Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

October 4, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

TORTURE....The New York Times informs us today that even as the Bush White House was telling everyone publicly that it had backed away from torture as state policy, it was busily issuing brand new orders sanctioning it:

Soon after Alberto R. Gonzales's arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

....Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not know existed, current and former officials said. The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard.

....Congress and the Supreme Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits on interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter by dropping the most extreme techniques. But the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said.

The Times says that "most lawmakers" didn't know about this secret opinion. That means that some of them did. I'd like to know which ones. I'd also like to hear each of the Democratic candidates tell us whether or not they promise to repudiate all secret Bush administration memorandums on torture and detention during their first day in office. Quickly, please.

Kevin Drum 1:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

I say we waterboard Al until he tells which lawmakers were in on it.
As he would argue, (complete) ignorance doesn't make a person innocent!

Posted by: Kenji on October 4, 2007 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Howabout repudiating all Bush memorandums, secret and not so secret, in the first day in office?

Posted by: BL on October 4, 2007 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

The sad thing is that the next President, be it Mrs. Clinton or anyone else, Republican or Democrat, will embrace all the Bush memoranda and legal opinion, just as they are falling over themselves to continue the fiasco in Iraq till hell freezes over. There is no exit from this madness.

Posted by: gregor on October 4, 2007 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

I'm getting really sick of all this stuff thats been going on. TORTURE >_

Posted by: Evisu on October 4, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Gregor, in the last Democratic debate, Bill Richardson made a point of stating unequivocally that that he would restore the constitution and consign the Bush doctrine to the trash heap.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 4, 2007 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

The sad thing is that we all assumed he was lieing through his teeth. After all, we still don't know anything about the off-record renditioned illegal combatants. Poor sods.

If it wasn't fact it would be the fiction of "The Iron Mask". 5 years and counting of torturous solitude. They probably will now never be released as they would constitute damning evidence . . . if they haven't totally lost every part of their minds.

Sorry to say, but George W. Bush is the most barbarous man to come to power in the western nations since Hitler and Franco. It is a stain on this nation's history, and hard to absolve given the servitude of the Republican and the conformity of the Democratic Parties.

Posted by: notthere on October 4, 2007 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

lying, you mean, notthere.

Posted by: Kenji on October 4, 2007 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Ok, it's impeachment time. Why wait and repudiate things in 2009 when the right time is now.

Not doing it is whistling by while some dude gets the shit kicked out of him.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on October 4, 2007 at 3:27 AM | PERMALINK

Can we impeach, prosecute, and jail them all NOW!?

I know, I know, the Democrats "don't have the votes". But at the very least they could force everyone in Congress to go on the record on whether the support or oppose the Bush administration lying to the American people about torture and breaking the law. It could come in handy the next time there's an election (assuming of course that Diebold machines aren't keeping tabs).

There's incompetence, there's cowardice, and then there are the Democrats. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day; it's no longer possible to believe the Democrats are coming down on the side of inaction and complicity by accident.

The Republicans have gutted the constitution and broken the laws and what do the Democrats do? They continue to go along with it or worse, help pass laws to legitimize these bad acts. If they're not even going to try to roll back these abuses and press for at least a modicum of accountability now when the Bush administration is perpetrating these crimes, you know for certain they won't hold a Democratic president accountable either.

When a crime wave is going on when there aren't any police around, you can hope the police will return and set things right. But when the police actually show up and not only fail to stop the criminals but give them their blessings (and occasionally join in the crime wave), you don't even have hope.

This country is so screwed, it's not even funny.

[Hey, and the FBI agents that are investing charges that Blackwater employees committed murder in Iraq are going to be guarded in Iraq by... Blackwater employees. A lot of petty dictatorships wouldn't be so brazen. F*&$ each and every member of Congress who doesn't scream to high heaven about this. It seems as though each week presents a new low in corruption or malfeasance that should merit impeachment proceedings and the Democrats not only aren't doing anything about it, they're voting on symbolic resolutions to condemn the few organizations like MoveOn that are trying to be a voice of opposition.]

Posted by: Augustus on October 4, 2007 at 3:44 AM | PERMALINK

Kenji: "I say we waterboard Al until he tells ..."

C'mon, Al is such a coward that merely dragging one's fingernails across a chalkboard would suffice.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on October 4, 2007 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

What is going to take to impeach this creature? Good God, I simply can't believe that an opposition party would let a president, any president, get away with the shit that Bush/Cheney have gotten away with! Maybe 9-11 did change everything - it emasculated the impeachment provisions of the Constitution anyway.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 4, 2007 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK

With any luck, torture and this nation's attitude and policy regarding it will become a key campaign issue in '08.

Posted by: Fel on October 4, 2007 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

Most Dem candidates won't unequivocally commit to ending the war with few if any conditions or exceptions to such a promise. I suspect their position on torture would be similar. Much of the executive power grab conducted by Bush will suddenly look attractive and useful to any future Dem president. The newly enhanced unitary executive is not going away.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 4, 2007 at 6:15 AM | PERMALINK
I'd like to know which ones. I'd also like to hear each of the Democratic candidates tell us whether or not they promise to repudiate all secret Bush administration memorandums on torture and detention during their first day in office.

you are kidding right? the majors won't commit to leaving iraq because there is some possibility that things would get so bad there they'd be tarred for allowing genocide (even though grownups understand that actions need to change when new circumstances emerge, even if they did commit); in the same way they will want to "keep all options on the table" wrt torture, because otherwise some day it could happen that they could have tortured false information out of a suspect to make everybody feel better even though the "information" is useless.

Posted by: supersaurus on October 4, 2007 at 6:17 AM | PERMALINK

supersaurus:

"... they will want to 'keep all options on the table' wrt torture, because otherwise some day it could happen that they could have tortured false information out of a suspect to make everybody feel better even though the "information" is useless."

what the are you saying? sorry, i really just don't understand. thx.

Posted by: Fel on October 4, 2007 at 6:41 AM | PERMALINK

If the Democratic candidates want to get a campaign against torture rolling they can promise special prosecutors to investigate and prosecute these sadists. Let them all explain themselves before juries. We will not regain one tenth of the worlds respect until the crimes are all out in the open and these cowards are punished. Congress will not do this, our next attorney general will have to do it.

Posted by: BeBe on October 4, 2007 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

The United States is heading toward fascism.

Posted by: Beyonce Welch on October 4, 2007 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Framing counts, folks.

Opposition to torture based on morality is politically weakened by the inevitable faintest hint of moral equivalence -- that somehow Americans who had nothing to do with authorizing waterboarding are as evil as the al Qaeda guys who trained in bin Laden's camps and cheered when the WTC and Pentagon were attacked.

So don't GO there, much less START there.

Like Lincoln said about slavery, if torture isn't wrong, then nothing is wrong. It is wrong.

But it's smarter to frame it on the foundation that torture is not effective. Progressives want to be the common sense crowd, not the morality army. Let the Bill Kristols of the world preen about how they are oh, so smart, with the hypotheticals: 'well, if it was effective in even one case, wouldn't that justify it?'

The great obstacle to intelligence work is not a lack of information, after all. It's that there is waaaaay too much, er, intelligence (irony alarm!); exponentially more false positives than productive leads. Victims of torture will tell the interrogator what they think he wants to hear.

And THAT is the Bush administration's great weakness. As we've seen over and over again, Bush believes he knows intuitively what's gonna happen. He's been wrong. The public has long since lost all confidence in the guy's judgment. You want to change Bush's policies, focus on that.

But very few Americans think of us as the immoral equivalent of al Qaeda -- and that's a good thing, not something progressives need to CORRECT. We ARE the good guys.

So frame the Bush administration's commitment to torture as yet another example of cooking the books, the kind of 'tell us what we want to hear' that's gotten us into the mess in Iraq: and, oh, yeah, it's ALSO fucking evil.

Don't alienate the folks we need to persuade.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 4, 2007 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

"But it's smarter to frame it on the foundation that torture is not effective."

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 4, 2007 at 8:06 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The administration claims intelligence gained through torture has averted terrorist events. They protect all the circumstances and methods behind these claims with claims of executive privilege or the cover of national security. What is the public to do? Assume they're lying and making it all up? Sure, many of us assume just that, but millions more have no choice but to buy into the charade. Are 200 million housewives, immigrants, hardcore conservatives/Republicans and dozens of other casually interested or affected groups of people going to march in the streets demanding transparency and accountibility? Hardly. For 50+ years television, movies, books and magazines have depicted the bad guys breaking down and confessing coming bad deeds after getting the hell beat out of them whilst roped to a chair or drugged into a compliant stupor. It's an image in the public mind that's taken on a reality of its own. Bushco knows that. So will any incoming Democratic regime. Reframing it will be akin to pushing a chain uphill.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 4, 2007 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

The biggest problem here is not Bush. It's the 30% of the country that still supports this skank, and all the lying, secrecy, torture, and pissing on the Constitution that Bush is responsible for. Bush is their guy!

And, Bush still has a rubber stamp with essentially every Republican in Congress, plus Leiberman.

Posted by: Mark-NC on October 4, 2007 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

The United States is heading toward fascism.

Well, yes, certainly. But a smoother, more sophisticated fascism, with a superbly tuned PR operation and a fine sense of just where the limits are to keep people from realizing it.

Posted by: DrBB on October 4, 2007 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Castro? Cool.
Chavez? Swoon.
Armenidajad? Neato.
Stalin? Mao? Ho Chi Minh? Fine....
Bush? EWWWWWW!

Sincerely,
American and International Leftists

Posted by: nikkolai on October 4, 2007 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe in your sick, twisted mind, Nikkolai. But you've never heard any Democrats say any of that.

Posted by: CN on October 4, 2007 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Excellent point on who knew in the Congressional leadership.

Posted by: lambert strether on October 4, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Castro and Chavez are despots and despicable asses. However, I'm not sure they're personally responsible for nearly as much death, injury, dislocation plus destruction of the enviroment and infrastructure as Bush has on his resume'. Removing Bush from the list of the living would be a far bigger positive for the human species than doing the same to both Chavez and Castro.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 4, 2007 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing is going to change because the democrats are spineless, gutless, leaderless, and clueless! cleve

Posted by: cleve on October 4, 2007 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Still more concerned with terrorists rights over the security of regular Americans.

I know you never leave your bedroom, but don't think your safe from the world. We AMericans who have to get out and work for a living appreciate the Presidents effort's.

Posted by: egbert on October 4, 2007 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

"I'd also like to hear each of the Democratic candidates tell us whether or not they promise to repudiate all secret Bush administration memorandums."

That's a real MSM take Kevin, "How can we make it the Democrats' fault?" Let's do first things first. How about Attorney General designate Michael Mukasey "tell us whether or not [he] promise[s] to repudiate all secret [DOJ] memorandums"? Why confirm a man who won't?

That's the first step. Mukasey can undo this. Will he?

Posted by: David in NY on October 4, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

thank you

Posted by: seks shop on October 4, 2007 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Steve Duncan: "For 50+ years television, movies, books and magazines have depicted the bad guys breaking down and confessing coming bad deeds after getting the hell beat out of them whilst roped to a chair or drugged into a compliant stupor. It's an image in the public mind that's taken on a reality of its own."

Anybody happen to see CSI:New York last night?

Mac forces the alleged (yes, there was lots of physical evidence against him) bomber against the cell wall with his forearm, cutting off his air and threatening to suffocate him if he doesn't tell where the bomb is. Mac is interrupted before the guy suffers brain damage, leaving it ambiguous as to whether he would have carried out the threat. He gets no information from the suspect, but there are NO consequences for Mac. He tracks down and dramatically arrests the other bomber just as the bomb squad jams the detonation signal.

I don't watch the show often enough to know the character who interrupted the "interrogation," but the audience is left with the impression that he doesn't find Mac's behavior worthy of comment, much less investigation. I know that we're meant to admire Mac's righteous rage and manly, gut-inspired abandonment of the rule of law.

It would be a full time job to write in and protest all such TV and movie depictions of illegal interrogation methods where we are supposed to sympathize with the torturer. This relentless, unrealistic portrayal of torture never being inflicted on the innocent has really messed up Americans' understanding of their rights and how they should be protected by law. I've only seen one show where a regular, sympathetic character (Bug on "Crossing Jordan") was the innocent victim rather than the perpetrator of such barbarity.

Does anyone think it would work to campaign against using this cheap dramatic ploy in TV shows and movies? I really think that next to the sudden devastation of 9/11 it has been the most powerful factor in twisting public opinion in favor of getting rid of Constitutionally guaranteed rights. I mean, Justice Antonin Scalia used the example of the fictional Jack Bauer to justify the use of torture by law enforcement.
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/06/20/justice-scalia-hearts-jack-bauer/

Yeah, I can stop watching TV, and I've NEVER watched 24 because of exactly these issues but I don't watch as much TV as you might think from what I've written here, and I rarely go to movies apart from family outings to the likes of Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean. I don't think they'll miss me enough to change their ways.

Posted by: cowalker on October 4, 2007 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.): Gregor, in the last Democratic debate, Bill Richardson made a point of stating unequivocally that that he would restore the constitution and consign the Bush doctrine to the trash heap.

The Mexican constitution? Don't they squirt seltzer water up perps sinuses?

Posted by: Luther on October 4, 2007 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

The Mexican constitution? Don't they squirt seltzer water up perps sinuses?

Nothing racist about that remark...

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 4, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Cue "ex-liberal" giving the neocon endorsement of torture in 3...2...

Posted by: Gregory on October 4, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

re: constitution: digby sends this link

Posted by: listen to digby on October 4, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Who's winning that argument in your head Nikkolai - you or you?

Posted by: ckelly on October 4, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

nikkolai on October 4, 2007 at 8:44 AM

I DARE you to find a comment by a regular here that swoons over Chavez or Castro or Mao. You can't of course, you are just a whining loser. Shut the fuck up already.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 4, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Looks like Obama is the first of the candidates to come out hard and unequivocally against this.

His statement reads:

“The secret authorization of brutal interrogations is an outrageous betrayal of our core values, and a grave danger to our security. We must do whatever it takes to track down and capture or kill terrorists, but torture is not a part of the answer -- it is a fundamental part of the problem with this administration's approach.

"Torture is how you create enemies, not how you defeat them. Torture is how you get bad information, not good intelligence. Torture is how you set back America's standing in the world, not how you strengthen it. It's time to tell the world that America rejects torture without exception or equivocation. It's time to stop telling the American people one thing in public while doing something else in the shadows. No more secret authorization of methods like simulated drowning.

"When I am president America will once again be the country that stands up to these deplorable tactics. When I am president we won't work in secret to avoid honoring our laws and Constitution, we will be straight with the American people and true to our values."


Oh to have a leader who once again understands that our greatest strengths, our most effective weapons against our enemies are the ideals and principles espoused by our Declaration of Independence and written into law within our Constitution; the ideals and principles that (prior to the current Administration) defined us as a nation and as a people.

Posted by: Aaron on October 4, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

ckelly has been particularly funny lately, as well as perfectly mirroring some of my own opinions about the slate of Democratic candidates, which makes him or her even more keenly perceptive. :)

And Luther, STFU with that crap.

Posted by: shortstop on October 4, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

But isn't it cute how the John Birch Society Republicans' ridiculous obsession with Communism keeps resurfacing?

Posted by: Gregory on October 4, 2007 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

This is *exactly* why I fear a Clinton presidency. Withouth prosecuting these behaviors, she will continue this new "tradition"

Posted by: Simp on October 4, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

I'd also like to hear each of the Democratic candidates tell us whether or not they promise to repudiate all secret Bush administration memorandums on torture and detention during their first day in office. Quickly, please.

That is really needed. We need to each of go on the record, in specific terms, tell us what they'll do. Clinton especially.

The Soviet experience, I remember reading somewhere, is that once torture is accepted as a practice -- as it has been here -- it is nearly impossible to get rid of. It will take swift and strong action by the next president to eliminate what Bush has done.

I'm not so naive to think that we never tortured before Bush. But with a wink and a nod he has made it the official policy of the U.S., and I believe, greatly expanded the use of the practice. The damage his policy has done to our country is monumental. Ending torture needs to be a top priority of the next administration.

Posted by: JJF on October 4, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry. I forgot to include the link to the site where I found Obama's statement.

TPM's Election Central:

http://tpmelectioncentral.com/2007/10/_obama_slams_admin_torture_is_a_betrayal_of_our_core_values.php

Again, my apologies.

Posted by: Aaron on October 4, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks shortstop - I've thought the same about your posts. I'm still chuckling over this one...

Wow. Voting like it's 1996 and speaking the same way?
Posted by: shortstop on October 3, 2007

I'm just another morally bankrupt lefty married to Mrs ckelly for 15+.

Posted by: ckelly on October 4, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just another morally bankrupt lefty married to Mrs ckelly for 15+.

Just how many morally bankrupt lefties are married to Mrs ckelly?

Posted by: pedant on October 4, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Like egbert says, we just GOTTA torture! If we didn't torture, we'd probably still be in Iraq, fighting insurgents! Heck, Osama bin Laden would probably still be out there making videos! The Taliban might even be gaining strength in Afghanistan!

So you see, with that kind of track record, we just GOTTA flush our principles and keep on secretly torturing!

It's not enough to torture logic!

Posted by: tubino on October 4, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Duncan, if you want people to respect you, show that you respect them.

First you say: "The administration claims intelligence gained through torture has averted terrorist events."

I had already pointed out the proper response is -- so what? NOBODY believes the Bush administration.

It may actually be the case that they have stopped terrorist attacks, but I'd put the Clinton record against theirs easily enough. Grown ups don't throw up their hands when somebody argues back.

Ah -- but you do.

Because, Duncan, you immediately denigrated all Americans as being dumb enough to believe Bush because of all those TV shows about torture. I'm not gonna argue TV shows with you. I'm just pointing out that you don't respect the public.

But then, ye gods and little fishes, you go on to threaten the President of the United States, viz., "Removing Bush from the list of the living", which frankly says a WHOLE lot about you. (And for the record, the Secret Service properly takes threats like that seriously. If I were you, I'd get a lawyer before they knock on your door.)

Puh-LEEZE folks, take a moment to try to see yourselves as others see you.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 4, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "Ah, Kevin.

Still more concerned with terrorists rights over the security of regular Americans."

Interesting that Bush administration supporters say "It's ok to torture," while the Bush administration itself says, at least publically, "It's not ok to torture and we don't do it."

Posted by: bobo the chimp on October 4, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert sets the illiteracy record for one short post: Still more concerned with terrorists rights over the security of regular Americans.

I know you never leave your bedroom, but don't think your safe from the world. We AMericans who have to get out and work for a living appreciate the Presidents effort's.

What must it be like to be unable to punctuate possessives, plurals, or distinguish your from you're?

What must it be like in egbert's brain?

Posted by: tubino on October 4, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist: Duncan, if you want people to respect you, show that you respect them.

and

Puh-LEEZE folks, take a moment to try to see yourselves as others see you.

everyone's irony meters just freaking exploded. no mas!

Posted by: bored masses on October 4, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist, you are correct, I don't respect the public or have even the slightest faith in their individual or collective intelligence. Roughly 49% voted for Bush, TWICE. That fact alone leaves just the remaining 1/2 the population to consider sane or not. We already know millions of independents and Democrats were for the war, could care less about torture and think if you don't have anything to hide why care if the government snoops into your most private thoughts and communications (say toodles to the 4th Amendment on that one). So yes, the general public are blithering idiots.

Your assertion "nobody believes the Bush administration" is demonstrably false. He still has a core of rabid fans, many ensconced in the media, industry, Congress, the judiciary, the military and various regulatory agencies. These are often important, wealthy and influential people in a position to commit the crimes and perpetuate the policies doing all the damage.
As to fitting Bush with concrete shoes I can't say as I have the means or desire to bother trying. It is however legal to fervently hope to awaken one day and discover he's met some ghastly demise commensurate with the pain and suffering he's caused. It's also perfecly logical to posit between Bush, Castro and Chavez he's the most deserving.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 4, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

The best historical commentary I have read about torture came from Vladimir Burovsky. Russian history can teach us a lot about where this will head if we do not stop it now. See his commentary here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/17/AR2005121700018.html

Posted by: David on October 4, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Remember in 2004, the admin briefed only the Gang of 8 on the illegal domestic wiretapping, and got exactly what they wanted from it. Why the heck wouldn't they have just done the same thing in 2005?

While I am also interested in what the presidential candidates knew, it's quite likely that they were in the dark like 98% of the rest of congress.

Posted by: PeterB on October 4, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Thursday's devastating New York Times expose of the Bush administration's secret endorsement of torture by the CIA only served to confirm the worst what most Americans already suspected. First, Alberto Gonzales lied to Congress regarding the administration's policy on torture of detainees during his 2005 confirmation hearings. Second, President Bush's December 2005 signing statement accompanying the Detainee Treatment Act was expressly designed to exempt the lawbreaking he had already approved.

For the details, see:
"Bush Signing Statement, Gonzales Perjury Concealed Torture Policy."

Posted by: Furious on October 4, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist: "Because, Duncan, you immediately denigrated all Americans as being dumb enough to believe Bush because of all those TV shows about torture. I'm not gonna argue TV shows with you. I'm just pointing out that you don't respect the public."

Enough Americans believed Bush in 2004 to enable him to either win or steal the presidential election. (People can disagree in good faith about which it was, but all must admit that at least close to half of Americans voted for Bush.) NOW the majority of Americans do not believe Bush. What can we think about them except that they are mighty slow learners? Maybe slow enough to be influenced by TV shows? How's this for scary--Antonin Scalia is one of them. Except as far as we know, he STILL believes Bush.

Posted by: cowalker on October 4, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK
May I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no use of torture by the United States government. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount..
Posted by: Daryl McCullough on October 4, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Further glaring parallels between the regimes of Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush, inspired by a mentor who experienced both dictators first-hand:

"Amerika ber Alles" - Our Nazi Nation
by Captain Eric H. May
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/, October 3rd, 2007

Posted by: Poilu on October 4, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Duncan sez: "I don't respect the public or have even the slightest faith in their individual or collective intelligence..."

which is why nobody give's a rat's ass what you say.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 4, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Duncan sez: "I don't respect the public or have even the slightest faith in their individual or collective intelligence..."

which is why nobody give's a rat's ass what you say.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 4, 2007 at 2:19 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The notable exception being those reading them and taking their precious time to respond or react to them.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 4, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

a "kinder gentler" America with 1000 points of light and each one is a lit cigarette being applied to your body

Yeah, we've got trouble...right here in River City.

How long will it take for the "good Republican senators" to come around to realizing that America isn't ready for fascism and wants Bush & Co. out?

Are there ANY "good Republicans" or are they ALL Conservative Bush Republicans who all deserve to 'hang together'?

Posted by: MarkH on October 4, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.
Still more concerned with terrorists rights over the security of regular Americans.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Hmmm...nothing in there about only AMERICAN "men". Yep, it states ALL men (meaning ALL people). They COULD have said that all Americans are created equal but they did not. They stated, clearly, that ALL human beings have inalienable rights. We cannot treat ANYONE else, under any circumstance, in violation of this tenant without rendering the founding document of our country null and void. It applies or it does not. There is no prevaricating here for the words and intent are crystal clear.

Learn it, know it, live it.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on October 4, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Geneva conventions and American policy in WW II hastened the German army's surrender, because when cornered, they knew that America would treat them humanely. How things have changed.

Even those of us who have done nothing wrong fear for our liberty and safety under Bush.

Posted by: scoobydonut on October 4, 2007 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Al and Egbert were forced to perform simulated sexual acts for CIA operatives, and much like Jose Padilla, now they are further tortured by having to convince everyone that their torment was okay. At this point, it is actually better to leave them alone than to feed their unfortunate pathologies.

Posted by: Kenji on October 4, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist: But it's smarter to frame it on the foundation that torture is not effective.

While torture is generally ineffective, effectiveness is not an appropriate basis for opposing it. If that is your foundation, then you're simply debating cost-benefit-value, and allow the discussion to be framed by the proponents of torture. The foundation for opposition to torture is moral--as is opposing slavery, child labor, trafficking, etc. That it's not cost-effective (at least on a macro scale) is icing on the cake.

Posted by: has407 on October 4, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

... which is why nobody give's a rat's ass what you say

Ah, the "Americanist" once again demonstrates his presumed "omniscience", without producing so much as a single fact to support his dubious contentions..

Must be nice to be so "self-assured", particularly when donning the preposterous guise of "Protocol Czar". %^}

Posted by: Poilu on October 5, 2007 at 5:16 AM | PERMALINK

after all the things the administration has done to our country and the world the next occupant of the white house should have a wonderful sight everytime he (or she) gazes out the window into the white house rose garden- the sight of george, dick, al, rummy, wolfie, pearl, and condie, slowly twisting in the breeze through the trees

Posted by: steve s. on October 5, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly