The witch hunt on ‘torture’

For Barack Obama, words are colored M&Ms sprinkled in interesting — though meaningless — array on the subjects of his choosing.  “As a general deal, I think that we should be looking forward and not backwards,”  he said.  But, on post 9/11interrogation techniques, it’ll be up to an attorney general who describes waterboarding as torture to decide whether “those who formulated those legal decisions”  should be prosecuted. Those techniques produced “high-value information” following 9/11, Obama’s National Intelligence Director, Dennis Blair, has acknowledged.

This is a President who went to CIA headquarters after declassifying for general release the list of permissible interrogation techniques to be used against terrorists posing an imminent threat to the lives of civilians as well as to America’s military personnel.  He counseled those at Langley that he knew the revelations had been tough on them, but “you need to know you’ve got my full support.”

As former Georgia Gov. Marvin Griffin used to say:  “Everybody who believes that pick up a bale of cotton and follow me.”   (For the benefit of city boys and girls, a bale of cotton weighs about 480 pounds.)

The President has said that CIA personnel who used permitted techniques should not be prosecuted.  After guaranteeing that the issue would become politicized by suggesting that Congress might invoke “bipartisan review” for “further accounting,” Obama worried aloud ”about this getting so politicized that we cannot function effectively, ” thus hampering”our ability to carry out national security operations.”

This is America’s radical left on a witch hunt — vengence against those who served government during the administration of the hated George W. Bush.  And this is supposed to be the post-partisan ”new beginnings” President? U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) nailed it: “This administration looks for every opportunity they can to seek to embarrass the previous administration, and I think this is one time they really overstepped their bounds.”

Those in the nation’s security defenses, including the CIA, who continue to function with this President at their back deserve the nation’s gratitude.  It will be a difficult four years.

210 comments Add your comment

Churchill's MOM

April 22nd, 2009
8:30 am

Jim, I saw you on PBS last night, you look better than your picture. What is a conservative like you doing on a liberal tv station?

*************PALIN-MCCAIN 2012*************

Davo

April 22nd, 2009
8:31 am

Do you and Bookman have an office bet to see which of you is the biggest partisan hack?

F-22 Man

April 22nd, 2009
8:32 am

Saxby the Draft Dodger Chambliss sure hit that 1 on the head. Why is he out playing golf when he should be working to save my job?

Bo Chambliss LOBBYIST

April 22nd, 2009
8:34 am

Saxby is going to start acting like the King family, you have to pay to quote him. Send $10.00 to my lock box.

Bill

April 22nd, 2009
8:42 am

If I were a gambling man, I’d bet a wad, even at this early date, on Secretary of State Karen Handel to win the Republican primary for governor next year.

Handel has served on the Fulton County Commission and escaped indictment. She has turned out to be a passable secretary of state, though she has been a bit too partisan for my taste. And Gov. Sonny Perdue has joined her team as her No. 1 adviser. The Perdue alliance may be the most important of her attributes. Perdue already has delivered a grand favor to Handel. He made last week’s front-runner for governor, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, so nervous that he complained of severe neck and back trouble, and dropped out of the governor’s contest.

That may be just the first good deed Perdue delivers to Handel. She will need all the help she can get. Georgians usually don’t cotton to female candidates for governor, and we’ve had a run of bad luck with ladies elected to lower constitutional offices.

Former Georgia Schools Superintendent Linda Schrenko, the first woman to be elected to statewide office, still is serving time in prison for stealing money from the state to finance her 2002 bid for governor – a bid that crashed and burned before it got off the ground. The present female school superintendent, Kathy Cox, recently joined the growing ranks of Georgians forced into personal bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Handel labors on as secretary of state, handing down one decision after another on election regulations to help her GOP colleagues in their quests for public office. She will have to do more than that to become governor. She must recruit the same coalition of interests that brought Perdue to power and left Gov. Roy Barnes a stunned and defeated Democrat.

Here are the anti-Barnes folks who gave us Gov. Perdue:

► Teachers voted en masse for Perdue because they thought Barnes had turned his back on their demands for tenure and started overusing the word “accountability” in his campaign for better schools. Many of those same teachers now are suffering a bad case of buyers’ remorse. Gov. Perdue has whacked their budget by $2 billion, enlarged class sizes, cut pay and generally ignored Georgia’s most pressing need: improving K-12 education. How will those teachers vote next year – for a more humble Democrat Roy Barnes and his crowd, or for the Handel-Perdue alliance?

► Law enforcement officers across the state were peeved at Barnes for installing a super-chief in Atlanta – a commissioner of public safety to oversee all peace officers.

Like teachers, the lawmen in 2002 voted heavily against Barnes, who already is courting them for reconciliation next year. They appeared to be mostly for Cagle until he was struck by strained muscles. How Handel woos the cops, deputies and troopers will be interesting to watch.

► North metro Atlanta residential owners were solidly against Barnes when he proposed building a Northern Arc highway through the northern suburbs and exurbs north of Atlanta. A hard core of anti-arc voters remains active in Forsyth County. Some other folks in the meantime have become sympathetic to Barnes. They’re tired of traffic and want something done. Handel will have to be careful with this group, and perhaps not allude to Gov. Perdue at all. The incumbent’s transportation to-do list is blank, except for a bunch of words about reorganization.

► The flaggers – the guys and gals who wanted to restore the Confederate cross on the state flag – became Perdue’s loudest and most visible allies. After his inauguration, Perdue pushed the flaggers aside and would not even include the Rebel emblem on a ballot for a new flag. Handel may try to recruit the Civil War crowd, but she will do so at her own peril. Most folks began suffering flag fatigue years ago and want to move on to something else. Besides, the flaggers may not forget so easily how they were double-crossed.

So there we have it. Karen’s Conundrum: Can she attract Perdue’s old allies for governor – a group largely alienated and angered by Perdue after his election?

Or will Barnes or some other Democrats bust up the coalition and bring at least part of that angry crowd back into the donkey fold?

Oh, that’s right. Barnes hasn’t even announced for governor. No matter what happens, my bet on Handel stands.

Dusty

April 22nd, 2009
9:17 am

Attention, early posters !! The subject for today is THE WITCH HUNT ON TORTURE. I gather you did not notice in your rush to post anti-Republican/Bush rhetoric. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT “The witch hunt on torture”???

Obama is trying to swing both ways, support the CIA and run down the CIA. You cannot do both. I don’t know who is planning Obama’s agenda but they need some new thoughts. Trying to prosecute anyone protecting our country from terrorists is NOT the way to go.

Obama says NO and then he says YES in so many words. Somebody better make up their mind whether they are going to support this country or whether they are going to spin their wheels trying to smear Bush.

Obama’s keepers better think twice before THEY are investigated. There are still people in this country who can think without being told what to think.

ProgressivePeach.com

April 22nd, 2009
9:27 am

NO TORTURE IN MY NAME! Thank God we have a President who understands that torture is illegal and immoral regardless of the reasons. Hey Wooten- Since you subscribe to the theory that the president can abrogate any law or treaty for national security, tell us where you think the line is. Can he have someone’s hand chopped off? Can he have their testicles crushed? How about killing someone? Can he order that? Let us know, Jim.

Copyleft

April 22nd, 2009
9:29 am

Dusty: “Trying to prosecute anyone protecting our country from terrorists is NOT the way to go.”

Not even if they break the law? Just trying to get a reading here on how much of the Constitution you’re willing to sacrifice in exchange for safety.

Californication

April 22nd, 2009
9:31 am

I feel so sorry for those poor tortured terrorist, I think BO has some spare rooms, let them move in with him…

Copyleft

April 22nd, 2009
9:32 am

The fact that CRITICISM of torture is what’s being called “extremist”–rather than the actual torture itself–shows how far gone the right really is.

I guess Al Qaeda really DID scare you guys, huh? You’re so scared you no longer care about our freedoms, or justice, or American values, or anything else that makes our country great. You just want to be SAFE, no matter what it takes.

That’s the definition of ‘terrorized,’ folks. Try and shake it off, so you can join the rest of us Americans. Proud, free, and unafraid. It’s a good place–not “safe,” but good.

Copyleft

April 22nd, 2009
9:33 am

Much better, Cali! Now your irrelevant ranting doesn’t include any claims of actual FACT, so nobody will call you out on them and embarrass you!

Rant on. It’s amusing.

Dusty

April 22nd, 2009
9:47 am

Nobody in the USA is advocating torture. Bush did not and nobody else did.

KILLING over three thousand people with two fiery airplanes loaded with passengers is TORTURE. Waterboarding and not killing them was excepted to save another possible thousands of people.

I realize that people with fixed minds cannot understand exceptions unless it happenes to them. The CIA with legal permission did what it could to save more slaughter in America. Even Obama realized that before his hacks told him to counteract his words with nilly willy words about prosecutions and investigations.

Ask yourself: would you rather be waterboarded or burned alive in a skyscraper? Now be honest. Which is real or worse torture?

NO, we do not want torture and will never advocate torture. Nobody does. It was an extreme measure to possibly save thousands more.

If you cannot realize the meaning of extreme measures then join with Al Queda and perform real “extreme measures” without guilt.

Scooter

April 22nd, 2009
9:49 am

Jim,
The witch hunt as you call it seems like politics as usual to me.
Where is the “change” we were promised? I don’t see any.

REPUBLICANS EVIL TIME IS UP

April 22nd, 2009
9:51 am

GET THEM OBAMA THE WITCHES AND WARLOCKS THEY ARE THE WICKED GOP!

Dusty

April 22nd, 2009
9:53 am

Copyleft,

Please tell me where the Constitution says do nothing to protect the country against agressors. Have liberals rewritten the Constitution?

Dusty

April 22nd, 2009
10:02 am

REPUBS EVIL TIME

YOUR time is up. I just made a voodoo doll that looks JUST LIKE YOU and stuck BIG PINS into it! You are sunk, honey! Better call Obama and tell him. Maybe he will pay your bank and your doctor and make you feel better! We’ve all got to feel better you know. That’s the President’s job. Now relax and WAIT!!

Reality Check

April 22nd, 2009
10:04 am

Dusty, Those on the right often use terms like “Rule of Law” or Constitutional Intergrity. Please tell me when did you stop believing in the rule of law? When did it become OK to break the law for ANY reason? We are a nation of laws… Those laws apply to EVERYBODY!!! I know today this blog is going to have a million folks going back and forth with their political dances, But the basis of this country is that the law applies to everyone and is absolute. In this case, regardless of how you justify it, the law is the law….. And in this case it was broken and those who did it need to be held accountable.

Chris Broe

April 22nd, 2009
10:05 am

Today’s sermon is about torture. Bookman tortures his readers with titles like, “Dipping a toe in the Miss USA fray.” If he were a real journalist, he wouldn’t have dipped his toe.

Wooten tortures his readers, too, but only because he doesn’t set the proper mood for his pieces. Witness this one: “This is a President who went to CIA headquarters after declassifying for general release the list of permissible interrogation techniques to be used against terrorists posing an imminent threat to the lives of civilians as well as to America’s military personnel.” That sentence is torture and totally unreadable, yes, but, if Wooten had only set the proper mood, then maybe it would have slipped by.

It’s simple: to set the proper mood for a torture piece, get your keyboard and place a peel-off orange-alert sticker on the keys you never use. Then, a dart board with the president’s face as the target should appear in a pop-up video game in the lower right corner of your screen, obscuring the time. This will trick any Al Queda spies into thinking you’re one of them. Also, Have Rush Limbaugh loud and clear from your PC’s speakers. This will trick the entire Aryan master race into thinking you’re one of them.

Most important: Never look at a time piece when you write. Ever. Don’t do it. Journalists shouldn’t be in to time. Deadlines are suggestions, not imperatives. There’s no such thing as not getting scooped anyway, not with twitter. not with wifi. or i-phones or i-pods or even i-potties. Yes, Pampers has a new line of smart porto-potties for housebreaking children, cats, and even trolls. It narrates the breaking news properly, “That was a really big brown one!” It uses praise and coddles all the boo-boos, just like Bookman does when he works his trolls into a lather … and when he writes and tortures me….but then I repeat myself, (and I’m not even shampooing).

Bookman, get your rinse on, you swirly-challenged, troll-coddling ne’er-do-well.

ditto wooten.

Jackie

April 22nd, 2009
10:05 am

Those that purport to believe in the Constitution and the rule of law and trying to have it both ways.

They want to support the past administration, regardless of the laws that were broken.

Further, they want us to look the other way relative to those broken laws in the mistaken belief that those perpetrators were performing those un-Constitutional deeds in “protecting the country.”

If anyone else were to break laws, should they be brought to justice, or, should a wink-and-a-nod be given with the understanding “they didn’t really mean to.”

Copyleft

April 22nd, 2009
10:06 am

Dusty: Funny, Jay Bookman has posted the relevant federal law just today!

“The federal definition defines torture as:

(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.”

Waterboarding and the related “extreme interrogation techniques” ARE torture. And as such, they ARE illegal.

So I’ll repeat the question: Are you okay with people breaking the law in the name of “protecting our country”? Because that’s what they were doing.

AmVet

April 22nd, 2009
10:10 am

Reality Check, your quaint notion that this is a nation of laws and not men, went out the back door like the weekly trash for your garden variety, brain dead Republican with Nixon, Reagan/North and forever under King George II.

There is NO law these imperious “signing statement” criminals and their sycophants, enablers and apologists would obey, if they could get what they wanted.

The Holstein is simply aping what she here’s from such “patriots”…

AmVet

April 22nd, 2009
10:10 am

RonJon

April 22nd, 2009
10:20 am

Jim: Do you have any opinion that Sean Hannity did not give me the night before? I really do disagree with the president on leaving this up to the attorney general….oh yeah…I forgot…that darn Constitution got in the way again. Legal matters are best left up to legal people, the attorney general fits that bill. Obama messed up when he passed his opinion off as fact on whether or not people should be prosecuted. Personally, I say no. They were following the intent,if not orders of the President. Time to move on.

behmer

April 22nd, 2009
10:24 am

I simply cannot believe there is not more outrage that the Obama administration has ‘outed’ the CIA and seriously gutted their ability to defend us and obtain field intelligience.

Obama outed the CIA to cast the Bush Administration in a bad light for political gain.

What a naive, idealistic, shortsighted strategy. His job is to protect us, not try to score political points.

The press has been infatuated with his first 100 days, I can’t wait for his last 100 days.

I can only imagine what it must feel like to have lost a family member or friend on 9/11 and watch these clowns play politics.

Since 9/11 there have been no more attacks on US soil. We will never know how many attacks were prevented.

For all of the flaws of the Bush Administration, they got this one right.

The left-wing media calls successful interrogation tactics ‘torture’, at the very least it is retribution.

I call it a win-win; revenge that gathers information.

Maybe if we called it ‘extraction techniques’ the left-wing pansies would sleep better.

Poor Khalid Sheik Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding 183 times.

The liberals gasp at such inhumane treatment.

I suggest we do it 4,817 more times.

That way it would equal the number of lives lost in the 9/11 attacks.

ncgreybr

April 22nd, 2009
10:28 am

Dusty: “Nobody in the USA is advocating torture. Bush did not and nobody else did.”

Let me ask you, Dusty. Where have you had your head for the last 8 years? Oh, that’s right! It wasn’t “torture”, it was inhanced interrigation techniques. Do you REALLY think that changing it’s name changes the truth?

BUSH violated the Geneva Convention!

BUSH DISTROYED America when he decided that HE and his administration was above the law. Now comes the rebuilding and it’s going to take years. The first step in rebuilding is to admit that there was a problem. Something that you and Wooten will NEVER see.

Republican: good. Democrat: bad. Isn’t it difficult to go thru life with those blinders on?

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 22nd, 2009
10:35 am

Torture is proscribed for United States service men and women and intelligence personnel. Those who were ordered to carry it out did so knowing they were accepting unlawful orders. The depravity of the sadists representing the United States was hidden for quite some time but it came to light. Then all the talk started about how the criminals George W. Hitler and Dickhead Cheney had kept America safe by stomping all over the Constitution and torturing those even suspected of being enemy agents. Many suspects were killed during interrorgations by United States goon squads. Bring all the torturers to the bar of justice. Those that followed orders they knew to be unlawful should be tried like the common criminals they are. The officials who implemented the policy should be brought to trial and, if found guilty, incarcerated for the rest of their days. George W. Hitler, Satan and Rumdum should be tried and if found guilty, executed!

Reality Check

April 22nd, 2009
10:36 am

Behmer…. Please explain to us how the CIA has been outed???

Torturer

April 22nd, 2009
10:36 am

Who cares if those terrorist camel jockeys were tortured? They would kill your family in a heartbeat. What is the matter with you people?

Reality Check

April 22nd, 2009
10:41 am

Torturer….. Maybe you simplisticly small brain get understand this point…. This is not about them…. It is about us and our rules and laws!!! If I murder a drug dealer, the fact that he sells drugs does not change the fact that I committed MURDER!!! The same logic applies to George, and Dick and Donnie Rumsfeld too!

peter

April 22nd, 2009
10:45 am

blah blah blah….im smarter than everyone else.

The Baron

April 22nd, 2009
10:47 am

I seriously worry about Republicans and what they really want. What is their ideal world? From all I can discern, apart from having no clear ideas, not one of them comes across as able to sustain an argument with any form of logic whatsoever. Their default attitude appears to be “as long as everyone accepts my way of thinking, everything’s fine. But as soon as anyone rejects my way of thinking, all hell must break loose”. Yet their way of thinking is extremely myopic on several issues, but particularly on the ‘non-issues’ they love to draw blood on!

Isnt it just amazing that the average Republican cannot see the relationship between our values and the unprecedented succes that America has become in the world? If these fundamental and time-tested tenets which have brought us to where we are today are abandoned for expediency in order to deal with a current threat, cant they see that we end up reducing ourselves to the level of our enemies and consequently lose not just the moral authority that has built us in the world, but our own moral compass? Really, is this so difficult to see?

I consider myself a reasonable, objective person and truly crave the day when I’ll hear a cogent, logical argument emanate from a Republican on a real, serious issue at hand. I’m tired of hearing rants against other people from using birth control if they so wish, or preventing other people from doing whatever they want to even if they are gay, or a desire to carry on in the world as if America is a hammer and everyone else are nails, etc etc.

Give us something other than hate, hate, hate, Republicans. Show us evidence of some serious thinking and consideration in your ranks. Then most Americans might just begin to take your views a bit more seriously!!!

kevin

April 22nd, 2009
10:48 am

hey peter, how does that hook taste?

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 22nd, 2009
10:50 am

Very well put Peter. You are smarter than the rest. I’ve heard blah, blah, blah before but never have I heard it so forcefully put and so musically spoken. It sings!

Dusty

April 22nd, 2009
10:53 am

Two things you libs forgot to mention.

Where does the Constitution say that we should not protect this country from aggressors?

Why do you know more about the law than the Justice Department which realized an “exception ” to save thousands of Americans was permissable.

There was no rejection of the law unless you do not recognize the Justice Department as upholders of the law of the USA. Obama recognizes that. You do not.

Torturer

April 22nd, 2009
10:53 am

Reality check, learn how to spell. If you murder a drug dealer, good for you. I have no problem with that. My point is when you have people that aren’t US citizens that have knowledge of plots to kill Americans then torture is no big deal.

The Baron

April 22nd, 2009
11:03 am

Dear Torturer, start torturing non-Americans routinely and I guarantee you, you’ll soon be torturing Americans too! That’s the whole point… it’s a moral value, a differentiator!

Torturer

April 22nd, 2009
11:04 am

Baron, how do you come to thet conclusion?

Copyleft

April 22nd, 2009
11:04 am

Answer the question, Dusty. The fact that the “enhanced interrogation techinques” were torture is not in dispute. They were torturing people, and those actions were illegal.

Now: Are you okay with people breaking the law in the name of protecting the country? Simple yes or no, please. I’m curious to find out if you have any principles whatsoever.

Reality Check

April 22nd, 2009
11:04 am

Torturer, It is against US law to Torture. And Dusty, Where in the cConstitution does it say that the Foudation for this country can be disgarded If we think something bad may happen. 911 was horrible!! But does that jsutify throwing away all of the principles that make our country great?? We have laws, some are abstract and complex, and some are simple and plain… This One is simple and clear as a bell. No exceptions regardless of who ask for it. And by the way, If they thought that their view was correct, Why did they try to collect and destroy the State Department memo that opposed their point of view??

Dusty

April 22nd, 2009
11:10 am

A.J. Calhoun,

Do you get paid to front for terrorists against the USA or just do it on your own?

Baron,

Where have you been? “Hate” is notoriously connected to Bush by you fine Democrats. It started when Gore lost and continued in your quest to elect Kerry. An offshoot of “Bush hate” is the phrase “Bush did it!” commonly used by Democrats. The name for this mind altering disease is BDS or Bush Derangement Syndrome. It is not fatal, just produces faulty reasoning as displayed here today by liberals.

Note to AmVet:

If you continue to use “Holsteins” to denigrate women I shall addess you as “AmVet the Apeman”.

ncgreybr

April 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

The Baron: Well said! I don’t think I’ve heard it better!

Reality Check

April 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

Dusty, When is it OK to disregard the law? I am waiting for an answer……..

Jackie

April 22nd, 2009
11:12 am

The problem the so-called conservatives refuse to acknowledge IS the selectivity of rules practiced by the previous administration.

If they can get away with administrating rules against “terrorists,” how does it feel when selective application of those illegal acts were enacted against American citizens. Remember the problem with the unauthorized wiretaps and search of our electronic communications within the USA?

Tom

April 22nd, 2009
11:14 am

But we know that important intelligence was gained by these torture sessions. And how do we know that? Well, because the very same people who’ve lied about the whole program over and over and over and over and over again (whether it was done at all, how many times, to how many individuals, etc.) say so. Their word is good enough for Dustrag.

ncgreybr

April 22nd, 2009
11:17 am

Just curious here…if the Justice Department “creates” a law saying that all Jews should be killed and creamated, is it OK as long as it’s for the “good of the nation”? Does that make it “legal” if the Justice Department “creates” the law? Should we not prosecute the people who kill the Jews? Or do we admit that “they were just following the law” and look the other way? Should we prosecute the poeple who wrote that law?

ncgreybr

April 22nd, 2009
11:22 am

Just a hypothetic question, of course…..

ncgreybr

April 22nd, 2009
11:23 am

If we prosecuted those people, would it be a “witch hunt”, Jim?

Dusty

April 22nd, 2009
11:25 am

Reality Check,

I know of no State Department documents destroyed. No doubt there was a discussion. Important issues are always discussed.

I believe that Cheney has asked that all documents be open to the public. Why not? There is nothing to hide. No foundations destroyed. And NO destruction of our country because we were protected.

There is no appreciation for our safe America whatsoever by some liberals. They had rather lose the country than protect it.

Terrorists do not care whether we torture or not. They simply want to kill us and they say so openly. They also want to destroy Israel. That makes two countries they hate and wish to destroy. Torture has nothing to do with that wish. Extermination is the name for that goal.

Reality Check

April 22nd, 2009
11:30 am

Dusty, Give me a second and I will get you the name of the State Department officail that wrote the memo in question. And to your second point… If we conduct ourselves based on their standards, how are we any better than them??

DB, Gwinnettian

April 22nd, 2009
11:32 am

I simply cannot believe there is not more outrage that the Obama administration has ‘outed’ the CIA and seriously gutted their ability to defend us and obtain field intelligience.

Perhaps the lack of outrage is due to neither of those assertions bearing any resemblance to the truth?

Since 9/11 there have been no more attacks on US soil.

got anthrax?