President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order today aimed at restoring the rule of law, as well as our nation’s commitment to human rights. He reiterates the message in his inaugural speech that we are not bound by “a false choice between our safety and our ideals.” The order provides for the…
“…closure of the Guantanamo detention center no later than one year from the date of the Order. Closure of the facility is the ultimate goal but not the first step. The Order establishes a review process with the goal of disposing of the detainees before closing the facility.”
Despite specifications that the Order be implemented in a manner that regards the welfare of the American people as the highest priority, Fox News via their Fox Forum has a posting that asks, “Would You Want Terrorists In Your Back Yard?” The blatant unfairness and imbalance of that question is typical of Fox News. Obviously, no one is proposing that the detainees be released into anyone’s petunia gardens. The Order requires a thorough review to determine how best to proceed toward a goal of bringing terrorists to justice and disposing of others appropriately.
It should be remembered that the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have not been convicted of, or even charged with, any misdeeds. For justice to prevail, those who may be guilty must be arraigned and prosecuted so that they can be punished. The rest should have their cases reviewed to determine if they represent a threat, and then dealt with accordingly. Even POWs are eventually repatriated. The problem with this war is that the enemy is an amorphous cloud of evildoers that cannot be certifiably defeated. There will be no ceremony on the deck of a battleship where the enemy leader surrenders his sword. How long, then, should the U.S. incarcerate alleged combatants without even permitting them a defense? Obama’s EO puts an end to this quandary.
The question posed on the Fox Forum has inspired over 2,300 responses at the time of this writing. Some of them illustrate the sick and twisted pathology of Foxism. Bill O’Reilly has repeatedly condemned web sites like Daily Kos and the Huffington Post because he found a few repugnant remarks by anonymous commenters. He is apparently too stupid to understand that open forums sometimes result in expressions of free speech that are indefensible. So he blames the site and attributes the sentiments to its operators. This has led to his over-the-top assertions that Arianna Huffington and Markos Moulitsas are worse than the Nazis and the KKK.
Well now it’s time for O’Reilly to demonstrate his fairness and consistency. Comments on the Fox blog refer to Obama as a terrorist; as the anti-Christ; they wish for his family to be burned alive; they threaten assassination by invoking Lincoln’s fate at the Ford Theater. Does O’Reilly attribute those sentiments to Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch? Will he condemn Fox News for hosting these comments:
Tom BB: America’s enemies rejoice now around the world and in the US. Obama the terrorist is in charge.
Steven: Hell No! Obama is of the devil!
drwoo: MAY OBAMA’S WIFE AND KIDS BE THE FIRST TO BE BLOWN UP, BURNED ALIVE OR HAVE TO JUMP OUT OF A WINDOW ON THE 88TH FLOOR (SPLAT). MAY OBAMA REAP WHAT HE HAS SOWN> AMEN!!!
Jim: The Antichrist has arrived and is doing well in the White House. Say goodbye to what we all know as a free and God loving America.
Jim P: WHEN THE BOYS FROM GITMO GET HERE OBAMA WILL GIVE THEM WELFARE,SECTION 8 HOUSING AND EVERYTHING ELSE THE STUPID ASS PEOPLE WHO PUT HIM IN OFFICE GET. LET THEM LIVE IN DC. THEY WILL BLEND IN WITH THE REST OF THE DC RESIDENTS! HOPE ALL THE LOW LIFE AND WELFARE PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA ARE HAPPY. BY THE WAY, WHEN WILL THE TICKETS TO THE FORD THEATER GO ON SALE?
Don Brown: Obama needs to be checked to see if he has a 666 somewhere on his body.
To be clear, these examples are the bottom of the Fox barrel. But the vast majority of comments on the Fox Forum were in opposition to the closing of Guantanamo. What surprises me about that is the fierce lack of confidence that these people have in American ideals and law. Why don’t they believe that justice, if allowed to work, would not prevail? Why don’t they believe that American values would produce a just result? Why are they so dismissive of the Constitution and its capacity to bring about the right ends? It seems to me that they are decidedly skeptical as to the merits of our nation’s founding principles. Isn’t that, by definition, unpatriotic?
Personally, I don’t attribute the remarks of anonymous commenters to the whole of Fox News. The anchors and correspondents do just fine themselves incriminating the network with their prejudices and disinformation. The Fox blogging community simply reflects that bias. And O’Reilly is the leader of the pack. That’s why I don’t expect him to have the integrity to be consistent. He will neither repudiate these remarks, nor criticize Fox News for promoting them. And he won’t retract his condemnations of others whom he disparaged for doing the very same thing. That’s just the way he is. He’s a sanctimonious, hypocritical, demagogue, who is fixated on disseminating his agenda of lies. His audience has found him, and he has found his home in the arms of Rupert Murdoch. I’m sure they are all very happy together.