In August 2012 around the time of the Republican National Convention, Republican Senator Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) complained bitterly that Republicans “were not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” Although there is no dearth of angry white guys in, or supporting, the Republican ranks, Graham is doing his best to take up the slack and perpetuate racial animus toward people of color; particularly the person of color occupying the Oval Office.
Graham is so angry and white, he is threatening the African American President with impeachment if he attempts to close Guantanamo Bay or release any more Muslim detainees captured when America invaded two sovereign nations during warmonger president George W. Bush’s administration. Republicans still cannot accept that Americans elected an African American as President, or that he is not waging pre-emptive wars against Muslim nations, so an impeachment threat over bringing home an American soldier held as a prisoner of war, however unpatriotic, is nothing new for Republican intolerance of a Black President.
However, Graham’s threat to impeach the President if he attempts to close Guantanamo Bay or release detained Muslims is going to run into serious problems after December 31, 2014 when the Afghanistan War officially comes to an end and the United States is required to release them. If any of the detainees are suspected of terrorist activities against America, the normal legal process to determine their guilt or innocence is trying and convicting them in an American court of law like the Bush administration successfully did. However, this is 2014 and the “normal legal process” went out the window when the people elected an African American man as President a little over five years ago.
Republicans are concerned that the President will close Guantanamo Bay and attempted to block any administration unilateral decisions on releasing Muslim detainees by including language in the National Defense Authorization Act requiring the President to notify Congress of such actions at least 30 days in advance; even to bring an American prisoner of war home. Of course Republicans imposed a thirty day waiting period for President Obama to bring an American prisoner of war home; something they never imposed on George W. Bush. Anyone with a pulse knows if the President went to Congress, Republicans would have opposed his request on purely racial grounds that negates America’s “sacred duty” to “leave no American in uniform behind” because America’s sacred duty vanished the instant an African American man occupied the Oval Office.
Republicans argue that the prisoner exchange endangers Americans stationed overseas by sending top Taliban officials back into the battlefield and could inspire other terrorist groups to capture American service members in order to extract concessions from the United States. However, under terms of the exchange, the former prisoner-detainees must spend at least a year in Qatar, which helped mediate the exchange. Although it is true that some of the released prisoners posed a danger to the United States when they were captured twelve years ago in 2002 for defending their sovereign nation from American invaders serving in Afghanistan, several of the detainees did not commit crimes against Americans. Still, the Bush administration ordered their capture, held in captivity indefinitely without charge or due process, and deemed them as guilty of being Muslims defending their Muslim nation. Not unlike Republicans deeming Barack Obama guilty of being elected and serving as President while being Black.
Republicans of all stripes have weighed in and criticized the President for bringing an American held as a prisoner of war home including convicted war criminal and Iraq war profiteer Dick Cheney. Cheney said that he would not have agreed to the deal, as if he had a say, likely because the President is Black and Republicans are vile hypocrites. A former advisor to George W. Bush, John Bellinger, condemned Republicans for criticizing the prisoner exchange and reminded them that the Bush administration “returned something like 500 detainees from Guantanamo.” Bush’s actions failed to elicit any Republican criticism that he “sent top Taliban officials back into the battlefield,” or that if he tried it again the GOP would impeach him.
The only difference between then and now is the racial makeup of the president. Besides, statistics from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reveal that only 6% (5 in total) of Guantanamo detainees released during the Obama administration have “potentially engaged” in militant activities. That compares with a rate of nearly 30% under the Bush administration. There is also the issue of illegally detaining Muslims without charging them and it is clearly because it is unclear if they engaged in terrorist threats, were simply defending their homeland from an invading foreign (American) army, or that they may have “potentially engaged in militant activities;” whatever that may mean.
Republican warmongers like Lindsey Graham are as desperate to keep Guantanamo Bay open as they are for another terrorist attack on American soil because they are well-aware it is a brilliant al Qaeda recruitment tool. One only had to observe Republicans’ apparent glee at the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi that killed four American diplomats to comprehend that inciting anti-American outrage and another attack from Muslims to blame the African American in the Oval Office is worth detaining Muslims indefinitely despite the wind-down of the war in Afghanistan. Graham was one of the Senate Republicans that railed against the President for announcing that at the end of 2014 American combat forces in America’s longest war were coming home; likely another impeachable offense in racist Republicans’ minds.
After five long years, Americans get it; Republicans are angry white guys who will not, and can not comport an African American man as President. As the former Bush advisor John Bellinger said, “I’m not saying this is clearly an easy choice but frankly I think a Republican, a president of either party, Republican or Democratic confronted with this opportunity to get back Sgt. Bergdahl, who is apparently in failing health, would have taken this opportunity to do this;” particularly because the Afghan War is winding down and America is required to release the detainees. However, a white president, Republican or Democrat, would have been hailed as an American hero devoted to adhering to “America’s sacred duty to leave no American in uniform behind” and although that is precisely what President Obama did, he is not white and it is the only reason Graham, or any other angry white Republican would threaten to impeach him.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.