Monday, May 27, 2013

Greenwald struggles with cognitive dissonance (updated 2x)

After writing this, I think its important to acknowledge that Glenn Greenwald has apparently wiped enough egg off his face to comment on President Obama's speech on counterterrorism. As is his wont, he uses hundreds of words to basically say, "Obama doesn't mean it."
Until one sees actual changes in behavior and substance on those issues, cheering for those changes as though they already occurred or are guaranteed is the height of self-delusion.
I guess that's the best he can do with the cognitive dissonance he's feeling after declaring that the "war on terror" cannot end only to hear the President say its time to end it.

Greenwald seems to base his entire response to the speech on the idea that we can't believe what the President says.
How many times does Obama have to deliver a speech embracing a set of values and polices, only to watch as he then proceeds to do the opposite, before one ceases to view his public proclamations as predictive of his future choices?
And yet he provides not one example of this - not even a link (as is his habit) to an article where he made a similar accusation. And so, for his major thesis, he provides absolutely zero evidence. Interesting.

In order to deal with his dissonance about the substance of the speech, Greenwald simply dismisses it.
The terrorism speech, when dissected, provided very little in the way of actual concrete substance.
One has to wonder what he did with the parts of the speech where President Obama talked about:
  1. Discussing options with Congress for additional oversight of drone strikes (ie, drone court or an independent oversight board within the administration)
  2. Increasing foreign aid to fight poverty and sectarian hatred
  3. Working with Congress to refine - and eventually repeal - the AUMF
  4. Calling on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from Gitmo
  5. Lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen
And of course that doesn't take into account the actions this administration has already taken that weren't mentioned in the speech:
  1. The significant reduction in the number of drone strikes
  2. The ending of the CIA drone program (including "signature strikes")
One can almost envision Greenwald sticking his fingers in his ears and singing "La-la-la-la" so as not to hear information that contradicts his Obama Derangement Syndrome.

His final attempt to tackle all that dissonance is to bring in quotes from all the other folks who suffer from ODS to bolster his delusion...Russ Douthat, Jeremy Scahill, Anthony Romero and Michael Hastings. He's basically saying, "See...my buddies all agree with me so I must be right!" One must keep in mind that even Sen. Ted Cruz could find 3 or 4 people who agree with him ;-)

Mr. Greenwald has always been pretty quick to accuse his opponents of being authoritarian. One of the hallmarks of that mindset is to close oneself off from the probing questions created by cognitive dissonance. In one of the most fascinating examples of projection I've seen in awhile - he demonstrated exactly how one goes about doing just that.

Now...if you want to clean up your brain from all that nonsense, go read what James Fallows wrote about President Obama's speech. Couldn't have said it better myself.

UPDATE: Via twitter, it seems that Mr. Greenwald thinks that I left the ACLU off the list of people he quotes on purpose. Because, as we all know...the ACLU is never wrong about anything (how very authoritarian!) So just to be clear, I added Mr. Romero to the list of people Greenwald quotes.

UPDATE II: Just to show what a classy guy he is, Greenwald edited his article to add a couple of links where I noted he had none - without acknowledging the edit. And then he suggests that I need to acknowledge my error. He did that to me once before when I noted an error of his in the comment section at The Guardian - so it comes as no surprise to me. But its worth noting how far this guy will go to avoid the dissonance.

65 comments:

  1. Speaking of the ACLU, it seems that they offered a fair share of praise for the President: http://www.aclu.org/national-security/aclu-comment-presidents-national-security-speech

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  2. Greenwald unwittingly showed that he is a self-involved and stump-stupid nitwit in the preface to "How Would a Patriot Act?" where he admitted that he never bothered to vote until after 9/11 because hey, the world was working well for HIM until the 9/11 attacks hit close to home. (Guess the sanctions against Iraq and extraordinary rendition under Clinton didn't enter his consciousness as he busily defended white supremacists. Who deserve a fair trial, to be sure -- but it certainly appears that he gives Matthew Hale and his ilk more benefit of the doubt than he does the first black president.)

    And he trusted George W. Bush to conduct the war with Iraq. AND he said that it had never been possible, until the Jose Padilla case, for our government to imprison its citizens without trial. So Greenwald is apparently dumber than a fifth-grader and has never heard of Executive Order 9066.

    Unlike Greenwald, I'll provide the link: http://www.bookbrowse.com/excerpts/index.cfm?fuseaction=printable&book_number=1812

    Why anyone gives this preening idiot space is a mystery to me. But then, a lot of white "progressives" have eagerly embraced whatever tools they can find -- up to and including Rand Paul -- as a way of "punishing" Barack Obama for not being sufficiently in thrall to their allegedly superior wisdom and moral judgments.

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    1. Little does the so-called "progressive" Glenzilla fan base realize, 99% of the population doesn't read preening idiot blogs and could give a rat's behind about Greenwald even if they knew who he was. Rand Paul, OTOH, is about as popular as his pappy with about 5% of the vote, composed almost entirely of Alex Jones followers.

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  3. re update 2: always screenshot when dealing with dishonest people. :)

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    1. She might also try the wayback machine.
      http://archive.org/web/web.php

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  4. The terrorism speech, when dissected, provided very little in the way of actual concrete substance.I too was disappointed that this speech was only a collection of words expressing ideas, rather than a mechanism to legislatively enact those ideas-contained-in-words immediately.

    There is no way that criterion could be satisfied in a speech. This is not what speeches do. And somebody with qualifications in constitutional law should know that the roadblock to actual, concrete, substance occurring on these issues is, and has been for the last decade or so, the legislative branch, not the executive.

    Fine, so he doesn't trust Obama. So what? Since the legislative branch is the focus here, take the framework in Obama's speech - even though it's clearly Machievellian, and just pablum for the undiscerning masses, it also has the virtue of being a rational, plausible and practicable - and put pressure on Congress to enact it. All else is just unprofitable speculation and obsession on his part.

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    1. I suggest actually reading Glenn's piece. His entire point is that Obama is a master at saying words that please liberals, and terrible at actually following up with the policies.

      He has given all kinds of great speeches about the necessity of a free press, and the need to protect whistleblowers. President Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any administration in history, and his DOJ has left a terrible chill through freedom of the press, with the Associated Press revelations.

      He defended his right to continue drone strikes using the Anwar al-Awlaki example, yet said nothing about what gave him the right to kill his son, who was plotting nothing by virtually all accounts. Even the idea that Anwar was "actively plotting", is heavily contested, to say the least. Obama is the first President to claim the right to assassinate Americans without a shred of due process in a court.

      Everyone rightly decried Bush for his torture program - Obama just kills them with flying robots instead. It's okay though, because he gives speeches talking about how the loss of civilian life makes him feel bad.

      He talked again about Guantanamo, yet continues to ignore the fact that there's a lot he can unilaterally do to close it, instead of constantly using the "congress won't let me" excuse.

      Obama gives great speeches. It's his actions that mostly stink, from an actual liberal perspective, and not a tribal Democrat vs. Republican one.

      - Scott

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    2. I think you're missing the issue Scott - Glenn Greenwald's entire piece crystalised the entire so-called "Professional Left" meme about the Obama Administration - Obama is just as bad as Bush (or possibly worse) because he's a politician and not a wizard. Let's take some of your (and by extension GG's) arguments:

      He talked again about Guantanamo, yet continues to ignore the fact that there's a lot he can unilaterally do to close it, instead of constantly using the "congress won't let me" excuse.

      You want the President to unilaterally close down GITMO, after members of his own party said 'no'. So let me process this idea, you call Obama an authoritarian but then want Obama unilaterally close a prison and ship off prisoners to God-only-knows where without Congress' say so. Hmm, President doing something Congress said explicitly no about because its for the good of the nation. Isn't that very definition authoritarian? Does Iran Contra ring a bell?

      Everyone rightly decried Bush for his torture program - Obama just kills them with flying robots instead. It's okay though, because he gives speeches talking about how the loss of civilian life makes him feel bad.

      Bush not only tortured people, he created the GITMO guys like you complain about, he used the same flying robots to kill terrorists and started two wars on shaking premises. Sorry, but Obama is just cleaning up the fiasco that was the Bush II administration.


      He defended his right to continue drone strikes using the Anwar al-Awlaki example, yet said nothing about what gave him the right to kill his son, who was plotting nothing by virtually all accounts. Even the idea that Anwar was "actively plotting", is heavily contested, to say the least. Obama is the first President to claim the right to assassinate Americans without a shred of due process in a court.

      Sorry, no, Obama isn't the first president to use lethal force against Americans who were deemed enemies of the State. Did you skip the whole chapter in US History on the Civil War, World War II or the Whiskey Rebellion? By your definition, we should have hauled in the Confederate generals for treason.

      No one here thinks that cyborgs dropping bombs on people is cool, and no one thinks that Obama is a saint. No one thinks we should be spied upon for our Google searches. But, that's not the issue with Greenwald's piece.

      The issue is that as the President and others have laid out numerous times - the issue really lies with Congress because they write the law & sign the checks, and that folks like you and Greenwald gladly ignore that for this fiction that Obama (or Bush) are all powerful wizards.


      Its the fantasy world of 'Obama as a either Superman or an evil subservient warlock for corporate' that has to be shattered with a sledge hammer by folks like Smarty Pants.

      Its that fantasy world that places liberal hopes & failures on one guy that limits us from real change.

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    3. LACoincidental

      You know what the real irony is here? For those like GG and his fans who have been screaming about this war for years to now be arguing AGAINST the President who is talking about ending it. That what ODS will do to you.

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    4. His entire point is that Obama is a master at saying words that please liberals, and terrible at actually following up with the policies.

      Scotto - I think LACoincidental has made much the same response as I'd give on the majority of your comment, but this one needs a bit more attention: why is that a worthwhile point?

      Again, the block to all of these issues is legislative. So the focus should be legislative. Putting this into a framework of the gap between Executive words and Executive actions accomplishes what, exactly, here?

      To ask about whether the Executive really means it is irrelevant to getting a solution. You don't actually need the Administration to mean it in order to pressure Congress for it. So why the fuss about whether they mean it? What is it intended to accomplish? Because I don't think it will bring about the ends actually described in the speech. And that's the key thing, right?

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    5. Again, the block to all of these issues is legislative. So the focus should be legislative.

      Uh no. The congress is a block to be sure but there's plenty he can do. His DoD can issue waivers and release about 90% of the detainees tomorrow. That's without Congress. Why doesn't he do that? Oh, political cowardice. Well good thing Liberals are pressuring him to release them. It'd be pretty crappy if Liberals were just excusing this stuff. Considering force-feeding individuals (who've never been accused, let alone convicted of any crime - going on 10 years now) against their will is counter to Medical Ethics and principles of Human Dignity and the . . . ya know . . . Constitution, the Magna Carta and every principal of law. But that's all on Bush. Obama's blameless here and trying real hard. And the Republicans are worse. Therefore, I'm a Far Leftist for being kinda annoyed that we hold innocent people in jail and subject them to inhumane treatment and my fellow Liberals continue to excuse this crap without end.

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    6. JudenChino

      I have seen NO ONE here excuse a g-d thing. It is that kind of bullshit that makes an actual conversation about these things so incredibly difficult with folks who spew it.

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    7. I have seen NO ONE here excuse a g-d thing.

      Did you not dismiss Jeremy Scahill and Anthony Romero because they suffer from ODS?

      Yah, Scahill's only the expert on this subject. But since he's critical of Obama (as he should be) he's discounted. Yah, that's excusing. Scahill was very harsh on W. as well. Did he suffer from BDS then too?

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    8. JudenChino

      So - to dismiss Scahill's rantings is to excuse indefinite detention in your world?

      Its always fascinating to me how some people cling to their authoritarian hero worship and avoid actual conversation about solutions to difficult issues.

      On this one, I don't give a shit what Scahill says/thinks. We need to find a way to shut Gitmo down!

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    9. So - to dismiss Scahill's rantings is to excuse indefinite detention in your world?

      His rantings? Uh ok. Is he the expert on this or is he not?

      On this one, I don't give a shit what Scahill says/thinks. We need to find a way to shut Gitmo down!

      Obama could send home 90% of the Detainees home tomorrow, without Congress. Yet you don't criticize Obama for that (in this post at least). And Scahill is the expert on this. And if you don't give a shit what the expert on this thinks, then why the f--- should I listen to you?

      Its always fascinating to me how some people cling to their authoritarian hero worship and avoid actual conversation about solutions to difficult issues.

      Project much?

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    10. Obama could send home 90% of the Detainees home tomorrow, without Congress. Yet you don't criticize Obama for that (in this post at least). And Scahill is the expert on this. And if you don't give a shit what the expert on this thinks, then why the f--- should I listen to you?

      Actually Juden - he couldn't, that's the point. Yes, theoretically Obama could just open the cells of GITMO and let these guys walk free. However, eve the most cynical lefty agree we can't just leave these cats sitting in an empty unmanned prison in the middle of the Caribbean. We would at least need to get them plane tickets home. You know who has to write the check for that? That's right Congress! Again, Obama only executes the funds allocated by Congress, he doesn't actually allocate anything.

      Before you say - Obama could issue an executive order to XYZ, that would be true if Congress didn't vote to block that 4 years ago.

      And if we did just say, screw it, dipped into the DOD cookie jar (during a sequester where tons of folks are losing good government jobs) to buy said plane tickets, that might be illegal and definitely politically disastrous,as it would be a middle finger to John Boehner and Harry Reid.

      And as for Jeremy Schahill - he's every informed compared to the average journalist, but he's projecting as much of his own POV and biases as Richard Engel does on MSNBC and whatever mouth-breather passes for a foreign correspondence on Fox News. So pretending he's some sort of unbiased part is just plain silly. And after hearing numerous interviews of the man on DN! and TRMS - he, like Greenwald, falls back on the "Obama is all talk" meme without actually answering questions about the issue at hand.

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    11. Uh no. The congress is a block to be sure but there's plenty he can do.Not quite what I was driving at.

      I agree, there are acts the Administration could (and should) be taking to reduce the flagrant abuse of - just about everything - that is Gitmo. I am puzzled and disappointed that more hasn't been done. But I'd reckon it's less to do with political cowardice, and more to do with political calculation. One doesn't blithely welcome impeachment, and I think that would be a more-than-possible outcome of Obama going full court press on the issue. Which doesn't get us closer to the desired outcome.

      The major, overarching, issue here is the abdication of responsibility by the legislative branch, and the lack of accountability from the executive branch. To repeat, none of that will be ultimately solved by executive branch actions. It is a legislative issue.

      This is not about Obama, per se. Or even Bush. It's certainly not about whether or not you feel maligned as some kind of Far Leftist or not. It's about the relationship between legislative and executive branches which has been pulled out of shape this last decade or more, with all the attendant effects. Trying to fix that by screaming at the latter branch is pushing on a string. Won't work.

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    12. @ LA Confidential
      Actually Juden - he couldn't, that's the point.

      HELLO!!! The Waivers. The DoD can issue waivers to send them home. He doesn't need congress for that. For the X% that have been cleared, he can use the waivers to send them home. They're forbidden (from using tax payer funds) to transferring them from GITMO to the US. Nothing forbids them (if pursuant to the Waivers) from sending them back to wherever they came. We have regular flights to Yemen. This isn't brain surgery.


      And as for Jeremy Schahill - he's every informed compared to the average journalist, but he's projecting as much of his own POV and biases .

      Ok, who doesn't "project their own POV and biases"? In what way should his "biases" discount his opinion on this matter? What exactly is his bias, by the way? Skepticism of power? Skepticism of the powerful?

      "Obama is all talk" meme without actually answering questions about the issue at hand.

      That's because you have your fingers in your ear. Waivers is one option.

      And is "Obama all talk?" I don't know. Smartypants did cite this:

      The ending of the CIA drone program (including "signature strikes")

      Yah, except signature strikes are continuing:

      “signature strikes” targeting groups of unidentified armed men presumed to be extremists will continue in the Pakistani tribal areas.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/us/politics/in-terror-shift-obama-took-a-long-path.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&src=recg

      @Sibusissodan

      "Far Leftist"? Go f--- yourself. I've held the same views for the past 10 years on this. Now I'm a far leftist because I have the temerity to criticize the administration you say "could (and should) be taking [actions] to reduce the flagrant abuse of - just about everything - that is Gitmo"

      On ground of impeachment? Are you kidding me?

      The major, overarching, issue here is the abdication of responsibility by the legislative branch, and the lack of accountability from the executive branch. Ok, and the ridiculous deference from the Judiciary.

      To repeat, none of that will be ultimately solved by executive branch actions.

      Ya, except that the 86 (or whatever the number is) who've been cleared to be released can be released tomorrow pursuant to the Waivers.


      ***
      I only came here because this was supposedly the devastating take down of Greenwald. And the author of this post claims that GG doesn't give Obama credit for ending CIA drone(including signature strikes) when JSOC-signature strikes continue. Yah, GG was totally in the wrong to say Obama's just words on that. Oh, and Jeremy Scahill is biased. If this is the best defense Sullivan has, then yah, Greenwald was def right on re: that speech.

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    13. Sooo....your response is to put your hands over your ears and say "LALALALALALA!". Why am I not surprised?

      No he can't just give a DOD waiver, because that would directly violate Congress. Again, Iran Contra - if you want the President to directly flip off Congress, then never again complain about Red-Ink Ronnie Ray-Gun or Oliver North. Jude, you basically want Obama to risk impeachment (which many of your so-called liberal voices of dissent would gladly sign on to, just as they did Bill Clinton, despite how it screwed over liberals for a decade) just to appease a few donors to A.N.S.W.E.R.?

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    14. @Judenchino

      "Far Leftist"? Go f--- yourself

      My apologies. Those were your words, about how you felt you were being characterised, and I used them to say that it actually doesn't matter how you feel you were being characterised. My intention was not to call you a far leftist, or to imply that being a far leftist was wrong, and I apologise for giving you that impression.

      So, once again, it doesn't matter how you feel you're being characterised. What matters is working out how to end this. And your suggestions don't do that. In reverse order:

      Ya, except that the 86 (or whatever the number is) who've been cleared to be released can be released tomorrow pursuant to the Waivers.

      That doesn't solve the problem of Gitmo. It mitigates it, and it damn well makes life better for the eighty-odd individuals concerned, but it still leaves us with a functioning prison, an unaccountable executive, and a lazy Congress. There's also the question, as LACoincidental raises, of quite how those waivers fit in to Congressional approval, or otherwise. Which leads me to:

      On ground of impeachment? Are you kidding me?

      Not actually kidding you. Definitely serious. Here's my thinking on the subject.

      (1) In the 1990s, with a rabid House, Clinton was impeached on a jumped-up pretext. This sapped a lot of actually 'doing stuff' energy from his second term, and kinda queered the pitch for Al Gore in the next election. That had, I submit, Not Good consequences.

      (2) The current house is scientifically 48 times more rabid than in the 90s. Penny-ante issues are being described as a worse scandal than Watergate on a regular basis. Give them a clear run at an actual violation of Congressional approval or funding, especially if it involves National Security or Terrrr, I think impeachment proceedings are likely.

      (3) Now, I don't think actual impeachment would occur, but that's immaterial because of the Clinton example: it would sap whatever political capital the Administration has, and make 2016...interesting.

      (4) So, once again again, this isn't actually about Obama and what he truly means or not. It's about making sure there remains a path to (i) actually solving this problem - which means legislation; (ii) securing and extending the gains which have been made these last few years.

      And finally:

      ...because I have the temerity to criticize the administration...

      Actually, my issue which what you're saying is not that you're criticising the administration. Have at it. And if you can show that my fears about impeachment are overblown, please do. I'd love to be reassured on that front.

      No, where I differ with you is that merely criticising the administration is not enough in order to be taken seriously as criticism.

      Criticism is easy. Good criticism is hard. Good criticism has to take account of context, history and outcome. It has to give a plausible account of outcomes of its preferred strategy, or it's just carping.

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    15. Sooo....your response is to put your hands over your ears and say "LALALALALALA!". Why am I not surprised?

      That's exactly what you're doing.

      No he can't just give a DOD waiver, because that would directly violate Congress.,

      Wrong. That's flat out false. The NDAA explicitly authorizes the DoD to give Waivers.

      See here: ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, AALDEF, Amnesty International etc . . . all who know more about this stuff than you or I:
      http://ccrjustice.org/files/2013.4.11_GTMO%20Coalition%20Letter%20to%20President%20Obama_0.pdf

      Here's a few other citations.

      http://www.closeguantanamo.org/Articles/36-What-you-missed-the-NDAA-allows-the-President-to-release-prisoners-from-Guantanamo
      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2013/05/president_obama_can_shut_guantanamo_whenever_he_wants_to.html
      Impeachment.

      There are many things this administration has done that warrant impeachment consideration. War without Congressional authorization re; Libya. War Crimes re: Drone Strikes. War Crimes re: Covering up torture. Ridiculous expansion of Article II powers (which, authorize him to kill any American and trump over the 5th Amendent, say his defenders on this blog, but do not authorize him to release detainees. To be clear, he can kill anyone in the world but he cannot release individuals detained even pursuant to the NDAA 1028 waivers, say his apologists). Releasing detainees isn't one of them.

      NDAA explicitly authorizes Waivers. If you say, he shouldn't do, what Congress has explicitly authorized, because of fear of impeachment, then you're making excuses for an Authoritarian regime. Those people "cleared" for release can go home tomorrow.

      (4) So, once again again, this isn't actually about Obama and what he truly means or not. It's about making sure there remains a path to (i) actually solving this problem - which means legislation; (ii) securing and extending the gains which have been made these last few years.

      This is just status quo biases. Re: (ii) What gains? I keep citing the Waivers pursuant to Sec. 1028 of the NDAA and you guys keep ignoring. So what gain re: Gitmo are you actually referring to? I don't see any gains whatsoever. Obama's like the new Tom Friedman with his Friedman units, where every 6 months he'd say: "The next 6 months will be real crucial for the future of Iraq"; same with Obama. It's like, every 6 months, he expresses his sincere desire to "close GITMO" or "get smart on the War on Terror" and then it's the exact same policies all over again, if not worse.

      Re: (i) Ok, since Congress is crazy that means do nothing then. While innocent men charged with nothing continue to have food tubes shoved into their bellies, having already been detained for 10 years and counting.

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    16. On waivers:

      But Congress has made it nearly impossible to transfer captives anywhere. Legislation passed since Obama took office has created a series of roadblocks that mean that only a federal court order or a national security waiver issued by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta could trump Congress and permit the release of a detainee to another country.

      Neither is likely: U.S. District Court judges are not ruling in favor of captives in the dozens of unlawful detention suits winding their way from Cuba to the federal court in Washington. And on the occasions when those judges have ruled for detainees, the U.S. Court of Appeals has consistently overruled them in an ever-widening definition of who can be held as an affiliate of al Qaida or the Taliban.

      Meanwhile, Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, believes that Congress crafted the transfer waivers a year ago in such a way that Panetta (and Robert Gates before him) would be ill-advised to sign them. (In essence, the Secretary of Defense is supposed to guarantee that the detainee would never in the future engage in violence against any American citizen or U.S. interest.)


      There's your grounds for impeachment: Obama admin signs waivers "guaranteeing that the detainee would never in the future engage in violence against an American citizen of U.S. interest" (pretty broad, huh?) One of them violates that guarantee...just one - and Republicans will scream IMPEACH!!! How could ANY president make such a guarantee. The whole idea of waivers is nonsense.

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    17. You're citing the old NDAA, not the new one. The new one amended Section 1028. Jeh Johnson is speaking to the old law.

      But this is still true:

      national security waiver issued by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta could trump Congress and permit the release of a detainee to another country.

      And this is an excerpt, citing the new law, from one of the links above, which you ignored, which gets around the guaranteeing part:

      [if] it is not possible to certify that the risks ... have been completely eliminated, [that] the actions to be taken ... will substantially mitigate such risks with regard to the individual to be transferred; [and, in the case of the recidivism provision,] the Secretary has considered any confirmed case in which an individual who was transferred to the country subsequently engaged in terrorist activity, and the actions to be taken ... will substantially mitigate the risk of recidivism with regard to the individual to be transferred and [that] ... the transfer is in the national security interests of the United States.

      In English, this means, they can give the waiver if reasonable actions will be taken to reduce recidivism(Yemen promises that they'll enter them into programs)and that releasing the detainee is in the national security interest of the United States (given that this is a huge recruiting tool for Jihadists, that's pretty easy to make). TO BE CLEAR: CONGRESS AUTHORIZED THE WAIVERS.

      Even if what I wrote above wasn't true, it still doesn't justify the Administration's cowardice. Obama is trying to have it both ways and you're buying it hook, line and sinker. No doubt Congress sucks, but, they've also given him the authority to release these guys. He'd rather (for political reasons) just blame Congress and do nothing. It's our obligation to hold his feet to the fire, and not make excuses.

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    18. I hate to tell you this JudenChino, but Congress has a hand in all of this. Yet, it's Obama who gets all of the blame. Congress holds the purse strings and can pass legislature over a Presidential veto. Until you get that through your thick skull, you will never fully understand what's going on.

      You want to do something about this? Try changing the make-up of Congress in 2014 instead of sitting around and complaining that Obama isn't doing enough.

      You keep talking about holding Obama's feet to the fire (which is perfectly understandable), but what about Congress's? Who's holding their feet? And if you think Congressional representation is insignificant, then try living in a place that doesn't have it like I do. My delegate had no voice when Congress gave Bush the green light to invade Iraq. She had no voice with AUMF. She had no voice when the Senate blocked Obama from closing Gitmo by withholding funds, and she had no voice with NDAA.

      So, please, stop your whinning and vote next year instead of holding out hope for a mythical President who saves the day.

      And no, I'm not making excuses. I'm telling you what the problem is and it's not entirely Obama's. Our government was specifically designed for checks and balances. Unfortunately, Obama's predecessor had no use for this and now Obama's stuck with cleaning up his messes. Messes Bush made with Congress's help! So, we will need Congress's help again in reversing what Bush and Cheney have done.

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    19. And no, I'm not making excuses. I'm telling you what the problem is and it's not entirely Obama's.

      Yes you are. I know it's not "entirely Obama's" fault. I know Congress is terrible on this issue. But read my post immediately above re: the Waivers.

      He can send, pursuant to Congressional authorization, the vast majority of the detainees tomorrow.

      To repeat: OBAMA CAN SEND THE VAST MAJORITY HOME WITHOUT CONGRESS AS CONGRESS ALREADY GRANTED SUCH AUTHORIZATION.


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    20. But because Obama isn't acting as fast as you would like, you're throwing him under the bus?

      Sorry, JudenChino, but politics moves at a slower pace than social and economic change.

      Would you trust a Republican with this? And before you answer, please note that the GOP has yet to say exactly when they plan to end this so-called "War on Terror." If it were left up to them, they would have us in Iraq and Afghanistan indefinitely while they keep promoting the "War on Terror."

      I'm not saying that Obama is above criticism, but what I'm saying is that given how our current political system operates, what are your alternatives? And instead of throwing Obama under the bus for not acting fast enough, ask why the delay...

      And once again, don't let Congress off the hook. Especially since they hold the purse strings. Sure, Congress may have granted this authorization, but where is the money to support it?

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  5. Does he still live in Brazil? I wonder how people in a studio in New York, especially someone who flies in from Brazil, just to appear on TV....can speak with authority on what the government is doing in Washington, D.C. There was a time when reporters actually had to go to D.C.

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    1. What is it about being in DC that's necessary or even helpful for anything Greenwald does? You're using the Internet to comment on this website, so I assume you're aware of it's communicative capacities? It's like how we used to transmit information through newspapers and by mail, only, like, WAY faster!

      Delete
    2. I think Joyce's point is that Greenwald's insight into DC is no more relevant than any of ours because he has as much access to power.

      People pretend that Glenn Greenwald is some Grand Puba when really, is just another blogger.

      Delete
  6. I stopped reading Glenn Greenwald. And I'm a big fan of Obama's who thinks the speech was praiseworthy--my politics probably line up pretty closely with M. Smartypants. But Greenwald's a gadfly, and we need lefty gadflies, annoying an wrongheaded as they are. Obama *does* need vocal pressure from the left on a lot of issues (it's the FDR "make me do what I want to do.") Greenwald's main point this time is wrong, no question; Obama almost certainly does

    Joyce, I've given up on Greenwald, but I.F. Stone proved you don't need to actually be in D.C./have access to be a well-informed reporter/opinion writer.

    The important question is, how can we get Congress, particularly the Republican House, to assist with items 1-5, and how can we promote these policies to increase their popularity.And that *is* going to be difficult.

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    1. The pragmatist in me struggles with your assertion that we need "gadflies" like Greenwald. But I would have LOVED some company over the last two years as I wrote about the need to end this indefinite war. In other words, I would have appreciated some pragmatic gadflies ;-)

      Delete
    2. We could use more gadflies, they should know what they are talking about. Greenwald doesn't qualify.

      This is my biggest complaint for the majority of Obama's lefty critics. The vast majority of their criticisms don't hold up that well to scrutiny. Also, they are easily taken in by libertarian hacks like Rand Paul and easily deceived by ancient GOP playbook tactics that are well beyond their expiration date.

      Everyone has an opinion, but a well-informed one is very powerful. It stands out because it provides a glimpse of reality whereas most opinions are based on perception alone. I have yet to see a well-informed opinion from Glen Greenwald. What I've seen is an insecure guy projecting his issues on other people and not much more beyond that.

      Delete
    3. One of the major misreadings of FDR's statement is that he was asking for "the Left" of the time to scream at him until he did what they demanded. That wasn't what he meant, or what they understood. What he meant by the statement "now make me do it" was that they should get out and get it pushed through Congress as legislation, so that he would have "no choice but to sign it." Which is exactly what they did.

      The Left today is just lazy, and more prone to sit around and whine than to actually get busy and push for legislation.

      Delete
  7. This is rich:

    "1.The significant reduction in the number of drone strikes

    2.The ending of the CIA drone program (including "signature strikes")"

    1. A reduction by half for six months is small peanuts indeed--the admin already killed thousands of civilians, rightly or wrongly, and praising them for only 22 strikes in the first six months of 2013 fails to hold it accountable for the lives already taken and the continued lack of any kind of transparency.

    2. It seems foolhardy to praise someone for ending something before it's actually been ended.

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    1. CIA drone program had ended. So, your response to point #2 is ridiculous. Drone strikes may still be going on, but not under the CIA drone program.

      As for point #1, reducing anything by half is not a small move. It's significant. What if your boss were to tell you that your pay has been reduced by 50%? What you think it was "small peanuts" then?

      Progress, not perfection, Ethan. This is how life works for most on this planet. The fact of the matter is Obama is working towards what you want. You're complaining because you foolishly think he can make it appear magically and quickly.

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    2. nabsentia23

      I believe the CIA drone program is in the process of being shut down - but hasn't completely ended yet.

      But in that sense, it fits perfectly with your last paragraph...progress.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the correction, Smartypants.

      In regards to "progress, not perfection;" this is a staple for many 12-steppers. However, I've always believed this phrase is needed elsewhere since it applies to life in general. Also, it fits perfectly with the current political climate on the Left. I think many lefties are confusing the two concepts. Because Obama and other Democrats aren't living up to their high standards (perfection); they ignore and minimize what has actually been accomplished (progress). This is counterproductive. You can't ignore what progress you've made or else you risk losing it.

      And I would argue that ignorance of the progress our country has made over the last 100 years is exactly why we are in the predicament we're in today.

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  8. It's getting to the stage where the people who support political parties speak only at the level of rhetoric. Using nice statements as fact, analysis and knowledge. Viewing themselves only through the relative prism of the opposition and using the narcissism of small differences to sound like they are a massive leap on the good side from the opponents.

    Clearly one should be skeptical about the Obama Administration. Smearing people who are maybe more skeptical is not a sign of strength of argument. It's over seen the ramping up in the Afghan war - a war so point-less even Bush let it run down. Drone strikes and force feeds extended under the administration.

    It's surely beyond doubt to say the words from the administration do not match its actions. It's churlish to dispute this? It would surely be stronger to say that some pragmatism is required and point out where the Administration has pushed in the right way.

    Should we can accept the Administration has no control over anything but rhetoric. No control over the DOJ. No control over the IRS. No control over releasing the innocent from Gitmo. etc

    Is the President/Administration is a pushover as suggested by its supporters?

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    1. I'd posit that there is a great deal of room between an imperial presidency and a "pushover." And I would also disagree with your statement that it is "beyond doubt to say the words from the administration do not match its actions." I find more integrity in those who simply posit disagreement with what the President both says and does. He's been remarkably consistent in walking his talk. The fact that the framers of our democratic republic believed in checks and balances rather than an imperial presidency is not something I would necessarily find fault with - although the current iteration of opposition does strain that idea almost to its breaking point.

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    2. @Smartypants

      I find more integrity in those who simply posit disagreement with what the President both says and does.

      Ok, posit isn't the word you're looking for. But anyway, GG did that. The guy is ridiculous with supporting his arguments with links. [I don't know if he forgot to post his supporting links or if they were there originally or what not but] now that he has supporting links describing WHY he doesn't take him at face value, can you address the substance of those claims?

      He's been remarkably consistent in walking his talk.

      Are you on drugs? Are you serious? I cannot believe you actually believe this? Marijuana dispensaries? Leading the league in deportations. Who's vote is he trying to win when his HHS is suing to put in age limits for the morning after pill. That's not "walking his talk," in the least.

      Yes I agree that the GOP and Congress is absolutely bat---t crazy. But there's still plenty he can do. It's healthy to criticize the president. It's healthy to criticize powerful political actors. You shouldn't be making excuses for them.

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    3. JudenChino

      All the things you name are things I disagree with the President about (marijuana legalization, deportations, morning after pill).

      What I know from following those issues is that he's been pretty consistent on all of them. So they're a perfect example of how we walks his talk - and some of us disagree with him on some things.

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    4. I take it by your first sentence that you have an issue with political parties. So, what are you suggesting as an alternative?

      I have issues with political parties myself, but at the same time, I'm fully aware that human beings are social creatures. As a result, political parties will always be a part of any political landscape in any country (including those with repressive regimes). Politics is a social enterprise that usually requires more than one person to be effective.

      So, sorry, as much as we may want to live in a world without political parties, that day isn't coming anytime soon.

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    5. @JudenChino -

      I also disagree with Obama on marijuana. I also have reservations on his stances towards deportation and the morning after pill.

      However, the only politician who will ever agree with you 100% is yourself, JudenChino! I agree with Obama at least 80% of the time while I only agree with the GOP 20% of the time. So, who do you think I'm going to support?

      I also look at how effective a politician can do their job. This isn't as easy to tell with a newcomer as it is with an incumbent. They are candidates out there who I would probably agree with a little more than Obama, but I would never vote for them because they have little or no political chops. If the candidate doesn't have the ability to push their agenda in office, who cares what their political views are? One's beliefs are central to politics, but without implementation, beliefs just stay beliefs. They never become policy.

      And while we're on the subject of marijuana, don't you notice how this issue is gaining momentum despite Obama's opposition? And you know why this is? It's because marijuana advocates didn't just sit on their butts complaining. They organized and addressed the issue on all levels of government. As a result, public opinion towards marijuana has changed dramatically and just about everybody (including law enforcement) believes that marijuana will eventually become legal throughout the country - it's just a question of how and when. They are a prime example of how you change policy despite heavy political opposition from the establishment. But, Obama's left-wing critics still don't get it. They seem to think that all of these marijuana political gains just magically appeared out of nowhere.

      So, if you insist on supporting politicians who you agree with 100% of the time, then run for office. Otherwise, you're going to have to make do with 70-90%.

      In a democracy, nobody gets their way 100% of the time because there will always be somebody else who not only disagrees, but will voice that disagreement through political means. However, a society can still created where most can get most of what they want. GWB and Dick Cheney clearly didn't have this in mind, but if we are going to undo what they've done, we can't follow their methods. And sadly, this is what Obama's left-wing critics want. They want tyranny, but coming from the opposite direction.

      Tyranny from the left is just as bad as when it comes from the right. As a liberal, I reject both. I'm just as vigilant against big government as I am against big business. Both result in repressive regimes that screw over the vast majority of the population.

      Delete
    6. I only brought up weed, deportation and morning after pill since those were examples where Obama's rhetoric didn't match his policies since Smartypants claimed Obama was better than most at "walking the talk." Her response didn't make any sense to me but I dropped it as it's an ancillary point.

      I don't expect pols to agree with me 100% of the time. I only criticize my elected pols when I think they're wrong.

      And while we're on the subject of marijuana, don't you notice how this issue is gaining momentum despite Obama's opposition? And you know why this is? (x) It's because marijuana advocates didn't just sit on their butts complaining. They organized and addressed the issue on all levels of government. As a result, public opinion towards marijuana has changed dramatically and just about everybody (including law enforcement) believes that marijuana will eventually become legal throughout the country - it's just a question of how and when. They are a prime example of how you change policy despite heavy political opposition from the establishment. (y) But, Obama's left-wing critics still don't get it. They seem to think that all of these marijuana political gains just magically appeared out of nowhere.

      Why can't x also be y? I'm a left wing critic of Obama's policies and I'm trying (and failing apparently) to get other Liberals to criticize certain of Obama's policies, so that, he changes them. This also applies to gay rights. The gays were very critical of Obama until he came around. Dan Choi chained himself to the White House. Isn't he a left-wing critic who helped bring change? He's been acknowledged as such with awards and the like for his advocacy. Whereas HRC, which avoided criticizing the administration at all costs, got the gays very little (hate crime laws at most). Whereas direct criticism got them a lot more.

      Case in point. Here's Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance with an article titled (hence, he's (x) a drug reform advocate and (y) calling him out as a hypocrit, seems clear to me at least that he's a critic from the left): Obama's Hypocritical War on Marijuana
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ethan-nadelmann/obama-marijuana_b_1546921.html

      Tyranny from the left is just as bad as when it comes from the right. As a liberal, I reject both. I'm just as vigilant against big government as I am against big business.

      That makes sense in the abstract but doesn't apply in this instance whatsoever. Tyranny from the Left implies the Reign of Terror. We're talking the French Revolution whereby aristocrats had their heads chopped for being rich. I'm arguing for due process for the detainees. That's the opposite of Tyranny from the Left. That's the opposite of "repressive regimes." GITMO is repressive. Noting that Obama has the constitutional and legislative authority to release the vast majority of the detainees tomorrow, is the opposite of Tyranny from the Left.

      Delete
    7. Look, JudenChino...

      There will always be times when a politician's rhetoric doesn't match what they can actually do (especially when they are a newcomer). The question is "why does this happen?" Instead of automatically assuming that a politician is a liar, inquire about the other circumstances that may surround the issue. In a democracy, the government isn't the only actor.

      And yes, the marijuana lobby and movement hate Obama, but unlike you, they aren't just sitting around and complaining about him. They are organizing and engaging all levels of government in this country. Which is why they have had success despite Obama and the rest of the DC politic elites being highly resistant to their cause. And unlike you, the weed lobby has learned from history (Prohibition in the 1920s). They know that if more states reject the federal government's view on marijuana, then the federal laws are useless because feds only have so many agents and money to enforce their laws. Without the cooperation of the states, the feds are hopeless. If anything, the marijuana debate has proven to me that despite the rightwing's claims otherwise, states still have a lot of authority. This is why the feds are speechless as Washington and Colorado enact laws regulating marijuana.

      And you're dealing in abstraction, not me. You are calling for due process for GITMO, but have no idea how this would be implemented and who would pay for it.

      Delete
  9. Do you have evidence for the claim that Greenwald's post did not initially have links?

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    1. Of course there's no evidence. Silly me...I assume journalists have a few ethics and so I don't do a screen grab every time I quote one of them. So you can feel free to not believe me.

      What I do have is twitter evidence that Greenwald was hounding me after he saw this article and then went silent when I pointed out that he had added links after the fact. He didn't deny it. And if it would be helpful to you I could go back into the comments section at the Guardian where there is proof that he did this before. To me the fact that he does stuff like that is even more damning than his ridiculous opinions about Obama.

      Delete
  10. @LACoincidental - Why is Greenwald constantly lumped in with the so-called "Professional Left?" He is a Libertarian which is basically a Republican who doesn't want to admit he is a Republican, and given that Greenwald is gay, that's very understandable. He supported and had full faith and confidence in President G.W. Bush when he was president and he has bitterly nitpicked and opposed Obama almost since he stepped foot into the Oval Office. HELLO...that's a Republican.

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    1. @Truth is light:

      Why is Greenwald constantly lumped in with the so-called "Professional Left?" He is a Libertarian which is basically a Republican who doesn't want to admit he is a Republican, and given that Greenwald is gay, that's very understandable. He supported and had full faith and confidence in President G.W. Bush when he was president and he has bitterly nitpicked and opposed Obama almost since he stepped foot into the Oval Office. HELLO...that's a Republican.

      I'm confused. Could you clarify him being a Republican with this book he authored in late 2008. I mean, it does happen to call out Republicans for being a bunch of hypocrites:

      http://www.amazon.com/Great-American-Hypocrites-Toppling-Republican/dp/0307408663

      Book Description:
      SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING:
      Falling for the Marlboro Man marketing and sleazy takedown tactics of the Republican Party can be hazardous to the health of this nation!

      Ever since the cowboy image of Ronald Reagan was sold to Americans, the Republican Party has used the same John Wayne imagery to support its candidates and take elections. We all know how they govern, but the right-wing propaganda machine is very adept at hijacking debate and marketing their candidates as effectively as the Marlboro Man.

      For example:

      Myth: The Republican nominee is an upstanding, regular guy who shares the values of the common man.
      Reality: He divorced his first wife in order to marry a young multimillionaire heiress whose family then funded his political career.

      Myth: Republicans are strong on defense and will keep us safe.
      Reality: They prey on fears, and their endless wars make America far less secure.

      Myth: Republicans are the party of fiscal restraint and small, limited government.
      Reality: Soaring deficits, unchecked presidential power, and an increasingly invasive surveillance state are par for their course.

      Delete
    2. News Flash, there are Republicans who criticize other Republicans. Bloomberg News' Josh Barro, Daily Beast's David Frum, and others come to mind. Frum also has written multiple books critical of Republicans. The point is that neither Barro or Frum claim to be something they aren't while wearing and profiting under a false banner as one of the "Professional Left." Case in point: Name me ONE notable on the Left who voted for and trusted in G.W. Bush's decision making abilities...ever. I rest my case.

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    3. Dude, I'm sorry but you're not even remotely addressing the point. He wrote a book saying that the entire GOP brand was a myth (fiscal restraint, strong on defense) and called Reagan a big phony.

      David Frum wrote the Axis of Evil speech. And as for GG's Republican bona-fides . . . he supported the Iraq War (but wasn't vocal and explained his reasoning) like the majority of Americans at the time.

      Whereas GG is staunchly against any cuts to Social Security. Can you say the same about Obama?

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    4. @LACoincidental - Why is Greenwald constantly lumped in with the so-called "Professional Left?" He is a Libertarian which is basically a Republican who doesn't want to admit he is a Republican

      @Truth - You're right, a Libertarian is just a Republican who likes hookers and pot. The reason Greenwald is lumped into the professional left is less about GG being an actual liberal himself than the crew he runs with. Basically, despite the fact that Glenn Greenwald pretty much shares the same privilege white guy libertarian politics as Rand Paul other than his stance on LGBT rights, he's fawned over by Emo-Progressives and other Pro-Left hucksters like Michael Moore and Jane Hamshear and writes for Salon.com.

      If more so-called liberal pundits who call him out a libertarian prick instead of preening and cooing everytime he says the word 'drones' - we might have more perspective.

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    5. I don't disagree that he's a libertarian prick. I wish more journalists were as prickish.

      But this is ridiculous:

      Basically, despite the fact that Glenn Greenwald pretty much shares the same privilege white guy libertarian politics as Rand Paul other than his stance on LGBT rights

      So he "basically" has the same privilege as white guy Rand Paul, except for narrow instance. Which just happens to be the reason he doesn't live in the United States! If he wants to live with his husband he has to live in Brazil. That's a pretty big deal.

      And what perspective should we have? GG has (i) opposed and argued against all cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Can you say the same about Obama? (ii) argued in favor of a public option to Obamacare.

      You cannot say the same about (i) and (ii) re: Obama, which policies are Liberal and not Libertarian in the least.

      He is a Libertarian which is basically a Republican who doesn't want to admit he is a Republican

      Yah, except he wrote a book calling the Republican brand an entire myth. Have fun in the echo chamber.

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    6. First, I think that the fact that you automatically and wrongly assumed that I was a "dude" says a lot about you from the get go. Secondly, you dishonestly failed to answer my question by pretending it was about who supported the Iraq War. I will ask it again: Name me ONE notable on the Left who voted for and trusted in G.W. Bush's decision making abilities...ever. I will await your answer...Happy Googling!

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    7. @LaCoincidental said:"Aa Libertarian is just a Republican who likes hookers and pot." lol, good one.

      Delete
    8. I address everyone as dude. My sister can be dude. No offense was intended.

      dishonestly failed to answer my question by pretending it was about who supported the Iraq War.

      No. I was being generous to you since Greenwald never voted for Bush so your hypothetical was inapplicable. Nor am I saying "Greenwald" is of the Left. He's just not a "Republican" or a "closet Republican" as you allege. Nor did he ever "trust" G.W. Bush's decision making. He trusted the institutions and checks and balances. He was wrong there. And he's fessed up to all this many times and Bush's abuses and the failures of these institutions is what spurred him to political writing. There's no "gotcha" here.

      Now, Obama supports cuts to Social Security. Greenwald has vocally opposed cuts to Social Security. Us liberals shouldn't support any cuts to Social Security given the low tax rates for the rich and that SS is solvent for the next 20 years. But Obama offers that up. That's not liberal. I'm just giving one example. I think labels are stupid. But to the extent they exist, the notion that he's a "closet Republican," is laughably absurd, especially given that he wrote a New York Times Best Seller calling out the Republicans and their brand as an entire myth.

      Delete
  11. @JudenChino - You mean the same Jeremy Scahill who claimed on Bill Maher that he was facebook friends with al-Awlaki's now deceased son? To hear Scahill describe this near adult who unlike his other siblings chose to tag along with his dad to try to destroy America,this guy was just an innocent kid minding his own business and he had a drone dropped on his head for nothing. Please keep in mind that NO ONE outside of the President and his National Security team know all the facts about the son, and that includes Greenwald and Scahill.

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    1. You mean the same Jeremy Scahill who claimed on Bill Maher that he was facebook friends with al-Awlaki's now deceased son? To hear Scahill describe this near adult who unlike his other siblings chose to tag along with his dad to try to destroy America,this guy was just an innocent kid minding his own business and he had a drone dropped on his head for nothing. Please keep in mind that NO ONE outside of the President and his National Security team know all the facts about the son, and that includes Greenwald and Scahill.

      (i) He is innocent. Innocent until proven guilty?

      (ii) The administration admitted it was a mistake. Did you miss that one?

      (iii) Nice that, when you didn't know about (ii), that you want to further defend the administration's potential intentional killing of a "near adult," also known as "a child," and presume that he had it coming.

      (iv) He's guilty of being the son of a vile propagandist. That's about it.

      (v) He didn't "tag along" with his dad. Obama had already killed his dad. He did have a drone dropped on his head for nothing. The Administration admitted this!

      So tell me again, where exactly has Scahill's biases have hurt his reporting and/or led to errors that I should discount?

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    2. JudenChino

      You are making the same mistake Greenwald makes all the time when you suggest that he is innocent until proven guilty. That is a civil liberty that applies in domestic criminal cases. The argument that the Obama administration is making is that we are at war with al Qaeda. In war - those civil liberties do not apply.

      That is EXACTLY why the important issue here is ending this war!

      Delete
    3. You are making the same mistake Greenwald makes all the time when you suggest that he is innocent until proven guilty. That is a civil liberty that applies in domestic criminal cases. The argument that the Obama administration is making is that we are at war with al Qaeda. In war - those civil liberties do not apply.

      Ok, so why should I ignore Scahill then? You're saying it's legal. I disagree. But nevertheless, why should I discount Scahill if you agree with him (that the drone strikes as impelemented are wrong, though disagree as to the legal basis)?

      In war - those civil liberties do not apply.

      That would make sense if the 16 year old child was in the middle of a battle field. Or a war. He was at a BBQ eating chicken. So I fail to see how this exception applies. No one would argue if he drone striked American Taliban John Walker Lindh as he approached the battlefield. But this isn't even remotely the case. Why aren't you outraged as a liberal? He ordered the execution of an American Child. You say it's important that we end the War. Well his DoD just said that it's going to last another 10-20 years. So I guess in the interim, we'll just have to accept that a lot of innocent people will be killed, but, they're not really innocent since this is a war.

      Nothing Kafkaesque here.
      A top Pentagon official said Thursday that the evolving war against Al Qaeda was likely to continue “at least 10 to 20 years” and urged Congress not to modify the statute that provides its legal basis.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/us/politics/pentagon-official-urges-congress-to-keep-statute-allowing-war-on-terror-intact.html

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    4. He ordered the execution of an American Child.

      I'm questioning how you reconcile that with this statement you just made upthread:

      The administration admitted it was a mistake.

      My take-away is that you're just interested in arguing for the sake of argument. That's why I'm done with your nonsense.

      Delete
    5. Ok, and you just said we must accept that Obama can order the assassination of any American he wants (because it's a war!?!?!). That's what makes you an Authoritarian apologist. Nor do you actually address the substance of anything I've said.

      He ordered the execution of an American Child.

      I'm questioning how you reconcile that with this statement you just made upthread:

      The administration admitted it was a mistake.


      Obama orders the drone strikes. Are you not aware? And then they afterwards admitted that it was a mistake. What's so difficult to reconcile. Right after his death, they said he was 21 years old (indicating they knew he was a target) though in actuality he was only 16. Who knows if he was the "target target" or if someone else was. It's all classified so we don't know. Nor do we know the legal basis for why he was targeted.


      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/american-citizens-drone-strikes_n_3321950.html

      Delete
    6. Also, you haven't given me one single reason why I should discount what Jeremy Scahill has to say about this topic. He's the expert on this. He's been out to Yemen, Somalia and spoken to the victims first hand. I mean, maybe he's biased . . . but maybe his reporting gives him good reason to be biased.

      Again, I don't know in what respect you believe he's biased but you still won't give an answer as to why we shouldn't look to him as an authority on this subject?

      You're the one (whether you like it or not) Sullivan anointed for his rebuttal to GG. And so I just want to know, sincerely, why I should disregard Scahill on this.

      Delete
    7. @JudenChino said: (ii) The administration admitted it was a mistake. Did you miss that one?" Actually I did....link please?

      And if that's true, what are you complaining about? In my book that does not change anything, in fact, it means that our policy is fluid and constantly being perfected which is a good thing. And are you suggesting that the son came over there AFTER his father was killed? Like I mentioned previously, no one outside of the President and his National Security team know what the threat was from the son...and that includes you. For all we know, the son could have been in Terrorist territory learning the ropes from his dad so that if anything happened to him the son could take over the lead. And a 16 year old is NOT a child, which is why they can become emancipated adults in many states. So let's call the son an emancipated adult since he was man enough to tag along with dad to Terrorist Island as he vowed to destroy America.

      My issue with folks like you is that you have no problem complaining and criticizing without having the facts nor do you even seem like you want the facts. That may win you points on blogs and in comments sections on the web with like-minded complainers and purists, but the people who are making the actual decisions based on the reality of the info at hand has a different criteria for acting....thank God. And have you ever heard of treason? I suggest you look it up.

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  12. "Greenwald seems to base his entire response to the speech on the idea that we can't believe what the President says.... And yet he provides not one example of this - not even a link (as is his habit) to an article where he made a similar accusation. And so, for his major thesis, he provides absolutely zero evidence. Interesting."


    >> Gee, I don't know. Where would Greenwald get the crazy idea that this President says one thing and does the complete opposite?
    1. His vow to protect whistleblowers.
    >> Not sure exactly how invoking the Espionage Act 6 times in his first term to criminalize whistleblowing "protects" them.

    2. His vow to filibuster any bill granting retroactive immunity to telecoms.
    >> Not only did he not filibuster a bill that came to the Senate in '08 that did just that (coincidentally around the time he had the Dem primary locked up), but actually voted for the underlying bill.

    3. His statement: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
    >> I suppose Libya was an "actual or imminent" threat?

    4. His vow to be the most open and transparent adminstration
    >> haha


    The list is endless.


    "Discussing options with Congress for additional oversight of drone strikes (ie, drone court or an independent oversight board within the administration)"
    >> Yay! Death panels! How progressive.


    "Increasing foreign aid to fight poverty and sectarian hatred"
    >> Right, because foreign aid always goes to those who most need it and not allocated toward politically motivated ends. Also, contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, the US federal govt doesn't have an unlimited budget. While the poverty level reaches record levels and national infrastructure crumbles right here in the good 'ol USA, we're going to send that money overseas instead? And how exactly do you fight "sectarian hatred" with foreign aid? Bribes? Your hard-earned tax dollars at work.


    "Working with Congress to refine - and eventually repeal - the AUMF"
    >> As officials in his administration that very same week were suggesting that the war would last an additional 10-20 years.


    "The significant reduction in the number of drone strikes"
    >> Yeah, after he "significantly" ramped them up. This is like saying someone who casually drinks a beer or two each week goes on a 3 week bender throwing back a bottle of Jack a day and then congratulates himself when he "significantly reduces" his drinking to a six-pack a day.

    "The ending of the CIA drone program (including "signature strikes")"
    >> Where exactly did he talk about ending these policies? By shifting it to the Defense Dept? He spent a large part of his speech defending targeted killings! And of course, he only needed 6 days from his speech to launch another strike in Pakistan killing 7 people.


    "One can almost envision Greenwald sticking his fingers in his ears and singing "La-la-la-la" so as not to hear information that contradicts his Obama Derangement Syndrome."
    >> Almost... but not as clearly as one can envision Obama apologists continously confusing rhetoric with reality


    The most comical part of this post is that it's the posterchild for bolstering Greenwald's argument claiming those who repeatedly fall for Obama's rhetoric simply by regurgitating what he's said while failing to show any evidence defending what he's actually done. The Hope & Change Kool Aid should have a warning label for its addictiveness.

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