Obama failing to defend torture law

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Technically speaking, torture is still against the law. The words are still there, in Title 18 of the U.S. Code:
“Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.”
But thanks in part to President Barack Obama, those words have all the relevance of an archaic law prohibiting pig-selling on Sunday. They mean nothing.
Publicly, Obama claims America has changed course. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order halting “enhanced interrogations.” But that did not restore the rule of law; it weakened it further. If one executive order can ban torture, as Obama claims, then another such order can restore it, simple as that.
And let’s at least be honest — what we have done is torture, sanctioned at the highest levels of government and at least tacitly accepted if not explicitly endorsed by Congress, including leading Democrats. Let’s at least have the moral courage to acknowledge that fact.
In World War II, waterboarding was torture when Japanese soldiers inflicted it on Americans such as Lt. Chase Jay Nielsen, captured in the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. In a tactic that sounds all too familiar, the Japanese claimed the treatment was legal because Nielsen was a war criminal not entitled to protection as a prisoner of war. In later war-crime trials, that defense failed.
To Lt. Col. William Harrison, it was torture when inflicted by North Korean Communists.
“They used the water treatment. They would bend my head back, put a towel over my face and pour water over the towel. I could not breathe. This went on for hour after, day after day. It was freezing cold. When I would pass out, they would shake me and begin again. They would leave me tied to the chair with the water freezing on and around me.”
That is not “fraternity hazing.” It is torture. If it is torture when inflicted on Americans by others, it is torture when we Americans do it. We torture. In the eyes of the world and whatever God you might worship, we torture.
That is difficult for many to accept because we are Americans and we are supposed to be different: Our strength is in our principles and commitment to values.
But what did it take to make us throw all that away? Nineteen men armed with a plan and box cutters?
That is Osama bin Laden’s victory: He scared us into fleeing the high ground.
“All these things vanished when the Mujahideen hit you, and you then implemented the methods of the same documented governments that you used to curse,” bin Laden chortled in 2002. “… What happens in Guantanamo is a historical embarrassment to America and its values, and it screams into your faces: ‘You hypocrites, what is the value of your signature on any agreement or treaty?’ ”
As bin Laden understands, the biggest canard of all is that the strong are willing to torture, to do what is necessary, while the weak shy from it. It takes no toughness to order the torture of a creature who is helpless to defend himself, a creature over whom you have absolute control. To the contrary, you torture because you fear that helpless creature — you do so because your fear is greater than the principles of civilization you tell yourselves you are defending.
On the eve of our invasion of Iraq, President Bush issued a warning to the Iraqi military: “War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, ‘I was just following orders.’ ”
If a president is to have the credibility make such statements again, we have to restore the rule of law. We should do so not through a criminal probe of what individuals may have done — creating legal scapegoats for a policy that too many supported for too long — but with a candid, nonpartisan investigation of what we did as a nation. Rather than block such a probe, Obama should insist upon it.

206 comments Add your comment

jt

April 30th, 2009
7:01 am

The R&D party of carreer politician will collectively cover their respective asses. Pathetic.

I Report/ You Whine

April 30th, 2009
7:02 am

Obozo doesn’t have to, Pelosi already did.

Release the memos, you hacks.

I Report/ You Whine

April 30th, 2009
7:05 am

Using bookman’s twisted anti American hate logic, buzzing New York City in a 747 scareliner qualifies as torture.

So yes, let’s prosecute.

I Report/ You Whine

April 30th, 2009
7:08 am

Moving from economics to coercion and the use of the state to target political enemies, we have a Homeland Security Department targeting veterans and anti-abortionists as potential terrorists, and a White House leaving open the option of prosecuting its predecessors over honest policy choices made in a time of war and without identifying any specific domestic law supposedly broken. We see selective release of previously classified information for political purposes.-Quin Hilyer, AmSpec

And the libs call us “fascists,” hahahaha.

jt

April 30th, 2009
7:10 am

What a frightening world it must be for those who have faith in this administration.

Mike

April 30th, 2009
7:22 am

Does Obama’s assassination of untried terrorism suspects (which Jay supports) also broach “the rule of law”?

Eric

April 30th, 2009
7:28 am

Excellent article!

Walter Miller

April 30th, 2009
7:28 am

If everything the country stands for is -not- in the toilet, Bush Administration officials will be indicted and tried on charges of torture.

No one is above the law, and the president of the United States should be held to the strictest standard of all.

Jay

April 30th, 2009
7:30 am

No Mike, it doesn’t.

In a war setting of kill or be killed, you kill. I’m fine with that. War’s terrible, but if you’re in one, you win it.

An unarmed, bound captive who is helpless and completely under your control poses an entirely different situation.

@@

April 30th, 2009
7:30 am

And let’s at least be honest — what we have done is torture, sanctioned at the highest levels of government and at least tacitly accepted if not explicitly endorsed by Congress, including leading Democrats.

Absolutely, jay!

FOCA that…

It takes no toughness to order the torture of a creature who is helpless to defend himself, a creature over whom you have absolute control. To the contrary, you torture because you fear that helpless creature — you do so because your fear is greater than the principles of civilization

Liberals can’t have it both ways. Waterboarding can’t be considered torture when late-term abortion never was.

101Airborne

April 30th, 2009
7:31 am

To I Report/You Whine:
Please clarify what this “Anti-American” logic is? Is it believing that rule of law must be followed if this country is to retain ANY credibility. Also, YOU tell me what it means to be an “American”.

101Airborne

April 30th, 2009
7:39 am

Let’s talk “Anti-American” for a moment. I wonder if the Bush Administration’s pursuit of illegal wiretapping–read “domestic spying”–would similarly fall under this broad definition? Maybe Bush’s blatant disregard for the restrictions created by the AUMF shortly after 9/11? Blank Checkin’ it doesn’t work in the end–Germany found out the hard way in WWI. Combatting terrorism in the 21st century is a completely new animal and once-agreed-upon definitions that guided our actions must now be re-thought and re-analyzed if they are to be effective and LEGAL. Just because the other side does not “play fair” should not excuse our leaders and policy-makers from exercising good judgement.

Brad Steel

April 30th, 2009
7:42 am

Whine bloviates: “And the libs call us “fascists,” hahahaha.”

Actually, you are best referred to as an idiot douchebag. “Facist” is too highbrow for you. And I might add you have done yourself a huuuge favor with your wonderfully articulate response to Bookman’s thoughtful and succinct article.

Please, Whiner, bless us with more cut-n-paste drivel and crafty name call’n.

Copyleft

April 30th, 2009
7:42 am

Good point, Jay. Obama ordering a halt to these illegal and anti-American practices was a step forward… but refusing to prosecute the lawbreakers, and refusing to reaffirm that this IS lawbreaking, still keeps the question of torture “open” when it should have been closed, with finality.

And it’s never an option, folks. Never, no matter how many “ticking clock” fantasies you dream up. America has principles and we need to stick by them. As Jon Stewart pointed out: “If you don’t stick to your principles when the chips are down, they’re not principles… they’re hobbies.”

Time to reaffirm American values and close the door on torture once and for all.

I Report/ You Whine

April 30th, 2009
7:48 am

Please clarify what this “Anti-American” logic is?

Comparing our intelligence agency to the Japanese butchers of WW2 and the North Korean genocidal maniacs is not only childish, it reveals an underlying hate of America itself.

Especially when you admire the dictators of China, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.

~~~~~

Still, a president would rather start well than poorly — and Mr. Obama has a job approval of 63%. That leaves him tied with Mr. Carter, one point ahead of George W. Bush, and behind only Ronald Reagan’s 67%. Four of the past six presidents had approval ratings that ranged between 62% and 67%, a statistically insignificant spread.-Rove, WSJ

Properly uncrating that paragraph could take two hundred pages, so allow me to condense it into something easily understood-

Which one of those four men has an adoring, slavish, lying and sycophant media at his every command?

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
7:51 am

“Not because there might have been information that was yielded by these various detainees …but because we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values, in ways that were consistent with who we are.”

This is the kind of thing that thoughtful, intelligent people who love America and its values say.

We have a real leader now. Not perfect, but someone who can help lift America up, rather than drag it down.

That being said – we’ve gotta keep pressing him on subjects of interest. He’s not a king, he’s our employee.

BDAtlanta

April 30th, 2009
7:57 am

From Salon.com:

Top Senate Democrat: bankers “own” the U.S. Congress

Sen. Dick Durbin, on a local Chicago radio station this week, blurted out an obvious truth about Congress that, despite being blindingly obvious, is rarely spoken: “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” The blunt acknowledgment that the same banks that caused the financial crisis “own” the U.S. Congress — according to one of that institution’s most powerful members — demonstrates just how extreme this institutional corruption is.

The ownership of the federal government by banks and other large corporations is effectuated in literally countless ways, none more effective than the endless and increasingly sleazy overlap between government and corporate officials. Here is just one random item this week announcing a couple of standard personnel moves:

Former Barney Frank staffer now top Goldman Sachs lobbyist

Read the rest here:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/30/ownership/

You Distort/We Deride

April 30th, 2009
7:58 am

There is no way that Jay’s blog today is anti-Bush or anti-American. It is anti-EVERYONE who subscribes to torture, Obama and Dems included. The idiot cacophany that follows was so predictable. Everyone associated with lending a blind eye to torture needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and replaced by TRUE Americans. We can not DESTROY Bin Laden by BECOMING Bin Laden.

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
7:59 am

In a perfect world…

Someone would pay to have both Hannity and Limbaugh kidnapped…hoods thrown over their heads…spirited away in black vans to some “undisclosed location”…& waterboarded with cameras rolling.

No advanced warning…& no idea that it was some sort of arcane “experiment” or “wager”.

I guarantee that within minutes…both of them would confess to cannibalizing their own mothers.

On camera.

End of debate.

Taxpayer

April 30th, 2009
8:00 am

Jay,

I think that President Obama has made good moves so far regarding the issue of torture. Unlike the Republican administration before him, he opened up the issue to the public instead of trying to hide it and outright lying about it. Also, there are more documents that need to be released and I think he has already mentioned that more are under review. That process understandably takes time since there is the real issue of information that may need to remain classified for some length of time. Further, he did actually stop the practice that he inherited from the Republican administration. I think that this, like many other issues, are going to take time to properly complete. Let’s wait and see where things end up.

Curious Observer

April 30th, 2009
8:04 am

Prosecute them all, Democrat or Republican. If they knew about torture and gave it even their tacit approval by their silence, they are guilty of conspiracy. That goes for members of the intelligence committees in both houses of Congress. If they actively perverted the law to justify torture or actually carried it out, they are guilty of torture itself. We didn’t let post-WWII Germans and Japanese off with the plea that they were just doing what they were ordered to do or that they were persuaded that their acts were legal, nor did Tojo escape the noose merely because he gave only a nod to the barbarous acts being committed by his nation’s troops.

Prosecute right down to the CIA operatives who actually carried out the torture. Put Kerry as well as Bush in the same dock. Only then can we remove the stain that the acts have placed on the fabric of honor and humanity this country has tried to maintain.

WhoCares

April 30th, 2009
8:07 am

and to think that we were in the middle of a drought when they were wasting all that water on terrorists. Wouldn’t it be easier to just shoot them and be done with it. Or at least cut their heads off with a dull bayonet.

WhoCares

April 30th, 2009
8:12 am

Does anybody know it that Marketing prof over in Athens that shot them three people is a Republican or a Democrat?

Mike

April 30th, 2009
8:14 am

Jay –

Pretty thin explanation.

“In a war setting of kill or be killed, you kill. I’m fine with that. War’s terrible, but if you’re in one, you win it.”

And this logic could not as easily be applied to waterboarding? Nonsense.

“An unarmed, bound captive who is helpless and completely under your control poses an entirely different situation.”

And the terrorism suspects who are killed by unmanned aerial drones are not helpless? What about the innocents who also get killed along with them?

Your explanation also doesn’t address the fact that Pakistan objects publiclly to each and every onof these strikes. Does the notion of soveriegnty not apply to Democrats?

Apart from the legality, do these strikes not also enrage Muslims around the world, “creating more terrorists than we are killing?” Do you really think that our killing of innocent women and children in our efforts to assassinate untried terrorism suspects leaves the world thinking that we own “the high ground?”

The notion that it is more moral to kill untried terrorism suspects and their families and neighbors than it is to waterboard three terrorists who nobody denies are the planners of 9/11 is a ludicrous bit of self-delusion. The truth is that if you really cared about morality, you would criticize the assassinations too, but you don’t so you don’t. You just want another excuse to attacks the same folks that your attack on every other single issue.

Now don’t think that I don’t support Obama in his actions. I do. I just don’t draw artificial distinctions for the purpose of partisan attacks.

Mike

April 30th, 2009
8:15 am

WhoCares –

Who cares?

Mike

April 30th, 2009
8:18 am

Susan Myers –

LOL. You are priceless.

You genuinely believe that law-abiding (if mindlessly partisan) pundits are deserving of waterboarding, but KSM is not.

Thanks for demonstrating how mindless partisanship can twist one’s brain.

I Report/ You Whine

April 30th, 2009
8:21 am

There is no way that Jay’s blog today is anti-Bush or anti-American. It is anti-EVERYONE who subscribes to torture, Obama and Dems included.

I know that Obozo is no American, so I guess you have a point, mouth breather, but when did I say “anti Bush?”

The most basic facts and knowledge escape you liberals, is thinking for yourselves too much of a chore?

1) bookman arbitrarily labels putting people into boxes with fuzzy little caterpillars and something that our soldiers “endure” as part of their escape and evasion training as “torture.”

Funny, I don’t remember that debate being “settled.”

2) As I have said before, as since this is a repeat yourself over and over again until it sounds like the truth blog, the liberal anger towards enhanced interrogation methods really makes it seem as though you are upset that we stopped al Qaeda from taking out the Library Tower and killing thousands more Americans.

3) If you are so confident that enhanced interrogation “doesn’t work,” then why were the results of it blacked out on the memos you released?

4) Why did the House Intelligence Committee, including Nancy Pelosi, approve of water boarding and question whether we were being “harsh” enough?

You’re argument is empty.

Pizen

April 30th, 2009
8:21 am

I have mixed feelings about this. I agree that a great nation does not permit torture of captives, whether you consider them combatants or not. Then again, we have faced, and we are facing, an enemy of unusual characteristics; where life and freedom and compassion are all alien concepts. I think in order to be fair that PrezBO and the Congress make it clear that waterboarding is considered torture and thus covered under criminal code. In addition, anyone captured by the U.S. military is to be considered an enemy combatant and thus subject to the Geneva accords. It will make it tougher to obtain information, perhaps, but the nation will at least travel along the high road, and there’s plenty to be said about that.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 30th, 2009
8:24 am

I have faith, that after the whole truth is exposed, prosecutions will
follow.

Solution

April 30th, 2009
8:26 am

Forget water boarding, I still like the tactics that were used in Nam, load 3 or 4 of the terrorist into a plane, ask the first one a question, if he doesn’t answer, toss him out. By the time you get to the third terrorist, you won’t be able to shut him up.

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
8:28 am

Mikey,

I know I’m priceless, but I’m already taken. Sorry.

I Report/ You Whine

April 30th, 2009
8:28 am

Vice president Joe Biden said today he would tell his family members not to use subways in the U.S. as the swine flu outbreak spread to 11 states and forced school closures amid confirmation of the first U.S. death.

Aahhh, yes, what a great plan this administration has, the enlightened scientists that they are, induce a panic among the citizenry.

Wonderful.

How about all you people reading this^^ as you fly through the air in a air sealed tube, packed in tight with all your fellow travelers, are you wishing you were someplace else about now?

WhoCares

April 30th, 2009
8:29 am

If it comes down to being killed by terrorists while I’m on the “high ground” or killing them first and living on not so high ground. I’ll take the not so high ground. Politicians on both sides seem to make a pretty good living there.

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
8:29 am

firecynthia

April 30th, 2009
8:32 am

I give concede the liberal talking point that waterboarding is torture as soon as they admit that partially birthing a baby, jabbing a rod into its head, scrambling the brains, sucking out the brains, and then birthing the brain dead baby is torture. Until then, liberals, shut the f up.

101Airborne

April 30th, 2009
8:34 am

Please neocons, tell me WHY we should KEEP torture as a viable method of collecting HUMINT? A large percentage of those who have lived near the operating end of a weapon know that surveillance is by far the more accurate and timely method of gaining the tactical and strategic advantage when it comes to course-of-action development (operational policy).
To give reference to the Japanese policy of torture during WW2, as one example, shines light on the fact that it was torture then and remains torture now. If one is childish by referring to the past to draw examples from or to make a point, why is Glen Beck not similarly derided for continually comparing our present economic crisis to the big one back in the 20’s and 30’s? Any serious student of history knows that history DOES NOT repeat itself–similarities exist, sometimes tremendously so, but the contexts in which it unfolds is completely different.
Overshadowing our current president’s mere 100 days in action is the totally anti-American legacy of “Bush & Co.’s” trampling of solidified qualities that once made this country great–privacy and due-process, obliterated by his domestic spying and subjective/self-serving use of the definition of enemy combatant status (all in the name of protecting the US in the War on Terror). Arresting and detaining American citizens without legal counsel or formal charge (especially when the action was precipitated by unsubstantiated, uncorroborated testimony of a third party–i.e. Michael Mobbs)to me, is a glorious example of anti-Americanism, and all the more reason to view self-professed “conservatives” as suspect.
I consider myself as “American” as the next person and do not share or take part in the plentiful “Oh my God, we heading towards Socialism” banter that chokes the airwaves lately. If this country was really better under Bush and Repub leadership, why did its credibility fall to such a low ebb that an Iraqi journalist felt compelled to throw his shoes at a sitting US President?

BDAtlanta

April 30th, 2009
8:35 am

Good op/ed, Jay.

I think the key is that peole can’t understand this: If it is torture when inflicted on Americans by others, it is torture when we Americans do it.

You can see the same sort of inability to call a spade a spade when people don’t want to admit that the insurgents in Iraq are true patriots to their country – the country they are fighting to defend against an invading army.

If another country invaded the US, and we civilians didn’t fight back, what would we call ourselves? Cowards? Idiots? People who fight for what they believe in are patriots.

Night Train

April 30th, 2009
8:36 am

You know how ‘they’ said “pigs will fly before America elects a black man president’?

Well guess what, the Swine Flu! :)

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 30th, 2009
8:39 am

It’s a fact that young Iraqi men would be picked up by American troops and taken to prison for interrorgation. They were suspected of being insurgents because they were young and iraqi. that was cause enough. Interrorgation was done in all the ways pictured in Abu Graihb. The United States quickly went from being a victim of terrorism to being the biggest terrorist on the face of the Earth! The George W. Hitler administration should be charged, tried and have the proper sentence executed!

Copyleft

April 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Solution: Thank you for recommending war crimes as an alternative to… war crimes. Truly, America should have no principles and no standards–at least, according to the cowards.

Mike

April 30th, 2009
8:41 am

101Airborne –

“why is Glen Beck not similarly derided for continually comparing our present economic crisis to the big one back in the 20’s and 30’s?”

Well, he is. Beck is rightfully derided as a lunatic all over the place.

” “Bush & Co.’s” trampling of solidified qualities that once made this country great–privacy and due-process”

Obama is keeping the wiretapping program in place and regularly assassinated terrorism suspects without “due process”. Got a problem with him too?

“I consider myself as “American” as the next person and do not share or take part in the plentiful “Oh my God, we heading towards Socialism” banter that chokes the airwaves lately. ”

I agree that the “socialism” rant is silly, but no more silly than the “Bush is trampling the Constitution” rant. Were you in objection to the “Bush is a fascist” or “we are headed towards a theocracy” claims that were just as prevalent on the left as the “Obama is a socialist” claims that come from the right?

George American

April 30th, 2009
8:41 am

I agree with Mike and the Report/Whine guy.

American intelligence and military are above the other Muslim and foreign animals out there. Our history gives us moral authority and we have a right to exercise enhanced method to protect America!

WE NEED TO BE STRONG.

CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?

Taxpayer

April 30th, 2009
8:43 am

If someone out there is strapping down pregnant women and removing their living, breathing child without their permission and killing it, then that person is committing torture as well as murder. So, do something about it other than run your mouths, you anonymous off-topic ranters. Identify these people and prosecute them for their crimes. What the hell are you waiting for — someone else to do it for you. If you have seen these horrible things happen, then you are a witness to a crime and you can be found guilty, just as guilty as the person[s] that committed such a horrible act. So, get up off your sorry buttocks and do your duty.

RW-(the original)

April 30th, 2009
8:46 am

Is this story a work in progress? It begins by taking a mild slap at Obama and quickly morphs into mindless Bush bashing, but it doesn’t seem to ever tie the original point back in. Maybe it’s just an overly long and pointless Tweet.

Oddly there’s more incite in the 7:30 response to Mike than there is in the whole article. Assassinating anybody we want anywhere in the world for any reason we decide to use is apparently perfectly acceptable to Jay B, but harsh and harmless questioning to prevent deaths to our own innocents is not.

Is “kill ‘em all” really the moral high ground for the libs these days?

101Airborne

April 30th, 2009
8:46 am

How do you surmise that “Obama is no American”? You answered my first point earlier concerning explaining Anti-American logic–Thanks. But you still have not told us what being an American is. How do YOU decide? I suppose my parents were not “Americans”, even after taking their oath of citizenship after fleeing Germany in 1945? Maybe I’m not American!
How about potical efficacy? Yes, taking part in the political process in this country: advocating, lobbying, voting–all of it. I’d say that Mr. Obama is being “American”. How would you have reacted if he had taken his presidential oath with his hand on the Q’uran? (I am certain he would’ve not won the election had he done that however). Isn’t religious freedom an “American”-esque quality as well?

Mrs. Godzilla

April 30th, 2009
8:46 am

Hot Damn! The rad right has moved from drill baby drill to
torture baby torture. And they say it’s the party of no ideas! pshaw!

21% tehehehe tehee hee

[...] Some opinion: Bookman says Obama is failing to defend U.S. laws against torture. [...]

Mrs. Godzilla

April 30th, 2009
8:49 am

Seen this?

New GOP mascot logo….

here:http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/4/30/726233/-Open-Thread

Mrs. Godzilla

April 30th, 2009
8:49 am

Brad Steel

April 30th, 2009
8:51 am

Torture, baby, torture! – perfect.

With the current directionless path, Michele Steel might be the next to defect. The GOP has become the party of chubby AM radio pundits and the wingnuts, like Whiner

WhoCares

April 30th, 2009
8:51 am

Raise your hand if you were in Jackson last night protesting the torture that went on there.

sd

April 30th, 2009
8:51 am

We don’t need congressional hearings. We don’t need the executive branch doing any investigating either.

Its really quite simple. If you, as an American Citizen, have evidence that a crime has been committed, you turn that evidence over to a member of the Justice department. Whether that be a cop, judge, or District Attorney. You then, get out of the way.

That goes for everyone, including the President. He simply needs to turn over all evidence to a Justice Department official and then get out of the way.

“Here, I have this information, its not my job to determine what to do with it. I am giving it to you”

Thats it. No public media statements. No calls to congress.

Why do we even have three branches of government???

what

April 30th, 2009
8:53 am

I am just curious as to hear an explaination from any including Jay or any in agreement with him.

Why have I never seen you post an article/ or anyothers have a post about our poor navy seals?

They go through waterboarding as part of training, have talked to some who have done it.

So I ask Jay why are you more concerned with the well being of those that would do us harm than the ones who try to protect you everyday.

Do you not find that odd thqat you claim this is torture but you seem fine doing it to our boys and girls, why?

Which team are you pulling for?

Also don’t forget every bit of this, whether you agree or not, was done for one reason and one reason only to keep each and everyone of YOU safe.

So sleep easy, others will protect you.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 30th, 2009
8:56 am

Raise your hand if you were in Jackson last night HELPING WITH the torture that went on there.

Copyleft

April 30th, 2009
8:56 am

What: You know, there are people who have a fetish for getting hooks embedded in their skin and hanging from iron frames while being whipped?

Guess what–THAT’S torture too. And yet we don’t prosecute when it’s consensual. See the difference?

Why should we sleep easy when we see atrocities being committed, in OUR NAME, to “protect” us? We didn’t agree this kind of junk, and we want it stopped. If our soldiers are truly here to serve the nation, then here’s their new orders: NO TORTURE, EVER.

Now, go follow them. That way you join us and be a TRUE American.

Copyleft

April 30th, 2009
9:00 am

George American: You seem a bit confused.

“American intelligence and military are above the other Muslim and foreign animals out there.”

So we should embrace the same tactics they use?

“Our history gives us moral authority and we have a right to exercise enhanced method to protect America!”

No, our moral authority requires us to stick to our principles… if we want to preserve that authority, that is.

“WE NEED TO BE STRONG.”

No, we need to be RIGHT.

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
9:00 am

Mrs G @ 8:49

I love it! And so appropriate!

101Airborne

April 30th, 2009
9:01 am

Sorry for the misspelled word-POLITICAL. I guess I am just another “dumb” Infantryman. Thanks everyone for the great arguments–especially Mike and I Report/You Whine. I sincerely hope that possibly in the future, many more “Americans” will slack the f— off their continous bashing and criticism of just another elected official and put their money where their mouth is and serve the country in ANY capacity. Public service at any level is and should be one of the highest measures of “being American” and demonstrates appreciation for the priveleges (not rights) that we currently enjoy.
To those that whine about every little thing that pisses them off about our country or the government in charge of executing its day to day responsibilities, do something about it.

firecynthia

April 30th, 2009
9:04 am

taxpayer, you are just like all the other left wing liberals i know. you pick and choose your morals when it fits the situation and change them as needed. that is the one thing the dems have for the past 40 years had problems with, consistency. they define torture in one context to fit their political agenda and then magically redefine it in another context to fit another situation.

Is torture the infliction of pain onto a non-consenting human by another human? Yes or no? If you answer no, then waterboarding is not torture. If you answer yes, then partial birth abortion is torture.

You see? When you have morals and you stand for something, its not easy.

Mike

April 30th, 2009
9:04 am

101Airborne –

I agree with the sentiment, but you only seem to be offended by “continuous bashing and criticism of just another elected official” if that official is a Democrat. Likewise in regards to your complaint about whining “about every little thing that pisses them off about our country or the government in charge of executing its day to day responsibilities.”

If you don’t like this behavior, don’t engage in it.

I Report/ You Whine

April 30th, 2009
9:06 am

How do you surmise that “Obama is no American”?

“PRESIDENT OBAMA: I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

With “friends” like Obozo, America doesn’t need an enemies.

AmVet

April 30th, 2009
9:07 am

Zounds, the mindful non-partisan ragging on the mindless partisans!

Who woulda thunk it?

RW, usually I skip past typos, incorrect grammar, etc, but your 8:46 is a Freudian doozy if ever I saw one!

Instead of “insight” you used the word incite.

Sorry, but given the “discourse” that often occurs here, I just find that misuse ironically hysterical.

Lots more sophomoric “arguments” for those who try to justify BushCo torture.

Something NO US President before him would use.

That the 20% Club want it, merely reflects that are becoming even more similar to our enemy. And to that extent, the Islamo-fascists have already won their religious zealot cousins over.

Now that George of the Bungle is gone, the rest of us are going to put an end to that cr@p and restore our position as morally above the homicidal thugs.

And we don’t give a tinker’s damn what you chickenhawks want anymore…

what

April 30th, 2009
9:08 am

Copyleft,
True American?

Boy odd how you all yelled and yapped about how bush supporters treated you all?

Yes you are a true American. Hell we should all feel a little more patriotic, simply because you are on this blog.

If the methods keep us safe and have produced results, as Obama acknowledged last night, then sorry that is a bridge I am willing to cross.

Because we all know that no terrorist organization would ever torture or kill any of us or our soldiers right?

Mike

April 30th, 2009
9:11 am

AmVet –

As usual you rambling and nonsensical “argument” is too tedious to read, let alone respond to.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 30th, 2009
9:12 am

firecynthia

whoa!

you are just like all the other rad righties i know. you pick and choose your morals when it fits the situation and change them as needed.

because you don’t get your way on abortion torture is okee dokee.

foot meet mouth.

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
9:12 am

AmVet @ 9:07

I know, “incite instead of insight”. Reminds me of Californication the other day.

Californication

April 30th, 2009
9:12 am

Can somebody please ask Daniel Pearl what he thinks about torture?

Taxpayer

April 30th, 2009
9:12 am

You don’t know me or anything about me, firecynthia. Keep your lies to yourself.

what

April 30th, 2009
9:13 am

You may want to ask some of those seals, didn’t sound too consentual, it is what they HAVE to do in order to become a seal.

Hell if they told what they knew there would be no torture.
But showing up and saying I’ll talk to you with my lawyer in new york doesn’t cut it.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 30th, 2009
9:13 am

Morning AmVet…..Remember when it was the 30% club?

Solution

April 30th, 2009
9:14 am

Copy, what you fail to understand is that America has been involved in these type of interrogations for years and years.
Who are you referring to as ‘cowards’? Those who you disagree with?

America has used many methods over the years to ‘question’ prisoners. Only with the modern age of communications have these methods become public knowledge.

WWI, a wounded prisoner would have salt poured into their wounds to help free their tongues. Or possibly a heel ground into the wound would work.

WWII, electricity was a great improvement over WWI methods.

VietNam it was teaching them how to fly that worked. Was it our fault that they were slow learners?

What you fail to understand is that, America has used questionable methods since we have been fighting wars. It’s just with modern technology and a bunch of spineless ‘Monday morning quarterbacks’, who are driving this great nation into the dirt, that it is perceived as a problem.

williebkind

April 30th, 2009
9:15 am

You know this blog would really mean something if it was not really a “hate bush” continuance. Let it go! King Obama will send you a check and everything will be fine. Trust him!

He will bow down to every leader and get their blessing and we will live in peace. There will be no war so therefore no need of torture. We will have a home, food, and a green car. Everyone in Europe, China, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, …etc will love us. We will be their little darlings.

Billy Bob the anti-THUG

April 30th, 2009
9:15 am

I’m only waiting until al-Qaeda places a IED along the side of this “high road” you libtards keep talking about – maybe blows a few more of your fellow countrymen/women to smithereens – leaves others with crippling wounds. I wonder if you’d still be so desirous of staying on that “high road” – at the expense of your fellow citizens.

I can’t FOR ALL TIME support “waterboarding”, specifically, as an interrogation tactic, but I also have to place my judgement in the context of the events of 9/11. I have to remember that the judgement to use enhanced interrogation techniques against KNOWN terrorists was a TEMPORARY and non-life threatening concession (unlike what al-Qaeda terrorists do/did).

WhoCares

April 30th, 2009
9:15 am

The more I see of this whining about torture the more I like Jack Nicholson’s character in ‘A Few Good Men’

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
9:18 am

Man, isn’t that something?! I mention Californication, and Californication appears on the scene!

Steve

April 30th, 2009
9:19 am

Susan Myer’s wrote: “In a perfect world…
Someone would pay to have both Hannity and Limbaugh kidnapped…hoods thrown over their heads…spirited away in black vans to some “undisclosed location”…& waterboarded with cameras rolling.”

Does this mean you do support torture? It’s interesting to know what really goes through your mind.

what

April 30th, 2009
9:20 am

Exactly,
WhoCares,

I am just happy they have this to bit**h about instead of another terrorist attack. You know like the ones that were foiled due to some of the information gained through…. waterboarding and other tactics they disapprove of.

I ask what is better to not torture and have a highground and suffer a terrorist attack with thousands of Americans being killed or injured, or is it worse to possibly get less than rosey with a few know and admitted terrorist?

Taxpayer

April 30th, 2009
9:20 am

Mrs. Reagan, we have another customer for you. Seance for Daniel Pearl. Customer requests information regarding terrorist cutting off head of reporter after Bush Administration tortured ‘enemy combatants’. Customer apparently wants to know if the summation of some number of wrongs ever makes a right.

AmVet

April 30th, 2009
9:26 am

Our mindful (mindf&cked)?) non-partisan is such a one-trick pony, he even reuses his lameass response? Which apparently is a non-response???

Stuck on stupid…

Hi Mrs. G,

As I say, to the extent that the Republiconned want torture, the thugs have already beaten them. But not the rest of us.

I honestly think that since their second straight humiliation last November, the imploding GOP has tanked even worse. They are actually losing ground in regards to how mainstream America sees them.

I never really imagined things could have turned out this well in such a shockingly short period of time.

Susan, you seem to have some sort of magical powers. You mention a certain name and voila!

RW-(the original)

April 30th, 2009
9:27 am

Well I see I’ve set off the typo Nazi’s so I guess my work is done here.

Later!

Wouldn’t it be nice if Jay B could attract libs that were capable of debate rather than the ones here who either obsess over spell checking or whatever sexual slang they can get into print?

firecynthia

April 30th, 2009
9:27 am

taxpayer, your response is all i need to, and want to, know about you. you have no moral center and pick and choose the easy and expedient way. your posts say enough about you.

as a matter of fact, i do believe that waterboarding is torture, but think that the use of it is not black and white as some people want. All throughout our history, we have used various forms of torture to defend ourselves.

the questions that should be asked: is it effective and, if so, could the same result be accomplished another way?

I am a right wing person, but I do believe that waterboarding is torture, as I believe that partial birth abortions are torture and any infliction of consensual pain is torture. My beliefs are consistent.

getalife

April 30th, 2009
9:27 am

He called it a mistake because there are too many good little germans to get accountability for our government.

Good thing they destroyed the tapes because the Nazis were convicted due to the films.

Taxpayer

April 30th, 2009
9:29 am

The remaining “less than 20% and falling” number of right wingers just need to change their name to American Taliban and be done with it. What’s the matter, you like their practices, their beliefs, their motivations… Adopt their name as well and be done with it. Be proud of what you are.

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
9:30 am

AmVet,

That was really freaky though. I wish I could mention a name(s) and the person(s) would disappear.

Red

April 30th, 2009
9:30 am

Forgive me in advance fellow lefties, but it seems to me the only thing that Islamo-Facists can understand is brutal might. I’m very much the ‘eye for and eye’ and while you’re at it take a toe off if it keeps these 8th century ‘mindsetted’ killers in check.

I’m not for torturing truly innocents, but if sodium thiopental (the easy way) doesn’t get you to recant your closely held secrets and are actively engaged in the destruction of anyone’s human rights, you loose yours. I know it’s a slippery slope, but can’t help it. Release the dogs on them.

Taxpayer

April 30th, 2009
9:31 am

Glad to be of service, firecynthia.

getalife

April 30th, 2009
9:31 am

Condi Rice Pulls A Nixon: When the President Does It, It’s Not Illegal

Whattheheck

April 30th, 2009
9:33 am

this blog is further proof that liberals have no real moral basis. Everytime someone on the right brings up a point (admittedly sometimes weak), the liberals immediately go into “ignore the point, attack the person” mode.

Susan Myers

April 30th, 2009
9:33 am

Stevie @ 9:19,

Don’t you mess with me. I’ll use witchcraft on ya.

AmVet

April 30th, 2009
9:34 am

Susan,LOL!

In the free market place of ideas, let’s face it, some here are forever in the bargain basement.

So JB had to correct the Demander-in-Chief yet again?

The more things change…

AmVet

April 30th, 2009
9:37 am

OK, gotta go, good peeps.

Somebody has got to pay for the occupation. And more corporate welfare.

Pray for rain…

what

April 30th, 2009
9:37 am

taxpayer,
don’t think any republican has ever said that we must kill all muslims as the taliban has said about christians.

But for effect I guess your comment made sense.

Remember there is a good chance that democrat members of congress knew about all of this and not only condoned it but also signed off on it.

So does that mean democrats are part of teh american taliban?

Davo

April 30th, 2009
9:37 am

Follow this link if you wish to see what a real journalist has to say about this very topic…..
Prosecute ‘em!
by Jack Hunter on April 28, 2009
http://www.takimag.com/article/prosecute_em/

Notice that this guy actually puts forth an effort to be original and can make his case without resorting to talking points; unlike Bookman.

Whattheheck

April 30th, 2009
9:38 am

taxpayer, again, a liberal playing loosy goosy with facts. In a battleground poll (the same poll that was the most accurate during the elections) taken last august, 60% of those polled said that they were conservative. sorry. I know that doesnt fit within your beliefs, but it is true. I voted Obama (and now regret doing so) because of my anger with the republican party.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 30th, 2009
9:43 am

Is it just me or has this blog been invaded by an old Abbott and Costello routine…..who’s on first….

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 30th, 2009
9:47 am

President Obama is just doing what any good politician does, trying to be on both sides of the fence.

As for non-partisan in Washington, there is no such thing.

Whattheheck

April 30th, 2009
9:48 am

godzilla, yes, and you are one of them.

sd

April 30th, 2009
9:49 am

Enough with the arguing over whether torture was right or wrong!

The question isn’t about morals. The question is about legalities. We have an entire branch of our government set up to answer that question. This is a country of laws, not of morals. Laws and morals often are not the same thing.

If a law was broken, let there be prosecution. If not, move on.

If the law is wrong, thats when Congress can legislate new laws. But there are existing laws, and if they are broken, then there are consequences.

End.

Truth

April 30th, 2009
9:49 am

It amazes me how many of you want a weaker America. It is such a shame!

what

April 30th, 2009
9:50 am

very sensible and an accurate account Hillbilly,

My question is what do we do to get that cycle stopped and get our politicians working for us again instead of working for their own personal agendas?