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Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd'

That's our leader, in denial, as always. At a press conference today, George Bush called the Amnesty International report on Guantanamo abuse (pdf) "absurd."

David Corn responds.

If anything is absurd, it's that the Bush Administration has held 70,000 persons prisoner during its war on terror.

Here are Amnesty International's latest numbers.

USA’s “war on terror” detainees, April 2005
(approximate totals/estimates)(11)
USA: Naval Brig, Charleston, South Carolina2 “enemy combatants”
Cuba: Guantánamo Bay naval base520
(234 releases/transfers)
Afghanistan: Bagram air base300
Afghanistan: Kandahar air base250
Afghanistan: other US facilities (forward operating bases)Unknown: estimated at scores of detainees
Iraq: Camp Bucca6,300
Iraq: Abu Ghraib prison3,500
Iraq: Camp Cropper110
Iraq: Other US facilities1,300
Worldwide: CIA facilities, undisclosed locationsUnknown: estimated at 40 detainees
Worldwide: In custody of other governments at behest of USAUnknown: estimated at several thousand detainees
Worldwide: Secret transfers of detainees to third countriesUnknown: estimated at 100 to 150 detainees
Foreign nationals held outside the USA and charged for trial4
Trials of foreign nationals held in US custody outside the USA0
Total number of detainees held outside the USA by the US during “war on terror”70,000

That certainly seems to belie Bush's claim that "The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world."

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    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#29)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    "What, precisely, is the problem with 70,000? If you don't like the number, you ought to have another one you like better. This being a lefty board, I imagine it's zero."
    Actually, Richard, the problem involves both of those numbers: 70,000 detainees, zero trials. Freedom is on the march.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    Posted by Wile E. Coyote: "I would say Paul in LA has a farm animal fixation." No, apparently liberals, especially city liberals, are immune, or as Randall Terry's buddy said, "out of touch with the real world." But I have been very impressed by this gap in my knowledge about the factors that make people into the mental midgets that wingers at least PRETEND to be. It's a wonder you still know how to breathe. It's not every day you get to be berated by an admitted bestiality pervert for not knowing that such practices are COMMON on American farms. I did not know that, I admit. Probably, being a barn animal yourself, Wile, you are only too aware. But it does explain a lot about how the winger concept of innocence stops at the doe-eyes of your favorite farm animals, and does not apparently extend to human beings from other cultures you don't like. If only Iraqis were farm animals, they would be among your closest intimates, instead of your jingoistic targets.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#31)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    Richard: "However, if you have any sensible idea of how to handle people who are fighting us, go ahead." Sure! How about giving them 380 tons of high-explosives, 4,000 shoulder-fired missiles (perfect for downing F-16s or super-airliners), 650,000 pounds of free ammo, and all their AK-47s to take home with them? Then make sure that you attack them on a string of lies that would make Al Capone blush, and do nothing but smirk when caught on it. Then make sure you get photos of bestial acts, which you distribute to make people, even ordinary people, angry enough to rebel against an illegal INVASION that the world community (aka, the UN) failed to protect them from. Oh yeah, this administration really knows how to 'fight' terrorism -- by being terrorists, and destroying the National Guard on a fascist invasion to establish airbases, so the genocide can REALLY blow back on America, and make Bush some real dough. Got no problem with 70,000 mostly innocent people being detained and tortured? Too bad they aren't farm animals, so you could REALLY have some fun.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#1)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    70,000? Wow, even if you multiply the numners you have by 4 you don't get to 70,000.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    perhaps if the number gets above 1000, we should release everyone else, no matter what they did or planned to do. I am sure Bush would be given a pass if one released committed an especially heinous act. what difference does the number of people held make?

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Forget to add, 70,000 given those numbers means tens of thousands released, somewhat belying the indiscriminate detention claims.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Forget to add, 70,000 given those numbers means tens of thousands released, somewhat belying the indiscriminate detention claims.
    Yeah, I guess that statistic would actually back up the "indiscriminate rounding up and shipping off to detention centers" claims instead.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Patrick.... 70,000? Wow, even if you multiply the numners you have by 4 you don't get to 70,000. I hear ya... but see, it doesn't really matter because the left will make stuff up as needed. Hell, most of them would say the number is in the Millions anyway! After all, we have the whole Middle East held captive don't we?

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    for a global effort, I don't find those numbers overly shocking. perhaps those suspected should be given recognizance bonds promising appearance at a later date. we should have the lawyers ready on the battlefield to argue for release while bullets are flying. [This commenter is limited to four comments a day. He's a chatterer, see our comment policy.]

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ambiorix on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    So, the rightwing nuts canít even read a table. The numbers in the table give the estimates as they where in April 2005. The last line gives
    The total number of detainees held outside the USA by the US during ďwar on terror"
    What word of during donít you understand.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#8)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    I wonder what the POW/MIA people think of this strategy?

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#9)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    "70,000? Wow, even if you multiply the numners you have by 4 you don't get to 70,000."
    But if you follow the annotations, you learn that the figure of 70,000 detainees is a Defense Department estimate:
    " I note that some of you in the audience today were also at the hearing. And I'd just like to start off my remarks by just noting that one of the senators today said you need to put this issue in proper context. When you consider the fact that we've had about a million servicemen deployed over the last couple of years in the global war on terrorism, and there's only been about 300 cases of detainee abuse, and we've handled over 70,000 detainees, that equates, if you do the math, to less than one-tenth of 1 percent. Of course the department doesn't condone any incident of abuse, and we're aggressively pursuing any allegation of abuse."
    No multiplication required. As Ms. Rice can attest, it pays to read the footnotes.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Unless they own stock in USA PrisonCorp (whom I'm sure are collectively drooling at the thought of new construction contracts) they will think he is a total and utter PUTZ, as I do.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    To all the wingnuts out there let me repeat for you that the numbers used by Amnesty International folks came from....wait for it, The Department of Defense. You know, the DoD, the hotbed of liberal shenanigans. You right-wingers really don't deal with reality, do you?

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Not only that, they offer nothing to refut the charge, they just keep calling it "absurd..." What's absurd is that we have the photos to prove that what AI is saying is f#*king true...has anyone forgotten the pictures from Gitmo, Abu Graib and Afghanistan? What, they don't count? What the hell are these 'cons trying to sell us? Gulag, people...gulag...

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    The absence of any response doesn't mean the wingers are stupid liars who ignore the facts. It's not because they are racist partisans who don't give a damn about the facts. It's because they are sheeple. Apparently, having sex with farm animals wasn't their brightest idea.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    Bush is the one who is absurd...absurdly tyrannical. That whole line about "spreading freedom" is classic doublespeak, what he really wants to spread is tyranny. First its the "fereners", the "terr'ists", and the American citizens with undesirable vices or lifestyles; then it's just about everybody who isn't in the inner circle of power. Just say no to tyranny by any and all governments, including our own. If we have to be tyrannical to be "safe", I'd rather live in constant danger.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#15)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    Boy that 70K sure was troll bait.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#16)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    Not only that, but apparently the colonel flunked math:
    "about 300 cases of detainee abuse, and we've handled over 70,000 detainees, that equates, if you do the math, to less than one-tenth of 1 percent."
    70,000 divided by 300 equals a little more than four tenths of one percent. Unless "over 70,000" actually means 300,000. In that case he'd be right on the money.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#17)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    I meant 300 divided by 70,000, natch.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    The guy says "look, the people making these claims have been arrested and locked up, because they hate America...they've been trained to disassemble (sic), so who you gonna believe, America or the guys we locked up illegally and took naked pictures of?" Uh........

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    Blaghdaddy.... so who you gonna believe, America or the guys we locked up illegally and took naked pictures of?" Good question Blagh D... unfortunately...most of the left is soooooooo quick to jump on any info at all that discredits this country and/or it's military. Sometimes I wonder just who's side they (you?) are on??? As far as locking anyone up illegally... I'm sure glad most of you weren't around during WWII! Mercy me.... how we picked on that poor Mr Hitler & all those innocent guys over there.... tisk...tisk. And the poor Japanese..? Why, we deserved the attack on Pearl! How dare us cut off their steel & ability to make war...shame on us! We are just bad ...bad people and I appreciate all the effort on the LEFT to try and tell the rest of us how evil & nasty we really are. We should all just sit quietly and take whatever anyone feels we have comming to us. Is that about right? Just wondering....

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    One of the many problems associated with detaining without representation is absence of accountability which perpetuates a rational fear regarding post-release honesty from those whom were detained. When released most people will never utter a word as to the humiliation or suffering they endured out of fear that they will be detained again indefinitely like those in Gitmo. To make an argument that 4 tenths of 1% of those incarcerated or detained were treated inhumanely or tortured is a fraction to be ignored is tantamount to saying that Saddam should be ignored as he only abused or killed 2 tenths of 1% of his population (50,000 out of 22,000,000). Now the rumor was 300,000 but thus far only about 12,000 bodies have been unearthed and there is no accounting as to how many were a result of the civil war. So if Saddam only abused 2 tenths of 1% of his population, by this reasoning we are way out of line in even mentioning it as an added bonus to the war. Funny how numbers work.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    "To make an argument that 4 tenths of 1% of those incarcerated or detained were treated inhumanely or tortured is a fraction to be ignored" Who, besides you, JL, is saying that's a fraction to be ignored? "that equates, if you do the math, to less than one-tenth of 1 percent. Of course the department doesn't condone any incident of abuse, and we're aggressively pursuing any allegation of abuse."...DoD Funny how reading is fundamental.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#23)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    I share a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated. Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people. That's not the way we do things in America. These prisoners should be treated humanely. People who mistreat the prisoners should be treated as war criminals

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    When the colonel brings it up he is inferring that it is a fraction a miniscule number, or else he would never bring it up. Good thing they had photos in Abu Gharib or else they would just be a bunch of disgruntled lying prisoners...... Give those detained trials, it is just and fair and at the heart of democratic values.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    There is nothing more difficult than responding to people who are blinded by sheer stupidity. So rather than even trying to persuade those who will not open their eyes, I just pass on my deep admiration to Jeralyn Merritt for her patience and for her brilliant Website. Peter G. Schmidt

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#26)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    I love it, 70,000 you say? what about the 3 million being hold here? and soon to be 10 million hold here.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#27)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    I would say Paul in LA has a farm animal fixation. Watch out, you can get anthrax from sheep.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#28)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    What, precisely, is the problem with 70,000? If you don't like the number, you ought to have another one you like better. This being a lefty board, I imagine it's zero. However, if you have any sensible idea of how to handle people who are fighting us, go ahead. This being a lefty board, I imagine the answer will be that they have every right to do whatever they want. Go ahead. The more often you say that, the more likely you are to get credit from the normal people...not.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:32 PM EST
    Fred Dawes nails it.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:32 PM EST
    Absurd? 5-7-04 "Despite repeated requests, Amnesty International has been denied access to all US detention facilities. "If the administration has nothing to hide, it should immediately end incommunicado detention and grant access to independent human rights monitors, including Amnesty International and the United Nations, to all detention facilities," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International. "The US administration has shown a consistent disregard for the Geneva Conventions and basic principles of law, human rights and decency. This has created a climate in which US soldiers feel they can dehumanize and degrade prisoners with impunity.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:32 PM EST
    Absurd? hrwatch, the organization cited in the "human rights" abuses by the administration regarding saddam has this to say about the war and abuse of power etc. http://hrw.org/wr2k4/3.htm

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#35)
    by roger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:32 PM EST
    Those pictures from Cuba must also be absurd. I guess that the detainees must have computers with photoshop!

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:32 PM EST
    This is what Blagh was asking on this thread yesterday...if the charges are absurd, what the hell are those pictures depicting - "BBQ Day at Camp David?"

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#37)
    by roger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:32 PM EST
    Blagh, and dont forget all of those memos.......

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#40)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:35 PM EST
    Well, look who just confirmed AI's numbers: _Figures cited by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday in defending the treatment by the U.S. military of detained terrorism suspects: _Number of detainees in U.S. custody since Sept. 11, 2001: 68,000.

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:35 PM EST
    Fozad, Sailor: You hate America...

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#42)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:35 PM EST
    Blag, nope, I love my country, I just fear the government;-) What's up with Fozad?

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:35 PM EST
    Fozad, Sailor, Fozad...the rallying cry of the Far and Religious Right when they hear the truth spoken...

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#44)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:36 PM EST
    Ahh, got it. We used to say ESAD,MF;-)

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:36 PM EST
    Also clear and easily understood...but Blagh was thinking last week about all the "Fozad"-type remarks the right makes every single day, and in a couple of minutes, he had it!! Whataya think?

    Re: Bush Calls Amnesty Report 'Absurd' (none / 0) (#46)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:36 PM EST
    A bit obscure and subtle for me, but I like the concept.