Tag Archives: human rights

Exposing The Horror and Disgrace Of America’s Drone War

Green for Growth & Peace

After carefully reading the new human rights reports issued by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on America’s drone war, I can best describe my mood as equal parts nauseous and horrified. The reports are, in a word, gruesome. And while I have problems with various aspects of both – among them the overreach of each in conflating unintended collateral civilian casualties as war crimes – I nonetheless have to consider the fact that a great-many innocent people (up to 900 in Pakistan alone) have been killed, and their deaths seem to have come at the hands of my country’s government.

Like many others Americans my age, my formative years were consumed by a seemingly never-ending conflict between “good and evil” or “us vs. them”, aimed at justifying America’s engagement in I-don’t-know-how-many conflicts and moral crusades in order to “safeguard our freedom and way of life”. I was a kid (13) when the towers fell and we began this continuing trend of extremist-eradication at-all-costs. But then, in 2008, Barack Obama ran for President, and I’d never seen anything like it. I was too young and uninterested to remember the Clinton years, really. Everything I knew about Presidential power, and the exercise of it, I knew from George W. Bush and Dick “Chancellor Palpatine” Cheney. So when, in 2008, Obama ran on principles of transparency, honesty, accountability and justice, I was naturally inspired; hopeful that the world Bush and Cheney created would finally be jettisoned for something good.

As much I would like to follow the lefty herd and blindly claim that somehow, someway, we’ve gotten ourselves out of the same rut that consumed us during the breadth of Bush’s term(s), the truth is that we haven’t. The truth is we’ve replaced open evil with closeted evil.

Obama visits Pentagon

For years now the president and his senior advisers have made public claims about America’s drone program that have been found to be categorically false. We know, for instance, from top-secret intelligence documents, that “contrary to assurances it has deployed US drones only against known senior leaders of al-Qaida and allied groups, the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified ‘other’ militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan’s rugged tribal area.” (Jonathan Landy) These revelations don’t just illustrate that the drone program is out of hand or that the Obama administration has become incapable in accounting for it, but that the Obama administration knowingly misleads the public about the scope of who can be legitimately targeted by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Here’s a crucial point: the Obama administration/US military/intelligence agencies often have no idea who they are killing. Even the CIA – whose intelligence reports are basically the means by which targets are chosen – often has zero idea of the identities of many of the people they target for death. President Obama, much like his predecessor, approves of the use of something called “signature strikes”, where the least important factor in the decision making process to target someone for a drone strike is who they are. More important to the decision making calculus the government employs – and the reason many are targeted for death despite their identity being unknown – is intelligence gathering suggesting that the individual is a ‘militant’ if he engages in a pattern of life more commonly engaged in by ‘militants’. The NY Times reported that “the joke [at the State Department] was that when the CIA sees ‘three guys doing jumping jacks’, the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp”.

Chinook flight

I should note that the Obama administration has – prior to the reports – signaled its intention to embrace a policy shift away from drones towards various other counterterrorism measures. But because Americans are largely agnostic towards the use of drones in far-away places like Pakistan, and since that ambivalence means neither Republicans nor Democrats will pressure the President to make good on his campaign promises of accountability and transparency, there’s little chance he will.

Photos: Kashif Mardani; US Army

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Liberal Saudi Arabian Blogger Sentenced To 7 years, 600 Lashes for “Insulting” Islam

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This story is almost too outrageous and infuriating to report:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – The editor of a Saudi Arabian social website has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for founding an Internet forum that violates Islamic values and propagates liberal thought, Saudi media reported on Tuesday.

Raif Badawi, who started the “Free Saudi Liberals” website to discuss the role of religion in Saudi Arabia, has been held since June 2012 on charges of cyber crime and disobeying his father – a crime in the conservative kingdom and top U.S. ally.

Badawi’s website included articles that were critical of senior religious figures such as the Grand Mufti, according to Human Rights Watch.

The watchdog said in December that Badawi faced a possible death sentence after a judge cited him for apostasy, but Al-Watan said the judge dropped the apostasy charges.

Apostasy, the act of changing religious affiliation, carries an automatic death sentence in Saudi Arabia, along with other crimes including blasphemy.

Sickening. I wouldn’t expect any condemnation from the U.S. on this, or any of their allies, seeing as how Wahhabist Saudi Arabia is the world’s top exporter of oil.

Nadim Houry — deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch — said in a statement that, “This incredibly harsh sentence for a peaceful blogger makes a mockery of Saudi Arabia’s claims that it supports reform and religious dialogue. A man who wanted to discuss religion has already been locked up for a year and now faces 600 lashes and seven years in prison.”

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The Proliferation of Human Rights and Its Consequences

... Human Rights

Jacob Mchangama and Guglielmo Verdirame — cofounders of The Freedom Rights Project — argue that the “gross inflation” of human rights treaties adopted by international organizations over the last several decades, obscures people’s understanding of those rights, thus making it difficult for rights to be realized, or demanded:

The expanded and diluted notion of human rights allows illiberal states to change the focus from core freedoms to vague and conceptually unclear rights that place no concrete obligations on states. Enabled by such rhetoric, no human rights violation can stand scrutiny on its own merits. Instead, human rights violations are relativized — intellectually dismembered and discarded when it is politically expedient. In this world, cuts in development aid can be labeled human rights violations just like torture in North Korea. Crucially, this unprincipled politics of human rights helps authoritarian states deflect criticism. In 2007, Cuba, which has one of the worst human rights records in the Western Hemisphere, succeeded in persuading a majority of HRC members to axe the specific mandate for monitoring its own human rights record. The praise authoritarian states shower on one another for supposedly upholding new, vague and abstract rights are therefore not just empty rhetoric but can produce real political gains.

Unfortunately, much of the human rights community has not only shied away from expressing qualms about rights proliferation, it has often led the process. But this approach has not helped advance the core freedoms that make the difference between liberal and non-liberal states: According to Freedom House, global respect for basic civil and political rights is in decline for the seventh consecutive year. Of course, it is exactly those basic rights that non-free states want to neuter. When everything can be defined as a human right, the premium on violating such rights is cheap. To raise the stock and ensure the effectiveness of human rights, their defenders need to acknowledge that less is often more.

Maybe anything and everything can be defined as a human right because we’ve never had a competent definition, or understanding, of what constitutes a “right”. Alasdair MacIntyre – who argued that the foundation of the international morality paradigm is paradoxically foundationless — illustrates this in After Virtue:

“the concept [rights] lacks any means of expression in Hebrew, Greek, Latin or Arabic, classical or medieval, before 1400, let alone in Old English, or in Japanese even as late as the mid-nineteenth century.”

What constitutes “a right” is something that has lacked consensus throughout history. We cannot realistically construct a foundation of international morality and justice based on the concept of rights, since we have little to no understanding as to what rights are, or whether or not they exist. We’ve been unable, as a species, to advance the concept of rights for most of human history, which would suggest then that we are misguided in thinking — as we currently do — that rights are something self-evident. It would also suggest that international institutions tasked with protecting vague interpretations of rights were doomed from the start.

(Photo by flickr user Jeremy Schutlz)

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Edward Snowden And The Difference Between Prosecution And Persecution

edward snowden wall mural

In an email to Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch, Edward Snowden thanked the bravery of states like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia for offering him support against the United States and its allies, and invited Lokshina, as well as other prominent human rights leaders and political figures, to join him for a meeting at Sheremetyevo Airport held just moments ago.

But in the email, Snowden repeated a claim that he’s made before — one that I’ve had a problem with from the beginning:

Unfortunately, in recent weeks we have witnessed an unlawful campaign by officials in the U.S. Government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The scale of threatening behavior is without precedent: never before in history have states conspired to force to the ground a sovereign President’s plane to effect a search for a political refugee. This dangerous escalation represents a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America or my own personal security, but to the basic right shared by every living person to live free from persecution.

While article 14 does indeed afford individuals the right to seek asylum in foreign states, it does not say that the state from which you are seeking asylum away from cannot still seek to prosecute you for crimes committed. And that’s the real difference here: prosecution versus persecution.

Edward Snowden is not being persecuted by the United States, he’s being prosecuted. The difference may seem minor, but it’s important. Persecution entails unfair and/or oppressive treatment based on the religious and/or political beliefs or race of a person or group. Prosecution is the conducting of legal and criminal proceedings against a person for crimes committed.

Now, Snowden may argue that he’s being persecuted for his political beliefs, therefore the label makes sense, but the fact is that he isn’t. He’s being prosecuted for his political/criminal actions — we can debate whether or not those actions were justified, or good, or damaging, but they were still illegal. If Snowden never leaked top-secret documents to newspapers, and instead expressed his alternative political beliefs, and was still being chased down by the U.S. because of them, then it would indeed be persecution.

But that hasn’t happened, and the United States has acted within the purview of the law throughout this asylum ordeal. Granted, it was stupid as all heck to ground the plane of the Bolivian president on a whim, but besides that, there has been no persecution to speak of whatsoever.

But I am glad to see Snowden finally invoke the UDHR as the basis for his understanding of rights and responsibility. It makes sense, considering many of his leaks have transcended American domestic surveillance concerns and have had to do with U.S. foreign intelligence operations against other states. Unfortunately for Snowden, and for anyone else who invokes the Declaration of Human Rights, there has never been a more anemic, baseless and unenforced document in the history of the world.

If you don’t believe me, go ask a Rwandan.

(photo by flickr user squirrel83)

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The Horrors Of Force Feeding Guantánamo Inmates

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Yasiin Bey (aka, Mos Def) volunteers to be force-fed under Guantanamo Bay prison standards, in solidarity with the hunger-strike inmates:

I could hardly make it through the whole video because of the grotesqueness.

Conor Friedersdorf watched the video, and was immediately reminded of the late Christopher Hitchens:

I don’t know whether or not forced feeding crosses the line of torture, the exercise reminded me of the late Christopher Hitchens volunteering to be waterboarded.

The Obama Administration is force-feeding numerous Gitmo prisoners twice daily as a response to a hunger strike inmates launched to protest being held indefinitely without charges or trial.

The standard procedures used include “strapping detainees to a chair, forcing a tube down their throats, feeding them large quantities of liquid nutrients and water, and leaving them in the chair for as long as two hours to keep them from purging the food,” The Washington Post has reported. Detainees say the procedures are abusive, verge on torture, and have “caused them to urinate and defecate on themselves and that the insertion and removal of the feeding tube was painful.”

It may not be torture in the sense that the prisoners are theoretically being kept alive by the practice, but it’s definitely inhumane and barbaric to put unjustly held human beings who have absolutely no hope of recourse for the rest of their lives through a gruesome procedure meant to keep them alive when they want nothing more than to die, which many of them undoubtedly see as the last form of self-respect and determination left to them.

And meanwhile, an indifferent United States, a cowardly Congress, and a do-nothing President watch on with folded arms.

(Photo: screenshot from youtube video)

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Massacre In Cairo: One Step Closer To Civil War

We don’t know the whole truth yet, but it hardly makes a difference in the grand scheme of things. 51 Egyptians are dead; shot to death by the same military force that ousted Mohammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power a few days ago. Islamist protestors claim that the military opened fire on them, unprovoked, while they were engaged in a mass prayer outside the Cairo barracks where Morsi is believed to be held. Meanwhile, the military says that a “terrorist group” tried to storm the Republican Guard compound, killing one officer and wounding dozens, and only then did armed forces open fire on them. The end consequence is that the Islamist supporters of Morsi and the MB are calling for an all-out civil war, and the military forces can do nothing to stop it from happening.

The Guardian has a good summary of the events:

The Egyptian military says gunmen from an “armed terrorist group” and linked to the Muslim Brotherhood – the Islamist organisation with which Morsi is affiliated – tried to storm the building shortly after dawn, firing live ammunition and throwing firebombs, killing one police officer. But the Muslim Brotherhood said troops opened fire at protesters, including women and children, none of whom had attacked the troops. The Guardian’s Patrick Kingsley spoke to a number of witnesses who gave differing accounts of what happened. Accounts from five of the wounded backed the Brotherhood’s version of events.

Both sides of what happened are too problematic to be taken as truth at this point. There doesn’t seem to be any valid reason why the armed forces — knowing the country is on the brink of mass violence — would indiscriminately open fire into a group of praying islamists. At the same time, the military’s claim that a “terrorist attack” needed to be quelled reeks of propagandism.

But an army spokesperson details the events to an extent worth considering:

The scene spiralled out of peacefulness at about 4am, he says. An armed group attacked the perimeters around the Republican Guard HQ, and the personnel responsible for securing the premises – from the army and police – were attacked by live ammunition, Ali says.

At the same time other groups started to climb up the buildings nearby and throw stones, molotov cocktails, bombs and heavy objects, Ali says, resulting in the death of one army officer and the injury of 42. Many of them are in a very critical condition, he says.

It was always expected that supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were going to be indignant that their government had been overthrown, and therefore some violence was always likely. What’s shocking and disturbing is that the interim government — who as much as we’d like to believe otherwise, needs islamist support in order to remain legitimate — would invite a civil war to brew by violently engaging the protestors. Egypt’s top Muslim cleric has already condemned the events and thinks that a civil war is on the horizon, the Salafist Nour party has withdrawn from government negotiations and have called for an investigation into the massacre, and on every street corner in Cairo, passionate and anger fueled Islamist radicals are preparing messages of uprising, violence and salvation for their supporters.

So how about that bloodless coup?

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Here’s What Brazilians Are Actually Protesting

When discontent becomes endemic amongst a population against their government, there hardly needs to be a dramatic event of sorts immediately preceding or acting as instigation for sweeping protests, outward anger, confusion, and violence. That’s precisely what we have going on right now all across Brazil, one of the most economically powerful nations in the world.

The protests were organized through the usual networks of social media campaigns, coupled with blocked streets and halted traffic like something out of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables — only this time, the people answered. In cities including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, hundreds of thousands filled the streets, marching at times peacefully, and at times not so much so. At one point, demonstrators climbed onto the roof of the Congressional building, then stormed it.

But when one hears that this all began because the Brazilian government hiked the price of a single bus fare in Sao Paolo by $0.09, it’s rather expected that we’d feel a sort of half-hearted apathy towards the demonstrators. A $0.09 percent hike in anything wouldn’t inspire even a senior citizen picketing demonstration in front of a neighborhood grocery store in the US.

Well, note what a $0.09 increase in bus fare means for the average Brazilian, most of whom make the state’s minimum wage:

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Telling the good guys from the bad guys

070827-A-3715G-275Sen. John McCain (cc photo by Jim Greenhill)

Seantor John McCain has been adamant for years that we know very well who to arm and support in the ongoing Syrian civil war – that the good guys are clearly the rebels, and they need our help. The old school Senator went to the warn torn country recently and met with a number of rebel leaders, and accidentally or not, posed for a photograph with rebels who had committed terrible crimes, like kidnapping 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims:

The photo, released by McCain’s office, shows McCain with a group of rebels. Among them are two men identified in the Lebanese press as Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, two of the kidnappers of the group from Lebanon.

A McCain spokesman said that no one who met with McCain identified themselves by either of those names.

“In coordination with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Senator John McCain traveled to and from Syria with General Salim Idris, the chief of staff of the Supreme Military Council of the Syrian opposition, to meet with two senior Free Syrian Army commanders,” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers on Wednesday in an email to BuzzFeed. “None of the individuals the senator planned to meet with was named Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim. A number of other Syrian commanders joined the meeting, but none of them identified himself as Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim.”

Rogers goes on to call the situation “regrettable” if indeed it turns out to be verified – which it has.

Joe Klein has the right perspective on this, I think:

I don’t blame McCain for this. It’s hard to advance a trip into rebel territory….The point is: We just don’t know these places well enough to go over and draw grand conclusions about policy. In a way, McCain’s trip is a perfect metaphor for the problem of involving ourselves with the Syrian rebels. We may be siding with the greater evil. We may be throwing fuel on a fire that could consume the region. Our track record when it comes to such things is dismal.

I don’t think McCain knowingly posed for a photo and subsequently exchanged pleasantries with Nour or Ibrahim, but that’s not the real point here. We simply can’t codify this conflict the way McCain claims we can, where the good guys are clear as day and eagerly awaiting our help to take over the country. This is a perfect example of why.

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President Obama and the future of the war on terror.

TIME Magazine; Person of the Year, Greg's Art and My Photo OnlineTIME magazine; person of the year (cc photo by Tony Fischer)

President Obama’s speech today touched upon seemingly every single issue his administration has had to deal with, from justifications for overseas drone strikes to reiterations about the moral and practical necessity to close the Cheney gulag known as the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The president addressed Afghanistan, Benghazi, ongoing concerns regarding the investigations into whistleblowers and journalism tampering, while providing a clear line on what constitutes the American conception of the global war on terror.

You can read the entire (prepared) speech here, but let’s take a look at some of the more impactful and pertinent excerpts.

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The world can end extreme poverty by 2030: don’t get too excited

From everything I’ve read about poverty in the world, I’ve never once come across a strategy to eliminate it that didn’t almost entirely depend on seemingly utopian if-then scenarios: if the world, or a particular country were to do “such and such” then poverty would be eliminated and we’d be able to concentrate on other things – like saving the planet from ourselves. So when I hear Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank President, say that the world can realistically end extreme poverty by 2030, I can’t help but have my first impression be, “yeah right buster, show me the facts.”

Well, a new Brooking’s Institution study by Laurence Chandy, Natasha Ledlie and Veronika Penciakova, argues that there’s a good chance that Kim is right and the world can indeed eliminate extreme poverty.

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Former Bush White House official invokes Nazi argument to defend Gitmo

So the basic rule of thumb is to never invoke the Nazis to defend yourself in an argument. Seems pretty fair, no? Well, when you’re tasked with defending the advent of the Guantanamo Bay prison and the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, I imagine there are very few branches to grab at whilst falling down. That explains why Ari Fleischer, former Bush White House Press Secretary, probably wishes he could have a do-over. Appearing on Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN last night, the pundit tried to defend the incarceration of human beings without trial at Gitmo, and claimed that we wouldn’t have needed something like a Guantanamo during the Second World War since the Germans “followed the law of war.” Ouch. He went on to say:

“We have it because these people did not even follow the law of war, let alone the rule of war,” he said, adding, “These people didn’t even wear a military uniform. They engaged in battle against America as terrorists, a violation of the laws of war. That’s why Guantanamo got invented.”

After being called out by the true instigator of all of this, Jeffrey Toobin, Fleischer kind of lost it and added this delightful gem:

“They [the Germans] followed the law of war. They wore uniforms and they fought us on battlefields. These people are fundamentally, totally by design different. And they need to be treated in a different extrajudicial system.”

So I guess if what Fleischer means by “law of war” is that you have to have a uniform and march under a banner of some sort, then, yeah, the Nazis followed the “law of war”. I assume his definition doesn’t include things like genocide, since that might harm his argument a tiny bit.

It bears noting as well that what Fleischer means by “different extrajudicial system(s)” are quite literally torture camps like Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Nice little tinge of hypocrisy there. But alas, were probably asking for too much for Fleischer and the rest of the neo-con circuit to come to terms with the fact that the only difference between how the Nazis would engage in torture techniques and how Fleischer’s superiors would engage in torture techniques is that one did so against the Jews, the other against Muslims.

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Daily Roundup

Today on BaddiesBoogie I began by considering the ridiculous and upsetting story out of Florida that a young high school student has been expelled and charged with two felonies simply for attempting a science fair project gone awry, and exposed everything you need to know about the major health care study out of Oregon on Medicaid efficacy.

Elsewhere I shared a worrying statistic that the United States sends about half the amount of 3 and 4 year olds to preschool than educationally successful states do, and halfheartedly laughed off a new poll claiming that half of the nation’s Republicans and a fifth of Democrats believe a revolution is in the works in the near future to restore our “liberties”.

Finally I brought you a photo of the day featuring war torn Syria, and argued the ethics of force-feeding the protesting inmates at Guantanamo prison.

Thanks for reading, more to come tomorrow!

Publius

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The ethics of force-feeding Guantanamo inmates

I’ve written several times about the ongoing disgrace that is the Guantanamo bay detention center, and I’ve openly lamented that our hope inspiring President basically deceived the nation when he promised to bring an end to what can only be described as an American run Soviet styled Gulag. 100 inmates (though conflicting reports have it higher) are starving themselves. They’re killing themselves. They’re doing so because they’ve exhausted all other forms of recourse. Most of them have been totally cleared of any connection to terrorism. None of them have been criminally charged with crimes. After a dozen years, they all remain there indefinitely.

If they die, it’ll be an even more damning situation for the White House and Congress, so Navy nurses and others have been summoned to Gitmo to help force-feed a couple dozen of the more seriously starved prisoners – aka the ones about to die in protest. The American Medical Association told the White House and the secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, that international standards uphold a prisoner’s right to refuse food and drink. But the mere existence of Gitmo flies in the face of international standards, so something like force-feeding isn’t going to keep the American government from fulfilling their agenda.

“I don’t want these individuals to die,” President Obama said on Tuesday.

Really? Is it that you don’t want them to die, or is it that you don’t want it to be seen that you were the reason they died? “The government will keep us alive by force-feeding us,” a Guantánamo prisoner said recently, “but they will let us die by detaining us forever.”

Sabry Mohammed, a Yemeni who, like most of the inmates, remains detained years after he has been cleared of any wrongdoing and approved by the Obama administration to return home, said, “I don’t want to die. I want to return to my family. But I have been pushed too far.”

Here is Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, on why this falls on the shoulders of the President, and no one else:

The president again tried to place the burden of the failure to close Guantánamo on Congress, but he has always had the power to end it: he can use the national security waiver provided by Congress to begin transferring immediately the 86 men who have been cleared. He can lift the blanket ban on transfers to Yemen, which he himself imposed. And he can appoint a high-level official to lead the effort forward.

It’s not really surprising that the military and the White House are extremely wary of the potential fallout over detainee deaths. In 1981, Bobby Sands, a member of the Irish Republican Army, starved himself to death. The fallout was increased IRA recruitment and exacerbated sectarian violence. Force feeding is unethical in every single way, and while the US hopes that they can prevent what happened in Northern Ireland from happening every single place radical Islam calls home, regardless of what happens to these inmates the US is clearly culpable to further accusations of state torture. Given his comments to the media, President Obama is aware of Gitmo as a viable recruiting tool for future terrorists, but we’ve reached a point now where nothing except the closing of the prison and the releasing of these people is going to change that.

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Your daily quote – Martin Niemöller

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Martin Niemöller

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The continuing disgrace that is Gitmo

Charlie Savage created this Tubmlr sharing the sort of reading material Gitmo detainees are allowed to read. Dan Coleman writes in response:

…the library currently has 3,500 volumes on pre-approved topics. Prisoners have to order books in advance. (They can’t just wander through the stacks.) And the most popular books include Agatha Christie mysteries, the self-help manual Don’t Be Sad; The Lord of the Rings; and, of course, Harry Potter.

Today, President Obama once again reaffirmed his support and intention to close the Guantanamo Bay gulag, which has become – other than a gross example of human rights abuse – one of the most potent tools used by Islamist extremists in order to recruit more Tsnaraev brothers. Seeing as how the President has been saying the same thing about Gitmo since before he was elected, are we supposed to trust that indeed he’ll close it once and for all? Or is this more smoke? Andrew Sullivan writes in response to the President’s speech this morning:

But Gitmo’s awful impact on American soft power is nothing compared to its potency as a toxin against the Constitution. Read Joe Nocera on a man captured at the age of 20, with no proof of his involvement in Jihad, and now destined to live a life sentence, if the US Congress has its way. Life-long detention without ever having committed any actual crime? That’s now the meaning of America, as represented by the Congress? Yes, it is.

Read past thoughts on the hunger strike at Gitmo here and here.

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