March 7, 2009

"[T]he Obama administration may be attempting to appease its antiwar base ... or trying to look good for the chattering classes."

John Yoo defends his memos:
Imposing Fourth Amendment standards on military action would have made the Civil War unwinnable -- combat occurred wholly on U.S. territory and enemy soldiers were American citizens. The military does not have the time to obtain warrants before soldiers fire upon enemy targets and personnel; the battlefield does not provide the luxury to collect evidence needed to meet probable cause standards in civilian courts. Even if the Fourth Amendment applied, we believed that courts would judge military action under a standard of "reasonableness" -- as they might review a police officer who fires in self-defense -- rather than demand a warrant to use military force to stop a terror attack....

But if the administration chooses to seriously pursue those officials who were charged with preparing for the unthinkable, today's intelligence and military officials will no doubt hesitate to fully prepare for those contingencies in the future. President Obama has said he wants to "look forward" rather than "backwards." If so, he should not restore risk aversion as the guiding principle of our counterterrorism strategy.

73 comments:

AlphaLiberal said...

John Yoo is a very self-serving man. His thinking is very clouded by his own self-interest.

The thing is, we have to investigate by the terms of the treaties we've signed onto in less compromised times. Such as when Ronald Reagan was President.

It's also interesting that conservatives are adamantly pro "law and order" until a Republican is facing that test. All of a sudden we can waive law and order to bury bad news about Republicans.

Not very flattering, that.

Synova said...

Just wait, AL, until Obama and his administration are on the way out.

Heather said...

Yoo was asked to make the hard decisions. He was asked to define something that is in the “I know it when I see it category.” Eviscerate him if you will, the people you defend have no limits on their cruelly for their cause. These people rape to create “volunteers” for suicide bombs. Bombers who blow up women and children.

When the US makes mistakes, and we do, we may error on one side of a line or the other, but we have a line.

You see us as the enemy, and for that you are a sick, sad, person who hides in a county that defends your rights to blame it.

Meade said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"The thing is, we have to investigate by the terms of the treaties we've signed onto in less compromised times."

Yes, the treaties we signed onto with the sovereign state of al-Qaeda. You know, back in less compromised times before the government of al-Qaeda chose to start murdering our citizens by flying our airliners into our skyscrapers... back before Bush shredded our Constitution and made himself dictator.

EDH said...

"God bless Yoo and your service to this country."

- El Ray.

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova, okay, we'll see whn Obama is on the way out. I'm sure you guys will be hunding him no matter the merits.

Heather, you sound a bit deranged. You're actualy accusing me of defending terrorists because I think our leaders should follow the law? I think you're just trying to be insulting.

And, Heather, in claimig there's some line the US won't cross, you seem pretty badly informed about what's been done.

Meade, the actions under those treaties were not limited to conflicts with other signatories of the treaties. And, yes, al Qaeda is not a state, it's a far weaker collection of individuals. Not worth sacrificing our national honor and standing to fight them. We beat Hitler and Tojo, who were much more powerful, without resorting to this barbarism.

ThyCa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan said...

We beat Hitler and Tojo, who were much more powerful, without resorting to this barbarism.

And the author of this line accuses Heather of being uninformed.

Why is it "not worth our national honor and standing" to fight al Qaeda? We're supposed to roll over for them? We're supposed to accept a direct attack on our nation, one that was intended to destroy both our government and our economy, with equanimity, because it's beneath us to fight al Qaeda?

You've said some outrageous things, AL, but that one may just about take the cake.

Host with the Most said...

We beat Hitler and Tojo, who were much more powerful, without resorting to this barbarism.

Al, THAT qualifies as thge most stupid statement you've made since . . .

this morning.

You don't have an extremely good grasp of history, do you?

Next, you'll be wanting to try Harry Truman in absentia for the Atom Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

You have chosen a philosophy al that makes a circle rather than leads down a wise and realistic path.

Host with the Most said...

What Alpha Liberal doesn't obviously get - and this is not just from his comments today, but his consistently expressed philosophy - is that evil exists, and not in the political forms he likes to think.

Man is NOT inherently good. Kumbayah'ers with the enemies of America like AL are always proven wrong by reality.

BUt at least he can sleep at night , safety provided by the United States Military and it's capable and brilliant servants like John Yoo.

Maguro said...

We beat Hitler and Tojo, who were much more powerful, without resorting to this barbarism.

So internment, the Tokyo firebomb raids, Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not constitute "barbarism", but waterboarding KSM does? You're sanitizing history in a particularly moronic way.

Dogwood said...

We beat Hitler and Tojo, who were much more powerful, without resorting to this barbarism.

Do a little research regarding the policy of fire bombing entire cities full of men, women, children, civilian and military. Try Dresden and Tokyo for starters.

Then Google Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

These were barbaric attacks of unimaginable proportions. Lesser acts of barbarism were committed throughout the war.

War, by its very definition, is a barbaric exercise, one made worse only by losing.

Joe said...

Yoo is correct in the abstract, but the "War on Terror" isn't a civil war nor anything remotely close to it. Yoo's memo demonstrates a very weak mind at work.

grackle said...

" ... back before Bush shredded our Constitution and made himself dictator."

But we have a new dictator now who will make everything all right.

AllenS said...

Don't worry people. Alpha just came here to firebomb the comments.

yashu said...

This is so absurd... and so cynical. And so potentially harmful to our national security, under any administration to come. NB: this has nothing to do with any actual *action* that the Bush administration has ever taken, or administration's (public or "secret") justification for any of its actions. (Which, of course, should fall under as much scrutiny as you like.) But merely: one scholar's legal opinions on the scope of the law, theoretically speaking-- the outer limits, as it were-- provided for the administration's information, as a factor upon which to draw (or not) among many other considerations (and other legal opinions) in future deliberations, at critical junctures, especially those which may be legally/ politically/ national-security-wise unprecedented. Of course, because [sarcastic] it's so beneficial to our country to criminalize-- not anything an American administration has actually *done*, you know, any action it has ever taken or even principle it's followed in its actions-- but theoretical, abstract legal interpretations of the scope of the law provided by a scholar to an administration seeking background information on the legal context in which it may (or may not) hypothetically act, forced to make the most difficult decisions-- in the most unimaginable of situations.

It may be a stupid analogy, but: it's like a grading a student in a math test not for any of the answers provided, or even any of the proofs/ work toward the answers provided, but any & all brainstorming notes (never acted upon) the student may ever have taken, theoretical notes provided by other sources & texts (even theorems which the student may have rejected)... even those which in the end didn't play a part in any actual *decision*. (And if that's the threshold of criminalization.... why should any administration/ scholar/ official (in a larger sense, including CIA etc. ) ever dare brainstorm-- even so much as think & speculate about-- anything, not just an action but merely a *thought*, which may eventually, in the next administration, come back to haunt & convict them?

Host with the Most said...

Joe, Yoo is brilliant.

This may seem trite for the conversation, but think about it:\

There is a reason that "24" - which uses "by any means necessary" (gee, which liberal said that before?) - is popular with Liberals such as Barbra Streisand, Janeanne Garafalo, Robin Williams as well as conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh.

Joan said...

Yoo is correct in the abstract, but

No "but". Yoo's memos discuss contingencies, specifically what type of responses could be made to terrorist attacks on American soil.

Personally I'm glad they've given these scenarios serious thought. My blood still runs cold every time I think of the terrorist takeover of that school in Beslan, children held hostage for days and no competent response from their government. People are complacent if they think there are not people who would love to do the same thing here.

UWS guy said...

The precedent is: When ever the United States goes to war, even small wars against pirates and cells of terrorists, The Constitution of the United States is suspended.

The romans only granted the title of dictator to the consul for a term of 3 years by the way under times of extreme duress.

I guess we do the same.

UWS guy said...

This is the moral of final scenes of "Watchmen" as well.

Evil perpetrated for the greater good. It's tough to argue against; maybe it is not making the enemy of the best against the good to paraphrase Christopher Hitchens.

UWS guy said...

er.. not making the best the enemy of the good or something.

grackle said...

Do a little research regarding the policy of fire bombing entire cities full of men, women, children, civilian and military. Try Dresden and Tokyo for starters.

Do a little bit more research and you'll find that the Allies were loosing too many bombers to ground-based anti-aircraft during daylight raids and had to resort to night bombing runs, which are necessarily what used to be known as 'carpet bombing.' Gotta keep casualties and aircraft losses as low as possible if you want to win. Couple that with the fact that war-effort factories were located within population centers. Also that these cities were transportation and distribution hubs for the enemy war effort.

Then Google Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

While you are at it Google Japanese WW2 atom bomb and Nazi atom bomb development. You'll find that both enemies were trying to make their own atom bomb. Kind of lucky for the Allies that the US was a bit faster, eh?

These were barbaric attacks of unimaginable proportions. Lesser acts of barbarism were committed throughout the war.

I find nothing "unimaginable" about anything mentioned above by the writer. Truman saved the lives of countless allied soldiers by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Note please that it took TWO atom bombs to convince the Japanese to surrender.

Dogwood said...

Alpha just came here to firebomb the comments.

I hope that was his intention and that his comment was not meant to be taken seriously.


Grackle,

I'm not criticizing the decisions to fire bomb or nuke cities, merely pointing out that these decisions were barbaric in nature, thus refuting AL's comment that we didn't resort to barbarism to win the war.

And for the record, fire bombing or nuking cities were "unimaginable" at the time because destruction on that scale and with such efficiency had never been seen before.

They were new tactics and new weapons for a new war.

Just glad they worked and we won.

former law student said...

Why is it "not worth our national honor and standing" to fight al Qaeda? We're supposed to roll over for them? We're supposed to accept a direct attack on our nation, one that was intended to destroy both our government and our economy, with equanimity, because it's beneath us to fight al Qaeda?

The fundamental question is whether the US conducts itself during war in accordance with its own standards and ideals, or do our standards of conduct automatically drop to our opponents? For example, marching into the former Third Reich, the Soviets raped all of the women, and looted everything of value. Would that have granted us a license to rape all of the Soviet women in the event of war with the USSR?

Here, Yoo (or his masters) wanted to preserve the belief that the US would never torture (unlike our savage enemies), so he simply redefined torture so that we could continue to hold our heads high. It's not torture if we do it, because we would never torture. Anyone who doesn't grasp this logic hates freedom.

Thank God we are not barbarians, like the savage al-Qaeda. Unlike them, when we make an unprovoked attack on a faraway country, we have a damned good reason. And when that reason proves to be false, we argue that we saved the country's people from being killed by their tyrant leader.

Revenant said...

President Obama has said he wants to "look forward" rather than "backwards." If so, he should not restore risk aversion as the guiding principle of our counterterrorism strategy.

Well said.

Synova said...

It seems like he's already restoring risk aversion in all of his other underlings... why not national security sorts?

Peter V. Bella said...

...you seem pretty badly informed about what's been done.

Please, oh sage conspiracy theorist, inform us exactly what has been done. Provide the names of the US citizens who were victims? Provide any victims?

Compare your fantasy to the great heroes of the republic. FDR, JFK, RFK,and LBJ. Men who actually shredded the constitution, serially violated the rights of Americans, and cared not a wit about it. FDR even initiated concentration camps. Yeah, some harm Bush did,

reader_iam said...
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grackle said...

The fundamental question is whether the US conducts itself during war in accordance with its own standards and ideals, or do our standards of conduct automatically drop to our opponents?

But just what ARE these "standards and ideals"? And which ones have been violated?

For example, marching into the former Third Reich, the Soviets raped all of the women, and looted everything of value. Would that have granted us a license to rape all of the Soviet women in the event of war with the USSR?

Here, Yoo (or his masters) wanted to preserve the belief that the US would never torture (unlike our savage enemies), so he simply redefined torture so that we could continue to hold our heads high. It's not torture if we do it, because we would never torture. Anyone who doesn't grasp this logic hates freedom.


Would the US be justified in beheading captives and planning it's combat activities specifically against innocent civilians? I would say not, even though such practices are the rule among the terrorists. Does the writer believe the US has committed these kinds of acts?

Thank God we are not barbarians, like the savage al-Qaeda. Unlike them, when we make an unprovoked attack on a faraway country,

"Unprovoked"? If the writer is referring to Iraq I must point out that there was 13 long years of provocation.

we have a damned good reason. And when that reason proves to be false, we argue that we saved the country's people from being killed by their tyrant leader.

Make that plural, as in reason[s]. Actually, the US had a plethora of "reasons" to topple Saddam - none of which have been proven to me as "false." " ... saved the country's people from being killed by their tyrant leader" is what's known as the 'straw man' tactic, although I'm pretty sure that a few Iraqis WERE saved from Saddam by the destruction of his regime.

AlphaLiberal said...

Joan gets dishonest:
Why is it "not worth our national honor and standing" to fight al Qaeda? We're supposed to roll over for them?

That is a complete misrepresentation of what I said. It's dishonest of you to do so.

I'm referring to John Yoo's efforts to create a legal justification for conducting torture.

Torture has nothing to do with fighting al Qaeda. Torture is about retribution, not defense. When the US engages in torture, it strengthens al Qaeda's hand by making the look like the one fighting the unjust.

Joan, why do you want to help al Qaeda so much by making the US an international pariah and torture practitioner. Why do you hate America so much?

How's that shoe fit?

former law student said...

If the writer is referring to Iraq I must point out that there was 13 long years of provocation.

What's your point? From al-Qaeda's point of view, the US has been helping the Zionist Conspiracy oppress their brother Muslims for forty years now. Does that excuse the World Trade Center attacks, in your mind?

grackle said...

"Just glad they worked and we won."

I kind of knew that but the way the comment was worded fed into the false belief that the Japanese and German cities were bombed simply because the US and allies were barbaric and had no strategic reasons to do so.

reader_iam said...
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reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

Does Joan accuse US soldiers of using torture in WWII?

AlhpaLiberal: We beat Hitler and Tojo, who were much more powerful, without resorting to this barbarism.

Joan: And the author of this line accuses Heather of being uninformed.

Were you there? The people who were there would take great offense at your accusation.

And....

"During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone," said George Frenkel, 87, of Kensington. "We extracted information in a battle of the wits. I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity."

AlphaLiberal said...

More from the WWII-era interrogators:

Several of the veterans, all men in their 80s and 90s, denounced the controversial techniques. And when the time came for them to accept honors from the Army's Freedom Team Salute, one veteran refused, citing his opposition to the war in Iraq and procedures that have been used at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

AlphaLiberal said...

reader_iam:

you're A-OK with destruction on a mass scale?

You must be insane to read that into my comments.

grackle said...

What's your point?

My point is that there was plenty of provocation from Saddam. It was in response to your comment:

"Unlike them[the terrorists, the Iraqi regime under Saddam?] when we[the US?] make an unprovoked attack on a faraway country[Iraq?] ..."

Understand now?

From al-Qaeda's point of view, the US has been helping the Zionist Conspiracy oppress their brother Muslims for forty years now. Does that excuse the World Trade Center attacks, in your mind?

Seeing as how their "point of view" is totally false it would of course be ridiculous to excuse the World Trade Center attacks. It's not the fault of the US that many terrorists profess to believe in crap like "the Zionist Conspiracy."

In fact I can think of no "excuse" that would justify in my mind the World Trade Center attacks. Perhaps the writer can come up with one.

Cedarford said...

Peter Bella - Compare your fantasy to the great heroes of the republic. FDR, JFK, RFK,and LBJ. Men who actually shredded the constitution, serially violated the rights of Americans, and cared not a wit about it. FDR even initiated concentration camps. Yeah, some harm Bush did,

Don't leave out the Earlier Monsters of US history that exceeded what even FDR did. Washington. Adams. Jackson. The Man Who Destroyed America For All Time by Shredding The Constitution - LINCOLN! Grant. McKinley and TDR who did things to noble Muslim Freedom Fighters (to use enemy-lovers Alpha, DTL, and Freders parlance) - that Bush II never contemplated.

Than there was the Segregationist, violator of anarchist bomber rights, and the man who trammelled the liberties of violent communist Revolutionaries by deporting them back to Europe with no "due process"
- Woodrow Wilson.

And lets not forget Truman who dropped the bomb and authorised "no quarter battles" in Korea. And Ike, guilty of sending 200,000 Soviet POWs back for Stalins mass executions. Ike...The same guy that said he complied with Geneva, but once the War was over, POWs were no longer POWs entitled to Geneva so at 3 camps he diverted all their rations to civilians and an estimated 10,000-12,000 German and Romanian POWs starved to death or died as they charged guards machine guns trying to escape to find food in June, July, August 1945.

Ike. The inhuman monster against enemy rights.

We shouldn't forget Nixon, who like LBJ turned over to ARVNs or kept Commie VC and NVA themselves without ACLU lawyers or multimillion dollar trials to justify their guilt and continuing detention.

former law student said...

My point is that there was plenty of provocation from Saddam.

Then it should be easy for you to list some of the provocations.

Seeing as how their "point of view" is totally false

We didn't give Israel billions of dollars of military equipment over the past forty years?

Sofa King said...

You must be insane to read that into my comments.

Then you should easily be able to explain why you think making terrorists feel uncomfortable for intelligence purposes is barbarism while the mass killing of tens of thousands of people to terrorize them into surrendering is not.

Joe said...

The reason Yoo is a chump is because he is trying to legally justify something which cannot be legally justified, even if can be justified on practical survival grounds. In other words, the president really can do whatever the hell he pleases if necessity dictates, but you don't write a fucking memo on it.

This stuff is best taken care of by face-to-face conversation where everything is said while nothing is said.

By the way, for those thankful that someone thought of these scenarios; give me a fucking break. Yoo is a dick--I've seen him multiple times on television and he's practically incoherent and an embarrassment to thinking people. He wasn't wresting with actual scenarios, he was playing intellectual tricks with the constitution and rule of law. He's why people hate lawyers.

Maguro said...

Alpha, your endless harping on WWII interrogators who interviewed German and Japanese soldiers is completely irrelevant. KSM and the rest are not entitled to the Geneva protections afforded to POWs. If you want a WWII analogy, he is comparable to the German saboteurs caught in 1942 who were executed without a trial by your beloved FDR.

Host with the Most said...

Joe, you are a dick.

Yoo is brilliant, educated and far ahead of you in any aspect of life that counts.

It is impossible to believe that you can think for yourself. Your hypotheticals are ridiculous, and have no relationship to the real world. You enjoy the benefits of freedom in the united STates while having a conscious disconnect from the actual price of that freedom. Hell, you even sound like someone willing to trade in major chunks of it as long as the people your liberal leaders tell you to oppose are made to look bad.

If there were more people like you in government, we'd all be speaking a different mother tongue by now.

rhhardin said...

Obama getting the British offended reminded me of the laying of flowers at the base of the WTC, where Obama tossed the flowers.

Leading to the remark, ``He doesn't know what he is doing.''

Ceremony is not his thing, unless it's breaking out into working groups and reporting back,

grackle said...

My point is that there was plenty of provocation from Saddam.

Then it should be easy for you to list some of the provocations.

Just off the top of my head:

Refusing to account for WMD materials, facilities and documents related to these programs that he was known to possess before he invaded Kuwait.

Evading and undermining the UN's inspections, as Saddam agreed to after the defeat of his invasion of Kuwait.

Publicly offering money to the families of suicide bombers. In my mind this amounts to the open sponsorship of terrorism.

Firing surface-to-air missiles in the no-fly zone at patrolling American and British warplanes.

Massing Iraqi troops near the Kuwaiti border as if in anticipation of invading again.

In general Saddam mooned the UN and the US for 13 years after his defeat in Kuwait, never living up to a single agreement. To top it off, during this period, with the complicity of UN employees, he also embezzled money meant for Iraqi humanitarian aid.

I don't want to take up too much space but will give the Library of Congress URL of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 as passed by Congress which list even more provocations - plus an informative site that has videos of what prominent Democrats had to say about Saddam and Iraq in the past - many of them BEFORE Bush was President. Kerry, the Clintons, John Edwards, Madeleine Albright are there. Even Dan Rather. They give a lot of reasons to topple Saddam. It's a fun site - it gives me the chuckles every time I visit it.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c105:H.R.4655.ENR:

http://www.freedomagenda.com/iraq/wmd_quotes.html

grackle: Seeing as how their[the terrorists] "point of view"[of the existence of a US/Zionist Conspiracy] is totally false it would of course be ridiculous to excuse the World Trade Center attacks.

We didn't give Israel billions of dollars of military equipment over the past forty years?

The writer apparently believes, along with the terrorists he defends, that US aid to Israel is proof of a "Zionist Conspiracy." I disagree. But a lot of folks like conspiracy theories, I'll grant the writer that much. Conspiracy theories seem to appeal to something in human nature - the 'gossipy' side of Man.

former law student said...

If you want a WWII analogy, he is comparable to the German saboteurs caught in 1942 who were executed without a trial by your beloved FDR.

Great analogy! Facts are completely wrong, but it is a great analogy. Would that KSM had been tried as were the eight German saboteurs.

From historynet.com:

Roosevelt realized that neither the death penalty nor secrecy could be guaranteed in a civilian trial, so he issued a proclamation that established a military tribunal consisting of seven generals, the first to be convened in the United States since Lincoln’s assassination. The prosecutor was Attorney General Francis Biddle. The chief defense lawyer was Colonel Kenneth Royall, a distinguished attorney in civilian life and later President Harry Truman’s secretary of war.

The trial, which was held in secret at the Justice Department, occupied most of the month of July 1942. Biddle accused the Germans of coming to America to wreak havoc and death, basing his accusations on their own confessions. The would-be saboteurs pleaded innocence, denounced Hitler and insisted they had had no intention of actually engaging in sabotage.

The prosecution asked for the death penalty, the punishment required of spies during wartime, but it had a hard time making its case against Dasch and Burger, who had confessed so quickly and collaborated so completely.

On July 27, the defense rested. The seven generals quickly prepared a report and sent it–and the 3,000-page trial transcript–to Roosevelt who, under his proclamation, was responsible for determining the time and place of execution if that was the tribunal’s sentence. Now, finally, Roosevelt found out exactly how Hoover had managed to catch the saboteurs so quickly. He never made any public comment about it, however.

On August 8, six of the eight German agents were electrocuted at the District Jail in Washington, D.C. Burger was sentenced to hard labor for life; Dasch was given 30 years. Meanwhile, fearing more landings, the FBI put out an alert for Walter Kappe and others at the German sabotage school. Late in 1944, the Abwehr did manage to place two spies on the Maine coast, but they were quickly picked up. If other such attempts were made, they have never come to light.

In 1948, Dasch and Burger were deported to Germany, after five years and eight months in prison. In 1953, Der Stern magazine published articles obviously based on information supplied by Burger, which condemned Dasch for causing the deaths of his six colleagues. Vilified in Germany, Dasch unsuccessfully tried to get a pardon from the United States and return to America. In 1959, Dasch published a book that attempted to justify his behavior; he then disappeared from the public eye.

----------------------------------

This article was written by Harvey Ardman and originally appeared in the February 1997 issue of World War II magazine.

A very comprehensive report written by the Congressional Research Service can be found here:

www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL31340.pdf

Maguro said...

FLS - Thanks for the article. I'm OK with frying KSM after a quick military tribunal.

Joe said...

Good god Host, do you actually read my postings here? I'm not remotely liberal; I just have very little tolerance for pretenders like Yoo who know how to pass intellectual tricks as thoughtful analysis. In case you didn't notice Yoo was almost completely ignored so your assertion that he was remotely helpful is completely wrong.

Another thing irritates me about all sides is the weird insistence that supporting one political side or another means to embrace their idiocy as well. Bush was extremely ill served by John Yoo. To pretend otherwise is just plain weird. More importantly, as I clearly pointed out, even if Yoo was correct YOU DON'T WRITE SUCH STUFF IN A MEMO!

When a president asks for a legal opinion only a complete ass would hand him something that is devoid of considering the political reality in which that president operates and which would embarrass the president were it released.

Kirk Parker said...

Joan,

Re a Beslan-type scenario, almost any government response is going to be too late to prevent a significant amount of bloodshed, if the attackers are so minded. (And who would mount such an attack if they weren't?)

And though the police response in Mumbai was (hopefully) a far cry from what you'd see here in the US, still the tactics the terrorists used there should lead us to conclude that only a distributed on-the-scene citizen response--the ability to fight back the moment the attack begins--is likely to have a significant impact on the outcome.

FLS,

"Unlike them, when we make an unprovoked attack on a faraway country... [emphasis added]"

Assuming you are referring to Iraq here, I can only ask--are you insane? Do you have the slightest idea what relations between Iraq and the US were like during the 12 years' cease-fire between GWI and the resumption of hostilities?

Joe said...

Your hypotheticals are ridiculous, and have no relationship to the real world.

What the fuck are you talking about?

former law student said...

The writer apparently believes, along with the terrorists he defends, that US aid to Israel is proof of a "Zionist Conspiracy."

No. Non-fans of Israel refer to it as "the Zionist Conspiracy." Because we are Israel's greatest voluntary benefactor, we do come in for some of the disapprobation.

Iraqi provocations directed specifically at the US (from H.R. 4655 of the 105th Congress:

(6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to assassinate former President George Bush during his April 14-16, 1993, visit to Kuwait.

grackle said...

grackle: The writer apparently believes, along with the terrorists he defends, that US aid to Israel is proof of a "Zionist Conspiracy."

No. Non-fans of Israel refer to it as "the Zionist Conspiracy."

By the logic of the above the writer is either Not a fan of Israel and therefore believes in a "Zionist Conspiracy," or the writer IS a fan of Israel and refers to it(The "Zionist Conspiracy") with some phrase as yet unrevealed by the writer.

The "non-fans of Israel" as a euphemistic label for al-Qaeda is a nice touch. al-Qaeda's admitted goal is to destroy Israel(along with most of the Western World) and this desire makes them "non-fans" of Israel - sort of like they were at a football game and refused to cheer.

Because we are Israel's greatest voluntary benefactor, we do come in for some of the disapprobation.

9/11 happens and thousands of innocent US citizens are murdered and the writer terms this as "some of the disapprobation." Dictionary.com - disapprobation: disapproval; condemnation. Bin Laden didn't disapprove or condemn the thousands who died on 9/11. He murdered them.

I'm sure those that hate and seek to destroy Israel are very angry that the US gives aid to Israel. It's a reliable gauge of US foreign policy in the Middle East; if the US is effective Iran, Syria and al-Qaeda will be angry. If we suffer an atrocity such as 9/11, or perhaps losing in Iraq, they will dance in the streets. These folks are never happier than when the US is perceived by them to have suffered a setback.

Iraqi provocations directed specifically at the US (from H.R. 4655 of the 105th Congress:

(6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to assassinate former President George Bush during his April 14-16, 1993, visit to Kuwait.


I'm not sure what point the writer has in mind by the above so I will defer response until clarification is offered.

cubanbob said...

Naturally Alpha conveniently forgets that AQ and the like are not covered by the Geneva Conventions and never have been. And never will be.

There is a reason soldiers wear uniforms, to distinguish them from civilians. Indeed fighting out of uniform is a war crime along with purposefully sitting military targets next to civilians to promote civilian casualties for propaganda purposes. Or to deliberately target civilians for no other purpose than to inflict terror. Perhaps someone ought to notify Hamas, Hezbollah and the rest of that bit of information.

American and other allied troops routinely summarily executed enemy soldiers in previous wars for wearing allied uniforms or civilian clothing and rightfully so. Since the terrorist scum are nothing more than pirates, stateless and lawless they deserve no consideration at all. Which is exactly how they treat our troops. Do whatever it takes to get the information out of them and then kill them.

Host with the Most said...

Just asking:

Does anybody here have a problem with Israel - which has received more rocket attacks from Gaza this week - giving Gaza a week to vacate because at the end of that week Israel will come in and wipe out the remains of every living thing in order to permanently stop all attacks from Gaza?

If Mexico was lobbing rockets from Tijuana into San Diego - and Mexico refused to stop whoever was doing it, would you have a problem with US Forces invading and clearing out Tijuana? How many Americans would have to be injured before you find yourself outraged?

Just curious.

reader_iam said...
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reader_iam said...
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Peter V. Bella said...

If Mexico was lobbing rockets from Tijuana into San Diego - and Mexico refused to stop whoever was doing it, would you have a problem with US Forces invading and clearing out Tijuana?

There would be those who would have a problem with that. Israel is the only nation in the world that is not allowed to pursue its own self determination. They cannot have the capital of choice- Jerusalem- they are not allowed to retaliate against agression with maximum force, and they are not allowed to stop any nation that is against them from attacking or preparing to attack- pre-emption.

The world, including the US, has caved in to the terrorists. The terrorists have won. israel better be prepared to used its nukes. I hope they do.

Mark said...

"And, yes, al Qaeda is not a state, it's a far weaker collection of individuals. Not worth sacrificing our national honor and standing to fight them. We beat Hitler and Tojo, who were much more powerful, without resorting to this barbarism."

I present the flame thrower.

You also make the bald assertion that torture is an instrument of retribution. I'm not a fan myself, but I don't discount the ticking bomb scenario because, well, stuff happens.

Yoo's getting a bad rap here; if he was going to accept the assignment at all, it was his duty to produce a document that probed the edges of what is legal, moral, and ethical. Feel free to say he shouldn't have taken it at all, but then resign yourself to a world where you're inside the tent and the barbarians are all on the outside pissing in.

grackle said...

Does anybody here have a problem with Israel - which has received more rocket attacks from Gaza this week - giving Gaza a week to vacate because at the end of that week Israel will come in and wipe out the remains of every living thing in order to permanently stop all attacks from Gaza?

Too extreme for me. For one thing the Gaza populace would never be allowed to evacuate. They would be needed as shields. I would give maybe 3 months and then go in and just try to wipe out the terrorists, not "every living thing." I choose to believe the writer posted this in an impulsive act of frustration and would back off a bit with some reflection.

Revenant said...

We beat Hitler and Tojo, who were much more powerful, without resorting to this barbarism.

Just the deliberate mass killing of several million civilians. But at least we didn't torture a few dozen Muslims; *that* would have been REALLY bad. :)

downtownlad said...

History will not look kindly upon those who authorized torture.

Not to mention that we murdered about two dozen prisoners in cold blood.

But according to the wingnuts, "murder" is akin to a fraternity prank.

former law student said...

By the logic of the above the writer is either Not a fan of Israel and therefore believes in a "Zionist Conspiracy," or the writer IS a fan of Israel and refers to it(The "Zionist Conspiracy") with some phrase as yet unrevealed by the writer.

Huh? One can discuss a point of view without embracing it. If I said Saddam Hussein called the US "the Great Satan," that would not mean I thought of the US as "the Great Satan." The more so, because I do not think of myself as one of Satan's minions. For me, Israel is Israel.

I'm not sure what point the writer has in mind by the above

The US was never under threat of attack by Iraq. Further, to quote Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, "I have indicated [the invasion of Iraq] was not in conformity with the UN Charter. From our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."

Paul Snively said...

former law student: Further, to quote Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, "I have indicated [the invasion of Iraq] was not in conformity with the UN Charter. From our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."

Thanks for the reminder as to why we should all be grateful that what the UN Charter deems legal or illegal is completely irrelevant to what is legal or illegal for the government of the United States of America to do.

grackle said...

grackle: By the logic of the above the writer is either Not a fan of Israel and therefore believes in a "Zionist Conspiracy," or the writer IS a fan of Israel and refers to it(The "Zionist Conspiracy") with some phrase as yet unrevealed by the writer.

Huh? One can discuss a point of view without embracing it. If I said Saddam Hussein called the US "the Great Satan," that would not mean I thought of the US as "the Great Satan." The more so, because I do not think of myself as one of Satan's minions. For me, Israel is Israel.

Yes, a point of view CAN be discussed without embracing it but that's not what the writer did. Instead the writer categorized proponents of "the Zionist Conspiracy" as "non-fans." Logically that infers that all 'fans' of Israel DO NOT believe Israel is "the Zionist Conspiracy." Since the writer is obviously not a 'fan' of Israel, but rather a "non-fan," the statement implies that the writer believes in the Zionist Conspiracy. I don't make this inference myself but merely confine myself to logically parsing the writer's previous statement, which was:

Non-fans of Israel refer to it as "the Zionist Conspiracy."

But I am relieved to read that the writer, despite his inferences, apparently does not actually believe himself in "the Zionist Conspiracy." Much better to leave such silly theories to the terrorists and those who ignorantly defend the terrorists.

The US was never under threat of attack by Iraq.

But so many prominent Democrats believed otherwise and vehemently and publicly declared Iraq and Saddam as a threat to the US. The Clintons, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger, Dan Rather, Joseph Wilson, Richard A. Clarke, Howard Dean, Harry Reed and even Bill Moyers - all characterized Saddam as a "threat,' or as "dangerous." Could they all have been wrong?

http://www.freedomagenda.com/iraq/wmd_quotes.html

Further, to quote Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, "I have indicated [the invasion of Iraq] was not in conformity with the UN Charter. From our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."

If the Iraq War is "illegal" why hasn't some sort of police force arrested Bush? And Obama is continuing the Iraq War. Shouldn't Obama be arrested? For laws to exist there has to be some sort of agency to enforce the laws, otherwise such so-called 'laws' are meaningless - as is the case in this incidence.

Representatives of the UN, which is an international laughing stock, can prattle all they want about the Iraq War as "illegal" but that doesn't make it so. Furthermore, no credence can be given to an organization that elevates China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and the Dominican Republic, all routine violators of human rights, to the UN Commission on Human Rights. What should we all think about an organization that indulges in such foolishness?

Host with the Most said...

History will not look kindly upon those who authorized torture.

Wanna bet? History will soon forget those who authorized torture, which is the same thing.

grackle said...

History will not look kindly upon those who authorized torture.

The writer is perhaps referring to Iran's Secret Police or Syria's interrogation rooms. Or maybe Saddam and his vats of acid. I totally agree - history will no doubt judge them harshly.

Not to mention that we murdered about two dozen prisoners in cold blood.

Someone(the US, the writer?) murdered some prisoners? And was not brought to justice? I would like to learn more about these murders. Perhaps the writer could provide some PROOF? Would that be too much to ask?

But according to the wingnuts, "murder" is akin to a fraternity prank.

Which "wingnuts" could the writer be referring to? It would be helpful to the writer's credibility if he would provide some quotes.

The Exalted said...

grackle said...

Do a little bit more research and you'll find that the Allies were loosing too many bombers to ground-based anti-aircraft during daylight raids and had to resort to night bombing runs, which are necessarily what used to be known as 'carpet bombing.'


you couldn't be more wrong. try reading "the rise of american air power."

The Exalted said...

what all of you miss is that yoo was a mid-level functionary in the justice department. he wrote those memos without the go-ahead, consent or approval of those in charge of the justice department.

the book "angler" details attorney general ashcroft's surprise and consternation when he saw the various yoo memos in circulation years later.

that cheney, his counsel addington, and the like had to reach out to a mid-level to provide theoretical justification for their misconduct, whether carried out or merely contemplated, is all the evidence you need of its lack of merit.

The Exalted said...

amusing that ms. althouse, purported con law professor, has nothing of her own to add to this debate, if even to the quality of yoo's constitutional research.

grackle said...

grackle: Do a little bit more research and you'll find that the Allies were loosing too many bombers to ground-based anti-aircraft during daylight raids and had to resort to night bombing runs, which are necessarily what used to be known as 'carpet bombing.'

you couldn't be more wrong. try reading "the rise of american air power."

I have not read the book mentioned by the writer. I did go to Amazon.com and read some reviews of the book.

Here's what one reviewer had to say:

Brevity demands I only point out one flaw in particular. In his chapter entitled The Sources of Technological Fanaticism, Sherry made an incredibly flawed argument that American leaders and its populace were racists, which was the main reason he thought they found justification to use incendiary bombs and two nuclear bombs against the Japanese.

There were reasons to bomb Japan with conventional bombs and later with 2 atom bombs, none of them racially motivated. The same goes for the bombing of other Axis powers of WW2(Germany, Italy, etc.). The author is apparently the kind of historian that insists, as many of them do these days, that that the US is the Racial Devil Incarnate, so I see little reason to buy the book.

I like my history impartial and tied to the facts, not distorted to serve a political agenda. I would urge the commentor to read any good WW2 history book written before the left took over the universities(pre-1960s) in America and he will most likely read of the high casualties and loss of aircraft incurred by the daylight bombing raids. Night raids were much less costly in terms of casualties and aircraft but they necessarily were much harder on noncombatants in the area.

The Exalted said...

the racism angle was stupid, given the dresden/hamburg firebombings.

but by no means is the book one-sided, or an "anti-american" diatribe.

bloodstar said...

And in other news Salem wants to know when they can start using "enhanced interrogation techniques" to hunt witches.