Posts Tagged ‘Gitmo’

Newt Gingrich in ’97: “There is no place for torture and arbitrary detention”

April 27, 2009

Good old Newt Gingrich has been in politics too long.  Quotes from his past are beginning to catch up with him and the Democratic Party just may have found a flip-flop moment that could put Gingrich in hot water with his Republican base.

Funny how being opposed to torture may actually hurt the future Republican Presidential Candidate

Being opposed to torture may actually hurt the future Republican Presidential Candidate.

In 1997, then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, released a statement that said the following:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 30, 1997
SPEAKER’S STATEMENT ON VISIT OF PRESIDENT JIANG
Washington, D.C. — House Speaker Newt Gingrich released the following statement today following his meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

“As I said in China this spring, there is no place for abuse in what must be considered the family of man. There is no place for torture and arbitrary detention. There is no place for forced confessions. There is no place for intolerance of dissent.” “While we walked through the Rotunda. I explained to President Jiang how the roots of American rule of law go back more than 700 years, to the signing of the Magna Carta. The foundation of American values, therefore, is not a passing priority or a temporary trend.

That last sentence is the kicker.  Gingrich cannot hide behind the “everything changed after 9/11” bullshit that has been used to justify both torture and arbitrary detention.

In a recent interview with Greta Van Susteren, Gingrich was grilled by the side-of-the-mouth talker.  It’s not really too big of a surprise because Van Susteren’s husband is one of Sarah Palin’s advisers, so she has a vested interest in Gingrich losing the 2012 nomination.  In any case, here is the interview:

VAN SUSTEREN: But you said a minute ago that it was torture, waterboarding…
GINGRICH: No, I said it’s not something we should do.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Is it torture or not?

GINGRICH: I — I — I think it’s — I can’t tell you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does it violate the Geneva Convention?

GINGRICH: I honestly don’t know.

I can’t tell you?  What the fuck?  Do you know whether waterboarding is torture or not and you’re just following some stupid Republican talking point?

I do agree with Gingrich on his original statement, but I’m sure you’ll see him backpedal like no other during the primaries.  We should be opposed to torture every day.  A post 9/11 world is only an excuse for those who seek to undermine the very foundations of this country.

RWP Rating: Strange

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Montana town wants Guantanamo Bay detainees, federal lawmakers reject the idea

April 24, 2009

Two Democratic Senators from Montana have spoken out about allowing Guantanamo Bay detainees into a state jail.  A new jail constructed in Hardin, Montana was to be the new home for the prisoners.  Local Hardin officials have insisted that they do want to house the detainees in order to help pay the cost of the jail as well as create jobs in a troubled economy.

I hope better transportation will be provided when they move.

I hope better transportation will be provided when they move.

Greg Smith, the Two Rivers Authority director, said “Somebody has to stand up and put (the Guantanamo prisoners) in their backyards. It’s our patriotic duty.”  Despite this local opinion, Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus apparently believe that housing the criminals in their state will hurt them politically in Montana’s other districts.

Baucus said “we’re not going to bring Al-Qaeda to Big Sky Country – no way, not on my watch.”  Tester reiterated Baucus’ sentiment without the hometown charm saying he is “against any proposal to bring Guantanamo detainees to Montana.”

Montana’s sole Representative Republican Denny Rehberg also chimed in on the issue, taking it one step farther: “we should be doing everything possible to keep them out of our country, let alone our state.”

Rehberg is a pretty typical lobbyist dicksucker, so I’m not too surprised about him.  But Tester and Baucus need to realize that their state is perfect for housing these detainees.  Hardin is a town of less than 4,000 people and there are no large cities that detainees could escape to if they were somehow freed. Not to mention the fact that every single damn person in Montana owns a gun and will not hesitate to fire at trespassers.  One of my friends learned that the hard way.

We need to follow the rule of law.  Hell, Baucus voted for giving Gitmo detainees Habeas Corpus, so he shares my sentiment.  I just feel like this is all being done for political expediency.  It may not be popular in Missoula and Billings, but if Hardin residents want to work and are willing to provide top-notch security, then some federal bureaucrats, who probably shouldn’t even have a say in this (what does Governor Brian Schweitzer think?)  should just let it happen.

RWP Rating: Unusual

Full Story: Billings Gazette