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May 07, 2009

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Someone should overlay the audio (and text, if any) onto video clips of various superheroes and villains breaking out of cells. Wolverine, Iron Man breaking out of the cave, etc.

As an editor (well, unemployed editor, but an editor for 20 years nonetheless), you done good, Hilzoy! Now stay away from Hollywood and don't take any job I might possibly be considered for! :)

(And, um, the content was pretty great too!)

Good job---but maybe make the caption text a little bigger?

Bless you hilzoy, that was truly awesome.

Brava!

Still giggling about the outer space bit.

Unfortunately, the Republicans are going to retort that it's all the fault of soft liberals that dangerous domestic criminals are in US prisons. Because if you just exceute them immediately, (why bother with appeals, due process etc) you wouldn't have that problem either. "The Democrats: in favour of letting wicked people live".

Fantastic, hilzoy! Please make more movies. :)

It's as though they think that we have never before had to figure out such questions as: how can we hold dangerous people in detention safely? When someone has served his time and we think he might go on to do something bad, how might we monitor him to ensure that he doesn't? Suppose we have captured someone who might be guilty of a violent crime, but we do not have enough evidence to charge him: what should we do?

Not forgetting - though you did - "Supposing that we have arrested someone who has been accused of doing something wrong, but there is no evidence against them except for the accusation - and it turns out the accuser benefited financially by making the accusation? What's the proper procedure then?" All of the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay are men who have been accused of being terrorists; and for some of them, that accusation is the only evidence there ever was that didn't depend on torturing other prisoners: the media push is of course that being accused is in and of itself evidence of guilt, which you appear to be going along with for the sake of ... well, a video.

(Neither of which I have watched. Maybe later.)

Here we go again: another boring and pointless complaint from Jes that Hilzoy may be opposed to the US's policies on torture etc, but she's not opposed enough, because she hasn't mentioned X, Y, Z. If you're trying to argue against the specific point that dangerous criminals can't be held in the US, then it makes sense to focus on that issue. Arguing about issues of guilt in this specific context weakens that point.

Maybe we just need a standard boilerplate 'will you condemnathon' to go in every post of Hilzoy's on the topic.

If only Hilzoy's production could be seen on every TV channel! Thank you Hilzoy!

I have to agree that the idea that we couldn't maintain dangerous prisoners in the US is flatly absurd. The only reason for maintaining prisons off US soil was to advance an argument that the people we kept in them weren't subject to US jurisdiction, and so none of our constitutional protections applied. Which is absurd itself, the very fact that WE hold them puts them under our jurisdiction, no matter where we're holding them, Colorado, Gitmo, or Bagram.

nicely done, H!

The thing the Republicans instinctively understand that's not accounted for in your searing rebuttal, however, is that Al Qaida and their ilk are not merely criminals nor even merely enemy combatants if captured: they are the new (and in the GOP's universe, essential) "Super Other." The catch-all bogeyman onto whom can be projected a wide range of otherwise maddening irrationalities, ones that become easier to move on despite, however, when they're self-contained within one central vessel or minority. This super-human threat demands a comic-book-style detention center to validate this delusion.

Even though Senator Roberts doesn't explicitly lay out this logic, he's confident it's understood to be the case.

The trouble is that a lot of people will totally fail to see the irony in your video and believe that it is, indeed, President Obama's fault that these dangerous criminals are in the US. Why before he was President they were -- well, somewhere else.

Edward_!

I will probably never have the opportunity to say this again, so I'm going to quickly seize the moment before it's inevitably ruined:

What Brett said.

(Also: Hey, Edward_!)

EDWARD_!

I hope you're doing well, my friend.

Yo Edward_! Hi!

Hey, Edward_! Long time, no blog, man....

And to build on your comment: IMO, you're quite right about the "Super Other" thing; I have always thought one of the weakest links in the Bush Administration's "War on Terror" arguments (among many) was their obsessive insistence that "terrorists" should not, indeed could not be treated like virtually every other civilized country does, i.e. like common criminals; but were so Super-Duper-Extra-Special EEEEEVULLL, that it was necessary to set up an entirely separate (and separately defined) system - legally unaccountable, of course - to deal with them.

As if, somehow, the enforcement system that tracked down, indicted, tried and sentenced the 1993 WTC bombers (frex), "wouldn't" work in the 21st Century.

Hey Slarti and Matt and Lurker and Hilzoy and Jay (why do I hear Disney-esque birds chirping in the background?)!

I have to admit to having been so stunned by 9/11 that I temporarily assumed these guys were more "eeeevulll" than other people, but what eventually dawned on me was that they were simply better trained and more lucky than other people. That just makes them a higher class of criminals, not super- or (as the argument oddly morphed in some quarters once torture reports came back) sub-human.

That would have dawned on the administration once it had a few of them in custody as well (if they were ever unprofessional or poorly advised enough to assume otherwise), and yet they continued to perpetuate the "Super Other" myth because it excused their over-reaction.

Yeah. The only argument I've heard for why terrorists are so much scarier to have in your neighborhood maximum security prison than mere serial killers is: they have comrades who will try to get them out! Maybe by flying planes into the prison!

Which is why I included the head of the Cali cartel and the Blind Sheikh.

Note: iMovie really is very very easy to use. The only tough part was getting the sound track to line up so that the loud thumpy bit started when Charles Manson appeared. Next time, as Jackmormon says, I will see whether I can ditch their default text size.

There must be an easier way to make text on a black background than creating a "picture" called "black" and putting a title on it, though ...

There must be an easier way to make text on a black background than creating a "picture" called "black" and putting a title on it, though ...

That's why they make (and charge an arm and a leg for) Final Cut...

every couple of months my local news tv station covers an angry and frightened reaction to a recent move in of a listed sex offender. the town folk are interviewed and they are deeply concerned for safety of all. this story has been on wash, rinse and repeat for a few years now. i waiting for the question "well, where should they live?" this never gets asked, it never gets asked because this story is about gut reactions, and angry neighbors, not what to do, what to do.

'I have to admit to having been so stunned by 9/11 that I temporarily assumed these guys were more "eeeevulll" than other people, but what eventually dawned on me was that they were simply better trained and more lucky than other people. That just makes them a higher class of criminals, not super- or (as the argument oddly morphed in some quarters once torture reports came back) sub-human.'

Parallels with the sequence of contradictory racist Caucasian views of the Japanese in the 1930s and early 1940s are rather hard to escape. Prior to 12-07-41 they were viewed as little monkey men, comically buck toothed and slavish imitators of everything Western, then in early 1942 they were invicible supermen and natural born jungle fighters able to see in the dark, live off of a handful of rice for a month, and impervious to tropical diseases. Then they went back to being subhuman again as the war went on.

Half a century later, here we are again repeating the same idiotic cycle of under/over-estimation with a different "other". Lessons of history, condemned to repeat, rinse, lather, etc.

Why the heck can't we see our enemies as just plain old human beings for a change? It might actually work better that way, albeit at the cost of admitting that regular human beings sometimes have reasons for fighting against us rather than being bizarre monsters from another planet.

nicely done video btw, fun and slick, i agree will EL, the point will be missed by some, heck, i just met a masters of ed student that believes colbert is merely a self-effacing committed conservative, so convinced was she, that i spent a few seconds considering the power confirmation bias has on me and then swatted that fly dead.

//When someone has served his time and we think he might go on to do something bad, how might we monitor him to ensure that he doesn't?//

We don't monitor to insure he doesn't. We monitor to insure we know approximately where he was a few weeks before he does it again.

Richard Allen Davis.

Recidivism: about 48% of parolees are convicted of a new crime within three years of their release.


"Recidivism: about 48% of parolees are convicted of a new crime within three years of their release."

So are you arguing against former Bush admin officials who committed crimes ever being paroled, because if we let them out they will lie, kill, torture and attempt to overthrow the Constitution of the US again, or at least half of them will, within three years of getting out.

That seems a little harsh.

O Fortune,
like the moon you are changeable,
ever waxing and waning;
hateful life
first oppresses and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
poverty and power,
it melts them like ice

They don't write 'em like that anymore.

The terrorists in jail don't worry me half as much as the ones walking around in broad daylight.

because if we let them out they will lie, kill, torture and attempt to overthrow the Constitution of the US again, or at least half of them will, within three years of getting out.

Based on these guys' track records, I put the odds at way more than half.

Beautiful job, Hilzoy! And, unlike the Senate Republicans, you didn't repeat the names of any criminals.

There should be a moratorium on using Carmina Burana in soundtracks. When I was doing sound design for theater, every other director wanted to use that piece. So tired.

To make this even more effective, you need to find some violent criminal who currently resides in a Kansas prison.

This would also be funny if you had pictures of the Republican Nimrods that have been locked up over the last 8 years... Lord knows there's enough of them... :-)

Hilzoy: Your video makes its point very well.

I couldn't help noticing that one of the terrible terrorists in the scary Republican video is Omar Khadr, the only Canadian at Gitmo. He was a teenager at the time he was captured. No doubt Khadr's father was a prime member, but the son was a teenager. I think US is signatory to convention as to how one is supposed to treat child soldiers, not to mention that the evidence against Omar appears to be rather dubious.

In Canada, people accused of crimes have a right to a trial within a reasonable period of time, and if prosecution delays, you get to go free. tends to focus the minds of prosecutors on dealing with important cases.

I realize that Bushies were able to both conceive that the Gitmo detainees were prisoners of war - get to hold them until the conflict is over- and not prisoners of war- we'll charge them with something someday, and have right to keep them indefinitely.

Canadians most notable experience in following the exploits of US treatment of antiterrorists was Maher Arar- suffered extraordinary rendition, taken off a flight in NYC and sent to Syria (during a time when Bush thought Syria OK because they were good at torturing people). Syria concluded after 6 months that Arar really was innocent. The Canadian government was so embarrassed by what the US had done to Arar (and our role- we had had Arar on a watch list because he had been seen talking to someone who was bad) - that we paid him $10 million in compensation.


I'm giving Obama his year to try to figure it all out.

And I think he has more important things to do than preside over prosecuting the Bush administration, after all there are so many that appear culpable. Can't help but thinking it would be a good idea to round them all up and hold them (I understand Gitmo is going to be empty) until he has time to concentrate on the issue- say after his re election.

good job on the video, Hilzoy!

There must be an easier way to make text on a black background...

That's why they make (and charge an arm and a leg for) Final Cut...

Actually, the 'lite' version of Final Cut is not so expensive (couple hundred dollars?). If you're going to make more videos, I'd say it's worth it.

It's amusing that we now think of a piece of software which replaces six figures worth of hard and software as costing 'an arm and a leg' at $1k. So it goes...

I thought that your dangerous criminals were going to be Cheney, Rumsfeld et al.

Well done. Great visuals with a strong beat, plus, it was easy to dance to, I give it a 10!

"There must be an easier way to make text on a black background."

In the titles pane there is a box called 'over black' . check that box.

Final Cut is more versitile but very different. I've gone back to iMovie just cuz I Iove the garage quality. And it's fast.

Even though I'm convinced the original video is going to be eventually revealed as some kind of planted fake to make the R's look silly...your rebuttal gave me the best laugh I've had in weeks. Thank you so much.

judson: thanks! Now I can delete "black" from my iPhoto library. ;)

How could you miss Timothy McVeigh, or dare we insinuate that the Montana Freemen still in custody were (are) terrorists.

that was awesome -- we're multimedia!!

As an non-human, non-Earth-based sentient, I object to this dangerous, misguided plan to send your planet's human criminals beyond your exosphere.

Remember, one creature's "outer space" is another's front porch.

[PAID FOR BY THE "SEND EARTH'S CRIMINALS INTO A BLACK HOLE" COMMITTEE. Rau Tueeeeeee27e, Treasurer.]


Hey,

Of course you're completely right about all this, but please, please, lose the "just saying". Don't you realise that nobody has ever ended a statement with "just saying" without making himself sound like a total dork?

Fartstriker:

On behalf of all the lobotomized robot crew members of the USS Cygnus, as well as the crew of the USS Palomino: we strenuously object to your proposal to relocate Al-Queda to our black hole.

Our home may be able to disrupt the space time continuum, but it's no match for the sheer villainy of Al-Queda.

[PAID FOR BY "THE COMMITTEE TO SEND AL-QUEDA TO ONLY PLACE WHERE THEY WILL REMAIN FOREVER: THE LINE AT THE WASHINGTON DC DMV"]

I think the video very effectively makes the case that Republicans are giant pussies.

How could you miss Timothy McVeigh

The zombie Tim McVeigh might well be a serious threat.

I didn't know there were any Fremen in Montana. Wrong climate.

So, this is a Republican?

Good to know.

they continued to perpetuate the "Super Other" myth because it excused their over-reaction.

I think this is actually an excellent formulation. My impression of this was that a large aspect of it was (as ABQ eloquently stated) an underlying theme that these "people" are so alien and evil that were they to break out, they'd not try to escape or go underground, but rather immediately and unstoppably start making baby-kebabs at the local supermarket à la Hannibal Lector.

And after all, we were fighting them over there precisely so we wouldn't have to fight them over here, weren't we?

(That last idea dovetails nicely with a refusal to consider domestic terrorists to be real terrorists; that's something that "those people" do, after all...)

Could someone give me a run down of what happened to all the previous posters of ObWi, if it's not too much hassle? My history is shaky at best.

So, this is a Republican?

Good to know.

Oh, come on, Slarti, don't play coy. You've heard complaints from the left about Republican fat cats over the years as the rest of us...

*as many complaints

Gah.

"that these 'people' are so alien and evil"

Of course they are: they're Muslims, after all, and foreign and dark!

Playing into existing prejudices helps endlessly.

Used to be Jews poisoned wells, and drank the blood of Christian babies.

We see less of those more extreme/explicit views of Jews (the once handy non-Christian demonized religious/ethnic group) in the U.S. these days, but the idea that Islam is inherently violent, and Muslims are suspicous, is popular enough to show up even on this blog not infrequently.

And the Real Americans Aren't Dark-skinned is still very popular amongst some Republicans and conservatives.

(Yes, Slarti, I point preemptively, as example, to all the blog posts about how, for instance, Obama isn't that popular if you remove African-Americans from the polling.)

I don't think I need to bother to point to examples of Foreigners being Viewed With Suspicion, do I? (Or the ever-popular view that people whose grandparents were Foreign are Still Foreign? There isn't even anything particularly American about this: it's near-universal human trait.)

'these "people" are so alien and evil that were they to break out, they'd not try to escape or go underground, but rather immediately and unstoppably start making baby-kebabs at the local supermarket à la Hannibal Lector.
'

What do you mean "were they to break out"? Apparently they are so dangerous that even Federal prisons can't hold them. Nobody is safe, if even one Gitmo detainee is located anywhere in the same state. Sort of like Tai Long in Kung Fu Panda, only worse.

"Could someone give me a run down of what happened to all the previous posters of ObWi, if it's not too much hassle?"

Edward burned out and withdrew to focus on art and the rest of his life.

Charles Bird got tired of being endlessly disagreed with, and withdrew, saying it was a temporary sabbatical, although subsequently the succeeding blogowners removed his name from the blog without further explanation.

Moe Lane got too enraged with non-Republicans to want to deal with any again on an equal and polite basis, and withdrew to Redstate where he's been "blamming" the evildoers who disagree with him ever since.

Katherine R. got burned out by her work on detainee issues, and withdrew. (She also graduated from law school and got married.)

Slartibartfast is still with us in comments, but, well, he can speak for himself.

I'm probably forgetting someone obvious.

I still, bluntly, think it's disrespectfully rude to not list the earlier posters as emeritus in the sidebar, myself. (With Andy Olmsted the obvious exception.)

My link fu was weak on that last comment, so let me try again:

Apparently they are so dangerous that even Federal prisons can't hold them.

(if the link doesn't work, just hop over to Balloon-Juice, see the thread titled "Montana Residents: Manlier Than Your Average Politician"

I'm probably forgetting someone obvious.
Farber, you're neglecting to mention G'Kar, who is memorialized at the upper-right of every Obsidian Wings page.

"Farber, you're neglecting to mention G'Kar"

I wrote: "[w]ith Andy Olmsted the obvious exception."

I really didn't think it was necessary to explain what happened to him, given all the links at the top of every page.

Gary, I missed your Olmsted reference, because it wasn't in the list portion of the comment. I apologize for saying you hadn't mentioned him.

I'm not worried about Guantanamo prisoners in the U.S. prison system. I'm worried about stone cold killers like Mark Swanner living in our neighborhoods, free as a bird.

I was always married, actually. It was the job thing, the burned out on politics thing, the devoting too much time to "someone is wrong on the internet thing!", and, most recently, having a kid.

congrats katherine!

"I was always married, actually."

Always? ;-)

Congratulations, Katherine. Good to hear from you.

"Sort of like Tai Long in Kung Fu Panda, only worse."

I askeered. Hold me?

Mazel tov, Katherine!

Always? ;-)

When you are married, it is always hard to imagine the time that you weren't...

Thank you--great movie--really did lol--please make more movies >^.^<

If this thread is any indication, no one ever stops visiting this site (in which case: Hi Andy! -- we're trying our best...)

Ha, someone just got mentioned on Rachel Maddow.

No rest until Fox!

Just saw the video on Rachel Maddow, awesome!

We must now begin referring to "Big Media Hilzoy."

;-)

"'O Fortuna'"

Anytime I see the word fortuna, I'm reminded of listening to the terrific audio book, A Confederacy of Dunces.

So ot, sorry.

well, he can speak for himself

Combination of things: it was starting to eat chunks of my life that are better spent with the wife, kids, and job (in no particular order). Also, I realized that I'm just no good at this front-page thing. Oh, and I found that I was getting angry quite a lot, and that stopped happening to a large extent after I stopped thinking I needed to respond to absolutely every unsupported conclusion about me, personally, that some commenter or other was arriving at.

I don't expect everyone to understand this. I'm not sure I even do.

"Oh, and I found that I was getting angry quite a lot, and that stopped happening to a large extent after I stopped thinking I needed to respond to absolutely every unsupported conclusion about me, personally, that some commenter or other was arriving at."

You just say that because of your longtime fascist tendencies, which are due to your childhood issues.

See? Bounces right off me, now.

"Don't you realise that nobody has ever ended a statement with 'just saying' without making himself sound like a total dork?"

I disagree with this, btw.

Just saying.

Okay, no sh*t, it turns out the Republicans have a "Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act."

No, really.

I don't like why, but I LOLed ...

Lovely that Maddow praised you by name for making the point better than she could, Hilzoy. (Crediting Washington Monthly, unsurprisingly,r ather than here.)


What I liked best about the Republican ad was reading the CNN news ticker at the bottom of the screen:

At 0:09-- "Poll: Obama speech scored with viewers."

At 0:11-- "Jindal earns bad reviews in national debut"

Friendly Fire!!!

We should also not forget the anti-Castro Cuban terrorists walking free in Florida due to protection by (most prominently) the Bush Clan. But blowing up an airliner is A-OK, if some evil commies die in the event, obviously.

Shout-out to Katherine and Edward.

I wonder if the psychological explanation of why the Republicans took the position they did misses the point. I don't know many people who don't find al Qaeda, or any other extremely violent and utterly self-certain group of people, deeply unsettling. But most of us manage our fears, at least enough to live productive, moral lives. The Republicans have simply bet (yet again) that this generation of Americans will act like poltroons.

Great movie, hilzoy, but you left out some really scary criminals that are running around loose: John Yoo, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, etc.

Finally got a chance to get on the computer with the fast connection to see Hilzoy's video debut. Good stuff, and already nationally televised!

Wrt the loopy Republican ad that inspired it: wouldn't you think the infamous Australian beer ad would have kept anyone with a lick of sense from using O Fortuna ever again, except in parody?

And now for my obligatory bit of buzzkill: the references in Hilzoy's vid to the Florence Supermax prison remind me that we need to end torture in our domestic prisons, too. The extreme isolation, 24-hour lights-on, and abusively routine strip and body cavity searches that are S.O.P. in supermax prisons and control units of regular prisons are torture. That's one form of torture that is definitely still ongoing at Guantanamo (at Camps Five, Six, and Seven, at least) and quite possibly at Bagram (where there is still no complete accounting to the Red Cross for the prisoner population).

" The extreme isolation, 24-hour lights-on, and abusively routine strip and body cavity searches that are S.O.P. in supermax prisons and control units of regular prisons are torture."

Indeed.

Ironically, those domestic criminals are probably a bigger threat than the Guantanamo detainees. I'd think an escaped criminal who is fluent in English could evade authorities much better than one who doesn't know English well and has never been in the U.S.

Rachel Maddow cites Hilzoy.

"The extreme isolation, 24-hour lights-on, and abusively routine strip and body cavity searches that are S.O.P. in supermax prisons and control units of regular prisons are torture. "

Agreed.

Rachel Maddow cites Hilzoy.

Sister, you are a star!!

Wow, congratulations on the video!

Good video! And congratulations on the Maddow shout-out!

BTW, The Daily Show took on the same issue back in January, but with brain eaters and muppets.


Wow, your first video and it goes straight to national teebee. I'm jealous, and I don't even make videos. ;-)

Congratulations, and great job.

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