I’m sure this is Obama’s fault somehow:
President Obama’s hopes of closing Guantánamo, which were already gravely wounded by his inability to meet his self-imposed deadline of a year for the prison’s closure, now appear to have been killed off by lawmakers in Congress.
Although the House Armed Services Committee was happy to authorize, by 59 votes to 0, a budget of over $700 billion for war ($567 billion for “defense spending” and $159 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq) for the fiscal year beginning in October, lawmakers unanimously saw through — and turned down — a fraction of this budget for what the administration had labeled a “transfer fund” — money intended to close Guantánamo and buy a new prison in Illinois for prisoners designated for trials or for indefinite detention without charge or trial.
This was the house, folks. You know, the liberal one of the two, from where I’m told all things progressive and good flow only to be destroyed by Rahm and Obama’s minions in the Senate.
I’m feeling kind of pessimistic lately, and I’ve just decided that like the War on Drugs, the War on Terror is just never going to end. No one has the balls to stand up to campaign ads that say they support drug dealers or the scary brown people in Gitmo. Can’t have terrorists
loose in the streets locked up in a SuperMax!
Are we on the way to become a banana republic, when will the madness end?
ETA: We need Live Action Tunch Cam to put us in a good mood again. We miss him, at least I know I do.
I wish the cockroaches well when they inherit the earth after the human race dies off from self-inflicted wounds.
And yet forcing a corporation to fix their monstrous fuckup in the Gulf of Mexico is stepping on the neck of business.
If he was worse than Bush he would have already closed it down and bought the IL prison and rendered them all right through the door and called on congress to suck his dick.
The Senate Finance Bill was arguably more progressive than the House version in many respects, and only grew more progressive with time. It all just depends on who decides to pick up the ball and run. In the Senate’s case, Blanche Lincoln had something to prove, Chris Dodd had nothing to lose, and Byron Dorgan wanted to pick one last shit fight.
That said, there’s still no excuse for this. If the House wants to keep funding the travesty of justice that is Guantanamo Bay and the Senate is complicit, Obama needs to put his foot down and veto this damn bill. Send it back and tell Congress to follow the fucking Constitution.
That, or he needs to reallocate funds through the DoJ or the military to make this happen without Congress’s approval. Or he needs to get his next Solicitor General in front of a court, seeking a judicial mandate that will house these prisoners back on US soil.
You can’t keep passing the buck on this. Obama is the Commander in Chief and these are Nebulous Lethal Non-Combatant Double Plus Reciprocal Prisoners of the war we aren’t in. They’re in his hands whether he likes it or not.
We’ve always been at war with
Eastasia Poverty DrugsTerror.
Obama could have closed Gitmo and transferred the detainees to any one of a number of other facilities in the US or abroad.
He didn’t need to climb up on a bully pulpit to do so.
Yes, it is his fault.
But Obama has completely undercut any rationale for closing Guantanamo by continuing to assert his authority to hold persons without habeas at Bagram, and to continue to subject persons to military commissions without full due process. So what difference does it make whether he closes Guantanamo or not? It was never about the location itself. He can’t stand on the constitution because he doesn’t want to follow it (and no, I’m not saying he’s as bad as Bush).
That’s the hope.
Thus global warming.
All due to visions of fruity drinks, skimpy clothes and swively hips.
Let’s not go giving more credit than is actually due. We’re still waiting to see if they’re going to strip the tougher derivatives language out of the bill in conference. You know, because Blanche Lincoln was never really serious about it:
You are right.
He needed the assistance of Congress, of course.
To the commentators:
How could he have closed the prison w/o Congress? This is a serious question. And I thought that bush got slammed by the Left whenever he went above the heads of those in congress and now Obama should do the same as bush? on the other hand Obama has lost support because he has continued some of bush’s policies?
Nothing is happening with Gitmo because when the Rethugs polled on moving teh scary ‘terrists to US soil, they scored amazingly well.
We mock, because crazy muslims in supermax are essentially as secure as shipping them to the moon; but the voting population had a nimby meltdown.
So John…do you REALLY believe Obama had nothing to do with the way this played out?
Do you really believe congresspersons NEVER connive with the executive branch to obtain ends thru indirect, Kabuki theatre, style action or inaction such as this, in which everyone gets what they really want anyway with a minimum of public drama and pushback?
Or is this just another comment-trolling, faux-incredulous post?
BTW, when WAS the last time you heard Obie pounding the podium for the closure of Guantanamo?
Yes, it does seem that on balance the House comes up with what I’d call better legislation than the Senate though, apparently, not this time. And you’re probably right: the GWOT isn’t going away. But hey, we gotta look forward not back, and apparently things like the Fifth Ammendment and habeus corpus are in the rear view mirror.
OTOH at least we don’t have to endure the posturing of people like Lieberman if this had made it to the Senate.
C’mon, tim, don’t deny John his opportunities to punch hippies. It’s apparently so important to him.
Yes & end? probably only get worse
We’re hurrying as fast as we can to get there
Yes but the gutless Dems won’t stand for that from him whereas the REpubs had no ptobablem with it cuz he was their guy
Its a military installation as CinC he could do it with a wave of his pen it would then fall on Congress to find a place for them. Yes it would be the sort of Dickish move Boy Blunder would have pulled but in this case it would be in support of instead of in opposition to the constitution and America’s best nature.
This has been more simple answers to simple questions from your little black ray of dark shine.
“I will veto any future defense appropriation that does not include funds to close Guantanamo Bay.”
Dunno. What did your Congressman say when you called their office about it?
Tim: Obie? Could you possibly be more condescending?
You know, one of the things that Obama’s administration has taught me is that large numbers of liberals are EXACTLY like large number of conservatives: they don’t mind a dictatorship, as long as it’s their dictator.
And yes, he could possibly veto defense appropriations. And he would be president all of 40 minutes after that, as both Democrats and Republicans line up to impeach him for “willfully endangering our troops.”
Easy peasy. Just do it.
Don’t ask congress to approve funds for another facility. Just order transfer the prisoners and then transfer all of the military personnel staffing the prison at Gitmo.
After all, Pres. Bush did not have to go to congress and get permission each time he transferred a prisoner into or out of Gitmo.
Arguably Obama would require an appropriation to purchase a new facility to open up a new prison, but the US Govt has a lot of facilities that are already up and running that could take the prisoners.
The transfer is mostly a cosmetic move since the people would still be prisoners somewhere, but the idea that Congress had tied his hands on this is nonsense.
It is because this is how Obama has failed us today.
Doesn’t matter what the subject is, he has failed us and we are victims.
So I guess this is from the same page of the Obama Playbook that led to him nominating Dawn Johnsen twice, just so that he could fuck over progressives? There is no way he could propose or nominate something or someone without it being some kind of nefarious conspiracy to shit on the left? It is so unlikely that Congresspersons are so scared shitless by all the polling surround the Gitmo, they remain openly hostile to any actions proposing otherwise.
Nope, the man just loves shitting on the left from the 11th dimension.
@Emma: Baloney. There would be no impeachment. It’s not a crime or a misdemeanor to veto a bill.
And money would keep flowing to the troops, regardless. It might be a big messy fight, but they would keep sending money to the troops, in one emergency extension after another. But the easiest thing would be to just put the money in and throw Obama over the side in the 2012 election.
Obama doesn’t have enough power to perform something he promised to do on the very first day he was sworn into office?
Sounds like incompetence to me. I am sure there are plenty of other presidents who could have gotten this done. The fact Obama couldn’t do it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done.
No, they do not. That’s part of the reason President Obama’s efforts have been stymied for so long. The money they are asking for will be used in part to beef up the prison facility to “beyond Supermax.” Again, since that’s the only kind of thing that helps the fearful in D.C. swallow anything related to War On Terror. Of course, I would not expect you to have any idea about that, since your solution for getting beyond this logjam is:
Yeah, brilliant plan. I don’t know why they didn’t just go with that as Plan A in the beginning.
Probably because it’s a fucking joke.
This completely unadulterated Congressional bullshit is brought to you by the weak-kneed cowards in both parties who are terrified of looking “weak” or ” running the risk of setting loose turrurists on Amurikun soil.” That’s it, plain and simple. There’s no “Obama-fu” involved or Obama screwing liberals. It’s Congressional cowardice. Period.
Bush Vetoes Defense Spending Bill
Joseph: And those calm, thoughtful Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats wouldn’t take advantage of it? I mean, hey, they have been so very reasonable so far….
I’ll have to look at it (but hopefully someone else did, so I won’t have to) but is there a way around this?
Is it just not included or did they pass anything specific to prevent funding?
I have some vague memory of them passing a specific “we won’t fund scary terrorist prison” provision, maybe last spring.
The whole thing is ludicrous. Where do people imagine they’re holding the Christmas attempted-bomber? No one knows nor cares. Boy, that’s been traumatic. People are just scared witless that that guy is on “American soil”, aren’t they?
They forgot all about him the minute the cameras moved on.
People, you do realize you’re treating Obama as if he was cut from the authoritarian cloth that’s so despised in Republicans?
I think he, by nature, is unable to act in that sort of manner (thankfully in my book). What looks like is what need to happen is a long, painful negotiation–particularly since Congress is united almost unanimously against this course of action. What’s also needed is a long grassroots action to pressure Congress as well. Are people ready for this?
@Emma: 2009 — <a href="http://spacepolicyonline.com/pages/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=487&catid=75&Itemid=68“>Veto Threats Slow Congressional Action on Defense, Intelligence Measures
Obama knows how to veto-threat a defense appropriation bill. He’s done it.
Right now the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats are taking advantage by keeping GTMO open. I’d prefer GTMO to be closed and the Republicans and Blue Dogs taking advantage. If you know a way to shut off the “taking advantage” part of a politician, you could be richer than BP.
nice pipe dream, but no he couldn’t…he needs approval from Congress to bring them to the US (he would be changing their status) and if he had moved them somewhere else abroad, the liberals still would’ve scream…in fact, he did, he moved some of them to Bagram.
Yes, let him veto a bill because of a provision that got UNAIMOUS support. See how that works out.
Alan in SF
Once again, we learn that the leader of the Democratic Party, the man who appoints the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the man who controls the lion’s share of the patronage which feeds the Democratic Party, and the highest-ranking elected official in the Democratic Party has absolutely no influence over the Democratic Party.
@Glenn: Logical fallacy overload.
OK, let me get this straight: we must not expect Obama to act in an authoritarian way to end his authoritarian practice of detaining people indefinitely, because that would be wrong.
Two wrongs suddenly make a right…it’s the new math.
@Alan in SF: The Democratic Party is a loose broad coalition of individuals with at least some interest in enacting some part of the progressive political agenda. The Republican Party is a fascist cult…which one is easier to lead? The answer will knock your socks off.
oh please…I gave up wasting my time on such pointless pursuits after I worked on the Kerry campaign in Florida 2004, and watched the asshole bend over backwards to lose to Bush the Younger.
I have no power over these people…this is spectator sport for me.
I have come to the conclusion that people tend to get the kind of government they deserve.
I wonder what that says about us.
You are just the kind of fool the Oligarchy enjoys having among us lesser folk: you apparently vote and think elections matter, but you don’t expect your elected representative to, you know, DO or RISK anything.
@Nick: Actually, I agree with him. The veto would be overturned, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent to standing up and saying why he vetoed it. It’d at least give the topic a chance to enter the public discussion.
So, whose indefinite detention policy is this now? Obama’s or Congress’?
Congressional cowardice. And Presidential cowardice.
NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED BEFORE!
Except it has, in the Gulf, in 1979. It took 8 months to stop the leak.
We are well and truly fucked.
@Alan in SF:
Why don’t you just hand the Republicans the Congressional Majority on a platnum platter with a side of caviar.
If you can’t see why this is not an issue no one wants to be put into the public discussion right now, I can’t help you.
You…are…not…going…to…win…on…this…issue. Stick with Wall Street and jobs.
A little off-topic, but right now, Obama doesn’t have a “campaign” going. I don’t know what he’s doing at the moment, but he should have a message out there to support his policies. It’s cheap, but he should express his anger at BP, or argue against torture, or push financial reform a little to the left (for example, he might speak out in support of Lincoln’s derivatives bill).
@tim: No, not when what they do is so opposed by the people, it’ll just be undone in a blink of an eye.
First, I’d try to move public opinion…oh, I forgot, ONLY OBAMA can do that.
If Obama showed strong and determined leadership on issues like GITMO, he could get it done. He has all sorts of power and leverage beyond the bully pulpit to force House members to vote with him. The problem is that he lacks commitment to progressive values, as he has demonstrated repeatedly. Worse, he lacks commitment to his own expressed values. He sold himself as a progressive populist type on the campaign trail, but he has betrayed those principles. Obama is another halfass corporate “centrist” in the mold of Bill Clinton. A whole lot better than Bush/Cheney to be sure, but a profound disappointment nonetheless.
I see you don’t have Facebook or Twitter…cause he does this like every damn day.
Fact that you believe this makes me laugh hysterically. I guess some people did think he was the Messiah.
@Nick: Unreal. I defy your silly oneupmanship because I don’t actually think using the veto is authoritarian sin unworthy of this Republic. Detaining people indefinitely, however — that is.
The Green Lantern theory of politics? That didn’t play for Bush either.
Now, granted, he COULD get it done in the face of strong opposition from his own party….but what’s the price?
@Nick: Then we can’t really complain about this tack that Obama and Congress are taking if we’re going to concede that it’s what the public wants.
@Joseph Nobles: Did you NOT ask if one authoritarian move to stop another is fair? Cause you did.
Don’t ask congress to approve funds for another facility. Just order transfer the prisoners and then transfer all of the military personnel staffing the prison at Gitmo. After all, Pres. Bush did not have to go to congress and get permission each time he transferred a prisoner into or out of Gitmo.
So you want Obama to act like Bush. So Bush’s dictatorial behavior was bad when it benefited the Republicans. But it is good if Obama acts like a Bush type dictator when it benefits people on the far left.
Sounds like hypocrisy to me. I rather have a President who respects that have a system of three branches.
The real culprit here is Congress. Hell, Amy Klobuchar, supposedly a liberal senator voted against funding for the closure. Why aren’t you criticizing congress? Why only Obama, the good guy?
@Martin: I’m not complaining, I’m accepting it and trying to work to change people’s minds on it.
It’s not working so far, but I keep working at it.
and BTW, I’ve been overseas…it really isn’t the black eye on our country that liberals say it is, because most Europeans think “We’d probably do the same thing in that situation”
FUCKING OBAMA! my DVR is broke and it’s his fault!
@Alan in SF:
Once again, we learn that the leader of the Democratic Party, the man who appoints the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the man who controls the lion’s share of the patronage which feeds the Democratic Party, and the highest-ranking elected official in the Democratic Party has absolutely no influence over the Democratic Party.
Bush used to be leader of the GOP. I guess by your logic, he had absolutely no influence over his party either. As you know, they blocked him on privatizing Social Security and immigration reform.
Name a President who has gotten 100% of the votes from his own party at all time. Good luck…
I thought Congress had given approval to bring Guantanimo inmates to the United States for trials, so I don’t see the issue unless Obama was planning on continuing to detain these men indefinitely.
And since the specific issue here is funding to buy a facility in Illinois, I am a bit amazed that our defense budget does not have $350 million in discretionary spending that Obama could divert if he wanted to without requiring Congressional approval.
@Nick: Reductio ad absurdium. As in “It’s absurd to think I would be swayed by considering Obama an authoritarian for threatening to use his veto power, because we’re talking about detaining people indefinitely.”
If we only had a tough motherfucker like Truman, who nuked two cities to the ground, we’d have single payer. Oh, wait. Even a tough mutherfuckers who knee caped macarther can’t get overwhelming majorities in both houses to rubberstamp his signature legislation, single payer, despite repeated attempts. Well fuck Truman, he was a secret republican.
@Alan in SF:
Sorry, were you talking about Obama, Clinton or Carter?
@Joseph Nobles: I already told you why vetoing won’t work, so do you want him to actually close Gitmo or just grandstand?
@Mike Kay: No, Obama needs to channel FDR…
…and put all Muslim-Americans in internment camps for as long as he wants to.
or he needs to be more like LBJ…
…and slaughter women and children in Afghan villages.
The trials for these folks have not yet commenced and may never because their cases were compromised…when they are indicted, they are brought to the US. Many prisoners in Gitmo have yet to be indicted, probably because when Bush sent them there, they weren’t criminals.
Of course they will be when we release them.
I’m sorry. With all due respect to the commentators here. After reading the responses to my question(s), some of you are either naive or hypocrites.
Hypocrites because you want Obama to be like bush when you think acting like him will allow one of your projects to get through. However, it wasn’t ok when bush did the same thing. I’m not defending bush in anyway, but how can you expect to be taken seriously when you think like this? And when Obama does it like bush – whether its a line in a speech or something to do with the rule of law, or someone he invited for a meeting – he gets pummeled. Again, you can’t be taken seriously when you behave this way.
Naive because some of you seem to think that because Obama is “Obama!” then he can get anything he wants. Its not because he’s president, it’s because of this image of Obama as the great persuader. Even George Steph was perplexed as to why Obama didn’t get the Olympics. Really? Who gets what they want all the time? And do you really want a president who gets whatever he wants when he wants it? hmmm…. I don’t think so. Think real hard about that one folks.
And this idea that if Obama really wanted it and showed leadership he would get what he wants is just the most vague, generic advice – ever! and shows a complete lack of understanding of politics, people and strategy. I am no expert myself, but if I am giving the president advice I wouldn’t say, “show more leadership” or “grow a spine” or “grow a pair.” Anyone can get up and yell and tear down his opponent – the opponent ain’t gotta do shiite. And since Obama doesn’t have that trap door like Mr. burns, no one in congress has to listen to him. And NO congress didn’t always listen to bush and they were afraid of not getting re-elected, not scared of bush.
I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors in the WH or what the president is thinking, but you can’t call the president inept in the morning and then accuse him of conspiring with Rahm to screw the Left in the evening. It’s just completely self-centered. You can’t call him incompetent, then accuse of partnering with Wall Street to _____________________________ (add your conspiracy theory here). Thank goodness he’s inept though -huh, huh.
I say this all respectfully of course so don’t flame me and accuse me of hippie-punching and all that.
Hehe, you’re right. But Obama is just preaching to the choir through these channels. He should try to reach out to older, or less tech-savvy voters, too. These are the votes he needs to get, because he’s got the other ones already.
@Nick: That’s the same bill that includes the F136 engine in it, doesn’t it? And yet Obama and Gates still seem to think they can veto the 59-0 bill anyway. Funny.
That’s how it was designed. Go back and reread that Plan for a New Century (or whatever it was called) authored by Bill Kristol and his neocon pasl back during the Clinton administration. It was all part of the plan for permanent Republican rule.
Tim, dear, f–k you with a rusty pitchfork. You don’t know anything about me. But I do know one thing about you: you’re the kind of moron who would want a dictator, as long as he was on your side. And who reacts with insults when someone disagrees with him. A republican in disguise, in fact.
Good point. There’s that. But also, too, a myth about bush emerged, that surprisingly the hippie left bought into, that bush got everything he wanted. I know you pointed out his failure to get the large gop majority in the senate to even vote on privatizing social security, immigration reform, and harriet miers, even though he had karl rove and cheney twisting every arm, but there’s a long list of failures. Nevertheless, in their mind, because of the myth that bush got the gop congress to rubber stamp everything, then Obama should be able to get congress to approve everything.
the funny part is how these people insist they live in a reality based community.
Yes, Emma, the frustrati in the blogosphere know much more about what can be accomplished within the confines of our government than our President, and when they choose to come out from behind their computers, make successful runs for office, win the hearts of a majority of voters, and actually lead our country, we will be ushered into Utopia. What are they waiting for?
Hahahah! Just do it! I like that. It’s so… succinct without any pesky process details. I will submit this to Obama because he needs to use his bully pulpit and his nikes and just do it.
Plus, robot sharks with warheads on them for the BP spill.
@Allison W.: oh please, what does logic and reality have to do with the self-abusing poutosphere. IF it feels good, do it.
@Joseph Nobles: No, that was last year when there WAS adequate support in Congress for killing that program to sustain a veto.
Lesson #1 in Presidential policies, never threaten a veto on something you can’t guarantee will be sustained unless you have the a loud involved public on your side. There is nothing Republicans, Blue Dogs, and New York Democrats want more than to override the President’s veto of a bill that doesn’t close Gitmo.
you know how the blogosphere started a petition on the public option, an hour after the barn door had been closed – well, once again, were are they now?
They love to scream, but when the votes are being cast they’re no where to be found.
And there’s no excuse, as rightwing pressure groups do a good job in holding congress to their pledges.
The left: they can’t be bothered with hard work, they’re too busy pouting to pound the pavement.
Spencer Ackerman says:
That might place insurmountable obstacles to the the so-called “Gitmo North” plan to transfer Guantanamo detainees to Thomson. “They can’t just create Guantanamo North and move everyone up there. That’s clearly barred,” said Chris Anders, a senior lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union who monitored yesterday’s mark-up. “It doesn’t mean that the proposal is dead, but it’s hard to see how it makes a comeback after the House Armed Services Committee says there can’t be money spent on Thomson.”
hmm, my last hope, Center for Constitutional Rights:
Edgar Allahu Akbar Pwn
Why doesn’t he just stick them in a federal prison somewhere?? That wouldn’t cost much. Why do they need a separate facility??
That or we could just say “we’ve been overseas” and Europeans aren’t concerned with endless, unconstitutional detention of innocent people at an extrajudicial prison, so what’s the big fucking deal anyway?
@Jay B.: do you maybe want to respond directly to me or continue to make snide remarks elsewhere?
Please come to Democratic club meetings here in New Jersey and tell people here why we should care about the people at Gitmo, and please lte them know this is not “treating terrorists better than regular criminals.” maybe you’ll have better luck than me.
Is anybody here a military historian? I’d like to know what the consequences would be for a country like ours to keep a much smaller standing army. Not that anybody could say for sure what would happen, where and when, or anything like that, but does anybody have any overall thoughts about this?
I don’t like the idea of having a permanent army as big as the one we have. Seems like it helps to set up 2 classes of citizens, those who serve in the military and those who don’t. We got through most of our history without a standing army, and I don’t see why we couldn’t pare down our military a good bit today. I know the U.S. today isn’t the same as the U.S. in 1839 or 1887 or 1925, but still… Do we really need as many people in uniform all the time as we have? Spending as much money as we spend? Is this healthy in the long run for a liberal democracy?
The American people are cowardly and cruel. It’s that simple. They’re also simple.
A President could use an Executive Order to close Gitmo. But that was soooo Pre-911 thinking and now we know the President has no power. It’s an honorary title, sort of like Queen of England.
Read the Post 911 Constitution for crissakes.
@Nick: Gates renews veto threat over F-35 engine
Four days ago.
@Joseph Nobles: That’s a completely different thing than a year ago.
and if that passes unanimously from the Armed Services Committee, let’s see how fast they back off the veto threat.
Besides, nobody is going to get riled up over a plane, they will over moving individuals they believe are terrorists to US soil.
Pick your battles.
No, actually, he can’t and never could.
Oh, I thought He already did. I must have been thinking of another President Obama.
@bayville: and yet it’s not closed, wonder why?
Times up, sorry, the anseer we were looking for was “because he needed funding and approval from Congress to move the damn prisoners”
Hey! You know there’s no place for facts here!
$700 billion. Way to go. Could have slashed a half-tril and still had the best-funded military in the world.
But, what’s a half-trillion dollars in a world of trillion dollar annual deficits?
Bingo. Not to mention that little thing of ordering the assassination of American citizens without trial and without charges. Which some people might consider even more serious than holding people without habeas corpus at Bagram.
What, you only just now figured out that the War on Terror will never end, Cole? Boy, you’re late to the party. The War on Terror is a witch hunt. Substitute “terrorist” for “witch,” and it’s identical to the witch hunts of the middle ages. They lasted 600 years.
Buckle up, buckaroos. This particular witch hunt should last at least 600 years.
It’s worth re-reading the
USA Patriot ActMalleus Maleficarum to see what we can learn about the future course of the War on Terror:
1) We know that a person is a
witchterrorist because that person is accused of being a witch. Accusation equals proof.
2) Anyone who denies that an accused person is a
witchterrorist is himself a witchterrorist.
3) Those accused of being
witchesterrorists must be tortured to ascertain the truth. Only under torture can a witchterrorist be revealed.
Witchesterrorists have amazing powers and astounding capabilities, so normal laws are not sufficient to deal with witchesterrorists.
5) No sacrifice of liberties is too great to prevent the threat of
witchesterrorists destroying our society by converting everyone to SatanismIslam.
6) Everyone is a potential
witchterrorist, therefore even three-year-old children must be scrutinized and, if necessary, arrested and held in locked cells.
7) It is better to kill a thousand innocent citizens than to let one
8) Once an accused person is entered onto the
register of witchesno-fly list, s/he can never be removed. The wiles of witchesterrorists are too great for mere mortals to overcome, and a witchterrorist will also succeed in fooling even the most astute law officer with false evidence. Therefore, once the judgment of witchcraftterrorism has been made, it can never be revoked.
Welcome to the future, Cole. Dust off your copy of the Malleus Maleficarum and get ready those thumbscrews and red-hot irons out. It’s gonna be a looooooong six centuries.
Just please use the pitchfork HANDLE, Enema dear.
I’m wondering why we don’t have teabaggers demanding that Ramzi Yousef, the blind sheik, and all the other 1993 WTC conspirators be removed from the Colorado supermax and shipped off to Gitmo for some fraternity pranks.
Is it because they don’t want to remind the public that these people exist, and thus explode their whole pants-wetting argument about setting terrorists “loose in the USA”? Are they afraid that someone would expose them for the racist hypocrites that they are if they don’t demand Real ‘Murkan Terry Nichols be included?
This really does sum things up doesn’t it. This is why I can’t really get mad about the fact that the whole Gulf Coast getting drowned in crude oil. Because we are an evil people, and things like the BP disaster are what evil people deserve to have happen to them. At this point, if the Yellowstone caldera opened up and incinerated us all, my last thought would be “Oh, so that’s what karma looks like up close.”
oh I see, it’s not just your worldliness which proves that the democrats and obama can let innocent people rot in hell — it’s also your jersey friends! Street AND global cred? Wow, that seals the deal. You’ve convinced me with your amazing argument: no one cares, so why should I?
The U.S. Army War College has a saying: Capabilities create intentions.
Historically, large standing armies have led to ever-increasing foreign wars of aggression, with consequent overreach and eventual collapse of the society.
The first example in Western history involves the Peloponnesian War from 431 to 404 B.C. Athens formed the Delian League in order to monopolize trade routes throughout the Mediterranean. Sparta found this slow economic strangulation unacceptable and attacked Athens, which eventually chose to embark upon a risky invasion of territory far from home (Syracuse) that was the inspiration of a charismatic politician (Alkibiades) who went from being one of the most admired pols in Athens to one of the most despised. The Syracusan expedition was poorly planned and never promised any significant military gains, and when it fell apart, the Athenian army collapsed and Athens withdrew its troops behind the walls of its city under siege. The resulting plague and social collapse led to Sparta appointing the Thirty Tyrants (wealthy Athenian citizens supportive of Spartan goals) over the Athenians. The Thirty Tyrants promptly embarked on a series of sadistic mass murders and political purges, and the Athenians eventually overthrew the Thirty Tyrants and restored democracy when one of the two Spartan kings became so repulsed by Spartan policy that he gave the Athenians tacit aid.
Historically, large standing armies typically lead to the militarization of society. This is turn generally produces imperial overreach, with consequent disintegration of society and usually the end of the dynasty that had raised the large standing army in the first place.
The Roman Empire knew better than to maintain large standing armies at home during most of their history. Most Roman legions were dispersed to the frontiers of the Roman Empire: only in times of crisis, such as Spartacus’ slave revolt or the invasion by Hannibal of Carthage, did Romans elect a temporary dictator (known as an imperator) and give him command of a large standing army in the home provinces of Rome.
It was strictly forbidden for an imperator to bring his army beyond the river (the Rubicon) that separated the capital of the Roman empire from the rest of the empire. Sulla was the first imperator to do so. Julius, who styled himself Caesar as well as imperator, was the second imperator to bring his troops into Rome itself, and that act is generally regarded as the end of civilian control over the military in the Roman empire. After the reign of Julius, elite members of the Roman legions (the Preatorian Guard) selected the emperors and control of the Roman government permanently passed from the Roman senate to the military.
Large standing armies typically gobble up such large amounts of food and material that they historically starved out the populations of the territories through which they passed during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Duke of Alba raised such a large standing army in the Eighty Years’ War that stripping the countryside of the food required to support it improverish the Dutch population and fueled the Dutch revolt of William the Silent against the Spanish incursion. At the end of the Eighty Years’ War, the Duke of Alba’s gigantic army had succeeded in losing control of the entire lowlands and bankrupting King Philip of Spain.
Luis de Requesens, the Duke of Alba’s successor, is quoted as saying:
Large standing armies were the most notable characteristic of the Napoleonic Wars. Amassed by conscription, Napoleonic armies grew so enormous that they denuded the countryside, leaving devastation in their wake as they moved. Napoleon’s army so greatly starved the Spanish peasants when he invaded Spain that his Spanish campaign led to the first European instance of guerilla warfare (the term itself is Spanish, and dates from Napoleon’s Peninsular war in Spain).
Guerillas became so successful that with the loss of 24,000 troops, Napoleon’s Peninsular campaign came to an abrupt end and Marshal Soult was forced to withdraw from Spain over the Pyrenees at the end of 1813. While the Peninsular War did not go well for France, it fared even worse for the Spanish: burden of the long guerilla war against the gigantic Grand Armee of Rance destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain and set off an era of social turbulence, political instability, and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, raged on throughout Iberia until 1850.
Napoleon’s subsequent invasion of Russia with an even larger standing army produced the well-known disaster of Napoleon’s long retreat from Moscow in October 1812.
The largest standing armies in history were those raised by conscription during WW I. The estiamted seven million dead in Russia led directly to the overthrow of the Tsar and the imposition of Soviet Communism by the Bolsheviks. The remnants of the defeated Wehrmacht, inspired by the “stab in the back” myth, proved instrumental during the 1920s in supporting Hitler’s beer hall putsch in 1928, and later his bid to become Chancellor of Germany in 1932.
Germany’s gigantic standing army in WW II led to the ill-advised Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia in 1942, with well-known and catastrophic results.
The people who wrote the constitution of the United States
viewed large standing armies with alarm and judged them incompatible with a democratic society under civilian control. James Madison, the principal author of the constitution, wrote:
[James Madison, op. cit.]
Large standing armies eventually give rise to aggressive “wars of choice,” as history shows: Athens’ Syracusan invasion and the massacre of the entire population of the island of Delos; Philip of Spain’s order to invade and execute the entire population of the Netherlands for religious deviation in the 1570s: Napoleon’s invasions of Spain and Russia with consequent civilian massacres, Germany’s invasion of France in 1914, with the 15 million subsequent civilian deaths, and the estimated 60 million civilians slaughtered as the eventual result of Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and the start of WW II.
In passing down its judgement against German war criminals in 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg described the waging of aggressive war
One far-left body-pierced fringe Marxist hippy had this to say about large standing armies:
[Dwight D. Eisenhower, 16 April 1953]
I’ve often wondered how on Earth Ike Eisenhower ever became a Republican if he was capable of holding and articulating such a leftist view of the military-industrial state. No Democrat alive today could give a speech like that without the Teatards screaming about his lack of patriotism.
It doesn’t matter at this point. There’s no difference between Gitmo and Gitmo North as long as Obama continues (and “advances”!) Bush policies on indefinite detention. And the possible public relations victory is long gone.
Neither was getting a blowjob from an intern, and yet there we were in the middle of only the second impeachment of a president in the history of our country.
If the Republicans do somehow manage to get control of Congress back while Obama is president, you’d better believe they would impeach him over a veto. What would stop them?
@V: good. I’m glad you agree. since closing gitmo makes no difference, we might as well keep it open.
No, but lying under oath was. Which is what he was impeached for. (Not that I agree with it, but let’s be honest here….as in a lot of cases the issue isn’t the deed, but the cover-up)
If you are going to make a comparison, maybe it should be an apt one?
Regardless what one thinks about the veto, it’s not a crime to use it, nor is it impeachable, even if it is against a defense appropriations bill.
And trying to argue otherwise makes one look like a fool.
Oh and if you really think Nancy Pelosi’s house would allow impeachment proceedings, your dumber than a box of rocks.
The War on Drugs has been losing steam for the first time in forty years in the last couple of years. Granted, upper-level officials still defend it, but with California about to have a referendum on the legalization of marijuana and stories like this , I have sensed a perceptible change in the general atmosphere that has never been present before. As I said people like Janet Napolitano are still saying truly sick things like “we’re fighting for teenagers lives!” even though as far as marijuana is concerned, which is by far the most consumed illegal drug, there is no way that being charged with possession is less harmful than the usage of the drug itself, so they’re destroying kids’ lives by doing this. Anyway, I’m just trying to make a point that there’s no reason to be saying “the War on Drugs is never going to end” at this point because, even though your assessment would have seemed very accurate just three years ago, at least now people are asking questions and pushing to make changes. As for the War on Terror, I think it will go on a while, maybe even the duration of our lifetimes, but it will eventually end through a violation so egregious that even the general public is outraged or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ends with Israel ceasing to exist either because of nukes or by going the same way white South Africa did.
@Mnemosyne: Clinton wasn’t impeached for getting a blowjob. He was impeached for lying about it under oath before a grand jury and before Congress – perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power. Those would have been crimes, had they been proved.
P.S.: Gates repeating veto threat over the engine issue.
The bottom line for me is — I don’t care if Congress could pass the bill over his veto. There are steps he could be taking to demonstrate good faith with this campaign promise. For whatever reason, he is not and it stinks.