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Ear to the Ground

Again With the Military Tribunals

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Posted on May 14, 2009
military tribunal
AP photo / Brennan Linsley

A room inside a trailer sits ready for the military commission trial of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, in this 2006 file photo.

Funny how declarations made in the heat of campaign season can be later forgotten by our nation’s elected officials. President Obama continued to do the reversal cha-cha late into the week with his decision to take up the very military tribunals he had sharply criticized before taking office.

Chicago Tribune:

The Obama administration will announce Friday that it will continue to use controversial military commissions to prosecute some alleged terrorists, current and former officials said, reversing a campaign pledge to rely instead on federal courts and the traditional military justice system.

Word on Thursday of the imminent decision angered human-rights groups, which argued that any trials under the system begun by former President George W. Bush would be widely viewed as tainted and said the Obama administration was duplicating the mistakes of the previous administration.

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By KDelphi, May 17, 2009 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—Just another damn Red…lol

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By ardee, May 17, 2009 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

This morning I put on my turban and pulled out my crystal ball, just for kicks of course. The darn thing said that the 2012 election would alter the makeup of the Legislature to give the GOP a majority but keep Obama in office.

I threw the damn thing against the wall, not for its prophesy but for abstracting it from US political history. The more things change the more they remain the same.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, May 16, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment


Horrific New Torture Pictures Released

2 of 2

“MORE photographs have been leaked of Iraqi citizens tortured by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.


The pictures below should only be viewed by a mature AUDIENCE”

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By herewegoagain, May 16, 2009 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

jimfromthehills asks: “Is there anyone who can challenge Obama in the next presidential primary?”

Here’s the roadblock: most people still don’t realize yet there’s no difference between Obama and the neocons. And even those that do realize it make logic-defying statements like, “Yeah, but if we don’t elect Obama again, we could end up with a Republican president!”

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By Folktruther, May 15, 2009 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Twin end of the same thought, two hearts beating as one.

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By KDelphi, May 15, 2009 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

I’m sitting her, with an , apaprently, very quizzical and, pained look on my face (my friend says so) as i read mlb’s post. I think, “I wish I was smarter or better educated, as to how to explain to this person, who seems to be well meaning, but, is actually helping the phony neo-liberals, yet seems totally unaware ......”

Then, Folktruther nails it. Thanks.

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By diamond, May 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

G.Anderson if Obama’s going to be a one term president, who are you going to replace him with. John McCain? Michael Steele, Sarah Palin or maybe JOE LIEBERMAN, the senator for Tel Aviv. Evidence obtained by torture will no longer be permissable in these trials and I think you’ll find that over 90% of these detainees will be found not guilty - that’s the number estimated to have been held who have no evidence against them whatsoever. Apart from the tortured evidence, that is, which will no longer be able to be used against them. Without it, most have no case to answer and will be freed but Obama’s a lawyer and he can’t just fling the gates of Guantanamo open and say ‘Run free my brothers’. No US president in his circumstances would do that. And don’t forget the circumstances are not of his choosing or his doing. He didn’t commit the crimes, that was Bush and Cheney and the rest of the ‘Mayberry Machiavellis’, but he has to deal with them. The truth about all of this is so shocking that they can’t let them go on trial in a normal court. Can you imagine what would be revealed to a gobsmacked world? The truth about 9/11 for example. It’s like pulling a thread. Pull the wrong one and the whole thing unravels. I would like to see them go on trial in a normal court but the CIA and the Pentagon will never allow it to happen because they can’t allow the truth to come out in open court. It would reveal them for the criminals they are. What’s come out so far is the tip of the iceberg.

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By Folktruther, May 15, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Read mlb’s post.  An obviously decent person completely clueless about power.  This is the American people, who want to do the right thing but haven’t a clue about how power thinks and works.They are so easily manipulated because there has been no party or political organization that teaches them about power formulated from a people’s historical perspective.

But why can’t they simply be taught how power works, the way one is taught about how cars work, or ow human bodies work?  Because there is no simplified theory developed from the population’s perspective formulated from the perspective of people values.  Poltical science is formulated from the perspective of power, largely class-based power.  It is evasive, intellectually dishonest, and irrelevent to the power interests of the population. And the American population, like mlb, will remain political dodos, easily manipulated by the mass media and Progressive cheerleaders.

An historical effort must be made to de-edducate the American people from the power delusions they identify with, which has been instilled by the American mainstream truth.  Otherwise the mlbs of America will always by at the mercy of the mass media and the deceptive Progressive truthers.

The US has ideologically repressed in the mainstream truth rank and file marxism which contain the elements of such theory.Until this is remedied the American people will simply be mansipulated over and over again.

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By blogdog, May 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

RE: Maybe I’m clinging to foolish hope, but still, when I listen to Obama speak freely, I get the impression that he’s a good and very intelligent man.

Just as planned - the NWO agenda advances under Left Cover with Obama - perfect man for the job - the Brzezinski faction lead by Z-Big’s former office boy Gates have been running the Pentagon and the Global War Of Terror since the Iraq Study Group smack down of the NEO Cons, whose last grasping initiative was the Barksdale Nuke Black-OP, aborted by mutiny - Aug. 2007 - why they smack down - failure for utter stupidity - flunking Machiavaili 101 - don’t directly engage your enemies, set them to fighting among themselves.

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By mlb, May 15, 2009 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

“Figuring out” Obama has been an ongoing struggle for me.  The theory that’s currently winning out in my head is that thanks to his willingness to listen and his desire to please, Obama allows himself to be talked into doing all sorts of things he wouldn’t have done had he relied on his own better judgment.  He’s a pushover for intelligent people with bad or misguided intentions and he’s surrounded with them. 

Maybe I’m clinging to foolish hope, but still, when I listen to Obama speak freely, I get the impression that he’s a good and very intelligent man. (The contrast with GWB could hardly be starker.)  I hope that he’ll find a way to listen to others, but make decisions based on what his own heart and mind tell him.  If he doesn’t, he’ll be a terrible president.  Maybe if he keeps his eye on the bigger picture, on his place in history, it’ll pull him up and give him the strength to consistently do what’s right.

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By Jason!!, May 15, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

obama lied for votes. faux surprise.

as a constitutional lawyer, he knew this all along. its not a 180. The man is a liar and a fraud.

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By Thomas Mc, May 15, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Obama is an even bigger fraud than Bush was.

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By NYCartist, May 15, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

You can’t say it better than Glenn Greenwald did on his column at - his most recent posting.

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By jimfromthefoothills, May 15, 2009 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Has Obama done anything that Bush wouldn’t have done?  Certainly not on Gitmo, torture or the financial scandal.  I think I was sold a bill of goods although I don’t think Hillary would have been any different.  I voted for Obama becauase I specifically thought that he would NOT be just like Hillary.

Is there anyone who can challenge Obama in the next presidential primary?  It looks like this administration will continue to take orders from Cheny & Co.

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By Patrick, May 15, 2009 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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By G.Anderson, May 15, 2009 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

It looks more and more like Obama wants to be a one term president.

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By Tony Vodvarka, May 15, 2009 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When will we be able to say out loud that power has passed from our visible, once constitutional, government to a financial/military mafia who arranges governments as it pleases, with the full cooperation of the corporate media, which it owns?  Our plans to oppose this pox on our country will at least have a better grip on reality once we bite this bullet and cast off the pretense that we are participating citizens in a free republic.
    Tony Vodvarka

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By NYCartist, May 15, 2009 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

No change. Except, as some have noted, better PR.

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BlueBerry Pick'n's avatar

By BlueBerry Pick'n, May 15, 2009 at 7:32 am Link to this comment


This isn’t getting BETTER, its just getting more convoluted
while the fascists just keep on keeping on with the kkkreepiest processes imaginable…

this isn’t REFORM, its just BETTER PR!
Amerikkka, you’re still scaring the Rest of the World… & not in a cozy, action-packed Mel Gibson ‘buddy movie’ kinda way…

Have you seen the new story about ‘military training’ for US Explorers youth?

perspective, people.


The Jeff Farias Show: streams FREE & LIVE Mon-Fri, 6-9pmEST

FREE podcast

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By Jim Yell, May 15, 2009 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The baby has been eaten by the bear, but the baby doesn’t know it was eaten by the bear.

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By ardee, May 15, 2009 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

If there is a benefit to military tribunals it is in the secrecy surrounding the trial. If there is a down side to such proceedings it is in the secrecy surrounding the trials.

Our reputation in the world is at an all time low and such as this does not improve that image one iota. Perhaps many of these prisoners cannot be tried in open court because the fact that they were tortured would immediately taint all evidence. Or the fact that many are not guilty of anything at all is so obvious as to necessitate secret trials to avoid the embarrassment of admitting to having held an obviously innocent person for seven years .

Barack Obama is quite a dichotomy, isnt he?

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