Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lipstick on a Pig

(Campaign plea to Candidate Obama)

Okay, I'm not going to sit on the fat man's lap as I suggested in my last post. I wouldn't do something like that, lol. And "no," I wasn't smoking any of the herbs I harvested from my garden last year like SabiWabi suggested in her drive-by comment on this post, lol. Just talking "smack" as they say.

Something else is on my mind today. The "closing" of Gitmo.

Obama is getting on my nerves. It's getting harder and harder to defend this guy. And I'm starting to get suspicious. Especially because he has gone back on his campaign word so many times by now. I guess I'm not the only one who talks "smack" sometimes. Hey, I lived in Chicago for a few years as a child. Maybe it's our culture, lol?

Anyhow, the latest "smack" is Gitmo. Am I say "smack" because Obama of all people, being a former senator, knows how difficult it is to change things in government.

"We the sheeple" as Michael Savage often calls the American people, as well as the rest of the people in the world, rejoiced when Candidate Obama promised to close the "detention" facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Little did we realize that it was like "putting lipstick on a pig," to borrow another campaign phrase.

President Obama isn't closing Gitmo, he is just changing its address

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Obama's first executive order as president was to order the closing of Gitmo, as the detention facility is called, within a year. But over the following months, barrier after barrier, delay after delay, has resulted in Gitmo still standing almost a year later.

Today, there remains about 200 Muslims suspected of terrorism and other "charges," many held without due legal process. The media claims that about 20 of the detainees are classified as "high-value."

So what of the other 180 detainees? What makes them different security-wise from the Blind Sheikh or the Shoe Bomber who are currently serving sentences in the super max prison in Colorado. The difference is that the Blind Sheikh and the Shoe Bomber HAVE HAD THEIR DAY IN COURT. They have had actual charges pressed against them for which they were tried and convicted.

Is it true, as Chaplain James Yee, former Gitmo chaplain, says in his book, For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire, (excellent read, BTW) that many of these detainees are just poor schmucks caught up in the events of the day, or victims of tribal fueding, etc. (my wording)? A lot of people were caught up in the net and brought to Gitmo, journalists, etc. It has been maintained, for example, that after 9/11, tribal leaders and war lords turned in their enemies and competitors to the US Military in Afghanistan, claiming that they were terrorists, and these schmucks were transferred to Gitmo.

For example, when Chaplain Yee was there, there were "juvenile enemy combatants" at Gitmo. No one knew for sure their ages, but Yee maintains:

1. Ismail - age 14
2. Naqibullah - age 12 or 13
3. Asadullah - age 12 or 13

"The guards sometimes allowed the boys outside to kick a soccer ball or throw a football in the small backyard, and there was a television and a VCR in the small living room. For a time, they were given a few videos, including Tom Hanks in Cast Away. They watched that movie repeatedly. 'Don't you get sick of watching the same movie over and over?' I asked them. 'No, Chaplain,' Asadullah said. 'I love this story."

When visiting reporters came and the media wrote about the boys loving this movie, General Miller "became very upset. Why are we showing a movie to young prisoners about a man's struggle with being trapped on a desert island? ... After that, Cast Away disappeared from the house."

'Sometimes the interrogators gave ice cream to the boy they're interrogating,' one MP told me ... 'But I've seen times when they think they're going to get the ice cream and they don't,' he added. 'It really screws with the boys' heads.'

In fairness to some of the Gitmo guards, a lot of them had compassion for the boys and dealt with them like their own young children at home, putting them on time-outs when their childhood games got out of hand, etc., and telling Chaplain Yee when they thought something sucked as evidenced above.

"I had no idea why Ismail, Naqibullah, and Asadullah had been brought to Guantanamo. There were rumors they had planted mines against American forces. Other troopers heard that they had been raped after being captured by the Northern Alliance and American forces."

(above from ppgs 93-95 of Chaplain Yee's book)

My readers ... read this book!

I don't know if these young boys are still at Gitmo, but, I have digressed from my post. My point in digressing is to suggest that things may not necessarily be as they seem in some media reports. Granted, I'm sure there are real terrorists there, but like I said, many of the detainees appear to have been caught up in the net. Back to my post :)

So what is the Obama Administration's solution to the Gitmo problem since he cannot meet the one year deadline? Move the detainees to a prison facility in - where else - but his home state of Illinois.

Good looking out Obama!

The federal government will buy the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois, to house the Gitmo detainees until President Obama can figure out how to get himself out of the promise he made to the American people and the world.

Will the new rally cry be, "Close Thomson?"

The "campaigns" in Iraq and Afghanistan are referred to as "wars." Everyone agrees on that term. So why don't the Gitmo detainees have the status of prisoners of war? Hmm - because they would have different legal rights, that's why.

Lipstick on a pig.

I have worked in the criminal justice system for many years. As someone who works "on the wrong side of the bars" as the inmates say, lol, I have always minimized the claims made by many, including Muslims (originally asserted by the Nation of Islam), that the US prison system is nothing more than a money-making venture.

There is no doubt that an entire economy has risen to serve the prison system. Prisons, especially those with large populations (think 5,000 or more inmates in one overcrowded facility), are like small self-contained communities. Many have their own zip code. Inmates must be fed and clothed. Prisons use huge amounts of public utilities. The cost of providing medical care to inmates is off the charts. If you agree that America needs health care reform, you'd be blown away by the situation in the prison system.

However, with few exceptions, no one has sent an engraved personal invitation to people who end up in prison. Most of them have truly DONE SOMETHING to land theirselves there.

But I think this Gitmo "closing" is truly an unfortunate example of pumping up the prison economy in the US. The Thomson Center was opened in 2001 and remained "under-used" and practically empty since then. Why? I don't understand - considering the prison overcrowding situation in the US. Focus on "2001." Did they decide to "under-use" it and keep the facility as a reserve "just in case?"

Experts project that a billion dollars will be injected into the small rural Thomson community. Two thousand jobs are expected to pump up the community.

I heard another report on CNN that there will be (I forget the exact numbers) 10 military guards or 20 military guards to one detainee at Thomson. Let's do the math:

10 x 200 = 2,000
20 x 200 = 4,000

Hmm ... 2,000 to 4,000 military jobs. How do the people of rural Thomson, IL, benefit from jobs coming to their area? Does the media report of 2,000 jobs exclude the military jobs?

And wait a minute: the MILITARY in the US prison system? Maybe their plans are to turn Thomson into a brig? They have to do something; they can't call it a regular prison unless they do change the nature of it because it is against the law for the military to be used in regular US prisons.

Well, this post is becoming too long. If you readers are interested in this topic, I will make another post Insha Allah.

I'm not saying that Obama has done all this on purpose, or at least, I hope not. What I am saying is that this whole thing stinks. His back is sure up against the wall. And this is not a post against the military or the government.

It's a post about keeping promises.

What do you think?

(UPDATE: Umar Lee has a post here that describes the situation of the Uighur detainees at Gitmo and how the US Military "paid" the Afghans for so-called terrorists.)


srizals said...

I'm afraid of the ugly truth that is beginning to show its hideous face, part by part nowadays. Some Muslims would be disappointed. Most won't even be surprised. They just going to give U a grin and said, I told U so.

Dear Saffiyah, I would like to publish your writing on this one in my blog, if I may. N what must I do in order to buy your books. Could we make arrangements?

Safiyyah said...

Greetings Srizals:

Sorry for the delay in responding to you.

Yes, you may republish this post. Please ensure that you credit it with my name and a link back to this original post.

As for ordering the anthologies, if you click on the book covers, you will be redirected to where you may buy the book.

If you cannot utilize Amazon, please email me privately at Jihadlevine at yahoo dot com

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts, thanks for sharing. It is indeed upsetting that there has been no progress with regards to his promise. I hope something changes soon for the sake of the innocent who are imprisoned.