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Pelosi the Enabler

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Posted on May 12, 2009
Cheney, Bush and Pelosi
White House / David Bohrer

Vader, Decider, Enabler?: Former Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi applaud former President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address on Jan. 23, 2007.

By Robert Scheer

Nancy Pelosi is no Dick Cheney, nor a George W. Bush. She was neither the author of a systematic policy of torture nor has she been, like Cheney and most top Republicans in Congress, an enduring apologist for its practice. It is a nonsensical distraction to place her failure to speak out courageously as a critic of the Bush policies on the same level as those who engineered one of the most shameful debacles in U.S. history.

But what she, and anyone else who went along with this evil, as lackadaisically as she now claims, should be confronted with are the serious implications of their passive acquiescence. Why did she not speak up, or if it were a matter of a lack of reliable information, demand an accounting from the executive branch, as befits a leader of the loyal opposition in Congress?

If the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and later House Democratic leader, lacked the authority to publicly question a policy of torture, then how can we condemn, indeed imprison, ordinary soldiers who thought it their duty to follow orders? 

Even though Abu Zubaydah had been waterboarded 83 times before the September 2002 briefing of Pelosi, she now claims she was told only that the practice might be used and that it had been approved by the Bush Justice Department as legal. Wasn’t that approval in itself sufficiently alarming to justify a strong and public dissent? Certainly that would have been the appropriate response when Pelosi aide Michael Sheehy, along with Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., were informed by the CIA in no uncertain terms five months later that Zubaydah had been subjected to specific “enhanced” methods including waterboarding. Pelosi admits to possessing that information, but according to one of her aides quoted in Politico, after Harman’s letter questioning the practice received “no response” from the CIA, “there was nothing more that could be done.”

Why not? Does the CIA or the White House that directs its activities stand above the law without any congressional restraint, as mandated by the U. S. Constitution that Pelosi has sworn to uphold? 

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Should the members of the 9/11 Presidential Commission not have been informed that two of the “key witnesses” upon whom their report was based had provided the information critical to the report’s conclusions only after being waterboarded a total of 266 times? On Page 146 of that report, there appears a boxed disclaimer that even the commissioners, possessed of high security clearances, were not allowed to meet, let alone cross-examine, the witnesses or even talk with those who did the interrogations. 

As the presidential commissioners conceded in their report, “We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting.”

In short, the basic narrative of the origins and conduct of the 9/11 attack that so fundamentally perverted American politics relied on cherry-picked information that the White House and its operative in the field chose to release to the commission. As a result, we the public still know nothing of certainty about the financing of the terrorist organization emanating from Saudi Arabia and the UAE or the logistical support supplied to the Taliban and al-Qaida by agencies of the government of Pakistan.

What the public was offered was not an unvarnished look at the available evidence concerning the attack but rather a fear campaign justifying an undifferentiated and illogically constructed international war on terror. As Steve Elmendorf, chief of staff to Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., the Democratic leader following 9/11, put it: “You have to remember, in the 2002 period, the whole atmospherics, it was all about scaring people every day.”

That fear-mongering drove a majority of Democrats to support the president in his invasion of Iraq, the one Arab nation where al-Qaida had been most brutally oppressed by its sworn enemy, Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack. The “key witnesses” affirmed that reality even after being subjected to torture, which would have proven deeply embarrassing to the Bush administration were it revealed in open court proceedings.

By acquiescing to the cover-up of unpleasant truths in the treatment of prisoners, Pelosi contributed to the betrayal of the ideal of public accountability that is the bedrock of our system of governance, which Congress is charged with protecting.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By KDelphi, May 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

The House just voted to NOT have “hearings”.

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

If Pelosi was against torture, then she should be able to prove it. Surely she will have written a protest that doesn’t have to be back dated.  As far as I am concerned, Pelosi is one and the same with the right-wing torturers. I have no faith in her innocence whatsoever, but will accept facts.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 20, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

The only interesting thing about this manufactured hullaballou is how the wrong wingers will serpentine around the glowing hot carbuncles of their own like Bush, Cheney, Gonzalez etc who really are the ones who created and approved and had carried out torture. Now that is a sight to see.

Obama too I will watch to see how he is not going to even investigate much less prosecute war criminals. Under the laws he too is guilty if he doesn’t do those things.

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By DIOGENES REDEUX, May 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Absolutely no issue approaches the significance of the looming Health Care Issue floating around in the U.S. Congress.

If you are able to read the tea leaves and see the connections, it pertains to some $50 to $60 trillion of “toxic mortage assets” awaiting bailouts. That would clearly be the last nail in the coffin for us.

That is what the Repugs and Max Baucus’s dogs are struggling to get approved and defeat One-Payer insurance. One-Payer insurance would virtually eliminate the traditional Middle Men, whom they call “private business” or “main street.” Why protect the middle men? Protect AIG’s network of agents scattered around the globe? Hell no!

One-payer is the only way to save this nation. Connect the dots and follow the money.

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By KDelphi, May 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

ardee—excellent points.

Night Guant—I am beginning to agree. Pelosi is guilty of being complicit, but, the MSM “switch” to “blaming Pelosi” is way out of hand (I am going by a quick switch through FOXMSNBCCNN, though)

We need an independent investigation. Maybe it wouldnt have happened without everyone harping on it? maybe it still wont happen?

Pres. Obama/Max Baucus, “health care reform” will be
“signed with much fanfare” and cheering crowds. I hope I dont throw up so badly that I become dehdydrated, have to go to the hospital and get turned away for treatment…

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By ThomasG, May 19, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American style undefined freedom with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all is freedom as a TROPE, freedom with the highest standard for the American aristocracy, the second highest standard for the toadies of the American middle class singularity and the lowest standard for the 70% majority common population of the United States, which are NOT represented in the Legislative, Executive or Judicial branches of U.S. Government, and are systemically denied a political party as an institutionally accepted means of control of the 70% majority common population of the United States, so that the 70% majority common population of the United States can be used as a collective group of self-charging batteries, that the combined 30% minority of the American aristocracy and the American middle class singularity can use as consumers to generate CAPITAL for the benefit of the 30% minority of the American aristocracy and middle class singularity of insufferable toadies.

While listening to NPR this morning I heard yahoo… (benjamin nettin)... talking about educating the Palestinians for PEACE, and I thought about the 70% majority common population of the United States that have been educated for FREEDOM, with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all, that has reduced the 70% majority common population of the United States to a collective of self-charging batteries to generate CAPITAL for the benefit of others without substantial benefit for themselves, other than minimum maintenance as a battery; surely the 70% majority common population can start to wake up and do better for themselves than being used by the minor dominant classes and cultures of the American aristocracy and middle class singularity toadies as self-charging batteries to generate CAPITAL that the 70% majority common population does not share in, that is for the benefit solely of the American aristocracy and their insufferable toadies of the American middle class singularity.

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By ardee, May 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

foggyjones, May 18 at 7:33 am #

I am certainly no economist, but I do have a 401K, a stock portfolio, and a pension plan as well. My home continues to devalue and my health care costs are beginning to rise as well. Pensioners from my union are screaming about their rising costs as well. Further I do read the news and believe I am at least as well apprised of our economic situation as is the next guy.

I have no great hope that our government is going to do what almost every other govt in the industrialized world has done and give us cradle to grave health care. Not as long as we are a capitalist nation with a two party system in which both parties are ruled by the power of money.

The plan being debated in Congress, if true to what Obama stated during his campaign, leaves 25 million of us uninsured and is still a for-profit fiasco that will continue to provide inadequate care at exorbitant cost.

I agree that our lack of such care is bankrupting the nation almost as fast as are the financial scallywags who are stealing our treasury. Fifty percent of all bankruptcies are health care related. But urgent need comes out last when opposed by constant greed.

We will get some sort of ridiculous hash of legislation that helps noone but the insurance companies, the HMO’s and our legislators who will continue to bank those campaign checks and use their own free health care.

That is the way things will remain until we the people understand the system we endure is corrupt and in desperate need of alteration. Possibly that will be long after things have gotten much, much worse.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 18, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, May 18 at 8:55 am #

By Inherit The Wind, May 18 at 8:16 am

Maybe so, bad poetry but good words, get the drift?

DB
**************************************

Nope. I never read poetry other people try to shove down my throat—unless it’s a limerick (preferably dirty) or humorous.

Poetry is about as personal as reading can get.  Enjoying it is a focused activity.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 18, 2009 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Getting back on track;

Pelosi just may be complicit in these crimes so far as not reporting on them. Secrecy or no, torture is a crime and it super-cedes any presidential decrees or Spook protocols. Unless the Constitution has been secretly suspended that is.

However this fixation on her instead of the ones who actually wrote the memos and used them to actually torture seems to be lost to those who are so narrowly righteous in the GOP. That is they simultaneously say it wasn’t torture an then it was torture sort of and then accuse Pelosi of not calling it torture then they didn’t. Such so-called analysis of torture i.e. enhanced interrogation methods, were done by Nazi-style jurists who warp the law to fit their own ends. [Torture had been clearly defined by the Geneva conventions and the Articles? Against Torture that the USA signed on to.] Remember that in any authoritarian dictatorship the laws are reconfigured to fit those who run and ruin it.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 18, 2009 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

Bad Poetry NOW!


smile

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By foggyjones, May 18, 2009 at 4:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

REF: ARDEE

Perhaps you haven’t learned this “economic meltdown” is a collosal mess and what you hear and see today is the tip of the iceberg. I only wish you had more interested in putting these “issues” in quantiative terms. I have found news reporters and self-styled writers are typically very week on statistics and accounting, let alone international economics and banking. Apart from you feelings and viewpoints, please address the $60 trillion in “toxic mortgage assets” floating just below the surface that AIG, J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch are holding. The new health care program is being set up to use new bailouts to cover these trillions for the interational insurance companies and banksters. then the presses will generate the money and the hyper inflations will, eventually, kick in with a vengence.

That makes we state this plan in conress to block one-payer health care, that would stick them with the $60 million of bad bets they made. I find ordinary people have trouble grasping this, but it is very real, and it is very near. If they kill one-payer health care and continue with the samo samo, they scape of anything less and the nation goes bankrupt. USA bonds rating dropped from AAA to AA last week. Churning out trillions in currency will make the dollar worthess. Prices will spike. Nothing around comes anywhere nearly this crucial. This drafts everything else. Try to understand that this is not just another, one of many, priorities must be noted and existing Medicare makes the providers fatasically rich and represents the bulk of the national budget, every year. You can look it up. You can look back and you can project it ahead. There are reliable hard numbers for you to study, all the emotional talk doesn’t help us.

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By ardee, May 18, 2009 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

foggyjones, May 17 at 7:39 pm #

Health Care is a very important issue, certainly, but it is only one of several issues that determine whether our nation will continue to decline into third world status. They are all important issues and deserve airing and debating.

As to the “hairsplitting” about the duty of a soldier I believe accuracy and framing an issue correctly are important. For a long time the right has made much of the progressives supposed defamation of our troops and has scored points with middle America over this inaccurate portrayal of the left.

This subject, and every issue in fact. is deserving of accurate representation. I do not believe that incorrect assumptions can lead to correct solutions, do you?

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By Sepharad, May 17, 2009 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

foggy—Not sure what you mean by “yes, you shall inherit the wind.”

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By foggyjones, May 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

REF: MORDOR ON THE POTOMAC


Who let those dogs out to rob us all blind? Gadzooks, why doesn’t some errant knight smite them down?

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By Sepharad, May 17, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

samosamo, re your May 15, 10:51 —One way to reduce the BS overload is to stop watching TV. We’ve been without one for 22 years now and do not feel deprived because anything worthwhile is usually put on DVD. Though the newspapers are shrinking alarmingly, our family still gets a lot out of the NY Times, and commonly follow up on it through reading referenced books, archive and research library contents that are available to download, whitepapers, reports etc. and also look at other countries’ newspapers on the Net as well as Foreign Policy magazine, Arab Reform Bulletin, Carnegie enews, Honest Reporting—there are many ways to get what you’re looking far. But TV hasn’t been one of them since Ed Murrow’s last “Good night and good luck.” MacNeil-Lehrer and other PBS news sources are on the radio.

Oddly, the main topic of this thread has been buried under tons of superlong-posts that don’t have much to do with it. ardee and KDelphi have made some good points, but Inherit probaly is correct saying that the narrow Pelosi focus may be a red herring. We simply need to demand everything we need to know on the subject of who knew what when re torture, using the FoI Act and Cheney’s ironic use of that instrument to release classified info. A double irony: Jane Harman—recently taken to task for pushing AIPAC interesets—appears to be then only person on the intelligence committee who actually wrote demanding info regarding torture from the CIA.

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By ardee, May 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, May 17 at 3:47 pm #

As per usual you post a rambling ,almost incoherent rant in which any point you desire to make is completely lost amidst the stream of consciousness like cacophony.

I would love to respond to your post but I find nothing within it solid enough to comment upon. Excepting perhaps that my comment to that poster re a soldiers duty was accurate and polite.

Have you a psychological disorder? Do you honestly think that your penchant for filling a thread with post after post of unlinked and rambling crap is helpful?

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By ardee, May 17, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

godistwaddle, May 17 at 11:22 am #

“It is the duty of a soldier to refuse to obey an immoral order.  Nuff said”
......................

It is the duty of a soldier to disobey UNLAWFUL orders. Morality is a judgment call subject to personal belief. For example, some belief it immoral to terminate a pregnancy, others may think it immoral to take a life, even in battle, thus Quakers and Mennonites are excused from armed conflict for their belief in the latter.

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By godistwaddle, May 17, 2009 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

It is the duty of a soldier to refuse to obey an immoral order.  Nuff said.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 17, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

Read today’s NYT Op-Ed for Frank Rich and Mo-Do.

This is all a red-herring to divert attention from the real culprits: The Bush administration and their comrades in Congress who ruled both houses during the years in question, when Pelosi was NOT Speaker. Even today, on Face the Nation right now, Cong. Peter King (R-L.I.,NY) is STILL defending the Bush/Cheney bullshit line—and accusing the ACLU of preferring “terrorists” to Americans.

The BEST thing to do is as Frank Rich suggests: For President Obama to simply open up what went under the 8 year long attempted coup. That way, when we see just how far the infection went, what Pelosi knew and when she knew it will be minor.

Meanwhile, this is playing into Re-thug hands and shifting focus from THEIR crimes while they trash the Speaker.

Even in defeat the Re-thugs are far, FAR better at dictating the direction and speed of the debate than Democrats EVER will be.

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By MarthaA, May 17, 2009 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

foggyjones:

Speaking of the economy getting worse, here is an article from “Money & Markets” that shows that the downturn in the economy has only just begun as an even bigger Ponzi Scheme than Madoff made off with has been uncovered by the SEC:

“Money Market Mayhem Continues!  by Nilus Mattive   05-12-09
Although Wall Street has been partying like it’s 1999 or 2007 or some other happy time, I recently saw yet another stark reminder that our recent financial crisis did in fact just happen … and that the dangers were real and long-lasting and still far from over.”

“No, I’m not talking about the fact that half our big banks still need more money. Or the fact that they’ll be issuing a bunch of new stock to try and raise that capital.”

“Instead, I’m talking about the fact that the SEC has formerly charged the father of the money market mutual fund industry with fraud.”

“It’s the latest turn in a fascinating story, and as I’m going to show you today, it proves that we are still just beginning to learn how unsafe — and unsavory — even some of the so-called safest investments have been throughout this crisis.”

“Let’s start from the beginning …”  http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/money-market-mayhem-continues-33676

We haven’t heard anything about this at all on the news, and we should, but the news isn’t the news anymore.  I hardly watch television anymore at all, except for the political shows and even those are all leaning heavily to the Right, but sooner or later this will have to come to light, because how could one keep an SEC lawsuit quiet.

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By MarthaA, May 16, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

foggyjones:

Call and send e-mails is all I am able to do, and I do, every which way I can.

I am disabled and finally on Medicare, and supposedly will have 100% of my health care paid when I need to use it, but not without personal cost; it will costs me $212.90 each month from my small retirement check for Medicare and Medicare’s private insurance coverage: I have chosen Medicare Part A and Part B with Medicare Supplemental Part D and Medicare Supplemental Part F. 

Medicare Part A is FREE Hospital Room and Board ONLY; Medicare Part B is NOT free, Part B costs $96.40/mo. and pays 80% of doctors’ bills and medical services, Medco’s Supplemental Plan D costs $36.50/mo.for mail order generic medicine for prescriptions that the doctor orders at $6/subscription, and Mutual of Omaha’s Supplemental Plan F costs $80/mo. to cover the difference that Medicare won’t pay on doctors’ bills and services hopefully to equal 100% of the bills; so, although uncertain, it appears my medical care will be completely covered, but takes away a lot out of my fixed income each month, which I cannot afford, but in this capitalist society must afford to keep myself from total medical bill bankruptcy.   

This is my 1st year to be on Medicare and my yearly personal cost for health care insurance coverage, not including dental, which I don’t have, will be $2,554.80 a year, which doesn’t seem like much to big bailout bankers, but it is a whole heck of a lot of money coming out of my meager fixed income.

I am of the opinion the United States should have FREE Dental and Medical HEALTH CARE for ALL CITIZENS, like Canada, England, France and Cuba does; it doesn’t seem too much to ask as it works well in those countries.  Dental and medical care should be a right for all citizens of the United States.

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By ardee, May 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, May 16 at 6:08 pm #

ardee:

You are talking about yourself and presume yourself to be greater than you ought.  I know everything there is to know about Governor Dean and Governor Dean far surpasses anyone you know.
.....................
You know nothing, you think you know everything. That dooms you to a career in politics…butchered from a Mark Twain quote.

To say you know EVERYTHING about Howard Dean makes me fear for your sanity..Do you really ride the little yellow school bus, and does the helmet fit well?

You become increasingly strident , first refusing to look up the facts I cited and you refuted with absolutely no knowledge thereof, then you claim to know everything. In another thread I posted a link to a republican noting how much he loved Dean and his stewardship of Vermont, and how well they all got along with him. There are equally revealing comments out there from democrats in Vermont noting the constant squabbles they had with Governor Dean. I’ll bet you cant wait to read and deny them too….

Please, please try harder to act like a legitimate adult.

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By MarthaA, May 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

foggyjones,

Anything passed in the dark of night trying to avoid responsibility to the majority American people should be vetoed by Obama, who is suppose to evenly represent the majority American people as well as the capitalists’ capital. Under capital’s rule for far over 30 years, the majority of the American people have been being left out in the cold without hope; Obama offered hope, now we are looking for our hope not to be the opression of hope deferred.

Neither Nancy Pelosi’s nor Harry Reid’s constituencies are the 70% MAJORITY common population, and both are guilty as sin; but that doesn’t mean the people should throw away the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party needs to be cleaned up and REFORMED via the 2010 Primary Elections, and every succeeding Primary Election until the Democratic Party does represent the 70% MAJORITY common population, or a NEW institutionalized 3rd political party is constitutionally legislated for the representation of the 70% MAJORITY common population, which is what is needed in the United States account having three distinctly different classes and cultures: the Wal-Mart class and culture—the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION; the Millionaire class and culture—the 20% minority toady DLC/NEW CLASS in the middle; and the 10% Billionaire class and culture—the Elite Capitalists.

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By MarthaA, May 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

ardee:

You are talking about yourself and presume yourself to be greater than you ought.  I know everything there is to know about Governor Dean and Governor Dean far surpasses anyone you know.  Trying to put Governor Dean down when he is the main Democrat concerned about the 70% MAJORITY common population, which is the majority of the people in the United States, means that you are part of the 20% CONSERVATIVE DLC/NEW CLASS population that have caused all the dissention for division in the Democratic Party by cooperating with the Republicans; as you are obviously NOT part of the American aristocracy because you have demonstrated no intellectual aptitude whatsoever, only Republican-Lite “confidence without merit”.  All toady Republicans-Lite should move on over to the GOP where they belong, and you should go along with them, if they will have you; they may have some openings for lumpen-proletariat REPUBLICANS; they are trying to rebuild their party.

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By ardee, May 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, May 16 at 2:31 pm #

ardee—Just because GOP are trying to propagandize the whole thing, does not make Dems free of guilt. Open, independent investigations would reveal all….both parties are against it.
There are plenty of records that show that Pelosi knew exactly what was going on, along with other Dems. The GOP was in charge , and yes, they are ‘worse”, but, if that is the best argument that Dems have, once again, (the “we’re not Dubya” theory of winning) they had better prepare for a Nader type onslaught, in 2012.
.........

I do not wish to give the impression that I am attempting to absolve the Dems from guilt or complicity. I have been pushed to that appearance by the intemperate posts of others who seem to be buying this GOP distraction lock,stock and barrel .

I have not found such proofs as you note in my research on this subject, though that research has certainly been limited thus far. In fact , I wouldnt be surprised to find such proofs, I seek them still.

I appreciate the link to that article by Scahill, though I trust you will admit that this is now a ‘he said she said’ sort of thing and who do you trust with the truth, a CIA guy or a politician?

Remember that the CIA has a history of politicizing intel and they are also facing investigations which they could be hoping to squash with this stuff. I do not, as do others, claim to know the truth of this matter, only that I seek them with an open mind. My loyalties are to that truth and to this nation, not to any political party or current leader.

I would only add that it is a real pleasure to read and respond to your posts, so succinct,polite and well constructed as they are. I wish only that others here would use your example and adopt your manner.

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By MarthaA, May 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

ardee:

Try making new posts, why do you keep posting the same old stuff, do you think it is better the 2nd time around, or what? And, why do you divide posts you are trying to answer and re-post the whole post in parts with your answers in between the parts, when the whole post is still on the thread, why don’t you just give your answer and refer to the post name, time and date.  Would you not call that wasting bandwidth?

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By Night-Gaunt, May 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Just remember that recently G.W. Bush raised $100 million for his “library” compare to Obama’s $14 million?

The recent cry that “he isn’t Bush” rings hollow if you carry the analogy thus. Himmler isn’t Eichman and Hitler isn’t Stalin. You can change it by reversal but it doesn’t really help. Does that improve things, or just change the face but not the inclination? Does that help at all? How does that operate with Pelosi or Obama?

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By KDelphi, May 16, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

ardee—Just becsause GOP are trying to propagandize the whole thing, does not make Dems free of guilt. Open, independent investigations would reveal all….both parties are against it.
There are plenty of records that show that Pelosi knew exactly what was going on, along with other Dems. The GOP was in charge , and yes, they are ‘worse”, but, if that is the best argument that Dems have, once again, (the “we’re not Dubya” theory of winning) they had better prepare for a Nader type onslaught, in 2012.

Jeremy Scahill, Counterpiunch:

But contrary to Pelosi’s assertion, The Washington Post reported that Pelosi and other Democrats were “given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk:”

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

[...]

“Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing,” said [Porter] Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. “And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”

Only a complete and independent investigation by a special prosecutor could get to the bottom of all of this with any credibility. In his Op-ed, Hoekstra wrote:

Any investigation must include this information as part of a review of those in Congress and the Bush administration who reviewed and supported this program. To get a complete picture of the enhanced interrogation program, a fair investigation will also require that the Obama administration release the memos requested by former Vice President Dick Cheney on the successes of this program.

While one must take anything Representative Hoekstra and his belligerent, torture-loving colleagues say with a grain of salt (to put it mildly), he has a point—even if he is making it in that Dick Cheney kind of way. All of the documents relating to this torture program should be released and the role of everyone involved should be brought out into the light of day to determine who is responsible for every aspect of these heinous crimes from top to bottom.

http://www.counterpunch.org/scahill04242009.html

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By ardee, May 16, 2009 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

MarthaA, May 13 at 10:01 am #

ardee:

When one takes the oath of office to protect and defend the United States against foreign or domestic abuse, they have to put that 1st above all else.  If whatever they are told to be silent about violates the laws of the constitution, the laws of the nation or international law, they are being traitors to the nation and if you go along with them, you are being an accomplice.
................

Martha, please try and understand the whole picture here…You are making an assumption that may very well be based upon faulty intel; that Pelosi was actually briefed upon torture used in interrogation. Bob Graham, Diane Feinstein and Jay Rockefeller, all former members of that committee, state firmly that the briefings were in the most generalised forms, were never specific about techniques and that this entire nonissue is a distraction by the right wing to lead the public away from the desire to see investigations commence…Why do you so easily allow yourself to be led in the fashion?
...............
RdV, May 14 at 8:55 am #

ardee: “You entirely miss the point I fear. When one is appointed to the Intelligence Committee of either House one swears to speak of what one learns to absolutely noone. There are only two members of each House given such intel you understand, and that is but a general and overall briefing that may very well have never mentioned torture specifically.”

  You are suggesting that it is cover for Pelosi because she possibly wasn’t briefed about the content that the briefing was about? Or, that she could say nothing about war crimes committed by a criminal administration because she was sworn to secrecy and stands on ceremony like one who swears allegiance to Hitler re the camps? Or..she can just claim she didn’t know? You know what i mean?
..................
I am saying what I said to Martha above…you are being used and propagandised.

One more note. I trust that this message will reach its intended audience of two but I have my doubts. Why certain persons here believe it is fine to hijack a thread, posting multiple efforts, one after the other, until their own posts outnumber those of everyone else combined, is a mystery to me and a blatant insight into their own egos.

Now if they only had anything at all too say….(personal observation only).

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By Night-Gaunt, May 15, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

The problem aren’t pirates but instead a more dangerous mutiny! A secret one for most don’t even notice that it is just in how we are commanded are where the changes lie.

Pelosi is just one of those who are either a collaborator, turncoat or blackmail victim. Anyway it is it doesn’t change the damage being done to the republic. With Obama’s siding with the neferious CIA I don’t expect anything to be released of any consequence to him or the plan.

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By MarthaA, May 15, 2009 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Jerry Piro,

I agree, Iran is next on the REPUBLICAN/DLC EXTREMIST’S War List, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and Cheney can’t hardly stand it that their plan has stalled out, hopefully Obama won’t be pulled into following the DLC’s plan that Clinton followed, but it appears Obama is doing a lot of listening and adhering to Clinton, because we did not pull out of Afghanistan, and I am of the opinion the United States should no longer be in Afghanistan or Iraq.

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By samosamo, May 15, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

By Sepharad, May 15 at 2:07 am
““pay a steep price for focusing on “America Idol” instead of Capitol Hill.”“
******************************

Glad I saw this as it is one of those marbles that has floated around in the head but never makes it out when I want to say it, but that ‘steep price’ is contrived and you and everyone else are not supposed to look at what is going on on capitol hill and you can tell from the msm venue standpoint, that besides the punditry opinions being shovelled out like and overloaded barn full of manure when any of the msm stations dedicate just one team of reporters to cover the capitol and another one the cover the white house and the report/news from both probably doesn’t last more than 5 or 6 minutes, maybe 10, so what can they cover doing that? What would you learn from that condensed pile junk, you would probably get better information from your junk mail.

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By truedigger3, May 15, 2009 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

foggyjones,

I agree with addree, you need desperately to grow
up and mature and till then take a long hike and
take DWIGHTBAKER with you. It is better that both
of you don’t come back.

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By ardee, May 15, 2009 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

foggyjones, May 14 at 7:12 pm #

THURSDAY   553 PM/CST   DFW/USA

REF: ARDEE


Go to the back of the class. No, you go sit on the dunce stool with your nose in the corner. And don’t forget to put on the pointy hat. A little bit of knowlege can be a dangerous thing.

.......

Have you no shame? Have you no pride? Have you no ethical base?

You were so blatantly wrong in your position regarding a soldiers duty that I posted a direct refutation from the military code of justice itself. Most normal folks would accept that they missed the boat, after all we are all human beings subject to faulty memory and mistakes.

But not you, you act immediately like a spoiled little child, ranting off topic and off kilter. What a maroon you appear to be. How does one give any weight to your comments after you insult truth, fact and a poster who cut and pasted an accurate refutation of your beliefs in the interest of honest debate?

You need desperately to grow up!

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By Sepharad, May 14, 2009 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

Abu Mubarak—Agree completely with your comment that Americans, all of us, will pay a steep price for focusing on “America Idol” instead of Capitol Hill. I’ve never seen “AI” but even without tv there are too many other useless, destructive distractions ... mall culture ... shopping ... drugs ... all the rest. And none of us are immune to it. My husband and I are distracted by books, horses, plays, playing music (guitar for him, piano for me), children and grandchildren, anything to not contemplate the Washington Two-Step, in response to which some Tom Clancy fictional character/hero replied “Sorry Mr. President, I don’t dance.” Some day we might even have a President with the courage to say that, if we live survive so long.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 14, 2009 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Actually president Bush did say catagorically that we did not torture. The CIA can’t be trusted because part of what they do for a living is lie. Nancy Pelosi states that in the few briefings she did have not much was covered and they told her they hadn’t been done yet. However by that time they had done them including the illegal water boarding. The only way we will know is total de-classification of the relevant materials. I think Cheney won’t be too happy, unless the materials have been faked.

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By samosamo, May 14, 2009 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Ya know, that picture of those 3 that accompanies this post is tell tale as least and revealing at most because you see the previous administration’s 2 criminals in charge spewing their BS rhetoric at most probably a state of the union address and on the right behind w’s left shoulder is that ‘enabling’ traitor pelosi grinning like a jackass eating prickly pears.

pelosi the true blue dog.

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By Jerry Piro, May 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ever wonder why Bush went after Saddam Hussein and gave safe passage to an entourage of Sadudis after 9/11 when 16 of the 18 hi jackers were from Saudi Arabia? Iraq and Iran are the two major competitors of Bush’s kissing girlfriend,the King of Saudi Arabia. Their families go way back.
Don’t forget, after the occupation of Iraq, Iran was to be the next invasion of Bush and Dr. Strangelove.
  The Republicans who gave every thing Bush asked for are the same ones who are still here giving President Obama trouble. If we had nailed Nixon there would not have been Iran/Contra. And if we would have nailed 666(Ronald Wilson Reagan),there would not have been phase 3, George W. Bush!!!

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By freedom loving american, May 14, 2009 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

Foggyjones
All I can say is HUH…

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By rockinrobin, May 14, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“truth is relative” means lying under oath for the AGENDA of the POLITICAL REGIME in this nation folks. The TRUTH of the matter is quite simple really: and EVERY NATION knows the TRUTH except for the PEOPLE of the USA & now Canada thanks to our Gov BRIBING them with trillions of $ for the NAU.
They VIDEOTAPED sadistic, sexual tapes for pleasure and enjoyment; http://www.torturingdemocracy.org gives insight without being so horrid as seeing a man testifying about what was done who had access to video & sound tapes.
Corrupt & beyond redemption they have no remorse, no souls, and are out killing off more Americans in Afghanistan, whom they gave Billions of $ to the “heads” to “cooperate” with them.
WHAT positive contributions COULD have been made for the PEOPLE and the PLANET in these poorest of countries if OUR LAWLESS leaders had put the $13B and MORE paid to EACH COUNTRYS HEADS to be as corrupt as they are?
Every single country that THIS NATIONS leaders have been to have SUFFERED GREATLY: country of course being the PEOPLE FIRST, then the LAND, the AIR, and the WATER.
Rockefeller owns 93 per cent of Pharma; & is busy carrying out THEIR plans for the world by dumping billions of DRUGS into all water supplies in every nation including this one. If anyone does NOT pay them what they demand, in 3 days they will die.
GOSH! what KIND of a GOVERNMENT???????
Ask the REAL HAWAIIAN people if they have BENEFITTED in ANY positive way from being made a “state”.
Gosh, NO environmental laws followed; shifting sand laws; NO JUSTICE; fish are dead; the air is smoky; the ACID RAIN still falling; we don’t HAVE a GOVERNEMENT folks! all we have is CROOKS and CRIMINALS plundering and looting the world and as they chortle “we have gotten away with it for years! in the USA! http://www.truthout.org will state exactly & precisely what documentation is on these “games” of sadistic demented remorseless & soulless folks are doing in the name of “enhanced” questioning.

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By freedom loving american, May 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Well if history is any indicator, and since the bush administration and the CIA denied torturing anyone and we had many military investigations looking into the Abu Graib torture, why would any thoughtful person believe the CIA/military now??? I was born at night but not last night.

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By PatrickHenry, May 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

It is said hindsight is 20/20. 

My mom said the dirt (truth) will always come out in the wash.

Once confronted, investigated and proven the streets would run red with blood.

http://www.takeourworldback.com/itwasntmuslims.htm

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By ardee, May 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

foggyjones, May 14 at 3:19 pm #

SAMOSAMO


No nomcom or grunt can be charged if they were following their orders.
........................................
Errr. no Foggy, you really gotta read more:

In fact, under Article 90, during times of war, a military member who willfully disobeys a superior commissioned officer can be sentenced to death.

Seems like pretty good motivation to obey any order you’re given, right? Nope. These articles require the obedience of LAWFUL orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders—if the order was illegal.

“I was only following orders,” has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn’t work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since.

The first recorded case of a United States Military officer using the “I was only following orders” defense dates back to 1799. During the War with France, Congress passed a law making it permissible to seize ships bound to any French Port. However, when President John Adams wrote the order to authorize the U.S. Navy to do so, he wrote that Navy ships were authorized to seize any vessel bound for a French port, or traveling from a French port. Pursuant to the President’s instructions, a U.S. Navy captain seized a Danish Ship (the Flying Fish), which was en route from a French Port. The owners of the ship sued the Navy captain in U.S. maritime court for trespass. They won, and the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Navy commanders “act at their own peril” when obeying presidential orders when such orders are illegal.

The Vietnam War presented the United States military courts with more cases of the “I was only following orders” defense than any previous conflict. The decisions during these cases reaffirmed that following manifestly illegal orders is not a viable defense from criminal prosecution. In United States v. Keenan, the accused (Keenan) was found guilty of murder after he obeyed in order to shoot and kill an elderly Vietnamese citizen. The Court of Military Appeals held that “the justification for acts done pursuant to orders does not exist if the order was of such a nature that a man of ordinary sense and understanding would know it to be illegal.” (Interestingly, the soldier who gave Keenan the order, Corporal Luczko, was acquitted by reason of insanity).

http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm

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By melpol, May 14, 2009 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

School yard bullies graduate into the big time when they gain a position of power in the workplace. A sadistic boss can make the lives of his employees miserable by constantly threatening to fire them. But unfortunately some bullies get absolute power when given the job of torturing prisoners of war. Their first job is to make sure their victims are well fed and kept healthy. This gives them the opportunity to interrogate them endlessly. Confessions of guilt do not end the torture. The sadist stays with his victim until there is no resistance. A broken prisoner is of no use to the grown up school yard bully

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By jr., May 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

America is drunk with authority.

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By johnjohn, May 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting.  You need to do a little home work.  Knowing that something may happen is not the same as doing someing.

Everyone in the armed services.  Everyone.  Is training on the universal code of conduct and the convention.  Torture is clearly laid out and the actions that teh legal memos laid out and much less is well known to be torture.  Please ref to the Red Cross’ report on torture on US captives. 

Also, everyone of the Armed Services IG said that what was been asked is torture. 

And I understand that over 400 people have been convicted of abuse by the services.

IT IS NOT that people do no know what torture is.  They did and do. 

Now it is up to the rule of law to handle EVERYONE that was involved.  The King of Jordan indicated tha tif the US does not do something bad things could happen.

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By samosamo, May 14, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

All of this fits in with the new procedure that the higher ups are never accountable for their underlings ‘crimes’.

Seems to me that in earlier years if a colonel or higher made a decision that costs lives or harm noncombatants, they would be court marshalled, but now they are free to order crime and not worry about answering for them, just pass is down to some private and there you go, what’s next?

Eternal vigilance. All the distractions thrown at us have decreased our attention span, increased our ‘attention deficit disorders’ and shut down that eternal vigilance that used to keep those in high positions honest, but it isn’t an honest world anymore, is it?

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By KDelphi, May 14, 2009 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

DDA—It is commonly known as “having the courage of your convictions”...I guess the Dems dont have that. NOt a surprise.

Soldiers on the gorund do it everyday. Whistleblowers, people who turn in big corps and war criminals, and, end up in fear of their lives, or dead.

We have a right to expect as much from our well protected , well paid officials.

Just follow the law, not the attornies protection group…

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By KDelphi, May 14, 2009 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Everytime I hear that the “democratic party can be reformed, the ‘reformer” hires the same old DLC people…I’ve wasted enough time supporting Dems.

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By DDA, May 14, 2009 at 9:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Peoples memories are real short and the hate,manipulation and twisting of the TRUTH by the Racist Nazis Party (RNC) and the Goofy Opposition Party) combines with the Gutless, Spineless American Traitor cheney with further cooperation of the right wing hate machine faux imation news are really clouding the issue of TRUTH. I remember when Sen. Rockafeeler wasn’t even aloud to inform the committee of what had transpired because the Anti American republican talking monkey bush and the American Traitor cheney and the CABAL swore them to SECRECY, oops and now the TRAITORS are agin spinning lies into make believe truth. Okay Bloggers lets go back in time and whip these CLOWNS on the right with their own WORDS and POLICIES. Yeah she knew but being put under the Natrional Security Act really stifield her and the rest of the Committtee. Remember the right is slamming a reired Combat four star General and supporting a American Traitor and a Drug Addict Clown entertainer. Lets get the real news out there.

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By M.B.S.S., May 14, 2009 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

its ok.  pelosi will get her day in court to explain herself, just like everyone else complicit.

its coming, its coming.

bang the drums.

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By everynobody, May 14, 2009 at 7:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By AbuMubarak, May 14 at 12:10 am #

Ah! So, you understand. That’s good. So few actually do.

Every body is acting in a way that no body is actually doing anything to stop this ultra slow motion train wreck called America. Cheers; it’s a good day to die.

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By RdV, May 14, 2009 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

ardee: “You entirely miss the point I fear. When one is appointed to the Intelligence Committeee of either House one swears to speak of what one learns to absolutely noone. There are only two members of each House given such intel you understand, and that is but a general and overall briefing that may very well have never mentioned torture specifically.”

  You are suggesting that it is cover for Pelosi because she possibly wasn’t briefed about the content that the briefing was about? Or, that she could say nothing about war crimes comitted by a criminal administration because she was sworn to secrecy and stands on ceremony like one who swears allegiance to Hitler re the camps? Or..she can just claim she didn’t know? You know what i mean?

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By truedigger3, May 14, 2009 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

While trillions of dollars being shoveled on the
fraudsters and banksters of Wall Street, the wars being expanded, unemployment is increasing by leaps and no REAL health care reform ...etc etc .., we are being distracted by distraction after distraction.

Miss California and gay marriage, was the pope a Nazi? Cheney is everywhere dispensing his “words of wisdom!” Did Nancy pelosi know about torture?

Of course, Pelosi knew about torture and she supported it and she is lying to her teeth.  She
is a politician. Remember?  Lying and acting is a second nature to these people.

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By Mg, May 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While not in the same league as BushCo, imo Pelosi IS an accomplice to torture and war crimes, in her abdication of her oath of office to protect and defend the laws of the land. She’s No. 3 in the entire gov’t. If she sees something suspicious or illegal, it is her responsibility to call attention to it, or at the very least, refuse to participate. She did neither one, going along for the whole ride, which continues to this day.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

“You can’t enslave a free man, just kill him”Robert A. Heinlein

If our gov’t isn’t protecting us who will?

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By calitatum, May 13, 2009 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

we are free because of the brave
Thank God for the brave!
No War No Peace

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By Night-Gaunt, May 13, 2009 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Sadly I must agree with you AbuMubarak and it is done for the express purpose to continue the play at democracy. Really it is classified as “democracy” in our failing republic as it is being killed from the inside. James Madison predicted that would be the way we would lose the republic. And as Huey Long predicted, they came wrapped in the American flag with a cross and bible saying their are “anti-fascist” as they come striding to us.

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By AbuMubarak, May 13, 2009 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Though I am no fan of Bush, nor Pelosi, her acceptance of the practice in the past, even if totaled no more than tacit approval was fed by the patriotic fervor that Bush & Co capitalized of that time.  No one dared questioned because to question was tantamount to treason and it would have been political suicide to stand up.  Though standing up is what this country needed, from the press, as well as our politicians.

But our politicians lack any backbone, and we constantly put them in office, time and time again.

Whenever we get a strong politician, he is ridiculed by both the press and fellow politicians.

Bottom line, its all a farce, a game, being played upon the American people and they are only going to suffer in the future by their focus on American Idol instead of Capitol Hill.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

We already know that Pelosi blocked any chance of impeaching the two top criminals in the past gov’t and now she may have known about the torture to come. If that is true than she is and accessory after the fact. If she didn’t know then why didn’t she say in the first place? Guilty it sounds to me but I would rather a court of law take on that part. If we still have any for certain members of our society. Obama’s reluctance should bother anybody seeing it. It would be criminal itself if he doesn’t. Treaties you know, are Constitutional law, which he is sworn to “protect and uphold” if it is more than just words to say in an empty ritual.

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By msgmi, May 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Expedience has its own rules on Capitol Hill while Main Street gets the shaft. A “bad apples” at Abu Ghraib took the hit and the chain of command which denied rsponsiblity delivered the blow.

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By MarthaA, May 13, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

ardee:

Both Bush and Cheney have admitted torture and there’s too much torture evidence out for one to accept any more GOP/DLC disinformation as fact, now there needs to be a reckoning in court for all those involved, probably the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands; if the United States doesn’t do anything; Spain is pressing in.

Fear never accomplished anything.  Being arrested for being a patriot is what usually happens when crooks are in charge and truth bites the dust; look what happened to Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela, to name two. 

My political party loyalties are to the political left, the majority common population.  I have not given up the one and only constitutionally institutionalized political party the United States has to represent the political left, even though it has been infested with the corporate conservative DLC NEW CLASS, who vote against everything Obama tries to do.

It is my firm opinion that the Democratic Party can be reformed when WE THE PEOPLE vote out all the traitorous DLC-NEW CLASS to which I have no loyalty at all, because each and every one of them represent a constituency not of the MAJORITY Left.

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By Folktruther, May 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Damn right, Martha

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By MarthaA, May 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

That is because “they” are BIG CAPITALIST parasites, who use Socialism/Communism for “themselves”, maybe not “YOU”, for health care. It’s OK with “them”, the BIG CAPITALISTS, to have good health care for “them”, but NOT for “us”, the people, “WE THE PEOPLE” are to sacrifice our livelihood and our children’s livelihoods doing without real pay for FUTURE centuries of generations to shore up BIG CAPITALISM, but deserve NOTHING. Talk about a CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING CAPITALIST “us” and “them” syndrome gone to seed.

The BIG CORPORATE CAPITALIST ELITES consistently begrudge “us”, the people, having anything of benefit to “us”, the people, as “they”, the BIG CAPITALISTS, just can’t stand the thought of “them”, the BIG CAPITALISTS, and their toady’s not having everything, after all what in the world could “WE THE PEOPLE” need that matters.  “They”, the BIG CAPITALISTS, need everything and “WE THE PEOPLE” need nothing, but to go off somewhere out of their sight and die. The solution: Get more police, “they”, the people, must not be allowed to have FREE SPEECH, make them shut up.  The CONSERVATIVE CORPORATE BIG CAPITALIST ELITE need to understand that “WE THE PEOPLE”, the BIG MAJORITY are getting restless,  and “they”, the BIG CAPITALISTS, are a minority and have pressed their luck far too long. It is time for “WE THE PEOPLE” to press in and get what “WE THE PEOPLE” need, FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL. Enough war, we need health care for all, the worm must turn, the United States can afford health care for all, if “they”, the BIG CAPITALISTS, will do it, and “they”, the BIG CAPITALISTS,  must do it, because England, Canada, Cuba and France have ALL done it, their BIG CAPITALISTS chose universal health care for ALL and now have great health care for each and every human being plus their guests in their respective countries; and furthermore, “they”, the BIG CAPITALISTS, prospered in the process; and the United States can do the same thing and “they”, the BIG CAPITALISTS, MUST quit fighting against the people and just do it, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, because health care isn’t a free ride, everyone has to pay a little, but health care will take so much stress off of the people and they will be so much better employees just knowing they aren’t going to have to go bankrupt because they get sick.

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By Thomas Mc, May 13, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Pelosi was in bed with Bush more than her own husband. The fact that the Dems still hang on to her just shows how lost they are as a Party.

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By ardee, May 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, May 13 at 5:03 pm #

Ardee, it may be truth that you seek and honesty you intend to defend, but you are talking drivel.  Peolosi is a powerful person and in present day USA laws do not apply to power. If whe apprached her friends and allies in the house, Senate, media, etc, she could have easily begun a power movement consisting of many power uersons who opposed torture.  And who would not testify that she told them of it.

....You really oughta slow down and use your spell checker,Folktruther, but, if you can stand more of my “drivel”.....Past members of the Intelligence Committees of both Houses confirm both the substance of those briefings being mostly fluff and the prohibitions against divulging anything learned therein.

You say that I am thinking legalistically and you are absolutely right ( correct). How else does one think when attempting to decide on a course of action ?

Pelosi, as much as I dislike her leadership or her politics, was bound by the law as were her predecessors on that committee, and, as much fun as it may be to jump all over her, all you and Martha are doing is playing into the hands of the radical right, from whom this entire nonevent stems.

Sorry if I sound too centrist for your tastes but I am a bit sick of the way progressives and leftists act like lemmings , jump off cliffs and self destruct. Now everyone is talking about how bad are Reid and Pelosi instead of discussing the real issues and moving towards real goals…Rush, and the execrable pile of dung, madinka, are both laughing up their sleeves..I wonder if they are both swallowing oxycontins too?

So sue me if I want to see investigations undertaken, charges leveled, prosecutions following and convictions won. Screw Pelosi, screw Reid, screw the Democratic Party in fact, they were culpable but they didnt sign the orders, they were simply weak and lustful for power. I want those who did make torture possible jailed.

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By hippie4ever, May 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

I am mad: not since Kent State have I been as infuriated with this government as I am today.

I e-mailed this rant to the White House (& if I wasn’t on a “person of interest” list I am now):

President Obama,

I have a series of policy questions for you:

Why won’t you sign a restraining order against “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”? Are you fearful of the wrath of those who didn’t vote for you?

Why won’t you release the photographs of those tortured by the CIA and U.S. military? Are you fearful of the wrath of those who didn’t vote for you?

Why won’t you put single-payer health care as an option for health care reform? We need health care, Mr. President, not slightly reduced yet still overpriced health insurance premiums. We cannot afford to make every insurance executive a billionaire, Mr. President. Are you fearful of the wrath of those lobbyists who line the coffers of your reelection campaign?

Why won’t you prosecute those who tortured and enabled these War Crimes? Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Yoo, Gonsales, Pelosi—these flagrant violators of the Geneva Convention. Are you fearful of the wrath of those who didn’t vote for you? 

Is Dick Cheney your master, President Obama? Did he win reelection to a third term? You are doing his bidding, have sheltered the War Criminals, have provided a legal defence to protect them. Is this the change you promised?

Why won’t you give assistance to homeowners losing their homes; after all, you’ve given trillions to the banks and insurance industries? Are you fearful of the wrath of those who didn’t vote for you? Oh, I suppose that’s more an issue of lobby funds.

Why won’t you discuss the reality of hate crimes against certain groups of people? Are you fearful of the wrath of those who didn’t vote for you?

Why won’t you stand up to the Military-Industrial Complex and honour your campaign pledge to get us the hell out of Iraq, and Afganistan too insofar as it’s really the same war? Are you fearful of the wrath of those who didn’t vote for you?

Why won’t you curtail the conspiratorial price hikes carried on by the petroleum industry? Are you fearful of the wrath of those who didn’t vote for you?

President Obama, I am not powerful like you; nor do I enjoy protection and yet I am not afraid. I have a moral compass, despite not being Christian, and actually comprehend the difference between right and wrong. Do you?

Obviously not; and while no one politician will satisfy all the public all of the time, you, sir, have been an enormous disappointment to anyone connected to the Democratic base. You have disappointed most of us most of the time; indeed you shame anyone who believes and follows the Constitution of the United States of America.

President Obama, how could you?

You, Mr. President, are a disgrace and beneath George W Bush, who at least was upfront about his agenda some of the time. Your Clintonesque advisors apparently neglected to tell you that you absolutely need the Democratic base to win reelection; and I’ve news for you: keep obstructing progressive reform, especially single-payer health care, and you won’t be.

I have never voted for anyone but the Democratic candidate with one exception: Peter Camejo, a socialist, in 1980. Expect a repeat performance in 2012, Mr. One Term President. You can help Jimmy Carter build homes for the poor, if you’ve the character: personally I expect you’ll follow BC’s example and hit the lecture circuit to line your pockets after 2012.

Some change, some leader, some ethical center.

There is no hope for America: you have let us all down.

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By BigEasy, May 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pelosi is a big sack of ****. Get a brain change with your next facelift you bogus poser.

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By KDelphi, May 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

In the Hearing (lol) today, they admitted that private contractors were used. I already knew that, but, doesnt that piss anybody off?! Enough to demand independent investigation?!

????????

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By KDelphi, May 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

How about Obama the Enabler??

“...

A.C.L.U. sharply criticized the president’s decision. In a statement, its executive director, Anthony D. Romero said:

“The Obama administration’s adoption of the stonewalling tactics and opaque policies of the Bush administration flies in the face of the president’s stated desire to restore the rule of law, to revive our moral standing in the world and to lead a transparent government. This decision is particularly disturbing given the Justice Department’s failure to initiate a criminal investigation of torture crimes under the Bush administration.

“It is true that these photos would be disturbing; the day we are no longer disturbed by such repugnant acts would be a sad one. In America, every fact and document gets known – whether now or years from now. And when these photos do see the light of day, the outrage will focus not only on the commission of torture by the Bush administration but on the Obama administration’s complicity in covering them up. Any outrage related to these photos should be due not to their release but to the very crimes depicted in them. Only by looking squarely in the mirror, acknowledging the crimes of the past and achieving accountability can we move forward and ensure that these atrocities are not repeated.”

from May 13, 2009 New York Times, plus a phone call from CCR (Center for Constitutinal Rights)

Go with Cindy Sheehan.

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By Folktruther, May 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, it may be truth that you seek and honesty you intend to defend, but you are talking drivel.  Peolosi is a powerful person and in present day USA laws do not apply to power. If whe apprached her friends and allies in the house, Senate, media, etc, she could have easily begun a power movement consisting of many power uersons who opposed torture.  And who would not testify that she told them of it. 

Noone has been convicted of treason in the US in ages, and they won’t even try a bunch of power people.  Can you imagine setting up a show trial for revealing Bush tortured?  Can you imiagine a jury convicting?  they didn’t even convict the leaker of the Pentagon papers.

You are thinking legalistically, not politically.  Martha is right. Way to go, Martha.

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By freedom loving american, May 13, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

By this definition basically everyone that did not demand the most criminally corrupt president ever to hold office be impeached, and held accountable for all his administrations crimes are all enablers.

Every gutless, vile, punk that participated in the torture of another human being should be shot for treason.  That is what our forefathers would have done and that is what we must do.  I do not care if those that tortured were raised by people with the morals of a bush cheney or rumsfield all humans instinctively know that torture is a wrong.

Those sub-humans that ordered the torture for war-profiteering motives should be publicly executed. If not since each foul vile republican cabals is worst than the last, if those maddogs ever get elected again, we will all be subjected to torture, rape and murder at their pleasure.

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By mandinka, May 13, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

I’m certainly not a Pelosi apologist but who cares the american public could care less and only the radical left wing media keeps beating this dead horse. The issue is over done with kaput. Find something else to vent over like the $2M we’re spending to see why Japanese prostitutes drunk so much or the $20M to bring Hamas terrorist to this country

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By Tank Tarkinson, May 13, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pelosi has been protecting Bush ever since she took impeachment “off the table.” The Bush crime syndicate probably has incriminating dirt on her and she’s afraid to rock the boat. She’s been a particularly weak and ineffective House leader.

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By KDelphi, May 13, 2009 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

It is only a matter of time before these same tactics are used on USAns…oh, thats right, they already have been. There’s Jose Padea, (sp?)and Sheriff Lee of Texas—oh, he went to prison, put there by Reagan!~!

Shame on the Democrats, and the GOP. Anyone who votes for them again is an enabler.

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By Jon, May 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Indeed: Pelosi is an enabler and incredibly weak in terms of morality and ethical behavior.  Her own desire for power is but one reason she’s been so Bush-compliant.  She has not served the Constitution, or the American people.  “Complicit” describes Pelosi, who would sanction torture rather than stand on law and principle and human rights.  I’m sure Hitler’s Germany had many Pelosis in key positions.  So do we.

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By prole, May 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

“Pelosi contributed to the betrayal of the ideal of public accountability that is the bedrock of our system of governance” - which is exactly why she is where she is today. The “betrayal of public accountability” has been the hallmark of big government in America for many decades, the “ideal” to which Dem’s and Repub’s are committed in bipartisan comity. And no one does it better than the putrid Pelosi, who’s unending “contributions” to the ignoble art of the betrayal of ideals has netted her copious contributions from corporate and foreign lobbies over the years.  Pelosi has been instrumental in heading off single-payer universal coverage insurance schemes as Speaker and not surprisingly, her biggest PAC contributions in the last election cycle came from the Finance, Insurance & R.E. sector ($352,000) and the Health sector ($260,000), almost half the total $1.5 mill. Outside of Barack Obama himself, there is hardly a more duplicitous, opportunistic political whore anywhere up or down the Potomac. As Speaker, she’s been the best friend Republicans ever had. This slimy liberal hypocrite is steeped in Democratic machine politics. Her daddy Tommy was an old-time political-fixer in Baltimore, mayor of the city and later, congressman, it’s part of her pedigree. Other than Bush and Cheney, Pelosi is more responsible than anyone for the war in Iraq, the devastation of Palestine and the bank rescue scam. Perhaps that’s why it was Pelosi who single-handedly quashed impeachment proceedings against Dubya after becoming Speaker in 2006. Pelosi, more than anyone, not only did more to herd Democrats into “acquiescing to the cover-up of unpleasant truths in the treatment of prisoners” but to “acquiescing” in the full gamut of Bush war policies over the last six years. Like Joe Biden and Hillary she has supported every single funding bill for the Iraq invasion since day one.  She’s also AIPAC’s point woman in the House and was co-sponsor of the despicable House resolution in January endorsing Israel’s massacre in Gaza. In fact, it’s commonly understood that she owes her speakership to AIPAC machinations prior to her selection. “It is a nonsensical distraction to” not only NOT “place her failure to speak out courageously as a critic of the Bush policies on the same level as those who engineered one of the most shameful debacles in U.S. history” - but to not “speak out courageously as a critic of the” Bush /Obama war policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and the bipartisan bank rescue boondoggle. Perhaps thar’s why Cindy Sheehan and other truly progressive activists were in Pelosi’s district during the election last year campainging against her, exposing her and the machine Democrats for the frightful frauds they are. But since the ever-partisan Scheer is more interested in left-handed apologetics for Pelosi and the Donkey Party, he has to excuse their unacknowledged complicity with the alibi “That fear-mongering drove a majority of Democrats to support the president.”  And presumably, all the other nasty business too that Pelosi and her cohorts have been up to their snouts in, before and since!


  .

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By MarthaA, May 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Not only is leader and speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, guilty as sin, but so is leader and speaker of the Senate, Harry Reid.  We must not forget Harry Reid, as if Harry Reid somehow escaped being told by the REPUBLICANS that the United States under his command was violating all forms of preset existing National and International Law that he had sworn an oath to protect against; as with Pelosi, Harry Reid was in a position to be told, and would have been told.  Both leaders of Congress were complicit in unspeakable torture, as was all the members of the DLC/NEW CLASS/Conservative-Moderate/Republicans-Lite that have been a consistent scourge on the nation since their beginning with the Reagan administration, when the “Pinky & The Brain Plot”—the “Project For The New American Century” was hatched and put into action to take over the nation and the world.

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By ardee, May 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

RdV, May 13 at 8:57 am #


ardee: Concerning silence—the Good Germans claimed they didn’t know about the camps.
  Pelosi knew the Bush administration was trying to link Saddam and 911—we all knew it was a crock. It was obvious they were fear-mongering. The cause for the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a fraud-yet Pelosi gave it credibility through her cowardly silence.

................

You entirely miss the point I fear. When one is appointed to the Intelligence Committeee of either House one swears to speak of what one learns to absolutely noone. There are only two members of each House given such intel you understand, and that is but a general and overall briefing that may very well have never mentioned torture specifically.

But your off topic noting of the fraud committed by the Bush/Cheney administration is correct I believe and the Democrats seemed to have certainly been cowed by the refusal to appear “soft on terrorism”.

.........

MarthaA, May 13 at 10:01 am #


ardee:

When one takes the oath of office to protect and defend the United States against foreign or domestic abuse, they have to put that 1st above all else.  If whatever they are told to be silent about violates the laws of the constitution, the laws of the nation or international law, they are being traitors to the nation and if you go along with them, you are being an accomplice.

Lawmakers are not suppose to be followers, lawmakers are suppose to be leaders who can think for themselves.  Leaders do not follow blindly.  What you are talking about is following blindly, without just cause, allowing fear to rule your decisions for the nation.  I find that hard to stomach.
 
I would not have been quiet, I may have gotten kicked off whatever position or have gotten killed, like Sen. Paul Wellstone; but I would not have allowed myself to be a keeper of secrets that would drag the whole nation into disgrace.  If one can’t be an independent thinker able to lead, then one should not run for political office.

.............

You would have been arrested, tried and convicted of treason I fear.
The point Martha, before we get sucked into Republican propaganda intended to divide you from your party loyalties, is that some of those former Intelligence Committee members have come forward to say that the briefings were of the most superficial nature, revealed no real facts or specifics, and that all this GOP bull about complicity is exactly that, bull!

Perhaps, had Rep. Pelosi believed such actions were being taken in violation of the laws of man and her god as well, she would have had to take this up with the President…but how far would that have gotten her I wonder?

I find it difficult to see myself defending a party and a politician I do not put any faith in, very strange indeed. But, in the end, it is truth I seek and honesty I defend.

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By agman, May 13, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

If the shoe were on the other foot, I can’t imagine the Republicans being so passive. As much as I dislike the Dick Cheneys of the Republican party i wish there were some Democrats that were as aggressive and not let the republicans escape public condemnation for their actions. Come on President Obama, we can’t let the torturers go unpunished.

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By Virginia Hammon, May 13, 2009 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

Let’s first investigate the people giving the orders: Bush & Cheney.  If the evidence shows that they deliberately broke the law, then lets prosecute.  Next step would be the enablers, and Republican Pete Hoekstra was the Chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence when most of this went down (pre-2006), so he needs to be in the hot seat before Nancy Pelosi.  Then it is her turn.  If the top members of this committee had information that the United States was breaking national and international law to torture suspects, and both Hoekstra and Pelosi failed to speak up, then they both bear their share of guilt, and should be prosecuted, too.

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By tropicgirl, May 13, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Listen, all this talk about Pelosi being not responsible is nonsense. YOU’VE GOT TO LOOK AT THE TREATIES. IF YOU DO THE ANSWER IS CRYSTAL CLEAR. THOSE WHO DO NOT PROSECUTE AND INVESTIGATE ARE JUST AS GUILTY…

(Here is an easy-to-follow excerpt from the interpretation of the Treaties signed by the U.S. against the use of torture by the New York University Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice. Be sure to reference the original documents:)

“CAT (Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984 (CAT)), the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (ICCPR)); and the Geneva Conventions have each been interpreted to require that States investigate and criminalize torture by their own officials and those acting at the officials’ direction.

The relevant provisions of CAT are Articles 1, 4, and 5. Article 1 sets out who is responsible for acts of torture; stating that torture is an act that is “inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.” Article 4 details the obligation on the State to criminalize acts of torture, attempts to commit torture, or complicity or participation in torture. Finally, Article 5 requires the State to assert jurisdiction over these offences set out in Article 4 where the offences are committed in territory under the State’s jurisdiction (interpreted to include territory over which the States has factual control); occur on board of State-registered ships or aircraft; are committed by State nationals (or non-State actors acting with the consent or acquiescence of a State actor) anywhere in the world; and take place against a victim who is a national of the State. Depending on their degree of involvement in Extraordinary Renditions, State officials and non-State actors acting with the consent or acquiescence of a State official could therefore be liable directly for torture or complicity to torture, and could also incur liability for complicity, attempt, or aiding and abetting torture through the facilitation of the transfer or refoulement of an individual to a State where that individual is in danger of torture.

In addition to the individual liability for torture, acts of torture by State actors or those acting with their consent or acquiescence may also render a State directly liable. Failure to investigate and prosecute could constitute violations of CAT; on the part of the State: CAT Article 6 obligates a State to investigate (if circumstances warrant), assert jurisdiction over, and take into custody an individual who is alleged to have committed torture or is complicit in or has participated in torture, and investigate the circumstances surrounding the allegations. CAT Article 7 also sets out the obligation to prosecute or extradite in cases of violations of the prohibition against torture. CAT also requires the State to ensure that any alleged victim has timely recourse to an impartial authority that will examine allegations of torture (Article 13) and that victims of torture by a State’s officials must have access to redress and compensation through the State’s legal system (Article 14)…

http://www.chrgj.org/docs/APPG-NYU Briefing Paper.pdf

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By melpol, May 13, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

It is difficult for a person to admit that they condoned torture even if they are guilty of the fact. The torturers of Jesus remained anonymous. Even the schoolyard bully claims innocence. Let us hope that the conscience of Pelosi can be the punisher.

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By Allan Scheer, May 13, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” We pledge to make this the most honest, ethical, and open Congress in history”

Nancy Pelosi
11/14/06

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By Ivan hentschel, May 13, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I dislike picking on women and old people, but Pelosi is both. If she were a younger man I would not feel so badly about calling her an opportunistic, greedy, myopic, self-serving dirtbag.

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By lawlessone, May 13, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s show we actually care about the Constitution and the oath of office given by politicians in which they swear to do primarily one thing - defend the Constitution.

Put Pelosi on trial along with every other politician who aided and abetted torture.  Let’s give our politicians though the fair trial and human rights that they themselves refused to give those they helped torture.

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By VillageElder, May 13, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

With much agreement with the comments here, I think we might look back to the intensity of the fear mongering and vilification of dissenters during the Bush administration with the Repugs in total control.

Beside spreading the lies and disinformation about Iraq and Saddam’s involvement with Al Quaeda the patriotism of any person who voiced any disagreement was subject to a constant media barrage accusing them of being anti-american, unpatriotic, soft on terrorism and etc.  ad nauseum.  People who served two tours in Iraq we crucified for being “soft on terrorism” by the repug hate, slander and lie machine.  John Kerry suggested it was time for a regime change here in the us of a and the howls were heard around the world.  From the furor one might think that he had questioned the virginity of the BVM.

It took real backbone and balls to stand up the the Bush & Company.  Unfortunately those qualities were, and are currently, lacking in the us of a.  Pelosi, Reid et al murmured not at all as the civil liberties and existing laws of this country were openly raped.  The American Public, coached by the MSM, fell in line as all good followers of an authoritarian regime must.  (The French have more backbone and balls than the american public!)

Investigation must go for those who authored and implemented the policies and then look at those who turned a blind eye.  Obama must not be allowed to sweep this sorry affair under the rug of change we can believe in.

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By Ben Tru, May 13, 2009 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Normally an apology or resignation does suffice a Congressional member’s oversight.
But to mitigate her tacit contribution to the trampling of Constitution and degradation of our reputation as the prime torturer to the eyes of the world, Nancy should emulate an equivalent of the Samurai ritual conducted to atone for disgrace. “We the People” should not let the easy Pelosian signature smile camouflage this gross oversight.

It is regrettable to see the first speaker of her gender go this way. But, then, pioneers tend to tread unusual paths.

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By Folktruther, May 13, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Right on, MarthaA.  The whole notion that Pelosi was bound to silence because the information was secret is utter bullshit.  If she were on the side of the people instead of on the side of oppressive power, she would have organized sympathetic Dems to unite with her to inform the American people that the Bushites were conducting torture against the laws of the country, the Constitution,  and common human decency.  But that isn’t how she got to be Speaker.

Leaving the matter to the courts is simply a way that Obama cheerleaders can defend the Dems for opposing the interests of the population.  The Supreme Court of Israel abolished torture, and the Israel military still conducts it routinely against Palestinians, the same IDF that Sepharad calls the “most moral military in the world.’

The only defense the population has is mobilizing against the power system. It is the function of people oriented party leaders to halp do so.  Once torture is institutionalized, as it now is under Obama, it will eventually be applied systematically against the American population, as spying is. 

Obama rebrznded the War on Terrorism, but it is not only being conducted by him, it is being expanded.  And that endless and fraudulent War is being conducted against the American people as well.  Facilitated by by Pelosi and the Obama cheerleaders.

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By Ben Tru, May 13, 2009 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Normally an apology or resignation does suffice a Congressional member’s oversight.
But to mitigate her tacit contribution to the trampling of Constitution and degradation of our reputation as the prime torturer to the eyes of the world, Nancy should emulate the Samurai ritual conducted to atone for disgrace. “We the People” should not let Pelosian signature smile camouflage this gross oversight.

It is regrettable to see the first speaker of her gender go this way. But, then, pioneers tend to tread unusual paths.

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By hippie4ever, May 13, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

We do not have a federalist system based upon democratic principles within the United States; instead we have an El Presidente legitimised by a bogus Congress and fraudulent SCOTUS. The SCOTUS has been eroded into becoming a second wing of the GOP, following highly political appointments by the last three Rethuglican presidents (GHW Bush, GW Bush and yes, Bill Clinton—a Rethug in drag). The Congress is a monumental example of having the best government MONEY can buy.

This mess cannot be fixed by reform. Obama is the only politician who has the political capital to do so, but lacks the will of warm milktoast. I’m sure the Plutocracy will make a few cosmetic reforms to placate its fearful citizenry, just enough so proud Americans can bleat their loyalty at the next orchestrated attack upon the United States, and march proudly off to yet another unwinnable war on behalf of the Military-Industrial Complex, confident that they are the forces of good. Ha!

The only freedom in this land lies between the ears of the few who can think for themselves. Pelosi and Feinstein are not among them; Pelosi was sold lies and lacking a moral centre, caved right in; Feinstein is married to a war profiteer so her loyalties are transparent.  Neither represent their liberal constituencies and are now extremely vulnerable, as is the Democratic Party. The reason Dems are concerned about the lack of a GOP-opposition isn’t because they want a checks and balances government: it’s because they see their own future in 2012 when enough Americans have finally awoken from slumber and hold THEM accountable.

Our task is not to hold our “leaders” feet to the fire, but to replace them in 2010 and 2012 with reps with some fundamental values regarding rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. The alternative is to continue this two-step with a two-headed snake—the Dems and the Rethugs. Disgusting and unacceptable: while this may come to pass, it will signal the official cancellation of the U.S. Constitution and rule of law.

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By Bushfatigue, May 13, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget that many of the most alarming claims made by Bush—that Iraq was training Al Qaeda in the areas of poisons and gases and the making of conventional bombs, and other claims about a mock-up 747, and wmds under palaces, came from the tortured “confessions” of one al-Libi after being rendered to the Egyptians.  This is one of the horrible consequences of our decline into torture or torture abetting.  (We later “disappeared” Mr. al-Libi, whose subsequent whereabouts, to this day have never been disclosed)

This is a major distraction from the real story of the Administration’s terrible policies, but may also explain why Pelosi declared impeachment “off the table”.

This episode also underscores how weak the current Democratic Congressional Leadership is, between Pelosi and Reid.  I don’t know how many more addled, disconnected interviews, and constant references to “bi-partisanship” I can take from Pelosi, and her mindless support of Israel, even in its brutal bombings of Lebanon and Gaza, and it unspeakably cruel occupations, is really damaging to our country.

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By Eric Ross, May 13, 2009 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I appreciate Robert Scheer’s comment that, “If the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and later House Democratic leader, lacked the authority to publicly question a policy of torture, then how can we condemn, indeed imprison, ordinary soldiers who thought it their duty to follow orders?” That Nancy Pelosi, like numerous others, seems to have been so lackadaisical about torture is profoundly disturbing—and certainly needs to be the subject of further inquiry—but the fact of the matter is that neither she nor anyone else lacked any degree of “authority” to question torture, either in practice or as policy.  This is a matter, not of authority, but of conscience.  As such, it is not apportioned by rank or power.

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By brainman, May 13, 2009 at 7:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are still so many contradictions in what was known or said 5-7 years ago. Perhaps we should not be so quick to judge until the truth actually comes out. There are liars, there are damn liars, and then there are politicians in this fray. Who do you trust? I refuse to judge who to believe until the proof is indisputable, and that time may never come. I too am pissed that Pelosi took impeachment off the table, but I am much more inclined to accept her version of ANYTHING that Cheneys.

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By bogglesthemind, May 13, 2009 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s the stupidity, stupid.

The Big Distraction in the sky.

But…

Nancy should go and please, please, please take Feinstein with you. Another miscreant.

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By MarthaA, May 13, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

ardee:

When one takes the oath of office to protect and defend the United States against foreign or domestic abuse, they have to put that 1st above all else.  If whatever they are told to be silent about violates the laws of the constitution, the laws of the nation or international law, they are being traitors to the nation and if you go along with them, you are being an accomplice.

Lawmakers are not suppose to be followers, lawmakers are suppose to be leaders who can think for themselves.  Leaders do not follow blindly.  What you are talking about is following blindly, without just cause, allowing fear to rule your decisions for the nation.  I find that hard to stomach.
 
I would not have been quiet, I may have gotten kicked off whatever position or have gotten killed, like Sen. Paul Wellstone; but I would not have allowed myself to be a keeper of secrets that would drag the whole nation into disgrace.  If one can’t be an independent thinker able to lead, then one should not run for political office.

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By jackpine savage, May 13, 2009 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

Sen Feingold is now suggesting that the CIA released the memos implicating Congressional Democrats at the behest of the executive branch.

A fine STFU if true.

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By Hulk2008, May 13, 2009 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

The other night on Larry King, former Gov. Jesse Ventura offered that if he could have Cheney and a waterboard for an hour he could get Dickie to confess to the Tate-LaBianca murders.  And that is the most salient point:  if the only information one gets from torture is twisted and unreliable, there is no reason to use it.  Jesse’s other point:  If torture works so well, why did Dickie & co. fail to find Bin Laden for 7 1/2 years?  Why did the waterboarding stop at 183 sessions?  Why not 200 or 500 or whatever .... until total knowledge of all Al Qaeda secrets were revealed?  Maybe Jesse could get Dr. Strangelove to tell us about his secret oil baron talks and how they contributed to killing our economy.
  As others have mentioned, the torture was to get the answers that the politicos wanted - the link to Sadam/Iraq - not the safety of the US homeland. 
  Critics have also blasted Obama for planning to release those interrogation photos in a few weeks.  Apparently those same photos are already being spread all over the middle east to recruit new terrorists.  So the only folks who will see them for the first time will be the US populace.  Are the critics afraid that US citizens will suddenly show up at Al Qaeda camps to volunteer? 
  Pelosi and others who knew about the torture and stayed silent may not deserve prosecution, but they surely need to surrender their leadership positions to people of stouter character.  Then again, maybe NObody in Congress has character anymore. 
  By the way, April oil prices jumped 15% - the biggest since 2002.  We cannot get to oil independence too soon.  I’m now driving my grandson’s electric Power Wheels Jeep.

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By jackpine savage, May 13, 2009 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

ardee,

It’s a good question as well as a difficult one.  The difficulty stems from allegiance.  Pelosi, et. al. were sworn to secrecy and that’s no small thing at such a level.  But they are also sworn to uphold the Constitution (basically the rule of law) and, implicitly, to their constituents.

Breaking the secrecy oath would have almost certainly ended political careers, but it would have been the right thing to do.  Doing the right thing would have required great moral courage.

That courage is clearly lacking from the highest level of politics in America.  The allegiance of these people is to their political careers and personal power.  In that thought process, their silence is wholly understandable.  But i would argue that their allegiance is to the wrong things.

The American system, philosophically, is not dependent on who is in power.  Treason would be acts against the Constitution, which is exactly what all of these actors committed by remaining silent.

I say this because there is a UN convention on torture which the US signed and ratified, making it legally equal to the Constitution.  So long as the perpetrators are allowed to redefine treason as being an act against the current representative of the government rather than the government itself, their explanation makes sense.  But again, the government of the United States is a legal contract between its citizens…not the president or Congress.  (It is this situation that has allowed the US to have peaceful transitions of power for so long; it’s rarely talked about but stands as the cause.)

While i would not want to be faced with such decisions, i’ve never run for federal office.  If our politicians would rather not be faced with such decisions, perhaps they should not run for such offices either.

So what i take from the whole situation is that few to none of our elected representatives have their allegiance properly placed.  Looking at the Republic from this perspective clarifies the internal rot that has allowed so much damage to be done…and continues to be done.

While i’m angered and disappointed by the actions of Pelosi, Obama, etc. i cannot say that i’m surprised, nor do i expect anything to change so long as political allegiances remain as misplaced as they are.

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By David, May 13, 2009 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Investigate.  If Pelosi was culpable, throw the woman in jail.

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