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 "Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Case-for-Trump-over-Clinton-is-a-loser

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 



"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 



 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."  

- Abraham Lincoln 

  

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

  

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."  

- Edmund Burke  

  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

  

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Wednesday
Jul182007

THE BUSH LEGACY

    USA TODAY ran a story in the July 16, 2007 edition which showed a Humvee graveyard of bombed out Humvees taken out by IEDs in Iraq.  Camp Al Asad in Anbar province has hundreds of these vehicles.  Here's a single picture of a bombed out Humvee RAD found on Google. 
    The article was entitled "Pentagon balked at pleas from officers in field for safer vehicles, Iraqi troops got MRAPs; Americans waited."  Is this the "compassionate conservatism Dubya talked about in the '00 campaign?  If so it's a strange kind of compassion which results in the death of 1500 American soliders!

6.jpg 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul182007

THE MONEY PRIMARY

By Jim Hightower, FAIR ELECTIONS NOW, July 18, 2007
    images.jpgWe have yet to cast a single vote in the 2008 elections – but winners are already being picked.
    Unfortunately, you're probably not one of the pickers, because this is an exclusive, anti-democratic process controlled by corporate executives, lobbyists, and rich people who make high-dollar campaign contributions. Less than one percent of the American people participate in this "wealth primary," yet they have a greater say in our political choices than the other 99 percent of us. Indeed, candidates spend most of their political time dialing for dollars and schmooze with the rich, rather than discussing issues and talking to the folks.
    Well, say those elites who benefit from this plutocratic system, the Supreme Court has ruled that giving a ton of campaign funds is an exercise in "free" speech, so there's nothing anyone can do to stop this money corruption of our politics and government.
    Not so fast, slick. Senators Dick Durbin, Arlen Spector, and a hardy group of democracy fighters have come up with a way that frees the system from dependence on special-interest money. Called the "Fair Elections Now Act," S.1285 sets up an alternative election fund for candidates who voluntarily agree not to take private-interest money. These Fair Elections funds would be available to all qualified congressional candidates in both the primary and general elections.
    Modeled on the successful "clean elections" programs that have been established in seven states and two cities, the federal law would make ordinary voters count again, encourage regular people to run for office, and free office holders from the grip of big money. And, because it's voluntary, the Fair Elections system is constitutional. To achieve America's democratic ideals, we must refocus our politics on people, not on money. This vital bill makes that possible.
    To learn more and get involved, call Durbin's office at 202-224-2152.   
"Durbin Calls on Congress to Reform Financing of Congressional Elections"                         http://durbin.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=277307, June 20, 2007
"Overhaul of campaign fundraising takes a step forward," http://www.publicampaign.org/pressroom/2007/06/19/overhaul-of-campaign-fundraising-takes-step-forward, June 19, 2007
    Editor's Note:  Public funding of elections is part of the solution, but another piece of the puzzle is to force TV and radio stations to give up prime time spots to candidates at all levels - federal, state and local.  Most of the dialing for dollars exists to fund media campaigns which goes into TV and radio spots.  If the media was FREE then the incentive to dial for dollars would be considerably reduced.  Radio and TV stations are licensed by the federal government using 'our' air waves with a responsibility to serve the public interest.  It's about time they were made to live up to that responsibility. 

Monday
Jul162007

THE LOCAL SCENE

    Jerry Boone's Column in today's Metro Section of The Oregonian, Monday, July 16, 2007, Trying to raise the roof over the homeless featured an interview of RAD and his colleague in advocacy, Eric Canon.  Here's the article with some RAD corrections […] and comments:  
    JB:  The warm breeze blowing across the shaded deck behind the old Forest Grove home carries the scents of flowers and ripe fruit.  Russ Dondero sips his chocolate, considers the scene -- and the topic at hand -- and terms the tableau "surreal."
    "It's easy to talk about the homeless in this setting," says the retired Pacific University professor. "But if you could walk into the housing projects and see the families and kids, and consider those who still need help, you would realize how important this is."
    Dondero and Eric Canon are discussing how the drive to bulk up the funds to house Oregon's homeless and working poor failed in the latest session of the Oregon Legislature. "The real tragedy is that there will be a lot of people on the streets because of that decision," he says.
    At the end of May, there were 6,311 names -- representing between 12,000 and 15,000 people -- on the waiting list for affordable housing, said Dondero, a veteran member of the Housing Advisory Committee to the Washington County Department of Housing Services.
    [Many of these folks], he says, are single mothers, many of them are victims of abuse or have been abandoned by their husbands. Some are [the] working poor, barely able to feed their kids [others are persons with disabilities, farm workers and more and more will come from the ranks of mobile home tenants as mobile home parks close].  
    Last year [the Outreach Commission at the Forest Grove United Church of Christ asked Dondero and] Canon to lead [a grassroots] effort [among the faith community in the county to address this issue]. The Forest Grove metal artist got a call one cold winter day from local housing advocates, telling him they had no room at any shelter and that the temperature was expected to dip into the 20s that night.
    "People were going to freeze to death," Canon says. He helped create a church-based group that hopes to get 100 local churches to come up with $1,000 [to help fund the County Housing Fund - a non-profit/non-governmental entity which provides up front costs to developers who trying to build low income housing].
    Canon says that on any day, only [12] percent of Washington County residents who need emergency shelter are able to get it [12 out of every 100 who ask for help].  The figure is even lower for those who need a home of their own. "We are the richest county in the state," Dondero says. "We've got to do more." He has tried.
    Housing has been Dondero's passion since he took a sabbatical from teaching in 1991 and went to Salem to lobby for the [Oregon] Housing Trust Fund. Dondero was back this year, among the activists pushing lawmakers to pass House Bill 3551 [originally SB 38], which would have added $15 to the fees charged for filing things such as deeds and mortgages.
    Over two years, the fees would have added $70 million to the fund, which taps only the interest to finance projects [all over the state].  "We had backing for the bill from bankers and home builders [and the real estate industry]. [Aside from county clerks and gold miners] nobody objected to it," Dondero says.  [Due to the work of the Housing Alliance leaders gold miners were excluded from the bill and the county clerks opposition was muted].  
    But in the final days of the 2006-07 Legislature, the Republicans decided to take an anti-tax stand, Dondero says.  "It was bad timing. Our bill ended up being the victim of partisanship [coming up for a vote in the last week of the session]," he says. "We had Democratic support and had more than enough [5-12] Republicans to get it passed. But after the GOP caucused and decided on making this the partisan statement for the '08 election, only two Republicans voted for it [Patti Smith, Corbett and Chuck Burley, Bend]."
    Dondero was devastated. But it made him only more determined to try again.  He and his cohorts will make another run at the Legislature when it meets in special session in February. If that doesn't work, they'll try again and again.  "Just because this didn't pass won't mean we will stand still," Dondero says. "I understand the politics of what was done," he adds, "but on the moral issue, I think it crossed the line."
    According to CFM's latest Insider Online for July 12 - housing advocates will face some new opposition in the February special session:  
    CFM:  Perhaps the most prominent returnee will be the alliance seeking a document fee to generate funds for affordable housing. It looked for much of the 2007 session like the alliance-backed legislation would pass. However, the legislation failed in the closing days of the session as House Republicans slammed the door on any tax increase. When the issue returns, there may be more overt opposition from county officials, who worry that a court document fee may be the only practical funding source to pay to replace aging courthouses.
    RAD:  If Oregon counties mount such an effort it would be tragic for the homeless and those facing housing insecurity.  Counties historically focus on basic services - including low income housing.  Why should counties choose this means to upgrade courthouses while sacrificing the most vulnerable among us?  There is a more direct, traditional and simple way to upgrade court houses - go to the people, county by county and pass a local levy - just like we do for road improvements or capital construction for schools. 
    RAD's motto - Housing First, County Pencil Pushers Second!  


Sunday
Jul152007

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

    From Bill Moyer's Journal, PBS, Friday night, July 13th:
    Moyers asserted in his concluding remarks that the US is headed to a state of "perpetual war" as the House and Senate are in gridlock over the war.  Let me remind Moyers et al that the US has been in a state of hot or cold war since the end of WW II - with a succession of interventions, surrogate wars, civil wars or US supported coups in Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Chile, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, the Congo, Angola, Liberia, Libya, Palestine (West Bank and Gaza), Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.
    Under the national security state promulgated by Harry Truman and continuing through the current administration we've been in a state of military preparedness and confrontation since 1945.  What's new about this war is that it requires no clear sacrifice by the citizenry because the draft has been replaced by a voluntary military.  So the average Joe and Jill citizen don't feel the pain of this war - yet.  It's not their spouses, children or family paying the ultimate price but somebody else's loved ones. 
    But Moyers is right on his final point that "this war is killing us body and soul."  But to be brutally honest - American history is a history of conquest and empire building.  How in hell do you think the West was won?  So, while the "Left" beats its collective breast over this war and the "Right" attempts to be resolved in support of a failed policy and the "Center" is deathly silent - let's look through our historical heart of darkness.  This moral apocalypse is NOT new - it's merely the latest chapter in a 200 year old saga of American expansionism.
    Until we examine the roots of the American Raj founded on the twin pillars of global economic and military expanionsim - the geopolitical strategy of American hegemony - we will learn nothing.  Vietnam was merely a harbinger of our strategic blindness, now Iraq has become the ultimate proof of the poverty of our strategic thinking.  Yes, we were attacked on 9/11 but has our response been proportionate to the evil done to us?  The political class seems paralyzed over this issue, while the polls suggest the people get it. 
    Since we have no ability to cast a NO confidence vote in the Bush/Cheney regime - impeachment becomes the only option.  But the paralysis on Capitol Hill makes this option slim to none.  No wonder Bill sounded so depressed!  So we're stuck until the '08 elections.  Let's hope the voters chose well... 

Sunday
Jul152007

PLAYING THE MEDIA

    EDITOR'S NOTE:  Our home town weekly newspaper, the Forest Grove News-Times, did an interview of an ex-pat 'Grover' who has gone far up the chain of command within the US military.  But RAD feels an excellent journalist has been 'played' or spun by an expert using all of the familiar euphemisms to hide what Gitmo is all about.  This pattern of going to local regional outlets to spin a story is a shop worn tactic going back at least to Vietnam.
    Here are key excerpts from the article by Nancy Townsley, for the FG News-Times, July 11, 2007 based on an interview of Army Brigadier General Cameron Crawford, the commander of Gitmo at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "General says ‘Gitmo’ little understood
gitmo.jpg      NT:  [Crawford] never imagined [his West Point training and National Guard experience] would mold him into a top commander at one of the world’s largest and most controversial military detainment camps.  Yet that’s where Crawford, 50, finds himself at this juncture in his life — in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, overseeing daily operations at Camp Delta.
    There, he ensures that the 375 current foreign detainees — about 775 are reported to have passed through the gates of “Gitmo” since 2001 — receive “safe and humane care and custody” until they are ultimately transferred, released or charged with a crime.
    The fates of the men, plucked from battlefields in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen, will ultimately be determined by tribunal or trial. To date, only four detainees have been formally charged with crimes.
    RAD:  Since only four of 775 detainees have been formally charged with crimes to call Gitmo a "detainee camp" is an Orwellian euphemism to disguise the fact that it's a prison camp.  We are familiar with similar euphemisms - concentration camps or internment camps.  A prison is a prison.  The word "detainee" implies a temporary stay before the alleged criminal is sent elsewhere in the criminal or military justice system to be tried and then to be found innocent or guilty.  Such doesn't happen at Gitmo.  Four charged, no trial! 
    According to Amnesty International -
    "Almost five years later, there have been no prosecutions…."
    And the safe and humane treatment accorded to inmates seems far less benign than Crawford implies:
     "At a Senate hearing in July 2006, six military lawyers all agreed that some of the interrogation techniques authorized in the "war on terror" had breached common Article 3. Indeed, in 2004 a military investigation confirmed that at least from 2002, US interrogators in Afghanistan were stripping detainees, isolating them for long periods, using stress positions, exploiting fear of dogs and using sleep and light deprivation. Such techniques have been used in Guantánamo."

    NT:  Crawford commands 2,000 troops from all branches of the U.S. military, including the Coast Guard. It’s his job to protect his soldiers as they tend to the everyday needs of the detainees — he won’t call them prisoners — people he describes as “very dangerous men.”
    Most are suspected of being al-Qaeda or Taliban operatives and have been held at Guantanamo for five years or more. The lack of legal rights afforded those held at the Cuban compound has drawn international criticism. But Crawford said it’s all part of the fight against terrorism.
    “It’s the right of any nation at war to detain enemy combatants for the duration of the conflict,” Crawford insisted.
    RAD:  Detaining the enemy is one thing - subjecting them to inhumane treatment, i.e. torture is another thing.   We detained German and Italian troops in the southern USA in WW II - we did not torture them, in fact they were treated better in the South than African-Americans at the time!  
    Here's Amnesty International says about Gitmo:
    "Many of those held at Guantánamo have been ill-treated, whether in Afghanistan or elsewhere prior to their transfer to Guantánamo, or during their transfer, or as part of the interrogation process at the base, or as a result of the isolating, indefinite and punitive nature of detention in Guantánamo.  By association, their families too have suffered the cruelty of this virtually incommunicado island incarceration.

    The euphemistically termed "stress and duress" techniques that emerged in the USA’s "war on terror", including in Guantánamo, included forced standing and crouching, sleep deprivation, subjection to noise, prolonged isolation, and hooding. Some techniques, such as the use of dogs, forced nudity, forcible shaving, sexual humiliation by female interrogators, and removal of religious items, have had discriminatory undertones."  Does this sound familiar?  It should - it's what happened at Abu Garib!
    NT:  As deputy commander, his mission is to give “safe and humane care and custody” to the detainees and to “glean a significant amount of intelligence” from them, reporting such conversations to his only superior, Navy Rear Admiral Mark Buzby.
    He believes fervently in the administration’s mission to root out terrorists across the globe and bring them to justice. At Gitmo, he’s certain the troops are doing their job — and doing it well.
    He conceded that it isn’t easy for the women and men at Camp Delta to deal with people they suspect are out to hurt the U.S. — bringing them meals, releasing them to the exercise area, tending to their medical needs.
    “I’m not quite sure how they do it,” said Crawford. “They are assaulted daily with bodily fluids, threats against their person and threats against their families.
    “They are the finest of soldiers, and I’m extremely proud of them.”
    RAD:  Again, Amnesty International offers a starkly different view of the "safe and humane care and custody" of the prisoners of war at Gitmo.  
    "In January 2002, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales advised President Bush that a benefit of not applying the Geneva Conventions to detainees picked up in the Afghanistan conflict would be that prosecutions of US personnel under the US War Crimes Act would be more difficult. Two weeks later, on 7 February 2002, the President signed a memorandum confirming that NO [my emphasis]Taliban or al-Qa’ida detainees would qualify as prisoners of war, and that Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions would not apply to them either.
    Common Article 3 guarantees minimum standards of fair trial. It also prohibits torture, cruel treatment and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment". At the time, the War Crimes Act criminalized breaches of common Article 3 as war crimes that could be prosecuted in the USA."
    We all familiar with the dubious record of Alberto Gonzalez, now our Attorney General.  RAD is almost wistful for the Nixon era and Attorney General John Mitchell! 

    NT:  Crawford downplays media portrayals of Guantanamo Bay as U.S.-run Abu Ghraib, the prison in Baghdad, Iraq, widely known for incidents of abuse and torture.
    “There’s a significant distinction between the two,” Crawford said. A number of investigations into conditions at Gitmo have uncovered “no substantial evidence” of inhumane treatment of detainees, he added.
    In fact, the biggest surprise of his tour in Cuba has been the reality of daily life at Gitmo and what he read beforehand in the media.
    “There’s a huge difference between what I thought I might see and experience here and what actually goes on,” Crawford said.
    His days are filled with meetings, security updates and frequent interactions with the “soldiers and sailors” who guard Camp Delta.
    Crawford said he can’t worry about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to consider whether those in custody at Guantanamo can use the federal court system to challenge their detention.
    For the remaining seven months of his mission, he’s focused on the task he’s been given.
    RAD:  No evidence of abuse or torture?  How would he know?  Crawford's comments regarding his days being "filled with meetings et al" is a form of plausible deniability.  If he's not in daily contact with prison inmates and guards - how does he really know what's going on under his nose at Gitmo?  The American commanders at Abu Gharib were similarly clueless or so they said!
    But again - here's what AI says about conditions at Gitmo:  

    "We made this camp for people who would be here forever. You should never think about going home. You’ll be here all your life… Don’t worry. We’ll keep you alive so you can suffer more." Alleged statement of a US interrogator to Mohamed al-Gharani, a Chadian national held in Camp V
    In May 2006, the UN Committee against Torture told the USA that indefinite detention without charge constitutes per se a violation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This expert body urged the USA to close the Guantánamo detention camp.

    NT:  “I intend to be a resource and a source of encouragement to the troops who work their tails off every day at Guantanamo,” Crawford said.
    He hopes that when history tells the tale, Guantanamo Bay will be regarded as a kind of necessary evil in the midst of the complexities of modern warfare.
    “Our allies have benefited from the intelligence we have obtained from these detainees and shared with them,” Crawford said in an e-mail exchange preceding a phone interview. “It has saved the lives of innocent civilians and protected coalition forces.
    RAD:  Many have disputed that any valuable intelligence has come from Gitmo or the practice of rendition - where alleged combatants have been spirited out of Gitmo or other detainment centers to prisons in Egypt, Rumania et al where the harsh treatment is well known.  
    And now that our own government has reported that al-Qaeda is more robust than ever before - one wonders how whatever "intelligence" has been gleaned from such inhumane practices has been used.  It certainly hasn't resulted in the bringing of Osama bin Laden to justice and the Taliban are surging along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.  So where's the success here?  
    By having a prison like Gitmo the USA has become in the eyes of much of the world the greatest purveyor of torture and disrespect for human rights in the world.  Even our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan complain about our abuse of their citizens.  Under the Bush-Gonzales policy the USA has become the most feared and hated government in the world.  
    With success stories like this - we have morphed into an Orwellian world where hate is love; war is peace; and torture is humane treatment! 

    For more info on Gitmo go to the Amnesty International website on Gitmo:   http://web.amnesty.org/pages/guantanamobay-index-eng