March 23, 2010

Sweetness & Light Rips AP Coverage of Judge’s Release of Gitmo Detainee


Doing work the Associated Press refused to do — or more specifically, providing context the AP refused to provide — Sweetness & Light’s indefatigable blogger Steve Gilbert gave readers the back story behind the order by U.S. District Judge James Robertson (pictured at right) to release Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohamedou Ould Salahi, who is said to have, in the words of the wire service’s Pete Yost, “provided advice to three of the Sept. 11 hijackers.”

First, here’s what little Yost deigned to divulge:

A judge has ordered the release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee described in the 9/11 commission report as a significant al-Qaida operative who provided advice to three of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

The ruling in favor of detainee Mohamedou Ould Salahi was disclosed Monday in a two-sentence court entry.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson will issue a written decision at a later date explaining his reasons for granting the detainee’s petition. The detainee remains at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Obama administration could appeal Robertson’s order. Even if the administration were to decide against appealing, Salahi would remain at Guantanamo until U.S. diplomats found a nation willing to accept him.

The 9/11 Commission report says Salahi was known to U.S. and German intelligence a decade ago and living in Germany when he gave instructions to four men about how to reach Afghanistan to train for jihad.

Three of the men later became Sept. 11 hijackers — Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah and Marwan al Shehhi.

Yost wastes his final three paragraphs with smell test-failing verbiage about former military prosecutor Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, who has said that he refused to press charges against Salahi because he had been subjected to “torture.”

In 205 words, followed by a blistering final dozen, Gilbert succinctly states what Yost failed to reveal when given a total of over 400 to work with (links are in original):

For instance, Judge Robertson threw out Ken Starr’s charges against the Clintons’ bag man and fall guy, Web Hubbell. And he has protected many other Clinton cronies over the years.

More recently, Mr. Robertson blocked the release of First Lady Hillary Clinton’s phone records from FOIA requests.

More to the point, however, Mr. Robertson is also the same heroic judge who resigned from the FISA court in a self-righteous hissy fit protest.

He also summarily released 30 other terrorists detainees last November.

More importantly perhaps, Judge Robertson is the also same legal hero who begat the Hamdan ruling, when he demanded that foreign combats should receive habeas corpus rights.

But why should the AP bother its readers with such meaningless details?

Gilbert also has posts on the Communist Party USA’s various pronouncements praising the passage of ObamaCare (“a giant first step”) and concomitant government takeover of the entire student loan industry. You can rest assured that the AP won’t take any interest in these “endorsements.”

Cross-posted at

Lightning Links (032310, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:22 am

Lightly-commented Lightning:

  • Jeff Durstewitz at Pajamas Media — “The president seemed to change before our eyes into a kind of “this is for your own good” authoritarian.” Many of us could tell that he’s always been a wannabe authoritarian; you could see whiffs of it herehere, and here in 2008. All you had to do was see who he hung with and what he wrote and said. As if that wasn’t convincing enough, just look what he and his people started doing or trying once they had some power.
  • Here’s an authoritarian reaction, asGoogle Ends Self-Censorship, Defies China Government” — “The U.S. government said it was ‘disappointed’ Google and China failed to reach a compromise.” It’s more evidence that to this administration, freedom’s just another word …
  • Jennifer Rubin — “How Grown-Ups Handle Middle East Diplomacy.” By “grown-ups,’ she’s referring to people not currently occupying the White House and State Department. Rubin seems uncomfortable with the idea that the government’s temper tantrum over Israeli settlements might be “an intentional contrivance to impress the Obami’s Palestinian friends.” I’m not; here’s one reason among many why.
  • Thomas Sowell — “With politicians now having access to our most confidential records and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?” There was a time when, in criticizing many on the left, you could describe them, as Ronald Reagan did, as “well-meaning.” Concerning those in power who among many other things voted in the beginnings of a police state by supporting ObamaCare, one can no longer credibly say that.
  • Walter Williams — “If there is anything good to say about Democrat control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, it’s that their extraordinarily brazen, heavy-handed acts have aroused a level of constitutional interest among the American people that has been dormant for far too long.” An Eric Clapton song comes to mind.
  • William McGurn in today’s Wall Street Journal — “Pro-life Democrats, R.I.P.; Bart Stupak’s vote for the health bill shows that in the end you can’t count on prolife Democrats.” It wouldn’t surprise me to see the establishment press start pulling out their hated term (“pro-life”) for on-the-ropes Democrats who can no longer defensibly be described as such.
  • For the moment, the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy that began in roughly June of 2008 is also the “Mrs. 11%, Mr. 46%, and Mr. 8%” economy.

Comment-free lightning:

ACORN Disbanding; Press Not Handling It Well


The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has announced that it is disbanding.

Though the hard-leftists that formed or were running it are likely to show up in some other venue and perhaps in a successor organization down the road (Update: or perhaps burrow themselves into the government, as NewsBusters commenter “Hunter 12″ suggests), this is a moment to savor. Two twenty-somethings, acting entirely on their own, assisted later by a skilled mentor who knew the value of their work and how to maximize the mileage to be gained from it, brought down what had turned into a pretentious, intimidating, fraud-riddled wing of the Democratic Party’s get out the vote effort. All that remains — frankly more than should be allowed to remain — is ACORN Housing Corporation. According to USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, whose related article is behind its subscription wall, is saying that ACORN Housing “has a separate budget and board.”

In one last act of sympathy, most of the press is giving ACORN’s leaders a chance to vent without rebuttal and in some cases supplying their own sour grapes. Here are some examples:

(The Associated Press, in an article written by Michael Tarm)

“It’s really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks from partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need,” ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan said.

… “ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era,” … (ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis) said. “The videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress.”

ACORN’s board decided to close remaining state affiliates and field offices by April 1 because of falling revenues, with some national operations will continue operating for at least several weeks before shutting for good, Whelan said Monday.

(The New York Times, in an article by Ian Urbina)

“For Acorn as a national organization, our vindication on the facts doesn’t necessarily pay the bills,” Bertha Lewis, the chief executive of Acorn, said in a statement.

(Ben Smith, in his own final sentence in a post at the Politico)

The collapse of the national group, though, reflects the impact of a conservative assault that never prompted any prosecutions.

(Reuters, in an unbylined item)

“ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks,” the group said in a statement announcing the moves.

A journey into the fever swamps brings forth Jason Leopold at Alternet (Remember? Unless it’s an incredible coincidence that there’s another unhinged guy by the same name, this is the Jason Leopold who just knew that Karl Rove’s indictment in the Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame affair was a done deal), soooo predictably playing the race card:

The (O’Keefe-Giles) video was trumpeted by Fox News and other right-wing news outlets, starting a stampede in the mainstream press and in Congress, where a majority of panicked Democrats joined the herd in approving legislation to strip ACORN of federal funds. The stampede, which trampled ACORN and its mostly black and Hispanic organizing staff, soon pulled in President Barack Obama, who often has touted his work as a community organizer in his youth.

One exception to the failure to get reaction from sensible, non-leftist people is at CNN:

ACORN’s announcement was welcomed by Matthew Vadum, senior editor of the Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank based in Washington. “I won’t be shedding any tears,” said Vadum, who said he has been studying the organization for years and written extensively on the organization. “ACORN is a thoroughly corrupt organization that abuses taxpayer dollars and breaks the law at every opportunity. To suggest that it was set up is laughable.”

He added in a telephone interview, “For ACORN to claim that it’s a victim of McCarthyism, as I’ve seen CEO Bertha Lewis do repeatedly, doesn’t even pass the laugh test. It can’t be taken seriously.”

ACORN’s McCarthyism whines don’t pass the laugh test. Oh, but its demise does bring on a smile, along with a prayer of gratitude for the courage and brilliance of James O’Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart..

Cross-posted at