December 2, 2008

Is Obama hoping Bush will pardon all those war-on-terror officials lefties are hoping to see prosecuted?

Eric Posner thinks so. Why?
1. The legal cases are not strong...

2. The incentives for future lawyers and agents will be bad....

3. A trial would put the match to the powder keg of the culture wars and explode Obama’s stated aspiration to lead in a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road way....
So, if Obama wants pardons, should Bush withhold them?

About those pardons...
Obama wants them, and Bush should withhold them.
Obama doesn't want them, but Bush should grant them.
Win-win: Obama wants them, and Bush should want to give them.
Obama doesn't want them, and Bush should withhold them.
pollcode.com free polls

159 comments:

Host with the Most said...

Why are pardons necessary? There are no administration officials who have acted criminally in the carrying out of their duties. Why seek to give any credence at all to the the great circle jerk of the Democratic left? Besides, every Bush hater left frustrated is a good thing for the United States.

Simon said...

My instinct is to say that in view of the left's obvious desire to mount a witch hunt - a desire that extends even to adults, who should know better - Bush should issue a blanket pardon to everyone who has ever worked for his administration in any capacity, at any level, for any period of time, paid or unpaid, for any and all activities within the scope of their employment.

I suppose, however, that the problem would then become that the witch hunt will simply become an "investigation" whose tools will be intimidation and smearing of reputations rather than jail time, and the pardon will be used to obviate the self-incrimination defense to refusal to testify.

One way or another, our shylocks of the left will get their pound of flesh, with or without the blood.

Simon said...

And, of course, if the Obama campaign mounts a witch hunt against the Bush Administration, the next GOP administration should immediately do the same to its Democratic predecessors. What a marvelous precedent is about to be set: the permanent criminalization of political difference. Change you can believe in.

MadisonMan said...

I think the person who should be pardoned is the lowly grunt still serving time, while his superior officers who looked the other way at a bare minimum, are enjoying their freedom.

Verso said...

Over on the bloggingheads forum, a conservative gave voice to what appears to be a widespread attitude among "the base" of the Republican Party: violent rebellion.

"If Bush faces any sort of trial, I guarantee you a third of this country will revolt in ways that makes the weather underground look benign."

Conservatives have always had problems accepting the legitimacy of non-Republican governments. Trials or not, we're sure to see a massive increase in anti-government militia membership, as we did in the Clinton years. But I suspect it will be worse this time around, given that a significant portion of the base believes Obama is a Marxist Muslim terrorist who wasn't born in America and who intends to destroy the country with, as Sarah Palin said, his "terrorist pals."

Go read the comments on conservative blogs. Go read the comments on YouTube under various political videos. The talk by Republicans and conservatives about violent rebellion is alarmingly frequent. And we're only getting started. Give Rush Limbaugh and his kind a couple of years to fuel the hate, and it will be much worse. People like Rush Limbaugh directly encouraged the militia movement during the 1990s, and they will do so again, starting yesterday.

I've had a sort of gruesome fascination the last week or so following the Republican theory that Obama doesn't have a valid birth certificate and was really born in Kenya. And this is what I find interesting: There is real devotion to Sarah Palin among the "Obama is a Muslim/terrorist/enemy of the state and we need to seceded from the Union" set. They despise McCain, but they love Sarah Palin. I guess this should not be a surprise given how she conducted herself during the campaign.

Neal Gabler had an excellent column about this frightening phenomenon recently: The GOP's McCarthy Gene.

As a general rule, most Republicans are normal, decent people. But the fringe is very large (in fact, it's not really a fringe; it's actually a quite large faction), and very scary.

Sheepman said...

How can the President pardon someone before charges are brought against them? Can the President give a blanket pardon for any conceivable crime that an individual may be charged with, or does it have to be narrowly tailored to a specific activity or event?

Hoosier Daddy said...

There are no administration officials who have acted criminally in the carrying out of their duties.

Well for some of the Left out there, the mere possession of a Republican Party membership card is sufficent reason for life imprisonment.

Tibore said...

"The talk by Republicans and conservatives about violent rebellion is alarmingly frequent."

Oh, bull. I've got over a dozen "conservative" blogs in my RSS reader right now, from Brain Terminal through No Pasaran, from Gateway Pundit to Neo-Neocon, and not a single one of them even mentions, let alone discusses this. The only post I see at all about "violent revolution" is the one you made.

Quit exaggerating things.

mccullough said...

W. should issue no pardons. Obama will be the President, and if he wants to prosecute CIA agents and others, let him.

W. didn't go after Clinton for perjury. He let it go and Clinton worked out some deal with the special prosecutor to give up his law license.

W. shouldn't let Obama have his cake and eat it too. If Obama thinks crimes were committed, he can have Eric Holder, of all people, prosecute them. Then Holder can push for their pardons.

If Obama prosecutes CIA agents for torture, then Obama will be a one-term President.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And, of course, if the Obama campaign mounts a witch hunt against the Bush Administration

You know, right now except for the usual suspects, the country expects Obama to be focused on one thing and that's the economy. Nothing else matters including Iraq as evidenced as to how that ended up on the back burner of issues the President needs to address.

Even I don't think he's that dumb.

al said...

Forget those guys (and girls).

Pardon Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Conservatives have always had problems accepting the legitimacy of non-Republican governments.

Verso, I have a serious question.

Do you use any kind of special lubricant when you pull this kind of stuff out of your ass?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Pardon Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Amen. Talk about two guys who got railroaded.

Pogo said...

Lefties, taking their advice from the Jacobins and Lenin and Castro, move closer to criminalization of disagreement with The Party in order to eliminate dissent.

The left is always seeing fascism arise from the right, when it has only done so once in 100 years, while it has repeatedly come from the left in that same century.

We are slouching towards totalitarianism with a smiley face.

Trevor Jackson said...

"the permanent criminalization of political difference"

Simon, whether you agree that torture and rendition as practiced by this administration rises to the level of crimes against humanity, surely you can agree that the question itself rises above mere "political difference."

AllenS said...

In 8 or 10 years, Obama will want to pardon everybody who worked for him. So, he understands the need for pardons.

Pogo said...

the question itself rises above mere "political difference."

No, it doesn't. Politics ain't just potholes and perks.

Maguro said...

Simon, whether you agree that torture and rendition as practiced by this administration rises to the level of crimes against humanity...

Well, now, if rendition is a crime against humanity, shouldn't we be prosecuting Bill Clinton and St. Al Gore as well? Or is rendition only evil when practiced by Republicans?

traditionalguy said...

Me thinks Mr Obama may find a good use for CIA resources if he plans to challenge the Great Muslim Murder Jihad now destablizing The Great Satan's allies all over the old Roman Empire area. He is no fool. Lets hope he fights for us and not against us like his old pals.

m00se said...

I suspect that if Bush doesnt grant the blanket pardon, Obama might (*might*) use the "crimes" of the Bush administration if things go suffciently south during his administration.

He has at his command a series of useful idiots (Conyers, anyone?) who could and would bring the issue of impeachment to the fore.

However, I think that Obama will take the "high" road and let sleeping dogs lie. The favor will be returned when the next cycle begins...

Trevor Jackson said...

Maguro, you're not seriously comparing the renditions practiced by Clinton with the rendition program under Bush, are you?

Chip Ahoy said...

I would rather the cases be brought forward so they can be exposed for what they are.

Pardoning will only fuel grievances, a trial could discredit them. It's my observation the noisiest on the Left conveniently omit the statements made by their leadership, the warning issued, the votes cast. Trials will bring all that to the surface. Trials could, but not necessarily expose the bribes paid to Democrats to advance a war, in the form of larded bills that weren't vetoed but should have been, all of which taken together, did a tremendous disservice to our country.

When I say discredited, I mean discredited in the minds of rational people. Irrational people will always have grievances and so the grievance of trials that expose their grievances as nonsense will be piled onto a heap of never ending grievances. It's like alcoholism but without the cocktails.

garage mahal said...

We're a nation of goals, not laws.

Maguro said...

Trevor - I certainly am. In both cases they took terrorists and handed them over to governments that were not particularly scrupulous about human rights. Why don't you explain the big difference?

Gore laughed and said, "That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass."

Should this type of behavior not be prosecuted?

The Drill SGT said...

Simon, whether you agree that torture and rendition as practiced by this administration rises to the level of crimes against humanity, surely you can agree that the question itself rises above mere "political difference."

I think there are many who are not convinced that torture occurred.

If those interogations were illegal, the proper people to be charged would be folks who where high enough to require Senate confirmation, and therefore the proper place to deal with them would have been impeachment proceedings in the Senate. Of course, that would put Clinton and Holder at risk as well for their previous actions.

IF the Democrats attempted to hold political show trials at the change of adminstrations, it would create a ripple of subsequent trials, pardons, and recriminations that would turn the US into a Banana Republic and ultimately destroy our government and way of life.

Nobody who could not foresee the foreseeable outcome should be trusted with high government office

mjsharon said...

A tough call for Bush. He must weigh the relative strengths of the adult and nutjob wings of the Dem party. I do agree though that, left to his own devices, Obama would not waste his time on this.

Trevor Jackson said...

"Why don't you explain the big difference?"

Ask Maher Arar or the hundreds of other "suspects" who've been tortured and "disappeared" to explain the difference.

Cedarford said...

Simon - My instinct is to say that in view of the left's obvious desire to mount a witch hunt - a desire that extends even to adults, who should know better - Bush should issue a blanket pardon to everyone who has ever worked for his administration in any capacity....

A blanket pardon would only serve to make more people believe the Bushies were full of criminal acts and thus validate all the claims of the Lefties.
Better to leave it to the Dems to see if they wish to criminalize politics again, and see if they wish to again alienate the public by persecuting Patriots...right in the middle of the greatest crisis the country has faced since the Great Depression.

Obama's plate is full.

And he still has big problems figuring out what to do about GITMO terrorists, how Dems will try the 9/11 mastermind after 7 years of blocking trials..and all the terrorist rights Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, and Breyer handed out.

Yachira said...

Verso, you're just pathetic. Go back to the Kos Kidz and suck your thumb there. Please.

TMink said...

al wrote: "Pardon Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean."

Completely agree with you.

Trey

Lawgiver said...

Pardon Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Amen brother, NOBODY deserves a pardon more.

That reminded me to email my President about it. You can email him at comments@whitehouse.gov.

For you lefties who think Bush is a sock puppet for Cheney but still believe Ramos and Compean deserve a pardon you can email Dick at vice_president@whitehouse.gov.

Alex said...

There are no terrorists except Republicans.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ask Maher Arar or the hundreds of other "suspects" who've been tortured and "disappeared" to explain the difference.

Yes because none of that happened when rendition was established under the Clinton administration.

Salamandyr said...

I don't want Bush to issue any blanket pardons. I don't want to give Obama that kind of political cover.

He needs to stand up to the rabid wing of his party, and let them know that political differences are just that, differences, not criminal acts. And if he can't, or won't do that, I think we need to know. And I don't want to give him another opportunity to hide his actions behind Bush's supposed perfidy.

The Drill SGT said...

Yes because none of that happened when rendition was established under the Clinton administration

Great topic for Holder confirmation hearings when they get bored with Rich pardon questions.

Maguro said...

Yes because none of that happened when rendition was established under the Clinton administration.

That's right, and none of that will happen when rendition continues under the Obama administration. It will all be good until another Republican is elected.

Laura Reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AntonK said...

I fully support:

1) years-long congressional hearings on Bush's war-on-terror officials, along with,

2) prosecutions piled on prosecutions of them.

These two actions would all but guarantee that Obama would be the last Democratic president for generations.

Richard Fagin said...

While we're requesting a well-deserved pardon for Compean and Ramos, we should also ask that U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton be disbarred and prosecuted for suborning perjury.

Simon said...

Sheepman said...
"How can the President pardon someone before charges are brought against them? Can the President give a blanket pardon for any conceivable crime that an individual may be charged with, or does it have to be narrowly tailored to a specific activity or event?"

The President can issue pardons before charges are brought (consider that Ford pardoned Nixon in just these circumstances). And s/he can issue blanket pardons; Killian & Costello deal concisely with the subject: "the power [to pardon] include[s] the power to pardon specified classes or communities wholesale, in short, the power to amnesty, which is usually exercised by proclamation. General amnesties were issued by Washington in 1795, by Adams in 1800, by Madison in 1815, by Lincoln in 1863, by Johnson in 1865, 1867, and 1868, and by the first Roosevelt— to Aguinaldo’s followers—in 1902. ... [A]fter the Civil War ... the point [was] adjudicated, when it was decided in favor of presidential prerogative" (footnote omitted).

SMGalbraith said...

I could see a commutation of Compean and Ramos's sentencing but a full pardon for their actions would be wrong.

As Andy McCarthy, admittedly a severe critic, pointed out, after shooting the suspect the two agents:

[P]ut their guns away and left him behind. But not before trying to conceal the improper discharge of their firearms. Compean picked up and hid his shell-casings rather than leaving the scene intact for investigators. Both agents filed false reports, failing to record the firing of their weapons though they were well aware of regulations requiring that they do so. Because the “heroes” put covering their tracks ahead of doing their duty, Aldrete-Davila was eventually able to limp off to a waiting car and escape into Mexico.

That seems to be an accurate account of their actions.

If true, sorry, these two men aren't heroes.

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

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TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

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We are talking North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

Doors will be slammed and blinds drawn shut in a very rude and important way during these senior strategic meetings.

John Stodder said...

Bush isn't going to pardon anyone associated with the "war on terror" because by doing so he would be admitting his Administration committed crimes. Why would he concede that?

I suspect the whole "blanket pardons" idea is a wet dream fantasy of the Left and nothing more. It's also an imaginary storyline for the media as it counts down Bush's final days in office. "No word yet on whether the anticipated blanket pardons will be issued before Bush steps aside..." It's a way of framing the issue that relies on zero facts.

If the Left really believes Bush officials or Bush himself committed crimes, prove it in court.

Leaving aside the particulars, it would also establish a horrible precedent, with echoes of a banana republic. Would the Republicans really want to say that any president can conduct his administration lawlessly and then throw a pardon shawl over everything? That's not something you'd want to convey to a president whose political roots are in Chicago.

It's pretty rich that Verso finds an anonymous comment buried in a thread and indicts "conservatives" with it, and then talkd about the Republicans' "(Joe) McCarthy gene." The only McCarthyite I see here is Verso, using Tailgunner Joe's classic techniques of guilt-by-association and unverifiable charges.

garage mahal said...

Investigating war crimes would be the end of the republic as we know it!

Spending 3 yrs, millions of dollars, and handing over millions of documents to voyeuristic Republicans = not a witch-hunt.

Oh, and always nice to hear the Republican side of the story from Sensible Democrats like John Stodder.

Synova said...

Meanwhile, in places such as Indonesia, people are watching our presidential transition with admiration and wonder. One president greets the next and the change happens with smiles and without strife. No outgoing president barricades him or herself in the White House and refuses to leave. And the people look at their own leaders and think... what's wrong with you people? Isn't the country more important than your power? Why can't you step down from your puny post if the most powerful man in the world can step down from his?

Those calling for persecutions and show trials should be ignored.

They are *bad* people.

Synova said...

So, garage... obviously you're arguing that it was right to spend that money and do those investigations? No harm done? Now lets have more of the same?

John said...

Bush will never issue a blanket pardon. To do so would let the left off of the hook. It would allow them to rail about the "crimes of the Bush administration" without ever suffering the political fallout of trying to do something about them. Bush will issue no pardons leaving office. That will give the left the choice of tearing the country apart with investigations into things that most people supported at the time and don't care about or having to shut up about these alleged crimes.

Only true fanatics like Dalia Lithwick want to spend the next four years having a "truth and reconciliation commission" about the last 8. Only someone as derranged and sheltered as her could actually believe that the American people would be happy with their government conducting such a farce in the middle of the worst recession since World War II.

Obama is not suicidal or anywhere as stupid as Lithwick. There will be no trials, no nothing. Even Congress won't hold hearings because doing so would reveal the inconvienent truth that they were informed of the interrogation techniques from the very begining and said nothing. The whole issue will be another disillusionment for the nutcase left and proof of what suckers and cheap dates they are.

Meade said...

For Verso to genuinely be a McCarthyite, he would have to be in a position of power and to personally profit by employing the techniques of guilt-by-association and unverifiable charges in order to ruin people's careers and reputations.

Robert Cook said...

"W. didn't go after Clinton for perjury. He let it go and Clinton worked out some deal with the special prosecutor to give up his law license."

Wrong. Congress impeached Clinton, bringing two articles of impeachment against him. He was acquitted on both counts. Related to this, Clinton paid a fine in Arkansas and his law license was suspended for five years. This concluded all legal sanctions against Clinton for his perjury.

W. couldn't have pursued the matter had he--a serial liar himself--even wanted to.

It will be a travesty of justice if Bush, Cheney, et al are not prosecuted for war crimes, including torture and mass murder. Needless to say, I think a travesty of justice is just what will transpire. Of course, this will set a precedent that will indemnify Obama or any future Democratic presidents from prosecution by Republican majorities for similar war crimes they may initiate.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Investigating war crimes would be the end of the republic as we know it!

If there were 'war crimes' committed, maybe they should have been investigated at the time, not waiting until the end of the administration when your precious party has political cover.

John said...

"It will be a travesty of justice if Bush, Cheney, et al are not prosecuted for war crimes, including torture and mass murder. "

You are wingnut. Maybe you could say torture, although I would argue that the amount of torture that went on was much less than reported (we waterboarded all of three people, and Clinton rendered plenty of people to other countries to be tortured a lot worse than that but I don't see anyone calling for his head), but mass murder? WTF are you talking about? If Bush is guilty of mass murder in Iraq, then every leader of every country that has ever fought a war including US Presidents Clinton (Kosovo), Bush I (Gulf War I), Nixon, Johnson (Vietnam), Truman (Korea and WWII), and Roosevelt (WWII) are also guilty. And don't give me that crap about Iraq being an illegal war. Iraq had more authorization under the UN Charter than the Kosovo War did and certainly more than Vietnam. Further, the tactics used in Vietnam, Korea and World War II were much worse and much more brutal than anything used in Iraq. Ever hear of the fire bombing of Tokyo? The Christmas bombings of Hanoi?

Stop it with the nonsense and go back to Kos to be with your own wingnuts.

garage mahal said...

If there were 'war crimes' committed, maybe they should have been investigated at the time, not waiting until the end of the administration when your precious party has political cover.

Dems have tried and were repeatedly told to piss up a rope. Aren't there subpoenas out for Rove and Miers as we speak?

John said...

"Dems have tried and were repeatedly told to piss up a rope. Aren't there subpoenas out for Rove and Miers as we speak?"

Perhaps the knowledge that nothing would come of it was why they tried? It allowed them to please the lunatic fringe knowing all the while nothing would come of it. Come January 20th, there will be nothing stopping them. I wouldn't hold my breath for anything to happen. Republicans are not living that well to catch such a break.

garage mahal said...

If there was "nothing there" Rove and Miers would be more than happy to testify and make Democrats look foolish.

Synova said...

It allowed them to please the lunatic fringe knowing all the while nothing would come of it.

Exactly.

Synova said...

If there was "nothing there" Rove and Miers would be more than happy to testify and make Democrats look foolish.

And how does that work?

Seriously, garage.

If Rove and Miers "testify" and say anything other than that everyone is guilty as sin of anything they've been accused of, will the Democrats suddenly look foolish?

Are you that simple?

The only "truth" will be the one that people want to hear, and anything else will not be accepted.

Would *you* accept their testimony if it exonerated anyone at all?

Robert Cook said...

Every war we have engaged in from Viet Nam going forward has been illegal, and all presidents from Kennedy forward are war criminals, (with Carter possibly, but not necessarily, excepted). (I don't know enough about the Korean War to discuss it.) This is not a partisan blame game, but a matter of millions of human lives destroyed by American aggression abroad. As for WWII, Japan attacked us and days later Germany declared war on us. In the wars of the last half of the 20th Century going forward, we have initiated the wars and fabricated justifications for them. We are guilty of "wars of aggression" against nations that have not threatened us, the supreme war crime under the Nuremberg standard.

The war in Iraq, by the way, was not approved by the UN.

John said...

The Iraq war was approved by the UNSC under the original ceasefire resolution from 1990. That resolution authorized the use of force if Saddam did not live by the ceasefire, which he didn't and hadn't. That resolution, 1441 I believe, was used by Clinton to launch operation Desert Fox. In addition, the last UNSC resolutions leading up to the war authorized "serious consequences" which everyone read to be force if Saddam didn't comply. We just never go the "magic language" saying force. That was the compromise with the French and the Russians; we got "serious consequences" and they got to tell their populations "they never authorized force". It was all a sham. Further, the US was authorized to be in Iraq from June 2003 on. So the "illegal war" such as it was lasted for all of two months. Everything since then has been done with UNSC and the sovereign government of Iraq's authorization. There is nothing illegal about our presence in Iraq post June 2003 in any way under any reading of international law. The "stop this illegal war" nonsense is just that nonsense.

As far as the US being so evil, the US saved most of Asia from communism thanks to the Korean and Vietnam wars. They also defended Western Europe for 40 years. I think the people in places like Hungary and Czechoslovakia would have sure welcomed evil American interventionism as people like you watched them get crushed by Soviet aggression. I am sure the millions of Cambodians and Vietnamese who were murdered after people like you got the US to abandon them were very happy die knowing they were no longer victims of US imperialism. The US has been the greatest force for good in the 20th Century and saved millions of lives. In return for this thankless task, it gets the scorn of know nothings like you.

SMGalbraith said...

Every war we have engaged in from Viet Nam going forward has been illegal, and all presidents from Kennedy forward are war criminals,

Y'know, it's historically illiterate posts like this that give the internet a bad name.

Robert Cook said...

"The Iraq war was approved by the UNSC under the original ceasefire resolution from 1990."

Baloney.

Joe said...

The US initiated the Vietnam war? The US initiated Iraq 1 (Desert Storm)?

Afghanistan never threatened us? You are aware of a hole in the ground in New York City, right?

What next, assertions that the earth is flat?

John Stodder said...

Dems have tried and were repeatedly told to piss up a rope. Aren't there subpoenas out for Rove and Miers as we speak?

The argument is that the subpoenas from Congress were unconstitutional under separation of powers. Besides, the transparent point of demanding such testimony is to build a perjury trap. That's a dodge.

Nope, it's going to have to be a criminal prosecution. Draw up an indictment on the core actions presumed to be illegal. Let's see what happens.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Robert Cook has been a stellar student of the standard Soviet and leftist ant-American themes of the 20th century, to which I only advise a good go to hell you effing socialists.

And fuck the horse you rode in on, too.

John said...

"The Iraq war was approved by the UNSC under the original ceasefire resolution from 1990."

Baloney."


Invective does not count as argument. The ceasefire resolution authorized the use of force. It had been used to enforce the no fly zone and to bomb Saddam into submission during desert fox. It authorized the use of all force necessary to enforce the terms of the ceasefire and subsequent US resolutions. By 2003the only way to enforce the only way to enforce the cease fire and the subsequent UN resolutions was through regime change.

There was nothing "illegal" about the war. You may not have liked it. It may have been a mistake, but it wasn't illegal.

Darcy said...

I agree with AntonK completely.

Bush shouldn't pardon anyone in this regard. Let the Dems show their asses here.

John Stodder said...

Oh, and always nice to hear the Republican side of the story from Sensible Democrats like John Stodder.

Saying there is no evidence that Republicans are planning violent revolution against Obama is, to you, telling "the Republican side of the story?"

You obviously need to go back to a left-wing cocoon, where only feelings matter and evidence is optional.

tjl said...

"The war in Iraq, by the way, was not approved by the UN"

Should we care?

Synova said...

I've never understood the concept of an "illegal" war.

Law is a creation, after all. For something to be illegal there has to be an enforcing authority and a law broken.

I deny that the UN has this authority... and it certainly has no enforcement apparatus. I deny that any "international court" has authority or an enforcement apparatus. There are treaties between nations that can be violated, but again, without an authority over those nations or enforcement, how does the word "illegal" apply.

And even, in this case, if it did apply, if the measure is if another country must pose a threat, then Iraq is a legal war. *Any* war undertaken to address the instability in the middle east and the growth of radical Islam is a legal war.

So what's the issue here?

A disagreement over threat? Well, that's a disagreement isn't it. Can anyone prove that Iraq or Afghanistan did not pose a threat to the security of the United States? Or does one have to wait until they're murdered to legally undertake self-defense?

I could easily argue that Japan wasn't and never would have been a threat to the United States. Sure they bombed Pearl Harbor... big freaking deal. That was over and done with and anything afterward was retribution and not self-preservation. Was Germany going to expand over the Ocean? Yeah, right. Sell me another one!

By Robert Cook's definition of justified war, WW2 fails. It fails miserably.

Because even THEN the threat was less well defined. It was not defined by the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the sinking of a ship or two in the North Atlantic.

The attack on 9-11 was no less a wake-up call than the bombing of Pearl Harbor. How we've responded, including invading Iraq, was no less justified than our WW2 efforts island hopping in the Pacific or pushing through Europe and North Africa.

John Stodder said...

Invective does not count as argument.

The left-wingers on this thread are used to reading and writing on websites where invective is the entire basis for argument.

If you oppose Bush on such sites, that's like saying you voted for him. You need to hate him or else they kick you out of the club.

Hence Robert Cook's endless refrain about the illegal war. It just feels illegal, see? By illegal, he really means "oh, I so hate it." On the feelings meter, if you're feeling rage, someone belongs in prison.

SMGalbraith said...

The first Gulf war - the one that removed Saddam from Kuwait - was illegal?

The removal of the Taliban and AQ from Afghanistan was illegal?

One learns something new on the internet.

garage mahal said...

Saying there is no evidence that Republicans are planning violent revolution against Obama is, to you, telling "the Republican side of the story?"

No, I think it's Sensible Democrat Schtick where Democrats are always to blame for everything that's the most annoying.

Who was talking about Republicans planning violent revolution against Obama on this thread anyway?

AlphaLiberal said...

How can Bush pardon people who haven't been charged? And, if he pardons them retroactively for some time period, he admits tacitly wrongdoing.

I predict he will do this for his closest advisers. Those further down the food chain he will toss aside like used kleenexes.

Seven Machos said...

I have not read through this entire thread. However, I think an option should be added: It's a moot point because criminal charges will never gain any traction, as they shouldn't.

AlphaLiberal said...

By the way, for those who think torture makes us stronger, you will be interested to read the op-ed by a former Iraq interrogator who rejected from yesterday's Washington Post:

I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans.

and...

Amid the chaos, four other Air Force criminal investigators and I joined an elite team of interrogators attempting to locate Zarqawi. What I soon discovered about our methods astonished me. The Army was still conducting interrogations according to the Guantanamo Bay model: Interrogators were nominally using the methods outlined in the U.S. Army Field Manual, the interrogators' bible, but they were pushing in every way possible to bend the rules -- and often break them. I don't have to belabor the point; dozens of newspaper articles and books have been written about the misconduct that resulted. These interrogations were based on fear and control; they often resulted in torture and abuse.

Laws were broken in the use of torture approved by Bush and his closest advisers. Why does the law and order crowd forget about law and order when it comes to their own?

(Hint: starts with an "h" and ends with a "y" and has "ypocris" in the middle.)

AlphaLiberal said...

Also, what about the graft and corruption and billions of US tax dollars, and Iraq oil-for-food dollars, ripped off in the occupation by contractors?

Will Bush also pardon the war profiteers?

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

Lists are forming as we speak.

Trooper York said...

Pardon Plaxico Burress.

Just to piss that jerk-off Nanny Bloomberg.

Trooper York said...

That's piss off.

Synova said...

And you believe this guy, Alpha, because he tells you what you want to hear.

Even when the first sentence you quote is illogical on the face of it, if those caught were asked they'd give a reason. They'd find a reason. Would they say they came for glory? Does this guy explain why "our abuses" were so much more motivating than the abuses of those flocking to attack us? Does he explain why "our abuses" were so much more motivating than strapping explosives on a retarded person?

If the fighters were motivated by abuses, Alpha, then why were they not repelled by the abuses of those they came to join?

Obviously, the abuses themselves were irrelevant because the fighters who came were self-evidently *not* motivated by the nature of the abuses.

Seven Machos said...

Alpha -- The billions of tax dollars supported the military. War is not cheap. Few things are more expensive, except for "free" health care.

The French and Russian governments were complicit in the oil-for-food corruption, not the United States. Would you like to "try" them in your "courts"?

There is no more useful idiot at Althouse than you. You take the cake, dude.

John Stodder said...

Who was talking about Republicans planning violent revolution against Obama on this thread anyway?

Verso. 11:29 a.m.

Verso said...

Tibore said, Oh, bull. I've got over a dozen "conservative" blogs in my RSS reader right now, from Brain Terminal through No Pasaran, from Gateway Pundit to Neo-Neocon, and not a single one of them even mentions, let alone discusses this.

I didn't say the bloggers themselves talk that way. They don't. They either don't share those views, or they are more discrete. (Though, I will note that since the election, Republican bloggers have been repeatedly advising their followers to stock up on guns and ammo. This advice can be interpreted in two ways: "They're coming for our guns," or "prepare for civil war."

In any event, read my post again: I didn't say bloggers are inciting violence and rebellion; I said it's a frequent theme in the comments.

Seven Machos said...

Hey look, it's Robert Cook, who knows nothing whatsoever about actual, existing international law, yet talks incessantly about it at Althouse.

Quick, dude, what's UNCITRAL? What's it do? What is the current international law on cloning? What are the basic coalitions involved? How do they differ? How do they agree? Do we find any strange bedfellows? What do the United Nations agreements on terrorism say? What are their limitations? What coalitions are holding back stronger action, and what are the stumbling blocks?

I will patiently await your answers, until I am dead.

Seven Machos said...

Verso -- I am a capitalist. Will you agree to pay me one dollar for every documented comment I can find on the Internet from leftist loons -- like you -- who urge violent revolution?

If so, let me know. I would like to start today.

Verso said...

Here's another comment from Bloggingheads' forum:

"self reliant people have legitimate concerns to what has become of the american government. The millions of republican voters in New England have no congressional representative to turn to when they have a grievance with the federal government. One possible outcome of republican citizens not being represented in the capital is secession from the union."

The Republican base does get encouragement for this kind of thinking from the fringe thought/opinion leaders on the right, such as recent Fox News hire Glenn Beck, who said,

"So the question is, do states have the right to secede anymore? Because it was a compact. It’s not perpetual. In fact, in the Declaration of Independence it says it is our right, it is our responsibility to get away from a government who doesn’t listen to us any more. Do you even have a right to do that as a state any more? Do you have the right to say, “You know what, you guys are going down a path that I don’t even agree with”? Is that even possible?"

It's not worth the trouble dragging all the thousands of examples back into this thread; you can find plenty of examples on your own.

Verso said...

Seven Machos said, leftist loons -- like you -- who urge violent revolution

I was unaware I urge violent revolution. Also: I'm sorry you are so unhappy and angry. I wish I could help that.

But honestly, I don't think I have ever seen a comment from a "leftist" or a liberal advocating violent revolution. I heard a lot of whining about moving to Canada, but never talk or murder and rebellion, like I see daily all over the internet from Sarah Palin fans.

But why don't you go ahead and bring back all the quotes, with links, that you can find.

We both know that it occurs with nowhere near the frequency of comments from the right.

Verso said...

W. didn't go after Clinton for perjury. He let it go and Clinton worked out some deal with the special prosecutor to give up his law license.

It's hilarious how you gloss right over that whole impeachement thing -- which was little more than a Republican coup attempt; an effort to remove the democratically elected leader of the United States.

Verso said...

Hoosier Daddy said, Verso, I have a serious question.

Do you use any kind of special lubricant when you pull this kind of stuff out of your ass?


I'll grant I was being over-broad when I said "conservatives" have trouble accepting the legitimacy of Democratic government. It's really only a significant subset of conservatives. My apologies for generalizing to all Republicans.

veni vidi vici said...

Presumably, and Simon is welcome to correct me because I trust his impressive command of conlaw, pardoning the administration officials would remove their ability to plead the 5th Amendment and refuse to disclose things, wouldn't it? If so, wouldn't that be worse than not pardoning these guys and forcing the Democrats to dig through the dirt some for the allegedly incriminating information they're seeking?

I mean, from the Bush administration perspective.

Verso said...

Hoosier Daddy said, Yes because none of that happened when rendition was established under the Clinton administration.

I didn't realize "they did it too" was an excuse for criminal behavior.

blake said...

The French and Russian governments were complicit in the oil-for-food corruption, not the United States. Would you like to "try" them in your "courts"?

For myself, I'd like to see them tried in the UN, with the appropriate parties found guilty.

The UN could have some moral weight if they ever did anything to, you know, earn it.

Maguro said...

Impeachment - a legal process defined in the constitution - amounts to an attempted coup? Please, that is pathetic.

By the way, how is that "Impeach Bush" movement going?

Seven Machos said...

Keith Olbermann's 'Special Comment' of last night. In the course of those comments, Olbermann chose to invoke, of all things, the people's right to overthrow a tyrannical government.

I won't even mention Bill Ayers.

One dollar, please.

John Stodder said...

Here was what Verso said at 11:29, just so we're clear what we're talking about:

"Over on the bloggingheads forum, a conservative gave voice to what appears to be a widespread attitude among "the base" of the Republican Party: violent rebellion."

This, based on one, now two, comments from a single bloggingheads thread. In neither comment do these anonymous writers claim membership in any party. And yet, Verso confidently claims the seeking of violent rebellion "appears to be a widespread attitude."

Widespread: " widely diffused or prevalent," per Merriam Webster.

Then, challenged to back up his assertion, he merely doubles down with even less evidence:

"It's not worth the trouble dragging all the thousands of examples back into this thread; you can find plenty of examples on your own."

The old "look it up yourself, I don't have time to do your homework" dodge. Very familiar arguing tactic, heavily relied upon by the so-called "reality based community." They get to make the allegations, but you have to find the factual basis for them.

It's almost not worth going on, but just for fun: If there are "thousands of examples" why can't you come up with, oh, ten more? That shouldn't be too hard, given your claim of "thousands."

The Glen Beck quote, lame and pointless as it certainly is, makes no mention of violence. He's asking if the legal process of secession is available to any of the states. So this statement is not an incitement to do anything but go read some law books.

It is true that some bloggers like Glenn Reynolds link to stories about people buying more guns since the election. It is disingenuous to thus conclude that while it might be due to fear of changes to gun laws that it also might be due to some plan of revolution. Gee, why stop there? Maybe they're planning an invasion of Canada. Maybe they want to exterminate wolves a la Sarah Palin. Maybe they're all members of a suicide cult. When you don't need facts, you can dream up just about anything.

Synova said...

Hoosier Daddy said, Yes because none of that happened when rendition was established under the Clinton administration.

I didn't realize "they did it too" was an excuse for criminal behavior.


There were a whole lot of "illegal" things that only became an issue for people because they were looking for something to use politically against Bush. Rendition, gathering intelligence from overseas transmissions, various alarms about violations of rights privacy.

So... to bring this to the original question... does Obama, or other Democrats, want to push the issue when "they did it too" is a fact. Can Bush be indicted and Clinton not? Can Bush be indicted without Obama taking the same risk?

It was all fine and good, when Democrats could make approving noises about war-crimes and prosecutions in order to please their base knowing that they had good excuses in line for not acting. Now that there are no excuses, what will they do?

Tibore said...

"In any event, read my post again: I didn't say bloggers are inciting violence and rebellion; I said it's a frequent theme in the comments."

So? I also included the commentary. I just didn't make that clear. When I said "their", I was referring to the entirety of the blogs themselves, not merely the owner or what those owners alone wrote.

Besides, I went back over them. Not a single comment even remotely in the vein you claim. For the ones with comments threads - all but a couple - there's just plain zero mention of "violent rebellion" if Bush is prosecuted. Hell, there's zero mention of rebellion period. Once again, your comment is the first, and so far only place where I've seen this brought up.

You have anything other than a pair of links to Bloggerheads? Because, to be blunt, I simply don't see this groundswelling of violence-promising posts you attribute to conservative blog posters.

AlphaLiberal said...

Seven Machos puts it's ignorance on display:

Alpha -- The billions of tax dollars supported the military. War is not cheap.

Agreed, war is not cheap.
But you seem ignorant of the BILLIONS of dollars that are "missing" as the (Republican) special inspector general Stuart Bowen Jr has repeatedly reported.

Do Republican really want pardons for billions of dollars in graft? (Or, if FoxNews didn't report it, it didn't happen?) Hell, they had pallet loads of money and you guys think it was all used responsibly?

More 7 Machos cluelessness:
The French and Russian governments were complicit in the oil-for-food corruption, not the United States.

Sorry, pal. You are wrong. Under the auspices of George Bush’s Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), $9 billion in funds from Iraq's oil for food program and new oil sales, has gone missing.

I wrote about this some time ago and more detaisl are at the link. As I recall, someone from a United States oil company was among the first charged in the OFF scandal. Why yes, that's right.

I know, I know. None of this has happened in your alternate reality.

Synova said...

I've wanted a gun for a long time (or like people who do have guns, more than one) and if I had the money I would buy one, now. (My husband offered to buy me a .22 revolver that a friend was selling, but I'm picky.)

I enjoy shooting.

Thinking I ought to get a gun now is partly understanding that I know I can buy a gun now, and I don't know if that will change in the future. Even if I'm confident that gun rights are secure (and even that they're better now than a few years ago) I can't be sure.

Partly wanting to get a gun now is due to reports like that from Mumbai. Powerlessness is a bad feeling and a bad thing. And while what happened in Mumbai does not make me feel less safe, the people there had no reason to feel unsafe either. I think that most people who obtain a gun and learn to use it don't *really* expect to ever need it for self-defense. It's just that knowing that one is not powerless is a good feeling.

I also enjoyed, very much, studying karate. I didn't do so because I felt unsafe or ever expected to have to defend myself of anyone else. It just feels *really* good to be capable. And yet... every so often you hear of someone who knew what to do, was confident, and who reacted to help herself or help others.

I suppose that knowing CPR is similar. I don't know it and have gone through 44 years of my life without ever once needing it or any other sort of first-aid skill beyond neosporin and a bandaid.

Is it still a good idea to know CPR?

Or is it pointless?

AlphaLiberal said...

Texas Oilman Pleads Guilty In Oil-For-Food Scheme
Texas Oilman Was Accused Of Paying Kickbacks To Saddam Hussein's Iraq Regime, Defrauding UN


Odd.... You don't hear the right wing ranting about this guy who ripped off the UN. Suddnely, they went quiet when the Oil for Food scandal implicated US business.

Maybe Chalmers will get a pardon!

Synova said...

Alpha... at what point did someone say we shouldn't track down graft?

No one ever said that. No one even thinks it.

You spout off idiocy about war profiteers and equate making money with stealing it?

Or is it just a plan to get the right response... throw the old "war profiteer" out there, implying that you're talking about contractors and anyone else who has made money by doing necessary and often very dangerous work. Legally. But certainly taking advantage of the situation in the world to make a profit. (Sort of like how farmers are hunger profiteers... but there you go.)

And then when people call you on it, you get to accuse everyone of not wanting to prosecute people who have stolen money or not delivered or taken kick-backs or generally behaved in a criminal manner.

Thing is... you can't do that without getting caught doing it.

NO ONE is suggesting that we not prosecute those who have *stolen* money.

SMGalbraith said...

It is always fascinating reading comments from people who are more concerned with the rights, and the need to absolutely respect them, of terrorists than they are with the rights of the President and members of his Administration.

For the latter, guilt is assumed and it's only necessary to go through the pro forma legal niceties to render the verdict. Truth commissions, extra judicial procedures, anything goes.

For the terrorists, however, absolute respect for their habeas rights (I'm not talking about interrogation measures, now).

Amazing.

Apparently, the tribalism of politics has no limits.

AlphaLiberal said...

SMGalbraith, it's difficult to make sense of your post.

But I think you're accusing people, like me, concerned that our government follow the law and principles of due process, don't extend the same concerns to people in the Administration.

I, and probably most, think all people should have their due process rights respected, be they accused terrorists, innocents accused of terrorism, or members of the Cheney-Bush Administration.

That in no way conflicts with a suspicion of wrongdoing and a desire to see wrongdoers in this Administration investigated and, if need be, brought up on charges.

Fact is, the Bush-Cheney mob has been operating beyond the reach of the law for 8 years. And, yes, I think there are lots of laws that have been broken and they should have their day in court-- soon.

John Stodder said...

There was gross profiteering in "the good war," the one against Nazis and Imperial Japan. Investigating it made Harry Truman a famous politician before his selection as FDR's last VP.

Profiteering happens. It's one of the many unfortunate side effects of war. Not just this war. If the "war crimes" you're talking about is private companies absconding with public funds, of course it should be investigated and prosecuted, and of course pardons would be totally out of order. Which is why I'm certain they are not being considered.

The issue is, did the administration violate the law with respect to surveillance or interrogation? I think many of the claims are overblown, exaggerated or outright false. But I'm completely in favor of investigating the matter if there are sufficient facts to justify it. If nothing else, such a probe would help us clarify the laws.

What I hope all the lefties around here would agree to is that we need to make sure we are not merely criminalizing policy differences. We do not want Obama Administration officials trying to protect this country having to look over their shoulders because their predecessors are being prosecuted for doing what they sincerely believed was their legal duty on behalf of the safety of Americans.

Synova said...

And, yes, I think there are lots of laws that have been broken...

Which laws.

You certainly must have actual laws in mind, yes?

Seven Machos said...

All soldiers from a so-called enemy military should have due process. Our soldiers should capture them and read their Miranda rights. We will embed impartial judges and criminal and civil defense attorneys. In the (rare) event of a conviction, there shall be a protracted appeals process that allows the so-called enemy a full complement of rights and remedies, including lawsuits against the United States seeking financial restitution.

Guns will no longer be necessary for the military, thus saving billions of war-profiteering dollars. Soldiers can carry those police-officer sticks and a can of mace.

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova, Synova, Synova. Why must you hurl insults?

Alpha... at what point did someone say we shouldn't track down graft?

Well, I haven't made that charge, just asked the question. But I haven't heard one con speak against it. To the contrary, I'm attacked for raising it. And, the Republicans in Congress tried to get Bowen canned for blowing the whistle!

You spout off idiocy about war profiteers and equate making money with stealing it?

Your name-calling must have been a real hit on the playground.

I think this by Barry McCaffrey is a form of theft and war profiteering, for example. (Where's the right wing outrage?)

Building shoddy and usable equipment while getting paid is also a form of both war profiteering and theft. The Iraq Reconstruction spending is riddled with more examples of same (US Embassy, unusable schools, showers that electrocute troops, Basra Children's Hospital Project, Bechtel, Brown and Root, Custer Battles, etc, etc, etc. It's a very long list of graft and corruption in the Iraq Occupation).

There are dozens of posts here denying wrongdoing and I point to a festering gob of corruption and you engage in denial and excuses saying saying that's just a matter of "making money."

You've got a, hmm, "conflicting" message there.

AlphaLiberal said...

7 machos, your analogy is ridiculous. This is not like a typical battlefield between nations. We can't just scoop people off the street and execute them, much as the right wing wold obviously prefer.

Many dozens of people in Gitmo (actually, I think, a majority or approaching it) have been found to be innocent. They were often captured on a bounty system and handed over to US troops, to be tortured and deprived of human rights and dignity. Innocent people!

I'm sure you would love to have us put a bullet in their innocent (but brown) heads without knowing their guilt or innocence. But that's dumb and it only makes the USA look terrible.

(Why do we have to explain these basic tenets of civilization?)

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova asks: "Which laws."

Uh, it's a freaking comment section on a blog. I ain't doing legal research.

And it wouldn't matter if I did. Facts have no effect on conservatives. That's been proven hundreds of times in these pages.

Verso said...

Yeah, there's no tendency among the right to question the legitimacy of Democratic leadership. This headline from the mainstream Republican publication WorldNetDaily, tonight:

OBAMA WATCH CENTRAL
WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Imaging guru: 'Certification' of birth time, location is fake
'It would be hard to perform as president from behind jail cell door at Leavenworth'

This is the top story on the WND homepage.

So far they have collected 125,000 petitioners asking the Supreme Court to cancel the election.

Mainstream Republican Party lunacy: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/

Verso said...

Facts have no effect on conservatives. That's been proven hundreds of times in these pages.

Indeed. Resistence to reality is a defining characteristic of conservatism.

SMGalbraith said...

Fact is, the Bush-Cheney mob has been operating beyond the reach of the law for 8 years. And, yes, I think there are lots of laws that have been broken and they should have their day in court-- soon.

If my comment doesn't apply to your own thinking, there's no need to respond accordingly. Correct?

However, you do make part of my point.

To wit, you've already judged them guilty.

As such, you could not sit on a jury and fairly judge the guilt or innocence of them. You would have to be dismissed from the potential jury pool.

However, you probably could sit on a jury and fairly judge the guilt or innocence of a Khalid Sheikh Muhammed. You have the ability to fairly judge him.

The hatred (no other word) for Bush and Cheney et al. exceeds the hatred for Muhammad and permit you from judging one but not the other.

That's frankly disturbing.

Even though the acts of Muhammad are far more egregious than those of Bush.

Second, some (many?) of your colleagues on the left (I'm agnostic as to your own view) want to have a "Truth Commission" where Bush Administration officials would be required to acknowledge their guilt.

These same individuals would never dream of forcing the terrorists to admit guilt before an extra-judicial proceeding. In effect, a show trial.

It seems to me that those who truly believe in liberal democracy, in the rule of law, in freedom of conscience would never acccept for a second such an extra-judicial show trial.

Again, if you don't fall in this category (i.e., supporting such proceeding) you have no need to respond.

Seven Machos said...

I ain't doing legal research.

Why would you? It's so much easier to make shit up.

AlphaLiberal said...

What I hope all the lefties around here would agree to is that we need to make sure we are not merely criminalizing policy differences.

I don't think that's what's happening at all. And I do think we need an investigation, but that investigation will be attacked as just this - "criminalizing policy differences". (Or, "witch hunt," in Simon's words above).

After all the right wing insists "water boarding is not torture," and "Just watch 24! Jack Bauer tortures!" (psst, it's fiction)

Bottom line, an investigation should be welcome by Republicans, who are so sure of their party's innocence.

AlphaLiberal said...

7 machos:
It's so much easier to make shit up.

I'll just take your word at that.

For my part, I will continue to buttress my points with links and facts. In turn, you will sputter and spew.

But not now. Good night!

AlphaLiberal said...

SMGalbraith flails:
To wit, you've already judged them guilty.

Of what charge? I said "I think..." In the English language, that infers a suspicion and is not declaring a fact.

And then I called for investigations, not hangings or jailings. You're erecting your own strawman to plat with, a dishonest practice.

As to your accusations of "hate" you are equating fact-based criticism with "hate." If you can't tell the difference between those two, again, you have problems with the English language.

"Hate" is different than "criticism." You can look it up.

Synova said...

Which laws?

Uh, it's a freaking comment section on a blog. I ain't doing legal research.

The *thing* Alpha, is that because you *feel* something doesn't make it so. You *feel* that laws have been broken... you should at least be able to summarize what you *feel* those laws are.

When people talk about how this war is "illegal" or how Bush should be tried for war crimes or that he's broken some law, they somehow never quite get to the part of pointing out the law, not even in general terms, that they feel has been broken.

It's noise. And the people making it are confident, utterly confident, that there *must* be laws that were broken, there simply *must* be, how could there not?

It's not just on blog comment sections that people who are so *sure* refuse to do legal research.

Synova said...

Also...

The charge that *totally innocent* people should welcome investigations and trials to show how totally innocent they are, just because you have a *feeling* that they maybe did something illegal that you can't specify... how does that play to those in strife ridden countries that are looking at our transition of power and wondering why their own politicians can't be more self-less? The example itself has value.

Or is this another "liberal" notion that nothing actually relates to anything else but exists in a consequence free discrete state?

Because putting an outgoing administration on trial just to clear the air, can't *possibly* have any negative consequences?

SMGalbraith said...

And then I called for investigations, not hangings or jailings. You're erecting your own strawman to plat with, a dishonest practice.

Sorry, but you've posted numerous times here of how you believe the Administration (i.e., the President and his staff) has gone beyond the law or broken the law.

Do you deny saying that they've violated the law?

Second, if you truly believe they broke the law, lied about Iraqi WMD, violated the Constitution, broke international law, why don't you hate him?

If I believed half of those charges, I'd sure as heck would hate them.

Freder Frederson said...

When people talk about how this war is "illegal" or how Bush should be tried for war crimes or that he's broken some law, they somehow never quite get to the part of pointing out the law, not even in general terms, that they feel has been broken.

18 USC Chapter 113C . Is that specific enough for you? Read it, maybe you'll learn something.

Seven Machos said...

Here I thought all the usual dumb asses had gathered, in full dumb assery. Then, Fred came.

Hey, Fred, do us a favor. Check the date when the law was created, then, if you are feeling extra smart, look into the concept of ex post facto.

Come back and report what you find.

Freder Frederson said...

Come back and report what you find.

Hey dumbass. Last I checked, Bush was elected after 1994.

SMGalbraith said...

18 USC Chapter 113C was passed in January of 2007 (link).

All of the reported waterboarding took place in 2002 and 2003.

And we have the question of whether waterboarding constitutes "severe mental pain or suffering" as defined by "prolonged mental harm" caused by physical acts or threats or drugs.

"Prolonged mental harm"?

Freder Frederson said...

18 USC Chapter 113C was passed in January of 2007 (link).

You guys just aren't very bright are you? The USC was published in 2007. The law that the USC section is authorized by was originally passed in 1994 with amendments as late as 2004.

You guys should really read your links.

You don't even know what the USC is or how it works, do you?

Freder Frederson said...

And we have the question of whether waterboarding constitutes "severe mental pain or suffering" as defined by "prolonged mental harm" caused by physical acts or threats or drugs.

It takes a very tortured reading of the statute (pun intended), which includes in the definition of torture the threat of imminent death to others or "procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses", as not including waterboarding--which after all is intended to make the victim feel like he is drowning.

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

Synova's postings make me a little hard.

I would not mind feeling up her jugs or at least weighing each of them. Perhaps measuring them as well as examining each nipple.

This would be all done in a non-threatening way.

Trooper York said...

"You don't even know what the USC is or how it works, do you?"

Aren't they going to be in the Rose Bowl this year?

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

If I were to fondle Synova's breast I may feel a little guilty.

I would not want to cheat on the Divine Miss Althouse.

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

Trooper, what shall we do with all these argumentative people?

Go USC beat OSU. I would do Pete Carroll.

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

Citizen Kane is on TCM now.

I never really got into that movie. I know it was so supposed to be all ground breaking and fabulous and filled with "imagery" but I don't know-it just went over my head.

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

How's Lee Lee Valise's holiday shopping going Troop?

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

By the way the divine Miss A I will be heading to Madison very soon. Hubba Hubba.

December 20-25.

Get ready for your world to be rocked.

Fireworks will be going off. Your blue eyes will look like beautiful oceans of dancing something or another.

SMGalbraith said...

Re 18 USC Chapter 113C. I stand (embarassingly) corrected.

As to this, however (angels dancing et cetera):

Which includes in the definition of torture the threat of imminent death to others or "procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses", as not including waterboarding--which after all is intended to make the victim feel like he is drowning.

That's not a fair reading.

You're leaving out Section 2 which requires:

“Severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from— ... et cetera.

"Prolonged mental harm" must be caused by the actions (drugs, physical action).

Where is the "prolonged mental harm" done by waterboarding?

I'm agnostic as to whether it is or isn't. It seems to me that if waterboarding caused "prolonged mental harm" that we wouldn't be doing it to our own people.

Peharps not.

AlphaLiberal said...

Is that the code after modified by the torture bill that "waters down" (get it?) torture to make fewer acts apply? That's the torture bill that McCain caved to Bush on.

That's one approach. Just redefine it. Who needs dictionaries when you have pols to tell you what words mean?

Look, people have died in US custody from the acts inflicted upon them. Many have so died.

I posted an excerpt above from a witness who was there, from this past Monday, who describes what was done as "torture and abuse."

But, you guys keep making excuses for toture. You are torture supporters. And, torturing other human beings, especially ones who did nothing to us, is evil.

AlphaLiberal said...

SMGalbraith, handmaiden to evil, asks:

Where is the "prolonged mental harm" done by waterboarding?

"Dr. Allen Keller, the director of the Bellevue/N.Y.U. Program for Survivors of Torture, has treated "a number of people" who had been subjected to forms of near-asphyxiation, including waterboarding."

More...

'"[He] argued that it was indeed torture, 'Some victims were still traumatized years later', he said. One patient couldn't take showers, and panicked when it rained. 'The fear of being killed is a terrifying experience', he said".[6] Keller also stated in his testimony before the Senate that "water-boarding or mock drowning, where a prisoner is bound to an inclined board and water is poured over their face, inducing a terrifying fear of drowning clearly can result in immediate and long-term health consequences. As the prisoner gags and chokes, the terror of imminent death is pervasive, with all of the physiologic and psychological responses expected, including an intense stress response, manifested by tachycardia (rapid heart beat) and gasping for breath. There is a real risk of death from actually drowning or suffering a heart attack or damage to the lungs from inhalation of water. Long term effects include panic attacks, depression and PTSD. I remind you of the patient I described earlier who would panic and gasp for breath whenever it rained even years after his abuse".'

Most human beings recoil in disgust at torture like waterboarding. Your contemporary American conservative seeks to excuse it.

So, if I react strongly against such views, it's because I'm disgusted at people who tarnish my country by advocating that we torture and defending the practice.

That's the kind of thing Good Germans did. Not here!

TitusLyposomalDisorder said...

Torture Smorture let's focus on jugs.

Krylobite said...

But what about the victims of near death by boredom from reading Alpha Liberal's comments?

Some have been traumatized because of their heads hitting the keyboard, their eyes having glazed over at the utter predictability and tendentiousness of everything he says.

AlphaLiberal said...

SMGalbraith, my "handmaiden" comment above was over the line. Sorry about that.

AlphaLiberal said...

K, self-inflicted wounds.

Synova said...

And anyone who's been through SERE training is afraid of taking showers?

We may have waterboarded only three terrorists but that's certainly not the only people who've been waterboarded by the US government.

I will accept that those men do retain an aversion to the mere idea of capture. Which is good, because if captured our enemy won't waterboard them, our enemy will torture, kill and defile them.

Sort of like how the vile murderers in Mumbai tortured victims before killing them.

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova..
And anyone who's been through SERE training is afraid of taking showers?

Uh, no. That psychologist reported on the effects on a patient he analyzed. No-one said that happens to all who are waterboarded.

And, I suspect the effects of being waterboarded by people you trust is different than by hostile people in a strange place.

But, hey, make some more excuses for torture. And don't forget to tell us how morally superior conservatives are. Because that's not, you know, obvious.

(Do you guys even think it's immoral to torture?)

Synova said...

Of course it's immoral to torture, Alpha.

We just don't trust YOU to have a clue what you are talking about. For one thing, knowing that you aren't going to die is not *knowing* that you aren't going to die. If it were the same then some excessively tough special forces soldier would certainly have been able to endure it during training. Can you even imagine what sort of fame that would bring among those men, to beat it?

But nevermind... you want us to believe your experts are not making equivalences between things that are not at all the same and just on their and your say so?

You want us to believe that anything you point to as proof of "torture" is just that? Were you the one the other day who linked the absolutely *horrific* news that an inmate was shackled at the ankles for the duration of a welfare visit?

Did you link the guy claiming that he observed torture in interrogations but that he had a better non-violent way? As a military member he had an obligation to report those violations and as an officer he had a duty to follow up, even at the expense of his own skin, because that is what honor means. If he didn't do that, but is complaining now, way after the fact, then he joins the others with no honor, like Janice Karpinski, who claimed all sorts of things she never did a blessed thing about while she had the power and obligation to do so.

You know what is torture, Alpha?

Being locked up.

If you want to include situations where people suffer long term emotional distress or psychological damage, you have to include simply locking them up.

You pretend that you're against anything that causes distress.

I think that you're an opportunist looking for a way to feel superior.

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova asks:
Were you the one the other day who linked the absolutely *horrific* news that an inmate was shackled at the ankles for the duration of a welfare visit?

No. Not been around here much lately. New horizons and all that.

You're putting way too much stock in this "training" torture. Do you have a link to a story giving an account of it and how it's done? And, if you think training torture is the same real thing. . .

Did you link the guy claiming that he observed torture in interrogations but that he had a better non-violent way? As a military member he had an obligation to report those violations and as an officer he had a duty to follow up, even at the expense of his own skin, because that is what honor means.

Yes to the 1st point. To the 2nd point, you seem angry not that torture happened, but that someone made it known. You seem to find honor in torture.

You should read that article. It's very interesting. The link is up above. Monday's Wash Post.

Being locked up.

I frequently think about the torture technique used by US forces where they put people in tight boxes with no room to move and blast music so they can't sleep.

Then there's hanging people by their wrists and beating them. A few died that way. Maybe you think that's honorable, too.

I think that you're an opportunist looking for a way to feel superior.

I think anyone excusing torture,as you do, would naturally feel inferior, so I understand why you might say this.

I think you did a better job of mounting an argument before resorting to ad hominem, than most cons did. But in the end you succumbed.

To the point, my (conservative) Dad taught me as a kid to be proud of my country for many reasons. He often mentioned "we don't torture," as he learned during WWII, and which was recently confirmed by WWII interrogators. We beat Tojo and Hitler without it.

AlphaLiberal said...

Maybe this is the to reach conservatives on torture:
"Torture is dishonorable."

Except they'll never believe it.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here is some more torture to excuse away.

At the interrogators' behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

"Leave him up," one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.


Being a torture apologist must keep you guys busy.

Next debate: Hanging people from the ceiling? Is it really torture?

john marzan said...

bush pardoning officials involved in torture will not help clear the reputation of those accused.

the pardon will not give any reassurance to those intelligence officials thinking of using more coercive methods to interrogate terrorists in the future that they won't end up being under investigation in the future.

the self-serving pardon of these controversial people will help the democrats politically, and hurt the republicans. and solves nothing.

so to answer prof ann, the only way for the obama administration and democrats to understand what the bush administration has gone thru to protect america from terrorism, is to be in bush's shoes. see what he sees re terrorism. and then decide on what to do with the people involved waterboarding the al queda suspects to extract info out of them. the ball is on the democrats court now.

john marzan said...

So, if Obama wants pardons, should Bush withhold them?

if obama makes it public that he wants bush to pardon.

Seven Machos said...

with amendments as late as 2004

Good luck punishing the illegal war with said statute.

Mike G in Corvallis said...

Synova, SMGalbraith, John Stodder ...

You would do well to remember a useful piece of folk wisdom:

"Never mud-wrestle with a pig. You'll end up covered with mud. The pig will enjoy it, but you probably won't. And even if you win, your only prize will be the knowledge that you have won a contest with a pig."

Cedarford said...

John Stodder said...
There was gross profiteering in "the good war," the one against Nazis and Imperial Japan. Investigating it made Harry Truman a famous politician before his selection as FDR's last VP.


Truman was a friend of Israel, pushed war crimes, and tried to do almost all he could for certain groups of displaced war victims..(not including Germans.)
But Truman had strong anti-Jewish feelings that came from Jewish involvement with Communism, low rates of Jews volunteering to serve in WWII, but most prominently in his conversations regarding Jews being quite prominent in the war profiteering cases he investigated - which Truman considered near-treasonous profiting from the death and suffering of the Allies.

US Grant also had some hard feelings for Jews in the Civil War. Famously writing Lincoln for permission to hang the group of "camp followers, Jews, and thieves" seeking profit from Union Army blood...

****************

Alphaliberal - To the point, my (conservative) Dad taught me as a kid to be proud of my country for many reasons. He often mentioned "we don't torture," as he learned during WWII, and which was recently confirmed by WWII interrogators. We beat Tojo and Hitler without it.

We did torture in WWII. Generally not the Germans, because they followed Geneva rules and we reciprocated - but unlawful combatants or Americans caught in German uniform were summarily executed, some tortured for info. Certain high value Nazis were handed over to British interrogators for "cracking" by the same sort who had made up the Black & Tans in Ulster.

With hardcase Italian fascists and Japs, it was a different story. They hadn't followed Geneva Convention rules, so neither did we in certain situations.
(The terror bombings excepted - where we hoped to use napalm and HE on German cities not only to kill German civilians, but also produce as many survivors with horrific burns and injuries as possible, AND homeless - to demoralize Germans and divert food, housing, and medical care resources from the German war effort.)

1. Captured "high-value" Italians were beaten and tortured by US, Brit, Free Pole forces for battlefield intel on Italian and German force strength and position - to save Allied lives.

2. At wars end, Eisenhower allowed 8,000 German POWs to starve to death in Allied camps, and America did not object to the Soviets using 120,000 former German POWs as slave labor in their mines, clearing rubble, helping build new Gulags up to 1954. 30,000 of those POWs survived the Soviet post-war. (What the Soviets did after the war was a reflection of both the Nazis and Soviets fighting during the war with no rules, but what happened in the West to the German POWs at war's end was outside the generally good Geneva compliance about captured enemy during the war in Western Europe)

3. Some Island battles were fought with "No Quarter". Not only beatings of captured enemy, but finding killing "extra Japs" the easiest and most convenient thing to do with them...Other islands were deliberately bypassed when American experts determined the Jap garrison would starve to death without resupply.

4. More than in Europe, we made an effort to starve, burn, terrorize and otherwise torture the Japs to bend to our Will, do as we demanded..

Hoosier Daddy said...

I didn't realize "they did it too" was an excuse for criminal behavior.

Oh no it isn't. You see, considering lefties like you weren't demanding Clinton's trial and imprisonment when he started the program, I'm curious why all of the sudden it's got your panties in a bunch now. Oh that's right, it's because it's a Republican Administration.

It's call being consistent Verso. You dishonest hacks overlooked a whole lot of crap Clinton did only because he was your boy.

marklewin said...

So, if Obama wants pardons, should Bush withhold them?

The above statement captures the political motive. As we all know, politics is orthogonal to, among other things, patriotism, truth, fairness, loyalty, ethics, the law, justice, and empathy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And we have the question of whether waterboarding constitutes "severe mental pain or suffering" as defined by "prolonged mental harm" caused by physical acts or threats or drugs.

In Freder's world, an Islamofascist who is denied a prayer rug, a Koran untouched by filthy infidel hands and halal meals constitutes torture.

Hoosier Daddy said...

To the point, my (conservative) Dad taught me as a kid to be proud of my country for many reasons. He often mentioned "we don't torture," as he learned during WWII, and which was recently confirmed by WWII interrogators. We beat Tojo and Hitler without it.

Nah we only firebombed their cities and nuked Japan.

I take you were cool with that since that's how we beat Hitler and Tojo.

Crimso said...

"As for WWII, Japan attacked us and days later Germany declared war on us."

Well before 12/7/41, the U.S. Navy was under orders to sink any and all German submarines on sight. Sounds a bit illegal to me, after all we weren't at war with Germany. And let's not even get into the issue of the concentration camps in the U.S.

Nichevo said...

low rates of Jews volunteering to serve in WWII

C4, no. IIRC it was appx. 2% of the US population making up 6% of troops. Perhaps Pres. Truman was misinformed.

Nichevo said...

Or perhaps those 6% were all drafted and nobody volunteered, which I don't know how it would happen.