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April 29, 2010


We've always been at war with Eastasia.

But Eric has already answered your question (and, indeed, many others)!


My guess is that the Navy as an institution is structurally incapable of dealing with security rationally. Every officer that runs any part of Gitmo has nothing to lose by erecting more and more pointless security rules, even if they make no sense. But any officer that decides "this policy makes no sense -- let's scrap it", will have his career ruined in the unlikely event that somehow, someway, a detainee manages to take advantage of a security restriction he removed. More to the point, if any detainee ever does anything bad, there's a chance blame will fall on the last officer to push for reduced security, even if it isn't their fault. So officers have no incentive to ever reduce down security restrictions, but occasionally crazy paranoid officers ratchet them up. Hence, the absolute necessity that detainees not see in the inside of the van.

This sort of thing happens more often than it should because Americans are fundamentally cowards. Our national pastime is pant-wetting.

It's unreasonable, stupid, and evil. There is no reason for it except to pretend to ourselves that the people in question are super-evil super-powerful super-villains. It's unbelievably awful and it makes me want to puke.

The reason "we" are still doing that is that some of "us" are sadistic cowards.

It's entirely possible that high officials in the Obama administration are themselves sadistic cowards. It's also possible that they're merely cowards who fear the political consequences of refusing to cater to those among "us" who are sadistic cowards, and who loudly denounce anyone who is "soft on terrorism".

If "we" were a uniformly decent, courageous people, then "we" would be entitled to loudly denounce sadistic cowardice on the part of our government. As it is, "we" have to reserve some contempt for "us".

What Turb says about Navy officers applies to politicians even more. Junior officers answer to senior officers, who answer to politicians, who answer to "us". "We" have to have it out with "us" eventually.


I think Turbulence, kent, and Tony have covered the ground pretty thoroughly.

For the same reason we apparently can't transfer prisoners at Gitmo to high security prisons in the US that are good enough to hold domestic terrorists, serial murderers, and the guy down the street who used to sell weed.

Because "terrorists" have magic powers, or something. Or because our terribly tough and brave political and military establishments are terrified out of their minds by "terrorists". Or because there's nobody at Gitmo who will say "Why are we doing this?" not even a judge.

So basically, what everybody else said.

Nate beat me to the topic of magic. All true (i.e. Kristian(TM)) officers know the necessary precautions when handling witches. Aversion of the Evil Eye and preventing the true name* of someone accidentally reaching the ear of the servants of evil is security 101. Also the feet must not touch the ground.
But they still have forgotten that all body hair has to be removed** completely. Just shaving bear and hair of head is insufficient.

*Why else do you think the experts never use their real names around the suspects?
**preferably by singeing

Glenn Greenwald has been pointing out, exhaustively, that Obama has NOT rolled back most of Bush's bad policies and in fact has embraced and even extended most of them. I mean, not even Dubya claimed he could whack American citizens whenever he wanted to.

I'm actually pretty angry at Obama for this reason. Either he's an authoritarian asshole much like the other guys, or he's a coward. Or a bit of both, I suppose.

I've seen people on the Left rip into him for this. Not many, but they're out there. I'm sure that Libertarians are also upset. Conservatives, though? As far as I can tell they flip flop between "Obama's a pussy" and "well sure, but our guy would've done that even BETTER" wrt his security policies.

This is the only thread I can recall where I agree with the poster and all of the commenters.

I will add an old observation that the prisoners at Guantanamo are apparently not only the worst of the worst, they are also MacGyver, able to construct WMDs out of dirt and bits of string, and able to aim them using their memory of what a road sounded like.

This is the only thread I can recall where I agree with the poster and all of the commenters.

I'm pretty sure you're wrong about this.

I almost agreed with the photos of Eric's adorable son, but then I disagreed just to stay in practice.

I'm pretty sure you're wrong about this.

There goes Eric being a Cretan.

It's well-known that Omar Khadr's telekinesis requires a line of sight to work, but if my information is correct, he has no super-hearing of any type. As such, the earmuffs don't make any sense at all.

The Navy probably mixed him up with KSM, who possesses laser vision and sonar.

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