his opinion of the two parties by outstretching his arms and stating that while there were two parties they were both supplied and controlled by the same corporate heart. I disagreed with him then, finding what Bush was advocating to be the outgrowth of a radical interpretation of the Constitution and a new low for either party.

    But I find what Obama is doing even more detestable as it provides what I once thought was unimaginable: a person elected on a platform of change actually giving legitimacy to the radical Bush policies.

    Bush at least argued that he alone had the power to detain people without trial while Obama creates a false front of Due Process, followed by the ability to detain people after acquital. In other words, if the government somehow loses your show trial, you’re not still going anywhere. But we pretend you get Due Process along the way so it looks better from the outside.

    That’s not change, that’s even worse than more of the same.

  62. Buddha,
    We get it! You’re gonna open up a big can o’ whoop-ass on Pennsylvania Avenue if the Obama Administration doesn’t straighten up according to your demands and timetable. You’ve said a million times.

    Name one thing that you have done to support our new President since he took office?

    Blog-bitching doesn’t count.

  63. Gilamosaics: Thank you!

    I don’t doubt Mr. Obama is good at chess, and that he performed legal work with the disadvantaged. I think he got educated down there, and knows how their hell can be helped. I know that. But why take a chance that the 2010 big tent politics is the sole motive? That’s not good chess. The risk that there is lurking a darker motive is not worth taking.

    This is a Global Warming-type decision for me. Even at 10:1 odds-against cataclysmic GW happening, I wouldn’t chance it. I won’t bet our children’s future on any game played in any venue.

    After Bush and Cheney’s expressed totalitarianism, I trust very few politicians. Look at the behavior of Lieberman, Roberts, Feinstein, and McCain. They morphed into sincere militant corporatist appeasers in an attempt to make the Middle East theater the final statement in protections rackets.

    So, I’ll need to see the Bushist indictments before I again vote for Obama. As long as money and power-not the Constitution and the People-are king, there will be unfinished work.

    http://www.light-to-dark.com/benedick_bush.html

  64. Was I talking to you?

    No. It’s nice you’ve proven that you’re just fine letting Obama do whatever he Hell he wants to though, Ms Hoity Toity. I get it, WE ALL get THAT, but apparently you Boston elitists are hard of understanding so let me spell this out again just one more time in plain language that anyone here can easily understand.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think anymore, Patty.

    You lost that privilege a long time ago.

    About the time you started just being a total bitch to Jill all the time for no reason other than she threatened your status as the Queen Bee around here. Acting just like a mean drunk. Yeah, you’ll say that wasn’t it, that Jill is wonk who has us all deceived, but denial is a wonderful thing from the inside.

    The Constitution is more important than you or Obama.

    Save your snark for someone who cares.

  65. Buddha calm down, I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone got fired up. My above post @ 5:30 if this passes addresses this.

    Let us be reminded what Gahndi said,

    The golden rule of conduct…is mutual toleration, seeing that we will never all think alike and we shall see Truth in fragments and from different angles of vision. Conscience is not the same thing for all. Whilst, therefor, it is a good guide for individual conduct, imposition of that conduct upon all will be an insufferable interference with everybody’s freedom of conscience. Gahndi

  66. Bdaman,

    I’d have to care about the source to be upset. As I stated, that ended some time ago. I just don’t like mean drunks any more than I like trolls.

  67. Patty,

    So I have a duty is to support the people I voted for, even when I disagree with their behavior?
    I don’t know about you, but I spent a fair amount of time in the last few years criticizing Republicans for that attitude.

  68. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/08/white-house-threatens-vet_n_228206.html

    Yeah, that’s from the man who promised transparency and reform. Looks like the broken promises list and checklist for fascist totalitarianism just keeps getting longer. But that’s okay, because according to some, Obama can do no wrong. He’s a Dem. He’s black. If you’re from Boston that means he must be The Perfect Baby Jesus. Not the only choice by being the lesser of two evils.

    He was hired by We the People and he’ll be fired by We the People. I hope he gets overridden in his bid to secure yet more draconian Presidential power. I hope the Congress shoves this bill right down his throat.

  69. Buddha,

    Stick a fork in it!

    You know very little about me. I trained and worked in Boston for Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals. I am originally from Maine and have resided several places during my lifetime and careers. Big difference.

    You, Jill, and Bartlebee et al have had a complete hard on over my so-called ‘elite’ status. My entire family, who knows well our actual Pilgrim and Revolutionary War history, thinks it’s hysterical as do I.

    Get over it already!

    Nobody appointed you blog Master. You can be intelligent enough and funny sometimes, but mostly, I find you a irritating. You get on my nerves and not just recently!

    You married an alcoholic and you are still angry about it, obviously. Why don’t you work on that through Al Anon or AA, whichever is most appropriate for you and leave me out of it?
    I’m not the problem in your life.

  70. Patty C you are the one who got Budah goin, you called him out, Hello and now you request that he leave you alone. There is a name for that, antagonizer, Now quit.

  71. Gyges

    Patty,

    So I have a duty is to support the people I voted for, even when I disagree with their behavior?
    I don’t know about you, but I spent a fair amount of time in the last few years criticizing Republicans for that attitude.

    There are plenty of forks to go around!

    I disagree with some of what Obama has done so far and I choose to handle that, in part, by restating my ongoing expectations to my elected representatives, personally and being generally involved on a local level.

  72. Way to go Buddha,

    Go get yourself in a fight with not one but two idiots. Maybe tomorrow you can have three. I am only kidding.

  73. lol

    Yeah, except I didn’t get myself into anything with one of them. It was a Tuesday attack.

  74. Buddha,

    Was it a Tuesday preceding a Friday or a Friday predefining a Tuesday. But then again Happy Hour starts anytime you Need it.

  75. Anybody that thinks this ios anything new is clueless.

    This has been happening to AMERICAN CITIZENS for a long, long time.

    Federal holding centers are loaded w/pre-trial federal inmates (And remember all you law-and-order types, EVERYONE in the criminal justice system is innocent untill proven guilty) who are DENIED bail on the FLIMSIEST of arguments for YEARS.

    Just go to BOP.com and type in some inmate that’s on pre-trial and his release date will read UNKNOWN and will remain that way untill his case is adjudicated.

    There’s guys locked up on pre-trial for sometimes 3,4,5 years while there case grinds at a snails pace through the federal justice system.

    Sometimes guys are in pre-trial for so long that even if they’re convicted they get “time served” b/c the sentence is LESS than their time on pre-trial.

    Then there’s the guys that beat their case and never get that time they lost.

    If the govn’t can do this to AMERICAN citizens who thinks they can’t get away w/it with foriegn combatants or whatever they are.

    But everybody LOVES it when some politician or cop or judge or prosecutor talks tough on crime. They think these feds are beyond reproach. Nobody cares about when this happens to the accussed AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    My point is this, b/c many will still insist the feds are engaged in nobility against accussed criminals in AMERICA, but remember if they can do it to AMERICAN CITIZENS then forieners are of no conceern (Ask any illegal that’s been bouncing around fed joints for years fighting immigration).

    When we start allowing our liberties to be compromised we are all fools. We should have been crying out in outrage against what they do to accussed AMERICAN CITIZENS and maybe it would have never got this far.

  76. AY,

    Thank you for having the common sense to not hold any biases against me.

    This is so true. It’s an absolute infringement on the rights of American citizens.

    I’ve said it repeatedly one innocent’s lost freedom is not worth imprisoning all the guilty people.

    Now, if people had that attitude, the system WOULD be JUST. I’m not saying to empty out the prison but they rights of every person on the planet MUST be respected AND if that attitude riegns there will be justice.

  77. There is one point to be discussed about how to handle prisoners of war as some of these detainees obviously are. Do they enjoy protections greater than the Geneva Conventions which do not require due process to continue their detentions. The only obligation is to release or repatriate them after the cessation of hostilities or upon serious non-self-inflicted injury or illness. Are all the detainees at Guantanamo “innocent” in the moral sense? Or the legal sense? I have no problem with due process to determine their status but once some are proven by a preponderance of evidence to be prisoners of this war on terrorists within the meaning of the Conventions, what do we do then?

  78. Mespo,

    Remember Article I and that thingy about declaring war?

    Are you really prepared to accept bastardized maxims of law simply because you’ve accepted faulty rhetoric as fact; e.g. that one can declare war on a gerund form of a verb?

    There is no war Mespo; nor does a war exist simply because a rhetorician cannot find the words to describe a current conflict.

    Accordingly, let’s not ignore the constitution anymore than it has been.

  79. If they are determined to be prisoners of war then they should be treated as such and not be given their due process b/c they are not due it.

    I believe they should be held as prisoners of war.

    But others don’t and they are OUTRAGED. But my point is why aren’t they outraged when it happens to AMERICAN CITIZENS?
    If they’re outraged by the guantanomo detianee’s status and do NOT consider them to be prisoners of war the they should have the same outrage when it happens to Americans.

    And maybe if that problem had been addressed we wouldn’t be having this debate right now.

    If the detainee’s are not prisoners of war and are due process then people have to expect the detainee’s suffer the same fate of American citizens who have been suffering this same exact fate the detainee’s now suffer from.

  80. Patty,

    Good for you, we both agree that people doing exactly what you are is necessary for a healthy Democracy. It has absolutely nothing to do with you implying that Buddha shouldn’t express his views because he’s not supportive of Obama, and that he should be supportive of Obama because he voted for him.

  81. Bob,Esq:

    Remember the GC’s go beyond and have application to more that declared war.

    “Art. 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

    The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

    Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.”

  82. Bob,Esq:

    I did intentionally say “war on terrorists.” Query: would the Geneva Conventions apply if they existed during our war with the Barbary Pirates?

  83. Patty,

    Good for you, we both agree that people doing exactly what you are is necessary for a healthy Democracy. It has absolutely nothing to do with you implying that Buddha shouldn’t express his views because he’s not supportive of Obama, and that he should be supportive of Obama because he voted for him.

    I ‘implied’ no such thing. He shares his same rant all the time.

    What I clearly stated I object to is the constant alternating chicken-little/angry harangue around here. I’d like to hear of people contributing something positive instead of just criticism all the time.

    Despite the denial, Buddha was responding to my post, as evidenced by his quotation of my exact phrasing in response to a question asked of me by Jill. I antagonized NO one.

    Nice try though!

    Somebody should tell him that admitting a problem is half the battle, although one would think he’d already know that.

  84. Patty C—–any comment on Obama picking Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff? Emanuel’s father, Benjamin, was a member of the terrorist militant group, Irgun, in the late 1940’s. They were responsible for slaughtering hundreds of Palestinians in villages and marketplaces. This is all documeted and FACT. Do you not see how disturbing it is to have the SON of a terrorist in our White House?? Oh by the way, Benjamin Emanuel is STILL alive and lives in Chicago.

  85. mespo,

    You see to misunderstand the issue invovled here. “General Counsel, Jeh Johnson, testified. As Ackerman highlighted, Johnson actually said that even for those detainees to whom the Obama administration deigns to give a real trial in a real court, the President has the power to continue to imprison them indefinitely even if they are acquitted at their trial.”

    There is no moral or legal ambiguity about imprisoning anyone who has been declared innocent, not in the US, not in US run sites around the world–it is wrong. Obama plans to give trials to our detainees and despite the outcome of innocent, continue to imprison them. You speak about the need of the US to protect itself from terrorists by doing this. You quoted Ben Franklin many times before when Bush made these same claims to dictatorial power: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    There will be no safety for anyone should the Constitution fall.

  86. Jill,

    Most do not realize but the Soviet Constitution is similar to the United States. It all a matter of interpretation. BTW, I do not disagree with what you have said. And you know it all about Jill, All the time. wink, wink, nod, nod.

  87. JIll:

    “There is no moral or legal ambiguity about imprisoning anyone who has been declared innocent, not in the US, not in US run sites around the world–it is wrong.”

    ********************

    Legally presumed “innocent people” are held in detention in this country under color of law all the time awaiting trial if they prove to be a bona fide threat to the safety of the community. Regardless, in your haste to beat the morality drum, I think you miss the point. You are talking about those combatants charged with crimes. I am talking about those prisoners picked up as prisoners of war, i.e. captured on the battlefield or non-uniformed combatants caught aiding in the war effort against us as defined by the Conventions. Prisoners of war enjoy no such due process rights excepting only those to determine status by appropriate “tribunals,” as provided for in the Conventions. If they are not truly prisoners of war, they may be still held in pre-trial detention on criminal charges until trials are conducted and the case is disposed with. I have no problem with either concept, but apparently you do. I just can’t figure out why.

    Benjamin Franklin certainly understood the difference between those charged with crimes, and those taken prisoner in wartime. You may want to take counsel from his words, “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”

  88. mespo,

    You still seem to misunderstand the issue here, so I’ll try again: “You are talking about those combatants charged with crimes.” I am talking about these very people because these are the very people Obama seeks to imprison. It is the subject of this post. You still have not said why you believe it is either moral or legal for Obama to hold a full civil trial where the jury reaches a verdict of innocent and then he is claiming the power to hold these people anyway. Where do you find the legal authority for this action in our Consitution? Please be forthright enough to explain how this specific action, described in JT’s post, is Constitutional.

    “…for those detainees to whom the Obama administration deigns to give a real trial in a real court, the President has the power to continue to imprison them indefinitely even if they are acquitted at their trial.”

    Where is the Constitutional authority for the president to take this action?

    Now under Bush, you did not believe there was such a thing as a “war on terror”. You used to say that was a false idea, much like say that the “war on drugs” is a legally defined state of war under the Constitution. Why have you changed your mind under Obama? What is your definition of, “the war on terror” and how does it confer dictatorial legal authorities on the president. Have you now adopted the legal reasoning of Yoo? If so, why?

  89. Here’s an interesting quote from mespo, along with others in the thread:

    “mespo727272 1, June 13, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Bob,Esq:

    “What principle empowers the Fed to predicate its expanded powers upon a non-declared war against a gerund form of a verb, tactic or state of mind?

    I remember being scolded by English teachers for expressing, in sentences, such nonsensical thoughts.”
    ****************

    The late Harry Reasoner of ABC News used to warn about the government’s manipulation of language and hence our liberties. Funny almost none of the new corporate shills masquerading as journalists talk about that anymore. As usual, Harry was prescient. War on terror, indeed. We’ might as well have a war on poverty. Oh yeah we did that already. How’d that turn out?”

    mespo,

    What has changed?

  90. “Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent” by Marjorie Cohn
    DefendUSx July 08, 2009 16:12

    Marjorie Cohn is a Distinguished Law Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where she’s taught since 1991 and is the current President of the National Lawyers Guild. She’s also been a criminal defense attorney at the trial and appellate levels, is an author, and writes many articles for professional journals, other publications, and numerous popular web sites.

    Her record of achievements, distinctions, and awards are many and varied – for her teaching, writing, and her work as a lawyer and activist for peace, social and economic justice, and respect for the rule of law. Cohn’s previous books include “Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice” and “Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law.”

    Her newest book just out, co-authored with Kathleen Gilberd (a recognized expert on military administrative law), is titled “Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent.” It explores why US military personnel disobey orders and refuse to participate in two illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also explains that US and international law obligate them to do so.

    “Rules of Disengagement” goes into courtrooms where military personnel “have spoken out, arguing that (today’s) wars are illegal (and immoral) under international (and US) law.” It’s a “practical guide” providing “specific discussion(s) of applicable regulations and laws” for readers “to form their own conclusions and consider their own options.” Above all, it’s a way for honorable young men and women to dissent, resist, and disengage from two illegal, immoral wars, in hopes many others will follow their example.

  91. Hey, Patty.

    Since your such a value, why don’t you just ask JT to ban me. You vapid cow.

  92. Buddha Is Laughing 1, July 9, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Hey, Patty.

    Since your such a value, why don’t you just ask JT to ban me. You vapid cow.
    **************************
    Could not resist.

  93. Buddha,

    Since your such a value, why don’t you just ask JT to ban me. You vapid cow.
    **************************
    Could not resist.

  94. I enjoy videos of cow mooing as much as the next guy. However, we need to dial down on the personal attacks and name calling. Please help maintain the civility rule. I would appreciate it.

  95. Prof,

    I’ve been trying, but Patty is particularly confrontational. I’ve only escalated after many attempts to get her to stop it. By your leave, I’ll back off her for now, but as mespo so aptly states, I see no duty to suffer fools gladly.

  96. I’ve been trying, but Patty is particularly confrontational. I’ve only escalated after many attempts to get her to stop it. By your leave, I’ll back off her for now, but as mespo so aptly states, I see no duty to suffer fools gladly.

    BULL…

    You and AY will back off now, AND in the future or you can count on the boot! You two remind me, again and again, why mespo and I get along so famously and always have.

    As for mespo’s response to the post here, he nor I understand what is so difficult for you to grasp.

    Detainees can be tried for any ‘crimes’ previously charged for which they are currently being held, acquitted, and still remain in custody on suspicion of being a threat. That’s not to say that would happen necessarily.

    Unless I miss my guess, any such determination would occur on a case by case basis.

  97. “The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

    “Continuing to detain a person indefinitely without charge or trial for a crime for which he has been acquitted is absurd and unconstitutional. If the government has sufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges against prisoners held at Guantánamo, it should file those charges and prosecute the prisoners in ordinary federal courts. But the government should not be holding prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial, and it should certainly not be holding show trials from which guilty verdicts will be honored but acquittals will be ignored. The suggestion that the government can protect the country only by disregarding the Constitution is an extremely dangerous one that should be unequivocally rejected.”

  98. Here is Justice Kennedy’s opinion against Bush in JT’s post linked below:

    Kennedy writes: …

    that ““The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law. The Framers decided that habeas corpus, a right of first importance, must be a part of that framework, a part of that law.”

    http://jonathanturley.org/2008/06/12/supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-the-detainees-in-massive-blow-to-bush-administration/

  99. Jill,

    Where, in the U.S. Constitution, are prisoners of war addressed?

    Are non-U.S. Citizens protected under the U.S. Constitution? If so, please provide supporting source.

    –I’m trying to help with, what appears to be, confusion.

  100. Patty,

    I don’t really care about what Buddha’s doing, I’m not here to defend him. What I was pointing out is that in context (I’ll spare everyone the quotes here, but would hope they’ll go back and read what you said), your questions were clearly backed by the thought that since Buddha hasn’t done what you consider helping (which is an assumption that you have no basis for), he has no right to complain. It’s especially clear to anyone who knows about your history of commenting that we should all shut up and let the President do his thing.

    Anyone can do a quick scan through of what you’ve said. They may agree with my interpretation, they may not, but I’d be willing to bet there are more that agree than not. You know exactly how to get your point across. The fact that you’re also clever enough to do it without being explicit doesn’t change the point one bit.

  101. We signed the Geneva Conventions. They were ratified and they are legally part of the law of our land per legal Constitutional proceedure. You may find information on POWs and the rules for their treatment, there.

  102. Thanks Jill.

    Please take a look at what mespo posted yesterday at 11:21 pm;

    “Art. 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

    The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

    Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.”

    Are we not acting in accordance with the GC?

  103. Gyges:

    “The fact that you’re also clever enough to do it without being explicit doesn’t change the point one bit.”

    couldn’t that also be labeled passive aggressive? I am just asking in a general way and I am making no implications. Also could it be your perception? I made an assumption as to someones post on another thread and was 180 degrees off the point they were making because of comments they made from another thread. It is rather hard to understand intent from a 1 dimensional conversation. If nothing else communication among humans is better face to face so all of the nuances of body language are not missed.

  104. Thanks Buddha,

    I read the first two pages and decided that the paper needs/deserves more than just a cursory review. I’m sure it will be an interesting read.

    Thanks for the link.

  105. No Jim, we are not. Again, this is a case of people being given a full civil trial by our govt., aquitted, but still imprisoned by fiat of the president. Remember, the govt. is the one claiming the should get a trial, whether they are citizens or non-citizens. It is also the govt. that is saying the end result of that trial will be meaningless should it end in an aquittal.

    Please read Glenn Greenwald’s column today. I think it will clear up many of the mistakes that lie behind the thinking you present:

    “McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef has an article today that is a consummate example of excellent journalism. I don’t want to excerpt any of it or even summarize what it reports because I really want to encourage everyone to click the link and read it in its entirety (it’s not very long: roughly 1,300 words). Please read Youssef’s article before reading the following points I think are worth making about it:

    (1) Note that Wakil was detained at Guantanamo for six years — until April, 2008. That entire time, and especially into 2007 and 2008, government officials were assuring the public that all remaining Guantanamo prisoners were “the worst of the worst.” That claim contiunes to be made. No matter how many times the statements of government officials are proven false, the assumption remains that the pronouncements from high government officials are true.

    (2) Even now, defenders of Obama’s preventive detention policy (i.e., indefinitely imprisoning people with no charges) insist that this is necessary because those in Guantanamo are “too dangerous to release” and we cannot convict them in a real court. What’s their basis for believing that people who have been convicted of absolutely nothing are nonetheless “too dangerous to release”? The Government — our trusted leaders — claim it’s true, so it must be. No matter how many stories there are like the one today from McClatchy’s — where emphatic accusations about a detainee turn out to be totally false — the willingness to believe unproven assertions from government officials about Muslims detainees is never-ending.

    (3) The central assumption in our discussions of Guantanamo and detention policy generally has been, and continues to be, that those in Guantanamo are, by definition, Terrorists. No matter how many times that is proven to be false, the assumption endures.

    (4) Note the central role The New York Times played — yet again — in spreading and given credence to pure government propaganda. And the method used to accomplish that is exactly what led them to help disseminate lies about the “Iraq threat” in the run-up to the war: anonymous government sources leak something, they mindlessly print it without identifying who gave it to them, Dick Cheney cites the NYT article to bolster the lie, and then — even once the NYT is forced to admit they were used — they not only protect the identity of the anonymous sources who manipulated them, but they’ll use the same exact method tomorrow — and the day after and the day after that — to report the “news.” What Judy Miller and Michael Gordon did in late 2002 and early 2003 — that the NYT supposedly regrets so much — is exactly what Elizabeth Bumiller and her editors did here. As a result, a blatant lie — that 1 in 7 released Guantanamo detainees “returned to jihad — became, as intended, embedded fact in our political debates.

    (5) It cannot be overstated how flimsy is the basis for so many accusations of “enemy combatant” status from the U.S. Government. Wakil is someone who — as the Bush administration knew and admitted since as early as 2004 when it conducted a status review hearing — actively opposed the Taliban and al Qaeda:

    Despite all of that, the Pentagon continued to keep him in a cage for four more years based on extremely vague associations that led them to insist that he was an “enemy combatant.” So we invade and occupy his country and then decide that — although he worked against our Enemies — some alleged “associations” he had reflect an agenda that conflicts with ours. So we abduct him from his country and ship him thousands of miles away to an island, stick him in a cage for six years with no trial, call him an “enemy combatant,” and then once he’s released, he does nothing to engage in any violence or attacks on the U.S. of any kind (even though we’re still bombing and occupying his country).

    There are so many cases like that: where alleged “enemy combatants” — The Worst of the Worst — were released, and the notion that they are dangerous proven to be utterly false. Despite that, morally depraved people still blithely demand that anyone we deem to be a “combatant” be kept in a cage “forever” with no trial or charges of any kind, even if they are acquitted of the charges against them.”

  106. I think prisoner of war, and one accused of committing a crime, are being confused/muddled.

    Someone walking around, with a gun over their shoulder, in enemy territory, may be captured and held (indefinately) as a prisoner of war. As long as he conflict continues, the President may continue to detain them. -In accordance with the Geneva Convention. –The purpose of detaining POW’s is to limit the manpower of our enemy, and to prevent them from getting another chance to do us harm.

    If a POW is charged with a war crime, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that the detainee has a right to their day in court. -Even if found not guilty of the war crime, they would/could still be held as a prisoner of war.

    Their guilt/innocence has nothing to do with their status as a prisoner of war.

  107. And this is why I refere people to Glenn Greenwald’s column. We still seem to believe that our detainees are people who were picked up on the battlefield. This simply isn’t the case. People in Gitmo were picked up around the world and taken there, many times after they were first taken and tortured in other countries at the request of the US govt.. Other detainees were sold to the US for $5000.00 by their enemies. We have been propagandized into believeing they were, down to the person, on the battlefield, fighting US soldiers and that is why they were picked up and taken to Gitmo. POW’s are given status tribunals to determine if they are truly POW’s. This did not happen in the case of our detainees at Gitmo. This is why I believe going into these matters obfuscates the situation and takes away from the glaring unconstitutional act being proposed. As JT said in his post, what Obama proposes is against both domestic and international law.

  108. IS,

    Absolutely, it’s partially based on my perception of Patty. However, my perception is based off of numerous conversations I and others have had with Patty.

    Had I been talking with you I probably would have asked how the question of supporting the President was relevant to if his actions were legal or not. I had a fairly good idea based on previous interactions, and it was confirmed (at least to me) in her response to my question about Bush.

    To provide you with some of the context I have, I suggest doing searching (upper right corner) for Obama, going back a few months and then clicking on a long thread where Prof. Turley is critical of the Obama administration’s policy. Then doing a quick scan through for Patty’s comments. She’s been fairly consistent.

  109. Jill,

    Individual exceptions must be addressed “individually”.

    The determination of prisoner of war status by a tribunal is not a determination of guilt or innocence. If the captive is determined to be a prisoner of war, and therefore, granted POW status, they are then afforded the protections of the Geneva Convention.

  110. Jim,

    I think you keep missing the point. You are speaking about treatment of POWs. The detainees in Gitmo have not had the protections afforded POWs. These are people the US govt. picked up around the world, in many cases had tortured at black sites or Bagram, and then flown to Gitmo. They are people who were sold to the US for a bounty of $5000.00 along the Afganistan/Pakistan border. They were never treated as POWs, according to the Geneva Conventions. Their treatment was acknowledged by the OLC to be in violation of the GC (see Bush OLC memos). These same people whos rights were violated under the Geneva Convention, who have not been treated as POWs are now being brought to “trial”. Obama has claimed that even in the case where a person is tried in a full civilian court of justice as a terrorist and is found innocent he may still imprison them. He will honor the verdict only if that verdict is guilty. In other words, he is not trying POWs for crimes, he is trying people that have never been given the status of lawful protections afforded POWs, in a civilian court of the US and will not abide by any verdict except, “guilty”. In other words, he is saying he will be above the law, that he is free to violate our Constitution as he desires and that he has the right to imprison the innocent. Please read the Glenn Greenwald column. The US cannot claim someone is a POW unless they plan to abide by the GC both in how the people were picked up (on a battlefield) and how they were treated –for example,they could not be tortured as they have been and continue to be .

  111. Mespo,

    Your argument still begs the question about the existence of a war or armed conflict. N.B. that terrorism existed, and thus was capable of building up body counts, long before 9/11. Accordingly, you’re still accepting bastardized maxims of law based upon deceptive rhetoric.

    Example:

    Mespo: “I am talking about those prisoners picked up as prisoners of war, i.e. captured on the battlefield or non-uniformed combatants caught aiding in the war effort against us as defined by the Conventions.”

    What war? What armed conflict? The armed conflicts we created in Iraq and Afghanistan when we invaded without so much as disclosing the white papers, as promised by Colin Powell and Tony Blair, setting forth who was responsible for 9/11 and why?

    The Taliban denied it; asked us to show proof and even offered Bin Laden in exchange thereof. To this day we haven’t proven conclusively the Taliban or Al Qaeda did it; just as we haven’t even captured Bin Laden.

    And Iraq, well we all know how torturous of an argument that was; don’t we? In fact, we now know that the entire torture program was essentially made to back-fill a reason to invade Iraq by connecting it with 9/11 via torture-induced testimony.

    So tell me more about this ‘war’ or ‘armed conflict.’

    Tell me how the authors of the GC would deem a turn of a phrase like “war on terror” or “war on terrorists” as legitimate armed conflict.

    And show me how the authors of the GC, while demanding that detainees of a fabricated conflict be treated humanely, would turn their backs on the fraudulent scheme as the ones set up by the Bush Administration and carried forward by the Obama administration.

    BTW, I don’t expect you to show me the minds of the GC authors, I was simply speaking rhetorically; in the honest sense of course.

    SIYOM,

    Bob

    P.S.

    Kudos to Jill for digging up my initial remarks with you on this issue:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2009/07/08/12598/#comment-66490

  112. If they’re POW’s. Then they should be treated as such under the Geneva Convention.

    If they are not classified as POW’s and are tried in a civilian court then they should be treated once diegned innocent or guilty as any person in a covilian court would be once the case has been adjudicated.

    You can all argue till your “blue-in-the-face” about Article I and Article II and play or tit-for-tat games.

    But when are you going to realize that this country is run by autharitarian dictators who manipulate the Constitution w/all kinds of confusing and irrelevant Legal “mumbo-jumbo” then if all else fails just plain usurp our Constitution and tell us to go-pound-sand if we don’t like it.

    What is so laughable to my is how the public wrings their hands in outrage over the violation of the rights of terrorists (who are guaranteed no Constitutional rights if they’re terrorists) yet could care the least that AMERICAN citizens are having their lives rotted away from them for years in federal prison on pre-trail status. People that could make bail or even offer millions of dollars of surety to guarantee their prescence at trial yet are denied bail for the shakiest most manipulatory of reasons.

    And if these terrorists are not POW’s who deserve Constitutuional protection are then denied it; what makes anyone think that the govn’t won’t be able to get away w/it when they do it to American citizens.

    And ask the illegal Aliens about unfair detention. I’ve known Illegal Aliens crowding up fed joints for YEARS while they fight deportation staus. And many times the worst crime the illegal committed was a simple RE-ENTRY. If judges and prosecutor’s can tie an illegal in knots on some bullsh*t immigration beef when the illegal was NEVER even charged w/committing a crime against the person or property of another what makes one think they can’t do it w/accussed terrorist?

    People should get some moral outrage over the violations and denials of Constitutional rights against AMERICAN Citizens in federal court houses that go on everyday and have been for years.

  113. Bob,

    Please notice in mespos’s original remarks made under Bush, he agreed with you that there’s no such thing as a “war on terror”. That is why I asked him what had changed from that time.

  114. Bob,Esq:

    The conventions define the terms and this conflict clearly qualifies.I have heard no one argue that the GC don’t apply since the standard is so broad. As you know, after 9-11, the Congress empowered the President to wage war as follows:

    “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    “(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.”

    Without getting into the intricacies of the War Powers Act this would qualify as authority to use force to effect the enumerated purposes. The GC are applicable to conflicts regardless of whether war has been formally declared and irrespective of the involvement of non-state actors as combatants. Professor Jinks (Texas School of Law) has a good analysis of the issues in the Virginia Journal of International.

    The biggest issue I see are that terrorists do not observe international norms hence they are afforded no protections under the GC. Jinks deals with that as well concluding the GC’s apply in part to the Global war on Terror and specifically to the US when the history and purposes of the treaties are properly considered. The question is not conclusively decided, but as a policy decision we have never strayed far from the requirements of the GC’s in any previous conflict.

    Jinks, Derek,The Applicability of the Geneva Conventions to the ‘Global War on Terrorism’. U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 93; Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 46, 2006.

  115. Jill:

    Nothing has changed. I specifically said “war on terrorists,” since it’s still hard to wage war on a tactic or a human condition. Reasoner’s reasoning still stands.

    My initial post on the topic (7/8/09 @10:33 p.m.) simply raised the issue of what to do about true POW’s versus those charged with crimes. As I said, I agree with you about those found not to be POW’s like Saddam’s personal driver for example. We are not at issue here.

  116. Jill,

    The Greenwald article is all over the place. It fails, because it refuses to establish definition. When Greenwald is addressing “due process”, I assume he is addressing procedural due process. The only procedural due process required to be afforded war detainees is to establish POW status. -Most, if not all, have been granted POW status, even though the GC may not require us to do so.

    The fact that terrorism is not a state sanctioned activity puts those involved in a very precarious position. -I don’t think the protections afforded by the GC should be applied to non-state sanctioned acts of aggression. (My position is based on detering such future activity.)

    Per William J. Haynes II, General Counsel of the Department of Defense:

    An “enemy combatant” is an individual who, under the laws and customs of war, may be detained for the duration of an armed conflict. In the current conflict with al Qaida and the Taliban, the term includes a member, agent, or associate of al Qaida or the Taliban. In applying this definition, the United States government has acted consistently with the observation of the Supreme Court of the United States in Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, 37-38 (1942): “Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war.”

    “Enemy combatant” is a general category that subsumes two sub-categories: lawful and unlawful combatants. See Quirin, 317 U.S. at 37-38. Lawful combatants receive prisoner of war (POW) status and the protections of the Third Geneva Convention. Unlawful combatants do not receive POW status and do not receive the full protections of the Third Geneva Convention.

    The numerous situations you present may have merit, and detaining them may be a human rights violation. However, they must be addressed on a case by case basis.

    Being a member of Al Quaeda or funding Al Quaeda is not a criminal act. (At least, not under any law that I am familiar with) -If a member of Al Quaeda is charged with terrorism, and found to be not guilty -they have committed no crime, but may still be a threat if released. As such, they are held as POWs (or enemy combatants) until the armed conflict has ended.

    If you would present an individual case…with all the necessary details…we could discuss whether or not that individual could be reasonably determined to be an active threat associated with a current armed conflict.

  117. Mespo:

    “Without getting into the intricacies of the War Powers Act this would qualify as authority to use force to effect the enumerated purposes.”

    And those enumerated purposes were/are as clear as if they were ripped from a Joseph Heller novel.

    Mespo, allow me to clarify my point. I’m not concerned with the small issues such as the fates of a few individuals; rather, I’m focused on the BIG issues such as RECONSTRUCTING THE CONSTITUTION BASED ON A TURN OF A PHRASE.

    Article II does not empower the Executive to increase or enlarge its power by commencing a never ending Snipe hunt (i.e. hunt for something that does not exist) — to wit: the end of terrorism.

    Every time the Executive claims to engage in a conflict couched in terms where victory or endgame does not exist, e.g. “war on terror, or terrorists” you have an Executive seeking to increase or expand his powers by leaps and bounds simply by turning a phrase.

    I don’t care how afraid the country is; the constitution says let them piss their pants rather than ignore the rule of law.

  118. Jim,

    Yeah, each case, as with anything other than class actions, needs to be evaluated individually. However, it becomes a matter of timeliness. How long can you detain someone under the color of “evaluation”? There has been more than enough time to provide these people with the procedural due process required to determine if prosecution is in their future or if they should be freed. “We’ve got to sort it out” was one of Bush Co’s favorite lines when hit about GitMo and illegal detainees. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.

  119. Buddha,

    I would agree. -Justice delayed is justice denied.

    That said; a man on death roe for one murder, can hardly claim that justice was denied because they took so long to try him for the second murder. A determination of guilt or innocence of the second murder would have no effect.

    An enemy combatant need not be charged with any crime to remain in a detained status. If the conflict was ended, and they remained in custody without being charged/tried, I would have a problem with that.

  120. Jim,

    I have no issue with any of that, absent said DR inmates not running into a Statute of Limitations issue by delay. Not an issue in a 2nd murder, but murder is but one of many felonies, many of which do have SoL’s.

  121. Patty,

    I don’t really care about what Buddha’s doing, I’m not here to defend him. What I was pointing out is that in context (I’ll spare everyone the quotes here, but would hope they’ll go back and read what you said), your questions were clearly backed by the thought that since Buddha hasn’t done what you consider helping (which is an assumption that you have no basis for), he has no right to complain. It’s especially clear to anyone who knows about your history of commenting that we should all shut up and let the President do his thing.

    Anyone can do a quick scan through of what you’ve said. They may agree with my interpretation, they may not, but I’d be willing to bet there are more that agree than not. You know exactly how to get your point across. The fact that you’re also clever enough to do it without being explicit doesn’t change the point one bit.


    Apparently it’s not clear, as the word I used was ‘support’, not ‘help’, and I know what I mean in context wherever I use it
    -as in to keep from sinking under weight.

    I asked Buddha to name one thing he’s done to support our new president since he took office. I got no reply, just more static.

    I wrote nothing about Obama voters being duty-bound to remain stoically on board in the face of any and all profound disagreement simply by virtue of having stepped into the ballot box back in November.

    As much as Buddha would continues to try his hand at discrediting me, he is simply digging his own hole, but thanks for mentioning you are not distracted by it.

  122. “An enemy combatant need not be charged with any crime to remain in a detained status.”

    And Hamdi v. Rumsfeld?

    And on the topic of Hamdi, has anyone reconciled the distinction between treason and enemy combatant?

    Hamdi is a U.S. citizen. You can’t be an enemy combatant and a traitor at the same time. Funny world we live in.

  123. Patty,

    I don’t work for you. I’m not obligated to answer your smartass questions. What I do outside of here is just that and none of your business. If you don’t think I do anything locally, well, Phil Kline would tell you different – he hates my guts. I reserve the right to withdraw my support from anyone for whatever reasons I see fit. You don’t like it? Tough. I didn’t marry the equivocating bastard, I just voted for him. We’re not chained at the hip. My loyalty isn’t to him. It isn’t to the DNC or the RNC. It certainly isn’t to the graft riddled Federal Government. It’s to the Constitution. Period. End of line. And that’s the lens I use when and how I decide whom to support. Not your opinion. Again, you don’t like it, too bad. None of this is your call.

  124. Bob Esq.,

    Being an enemy combatant could be considered a treasonous act…an act performed by a traitor.

    It was Hamdi’s status as a U.S. Citizen that permitted him to retain the rights afforded U.S. Citizens. That’s what distinguished his case from the rest of the enemy combatants.

  125. Jim,

    You do realize you quoted the legal opinion of someone on trial for war crimes in Spain and who even the ABA is thinking of disbarring. If you do go to Glenn Greenwald’s column you will have the very example you seek–he links there to a detailed article on a specific person who was admitted by the govt. to be innocent, whom the govt. also choose to detain. I offered clips of what he said.

    As to the argument itself. There are two groups of people. POWs whose definition and treatment is clearly outlined in the GC. Who consititues a POW is not in question. That they must be treated honorably and may not be tortured is also, not in question.

    The second group are people who are planning attacks against the US. Unless they fall under the circumstances outlined in the GC, these people are criminals. They may be terrorists but they are criminals. Prior to GWB we had no problem recognizing terrorists as criminals and prosecuting them as such. We had to wait for our very own war criminals to devise a phony class of individuals who they unsucessfully argued had no rights. These people are the detainees, whom we hold illegally, without charge. These are they people that we tortured and whom we still tortured due to the war criminals who devised and support torture. That our govt. officials made up a false designation for a group of people that they might torture them, does not mean either the legal definition is legitimate or that tortue is legal. It means we have war criminals in the past and current administration.

    What Bushbama is claiming is the right to pick up anyone from anywhere (and this includes citizens) and hold them without charge for as long as the president so desires. Bushbama then claims, that should this group of people be given a full civilian criminal trial and be found innocent, this will be irrelevant to the president. In other words, we don’t have a functioning system of justice anymore, we have a dictatorship.

    I will not argue this any further because I feel like I am arguing about whether torture works or doesn’t. It’s beside the point and so are my arguments with you. The real truth is that the power Obama claims for himself is that of a dictator, not a president. There is no legal basis for his claim. It is unconstitutional on its face. At its core, it is abhorent.

    *A word to the people who post on this site who are writing here on behalf of the govt.–I don’t know if you believe what you are writing or are just here to obfuscate the issue. I hope you believe it because otherwise, some things are definitely not worth a paycheck. Good luck to you. If you believe the govt. who turns on some of its citizens will never turn on you, think again.

  126. Jim,

    “The real truth is that the power Obama claims for himself is that of a dictator, not a president. There is no legal basis for his claim. It is unconstitutional on its face. At its core, it is abhorrent [sic].”

    I think she’s got you there. Unlimited detention is evil in addition to being unconstitutional. Habeas corpus must be restored. There’s no and, if or but about that. The rest is just semantics.

  127. Jim,

    I agree w/what you say about holding enemy combatants, if that’s what they’ve been classified as.

    And if they’re civilians, why would anyone think they wouldn’t have their rights manipulated upon and trampled like they are done to AMERICAN detainees everyday.

    If they get away w/it in American federal courts w/American federal prisoners then this issue w/Guantanomo detainess becomes a moot point. So if you have an issue w/them remaining in custody after the conflict has ended do you have the same issue when it happens in American federal courts daily.

    Jill, Jim and anyone else.
    Example:

    Federal inmate serving his federal sentence in federal prison.
    Said inmate is reindicted while serving his federal sentence on NEW charges.
    The feds bring him back to court to arraign him.
    Said inmate is now held in a federal facility in the district in which he is being charged.
    Before the trial starts, said inmate finishes his federal sentence.
    His lawyer files for bail on the new charges.
    Feds object.
    Judge denies.
    Now the inmate is on pre-trial status at the federal holding facility.
    It takes about 1 year for the new trial to come to docket.
    The new trial ends in a mistrial.
    Said inmate is brought back to the holding facility while the feds DECIDE whether or not to re-try the case.
    While the inmate is in limbo on these new charges, this pre-trial inmates lawyer motions for bail.
    After much surety is secured by the accussed inmate, family and friends the inmate is released on bail.
    Bail entails many restrictions that are enforced by the probation department.
    Remember, the inmate is still in limbo while the feds DECIDE what to do.
    So, he’s on bail in limbo.
    Feds decide to re-try.
    This time he beats the case and becomes a free man.
    Without saying, the feds in all their zealotry and pomposity are ENRAGED that they’ve been beaten.
    They scrumage around old cases and unearth rats lingering away in federal prison to patch together a case of decades old crimes to reindict this private citizen who they consider an adversary.
    Remember, there is NO new criminal conduct. Only the words of cooperating witnesses already doing time who have been promised a reduction in their sentences for their testimony. And already “battle tested” rats who’ve served the feds purposes in the past.
    This person was is reindicted and the feds detain this man on the new. new charges.
    This man’s lawyer files a motion for bail.
    The feds of course label him a danger to society (Even though the charges include no new criminal conduct)The feds also of course say that he’s a danger to flee given the severity of the charges (Even though this man has the means to secure millions of dollars in bail and has done so in the past)
    Judge finds a way to manipulate his decision in the favor of the feds motion to deny bail.
    Remember, this is a STRAIGHT motion to deny. Not that he can’t make it.
    So this man wastes away for another 2 years while the feds drag their feet and a judge who is inundated w/bullsh*t cases has no room on his docket to quicken the pace.
    So after about 2 years the man beats the feds again.
    What happens to all those years he’s spent in limbo?
    What happens to the years he lost w/his family?
    What happens to the financial burden he’s assumed?
    How are these abuses of his civil rights remedied?
    Where is the justice?

    Jill,

    You are passionate and well-informed in your opinion even though I may disagree w/some points.
    I do not accuse nor assume. But do you reserve the same outrage for that man’s example and the COUNTLESS of others that have suffered the same fate at the hands of this dictatorial govn’t?

    I personally feel the enemy combatants or whatever they’re labeled are a moot point b/c it’s nothing new. And if WE THE PEOLE had taken notice of these abuses to or own citizens we probably wouldn’t be having this debate.

  128. I made a big mistake. There is a third and large group of people being held without trial and who if innocent, will still be imprisoned should the president say so–this is the largest group, a group of people whom we have tortured and imprisoned for years without trial. They are the wholly innocent. They are the collataral damage of a govt. run wild, a govt. whose desire for power is so great that human lives may readily be sacrificed to its aims.

    We must take back this nation. We are a nation of laws, not of men. This is a left wing Milgram experiment and we must not fail it.

  129. Jill,

    I read your last post and it is true.

    I would assume you hold the same outrage for those whose rights are being trampled daily.

    That is consistent and commendable.

  130. Scilian,

    I do harbor the same outrage about how we treat our prisoners in the US. It is wrong. Torture occurs here. A study on the rape of inmates by guards was just released and it is appalling. I should have commented on that thread and felt badly that I had not done so. The way we treat inmates and those who are also wholly innocent but could not afford or luck into strong representation is a horrible thing. It needs to stop and the perpetrators brought to justice. There is always a connection between the degredation we show to prisoners at home and to those abroad.

  131. Jill,

    Please provide the link to the specific individual Greenwald refers to. (Greenwald hyperlinks so much stuff. I don’t have time to look at every source he provides)

    Let’s keep this focused on detainees. Things that have been done to detainees (i.e. torture) are beyond the scope of this debate.

  132. Oh so where is my Buddha man. He spoke of me and now he avoids me. Oh Buddha, where is he?

  133. So sorry, My Zombie Killing Goddess, but occasionally Buddha does have to take a meeting in meatspace instead of cyberspace.

    Speaking of which . . .

    (insert your own filthy “meatspace” joke here)

  134. Sorry I’m so late to the party but medical need (resolved) took precedence over attention here. Here’s what I think in short.

    Indefinite detention is flat out wrong and while I could no doubt develop some justification for it, in the end there is no adequate justification. To the extent that President Obama’s Administration practices it, I am unalterably opposed to their actions in this matter.

    However, how many of you who so glibly write of how we need to radically change this have ever really taken part in a revolution? What my generation did back in the 60’s was in effect a non-violent revolution and we got our asses kicked and ultimately were failures. Why was that so?

    We over estimated our own power and the effectiveness of the tactics we used. Protests and marching only get you so far. In the end it is all about organization and that was achieved by my side only rarely. Ghandi won with the same tactics in India because Ghandi was a master organizer. We weren’t in his league.

    We didn’t understand who we were fighting with. It wasn’t LBJ and it wasn’t Richard Nixon. This country has been run by a behind the scenes oligarchy for many years now. If you’d like insight into how it works read books like “The Power Broker” by Robert Caro, his LBJ biography’s, “The Permanent Government and the fall of New York” by Jack Newfield and even recent works by Jeremy Scahill. The books by Caro and Newfield I recommend though because they show how what is happening is less a conspiracy, then it is about a bunch of peers working together for their mutual interests.

    When Nixon stepped over the line, he was removed, with little difficulty by those he had offended and they weren’t what people today call “The Liberals.” President Obama too may be President, but he does not fully control the country, the military, or the intelligence community. How much they control him is the question. That remains to be seen, but those who think him a free agent are remarkably naive. I personally believe he is trying to do the right thing, but I’m not sure he’s got the power to do it. It’s one thing to say he is the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces, it is quite another to have them recognize it.

    Not understanding the extent of our power and also our not understanding the nature of the enemy, led to the Anti-War
    Revolution and the Civil Rights Revolution ultimate failures.
    Damn though, we were great sloganeers and we really knew how to launch invective, winning though we lacked the skill for.

    We were also too doctrinaire and too quick to alienate those who didn’t follow lock step in our beliefs. Much too quick to cast aspersions on the motives of potential allies and to make enemies of potential friends because they didn’t share in our purity of belief.

    I know there is someone reading this is at this point sputtering to themselves that I am a defeatist and too willing to compromise my beliefs. If you think that you are totally wrong. I’m not now, nor will I ever be famous/rich and I’m certainly not a hero but I and my family have paid dearly for my adherence to basic principles and my refusal to play anyone’s game, even if it would have led to my advancement. Experience though has taught me that fighting words are cheap and empty threats are even cheaper.

    My advice is don’t ever quit standing up for what you believe in or standing up for all of our freedoms, rights and a just and humane society. However, if you want to really change it and finally throw out the selfish aristocracy that runs our society, you had better be prepared to start at the bottom and organize your way to the top. You had better learn how to
    influence people to join our cause and reach out to those who might not seem to be obvious allies. I’m with all who live to fight for the right cause, but I will not be again played for a pawn in the game of someone who doesn’t understand how the game is played and what exactly are the stakes.

    As a cheap yet historical for instance, on where President Obama is after 6 months, go back and look at where Lincoln was at the same point in his administration. The secessionists were gone and the abolitionists were out for his head. He had managed to sorely disappoint both sides and although there were no polls back then, he was by all appearances a failure. I’m not saying they are the same, but I am saying they are facing similarly daunting obstacles.

  135. Mr. Buddha, I do not get the gravity of what you meant by my meatspace joke. Would you be kind to me and help me understand what you meant, you big sexy green godwich.

  136. Buddha,

    I think the Supreme Court got BOUMEDIENE v. BUSH wrong. While the U.S. Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the constitutionality of the act (Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006), I don’t believe our Constitution gives the Court personal jurisdiction over non-U.S. citizen detainees.

    The rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution apply to U.S. Citizens and those who occupy the U.S. legally. If we start applying those protections afforded to enemy combatants, we may as well determine that war itself is unconstitutional.

    Deprived of life without due process. -How do we ever constitutionally drop a bomb? -We couldn’t ever prove whether or not an enemy soldier in the enemy camp that we just bombed had any intent of shooting at us.

    War sucks! War against a non-state enemy sucks even worse. When we do our best to make war fair, we extend the war at the peril of those who volunteer to defend us. The rules applied to civilized society cannot be effectively applied to war.

    War itself should be a deterent to future wars. Trying to make it acceptable for family viewing is the wrong way to fight it. I think war should be the meaniest, nastiest thing we could ever imagine. i.e. You kill 10 of my people…I’ll kill a million of yours. I’ll kill your wife, your children, your pets. -Still want to attack my people?

    PS -I spent 8 years manning the underwater platform from which to release the hell we call “The atomic bomb”.

  137. Mike,

    The fact that those Ghandi had the home field advantage and VAST numbers on his side probably didn’t hurt either.

  138. rofl

    Uh, sure, Milla. See, when two objects . . . er, when a daddy bee likes a . . . well, hmmmmm. Being suggestive across some language barriers is a problem. I suspect your English teacher is from Texas so maybe he can explain it in ranching terms.

  139. Jill,

    Thank you for your consistency.

    As a former federal inmate, who did time in 2 different fed joints, 3 holding/transport centers and 1 county jail awaiting trial, I will admit that actually doing the time in the different joints was realatively easy.

    Fed time is basically easy time once you accept the loss of freedom and separation from family. Most joints are relativly sedate. And w/inmates doing decades worth of time they WANT the places to run easy. They want routine and calmness.

    That article you refered to about prison rapes, I would be wary. I never saw nor heard of one rape in my time in the feds. The hispanic population had there “punks” but that was about it.

    Everybody thinks prison is OZ. But it’s not. Guys are LIVING in these places, they want the same drama-free existence as anyone. As far as rape, what makes someone think that a heterosexual male who has loved women there whole lives and possess that natural inclination could make himself go against that b/c there are no longer any women. There are “punks” for those inclined to it. But most guys just want to do there time and be left alone.

    Fed time is a little different than state time. Fed inmates are a higher caliber of criminal so there’s more order. I’ve heard horror stories about state prisons and Federal Pens can get rough and racially divisive. But I did my time in medium security fed joints so it wasn’t as bad.

    Rape is RAMPANT in WOMEN prisons from BOTH inmates and C.O.’s. There’s been MANY a C.O. who’s knocked up a woman inmate. That is a real problem.

    The horror of the federal system is that the sentences are so draconian. They hand out time like they hand out water. And b/c of the guideline system (Granted they’re onlt suppossed to be “advisory”)there is no compassion in taking into account individual circumstances.

    Then the feds house you in facilities out of state so ones contact w/family is diminshed. Then you only get 300 minuets of phone time a month. So your family is forced to move on w/their lives and just “do” w/the minimal contact the feds afford.

    Then they move inmates constantly that it burns you out.

    Then they did away w/parole MANY years ago (Contrary to what everyone thinks) When you get a fed sentence, you’re doing 87% of your time, 54 days of good time/year.

    All rehabilitation outlets are non-existent. No more college classes or any trade training. If you like sports, there’s plenty of that. But the feds did away w/all weight training equip. Only the old joints had there weight equip “grandfathered” in.But if the equip breaks, it can not be replaced.

    All fed joints are is warehouses of humanity. You could pick up a bid and go to sleep untill they woke you up onyour out date and nobody would ever know.

    I’ve already spoken about the dirty, underhanded tricks the feds play to give people undeserved amounts of time.

    There is NO justice in the system. Even those that are part of the system (cops, judges, prosecutor’s) do NOT care one bit about justice. It’s all a dog-and-pony show to cover there own a**es, protect their careers and maintain their power.

    The judges continuously legislate away our rights. And in doing so these judges end up legislating away their own power and ability to check the justice system. All power and policing ends up being centralized in the federal government. And those w/all the power are the overzealous prosecutor’s and cops who have NO checks. And the executive and legislative operatives who strong arm judges to legislate the power into the executive and legislative branches. If some renegade judge goes against the “powers-that-be”, they just write a new law. And when it gets challenged they steer the case to some in-the=bag judge who’ll give them back the power.

    That’s what’s going on out there today.

  140. Jim,

    Then we’ll just have to disagree as I think Kennedy’s majority opinion in Boumediene was dead on. It’s also an excellent history lesson on the origins of habeas corpus (for those who have not read the case). In Souter’s concurrence, the ruling also upheld the Court’s earlier ruling in Rasul v. Bush which held “[a]pplication of the habeas statute to persons detained at [Guantanamo] is consistent with the historical reach of the writ of habeas corpus.” Stare decisis in action. Scalia was grasping at straws and I found him as unpersuasive as I usually do. The government failed to prove they had provided an adequate alternative to habeas corpus by statue so by default Constitutional authority is the proper well to draw from. That was all that was required to win, but the Detainee Treatment Act failed. And the fact is that, agree or not, that is the ruling in effect at this time.

  141. Oh Mr. Buddha, You like Texas Austin is nice. Want to film here someday. I never been that I remember. I been so many nice places in my life but not to Texas. You live there, Mr. Buddha?

  142. Gyges,
    We have the home field advantage. We would have the vast numbers if a large majority of the people would be in support.
    My point is that getting the support is harder than many here seem to think. Remember also that England controlled India for a hundred years with a vastly outnumbered armed force.

  143. Mike,

    In our case both sides would have the home field advantage, there’s no colonialism, just serfdom.

  144. Mike S:

    “Indefinite detention is flat out wrong and while I could no doubt develop some justification for it, in the end there is no adequate justification. To the extent that President Obama’s Administration practices it, I am unalterably opposed to their actions in this matter.”

    **************************
    Am I hearing from you and the “Jill Team” that prisoners of war denominated as “enemy combatants” should enjoy due process and equal protection rights involving their detention over and above the extensive framework of rights granted them by the Geneva Conventions? I think we all agree that these persons have a right to a judicial determination of status (rather than an Executive one), but does anyone actually believe that a POW needs to be released before the end of hostilities or other than under one of the narrow exceptions set out in the Geneva Conventions? That would be an expansion of both Constitutional protections and the law of war. The distinction between prisoners of war,and those charged with a crime is important and a person may be both a prisoner of war, and charged with a crime in the context of a global war against terrorists. Each “offense” has its own tract in terms of the rights of the accused, and a person may be on either or both tracts at the same time. I think it helps to define terms in this area,and I was just wondering if we are chasing smoke by avoiding this clarification.

  145. Mespo,

    Quick question, what if by the nature of the conflict there can be no “end of hostilities?”

  146. Mespo,

    I respect you as an individual, please do the same for me. I’m not a member of anyone’s “Team;” to refer to me or others as such is just an intellectually lazy (something you’re rarely guilty of) way of dismissing my opinion. The difference between what you just did and the various recent rants against all us “progressives” is simply the scale.

  147. Gyges:

    Sorry Gyges. No harm intended, just a short-hand way of referring to the previous posts. I’d be on Jill’s team anytime though. I like her uniforms!

  148. Gyges:

    “Quick question, what if by the nature of the conflict there can be no ‘end of hostilities?'”
    **********************

    On your interesting question, the GC’s don’t really address the issue. I suppose indefinite warfare implies indefinite detention. How would the GC’s have been handled in the Hundred Years War. I hope by prisoner exchanges.

  149. mespo and Gyges, good points both. The phrase “war on terror” is unwieldy and has created a legal nightmare. The plan of the Bush administration was basically the military equivalent of a cattle roundup. Herd ’em all into pens, keep them in line with cattle prods and hold them until they figured out what to do. But of course, Bush didn’t figure anything out and dropped the problem, along with Iraq and Afghanistan, on the next administration. In the long run, however, it seems to me that holding anyone for the “duration” of a war that is undefined is unworkable and morally debilitating (to the country as well as to the detainee). I also believe that the writ of habeas corpus ought to be available to anyone over whom we assert jurisdiction.

  150. Mike,

    I’ve been thinking about what you said about India and I think that’s not really a good comparison for this reason: India was dominated by the caste system long before the English arrived. A very stratified society with great disparities between castes. They had a history of repression not only not present in this country, but counter to the very origins of this country. The U.S. was founded by those chaffing at unjust rule. We see this to varied degrees in the struggle for democracy taking place in countries like Iran and China where there has also never been a democratic tradition – it’s a slower movement as they are building the tradition from the ground up. As complacent and dumbed down as Americans are, we ultimately have a lot less tolerance as a whole for repression than most societies. What it takes to breach that tolerance is the issue. And whether it ends in anarchy or revolution, we’ll only get X far down the fascist totalitarian road before that unwillingness to be victimized comes back to the fore.

  151. Here’s some info on some of our POWs:

    Medical Investigations of Homicides of Prisoners of War in Iraq and Afghanistan
    Steven H. Miles, MD, Professor of Medicine and Bioethics
    Steven H. Miles, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Email:miles001@umn.edu;
    Disclosure: Steven H. Miles, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
    Error in Table 1: In the Original Article entitled “Medical Investigations of Homicides of Prisoners of War in Iraq and Afghanistan” published on July 5, 2005, Medscape General Medicine, 2005; 7, 2, there was one error in the table. Mowhoush died at Qaim [sic] not Abu Ghraib. The correct information is in the body of the paper.
    Top

    Introduction
    The publication of the photographs of the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib has resulted in a widening circle of disclosures and official investigations of similar abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay. There are reports that some medical personnel neglected detainees’ medical needs and collaborated with coercive interrogations.[1,2] Some physicians, medics, nurses, and physician assistants failed to report abuses or injuries caused by the abuses that they witnessed. This article reviews another human rights issue – the medical evaluation of cases of which prisoners potentially died of because of mistreatment or under suspicious circumstances.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1681676

  152. mespo,

    “Each “offense” has its own tract in terms of the rights of the accused, and a person may be on either or both tracts at the same time. I think it helps to define terms in this area,and I was just wondering if we are chasing smoke by avoiding this clarification.”

    Good point. Being a POW and a criminal are not mutually exclusive, but aren’t we back to timeliness again in the instant case(s)? Had due process not been deprived, there would be no status issues at a systemic level like we have now – at an individual case level perhaps but not grand mal. But then aren’t we back to torture? Wasn’t the motivation for denying due process the suppression of information regarding the torture programs because it would trash many of the cases? Isn’t that the core of the Bush-Cheney Gitmo cover-up?

  153. Mike A.,

    How did the U.S. Courts acquire personal jurisidiction over non-U.S. Citizen enemy combatants?

    Everyone is right in determining that this is a mess. The Geneva Convention, I don’t think, ever contemplated sustained action against a non-state enemy. I’d say not affording them protections should serve as a deterent to rogue actions

    Granting these actors more rights -habeas corpus in U.S. Courts -is treating them better than a POW would be treated.

    I wish we had good answers, but we didn’t create the non-state actor scenario..they did.

  154. Mespo,

    Here’s a comment I made earlier today that you chose not to respond to:

    “I’m not concerned with the small issues such as the fates of a few individuals; rather, I’m focused on the BIG issues such as RECONSTRUCTING THE CONSTITUTION BASED ON A TURN OF A PHRASE.

    Article II does not empower the Executive to increase or enlarge its power by commencing a never ending Snipe hunt (i.e. hunt for something that does not exist) — to wit: the end of terrorism.

    Every time the Executive claims to engage in a conflict couched in terms where victory or endgame does not exist, e.g. “war on terror, or terrorists” you have an Executive seeking to increase or expand his powers by leaps and bounds simply by turning a phrase.

    I don’t care how afraid the country is; the constitution says let them piss their pants rather than ignore the rule of law.”

    And here’s what you just told Gyges:

    “I suppose indefinite warfare implies indefinite detention.”

    As the veritable moral center of this blog, and I’m only being a tiny bit sarcastic, please tell me you’re kidding; because you sound about one step away from ‘1984 speak.’

  155. Buddha,

    I spent the afternoon reviewing Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Boumediene.

    This was not my first reading, but I wanted to see if I may have missed something that may persuade me to change my mind.

    I think Justice Kennedy’s opinion is well written, and based on a good analysis of history. Unfortunately, I was not persuaded to change my mind.

    “The essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in custody upon the legality of that custody.” Kruger v. Erickson, 77 F.3d 1071, 1073 (8th Cir. 1996).

    In times of war, I just don’t think that’s a door that should be opened. What’s next? Will soldiers need to take the time to document the case against the enemy when taking them into custody?

    I understand your position, and I think it’s a noble position to take. I wish everyone could always be afforded the rights that most take for granted. However, as someone who surrendered many of those rights, I think the Court’s decision has set a bad precedent.

    Wars aren’t fought in the court, and, I think, the Court should stay out of wars.

  156. Jim,

    Thanks, but I think you miss the purpose of law. The purpose of laws and courts are dispute resolution in place of alternatives that are violent and/or destructive. We go to courts and have laws to keep from being perpetually at war with each other as is our primate-brained nature. That is the primary function: keeping society from self-destructing by providing justice instead of unfettered revenge. Without them, we’d still all be stone age barbarians killing each other to steal the women and the hunting ground. The opposite of war isn’t just peace, it’s law and justice. This is why it’s so important to put bad actors within the system out and out for good. They are termites in the house of justice.

  157. Buddha,

    I agree with everything you just stated. If only the whole world would recognize and conform to that basic mode of operation.

    A result of them failing to do so is war.

    Once we establish habeas corpus we will then find that we will need to meet a burden of proof. Who was the arresting soldier? Did they maintain good enough records to appease the court? Are soldiers even required to keep a log of who the detainees are, or the activity they were performing when captured? Is the arresting soldier still alive?

    Am I thinking it through too far?

  158. Jim,

    “Am I thinking it through too far?”

    Yep.

    You’re talking finish work ahead of getting the building framed. Baby step, man, baby steps.

  159. “Does that change how you read Kennedy’s opinion?”

    No. -It may be because I think like a soldier more than I think like a lawyer.

    –I just thought about replacing soldiers on the battlefield with lawyers. -Stick that in your motion for a continuance. :>)

  160. Buddha,

    If habeas corpus is “an attack by a person in custody upon the legality of that custody”; how is the government supposed present their case?

    Are we really prepared to defend the reasons someone was determined to be an enemy combatant, or prisoner of war?

    If we keep this up, the rules of engagement will need to be expanded to include four levels of appeal.

  161. Jim,

    Those two are easy: Prisoner of War is well defined in the GC. Enemy combatant is anyone who the President says is one.

    See the problem yet?

  162. Gyges,

    “Enemy combatant is anyone who the President says is one.”

    I disagree.

    See ex parte Quinn

    “…the law of war draws a distinction between the armed forces and the peaceful populations of belligerent nations and also between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful. The spy who secretly and without uniform passes the military lines of a belligerent in time of war, seeking to gather military information and communicate it to the enemy, or an enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property, are familiar examples of belligerents who are generally deemed not to be entitled to the status of prisoners of war, but to be offenders against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals.”

  163. “Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals…”

  164. What Gyges said. And yes, you’re thinking like a soldier in some respects. So here are the words of a famous soldier to think upon as you ponder “the problem”.

    “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” – Gen. W.T. Sherman

    And my favorite Founding Father, that gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Thomas Jefferson.

    “War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.”

    And another bit of wisdom of Mr. J’s that should be a guiding principle for us all – “My views and feelings are in favor of the abolition of war–and I hope it is practicable, by improving the mind and morals of society, to lessen the disposition to war; but of its abolition I despair.”

    But just because a goal is difficult does not mean We the People should not try. As the Chinese are fond of saying, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”

  165. Jim,

    Unlawful combatant? That definition has been rendered useless by the acts of the Bush Administration and the continuation of their policies by Obama. As Gyges pointed toward, we’ve entered a situation where “unlawful” is no longer decided by due process, but instead by one man. Well, they call that a monarchy or a dictatorship when the rules come top down by force like that without any chance of review. No man is my king and I’ll take it to a dictator for a fact. That’s part and parcel of why we had the War for Independence – to escape the irrational tyranny’s of men and live under the rule of law.

    You’re still thinking like a soldier. I know in some respects that can be a hard habit to break because of the training. I know a lot of soldiers. In the military, top down is how things run. That is not how civilian life is run in this country nor was it meant to be by the terms of our founding documents.

  166. Mespo,

    No harm no foul.

    I’m glad you choose the 100 Years War, it makes a example to nice compare and contrast with. At any given point the parties involved could have conceivably sat down and ended it (or at least their end of it). While it turned out to have lasted more than one lifetime, it wasn’t guaranteed to. That’s the sort of armed Conflict that the GC was set up to regulate.

    The war on terror responsible for the capture of most of these prisoners is completely different. There is no set of parties involved, just the U.S. Government and ill defined groups of people that it may or may not decide to label as terrorist organizations depending on how it feels at the moment (strategic alliances would be the nominal reason for it’s decisions; the ever cynical Eric Blair would say that depending on the need for political capital back home the level of conflict could be dialed up or down accordingly). You’re smart enough to see how that difference (and if I remember correctly have explained it in some detail) makes the U.S. armed forces into something much closer to a giant (and extremely violent) police force rather than a military.

    All this is tangential to the legal status of those being indefinitely held, but helps explain why the whole issue raises such strong feelings here.

  167. Bob,Esq:

    “As the veritable moral center of this blog, and I’m only being a tiny bit sarcastic, please tell me you’re kidding; because you sound about one step away from ‘1984 speak.’”

    ******************

    Thank you for the compliment, but I make no claim on the moral center of anything except my own reason. I thought I did answer your question about turning the Constitution on its head. Armed with a resolution duly passed by Congress to defend the nation under the War Powers Act, the Executive would be derelict to ignore its solemn duty to protect the citizenry after its representatives have spoken. And no Executive would ever treat such a grave duty this cavalierly. Surely you agree that the Executive acting pursuant to an Act of Congress to wage war is not a usurpation of its Constitutional powers. We can debate Bush’s extra-Constitutional idea of the unitary Executive, but that is not what we are talking about here. It is simply the issue of whether Bush was duly authorized to wage war in Afghanistan and Iraqi which he clearly was legally entitled to do, his bad judgment notwithstanding.

    On the indefinite detention of POW’s issue, I was wondering how long you think we should keep them with hostilities still raging? Is 4 years too long? How about six? And how should we release them? Just take them back to battlefield in Mosul, clothed in a cheap thoub with $50.00 in their pocket? I am only half kidding here, but your feigned shock aside, you must realize that these thorny issues were debated when the Geneva Conventions were adopted, and there is no provision for mandatory release of POW’s other than at the end of hostilities or in cases of serious, non-self inflicted illness or injury. Otherwise, the detaining power is merely stock piling enemy soldiers to be used against it when the arbitrary release “deadline” passes.

    I have no trouble with due process for those charged with crimes, but true combatants bent on killing fellow Americans — or aiding in that effort — deserve no quarter from us, nor has any society in the history of mankind ever taken such a dangerous position without a concomitant pledge from its adversary. I won’t hold my breath on Al-Qaeda. Notions of due process and equal protection do not apply to those making war against us. We have treaties in place to protect POW’s and laws to protect those criminally charged. To conflate the two invites blindly upholding muddled and conflicting legal principles ill-suited for the other’s circumstances at the cost of our republic. To argue otherwise, would render our near unique commitment to lofty democratic principles nothing more than a suicide pact.

  168. Gyges:

    I agree with your analysis of the 100 Years War which could have been ended most anytime. The parties there operated under somewhat different rules of war, but, as you know, prisoner exchanges were common and the war was seasonably waged to allow for crop harvesting and other mundane survival tasks. Your point that the sides were well-defined is likewise valid, but the GC’s expressly deal with hostilities such as civil war, nation v. nation, and nation v. non-differentiated combatants. I think there is more wisdom in the GC than you will admit, and I would suggest we try that avenue first before embarking on a model which affords due process rights to those who would use those rights to destroy us.

  169. Buddha,

    In addition to what mespo stated at 11:42 pm –

    “Well, they call that a monarchy or a dictatorship when the rules come top down by force like that without any chance of review. No man is my king and I’ll take it to a dictator for a fact.”

    The President, in his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is a dictator in many ways. He alone issues orders to the troops. No member of the Armed Forces may disobey his lawful orders.

    He may not be your king, and the President is no longer my king, but he was mine. That’s how the military works, and why it works.

    Once Congress declares war…it’s his baby. Only the generals in the field should influence the Presidents strategy.

  170. Buddha:

    Jim Byrne is right that the GC’s specifically require “competent tribunals” to determine the status of a prisoner of war. See Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Third Convention), PART I, ARTICLE 5.

  171. No, Jim. He was your COMMANDER, not your king. He’s a civilian and subject to all the laws of this country no matter what the man may think. War does not change that fact. We have a civilian as CIC for a reason. His title sounds military, but it’s not. Your dedication is admirable, but misplaced. You worked for him. He works for We the People. Or he’s supposed to without the graft machine on K St. screwing with things.

    I understand where you are coming from. But you’re wrong.

  172. mespo,

    I don’t think I was disagreeing with that but rather saying that the process we’ve been using is inadequate. The problem is we haven’t had any “competent tribunals”.

  173. Buddha’s point is well taken that while the military operates under a hierarchical system of command, the superior civilian control of the military has no such prescriptions. While the President’s lawful orders must be obeyed under penalty of law, if you are in the military, the President only enjoys commander-in- chief status over the nation’s armed forces. In all other aspects of his office, he is citizen Obama, and must conform to the checks on his powers forged by custom and the Constitution.

  174. mespo, isn’t that what I said, essentially @10:34 am, in a few hundred less words than your penultimate post? ;)

    Please don’t misunderstand, I never tire of your elegant posts!

  175. Buddha:

    Agreed. I think Bob’s point was that Bush, in claiming the right to declare who was or wasn’t an enemy combatant, was grossly exceeding his bounds. Clearly he was doing so under the plain text of the Third Convention. I think we all agree he was likewise violating the Constitution by denying those challenging their status from anything approaching judicial review.

  176. Patty C:

    “mespo, isn’t that what I said, essentially @10:34 am, in a few hundred less words…”

    *********************

    Yours was poetry to my prose, but, as you know, most guys don’t like poetry. Like Plato, you also know that “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.”

  177. Buddha and mespo,

    The GC competent tribunal only applies to determining if prisoner of war status will be awarded. Unlawful combatants, to the best of my knowledge, have no provision with which to challenge their status.

  178. Jim,

    You should know the answer to that question. Boumediene v Bush and Rasul v. Bush. The tribunals merely set status for the next phase as they are determinative of status only, not guilt or innocence of any criminal wrongdoing or – if found POW only – when they should be processed and returned at the end of hostilities according to the rules of the GC. It’s a triage process before final disposition. Since the statutory provisions Bush relied on for prosecuting “unlawful combatants” had no adequate due process analog it was proper to return to the Constitution for guidance. The bad news was that guidance said they were behaving in an unconstitutional manner by denying habeas corpus.

  179. mespo727272 1, July 10, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Patty C:

    “mespo, isn’t that what I said, essentially @10:34 am, in a few hundred less words…”

    *********************

    Yours was poetry to my prose, but, as you know, most guys don’t like poetry. Like Plato, you also know that “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.”

    HOw true! Just as we were finishing here last night, I noticed my poetry, which was, unfortunately, mixed in with Buddha’s and AY’s bovine offerings of the day, had just gotten tossed in a massive sweep by JT – at my prompting two fortnights ago.

    Next time I’ll be sure to quote myself!

  180. Patty C,

    Hello Female Canine. You can leaves me out of your rants. I will come back and have you for dinner. Now how do you cook that New England lobster and what sound does it make as it hits the water?

    The Professor has asked that you refrain from your fecal matter attacks. Civility is what has been requested or do you not know what that terms mean? I will assure you one of wit as I surly sit here ready to ****. I will grace you with all my might and I will see you running as dysentery can only imagine.

  181. Patty C.

    Are you still swaggering from the swill that you have prepared? Do you think that you need assistance, it is nothing to be ashamed of to ask for help if you cannot control your drinking. Have you shown up at work drunk as much as you show up here apparently under the influence. I hope that if you really are a medical person that your duties do not include surgery. Do you realize how much harm the medical community has caused by performing surgeries under the influence? Get help not only for your sake but the sake of your patients.

  182. More openness and transparancey

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/07/joe-biden-update-1.html

    and this, US prison tells inmate that Obama’s books harmful to national security

    http://680news.com/news/world/more.jsp?content=w094305227

    “It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere… That’s the world! On which hope sits!” Barack Obama, Dreams

    Maybe he was listenning to Jerimiah Wright

  183. Just yesterday you apologized, as is your practice, after one of your little tirades.

    Do you often have bouts of memory loss?

  184. Patty C. or Patty C or whoever you are going by at this time,

    Just yesterday you apologized, as is your practice, after one of your little tirades.

    Do you often have bouts of memory loss?
    ********************************
    Don’t ever expect me to apologize to you for anything that I may have said ever again. I am done with that!!!! If you leave my name or reference to anything I say I assure you, you will never have to worry about my commenting on your statements. Do we understand each other you female canine?

    As a matter of fact communicate only with mespo727272 as you do not insult him. Now sit back and take another pill or drink your swill and pass out.

  185. I want to ask one last time. To the people who wrote on this blog before I came here and have not yet spoken. You spoke so strongly against Bush when he decided to imprison the innocent and deny them a fair trial (or any trial). When Bush ripped up the Constitution, you were forceful in condemning him, every time. You never backed down to Bush’s illegal and immoral claims of expanded executive power. Why are you remaining silent now? Do you now agree with Bush’s reasoning? Obama and Bush are claiming the same power for themselves. Please help me understand why you remain silent when these same Bush policies are adopted by Obama? Silence is assent. Obama will take your silence as assent to his unlawful, heinous behavior.

  186. Maybe Obama and Bush can be put on trial at the same time. If that happens would Bush be the defendant and Obama the co-defendant or would it be the other way around.

  187. bdaman:

    what is your point about the video and the fact that you are not white? I am curious. I am a white, shall we say skeptical diest, individual rights, capitalist, I hate compasionate conservatism and neocons. They have bent our country over the log, think America as Ned Beatty and the neocons as the toothless redneck. And they have made us squeal like pigs.

    I also think that Pres. Obama’s rhetoric about white people and greed is incorrect. Haiti does not suffer because of America, Haiti suffers because of Haiti. The way to fix world problems is to try and get more countries to relax their strangle hold on people and the means of production. Free people and free markets are not interested in war and repression but in prosperity and life well lived.

  188. Jill,

    The claim is that “Obama Administration Reserves Right to Indefinitely Hold Detainees Acquitted of Charges”. That is not an unlawful act. Charges are one thing, and detention of unlawful combatants is another. Indefinite detention, until the end of the conflict, is not unlawful.

    Some of the things the Bush Administration was doing (i.e. torture) were possibly unlawful. Some other things, upon further review, were not. -Sometimes you look a little deeper at the facts to defend your own. (We are flawed beings)

    I’d still appreciate the URL of the individual case info for one whom you say should not be held.

  189. Jim,

    You obviously have a problem distinguishing between civilian and military processes. That’s why you keep misreading Boumediene. It addresses this point. You also seem to think the GC operates in a vacuum. It does not. There are also Constitutional, statutory and possibly regulatory laws that impact how we as a nation apply treaties. Boumediene is a fine example of just that.

  190. “Am I hearing from you and the “Jill Team” that prisoners of war denominated as “enemy combatants” should enjoy due process and equal protection rights involving their detention over and above the extensive framework of rights granted them by the Geneva Conventions? I think we all agree that these persons have a right to a judicial determination of status (rather than an Executive one), but does anyone actually believe that a POW needs to be released before the end of hostilities or other than under one of the narrow exceptions set out in the Geneva Conventions?”

    Mespo,
    I would respectfully request that you go back over my comments and explain to me where I’ve joined the “Jill Team,”
    or even agreed with them? Now it is possible that I was unclear in writing this post, but on re-reading it I will give myself benefit of the doubt.

    I made three basic points in that post:

    1. Indefinite detention of anyone, without hearing or judicial (or even “Quasi Judicial” oversight is an abomination
    in my view.

    2. People calling for various “revolts” and disparaging President Obama are ignoring history and the socio/political
    set up in our country that determines true power. In doing so they rally their troops against the wrong enemies. I’m all for acting to redress these wrongs, but I want to see more than empty exercises in misdirected anger, before I join the cause.

    3. Given the points I made in “2.” above, I pointed out that President Obama, 6 months in, is treading in the same swamp faced by Lincoln for instance and his methodology for dealing with it is only in its’ opening gambits.

    That is hardly the “Jill Team” and those other regulars commenting here are hardly team players and all march to their own drummers. I think in that sense your characterization, while admittedly looking for shorthand, was off the mark.

    Given the other part of your point these people are not POW’s since we are not now, nor have ever been at war in either Iraq or Afghanistan. These were an extension of the Presidential Police Action theory that Truman used to get us into Korea. I believe that this doctrine has far outlived its’ usefulness and has literally needlessly murdered thousands of our troops and perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. POW’s is therefore not an appropriate term and enemy combatant is an ill defined one. Saddam’s Limo
    driver for instance may be a lethal guy in a firefight, but really is he a lasting danger to us?

    However, even if we accept that premise of “war,” in Iraq and Afghanistan both those wars were over in short shrift. We won.
    We now have occupations going on and in both instances these occupations meet my definition of political insanity.

    “but does anyone actually believe that a POW needs to be released before the end of hostilities”

    Not a good argument because there are many instances to show that just such a result has been utilized and without disastrous consequences. Israel has done this numerous times in trades for prisoners and in fact on certain occasions did it to bow to US pressure and to world opinion. Are we in the US really so sanctified that we are above these things? I think not.

    As you know though, for the most part you, Patty and I have been among the chief defenders on this site of our President thus far, given this I think you were missing my points.

  191. Jim’s purpose here, IMO, is to obfuscate the issue and redirect it. I would not engage with him further because it plays into his hand. There are also others here as a distraction. They will fill up the side bar as quickly as possible. Because they will probably have knocked my post off I will post it again:

    I want to ask one last time. To the people who wrote on this blog before I came here and have not yet spoken. You spoke so strongly against Bush when he decided to imprison the innocent and deny them a fair trial (or any trial). When Bush ripped up the Constitution, you were forceful in condemning him, every time. You never backed down to Bush’s illegal and immoral claims of expanded executive power. Why are you remaining silent now? Do you now agree with Bush’s reasoning? Obama and Bush are claiming the same power for themselves. Please help me understand why you remain silent when these same Bush policies are adopted by Obama? Silence is assent. Obama will take your silence as assent to his unlawful, heinous behavior.

  192. “I’ve been thinking about what you said about India and I think that’s not really a good comparison for this reason: India was dominated by the caste system long before the English arrived.”

    Buddha,
    You, like Mespo missed the point that I was making and if two such as you miss my point than I have to admit I must have been unclear in my writing.

    The point I was making was not socio/political,it was about the effectiveness of pulling off a non-violent revolution and the ability to do so requiring extensive organization. Ghandi was not only a charismatic figure, he and his partisans were dynamic organizers and therein lies my point. I’ve been through the non-violent revolutions of the 60’s and they failed not because the cause wasn’t just, but because its’ partisans failed to mobilize a good percentage of the citizenry and used tactics that salved the ego, while sowing the seeds of their own destruction.

    How’s that for cliche ridden mixed metaphors?

  193. Mike,

    I think I understood where you were going and I don’t think you’re incorrect in your assessments of previous attempts at peaceful revolution here vs. there. We may have crosstalk. My point is that organization aside you’re dealing with a different mindset created by socioeconomics and history. I’m not sure Gandhi’s tactic can work here before that comes into play. I sure hope so as I feel about war the way Jefferson felt about it, but with the “mental fabric” of the two nations in comparison being so radically different, I just thought needed it needed attenuation. Complexity Theory is very initial state dependent in building its equations. With two different initial starting states, we cannot guarantee like outcomes regardless of other similarities.

  194. Mespo:

    “Surely you agree that the Executive acting pursuant to an Act of Congress to wage war is not a usurpation of its Constitutional powers.”

    Sure, but that’s not what we’re dealing with:

    9/11 Authorization:

    “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

    That’s quite a narrow authorization; wouldn’t you say Mespo?

    It is not an authorization to wage war against terrorism or terrorists. It’s an authorization to use military force to bring down everyone responsible for 9/11; and the “in order to prevent…” clause is subordinate and fails to enlarge the target of the authorization.

    Yet you continue:

    “I have no trouble with due process for those charged with crimes, but true combatants bent on killing fellow Americans — or aiding in that effort — deserve no quarter from us, nor has any society in the history of mankind ever taken such a dangerous position without a concomitant pledge from its adversary.”

    Query: How did an authorization to use military force against those responsible for 9/11 turn into a world wide war against all anti-American terrorists? Anti-American terrorists have existed for centuries, yet we never gave the Executive war time powers to go after them in the past; how did the Executive obtain that power now? A turn of a phrase?

    I completely agree with your conflict of laws argument (re due process and war tribunals) however you’re still missing the big picture. The shift of power upon which your argument relies is as legitmate as SCOTUS appointing a President.

  195. “Jim’s purpose here, IMO, is to obfuscate the issue and redirect it. I would not engage with him further because it plays into his hand. There are also others here as a distraction.”

    Jill,
    As the first person here to attack Jim Byrne, on another thread in a Galaxy far, far away, it ill behooves me to take up his defense. Yet I must defend him. I’ve read everything he’s posted on this thread. Some of which I agree with, much with which I disagree, but all written in a thoughtful manner and a positive advocacy of his rather complex views. Indeed, given its’ length this has been one of the best threads we have had in a long time, given the intelligence of the debate on all sides, only a minimum of annoying sniping and finally a minimum of trolling. Despite those beliefs of his with which I disagree, to me he has played a valuable role in moving the discussion on.

    “I want to ask one last time. To the people who wrote on this blog before I came here and have not yet spoken. You spoke so strongly against Bush when he decided to imprison the innocent and deny them a fair trial (or any trial). When Bush ripped up the Constitution, you were forceful in condemning him, every time. You never backed down to Bush’s illegal and immoral claims of expanded executive power. Why are you remaining silent now?”

    I don’t know if I preceded you on this blog, or not and to me that is irrelevant. I know that in my posts I have spoken out strongly when I’ve disagreed with the President. Beyond that my calls to the White house have probably exceeded 25 and none of them were laudatory. I have also signed literally 3 dozen or more online petitions protesting various aspects of current policy including but not limited to DODT, the economy, torture, health care, the ongoing occupations, Guantanamo the EFCA, etc. I’ve also made numerous calls to Senators and congresspeople and I support the ACLU, MoveOn, CAF and a host of other organizations.

    I’ve hardly been silent and those supporters of the President that write here have not been either. However, they might disagree with you on the President, his policies and the speed with which they can be implemented. There are some writing here who have worked in and with Government at the City, State and Federal level, like myself and FFLEO. He and I have certain disagreements, but we both know how hard it is to move the bureaucracy, in any new direction. I have strongly and vocally disagreed with this administration on much, but I’m also cognizant of how hard change is to effectuate, especially when you are also dealing with entrenched oligarchic interests.

  196. Jill,

    Also as one who took Jim to task,I have to go with Mike on this one. Jim’s a bit confused perhaps but not a troll. Like I’ve said before about him, yeah, he came in hot and trollish and he got me, Mike and mespo on him for too, but he’s since then mended his ways. I don’t think he’s being purposefully obfuscating as much as he’s often stuck in military mode in his analysis which may heavily skew his analysis on some issues. On others where that’s not in play, he’s a reasonable guy. He just needs to keep being reminded that not everyone is in the military nor is military law the prime law of this land. We are a civilian nation and the military works for us. If it were the other way around, it’d be a military dictatorship.

  197. Jim,

    All of it. The majority explained clearly why he was owed Due Process and why. You not liking the logic is irrelevant. It is precedent and case law given a fair hearing and that ties directly to the source of all our laws, the Constitution, over rationales based on statute and treaty. And that’s the way it is supposed to be – return to the source when in doubt.

  198. There is much that has been written and it fills me with much I want to say, but replying to each different point, on the many different posts that have caught my eye would be an all day job and boring for the readers. Let me then sum up, hopefully with brevity, my thoughts after reading this entire thread.

    1. We are not at war and to me constitutionally have never been at war with either Terror (an impossibility), Iraq (deceived into it at a level that I think constitutes a war crime)and Afghanistan (only justifiable to catch Bil Laden, which we haven’t, I believe purposely in the case of Bush/Cheney) and are now occupying in what to me is an exercise in futility.

    2. All of the people we have rounded up, be they war prisoners or so-called enemy combatants are entitled to some sort of hearing. This is because we have subjected them to torture and held them under degrading and suspicious circumstances. They are not POW’s since there is no, nor never should have been wars. Our paying of bounties for the names (and/or bodies)of so-called terrorists makes each case suspicious and thus requires some sort of adjudication.

    3. Even if one accepts that we were at war, both countries were subdued long ago and we are now maintaining a costly and unwarranted occupation. The occupations have made things in each country worse rather than better and continue to kill our troops, asking of them sacrifices they should not have had to make.

    4. The War on Terror is a slogan used to rally support for illegal actions, just as The War on Drugs, The War on Crime, or even The War on Drunk Driving. Any politician using these terms is doing so either because of stupidity, duplicity, or because the American dialogue has become so degraded that they dare not to go along with this nonsense.

    5. 9/11 did not “change everything” except in the minds of terrified pundits, or chicken hawk jingoists. This horrific incident, which incidentally does not compare in catastrophe to either Pearl Harbor, or the Civil War. 9/11 has been used to cover up a variety of crimes ranging from robbery of the US Treasury, to pointlessly destroying our brave troops, to outright murder of untold civilians. We have got to return to the truth of what happened there and begin to look at its real causes, not the pretend fairy tales put together by the Bush/Cheney Crime Family (which is a wholly owned subsidiary
    owned jointly by the Saudi’s and the Oil Company Monopoly)and
    the subsequent justifications for illegal/immoral activities.

    6. The Cold War was an opportunity to take control of a war sick nation that by dint of its industrial capacity became the world’s leading power after WWII. The USSR and later China
    were presented as frightening opponents in order to fill the coffers of the MI Complex and control the citizenry through a
    host of laws that wreaked havoc on our Constitution. Neither the USSR, nor China posed a threat to us separately or in tandem in terms of military might, yet the US was propagandized into believing so as a means of control and a furtherance of the greed of its powers that be. It also allowed the US to station troops all over the world and permitted us through the CIA and NSA to change governments in small nations at will. Finally, the ruse fell apart in the late 80’s, not because of a failed B Movie actor, but because of the USSR’s lack of internal stability and its’ governance by a man who saw beyond his own ego.

    7. The first Iraq War almost immediately followed up the end of the Cold War as the powers that be began to look for a new bogey man construct to maintain their power. All the rest is as they say history, highlighted by 1998’s PNAC which broadly laid out the strategy to turn the US into an empire.

    8. Finally, Commander in Chief (CINC)is a mere expression that is meaningless from a constitutional perspective, but is also used like “War on Terror” to engender support and stifle
    dissent. When the real “Permanent government” wants you out or wants you castrated the CINC finds that his powers mysteriously disappear. The only way around this is slowly and incrementally and I believe that is what our President is
    attempting, if he comes down too heavily he too can be removed or made powerless. After eight years of the Bush/Cheney Crime Family our constitution is in shreds and the
    crazies have been empowered, defeating them will not be easy and the fact that we can write this all so plainly indicates not their weakness, but their strength.

  199. Mike S. and Buddha,

    Thanks. I thought it best, in the interest of civil debate, that I not respond in my own defense.

    You’re right. We do disagree on a number of issues. However, I think our disagreements are honest, and not intended to just stir the pot.

    I’d rather have a discussion with someone whom I disagree with. I respect the opinions of most who comment here; especially those with whom I disagree.

    I don’t think most people understand the intricacies of war.

    Mespo presented a Curtis LeMay quote. “Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.” Many would not agree with that statement. However, every good soldier would.

    Capturing and detaining the enemy soldiers is like playing a game of chess. The purpose is to reduce the number of enemy soldiers. They need not be guilty of any crime. Being an enemy soldier is not a crime, but it does warrant detention until the conflict ends. Soldiers understand this, and accept such as an element of war. Civilians only see it as imprisonment of someone who has committed no crime. -If that was the way I saw it, I would be outraged too.

  200. What I’m concerned with is the actual repeal of the Patriot and Military Commissions Acts, and the motives of individuals responsible for their creation and in detail. (image)

    http://www.light-to-dark.com/heroes_of_shadow_governments.html

    Maybe the first step could begin at the point of attachment; where the parasitic manifestos and subversive documents attach to the pillars supporting our Constitution. All the while, of course, addressing their manifestations that piss patriots off.

    These Neo Con Constitution/GC end-arounds should be abolished along with torture, preemption, and domestic spying. To be certain, the final result should not enable endless obfuscation of a known Shadow Government or outright authoritarianism but begin a vigorous defense of a document that needs no ideological sistering for “enhanced rights” at all.

    I want to take out the coup’s Achilles’ Heel entirely and restore our living and able Constitution to full force. I believe the above Acts were designed by traitors to enable unfettered dictatorial control over not just the American people, but life on Earth.

    http://www.light-to-dark.com/a_retrospective.html

  201. AY, you didn’t apologize to me. You only requested deletion of your raft after JT intervened, whose post likewise was deleted last night along with the one of mine I was referencing in response to mespo.

    You are i obvious need of professional help. I suggest you get it.

    Make the call-today.

  202. Jim,
    You’re correct in saying that it is impossible to know the ways of soldiering if you haven’t been in the service, or ever been to war. I was 4f in Viet Nam due to high blood pressure and my 3 later heart attacks were a tribute to the prescience of the selective services Doctors. However, to be honest with you had I been drafted I would have served, even though I did not believe in the war. I love this country and although I disagree at times with its’ actions, I am in the end an American. My problem was that I am a very tough non-conformist and I don’t think I would have made it out of basic training alive. I might have survived in Viet Nam because I am smart, cautious and would have done what I had to to survive. In that sense I can put myself in a soldiers shoes.

    Another reason for my understanding would be that for 32 years I worked for an NYC Agency that was set up exactly as a military hierarchy, down to its mission statement. I rose to the equivalent rank of Major, or perhaps bird Colonel by understanding the system and how to maneuver within it, through using the rules rather than ignoring them. I was an OCS rather than MA type of guy.

    My argument in all this is not about how our soldiers kept themselves alive in combat situations, any way they could, I hope, but with the fact that they were in harm’s way in the first place. Iraq never should have happened and the doctrine spouted by Colin Powell of “if you break it fix it” was ill advised. We should be out of there now, with no residual force.

    As far as Afghanistan went we should have gone in and grabbed Bin Laden and then gotten out. We blew it at Tora Bora and I think intentionally because if we had gotten Bin Laden early on the whole game would be over and the profitable benefits gone. The countryside there is such that no one historically has controlled it for very long and the Afghani’s wants us out and we should get out.

    “War Is A Racket,” by Major General Smedley Butler says it all. My heart goes out to all American Serviceman whose devotion to this country is crudely used by both the egotistical, psychotic and the greedy.

  203. Jim,

    You’d be surprised how much some of us know about warfare. And you’re still not seeing the forest for the trees. This ISN’T a country run by the military or their rules. There is a reason for that and you are illustrating exactly why we have a civilian government instead of a military dictator. Your rationale is flawed. When the military wrongly holds those who are not unlawful combatants without ever determining whether they actually are or not it is illegal. You keep breezing right by the status issue. Sorry. That’s not how this works. Detention is not the issue. Unlawful detention without determination of status by due process is the issue. It allows someone to be held indefinitely because “some guy” thinks he’s “guilty of something”. That’s flat out bullshit, Jim. You reasoning is starting to stink of militarism and jingoism – that whole “might makes right” mindset. That’s why we have a civilian government and the head of our military is a civilian – to prevent the kinds of abuses this kind of thinking has inevitably done to societies. China, N. Korea, pre-war Germany, the U.S.S.R. – all fine examples of top down governance. If you really want a top down leadership for your government, I hear China and N. Korea are taking citizenship applications. I don’t say that to question your patriotism. I say it because that’s the kind of government you’re endorsing by taking the tack you are on. No matter your wishful thinking about “chess”, war, like law, doesn’t occur in a vacuum and it’s not a rationale for victory at any cost. When you become just like the enemy, there is no point in fighting at all except a lust for death. They already won at that point.

  204. Jim,

    Yeah, I may be getting wet from “the top down” this weekend. Oh well, it’s still nice to be by the water if not on it.

  205. Mike S.,

    I agree entirely that you have spoken up on this issue and made your point of view very clear and I thank you for that. I specifically wrote: to those who have not yet spoken, and to those who proceeded me on this blog, so as to not name names. I have a long history with these people and I am disheartened that their once strong voices are silenced. They know who they are and they’ll leave it at that.

    As to Jim, one week ago he committed a class 1, felony flattery by asking you to explain what a neocon was to him. At the time I thought this was really funny because any real conservative (which is what Jim claimed he was) would have already known what a neocon was. The google could have answered that question as well. Yet a week later he is posting the most sophisticated neocon legal arguments justifying all the abuses of the bush administation. It is a breathtaking turnaround in knowledgee which I think one could draw a certain conclusion from–that is, he knows what a neocon is because he is one. Being a neocon doesn’t make him a troll, but the subtrefuge does.

    That’s my conclusion and it need not be anyone elses.

  206. Jill,

    If it’s subterfuge, it’s not very good. I still don’t think he’s a Neocon per se. More than a bit of a jarhead in his understanding of the relationship of the military to the rest of our government, but I’m willing to write that off to training (unless he does something more egregious than just appearing to not understand the fine distinctions being pointed his way). If he’s wrong due to ignorance of the law, poor perception and the remnants of his training to obey without question, that doesn’t make him a Neocon automatically. Yeah, a bit brainwashed maybe, but I think you’re looking at the wrong source for his errors. I’m willing to let him try to work through it some more. It’s informative to the casual reader if nothing else. If he falls into direct trolldom again, let me ask you this: How long do you think that will go unchallenged here? And not just by me either.

    You’re smelling dog and crying wolf without seeing the dog in action enough to know whether you need to lock up the chickens yet. Cautious, sure, he came in trollish so that’s more than enough reason to keep an eye on him. If he maintains a reasonable facade and an unreasonable argument though, he’d still be doomed here ultimately, troll status regardless. As it is, he just appears to be wrong. He has that right. Just as we have the right to focus sunshine on illogic and fallacy from any source. Within that dynamic there is still room for value – competitive discourse is the heart of the Socratic method. If engaging him reaches a zero value, that’s another story.

  207. “As to Jim, one week ago he committed a class 1, felony flattery by asking you to explain what a neocon was to him.”

    Jill,
    You should know by now I’m immune to flattery, when it comes to my core beliefs. As far as rhetorical trickery, it’s a technique I’m well aware of and dare say I’ve used more than a few times myself. My interest is in the discussion and an honest back and forth. Sometimes people resort to rhetorical trickery to make their points through the back door so to speak. I can’t criticize them, since I do it myself. What I’ve appreciated about Jim in his new iteration is that he actually tries to reply to the points made, rather than ignoring them and changing the topic.

    My arguments with sicilian 1 for instance came about when he seemed to go off of the rails and showed this obsession with “progressive evils being everywhere” and stopped actually discussing/debating the issues. I was disappointed because he is no doubt an interesting person with interesting experiences and yet his obsessions overcame him.

    I like debate, I like to engage people who disagree with me as long as they do it on point and I often find myself learning new things and even modifying my original viewpoints.
    That is fun to me and the debate part is less about my ego and winning than it is about keeping this aging mind sharp.

  208. Buddha Is laughing (9:48), I swear I hadn’t visited the “Item for Consideration..” before my 12:51 post!

    That link did excite my corpus callosum-lots of traffic on that one because Popehat gives the CC a specific task that looks doable. I think there was even a rush of serotonin.

    So, it’s begun.

    Highly recommended reading, thanks.

  209. Buddha,

    Sometimes I truly feel you do not read what I write. I welcome all points of view on this blog, including those of neocons. I am obviously not shy about arguing my positions and I don’t expect others to hold back either. I gave my opinion and my reason for it. I am not saying it needs to be your opinion. Now, please do not tell me what my opinion needs to be. Giving your opinion and the reason for it is helpful to me.

  210. Mike S.,

    I am not saying anything about whether you are liable to flattery. I am saying Jim was trying to flatter you by asking that question. He claimed he didn’t even know what a neocon was, yet one week later he is presenting neocon legal arguments. That’s very strange. You should, by all means feel as you do, as will I.

  211. Jill,

    I’m not trying to have your opinion for you. Have any you like. If you don’t want to consider my points or disagree, that’s fine too. No need to get defensive because I disagree. I’m not your enemy and you know this. Everyone seems a little frayed at the edges this week. But I value your opinion, Jill. Why would I want to have it for you? I’m sorry if that’s what you thought my intention was, because I assure you, it wasn’t.

  212. Buddha:

    “Unlawful detention without determination of status by due process is the issue. It allows someone to be held indefinitely because “some guy” thinks he’s “guilty of something”. That’s flat out bullshit”

    Reverend Cleophus James: DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT?

    Elwood: What light?

    Reverend Cleophus James: HAVE YOU SEEEEN THE LIGHT?

    Jake: YES! YES! JESUS H. TAP-DANCING CHRIST… I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!

  213. lthuedk,

    Glad you liked the link. Ol’ Popehat has a pretty good blog overall. I read it often but almost never comment there.

  214. Buddha,

    My nerves are on edge and I apologize for misreading what you meant. I know you are not my enemy and I never thought that. I hope you know the same about me.

  215. Bob,

    JAKE: We’re putting the band back together.

    ALAN: Forget it. No way.

    ELWOOD: We’re on a mission from God.

  216. Buddha,

    You do realize we’re making essentially the same argument; albeit you more on the micro scale and me more on the macro scale — going back to claimed source of power (the 9/11 authorization existing as possible under the U.S. Constitution).

    What I find most annoying is having to remind people that a turn of a phrase is not law.

  217. What do I mean by “turn of a phrase?”

    Let’s see what Mike S. has been thinking lately…

    “The War on Terror is a slogan used to rally support for illegal actions, just as The War on Drugs, The War on Crime, or even The War on Drunk Driving. Any politician using these terms is doing so either because of stupidity, duplicity, or because the American dialogue has become so degraded that they dare not to go along with this nonsense.

    9/11 did not “change everything” except in the minds of terrified pundits, or chicken hawk jingoists. This horrific incident, which incidentally does not compare in catastrophe to either Pearl Harbor, or the Civil War. 9/11 has been used to cover up a variety of crimes ranging from robbery of the US Treasury, to pointlessly destroying our brave troops, to outright murder of untold civilians. We have got to return to the truth of what happened there and begin to look at its real causes, not the pretend fairy tales put together by the Bush/Cheney Crime Family (which is a wholly owned subsidiary
    owned jointly by the Saudi’s and the Oil Company Monopoly)and
    the subsequent justifications for illegal/immoral activities.”

    Well said, well spoken.

  218. Buddha,

    I think you may be confusing the President’s many roles, and the extent to which he has the constitutional authority to exercise those roles. His authoritarian rule over the military does not extend into his role as Chief Executive of the United States Government.

    The POTUS wears 6 identifiable hats. He is the Party Leader, the Chief Executive, the Chief of State, the Chief Diplomat, the Chief Legislator, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
    C-Span does a pretty good job of briefly describing these roles.
    Roles of the President

    Commander-in-Chief: That means all of the military leaders report to and take orders from the president. You’re correct; the president performs this duty as a civilian, someone who is not in military service. However, once Congress declares war the military decisions of the president are virtually unchecked. If he says drop the bomb…(once the order is verified) it is done.
    When I heard the general alarm, followed by “Man Battle Stations Missile” over the 1MC…I knew my role. I’ve contemplated such often.

  219. Bob,Esq:

    You’ll get no argument from me that Bush got an inch and took a mile based on the Congressional authorization, but as you note the authorization is broadly written and of indeterminate length. Bush used that authorization– written in the haste and passion of post-9/11 Washington — to further his view of the unitary Executive. That’s clearly unconstitutional in my view. I think your issue is Bush’s conferral of power on himself to determine status of the combatants and its potential misuse to denominate anti-government American citizens as such thus denying them basic rights. SCOTUS took care of that issue.

  220. Mike S.

    How I know you enjoy color. I often cite the Pottery Barn Rule, also. It was actually John Kerry who added “you fix it”.

    Powell’s initial thrust was caution against going into Iraq in the first place. He knew success was iffy and likely a long haul.

    Too bad nobody listened.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/arts/17iht-saf18.html

    Fast-forward 25 years to another phrase involving metaphoric breakage. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was quoted in “Plan of Attack” as cautioning President George Bush before the war that he would “own” Iraq and all its problems, after military victory. “Privately,” wrote Bob Woodward, “Powell and Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it.” (Richard Armitage is the deputy secretary of state.)

  221. Mike S.,

    While I agree that you understand the chain of command, you had one great benefit that a soldier does not. -You had the ability to opt out.

    Most people don’t understand what a serviceman or woman gives up when they join the military. To them it’s just a different job; most of the time with special training and unique tools.

    The members of our Armed Forces relinquish their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. While every effort is made to maintain such, they are no longer guaranteed.

    An order to charge a hill…one that will likely get you killed..is an order that you must obey…or face the possibility of imprisonment for failure to do so.

    You can’t quit. You signed a binding contract. You only have the freedom granted you by your superiors. During times of war, that may be none at all.

    Many things that I enjoyed before I joined the service were no longer permissable. I was no longer permitted to skydive. Even my liberty time was restricted to what was deemed an acceptable activity.

  222. BIL:

    “No matter your wishful thinking about “chess”, war, like law, doesn’t occur in a vacuum and it’s not a rationale for victory at any cost.”

    The only thing about war is a total destruction of your enemy to disable his war fighting apparatus and his ability to get up again. Your thinking is “Just War Doctrine” and it is one of the reasons we have been in Iraq and Afghanistan for so long.

    Had we done to the Taliban and others what we did to Germany and Japan during WWII this war would have been over in a few months maybe a year at most. That Bush and the Neocons embraced this style of warfare is disgraceful, enemy civilians were given a higher moral status than our soldiers. The entire war was bullshit to have been fought on a “Just War” basis. Hopefully the Military Academies and the War Colleges will quit teaching this theory.

    There are just wars but you must fight them as if your countries survival depends on the outcome. I for one consider the continuation of the United States and its form of government justification enough for prosecuting a war to the extent of our abilities as we did in WWII. Bush hung our service men and women out to dry.

    here is an article on this subject:
    http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-spring/just-war-theory.asp

  223. Patty C—-I see you “conveniently” ignored my post—as did everyone else for that matter–so Ill post it again. If you ignore it THIS time, I will conclude that its official: youre afraid of facts.

    “Patty C—–any comment on Obama picking Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff? Emanuel’s father, Benjamin, was a member of the terrorist militant group, Irgun, in the late 1940’s. They were responsible for slaughtering hundreds of Palestinians in villages and marketplaces. This is all documeted and FACT. Do you not see how disturbing it is to have the SON of a terrorist in our White House?? Oh by the way, Benjamin Emanuel is STILL alive and lives in Chicago.”

  224. Larry:

    Why does it matter? The son is not the father. Obama actually seems to me to be more pro Palestinian than other administrations. If Rohm was like his father as you seem to imply wouldnt Obama have toned his rhetoric down a little bit at Rohm’s urging?

  225. Jim,

    I have no confusion on the President’s role in government. The confusion here is all yours. You may have taken orders from him, but him taking orders from us normal citizens is still the norm until the junta – or until Bush Co got appointed. As it is, the CIC can order a solider to do his duty. He can’t order me to do squat. I’m HIS boss. So is every citizen who can vote.

    You’re avoiding the illegal detention issue by issue trying to steer towards some wishful thinking about what the President is as defined by law. His ability to command the military is constrained by the Separation of Powers and he is subject to both the law and the Congress in discharging those duties. It has been gaming the gray areas that have caused the human and civil rights violations, in part because Congress are bunch of spineless graft weasels more interested in how much cash they can get from K St. instead of doing the job of representing the legitimate interests those citizens who put them in office. But make no mistake, your CIC reports to We the People and will until the day the US officially becomes a military dictatorship. If you think otherwise, you haven’t read the Constitution or are simply ignoring it in a quest for slavish obedience to an all powerful Imperial Executive. You may like a King because of your military proclivities, but we’re a democracy, not a monarchy or a dictatorship (yet). Wishful thinking again.

    Now you should try to address the indefinite detention issue, Jim. The one I just pointed out the flaw in your reasoning for in language anyone can understand and that Bob has been equally addressing in parallel if on a different scale. You can try, but your doomed for failure. Yeah, you may be a solider. Many of us here are lawyers. That would make us the experts on law – that thing you’d disregard to wage unfettered war for the personal profit of corrupt politicians. So far, you’re not lining up many of us to your side. That’s because we know the law. You might want to consider that when evaluation of why you aren’t getting any of them as converts to your militarism.

    Evasion in the light of defeat is the tactic of trolls. There is simply no legal basis or defense for detention as you seem to want it exercised. You don’t want to be considered a troll? Then don’t start acting like one again. If sorting out the wheat from the chafe makes soldiers jobs more difficult? Too bad. That doesn’t mean the Constitution gets trashed to make their jobs easier. Their job is to protect it and us, not their job security or the profits of Halliburton and Exxon. Well maybe you should address that point to the leadership that illegally took you to war against a concept instead of the well-defined group that attacked us on 9/11, namely Al-Qaeda and Saudi Arabia operating out of Afghanistan. Especially since that abuse of the military was done for the personal profit of both the Bush and Cheney family businesses over the law and justice for those who died at the hands of Al-Qaeda and Saudi Arabia.

    IS,

    I did not mention “just war”. Your words, not mine. Don’t put words in my mouth. No war is just and that whole subject is merely a distraction used by war mongers to justify being evil. Apparently you don’t understand the concept of Pyrrhic victory. If one stands is based on principles and the rule of law and then you abandon them because some other dipsticks act like barbarians when they attack you? That makes you a barbarian too. That’s simple (even basic) ethical calculus. Common sense.

  226. Jill,

    I probably should ignore your comments. Had they merely been ad hominem attacks, I would have done so.

    Let’s get a couple of things straight:

    “one week ago he committed a class 1, felony flattery by asking you to explain what a neocon was to him.”

    I asked how “the locals” were defining “Neocon” because I found many to be using the term to paint with what I considered to be a broad brush. Indentured Servant, Buddha, Mike S. and others provided information that clarified the intended use. -Not everyone with an adverse opinion is a Neocon. I know that, and by their answers, those that were kind enough to respond, know that too.

    “Yet a week later he is posting the most sophisticated neocon legal arguments justifying all the abuses of the bush administation.”

    I have supported the detention (of indeterminate length) of enemy combatants. Your inference that such is to be attributed to the Bush Administration is demonstrative of a lack of knowledge on the history of war(s). We have two types of enemy combatants; lawful and unlawful. The unlawful kinds are not afforded more rights than the lawful kind. The Third Geneva Convention (1949) -a little before Bush -permits such detention. (mespo provided that information)

    I think the Courts determination on habeas corpus right for aliens was wrong. Apparently, some others, including our current president, agree with me. As President Andrew Jackson once stated about the Court. “Well, John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it”. It appears that this Court is running into the same problem.

    —FYI –paying the locals to assist in the capture of suspected terrorists is not a crime. In fact, it’s a pretty smart use of resources. Now if we were just paying for warm bodies (i.e those suspected of nothing), I’d have a problem with that.

    PS. If you find me supporting government sanctioned torture, you are welcome to call me a Neocon, or any other name you find necessary.

  227. Jim,

    Arguing that you being for one illegality instead of another doesn’t make you Neocon.

    Hm.

    Well, you’re right, that doesn’t make you a Neocon. It makes you irrational, contradictory and possibly stupid. But wait, it gets better as those aren’t the only options. Just because you agree with the President who is breaking the law doesn’t make you right. It just means you agree with criminals. That would make you either explicitly or implicitly an aider an abettor of the criminals. In this case, that would be the Neocons. All you are doing now is lending credence to you being a plant as Jill suggests.

    You are starting to stink of troll again, sport. I said if it was subterfuge it wasn’t very good and I meant it. Thanks for illustrating that point.

  228. BIL:

    have a great time at the lake, after all your hard work this week you need a couple of days to unwind.

  229. Buddha,

    “You may have taken orders from him, but him taking orders from us normal citizens is still the norm”

    You’re wrong. While he must act in accordance with the Constitution, he directs the operations of war.

    “As it is, the CIC can order a solider to do his duty.”

    A play on words. -A soldiers duty is to obey the lawful orders of their superiors. The ultimate superior is the POTUS.

    “He can’t order me to do squat.” Unless you’re breaking the law, you’re right. He has no authority to dictate your actions.

    “I’m HIS boss.” No you’re not. He answers to the U.S. Constitution. You may have a limited influence on him gaining the Office of President, and the same limited ability to prevent him from being reelected, but he does not answer to you, or popular opinion while holding that office.

    “His ability to command the military is constrained by the Separation of Powers and he is subject to both the law and the Congress in discharging those duties.”

    The Separation of Powers Doctrine limits the scope of his authority. It also limits the authority of Congress to interfere with the Constitutional authority of the president.
    to act as CIC.

    Congress (per Article I, Section 8) has the authority:

    To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

    To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

    To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

    To provide and maintain a navy;

    To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

    “Yeah, you may be a solider. Many of us here are lawyers. That would make us the experts on law.”
    And that would make me…the expert on military operations.

    “that thing you’d disregard to wage unfettered war for the personal profit of corrupt politicians.

    Shame on you! If you really believe that, we have nothing to discuss. You should join Jill in her beliefs. What an ignorant statement to make to someone who expresses the same respect for the Constitution that you do.

    “You might want to consider that when evaluation of why you aren’t getting any of them as converts to your militarism.”

    I ask for no converts. The opportunity to express my opinion is much appreciated, but I am not trying to garner support for a movement.

    “Evasion in the light of defeat is the tactic of trolls. There is simply no legal basis or defense for detention as you seem to want it exercised. You don’t want to be considered a troll? Then don’t start acting like one again.”

    Now you’re just being childish. I treat you with respect, and expect the same. If you feel better by labeling me as a troll; you are free to do so.

  230. “While I agree that you understand the chain of command, you had one great benefit that a soldier does not. -You had the ability to opt out.”

    Jim,
    You are absolutely right on that. It is because of that inability to opt out, that we should use our armed forces only when necessary and not sacrifice soldiers on the altars of politicians and officers ambitions. The Iraq War was unnecessary and as for Afghanistan I believe that while and incursion was called for to get Bin Laden and Al Queda, we should have gone in in force got them and gotten the hell out.
    That would truly have been a police action and that is what is really necessary to combat terrorism. It is police work and it is counter terrorism work, it is not to sacrifice young people’s lives because people who have never served feel they are smarter than people who have. I do believe that in a fight
    where death is involved there are no half measures. However, ass somewhat a student of history I’ve read of the follies of commanders and King committed to enhancing their glory. Think Poitier’s or Crecy for instance, or perhaps General Phyrrus.

  231. Larry,
    What is your point? As a Jew and supporter of Israel I think Irgun were out of control fools, who did far more harm than good. That was the man’s father. My Father went to jail, I’ve never been accused of a crime nor been on trial nor sentenced to jail. Does that make me a jailbird or a bad person because of something my father did when I was an infant? Very stupid reasoning.

  232. Jim Byrne:

    good info, thanks. Why is it so hard for people to accept that militant Islam is at war with the west, declared or not. This is not and should not be a “police” action. We should treat this as a real honest to god war and get it over. If there are civilian casualties then so be it. Don’t support the crazies if you don’t want to die. Seems simple enough to me.

  233. Mike S.,

    “The Iraq War was unnecessary and as for Afghanistan I believe that while and incursion was called for to get Bin Laden and Al Queda, we should have gone in in force got them and gotten the hell out.”

    I agree completely. We went into Iraq for the wrong reasons, aided by bad/fabricated intelligence.

    Our military was not prepeared to fight against non-state actors. Our Congress had never before declared war against such a broad-based ambiguous enemy.

    The policing of non-state actors is generally the responsibility of the hosting government. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen.

    The men and women of our military are generally good people. They don’t desire power. -In fact, they relinquish the ability to make thier own decisions for the benefit of the entire country.

    While some generals may take advantage of their position, most have a deep love and respect for their country and their troops. The good ones far outnumber the bad.

  234. Bob,Esq:

    “This horrific incident, which incidentally does not compare in catastrophe to either Pearl Harbor, or the Civil War.”

    ************

    In the Hall of Infamy 9-11 probably ranks above Pearl Harbor (2300 dead/1100 injured) but well below Antietam (23,000/4000) or or Gettysburg (51,000 casualties).

  235. Last post on the way out of town and I switch off the phone.

    Jim,

    You’re totally full of crap on respecting the Constitution for torture, but not suspending habeas corpus. Your rational that war trumps law is the argument of tyrants. Call me childish if you want to, but your an enemy of the Constitution if you selective uphold it. That’s what the Neocons do. This is the Bush Co. modus operandi. Ignore the law whenever it’s “inconvenient”.

    You’re right. We probably don’t have anything to say to each other. You’ve shown me you’re a Neocon for a fact with that little bit of behavior added on to everything else you’ve put on display. No matter how much you whine about loving the document you are oh so willing to only partially protect and enforce, you’re a hypocrite and liar when you say you respect the Constitution and the rule of law. Your actions say otherwise.

    Thanks for showing where your real loyalty lies – and it’s not with the law or Constitution, Mr. Militarism, but with the military chain of command. Enjoy your brown shirt, fascist. But please keep coming back to so we can show people what the enemy within looks like. You’re right that you have a right to your opinion no matter how illogical, illegal, ethically bankrupt or outright evil they may be. Just don’t expect your stupidity to go unchallenged and after that blatant lie about respecting law, don’t expect kindness either.

  236. “You’re totally full of crap on respecting the Constitution for torture, but not suspending habeas corpus.”

    Torture is prohibited, in accordance with Article 3, Section 1(a) of the Third Geneva Convention -A Treaty, adopted by this country in accordance with the provisions set forth by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

    Unlawful combatants are not addressed by the Third Geneva Convention. The assumption that such a category as “unlawful combatant exists” is contradicted in the findings by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Celebici Judgment.

    If an unlawful combatant is tried and sentenced, be it in military or U.S. federal court. He/she should have the right to challenge the legality of such sentence. -Habeas Corpus

    However, the only other tribunal afforded any detainee would be to determine their status as a prisoner of war. -Rank has its priviledges. And the Geneva Convention ensures those priviledges be bestowed upon those determined to have prisoner of war status.

    Most people don’t know it, but the Third Geneva Convention also addresses others whom most would not consider.

    Article 4

    A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

    4. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

    Yes. If the civilian contractors that drive supply trucks are captured, they can be detained until the end of the conflict. (This wouldn’t apply in the instant war, because the enemy doesn’t have detention camps. They have no commissioned officers to run a detention camp if one did exist.)

  237. Mespo:

    “You’ll get no argument from me that Bush got an inch and took a mile based on the Congressional authorization, but as you note the authorization is broadly written and of indeterminate length.”

    Not only is the length undefined, but so are the enemies and the ultimate objective; thereby leading to something closely resembling this:

    Capt. Dobbs: You admit it!

    Capt. Yossarian: I admit I’m being [attacked].

    Capt. McWatt: Yeah? By whom?

    Capt. Yossarian: By them!

    Capt. Dobbs: But, who specifically is “them”?

    Capt. Yossarian: Every one of them!

    Capt. Dobbs: Every one of who?!

    Capt. Yossarian: Every one of who do you think!

    Capt. Dobbs: I haven’t any idea!

    Capt. Yossarian: Then how do you know they aren’t?!

    In Re: The “Bush” transgressions v. the “Obama” transgressions

    Jill has her panties in a twist, and rightly so, over Obama adopting the Bush agenda on a wholesale level while nobody dare says a word.

    What changed? Do I hear it said that an arrogant under-educated inarticulate Executive using the Constitution as a urinal puck is an outrage, while the same acts and legacies continued by his more reserved, well educated and race-barrier-breaking- successor should be greeted with warm-hearted applause?

    At the moment, Obama has followed in that same old tradition of power; once gained rarely ever given back. Accordingly, if you’re going to distinguish Bush from Obama, please do so in earnest.

    Finally, here’s a little thought experiment regarding the problem with relying on an authorization to wage war on the “undefined.”

    http://www.philforhumanity.com/Infinity_Minus_Infinity.html

    IT NEVER ENDS.

  238. Mespo:

    Forgot this one:

    “SCOTUS took care of that issue.”

    Hamdi?

    Hamdam?

    Which case and how went into the systematic abuse of constitutional powers in directing the nation in a war against the undefined and thereby justifying the indeterminate detentions of all said undefined individuals?

  239. EVERYONE, (Mike S please read)

    I’ve been following these posts and there are many intelligent and informed opinions. People can pontificate abt this forever. I have been enlightened by the analysis of past SC decisions and how they apply and could effect these issues.

    In a perfect system, how should these Gitmo prisoners be classified?

    Legally speaking:

    How long can they be held?
    And does there need to be an ongoing war to hold them? Or are the
    crimes with which they’ve been charged enough to hold them indefinitely?
    Are they due speedy trial rights?
    What are their due process rights, in regards to different classification?
    Is the POW tag neccessary to hold them indefinitely?
    How long can they be classified as POW’s?
    If the war on terror is an “eternal” designation then does that mean the prisoners are “eternal” POW’s and the govn’t will “eternally” hold them?
    If they are civilian criminals, how should there case be adjudicated?
    If convicted as civilian criminals, where should they be held in custody?
    Once they’ve served their sentences, would they be deportable?

    But amidst all this I believe the bigger issue is how the govn’t gets away w/this.
    B/c I believe that the govn’t will classify these prisoners in determination of however long they want to hold them,and will re-classify them if they have to,and however many times they have to to hold them as long as they politically can get away with or want to.

    And when that fails they will manipulate and pressure the courts as much as they can to get the outcomes they desire.

    And when that fails they’ll just tell everyone to go pound sand and take it up the wahzoo.

    I would also like to know how WE as a people have allowed the govn’t to get away w/disregarding the Constitution and CENTRALIZING powers the way they have.

    I know I have taken some shots at the lawyers BUT in reality I know that it is not truly their fault. The executive branch has turned the other 2 branches into it’s minions. The courts have been so corrupted by the bullying of the executive branch that we are tied in knots w/legislation and rulingsthat are so subtle in it’s contradictions that any ruling can be justified.

    The judges, lawyers and prosecutors are scared stiff of not towing the party line. It’s nice to talk abt constructs such as “doing what’s right”, “standing for justice”, “following your conscience”, etc. But when you face the might, majesty and dictatorial heavy handedness of the federal govn’t, the self preservation instincts kick in and your just looking to survive to the next day.

    MIKE S,

    I askyou this question b/c you have an insight from a historical perspective. You’ve been in the trenches during the 60’s fighting the fight. Even though I was on the “wrong” side of the law, I too feel like I was fighting the noble fight. I was joined w/my brethern and standing hard against the oppression of the powers that be. But after being slapped down by “big brother” even I was humbled and decided to live a less “virtuous” life. I know you have had a personal experience w/an ex-felon so I know you do not hold my past against me. We have slung mud at each other in the past but I still respect your opinion. I am not trying to bait you, you have my word as a man.

    I would like your larger perspective of where we are as a citizenry/ How did we let our Constitution be usurped? Do you feel that WE have let the govn’t legislate away many of our liberties? And if so please explicate. How do you feel the whole Gitmo issue will eventually play out? And most importantly, how do WE turn back the clock to re-take what the govn’t has stolen?

    If you disagree w/any of the questions, please feel free to explicate why.

    Take your time in answering. It’s time for me to watch “Friday Night Smackdown” (Wrestling) So I will return to read your comments later.

    Also to Mespo (Even though we’ve battled, when push comes to shove, we’re still “La stessa cosa”. I hope you feel the same)and Bob, Esq., in your legal expertise, (irrespective of yoour personal desires for the ultimate adjudication of the prisoners cases) how do you feel this is ultimately going to all play out in the end for the Gitmo detainees?

  240. sicilian1:

    “Quando finisce la partita, i pedoni, le torri, i cavalli, i vescovi, i due re e le due regine tutti vanno nello stesso scatolo.”

  241. Mespo,

    I’m just a straight Siciliano who picked up all my dialect from slang spoken in the social clubs and my house.

    “When the games ends the pedestrians, the horses, the two queens, the vesconi (?) will all be in the same little box.”

    I’m a Sicilian so I know all about double meanings, that could be an insult, a warning or a prediction.

    I’ll just leave some words we should all take heed when dealing w/anyone b/c it could go for our intention or the intention of our foes.

    “Livarsi na petra di la scarpa”

  242. s1:

    No stone intended. The literal translation around my house for that Italian saying was “When the chess game is over, the pawns, rooks, knights, bishops, kings, and queens all go back into the same box.” It meant to me that all wars end, and some connections transcend strongly held differences of opinion.

  243. “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” –Thomas Jefferson

  244. “In the Hall of Infamy 9-11 probably ranks above Pearl Harbor (2300 dead/1100 injured) but well below Antietam (23,000/4000) or or Gettysburg (51,000 casualties).”

    Mespo,
    Bob was quoting me on this. Knowing the possible inflammatory nature of the statement:

    “This horrific incident, which incidentally does not compare in catastrophe to either Pearl Harbor, or the Civil War.”

    My use of “catastrophe” was purposeful for this reason. Catastrophe connotes a horrific event of widespread import. While less lives were lost at Pearl Harbor, the destruction of our Pacific Fleet was a greater cataclysm for the fortunes of the US than 9/11. For a while it gave the attackers control of the Pacific at the outset of a war. 9/11 no doubt gave those terrorists some heavy publicity, but it gave them control of nothing, which is the usual outcome of horrific terrorist acts. I referred to the civil war in general since we know many of the individual battles produced deaths beyond 3,000. The Civil War itself though was catastrophic for the effect it had upon us a country and as a society and that effect far eclipsed 9/11.

    Whenever we talk of lives lost it perforce ignores the tragic effects on those left behind by the deceased. Aggregating
    numbers for intellectual purposes always diminishes the actual human costs involved. Recognizing this I was trying to carefully separate 9/11 the human and cultural tragedy, from 9/11 the national tragedy, but of necessity that is difficult.

    My contention is that the human tragedy of 9/11 was manipulated by the Bush/Cheney Crime Family to elevate its’ effect beyond proportion and thus justify a pseudo-response that had the effect of unjustified war, expense and attacks on the very fabric that holds our country together.

  245. “would like your larger perspective of where we are as a citizenry/ How did we let our Constitution be usurped? Do you feel that WE have let the govn’t legislate away many of our liberties? And if so please explicate. How do you feel the whole Gitmo issue will eventually play out? And most importantly, how do WE turn back the clock to re-take what the govn’t has stolen?”

    sicilian 1,
    It is a very long series of questions you ask, but I think that the answers to them are actually short, at least from my perspective. That is not because I intend to dismiss you, but because I think the truth is uncomplicated and in plain sight if we but let ourselves see it, without the filter of our own
    pre-judgments.

    “how do WE turn back the clock to re-take what the govn’t has stolen?”

    The Constitution of the US is one of mankind’s seminal documents. It is nothing less than a blueprint for the establishment and maintenance of a free society, a society
    that had never for existed in world history. However, even its
    creators understood that for it to work, the populace must be able adhere to and interpret/re-interpret it, or fall into the usual trap of human history which is to revert to a society of “Great Apes,” where the most powerful rule.

    Washington himself faced this quickly as our First President when there was a clamor for him to keep the job for life. Indeed there were those at the constitutional Convention that wanted him to be made King.

    Also inherent in the Constitution were the seeds of its’ own destruction given the compromises due to slavery and its’ total lack of recognition of the rights of women. The solution then from the beginning was to take that document as a framework and to let it become a living one by re-interpretation as time went by. Some people believed in this solution, others did not and thus was born from the outset the same basic issues that we face today, dressed in the modern idiom, but still depressingly the same.

    Mixed in with this was the separation between those who believe in a human aristocracy that is fit to rule (whatever
    way one defines that elite characterization)and those who feel that the society should be governed by the will of the people, tempered with a recognition and protection of the rights of minorities. To me then there is no clock to be turned back because Constitutional Rule was never effectuated from the beginning. It’s not a clock to be turned back, it is a set of principles to finally be brought to life.

    “I would like your larger perspective of where we are as a citizenry/ How did we let our Constitution be usurped? Do you feel that WE have let the govn’t legislate away many of our liberties?’

    In my opinion we as a citizenry have never had the power and therefore nothing has been usurped, it was never there in the first place. Remember, most of our wealthiest Founding Fathers, some extremely good and capable men, were also among the wealthiest in the fledgling country. They ran the show from the start and people like Sam Adams, for instance were pushed aside because he wasn’t of their class. To me the history of this country has always been a battle of the elites, with one side clinging to its’ imagined “Aristocratic”
    prerogatives and the other with empathy for the plight of all of the nations citizenry. Remember for years one couldn’t vote if they didn’t own property and women couldn’t vote until the early 20th Century.

    “And if so please explicate. How do you feel the whole Gitmo issue will eventually play out? And most importantly, how do WE turn back the clock to re-take what the govn’t has stolen?”

    The real problem we face isn’t “Gitmo” as bad as it is. The real problem is the ages old struggle between those who believe a society (and the world)is best run for the benefit of an “elite” (aristocracy?)who will then take care of the rest of us as they see fit. On the other side are those who believe in a more egalitarian way of running things that ensures that minimum humane standards of life should be available to all and that each human being should have the ability to maximize their potential. The socio/political and economic constructs are never the point or the solution of this struggle, they are merely the smokescreen that hides the essence. The essence is can a human being live their life w/o
    being controlled by those who live their lives for ego, power and the joy of dominance? The age old struggle then, in my opinion, is whether we continue to live like a society of Great Apes, or whether we evolve into beings who can live together w/o the threats of those lusting for power.

    Now I know your, to me, obsession with “progressives” but that is where I think you miss the point. It’s not the politics, it’s the bullies and they come at you from all sides of the political spectrum.

  246. Patty,
    Thanks for the correction. Eat well this weekend.

    Don’t think of it as a ‘correction’. That’s not how I meant it.

    I always eat well. I’m the chef in my house, like yourself! It’s mespo, sans appliances during his culinary remodel who needed support this past week.

    Here’s another Moroccan couscous, only with more spice and veggies. Skip the chicken recipe here, though. Although I haven’t tried it, it looks bland.

    http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2008/08/grilled_lemon_chicken_and_moroccan_couscous_salad

  247. Pres. Obama’s hypocritical lecturing of Africa.
    ________________________________

    {Quote:

    “No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery.”

    End Quote}
    _______________________________

  248. MESPO,

    I hear what you’re saying.

    Just for clarification, I didn’t mean you intended the stone at me nor did I intend a stone for you. I was wondering how you meant that in respects to the questions I asked. Thanks for clarifying. And thanks for not reading something into what I said.

    Believe me, I’ve seen many a “ZIP” say something that meant one thing in one province that offended someone from another province. There would be sitdowns and all kinds of and apologizes and hand shaking.

    Money problems could always be settled real easy but, especially w/Zips, insults and face-saving could lead to all kinds of trouble.

    What I meant w/my proverb was that, when someone is wronged (Gitmo prisoners/ And that’s how they’ll feel no matter what) they will be consumed w/vengence till the end of their days. So whatever we do w/these Gitmo guys, right or wrong, we’re going to be left w/vendetta’s that will trancsend generations.

  249. MIKE S,

    “A set of principles finally to be brought to life”

    I like that. You sure you weren’t M.L.K.jr’s counselor? M.L.K. actually used the words of the Constitution to show the “rightness” of his cause. But that’s another topic.

    I agree w/what most of what you said. I believe all those in the “aristocracy” are the elite progressives.

    We are the people. We all need to come together to relize how we are played as pawns.

    I love that quote of yours. You BETTER copyright it. That document (Constitution), no matter the beliefs or intentions of those who wrote it, can not be ignored. Only WE THE PEOPLE can let “THEM” get away w/it b/c WE were given so much that we don’t even avail ourselves of. To me, that is why M.L.K. was so successful. B/c no matter what these racsist and slave owners who wrote the Constitution practiced and how hard they worked to maintain it, the words they wrote would never allow for those practices to last.

    We have all been interred as slaves to this govn’t BUT b/c of the Constitution it can only continue if WE let it.

    For real, copyright that line. It was brilliant in it’s simplicity.

    Thanks.

  250. “Conclude whatever you wish.

    I have no opinion about Rahm Emanuel’s father. Rahm Emanuel,
    I like.”

    UNBELIEVABLE. And why do you like Rahm Emanuel? Hes the guy who wrote a freaking book in 2006 called “The Plan: Big Ideas for America” that said he wanted to create a National Civilian Security force and has since talked about wanting our youth to be included in involuntary servitude. Do you want Americans to be FORCED to serve? Thats not freedom, thats slavery.

    Want to see clips?

    The GIVE Act is nothing but ceating another Hitler Youth

    and you LIKE this guy?? WHY? What if it was John McCain in the White House and he selected someone for his administration who’s father was a terrorist? Youd be peachy with that?

  251. No, I liked Rahmn Emanuel for putting forth his proposal to cut off funding for Cheney’s fourth branch of government, at a time when something sorely needed to happen along with a lot of other things, thank you.

    Other than that, he’s no longer elected to anything, and I’ve never voted for him. If Obama likes his friend from Illinois as Chief of Staff, he can have him. It doesn’t bother me.

  252. “I believe all those in the “aristocracy” are the elite progressives.”

    sicilian 1,
    While there is much we agree on the statement above is a sticking point. To refute it I will mention four names who are/were charter members of the aristocracy. Richard Mellon Scaife, William F. Buckley, G.H.W. Bush, The Walton Family, the Welch family of jelly fame, the Mars Family members and Grover Norquist. Google any of these to see their non-progressive credentials and their contributions to the “Ameristocracy.”
    All of these are aristocrats who favor rule by the elite and none could be labeled progressive in any sense of the word. Are there progressive Aristocrats, of course, but the American Aristocracy is not controlled by them, though they do go along with maintaining their privileges.

  253. Larry,
    So you are attacked on the entirety of your inane point about the sins of the father being visited upon the son and then you reply by admitting that you dislike Rahm Emmanuel. Guess what I’m not a fan of his either, but I’ll take him over those I would surmise you support any day.

    “WHY? What if it was John McCain in the White House and he selected someone for his administration who’s father was a terrorist? Youd be peachy with that?”

    If it was John McCain in the WH, we would have an egostistical, incompetent as President, backed by a totally incompetent Vice President and be on the verge of nuclear war. By the way his Vice President’s husband was a member for 8 years of an organization founded by a terrorist, the AIP, and was thus in favor of Alaska’s secession from the Union. Are you peachy with that?

  254. MIKE S,

    I agree w/you. These are arostocracies who favor rule of the elite.

    To me those are the progressives. Those in the massess who THINK they themselves are progressive do NOT realize how the progressive elite manipulates them as pawns to maintain their rule.

    GWBush was a GLOBAL PROGRESSIVE AUTHORITARIAN ELITIST. He uses a different mechanism than Obama BUT they’re both ONLY interested in doing the bidding of the GLOBAL CORPROCRACY that runs them. They just drape their agenda’s in different rhetoric.

    I only find the “typical” progressive rhetoric like Obama’s particularly annoying w/all his “soapbox moralising” But I do belive Bush’s wrapping of “patriotism” around every cause just as dangerous.

    I’m sure you remember that it was GHWBush who talked of a NWO in his inauguration speech. Classic progressive “key words” The Bush aristocracy is maybe the most influential w/it’s business ties to the Saud dynasty. For the last 17 years at least the world has been at the mercy of the interests of those 2 dynasties.

    I don’t even know the classification of the Bush’s they’vechanged as they see fit. They were part of that “yankee elist” crowd for a long time. But now after GW, they’ve crafted themselves as “cowboys”. Whatever they are they’re elist progressives that are only interested in promoting the global interests of the few at the expense of the many.

    I know, I digress.

  255. Mike S.

    I really don’t care to engage with people like Larry, myself, but feel free.

    I have fields of ‘niblets’ planted here that I’m enjoying so much more.

    I’m on Maine shore leave.

  256. Patty C,
    I love Maine though I haven’t been there since the 70’s. Beautiful seashore, beautiful forests and yummy lobster.

  257. It is pretty, but, alas, summers are short and ours recently has been a little wet for all the outdoor activity we have planned before winter sets in-again.

    Certainly, you do remember ‘niblet’, n’est ce pas?

  258. Mike S. said:

    “If it was John McCain in the WH, we would have an egostistical, incompetent as President, backed by a totally incompetent Vice President and be on the verge of nuclear war. By the way his Vice President’s husband was a member for 8 years of an organization founded by a terrorist, the AIP, and was thus in favor of Alaska’s secession from the Union. Are you peachy with that?”

    Mike, you seem to be more frightened about a terrorist connection to someone who DIDNT get elected than you are about a terrorist connection to someone who DID and that connection is IN our White House—-LITERALLY INSIDE our White House!! Now its crystal clear—-you’re a Zionist, arent you? You LOVE that Palestinians were murdered by Emanuel’s father. After all, Rahm Emanuel’s middle name IS “ISRAEL”!

    I am 100% AGAINST any support of Israel. The Bible and religion are both very dangerous things and these wars going on right now in Iraq and Afghanistan are about ISRAEL—-NOT terror——PERIOD. Why are we sacrificing Americans for support of Israel??? Why?? I am so sick and tired everytime I hear someone say “the troops are fighting for our freedom”. NO. They are fighting for criminals who support Israel. Like Kissinger said in 1973—–troops are “stupid pawns used for foreign policy”. Those are his words, not mine. Our leaders dont give a rats ASS about our troops. They are dying for the imperialism of America—nothing else. There IS no “war on terror”.

    Let me guess…you believe in global warming too??? Believe in the Easter bunny and Bigfoot?

  259. Patty said:

    “I really don’t care to engage with people like Larry, myself, but feel free.”

    LOL, because you have no FACTS to support your conclusions! You sound like my brother. A few weeks ago he told me he likes Obama. I said “why? he’s continued about 15 Bush policies so far…not ONE troop is home, he continued the military commissions, he put 84 BILLION more towards the wars (that he said he was against) and is REFUSING to prosecute the Bush war crimes. (By the way, do you know that Obama’s inaction on prosecuting war crimes makes HIM guilty of war crimes too? If you dont believe me—just ask Jonathan Turley. I think you’ve heard of him…you’re on his site)

    Then I said, “Tell me one reason you like him”. Know what his EXACT words were? “I dont have a case. I just like him”. Then I said, “So, you like him because you like him.” Then I said, “If you dont have a case, then how did you come to the conclusion that you ‘like him’?” Then he wanted to drop the subject—–much like Patty C is doing. I accused my brother of being EXACTLY like the Bush people who said the SAME THING for 8 years. Then he hung up on me.

    So, Patty—you like him because you like him, huh? BRILLIANT.

  260. Patty said:

    “No, I liked Rahmn Emanuel for putting forth his proposal to cut off funding for Cheney’s fourth branch of government, at a time when something sorely needed to happen along with a lot of other things, thank you.

    Other than that, he’s no longer elected to anything, and I’ve never voted for him. If Obama likes his friend from Illinois as Chief of Staff, he can have him. It doesn’t bother me.”

    The Chief of Staff has a SIGNIFICANT amount of influence on foreign policy!!! And it “doesnt bother you?” Are they prosecuting Cheney and Bush’s war crimes Patty????? Hmmmm???? I see that you COMPLETELY IGNORED the links I posted above where Rahm Emanuel talked about FORCED government service of Americans. Tell me something Patty—is FORCED, compulsory service FREEDOM? Or is it SLAVERY? Tell me the EXACT portion of our Constitution that gives these pricks the right to FORCE me to do government service!!

    Here’s the links again. Im sure youll IGNORE them again!

    Mike S. ignored the clips too. Guess the truth is hard to swallow when youre blinded by the phony right/left paradigm

  261. “You sound like my brother. A few weeks ago he told me he likes Obama.”

    Larry,
    I really don’t think this site is the proper forum for you to discuss your family issues. Is it your younger brother? If so then I suspect you feel your parents showed him more love. However, if it is your older brother than I suspect that you somehow feel overshadowed and less of a person than he is. In any event I think there are psychological sites that could be of more help with your problems.

    However, since your post is rife with family issues would it be too much for me to inquire as to your parent’s history. This would of course relate to your criticism of Rahm Emmanuel and would give us insight into your motivations and actions. I say this only because you have put forth the proposition that Mr. Emmanuel’s father’s history controls his actions and suitability. What was your father’s history and how does it control you and/or make you a better/worse person?

  262. Yeah, he did a great job IGNORING my post—which is what YOU do Patty! No wonder he got your approval! Still ignoring the YouTube links where Emanuel talks about FORCED service—still IGNORING the parts where I talked about Obama continuing Bush policies….ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore. Mike—Im actually shocked that you completely diverted attention away from my MAIN point about the chat I had with my brother and decided to turn it into an ad hominem attack. Thats CLEARLY what you did. The POINT of my chat with him WAS NOT that it was my brother—it was the substance of the dialogue—-which you IGNORED. I should have just said “a friend” so I could have seen how you would have diverted from that as well.

    You may have fooled your fellow morons like Patty C, because she ignores, ignores, ignores too—–but those of us, like me, with any kind of a brain see exactly what you did. Your Bill O Reilly-style spin doesnt work with people like me.

    The funny thing is, you COMPLETELY ignored my first post above which was directed at YOU personally. Instead you commented on the one I left for Patty. I guess when you have no facts to fight back with,then saying nothing IS one’s only option. Care to comment on my first post above (the one left at 3:51am)?? Care to comment on the YouTube videos of Emanuel?

    You didnt deny that youre a Zionist and that you are against Palestinians being killed, so I’ll have to assume that you are 100% FOR those things. If you support Israel——GO LIVE THERE Mike and get the hell out of THIS country. The U.S. people are supposed to protect OUR people, no one elses!

    I’ll be waiting on pins and needles to see how you IGNORE and deflect away from this post!!

  263. “GO LIVE THERE Mike and get the hell out of THIS country. The U.S. people are supposed to protect OUR people, no one elses!”

    Larry,
    Perhaps you should get the hell out of my country since I was born here, but more importantly I understand what this country is about, whereas you just think you represent it all. I actually would like the US to cease all aid to Israel, because the country can stand on its’ own without the Us shackling it to protect the Saudi’s. At that point you might see how quickly and peacefully peace comes about.

  264. Mike Spindell 1, July 13, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    “GO LIVE THERE Mike and get the hell out of THIS country. The U.S. people are supposed to protect OUR people, no one elses!”

    Larry,
    Perhaps you should get the hell out of my country since I was born here, but more importantly I understand what this country is about, whereas you just think you represent it all. I actually would like the US to cease all aid to Israel, because the country can stand on its’ own without the Us shackling it to protect the Saudi’s. At that point you might see how quickly and peacefully peace comes about.
    **************

    Mike you know that we cannot have counter intelligence if we did not give something. We are honor bond to give other people other things so that we can justify being in the middle of it.

    I do agree that peace would be brought about in many areas much quicker if we were not involved.

  265. “Perhaps you should get the hell out of my country since I was born here”———uhhhhhh, so was I, dumbass–whats your point???

    I love how, ONCE AGAIN, you IGNORED 90% of my post and only focused on ONE sentence—so, since you have reading comprehension problems, Ill post the same post again (I will delete the part that you DID address):
    Yeah, he did a great job IGNORING my post—which is what YOU do Patty! No wonder he got your approval! Still ignoring the YouTube links where Emanuel talks about FORCED service—still IGNORING the parts where I talked about Obama continuing Bush policies….ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore. Mike—Im actually shocked that you completely diverted attention away from my MAIN point about the chat I had with my brother and decided to turn it into an ad hominem attack. Thats CLEARLY what you did. The POINT of my chat with him WAS NOT that it was my brother—it was the substance of the dialogue—-which you IGNORED. I should have just said “a friend” so I could have seen how you would have diverted from that as well.

    You may have fooled your fellow morons like Patty C, because she ignores, ignores, ignores too—–but those of us, like me, with any kind of a brain see exactly what you did. Your Bill O Reilly-style spin doesnt work with people like me.

    The funny thing is, you COMPLETELY ignored my first post above which was directed at YOU personally. Instead you commented on the one I left for Patty. I guess when you have no facts to fight back with,then saying nothing IS one’s only option. Care to comment on my first post above (the one left at 3:51am)?? Care to comment on the YouTube videos of Emanuel?

    You didnt deny that youre a Zionist and that you are against Palestinians being killed, so I’ll have to assume that you are 100% FOR those things.
    *****************************************************************************************************!

    I’ll be waiting on pins and needles to see how you IGNORE and deflect away from this post!!

    Will you ignore it AGAIN????

  266. “You didnt deny that youre a Zionist and that you are against Palestinians being killed, so I’ll have to assume that you are 100% FOR those things.”

    Larry,
    The reason I don’t deal with you is illustrated by your sentence above. Do you understand what you’ve written and what it implies? If I answered it as you wish I would have to say that:

    Yes I am a Zionist and I’m against Palestinians being killed.

    This is underlined by your assumption by my not answering that you’d have to assume that I’m 100% for Palestinians not being killed, which indeed I am and yes I support Zionism.

    Now as far as your charge that I’m deflecting your points, I would say it is more your inability to provided a rational argument that causes me to ignore you. You brought your brother into it as a “straw men” and I don’t take “straw man” arguments seriously. By the way you still haven’t told me about your parent’s background so I can decide what it is you stand for, as you do with Mr. Emmanuel. For all I know your parents were members of the Aryan Nation, or perhaps officials of the PLO? This would, by your own reasoning powers affect the person you are.

    I don’t answer you because you are incapable of interesting discussion and your sole purpose is to gratify your needy ego by attacking something. You are here to bait, not debate and that’s a hook I’m not biting.

  267. LOL—-but yet youve ignored the YouTube links TWICE now. I figured you were a Zionist—I didnt even really have to ask that. I just wanted to see you type that you are.

  268. Larry,
    You use Zionist as a sort of curse word. I think that shows who you are and before you get your knickers in a bunch, I am not implying you are anti-Jewish, merely that you have certain pre-judgments about Israel and Zionism, that are firmly formed in your psyche. Since, although I believe in Zionism (of which you only think you understand)I am rather more moderate and critical if Israel in my views, debating this with you would not be profitable. Your beliefs are rigidly held, why mine are open to evidence, that gives you an advantage in discussion, that you knowledge of it doesn’t warrant. Also why should I bother watching your “You Tube” evidence, while you are so carefully hiding your parent’s background, since it is you that made parental background into an issue.

    Let’s finally be honest here though and cut through your crap and my patiently not really even resorting to choice epithets.
    You are not a believer in the right of Israel to exist and you believe Zionism to be bad. You introduced this topic by a sideways attack on Emmanuel’s father, but that was the smokescreen to get around to your real points. Larry, it is so damned rhetorically obvious, that of course I haven’t taken you seriously. As for responding to you point by point why should I offer you a courtesy you haven’t extended to me?

  269. Funny how you mentioned that I was using a smokescreen when YOU brought up the issue of my “father” when it had NOTHING to do with anything I said about Emanuel—since I am NOT a public or political figure whose ideologies can affect this countries policies! The YouTube videos show who Rahm Emanuel REALLY is and its not someone esle saying it—its footage of Emanuel HIMSELF. I KNEW youd ignore it and come up with some bullshit reason why you did.

    I am not against the existence of Israel or Jews. I am against the fact that the United States is still treating Israel as if it was still the Israel mentioned in the Bible–its NOT—nor has it been for some 70 years now. Religion is the most dangerous thing in the world–always has been–and religion will be the ruination of this planet.

  270. “Funny how you mentioned that I was using a smokescreen when YOU brought up the issue of my “father” when it had NOTHING to do with anything I said about Emanuel—since I am NOT a public or political figure whose ideologies can affect this countries policies!”

    Larry,
    Rahm Emmanuel’s father isn’t a public figure either, but that didn’t stop you from using him to attack his son. That was the point Larry but you are really to dim to get it.

    “I am not against the existence of Israel or Jews.”

    You really are gutless aren’t you? You know damn well that you are against the existence of Israel, but you don’t have the guts to at least be honest about it. Your opposition is implicit in your word choice and your statements. You use Zionist as an epithet and since a Zionist per se supports Israel, your meaning is clear, even if your are not able to understand the import of your words.

    Finally, up until this point I haven’t called you anti-Jewish and I really don’t have to. The fact that you stated:

    “GO LIVE THERE Mike and get the hell out of THIS country.”

    If you substituted Jew for Mike in that sentence it would have the same meaning, but you lack the courage to show your true beliefs, even while you lack the capacity to conceal them.

  271. Oh brother. You mind me of black people who always cry race when they encounter some injustice. I know it was Emanuel’s FATHER I was talking about—and his SON has a terrorist tie—that was my whole point. George W Bush has a tie to Hitler too. His grandfather Prescott, who was also a US Senator, got his first family fortune working for a bank that financed Hitler’s concentration camps. Arnold Swartzeneggar’s father was an SS stormtrooper. I guess that means nothing too. If you think Nazi’s are extinct, think again…they are still around. Ive read Jim Marr’s book “The Rise of the Fourth Reich”. These evil and corrupt people are still in every nook and cranny or government, business and social standing all over the world.

    And by the way, I was telling YOU…MIKE…to get out of this country…not your nationality. You decided to exploit your nationality…not me.

  272. “You mind me of black people who always cry race when they encounter some injustice.”

    So now we know you’re a racist as well as being anti-Jewish. Only a racist would make a statement like that. As for Jim Marrs I’ve been a fan of his since 1972 when he wrote: “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy,” somehow he never impressed me as being anti-Jewish, or anti-Black as you are. Also I was perhaps the first on this blog to mention Prescott Bush and his Nazi dealings. This was first written about by John Loftus in his book “The Secret War Against the Jews,” but that doesn’t seem to be the kind of book you’d be into.

    “And by the way, I was telling YOU…MIKE…to get out of this country…not your nationality. You decided to exploit your nationality…not me.”

    Your remark in context meant to leave the US and go to Israel. You know that but you lack the courage or the honesty to say that. Your dislike for Nazi’s only means that you are a Left Wing proto Stalinist, rather than a Right Wing Fascist. In the end its’ the same thing, intolerance for any viewpoint you disagree with. What you really exhibit is a totalitarian personality and so the whatever there is that is positive in you socio/political beliefs is more than canceled out by your inability to think dialectically.

  273. LOL. Im a racist by merely pointing out that black people DO cry race when they are treated unfairly?????? (Can you say O.J. Simpson?) Thats FACT, not racist. Why would you give a shit that Bush’s grandfather had Nazi ties if you have been tirelessly defending Rahm Emanuel and making it appear because his father was a terrorist means nothing in relation to the son? Yet, you seem to find significance in Bush’s family tree—correct? Why so hypocritical? Why does it matter about Bush 43’s ancestors but it matters not ONE BIT about Rahm Emanuels’? Hmmmmmm? I cant wait to hear your spin-riddled response.

    “Your dislike for Nazi’s only means that you are a Left Wing proto Stalinist, rather than a Right Wing Fascist.”

    So, you like Nazi’s now Mike? Hey everyone—Mike LOVES Nazi’s!!!!

  274. “LOL. Im a racist by merely pointing out that black people DO cry race when they are treated unfairly??????’

    You are of course a racist, but a cowardly one because you won’t openly admit it.

    “Yet, you seem to find significance in Bush’s family tree—correct? Why so hypocritical?”

    The Bush family since Prescott Bush has also been involved in ant-Israel, anti-Jewish issues, because they are intimately entwined with the Saud Family and Saudi Arabia in particular.
    GWH Bush consistently back up Saudi positions and made his money in deals with them. He currently is involved in business with them through the Carlyle Group. He watched 9/11 with Osama Bin Laden’s brother. His sons are all in business with the Saudi’s and GW Bush’s two failed businesses were funded by the Saudi’s, who absorbed his losses. You are too caught up in your own mis-suppositions about the world to actually know anything about which you speak, which makes you that most dangerous of humans: A stupid person who thinks he’s smart.

    “So, you like Nazi’s now Mike? Hey everyone—Mike LOVES Nazi’s!!!!”

    So since you didn’t deny it I guess I was right about you being a Left Wing Stalinist. Stalin by the way, since your historical knowledge is spotty, hated Jews also and killed about as many people as Hitler did. He was as psychotic as Hitler, only on the Left Wing, rather than Right Wing. Do come back when you know a little more about history, but given your overwhelming prejudice I don’t think learning is really possible for you.

  275. “GWH Bush consistently back up Saudi positions and made his money in deals with them. He currently is involved in business with them through the Carlyle Group. He watched 9/11 with Osama Bin Laden’s brother.”

    But Mike, that is the FATHER youre talking about——what does that have to do with the SON????? HMMMMMMMM???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  276. “But Mike, that is the FATHER youre talking about——what does that have to do with the SON????? HMMMMMMMM???????????????????????????????????????????????????????”

    Again proving that he is not only bigoted but also a deceitful liar, with a fool’s competence, Larry, forgets to react to the body of that quote from me:

    “GWH Bush consistently back up Saudi positions and made his money in deals with them. He currently is involved in business with them through the Carlyle Group. He watched 9/11 with Osama Bin Laden’s brother. His sons are all in business with the Saudi’s and GW Bush’s two failed businesses were funded by the Saudi’s, who absorbed his losses.”

    A father doesn’t a son make, as in Rahm Emmanuel. Four generations in business with rich, anti-Jewish people does a family preference make and I believe the next generation of Bush’s is also being supported by the Saudi’s.

    Larry, you should really give it up you are so easy to debunk that not only does it take little time, but gives me pleasure.
    You are not competent enough to convince anyone about your cause except for maybe Buena Vista Mall. After all though, he
    is as inept as you.

  277. LOL, you “debunked” me? By repeating yourself? That’s classic!!!!! You IGNORED the question completely.

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