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Law, Not Torture, Protects National Security

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Posted on Aug 27, 2009

By Joe Conason

Predictably as always, the Republicans in Congress and in the conservative media are berating Attorney General Eric Holder for deciding to investigate the CIA’s use of abusive interrogation methods on terror suspects.

They warn that probing this sensitive history will compromise intelligence operations and endanger the nation. They insist that these techniques have, in the words of former Vice President Dick Cheney, saved thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives. They suggest that the attorney general should simply ignore the evidence of illegal conduct and “investigate the terrorists instead,” as if the Justice Department cannot do both.

But as those politicians and pundits ought to understand by now, the American system of justice was always meant to do both—that is, to apprehend and prosecute criminals, and to ensure that those who apprehend them do not violate the law in doing so. That system routinely investigates law enforcement officials who use excessive force because we recognize that the credibility and authority of the law depends on universal accountability.

Voices on the right have often protested prosecutions of police officers and sheriffs because, they claim, such accountability will lead to higher crime. Yet in fact, the declining crime rates of the past three decades have coincided with stronger efforts to ensure that the police observe the rights of suspects and avoid the use of undue violence.

By the same principle, any nation that professes to live under constitutional governance must be able to ensure that its intelligence professionals observe relevant laws, including the international treaties that ban torture and abuse of prisoners. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution, even the president’s wartime authority, that permits the chief executive and his minions to assume dictatorial power. So the attorney general must investigate abuses committed in their name.

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According to Cheney, however, preserving the rule of law will expose the nation to devastating terror attacks. He has repeatedly claimed that waterboarding as well as other abusive methods are all that stand between us and a repetition of 9/11 or much worse. But during his years in office, and especially during the prelude to the invasion of Iraq, he became notorious for exaggerating and fabricating scary “intelligence” that was designed to ram through his political agenda.

Evidence that has emerged in recent days, through the release of the 2004 CIA inspector general’s report on the agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation,” provides little support for the former vice president’s bluster. As Spencer Ackerman notes in The Washington Independent, the uncensored portions of the IG report honestly concede that the effectiveness of those techniques is open to doubt.

The report does not conclude that Abu Zubaydah or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the two ranking al-Qaida operatives captured after 9/11, revealed critical intelligence information because they were waterboarded dozens of times. Instead, the report indicates that most if not all vital information about the jihadi terror network was obtained through normal investigative work and questioning.

What Cheney and his supporters have tried to do, by grabbing brief quotations out of context, is to confuse interrogation per se with the abusive techniques. And what they purposely omit is the inspector general’s damning conclusions about the contradiction between official U.S. human rights policy, especially our condemnation of torture by other states, and the lawless brutality approved by the Bush-Cheney administration.

As for the argument that we cannot protect our security while upholding the law, that is an old canard that reappears—usually, but not always, in the mouths of Republicans—whenever intelligence abuses require investigation and possible prosecution. Many of the same people, including Cheney, uttered the same warnings back in the 1970s and ’80s, when Congress and federal prosecutors probed lawbreaking by the CIA.

But those landmark investigations were followed not by a diminishing of American security and power, but by the fall of the Soviet Union. It is the past eight years, when the Cheney outlook prevailed, that have seen a ruinous reduction in our prestige and influence—and perhaps our future security, as well.

Joe Conason writes for The New York Observer.

© 2009 Creators.com


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, June 3, 2010 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Torture does not protect us. It not only mars us as moral beings, it doesn’t give us correct information.

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Joe Smith's avatar

By Joe Smith, June 2, 2010 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

I believe if you spare the rod you spoil the child. In this day and age especially with terrorists why can’t we use torture to get answers. Anyways the laws are to lenient and that’s why there’s so much crime. In the arab countries you steal they cut off your hands. We dont need to be like that but punish people for their crimes harshly enough so they don’t do it or prevent others from doing so.

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By Liz Stamos, May 31, 2010 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

Why am I not surprise that the CIA is doing what they want to interrogate suspects. I know its about national security, but what happens when they are wrong and they have the wrong person convicted. That’s what concerns me the most about their power and control.

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By mirkodega, May 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Also you are confusing my analysis of the official and established people with my own beliefs which I didn’t give. You simply confused one with the other. I see enough to know it isn’t so simply answered, too many anomalies that haven’t been answered either.

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By pastech, May 19, 2010 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Monarchy didn’t save us. Democracy and the right to speak ones mind right or wrong as given by our forefathers gave us, not socialism and its sewage, nor communism and its carnage, and not monarchy divine right or Representative.  You judge all tea baggers well stop and think An American who says we are never right is no better than one who says we are always right. I am a realist we have made our share of bone headed mistakes are you always right No and neither am I but we should be able to disagree without the childish name calling.  This Is America, not Amerika we are a Democracy, not a little socialist paradise like Cuba, or Venezuela.
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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

teayza31, being a Truther and saying if you are not you are useless puts you in the very small minority. Suffice it so say that certain people in our gov’t & corporate echelons were ready to run with their authoritarian package right after it happened. Disaster shock doctrine in action. When will the next one be?

Nazi Germany and the USSR were neither good for their peoples. Both tortured, stole the wealth, remade the counties and were vicious and systematic in their oppressions. One lasted 12 years, the other 70 years. Think of two kinds of poison. The way they kill is different but you still die as an end product. There is a similar poison in our culture that is trying to kill of the remains of our Republic to replace it with a true empire. Think Rome which went from Republic to Tyranny. We haven’t gotten to the tyranny part yet.

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By teayza31, May 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

All very well and good Joe but the fact is, as long as you refuse to admit that it was the intelligence services, the Pentagon and the neo cons that planned and executed 9/11 you haven’t got a leg to stand on. 9/11 is their ace in the hole. As long as they can go on pretending that some Muslim students from Hamburg joined up with some Saudis and Pakistanis and flew hijacked planes all over America while the US Air Force stayed on the ground and did nothing, they will be able to tear chunks out of the constitution and trample all over the Convention Against Torture and the Declaration of Human Rights. Somehow, someone has to have the guts to tell the truth. As Gandhi said: even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.

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By Night-Gaunt, February 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Sorry we can’t read French. Translation?

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By ardee, September 6, 2009 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

FT Not to beat a dead horse, or a live commentator either, your negative opinion of Noam seems based upon his acceptance of the Warren Commission’s veracity and the refusal to speak to a 9/11 conspiracy theory. He is hardly alone in this, in fact it is folks like you who are in the minority there.

Not that being in the minority in ones beliefs is a bad thing necessarily, Ive been there my entire life in fact. But, based upon Chomsky’s entire body of work, one must conclude he is on our side.

The United States is a Leading Terrorist State
Noam Chomsky interviewed by David Barsamian
Monthly Review, vol. 53, no. 6, November, 2001
Q: There is rage, anger and bewilderment in the U.S. since the September 11 events. There have been murders, attacks on mosques, and even a Sikh temple. The University of Colorado, which is located here in Boulder, a town which has a liberal reputation, has graffiti saying, “Go home, Arabs, Bomb Afghanistan, and Go Home, Sand Niggers.” What’s your perspective on what has evolved since the terrorist attacks?

A: It’s mixed. What you’re describing certainly exists. On the other hand, countercurrents exist. I know they do where I have direct contacts, and hear the same from others. In this morning’s New York Times there’s a report on the mood in New York, including places where the memorials are for the victims of the terrorist attack. It points out that peace signs and calls for restraint vastly outnumbered calls for retaliation and that the mood of the people they could see was very mixed and in fact generally opposed to violent action. That’s another kind of current, also supportive of people who are being targeted here because they look dark or have a funny name. So there are countercurrents. The question is, what can we do to make the right ones prevail?

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By Folktruther, September 6, 2009 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

Ardee, I get my opinions about Chomsky from reading Chomsky.  The last link you provided, the monthly review interview, is the standard anti-imperialism of Chomsky, which I and all anti-imperialist support.

But the US power system also terrorizes in the US, and Chomsky refuses to acknowledge it.  accepting the Warren and 9/11 commission on its face.  Misleading rank and file progressives like yourself.

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By ardee, September 5, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

FT I do not know from where you get your opinions of Noam Chomsky, but IO offer the following links, one to an interview and two to articles by Chomsky. If you haven t the time read just the final link please.

Then apologize…..wink


http://www.chomsky.info/books/responsibility01.htm

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/DemoEnhanceI_Chom.html

and especially this:

http://www.monthlyreview.org/1101chomsky.htm

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By Folktruther, September 5, 2009 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, Chomsky and Alex Cockburn (there are four siblings, the children of Claud Cockburn) engaged in a debate with Michael Parenit in the early 90’s discussed in Michael Parenti’s DIRTY TRUTHS.  He is puzzled by what he calls conspiracyphobia among leftists.  These two routinely support the US power structure when the assassination of political figures are involved, and also support the absurd public relations frauds santizing them, like the Warren Commission.

they do so because they are too cowardly to tell truths that might focus the sleazoids of the media on them.  They want to be respectable, and it is not respectable to say that the US power structure murders and sanitizes the murder of political figures.

The major rreason that the American people are so clueless and political confused and afraid is because of Progressive truthers like them who diffuse and conceal the violence of the American power system.  And this is the reason the Bushites could get away with involvement in the 9/11-anthrax public relations homicide that kickstarted the War on Terror.

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By ardee, September 5, 2009 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Chomsky and Cockburn are not among them because they are intellectually cowardly.  It takes a little inetllectual courage to tell the simple truth when that truth subverts American power.  You will be called paranoid or a tin foil nut if you do, just as you will be called an anti-semite for telling the simple truth about Israel.  You either have the curage to call them as you see them, or you don’t.

Ascribing such motivation to people whose motives are obviously unclear to you advances your position at the cost of credibility. There are many, many more millions who believe these theories hold no water, including the two you note. They are not to be condemned as cowardly because their intellect brings them to a differing conclusion as your own.

What you see as condemnation of your “simple truths” may very well be condemnation as what others see as simple but not true. It is not cowardly to think, reason and produce a position, but it seems really cowardly to condemn those who disagree with your chosen belief because they disagree.

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By PatrickHenry, September 4, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

EIT? what kind of pseudo lawyer bullshit term is that?  Torture was torture before interrogation techniques were “enhanced”.

I am in awe of the $10 word for the 5 cent meaning.

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By AFriend, September 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,

The surest example of someone feeling as if they lost a disagreement on Web sites such as this is when one feels the desire to debases themselves by attacking the other personally. It’s at this point that it becomes clear you hold absolutely nothing of substance.

The 2004 report is truly critical of “enhanced” interrogations. As I am myself, however, as I have already written, this conversation does require honesty.

The report in question does, in fact, make it clear that such enhanced interrogations can bring about a great deal of understanding and information on an enemy. But as a policy it’s fraught with considerable dangers.

I care little what Mr. Cheney thinks today. You wield his name as if a sword. It’s odd to me.

Good luck to you in all things.

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By Tony Wicher, September 4, 2009 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

By AFriend, September 4 at 7:17 am

Fine, well, maybe you should change your meds or
something. The report was, in fact, about EIT’s, and it
reached the conclusion that the whole liberal community
and everybody else living on planet Earth says it did.
You appear to be an alien from planet Cheney. You see
things differently.

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By ardee, September 4, 2009 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

I am getting tired of beating this dead horse

You rode it in here, now you are responsible for being exposed and becoming uncomfortable with that exposure….When one distorts the message , one that is available for public viewing, one must learn to be either more truthful or more thick skinned.

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By AFriend, September 4, 2009 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,

A fair reading of the entire report reveals it’s all about EIT’s? The effects, results and pitfalls. I am sincerely fascinated that you see something in lieu of what’s actually there.

Because you assumed a great deal, and never asked, I will make it clear that am against “enhanced” interrogations. I am, however, in favor of honest reporting. Thus my original comments toward Mr. Conason.

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By Tony Wicher, September 2, 2009 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

By AFriend, September 1 at 7:07 am #
Tony Wicher,

One question I’m curious about, Tony.

When you read from the report in question, and read
the section that states “the Agency’s detention and
interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence
that has enabled the identification and apprehension
of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots
planned for the United States and around the world”,
you understood this to mean the Agency’s detention
and interrogation of terrorists DID NOT provide
intelligence that had enabled the identification and
apprehension of other terrorists and warned of
terrorist plots planned for the United States and
around the world?

        x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

AFriend,

I read that sentence, which says that “interrogation
of terrorists” provided useful information. It does
NOT say that “enhanced interrogation techniques” i.e.
torture provided useful information. On the contrary,
the next sentence says “Measuring the effectiveness
of EITs, however, is a more subjective process and
not without some concern.” You are conflating what
the report says about “interrogation of terrorists”
generally with “interrogation of terrorists using
enhanced interrogation techniques”. 

I am getting tired of beating this dead horse.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

Karma means “deed” or “act” and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction that governs all life.

All through my life I have been fortunate to see the irony of life in which liars get lied to, thieves get stolen from, cheaters get cheated on etc.

I’m not religious, but I do believe in god and the part in the lords prayer which describes “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” pretty much describes the cause and effect of Karma.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 2, 2009 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

karma supposedly happens in succeeding incarnations, not in the one you are in now so you would never know it.

I am in the same boat as you FolkTruther not with established people like Chomskey so putting the label of “prudent” on me is incorrect.

However you didn’t find flaw in my analysis so you agree with me. Your position in response didn’t refute it at all which shows you agree with me. You cannot argue facts just opinion. For until we have official forums that look at this without prejudice you will be blowing hot air and nothing more. Again the cold hard facts.

Also you are confusing my analysis of the official and established people with my own beliefs which I didn’t give. You simply confused one with the other. I see enough to know it isn’t so simply answered, too many anomalies that haven’t been answered either.

Suffice it to say that it benefited some to a very high degree. Even if it wasn’t fully planned or run but just let happen. It was a major coincidence that a war game happened that same day concerning plane hijackings wasn’t it?

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry—are you still waiting for Karma to avenge JFK, too? Wish it was real—but it doesnt seem to be.

Someone said that they make their own luck. maybe we have to make our own Karma.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 2, 2009 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

By Folktruther, September 2 at 2:29 am #

You are most likely right. 

Karma will hopefully take care of those involved, though it would be nice to see some high level prosecutions in my lifetime, I’m still waiting on JFK’s.

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By Folktruther, September 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

Night-Guant- there will never be investigations and witnesses interviewed on national television.  But a surprising number of people want to know the hstorical truth because the future is determined by how we view the past.  But it is quite true that prudent people like yourself wait to see it on TV before committing themselves to unpopular views.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 1, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

Which explains why we have had the investigations and subpoenas given and witnesses interviewed on national television and ... Um, no we haven’t and you call them cowards. I call them prudent. You have nothing to lose but they have lots. Until there is something that can be brought to court or in some other kind of official venue you are just blowing steam and getting no traction. Those are the facts and any protestations are useless. No standing, no traction, nowhere but in forums like this. That is the cold hard truth.

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By Folktruther, September 1, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Night-Guant there are tens of millions of 9/11 truthers around the world, including respectable academics, military and intelligence people, engineers and archetects, and pilots, among others, who believe that the Bushite Administration was involved in orchesrtrating 9/11. 

Chomsky and Cockburn are not among them because they are intellectually cowardly.  It takes a little inetllectual courage to tell the simple truth when that truth subverts American power.  You will be called paranoid or a tin foil nut if you do, just as you will be called an anti-semite for telling the simple truth about Israel.  You either have the curage to call them as you see them, or you don’t.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

The whole concept of conspiracy of any kind has been so poisoned as to render the idea of using them moot. Otherwise you or I become laughing stocks at best or paranoics that have no lives and are expecting the Men In Black or microwave tapping or any of the other clandestine procedures used in real life by them. But in most cases they wouldn’t be interested in you unless you posed a danger. The best kept secret is out in the open and no one of any importance believes it. and if they did they would lose their credibility too.

A nice psychological bulwark against actual conspiracies don’t you think? A long term psywar in effect and still going strong and continually reinforced. Good luck with the 9/11/01 and anthrax attack on getting most anyone to even suspend disbelief for a moment on there. Don’t damn others who won’t taint their good names by even entertaining the concept. It is a zero-sum-gain by doing so. Didn’t you want the baby over the bath water? Chomsky is an Anarchist-Socialist. So am I. He dismissed any conspiracy as being impossible to keep secret. On the surface he is mostly correct. He just doesn’t factor in the psychological immunization that goes on to make sure the bulk of people who hear of it will dismiss it. As is done on so many forums. To the point of raising anger to a fever pitch. You can’t infect someone who is immunized can you?

Most people wouldn’t believe that some of the richest families in this country would want to take decades to wear down and infiltrate the most important areas of science, media, gov’t and churches to take over to form a dictatorship of their liking. How could that keep it a secret if I know? No one believes it, so it doesn’t matter till it is too late. I have no one who agrees with me in this way and if enough did and it became some kind of movement there would be a variety of ways to handle it. From ignoring to ridicule to setting up a sting to embarass me to accidental death to disappearance if things got too real for them. In most cases nothing is enough. Or a counter group comes in and moves to poopoo the idea and create many items to shoot down what I say. Small fry who don’t need publicity to enhance their message are usually never heard from beyond their small groups. I try none-the-less to get others to investigate to see if they find the same things I do. See the same patterns. In general a lost cause but I must try. Just a lone voice crying in the wilderness and time is running out. Just how long is problematical.

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By Folktruther, September 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think so, Patrick.  9/11-1nthrax was a definitive event that no power structure could possibly admit to and survive.  That is why semi-Progressives like Chomsky and Alex Cockburn want to obscure it and look forward, not backward.  The American power structure will go to its historical grave denying it murdeered thousands of its own people for power purposes.

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By PatrickHenry, September 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, September 1 at 5:52 am #

A 9/11 investigation will only happen when a couple of hundred thousand citizens show up in Washington and the other state capitals with their guns.

A week long general strike would be a nice precursor.

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By AFriend, September 1, 2009 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,

One question I’m curious about, Tony.

When you read from the report in question, and read the section that states “the Agency’s detention and interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence that has enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots planned for the United States and around the world”, you understood this to mean the Agency’s detention and interrogation of terrorists DID NOT provide intelligence that had enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots planned for the United States and around the world?

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By ardee, September 1, 2009 at 3:35 am Link to this comment

But your suggestion is to take money away from the rich GRADUALLY, so as to avoid violence and trouble.

Errr Folktruther I once had a horse, a beautiful quarter horse in fact, that had a habit of taking the bit between her teeth and running , probably for the sheer joy of doing so. You have apparently distorted my words to your own end. Please point out where I suggested such as you posit.

  May I remind you that the plutocracy is now fighting three wars, comtemplating a fourth, and has not even used its arsenal yet of nuclear weapons.  Class inequality has reached monstrous proportaions and is INCREASING.  A neoliberal police state is being imposed.  The US is losing world power at an unprecidented rate.  US debt is unparralled.  The powerful are increasingly lawless and barbaric.

Yeah, and? The question, if I may interrupt your spittle filled diatribe long enough to interject, was how to end such a reality. I asked you pointedly and directly whether you favored the maintaining of our current form of governance with restrictions on that which leads to abuses and control by the corporate powers as opposed to actual rule of the people, or favored a dramatically differing form of governance.

So far no answer amidst the overblown and dramatic speechifying…...

But you want everyone to be nice.  And everyone WILL be nice in that dream world you inhabit.  With Tony. And with tens of millions of others.  But history is a different matter.  One you don’t want to think about.

Speaking of not thinking, how about you get off your soap box and answer the fucking question? How do you have a clue as to what I am thinking, or wishing for , or working towards when you cannot even understand what I post, or, for that matter enter into a simple dialogue?

Having a bad day? Week? Decade?

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By Folktruther, August 31, 2009 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

tony, try to get a hold of yourself.  The US is not going to have a real investigation of 9/11-homicide.  It can’t.  Bush put one off for over a year and then had a fake one that the two co-chairman repudiated.  It is obvious to tens of millions of 9/11 truthers around the world that the assault could not happen without Bushite involvement.  That is, the Bushites not only used 9/11-anthrax to begin the War on Terror, they helped orchestrate it.

The ruling class simply cannot allow the power system to be de-legitimated to the point of acknowledging that the White House helped kill three thousand Americans.  The ruling class is, at least was, mostly Gop, and is looking forward, not backward.  A revolution whould reveal the truth about 9/11; 9/11 would not start a revolution.

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By KDelphi, August 31, 2009 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

There is already plenty of destruction—-just not in middle class neighborhoods yet. Violence will come whether you “vote it in’ or not, (Denying food, shelter clothing and medical care to people is the worst form of violence, in my book)As they say, if voting could change anything, it would be illegal.

The Constitution is an outdated document that would have more than half of us not be full human beings. I say screw it.

If you want “democracy” youre barking up the wrong “constitution” as , they—I say.

This is the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina , the “natural disaster”, folks. I havent seen a damn thing about it , except on DN. The crime that happened there is but a small example of what the US will look like if the “aspiring to be middle classes” all decide that theyve had enough…its actually taking longer than I thought.

What is the saying, those that deny peaceful revolution make violent ones inevitable? I think that was a Democrat, who, like all Democrats, placated the masses to the extent that he could. The US just doesnt have the power (or money) to do that anymore.I guess the upper classes thought that an Af Ams, (even a conservative one) would be enough to “keep up hope”. people voted for more ‘change” than the current system can deliver…....people arent all that patient when they have nothing to lose.

And they shouldnt be.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

FT,

To blow the cover off 9/11 would be a real revolution
that would wise up the people and restore democracy.
But if it does happen, it may involve violence,
because, as I think we agree, the ruling class will not
allow this to happen without a fight.

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By Folktruther, August 31, 2009 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Now you’ve done it, Ardee, you got Tony Wicker to agree with you, a man whose brain is so clouded by American cliches that his axels don’t know where his dendrites are.  There are little forklifts in his head that are going fratically in circles to try….ah well.

The Founding Fathers, White Old Rich Men (WORMs) livd a ;pmg time ago, long before huge corproations were developed to rule.  They expected the Constitution to be revised periodically over time, and Article 5 mandates it.  But the ruling class who formed the power structure to rule our plutocarcy has mandated that the people shall sit and watch TV.  And plutocracy has had its way historically, with the present descent into barbarism the result.

But your suggestion is to take money away from the rich GRADUALLY, so as to avoid violence and trouble.  May I remind you that the plutocracy is now fighting three wars, comtemplating a fourth, and has not even used its arsenal yet of nuclear weapons.  Class inequality has reached monstrous proportaions and is INCREASING.  A neoliberal police state is being imposed.  The US is losing world power at an unprecidented rate.  US debt is unparralled.  The powerful are increasingly lawless and barbaric.

But you want everyone to be nice.  And everyone WILL be nice in that dream world you inhabit.  With Tony. And with tens of millions of others.  But history is a different matter.  One you don’t want to think about.  Since reality is different than Amereican ideology.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2009 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

re ardee, August 31 at 7:06 pm #

I think that we can see a gradual introduction of
socialistic principles included in the mechanism of
governance in a peaceful and evolutionary process. We
see such in the existence of Medicare, a wonderfully
successful program despite the constant attempts on
its life, the same can be said of social security in
fact.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

I’m with you, ardee. I’m a non-violent, creeping
socialist. Violence, however well-intentioned, leads
only to more violence.

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By ardee, August 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 31 at 3:02 pm #

Do you believe that the structure of our government must be altered, the three branches as created by our Founders, with the concomitant separation of powers?

Or do you seek a modification of the current practices of lobbying, electioneering et al?

One is destruction, the other not. One will probably require a possibly violent revolution the other not.

I happen to believe in that which our founders created, and they did , in fact, warn us about the power of corporations all those years ago. I can cite you references if you care to have them.

I think that we can see a gradual introduction of socialistic principles included in the mechanism of governance in a peaceful and evolutionary process. We see such in the existence of Medicare, a wonderfully successful program despite the constant attempts on its life, the same can be said of social security in fact.

Destruction is a powerful concept…with dire implications.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2009 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

By AFriend, August 31 at 3:32 pm

Well, I could say exactly the same thing about you. I
think you are the one who is misinterpreting it. As I
said, Cheney would agree with your interpretation, but
I think most people would not. How one reads it depends
on one’s agenda, I guess.

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By AFriend, August 31, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,

That’s interesting. You actually read the 2004 report and quoted the relevant sections which very clearly indicate the opposite to be true.

One can argue passionately against enhanced interrogations as a policy and still lend an honest answer as to the content of the report in question.

Good luck to you.

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By Folktruther, August 31, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Ardee- you’re not thinking straight, largely because thinking straight in a simple way subverts the ideology of hte American power system.  OF COURSE taking money out of politics is an act of destruction; money is a power resource used by the ruling class to bribe their political agents.  do you expect the bribed legislators to pass a law destroying their money and political careers?

Dillon, and KDelphi, are quite right.  Going forward into the future involves the creative destruction of the past.  Including the Constitution.  The idea that a group of men could write down on a piece of paper a perscrption of rule for two centuries is only something a lawyer could believe.  Of course most of our pols are lawyers.

American economic and political institutions are obsolete.  They must be destroyed, although you will never hear an Elected pol say so in simple words.  Indeed, Americans are afraid to say so; so they are afraid to think so.  The ruling class controls the American truth system, electoral system, legal system, foreign policy system, etc, etc.  If instittions are to be crreated to serve the American people, these must be destroyed.

This will not get you elected to anything but it is the simple historical truth.

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By KDelphi, August 31, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Modification would seen to be rearranging the proverbial deck chairs on the Titanic, in a system that is destroying itself.

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Re AFriend, August 31 at 7:33 am #

Does the 2004 report clearly state that enhanced
interrogations lead to the apprehension of more
enemy, warn against further attacks on U.S. soil and
add to the overall understanding of an enemy of the
United States?
        x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Afriend,

No, it doesn’t.

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By AFriend, August 31, 2009 at 4:33 am Link to this comment

Tony,

For the sake of this conversation I struggle to understand why it matters so much to you what Richard Cheney thinks or what you or I personally think of Mr. Cheney. The former Vice President is not the issue. The issue I wrote about was a statement written by Joe Conason.

Does the 2004 report clearly state that enhanced interrogations lead to the apprehension of more enemy, warn against further attacks on U.S. soil and add to the overall understanding of an enemy of the United States?

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By ardee, August 31, 2009 at 3:37 am Link to this comment

C.Curtis.Dillon, August 31 at 3:46 am #

I’ve been away for a while so couldn’t respond to your rips.  How has Holder really digressed from what Obama wants?  He has created a sham investigation which will only look at excesses above what was authorized.

Holder has gone against the wishes of the White House in opening said investigations.Further his emphasis on what you deem to be “low hanging fruit” is simply good investigative technique, one always starts at the bottom and gets those ensnared to implicate those above. Am I too optimistic here? Maybe.

Oh, and ardee ... you ask Folktruther what kind of government he would like to create after destroying this one.  How about one based on our constitution? 

FT called for destruction, not modification. What you suggest makes sense and is something I have asked for for many years; ending lobbying, making elections free to qualified candidates thus taking the power of money out of the equation. This is not destruction.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, August 31, 2009 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

I’ve been away for a while so couldn’t respond to your rips.  How has Holder really digressed from what Obama wants?  He has created a sham investigation which will only look at excesses above what was authorized.  By limiting the investigation in this manner, Holder protects the real perpetrators of the crime and only points at low hanging fruit.  Mostly independent contractors who have no affiliation with either CIA or the White House.  These can easily be sacrificed and will have little impact other than creating the impression of an investigation.  If Holder were truly upset by what he saw in the IG report, he would have given this independent council wide latitude to go wherever the evidence lead him.  But Holder has promised to keep a very tight rein on the investigation so it doesn’t touch the big guys.  I see that as very consistent with Obama’s intention of protecting the presidency by not letting the investigation go where it should.

Those who have seen the movie “Syriana” about the oil industry will recognize this ploy in the discussion between the oil man and the lawyer at the BBQ near the end of the movie.  The lawyer said (I paraphrase) “We need to create the impression of due diligence.  2 successful prosecutions will create that impression.”  Holder is creating the “impression” of investigating what happened while limiting the damage to minor players in the game.

Oh, and ardee ... you ask Folktruther what kind of government he would like to create after destroying this one.  How about one based on our constitution?  Only modify it slightly so it is illegal for legislators or public officials to accept any money from special interests.  Make it a huge crime.  And fix the conflict of interest in the Justice Department.  And, although not a constitutional question, modify the incorporation laws so corps are not so beholden to their shareholders.

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By Tony Wicher, August 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Re AFriend,

“Tony, you have read the report yourself. Did the
report clearly indicate the exact opposite finding to
be true?

Did the report clearly state: “their interrogation
has provided intelligence that has enabled the
identification and apprehension of other terrorists,
warned of terrorists plots planned for the United
States and around the world, and supported articles
frequently used in the finished intelligence
publications for senior policymakers and war
fighters”?—Again, IF Mr. Conason believes the report
he sights supports what he wrote then he is genuinely
and grossly misinformed.”

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Yes, I read that paragraph of the report.  I also
read the next sentence, which I previously quoted: 
“Measuring the effectiveness of EITs, however, is a
more subjective process and not without some
concern.”

Also as previously quoted, the conclusion is that
“The CTC Detention and Interrogation Program has
resulted in the issuance of thousands of individual
intelligence reports and analytic products supporting
the counterterrorism efforts of U.S. policymakers and
military commanders. The effectiveness of
particular interrogation techniques in eliciting
information that might not otherwise have been
obtained cannot be so easily measured,however.”

This report is about the effectiveness and policy
implications of EIT, that is torture. As I previously
stated, the burden of this report is that there are
no grounds for saying that torture yielded any
valuable information. You are conflating what the
report says about interrogation in general with what
it says about EIT. I suppose this reading of the
report may honestly reflect your point of view, which
is the same as that of Dick Cheney.

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By AFriend, August 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,—“That is what Conason and every
other ‘sensible person’ understands”.

Tony, is the “truth” you cling to making you unavailable to hear anything else?

—-

I think you misunderstood my comments toward Mr. Conason. I did not attempt to explain my overall opinion on the subject of enhanced interrogations.

Mr. Conason claims “Voices on the right have often protested prosecutions of police officers and sheriffs”.—In my 20 plus years in law enforcement spanning the nation and, at times, the globe, I can say without hesitation I have never seen nor heard of anything of the kind. While I can believe Mr. Conason may very well believe this, willful or not, the claim seems made up.

He further claims: “The declining crime rates of the past three decades”.—10 minutes on the FBI Web site looking at crime trends would have been useful to Mr. Conason. Again this appears to be, willful or not, made up. If he truly believes what he writes on this he is grossly misinformed on a major national issue.

Then there’s what he opined in regards to the powers of the U.S. President in assuming dictatorial power. Martial Law clearly allows the Commander in Chief very near dictatorial powers. Note: Witness the bill floating in Washington today regarding giving the president the power to take control of the whole of the Internet.—The inter-connectivity of today’s internet has global ramifications in telecommunications, television, and the sharing of information. Mr. Conason is right in that this is not in the constitution, however.

Then there was the item you and others have taken um-bridge with. Mr. Conason writes; “the (2004) report does not conclude that Abu Zubaydah or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (sic) revealed critical intelligence information because they were waterboarded dozens of times.”

Tony, you have read the report yourself. Did the report clearly indicate the exact opposite finding to be true?

Did the report clearly state: “their interrogation has provided intelligence that has enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists, warned of terrorists plots planned for the United States and around the world, and supported articles frequently used in the finished intelligence publications for senior policymakers and war fighters”?—Again, IF Mr. Conason believes the report he sights supports what he wrote then he is genuinely and grossly misinformed.

I gave no opinion of my own on interrogating an enemy. You and a couple of others assumed far too much in what I wrote and, at least to me, appear to enjoy being argumentative for the sake of argument.

My comments were directed to Mr. Conason.

—-

I honestly believe it would have made little sense for me to respond to your questions before you yourself had actually read the report. I don’t often supply links. If one wants to better understand an issue they should research it for themselves. And never, ever, be satisfied with what Mr. Conason believes to be true or correct.

Good luck to you, Tony.

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By BigEasy, August 30, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fine speech Joe. But that is not the way reality works, is it? Law is here solely to protect monied interests whether that be an individual or a corporation. Justice is an illusion. The fact is that law makes people homeless, bankrupt and foolish. Check your facts before regurgitating again please.

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By ardee, August 30, 2009 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

FT

Methinks Virginia777 displays a sophomoric intent uncoupled to a mind capable of nuanced insult. Further I think this poster’s incessant reference to forklifts shows a clear disdain for the working folks of this or any nation.

Your tale seems fit reading for young children, perhaps you should consider becoming a children’s author? I utilize up to eight forklifts in my journeys , not each day but eventually, and have never found one that displayed the slightest hint of personality. Sort of like Virginia777 in fact. Animism might not be my thing I guess….Though I have owned motorcycles that displayed certain traits if one pushed the limits of ones imagination.

To believe me sensitive or insulted by the crap that poster displays is to miss the point. I am actually quite happy when those who show such uselessness in political debate blatantly prove that opinion to be fact. My returning arrows are not generated by ego but by a desire to see the hole dug get larger and deeper until , one day, voila!, gone from view ...and good riddance.

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By Folktruther, August 29, 2009 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Virgina, my little petunia, you have to be very careful; many people who are told to back of a cliff in a fork lift would take that as a sign of rejection.  I have been rejected so much myself that I tend to be calloused, but Ardee, as you may have noticed, is very sensitive.

And Ardee drives a semi, not a forklift, or, rather, both.  And what on humanity’s formerly green earth is wrong with driving a forklift?  You are probably umfamilar with the story of the Little Forklift Who Could.

Once there was a little forklift who was sneered at by all the big forklifts because she could not move heavy pallets.  She had a terrible self image.  Sneer, sneer, went all the haevy forklifts at Henrietta, for that what her name.  She often cried herself to sleep at night, she was so miserable.

But one day all the big forklifts found that their ball bearings were rusted and they could not move the enormous number of pallests of comments that were to be shipped off to truthdig.  “the big forklifts have their balls all rusted, Henrietta,” said the foreman, “its all up to you.”

So Henrietta began moving the pallets of comments all by herself, slowly at first and then faster and faster.  I THINK I can, I THINK I can, I KNOW I can, I Know I can, WHOO, WHOO!

Alright, fine, she didn’t go whoo whoo.  But you know what I mean.  and there is a lesson here for us all, Virgina, although, God knows, I don’t know what it would be.  But the point is that some fork lifts are very sensitive…no, that’s not it… Ardee! Ardee is very sensitive so try to hurl kinder, gentler insults at him.  Maybe something about his sexual habits or ancestry.  no, that wouldn’t be right, but something kinder and gentler, anyway.  I know I can count on you, just as all the forklifts counted on Henrietta.

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By rico, suave, August 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

ardee, folktruther, virginia777:

Now children, fight nice!

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Nice job, Virginia demonstrating once again what an imbecile you are….

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By law'n'order, August 29, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is a false distinction in “to apprehend and prosecute criminals, and to ensure that those who apprehend them do not violate the law in doing so”. Anybody who violates the law is a criminal, regardless of their occupation. Thus, a hobo who violates the law, a cop who violates the law, a CIA agent who violates the law, and a president who violates the law are all criminals. IMO, the status of criminal is more important than any other status, position, or title the criminal may hold. In short, the American system of justice is supposed “to apprehend and prosecute criminals”. The second half of that sentence is redundant.

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By Virginia777, August 29, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, in a robe sitting on a tree stump “I am deeply hurt, fidler, that you choose to atrribute to Ardee the characteriation of your moral degeneracy.”

Ardee, sitting at his feet “Are you of the opinion that I ALLOW anyone to do anything?”

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By Virginia777, August 29, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

oh no!!

its Ardee and his mentor Folktruther again, trashing other commentators.

Hey you guys, hop in Ardee’s forklift, and back off a cliff

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 29 at 12:06 pm #

I am deeply hurt, fidler, that you choose to atrribute to Ardee the characteriation of your moral degeneracy.  Heck, I have characterized you as lothesome and disgusting long ago. And you give me no credit. 

Now I intend to get in deep stuff here! (Sarcasm alert)

How dare you sermonize to me about the tone and tenor of my comments to Martha and then turn around and smear another whose posts are occasionally of questionable taste and methodology?

Welcome, my sometime ally, to the dark side….

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By bogi666, August 29, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, isn’t just terrible when you’re not given credit when it’s due. It’s like my 1st wife who lied about me since the divorce, she didn’t have to lie I was bad enough on my own merits and she still wouldn’t give me credit. Just why in the hell I would marry a sicko that lies when they don’t have to is a character defect.

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

rfidler, August 29 at 10:43 am #

ardee:

Apropos a few of our exchanges elsewhere on this site, I just read all of the posts on this one, keeping in mind your admonition to me that I was immoral and indecent.

If I did indeed say that you, rather than the particular ideas you put forth, was as you claim I apologize, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa….I remain of the opinion that your position is as characterized.

Also, you said, “Actually, AFriend when one makes claims one is obligated to prove the veracity of those claims.”

Then you allow diamond to say, “as long as you refuse to admit that it was the intelligence services, the Pentagon and the neo cons that planned and executed 9/11 you haven’t got a leg to stand on. 9/11 is their ace in the hole.” without a peep of protest.

Are you of the opinion that I ALLOW anyone to do anything? I seldom read that poster’s efforts, I am not a conspiracy theorist, I think, in fact, that to hold such opinion, to ignore the reams of documentation that makes those assumptions untenable, coupled with the penchant to say that anyone not on board with conspiracy is a part of that conspiracy
( neat illogical logic that)makes discussion , in that area at least, a waste of time.

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By Folktruther, August 29, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

I am deeply hurt, fidler, that you choose to atrribute to Ardee the characteriation of your moral degeneracy.  Heck, I have characterized you as lothesome and disgusting long ago. And you give me no credit. 

As a ziofascist it is natrual for you attribute the defense of the Pope to the US military, when in fact the pope supported Hitler and was defended by Mussolini.  the old saying is the usual deception by the media implying that the two were at odds.

Your identification with ‘true justice’ and ‘legal fairness’ with militarism is what one expects of the ziofascist, Israel embodying what you conceive as both.  And the US.  What really bothers me is a dispicable character like you that states he is Jewish.  And you may be.  Clearly you are not Eskimo; they would have put you on a loose ice flue long ago and sent you off into the ocean. Where you belong.

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By Tony Wicher, August 29, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

RE AFriend, August 28 at 11:33 pm #
Tony Wicher,—“Of course I can read this report for
myself”

Yes there is no substitute.

  x x x x x x x xx x x x x x x x x x x

OK fine. I just read the report - what there was of
it to read with all the redactions. I will be so
courteous as to post the link for anybody else on
this thread who has not read it.

http://luxmedia.vo.llnwd.net/o10/clients/aclu/IG_Repo
rt.pdf

I don’t see anything wrong with Conason’s statements
about the report. He quotes Spencer Ackermans
accurate statement:

“Evidence that has emerged in recent days, through
the release of the 2004 CIA inspector general’s
report on the agency’s use of “enhanced
interrogation,” provides little support for the
former vice president’s bluster. As Spencer Ackerman
notes in The Washington Independent, the uncensored
portions of the IG report honestly concede that the
effectiveness of those techniques is open to doubt.”
   
AFriend, are you saying that this statement is not
accurate? Here are some quotes from the chapter of
the report titled “Effectiveness” (P.85):

211.~The detention of terrorists has prevented
them from engaging in further terrorist activity, and
their interrogation has provided intelligence that
has enabled the identification and apprehension of
other terrorists, warned of terrorists plots planned
for the United States and around the world,
and supported articles frequently used in the
finished intelligence publications for senior
policymakersand war fighters. In this regard,
there is no doubt that the Program has been
effective. Measuring the effectiveness of EITs,
however, is a more subjective process and not
without some concern…

221.~Determining the effectiveness of each
EIT is important in facilitating Agency management’s
decision as to which techniques should be used and
for how long. Measuring the overall effectiveness of
EITs is challenging for a number of reasons
including: (1) the Agency cannot determine with any
certainty the totality of the intelligence the
detainee. actually possesses: (2) each detainee has
different fears of and tolerance for E
ITs; (3) the application of the same EITs by
different interrogators may have different results
and [redacted]...

In the conclusion the report states:

250. The Agency’s detention and
interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence
that has enabled the identification and apprehension
of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots
planned for the United States and around the world.
The eTC Detention and Interrogation Program has
resulted in the issuance of thousands of individual
intelligence reports and analytic products supporting
the counterterrorism efforts of U.S. policymakers and
military commanders. The effectiveness of
particular interrogation techniques in eliciting
information that might not otherwise have been
obtained cannot be so easily measured, however.”

So the report is saying that whereas much was learned
from “interrogation of the terrorists”, it could not
be concluded that enhanced interrogation techniques,
i.e. torture, were effective in eliciting real
information. Sure, KSM became voluble after being
subjected to torture, but nowhere does it say that
any of the information he gave was valid. The real
purpose of torture is to elicit confessions, not to
get valid information. That is what Conason and every
other sensible person understands. Dick Cheney, Jack
Bower and you are another story.

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By bogi666, August 29, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

It’s just an old proverb and like I said if the shoe fits wear it.I’m glad to let you have the last word though as I have no dog in this fight, a Clint Eastwood proverb one of his movies.

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By The Mad Loon, August 29, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Here is a video for AFriend to view on the subject of FBI Interrogator Ali Soufan’s senate testimony.

http://wizbangblue.com/2009/05/13/fbi-expert-refutes-gop-claims-on-torture-effectiveness-video.php

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By rico, suave, August 29, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

The title of Conason’s article presents a false choice, a la, “Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?”

Besides, neither law nor torture protect national security. The U.S. military does. The very extra-legal power grabs you folks fear would only be more likely if the government feared for the nation’s security. The Patriot Act is, arguably, a perfect example.

When Hitler was told that the Vatican strenuously objected to his hegemonic insanities, he famously asked, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” It wasn’t Vatican “law” or the fact that Catholics don’t torture anymore, that protected the Pope, it was the U.S. Army.

An environment of true justice and legal fairness is a luxury that can only ultimately be protected by the military, not the ACLU.

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By rico, suave, August 29, 2009 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

ardee:

Apropos a few of our exchanges elsewhere on this site, I just read all of the posts on this one, keeping in mind your admonition to me that I was immoral and indecent.

Also, you said, “Actually, AFriend when one makes claims one is obligated to prove the veracity of those claims.”

Then you allow diamond to say, “as long as you refuse to admit that it was the intelligence services, the Pentagon and the neo cons that planned and executed 9/11 you haven’t got a leg to stand on. 9/11 is their ace in the hole.” without a peep of protest.

You’re a smart guy. Why do you give the tin foil hat crowd so many free passes?

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By AFriend, August 29, 2009 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

bogi666,

You’re clever enough, bogi, however, I still missed the part wherein you explained who your comments on attacking the mssgr. were directed toward.

If you can’t give an honest answer after being asked three times I’ll bid you good luck and move on.

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By bogi666, August 29, 2009 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

I’m going to quote Christ on this. When asked by the religious authorities “are you the Christ”, Christ replied “you said that not I”. Such is the case with you, always trying to get the hook out of your mouth when caught for deflecting your responsibility. Own up to it, it’s obvious to all except you.

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By AFriend, August 29, 2009 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

bogi666,

Nice endless Round Robbin in your last few posts, however, I missed the part wherein you explained who your comments on attacking the mssgr. were directed toward.

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By bogi666, August 29, 2009 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

AFriend, I’m afraid you’re confused, it was you who said my comments were directed to you. Quit putting your words into my comments, it’s just a courtesy. Since you brought the topic of your being exposed for an old trick admitting that’s what you had done and then transferring your responsibility is an old pretend christian trick, “I’m not responsible”  bogi666 did it in this case and/or in the broader context “I’m not responsible god made me do it and/or Satan made me do it, but I’m[AFriend} am not responsible”.

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By AFriend, August 29, 2009 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

bogi666, August 29 at 7:34 am #

AFriend, “Sorry to call you on the old neocon tactic of attacking the messenger’.—- ‘I didn’t address the comment to you, it’s your conscious and over inflated ego offended for being exposed”.

—-

You write that you had “called me out” for attacking the messenger but then go on to say your comments were not directed toward me.

I guess I’m confused. Who was it you were directing your comments toward?

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

As an aside: Might it not be more efficient if you took 40 minutes out of your day before I take 30 minutes cutting, pasting and posting from mine?

Actually, AFriend when one makes claims one is obligated to prove the veracity of those claims.

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By bogi666, August 29, 2009 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

AFriend, if the shoe fits wear it. Those who have engaged in torture support what they did. What do you expect them to say, we tortured and committed crimes for no good reason. Sorry to call you on the old neocon tactic of attacking the messenger. Try something original besides the nonsense you puke up as knowledge. I didn’t address the comment to you, it’s your conscious and over inflated ego offended for being exposed.

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By oldog, August 29, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

It has ofttimes been the perception, that it is
better to be locked up in US custody than free in the
army of whatever group we are in conflict with.
Indigenous peoples would smile at our arrival because
they felt safe.

This belief has won more conflicts and saved more
American lives than any information gleaned through
the use of harsh (not to mention torturous)
interrogations.

Not to mention, that the use of torture or enhanced interrogation techniques is morally and ethically
wrong, regardless of cause or effect.

To think that torture is even being considered as a
policy of our government is utterly shameful.

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By AFriend, August 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,—“Of course I can read this report for myself”

Yes there is no substitute.

—-

With good cause you write that you cannot take my objection(s) seriously. Just as it would be impossible to discuss the report Mr. Conason refers to if only one of us has read it. Simply quoting sections that support my own conclusions would satisfy no one.

As an aside: Might it not be more efficient if you took 40 minutes out of your day before I take 30 minutes cutting, pasting and posting from mine?

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By KDelphi, August 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Obama (Stealth Bush) is still paying Xe (Blackwater) and DynaCorp to torture and to set off drones.

“In spite of Blackwater’s well-established record of indiscriminate killings of Iraqi civilians, the Obama administration has retained its services in Afghanistan, where a new report reveals that Blackwater has been contracted to work with the unmanned Predator drones that carry out assassinations and terrorize villages in eastern and southern Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan….

Under Obama, the close links between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Blackwater have continued. These relationships reveal not only the corruption and conflicts-of-interest that are ubiquitous in the multi-trillion dollar world of military contracting. It raises the question of where the US military—ostensibly controlled by the elected representatives of the American people—ends, and Blackwater, a for-profit entity accountable to no one, comprised largely of former US military special operations personnel, begins….”

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/aug2009/blac-a22.shtml

Blackwater is in court in Va , today, trying to have all charges against them dropped.

UPDATE: Judge TS Ellis III asked a lot of questions about the Alien Tort Statute’s applicability in the case during today’s hearing. He also asked both parties to submit briefs by Friday from Iraqi law experts on why the case can’t be tried in Baghdad vs. the USA. He said he will rule promptly once those briefs are filed. Also, the Department of Justice has until October 8 to decide if it is going to intervene on Blackwater’s behalf in this case (see below for context).

http://rebelreports.com/ (link from today)

Its a Reagan appointed judge so it should work out again, for Prince….back to Iraq, for more fun killing for Erik.

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By Tony Wicher, August 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

By AFriend, August 28 at 4:42 pm #

Of course I can read this report for myself, but since
you, apparently, have already read it, I would
appreciate it if you would supply quotes from it to
support your position that Conason has misconstrued it.
Otherwise I cannot take your objection seriously.

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By Folktruther, August 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Martial law and classical fascism, rather than the current trend to neoliberal fascism, may well occur, Night-Gaunt. This is the result of Obama being an utter disaster as a president.  Instead of providing minimal progressive change, he is simply abandoning progressives and continuing Bushite polices.

the next election will be between a disastrous Obama and a Gop candidate who may well have the forces to round up dissidents.  The military, intelligence agencies, police and prisons are already in place.  And liberals have largely chosen to shut their eyes to the historical forces in play as the US loses world power.  To the point of identifying socialism with fascism, as you do.

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By AFriend, August 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,

The redacted report you refer to has been released in the wild. All can read it for themselves. That’s my point to Mr. Conason. I can’t help but marvel over the fact that he, at the time of his writing, had not.

There is a great deal of information available on this issue from both sides of the ideological divide. For example; every DOA at the CIA in the past 18 years has publicly stated that harsh and coercive interrogation techniques are vital to national security. I don’t have to agree with them in order to understand their respective positions.

This is in no way directed toward you, Tony.

Honesty is required when engaging in this type of conversation. It’s not for those who believe this is a new issue only devised during and by the Bush administration. I hope Mr. Conason will do a better job and, come to realize this.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 28, 2009 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Well to overthrow the republic is also the aim of the people and organizations that backed Obama & McCain and they want a fascist theocratic state. What is your aim in this matter?

The final fall of our economy will be their signal to come out of the closet and march in lock step saving people from ruin and crime caused by their financial sabatouge in the first place. You must destroy one organization to build another in its place. That is what they are doing. Is that what you want FolkTruther?

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By Tony Wicher, August 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Re AFriend, August 28 at 4:08 pm #

“Yes, ardee, many have read and heard that same
conclusion via the media. Others read these reports
for themselves. There is a canyon difference.”

——————————————————————————

Yeah, so have you read them? If you have, show us
where Conason is wrong and where it says in the
report that valuable information was obtained by
torture. Show us your canyon. I’d be interested.

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By AFriend, August 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

ardee, August 28 at 3:14 pm

“intel gotten from these two AlQaeda leaders was obtained by the FBI through more humane interrogation techniques prior to the CIA and contractors taking over the interrogations”.

—-

Yes, ardee, many have read and heard that same conclusion via the media. Others read these reports for themselves. There is a canyon difference.

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By ardee, August 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

“The report does not conclude that Abu Zubaydah or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the two ranking al-Qaida operatives captured after 9/11, revealed critical intelligence information because they were waterboarded dozens of times.”—Why did you not at least read the report you are writing about before you went to print? The report you sight made no such conclusion.

Typical distortions from the typical source. AFriend ( to whom I wonder) sidesteps the facts that note that all intel gotten from these two AlQaeda leaders was obtained by the FBI through more humane interrogation techniques prior to the CIA and contractors taking over the interrogations , much to the dismay of the FBI on site.

It has been shown ,time and again, that nothing of value is learned from such methods, quite the contrary in fact. But sadistic folks come out of the woodwork in support of torture, much to the detrimwent of our nations reputation.

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By ardee, August 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 28 at 12:52 pm #


Outraged—you appear to be under a little misunderstanding about my political position, after reading my comments for a year.  I do not wish to Save the American Republic.  I want the American people to overthrow it.  Its political, eoonmic and other institutions are totally obsolete and its power system is a danger to the entire world.

It begs the question as to which form of governance you see replacing our current system?

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By P. T., August 28, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

The Bush administration had no problem with prosecuting the hapless, working class, Abu Ghraib prison guards. But the investigation of CIA torture hits a? little close to home for the Bush hypocrites.

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By AFriend, August 28, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

bogi666

“When the message cannot be refuted and/or challenged reasonably, attack the messenger with nonsense and hyperbole”.

—-

If this was directed toward my post then I say, touche. When the message cannot be refuted with a modicum of knowledge or facts you appear to feel free to attack the posting.

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By Folktruther, August 28, 2009 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Outraged—you appear to be under a little misunderstanding about my political position, after reading my comments for a year.  I do not wish to Save the American Republic.  I want the American people to overthrow it.  Its political, eoonmic and other institutions are totally obsolete and its power system is a danger to the entire world.

With Obama’s abandoning the progressive rank and file, he has gone to the power political center and is continuing Bushite policies, laced with an Inspiring rhetoric.  Everyone deluded by the rhetoric, as you are, will uncompreheningly experience increased war, class inequality, destitution, cultural barbarism, and a neoliberal police state.  Because- and I say this with all due respect- you are too chickenshit to face political reality.  For now.

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By Folktruther, August 28, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

American law and order was revealed recently by the Back Agenda Report on the FBI, a traditionally racist and lawless police organ, devoted to fighting the left. It retained a police provocateur to write a internet screed to his White racism collegues to ‘lynch Cynthia Mckinney’ when she was a Congresswoman.  When he also threatened White congressmen, he was arrested and the FBI connection revealed.

The FBI asset suggested lynching the “Uppity Black Bitch” as a warning to other African-Americans to Obey The Law.  This is part of the FBI terrorist activities that have gone on for nearly a century, revealed mostly in its Continpro murders and other crimes.  Since Americans, including liberals, are highly racist emotionally, they largely support this attack on Crime, racism breeding a police mentality.  A large fraction of the American population, including TD liberals, supported the cop arresting Gates in his own home for ‘creating a disturbance.”

It is racism that ideologically and emotionally supports the War on Terrorism, an endless war against dark skinned Muslims.  It is being used by Bush-Obama to support a neoliberal police state in the US.  The marketing brilliance of the ruling class has manipulated this imposition to be headed by a Black man raised by a White family.  And Black leaders who support him will be the first to suffer.

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By bogi666, August 28, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

When the message cannot be refuted and/or challenged reasonably, attack the messenger with nonsense and hyperbole.

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By AFriend, August 28, 2009 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Dear Mr. Conason,

I sincerely give you my best efforts when reading your articles, however, I struggle to understand your lack of authentic insight and verifiable facts. This is one reader who is calling you out on your facts.

“Voices on the right have often protested prosecutions of police officers and sheriffs.”—As a pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-privacy, anti-capital punishment adult, who has spent over 20 years in law enforcement, I can say with all honesty that you seem to have made this up. I have never seen such an attitude from anyone. Left or Right.

“The declining crime rates of the past three decades”?—Where did you find that information, Mr. Conason? You would not be able to locate that statistic anywhere. Again, you seem to have made it up.

“There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution, even the president’s wartime authority, that permits the chief executive (sic) to assume dictatorial power”.—You’re right. It’s not in the constitution, per se, however, you seem completely unaware of the U.S. President’s lawful ability to suspend people’s rights and/or movements by a declaration of Martial Law. Ten minutes of honest research would have informed you, and your readers, a great deal better, Mr. Conason.

“The report does not conclude that Abu Zubaydah or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the two ranking al-Qaida operatives captured after 9/11, revealed critical intelligence information because they were waterboarded dozens of times.”—Why did you not at least read the report you are writing about before you went to print? The report you sight made no such conclusion.

Please, Mr. Conason, you could do everyone a terrific service by taking the time excise your political bigotry and do some honest research. Simply ingesting what you hear and read in the media is not nearly good enough.

I beg you do a much better job in the future.

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By bogi666, August 28, 2009 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

Folktruth, brilliant comments about the reality of the USA and its “national security”, thanks.The USA has been bantusized, similar to what the racist whites did to the black Africans, created Bantu lands and then called them homelands for the black Africans. WE have become a “Homeyland”. Now about the taxes being collected to support the American Empire which, by definition is a failed empire because the wealth of the colonizer, the USA, is extracted for the purpose of maintaining the 800 military and spy bases in some 150 countries around the world.As for the defense department and the Dept. of Homeyland Security, their purpose is to protect the wealthy corporate interests, property and investments, and individuals world wide the very same people whom complain about their paying taxes the most, while deriving the most benefits from tax monies, especially if paid by others, individual American taxpayers. The CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor. That’s America. Interesting to note the crime rate has gone down for 3 decades but the incarceration rate has tripled. The USA proclaiming itself to be a christian nations seems to have the most sinners on the planet. The PIC, Prison Industrial Complex,gets more funding than education in Calif. Americas solution to the world, incarcerate minor sinners and the mentally ill in the PIC. The PIC is rife with corruption which is why it is so generously funded. The easiest way for the privatized prison system is to incarcerate indiscriminately and extend prison terms and you have a growth industry. Finally, the Federal deficit funding dynamics, initiated by Ronald Reagan to the proportion it has reached today.The deficit is funded by government bonds with the proceeds from the bonds then doled out to the CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS with the interest and principle paid by individual taxpayers. Reagan lowered the tax rates for the wealthy simultaneously while ushering the CORPORATE WELFARE KING scheme mentioned above.

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By ardee, August 28, 2009 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

C.Curtis.Dillon, August 28 at 5:17 am #

The problem for Holder is the Justice Department is part of the executive branch.  That makes him beholden to the president.  It is this relationship that Bush/Cheney exploited so effectively.  Under Obama, Holder is limited by what his “boss” will let him do.

Apparently you do not read the news. The Attorney General decided, contrary to the wishes of the White House, to proceed with this investigation.

as to this effort:

Outraged, August 28 at 4:52 am

All I can say is that I strongly recommend that this poster refrain from smoking shit and drinking to excess prior to attempting to post. This is an almost incoherent and ridiculous effort, Outrage, and beneath even a precocious middle schooler.

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By Outraged, August 28, 2009 at 2:30 am Link to this comment

Re: Curtis. Dillon

Your comment: “The problem for Holder is the Justice Department is part of the executive branch.  That makes him beholden to the president.  It is this relationship that Bush/Cheney exploited so effectively.  Under Obama, Holder is limited by what his “boss” will let him do.”

Do you have any PROOF of your accusation?  Did you simply pull this out of your ptuitt?

The “sad” fact, at least from YOUR perspective would be that PRESIDENT OBAMA, is following the rule of law.  This translates as…... AG Holder will do, as he sees fit to do.  I TRUST THAT.  We have been SHOWN that.  It is what it is.

Maybe this is what “bothers” you?

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, August 28, 2009 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

The problem for Holder is the Justice Department is part of the executive branch.  That makes him beholden to the president.  It is this relationship that Bush/Cheney exploited so effectively.  Under Obama, Holder is limited by what his “boss” will let him do.  Obama is playing politics with the previous administration and doesn’t want to offend his Republican buddies in Congress by dragging their wonderful party through the mud.  So the whole deal gets swept under the rug.  Look how much vapor is being generated by this extremely limited investigation.  Can you imagine the firestorm were Holder to actually open the whole can of worms?

I would argue that the Justice Department needs to be independent of the executive branch so it can effectively conduct investigations no matter who is involved.  Perhaps it should be part of the Supreme Court?  And the Attorney General is not appointed by the President nor confirmed by Congress.  Maybe the justices select him?  Just a thought.

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By Outraged, August 28, 2009 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

Re: Folktruther

Your comment: “A power delusion to intinmidate clueless Patriots.”

So what are you…?  Are you… who’ve posted here very frequently, claiming to oppose what you consider (at least from what I can acsertain) “the powers that be”, not a “patriot”?

What is a patriot, Folktruther?  At least in your opinion?  And what portion of the populous do you consider “clueless”?  Can you be more specific?

Here you are claiming to want to save the republic, yet calling anyone/everyone else who wants to save the republic, clueless.  Why are people who wish to save the republic in YOUR mind, clueless?

I believe you engaged the term “chickenshit” recently….. so “fess-up” Folktruther.  Don’t be “chickenshit”.

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By Outraged, August 28, 2009 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

Re: ardee

Your comment: ” would offer my highest praise to our Attorney General, Eric Holder, for his courageous refusal to ignore his sworn duty. I would offer my deep criticism and distrust of the motives of President Obama for turning his back on his own sworn duty.”

It appears, from your post… that YOU feel that AG Holder to be “courageous” for his refusal to SUPPOSEDLY “ignore his sworn duty”, at least according to YOU.

My question is, how is it you assert that if AG Holder DOES HIS JOB, that this would be…. according to YOU…. “IGNORING HIS SWORN DUTY…?  An incredible BS argument!  Get your game on.

Additionally, your unsubstanciated assertion that you would: “offer my deep criticism and distrust of the motives of President Obama for turning his back on his own sworn duty”, is a joke, of phenomenal proportions….. sad, very sad.

Is that ALL you’ve got?  Because if it is…. lol.

ardee, this is not the venue to be casting inaccuracies….. try South Dakota, yeah… I’ve seen some weird political BS there…. but HERE… surely, you jest!  You’ll have be much more creative, this isn’t your “run of the mill” captive audience.  Welcome to the REAL WORLD.

You are so full of…ah…shall we say, “under the radar” vitriol that a rattlesnake would find you too….venomous.

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By ChaoticGood, August 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

Our security depends largely on the middle-class business owners around the world.  If we are a good market, then the moderates will dampen the fires in the bellies of their radical fringe political groups. This is why Communist China loans us billions of dollars (unthinkable 20 years ago).  This is why China would not think of bombing us.  Its all about money and middle-class rising expectations.

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By Folktruther, August 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Neither law nor torture protects National Security.  National Security is a fraud.  A power delusion to intinmidate clueless Patriots.  The US is protected by huge oceans and weak neighbors and has always been militarily secure, except when in 1812 it wanted to seize Canada, and the Britsh intervened.

What is currently meant by National Security, and Defense, is the defense of American imperialism. Of US aggression.  Invading Muslim countries to steal their oil reserves. In order to subdue the Muslim population, it is necessary to torture them.  Which Obama is continuing to do.

the current Investigation is a public relations fraud, delusive political theater which is Obama’s specialty.  The US will continue to torture while war goes on, since it is an esential tool against Muslim populations.  As it was in Latin America. 

Until US imperialism is finally defeated and the US power system kicked out of these tortured countries.

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By PatrickHenry, August 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Law which is in the parameters of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  The Patriot act is law which violates several amendments and should be repealed.  The MCA is also a bad piece of legislation and should go.

The federal government has violated the 10th amendment on so many instances and levels that alot of federal law as it pertains to the states should be scrutinized, repealed and fed to the big shredder.

Gun ownership in the hands of the population is the only definite national security there is.

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By godistwaddle, August 27, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Our role models for 8 years, Bush and Cheney, broke the law with impunity.  Average Americans with respect for the law, then, reveal themselves to be suckers.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

Because the USA let them do it. Gen. Patton was furious, godistwaddle.

ardee, August 27 at 6:57 am #

“The law is above all of us, it rules and protects. Without law we are not a nation, without law freedom is impossible.”

Just as long as the laws aren’t being written by despots. In any dictatorship there are numerous laws and most of them are very harsh and they are “legal” for that country. So laws unto themselves aren’t enough but who are writing them and what they say. Then I would agree with you.

As for Attorney General Eric Holder it depends on how the investigations and prosecutions are configured. From what I know the operational parameters are so narrow that almost no one is on the list. As Jack Rice, former CIA and now host of his own show on the radio said, that the risk of having a false investigation is still there. The parameters are so strict that only 10 wind up on that list to be investigated and none of them are upper echelon.

Torture is a terror weapon and a way of “having fun” for those predisposed to torture. It is never used to get actual information of any reliability. Never.

I would say it is a nice start but am wary of its veracity and reliability concerning an actual investigation and prosecution and not a white wash. As always they must prove their worth.

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By MvGuy, August 27, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

***Yaa, I’m with Diamond…

WHEN!!! Can we get Larry Silverstein into court [under oath] to ‘explain’ how ‘they’ had to “pull-it”{Buillding 7}

The part of the video of Larry telling us about how
he had to “pull-it” I like best is the little SMIRK he
flashes…. To show us [the little people ] how funny
it all was.. And how powerless we are to do ANYTHING!

Here is the 24 seconds Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p34XrI2Fm6I

WHEN!!! Can we see the FAA “quality control supervisor” that destroyed the tapes by the Air Traffic Controllers who directed the hijacked planes in court to explain why he..destroyed the tapes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/07/us/tape-of-air-traffic-controllers-made-on-9-11-was-destroyed.html

When!!! Can we get Porter Goss to explain how the tapes of the 911 interrogation tapes by those who the Bush administration said were the perpetrators happened to be DESTROYED???

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1210/p03s03-usju.html

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