Petraeus makes stance on torture clear

What he said:

“We think that for the military in particular, that is a line that cannot be crossed…. It is hugely significant for us to live the values that we hold so dear and that we have fought to hard to protect over the years.”

H/T to Abu Muqawama, a military/foreign policy blog where one of the more familiar anonymous commenters, a senior military officer, put it even more bluntly:

“I’d rather lose a thousand Iraqs than have the US military rotted from within by torture, a sin that spreads indiscipline and festers like a cancer in the soul of a democracy.”

UPDATE: The field manual referenced by Petraeus is available here:

135 comments Add your comment

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
4:18 pm

Jay:

You are trying to make him say something he did not. He is against “torture”. So is everyone else.

1) The question then becomes “what is torture”?

2) He never mentioned his views on “waterboarding”. Do you know if he has made a statement in that regard?

3) Are you familiar with the Army “Field Manual on Interrogation” that he is referring to? If so, is there any APPROVED method of interrogation in there that YOU would consider torture ?

Paul

March 30th, 2009
4:30 pm

Jay

Exactly so. The military is governed by law and international agreements (Geneva).

Then there are civilian agencies like CIA….. and the one in a million chance that a nongovernmental terrorist’s time-sensitive info can stop mass civilian casualties.

If that’s unrealistic, then there’s no problem with carving out an extraordinary exception rule to be authorized solely by the President.

But Gen Petraeus is correct – it has no place in the military.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
4:39 pm

I like Petraeus – he’s a keeper.

Good point Paul: “and the one in a million chance that a nongovernmental terrorist’s time-sensitive info can stop mass civilian casualties”

Hey, can you tell me anything about secret union ballots? Just thought I’d ask.

Frederick Douglass

March 30th, 2009
4:40 pm

But Jay, Cheney’s hand puppet said it was okay to do.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
4:43 pm

Corporal

Malcom Nance, former Master Instructor and Chief of Training at the US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE) was quite explicit in his testimony before Congress and again in the Small Wars Journal when he said waterboarding is torture. That is why it’s called “Chinese water torture.”

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
4:44 pm

Paul:

1) I generally agree, with the EXCEPTION that any training our troops go through (i.e., any aspect of SEAL training is by definition NOT TORTURE) is fair game for terrorists.

2) I did find where Gen. Petraeus personally feels “waterboarding” should not be used by the military and under the current rules it is not. There may be many high ranking military officers who disagree with him (remember Gen. Petraeus by virtue of his rank is a political animal) but those are the military regulations at this time.

3) I also agree that an agency like the CIA should operate under different rules than the military and that some emergency situations may dictate stronger action.

All of that said, I believe the great majority of terrorists should never leave the field of battle. They are out of uniform and should reap the benefits of their actions.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
4:45 pm

Kamchak:

Fine. So substitute everything SEALS go through.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
4:46 pm

Bosch:

Cop out. You’re holding the party line on those ballots.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
4:46 pm

Frederick Douglass

Apparently Spkr Pelosi thought that was a pretty good reason when she was briefed about it. She didn’t seem to object.

Hey Bosch

Well, my understanding is when it comes to voting for union membership, the Obama Administration and top Congressional Dems would like to do away with a person’s right to privacy and casting a ballot without anyone else knowing how you voted.

But y’know, if it’s good enough for union votes, then heck, let’s just extend it to all votes. Go to a polling place, they can have a video camera set up. A worker can read the ballot initiatives and who’s running, and all you have to do is stand there and say who you want. Then the next person in line moves up and says what they want.

No one should feel intimidated.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
4:47 pm

Too bad that torture doesn’t work — at least it’s too bad for those folks that advocate its use.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
4:50 pm

Corporal Corporal Corporal

That would effectively end Survival, Escape, Evasion and Resistance training for military, Ranger school, all special forces training…

Hey, how come you hate our military and want to gut their programs?!!?

I think many high ranking military would discuss the efficacy of certain practices but you’d be hard pressed to find one who thinks it should be part of the military mission.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
4:50 pm

Paul,

“Well, my understanding is when it comes to voting for union membership, the Obama Administration and top Congressional Dems would like to do away with a person’s right to privacy and casting a ballot without anyone else knowing how you voted”

But why, that seems weird. There must be a reason that the wingnuts ain’t saying.

Sorry, I know this is from the other thread.

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
4:51 pm

Whether it is as the General says a matter of values, or as is the case in many Americans minds, even a matter of basic competence, unless Obama gets a wild hair up his a.. and suddenly invades and occupies Morocco, he or virtually anyone else for that matter, is one helluva step up from the disgraceful chickenhawk bunglers we just ushered out of Washington…

Tragically it cost over 4600 American lives needlessly and untold gazillions of dollars, but at least it was THE death knell of this fraud conservative neo-conned movement.

And may the perpetrators of this travesty rot in their imaginary hell…

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
4:53 pm

By the way, here are a couple of excerpts from the manual Gen. Petraeus goes by:

“Unlawful enemy combatants: Unlawful enemy combatants are persons not entitled to combatant immunity, who engage in acts against the United States or its coalition partners in violation of the laws and customs of war during armed conflict. For purposes of the war on terrorism, the term “unlawful enemy combatant” is defined to include, but is not limited to, an individual who is or was part of supporting Taliban or al Qaida forces, or associated forces that areengaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”

“In the fear-up approach, the HUMINT collector identifies a preexisting fear or creates a fear within the source.”

“If there is no justified fear, the HUMINT collector can make use of nonspecific fears. “You know what can happen to you here?”

PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE !

Paul

March 30th, 2009
4:55 pm

Taxpayer

CIA Director on 60 Minutes:

[["Let me ask the question this way: why were enhanced interrogation techniques necessary?" Pelley asks.

"'Cause these are people that will never, ever, ever tell you a thing. These are people who know who’s responsible for the next terrorist attack. These are hardened people that would kill you and me 30 seconds after they got out of wherever they were being held and wouldn’t blink an eyelash," Tenet says. "You can sit there after, you can sit there five years later, and have this debate with me, all I'm asking you to do, walk a mile in my shoes when I'm dealing with these realities."

Tenet says the interrogations uncovered networks and broke up plots in the U.S.]]

[[But they did catch others, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who planned 9/11. He was captured in Pakistan.

"When Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (the guy who planned 9-11) ended up in the hands of CIA interrogators, what did he say?" Pelley says.

"I'll talk to you guys when you take me to New York and I can see my lawyer," Tenet replies.]]

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
4:58 pm

Obama signs public lands reform bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Conservationists claimed one of their most significant victories of the new administration Monday as President Barack Obama signed sweeping land reform legislation designating two million additional acres of public wilderness areas.

The federal wilderness designation provides the highest level of government protection from logging and other forms of commercial use and development.

The land protected by the 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act extends across nine states.

Yet MORE bad news for the anti-environmentalist Republicans.

This Reich-wing malaise just keeps rolling on and on and on and…

Paul

March 30th, 2009
4:58 pm

Bosch

My understanding is union leaders think people who would otherwise vote to not join a union would vote “yes” if confronted by a group in a public setting.

Democrats are more aligned with unions than are Republicans. Unions contribute lots and lots of money to Democrats. Democratic politicians take up causes that benefit unions.

It’s about the money.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
4:58 pm

Bosch:

You just can’t admit that your liberal friends would want to take away the right of a private vote can you? You need to study up on this one. It’s ugly.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123837553079768121.html

To Paul:

If it’s good enough for the SEALs and Rangers, it’s good enough for those big bad terrorists !!

Paul

March 30th, 2009
5:00 pm

Corporal

But I do stand by my position: such actions have no place in the US military. It’s a matter of principle.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
5:02 pm

Corporal,

No, I just don’t believe it’s just that simple, and I trust Paul’s judgement.

Corporal Punishment

March 30th, 2009
5:04 pm

Look PEOPLE, it is this simple:

If you are against America, you should be tortured. Period.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
5:05 pm

Bosch

That’s your first mistake…

:-)

Just talked to another friend who bemoaned Friday nights post-BSG…

fearless fosdick

March 30th, 2009
5:07 pm

John McCain was on Meet the Press Yesterday….

When asked about Palin he gave her lukewarm support if she chose to run for president.
During the interview with Karl Rove’s dancing partner, McCain said he would “like to see her compete.”

Pressed further, McCain was more circumspect.
“Oh, I’d have to see who the candidates are and what the situation is at the time,” he said.

Translation:
If anybody runs against her, they’d be more qualified.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
5:08 pm

Corporal Punishment

The only time I’m ‘against’ America is when I’m leaning on something. Then I’m against a wall or a tree or something. Other than that, I’m usually ‘on’ it or, if you count airspace, ‘under’ it. I guess the same applies if I’m underwater.

But tortured for leaning? Geez, you make Catholic school nuns sound like softies…

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
5:09 pm

How many times are we going to hash this out so Bookman can tell us how evil we are? The evil Americans who in wartime did not kill their prisoners but tried to get information from them? What? Just on the chance that a few thousand Americans might live?

It was NOT a military policy. WE KNOW. BOOKMAN DOESN’T SEEM TO KNOW. He wants to stir the old pot and say “Bad Bush. All he did was torture people. He was bad!”

Yes, bad. Bush should have let those terrorists overun us while we served tea and cookies..

It was war time. Water boarding was a rare occurance documented only by terrorists who claimed mistreatment. IT is over Bookman. Will you ever get over it? Will you remember that Ayers bombed and killed a few people in the USA? Was that torture? That Ayers was a sponsor and supporter of Obama? Is bombing OK but water boarding is not?

Your memory is so selective that it is irresponsible. Are you trying to torture all Republicans for your anti-War anti-Bush brainset? The obvious here is obnoxious prejudice as presented by Bookman. AJC should present itself as a propaganda unit for heretics on the left.

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
5:14 pm

Oh boy, Bookman has Petraeus on his side of the issue while I have Nancy Pelosi on mine.

And Nancy said Cheney was right.

bwa

Paul

March 30th, 2009
5:15 pm

Dusty

Interesting point. Ayres’ group’s nail bomb killed three of their own. If death was not instantaneous, is Ayres guilty of inflicting torture? Or is a violent act intended to kill others but instead causes a lifetime of suffering through grievous wounds not torture?

Where’s Bill Clinton when you wanna argue eight sides of a policy issue?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
5:15 pm

“Let me ask the question this way: why were enhanced interrogation techniques necessary?” Pelley asks. “‘Cause these are people that will never, ever, ever tell you a thing.

Now, isn’t that pretty much like admitting that torture does not work. And if that isn’t enough, there’s this (from Jay’s earlier thread For the history books…):

…In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida’s tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida — chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates — was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said…

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
5:16 pm

Paul:

What do you mean by such actions?

Waterboarding or SEAL/Ranger “conditioning” for terrorists?

Bosch:

Let me ask you one more time. When you vote in a federal election, do you want your vote to be private?

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
5:18 pm

I Report/ You Whine:

“And Nancy said Cheney was right.”

LOL !!

Well, you know she has a lot of friends that are into that “SM” stuff.

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
5:20 pm

Dusty- It’s knee jerk America hating, that’s why.

Bookman is rather fond of the cut throats, he really admires the murderous psychopaths in Iran and he apparently has a place in his bleeding heart for………..al Qaeda.

ew

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
5:23 pm

Dear Paul,

Get Bill Clinton to argue when it depends on what you mean by “is”? I think Bookman IS a left wing paid pot stirrer of mixed virtue.

So there. No tea and cookies from me..

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
5:24 pm

Fact- Bush and Cheney kept America safe from the terrorists for 7 years.

Fact- The liberals hate Bush and Cheney.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
5:28 pm

Perhaps Mr. Bookman reopened this debate because Great Britain has started criminal investigations into the use of torture.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
5:30 pm

Fact, the worst terrorist attack since the Japanese snuck up on us at Pearl Harbor occurred while Bush and Cheney were supposed to be keeping us safe. They failed — miserably.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
5:31 pm

I think some folks over in Spain have a few questions for some folks in the Bush Administration.

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
5:32 pm

Dear I Report..

It surely does sound like it sometimes. Makes one wonder. Pretty strange “Americanism” while our troops are out fighting the very people who would kill us. That’s correct.

Bookman, it is spelled T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-T-S and they don’t like us. Try to remember.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
5:33 pm

Taxpayer 5:15

[[Now, isn’t that pretty much like admitting that torture does not work.]]

I believe his point was that following procedures Khalid Sheik Mohammed thought he’d receive (flown to New York and his first meeting would be with a lawyer) would not yield information on subway attacks, bridge bombings, etc., so Secretary Tenet was saying the ‘enhanced interrogation’ procedures were necessary.

Jay’s earlier point beautifully illustrates the difference between causing stress to a person when you do not know what he knows (”tell us everything you know about X”) and causing stress to a person when you know he knows something you need (we have you on video and audio surveillance offloading bacteriological agents and delivery systems from the ship at dock 17 in the Port of Baltimore. We saw you activate the devices. We saw you leave the dock with them. We then lost track of you for one hour before we apprehended you. Where are the biological bombs and when are they set to detonate?”).

Corporal

By ’such actions’ I meant anything carried out by military members that is not expressly provided for in law, treaty and regulation.

Even if the same stuff happens to them.

getalife

March 30th, 2009
5:35 pm

Not prosecuting is “a sin that spreads indiscipline and festers like a cancer in the soul of a democracy.”

Nobody is above the law.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
5:36 pm

Taxpayer 5:30

Just wondering, if another attack occurs, regardless of magnitude, will you post the same comment substituting “Obama/Biden”?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
5:38 pm

Paul,

Unlike our Republican brethren, I don’t hide from facts.

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
5:39 pm

Taxpayer,
So glad you mentioned the Spanish. I want to start an investigation into their torture methods during the Inquisition. Surely you would like to help?

Paul

March 30th, 2009
5:40 pm

Taxpayer

I take that as a ‘yes.’ Hppe it never comes to that, though.

BTW – ever thought that the only difference in the federal bureaucracy pre-and post- 9-11 wasn’t so much the different administrations, but that Richard Clarke just had a different audience for the same thing he’d been saying for years?

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
5:42 pm

Paul,

Nah, your a pretty centrist guy and that one just made my Wingnut Hyperbole Meter go off the charts.

Corporal,

On face value, if that is all there is to it, then I think there should be a secret ballot – I think that all the way down from the POTUS election to school officer.

Later all!

Frederick Douglass

March 30th, 2009
5:44 pm

Fact- Obama has kept us safe for 70 days, which translates into an eternity if you use the same formula for that, that you use for judging
him on everything else he’s supposed to have accomplished in less than
a month.

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
5:54 pm

Taxpayer,

Right! You don’t hide from facts, you torture and twist them terribly.

But you are correct in one thing. Even water boarding could not wring the truth from you.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
5:58 pm

Dusty

Interesting that you should mention the Spanish Inquisition (nobody expects the Spanish Inquistion). Not on did the Catholic Church torture the Jewish conversos (marranos), but they also targeted the converts to Catholicsim from Islam (moriscos). It seems that Christians have been torturing Islamists off and on since the late 1400’s.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
5:59 pm

Personally, I think this entire “he kept us safe for N days” is a bit misleading. Given a determined adversary and the way our system is structured, preventing an attack has a certain element of good fortune attached.

Think of it this way, if an attack does occur, it may be because our system worked – we did not do what we said we would not do, we followed the rule of law and our enemies exploited the system.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
6:01 pm

Paul,

Really, I don’t recall answering “yes” to your question.

Dusty,

You are older than I ever thought. The Inquisition! Now, are you claiming that the statement of fact that I made about the terrorist attack is something other than fact? Are you?

Paul

March 30th, 2009
6:02 pm

Kamchak

[[It seems that Christians have been torturing Islamists off and on since the late 1400’s.]]

“Since” implies it’s continuing. Putting in a range, from ‘late 1400s through late N” would have been more accurate.

For example, “It seems that Islamists have been torturing Christians pretty much continually from the 10th century to the present day.”

Redneck Convert

March 30th, 2009
6:05 pm

Well, I’m setting here waiting for Fox News. Seems to me everybody’s against making Terrists set in a cold room and doing without sleep or getting waterboarded and such. So how about just a threat. Just bring Sister Dusty down to Gitmo and trot her out in front of a Terrist and say, Either tell us everything you know or you’re going to marry this woman. They’ll spill their guts.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
6:06 pm

Taxpayer 6:01

[[Really, I don’t recall answering “yes” to your question. ]]

I was trying to glean an answer. When you wrote “Bush and Cheney were supposed to be keeping us safe. They failed — miserably” I asked “Just wondering, if another attack occurs, regardless of magnitude, will you post the same comment substituting “Obama/Biden”?”

You responded with “Unlike our Republican brethren, I don’t hide from the facts.”

So I guess I don’t understand. The question is, “if another attack occurs, regardless of magnitude, will you post the same comment substituting “Obama/Biden”?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
6:06 pm

Paul,

Given the fact that the Bush Administration used torture against Islamists, I think Kamchak’s assertion is correct.

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
6:09 pm

Well, Kamchak,

I see. That is why liberals are now torturing conservatives? Islamists attacking Christians now? Is that what you are trying to tell us? I had never thought of that before you presented that idea.

Bookman and his water boarding crew! Who’d athought it?? Revenge of the nerds!

Paul

March 30th, 2009
6:10 pm

Taxpayer 6:06

So now you’re asserting the Bush Administration made Christian doctrine?!!? LOLOLOL!!! You’re too funny!!!

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
6:10 pm

Gates: U.S. Not Prepared to Respond to North Korea Missile Launch “I think if we had an aberrant missile, one that was headed for Hawaii, that looked like it was headed for Hawaii or something like that, we might consider it,” Gates said.

Consider it?

Oh boy, doesn’t that confidence just make you feel protected.

Team Sissy Boy, no torture, ew!

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
6:14 pm

Dear RedNeck,

If your suggestions do not bring results at Gitmo, you can always bring out your wife. Anybody that would marry you would probably prefer a terrorist if she had a chance.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
6:15 pm

Taxpayer

Maybe the real issue that needs debate is why torture is considered a Christian value.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
6:17 pm

Kamchak

Sounds interesting. Care to lead with any writings by mainstream Christian theologians or major religious groups (not the nuts who protest at servicemen’s funerals)?

Then maybe you could add in a line or two of something similar by mainstream Islamic leaders?

Paul

March 30th, 2009
6:18 pm

Kamchak

And please don’t go dredging up stuff from the Old Testament. That is so yesterday. You said “Christian” not “Jewish”, remember?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
6:21 pm

Paul at 6:06,

You did not pose a ‘yes/no’ question. Recall my words:

March 30th, 2009 5:30 pm Fact, the worst terrorist attack since the Japanese snuck up on us at Pearl Harbor occurred while Bush and Cheney were supposed to be keeping us safe. They failed — miserably.

Therefore, I could not make your requisite substitution of Obama, et al, for Bush and Company while leaving all else intact for your ‘if/then’ scenario and provide an answer of either “yes” or “no” without also knowing whether or not this assumed terrorist attack was the worst since Pearl Harbor.

Now, do you agree with my statement regarding the terrorist attack that we had during the Bush/Cheney administration. Also, you do realize that I posted that comment in order to complete an earlier poster’s incomplete list of ‘facts’ regarding Bush/Cheney keeping us safe. Surely, you wanted that poster to be more complete. After all, a half truth is still a lie. At least, that’s what I saw one time on a Church display.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
6:21 pm

Dusty

Liberals torturing conservatives? Please document.

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
6:22 pm

Paul,

If another attack occurs on America, Taxpayer will not be saying anything. He’ll be too busy running away…….

I’m off to burn some steak for dinner. Have fun..

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
6:23 pm

Was Vlad the Impaler a Christian?

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
6:23 pm

Monday, March 30th, 6:05 PM.

Mark it down good people of AJC blogdom.

Not just the best post of the day, the week or the month.

Hands down, THE best post of the year!

Kudos Redneck Convert! You sir, are a blogging pro amongst rank amateurs!

I’m STILL laughing out loud.

RB from Gwinnett

March 30th, 2009
6:23 pm

Kam, why do you hate Christians so? Stop being such a hater.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
6:25 pm

Paul, Bush was ‘blessed’ by Christian preachers. He was on a mission from God. And, if Kerry had been elected, we would have all been doomed. Darn those Christians and their prophecies. We’re all doomed.

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
6:26 pm

Kamchak,

This constant liberal dribble against American values is torturous.

Bye now. Try not to speak with forked tongues, if you can.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
6:27 pm

Paul

Catholics (Christians) used torture during the Inquisition. George Bush (Evangelical Christian) advocated the use of torture. No Old Testament needed.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
6:30 pm

RB from Gwinnett

I don’t hate Christians. Please stop projecting your emotions onto me.

RB from Gwinnett

March 30th, 2009
6:32 pm

I’m not the one bashing Christian, Kam, that would be you. Stop the hate, dude.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
6:36 pm

Taxpayer 6:21

I didn’t pose a ‘yes/no’ question?!!?

I thought I asked, twice, “if another attack occurs, regardless of magnitude, will you post the same comment substituting “Obama/Biden”? (for Bush/Cheney)

Your rest of the post – I asked “regardless of magnitude.” Surely you’re not asserting if another attack occurred the Obama Administration should be excused if the casualty count were to be less than that on 9-11, are you?

What I’m really wondered if yours was an ideological response or not.

Okay, I’ll ask “will you make the same statement if another terrorist attack occurs with more casualties than on 9-11?”

And I’ll also ask “will you make the same statement if another terrorist attack occurs with less than, or the same number, of casualties as on 9-11?”

Does that cover it?

I didn’t realize you were completing someone else’s post.

Did the attack occur on Bush’s watch? Yes. Was it a ‘failure’? Pretty much. Is it all attributable to one administration and not the previous? I think not – I take a more encompassing view of the federal bureaucratic machinery than do most.

your 6:25

Surely you’re not using that to support the position that torture is a Christian value, are you? Are you trying to be funny? It’s working!!!!

Paul

March 30th, 2009
6:39 pm

Kamchak 6:27

There you go again! The US President establishes Christian values! You’re funnier than Taxpayer!!! LOLOL!

Your Inquisition reference is about, oh, 500 years out of date. I noticed you didn’t include any Islamic references.

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
6:41 pm

Poor old Sister Dusty. America’s new Weapon of Mass Disruption.

I know she begs for it, but still…

King George and DickHead Cheney were not exactly class acts. There is little argument there.

Nor were they even competent in most matters. Again not much to discuss.

But I’m not sure this entire torture thing is all it’s cracked up to be.

But I do believe that given the chance, these Southern Talibaptists would be slicing off heads left and right though. There not being THAT much difference between our religious zealots and the Islamic version.

If only those damned sissy liberals didn’t keep them reigned in…

Paul

March 30th, 2009
6:53 pm

AmVet

No matter which party is in power, the American political system and population never lack for entertainment, do they?

Sam Waterston of Law and Order fame has been making the rounds, pressing for campaign finance reform – public financing of Congressional elections.

“ABC News’ Rick Klein and David Chalian report: On Wednesday, lawmakers plan to introduce a measure that would allow congressional candidates to receive public funds for their campaigns — a bill that would dramatically remake what it means to run for Congress, and maybe what it means to serve in Congress.

The bailouts and deficits now dominating the discussion on Capitol Hill would make this seem like a less-than-perfect time for a bill that would give billions in public funds to candidates for office, via a new assessment on companies that receive government contracts.

But actor Sam Waterston, who is in Washington this week to press for the measure, sees it another way.

“I think one way to look at it is to imagine what the conversation about the bailouts would be — what it would be like and how it would be changed if we were all absolutely certain that money wasn’t a factor and anything that anybody was saying for or against helping these various industries,” Waterston told us on “Politics Live” today.

I believe that the financial sector has contributed to $10 billion over the last 20 years to federal elections, and so at least there’s the question as to whether or not that didn’t buy some influence, and if it did then it’s got something to do with where we are today,” Waterston said.

The bill is a long-shot to become law. It will be introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers this week — including powerhouse senators Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., one of President Obama’s closest allies on Capitol Hill.”

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
6:55 pm

RB from Gwinnett

I was baptized in 1966 in a Southern Baptist Church. Even before then my weekly religious rituals were as follows:

Sunday: Sunday School followed by Worship Service. Return to church late afternoon for choir practice. Stay for Training Union followed by Worship Service.

Wednesday: Choir practice after school until weekly Church supper. Bible study class followed by Worship Service.

Thursday: Twice a month a meeting of RA’s for boys, GA’s for girls.

Two revivals every three months. Revivals consisits of Worship Services every night of the week for one week.

Vacation Bible School: Every day for two weeks in the summer.

This went on for the first fifteen years of my life. If I feel the need to point out the inconsistacies between the teachings of Christ,and the way that some, not all, who profess to follow his teachings. then please, by all means, call that “bashing.”

Midori

March 30th, 2009
6:58 pm

Dusty dated Torquemada?

say it ain’t so, Dusty!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5McSEU48Y8

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:04 pm

Paul,

If you did not post a ‘yes/no’ question, then why are you not satisfied with my original reply.

The Corporal

March 30th, 2009
7:09 pm

Taxpayer:

How many innocent civilians (women and children and BABIES) have been killed thus far due to Obama’s authorization of air strikes, especially in Pakistan? The number is probably below 100 since we are still early in his four year stint. At what point should Spain go after him for these atrocities ?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:10 pm

Spanish Court Weighs Inquiry on Torture for 6 Bush-Era Officials.

Well, I guess, in a strange sort of way, this could be considered a Spanish Inquisition.

The Corporal

March 30th, 2009
7:12 pm

Paul:

Re: your 5:33. We’re just going to make them “honorary” SEALs/Rangers. Surely, there could be nothing wrong with that?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:13 pm

Kamchak at 6:55. I thought my brain had successfully repressed those memories in an attempt to protect me from that part of my childhood. Now, you go and resurrect them. The pain. Give me the waterboard.

The Corporal

March 30th, 2009
7:15 pm

To Getalife:

What about my 7:09. Are we adding Obama to the list? If not, why?

To Bosch:

Re: your 5:42. Glad to hear it!! Just know you are at odds with your brethren but its good to see you have some common sense on that one where they don’t.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
7:16 pm

Taxpayer

My 5:36 was “Just wondering, if another attack occurs, regardless of magnitude, will you post the same comment substituting “Obama/Biden”?”

Two minutes later you responded with “Unlike our Republican brethren, I don’t hide from facts.”

I could not tell from that if you would or if you wouldn’t.

The whole point of the 6:36 is it is a ‘yes/no’ question. I even asked three of them. It follows the ‘if/then’ construct:

IF another attack occurs

THEN will you also say Obama/Biden failed to keep us safe?

If you want to say if another attack occurs, Obama/Biden STILL kept us safe, I’ll understand.

It’s kinda humorous, but I’ll understand!

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
7:18 pm

Taxpayer

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
7:18 pm

Corporal

You may be on to something. Enroll terrorists in SEAL or Ranger school but don’t let them self eliminate. Great idea!

The Corporal

March 30th, 2009
7:21 pm

Kamchak:

You need to read “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades” by Robert Spencer. It’s an “eye opener”!

P.S. I hope you are truly in “the boat” because based on your life history you sure won’t have an excuse.

Did you like reading your “part” in Training Union ……….. :o )

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:21 pm

Paul,

Regarding Bush and his injection of Christianity into the White House, his foreign policy, his everyday life, does this help explain it. I don’t think that I would go as far as you and dismiss it as a joke. Then again, we each have to make our own proverbial beds, don’t we.

The Corporal

March 30th, 2009
7:27 pm

Paul:

Exactly. Get rid of the “waterboarding” since it upsets everyone.

If they won’t talk after the first cycle guess what? They start all over with a new class until they do.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
7:29 pm

Taxpayer 7:21

Lessee….

Kamchak says “It seems that Christians have been torturing Islamists off and on since the late 1400’s.”

I tell him that’s a misleading statement.

You tell me “Given the fact that the Bush Administration used torture against Islamists, I think Kamchak’s assertion is correct.”

I ask about current Christian theology (mainstream) and a comparison to Islamic theology and practices.

You respond with “Given the fact that the Bush Administration used torture against Islamists, I think Kamchak’s assertion is correct.”

So we begin with a discussion of what constitutes Christian doctrine and accepted practice and you morph it into an attack on the Bush Administration.

Just be glad that wasn’t an answer to an essay question in a poli sci class….

Then again, maybe that IS the stock answer to any question in some poli sci classes! LOL!

Paul

March 30th, 2009
7:30 pm

Taxpayer

I double-pasted one of your remarks, there. For accuracy, you responded once with that line. For accuracy, double posting it doesn’t change the essential diversion.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
7:31 pm

Kamchak

And what is ‘truth’?

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
7:31 pm

Corporal

Being saved is not an automatic reservation in the boat. A “state of grace” is also required. If some of these self professed Christians were to die in the middle of writing some of the vitriol I have read here, “missing the boat” immediately leaps to mind.

Bud Wiser

March 30th, 2009
7:32 pm

The idiot left cannot discern truth from fiction, because they continually watch reruns of “Battlestar Galactica”, and actually believe that crap is for real.

Ambling Veterinarian must be out chasing down the rabid dog again with another biscuit. Man, can you never contribute anything of value without your swim in the sewrs with your mouth wide open? Geez. Talk about torture. You must pay your dentist a fortune to try to keep that mouth clean. I find the statement “you give liberals a bad name” to be inadequate. Lighten up.

What is even more incredible is that the Petraeus haters before the election haven’t had a whole lot to say about him still being in command position.

I guess Jane Fonda and/or Cindy Sheehan must have had prior gigs and just weren’t available….either that, or once more the astounding hypocrisy of the leftists shine like a dark beacon for everyone to see.

And to end this telecast, when do you suppose Obama or Biden will be on TV making their first shills as car salesmen, seeing as how they’ve overseen the soon to be absorption of the automobile industry, just as they’ve already seized the financial, insurance, and lending industries. Do you suppose they’ll let the UAW keep the 85% of full pay for laid off employees rate intact?

Night all.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:34 pm

Paul,

how can I possibly provide a more definitive answer than “Unlike our Republican brethren, I don’t hide from facts.” If something occurs in the future, then I have no problem supporting a factual statement pertaining to that occurrence or even typing it myself. However, I cannot agree to an arbitrary statement made now about some future what-if scenario because there are too many unknowns. Perhaps I can resolve this matter with an alternate supposition:

If Obama/Biden were substituted for Bush/Cheney back in 2001 and all else remained constant, then I would make the same statement that I made earlier with just the name changes. You see, no Nostradamus required when looking back.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:37 pm

Paul,

I’m sure there are many students out there relishing in the fact that you do not teach poli sci. Do you!

Paul

March 30th, 2009
7:42 pm

Bud Wiser 7:32

[[What is even more incredible is that the Petraeus haters before the election haven’t had a whole lot to say about him still being in command position.]]

I was listening to a show on my drive back – topic was Pres Obama’s plan for Afghanistan – and a speaker related that when he met with his party’s House and Senate leadership, Sen Harry Reid said “Whatever you do, Mr. President, don’t refer to what you’re doing as a ’surge’!”

Taxpayer

Do you like circles, or is this your idea of fun?

All I asked was, if another terrorist attack occurs will you say Obama/Biden failed to keep us safe. You responded:

“how can I possibly provide a more definitive answer than “Unlike our Republican brethren, I don’t hide from facts.”

That’s your answer? Or that you won’t comment on future hypotheticals because it’s future? (you’ve just eliminated yourself from any discussion of tax, spending, program, etc etc issues dealing with future impact).

Can anyone help me out here? Am I missing something? Is it really that obvious and I just can’t see?

(I kinda think you don’t want to state Obama/Biden may have an attack occur on their watch as it would open Dems up to the same charges, justified or not, they’ve heaped on Bush/Cheney all these years. At least, I think that’s what the underlying issue is.)

Paul

March 30th, 2009
7:45 pm

Taxpayer 7:37

[[I’m sure there are many students out there relishing in the fact that you do not teach poli sci. Do you!]]

If they’re not from the “make a statement, cite supporting arguments from credible sources and stay on topic” school, but are from the “say whatever you want and wander off with whatever sounds good” then they really, really are grateful I don’t teach poli sci!!!

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:47 pm

Paul March 30th, 2009 7:29 pm Taxpayer 7:21
Lessee….
Kamchak says “It seems that Christians have been torturing Islamists off and on since the late 1400’s.”
I tell him that’s a misleading statement.

To be more precise, you stated the following:

Paul March 30th, 2009 6:02 pm Kamchak
[[It seems that Christians have been torturing Islamists off and on since the late 1400’s.]]

“Since” implies it’s continuing. Putting in a range, from ‘late 1400s through late N” would have been more accurate.

For example, “It seems that Islamists have been torturing Christians pretty much continually from the 10th century to the present day.”

My subsequent statement addressed your statement regarding the word ’since’ and your statements regarding its implication, etc. I don’t know about all that other stuff since it was all predicated on a different scenario.

G

March 30th, 2009
7:48 pm

I’ll bet Cheney will be on some network news show (maybe Fixed Noise this time) trying to clean up what Gen. Petraeus said.

Just about everything Cheney says is always the opposite of the truth. I’m just trying to be patient and wait for the prosecutions to begin.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
7:53 pm

Taxpayer

It’s been fun, a nice diversion while I’ve been putting all my tax stuff together. But now I’m hungry so in typical guy fashion, stomachs rule!

Pleasant evening, all -

G

March 30th, 2009
7:54 pm

Only traitors think President Obama has made America less safe.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:54 pm

Paul at 7:42,

Precisely, what do you object to with my second paragraph in my 7:34. Is it my refusal to attempt to predict the future. What’s wrong with a slight modification of the past. After all, hindsight is 20-20.

G

March 30th, 2009
8:01 pm

How long do you think it will take for Petraeus to get an invitation to go hunting with Cheney?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
8:04 pm

G,

Perhaps Petraeus would be better prepared on a hunting trip than Cheney might think. After all, Petraeus did serve instead of going after all those deferrments.

The Corporal

March 30th, 2009
8:06 pm

Kamchack:

Agree to disagree. I’m a “can’t fall out of the boat” believer. The problem is, some people were never in the boat to start with.

“Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom ……”

G

March 30th, 2009
8:10 pm

Cheney To Israeli Officials; Obama Is “Pro-Palestinian”

Keep ‘em coming, Seymour.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/3/29/714305/-Cheney-Told-Israelis-That-Obama-
is-Pro-Palestinian

G

March 30th, 2009
8:22 pm

Limbaugh: ‘If Obama Fails, America Is Saved’

These Rushpublicants need to be reined in. It’s getting seriously scary. Somebody needs to call them out for their treasonous comments. Especially Michele Bachmann – calling for Revolution. It isn’t just a few crazies anymore-when it’s public spokespeople and elected “officials”, it’s downright dangerous.

WestPointGrad

March 30th, 2009
8:27 pm

Torture was not one of the values taught at The Point. It is actually the antithesis of everything we as officers stand for. Of course Dick Cheney never served anyone but himself. That may explain his moral bankruptcy.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
8:28 pm

To My Conservative Friends:

I want Obama to fail in every endeavor that is bad for this country.

I want Obama to succeed in every endeavor that is good for this country.

I am SURE that’s the same way our liberal friends felt about Bush. Aren’t you??

RW-(the original)

March 30th, 2009
8:32 pm

Too bad I missed the thread down below. I’m beginning to think Obama could blow up a Federal Building and Jay B would write a column about Obama’s bold new plan to shrink government.

Sushi, Sake, Stir Fry, and Heroes time.

Later!

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
8:32 pm

al-Gore didn’t turn his McMansion lights out Saturday like the rest of you bozo liberals did, hahahahahahahaha, suckers.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
8:32 pm

WestPointGrad:

Depends on the definition of torture. Some of your “hazing” is pretty bad to the liberals and Dems. They would be appalled. USMC boot was no picnic either.

Let me ask you ….. would it be o.k. to subject terrorists caught out of uniform on the field of battle (who should be shot by firing squad as Eisenhower did Germans at the Battle of the Bulge) to the exact same training as SEALs go through? You know, the intitial training that forces 80% of them to drop out.

RB from Gwinnett

March 30th, 2009
8:48 pm

Kam, is your point that since you went to church as a kid you’re entitled to hate Christians? I fail to understand the logic. I’ll ask you again, why do you hate Christians?

Class of '98

March 30th, 2009
8:58 pm

HYPOCRITES… Jay, you know if come CIA told you that unless ripped out a detainess eyes out of his sockets with a screwdriver or your family would be killed within 10 minutes by a bomb or something, your only question would be “flathead or Philips head?”

You know it, I know it, everyone knows. Pinkos can be so soft and mushy when it’s someone else’s loved ones lives at stake.

Class of '98

March 30th, 2009
8:59 pm

supposed to be “some” CIA (operative)……

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
9:03 pm

Class of ‘98:

LOL !!

They live in the “philosophical world” not the “real world”. I have little patience for people who like to “talk the talk” but have never seen combat at “bayonet range” !

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
9:07 pm

Everyone knows that you cannot pry an eyeball out with a screwdriver. It’s too soft and mushy.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
9:09 pm

RB

My point is I attended a Christian Church during my formative years, so I was taught what it means to be a Christian. Pointing out that some Christians don’t follow the teachings of Christ does not equate to hate. Your binary mind-set (us good, them bad) has narrowed your view of debate.

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
9:15 pm

Taxpayer

About your debate with Paul over my use of the word “since”: here’s one more word concerning him: floccinaucinihilipilification

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
9:16 pm

Aahhh, yes, making friends and influencing, uh, enemies-

DETROIT (AP) — Many assembly line autoworkers reacted with skepticism and anger Monday to the Obama administration’s tough tactics, which stoked long-simmering feelings that the people who put the country on wheels get treated differently than the wizards of Wall Street.

Many workers — not generally known for their affection toward executives — even sympathized with Rick Wagoner, who was forced to step down as chief executive of General Motors Corp. He was by turns called a “sacrificial lamb,” “scapegoat” and “fall guy.”

They really are “United” autoworkers.

heh

Frederick Douglass

March 30th, 2009
9:22 pm

Sounds like those General Motors workers are similar to the people that voted for Bush twice, even as he was slipping them the “Green Weenie”.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
10:06 pm

kamchak,

Congratulations on teaching this old dog a new word. And I used to think that antidisenstablishmentarism was a tough one.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
10:40 pm

HEADLINE/CBS: Top Story: Obama Takes Wheel, Tanks Dow: Big Stock Shock From Auto Plan …

“….. and leave the driving to us!”

Midori

March 30th, 2009
10:54 pm

WASHINGTON – Just months before the start of last year’s stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.

Switching from a heavy reliance on bonds, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation decided to pour billions of dollars into speculative investments such as stocks in emerging foreign markets, real estate, and private equity funds.

The agency refused to say how much of the new investment strategy has been implemented or how the fund has fared during the downturn. The agency would only say that its fund was down 6.5 percent – and all of its stock-related investments were down 23 percent – as of last Sept. 30, the end of its fiscal year. But that was before most of the recent stock market decline and just before the investment switch was scheduled to begin in earnest.

No statistics on the fund’s subsequent performance were released.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/03/30/pension_insurer_shifted_to_stocks/?page=full

Midori

March 30th, 2009
10:57 pm

Dem Fundraising Email: GOPers Are ‘Betting Against America’

as evidenced by my 10:54

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/03/dscc-fundraising-e-mail-republicans-are-betting-against-america.php

Midori

March 30th, 2009
10:59 pm

Ann Coulter Gets Her Comeuppance – From The Far Right

what’s wrong? Liberals should be “easy pickings” for you. why do you have to take it out on Adams Apple?

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/steve_katz/2009/03/ann-coulter-gets-her-comeuppan.php?ref=recdc

Kamchak

March 30th, 2009
11:26 pm

Midori

Interesting link about Ms. Coulter. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. On one hand, this proves that Republicans aren’t in lock step, at least not anymore, and on another hand, this looks to be a competition to see who is the most conservative, and the winner relegates the loser to not being one of “us.” Does this make Ms. Coulter a liberal?

Valtin

March 31st, 2009
2:44 am

The Army Field Manual allows use of isolation for 30 days or more, sleep deprivation, modified sensory deprivation, use of fear/manipulation of phobias, some use of sensory overload, use of drugs in interrogation — all of these are forms of banned cruel and inhumane or degrading treatment. In combination they are, as Susan Crawford, the Convening Authority recognized, certainly torture.

Read the truth about the AFM at links below:

http://www.alternet.org/rights/117807/how_the_u.s._army%27s_field_manual_codified_torture_–_and_still_does/?page=entire

http://www.alternet.org/rights/122341/how_the_press%2C_the_pentagon%2C_and_even_human_rights_groups_sold_us_an_army_field_manual_that_(still)_sanctions_torture_/

I Report/ You Whine

March 31st, 2009
5:25 am

Last year it was good clean family fun; breaking windows, smashing cars and throwing feces, all a healthy sign of protest against the Bush administration, but now, after having figured out that you can’t reprogram your own psychotics, they’re calling it chaos-

BRIEFLY: Police brace for G-20 chaos-Urinal

Caveman

March 31st, 2009
6:54 am

I bet the Cons would would welcome terrorists with open arms if they promised to cut taxes.

jt

March 31st, 2009
7:20 am

If anyone on this blog understands geo-politics, then they would understand the big picture. Americans aims are to DESTABILIZE the asian-islamic world to prevent a strong islamic nation state. 9/11 gave us the perfect opportunity to do so. we would of did it anyhoo for our national interest. regardless of what happens in apha. or iraq at this point, we have still succeeded in our mission. I cringe whenver someone claims that Bush or Pbama keeps us safe! they keep us safe from purple dragons too. if a terrorist threat was real, we would have closed down our borders. or at least controled them. the politicians used you people’s fear quite effectively.

jt

March 31st, 2009
7:26 am

My point, while torture may be effective in a real war(all nations have done it before and will do it again) when a real threat to our nation is realized, it just was not justified in this case.
A po-ed shiite or sunni muslim is not a threat. don’t be scared and for god’s sake, don’t look to a politician to protect you.

Copyleft

March 31st, 2009
8:28 am

Whiner’s wrong, as usual. The G20 protests are about unchecked capitalism and economic exploitation, regardless of Bush’s presence.

Bush made it worse, of course–after all, he made everything worse–but the underlying problems with free-trade corporate plutocracy continue, and so will the protests.

Corporal

March 31st, 2009
9:10 am

To Valtin:

I disagree but thanks for your post.

To Jay:

Please see Valtin’s post at 2:44 above. This is the manual that Gen. Petraeus supports. Is he still your hero or are you going after him?