Saturday, June 14, 2014

REPORT: Bush Released 171 Gitmo Prisoners Who Returned to Battle; Obama? Just 7

By now, anyone who follows politics and is able to think with a rational mind can clearly see the double standards in the reactions from Republicans to similar events which occurred under both George W. Bush and President Obama.
Lets start with BENGHAZI! The typical malleable Fox News viewer likely has the impression that nothing similar occurred under the Bush regime, probably because Fox conveniently didn’t bother to cover it extensively, or much less ever question the circumstances surrounding those events, or criticize the Bush administration for anything that they might have done wrong. They have a viewpoint to live up to, dammit, as well as a willfully ignorant audience to cater to.
But under Bush, there were 13 similar events that occurred when he was
ruining the countrypresident for (gulp) 8 years. Under President Obama, Benghazi is the only attack which resulted in fatalities, four in that case. Under Bush, a total of 60 people were killed – not counting any attackers who perished – including a total of 11 Americans.
Where were the congressional investigations into those attacks, especially given that in some of those attacks, there were sufficient warnings that American consulates were about to be attacked by foreign interests? We’re now on our 8th congressional investigation of what happened with Benghazi, because apparently the first 7 didn’t do enough to implicate President Obama or the likely next president if she runs, Hillary Clinton. Where were all the Republicans and right-wing media gasbags when these embassy and consulate attacks took place under President Bush?

Well, we know the answer to that. They were looking the other way, or were too busy trying to justify a clusterf*ck war being fought on false pretenses in Iraq. And they were fighting a culture war, trying to save Christmas from the millions and millions of Americans who are out to destroy it.
That brings us to the latest trumped up scandal: The swap of 5 Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for the release of American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held captive for 5 years in Afghanistan. In between obsessing over Bob Bergdahl’s Muslim-y beard, Fox News and other conservative outlets have been railing on President Obama for releasing 5 bad guys from Gitmo who may end up attacking U.S. interests again.
Well, here again we must take a hard turn away from the Fox News script and point out that while even President Obama acknowledged the released bad guys could indeed end up back on the battlefield against U.S. interests, there were just a few more bad guys released from Gitmo under Bush. A total of… wait for it… 532! And out of those 532, 171 of them were confirmed or suspected of having returned to the battlefield. Under President Obama, only 7 have met that description.
And according to the U.S. Intelligence Agency, that includes Ibrahim Sen, who was later arrested in Turkey charged as the leader of an active al Qaeda cell, and Abdullah Mahsud, whom Pakistan government officials accuse of directing a suicide attack in April 2007 that killed 31 people.
And further throwing a monkey wrench into the conservative media’s talking points is that another one of the bad guys released under Bush is suspected of having been involved in the Benghazi attack.
How’s that for irony?
Apparently, the Republican strategy consists of throwing as much mud as possible at Democrats and hoping enough of it sticks so they have a fighter’s chance of winning back the Senate and even the presidency in the coming elections. And to conveniently ignore their own transgressions, which occurred under a much greater scale on many fronts under the disastrous George W. Bush reign of terror.
H/T: Liberaland

Friday, June 6, 2014

What Republicans Don’t Want You to Know: 500 + Detainees Were Released from GITMO Under Bush

Yet another exercise in exploring the depth of Republican hypocrisy and hysteria. This one is about OH MY GOD IMPEACHING OBAMA BECAUSE GITMO TRANSFEREES!
In a June 2nd press briefing, questions were asked regarding the transfer of the five Guantánamo (Gitmo) detainees in exchange for the successful recovery of Sergeant Bergdahl, a prisoner of war in Afghanistan. Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that there were restrictions made in the prisoner exchange, which is not an uncommon occurrence in armed conflicts.
From the White House transcript:
Q As you know, there have been detainees who have returned to the battlefield. What are the guarantees, other than just a one-year ban on travel on these five detainees that they won’t go back and target U.S. interests, U.S. personnel, U.S. military?
MR. CARNEY: Again, I’ll re-stipulate that prisoner exchanges are not uncommon in armed conflicts. Secondly, I’ll say that without getting into specific assurances, I can tell you that they included a travel ban and information-sharing on the detainees between our governments, between the United States and Qatar. I can also tell you that the assurances were sufficient to allow the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, in coordination with the national security team, to determine that the threat posed by the detainees to the United States would be sufficiently mitigated and that the transfer was in the U.S. national security interest.
So this was done after the appropriate consideration and analysis, and it was the judgment of the Secretary of Defense in coordination with the entire national security team that there was sufficient mitigation in place and assurances in place to allow the exchange.
Republicans are acting as if Obama never should have done this. Senator Lindsey Graham is talking impeachment if Obama releases any more prisoners or tries once again to close Gitmo. Yet, in 2009, PolitiFact confirmed that “More than 500 Guantánamo detainees were released or transferred under Bush.”
Indeed, government documents indicate more than 500 detainees were released or transferred from Guantanamo while George W. Bush was president. A White House executive order issued on the second day of Obama’s presidency said, “The federal government has moved more than 500 such detainees from Guantánamo, either by returning them to their home country or by releasing or transferring them to a third country.”
That’s backed up by a fact sheet from the military task force that runs the detention camp, which says 520 detainees had been released or transferred by March 2009.
PolitiFact then got into the weeds of release versus transfer, with a transfer being a situation where there are restrictions (as appears to be the case with the prisoners transferred in exchange for Bergdahl). Maybe someone should tell Lindsey Graham, too.
But the Pentagon says there is a difference between a release and a transfer to another country. The vast majority of detainees leave Gitmo under a transfer, which means they are transported to another country that places them under some type of restrictions. Some are incarcerated in those countries because of criminal charges, while others face monitoring or travel limitations.
Carney noted we successfully recovered Sergeant Bergdahl (this is exactly the sort of discussion Republicans are hoping to avoid), “(T)his was the right thing to do, because we in the United States do not leave our men and women in uniform behind during an armed conflict. And five years is a very long time to be a prisoner.”
The bottom line is Obama got Osama, and now Obama successfully recovered our single prisoner in the Afghanistan war. So, Republicans are attacking Bergdahl and his family in dishonorable and stunningly disturbed ways, hoping to mitigate what they see as another Obama success.
Republicans have muddied the waters of every single Obama success. There has not been one occasion upon which they have been able to set aside their partisan agenda in order to cheer or praise a positive occurrence under Obama. They made sure no one gave Obama credit for bin Laden and now they’re at it again.
Ironically, even if the Republican smear campaign against Bergdahl and his family was accurate (and no one judging Bergdahl is in any position to sift through the facts as broken down here, so the discussion is irrelevant and ridiculous), the bottom line is we don’t leave our troops behind.
Clueless Republicans might want to note that it’s not because we deem them all heroic characters fit for the black and white world in which conservatives live — the ultimate Good Guy. It’s because practically speaking, we need to protect our assets, including information. If we have reason to suspect an asset has been compromised it behooves us to determine to what extent.
Republicans have chosen to troll Obama’s national security successes until the press is embroiled in discussing their accusations rather than the success. We can’t have a moment of national pride in a job well done—oh, no. Not while a Democrat is in the White House.
Note: Per the Pentagon’s distinction, the title to this article should read “released or transferred”. However, for the sake of brevity and due to common usage in the national dialogue on this issue, we’ve used “released”.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Disrespectful NOT to Vote - let alone Not Voting is a Vote AGAINST your best interest - we fought hard to make our voices heard - at the very least make your voice heard - even if what you vote for loses - put your voice on record - it Really is the LEAST you can do for America.

Murder, So Rote - The Daily Show

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is sadly all too on point with this segment. "Of course there's nothing we can do to stop this from happening. Even though pretty much every other developed country has somehow stopped this from happening."
Love Jon Stewart - weird that a Comedy Show is on Point and the So-called News is so Off Point. We need to go back to regulating Journalism & Real News - you used to have to face jail time if you aired an news story without facts or relieving your news source - now it is ALL lies and spin - so sad that Truth is sniffled and all we have are stories to pacify America - to make us 'Good Puppies' to be easily controlled so the 1% can keep stealing from the rest of us and taking Our Money Out of America - they are literally Raping America & All Americans!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

tax on wealth (such as suggested by Thomas Piketty) “un-American?

I debated a conservative Republican yesterday who insisted that a tax on wealth (such as suggested by Thomas Piketty) was “un-American.” He said it would be “double-taxation” since the income that created the wealth had already been taxed. I explained we already have a tax on wealth. It’s called the property tax on home values. But because homes are the major (and often sole) asset of the middle class, while most of the wealth of America’s rich is held in stocks and bonds, the property tax is regressive. So why not get rid of the property tax and substitute a broad-based wealth tax, whose revenues could be used to give all Americans a first-class education? What do you think?