Recently in Torture Category

Why Distracted?

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I've been hearing, and reading, a lot lately on how investigating law breaking by the Bush administration would end up distracting Obama from his job of stewarding the country. How, exactly would Obama be distracted. It's not like the White House will be running any investigation. Let's remember, the Justice Department is an independent agency, not beholden to, or controlled by, the White House.

If memory serves me well (large amount of drugs and alcohol years ago make it not so much a possibility), when Nixon tried to control an investigation, he actually sealed his fate and ended up resigning.

Honestly, I think the village idiots are confused. It's they who would be distracted. We are talking about people who willingly, and easily, walked hand in hand with the Bush administration into the Greatest War Against Terror. And by hand in hand, I mean lead by the Bush administration because the villagers seem unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Okay, that was unfair. But it felt soooooo good to type.

Anyway, Obama's concern, which does hold merit, is that the American people would be distracted by the investigations, and the Republicans in the congress would step up their obstructionist behavior (and possibly a few complicit Democrats). However, is an increase in obstruction by Republicans any more of a problem then what they are doing now? And with the Blue Dogs already complicit in obstructing Health Reform....., well, I don't think it would be much worse then what he already faces. As for the American people? For the most part they are always distracted by something. Usually with the Legacy Media's help.

Cheney's Torture

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(TPM) Because if it turns out the President didn't get the full story from Cheney and the torture memos were after-the fact justifications, not explorations of policy options, we are looking at something far, far greater than we realized a week ago.
Now Josh, being Josh, is a bit hesitant to paint Bush as out of the loop by claiming it's really not salient, but at least agrees there are new dimensions to the story. Personally, I see Dick Cheney protesting too much and throwing paranoia into the mix because he knows it all leads back to him. What we are witnessing is the behavior of a guilty man.

What is really interesting is the suggestion the DOJ memos on torture came out after waterboarding and other "harsh interrogation" methods were used. Now, I remember reading somewhere that apparently then Vice-president Cheney requested waterboarding be used. Of course, now I can't find the blog. However, I do know it's become common knowledge that torture was used extensively to force an acknowledgment of connection between Iraq and al-Qaida.

Now, if that's the case, with the memos an effort to give Cheney cover after the fact, we are back to the age old political controversy of cover-up. It's never the crime that does in politicians, it's the cover-up.

More Torture Coming To Light

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Well, actually, it's just another release of information about torture. This time, pictures from the Department of Defense.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Defense Department will release "a substantial number" of photographs showing abuse of prisoners at prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Wow!

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I mean, really; WOW!



Ever since Katrina, Shepard Smith has been showing himself to be less and less interested in following the daily talking points handed down from Roger Ailes. No doubt he simply had enough of the pretend debate about torture.

Whether it's effective or not, torture is wrong, and the United States is not to engage in it's use.

Hat Tip: ASZ
Okay, so you believe that the "harsh interrogation methods" are legal. You have people in the Justice Department create memos to support your belief. What reason, then, is necessary for you to destroy memos challenging your belief that "harsh interrogation methods" are legal? Unless, of course, you really do know the "harsh interrogation methods" are illegal.

It's going to happen. A Special Prosecutor will be named.

Rule of Law, Bitches!

I Use To Get Mad

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But today, when reading Glenn Greenwald's post on Britons investigation into torture and war crimes all I feel now is sadness.

And let me tell you, my anger was quite substantial. I had to stop reading Glenn's book "How Would A Patriot Act?" several times because of the anger that would build. So to with Al Gore's book "The Assault On Reason." The more he described the illogical and purely propagandist rhetoric of the Bush administration and the conservative movement, the more rage I felt. Again, I had to put his book down, the anger would become so overwhelming.

I have to admit, I often can only get half-way through a Glenn Greenwald post because of the usual anger and rage that boils out of me. But, like I said in the beginning of this post, reading Glenn's post this morning has simply made me sad. Sad at the lack of courage to stand by our constitutional values of basic human rights.

Political cowardice. That's all I've seen in my life time. I was too young to remember the Kennedy years and Johnson years. But Watergate I remember, with the cynicism and pessimism running rampant through the electorate. And not because of the resignation of Richard Nixon. Not even because of his crimes.

No. The cynicism and pessimism resulted from the pardon of Nixon by Ford. At that moment our fate as a failed constitutionally lead nation was sealed. Instead of holding a man accountable for his actions, we established a precedence where he was allowed to escape legal consequences. The Rule Of Law was not upheld. Instead, as Nixon himself famously framed by claiming "If the president does it, it's not illegal" our nation drifted into a surreal nightmare of political chaos and impotent leadership.

Candidate Obama promised change we can believe in. But President Obama lack of confronting the torture and war crimes of the previous administration appears to be leading us into the same moral, legal, and political quagmire that has existed since the pardon of Richard Nixon. That is a lack of change I can not believe in.

Torture

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I've not made much comment lately about the torture issue. And I really don't need to because Digby has a post up that sheds light on how onerous our country was under Bush.

This needs to be put in Bush's lap, and he needs to be held accountable for what he allowed to occur under his watch.

Pardons

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Unless I am mistaken, tomorrow is BushCo™'s last chance at pardoning all the villains responsible for making torture a policy of our country, and for breaking the cover of a CIA operative. I am wondering the odds. Because, quite frankly, I believe there will be no pardons. Bush, along with Cheney, have been coming across as arrogant and cocksure of themselves, believing they have broken no laws. As such, they do not see the need to pardon anyone.

Or, the other way to look at this; A pardon would basically remove the self-preservation instinct. They do not want to pardon anyone so that people will not be willing to testify against them.

Honestly, though, the two of them are no different in attitude and demeanor than Gov. Rod Blagojevich. So, I am sticking with my belief of no pardons because of their arrogance.

Eschaton: Lable Correctly

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It is a rare day indeed when I link to Atrios, but none-the-less, he makes a good point.

About Torture

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I've been loathed to post about torture. To actually have to make an argument that torture is wrong seems so ridiculous. It is like writing an essay explaining the importance of breathing. Who the hell needs to have the importance of breathing explained to them?

That we are having any type of discourse over the legitimacy of torture is beyond the pale. Our current leadership is at an intellectual capacity as to render the discourse in this country to an elementary school level. But than, we here in Left Blogstonia have been aware of the childishness of our leader since 2002.

Senate Votes to Ban Waterboarding

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Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON - Congress on Wednesday moved to prohibit the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects, despite President Bush's threat to veto any measure that limits the agency's interrogation techniques.

The prohibition was contained in a bill authorizing intelligence activities for the current year, which the Senate approved on a 51-45 vote. It would restrict the CIA to the 19 interrogation techniques outlined in the Army field manual. That manual prohibits waterboarding, a method that makes an interrogation subject feel he is drowning.
Now, the question is; will McCain speak out against the veto? Or will he remain quiet, thus signifying his desire of placating the BushCo™ base?

Tom Ridge: Waterboarding Is Torture

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first secretary of the Homeland Security Department says waterboarding is torture.

"There's just no doubt in my mind -- under any set of rules -- waterboarding is torture," Tom Ridge said Friday in an interview with the Associated Press. Ridge had offered the same opinion earlier in the day to members of the American Bar Association at a homeland security conference.

"One of America's greatest strengths is the soft power of our value system and how we treat prisoners of war, and we don't torture," Ridge said in the interview. Ridge was secretary of the Homeland Security Department between 2003 and 2005. "And I believe, unlike others in the administration, that waterboarding was, is -- and will always be -- torture. That's a simple statement."

Say what you will about the man and his tenure as Homeland Security's secretary, it takes guts to come out and make a stance such as this. And he also was willing to point out the so called terrorists alerts under his tenure were politically motivated to influence the election in 2004. That is what I call integrity. He may have come late to it, but he came to it none the less.

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