Monday, April 23, 2007


I was reading on a friends page about being raised traditional .Well you see i don't understand this traditional thing to much cause who's traditions when raised traditional how many traditional raising are they i know it used to be traditional was living a simple life and enjoying it working and have a moral standard.Now im not so sure i have looked into so many traditions and im sure my mom raised us with some but we changed rELIGION'S a lot haha and seams with each so called religion you also get a part of some people traditional ways and religions all mixed into other so what is true tradition today .Like when you graduate they have a show where you get up in pride in front of your friends who come some get party's some get cars but most i knew got a job.or had one that was tradition to me .when someone says traditional raising to you what do you think????

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Joe Sacco: Palestine

Well this book is not really a book, but worth dozens of books: Joe Sacco: Palestine. The Book is written in a comic form with the most remarkable language that tells the story of Sacco's adventure in Palestine, and what he saw. Edward Said wrote the introduction, and for anyone interested to see life in Palestine or Zionist illogical "logic", then I highly recommend this comic to be read. When a friend of mine recommended the book to me, I was rather taken by surprise, in terms of "what do you mean a Comic book", guess I was proven wrong.

It tackles different issues, issues that are so many to count, but I liked the idea of certain Palestinians argued that they can easily communicate with the Arab Jews but not with the European Jews (who in Palestine back in 1910s marketed their racial idea of Zionism) who broke up the harmony of all sects living togather in the "holy lands". The Book also provides in a very smooth manner the Palestinian/Israeli clashes from different perspectives.

Always Negative

How Can One Country Be So Guilty?

By Patrick Osio, Jr

There is a sector in the United States that no matter what the issue or occasion when it comes to Mexico, the spin is always negative. To this sector, Mexico can never do right and Mexico is always out to hurt or take advantage of the U.S. That such sector exists is not surprising because there has always been, and will forever be, people of such mentality be it about Mexico/Mexicans, Blacks, Jews, Catholics, Asians, Arabs, or of a multitude of other ethnic or religious groups.

What is surprising is that there are so many people who hear or read such negative spins who believe or not even question the often times absurdity of what they are hearing or reading.

Let's take some examples.

For three years the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico was the subject of intense negotiations, hearings and debates. During this period, dire warnings about doing business with Mexico were broadcasted by the negative-Mexico sector. Mexicans can't afford US goods; Mexicans cannot be relied to live up to the agreement; Mexicans will take jobs away from US workers; and on the spin went.

Prior to the agreement, Mexico's tariff system was unfavorable to the US. US made cars could not be imported and when done so it was with better than 100-percent tariff. Electrical and electronic goods could not be imported with less than 100-percent tariff; corn was under quotas with high tariffs, and on it went. NAFTA removed these barriers, and US products became easily accessible to the point that Mexico is now second only to Canada as the best US client. On the other hand, Mexican products exported to the US were taxed a the lowest rate as a developing country which meant US tariffs averaged less than 6-percent. Clearly the US has been the biggest winner in NAFTA.

Within NAFTA there were sections dealing with transportation. This section, agreed and signed by the three countries, allowed for US trucks to enter Canada and Mexico; Canadian trucks into the US and Mexico and Mexican trucks into the US and Canada.

The negative-Mexico sector hollered and screamed and the media loved the controversy publishing every argument, sane-insane, idiotic or moronic as fact without question. The main argument was and continues to this date, that Mexican trucks and their drivers pose eminent danger to the children, women an males of the US because they will be killed or at best maimed by the unsafe trucks and amateur Mexican drivers.

There was of course no evidence presented with the arguments, simply because none exists. How can it? Mexican trucks are not allowed on US highways so there cannot be evidence. And, no thought was given as to how it is that Mexico manages to move its commerce within their country. But facts and evidence is not a requisite, spinning the perception is enough. And, sadly far too many people buy into it.

In the agricultural section of NAFTA, Mexican avocados were to be allowed entry beginning in 1997. Here again the spin to revoke that section was the subject of intense negative-Mexico publicity. Full page ads were purchased by avocado associations and growers claiming that allowing Mexican avocados would destroy the entire US avocado industry, because plagues, weevils and as of yet undiscovered pests would be brought with Mexican avocados.

Yet, Mexico is the country that gave the world the avocado that has been growing there for around 5,000 years. Mexico is the world's largest producer of avocados and exports them to nearly all countries in the world. So we were to believe that US avocado growers were fighting for citizens' health and to prevent the eradication of their industry while stressing this was not an "economic issue." And sadly, people bought into it without questioning why avocados cost US consumers better than a dollar each, while Mexican consumers can buy them for ten to fifteen cents each.

The same negative-Mexico sector also argues that Mexican immigrants – legal and illegal – just don't want to assimilate into the greater scheme of what the US is. They continue to speak Spanish and celebrate Mexican holidays, and continue to favor Mexican music and food. Surely, they say this is proof that there is no intention to assimilate.

Following that logic, can it be said that Native Americans don't want to assimilate? They insist on keeping their languages, traditions and cultures alive and passing it on to their children. What's with them?

Irish-Americans don't assimilate they insist on river dancing, holding a parade on the 17th of March, they frequent Irish pubs, and worse - root for Irish soccer teams and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Tell me they're assimilated.

Chinese celebrate their New Year with parades and firecrackers, which is not the same as for assimilated Americans. They open Chinese food restaurants and, continue to speak their ancestral language. Now there is a non assimilated group.

And don't get me started on Italian-Americans – aren't they all Mafioso? And those who aren't insist on throwing out Italian words when speaking and sing Italian romantic ballads, and who gave them permission to hook assimilated Americans with their pizza's and all those non-assimilated pasta dishes? And, what's with the Columbus Day parade?

What about Germans with their October Fest days; Scots with Scottish rites? Japanese with Sushi? And the Pollocks who go as far as having Polish language newspapers. Surely no one says they're assimilated.

The negative-Mexican sector makes no bones about all these other non-assimilated Americans. No, the fuss is simply about Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. It makes one wonder if there are not some dark souls behind all this.

Ah, the hell with it. Bartender, serve me another tequila shot and get me some more tortilla chips and salsa.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Sinner's Guide

To Evangelical Right

A site I bumped into, a funny book, as it seems, and a monitor of the Bushies. I found it while browsing Virgil Johnson's and Jodi's blogs. Of all horrorous things to be read there, this struck me as the worst:

President of Southern Baptist Seminary: Christians Should Support Medical Treatment On Fetuses To Ensure They're Heterosexual

Is Your Baby Gay? What If You Could Know?
What If You Could Do Something About It?

What if you could know that your unborn baby boy is likely to be sexually attracted to other boys? Beyond that, what if hormonal treatments could change the baby's orientation to heterosexual? Would you do it? Some scientists believe that such developments are just around the corner....

For the rest of the read, click here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Poll #14 Comments

This post is provided to allow space for comments that reflect upon or go beyond choices offered in the current poll.

If you had to fight for one, which would it be?
United States

Monday, April 09, 2007

Carlos Fuentealba

Saludos compañeros.

As you might imagine, teachers in Argentina are not well paid. And their situation is worse in provinces far away from the capital. Last week there was a protest in Neuquen, a province in the south, about 950 km away from Buenos Aires, which is ruled by the MPN (movimiento popular neuquino), a fascist rightwing party. During that protest, 41 yr old chemistry teacher Carlos Fuentealba was killed by the police. They shot him with a tear gas can at short distance.

Today, Monday, teachers all over the country are on strike. Also bank workers, trains, buses, university professors, hospitals. His students paid homage to him. They carried banners saying "las tizas no se manchan de sangre" (chalks must not be stained with blood).

We will keep fighting.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I Just Want To

Sing Your Name

There was song by Woodie Guthrie that honored Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Its title was the same as this post. The repetitive lyrics were simple. He sung their names and repeated the title. There are some names I would like to sing too, those of the few hundred with whom I have communicated empathetically since treading the path to where we are on the Further Left Forum.

One of our team members recently recounted experience at the end of a first year of blogging. I was impressed and it seemed a good idea to do with Further Left. It has been a long trek with many changes and people. Today marks a fifth anniversary of sorts. This is a good time.

It will be a telling of Further Left’s genesis from perspective of my involvement. Repetitions of “I”, “me”, and “my” will certainly lend an egocentric slant that I hope is discounted. The several hundred other participants will remain unnamed out of respect for anonymity, but the trip has been a joint venture of the many rather than one or a few.

Early days of my professional career delved concepts of computers before they existed. My specialty was microcomputer telecommunications by time of mid 1980’s retirement. That is when, along with uncounted others, we were first nourishing an internet seed just beginning to germinate.

Away from professional environs, I publicly wore without concern the reputation of civil rights, labor, anti-war, and associated cause activist, organizer, and general political/social troublemaker. Classrooms and labs fed the family while struggles in streets, meeting halls, and doorways fortified the heart.

From retirement until early 2002, I was prevented by circumstances from exploring what the internet had become. Age and distance also prevented social and political aspects of life I would rather be exercising. A computer on the internet bridges those limitations. It seemed a suitable tool for increasing the odds of at least figuratively ‘dying on my feet’ by substituting fingers on a keyboard.

Five years ago today marked my entrance to online agitating by posting on a US site oriented and operated to support its democrat political party though posing otherwise with the pretentious label ‘underground’. I became a fixture with views either too far left or ‘under’ to suit the site’s proprietors. They finally banned my further use in late December 2003.

I came to join with some of shared outlook from there at a now defunct site that was underground in more than name. It was web invisible, used encrypted transmission, and accessible only by invitation. Besides a forum for posting articles and opinion, it had a chat room to which I was attracted.

I knew from experience that political organizing solidifies through personal relationships. Previous activism taught to maximize their development and minimize mistakes by basing trust on observing what a person does rather than says. Unfortunately, just as in paper publishing, the pre-configured writing of internet posting favors saying and obscures doing. It lets readers know what a writer wants them to think rather than perceive what they are.

Chat rooms differ in that respect. There, habits are prominent in guiding more rapid back and forth expression. They impede coating presentation to desire. Personages behind the words reveal themselves eventually, whether intended or not. A chat room seemed a promising tool for melding a preferred past into a computer present if taken to public domain. The Further Left chat room opened as such on Yahoo in August 2003.

It started well and soon drew a core of dedicated users. Sometimes just a few attended, but about 12 were normal, and it was double that at times. I had the background, inclination, time, and internet facility to most readily assume primary responsibility for maintaining the room's existence. Others shared keeping it open around the clock as well as maintaining a conceptual credo similar to that of the Forum today.

When I suffered incapacitation of computer use for a period of several months, regular users extended efforts to maintain the chat room's existence. It showed they considered it as having value. It was good to discover personal importance and presence were neither predominant nor necessary. That lesson mattered a lot.

The room's user demography reflected internet use in general. About half counted the US and UK associated nations as origin, the latter in relative lesser proportion. The other half influenced me most however by expanding political and social outlook beyond provinciality of previous experience. That was the greatest abstract value I gained from the chat room. The less abstract one was meeting people I came to know well.

The Yahoo system offered no manner of moderation over who could join or what they might do. People began to show with discordant motives. It was their computer and just as with a shoot 'em down game, they could entertain themselves as chosen with little apparent recognition there were real lives behind the screens. It went progressively downhill from there. Some disruption was from intended counter political effort. Most was just plain ‘look at me’ computer play.

To lend direction, I sought serious user input and created a file of Frequently Asked Questions in the late fall of 2003. That was the start of what enlarged through user contributions to become in March 2004 the Further Left Chat Room Library web site. It helped somewhat and its contents still account for a large share of Forum contacts through search engine queries.

The decline continued however. Many solid participants cut us off and left a feeling there was something else going on. There was. There were fake, impersonating, and lying emails, impersonating posting, fake web sites, threats in print, phone calls, instant messaging, and emails. Resulting distrust chased some old hands and many newcomers away. There was worse, much worse.

Revelations of user names, addresses, phones, and businesses appeared. There was a web site falsely identifying a user as a child molester on the lamb for murder. A separate chat room offered another’s sister in prostitution with contact details. Confusion occurred from sprouting of similar and same name Further Left chat rooms and web sites. Some of the Library's code combined with that of a porn site. There were complaints to law enforcement and surreptitious infiltration of same. People went to jail and underground. Many good ones left out of necessity, disgust, or because they could not afford that sort of strain on personal lives.

Such chaos was not restricted to Further Left but occurred throughout the Yahoo chat system. I believe it was probably out of concern for legal liability and advertiser fears that Yahoo did away with all user created chat rooms in June of 2005. That is despite some evidence the political direction of our room was a specific target of individuals working within the Yahoo operation. Whichever was the case, we saw our demise in the works before it happened. The closing came without surprise and we were ready to turn negative to positive.

We immediately installed the Further Left chat room on an IRC system. It was an improvement over Yahoo in many respects. Some were reliability, format, and ease of use. The biggest change had to do with managing manner of use. There was no more of either the nonsense or danger primarily due to our preventative actions.

Also missing were many users we thought at the time we would like to retain. Several gave us a look but evidently decided there was greater joy in the excitement of Yahoo craziness. Others quit because they objected to our moderation controls. Despite concerted notification efforts, many probably lost track of our location after the Yahoo demise. I regret my fault of discouraging some by valuing operation over persons.

Some intentional disruptors returned and attempted encores on the new chat system. We cut it off. Blocked attempts also repeated on the Forum after its initiation. Some still try for acceptance under pretense of innocent appearing inputs in the chat room, Forum, and its team member blogs. People can become good at fooling the unwary. Spotting what they can be and remembering it was a sad but advantageous Yahoo chat experience.

One of our long-term chat participants and team members created a personal posting blog in November 2004. Several others established theirs between then and October 2005, when the Forum was initiated. Its original team members were chat room regulars of long standing. Other team member blogs soon followed. The team grew as some joined in the fall of 2006. The Forum’s Posting Guide, Privacy Policy, and Contributors list were designed in part to aid maintaining a focused conceptual style that does not lead toward mistakes of a murky past.

In March 2006, the Library’s internet service provider denied us further hosting. The claim was its political content and links to the chat room and Forum were causing hacker attacks presumably emanating from the US. It is ironic the service is owned and operated by a Canadian and located in Mexico. Whether or not the reason given was the valid cause of action, the de facto censorship did not stick. We moved quickly to and still are with a more reliable and enhanced service at half the cost.

From the perspective of those of us who continued using the chat room, its quality improved markedly at the move. That however has evidently not been the view of most that never returned. Use has since fallen steadily to where now just a few of us who know each other well continue to communicate as friends. Our Contributor list shows the Forum also suffers a noticeable contribution decrease. I wish these were otherwise but understand people change in circumstance and inclination.

That is where we were and how I see us today. Where will we be tomorrow? How will we get there? Which way should we stride? Or, should we bother at all? Is this missive a final verse to a last hurrah? I have no answers to those but wonder about them in pondering the words of Antonio Machado: "There is no path. Paths are made by walking. The only path seen looking back is as a wave in the sea, one never to be tread again."

What I do know is that if you affect someone, it will pass to another. You probably will not know to whom, how, or when, but it will pass. There is an improvable but statistically substantiated conjecture that shows how far and easily. Suppose Joe knows Moe and Moe knows Floe. Call that a “two link bridge” between Joe and Floe. Study has it that a bridge of six links is sufficient with a high degree of probability to connect any two people on Earth. We are closer to affecting one another than we think.

Five years ago, I did not know the internet could spread political effect. I had never heard of a chat room four years ago. Blogs entered my conscience less than two years past. The current Forum team has been together about half a year. This report started as a song honoring names of more than a couple hundred who have walked some of the way with us. All have also traveled with others. Moreover, those others have …. You get the idea. Paths are made by walking.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Detention Camp

= Concentration Camp

Over 500 articles make reference to the Wikipedia Internment article either directly or through redirects. A list of them is here.

But curiously enough Detention_center re-directs to Prison

According to Wikipedia's current definition, Guantanamo Bay detention camp qualifies as an detainment camp / concentration camp / internment / relocation camp. It holds political opponents, enemy aliens, specific ethnic or religious groups, civilians of a critical war-zone, or other groups of people, usually during a war. The inmates are selected according to some specific criteria, rather than individuals who are incarcerated after due process of law fairly applied by a judiciary. I.e. are imprisoned without habeas corpus rights, no right to see an attorney, no charges, no court trial, no jury... Thus Camp Delta, Camp Echo, Camp Iguana (for Children) and Camp X-ray are all concentration camps/internment camps/relocation centers/detention centers. Same difference.

Four words with one and the same exact meaning?? Same article to cover them all? Perhaps they all are used to reframe the same thing - an illegal prison for people that have not been accused of anything. I would have thought that the article would have represented several different viewpoints and not dressed-down torture camps, detention camps, and concentration camps to be mere internment centers .

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Something Shared

I got this in a email from who don't mater but the fear in it does. Now i know to the world right now we don't look to good i read. But at one time France gave us this country a statue of Lady freedom. This country was for the poor the tried of religious prosecution to be able to be free with no kings to order mass killing or purging of a way.

Im american im not afro american i not native american im not english american im just a plain ol poor working class american who's so close to going to live in our mental hospitals one day if not a death camp way we are going.

I love what my country stood for i love the help that is set up to help people in times of need what i don't understand tho is why on God green earth slowly going brown

that humans have let us loose so many freedoms all our ancestors from world over and here fought for died for in the land of magic and make believe only the strong survived to make it here and with all the broken treaty's to my cousins.

they say freedom is but another word for nothing else to loose. when we have voluntary given so many freedoms away and the laws have changed so much and each state has different laws in one country im confused someone please tell me where the land of i wana be free is what state in the united states honors the original United States Constitution

shoot im 43 soon and i did not learn all this you see im one the lost kids not of my moms making or my dads but who knows only thing i have to loose is my life and my babes = my pets seams i all ready have lost the freedoms promised in the United States Constitution. to bad the liberty bell broke i guess it was a sign we did not head.

be safe walk in peace allways. this is what was shared below

"Soon, in the US, the danger of speaking ones mind will be done with, because many wont be able(like now) and nobody(the world) will NOT listen when they hear the cry...just what we have been given...

its important to think in terms of laws...but even that will do very little, and it will get here as soon as National Security becomes Law of the Land...this is, explanations and rhetorics if any will be kept to a minimum...

if we thought, someone, was listening to us when we went to the streets to protest, wait till you see that leaving your house could be a greater mistake...

if you are NOT afraid for your life(like the rest) it probley means you are not afraid that your thoughts will be repressed and you'll also join the new and improved way of that case, consider this as a note to your children's...

and finally, sadly, unless you know some good lawyers, that might reduce 90 years sentences, i would be very hesitant to speak my mind...all in all, its time to be careful with our words...if you thought you were careful before, you are not listening...

a heads up...

Bless them for sharing with me there fears i still have some faith left or right .

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Oh Say Can You See

When a child we would substitute for the words of the United States national anthem with

Oh say, can you see,
Any bedbugs on me,
If you do, pick a few,
And I will fry them for you.

But that was just kids being cute without grasp of the substitution's appropriateness. It wasn't until later years that I sung another lyric with political intent.

There were campus protests opposing the then current war. They essentially shut the school down. Its president suffered embarrassment of having been forced by local self designated patriots to publicly sing the national anthem. The state police were called out and assembled to restore campus order. Their large number were in rank at attention for the morning's US flag raising. As it started to slowly climb and the cops feigned showing proper patriotism, someone in the much larger gathered crowd began singing hard to forget lyrics, and the rest took it up.

Ha ha ha, Ha ha ha,
Ha ha ha ha ha ha,
Ha ha ha, Ha ha ha,
Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Those were the words I cynically recalled while reading the following article about US justice, a word that is not, by the way, among those of their anthem. The only surprising thing was where the article appeared. It is usually necessary to seek publications outside US borders to get a glimpse of what is as it is. This one was in the US Saint Louis Post Dispatch for 'Americans' to skim and forget in favor of TV presentations of what isn't happening and who cares about what it says is. No need now to remember the proper order of their pretentious anthem's official words "proudly we hail", "bombs bursting in air" and "rocket's read glare"

By Guy Taylor

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, CUBA • His ankles shackled and locked to the floor, the heavyset man with a shaved head and a thick black beard sat as a panel of military officers shuffled into the windowless hearing room. Over the next hour, the officers presented a classified summary of accusations against the man as part of a once-a-year review to determine whether he would be released after more than 60 months of incarceration. The man refuted their assertion that he once served as a high-level operator in the Taliban; he claimed instead to be no more than an innocent shopkeeper from outside Kabul.

The hearing, called an Administrative Review Board, happened in small trailer almost entirely without notice last week, the same week Australian David Hicks made worldwide headlines by becoming the first to be convicted in a special war crimes court here. Hicks pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of nine months in an Australian prison, which was announced Friday night.

While the court aims to bring some form of justice for men like Hicks and admitted Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the fate of hundreds of others still lingers.

For men such as the bearded Afghan, the legal proceedings amount to little more than the once-a-year hearing they receive in the windowless white trailer. And with public and political debate raging over whether the Guantanamo prison ought to be closed, some, including the military officials in charge here, say the prison's future hinges on what is to come of these lesser-known prisoners.

Asked in an interview this week if the prison may soon be shut down, Army Brig. Gen. Cameron A. Crawford, deputy commander of the joint task force that runs the prison, said: "I don't know."

"A better question might be, 'What are we going to do with the 380-some detainees we have here?' " he said.

"What is going to be their disposition? That will, in turn, drive how long Guantanamo is open as a detention facility."

Grim outlook

Military officials are conducting almost daily administrative hearings like the one for the Afghan, designed to give each detainee an annual chance to have his status as an "enemy combatant" reviewed by a panel of military officers.

While Pentagon news releases say there have been "approximately 390 releases and transfers" from Guantanamo since the prison was created in 2002, the number of men leaving the prison is now waning significantly.

Out of 328 hearings conducted last year, none resulted in a release,

according to officials at Guantanamo. Fifty-five led to recommendations that detainees be transferred, most to their native countries, and 273 ended with a ruling to keep the detainee at Guantanamo. Officials said 111 prisoners were released last year, but they were the result of earlier hearings.

About eight out of 10 detainees opt not to show up at the hearings, lest their participation lend some legal validity to the process. Most are advised not to attend by pro-bono civilian lawyers, who are seeking to have their cases tried in U.S. federal court.

Human rights and civil liberties groups argue the hearings unjustly stack the deck against detainees because military officials present only a summary of classified evidence of the reason each is being held.

Half of each hearing consists of military officers mulling over the classified portion of the evidence, without the detainee or any outside observer, present.

'Sources are classified'

The Afghan, whose name is being withheld in adherence to Pentagon ground rules for journalists, was the first detainee to show up for an administrative hearing since December. During the past three months, 20 such hearings were held with no detainee present.

The four military officers sat at a table with a large American flag on the wall behind them. The name tags had been removed from their uniforms. They read from a three-ring notebook.

"The detainee stated that when Taliban forces captured Kabul, they detained many people and he took a job in the intelligence ministry of the Taliban and was in charge of patrolling the streets," read one officer.

His wrists cuffed in his lap, the Afghan responded through his translator: "They were forcing young men to serve in their army. Since I didn't want to go to war and fight, I just gave my name to work in an administrative job. I did this to avoid having to go and fight … I wasn't working in the intelligence office. I had to go there to show my face once in a while."

He acknowledged having received pay from the Taliban, to which the military official asked, "Why would the government pay somebody who wasn't working?"

"In Afghanistan, it's normal," the prisoner said. "It's chaos, it wasn't organized. They don't have like a human resources office that follows up."

He also acknowledged carrying a handgun when was arrested, but said that, too was normal.

The Afghan said he had made up some of his other statements to interrogators who questioned him aggressively.

"Sometimes they would treat me real bad," he said. "I would say whatever came out of my mouth. There were so many times I would say, 'Why don't you call me Mullah Omar or Osama bin Laden?' I would tell the interrogators, 'Why don't you write down anything you want and I'll sign it.'"

He also denied an allegation read by the military officer that the "detainee's sister is married to a Taliban intelligence officer."

"My sister is not married to a Taliban," he said.

After denying the officers' statement that a source had said the Afghan was a "major" Taliban intelligence operative, he asked: "Why are you hiding information from me … the sources who said these things about me?"

"The sources are classified," said an officer, "for reasons having to do with security."

At the hearing's end, an officer read a list of reasons why the detainee should perhaps be released, including that he claims he had "never heard of al-Qaida until the United States began bombing Afghanistan."

Return to war?

As occurs after every administrative hearing, military officials will now review the Afghan's statements along with the secret evidence against him, then make a recommendation to the Pentagon on whether to release, transfer, or keep him imprisoned.

Critics decry the process.

"You've got hundreds of people here who've never been charged with any crime and will never be charged," said Sabin Willett, a volunteer lawyer from Boston who was at Guantanamo this week. "It's a farce."

Willett represents a group of ethnic Uighurs — men from northwestern China — who were detained in Afghanistan more than five years ago and continue to be held at Guantanamo despite having been determined by military officials to no longer be a threat to the United States.

Gen. Crawford, the deputy prison commander, defended the hearing process, noting that the Defense Department "very recently crossed that magic point where we've actually released more detainees than are actually here." The purpose of the process is "to make sure that we're not holding anybody any longer than we need to," he said.

A recent Pentagon news release says the process is designed with a "rigor" that "helps mitigate the risk that a released/transferred detainee will return to the fight and the Global War on Terror."

Guy Taylor is a freelance journalist based in Washington.

In offer of one more reference to their national anthem, there is something there about the "twighlight's last gleaming" over the "land of the free and the home of the brave". Let us sing with more fitting lyric as we do our best to bring that about.

Ha ha ha, Ha ha ha,
Ha ha ha ha ha ha,
Ha ha ha, Ha ha ha,
Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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