Wikileaks dropped another payload in its war on secrecy with more than 700 documents about the infamous concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay set up by the Bush administration during its war on evildoers. I use the term “concentration camp” because Amnesty International’s historical comparative term of choice – “gulag” – didn’t accurately describe a camp used to house, interrogate and torture detainees outside the rule of law without due process in order to squash the global Islamist insurgency threatening global American hegemony; otherwise sold to the public as the “War On Terror.” There’s no forced labor happening there; only forced confessions.
That’s one of the legacies of the Bush administration; supposedly, Obama’s election in 2008 was supposed to end all that. And one key campaign promise he made in 2008 that was supposed to be a departure was his promise to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison:
“After he takes office, Barack Obama wants to close the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But if it’s shut down, what does the government do with all those detainees?
CBS News national security correspondent David Martin has exclusively learned that the president-elect’s transition team has already asked the Pentagon what it would take to move the prisoners at Guantanamo to the Navy base at Charleston, S.C.”
Sounded pretty good to a lot of people at the time. CBS added:
“It’s a clear sign that the new president intends to make good on one of his most emphatic campaign promises.”
That’s great. So, the prison was closed down, right?
“Mr Obama could have chosen to veto the legislation, but said he had decided to sign it despite his strong disagreement over the provisions on the camp for terror suspects in Cuba, as it was vital to funding US wars abroad in 2011.
The $US725.9 billion ($729.3bn) defence spending plan includes language that makes it virtually impossible to shutter the prison by building a substitute jail or relocating prisoners to the US mainland.”
In other words, he sacrificed his campaign promise of ending one Bush-era legacy voters entrusted him with ending, in order to continue his occupation of Afghanistan – another Bush-era legacy voters hoped would end with Obama’s election.
Many newspapers endorsed Obama, but none so enthusiastically as the staunch voice of American liberalism, the New York Times. As they editorialized in Oct. 2008:
“Mr. Obama has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change. He has shown a cool head and sound judgment. We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation’s problems.”
Fast forward to the Wikileaks dump and we have this editorial suggestion for the Obama administration from the same paper:
“The disaster at Guantánamo Bay is now Mr. Obama’s problem. He should not compound Mr. Bush’s mistakes in his efforts to correct them.”
“There are many things the Obama administration could do to repair some of the damage done by the last administration, but among the simplest and most urgent is this: It could recognize and honor the public servants who rejected torture.”
These are educated people, so I have a hard time believing that they’re not aware of the case of Bradley Manning – the former Army intelligence officer that’s accused of passing along secret government documents released by Wikileaks – whose solitary confinement is being investigated by the UN as tantamount to being torture. They make no mention of his case in their op-ed, which can only mean they exist in a self-imposed intellectual exile from reality and ideologically biased toward a liberal president much like Sean Hannity was toward Obama’s predecessor.
Their organizations work “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties” as the ACLU put it, or “works to defend freedom of expression and resist censorship worldwide,” according to PEN; the only possible reason for their oversight is that Manning is an “inconvenient truth;” he serves as an ugly reminder that the Obama administration isn’t what it claims to be. That’s why they disappeared him from their article, much like their hero Obama has practically disappeared the Army private. Their omission is remarkable given that even the Times took the time to acknowledge the young Private’s misfortune.
Manning hasn’t been found guilty of anything; he hasn’t even been brought to trial yet. Yet Obama already has pronounced him guilty:
“We’re a nation of laws! We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.”
As Glenn Greenwald noted in Salon:
“The impropriety of Obama’s public pre-trial declaration of Manning’s guilt (“He broke the law”) is both gross and manifest. How can Manning possibly expect to receive a fair hearing from military officers when their Commander-in-Chief has already decreed his guilt?”
I have a better question; how can anyone be surprised when Obama based his regime on “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards?”
Not to mention that it’s a regime brought to power – and continually sustained – by a liberalism (represented by the New York Times) as self-serving, morally corrupt and hypocritical as the conservative movement it claims to oppose, rather than a break from the past summed up by one of the most annoying political slogans; “Change We Can All Believe In.”