Good news, bad news

House passes climate change bill.

Report: Obama Admin Drafts Memo To Detain Terror Suspects Indefinitely.

Win some, lose some…

Well, since we’ve already been doing the latter for 7 or 8 years now, we’re not really losing anything, right? So, it’s nothing but win!

Torture has tacitly been a part of American policy for much longer than the war of/about/in terror. Because of the brazen conduct of the Bush administration, there was plenty of political capital available for someone who wished to definitively move in the other direction. Obama marketed himself as that man, and he lied. Since the GOP got McCain to eat his words about torture, I suppose there was nothing to lose in that no one was offering the other alternative, but it’s still difficult to see that as an acceptable compromise.

Holy fuck, how could a bullshit, watered down climate change bill that barely even passed be considered anywhere on league with supporting indefinite detention of suspects?

There’s a reason he released the memo on a Friday Afternoon: So no one will talk about it.

Of course it’s not an acceptable compromise. Although this is about detainment, not torture, I understand that they’re roughly equivalent in terms of “things we’ve condemned but now support because it’s convient for us”. To be honest, though, indefinite detainment bothers me a little bit more than torture. Without the indefinite detainment, a victim of torture might at least hope to escape their predicament at some point, and maybe even take legal action against their torturers – although it might have a very slim chance of success.

Also, hasn’t the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a group of Guantanamo inmates and declared that the president[I]can’t[/I] do this? I’m no lawyer, so it’s hard for me to tell.

On torture: I just don’t see much of a way back to the idea that torture is unacceptable. A large group of Americansthink that torture is just fine (as long as it’s ‘terrorists’ being tortured), and obviously, unless Obama changes his mind or he is playing a longer game than we know about, there isn’t anyone in the executive branch who’s going to try to do anything about it.

Unchecked climate change will kill millions of people? It’s not a very good bill, but I’ll take what I can get.

Harpers has a rather disturbing bit in their new issue about how we’re still torturing the crap out of people down in Gitmo - painful force feeding intentionally designed to cause compliance, for example.

I am disappointed again. If these suspected terrorists have done something, put them on trial.

and if not, let em’ go. i’m getting sick of this shit. why do you guys think Obama is in many ways being so accommodating of what Bush used to do?

Sure, the entire detention policy is a disgrace. But it’s all part of the same central issue, which Obama made part of his campaign platform and has reneged on completely.

Also, hasn’t the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a group of Guantanamo inmates and declared that the president[I]can’t[/I] do this? I’m no lawyer, so it’s hard for me to tell.

On torture: I just don’t see much of a way back to the idea that torture is unacceptable. A large group of Americansthink that torture is just fine (as long as it’s ‘terrorists’ being tortured), and obviously, unless Obama changes his mind or he is playing a longer game than we know about, there isn’t anyone in the executive branch who’s going to try to do anything about it.

Again, I disagree. Someone could really run with it as McCain was originally in a position to do, simply by saying obvious things loudly and being uncompromising about it. Ask for material benefits beyond whatever 24’s scriptwriters have conjured; bring in interrogation experts who’ve obtained results in the past and will almost universally tell you that torture is a dead end unless your goal is intimidation or false confessions; etc etc. One of the great things about a special interest based democracy like ours is that you don’t need a majority behind your idea to win it over, you just don’t need a majority against it that has an equal or greater stake in the issue. The tipping point in this would not be hard to reach, in my opinion.

Filter all of that through the fact that I was a single issue voter on this issue above all others, but I still think it was very doable. Once.

Has to be one of two possibilities:

  1. He genuinely believes that releasing these people will put national security at risk, but they don’t really have any convictable evidence on which to try them, or…

  2. It’s just politics. He’s afraid of looking soft on national security and he doesn’t want to give the Republicans ammunition.

I don’t think it’s an easy issue, but I think at some point you need to give these people their day in court. That’s what our country is supposed to be about.

Yeah, I really don’t know what the deal is with this administration and unlawful detention. I’d say its disappointing but that doesn’t even cover it. This is one of the major reasons I supported any Democrat taking the White House (and tbh I was lukewarm on Obama but I figured he couldn’t be as bad as Bush on these things – ha).

Incredibly frustrating. The transparency, etc, we were promised also appears to be a sham. So whatever, it’s more of the same. Make token gestures towards your base while big money runs the show.

It’s maddening, to me, how politically short-sighted and regional the Democrats have been in congress. I love seeing the same politically-expedient behavior out of the President. I’m increasingly suspicious that the amount of “inertia” in the Federal system has spun out of the control of the public and that changing one or another party will have little long-term influence over policy.

The Democrats are in the same kind of danger they faced in 1994 when the public, irritated with a Democratic President and Congress got sick of the in-fighting and getting nothing done.

People voted for Obama on the platform of change. We’re not seeing a lot of that so far.

Why does almost every " Obama screwed us! " story end up changing shortly thereafter?

It’s still not 100% kosher, but it’s still not Bush pt 2. It’s the Obama admin trying to deal with closing Guantanamo while dealing with a Congress who doesn’t think prison is able to contain these Super Villains.

Bullshit. Six months, 11 detainees freed or transferred, and that’s counting the suicide. Meanwhile, the military is still force-feeding Ensure to vomit covered prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. There is no question the US is in a tough spot in terms of having a large number of people that it feels it can neither charge nor release scot-free, but I can’t think of any kind of rational system of justice where that constitutes the problem of the accused.

If he didn’t mean to stand by that, then he shouldn’t have said it. Yeah, it’s politically risky in the face of our stalwartly craven Congress, but that’s what I voted for.

Exactly. Either they did something and there’s evidence or there isn’t. This crap is UN-American.

Looking for…the good news…