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November 13, 2007
Color Me NOT Surprised

Politics at Guantanamo: The Former Chief Prosecutor Speaks *

Turns out that highly placed Federal officials were using, or trying to use, prosecution of prisoners at Guantanamo for political reasons. (Yeah. Because no one suspected that before.)

According to Davis, for more than a year Pentagon officials have sought to influence his decisions about “who we will charge, what we will charge, what evidence we will try to introduce, and how we will conduct a prosecution.” For example, speaking last week to the Wall Street Journal, he explained that in September 2006, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England discussed with him the “strategic political value” in charging some of the prisoners before the midterm elections. Similarly, in January 2007, Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes II (himself on the verge of being withdrawn as a nominee for the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals because of his involvement with the infamous “torture memos”) telephoned Davis to prod him to charge David Hicks, apparently as a political accommodation to the Australian Prime Minister. Even after Haynes was advised that this interference was improper, he again called Davis, suggesting that he charge other prisoners at the same time to avoid the impression that the charges were “a political solution to the Hicks case.”

The article goes on to list a number of other examples, along with pointing out that people who have been cleared for release are still being held.

Politics was dirty when I was young, when I was first old enough to be facing a ballot box, and it's gotten nothing but dirtier ever since. It's not a coincidence that Republicans have held most of the power in all of that time. Tricky Dick was dirty. Reagan was up to his neck in filth. Bush I (In retrospect the best of the bunch--and how scary is that?) was dirty. Bush II is wallowing in it.

How much is going to be enough for the Public to get its head out of the dark place and demand some reform?

Now we're facing years of increased trouble in the Middle East. Gas prices topping $3 at the pump and headed for $4 or $5 before that long. A world increasingly growing united against us. The so-called "Christian Right" is falling apart (and good riddance) in the face of multiple scandals and the Left is failing to provide an attractive alternative. At least, to some of us who think about things, they are.

It's not enough just to elected people running on the label "Democrat" you know. There needs to be some unification. Strategy. Plans. Real plans, the kind that thinky people have thought about, in the context of the Real World (unlike the neocon fantasies) and have ideas for how to implement. The Left needs a strategy and a philosophy. It needs to know what it stands for ("we're not Republicans" is just lame) and be able to say that.

Most, candidates in the USofA stand for getting elected. A lot of people seem to run on the platform of being "the least evil."

That's just not good enough.


* Link via Chris Bray at Cliopatria.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:59 AM