- December 22, 2009 "Information Clearing House"
-- Obama's dwindling band of true believers has taken heart that their
man has finally delivered on one of his many promises--the closing of the
Guantanamo prison. But the prison is not being closed. It is being moved
to Illinois, if the Republicans permit.
- In truth, Obama has handed his supporters another defeat.
Closing Guantanamo meant ceasing to hold people in violation of our legal
principles of habeas corpus and due process and ceasing to torture them
in violation of US and international laws.
- All Obama would be doing would be moving 100 people,
against whom the US government is unable to bring a case, from the prison
in Guantanamo to a prison in Thomson, Illinois.
- Are the residents of Thomson despondent that the US government
has chosen their town as the site on which to continue its blatant violation
of US legal principles? No, the residents are happy. It means jobs.
- The hapless prisoners had a better chance of obtaining
release from Guantanamo. Now the prisoners are up against two US senators,
a US representative, a mayor, and a state governor who have a vested interest
in the prisoners' permanent detention in order to protect the new prison
jobs in the hamlet devastated by unemployment.
- Neither the public nor the media have ever shown any
interest in how the detainees came to be incarcerated. Most of the detainees
were unprotected people who were captured by Afghan war lords and sold
to the Americans as "terrorists" in order to collect a proffered
bounty. It was enough for the public and the media that the Defense Secretary
at the time, Donald Rumsfeld, declared the Guantanamo detainees to be the
"780 most dangerous people on earth."
- The vast majority have been released after years of abuse.
The 100 who are slated to be removed to Illinois have apparently been so
badly abused that the US government is afraid to release them because of
the testimony the prisoners could give to human rights organizations and
foreign media about their mistreatment.
- Our British allies are showing more moral conscience
than Americans are able to muster. Former PM Tony Blair, who provided cover
for President Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq, is being damned for his
crimes by UK officialdom testifying before the Chilcot Inquiry.
- The London Times on December 14 summed up the case against
Blair in a headline: "Intoxicated by Power, Blair Tricked Us Into
War." Two days later the British First Post declared: "War Crime
Case Against Tony Blair Now Rock-solid." In an unguarded moment Blair
let it slip that he favored a conspiracy for war regardless of the validity
of the excuse [weapons of mass destruction] used to justify the invasion.
- The movement to bring Blair to trial as a war criminal
is gathering steam. Writing in the First Post Neil Clark reported: "There
is widespread contempt for a man [Blair] who has made millions [his reward
from the Bush regime] while Iraqis die in their hundreds of thousands due
to the havoc unleashed by the illegal invasion, and who, with breathtaking
arrogance, seems to regard himself as above the rules of international
law." Clark notes that the West's practice of shipping Serbian and
African leaders off to the War Crimes Tribunal, while exempting itself,
is wearing thin.
- In the US, of course, there is no such attempt to hold
to account Bush, Cheney, Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the large
number of war criminals that comprised the Bush Regime. Indeed, Obama,
whom Republicans love to hate, has gone out of his way to protect the Bush
cohort from being held accountable.
- Here in Great Moral America we only hold accountable
celebrities and politicians for their sexual indiscretions. Tiger Woods
is paying a bigger price for his girlfriends than Bush or Cheney will ever
pay for the deaths and ruined lives of millions of people. The consulting
company, Accenture Plc, which based its marketing program on Tiger Woods,
has removed Woods from its Web site. Gillette announced that the company
is dropping Woods from its print and broadcast ads. AT&T says it is
re-evaluating the company's relationship with Woods.
- Apparently, Americans regard sexual infidelity as far
more serious than invading countries on the basis of false charges and
deception, invasions that have caused the deaths and displacement of millions
of innocent people. Remember, the House impeached President Clinton not
for his war crimes in Serbia, but for lying about his
- affair with Monica Lewinsky.
- Americans are more upset by Tiger Woods' sexual affairs
than they are by the Bush and Obama administrations' destruction of US
civil liberty. Americans don't seem to mind that "their" government
for the last 8 years has resorted to the detention practices of 1,000 years
ago--simply grab a person and throw him into a dungeon forever without
bringing charges and obtaining a conviction.
- According to polls, Americans support torture, a violation
of both US and international law, and Americans don't mind that their government
violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and spies on them without
obtaining warrants from a court. Apparently, the brave citizens of the
"sole remaining superpower" are so afraid of terrorists that
they are content to give up liberty for safety, an impossible feat.
- With stunning insouciance, Americans have given up the
rule of law that protected their liberty. The silence of law schools and
bar associations indicates that the age of liberty has passed. In short,
the American people support tyranny. And that's where they are headed.