By Matthew Rothschild on March 23, 2010

In President Obama’s first week in office, he pledged to close down Guantanamo within a year.

The year’s been up for two months now, and Guantanamo still remains open.

Making matters worse, it looks like the Obama Administration may simply move Guantanamo to Afghanistan.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the “White House is considering whether to detain international terrorism suspects at [Bagram Air Base] in Afghanistan, an option that would lead to another prison with the same purpose as Guantanamo Bay.”

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And that purpose is to hold suspects indefinitely, without ever granting them any due process rights.

The Supreme Court has ruled that suspects held at Guantanamo have due process rights because Guantanamo is effectively U.S. property. But the Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration before it, says that this court decision does not apply to Bagram Air Base.

Last September, Obama’s Justice Department told a lower court that “when it comes to military facilities, unlike Guantanamo, that are truly abroad—particularly those halfway across the globe in an active war zone—courts in the United States exceed their role by second-guessing the political branches about the reach of habeas jurisdiction.”

Until the Court resolves that question, Obama can ship detainees from Guantanamo – or anywhere else in the world – to Bagram Air Base and hold them there for years at a time.

It’s against international law, but that hasn’t stopped a President before.

So it looks like make Guantanamo may soon be Spanish for Bagram, and both will translate into human rights violations.

Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine. To subscribe for just $14.97 a year, just click here.

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At a swank club in Madison, Walker supporters get an earful.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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