Chambliss Calls President’s Speech A Victory For Terrorists

Strong words from our Senior Senator, via press release:

WASHINGTON– Today, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, made the following statement regarding President Obama’s speech on counterterrorism policy:

“The President’s speech today will be viewed by terrorists as a victory. Rather than continuing successful counterterrorism activities, we are changing course with no clear operational benefit. We knew five years ago that closing Guantanamo was a bad idea and would not work. Yet, today’s speech sends the message to Guantanamo detainees that if they harass the dedicated military personnel there enough, we will give in and send them home, even to Yemen. With the recidivism rate now at 28% and the increased threat from al Qaeda and its affiliates, including in Yemen, GTMO must stay open for business.”

18 comments

  1. George Chidi says:

    How about the moral benefit, sir? Does that matter?

    We’ve been hearing about the existential threat to civilization posed by terrorists for 13 years now. At some point, a country that actually respects the principles we’ve laid down in our sacred documents might consider looking at the actual threat to determine if it makes sense to keep casting those principles aside.

    When I was a child, I could look at the evil in the rest of the world and say that, whatever else is going on, America is better because we do not torture like Sani Abacha in Nigeria. I could say that we do not blow up our enemies without regard to the innocent people who might be hurt as well like some Palestinian terrorist. That we didn’t just assassinate undesirables like Pinochet. That we have a free press and a tradition of transparent government unlike China. That criminals are tried in court, in public, so everyone knows exactly who is in jail and why, unlike some provincial Indonesian hellhole. That we didn’t have overflowing jails full of prisoners who were either on the wrong side of politics or didn’t have enough money to get out of it like the some Eastern Bloc country. That we weren’t constantly spying on our own citizens looking for signs of disloyalty like the Soviet Union. That we’re a more-or-less functional democracy where one person gets one vote, unlike half the world.

    Every single one of those assumptions can be questioned today. You don’t have to be an Alex Jones-level nut to find common examples.

    I’m left with the solace that we’re not a nation run directly by guys with stars on their shoulder boards or some William Gibson-esque cyberpunk corporate board, but the Oathkeeper/Seven Mountains noises I keep hearing from the service academies and the Citizens United ruling leaves me to wonder how long that will last.

    We’ve fallen pretty damned far. If the president is, finally, belatedly, surprisingly, delightfully describing a path to recovering some of our lost honor, Mr. Chambliss, you would do well to get the hell out of the way, please.

    • TheEiger says:

      All the things you mentioned that should be questioned about our country are occurring under this administration. Yet when Saxby questions the President he should “get the he’ll out of the way”? Typical liberal bs. No need to repsond. I know what it will be. “it’s Bush’s faught.”

      • George Chidi says:

        Dude. I’m quite aware that they’re happening under a Democratic administration. The problem isn’t partisan. Obama is quite guilty of much of this, and I’ve said so before.

        My point, which is sailing over your liberal-hating head, is that when government signals a desire to stop the horror show, it should be applauded. Instead, we have a politician insisting that it continue. Are you actually defending the way we’ve used drones with insufficient target discrimination? Are you defending the unconstitutional use of Guantanamo? (Never mind the CIA anything-goes “black sites.”) Defending the wiretapping regime? Defending the investigation into investigative journalists? Are you defending the rest of it, too?

        Or are you just reflexively defending a Republican senator who is speaking out against Obama, because he’s on your “side?”

        • TheEiger says:

          No, I’m not defending it. This President has been promising to stop all of this an many other things since he was first elected. Actually, he was promising this when he was first elected to the Senate. I just don’t believe anything he says. “is that when government signals a desire to stop the horror show, it should be applauded.” He has been promising a lot of things yet he has yet to do anything about it. I would like to see something done besides promises.

          My point is that when someone not on your side questions the motivation behind this President’s actions you get your panties all in a wad. Obama wants to close down Gitmo, but he is okay with just blowing people up with a drone. That’s better. Why question them and get important info when you can just kill them? Why make the tough decision to put them in Gitmo when you can just kill them (and a few other people around them)?

          • griftdrift says:

            “Why question them and get important info when you can just kill them? Why make the tough decision to put them in Gitmo when you can just kill them (and a few other people around them)?”

            Actually torture is one thing that was in his power and one of the first things he issued an executive order to stop.

          • George Chidi says:

            Actually, the president coupled his statement about Guantanamo with a plan to change the criteria for the use of drones. So, perhaps, he is not okay with just blowing people up with a drone.

            Perhaps.

            • TheEiger says:

              “However, the CIA is still expected to maintain control of the drone program in Yemen, as well as in Pakistan’s tribal areas, given the concern that al-Qaida may return in greater numbers as U.S. troops draw down in Afghanistan. The military and the CIA currently work side by side in Yemen, with the CIA flying its drones over the northern region out of a covert base in Saudi Arabia, and the military flying its unmanned aerial vehicles from Djibouti.”

              “In Pakistan alone, up to 3,336 people have been killed by the unmanned aircraft since 2003, according to the New America Foundation which maintains a database of the strikes.”

              Yep, that sounds like he still plans on blowing people up with drones. Another promise that he won’t keep. I’ll put money down that Gitmo never closes under this president either. He will let a few folks from Yemen go, but Gitmo stays open.

              http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/05/obama-defends-drone-strikes-but-says-no-cure-all.html

              • George Chidi says:

                Sadly, you may be right. The only way that changes is if it becomes clear that there’s an electoral penalty to pay. But that’s unlikely as long as politicians know that they’ll lose more votes to a jingoistic demagogue after a successful terrorist attack than they will to a moral harridan like me who’s read too much Waltzer and expects just warfare.

  2. Three Jack says:

    The president’s speech was a nice attempt at diverting attention from the many scandals his administration is in the midst of defending. It gave MSNBC something to talk about last night as the tornado had become stale news for them.

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