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May 16, 2009

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Wow, you're up this late too?

So, I'm naive, do other states contemplate turning over people to a foreign government for immediate execution in order to obtain the support of the foreign government to engage in an unjustified war of choice?

And is it a requirement that the leaders of the GOP lack empathy? I mean, fnck.

And is it a requirement that the leaders of the GOP lack empathy?

Not just lacking in empathy, but openly deriding it as a concept. To quote Mr. Steele:

"Crazy nonsense empathetic! I'll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind. Craziness!"

T-shirt idea:

A photo of John Yoo, with the caption "Sociopaths Against Empathy".

So is Obama still holding the Uighurs to mollify the Chinese? Looks like it.

Gingrich doesn't have power; Obama does.

Since releasing the Uighurs was Step 1 in the '100 Days' campaign, it seemed pretty clear that the failure to do so early on had a lot to do with Sec. of State Clinton's trip to China.

But at the time I really expected that it would just be a delay, and that by now we'd see them released.

The impact of failing to free the Uighurs isn't just on them, either. All the other prisoners understand that the Uighurs are the "easy case", and the more time passes without them being freed, the more anxious other prisoners become. 'Anxious' is almost a euphemism there; it's hard to express in words that don't mislead what the endless uncertainty does to the mind.

And conditions at the camps have just flat not improved enough to be humane. The Pentagon people in charge of detention are either the same as under Bush, or are behaving with just the same attitude toward the prisoners, and just as much impenetrable secrecy.

It's been four months; when is the new camp commander going to arrive? (I'm assuming they were waiting for the decision about military commissions.) Will he make the slightest bit of difference?

Revival of the military commissions, however "reformed", can't be helping the prisoners' state of mind. It's ominous and sickening that Obama would choose to repudiate the existing judicial systems, civilian and military.

By the way, Hilzoy, thanks very much for this and the preceding post.

Because of Obama's actions this week, a number of his defenders, who are apparently being encouraged to see all civil liberties, detention, and torture issues as a "distraction" and an actual threat to health care and green jobs, are especially defensive. They're lashing out at those of us who have a commitment to these issues with increasingly ugly language. (The best response to which is calm reassurance that they're posing a false opposition between justice and bread & butter issues.)

Your patience and persistence is a real inspiration. Thanks.

don't forget: the Bush administration cleared them.

Apparently Jim Webb has forgotten:

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know there are about 17, I believe, Chinese Uighurs, they are called, who have been ordered released by a federal court, they’ve determined not to be a threat to the United States. And the administration has been working on plans to bring them to Virginia. Can you accept them in your state?

WEBB: Well, let me back up for a minute. The answer is no. No.

This is the fruit of Democrats' refusal, led by President Obama, to make the point that there are innocent prisoners at Guantanamo -- many, many more innocent men than genuine suspects.

The rest of the Stephanopoulos interview dashes hopes that Webb will ask any awkward questions at Stanley McChrystal's confirmation hearing about all the torture that happened under his command in Iraq.

Webb used to seem to take that kind of thing pretty seriously; must be all taken care of now.

It's remarkable, in that ABC roundtable, seeing George Will making the following point: [...] WILL: Well, you know, the supermax prisons in our country are full of Americans who have killed Americans and are perfectly safe. So the idea that we can't find a place to house these very few people who are really dangerous strikes me as preposterous. Nice also to see Katrina Vanden Heuvel pushing so strongly for a truth commission; it's unsurprising that she'd take that stance, but nice to see at least one leftist view on the panel.

Again: It's remarkable, in that ABC roundtable, seeing George Will making the following point:

[...] WILL: Well, you know, the supermax prisons in our country are full of Americans who have killed Americans and are perfectly safe. So the idea that we can't find a place to house these very few people who are really dangerous strikes me as preposterous.
Nice also to see Katrina Vanden Heuvel pushing so strongly for a truth commission; it's unsurprising that she'd take that stance, but nice to see at least one leftist view on the panel.

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