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Ear to the Ground

Colin Powell: Close Guantanamo Immediately

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Posted on Jun 10, 2007
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Colin Powell has come out against Guantanamo Bay: “Guantanamo has become a major, major problem ... in the way the world perceives America and if it were up to me I would close Guantanamo, not tomorrow but this afternoon.” The former secretary of state has been eager to rehabilitate his image in recent years after a disastrous WMD sales pitch at the U.N. 

Powell added that the military commission system used to try detainees should also be shelved in favor of more “equitable” and constitutional procedures under federal law.


Reuters via Washington Post:

“Guantanamo has become a major, major problem ... in the way the world perceives America and if it were up to me I would close Guantanamo, not tomorrow but this afternoon ... and I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system,” Powell told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Essentially, we have shaken the belief the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission. We don’t need it and it is causing us far more damage than any good we get for it,” he added.

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By Trailer Park Philosopher, June 11, 2007 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know why anyone is surprised at Colin’s record.  Or for that matter, his inability to see how ridiculous he looks now trying to do the right thing, so late in the game.  (I sense a lousy book in the works, nearing completion.)

If mediocrity is the order of the day, the norm, then what has integrity got to do with the Executive Branch.

Im not a Republican but if there were more people like Chuck Hagel, Ambassador Joe Wilson and Dick Clarke in congress, the Whitehouse, the Pentagon, America wouldn’t be this house on fire.

But if the whole system has become designed to keep people acting like frightened sheep, cowering under their bed with a big gun, while the rich and powerful get even more rich an powerful, what is there to save? The great 200 year old experiment is over, perhaps.  The Constitution is, after all, just a piece of paper. And why bother with that when you can have Falwell’s or Robertson’s Kitch “Jesus loves a millionaire” paradise on earth.

Which is a pity, because a lot of good people sacrificed their lives to have a fair system of working government in place.

Come 2008, Corporate America will have another amiable puppet sitting in the Whitehouse with a mollified, agreeable, Congress.  AIPAC and the Neocons will be up to their old tricks.  Wallstreet will tick along just fine, thankyou very much.  Another Karl Rove will have been trained up to keep the government running the way the Oligarchy expect. And the People will be caught up again in the triviality of celebrity media or the occasional bomb blast to remind them they need a top heavy militarized, wire-tapped, America to hold back the fear of the night - The evil foreigner, who hates America for it’s Wal-Mart “Freedom”.

So forget this talentless “Yes Man” Colin Powell.  History will pass him by.  I don’t expect him to lose any sleep over it though.  He’d need a conscience to feel shame and remorse.  And that is something the good Lord never saw fit to burden any politician with.

Sleep well citizens.  Thanks to everyone in the Bush/Cheney Administration, it’s a brave new world of fear, anxiety and confusion.

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By Enemy of State, June 11, 2007 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

I have to admit that at the time of his UN speech, I was a hawk (running with the wrong crowd). I was looking forward to that speech, finally we would reveal to secret information that convinced the “experts” there really was a serious WMD problem, and all this contentiousness would go away. Instead it was a simple rehash, of the few unimpressive things that had already been publicly discussed. When he got through it, exactly nothing new was revealed. No-one who wasn’t on board already had their minds changed.

  I think his tragedy, was not learning to use moderation in all things. His sense of loyalty, and deference to authority was too great for him to do the right thing.

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By cyrena, June 11, 2007 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

For Don Headley (#77047)I’m not so sure that the UN Security Council (or ALL of it) really DID know that this was all a bunch of horse pucky. That’s what at least PART of the problem was. Because….most of them probably didn’t have a clue as to whether or not any of that stuff was real. The only ones who could have provided an honest and professional assessment of the BS, (and/or see through it) would have been the people at the UN’s watchdog, the IAEA. Specifically, the inspectors. So, it’s a problem that some of them didn’t have enough expertise to figure out that it was all bogus, (because there aren’t that many “experts” on the subject anyway…at least not on the general security council.

Still, there were enough people on the Security Council to prevent the resolution, which is why Colin ended up withdrawing the request. He knew it wouldn’t pass, because he already knew that China and France weren’t buying it.

So in the end, he did that all for nothing, since the white house simply proceeded with the war on Iraq minus any resolution from the UN, or the “approval” to wage war on Iraq.

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By PatrickHenry, June 11, 2007 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

I agree with Powell, turn the base back over to the Cubans too.

Make peace with them.

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By loveinatub, June 11, 2007 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Colin Powell….too little, too late. And one sad example of capitulation to a megalomaniacal President.

Colin, you deeply embarassed yourself as Secretary of State. For you to in any way salvage an image of yourself as a respectable public official will require action on a grand scale and simple words by you won’t cut it.

You disgraced yourself and this country.

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By cyrena, June 11, 2007 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

As sad as it is to say, I’m pretty much in agreement with you all. Colin should have resigned the minute he knew what was going on, because in respect to the Iraq thing, I believe that he really WAS “duped”, but only to a point. Once he figured it out though, (and he knew that the “intelligence” he presented was BS, because that was his response when he first read it: This is BULLSHIT) he should have resigned.

I say that because I don’t believe there were any other options. He was constantly undermined by both Cheney and Rice, with several fatal backstabs, way at the beginning. For him to have done anything for the American people would be impossible as long as he was in the position. He would have needed to retire, “lose it all”, and work outside the system, like others have needed to do.

But, they are rare indeed, and we don’t hear a lot from these people, for the obvious reasons. Powell could have, and should have stepped down at the time, and made his position clear. He didn’t, because he could have counted on being treated the same way that Joseph and Valerie Wilson have been. THAT’S the primary reason, and while I don’t believe it to be an “excuse”, that is pretty much the reality. He didn’t have that courage, and he is still an “established Republican Icon” from that era.

As someone mentioned earlier, I’m sure he’s very sorry about sacrificing his integrity, because he would have saved himself and the rest of us much grief, if he HAD stepped down, long before making that presentation at the UN, which didn’t help him anyway, since he eventually decided to withdraw the request from the UN, (to use pre-emptive force against Iraq) because he knew that at least China and France were going to veto it, and it wouldn’t go through.

To his credit, he has spoken out before, (many times actually) on the “perception” problem with Gitmo, but my own interpretation of his comments were that he was speaking more from the principles of diplomacy and international law. The presence of Gitmo is a clear sign to the rest of the planet, that the U.S. under Cheney has absolutely no regard for International law, and no regard for any of the treaties or conventions to which we are bound. Gitmo, (to the rest of the world) is one of the most obvious reminders of how we still continue to defy the rule of law under Dick Bush. From that perspective, considering that so many people may have forgotten or never understood the violations of law that initiated the war in Iraq, Gitmo is the most extreme reminder of just how we have continued to violate international laws. And again, this isn’t the first time he’s spoken about this. He’s pretty much been saying the same thing all along, without much of an audience. In other words, the Bush controlled media hasn’t projected his earlier comments, or his letters to Bush on the subject, since he left the Cabal.

Still, I’m agree with whomever made the point that Mr. Powell must very much regret his decision to complete his term during the first round of this dictatorship. He’ll live with it forever, and I’m sure he’s feeling the pain of it every waking moment, if it makes anybody feel better.

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By don knutsen, June 11, 2007 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Does anyone really care that much what Colin Powell thinks or says anymore ? Is this a conclusion he’s come to that Quantanimo was hurting America’s reputation an epifamy he just had? At the rate he’s waking up we may just have a solution to global warming about the time the ice caps are completely melted away. Maybe he should pull his head out alittle further from that dark place he’s named after, shake the shit outa his ears and apologise to the country for being one of the notable cheerleaders that got us into this mess in the first place.

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By Courtney Massengale, June 11, 2007 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#76984 by Verne Arnold on 6/11 at 4:02 am

Cheney, Bush and the Neocons may be self serving crooks, Rumsfeld may be a criminal. But for Christ sake, Colin Powell was supposed to be a champion of the people.

How does the saying go?
“There is nothing worse than a bad Cop”.

I didn’t agree with Harry Belafonte’s assesment of Powell, initially.  I thought it was harsh.  But it seems Harry had Powell’s number well before any of us caught on.

I’m waiting for Colin Powell’s next autobiography to listen to that same Tenet-like sorry excuse for an explanation.

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By Bush Texas Mafia, June 11, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When is he going to get that Tenet Medal of Freedom?
It’s nothing more than a badge of shame for the crooks who created it.

Regarding Rumsfeld/Rice and the rest of the Neocon Creeps on one side and Tenet and Powell on the other: I don’t buy this “Good Cop - Bad Cop” routine.  They were all trying to please Corporate America, the REAL MASTERS of the USA, while covering their own sorry ass.

It’s just a sick game the Corporations play on the people every four years.  The rest of the time our lives are occupied at stareing at Anna Nicole Smith’s Tits or Cheney’s head (they look the same); or Britney’s hair; or OJ Simpson’s latest mind numbing excrement about how he “might” have killed his wife.

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By Dale Headley, June 11, 2007 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who is this person?  He can’t possibly be the same man who presented the U.N. with George Bush’s “dog & pony show”.  Are these words of seeming integrity emanating from the same mouth that lied through its teeth to a roomful of U.N. diplomats who knew it was all horse pucky?  Or is this the man who, in a voice that sounded intelligent, was stupid enough to believe that a pile of flimsy aluminum tubes were designed for nuclear bombs?  At one time he could have saved this country from a great deal of suffering, but chose not to because he was a “good soldier”. 
    Sorry, General Powell, it’s too little, too late.

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By QuyTran, June 11, 2007 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Dear Mr. Powell,

Don’t forget to clean your bloody hands before talking about charity and justice. The My-Lai massacre during Vietnam war had been engraved in your mind as dirtiest, sulliest stain which will never be washed off.

All I could say you’re a damn hypocrite ! King George
did make a big mistake when handpicking you as his Secretary of State !

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By carlito paquito, June 11, 2007 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bravo General Colin Powell! You certainly are on the path of redemption.  In the late words of the immortal MLK:“The thorns you bare precede the crown you’ll wear”  God knows. Something like that;)

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By Verne Arnold, June 11, 2007 at 5:02 am Link to this comment

#76980 by Courtney Massengale on 6/11 at 3:15 am

Ah, you put it so much better than I did, thank you for your eloquence and to the point statement.

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By Courtney Massengale, June 11, 2007 at 4:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s not politically incorrect to see Colin Powell for what he really is.  So I won’t insult your intelligence by pandering to any silly notion of PC.

Colin Powell was a politician even in his Army days.
He was in charge of covering up the May Lai Massacre.  Side stepping political mines has always been his speciality.

He basically rose to 4 star general without ever getting his feet wet; covering for his superiors. Talent, intellect and integrity are not a requirement for Generals or politicians.  But loyalty and ass covering is.

And Colin, along with Tenet, are politicians enough to speak four years too late.  That much nerve they do have.  But not politician enough to credit the public’s intelligence in witnessing the disgraceful antics they’ve been neck deep in.

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By Verne Arnold, June 11, 2007 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

#76933 by Enemy of State on 6/10 at 9:15 pm

“Lets give the man his due. He did oppose the drift toward war from the inside, just not to the point of resignation- or direct confrontation. I bet he wishes everyday he had done that. Whatever his reasons for playing along were, it clearly wasn’t worth the cost. Now anything he can do will be remembered as too little too late.”

Mostly, I agree with that, but: 

Reasons for Powell doing the things he did?

Powell is guilty of the same thing as McCain: Blind loyalty!  Loyalty with no thought to the big picture…us.  The citizens they were supposed to serve.  Loyalty to what?  Despots and Fascists…may he/they rot in hell for that betrayal, that tacit lack of a humans most important quality…Integrity!

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By Peter RV, June 11, 2007 at 3:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Knowing Powell’s hability to lie sincerely, he most probably means, to send those inmates for further treatment, to those secret CIA detention centers (recently discovered)in Poland and Rumania.
Just can’t believe this guy is so shameless to remind the public that he still exists.

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By KYJurisDoctor, June 11, 2007 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

Sounds like a REASONABLY GOOD idea to me. How about you?

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2007/06/colin-powell-calls-for-closing.html#links

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By blog dog, June 11, 2007 at 12:29 am Link to this comment

This is pathetic: end it because it’s an image problem. The torture gulag marks the precipice of the fall of the empire - the dehumanization of us all - and please don’t anyone come back with some balony about beheadings - on close examination most if not all turn out to be agit prop, just like the incidense that set off the Iraq Civil War - everything about this entire fiasco, starting with 9/11, reaks of black-ops/psy-ops resonating through the MSM cranked to the max -  “The Central Intelligence Agency owns anyone of any significance in the major media.” — Former CIA Director William Colby

http://www.thefall01.info/
Remember, remember the 11th of September

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By Enemy of State, June 10, 2007 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Lets give the man his due. He did oppose the drift toward war from the inside, just not to the point of resignation- or direct confrontation. I bet he wishes everyday he had done that. Whatever his reasons for playing along were, it clearly wasn’t worth the cost. Now anything he can do will be remembered as too little too late.

  The lower, and medium levels in the intelligence agencies IMO did know of, and tried to communicate the questionable nature of the evidence. With an administration determined to use them as a generator of propaganda, rather then as a source of information about the situation, there was little they could do short of direct defiance of the president that would have made a difference.

  The fault lies with the administration, and with our scared and gullible population (and press) who largely fell for the deception.

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By Matt, June 10, 2007 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Notice that he frames it as a perception problem.

He can’t begin to condemn the actuality of the injustice - only its effect on how brand “America ®” is “perceived”.

Thanks, Colin, for market-testing Guantanamo for us. But first, let’s run another study on a larger sample, to make sure that Gitmo’s really a bad thing.

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By Paolo, June 10, 2007 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

I remember when Colin Powell lent his support to the monumentally foolish escapade in Iraq, by giving his speech at the UN. Because he was well-respected and admired, a lot of people bought into the fake Iraq/WMD argument. We’ve all been paying the price every since.

My only question about Powell is whether it is possible that he was duped into making this stupid speech, or is he rather part of the problem? I recall a quote from Ayn Rand in a different context, when she said, “mistakes of this size are not made innocently.”

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By QuyTran, June 10, 2007 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Too late ! His voice was exactly coming from the desert without an echo.

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By moni, June 10, 2007 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Too little too late. The perception of America around the world is that it is “The Big
Bully” on the block.  Colin is worried about that negative image.  Condie doesn’t seem to worry.  Dickie definitely could care less. 

It’s a question of “absolute power, corrupting absolutely.”  The inevitability of a Great Empire crumbling seems to be a valid concern.     

Guantanamo negates all that is righteous about our Nation and its people.

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By Peter R Lee, June 10, 2007 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dickhead, he helped set it up by his participation in this disasterous administration!

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By David, June 10, 2007 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Colin Powell is not brave or courageous but a coward and weak.  Where was he when the American people needed him.  He did not stand against our Emperor and now he is trying to rehabilitate his shredded reputation at the eleventh hour.  I hope he fails and he is remembered in the annuls of American history as the man who facilitated the death of the American Republic and the birth of the Imperium. 

Thanks,

PS I wish I was wrong about everything but I think the disaster that has occurred will only get worse and worse.  I am predicting a Democrat will be President and this person will solidify the Imperial nature of the US further destroying whatever remains of the Republic. Our emperor was facilitated and helped every step of the way by the Democrats, they are no different.

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By Chaseme, June 10, 2007 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Brace yourselves brothers and sisters, this will happen for the next ten to twenty years.

Many in this administration will find reasons in which they will need to confess their sins, all after the fact, of course.

Imagine if Colin had come out with this while still a part of the rat race. Could he have saved lives, surely he could have. Will the souls of those brothers and sisters who died in Gitmo haunt him? I certainly hope so.

It looks like brother Colin is looking for some love right about now. How about we stick him one of those orange jumpsuits and let some of those CIA experimenters show him how much love one of those electric prods can give.

Or, expose his identity to the ones who have been on lock down, without a trail or reason for the past six years, and allow those to show their love for brother Colin.

No love for the wicked, brother Colin. Remember in boot camp when they taught you how to make your bed? Need I say more.

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By Tom Doff, June 10, 2007 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, now he ‘speaks out’, when he’s a powerless putz.

Wonder if he ever wonders how many white crosses he might have caused to never be, had he had any balls.

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By tyler, June 10, 2007 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I personally think that powell is just trying to jump a ship that is clearly sinking.  He’s pretty good at making himself look like a good guy, but let’s not kid ourselves.  Had the war gone as peachy as well as they were dillusional enough to think it would, he would be lining up for his medal.

Even if they close that place, the prisoners gotta go somewhere else right?  It’s not like they’re going to send them all home, although some of them probably deserve to go home having served years with no habeus corpus.

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By THOMAS BILLIS, June 10, 2007 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is amazing thing when educated men like Powell and George Tenet come forward with excuses on why they got everything wrong on Iraq.In essence we have morons working in the government who are wasting whatever money is given them to do intelligence.It is not the leaders of intelligence it is intelligence.Nameless faceless people who are working in the bowels of the intelligence.Who are they why do they not have to answer for the disaster they have helped to create.5 years later I have not read of mass firings or realignments in the CIA.Does Colin Powell think that we are complete idiots.They massaged the intelligence to a prearranged conclusion and are too cowardly to take the blame and would rather blame these faceless unknown analysts who they say got it wrong.On the same show he claimed that he and the top advisors did not know that many of the sources had been” burned” by CIA analysts meaning that credibility was doubtful.He further claimed that nobody he sat with knew that.Another miscommunication in favor of leading us to war.The only thing that might save Colin Powell’s reputation is Americas historical myopia.

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