Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Hot Button Issue for Republicans — The Search Continues

The Party of Rush Limbaugh is clearly not interested in helping to solve America’s problems. It’s so much more fun to just sit around dreaming up wedge issues and soundbites and taking potshots at Obama.

The Gimmick du jour: Guantanamo Bay — Bloodthirsty terrorists are being released into YOUR community!

While Obama struggles to work out the details of how to close Gitmo and what to do with the prisoners, Republicans are giggling from the sidelines. They think they’ve finally found the perfect soundbite.

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), said: “My first plan is to have an up-or-down vote in the Appropriations Committee. They are known, dangerous criminals who have vowed to destroy our way of life.”

[sigh] How many times do Republicans need to have the same simple fact explained and re-explained and reiterated and re-reiterated to them??? Once again now: the Gitmo prisoners have been ACCUSEDSUSPECTED! — of being “dangerous criminals who have vowed to destroy our way of life.”

They haven’t been tried yet!

Is it all coming back now? You know — court of law, a jury of one’s peers, conviction or acquittal? DUUUHHH!!!

The Republican Gimmick is actually focused on just one particular aspect of closing Gitmo: They’re determined that not one cent of YOUR tax money will be used for closing the prison or relocating the prisoners.

[sigh] Uhh, [try to be patient now] anything that’s related to war, the military, military prisons — is paid for by the taxpayers. Arresting the prisoners, housing them, torturing them, paying the salaries of the prison guards and interrogators — it all comes out of YOUR tax dollars. Do Republicans really think this gimmick is going to work any better than all their previous ones?

And yes, it’s true that America does have some prisons that are privately owned and operated. How’s that working out for us?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The irony is, the GOP, which has consistently voted against providing food, shelter and medical care to unfortunate Americans, is more than happy to offer it to those bad people who want to destroy our country.

May 7, 2009 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Considering that it costs about $50,000 a year to house a prisoner (I'm sure a place like Gitmo would cost more), it's surprising how generous Republicans are.

May 7, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

Tom, who's got the time to sort out what part of this Tiarht's bloviating is wrong because he's ignorant and too lazy to gather facts, and what part is wrong because he's lying?

In fact Bush & Co. has already released dozens of Gitmo captives. Many were let go because the screwed up military tribunal system was such a farce the Army faced having a bunch of conscientious military lawyers resign their commissions rather than participate. Some believe a bunch of terrorists were let go because it became apparent they never were terrorists, insurgents or anything but unlucky.

So, your point about the need for actual, ethical legal proceedings in a real court is right on target.

I suspect a big danger Republicans fear is that if Gitmo prisoners wind up in stateside prisons, it won't be long before they're being interviewed by reporters. That could keep tales of torture, bungling and how the U.S. invasion of Iraq, plus mishandling of prisoners, is a huge factor in recruiting more terrorists and fighters for al Qaeda and the Taliban.

I suspect Republicans' biggest fear along these lines is that prisoners might testify in court about fellow prisoners dying after undergoing "enhanced interrogation."

Plus, just imagine Mohammed on the evening news, telling how after what was done to him at Gitmo he damn sure will go back home and tell his story, and then become a recruiter and fighter against the U.S.

May 7, 2009 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: And I don't which is scarier, that a congressman could be that ignorant, or that sleazy.

Good point about the Bush Administration already having released some Gitmo captives. And you're probably right about the real reason Republicans are worried about this, that a trial might reveal some dirty laundry.

May 7, 2009 at 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

But them thar terrists ain't Amurcun. They don't get not rights!

Republican hypocrisy is unfathomable. They cheer democracy and the American Way as the touchstone of all the world's societies because our laws and our decency are righteous; then they say, in so many words, that rights, human decency, etc. are only for a select (the ones they deem worthy) group of people. Pfft...idiots.

Sorry for being so scarce. Life has been absorbing all my time lately.

May 8, 2009 at 2:57 AM  
Blogger Agi said...

Giving out free pizza seems to work for them.

May 8, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

The real kicker in the torture issue is that it's looking like the Dems went along with the Bush plan. Why else would they be dragging their feet on any investigation? I think we may need to have an outside country investigate this mess because it looks like it won't be done from within our government.

May 8, 2009 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Must you stomp on the oxycotin dreams of the wingnuts? Baby Jesus is crying.

May 8, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

Demeur raises a valid point: there's culpability on both sides of the aisle. However, not all Democrats were willing to go along quietly. Sen. Russ Feingold and Rep. John Murtha were demanding a thorough investigation three years ago.

May 8, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Anonymous kate said...

first of all, anyone with a lick of sense knows limbaugh is an idiot. I also think any politician Dem. or Repub. who claims they did not know there was torture going on is a blatant liar. I would like to know, however, how many millions? of dollars it will cost the tax payers to provide trials and lawyers for all the accused. just curious.

May 8, 2009 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Carlos: That really seems to be the rightwing view, that these are just turrists and they ain't Murcan so they don't got no rights.

Agi: All right, free pizza.

Demeur: True, I think too many Democrats secretly went along with Bush. Either they were just sleazy or they were scared shitless of Bush and Cheney.

Randal: He's been crying too much lately.

Kate: Whatever the cost of trials and lawyers for these prisoners, we don't really have a choice. Gitmo is probably more expensive than most U.S. prisons.

May 8, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

The Republicans are too busy coming up with the slogans they think will sway millions of Americans over to their side to reflect on the reality of their party's pathetic situation. As they giggle and high-five about how this slogan or that slogan will spell the downfall of their enemies, they don't stop to think that maybe America elected Obama because America is tired of vicious, empty sloganeering.

They are truly pathetic.

May 8, 2009 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

Snave, you got that right.

All I can say is "for pete's sake, they're not going to deposit them in downtown Duluth!!"

May 9, 2009 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Yup, pathetic is right. I think (I hope anyway) that we're past the point where slogans and wedge issues will work. It's been 20 years of sleazy good times for Republicans (starting with Willie Horton in 1988), but I think they need to either start dealing with real issues or fade away.

May 10, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

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