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04/20/2009

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So, evidently this has turned into a personal attack blog?

Wow.

Masturbatory torture porn for Dick Cheney!?

So we made the person who planned the deaths of thousands of Americans uncomfortable and you want trials and arrests. Fair enough.

When would you like the arrest and trials to begin for the Navy SEALS who killed 3 Somali teenagers (who were threatening a single American and were responsible for NO deaths) to begin? Oh, and since King Barry was so quick to take credit for this crime, let him stand trial first.


It was a serious question: at what point to obvious lies cause people who support the Bush policy to question the policy? That's not an attack; it's a serious question. Certainly, you have a serious answer.

I'm not sure Tom, but I'd be willing to bet that the US Government lies to us all the time. Either flat out falsehood or lies of
omission. Even under King Barry.


Here's the funny thing: the first draft of this posting ended with the line: "And try to get through it without using the word 'Obama'", because I knew -- I just knew -- that the conservative response would be to says Obama and the Democrats are exactly the same. But I cut the line because I thought it was snotty.

Guess I should have left it in, huh?

Steve,
Two scenarios:
1)Armed pirates (teenage, middle age, old- doesn't matter) and it plays out as it did in real life.
2)Same armed pirates- they lay down their weapons and surrender. While lying handcuffed face-down on the deck, Navy Seals shoot them in the back of the head.
It appears that you do not see a difference between these two scenarios. They deserve to die for what they did.
I do see a difference. In the first, the sailors take appropriate action to secure the hostage. In the second, in violation of the Geneva Coventions, the sailors act as military tribunal and executioners. In the real world, we know that this sort of behavior is the extremely rare exception. We have tens of thousands of armed service people engaged in two wars and they show amazing obedience to the rules under life threatening conditions.
We need to get back to the concept of rule of law. If we wish to back out of the Geneva Conventions, all we need is a Congressional vote to renege on the treaty.
Rule of law. It is why there was no talk of succession when Clinton was impeached for spurting on a blue dress and lying about it. As ugly as it was, the rules were followed.
Rule of law. You are either for it or you don't want to live in America. You want to live in your geographical location but under a government that will keep you safe at any cost. As I posted the other day, most people forget that when you grant your government the right to torture, you are giving them the right to torture you.

No Tom, you missed the point. I don't think the US government just starting withholding information and/or lying to the public under Bush, and it won't end with Obama.

Oh never mind... there is no point in having this conversation with you. Your mind is made up and closed. No US government other than Bush has ever lied to the public or withheld information. Go ahead and believe that Tom.

Wally,

Interesting scenarios. And had Bush authorized torturing KSM to death, they might even be relevant.

But this stood out: "They deserve to die for what they did." I see, so they deserved to die. But don't anyone DARE make the man responsible for thousands of deaths uncomfortable or you will be put on trial.

Got it.

I did get a chuckle out of the "you don't want to live in America" line however. Very dramatic.

I feel almost famous now.

Okay, it was used more than three times. Although it was ambiguous in its disclosure, the three times really dealt with three people more than three instances, but let's skip the semantics.

Yes, Bush lied about how many times it was used. Let me take this opportunity to point out that I am not a blind Bush supporter. In fact, if I felt like taking the time to search the old blog, I would imagine I could find dozens of times I've written the equivalent of me sitting here, shaking my head in disgust about Bush. He was, and is, far from perfect. But, he was the best of the choices at hand.

Now, back to the meat of things, and also to address your question in the post above this. When do we war mongering Republicans vote to legalize torture? That's an easy answer; never. We don't believe in torture. Or at least let me speak for myself, I don't believe in torture. I also don't believe that what happened to these detainees constitutes torture.

Pushing someone against a wall is torture? A wall specifically designed to cushion the blow and support the head so they don't experience whiplash? Slapping someone on the face is torture? Pouring water over someone's face is torture? Even though there is no actual physical harm and the person gets up and walks away immediately afterward?

That is where we disagree, the definition of some specific actions. You want to see torture? Take a walk down memory lane and watch these beheading videos. Or maybe you should take a gander through the Al-qaeda torture manual. That is what torture looks like. What we have done is not even near the same city, let alone the same ball park.

That being said, if the Bush administration covered up actual torture, then I will be the first one calling for them all to swing. I believe we do have a moral high ground in the world, and I also believe that, for the most part, we have kept it.

I do not now, nor will I ever, apologize for pouring water over a bad guy's face while trying to gather as much information as possible in fighting them. If, however, we were drilling holes in his hands or hooking his testicles up to car batteries while doing so, then everyone involved needs to be frog marched off to the gallows.

War is a dirty business, full of things that your average Joe on the street doesn't want to know about. They don't want to know what it's like to shoot someone, or watch bits of guy rain down around you. They don't want to know that innocent people are going to die, because no one can only kill the bad guys. The bad guys make sure of that.

The biggest problem I have with the left is that they live in a dream world where, if only we fight nice enough, or not at all, the rest of the world is going to suddenly join hands and sing in perfect harmony as we all become friends. I don't think you're un American, nor do I think Obama is. I think you're delusional. I think that you would sufficiently hamstring our military and intelligence gathering until we reach the point that all war will stop. But it won't be because we've won, it will be because we've given up fighting back. Then you're going to be in trouble, because your new Islamic overlords don't approve of things like free speech (bye bye blog), sex day, or wine.

Steve and Pursuit,
Yes it is very dramatic. It is the fundamental argument about what we believe this country should stand for.
I can see that we disagree on the use of torture. Putting that aside, I hope we do agree on the rule of law. The US is a signatory member of the Geneva Conventions. This is not debatable. Our treatment of detainees broke our own laws by including procedures prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Yoo, Gonzo & Friends did some pretty amazing legal gymnastics redefining "torture" and "detainee" but Article 3, sec.s 1a and c and Article 4, sec. 2 make it clear that this is not really debatable. So this part of the issue is about rule of law and how central a tenet that is to what we believe America should stand for.
Going back to torture as an issue, I believe that it is about us not them. Becoming evil can in no way be counted as a step towards victory over terrorism. The legal brief that "allowed" torture did more damage to the idea of America as a just nation than the plane that hit the Pentagon 9/11. If another plane had hit Constitution Hall and destroyed the original document, it would not have changed what we the people believed about our country. But what went on at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and other prisons has revealed us to ourselves and others as a nation that will discard the rule of law when we are afraid. If you put yourselves on that side I have to say that you are in league with those who flew the planes on 9/11 because if Americans die in terrorist attacks, we suffer and mourn but go on. If America loses it's way and becomes a tyrant nation because of terrorist attacks, we have lost.
So yeah, pretty dramtic.

And yeah, I'm fearful that my guy, Obama, won't measure up. So you should think about it for a bit and then maybe help me make sure that he does.

Not that it matters, but KSM himself said he was waterboarded on 5 occasions. I know the memos said something different, but it seems to me that there might be a bit of a definitional issue going on here.

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