Posts Tagged ‘Guantanamo

18
Aug
16

Chat Away

10
Nov
15

A Tweet Or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

26
Dec
13

News Of The Day

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President Barack Obama signs the FY2014 Budget Bill this afternoon in Hawaii

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Continue reading ‘News Of The Day’

15
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

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Saturday: The President has no public events scheduled

Sunday: The President and the First Family will depart for Belfast, Northern Ireland (9:20 PM)

Monday: The President and the First Family will arrive in Belfast in the morning, where he will deliver remarks – the First Lady will introduce the President at the event.

The President will then meet with Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the G8 Summit. Later, he will attend the G-8 Summit at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, hosted by PM Cameron, from June 17-18.

On Monday evening, the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Tuesday: In the evening, following the G-8, the President and the First Family will travel to Berlin, Germany.

Wednesday: The President will have a meeting with President Gauck and Chancellor Merkel to discuss a wide range of bilateral and global issues.

Later that afternoon, at the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, President Obama will speak at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

On Wednesday evening, the President and the First Family will return to the White House.

Thursday and Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.

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Daniel W. Drezner (Foreign Policy): Why Obama is arming Syria’s rebels: it’s the realism, stupid.

…. is this the first step towards another U.S.-led war in the region? No. Everything in that Times story, and everything this administration has said and done for the past two years, screams deep reluctance over intervention. Arming the rebels is not the same thing as a no-fly zone or any kind of ground intervention. This is simply the United States engaging in its own form of asymmetric warfare. For the low, low price of aiding and arming the rebels, the U.S. preoccupies all of its adversaries in the Middle East.

…. Now let’s be clear: to describe this as “morally questionable” would be an understatement. It’s a policy that makes me very uncomfortable… until one considers the alternatives. What it’s not, however, is a return to liberal hawkery.

So, to conclude: the United States is using a liberal internationalist rubric to cloak a pretty realist policy towards Syria.

Am I missing anything?

Full post here

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Steve Benen: It was just three weeks ago that President Obama made a persuasive case for closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. He described a military prison that costs too much, has become an international embarrassment, and is filled with “people who have been charged with no crime.”

…. Last week, House Republicans once again barred the Obama administration from transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Friday, against a backdrop of a terrible hunger strike, a Democratic effort to do the right thing was easily defeated in the face of mindless, reactionary conservative opposition.

More here

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Ooooops:

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Kurt Eichenwald: PRISM Isn’t Data Mining and Other Falsehoods in the N.S.A. “Scandal”

I can’t stand it.

A few days ago, I wrote in some detail about the National Security Agency’s data-mining program in hopes of calming the hysteria that has been whipped up in the last number of days by incorrect and misleading reports, as well as by plenty of ill-informed commentary based on those errors. At this point, I’ve decided that I need to tell a little bit more…..

See here

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Tommy Christopher (Mediaite): …. Glenn Greenwald and his source, whistle-and-country-blower Edward Snowden, have completely taken over the political media with revelations that hype well, but don’t amount to much upon closer examination. Now, Greenwald promises more (and more devastating) revelations to come, but what has been revealed so far is about as alarming as an epidemic of Pac Man Fever….

…. That hasn’t stopped the media from going all Chicken Little, some because they’re desperate to “have the conversation,” some because they want to attack President Obama to prove varying types of cred, and some because they’d like even less fettering of the surveillance state. I think we do need to “have the conversation” about government surveillance, but it should begin in 1978, not last week, when the world discovered that the first black president was in charge of it….

Full post here

Click here to see the rest of the post

28
May
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago: President Obama is reflected in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall as he delivers remarks during the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War commemoration ceremony in Washington, D.C., May 28, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

10:05: The President departs the White House

11:05: Arrives New Jersey

11:15: Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver keynote remarks to 70 new citizens at a special naturalization ceremony in the Justice Department

1:15: First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at the White House Kitchen Garden Summer Harvest

1:30: President Obama delivers remarks at Asbury Park Convention Hall

2:15: VP Biden, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar and President Martelly Speak to the Press, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (Audio Only at WH Live)

2:50: President Obama departs New Jersey

3:55: Arrives the White House

5:30: Delivers remarks at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration at the White House

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Rick Ungar (Forbes): Every now and again, a political pundit is required to stand up and admit to the world that he or she got it wrong.

For me, this would be one of those moments.

For quite some time, I have been predicting that Obamacare would likely mean higher insurance rates in the individual market for the “young immortals” and others under the age of 40….

It is increasingly clear that I had it wrong.

More here

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Slate

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Can anyone explain why there is almost no questioning in the media today of McCain’s trip to Syria? Anyone??

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Steve Benen: It’s been nearly a week since President Obama announced his vision for ending the nation’s post-9/11 war footing and rejecting the notion of perpetual war, and while the pushback from the right was immediate, Republican opposition to the shift appears to be hardening.

…. of particular interest were Republican complaints about the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay ….. Rep. Peter King: “…. The president had five years to end this if he really wanted to. He could’ve moved most of those prisoners out of the country.”

….. I couldn’t help but laugh …. Less than a month after President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, King’s Republican colleagues began throwing a major tantrum over the very idea of closing the detention facility….. Three months later, Congress blocked the president from transferring detainees. A year later, they Congress did it again. Does King not remember any of this? If not, why not?

Full post here

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VP Biden, Dr Jill Biden and Colombia’s Commander of the Armed Forces Alejandro Navas, stand for the Colombian national anthem during a ceremony to honor Air Force servicemen fallen on the line of duty in a chapel at the Air Force base in Bogota, May 27

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08
Jul
11

‘a new conversation’

Karen Greenberg (Daily Beast): … The Obama administration’s decision to try Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a Somali national accused of terrorism, in federal court is the beginning of a new conversation…..

With the Warsame decision, the Obama administration has taken its first steps to create a post-Guantanamo world. Warsame was not brought to Gitmo; he was not hidden in a prison in Afghanistan. Since the prison at Guantanamo opened in January 2002, Warsame is essentially the first high-value foreign terror suspect to be rounded up abroad and brought into U.S. custody.

This is a welcome and long-overdue step. And, in many ways, it is the first realization of the president’s promise at the outset of his presidency to close Guantanamo….

With the transfer of Warsame nearly 10 years after 9/11, the Obama administration has done what the Bush administration should have done when it opened Guantanamo in January 2002. Instead of side-stepping the law and its procedures and standards, it has firmly embraced the American legal system and its courts as a viable tool in its arsenal against captured terrorism suspects.

… It is good news that Guantanamo may no longer be open for business. But this is only a first step in creating a sustainable system to replace the U.S. detention policy that has defined the war on terror.

Full article here

07
Apr
11

‘a dose of hard reality for progressives’

Politcususa: One of the little nuggets to be found in the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is the level of support that the American people expressed for Obama’s decision to leave GITMO open. 67% of Americans approved of leaving Guantanamo Bay open, and only 29% disapproved.

…Americans were asked to rank their support for some recent decisions made by President Obama … the results were a little surprising. The most popular decision that Obama made was to allow offshore drilling to resume. 71% of respondents approved and only 29% disapproved. The second most popular decision Obama made was to leave GITMO open …. The third most popular decision was the no fly zone over Libya. 66% approved and 30% disapproved. 58% approved of Obama’s proposed domestic spending freeze … The only recent decision that Obama has made that was unpopular … was his decision to continue the war in Afghanistan….

These are not the poll numbers of an unpopular or untrusted president. A large majority of Americans agreed with this president on four of his five decisions … they seem to trust Obama’s decision making and his judgment.

The real stunner here for progressives is how widely supported Obama’s decision to keep GITMO open is. Progressives including Rachel Maddow have been filleting Obama for his decision to keep the prison open for weeks, but it turns out that these critics are in the minority….

The data from this poll is a dose of hard reality for progressives who like to think of themselves as Obama’s base. The truth is that they are all small part of Obama’s base … there is an entire bloc of Americans who don’t follow the progressive movement but came out en mass to elect Barack Obama in 2008. These people are the Obama Democrats, and they are in many ways separate from the progressive movement.

…Progressives make up anywhere from 25%-29% of Americans … the Tea Party is supported by about 29% of America. As painful as this might be for progressives to realize, the reality is that your movement is about on par with the Tea Party in terms of support and self-described identification.

Progressives and Tea Partiers and over represented in the Internet discussion and both place a premium on purity. If one were to only read the progressive Internet discussion about Obama, you would come away thinking that he is doomed one termer, when the big picture reveals that Obama is in a good position to be reelected in 2012.

…Obama is the President of the United States and if he made decisions based on what the progressives wanted, his decisions would be unpopular with about 2/3 of the country … when progressive bash Obama’s recent decisions are they really upset at this president, or are they upset that more Americans don’t agree with them? …

Full article here

05
Apr
11

‘why barack obama can’t close gitmo or try ksm in new york’

The Reid Report: Democrats, particularly liberal activists, will not want to hear this. But President Obama cannot close the Bush-created prison at Guantanamo Bay, or try the remaining detainees still stuck in that island gulag, on his own. Like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, Gitmo is a creature of Congress, and only Congress can kill it.

Currently riling the vocal left (and let’s face it, what doesn’t…) is the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to stop fighting to get Khalid Sheikh Muhammad tried in a Manhattan court. Holder relented after more than two years of fighting not just Republicans .. but also Democrats, in Congress and in New York and Virginia.

….But far from rolling over and playing dead on KSM, as many on the vocal left have portrayed them, the Obama administration, and specifically Attorney General Holder, pushed back hard against the obstructions Congress has thrown in front of them (see here for details)

… – President Obama came into office in January 2009, and two days after his inauguration, he signs his first executive order, calling for the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay within one year.

– Less than five months later, Congress – controlled by Democrats – votes overwhelmingly to neutralize that executive order, and to keep Gitmo open, by choking off the funds needed to enact the executive order by building new facilities, seeking deportations, etc. The vote in the Senate was 90 to 6.

– In November 2009, the Obama administration tried another tack: they plan to move 100 remaining Gitmo detainees (not including KSM and other 9/11 direct suspects) to an all-but abandoned, state-of-the-art prison in Illinois. The rural town wanted the deal, and the jobs that would come with it. Again, the deal was blocked, and demogogued, by Congressional Republicans…

….To be clear: Barack Obama vowed to close Gitmo, and took concrete steps to try and do so. But he could not have anticipated the obstruction that would come from his own side in Congress…

Is there a way that the president can vault over Congress and bring KSM to trial in New York? The answer is no; not without directly violating numerous edicts passed by Congress (which back in the Bush days, liberals would have considered impeachable.) And the idea that “Bush did it” is more of the liberal fiction that George W. Bush routinely defied Congress, when in fact, Congress colluded with him on national security policy every step of the way.

Full brilliant post here

Thank you Ladyhawke 😉

04
Apr
11

laying the blame ….. in the wrong place

Steve Benen: Many in the media, and many more of President Obama’s detractors from the left, are hitting his administration pretty hard today for this reversal (the Obama administration has decided to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for his role in the attacks of Sept. 11 before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and not in a civilian courtroom). The development is obviously disappointing, but if we’re assigning blame, let’s at least direct at those responsible.

…Attorney General Eric Holder … told reporters this afternoon that his original decision was still the right one, but blamed Congress for “tying our hands.”

He happens to be right. Even today, Holder wants to do the right thing, and so does President Obama. And yet, Gitmo is open today, and KSM will be subjected to a military commission in the near future, not because of an administration that backed down in the face of far-right whining, but because congressional Republicans orchestrated a massive, choreographed freak-out, and scared the bejesus out of congressional Democrats. Together, they limited the White House’s options to, in effect, not having any choice at all.

There’s plenty of room for criticism of the administration, but those slamming Obama for “breaking his word” on this are blaming the wrong end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

More here




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