24 January, 2009

Mongers of Fear

We're all gonna diiiieeeee!!1!!!111!!!

Such is the sentiment of the right-wing retards that brought us 9/11 by ignoring intelligence community warnings, sent 4,871 soldiers to die in wars that were not only pointless but generated more terrorists for us to deal with, and presided over the destruction of America's moral authority.

President Obama issued orders to close Guantanamo and cease torturing people. Thirty seconds later, the right wing exploded. Preliminary reports suggest the remnants of their sanity imploded, setting off a chain reaction of insanity with a force roughly equivalent to India's entire nuclear arsenal.

Bush's former speechwriter is shitting himself in terror:
Just yesterday, Marc Thiessen, up until recently George W. Bush's chief speechwriter, wrote a rather twisted op-ed for the Washington Post, engaging in the kind of shameless demagoguery that's so over the top, it almost reads like a parody. Today, Thiessen went even further.

Yesterday, Thiessen argued that if Barack Obama changes Bush's national-security apparatus in anyway, he'll invite domestic terrorism and will shoulder the blame for American deaths. Today, writing for the National Review, Thiessen believes Obama is the most dangerous president "ever."

Less than 48 hours after taking office, Obama has begun dismantling those institutions without time for any such review. The CIA program he is effectively shutting down is the reason why America has not been attacked again after 9/11. He has removed the tool that is singularly responsible for stopping al-Qaeda from flying planes into the Library Tower in Los Angeles, Heathrow Airport, and London's Canary Warf [sic], and blowing up apartment buildings in Chicago, among other plots. It's not even the end of inauguration week, and Obama is already proving to be the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office.

This is not only a rather hysterical rant, it's rather silly.

For example, a CIA program was not "singularly responsible for stopping al-Qaeda from flying planes into the Library Tower in Los Angeles." What Thiessen neglects to mention is that the Library Tower plot was an idea that "had not gone much past the conceptual stage." Many within the intelligence community eventually concluded that the Library Tower scheme was never much more than "talk." We literally tortured this idea out of detainees, but that doesn't make it a thwarted terrorist plot. What's more, the evidence to bolster Thiessen's other examples is no more compelling. (And this puts aside the notion that we might be able to get intelligence without torturing suspects.)

Bill O and Laura Ingraham screech that without torture, America can't possibly be safe:

Bill O'Reilly was harping on his recent favorite theme -- that Obama needs to keep America a torturing nation in order to keep us safe from imminent terrorist attack -- with Laura Ingraham last night, and she chimed in thus:

Ingraham: We want to understand here, Bill, if America is safer today or less safe than she was on January 19. And I think any objective review of what's being done -- and you're right, he promised to do these things and he's doing them -- shutting down the military tribunals temporarily, a 120-day pause, closing Gitmo by 2010, and doing away with [scare quotes] "harsh interrogation methods" -- I think you can make a pretty compelling case that we're less safe today. And Barack Obama apparently is willing to roll the dice on that. Because he made these promises and -- he campaigned on them.

This particularly ugly meme is rapidly gaining favor on the right. It was recently advanced in the Washington Post by George W. Bush's ex-speechwriter, Marc Thiessen...


As Jason Zengerle adroitly observed, "You almost get the sense guys like Thiessen are hoping for an attack so that they can blame Obama when it happens."

Indeed, claims like these actually invite domestic terrorist attacks, since they announce to terrorist organizations that Obama will be especially politically vulnerable to divisive right-wing attacks if they pull off another major event; Obama won't have Bush's right-wing Mulligan. This in turn will further motivate them to pull off such an event. It makes America a much more inviting target to strategic-oriented terrorists like Al Qaeda (which, since 9/11, has been largely content to focus on its own back yard).

Once again, Conservative ideology is more important to right-wingers than our national well-being.
Thanks, Cons, for not only creating more terrorists, but giving them more ideas. That's just awesome.

I'm not sure what it is about Cons. They seem to live in a state of perpetual paranoia. What else explains rampaging idiocy such as this?

One day before President Obama ordered the closing of Guantanamo Bay, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) said he would be willing to facilitate the process by bringing some of the detainees into his district. “Sure, I’d take them,” Murtha said. “I mean, they’re no more dangerous in a prison in my district than they are in Guantanamo.”

Fox News’s Glenn Beck called Murtha a “clown” yesterday because of the proposal. But Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, may have won top prize for the most absurd reaction. Calling the idea “ludicrous,” Gramley’s main complaint seems to be that the al Qaeda suspects will indoctrinate the other American inmates:

“I don’t think the average murderer or rapist hates all Americans or hates what America stands for like the terrorist prisoners from Guantanamo,” said Gramley, who lives in Venango County. “You intermix them with the prison population, and there’s the very real possibility they would influence those individuals in prison.”

What amazing visions they have dancing in their heads. Not only do they believe that mixing a terrorist or two in amidst our own crooks will have the instant effect of turning everybody into terrorists, they think people in a Supermax get to socialize. You know what? I think we should have a sleepover program so that right-wing dumbfucks can see firsthand that the prisons they consign the worst of the worst ordinary criminals to are not the luxurious resorts they consign their own white-collar malefactors to.

They should also have their citizenship stripped and have to attempt to get it back. Then they might realize how incredibly stupid this hypothetical is:

Discussing Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo on Mike Gallagher’s radio show yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed that Obama’s actions could be “the beginning of shutting down…the activities of the CIA.” When Gallagher said that Obama wanted to “bestow American citizenship rights to somebody from another country” who wants “to murder civilian Americans,” King claimed that closing Gitmo could put 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed “on a path to citizenship”:

KING: Let’s just say that, that, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, is brought to the United States to be tried in a federal court in the United States, under a federal judge, and we know what some of those judges do, and on a technicality, such as, let’s just say he wasn’t read his Miranda rights. … He is released into the streets of America. Walks over and steps up into a US embassy and applies for asylum for fear that he can’t go back home cause he spilled the beans on al Qaeda. What happens then if another judge grants him asylum in the United States and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is on a path to citizenship. I mean, I give you the extreme example of this.


As terrorism expert Peter Bergen noted on CNN last night, “the idea that somehow these terrorists are going to be released is just absolutely nonsensical.” “When terrorists have been tried in the United States, they go away forever,” said Bergen. “The embassy attackers in ‘98 who blew up two American embassies, they are in prison for life without parole.”
I don't think anyone has to worry about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed getting a green card and buying a house in the burbs any time soon.

Choosing a winner for most ridiculous statement was damned difficult, but I think Rep. Cantor won by a nose:
GOP House Minority Whip Eric Cantor warned: "Actively moving terrorists inside our borders weakens our security. Most families neither want nor need hundreds of terrorists seeking to kill Americans in their communities."
Well, no shit, Eric. That's why they'll be in prison, not roaming the streets, you fucktard.

Their hysteria's bad enough when it's based off of their fantasies. It goes up astronomically when there's a wee bit of reality to feed the flames:
The New York Times reports that “the emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.”


Asked about the Times story, CAP’s Ken Gude responded that “it is impossible to guarantee that no detainees released from Guantanamo will ever join up with terrorists or commit violent acts. The Obama admininstration must do all that it can to prevent this from occuring, but the chances are likely that it will.”

But you cannot assess the dangers of Guantanamo simply by looking at a handful of released detainees and whether they participate in terrorism. Guantanamo’s existence has driven far more individuals into al Qaeda’s ranks than those who could join the fight after being released.

And the Iraq war provided an environment in which to train them. Contrary to what conservatives will inevitably insist, the story of Said Ali al-Shihri doesn’t argues for abandoning the effort to close Guantanamo (it’s unknown whether al-Shihri’s Gitmo stint further radicalized him, as it has other detainees), but for a more competent and responsible process for dealing with detainees. More importantly, given the apparent ease with which al-Shihri was able to hook up with an Iraq-fed Al Qaeda affiliate after his release, it argues for a counter-terrorism policy that doesn’t actually fan the flames of extremism in the Middle East, as the Bush administration’s did.

Of course, the frothing fuckwits can't reason this through. They can't accept that the mess they created is going to leave a stain. And they're trying to pawn responsibility off on Obama, who didn't even release the above terrorist:

I'd just like to point something out to the many rightwingers who are frothing at the mouth today over the NYT's story that a former Gitmo detainee has become the deputy leader of Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch.

The Bush administration released this man in 2007, without trial -a decision made by political appointees, not judicial review - and handed him over to the Saudis who let him walk.

So who is at fault here?

Rather than blaming Obama for wanting to actually put bad guys on trial - proper trial - shouldn't these rightwing pundits be asking why the Bush administration made a political decision to let this guy go?

Well, they should, but they won't. That wouldn't fit their fearmongering narrative, which is that Obama's going to get us all killed because he's not willing to be a lawbreaking, torture-encouraging, short-sighted dumbshit like Bush.

We are seeing just the beginning of the right-wing freakout that will sweep this nation. We need stamp on the flames before they get out of hand. In a rational country, all of their babbling would be no more than an amusing distraction. Alas, there are far too many willingly stupid people in America. So arm yourself with facts, my darlings. Sharpen them into pithy points. Hone your rapier wit. And be ready to turn right-wing attacks right back at 'em, just as Glenn Greenwald has so ably done.

Tell the mongers of fear to go peddle their wares elsewhere.

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