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November 09, 2005

Comments

Huggy

Why wouldn't they want to get McCain? And wouldn't the US be safer if they did? McCain is a radical trying to repress free speach. He rightly should be a Democrat and stand proudly with the Senate delegation from Boston.

Dwilkers

Doesn't matter now. Just like GossipGate, this one has been referred:

AP: CIA General Counsel refers prisons leak to DoJ for Investigation

kim

I know nossing.
================

TexasToast

"We don't torture."

JayDee

What's even more amazing about the clueless Pubs calling for this investigation is it will only serve to highlight to America that this admin stands for TORTURE and SECRET SOVIET GULAGS run by the USA.

These folks need to get a grip. Yesterday gave them a not so pretty glimpse into their future. They had better learn to deal.

Meanwhile, I say: Bring. It. On.

D J

I see JayDee is celebrating going from holding 2 of the top 3 jobs in NJ to holding 1. And holding on to the Gov in Virginia (which based on historical trends means a Repub for Pres in 2008). All 4 Soros/Dem initiatives in Ohio going down in flames. But Arnie loses on his initiatives in CA...but hey, it's CA.

Congrats JayDee on such a resounding victory!!! LOL!

Marcel

According to Sen. Lott the WaPo article covered material presented last week to Senate Republicans by Vice Pres. Cheney. One might question just how many of those attending that meeting actually had a top security clearance. And what was Cheney doing discussing CIA secrets in front of so many people?

Syl

Certain folks are assuming 'Secret Prisons' equal 'Torture'.

Whatever the hell they think 'torture' means.

The Executive has responsibility for keeping Americans safe. Congress wants to usurp that responsibility for itself. THAT is the bottom line.

'Torture' has nothing to do with it. Interrogators know that 'torture' (real definition) doesn't work and thus don't use it. Even the fear of 'torture', anybody's definition, doesn't always work.

Abu Ghraib, as disgusting as it was, was mavericks engaged in mainly humiliation.

Humiliation is not 'torture' (real definition).

We can humiliate prisoners if it leads to results. So we have secret prison where we may conduct humiliation. Congress wants to be able to haul to court any interrogator who conducts humiliation, thus tying interrogator's hands because of fear of 'reprisal'.

This is just political and about power and has nothing to do with 'torture'.

Geek, Esq.

If that leak came from a meeting held by Cheney, John McCain is the one Republican on this planet you can bet wasn't invited.

He also says that he didn't know of these prisons until the WaPo broke its story.

But, y'all are free to form your circular firing squad. Taking out McCain as a candidate in 2008 wouldn't break my heart.

Dwilkers

It just occurred to me that since we already have a Special Prosecutor investigating leaks the CIA referral on the prisons leak could end up in Fitz's lap - ala Starr and whitewater, travel office, yada yada yada.

Then he could have a budget of tens (hundreds?) of millions and a decade long employment program, like the guy that's still holding the Cisneros investigation open.

capitano
I'll bet this one nets a Republican like McCain or someone sympatico, who wanted to torpedo Cheney's prisons.

Yes, but in the world of MSM-think a true "whistleblower" is a hero not a traitor. So expect martyrdom for any legal problems for the leaker, not scorn.

JayDee

Good point, Geek, that the Cheney cabal discussing OUR national security in a Pubs Only meeting would likely not include McCain. I have mixed feelings on the coming torpedoing of McCain. I can't like any guy who would kiss up to our drooling fool of President, especially given the revolting personal attacks Bushie let his dogs do on McCain's family. However, he's one of the very few Repubs who seems to have so much as a glimmer of personal integrity and principle. It wouldn't kill me to have him as President, especially with a Dem House & Senate. He's the only Pub with a guaranteed win in '08. I'd have thought they'd be taking good care of him, but seems they'd prefer another goober type, like Allen maybe.

As for what goes on in SECRET prisons, we don't know that, do we, Syl? And that does kind of seem to be the point. You may be comfortable with blind trust in your government. I'm not. I was taught the entire structure of our Constitution was designed to protect us from the abuse of power that was a natural result of unaccountable rulers. Once again, I'm confused by the conservative admiration for this pre-American, un-American attitude towards government. And can you please be the FIRST conservative to point me to any study showing that a.Torture, or humiliation, if you prefer (which destroys the humiliator as much as the humiliated), produces any useful results and b.Specifically, what useful results the torture and disgusting humiliation tactics of our government have produced. Other than destroying our good name all around the world, of course, and providing nonstop PR for the jihadists.

And DJ, hell, yeah, I'm very happy that Kilgore went down - after Bushie gave him the kiss of death (i.e. his support), after his Hitler ads, in a RED state. Oh, yeah. We don't need to worry about NJ, but it was important to hold on to VA. Next stop, Senator Mark Warner!

BumperStickerist

Questions to be answered during SecretPrisonRevelationGATE

1. How many reporters can comfortably share one prison cell?

2. How many Washington D.C. Reporters will need to be imprisoned before the quality of journalism improve?

3. If two reporters used each other as an anonymous source for the prison story, yet each wrote a story about the secret prisons - which one gets the top bunk?

--

JayDee

Good point, Geek, that the Cheney cabal discussing OUR national security in a Pubs Only meeting would likely not include McCain. I have mixed feelings on the coming torpedoing of McCain. I can't like any guy who would kiss up to our drooling fool of President, especially given the revolting personal attacks Bushie let his dogs do on McCain's family. However, he's one of the very few Repubs who seems to have so much as a glimmer of personal integrity and principle. It wouldn't kill me to have him as President, especially with a Dem House & Senate. He's the only Pub with a guaranteed win in '08. I'd have thought they'd be taking good care of him, but seems they'd prefer another goober type, like Allen maybe.

As for what goes on in SECRET prisons, we don't know that, do we, Syl? And that does kind of seem to be the point. You may be comfortable with blind trust in your government. I'm not. I was taught the entire structure of our Constitution was designed to protect us from the abuse of power that was a natural result of unaccountable rulers. Once again, I'm confused by the conservative admiration for this pre-American, un-American attitude towards government. And can you please be the FIRST conservative to point me to any study showing that a.Torture, or humiliation, if you prefer (which destroys the humiliator as much as the humiliated), produces any useful results and b.Specifically, what useful results the torture and disgusting humiliation tactics of our government have produced. Other than destroying our good name all around the world, of course, and providing nonstop PR for the jihadists.

And DJ, hell, yeah, I'm very happy that Kilgore went down - after Bushie gave him the kiss of death (i.e. his support), after his Hitler ads, in a RED state. Oh, yeah. We don't need to worry about NJ, but it was important to hold on to VA. Next stop, Senator Mark Warner!

ordi

They need to find out who leaked about the CIA airline too! I don't give a crap what side or organization the leaks come from! It is illegal, it endangers all of us and it needs to be stopped!

JS Narins

You all seem far more interested in what gets investigated than what is actually going on.

Torture Kills Americans.

Roughly 5,000,000 Germans surrendered during WWII to Allied Troops. They knew, as it was common knowledge at the time, that if they surrendered they would be treated well.

Imagine if they thought they'd be tortured? Or sent to a secret detention facility, and deprived of any semblance of a "right?"

They would have fought harder. They would have fired more of their rounds. They would have struggled by hand-to-hand combat when they ran out of ammunition.

Torturing our enemies kills Americans dead.

JS Narins

Oh, and by the way, McCain is a political animal, I admit, but his record in the 109th Congress is one of the second most conservative Senator (after fellow Arizonan, Jon Kyl).

The only Senate Republicans who might be at home in the Democrat Party are the New England and Rust Belt ones.

Syl

JayDee

As for what goes on in SECRET prisons, we don't know that, do we, Syl?

Yet you ASSUME torture and broaden the definition to include whatever you don't like.

And another ASSUMPTION you make is that I'm against government accountability for everyting all the time. This is flat out false. What I'm against is Congress usurping all power from the Executive to protect the American people, basing their power grab on ASSUMPTION of torture and a hazy definition of same.

Syl

JS Narins

That is a silly argument when our 'enemies' commit suicide willingly as 'martyrs to their cause' when they kill innocents in their bomb blasts. Fear of torture has nothing to do with it.

BumperStickerist

Dee -

Some quick questions for you -

1 - Other than for, maybe, three months after VE Day, when has America had a 'good name around the world'?

Cites please.

2 - http://www.usafa.af.mil/jscope/JSCOPE03/Arrigo03.html?Study/Report involving terrorism efficacy While the report comes down 'against' torture, it does so for reasons having nothing to do with the specific question of efficacy in torturing Al-Qaeda. Make of it what you will.

...

and, per the Hackett-Rules, given the context of the election in Virginia, the Repubs can count that race as a win.

...

Marcel

Ordi, the "leaks" about the CIA airline originated with civilian hobbyists who track aircraft movement by recording the identification number on the aircraft's tail. Many of the CIA rendition flights were on private jets leased on a fractional share basis by front companies. It has all been out there in public view, so it would be difficult to convict anyone of spying.

JayDee

Syl, what's sad is that a few short years ago I would never have made that assumption either. I was brought up with that very idealistic image of the United States as an enlightened humanitarian democracy. It's very tragic the way our current leadership has destroyed that once impervious reputation, at least for a generation.

JS, you are completely right. I would prefer NOT to have another Republican president. It's just that one can at least respect McCain, even when one disagrees with his position. That's why I'm so amazed at the hatred for the man within his own party. It's ok with me though. I won't cry if they take him out. But I also won't cry if they don't. Reclaiming the legislative branch is far more important at this point, and having a principled, intelligent man in the presidency would be a very welcome turnabout, of whatever party.

Syl

JayDee

Specifically, what useful results the torture and disgusting humiliation tactics of our government have produced. Other than destroying our good name all around the world, of course, and providing nonstop PR for the jihadists.

Jihadis laugh at our weakness and silly arguments among ourselves. They don't care about torture or humiliation any more than I suspect most of you do. It's just a PR weapon.

Jihadis are more concerned with any affront to Islam..read Koran in the toilet..than they are about 'torture'.

If you're worried about a PR problem, then tell it to the New York Times and Washington Post with their non-stop blizzard of shocked coverage of Abu Ghraib. AG was an anomaly, the perpetrators were already under investigation, but these idiots in the press and their fellow travelers made it sound like it was national policy.

It's you and your screaming ilk which caused more problems of PR than the actual fact that some uncontrolled weirdos did their ghastly schtick at AG.

Syl

JayDee

It's very tragic the way our current leadership has destroyed that once impervious reputation, at least for a generation.

Oh tell it to the hand. What a ridiculous assertion. We are fighting Islamic Jihadis, not the IRA, and have been quite restrained in how we have handled ourselves. It's the screaminng meemies who LOVE stamping their feet and claiming that we have lost our humanity that have blown all of this completely out of proportion.


JayDee

No one will ever deter you from your predetermined conclusions, Syl, but there is a great deal of evidence that US prisoner abuse was indeed systemic.

The variety of the abuse and the fact that it occurred over a three-year period undermine the Pentagon's past insistence -- arising out of the summertime scandal surrounding the mistreatment at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison -- that the abuse occurred largely during a few months at that prison, and that it mostly involved detainee humiliation or intimidation rather than the deliberate infliction of pain.

You might also check out the eloquent words of Capt. Fishback, whose Letter to John McCain should break anyone's heart, who has one:

This is a tragedy. I can remember, as a cadet at West Point, resolving to ensure that my men would never commit a dishonorable act; that I would protect them from that type of burden. It absolutely breaks my heart that I have failed some of them in this regard.

That is in the past and there is nothing we can do about it now. But, we can learn from our mistakes and ensure that this does not happen again. Take a major step in that direction; eliminate the confusion. My approach for clarification provides clear evidence that confusion over standards was a major contributor to the prisoner abuse. We owe our soldiers better than this. Give them a clear standard that is in accordance with the bedrock principles of our nation.

Some do not see the need for this work. Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda's, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States? We are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard, the ideals expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

We have different visions for our country, clearly. You support a Veep who is willing to go to the mat to PUBLICALLY support the right of the USA to torture at will. My concept of patriotism are quite different. I'm not afraid of showing our dirty laundry, I'm afraid of the disease that comes from sleeping in it.

Florence Schmieg

Today's NY Times reports the Lott quote quite differently. He was not refering directly to the CIA leak but was saying that other things from that Republican meeting were immediately leaked, making the point that senators leak regularly. I didn't get the impression that he was speaking about this CIA leak. That was reported in Reuters. Who to believe, NY Times or Reuters?? Not much of a choice.

Yesterday was pretty much a status quo election. No tsunami for change. 2006 likely to stay pretty much the same.

Florence Schmieg

Today's NY Times reports the Lott quote quite differently. He was not refering directly to the CIA leak but was saying that other things from that Republican meeting were immediately leaked, making the point that senators leak regularly. I didn't get the impression that he was speaking about this CIA leak. That was reported in Reuters. Who to believe, NY Times or Reuters?? Not much of a choice.

Yesterday was pretty much a status quo election. No tsunami for change. 2006 likely to stay pretty much the same.

owl

Jay Dee........just so you are clear about how I cast my vote. TORTURE.....Yes. Unlike our wimpy, spineless Republican Senators, if the question HAS to be a ...yes or no only vote..........I vote YES.

Of course, that is not really what has happened. Abu Ghraib was not about our gov and torture. Never. What we hear out of Gitmo has nothing to do with torture. I am for stripping every Koran out of every cell, feeding those prisoners what the other prisoners get fed, etc.

I am for pulling their fingernails out if they think someone is going to nuke one of our cities or poison our water. Got it?

This crap of McCains is just that.....CRAP. He has dogged Bush every day. Ego, don't you know? Media Darling. Nice campaigner for Kerry for the first 8 months. I would not trust him with walking my dog because of those hearings on Abu Ghraib.

Leaking about secret prisons is a real crime. I do not care if it is Pug or Dem on this one. We need those prisons. We would not need them if the "prisoners" were army that belonged to a Nation. Then we could apply all our Geneva. It ain't so and only those living in the twilight zone would think we could fight this WAR with our hands tied. Remember what only two(2) snipers managed to create in this country?

McCain always likes to have his vote. His morals always have to be superior. Fine. Force me into a corner on this one and I vote Torture. Now attack me as a lowlife.

Syl

JayDee

"You support a Veep who is willing to go to the mat to PUBLICALLY support the right of the USA to torture at will."

You are twisting this into something it's not. Cheney is not advocating torture. This is a power grab by congress over the executive.

And, in case you didn't know it, JayDee, shit happens in war. You can assert that 'torture' was our policy but it's not. Every instance we discovered has been investigated and perpetrators punished. I'd say it was more negligence in explaining what our policy actually is to the men fighting this war.

JayDee

Owl, Syl, you represent a dark, disgusting underbelly of what can happen to a poltical party that values power above honor.

Men like Capt. Fishback and John McCain, one who has witnessed abuse and one who was himself the victim of torture, represent an entirely different kind of American. One I'm a hell of a lot prouder to be associated with.

Maldito

JS Narins:

"Torture Kills Americans.

Roughly 5,000,000 Germans surrendered during WWII to Allied Troops. They knew, as it was common knowledge at the time, that if they surrendered they would be treated well."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JS, were those 5 million German soldiers or 5 million non-combatants who blew up and murdered innocent civilians without being encumbered by any rule of war.

Gary Maxwell

Count me in Owl. If there was a chance that an attack was going to happen here, whatever it takes is just fine with me.

owl

Sorry Syl, did not mean to have Jay Dee associate you with me. Jay Dee, I posted so you would be clear on my position if it came to a vote. This issue is always misrepresented.

cathyf
Roughly 5,000,000 Germans surrendered during WWII to Allied Troops. They knew, as it was common knowledge at the time, that if they surrendered they would be treated well.
And all lawful combatants who have surrendered to American troops have been treated well, and as POWs according to the Geneva Convention. The POWs in Afghanistan and Iraq have gotten better treatment than many of those Germans did -- things were pretty rough at the end of the war in Germany, and a lot of surrendering Germans were camped out in the open while the overwhelmed Allied troops got them processed. (That would be except for the Russians -- they slaughtered POWs.) Sanitation was a problem, and so there was dysentary and lice.

But anyway, both the Afghan Army and the Iraqi Army had troops who surrendered without a fight, and other troops who fought valiently before they surrendered. All of them were treated pretty well -- American soldiers tended to see them either as pathetic conscripts or respect them as guys in their same line of work just for the other side.

I have seen no indication that anyone in this Administration or any of its allies has ever suggested that surrendering lawful combatants be treated as anything other than POWs. If you have evidence, put it up; if you don't, then shut up.

As for the war criminals (as defined in the Geneva Conventions), I think that they have no rights at all, which is exactly what the Geneva Convention says. As a civilian, the GC constrains me not to torture lawful combatants, as it defines lawful combatants as those who fight in uniform, do not target civilians, fight under a command structure, etc. The combatants who are not lawful because they have violated the laws of war are war criminals. Just as they have taken away my rights as a civilian under the GC, they have forfeited their rights as POWs. As far as I'm concerned, do whatever works to get information out of them, then take them out and shoot them. According to the GC, it's way better than they are entitled to. I believe that if you treat war criminals like POWs, you take away a significant incentive for combatants to avoid war crimes. To the extent that this happens, the war-criminal apologists become accessories to their crimes.

(Hey, lookie! We found the "Little Eichmanns"! A bunch are in Gitmo, and now we just found out that the CIA has a bunch more in various prisons. Yippee!! War criminals in prison! Now there's a result I can get behind!)

cathy :-)

Sue

Owl,

I'm with ya'. And don't mind being associated with ya'.

And for what it is worth, McCain did not lose to Bush because of the SC flap over a black child. Those of us in other states didn't even hear about it.

topsecretk9

The remarkable thing missing from this is the Democrats revelation that they were not privy to this same info...which is notl ikely or else they be holding constant hissy fit conferences....since they are UNscandalized by THIS leak and would prefer the hearings focus the abuse, rather than the leak and it's damage to us, I think they just stepped into it and know it.

JayDee

Of course, we don't really know who any of these people are, and given the frequent mass releases of prisoners, may well just be "humiliating" powerless schmucks who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Oh well, sucks to be them. We can detain anyone we want without accountability to any outside review ever, hold them as long as we want (even forever), and do whatever we want to them while we have them. As long as weird freeperesque fighting keyboardists are comfortable in justifying their suppressed sadistic urges, it's all cool. Thank God none of you referenced any patriotism in your drooly little odes to barbarism. As long as you don't sully the name of the US with your creepy urges, I can at least take comfort in the fact that you represent only the radical fringes of this country.

BurbankErnie

Can we find some better Leftie Trolls here? I am so tired of their arguements, we need some challenging thoughts and facts, not JayDee spew.

And I am with owl, syl and cathyf. This isn't your Daddy's war Lefties. This is Jihad, and they want us all dead. Now. I refuse Dhimmitude.

JayDee

So what was the vote in the Senate in favor of outlawing torture of prisoners? 97 to 3, was it? So you guys don't really have any representation on this issue, do you? Maybe you need to set up some posters and sit in lawn chairs on the Mall in D.C. I'm sure it would be most useful for visiting classes of 8th graders learning about their heritage.

The Unbeliever

If you polled the rest of the country about the "24 scenario", where you balance torture against saving a lot of lives, I suspect you'll find views very similar to owl's. If you polled on the legality of keeping known terrorists under lock and key indefinitely, you'll probably find similarly high support. Of course, if all you asked was a generic "Is torture bad?", you'll get overwhelming anti-torture sentiment.

And that, I think, shows the true cast of American society. We abhor torture, and we're pretty strict about due process--in principle. This is what makes our society/culture an "enlightened liberal society". But we're practical enough to realize that there's a distinct faction out there who refuses to play by the rules, refuses to live by our most basic principles, and is solely interested in the destruction of the society those principles and rules protect.

And there are therefore cases where they do not deserve these protections, from both a moral and a legal standpoint.

Syl

JayDee

Owl, Syl, you represent a dark, disgusting underbelly of what can happen to a poltical party that values power above honor.

It's not the power of a political party being advocated for. It's the power of the Executive to protect its citizens.

Honor has nothing to do with it.

Syl

JayDee

It's not about torture.

Syl

Was there anything in the Washington Times today? Anything from Gertz?

Geek, Esq.

Bumperstickerist:

1 - Other than for, maybe, three months after VE Day, when has America had a 'good name around the world'?

It's one thing to see Guardianistas talking about how the entire world has always hated the US, but it's quite another to see pro-American conservatives adopt it.

Ugh.

windansea

JayDee sez

And can you please be the FIRST conservative to point me to any study showing that a.Torture, or humiliation, if you prefer (which destroys the humiliator as much as the humiliated), produces any useful results.

I don't know where the mem that torture doesn't work started...but down here in Mexico we have a saying

WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN STUDIES

I know a commandante here...when they catch a drug dealer or user and want to know the source, they just put some vaseline on their nipples and clip on with wires attached to a taser.

they always sing like canaries

The Unbeliever

The vote was 90 to 9, IIRC, and it's quite an unsurprising vote. The amendment was being cast in the media as a vote for or against torture, which is far too simplistic a scenario. Few politicians seeking re-election want to be on record with a vote that will show up in a future negative ad, saying "Senator X voted for torture!"

Of course, if you want to argue that such a vote accurately represents constituents' beliefs, then I guess you believe the Coburn amendment, which was for a cut to obvious pork spending that failed 82-15, means that any Americans who are against wasteful pork spending are "fringe"? Has fiscal responsibility become the "dark underbelly" of American society?

Geek, Esq.

There is but one honorable course regarding torture: keep it completely illegal.

If the unlikely need arises to torture someone to save millions of lives, then those responsible should do so, and accept the consequences. Trust me--no American president or agent would be punished for saving millions of lives.

Geek, Esq.

they always sing like canaries

But do they tell the truth?

And I think we can do better than being like the corrupt Mexican police.

JayDee

We abhor torture, and we're pretty strict about due process--in principle.

In principle! But not in practice. In practice, we believe in doing whatever the hell we want because might makes right, baby. Principle is for pussies.

I agree with you though, Un. If you ask a hypothetical like "If you knew someone was going to blow up an American city, and you knew a certain guy had the information to stop it, would you support any and all measures that might get the information out of him?" then yes, most people would go for that. However, if you asked the far more relevant question "If you had a bunch of guys you couldn't communicate with, who had been turned in by another bunch of guys you couldn't communicate with, and you had no idea who they were or what they knew or even if there was anything to know, would you support beating the shit out of them, threatening to rape them and keeping them naked and hooded for as long as you felt like it?", then the answer would be quite a bit different, wouldn't it?

But really does any of this matter to you all? Isn't this really just an exercise in getting your jollies vicariously thinking the USA - and you, by association, there in your safe little cocoon - is badass?

Gary Maxwell

"If the unlikely need arises to torture someone to save millions of lives, then those responsible should do so, and accept the consequences." GEEKSTER

Right and trust the lefties to do the right thing. Just like they are now with their "Bush Lied" campaign.

Why potentially put the Executive branch in the position of violating the law to do what you just acknowleged in the correct moral position, ie if its going to save millions of lives then do it. What if we have another faint of heart President like say oh Jimmy Carter, and millions perish cuz he just couldn't do it. And then he hides behind the illegal argument. The blood is on your hands even if you will not admit it.

owl

Jay Dee, you are right about one thing. We do NOT have representation on this issue in Congress so another reason to post what I did. I am so disgusted with those that pretend to represent me. They are scared to death to be labeled "leakers, racists, torturers". Looks as if they would finally figure out they are going to be labeled all of those things anyway because of the MSM. They can not escape the MSM, so why try? McCain just keeps on hitting them, and they refuse to turn the tables on him. They are scared to death of YOU and being called immoral.

Top, I agree. Very strange Dem response.

windansea

But do they tell the truth?

And I think we can do better than being like the corrupt Mexican police.

you bet they tell the truth...they can't wait to tell the truth...sorry no "link" available to "prove" this...feel free to come down and test it out for yourself...all this garbage about torture not working is....garbage

torture works and is as old as the hills

JayDee

Great, windandsea, for showing us where modern conservatives stand ethically - at the same level of Mexican prison lords. Wow, and you guys are actually proud of yourselves.

Like I said, show what you're made of. Put on a coat of rags and drag a lawn chair onto the DC Mall and give some handouts to middle school tourists. They need to know about you guys.

The Unbeliever

Geek, therein lies the problem: torture is illegal, and the US has been prosecuting any cases we found where that happened (e.g. Abu Ghraib). But then there is that wide, uncomfortable gray area between actual torture and politely asking a question in a friendly tone; neither extreme produces valuable info, so when lives are on the line we necessarily resort to the grey area. Some of that gray area is forbidden under American law, some of it by the Geneva convention--and now we're dealing with a class of criminals who are not protected by nor recognize either code.

Now McCain and others are trying to move the bar on the definition of "torture", meaning our guys in the field have even fewer options at their disposal. I agree with you that torture should be illegal, and also that the officials resorting to it under the "24 scenario" would probably be given a pass. But it's the narrowing itself, and the critical intel we'd potentiall miss out on, that we're objecting to here.

windansea

Great, windandsea, for showing us where modern conservatives stand ethically - at the same level of Mexican prison lords. Wow, and you guys are actually proud of yourselves.

you are the idiot pontificating that torture doesn't work...I just proved you wrong and now you compare me to mexican prison lords...LOL where do you find this drivel?

topsecretk9

If you knew someone was going to blow up an American city, and you knew a certain guy had the information to stop it, would you support any and all measures that might get the information out of him?" then yes, most people would go for that.

Yes, this information is always coming to us on a silver platter. Most jihadists I know are very eager to alert us to their dastardly pans!

The left has redefined what torture is as means to get out of their political quagmire for voting for the war. What we do is uncomfortable annoyance and does not even rise to level of torture.

topsecretk9

Windansea--

These are the people with outraged indignation that call for commissions and hearings when AFTER the fact

JayDee

I just proved you wrong

The idiot wingnut world has gotten so fat and arrogant that they actually believe their saying something makes it true. Hey, Einstein, you didn't prove anything. You made an ridiculous assertion, apparently while hallucinating you were in a Clint Eastwood movie circa 1967, and pronounced yourself a genius.

The Unbeliever

JayDee: Isn't this really just an exercise in getting your jollies vicariously thinking the USA - and you, by association, there in your safe little cocoon - is badass?

No, this is hard pragmatism vs. dreamy eyed squishiness. About the decisions you have to make between the proverbial rock and the hard place. About life and death. This about that peculiar realm called the real world--you know, that annoying little thing that keeps shattering liberal ideals that may sound good in the editorial column or on a blog.

And when those ideals try to tell a CIA interrogator that he can't yell at a terrorist, or keep him up past his bedtime, or play Christina Aguilera music, etc--when lives are at stake--well, my self-survival instinct kind of overrules any desire to be "badass".

topsecretk9

I see that Jay Dee is debating maturely again or is there a person with a club to your head forcing you to be here.

"The idiot wingnut world has gotten so fat and arrogant that they actually believe their saying something makes it true. Hey, Einstein, you didn't prove anything. You made an ridiculous assertion, apparently while hallucinating you were in a Clint Eastwood movie circa 1967, and pronounced yourself a genius."

Funny. I have the same view of you.

Syl

JayDee

"Isn't this really just an exercise in getting your jollies vicariously thinking the USA - and you, by association, there in your safe little cocoon - is badass?"

If you believe that's our motive and this is what you are, therefore, countering, then it follows that you are a yellow-bellied limp-wristed terrorist-hugging WIMP.

I don't think that argument of yours is very wise.

JayDee

Un, your argument would have an ounce of credibility if you - or any conservative, here or anywhere else on the planet - could point to any proof that a. torture works or b. that our acts of abuse have been useful in eliciting actionable intelligence.

So far we have windandsea saying "we don need no stinkin' studeeez" as the sum total of your proof.

Can you do any better? Or would that be too taxing?

Syl

JayDee

It's not about torture

Your arguments here are only about wimpage and badassery and have nothing to do with the Executive branch having the prime responsibility in our government to protect its citizens.

TexasToast

I don't know where the meme that torture doesn't work started...but down here in Mexico we have a saying

WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN STUDIES

I know a commandante here...when they catch a drug dealer or user and want to know the source, they just put some vaseline on their nipples and clip on with wires attached to a taser.

they always sing like canaries

Nope - no studies, no science - like in Kansas, we already know that the sun rises in the north - come here, and once we apply the vaseline, you will know it too!

JayDee

If that's your argument, Syl, maybe you should refresh your American history lessons.

"I said to [President Washington] that if the equilibrium of the three great bodies, Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, could be preserved, if the Legislature could be kept independent, I should never fear the result of such a government; but that I could not but be uneasy when I saw that the Executive had swallowed up the Legislative branch."

This country was created in revolt against unaccountable executive power. American conservatives, in their abject desire to worship power and might that makes right, have sadly forgotten this. But last I look, it's still being taught in all our schools (probably even in Kansas!), so the future is not without hope.

JayDee

Excuse me, forgot to source that quote to Tom Jefferson.

windansea

The idiot wingnut world has gotten so fat and arrogant that they actually believe their saying something makes it true. Hey, Einstein, you didn't prove anything. You made an ridiculous assertion, apparently while hallucinating you were in a Clint Eastwood movie circa 1967, and pronounced yourself a genius.

I didn't make a ridiculous assertion ya big DUmmy...I merely told you that here in Mexico police routinely use torture and it works...do you really think that if you had your nipples greased up and tasered you wouldn't give up your own mother??

PS I never advocated this type of torture or condoned it....please learn to read

TexasToast

W&S

I didn’t say it wouldn’t work – it would probably work all too well.

“Yet -- as he remembers saying to the ‘desperate and honorable officers’ who wanted him to move faster – ‘if I take a Bunsen burner to the guy's genitals, he's going to tell you just about anything,’ which would be pointless. Rothrock, who is no squishy liberal, says that he doesn't know ‘any professional intelligence officers of my generation who would think this is a good idea.’

Applebaum,">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2302-2005Jan11.html">Applebaum, Washington Post

Syl

JayDee

Oh please. You are prone to hysteria. This isn't about the Executive swallowing the Legislative whole. This is about the power invested in the Executive to defend the citizens of America being usurped by the Legislative.

The military has its code of justice, the rules it goes by. So does the CIA. These are all under the Executive Branch. The Legislative is attempting to seize power by setting their own rules.

Torture is not the policy of America, not the policy of the Executive branch. And individual Americans ultimately working under the Executive are held to account by the rules the Executive makes. The guards at Abu Ghraib weren't sent to prison by your legislator from Ohio. They were sent to prison by the Executive branch.

owl

Thanks for explaining that Syl. It really is the Legislative stomping on the Executive and I hope Bush will veto. Probably won't because they tie it to torture and it makes folks nuts. Can't call it a set-up by MSM but McCain knows the MSM will keep any opposition in line. Not exactly his first time to grab Executive power.

JayDee

What a great quote from Abe Lincoln I just found, so pertinent to our current debacle:

Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure…. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much as you propose. If, to-day, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, "I see no probability of the British invading us" but he will say to you "be silent; I see it, if you don’t."

The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.

I doubt that the Founding Fathers, nor the great Lincoln, could have ever imagined the craven cowardice of our modern day conservatives, who BEG that powers we fought to withhold from the Executive be returned to him.

Sue

God help us if democrats are ever in charge of our national security again. They can't even see the danger let alone how to deal with it.

boris

They can't even see the danger let alone how to deal with it.

They see danger. The danger they see is Republicans, conservatives and Christmass.

TP

Lincoln, great man that he was just threw the Copperheads in jail.

friendlydude2k

jd, you are hysterical. may i ask what you believe the real reason for invading iraq was?

The Unbeliever

Lincoln's opinion as quoted seems to speak only to the ability of the President to start a war at will. Obviously it's necessary for Congress to approve wars, but I don't see anything in there where Lincoln thinks the legislature should dictate how to fight the war.

Waging war is the responsibility of the Executive; the Legislative branch--which, if you'll recall, is where the power of the purse resides--is responsible for making sure the Executive doesn't wage expensive wars just for the heck of it. Lincoln is making a pretty clear statement for fiscal restraint of the Executive, by subjecting the expenditures of war to the Legislature's control.

And last I checked, Congress approved the war by a hefty majority...

Not that financial considerations are the only rationale for this separation. There's a good reason why the President is also the Commander-in-Chief: so that the rigidly hierarchical Armed Forces have a clear chain of command, which doesn't include 435 busybodies who are prone to stalling tactics, political infighting, and micromanaging. McCain et al is trying to meddle with the Executive's power, and conservatives see that as a breach of the checks and balances Lincoln is advocating here. The two views are not inconsistent.

Beto Ochoa

Something of interest,
McCain has hauled ass out of Washinton and did not vote on the the Harkin amendment he was helping to push.

Bill in AZ

"Something of interest,
McCain has hauled ass out of Washinton and did not vote on the the Harkin amendment he was helping to push."

He must have heard a camera whirring somewhere.

clarice

I'm away with limited access to the IT but my recollection is that Priest described her sources as present and former CIA officials and foreign government sources.

I am sure that Lott's statement was twisted.

And while I am not a McCain fan, I do not think he was the leaker.

Bill in AZ

clarice,
I read somewhere today that Trent Lott's statement was twisted - but darned if I can find it now. He basically claimed that everything that was mentioned at the lunch with Repuclican Senators was all over the news the next day, but not the CIA prison stuff. Maybe someone else here saw that link too and can find it again.

I doubt it was McCain who leaked the prison stuff, but it sure would be nice to get rid of him.

What libs don't understand is that we will eat our own when it comes to things like this. Libs are frothing with glee over this whole "maybe the leaker was a pub" because they suffer from severe BDS and it clouds their thinking. If it was a pub, that moves them along the "get Bush" agenda. Got news - if it was a pub, he needs to go away soonest.

clarice

As I heard the first report it indicated he thought the leak may have come from the Rep meeting with Cheney --either a Senator or staff member in attendance--because it was identical to it.

Today's NYT is different.

This leak needs investigaing. Why is Pelosi opposed to a bipartisan investigation of it? LOL

Gary Maxwell

Clarice

She was for it before she was against it?

(No, no that's whats-his-name, the guy who ran for President.)

Sue

I'm getting a headache trying to keep up with all the leakers. :)

Syl

We know darn well why Pelosi is against it. It moves the focus away from accusing Bush of lying about intel, and away from accusing Bush of torturing poor al Qaeda guys, to accusing a probably nobody of leaking stuff she wants the world to know about anyway.

No way to get Bush.

Unless we can convince her it's a pubbie. Aha! That might work to get her to agree.

TM

A quick "Best of Jay Dee" - just from his last few posts, let's see how far he can leap to reach a conclusion:

I doubt that the Founding Fathers, nor the great Lincoln, could have ever imagined the craven cowardice of our modern day conservatives...


American conservatives, in their abject desire to worship power and might that makes right, have sadly forgotten this.


Un, your argument would have an ounce of credibility if you - or any conservative, here or anywhere else on the planet - could point to any proof that a. torture works or b. that our acts of abuse have been useful in eliciting actionable intelligence.


The idiot wingnut world has gotten so fat and arrogant that they actually believe their saying something makes it true.

Great, windandsea, for showing us where modern conservatives stand ethically - at the same level of Mexican prison lords.

Suggested song - "Ain't No Generalization Broad Enough"

If there is any righty making such absurd and sweeping statements about the left in every, every, every post, please stop.

JayDee, feel free to keep it up - just go on thinking of this blog as your personal Clown Show. One might call it the soft bigotry of low expectations, but that would be overstating our expectations.

Bill in AZ

I think Pelosi had a problem with it being proposed as a bicameral investigation. Maybe she thinks there would be two cameras involved, wouldn't know which one to talk to.

Gary Maxwell

Bill in Az

good one! Why didn't I think of that.

Bill in AZ

Speaking of cameras, can you imagine if Joe Wilson and John McCain both heard the same camera whirring? We spend billions on particle accelerators to get two particles to collide at approaching the speed of light...

owl

Clarice...went back and read the thing again. Noted "mid-level and senior CIA officials began arguing 2 yrs ago"......also mentions former senior intelligence officer....several former and current intelligence officials and other US government officials.....Two(2) US government officials ....foreign government and intelligence officials.

Quite a list but they had knowledge through 2004, for sure.

Gary Maxwell

JayDee, feel free to keep it up...that would be overataing our expectations


TM

Gosh do you think your "cred with the reality based community" can stand another
direct hit on the same day? You are fearless.

JayDee

Thanks,TM, I will.

Today we see that Pat Roberts has told Frist to STOP this silly inquiry business Says the great 'Murrcan Roberts, who would have made a stellar Soviet apparatchik, Asked how long that could take, Roberts joked, "Decades," indicating he is in no rush to convene his own inquiry. Hmm, what's that all about? No interest in uncovering the leaker? Has to be a Pub.

And from the same article: Hoekstra said some Republican lawmakers were livid when a top administration intelligence officer inadvertently released the annual budget for U.S. intelligence operations, a figure that is classified and closely held by lawmakers who draft the budget.
What is with these administration folks? Are they ALL slow learners?

Syl

Bill in AZ

can you imagine if Joe Wilson and John McCain both heard the same camera whirring?

LOL!!

Gary Maxwell

What is with these administration folks? Are they ALL slow learners?


Why? Are you shopping for a seat mate on the short bus ride home?

kim

They think the bright lights are bright ideas.
================================================

TM

The Times had a long magazine piece (permalink) on torture and its effectiveness.

I had long excerpts here.

Per the current discussion, this seems relevant (I am quoting myself, now - not a good sign, but when I start describing myself in the third person, its time for an intervention):

This article is informative but inconclusive. A few take-aways:

- the experts think that the *threat* of physical coercion is a useful interrogation tactic but they offer few examples of torture itself providing actionable inteligence.

- The US is new to this, and not very good:

Israeli security specialists are amazed by the multiplicity of commands engaged in the American interrogation scramble, by the short tours of duty and high turnover of interrogators, by the reliance on interpreters and outsourcing to contractors and foreign governments. ''Unprofessional'' is the mildest word they use.

- An effort at Harvard to draft legislation to codify the procedures under which the US would employ "torture lite" failed due to a lack of interest in Congress, and presumably amongst the public.

TM

OK, thank you, Jay Dee - if you want to conclude from Robert's statements that he is an idiot, feel free; extrapoltaing that all conservatives are idiots is a bit much.

As to the slow lwarner who leaked the CIA budget:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- The annual budget for the US intelligence was 44 billion US dollars, a top American intelligence official has revealed at a public conference.

The revelation by Mary Margaret Graham, a 27-year career veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency and now the deputy director of national intelligence for collection, was made in an apparent slip, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Maybe not a Rep at all. But since she is senior enough to be an "Admin Official", blaze away.

TM

Hmm, the slow "lwarner" might be "JWarner". Or that could be a typo.

JayDee

TM, wasn't calling Roberts an idiot for calling off any investigation into the leaks. He's dumb like a fox. His party is in such bloody tatters at the moment, the last thing they need is to mount a search party only to dig up another one of their own. Good move, Patsy.

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