There’s No Excuse

Stories like this almost make me ashamed to be an American.  The Bush Administration has done so much damage to our country — and caused so much pain, suffering, and death (between the incompentent handling of Hurricane Katrina, the pointless war in Iraq, the torture of prisoners, the massacre of innocent people, etc.) in the process — that they might as well be terrorists themselves.  They are doing Osama’s job for him.

21 thoughts on “There’s No Excuse”

  1. Hmmm… I’m just curious if you read the entire article. The bulk of his 5 years in detention had to do with his desire for asylum. The article give me the impression he was free to return to Algeria whenever he wanted (a death sentence, it seems, but not America’s doing). That’s not the same thing as what the article says up front: detained without a crime. Or have I misread something?
    Love your site, btw.

  2. You misread the article. Did you not understand the part regarding the Magistrate’s ruling?
    He shouldn’t have been in prison, and asylum was something he sought in Canada, not America, Canadian police handed him over because of what happened here on Sept one-one. We locked him up without ever charging him with a crime, if the facts of the article is correct, he was tormented and mistreated (a violation of his rights, and if you counter that we were at war, a violation of the geneva convention) – basically the US kept a man who sought asylum in Canada in jail for five years without charging him with a crime because he was a Muslim.
    That’s a terrible thing, and your post seems to suggest that he somehow had that treatment coming to him because he sought asylum from a country known for its human rights violations.
    No one should be thrown in jail for five years without being charged or have access to their basic human rights, regardless of their race or religion, it’s not what American freedom and democracy are about.

  3. Agreed. This truly is a travesty and, as we know, this poor guy isn’t the only one.
    You have to ask yourself, why are we supposedly trying to spread democracy around the world when we can’t even practice it ourselves?
    My father fought in a war to PRESERVE our rights and freedoms, not to see them gradually stripped away.

  4. ~~”I say to myself from time to time, maybe what happened … it was some kind of dream,” he said. “I never believed things like that could happen in the United States.”~~
    ~~”This truly is a travesty and, as we know, this poor guy isn’t the only one.”~~
    Sounds familiar … all of my family who were alive and living in on the US West Coast on December 7, 1941, know what this guy’s been through …
    The USofA just doesn’t learn from its mistakes …

  5. Reading that article made me so angry…mainly because it’s one more example of the rule of law, and human rights, being violated in a country that supposedly prides itself on those principles. Is this still America… or have we become what we’ve opposed or so long? Freedom of the press is being whittled away…and the Bush Administration thinks the Geneva Convention was just a suggestion…and not a very good one at that.
    I have been so ashamed of my country the last few years…and it’s just getting worse…the outright lies our President told us to so he could send Americans off to be killed in a pointless war, the torture at Abu Ghraib, the massacre of innocent Iraqis, the rampant fraud by American corporations “rebuilding” Iraq, the staggering incompetence of the government to deal with Hurricane Katrina, the outing of a CIA agent as retribution by our own government, the list of shame goes on and on and on. The Bush Administration seems to have forgotten what America stands for…the underlying principles and basic human values that freedom and democracy are built on…it’s sickening, disgusting and very scary.

  6. I haven’t read the article, but it’s interesting to read the accounts of an actual Iraqi living with the day to day realities of US and British invasion.
    I heard Bush’s speech the other day after the police had foiled some major terror plots over here, and quite frankly, the man cannot speak.
    When’s his tenure gonna be over?

  7. It is more than terrible, Lee, but what we can do is continue the fight against Bush corruption and incompetence -this is a fight we fight with ideas – there are many people as disgusted as we are and someday I hope we’ll swing those in congress who seem to care not and spur them to action – this president really deserves to be impeached, perhaps more than any other president in our history.
    We must constantly and consistantly make our case against Bush.
    There are positive signs – a great democratic movement in CT just ousted Liebermann, who was also known as Bush Lite, and I think other good things will come out of it as a result.

  8. You don’t want to know what I think of the Bush Administration. There aren’t enough words in my dictionary, and I’m a writer. At least not enough clean words.
    And now we have Lieberman saying that because Connecticut voted against him, the terrorists will win. Whoever morphed his face onto Bush’s in that ad apparently knew what he was doing.
    I hope for an end to this madness, but sadly, I’m not optimistic. It appears that whipping up fear and repeating lies over and over again trump common sense every time. Like that godawful Walgreens ad about a product I will never, ever buy: Apply directly to the forehead, apply directly to the forehead, apply directly to the forehead.

  9. Maybe we should all be writing cozy fanfic about Otto Penzler in protest.
    Otherwise, the terrorists win…..
    But seriously, this was a story that at least got told, and that helps in the fight against the administration’s injustices. How many more like this poor guy are still anonymous and without hope that there might be somebody out there willing to speak out for them?

  10. Evidently you don’t travel much, nor have you been to countries where even if you’re not ashamed, every citizen there looks at you and believes you should be.
    I am not ashamed to be an American, I should be, but I’m not. I’m sure as hell ashamed over what’s been done by America in American citizens names.
    And I feel even more ashamed whenever I meet people who support our incompetent President and what he’s doing to ruin this country.
    That’s who I am really ashamed of.

  11. With out starting a p***ing contest I will make one comment, perhaps two, then I am done.
    I would say that I have been embarrassed by the comments and actions of some of our politicians but the same holds true for the comments and actions of actors, musicians, and others, and those otherwise labeled as civilians. But NEVER ashamed to be an American.
    As far as travel is concerned, it is rather presumptuous of you to surmise that I have not traveled outside of the United States, or at least not as much as you think I should have nor the specific countries you may be thinking of. You don’t know me or what I have done in my life, nor me about you for me to suggest that you don’t know something.
    Proud to be an American

  12. I really think Lee Greenwood said it best:
    If tomorrow all the things were gone,
    I’d worked for all my life.
    And I had to start again,
    with just my children and my wife and gun and my bible and a can of something brewed from the land, not some of that liberal commie chardonay crap.
    I’d thank my lucky stars,
    to be livin here today.
    ‘ Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
    and they can’t take that away….unless you’re brown.
    And I’m proud to be an American,
    where at least I know I’m free.
    And I won’t forget the men who died (but I will forget you lady folks, and you homosexuals, too),
    who gave that right to me….unless, you know, I’m brown.
    And I gladly stand up,
    next to you and defend her still today.
    ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
    God bless the USA…and by God, I mean the Christian God…who don’t care none for you, if you’re brown…or gay…or brown some more
    From the lakes of Minnesota,
    to the hills of Tennessee.
    Across the plains of Texas,
    From sea to shining sea….all the way down there to Camp Gitmo
    From Detroit down to Houston,
    and New York to L.A.
    Well there’s pride in every American heart (except for those of you who voted for John Kerry),
    and its time we stand and say.
    That I’m proud to be an American,
    where at least I know I’m free.
    And I wont forget the men who died,
    who gave that right to me…because I’m not brown…
    And I gladly stand up,
    next to you and defend her still today.
    ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
    God bless the USA…and by God, I mean, none of you pig fucking Islam bastards, ya hear.
    And I’m proud to be and American,
    where at least I know I’m free.
    And I wont forget the men who died,
    who gave that right to me….because I’m not brown.
    And I gladly stand up,
    next to you and defend her still today.
    ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
    God bless the USA….and by God, I mean, the God who wants you to send some money on over to the 700 Club, cuz that show ain’t free.

  13. Tod said it better with that quote than can I, anon – but I will respond as I can and then let this go.
    It’s presumptious to assume you hadn’t traveled, you are correct, but not hardly a leap based on your bullheaded nashville flavored type of “I’m always proud to be an American, no matter what!” type of bull-hockey. It is also presumptious of you to assume that, simply because this is the country of your birth, its leaders will never do anything shameful that will reflect badly upon its citizens, which include you and I. If you state that no matter what this country does, you will never be ashamed, than you are very closeminded.
    I’m proud of many of the things America has done, and I’m proud of the potential this country has, I’m proud of the founding fathers and of our constitution (though evidently Bush and company does not care for that document) – in that sense, I’m proud to be an American.
    but I’m not proud that we imported slavery, I’m not proud that it took years to get women the same rights as men, I’m not proud that we took all the Japanese that lived here and stuck them in camps, I’m not proud that we dropped two nuclear bombs on japan even though the war was over but we wanted to send a message to russian, I’m not proud of what happened to native americans, I’m not proud of what happened to matthew shepard, and I’m not proud we invaded Iraq based on deceit and lies, killed 50,000 civilians and said we were bringing them freedom while dropping bombs on them. I’m really not proud that there’s a big frigging hole in the ground in downtown new york because the guy in charge was more interested in his vacations than he was in reading his memos warning him it would happened. I’m not proud that the EPA told all the rescue workers the air down there was safe when they knew it was not, and now that they’re dying of various lung diseases, five years later, are claiming it had nothing to do with the air at ground zero despite evidence to the contrary. Of that I am very ashamed.
    I’m proud of the potential this country has, and proud of many things done in its name over it’s short history, but I am deeply ashamed over what’s been done in its name over the past six years. Anyone with any sense of ethics or conscience or brains would be.
    That line you have, the Bush-lite Leiberman version of “well, there have been some mistakes, I don’t agree with everything said and done, but” here you insert “proud to be an American” whereas smoking Joe Leiberman says “I agree with the direction this country is going” or as Condi says “I support the President’s direction” or any sort of nonsense that Hannity or Rush – you’re in that company with how you’ve phrased yourself, sir, and mayhap you’re proud to be in that company, but my view is that if you are, you shouldn’t be.
    Personally, if you read a story such as the one Lee posted above and you come down here, sir, and say, well damn it, I’m still proud to be a damn American, no matter who they torture, kill and falsely imprison, you’re smoking from the same crack pipe Leibermann is.
    I’m sure it does not matter to you, what my opinion is or what I believe, but more than I am ashamed of what’s been done by this country, I’m ashamed of people like you who stood by and tacitly endorse it with your bullshit comment. Folks like you and those who flocked to Bush / Cheney ’04, those I am most ashamed of. Just my view.
    Lee, I know you don’t really want this to blow out into a huge flame fight, so after this comment I will take my leave regardless of what anon has to say afterward, you have my word upon that.
    But I thank you for allowing me to say what I have said.

  14. I’m proud to live in a country where it was possible to post and freely read the comments posted here.
    And I’m proud of Lee for bringing that article to our attention.

  15. Foregoing for a moment the fact that the anti-Bush rants are just as assumptive and closed-minded as the ‘Proud to be an American’ mindset railed against here, this article is terrible – seemingly cherry picking and idealistically presenting the facts to fit the ‘anti-Bush/USA’ model; glossing over the fact that his request for asylum presented a unique situation that seemed to make an already bad situation worse. I mean, where is the government’s official position on this? And there is just one quote from the attorney who worked on his case? Come on … the reporter had one goal with this: to inflame not inform, and it seems he did his job well.
    Certainly nothing excuses this guy’s imprisonment and treatment, but to take what seems like a complex situation with multiple judicial failures – the likes of which have I would hazard occurred long before 9/11 – and simplify it into your subscribed ideology of the ‘evil Bush Administration’ is surprisingly shallow, highly annoying and remarkably unintelligent.
    One man’s “I’m ashamed to be an American” rant is another’s “I’m proud to be an American.” If one is bad, the other is, too.


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