Michael Young Handled the Weekend Political Thread…

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…right here. The salon on Barack Obama and small town American vileness can continue there. Why didn't I have anything to say on the story on Friday? I was speeding through rural Pennsylvania, catching Ron Paul's final campaign appearances before the Pennsylvania primary for a story that will appear on Monday. That's me standing to the far right of the stage, craning my neck, in this photo.

Do I have anything to add to what Michael wrote? Agreement, and some additions.

– One conservative take on the story is that Obama is finally revealing his character, and that you can draw a line straight from his father to Jeremiah Wright to attacking small town white America. Let's assume that's true. We only found this out because someone taped a closed-door fundraiser. So why do we cover anything but closed-door fundraisers? The rest—speeches, debates, long sit-down interviews—obviously isn't that illuminating.

– If this is how Obama views the effects of lost manufacturing jobs, his anti-free trade campaigning in the rust belt is unforgiveable. And I'm usually inclined to forgive him for stuff like this.

– I have to go and agree with Joe Klein:

This Obama controversy… is the sort of thing we journalists blow up into massive gas, mostly because we really don't want to get down in the weeds about the things we need to get down in the weeds about…like whether trade deals really are so bad, especially with the weak dollar (I don't think so) and whether we need a pause in the withdrawal schedule in Iraq (I don't think so).

But you can't blame the media for this. Obama could have been honest to Ohioans about whether he'd personally dismantle factories in Honduras and ship them back to Youngstown for reassembling. Hillary Clinton could stop pretending she doesn't agree with Obama on this Thomas Frankian idea that getting-by small town voters are being snookered into voting Republican over Gods, Guns and Gays. Every Democratic power broker thinks this. Clinton looks sillier in populist garb than Dukakis looked in the tank.

Robert Fripp's combo gets the Politics 'n' Prog trophy this week.

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  1. Huh? That’s King Crimson: it doesn’t get much proggier than that.

    N.B. Tony Levin is clearly the best prog bassist, G. Lee notwithstanding.

  2. I guess it’s pretty obvious you were being sarcastic – nevermind.

  3. Keep your shitty hands off the Revolution.

  4. Stop the presses!!!

    Mrs. Clinton, in response to Mr. Obama, says her grandpa taught her how to shoot as a little girl!!! Sounds like this one has Bosnia potential!!!

    She was also filmed banging back shots of Crown Royal at a Crown Point, IN fundraiser.

    Dillenger used a fake gun to break out of the Crown Point jail. How long before we have a Clinton, Dillinger connection?

  5. Bravo bravo bravo
    King Crimson. Finally some real prog.
    But where the fuck is Keith Emerson?

  6. Wondering when Mr. & Mrs. Obama will tapp into the Alecia Keys theory of certain music being government sponsored to kill black people?

  7. Wondering when Mr. & Mrs. Obama will tapp into the Alecia Keys theory of certain music being government sponsored to kill Black people?

    Fixed.

  8. the twang bar king guitar is a nice touch.

  9. I wonder when John McCain will shit on his years of military service and his own good name by helping facilitate the passage of a bill that immunizes torturers and war criminals, abrogates various treaty obligations, and places the definition of torture wholly in the hands of the executive?

    Oh wait he already did that.

    I wonder when John McCain will openly declare his hatred of capitalism, free-market economics, everyone who works in the private sector, and any aspect of life that does not deal with military and government service?

    Oh wait he already did that.

  10. Fox News says that billions of dollars were stolen from the taxpayers in Iraq.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,129489,00.html

    Even as tens of thousands of new combat veterans were being created by Bush’s Iraq war, men who would need medical care, psychological services, transition assistance, etc., Bush was proposing CUTS to veterans’ spending.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58762-2004May26.html

    Can someone direct me to footage of the time that McCain stood on the floor of the Senate sternly demanding that the people who stole from the taxpayers, and from our soldiers in Iraq, be found and brought to justice? Or the time he demanded hearings?

    Or maybe the time he stood up and denounced the President for the way he has chosen to use up our military personnel and then throw them away? Maybe a time when he highlighted some veteran who was denied a disability pension for his war injuries, or who was turned away when he requested psychological counseling?

    Oh wait no one can do that because McCain never did any of that, because he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the taxpayers, our troops, or veterans, compared to how much he cares about cheerleading for George Bush.

  11. Mr. Situational Awareness discovers that McCain is a RINO @ 8:35am.

  12. Another big morning@ Starbucks, Guy? You must not have a date for church this week.

  13. CN,

    Forgot to go find snakes, maybe next Sunday.

  14. That’s pretty funny, Guy.

    You know what you did at 7:58 and 8:01?

    Posted rhetorical questions where you made it clear that you thought it reasonable for us to assume that because one black person thought something stupid, it meant that Obama might think it, too.

    Because, after all, all black people think the same things, and any black person running for office has to properly account to you for the thoughts and statements of all black people, everywhere.

    Tell me, since Barack Obama has to answer for the thoughts of Alicia Keys, has John McCain answered for the thoughts of Noam Chomsky yet? After all, McCain and Chomsky are both white. They must think the same things, because they’re both white. Or at least, McCain should realize that he has to assure us that he doesn’t share the odd beliefs of any stray white person we can dig up, and he should therefore make a statement, or perhaps address the issue during a press conclave. Right?

  15. Fluffy, sounds like you hit the sauce pretty early.

  16. OK Guy, let’s assume your earlier double post was a joke.

    What would make it funny? Explain the joke to me.

    There’s no way to explain the joke without including some variant of “Well, they’re both black, so….”

  17. Fluffy,

    Rule #1 of arguing politics with Guy Montagh is don’t even bother.

    The guy has a brain, but he’s too lazy to use it. so mostlyu you get sneering circular arguments that lead nowhere.

    I think some hippie touched him in a bad place when he was a kid and he never got over it.

  18. Fluffy, I like your seething white-hot hatred of McCain. It goes nicely with mine.

    It’s irrelevant whether Obama fucked up this time. It seems that he may have a penchant for fucking up in interestingly subtle ways. If he wins the nom, we’ll see. I hope so–McCain is a loose cannon, so having dueling gaffe-masters running would be pretty great. Every day a new headline.

  19. you know, irish coffee or caffe corretto can kill two birds with one stone.

  20. Hillary Clinton could stop pretending she doesn’t agree with Obama on this Thomas Frankian idea that getting-by small town voters are being snookered into voting Republican over Gods, Guns and Gays. Every Democratic power broker thinks this.

    No, no, NO! Democrats don’t think that mid-western conservative voters are somehow “snookered” into voting about God, Guns, and Gays.

    They believe, rather, that because these mid-western conservative voters have lost hope of influencing those decisions that (they believe) inflict emotional devastation upon them, that *all they have left* to affect is social issues; that’s all they feel they still have influence over.

    That’s a very different argument.

  21. I hear Pope Benedict will grace us with his presence this week. Maybe the God/Guns/Gays crowd will forget their bitterness and return to their full-time shallowness for a while.

  22. Fluffy,

    I have already seen here that there is no explaining anything to you, so pointing out that the Keys conspiracy theory goes right along with what Sen. Obama’s preacher of over 20 years was preaching every time he took the pulpit is a waste of time.

  23. 1970 440 6-Pack Cuda for only $81,000 on “Bidding Wars”? Wow, seems there might be something to this “tanking economy” stuff the MSM is making up talking about.

  24. I have already seen here that there is no explaining anything to you, so pointing out that the Keys conspiracy theory goes right along with what Sen. Obama’s preacher of over 20 years was preaching every time he took the pulpit is a waste of time.

    Right, but the thing that Keys has in common with Wright that makes your association with her humorous is…what?

    It is that she is black.

    Therefore, my assertion that you automatically associate Keys’ nutty statement with Obama [via Wright, if that makes you happy] because of the fact that she’s black is…true.

    Your defense here appears to be “Yeah, but it’s only common sense to associate all black people and everything they say” and that really isn’t a defense of what I posted, but an affirmation.

  25. Elemenope is exactly right. This is why I’m having a hard time understanding any real outrage about this (politically driven faux outrage I get). What did Obama say that’s in any way controversial? My wife is from small town Pennsylvania. Those aren’t happy places by and large. Does anyone really want to argue with that? How many Reason readers are ready to move to Blossburg, PA? I travel a lot too, and there’s no question in my mind that central PA and upstate NY are some of the most miserable unhappy parts of the US. The smart kids all leave as soon as they graduate high school, there’s very little economic opportunity, and the weather sucks. The people in these towns do feel left behind and resentful. “Bitter” may be too strong, but there’s no question that there’s a lot of resentment of “elites” in those towns and that resentment does drive people to place more emphasis on social issues than people in more prosperous communities might. The big loser in the latest fake Obama scandal, once again, seems to be Clinton not Obama. She keeps attacking Obama from the right – killing her credibility with her own base and doing nothing to improve her standing with Democrats.

  26. Yea, I knew it was useless to point out related wacky concepts and the only thing you can think of is that some of the people involved are Black.

    BTW, if you are so concerned about this perhaps you will start capitalizing that word when used for a race.

  27. vanya,

    So Roadhouse really was a documentry and not just a silly movie?

  28. Yea, I knew it was useless to point out related wacky concepts and the only thing you can think of is that some of the people involved are Black.

    Yup, that was what you did.

    It’s just a coincidence that Keys is black. That’s not what you meant at all.

    I’m sure you also joke about whether Obama agrees with Fred Phelps and Alex Jones. After all, you’re just associating wacky concepts. It has nothing to do with race at all.

    Sorry, Guy. My bad. I had judged it all wrong.

    Wondering when Mr. & Mrs. Obama will tapp into the John Birch theory of water flouridation being government sponsored to allow future introduction of mindcontrol substances into the water of white people?

    See? I’m down with the program now.

    BTW, if you are so concerned about this perhaps you will start capitalizing that word when used for a race.

    No such usage rule exists, Guy.

    Actually, the opposite is true. The reflexive use of capitals to talk about White people and Black people is pretty much a “World Church of the Creator” style usage.

  29. Breaking news: On the coast of Lake Michigan, in the ‘gun-free zone’ of Chicago, students at the University of Chicago are asked to stay off all three campuses on Friday, 14 April, after a “threatening note” was left warning of violence.

    According to news reports, 14 April is the anneversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. If you recall, the VA Tech shooter was an English major, something they have no shortage of in and around the UC campus.

  30. Correction: Monday is 14 April, must have misheard the day of the week.

  31. ?Black is sometimes capitalized in its racial sense, especially in the African-American press, though the lowercase form is still widely used by authors of all races.

    The Right Wing controls the MSM and the World Church of the Creator controls the African American press?

  32. The smart kids all leave as soon as they graduate high school, there’s very little economic opportunity

    It appears there is plenty of economic opportunity. And the smart kids found it.

    The people in these towns do feel left behind and resentful.

    Did the smart kids cut off their feet on the way out of town? Even if so, greyhound is cheap.

  33. Has anybody seen this?

    http://www.takimag.com/site/article/who_is_matt_welch/

    From Reason’s editor…

    I’m a liberal. I take liberalism to mean a belief in policy geared toward easing poverty, extending rights to every walking human who hasn’t utterly forfeited them, getting the government out of the morality business, regulating markets judiciously, ensuring the pervasive yet hopefully efficient delivery of non-market goods such as education, health care and national defense, and otherwise having the sense to let the private sector handle private concerns. What makes me not “liberal” in the way that people who call themselves ‘progressives’ are seen as “liberal,” is that I don’t think the U.S. is the primary fount of global wickedness, I am heartily in favor of the war against Al-Qaeda,”

  34. Is this libertarianism?

    I’m a liberal.

    Umm..if you need to ask…

  35. But you can’t blame the media for this. Obama could have been honest to Ohioans about whether he’d personally dismantle factories in Honduras and ship them back to Youngstown for reassembling.

    Wow, this is a bigger project than I was lead to believe. I thought Sen. Obama just had a list of jobs and who they belonged to so when he became President he could just pass them out to the people they were stolen from. Actually moving the stolen factories back to PA is a tall order. Perhaps if he came up with a catchy name, like the Philly Project, or maybe begin it with an experiment, it would catch on a little better.

  36. I think this song had a big influence on Obama.

    This says it all, and so well…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHmUsoqi8Pk

  37. If this Matt Welch quote is accurate:

    . . . I don’t think the U.S. is the primary fount of global wickedness, I am heartily in favor of the war against Al-Qaeda . . .

    Seems that Matt is on my side, but I think we disagree on that little issue of discomfort being ‘torture’, oh and on using the Atomic Bomb against Japan.

  38. Umm, Alicia Keys is not black, you must be thinking of Norah Jones…

  39. vanya,

    Totally agree with you. I am from metro Detroit and I can tell you that the rust belt bitterness is very present in MI. Many of my friends who have no hope of a good job in their home state have been reduced to one issue voters. I know several people who voted for the anti gay marriage amendment (which passed) but did not fill out anything else on that ballot. The way one of them put it: the dems and republicans have fucked us over for the past 20 years, it doesn’t matter who is in power, but at least with this issue I can prevent those gays from getting more rights.

  40. DD,

    Shhh! He is on a roll showing us how smart he is about putting people into his little racist boxes. Since her dad is Black, then she and all who follow in her bloodline will be Black too and any comment about her views must be tied to this fact, in the world according to Fuffy.

  41. Many of my friends who have no hope of a good job in their home state have been reduced to one issue voters.

    Poor, helpless things! Won’t somebody save them?

    I’ve got it! The government should nationalize the automobile industry, and hire them all for a million dollars per annum, to stand around talking about their boats, and how drunk they got while they were “fishing.”

    And every so often, they can cross-thread a brake caliper bolt onto a passing car.

  42. DoubleDutch, Norah Jones is .5 WASP / .5 South Asian (she’s the daughter of Ravi Shankar). Keys is .5 WASP / .5 Jamaican.

  43. Speaking of the attitudes around Lake Michigan, in the 1960s and early 1970s we used to visit relatives in the Cedar Lake/Crown Point, IN area. Not sure if I met a higher concentrated collection of racist folks in my life, with a heavy mix of what I later identified as pathalogical Burchite syndrome.

    Second place was Cook County, IL, where we were living at the time.

    Was quite relieved when we moved to Knoxville, TN and we got a break from that nonsense. Added bonus: I go to start meeting and hanging out with people from all over the world while in Knoxville.

    I wonder when the the DC area will stop being so self segregated and a lot more integrated, like things were back home.

  44. We only found this out because someone taped a closed-door fundraiser.

    And what may we deduce from this? Either Obama is a complete idiot, because he should know, by now, that there is no such thing as a “closed door, off the record” event, or he made this statement with the expectation that it would be widely circulate, because he believed (correctly or not) it would have more good than bad effect.

    Whatever else he is, I’m assuming he’s not an idiot.

  45. Anybody who is still following Ron Paul around at this point doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously on anything.

  46. Guy Montag, you are an even more dishonest and disreputable cunt than Lonewacko.

    So you tell a racist joke, and now you’re going to try to weasel out of it by claiming it’s not really a racist joke, because Alicia Keys and Barack Obama are actually both of mixed race?

    You pathetic racist fuck. I think you should change your name to SecondWacko. Why don’t you take your racist, John-McCain-dick-sucking self over to FreeRepublic? You’d fit in better there.

  47. Fluffy, there was nothing racist about it other than in your imagenation. As all can see, your tortured emotional response is nothing more than an attempt at distraction from your own bigotry.

    Now run along, I am applying the joe rule to you.

  48. MK2, I can almost agree with you on that one, but Dave is a good writer to give us the postmortum on that traveling circus.

  49. I was speeding through rural Pennsylvania

    Careful, David, I hear there’s a lot of gun-clutching bitterness out there.

    There’s an odd parallel here with Wright’s bitter grasping at racist government AIDS conspiracies. Obama gave pretty much the same explanation there, too — not enough socialism.

    The era of big government is here, and it shall save us all!

  50. 50cent: So, why you don’t like my new album?

    His FBI Handler: In this lyric here, you go talk with the Crip who had been saying shit about you behind your back.

    50cent: So?

    His FBI Handler: We don’t pay you to rap about negotiating, we pay to rap about capping somebody’s ass. Got to keep the gangs hustling and flowing or we G-Men are out on our asses. You don’t know what it is like in the ‘burbs, man. Mortgages, putting kids through college.

    Fiddy: Okay, I hear you. I’ll put some more violence into it. Hell of a way to pay off
    that Masters in English.

  51. Fox News says that billions of dollars were stolen from the taxpayers in Iraq.

    Actually, what it says is that auditors can’t trace it, not that anyone stole it. Imagine that, we’re missing receipts in a war zone. Shocking. Hey, maybe they’re under that RPG over there.

    Bush was proposing CUTS to veterans’ spending

    A smaller increase is not a cut.

  52. Dave Weigel,

    Wait! You were speeding? Did you have a rental car or was it that Ford you own? If the latter, be careful, that two-toned paint job is not 2 paint colors, one is paint and the other is rust.

    Friends don’t let friends drive Fords.

  53. Imagine that, we’re missing receipts in a war zone.

    Ok, time-out on the field.

    It has been five years. Five. And over a trillion dollars, and you’re still using the “Fog and Chaos of War” excuse for fraud, waste and abuse?

    So is it so bad over there that accountability goes out the window, or is it so good and this is a big deal?

  54. We on the left feel superior to you right-wing Reaganite morons for one very good reason:WE ARE SUPERIOR. We’re smarter, better educated, and far more sophisticated.

  55. TallDave,

    Frequently the “cuts” in Veteran’s spending that are reported are the result of programs being de-funded for not spending their allocation several years in a row, or when the spending requirements are not as large as before. Even if the funds are reprogrammed into other areas, a “cut” is reported.

    This, in addition to what you pointed out, of course.

  56. A_R,

    It has been five years. Five. And over a trillion dollars, and you’re still using the “Fog and Chaos of War” excuse for fraud, waste and abuse?

    Not speaking for him, but I would characterize it as bad accounting practices. Seems there is still a lot of that “cut through the red tape” attitude going around, which as we all know, means dropping various accounting procedures. There are probably piles of hand reciepts that have never been entered into an automated system, but the audits are being conducted with the automated systems, and similar bad practices.

  57. This just in, from an unimpeachable source:

    We on the left feel superior to you right-wing Reaganite morons for one very good reason:WE ARE SUPERIOR. We’re smarter, better educated, and far more sophisticated.

  58. Guy,
    If waterboarding isn’t torture, don’t you think we owe the Japanese an apology for charging their soldiers for War Crimes when they waterboarded our men?

  59. Even as tens of thousands of new combat veterans were being created by Bush’s Iraq war, men who would need medical care, psychological services, transition assistance, etc., Bush was proposing CUTS to veterans’ spending.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58762-2004May26.html

    Um, this was an internal (i.e. White House budget office level) memo made in Feb ’04, leaked in May ’04 (you know before the *last* election) that proposed broad cuts in just about everything discretionary in FY 06 (Oct ’05 – Sep ’06), as in the year ahead of what they were actually working on. The veteran’s affairs budget was a cut of $910 million out of $29.1 billion (3%). From the perspective of Feb ’04, before we realized we had nothing like a plan for the first 2 years in Iraq, believing in Feb ’04 that we would be producing *fewer* combat veterans by Oct ’05 was not a ridiculous judgment. Plus, demographically, most of the ww2 and korean guys are no longer with us, and we are starting to pare down the vietnam generation. And last since it was a cut to the entire dept, possibly some overhead would be cut, not benefits (ok, I can’t say the last one and keep a straight face).

    But seriously, that 2nd article @8:45 in no way knocks McCain. Nonetheless, I concede I probably would not find youtube for your questions, would I care to look.

  60. It has been five years. Five. And over a trillion dollars, and you’re still using the “Fog and Chaos of War” excuse for fraud, waste and abuse?

    No, this is CPA money. The CPA was dissolved on June 28, 2004. This is from four years ago.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_Provisional_Authority

  61. I hear Pope Benedict will grace us with his presence this week. Maybe the God/Guns/Gays crowd will forget their bitterness and return to their full-time shallowness for a while.

    Slightly more Papists(TM) are still Democrats, even if only count the white (i.e. non-Hispanic) ones. (There was a brief time right after 9/11 where is was slightly the other way)

  62. Guy, I thought the exact same thing when The Hildebest said she went hunting as a little girl–Bosnia story.

    As you said, it was probably with a $20 bill at Kroger. It makes me cringe that this woman, whose husband’s administration gave us the Scary Looking Weapons Ban is trying to be some kind of Second Amendment hero.

    I also love it (sarcasm) when pols think the purpose of the Second is to gaurantee my right to hunt.

  63. Guy –

    I don’t doubt some error, but I don’t believe for a second that there isn’t quite a bit of fraud occurring:

    Remember when This whole thing broke out?

    I hate that because all of the sudden DCMA had 2000 auditors on their way. Boo.

    Or, apparently, we’re just handing out money for old-ass weaponry

  64. As for the war money, its probably going to Al-Malaki’s Swiss bank account a la Arafat.

  65. Mo, or is that Eisenstein?

    Waterboarding is not the Water Cure, this has been pointed out here to you and others who bring it up for months.

  66. Once again I agree with fluffy.

  67. A_R,

    I don’t doubt some error, but I don’t believe for a second that there isn’t quite a bit of fraud occurring:

    I don’t doubt that a bit either. There has already been a multiple suicide case involving an Army Major, Contract Officer, and his spouse, in the largest Contracting Officer fraud/misappropriation case in the history of the USA. That one began last year. Makes Bushrod Johnson look like small beans.

  68. I think we’d have to stop waterboarding our own soldiers in training first.

  69. The whole interrogation thing could be resolved if we shipped terrorists to Israel for interrogation.

  70. Guy,

    “They laid me out on a stretcher and strapped me on. The stretcher was then stood on end with my head almost touching the floor and my feet in the air. . . . They then began pouring water over my face and at times it was almost impossible for me to breathe without sucking in water.”

    Sounds exactly like what the CIA did.

  71. Guy –

    Heh, follow my first link! I wasn’t actually in Baghdad when MAJ Davis killed herself, but I was there for when DCMA was flying in some gargantuan amount of auditors in response.

  72. TallDave,
    We only do it in training to our soldiers (not all of them, just special ops) precisely because they may be tortured by the enemy. It’s even more likely to be used against them now that it’s well known that we do it.

  73. I think we’d have to stop waterboarding our own soldiers in training first.

    Hmm, yes…there’s no difference at all if you volunteer for the training as opposed to having it forced on you.

    Are you one of the assholes who calls rape “surprise sex” too?

  74. wish that you had put the video of “Sheltering Sky” that’s on their concert DVD instead of the tune that you used. still King Crimson is always a welcome sight.

  75. Sounds exactly like what the CIA did.

    So then if the CIA did this in Los Angeles, then the LAPD can arrest the offending agents?

  76. It’s even more likely to be used against them now that it’s well known that we do it.

    Used against them by whom ?

  77. Mo,

    My Eisenstein suspicion is confirmed and I don’t talk to guys who use two hands to bowl.

    A_R,

    Follow links? PLEASE! I came here from Slashdot 😉

  78. Hmm, yes…there’s no difference at all if you volunteer for the training as opposed to having it forced on you.

    So, it’s okay to “torture” an innocent U.S. soldier, as long as they “volunteered” for it (they get kicked out of the program if they refuse), but it’s not okay for three senior AQ terrorists that have knowledge of plots to kill Americans? Just want to be clear on this.

  79. A few minutes of discomfort for some scumbag terrorist is nothing if it can save American lives.

    If waterboarding is torture so is basic training!

  80. So then if the CIA did this in Los Angeles, then the LAPD can arrest the offending agents?

    We would hope that the other two branches of the Federal Government might have something to say about failure to apply due process.

    Or, you know, the United States being better than that and all might be incentive enough for *us* to put a stop to it.

    In case you missed it, a SERE Instructor said Waterboarding is Torture

    So, it’s okay to “torture” an innocent U.S. soldier, as long as they “volunteered” for it (they get kicked out of the program if they refuse)

    Do you even know what that “program” is, or are you just cribbing from The Corner and Glenn Beck?

  81. Used against them by whom?

    Iraqi militants, Afghan fighters, heck maybe even the N. Koreans or Iranians. It’s not like we can denounce it, call it torture or call for war crimes tribunals under the Geneva Conventions. Especially since our special ops guys aren’t always uniformed.

  82. Anywho, for your question, TallDave: You don’t see a substantiative difference between volunteering to say, be whipped ’cause you’re into that sort of thing and me just running up and whacking you out of the blue with a cat o’ nine tails?

  83. “Iraqi militants, Afghan fighters, heck maybe even the N. Koreans or Iranians. It’s not like we can denounce it, call it torture or call for war crimes tribunals under the Geneva Conventions. Especially since our special ops guys aren’t always uniformed.”

    Hahaha like they care about international law anyway!

  84. In case you missed it, a SERE Instructor said Waterboarding is Torture

    Nance also misstated how it actually works, according to other SEALs.

    Mike’s secondary specialty in the SEAL force is as an advanced combat medic. Without getting into specifics on his experiences, Mike strongly disputes Nance’s exaggerations of waterboarding. There is a word for people who have “pint after pint of water” filling their lungs: dead. “In fact,” according to Mike, “they would be very, very dead. By definition, anyone who has drowned is in fact dead. A large percentage of true drownings do not involve ANY water entering the lungs because the epiglottis closes off the air passages as water enters the throat. People who die immediately from being immersed in water actually die of suffocation, not water entering their lungs. Not only that, many people who survive a near-drowning who do have even small amounts of water that slip by the epiglottis and enter their lungs can die later of fluid shifts and pneumonia. I can assure you that we do not use any technique that involves true suffocation or aspiration of water into the lungs. One cannot get questions to answers from people who suffocate or have water fill their lungs in any interrogation technique, which would render that technique more than a little self-defeating. Dead men tell no tales — and also make rather poor soldiers.”

  85. We could interrogate them with pinking shears and then feed them
    through a wood chipper.

    No harm, no foul.

  86. If waterboarding is torture so is basic training!

    Once you’re done dick-swinging, maybe I should ask if you’ve actually been through either event?

  87. Iraqi militants, Afghan fighters, heck maybe even the N. Koreans or Iranians. It’s not like we can denounce it, call it torture or call for war crimes tribunals under the Geneva Conventions.

    What do you suppose that they would do to American spies that they capture?

  88. You don’t see a substantiative difference between volunteering to say, be whipped ’cause you’re into that sort of thing and me just running up and whacking you out of the blue with a cat o’ nine tails?

    I didn’t realize our soldiers were just S&M freaks, or that senior Al Qaeda people were just picked up and interrogated “out of the blue” for no good reason.

    I’m learning a lot here today!

  89. A_R,

    During the last Democrat presidential primary campaigns, a retired Army General and candidate was reciting points from the Communist Manifesto and calling them founding values of our country. Does that make it so? BTW, I think he went to that vocational school in New York.

  90. Hey Ayn Randian, when we capture Al Qaeda thugs do you want them to be able to say “Hey you can’t do anything to us, you’re papers say you can’t torture us! Haha!”

    Or do you want the interrigator to be able to say “Fuck our papers, we’re going to get information from you anyway we can to save American lives!”

    Which is better to you?

  91. I didn’t realize our soldiers were just S&M freaks

    It was an analogy. If you’re going to persist in being an asshole, we can consider this conversation over.

  92. Hey Neil, recommend you familiarize yourself with
    the fallacies of “Loaded Questions” and “False Dichotomies”. And given that you’re not actually here to learn anything or engage in discussion (you just want to win childish “Debating Points” and feel all Mommy-Loves-Me), I’m not going to sit here and unpack all that crap you just asked me.

    Figure out how to ask a real question and we’ll go from there. I’ll start:

    What do you think of senior intelligence officials saying that waterboarding is ineffective because people will say anything to make it stop?

  93. 1. Clearly, Bob Barr doesn’t want to be president. If he did, he’d modify his policies to match what most Americans want and what they aren’t getting from the major candidates. In the real world (not the fantasy world), there’s very little to differentiate him from his opponents, and he’s almost the same as McCain where McCain is most vulnerable.

    2. Obama said something stupid, but the really stupid parts are the ones no one else is covering.

    3. Need a laugh? AmandaMarcotte is being purged: lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007627.html

    4. Twirl, twirl, twirl the prog away.

  94. It was an analogy.

    A very poor analogy, as I pointed out.

    Our soldiers volunteered to serve their country. Al Qaeda lieutenants volunteered to be terrorist leaders. It’s an odd sort of morality that says the first choice makes waterboarding them OK and the second doesn’t.

  95. “What do you think of senior intelligence officials saying that waterboarding is ineffective because people will say anything to make it stop?”

    The point IS to make them say anything. Better to get them to say SOMETHING that might be true rather than not say anything at all and laugh at us in comfort.

    Why do you care about Khalid Sheikh Muhammad’s comfort so much AR?

  96. Is it going to be another two weeks before we hear from Mrs. Clinton about going shooting with her grandpa? If she is just ripping off that Gov. Romney story I am going to be so pissed! She needs to top the Bosnia story. Well, on the outside chance that this story is true, then she needs to get the details out quick before some ‘blogger blows it up into another big deal, hehehe.

  97. Michael,

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be held to the same moral standards as our enemies. If we don’t hold ourselves to higher standard of morality than people who oppress their women, then we’re just rooting for flags.

    Guy,
    Ok, douche then explain to me the substansive difference between these two.

    Today: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

    WWII: They laid me out on a stretcher and strapped me on. The stretcher was then stood on end with my head almost touching the floor and my feet in the air. . . . They then began pouring water over my face and at times it was almost impossible for me to breathe without sucking in water.

    Is cellophane the fine line between torture and discomfort?

  98. well, for all the people who claim to be enamored with “the leaders on the ground”:

    Defense Intelligence Agency Director says Waterboarding is Inhumane

    A very poor analogy, as I pointed out.

    No, it isn’t. You’re just too dumb (or willfully obtuse) to figure it out. It’s OK; I’ll do it for you.

    Our soldiers volunteered to serve their country. Al Qaeda lieutenants volunteered to be terrorist leaders. It’s an odd sort of morality that says the first choice makes waterboarding them OK and the second doesn’t.

    Did you get to figuring out what program it is that waterboards Soldiers? Did you figure out that those Soldiers volunteer to be waterboarded, whereas the people who may or may not be AQ didn’t at all?

    You’re also assuming that everybody we waterboard (or have in the past) was AQ. That’s a bold assertion with no proof.

  99. Why do you care about Khalid Sheikh Muhammad’s comfort so much AR?

    Did you look up loaded question yet, Neil?

    Learn to ask a real question and we’ll have a real discussion. Like this one:

    Do you believe that the information garnered from torture is worth trading in a very powerful propaganda tool, that is, that the US is a beacon for freedom, justice and liberty?

  100. A_R,

    The facts, as we know them, from the same places that we know that waterboarding was conducted on a total of THREE terrorists, is that it provided actionable intelligence in all three cases.

    You are really upset with the intel guys batting 1.000 on something that important?

    This whole issue is like, as I have said before, a bunch of not-first-born-children whining “he’s looking at me” to mom.

  101. AR they’re going to hate use as long as we are alive. Even if we’re lovey-dovey with them they’re still going to hate us and want us DEAD.

    Why don’t you look up the Munich Conference and appeasement?

  102. I suspect this whole shift in interrigation techniques is a plot by people who own milk and cookie stocks.

  103. Guy – torturing three people is three too many. It’s not worth our integrity.

    Why don’t you look up the Munich Conference and appeasement?

    You’re saying if we don’t waterboard suspects, we’re going to lost the Sudetenland?

    WTF?

    AR they’re going to hate use as long as we are alive.

    Who’s they? How do you go about proving who “they” is? And should you be able to torture anybody whom you SUSPECT is a “they”?

  104. The facts, as we know them, from the same places that we know that waterboarding was conducted on a total of THREE terrorists, is that it provided actionable intelligence in all three cases.

    You are really upset with the intel guys batting 1.000 on something that important?

    That’s hearsay. Do you really think they’re telling the whole story? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you.

    When was the last time our intel services batted 1.000 on anything?

  105. Did you get to figuring out what program it is that waterboards Soldiers?

    We don’t know for sure because of OPSEC, but it’s very likely to include SEAL, Force Recon, and USASF.

    A very poor analogy, as I pointed out

    It was an incredibly stupid analogy. For soldiers, there is a reward for enduring and a punishment for failing to endure it; they are doing it to serve our country and protect us. It’s not anything like someone getting off on a sexual fetish. Nor is being struck by someone out of the blue anything like being captured after planning operations that killed thousands of Americans.

    Did you figure out that those Soldiers volunteer to be waterboarded, whereas the people who may or may not be AQ didn’t at all?

    No, they volunteered for a program. They can choose to be waterboarded or fail the program. AQ volunteered to be terrorists, and they can choose to cooperate or be waterboarded.

    You’re also assuming that everybody we waterboard (or have in the past) was AQ. That’s a bold assertion with no proof.

    It was leaked some time ago that only three people were ever waterboarded.

  106. A_R,

    I agree that torture should not be used. We are talking about waterboarding.

    How much Nabisco stock do you own?

  107. “They” are the Islamofascists (the people who fly planes into buildings and commit suicide bombings against Israel), and I trust our military and CIA to be right more often than not. Therefore its worth it, its worth it to keep us safe and to win the Global War on Terror.

    What I’m saying about Munich is, you think if we play nice with them and give into their demands they will leave us alone. Guess whaT? they won’t.

    In WWII we did all kinds of nasty things to suspected German sabatoours, why can’t we do the same to AQ?

  108. And waterboarding isn’t torture. Its just a little discomfort.

  109. We’re fighting in a part of the world where people are beheaded regularly, and AR is concerned about what they might think of waterboarding.

  110. For soldiers, there is a reward for enduring and a punishment for failing to endure it; they are doing it to serve our country and protect us. It’s not anything like someone getting off on a sexual fetish.

    Not the sexual fetish part, you dumbass. The fact that you volunteer to undergo something because there’s a risk/reward calculus is far different from just having it applied to you against your will. What’s pissing me off is you knew that and now you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

    Are you going to stop being dumb on purpose?

    AQ volunteered to be terrorists, and they can choose to cooperate or be waterboarded.

    Oh my god. What an intellectually dishonest argument. So, everyone we waterboard is AQ, and we know that because we waterboarded them until they told us they were AQ?

    Tell me something: are you that ideologically screwed up that you want us to lose this war? ‘Cause shit like that is going to help us lose faster than anything.

  111. TallDave,

    One of our SGMs at work has been waterboarded and he has only been in Infantry specialties. Will ask him tomorrow, if I remember, what school it was part of. SERE school probably does it too.

    I think one of the GS-14s did too when he was in uniform.

    BTW, SGM says uncomfortable vs. torture.

  112. It was leaked some time ago that only three people were ever waterboarded.

    Was the leaker traitor ever brought to justice? Was he aggressively interrogated until he confessed? Was he executed for his crimes against America?

    My God! If those heathen savages think their chances of being waterboarded are that low, they’ll run roughshod over us. I can hear them laughing, now.

  113. It is SERE, where they also beat the hell out of you. That must be OK to do to suspects in the GWOT too, then, right TallDave? I mean really just wail the shit out of a suspect? Our troops volunteer to do it, so it must be OK to just beat the crap out of suspects?

  114. “They” are the Islamofascists (the people who fly planes into buildings and commit suicide bombings against Israel)

    Hint: people who flew planes into buildings and are suicide bombers are already dead.

    As P Brooks pointed out, you guys want it both ways: waterboarding is so uber-effective (but not torture!) and yet, we’ve only used it three times:

    Guess it doesn’t have much of a deterrent effect, does it, Neil?

  115. A_R,

    Oh my god. What an intellectually dishonest argument. So, everyone we waterboard is AQ, and we know that because we waterboarded them until they told us they were AQ?

    Come on man, all three were AQ. The entire set was AQ. 100% were AQ. How many different ways do you need this datapoint? They were admitted AQ before we captured them, especially that John Belushi looking one.

  116. Its so cute that AR thinks that people who live in a region of the world where people are beheaded and stoned to death are going to think waterboarding is so terrible!

  117. The fact that you volunteer to undergo something because there’s a risk/reward calculus is far different from just having it applied to you against your will.

    There’s no “risk/reward” calculus in a masochistic sexual fetish. The discomfort is the reward.

    And yes, analogizing our troops’ devotion to duty and country to a sexual fetish is incredibly stupid.

    So, everyone we waterboard is AQ, and we know that because we waterboarded them until they told us they were AQ?

    Where are these innocent people you claim were waterboarded until they claimed to be AQ? Perhaps they were waterboarded by the same people who created the AIDS virus to kill black people? These lefty delusional fantasies are certainly entertaining.

  118. A_R,

    I just want it one way: we win, they lose. Unless you break that into two ways, then fine with me.

    I don’t give waterboarding a deterrant factor, it is an information gathering technique. If all the being nice while being strong did not work to deter them, then we move to other measures.

    You still did not answer the Nabisco question. Are you profiting off of the new, kinder, gentler cuddleboarding policy?

  119. Guy – Come off it. Why did the Administration go through about 8,000 different legal contortions, arguments, memoranda etc. if it was just three well-known and established AQ dudes?

    Why go through all the trouble?

    Its so cute that AR thinks that people who live in a region of the world where people are beheaded and stoned to death are going to think waterboarding is so terrible!

    Neil, it’s so cute YOU think it’s so terrible that it’s going to have a deterrent and investigative purpose to the tough-as-nails people you just described. So which is it, Neil: It’s ineffective because they live in a tough region, or it’s effective because it really does suck that much?

  120. Was the leaker traitor ever brought to justice?

    Dude, don’t you read the NYT? Anyone who leaks damaging intelligence is a national hero.

  121. Today: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

    WWII: They laid me out on a stretcher and strapped me on. The stretcher was then stood on end with my head almost touching the floor and my feet in the air. . . . They then began pouring water over my face and at times it was almost impossible for me to breathe without sucking in water.

    Is cellophane the fine line between torture and discomfort?

    Yes.

    The cellophane prevents any water from being breathed in.

    Of course, I should also mention that the people who do this are not entitled to POW protections. There is a reason spies can do things that would get soldiers billeted to Leavenworth.

    There is no uniformed component of Al Qaeda, so they can all be given a spy’s treatment.

  122. And yes, analogizing our troops’ devotion to duty and country to a sexual fetish is incredibly stupid.

    Please stop mouthing empty platitudes and masturbating to me, TallDave. If you really gave a shit about me and my guys, you wouldn’t have sent us after a country that didn’t have anything to do with 9/11 and continue to support that action to this day.

    Where are these innocent people you claim were waterboarded until they claimed to be AQ?

    Again, why did the Administration go through so many hoops to cover themselves if this was a legal application made on Bad Dudes?

    Something stinks.

  123. I’m sure if B. Hussein Obama was President he’d be real sensitive and give the terrorist milk and cookies, and after we were so nice to them of COURSE they’d tell us the information we need! LOL

  124. Why did the Administration go through about 8,000 different legal contortions, arguments, memoranda etc. if it was just three well-known and established AQ dudes?

    Gee, maybe because they’re serious people seriously attempting to balance what is morally acceptable with the need to protect Americans in the wake of attacks that killed 3,000 and caused $2 trillion in damage?

  125. Guy,
    Why don’t you indicate the difference between what we did and the Japanese did first. You can’t just assert “the water cure isn’t water boarding” and leave it at that. Is it the cellophane or the fact that they’re not Americans? Instead, when you lose an argument you enter odd non-sequitors like asking A_R if he owns Nabisco stock.

  126. TallDave,

    We might be able to find some waterboard victims in one of those Iraq war Vets for Surrender groups. Has Jessee MaCbeth claimed it yet, along with his claim of being a Ranger with only 60 days of actual service?

    Maybe when PV2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp completes his service he could write about how he heard another soldier tell him about it.

  127. There is no uniformed component of Al Qaeda, so they can all be given a spy’s treatment.

    What a *man*…you’re so *tough* Michael.

    God help you if you’re ever declared an “enemy combatant” and/or “shown to have provided aid and comfort.”

  128. If you really gave a shit about me and my guys, you wouldn’t have sent us after a country that didn’t have anything to do with 9/11 and continue to support that action to this day.

    Hey! Look over there! A squirrel!

    Something stinks.

    Yep, sure does.

  129. We might be able to find some waterboard victims in one of those Iraq war Vets for Surrender groups.

    Could be some small-towners bitter about being waterboarded, too. Keep an eye out for anyone clutching a Bible or a gun.

  130. No, TallDave, that’s not misdirection. I just want you to cease your faux “Our troops are so teh awesome I can’t believe you made an analogy!”

    Quit being such a little girl.

  131. Bye guys. Enjoy your circle jerk. There’s nothing of value left here.

  132. God help you if you’re ever declared an “enemy combatant” and/or “shown to have provided aid and comfort.”

    Yes, I’m sure Michael is going to mastermind a plot to fly a 747 into the Sears tower any day now.

    But hey, if he does, you can defend his right to not be waterboarded while we clean up the giant pile of corpses and steel. That’ll be nice. A good bonding moment.

  133. A_R,

    Guy – Come off it. Why did the Administration go through about 8,000 different legal contortions, arguments, memoranda etc. if it was just three well-known and established AQ dudes?

    Because it is Executive branch business, not leaky Legeslative branch business.

    BTW, you were not sent to Iraq because it had anything to do with 9/11 and nobody in any position of authority to send you there ever claimed that either. Now YOU are the one being really silly. Even if you were not a Lieutenant, you are still smart enough to know that a global war has many fronts, Iraq being just one.

  134. If you really gave a shit about me and my guys, you wouldn’t have sent us after a country that didn’t have anything to do with 9/11 and continue to support that action to this day.

    What about a country that sponsored Palestinians terror?

  135. And he cuts and runs just like he wants us to in Iraq LOL.

  136. What about a country that sponsored Palestinians terror?

    Bah, next you’ll tell us Jews are people too.

  137. So can we talk about Mrs. Clinton during her gun-totin’ days now?

  138. Guy, it seems apparent that you can’t recognize your own racism, so I will be happy to explain it to you.

    Say you were the host of a political talk show. This afternoon, you’re going to have Barack Obama on your show.

    Shortly before your show airs, a prominent black person says something outrageous – let’s say that Al Sharpton gets a little angry about something, so he says “Maybe if African Americans blew up some office buildings their issues would get more attention!” or something like that.

    If your first instinct is to adjust your notes to make sure that this comment is a prominent part of the questions you ask Obama – if you present it as something that you want him to explain – you are a racist.

    You may claim that you would just be asking one Democrat activist about something said by another Democrat activist, but that would be a lie. The truth would be that you would instinctively act as if one black man is responsible for or “needs to account for” or “needs to reassure us that he doesn’t share the views of” every other black person in America.

    There is no uniformed component of Al Qaeda, so they can all be given a spy’s treatment.

    Great. Fantastic. If all AQ are spies, then try them as spies under our domestic laws or under the UCMJ if they were caught in a war zone, and then hang them. Of course, torture is still out, because torture of spies is not legal under US military or civilian law, or at least it wasn’t until John McCain made it his business to make it legal.

  139. What about a country that sponsored Palestinians terror?

    That’s Israel’s problem, let Israel handle it. It’s not like we did anything to people that supported IRA terror.

  140. you are still smart enough to know that a global war has many fronts, Iraq being just one.

    The assertion that Iraq is a “front” in the GWOT is just that, an assertion. It hasn’t been sufficiently demonstrated that it was a wise strategic move to invade in the first place and it hasn’t been shown that it makes strategic sense to remain.

    What about a country that sponsored Palestinians terror?

    If you’re so hung up about Palestinian terror, you go do something about it. It’s not a justification for 1 trillion dollars, 4,000 American lives and 100,000 Iraqis.

  141. Because it is Executive branch business, not leaky Legeslative branch business.

    It’s the job of the Executive branch to ensure they are executing the laws of the land in COMPLIANCE with the laws of the land. It certainly is Legislative business. Lack of legislative involvement is what’s gotten so far down the anti-freedom road in the first place.

  142. you can defend his right to not be waterboarded while we clean up the giant pile of corpses and steel. That’ll be nice. A good bonding moment.

    First you hide your arguments behind “The Troops”
    Then dead victims.
    And then you invoke anti-semitism, as if failing to invade Iraq would somehow mean Jews aren’t people, or something.

    You’re a fucking embarrassment.

  143. Why is it so hard for you to understand AR?

    Nows not the time to start moaning about 2003. There is Al Qaeda there NOW, theres Iranian Islamofascists in Iraq NOW, its clearly been made the central front of the GWOT.

    We can fight both there and in Afghanistan at the same time, just like we fought both the Germans and Japanese in WWII, its quite similar.

    Yeah, war costs money, but as a % of the GDP the debt isn’t abig deal. Its still lower as a % of the GDP than it was under Reagan (and liberals still whined about it then).

  144. Nows not the time to start moaning about 2003. There is Al Qaeda there NOW, theres Iranian Islamofascists in Iraq NOW, its clearly been made the central front of the GWOT.

    Maybe if you go in circles fast enough, you’ll disappear up your own ass.

  145. Neil:

    The debt is 9 trillion. GDP is 13 trillion a year. You say it’s “not a big deal”, and I would normally (yikes) agree with you, but the interest payments and the lack of creditor faith in the United States is what has led to the weak dollar and high prices.

    Also, I guess you can say “hey, a trillion here or a trillion there, what’s the dif? It takes real leadership to make tough choices to ensure the Government doesn’t end up in default. I know you have visions of a giant Visa paying for millions of Soldiers and Tanks to roll across the globe in search of terrorists, but real life doesn’t work that way, little boy.,

  146. There is Al Qaeda there NOW, theres Iranian Islamofascists in Iraq NOW, its clearly been made the central front of the GWOT.

    Who made it that way?
    Was that a smart move?
    Has it made us safer?
    Is it worth the cost?
    What about the moral quandry of making a neutral nation a battleground for a war they had no part in making?

    These are questions adults ask. These are questions patriots ask because we want to insure national security. You just want to go gallivanting about the globe, sword in one hand and checkbook in the other.

  147. Every Democratic power broker thinks this. Clinton looks sillier in populist garb than Dukakis looked in the tank.

    Ouch!

  148. More questions I’m sure won’t get answered by the Iraq hawks:

    – What is the end-state objective of the GWOT?
    – What are the objectives?
    – What’s the timeline?
    – What does victory look like in the GWOT?
    – When does it end?

  149. Clinton looks sillier in populist garb than Dukakis looked in the tank.

    Careful – she knows how to use a gun.

  150. – When does [the GWOT] end?

    The same time the WoD does.

  151. Thank you, AR. The silence from the neoconservatards after you asked those questions is truly stunning.

  152. What about the moral quandry of making a neutral nation a battleground for a war they had no part in making?

    What neutral nation was that?

  153. That’s Israel’s problem, let Israel handle it

    Those Palestinian terrorists are our enemies too.

  154. Of course, torture is still out, because torture of spies is not legal under US military or civilian law, or at least it wasn’t until John McCain made it his business to make it legal.

    Correct.

    Our soldiers can not legally torture spies.

    Of course, what law do our spies operate under?

  155. Since when is Israel a part of the United States?

    Who the hell are you, a modern day Citizen Genet?

  156. What neutral nation was that?

    Iraq. Unless you can demonstrate that they were somehow significant players in 9/11.

    That is what the GWOT is about, isn’t it? Yes, Iraq was conventionally hostile to us, but if our truck is with radical Wahabbists and Shia, you have a hard time saying that the secular-Sunni Hussein junta is somehow not a neutral party.

    Those Palestinian terrorists are our enemies too.

    So, the justification to invade Iraq was because Saddam gave some cash to people who haven’t done anything to us?

    If the Palestinian terrorists are our enemies, why didn’t we invade Palestine?

  157. So we invaded Iraq because their government gave cash to the families of suicide bombers who were attacking a foreign nation?

    Thats so weak, even for a war supporter.

  158. Michael Ejercito | April 13, 2008, 2:42pm | #

    That’s Israel’s problem, let Israel handle it

    Those Palestinian terrorists are our enemies too.

    If you want to shit stir Palestinians
    do it on your own dime and some other
    Nations flag. We have too many concerns under our own national interest to get involved in a disagreement with the conflicts of the worlds most primitive tribes.

  159. I will add, compared to the Israelis-Palestinian conflicts, Kenyans
    as shown by the judicious resolution of recent events are a model of enlightenment.

    Oh yeah, and thank AR.

  160. Yeah seriously, if you love Israel that much go join the IDF or set up a foreign legion or something. But don’t do it with our tax money and our army. They aren’t there to be used for other nations interests.

  161. Michael (or TallDave, or Neil, or DONDEROOOOO)…do any of you have any answers to the questions I posted @ 2:18 and 2:27?

  162. Oh yeah, and thank AR.

    Oh yeah, and thank you, AR.

  163. Oh yeah, and thank you, AR.

    Pff…I didn’t do anything special, but I appreciate the uhh, appreciation nontheless 😀

  164. I really, really really hope Bob Barr raises enough money to go up in the polls and be included in the debate. McCain would look like such an ass when he asks him questions about the war.

  165. The assertion that Iraq is a “front” in the GWOT is just that, an assertion. It hasn’t been sufficiently demonstrated that it was a wise strategic move to invade in the first place and it hasn’t been shown that it makes strategic sense to remain.M

    Sure, there were other options: we could have let Saddam have Kuwait back in 1991, or we could have kept bombing Iraqis forever while keeping troops on Muslim holy ground in SA to deter him, or we could have just packed up and left while he restarted all his WMD programs. Meanwhile, in any of those scenarios, all the support for terrorism would have continued, as well as the massive repression and huge death tolls.

    So we invaded Iraq because their government gave cash to the families of suicide bombers who were attacking a foreign nation?

    One of the many, many reasons, yes.

  166. Who made it that way? Al Qaeda, by opposing democracy in Iraq.
    Was that a smart move? No, they got their asses kicked and made themselves immensely less popular.

    Has it made us safer? Yes, we haven’t been attacked in all that time, while AQ has been steadily enervated by their losing effort in Iraq.

    Is it worth the cost? Yes. By helping the Mideast liberalize, we can prevent incidents like the one that killed 3,000 Americans and cost $2 trillion; Saddam may not have been behind 9/11, but his brand of repression and the need for the U.S. to “contain” him was a factor. Also, some semblance of freedom and democracy for 25M Iraqis is very much worth it.

    What about the moral quandry of making a neutral nation a battleground for a war they had no part in making? A good question to ask Al Qaaeda. I’m sure it keeps them up nights. Iraqis still believe the U.S. invasion was the correct decision. They are not so sanguine about Al Qaeda.

  167. Note: Not an Iraq ‘hawk’. and I hate the term ‘global war on terror.’ It’s like declaring in Dec ’41 a war on Zeros. However, I have no better one. And ‘war on islamofascism’ is even worse because it furthers muddies the concept of what we’re trying to do

    But I think you can be for the lack-of-a-better-term GWOT, and be in favor of withdrawing from Iraq. In fact, IMO, doing the second helps the first.

    So as to your questions:

    – What is the end-state objective of the GWOT?
    The elimination of radicalized groups that execute violence toward the established order, and/or their co-option into the political order of where they operate. I include groups of all stripes in this, so not just Al Queda and JI, but also FARC and Tamil Tigers, for instance. Interestingly, I would ‘engage’ with Hamas by this criteria, because they have indeed joined the political process. (Note also that engagement != allied or even favoring)

    – What are the objectives?

    To assist allied nations with logistical and/or direct support in their conflicts with internal or transnational terrorists groups operating within their borders. Additionally, to use this leverage to get host countries to open up and reform their political processes so that potentially radicalized groups have less of a beef.

    – What’s the timeline?
    At least a decade, probably a generation.

    – What does victory look like in the GWOT?
    See above

    – When does it end?
    See above.

    Just some dashed of thoughts. YMMV of course.

  168. – What is the end-state objective of the GWOT?
    Terrorism no monger a major threat.
    – What are the objectives?
    To reduce the capabilities of terrorist orgs.
    – What’s the timeline?
    Wars generally don’t follow timelines.
    – What does victory look like in the GWOT?
    I would say ten years of fewer than 100 people killed by terrorists would do it.
    – When does it end?
    When that happens. The enemy gets a vote in war.

    Any more softballs to lob?

  169. Sure, there were other options: we could have let Saddam have Kuwait back in 1991, or we could have kept bombing Iraqis forever while keeping troops on Muslim holy ground in SA to deter him, or we could have just packed up and left while he restarted all his WMD programs. Meanwhile, in any of those scenarios, all the support for terrorism would have continued, as well as the massive repression and huge death tolls.

    So, basically, we had to invade because we stuck our right fist in the tar baby a few decades ago, and so now we had to give it what’s what with our left fist, too.

    That’s the problem with interventionism. Once you get started, one thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, you’re pointlessly occupying a country for fifty years*

    *The Philippines. We’ll be in Iraq for a hundred.

  170. Terrorism no monger a major threat.

    Well, thank God. I don’t feel it’s a major threat now. Compared to things like malaria, cancer, drunk drivers and poor economic policy, in fact, it’s downright benign.

    Any more softballs to lob?

    Yeah, when will the war on drugs end?

  171. I would say ten years of fewer than 100 people killed by terrorists would do it.

    So, basically, terrorism is a problem on the scale of lightning strikes and shark attacks?

  172. I would say ten years of fewer than 100 people killed by terrorists would do it.

    All terrorists? Worldwide?

    Are we counting non-Muslim terrorism? Do we count the Basques? IRA? Sepratists? The Marxist PKK in Kurdistan?

    For that matter, do we count Tibetans who bomb Chinese? Drug lords in Colombia? Leftist rebels in Nepal? Kurdish rebels in Turkey and Iran?

  173. International terrorist groups.

  174. So, basically, terrorism is a problem on the scale of lightning strikes and shark attacks?

    Sure, and homicide is s smaller problem than cancer and heart disease. Let’s get those cops off the streets and into the lab!

  175. Oh, heres one to think about. What if BOTH sides in a conflict are carrying out terroristic acts (ex. Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir)?

    International terrorist groups.

    Ok, so then the Palestinians don’t count because they carry out terrorism WITHIN a nation, right?

    But what if say, the PKK is getting funded by drug lords in Colombia? Is it then counted as “international”?

    What if their goals are national, but they use areas of another nation as bases for staging attacks?

  176. vanya,

    Two things. First, upstate NY weather is terrible in comparison to which US region’s weather? There’s bad aspects to the weather everywhere. I sure as heck would take a couple of months of cold and snow over living in a frickin’ desert year round. The economic conditions are pretty rough, but that’s largely a function of being in a state run by NYC politicians. Businesses might put up with Vampire State taxes and regulations so they can operate in Manhattan, but they sure as hell ain’t gonna do it so they can operate in Buffalo.

    But on the main topic, I think the problem with Obama’s quote is the condescension. He implies that if you vote the wrong way on a social issue, it’s because you’re economically hopeless, NOT because there is any merit to those positions. A superficial judgement, perhaps, but Obama lives by superficialities, so it’s fitting he die by superficialities.

  177. Yeah, when will the war on drugs end?

    When politicians and voters have the common sense to read up on Prohibition and how well it worked out.

  178. Terrorism is a misnomer. What we’re actually talking about here is asymmetric warfare. A hundred years ago, civilian and military armaments were not that different, making open, third-generation warfare feasible for almost any nation or group. Now, however, unless you have helicopter gunships and guided bombs, going against a fully modern army in the field with a pretty much a losing proposition.

    As a result, you have groups turning to alternative means of fighting. This will NEVER change as long as there are great disparities in military power. And this is a good thing. Since military technology is not likely to ever regress, the alternative to enduring asymmetric warfare is enduring open war between two superpowers. There would be a few more than 2,000 dead should that happen.

    An age of terrorism is just another way of saying an age of peace.

  179. Oh, shit, now we’re talking about how waterboarding isn’t torture!

    Bill Clinton was an amateur, with his “depends on the meaning of ‘is.'”

  180. Sure, and homicide is s smaller problem than cancer and heart disease. Let’s get those cops off the streets and into the lab!

    I don’t think that homocide is a great problem, either. We could use fewer cops, since most of the ones we have are misdirected.

  181. An age of terrorism is just another way of saying an age of peace.

    True, that’s a good point. We’re much better off than in the Cold War.

    The problem is that those asymmetric groups are also much harder to directly deter (did AQ ever have to worry that we would nuke Afghanistan into glass after 9/11?), and tend to do things like crash planes into our skyscrapers. While it’s probably better than fighting proxy wars in Korea and Vietnam and Grenada, it still merits some serious attention.

  182. Fortunately the CIA videotaped the “enhanced interrogations that weren’t torture” so the armed services and intelligence committees in congress can review the evidence and make a determination.

    What’s that you say? The CIA destroyed the best evidence that would indicate that they were not engaging in torture?

    Hmmm. I wonder why. Oh well, good patriotic Americans know that our intelligence services would never, ever break the law and then cover it up.

    Nope, nothing to see here. Move along folks.

  183. More proof that Teh Surge Is Working:

    1,300 Iraqi troops, police dismissed

    Separating the wheat from the chaff can only mean good times ahead for Iraqi Democracy 5.3.4(d)!

  184. Al Qaeda, by opposing democracy in Iraq.

    You’re ignoring the fact that AQI isn’t the biggest threat in Iraq. See: Muqtada Al-Sadr and JAM. A group that wouldn’t have even been a blip on the radar if Saddam was still there.

    TallDave – define “terrorist”.

  185. “The CIA destroyed the best evidence that would indicate that they were not engaging in torture?”

    Yeah I guess you’d rather have us coddling terrorists than cause them a little discomfort to save American lives LOL. Your a hippie far left liberal comsymp if you think it’s torture if it’s torture so is my fraternity hahaha. Go back to the 60s you lost with the other cut and runners LOL.

    PS – I’m an intellectually and morally bankrupt pile of pig waste.

  186. Has it made us safer? Yes, we haven’t been attacked in all that time

    See: post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    as well as the massive repression and huge death tolls.

    I suppose you support intervention in the Sudan, then? In Rwanda when that all went down?

  187. Yes. By helping the Mideast liberalize, we can prevent incidents like [9/11]

    Can you prove that at all?

    TallDave – do you support war with Iran?

  188. “Liberalize” in TallDave World means a country that scores as well as the Palestinian territories on the Freedom Index.

  189. I’d really like to know what drug Iraq war supporters are taking to make them feel so good about their position.

    Is it cocaine?

    OxyContin?

    Ecstacy?

    Whatever it is, can you please send some my way?

  190. Iraqis still believe the U.S. invasion was the correct decision.

    Based on what poll or finding is that assertion supported?

  191. And when you give us the poll, Dave, make sure ALL the pages are updated!

  192. journalists blow up into massive gas

    Journalists…or bloggers?
    There is a difference.
    Or is there? Have we finally crossed the Rubicon?

  193. I find it more strange that a so-called “conservative” like TallDave would think that American foreign policy WRT Iraq should be dictated by the Iraqis, regardless of their beliefs about whether the invasion was right or wrong.

    Well, I guess I don’t find it strange: any port in a storm. Or “Why I’ll cling on to anything not realize how wrong I was”, right?

  194. AR I too find it strange that conservatives, who constantly whine about our sovreignty being under threat from the UN and MexicanImmigrants, let a combination of Iraqis and Israelis dictate our foreign policy.

  195. Sure, there were other options: we could have let Saddam have Kuwait back in 1991…

    You offered absolutely no answer to my question in that post. I said “Why should Iraq be a front in the GWOT” and you said (basically) “uhh, ’cause Saddam might have done some bad shit later on down the line.”

    The WMD thing is total bunk. Bunk, Dave, and you know it.

  196. Eeek! I’ve stepped into a pissing match.
    One doesn’t expect that on Hit & Run.

    (runs off to disinfect boots)

  197. 1,300 Iraqi troops, police dismissed

    As they stand up … and join the other side, we’ll stand stay forever!

  198. The problem is that those asymmetric groups are also much harder to directly deter (did AQ ever have to worry that we would nuke Afghanistan into glass after 9/11?), and tend to do things like crash planes into our skyscrapers. While it’s probably better than fighting proxy wars in Korea and Vietnam and Grenada, it still merits some serious attention.

    We’re paying too much attention to it. Fourth-generation groups thrive on media attention, since it allows them to create fear out of proproption to their actual ability to do damage. The best way to approach such groups is to regard them as a police issue, something that will never go away (like burglary), but does not require full mobilization of a society to deal with, either.

    The war metaphor, with it’s implication that these conflicts will someday end, is naieve and counterproductive, but it does serve the ends of those who would like to use a continued state of emergency to accumulate power.

  199. I support torture.

    Among latex clad attractive females anyways.

  200. Wars generally don’t follow timelines.

    Yeah, well, if you’re not results-oriented enough to recognize that you actually have to succeed at something within a reasonable parameter (say, time and cost), I don’t think you can rightly be called “small-government”.

    You’re basically willing to say that the GWOT is over whenever TallDave says it’s over, no matter the cost nor timeline. Despite the fact you haven’t shown evidence for a credible threat that’s worth the investment.

    Yes, I think we should have invaded Afghanistan – they harbored the 9/11 perpetrators. Any and all individuals involved in the planning and execution of 9/11 should have been hunted down and brought to justice, despite whatever the “host” country said.

    None of those things apply to Iraq. None.

  201. None of those things apply to Iraq. None.

    I can see that you haven’t been reading Stephen Hayes. Saddam and Osama are, like, married.

  202. – What is the end-state objective of the GWOT?
    The elimination of radicalized groups that execute violence toward the established order, and/or their co-option into the political order of where they operate. I include groups of all stripes in this, so not just Al Queda and JI, but also FARC and Tamil Tigers, for instance. Interestingly, I would ‘engage’ with Hamas by this criteria, because they have indeed joined the political process. (Note also that engagement != allied or even favoring)

    So when is hell scheduled to freeze over? It’s not our job to be world policeman. That used to be a conservative belief. I’d guess if Obama wins, conservatives will believe it again. They seem to believe in increasing state power when they’re at the controls.

  203. Michael wrote, re waterboarding: “Used against them by whom ?”

    Remember when our spy plane hit the Chinese plane, landed in China, and the crew was held for a while?

    Would you mind if China had waterboarded the crew?

  204. I wonder if Neil’s Mom and Dad know if their little boy is playing on the internet.

    Some parents are really negligent.

  205. Hey Weigel, how’s come you didn’t mention the libertarian flash mob?

    Was the girl arrested for having Natalie Merchant on her Ipod?

  206. More questions:

    – So a stated goal is to reduce the influence of terrorist orgs. Well, international terrorist orgs…so, like Cesar asked above, what does it mean for a terrorist org to be international?

    – Should the United States pursue terrorist orgs that are not a direct threat to it?

    – If we’re hunting down individual perpetrators of violent acts, well, why are we calling it a war?

  207. So if waterboarding isn’t torture, what have we proved? The government uses a lot of torture methods that we know of, and I would assume even more that they keep secret.

    I mean, is anyone going to argue that this isn’t torture?

  208. So the facts establish that the torture policies were settled upon and had in fact been implemented. The principal authors were facing severe blow back from career lawyers inside the government. And John Yoo was carted in to use the powers of OLC to silence lawyers protesting the illegality of what was done. I believe that an objective examination of the facts will show that this is precisely how John Yoo understood his role. In essence, he was not an independent legal advisor. He had become a facilitator, an implementor of the torture policies.

    More raving about torture.

  209. I can see that you haven’t been reading Stephen Hayes. Saddam and Osama are, like, married.

    See? SEE?!?

    What did we tell you about the gay marriage?

    Buncha little shits. Get the hell off my lawn!

  210. I’ve never been able to understand why Iraq war supporters have to engage in “package-dealing”, that is, if you’re an Iraq war supporter, why do you HAVE to also be a torture apologist? Why do you also HAVE to not worry about the human and financial toll that the Iraq conflict is taking? Why do you also HAVE to paper over the fact that the capabilities and abilities of the Armed Forces have been diminished by this fight?

    I can almost understand the “Well, we’re there now and it’d be irresponsible of us not to make the best of it”, but do you also have to continue to pretend that the WMD rationale wasn’t bunk? That the data were either misleading or cherry-picked?

    Come on, Iraq-war supporters: you don’t have to be a defender of every bad thing that this conflict has generated. Be mature.

  211. a tall order, Sir.

    a tall order.

  212. Come on, Iraq-war supporters: you don’t have to be a defender of every bad thing that this conflict has generated. Be mature.

    They have to take all or nothing because if they admit that Iraq was an unconstitutional war based on lies and deception, they would then have to support impeaching their guys on top, and possibly trying them for war crimes.

    And the one thing National Greatness Fucktards hold dear is loyalty to each other, because they know if they don’t hang together they’ll hang separately.

  213. ar, compared to decapitations, electric drills through skulls, being burned alive? yeah, i’d have to say about on the level of frat-boy pranks.

  214. Ayn Randian,

    They behave like that, because they signed up for Team Red in the aftermath of 9/11, when the Bush-led GOP set out to utilize war, terrorism, Iraq, and foreign policy as wedge issues in an effort to build a permanent Republican majority. They built a whole facade, a whole world-view, around the idea that virtuous, manly, clear-eyed Republicans were right about these issues – and were right as a consequence of who they are (manly, virtuous, clear-eyed Republicans) – and to admit that they screwed something, anything, up makes the whole facade crash down.

    I don’t understand why people don’t get this, or think I’m making it up. Karl Rove gave speech after speech on this subject, making this point explicitly. There were several articles published in National Review and the Weekly Standard about the subject in 01-03. They tell us quite plainly how the Republicans were going to work to create exactly this mindset.

  215. edna’s torture: now, 20% less torture-y than before!

    Seriously, a whole 20%!

    Look, if bad torture is this:

    TTTTTTTTTT

    American torture is this:

    TTTTTTTT.

    See? USA! USA!

  216. joe, your sense of proportion called and wondered where you went.

  217. Income tax is torture, sign me up to be water boarded instead. Shit, only 2 days left !!!

  218. Bush and Cheney should swing from the gallows but the US never joined the International Criminal Court – lucky for them.

    I really believe the GOP scum are led by turbo-Christians Domnionists who want to drive a stake through the heart of “secular humanists” – thus their hatred of those like the brilliant capitalist George Soros (and Open Society).

    They will lose though – we are smarter. Less evil – but smarter.

  219. yeah, i’d have to say about on the level of frat-boy pranks.

    How many deaths have occurred over the past five years due to fraternity pranks, as opposed to deaths in US custody? And how many “detainees” were innocent?

  220. edna,

    So if Hillary becomes president and disbands the Congress and Supreme Court and installs puppets in the state governments, will you take comfort in the fact that at least she’s not gassing ethnic minorities?

    It seems to me it is YOUR sense of proportion that’s out of whack. For us to be even 10% as bad as Saddam is way the fuck too much.

  221. I mean, if Saddam was clearly so terrible that we were justified in invading even though there were no WMDs, doesn’t that mean that if we behave 50% as badly as Saddam did, we’re coming close to the threshold for Iran to justifiably invade and kick us out of Iraq?

  222. Ok, so then the Palestinians don’t count because they carry out terrorism WITHIN a nation, right?

    Look up the 1972 Olympics.

    Look up Leon Klinghoffer.

  223. Oh well, good patriotic Americans know that our intelligence services would never, ever break the law and then cover it up.

    So what? It is not as if they wear the uniform. If the enemy has a problem with them, then they can punish those spies whom they capture.

  224. I’ve never been able to understand why Iraq war supporters have to engage in “package-dealing”, that is, if you’re an Iraq war supporter, why do you HAVE to also be a torture apologist?

    I favor a policy of rendition to Israel, followed by don’t ask, don’t tell.

  225. I favor a policy of rendition to Israel, followed by don’t ask, don’t tell.

    How un-American of you.

    Seriously.

  226. If the enemy has a problem with them, then they can punish those spies whom they capture.

    So, as asked of you previously, would you have condoned torture of our downed pilot in China?

    Would you condone torture of our SF/Delta guys?

    See, here’s the thing: you can either do your best to walk upright and Do the Right Thing, or you can declare open season on humanity and get that whole “eye for an eye” thing going.

    It’s probably easy for you to say all that, though, since you wouldn’t be the one out there in danger of being captured.

  227. So what? It is not as if they wear the uniform. If the enemy has a problem with them, then they can punish those spies whom they capture.

    Your statement seems to indicate that you believe that U.S. intelligence agents are above U.S. law. Is that an accurate reading?

    If not, do you then agree that those who violate U.S. law should be prosecuted and punished by U.S. authorities?

    I’m just trying to get a handle of what the fuck point you’re trying to make.

  228. I really believe the GOP scum are led by turbo-Christians Domnionists who want to drive a stake through the heart of “secular humanists”

    Uhhh…well…no. If you ask said turbo-Christians if GWB is “their guy” you’re just as likely to get a “Heck no” than you are a yes.

  229. I’m just trying to get a handle of what the fuck point you’re trying to make.

    I think he’s arguing that he’s an idiot.

    And he’s VERY convincing.

  230. I’m just trying to get a handle of what the fuck point you’re trying to make.

    I think he’s arguing that he’s an idiot.

    And he’s VERY convincing.

    CP, shouldn’t we let him respond before we make that conclusion? Maybe Michael Ejercito will admit he was talking foolishly, speaking through his sphincter, and apologize.

    And maybe not. I’ll give him the chance.

  231. I’m sure Michael is considered damn-near a Rhodes scholar in the hallowed walkways of myspace.

    But that lame shit don’t fly here, son.

  232. oof, that last one was mean!

    Sorry everyone – that should have been my inside voice.

  233. It is not as if they wear the uniform. If the enemy has a problem with them, then they can punish those spies whom they capture.

    I favor a policy of rendition to Israel, followed by don’t ask, don’t tell.

    What a splendid display of preening and posturing; and nary a hint of dirt on your hands.

  234. | April 13, 2008, 8:26pm | #

    Ok, so then the Palestinians don’t count because they carry out terrorism WITHIN a nation, right?

    Look up the 1972 Olympics.

    Look up Leon Klinghoffer.

    Look up the Levon Affair, look up false flag operations, look up USS Liberty, look up Nuclear Blackmail Sinai Peninsula 1973, look up Jonathon Pollard.

    While you are at it, look up Israel ties to Apartheid, Mugabe, right wing death squads, Guatemala, El Salvador . . .

    Seriously, I advocate absolute neutrality towards Israel because we are currently on a collision course with them, and it wont be any prettier than our smash up with Islamic radicals.

  235. Yes. What J sub D and Ayn have said.

    Thanks guys, you’re doing the responding so I don’t have to. And you’re doing it better than I could. And for free! What a deal!

  236. alan – right on! I’ve never understood the right’s blind spot for Israel (though I am more of a supporter than a critic) especially WRT Pollard.

  237. I use to be pro Israel too, until the Pollard matter. It hit home to an extent because my brother was a submariner at the time. It was revealed Pollard passed on information about our routing of submarines which the Israelis gave to the Soviets in exchange for Russian immigrants to fill up the West Bank.

  238. Ayn_Randian | April 13, 2008, 9:19pm | #
    alan – right on! I’ve never understood the right’s blind spot for Israel (though I am more of a supporter than a critic) especially WRT Pollard.

    In one of the tapes, Nixon is talking about the differences between American And Israelis Jews, in a way that disparaged American Jews. The whole gamut of nebbish/macho, intellectuals/warriors, cosmopolitans/nationalist, and he was clearly using the comparison to make an Anti-Semitic statement about American Jews. I have heard some local Rushheads say in recent years pretty much the same thing as Nixon did way back in the early 1970’s. Support for Israel for these guys actually stems from an anti-semiticism built on false dichotomies.

  239. As an aside on debt related things:

    The official debt number is bullshit. The GAAP debt number is much higher now than under Reagan. Anyone who uses the official number is a tool.

  240. It seems to me it is YOUR sense of proportion that’s out of whack. For us to be even 10% as bad as Saddam is way the fuck too much.

    10% is a bit high. 1% maybe. it’s not “us” who are bad, it was a small group of guards, who were (iirc) prosecuted. and that was some years ago now.

    ok, maybe 1% is even too high.

  241. How many deaths have occurred over the past five years due to fraternity pranks, as opposed to deaths in US custody?

    depends on how you want to categorize the statistics. might make a cute column.

  242. What those fuckwit guards did at Abu Ghraib was unprofessional and criminal, but was not torture.

  243. i just spent a week on a cruise ship. now that was torture. i nearly pulled a klinghoffer at least three times.

  244. Anybody do their taxes today?

    Fuck, I’m spending my stimulus check on ammo.

  245. What those fuckwit guards did at Abu Ghraib was unprofessional and criminal, but was not torture.

    Torture defined by the Geneva Convention:
    Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him… information or a confession, punishing him for an act he… has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him.

    There’s no question, Kohole, that those acts were torture. At least five high-ranking commissioned officers were punished for Abu Ghraib.

  246. I’m in favor of torture too.

  247. by that definition, my phd orals were torture.

  248. If American soldiers had been stacked up naked like that who among those who are excusing the matter would not be calling it torture?

  249. i’ll take naked stacks over drills into skulls any day.

  250. i’ll take naked stacks over drills into skulls any day.

    In America, edna, we’re supposed to be better than either one.

    Quit peddling in false dichotomies. Moral cowardice!

  251. Edna and Kolohe,

    I consider sticking glowsticks up prisoners butts to be torture. You don’t consider anal rape torture?

  252. it’s assault, it’s rape, and people were prosecuted, as they should have been. by contrast, systematic rape of american prisoners was and is sop, and the perps get rewarded.

    i think this happened at a frat once, too.

  253. Most of us men would take a drill to the skull than anything that even suggest of sodomy.

  254. At least five high-ranking commissioned officers were punished for Abu Ghraib.

    Really? I thought the only commissioned officer that had anything happen to them was that BGEN that was relieved of her command. I didn’t think anyone higher than E-7 went to court martial.

  255. How un-American of you.

    Seriously.

    What happens in Israel stays in Israel.

  256. edna, you’re right! The system works! God Bless America!

  257. Your statement seems to indicate that you believe that U.S. intelligence agents are above U.S. law. Is that an accurate reading?

    For practical purposes.

    It is not as if the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department can serve a subpoena in the mountains of Afghanistan.

    Of course, renditioning terrorists to Israel solves this problem, as the treatment of terrorists falls under the jurisdiction of the courts of Israel.

  258. However, if it was Cindy Crawford administering the glow stick, and not Lindey, my only objection would be, “wait, let me strap the bit and ball across my face first.”

  259. edna – I am perplexed as to why you’re so afraid to call it torture: It was systematic prisoner abuse, with physical and mental pain doled out regularly, which you admit was criminal and the response was correct. So why so afraid of the “T” word?

    American Soldiers tortured prisoners. They were punished; so were there superiors, many of them on charges of “detainee abuse”. Furthermore, the Administration went through all kinds of odious legal hoops to try to justify it, thereby enabling what you admit was criminal activity.

    I don’t know what the definition of torture is, if it’s not what happened at Abu Ghraib. What, they didn’t roll out the rack, so therefore it was just “criminally frat-boy abuse?”

    Also: I’d like to note that frat boys can quit and leave anytime they want. You can volunteer to have pain and degradation administered to you (hell, it’s what makes up half of Craigslist), but doing what was done in the prison is “torture”. It undoubtedly left lasting physical and mental scars, and got some people killed.

  260. I thought the only commissioned officer that had anything happen to them was that BGEN that was relieved of her command.

    Not only was BG Karpinski relieved, she was demoted. A LTC had criminal charges brought against him and a full-bird pulled a GOMR for it. That’s off of the top of my head.

    Michael – true conservatives belief in the rule of law, not the rule of men. Your condoning of illegal renditioning and “above-the-law” intelligence officers really is un-American. Shame.

  261. OK, looking it up I see now.

    The BGEN was reduced to COL through admin action
    The COL went to NJP
    THe LCOL was acquitted of all charges regarding the events at A-G.

    But the rest were E-6 and below.

    (wikipedia) link

  262. FWIW, I think that’s also a continuation of the travesty that is A-G.

  263. What’s also kinda creepy talking about this is that ROTJ just came on and they just showed the scene of the power droid getting his feet burnt.

  264. What happens in Israel stays in Israel.

    The problem is that what happens there does not stay there, at least as far as Arab observers are concerned. Just sayin’.

  265. it’s assault, it’s rape, and people were prosecuted, as they should have been. by contrast, systematic rape of american prisoners was and is sop, and the perps get rewarded.

    You’re in the wrong blog if you think people here approve of prison rape. You must confuse Reason with LGF.

  266. AR, I don’t understand these movement Cons attitude. I would be embarrassed to grovel when discussing any nation, but these guys do it and they describe themselves as Nationalist!

  267. I would be embarrassed to grovel when discussing any nation, but these guys do it and they describe themselves as Nationalist!

    Who knows, man. I don’t get it either…Michael’s basically saying “America’s so great that we’ll push our problems off onto other nations! Because, um, Americans really want to torture detainees, but we’re too afraid…USA! USA!”

    Whereas edna wants to run on the banner of “America: We Won’t Drill a Hole in Your Head*”

    *though we may electrocute you. Participants need not volunteer.

  268. What happens in Israel stays in Israel.

    what, you’ve got wiretaps on the Knesset or something?

    Trying to figure out how YOU managed to gain secret knowledge of how Israel treats detainees, if “what happens there stays there”.

    Apparently it doesn’t, else you wouldn’t be so eager to try their methods.

  269. thanks to everyone for giving team National-Greatness-Let’s-Torture the AY-Rabs the drubbing they so richly deserved.

  270. You’re in the wrong blog if you think people here approve of prison rape.

    i missed the part where i said that. link please?

  271. I am perplexed as to why you’re so afraid to call it torture: It was systematic prisoner abuse, with physical and mental pain doled out regularly, which you admit was criminal and the response was correct. So why so afraid of the “T” word?

    i’m not afraid of it, i just don’t believe that abuse is always torture. i don’t believe that assault is always torture. i do believe that assault and abuse are generally criminal and ought to be dealt with as such. why the dichotomy of “if you think it’s not torture you must think it’s ok”?

  272. Furthermore, the Administration went through all kinds of odious legal hoops to try to justify it, thereby enabling what you admit was criminal activity.

    i call bullshit. the administration condemned it in no uncertain terms and prosecuted the people responsible. you have a reasonable argument (though one i disagree with)- why dilute it by lying?

  273. it’s not a lie, edna, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It was not in “no uncertain terms”; it was immediately after (and in conjunction with Guantanamo Bay) that all the yammering about “enemy combatants” and “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “is this really illegal?” started.

    Feel free to read about how the VP created this monster and then tried to blame it on subordinates.

    The first words flying out of Don Rumsfeld’s mouth were, “We’re functioning…with peacetime restraints, with legal requirements in a wartime situation… where people are running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise, when they had not even arrived in the Pentagon.

    He’s more pissed that someone “illegally” passed the photographs.

    Get outta here, edna. Srsly.

  274. A source inside the DCPolice just sent me a secret video of what some are starting to call MonumentGate, the no-knock travesty that has the entire Orange Line buzzing and ready to engage in acts of civil disobedience in order to fight the power:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=m9wiW8c1Riw

    Oh, I’m sorry, this is actually it:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=5xi4O1yi6b0

  275. my apologies, a-r, i thought you were talking about abu ghraib, which was a specific instance of non-sanctioned abuse, not interrogation policy in general.

  276. I honest don’t think anyone above the COL knew what was going on at a-g, and I don’t think even the COL knew the full extent of what the heck was his troops were doing.

    That makes them more culpable, not less, however.

    And reading some more about a-g, this this really sets me off:

    “In August of 2007 Pappas was granted immunity in return for his testimony at the court martial of his subordinate Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Jordan.[5]”

    That’s like cutting Stringer Bell a deal to testify against Bodie. (ok, more like Wee-Bey; still you work up the chain, not down.)

    Putting yourself in a position where you are colluding with subordinates on illegal shit is dishonorable enough, but then hanging them out to save to your own ass is downright cowardly.

  277. MY FELLOW BITTER, STUPID, WORKING CLASS PEOPLE.

    YOU MIGHT BE AN IDIOT, TOO 🙁

    If you think like Barack Obama, that WORKING CLASS PEOPLE are just a bunch of BITTER!, STUPID, PEASANTS, Cash COWS!, and CANNON FODDER. 🙁

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary’s than they had ever been before or since.

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    If you think all those Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic primaries, and caucuses are doing so because they think he is a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton. 🙂

    Best regards

    jacksmith…

    p.s.

    If you don’t know that the huge amounts of money funding the Obama campaign to try and defeat Hillary Clinton is coming in from the insurance, and medical industry, that has been ripping you off, and killing you and your children. And denying you, and your loved ones the life saving medical care you needed. All just so they can make more huge immoral profits for them-selves off of your suffering…

    You Might Be An Idiot, Too!

    You see, back in 1993 Hillary Clinton had the audacity, and nerve to try and get quality, affordable universal health care for everyone to prevent the suffering and needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of you each year. 🙂

    Approx. 100,000 of you die each year from medical accidents from a rush to profit by the insurance, and medical industry. Another 120,000 of you die each year from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. And I could go on, and on…

  278. DON’T BE DUPED !!!

    Large numbers of Republicans have been voting for Barack Obama in the DEMOCRATIC primaries, and caucuses from early on. Because they feel he would be a weaker opponent against John McCain. With Hillary Clinton you are almost 100% certain to get quality, affordable universal health care very soon.

    But first, all of you have to make certain that Hillary Clinton takes the democratic nomination and then the Whitehouse. NOW! is the time. THIS! is the moment you have all been working, and waiting for. You can do this America. “Carpe diem” (harvest the day).

    I think Hillary Clinton see’s a beautiful world of plenty for all. She’s a woman, and a mother. And it’s time America. Do this for your-selves, and your children’s future. You will have to work together on this and be aggressive, relentless, and creative. Americans face an even worse catastrophe ahead than the one you are living through now.

    You see, the medical and insurance industry mostly support the republicans with the money they ripped off from you. And they don’t want you to have quality, affordable universal health care. They want to be able to continue to rip you off, and kill you and your children by continuing to deny you life saving medical care that you have already paid for. So they can continue to make more immoral profits for them-selves.

    Hillary Clinton has actually won by much larger margins than the vote totals showed. And lost by much smaller vote margins than the vote totals showed. Her delegate count is actually much higher than it shows. And higher than Obama’s. She also leads in the electoral college numbers that you must win to become President in the November national election. HILLARY CLINTON IS ALREADY THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!

    As much as 30% of Obama’s primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help.

    Hillary Clinton has been OUT MANNED! OUT GUNNED! and OUT SPENT! 4 and 5 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton.

    If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. All of this vote fraud and republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is. YOUNG PEOPLE. DON’T BE DUPED! Think about it. You have the most to lose.

    The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against YOU the voter, and against democracy.
    The democratic party, and the super-delegates have a decision to make. Are the democrats, and the democratic party going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee to fight for the American people. Or are the republicans going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee through vote fraud, and gaming the DEMOCRATIC party primaries, and caucuses.

    Fortunately the Clinton’s have been able to hold on against this fraudulent outrage with those repeated dramatic comebacks of Hillary Clinton’s. Only the Clinton’s are that resourceful, and strong. Hillary Clinton is your NOMINEE. They are the best I have ever seen.

    “This is not a game” (Hillary Clinton)

    Sincerely

    jacksmith…

  279. ‘Oh American People, sing praises of me though your ballots, and I will rain upon you prosperity and peace and affordable and perfect health care, where no one dies, through my blessed edict”

    That’s the witchdoctor theory of economics you are peddling there, and you are doing it on a libertarian forum site, no less.

    We are libertarians because we reject those superstitions. You know what, you just might be an idiot, but I suspect in you are really just a tool.

  280. edna – I am perplexed as to why you’re so afraid to call it torture: It was systematic prisoner abuse, with physical and mental pain doled out regularly, which you admit was criminal and the response was correct. So why so afraid of the “T” word?

    American Soldiers tortured prisoners. They were punished; so were there superiors, many of them on charges of “detainee abuse”. Furthermore, the Administration went through all kinds of odious legal hoops to try to justify it, thereby enabling what you admit was criminal activity.
    Yesterday, I read in the Los Angeles Times how guards in an Orange County jail arranged for an inmate to be beaten to death.

    With all this that goes on in American jails and prisons, should we be surprised about Abu Ghraib? Or the treatment of detainees by the CIA?

  281. As a former resident of blue-collar Pennsylvania, I can tell you this: if Barack Obama is guilty of anything, it’s stating the obvious…

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