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Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), makin’ with the insightful diagnosis of current events y’all, via TPM:

“The President’s speech today will be viewed by terrorists as a victory,” said Chambliss, who recently golfed with the president, in a statement.

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Oh, the halcyon days of early 2009.

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Bold action:

After two years of false starts and protracted legal wrangling, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Tuesday authorizing the transfer of all 172 Guantánamo detainees to the next chief executive of the United States of America. “The president’s decision to move these enemy combatants to the subsequent administration should finally quiet critics who have accused him of inaction and impotence,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said, after noting that Obama had—in favor of the more politically pragmatic option—passed on several opportunities to relocate the inmates to correctional facilities in the continental United States as a first step toward affording the prisoners due process of law. “This will not be an easy process, but all of the detainees should be transferred by 2012, or 2016 at the very latest.”

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Hey, it's not torture if the US does it!

Like I’ve said time and time before, our country’s quick descent into becoming a torture state had broad ramifications for our ability to later call out human rights abusers without being called hypocrites.

China seems to have figured this out:

The United States is beset by violence, racism and torture and has no authority to condemn other governments’ human rights problems, China said on Sunday, countering U.S. criticism of Beijing’s crackdown.

The row between Beijing and Washington over human rights has intensified since China’s ruling Communist Party extended its clampdown on dissidents and rights activists, a move which has sparked an outcry from Washington and other Western governments.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is the most prominent of the activists to be detained by police or held in secretive custody in the latest crackdown.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday she was “deeply concerned” about it, and cited “negative trends” including Ai’s detention. […]

“Stop the domineering behavior of exploiting human rights to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” it said, according to excerpts published by the official Xinhua news agency.

“The United States ignores its own severe human rights problems, ardently promoting its so-called ‘human rights diplomacy’, treating human rights as a political tool to vilify other countries and to advance its own strategic interests,” said a passage from the Chinese report.

It’s a hard time for pots trying to call the kettle black.


A panel of experts weighs in on the controversy…

Comments Adam Serwer:

The Onion Wins the Internet

First, there was the article on the “afterbirthers” demanding to see Obama’s placenta. Now, we have an Onion segment discussing whether or not using a minotaur to gore detainees is, in fact, torture. Obviously there are two sides to the question.

“Forcing prisoners to wander in an infinite labyrinth living in fear of being torn limb from limb by the minotaur may be harsh now, but you have to remember what it was like after 9/11.”

Note that while all the other guests are from fake organizations, the woman who says the “minotaur kept us safe” is simply a “columnist for National Review Online.”

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Former Flaming Fuckwit-in-Chief George W. Bush breaks his long silence to offer us this gem of timeless wisdom:

I’ll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don’t believe that persuasion isn’t going to work. Therapy isn’t going to cause terrorists to change their mind.

h/t John Cole

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Check out Jake Tapper’s interview with former Guantanamo detainee Lakhdar Boumediene.

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