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April 25, 2009

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clarice

What are you taking,TM? I can't keep up with you. Mainlining Red Bull?

boris

I don't approve of moron torture. Morons don't have any useful intel worth torturing out of them.

What ... oh ... nevermind.

anduril

clarice, same reaction: TM looks manic compared to, well, compared to ME! He must be on vacation, but what kind of vacation is this? Busman's Honeymoon?

Anyway, my undestanding is that in WWII summary execution of prisoners was widespread, particularly in the Pacific Theater, and contributed to the low rate of Japanese surrender, i.e., not many survived the surrender process so there wasn't much incentive to surrender. I found this from VDH slightly amusing:

Nor can opponents of torture say that it is entirely foreign to the U.S. military experience, at least from what we know of it even in so-called good wars like World War II. There were American soldiers — sometimes in furor over the loss of comrades, sometimes to obtain critical information — who executed or tortured captured Japanese and German prisoners. Those who did so operated on a de facto "don't ask, don't tell" understanding, occasionally found it effective and were rarely punished by commanding officers. Even so, G.I.s never descended to the levels of depravity common in the Wehrmacht or the Soviet and Imperial Japanese armies.

So VDH seems to be saying, that there's a sort of sliding scale of depravity. And I guess I agree. And it applies to politics as well, which someone once called war by other means.

matt

so, morally speaking, how is waterboarding compared to, say, partial birth abortion?

Joe Y

The CIA is finding out that those who live by out-of-context partially-revealed leaks, by amoral power-mad politicians, by out-of-control activists, by ignorant fanatical journalists--they die by them too. So will we.

clarice

Except I suspect the anti-Bush leakers are not the same folks who risked their lives to extract useful information from these pigs. Surely you don't think guys like Spahn were playing footsy with Andrea and Matthews?

Ignatz

What Joe Y said.

Danube of Thought

Imagine you're a CIA field agent right now. How you feelin', pal?

lurking

Well, here's the good part. One element of the CIA waited until Bush had a vulnerable moment, that is, no obvious WMD in Iraq, to leak on him; can't we expect another element of the CIA to wait for Obama vulnerability to leak on him? I'll bet so.

clarice

Nah--It's my experience that in this town ratfinks rise and the good people who take risks to do their jobs properly are demoted, fired, never promoted and at worst prosecuted .

Is it different where you live?

Thomas Collins

So, if patty-cake interrogation works better, why do we rendition people at all?

It is about time that the sanctimonious types acknowledge that the impact of all this second guessing will be (i) demoralization of the CIA on a scale commensurate with the demoralization that occurred in the Frank Church Reign of Investigative Error, and (ii) more torturing of suspected terrorists than would have occurred if the Bush policies had been kept in place. Absent from this debate is that Obama can't afford to have a significant terrorist attack on his watch that is in any way tied to Guantanamo closing of the second guessing of the Bush interrogation techniques. The interrogation will be done under the Obama program by countries less attuned to human rights than we are. Count on it.

MikeS

Phillip Zelikow insists that, "Each of these accounts of disrupted plots and captured terrorists has a back story,..."

Zelikow was implying that "these plots" might have been disrupted and "these terrorists" might have been captured without harsh interrogation. Maybe so. I'm glad that harsh interrogation techniques are only used in extreme cases, but I'm equally glad that they are ultimately available to be used.

narciso

It certainly does seem that way, specially in the higher ranks of government. Consider Jamie Gorelick, deciding to formalize the already terrible impasse between the FBI and CIA. Schroen, the acting chief of the Near East Division at the start of the Afghan Campaign, had to airdrop cash, didn't they already have a network in place
from the TRODPINT and JAWBREAKER teams. apparently not. And how to explain the career of Larry Johnson, a junior analyst
for the Central American branch, who ended up in the CTC, along with Cannistraro, as an MSNBC analyst called TWA 800 dreadfully
wrong, miscalculated the emerging storm of islamist terror two months before 9/11. And posts that article on his security consultancy. Small wonder that competent
operators like Robert Baer eventually went insane,

madawaskan

Tom-

I don't know how you missed the main difference in Paul Begala's analogy.

Paul Begala is talking about our shared enemy at the time -Japan.

What Begala and Boss want to do is treat Republicans as the true enemy while the same war is still being undertaken.

Don't let your hatred of Bush blind you so badly that you end up half way agree with them on that point that-

the real enemy of United States is Bush Republicans.

But then again I guess that is Begala and Co. raison d'etre every time they can get anyone to concede that point and say the word torture it's a moral victory for them.

What it aides them in doing is attacking the very moral fabric of the soldier overseas.

Demoralizing almost always their primary objective- it's been quite an effective strategy for them to get us to defeat our own.

MarkJ

Well, let's look at the bright side of Obama's "torture obsession": he's just effectively passed a death sentence on thousands of jihadis whom we would have normally treated according to the Geneva Convention after capture.

The question the moonbats can't, won't, or don't now want to answer is, "Thanks to Lord Obama's convenient sense of morality, how many jihadis will henceforth be simply killed on the battlefield, instead of captured, or merely 'shot while trying to escape?'"

Hmmmmmmmmm?

davod

Just because Bush is gone doesn't mean the CIA ratbags retired after their target left office.


I question the veracity of the CIA Inspector General's Office report where, as I recall, some the leaking ocured.

Joe Y

I agree Clarice, that it wasn't the same people, but it was the same people who ran them both. I don't think that the motivations behind the CIA's subversion of the Bush administration were the same for, say, the Valerie Plame debacle, as they were for, say, leaks about "secret prisons" in other countries. I assume at least some, probably most, of the latter type of leaks were disinformation to cover something else, since Al-Q grew increasingly beleagured as the CIA leaks increased.

The Plame thing always struck me as nonsense that got out of hand, because it was in the interests of so many people to allow it.

My big fear is that to our enemies, Obama's activities look like the realization of prophecy, or at least the fulfillment of strategy. A degenerate, shrinking US on the ropes, a weak, dreamy president, a cynical, corrupt Congress, and a desperate citizenry. Based on everything I've read about them, they would believe it is time to go on the offensive. Their theory behind 9/11 was that it was a huge push against our rotten society, that would cause us to collapse in the face of the attack.

We didn't, at first, but now, in their eyes, we are. If I thought as they do, I would see the signs of impending victory.

Time for another big attack, another big push...

narciso

True, Grenier piped about Plame, and the Iraq issue, but he didn't like it when other
revealed the secret prisons (according to Kessler, in his last book) The parallel is to the CIA guys who hated Nixon, like Helms but upon his fall, they came under scrutiny
with first the Rockefeller Commission, than the Church and Pike Committees, and finally
the Turner "Halloween Massacre" Also, you can add Mark Felt of the FBI.

PeterUK

I'm not sure there will be a terror attack on the US,after all their guy is doing so well,he Islamists can concentrate on other targets.

pagar

so, morally speaking, how is waterboarding compared to, say, partial birth abortion?

The very idea that America is listening to an individual (In the so called torture debate) who:

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, faces further criticism concerning the former Illinois state senator’s explanations of his opposition to an Illinois bill that would have protected infants who survive an abortion.

is beyond ridiculous.

In order to get the bill passed, Obama had to be gotten out of the Illinois Senate. How would a normal person believe that leaving a live new born child lying on a storage room shelf to die was not torture?

How could any normal person believe that sucking a child out of a mother's womb in order to kill it, or sticking scissors thru their head was not torture for that child?

The Consequences of Roe v. Wade
49,551,703
Total Abortions since 1973

49,551,703 American children tortured to death and leftists want to complain about asking terrorists what they plan to do to destroy America.

pagar

When I posted the 4:58 post, the quotes and the links appeared to be in the post.

The reference link for the "US Sen" Quote is

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=90604

The link for the number of abortions in the US is:

http://www.nrlc.org/ABORTION/facts/abortionstats.html

bad

Speaking of torture, Michelle told WH staff children last week that she "likes to sneak out of the WH."

Is she literally snaeking off without Secret Service which seems like a really stupid security risk, or is she just stuck on the idea that the WH is an oppressive place to be?

pagar

One can read more on Obama and Right of leftist Americans to kill innocent children at the American Thinker:

The Interrogation Memos and the 'Moral Bearings' of President Obama</blockquote>

The writer says it much better than I do.

It defies imagination that someone possessing the moral bearings of Barack Obama would have the audacity to bring moral accusations against the very men and women who kept the country safe for seven consecutive years following 9/11.

verner

"Except I suspect the anti-Bush leakers are not the same folks who risked their lives to extract useful information from these pigs. Surely you don't think guys like Spahn were playing footsy with Andrea and Matthews?"

Remember the torture letter authored by the VIPs a few years back and sent to John McCain.

This stuff has been on the stove for a long long time Clarice. It was purely political then, and it's purely political now.

As far as Enhanced Interrogation goes. Should we remind everyone that these methods were used on only a handful of what I would imagine were thousands of "detainees."

And let's remember how terrorist CELLS work (emphasis on cells). Usually the foot soldiers have a very limited view of the whole picture-- it's the head of the snake that has all the information. It's DESIGNED that way. So of course traditional methods are all that would be needed for the common foot terrorist.

They were extremely selective about who got EI, and I really think that those who are not privy to the highest level of intel don't know what they're saying. They're only guessing, with the interpretation given dependant on whether an R or a D is behind their name.

Hayden, on the other hand, flat out told Katherine Heritage that 60% of what they knew came from EI. And since he came along long after 2003, I have no idea why he would lie about it. What would be in it for him? He could just keep his mouth shut.

OH, then there's Dennis Blair too. And Tenet said the same in his autobiography.
And Goss and Cheney have seen the intel, but of course since they're liars and republicans they don't count.

And should we remember, there are very likely things that somehow were never leaked, (as in anything that would make democrats look bad) and we know nothing about...yet.

verner

"I question the veracity of the CIA Inspector General's Office report where, as I recall, some the leaking ocured."

Good point Davod. Didn't Mary "frog march" McCarthy work there?

elixelx

I am intrigued by this idea that "nothing useful was gained from "enhanced" interrogation...", which of course is what Cheney is paddling Barry's butt with!

Who decides what's useful? And isn't finding out that NOTHING is about to happen useful info?

The second intriguing aspect of "enhanced" is that KSM and Abu Zubeydah gave false, misleading info. But we didn't see any botched raids, faux pas or misdirected energies by the CIA acting on false info!

Finally the fact that Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi would probably incriminate their mothers fathers husbands wives and children and dogs, whereas KSM and AZ didn't, only means that the terrorists are braver or better trained to withstand "torcher" than our fearless Congressional leaders!

All this brou-ha-ha about "Torcher" comes down to one thing--those who are obsessing about this as being Moral Turpitude would probably have NO OBJECTION to KSM and AZ waterboarding Bush and Cheney!

And there's probably not a breast-beating, self-righteous Democrat alive who wouldn't give his eye teeth to be in a sealed room with a board, a bucket, a source of water, and a bound and gagged Karl Rove.

verner

Elix

"Who decides what's useful? And isn't finding out that NOTHING is about to happen useful info??

Exactly. And also, everything they say is put together with thousands of tiny bits of info. KSM may have said something seemingly innocuous that lead to a major take-down of his org. Even his lies may have provided useful information.

And also, just capturing KSM and Hambali, who was 6 weeks away form a massive attack on APEC in Bangkok, in my mind justifies every drop of water KSM got. But they don't talk about that. In fact, I haven't heard them mention that attack at all--just LA.

clarice

Warch O'Donnell get her butt kicked by Liz Cheney

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/04/023409.php

cathyf

So, clarice, I'm sitting here looking at that, terribly torn. Watch Liz Cheney? But then I'd have to see Rosie O'Donnell... Talk about a tought choice!

boris

Norah O'Donnell

cathyf

Ok, I clicked -- it's Norah O'Donnell, not Rosie. And she's not a moron -- she is a quite articulate lying scumbag.

cathyf

Best line: What you are quoting is the headline on the AP or McClatchy story, not what it says in the memos.

kate

I watched the interview as well. Wonder what the relationship is now between Cheney and Bush. Bush has been strangely silent in all of this discussion. Would like to see him issue a statement.

clarice

She may be a liar, but she really is stupid. Don't forget someone's sending her dialogue on the PC in front of her. When she began on tv she couldn't properly pronounce most words over two syllables.

centralcal

I saw the interview as it occurred on my lunch hour.

Liz had Norah cornered. Every time she tried to break out, Liz calmly blocked her path. Which caused Norah to look even more constipated than usual.

The whole Cheney family is very good at rational, factual debate and never let emotion overtake them.

glasater

Plus Liz Cheney's vocal tones came through very well versus Nora's as Liz was calmly making her points.

I've sometimes wondered if women in general wouldn't have more power in government if they just learned how to speak better and in tones that men could hear.

kate

When Norah started in on the America as beacon line I wanted to cringe.

I am sure if another terrorist attack occurs and the victim has a moment to think before being destroyed, he/she is not going to think "oh, my, at last America enhanced its its beacon status under the righteous Obama."

No, they are probably going to think, "they failed us again."

MayBee

I've sometimes wondered if women in general wouldn't have more power in government if they just learned how to speak better and in tones that men could hear.

Amen, glasater. Nora goes to the high pitch so frequently it's painful.

I saw this live as well.

The most embarrassing point for Nora was when Liz brought up SERE training and said we wouldn't torture our men. Nora interrupted (paraphrasing),
"Listen to yourself! We don't torture our men. Do you hear what you're saying?"

glasater

Liz Cheney just powered through Nora's high pitch tone although in a calm,firm and respectful manner. I was so impressed.

clarice

At least Nora let Liz answer..something rare in this tv "discussions".

clarice

*these tv discussions****

hit and run

Kate:
Bush has been strangely silent in all of this discussion.

I would say that Bush has been predicitably silent. He didn't speak about this stuff loudly while he was president, and he has made clear that he would steer clear of the stage while enjoying his ex-presidency.

I think that's a function of both his personality and his philosophy.

He doesn't want the limelight, and he thinks it would be detrimental to the interests of the country for him to take up residence there, however briefly.

He may be right or wrong, but I would have expected nothing less of him.

cathyf
The most embarrassing point for Nora was when Liz brought up SERE training and said we wouldn't torture our men. Nora interrupted (paraphrasing), "Listen to yourself! We don't torture our men. Do you hear what you're saying?"
I agree, MayBee -- the part that you really need to watch the interview in order to see is that O'Donnell has no idea that they waterboard in SERE school.

(As for Norah O'Donnell vs Rosie O'Donnell, Rosie is a whole nother class of idiot!)

verner

Norah O'Donnell wins this weeks Susan Roesgen award for Journalistic excellence.

Ms. Cheney wiped the floor with her. I especially liked it when she said, "um Norah,A-Q cuts the heads off of our soldiers when they capture them."

MayBee

Norah O'Donnell wins this weeks Susan Roesgen award for Journalistic excellence.

Beautiful!

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Wilson/Plame