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View Diary: Abbreviated pundit roundup: Calls for closing Guantanamo grow (101 comments)

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  •  Americans have a right to be concerned (9+ / 0-)

    Americans have a right to be concerned with how our government collects data, imprisons deatinees in Gitmo with virtually no legal authority,  and uses unprecedented authority to shut down a major city. These are areas ripe for potential corruption or misuse in the future. Safety is obviously a top priority, but so is making sure citizens have their rights protected and not turning the country into a paranoid police state. How can there really be no mistakes on a "terrorist" watchlist of nearly one million names? How many innocent Americans or immigrants are on that list? Who gets sent to Gitmo off of this list?  -  progressive

    •  I am afraid fear has trumped common sense (10+ / 0-)

      since 9/11.  Look at the calls for attacks on Muslims following the Boston bombing and a cabbie had his jaw broken by a drunken passenger because of the bombing

    •  Speaking of collecting data (7+ / 0-)

      A Huffington Post Article reports that a group of Republican House members (the  author and 10 Republican co-sponsors) have introduced a bill to bar the Census Bureau from collecting any data other than the constitutionally required decennial count of the american population and even in that census barring the Bureau from asking anything other than the number of people in a household.

      Such a step that would end the government's ability to provide reliable estimates of the employment rate. Indeed, the government would not be able to produce any of the major economic indices that move markets every month, said multiple statistics experts, who were aghast at the proposal.

      "They simply wouldn't exist. We won't have an unemployment rate," said Ken Prewitt, the former director of the U.S. Census who is now a professor of public affairs at Columbia University.

      "I don't know how the market reacts if there is suddenly no unemployment rate at the start of the month," Prewitt said. "How does the market react if we don't have a GDP [gross domestic product]?"
      ...
      But the proposed Census Reform Act is explicit in its intent to end nearly every survey the Census conducts, mandating the "repeal" of the nation's agricultural census, economic census, government census and mid-decade census. It would also bar the bureau from carrying out the American Community Survey (ACS), which the House voted last year to end, although the Senate let that measure die.

      Rep. Duncan's answer to Prewitt's question?  Have businesses conduct their own voluntary surveys and publish their own results.

      And the reason for this bill?  According to Rep. Duncan, several of his constituents have objected to giving personal information to the government.  

      The U.S. Senate may not be very productive lately, but at least its members can stop idiocy like this when it gets out of the House.  I shudder to think what could happen if these lunatics ever control both houses of Congress.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:53:54 AM PDT

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      •  Boy, you're not kidding (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybersaur, SueDe

        The crazy shit we've been seeing in the state legislatures would be showing up in the House and passed onto Mitch McConnell, who will still be afraid of the Tea Party.
        Some of the crazier legislation passed in Kansas since 2010:
        Kansas just passed a bill  that tries to negate the supremacy clause in the Constitution (any guns manufactured in Kansas cannot be subject to federal laws),
        and the abortion bill Brownback just signed bans abortion workers from volunteering in schools, forbids the University of Kansas Medical School from teaching abortion procedures, and allows doctors to lie to women about the health of their fetus and avoid being sued for such lies.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:17:19 AM PDT

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      •  Duncan seems steeped in village idiocy. The list (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe

        of such is fairly long. Not a few seem to be attempts to reenact South Carolina's attack on Fort Sumpter as in H.R.1047:

        Prohibits a federal agency from bringing a challenge against a state statute or constitutional provision which protects the right of employees to choose labor organization representatives through secret ballot elections.
        and this gem:
        H.AMDT.1128 to H.R.4310 An amendment numbered 47 printed in House Report 112-485 to limit funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act to any institution or organization established by the Convention on the Law of the Sea, including the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
        Sponsor: Rep Duncan, Jeff [SC-3] (introduced 5/18/2012)      Cosponsors (None)
        Even Faux News published "Give the Law of the Sea Convention a fair hearing before deciding" and the author noted, among other things:
        Are claims that the U.S. will be able—as a non-party—to enjoy the Convention’s navigation and overflight rights as a matter of customary law theoretically and empirically sound?
        Too often the people these Red CD villages send are "local business" types with hardly a clue as to what they are meddling in. Kind of like sending in plumbers to do brain surgery. That is not to say some Democrats are dumb as slugs, but the sheer number of such in the TP/GOP ranks is both amazing and frightening in view of an increasingly  complex world we cannot control by economic or military might.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:57:20 AM PDT

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    •  We on the left have to take some responsibility (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pelagicray

      too. I too often hear the "safety first" meme. I was glad to see you qualify it. Obviously safety is a big concern, but far from the only concern, and I'm not even sure that it should be number one. If I made safety my number one concern everyday for everything I do, I wouldn't get half of my work done. Risks are part of life. We all have to do a much better job at risk assessment. If something is very low risk do we really need to get government involved? Should we override peoples' rights? We are making our government react too much to sensational events while they are ignoring global warming and a food supply full of health risks. The rightwing nuts are a lot of the problem, but there isn't much we can do about them. What we can do is work on our focus and make human rights and freedoms a top priority. I am deeply disappointed that Obama has just closed Gitmo now that he has been reelected  and to blame it on congress is insincere.  There are a lot of things he can't do with a stroke of a pen, but this is something he could do.

      "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

      by Wisdumb on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:27:00 AM PDT

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      •  Please do explain. (0+ / 0-)

        You have an apparent typo, or typos, in your comment:

        I am deeply disappointed that Obama has just closed Gitmo now that he has been reelected  and to blame it on congress is insincere.  There are a lot of things he can't do with a stroke of a pen, but this is something he could do.
        - Gitmo is not closed. Congress is responsible for denying any federal funds for trials of Gitmo captives on U.S. soil. Congress is responsible for blocking the acquisition of a state prison in Illinois to hold Gitmo captives.

        So far, no other country has a) been agreeable to accept Gitmo captives; or b) been suitable because of history of torture.

        But if you have the secret and simple resolution to the humane, legal, financial, national and international issues with Gitmo captives and closing Gitmo, I'm sure the White House will want to know.

        “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

        by SoCalSal on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:51:20 AM PDT

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        •  You are right sorry I was in a rush and didn't (0+ / 0-)

          review. Thanks

          As for ways around congress.  He was able to collect a billion dollars for his reelection campaign. I would be willing to donate money to see justice done for the detainees at Gitmo. I don't know but if the president was willing to do whatever was necessary to see justice done, I believe a way could be found. I'm probably naive.

          "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

          by Wisdumb on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:50:54 AM PDT

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          •  Congress is the problem so are other countries. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SoCalSal

            President Obama issued the order just as he promised. The Congress doesn't want Gitmo closed.

            It is magical thinking to believe the biggest obstacle here (and with most issues) isn't the Congress or countries such as Yemen who cannot promise they can or will be able to take detainees back in a proper way.

            How can we really make a difference if we refuse to accept reality of a given issue. There is plenty of fault to be found with President Obama but this issue isn't one of them.

            It seems that there are people on the Left who also believe in an imperial presidency just as we see on the Right. The only difference is on what issue and that they will admit their belief.

            The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

            by sebastianguy99 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:53:09 AM PDT

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          •  Well, that's an interesting thought... (0+ / 0-)

            to solicit public donations for all the attendant costs of civil trials and for start-up and ongoing detention facilities in the USA. I don't know how many millions of dollars that would require, but expect that would be "a lot".

            I'm with you on wanting Gitmo closed, and I believe that Gitmo is a stain on American history. But I'm not aware of any federal program (outside of regulated election campaigns), significant or otherwise, that has been fully funded by public donations.

            POTUS is not a dictator, and things don't happen in this country solely out of the will of whoever happens to be POTUS.

            Moreover, your opinion and mine do not represent the opinion of the overall public. Sadly, we hold a distinctly minority opinion. Consider that 51% of the public favored closure of Gitmo in January 2009. By 2010, only 39% of the public favored closure of Gitmo. By February 2012 (the most recent poll on Gitmo), only 24% of the public disapproved of Gitmo.

            According to a Washington Post poll released on February 4, 2012, 70 percent of respondents either “strongly” or “somewhat” approved of the policy of keeping the prison facility open. Only 24 percent expressed disapproval. The Post revealed that 67 percent of self-described “moderate” or “conservative Democrats” approved of keeping the prison facility open, while 53 percent of self-identified “liberal Democrats” also supported keeping Guantanamo Bay operating.
            Link.

            “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

            by SoCalSal on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:04:59 PM PDT

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            •  If you can come up with the money and legal (0+ / 0-)

              cover to kill people on the other side of the world with drones than you ought to be able to bring justice to people you are detaining. What would Ghandi do?

              "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

              by Wisdumb on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:32:25 PM PDT

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    •  A petition to close Guantanamo (4+ / 0-)

      has received about 123,000 signatures in two days: President Obama: Close Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay.  It was launched by a former prosecutor at Guantanamo, who says:

      I personally charged Osama Bin Laden’s driver Salim Hamdan, Australian anathema David Hicks, and Canadian teen Omar Khadr.  All three were convicted … and then they were released from Guantanamo.  More than 160 men who have never been charged with any offense, much less convicted of a war crime, remain at Guantanamo with no end in sight.  There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where not being charged with a war crime keeps you locked away indefinitely and a war crime conviction is your ticket home.

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:00:36 AM PDT

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