Archive for Gitmo

"Fiscal conservatives": Shutting Down Gitmo Would Save a 1%er's Fortune

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PicardHaveUForgotten
It's costing the American people about a billion per Guantanamo detainee.

Let that sink in.

President Obama was elected in part on his promise to shut that human rights travesty down, and as we finally look toward evacuating Afghanistan of most American troops, it is past time to close the Gitmo 'detaining' facilities adjacent to Cuba and move forward with justice.

Of course Fvx Nation disagrees. They are unaccountably fond of Gitmo, practice NIMBY religiously and of course oppose anything Obama might even consider.

penguingitmo

Up with Steve Kornacki, MSNBC's weekend early a.m. program, had a terrific panel this morning to hash out the predictably Coiffure On Fire reaction of the Tea-driven GOP to any discussion of Gitmo, non-military courts and sanity.

It included David Corn of Mother Jones and the admirable military vet slash ex-Representative slash cable reporter-pundit and host of his own Sunday show, Taking the Hill, Patrick Murphy. ['Cycle' co-host Krystal Ball is subbing for Steve, so don't think he decided to go on set in drag to celebrate Summer Solstice.]

 

For contrast, Fvx Noise ran endless loops of how dangerous the released, unreleased, hypothetically detained and utterly mythical 'prisoners' are our new greatest threat in the fictional War on Terror. Here 'ya go, Fox:

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Republican Cry Babies Wanted Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Left Behind

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cry baby

America prides itself on many things, but at the vanguard is its pledge to the military, "No soldier left behind."

Presidents are called upon to make tough decisions -- life or death in many cases. And when it comes to public safety, military engagements and leadership, we give those reins to our elected chief executive. We even give the President something called 'executive powers' which allow him or (someday) her to make split second decisions on our national best interests. It could be war, it could be a national disaster or it could be something else. Sometimes there just isn't time to sit back and cogitate.

Friday was one of those rare, but important moments. Our one remaining prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 28, of Hailey, Idaho, was handed over to U.S. special operations forces by the Taliban. This didn't come without a concession on our side. We had to release five prisoners we were holding in Guantanamo Bay Prison.

Time was of importance according to the White House. The window to take advantage of this opportunity was closing fast. Our commander-in-chief, duly elected to make these decisions, decisively acted. And today Sgt. Bergdahl is a free man.

So why are the Republicans so angry with our president? According to them, he broke the law to free this prisoner. And you know what, they're partially right. U.S. law requires the president to notify Congress 30 days before any terrorists are transferred from the U.S. facility. But what if the window of opportunity didn't allow for 30 days to make this move? Should we have just left one of our own brave soldiers behind to face torture or death? A few Republicans are saying so.

What was the real cost here? Millions of dollars for one. And that cost was to the American taxpayer, but no more. According to Reuters:

(Reuters) - Democratic lawmakers pushing to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay said on Wednesday that its cost has skyrocketed to $2.7 million per inmate this year and argued it is too expensive to keep open while the country is fighting budget deficits.

So we let five prisoners go. None of them were posing a threat to us. And probably none will pose a threat to us in the future.  We saved $13.5 million dollars, found a country to take these prisoners off of our hands (Qatar) and we're that much closer to closing down Gitmo at 454 million taxpayer dollars a year and rising.

How dare Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of California and Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who should know better, publicly shun the return of one of our soldiers? McKeon is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Inhofe is the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

These two buffoons, masquerading as our representatives, have the gall to criticize this presidential action. It would be cowardly not to have taken advantage of the opportunity to peacefully and safely manipulate the return of a captured hero.

When will the Republicans learn and accept that their candidate lost the election and Obama won? And with that comes the responsibilities of executive decision making. Yes, there is a law that says there should be a 30 day period before this action takes place. But there's also a law that grants presidents executive orders. And Obama did what the weak-kneed GOP can't stand. Obama saw an opportunity to do what's right and he seized it.

Now all the whining Republicans have for bluster is a technicality. Certainly that's not going to go too far. Just ask America whether they want a freed American prisoner brought home, or an opportunity lost because the Republican cry babies didn't get a chance to weigh in.

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Video- Fox's Michelle Malkin: Gitmo Hunger Strikers Are "Jihad Theater"

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If I had her and Liz Cheney is a small room... Via.

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VIDEO: #Guantanamo Bay hunger strike force feeding protest #FreeFayiz

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barry wingard RT tv gitmo hunger strike

Jacob Dean of Filter Free Radio is a longtime pal o' mine from various shows we have in common on the Radio Machine. He's a very young, very cool guy who knows a lot about a lot and speaks his mind.

On Wednesday June 26, 2013 the United International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Jacob volunteered to be strapped down and "force-fed" to lend his body in support of the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention Against Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

In the words of Portland's hunger striker S. Brian Willson, "We are not worth more. They are not worth less."

Recorded 4-6pm on June 26, 2013 at Portland City Hall. (This is NOT actually torture, just political street theater.):

Jacob Dean interviews 71 year-old S. Brian Willson, Activist, Author, a Vietnam veteran member of Veterans For Peace, Portland Chapter 72, beginning Sunday, May 12 reduced his food intake by more than 85 percent, fasting on 300 calories a day in solidarity with the 130 uncharged Guantanamo prisoner hunger strikers now in deteriorating health, many of whom are being force-fed. Willson, a trained lawyer and criminologist, anti-war activist and author, lives by the mantra: "We are not worth more; They are not worth less."

He joins 65-year-old grandmother Diane Wilson, a fifth-generation Texas shrimper, anti-war activist and author, who began an open-ended, water-only fast on May 1 outside the White House, and intends to fast until the prisoners are freed.

There are more than 1,200 people around the country participating in a rolling hunger strike to bring attention to the plight of the fasting prisoners at Guantanamo, who have been illegally detained for over ten years with little recourse. May 16 [was] the 100th day of the hunger strike.

The hunger strike/fast demands President Obama take immediate action to close the prison and release the prisoners. Interview recorded 6/22/2013

______________________________________________

here; That link includes one specific to only Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Please read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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GOP hates spending, so Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) intros bill to boost Pentagon war spending by $5 billion

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spend money guy

Via

Watch as Senate Democrats point at laugh at the House Armed Services panel's Defense authorization bill that would hike Pentagon spending by $5 billion.

Because, see, what we need now is to pour more cash into the Afghanistan war, which is exactly what Chairman Buck McKeon's (R-Calif.) legislation would do. Republicans want to "make up for cuts to training and maintenance" due to that thing we all love to hate called "sequestration."

Yes, the party that hates spending wants to spend-- spend-- an additional five. Billion. Dollars.

The Hill:

The sweeping Pentagon policy bill pushes back on a number of administration proposals and priorities.

The measure includes restrictions on transferring Guantánamo detainees to the United States, which President Obama proposed to re-start last month as he looks to close the prison. The bill also included funding for new barracks at Guantánamo to replace temporary facilities.

The committee rejected base closures and new healthcare fees for a second straight year, and also said no to a smaller pay raise for troops... On sexual assault, an issue that has generated a host of attention in recent weeks, the bill strips commanders’ ability to overturn guilty verdicts and establishes minimum sentencing guidelines for sexual assault cases.

It does not, however, go as far as some lawmakers are proposing to remove the decision to prosecute sexual assault cases from the chain of command.

Did I say that thing we all love to hate is called "sequestration"? I meant "the GOP."

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What I will not write about today

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frustrated27

Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

  • Killing Obamacare by Making it Fail-- When failed attempts at repeal just won't cut it: Now the GOP is trying to prevent the insurance exchanges from working. USA! USA! See how they care about the health and welfare of all Americans?

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

drunk wine lady glasses

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PhotOH! On the streets of Boston: An important message for Congress, written in chalk

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boston gardens

On my recent trip to Boston (I loved it there, even more than I did the first time), I took many, many pictures with my brand spanking new iPad (which I also love) camera... mainly because I somehow managed to forget my "real" camera. We did a LOT of walking, and as we did a lot of walking, I did a lot of observing.

What is pictured below was one of many amazing things I saw, especially in contrast to the exquisite, serene beauty of the image I snapped above.

More photos will be coming soon, but what was written in chalk on the steps below was one of the two most gripping moments I had in the two days I spent in this wonderful, awe-inspiring city:

boston gitmo  torture message

"101 days... Gitmo hunger strike"

" Where is the world... to save us from torture."

All my previous posts on this topic can be found here.

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