Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, discusses Obama’s broken promise to close Gitmo within a year, the enthusiastic U.S. embrace of rendition and torture after 9/11, the extralegal indefinite detention of innocent prisoners, endemic racism that makes torture less objectionable and the dangerous legal precedents established by failing to prosecute Bush administration crimes.
Administration officials say President Obama will unveil his decision on sending tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan next week. Obama is expected to announce the plan in a prime-time address next Tuesday night. At the White House yesterday, Obama said he intends to “finish the job” in Afghanistan. [includes rush transcript]
At a joint press conference with visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 24, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke of the war in Afghanistan that is now in its ninth calendar year and pledged, “After eight years – some of those years in which we did not have, I think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done – it is my intention to finish the job.”
The comments came after the previous evening’s war council as it was described in the American media, the tenth (ninth by some counts) such meeting and the culmination of a three-month strategic review process following top U.S. and NATO military commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal’s 66-page Commander’s Initial Assessment of August 30.
Today is the official Presidential Turkey Pardon Day for 2009, your very first since taking office. I understand you are planning to fly your pardoned bird(s) First Class to California, where they will live at Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland. How lucky are these birds, how kind of you to value their lives and freedom, and how generous of you to release them.
Mr. President, there are many innocent human beings who have been caged for over six years, under deplorable conditions, including torture – despite being innocent and having done nothing wrong. Their last ten months of detainment and torture have taken place under your watch, per your orders, and with your instructions.