I was at an editing conference early this week and had a chat with a friend. When I brought up politics with him and decried the unfair treatment President Obama has gotten from many on the left, the right and the our dysfunctional media, he started spouting the usual “he caved to the Republicans” and “he could have issued executive orders” and of course, “what about Guantanamo Bay, he didn’t close it like he said.” I asked him if he knew that we also had a congress and that they appropriate money — you know, reality. His response was something like, “those are just excuses.” It was at this point that the session we were in began, I think it was best for him that I had to shut up, I was about to get extreme on him.
It reminded me that a lot of people who either don’t pay a lot of attention to politics or are just blatant liars, continue to pin the blame for Gitmo still being open on President Obama. It’s time for a little “reality reminder.” On President Obama’s SECOND DAY in office, this was MSNBC’s headline on their website…
Obama orders CIA prisons, Guantanamo shut
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday moved quickly to undo a contentious Bush administration national security program, ordering the CIA to close down secret overseas prisons and the Pentagon to close down the Guantanamo prison within a year. The president also banned the harshest interrogation methods. [...]
With three executive orders and a presidential directive signed in the Oval Office Thursday, Obama started reshaping how the United States prosecutes and questions al-Qaeda, Taliban or other foreign fighters who pose a threat to Americans.
The centerpiece order would close the much-maligned U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — a complicated process with many unanswered questions that was nonetheless a key campaign promise of Obama’s. The administration already has suspended trials for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo for 120 days pending a review of the military tribunals.
I’m very encouraged by the energy being generated by the “Occupy” movements happening across the country. And even though it is made up of people with many different views on politics, I’m hopeful that it gets people involved and more people register to vote — because elections do matter. If you don’t think they matter, you must have been sleeping through President Bush’s 8 years in office. This movement has the potential to change the corporate hold on Washington and give voice to those who don’t have lobbyists, the 99% of us just trying to survive. Viva La Occupy!