Change officially put on “Prolonged Detention”

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


The rule of law can be wiped out in one misguided, no matter how well-intentioned, generation

American Bar Association President William T. Gossette, 1969

   “Absolutist(s)” is the term President Obama used to describe people who expect laws to mean something. If I believe in the absolute nature of the rule of law, I am an “absolutist”. What President Obama said, in a way, is that the left demanding justice is equivalent to the right who demand immunity from the rule of law.

    President Obama, who I voted for and want to support, just said “neither side is right.”

    “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is an ass, a idiot.”

Charles Dickins

    Of course Obama is wrong on this, because two wrongs do not make a right.

The rule of law is what keeps the rules of our Democractic society from becoming guidelines. To understand the difference one way is to understand the difference between the rules of the Geneva Convention and the guidelines on torture written by Jay Bybee.

    The rule of law is what keeps the Government from saying that 2 + 2 = 5 or 3, depending on what they prefer at any given moment.

‘How can I help it?’ he blubbered. ‘How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.’

‘Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.’

1984 by George Orwell

    Guess what? Without the absolute supremacy of the Rule Of Law, the Government gets to make up shit as it goes along. Bush did this via Yoo and Bybee’s memo and with other means. I was against that. Now Obama is doing this with “Prolonged Detention” and other issues. I am also against that. To do otherwise is hypocrisy.

    We see that, above all, in the recent debate — how the recent debate has obscured the truth and sends people into opposite and absolutist ends. On the one side of the spectrum, there are those who make little allowance for the unique challenges posed by terrorism, and would almost never put national security over transparency. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: “Anything goes.” Their arguments suggest that the ends of fighting terrorism can be used to justify any means, and that the President should have blanket authority to do whatever he wants — provided it is a President with whom they agree.

    Both sides may be sincere in their views, but neither side is right. The American people are not absolutist, and they don’t elect us to impose a rigid ideology on our problems. They know that we need not sacrifice our security for our values, nor sacrifice our values for our security, so long as we approach difficult questions with honesty and care and a dose of common sense. That, after all, is the unique genius of America. That’s the challenge laid down by our Constitution. That has been the source of our strength through the ages. That’s what makes the United States of America different as a nation. 5/21/09

    I voted for and supported Barack Obama against the worst Political party to inhabit America since the Confederates, and yet President Obama just called out those of us who are loudly calling for justice over the Bush/Cheney Regimes War Crimes, War Profiteering and other Crimes against humanity.

    I do not believe Obama = Bush. Of course, George W. Bush could never equal Barack Obama. If Bush would have pulled something like this you would have stood up and yelled about it.

    Incrementalists and pragmatists should go sit in the corner with the centrists and independents and play nine sided Chinese chess while the adults talk about adult things.

    First of all, I do not believe “Obama = Bush” and that is not what I am saying.

    Second, when considering the first, why does Obama get to say that both those who advocate the rule of law and those who advocate illegality are trying to ” impose a rigid ideology on our problems. “ Yes, the rule of law is some sort of absolutist rigid ideology, but no, it is not equivalent to War Crimes, War Profiteering and Crimes against Humanity. To call it such or compare it as so is an insult to the concept of the rule of law itself. For a Constitutional Law professor to do so is an insult to the intelligence of the public and the spirit of our Nation’s Democratic history.

    Third, I thought “Change” meant something. If change was just a campaign promise how can we have anything other than false hope.

    I want to support President Obama. That does not mean that I will if he does not support me. To insist that I do so or face the prospect of another Republican/MIC/Corporation regime is not the answer. Accountability is the answer. Transparency is the answer. The Rule Of Law is the answer. If the rule of law is not the answer, how can we possibly play a fair game?

    This is Absolutist Bullshit wrapped in the tattered ribbons of the rule of law and rebranded with sweet words of change. Maybe if these same words were changed a bit and said with a smirk and a halting manner of speech by an idiot many would be inclined to see things differently.

How did we go from this

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.


As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule.

Albert Einstein

To this?

When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal

Richard Nixon

    I want to be on your side, President Obama. History awaits. Will patience bring it any faster, or any more certain than what we imagine things to be?

    I have hope in my President. To ask for faith is more than I would give any man.

    What you do is more important than what you say.

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    If we trade our commitment to the rule of law for today’s agenda we will get neither in the long run.

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  1.  ‘You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.’

    Pity the world that lives in such a state

    • Edger on May 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm
  2. I read your diaries with anticipation and expectation every time. You did not disappoint on this one.

    Good work

    • hester on May 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    will be a towering figure. He is by nature a compromiser, even as he knows what’s right, which brings in the issue of cowardice. I do not say he is a coward, only that he lacks bravery. There’s a lot that he could do to really be transformative: gay rights, this issue that MoT diaries, SCOTUS appointee,, HEALTH CARE. But it won’t happen. Not even on ONE of those issues do I expect him to be transformative.

    Am I disappointed? Horribly. But frankly I didn’t expect a lot. I said this before. He was very wishy washy in the primaries and only got forceful in the general… and that was deliberate and political. The guy is not a fighter. Howard Dean is a fighter. Look where he is.

    I’m cynical, but try to be realistic.

    end of Rant.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. John Adams:

    “But We should always remember that a free Constitution of civil Government cannot be purchased at too dear a rate as there is nothing, on this side (of) the New Jerusalem, of equal importance to Mankind.”

    Barack Obama:

    “Now, as our efforts to close Guantanamo move forward, I know that the politics in Congress will be difficult. These are issues that are fodder for 30-second commercials. You can almost picture the direct mail pieces that emerge from any vote on this issue — designed to frighten the population.”

    Throughout our history, millions of citizens have sacrificed and died for the principles enshrined in our Constitution.

    This guy doesn’t even want to sacrifice a few points off his poll numbers.  

    • RiaD on May 24, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    couldn’t have said it better…..

    a tiny nit…

    or at least something that struck me

    isn’t saying

    Incrementalists and pragmatists should go sit in the corner with the centrists and independents and play nine sided Chinese chess while the adults talk about adult things.


    an insult to the intelligence of the public and the spirit of our Nation’s Democratic history.

    or at least kinda ironic in a strange way?

    maybe its just my state of mind this day.

  4. someone out deliberating on what to make of Obama. I like fighters but I like people who fight and win with integrity.

    Obama never over-extends himself. At times it’s difficult to know if he’s leading or following. A great leader doesn’t need to be at the leading edge of every charge because they’d get killed. Likewise, they can’t be in the back pushing the troops forward.

    Obama never gets close to the edge. Obama is firmly in the center or possibly more in the back protected on all sides. I wish he was more towards the front taking some risks but now know that he’ll never do that.

    I’ll be out there pushing for more leadership but in the end, I want him to be effective. I’ll give up a little in efficiency if in the end we get more of what we want for citizens who just want to live in freedom to pursue their happiness instead of serfdom.

  5. Is there a Democrat with ethics and a spine left in a significant position of power? Is there anyone left?

    • Viet71 on May 25, 2009 at 1:20 am

    you expect Obama to deliver truth and justice.

    I expect the fucker to deliver politics.

    To deliver the mean between the Right and the Left.

    As if that is justice.

    As if the middle ground between war crimes and prosecution is forgiveness of war crimes.

    Obama is a turd, delivered by the power system in the U.S.

    I say to all here and elsewhere, wake the fuck up.

  6. democrats will be prosecuted as well.  He is protecting the party.

    You have to vote for a party not complicit with Bush if you want change on this matter.

  7. Time for Obama to give up on Guantanamo

    by UpstateDem

    Obama made a big mistake by trying to close Guantanamo Bay.  It gave Republicans an issue to grab onto when they were in grave trouble.  All I hear now is how Democrats want to let terrorists into the United States.  This is not something we want to be talking about and it needs to be nipped in the bud very quickly.  Obama has been very smart about these types of issues in the past.  When AG Eric Holder stated that he wanted to bring back the Assault Weapons Ban and his approval rating dropped five points almost overnight.  Thankfully, he and Congressional Democrats quickly squashed the idea and he recovered easily.

    My advice for Obama would be to quickly put this issue to rest by saying that he reviewed his options and he is going to have to keep the prison open and then quickly move onto other important issues like health care reform.  I am confident that Obama will realize what the best thing to do is and get this issue out of the way quickly.  

    We cannot be giving Republicans issues they can use against us.  We cant afford to give them anything to attack us on.  The Republicans are loving this issue and the sooner we take it away from them, the better.  Bill Clinton fumbled around like this back in 1993 and it destroyed the Democratic party and his agenda.  The same must not happen this time.

    Oh my…

    • Casey on May 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Why Mr. President, why?

    It’s never easy standing up for whats right in the face of the troubles that may arise.  But, as someone who voted for Obama and expected more, I’m beginning to feel as though the things we’ve all argued for and against are simply going to be put aside, so that we can all get along and not rock the boat.

    Screw that.  Screw polling data.  Screw the architects of the Iraq War.  Screw Democrats who supported torture and Gitmo.  Screw Republicans who did, as well.  

    If Obama learned anything from Chicago-style politics, its that the game is a tough one.  You win some, you lose some.  You don’t capitulate after having spoken on these issues ad infinitum for over 2 years.   You stick to you positions.  You stand up tall and stick with ’em.  

    Sure, lose some favorable ratings.  Whats important here is this country’s reputation across the globe.  I’m tired of the politicians in this country who only seek to appease it’s constituents.  The issue at hand is much more important than allowing the issue to be swept under the carpet.  

    Indict and do your best to convict those who put this country’s reputation at stake, who put allowed torture to occur, and who let it all slide by without blinking.

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