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The Thunder and the Laughter, the Last Thing They Remember

By Matthew Yglesias

"The Thunder and the Laughter, the Last Thing They Remember"

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I’ve been absolutely Gobsmacked by the nonsense the right is running with on the Guantanamo Bay issue, and the double-nonsense I’ve been hearing about it on television. The basic conservative position, as I understand it, is that the very same federal officials who can’t be trusted to prevent a breakout from a military prison in Kansas can be trusted to administer a system of indefinite detention and kangaroo courts fairly. Other arguments I’ve heard people make, apparently with a straight face:

  • The fact that the Bush administration has let dangerous terrorists go free means Obama should keep innocent people detained.
  • The fact that the Bush administration screwed up the paperwork on detainees shows that there was more wisdom to Bush’s policies than Obama acknowledged on the campaign trail.
  • Obama’s promise of change was empty and hypocritical because it will take time to implement his executive orders.
  • The “Guantanamo” issue is primarily about the physical location of the facility rather than the legal status or treatment of the detainees.
  • Since many liberals live in San Francisco, anyone who thinks it would be ill-advised to transfer prisoners to a museum in the San Francisco Bay that hasn’t been a prison for decades is a hypocrite.

There’s some really out of this world stuff.

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