S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The War -- Everybody says "No"

A District Judge in Washington ordered the Uigers released from Guantanamo Bay, but the Justice Department said "no."  This turn of events is explained in an article, from ProPublica  "DOJ: We’re Not Releasing Gitmo Detainees," 10/7/08, is by Eric Umansky. To quote: 

As expected, the Justice Department says it's filing an emergency appeal to prevent the men from going free: "The ruling presents serious national security and separation of powers concerns and raises unprecedented legal issues." The judge has ordered the government to bring the detainees to the Washington, D.C., court on Friday.

The government's statement also says the Uigher detainees "have admitted to receiving weapons training at camps in Afghanistan." This summer, a three-judge federal appeals court panel hearing the case of one of the Uighers pointedly questioned the government's evidence.

Several Gitmo prosecutors have resigned in protest saying "no" to the terms of detainee treatment. Here's one story. Former Gitmo Prosecutor: Detainee Was Child Soldier and ‘Duped’ by Eric Umansky 9/29/08 at ProPublica.  Here are the good people who resigned.   "The Six Gitmo Prosecutors Who Protested" is from ProPublica, written by Eric Umansky on 10/1/08. To quote: "Six prosecutors have either stepped down or refused to prosecute, citing qualms about the system. We decided to compile a list."  [details in the story]

  1. Major John Carr – March 2004

  2. Major Robert Preston – March 2004

  3. Capt. Carrie Wolf - Mid-2004

  4. Lt Col. Stuart Couch – Mid-2004

  5. Col. Morris Davis - October 2007

  6. Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld – September 2008

Not content with Gitmo, this excellent expose is from The Raw Story: "ACLU: Bush admin tried to create 'Gitmo inside the US*.'"

Catching up on the other related current happenings is easy, because I get a daily newsletter from CQ-Behind the Lines, by David Morrison.  These tidbits are for today (10/9/08) --

Feds: An appeals court put the brakes on a federal judge’s plan to transfer 17 Uighur detainees at Guantanamo to his Washington courtroom on Friday, The Associated Press’ Hope Yen reports — while a Washington Post editorial raps the judge for “overreaching.”

. . . A U.S. military officer warned Pentagon officials that a detainee was being driven nearly insane by months of punishing isolation in a U.S. military brig, documents obtained by AP show. A Baltimore-based refugee aid organizationwill try to help Chinese Guantanamo detainees settle in the United States after a judge ordered their immediate release, ABC News notes. “Among the first acts of the new president should be to order hearings for all those held at Guantanamo,” The Des Moines Register, relatedly, chides — while The Miami Herald has two North African detainees being repatriated yesterday.

. . . The Taliban have rebuilt a camp in South Waziristan that trains children as suicide bombers, The Long War Journalhas a video from Pakistan showing. “The internal debate among jihadists is which enemy to target and how, not whether violence should be used or not,” Walid Phares asserts for Spero News.

This "No" to Afghanistan is absolutely amazing.  The headline says, "French troops: We won't go to Afghanistan*." It is from Global Research, 10/4/08.  To quote: 

According to French media, troops in the 27th battalion stationed in a southern France military base said on Friday that they were unwilling to go to Afghanistan as part of France's mission in the central Asian country.

The troops' refusal to go to the war-ravaged country comes as 10 French soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in August.

This blogger reports on a story of "No" that comes from the United Kingdom.  "'Good War' Lost, But the Imperial Project Goes On*" by Chris Floyd 10/5/08 at Empire Burlesque writes that the war in Afghanistan may not be winnable. To quote:

Who says so? America's biggest ally in the Afghan adventure: Great Britain. This week, two top figures in the British effort in Afghanistan -- Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, UK ambassador to Kabul, and Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, the senior British military commander in Afghanistan -- both said that the war was "unwinnable," and that continuing the current level of military operations there, much less expanding it, was a strategy "doomed to fail."

Saying "no" to doing another book review right now, I will, however go ahead and include just a bit of the promo as my conclusion to this post.  As occasionally happens, I was contacted with an offer of an advance copy of Bill Murphy Jr.'s new book, In A Time of War: The Proud and Perilous Journey of West Point's Class of 2002. In the book, Bill follows five brave officers and their classmates and families of West Point's Class of 2002, the first class to graduate during the Iraq war.  These guys did not say "no."  Here is the promo information:

Published by Henry Holt & Co.
September 2008; $27.50

The dramatic story of West Point’s class of 2002, the first in a generation to graduate during wartime.

They came to West Point in a time of peace, but soon after the start of their senior year, their lives were transformed by September 11. The following June, when President George W. Bush spoke at their commencement and declared that America would “take the battle to the enemy,” the men and women in the class of 2002 understood that they would be fighting on the front lines. In this stirring account of the five years following their graduation from West Point, the class experiences firsthand both the rewards and the costs of leading soldiers in the war on terror.

In a Time of War focuses on two members of the class of 2002 in particular: Todd Bryant, an amiable, funny Californian for whom military service was a family tradition; and Drew Sloan, the hardworking son of liberal parents from Arkansas who is determined to serve his country. On the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, Todd, Drew, and their classmates—the army’s newest and youngest officers—lead their troops into harm’s way again and again.

Meticulously reported, sweeping in scope, Bill Murphy Jr.’s powerful book follows these brave and idealistic officers—and their families—as they experience the harrowing reality of the modern battlefield. In a Time of War tells a vivid and sometimes heartbreaking story about courage, honor, and what war really means to the soldiers whose lives it defines.

About the Author
Bill Murphy Jr. worked as Bob Woodward’s research assistant on the bestselling State of Denial. A lawyer and former Army Reserve officer, he reported from Iraq for The Washington Post.

Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo*" and Jon#.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

Technorati tags:

No comments: