Friday, June 03, 2005

Charles Krauthammer

I don't normally read this guy, but the headline (Gitmo Grovel: Enough Already) was just offensive enough to compel me to look. Based on this article, he seems to be an apologist for this administration. Nothing more than an apologist.

Here are some of the lowlights:

Moreover, shutting down Guantanamo will solve nothing. We will capture more terrorists, and we will have to interrogate them, if not at Guantanamo then somewhere else. There will then be reports from that somewhere else that will precisely mirror the charges coming out of Guantanamo. What will we do then? Keep shutting down one detention center after another?

Any mention of the shiny new legal definition, or non-definition, of these detainees? How about the lack of rights that are afforded to these prisoners? Ah, no.

Two of the documented offenses involved "female interrogators who, on their own initiative, touched and spoke to detainees in a sexually suggestive manner." Not exactly the gulag.

Nicely done, sir. Make an offense seem kinda fun, and then make a snide comment based on that downplay. "Why wouldn't these fellows like a nice lap dance, hmmm? Hmmm?" I think what actually happened is the women smeared the men with menstrual blood, or what they said was menstrual blood. That definitely would not get a dollar from me down at the strip club.

Even greater hypocrisy is to be found here at home. Civil libertarians, who have been dogged in making sure that FBI-collected Guantanamo allegations are released to the world, seem exquisitely sensitive to mistreatment of the Koran. A rather selective scrupulousness. When an American puts a crucifix in a jar of urine and places it in a museum, civil libertarians rise immediately to defend it as free speech. And when someone makes a painting of the Virgin Mary, smears it with elephant dung and adorns it with porn, not only is that free speech, it is art -- deserving of taxpayer funding and an ACLU brief supporting the Brooklyn Museum when the mayor freezes its taxpayer subsidy.

This here shows how seriously we should take this column. He brings up the topic of Guantanamo, and could address the monumental issues of a quasi-legal detention center, the morality of how we are treating the prisoners, what that treatment means to the reputation of the US, what that treatment means to our souls, and whether or not we are holding prisoners who would actually harm us or just some freaking sheepherders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But instead, he makes a muddled, bogus point about...liberals. I guess. Pathetic.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Bob Herbert

Bob Herbert doesn't get enough credit "out there." He writes about issues that others prefer to ignore. He writes about morality without preaching, about injustice, about hypocrisy. Perhaps his prose is understated, and that's why he doesn't get more notice and praise.

But I respect him and his writing, because the topics he writes about are overwhelming (American torture, the Tulia, Texas miscarriage of justice) and he speaks clearly and strongly about these topics.

From today's column:

The lessons of Watergate and Vietnam are that the checks and balances embedded in the national government by the founding fathers (and which the Bush administration is trying mightily to destroy) are absolutely crucial if American-style democracy is to survive, and that a truly free and unfettered press (which the Bush administration is trying mightily to intimidate) is as important now as it's ever been.
Here is an interview with Herbert at Buzzflash (whatever that is).

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

White House Response to Amnesty International

From President Bubble Boy's press conference, today:

Q Thank you, sir. Mr. President, recently, Amnesty International said you have established "a new gulag" of prisons around the world, beyond the reach of the law and decency. I'd like your reaction to that, and also your assessment of how it came to this, that that is a view not just held by extremists and anti-Americans, but by groups that have allied themselves with the United States government in the past -- and what the strategic impact is that in many places of the world, the United States these days, under your leadership, is no longer seen as the good guy.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that is -- promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation.
In other words: America good. America not bad, America good. America not bad.

From Vice President Go Fuck Yourself's interview on CNN:

KING: Amnesty International condemns the United States. How do you react?

D. CHENEY: I don't take them seriously?

KING: Not at all?

D. CHENEY: No. I -- frankly, I was offended by it. I think the fact of the matter is, the United States has done more to advance the cause of freedom, has liberated more people from tyranny over the course of the 20th century and up to the present day than any other nation in the history of the world. Think about what we did in World War I, World War II, throughout the Cold War. Just in this administration, we've liberated 50 million people from the Taliban in Afghanistan and from Saddam Hussein in Iraq, two terribly oppressive regimes that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of their own people. For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don't take them seriously.
The enormity of this is overwhelming. These two buffoons have committed this country to immoral acts, to multiple immoral acts, to unknown immoral acts which are kept secret. Instead of acknowledging responsibility like the good Christian men they claim to be, they slime the source of any revelation. Newsweek? Liberal liars, responsible for riots and death. Amnesty International? Those complaints are all lies, told by people who hate America.

Bush, Cheney: Take some responsibility, acknowledge the wrong-doing.