Gitmo Chaplains for Obama

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Former Guantanamo Bay Muslim Chaplain James Yee, author of a memoir on the experience, is a Barack Obama delegate.

Yee was elected Saturday at the 9th District convention at North Thurston High School, one of nine congressional caucuses Democrats had throughout the state.

"I came out and basically reiterated that Sen. Obama is really the only candidate that consistently campaigns on rejecting torture without exception, on closing Guantanamo Bay, restoring habeas (corpus) and adhering to the Geneva Conventions," Yee said Monday.

He added that he sees himself as "living proof that civil liberties have been eroded since 9/11" because of what he calls "fear-mongering politics" led by conservatives.

This brings to mind a depressing fact of the Obama campaign: the way his experience living with Muslims and the affinity Muslims have for him has become part of a smear. A little while back Jim Geraghty posted video of Palestinian Arabs gathering at an internet cafe and calling Americans to ask them to vote Obama. It was supposed to be horrifying on its face: "Palestinians in Gaza are phonebanking for Barack Obama!" And I suppose it's horrifying if you imagine that Arabs are communicating in a scrambled frequency, like the dogs in 101 Dalmatians, about how the weak and appeasing President Obama will turn his back on Israel. If you don't think that, though, it seems like… a bunch of Arabs telling Americans they want peace and like one of their potential leaders. Not Hamas members. Young Arabs, with those "hearts and minds" we're presumably trying to reach.

(Via Avi Zenilman)

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  1. First Sen. Kennedy, then Sen. Kerry, then John Edwards, now this. Poor guy.

    Might help out at the convention though, especially since Mrs. Clinton announced that a “leaked” Karl Rove analysis supports her.

  2. Well clearly anything that actually addresses the concerns of young Arabs is clearly counterproductive and only supports terrorism. Indeed, even downplaying the perception that America randomly tortures Arabs for no reason is just appeasement. The only way to show terrorists that we mean business is to systematically and irrationally lash out at the Arab community. Just providing Arab-descended citizens in the US with constitutional protections is kind of weak on terrorism, isn’t it?

    I think it’s clear that the only sensible solution from an anti-terror perspective is to do away with democratic elections in the US and go to a hereditary Bush dynasty.

  3. Hearts and minds were presumably trying to reach? Isn’t that what the bulldozers with the Star of David on them are for when they bulldoze suspected terrorists homes?

  4. Careful, Dave; Michael Young is going to put the “Terrorist Approved” brand on you. There is no such thing as a peace-loving Palestinian.

  5. The military’s treatment of Yee was a disgrace.

  6. A Muslim chaplain, eh? Finally, some proof positive that Barack HUSSEIN Obama is an Islamofascist!

    </right-wing nutjob rant>

  7. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only issue to be concerned with this election. And on many others, Obama falls far short — at least, for those of us in favor of liberty.

  8. I came out and basically reiterated that Sen. Obama is really the only candidate that consistently campaigns on rejecting torture without exception, on closing Guantanamo Bay, restoring habeas (corpus) and adhering to the Geneva Conventions

    I’m pretty sure McCain has been consistently in favor of all those things too.

  9. It’s funny that Obama is supposedly for the Muslims. As a Muslim immigrant, I’m wondering why he’s ok with my civil rights being violated compliments of the USA PATRIOT Act. Why did he vote for its renewal? Was the compromise really a compromise or a cop out? How many terrorists have been caught by the Patriot Act?

  10. He voted for it because the majority of Democrats voted for it. Here is a man who blindly follows the socialist herd on every issue.

  11. First Rev. Wright supports Obama, then this chaplain. I thought democrats were going to rebuild the wall of separation between church and state that George Bush destroyed?

  12. How many terrorists have been caught by the Patriot Act?

    We could tell you, but…..
    well, you know.

  13. Colin | May 20, 2008, 2:41pm | #

    He voted for it because the majority of Democrats voted for it. Here is a man who blindly follows the socialist herd on every issue.

    As did every Republican in the Senate.

    Uh, yeah, socialism. That’s it.

  14. You know, even many of us hawkish types are against torture.

  15. I think Abdul is the new Neil.

    There is no way anybody makes that argument seriously.

  16. Joe,

    It was meant to be a joke. Everyone knows that Obama only pays lip service to religion.

  17. I think Abdul is the new Neil.

    I miss Neil already 🙁

    So Cesar, where are you?

  18. “As did every Republican in the Senate.

    Uh, yeah, socialism. That’s it.”

    And every Republican in the Senate is a socialist.

  19. John McCain will be the phonebankers worst nightmare.

  20. Everyone knows that Obama only pays lip service to religion.

    I need one of those charts, where you can move the arrow to today’s selection.

    Obama the Muslim.

    Obama the Black Power Christian.

    Obama the atheist.

    Obama the guy with no real beliefs.

  21. “There is no such thing as a peace-loving Palestinian.”

    Truth be told, they are difficult to find.

  22. The fact that Barack Obama doesn’t consider these phone bankers to be every bit the threat of the Soviet Union under Staling just demonstrates his inexperience and naivete.

    Don’t kid yourself. If given the chance, these phone bankers would eat you and everyone you ever loved.

  23. As did every Republican in the Senate.

    Uh, yeah, socialism. That’s it.

    The fact that the socialist herd was following the fascist herd doesn’t make it any more honorable. Are you seriously defending Obama’s vote here?

  24. CP,

    Are you splitting National vs. International hairs between the Socialists again?

  25. Obama (sic) the guy with no real beliefs.

    Sen. Obama does seem to believe in the oppressive nannystate as a way to equalize the masses.

  26. “I need one of those charts, where you can move the arrow to today’s selection.

    Obama the Muslim.

    Obama the Black Power Christian.

    Obama the atheist.

    Obama the guy with no real beliefs.”

    I certainly do agree that some on the Republican Side (and some of Hillary’s forces) have invented inconsistent slurs. I think your last line is the most likely – he is – after all – a politician. Rev. Write pointed this out.

  27. So, yet another good reason for Mrs. Clinton to keep up the good fight.

    Onward and upward to Denver!

    No sleep ’till Denver?

  28. Joe,

    Can you pick which one Obama actually believes?

    I need one of those charts, where you can move the arrow to today’s selection.

    Obama the Muslim.

    Obama the Black Power Christian.

    Obama the atheist.

    Obama the guy with no real beliefs.

    Because I don’t think I can.

  29. Can you pick which one Obama actually believes?

    Unless someone’s a famed philosopher/writer/professional intellectual, or I know them personally, I’m not sure I ever can. Politicians are especially slippery on this sort of thing. The ambiguity extends to Clinton and McCain as much as it does to Obama (although I doubt either of the latter are Muslim or Black Power Christian).

  30. er, “either of the former”

  31. Abdul,

    It could be all of them, all the time.

  32. a bunch of Arabs telling Americans they want peace

    The Arab commitment to “peace” has been very clear since 1948: destroy Israel and there’ll be peace. It’s basically the same sort of “peace” the Chinese want for Tibet.

    Obama the Muslim.
    Obama the Black Power Christian.
    Obama the atheist.
    Obama the guy with no real beliefs.

    If you campaign with a combination of vague platitudes, obvious insincere pandering, outright lies, flip-flops, vote with your party more often than your majority leader and hang out with radical leftist loons but claim to be “post-partisan,” attend a church run by a racist nut but claim to be “post-racial,” it’s not surprising that people don’t know what you really believe.

  33. Unless someone’s a famed philosopher/writer/professional intellectual, or I know them personally, I’m not sure I ever can.

    Obama is a writer. He wrote an autobiography. Audacity of Something or Other. He’s made over a millions bucks selling it.

    And yet we still can’t plumb the depths of his faith (or faithlessness, as the case may be).

  34. Obama is a writer.

    Ah, but I’d put the famous qualifier on it. A politician first. I still say the best memoirs are written by people that don’t really give a crap. But not in a creepy James Frey way.

    Actually, the only memoirs I remember reading that were any good were by Fredrick Douglass and Mick Foley.

  35. Keep in mind that the Nazi filth the “Obama is a Muslim” campaign is directed at are only interested in reaching the hearts and minds of Arabs (or any other Muslim anywhere) with bullets.

    On another subject:

    “Obama the guy with no real beliefs.”

    I think he really believes he should be President, does that count?

  36. Are you seriously defending Obama’s vote here?

    I don’t know, Chris. Take a look at the comment.

    Do you see a defense of anything in there?

  37. Tell you what, Chris: try a thought experiment.

    Ignore the name on the top of the comment, read it again, and see if you still feel the need to ask if it’s a defense of anyone.

  38. This wouldn’t be a Weigel post unless someone accuses him of shilling for Big Palestinian Telemarketing.

    J’accuse, David!

  39. Abdul,

    I think all the choices are equally silly.

    He’s a guy who goes to church, except when he misses it.

    That’s about as far as any reasonable person really needs to delve into the question.

  40. I should note that I don’t find the particulars of a given candidate’s faith that important, although I suppose it’s part of “the game” for a candidate to “put it out there”. As long as candidates continue to do so, I suppose they are “fair game”.

  41. Whattsamatter, Papaya? Reverend Wright not in the news enough for your liking?

    Poor baby.

  42. He’s a guy who goes to church, except when he misses it.

    That’s about as far as any reasonable person really needs to delve into the question.

    Would you say a reasonable person need not delve into the question of Mike Huckabee’s faith? Mitt Romney’s? George Bush’s? Heck, they all go to church, except when they miss it. (Or, in Romney’s case, when he goes to temple instead of church).

  43. Would you say a reasonable person need not delve into the question of Mike Huckabee’s faith? Mitt Romney’s? George Bush’s? Heck, they all go to church, except when they miss it. (Or, in Romney’s case, when he goes to temple instead of church).

    I don’t, but if that is in a voter’s interests, I don’t begrudge them it.

  44. joe,

    I’ll take that as a no. That is well.

  45. “Gitmo Chaplains for Obama”

    Shouldn’t the headline read:

    “Gitmo Chaplain for Obama”

    James Yee is just a single person, correct?

  46. The Arab commitment to “peace” has been very clear since 1948: destroy Israel and there’ll be peace. It’s basically the same sort of “peace” the Chinese want for Tibet.

    Right. It’s not like there’s a neighboring Arab country that’s been at peace with Israel for almost 3 decades, has significant trade relations and is the #1 choice for vacationing Israelis. You’re right, all those towelheads care about is war.

  47. MayorOMalley, I believe the title is jocular, playing on the fact that Gitmo chaplains could not form a ‘bloc’ of voters.

  48. I’m pretty sure McCain has been consistently in favor of all those things too.

    McCain may favor closing Guantanamo, but his Senate record shows that he hasn’t been in favor of any of those other things.

    So unless the definition of “all” is now “one out of a list” I have to disagree.

  49. No, Joe, the Rev. Wright was in the news to a satisfactory degree. He was a top 100 Google Trend for many days in recent weeks. And despite all the cheerleading and the “it’s all behind him now” claims from you and Weigel, it has hurt Obama, even in the primaries. I still believe it’s a breach below the waterline for his campaign, and it’s not plugged yet. It really can’t be, because his attendance at the church puts the lie to his “post-partisan” “post-racial” hype.

    And who knows what else will come out? Some Clinton blogger claims there’s video of Michelle Obama giving a speech with lots of references to “whitey.” (I discovered this when “Michelle Obama whitey” showed up as a top 100 Google Trend.)

    OK, Mo, I’ll give you Egypt, on an official level, at least. But the average Arab still wants to see Israel destroyed, judging by any polls I can remember seeing.

  50. Actually, I’m not a big fan of any foreigners trying to influence our elections.

    But that’s just me, I suppose.

    You know, these two scenarios:

    the weak and appeasing President Obama will turn his back on Israel

    and

    a bunch of Arabs telling Americans they want peace and like one of their potential leaders.

    are not necessarily mutually exclusive. If you believe that the Arabs making the calls only want a peace that can be achieved by dramatically weakening Israel and forcing it to accept terms that are detrimental to its best interest, then perhaps the conclusion that they like Obama because they believe he will turn his back on Israel isn’t so outrageous.

    He’s a guy who goes to church, except when he misses it.

    Could probably say the same about W.

  51. Abdul,

    Would you say a reasonable person need not delve into the question of Mike Huckabee’s faith? Mitt Romney’s? George Bush’s?

    Yes. As a matter of fact, I said exactly that about Mitt Romney being a practicing Mormon back when Reason and Slate were slagging him for it.

  52. Yeah, I didn’t give a crap that Romney was Mormon either. Some of my closest associates have been Jewish, Mormon or Atheist. I really and truly don’t see why any of that matters.

  53. Not to self:

    PapayaSF does not think Barack Obama goes to the right church.

    I’m going to print that out, because it’s so incredibly important.

  54. RCD,

    IIRC, that “goes to Church, except when he misses it” goes toward the notion that Sen. Obama missed Church whenever his Pastor said anything wacky, but otherwise he was there for 20 years. Sort of a shorter take on the Senator’s explaination that he had not heard Rev. Wright say anything controversial in Church.

  55. “Gitmo Chaplains for Obama”

    Shouldn’t the headline read:

    “Gitmo Chaplain for Obama”

    James Yee is just a single person, correct?

    He was using the royal Yee.

  56. Papaya,

    You’re full of shit when I looked for “Michelle Obama whitey” in Google Trends, I got the following:

    Your terms – Michelle Obama whitey – do not have enough search volume to show graphs.

    Suggestions::

    * Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
    * Try different keywords.
    * Try more general keywords.
    * Try fewer keywords.
    * Try viewing data for all years and all regions.

    Nice try ass hat.

  57. It wasn’t today, Mo. It was around #90 when I looked once a few days ago. And not everything that appears in the top 100 is considered to “have enough search volume to show graphs.” Sheesh. Here’s proof: Google Trends for May 17. At #97 is “men who look like old lesbians.” Now search Google Trends for that phrase, and you get the same “not enough search volume” message. Even the #1 trend for that day (“walter gropius”) gives the same message.

    And “Michelle Obama whitey” (without quotes) gets 6,510 hits on regular Google, with lots of mentions this week, which fits with a blip on Google Trends this week.

    So please do a little research before accusing people of lying.

  58. Barack would have been a Muslim, but when he reached adulthood he decided Islam wasn’t retarded enough for his liking.

  59. Dude, 6,500 is nothing on Google. “men who look like old lesbians” (with quotes) gets over 53,000 (without quotes, it gets 823,000). “Walter Gropius” (also with quotes) gets 345,000. Congratulations, you found a trend an order of magnitude less popular than men who look like old lesbians.

  60. I’m pretty sure that Michelle Obama’s negatives are going to be canceled out when people start Googling “Cindy McCain drugs theft non-profit.”

  61. I’m thinking that the people declaring Michelle Obama to be a negative have never seen her address an audience.

    Because you cannot watch the way a crowd responds to her and decide she’s a negative. She’s better than her husband in some ways.

  62. Michelle Obama is H O T.

  63. Oh yeah. Hella hot.

    We haven’t had any hawt in the White House in 45 years.

    Obama, for a Hawter America.

  64. Mo, put down the Obama Kool-Aid long enough to actually read my posts. I was only saying that the Rev. Wright stuff was not yet over, and that there were rumors of more to come, not that the rumors were a huge trend.

    Joe, surely you know the difference between what goes over well to 1) a partisan audience during primary elections, versus 2) a mass audience during a general election. Do you really think most Americans will be impressed to hear Michelle complain about how difficult it is to raise two kids on $500,000 a year?

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