April 16, 2009

Saying it's "time for reflection, not retribution," Obama rejects prosecuting CIA agents for interrogations.

At the same time, the Justice Department has released memos approving various harsh techniques.

Read the memos here.

ADDED: "You would like to place Zubaydah in a cramped confinement box with an insect. You have informed us that he appears to have a fear of insects. In particular, you would like to tell Zubaydah that you intend to place a stinging insect in the box with him. You would, however, place a harmless insect in the box. You have orally informed us that you would in fact place a harmless insect such as a caterpillar in the box with him." (PDF.)

AND: Are Jane Hamsher and her friends standing there with torches and pitchforks?



That was recorded September 5, 2008. Watch the whole segment.

103 comments:

John Lynch said...

Otherwise the Justice Department will never do anything out of fear the next administration will hang them out to dry.

Widmerpool said...

The only responsible decision.

John Althouse Cohen said...

This sentence from the article doesn't make sense:

"what was released on Thursday afternoon marked the most comprehensive public accounting to date of a program that some senior Obama administration officials have included illegal torture."

Doyle said...

Cowardly and a violation of his oath of office.

John Lynch said...

I think the sentence was meant to read "...have said included illegal torure."

Joseph Hovsep said...

"Otherwise the Justice Department will never do anything out of fear the next administration will hang them out to dry."

I think the issue is more that he needs the CIA agents who might be subject to prosecution to feel comfortable working with him during his own administration.

former law student said...

At the same time, the Justice Department has released memos approving various harsh techniques.I read this to mean that the current DOJ approves various harsh techniques. Althouse might want to change the wording to "which approved various..." or even say that the Justice Department has released some Bush-era memos.

blake said...

Huh.

Apparently the outrage was just political.

Chip Ahoy said...

Quelle surprise! Comment tragique. Il est si difficile de d'être un adulte, no?

I spit on this decision. Huck tú.

Perhaps the Spanish courts can try Obama too for not prosecuting the Bush minions enthusiastically enough to suit us in accordance with how we chose to view international law.

JAC, I think the word included was intended to be the word concluded. This internet thing, sometimes we must piece it together ourselves.

John said...

Obama has authorized the killing of people in Pakistan. We are not at war with Pakistan and the killings were done without the Pakistani government's permission.

In a sane world, you could argue that Pakistan is failing to control its borders and allowing armed groups to attack the sovereign nation of Afghanistan. Obama is merely acting in the self defense of Aghanistan.

But this is not a sane world, especially in Spanish courts. Further, it would appear that we are killing people we consider "terrorists" not people who are actively destablizing Afghanistan. It is not out of the question that you could make a case against BO for these strikes.

Hang the Bushes sounds great until you are in a position of responsibility.

Invisible Man said...

John,

Huh!

Cedarford said...

"But Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. reassured CIA officials anew today that interrogators would not face criminal prosecution so long as they followed reasonable legal advice."

Smart of both men as lawyers.
You do not want to open up a whole new Sea of criminality and liabilities for those in our entire society, not just the CIA, that operate in good faith with the best available information.
***************************
.
****************
And, Obama had other considerations. Some democrats, including Pelosi, were up to her surgically lifted eyelids in this. More importantly, we know that tough interrogations that did no lasting harm to the AQ bigwigs we got allowed us to get other bigwigs and prevent permanent harm to thousands of innocent "infidels" at Heathrow, and in Singapore, and Los Angeles. It also gave us Padilla and his plot to blow up two apartment building in Chicago with natural gas. It is also well known that we have "waterboarded" over 63,000 US soldiers, pilots - with no lasting mental effects showing up in studies.
Since that is fairly well known in power circles, by even those "officially opposed to torture" - you don't want if you are the Big O or any minion to have your precious bits put out on a chopping block - to find yourself in the spotlight if another big terror attack happens that could have been stopped by "slight Jihadi discomfort".
No politician wants to be in a position where they have to explain why they let 2,000 Americans die rather than order some terrorist to be subjected to 2 minutes of a "3rd Degree". NOr spend the rest of their lives worried that some victim family member will put a bullet in their head for letting so many die.

John said...

"John,

Huh!"

You can't just go around ordering the killing of people in other people's countries without that country's permission. Where do we get the right to go into Pakistan and kill civilians?

Now I take the view that if we have reason to believe that someone is a international terrorist we can kill them anywhere we find them. But, a lot of people don't take that view.

mcg said...

Doyle: I praise your consistency Sir!

rhhardin said...

It's a time for ruse, not retribution.

Robert Cook said...

Obama just confirms himself as the amoral weasel I concluded he was when he breached his vow to vote against any FISA revision that would extend retroactive legal protections to the telecoms who participated in Bush's illegal electronic surveillance of American citizens, and which compelled me to vote for Nader.

More, this cements Obama's status, alongside Bush, as a war criminal, a status he first gained through his killings of Pakistanis via the drone bombers.

Disgraceful and shameful.

AJ Lynch said...

Yes Doyle gets props here for being consistent.

dbp said...

The Obama administration can't very well prosecute Bush era interrogations, when they plan on using the same techniques themselves.

If I was a CIA interrogator I would certainly refuse an order to apply a pressure method if I saw that the last guy got sent to prison for doing the same thing.

I'm sure this occured to Obama before he became President--he is a bright, if shifty, fellow.

David said...

Law of Unintended(?) Consequences:

Fox News reports that on three recent occasions United States authorities have identified the location of "high value" targets in Afghanistan or Pakistan. There was reason to believe that the individuals could be captured. However, instead of making efforts to capture the persons, Americans decided to use unmanned Predator drones to kill the people. This decision appears to be influenced by our inability to effectively interrogate captives and to maintain their imprisonment.

So . . .

1. The targets aren't "tortured," they are dead.
2. Risk to U.S. personnel in effecting a capture is eliminated.
3. Risk that innocent bystanders will be injured or killed is increased.
4. All potential intelligence value is lost.

Is this what the ACLU wanted? It's what they got.

Lem said...

Time for Andrew Sullivan to change his mind... again?
in 9.. 8.. 7...

I look foward to this.

Revenant said...

and which compelled me to vote for Nader.

Well at least now we know you aren't someone worth taking seriously. :)

zedzded said...

As if his love of felons and being to the left of Joseph Stalin didn't already make him a non-serious leftist toady.

Lawgiver said...

That Bastard, he's letting the Bushitler war criminals get away! Hope and change my ass, where are Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan when you really need them? I demand ObamaStalin be tried for crimes against humanity immeidately! Why isn't the MSM covering this?

Alphaliberal....helppppp!

Lem said...

Bush’s torturers follow where the Nazis led. Said Andrew..

It's going to have to take some miraculous piracy to turn that ship ship around.. if Andrew wants to keep it from ramming the Saint Barack.

UWS guy said...

Ok Moral Majority. Put your mouth where your faith in Christ is.

Square torture with Christlikeness. Or do you put Country before God?

Lawgiver said...

Ok Moral Majority. Put your mouth where your faith in Christ is.Proverbs 19:29
Penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools.

john said...

Robert Cook said - " ... and which compelled me to vote for Nader."

That's FUNNY!!!

Do you still have that big welt on your forehead? You know when you stop hitting yourself the bruise eventually goes away.

Peter V. Bella said...

Well, that there Obama is one slick fellow. He is slicker than old slick Willie. He is not going to prosecute people who do not exist. That is really cool. One cannot prosecute CIA Agents. It is impossible.

There is no such thing as a CIA Agent.


BTW:
Where are the libturds; Jeremy? Alpha? DTL? Where is the unmitigated outrage. No one will pay! No one will be held accountable! Bush will not hang! No CIA officers will have to do the perp walk!

Did they all just kill themselves over this?






For the uninformed, CIA personnel are referred to as officers as in CIA Officer. The FBI has agents.

UWS guy said...

Then a rod you make for your own back.

"It is not the Christian's love that keeps him from burning me it at the stake...it is the impotence of his love."

Trooper York said...

Just goes to show you that the Democrats objections to torture were just a bunch of bullshit. Business as usual.

I am shocked, shocked that there is gambling here in Casablanca.

The Drill SGT said...

2 comments:

- Agents are our native assets. CIA Field Officers, manage agents from the local country, and are trying to protect our assets from foreign spies.

- they neglected to mention in the article that: In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/08/AR2007120801664.html

UWS guy said...

There are Hutus and there are Tutsis and there are people against torture.

It may very well be that in the Venn diagram of those opposed to barbarism, it is not your tribe that determines your morality Trooper York.

ricpic said...

The Left won't be happy until America is totally supine.

UWS guy said...

I await the cries of outrage from the Right Wing when it becomes known that B. Hussein put Lou Dobbs in a small box next to a mexican jumping beetle.

kentuckyliz said...

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Won't be fooled again

richard said...

i have followed this story for the past two weeks as Glenn Greenwald and andrew sullivan have bloviated and hyperventilated over the Bush Cheney torture regime and the American gulag known as Guantanamo.I only wish those who are so concerned about "torture and inhumane treatment" being done in the name of national security would express the same moral outage and revulsion over this , the last step in partial birth abortion, "The surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull" and "he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening".

MadisonMan said...

So is there anyone who voted for Obama who didn't see this coming a mile away?

If you are surprised, you need definitely to amp up your cynicism re: Politicians trying to get elected.

Civilis said...

The fact that one cannot consider "waging war" to be Christlike does not make impossible the idea of a "Just War" to a Christian.

While it is Christlike for me to turn the other cheek to harm done to me, it's not Christlike for me to turn away to harm done to the larger group; in that case, "turning the other cheek" is actually "looking the other way".

Lawgiver said...

UWS Guy Chapter 1 Verse 1Then a rod you make for your own back.Deuteronomy 25:2
If the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make him lie down and have him flogged in his presence with the number of lashes his crime deserves,

UWS guy said...

How quickly the christian resembles the muslim...

UWS guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

If you are surprised, you need definitely to amp up your cynicism..To yes we might ;)

Lawgiver said...

I love all the excuse making there is over at Huffpo:

Obama's got too much on his plate right now, he'll prosecute them during his second term, he didn't explicitly say he wouldn't prosecute them, etc.

Why are they still so fixated on all things Pallin at Huffpo?

Ann Althouse said...

John Althouse Cohen said..."This sentence from the article doesn't make sense: "what was released on Thursday afternoon marked the most comprehensive public accounting to date of a program that some senior Obama administration officials have included illegal torture.""

It now reads "that some senior Obama administration officials contend included illegal torture."

I'll bet it originally said ""that some senior Obama administration officials have concluded included illegal torture" and they were in the middle of an edit.

Peter V. Bella said...

Diner: Excuse me, waiter, there is a fly in my soup.

Waiter: Are you ready to talk now?

Maguro said...

No torture for you terrorism suspects under the morally pure Obama administration.

You'll get a Hellfire missile up your ass instead. Enjoy!

Penny said...

I have no doubt that Obama is "reflecting" on an increase to our defense budget. "Hope" is a yet unproven mechanism for defending our country.

Peter V. Bella said...

Hey that Jane Hamsher would look really hot with a torch and a pitchfork.



While riding her broom.

Penny said...

But broom riding...it's SO green.

Revenant said...

How quickly the christian resembles the muslim...

You've equated support for torture with both "barbarism" and "Muslims". Does this mean you believe Muslims to be barbaric?

Just curious. I know you're trolling, but I thought I'd ask you a tough question just for my own personal amusement.

Peter V. Bella said...

Okay, I just did some deep reflecting on all the people I interrogated during my career. I do not feel the need to take any further retribution against them.

1jpb said...

Hey Althouse,

I hope we'll get a law professor review of some of these memos. Or, at least links to other blogs doing so. I don't see much at Volokh. Sully, has comments from a lawyer who reads his blog.


Or, will Althouse or some other lawyer here at least give an opinion. On a scale of one to ten where one is go to jail, and ten is metaphysically brilliant law writing where do these memos fall.

Seems like the pitchforks could still be aimed at the authors of these memos (if justified), rather than the CIA folks or BHO.

Lem said...

You people have this all wrong.

This is a transparency offensive.

We are going to flash and streak the enemy into submission. It's the same shock and awe - but different ;)

blogging cockroach said...

i ll have you know that i would

never
ever

become a party to torture
but i don t see what this guy s problem
with insects is really some of my best
friends are insects come to think of it
i m an insect
so if they wanted me to pay
a little friendly visit to cheer him up
and maybe get a little information out
of him in the course of a quiet chat
well i could play good cop no problem
now if they sent in say olga the wasp
she s really bad news
well you ve got the classic good cop
bad cop thing going and i have no
problem with that just as long as
i don t have anything to do with
violence being more of a cerebral cockroach
and you really must believe me when
i tell you that the blacked out text
in the part that talks about insects
does

not

mention me by name
not being a valerie plame sort of arthropod

Robert said...

Insects? What, no rats?

OldGrouchy said...

So, have either Bill Ayers or Frank been assigned offices in the West Wing yet or where?

Also, has the "Diana Oughton Lied" been put on the office WH song list yet?

SMGalbraith said...

It is odd to think - as other have noted - that if these 28 terrorists were in a house in Quetta, Pakistan - with a bunch of children and women - that we could fire a drone-fired missile and burn them to excruciatingly slow death.

And we'd celebrate the great military act.

But put a bug in their cell? Deprive them of sleep? Slap them around?

No can do.

Peter V. Bella said...

History must be made and a legacy must be forged. The new wacko left memo is that the Messiah is a good and forgiving God. The past is the past, as long as the CIA accepts him as their personal savior.

Robert Cook said...

"Do you still have that big welt on your forehead? You know when you stop hitting yourself the bruise eventually goes away".

To the contrary, I'm proud of my vote for Nader...he was the only candidate on the ballot I could truly support and who has integrity. I stood in line for an hour to vote for him knowing full well he could not win. I'm done with voting for the lesser of two evils, and will only vote now and in future for candidates who I can support without embarrassment or scorn.

Obama, somewhat preferable to McCain and even somewhat more preferable to Bush, is still woefully unworthy of the Presidency, as shown in his willingness to carry on the business of American empire. Far from being the communist that ignoramuses label him, he is merely a smoother face for the American regime, which passes on from one administration to the next.

SMGalbraith said...

he is merely a smoother face for the American regime, which passes on from one administration to the next.American empire?

We can't even get a fourth-rate country like Pakistan to allow us to go after terrorists.

And Germany might - might I say - contribute a dozen or so police trainers to use Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a half-wit in North Korea - where most of the populace sustains itself on grass - fires missles and ignores our pleadings not to build nuclear weapons.

Yep, it's a Pax Americana ruling over the world and forcing others to do our bidding.

Hoosier Daddy said...

(Cowardly and a violation of his oath of office.)

Don't fret Doyle. I'm sure that this won't be the first of Obama's cowardly and violations of his oath of office. Heck it's not even been 100 days even.

Is your vote for him tasting pretty bland yet?

Robert Cook said...

"Yep, it's a Pax Americana ruling over the world and forcing others to do our bidding".

We're undeniably a declining empire and as with every empire before us, we will fall and be superseded by the next empire. We're certainly still trying to force or bribe others to do our bidding, but it's obvious to the world that we're punch-drunk, broke, spent, and not much longer to be abided.

SMGalbraith said...

We're undeniably a declining empire and as with every empire before us, we will fall and be superseded by the next empire.There isn't the possibility that we aren't an empire because we choose not to be?

That is we won't force - economically, militarily, diplomatically - these other nations to do our bidding?

Is that possible?

I do find your end point interesting. To wit, another empire will replace us.

If the US isn't the dominant power in the world, who will be? And will that be better for the world - and the US - or worse?

The left wishes for an end to the dominance of the US in the world. Like the dog catching the car, what will you do with that world?

Hoosier Daddy said...

(We're undeniably a declining empire )

I suppose that statement would make sense if we were an empire.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually Robert, if we were an empire in the say, Roman or even British sense of the word, there would not be a pirate problem. As a matter of fact, there would not be Muslim terrorists if we dealt with them in the same manner the British Empire dealt with the Thugee cult.
If we were a true 'empire' we would have ended the Iraq insurgency oh, about 5 1/2 years ago.

You might want to brush up on what empires really were and then get back to me.

SMGalbraith said...

I suppose that statement would make sense if we were an empire.Indeed. If the US were an empire and wanted Pakistan or Germany to "follow our orders", we could make it happen. Or think how a historic empire would have responded - as we could - to the Somali pirates.

We still have the leverage - economically and militarily - to pressure these nations.

An Empire - even a declining one - would coerce those smaller nations.

But we're not an Empire and so we don't force the issue.

Lyle said...

Robert Cook,

I disagree with you about America "declining". We're actually probably still on the upswing. There's no one ready to replace America in the near future. China has about a 100 years of social issues to work through and until they are a democracy, no other democracy with kow tow to them. Europe has got to get its act together as well, pass a constitution and act as one political entity... and that ain't happening anytime soon either.

blake said...

Lyle,

Nobody has to replace us if we collapse. There are dark ages.

jr565 said...

Poor Jane, Poor Andrew, poor liberals in general.
Not only is Obama air raiding villagesin Pakistan and killing civilians, carrying on renditions, agreeing with Bush about maintaining secrecy, not prosecuting anyone in the Bush admin for "TORTURE" or for spying, creating more pirates by killing pirates, he's not even getting the French to like us.

Way to go Obama, you rock! Hope and change, and all that.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

We're undeniably a declining empire,

Yeah, yeah. So we've been hearing since the 19th century.

hdhouse said...

John said...
"Hang the Bushes sounds great until you are in a position of responsibility."

Actually it sounds good authority or not. We have only his word that the torture did some good and that word plus a penny doesn't pay the tax on a cup of coffee.

Obama's in a pickle here no doubt and our prosecution of agents carrying out torture simply lets the air out of tires rather than nailing the drunk driver.

Could it be, however, that this plays into the Spanish hands? Does this set the stage for perhaps some more worthy court to take Bush and his goonsquads to task and rid Obama of the unpleasant task?

blake said...

I was gonna make a crack about the Spanish Inquisition but--

--Jesus Christ, hd, are you seriously hoping that somehow a foreign court will be granted some sort of authority over our elected officials?

Methadras said...

Where is little miss sullivan when you need her faux outrage? Furthermore, Jane Hamsher looks high in that clip. Thank you.

Ofc. Krupke said...

I await the cries of outrage from the Right Wing when it becomes known that B. Hussein put Lou Dobbs in a small box next to a mexican jumping beetle.Outrage? I'd want pay-per-view. :)

LoafingOaf said...

What's the deal with Althouse constantly pushing this notion that we must "move on" from the criminal activities of White House administrations? She told us to move on with the crimes of Bill Clinton, and she tells us to move on with the crimes of Bush and his people. MoveOn.org -- move on and don't hold the most powerful people accountable for crimes.

Althouse remains cruelly neutral on whether or not she supports torture. Many of her prized commenters are pro-torture. But if the Bush administration were a bunch of sick war criminals, I think they should be prosecuted.

Just as I thought Bill Clinton deserved to be impeached for perjury.

I am tired of the criminals in our high offices, who have been leading the USA down the drain over the past 20 years.

As far as I can tell, my government is run by mostly crooks at every level, from my local and county government (Cuyahoga County -- currently under a massive FBI probe) on up to the past two White house adminstrations. And I see the results. My city is a disaster and my country is going down the tubes.

No, I don't wanna move on. And law professors who say we should ought to think about the fact that the sickos in the DOJ authorizing war crimes came out of your schools.

Prosecute the criminals. We sure lock up enough people in America who are just mere drug fiends (prosecutors taught in our law schools, who seem to have no problem with America imprisoning people in record numbers). Maybe it's time we lock up some of the criminals in high offices.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Hi, I need legal guidance. I have in custody a very high level terrorist operative. He has extensive knowledge of terrorist networks at home and abroad as well as information about terrorist attacks currently being planned. But, he will not talk.

"May I put him in a box with a caterpillar?"

Ha! And if someone asking that isn't enough to make you go, "Cripes, we're doomed," remember there are those who would answer, "No!"

Eric said...

I await the cries of outrage from the Right Wing when it becomes known that B. Hussein put Lou Dobbs in a small box next to a mexican jumping beetle.

I dunno, maybe he would ask his Mexican wife to help him out.

Brian Macker said...

How is prosecuting criminals for crimes committed "retribution"?

Revenant said...

How is prosecuting criminals for crimes committed "retribution"?

It was a Freudian slip. The left wing of the Democratic Party wants these people punished for enacting George Bush's policies, not for breaking the law.

JAL said...

First impression of Page Althouse item:

The Professor, at least, has her eyes wide open.

JAL said...

Does this mean President Obama is going to open his original birth certificate?

His transcripts from Occidental, Columbia and HL?

Hey! His full medical records!

His state senate calenders, notes, and paperwork.

The records of his classes taught at ACORN meetings.

The ....

Oh...

Good Lieutenant said...

Our average domestic run-and-gunner leading police on chases gets more painful and brutal treatment than these lucky prisoners.

And let's not forget "DONT TAZE ME BRO guy. He got much more painful treatment than these criminals.

I can think of one relevant question only:

Is the release of this information to the advantage or disadvantage of the enemies of the United States?

Explain how the release of this information is bad for AQ and associated rabble.

Nils said...

The people gave the political orders to perform the torture, and who provided the sickening legal apologies for those orders, are the ones who should be prosecuted.

I believe Obama is slow-walking this issue, in order to allow time for it to ripen in the public mind. let people read those memos, and then reflect.

Read those memos, and then reflect that the defenders of these memos read them and claim that what is "striking" about them is "the concern that is shown for the health and well-being of the detainees." (http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/04/023347.php)

Yeah, that sure is the first thing a normal person notices about those memos.

Obama shouldn't make it his personal fight to prosecute the criminals from the previous administration. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be prosecuted. Technically, it's not even Obama's decision, it's Holder's.

kcom said...

"Nobody has to replace us if we collapse. There are dark ages."Bingo, Blake, you win the prize.

But, boy, I can't wait to rush into the next dark age. It sounds like so much fun - think the Somalia of the last 20 years on steroids. The only downside is that those eager to bring it on might not live long enough to see its full glory because the Mad Max types they'll have unleashed will have taken them out first.

Tom Jones' Prison Beeyatch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Jones' Prison Beeyatch said...

My favorite part of that episode is Hamsher's incredulous expressions.

Whenever Ann states the most obvious and rational positions Hamsher's eyes turn the size of saucers and she purses her lips in shocked indignation as if Ann had announced a bizarre personal fetish like necrophilia.

That can't be sincere, can it?

If it is, good grief.

Anuj Varma said...

The problem with torturing suspects is that we end up
1) Torturing several innocent people (until proven guilty - there are several known cases among the Gitmo tortured as well as renditioned prisoners who were later found to be innocent)
2) It reduces us to the same moral level as the terrorists - after all - what is there to distinguish us from them if we can commit the same heinous acts they can.
I believe that condoning these CIA officers will set a precedent that future Presidents will abuse. I also think that prosecuting these CIA torturers will set a precedent - so that future CIA officers will refuse to obey such insane orders!

blake said...

2) It reduces us to the same moral level as the terrorists - after all - what is there to distinguish us from them if we can commit the same heinous acts they can.

Good call. That must be why so many Americans have flown planes into buildings and become suicide bombers.

geoffgo said...

Anuj Varma

Survival is not a moral issue. It's a right.

And given that's the case, your propitiation about our moral equivalency, when in defense of US is just what our enemies would have us believe.

Is that what you intend?

geoffgo said...

Imagine. If we treat the GWOT as criminal activity, we've created a lawyers' union that supercedes all other gov't functions.

And any improper translation of any aspect of the proceedings, from battlespace application of Miranda Rights onward in the trial process, compels a do-over, or release.

Now, that means a US court system equipped to deal with every language from anywhere on the planet where terrorists operate. But, I repeat myself. Built- in "technicalities" no?

Of course that's only even viable if our military personnel buy into ROEs that require such imbecilic and suicidal activity; like facing a Courts Martial every time one fires a weapon in a war zone.

Essentially this mandates Hellfire; as the taking of prisoners becomes too dangerous and too expensive. And with diminished intel, we can expect the use of Hellfire to be constantly criticized because of ever more inflated collateral damge estimates, provided by the enemy.

Jeez, if I was setting up the US for a take down, I'd like exactly these tactics to be inflicted on our defense establishment.

And, I'd demoralize, denigrate and defund the military at every opportunity - like suggest they pay for their own private health insurance - and alert local authorities that vets are the serious risk to Homeland security - and assert that 90% of the guns used by the cartels are sold in the US, etc.

Which makes me much less sanguine about what the 0bama and his cronies are doing to our Republic. All these legislative actions are more than worrisome; they're intentionally malicious destruction of the US.

At some point being voted out of office to a cushy retirement won't be enough and lawyers won't be asked.

Anuj Varma said...

geoffgo said...

"Survival is not a moral issue. It's a right."

I can never see how torturing anyone helps our survival. If anything it makes us that much less safe (EVERY single study on the subject shows that information revealed by torture is WORTHLESS - cause the victim will say ANYTHING to get you to stop).
Knowing that - only a real COWARD or a real FOOL would resort to using torture as a means to keeping himself safe.

Anuj Varma said...

Blake said - in response to

"Good call. That must be why so many Americans have flown planes into buildings and become suicide bombers."

Actually - we may as well admit to that - our actions in Iraq have been responsible for over half a million Iraqi civilian deaths. These were regular people like you and me - NOT terrorists - most of whom did not know or care about the U.S. - and did not care if Saddam was in power. They never asked to be 'rescued' from the evil Saddam regime. WE decided on our own to ahead and bomb the crap out of the country - and unleash a civil war there.
It may have been better if we had flown a couple of planes into Baghdad buildings - we would have had fewer innocent casualties on our hands!
Fighting terrorism is not about blowing up everyone who 'sounds' suspicious - pre-emptive war - in some sense an act of terror.
We did commit an act of terror in Iraq - it was certainly not SELF-DEFENSE - since the country posed no threat whatsoever.
In the same sense, torturing people who we do not yet know to be guilty - is a morally reprehensible act. The Bush government even extended their powers to pick up ANYONE (incl.American citizens) to be tortured WITHOUT trial (that's right - they repealed HABEUS CORPUS). That includes YOU or your family - if they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time! This is why there is NO EXCUSE for not prosecuting the 'hard-working' CIA officers who indulged in this 'duty'!

Tom O'Bedlam said...

The Roman Republic ended, and what was effectively a monarchy was instituted, because the Roman ruling classes decided it was a good idea to criminally prosecute outgoing officeholders over political differences. Julius Caesar decided he didn't want to be criminally prosecuted at the end of his proconsulate, so he simply overthrew the whole kit and caboodle and became a dictator. And that was the end of several centuries of republican government in Rome. What followed was several centuries of one-man rule.

Those advocating the criminal prosecution of outgoing elected official over political difference might want to ponder the precedent.

Tom O'Bedlam said...

Obviously, it should be "officials" and "differences" in the last sentence above.

OldGrouchy said...

Of course, one solution to one man rule is the Romanian technique, especially effective when done on Christmas Day.

Still, the Roman style of having a "First Man" of the Republic would be difficult, but not impossible, to do under our current form of government. Perhaps One might try a radical change when implementing one man rule, at least that might be One's hope.

Yet, I agree that the current theory of prosecuting the politically fallen is not desirable idea since others may do unto us what we did to them; it's a precedent you know.

blake said...

Anuj,

Studies have shown? Intelligence has pointed to several actual thwarted attacks. I think that trumps "studies".

Actually - we may as well admit to that - our actions in Iraq have been responsible for over half a million Iraqi civilian deaths.While we're admit it, why dont we admit we're responsible for the Holocaust and the Black Death? That's about as factual.

Anuj Varma said...

Blake:
Are you denying that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died since our invasion of Iraq? If so - you are perhaps the only remaining individual who hasn't kept up with the tally of daily carbombs and sectarian violence going that Iraq saw over the last 5 years. And before you go about pointing out that we did not plant those bombs - remember there was NO CIVIL WAR (and no Al Qaeda) in Iraq prior to our invasion. We created these conditions of insecurity for everyday Iraqis by 'rescuing' them from Saddam.
And while we are trying our best to 'contain' the damage - THOUSANDS of civilians HAVE been killed as a result of our invasion. FACT! Just ask the families of the people blown to pieces! If you just had your TV on anytime from 2004 to 2008 - there was news of a car-bomb killing hundreds EVERY SINGLE DAY! These were just everyday people going about their work..NOT TERRORISTS OUT TO GET US - not even people who cared a damn whether the U.S. existed or not.
Again - either you have been living in a void - or Iraqi casualties just do not matter to you. Let me put it another way - for every American soldier who has given his/her life - over 100 Iraqi CIVILLIANS have died. 100 for 1. Fact! And a conservative estimate at that.
And I sincerely believe that such senseless wars happen exactly because of people who turn a blind eye when their own country indulges in immoral wars.

And what the heck does the Holocaust have to do with this? The only thing I can think in common is that a whole bunch of cowards must have lived in Germany at the time - who refused to question their leadership - and probably hailed them all the way to Auschwitz.

Anuj Varma said...

Blake said
" Intelligence has pointed to several actual thwarted attacks. I think that trumps "studies".

I am not even sure what that means - since most of these "studies" are conducted by the military as a post-mortem of the information received through torture! They are the ones who claim that the information they received is unreliable.
http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/reports/tort-just/sci-results.asp

blake said...

The only person?

Well, according to these guys the number's under 100,000, over six years?

Are we to blame for that? Let's say we are. Do you know how many people per year Saddam killed in an average year? By my calculations, it was about 50,000/year, taking 1992 to 2002. Do we get credit for saving net 200,000 lives?

Your FACTS and my FACTS don't agree.

Do we get credit for the fact that fewer people are dying now?

Is there anything you believe America has done right?

Anuj Varma said...

"Well, according to these guys the number's under 100,000, over six years?"

Ok - then we are responsible for under 100,000 civilian deaths - and whether or not Saddam was killing more or less has nothing to do with why we went in in the first place.

We went in on a 'hunch' that they were hiding WMDS - and these 100,000 people would be alive had it not been for our hasty, irresponsible actions. We DID not go in on a humanitarian mission to save Iraqi citizens from Saddam - so your argument about getting 'credit' for saving those 50K lives annually (not sure where you got that number from - but it doesn't matter since your logic is superfluous) does not hold water.

Of course America is doing several things right - though Iraq will never be on that list - except for the seriously delusional.

America remains the largest donor to worldwide charities, it gets full credit for removing the Taliban (though we are letting that victory slip away as the Taliban resurfaces) - and the list of our accomplishments is too large to list. But Iraq can never be on that list. We lost in Iraq the day we landed there - because we never had any business being there.

Here is the big difference between what we did in Afghanistan (or First Gulf War) - and Iraq. Both Afghanistan and First Gulf War resulted from the benefactor countries (Afghanistan and Kuwait respectively) ASKING for our help. They threw their hands up in the air - and said 'Somebody help us!' We stepped up to the challenge and helped them magnificently.

That's NOT what happened with Iraq. Nobody screamed - 'Save us from Saddam'. We took it upon ourselves in our heightened irrational frenzy after 9/11 to concoct a threat that never existed. The result was - the biggest mistake made by the world's biggest superpower.

No - this does not take away from all the great things we have done - or continue to do - but the world DOES look at us differently because of what we did in Iraq. You don't even have to take a worldwide poll (though that would overly confirm the same sentiments about US action in Iraq) - the Iraqi journalist who threw a shoe at Bush during his visit - summarized the average Iraqi's sentiments towards the US.

We are like uninvited guests - who keep proclaiming how amazing we are - and how lucky our hosts should feel to have us. And the only reason we cannot leave now - is because we would leave them in the mess we created - just like the Afghanistan we abandoned after the Soviet-Afghan war.

blake said...

That's NOT what happened with Iraq. Nobody screamed - 'Save us from Saddam'. We took it upon ourselves in our heightened irrational frenzy after 9/11 to concoct a threat that never existed.Yeah, a heightened irrational frenzy debated over, what, nine months? Actually, debated over five years, if you start back with Clinton.

We went in on a 'hunch' that they were hiding WMDS WMDs were one of a dozen reasons. The media hyped the WMDs as if that were the only reason. But it never was.

Do you have any idea what the situation in Iraq was before we invaded? And if military action is not acceptable when a country flouts UN decrees, when is it acceptable?

The result was - the biggest mistake made by the world's biggest superpower.Really? Biggest mistake? You can't think of anything else going on--even at the same time--that might be even bigger?

Nichevo said...

Anuj Varma,

What "we?" Since when are you a US citizen?