Posts Tagged ‘War’

The Guantanamo Bay detention facility will remain open because Congress says so in the latest Defense spending bill (ht JM Ashby at   Our The stupid twats and despicable lawmakers  are saying that the Administration is not allowed to transfer the detainees to American soil for criminal prosecution.  The far left will be blaming the President for not closing it in spite of the fact that he legally can’t do so–actually, they’ve been doing this for years so it will only continue, just in greater volume.  And the right will be crowing about how he has broken yet another campaign promise.

First of all, Congress is afraid that these “baddest of the bad, and worst of the worst” will break out of Federal Max security prisons.  This so dumb it beggars belief.  I’m very familiar with those facilities and their security procedures.  This is not and never will be a concern.  We’ve kept MUCH more dangerous people in those facilities with nary a problem.

Second, the idea that this country accepts the denial of habeas corpus rights to detainees (technically we don’t call them prisoners, which is exactly what they are, war prisoners) so long as they aren’t on our soil is a distinction without a  difference.   Out of sight means out of mind I guess.  In WWII the prisoners were kept in camps right in our cities.  As a child my father used to go talk to Italian war prisoners through a prison camp fence in Charleston, SC.  It makes it much harder to deny these people justice when we don’t have to see their suffering.

Third, the fact that these people are even considered detainees or even war prisoners was and is a colossal mistake.  We should have treated them as criminals, arrested them as such and prosecuted them as such.

Unfortunately, since so many of the detainees rights have been violated and FSM knows how much of the evidence against them has been obtained (i.e., via coercion plus unreliable or secret sources who are unavailable or unable to be present at trial for testimony) the odds of actually getting a conviction in an honest criminal court might be impossible. So all that poisonous fruit will come back to haunt the prosecutors. I blame effing Bush and Co. If they’d handled this properly in the criminal courts to begin with, we wouldn’t be worried about all this kind of crap. I consider myself an expert on our Criminal Justice system (I’m also Queen of the world in my own tiny mind but I digress) and the choice to use military force against Al Qaeda, essentially a criminal enterprise, will go down as one of the worst mistakes in U.S. history. And how often do you see anyone on the teevees or press making this larger and crucial point. We used to be a gold standard in liberty and due process (at least compared with the majority of nations) but not anymore and it’s all because of the idiotic, never ending “war on terror” and the bullshite of renditions and Guantanamo. We STILL haven’t learned the big lesson here and we never will at this rate.

Okay, rant over.

The media, both left and right, seem to be in a tizzy because the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that hypothetically the President could authorize drones to kill Americans on American soil. Here are some salient questions we should all be asking ourselves:

  • This power is new…
  • Why are drones different from any other killing machine?
  • Why has it been okay to give this power under previous Presidents but not this one?
  • If we’re so concerned why don’t we get Congress to limit the Executive Branch’s war powers since that is the best and longest lasting protection we can hope for?

Apparently Mistermix over at Balloon Juice agrees…..

I don’t understand why using drones to kill an American is any different from using a helicopter, tank, fighter jet, humvee or some other conveyance to deliver deadly force. If Congress doesn’t like the way the President could use force on Americans within our borders, I believe there’s something called the “war power” that can be used to limit it. But instead we get a green eggs and ham discussion (from a drone? on a plane? in a train? from a car? on a bike? from a trike?) and intimations of a grim meathook future “where Predator drones are roaming American skies looking for American citizens to strike at, regardless of the reason” from serious conservatives like Mataconis, just because a new killing machine has been invented. We’ve got plenty of killing machines, so how about we concentrate on regulating the killing?

A list of some news items that caught my attention.

  • The DOJ issued an internal memo laying out the legal justification for killing American citizens using drones and NBC got a hold of it.  I’ve been ambivalent about drones (not a supporter, just ambivalent).  But this shows that the White House has established a policy that American citizens who are considered to be enemies of the U.S. because the aid and abet terrorists groups that are trying to harm the U.S. can be targeted because we are at war.  Unfortunately, the War on Terror is not a finite thing and therein lies the problem.  I support the President on most things but on this, I DO NOT.  Here’s a great article on the nuances of the policy and some recommendations for what should be done.
  • Baby Boomers, folks in their 50’s and early 60’s, were hit harder by the Recession than other age groups, so much so that their average life span has been reduced by three years. But hey, best health care system in the world…..NOT!
  • The Postal Service is ending Saturday mail delivery but do you know why?  Because the Republicans in Congress forced them to pay their retiree health care costs up front in 2006 (something no other agency in federal government has to do) and then later refused to actually fund that expenditure.  So it wasn’t anything the USPS did wrong.  Congress has been trying to kill the USPS for years now.
  • The little boy being held hostage in Alabama was freed by an FBI raid of the bunker.  What you might not know is that the Mother of the boy actually asked the police to do their best not to hurt the kidnapper.  Her reasoning, he was a sick man who needed help.  Now that is a truly empathetic person.
  • Republican factions have begun infighting because one wing is blaming the other for Romney’s loss.  The Karl Roves of the world are squaring up against Tea Party members.  Karl Rove and his supporters represent the Washington insider, the practical Republican who does whatever it takes to win and they expect party obedience.  Tea Party members don’t like to “fall in line” with the party and tend to support candidates that take principled stances (meaning stances that fit into their worldview).   It’s funny, both in an ironic and haha kind of way, that neither wing of the party is looking at their ideas as being rejected by voters, just the way in which they presented those ideas.   So they’re having conferences where consultants are telling Republicans things like never, ever to use the word “rape” again in a public setting.  From their viewpoint, it’s not that so many of them think rape is sometimes justified that turns off female voters, it’s the fact that they share that thought with the public.  Meanwhile liberals are making popcorn and sitting down to enjoy the show.
  • The President’s skeet shooting photo is being mocked.  I get this because the White House should have let the derision over the skeet shooting comment during an interview just fade into obscurity.  Putting out that picture was like putting Dukakis in the tank.  Now there are conservatives declaring that the photo is not legitimate and was  photoshopped.   I don’t get this.  Everything is not about fooling you.  Maybe this growing paranoid subculture in the U.S. is based on narcissism….that arguably the most powerful man in the world has the time to cater to some idjits who think that everything revolves around them and that they and they alone know the truth.   Riiiiiiiiiiight……..Sigh….
  • Since the President dominated among Hispanics in the last election, receiving 75% of their vote, the Republicans have taken notice.  Their answer?  Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) proposed yesterday that anyone whose illegal immigrant parents brought them to the U.S. as children be granted citizenship.  Wait, isn’t that the Dream Act?  Yep.  So why now?  Why didn’t you support it before?  Oh, they rejected you and now you’re hoping to tap into future Hispanic Voters.  It’s gonna take a lot more than this little morsel to make that happen, bub.

“Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.”    –Emily Brontë

To all those gun loving 2nd Amendment Americans out there that think having a weapon with them or near them actually makes them safer, take a look at this.

The deadliest sniper in U.S. History (let that sink in), Chris Kyle, was shot to death at a firing range by a man who he was trying to help, a fellow veteran with PTSD. If Kyle couldn’t protect himself, what the heck makes the average American think they can? It’s pure deadly hubris to think this way.  Emily Brontë evidently couldn’t conceive of society and the weaponry available today, otherwise her quote would have been more like so:

Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselvesand the innocent around them.

This story is just anecdotal evidence of a very big problem that America is and will be facing in the coming decades–it’s a sad story that is being kept too low beneath the radar.  Did you know that suicides in the military have been on the rise since 2004? In 2012 the average was one soldier a day. Wrap your mind around that. Also rising are the number of murders committed by returning soldiers. Sadly the victims are usually their families or colleagues.

What do you think is going to happen when ALL our soldiers return from Afghanistan? Do you think those with PTSD will get better? They are already not receiving enough treatment from the VA and often have to rely on charity groups. Will there be enough private charity? Will be it be spread out across the country enough to meet the needs? Isn’t that the responsibility of the VA first, it being the best and most widespread network of hospitals? What about those with brain injuries that affect mood, impulse control, etc. Sometimes there’s an overlap–they not only have a brain injury, they also have PTSD. How many of these vets 20 or 30 years from now will break down, killing the innocent and kidnapping children as a cry for help because we didn’t meet their needs long ago?

This is NOT blaming the soldiers. They are victims too.  They risked everything and suffered for their country and they expected that we would do right by them when they came home. We owe them treatment and help. When someone is in crisis and it’s aftermath as so many soldiers are upon their return, the LAST thing we need to do is just dump them off into a society filled with deadly military grades weapons. In so doing we are practically asking for more tragedies like what is happening in Alabama. Get ready America, if you think it is bad now, it is only going to get worse if we don’t make some changes in gun control AND improve our mental health system AND focus on helping the tens of thousands of soldiers who gave up so much and live among us.

You have probably heard by now that four Americans, one of whom was our Ambassador, were murdered in Libya. Initial news stories said the attack was the result of an angry mob of protesters incensed over an anti-Islamic video on YouTube that was produced by an Israeli living in the US.

Now we are hearing that this Israeli man has disappeared having gone “into hiding”. The info on the Israeli is very inconsistent and just doesn’t add up. We have also learned that the attack was very well planned and involved about 80 coordinated individuals who had knowledge of military tactics and they had heavy weaponry.

Here’s my two cents on what is going on. All of the info so far indicates that the attack on our Embassy personnel was planned well in advance and not the kind of thing that just springs up, mob style.. If that is true, then the attackers used a real protest as cover and they knew ahead of time about the protest.

How would they know about the protest in advance unless they were tipped off that a hot button issue would erupt in Islamic anger ahead of time? Who could have informed them? The man who put the 15 minutes of that hideous film on YouTube who has been pushing it for the last two weeks and that person in the US was working with agent provocateurs in the Middle East who help to spread anger over the film and encourage riots in Egypt and Libya. Why would this supposed Israeli do this?

Well if he is really an Israeli, which I doubt, it is possible that he represents extreme conservative Jews in Israel and they believe that poisoning the relationship between Libya and the US is to their benefit. It would also serve to ratchet up the tension in the Middle East which is to the benefit of conservative Israel because they have been pushing for war against Iran–a war they cannot pursue without the US. Furthermore, this would look like a failure on the part of President and that would help Romney in the polls during a contentious election year, an election that conservative Israelis want Romney to win.

But what if it wasn’t even an Israeli or conservative Jew? What if he is a Muslim radical who found this crazy film and decided to use it as an excuse for a riot, again working with provocateurs in the Middle East. And again the point of the riot would be to cover up the fact that the attack was a coordinated, planned attack. Why would a Muslim radical do this? Do I really need to explain why in this case?

Now here’s the most outlandish thought. What if this was the old time honored tradition of the GOP, the “October Surprise“? What is that? There have been two incidents that occurred in the month before a crucial Presidential election that helped propel the Republican candidate into office. When Nixon decided he wanted to sit in the oval office, he used back door diplomatic contacts to convince the North Vietnamese to delay negotiations for peace until after the US Presidential election,extending the war and paving the way for his ascendency to the White House. Then there was Reagan who interfered in Carter’s negotiation with Iran to free the hostages. Reagan asked Iran to wait until after the US Presidential election to continue negotiations and in exchange he would give them weapons (which led to Iran-Contra). Seeing a pattern here? Don’t believe me? Then check out this video.

Although it isn’t quite October yet, I wouldn’t put it past the neocons for trying yet again to hijack our domestic elections by using the leverage of foreign crises. After all former VP Cheney, architect of the Iraq Disaster, was a part of the Nixon administration (as were a few of the neocons who advised Pres. G.W. Bush). So the neocons are old hands at this kind of back door interference and manipulation (also known as treason). And I don’t for a minute think that Romney is incapable of such rotten dealings. This kind of thing is VERY common in business negotiations. Only a fool would expect a sociopathic businessman to act like an ethical politician when competing to occupy arguably the most powerful leadership position on Earth.

I normally scoff at conspiracy theories but there are just too many things that don’t add up with the Libyan attack. In any case, odds are the “Israeli” isn’t a real person but an agent provocateur. Who he works for we probably won’t know for another 25 plus years when the government material is declassified. No matter who or what he is, I would bet my bottom dollar the US Intelligence agencies recognized him early on and have whisked his butt off to a secret location. Whether they are interrogating him for intel, protecting him from exposure to CYA, or protecting him from radicals bent on revenge who the hell knows. What we do know is that four Americans are dead because of somebody’s evil machinations and now we have another reason to be sad in September.