August 24, 2009

Is the CIA investigation an attempt to distract us ...

... from the health care mess?

77 comments:

Seven Machos said...

Yes, but the flu scare is the big one. It's pretty good. I must admit. But only in the sense that the Hail Mary is a pretty good play at the end of a football game.

It's unlikely to change anything.

As for the CIA business, I'm not clear what the political point is. Yeah, let's bring up one thing Bush did right and piss off the spies. That'll be good.

Jana said...

Well, we were all waiting to see what they'd throw at us to distract from the health care debate and the little matter of a 2 trillion deficit recalculation.

It seems like a bad idea to me. The only people who are going to like this idea are a sliver of the electorate. Everyone else is going to wonder when they're gonna get to fixing the economy.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am not sure if this is Obama's idea, or Holder's. I almost think that this is just one more example of Obama not having much control over his people.

Of course, you never really know, since he also seems to backtrack a lot when his netroots backers start going after him for backtracking on his promises (he seems to take those promises a lot more seriously than he does his "moderate" promises, such as debt reduction and no taxes).

Revenant said...

I doubt it. The Obama administration has shown no sign of being competent enough to carefully time a convenient political distraction.

It is more likely that the CIA investigation is just the usual "waaah we were mean to terrorists" crap that Dems have been on about for years.

Methadras said...

Uh duh, yes. So much for the post torture movement within the WH. Someone didn't get the memo.

Florida said...

I have to assume that the Holder investigation is an attempt to make Barack Obama look like a humongous pussy.

Newsweek details the torture: "In addition, the report says that agency interrogators smoked cigars "and blew smoke in Al-Nashiri's face," and yanked him up while he was shackled in ways that raised concerns that his arms might be dislocated.

Yea, cigar smoke blown in the face. HOW. DARE. THEY!

Meanwhile, today Obama released an actual Afghanistani enemy combatant.

"According to Reuters, the administration released Mohammed Jawad to his home in Afghanistan. Jawad had been accused of throwing a grenade in 2002 that injured two U.S. soldiers and their interpreter in Kabul. He has returned to his family, according to his lawyer."

So, on the one hand, you have Holder going after the smoke-blowers over at the CIA, and on the other hand you have Obama releasing actual prisoners of war to continue their exploits on an active battlefield.

I can only conclude that today's actions are designed to make Barack Obama look like a traitor to his country.

These actions seem like impeachable offenses. I wonder, if the Republicans take control of Congress in 2010, whether they woudl be interested in investigating Obama's untimely release of prisoners of war?

Beta Conservative said...

Moving forward, the CIA questioners have been instructed to dress like Black Panthers and intimidate the detainees with night sticks.

Charges will not be filed.

Joaquin said...

Oh yeah, the investigation of CIA agents of possibly making terrorist a little uncomfortable is certainly a hot issue on every American dinner table.
This is nothing but an attempt to throw a bit of red-meat at the wacko-left at the expense of our intelligence services. But then again, does anyone really think this administration gives 2 $hits about intelligence?

The Drill SGT said...

I understand there as a number of GOP Senators oissed at this, after Holder privately assured them during his pre-confirmation one-one-ones that there would be no witch hunt.

jacksonianlawyer said...

Yes.

Ralph L said...

to throw a bit of red-meat at the wacko-left
Who recoiled in horror and disgust.

NO MEAT

TRO said...

It's been investigated to death - there's nothing there.

And of course it's meant to distract us. But it won't work. Instead it only makes Barry look more manipulative and showcases that he has no clue what to do about health care and the economy.

It's also meant as some red meat to the far left since he is going to bail on them on the public option.

The sad thing is some good men and women at the CIA who did their best to protect America - and succeeded in doing so - are going to have to suffer because of his political games, and our future intelligence efforts will be hampered because intelligence officers are going to say, "Screw this, I'm not doing anything anymore."

traditionalguy said...

Seems to me to be another demonstration that Obama has the USA under his control. Prosecuting bad men for bad actions shows no special power...but prosecuting good men on phoney charges shows that Obama has real power over us. That encourages the far left to hang in with their guy, which has been the hot issue for Obama's future for the last two weeks.

rdkraus said...

1. Distraction.

2. Bone to left for botching Socialized Medicine. There, I said socialized out loud.

Florida said...

"I understand there as a number of GOP Senators pissed at this, after Holder privately assured them during his pre-confirmation one-one-ones that there would be no witch hunt."

Yes ... and the Libyans privately assured the Scots that there wouldn't be a massive demonstration at the airport.

I'm starting to wonder if we can trust these people when they make promises.

hdhouse said...

very nice to see the psychotic right wing out in such numbers this morning.

your hour of sunlight is just about over though so time to head back to your caves.

David Walser said...

Intended to be a distraction? Partly, yes. However, I think it's intended to be a distraction from the release of the CIA memos Dick Cheney had asked to be released this past Spring. Those memos, in redacted form, were released yesterday -- amid stories of Holder's decision to investigate the CIA's use of torture. The memos document and support Cheney's claims that the CIA's interrogations of terrorists yielded valuable information that saved American lives.

I say the investigation is only partly an attempt to distract us because I believe, absent political considerations, Obama and Holder would have started an investigation January 21st.

SteveR said...

Theoretically Holder can and should operate independent of the WH political winds and realistically how quickly can this type of investigation take place (see Whitewater)?

But given the evidence so far I'm not discounting any possible explanation for the actions of this administration.

Crimso said...

"your hour of sunlight is just about over though so time to head back to your caves."

Sunlight gives life and takes it away in about equal measure.

Obama really is an idiot if he thinks the CIA won't wage war against him the way they did against Bush. Only this time, with their necks on the line, they'll fight much harder and much dirtier. Which is (or at least should be) right up their alley.

Florida said...

"... very nice to see the psychotic right wing out in such numbers this morning."

I see the Hamptons limousine liberal crowd has pulled itself out of bed.

Glad you could joins us, lovey.

TRO said...

"very nice to see the psychotic right wing out in such numbers this morning.

your hour of sunlight is just about over though so time to head back to your caves."

That's what you want us to do, that's true. You and Barry and Nancy and Harry and Barney and the rest all want us to just shut the hell up already and let you rule.

But it ain't happening.

Enjoy your few years in charge. The way things are going it will be another decade before you get the chance again.

Scott M said...

I don't know if the CIA thing is an orchestrated distraction, but I'll bet you good money they will use the H1N1 scare this fall to do so.

Roger J. said...

What Crimso said--for starters I am an advocate for abolishing the CIA--Read "legacy of ashes" for a good history of their incompetence.As nearly as I can tell they havent been right about anything in 50 years.

But as Crimso notes, if you piss them off they are now what Hoover's FBI used to be--they leak like sieves, they will come up with new intelligence estimates to make any president look bad, and are in general gutter fighters--In a way, the southside chicago gang in the white house deserves the opponents they are about to get.

Time to pop the popcorn and open a beer--even if I am not invited to the White House for the beer party.

AlphaLiberal said...

"Is the CIA investigation an attempt to distract us ..."

No.

This conspiracy theory is a distraction, itself, from the torture done in our name.

The fact that never reaches Fox News fans is that much torture was done, and people were tortured to death in several cases.

Oh, BTW, Ann, Cheney got his report released. Will you be showing us how he is vindicated and that torture works?

AlphaLiberal said...

Right, Scott M. Swine flu is all a big conspiracy to distract you. And the nations of the world are all in on the conspiracy, too.

Man oh man it's pretty crazy on the right these days.

Scott M said...

@AlphaLiberal

I’m willing to have an honest discussion (re: ideological blindness /off) on the use of torture as an intelligence tool if you’re willing to have an honest discussion over the fact that these methods got results, visa vi the very report your citing.

And…

I never said anything about H1N1 being a conspiracy. I said, in essence, that a pragmatic administration facing tough poll numbers, hostility toward it’s key policies, etc, will use a legitimate crisis to their favor. Hell, the chief of staff as much as admitted that was in his playbook. Right next to his list of family members he’s got jobs lined up for.

AlphaLiberal said...

"We're going to kill your children"

I wonder if that threat to one prisoner resulted in actionable intelligence?

How about when they beat people to death, hung them from the walls for hours or days, or shackled them to the floor?

Did that make us safer?

they waterboarded KSM 183 times in, what, two months? Did waterboarding someone 183 times make us a stronger or better nation?

Republicants are proud to be the Party of torture. Well, new flash, you lose all your claims to moral superiority when you support torture.

You see, torture is wrong. Good countries don't torture. You have stained our country's good name.

AlphaLiberal said...

Scott, I've written extensively in these pages on how torture does not work, except on TV. (and that is "fiction.")

Short version before I leave Crazytown:
* We defeated Tojo and Hitler without becoming barbarians.

* WWII interrogators are adamantly opposed to using torture. you can look it up (Wash Post had a good story). They flatly reject the right wing smear that they tortured.

* A long list of military leaders, including General Petreaus, say torture doesn't work and raises the likelihood our troops will be tortured.

* Torture is illegal by US law and treaty. (Ronald Reagan, that pansy, signed the convention against torture that Bush and Cheney violated)

I know the Repubs are cooking up some new talking points for y'all on these new report, which will show up here momentarily.

Even if torture did "work", it is deeply immoral.

AlphaLiberal said...

Scott M:

I don't know if the CIA thing is an orchestrated distraction, but I'll bet you good money they will use the H1N1 scare this fall to do so. .

That's as clear a statement of a conspiracy as you can get without using the word. How else would they accomplish this swine flu distraction that you allege if they don't conspire?

AlphaLiberal said...

Closing out a window with excerpts from the IG report, I see this quote for you all to deny, ignore and excuse away:

"Inasmuch as (enhanced interrogation techniques) have been used only since August 2002, and they have not all been used with every high value detainee, there is limited data on which to assess their individual effectiveness.

No doubt by the end of the day a new alternate reality will be constructed by think tanks and FoxNEws in the minds of right wingers where torture saved Americans.

You guys are so Orwellian.

traditionalguy said...

A L ...The governing by a majority among a diverse people such as the USA will always require a careful plan to start a fire at the north end of town while robbing the bank at the south end of town, So, yes there is a conspiracy not to reveal true plans until an outcome has become the law. A law against threatening death and mayhem to terrorist murderers is not in existance yet. Why don't you get Pelossi and Reid to pass one? If self defense is immoral, as you claim, then pass a law on that.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here is some debunking of the Cheney/Republican claim that torture works:

CIA Documents Provide Little Cover for Cheney Claims .

n fact, throughout both documents, many passages — though several are incomplete and circumstantial, actually suggest the opposite of Cheney’s contention: that non-abusive techniques actually helped elicit some of the most important information the documents cite in defending the value of the CIA’s interrogations. .

Oh, to correct myself, and they waterboarded KSM 183 times in one month. There is a word for that: sadism.

The Real Barack said...

Obama is the first transparent president! I would never do such a dastardly thing to divert attention.

wv = disab
wv2= blatera

The Real Barack said...

BTW:

Alpha Liberal = bad liberal. I bet he does not use deodorant.

Garage Mahal = sorta kinda OK liberal. I may even have a beer with Garage.

Scott M said...

@AlphaLiberal

That's as clear a statement of a conspiracy as you can get without using the word. How else would they accomplish this swine flu distraction that you allege if they don't conspire?

Okay, I’ll grant you the point. But under that burden, any political move to distract from this or that is a conspiracy. I was referring specifically to distraction without concentrating on the conspiracy (as it’s usually used) moniker.

As far as torture and your WWII citations are concerned, I’m with you. I will go back to the standards you cite if you will allow warfare to be prosecuted in the same manner with the same rules we did WWII. Inasmuch as you agree with me on that, I would call into question you and, assuming you don’t speak for the entirety of the American left, the definition of the word, “barbarian” especially in regards to our methods during WWII. Even accepting that the OSS or other apparatus of the Allied command didn’t torture any prisoners for intelligence, I take it from your own comments that you’re just fine and dandy with wholesale slaughter of civilian populations, unilateral invasions of sovereign nations and/or their territory, the use of nukes, the use of carpet bombing, internment of poeple based solely on race, the destruction of religious and cultural landmarks, etc, etc.

If you agree to the latter part, I suppose we can call this an agreement and move on with our lives.

However, since the United States actually bends over backwards NOT to do those things in modern warfare, including using nukes (which a very vocal contingent of liberal historians believe was, dare I say, barbaric), I think we (more accurately you) have to, at the very least, stop comparing WWII to this modern conflict.

Hoosier Daddy said...

AlphaLib saidShort version before I leave Crazytown:
* We defeated Tojo and Hitler without becoming barbarians.


Indeed. We didn't torture German and Japanese POWs. Instead we incinerated their cities with 24/7 strategic bombing and a couple A-bombs.

I'm so glad that Alpha believes we took the moral high road in defeating Nazism and Imperial Japan.

What a maroon.

Hoosier Daddy said...

A long list of military leaders, including General Petreaus, say torture doesn't work and raises the likelihood our troops will be tortured.

Well considering that those troops unfortunate enough to have been captured by the Islamofascists thus far have been murdered and dismembered into little pieces much like the innocent civilians I'd say that's a moot point.

What else ya got Alpha?

Revenant said...

The fact that never reaches Fox News fans is that much torture was done, and people were tortured to death in several cases.

It isn't that I'm unaware of those allegations, Alpha. Its that I don't care if they are true.

If getting information out of terrorists means slow-grilling them over a charcoal fire with their eyes gouged out and their fingers cut off, why, that's fine by me. More, please.

Revenant said...

A long list of military leaders, including General Petreaus, say torture doesn't work

They're mistaken.

hdhouse said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Well considering that those troops unfortunate enough to have been captured by the Islamofascists thus far have been murdered and dismembered into little pieces much like the innocent civilians I'd say that's a moot point."

How many is that you pea-brain? how many of our troops suffered that fate? got a number or is it the amount of fingers you can pull out of your ass when caught telling yet another lie.

and then there is Revenant who said...
A long list of military leaders, including General Petreaus, say torture doesn't work. They're mistaken."

says you? you torture us with your logic almost daily. it has driven a lot of us screaming into the night....so what is your source here? not some bullshit he said she said stuff. share with us please.

Hoosier Daddy said...

A long list of military leaders, including General Petreaus, say torture doesn't work

They're mistaken.


Of course they're mistaken. Everyone has a breaking point, the question is how long it takes you to get there.

Christopher Hitchens boasted on the Dennis Miller show that Churchill never condoned torture and the Brits were able to turn several Nazi agents without tortue. Bully for Winston and I'm sure the residents of Dresden appreciated his concern for the welfare of captured Nazis.

I guess one has to take it as an article of faith that the reason we're torturing Islamofascists is because we're sadists and not using the Army Field Manual because it gets better results but because we enjoy watching swarthy fellows suffer.

Or perhaps we're waterboarding because we're not dealing with captured Prussin officers of a Westernized armed forces but rather a bunch of 11th century religious fanatics who really have no motivating factor to cooperate.

Playing by Alpha's rulebook, you have to treat me with respect, humanely, get my three squares a day plus religious freedom all the while I tell you to go fuck yourself and your family and you can't do jack shit about it.

Alpha, if we were actually allowed to fight this war like we did Hitler and Tojo, it would have been over 7 years ago.

Hoosier Daddy said...

How many is that you pea-brain? how many of our troops suffered that fate? got a number or is it the amount of fingers you can pull out of your ass when caught telling yet another lie.

Hi dickhead.

Well let see, there was the Navy Seal who had his throat slit early in the Afghan campaign when he was
left behind. Then there were the three US soldiers who were ambushed and captured in Iraq and were later found sliced and diced up. Well that's only four that I remember off the top of my head. I don't think the Red Cross has been allowed to visit that one poor sap who was the most recent soldier captured so who knows what his fate is. Sorry if that's not enough for you shit for brains.

Then again, considering that the Islamofascists don't hesitate a second to behead civilians like Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg and others it sorta stands to reason our soldiers won't be treated any differently. Note I said reason, something you evidently lost some time ago.

madawaskan said...

Bruce Hayden-

I am not sure if this is Obama's idea, or Holder's.

Who declassified the memos?

Obama or Holder?

There's your answer.

Obama owns it.

madawaskan said...

And, actually the linkage is-

the CIA memo drip, drip, drip declassification is to get the Republicans nuetralized on Health Care.


Health Care reform is about cutting off one of the last sources of financial contributions to the Republican party.

Doctors, pharma and insurance.

Cap and Trade and "green laws" will take care of the rest...

So while most of us did suspect that with control of the Executive, and House and Senate Democrats would revert back to there ruthless rule changes....

Now they are cutting off the Republican Party at the funding...

It's the demise of the two party system.

And, some Republican fiscal Conservative voters were naive enough to fall for the-

"Jacksonian Democrat Ruse"-

Like Jim Webb.

{but then spinning "fiction" is his specialty.}

Big Mike said...

I see that there was a short-lived attempt to spin off into H1N1. I hope that the Professor does do a post on that, because my own sense is that Obama is now trying to channel Gerald Ford and I can't wait to see an "Obama is like Gerald Ford" tag to go with the "Obama is like Bush" and "Obama is like Nixon" tags.

Big Mike said...

Getting back to the Professor's original question, I think that the answer has to be in the affirmative -- this has all the earmarks of being Obama's way to "Wag the Dog."

Assuming that this link is an accurate summary, then the "enhanced interrogation techniques" saved American lives and nothing else would have worked in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

I have a son working for the federal government, and Washington is a logical target for a terrorist attack. So I'm not interested in the slightest whether "Alpha" is upset that we used "torture" to get information necessary to protect the US. I don't want to attend a funeral for a child I helped raise from the moment he popped out of his mother to adulthood.

Revenant said...

says you?

Me among others, e.g. the CIA interrogation experts who selected the techniques.

so what is your source here?

Well, here is just one example, from notorious right-wing rag Salon.com.

It is obvious that torture can be used effectively, it just can't be used universally. It is an effective means of gathering information that can be confirmed. For example, say I want to know your ATM number. I gouge out your right eye and inform you that if you don't give me the correct number I will gouge out the other one, then start in on your tongue, eardrums and fingers.

Now, you have exactly two responses to that scenario:

(1): Claim that you absolutely would not give me your ATM number, and would instead opt to let me leave you a blind deaf-mute with no fingers, or

(2): Admit that torture sometimes works.

Ball's in your court, Garage. :)

Revenant said...

Sorry, that should be HDHouse, not Garage. I have trouble telling you apart.

Crimso said...

"We defeated Tojo and Hitler without becoming barbarians."

I suspect survivors of Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, etc. would disagree. Absolute moral authority, you see.

John Kiriakou is on record as opposing waterboarding as torture, but says it unquestionably saved lives (i.e., it worked). It is a valid argument to say even if it works it is still inhumane and illegal (kind of like McCain-Feingold), but anyone asserting it doesn't work might read up a bit on Jeremiah Denton. Remember the sarcastic line from "Full Metal Jacket:" "Guess they'd rather be alive than free. Poor dumb bastards." I'd rather our people be alive and sullied by torture of KSM done in their name than vaporized when a building collapses. Too bad we can't ask their opinion.

Ted Bundy shouldn't have been tortured, only executed. But if he had a live victim stashed away aomewhere when he was caught, I would have had no qualms whatsoever "extracting" the info from him. Same with KSM and the non-human animals like him. This doesn't make me a sadist. It makes me a sensible person. The fact that you can't see the sense in it is a point we'll have to disagree on. Watch some of the beheading videos and get back to me on this.

Big Mike said...

@Rev, garage is the one who's more or less educable. If you can keep the discussion off healthcare he wouldn't be a bad guy to go out for a beer with. hdhouse and Alpha would be good to go have dinner with only if you're on a diet, because 30 seconds of listening to their bilge would surely act like a nice emetic.

Our resident troll is even worse.

AlphaLiberal said...

Reading so much from Republicans we see, again, that they embrace torture and reject our ideals in the process because they are afraid.

Innocent people have been tortured. Somehow, torturing innocent people - some to death - makes right wingers feel safer.

It's hard to reason with people who reject the real world experience of WWII interrogators in favor of the series "24."

Really, you people are clinging to fiction. Does it get more deluded than that?

AlphaLiberal said...

Remember the sarcastic line from "Full Metal Jacket:" " .

Again, fiction. Drama.

An estimated 100 detainees have died during interrogations, some who were clearly tortured to death. .

Our government tortured people to death. What kind of people support that?

What kind of people support torturing innocent people?

I wish conservatives had the humility (they never will) to ask themselves "What have I become?"

Answer: SADISTS. That's all you have left.

AlphaLiberal said...

I suspect survivors of Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, etc. would disagree. Absolute moral authority, you see. .

Point taken. The toll of war.

AlphaLiberal said...

More ignorance on display:

A long list of military leaders, including General Petreaus, say torture doesn't work

They're mistaken.

Of course they're mistaken. Everyone has a breaking point, the question is how long it takes you to get there.
.

General David Petreaus, as interviewed on FoxNews:

What I would ask is, does that not take away from our enemies a tool, which again they have beaten us around the head and shoulders in the court of public opinion? When we have taken steps that have violated the Geneva Convention, we rightly have been criticized. And so as we move forward, I think it is important to again live our values to live the agreements that we have made in the international justice arena and to practice those.

More from General Petreaus opposing torture:

He rejected the argument that torture is sometimes needed to quickly obtain crucial information. "Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary," he stated. .

Crimso said...

"The toll of war."

Along those lines, I once asked an oncologist that if he had to have cancer, what form would he choose. He looked puzzled for a minute and then said "Let me put it to you this way: Cancer is never a good thing to have." Neither is war. But just as there are worse ways to die than cancer, so there are worse ways to resolve disputes than war(though most ways are better for everyone involved). Ask the Czechs about that. Hell, ask the whole damned world about it with respect to Hitler remilitarizing the Rhineland. He himself said that if the French had moved to stop him he would have been finished.

AlphaLiberal said...

Republicans: the Party of Torture.

When you're in a hole, please, keep digging, bitches. The American people are too decent to embrace torture, as you do.

Big Mike said...

The US committed no atrocities against German prisoners of war?

That's a joke, right? The depiction of surrendering Germans being gunned down on D-Day in Saving Private Ryan is based on fact, though Ryan itself is a work of fiction. The slaughter of German prisoners who had surrendered and were under guard depicted in Band of Brothers is also fact-based. The actions of American soldiers in France wasn't as bad as what the Germans did to surrendered American troops at Malmedy during the Battle of the Bulge, but there's no sense in looking at World War II through rose-colored glasses just because it happened 65 years ago. The "Fort Hunt" men referenced by Alpha only saw the prisoners that lived to reach the United States, weeks after their surrender, and there is no guarantee that harsher methods were not used while the battle was still going on and the need for tactical intelligence was acute.

Seven Machos said...

Alpha -- Of course Americans embrace torture. So much so, in fact, that wise leaders must consciously formulate a policy that uses it sparingly.

This goes along with a larger point. Americans were never against the Iraq War. They were against losing it. We want to win. We don't care how.

If you think Obama won based on being against torture, you are woefully mistaken. And, by the way, if you think that, it means that some 47 percent of registered voters who voted are pro-torture.

Cedarford said...

Althouse - "Is the CIA investigation an attempt to distract us ...
... from the health care mess?"

Perhaps it is, but the danger is that it does not serve as a "distraction" but constitutes what will be seen in hindsight as another nail in the TelePrompter Reader's political coffin.

Think Jimmy Carter. He thought his Malaise Speech would distract from his culpability for America's horrendous economic problems. Instead, he reinforced culpability and even more people blamed him. And he thought getting photo'd jogging, the vigorous leader, would distract te country from his lack of resolve about the Iranian Hostage crisis. Instead, he pushed too hard and collapsed on a hot humid day and was the picture of drained, slack-jawed weakness. Then the idiot thought he could get sympathy and distract from the bad news by reporting he was attacked by a fierce rabbit while canoeing, and boldly used his paddle to pound away on the swimming marauder..

Think how it will fall on Obama as ACLU Jews are calling for the heads of CIA agents dressed in their Reservist full dress Marine uniforms in a courthouse. As another attack happens or as national media covers the funerals of 3 soldiers killed by Obama freeing a known dangerous terrorist from GITMO. Or a mistrial is declared for the 2nd time in 2011 for the 9/11 Mastermind, KSM...whose lawyers announce KSM will publish his 1st book and expects millions in earnings to go to his family.

AlphaLiberal said...

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. .

- Thomas Paine, 1795

Hat tip to Glenn Greenwald



The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called "universal jurisdiction." Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution.
.

- Ronald Reagan, 1988

AlphaLiberal said...

An estimated 100 detainees have died during interrogations, some who were clearly tortured to death. .

- John Sifton, 2009

We took a wrong turn a few years back and need to correct our way or we will go badly astray.

Seven Machos said...

Hey, dumb ass: are rogue terrorist regimes signatories to the convention?

Do you understand the concept of a convention?

Seven Machos said...

Americans will never accept the liquidation of terrorists who want to kill us and destroy our country.

Dale said...

Khalid Sheik Mohammed was threatened that his family would be killed if he didn't cooperate.

Hell yes!

If it's ultimately about my family or his? Oh hell yes!

Revenant said...

I see I made a mistake in trusting that HDHouse was accurately conveying Petreaus' beliefs:

More from General Petreaus opposing torture: He rejected the argument that torture is sometimes needed to quickly obtain crucial information. "Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary," he stated.

"Frequently neither useful nor necessary" means "sometimes useful and necessary". When something "never works", as HDHouse claimed was true of torture, you say "never useful or necessary".

Petreaus conceded that torture sometimes works, and that it is sometimes necessary. He simply argued that we still shouldn't use torture because it is illegal and/or immoral. That's a fine argument to make, and I would recommend that opponents of torture stick to it. Because if you base your opposition to torture on a claim that it doesn't actually work, you fail to convince those people bright enough to acknowledge that it does.

Cedarford said...

Crimso - Ted Bundy shouldn't have been tortured, only executed. But if he had a live victim stashed away aomewhere when he was caught, I would have had no qualms whatsoever "extracting" the info from him. Same with KSM and the non-human animals like him. This doesn't make me a sadist. It makes me a sensible person.

I have always thought that once convicted, the court should have the power to order further interrogation of the convicted felon in certain major crimes, to resolve other crimes, and get critical details of crimes that were resolved at trial. Such as interrogation of a serial killer until they give all the locations of disposed of bodies for the families, and societies interest. Or interrogating a Wall Street crook on precisely how he worked his 205 million dollar scam, and who else was involved not known at trial..Or interrogating major drug barons. (to allow America and law enforcement to better understand how they work, the technical and logistic resources they have in organized crime syndicates, who in police, courts they have bought off)

I'd balance that with assurance that more criminal charges would not be possible to be lodged based on what was forced out of them after conviction - to reconcile post-conviction interrogation with the 5th. And allow more chances to exonorate - by partially subsidizing DNA tests (do-gooder groups and the convict and convicts family would have to put up most of it to cut down on expensive, specious lab testing and private forensics resources that have to be employed.)

Chase said...

'It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department." –Attorney General Eric Holder, April 2009


"Justice Department Names Prosecutor to Reopen CIA Abuse Cases" –Wall Street Journal, yesterday


This country will live to regret this witch hunt.

I thought of Holder as a patriot. now I see that he's a stooge, a fearful, little man with no backbone or inner fortitude. What a sad, pathetic excuse for an American. What a terrible human being.

Revenant said...

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty.

We're not torturing terrorists to punish them, silly.

As for the Ronald Reagan quote, it is worth noting that at the point where he made that speech, the United States was -- with his knowledge -- training "enhanced interrogators" for anti-Communist regimes around the world.. :)

Dale said...

I'd be willing to allow the torture of Eric Holder if it means he would resign and crawl back under his anti-American rock.

Dale said...

Alpha Liberal and Hdhouse,

How you can decry torture on one hand and still applaud having Rahm Emmanuel and the Chicago enforcers in the White House?

Dale said...

Leftist leaks from the report that has leftists wetting themselves over with glee seem to miss other equally valid points on the parts they don't like.

When it comes to the controversial enhanced techniques, the report suggests — to the extent it can be determined — that they worked: “It is not possible to say definitely that the waterboard is the reason for Abu Zubaydah’s increased production, or if another factor, such as the length of detention, was the catalyst. Since the use of the waterboard, however, Abu Zubaydah has appeared to be cooperative”; “because of the litany of techniques used by different interrogators over a relatively short period of time, it is difficult to identify exactly why [Abd al-Rahim] al-Nashiri became more willing to provide information. However, following the use of EITs, he provided information about his most current operational planning and [redacted] as opposed to the historical information he provided before the use of EITs”; “Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete.”

Dale said...

Another part of the report that refutes the Leftist's who hate Anerica cry that "torture never works"


Prior to the use of EITs, Abu Zubaydah provided information for [redacted] intelligence reports. Interrogators applied the waterboard to Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times during August 2002. During the period between the end of the use of the waterboard and 30 April 2003, he provided information for approximately [redacted] additional reports. It is not possible to say definitely that the waterboard is the reason for Abu Zubaydah's increased production, or if another factor, such as the length of detention, was the catalyst. Since the use of the waterboard, however, Abu Zubaydah has appeared to be cooperative.


If someone becomes "more cooperative" after waterboarding than they were before waterboarding, what would that mean?


Hmmmmmmm?

Dale said...

More from the report that he Anti-American left don't want you to take at face value:

Four [redacted] who were interviewed admitted to either participating in one of the above-described incidents or hearing about them. [Redacted] described staging a mock execution of a detainee. Reportedly, a detainee who witnessed the "body" in the aftermath of the ruse "sang like a bird."

Ralph L said...

Such as interrogation of a serial killer until they give all the locations of disposed of bodies
This happened on "The Closer" last night. Brenda threatened a serial killer with extradition & execution in Texas. Sixteen grisly murder details later, she changed her mind about keeping him in California.

pastypch - the ancient symbolic language of strippers.

veni vidi vici said...

"We defeated Tojo and Hitler without becoming barbarians."


Okie dokie. I'm reminded of the story of the US liberation of one of the concentration camps, when, upon seeing the state of the prisoners and realizing what went on there, the US officers rounded up the German guards and officers still on the scene and lined them up and summarily shot them dead on the spot.

I bet Alpha is still incensed about our inhumanity to those Naws. American officers' heads should have rolled!

Scott M said...

@Alpha

Since you're taking the moral high ground on torture and cutting it specifically across party lines, I have to ask what you're basing this all on. Is it the value of a human life? Is it the removal or disregard for that persons liberty? Or is it the causing of pain?

Please explain.

And, further, please explain why you didn't answer any of the charges about your incorrect analogies to WWII and our "barbaric" practices then and now.

Revenant said...

I have to ask what you're basing this all on. Is it the value of a human life? Is it the removal or disregard for that persons liberty? Or is it the causing of pain?

It is based on the torturers being Republicans. :)