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      So, there’s a lot of BS about fake news. Trump claims that most stories about him are lies (most of it isn’t, some of it is), the media claims that Russians are spreading fake news (yes, like everyone else) and so on. And, I mean, this is bad. But I find it hard to get […]
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Monday Morning News and Views: More Broken Promises

This morning I want to highlight the latest presidential broken promise: Obama’s failure to follow through on his executive order of January 22, 2009 to close Guantanamo. Last Thursday, the day before the promised closing date, press secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House still has no timetable for when the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will be closed, if ever.

This is an excellent essay by Stephen Handelman: The Guantanamo Conumdrum.

Civil liberties advocates warn the President’s failure to close the military prison, as promised, will lead to “grave consequences”

Will Guantánamo Bay ever close? On Jan. 22, 2009, President Barack Obama won worldwide praise when he signed an executive order pledging to close the controversial military prison “no later than one year from now.”

But on the eve of the anniversary of his promise last week, an anonymous “administration official” told The New York Times that up to 50 detainees would continue to be held at Guantánamo without trial for an indefinite period: they were, he explained, too difficult to prosecute, but too dangerous to release.

Last week, Dakinikat blogged about Scott Horton’s recent piece in Harpers about the “suicides” that were really murders. Andy Worthington, an activist and author of a book on the prisoners at Guantanamo also blogged about Horton’s article. Worthington writes that the knowledge of the cover-up of the murders of three prisoners

should lead to robust calls for an independent inquiry, but the problem may be that almost every branch of the government appears to be implicated in the cover-up that followed the deaths.

As Horton describes it, an official “suicide” narrative was soon established, and widely accepted by the media, if not by former prisoners and the dead men’s families. With extraordinary cynicism, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, the commander at Guantánamo, not only declared the deaths “suicides,” but added, “I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” What was not mentioned were the rags stuffed into the prisoners’ mouths, even though this knowledge was widespread throughout the prison. Horton adds that when Col. Mike Bumgarner, the warden at Guantánamo, held a meeting the following morning, “the news had circulated through Camp America that three prisoners had committed suicide by swallowing rags.”

Truly, is there any hope for our country? Look how far down the road to fascism we have gone! In another piece, Obama’s Countdown to Failure on Guantanamo, Worthington writes:

Barring some frankly unattainable miracle, this will be the week that President Obama’s international credibility, regarding his promises to undo the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” detention policies, takes a nosedive.

The President began well, freezing the much-criticized Military Commissions trial system on his first day in office, and, on his second day, issuing executive orders requiring Guantánamo to be closed within a year, and upholding the absolute ban on torture that had been so cynically manipulated by the Bush administration.

and then he goes on to document the series of cowardly actions by the Obama administration that have led to this point. Will Obama ever do anything to change course from the Bush administration’s cynical policies? It doesn’t look that way. In fact, the latest plan is to hold 47 Guantanamo detainees indefinitely without trial. There were protests from human rights groups.

“If you close Guantanamo but leave individuals detained without charge or trial you’re just making a cosmetic change,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU National Security Project.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which has represented several Guantanamo detainees in federal court cases, blasted the administration.

“Today was supposed to be the deadline by which President Obama would close Guantanamo. Now it will be the anniversary of the president’s decision to abandon our most fundamental constitutional principles,” the center said in a written statement.

Amnesty International USA chimed in with a stinging criticism.

“If the president accepts the DOJ task force recommendation to hold anyone indefinitely, this policy will not keep Americans safe; instead it will ensure that Guantanamo will continue to be al Qaeda’s top recruiting tool,” said Tom Parker, Amnesty’s policy director for counterterrorism.

I heard a rumor this morning that the WH is now backtracking on this, but I couldn’t find a link. It’s hard to see what they will be able to do at this point–especially as long as Obama wants to “look forward, not back” and continue using his Justice Department to protect Bush and Cheney from accountability for their war crimes. Continue reading

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The sh&t is really hitting the fan at the progblogs!

This has been building for a long time, and it seems like we’ve finally reached a tipping point. The prog blogs are in an uproar! Of course Glenn Greenwald has seen Obama for what he is for awhile now, but today he’s really letting it all hang out. Just watch this appearance on MSNBC (h/t Jane Hamsher at FDL):

From Greenwald’s latest post: White House as helpless victim on healthcare

From the start, assuaging the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries was a central preoccupation of the White House — hence the deal negotiated in strict secrecy with Pharma to ban bulk price negotiations and drug reimportation, a blatant violation of both Obama’s campaign positions on those issues and his promise to conduct all negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN). Indeed, Democrats led the way yesterday in killing drug re-importation, which they endlessly claimed to support back when they couldn’t pass it. The administration wants not only to prevent industry money from funding an anti-health-care-reform campaign, but also wants to ensure that the Democratic Party — rather than the GOP — will continue to be the prime recipient of industry largesse.

But where will they get the votes to stay in office?

Then Greenwald quotes Russ Feingold from The Hill:

“This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth,” said Feingold. “I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect.”

Ah…the Schadenfreude… We tried so hard to warn them…

Back to Greenwald:

Yet numerous Obama defenders — such as Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein and Steve Benen — have been insisting that there is just nothing the White House could have done and all of this shows that our political system is tragically “ungovernable.” After all, Congress is a separate branch of government, Obama doesn’t have a vote, and 60 votes are needed to do anything. How is it his fault if centrist Senators won’t support what he wants to do?

Is there something wrong with me? I’ve gotten to the point where I’m actually laughing about this ghastly mess. I know it’s tragic, but it has gotten so bad that it’s like a horror movie that is so bad, you can’t help laughing at the gore splattering all over the place.

Here is a sampling of the writings of other outraged and disillusioned former Obots.

Jane Hamsher: Robert Gibbs Says Howard Dean is Irrational for Opposing LieberCare (Yes, she has been awake for awhile now too, but why was she banning everyone who questioned Obama back when we could have done something about it?)

From the Big Cheeto:

Even McJoan is finally upset

The White House Lashes Out At Howard Dean

Get this–the commenters are talking about electing Howard Dean in 2012, “after all, if Nixon could make a comeback….”

Barack Obama, Inc., by Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks

At Open Left, Adam Bink The Dangers of Deal Making (Isn’t he the guy who virtually led the Obamabot attack at the Cheeto last year?)

At TPM: Poll: Loss Of Public Option Causes Big Increase In Opposition To Health Care Bill

Josh writes:

A NBC/WSJ poll is coming out tonight that shows a substantial spike in opposition to the Health Care bill. And the internals show the movement is mainly from liberals disappointed in the the decision to drop the Public Option.

How it must have hurt him to write those words!

And at Huffpo, the president and publisher of Harpers Magazine writes: More and More, Obama Seems a Faux Liberal

Ya think?

I knew this day would come, but I never expected it to come in Obama’s first year! Feel free to add your own Schaedenfreude links in the comments. {still can’t stop laughing}