Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 20, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

"A NEW KIND OF WAR IN WHICH ACTION AND EVIDENCE WERE CONSCIOUSLY DIVORCED"....Barton Gellman reviews Ron Suskind's The One Percent Doctrine in the Washington Post today. Here's the story of Abu Zubaydah, hailed as al-Qaeda's chief of operations when he was captured in March 2002:

Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be....Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics....And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as "one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."

[Other unrelated bungling described, all of which is worth clicking the link to read.]

Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. "I said he was important," Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. "You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" "No sir, Mr. President," Tenet replied. Bush "was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, "Do some of these harsh methods really work?" Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each...target." And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

This is not the way to protect the national security of the United States. It is not the way to make us safer. It is not the way to defeat jihadist terrorism.

It is not, in fact, the way to do much of anything.

Kevin Drum 2:32 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (164)

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Comments

I dunno, it certainly seems to drum up Republican votes.

Posted by: S Ra on June 20, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was a way for Bush to save face.

Posted by: edubbs on June 20, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

> It is not, in fact, the way to do much of
> anything.

Sadly I must disagree Kevin: it is a good way to generate a state of continuous turmoil in world affairs, which benfits various entities.

It is also a good way to create a feeling of continuous, vague, nebulous fear in the American public, which is also of benefit to some people.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 20, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

man, that is a new low.

Posted by: abe on June 20, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Even better is this excerpt:

"an unnamed CIA briefer who flew to Bush's Texas ranch during the scary summer of 2001, amid a flurry of reports of a pending al-Qaeda attack, to call the president's attention personally to the now-famous Aug. 6, 2001, memo titled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US." Bush reportedly heard the briefer out and replied: "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

Posted by: brewmn on June 20, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Our government is being run by the worst kinds of incompetent, deviant thugs. Torture someone and they will tell you whatever you want to hear. I bet if we tortured Skilling or the head of Diebold long enough, they would readily tell us in great detail how their deeds were orchestrated and/or facilitated by the White House. Okay, bad example.

Posted by: Augustus on June 20, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Our government is being run by the worst kinds of incompetent, deviant thugs. Torture someone and they will tell you whatever you want to hear. I bet if we tortured Skilling or the head of Diebold long enough, they would readily tell us in great detail how their deeds were orchestrated and/or facilitated by the White House. Okay, bad example.

Posted by: Snarkster on June 20, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Notice that the Post put this piece on the first page of their Style section, if that's what they still call it. Similarly, they buried the leaked memo from the Iraqi embassy on page A16 or whatever it was.

The Post has some reporters who are doing great work, who are being undercut at every turn by their editors. Those who read the front page or the editorial page are getting a distorted view of the world.

Posted by: Joe Buck on June 20, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Torturing a murderous lunatic to extract his ravings? What? Was the administration running short on insanity?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 20, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

This is why you losers lose! You want to be right, while a near majority (+Diebold) just want to feel macho and potent!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on June 20, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

It is not, in fact, the way to do much of anything.

Wrong. It is precisely the way to make frightened little conservatives feel better.

Posted by: craigie on June 20, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics.

LIARS. Abu Zubaydah was very important.

Link

"A rising star in al-Qaeda, Zubaydah, 31, ran its terrorist training camps. He became military operations chief after Mohammed Atef, one of bin Laden's top aides, was killed in November in Afghanistan. Zubaydah, the highest-ranking al-Qaeda member in custody, is questioned daily at a secret location, U.S. officials say."

Another Link

"The PDB went on to say that Ressam had told the FBI that he conceived of the plot to blow up Los Angeles airport on his own but that Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own U.S. attack, the PDB also stated."

Posted by: Al on June 20, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Why do liberals oppose destroying America in order to save it?

Posted by: American Hawk on June 20, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Immorality wrapped in ineptitude.

Posted by: nut on June 20, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Al: The liberal media is always right. Um, I mean, is always wrong. Um...it's right when it agrees with me.

Posted by: Snoopy on June 20, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

What have we become???

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 20, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Dunno about you, but this all makes me sleep so much better at night.

"Save Face" my ass. First one has to have the credibility to have any face left to lose!

Posted by: Global Citizen on June 20, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

It is not, in fact, the way to do much of anything.

Aside from driving up the price of oil, starving government 'till you can drown it in a bathtub, and provide a pretext to spy on your political opponents, no.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 20, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

"All right. You've covered your ass, now."
Bush is such a fucking dick! Do you think he followed that with a few Dr. Evil "zip it" hand gestures?

Posted by: enozinho on June 20, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

What have we become???

Hostages.

Extremists have hijacked the country and crashed it into Iraq. What you do next is up to you.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 20, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

I knew it, I always thought they are bonkers and their followers too.
How else do you explain still 30% or so approval ratings for the little nut?

Posted by: Renate on June 20, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I dropped in hoping to get the obstreperous streak out of my system by having a good argument. Guess I will have to content myself with terrorizing my students this afternoon. Ciao for now!

Posted by: Global Citizen on June 20, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

It is not, in fact, the way to do much of anything.

Of course it is. It is the way to whip everyone into a frenzy and take their eye off the ball.

Posted by: Dan on June 20, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Some of us are old enough to remember when moral giants like Sen. Eugene McCarthy and Sen. George McGovern would loudly and clearly speak out outlining the wretched abuses committed by the politicians running the Vietman War.

Giants...now we Democrats are led by incompetent ants.

Posted by: Keith G on June 20, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

And don't forget about the tubes!


Waas, Suskind, and Aluminum Tubes

.

Posted by: WPB on June 20, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - Look, there was no medical examination which concluded the guy was mentally ill.

This has got to be one of your most pathetic posts in memory.

Read the story - Bush is focused on getting information. He comes across like a guy who is serious about fighting terror.

Kevin Drum and the Dems come across like hand-wringing limpwrists.

Posted by: Paddy Whack on June 20, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the plot to one of Alec Guinness's Ealing Studios black comedies; roughly speaking, a national security version of "Kind Hearts and Coronets."

Of course, it would be a lot funnier if it were imaginary, and our leadership not so incredibly stupid.

Posted by: Kit Stolz on June 20, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

"He comes across like a guy who is serious about fighting terror."

Only in your feeble mind, Whack job.

Posted by: CN on June 20, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Nice links, Al. Hey numbnuts, did it ever occur to you that your "evidence" comes from some of the same high-ranking officials that were told by Bush to save his face?

Please. Try linking to evidence that is independent of the government bunglers themselves.

I'm sure all of us could find plenty of links showing the government playing up how important Zubaydah was. Suskind showed that this wasn't the case.

Posted by: NSA Mole on June 20, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Suskind's The One Percent Doctrine

Isn't Suskind the guy whose last book was so completely fabricated that is was debunked by its own ostensible subject, Paul O'Neill? Yeah, that means that Suskind has oodles of credibility. People in the Reality-Based Community ought to be taking this book real seriously!

*snicker*

Posted by: Al on June 20, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

But they told me that Abu Zubaydah was the #3 man of Al Qaeda. How am I supposed to sleep now!

Posted by: ckelly on June 20, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Isn't Suskind the guy whose last book was so completely fabricated that is was debunked "

No, Al. That was Ann Coulter.

O'neill is on record as saying Suskind accurately reported what O'Neill told him.

Posted by: CN on June 20, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

That anecdote is simply everything you need to know about the Republican personality in one little nutshell: Golden Boy's head.

Posted by: cld on June 20, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the plot to one of Alec Guinness's Ealing Studios black comedies; roughly speaking, a national security version of "Kind Hearts and Coronets."

Actually, it reminds me of more of Alec Guinness' "Our Man in Havana", based on the Graham Greene book, in which Guinness' character passes off a diagram of a new vacuum cleaner tube as the blueprints for the latest Communist superweapon.

Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: It is not, in fact, the way to do much of anything.

Sure it is. As it has always been, it is the way to fulfillment for fascists and sadists.


Posted by: jayarbee on June 20, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is focused on getting information.

Wrong. Bush is a creationist. They don't need information because they already know what to believe and merely pressure people around them to confirm it.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 20, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Read the story - Bush is focused on getting information. He comes across like a guy who is serious about fighting terror.

Yes, indeed! Why (if I may paraphrase Lincoln), Bush has such a great regard for the truth that he spends most of his time embellishing it!

Posted by: Alek Hidell on June 20, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Play enough loud country music and I'll confess to plotting the demolition of anything if it gets me the solitude of a jail cell and away from the twang.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 20, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Just because someone is mentally ill doesn't mean he isn't dangerous! You'll see what I mean when I use the antenna implanted in my brain to summon the aliens from planet Klaatu!

Posted by: mmy on June 20, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Read the story - Bush is focused on getting information. He comes across like a guy who is serious about fighting terror.

Im swooning!
Nice to meet a guy whos not anchored in reality but "creates his own reality" in the best Bush administration tradition!

Like:
"I said he was important," Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. "You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" "No sir, Mr. President," Tenet replied.

Posted by: Detlef on June 20, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan's right: It's much more "Our Man in Havana" than "Kind Hearts and Coronets."

But it's definitely not as funny as either.

Posted by: Kit Stolz on June 20, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

This is not the way to protect the national security of the United States. It is not the way to make us safer. It is not the way to defeat jihadist terrorism. It is not, in fact, the way to do much of anything.

Bah. It's a great way to foment chaos and enrich your benefactors, silly man.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano on June 20, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

this is another one of those times where i can't decide if i want to 1} read the book b/c i want to know what's in it or 2} not read the book for fear of bodily injury from banging my head against the wall in frustration.

decisions, decisions.

Posted by: e1 on June 20, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

How Soviet this all is.

Posted by: Nemesis on June 20, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

"...And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.""

Cave dwellers meet shadows on wall (note to the clueless - Plato - hint, hint)

"...organized religion is for people who are afraid of hell. Spirituality is for people who've already been to hell." - Oliver Stone

Posted by: daCascadian on June 20, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's not the way to do much of anything, except get re-elected.

Posted by: JohnD on June 20, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Get thee over and read this from the Cunning Realist:

http://tinyurl.com/fflr3

Ah, for the days of sanity in foreign relations.

Posted by: Jones on June 20, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Paddy Crack Whore sez...

Kevin - Look, there was no medical examination which concluded the guy was mentally ill.

From the Gellman article, who is in turn quoting the book...

Dan Coleman, then the FBI's top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, "This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality."

Geez, that was almost too easy.

Posted by: mmy on June 20, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

"...And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

this is really one of the most disturbing and frightening sentences i've read in a long time.

so they torture this guy who they know is mentally ill, (possibly actively psychotic) just to "see if those techniques work"? not cuz they think he's got any actual info, but just, y'kno, to work the waterboarding kinks out.

then when he starts claiming that he's in on things and knows about all these plots, suddenly they decide he's reliable. now, he's gotta be telling the truth, no longer nuts (cuz really, i just got back from a training that said the best practices in the treatment of dissociative disorders is waterboarding).

it's like incompentence at a whole new level. willful, arrogant, gonna get us killed imcompetence.

Posted by: e1 on June 20, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum and the Dems come across like hand-wringing limpwrists.

I have a completely gratuitous comment for Paddy Whack:

You would not last three 3-minute rounds with this limpwristed liberal.

Thank you.

Posted by: obscure on June 20, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's Doubleplusungood!

Posted by: Winston Smith on June 20, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

The Post has some reporters who are doing great work, who are being undercut at every turn by their editors. Those who read the front page or the editorial page are getting a distorted view of the world.

Joe Buck is right.

The Post works for the Uber-class first. They work for the hoi-polloi when they get around to it.

Posted by: obscure on June 20, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK


kevin: It is not, in fact, the way to do much of anything.

we told america so....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 20, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well according to a terrorist we captured in 2001, Abu was in charge of training camps

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/03/30/attack/main505014.shtml

[quote]Ahmed Ressam, convicted April 2001 of smuggling, terrorist conspiracy and other charges in the Los Angeles millennium plot, described Abu Zubaydah's role as a recruiter during court testimony.

"He is the person in charge of the camps. He receives young men from all countries. He accepts you or rejects you. And he takes care of the expenses for the camps. He makes arrangements for you when you travel coming in or leaving," Ressam said.

Prospective recruits in Pakistan would meet Abu Zubaydah, who would assign them to camps. When they finished training, he placed them in cells overseas.[/quote]

Furthermore, this report completely flies in the face of the 9/11 commission report

http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch6.htm

I don't know if this is true, but I don't think this is as much a slam dunk as some people are making it out to be. I'm not sure why people assume that what these anonymous CIA sources say are true, just because it hurts the administration.

Posted by: Jeff on June 20, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

This is not the way to protect the national security of the United States. It is not the way to make us safer. It is not the way to defeat jihadist terrorism.

It is the way many Americans get their jollies.

Do you think if Bush were treated as roughly as this Zubaydah person, we might finally learn the real reason for invading Iraq or would we just have more ravings from another mentally disturbed man?

Posted by: Hostile on June 20, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Also, someone should tell Jordan, since Abu was sentenced to death

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5384560

Abu Zubaydah: A key al-Qaida lieutenant, Zubaydah was No. 3 on the United States' most-wanted list when he was captured in a safehouse in Pakistan in March 2002.

Zubaydah joined al-Qaida sometime in the 1990s, befriending Osama bin Laden and rising quickly up the ranks. The Saudi-born Palestinian was the terrorist organization's chief recruiter, helping to arrange training for new members. A Jordanian court sentenced Zubaydah to death in absentia for his role in a foiled plot to bomb hotels during celebrations of the millennium.

Posted by: Jeff on June 20, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Is there anything that GWB can do to deserve the wrath of the Repubs?

Posted by: nut on June 20, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Obscure,

These tough-typing-guys are hilarious

This one did limpwrist
On another thread this morning, another let fly with and let the guys with actual balls protect your freedom

Yeah, they are tough. Very butch too. Mean typers.

The biggest worry youd have with Paddywhack is that he/she/it might sneak up behind you and hit you with his keyboard.

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 20, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

and here's another 'funny' thing about this: bush asked if torture works, so they did a test. they discovered it did not work, to put it mildly.

so of course they kept on keepin' on.

hey, all you moral cowards out there who think talking big and tough equates to balls: try using your head to think about these things. your balls could use the rest.

Posted by: Jones on June 20, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

he was captured in a safehouse in Pakistan in March 2002

So should we assume that this guy is dead? I mean we haven't had a Terrah Alert since 2004 have we? If he was alive, wouldn't he still be "providing valuable intelligence"?

Posted by: enozinho on June 20, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Read the story - Bush is focused on getting information. He comes across like a guy who is serious about fighting terror.

Talk about mentally disturbed! That is not a logical conclusion from our little troll.

Posted by: Bob M on June 20, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Is there anything that GWB can do to deserve the wrath of the Repubs?

You mean aside from raising taxes, right?

Posted by: cyntax on June 20, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

In as much as their goal is to inspire fear, it is beginning to work with me, but for the wrong reasons. After all, 9-11 did happen on their watch and they were sternly warned.

However, we have seen other book reviews like this in the last few years and little seems to sink in with the Great American Public. Is this the result of an all-volunteer military and no sacrifices asked?

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on June 20, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

I am going to raise a point which, in my experience, Americans weem too selfish, self-righteous, self-centered, and hypocritical to deal with.

Two American soldiers were tortured to death today.

There is a direct connection between the way these soldiers were treated and the way Abu Zubaydah was treated.

Americans cannot deal in a mature manner with the foregoing statement - even though it is quite obvious to the rest of the world.

Posted by: Thinker on June 20, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

I mean we haven't had a Terrah Alert since 2004 have we?

No, but then again we haven't had a presidential election since 2004.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 20, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

No, but then again we haven't had a presidential election since 2004.

That's not fair - elections are scheduled.

Better to say, no, but we haven't had the president fall off a Segway since 2004.

Posted by: craigie on June 20, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds almost as stupid as taking Truthout's word against Rove.

Posted by: minion of rove on June 20, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

You mean aside from raising taxes, right?

I don't think that a tax increase will do it either. They will hem and haw, but quickly come back to worshipping the grand fearless leader.

Posted by: nut on June 20, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Thinker wrote "There is a direct connection between the way these soldiers were treated and the way Abu Zubaydah was treated."

This is a simple argument to make but a difficult argument to defend. The fact remains that Islamofascist terrorists have hardly been known for their humane treatment of captives. The idea that the folks that may have capture these soldiers tortured them only because they were enraged that the U.S. was doing the same thing is not credible when one considers what happened to say Daniel Pearl who was brutally murdered well before stories alleging U.S. torture came out.

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 20, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

There is a direct connection between the way these soldiers were treated and the way Abu Zubaydah was treated.

Americans cannot deal in a mature manner with the foregoing statement - even though it is quite obvious to the rest of the world.

Actually it is important, but I gotta say you are coming across as just a leeetle pompous, so maybe your failure to find engagement on this topic has something to do with how you say things, not just what you say.

Posted by: cyntax on June 20, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Is there anything that GWB can do to deserve the wrath of the Repubs?

Maybe if he got a blowjob from an intern...nah, they'd find some way to excuse that.

Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

The Al-bot: "People in the Reality-Based Community ought to be taking [Ron Suskind's] book real seriously!"

Poor Al-bot -- everybody appears to be out of step but him and the Bush administration.

Anyway, speaking of reality -- how about that Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher? Now there's another Republican who's been grounded by reality, even though it's obviously not by choice.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 20, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

"There is a direct connection between the way these soldiers were treated and the way Abu Zubaydah was treated."

The soldiers would have been tortured regardless. Implying that if the US were nice to terrorists, terrorists would be nice back is exactly the kind of thing makes the American public think liberals can't be trusted to protect. It is naive and it loses elections.

The argument against torture is two-fold. One, it doesn't work well (people will say whatever they think you want to hear and you waste resources following up false leads). Two, there is the moral argument that the US shouldn't make torture routine policy because that is simply not what a country founded with regard for "inalienable human rights" should do.

I actually imagine the argument that it is ineffective will have more traction with the general public, but in any case they are both good arguments.

Posted by: Tom on June 20, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Two American soldiers were tortured to death today.

There is a direct connection between the way these soldiers were treated and the way Abu Zubaydah was treated.

More serious reply to Thinker than my previous post:

Are you in fact suggesting that the torture of our two soldiers was quid pro quo for detainee abuse, Abu Graib, Gitmo, etc?

Or are you saying that these sorts of heinous acts are an unavoidable byproduct of the kind of conflict we are currently engaged in?

Or perhaps something else?


Posted by: cyntax on June 20, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Where's American Hawk?

Posted by: Boorring on June 20, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

This is a simple argument to make but a difficult argument to defend. The fact remains that Islamofascist terrorists have hardly been known for their humane treatment of captives. The idea that the folks that may have capture these soldiers tortured them only because they were enraged that the U.S. was doing the same thing is not credible when one considers what happened to say Daniel Pearl who was brutally murdered well before stories alleging U.S. torture came out.

That's assuming, of course, that it's the same people, which is not an assumption you have any reason for making. There is no large mass of "Islamofacists" except inside your head; there are, instead, disparate groups with disparate goals, methods and memberships. Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by Pakistani and Arab Al Qaeda men in Pakistan in 2001; they would have done what they would have done regardless.

The soldiers, on the other hand, were captured after a firefight with Iraqi rebels in Iraq in 2006. The overwhelming of Iraqis we're fighting now weren't our enemies before we invaded; in fact the resistance exists solely in response to our presence there. It's possible that some or all of the Iraqis who tortured our soldiers were themselves relatives of Iraqis who'd been killed, tortured, or mistreated in some other way by American forces.

Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bush: fighting terror
Democrats: hand-wringing

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on June 20, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

There is a direct connection between the way these soldiers were treated and the way Abu Zubaydah was treated.

I would say there is truth to this, but maybe not in the most obvious way. The fact is, "Islamists" have been tortured for decades in authoritarian countries. Just look at Nasr's egypt and it's treatment of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Aiman Az-Zawahiri came out of that system. It seems to me that the type of violence we are seeing inflicted by Jihadis is a direct outgrowth of the kind of violence that they faced in their own countries.

Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo didn't make the Jihadis more violent, but it has created more Jihadis which insures that the violence will continue to escalate.

Posted by: enozinho on June 20, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to think of the Republican Organization as a political party, the more we learn the more it is obvious that it is really just a criminal conspiracy. Politicians have principles and discpline their own. The republicans do not.

How much longer will republicans base allow their party to be controlled by these arrogantly incompetent criminals?

Posted by: patience on June 20, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose I should STFU while waiting for my own little fiasco to cool. Instead I'll fire out this assessment.
Torture is both ineffective and unnecessary. Is is also corrosive to good order and discipline. Throw that in with the escalation of ill will it will cause and its use becomes totally unprofessional.

Posted by: opit on June 20, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

He is the person in charge of the camps. He receives young men from all countries. He accepts you or rejects you. And he takes care of the expenses for the camps. He makes arrangements for you when you travel coming in or leaving.

Jeff, this actually fits reasonably well with what the Gellman review of Suskind's book said:

he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics -- travel for wives and children and the like. That judgment was "echoed at the top of CIA and was, of course, briefed to the President and Vice President," Suskind writes. And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as "one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."

So Zubaydah was the flunky who got you your plane tickets, etc. Criminal, yes (if sane). But not "one of the top operatives," etc.

Posted by: Anderson on June 20, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

It's possible that some or all of the Iraqis who tortured our soldiers were themselves relatives of Iraqis who'd been killed, tortured, or mistreated in some other way by American forces.

The Bush administration argument for torture is to find out where the next planned atrocity is going to take place. From this point of view the Bush administration tortured Zubaydah. It is quite possible the two unfortunate soldiers, who did not deserve their fate, were tortured to find out which village was going to be designated the next Haditha.

Logic works like that. If we, the US, can use torture to determine pending atrocities, so can those designated our enemies. It does not matter if it is effective. What matters is they are trying to stop an atrocity.

I think it exposes the real reason for torture: providing pleasure by making opponents suffer. Bush and his supporters obtain pleasure knowing an Arab terrorist is tortured and the insurgents and their supporters obtain pleasure torturing known invaders. For both sides of the conflict, the pleasure derived from torture is masked by trying to uncover some future crime.

Posted by: Hostile on June 20, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Do you think this debacle will force future leaders to consider war after exhausting other options? At least leaders that understand history.

Posted by: Aquarius on June 20, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Anderson: So Zubaydah was the flunky who got you your plane tickets, etc. Criminal, yes (if sane). But not "one of the top operatives," etc.

D'oh! I get it now: Zubaydah was the Duty Foggo of al Queda.

Except, you know, mentally ill.

Yeah, don't know that either one was exactly crucial to operation of their respective organizations.

Posted by: cyntax on June 20, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

The soldiers would have been tortured regardless. Implying that if the US were nice to terrorists, terrorists would be nice back is exactly the kind of thing makes the American public think liberals can't be trusted to protect.

Exactly, that's not really the best argument against torture - though there are many other excellent arguments against it:

the US shouldn't make torture routine policy because that is simply not what a country founded with regard for "inalienable human rights" should do.

How's this one - if the US were nice to detainees (ie. folks who have not been tried or convicted of terrorism) and if the US didn't blow up civillians in collateral damage, then when the terrorists DO torture detainees or kill civillians, then moderate Liberals (all except for die-hard pacifists) would be more likely to side with the US, and the country would be unified in it's efforts, and there wouldn't be all this dissent and division.

Instead, Bush tortures untried, unconvicted detainees, and kills civillians. Thus driving a wedge between his domestic liberals and conservatives, which serves him well in elections:

. . .It is naive and it loses elections. . .

. . . which are more important than respecting human rights?

Personally - I think that Bush could have taken a different road in all this. He could have told the truth about WMD, and STILL have justified an invasion. He could have assembled a competent plan, he could have ensured that detainees were treated within the Geneva Conventions, and not tortured, and he could have awarded contracts under a regular bidding system, he could have authorized and pushed for more oversight, he could have scratched up a large enough force to actually secure the people of Iraq in the aftermath, possibly not disbanding the Iraqi Army, he could have played hardball with Pakistan and gotten bin Laden and AQ Khan in custody, he could have played hardball with Turkey to get a staging ground for a northern force - he *could* have done all these things, and it would have united this country. Moderate Liberals (not talking about DINO's like LIEberman) would have stood with him, and he'd be approved in the 60-70 range, instead of 33.

But he, and Rove, chose to do things in a way that liberals would find outrageous, because they purposely wanted to divide the country, and tap into the wingnut base.

Not because that would represent more votes. But because they are hate-filled evil little men, who enjoy the suffering of others, and the exclusion of people they don't like from America's economy, and America's political system.


Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 20, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax >"...Except, you know, mentally ill..."

BOTH are & were

Such is the ReThuglican Mafia

"...the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion...but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do." - Samuel P. Huntington

Posted by: daCascadian on June 20, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

"When the government's boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence." Gary Lloyd

Posted by: Aeon on June 20, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Furthermore, this report completely flies in the face of the 9/11 commission report

http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch6.htm

Too funny!

Apparently Ron Suskind's story escaped the 9/11 Commission too! Stupid, stupid 9/11 Commission!!! When you wrote all those things about how Zubaydah was in charge of part of the Millenium Plot, didn't you know that Zubaydah was just a low-level, insane (literally) flunkie???

How could the 9/11 Commission be that credulous?

Oh, right. Porbably because 9/11 Commission was right on target and Ron Suskind is making sh*t up - just like when Ron Suskind made up sh*t for his Paul O'Neill book - sh*t that was debunked by Paul O'Neill himself!

But I guess those on the extremist left will believe anything... like they'll that Ron Suskind writes non-fiction, and that the 9/11 Commission was incompetent.

Posted by: Al on June 20, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Here Al

Read this.
Or, better yet,
have someone who knows how read it to you.

http://www.harpers.org/WhitewashAsPublicService.html

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 20, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

the 9/11 Commission was incompetent

Amen to that. Although to be fair its hands were tied by certain political realities, and it did have a few positive contributions.

Posted by: trex on June 20, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, right. Porbably because 9/11 Commission was right on target and Ron Suskind is making sh*t up -

9/11 Commission?! Did someone say 9/11 Commission? The same 9/11 Commission that found:


    The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq.

Oh, right. That 9/11 Commission.

Posted by: cyntax on June 20, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think it exposes the real reason for torture: providing pleasure by making opponents suffer.
Posted by: Hostile on June 20, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Duh.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 20, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

This is not the way to protect the national security of the United States. It is not the way to make us safer. It is not the way to defeat jihadist terrorism.

Nor is this:

SAN FRANCISCO Military investigators have learned that two soldiers shot to death in Iraq in 2004 were murdered by Iraqi civil-defense officers patrolling with them.

The deaths of 34-year-old Army Specialist Patrick McCaffrey Senior of Tracy and 33-year-old First Lieutenant Andre Tyson of Riverside occurred on June 22nd, 2004. They were officially attributed to an ambush during a ground patrol near Balad, Iraq

But the Army's Criminal Investigation Division has been probing the circumstances for several months. Investigators found that one or more of the Iraqis attached to the American soldiers turned on their American partners and fired at them. A military official official spoke on condition of anonymity because it military did not plan to release the results of the report publicly until Wednesday.


Posted by: trex on June 20, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

These tough-typing-guys are hilarious

Pierre,

Yes. They have a lot in common with Bush. They think they're tough because they're eager to send others to fight in their place.

To Frequency:

Bush isn't "fighting terror."

He's creating Islamic extremists. He's wasting our military power on a futile, quixotic, counterproductive exercise in "nation-building." He's diverting taxpayer dollars to his friends in the machinery of death industry. He's shifting the tax burden to the middleclass. He's bankrupting our great nation.

That's what Bush, the worst president in our great nation's history, is doing.

Posted by: obscure on June 20, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Do you suppose anything like that ever happened in the wars that the US won?

Posted by: republicrat on June 20, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

It is so funny, Kevin Drum and his merry band of Bozos think their incessant whining and carping will HELP the Democrats this November.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on June 20, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

> this is another one of those times where
> i can't decide if i want to 1} read the
> book b/c i want to know what's in it or
> 2} not read the book for fear of bodily
> injury from banging my head against the
> wall in frustration.

I have compromised by (1) buying the books to support the authors (2) putting them on the shelf because reading them would make me throw up.

Perhaps my grandchildren can use them as a resource for their college term papers. If the United States is still a functioning nation by then. You're doin' a heckofa job Decider!

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 20, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Suskind, he's on the Beard right now relating how the CIA concluded from signals intelligence prior to the 2004 election that bin Laden wanted Bush re-elected. . . basically because he was a predictable warmongering boob who was the best possible recruiter for Al Qaeda that they could ever hope for.

Apparently he even had a Bush/Cheney '04 sticker on the back of his gas- guzzling pickup. ; )

I can see why this book has the wingers pissing their pants.

Posted by: trex on June 20, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think it exposes the real reason for torture: providing pleasure by making opponents suffer.

A majority of Americans think torture is justified, at least sometimes.

How can you stand to live in a country, and to be surrounded by so many people, whom you hate and despise so much?

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Still waiting for answers to these questions.

1) Why did a former terrorist in 2001 testify that Abu Zubaydah was in charge of training camps, if he only was involved in "minor logistics?"

2) Why is Jordan convinced that Abu Zubaydah played a key role in the millenium bombings, if he was only involved in "minor logistics"

3) Why was the 9/11 commission report of Abu Zubaydah completely at odds with what Suskind says?

Posted by: Jeff on June 20, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

osama,

Personally - I think that Bush could have taken a different road in all this. He could have told the truth about WMD, and STILL have justified an invasion.

So you don't, in fact, oppose the invasion of Iraq as a matter of principle or substance given the circumstances, you're just mad-as-hell about the "way" it was done.

Er, okaaaaay.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

When will Kevin Drum blog about TruthOut's lame story about how they learned Karl Rove was really indicted??

>

Posted by: Down goes Frazier on June 20, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

It is so funny, Kevin Drum and his merry band of Bozos think their incessant whining and carping will HELP the Democrats this November

That's the difference between a member of the Cult of Bush and everyone else. This thread isn't about the November elections. It's about the stupid crap that was done in your name. Forget the "Red vs. Blue" bull for one second and take a good look at what the world looks like when people like you are in charge.

Posted by: enozinho on June 20, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Al: Smear! Smear! Can I have my dinner from the dollar menu now, Rendon Group?

This comments section is an absolute goldmine for paid trolls. If Kevin had the balls to ban them, they'd be turning tricks on the street within days.

Posted by: ahem on June 20, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

This comments section is an absolute goldmine for paid trolls.

Gawd, the trolls are out today in force. Red Dawn was on last night, I swear... I'm sure your tivo grabbed it, in case you missed it.

Posted by: enozinho on June 20, 2006 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

How can you stand to live in a country, and to be surrounded by so many people, whom you hate and despise so much?

Because those people will, eventually, die off, like the generation of slaveholders.

Posted by: ahem on June 20, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and because some people cherish the ideals of a country over the fluctuating opinions of some of those who live in it.

Which poses the question: how can the trolls stand to live in a country founded on principles that they so obviously despise? Because they're gutless chickenshit beneficiaries of it?

Posted by: ahem on June 20, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

"A NEW KIND OF WAR IN WHICH ACTION AND EVIDENCE WERE CONSCIOUSLY DIVORCED"

If this narrative is true it goes way beyond shameful.

Indeed, if there is a Dante-like hell... Bush will find himself in some inner circle... forever being pummeled in the face by Iraqi shoes.

If that doesn't seem like punishment enough... just imagine his swollen puss being blistered and reblistered by the endless blows.

Posted by: koreyel on June 20, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Don P. GOP: How can you stand to live in a country, and to be surrounded by so many people, whom you hate and despise so much?

This from the guy who has alienated everyone here and will argue with anybody just to argue? Who has zero allies even among the trolls except for pathetic Charlie? Who is universally ridiculed online and in real life?

Posted by: Everybody else who has ever visited this blog on June 20, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

PS---> that's how God saves face.

Posted by: koreyel on June 20, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry Anderson I missed your comments earlier. I think you're ignoring this part

"He is the person in charge of the camps.

I don't see how a person in charge of the camps could be said to only be involved in minor logistics

Posted by: Jeff on June 20, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

Look, I don't know what's true. But I'm a little bothered that some are making categorical accusations before considering reasons that this may be false. We should not make categorical accusations until we have exhausted all reasonable alternatives that would show innocence. And this goes for both parties.

And honestly I expect more of Kevin Drum.

Posted by: Jeff on June 20, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

He is the person in charge of the camps.

Like in the Ernest movies! But I have to say, "Ernest goes to the Hindu Kusht Mountains" was a tad looooong, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: enozinho on June 20, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Unlikely, Chuckles. Some believe you two are one and the same, given the complete idiocies you both spout, but you two have different personality quirks and verbal tics.

Of course, this would be easier if you had the courage of your convictions and actually restricted yourself to a single login instead of using multiple personalities, not to mention lying about whether you are, in fact, using multiple personalities, but such is life among the trolls.

Posted by: PaulB on June 20, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

So you don't, in fact, oppose the invasion of Iraq as a matter of principle or substance given the circumstances, you're just mad-as-hell about the "way" it was done.
Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

That's not at all what I said.

What I said was that Bush could have done it differently in a way that did not divide his own damn country. But because he let his "salesman" Karl Rove run policy, many more died needlessly, much more money was wasted, and we have a situation now that is an unrecoverable disaster.

While Bush could have won the support from more Moderate Liberals, I, personally, would only have supported the Iraq invasion AFTER the job was finished in Afghanistan (where the terrorists were), AND PAKISTAN, and done with sufficient troops, and if we also leaned hard on Saudi Arabia to clean up their madrassas and push the wahabbists out of power, and to accomplish more than lip-service reforms, AND if sufficient effort was put into resolving the international banking scene, which permits the money laundering that funds terrorism and illegal narcotics trade. No way was that aspect of this issue taken seriously.

Instead, we have Bush selling our ports to the sheiks in Dubai, sucking up to the Saudis, selling his soul to the inheritors of the BCCI money-laundering network, and cynically dividing his country and trampling the very rights and freedoms he claims to be defending.

Yes - Bush *could* have even won ME over on liberating Iraq from a horrible dictator - but there were other more important tasks he should have tackled - and he willfully ignored them. Just to score political points.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 20, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Is this news, in itself? I guess it's news that something so unflattering was allowed to get out.

As for the story, the saddest part is that nothing in it surprises me.

Wouldn't have surprised me 6 years ago either.

To those 55% of Americans that used to approve of this guy.. welcome to my world.

Posted by: jussumbody on June 20, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

GOP --
you are so linearly boring.

Your 62% don't morally accept torture. As I said, try torturing your neighbor and see what happens. They only believe in any way of torturing "terrorists", which you don't define.

You know what. Cite the darn poll so we can see the actual question, and the rest of it.

And you still owe on citing present Israeli, UK and French torturing. I'll take the US as a given.

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

osama,

That's not at all what I said.

I wasn't talking about the other things you said. I was talking about your statement that you believe the invasion of Iraq was justified, just not "in the way" that Bush tried to justify it.

While Bush could have won the support from more Moderate Liberals, I, personally, would only have supported the Iraq invasion AFTER the job was finished in Afghanistan (where the terrorists were), AND PAKISTAN, and done with sufficient troops, and if we also leaned hard on Saudi Arabia to clean up their madrassas and push the wahabbists out of power, and to accomplish more than lip-service reforms, AND if sufficient effort was put into resolving the international banking scene, which permits the money laundering that funds terrorism and illegal narcotics trade.

Okay, so you think the invasion of Iraq was justified, as long as the things you list above had also been done.

I think your conditions are pretty silly, but that's another argument.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

notthere,

you are so linearly boring.

You are so circularly boring.

Your 62% don't morally accept torture.

The NCR poll found that 63% of Americans believe that torture of suspected terrorists is justified, at least on some occasions.

As I said, try torturing your neighbor and see what happens.

No.

You know what. Cite the darn poll so we can see the actual question, and the rest of it.

I already did, in the other thread where you and I were discussing it.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

How can you stand to live in a country, and to be surrounded by so many people, whom you hate and despise so much?

It's not easy, but I get paid a lot. Besides, someday California will secede, and it won't be nearly as bad.

Posted by: craigie on June 20, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

This is not the way to protect the national security of the United States. It is not the way to make us safer.

Maybe not. However, al Qaeda has not attacked US since this "not the way" program has been in effect, although they have mounted horrendous attacks in various other countries. I'd be more impressed with criticsm of Bush's approach if he hadn't been so darn successful.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 20, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Recent polls confirm that only 63% of Americans now disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president, compared to 64% just last month. He's on a roll.

Posted by: John Stossel, ABC News on June 20, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

off topic, this item on Darfur is interesting:

http://louminatti.blogspot.com/2006/06/darfur-its-americas-fault.html

Posted by: republicrat on June 20, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

BTW: we're back into the 40% in Rassmussen, jussumbody ; )
Posted by: Cheney

40% is the lowest he's ever been in rasmussen, jackass ... he hasn't budged from there for the last 4 months.

Posted by: Nads on June 20, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

We have it on good intelligence that {Don|GO}P is, in fact, a member of a sleeper cell. We are sure that he approves of his own torture, which will begin as soon as we arrive at his home.

Posted by: FBI on June 20, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be more impressed with criticsm of Bush's approach if he hadn't been so darn successful.
Posted by: ex-liberal

absolutely ... of course, since the US under bush has reduced military presence in saudi arabia in accordance with bin laden's demands, and has created a climate of fear among americans (especially repubs, who seem particularly pussy afterwards), I'd have to say that the killing of 3000 americans seems to have done its job, so perhaps we should judge that act on its successfulness as well.

Posted by: Nads on June 20, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

This is why Bush should already be in jail. Impeachment does not begin to address the seriousness of what are really crimes against humanity.

Polls really do matter, unfortunately. If they can be faked or gamed, it gives the GOP voter intimidation, suppression and outright fraud just enough cover to provide legitimacy for a stolen election as in 2000 and 2004. I find very very few actual Bush supporters right now. The trolls here are trying very hard to simulate enough legitimate posts to help the overall strategy of legitimizing fraudulent elections. It is a testament to Kevin that the posts on Rove's guilt and complicity in the treason case garner such vehement protests and mocking entries--evidence I think that person or persons very close to the twit himself post here.

As far as faking legitimate support, the MSM such as Fox, CNN and the major networks also carry out that campaign out in spades--could not believe the MSNBC stand-in for Tweety yesterday night. Talking seriously to Tony Blinken? They seek to implant just the seed of doubt that will make vote-switching and ballot destruction possible. I am convinced that Bush's actual approval rating is in the 20s. Even friends in red states have turned off the Rove machine. So right now, there is pressure to poll samples that are more partisan than relevant--talking to far more named GOPs than independents or Democrats. I think the only Republicans I know who are still on board with the disaster are paid, or are in the FFFFAAAAR Religious Gun-Toting contingent. So Kevin, unless you want to post helpful fantasy talking points, maybe you should delete the troll posts now. They are working up the spam exactly like they did in 2004--planting the seeds of legitimacy when the country wants desperately to be rid of these numbnuts.

Posted by: Sparko on June 20, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

Know how people out child sex offenders in their neighborhoods? Someday, dear trolls, some diligent hacker is going to start putting up "your neighbor is a sexually disturbed person who gets off on the fantasy of torturing others." It'll have your picture and phone number and everything. Good luck.

Posted by: JMG on June 20, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Make that Tony Blankley, the idiot Washington Times "pundit." I think Tony Blinken was a Clinton speech writer who was very good.

Posted by: Sparko on June 20, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

The fact is, om the al Qaeda organizational chart, there is bin Laden at the top, and then below him there are a bunch of nobodies. You get bin Laden and there will be nobody willing to take his place. So all this crap about "we caught al Qaeda's #2!" is a bunch of bullshit. They're nobodies. Oh yeah, and bin Laden is insane too. I think that's frickin' obvious by now.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on June 20, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

If yoiu want to see the condensed, video version of Suskind's book, the Frontline documentary "The Dark Side" airing tonight NAILS it. Absolutely SPOT ON. Don't MISS THIS.

Posted by: DrBB on June 20, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

GOP -- from your own link:
http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2006a/032406/032406h.htm
After a quote from John Paul II, the statement says: As followers of Jesus, we must state clearly and unequivocally that torture violates the basic human dignity afforded all of Gods children, and is never morally acceptable. On this two-year anniversary of the revelations of the cruel, inhumane and humiliating treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison -- the first of numerous revelations regarding institutionalized torture practices in the U.S. war on terrorism -- we reiterate our churchs profound respect for the dignity of all persons and reject as antithetical to Christianity any and all justifications for the use of torture.

Of course, the Pope only leads a small minority of Christians.

Funny how Pew angle it slightly differently from you. Liberal biased pussies.
August 2004, Pew:
http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=866

November 2005, Pew: Public more willing to accept torture than opinion leaders:
http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=1019

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Abu Zubaydah's torture, inspired by the political needs of George W. Bush's regime, led to the years-long illegal detention of Jose Padilla. It led to memos "legalizing"torture, an effort to cover the CIA's rears in retrospect.

The cave-in of Tenet's CIA to the predetermined agenda of this crony regime led to the abandonment of the fourth amendment, the violation of our own and international laws, and, of course, to an illegal, unnecessary, unwinnable, ruinous war. God damn them all to hell. And God damn the toadies and functionaries and propagandists who smoothed the way.

Posted by: Nell on June 20, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

No, Nell. i don't want to wait for them to burn in Hell. I don't even believe in Hell.

I want them lined up and shot, here and now, the bodies burned, and the ashes scattered to the four winds. I want their names to be synonymous with evil, to be ranked right up there with Torquemada, Rasputin, Stalin and Hitler; so that people with the same last name change it, out of fear and loathing that anyone might think they're related to those walking, talking piles of shit masquerading as human beings.

And I want the same thing for the toadies and lickspittles who've cheered them every step of the way.

Posted by: CaseyL on June 20, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, and bin Laden is insane too. I think that's frickin' obvious by now.
Posted by: Pocket Rocket on June 20, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

He *does* seem to have that "Charles Manson" look in his eyes.

So does Bush.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 21, 2006 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

I think Tony Blinken was a Clinton speech writer who was very good.

mr. jayarbee, that's the guy I was talking about. Thank you, Sparko.

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

osama_been_forgotten

Got a question for you.

As the years go by, what are you going to do when someone asks "Who's Osama?" and means it?

Posted by: notthere on June 21, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

As the years go by, what are you going to do when someone asks "Who's Osama?" and means it?
Posted by: notthere on June 21, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

I think Bush asked that just the other day in a press conference.

But seriously, if that happens, I hope I can just pose as "cheney_been_forgotten".

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 21, 2006 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Considering George's mental abilities, everyone seems a genius.

Posted by: Matt on June 21, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

The only way to beat them (the terrorist) is to be like them. And as a devout Christian, we must show our solidarity with the president in the impending war the most evil of forces. As a fellow born again evangelical christian, we must support our President in his hour of needs, and support this war.

Posted by: Left Behind Advocate on June 21, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: sweetbarbie on June 21, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

I'd be more impressed with criticsm of Bush's approach if he hadn't been so darn successful.

In terms of terrorism, that would be about 3000 dead people less successful than Clinton, correct?

Posted by: Repack Rider on June 21, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Still waiting for answers to these questions.

1) Why did a former terrorist in 2001 testify that Abu Zubaydah was in charge of training camps, if he only was involved in "minor logistics?"

2) Why is Jordan convinced that Abu Zubaydah played a key role in the millenium bombings, if he was only involved in "minor logistics"

3) Why was the 9/11 commission report of Abu Zubaydah completely at odds with what Suskind says?

Posted by: Jeff on June 20, 2006 at 7:59 PM

Me too Jeff. So I'm sure you would endorse the idea of a full joint Congressional inquiry into these and other questions raised by Suskind's book, with BOTH parties having subpoena power and the power to grant immunity to witnesses, right? RIGHT?????

Posted by: Jim in Chicago on June 21, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe not. However, al Qaeda has not attacked US since this "not the way" program has been in effect, although they have mounted horrendous attacks in various other countries. I'd be more impressed with criticsm of Bush's approach if he hadn't been so darn successful.

Homer: Ah, not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm!
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away!
Homer: Uh-huh, and how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: It's just a stupid rock.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around here, do you?
Homer: (Looks around) Lisa, I'd like to buy your rock.
(Lisa thinks a moment, sighs, takes the money and hands over the rock).

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

"I'd be more impressed with criticsm of Bush's approach if he hadn't been so darn successful."

In terms of terrorism, that would be about 3000 dead people less successful than Clinton, correct?
Posted by: Repack Rider on June 21, 2006 at 12:58 AM |

5500 less if you believe all them Iraqi "insurgents" are "terrorists".

Posted by: Jim in Chicago on June 21, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

I'd be more impressed with criticsm of Bush's approach if he hadn't been so darn successful.

Ah yes, whenever I look out my window down at the giant hole that used to be World Trade Center, I think, boy, that Bush, how darn successful!

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Our government is being run by the worst kinds of incompetent, deviant thugs. Torture someone and they will tell you whatever you want to hear. I bet if we tortured Skilling or the head of Diebold long enough, they would readily tell us in great detail how their deeds were orchestrated and/or facilitated by the White House. Okay, bad example.

Posted by: David D on June 21, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: cxmmc on June 21, 2006 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK

More proof that Bush is an immature, incompetent, sopiled and petulant criminal - a nincompoop who wears cowboy boots but is afraid of horses. Pathetic

The sooner that we can get Bush and Cheney in a federal penitentiary, the better! Let's no settle for just impeachment -

IMPEACH AND IMPRISON BUSH AND CHENEY!!!

Posted by: Stephen on June 21, 2006 at 6:50 AM | PERMALINK

At least those four 9/11 widows get to enjoy their husbands' deaths.

No, Charlie: the only person who enjoys the deaths of other people's family is you, you evil cunt.

Posted by: ahem on June 21, 2006 at 7:06 AM | PERMALINK

for a super, super commentary on suskind's bk. i recommend the link below.

it ought to be titled: wacko in the white
house---very,very,very scary.

link:
go to: time.blogs.com/daily_dish/ and read the art. under the pict. of dick cheney (you have to scroll quite far down to get to the cheney pict.).

Posted by: wschneid25 on June 21, 2006 at 7:08 AM | PERMALINK

At least those four 9/11 widows get to enjoy their husbands' deaths.

Charlie,

You're a filthy, lying, shameless coward.

Have a nice day. And go fuck yourself.

Posted by: obscure on June 21, 2006 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

It is instances like these where I pray for some way of divine justice.

Posted by: eatyrgarbage on June 21, 2006 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

"the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

Oh, I dunno Kevin. We have a lot of fun here don't we?

Posted by: professor rat on June 21, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

At least those four 9/11 widows get to enjoy their husbands' deaths.

When they start talking like this, you know they're about to lose BIG TIME.

Posted by: Ane Qui Rit on June 21, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

The only way to beat them (the terrorist) is to be like them. And as a devout Christian...

How very er "christian"? of you.

Posted by: ckelly on June 21, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

"It is not, in fact, the way to do much of anything."

The earliest posters made the right point. As long as it provided grist for the fear mill, it played its part in getting a supremely disliked President re-elected. (Along with vote fraud in just the right amount, in just the right place.)

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 21, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK


ex-lib: al Qaeda has not attacked US since this "not the way" program has been in effect


al-qaeda never attacked inside the u-s before the program...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 21, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

unless you count bush gone fishing as a security program

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 21, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

cheney: At least those four 9/11 widows....


those widows like most of america have learned..

only bush and the gop can use 9-11 for political purposes..

gwb today in europe:


"Look, people didn't agree with my decision on Iraq. And I understand that. For Europe, September the 11th was a moment; for us it was a change of thinking.

"I vowed to the American people I would do everything I could to defend our people, and will. I fully understood that the longer we got away from September the 11th, more people would forget the lessons of September the 11th. But I'm not going to forget them."


9-11....9-11.....9-11....

doesnt he know..

iraq didnt have anything to do with 9-11...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 21, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Many European countries have been dealing with long-standing terrorist campaigns for decades. And we lecture them?

Posted by: Wombat on June 21, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Many European countries have been dealing with long-standing terrorist campaigns for decades. And we lecture them?

Well sure: none of them went out and invaded a country that had nothing to do with it. They gotta learn from our example!

Posted by: Jim in Chicago on June 21, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

please, for heaven's sake, print this out and post it somewhere you can see it constantly -- and then refer to it any time the thought crosses your mind that the Bush Administration should be taken seriously at any time regarding foreign policy or use of military power. Or regarding any aspect of governing whatsoever.

Posted by: secularhuman on June 22, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Tom: ``The soldiers would have been tortured regardless. Implying that if the US were nice to terrorists, terrorists would be nice back is exactly the kind of thing makes the American public think liberals can't be trusted to protect. It is naive and it loses elections.''


Cite examples, please, of other U.S. soldiers being kidnaped and tortured. Otherwise, you haven't refuted a thing.

Posted by: secularhuman on June 22, 2006 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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