Gitmo: How the Denver Post Endorses Against Itself

(We couldn’t have said this any better – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Liberal group ProgressNow Colorado calls on all sides to step up and do what needs to be done to close Gitmo:

“Our nation’s reputation as a moral leader in world affairs has been severely damaged by the illegal imprisonment without trial of hundreds of people rounded up by the Bush administration in the months after the 9/11 terror attacks,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center was a campaign promise made by President Obama eight years ago, and it’s the right thing to do today. Colorado already has some of the world’s worst terrorists imprisoned at the Supermax facility in Florence. There is no greater danger to Coloradans from transferring Gitmo detainees to our state, and we [have] so much to gain from doing away with one of the worst examples of abuse of basic human rights in American history.”

“Republicans attacking the President for trying to close Gitmo’s detention center are hoping to cover up an ugly history of torture and imprisonment without trial that they themselves share guilt for,” said Runyon-Harms. [Pols emphasis] “But it is also very disappointing that so few Democrats in Colorado are willing to stand with our President and do our part to end the shame the Guantanamo Bay prison has brought on our nation. As a Coloradan, I am not afraid of doing the right thing to restore America’s good name in the world. It’s time for our leaders on both sides to summon up the backbone needed to close Gitmo–and restore the rule of law to American foreign policy.”

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Gitmo detainees.

Gitmo detainees.

When the Denver Post editorialized last September that politicians like Sen. Cory Gardner were fear-mongering on the closure of the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, I remember telling a few liberal friends, who were forwarding the piece around, that one of two things would happen next: 1) the Denver Post would likely file it away and then avert their eyes when Gardner didn’t change course; or 2) the editorial board would figure out a way to give Gardner political cover.

Well look no further than Wednesday’s editorial on Guantanamo to see Option 2 on full display. Every politician who by the Post’s own description had been engaging in “baseless hysteria” and “nonsense” gets one more tsk-tsk before the attention gets turned to the Obama administration for merely considering other options before announcing a plan.

You instantly grasp the intended effect of today’s editorial by the glee with which the Gardner and RNC flacks began promoting the story after it went online late Tuesday. The Post stood silent for nearly two months as Gardner and congressional Republicans jammed the Gitmo issue into the must-pass defense authorization bill, against the Post’s own editorial position, before wading in again after the legislative fight was over.

Sen. Cory Gardner.

Sen. Cory Gardner.

The editorial is a bit of a repeat of a move the Post made last March when they wrapped Gardner across the knuckles in an editorial short for “grandstanding” on the Iran deal by signing an open letter to the mullahs, then inexplicably followed up with a much longer piece the very next day to dismiss the whole controversy as not a big deal.

This is classic “centrism” from an editorial perspective, but timed to give Gardner the outcome he wants. The Post can “deplore” the politicians who blocked Guantanamo’s closure in Congress, but the headline is reserved for the president trying to act. And nothing the editorial board “deplores” ever threatens to affect the process determining the newspaper’s endorsements.

It should also be noted that the Post’s September editorial criticizing Gardner and Rep. Scott Tipton failed even to mention Rep. Mike Coffman, who has been just as vocal as Gardner – going so far as to suggest we’d be allowing “terrorists into our backyards” – and who is running for reelection in a nationally pivotal House district.

Both Gardner and Coffman were candidates earning key endorsements from the Post in 2014. The Gardner endorsement in particular generated national news and arguably was critical for undermining the central Democratic attacks on TV in a close election.

Undecided voters and Republican-leaning women in the suburbs reading the Post’s endorsement of Gardner were reassured that Gardner’s election posed “no threat” to abortion rights and would even augur a better chance to overcome gridlock on issues like immigration reform. But a year later, Gardner has voted for an abortion ban and the defunding of Planned Parenthood while the Republican Congress under Speaker Paul Ryan has pledged no vote immigration reform while Obama is president.

For readers of the Post, in the heavily Democratic city of Denver, wondering if the editorial board would show some sign of contrition, this week’s editorial on Guantanamo is your answer. Cory Gardner was elected in part by the political cover provided by the editorial board, and he continues to enjoy it in office.

And if the Post continues to ignore or subordinate its own editorials on public policy when it comes to the candidates it supports, then maybe readers should ignore them as well.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    When are you silly libs going to get over the fact that Gardner won the election? This is really getting pathetic.

    • BlueCat says:

      Shut up. You still haven't apologized.

      • Moderatus says:

        I apologize if you felt offended. I still believe the attacks on Julie Williams and her son were unwarranted.

        • Chickenheed says:

          Nobody attacked her son. If you still believe that people attacked Julie Williams' son than your apology doesn't mean shit.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          There were no attacks on her son.  Jon Caldera was using him as a pawn to portray Ms. Williams as a poor victim.  You lie even when you try to be civil.

        • BlueCat says:

          There were no attacks from any of us on Julie's son. That's what you need to apologize for. The false accusation, not "if you felt offended". Offended has nothing to do with it. You used a lie to get up on your manufactured outrage high horse to express disgust with us for something we absolutely did not do. That lie is what you need to apologize for. Apologize for that or shut up and go away.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      When are you going to acknowledge that the Denver Post is a Right Wing new outlet that aspires to influence voters the same way and in the same direction as Fox News?  When you have Dean Singleton as the publisher and Vincent Carroll on the editorial board, you ain't neutral.

  2. Chickenheed says:

    For every prisoner held at Gitmo, there are hundreds outraged that the USA would be so hypocritical which inspires more people to fight against us.

    When are conservatives going to get it through their thick skulls that the strategy of "Fearing and hating Islamic terrorists more than they fear and hate us" is a strategy that will never with the "War on terror"?

    • BlueCat says:

      It's more like the Perpetual Loop of Terror. 

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      If America was like the rest of the world we would have put a bullet through the front of these prisoners faces on the battlefield and been done with it.

      As it is now, Republicans want to pretend that these prisoners can be held indefinitely without any costs or consequences.  What a waste of resources and a stain on the integrity of our nation.  Gardner is just as big a dick as his Republican cohorts.  Colorado is ill served by this self-serving prick.

  3. mamajama55 says:

    The Post's new strategy – take both sides of every issue, and hope that the memories of its readers are short.

    They could do this honestly, with a pro vs. con dueling editorials feature….but they won't. In the immortal words of my dad the newspaper man, "They're too chickenshit to do anything but a half-assed job on anything controversial."

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