Thursday, November 01, 2007

Not Waving, Drowning

So President Bush's line is "If I can't have my Attorney General we won't have one. Na-Na!"

Dana Perino tries to make things pretty (that is her job, after all), and says, "No nominee could meet the test they've presented."

The "they" turns out to be senators feeling suddenly spine-full who don't want to confirm Mukasey until he makes it clear where he stands on waterboarding. It seems if he says waterboarding is torture, and the US doesn't torture--and as AG he would then make sure that's true--he'd pass the test.

So really what Perino means is the US waterboards. And Bush sort of admits that, too, saying "it was unfair to ask Mukasey about interrogation techniques about which he has not been briefed. 'He doesn't know whether we use that technique or not,' the president said during the session. 'It doesn't make any sense to tell an enemy what we're doing.'"

And VP Cheney "said classified CIA interrogation methods are not the same as those of the military, where waterboarding is not a permitted in the Army Field Manual. 'This CIA program is different. It involves tougher customers — men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and it involves tougher interrogation.'"

OK, so according to the President, we need secret ways to interrogate or the enemy will study up and beat the system. Although any surprising way to "interrogate" would seem to involve putting the terror in the interrorgate, so to speak.

And according to the VP, as long as the person is bad enough, whatever we do to him is what he deserves. After all, the only way the US can remain a nation of laws is to bend those laws every now and then. Guilty until tortured and you confess and all that.

So to beat the terrorists, we must become as uncivilized as they are. Gee, wonder who is winning this war?

Before anyone suggests waterboarding isn't torture, go watch this video. Hard to take, just watching it, no?

Before anyone says, "But if they captured someone who knew where the bomb was to go off, wouldn't you want an immediate answer?" go read this article in which a Marine major discusses why torture doesn't get you the truth.

After all that try to figure out why this President seems so determined to do away with the checks and balances in the Constitution and any sense of international law, too.

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23 Comments:

Blogger Trekking Left said...

Bush said ... "it was unfair to ask Mukasey about interrogation techniques about which he has not been briefed."

I mean, how is the man supposed to know how to spin the truth if he hasn't been briefed?

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why IS this President so determined to do away with the checks and balances of the Constitution and any sense of international law? It can't all be the result of incompetent management. There's been too much for it to simply be random. It must be intentional. So, why?
I am like the little dog in this week's Tom Tomorrow cartoon, dismayed, in despair as everything this country stands for is systemically undermined. (And like the little dog, that is not what I wanted to be for Halloween either.)

5:56 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

So you guys would rather we NOT try to get information out of captured terrorists? I don't get it. It's not like they are ripping out their fingernails or cutting off toes or something. Waterboarding, womens underwear and dogs, whatever. If it helps us to squash terrorist plots or to capture more of the bad guys and get them out of business, I'm for it.

I suggest you ask family members of the victims of 9/11 what they think of waterboarding. If there are any of them that believe it's torture and shouldn't be a tool of our CIA, ask them if they had a choice between waterboarding a couple of radicals and foiling the plot to blow up US interests, thereby saving their loved ones lives, or taking the bleeding heart moral high ground and not intensely interrogating the bad guys, thereby losing their loved ones, which they would choose.

2:14 PM  
Blogger George said...

McC, I'll explain it to you slowly, since you didn't seem to get it the first time:

1) First, sometimes the people we capture aren't terrorists. But we torture them anyway.

2) Waterboarding is torture. Go watch that video.

3) People in intel say torture doesn't get information, it gets people to say whatever they think you want to hear.

4) I don't want to live in a world where our decisions are made by whomever is most emotionally invested in what happened. Laws are supposed to be about reason, not emotion.

5) We didn't need to torture anyone to foil 9/11. We just needed a government that took warnings like "Bin Laden determined to strike the U.S." seriously. We needed agencies that talked to each other. The info was there to foil the plot and we blew it. On W.'s watch.

6) What is it that you most fear from the so-called Islamofascists? That they will take away our way of life, no? Now isn't a part of that way of life believing America is a force in the world for what's morally right? How can we be morally right and torture?

4:49 PM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

Of course you don't address any of my points, George, but that's okay. I'll SLOWLY address yours.

your point 1. did you even read that article? the Syrians tortured him (maybe), not us. duh.

your point 2. waterboarding may be construed as torture, i'll get with you on that. but when they employ this tactic, it's not for the sake of torture, it's for the sake of extracting information. IT'S NOT TORTURE FOR TORTURES SAKE.

your point 3. not everybody says it doesnt work. the article you linked to in the body of your post cited a guy from 1943 saying it didnt work. i know there are other folks out there in the media stating it doesnt work, but if it didn't have any effect at getting intel from the suspects, why do they still employ it? i think it may be because there are some benefits to the tactic of waterboarding.

4. your point 4. i have no idea what the heck youre talking about here. our decisions made by emotionally invested people? who exactly are you talking about? are you saying i dont want the families of the victims of 9/11 to run for president and make policy decisions? im missing your point here.

your point 5. i agree with you on your second and third sentences, especially the third about interagency communication. Tenet's book clearly points out that that factor probably contributed the most to our defenses being down on 9/11. of course you want to put it on bush, but remember clintons quotes on the saudis having him and us not taking him, on bill's watch. also, clinton deteriorated the strength of the CIA to the point that it had to be rebuilt once the GWB administration took over. i dont think you can put 9/11 on GWB, even though he had been in office for 9 months by 9/11. clinton had the ball in his hands and he dropped it.

your point 6. what do i fear from the islamofascists? that they will attack again on an even greater scale right here inside our country, and more innocents will die. that's what im afraid of. i am absolutely not afraid that they will take away our way of life. that will never happen. it takes a seriously dour opinion about the resolve of Americans if you think they could possibly achieve that. I know, I know, you are in that camp with the America last folks. Iam in the America first camp, and i dont believe americans would allow the islamofascists to impose sharia law on the United States. wont happen. America IS a force in the world for what is morally right. thats why we are fighting the amoral islamofascists.

got it?

7:43 AM  
Blogger George said...

Oh, I get it now:

America IS a force in the world for what is morally right.

We just have to be immoral to do that sometimes.

I love your first evasion, too--he just happened to end up in Syria. America had nothing to do with it. Sophistry, thy name is McC.

As for whether torture (or torture lite, if you prefer--hurts great, less morally culpable!) gets real information or not, I can see us heading down the global warming argument hole here. As long as you can point to one person who questions what I present, you'll say you're right. But maybe you want to look at this article, which cites several studies. And I don't quite get how this kind of research goes old--are we more sophisticated today than in 1943 when it comes to the levels of pain we can take?

By the way, I don't understand how Republicans are the party for personal responsibility but everything that has ever gone wrong is Bill Clinton's fault.

I'll get to the emotion v. reason thing in an entry when I have time.

10:12 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

Indeed, McC, some of us don't want to be amoral monsters like you.

12:11 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

I suggest you ask family members of the victims of 9/11 what they think of waterboarding. If there are any of them that believe it's torture and shouldn't be a tool of our CIA, ask them if they had a choice between waterboarding a couple of radicals and foiling the plot to blow up US interests, thereby saving their loved ones lives, or taking the bleeding heart moral high ground and not intensely interrogating the bad guys, thereby losing their loved ones, which they would choose.

Ok. http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/18819leg20050207.html


September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows supports the dignity of all human beings. Indeed it was the dehumanization of our loved ones that forever changed our lives on 9-11-01. We want justice for the murder of our family members, and effective policies that address the root of terrorism, and prevent terrorist activity.


Yeah, the "bleeding heart moral high ground"; silly us, not being monsters. Yes, some family members of 9/11 victims don't want to become monsters, and are smart enough to recognize the monstrous false dichotomy for what it is. We are not faced with a choice between torturing people (your "intensely interrogating bad guys" euphemism indicates that even you recognize your dishonesty) and losing our loved ones. Torture isn't necessary -- fortunately, since it doesn't produce reliable information.

12:38 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

clinton deteriorated the strength of the CIA to the point that it had to be rebuilt once the GWB administration took over. i dont think you can put 9/11 on GWB, even though he had been in office for 9 months by 9/11. clinton had the ball in his hands and he dropped it.

This is utter bollocks, as documented by both former "terrorism czar" Richard Clarke and the 9/11 Commission. Just consider Bush's response to the Hart-Rudman report:


http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/af/security/a1050878.htm

"President Bush May 8 directed Vice President Dick Cheney to coordinate development of U.S. government initiatives to combat terrorist attacks on the United States...Cheney will lead a new task force to address terrorist threats and will report to Congress by October 1, after a review by the National Security Council."

From http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2004/04/02/hart/index.html

" So there was absolutely no follow-up on your commission's recommendations once Bush referred the matter to Cheney?

Hart: Right."

1:01 AM  
Blogger Trekking Left said...

Firstly, McC, if you watched the 9/11 hearings, you know from Richard Clarke that Bill Clinton was "obsessed" with Bin Laden and terrorism. Blaming Clinton for everything just shows that you get your facts from Rush Limbaugh.

Secondly, the main reason we don't torture is because WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO TORTURE OUR SOLDIERS. This is why people like John McCain (former POW) are so against it. Do you not support our troops?

Thirdly, I love how you always assume the 9/11 families support you and Bush. I don't think that's generally true.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Cookie Jill said...

OK, McBlowJob. You just don't get it, do you.

Torture is illegal. You know, against the law. Our country was founded upon laws.

Modern international humanitarian law categorically prohibits the use of torture. The Rome Statute classifies torture as a crime against humanity, the Third Geneva Convention (1949; Articles 3, 17, 87 and 130) prohibits its use against prisoners of war and the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949; Articles 3, 32 and 147) prohibits it against civilians in situations of armed conflict. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (1948; Article 5) states unequivocally, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Gloss is put on these declarations concerning torture by the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984), to which the United States is a party.

Well, of course, that is if you believe yourself to be a lawful citizen.

Waterboarding IS torture. The U.S. has said so.

In 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. The U.S. punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II.


...following the end of the second world war we prosecuted a number of japanese military and civilian officials for war crimes. including the torture of captured allied personnel. at one of those trials, united states v. sawada

...the prosecutor in that case was vehement in arguing that the captured doolittle fliers had been wrongfully convicted by the japanese tribunal, in part because they were convicted based on evidence obtained through torture. "the untrustworthiness of any admissions or confessions made under torture," he said, "would clearly vitiate a conviction based thereon." - lawofwar.org

http://xnerg.blogspot.com/2006/09/if-waterboarding-isnt-torture.html

If you really believe that torture is a good way to obtain good information, perhaps you would like to confront John McCain and tell him that he's a traitor for revealing information to the enemy when he was being tortured.

The true enemies to our country are the ones that are pillaging our coffers and future for thier own gain. Enron. Blackwater. Halliburton. et al. They have put dollars before country.

You stand more of a chance of getting ill or sent to the hospital by eating a hamburger than you do by being injured by a terrorist.

You stand more of a chance of being injured, maimed or killed in an automobile accident than you are of being injured by a terrorist.

Do you then want to waterboard packing plant workers or automobile makers for possibly, maybe, putting yours or your loved one's lives at risk?

Take a chillpill, McBlowJob. Deal with reality and common sense rather than fearmongering and insanity.

9:09 PM  
Blogger ahab said...

But "IT'S NOT TORTURE FOR TORTURES SAKE," everybody, so it's okey-dokey.

It's not a punitive measure handed down by the misfit, lying, cheating, bullying sociopaths in the White House. It's a tool, you see, a tool to disarm the ticking timebomb! (Yeah...yeah, that's it...)

We went from getting hardly any confessions to getting more confessions than we can possibly use. Talk about a success story. So, go on, then -- talk. About a success story. Or we'll fucking TORTURE YOU BUT NOT FOR TORTURES SAKE, dude1111!

And, besides, wassamatter, you don't love sweet little innocent American babies even as much as torturers (WHO TORTURE NOT FOR TORTURES SAKE) do? Put aside your bohemian lack of scruples and come on over here to the America first (WHO TORTURE NOT FOR TORTURES SAKE) camp.

Torture (BUT NOT TORTURE FOR TORTURES SAKE): it's all good.

4:43 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

digby addresses the moral relativism of scum like McEvil in
http://commonsense.ourfuture.org/right_wing_relativists

Be sure to check her link to the article by Malcolm Nance, counter-terrorism and terrorism intelligence consultant for the U.S. government’s Special Operations, Homeland Security and Intelligence agencies and eyewitness to 9/11 who writes in

http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/10/waterboarding-is-torture-perio

"We live at a time where Americans, completely uninformed by an incurious media and enthralled by vengeance-based fantasy television shows like “24”, are actually cheering and encouraging such torture as justifiable revenge for the September 11 attacks. Having been a rescuer in one of those incidents and personally affected by both attacks, I am bewildered at how casually we have thrown off the mantle of world-leader in justice and honor. Who we have become? Because at this juncture, after Abu Ghraieb and other undignified exposed incidents of murder and torture, we appear to have become no better than our opponents."

and

"Waterboarding is not a simulation. Unless you have been strapped down to the board, have endured the agonizing feeling of the water overpowering your gag reflex, and then feel your throat open and allow pint after pint of water to involuntarily fill your lungs, you will not know the meaning of the word."

Read the whole thing.

11:06 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

Where to begin?

Firstly, Cookie Jill, I think you might be wrong in your statement "Waterboarding IS torture. The U.S. has said so." If that's true, and we're not torturing because of the Geneva Convention or whatever, then why do we need the Senate to grill Mukasey on his feelings about it, and whether it should be outlawed? Just wondering. And as for waterboarding packing plant people that would make me sick with a bad hamburger? Are you crazy? You've walked to the end of the pier and jumped off. I'm talking about extracting information from guys that regularly not only torture captives, but behead them. YOU need a reality check you myopic defeatist.

ahab: success story number one: his name is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. That little bitch sang when we put him through the moves. So there you go. Eat it.


JQB: please no more links to the ACLU. Not only will I not check them out because I don't want to give them the benefit of my traffic, but even citing them shows what an incompetent you are. Seriously, is there a bigger bunch of hypocritical ambulance chasers than the ACLU? Oh yeah, the guys that worked in John Edwards law firm.

Anyway, George you're right to say that we can go down the global warming road with this argument, because there are studies that say it does and studies that say it doesn't work. But T_L shouldn't be using McCain as an example of the reason not to torture. He has stated that it works.

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/11/29/100012.shtml

As for Richard Clarke, well, just check out how many books he's sold: not alot.

And I throw one little Clinton jab in there and you guys get all tizzied! "We tried to get the Saudis to take him...." ever heard that one?

morons.

4:01 PM  
Blogger George said...

I'm talking about extracting information from guys that regularly not only torture captives, but behead them.

And how do we know they tortured and beheaded people? Because we tortured them to get them to say so.

You have a lovely view of the judicial system, I must say.

As for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, first, it becomes clear you're into the torture for the pain, given your next line (we'll ignore the garden variety misogyny)--"That little bitch sang when we put him through the moves." The "we" is telling, too--it's just like a big football game, isn't it? Let's inflict some pain!

Second, he more or less confessed to every vile deed down in the past 100 years. I'm surprised he didn't say he shot down Amelia Earhart.

4:11 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

JQB: please no more links to the ACLU. Not only will I not check them out because I don't want to give them the benefit of my traffic, but even citing them shows what an incompetent you are.

I've pointed out before that this is how you stay stupid -- and very very stupid you are.

1:07 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

Let's inflict some pain!

McC's sick fuck -- we all know it by now.

1:09 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

"a sick fuck", that is.

1:10 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

P.S. Of course McC is very dishonest too -- his stupid reasons for not reading anything at the ACLU doesn't apply to, say, the smallwarsjournal.com link. But as I've said before, he's a coward who is afraid to face the truth.

1:16 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

we dont have to torture anyone to see the behadings, george. check out livelek.com and search beheadings. you'll get all the juicy highlights right there, because THEY VIDEOTAPE THE EXECUTIONS. im not checking out ms. jqb's aclu links and you guys wont likely check out this website, because it might just be too tough for you to stomach. just look away, defeatists.

and as for ms. jqb's coward blast, well, we all know who the coward is. it's the guy who throws out all the names in the book and doesnt have the stones to back himself up. so just hike up your skirt, ms. jqb, and keep on walking.

9:05 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

McC as usual fails to offer a meaningful or relevant response -- no one questions the beheadings or that they are wrong, but they have nothing to do with whether it is right for us to torture -- McC wants to match the worst crimes of others because he is just like them.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Cookie Jill said...

"myopic defeatist"...wow.

Google that and you find that it's a Rethug talking point. Mr. McShrinkyDink can't even be original.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

If McShrinkyDink takes the Lying Sack o'Shit that inhabits the White House at his word...perhaps he missed this.

President Bush has said that the war on terrorism is about values; he has pledged that as it fights, the United States will always stand for "the non-negotiable demands of human dignity." Standing for human dignity means rejecting torture and other forms of ill treatment.

Rejecting torture does not mean forgoing effective interrogations of terrorist suspects. Patient, skillful, professional interrogations obtain critical information without relying on cruelty or inhuman or degrading treatment. Indeed, most seasoned interrogators recognize that torture is not only immoral and illegal, but ineffective and unnecessary as well. Given that people being tortured will say anything to stop the pain, the information yielded from torture is often false or of dubious reliability.

The prohibition against torture is firmly embedded in customary international law, international treaties signed by the United States, and in U.S. law. As the U.S. Department of State has noted, the "United States has long been a vigorous supporter of the international fight against torture…Every unit of government at every level within the United States is committed, by law as well as by policy, to the protection of the individual's life, liberty and physical integrity" [U.S. Department of State, "Initial Report of the United States of America to the UN Committee Against Torture." Oct 15, 1999. (15 Nov. 2001)].

http://hrw.org/press/2001/11/TortureQandA.htm

Torture is freakin' against the law. Waterboarding is torture. We prosecuted the Japanese for War Crimes, one of those crimes was torture...waterboarding.

McLittleDickSmallerBrain is just like this administration...not caring about laws, not caring about history...just making up crap to justify their actions to dismantle our Country and destroy our country from within.

I'm not a defeatist. I'm standing up against the real terrorists. The ones destroying our country from within.

9:17 PM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

Dear Jill,

I love how obsessed you are with my penis. There's five references to it in this thread alone. To be honest, it hasn't gotten this kind of attention since I was banging useless hags like you in college at an alarming rate. A small part of me feels bad lowering myself to your fourth grade level of schoolyard name-calling, but it's a REAL small part of me. I get over by realizing that while you can only zing me by referring to my penis, I can use much more sophisticated terms such as "myopic defeatist." I can't believe you googled it! Way to do your homework Jill! I didn't have to look it up, though, it just sort of rolled off my toungue/keyboard.

I've got more too. Maybe in the future I will employ the likes of "narrow minded nincompoop" or "commie cu-" ahh, no, too low. For today, though, I'll leave you with "Solipsistic Socialist Scumbag" with a dose of "fat whore" and feel better about myself.

Goodnight now.

9:56 AM  

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