While You Were Focused on the NSA, House Republicans Voted To Keep GITMO Open

gitmoWith the Bradley Manning trial starting this week and the stories about the NSA tracking phone calls and internet activities, it’s easy to see why many of us have been distracted from other news going on this week.

Hell, we added 175,000 jobs in May (50,000 more than in May 2012—giving us 946,000 jobs in 2013 in just 5 months) and I rarely saw a single mention of it.

Don’t tell me our economy isn’t rapidly improving when almost 200,000 jobs being created isn’t a main headline of every major news channel on television.  Four years ago that would have been the biggest story in the news for the entire week.

But a funny thing happened in Congress while most of us were distracted—the House of Representatives voted to keep GITMO open.

In a partisan vote that mainly went straight down party lines, the House voted not only to keep GITMO open, but also voted against allowing taxpayer money to fund any new facilities (or renovations to older ones) to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay.  Oh, and it also blocks the transfer of detainees at GITMO to the United States.

Essentially, it’s the Republicans saying, “No, we won’t build any facilities in the United States to house these people, and even if a private company did build one, we’re blocking the transfer of these individuals into the United States.”

Bottom line is, until Democrats control Congress, GITMO isn’t going anywhere.

And I’ll be honest, I used to be a supporter of Guantanamo Bay.  But not anymore.

It’s become too polarizing in a time where we need less polarization.  We need to stand up as the supposed “greatest nation on earth” and start acting like it.  It’s hard for us to call other nations inhumane, when we act as such ourselves in matters such as this.

Our prison system, and technology, is more than adequate to house these individuals.  If we want to continue to call ourselves the “beacon of freedom,” we need to start rising above the fray and leading by example.

Sure, there are people there that have probably committed disgusting acts.  There are probably people there that would love nothing more than to take as many American lives as possible.

But even then, it’s time to end the controversy and close Guantanamo Bay.

Now I’m not saying these people should be given Constitutional rights if they’re brought here, but I think in the world of public opinion, housing these individuals on our own shores will at least provide some transparency that helps us shed this stigma that we have now.

The stigma that the United States has a facility located in Cuba that we use to torture anyone we want, whenever we want.  Which might be fairly accurate—at least I’m certain it is to a lot of people.

And while President Obama has recently expressed his desire to close GITMO down, unfortunately it’s not that easy.

With Republicans continuing to hold power in the House, and filibuster power in the Senate, there’s little to no chance at making any true headway into shutting down the controversial dentition center.

This is yet another example of why liberals must get out to the polls in 2014, and give Democrats control of the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

Otherwise, it’ll be the same Republican obstruction—until at the very least 2016.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • teamrn

    “Don’t tell me our economy isn’t rapidly improving when almost 200,000 jobs being created isn’t a main headline of every major news channel on television.”

    Priceless! First off, how did 175,000 become ‘ALMOST 200,000? 175K is 175K, a ‘fer cry from 200,000.

    2d. 176,000 sound nice until you start doing the math, involving, 946K dividing that by 5 months/dividing that by the number of states, and all of a sudden a paltry 3784 isn’t looking too good.

    3rd. That’s not a report of those who have given up, those who are off the radar screen and still looking and those who are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. Once you’re no longer receiving unemployment benefits, the stats don’t count you as unemployed.

    And what does any of this have to do with laws being passed in the House? When the news media gets off it’s partisan ass, it will cover NEWS, real news, and this, my friend isn’t REAL NEWS.

    We need more like 250-300,000 jobs a MONTH created. So why does our POTUS have such low expectations of 100,000 jobs created per month? “If you aim at NOTHING, you’ll hit it EVERY TIME!”

    • Shawni

      We could have better job creation if republicans would stop blocking every jobs bill.

      • Punce01

        Congress doesn’t create jobs people do. Congress spends money says it creates jobs then when the money runs out these people lose their jobs. How about congress have a bill that makes our country viable for business do the companies that left come back and people won’t be afraid to start new ones

      • Gary Hewitt

        Congress does create jobs by spending money on fixing our infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Then the construction workers spend the money they make which creates more jobs to make and sell the products they are purchasing. Maybe if you learned a little about how the economy works you could understand how jobs are created.

      • Guest

        So congress spends 100k to pay a constructions worker 50k…. Your philosophy has failed.

      • saltcay

        If Congress doesn’t create jobs, then you can’t blame the President for not creating jobs either.

    • Jonah Arnot

      3784 Alaskans got jobs this year? Nice! Also, nothing saying those 4000 people who received jobs were on unemployment. It’s likely that some were, and some weren’t. In addition, the story isn’t about the unemployment numbers, it’s about the jobs added, and people starting to work at those jobs. Almost 4000 people (which I can say, because rounding is a process that takes a number and puts it to the nearest whole number of the reference number’s exponent) is nothing to sneer at. You like math so much, so try this on for size: 4000 people in each state, receiving just minimum wage at part-time hours, where I’d guess a number of these new jobs lie. 4000 x 7.75 x 20 hrs = $620,000 more per state that are going to Americans and American families. To put it in terms your hate-filled, peabrain can understand, that’s $600,000 (see, did it again, and it still works, even the other way) less in YOUR taxes that families will require to survive every week, in every state. That’s a significant accomplishment with real effect, far different than your minimization division process which skews the facts to your partisan opinion. Try not hating, just for one day sometime, you might come to like it.

      • Creating low paying jobs to replace lost high paying jobs is still a net loss.

    • Bob Johnsom

      Ok so how many jobs bills have your precious Refublicans offered in the House? how many???? No wait really honey, how many? And what have your friends in the House been doing? Take your rights away as a female? Hmmmmmmmmm

      • GUest

        So you expect government to create jobs for you? Entrepreneurs create jobs not government.

      • teamrn

        Thank you, Guest. Thank you for bing one of the more reasonable people here!

      • saltcay

        And how many jobs have been created in the 30 years of tax breaks ever since Reagan’s “Trickle Down Economy”?

      • teamrn

        Number 1. I don’t have predcious republicans,

        Number 2. I’m NOT your honey

        Number 3. What have my rights as a female (WHATEVER THOSE MIGHT BE), got to do with the topic being discussed? I wasn’t aware of rights differences between men and women; gender differences, yes. But what rights are dfferent betwen the sexes.

        No. 4 I think your real question of what jobs bills has the House submitted to the Senate got lost in the hatred of you post, but in No. 5, I’ll answre that.

        No fewer than 25, probably closer to 30+ jobs bills have been passed by the House and sent to the Senate; and just a handful have been signed into law. That kind of tells you where the bottle neck lies. With Harry Reid.

        Harry Reid has tabled the others because taking about on them would require Senators to take positions on unpopular issues and then EXPLAINING to their constituents WHY they voted conservatively. (There are some conservative leaning democraticSenators).

        This is an election year and Harry Reid is trying to keep his Senate majority and he puts that need over the needs of the country-so he’s been sitting on jobs bills.

      • DCochran

        What the Republicans call “jobs bills” are simply attempts to gut regulations. They have nothing to do with creating jobs and everything to do with preserving their sources of campaign funding. So, thank you Harry Reid, for looking out for our clean water and air, at the risk of losing corporate donors.

      • stupidrepublicans

        women make .76 cents to every dollar men make. Seems like a bit of inequality there eh?

      • saltcay

        In answer to #3: It has everything to do with the topic because that is what the TEAPUBLICANS have been doing instead of voting on things that matter to the American public, like supporting jobs bills, rebuilding infrastructure, improving education, fighting tax breaks to corporations that move jobs and money offshore.

    • Naysayer

      “That’s not a report of those who have given up, those who are off the
      radar screen and still looking and those who are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. Once you’re no longer receiving unemployment benefits, the stats don’t count you as unemployed.”

      Unemployment
      numbers have NEVER reflected those who are underemployed or who have
      “given up.” This is not a new process or method of gauging the numbers.

      • ezzer

        I don’t think that was the point…I took the point to be that, although the numbers might look as though new jobs have been created as the number of “unemployed” goes down, that number isn’t accounting for the people who are no longer being officially counted as “unemployed” due to having dropped off the list for various reasons, such as exhausting their benefits, or becoming otherwise ineligible. In other words, if the reports show unemployment down by 100 people from yesterday, for example, doesn’t mean 100 people became employed today – it only means 100 fewer people are receiving state benefits for being unemployed.

      • teamrn

        Oh, I know that it’s always been ‘done that way,’ saying that only ‘x’ $% of population is unemployed is disingenuous at best. Unemployment figures are used erroneously.

    • DCochran

      You’re right, this isn’t news. It’s what we’ve come to expect from repubs. They’ve decided to continue spending $67million/yr (also known as nearly $70million/yr) on incarcerating 160 people, half of whom are innocent, the rest lack evidence to convict.

      Also, what stopped you from going further with your division: The economy has only added .0006 jobs / person / month this year.

      • teamrn

        “Also, what stopped you from going further with your division: The economy has only added .0006 jobs / person / month this year.”

        That little scintilla of .0006 jobs/person/month this year wasn’t my point. What stopped me was that I hadn’t ready any further in the author’s article at that time to answer the question and to realize that the basis for his ‘well-balanced’ argument was full of holes that could pass for swiss cheese.

        But, I needn’t go further. I’ve read more venom and more hate in the comments on this forum that show me that Dems have no desire to DISCUSS an issue; just to show how WRONG they feel the Republican is. They won’t say WHY, though.

      • pathetic

        so when people voice their opinions in which you disagree with they are all of a sudden being venomous and hateful? Get over yourself and face the FACTS!

    • Frankie Skells

      “That’s not a report of those who have given up, those who are off the
      radar screen and still looking and those who are no longer eligible for
      unemployment benefits. Once you’re no longer receiving unemployment
      benefits, the stats don’t count you as unemployed.”

      It never has and it never will. Stop manipulating this stat in this fashion.

      When we record populations the dead aren’t counted, so the population is actually much larger… that’s what you sound like to me

  • Recoloniser

    “Our prison system, and technology, is more than adequate to house these individuals.”

    That’s not the point. The real question is: Is the US justice system (more than) adequate to deal with these people? If the answer is in the negative, then the terrorists have won.

    What is your answer?

    • abraxtarot

      I’d say the goal of prison is rehabilitation not creating a internment camp for criminals.technology like house arrest devices and thought recording brain chips can offer a temporary solution to allow parolees to gain time served and allow government to test new technologies at the same time

  • Colie

    Prob. Part time min.wage that’s how they get away with it…

  • flower

    There go the Obots paying homage to their Prince. Totally delusional. Offically, a cult.