1. “It Costs $72 Million a Year to Hold Cleared Prisoners at Guantánamo
Last week, the exorbitant expense of maintaining the Bush administration’s “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo was revealed in the Miami Herald, where Carol Rosenberg explained that Congress provided $139 million to operate the prison last year. With 171 prisoners still held, that works out to $812,865 per prisoner — nearly 30 times as much as it costs to keep a prisoner in a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility, where the cost per prisoner is $28,284 a year.”
2. “An Anti-Hagiography for Celebrated Mass Murderers
But in the West and especially the United States, historians, journalists, pundits, and especially politicians tend to admire leaders in proportion to the powers they claimed and exercised, which almost always corresponds with war making and killing.
“One of the most pernicious legacies of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao,” writes Ralph Raico, “is that any political leader responsible for less than, say, three or four million deaths is let off the hook. This hardly seems right, and it was not always so” (163). This is an astute observation, and it has relevance even in considering the “civilized” leaders of the United States and its allies, to say nothing of the second tier communist butchers who continue to enjoy a cult following.
Historians, conservative and liberal, when asked to rank U.S. presidents, consistently put war presidents around the top and the ones who oversaw relatively peaceful years for the republic near the bottom. Across the spectrum, commentators adore both Presidents Roosevelt and swoon over the idea of another Truman in the White House. Poor Warren Harding, whose years were prosperous and relatively free, is universally ranked as one of the greatest disappointments. Woodrow Wilson, his predecessor, whose reign yielded over a hundred thousand dead Americans, a pulverized First Amendment, a nationalized economy, not to mention cataclysmic diplomatic consequences throughout the world, was one of the best, everyone seems to agree.”
3. “BREAKING: The Trial of George W. Bush and Tony Blair: Sparks Fly at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal”