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Torture Debate Bites Democrats

Victor Davis Hanson makes an excellent point on the tone deaf nature of President Obama's and Speaker Pelosi's hypocrisy on the issues of EIT and war Bush era tactics:

A Nancy Pelosi, hellbent on releasing once-classified memos for partisan advantage, and eager to begin 'Truth" hearings, suddenly believes such an inquisition will not apply to herself, despite the fact that she, like so many Democrats from Senator Schumer to Senator Rockefeller, in that dark period in 2001, spoke of the need for, or was complicit in, approving enhanced interrogation techniques.

Then the president himself, who jump-started his campaign in Iraq's crisis year by slamming the commander-in-chief on renditions, military tribunals, email and phone intercepts, Predator drone attacks, and Iraq, now suddenly wishes to explain the nuances and complexities of these policies and why he will continue the Bush protocols -- apparently oblivious to the hypocrisy involved with his own prior self-interested stridency. These examples could be easily augmented.

The problem is that between 2003-2008 there was such hysterical antagonism to Bush that the combatants never worried about the often vicious means they used to achieve their supposedly lofty ends, and so now, finding themselves in a position of responsibility, are infuriated that anyone, well, would even conceive of playing hardball as they once did.


I think the term hysterical antagonism neatly captures the style and substance of what substituted for Democratic debate in the run up to the 2008 elections. The Obama administration has obviously come to grips with the vacuous campaign "debate" given their policy reversals and embrace of Bush doctrine. That they have now loosed their own CIA director to put down Pelosi is further evidence that they have nothing intellectual or substantive to add to a campaign polemic now thoroughly swarmed by reality.

The only unresolved matter in this brouhaha is the still evolving meme being circulated in the fever swamp that all of this will lead to some investigation of the allegedly phony evidence used by Darth Cheney to trick the American people into going to war against Iraq. Pelosi teed up this argument by weaving the WMD debate into her awful presser on Thursday.

It is hoped that the Left keeps this up because as our commenters noted yesterday the BDS crowd is ignoring the rule of holes, much to the benefit of an otherwise ineffective opposition response. Carry on Madam Speaker.


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Comments (46)

"Pelosi is further evide... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Pelosi is further evidence that they have nothing intellectual or substantive to add to a campaign polemic now thoroughly swarmed by reality."

It's been my experience that you can only ignore reality for so long - and then it comes back and bites you in the ass even harder.

Quite a few politicians have made careers out of ignoring and denying reality - with various success. Now we're seeing in CA and New York just what happens when you ignore fiscal reality, telling yourself there'll always be enough money and if there isn't you can tax some more out of a willing populace. Obama's been working hard lately to ignore fiscal reality - just because you can write checks doesn't mean there's money in the bank to cover 'em, and though you might be able to get them covered by someone, somewhere, the interest rates and overdraft fees are killer.

Now Pelosi apparently figures reality will bend to whatever story she wants to tell, and make itself over into the way she details it. It ain't going to happen, any more than Obama proclaiming something will magically make it occur.

As some famous dead guy sai... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

As some famous dead guy said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

The Democrats rose to power by playing one group against the other with divisive politics, and they continue to do so on a daily basis. After a while, adults get tired of all the deliberately incited bickering and sponsored hate minutes and simply tune out to wait for the next elections. If we allow the current Clown College to remain in charge beyond 2010, we deserve the fatal collapse that will almost certainly follow.

This is not the America I grew up in, and it's no longer a country I am proud of. The question is whether Congress and our new president has given us a better economy or worse economy since we handed them the reins. If you think we're better off, you're a partisan liar. I blame both the Republicans and the Democrats. And the American voter for giving control of our future over to a bunch of vainglorious and irresponsible career politicians.

Let's see where we we've come in four months:

1. Congress has spent more money in four months than we spent since Washington was president. Depending on your source, World War II cost us $5 trillion - in 2009 dollars. We've spent TWICE that amount on worthless pork in four months. Who pays that bill when it comes due? Do any of the pandering socialists in Congress have any understanding of what inflation is?

2. The federal government has effectively nationalized our banking system by simply printing money. Where the constitutional authority to do this comes from is a mystery to me, but I never understood where Congress got the authority to dictate how our education system works. Who will have to pay the tab is no mystery at all. Our kids will, and we're not talking nickels. We're talking economic meltdown.

3. The federal government has effectively nationalized and is calling the shots for the auto industry - by simply printing money and asserting the same mysterious constitutional authority it used for the banking industry. Incredibly, it believes it has the authority to sit on the board of directors of Chrysler and GM, make senior management changes, and force the abandonment of entire product lines. Plenty of blame to go around, but I don't hear one bit of responsibility being visited on the UAW. Nobody brings up the suffocating work rules and the toxic health care and pension costs extorted from management over the past 50 years. In the end, they walk away with a seat in the boardroom and equity ownership in the companies they helped destroy. I'm sure they'll be a constructive force in rebuilding a healthy auto industry. As will the government, with all their valuable auto industry experience.

4. The federal government has abrogated completely legally enforceable contracts with auto industry bondholders in contravention to the constitution and bankruptcy law. Bondholders that objected were threatened with economic ruin by the government. How flattered Chavez must feel right about now.

Now Obama is WARNING us that we have to stop all this profligate spending or the interest will destroy our country. OBAMA is warning US? Notice how it's always somebody's fault? Well, he says, it's the fault of big business, those greedy Wall Street speculators and bankers, and those Republicans. You know, the Proletariat. No mention is made of the role of Congress in this whole festering gutpile that used to be the strongest economy in the world.

Ah, to hell with it...

Nancy Pelosi was set up - b... (Below threshold)
Poole:

Nancy Pelosi was set up - by the White House.

She had become too powerful and was dictating policy to the President. She had to be stopped as a lesson to other pretenders. She was prodded and cajoled into making increasingly ludicrous statements that could be shown to be false. When she had enough rope, she hung herself.

The President's loyal attack dogs in the press are now feasting on Nancy's political corpse. When finished, they will once more be placed onto their leashes and used to intimidate the next person so foolish as to challenge the White House.

Hate is the tactic of choice in Democratic politics. Get enough people hating together, at the same time and against the same thing, and you have unleashed a powerful force. Sometimes too powerful as it can break free as seek other targets, even turn against its earliest masters. Like the French Revolution, it can destroy its creators.

What goes around, comes aro... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

What goes around, comes around. Sooner or later, Obama will face a hostile crowd just as Nancy did (for the first time). Given The One's thin skin, it will be worth watching. Just make sure you pass the popcorn.

Oh boy. ANother thread on ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Oh boy. ANother thread on "torture". Bet you this one will hit 50 comments at least. THe liberal loonies go whacko everytime the word torture is mentioned. Anything they can do to try to make Bush look bad.

Meanwhile Chuckie Schumer said that almost everyone in Congress would be for torture under the right circumstances.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/15/theres-a-few-ants-in-the
-ladys-pants/
Here's Chuck Schumer, the highly partisan senator from New York, talking
about "torture" at a Senate hearing: "I'd like to interject a note of
balance here ... I think there are probably very few people in this room
or in America who would say that torture should never be used,
particularly if thousands of lives are at stake. Take the hypothetical:
If we knew there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we
believed that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a
chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is that most Americans and most senators, maybe all, would say: 'Do what you have to do.' "

But that was in 2004, before common sense in the party of FDR, Harry
Truman and John F. Kennedy suffered grievous wounds.

----------

Why arent the lefties on this board calling him a hater? debaser of freedoms?

"Why aren't the lefties on ... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"Why aren't the lefties on this board calling him a hater? debaser of freedoms?"

Because they don't have the stones to call a spade a spade. That or they lack the cognitive abilities to detect BS when Schmuckie opens his yap and make pronouncements to the masses that demonstrate his willful ignorance of reality.

Those stupid bastards lit the bonfire of hate against W and now they are suddenly discovering that just because they hold the power of government that reality is still just outside the wire waiting to slip in and kill anyone they can even though they are hoping with all their might that by just talking to them it will make everything all right. Their bonfire is their funeral pyre upon which they cast the security of all Americans.

I'm sick of hearing about w... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

I'm sick of hearing about what Pelosi knew and when she knew it. Who ordered the f'ing torture and when did they order it? Why was bush co trying to extract false information to spread to Americans to justify illegal wars and whose idea was that? Following Republican logic is never an easy task. But from what I can gather, here's the Republican position: Bush's CIA did nothing wrong, & Pelosi could have and should have stopped them.

It's pathetic that we suddenly need a "truth commission" because our congress is so corrupt and compromised that they can't and won't do their job to investigate and prosecute these crimes. Pelosi is up to her neck in this. She knows it, we know it, and she knows we know it. So, her solution? A whitewash commission in the style of the 9/11 commissions. Fingers will be pointed, crimes will be covered, and suddenly there will be no one at fault. Both criminal parties will be protected. They will then go back to their business of sticking it to we the people as we conveniently forget this whole mess.

(The Pelosi thing is intere... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

(The Pelosi thing is interesting now that Bob Graham has been found out to be an obsessive note-taker who has embarrassed the official archivists at the CIA. Pending...)

But to the REAL issue: Obama. (Yes it is, too!)

Preamble:

Obama is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an internationalist status quo refereeing organization founded by certain "robber barons" in 1922 to control the public conversation regarding economics and commerce (i.e. Everything), so what we See is not all there Is. Membership requires strict secrecy beyond the pages of its house organ, Foreign Affairs magazine.

(Wizbang authors: in case of writers' block, peruse Foreign Affairs. The "need" for selling the War in the Middle East to Obama has been a recurrent theme since BEFORE Obama overtook Hillary in the primaries. Top journalists are members of the CFR, BTW. News control?)

Regarding the REAL topic, regardless of above, ie. torture, GWOT, Dems, Cheney, etc.

Obama is apparently following the FDR governing template: allow chosen secondary policy aims (foreign affairs) to wend along trodden paths. I'm thinking of the London Naval Conference of 1935.

Yet assure the base of pure motives. I'm thinking of FDR's "Good Neighbor Policy" vis a vis South and Central America and the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, primary policy aims (domestic) are effected by such assurances that This President is reliably within the American tradition of statesmanship (see foreign policy above). Ergo gusto.

When Obama's primary policy goals are met or are near consolidation, priorities (like FDR famous priority shift of 1937) may be reassessed. MAY be. I think Domestic is Obama's thang. Holbrooke(CFR) or Hillary(CFR) will stand guard overseas and things will piddle along.

Anyway, I'd tag this topic "Obama-jitsu". The Democrats are pissed and the Republicans are still pissed. Obama is stealing their cattle.


"here's the Republican posi... (Below threshold)
SillyPuddy:

"here's the Republican position: Bush's CIA did nothing wrong, & Pelosi could have and should have stopped them."
---
Nope that it's CIA did nothing wrong and Pelosi at the time did nothing wrong either.

What's sad is that this should have been her position all along, but instead she wanted to play politics, hence her need to lie about what she knew and when she knew it, screw her, she put herself in this position, and Americans in a more dangerous one.

Here's <a href="http://blog... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Here's Gingrich take on this: Pelosi 'Lied,' 'Despicable,' 'Dishonest,' 'Vicious,' 'Trivial' Scroll down and you can hear the audio.

For narrow political purpos... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

For narrow political purposes Pelosi and other democrats are trying to retroactively criminalize measures taken shortly after 9/11 to protect the nation from further attacks. The problem for Pelosi, and democrats in general, is that they were at least complicit if not approving of the use of those methods. The tactic of retroactively criminalizing measures taken in defense of the nation is backfiring on the democrats.

Obama and other democrats argue that torture is against our values. What they don't understand is that allowing an enemy to kill Americans on American soil is even more against our values. If torture doesn't work, then there's no defense for not releasing the memos Cheney has called for. As Gingrich as said, lets have a national debate and let those who argue that torture is against our values explain why those values are worth more than an American city or a million American lives. Weather or not the democrats want that debate or not is irrelevant as the only choice is do we have that debate before or after the next attack on America. By politicizing national security democrats are setting themselves up for political extinction, but their BDS has blinded them to that fact.

JC doesnt like it when demo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

JC doesnt like it when democrats are getting hammered in the press. What about Scooter Libby? Oh wait. It isnt the deed it is the cover up. IN this case Bush and Co were honest about what happened and Pelosi is the one who is trying to cover things up.

"I'm sick of hearing about what Pelosi knew and when she knew it. Who ordered the f'ing torture and when did they order it?"

a. As discussed as nasueum. We know that the orders came from the top and that no torture took place.


" Why was bush co trying to extract false information to spread to Americans to justify illegal wars and whose idea was that? "

b. Do you realize how little sense this makes? Why go through the trouble of interrogating people if they were trying to get false information?

"Following Republican logic is never an easy task."

c. This preceded by your brilliant statement above.


" But from what I can gather, here's the Republican position: Bush's CIA did nothing wrong, & Pelosi could have and should have stopped them."

d. No. Bush did nothing wronga nd the only wrong that Pelosi is doing is by not being honest when she discusses what she knew and when. That is because it puts her squarely in the crosshairs of the show trials that the dems want to carry out. But they cant without her being caught in it because she knew exactly what was going on.

I know Pelosi's statements are confusing but the above statements are very clear and easy to follow even for you JC.


"It's pathetic that we suddenly need a "truth commission" because our congress is so corrupt and compromised that they can't and won't do their job to investigate and prosecute these crimes."

e. Well you were doing good until you stated crimes when none took place. You should have stoopped after the word compromised and most of us would agree with you.

" Pelosi is up to her neck in this. She knows it, we know it, and she knows we know it. So, her solution? A whitewash commission in the style of the 9/11 commissions. Fingers will be pointed, crimes will be covered, and suddenly there will be no one at fault."


f. Well I cant argue with that.

"Both criminal parties will be protected. They will then go back to their business of sticking it to we the people as we conveniently forget this whole mess."

g. Well the only party which has done criminal acts are the ones who were questioned. Pelosi would like you to forget her part in this and most folks might but she keeps changing her story every other day to something harder to believe than what she said 2 days prior.


Anyway, I'd tag t... (Below threshold)
Anyway, I'd tag this topic "Obama-jitsu". The Democrats are pissed and the Republicans are still pissed. Obama is stealing their cattle.

All Obama needs are the cars, right bryanD?

jc hammer [to the head] - <... (Below threshold)
marc:

jc hammer [to the head] - "Why was bush co trying to extract false information to spread to Americans to justify illegal wars and whose idea was that?"

Interesting "war" is plural. Does that mean you are of the opinion the war in Afghanistan was/is illegal?

Considering Bush only engaged in two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, why are they illegal. What laws were broken?

P.S. jc - The "sounds of crickets defense" will be expected and accepted. It's what you trolls do, and do well.

Old Russian saying...You ca... (Below threshold)
Igor Marxomarxovich:

Old Russian saying...You can tell same lie 1000 times(Ms Pelosi) but not change truth!

Difference between USSR Communist media and USA "mainstream media"

In Russia government make media say what they want - even if lie.
In USA "mainstream media" try make government what they want - even if lie..
.....eventually they become same thing?!

I Igor produce Obama Birth Certificate at www.igormarxo.org

The lack of understanding o... (Below threshold)
Jake:

The lack of understanding of what the "torture debate" is about in this thread is overwhelming. So I'll skip the point-by-point response to the idea that we're retroactively making things illegal (that were originally illegal then made retroactively legal). Or the twisted logic that Bush had ever right to torture, but that it's wrong and that Pelosi was at fault for it. And so on.

But I will say this: I support investigations. If that sweeps up Pelosi along with Republican officials (Addington, I'm looking at you), then so be it.

For the sake of our own country's moral fiber, we need to fully and officially put to rest the issue, whatever and whomever that means.

The only unresolve... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
The only unresolved matter in this brouhaha is the still evolving meme being circulated in the fever swamp that all of this will lead to some investigation of the allegedly phony evidence used by Darth Cheney to trick the American people into going to war against Iraq. Pelosi teed up this argument by weaving the WMD debate into her awful presser on Thursday.

This is the reason why Pelosi decided to hold that disastrous presser on Thursday. She knew that if she did not try to discredit Dick Cheney, who has been a constant thorn in the Dems sides, by denying she had ever was in those briefing. Well as we have seen, this little stunt backfired and further vindicated the message that Cheney was telling the truth. I hear the crickets chirping in all but the must virulent of the left wing circles. Then again, these people don't want to believe anything, but what they say.

jake - "The lack of und... (Below threshold)
marc:

jake - "The lack of understanding of what the "torture debate" is about in this thread is overwhelming."

You want understanding along with debate, A-OK buddy.

Rather than post an over-large cut and paste this sums up mine and alot of other peoples positions on the subject.

Ok "moral giant[s] on the Left" accept your side of the argument as presented there. And move the fu*k along.

The lack of unders... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The lack of understanding of what the "torture debate" is about in this thread is overwhelming.

Perhaps to you, but most people see it quite clearly. If defending the United States justifies stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into Pakistani homes with women and children present, which Obama has ordered, then defending the United States also justifies the use of enhanced interrogations techniques on the very masterminds of terror for the purpose of gaining information to save American lives.

Obviously we can't fight a war following our civil laws as they don't allow firing missiles into homes, dropping bombs on buildings, or spraying bullets from the air. Similarly, we can't use our civil laws in the treatment of enemy combatants.

So I'll skip the point-by-point response to the idea that we're retroactively making things illegal

Well it was a good thing you skipped it because you don't know what you are talking about. The U.S. law that extended the Geneva Conventions to terrorists wasn't passed until 2006. Had there been some other applicable law in effect prior to 2006 there would have been no need to pass a new law.

Even McCain, a strong anti-torture advocate, says the President should be allowed to authorize extreme interrogation techniques on a case by case basis.

The CIA's waterboarding technque is different than what was used in WW2 and by other nations in that it doesn't cause water ingestion. Without water ingestion there is no physical drowning effect, only panic. The average subject broke in 14 seconds which proves it's not a physical effect as anyone could hold their breath longer than that. Apparently Obama and his legions of fools would rather allow an attack on a U.S. city than subject a mastermind of terror to 14 seconds with a wet towel over their face.

Now that Obama has dropped the ball on homeland defense we are at much greater risk, and if there's another 9/11 magnitude attack on the U.S., public outrage will sweep democrats from office.

Don't forget. What did Obam... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Don't forget. What did Obama know and what did he do? ww

Why the hell is everyone ta... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Why the hell is everyone talking about investigating Pelosi? Why isn't anyone investigating: - the people who let her into the briefings, and needed (?) to ask the House Minority leader to sign off on what exactly? - The House Majority leader at the time? - The White House executive at the time? Maybe, once the people primarily responsible for this policy are placed under oath, and provide their justification for reintroducing torture as American governmental policy, then we can worry about Pelosi's role in this.

No torture or harsh interrogation techniques were employed by any U.S. interrogator for the entire second term of Cheney-Bush, 2005-2009. So, if we are to believe the protestations of Dick Cheney that Obama's is having shut down the "Cheney interrogation methods" will endanger the nation, what are we to say to Dick Cheney for having endangered the nation for the last four years of his vice presidency?

jc hammer - "Why isn't ... (Below threshold)
marc:

jc hammer - "Why isn't anyone investigating: - the people who let her into the briefings, and needed (?) to ask the House Minority leader to sign off on what exactly?"

What the frigging hell are you talking about?

Who "let" her in, she was on the Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, and was the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee she didn't need an invitation or be told to attend it was her JOB.

All this about torturing.<b... (Below threshold)

All this about torturing.
This is torture for the innocent
http://www.abortionno.org/

It is very graphic.

It's the kind of torture backed by people like
Obama and hyperbolist.

MarcJC is in obvio... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Marc

JC is in obvious lets cover up for the dems mode to minimize whatever impact this may have on them.

This was a dead issue until Obama released the memos. Maybe Obama wants Pelosi out.

JC What do you thi... (Below threshold)
retired military:

JC

What do you think about Chuck Schumer advocating just about anything and everything including waterboarding, torture, dismemberment, burning prisoners, etc. And that was in 2004.
---------


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/15/theres-a-few-ants-in-the
-ladys-pants/
Here's Chuck Schumer, the highly partisan senator from New York, talking
about "torture" at a Senate hearing: "I'd like to interject a note of
balance here ... I think there are probably very few people in this room
or in America who would say that torture should never be used,
particularly if thousands of lives are at stake. Take the hypothetical:
If we knew there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we
believed that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a
chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is that most Americans and most senators, maybe all, would say: 'Do what you have to do.' "

But that was in 2004, before common sense in the party of FDR, Harry
Truman and John F. Kennedy suffered grievous wounds.

----------

After all "do what you have to do" is a blank check.

No torture or hars... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
No torture or harsh interrogation techniques were employed by any U.S. interrogator for the entire second term of Cheney-Bush, 2005-2009. So, if we are to believe the protestations of Dick Cheney that Obama's is having shut down the "Cheney interrogation methods" will endanger the nation, what are we to say to Dick Cheney for having endangered the nation for the last four years of his vice presidency?

After 9/11 EIT's were used on three of the very masterminds of terror to quickly gain information to prevent a second attack. By 2005 the Bush administration had built a strong homeland defense headed by a serious person and a rebuilt and motivated CIA to gather intelligence on terrorists. Obama put some dunce in charge of homeland security who doesn't even know where the 9/11 attacks came from. Obama's releasing of classified memos (which he could have stopped by executive order), rhetoric about torture, threat of show trials, and punishment have dismantled, demoralized, and weakened our defenses. Obama dropped the ball on homeland security and the risk of another 9/11 magnitude attack is high.

First of all if waterboardi... (Below threshold)
arcman Author Profile Page:

First of all if waterboarding, putting bugs in sleeping bags, and sleep deprivation are torture, than everyone of us that has participated in sports, gone to college etc has been tortured. What a crock. Second, Bush and Cheney didn't lie. Period. Every Intelligence agency from England, U.S. France, the Russians, etc, had come to the same conclusion. That conclusion, turned out to be wrong. Had Bush not acted on what was, at that time, known, and the U.S. had suffered another attack, not only would he have been constitutionally and criminally negligent, then the Left would have been squawking that it was "Bush's fault". He did what needed to be done, and unfortunately with hindsight be 20/20, this has turned into a no win situation.

Now, for San Fran Nan, she HAS lied: plain and simple. She could have told the truth, and taken the political consequences, but that is beyond the scope of things now. She is an embarrassment. I don't want her to step down, however, because the more she steps in it, the more likely we can regain congress and get this country back on the right track.

File this under the heading... (Below threshold)
marc:

File this under the heading of - Gee, I wonder Why!!!

(Subtitled, "Tales of a Gutless Wench")

Damn, second time in a coup... (Below threshold)
marc:

Damn, second time in a couples days I've screwed up a link, try this one.

And note the back-peddle at the bottom of the page:


"My criticism of the manner in which the Bush administration did not appropriately inform Congress is separate from my respect for those in the intelligence community who work to keep our country safe," Pelosi said in a statement Saturday.

Pelosi on meet the press in... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Pelosi on meet the press in 2002

"Yes, he has chemical weapons, he has biological weapons, he is trying to get nuclear weapons." And she told Tim Russert on a November 17, 2002 appearance NBC's Meet the Press, "Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons. There's no question about that."

So kick the Bush lied mime out the window.

Shall we bring up Kerry, Edwards, Albright, Bill and Hillary and other prominent dems stating Saddam had WMD?


"Shall we bring up Kerr... (Below threshold)
marc:

"Shall we bring up Kerry, Edwards, Albright, Bill and Hillary and other prominent dems stating Saddam had WMD?

Cue the dem dance of.... they lied to US!!!!!

Meaning the worst, and dumbest pres ever out smarted all of them.

BTW for all those sheeple O... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW for all those sheeple Obamanites (JMC, Hyper, JC, Adriane Browne, and others) bleeting about laws being violated by the Bush admin.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124243020964825531.html

The 1994 law was passed pursuant to an international treaty, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. The law's definition of torture is circular. Torture under that law means "severe physical or mental pain or suffering," which in turn means "prolonged mental harm," which must be caused by one of four prohibited acts. The only relevant one to the CIA inquiry was threatening or inflicting "severe physical pain or suffering." What is "prolonged mental suffering"? The term appears nowhere else in the U.S. Code.

Congress required, in order for there to be a violation of the law, that an interrogator specifically intend that the detainee suffer prolonged physical or mental suffering as a result of the prohibited conduct. Just knowing a person could be injured from the interrogation method is not a violation under Supreme Court rulings interpreting "specific intent" in other criminal statutes.

In the summer of 2002, the CIA outlined 10 interrogation methods that would be used only on Abu Zubaydah, who it told the lawyers was "one of the highest ranking members of" al Qaeda, serving as "Usama Bin Laden's senior lieutenant." According to the CIA, Zubaydah had "been involved in every major" al Qaeda terrorist operation including 9/11, and was "planning future terrorist attacks" against U.S. interests.

Most importantly, the lawyers were told that Zubaydah -- who was well-versed in American interrogation techniques, having written al Qaeda's manual on the subject -- "displays no signs of willingness" to provide information and "has come to expect that no physical harm will be done to him." When the usual interrogation methods were used, he had maintained his "unabated desire to kill Americans and Jews."

The CIA and Department of Justice lawyers had two options: continue questioning Zubaydah by a process that had not worked or escalate the interrogation techniques in compliance with U.S. law. They chose the latter.

The Justice Department lawyers wrote two opinions totaling 54 pages. One went to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, the other to the CIA general counsel.

Both memos noted that the legislative history of the 1994 torture statute was "scant." Neither house of Congress had hearings, debates or amendments, or provided clarification about terms such as "severe" or "prolonged mental harm." There is no record of Rep. Jerrold Nadler -- who now calls for impeachment and a criminal investigation of the lawyers -- trying to make any act (e.g., waterboarding) illegal, or attempting to lessen the specific intent standard.

The Gonzales memo analyzed "torture" under American and international law. It noted that our courts, under a civil statute, have interpreted "severe" physical or mental pain or suffering to require extreme acts: The person had to be shot, beaten or raped, threatened with death or removal of extremities, or denied medical care. One federal court distinguished between torture and acts that were "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment." So have international courts. The European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ireland v. United Kingdom (1978) specifically found that wall standing (to produce muscle fatigue), hooding, and sleep and food deprivation were not torture.

The U.N. treaty defined torture as "severe pain and suffering." The Justice Department witness for the Senate treaty hearings testified that "[t]orture is understood to be barbaric cruelty . . . the mere mention of which sends chills down one's spine." He gave examples of "the needle under the fingernail, the application of electrical shock to the genital area, the piercing of eyeballs. . . ." Mental torture was an act "designed to damage and destroy the human personality."

The treaty had a specific provision stating that nothing, not even war, justifies torture. Congress removed that provision when drafting the 1994 law against torture, thereby permitting someone accused of violating the statute to invoke the long-established defense of necessity.

The memo to the CIA discussed 10 requested interrogation techniques and how each should be limited so as not to violate the statute. The lawyers warned that no procedure could be used that "interferes with the proper healing of Zubaydah's wound," which he incurred during capture. They observed that all the techniques, including waterboarding, were used on our military trainees, and that the CIA had conducted an "extensive inquiry" with experts and psychologists.

Well there is nothing to be... (Below threshold)
Abhi:

Well there is nothing to be proud of. The bush Administration has ruined the US Economy. The question will the Congress and our new president has given us a better economy or worse economy in the near uture. the republicans and the democrats are to be blamed for this.

ABHi". The bush Ad... (Below threshold)
retired military:

ABHi

". The bush Administration has ruined the US Economy"

I guess Barney Frank and Chris Dodd didnt have a thing to do with it with Fannie and Freddie right? Or Carter and Clinton with the comminity reinvestment act?

Nice dodge at trying to change the subject asshat. And stop advertising your stupid site here.

Pelosi hasn't handled this ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Pelosi hasn't handled this issue very well. Too many confused stories.

Paul Buffoon said"... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Paul Buffoon said

"Pelosi hasn't handled this issue very well. Too many confused stories. "

Buffoon, telling the truth may be a bit confusing but at least the story remains the same.

Pelosi is lying out her ass and you know it. Stop drinking the kool aid and admit it.


Hello Retired Military. Cer... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Hello Retired Military. Certainly her contradictory stories have hurt her credibility on her version(or actually versions) of her side of the story. I'm not happy with that fact myself.

Cant you call contradictory... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Cant you call contradictory stories what they are? LIES. The truth does not change.

STOP! The Attacks On Speake... (Below threshold)
jacksmith:

STOP! The Attacks On Speaker Pelosi

Last time they tried to attack Speaker Pelosi ( second in line to the President of the United States) it was about her alleged abuse of military transportation. This attack as expected turned out to be bogus. It turned out that the previous Speaker (Hastert - a Republican) made far more use of military transportation. It turned out that Speaker Pelosi was possibly overly prudent and too self-restrained in her use of military transportation.

Now Republicans are trying to attack her about allegedly having been told by the Bush administration about things she was not told about, like water boarding. Republicans are attacking her because she is being so effective at getting the peoples work done in congress, like healthcare. And Republicans want to stop her. Don't put up with that. Every time they attack Speaker Pelosi they are attacking you and the rest of the American people. If they go after her, go after them even harder.

They are trying to con Speaker Pelosi and the American people. And here is how it works. Approximately 6 years ago CIA had a briefing with Pelosi and congress, but DID NOT tell congress and Pelosi that the Bush administration was using torture ( water boarding ) on detainees. Then the Bush administration sent in Porter Goss to head the CIA and to destroy, and doctor records in part to make it look like Pelosi, and the Democrats in congress were onboard with the illegal torture of detainees by the Bush administration.

See, apparently at these intelligence briefings members of congress are not allowed to take notes. And if they do, they are not allowed to keep them. Apparently the CIA makes notes, but the members of congress are not allowed to see those notes either. And they can't tell anybody about what was said at the briefings. But the CIA can come back six years later and claim they told members of congress something six years ago that they did not tell them at that time. And they can use falsified notes to substantiate their claim. Planting disinformation was the type of thing the CIA became very good at during the time Porter Goss was a young CIA agent. Just gotta love it. :-)

If you will remember, their was a mass exodus of senior CIA officials after Porter Goss took over. And the complaint at the time was that longtime, highly experienced agents were being replaced by other people based mostly on their political loyalties to the Bush administration and their extreme right-wing ideologies. Which is just exactly what you need if you want people who will be willing to break the law under orders. Sound familiar? I don't think you can trust any CIA records after Goss took over.

I have nothing but the utmost respect, and admiration for the dedicated and patriotic members of OUR! Central Intelligence Agency. When the Bush administration betrayed one of OUR! agents (Mrs. Wilson) it made me boiling MAD! I think our new Director Pennetta has got some internal investigation and agency house cleaning to do. If you backtrack on the individuals that have been making the false attacks on Speaker Pelosi, and trace who they have had contact and conversations with, you should be able to connect the dots and catch your conspirators.

The key that the CIA records are falsified is Sen. Bob Graham and his journal, and common sense. :-) By the way, I think Mr. Pennetta is an excellent choice to head the CIA and fix it.

They are trying to kill healthcare reform. And continue our healthcare crisis. Don't put up with that.

PASS THE WORD.

To The Congress Of The United States:

If it is true that you are not allowed to have or make any permanent records of your intelligence briefings for later clarifications, and protection, that is ridiculous. That leaves all of you vulnerable to just this type of scam that is being perpetrated on Speaker Pelosi. So here is what you can do about it to protect your-selves in the future.

Members should be able to make notes and other recordings of these briefings. Then these briefings and recordings can be reduced to a computer file that can then be encrypted and digitally signed with a detached digital signature using key encryption. Then each of you can encrypt, and sign each others copy of the record that can only be unlocked with the other parties key. And both parties copies can be verified with each others copy of the files detached digital signature.

Very easy. Very secure. No more exposure to falsified records down the road. :-)

You see, it almost doesn't really matter what CIA allegedly did or didn't tell Speaker Pelosi, and congress. Because the briefing format is so deficient of any checks, balances, or verification that all we know is that all external briefing accounts support Speaker Pelosi's version of events. Pelosi and congress should have been given every benefit of the doubt. And that should have been it.

There are many other booby traps out there set for you congress. Be careful.

God Bless You

jacksmith -- WORKING CLASS

p.s. I still think the timing of Sen. Bob Graham's ruptured cerebral aneurism was suspicious. More so now, than before.

jacksmith = loon. <p... (Below threshold)
retired military:

jacksmith = loon.

Also it looks like he did a cut and paste job off some left loon web site. Though I admit I cant find anything other than this same mime on Slate.

The fact that the CIA lies ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

The fact that the CIA lies is not news, however, this does not make Mrs. Pelosi any more honest. Why would she be so much the focus of attention now?

Funny how when we 'torture'... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Funny how when we 'torture' someone, the 'torturee' hopes it stops because that means they are thankfully alive. They want to live.

When our enemy tortures someone, the torturee hopes it stops because that means they are thankfully dead. They want to die.

But go ahead, Lefties. Keep pretending that We are the same as Them.

"The fact that the CIA lies... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"The fact that the CIA lies is not news, however, this does not make Mrs. Pelosi any more honest. Why would she be so much the focus of attention now?"

Because she is standing in the way of the show trials that the media and the left loonies want to hold. She knew what happened, she didnt say anything, she didnt do anything. If the show trials, which the leftie loonies want, go on than Pelosi is an embarrassment to the left.

Cant hold the Bush admin on trial when Pelosi knew what happened, when it happened, and she didnt do anything.

jacksmith - "Mr. Cut & Past... (Below threshold)
marc:

jacksmith - "Mr. Cut & Paste" extraordinaire.

Probably hasn't had an original thought since figuring out it was better to go poo-poo in the toilet rather than his pants.

BTW RM... here's more "Mr. ... (Below threshold)
marc:

BTW RM... here's more "Mr. Cut & Paste" extraordinaire at the WSJ.

Dumbass little pissant.

MarcI am just wond... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Marc

I am just wondering if the source on WSJ or Slate is the original and this jackass is the plaguerer or whether he is plaguerizing all the sites from an article on one of the left loony sites.





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