WHO Should Be <em>Time</em>‘s Person of the Year?

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J.K. Rowling is way ahead of Al Gore and Barack Obama on Time Magazine‘s poll for “Person of the Year.” My bet is that Nobel Laureate and ‘global climate change franchise owner‘ Al Gore will be the eventual winner — but as of today, I confirmed with Time that there still is no decision and that the opportunity to influence the magazine is still open.
My pick would be the “Guantanamo Detainee” because this unresolved problem goes to the very core of what America decides to be in the future.
Lots of other names come to mind — Ahmadinejad, Putin, Petraeus, Ron Paul, Obama, Schwarzenegger, Sarkozy, George Soros, Angelina Jolie, Larry Craig, Dick Cheney, the Guantanamo Detainees. . .and lots of others no doubt.

I talk about this in the video above — and look forward to your thoughts on who really ought to be the person of the year. Feel free to post here — or email me at Steve@TheWashingtonNote.com.
I will tally the names here and send them off to Time as well as publish them on both The Washington Note and Huffington Post.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

27 comments on “WHO Should Be <em>Time</em>‘s Person of the Year?

  1. justintime says:

    I withdraw the Four Stooges nomination and second easy e’s Olberman nomination.
    The Four Stooges would be better on the Onion or MAD magazine.

    Reply

  2. easy e says:

    ***TIME PERSON(S) OF THE YEAR***
    – INNOCENT & EVIL –
    1. The INNOCENT 9/11 VICTIMS throughout the world who were (a) innocently killed by this tragic event AND (b) those who were subsequently victimized by being falsely accused, detained, tortured, and killed or murdered for their alleged role in 9/11.
    2. The EVIL 9/11 MASTERMINDS (U.S./Dual/Non U.S. Citizens) who successfully planned and executed the “9/11” branded black operation on behalf of their powerful hegemonic, fascist-based sponsors & benefactors (U.S./Western/Anglo/Zio/M.I.Complex) – – – which detrimentally changed the course of America, our Constitution, and the World forever.
    Notes & References:
    * OBL Denies 9/11 Involvement –
    http://www.public-action.com/911/oblintrv.html
    http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/16/inv.binladen.denial/
    * Principle Hypothesis About The Attack Of 9/11 – http://www.stj911.org/hypotheses/index.html

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  3. easy e says:

    Keith Olbermann (for his courage in countering the establishment and exposing evil).

    Reply

  4. Kathleen says:

    The Ugly American is back with a vengeance, apparently.
    UN rights envoy suspects CIA of Guantanamo torture
    By Stephanie Nebehay
    12/13/07 — — GENEVA, Dec 13 (Reuters) – A United Nations investigator said on Thursday he strongly suspected the CIA of using torture on terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, suggesting many were not being prosecuted to keep the abuse from emerging at trial.
    On a visit to the U.S. detention centre in Cuba last week, Martin Scheinin, U.N. special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism, attended a pre-trial hearing of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s former driver.
    Scheinin said U.S. officials had told him that of the roughly 300 detainees currently held at Guantanamo, 80 were expected to face military trials for suspected crimes. Another 80 inmates had been cleared for release, he said.
    No decision had been made to either prosecute or release the remaining 150, including many so-called “high value” detainees, he said. Some have been held six years without trial.
    “There is not enough evidence that could be presented, even to a military commission chaired by a military judge. Partly there may not be evidence and partly the risk of issues of torture being raised is too high,” Sheinin told a news briefing.
    “Bringing them to court would bring to the court’s attention the method through which the evidence, including the confessions, were obtained. So this is one further affirmation of the conclusion that the CIA or others have been involved in methods of interrogation that are incompatible with international law,” he said.
    U.S. President George W. Bush insists that the United States does not engage in torture but has refused to disclose what interrogation methods are used at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.
    In all, 800 people have been held at the Guantanamo prison since it opened in January 2002, Scheinin said. The White House contends the naval base is outside U.S. territory so constitutional protections do not apply.
    Scheinin told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday that his Guantanamo visit had stoked his concerns about the fairness of trials conducted there. The U.S. delegation rejected his remarks as partly “misleading” and rehashing old criticisms.
    INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES
    Hamdan’s hearing was held to determine whether he is an enemy combatant who can be tried on war crimes charges in a U.S. military tribunal. He has acknowledged working for bin Laden but denies being a member of al Qaeda or taking part in attacks, including the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.
    Military prosecutors denied a request by his defence lawyers to call senior al Qaeda suspects as witnesses to testify on Hamdan’s role, according to Scheinin.
    “This is illustrative of the tightness of the regime in which the high value detainees are held, which of course gives further suspicion to the inference that they have in their possession information concerning the interrogation techniques used upon them, which must not come into daylight,” he said.
    “And therefore their prosecution even before the military commissions is excluded for the time being,” Scheinin added.
    The Finnish law professor also voiced concern at the recent revelation that the CIA had destroyed videotapes in 2005 that recorded al Qaeda suspects undergoing waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique, which he said amounted to torture.
    “The destruction of video tapes on CIA interrogations is one more argument that supports the contention that the CIA has been involved and continues to be involved in the use of interrogation techniques that violate the absolute prohibition against torture,” he said. (Editing by Laura MacInnis)

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  5. Kathleen says:

    Good-ish news
    Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa and he/she has read our Constitution. Maybe we’ll have a Miracle on Pennsylvania Avenue?
    House Judiciary Trio Calls for Impeach Cheney Hearings
    By John Nichols
    12/14/07 “The Nation” — — Three senior members of the House Judiciary Committee have called for the immediate opening of impeachment hearings for Vice President Richard Cheney.
    Democrats Robert Wexler of Florida, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin on Friday distributed a statement, “A Case for Hearings,” that declares, “The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.”
    In particular, the Judiciary Committee members cite the recent revelation by former White House press secretary Scott McClellan that the Vice President and his staff purposefully gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent as part of a White House campaign to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson. On the basis of McClellan’s statements, Wexler, Gutierrez and Baldwin say, “it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice.” The three House members argue that, “Congress should call Mr. McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to ‘unknowingly [pass] along false information.’”
    Adding to the sense of urgency, the members note that “recent revelations have shown that the Administration including Vice President Cheney may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction — this time about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.”
    Although Wexler, Gutierrez and Baldwin are close to Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers, getting the Michigan Democrat to open hearings on impeachment will not necessarily be easy. Though Conyers was a leader in suggesting during the last Congress that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney had committed impeachable offenses, he has been under immense pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to keep Constitutional remedies for executive excesses “off the table” in this Congress.
    It is notable, however, that Baldwin maintains warm relations with Pelosi and that Wexler, a veteran member of the Judiciary Committee has historically had an amiable and effective working relationship with Conyers. There is no question that Conyers, who voted to keep open the impeachment debate on November 7, has been looking for a way to explore the charges against Cheney. The move by three of his key allies on the committee may provide the chairman with the opening he seeks, although it is likely he will need to hear from more committee members before making any kind of break with Pelosi — or perhaps convincing her that holding hearings on Cheney’s high crimes and misdemeanors is different from putting a Bush impeachment move on the table.
    The most important immediate development, however, is the assertion of an “ask” for supporters of impeachment. Pulled in many directions in recent months, campaigners for presidential and vice presidential accountability have focused their attention on supporting a House proposal by Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nod, to impeach Cheney. When Kucinich forced consideration of his resolution on November 7, Pelosi and her allies used procedural moves to get it sent to the Judiciary Committee for consideration. Pelosi’s hope was that the proposal would disappear into the committee’s files.
    The call for hearings by Wexler, Gutierrez and Baldwin puts impeachment on the table, at least as far as activists are concerned, creating a pressure point that can serve as a reply when House Democrats who are critical of Bush but cautious about impeachment ask: “What do you want me to do?” The answer can now be: “Back the call for Judiciary Committee hearings on whether to impeach Dick Cheney?”
    “Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about President ClintonÂ’s personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquires. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for President Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment – where the GOP pursued trumped up and insignificant allegations – would be that it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise,” write Wexler, Gutierrez and Baldwin.
    “The charges against Vice President Cheney are not personal,” the House members add. “They go to the core of the actions of this Administration, and deserve consideration in a way the Clinton scandal never did. The American people understand this, and a majority support hearings according to a November 13 poll by the American Research Group. In fact, 70 percent of voters say that Vice President Cheney has abused his powers and 43 percent say that he should be removed from office right now. The American people understand the magnitude of what has been done and what is at stake if we fail to act. It is time for Congress to catch up.”
    Arguing that hearings need not distract Congress, Wexler, Gutierrez and Baldwin note that the focus is on Cheney for a reason: “These hearings involve the possible impeachment of the Vice President — not our commander in chief — and the resulting impact on the nation’s business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton Presidential impeachment hearings.”
    They also argue, correctly, that the hearings are necessary if Congress is to restore its position in the Constitutionally-defined system of checks and balances.
    “Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence — not politics — should determine the outcome,” the Judiciary Committee members explain. “Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an Administration that has consistently skirted the constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it.”

    Reply

  6. Kathleen says:

    MardA… thanxxxxx, that was funnnn. I think I’ll don my Impeach Cheney cap and go carrolling. Enjoyed visiting your site, too.

    Reply

  7. justintime says:

    The infamous four stooges of the Bush Crime Syndicate:
    Antonin Scalia
    Clarence Thomas
    Samuel Alito
    John Roberts

    Reply

  8. serge says:

    I couldn’t watch the video as YouTube had yanked it already. (What’s up with that?)
    My vote for POTY…GITMO Detainees or, maybe, the many faceless attorneys who are representing them.. A very old and close friend has been successful in the release of several Brit detainees and is now representing Abu Zubaydah.
    We will live with this shame for a long time.

    Reply

  9. Kathleen says:

    section9… guilty without benefit of legal counsel, trial and evidence, simply because they have Arab names???? Sig heil!!!
    Detaining and torturing people because they have an Arab name is not a War on Terror. It’s a war on civilization.
    Shame on us.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “anks, but most people who actually vote in elections in this country do not consider Qaedist Detainees to be fit nominees for Time Magazine’s person of the year.”
    They are what you say they are, simply because you say they are. Thanks for your comment, fascist.
    BTW, interesting how many have been released.

    Reply

  11. Mardé says:

    That’s a great song, Kathleen, sung to the tune of All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, I imagine. It’s so good, I’ve featured it on my blog and given you credit!

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    I choose the Guantanomo Detainees.
    Second runner up would be the deaf man the police tazered because he didn’t respond to their commands.

    Reply

  13. ELANE says:

    In terms of who had the greatest impact on the world for better or worse, my vote is for George Bush. Through his own devices and the actions of his close colleagues, the world is not a better place — by a long shot. There is strife at home and abroad. While not all caused directly by the president, at least his contributions made it worse. Pick a topic: war, oil prices, global warming, political and social polarization, health care, the educational system, the economy, on and on — the general malaise.
    I wish it weren’t so. But there you have it.

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  14. section9 says:

    Thanks, but most people who actually vote in elections in this country do not consider Qaedist Detainees to be fit nominees for Time Magazine’s person of the year. I mean, most of them are in there for trying to kill thee and me, dontcha know….
    Most of us still consider these people the enemy, you know.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ahmadinejad.

    Reply

  16. Dan Kervick says:

    I think Vlad Putin is by far the most important figure in the world in 2007. Gore is perhaps second. But if you want to go with one of those collective winners, I would say it’s The Chinese Worker.

    Reply

  17. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    temoc94:
    So why was Alan Keyes allowed at the Rethuglican debate?

    Reply

  18. Kathleen says:

    Kucinich, Gravel and Paul are not single issue candidates, nor are so-called front runners necessarilly more serious candidates. It is bizarre to me that the one candidate who got it right on Iraq, and the Patriot Act would be excluded.
    Senator Gravel can be credited with releasing the Pentagon Papers and ending the draft, more than can be said for any of the front runners.
    Excluding candidates is also bad psychology. Even if they don’t win the primary, do you want their supporters to support the nominee or do you want them to feel that the fight was not fair and square and refuse to support the nominee? It serves no one to treat any candidate unfairly.
    Excluding candidates because they do not have a rented office and paid staff, says volunteer voters working out of their homes because they believe in democracy are not as valuable. What message did the Des Moines Register send about the value of voter particpation?
    Excluding candidates appeals to the easilly herded mind. Let’s just all stay in line, right?

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  19. temoc94 says:

    I fully support the exclusion of Kucinch and Gravel from the Des Moines register debate.
    The purpose of the debate is to help the electorate settle on a candidate. Allowing candidates who have no chance to win steal time from those who are real contenders does a disservice to the electorate.
    Debates are meant to serve the electorate — not vice versa. People who watch them are not meant to be a captive audience before which the single-issue candidates and also-rans can pontificate.

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  20. Hedley Lamarr says:

    Al Gore, the elected president who was prevented from serving and winner of the Nobel Prize.

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  21. Kathleen says:

    OT, but for those who object to candidates being arbitrarilly excluded from the debates… this from a national group of Indepenants who regularly hold conference calls on how Indpendent voters can impact the elections.
    Keep Kucinich, Paul and Gravel in the debates!
    Subj: Petition – Keep Dennis Kucinich In the Debates
    Dear Kathleen Grasso,
    I’m writing to you to ask for your help in keeping the presidential primary debates open.
    This week the Des Moines Register excluded Congressman Dennis Kucinich from the Iowa debates — despite the fact that he met all of their published criteria.
    Congressman Ron Paul and Senator Mike Gravel have also faced debate exclusion.
    Given the challenges America faces right now, we need more debate and dialogue – not less. Yet the party insiders are moving to shut things down.
    Independent voters and independent-minded Democrats and Republicans aren’t going to let them.
    We’re sending a petition to Party Chairs Howard Dean and Mike Duncan.
    The message: We need your intervention to keep the debates open.
    Can you take a moment to take a stand for democracy?
    To sign the petition, click here>
    Sincerely,
    Jim Mangia & Linda Curtis
    IndependentPrimary.Com
    PS. Can’t see the link above? Copy and paste this link into your browser: http://petition.independentprimary.com
    Keep The Primary Debates Open!
    Sign The Petition>
    Keep Kucinich, Paul and Gravel in the debates!

    Reply

  22. Kathleen says:

    But for the existence of the Guantanomo Detainees, I’d say Al Gore. Since the Detainees have no access to due process and are being mistreated, I would like to lend my voice to their plight by nominating the Guantanamo detainess and all others in captivity, without benefit of legal counsel.
    Meanwhile, all I want foir XMas is the Prez impeached, the Prez impeached, the Prez impeached.
    All I want for Xmassss is the Prezzzzzz immmmmpeeeeeeached.
    A patriotic Xian

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  23. PC says:

    My nomination (of course based on my arms control bias) is Chris Hill.
    Not exactly a big name (at least outside the press entourage that follows him everywhere), but he’s been key behind the reversal we’ve seen with North Korea since last year. Now, it’s still premature for an eventual outcome, but things have been moving in the right direction throughout the year.

    Reply

  24. Kathy K says:

    You know what? The world is not going to care who TIME’S person of the year is. I certainly don’t–along with zillions of other people.
    This is because people around the world are starting to ‘get it’ that the cultural narcissism this bizarre U.S. newsie’s title involves is a ludicrous fraud–an effort to obtain ‘junk’ newsworthiness.
    There IS no ‘Person of the Year.’ There are only ‘Tragedies of the Year.’
    And, thanks to BushCo, there are one HECK of a lot of those.

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  25. arthurdecco says:

    I think Hugo Chavez warrants a mention on your list for Time’s Person of the Year, Mr. Clemons, if for nothing else than his deportment since Venezuela’s failed omnibus referendum.
    It was inspiring to watch a Statesman graciously admit defeat rather than react in surly defiance to his fellow citizens’ recorded wishes like so many of our embarrassing “Western” leaders have done in our recent past.

    Reply

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