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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Brendan Smialowski - Bloomberg)

Here's one thing that hasn't changed in the Obama era: Republicans are still able to come up with scare tactics that turn Senate Democrats into a terrified and incoherent bunch of mewling babies.

It's hard to imagine anything more ridiculous than the suggestion that bringing some of the terror suspects currently incarcerated in Guantanamo to high-security prisons in America will pose a threat to local communities.

It is nothing more than a bogeyman argument, easily refuted with a little common sense. (Isn't that what prisons are for?) But that's assuming you don't spend your every moment living in fear of Republican attack ads questioning your devotion to the security of the country. Or that you have a modicum of respect for the intelligence of the American public.

Ah well. Old habits die hard, I guess. And Senate Democrats apparently remain an easily frightened bunch, after eight years of faint-hearted submission.

Here's a question. Democratic congressional leaders ostensibly want to close Guantanamo, which they recognize has become the ultimate symbol of the Bush administration's violations of human rights. They acknowledge that keeping it open only makes the country less safe -- and that any number of the detainees there have been imprisoned sometimes cruelly and often under false pretenses, for as long as seven years. So they want all the detainees there to -- what? Vanish? Die? How do they expect any other country to take custody of anyone if we refuse to do it ourselves?

Worrying about releasing prisoners here is one thing. But refusing to even consider putting them in our prisons is nonsense. It it tantamount to insisting that Guantanamo stay open.

But as Shailagh Murray writes in The Washington Post: "Under pressure from Republicans and concerned about the politics of relocating terrorism suspects to U.S. soil, Senate Democrats rejected President Obama's request for funding to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and vowed to withhold federal dollars until the president decides the fate of the facility's 240 detainees...

"As recently as last week, Senate Democrats had hoped to preserve a portion of Obama's Guantanamo funding request. But their resolve crumbled in the face of a concerted Republican campaign warning of dire consequences if some detainees ended up in prisons or other facilities in the United States, a possibility that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has acknowledged."

Specifically, as the Associated Press is now reporting, the Senate voted 90 to 6 today for an amendment that would keep any detainee held in the Guantanamo prison from being transferred to the United States.

Here's the transcript of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's nonsensical news conference yesterday.

Reid: "I think there's a general feeling... that the American people, and certainly the Senate, overwhelmingly doesn't want terrorists to be released in the United States. And I think we're going to stick with that...."

Q. "No one's talking about releasing them. We're talking about putting them in prison somewhere in the United States."

Reid: "Can't put them in prison unless you release them."

Q. "Sir, are you going to clarify that a little bit? I mean -- "

Reid: "I can't -- I can't -- I can't make it any more clear than the statement I have given to you. We will never allow terrorists to be released in the United States. I think the majority -- I speak for the majority of the Senate....

Q. "[I]f a detainee is adjudicated not to be a terrorist, could that detainee then enter the United States?"

Reid: "Why don't we wait for a plan from the president? All we're doing now is nitpicking on language that I have given you. I've been as clear as I can. I think I've been pretty clear...."

Q. "But Senator, Senator, it's not that you're not being clear when you say you don't want them released. But could you say -- would you be all right with them being transferred to an American prison?"

Reid: "Not in the United States."

Q. (OFF-MIKE)

Reid: "I think I've had about enough of this."

Joseph Williams writes in the Boston Globe: "The decision to buck the president on Guantanamo left Democrats on the defensive and Republicans reveling at the discord....

"Caroline Frederickson, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington legislative office, said she and others...believe that the White House and Democrats are reacting to Republican fearmongering about terrorists on US soil.

"Any legitimate terror suspect, she said, would almost certainly be held in remote, high-security 'supermax' federal prisons, which are already home to convicted terrorists like British shoe bomber Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged 20th hijacker of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"'That's what these prisons are designed for,' she said."

David M. Herszenhorn writes in the New York Times: "On Tuesday Republicans, including the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has been warning for weeks about the dangers of closing the prison, applauded the Democrats' decision.

"At a news conference, Mr. McConnell said he hoped it was a prelude to keeping the camp open and dangerous terrorism suspects offshore, where he said they belong."

Herszenhorn writes: "Administration officials have indicated that if the Guantánamo camp closes as scheduled more than 100 prisoners may need to be moved to the United States, including 50 to 100 who have been described as too dangerous to release.

"Of the 240 detainees, 30 have been cleared for release. Some are likely to be transferred to foreign countries, though other governments have been reluctant to take them. Britain and France have each accepted one former detainee. And while as many as 80 of the detainees will be prosecuted, it remains unclear what will happen to those who are convicted and sentenced to prison."

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said yesterday that Obama will be giving a speech tomorrow on his Guantanamo plans, as well as other issues relating to detainees and detention policy.

"Thursday he'll outline his thoughts on detainee and detention issues, as well as the other issues like photos and memos," Gibbs said. "He'll outline the reasoning of why he strongly believes, and many in both parties believe, that closing Guantanamo Bay is in our best national security and foreign policy interest. And he will go through a number of the decisions related to that and other issues that we've discussed in the last few weeks that all relate to it."

Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei write for Politico: "Obama advisers are comparing Thursday's speech to his big-picture Georgetown University speech on the economy last month — not intended necessarily to produce 'hard news' but a sustained effort to describe and defend his policies and the political and intellectual assumptions behind them."

They also note that former vice president Cheney will be giving his own national-security speech tomorrow morning at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

Glenn Greenwald blogs for Salon: "The 'debate' over all the bad and scary things that will happen if Obama closes Guantanamo and we then incarcerate those detainees in American prisons is so painfully stupid even by the standards of our political discourse that it's hard to put into words."

One key step in the process, Greenwald writes, entails "'Journalists' who are capable of nothing other than mindlessly reciting what they hear...depicting the Right's frightened neurosis as a Serious argument, and then overnight, a consensus emerges: Democrats are in big trouble politically unless they show that they, too, are as deeply frightened as the Right is."

Kevin Drum blogs for Mother Jones: "His own party won't support him against even the most transparent and insipid demagoguery coming from the conservative noise machine. The GOP's brain trust isn't offering even a hint of a substantive case that the U.S. Army can't safely keep a few dozen detainees behind bars in a military prison, but Dems are caving anyway. Because they're scared."

Also see Jon Stewart's take on the issue from last night's Daily Show.

Meanwhile, in a bit of related news, Josh Gerstein reports for Politico: "A federal judge has rejected aspects of the Obama administration's definition of who can legally be held as a prisoner in the war on terror.

"In a 22-page decision issued Tuesday evening, U.S. District Court Judge John Bates ruled that members in Al Qaeda or the Taliban could be detained, but that mere support for Al Qaeda activities is not a sufficient basis for the government to hold prisoners at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere.

"Bates said he pressed the Justice Department to explain why rendering assistance to Al Qaeda was enough to lock someone up without criminal charges.

"'After repeated attempts by the Court to elicit a more definitive justification for the 'substantial support' concept in the law of war, it became clear that the government has none,' wrote Bates, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush."

Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press takes a somewhat different view of the ruling, writing that the judge did allow the United States to hold some prisoners indefinitely.

By Dan Froomkin  |  May 20, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

So, yet again, it is all the GOP's fault.

Froomkin and the rest of the hyper-partisan liberals need to grow up and realize that part of controlling Congress and the White House is responsibility for their own policy discussions. Enough of the GOP bashing. They are out of power.

Posted by: clydle | May 20, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid has been sabotaging the Democratic Party in the Senate for far too long. Dick Durbin is next in line for majority leader if Reid is removed, isn't he? I'd take that tradeoff.

I really hope ActBlue can identify and promote a progressive candidate willing to mount a primary challenge against him this year. Reid represents an enormous wasted opportunity to capitalize on what the nation already voted for.

(The sad thing is he appears by all rights to be a nice, grandfatherly type of guy. He's just been out of his league in dealing with the current GOP. He needs to go back home and spend time with the grandchildren or something so his spinelessness doesn't affect as many people.)

Posted by: BigTunaTim | May 20, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"The Republicans scared us" isn't much of a defense for being incompetent and fragmented. The libs are showing their true colors. None of them have a clue.

Posted by: RobParker | May 20, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't see any GOP bashing here. The article is about the incoherent policy position of the Democratic Majority Leader. The GOP does not want to close Gitmo and they appear to be getting their wish. I suppose if you think Gitmo should be closed then you might view the GOP's position in a negative light. But, it's hard to figure out how reporting on their policy position could be considered bashing in any case.

Posted by: fletc3her | May 20, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Boy - this time the Democratic Senate Leadership got Cheneyed! Scared by the Sith Lord that just scared Obama into not releasing the prisoner abuse photographs. But this excuse is even worse than Obama's! This mantra coming from the GITMO apologists that Obama and crew are going to cuddle the terrorists that caused 9/11 is ludicrous! First of all, most of the GITMO prisoners are either lowly foot soldiers, or in many cases, innocent civilians turned over to the US for the bounty. Secondly, if tried (properly, not via the kangaroo court of GW's tribunals) and found guilty of supporting terrorist activities against the US, these prisoners are not going to 'Club Fed' as we hear from the right. Supermax prisons are no fun - have any of the GITMO apologists ever seen one or been to one? There are more dangerous people in Supermax than the vast majority of the GITMO detainees! Thirdly, how would the US feel if say Iran was holding US citizens in Iranian prison uncharged? Oh wait - that just happened!

I think the real reason is that the GITMO apologists are concerned that the public will find out via the proper tribunal that most of these detainees were improperly imprisoned - not hardened terrorists prior to incarceration, but now madder than hell at the US from imprisoning them inappropriately. So thus GW and his cronies are responsible for creating terrorists - not incarcerating them.

GITMO goes against US and international rules - and like torture could be considered a war crime. That is why the right is so shrill about this. They are concerned what will be found out.

Posted by: cpusss | May 20, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@clydle: "So, yet again, it is all the GOP's fault."

Ignoring the fact that you read into the article what you wanted to see, haven't you guys realized by now that mocking reality doesn't make it any less real? The claim inherent in all such complaints is that a political party cannot possibly be responsible for screwing so many things up. And yet, you look at the history books and it's right there.

You cannot destroy an economy while in power and absolve yourself of all responsibility as soon as power changes hands. We don't open a new vacuum-packed America with the inauguration of each president. Just as Bush had to deal with that terrible budget surplus left to him by Clinton, so too does Obama have to deal with the endless wars begun by Bush.

It's a shame that you apparently take the catastrophic failure of the GOP personally because it entrenches you in your wingnut mindset. Enjoy your extended stay in the minority.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | May 20, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi and Reid = Weakness, ideology, lobbiest sell-outs, and failure.

REPLACE PELOSI AND REID TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S EFFORTS AS WE FIX AMERICA!

Posted by: onestring | May 20, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Let'see. The WH tells the GOP "we don't need you", Pelosi and the House tell the GOP, "We don't need your votes for any legislation we want to pass", Reid and the Senate tell the GOP, "We really don't need you, we can pass legislation without you".

All of a sudden when the Dems break rank with The One, it is all the GOP's fault. When is the left going to stand up for their actions and stop blaming the GOP? The GOP is dead at this time for all intent and purpose. If some members, and the number is growing, are refusing to follow Pelosi and Obama off a cliff, perhaps it has more to do with common sense and a feeling that Obama is wrong than any buying into GOP talking points.

Believe it or not, not everyone that voted for Obama is liking the taste of Obama's kool-aid these days. And some are even Democrats.

Posted by: BasilBoy | May 20, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Could I volunteer my local YMCA gym and a dozen of our fine police officers to guard these shackled detainees until our politicians and pundits unbunch their panties or grow a pair? Our local finest would love the overtime!!!

Posted by: lguy1 | May 20, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh please.. Senator Read is a complete idiot.. he probably has to have someone tie his shoe laces and help put on his pants, although he should be wearing a dress.

He is a completely incompetent miscreant that can not stand up to a bunch of GOP worms.

Never has, Never will.

Posted by: wowisdabomb | May 20, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

This demonstration of spinelessness by the Democrats may be the last straw for me. Coupled with the apparent capitulation of effective healthcare reform to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries it's almost a certainty. I may have no place to go from here politically.

Posted by: sauerkraut | May 20, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

As a No.Va resident, I just sent emails to Senators Webb and Warner telling them that it was shameful to block funding for closing Gitmo. I also told them that I support bringing the detainees to No.Va for adjudication. As Jon Stewart said, "they're people, not warlocks."

Posted by: org2 | May 20, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Froomkin. I love you man. I withdrew from the democratic party in the summer of '08 when Congress voted for the wiretap bill. You are correct the democrats are mewling babies. They are scared of republican shadows. It is another national disgrace that we are AFRAID to bring chained men to maximum security prisons for trail in American courts. Yeah I know we have tainted evidence. But to be afraid American prisons & courts can't handle any human being! What a verdict by our leaders and a disgrace to us.
Thomas W. in Santa Cruz, Ca.

Posted by: email2tomas | May 20, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps not all the blame should not be directed at Congress.

While he has been in office for only four months, this illustrates yet again President Obama's lack of legislative experience in both the Illinois and US Senates.

With 59 Democratic Senators and over 250 Democratic Congressmen, he doesn't seem to be able to lead his own party.

Could it be that the Democrats bypassed other, more qualified candidates for the nomination?

Posted by: ljsack | May 20, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Just extradite all the Red Bushie international war criminals to the Hague, load up a plane with them and the GITMO prisoners, and give them five parachutes when they're over the Hague and 30 seconds to leave the plane before it's filled with poison gas.

Problem solved.

Posted by: WillSeattle | May 20, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, one comment is right on: this is a bi-partisan issue. Something has to be done to either release the prisoners or give them a day in court. Sorry, but the fact the military and the CIA have seen fit to incarcerate them doesn't mean they are guilty of anything warranting a life sentence, with no trial, or anything at all, for that matter. The military and CIA are no different than the police, and there are enough instances of the police accusing the innocent to explain the reason for habeas corpus, access to accusers, and the other components of due process. Often confidentiality protects incompetence as much a s national security. It is no accident that our system requires the prosecution to bear the responsibility for proving guilt. If you can't present or don't have the evidence to convict, release the prisoner. It is ironic when the persecutors of those accused of human rights violations justify doing the same things themselves. The only justification for torture and imprisonment without due process is that is what it takes to defend our system, i.e., the ends justify the means. The irony is that we don't allow this defense from others, only for ourselves. If it is true that such tactics are necessary, then there is a simple solution to the moral dilemma: stop hypocritically prosecuting those from other nations for crimes against humanity and human rights violations: free John Demjanjuk!

Posted by: csintala79 | May 20, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

When will the Democrats grow up and not succumb to fear, paranoia and nativism. These are the things motivating the NO vote today. Shame on the Democrats who rather hide behind Mama's skirt than step out front.

Posted by: pbarnett52 | May 20, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Worrying about releasing prisoners here is one thing. But refusing to even consider putting them in our prisons is nonsense. It it tantamount to insisting that Guantanamo stay open.

------------

Yes, well, you're not actually making any decisions yourself. The question of whether they could/should be released here is a legitimate one. It's also one you neglected to address . . .

Posted by: JamesSCameron | May 20, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

We're afraid of one another, we're afraid of the rest of the world, we're afraid of getting sick, we're afraid of dying. Maybe if we study our insecurities and confront them, we'll learn to keep them in check. Before we turn the whole nation into one big, paranoid gated community, maybe we'll learn that life isn't really any better behind the walls.

Posted by: aaronkarmin | May 20, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Only the Dem party could take a smart, charimatic guy (I don't like him however) and then surround him with morons...Biden, Pelosi, Reid. Froomkin, as it turns out your angst is misplaced, it is not the Rep who are the enemy, it is the folks you voted for. You will someday see the light and make a change when you grow up.

Posted by: mmourges | May 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Face it, Mr. Froomkin, Dick Cheney and George Bush have won. Pelosi and Reid are history or certainly should be. As Victor Davis Hanson has noted: the American people, Congress and even Obama are realizing that 'wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, military tribunals,Predator drone attacks, Iraq, Afghanistan and even Guantanamo are no longer part of the demonic attack on GWB,' THEY WORKED AND ARE STILL WORKING! They are vital and essential for U.S. security. There is no need to close Gitmo. the only reason the liberals want the detainees in our prisons is so that the greedy unprincipled tort bar, who finances this administration, can sue rich oil sheiks in the Mid-East. AND waterboarding is not tortue nor illegal as ruled by our Congress in 2006. You and the other liberals should learn to like the U.S. just a little bit!

Posted by: david-mckenzie | May 20, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This vote is the bitter fruit of President Obama's disastrous decision not to confront the Bush administration's use of torture and secret detention. The craven cowards who populate the halls of Congress don't need much encouragement to retreat back into their safe little shells. If President Obama had shown courage and integrity by insisting on a full reversal of these evil policies, maybe he could have injected some moral authority into the mob of spineless cowards on the Hill.

Our nation's years of being a shining inspiration to the world have come to an end. We are just another regime which abandoned its principles for the sake of expediency. I can no longer say that I am proud to be an American. What a sad day for our nation...

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 20, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Well it's good to see at least the Left is finding out what the Right always new.. Harry Reid is an idiot.. And of course American has already found out that Pelosi is a LIAR. Gee great leaders you guys have there. As far as Obama while he is coming around to the right way of thinking.. it was pretty stupid saying he will close GITMO in a year with NO PLAN what to do with the people there. Besides why close GITMO? We have a multi million dollar installation why not use it? And the argument keeping it open only makes the country less safe is ridiculous on it's face.. Terrorists there are less likely to escape or riot.. and what about terrorists over seas? does anyone really think they care if their friends are locked up at GITMO or in Leavenworth KS???

Posted by: sovine08 | May 20, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

FRAMING FEAR
Conservatives: It’s a scary world. Fanatics wish us harm. We must respond with every means available to us, including torture and indefinite imprisonment without trial of those we suspect of acting against us. We must take the fight to the enemy regardless of the cost in lives, dollars, strained alliances, and our international reputation. Military force is our greatest weapon.

Progressives: It’s a scary world, but for reasons that go well beyond the threat of
terror. We can deal with terrorism far more wisely and without invading foreign nations under false pretenses. Terrorism is an international problem; we can fight it more effectively in partnership with other nations than by going it alone. We should fight terrorism with the tools for fighting international organized crime, rather than with the military. Moreover, we must recognize that our long-term security is also threatened by climate destabilization and pollution, by our dependence on foreign energy, by the growing gap between rich and poor, and by our faltering public education system.

Posted by: aaronkarmin | May 20, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@mmourges: you seem to have taken a liking to calling people with whom you disagree "children". Perhaps you should examine your own insecurities and determine why you assume that your mental capacity is greater than others because you hold a particular opinion. That's generally a sign that you have no argument or don't understand it enough to argue it effectively.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | May 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@ fletc3her: Correcting them doesn't help. Sadly, it's like yelling at a cat.

Posted by: mobedda | May 20, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Obama needs to propose a plan on how to deal with the remaining detainees before Guantanamo is closed. But the NIMBYs are pretty pathetic. As if isolated foreigners who speak in many cases little or no English, and aren't at all familiar with the US, are great threats to escape maximum-security (or supermax) prisons and infiltrate the nation? That's stupid scaremongering.

I became a Democrat in response to Cheney and W, but there are times when the Democrats make me wish for a third party.

Though underneath Reid's intentionally dumb remarks is a real problem: what to do with those detainees cleared by the tribunals? The ones found guilty of criminal acts or conspiracy should be placed in federal prisons (like some terrorists, as noted, already are), but the others? There's the legitimate debate to be had.

Posted by: whizbang9a | May 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I know how to render the terrorists hapless to interfere in American events - elect them as Democratic members of Congress.

Posted by: dickdata | May 20, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Where's the guy who tried to blow up the WTC in 1993? Oh yeah, HE'S IN FEDRAL PRISON! You people who think they're going to escape from a fedral super max are pretty f@cking dumb.

Posted by: obrier2 | May 20, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Good commentary. Just shows why Republicans still think fear tactics work.

This vote by Dems is cowardly and stupid. It shows also why everyone living by a vote still believes the "center" of America is somewhere way, way, out there in right field.

So put another halo on Obama for doing all the right things. Guy's brilliant and doesn't even have to prove his opponents are of inferior material: just let them speak on their own!

Posted by: walden1 | May 20, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The drug gangs, street gangs, etc. are running loose on American streets killing people with AK-47s 2 miles from my home.....and Harry Reid is a blabbering fool.

Do these people live in the real world?


Posted by: boscobobb | May 20, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid has been incontinent for many years. His Depends are showing in public.

Posted by: boscobobb | May 20, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Reid apparently thinks that it isn't possible to directly transfer prisoners from one facility (Gitmo) to another (any supermax of your choice). When he says they can't be moved because they can't be released, it seems he believes that they must first be turned loose in the US and can only be put in a new facility after a nationwide manhunt to recapture them.

Posted by: MeddlingMonk | May 20, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

So the Democrats are allowing the Republican fear-mongering to cow them into this absolutely repugnant position so as not to appear "weak" on national security. Who are they trying to appeal to politically? Which intellectually honest person sees the problem with putting a terrorist in our maximum security facilities? Our political system is rot with failure right now. Politics is not determined by reason-it is determined by fear and emotion. What a delicious slide into fascism we are enduring.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 20, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid needs to grow a pair. Charles Manson, the night stalker, Ted Bundy are/were all more dangerous than the detainees in Gitmo. Want more examples? How about the terrorists who tried to blow up the world trade center in 1992? If anybody is scared of the detainees being on American soil they will go screaming into the night if they ever tuned in to Locked up Raw.

Posted by: thomgr | May 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Reid is a gutless weasel. Polls show him losing his reelection bid in NV. The day they send him packing can't come a second too soon.

Posted by: antontuffnell | May 20, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Dear aaronkarmin:

You wrote:

Progressives: It’s a scary world, but for reasons that go well beyond the threat of
terror. We can deal with terrorism far more wisely and without invading foreign nations under false pretenses. Terrorism is an international problem; we can fight it more effectively in partnership with other nations than by going it alone. We should fight terrorism with the tools for fighting international organized crime, rather than with the military. Moreover, we must recognize that our long-term security is also threatened by climate destabilization and pollution, by our dependence on foreign energy, by the growing gap between rich and poor, and by our faltering public education system.

========================================

Now allow me to retort:

You say you can deal with terrorism more wisely and effectively than the prior administration did. Yet during WJC's two terms we were attacked several times (WTC '93, USS Cole, Marine Barracks overseas, etc), yet nothing effective was done to stop those and future terror attacks. Treating terrorism as something that needs to be policed resulted with 9/11 and in Spain and London with the train bombings. Since then, plots were foiled, security tightened, and many of their high commanders have been returned to the dust of the earth. If Bill Clinton, had actually taken a more direct stand against OBL in 1997, then we may not have a Dept of HLS today. Sorry, but the Progressive way of handling terrorism has not worked.
Also you fail to give fair credit to Bush & the FBI for also attacking the financial infrastucture of the terrorist groups... via intercepting transacitons, freezing known assets, and finding more accounts to close down. That was an effective way of dealing with terrorists that did not require a bomb to be dropped, but that tactic alone would not have been enough.

And as for the rest of your laundry list of lib talking points... well we've been trying to spend our way to better education, but throwing money at every problem does not solve it. If education is going to be effective, then it starts with the students and their parents. Obama should go Bill Cosby on the nation, instead of signing up to spend billions of $$. Bill Cosby has rightly expressed in the last several years that with proper influence on our youngsters by their parents, they will start working harder in school. Money is good for infrastructure, but it can't encourage a student to learn and achieve.

Posted by: alutz08 | May 20, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

obrier2:
Where's the guy who tried to blow up the WTC in 1993? Oh yeah, HE'S IN FEDRAL PRISON! You people who think they're going to escape from a fedral super max are pretty f@cking dumb.
========================================

What is with all the profanity coming from the party of tolerance and progressive thinking??? I thought you all were above this kind of behavior and you could talk circles around your opponents rather than sinking to a level below mud.

The issue with the doofuss who got caught is not whether he can escape and try to committ terror again. Its the fact that he made a successful attempt at his plot, and the US made no further moves to protect the country or to go after his higher up associates. Billy treated this as an isolated incident, when he and his staff knew better. Since no retribution was carried out, middle eastern terrorists orgs felt emboldened to attack, again and again... until 9/11 when we finally woke up.

Now getting back to your point.... moving Gitmo detainees to the US will automatically open the doors for them to receive help from the legal system and the ACLU to get them released. By bringing them on the mainland, they will have more legal options to get out. I know Eric Holder has been trying to get other countries to take these guys or even their own countrymen back.... so what does it say when a country will not take back one of their own that has been in our custody? Why should we even want them on our soil when their homeland refuses them?

Posted by: alutz08 | May 20, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

This isn't rocket science. What in the world happened to adherence to the Constitution and the rules of law?

Have a trial for the guys at Gitmo (a real trial, not a kangaroo court). Get 'em going. If they're guilty, imprison them or expel them from U.S. land or protectorates to their countries of origin.

Imprisonment without a trial is just as immoral as what other third-world countries do. We're claiming to be moral paragons and THIS is the best we can do?

Also, I'd like to see Pres. Obama run the military complex, not the other way around. The American people voted for a change in policy and handed McCain his head last November. We've had eight years of scare tactics, thank you very much, GOP.

If Pres. Obama and a Democratic-majority Congress can't handle the military complex, how can they be expected to handle threats from off our shores?


Posted by: wpreader2009 | May 20, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Froomkin and the ultra-libs want Gitmo to be closed because Gitmo is a "symbol" of where America went wrong in the war on terror.

If the terrorists are brought to America, Obama's party will be crushed in the 2010 elections.

Froomkin is foolish if he expects the Democrats to punish themselves for empty symbols.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | May 20, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Let's set the record straight. Clinton had failures on his watch, but successes in averting attacks on the Holland Tunnel & the Millenium Plot to bomb LAX. To that you suggest, "the Progessive way of handling terrorism has not worked".

Tell me, how has the conservative style worked? Is this the "he kept us safe argument"? If it is, isn't that argument really, "GWB kept us safe! Except for the one day where it was incredibly unsafe for Americans & it happened on his watch"? Maybe you are happy how he handled all of the days ever since. Personally, I would have preferred he keep us safe on 9/11 as well.

alutz08 wrote: "Sorry, but the Progressive way of handling terrorism has not worked.
Also you fail to give fair credit to Bush & the FBI for also attacking the financial infrastucture of the terrorist groups... via intercepting transacitons, freezing known assets, and finding more accounts to close down. That was an effective way of dealing with terrorists that did not require a bomb to be dropped, but that tactic alone would not have been enough."

Posted by: nameit23 | May 20, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Replace Harry "Thin" Reid.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | May 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"Just extradite all the Red Bushie international war criminals to the Hague, load up a plane with them and the GITMO prisoners, and give them five parachutes when they're over the Hague and 30 seconds to leave the plane before it's filled with poison gas.
Problem solved.
Posted by: WillSeattle"

Fortunately, this would never happen. If a pack of anti-Americans tried it, the military in charge of the plane would free the kidnapped patriots destined for foreign courts. And use the service pistols they pulled to shoot the anti-American traitors dead on the spot.

And the American public would approve.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | May 20, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I have just about had it with Democrats pandering to the Republicans. I can only hope that as time goes on Obama and the rest of his party will gain some backbone and tell these Rightwing idiots to shut up. As for Cheney giving a speech tomorrow WHO IN HIS RIGHT MIND WOULD LISTEN TO THAT EVIL MORON ON ANYTHING? I have said it before and I will say it again - The most patriotic thing that Dick Cheney can do is to simply drop dead of natural causes. Anyone who thinks that Cheney has anything worthwhile to say (or Rush Limbaugh or that ditsy b@#$h Ann Coulter) is an idiot.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | May 20, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

This is a problem indicative of the failed Washington leadership.

They think if they do this or do that, they can manipulate the public this way or that way, but in the end, they only do themselves in.

Sometimes, you look at it, and you think "No one anywhere, can be this stupid."

But they are -- they're failed, mediocre ops -- they're not intelligent, and they're not leaders -- they're Dick Morris, only attractive to other Dick Morrises.

And it will hurt them. I think the point made that GITMO is a symbol for all that is failed about America is apt -- and it will hurt Obama, too, just as it did Bush.

But that bubble, combined with their intellectually weak heads -- ah, they are falling, and they will fall, until those around them finally clean it up and kick them out.

Or we fall with them.

But either way, they fail.

They still have an Afghan war to deal with, not too mention the Iraq fall out, and no amount of perceived press control can change the truth of their failures.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | May 20, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

alutz08 -- i agree with you they might not escape, but you are missing the point -- it is not fair to USA criminals to be put in prison with terrists who want to kill them -- no matter how bad your crime, that does not mean you should have to be incarserated w/ osama bin laden or 1 of his fellow al-qaeda -- many prisoners already have faced advercity in their lives -- they may deserve punishment, but there are limits, even for child molesters, etc.

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

It's very hard to let go of this one again seeing that Hardball Politics brought it front and center again. I have advised some not to ask for favors because maybe some will expect a favor in return. Politics is like well, "You scratch my back and then I'll stick a knife in your back in return". Et tu, Brute' ?

During Bush43 Administration, Senior Elder Republicans advised the ClusterFlubber-in-Chief not to hold onto liabilities which would hurt the party during elections. Looking at a couple of moderate losses during recent past elections, Republicans have no one but themselves to blame. And I believe some good people were lost like Lincoln Chafe. But if these immature people like that Person of Color challenged Boehner want to blame Pelosi, so be it.

Point is that holding onto Gitmo is still holding onto a catastrophic Liability. Why can't we put that one behind us yet, well that's because we are still holding onto it. Three frogs on a log, one decides to jump ? How many frogs now left on the log ? Well, maybe there are still three frogs on the log because just deciding to jump does not mean that frog making a decision actually jump. See in my line of work you gots to repeat the same things over and over again.

To be fair, rushing legislation may not result in the best decision possible. First round of that "Card Check" union thing was rejected because Specter said the legislation was not "right" yet. There are 15 rounds in a prize fight if no one gets knocked out first. But using that old Bush43 excuse, "Let's wait-in-See" may just in fact compound liabilities. They waited and saw insurgency build in Iraq, deer stuck in headlights ?

Posted by: truthhurts | May 20, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

i agree with you they might not escape, but you are missing the point -- it is not fair to USA criminals to be put in prison with terrists who want to kill them --
-----------
That's conjecture.

Right?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | May 20, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

They're little political operatives playng lil political operative games -- they're hardly world leaders, hardly world planners, hardly the movers of nations they would fancy themselves to be, they're simply NOT smart enough.

Until they're gotten rid, we fail, 'cause they're TOO DUMB TO LEAD.

Whether they're Dick Morris, Harry Reid, or, god forbid, JOhn Brennan.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | May 20, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Froomkin, I guess you would disagree with FBI Director Mueller who stated today that Gitmo thugs let loose in America, whether in prison or not, are still a danger due to the inconvenient fact that they are trained terrorists.
But maybe you, a trained journalist and keyboard jockey know better than the FBI Director.

Posted by: dobygillas | May 20, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

greatpotato -- I dont know if it is conjecture -- I am saying that it would be hard to escape -- i don't dispute that -- but i dont think it's fare to US criminals in prison -- its not humanitarian to say just put terrists in jail with criminals - are criminals have rights too - everyone is critisizing and noone has a real solution - i say make a deal to send them to home countries as long as they stay in max prison there and have GPS ankle brasselet to track them and make sure they stay there - we need to get rid of them so the world sees we're not involved

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary. I bet that terrorists placed in federal prison would become targets of abuse by other prisoners, if they ever had contact. Kind of the way child molesters are especially despised among inmates.

Posted by: whizbang9a | May 20, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

And chrisford1. Those patriots you so love committed crimes against humanity and this nations's Constitution in the name of their so-called patriotism. If they're not flat-out evil, they're depraved. One or the other.

Posted by: whizbang9a | May 20, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

whizbang -- you may be right too -- but i think that is another reason not to put in regular prison -- its hard enough maintaining order with a bunch of normal criminals -- shouldnt add terrists -- we dont need bloods, crips, AND alqaeda all in one place - we shouldnt pay for terrists either - i say send to home countries to put in max prison (or death penalty if allowed) there -- then there blood is on their own people - we should make a treaty that says they are responsibkle and cant set them free or let them leave country - make them where GPS to verify

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of liberal Democrats in the US and many of them cheered when the DC Messiah promised to close Guantanamo where the US military spends its time sticking glowing hot needles under islamic fingernails. Liberals now should volunteer en masse to take the Gitmo internees into Democrat districts. Think about the enormous good they can do showing the world how magnanimous liberals are. An internee for every household of ACLU members!

Posted by: mhr614 | May 20, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Herszenhorn writes: "Administration officials have indicated that if the Guantánamo camp closes as scheduled more than 100 prisoners may need to be moved to the United States, including 50 to 100 who have been described as too dangerous to release.
________
Just a thought to all those who think we can just put them in a federal super max prison.. Does anyone know if we even have a 100 extra cells no one is using now at these prisons.. I thought our prisons here were pretty full.. and since we probably have the least number max security ones.. i would assume empty ones are hard to come by.. and we will need about 100. So does that mean we have to move harden dangerous crimminals to less secure locations to make room for these terrorists??? Am I the only guy seeing a problem in all this???

Posted by: sovine08 | May 20, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

According to "www.senate.gov", the following U.S. Senators were the only ones to vote against the Inouye Amendment (Amendment 1133) "To prohibit funding to transfer, release, or incarcerate detainees detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to or within the United States."

Durbin (D-IL)
Harkin (D-IA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

At least these six recognized the importance of upholding the Constitution and respecting previous Supreme Court rulings regarding the indefinite detention of the Guantanamo prisoners. Unfortunately, my two senators voted in favor of the Amendment - they'll be getting an earful from me.

Posted by: apn3206 | May 20, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The lack of Democratic spine as a result of fear of being tarred by Republicans as "soft on terrorism" is but one component of the backlash directed against President Obama's intent to close Gitmo.

This is also an example of NIMBY taken to a completely different level.

Republican fear mongering should be seen for what it always was during the Bush years - fostering governmental paternalism by keeping the American people in a state of fear, with the goal of maintaining political advantage. The lack of Democratic resolve help make it happen.

Politicians are afraid that constituents will hyperventilate if a detainee is incarcerated in a local prison. Has everyone forgotten that "domestic terrorist" Jose Padilla was incarcerated in Charleston for several years before going to trial? Has anyone sensed that Charleston is less safe as a result?

In addition, the notorious "shoe bomber" was tried and convicted in Alexandria, VA. Alexandria appears to be doing reasonably well, taking the economy into account.

Some of the fault, my dear Brutus's, lies in ourselves. If we, the American people, allow our leaders to detain suspected terrorists, we should at least have the maturity to expect that those individuals should be housed in American penal facilities.

The bottom line is, when we criticize our senators and congressmen, we are indirectly criticizing ourselves. We as a people need to grow up and accept responsibility - not merely blame our elected representatives.

Posted by: MillPond2 | May 20, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

@MillPond2 - I agree. Just a quick comment on the last statement in your post - I think that one of the ways in which we as a people can take responsibility is to maintain contact with our elected representatives, letting them know our (hopefully considered) opinions on national issues.

Posted by: apn3206 | May 20, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

But apn -- why should our tax dollars go to close gidmo?? i agree we should close it and get rid of the prisners, but i say make there own countries take them -- they can put them in there own max prison, and we make a treaty to keep them there -- then our tax dollars can build schools and healthcare and our economy

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

In response to apn3206: I couldn't agree more. Most people would rather complain than take the time and trouble to "light the candle".

Posted by: MillPond2 | May 20, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey -- all us true patriot wingnuts can get behind closing Gitmo if all remaining inmates there are taken waterskiing with cement shoes!!!

Posted by: chuck8 | May 20, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

also apn -- not sure if you saw my earlier post, but you are missing important point -- i agree with you they might not escape, but thats not the point -- it is not fair to USA criminals to be put in prison with terrists who want to kill them -- no matter how bad your crime, that does not mean you should have to be incarserated w/ osama bin laden or 1 of his fellow al-qaeda -- many prisoners already have faced advercity in their lives -- they may deserve punishment, but there are limits, even for child molesters, etc. -- my proposal is to send them back to there home countries for max prison with gps device

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@stinky2 - I did see your earlier post, and I can't say I agree with your opinion. I should think that any of the Guantanamo detainees who are found to merit further imprisonment would be isolated from the rest of the prison population - for their own protection, not for that of the other prisoners. We do this with other groups of prisoners already (e.g., Latino prisoners are isolated from black prisoners to reduce interactions between gang members); I don't really see the mechanics would be any different in this situation.

Posted by: apn3206 | May 20, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

apn -- then arent we just making another gidmo here? wont the world still blame us? why not send them back as part of a treaty??? (and make them pay for them too)

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

@stinky2 - assuming we follow proper legal procedures before detaining them further, then we're not creating another Guantanamo Bay. The key phrase is "proper legal procedures". I suppose one could argue that in this case, detainees that have gone through the legal process could just as easily be kept at Guantanamo if their further detention is warranted. Symbolism is a funny thing, though - I suspect that there'd be more complaining if we did that than if we shut down Guantanamo entirely. One example that comes to mind is Germany's decision to tear down Spandau after the Rudolf Hess, the last Nazi prisoner, died rather than let it become a symbol for neo-Nazis.

We may be able to send some detainees back out of the country, others maybe not. According to the U.N. Convention Against Torture, to which we are signatories, we're not allowed to extradite people back to countries where we have a good reason to suppose they'll be tortured.

Posted by: apn3206 | May 20, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Even an Obama supporter should be able to figure this out. Put terrorists in our prisons and they can recruit inmates to their cause who will be released into society. It isn't just the repubs, it is also the FBI director saying this.

Put the Obama worship on hold long enough to use your brain for a few minutes.

Posted by: alstl | May 20, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Third-party time for the Democrats, too?

Posted by: thrh | May 20, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to take a bet that the towns that are home to super-max prisons would send their representatives packing, if they tried to get rid of such terribly dangerous entities in their districts along with all the jobs the prisons create for the locals?

Posted by: daweeni | May 20, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

@daweeni - At least here in California, I'm pretty sure the prison guards' union would make a good deal of noise.

Posted by: apn3206 | May 20, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

GAH! Why the heck is it SO freaking hard for these people to do, you know, what we freaking elected them to do? Including the president. I'm sorry, is there some confusion about the majority of American people wanting Gitmo closed and the warS plural, ended? Are these people just intensely thick in the head? Or are they just a bunch of "mewling babies"? Either way, my disgust level is approaching Bush-era levels.

Posted by: rbs000 | May 20, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

i still say the simplest solution -- and one that should be good for all Americans -- is make their countries take them with a gps, so we can track them - apn, i understand your point about some of these countries may torture them, but that is for there justice system to decide -- in some countries, they say an eye for an eye - and others are more civilized like ours -- but there countries should govern them and set the rules, just as long as we can track them under a treaty -- there is no other good solution - gidmo is a black-eye and we should stop paying for it -- make them pay

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

@stinky2 - on your last post, you stated that some of the detainees' home countries may torture them, but that is for their justice system to decide.

Actually, according to Article 3 of the U.N. Convention Against Torture (UNCAT), we are required to determine whether someone we want to extradite to a specific country will be tortured, and if we determine there's a high likelihood that they will be, we are not allowed to send them to that country. Since we're a signatory party to the UNCAT, it has the force of law under Article VI of the Constitution, the second paragraph of which states "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

In its entirety, Article 3 of the UNCAT states:

"1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights."

I'm sorry to keep harping on this, but I think it's important for all of us to know exactly what we are and are not allowed to do under U.S. and international law.

Posted by: apn3206 | May 20, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

apn -- i am not suggesting breaking any law -- i agree that would be wrong -- but can't we build it into the treaty?? i agree we should not send someone to be tortured, but we need solutions not just critics -- maybe if there is torture in their home countries, we can send them to the UN? actually, maybe that is what we should do with all of them -- until we get rid of them, the world WILL blame us (even if we are trying to follow the law) -- we also have too many bills here we need to pay, including healthcare and education -- i agree with you otherwise

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

@stinky2 - if we don't want to keep them, and if another country that we're confident won't torture is willing to take them, then we can send them there.

Revising the UNCAT and ratifying the modification on our end is probably more than we want to take on, and is probably not necessary. I agree - we have a lot of other things that need to be taken care of, too.

Posted by: apn3206 | May 20, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Fear tactics are what the brainless GOP are all about.

The world has moved far beyond them, and yet, they still think that fearmongering, strongarming, and yelling over others, are the ways to operate in 2009.

That is why they are almost extinct, and that cannot happen soon enough.

The only reason the GOP is against closing Gitmo, is because the president is for it.

Posted by: dematheart | May 20, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Another idiotic thread from the champion of all idiots: Froomkin.
How does this dolt keep his job?
The Dems have 59 Senators, yet somehow the Republican "scared" the poor Dems into this position. HUH?
GAWD, Froomkin is exhibit #1 on why the print media deserves its financial demise.

Posted by: merley1 | May 20, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the public fears the ability of prisons or prison guards to safely hold enemy combatants.
What they fear is enemy rights lawyers with their endless lawsuits to free terrorists into the USA, block their deportation once they get to US soil on grounds of "terrorist pesecution in their homelands like China or Pakistan".

And they fear those megamillion-dollar "supertrials" with 32 million spent on the likes of Moussaoui, mainly to further enrich already rich lawyers...while at the same time they were "trying Zacharias in the wonderful civilian criminal system" they lacked 10 million to fix up Walter Reed for soldiers wounded by the likes of Moussaoui.

The public fears lawyers will force disclosure of sources and methods at trial - endangering not just the soldiers and agents, but foreign intelligence accessibility and eventually a US public further blinded to enemy plans..

And the public greatly fears the lawyers, and lawyers in robes - will expand "enemy rights" further. Allow unmonitored letter writing to "family and friends" as they do with US prisoners. And force American soldiers to operate in wartime with search warrants, Miranda warnings, and pull soldiers out of combat as witnesses or to "safeguard evidence" for a civilian court to weigh on. And possibly defend themselves as well - as terrorist lawyers will encourage them to make "criminal allegations" against most soldiers they come in contact with.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | May 20, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

ChrisFord -- i dont know if everything you are saying is right, but this is 1 more reason to make there own countries take them back - i agree we shouldnt be paying lawyers when we could be paying are soldiers

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

>>>>So they want all the detainees there to -- what? Vanish? Die? How do they expect any other country to take custody of anyone if we refuse to do it ourselves?


They should be sent back to the country of their citizenship. How hard is that to figure out ? If their country of citizenship won't take them, why should we ?

Posted by: JS11 | May 20, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

js - that is exactly what i've been saying - i have many posts becuss many suprisingly didnt agree - someone said it might be against law if they torture, but I think we can get around that with treety or by sending to UN -- and make them pay too

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd is spot on concerning this subject. The Dems are so afraid of being called soft on terror by the fear mongering GOP that they are perfectly willing to be dumb and un-American on terror.

This is really a very sad chapter in this nation's history.

Posted by: SarahBB | May 20, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

A city in Montana says they will take 100 terrorists and lock them up in a new prison located in their area. We don't even know how many of these people are really terrorists although it is likely that more are now terrorists than were when they were locked up. We should be able to partition part of Super Max for those who don't go to Montana. I did hear Sen. Inhofe (R-Okla) say that Gitmo is a nice place. Why those over 55 are even eligible for a colonosophy. With benefits like that most probably won't want to leave :).

Posted by: cdierd1944 | May 20, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

These people are pathetic. Can you imagine the panic in the hallowed halls of the Senate, if someone in that august body let loose an audible burp or fart? Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid would be diving under their desks, and Ben Nelson and Saxby Chamblis would be running for their lives. Can’t you just see Jim Webb and Jon Kyle pissing their pants as they scurry toward the door? What a bunch of spineless cowards these guys are. They should take their binkies and their blankies, and go running home to their mommies. Mommy will leave the night light on for them to keep away the monsters.

Posted by: seriouslookingdude | May 20, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush and Richard Cheney are serial killers who are being backed into an interesting corner where they may eventually begin to understand the magnitude of their crimes and when it does their worlds will come crashing down, reality will set in and they will be required to own their corruption and acknowledge what they put this country through by torturing and sometimes murdering human beings in their custody.

We are living through some horrific times and it is causing some people to become more cynical. It is important to address
the cynicism and turn it around by acknowledging the people who are not happy with what happening ..

Posted by: goodcake4u | May 20, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

President Obama could shut down Gitmo without asking the current Congress for anything...because previous rubber-stamp Republican Congresses have already done the heavy lifting.

For instance, remember the $385 million allocated by the Republican-controlled Congress several years ago to build dozens of new maximum security detention centers around the U.S., for detaining immigrants and "for other purposes"?

"For other purposes"?

Why that leaves the door wide open for President Obama to move all the detainees from Gitmo and house them securely at one of these detention cneters, like the one being offered by the U.S. citizens living in Hardin Montana, with a 400-bed maximum security facility there that is currently sitting empty.

Game. Set. Match.

But only if President Obama seizes the moment.

Posted by: wizard2000 | May 20, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Ok, let me see if I understand this. The world's greatest military power, population over 300 million, almost the same number of guns owned by said population, with over 2 million persons in prison, Supermax prisons scattered about, Alcatraz vacant, Mexican drug gangs shooting up the border, urban street gangs such as the Bloods, Crips, MS 13, etc. etc. with slum areas with gunfire ringing through the night and sometimes the day, police forces with SWAT teams, military bases all over the place plus a National Guard everywhere, is worried that 200 or so "terrorists" are the greatest danger to the republic in recent years? ARE WE CRAZY? ARE WE SO COWARDLY? HOME OF THE BRAVE? DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH! Unbelievable.

Posted by: DOBRYDN | May 20, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Democrats may be toning down some of their expressed views and opinions because so many people are beginning to see the Democratic party as un-American.

Posted by: johntu | May 20, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of military commissions and executions to follow. Then we take what's left and stuff them in a supermax, or kick them off to some other country willing to deal with them. Treat them like the war criminals that they are.

Posted by: timscanlon | May 20, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama should veto the bill.

If a commander in chief can open prisons
(some even secret) then a another should be able to close them.

Reid is s milquetoast.

Posted by: timothy2me | May 21, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Megakudos to the guy with the YMCA droogs.

Come on Democrats, what the hell is wrong with you? Grow a pair, stare down the GOP, any dog could. We jail all kinds of bad guys and they aren't going to build a suitcase nuke in the pen.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

I was directed here by Glenn Greenwald. Thank god there are still people who are prepared to speak out against nonsense.

Posted by: shojokid | May 21, 2009 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Is someone trying to say the our prisons are not secure enough to house all sorts of undersirables?

Posted by: edmundsingleton1 | May 21, 2009 5:30 AM | Report abuse

"It's hard to imagine anything more ridiculous than the suggestion that bringing some of the terror suspects currently incarcerated in Guantanamo to high-security prisons in America will pose a threat to local communities."

That is the main flaw here with the right's argument. Does anyone seriously think there will be angry terrorists running around the streets? If legitimately guilty, we have prisons. If innoncent, why are we holding them in the first place, and interrogating them into admitting some fault? Obviously, this would make other countries hostile...
http://www.newsy.com/videos/obama_gits_mo_controversy

Posted by: jms2qc | May 21, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"It's hard to imagine anything more ridiculous than the suggestion that bringing some of the terror suspects currently incarcerated in Guantanamo to high-security prisons in America will pose a threat to local communities."

That is the main flaw here with the right's argument. Does anyone seriously think there will be angry terrorists running around the streets? If legitimately guilty, we have prisons. If innoncent, why are we holding them in the first place, and interrogating them into admitting some fault? Obviously, this would make other countries hostile...
http://www.newsy.com/videos/obama_gits_mo_controversy

Posted by: jms2qc | May 21, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Dan,
You need to share that point of view with your colleague, Mark Halperin at ABC. He was on the radio today calling Obama's comments about members of Congress being fearful of housing Guantanamo detainees in their districts "disingenuous".
While Halperin argues the odds of a detainee escaping are slim, he suggests it would raise the risk of foreign terrorists targeting a specific community because its where detainees are jailed.

Who am I to believe?

Posted by: markdrury | May 21, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Both my senators voted for the bill(to keep Gitmo open). Throughout BushCo.'s reign, I complained so much to both of them with absolutely acknowledgement that they were supposed to listen to me.

It's pretty pathetic that our country has come to this. But then, when George W. Bush was selected for pres. in 2000, it was pretty obvious that the fascist state had alredy arrived.

Posted by: sailorflat | May 21, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

losing a few blue dog democrats would be the best thing for the "Democrat" party. lol.
maybe then we could have someone who wasn't afraid of the nasty Republican overlord.

amazing to see such Osama itis at this time. Fear is such a potent force. the wingnuts have their lines down pat. the Demos shiver at the slightest sound from their lord and master Voldermort.

obama and bush in the same political stances on so many things i would never have thought possible. but power corrupts. as obama as shown by following and adhering to Bush's original proclamations.

Argentina don't cry for me. im almost there.


Posted by: BernardEckholdt | May 21, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

| Q. "No one's talking about releasing them.
| We're talking about putting them in prison
| somewhere in the United States."
|
|Reid: "Can't put them in prison unless you
|release them."
|
|Q. "Sir, are you going to clarify that a
|little bit? I mean -- "
|
|Reid: "I can't -- I can't -- I can't make
|it any more clear than the statement I
|have given to you. We will never allow
|terrorists to be released in the United
|States. I think the majority -- I speak
|for the majority of the Senate....


Harry Reid is dumber than a bag of hair. The man should resign, not just as Majority Leader, but from the Senate. I doubt that things would get any worse for those of us who'd like to see a return to the rule of law if were Gibbons to appoint a Republican to replace him.

Posted by: cpenning | May 22, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

This blog article is complete partisan TRASH.

Posted by: dynamodave | May 23, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

There's at least one important difference between Gitmo and a max. security prison in the U.S. -- In prison, these terrorists will be able to preach Jihad to other inmates and potentially convert them to radical Islam. Remember The Blind Sheik?(google it) He had no problem connecting with the outside world from prison.

Posted by: Avigdor18 | May 23, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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