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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Watchdogging Obama

I like the idea of watchdogging Obama. While I think it's important to give credit where credit is due, like if the stimulus is a step in the right direction, I think Greens should be the first with progress reports on the new administration. A few items:
1. It seems there is no exit strategy for Afghanistan.
2. They may not press to hold Karl Rove in contempt of Congress.
3. I'm not aware of any progress on treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I feel that counseling should be mandatory for all combat troops.
4. Is the Guantanamo closing proceeding as quickly as it can?

Other items that have been mentioned:
1. Torture and rendition, closing down Guantanamo immediately instead of a year, and investigating and prosecuting all torture.
2. Closing all the black op sites around the world where people are held without charge and without trial.
3. Withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan immediately.
4. Having all returning troops tested for depleted uranium, and treated if tested positive.

Someone else noted that Bagram AFB is still open, and holds prisoners under murky legal circumstances.

Obama's speech last night denied torture is still occurring, let's hope that's accurate.

Maybe Obama's next speech should center around FDR's quote, "the only thing to fear is fear itself" and what FDR meant by that. Certainly starving is something to fear. What I think it really means is that if we issue our own currency, and do it responsibly, we don't have to fear inflation, the national debt, or income taxation.


At Thu Feb 26, 05:58:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...


Current Conditions of Confinement at Guantanamo

Currently at Guantánamo, the majority of detainees are being held in conditions of solitary confinement in one of two super-maximum facilities – Camps 5 and 6 – or in Camp Echo. The conditions in these camps are harshly punitive and violate international and U.S. legal standards for the humane treatment of persons deprived of their liberty. Solitary confinement, sensory deprivation, environmental manipulation, and sleep deprivation are daily realities for these men and have led to the steady deterioration of their physical and psychological health. In addition, detainees are subjected to brutal physical assaults by the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF), a team of military guards comparable to a riot squad, who are trained to respond to alleged "disciplinary infractions" with overwhelming force. Detainees have also been deprived of virtually all meaningful contact with their families, and have suffered interference with and abuse related to their right to practice their religion.

Contrary to statements by the military, conditions at Guantánamo have not improved for the majority of detainees and are still in violation of the law. In this report, we describe the current conditions of confinement for the men at Guantánamo and make recommendations for bringing Camps 5, 6 and Echo into immediate compliance with "all applicable laws" governing the conditions of confinement of detainees, as required by President Obama's Executive Order.

The descriptions of ongoing, severe solitary confinement, other forms of psychological abuse, incidents of violence and the threat of violence from guards, religious abuse, and widespread forced tube-feeding of hunger strikers indicate that the inhumane practices of the Bush Administration persist today at Guantánamo, despite President Obama's Executive Order, and should be remedied immediately.

At Fri Feb 27, 06:14:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Also it seems the recent government purchase of Citibank stock is not a controlling interest.

And I was disappointed Obama plans to leave 50,000 troops in Iraq Aug. 31 2010, but hopeful it will really go to zero by the end of 2011.


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