May 21, 2009

"The American people are not absolutist, and they don’t elect us to impose a rigid ideology on our problems."

"They know that we need not sacrifice our security for our values, nor sacrifice our values for our security, so long as we approach difficult questions with honesty, and care, and a dose of common sense. That, after all, is the unique genius of America. That is the challenge laid down by our Constitution. That has been the source of our strength through the ages. That is what makes the United States of America different as a nation.... I can stand here today, as President of the United States, and say without exception or equivocation that we do not torture, and that we will vigorously protect our people while forging a strong and durable framework that allows us to fight terrorism while abiding by the rule of law. Make no mistake: if we fail to turn the page on the approach that was taken over the past several years, then I will not be able to say that as President. And if we cannot stand for those core values, then we are not keeping faith with the documents that are enshrined in this hall."

Obama the moderate pragmatist. He's oh-so-different from Bush and also — let's not be rigid and ideological — really also exactly the same. He's going to do everything right and get everything done, and whatever it is he does, you can be sure that it's not torture and it's within the rule of law, because he's standing near these documents and Bush was terrible.

198 comments:

John said...

Ann,

You missed the scary Oh My God He is President quote of the day from Obama. Check this out.

"If I had a Muslim summit, I think that I can speak credibly to them about the fact that I respect their culture," Obama said, "that I understand their religion, that I have lived in a Muslim country, and as a consequence I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence. And I think I can speak with added credibility.”


As someone who spent nearly a year in Iraq doing reconstruction work, I am really afraid for the country after hearing that anyone in a position of responsibility let alone the President could say that. Those are the thoughts of a college age do gooder who just joined the Peace Corps but has not yet left the country. No one who has ever actually engaged with people in a conflict could ever think like that. Yeah, I can just come in and talk to these people and they will get over the last five generations of conflict and psychic damage. I am not sure which is scarier; the fact that Obama said it or the fact that the interviewer, presumably someone who passes for an educated person these days, didn’t burst out laughing.

Palladian said...

Can the Democrats and the Obama administration do anything without blaming the Bush Administration? It was tired when they first did it and even more tiresome now. Even non-political people are noticing. Up your game. Take responsibility. You can't blame Emmanuel Goldber... I mean, George W Bush for 4 years, can you?

Also, why don't we just note when Obama isn't giving a speech, rather than exhaust ourselves trying to note when he is?

hdhouse said...

I'm torn between writing something praising the oratory and the message, tossing a barb at the NewtCheneyBushs on here (sooo easy) or just waiting for the fax machines to spit out the talking points so that some bloggers here can post up on how "unsafe" Obama is making us...

Decisions, decisions.......

traditionalguy said...

Core values? Does he mean Congress of Racial Equality values. He is the ultimate incrementalist. His gift is in not scaring WASPs while he removes them from power as fast as he can do so and continue to appear thoughtful and gentle. I also suspect that those values do not include needed support for Israel in its comong hour of crisis.

Palladian said...

"I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence."

Where has this ever happened in a country that is controlled by Islamic rule?

Dale said...

Also, why don't we just note when Obama isn't giving a speech, rather than exhaust ourselves trying to note when he is?LOL!!!!

Palladian said...

"Decisions, decisions......."

We can always count on you, in your semi-literate puddle of spittle, to make the bad one.

Ann Althouse said...

"I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence."

Bush said exactly the same thing.

Chip Ahoy said...

OK, let me get this straight, you're telling me Obama said something again?

Cedarford said...

Obama - I can stand here today, as President of the United States, and say without exception or equivocation that we do not torture, and that we will vigorously protect our people while forging a strong and durable framework that allows us to fight terrorism while abiding by the rule of law. Make no mistake: if we fail to turn the page on the approach that was taken over the past several years, then I will not be able to say that as President. And if we cannot stand for those core values, then we are not keeping faith with the documents that are enshrined in this hall."Obama does torture. If waterboarding is torture, and it's just that simple, no exceptions...well, Obama as CiC has servicemen in SERE school and in CIA training this very day undergoing enhanced interrogation to prepare them for what the enemy will do to them...if they are really lucky and what the enemy does to them is limited to that.

We are not a nation of laws above men. John Adams said that as a defense when he was being lambasted for his Alien and Sedition Acts. His rationale being that since it was law not to criticize him, sedition....citizen critics were just men below the rule of law - honor bound to shut up.

Jefferson differed with Adams, and he said so everywhere, blowing off Adams "rule of law" threat. He said that the People were Sovereign over the Law. And that for self preservation and accepting Natural Law..all man-made law that conflicts with those higher priorities must yield. Jefferson also believed that we must conduct State and Rule by rational means, and not fall into what the Pharisees and the "Musselman" did with unquestioning obedience to old law they couldn't alter with their vote.

Obama the moderate pragmatist. He's oh-so-different from Bush and also — Obama and his TelePrompter script writers have much to learn.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence."

Bush said exactly the same thing.

10:51 AM
.

And I had the same reaction...a sarcastic retort.

Palladian said...

"Bush said exactly the same thing."

And he was full of shit too.

holdfast said...

"I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence"

He actually thinks that he is god, that his oratory is so awesome that it can convince anyone of anything, doesn't he? Ok, sure, his BS got him elected (against a weak opponent, in the middle of an economic crisis) and he certainly has the press on his side, but all that doesn't get world leaders to do stuff they don't want to do. The German volk might love him, but it didn't get any more troops for Afstan from the Kanzler. The Iranians are in no hurry to give up their bomb, despite his conciliatory speeches. Hugo Chavez still thinks that the US is the devil, despite Obama's sucking-up.

The only place he is able to impose his will is here at home, with a 100% credulous press and the bullying power of his office.

Bob Sacamano said...

The transformative experience for Barack Obama was getting the chance to write a book-length college admissions essay called, "The Audacity of Hope". It's this brilliant exercise in navel-gazing that gave us a President who is transfixed by the power of his own multi-cultural background. He is convinced that attending elementary school in Indonesia has given him some insight into the Muslim soul. That is incredibly scary.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I wish someone would ask him what he thought of his idols, Lincoln and FDR and the actions they took during a time of crisis.

Then again that would require our journalists to actually know history and that's a tall order.

Bissage said...

It took a while but I think finally managed to translate President Obama's matted heap of anaerobically composting lawn clippings into something approaching plain American Standard English: "I'm the good cop."

You're welcome.

Palladian said...

I'm here to tell you that I'm going to take full advantage of the fact that my predecessor did all the dirty work necessary to keep us safe. I'm not actually going to change anything about the structure he set up. And now I'm going to bad-mouth him just for fun!

Bob said...

He can talk all he wants, but if there is another attack on this country (all gods forbid) he'll be the first to waterboard suspects.

dbp said...

Ann Althouse said...
""I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence."

Bush said exactly the same thing."


But I figured he was just playing nice and didn't actually believe it.

Palladian said...

"He can talk all he wants..."

If he talked all he wanted, he'd never do anything else.

Which might be a good thing.

Quayle said...

Now I see the genius of Obama. I didn't at first, but I do now.

Obama has transcended the age old constraints and choices that have long vexed peoples and nations.

Can't decide how many guns and how much butter? No problem: Obama will give us both guns AND butter - as much as we want of each. Turns out that guns and butter was a false choice that Obama has seen through.

Can't decide between security and playing nice? No problem. It is a false choice that you need to be unkind to assure temporal security. If you are civil and kind to everyone, then security naturally flows from that. It was always a false dilemma that former thinkers were stuck on.

Want to spend a lot of tax dollars now, but not sink the future tax payers? No problem - just spend the all the borrowed money you want and give speeches about the need to keep spending under control and cut a few cents here and there when you get the chance.

With Obama, we can have it all! There are no hard choices. There are no limits. There are no constraints.

Obama is here to make it all happen.

Obama will be the first person in history to give us all everything we want and need, in the best quality possible, in the fastest time ever seen, at the cheapest price ever known.

Isn't Change and Hope amazing!

AllenS said...

He's a blowhard.

rhhardin said...

The rhetoric is so awful what I'm surprised the MSM doesn't mention it.

Palladian said...

"But I figured he was just playing nice and didn't actually believe it.'

Hmm, I've heard quite a few Obama supporters tell me that Obama says things he doesn't actually believe (like his opposition to gay marriage) just to fool the rubes in flyover land. So how do we know he believes this stuff about Islam being peaceful and modern and all that?

Palladian said...

"The rhetoric is so awful what I'm surprised the MSM doesn't mention it."

The game would be up then, wouldn't it? Their entire business model is predicated on awful rhetoric.

hdhouse said...

hello Palladian you yelp you....did you hear the story that Mr. Bush campaigned a secret war against elephants popping up in the back yards in the Hamptons. They did serious damage and now, after 8 years since the last sighting, there are none. not one.

the question though is whether or not it was bush's policy, the elephants being pre-occupied elsewhere and not up to the trip, or they had other things to do.

Palladian said...

Nurse! Bring the sedatives! He's having an episode again!

hdhouse said...

Palladian gummed...
"The rhetoric is so awful what I'm surprised the MSM doesn't mention it."...ooops you just quoted that didn't you...after 8 years of President Incoherent and VP Grunt I doubt you would know rhetoric if it hit you in the head...

Bruce Hayden said...

What was notable to me was the stark difference between President Obama's speech and that of Darth Cheney, whose speech followed immediately. Of the two, there is no question as to which one is the adult, and which one is still involved with the wishful thinking of his childhood.

former law student said...

You missed the scary Oh My God He is President quote of the day from Obama.

But that day was April 12. Why bring it up now? Interesting interview though:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/131697/output/print

Can the Democrats and the Obama administration do anything without blaming the Bush Administration?

Good point: I am getting tired of Cheney popping up everywhere defending the excesses of the Bush administration.

But in the process of explaining away our current economic mess, Republicans are going back in time to blame the Clinton and even the Carter administrations. So they're not setting a good example for the Democrats.

Widmerpool said...

My Lord he is just so full of shit. If, as I believe is the case, the American people are not absolutist and not guided by rigid ideology, then they should know, as I think they do, that preserving security may, at times, necesitate the sacrifice of other values. History is replete with examples. And this windbag keeps spouting that no tradeoff is necessary.

Treacle said...

Yes, he is just like Bush but better. Bush would basically just do the deed, dress right after and leave the money on the dresser. But when Obama screws you over, he whispers gently in your ear the whole time about how much he loves you, and he really makes you think he might actually stay the night. He'll go anyway (and leave less money) but for a moment, you thought it was real. And that's what counts.

Dale said...

Cheney shoots, He SCORES!`

One thing is clear, as he sat in sometimes silence at the White House, the former vice president was apparently paying very close attention to what his critics were saying. He just played on terms commonly used against him — making reference to Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth” and the “16 words” that President Bush got in trouble over in his 2003 State of the Union address: “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
`

Mr. Cheney cited more recent defenders of interrogation practices:
“President Obama’s own director of national intelligence, Admiral Blair, has put it this way: ‘High-value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al-Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.’ End quote. Admiral Blair put that conclusion in writing, only to see it mysteriously deleted in a later version released by the administration – the missing 26 words that tell an inconvenient truth.”

Fritz said...

This man never misses an opportunity to praise his father who abandoned him and then trash his predecessor. Just another speech loaded with empty platitudes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I understand their religion, that I have lived in a Muslim country, and as a consequence I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence. And I think I can speak with added credibility.”.

"Lord, if I could only have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided." William Edgar Borah

LarsPorsena said...

Today he sounded like a university department head addressing colleagues. I'll give him credit for not lapsing into the sing-songy, hand-clapping, toe-tapping cadences of Jeremiah Wright, which are his norm. Uh's and em's at a low level.
The teleprompter is moving smoother or he's been practicing his delivery.

dbp said...

I am a President who is confident that the American people will buy the concept of never having to make a choice involving trade-offs. I sincerely believe that I can get those same people to accept my demonizing of Bush's methods while keeping all of them in place.

Thank You!

Smilin' Jack said...

So how do we know he believes this stuff about Islam being peaceful and modern and all that?

We just need the audacity to hope that he's lying!

Quayle said...

"If I had a Muslim summit, I think that I can speak credibly to them about the fact that I respect their culture," Obama said, "that I understand their religion, that I have lived in a Muslim country, and as a consequence I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence. And I think I can speak with added credibility.”
This, spoken by a pro-gay, pro-abortion, pro women's rights lefty?

He "understands" their religion, even though he doesn't subscribe to any of their tenants, and doesn't appear to have any strong religious conviction himself, on which to base an understanding?

That right there is a prime example of the height of western arrogance - to "understand" other people's cultures and deep convictions in a sort of fly-over, transcending, all-knowing way?

"Oh, yeah, I read a book once about where your beliefs fit on the spectrum. I know where your core texts are shelved in the library. I 'understand' you."

The absolute blind arrogance of the American left on full display again.

former law student said...

Of the two, there is no question as to which one is the adult, and which one is still involved with the wishful thinking of his childhood.

One is Machiavellian, firmly believing the ends justify any means. The other believes our nation can be preserved without sacrificing its ideals.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

The other believes our nation can be preserved without sacrificing its ideals..

Too bad we didn't have Obama instead of Lincoln and FDR during those pivitol times.

PatCA said...

Hastily setting up a speech to counter Cheney's: unforced error. He looked weak from the get-go and didn't help himself any with the actual speech.

I think Cheney should continue running against him. It's the only way to defeat a president in perpetual campaign mode.

section9 said...

....then the grumpy old Adult walked in, told everybody to shut the fuck up, gave his speech, then walked out.

No one said a word.

Dick Cheney: A Man for all Seasons.....

It was like watching a small boy taken to the woodshed by the Headmaster.

former law student said...

He "understands" their religion, even though he doesn't subscribe to any of their tenants

I thought that the right wing argument was that little "Barry Soetoro" grew up steeped in Islam, and that as an apostate Christian, would have multiple fatwas issued against him.

But he speaks the truth; he lived in a Muslim country before the current wave of fundamentalism started, when Islam was non-violent, respectful of human rights, and compatible with modern times. Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali's biography to see how the rise of fundamentalism affected her life.

Hoosier Daddy said...

hello Palladian you yelp you....did you hear the story that Mr. Bush campaigned a secret war against elephants popping up in the back yards in the Hamptons. They did serious damage and now, after 8 years since the last sighting, there are none. not one..

And hdhouse yet again displays the typical lefty attitude about Islamic terrorism. Hey, they haven't done anything to us since they killed 3000 people eight years ago so why all the hair pulling and jumping about?

You're right hdhouse. They decided to leave us alone after that and all this War on Terror stuff Bush started is just a distraction.

Just when I think you can't be more of a fucktard you surpass yourself and I have to stand in awe.

Fritz said...

Former Law Student; Empty platitudes. Barry is the real Prince.

Hoosier Daddy said...

when Islam was non-violent, respectful of human rights, and compatible with modern times. .

What planet was this on or are you suggesting Barry was born sometime around the 16th century?

Lem said...

They know their guy is up next.

Thank God for Dick Chaney..

Rush must be having multiple orgams ;)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hdhouse, I have to apologize for the fucktard comment and you being an idiot.

That was out of line and uncalled for in light of FLS's comment that Obama grew up in a Muslim country at a time when Islam was non-violent, respectful of human rights, and compatible with modern times.

Quayle said...

One is Machiavellian, firmly believing the ends justify any means. The other believes our nation can be preserved without sacrificing its ideals.

Did Cheney ever say any means? One time? Ever?

No - he never once said it, and it is a straw man argument, disingenuous to the point of dishonesty to say that he did.

But, hypothetically, let’s say that Cheney believed that the ends often justify the means? Is that unreasonable?

No. Every single person in the world believes that ends can and do justify the means. There isn't one sane person that doesn't believe it.

So then the issue collapses down to what ends and what means. And on this, reasonable people can disagree, and we should continue the discussion.

But unreasonable people make false premises, slam-dunk conclusions, and spew venom at anyone that disagrees that these ends could never, and indeed ends hardly do ever, justify the means.

downtownlad said...

Obama and Bush are polar opposites.

In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty.

Bush, on the other hand, assumed you were guilty, and then had you murdered, without ever even having access to a lawyer.

Bush was responsible for the murders of at least 8 people through torture and close to 100 died in custody.

http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/etn/misc/factsheet.htm

Obama will put a stop to that. Personally, I don't care if Guantanamo stays open or not, and I don't care if there are military tribunals. That was never the issue. The issue was that people were being held in Guantanamo indefinitely, without no prospect for a trial EVER, and detainees held elsewhere were being tortured and killed.

If the detainees are truly "bad guys", then try them and imprison them. Heck - try them and give them the death penalty if they are guilty. We have a justice system - why are conservatives afraid to use it?

Obama is not afraid. And he understands the law.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If the detainees are truly "bad guys", then try them and imprison them. Heck - try them and give them the death penalty if they are guilty. We have a justice system - why are conservatives afraid to use it?.

Hey why don't you ask Harry Reid? He said he don't want no stinkin terrorists brought here.

Lem said...

Chaney...

“Yet for all these exacting efforts to do a hard and necessary job and to do it right, we hear from some quarters nothing but feigned outrage based on a false narrative. In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists.”

That's a triple with nobody out.

Jeremy said...

"He's going to do everything right and get everything done, and whatever it is he does, you can be sure that it's not torture and it's within the rule of law, because he's standing near these documents and Bush was terrible."

You're absolutely right, and that's exactly why he was elected, why he's so popular, and why the Bush/Cheney administration will be forever remembered as the most inept and corrupt in our nation's history.

Thanks Ann...you finally nailed it.

Bob W. said...

Today was a good day for the Country; both Obama and Cheney articulated the beliefs that inform their policies (informed in the case of VP), and both speeches were carried as "the prevalent news story" (they bumped boring John Kerry off the air in some committee hearing, yayy!).

If nothing else, the national security debate is forcing a bit of rigor on how the government is proceeding ahead with terrorism and its detainee policies, and Congress seems to be performing a bit more oversight than it otherwise would have (although Congress is more of a mess than Guantanamo).

This is much better than a few years back, when the debate over terror/detainee policies consisted of silence on the government side, and campaign rhetoric and code pink interruptions of committee hearings on the left. People in Kerry's committee might enjoy such an interruption today, though. . .

Elliott A said...

Virtually every action taken by the administration on the economy is a juxtaposition of Former Law Student's supposed point. Obama is Machiavelli. The constitution is the embodiment of the ideals of our nation and he sacrifices these ideals daily to achieve his ends. Printing money and then using it to take over private companies is hardly an American ideal. Spending trillions on general welfare is not an American ideal. Ignoring the reality of our enemies is not an American ideal. Etc...

As for Islam...there have been times in history when they were forward thinking and co-existed nicely with the rest of the world. (How about the 10th to 12th centuries)Unfortunately, the militants who wind up in charge do not think like westerners and have no desire to coexist. They have to change, not us.

Jeremy said...

Ann opens the floodgates of the usual WHINE FEST.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Obama won...we lost.

Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch and whine...

Little wingnut babies...

mccullough said...

If Obama believes in the rule of law and is against torture, then it's time to try KSM for his crimes in federal court, compensate him for the U.S. waterboarding him, and then cut him loose because we don't have any admissible evidence against him.

Also, if he believes torture is a crime, then prosecute Bush and Cheney.

Obama's a pussy. Such a pussy.

Igor said...

Old Russian saying...You can tell same lie 1000 time but not change truth!

Difference between USSR Communist media and USA "mainstream media"

In Russia government make media say what they want - even if lie.
In USA "mainstream media" try make government what they want - even if lie..
.....eventually they become same thing?!

I Igor produce Obama Birth Certificate at www.igormaro.org

Cedarford said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"The other believes our nation can be preserved without sacrificing its ideals.."

Too bad we didn't have Obama instead of Lincoln and FDR during those pivitol times.
.


That is one fine slam, Hoosier!

former law student said...

Did Cheney ever say any means?

Did Cheney ever draw any lines? Today he said the Bush Administration promised "an all-out effort." What does all-out leave out?

we promised an all-out effort to protect this country. We said we would marshal all elements of our nation’s power to fight this war and to win it. We said we would never forget what had happened on 9/11, even if the day came when many others did forget. We spoke of a war that would “include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success.” We followed through on all of this, and we stayed true to our word.

Again and again, Cheney's speech splendidly substitutes emotion for reason. And I guess it worked. Here's one example: Alluding to the treatment given the captives, Cheney deftly excuses it by blending in the sacrifice of our troops, and the deaths of 9/11:

Along the way there were some hard calls. No decision of national security was ever made lightly, and certainly never made in haste. As in all warfare, there have been costs – none higher than the sacrifices of those killed and wounded in our country’s service. And even the most decisive victories can never take away the sorrow of losing so many of our own – all those innocent victims of 9/11, and the heroic souls who died trying to save them.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Bush was responsible for the murders of at least 8 people through torture and close to 100 died in custody."

Well, Cheney said today that only three terrorists were subject to enhanced interrogation by us, and all three apparently survived. My vote is with Cheney on this, and not with whatever source this came from.

AllenS said...

If anybody in the Obama administration gets caught waterboarding a terrorist, Obama will claim that they used holy water, and then everything will be okey-dokey. Bushhitler used common tap water. Common tap water from Cuba, which is like totally bad. Obama and Bush are polar opposites.

ElcubanitoKC said...

AllenS said...
If anybody in the Obama administration gets caught waterboarding a terrorist, Obama will claim that they used holy water, and then everything will be okey-dokey. Bushhitler used common tap water. Common tap water from Cuba, which is like totally bad. Obama and Bush are polar opposites.

11:58 AM
.

What tap water?

Only in the hotels...

Jeremy said...

Elliott - "Obama is Machiavelli. The constitution is the embodiment of the ideals of our nation and he sacrifices these ideals daily to achieve his ends."

Right.

Well, then why aren't your Republicans heroes initiating an immediate impeachment process?

Why aren't they taking this to the American public, demanding Obama be thrown out of office for, as you say; sacrificing American ideals?

And as for your ridiculous claim regarding Islam: "Unfortunately, the militants who wind up in charge do not think like westerners and have no desire to coexist."

The militants aren't "in charge" of the more than billion Muslims in the world.

You're an idiot to even say it.

AllenS said...

Gitmo is a Cuban hotel, isn't it? Only with better food.

rhhardin said...

Cheney's speech sounds good, from the short clips. I wonder why there isn't a link to audio of the whole thing from any of the aggregators.

I always liked Cheney.

Jeremy said...

"If anybody in the Obama administration gets caught waterboarding a terrorist..."

If anybody is caught waterboarding anybody...they'll be prosecuted.

ElcubanitoKC said...

AllenS said...
Gitmo is a Cuban hotel, isn't it? Only with better food.

12:00 PM
.

Perhaps not the Meliá, but more of a provincial one, yes.

Jeremy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

“To the very end of our administration, we kept al-Qaeda terrorists busy with other problems. We focused on getting their secrets, instead of sharing ours with them. And on our watch, they never hit this country again. After the most lethal and devastating terrorist attack ever, seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed."

Sweet!

Jeremy said...

rhhardin said..."I always liked Cheney."

Now there's a shocker.

What are your feeling about little Georgie, Rummy and Rove?

Drivel.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That is one fine slam, Hoosier!.

Funny how our most revered President's did more to usurp the Constituion than Bush probably dreamed of doing. Then again most folks don't learn any of that. Lincoln freed the slaves and FDR ended the Depression and then it's on to Home Econ.

For the record, I don't fault either one. They had the testicular fortitude to take the necessary steps to defeat the enemy in both wars even if it meant shelving constitutionl rights for the duration.

For someone who styles himself as the new FDR and idolizes Lincon, I still would like someone to ask him about his thoughts on those 'abuses'.

Palladian said...

"If anybody is caught waterboarding anybody...they'll be prosecuted."

The operative word is "caught". No one in the Obama Administration is "caught".

So will the SERE instructors get prosecuted? Knowing the tendencies of the Obama administration to regard members of the military as potential terrorists, probably....

rhhardin said...

A news audio clip just now has Obama talking about ``an albatross around our efforts.''

That stoppeth one of three.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well, Cheney said today that only three terrorists were subject to enhanced interrogation by us, and all three apparently survived. .

Unfortunately Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Ken Bigley and a few hundred others captured by Muslim terrorists are still dead.

Dale said...

Let's make the value of the issue here completely clear:

Does anyone here believe for even one second that those decrying guantanamo and "torture" would raise one breath to criticize Obama if the same things had happened under his administration?

Not a chance.
There would be no media exposure - no New York Times front pages about Abu Ghraib or wiretapping. Virtually no media criticsim of Obama's efforts if the tables were turned the other way.
There wouldn't be any leftist commenters to tell the liberals here what they need to think about "torture".

So let's just all call it what it is - anti-bush knee jerkism.

Not integrity.

Beth said...

If Obama is just like Bush, what on earth is Dick Cheney still yammering on about?

Jeremy said...

If there's anything that will make it an absolute certainly that the Democrats will pick up more and more seats in Congress, and that Obama will continue to be very popular...it's having Dick Cheney down a path of abject failure.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Obama will put a stop to that. Personally, I don't care if Guantanamo stays open or not, and I don't care if there are military tribunals. That was never the issue. The issue was that people were being held in Guantanamo indefinitely, without no prospect for a trial EVER, and detainees held elsewhere were being tortured and killed.

If the detainees are truly "bad guys", then try them and imprison them. Heck - try them and give them the death penalty if they are guilty. We have a justice system - why are conservatives afraid to use it?
"

Better yet, do with them what has traditionally been done with illegal combatants, execute them on the spot (which is, BTW, legal under the Geneva Convention).

Your suggestion is not only silly, it is dangerous.

According to Cheney today, KSM, when captured, told us that he would tell all, when he reached his lawyer in NYC. He apparently had seen enough American TV to know what rights he would have at that time, and knew that once he set foot on American soil, he was home free. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for us, he didn't make it to NYC before being subject to enhanced interrogation, at which time, he divulged the inter workings of al Qaeda, which by all reputable indications, saved numerous American lives.

traditionalguy said...

FLS...Abraham Lincoln and FDR were the great ends justify the means guys. It seems that in war and under eminent (word thrown in at no extra charge)threat, serious men do things not the same as their peacetime ideals calls for them to do. Ask the Pennsylvania Quakers of 1765-70 how to deal with that situation. Easy, dont support the French/Indian War with taxes paid--arrange a donation of an equal amount. Don't fight in the war--just bring in the Scots-Irish immigrants and send them to the frontier and later complain that they were "cruel to the Indians" that were killing, capturing and burning to death the frontier settlers. There is no story quite as crafty as the pacifist's story about what they nobly did about a war effort.

mccullough said...

President Obama,

These are not the Muslims you knew.

NightBastard said...

If I had a Muslim summit, I think that I can speak credibly to them about the fact that I respect their culture," Obama said, "that I understand their religion, that I have lived in a Muslim country, and as a consequence I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence. And I think I can speak with added credibility.”but enough about I, let's talk about me.

Jeremy said...

Dale said..."Does anyone here believe for even one second that those decrying guantanamo and "torture" would raise one breath to criticize Obama if the same things had happened under his administration?"

Of course they would, but it wouldn't have happened under Obama...just as it hasn't happened under any previous President.

Bush authorized torture and shoved these people into Gitmo and now Obama has to clean up the mess he left behind...and that includes the economic fiasco we face.

You're just repeating the same ridiculous right wing bullshit we've been hearing the entire time Bush was in office.

You and others act as if McCain was beaten in the last election because Americans just aren't that bright, and just don't understand how wonderful Bush and Cheney were.

Americans are not stupid and they do want our country to behave in an honest and upright manner.

Bush and Cheney are an embarrassment to our nation.

Dale said...

If there's anything that will make it an absolute certainly that the Democrats will pick up more and more seats in Congress, and that Obama will continue to be very popular...it's having Dick Cheney down a path of abject failure.`

I know you are afraid that the Democrats might not hold on to the House of Representatives next year, but Cheney won't be the reason.
`

Look at California last Tuesday and the vote of 70% against the Democrat plan for raising taxes.
`

That's California.
`


Keep watching.

Bruce Hayden said...

"If there's anything that will make it an absolute certainly that the Democrats will pick up more and more seats in Congress, and that Obama will continue to be very popular...it's having Dick Cheney down a path of abject failure."

Let me suggest that this is wishful thinking.

Think about it logically first. Why would a heavily red district that voted overwhelmingly for Bush/Cheney both times all of a sudden switch to the Democrats because Cheney comes across as so much more serious than Obama did? Keep in mind that the Democrats picked up almost all of the potential "swing" districts in the last election. Indeed, the Democrats are likely to lose some districts back to the Republicans in situations where they are Republican districts running a compromised candidate last time around (and ignoring Obama's coattails this last election).

Secondly, Cheney is reminding a lot of people why they voted for Bush/Cheney in 2000, and, in particular, in 2004 - a principled defense of our country against foreign enemies as their first priority.

Henry said...

I would like our country to behave in an honest and upright manner.

It's too bad Obama is a fraud.

Jeremy said...

NightBastard - Why not re-write Obama's "personal" reflections as your own, and show us how YOU would have expressed your thoughts...without using the term "I."

Let's see it...

mccullough said...

Jeremy,

Please read a poll. The American people by a wide majority are copacetic with waterboarding KSM.

They would also rather be alive than dead. W. was a bad President, but his handling of Al-Qaeda was very popular.

And if you think W. was the first POTUS to authorize torture, you are seriously deluded.

Dale said...

. . . as if McCain was beaten in the last election because Americans just aren't that bright, and just don't understand how wonderful Bush and Cheney were.'


You said it. I didn't.


Of course they would, but it wouldn't have happened under Obama...just as it hasn't happened under any previous President.`

Keep believing that. Oh look, there's a shiny new toy over here . . .

Jeremy said...

Henry said..."It's too bad Obama is a fraud."

Only to right wing fools like yourself.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Of course they would, but it wouldn't have happened under Obama...just as it hasn't happened under any previous President..

Boy, hdhouse, FLS and now Jen comes in with the dumb comment of the day. Looks like someone slept in history class.

Jeremy said...

Dale said..."as if McCain was beaten in the last election because Americans just aren't that bright, and just don't understand how wonderful Bush and Cheney were."

Guess you didn't see "as if."

Reading comprehension, reading comprehension...

Jeremy said...

Hoosier...aren't you supposed to be tending to the corn?

Bruce Hayden said...

"Bush authorized torture and shoved these people into Gitmo and now Obama has to clean up the mess he left behind...and that includes the economic fiasco we face."

Remember the number three. Three high value terrorists were subject to enhanced interrogation techniques. Three. And at least one of them is known, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now facing capital trial for mass murder of civilians.

Dale said...

Reading comprehension, reading comprehension...'

LOL!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier...aren't you supposed to be tending to the corn?.

Not yet. Planting isn't for a bit yet but thanks for the reminder Jen.

Jeremy said...

Dale said..."Look at California last Tuesday and the vote of 70% against the Democrat plan for raising taxes."

First of all it wasn't a "Democratic Plan," it was a number of propositions initiated by and pushed by...the Governor.

Maybe you should read today's L.A. Times.

Oh, and I guess you're not aware of the fact that the Governorator is a Republican.

Hoosier Daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said...

Whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching...

But no solutions, no counter, no ideas, nothing but whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching.

Palladian said...

"Whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching...

But no solutions, no counter, no ideas, nothing but whining and bitching, whining and bitching, whining and bitching."

We know, Gene, we know. You do it all the time, including about 72 comment's worth in this thread alone. You don't need to detail your strategy for us.

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

My son lived for two years in the Amazon. He told of the efficiency of the forest - how the ants would find every dropped crumb or squished bug, take it apart, and piece by piece carry it out of my son’s house. By evening a dead cockroach would be entirely gone.

Our culture is much like that.

That ants are starting to eat away at the Obama salesman façade, and soon we'll be looking at a lot of raw flesh and bone and cartilage and tendon.

Then we'll see how tough Obama is.

My experience has been that when the implementation is going bad, nobody wants to hear the sales guy come up and start blathering on again about the product's great features.

Henry said...

"we need not sacrifice our security for our values, nor sacrifice our values for our security..."

It wasn't long ago that one of the complaints against Bush was that he asked for no sacrifice in war time. I think this was a legitimate issue -- especially in terms of paying for the wars.

The Obama administration makes Bush look like an amateur.

Under Obama nothing costs anyone anything ever.

He is his own reduction absurdum.

Jeremy said...

Former CIA special agent Jack Rice described the vice president has having "wrapped himself in the flag with the Constitution in tatters at his feet."

Exactly.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Jen do you think that special agent thinks that way about Lincoln or FDR or do you think he slept in history class like you?

I'm really curious what you think.

Henry said...

Jeremy, the people Obama has betrayed aren't the right wing fools.

former law student said...

if you think W. was the first POTUS to authorize torture, you are seriously deluded.

I tried to find a comprehensive history of POTUS-authorized torture, but I was not able. Can you point me to some information?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I tried to find a comprehensive history of POTUS-authorized torture, but I was not able. Can you point me to some information.

You know I'm still trying to find a comprehensive history of a peaceful and tolerant Islam when Barry was living in a Muslim nation and I can't find one either.

Robert Cook said...

"Does anyone here believe for even one second that those decrying guantanamo and "torture" would raise one breath to criticize Obama if the same things had happened under his administration?

Not a chance."


What a doofus.

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05212009.html

http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd05212009.html

Obama is continuing the crimes of the previous administration, including the killing of innocents on the battlefield. As was Bush, as was Cheney, as were the remainder of the Bush administration higher ups, Obama is a mass murderer and a war criminal.

" Every single person in the world believes that ends can and do justify the means. There isn't one sane person that doesn't believe it."

Speak for yourself, bub.

elHombre said...

Obama is a narcissist elected by dupes.

Henry said...

Just to clarify -- I'm in the anti-torture camp; I think the Bush policy was appalling in principle and counterproductive in the long term. Obama is right.

But Obama's pretense that hard choices are so easily avoidable is starting to look like a pathology.

NightBastard said...

NightBastard - Why not re-write Obama's "personal" reflections as your own, and show us how YOU would have expressed your thoughts...without using the term "I."

Let's see it...
"If we had a Muslim summit, The POTUS could speak credibly to them about my respect their culture," Obama said, "my understanding their religion, and my having lived in a Muslim country, that from that experience comes my understanding it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence.”

not that hard, but I'm not a narcissist.

garage mahal said...

If Obama is just like Bush, what on earth is Dick Cheney still yammering on about?.

I think that's called tainting the jury pool.

NightBastard said...

professor olson, are you going to grade my assignment?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think the Bush policy was appalling in principle and counterproductive in the long term. Obama is right..

So why did 19 Muslim terrorists kill 3000 people on 9/11 before we were torturing with waterboarding and catepillars?

Cause this whole waterboarding hasn't made us safe doesn't seem to jive with actual events.

rocketeer67 said...

Cheney's yammering on about the hypocrisy, Beth.

But you knew that.

garage mahal said...

Oh, and Obama is just like Bush! on all the things Bush became unpopular for. Torture, wars, black hole prisons. Because he was handed these clusterfucks, he's just like Bush!

rocketeer67 said...

Hoosier,

"Reality" is inadmissable as evidence to the left.

Jeremy said...

The Cheney defense:

Cheney: "As a practical matter, too, terrorists may lack much, but they have never lacked for grievances against the United States. Our belief in freedom of speech and religion ... our belief in equal rights for women ... our support for Israel ... our cultural and political influence in the world - these are the true sources of resentment, all mixed in with the lies and conspiracy theories of the radical clerics. These recruitment tools were in vigorous use throughout the 1990s, and they were sufficient to motivate the 19 recruits who boarded those planes on September 11th, 2001."

But why did the Bush/ Cheney administration ignore the fact that all the suspected hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon or Egypt?

Then watch them stick it in our asses via skyrocketing oil prices, never once accommodating us through the release of more oil or lowering prices?

And...

Cheney: "What is equally certain is this: The broad-based strategy set in motion by President Bush obviously had nothing to do with causing the events of 9/11. But the serious way we dealt with terrorists from then on, and all the intelligence we gathered in that time, had everything to do with preventing another 9/11 on our watch."

True...and we also were not attacked in America between 1993 and 2001 while on the Clinton administration's watch...right?

And...

Cheney: "To put things in perspective, suppose that on the evening of 9/11, President Bush and I had promised that for as long as we held office - which was to be another 2,689 days - there would never be another terrorist attack inside this country. Talk about hubris - it would have seemed a rash and irresponsible thing to say."

True, but I've never heard Obama ever say anything even remotely resembling such a comment...so what's his point?

And...

Cheney: "Of course, we made no such promise. Instead, we promised an all-out effort to protect this country. We said we would marshal all elements of our nation's power to fight this war and to win it. We said we would never forget what had happened on 9/11, even if the day came when many others did forget. We spoke of a war that would "include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success." We followed through on all of this, and we stayed true to our word."

Of course, he conveniently (as always) leaves out the fact that they didn't feel the need to concentrate their efforts on going go after Osama and the people actually behind the attack, but instead invaded a sovereign nation under false pretenses, creating a firestorm in the Mideast and losing 4,300 American soldiers with another 31,285 being wounded.

And finally...

Cheney: "For all that we've lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings."

Except of course for the lies that got us into the Iraqi mess and the torture.

NightBastard said...

professor olson, you forgot about the first WTC attack. that's OK since you try so hard to forget the other one too.

Jeremy said...

NightBastard - You evidently don't understand the difference between someone's "personal" reflections or opinions and those of our government.

Maybe a high school English course would help.

Duh.

John Lynch said...

Sounds good as always, but we'll see what he actually does.

Jeremy said...

NightBastard said..."you forgot about the first WTC attack. that's OK since you try so hard to forget the other one too."

That was in 1993, dumbfuck.

2001 - 1993 = 8 years

And the Clinton administration caught and prosecuted everybody involved.

Not that good at math either, huh?

Jeremy said...

Let me guess...NightBastard is either Palladian or Pogo.

Still hanging on the inane notion that I am a teacher at some college.

Duh.

NightBastard said...

True...and we also were not attacked in America between 1993 and 2001 while on the Clinton administration's watch...right?my first wife was a tard too. she also teaches JC now.

Jeremy said...

The GOP...in free fall:

Pew Research Center - 05-21-09

In seven short years, the American electorate has radically changed, as voters' priorities have shifted to the economy and away from such wedge issues as abortion and gay rights, as well as away from the threat of terrorism and from the war in Iraq, according to a comprehensive survey released Thursday morning by the Pew Research Center.

From 2002 to 2009, voters' partisan identification has moved from virtual parity -- 43 percent Republican and 43 percent Democratic at the height of George W. Bush's popularity in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 -- to a massive Democratic advantage today of 53 to 36, a 17 percentage point split, by far the largest difference in the past two decades.

The Pew survey is a testament to the miscalculations of the Bush administration and of the Republican leadership in Congress.

Jeremy said...

Night Bastard - "...my first wife was a tard too. she also teaches JC now."

That's understandable, but are you saying we WERE attacked in America between 1993 and 2001...or are you just wrong and have no idea how to save face?

Henry said...

Hoosier, I won't pretend that the interrogations didn't help our intelligence.

But in the long term, as in Vietnam, we are fighting a propaganda war as much as an intelligence or shooting war. The short term gain of waterboarding is to our long loss if such measures peel away U.S. commitment to prosecuting a winnable war.

Ask yourself -- after containing North Vietnam and rolling up the Viet Cong with counter-insurgency tactics, why did South Vietnam fall? It fell because the U.S. lost the sense of moral imperative required to continue the fight.

Ann Althouse said...

DTL: "Bush was responsible for the murders of at least 8 people through torture and close to 100 died in custody. http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/etn/misc/factsheet.htm"

Thanks for giving a link, but that is about people who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, mainly by being housed in places that got attacked and so forth. That's not about Guantanamo. Cite the specific things you are referring to. I spent enough time on that website to decide that your link wasn't substantial enough to support the accusation you stated. Quote details and give sources.

Dale said...

First of all it wasn't a "Democratic Plan," it was a number of propositions initiated by and pushed by...the Governor.

Maybe you should read today's L.A. Times.
Nice try. No cigar.

The Democrat Legislature and the Dmeocrat Party and the LA Times (no friend of Republicans) and the Governor - who no Republican in California will agree with you is a Republican) were all behind the props.

Since you don't read, just ask and I can inform you.

Shouldn't be you fucking your mother right now, Michael?

Hoosier Daddy said...

But in the long term, as in Vietnam, we are fighting a propaganda war as much as an intelligence or shooting war. The short term gain of waterboarding is to our long loss if such measures peel away U.S. commitment to prosecuting a winnable war..

Well that's assuming that the Muslim world is going to be swayed by us playing good cop. I don't buy that assumption, sorry. We have gone out of our way trying to save Muslims in Bosnia, Somalia, after the tsnunami, Kuwait and all we get for it is grief. We followed the whole rule of law thing all through Clinton's reign from the WTC in 1993 to the USS Cole and we still get 9/11.

Ask yourself -- after containing North Vietnam and rolling up the Viet Cong with counter-insurgency tactics, why did South Vietnam fall? It fell because the U.S. lost the sense of moral imperative required to continue the fight..

Actually we continued the fight right up to the truce signed in 1973. We just decided not to stay or help the South when the North broke it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Still hanging on the inane notion that I am a teacher at some college..

Palladian you're dead wrong. He's too stupid to be a teacher.

Dale said...

I spent enough time on that website to decide that your link wasn't substantial enough to support the accusation you stated. Quote details and give sources.`

Muddy Water Fatigue
`

An EXTREMELY common action of those on the left: flooding the zone with anything and everything, in an attempt to overwhelm with "information" whether it has relevance or not. See: Frank Rich

It's called sleight of hand, and this generation of leftists is better at it than any I've seen before.
`

See: Blatant Dishonesty

NightBastard said...

Jenremy, your sentence about no terror attacks from 1993 to 20001 during the Clinton admin wasn't perfectly clear and I'll admit it could be read to include the 1st WTC attack that you didn't mention.

but you could have been clearer. Perhaps you should consider taking a junior college English course.

former law student said...

a comprehensive history of a peaceful and tolerant Islam when Barry was living in a Muslim nation and I can't find one either.

Any modern history of Indonesia should do -- it is the most populous Muslim nation as well as the third largest democracy. Also, any history of Malaysia and of Singapore.

How are you coming along on that reference for me?

Robert Cook said...

It's funny how the "liberal" media continue to provide a member of the former administration--of whom they were so viciously and unfairly critical at all times--as much airtime as he likes to continue to spread propaganda intended to undercut the present (not so different) administration.

Wouldn't Rush and Sean and Billo and the rest call this treason were it a former Democratic Vice President similarly attacking a new Republican President?

Of course, all Cheney is really about is trying to save his ass from prosecution, as he's scared shitless there might actually be investigations--I wish I were as confident in the integrity and courage of our current presiders-over-empire as Cheney fears they may be--and maybe lay some groundwork to help Republicans gain back the White House in four years.

This is lovely,though: Cheney: "...suppose that on the evening of 9/11, President Bush and I had promised that for as long as we held office - which was to be another 2,689 days - there would never be another terrorist attack inside this country."

Of course, it's unclear; does he mean the eve of 9/11, that is, 9/10? Or does he mean the evening of the day the attacks took place?

If the former, he's engaging in a lie: the day before 9/11 took place, the Bush adminstration was as unconcerned with the possibility of potential terrorist attacks as they ever were with abiding by the law or with their oaths of office or with serving the people.

(In fact, they enjoyed having us believe another terrorist attack was imminent at any given time; remember the color-coded panic attacks they orchestrated? It keeps the rabble compliant and unquestioning if they're scared of being murdered in their sleep by boogeymen.0

If the latter, what's his point? Does he suppose, or is he trying to have us accept, that Obama has promised there will never be another terrorist attack within this country?

If Cheney had been a member of Hitler's team, the Nazis might well have had a fourth Reich.

On the other hand, the way Obama is going, he appears to be attempting a revival of the Bush/Cheny Reich, so Cheney, in his speechifying, may simply be interviewing for a job in the new administration.

Henry said...

Actually we continued the fight right up to the truce signed in 1973. We just decided not to stay or help the South when the North broke it.

Exactly. We won, then surrendered.

We fight honorably not to influence the terrorists or the countries that spawn them, but to avoid loss of faith in ourselves.

We caught a break in 2004 when Kerry lost and another in 2008 when Obama won too late to give up. But if uncompromising methods bleed internal U.S. support for a long campaign, all short term gains will go for nought.

former law student said...

that is about people who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, mainly by being housed in places that got attacked and so forth. That's not about Guantanamo.

Surely dying at the hands of US torturers counts, even if it's not in Guantanamo? Search the Human Rights Watch website for more.

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2005/05/20/afghanistan-killing-and-torture-us-predate-abu-ghraib

In November 2002, the CIA was reportedly involved in the torture and killing of a detainee in Afghanistan. A CIA case officer at the “Salt Pit,” a secret U.S.-run prison just north of Kabul, ordered guards to “strip naked an uncooperative young Afghan detainee, chain him to the concrete floor and leave him there overnight without blankets,” the Washington Post reported on March 3, after interviewing four government officials familiar with the case. According to the article, Afghan guards “paid by the CIA and working under CIA supervision” dragged the prisoner around the concrete floor of the facility, “bruising and scraping his skin,” before placing him in a cell for the night without clothes. An autopsy by a medic listed “hypothermia” as the cause of death, and the man was buried in an “unmarked, unacknowledged cemetery.” A U.S. government official interviewed told the Post: “He just disappeared from the face of the earth.”
Two detainees were killed in December 2002 at Bagram airbase. These cases were previously reported by Human Rights Watch and were the subject of an exhaustive investigation by the New York Times. According to documents obtained by Human Rights Watch and a criminal investigation file obtained by the Times, two Afghan detainees named Dilawar and Habibullah died at Bagram airbase after being chained to the ceiling and severely beaten by U.S. guards and interrogators. Military intelligence officers knew of the pattern of abuses at the time, but failed to stop them. Although several soldiers were eventually charged with assault—in the wake of continued reporting on the case by Human Rights Watch—no personnel have been charged with homicide. In the months after the deaths, the U.S. military continued to tell journalists that the detainees had died of natural causes.

Jamal Naseer, a soldier in the U.S.-backed official Afghan Army, was killed in March 2003 after he and seven other soldiers were mistakenly arrested by U.S. forces and taken to a base in Gardez. Surviving detainees who were arrested with Naseer allege that U.S. forces punched them, kicked them, hung them upside down, and hit them with sticks or cables, among other abuses. Some said they were soaked in cold water and forced to lie in snow, and subjected to electrical shocks. Researchers with the Crimes of War project, a non-government organization, uncovered this death in September.

Dale said...

Robert Cook,

You may be an example of the extreme left wing, but when you start the Hitler analogies, you've disqualified yourself from reasonable debate.

Dale said...

fls,

muddy the water syndrome.

Play nice.

Jeremy said...

Dale - I live in California and am well acquainted withe the economic mess we're in.

The Governor came in after Davis was ousted, among other things, because he supported the car licensing tax increase of about $64 per...which, by the way would have kept us close to being in the black if the current Governor had not rescinded it ($3.5 billion a year). And now we're in much worse shape than when Davis was at the helm.

The Republicans, as usual, did the same bitching and whining as they do on this site, always asking for tax reductions, never actually doing the math or understanding what it takes to run a huge state with a population of 35 million.

Spending is out of control, tax collections are down (especially here because of the insane Prop 13 and the real estate debacle), just as it is in damn near every state...which, if you read newspapers, you would know already.

As for what you're suggesting regarding my mother, I consider that about par for the course, considering the intellectual level of many here.

Why not pass than on to your own mother and see if she feels proud.

Talk is cheap when one is hiding at a keyboard.

Jeremy said...

Dale "You may be an example of the extreme left wing, but when you start the Hitler analogies, you've disqualified yourself from reasonable debate."

This from the asshole who wrote this:

"Shouldn't be you fucking your mother right now, Michael?"

What a prick.

Jeremy said...

Henry thinks we "won" in Vietnam and were just about to "win" when Obama was elected.

And people wonder why the GOP is fucked?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Any modern history of Indonesia should do -- it is the most populous Muslim nation as well as the third largest democracy. Also, any history of Malaysia and of Singapore..

Oh I'm sorry you meant Muslim nations that are run by secular governments. Please forgive me because that's not what you said earlier. See that's not quite the same as when Islam was non-violent, respectful of human rights, and compatible with modern times. So we don't get confused in the future, you might wish to be more specific with your phrasing.

How are you coming along on that reference for me?I'm not the one who mentioned the history of POTUS authorized torture. Thanks anyway.

former law student said...

Hoosier: A little research reveals that far from authorizing torture, Lincoln was a pioneer in implementing international humanitarian law, by publishing the Lieber code to his armies as General Order No. 100. Note that because the Confederacy was not a real nation, all of the Rebels were illegal enemy combatants. Despite this, Lincoln required that they be treated humanely.

Pay particular attention to Section III, Paragraph 80

80. Honorable men, when captured, will abstain from giving to the enemy information concerning their own army, and the modern law of war permits no longer the use of any violence against prisoners in order to extort the desired information, or to punish them for having given false information.

http://www.civilwarhome.com/liebercode.htm

This was in 1863.

Jeremy said...

NightBastard said..."Jenremy, your sentence about no terror attacks from 1993 to 20001 during the Clinton admin wasn't perfectly clear and I'll admit it could be read to include the 1st WTC attack that you didn't mention."

Should I include photographs with my comments?

I said 1993, which for most, would be clear enough.

The WTC attack was on February 26, 1993, which actually means Clinton kept us safe even longer than Bush/Cheney. (September 11, 2001 - January 20, 2009)

Thanks for allowing me to make you look like even more of a fool.

elHombre said...

Fls wrote: Any modern history of Indonesia should do -- it is the most populous Muslim nation as well as the third largest democracy. Also, any history of Malaysia and of Singapore.

If it is your contention that these countries have had Islamic governments throughout modern history, you should go back to the books.

If it is your contention that Indonesia has a history of Islamic tolerance, you should go back to the books. Indonesia has an extensive record of sectarian violence and religious persecution of non-Muslims.

Malaysia is more peaceful, but has a secular government.

Singapore is mostly Buddhist.

You're kinda like old BarryHO, say anything and see if it floats.

daredevil-66 said...

the flop sweat beading up on the leftys faces is all we need to know about how effective Cheney speech is. Its been put front and center the democrats and obama are to blame if so much as a firecracker goes off in a trashcan on their watch. All the empty moralizing about being "no better than al qaeda" will fly out the window as obama does what he needs to do.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But if uncompromising methods bleed internal U.S. support for a long campaign, all short term gains will go for nought..

That's assuming that enough Americans care we waterboarded 3 Muslim headhackers. Last poll I saw, few did.

The fact Obama has to make a major speech on the matter tells me he needs to convince a large segment of the population that his change is for the better. You don't really need to go all that if the great unwashed don't need convincing.

Jeremy said...

daredevil-66 said..."the flop sweat beading up on the leftys faces is all we need to know about how effective Cheney speech is."

Right.

But this doesn't exactly shore up that wingnut view:

Pew Research Center - 05-21-09

In seven short years, the American electorate has radically changed, as voters' priorities have shifted to the economy and away from such wedge issues as abortion and gay rights, as well as away from the threat of terrorism and from the war in Iraq, according to a comprehensive survey released Thursday morning by the Pew Research Center.

From 2002 to 2009, voters' partisan identification has moved from virtual parity -- 43 percent Republican and 43 percent Democratic at the height of George W. Bush's popularity in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 -- to a massive Democratic advantage today of 53 to 36, a 17 percentage point split, by far the largest difference in the past two decades.

Oh, and Cheney still lugs a hefty 37% approval rating around.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The WTC attack was on February 26, 1993, which actually means Clinton kept us safe even longer than Bush/Cheney. (September 11, 2001 - January 20, 2009)

Thanks for allowing me to make you look like even more of a fool.
.

Good one Jeremy. You showed that idiot! Because we all know that Al Quada was dormant until 2001 and that our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were never bombed, or all those American killed at the Khobar Towers, or the USS Cole was nearly sunk.

Man that Clinton was really something.

Jeremy said...

Hoosier Daddy said..."That's assuming that enough Americans care we waterboarded 3 Muslim headhackers. Last poll I saw, few did."

That's only if you believe we only tortured three people. (And if it was Soooo successful, why over a 100 times?)

Even YOU don't REALLY believe that...do you?

former law student said...

So we don't get confused in the future, you might wish to be more specific with your phrasing.

Did you forget we were talking about Obama's statement? Hint: the Muslim country he lived in was in fact Indonesia.

Obama said, "that I understand their religion, that I have lived in a Muslim country, and as a consequence I know it is possible to reconcile Islam with modernity and respect for human rights and a rejection of violence.

If you're not the one who mentioned the history of POTUS authorized torture, what did this post mean?

Hoosier Daddy said...
I wish someone would ask him what he thought of his idols, Lincoln and FDR and the actions they took during a time of crisis.

Then again that would require our journalists to actually know history and that's a tall order.

10:57 AM

So, can you point to a source that would explain what you were talking about?

Jeremy said...

Hoosier, The claim via Cheney is that they kept us "safe" during their administration's tenure.

ON AMERICAN SOIL...and that's exactly what I responded to.

Cheney and Bush certainly didn't keep Americans and other nation's citizens safe elsewhere in the world did they? How many innocent civilians have died?

And do you not count the 4,000+ dead or the 31,000 wounded?

Jeremy said...

Hoosier - "Man that Clinton was really something."

October 24, 1983

Reagan's watch: Suicide bomber killed 241 American troops 25 years ago in barracks.

Man that Reagan was really something.

Jeremy said...

NEW YORK — The FBI arrested four men Wednesday in what authorities called a plot to detonate a bomb outside a Jewish temple and to shoot military planes with guided missiles.

Officials told The Associated Press the arrests came after a long-running undercover operation that began in Newburgh, N.Y., about 70 miles north of New York City.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Did you forget we were talking about Obama's statement? Hint: the Muslim country he lived in was in fact Indonesia..

I was responding to your statement in which you said when Islam was non-violent, respectful of human rights, and compatible with modern times.. Islam is not compatible with any of those things. A Muslim country may be compatible provided they have a secular government but many don't and even the ones that do aren't much better. Outside of those three nations, radical Islam was blooming quite nicely when Obama was living abroad.

If you're not the one who mentioned the history of POTUS authorized torture, what did this post mean?

Hoosier Daddy said...
I wish someone would ask him what he thought of his idols, Lincoln and FDR and the actions they took during a time of crisis.
.

I was talking about Lincoln's suspension of habeous corpus and FDR's wiretapping programs and executive order incarcerating 100,000 Americans based upon their ethnicity.

I would think someone with even a cursory interest in American history would be able to glean that from my comment. Also, I think you should have no problem finding those references.

Hoosier Daddy said...

ON AMERICAN SOIL...and that's exactly what I responded to..

Oh ok. Americans abroad don't count.

Got it.

elHombre said...

FLS @HD: "Did you forget we were talking about Obama's statement? Hint: the Muslim country he lived in was in fact Indonesia."

elHombre @FLS: Hint: Indonesia has an extensive record of sectarian violence and religious persecution of non-Muslims. Look it up, Dupe.

former law student said...

Jeremy -- don't bother. Hoosier and el Hombre are moving the goalposts so fast I'm getting dizzy.

elHombre said...

Robt Cook wrote: Of course, all Cheney is really about is trying to save his ass from prosecution.

Really? Prosecution for what? What authority, exactly, does the VP have to authorize or prevent torture, etc?

Robt Cook wrote: Cheney: "...suppose that on the evening of 9/11, President Bush and I had promised ...." [Emphasis added.]

[D]oes [Cheney] mean the eve of 9/11, that is, 9/10? Or does he mean the evening of the day the attacks took place?

Cheney clearly said: evening of 9/11.

Herein lies the problem. If Cook and his ilk can't understand Cheney's plain language, how can they manage difficult associated concepts like "protecting the public?"

No wonder they hate him.

elHombre said...

FLS wrote: Hoosier and el Hombre are moving the goalposts so fast I'm getting dizzy.

From your earlier post (1:31): "[Hoosier asked for] 'a comprehensive history of a peaceful and tolerant Islam when Barry was living in a Muslim nation....'

Any modern history of Indonesia should do."

Indonesia, of course, has been neither peaceful nor tolerant.

Nobody moved the goal posts. Your dizziness is caused by having people run circles around you.

Jeremy said...

elHombre "Really? Prosecution for what? What authority, exactly, does the VP have to authorize or prevent torture, etc?"

Well, we don't know yet, do we?

Would you rather just move along before actually investigating or possibly finding prosecutable offences?

I seem to remember 5 years of Ken Starr relentlessly pursuing a people over a 30 year old land deal...did you also think that was a waste of time?

How about trying to impeach a sitting President for lying about a fucking blowjob?

Was that more important than this?

Aaron said...

Every time I hear the president say there is no conflict between security and freedom i want to throw something at the screen.

To claim that torture never works is complete claptrap. its dishonest. If he wants to say our values are worth even our lives that's fine. let's have that debate. but let's not pretend for a moment that torture (however you want to define it) doesn't ever work.

Not to mention that a decision not to monitor certain calls and transmissions will deprive us of valuable, often life-saving, information.

And you know what really might stop islamofacist suicide bombings? if we buried their bodies with pigs. But many would say such desecration is against our values.

I always say that if you can't debate honestly, then it means you know you can't win.

Btw, isn't honest debate one of our values?

Jeremy said...

Hoosier Daddy said..."Oh ok. Americans abroad don't count. Got it."

You stupid fuck...are you saying that during the Bush/Cheney administration we didn't lose innocent civilian and military "Americans abroad??"

Are you drunk...again??

PatCA said...

Obama says he knows that EITs are not the best way to get information for our security.

Okay, what is?

Or is that another one of those questions that the left doesn't like to answer because the "mess" was created by somebody else, yada yada?

Jeremy said...

Aaron said..."To claim that torture never works is complete claptrap."

And you base this on your extensive experience?

And this pretty much sums up your level if intellect: "And you know what really might stop islamofacist suicide bombings? if we buried their bodies with pigs. But many would say such desecration is against our values."

Ya think so?

Newsweek:

U.S. officials do not use the word torture to describe their own methods. Instead, American intelligence officials speak of “aggressive interrogation measures,” sometimes euphemistically known as “torture lite.”

Bush administration officials are trying to redefine the Geneva Conventions, which bans “cruel practices,” to allow seven different procedures: 1) induced hypothermia, 2) long periods of forced standing, 3) sleep deprivation, 4) the “attention grab” (forcefully seizing the suspect’s shirt), 5) the “attention slap,” 6) the “belly slap” and 7) sound and light manipulation.

As NEWSWEEK reported this week in its story The Politics of Terror , a harsh technique called “waterboarding,” which induces the sensation of drowning, would be specifically banned.

These procedures, apparently including waterboarding, have been used on several so-called High Value Targets—alleged top Al Qaeda operatives in captivity. Without getting into specifics, President Bush has stated that his administration’s interrogation and detention program has been necessary to foil plots and save lives.

But is that true?

In recent interviews with NEWSWEEK reporters, U.S. intelligence officers say they have little—if any—evidence that useful intelligence has been obtained using techniques generally understood to be torture.

And even if it did...why lower America to the level of others?

Doesn't that matter to you?

Jeremy said...

PatCA said..."Obama says he knows that EITs are not the best way to get information for our security. Okay, what is?"

Well, if you took the time to read up on it, the military and intelligence experts who actually have experience in such matters says there are all kinds of alternative methods. The kinds of methods utilized with Saddam himself.

Try this out:

Washington Post5 Myths About Torture and Truth
By Darius Rejali
Sunday, December 16, 2007

mccullough said...

FLS,

As to President's authorizing torture, etc. I was thinking of Mark Neely's the Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (1991).

After you read this book, you'll either hold Lincoln in lower esteem or W. in higher esteem.

I'm not aware, however, of any Idiot's Guide to President's Authorizing Torture and Other Bad Acts.

elHombre said...

Jeremy, et al wrote: "Well, we don't know yet, do we?

Would you rather just move along before actually investigating or possibly finding prosecutable offences?"

It is customary among ethical prosecutors to investigate based on probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.

Even if waterboarding were a crime, explain why Cheney, without statutory or constitutional authority over the alleged perpetrators, and given the legal opinion of the OLC as the background for any discussions he may have had, should be concerned about being prosecuted.

And yes, I would rather just move along than tear the country apart to satisfy the wishful thinking of leftist loons.

hdhouse said...

el hombre...

for the 800zillionth time...look at the timeline. look at the OLC dates and look when waterboarding started.

hdhouse said...

Aaron said...
Every time I hear the president say there is no conflict between security and freedom i want to throw something at the screen....yada yada"

The difference between values and lives is that only on the rarest set of circumstances I can imagine (actually I can't) would i consider risking my life for you. I can routinely think of putting my life on the line for a value. but then again that's me...and your just...well ... you.

elHombre said...

for the 800zillionth time...look at the timeline. look at the OLC dates and look when waterboarding started.

Oh, I get it. You think that because he may have known or been briefed in advance and was part of the administration when waterboarding took place that he has committed some crime.

Wishful thinking. Lefty loons.

elHombre said...

I missed this.

Jeremy, et al: "How about trying to impeach a sitting President for lying about a fucking blowjob? Was that more important than this?"

Do you mean: "How about trying to impeach a sitting President based on conclusive evidence that he committed perjury in front of a grand jury?"

I'm not nearly as good as you secular progressives are at quantifying injustice. What do you think and what does it have to do with this discussion?

PatCA said...

Jeremy,
Are you saying Obama wants to adopt these methods? What is his position on what are these better methods?

Big Mike said...

Given enough time, one can break anybody. If you were in my custody, Jeremy, and I had plenty of time available, I could get you to publicly renounce Barack Obama and register Republican.

But in the special case of KSM we -- the US -- didn't think we had the luxury of time.

I ask the other commenters, if we had captured KSM, dealt with him gently, and as a consequence thereof a plot to kill more American civilians came to fruition, what then? What would you have said then?

So the question is, how many? As in how many American civilians is it okay to risk just so we avoid even the semblance of torture or ill-treatment?

And is your answer still the same if one of the people at risk was one of your kids?

former law student said...

Even if waterboarding were a crime, explain why Cheney, without statutory or constitutional authority over the alleged perpetrators, ... should be concerned about being prosecuted.

Aider and Abettor Liability

Judge Learned Hand defined aiding and abetting liability as requiring mens rea on the part of a
defendant, that the defendant must “in some sort associate
himself with the venture, that he participate in it as in something that he wishes to bring about, that he seek by his action to make it succeed.

Here, Cheney has associated himself with waterboarding by staunchly defending it on every occasion. If he purposely encouraged the perpetrators to waterboard, if he tried to make it happen, then he is liable for waterboarding as an accomplice.

You think that because he may have known or been briefed in advance and was part of the administration when waterboarding took place...

Your other theory in effect is that Cheney lacks mens rea because he relied on legal advice that waterboarding was not torture. This argument fails, however, if he encouraged waterboarding before he received this legal advice. In fact, waterboarding first and seeking advice later, suggests that they sought the legal opinion because they thought waterboarding was illegal, and wanted protective cover. Then, look who they picked to produce the opinion: They did not go to specialists in international humanitarian law, to get the most authoritative opinion, they went to their in-house counsel who relied on Bush's and Cheney's good opinion for thei careers. A combination of ignorance and willingness to please could be expected to lead to a favorable misstatement of the law.

veni vidi vici said...

So, have the elected Democrats with filibuster-proof control over both ends of PA Avenue yet moved to ban waterboarding as torture?

What's taking so long?

Oh yeah, not even *they* believe that it's really torture, where the rubber meets the road. On the other hand, they can play it out long and lubed over the airwaves for the next few years in the expectation that no one among the press will ever call them on the, "Well if it's so awful, where's your outlawing legislation?" question.

Sad thing isn't that they're probably correct in their expectation, it's that their sycophantic partisan-hack fanclub will carry water for them too, calling everyone else the idiots.

Color me amused. Chumpsters! Y'all can keep on gnawing on Jeffrey's Toobsteak for all I care.

elHombre said...

FLS's latest:

Aider and Abettor Liability:
Judge Learned Hand defined aiding and abetting liability as....

Here, Cheney has associated himself with waterboarding by staunchly defending it on every occasion.

Your other theory in effect is that Cheney lacks mens rea because he relied on legal advice ....

Let me be as kind as possible here. Are you shitting me?

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Have you noticed the breadth of territory taken in by your "staunchly defended" standard of "aiding and abetting?" As for the mens rea bit, you're just making stuff up.

You people are really over the top.

Jason said...

former law student:

Aider and Abettor Liability

Judge Learned Hand defined aiding and abetting liability as requiring mens rea on the part of a
defendant, that the defendant must “in some sort associate
himself with the venture, that he participate in it as in something that he wishes to bring about, that he seek by his action to make it succeed.

Here, Cheney has associated himself with waterboarding by staunchly defending it on every occasion. If he purposely encouraged the perpetrators to waterboard, if he tried to make it happen, then he is liable for waterboarding as an accomplice.
fls: Aiding and abetting of what? Waterboarding an illegal combatant on foreign soil was not a crime.

There's nothing there.

You really were a shitty law student, weren't you?

former law student said...

Waterboarding an illegal combatant on foreign soil was not a crime.

In elH's hypothetical it was.

I was trying to point out that the VP could be criminally liable even though he was out of the chain of command, not submitting an answer for a grade.

Big Mike said...

@former_law_student, I ask a plain question and you answer with impenetrable legalese. Hey, res ipsa loquitor to you, too!

Meanwhile, answer the questions. How many? And what would you do if one of the people threatened was your child?

Elmer Stoup said...

Ann, appreciate the sarcasm. But tell me again, why you supported President Obama?

former law student said...

First, I don't think torture works to get accurate information. You can make people confess to things they never did, but you can't make the truth come out.

Now, if I thought torture did work, would I abandon my principles to torture people?

I have to think about this.

Big Mike said...

@former, thanks for that last.

If someone was threatening one of my kids I'd do just about anything to assure his safety. Maybe not everybody feels the same.

As for the first, whether you can get actionable intelligence depends on the questions you ask. If you ask for information that can be independently verified, and if you then are subsequently able to verify it, then of course it worked. If you believe that the CIA's trained interrogators are stupid people who ask poor questions, then ...

But I believe that the interrogators know what they are doing. The CIA gets slammed and slimed by Hollywood -- alternately bumbling idiots or megalomaniacs trying to take over the world. I don't imagine the reality is anything like that.

hdhouse said...

liberals and truth 1. conservatives and lying bastards 0.

we win as always.

Jason said...

fls,

Ok, so waterboarding isn't illegal. Glad we have that settled.

First, I don't think torture works to get accurate information. That's because you have no idea what the f*** you're talking about.

Big Mike said...

@Jason, I call BS. I think that former_law_student certainly knows what he is talking about. IMHO his problem is that he is thinking about interrogation from a legal perspective -- note how he keeps coming back to the word "confess" and variations of the word.

My point is that we don't need to coerce KSM to confess to anything. He was perfectly happy to publicly claim the credit for heinous actions back before he was captured. What we did need was intelligence that we could use to find other terrorists and thwart other attacks. If we'd had plenty of time we could have gotten him to reveal that information without using waterboarding. But how could the Bush administration know that they had time? How do we know even today that we did have time?

elHombre said...

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country.” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence, Obama Administration.

"I don't think torture works to get accurate information. You can make people confess to things they never did, but you can't make the truth come out." Former Law Student, Obama dupe.

Who ya gonna believe?

Jason said...

I think that former_law_student certainly knows what he is talking about.No. He doesn't know a damn thing about interrogation and what is and is not effective, and under what circumstances, and how the process is controlled. He's talking entirely out of his ass. As usual.

If we'd had plenty of time we could have gotten him to reveal that information without using waterboarding. Maybe. Maybe not. FLS and a lot of other libtards seem to be under the illusion that soft approaches to interrogation work miracles. Sometimes they are effective, sometimes not.

People aren't machines, and interrogation is not an exact science, any more than psychotherapy is.

Michael S said...

Jeremy - The militants aren't "in charge" of the more than billion Muslims in the world.

You're an idiot to even say it.

Yeah, right. All those "non-militant" muslims in Denmark boldly protesting the fact that their PM and others in government were being targeted for death and are/were in hiding.

As Mark Steyn once noted:

I long ago lost count of the number of times I’ve switched on the TV and seen crazy guys jumping up and down in the street, torching the Stars and Stripes and yelling ”Death to the Great Satan!” Or torching the Union Jack and yelling ”Death to the Original If Now Somewhat Arthritic And Semi-Retired Satan!” But I never thought I’d switch on the TV and see the excitable young lads jumping up and down in Jakarta, Lahore, Aden, Hebron, etc., etc., torching the flag of Denmark.

Denmark! Even if you were overcome with a sudden urge to burn the Danish flag, where do you get one in a hurry in Gaza? Well, OK, that’s easy: the nearest European Union Humanitarian Aid and Intifada-Funding Branch Office. But where do you get one in an obscure town on the Punjabi plain on a Thursday afternoon? If I had a sudden yen to burn the Yemeni or Sudanese flag on my village green, I haven’t a clue how I’d get hold of one in this part of New Hampshire. Say what you like about the Islamic world, but they show tremendous initiative and energy and inventiveness, at least when it comes to threatening death to the infidels every 48 hours for one perceived offense or another. If only it could be channeled into, say, a small software company, what an economy they’d have.

Big Mike said...

@Jason, I will let FLS defend whether he is using his oral cavity or anal cavity to speak. I'm personally glad to see him indicate that he'd like to think about some of his assumptions. Back when I was a liberal (we were writing in cuniform on clay tablets!) the word "liberal" was nearly a synonym for open-mindedness. In the 21st century, and during the couple decades leading up to it that reversed itself. Any signs of change back are welcome to me.

I see that you are dubious about whether KSM and the other hardcore jihadists could be broken with enough time but without "harsh interrogation techniques." I've read assertions trained interrogators that with enough time anybody can be broken. And some of this country's best interrogators have asserted in print that they could have broken KSM in not much time and without waterboarding.

(Hence my assertion elsewhere that, given enough time, I could get Jeremy to renounce Obama and register Republican. I think placing him in a padded, windowless cell and forcing him to listen to Barry Manilow records 24/7 for a week or two would be enough. I know that one night forced to listen to Adam Lambert singing C&W would break me.)

That makes me a bad guy to have on a jury if you're the prosecution, since if all the police have is a confession I know it could have been extracted without using "harsh interrogation methods" given time enough.

Jason said...

Eh... I know dozens of school-trained, professional interrogators, personally. Fort Huachuca schools them for the Army.

How many professional interrogators does it take to screw in a light bulb?

It takes twelve. One to conduct the interrogation, and another eleven to stand around and say "I could have done it better."

Jason said...

"Given enough time?"

Well, you lose right there. We didn't have 'enough time.'

In the real world, intelligence is HIGHLY perishable. And it's not just because a bombing or terrorist plot serves as the 'ticking time bomb' impetus.

The clock starts ticking as soon as you capture someone like KSM. Because all his network knowledge... knowledge of names, aliases, whereabouts, plots, phone numbers, emails, safe houses, passwords, frequencies, meeting sites, drop sites, financiers, banks, charities, bank accounts, etc., rapidly become obsolete the minute someone in his network realizes he's been captured.

Anyone who thinks we have time to sit around and play chess and spend three weeks 'developing a rapport' with this scumbag, as if he were a German rocket scientist from WWII, is just not dealing in reality.

Big Mike said...

@Jason, I'm not sure we're on different sides of this discussion. The comment I posted at about this time last night included this: "what we did need was intelligence that we could use to find other terrorists and thwart other attacks. If we'd had plenty of time we could have gotten him to reveal that information without using waterboarding. But how could the Bush administration know that they had time? How do we know even today that we did have time"?

(Emphasis added.)

So, yes, we needed actionable intelligence immediately and needed to apply every technique available that did not cause permanent bodily or mental harm (which is a paraphrase of the wording in the applicable treaty).

Before you started name-calling I think I had gotten FLS, and perhaps others to start to come around to this point of view.

Anyway, do the interrogators you know from Fort Gesundheit at least agree that anyone can be broken given enough time? I used to do contracting at some of the federal law enforcement agencies and I recall hearing something to that effect.

(Yes, yes, I know it's Ft. Huachuca, but the name has always tickled my funny bone. I was out there once several years ago. On my way to the airport I realized that I had forgotten to pack my umbrella. Then I thought, who needs an umbrella in Sierra Vista, AZ? So of course it rained all day.)

kentuckyliz said...

The title quotebit is a milkthroughnoser. He talks real purty while he imposes a rigid ideology on our problems.