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I wish you were an Obama advisor.

Yeah, then he wouldn't have to pay taxes. :) (Hey, it was there... I HAD to!)

One quick question. Since all of these "tortures" are the same tactics used during SERE training, shouldn't we have been prosecuting military personnel for years for torturing our poor, helpless military men and women?

Nobody is forced to take SERE.

Frank, surely you understand the difference between voluntary and involuntary. It's why we prosecute rape but not sex, even though it's essentially the same physical act.

It's also why we can have capital punishment and still prosecute murder, because of the rule of law.

This isn't hard, Frank. We'll put you down as one in favor of torture. I'm not surprised. You've been defending it here for years.

You know I was against the release of the memos and in truth I continue to believe that the release caused more harm than good in the sense that our enemy now knows what techniques we use to against terrorists. However, I must congratulate President O'Bama on one thing. In one quick act, he has demonstrated just how pathetic you torture agonists really are.

We slapped the prisoners (just between the cheek and earlobe!)? The horror! We shoved them into walls but took special care that they didn't get whiplash? An outrage! We put a guy in a box with a caterpillar? Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

Turns out, the worst thing I can find that we did was splash some water in the faces of three guys for about 30 seconds a piece. My goodness lets just all apologize right now for what was done in our name! If anything, the memos reveal the lengths we'll go to to get information out of people who flew planes into buildings, killed thousands or innocent men and women who were just trying to make a living and support their now orphaned children while simultaneously ensuring that we protect the terrorists general health and well being.

And for this you want trials of the good men and women who have served this country well over the past nearly 8 years. No further attacks on American soil, 20 million people freed from dictatorship with a chance to take democratic control of their future, and our key enemy reduced to hiding in caves and eating goat over open fires. Yes, these folks surely should be jailed.

Pathetic. Just so I'm clear, I'm talking about you.

All the more so because we know that key Democratic leaders knew all about these methods from virtually the very beginning of these programs and their only question was "are we doing enough". Yet even with this knowledge you have yet to suggest that these Democrats, Pelosi and a few others, should go on trial with the hated BushCheney. So lets see just how committed to principle you are. Will you insist that Pelosi should be brought up on charges? In fact, since the entire Democratic controlled Congress refused to explicitly vote against these techniques will you insist that they should be brought up on charges too? Or at the very least, will you insist that each sitting Democrat, who knew we were doing these things resign for failing to speak out and do their job to explicitly make these techniques illegal?

Of course we know the answer. You'll do none of the above, because you're just a partisan hack who would rather attack his country to gain political advantage, than seek true justice based on principle.

You must be very proud.

I'm not for letting Pelosi, Reid et al off the hook, nor Obama's folks for continued warrantless wiretapping. I'm guessing you think this is just being really anti-American. If we flay some guy alive to get the informatin that would save thousands, we fail as a nation, living under the rule of law. Yes, the bad guys do bad Shit. Hence, bad guys. I don't want to be a live bad guy. I would rather be a dead good guy. Sometimes patriotism means being ready to fight for your country. Most of the time it means believing in the ideal enough that you are willing to accept the consequences of your belief. So, do you not believe in the ideal of America that so many willingly died for or are you just unable to accept the responsibility? I'm not asking if you're ready to kill America's enemies, I'm asking if you are ready to die for what we believe in.

"We do not, as a rule, allow politicians to decide, based on political convenience, that breaking the law was all right."

Yes, we do.

"I don't want to be a live bad guy. I would rather be a dead good guy." Funny how many agree with this - unless you change it to "I don't want to be a middle-to-upper-class bad guy. I would rather be a poor good guy," at which point they want bank bailouts and to load their children with debt... which suggests to me that they simply feel far enough away from the issue to where they can act principled. The moment something affects them: whatever works! Screw ideology!

Obviously, I can't speak for anyone other than myself but I've had a real, not a figurative gun pressed against my head and been asked if I still stood by my beliefs. I was fortunate that the idiot didn't pull the trigger but I did learn that I would rather be a dead good guy than a live weasel. I always thought that people like you and Dick Cheney were misguided patriots who really loved America. It never occured to me until just now that fear and cowardice, not love of country, might be their prime motivators. To you, I recommend getting a copy of the CIA World Book. Pick out a nice, safe police state and immigrate. You'll fit right in. Just remember to stay on the State's good side. Most people forget that when you grant the State the power to torture, you've given them the right to torture you.

You misunderstand me, Wally. I'm not a supporter of those things (at least not anymore; it took until a few years after Bush entered office for me to develop on a number of issues); my point was the fear and cowardice was indeed a motivator of the giving away of freedoms and oppression of others. I was just noting that fear and cowardice were in the very same sense the motivating powers behind our overreactions in economic, social, municipal, etc. fields, as well.

From WaPo:

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

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

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

The fact that Democrats knew of, agreed, and actually encouraged these tactics doesn't condone -- or condemn -- what was done.

It just means that among our leadership, there was near universal agreement that after weighing alternatives and possibilities, these were deemed necessary.

There's been a lot of... convenient... ex post facto moral preening concerning this topic.

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