Not Only Won’t Obama Close Gitmo, He’s Now Relying on Gitmo’s SOPs

As I have repeatedly pointed out, stripping detainees to “demonstrate the omnipotence of the captor” was introduced as a Standard Operating Procedure at Gitmo back in 2002 when they were preparing to torture Mohammed al-Qahtani. Abu Zubaydah’s torturers, like Bradley Manning’s jailers, call it being “God.”

That must be the standard procedure that President Obama was talking about when he gave this explanation when Jake Tapper asked him about PJ Crowley’s condemnation of Manning’s treatment.

With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well. [my emphasis]

So not only won’t Obama close Gitmo, then, but he’s willing to rubber stamp the standards introduced there for use on American soil.

Update: Corrected the transcription.

  1. Mary says:

    There’s no me or i in his version of “our.” He is the CIC – he doesn’t/shouldn’t be asking about the basic standards, he should be setting them. Why no paper gown or underwear? Why no tranfer to a psych ward. Why, if they are so worried about him, do they make him come and stand for naked for parade, with his hands behind him, while other soldiers oogle him, even when he’s said how much it bothers him.

    It isn’t just – it’s never just – what the Bush/Obama decisions to adopt depravity do to their selected target victim – it’s what those decisions do to the military itself. When the directive from the highest levels of civilian control are to act with depravity – the military itself has to either reject orders or become depraved.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I just know that standing naked at parade rest, waiting for inspection but having had virtually no sleep, will make a 140 lb analyst, who is prohibited from exercising but is being ogled by 200 lb Marine MP’s and a CWO who weighs as much as he does, look pathetic and make him feel ashamed, weak, vulnerable and despondent. I forget how that’s supposed to enhance the mental state of a prisoner the military claims must be put on suicide watch.

      The blatant lies and cynicism are a form of enhanced interrogation of the truth, of public service and of military discipline. It is a travesty our top leaders think is just peachy.

  2. Synoia says:

    To: The President of the United States


    This is a quote from you today:

    “With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards.”

    Sir, if these be “basic standards” then the standards need raising.

    This, sir, is your responsibility.

  3. Adam503 says:

    So… now what do we do about not allowing the Democratic Party to nominate an admitted war criminal for the Presidency.

    We can’t beat him, can we throw Obama out of the Democratic Party?

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      Citizen Adam503:

      This is why the political revolt in Wisconsin is so critical and we must stay focused on the battles for remaking politics including the Democratic Party in all the battleground states before the primaries in 2012. The only way we force Obama to heel is to run enough “favorite sons” in the large state primaries to deny him a first ballot re-nomination. If we win in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana he will hafta come back to us and jestison the Daleys before the primary elections. The key here is overthrowin’ the fascists in the Northern industrial states and takin the congress or at least developing governing factions in both the House and Senate…then it won’t matter who is President.


    • hazmaq says:

      Throw Obama out of the Party?? We are where we are today because a majority of the current Congress and the Democratic party itself are now headed and led by DLC’ers who support his positions.
      And they my friend, the ‘Moderates’ and DLC types, could give a shit less about ‘democracy’ and are guided purely by dollars. The party we once we once worked our asses off for and defended is no more.

      As a solid Lefty I think anyone who dares defend Obama now should be kicked out of Left side of the blogosphere.

  4. onitgoes says:

    Is anyone here really surprised that the Great Pretender has actually come out and *admitted* that he’s a War Criminal in favor of torturing US citizens on US soil?? I’m not.

    I would so *love* to witness conservatives, like el-Lushbo et al, froth at the mouth and shriek and decry Obama NOW over *this.* However, I sure won’t hold my breath to wait for conservative tools to “hold Obama’s feet to the fire” over something *real.*

    Nah: el-Lushbo’s probably busy dissing Michelle Obama for whatever frock she’s wearing today… or something about booga booga Sharia Law!

  5. NorskeFlamethrower says:


    Citizen emptywheel:

    If Obama just stood up and backed the military in this thing, what does that tell us about the battle lines inside the government? If you remember, Richard Daley was a domestic warlord for the military and the oilagarchy and his progeny are all international investment bankers and believers in Randian economics. Now, the old fault line between the cowboy oilagarchs and their military and the banksters and their civilian operators in the CIA, congress and civil service seems to be widening. Does Obama’s backing of the military mean that Mrs. McClinton will now be forced out? I think we got the makin’ of a real civil war type split in the rulin’ oligarchy here and it doesn’t portend good things for us or the rest of the world.


    • Watt4Bob says:

      I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to hear this story fleshed out a little bit.

      I’ve never considered the tensions between DOD and State to rise to the level of civil war?

      What’s the history of the rift you’re watching develope and where is that going?

      If you have some time, (sorry, I know that sounds like a joke) it would make a great top-post by itself.

      • NorskeFlamethrower says:

        Citizen Watt4Bob:

        I been spendin entirely too much time here lately and we have a full blown, grassroots recall campaign goin on in my state senate district and I haven’t even been out to canvaas yet. But I have previously outlined a rough sketch of the history of our ruling oligarchy, key dates: 1858-1862, 1877, 1961-63 and 1972-75. Notice that the origins of a permanent, inherited ruling class only began out of the blood, bone and smoke of the industrial revolution and the consolidation of industrial capital after 1877. The seeds for what is now our ruling oligarchy came out of the old slavocracy (see McCain and Barbara Bush) as well as Biddle’s Bank and the Yankee corporate money machine that allowed for the consolidation of economic power behind oil and iron.

        Sometime when we have gotten rid of our governor and 8 Republican state senators, I’ll stop by “Late Night” with Sister Suzanne and we can chat about the history of the beast we are fighting and future animal control.

    • nusayler says:

      Sweden actually has a remarkably ethical government built on the respect for human rights. Already looking into it myself.

  6. tjbs says:

    The bastard owns the torture. What a complete sellout if this meets basic American standards.

    Just another war criminal.

  7. sailcat says:

    As a constitutional lawyer Barack Obama knows that the mistreatment of Bradley Manning is not “meeting our basic standards” under law. To hide behind the Pentagon and pretend that it does makes him appear weak.

  8. lsls says:

    They assure me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.

    Well, Sir, either they are lying to you or you are lying to us, and by the way what other part of “some” or “as well” could possibly justify torture. You, Sir, are endorsing cruel and unusual punishment of a man, to whom you are Commander in Chief, i.e., you are attacking a citizen of the United States, who you are in “charge” of, who has not been proven guilty, who is serving this country.

  9. montymarket says:

    Bradley enlisted in the Army during wartime. Was stationed in a war zone. A citizen volunteer. As far as can tell, he is NOT a Muslim, was born in the USA, was serving in the US Army in a war zone, yet cannot be given the decency of the Geneva Conventions while being detained in his own country for crimes he has not been convicted.

    How, Mr President, is this meeting our basic standards?

  10. TomThumb says:

    He’s siding with the ‘bullies’. Rather than stand up to Libya’s worst nightmare bully, BO would rather pick on the skinny kid who doesn’t seem to be really popular with his army friends. I wish Gaddafi could get the same ‘basic standards’ treatment. I don’t think Gaddafi could stand 20 minutes of what Bradley Manning has endured without his sociopathic head exploding. It is not like Bradley can get 10 seconds of press time to tell BO what a moral coward he is.

    • lysias says:

      If it’s Obama’s “Army friends” that he can’t stand up against, why would they be holding Manning in a Marine brig?

      I strongly suspect this is all happening on Obama’s orders, or at least at his suggestion, and the military are just going along.

  11. Robespierre says:

    Sad, but, yeah, I’d say he’s owning it now. At least we know where he stands on this issue. Manning may be subjected to stripdowns, but it’s the emperor who is being revealed as having no clothes.

    So, who and where are the progressive candidates we can get behind? That’s what I’d like to know.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I assume he means that going into details about Mr. Manning’s individual treatment would be embarrassing to the president, but not to Mr. Manning, who would welcome the discussion and any improvement in his intentionally degrading and mind-numbing treatment, wholly unlike that being meted out by this constitutional scholar to anyone else at Gitmo Quantico.

  13. tjbs says:

    Why didn’t he address the press nude, nothing to it right dude other than notice he would be missing 2 male accessories.

      • eCAHNomics says:

        The right & left can never get together on impeaching O bc the left would want to do it for reasons that would also incriminate W et al. That’s one of the reasons why the wingnuts’ reason are so bizarre: they must rely on stuff that is wrong with O but not W.

      • yellowsnapdragon says:

        Ya know…Norske is right about an impeachment movement possibly improving O’s popularity like with Clinton. It’s almost election time. To get rid of O, voting him out may be the better option. That said, impeachment would go a long way in preventing future outrages against American citizens.

  14. SteveNS says:

    I wonder if he knows, or cares, what an utter indictment of his character this constitutes.

    Sure, he’s already basically revealed his nature by his inaction on the torture program and the previous administration’s war crimes. But now he’s actively endorsing this.

    I hope to God the Nobel Committee revokes his Peace Prize.

    Just shameful.

  15. mzchief says:

    Wow– is it time for a Congressional whip count? “Dear Congress(wo)man, do you stand with Obama, a self-professed war criminal?”

  16. lsls says:

    Just wait until he endorses the Cat Food Commission in totality…that’s his main mission at the moment…President Kadafidoodledandy

  17. PeasantParty says:

    Don’t know what else to say. Nobody should need more proof that the President is a wanker. Of course, the Quantico people are going to tell him it’s all good. Obama, just a nodding head wanker!

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      Citizen KrisAinCA:

      Forget about Obama and national politics, stay focued on the revolts in the states. The oligarchy has an old fossil as governor in your state and a comin bankruptcy, the last round of ballot initiatives should be the basis for remodelin’ the Democratic Party in California so that ballot initiatives to overturn Prop.13 and restore majority rule in taxation as well as legalizin weed can be the drivin force in the election in 2012.

      • KrisAinCA says:

        Citizen Norske,

        I’m moving to Texas in a couple months, where I will certainly enter the fray in the fight against Governor GoodHair.

        On the national scale I think a legitimate impeachment proceeding against Obama would send a strong message that the people are watching and history is being written every day.

  18. Masoninblue says:

    O/T: Sorry to interrupt but very serious situation developing in Japan.

    The temperature is rising inside the core of a nuclear reactor and they lack the electricity needed to run the pumps that pump the water that cools the reactor core. Meltdown is possible. 3,000 have been evacuated.

    CS Monitor via @addthis

  19. KrisAinCA says:

    At the federal level, Article Two of the United States Constitution (Section 4) states that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. The removal of impeached officials is automatic upon conviction in the Senate.


    • KrisAinCA says:

      For example, when the Judicial Conference of the United States suggests a federal judge be impeached, a charge of what actions constitute grounds for impeachment may come from a special prosecutor, the President, a state or territorial legislature, grand jury, or by petition.

      Ooooo. My bold. From the same wiki.

      • KrisAinCA says:

        A simple majority of those present and voting is required for each article or the resolution as a whole to pass.

        We do have a rethuglican majority in the House…

  20. edve says:

    Obama is a fucking, soul less puppet of the MOTU. They are great at getting robots to act as humans. Truth is, his heart is full of shite!

    My thoughts and daily prayers go out to Bradley…he is a real man with a truthful real heart…and that is why they want to wipe him away…

  21. tjbs says:

    There’s not a “democrat” out there who could be elected on Diebold machines who isn’t a closet, Greed Over People, bootlicking/asskissing sellout, behold obama.

  22. mekathleen says:

    I called “progressive” congresswoman Jan Schakowsky about this and asked for her position on torture of US service members. The aid asked if this was about Bradley Manning and put me on indefinite hold.

  23. wirerat1 says:

    I hope that some brave European country will arrest the President when he goes oversea to visit for war crimes and torture.

    Very sad, very sad indeed.

    I guess makes me feel all the better about not voting for a Democrat in 2012.

  24. jedimsnbcko19 says:

    Warning! Warning!
    Progressives who listen to Obama may experience a moment of rage

    Progressives who watch OBAMA on TV should never sit close to objects that they can throw at the TV. :)

    this Progressive sickness was also around during the Bush years

  25. eCAHNomics says:

    Real people are losing much faster at the state level than at the USG level. State govt takeovers by corps are soooo much cheaper.

      • eCAHNomics says:


        The Kochs et al have been planning this for a long time. Citizens United was the signal to go for the kill.

        I’m thinking O was recruited when he was selected prez of Harvard Law Review, around 1989.

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:


      State takeovers ARE cheaper than runnnin national efforts but remember that the corporate fascists began to focus on the states only after they had gained total control of the national government. That’s why I say that our political insurgency must stay focused on the states at the expense of national organizin.

  26. Phoenix Woman says:

    Obama and both of the Clintons share the same problem: civvie guilt. Since none of them served in the military, and since this is the most militaristic large society ever outside of shogunate-era Japan, they keep feeling they must overcompensate by being more belligerent than anyone else. This makes them very easily rolled by the Pentagon.

    When he was still a Senator from Missouri, Harry Truman wasn’t afraid to have serious investigations into war profiteering and Pentagon pork all throughout World War II. One reason he could do this: He was a veteran and not fooled or cowed by the War Department.

    • hackworth1 says:

      No Doubt, True.

      It should not excuse the behavior/actions. We knew he was a civvy when we elected him. We hired him b/c we were tired of Republican Policies. Most Americans want to get out of the ME and focus on jobs/domestic issues. When public opinion (essentially war-weary, anti-war) is on his side, O could easily do the right thing. O goes wrong every time.

      Obama has habitually done the bidding of the MIC. O has habitually supported Republican Policies. Bush Tax Cuts, Domestic Austerity Measures, Increased Pentagon and MIC Budgets, Increase Surveillance/Security, No COLA, Continued NCLB, Privatization, No Union Support, Union Busting, ….

      O is Pro-torture, pro-Gitmo, Pro-Israel, Pro-Pharma, Pro AHIP, Pro-Bush.

  27. arctor says:

    Barack Obama is in it for Barack Obama, period. Like his shitbag henchman, Rahm Emmanuel, sorry Chicago, Hizzoner Emmanuel, he pretty much concludes that given the utter jackasses the Republicans are putting up, he’s a lock for 2012. So why not please the Koch brothers and all the other future paymasters who will make sure he leaves office like Bill Clinton, a very wealthy man on a $ 200k annual salary, i.e. just another two-bit Kochsucker! But I continue to wonder when someone like Michael Moore will finally stop saying that we have to give Barry a chance and support him rather than allow those nasty Repugs to have their day; did I miss that Michael, didn’t hear it on Rachel Maddow the other day?

      • arctor says:

        I’m sure he is but as we pine hopelessly for a champion to enter the lists against Obama, no one who is “over him” seems willing to encourage anyone to actually run against him. Next time someone like Michael rants about how bad things are in the USoA, I dream I’ll here them say that they absolutely will not vote for Obama but want to see someone challenge him. Instead, all we ever get is the DKOS mantra: the perfect is the enemy of the good!

      • myshadow says:

        well, no. As of two nights ago when he was on with rachel he was still pulling his punches about barry’s complicity with wall street. Rachel is still in the tank/wearing blinders with the administrations unwillingness to do ANYTHING legal about $crimes or war crimes.
        Today’s presser made my head explode.

  28. AitchD says:

    “With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.”

    Face it, he’s the all-time champion of slogan bloat: My country, right or wrong…

  29. ackack says:

    Disgraceful, criminal, immoral, and now, AMERICAN? Officially?

    Doesn’t this mean we no longer need question whose side Obama is on?

    “I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. ”

    Read: ‘HELLO! I’m the President. Why are you all bothering me with this trivial detention bullshit? He’s still ALIVE, isn’t he?’

    So proud right now. Just so proud. FUUUCCK

  30. lsls says:


    “Other types of highly advanced gas cooled reactors, generally known as high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) such as the Japanese High Temperature Test Reactor and the United States’ Very High Temperature Reactor, are inherently safe, meaning that meltdown or other forms of core damage are physically impossible, due to the structure of the core, which consists of hexagonal prismatic blocks of silicon carbide reinforced graphite infused with TRISO or QUADRISO pellets of uranium, thorium, or mixed oxide buried underground in a helium-filled steel pressure vessel within a concrete containment. Though this type of reactor is not susceptible to meltdown, additional capabilities of heat removal are provided by using regular atmospheric airflow as a means of backup heat removal, by having it pass through a heat exchanger and rising into the atmosphere due to convection, achieving full residual heat removal. The VHTR is scheduled to prototyped and tested at Idaho National Laboratory within the next decade (as of 2009) as the design selected for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant by the US Department of Energy. This reactor will use a gas as a coolant, which can then be used for process heat (such as in hydrogen production) or for the driving of gas turbines and the generation of electricity.

  31. Tracerfan says:

    Obama approves of torture, when he’s the President, just not when someone else is.

    A hypocrite of the highest order.

  32. Auduboner says:


    The Pentagon “has assured” him? Way to dig deep, there, Barry! I can’t even begin to imagine how many winks were exchanged during that conversation…

    He is going to end up giving W a real run for title of Worst President – no one likes him except the CEOs.

    • becomingjohngalt says:

      OMG, now he’s right up there with Ghandi? This guy stole and disseminated thousands of classified government documents that have put hundreds of people’s lives in danger. He’s admitted to having stolen these documents and passed them on to Wikileaks.

      I don’t agree with keeping him naked in his cell, but he’s a criminal and I hope he gets held 100% accountable for his treasonous acts.

        • becomingjohngalt says:

          Hey Krissy, it’s widely acknowledged that he released cables that included the names of Afghanis that were working with the US military against the Taliban. Those names made it out to Wikileaks and those people are now being hunted by that bastion of civility and humanity.

          • KrisAinCA says:

            Can you show me anything that conclusively proves the existence of a militarized Taliban? From all available information I’ve seen over the past two years, the people we’re fighting in Afghanistan are just losely organized rebels.

            As for hundreds of lives, if you valued those folks in Afghanistan you would be protesting the millions of civilians that have been killed.

      • wagthedog says:

        Actually he exposed war crimes which is what soldiers are supposed to do, not hide them like a coward.

          • hotdog says:

            What he allegedly did was show how exensively the government and state department over-classify documents in order to hide criminal activity and thus try to prevent embarrassment and review by the people they are embroiling in foolish, counterproductive, murderous, and money-wasting fiascos.

            • becomingjohngalt says:

              NO, he could have done that with one or two documents and not put people’s lives at risk. If I follow that same logic (tough for me to call it that), a nurse who believes that a drug is dangerous would give it to thousands of people, wait for them to die and then say “see, I TOLD you that stuff could kill”.

              • KrisAinCA says:

                What Manning allegedly did is protected under state and federal whistle-blower statutes. What our government is doing in response is illegal in multiple ways.

                If you stand for the rule of law, bj, we need to treat all men equally.

                  • KrisAinCA says:

                    Allegedly is the third word in my comment.

                    And whether or not he is working for the military or the federal government, he is still a protected whistle-blower. Read the laws.

                    As for his treatment, whether a treasonous murderer or a jaywalker, we’re all entitled to the same basic human rights. One of which is protection from torture, pschological, emotional, or physical.

                    • becomingjohngalt says:

                      I agree with you on the torture part – no problems there. But I wonder how making someone respond with “Aye” is somehow psychologically traumatizing.

                      Federal whistleblower statutes cover people who bring that evidence to the federal government, NOT taking it to the press or an anarchic organization such as Wikileaks. ALLEDGEDLY.

                      Read the laws.

                    • becomingjohngalt says:

                      Wow, just damn wow. That’s the theme of this thread and community, isn’t it? Total distrust of the government and this blind fealty to any type of anti-government, anarchic group that seeks to bring down the big-brother machine?

                      Don’t tell me you are all members of Anonymous as well……

                    • yellowsnapdragon says:

                      That’s Anonymiss to you, sir! I’m not really, I just *wish* I had the technical skills to do that stuff. Actually…history proves that we are better off regarding information released from the government suspect.

                    • hotdog says:

                      Hey man, I don’t want to bring down the entire big brother machine, just the Constitution over-stepping, war-for-profit, empire-establishing part of it.

                    • KrisAinCA says:

                      Federal whistleblower statutes in the past have been used when information is given to news organizations. Also see multiple precedents involving protection of sources by media outlets. Regardless of the information exposed, the 4th estate and their ability to protect inside sources is an established and essential part of our society.

                    • KrisAinCA says:

                      Well, since my whistleblower argument wasn’t good enough for you, I switched to another that also has legal precedent. They’re two seperate points.

                      And you couldn’t have possibly read both of those links in their entirety. Come on, at least examine the evidence here thoroughly.

                    • KrisAinCA says:

                      Mwah! *waves*

                      Oh, have you joined yet? I’m sure you value the forum that allows us to have these wonderful conversations, right? Fair pay for fair work and all that?

                    • becomingjohngalt says:

                      you’re referring to protection of journalists and their sources. that’s not whistleblower laws. that’s freedom of the press.

                      I’ll find a link to the US Constituion for ya – it’s a good read as well.

                  • Kelly Canfield says:

                    The Charge Sheet is here.

                    Manning is not charged with Treason; he’s charged with violating 2 Artcles of the UCMJ, Article 92 (Disobeying) and 134 (General) with 8 Specifications.

                    Also, SecDef Gates:

                    Gates wrote to Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that a preliminary Pentagon review “has not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods compromised” by WikiLeaks’ July release of 77,000 “tactical” military reports from Afghanistan. Gates penned his August 16 letter a few weeks after Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accused the anti-secrecy organization of endangering the lives of U.S. troops and the Afghan civilians who work with them. You can read Gates’ full letter, first reported by the Associated Press on Friday — with Reuters and the New York Times soon after.

                    Your primary talking points are debunked and a failure.

                    • becomingjohngalt says:

                      And by the way, i was not claiming I owned the word. I was saying that i was accusing Mannig of treason, not that the feds have. But i know how easy it is to come into the middle of a conversation and start spouting nonense.

                    • earlofhuntingdon says:

                      If Obama’s DoJ and DoD had thought it had any possibility of proving “treason”, it would have charged it. They didn’t. They have used language similar to treason – aiding the enemy – in order to win their PR battle, which is the only one they are yet confident to wage. They’re sitting on their legal claims, whatever they are, pending developments the nature of which they are keeping to themselves. That is, except for continuing to administer inhumane treatment to a prisoner that would be illegal if meted out to a convicted felon.

              • hotdog says:

                No. In the real world, the nurse would complain about the problem and subsequently lose her job or be sued into oblivion by a drug company. The only way she would be able to find any incriminating evidence would be to grab a database of emails and hand them off to someone capable of dissiminating the information to prove the company had knowledge its drug was harmful. In doing so, if she and her cohorts discovered MORE shenanigans, they could tell the rest of the world and effectively put the criminal operation out of business.

                  • hotdog says:

                    I have to say I trust Wikileaks to judge what “innocents” would be in danger more than my own lying government.

                    • becomingjohngalt says:

                      Yeah, and they screwed up, didn’t they? They have only lately started redacting such things. I am sure those people whose names were already released really appreciate that.

                    • KrisAinCA says:

                      Have you read the leaks? I haven’t read all of them, but the couple dozen or so that I have only contain names of diplomats or known government officials.

                      They’re very heavily redacted. Wikileaks has publicly stated that they are trying to keep civilians and military personnel protected, and only attempting to expose the actions of already public figures.

                      Also, the NYT approached the USG before releasing the first round of cables. This release was cleared by our own government.

  33. Jeff Kaye says:

    It’s official. Obama specifically “asked” about the treatment, so he must have known there were issues. He accepts the Pentagon’s assurances, and the lies about Manning’s safety. (Oh, and he won’t take any follow-up questions.)

    Evidence of the man’s psychopathy, to lie so easily. Or of his extreme gullibility. Take your pick.

    Either way, neither will be an adequate defense at a war crimes trial.

    IMO, his crimes for continuing the FRAGO 242 order, standing down from torture, turning hundreds or thousands over to torture by Iraqi “allies”, would, in a fair world, put him in prison for many years, along with his Pentagon friends.

    Thanks for the video.

  34. EdwardTeller says:

    Please join me in getting others to write to your Senator or House Representative. We need to get every Democrat serving in our National legislature on record as either serving the torture regime, or questioning it.

    Get as many fellow constituents as possible to co-sign with you. Hand deliver it to your congressperson’s office. Video it. Post it on youtube. Send it to RT TV’s Alyona Show or Al Jazeera, where there is a chance it will get aired worldwide.

    • arctor says:

      That’s why Bush was confident enough not to pardon any of his henchman, he knew he could rely on his hand-picked successor. That walk to the helicopter on Inauguaration Day was just a wee bit too cozy!

  35. 4cdave says:


    Japan warned there could be a small radiation leak from a nuclear reactor … Hillary Clinton said the U.S. air force had delivered coolant … Pressure building in the plant was set to be released soon, a move that could result in a radiation leak … Pressure had risen to 1.5 times the designed capacity … the radiation level was rising in the turbine building.

  36. Ironcomments says:

    First there was the Decider, now the Enabler. A constitutional professor who is okay with torture and holding people without just cause. A Peace Prize recipient who continues down the path of war and money. A community organizer who takes away the meager pittance the poor use for basic heating. And day after day his administration/government lies to its people while he tells them about hope, change, and winning the future.

  37. wagthedog says:

    “War is peace” …. in accepting his Noble Peace Prize Obama took the opportunity to justify war.

  38. ohioralph says:

    O is Pro-torture, pro-Gitmo, Pro-Israel, Pro-Pharma, Pro AHIP, Pro-Bush.

    And Warren Buffet tells him that the GDP is growing.

    What more do we need?

  39. cwnidog says:

    With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well. [my emphasis]

    Oh, as long as they say it’s OK, I guess that settles it.

    Jesus wept.

  40. Phoenix Woman says:

    A quick O/T to bring you all some good news from Americans who haven’t lost their moral compass:

    Dane County is filing suit to block implementation of the ALEC-originated bogosity the WI GOP inflicted on the state:

    The 19 Republican senators passed the bill after a special committee removed fiscal items from the measure which would have required at least one Democrat to be there. [Dane County Executive Kathleen] Falk argues the bill in its new form still could not pass without 20 senators present.

    Here’s the filing:

  41. becomingjohngalt says:

    I never used the word “militarized” taliban in my post, but I’ll be happy to say they are weapon-equipped and extrememly dangerous, and behind countless deadly attacks not just on the western military but their own countrymen and women. Wow – I hope you are not somehow coming to the defense of these barbarians, no matter how “loosely organized” they are.

    And as for your second comment, first you have no way of knowing what I do or do not protest. (I don’t think it is in the millions but that is a trivial nit.) But let’s say it is – are you really saying that because civilians have been killed by our military’s actions it is OK to put more innocent civilians at risk through Manning’s treason?

  42. orionATL says:

    jff [email protected]

    “’s official…”

    that was my first reaction. now obama has directly acknowledged that

    a) he knows about manning and

    b) he is not concerned about manning’s treatment.

    i believe these will prove the most damaging words obama has spoken to date.

    i suspect, however, being the hyper-rational calculator he is, that obama has calculated he will get lots of right-wing support for failing to yield on manning’s treatment.

    we’ll see which approach prevails.

    note though that obama’s m.o. is to blame his subordinates whenever there is a major problem due to one of his decisions.

    his wording here sets him up with just that escape route open, should the manning torture really blow up on the dod and the admin.

  43. becomingjohngalt says:

    Man, you guys are all the same. Someone does not agree with you, and your response is one or more of the following:

    1. “you don’t pay anything to FDL so your opinions are invalid/unwelcome

    2. name-calling

    3. “substantiate your comments” with outside links. Fair enough, but that’s never the response when someone else makes assertions that gibe with your opinions

    4. “moderator, oh moderator, please save us from this person’s posts”

    It must be tough dealing with a messiah who has turned out to be nothing better than the old guard.

        • AitchD says:

          You should retract your first statement since it’s a lie or a mean overstatement. It happens to be a far worse insult than anything anyone here has cast at you.

          • becomingjohngalt says:

            which one is that? the part abouot saying I should donate if i want to speak up? That has happened more often than not. Happened today in fact. I feel like I an listening to NPR during a fund-raising campaign sometimes.

            • AitchD says:

              Right, but you’re wrong or misreading. You asked earlier (different thread) where you could locate info about Manning’s so-called abuse. I pointed you to articles listed on the same page. I waived my finder’s fee and suggested you become a Founding Member of FDL by clicking near the list on the page. If you take that as an insult I suggest you become a Founding Member of FDL so that you’ll begin to like yourself. The join button is at the top on the right.

  44. Watt4Bob says:

    for trademarkdave @ 148

    I’d settle for his living up to his nic, and leaving.

    You know, to deprive us wrong-headed moochers of his brilliance and all.

  45. yellowsnapdragon says:

    Just saw this tweet from @Anony_Ops. (Haven’t figgerd out tweet linking yet)

    Anony_Ops Anonymous Operations
    Huge leak is coming your way on Monday. Get ready to mirror some servers. #Anonymous #Anonleaks

    I’ve noticed that Anon tweets are often overly dramatic, so who knows…

  46. becomingjohngalt says:

    well, all, i gotta jet. It’s been fun. Try to do a little more trusting, keep your ears open to ideas that are not your own, and get outside more. It’s a beautiful day.

    • hotdog says:

      Probably not all that beautiful of a day if you’re living in an occupied country and your kids were just turned into mush by a helicopter gun, but it’s all about perspective, no?

  47. SanderO says:

    We know what they are doing… they are trying to break him and this is essentially what they do /did and Gitmo and Abu Graib. They torture to exact a confession from a prisoner of whatever they want him to say.

    This is a violation of the Geneva convention and the UN and the ICC needs to get involved.

  48. jcinOR says:

    Poor bjt. Hears a pitch, and squeals like whoopee cushion. Lesson: pay your taxes and shut up. Mr. Law Professor has received assurances from the Pentagon.

  49. qualar says:

    By the time Obama finishes his bipartisan agenda through his second term, he will go down as one of the most REGRESSIVE Presidents to hold the office. He talks a good progressive game, but it’s all B Squared = Bullshit Blather.

    Obama has lost my vote in 2012. I’m writing-in Bernie Sanders, a man with real progressive values who will not kiss ass and capitulate to corporate interests.

  50. harpie says:


    […] Crowley was responding to a question about the “torturing” of an American citizen, and, creditably, he didn’t rebut that description. Prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, nudit – -that’s right out of the manual of the CIA for “enhanced interrogation”. We’ve seen it applied in Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. It’s what the CIA calls “no-touch torture”, and its purpose there, as in this case, is very clear: to demoralise someone to the point of offering a desired confession. That’s what they are after, I suspect, with Manning. They don’t care if the confession is true or false, so long as it implicates WikiLeaks in a way that will help them prosecute Julian Assange. […]

  51. endtimesgal says:

    If the words indefinite detention weren’t enough for you, then forget it. Just say no to Obama for anything and expect nothing. If it’s good enough for the terrorists from those Arab countries then it’s good enough for our military/any American that defies whatever orders- is that what Obama basically said? He’s sickening. At least he’s an equal op torturer.

    There must be some way to change this country, it sure as hell ain’t electoral politics.

  52. harpie says:

    “The Substantive Issue”

    “Ridiculous and Counterproductive and Stupid”; Amy Davidson; The New Yorker; 3/11/11


    Tapper: Do you disagree with PJ Crowley?

    Obama: I think I gave you an answer to the substantive issue.

    So the State Department spokesman, in whatever capacity, said that something was stupid, but the Pentagon said it was appropriate. Does that get at the “substantive issue”?

  53. orionATL says:


    let english major president barrack obama re-read

    herman melville’s novella


    with our amoral president understanding his role is as captain, and commander-in-chief, barrack hussein vere.

  54. Becca says:

    American ‘basic standards’ = what most sane and decent people would consider torture. Now it’s ‘no-touch’ psychological torture of a man who has not yet seen the inside of a courtroom, but torture nonetheless.

    Thanks for clarifying that, Mister Obama. I hope one day you enjoy your seat in the Hague next to Mister Bush the Younger.

  55. wigwam says:

    Here is Glenn Greenwald’s comment regarding this matter this posting:

    UPDATE V: At a Press Conference just now, ABC News’ Jake Tapper asked President Obama about Crowley’s comments and Obama replied:

    With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.

    Oh, that’s very reassuring — and such a very thorough and diligent effort by the President to ensure that detainees under his command aren’t being abused. He asked the Pentagon and they said everything was great — what more is there to know? Everyone knows that on questions of whether the military is abusing detainees, the authoritative source is . . . the military. You just ask them if they’re doing anything improper, and once they tell you that they’re not, that’s the end of the matter.

    I have no doubt that George Bush asked the DoD whether everything was being run professionally at Guantanamo and they assured him that they were. Perhaps the reason there haven’t been any Wall Street prosecutions is because Obama asked Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein if there was any fraud and those banking executives assured the President that there wasn’t.

    This comment by Obama confirms how totally clueless he is.

  56. karmi says:

    People find lots of ways to kill themselves whilst behind bars, e.g. eating their pillow. Manning is clearly a suicide risk. Does emptywheel want to let Manning kill himself? Best way to save Manning’s life, so he can serve his FULL upcoming life sentence, is to keep him naked and his cell empty. Manning best get use to his life-behind-bars since he will be spending over 40-70 years in a prison cell…he’ll never get out, unless he manages to kill himself.

    • wavpeac says:

      As a therapist who has spent 20 years working with seriously suicidal clients…may I just state that your posted statement is false and ignorant. Period. I would also like to add, that in my 20 years of work, to this date, knock on wood, I have never, never, lost a client.

      Invalidation is a variable that increases the desire for self harm, parasuicide and suicide. There is nothing MORE invalidating that the treatment he is getting. I worked in a psych hospital on ICU…we never, ever took people’s clothing. EVER.

      This is not how you treat someone who is suicidal if you want to keep them alive. This is how you push someone over the edge.

        • wavpeac says:

          some were at our hospital on hold from the jail…yes. This is a non violent crime. Non violent criminals who were suicidal were treated at our hospital and others in town, on ICU…because it’s the most secure unit.

          We never, ever, ever, took their clothes.

            • Gitcheegumee says:

              Manning isn’t incarcerated for murder,as Davis is…and yet the Pakistanis are showing more humanity and civilization towards a foreigner(Davis) than the US is showing toward its own countryman,imho.

            • wavpeac says:

              I want my country to live by it’s principles.

              I bet if you had kids or pets one of your mantra’s would be: “Do as I say not as I do” . That statement is the antithesis of integrity.

  57. harpie says:


    WikiLeaks suspect’s treatment ‘stupid,’ U.S. official says; Ellen Nakshima; Washinton Post; 11/12/11


    But reports of Manning’s treatment in custody have prompted the United Nations special rapporteur on torture to make inquiries of U.S. officials. The State Department confirmed last week that officials had met with the special rapporteur and were preparing a formal response.

    Manning’s father, […] “It’s shocking enough that I would come out of our silence as a family and say . . . you’ve crossed a line. This is wrong.”

    Col. David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said in an e-mail that “none of the conditions under which PFC Manning is held are punitive in nature. All are based on his particular circumstances as a maximum security pre-trial detainee.”

    He said that Manning’s circumstances are regularly reviewed and that they comply “in all respects” with U.S. law and Defense Department regulations.

    • wigwam says:

      He said that Manning’s circumstances are regularly reviewed and that they comply “in all respects” with U.S. law and Defense Department regulations.

      Has the law against “cruel and unusual punishment” been revoked?

  58. b2020 says:

    Bygones Habeas Obama is truly going over the edge now. I wanted to comment on the excellent

    which is closed now.

    It occurs to me that the Obama administration is proceeding to implement for individuals what Bush proposed for nation states (and what Obama has never repudiated in any form): preemption. We are no longer dealing with indefinite (or infinite) detention – detention to the death – of individuals that the government believes it cannot have judged by the courts without facing any conceiveable risk of an adverse decision.

    We are dealing with preemptive detention. Individuals engaged in “threat related activities”. Bush’s National Security Strategy 2002 declared that nation states engaged in any pursuits that could potentially threaten not the US, but US supremacy and US ability to threaten and attack them, at any point in the future, are rightfully (and lawfully, at least within the US) subject to covert operations, and overt military strikes. Obama is now applying this concept to individuals – individuals that might, in the future, potentially engange in activities that might successfully challenge US interests are subject to imprisonment by executive bureaucratic decision.

    But Obama is taking this even further, as EW pointed out – not even Bush explicitly proposed to go after nation states that engange in activities – such as trades, alliances, co-operation – that could conceiveably enable other nation states to challenge US interests. None of this is truly new – concerns about “thought crimes” or the actual practice of detention of material witnesses have been around – but in the end, Obama’s crimes against the letter and spirit of the constitution and the bill of rights are much more … *personal* than Bush’s, and much more domestic.

  59. Gitcheegumee says:

    And what would the “official” response be if Raymond Davis was being stripped naked on a daily basis,over in the Pakistani jail?

    • wavpeac says:

      And frankly, humane treatment, regardless of incarceration should be the norm. Invalidation is a trigger for suicide. This is one of the most invalidating procedures you could follow. It’s meant to push him over the edge. Total agree with what you are saying here, Gitcheegumee!

  60. orionATL says:

    the mistreatment of bradley manning is a terrible mark against the u.s. military.

    it is, however, one of two extremely serious marks against our militsry arising out of manning’s mistreatment:

    the second is the persistent, bald-faced lying to the american people by american military officers and civilian military officials

    from officers at quantico to the office of the secretary of defense and, now, to the president of the u.s., its commander-in-chief.

    this public lying is inexcusable.

    it is also extremely damaging, undermining the reputation and credibility of the military with its citizenry.

    that is an enormous price to pay for an exercise in ruthless cruelty that will have trivial positive consequences, if any, and potentially disastrous negative consequences.

    it is a mendacious misuse of the u.s. military’s power

    of the most incompetent sort.

  61. orionATL says:


    your bias is showing like a petticoat.

    manning is not a criminal.

    he is merely charged with crimes which may or may not fairly apply to him.

    that’s why we have trials, karmi.

    has it occurred to you that the military might have made up some or all the serious charges against manning.

    for all the time of his detention and torture, except for the last three weeks,

    the ONLY charge against manning was that he copied official documents, a charge carrying a six-month sentence.

    it’s entirely likely the military made up the serious charges against him in order to justify torturing him and to “respond” to growing criticism of its treating of manning.

    as for that oath you cite,

    you neglected to mention the most important document named there.

    hint: it is not the uniform code of justice,

    which, by the way, has no bearing whatsoever on wavpeac’s comments, nor on your criticism of her comments.

    your argument that a serious charge against a person justifies mistreating him or her, is a fine argument for a totalitarian to make.

    come to think of it, you sound like a totalitarian.

    • karmi says:

      Despotism Made Easy:

      There were five forms of governance that migrated from theory to reality in the 20th Century: Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism and Progressivism. The common denominator among them was unprecedented control and regulation by the State over human activity. It is delusional to think that the totalitarian impulse expired with the 20th Century.

  62. lawordisorder says:

    Hello sportsfans

    Its easy to trip in an political banana peal, the real trick here is to gently walk back from the brink, pls note what happens to a blueeyed and ignorante chamber of commerce + intellingence agencies if they dont reverce cource you guys ever wandered what happens to multinational boardroom when they are shall we say experiencing an early morning raid by EU monopoly authorities, let me put it this way we all know how to cheat ,-)

    Never ever underestimate the loyalty of subordinates to GNs who runs a decent ship

    Kinda hard to do mordern banking with a carrierpidgion dont you think?

    Have a nice day, just my five cents worth