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Archive: Viewer Comments

Question: (2009-08-27)

+ Obama Watch Question Archive - Obama Watch Question Archive
Do you think Congress will pass Obama's health reform bill? Do you think Obama's health reform summit will lead to a bipartisan reform bill? Do you think the federal stimulus has significantly helped the economy over the past year? What was your reaction to Obama's State of the Union speech? Do you think Obama has been devoting enough attention to environmental issues? What should Obama's Afghanistan troop strategy be? Are you concerned the U.S. is becoming too involved in military operations in Pakistan? Did Obama deserve to win the Nobel Peace Prize? Do you think Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan? Twinkies? Soda? Cigarettes? What items would you pay higher taxes on to ensure health care for all? Do you agree with Obama's decision to continue the practice of sending terrorism suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation? Should President Obama be tackling both the economy and health care at the same time? Some gay rights activists say Obama is not taking their concerns seriously enough. Are they right? How should Obama prioritize the battles he takes to Congress? Will Obama's speech in Egypt improve America's image in the Muslim world? Who should Obama nominate as the next Supreme Court justice and why? Has the press been too lenient on Obama in his first 100 days? What do you think of Obama's performance on his debut trip abroad as president? Do you think Obama's budget plan is too ambitious? How do you think Obama has done in his first 50 days in office? Do you blame Obama for not living up to his no-earmark pledge?

Commenter: andrea crease
if we are at war with these or any other people, it is our responsibility to deal with suspected extreme enemies ourselves within the perimeters of our laws and our ethics. if we do not, what makes us any different from any other 'evil' empire - now or thruout history? my problem is this - after 50 years of political awareness and study, along with reading and studying history - i increasingly do not see the difference.

Commenter: joanrose kung
I am totally against sending prisoners of ours to other countries.

Commenter: Jag Singh
The system of rendition is grotesque and must be banned. It violates the basic tenets of all religions! Obama's administration must be held accountable for continuing this immoral practice.

Commenter: Mike
Regarding your changing "evolving" positions.

Some of us would like to stand with / behind

Stop moving...

Commenter: Hans Karlsson
Strongly disagree. It's a disgrace.

Commenter: anonymous
I think this could take a strong turn for the worse. Sould suspected terrorists be detained and questioned? I believe so. However, if the plan Obama mentioned were to be inacted, where would the power to detain without charges or substantial evidence end. When the terrorist threat subsides, where will the focus of whatever agencies charged with determining who is a threat be turned? It was mentioned being able to detain americans who potentially pose a threat. Without specific guidelines or requirements to go along with detention, it will be like unleashing a tiger at a peting zoo.

Commenter: Laura Bramlette

Commenter: Sue Hazlewood
This rendition of "rendition" is a faithful cover version of the tune that whistled many Republicans and independents to try, they thought, a bold new choice for president who would wash away the shame and sins against our own philosophy and view of ourselves, so that we might once again be a light to the world, or at least not its biggest hypocrite. Shame on you, B.

Commenter: Daniel Conner

Commenter: hsfrey
There is no excuse for rendition, except to evade US laws. Are officials in Egypt, for instance, better trained than US investigators? What POSSIBLE reason could we have for sending prisoners to them for questioning, except that we expect them to use techniques we are forbidden to use by law?

Commenter: Jack Pryor
I am appalled that President Obama would continue the practice of rendition. At this rate, he is going to set a record for the fastest and most dramatic transition from being the most popular president to being the most despised president in history.

Commenter: Marly Piver
I do not agree with Obama in sending terrorism suspects to 3rd world countries. Why is this administration still making the same mistakes as the last administration. Obama needs to listen to his base!! Who is this president listening to????????

Commenter: ediegroner
Thank you for your excellent program tonight on detention in the UK and what Obama will do about preventive detention. Your interviews with innocent Muslims in Britain and Phillipe Sands were excellent. I wish you could show your program to the Obama admin. since they are continuing policies of Bush that are not part of our expectations of the rule of law and constitutional rights. It is worrisome that detainees are held without rights to see their evidence against them or they US citizens could also lose their rights. I worry that they are not getting the best advise from people like Phillipe Sands but former Bush officials! Keep up the excellent programs we badly need to see.

Commenter: Tori Looks Twice
Dear Mr. President:

This country has longed stated its principles within the confines of the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, and other such clearly defined documents. It has signed on to a treaty which forbids torture in all situations, which extends to the 9/11 attack on our soil. You, as the president of this nation, have an obligation to abide by the rule of law, by the treaty to which it is a partner with respect to the issue of torture. And yet, you have issued orders which would incarcerate persons without their being formally charged, denial of their right to see the evidence against them, and to hold them for indefinite lengths of time and denial of legal representation. What country are we living in? Do you realize that you have broken every single promise you made to the American people when running for office? We voted for you, believed in you, counted on you and now you spit in our faces because you got that seat in the grand White House. We needa fighter, a man of conscience, a truthsayer, a leader, attributes you to be lacking in. Don't look for my vote when your term is over. I'd rather thrown it in the trash alongside your empty words.

Commenter: Mike
If only we could get president Obama
to listen to candidate Obama.

So much more was possible and clear
when Bush was president. He, the
candidate, Obama,knew what was wrong,
was clear about what he would change
and why.

President Obama has apparently forgotten
or wasn't paying attention to what candidate
Obama had to say. Forgot, or just wasn't
paying attention, as a senator to just how
hard it is to get things done in Washington,
to "turn that ocean liner".

Maybe we should do him a favor and compile and
collect his "old" campaign speeches for him to
review in his downtime between capitulation
and hypocrisy.

Commenter: Charles Campbell
No Mr. President we voted for you because we wanted a change for President Bush and what you are giving us is more of the same policies. Get in the fight as if your life depends on it, because for too many of us, our lives depend on your willingness to not compremise away health care reform. We are with you, if your are willing to fight for us.


Charles E. Campbell

Commenter: Reg
Rendition is a despicable practice. So is detaining people who may be innocent, without even allowing them to know why they are being detained. This is America. We have principles. I served in WW II

Commenter: Paul Rivers
This country is based on the rule of law. One does not have one set of rules for oneself and another set for others. To paraphrase another, Democracy is destined to fight its battles with one hand tied behind its back. That strength says more to others than any battle lost.

Commenter: Charles MIchael Couch
Indefinite detention without trial and with secret evidence is the MOST DANGEROUS THING Democracy has ever faced, period. The next most dangerous is campaign contributions. If we fail to defeat these two ideas and send the to hell where they belong, America is doomed. These cancers may snuff out her life in a matter of months. Where are the sane Americans?

Charles Michael Couch

Commenter: Tom Mullen
The use of rendition is absolutely wrong. The only reason to be this is to deny the protections under US law. In particular torture.

Commenter: JoAnn
Absolutely not!
We have lost our freedom, with the Patriot Act. People need to wake up and read the book,Addicted to War---- Found at Anyone can be picked up and held, without a phone call to anyone. Our police arrest people, without cause. Prisoners are being tortured. Our military are tortured, as a part of their training or initiation parties.
The US Government and police forces keep these things hidden, if they can, but they can't keep these things, totally, hidden.
And, even, when prosecutors know, that they have the wrong person in jail, they don't want to let the person out of jail.
We need make a lot of changes domestically and internationally.

Commenter: David Duval
Sending terroist prisoners to other countries opens up a chance for mistakes. The prisoners could be treated worse, better or even released w/o the proper questionning. Closing Gitmo appears to be primarily a political move. I think it's a bad decision.

Commenter: Bill
Of course not. Just like all of Obama's inane ideas that will ruin this great nation.

Commenter: Clay Bodine
No, rendition is primitive and stupid. I realize it is an inherited problem and the solution is problematic, but let's take the high ground, expose the conservative barbarism and fix the problem.

Commenter: Roy
I think that it is absolutely wrong and I am terribly disappointed in Obama's reasoning. After viewing and reading about how suspects have been treated I am disheartened that America has stooped so low and wants to continue doing the same. Where is the Change I voted for?

Commenter: EricX
I agree that the CIA worker bees should be thanked and pardoned, those that ordered criminal actions should be tried for treason and high crimes!!!

Rendition only lowers the worlds view of the USA as being hypocritical at best ! We are suppose to be world leader in morels. Even Jesus said that you should turn the other cheek.

Remember that if they invaded the USA - EVERY man worth his salt would gladly die trying to remove them just as they die to remove us.
Get out now and let them fight over the remains!!!!

"If we had held Johnson and Nixon responsible for Vietnam we wouldn't be in Iraq right now, and if we don't hold bush/CHENEY and their administration responsible now some future administration will abuse our military - "

Truer words are rarely spoken !

"Much of our trouble in the Middle East can be traced all the way back to the Carter Administration and their weak response to the provocations of that time."

Total bunch of right-wing BS ! Our problems in the middle-east go back to supporting the Jewish state at the expense of the Palestinians back in 1948 - 1952 all the way thru today. Not to mention that the USA and Briton first intervened together in Iran in 1950's and over threw it's democratically elected Prime Minister and installed their own puppet in order to retain control of it's oil.

What would we say if China over threw Mexico's president for their oil ???

Commenter: Yes; keep Rendition!
There is still a war on terror even though the Obama administration refuses to use the term! He has now aliented the CIA, the organization on this war's front line. Without adequate intelligence we are far more likely to have another 911. Guantanamo is is closing. Where will we put people captured in this war's effort? It is foolish and imprudent to put our intelligence efforts on the front page for all (terrorists) to read. These acts say a lot about our current administration and, hopefully, will foretell its early replacement.

Commenter: RayInAZ
I am extremely surprised that President Obama has determined that any policy, let alone the policy of rendition, used by previous presidents should be continued by his presidency. I had concluded President Obama didn't have a lick of sense when it came to protecting our country from those that would like to see us all dead; now I have to rethink my opinion, at least on this one tiny issue, of President Obama.

Further, I do not want transparency in our policies; what my government does to protect my family should be unknown to me and every one else; just keep us safe.

Had the CIA figured out that 911 was in process prior to 911 and they had killed off a few of the folks planning the exercise in secret; I would have gone along fat, dumb and happy the rest of my life.

Commenter: JL
Yes. Read the Jefferson Papers, the Judiciary's opinion on WWII Internment Camps, and John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism (1861), for arguments far better articulated than any I could present.

Commenter: Stephan Spaulding
Sure! Send them else where. Maybe they'll die while being transferred. You lame a$$ people forget the Americans

Commenter: FSpringman
No, Never. If it cannot take place on an American base, Territory, Island or Mainland then it should not be taking place at all.

Commenter: Ginny
He should absolutely STOP these renditions. What's the secret? Where's the transparency. This is not an American value.

Commenter: Rama Vemulapalli
No. This practice should be stopped immediately.

Commenter: david
How anyone could condone these barbaric abuses is beyond me. We fought WWII to defeat the Nazis, not to become them. Obama should have, on inauguration day, signed with the International Criminal Courts. Partisan politics would be minimized, investigations and possible prosecutions of crimes and determinations of damages could be addressed. Nuremberg could be the model:
1 Crimes against peace.
Wagging aggressive war.
2 Crimes against humanity.
Targeting civilians. (Falluja)
3 War crimes.
If we had held Johnson and Nixon responsible for Vietnam we wouldn't be in Iraq right now, and if we don't hold bush/CHENEY and their administration responsible now some future administration will abuse our military to brutalize some dark skinned innocent people to enrich themselves and their cronies.(Congress)
All of this is done in our names with resources that might have made a better life for those suffering and future generations.

Commenter: Tom Tonon
For the country's sake, President Obama needs to fulfill his campaign promise to "change the mindset that got us into war, in the first place." Rendition is one of the many infractions against human rights that this president has bought into, because of his current mindset and his failure to do what's right, as he promised. With war, he is proving as foolish as President Johnson. With war, President Obama proves not to be a leader. Bush led us to war - unjustified war. Obama is now only following along in the mindset of President Bush.

Commenter: D. Greenwald
absolutely not!

Commenter: K. Alexander
terrorism SUSPECTS are just that - SUSPECTS. They should be given the same rights to legal counsel as anyone else. They should NOT be held indefinitely nor tortured, nor should they be sent to secret 3rd country prisons. How can we defend democracy

Commenter: Larry Hermeling
Renditions should be stopped. It's another way the Obama administration is keeping the disgusting practices of the Cheney/Bush administration.

Commenter: Dan Sanchez
I support Pres. Bush and the treatment of the terrorists. They are not a sovereign powers military force. They are: Terrorists...a bunch of civilian thugs armed with military weapons bought on the black market. They are not protected by any treaty and should be taken out and shot.

These same thugs would gladly take you out and cut your head off at the slightest provocation, without and sorrow or remorse. They abuse and intimidate women in their culture and also abuse children.

I support every effort AG Gonzales made to support our troops and their actins. The CIA should be let off the leash to do their jobs. Much of our trouble in the Middle East can be traced all the way back to the Carter Administration and their weak response to the provocations of that time.


Commenter: Brad Dezur

I believe the detainees should be sent to the military prison at Ft Leavenworth, KS so their treatment can be monitored by responsible
military police of the U.S. ARMY. There is already a history of POW's during World War II of German soldiers being confined at Ft Leavenworth.

Commenter: Roy
I don't agree with the continued practice of rendition of terrorism suspects to other countries. The very nature of this practice necessitate secrecy and thus is hard to effectively monitor. So even if there is a provision to restrict rendition only to countries who don't torture, there is just no way we can be assured that there won't be any torture done. The American public is thus left with two hard to verify promises. First the assurance by its gov't. that a particular suspect is indeed going to a non-torture country- an assurance that can't be openly verified. Second is that if a suspect is indeed going to a non-torture country, can we really take the third country's word of not torturing suspects?

Commenter: jeffery
I see Obama is having a difficult time due to the Demacratic and Republican partys failure to remember there in there to do the service too the people that voted them into office. I also feel the goverment should live by the same policeys that the privet sector lives. Same health care, no self voted raises, no life long pay, insurence's. There is way too much government.

Commenter: joe hernandez
no they should be arraigned and prosecuted here in America! I also do not agree with the involvenment in Afghanistan, plus I do not believe we will get out of Irak ever! He has not, at least publicaly, fight strongly enough for health care, that was the main reason I voted for him, I still like him, but I am becoming frustrated!

Commenter: dan cross
we have to take responsibility for the criminal actions that are leaders took at Gitmo, not farm out our problems.

Commenter: Danette Kientz
No! They should stay at Gitmo. If not, they will be released to kill again.

Commenter: Lori
This practice is a disgrace. It should never have been started, let alone continued.

Commenter: J ROLAND COLE
The previous administration's version of rendition and interrogation was to sometimes turn resistant or high-value detainees over to regimes noted for using physical torture and very harsh interrogation techniques.

This was an especially interesting practice considering that the administration also adopted the position that torture was OK for our CIA and our military-- in Guantanamo, in Abu Ghraib, in the field in Iraq, etc. and in CIA Black houses or prisons in Europe, etc. where prisoners sometimes died during interrorgation. (How do you like my new coin? "Interrorgation." ("Possibly due to a typo; possibly, to "a Freudian slip." But aptly descriptive.) A few of our better Iraq commanders in the field refused to carry out such directives; most were cooperative. The Cheney-Bush administration paid DOJ operatives to invent illegal, new, presidential (unitary) powers (some significantly violating established U. S. Congressionally-passed Laws and practices). And Bush's appointee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, assumed the role of house attorney by doing the political will of Cheney-Bush-Rumsfeld instead of representing Congress, the American people and our military. He declared the Geneva Conventions/Accords to be "antique" and "outmoded." (These were the very treaties we intentionally co-created, treaties that were in line with American values and protected our captured military by maximizing the probability that they, too, would be treated more humanely). AG Gonzales' advocacy for violation of our Treaty and legal practices in this area parallels the fact that some of our weapons and practices of our military in regard to treatment of civilians and their infrastructure in Iraq were also illegal according to established international law, which might have been a factor in the Cheney-Bush Administration's adoption of such an anti-Geneva-International-Law position.

President Obama made a very smart move—in terms of foreign policy-- to declare early in his administration that "Gitmo" would be closed within a year. He knew that many powers and peoples see Guantanamo as "the other Abu Ghraib"—a chief symbol of American hypocrisy, torture, humiliation, and brutality, inflicted upon those who are "different" and often innocent. They see it as an expression of America's years of "cowboy diplomacy" (aggressive, arrogant, virtually unilateral, and often culturally ignorant and insensitive—and unsuccessful). Obama was aware that the world generally saw Iraq as an illegal, unnecessary, and unjustified war, involving six years of the U.S' invasion and occupation of a foreign country, aptly summed up by our knowledgeable military up and down the line by the book title of Thomas Ricks', Fiasco. Obama's decision on the closing was one more important reason for many to believe America now had quite different, much more honorable and trustworthy hands on the helm of the ship of State.. International persons responded extremely positively to Obama and his decision and, often, to America, too.

I understood President Obama's request was for other free nations to share in the "burden" of caring for detainees. That seemed and seems a wise and prudent and fiscally smart policy to me. Getting other nations to hold some of the detainees who should not be set free to return to fighting us was even more important, especially in light of the fact that the Republicans immediately started attacking Obama for not having the Guantanamo closing details planned out (what's the hurry?), quickly followed by manufactured fear and the provoked or choreographed public outcry of, "No terrorists (detainees) in our backyards!" As if we didn't have the best, strongest, most secure prisons in the world, as well as more than any other nation. (No president has ever inherited, from an opposition party in power, so many huge, complex, difficult, devastating and costly problems to have to deal with at the beginning of his presidency, not even FDR. One would think the people whose policies and practices created such a mess would have the humility and the wisdom, in the face of such aware and wise Presidential leadership, to give the new President a few months or even half a year to come up with good plan details (while he's dealing with all these other issues and problems!). Instead, their responses were limited to the policy or practices of unfounded, constant attack, unfounded negativity, and "manufactured" issues.)

Since the reasons for renditions seemed to be so different, I thought and think the practice now would not lead to "in-terror-gations." If you know something negative that we do not know, then perhaps assurances should be sought that we are not sliding back into our previous practices of promoting torture-based interrogations, at home or abroad. Perhaps we should seek and obtain such assurances just to make sure we don't once more give the terrorists a chief and very effective recruitment tool (Rumsfeld's insight) to use against us!

Commenter: Susan Kostka
My job takes me around the world. I have always asked other people what they think of our country ever since we got involved in the Irag War.
Without a doubt, at least 90% of the people tell me they disagreed with US' Foreign policy under Bush, and condemned the invasion of Irag as an "Unnecessary War". (Afghanistan Yes, Irag No).
When the subject of the way we handled the detainees in Irag and Quantanamo come up, their reaction is usually, "How could the US do this, when we are always so vocal about civil rights and democracy.
My feeling is if we want to regain our respect in the world, we will have to find out who caused it, and why the breakdown happened with our handling of the civilians and detainees.
Thank You

Commenter: Richard
Let me put it this way: I first felt embarrassed to be a citizen of the United Stated of America during the Bush Administration and I am deeply disappointed that President Obama has given me little reason to feel otherwise. A welcome change would be a recommitment to our founding principles and the rule of law, and the courage to take responsibility for our actions here and abroad.

Commenter: J Nappe
NO, I absolutely do not agree that my country should follow Bushco's practice of secretly disappearing people in other country's prisons, chartering special Boeing Corp jets to do it. It is not a civilized practice and I wonder if Obama is afraid of rocking the boat these days. It is so disheartening to see him continue and renew so many of the bushco practices.

Commenter: Tim
No--keep them in Gitmo. They are terrorists. How many have returned to terrorist activities. Too many.

Commenter: David Raphael
I am strongly opposed to the Obama Administration's decision to follow Bush down the rendition path. This policy is not worthy of America's support. I am very dismayed.

Commenter: Henry G. Schwarz
"Rendition" is one of those sugar-coated words hiding the abhorrent practice of causing torture inflicted by third parties. It is utterly unacceptable.

Commenter: Michael J. Halliday
Absolutely NOT. Not a day goes by that President Obama doesn't deliver a new disappointment to the faithful electorate that put him in office. The moral repugnance of this policy is beyond dispute, and his failure to dispatch this insanity to the depths of hell, brings the Presidents judgement into question on yet another issue where a clear moral imperative is involved. Shame on you Mr. President.

Most Sincerely,

Michael J. Halliday

Commenter: Ross Larson
I do not agree. The despots who rule many of the nations of the world have no regard for the lives of those that disagree with them. We need to get our own house in order in terms of imprisonment of political detainees and the torture of those individuals, and hopefully diverge from the policies of the last decade.

Commenter: Michael R Pearson, MD
Absolutely not.
Obama was elected because we don't want more of the way Bush trampled on American virtues (as understood by a bleeding heart liberal).

Commenter: June Pinkin
Absolutely not!!!

We must be better than the Bush administration. We must obey the rule of law and lead by example. In simple terms, we must be just.

Commenter: JM Ecker
We have more pressing problems than what the CIA did to a group of prisoners who were either directly or directly involved in terrorist activities against this great nation. I spent 18 months in Vietnam, and I am telling you, that waterboarding would be a picnic compared to what I saw over there. The CIA followed orders, if we punish them for following those orders, what will happen to the discipline of our US Military, our soldiers will be afraid to fight in fear of injustice to them for defending our country

No. Absolutely NO! Enough already. Let these people have their day in U.S. Courts. Or do we have no faith in our own system to get to the truth? There is too much room for more torture in these third world detention centers. How much more of this disgraceful behavior do Americans have to suffer with, knowing we are the ones who are responsible for the brutal torture of other human beings before they have even been proven guilty. I'm tired of the shame.

Commenter: Sally Sabo
No way. It's not the America I want to know.

Commenter: Keith Collins
What can we get done in another country that can't be done here? Rendition is designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to circumvent US laws. It is a fundamentally evil practice.

Commenter: Cathleen Gray
Let's stop the practice of torture once and for all. And move on. Let's deal with the situation of prisoners being help on suspicion or accusation as wrong. I believe those who can be tried for a crime should be and in an expediated way. I propose we make a effort to assist those that are found to pose no threat; offer them jobs that may help them and us, such as translators, embassy positions that dont require security clearance, teaching language, writing and math to children of war zone torn countries. Give them help in re-locating and re-connecting with family.

I would not support a special prosecutor to look into the Bush administrtion. Remember the previous one during the Clinton administration
It was a joke. A gross waste of resources.

Commenter: JoAnn
Obama's tried to make our national security protectors (CIA, etal.) out to be the enemies rather than our real enemies, the terrorists. He seems bent on moving more and more entities of power under his control and manipulation, either directly or indirectly. VERY FRIGHTENING!!!
The terrorism suspects still at GITMO are the hard-core and should remain there until they are too old and feeble to commit or support more terrorist acts.

Commenter: Mary Jenkins
Rendition is wrong.

Commenter: D Brockway
No I do not agree in rendition. It makes us no better than those we call our enemies.

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