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January 26, 2009 05:35 PM UTC

Rocky Hammers GOP Gitmo Cowardice

  • by: Colorado Pols

They so had this coming, from the Rocky Mountain News’ conservative editorial board:

A number of Colorado Republicans have gone off on Gov. Bill Ritter because he suggested that Guantanamo terrorist suspects – and let’s face it, some of them are a good deal more than “suspects” – might be a decent fit for Supermax prison in Florence.

“Supermax was built to handle exactly this type of inmate,” Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer said, fueling the furor.

It so happens that the governor’s opinion is both unremarkable and accurate. Of course Supermax was built to handle such prisoners. That’s why stone-cold killers, would-be killers and terrorists such as Zacarias Moussaoui (Sept. 11 conspirator), Ramzi Yousef (1993 World Trade Center bombing), Richard Reid (trans-Atlantic shoe bomber), Jose Padilla (convicted of terrorism conspiracy), Terry Nichols (Oklahoma City bombing), Eric Rudolph (Olympic Park bomber) and Theodore Kaczynski (the Unabomber) are confined there…

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for somebody like me . . . who has supported the president’s decision to close Guantanamo Bay to say: ‘Not in my backyard’,” Ritter said. Who could disagree?

Well, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, for one. “It makes us a target,” Gardner said late last week. “If Gov. Ritter has his way, there will be a pipeline of terrorism from Kabul to Colorado.”

But has the imprisonment of other terrorists 90 miles from Denver made this state a target? Not so far as we can tell…

Sen. Ken Kester, R-Las Animas, has another concern: that the terrorists will mix with the prison population, “recruiting inmates to kill American servicemen and civilians.” But at Supermax, most prisoners are kept in isolation virtually all of the time; terrorists do not sit around trading tips with one another or beckoning other prisoners to consider the pleasures of targeting innocent strangers for death.

Our view: The Rocky was much nicer than we would have been. If properly capitalized by the Dems this will go down as a huge embarrassment for local Republicans, who are supposed to be tough but wind up looking like bug-eyed paranoid cravens–while President Barack Obama (approval rating 69%)  fulfills one of his most important campaign pledges, overwhelmingly supported by the American people. You seriously think Ritter has a thing to lose by gladly offering to help?

And even if you don’t fully disagree with some of the points made in opposition to moving ex-Guantanamo detainees to ADX-Florence, you have to admit that Cory Gardner’s “pipeline of terror from Kabul to Colorado” exclamations were way over the top. Gardner demonstrated a rather profound lack of seriousness on a very serious federal issue, which we would tend to think is an inauspicious way to lead off an expected CD-4 congressional bid. You can bet this whole sorry episode just got added to half a dozen opposition research files.

The Rocky is absolutely correct that Supermax is a fine location for some Guantanamo detainees, and their presence will not pose an increased risk of attack in Colorado. The benefits–from Colorado’s economy to America’s standing in the world–dramatically outweigh the risks. Once you realize that, you wonder for a minute what the hell the problem was–just for a minute though, because this all makes a puerile, backfiring kind of sense.


39 thoughts on “Rocky Hammers GOP Gitmo Cowardice

  1. Since 2001, the Republican approach to terrorism has been bedwetting hyperventilation alternating with camouflage dress-up poseurhood. Leave it to Colorado Republicans to make everything out in the open, though.

      1. The whole idea that we have to trash our laws, our constitution, our rights, our principles, our morals, our ideals, and become torturers who throw people into prison without charge and indefinitely; in short that we have to become just another lawless oppressive regime in order to avoid any risk is the height of cowardice.  

        Rs love to puff up, strut and brag about how tough and patriotic they are while encouraging us to let the United States of America as set forth in our constitution die rather than stand up and accept the risks inherent in being a free people. They have been the first to insist on disgarding our greatest American values the moment some enemy says “boo!”.  

        Why send soldiers to die for what we’re just going to throw away anyway?  Why oblige our enemies by destroying ourselves and saving them the trouble?  Chicken hawks all, from (thankfully) former President Bush and VP Cheney on down.  

    1. One of their readers writes in with a comment I think applies here:

      Am I the only one who is simply flabbergasted that any Republican, much less a member of the Bush Administration like Karl Rove, thinks the closing of Gitmo will be a campaign issue that favors the GOP? I listen to these people lecture us about the difficulty Obama will face in relocating the prisoners and one word keeps repeating itself in my mind: chutzpah! Of the highest order! It’s as if they built a poorly designed nuclear plant, let it melt down on their watch, did nothing to clean it up, and then upon leaving office said: “Good luck with that nuclear plant! We’ll be watching and ready to pounce when you haven’t got that sucker under control in a year!”

  2. The GOP does not think the Colorado employees at our prisons are capable of doing their jobs. That will be their new campaign slogan – “no terrorists to Colorado – because you suck at doing your job.”

  3. is a mess. The records of, evidence against, and process of meting out justice for the imprisoned there is literally a mess. It’ll take competent individuals a year to sort this all out by modern justice methodologies.

    Let the process begin….and believe me, there are sane, realistic and appropriate sentences for every person imprisoned there.

    Obama will find a way. The comments above anbout hyper-ventilating opponents I agree with. Get the fuck out of the way….you’re all an embarrasement.

  4. It must be getting increasingly hard to be a Republican spokesman since they have so little insight, so little analytical ability and absolutely no ability to frame a public statement.

    I seem to recall that the conservative Republicans have always advocated long prison sentences for minor infractions, and fueled the minimum sentencing guidelines and prison construction.  They should be loving the possibility that the terrorists would end up in Super Max – it meets all of their hype, rhetoric and theological beliefs.

    1. When Clinton controlled the FBI, conservative Republicans considered it Gestaposovietopolpottery. Now that Democrats are in charge again, expect them to again paint themselves as civil libertarians.

  5. The issue is prosecuting these dogs and during this war on terror projecting Americas power.

    Projecting our power can take many avenues and shades. Obviously water boarding won’t be one of the techniques we use as coalition citizen’s and military face beheadings from the other side.

    1. for treason against our way of life and government:  It’s OK for us to stop being Americans because we still won’t be as bad as our worst enemies. Now there’s an inspiring rallying cry: “We’re not as bad as the worst”.

      Tell you what.  Let those of us with the courage of our American convictions keep the United States of America as set forth in our constitution alive, protect and defend it by standing up as a free people, refusing to willingly throw away what our enemies can only threaten to take. You and your ilk, who don’t have the balls to do so, can move to some nice police state where you can feel safer.

        1. “Obviously water boarding won’t be one of the techniques we use as coalition citizen’s and military face beheadings from the other side.”

          Sounded to me like saying silly to worry about waterboarding while the other side is be-heading.

          I invite Libertad to set me straight if I misunderstood.

            1. that Libertad agrees about the issue of moving prisoners to Florence. What I was reacting to was the waterboarding remark as it relates to the larger issues. Glad to hear someone read it the same way I did.

                1. The issue is prosecuting these dogs and during this war on terror projecting Americas power.

                  This is Obama’s direction.

                  President Obama has said no waterboarding … and let us prosecute. The President is leading and will (has) defined what the new rules are.

                  He will (has) define how we will project our power, what we’ll do in terms of enemy engagement, and he wants these accused terrorists prosecuted. This direction will set new precedents, but more importantly it defines our next global steps.

                  Whether Ali, Mamet, Bob, Abdullah, etc… come to SuperMax or Leavenworth is not relevant. What is relevant is their entry onto domestic soil and their lawyers claim to their new found rights.

                  1. have been established by the U.S. Supreme Court (and, as you know as a good conservative, are given by God — we’re merely the stewards of those rights). Blaming their lawyers for defending those rights is obscene.

                  2. There are no new rules against waterboarding. With more than a hundred years worth of US legal precedent establishing waterboarding as illegal in both military and criminal courts, it’s a very old rule.  

                    American soldiers were convicted in US military court of the crime of waterboarding during the Spanish American War.  Japanese soldiers were convicted in US military court of the crime of waterboarding during WWII.  In 1983 in Texas a sheriff and his deputies were convicted of the crime of waterboarding in criminal court. If it’s not illegal how did all of that happen?

                    You might not like the fact that waterboarding is illegal but it is, no matter how  many pet lawyers Bush found to falsely claim that it’s not. And you might not like habeas corpus or the Geneva conventions or our constitution but none of them are “new”.  

                    1. You should create a diary on going after Bush, his administration and the military for their ‘illegal’ acts.

                    2. This has nothing to do with what I “feel”. This is about easily verifiable facts. I’m not making up over a hundred years of legal precedent.

                      If you wish to pretend that waterboarding is any less illegal than bank robbing you can only be basing that view on feeling because the facts simply don’t support you. If you can find facts that show a word of what I’ve said about the established illegality of waterboarding is untrue, why don’t YOU include those facts in a diary? Then we’ll see who is doing the “feeling”.

                    3. The ‘facts’ would lead one demand that Gonzo must be held accountable by DoJ. Being sworn to up hold U.S. laws, etc. demand prosecution.

                      Further, others would have been involved in the decisions that led to these ‘illegal’ acts – I’m thinking a VP’s pressure, provisioning of cover, etc. I bet you’ll agree this was not a one man show.

                    4. refuting the illegality of waterboarding. Do you have any? If not, please apologize for your use of quotation marks (or apostrophes) around the word “facts”. You have implied by those marks that my facts are less than accurate but you offer nothing to justify that characterization. Put up or shut up before you start ordering me around as to what I need to write next.  

                    5. isn’t illegal if it’s done by men acting in “good faith” that they’re protecting the United States. He also worked in a Justice Department that paid some shills to write that up in some legal opinions. Those are the ONLY “facts” supporting a contention that waterboarding isn’t torture, and torture is illegal in all cases. Libertad’s got nothing.

                    6. insisting on quotes, Liberturd. The point of that would be?  Never mind.  Can’t say that I’m interested.  Bye  

    2. Keep up the knee rattling Gardner, the voters in CD4 just love themselves some good old fear mongering from Cons like you, Musgrave… oops.

      Anyone hear the joke about “why the Cory crossed the road?”  

    3. Libertard, you continue to talk shit about situations and rules that you have NO CLUE about.

      In GW1, the Iraqi solider surrendered to us in hordes because they knew we would treat them fairly, compassionately and with no fear of harm.

      Why? One Iraqi officer who spoke English told my partner that they grew up watching 70’s Cop Shows on State TV, and they figured that everyone would be treated that way.

      And we did.

      Now, the truth that we tortured people makes it extremely hazardous for my friends who are still in and deployed to The Suck. Insurgents won’t surrender when cornered in a firefight, because they’re convinced they’ll be inhumanly treated from the moment they fall into enemy hands.

      So they do fight to the death, and take as many Coaltion Guys as they can. A-Q and the rest of the insurgent groups know this, and they exploit it to recruit and keep their forces in line.

      While the NeoCon jerkoffs keep spouting how essential “hard interrigation” is in the War On Terror, the troops that they sent to fight say that it’s a fucking disaster for them.

  6. Interesting column in the WaPo today:

    Al-Qaeda’s rhetorical swipes at Obama date to the weeks before the election, when commentators on Web sites associated with the group debated which of the two major presidential candidates would be better for the jihadist movement. While opinions differed, a consensus view supported Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as the man most likely to continue Bush administration policies and, it was hoped, drive the United States more deeply into a prolonged guerrilla war.

    Americans are sick of being played for fools by the GOP tactics that besmirch our reputation, destroy our liberties, and undermine our values.  Apparently Al-Qeada hopes that the GOP will keep moving America in their direction, making recruitment easier and perpetuating fear–the primary end of TERRORism.

    1. The neocon lunatics have been the best thing that ever happened to Al-Qaeda. The Bush years have been golden for them. They probably would have done more to help get Obama defeated ( like when they released that convenient Bin Laden tape just in time to scare people before the 2004 election) if they hadn’t been so convinced no black guy with a Muslim name could REALLY get elected.  Jokes on them.

      1. The Bushites were working for Osama. Those tapes were their coded instructions for the next months.

        They did all the things to the USA on Osama’s wishlist. An accident? Coincidence? Not to this conspiracist.

  7. First off I have to agree the Republicans are morons for trying to spin this into a state wide ‘security’ issue.  

    Second, why is this even a talking point?  Isn’t the facility run by the Feds?  Does the governor or senators get any say in which prisoners are transferred there?  There are 245 prisoners, the only actual impact I can see is if they need to hire a few more correctional officers.

    Finally, who cares what Obama’s approval rating is.  He hasn’t done much yet.  This GITMO closing is the highest profile issue so far, and I think we can all agree that those prisoner’s fates need to be resolved somehow.  We can’t just leave them in Cuba forever.  

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