U.S. News

ObamaIn his weekly Internet and radio address on Saturday, President Barack Obama said that Memorial Day is “a time to reflect on what this holiday is all about; to pay tribute to our fallen heroes; and to remember the servicemen and women who cannot be with us this year because they are standing post far from home — in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.” The president also said that “we have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us,” but that “all too often in recent years and decades, we, as a nation, have failed to live up to that responsibility.”

MaddowLeft-wing MSNBC pundit Rachel Maddow has aired a surprisingly penetrating critique of President Barack Obama’s new prolonged detention, or preventive detention, policy, a policy announced in Obama’s May 21 speech at the National Archives. Under this policy, suspected terrorists may be held indefinitely by the executive branch without trial, based on the presumption that they may commit a crime in the future.

MancowChicago radio “shock jock” Erich “Mancow” Muller took his listeners’ advice and voluntarily underwent waterboarding on May 22 and reluctantly concluded it was “torture.” Mancow had earlier pooh-poohed the conclusion that waterboarding was torture (though the U.S. government prosecuted as war criminals some Japanese soldiers who had conducted waterboarding against U.S. soldiers, and even court-martialed a U.S. soldier who had engaged in it in Vietnam). Vanity Fair journalist Christopher Hitchens also volunteered to be waterboarded last year after being challenged to do so.

Obama at National ArchivesPresident Barack Obama in a May 21 speech outlined a new policy of preventive detention, without trial, for people he suspects might commit crimes in the future. Flanked by copies of the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence in the address at the National Archives, Obama’s speech would have been more appropriately given at the Blu-Ray release of the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report.

In a speech given on May 21 at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said President Barack Obama and other officials have largely "mischaracterized" the Bush administration's approval of "enhanced" interrogation techniques. Cheney said: "The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do."

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