Mr. Obama wants to close Guantánamo, but many members of Congress have a not-in-my-backyard attitude toward relocating detainees -- even though federal prisons already hold convicted terrorists without incident, and even though the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees aren't terrorists. So Common Cause provides an open letter to Congress supporting the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detainee center, which they rightly say the world associates with torture and tyranny. No, tyranny is not too strong a word for what's happened there. It's not too strong a word for what's happening at the Bagram holding facility, either, which threatens to become the new Guantánamo under Mr. Obama. When the "Close Bagram" alerts start arriving in my inbox, you'll see them here.
Meanwhile, as Mr. Obama takes his time figuring out what to do in Afghanistan, we can call him at 1.888.310.8637 and advise against escalating that conflict. My specific advice always goes like this: "get bin Laden, get out." A Bush-style "surge" will give America 20,000 to 40,000 soldiers' worth of breathing room, but we'd need many more than that to properly occupy a nation, and that's not the business we ought to be in. A more surgical application of soldiers/diplomats/intelligence agents would more likely produce the architect of 9.11. Now America's last reporter, Greg Palast, finds it inconceivable that a millionaire in need of dialysis is hiding out in the mountains of Pakistan. If so, that should make our exit that much quicker.
Finally, this Wall Street Journal blog piece interviews Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand "son of Ron" Paul. I'm pleased that Mr. Paul currently outpolls and outraises the Republican establishment candidate, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Greyson, but I'm less pleased that he, well, plays the game more than his father does. When Ron Paul opens his mouth, I know he's telling the truth as best he understands it regardless of the political consequences -- even when I don't agree with him, which is often. But when Rand Paul tells us that he sees similarities between his race against Mr. Greyson and Marco Rubio's "insurgent" campaign against the "established moderate" Charlie Crist, he lies three times -- first by suggesting that Mr. Rubio is a "conservative" and not a reactionary, second by suggesting that the not-terribly-moderate Mr. Crist is a moderate, and third by suggesting (though not stating) that even Mr. Greyson is some sort of moderate, though he's exactly the kind of boilerplate far-right-wing corporatist Republicans have been churning out all decade. His anti-war views are noticeably softer than his pop's, too. Maybe Rand Paul took his father's defeat in the 1984 Texas Republican Senate primary way too much to heart.
UPDATE. Spelling error corrected in paragraph 3. "Secoond" is not a word.