Sunday, January 25, 2009

And it's one, two, three, What are we fighting for ?

1, 2, 3 what are we fightin' for...

Twenty, twenty, twentyfour hours to go, I wanna be sedated.

25 or 6 to 4..

Only numbers, right. Well how about 61 or 18? To some, 6118 means a great Gretsch guitar. But for today's lesson, 61 is a number being tossed around by Republican politicians, right-wing pundits, and lazy traditional media types instead of the likely more correct 18:
On the January 25 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, host David Gregory allowed House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to repeat the falsehood that, in Boehner's words, "we've already found" that 61 detainees released from the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay are now "back on the battlefield." In fact, the figure, which comes from the Pentagon, includes 43 former prisoners who are suspected of, but have not been confirmed as, having "return[ed] to the fight." Moreover, even the Pentagon's claim that it has confirmed that 18 former Guantánamo detainees have returned to the battlefield has been questioned by experts.

Jeebus, do you have any time to do, you know, research to look into actual, you know, facts? When you're not too busy dancin' with rapper K-Ro:
Finally, the part that gives us the willies: They had Karl Rove come up (who, by the way, is looking very trim. Wow). Then they had him rap. As "MC Rove." This is on video, see it for yourself here. NBC's David Gregory, provided back-up dance moves, as he does.

The Media Matters piece continues:
Additionally, Seton Hall University School of Law professor Mark Denbeaux -- who has written several reports about Guantánamo detainees, including some challenging the Pentagon's definition of "battlefield" capture and published detainee recidivism rates -- has disputed the Pentagon's figures, asserting: "[The Defense Department's most recent] attempt to enumerate the number of detainees who have returned to the battlefield is false by the Department of Defense's own data and prior reports." He added that in "each of its forty-three attempts to provide the numbers of the recidivist detainees, the Department of Defense has given different sets of numbers that are contradictory and internally inconsistent with the Department's own data."

Gregory also failed to challenge Boehner's assertion that the detainees at Guantánamo "are terrorists who have attempted to kill Americans." As Media Matters documented, a February 8, 2006, study authored by Denbeaux and a lawyer representing Guantánamo detainees analyzed Defense Department data on 517 Guantánamo Bay detainees, finding that more than half "are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies."

Actually, I think we should use the 61 number. We on the left are simply saying that the Bush Administration so badly botched everything about Guantanamo and its hearing process that they held people with no actual charges for years, while letting 18 actual terrorists go. Their own rhetoric makes it look much worse. If the actual number were 61, that would make the Bushies vastly more incompetent at combating global terrorism than we previously believed.