Gitmo News: Left, Right, Left, Right

The sounds of crickets I heard yesterday came from the right, from the folks who typically rip apart my posts from pillar to, uh, post. Satisfied I guess that I "got it right" this time they left me alone and went off to pillage some other guy's blog. The sound and the fury about my first take on the White House's huge Gitmo announcement instead came from the left, from the folks who typically either tolerate my posts or even perhaps support them. Why? Because I didn't use the opportunity to rip into the Administration for its years-long reluctance to do what it did yesterday.

For years Democrats have justifiably railed upon President Bush to do more to clean up the Guantanamo Bay mess. On Wednesday, the President moved to begin to do that. He brought to Gitmo the most important Al Qaeda prisoners in our custody. He pledged to put them on trial. He asked the Congress to approve a set of military rules that would govern those trials. The rules aren't perfect and Congress and the courts should be careful about rubber-stamping them. But it's a start. I focused yesterday on the carrot the President offered to the victims of 9/11-- now, sooner rather than later they will see Mohammed and Binalshibh and their gang on trial-- and not upon the stick the White House waved at Congress and the courts-- "approve our version of the tribunal rules or face criticism for delaying those trials." You can't dance at all weddings, as my mother might say.

There is plenty the President said during his speech yesterday that I found disturbing, some of which I wrote about here. But there ought to be no reasonable dispute over whether what happened yesterday is a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing, a good start to be more precise, and now it is up to Congress to do the right thing and ensure that the rules ultimately used at the trials of Mohammed and Binalshibh and Company both comport with the law and do us proud as a nation.

By Andrew Cohen |  September 7, 2006; 12:00 PM ET
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Go ahead and keep it truly fair and balanced, Andrew. We can't complain about the ditto-head brigade if we demand a mirror image of the same. Good job.

Posted by: Felice Sage | September 7, 2006 12:28 PM

Yeay for Andrew Cohen!

Good job for supporting the administration's movement to change the circumstances in Gitmo--- 2 YEARS AFTER THEY WERE OFFICIALLY MADE!!! (around 2004 the United Nations began to actually make light of the horrendous circumstances for treating terrorist detainees. Since then, there have been those on the left whom, on a conference televised on C-SPAN, condemned this administration for having an 8% of actual terrorist combatants serving time in Guantanimo.)

Enough complaining about a previous bench conference... this bench conference has some problems, as well...

One thing to note is how this blog writer uses plurals to denounce multiple people... If Cohen would have looked... a bunck of posts were made specifically by one person making ONE EXTENDED COMMENT! There were others, however. In a past blog, the author stated that writing back to a specific comment maker was "rare". This too was a lie, since he included another person to complain about and also a lie in the sense that he is complaining about people commenting on this bench conference, also!

Would I put Andrew Cohen on Media Matters? No. In my mind, the wrong do not get wronger by being put on a website or a t.v. show... Do they get to make bench conferences on the Washington Post's website? I guess that is all "left, right, left right"!

Posted by: Media Matters for the Washington Post Company | September 7, 2006 11:25 PM

Andrew... stick to horse blogs

Posted by: huh! | September 8, 2006 12:00 AM

Get with the program.

What Andrew and the soft left do not get is that bringing these people to justice is unimportant. This is not a question of justice or law, it is a war.

The important thing is fight the war. This means aggressive intelligence to understand the order of battle, the scope of the threat and the methods of attack. And it means aggressively responding to block potential attacks, and campaigns to wipe out the infrastructure: wipe out their supply routes and their suppliers, cut off their money, detroy their training camps, and imprison as priosners of war the terrorist combatants and their military collaborators and allies, regular and irregular.

Although al Quada's method of targeting civilians is ac cimre, fighting a war in and of itself is not a crime. But it justifies internment for the the duration of the war. If that is twenty years, once identified as a combtant the person needs to be removed and kept from continuing to fight.

A trial is not important, the 14 terrorists do not need to go to prison for life, but they do need to be detained for the duration.

Posted by: War not justice. | September 8, 2006 06:48 AM

The poster who signed 'war not justice' describes precisely the moral sickness of people like him, a cancer that rots the heart of this once-great country.

He is willing to burn the flag and the constitution for which it stands, in a rush to satisfy his cowardly fears. Without a trial, how do you know whether any of these people ' identified as a combtant ' actually is? Identified by whom? Informants who may well harbor a grudge, be from a feuding clan, or have received a reward? Without a trial, how do you know whether ANY of the charges agianst them are true.

I certainly agree that aggressive intellligence is in order -- sadly the very thing that this administration Is NOT doing.

And I would agree, Andrew that, in this instance, the administration did the right thing by strting the process. But they did it for the wrong reasons -- to stir up false ideas about Democrats during the election season, to seize even further powers, and to once again prostitute 9/11 for political reasons.

Posted by: drindl | September 10, 2006 01:54 PM

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