Yglesias

The Thunder and the Laughter, the Last Thing They Remember

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.