Yesterday, Rumsfeld proclaimed that most of the inmates of the Guantanamo Gulag will be held indefinitely without trial for as long as the "war on terror" lasts. Elsewhere, administration officials have said that they aren't sure that it will ever end -- that they see it as less a finite conflict than a permanent condition. American citizens are as subject to indefinite detention at Dubya's pleasure as anyone else -- the Lackawanna 6 plead guilty on the advice of their lawyers, having been told by the government that if it looked like their clients would be found innocent, they would be yanked out of the courts into Guantanamo's extra-judicial limbo. And when Ashcroft talks about the successes of his anti-terror efforts, he talks about the Lackawanna 6.
So much for attacks on freedom.
As for the war on terror, the increasingly indispensable Riverbend responds to Dubya's speech on Sunday from on the scene in Baghdad:
- The one thing I agreed with was this: there are terrorists in Iraq. It’s true. Ever since the occupation, they’ve been here by the hundreds and thousands. They are seeping in from neighboring countries through the borders the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ could not protect and would not let the Iraqi army protect. Some of them are even a part of the Governing Council now. Al-Daawa Party is responsible for some of the most terrible bombings in Iraq and other countries in the region.
There's more there. There always is (don't miss her comments on his grasp of Iraqi geography). But best to wind up, as she does, with a take on what Dubya's rhetoric -- all of it -- really means:
- “Friends, Americans, Countrymen, lend me your ears… lend me your sons and daughters, lend me your tax dollars… so we can wage war in the name of American national security (people worldwide are willing to die for it)… so I can cover up my incompetence in failing to protect you… so I can add to the Bush and Cheney family coffers at your expense and the expense of the Iraqi people. I don’t know what I’m doing, but if you spend enough money, you’ll want to believe that I do."
I can't top that.
(Rumsfeld comment also via Talkleft).
One more note: "Freedom" wasn't attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. People were. And many survivors are as unhappy as I am about how the tragedy has become fodder for the Dubya crew's self-serving rhetoric...