Gitmo Detainees

Obama Fan Published:

I am still not sure what to think about the solider who went AWOL.  Was he a troubled young man whom the stress of war over took.  Or is he an enemy sympathizer. Here is what we do know. He walked away voluntarily without his weapon.  His father has grown his hair and beard which looks an awful lot like a Muslim.  And his father spoke to him as such.  We do know several other U.S. Soldiers lost their lives searching for him.  We do know that the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists.  Well until now.  We do know Obama signed into LAW that Congress must be notified 30 days in advance before a release of GITMO detainees.  Yet Obama took his magic pen worked a trade for the Sgt for 5 GITMO terrorists leaders.  That puts our soldiers at risk now as the enemy knows this administration will trade good for bad.  He ordered a release in violation of law.  His authority is as usual the "law of the land" and the constitution mean nothing to him.  He signed the law himself. Then goes against it.  He is inept and is putting the lives of citizens in danger as 5 terrorist leaders have been released who have been involved against U.S. Interest.  He is also inept as terrorists know he will igonore the very constitution he swore by.  

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  • First, there should not be any Gitmo detainees.

    It is the most egregious Soviet-style policy to... on the one hand not try them in a court of law for crimes--because of course they are not criminals for acting on behalf of their own country (in Afghanistan), and to defend its regime as sovereign actors... and  on the other hand, refuse to acknowledge them as POWs with the eventual possiblity that they may be released, or at least tried for war crimes.

    Where in the **** does the U.S. Constitution grant the U.S. executives, or the U.S. government as a whole, this kind of power?  American citizens have guaranteed rights.  But does this mean that the U.S. gov't can launch a free-for-all against all non-citizens across the globe?

    "The more you try to educate the proudly ignorant, the dumber they get."  Wow Bruno, maybe you are a philosopher.  Or at least a student of the human condition.

    Nonetheless, you have two choices:  Continue to attempt to establish first principles on shared knowledge, from whence you can start a dialogue and sway the other person to your opinion.  Or you can use force.  Ranting about dinosaurs and global warning is not effective in a discussion about GITMO and Bergdahl, initiated, perhaps ironically, by Obama Fan.

    Every one is entitled to his own opinion, even Fans of Obama.

  • "Spouting off about stuff you know nothing about is traditionally considered unwise. But as the Republican war on science intensifies, ignorance has started to become not only less of a handicap, but a point of pride. In the face of expertise and facts, being belligerently ignorant—and offended that anyone dare suggest ignorance is less desirable than knowledge—has become the go-to position for many conservative politicians and pundits. Sadly, it’s a strategy that’s working, making it harder every day for liberals to argue the value of evidence and reason over wishful thinking and unblinking prejudice.

    But for modern Republicans, being downright proud of their ignorance has become a badge of honor, a way to demonstrate loyalty to the right-wing cause while also sticking it to those liberal pinheads who think there’s some kind of value in knowing what they’re talking about before offering an opinion.

    This mentality, in its modern form, can be traced back to the Bush White House. In 2004, Ron Suskind of the New York Times interviewed an unnamed Bush official who famously pooh-poohed what he believed to be the shortcomings of journalists who insist that the truth matters more than fantasy:

    The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

    The sense that you could stick it to the liberals by being utterly indifferent to reality actually grew worse on the right after Bush left office, starting with the adoption of Sarah Palin as a right-wing hero. Palin represents this new era of treating the truth like it’s a horrible force of oppression trying to squelch conservative America. Subsequently, any utterance from her mouth is far more likely to be a blatant and aggressive falsehood than anything resembling fact.

    The thing is, shameless lying and ignorance works surprisingly well as a debate tactic. It’s hard to argue with someone who not only has signaled that he doesn’t care what the truth is but is downright proud of how little he actually knows. Such a person is not amenable to being educated. Once the pretense of really caring one way or another about what is right and what is wrong has been abandoned, all avenue of discourse is shut down.

    Take Rep. Jeff Miller’s recent appearance on MSNBC. It was a performance that has become standard on the right when talking about climate change: Dismissively wave away the scientific consensus and spout ignorance in the most condescending tone possible, as if nothing could be sillier than those scientists with their interests in facts and research. Miller repeatedly dismissed decades of scientific research showing the reality of global warming as “foolish.” Then he went above and beyond the call of duty, really showing off how proud he was to know so very little. “Then why did the dinosaurs go extinct? Were there men that were causing — were there cars running around at that point, that were causing global warming? No,” he said, full of contempt for people who aren’t nearly as stupid as he is.

    If Miller wasn’t such a major idiot, he would know that, in fact, the death of the dinosaurs was caused by an outside force that disrupted the Earth’s atmosphere; not cars, but a meteor that hit the planet with such impact it caused a massive cooling and then—wait for it—major global warming effect that wiped out 70% of the species on the planet. It’s one of the major reasons we know that outside forces, whether meteors or cars, that have major impact on the planet’s atmosphere can create temperature changes that permanently affect life on this planet.

    The problem here is that someone who is not only so catastrophically wrong but downright proud of being an ignoramus is not going to actually bother to listen to an explanation like that. That’s why the wall of ignorance is such a powerful rhetorical tool. When you have nothing but contempt for the facts, attempts to educate you will only make your pride in your own ignorance grow stronger. The more you try to educate the proudly ignorant, the dumber they get.

    At the end of the day, the problem is one of identity. The conservative identity is one of being opposed to everything liberal, to the point of despising anything even associated with liberalism. As liberalism has increasingly been aligned with the values of empiricism and reason, the incentives for conservatives to reject empiricism and reason multiply. To be a “conservative” increasingly means taking a contemptuous view of reality. And so the proudly ignorant grow more belligerent, day after day."

    Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and journalist. She's published two books and blogs regularly at Pandagon, RH Reality Check and Slate's Double X.

  • Perhaps The Onion said it best, quoting a fictional man-on-the street professing his outrage at the deal.

    “It’s unconscionable that we’re releasing these Gitmo detainees now for a prisoner swap,” says ‘Stan McGinty.’ “Legally they should have been released years ago for nothing.”

  • You haven't heard it all until you've heard disgraced Iran-Contra official Oliver North blast the Bergdahl deal.  It is terribly hypocritical for strong supporters of the military to criticize the administration for bringing home America’s only prisoner of war. Sure they might get criticized for sending back some Taliban prisoners, that goes without saying. And yes, the issues surrounding Guantánamo are always controversial. Needless to say the Congress was going to squeal when it found out the administration has brushed off its obligation to inform them of any Gitmo transfers 30 days in advance, and with some justification. But, by God, one thing for which the right could never be criticized was the fact that they lived up to the credo that says no American soldier will be left behind on the battlefield.

    Wrong. The propensity of right-wingers to be blatantly inconsistent with their most cherished principles is truly astonishing and should never be taken for granted. The White House did err in assuming that the chauvinist Republicans (and the many timorous Democrats who fear them) would not criticize this release simply because a soldier was involved. (All you had to do was look back at Rush Limbaugh’s willingness to slander any soldier, officer or enlisted, who dared to criticize the war effort just a few years ago to see how foolish that assumption was.)

    But there are hypocrites and there are hypocrites. And not even the sainted POW John McCain’s stunning flip-flop on the Bergdahl can come close Lt. Col Oliver North (Ret.) guy for sheer, audacious hypocrisy. Let’s first revisit his comments from 2011 on his Facebook page on the matter of Bergdahl specifically before we go any further:

    "Today, I received from the National League of POW/MIA families, a “Never Forget Bracelet” emblazoned with the name of Sgt Bowe Bergdahl.  He was seized on June 30, 2009 in Afghanistan and is being held by the Haqqani Organization — a Taliban affiliated terrorist group — in northwest Pakistan. Sgt Bergdahl and his loved ones here at home deserve our prayers and encouragement until he is rescued or released. That’s what we do. We’re Americans."

    “That’s what we do. We’re Americans.” That sounds like an unequivocal position — which shouldn’t surprise us coming from a man who felt so strongly about this that he personally directed an illegal plot to sell weapons to one of our most hated enemies in exchange for the release of American hostages.

    If there’s one person you would expect to defend this POW exchange it would be Oliver North. He was a critical player in the most infamous hostage deal in American history. But if you thought that, you’d be wrong. And his reasoning is almost beyond comprehension considering his history.

    He starts by making the dubious claim that Bergdahl is not a POW, but rather a hostage (something he knows something about). And then he complains that the government “must” have secretly paid a ransom, which he finds outrageous.

    That would be very wrong, unless it’s done by a Sainted Republican president. (And hey, if some enterprising young colonel can kick some of the profits to some “freedom fighters” somewhere in Central America, all the better, right?)

    North is far from the only right-wing hypocrite fulminating about POWs and hostages today after earlier beating the administration over the head for failing to secure Bergdahl’s release. But he takes it to a new level. After all, he was only spared from jail time by the fact that a judge ruled that the congressional inquiry that immunized him for his testimony made it impossible to charge him with a crime. It takes some real chutzpah for him to even use the word “ransom” in public.

    So, it’s fair to grant the administration critics this one point. When you see the inconsistency and rank hypocrisy of which Republicans are capable, it’s hard to see why a Democratic administration would assume that Republicans would reflexively support  ”the military’s time-honored ethos to leave behind none of its own on the battlefield.” They have shown over and over again that nothing is so sacred that they can’t toss it aside for cheap political advantage.

  • mach570, June 6, 2014 10:11AM

    "Exactly Bruno thats why you don't release your enemy until you are no longer engaged with him.  We will still be engaged with these terrorist until we finally take a decisive stand against them."

    All 5 of these guys were Taliban leaders, not al do know the difference, don't you?  Didn't think so.  None of them had any American blood on their hands and were last in Afghanistan 10- 12 years ago.  We could not put them on trial because we tortured them under Boosh...which was the only reason that we were still holding them.

  • Tell it to John McCain...

    John McCain has spent much of the past week denying that he changed his positionabout exchanging Taliban prisoners for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl. So he probably wasn't happy on Friday morning, when the Washington Post's official fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, sided with the people who think McCain flip-flopped on Bergdahl.

    McCain told Jake Tapper on Thursday that, although he previously expressed his willingness to exchange prisoners for Bergdahl, he would never have done so if he'd known exactly which prisoners would be exchanged. Kessler, though, poked some big holes in that argument:

    We fully appreciate that the details of a prisoner exchange are important, and McCain certainly made that caveat clear. But since the deal was announced, he has suggested that the question of trading the Taliban Five for Bergdahl was a surprise—and that’s certainly not the case. These five men were always part of the prisoner swap, so that is not a detail that can be in dispute. Indeed, only a day after The Washington Post revealed a deal was in the works to trade the five men for Bergdahl, McCain appeared on television with what was billed as a “new position.”


    McCain may have thought he left himself an out when he said his support was dependent on the details. But then he can’t object to the most important detail–the identity of the prisoners–that was known at the time he indicated his support. McCain earns an upside-down Pinocchio, constituting a flip-flop.

  • Exactly Bruno thats why you don't release your enemy until you are no longer engaged with him.  We will still be engaged with these terrorist until we finally take a decisive stand against them.

  • What the heck is total victory in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq...two undeclared wars where we really were not engaged with the country but insurgents of unknown origin within the country?  Total victory was impossible.

  • This is how you end wars.  You have to deal with the enemy to get your people back.

    Only if you are in the position of not having achieved total victory... So, for Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan we have to play "Lets Make A Deal".

    PS: Dan'l I'm not sure how that bit of silence got in there.  Glad you enjoyed it.

  • The Republicans are in an untenable position of saying that the most important thing is that no soldier is ever left behind and at the same time insisting that they would not have made this deal for Bowe, which in essence would have left him behind. Yet when pressed for exactly how THEY would have done it they always have no answer.  Chris Mathews interviewed Rep. Marsha Blackburn  (R-TN) last night on his show Hardball and was literally talking in circles as she oft does in and exercise in complete contradictions.  Watch it for yourself here:

    How did Obama handle Bergdahl prisoner swap?
    Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Michael Tomasky join Hardball to debate whether or not the Obama administration was right to release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for an American soldier who appears to have walked off his post.



  • This is how you end wars.  You have to deal with the enemy to get your people back.  Seems most Republican legislators would have left this soldier to his fate on the battlefield.  This means they would have left your son or daughter there, to rot in torment, to satisfy their political aims!

  • Big A$$ Fan: "His father has grown his hair and beard which looks an awful lot like a Muslim."

    That is pretty racist there even for you!  Or as Jon Stewart put it, “First of all, who the f**k are you to judge what a guy does if he thinks it might help him get his son back?” Stewart asked Kilmeade. “And I don’t want to complicate your hatred of facial hair there, friend, but my guess is if you gave Bob Berg-dahl a bandana and a duck, you’d like him just f**king fine.”

  • ukfan, June 4, 2014 12:50PM

    "Bruno...I think you left N4S speechless......"

    That ain't hard to do. ;-)


    mom31, June 4, 2014 4:50PM

    "Well, even the current administration was hinting that this guy intentionally walked away and gave himself up to the Taliban back in 2009.  Now it's a grand exchange of prisoners?  It's simple.  Obama can't put those people on a lengthy trial. Just wouldn't happen. That would be the worst PR problem ever for him after all those Gitmo promises. So he sends them back to kill some more of us."

    That is not at all what the know facts say has happened though, is it?  Whether Bowe walked around the country without an weapons until he was picked up by the Taliban is really irrelevant...he is still an American soldier.  This country cannot simply close up shop in Afghanistan and leave him need the shrink!

    This country refuses to try these Gitmo detainees which is why Boosh set up Gitmo in CUBA in the first place.  Obama inherited Gitmo and the Congress has hamstrung him in closing it, which included this ridiculous law that said that they must approve of any release of a Gitmo detainee. The President tried to bring those detainees to the US to incarcerate them in US prisons, but the Repukes would have none of it.  So, here we are.

    For these 5 high level Taliban (not al you even know the difference?) detainees who "have no American blood on their hands" to be sent to Qatar for a year until we no longer have any active force in Afghanistan is not "sending them back to kill more of us"!  When they get out of Qatar there will be no Americans in Afghanistan to kill. Anyway, Qatar is a small desert land with NO TREES where we have a drone base...they will not be hard to track and destroy if they go nuts and try to leave...a reality that has been made very succinctly to them.

    If you just understood current events, much less history even a little bit, you wouldn't be on here making such errors of fact, not that YOU care.  Tell me what I have said in my 3 (count 'em) "rants" that is incorrect...just one thing will do.

  • he will

  • Well, even the current administration was hinting that this guy intentionally walked away and gave himself up to the Taliban back in 2009.  Now it's a grand exchange of prisoners?  It's simple.  Obama can't put those people on a lengthy trial. Just wouldn't happen. That would be the worst PR problem ever for him after all those Gitmo promises. So he sends them back to kill some more of us.  Maybe if it hits Bruno's family **** wisen up.

    Although, he must have gone crazy judging by his two rant posts.  He needs a shrink.


  • Bruno...I think you left N4S speechless......


  • Of course Republicans are going to compare the prisoner swap that won the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to Benghazi. They both start with B. It leads to their favorite words that start with I: investigation, and possibly impeachment.

  • Yeah, Ronald Reagan never negotiated with terrorists?  Nope, neither did the elder Boosh.  

    Republican leaders in the House and Senate took turns hammering President Obama on Sunday for violating the law by not informing Congress of the deal beforehand. They claimed the move weakened America's stance in the world and put U.S. troops at risk by showing terrorist organizations they can win concessions by kidnapping Americans.

    "I fear that the administration's decision to negotiate with the Taliban for Sgt. Bergdahl's release could encourage future terrorist kidnappings of Americans," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Sunday in a statement.

    But security experts like Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies, said that however common the refrain "we do not negotiate with terrorists" has become, it is "repeated as mantra more than fact."

    "We have long negotiated with terrorists. Virtually every other country in the world has negotiated with terrorists despite pledges never to," Hoffman said. "We should be tough on terrorists, but not on our fellow countrymen who are their captives, which means having to make a deal with the devil when there is no alternative."

    Hoffman lists a series of high-profile instances when U.S. presidents have negotiated with terrorists. There was the Iran hostage crisis that started in ​the 1970s and eventually led to the release of 52 Americans. Or the Iran-Contra affair of the mid-1980s when the U.S. government sold arms to Iran partly to win the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon.

    Charles "Cully" Stimson, a security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, said there are even more examples of small-scale negotiations with terrorist groups that the public, and many members of Congress, just don't know about.

    Under President George W. Bush, Stimson helped coordinate the Pentagon's detainee operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other places around the world. He said presidential administrations of both political parties routinely have been forced to deal with terrorist groups for "information, supplies, personnel — a lot of different topics."

    "We have had very quiet negotiations, or discussions at least, with terrorist groups over the years on a whole host of things," Stimson said. "They just haven't usually come to light."

  • It sounds like the soldier either had a case of PTSD or Pat Tillman's Awareness.  And what normal person who had been thrust into that hellhole wouldn't?  Harken back to another soldier who was gung ho when he entered but after bouncing the rubble and children in Afghanistan for a while became totally against the US being there...that being Ranger Pat Tillman.

    Pat Tillman was well-known to American sports fans: a chisel-jawed and talented young professional football star, he was on the brink of signing a million dollar contract when, in 2001, al-Qaeda launched terrorist attacks against his country. Driven by deeply felt moral patriotism, he walked away from fame and money to enlist in the United States Special Operations Forces. A year later he was killed - apparently in the line of fire - on a desolate hillside near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan. News of Tillman's death shocked America. But even as the public mourned his loss, the US Army aggressively maneuvered to conceal the truth: that it was a ranger in Tillman's own platoon who had fired the fatal shots. In Where Men Win Glory, Jon Krakauer reveals how an entire country was deliberately deceived by those at the very highest levels of the US army and government. 

    Despite his fame, Tillman did not want to be used for propaganda purposes. He spoke to friends about his opposition to President Bush and the Iraq war, and he had made an appointment with notable government critic Noam Chomsky for after his return from the military. The destruction of evidence linked to Tillman's death, including his personal journal, led his mother to speculate that he was murdered. General Wesley Clark agreed that it was "very possible".

    After reports of Tillman's anti-war views became public, Ted Rall, who had previously written a comic calling Tillman a "fool" and "idiot," said that he was wrong to have assumed Tillman to be a "right wing poster child" when Tillman regarded the invasion of Iraq as illegal.  And some say that that is why his own Rangers killed him.