Gentrifying Gitmo

Shortly after President-elect Barack Obama is sworn-in to the Chief Executive’s office, plans will be announced for the swift closing of Gitmo’s sordid chapter in the so-called war on terror. But in a shocking about-face of opinion (to those and readers who think they know me), I will beg to differ with Obama about the imminent policy reversal.

Not, of course, that I think the chapter shouldn’t be closed. It should and non-too-soon. But America’s little breeze-block, barbed-wired gites-in-the-sun for the morally-compromised and legally-challenged may yet have some legs and alternative uses. I am certain I am not the only one to conjure up alternative uses, but I will nonetheless put them to you. First, Gitmo would be a just place to deliver [many] of the lamest (and I haste to call them “public servants”) decision-makers in America’s history who’ve past or presently mal-served the American people. Legal luminaries (ahemmm…) such as Alberto Gonzales, the Dark Lord, Mr Rove, Scooter Libby, as well as Gulf War architects Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle. Then of course there could be a wing reserved for Delay, Lott and Jack Abramoff, and the original enablers of the Bush-presidency-fiasco, brother Jeb, and Florida’s DARling Katherine Harris.

And there is no shortage of solitary cells, suitable for the likes of Mozillo, Cassano, Fuld, in addition to the host of negligent officials at the SEC, Fed, and Treasury (and Congress) who promulgated and defended the lack of public interest as a policy unto itself. Can’t you see it: Friday night movies replaying for their edification Michael Douglas’ rendition of “Greed is Good”. Torture? I do have objection to the physical kind, but see nothing wrong with the loud unceasing piping-in 24-7 of Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity and O’Reilly.

Surely there are others to fill the ranks: the new administration could rendite Gordon Brown and his former cohort enablers who, contrary to current belief, have wrecked the economy of Great Britain on a scale on par with that achieved by the Luftwaffe, by encouraging, permitting, justifying and apologizing for a leverage-binge equivalent to – if not greater than – that of the of the former colonials.

Surely you’ll all have a few personal favorites you think worthy of an extended all-expense paid “holiday” in the sun…

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  1. Independent Accountant

    If they expand it adequately, there need not be a “waiting list for jail”. Imagine Mozzilo’s embarrasment by his having to publicly admit he was “wait listed” for jail.

  2. Scott Frew

    Could they possibly see Farenheit 9/11 and An Inconvenient Truth on rotating Friday nights? Perhaps the Dixie Chicks could be choppered in for live entertainment on a special weekend?

    Happy Thanksgiving, Yves.

  3. Doctor Memory

    Let us not for a second forget Clinton, Rubin and Reich, under who’s watch the Citibank-Travellers merger and the implicit death of Glass-Steagall happened in the first place.

  4. Anonymous

    Let’s put Clinton and Lewinsky in there too. Or how about that legal luminary Janet Reno. Turns out terrorism was a bit more than a “law enforcement” problem. Yeah, maybe the first World Trade Center bombing should have been a hint. And you gotta love that dot com bubble. My heart just bleeds for the terrorists in Gitmo too. Poor chaps, no turn down service.

  5. bena gyerek

    sorry for sounding sanctimonious, but i would prefer these people where appropriate to be given a proper trial, fair due process in us courts, and convicted if they are guilty. only that way will it be unambiguously demonstrated the harm they have done.

  6. Marco

    Mmmmh madam, you came within a hair’s breadth of being smeared as antisemite …

    However, the Guantanamo resort would be most appropriate for the whole bunch of Goldman Sachs executives …

    And, a good thing would be to compel all the people to read the books of David Ray Griffin …

  7. lrm21


    I follow your blog with much devotion.

    But I need to correct your here. After this financial mess is resolved, some years from now. The biggest existential threat to western liberal democracy after fiat currencies and debt obsession is Militant Islam. While GTMO has its problems, there is no doubt that if we do not deal with Mitlitan Islam with the same resolve that they are dealing with us, we will lose our way of life Numbers and commitment are on their side, see Hitchens, Fallini, et al.

    Europe is already dissappearing to Islam.

    Check the news in Mumbai today for what’s yet to come.

    Second as someone in agreement with the disaster that has been the Bush years in many respects. I still can’t believe that someone of your intellect is infected with BDS (Bush Derrangement Syndrome). Already this virualent strain has morphed and is infecting many on the right, the new name is ODS(Obama Derrangement Syndrome) like the Bush version, those infected are apt to talk in melodramtic flairs of the conspritorial nature of those in power. How they seek to change the very nature of government so they can profit for their families and remain in power for life.

    Lets stay focused, in the end lets see these men and women for what they are. People who rightly or wrongly have been raised in a flawed system and put in power to repair the un-repairable, and make up for the self serving nature of the electorate.

    See you in Havana!

  8. Anonymous

    What did I say, long lynching from Wall St/DC to Key West and paddle to Gitmo hahahaha! The Irony they built it!

    I officially put up my hand as the cadence OIC.

    Morbidly I would show them all the death (looped slide show) they creatied in this last war, with punk rock from the 70s/80s pumped up full volume and with eyelids taped open aka Clock Work Orange.

    I know this sounds harsh but it’s germane in context to their actions.

    May the big Graviton smile upon you Yves.


  9. Dave

    I would like to see the Wall St golden parachute replaced with the orange jumpsuit. Retrospectively.

    Similarly, the provision of orange jumpsuits all round would make a worthy addition to the new executive compensation package “to be approved by USG” (or whatever the words were) as part of the latest Citi bail-out.

    Am I alone in thinking that greedy bankers have done what terrorism could never hope to achieve – namely, the slaughter of the American dream – a functional, liberal, free market economy shared for the good of all. The democracy we enjoy and treasure is safe-guarded by a stable economy; an attack on economic stability is tantamount to an attack on the democracy itself.

    I think a case could be made that the worst of their actions constituted treason, or essentially, an act of financial “terrorism” upon the democracy of the American people.

  10. Dave

    bena: Nobody said they couldn’t have a trial! You know what … they can even have one *within* the United States legal system. Amazing, huh?

  11. CrocodileChuck

    You missed one: the architect of the sordid idea in the first place: Rumsfeld.

    And, please include the Kagans and Bush’s most stalwart water carrier: David Brooks

    Crocodile Chuck

  12. Bruce H

    Having recently discovered this blog, I have been very happy with it’s content – as there is some fantastic financial analysis and reporting that takes place here. I don’t work in the financial world, so I love to read people who know more than I do.

    I do work in the Intelligence world. My opinion is that Gitmo is going to be around for while under President Obama, because now that he is about to take over, he is discovering the problems that he demagogued were actually quite real, and are about to be all his.

    There are men there that are pure evil, and their home countries will not take them back.

    As far as putting people from the current administration in jail – this is the United States. If there is a crime, bring charges. In what is sure to be a violent period of education for the incoming leadership team, it’s not quite as easy to lead as they may have assumed.

    George Bush is and was a very poor president. He made some very bad choices and the country gets to pay the price for a while to come. But is being wrong now a reason for jail?

  13. Anonymous

    Let’s get real – we can’t afford overseas bases. It’s folly to think we can. Start closing them down worldwide. America is busy drowning in a sea of debt.

  14. Richard Kline

    Ahhh, dream sweet, that if but in imagination our lips might quaff such wine.

    . . . But no. With very few exceptions—DeLay, Libby, and if pursued surely Rove—they have committed few acts which would lead to conviction as crimes. I don’t mean morally. And war crimes might apply to some, but there is no effective jurisdiction, and without that law is a principle not a power. The sick fact is that the perps will walk, as in walk away free to live on bonds and fees and manicured lawns. Like as did quite a few Nazis, Tsarist repressionists, and European colonial injustice administrators. The time to face down evil is on its rise, but most just want full dinner pails, and besides social justice is hard work. The guilty will live in infamy, regrettably, rather than rot in remand.

    I wonder, though, if there will be a Muslim equivalent to the Nazi-hunters of the Fifties and Sixties: may such haunt the steps of those named above, and those unnamed who run with them.

  15. russell1200

    Most of the people you mention I hold with very little regard. But you seem to be lumping an awful lot of “crimes” together.

    Kathrine Harris?

  16. Carlosjii

    Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten US into, Pisco sour

    Actually Bush’s multiple failures have been masterfully architected by himself. He should be working out the drama of his father’s life in therapy instead of direct lines to the Pentagon where he has facilitated our military failing to prevail in the US’s third major conflict since the ‘Greatest Generation’ won WW2.

  17. Anonymous

    Please stick to the Financial Analysis. People dont come to the this site for political opinions. Even if you are correct.

  18. Nick von Mises

    You’re welcome to have Gordon Brown. That scheming thief has ruined our country and can’t stop smiling about it because all the Labour drones think he’s having a Churchill moment.

  19. Anonymous

    “I do work in the Intelligence world. My opinion is that Gitmo is going to be around for while under President Obama, because now that he is about to take over, he is discovering the problems that he demagogued were actually quite real, and are about to be all his.”

    You’re entitled your opinion. You’re equally entitled to your apparent lack of sense of humor.

    A large number of supposedly civilized/intellectual Republicans showed their true colors during the presidential campaign, when they downplayed Palin’s race-baiting and neo-McCarthyism, dismissing criticism of the incitement of increasingly violent crowds as over-reaction.

    As dismaying as that was to witness, it’s nowhere close to as galling as the suggestion that calling Gitmo disgraceful is somehow an act of ‘demagogy’.

    Fuck you, you fascist prick.

  20. Anonymous

    @Irm21, The militant Islam threat is a sham. All they have asked, is for Western powers to get off their grass. How many Western country’s since WWI have played Sim’s with their populations and recourses for their own benefit?

    How many puppet regimes has the west put into power in the region over the last 100 years? Just to secure oil under the pretense of a strategic resource. How many Tim Burton like Western suburbs built in the middle of the desert to house Westerners in homie comfort surrounded by high razor wire/ patrolled fences to keep out the dirty locals. But a few could be allowed in to clean your toilet. No wonder the the religious took over the country’s, the people were sick of seeing the recourses sucked out of their country’s to the west, with little to show for it locally.

    If anything they are resiting the “westernization” of their peoples and lands, as we would if the roles were reversed. We actually have empowered them among their populations via Bush and Co policy’s.

    I was involved in Afghanistan back in the Soviet conflict and the West made many promises to the feedom fighters, with assistance to rebuild the country after the expulsion of the Soviets, well after all was said and done “WE” the West just said sorry mate have other pressing matters back at home now, so good luck with that rebuilding thing. We went back on “our word” not them, That is just one example of many in the region. They just don’t want our bag of magic capitalist beans and with the recent collapse of the west who would.

    @Bruce H, funny to see a Intel guy use the word “EVIL”, good Intel work does not assign such vagary’s to explain motive or mindset.

    The Bush administration has show a propensity to distort or manufacture information to FIT their policy and not the other way around. The hole and sole purpose of your job is to inform as best as possible the leaders of policy and if that is being distorted, it should be corrected through channels.

    Yes the criminals involved should be charge and run through due process in full public view as a reminder to the future generations, to the fallacy of running the government on arrogant pseudo religious ideology’s. The next administration will have both hands tied behind their back, but hopefully not blind as the last administration does a slash and burn to the trail.

    Economic tragedy is a good smoke screen to use as get away. Two words for you on my back ground, Blue light and Freedom Group in Pakistan. Ahh the good old days. Even went back twice to do demining, I got a nice T-shirt for it, LOL.


  21. bg

    I am sure all you said was meant with a seriously large tongue in your cheek. But I none-the-less find it all out of bounds the way I am sure you would find anti-feminist or anti-gay rights rhetoric. We positively should not criminalize politics. I guarantee you it works both ways. If you make politics too low, only the low will go into politics.

    If you can make a legal case much stronger than that made against Bill Clinton, then prosecution might be applicable. I would not, for example, want to prosecute FDR for interning Japanese. That dispicable act was made in good faith in the act of governing.

  22. Abbott_Of_Iona

    Two words. Due Process.

    The facility cannot just be “closed down” or cannot Justly be closed down without Due Process.

    The USA cannot simply “free” those who have been incarcerated without due process. And if their Liberty has been taken without process it seems clear that the USA cannot “walk away” from its self declared obligation to be a beacon of the free world.

    Damage has been caused and damages must be paid.

    Equally without due process no other human being should be dispatched to the facility, if that were to happen the USA would heap disgrace upon disgrace.

    Public servants have obligations to the public (State).

    Given the monumental mess that GW Bush and his administration have made of the (public good of) the USA, it should not be too difficult to allow due process take place and for the State (public) to act.

    Except for one thing, the legal profession is as corrupt as the political profession which is as corrupt as the Financial Profession.

    However, we live in hope of Justice.

    One thing seems clear, GW Bush will go done in history as the worst President the USA has had to date.

    He has failed militarily, economically, and diplomatically.

    But his worst failure is that he failed the Republic.

  23. doc holiday


    This is rich stuff, which I missed before, Re: “Let’s put Clinton and Lewinsky in there too. “

    I say, if they go, then it be only fair to put Lewinsky’s Mom there as well, because after all, who among us is prepared to save soiled garments. Thus it is she that shall be the first to enter into this hell!

  24. Anonymous


    I’d add Nancy Pelosi to your list if it were a crime to be an air head.

    Her edict, “Impeachment is off the table” exonerated the admin at the same time signaling that the American people were fair game for any atrocity they could imagine -two whole years to have their way with us -and they’re not finished yet.

  25. Cash Mundy

    Give them all a fair treason trial, then a prime-time public hanging. And don’t forget the neocons: Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and any others who engineered the Iraq attack from public office should swing first.

  26. doc holiday

    Pelosi did have a voter mandate for change and then used her power to take impeachment off the table. Two years later, Pelosi remains in power as a great symbol for a rotting American corpse and the corrupt government we now have.

    Pelosi is an example of rotted leadership and a person who has clearly abused power!!! Why is she still in a role of leadership? She needs to step down ASAP and allow change to have a realistic chance, versus having her fuck up for another two years!

    The vast majority of these Senate & Congressional cowards that pumped TARP and ignored voters should be reviewed for treason. There is no reason that Pelosi should hold her position today or in the future, because she and her fellow Democrats were charged with a mandate for change two years ago — and every one of those scum failed America!

    Two years ago, we heard this: "Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid of Nevada told supporters, "All across America tonight . . . there is in the air a wind of change."

    There are countless guilty actors in all this and Pelosi should step down, along with every member associated with every financial committee that sat back taking bribes from lobby groups!!!

    It is a disgrace to allow these people to represent The Constitution and America! Every pig here below should resign — or go to prison for treason!

    Christopher J. Dodd Chairman (D-CT)
    Richard C. Shelby Ranking Member (R-AL)
    Tim Johnson (D-SD)
    Robert F. Bennett (R-UT)
    Jack Reed (D-RI)
    Wayne Allard (R-CO)
    Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
    Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
    Evan Bayh (D-IN
    Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
    Tom Carper (D-DE)
    Jim Bunning (R-KY)
    Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
    Mike Crapo (R-ID)
    Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI)
    Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
    Sherrod Brown (D-OH
    Mel Martinez (R-FL)
    Robert P. Casey (D-PA)
    Bob Corker (R-TN)
    Jon Tester (D-MT)

  27. Anonymous

    I am sure if you took a vote on this it would pass but we live in a reality that won’t let it happen.

    It’s a good idea though. Thanks for putting it out there for us white noise machines.

  28. "Cassandra"

    Hi All,

    Cassandra here. Yves, didn’t post this – it was meant for CDT and I mistakenly submitted it in error to the wrong blog in my haste – a blogger’s “fat-finger error”. You surely know Yves has far more discretion (not to mention gravitas) than the quasi-satirical drivel I scrawl upon my walls. So apologies to all – especially Yves. That said, if it made you smile – great! If you were in some way politically offended, I also extend my apologies as I understand you didn’t sign on for it.

  29. bg

    Thanks Cassandra,

    in context your post was fine. Out of context it was inflamatory. I appreciate your clarification a ton.

  30. Anonymous

    Very interesting to see the comments take a dramatic turn when that political topic was posted in error. Saw even some personal attacks at Yves, who didn’t write it.

    Am of Smart Independents category.

  31. Mayberry

    As you cleanse the last eight years of its villains that cling to America’s colon like spackle or paste – consider the old villains who are about to return (and who have been present all along). The remedy you are prescribing is cleverly presented, but sadly naive and vindictive.

    The problem is not the spackle and paste but the cancer of power, politics and special interests that has metastized as it consumes the American Dream including the Change We (so desparately) Need.

    I feel sorry for you. Given the opportunity and a platform to address the issues of the day you choose revenge and even hatred rather than hope.

  32. Anonymous

    Jeez, Yves hit the hornets nest harder next time OK.

    @Doc Holiday 8:58, saw that one too.

    Government policy and Economics are intertwined, one effects the other and on this occasion, Yves has has opened that door, to be discussed in Democratic fashion. This has to be the best open forum I have come across to discuss both economic and policy matters, all involved have insightful view points, that I either agree with or must reconcile with, to further my under standing of the subject.

    In my earlier post I would like to add, the hole point is policy makers to a certain level should see their works up close and personal sans the dog and pony show put on for their benefit/ignorance.

    How many times have I seen the show come to my town, only to see the brass/top dogs placate to the senators/congressmen/DOD types, all with sweet lipped words of she’ll be right sir, all going to plan sir, please don’t let this affect my career path, as an O-5 or O-6 pay grade retirement is not so wonder full.

    In my last post, to boil it down, who is reacting to who? Funny that we were over there (decades) before the sh*t hit the fan and not the other way around.

    One last point while we wax philosophical, patriotism is not a pin on your chest, it is not conforming to policy, it’s putting ones self in harms way/speaking your mind into the winds, which blow against you in popular belief, to expose ideas/actions that would bring tragedy to our country at the possible detriment to ones freedom/life.


  33. "Cassandra"

    In all earnestness (and there is seemingly much here) what I really wish for is not, amusing as it might be to those who feel violated and failed incarceration and torture (though that might teach them a lesson) – but rather that there was a stronger sense of shame that would provide a more powerful deterrent to stealing from one's neighbor, willful neglect of trust & responsibility, or poo-ing in the public water supply. I recall the story many years ago of a paedophile in County Armagh who remarkably was "sentenced" to keeping his rather public role at the observatory, to daily wear his scarlet letter and confront his shame and humiliation face-to-face in front of the Community. It ought to be both a more powerful deterrent and punishment, but in the land of the individual, its nary a flea-bite upon the prevailing narcissism and parochial greed. That IS hope over revenge, not to mention reality. But I hope nonetheless.

  34. Anonymous

    Thank you Skippy for commenting here. You’re someone that the “war on terror” fearmongers might have a harder time ignoring. And thank you Skippy for doing good work even though the guys you worked for were not good.

    We finally have gotten rid of this guy who gave us what should have been just a stupid malapropism: “war on terror”.

    And for those who say it came to our shores, do you really want to get into what really happened on 9/11/01 ?

  35. Jimbo

    I must admit that I would enjoy seeing the Wall Street bankers forced to take off their $2,000 pinstriped suits, their cufflinks, their Hermes ties, handing over the keys to their offices and their cars and given jumpsuits.

    After the huge losses they helped create and their equally huge bonuses, a change of image and environment might give them some perspective.

    I can just imagine the responses of Bear Stearns’ Alan Scwartz and Lehman’s Dick Fuld and Fannie Mae’s Daniel Mudd when the guards tell them to take off their mirror-polished, handmande-in-London brogues and silk socks and hand them plastic flip flops in exchange…

  36. curious-er

    Yves, what a great idea! The people on your list undoubtedly have done a lot more harm to the US than the present occupants of GItmo could ever have. In fact, the whole World would be better off if the “holiday” could be made permanent for some of these folks.

  37. Anonymous

    Cassandra –
    Thanks for clarifying that this article was actualy from you, and not from Yves. I’ve come to regard Yves as quite brilliant and level-headed. I couldn’t believe that she was capable of even thinking, much less writing, something so childish and moronic. Glad we cleared that up!

  38. Anonymous

    I think you’ll have to send your short list of infamous luminaries to Gitmo for their personal safety.
    You sound quite humane in recommending they be spared disembowelment.


  39. awj

    I love how people feel free to lob “childish and moronic” barbs from behind the Anonymous moniker. Such compelling outrage! I can hear the pearls being clutched across the internets.

    Here’s hoping with Cassandra that “a stronger sense of shame” about things that actually matter returns to our fair shores.

  40. cft

    Just in case any of the posters here got a woody and got all excited at seeing a normally deeply intelligent financial blog being turned into an infantile scrum of politcal posters yelling back and forth and calling each other “fascist pricks” – please go to any of the 1,000 blogs where this kind of mindless ranting is the norm if you feel the need to cathart.

    Hopefully this one will return to its usual bright, insightful, and wonderfully witty dialogue, and the haters on either side of political issues will try to remember that they’re at the grownups table here. Really, good wine actually tastes better than Kool-Aid, and conversations with subtle humor are more delightful than raging blather.

  41. whitetower

    So let me get this straight: American officials should be detained (and some posters here, by their tone, actually believe this) in the very place that is too “oppressive” for Islamic radical savages?

    Talk about an inverted moral compass.

    We probably should have just shot these Islamic radicals and not bothered to detain them — the whining about civil liberties for savages just hasn’t been worth it.

  42. Anonymous


    I probably not dignify your comment by a response, since you have formulated a point of view based on rather dubious information, namely, assertions from the Bush administration, which has lied repeatedly and without shame to the American public.

    You claim that the detainees are “radical Islamic savages.” THERE HAS BEEN NO DUE PROCESS HERE. How can you be so sure? And do you think this Administration is going to admit they rounded up the wrong guys? After the international condemnation Gitmo has attracted versus the Bush hard line, they have no climb down here. Every indication is that many, maybe even most of the detainees were low-level guys, and some may have been people in the wrong place at the wrong time. We’ve seen that happen with rendition cases, why is there any reason to expect the process was any better with Gitmo?

    The six British citizens and two Australians held were protested by their governments.

  43. Anonymous

    @ to all of those that feel repugnant at some of the discourse here, get your hand dirty once and awhile or are you of the position that, in the movie “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” where at dinner the “mark” elitist/rich by proxy female proclaims to her host ” poor people should not be allowed into the museum as they would get the ART dirty”?


  44. doc holiday

    In closing:

    In each human heart terror survives
    The ravin it has gorged: the loftiest fear
    All that they would disdain to think were true:
    Hypocrisy and custom make their minds
    The fanes of many a worship, now outworn.
    They dare not devise good for man’s estate,
    And yet they know not that they do not dare.

    … The Second Coming (poem)

    See: The lines “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity” are a paraphrase of one of the most famous passages from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, a book which Yeats, by his own admission, regarded from his childhood with religious awe:

    See also: Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity. …

  45. Anonymous

    In all seriousness, crimes have been committed – actual crimes, violations of law (murder and treason). These crimes need to be investigated and the guilty parties prosecuted (not lynched).

    From the site:

    “The question is, how do we take our country back? It can’t be done by setting up a confrontation between the people and the government. Change has to start within the government. I’m not talking about a coup. What I have in mind is to set the wheels of the law in motion. That is the only thing that could possibly work.”

  46. Stephen Lins

    Re. the comment of 3:29 am: Great. Now a respected financial blog has been reduced to anonymous posters linking to their favorite Truther site. Time for some kind of registration?

  47. chapter 7

    DD said…

    Actually what you have written is a how to manual on starting a blog – I suspect the comment part is a bit tricky – but a good approach to start — as for the gitmo article – probably chapter 3 of how to generate short term traffic – or chapter 7 on things a blogger should avoid lest they damage their credibility.

    Good post

  48. Anonymous

    Your site provides essential economic information and commentary on the slide into the abyss that has been carefully at worst and grossly negligently at best orchestrated by both sides of the political spectrum. I would hate to see your most useful service become obscured by “R” bad “D” good myopia. They have all sold us into financial bondage by punishing the prudent and rewarding the reckless!

  49. "Cassandra"


    Look, satire is satire. Don’t take it for more, and in any event the satire was mine, and not Yves. As I said above, she exercised no editorial control outside of letting my mistakenly submitted post stand which I surmise was more out amusement at the comments than tacit editorial agreement. As for the political orientation – some things are just funnier and possess more irony than others. Interpret that as you like.

    With respect to the hyperbole about Yves credibility, most readers here would beg to differ and they vote accordingly by reading and contributing. She provides a valuable public service to many (and it IS a public service for there is little recompense), and has at once been both wise and prescient in her focus on topics long before they hit the news-stand or mainstream media. In my opinion she distills as accurately and effectively as humanly possible with a heightened bull-shit detector which is highly valued to one that is time-constrained since there is so much content out there.

    More curiously, IF you find no value in NC, why are you even here?

  50. Anonymous

    In this country, and in this forum, the word “Truther” is a term of contempt. That’s what we have come to. The author of the untouchables page has it backwards. The individuals who were responsible for 9/11 are not going to be prosecuted. On the contrary, the ones who are trying to get the truth out are going to be sent to detention camps. Starting with Robin Hordon. He a former FAA Air Traffic Controller at the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center. He says:

    “I knew within hours of the attacks on 9/11/2001 that it was an inside job. Based on my 11-year experience as an FAA Air Traffic Controller in the busy Northeast corridor, including hundreds of hours of training, briefings, air refuelings, low altitude bombing drills, being part of huge military exercises, daily military training exercises, interacting on a routine basis directly with NORAD radar personnel, and based on my own direct experience dealing with in-flight emergency situations, including two instances of hijacked commercial airliners, I state unequivocally; There is absolutely no way that four large commercial airliners could have flown around off course for 30 to 60 minutes on 9/11 without being intercepted and shot completely out of the sky by our jet fighters unless very highly placed people in our government and our military wanted it to happen.”

    He and all his kind are going to Gitmo. Americans have so much to be thankful for on this special day, and so much to be proud of. Let’s eat turkey and watch TV, and count our blessings.

  51. artichoke

    I’m glad Yves does her blog. It is her blog and if she uses it to spread her political views … it is her blog. But she allows others to post comments and spread their own views.

    Exactly what happens on rgemonitor, calculatedrisk, etc. If you don’t like the blog / comment format, browse elsewhere. If you do, use this blog to spread your own views. Or start your own.

    So I guess have to ask you DD: “where’s the beef?”

  52. Yves Smith

    I have deleted all of DD’s comments. I do not tolerate vituperation directed at me any more than a host has to tolerate someone spitting in my face at a dinner party in his house. (Readers have also taken note that I am similarly not keen about readers getting into slugfests either).

    I have said that I hew to Barry Ritholtz’s comment policy, which I reproduce below. He and I have corresponded often about what comments to remove and why. I am more liberal on this matter than he is.

    This may be a free country, but The Big Picture is my personal fiefdom. I rule over all as benevolent dictator/philospher king/utility infielder. Fear my wrath, mortals!

    I will ban anyone whom I choose from posting comments — usually, for a damned good reason, but on rare occasions, for the exact same reason God created the platypus: because I feel like it.

    I encourage a broad range of perspectives, philosophies, sexual orientations. Dissent is good. I want to see a debate of views, a battle in the market place of ideas. (Thomas Jefferson wasn’t so dumb after all). You can post on nearly anything, so long as it is at least tangentially related to the topic at hand.

    On occasion, I will “unpublish” a comment if I feel it is too impolite, harsh, ad hominem, inappropriate, or off-topic. Off-topic posts have been rising, and I have taken to unpublishing them en masse. Publish too many comments on a given post (3 or 4 relevant comments out of 30 are fine, 10 out of 30 is excessive). It takes me ~10 seconds to un-publish 10 comments.

    If you find yourself publishing way too many comments, consider this: This humble blog is my forum for expressing my ideas. Get your own damned blog.

    A few things that will get you permanently banned from commenting at The Big Picture. The fastest way to lose posting privileges is to misrepresent your host’s complex and nuanced views in some inane bumper sticker comment. Those who do this, be advised: I’ve read your prose and considered your thought process: Suffice it to say the literary world will suffer no harm for your deletion (Robert Frost’s legacy is safe).

    Other fast tracks to getting banned:

    – Knowingly posting false or malicious material;
    – multiple postings under different names;
    – generally engaging in troll-like behavior;
    – misquoting your host/overlord;
    – being impolite in the extreme;
    – ad hominem attacks;
    – being an asshole.

    Right now, someone is reading this and saying to themselves “What does he mean, being an asshole?” If you wondered that to yourself, well the odds strongly favor that you yourself have sphincter-like qualities. Thus, you should consider it likely that you will be banned as a rectoid from posting comments sometime in the near future.

  53. Yves Smith

    One more DD matter: columnists from various major media outlets (FT, Bloomberg, the Economist, UK papers) write me directly to encourage me to highlight and comment on their work. They find it of value to them to be featured here. So if the very journalists themselves WANT this treatment, pray tell who is harmed?

    Get a life, and if you want an audience, get your own blog. You will find out soon enough how much work this is.

  54. LJR

    I suggest that a portion of Gitmo be set aside to house GWB’s presidential library. The government can charge him a modest rent. And think of the pleasure for Dick Fuld to have access to a man he admired greatly.

  55. Bruce H

    To Anonymous who called me a “fascist prick”, try harder next time. I suggest starting in Pashtun as it really comes off much better.

    To Skippy, thanks for the comment. I don’t use the term “Evil” lightly. If you can ever review some of the discussions with KSM, you may come to similar conclusions. I agree that the Intel community’s duty is to discover and disclose the truth so that informed action can be taken. But really, some of those guys are evil. I am not sure there is a better way to describe it.

    If folks want to let them go, god save us all.

  56. Fred

    I was so pleased when I discovered this site, but it seems there is no escape from partisan politics and all the petty nonsense that goes along with that … What shocks me is that the owner of the blog has become caught up in all of this and in my view has discredited herself by actually censoring comments that were in fact a valid critique. This will be my final visit (of course this post will likely be censored as well)

  57. Anonymous


    I saw DD’s comments. They were abusive and took issue with standard practices of many well regarded blogs. If you don’t like the basic premise of blogging, don’t read blogs.

    As for censorship, you are really off base there. Any MSM outlet controls its content far more than any blog comment section does. Yves almost never deletes comments, and in this case, it was warranted. DD was so belligerent that if she had engaged him, he would have insisted on having the last word. I’ve seen that type here and even more on political blogs. That is why the comment stream is so good here, for the most part, that sort does not show up here. The ones who insist they have a monopoly on truth and won’t get off their soapbox suck all the oxygen out of comments.

  58. Anonymous

    @Bruce H, to clarify my statement, the word “Evil” has a religious / spiritual connotation that can be used to manipulate and incite base feelings in others and with out having to explain the person / groups actions or reasons for their actions.

    It is, the kind of word used for propaganda proposes, not informing the recipient of that statement to the facts, concerning those implied. It is a broad statement with out insight or clarity. There for, I found it curious that some one with a job that requires precision in wording would use it.

    For the inmates at GITMO, all I wish to see, is for them to be tried not un-like the Nazi’s at Nuremberg for all to see. Then address confinement to those found to be guilty by due process. They are “our” prisoners and like all in the past, should be treated accordingly by Federal and International law.

    Hope you don’t take this post as a rebuke of yours, just wanted to make myself clear.


  59. Anonymous

    If this would be done, the US would have a chance to restore its credibility. Perhaps even Iran could do without nuclear weapons.

    convicting people who are responsible for millions of deads, is not ‘partisan policy’.

  60. Robert

    So . . . I guess I didn’t realize you were a political hack. Thanks for letting us know how you feel. When they put you in charge please imprison whomever you like- sounds like you got it figured out.

  61. Anonymous


    I love how you guys feel free to make pot shots without reading. Yves did not write this post and therefore has no vested interest. Guess that little detail somehow passed you by in your righteous indignation.

    In addition, most blogs have clear policies about acceptable comments. Just about all MSM blogs are moderated or have software that rejects certain words. I read comments pretty regularly, and Yves also takes issue with people who get snarky with each other.

    I see you are the sort who is more interested in his own self-importance than making a useful contribution. I do not welcome this sort of waste of space and hope you take your misguided anger elsewhere.

    The reason comments here are good is the few super jerks who show up either leave or are encouraged to leave. Robert, you have identified yourself as that type.

  62. Jason Blair

    So…there’s posts criticizing Yves for cutting and pasting others’ work….

    And how does she respond?

    By cutting and pasting the “Bloggers Comment Policy” from another blog.

    Beautiful. If only Yves meant it as a joke. Unfortunately, she didn’t. She actually cut and paste her repsonse to the criticisms that she cut and pastes.


  63. Robert

    Geez Looweeze- I’m just trying to make friends! Anonymous- quit picking on me- you know I have low self esteem. Yves- my apologies- I actually like your blog- not sure why that post got to me (it just seemed so partisan)I agree with you almost all the time!

  64. Anonymous


    What a jerk. Do you bother reading other blogs? I am sure Yves was aware of the irony and decided to rub your face in it.

    So why don’t you go appoint yourself Blog Police? Barry and CR and many many other bloggers often posts consisting of a single chart or a Bloomberg video, or a pointer with a comment and a link. Krugman’s posts are often one or two sentences and a link. Most of Mark Thoma’s posts are cut and paste, in fact he lifts entire articles wholesale.

    Except as Barry, CR, and Thoma show, that is what blogging is about. Some people provide links, others provide more in the way of text, Yves provides more text than most, but Thoma even more.

    There is value in selection and commentary. That’s why they are popular. That is the nature of the medium. And if you don’t like it, WHY ARE YOU WASTING YOUR AND OUR TIME BITCHING ABOUT IT? Just quit reading them. No one is forcing you to come here. What are you, jealous? I can’t fathom the point of you coming here to complain.

    If you want to go pick fights, I suggest a political blog.

  65. visitor from rgemonitor

    Anonymous said…


    What a jerk. Do you bother reading other blogs? I am sure Yves was aware of the irony and decided to rub your face in it.


    Anonymous you seem very angry as do some of the others. I wonder what the source of all of this animosity is? Even Yves has jumped into the fray appearing to be overly defensive of her journalistic stature. It would seem to me that in the blogger medium one should be able to (and be prepared to) address criticism without reverting to child like tactics including name calling and expulsion from the clique. A healthy community should be able to embrace those with differing opinions and respond to challenges in an enlightened manner. If anything this “Gentrifying Gitmo” post has demonstrated the narrow-mindedness and insecurity of many of naked capitalism’s followers and sadly its author.

  66. Richard Smith

    Anonymous of 11:24 I agree – the comment was inappropriate; also a truly bizarre response to someone else’s blog post.

    Yves – could you perhaps consider disemvowelment (Google it for pros and cons) rather than deletion? Then anyone interested could determine the appropriateness of your response, with a little effort, and the rest of us could skip the toxic guff.

    I hope you are not discouraged by some readers’ inability to tell the difference between raw stories and editorial. Or the difference between a Cassandra post and an Yves one, come to that.

    What a strange comment chain this has been.

  67. visitor from RGE

    Anonymous said…
    This is 10:03 PM.

    Yes, I did see it – too bad others cannot – it actually was a clever, albeit negative parody of the approach Yves and other bloggers use. It was not profane, nor was it vulgar but perhaps it did touch a nerve. A blog owner has the prerogative to censor whatever they choose, but in doing so they reveal something of their character; in this case I suspect some deep seated insecurities. Hopefully DD will find a place to re-post his/her parody.

  68. Anonymous

    visitor from RGE,

    This is 10:03 PM. I do not know how what was written could have been called “parody.” It was openly hostile. It made the Gitmo post, which many found offensive, look mild.

    I have read enough blogs to see what damage trolls can do to a comments section.

    Having boundaries is not insecurity.

  69. Richard Smith

    Anonymous of 2:32, you may be wasting your time with “visitor from RGE”, with his faith in the value of ad-hominem argument, and “Jason Blair”, who can’t even spell his own pseudonym propely.

    There’s only one person on the planet who thinks DD’s post was a clever parody, and that’s…DD.

  70. visitor from RGE

    Richard Smith said…

    What Richard Smith said makes absolutely no sense.

    What would be of value is some specifics of what was so offensive about DD’s post. From my recollection DD posted a parody of one of Yves commentaries focusing on her approach of extracting portions of articles published elsewhere and then commenting on them. The implication was that the creativity and intellect required for such an approach was subordinate to the skills required to research and write an original article.

    I am not sure DD was correct but it certainly is a reasonable question and in my opinion, DD was quite creative in the approach he/she took.

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