Obama: Gitmo Will Take Time to Close

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he would close Guantanamo during his first 100 days in office. This morning, on ABC's This Week with Stephanopoulos, he backtracked:

"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize," the President-elect explained. "Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom who may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it's true.

And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn't result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up."

Shorter version: It will close at some point, just not as soon as he promised.[More...]

But Obama said unequivocally that it will close. "I don't want to be ambiguous about this. We are going to close Guantanamo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our constitution. That is not only the right thing to do but it actually has to be part of our broader national security strategy because we will send a message to the world that we are serious about our values.

As to prosecuting Bush officials for crimes committed, it sounds like Obama isn't interested:

"We're still evaluating how we're going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we're going to be looking at past practices and I don't believe that anybody is above the law." Obama said. "But my instinct is for us to focus on how do we make sure that moving forward we are doing the right thing. That doesn't mean that if somebody has blatantly broken the law, that they are above the law. But my orientation's going to be to move forward."

While he didn't rule out the possibility of a special prosecutor, he said:

"When it comes to my attorney general he is the people's lawyer... His job is to uphold the Constitution and look after the interests of the American people, not to be swayed by my day-to-day politics. So, ultimately, he's going to be making some calls, but my general belief is that when it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed looking at what we got wrong in the past."

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    Shorter Obama: (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by pluege on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 07:44:39 AM EST
    'Don't expect me to do anything I said I would, but I'll give you some fancy words so you can keep on believing that I will just like you did during THE Campaign.'

    Shorter, shorter Obama: 'I'm all hat, no cattle.'

    The POTUS (none / 0) (#143)
    by madisonhack on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:00:49 PM EST
    is G.W. Bush. When Obama officially takes office, you guys can start your engines. What is really scary for you, or should be, is that if Obama is even moderately successful as President, it will be a cold day in H=e=l-l before another Republican sits in the Oval Office. How do you like those odds?

    Surprise! (5.00 / 12) (#2)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:01:26 AM EST
    Gitmo will take more time. Iraq will take more time. DADT will take more time. There's no money for UHC. National Security trumps the Constitution. I'm loving the changes. And we thought that a McCain presidency would be Bush's third term!


    I think most (5.00 / 5) (#47)
    by JamesTX on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:57:38 AM EST
    of us knew the "campaign rhetoric" would be the high point of the administration. It always is. The greatest accomplishment, in my opinion, is the fact that the campaign rhetoric actually won the election! That is real change. That means the American people actually want these changes, even if Obama can't deliver (which we should have known he couldn't to begin with). It is time to stop the worship and deification of Obama. The Rock Star Tour is over. He is a transitional and symbolic figure in progressive politics, but anyone with any understanding knows he only represents a small step in the right direction. He isn't big enough, experienced enough, or rich enough to fight the standing forces in our corrupted government. Don't get me wrong. I love him. He is our greatest achievement. But this is no shocker.

    If we are serious about change, we have to begin a new generation of activism for a new set of circumstances, and just keep pushing. As the old progressive blogs sink into the humdrum issue politics and number tracking, and you begin to see the rhetoric of change fade from their pages, it shows that they have been purchased by the right. We have to have a constantly evolving activist base that keeps the forum open for vitality in the quest for reform.


    But first (5.00 / 4) (#60)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:33:11 AM EST
    you have to keep all those believers with him by making their mortgage and rent payments, remember. . . .  Yeh, the incredible naivete of the newbies, the first-time voters, was just amazing.  And now they can't make their mortgage and rent payments because they're redecorating with all those Obama collectibles advertised on their teevees.

    You really think it was first time (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:54:58 AM EST
    voters? Plenty of relatively experienced people got all tingly over Obama.
    They got tingly over Bush too.

    The first-timers seemed most naive (5.00 / 8) (#88)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:37:32 PM EST
    but yes, the more mature ones surprised me -- many I know with many years and elections and even political involvement behind them, much education, etc.  Many who were skeptics about Bush and about everyone else this election year but bought into Obama like high school girls after a hunk.

    Example:  I recently went to dinner at the home of friends, both profs of philosophy with Ph.D.'s and post-docs from the most prestigious schools here and in Europe, highly respected on both continents and much-published in the field. Also  longtime liberal, political activists whose skepticism has been on superdrive for years.  

    But I was greeted at the front door with a hand-lettered sign full of Obama adoration.  And for the first time, there was grace at dinner, with an Obama love prayer.  And the dinner discussion kept being brought back to Obama and how he is going to rescue us from conservativsm and . . . well, I had to wonder at their reading comprehension and analytical ability, after all these years.  Yikes.


    Your dinner experience (none / 0) (#142)
    by madisonhack on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 07:52:58 PM EST
    is a little over the top. Your cynicism drips from the page, but as others have said on this thread - Obama was our one hope in this election. Obama also said he was leaving the decision of prosecutions of past crimes to the new AG, as it should be. That person, presumably Eric Holder, is the nation's top cop and it's his job to do, not the POTUS. I find it refreshing to hear the President drawing Constitutional boundaries for the first time in 8 years, don't you?

    Wow, you must have missed (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:20:23 PM EST
    the FISA flipflop.  

    And the dinner description is for real -- sad to say.  Most of us learned a lot this year, Madison.


    Okay, here's the thing: (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by Anne on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:40:03 PM EST
    Obama sold himself as our one and only hope in this election, with the help of his pals at the DNC, who did all they could to clear the decks for him.  Well, bravo, he got himself elected - and it's time for the rubber to meet the road, and it's time he heeded the needs of the real people who believed, time he lived up to his own hype to the best of his ability.  It's really not too much to ask.

    Leaving the decision about prosecutions of members of the Bush administration to his attorney general is, in a word, cr@p.  If he believed, as so many of us do, that these people committed crimes against the Constitution, he has a duty to tell his AG that he wants everything done to make sure that these people are brought to justice.  Not because this is about "getting even," but because it's the best way to establish precedents and define presidential power and ensure that the essential constitutional foundation of this country is preserved and protected.  

    Obama's not drawing constitutional boundaries, he's allowing himself an out, as he always does, just in case.

    For all his lofty talk, I think Obama is, essentially, a coward, because he lacks core convictions he's willing to fight for.


    Maybe we can (none / 0) (#84)
    by JamesTX on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:32:23 PM EST
    keep them interested!

    Really good post IMO (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:00:40 PM EST
    Thanks for the (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by JamesTX on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:36:05 PM EST
    kind words. I get my emotional catharsis from posting comments on blogs. Most are ignored. Others elicit angry diatribes or claims that I am misinformed and less than intelligent.

    A one-line comment like this will last me a year or two!


    I think many of these (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:03:59 PM EST
    lefty bloggers were attracted by Obama's promises to change process. Now, he did have a very modest record in that area---open government proposals and so forth; however, I'm just not convinced that any change in the political process will make for better policy.

    You take my breath away (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:12:27 PM EST
    I'm astonished that you think having a "symbol" who talks good is enough in a president. There's no evidence at all that the people you think are "serious about change" are in this for more than inspirational entertainment -- the same way they watch Oprah.  I'm astonished that you think marketing and branding is enough.

    "As the old progressive blogs sink into the humdrum issue politics and number tracking, and you begin to see the rhetoric of change fade from their pages, it shows that they have been purchased by the right."

    In other words, the "rhetoric of change" is the important thing. And these "progressive blogs" that actually hold BHO's feet to the fire are to be criticized.

    Gosh, I held off posting on this one because I don't really know where to begin.


    I didn't say (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by JamesTX on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:23:41 PM EST
    the rhetoric of change is enough. I said it is all we are going to get for a while, and if it dies, we will get nothing at all -- ever.

    Kill it completely, don't just let it die (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by mexboy on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:22:14 PM EST
    Rhetoric of change must die, so that real change can happen. If rhetoric is allowed to be the carrot that strings the horse along, people will grow disillusioned and will eventually become jaded to the process.

    It will in essence kill the hope for change.

     "Hope is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen yet," According to the Bible.

    I see none of that in Obama's rhetoric.


    Oops, I misquoted (none / 0) (#130)
    by mexboy on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:43:04 PM EST
    it should be faith, not hope, is the substance...
    since faith and hope go together, I'm sure you get the point.

    Thanks for the clarification (none / 0) (#82)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:26:22 PM EST
    We need a load of (none / 0) (#91)
    by JamesTX on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:47:53 PM EST
    real reform, but we haven't even had any call for reform before now. If the sales job works, it means there is a market for the ideas. We haven't even had any interest in the ideas for thirty years. That is good news.

    Um (1.00 / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:16:04 PM EST
    I know that the dark force is strong with you, but just in case you have not yet noticed Obama is not the President yet.

    Seems like the horses are out of the starting gate well before the gun..


    You're pretty dark yourself, Squeaky (5.00 / 5) (#79)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:21:31 PM EST
    Please get help. Your toxicity is really off the scale. I've watched your comments to many people on many threads, and this stuff isn't normal. It's really, really vituperative and reflects on you.

    (And no, your comment is here isn't off-the-wall -- you may even be pointing out something I need to here.  But here, as in so many cases, it's hard to understand the point you are trying to make because it's all transmitted through a veil of nastiness.  I'm referring to your whole oeuvre.)


    LOL (1.00 / 0) (#96)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:05:48 PM EST
    My whole oeuvre? Wow you must have a lot of time on your hands, I think that I have written over 12,000 comments in a period of six or more years.

    A little history.

    Before the primaries most of the dark forces, so to speak, were our GOP trolls, or Bushlickers as they were commonly referred to.

    The primary brought a whole new crowd to TL, hillary and obama cultists, or commenters who had no criticism for their preferred candidate while heaping non stop criticism on the other Democratic candidate, and his or her supporters.

    Of course, the obama cultists were eventually driven away from TL which became a haven for Hillary cultists.

    Most of them have left since TL announced support for the Dem nominee.

    The ones who have stuck around have acted just like the bushlickers used to act. Nothing good to say about Obama, zero. Only taking joy in knocking him down.

    There is a big difference in holding Obama's feet to the fire, and taking delight in any thing that could humiliate him or bring him down. The punch line is always the same: 'See, I told you so!'

    Of course the greatest irony and the tipoff that this is some kind of cult like behavior is that Obama and Hillary are 99.9% the same in their policies. It is without doubt that most of the appointees would be exactly the same had Hillary won.

    The only difference is that the cultists here would be cheering her on rather than "holding her feet to the fire".


    Quite an exposition. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:12:43 PM EST
    To which category do you assign our hostess, who posted this?

    Hostess? (none / 0) (#102)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:31:11 PM EST
    Do you mean upstart crow? Or jeralyn?

    If you mean upstart crow, he or she came here with the flock, but is clearly capable of self reflection unlike some of the other hard core Obama haters who arrived in the last year.


    J. (none / 0) (#104)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:40:08 PM EST
    No Problem (none / 0) (#106)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:51:02 PM EST
    She has been clear and is certainly not a cultist, not even remotely. Are you joking?  

    Not entirely. The responses to her (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:53:42 PM EST
    post indicate to me their is quite a bit of latent unrest though.  

    Latent Unrest (1.00 / 1) (#109)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:05:20 PM EST
    Is quite different than bashing everthing Obama says or does. For instance Jeralyn has pointed out when she likes an Obama appointee and when she agrees with a policy decision.

    That is miles away from the flock that is only waiting to say I told you so. Clearly you lean towards the latter group, and have distinguished yourself from jeralyn on this issue.


    Unfair charactization of moi, (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:15:24 PM EST
    I although I never adopted the rose-colored glasses either.

    OK (none / 0) (#112)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:20:15 PM EST
    And you have never agreed with anything Obama, or mentioned anything that you do agree with Obama on, no?

    Do you keep score cards? (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:25:07 PM EST
    No (none / 0) (#117)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:31:30 PM EST
    I just have an excellent memory. Also it is a no brainer for anyone who has been here over a year and a half.

    The same people who called Obama an empty suit, are continuing their campaign against him. You, like most of the recent flock, although a quite positive force on other subjects, have continued your relentless campaign against Obama.

    Nary one good word from about anything Obama, unless I missed something.


    You missed (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:59:17 PM EST
    that's why I asked if you had a score card. You tend to be so absolute in your judgments.

    Scroll down an take a note. I'm not one who's going to spend any time going back over comments I've made, so if you're going to make judgments, I expect you to keep track   ;) For the record though, I am ok with some of his appointments. I think Hillary was a very good choice, although you will prob hear me grumbling if I don't like her replacement. While you may think Obama and Hillary were pretty much the same, she has an interest in some areas I care about and seems to have a more thorough understanding and commitment to them. And sees the importance of their effect. I just don't get that from Obama and I'll be damned if I'm going to sit back and be pleasant about it. What was it that O says? Oh yeah, "The fierce urgency of now". We are there in so many ways, and I'm not sure about his appointments in those areas. In fact, I'm feeling grim. As I've said, I hope he does well, we can't afford for him not too. I've also said that I see some troubling things that raise my "instincts". Again, hope to be proven wrong . . . .


    lol (none / 0) (#124)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:12:03 PM EST
    Got it: kudos to Obama for the thoughtful puppy picking procedure...  I guess I was wrong to say that you have never said one good word about Obama.

    Anyway all I can say is we will see what we have once the new ball game starts.

    One thing for sure I am overjoyed with losing BushCo and quite pleased that an AA democrat is now POTUS.


    The tailoring on his suits has improved! (none / 0) (#129)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:41:14 PM EST
    Two in one day!!!!!!!

    Seriously though, it's nice to see a good example being set on puppy acquisition. What with Oprah going to a less than desirable breeder and walking out with 3 puppies on National TeeVee and all the Hollywood airheads toting around pet store purse puppies . . . The conditions they promote are pretty grim (and worse). Obama's got the type of popularity, that whatever puppy they pick could be hell on the breed.

    Can't tell you how thrilled I am that Dals have dropped so far down on the popularity list. Unfortunately, all the poorly bred ones during the hype gave the breed a bit of a tarnish.


    Purse Puppies (none / 0) (#148)
    by daring grace on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 10:21:15 AM EST
    Oh, do I hate the sight of those poor dogs stuffed in those designer bags.

    I dunno. Maybe the dog itself feels more secure in a papoose like enclosed setting since it's so small and vulnerable looking, but the image of that just epitomizes the objectification of these living creatures, in this case as fashion accessories. Grrrr!

    My neighbors a grad student couple have a little dog (not sure what it's breed is, but it looks to my ignorant eye like a chihuahua--short haired and big eyed and tinytinytiny). They treat it in an opposite manner to the purse puppies in that it trots at their heels or a little ahead of them off leash. Maybe it's so small a leash would be silly, but I hold my breath every time they park across our urban street from their building and the little dog is darting on its own into the road. It's so small I worry a speeding oncoming driver won't see it.

    So maybe some carrying is necessary. But that little dog seems very happy to me unlike the purse puppies I see...


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#151)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:54:43 PM EST
    Have to say that many dogs love to be in a pocket so to speak. My favorite dog in the world, loooooved to be in a bag or under the covers. She preferred being in her (rather tight) backpack rather than anything else, save checking out another dog or eating food.

    Oh she is a Rottweiler/Beagle mix 50/50 and weighs almost 40lbs.

    Carrying her was tough on the back, but necessary for NYC subways.

    She is now in Spain, and I miss her big time.


    I agree with him we need to get out of (none / 0) (#115)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:27:25 PM EST
    Iraq as soon as possible.  Not so sure upping the ante in Afghanistan will bring any positive results for U.S. or Afghanistan in the long run.  I agree with his listening to all sides in the Israel/Palestinian conflict and am heartened by his past willingness to work on behalf of Palestinian issues.  I agree it is better to talk to foreign leaders, even those with whom we strongly disagree, as opposed to labeling people/countries "Axis of Evil."  I agreed with his support of filibustering FISA revise. I mainly agree with his appointments so far.  I agree closing Guantanamoo isn't as simple as it may have seemed.  Apparently, either due to not enough evidence or tainted evidence, some people presently incarcarated there may never stand trial but, a cautious President may be reluctant to release them, and, in some cases, their country of origin won't accept them.

    Agree (none / 0) (#118)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:35:13 PM EST
    We'll see what happens when he takes over, in any case I guarantee that it is going to be quite different than the last 8 years.

    Guarantee" I am not so confident. (none / 0) (#119)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:45:48 PM EST
    Well Then (none / 0) (#120)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:52:55 PM EST
    Take off whatever glasses you are looking through, they are distorting your vision. Look at the large majority of who the people are replacing BushCo. Quite a different scenario and that is a fact, not an opinion.

    Gates, Brennan, . . . (none / 0) (#121)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:55:11 PM EST
    I fervently hope you are correct though.

    CS and SG . . . . (none / 0) (#123)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:00:53 PM EST
    Thank you and you are right (none / 0) (#134)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:44:41 PM EST
    I do not bash Obama. I have supported him since the day Hillary dropped out. I will continue to do so.

    But I also want him to support the policies I support. I will praise him when he makes good moves and criticize him when he doesn't. I would have done the same to Hillary.

    He's going to be a vast improvement over Bush/Cheney.

    As for those in the comments who criticize him no matter what, it's sour grapes and beyond stale at this point.


    My reply is to Squeaky in (none / 0) (#135)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:46:12 PM EST
    That is definitely (none / 0) (#90)
    by JamesTX on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:41:19 PM EST
    true, and we can always hope. Nonetheless, he is making it quite clear that the ad campaign is over, and the reality is a little different than expected. How could it be any other way? It took thirty years to get into this mess. It's not going to be dismantled overnight. We are moving in the correct direction, though, if we just keep it up.

    Hubert Humphrey, nealry 40 years dead (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by pluege on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:38:07 PM EST
    could have won this years' election.

    NYT (none / 0) (#97)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:12:35 PM EST
    says he will renege on most of his campaign promises, so don't worry about a little thing like Gitmo.



    Oh, NYT is just pissed because (none / 0) (#103)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:38:36 PM EST
    Obama hasn't agreed to a post-election interview.

    Did Obama actually ever promise UHC?

    Also, does this mean Obama won't wipe out poverty w/i 10 years?


    He never promised UHC (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by sallywally on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:22:23 PM EST
    in fact, in refusing mandates made sure it could not happen. Clinton was the one whose plan would have brought it about.

    Yes He Did (none / 0) (#139)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:54:42 PM EST
    In the 2008 campaign, affordable, universal health care for every single American must not be a question of whether, it must be a question of how. We have the ideas, we have the resources, and we will have universal health care in this country by the end of the next president's first term.



    Good. (none / 0) (#140)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:58:16 PM EST
    I'm glad now there were not mandates (none / 0) (#141)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 07:21:14 PM EST
    for all in his prior talk and I don't think he's going to go there if he stays on the SS Unity. I can see what "affordable" is and how things break out along economic lines before I hop on board.

    So The Abbreviated Version (none / 0) (#131)
    by CDN Ctzn on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:45:22 PM EST
    then would be that he lied to us. That's what we're really saying here.

    That's "Change we can believe in"!


    "When it comes to my attorney general" (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:07:48 AM EST
    "...he is the people's lawyer... His job is to uphold the Constitution"

    And his job is also to look to the future.

    Eric Holder Knows: Bush And Cheney Deserve Fair Trials

    Mr. Holder has said [in his June 2008 speech to the American Constitution Society] that:
    "Our needlessly abusive and unlawful practices in the 'War on Terror' have diminished our standing in the world community and made us less, rather than more, safe," Holder told a packed room at the ACS 2008 Convention on Friday evening. "For the sake of our safety and security, and because it is the right thing to do, the next president must move immediately to reclaim America's standing in the world as a nation that cherishes and protects individual freedom and basic human rights."
    If Mr. Holder, when he becomes Attorney General, is to live up to his own statements and retain the personal and professional integrity he has displayed in his law career thus far, and not by acts of omission become an accessory along with Mr. Mukasey and Ms. Pelosi to the crimes of Bush, Cheney and others in the Bush administration, he will have no choice but to accept the demands of the thousands of US citizens who have signed the Docudharma/Democrats.com Citizens Petition for a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute Bush administration war crimes.

    If he will not, Mr. Holder runs the risk of throwing away a lifetime of work in a so far illustrious career and all of his personal and professional integrity and becoming a fugitive with Mr. Mukasey and an accessory to these crimes along with and no better than the perpetrators and other conspirators.

    Given his professional record, I have every confidence that Mr. Holder, as soon to be Attorney General of the United States, realizes that he can make no other choice than to do the right thing.

    Mr. Holder knows that like any other accused criminals, Bush and Cheney deserve fair trials.

    And Mr. Holder knows that failing to give them those fair trials would be convicting himself.

    Docudharma[.com] and Democrats[.com] have collaborated to sponsor the Citizens Petition for a Special Prosecutor to Investigate Bush War Crimes. Nearly 15,000 people have signed the petition since it began on Dec. 18, 2008. It will be delivered to Eric Holder during his senate confirmation hearings and after Obama's inauguration.

    If you haven't done so yet, Sign The War Crimes Petition Already.

    One can hope! (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:41:47 AM EST
    Nothing would please me more than seeing the Bush administration held accountable for their actions. (too many to list). I wish I could believe that Obama and the Democratic leadership will undertake it. I just don't see it happening. Obama wants to be seen as the uniter. A political blood bath is the last thing he'll want.

    Well, if he (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:54:51 AM EST
    wants to be a uniter, if he doesn't want a political blood bath that might define his first term as him being a bush enabler and a torture excuser and might drown him, then he'll tell Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor, and answer the question directly himself, instead of hiding behind excuses and Joe Biden, since according to Biden, it is not the job of the president or the vice president, but of the Justice department.

    The change.gov site has answers posted for this round of "Open for Questions."

    They relegated Bob Fertik's question to "Previously Addressed Questions" and quoted Biden from the past on it.

    Vice President-elect Biden, 12/21/08: "[T]he questions of whether or not a criminal act has been committed or a very, very, very bad judgment has been engaged in is-is something the Justice Department decides.  Barack Obama and I are-President-elect Obama and I are not sitting thinking about the past. We're focusing on the future... I'm not ruling [prosecution] in and not ruling it out. I just think we should look forward. I think we should be looking forward, not backwards."
    I doubt that even Biden wants to "look forward" to a political bloodbath.

    I was happy to see George Steph (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:51:15 AM EST
    ask that question about Bob Fertik's question, quote the question in full, and display the text of the question on the screen.  He also did a decent follow up question.  What I wasn't happy about was the expression on Obama's face after he was asked the question, and the fact that he didn't answer the question.

    As I said to my friend, the only reason not to answer that question directly is the fact that Bush is still in office and can still issue pardons.  Obama gets the benefit of the doubt for nine more days.  After that, if he continues to waffle on it, it means he's not going to hold the Bush administration accountable.  

    Because of that change.gov question, your petition, statements from Congressfolk, the voices of many others demanding accountability, and the all the news coverage of this, Obama is really on the line about this and I don't think it's an issue that's going to go away anytime soon.  He has to address this.


    Obama: Bush is above the law (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Andreas on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:30:30 AM EST
    Obama essentially said that George Walker Bush is above the law. Obama does not want this sadistic mass murderer and his accomplices (including lots of Democrats) to be put on trial, convicted and punished.

    So it begins... (5.00 / 12) (#6)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:46:15 AM EST
    ..reality sets in. So much I could say, but I won't. Sometimes it sucks to be right.

    Yeah I'm a 'told you so' too (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Pepe on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:20:48 AM EST
    For two years on various blogs I was saying that this guy was a fraud, that he was lying, that he was as sleazy as any politician out there. But oh no, all the the koolaide drinking faithful did was call me names. In fact on this blog I read that people, faithful posters, had their accounts deleted if they didn't bow down to him. Well now the guy has spent half his president-elect time backtracking on things he -cough- 'promised'.

    And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Just wait if this blog ever starts discussing his stimulus proposals that give 'the people' $10 dollars a week if you are single and $20 dollars a week if you are married - while his is giving hundreds of billions of dollars to the same big business guys who contributed big time to his campaign!!! For some reason that has yet to be discussed.

    And people have the chutzpah to say Blago was asking for 'pay for play'? Witness El Presidente. I say El Presidente because his $10 stimulus plan for the common person is representative of some Latin American third world dictator.

    In a few months people will start looking at a straight talking Hillary with regret in their hearts.

    We are all PUMA's now.


    Read 'The Shock Doctrine" for an idea (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by allimom99 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:33:14 PM EST
    of what might come next. Note how the President-elect makes sure to remind us at every turn how bad things are, and now how we will "ALL" have to sacrifice. It's pretty apparent he's setting us up for a good old-fashioned dose of Chicago School medicine. Daon't worry, all you bankers and CEOs, he's still watching your asses - those campaign contributions are really going to pay off.

    You're Asking Alot (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by CDN Ctzn on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:06:21 PM EST
    Allimom. Inviting people to invest the time in reading a 600 page scholarly tome is just too much. (snark) Can't we just watch "24"?

    Personally, there probubly isn't a better or more relevant book out there for these times, and, I agree that those of us who've invested the time reading it have reason for concern. The "signs" of Obama being influenced by "the Chicago Boys" are truely alarming!


    don't expect Obama or Democrats (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by pluege on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:10:01 AM EST
    to either prosecute bush or undo ANY of bush's egregious Executive power grabs or illegal actions. All of them would, and do want the craven excesses bush indulged himself in as boy king. All the now safe and popular bush bashing is just head-fakes and distraction to hide their true feelings of bush-envy and longing for the chance to abuse their power too.

    Obama and the democrats are clearly in kabuki overdrive to walk away from the impressions of their intentions they sold the voters.

    Not (none / 0) (#13)
    by SOS on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:13:45 AM EST
    gonna' happen.

    What I care most about (5.00 / 8) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:19:44 AM EST
    are those who have been tortured and innocently held.  What I care about secondly are those who have been held without process and facts that are actual lies.  I want the people cared for first.  In caring for the people the rest will come to pass.  Sadly Obama doesn't sound very humanitarian about it all.  Heck, he doesn't sound very Presidential either.

    I just saw some of the "This Week" show (5.00 / 9) (#33)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:37:06 AM EST
    In answering the question, Obama said something about Dick Cheney's "good advice".  What the heck did he mean by that?  And why would anyone talk about Cheney's good advice, particularly at this point in time when Cheney has been in the press talking about the merits of torture?

    I guess if Reagan can have good ideas (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:05:17 AM EST
    Cheney can give good advice.

    The advice he was talking about was that Cheney suggested Obama learn what the secret programs are and what they have accomplished before he acts on his campaign rhetoric. Of ocurse, since they are secret, the american people will never be able to make the judgement themselves.


    Torturers can't (5.00 / 6) (#56)
    by JamesTX on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:08:52 AM EST
    have good advice for any country that seeks the moral high ground. And, incidentally, I didn't know Reagan had any good ideas. That belief is part of what got us into all of this. That's where it started.

    Torturers can't have good advice (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:03:26 PM EST
    for any country that hopes to have a group soul or conscience.

    I found it mildly disconcerting yesterday to read (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by tokin librul on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:27:21 AM EST
    Mr. O claim, using the official Bushevik boilerplate, "the US doesn't torture."

    I wish Mr. O represented a real threat to overturn the FISA bill and repeal the PATRIOT ACT, and close the HSA.

    But he won't...

    The little people don't know (5.00 / 7) (#20)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:30:14 AM EST
    Does Obama really believe that people don't realize that Gitmo is complex? But it's no more complex today than it was when he made the campaign promise to close it. He's had a year to work out the details. I'm so tired of Democrat's cowering in the corner because they're afraid of being labeled weak. Maybe if they stood up for any principles, people would have a more favorable opinion of them.

    Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by ruffian on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:08:35 AM EST
    The problems involved with closing it were well known when he made the pledge.

    I'm afraid we will be hearing this a lot (5.00 / 5) (#73)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:58:03 PM EST
    "It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize," the President-elect explained.

    in the next 100 days . . . .

    I really hate it when they insult my intelligence.


    I'll scream if he ever says (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:17:13 PM EST
    that Presidenting is hard work.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:21:10 PM EST
    He does tire easily and need lots of vacations.

    That would be the end of my head (none / 0) (#86)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:34:46 PM EST
    it would explode in a way that I don't think could be repaired!

    Oh, he'll say it - he'll just say it better (5.00 / 5) (#89)
    by Anne on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:40:49 PM EST
    than Bush did.  It will be more along the lines of "most people don't understand how hard it is."

    News flash for Obama: a lot of us were well aware of how hard it is, and felt like you weren't made of strong enough stuff.  Didn't have a track record of relentless effort to accomplish a goal.  Seemed to have more affinity for the limelight than the trenches.

    So, yeah, he'll be whining a bit before long; count on it.


    I almost prefer the W version (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:57:54 PM EST
    it felt like he was having the light bulb moments about the job and we got to say "DUH!".

    The "don't understand" version smacks of condescending . . .


    According to AP Obama sd. it (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:19:23 PM EST
    is harder to choose the puppy that the Secretary of Commerce.  Take that, Bill!

    lol!~ (none / 0) (#83)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:31:26 PM EST
    That's funny. But I am glad that they are being so considerate in the puppy research/decision. This is one I thought he might "fail" on in my eyes. I was so hoping he wouldn't pull an "Oprah" in this area and so far it looks like I might get some of that "hope" {grin}

    Un huh. Take your time on Gitmo (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:33:39 PM EST
    but don't mess up on picking a puppy!

    I think MO is heading up The Puppy Commission (none / 0) (#92)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:48:16 PM EST
    Different style at work there  ;)

    The problem with this Presidential Puppy is because of the type of popularity (branding/marketing) involved, it could have a Disney effect. Which is generally disastrous for a breed, the dogs and the people involved with cleaning up the mess. Which can take years.


    Don't you think maternal grandmother (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:49:56 PM EST
    will be ultimately responsible for the care and feeding of the puppy?

    Perhaps, but I would say under (none / 0) (#101)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:19:12 PM EST
    MO's guidance if that happens. She seems to be pretty level headed about the whole thing.

    The search has narrowed (none / 0) (#95)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:04:04 PM EST
    PWDs prob wouldn't be as exploitable (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:15:31 PM EST
    the Doodles will. His daughter will need to spend some time around the Doodle of choice since they are not reliably low allergy dogs. Many in the states are from for-profit-breeders and it's more of a marketing line than reality . . . . A friend of mine has one that was a foster she ended up keeping. None of us have allergies, so who knows if it a low allergy dog or not, lol!~

    He'll get flack--not going (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:15:38 PM EST

    "That's not the Gitmo I knew" (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by allimom99 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:35:03 PM EST
    Talk, once again, is proved to be (5.00 / 12) (#21)
    by Anne on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:48:42 AM EST
    the cheapest way to get elected, and millions of people who wanted an unequivocal end to a long list of things that they believe are unacceptable, immoral, unfair and antithetical to the principles on which this country was founded, are waking up to the truth that the man who sold himself as the one who could do that is hedging his bets and leaving the door open to maintaining these unacceptable polices and practices, you know - just in case.

    And they're wondering how it is that over a year after the president-elect began his quest for the White House, campaigning on ending the Bush policies and things like Don't Ask, Don't Tell, who had, by all accounts, the best-organized, most on-message, most focused campaign, with the best advisors, is still - only nine days away from placing his hand on a Bible and taking the oath of office - talking about evaluating the issues and looking at past practices, and what procedures they are going to set up.

    Still.  Which says to me that meaningful change is not coming anytime soon.  And Obama's inability to just decide on a policy and move to implement it will mean that the change he is comfortable making will be functionally immaterial to the overall situation.

    Obama may believe he is committed to reversing the Bush policies, but in reality, he is plagued and paralyzed by an essential insecurity that drives him to look at every possible angle and every identifiable detail just in case there is something there that would render his position the wrong one; he has no faith in what he believes, and will be unable to draw a real line on anything that really matters.

    We're going from someone who dug his heels in and staked out positions from which he would not ever move, to someone who is going to make us all dizzy and motion-sick from how much he dances around every single issue.

    You have described the problem (5.00 / 8) (#22)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:55:17 AM EST
    of the "practical" and poll-driven person over the principled person.  

    I constantly was amazed in the campaign that anyone, including many here who seemed smarter, thought they were voting for a principled person.  Nothing in his career suggested that at all.  Just words.


    This is exactly the impression I got (5.00 / 7) (#37)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:44:33 AM EST
    After watching him answer some of these questions, I got the sense that he's going to start from scratch and have his team look at these issues in detail now.  While I understand that to some extent, this is the reason why I wanted to elect someone who could really hit the ground running.  You know, "day one" and all that.  That wasn't a campaign stunt to me -- I really thought it mattered -- and that we had extenuating circumstances that allowed me to put aside any concerns about the Clintons, "triangulating", dynasties and such.  I'm getting the sense (and I had the same sense during the primary and beyond) that some of those promises Obama made were a case of "if Hillary can do it, I can (and have to say I will) do it."  

    Boy, I hope my intuition is wrong.


    Using the same Clinton people (none / 0) (#52)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:03:17 AM EST
    I'm getting the sense (and I had the same sense during the primary and beyond) that some of those promises Obama made were a case of "if Hillary can do it, I can (and have to say I will) do it."
    I get some satisfaction every time I hear 'former Clinton'. He is trying to hit the ground running but he will have to trust them and their experience rather than slow the momentum down because he is a pol. This is the on the job training we were always talking about and he has 'people', good people, to quickly explain things to him rather than listen to Cheney and Bush people who helped screw the country up. I don't want to hear that he was talking to Scooter Libby the other day.........

    Arthur Silber Is Not Fooled (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by tokin librul on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:03:38 AM EST
    First, this cautionary reminder:
    Any individual who rises to the national political level is, of necessity and by definition, committed to the authoritarian-corporatist state. The current system will not allow anyone to be elected from either of the two major parties who is determined to dismantle even one part of that system.

    Then this:
    "...the Democrats are not going to impeach any of these criminals, barring events entirely unforeseeable at present. And they will not for one overwhelmingly significant and determinative reason: always with regard to the underlying principles, and frequently with regard to the specifics, the Democrats are implicated in every single crime with which they would charge the members of the administration. The Republicans' crimes are their crimes."

    I have no problem with Obama avoiding (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by tigercourse on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:06:22 AM EST
    a huge national circus of investigations and trials. His slow back track on Gitmo though is of course more of his usual bulls^*t.

    Excuse me.... (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Fabian on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:31:20 AM EST

    "blowing us up"?

    Looks like someone needs more practice with extemp speaking.  I do hope "evildoers" and "Axis of Evil" never fall from his lips.

    Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:55:50 AM EST
    I nearly fell on the floor when he talked about Dick Cheney's "good advice".

    According to AP headline, Cheney (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:02:00 AM EST
    says Biden will need to find out what the President wants.  ["W. made me say and do all that bad stuff."]

    It's been pretty amazing watching Cheney (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:09:52 AM EST
    this past week, huh?  I wonder if anyone believes him.  When I contrast the "So?" interview response with his current statements and it feels like I'm in some kind of alternate reality.  He has hidden himself away for so long that he still thinks he can spin and that people will fall for it.  One day he says torture is perfectly fine and justified, and the next he says that he's really a cuddly, lovable sort.  Oy.

    Isn't It Good Advice (none / 0) (#59)
    by daring grace on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:30:31 AM EST
     as Obama framed it?

    "OBAMA: I think that was pretty good advice, which is I should know what's going on before we make judgments and that we shouldn't be making judgments on the basis of incomplete information or campaign rhetoric. So, I've got no quibble with that particular quote. I think if Vice President Cheney were here he and I would have some significant disagreements on some things that we know happened...For example, Vice President Cheney I think continues to defend what he calls extraordinary measures or procedures when it comes to interrogations and from my view waterboarding is torture. I have said that under my administration we will not torture."


    This is a perfect example of (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:34:03 AM EST
    how cautious Obama is, in a bad way.
    I can understand that the economy is going to put a damper on some spending, but closing Gitmo is a matter of will alone. If Obama so ordered, it could be closed in a week. If he can't be forceful over a matter of principle in which money is not involved, how can we expect him to stand up for  making the right choices on spending priorities?

    Although, wouldn't a rational (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:38:28 AM EST
    President-elect wait to have his administration analyze information only available to his administration after the inauguration before acting?

    He has the info (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:47:27 AM EST
    I would think his people have been privy to all info for at least the last 2 months. Plus I'm sure Reid and Pelosi have been able to fill in any missing blanks before then.

    This is one issue (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:58:50 AM EST
    where there is a lot of information and a lot of people who have wanted to speak out about it for months and years now.  Plus, how about all the lawyers who have been involved at Gitmo all this time?

    In some cases, he's definitely going to need to get into the WH before he'll be able to see the hidden details, but this isn't one of them.

    I'm not surprised that Obama is backtracking on some things, but I am truly surprised about this one.


    Any evidence the Obama transition team (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:00:06 AM EST
    has copies of all the specifics re persons currently incarcarated at Guantanamo?  

    P.S.  I am not an Obama apologist.


    that's his position on all reform issues... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by blogname on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:41:25 AM EST
    Except perhaps for the economy. Don't Ask, Don't Tell should eventually end. GITMO should eventually close. Although he promised immediate withdrawal from Iraq, it will be gradual. The Bush tax cuts should ultimately end...blah blah. The only urgency is the economy, but we shall see how urgent that remains.

    from This Week (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by lilburro on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:47:14 PM EST
    right before the GTMO section - also disturbing...

    DICK CHENEY: Before you start to implement your campaign rhetoric you need to sit down and find out precisely what it is we did and how we did it. Because it is going to be vital to keeping the nation safe and secure in the years ahead and it would be a tragedy if they threw over those policies simply because they've campaigned against them.


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you going to take it?

    OBAMA: I think that was pretty good advice, which is I should know what's going on before we make judgments and that we shouldn't be making judgments on the basis of incomplete information or campaign rhetoric. So, I've got no quibble with that particular quote. I think if Vice President Cheney were here he and I would have some significant disagreements on some things that we know happened.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: You would say for example?

    OBAMA: For example, Vice President Cheney I think continues to defend what he calls extraordinary measures or procedures when it comes to interrogations and from my view waterboarding is torture. I have said that under my administration we will not torture.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: How about them taking that to the next step. Right now the CIA has a special program, would you require that that program -- basically every government interrogation program be under the same standard, be in accordance with the army field manual?

    OBAMA: My general view is that our United States military is under fire and has huge stakes in getting good intelligence. And if our top army commanders feel comfortable with interrogation techniques that are squarely within the boundaries of rule of law, our constitution and international standards, then those are things that we should be able to (INAUDIBLE)

    STEPHANOPOULOS: So no more special CIA program?

    OBAMA: I'm not going to lay out a particular program because again, I thought that Dick Cheney's advice was good, which is let's make sure we know everything that's being done. But the interesting thing George was that during the campaign, although John McCain and I had a lot of differences on a lot of issues, this is one where we didn't have a difference, which is that it is possible for us to keep the American people safe while still adhering to our core values and ideals and that's what I intend to carry forward in my administration.

    What??  Flattering Cheney?  

    Why not just say no special CIA program?  If he can say no to torture, why not say no special programs for the CIA?

    I find that odd.  

    video here (none / 0) (#110)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:06:16 PM EST
    thanks for the video n/t (none / 0) (#149)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 10:39:09 AM EST
    This is why (5.00 / 4) (#132)
    by weltec2 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:53:20 PM EST
    Nancy Pelosi and the Bush/Cheney complicitous Democratic leadership railroaded HC out of the race and put this man in office. We knew this. He is just confirming what we already knew and I have already ground my teeth to the gums over it.

    Any in-coming President who pursues prosecution (none / 0) (#8)
    by tokin librul on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:57:50 AM EST
    of members of the former regime for their deeds in office is inviting the same (probably worse) treatment at the hands of enemies when the inevitable end of the new regime comes to pass.

    That is why Obama will not prosecute any Busheviks.

    Wasn't (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:08:37 AM EST
    O the ONLY Democrat in the Senate to say that Bush/Cheney had not committed impeachable offenses?

    No surprise here.


    Jeralyn? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:06:00 AM EST
    Will you post this Petition Badge in your sidebar now, and encourage people to sign the petition?

    I would like to (none / 0) (#12)
    by SOS on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:11:37 AM EST
    have a scientific accounting of actually how many Americans really give a sh*t.

    Gitmo is in Cuba (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:16:26 AM EST
    Doesn't that make it a Cuban problem :)?

    Thinking of applying (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:20:55 AM EST
    for the job of WH Chief of Excuses... sorry, I mean Press Secretary, in the new change you won't believe administration? ;-)

    I do have a bit of skill (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:24:25 AM EST
    Jobs are in short supply.

    "More and Better" lies! (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:25:32 AM EST
    That's the "ticket"! ;-)

    No, it's not more difficult (none / 0) (#23)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:02:31 AM EST
    He's just a phucking coward in so many ways.  What a piece of nothing he is fast becoming.  Such a waste of intellect and potential.  I suppose he may grow a real brain soon.

    "Becoming"!?!?! (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:40:59 AM EST
    "I told you so" is our consolation prize.

    So When Obama Closes Gitmo (none / 0) (#26)
    by daring grace on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:08:37 AM EST
    and it takes longer than the first 100 days of his administration (thus breaking a campaign assertion) is it still a good thing, or is the fact that he will use justifications about it being"more complex" etc. when it takes longer to achieve an atrocity that outweighs the actual closing of the hellhole?

    There were plenty of people (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:31:44 AM EST
    who knew a lot about Gitmo and were available to Obama's team for information purposes long ago.  The complexity of releasing those prisoners shouldn't be a new thing.  It's not something he just found out about.  So, IMHO, the fact that he has now decided it's going to take more than 100 days is not a good thing.  It either means that he was saying things without thinking them through, or that he knew from the start that he couldn't keep that promise.

    So Misstating How Fast He Could Do It (none / 0) (#41)
    by daring grace on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:50:14 AM EST
    seems to be (to you) as bad as not doing it at all? I'm not being snarky in asking.

    I'm surprised at that attitude, but it seems to be the dominant one in this discussion here, and I'm trying to see if I'm reading this accurately.


    No (none / 0) (#50)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:01:39 AM EST
    Obviously, it would be much worse to decide not to close Gitmo.

    I fully expect some campaign promises to be changed, or given a new deadline, but I am really surprised about this one.  


    I'm also surprised, (none / 0) (#54)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:06:03 AM EST
    I have to say, at the way you are interpreting the "attitude" of the response in the comments.  The situation in this country is dire and I expected real answers during the campaign.  Didn't you?  

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by daring grace on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:40:59 AM EST
    and what I'm trying to understand is whether Obama not closing Gitmo in the 100 days he promised during the campaign is AS important as his doing it at all. Period.

    I noted in another response in this thread how I fully expect him to close the place in his first year and to demonstrate that its closure is a priority--and to be transparent about the process he follows leading up to the closure.

    I'm not above holding his feet to the fire once he's actually in office. I expect him to deliver on the things that most matter to me--like dismantling Bush's anti-constitutional regime and restoring American ideals as SOP. And you bet I'll be loud and insistent when he doesn't.


    It probably depends... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by EL seattle on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:45:06 AM EST
    ... on how long it actually takes, and how well the Obama team communicates the process as it develops.  If there's transparency, with regular (and slightly detailed) updates on "the progress so far", I think most folks will understand.  If the Obama team tries to hide behind vague statements like "these things take some time", that probably won't be so good.

    Didn't Obama make some statements about transparency that would apply to issues like this?  Last year, it seemed to me that all the candidates were talking a good game about transparency.  Since Obaba's the candidate who won, he's the one who folks expect to make his deeds match his words.


    I Agree With You (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by daring grace on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:16:05 AM EST
    The whole process of how it's done is infinitely more important to me than that it be done in 100 days.

    I'll be watching to see that it is treated as a priority and is done soon (certainly in his first year), and I'll expect that promised transparency as well.

    I'm ready for major disappointments with Obama as POTUS, and I say that as a supporter of his during the campaign. But that's what I've always experienced with politicians at all levels as long as I've been voting (35 years). But I'll also be thrilled if he lives up to even half of what he promised esp. in the areas of transparency and upholding and promoting constitutional freedoms and protections.


    I think you're missing the point (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:09:35 PM EST
    The 100-day thing in itself doesn't matter.  What matters, and what was obvious to many during the primary and general, was that it again showed him to be naive and foolish, and really highlighted his inexperience. We always KNEW it was more complex than just saying so.

    Give Me A Break (1.00 / 0) (#75)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:13:59 PM EST
    You are the one who is naive and foolish to expect that all or even most of any politician's campaign promises are going to be delivered. Your notion is historically hysterical.

    You're Right (none / 0) (#74)
    by daring grace on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:02:33 PM EST
    I was missing that point.

    I was reading this as a discussion about why isn't he closing Gitmo more promptly not as one about how he may have misjudged the situation while campaigning.


    I feel sorry for the folks who worshiped him (none / 0) (#27)
    by nellre on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:10:13 AM EST
    The look of rapture on their faces as they spoke his name had me worried from the get go. I wonder if they'll put on rose colored glasses now, or go for his throat.

    They'll be fine (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:44:14 AM EST
    They wanted euphoria and wonderful pitterpats in their hearts.

    Now they are heading for a "historic" inauguration, so they will have plenty of emotions to feel.


    besides (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:51:41 AM EST
    I'm sure he'll make a great inauguration speech, reading off a teleprompter. That's what people want.

    Yes, it can not miss, (none / 0) (#64)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:49:08 AM EST
    what with the spiritual and unifying kick-off theme of the Invocation. However, I sure hope that I do not come to avoid his presidential speeches for the inverse reason I have come to dread his successor's: Mr. Bush's because they were so bad, Mr. Obama's because they are so good, but when all is said, not much better is done.

    I don't feel sorry, I just never understood it. (5.00 / 6) (#42)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:50:18 AM EST
    The hero rock star worship was so over the top. I was for HRC but I never thought she walked on water. I understood the human factor and she was not even my first choice. If I mention anything about a Obama waffle to them, they are still making up excuses. The true believers will put on the rose colored glasses you mentioned. The so-so believers will go either way. I really want him to succeed because we all benefit but I never believed he was going to be able to live up to the hype. There were human cracks showing which people choose to ignore and I think the true believers will not ever admit there were flaws. I just hope that each week he is not on another news show explaining how he must rethink a campaign promise. With Gitmo, he can just start immediately with putting them in the legal system. He can make a small step rather than no no no. Someday is not soon enough.  

    The "Bob Fertik" question (none / 0) (#29)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:27:41 AM EST
    Did anyone see the face Obama made when George asked him about the top question on change.gov from Bob Fertik?  (The question about appointing a special prosecutor).  It was a very interesting (body language) response in that first few seconds.

    He was really happy about that (none / 0) (#40)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:49:05 AM EST
    question, right?

    Right (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:54:36 AM EST
    It was an interesting expression, and I'm sure different people will interpret it differently.  But clearly, he wasn't happy about having to answer it.

    For the record, I thought his expression said several things:  "Oh sh**" and "I'm conflicted" and "How am I going to get out of this one?"


    See McJoan's FP post on (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:39:52 AM EST
    Daily Kos about past efforts to reform the intelligence sector of U.S. executive branch.Answering the Past    

    Possible Backstory NIMBY (none / 0) (#69)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:05:50 PM EST
    Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) added her voice yesterday to a predictable chorus of Kansas politicians campaigning to prohibit any detainees from Guantanamo ending up at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth when President-elect Obama closes the prison.


    Home-state politicians screaming "not-in-my-back-yard" (NIMBY) will certainly become a major feature of the debate surrounding Guantanamo in the weeks and months to come. Sen. Sam Brownback (R) is driving this effort which has led to legislation being introduced at the local, state, and national level to keep Guantanamo detainees out of Kansas.


    Kansas' contribution could be that a small number of lower-level Guantanamo detainees that might be convicted in military courts-martial end up in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Ft. Leavenworth. The USDB, the only maximum security prison in the entire military system, is a state-of-the art 515-cell facility built in 2002 that has a special housing unit designed precisely for maximum security detainees.

    think progress

    When is the next round of base-closing (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:22:40 PM EST
    lists and hearings scheduled?  

    Don't Know (none / 0) (#108)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:59:38 PM EST
    Dec. 3 (Bloomberg).... Logistically, Obama may be able to "close Guantanamo pretty quickly" once he finds facilities on the mainland to house the prisoners, said Matthew Waxman, a former Defense Department official who teaches law at Columbia University. "The bigger issue is on what legal basis are you going to hold them?"

    Adjusting the legal status of the Guantanamo detainees means "you are not just going to close the base and give everyone an airline ticket," said Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who has supported expanding due-process rights of Guantanamo inmates.
    Closing Guantanamo won't "happen as quickly as people would like. It's such a Gordian knot," said Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California, a former prosecutor who has pushed for changes in detainee policy.

    Obama's first step should be to announce a plan to close Guantanamo, then review all detainee files to determine which ones can be prosecuted, said Jennifer Daskal, counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch.



    I was snarkily suggesting (none / 0) (#116)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:30:56 PM EST
    Kansas military installations should be looked at closely in the next round of base-closings.  

    Oh, Missed That (none / 0) (#125)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:16:07 PM EST
    Good leverage, I guess. Personally I would much rather have OBL and his lot, in my backyard than a military base..



    Cheney says current admin. (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:29:37 PM EST
    still has a week or so to round up bin Laden.

    OK (none / 0) (#136)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:49:12 PM EST
    I will keep the barbed wire up in my backyard for another week..

    Fat chance, huh? (none / 0) (#145)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 08:22:29 PM EST
    The Dems are desperate to protect and preserve the Western vote.  So the military investment will only grow there -- and the military expenditures for the rest of us, losing bases amid desperate economies.

    due process (none / 0) (#137)
    by rea on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 06:04:46 PM EST
    The priority ought to be to give everyone held in Guantanamo due process of law, and giving people due process of law is time consuming.  From what we can tell, Guantanamo holds some real terrorists, as well as  innocents who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and sorting the sheep from the goats won't always be easy or simple.  

    Wow hook line and sinker (none / 0) (#150)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 10:42:16 AM EST
    The HRC deadenders falling for the Tapper trap, again its like we never left 2008! Seriously, Obama never gave a 100 days promise, he said ASAP. Also the people claiming that HRC was forced from the race because she had some concern for human rights, must not consider those maimed by land mines and cluster bombs human, nor those renditioned, but hey hypocrisy is nothing new.