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Barack Obama to Close Overseas Interrogation Sites

This combined with closing Guantanamo Bay does not give me confidence that Barack Obama is serious about protecting us from radical jihadists who are bent on killing as many Americans as possible. And it's not in line with what he said in his inauguration speech where he made it clear that he would fight our enemies. Perhaps he didn't believe what he said.

President Obama on Thursday will order the closure of so-called black sites, where CIA and European security services have interrogated terrorist suspects, under executive orders dismantling much of the Bush admistration's architecture for the war on terror, according to four individuals familiar with a draft executive order.

Mr. Obama will shutter "all permanant detention facilities overseas," the draft said, according to the individuals who asked not to be named because the orders have not yet been signed. There are at least eight such prisons, according to published reports. The Bush administration never revealed the number or location of the facilities, although several were said to be in Eastern Europe.

The individuals said there will be three executive orders. One will order the black sites closed and require all interrogations of detainees across the entire U.S. intelligence community to adhere to the U.S. Army Field Manual. The manual specifies a range of interrogation techniques that are not considered torture.

Unless this is all a ruse and he's doing this as a way of getting these centers under the radar again, this is bad news for America. Our enemies all over the world are watching Obama and what they are witnessing is a president who is afraid of showing strength. They see a president who needs to be liked by the international community. They see America as a developing target once again. And if we are attacked again, no one can blame Bush, not when Obama starts dismantling within his first 24 hours of assuming the presidency the apparatus that has so successfully protected us the past seven years.

Hat tip: Hot Air headlines

Update: Patterico weighs in:


The report suggests these orders are consistent with Obama's Inaugural Address:

"In his Inaugural address Tuesday, he said, "we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals ... Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

I know these decisions will make his supporters happy but Obama should frame the issue honestly. This isn't about ideals vs expediency. The issue is ideals vs national security.

In most cases, expedience should bow to ideals but it's not so easy to say national security should take a back seat. That's probably why Obama refused to say it that way.

I agree with Patterico that Obama seems to be redefining national security as expedience. But I do not accept Obama's premise that Bush's policies in fighting terrorism were in opposition to our ideals. Bush's policies in dealing with our enemies were in line with our ideals. We have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How does the US government protect our right to life if it does not do what it needs to do to prevent our enemies from killing us? If we are attacked again and thousands of Americans die because President Obama dismantled the apparatus that worked, how can he argue that he protected our ideals? Let me put it this way. If Obama's refusing to do enhanced interrogation techniques to uncover imminent attacks means more terrorist attacks and more American deaths here in our country and over the globe, will the American people accept those attacks and deaths when Obama says that we kept to our ideals?

And another thing: we did not torture anyone. Those who say we tortured people like Khalid Sheik Muhammad are flat out lying. They are lying about torture in an effort to intimidate us into accepting pacifism and appeasement as American ideals. They are not American ideals.

As an aside, the British living with Neville Chamberlain as their leader learned the hard way what his pacifism and appeasement in the face of an enemy determined to bend the world to its will brought them. And us.


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Comments (89)

But he's going to help supp... (Below threshold)
John:

But he's going to help support and fund abortions overseas!

In his mind, this balances out and the world will love him!

The Bush administration... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

The Bush administration never revealed the number or location of the facilities

That's okay, the NYT took care of that.

So, which country is going to be the first to pin a "Kick Me" sign on BO's back?

Three possibilites: ... (Below threshold)

Three possibilites:
1. Obama doesn't care about our security.
2. Obama is naive.
3. We will continue to detain and to interrogate, only at different/new facilites...and this is just a PR stunt.

I'm thinking possibility #2 is most likely.
http://www.rightklik.net/

I suppose that all "permane... (Below threshold)
Synova:

I suppose that all "permanent" sites doesn't mean there can't be "temporary" sites.

I wouldn't be too surprised if the idea is to get things "under the radar" again, but it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth and a knot in my stomach. Not that we shouldn't have secrets! Not that. But I heard, too often, when interrogation and detention and the *bad* stuff was discussed, the "liberal" notion that what people *thought* was more important than what was true. That maybe, if they needed to, the CIA or whoever should torture, that maybe it really was necessary, but it should never never be "officially" condoned in any way. So "public rules" on the one hand and an expectation that someone would take private action if it really were necessary... but we wouldn't have to watch.

Ick.

I'd far far rather the old, "Lets not, but say we did" be the plan to follow. Let people think the worst but do everything possible to make sure that the private actions of our, OUR!, operatives was as "clean" as possible, no matter how "dirty" their reputation.

This nation was founded on ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

This nation was founded on the ideal of liberty short of PUBLIC airing of alleged crimes with the inalienable right guaranteed of the accused to meet his accuser face to face. Also on the protestant love of the truth in place of politico-religious dogma from on high, be it from politician or Pope.

When the baby chimps say Torture, I say sodium pentathol instead. (I will go that far; I'm reasonable.) But since sodium pentathol (truth serum) is never mentioned as an option by so-called terror warriors in search of "truth" termed "actionable intelligence", we must assume that the truth is not the goal at all, but the stifling of individual liberty and liberty's never-ending battle for government's accountability for its actions.

The fact that trolls who wrap themselves in republicanism and conservatism and the red, white, and blue extol the methods of absolute monarchs, should remind us to beware of the wolves who wear sheeps' clothing. I would say "especially when they blog", but this blog is not convincing anyone, so: carry on.
depp=true
notiz=Blog this. Carry on. Mr. Broadbrush

Yes, close Guantanamo Bay.<... (Below threshold)
Justice58:

Yes, close Guantanamo Bay.

Next up...Investigations. Either We're a Nation of Laws or We're not.

Great, now we'll just kill ... (Below threshold)
SillyPuddy:

Great, now we'll just kill these fracks on the battlefield ( hey when in doubt why bother taking an HVT alive now?), and lose possible intelligence in the process, and make a mockery of our court system, naive is being nice, playing right into the enemy's hands.

You people astound me. F#$K... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

You people astound me. F#$K the constitution of the United States of America was the rallying cry of the Bush administration. Sane people, unlike you troglodytes, consider the fact of a fair trial, not just holding a fellow human being captive for the last 8 years, or eternity, without some kind of legal appearance, trial, adjudication, anything. I really don't even know why I'm posting this. You couldn't even begin to understand what this nation was founded upon, if it smacked your dumb asses in the face.

bryanD,Do you cons... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

bryanD,

Do you consider the system of military tribunals enacted to review the Guantanamo detainees' cases to be an insufficient level of justice? If so, why are they sufficient for US servicemen (and women) but not for un-uniformed foreigners captured on a foreign battlefield?

Ryan,

Same question. Guantanamo detainees have their cases reviewed by a military tribunal. Why is this acceptable for offenses committed by US servicemen (and women) abroad but unacceptable for un-uniformed foreign actors captured abroad?

Many of the detainees have been cleared for release but haven't been repatriated because:

a) there's a chance they'll be thrown in a hole/abused once back in their native country.

b) their native country doesn't want them back.

c) they don't want to go back to their native country because they fear (a) above.

d) nobody else wants them either.

The only real question is whether or not the new detention/rendition sites will be leaked to the NYT and splashed on the front page.

Oh, and Ryan, were the renditions that occurred during the Clinton administration orchestrated by "sane" people?

justice58,Under Ar... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

justice58,

Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution Congress has the power to:

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;

Terrorism being an offense against the Law of Nations and the Guantanamo detainees being Captures on Land, it seems to me that the Democrat-controlled Congress could have set the buggers free at any time over the past two years but instead chose to not alter their status. Why is that? Will Reid and Pelosi be investigated too?

And should the renditions that occurred during the Clinton administration be investigated as well? Or is this a Bush only thing?

"Our enemies all over the w... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

"Our enemies all over the world are watching Obama and what they are witnessing is a president who is afraid of showing strength"

The use of torture at secret facilities shows not strength, but weakness. It shows that in our fear we will abandon the values that made our nation great. It shows we do not have the strength to remain the shining city on the hill.

History will be the only co... (Below threshold)
tyree:

History will be the only correct judge of how useful and acceptable Obama's tactics are to our friends and enemies. Chamberlain did not want to start another World War, but that is where his polices led.
Obama might be on the right path with this, the "good cop, bad cop" routine works, in part, because both of them are cops.
Obama is inexperienced, naive and way too trusting of those, like Ayers and Osama, who would kill millions to get their change. We can just hope that the change we get is less violent and better for us than what the Koran says we are going to get.

"The opposite of war is not peace, but surrender. While it pleases the left to think of itself as the embodiment of virtue, the soldier is working for peace also, but on better terms."

Obama is not a soldier, he is a lawyer. If he thinks Osama and Ayers can be stopped with a lawsuit, he will be very, very surprised.

BryanD-- Always the classle... (Below threshold)
tyree:

BryanD-- Always the classless hate monger, was part right when he said, "This nation was founded on the ideal of liberty short of PUBLIC airing of alleged crimes with the inalienable right guaranteed of the accused to meet his accuser face to face."

Combatants in war don't have this right. Ayers, Osama, Hussein and Michael Moore are all fighting or have fought a different kind of war against this country than we have fought in the past. I hope Obama's tactics work, but every looser out there thought they had the winning hand.

This is Barry's first and b... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

This is Barry's first and biggest mistake. Only a matter of time. The left has convinced themselves that the terrorists only want to kill replublicans. Tick, tick, tick. ww

This is among President Oba... (Below threshold)
tyree:

This is among President Obama's first mistakes WildWillie. Please don't try to demean him by changing his name or title. That is a Progressive device and it is really low. Obama is our President now, and deserves the honor of the office. That was something that was denied President Bush by tens of millions of small minded, hate filled leftists. I didn't expect civil discourse from them, most of them are not capable of it, but any conservatives that act that way should be ashamed.

You point still stands, however, even though I disagree with your tone. Once Michael Moore's Minutemen get through our shield, they will slay everyone they can, except the muslims, just like they did in Mumbai.

This is very true Kim, "And... (Below threshold)
tyree:

This is very true Kim, "And if we are attacked again, no one can blame Bush, not when Obama starts dismantling within his first 24 hours of assuming the presidency the apparatus that has so successfully protected us the past seven years."

PS -Baron, your takedown of the Progressive's unreasoned position was excellent. We will see if they can marshal a reasoned response.

If you actually think that ... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

If you actually think that we "maintained" black sites in foreign countries where we took people to torture them you have been watching too much "24".

I am interested in the the phrase "showing strength". Whenever Bush opened his mouth and used some of his now famous "Bushisms", was that a sign of strength?

When the entire world was laughing at what a moron we had as a president, was that a sign of strength?


Well, I guess we're back to... (Below threshold)

Well, I guess we're back to dealing with suicidal/homicidal/genocidal terrorists as 'police work'. That worked out well during the 90s...

(I see that Great Leader's annointing did little to improve the quality of the trolls. I was a fool to hope, I guess. ~sigh~)

(Col. Jessup): You... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

(Col. Jessup):

You f***in' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, Fauxbama. That's all you did. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son.

Obama will close the sites.... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Obama will close the sites. Will he reopen others? Unknown but if he does I doubt the NY TIMES will splash it on the front page. The press has to support their man after all.

This is what scares me abou... (Below threshold)
mag:

This is what scares me about Obama...I hope I am wrong. It is too dangerous of a time to have a president with that kind of mind set.
I don't care if the rest of the world likes us..I want all of us to be safe first...and then we can argue over other policies/subjects, etc.
Tyree makes makes excellent points.

President Obama is working ... (Below threshold)
syn:

President Obama is working hard on the fast track to impeachment.

If he should overturn all of America's security tools established to defend ourselves from the enemy and there is just one attack on American soil, his presidency is a failure of massive proportion.

Great news. Obama will ea... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Great news. Obama will easily be re-elected.

This just goes along with O... (Below threshold)
MPR:

This just goes along with Obamalala's view of the Constitution being a suicide note. If you voted for him you can't be surprised. He told you so.

"Great news. Obama will eas... (Below threshold)
syn:

"Great news. Obama will easily be re-elected."

Without a doubt this is the best sarcasm of the day, sure Obama will easily be re-elected and with shiny unicorns and pie for everyone!

(One of these days the children will grow-up and become adults when they realize that serving their Dear Leader is a real killer)

It is wait and see. Once t... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

It is wait and see. Once the NYT had the info all over the pages many countries mad the request that we close them due to public out cry.

So him saying he is closing it does not really matter.
The question is what will he do out of the public eye.
Will he listen to Gates and others who know what is going on in the real world where we have troops not just in Iraq and Afghanistan but in PI and other nations?

I just hope BHO remembers he is president of the US not the world and America Interest must always supersede all others.

Hard to say Adrian. There ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Hard to say Adrian. There is clearly an element of Islamic fundamentalism that would love to wreak havoc in the West. My guess is these terrorists feel that Europe was a relatively easier target than the US under Bush. If Americans like yourself thought Bush was crazy, imagine what terrorist leaders thought when he actually received the sanction for the invasion of Iraq and kept at it even after public opinion turned against him. Mr. Obama up to this point has never been put in a position to take an unpopular stance. We will only know what kind of leader he is when he has to. I think Americans can be very fickle. If we are attacked again and they believe that our security net has been compromised under his tenure, then many Americans will not be pleased with his wisdom. If there are no foreign threats or he can downplay in importance those that are or he can ignore them (think Bill Clinton) and Mr. Obama can spend his first term concentrating on domestic issues then I think he will be re-elected. I am suspecting that given 4 years, the economy is going to turn around despite him.

...and gosh darn it, I'm go... (Below threshold)
wet willie:

...and gosh darn it, I'm going to see that people LIKE us...

And another thing:... (Below threshold)
And another thing: we did not torture anyone. Those who say we tortured people like Khalid Sheik Muhammad are flat out lying. They are lying about torture in an effort to intimidate us into accepting pacifism and appeasement as American ideals. They are not American ideals.

Kim, in that statement, do you include people like Darrel Vandeveld and Susan Crawford?

You people astound me. F#$K... (Below threshold)
TheEnforcer:

You people astound me. F#$K the constitution of the United States of America was the rallying cry of the Bush administration. Sane people, unlike you troglodytes, consider the fact of a fair trial, not just holding a fellow human being captive for the last 8 years, or eternity, without some kind of legal appearance, trial, adjudication, anything. I really don't even know why I'm posting this. You couldn't even begin to understand what this nation was founded upon, if it smacked your dumb asses in the face.
================================================

"...fellow human being...."

I wonder if YOU would consider a terrorist who will slit your throat at a moments notice, a fellow human being.

If not your throat, how about your wife's, son's, daughter, mother's, father's throat.

This is how dangerous these "human beings" are.

Get the picture?

Yes, the terrorists will hi... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Yes, the terrorists will hit us again. President Clinton was in office for a very short time when they first hit the Trade Towers.

President Bush was in office for a very short time when they hit us, again at the Trade Towers.

So there is no reason to not think we won't get hit again, in a very short time frame. The terrorists aren't stupid, although some posting here makes them out to be.

And by the President closing those secret prisons, meaning that our Gov't is now no longer in charge of them, doesn't mean prisoners won't be housed there, does it? But the right wing just try and spin the BS.

IMO, they should have tried the SOB's right after they got the info from them, then executed them. There was no need for GITMO to become a prison, except to spend more taxpayers money for the chosen few contractors.

Eh -Maybe the Pres... (Below threshold)
apb:

Eh -

Maybe the Pres is just being fiscally responsible - perhaps he's outsourcing the secret prisons, say, to Turkey.

It's the Pres' policy ball now. We haven't had an attack in the US in over 7 years because of past policy, and obliterating the al Qaeda dupes in the Iraq honeypot. If there IS another attack here, it will be based on the current Pres' policies, and he can deal with the fallout.

Don't need secret overseas ... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Don't need secret overseas facilities. I propose areas in downtown Detroit and San Francisco along with Manhattan and DC be named "Torture-free Zones". They'd have midnight basketball, maksmanship ranges, and big arrows painted on the asphalt that point towards Mecca, all surroumded by a picket fence that the interned innocents pledge not to jump.

Of course the endgame is for Hollywood, the MSM, and the legion of lefty asshats to feel SOOOOO good about themselves for their worldliness and compassion.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Rest assured that should an... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Rest assured that should an attack take place, the MSM will work 24/7 to place blame squarely on Bush. Hussein simply didn't have time to correct the terrible situation created by Bush. All of the ill will, the viscious murders of "civilians", the "occupation" of Iraq...on and on it would go. Those predisposed to swallow this nonsense would do so. Of course the facts about the weakening/destruction of our defenses against attack would not have been reported.

The Army Field Manual? What... (Below threshold)

The Army Field Manual? What's next, interrogations with milk and cookies?

I vote for the full and com... (Below threshold)
Aye_Chihuahua:

I vote for the full and complete application of, and compliance with, the Geneva Conventions.

These, and all future battlefield captives, should be given speedy field trials and, if found guilty, they should be executed by firing squad or the gallows.

They were captured while fighting among civilian populations. They were fighting while not wearing uniforms.

Follow the GCs to the letter.

Field trials.

Execution.

Simple.

"And another thing: we did ... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

"And another thing: we did not torture anyone. Those who say we tortured people like Khalid Sheik Muhammad are flat out lying."

Just to clarify, Kim. Are you saying KSM was not waterboarded, or that waterboarding is not torture?

I do not support torture, but I do not support pacifism as a national policy, and I do not support appeasement.

As an aside, the ... (Below threshold)
jmc:
As an aside, the British living with Neville Chamberlain as their leader learned the hard way what his pacifism and appeasement in the face of an enemy determined to bend the world to its will brought them. And us.


Kim Do you ever even bother looking into history, or do you just make up whatever comparison suits your demented worldview?

T]he great privilege of habeas corpus, and of trial by jury, which are the supreme protection invented by the English people for ordinary individuals against the State . . . -The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers-is, in the highest degree, odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian governments .

- Winston Churchill


Chruchill also insited that POWs be treated respectfully. As he felt that would improve the chances of Bristish troops being treated respectfully.

Don't worry though, I know a little thing like what Churchil beleived on the subject won't stop you from accusing those who agree with Chruchill of being Chamberlains.

It's very sad, really. You ... (Below threshold)
Libertyman13:

It's very sad, really. You people clearly have no idea what is going on. Why wouldn't we want to just round up these people and throw them into a detention center? Sure, we might not be 100% positive that they are terrorists, and we might not have enough proof to convict them of a crime or to try them with a military tribunal, but that doesn't matter. Obviously we have a feeling that they are terrorists, and we don't need to prove that to anyone. Lock them up, torture them, as long as it doesn't affect

Some people talk on here about wanting to be nice to terrorists. The fact is, even though the issue isn't whether we're being nice to terrorists or not, but instead whether these people are terrorists at all and get the chance to prove they are not. I won't stand for it, though. Even if they can prove they aren't terrorists, we should keep them locked up, just in case.

All these people are missing the point. The issue isn't whether we can tell that these people are terrorists. It doesn't matter if we can tell or we can't. And all these bleeding hearts out there think we should give these people a chance to prove that they aren't involved so we can release them. I say screw that--they shouldn't have been living in those countries in the first place. I know that if there is a 1% chance that these people are terrorists, they should never get the chance to get out even if we aren't sure and we can't prove it. This is America, people. We need to make sure we get everyone that could ever pose a threat to us and lock them up, just in case. Let God sort them out. Except since they are Muslims and hate Jesus, they'll be going to hell. Good riddance I say.

Some people on here have it right. Safety first--then we'll worry about whether we are undermining our values and way of life, once nobody in the world hates us anymore. People who talk about things like "the Constitution" and "liberty" and "due process" are living in a pre-9/11 world. Things have changed. We don't have time to respect the niceties of the Geneva Convention. We can't afford to be methodical or to try to avoid angering large segments of the population in countries that already have serious mistrust for us. We simply don't have time for it. We can't let outdated traditions like the rule of law continue to get in the way of our complete safety. I say its time we did away with all those ridiculously quaint notions right now. It's time to move on to an America where we are all safe. Sure, any one of us could be rounded up at any time on suspicion of terrorism and we could never get out, but that's the price we've got to be willing to pay if we want to be marginally more sure of our safety. Sure, we'll never get privacy from the government, but for the time being everything we do is perfectly legal. And if they decide to outlaw something we do engage in because it is deemed un-American and we get rounded up, its our own fault.

This is why I am certain Ba... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

This is why I am certain Barry will have a failed presidency. He just gave in to the left even knowing by his daily briefings how active the terrorist community is.

The terrorists had no trouble staying together, they did during GW's presidency have a very hard time to find a country to host them for training and what not. The country knew they would get their ass kicked. Not now. Terrorists will now have sancuary again in some countries. All for votes. Shame on you Obama.

Just Ice, you guys lost the rule of law argument with Clinton. Live with it.

Also, the only people that are sure we tortured terrorists are lefties. So, basicall, just like Bush trounced the constitution, it is a lie.

Obama very definitely weakened our great country today. ww

LibertymanI'd say ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Libertyman

I'd say about 80% of the country disagrees with your point of view. But that's alright. You know that it's patriotic to dissent. Well, at least those of us who aren't wingnuts know.

And by the President clo... (Below threshold)

And by the President closing those secret prisons, meaning that our Gov't is now no longer in charge of them, doesn't mean prisoners won't be housed there, does it?

Allen, this is life in LaLa Land. Do you honestly think that, for example, if there's a "black camp" in Romania that Romanians are just going to say 'Sure, we'll run this prison for you, and you can leave the terrorist thugs here, too. No problem!' Of what possible interest would it be to the host country to keep open such a facility.

There are also roughly 70 detainees that Bush sought to repatriate but couldn't because no country wants them or the US knew they would likely be tortured at home. And now Obama thinks he can those countries to take them. Now who's acting arrogantly?

IMO, they should have tried the SOB's right after they got the info from them, then executed them.

Tried them under what entity--civil or military courts/tribunals? We tried the latter and the SC said they were illegal, then foolishly ruled that detainess be granted habeus corpus to detainees where much of the evidence against the combatants could potentially be inadmissable due to the sketchy and imperfect nature of its collection on the battlefield. There's not a defense lawyer that won't leap at the chance to get the "evidence" thrown out under civilan law.
So now what?

Peter F.: Actually, the Sup... (Below threshold)
Libertyman13:

Peter F.: Actually, the Supreme Court determined that the Combat Review Status Board couldn't conclude that people were enemy combatants without proof. And, the habeas challenges essentially permit the detainees to prove their innocence if they aren't given a tribunal, rather than obtain a civil trial.

Either way, both decisions are pre-9/11 thinking. Why should these people get a chance to prove that they are innocent? It's enough that we suspect they are terrorists. Next we'll start having criminals within the U.S. who are suspected of crimes saying that they should be presumed innocent!

If you like the anarchy of liberty and the rule of law, go ahead, support Obama's actions. If you want people in other countries to see that the U.S. values liberty and due process like a bunch of cowards, support his policies. If you want to beat the terrorists, we have to think and act like them. You can only fight fire with fire.

If you want to be a little safer, then like me you'll be happy to give up all your privacy and trust in the government to watch over you. Not that I'd trust them to help give health care to people. Only for making moral choices for me and summarily deciding who is innocent and guilty without bothering with a trial.

Call me crazy, but I really... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Call me crazy, but I really thought that when Obama was announced the winner the lefties here would somehow show a little more decorum, use a little less foul language, refrain from so many ad hominem attacks and generally be of good nature and cheer in light of their victory.

Boy was I wrong.

#39: Things have changed... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

#39: Things have changed. We don't have time to respect the niceties of the Geneva Convention. We can't afford to be methodical or to try to avoid angering large segments of the population in countries that already have serious mistrust for us.

If this were true--and it isn't, obviously--then there would be no reason to prefer the destruction of terrorists to the destruction of America and her allies.

Some seriously f*cked up people in your country, but thankfully they're a moral and demographic minority. Do carry on, though, if this particular variety of impotent internet bleating makes you feel safer or gives you a sense that you're somehow contributing to real discourse on homeland defense. Remember, though, that just because you think it's necessary to use your Constitution as toilet paper when insane militants vow to destroy Western civilization, doesn't mean anybody with any real authority in this new administration is stupid enough to take your ilk seriously.

Libertyman13: nice try.</p... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Libertyman13: nice try.

I love how these moron left... (Below threshold)
Indiana Alex:

I love how these moron lefties embrace the principles of the founders when it comes to comforting terrorists, but completely miss the parts about how limited the powers of the Federal Government should be.

Try? I wasn't even attempti... (Below threshold)
Libertyman13:

Try? I wasn't even attempting to hide my sarcasm. A little too close to home there, Oyster? I can't help it if the arguments that are made for your side lend themselves so easily to what I said. In fact, so easily that people responded to the most ridiculous arguments of ceding law and liberty to the government as if I were a true blue conservative.

Indiana Alex: what exactly are you referring to? I know its in your talking points, but what powers do you mean?

And Oyster, please read through the comments. I think you'll see, as usual, that most of the logical fallacies, appeals to authority, and other rhetorical failures are on your side, my friend.

Hyper, I know about 3000 fa... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, I know about 3000 families who know what a terrorist(s) can do to them in a single day. Even if they were a minority, they are not a impotent minority you uncaring heartless canadian.

Being a superpower has many benefits, but some negatives. One is that some countries hate us for being a superpower. Muslims hate us for our lifestyle. YOu lefties convinced yourselves that terrorists only want to kill republicans. So misguided.

Obama weakened our great country today for votes. ww

Oyster,Look at the... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Oyster,

Look at the scoring for L-man's posts. And then look at the scoring for hyper's refutation. Then look at the scoring when L-man drops his pose. What does it show?

If you want to be ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
If you want to be a little safer, then like me you'll be happy to give up all your privacy and trust in the government to watch over you.

Wow, the NWO plants are out in force, today. Sorry, *cough* libertyman3, but when you say stuff like the above quote, you are lying right through your teeth. No, I will not forget the Bill of Rights created for the United States of America, especially articles IV through VII. So you can take your "no privacy nore human rights = happiness" and shove it.

Look at the scorin... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Look at the scoring for L-man's posts. And then look at the scoring for hyper's refutation. Then look at the scoring when L-man drops his pose. What does it show?

It shows squat, Dave. It also shows you want people to limit their thinking to comment votes.

@ 51 should be *nor... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

@ 51 should be *nor

reagan managed to keep us s... (Below threshold)
greg v:

reagan managed to keep us safe from terrorism (in an era rife with it) without resorting to shadowy prisons and rendition. Why does everyone have such a problem now? I didn't hear people screaming that we NEEDED these things back then.

...reagan managed to kee... (Below threshold)

...reagan managed to keep us safe from terrorism (in an era rife with it) without resorting to shadowy prisons and rendition.

Your view of history is short. Reagan did partake in renditions, and so did Clinton. It wasn't until the late 90s and post 9/11 that "rendition" became part of the Average Joe's lexicon and came to the forefront.

Oh, and in both Reagan's and Clinton's cases they didn't have "black sites/camps" because they weren't involved in large-scale offensive military operations that would capture a great number of key and important terrorists like we have been doing since 9/11.

Greg -First - the ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Greg -

First - the terrorism you describe was mostly small scale - hijackings (where the people were needed to serve a political purpose) and the occasional terrorist attack in the ME. The first really organized (at least that I'm aware of) large scale operation was the Munich massacre in '72. But after that, there wasn't much and they were considered local problems until the first WTC bombing.

Second - that there wasn't a perceived need for something like that THEN doesn't mean that situations are always going to stay the same or that the folks in the know aren't going to decide something like that IS needed. Very few things stay stable in this world, and international relations (as well as law) have a tendency to go for the most expedient solutions, not the most ethically pleasing.

Third - it's only been fairly recently determined by the media that the 'public's right to know' trumps all other considerations - particularly when the information is classified. The problem with them blabbing classified info is that it's not supposed to be leaked.

But I'm pretty sure that classified stuff that was leaked - and then widely publicised by the media - under the Bush administration won't even be hinted at under Obama.

JFO - "I'd say about 80... (Below threshold)
Marc:

JFO - "I'd say about 80% of the country disagrees with your point of view."

If you're referring to closing Gitmo your figures are out to lunch and B. Hussein Obama is going against public opinion.

Here is a small example of ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Here is a small example of the craziness that resides within the U.S. court system:

In June, the Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that Gitmo detainees are entitled to seek their freedom through federal habeas corpus cases.

Last month, federal Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered 17 Chinese Uighers captured in Afghan terrorist camps to be produced in his courtroom.

He intended to release them to the Washington, D.C., Uigher community.

Fortunately, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction blocking the move.

Washington has made the claim the Chinese Muslim Uighurs would face persecution if they returned home. They have said the same for the Libyans, Uzbeks and Algerians who are also at risk.

Chruchill also ins... (Below threshold)
Chruchill also insited that POWs be treated respectfully.

POWs, yes, terrorists, not so much.

Violent aggressors who prey primarily on civilians, fly no flag, wear no uniform, and represent the armed forces of no country are not "POWs" but rather most resemble pirates.

And Churchill, you should know, would have no qualms about hanging pirates from the nearest yardarm.

Probably it is a waste of t... (Below threshold)
Mandy:

Probably it is a waste of time to tell someone who believes that Guantanamo Bay protects us from "radical jihadists" that it did nothing of the sort; rather it created such people where none before existed and eroded the Constituion of the United States. Those of us in RealityLand are delighted that Obama tood an imediate step toward restoring the USA to a state of civilization.

Oh, so the 9/11 hijackers w... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Oh, so the 9/11 hijackers were all motivated by the Guantanmo camp - which hadn't been built yet?

Okay. When did they invent time travel?

What Marc has omitted is th... (Below threshold)
Libertyman13:

What Marc has omitted is that those men been deemed not to be enemy combatants.

OregonMuse, while we can debate whether the detainees are pirates or terrorists or whatever, the point is that nobody knows what they are. Why do you think so many of them have been deemed not to be enemy combatants?

By your logic, even those who are innocent and accidentally (or as was the case sold by Afghanis into US Custody for awards offered) should be hung from the yardarm.

What is clear from this type of war is that the enemy is not immediately identifiable in many cases. This suggests that extra caution should be taken to avoid inflaming a populace that already has severe misgivings.

If we are willing to grab innocents and throw them in detention camps, commit what is at best soft torture (this is probably largely reserved for the actual enemy, I hope!), we honestly have ceded the higher moral ground--which, even if you for some reason discount for its intrinsic value and American way of life, is a strategic asset. You don't think Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and Lord knows what other facilities are helping al-qaeda recruitment? Now THAT is naive.

La,Actually it sho... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

La,

Actually it shows one of three things, none mutually exclusive of any of the others. Either 1) a lot of people on this site vote in a Pavlovian manner (looks conservative, I'll vote for), 2) People weren't perceptive enough to see that L-man was goofing, 3) Some people actually agreed with what he wrote. My choice would be 4) All of the above.

The truth is I wish people would write more careful, thoughtful responses.

Mandy - "Probably it is... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Mandy - "Probably it is a waste of time to tell someone who believes that Guantanamo Bay protects us from "radical jihadists" that it did nothing of the sort; rather it created such people where none before existed and eroded the Constituion [sic] of the United States.

And of course you can place a reliable figure on that right? How many were created?

As for your "nothing of the sort," the Pentagon begs to differ.

We started with 740 detaine... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

We started with 740 detainees at Gitmo, now we have approximately 230.

Who set all these murdering bastards free?

Barrack Obama?

As L-man points out so well, what we have with respect to the detainees is a whole load of unknown unknowns. We don't know and we don't know we don't know, because we think we know. It a big black stinking hole.

Lman13 - "What Marc has... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Lman13 - "What Marc has omitted is that those men been deemed not to be enemy combatants."

Yeah you go ahead and hang your hat on that, in the meanwhile perchance can you provide evidence that shows the 17 Chinese Uighers WEREN'T captured in Afghan terrorist camps?

You know, like they were local delivery boys of the NYT or WaPo?

Of maybe passing Llama/sheep herders?

Quick Cassy,What d... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Quick Cassy,

What did Neville Chamberlain do?

Excuse me, sorry, Cassy.</p... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Excuse me, sorry, Cassy.

Kim, what did Neville Chamberlain do?

"A little too close to h... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"A little too close to home there, Oyster?"

A) Your thinly veiled accusation is duly noted, although you have no idea what my thoughts are on the issue of security/liberty.

B) I am not your friend.

Neville Chamberlain, appeas... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Neville Chamberlain, appeasement is thy name.

Lets see.. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1937 to 1940.

Signed the disastrous Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany.

His "containment" policy of Germany led to him summarily being booted out (resigned if you prefer) in 1940, after Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

So much for "containment."

I asked Kim, Marc. But you ... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

I asked Kim, Marc. But you get a gold star anyway. Mr. Kotter, Mr. Kotter, ooh, ohh, Mr. Kotter (I know the answer!!!)

Now second question, my star pupil, what land has Barrack Obama conceded to an aggressive enemy. Clue - it's not Afghanistan.

The truth is I wis... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
The truth is I wish people would write more careful, thoughtful responses.

Dave, you are the one who doesn't think. You are one of many who will never accept the truth because you are so stuck in your own world of "thoughtfulness". It's no one else's fault you focus too much on the surface and refuse to see what has happened to this country.

What is clear from this type of war is that the enemy is not immediately identifiable in many cases.

L13~Yes it is. You work for them. Your "give up your privacy to the government for safety" is a dead give-away. Inflaming populace? If you are really that naive, let me spell it out for you. There is nothing lucky about the number 13, and the people you are shilling for could give a rat's as* about you, as well as the dissenters. When they have used you up, you're done, and that is the whole idea: A war with no winners.

Just read a transcript of P... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Just read a transcript of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' first press conference, this subject was part of it:

QUESTION: Robert, how can you say the executive order on Guantanamo Bay -- you can say clearly made America safer today, when it doesn't seem like you really have a plan yet about where the detainees are going to go?

GIBBS: Well, one of the -- I think one of the things that the commission and one of the things that the executive orders does is begin the process whereby the current administration can examine what exactly is going on and who exactly is there. ...

That's why I was careful in saying that the process by which this will undertake over the course of up to one year will determine, as Greg laid out, who's involved in what status of detainee, which group that they're involved in, and ultimately study how best to -- to deal with them in a way that protects our country, protects our values, and administers justice.

QUESTION: So these are terror suspects, and the American people are hearing, "Washington's going to study it." They're going to find out for a few more months, what are we going to do with these detainees? So what...

GIBBS: Well, it is day two. ...

QUESTION: No, but he was talking about it on the campaign for months, on Guantanamo Bay.

QUESTION: But the bottom line is that you've been talking about it -- the president talked about it on the campaign trail. People have studied this for a long time. And you're now signing the executive order without a plan for where the detainees will be. What assurances can you give the...

GIBBS: No. No, we've signed an executive order to establish the plan for what happens.

QUESTION: But what assurance can you give the American people that these detainees just won't wind up out on the streets, won't go back to their home countries and launch new terror attacks?

GIBBS: I can assure them that that -- all of -- all of what you just enumerated will be undertaken and studied as part of a commission to look into these very complex, very detailed questions.


Gee, I'm reassured (NOT!) the order has been issued and signed and they haven't clue #1 of what to do with them.

La,Yes, that's the... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

La,

Yes, that's the culprit - rational thought.
What passes for depth with you are paranoid delusions about the plot to destroy America.
There is nothing wrong with you that a course of anti-depressants and Thorazine wouldn't cure. What you call surface is what sane, happy people call reality.

It's amazing, isn't it Marc... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

It's amazing, isn't it Marc. Barry closes Gitmo for political points for the left. He is playing with our safety to make political points.

GW may have had faults, but I believed him when he said he takes the safety and security of our nation above all else.

Now? Not so much. ww

Meanwhile, the Obama EU spe... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Meanwhile, the Obama EU speech doesn't seem to have had much effect on the French Gov. (there for the free concert no doubt)

If he was expecting any help from the French (and who in the right mind would?) in Afghanistan he may as well wish in one and sh*t in the other.

There's no help to be had.

That's one major NATO ally down. Well actually two we already know the Germans in Afghanistan drink too much and they're too fat to fight.

GW may have had f... (Below threshold)
jmc:
GW may have had faults, but I believed him when he said he takes the safety and security of our nation above all else.

Certainly above the constitution, our liberty, or the ideals this nation was founded on.

I fail to understand how pu... (Below threshold)

I fail to understand how putting dangerous people in prison compromises our values in any way (particularly when those dangerous people are not American citizens).

I fail to underst... (Below threshold)
jmc:
I fail to understand how putting dangerous people in prison compromises our values in any way (particularly when those dangerous people are not American citizens

T]he great privilege of habeas corpus, and of trial by jury, which are the supreme protection invented by the English people for ordinary individuals against the State . . . -The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers-is, in the highest degree, odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian governments .

- Winston Churchill

Do you people honestly thin... (Below threshold)
justin:

Do you people honestly think that Obama is going to allow radical terrorists to walk free? This is all about reshaping our image across the world, which has been severely contaminated the last ten years. Guantanamo and the CIA Prisions, to a lesser degree, has become a recruiting tool for terrorists. Closing these locations, with a proper methods to handle those within them, will do us nothing but good in a world who thinks we do nothing but torture innocent people.

As to the posters who have said the military tribunals are sufficient. They are for service members. However, the level of evidence needed to convict is so much lower for the enemy combatant cases. These people have been held for 5-8 years without so much as an administrative review of the evidence held against them.

Do you people hone... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Do you people honestly think that Obama is going to allow radical terrorists to walk free?

They are not just going to walk free, they will be used against the only true enemy of the NWO. Take a wild guess as to who that is.

"Do you people honestly thi... (Below threshold)
tyree:

"Do you people honestly think that Obama is going to allow radical terrorists to walk free?"

We really don't know what he is going to do. We do know that he thinks that military courts are good enough for our soldiers but not good enough for hate filled muslim terrorists.
We also know that many leftists still hate Republicans and the President Bush. Give up the hate, Progressives, we are going to need each other when the muslims attack us again, which they have been doing for about 1400 years.

From Instapundit:Q... (Below threshold)
tyree:

From Instapundit:

QUESTIONS ABOUT Leon Panetta, rendition, and torture. "It is indeed hypocritical to condemn certain intelligence procedures as unethical when practiced by a Republican Administration, and remain silent when these very same procedures are exercised under Democratic rule."

What he said.

Not in my backyard, Obama ... (Below threshold)
Mia:

Not in my backyard, Obama - send them ALL to Chicago

jmc,I really do lo... (Below threshold)
Aye Chihuahua:

jmc,

I really do love the way you selectively quote Churchill, while completely and utterly ignoring the opportunity to quote the Geneva Conventions, which, in reality, is the only group of laws/regulations that should be referenced in regard to battlefield detainees.

Unless you can show me examples of Churchill's Brits capturing people on foreign battlefields of WWII and then giving them habeas rights then your point is moot, your efforts wasted.

Sorry about that.

The GCs are clear.

Field trials.

Convictions.

Executions.

It's that simple and no amount of twisting and squirming will change that.

One other thing jmc.<... (Below threshold)
Aye Chihuahua:

One other thing jmc.

Do you know what/who Churchill was referencing with that quote?

Hint: It wasn't someone captured on a foreign battlefield. It wasn't even a citizen of a foreign country. Churchill was referencing a British citizen.

jmc:Here's a quote... (Below threshold)
boqueronman:

jmc:

Here's a quote from the 12 Nov 2005 UK Guardian, a leftist rag which I assume you greatly admire.

"The British government operated a secret torture centre during the second world war to extract information and confessions from German prisoners, according to official papers which have been unearthed by the Guardian.
More than 3,000 prisoners passed through the centre, where many were systematically beaten, deprived of sleep, forced to stand still for more than 24 hours at a time and threatened with execution or unnecessary surgery."

Perhaps, as with all politicians, words are just tools to gain advantage. Or perhaps this was so secret even Winston Churchill wasn't told about it!

What a "maroon" you are.

Difficult questions, follow... (Below threshold)
Aye Chihuahua:

Difficult questions, followed by dead silence.

Not even any crickets singing.

Hmmmm....

closing Guantanamo represen... (Below threshold)

closing Guantanamo represents a step in the right direction; pretty soon the U.S. will be able to join the world community once again




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