One has to laugh when noticing the president’s signing of the order on 22 January to shut down the POW facility at Guantanamo. Why, you say? Because he lined up 16 RETIRED generals and admirals to watch his back while he signed the documents. Apparently, Obama feels the need to have more proof than just his own opinion in order to convince the people that he’s right, and these RETIRED guys all said, “Close her down, Commander Prexy, we’re with you all the way, even if you lead us to the gates of hell and back.” Real fighting words, those!
That wasn’t all. They backed him while he said to the whole wide world that this country would NEVER use water-boarding in its interrogation protocols. Actually, they looked aghast at even the mention of water-boarding, these former disciplinarians in the military, the most totally undemocratic agency of this country, where rigorous punishments such as making recruits perform physically debilitating actions such as running extra miles, etc., is just normal procedure...or at least once was.
The irony lies in the fact, of course, that whereas physical punishment for recruits wears them out and can be painful, water-boarding neither injures nor kills and probably involves little pain, if any. It’s a psychologically-oriented tool designed to make talking more pleasurable than worrying about drowning. The U.S. has never drowned anyone and the prisoners know this...but there can be that first time, can’t there? Actually, no one was hurt or killed at Abu Ghraib, either, but the poor Muslim butchers were humiliated...oh dear, dear, tsk, tsk.
So...what would the president and his 16 generals and admirals do if their wives were kidnapped by a Muslim gang, one of whom happened to get captured. To find out where to look for their wives and the other kidnappers, would they gently water-board this sleazebag or consult the army field manual and decide that this poor kidnapper couldn’t be made to talk, even if the method used couldn’t hurt him? Well...of course not. That would be stooping to torture, never mind its safety...the poor wives would just have to understand.
Such is the state of affairs with regard to Gitmo and torture...and the most notable absentee at that memorable signing was Defense Secretary Gates...at least this observer (TV) didn’t see him. Gates, along with Bush, has wanted to close Gitmo for a long time, held his own news conference at which he said the closing would be a hard task. Apparently, no one has figured out how to do it, even though hundreds have been released and only about 250 remain, but Obama has appointed or will appoint a task force to figure a way to get rid of the neck-slicers, perhaps throw them in some slammer, or well...who knows.
The day was topped off over at State, where Secretary Clinton, no doubt dreaming of all those plush plane-rides here and yon, was established in her post. To help her along the way, she was given former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke to straighten out Afghanistan and Pakistan and former senate majority leader George Mitchell to handle the Middle East, mostly Israel and Gaza for now, who made this statement: “Conflicts are created, conducted and sustained by human beings - they can be ended by human beings.” Whew!
When Clinton goes head-to-head with either of these guys, she will need to pack her M-16, since none of the three is about to be turned around. This is from Press TV of 22 January: Holbrooke was the US envoy to [the] UN who brokered the November 3, 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina and has been accused of making a promise of immunity from prosecution to Radovan Karadzic, also known as the 'Butcher of Bosnia'. ... On August 1 2008, in an interview with Press TV, the former Bosnian foreign Minster Mohammad Sacirbey confirmed that Karadzic took part in the massacre against Muslim Bosnians following a deal made with then US peace negotiator in Bosnia, Richard Holbrooke.
“They [Holbrook and others] acquiesced, gave the green light to Milosevic, Mladic as well as Karadzic to take over the territory of Srebrenica…,” said Sacirbey. “I do not think anyone in my government knew about it and the result was 8,000 people murdered.” Sacirbey added.
Was this true? One hopes not. So much for Holbrooke, who might be just the man in Pakistan, since Obama asserted during the campaign that he would send troops through Pakistan to get bin Laden if the Pakistanis didn’t shape up. Egad!