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This Day in Infamy: Gitmo’s Birthday

Posted on Nov 13, 2009
AP / Brennan Linsley, pool

Feliz cumpleaños, Gitmo: Eight years ago Friday, then-president George W. Bush signed what we now refer to as Military Order No. 1, thus paving the way for the creation of the Guantanamo Bay prison and for the creative adaptations of international justice codes that supported it.  —KA


On Nov. 13, 2001, President George W. Bush signed what has become known as Military Order No. 1 in what he termed a Global War on Terrorism. Without informing his national security adviser, his secretary of state, his chief of staff or his communications director, Bush approved what would appear three days later in the Federal Register as: “Military Order of November 13, 2001: Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism.”

The few people inside the former administration who knew about the order were instrumental in its creation, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, his lawyer David Addington, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former Attorney General John Ashcroft and a young, and then unknown, lawyer inside the Justice Department named John Yoo.

The order created a separate track of justice for any foreign citizen picked up on a global battlefield with the Pentagon serving as jailer, prosecutor and judge.

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By gerard, November 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

“All that is required for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” And it does appear that we don’t want to call Bush and Cheney to account.  Why is that?  Because we feel (justifiably) guilty for allowing it to happen in the first place? 
  We elected them to do our will, and if it wasn’t our will, we ought to disclaim it.  Yet statements like “This is not the American way of justice” etc. etc. are scarcely enough, especially when our elected representatives are in no hurry to cancel out the legal apparatus that hastily legitated the tortures—denial of habeas corpus, phone, wire and email tapping, admission of heresay evidence, imbedded chips, extraordinay rendition, and the whole apparatus of surveillance, fear, suspicion, incarceration without representation and endless “wars on terror.”
  There is no way to end it but to end it, to crawl out of the self-created dungeon and say, “Enough already!” massively, loudly and clearly.
Instead of squawking about lack of civil rights in China,how about a second Declaration of Independence?—“We, the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, assure domestic tranquility etc. etc.  for ourselves and our posterity ...”  We did it once.  We could do it again.

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By FRTothus, November 15, 2009 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

What the closing of Gitmo will NOT do is End The Practice.  This is a sham.  Even from the pittance of what was too obvious for the MSM to ignore and therefore had to “reveal”, these US Concentration Camps (but let’s be clear here: Torture is being committed, and these CIA assets who do the torturing, are doing under so orders - let’s make no mistake about that) where the best Nazi techniques (see Operation Paperclip), these Torture Camps have further refined, practiced, and (it is dreamed) perfected, the Torture continues.  There are many of these camps.  These camps, these practices are on-going in “allied” countries in Europe, Asia, in ships and barges off-shore, in many other as-yet unlearned locations.  What “allied” third-world puppet (where else is he going to go?) would not keep his mouth shut when the US comes knocking with pallets of freshly-minted $100.00s, and turn a blind eye for the 780th (at least) US military base to be built on some corner far removed from his palace, ringed by “US trained forces” and the last generation of death technology weapons.  The puppet dictator will not have to pay for them, of course.  That value will be wrung from the poor people, or their better fed cousins, though still unworthy unwashed mass, the quote-unquote middle-class of which we here all belong.  We see how insidious this decay of principle, but only upon reflection does the pattern become apparent.  I find this quote especially chilling…
“What happened was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security ...
To live in the process is absolutely not to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, regretted.
Believe me this is true. Each act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.
Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we did nothing) ... You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair. “
(German professor after World War II describing the rise of Nazism to a journalist)
Posse Committatus (sp?) is no longer the law of the land, nor is Habeas Corpus. The Bill of R’s shot through. Do we only await a Caesar to cross the Rubicon as proof of the end of the Republic.  Are we waiting for them to speak German or something?  Some say it ended with the NSS murder of JFK, some say it goes back to Lincoln’s for the Greenback, and some say it’s back to Jackson.  I believe it’s always been there, back to Rome and even beyond.  It’s power and class, and how to profit from being ruthless and clever, the protection racket, and the extraordinary profits that can be made in State crime.  “It’s a big club, and we ain’t in it” (George Carlin)

“Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? - stupid.”
(Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, 1965)


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By Carl, November 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

Here is how to close Gitmo in one day. The Justice Dept. has a fleet of 707s used to shuttle its thousands of federal prisoners around the USA through its prison hub in Oklahoma City. Send one to Gitmo along with its normal crew of “air marshals.” Fly them all to Oklahoma City that same day and keep them there until “decisions” are made. Gitmo is then closed.

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By gerard, November 14, 2009 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Those who think President Obama should have closed Guantanamo by yesterday at the latest, please do go to Pro Publica and learn some of the complications.  What a tangled legal web . . . !!!  It’s likely to take years to sort it all out and bring some semblance of justice to bear.  Not to mention the utter impossibility of recompense for gross injustices.

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By jack, November 14, 2009 at 1:25 am Link to this comment
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