Civil Liberties

New Report Blows the Lid Off America's Recent History of Torture

And shows that when it comes to conserving the national-security state, it matters little which party is in power.


“A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that ‘it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture’ and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.”

So began a page-one story in The New York Times that should have dominated public discussion for days and begun the process of coming to terms with this shameful chapter in American history. Unfortunately, the story ran April 16, the day after the Boston Marathon bombing, and thus got little notice. And just as attention on Boston was waning, the George W. Bush Library and Museum was dedicated in Dallas. Unsurprisingly, neither President Obama nor the ex-presidents assembled to celebrate the event (and the Bush administration), mentioned this “nonpartisan, independent review.”

It’s been pretty much consigned to the memory hole. But maybe it’s not too late to retrieve it.

The review was done by The Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment, which included members not normally associated with critics of the Bush administration, such as former Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson (co-chairman), who was an undersecretary in the Bush administration’s Department of Homeland Security and administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The task force concluded that in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and other places, American forces engaged in torture and other practices that violated U.S. laws and international treaties â€" conduct that has been condemned by the U.S. government when practiced by other governments. Such conduct has long been considered a war crime, the task force noted. While it stopped short of claiming that the highest government leaders explicitly called for the use of torture against detainees, it said the use was a consequence of the administration’s declaration that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to people captured in the “war on terror.” (PDF) The report states,

The Task Force believes there was no justification for the responsible government and military leaders to have allowed those lines to be crossed. Doing so damaged the standing of our nation, reduced our capacity to convey moral censure when necessary and potentially increased the danger to U.S. military personnel taken captive.

Democracy and torture cannot peacefully coexist in the same body politic. The Task Force also believes and hopes that publicly acknowledging this grave error, however belatedly, may mitigate some of those consequences and help undo some of the damage to our reputation at home and abroad.

The task force also found,

There is no firm or persuasive evidence that the widespread use of harsh interrogation techniques by U.S. forces produced significant information of value. There is substantial evidence that much of the information adduced from the use of such techniques was not useful or reliable.

It notes that some former officials insist their interrogation techniques were effective, adding, “but those officials say that the evidence of such success may not be disclosed for reasons of national security.” The task force discounts such assertions, however, because the former officials “generally include those people who authorized and implemented the very practices that they now assert to have been valuable tools in fighting terrorism.… It is reasonable to note that those former officials have a substantial reputational stake in their claim being accepted.” The task force went so far as to reject the claim that torture led to the locating of Osama bin Laden, citing the Senate Intelligence Committee finding to that effect. (The fundamental case against torture, of course, is not that it is ineffective, but that it is immoral.)

The task force also called attention to the continuing detention of prisoners at Guantanamo, over half of whom have long been cleared for release. At the moment 100 of the 166 prisoners are conducting a hunger strike, and 21 are being force-fed by nasal tube, which in itself has been called torture and is condemned by the task force. A majority of the task force called for civilian or military trials of some of the detainees and release of others to countries in which they will not be tortured. It continued,

Those prisoners who are deemed to still be a threat to the safety of the U.S. and its citizens and who would be difficult (a) to prosecute because they were subjected to torture or the relevant criminal laws did not apply overseas at the time of their conduct; or (b) to transfer due to lack of suitable receiving country, would be brought to the mainland United States and held in custody until a suitable place to transfer them was found. Their cases would be subject to periodic review.

This recommendation is not good enough. How can men be held indefinitely because the alleged evidence against them was obtained by torture and is inadmissible? That is grounds for release. But even worse is the recommendation from the two-member minority consisting of Hutchinson and Richard Epstein (yes, alas, that Richard Epstein):

As troubling as indefinite detention might be, there are currently no good or feasible alternatives. Those prisoners who are deemed to be a continuing threat to the United States and for whom a trial is not currently feasible, and where there is no other suitable country that will accept them, should remain in detention for the foreseeable future. They should not be brought to the U.S., and Guantánamo remains the best location to hold them.

Justice demands to know why people against whom there is apparently no trial-worthy evidence are to be left to rot in an American prison in Cuba. This is truly a disgrace. And notice the self-reinforcing nature of the argument. These people are said to be a threat, but holding them at Guantanamo sows the seeds of hostility and the desire for revenge. Even if they were tried and acquitted, they might be angry at the U.S. government for the treatment they received. Are they still to be held even if acquitted? (The Bush administration thought that in some cases, yes.)

It’s good to see that the task force report holds the Bush administration lawyers responsible for the mistreatment of detainees:

Lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) repeatedly gave erroneous legal sanction to certain activities that amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in violation of U.S. and international law, and in doing so, did not properly serve their clients: the president and the American people.

Extraordinary rendition, the practice (begun in the Clinton years) of outsourcing torture to foreign governments, and abuse of detainees at secret CIA prisons, or “black sites,” also come in for condemnation as violations of international law. Unfortunately, the task force did not call for an end to turning people over to other governments; it simply recommended that there be more than “diplomatic assurances” that torture will not take place.

Refreshingly, physicians and psychologists are taken to task for their participation, in violation of age-old ethical standards, in the abuse of detainees, both by devising techniques that constituted torture and for failing to report abuses. It’s about time a floodlight was shined on this shameful conduct by medical and so-called mental-health professionals.

Also welcome is the recommendation that “the executive branch should declassify evidence regarding the CIA’s and military’s abuse and torture of captives.” We have a right to know what this lawless government did in our names.

The task force also called on the government to comply with its obligation under the Convention Against Torture to assure “that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation.” Quite the opposite has happened: “The United States has not complied with this requirement, in large part because of the government’s repeated, successful invocation of the state-secrets privilege in lawsuits brought by torture victims.” The Obama administration has been particularly determined to keep such suits out of court. This is a blot on the country.

The report further indicted the government for not complying with its obligation under the Convention Against Torture to “criminalize all acts of torture, attempts to commit torture, or complicity or participation in torture” and “proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.” It notes that “no CIA personnel have been convicted or even charged for numerous instances of torture in CIA custody.” Conspicuous by its absence is the call for prosecution of President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, members of the Office of Legal Counsel who cooked up legal justifications for torture, CIA director George Tenet, and other top officials.

President Obama says “looking backwards” at past conduct is unproductive when it comes to the interrogation of detainees. That’s odd. The government doesn’t find it unproductive to look back when private individuals commit crimes. Why should government officers get special treatment?

We can only hope that someday, when these people are traveling abroad, they will be arrested and brought before the International Criminal Court.

Finally, the task force notes that Obama, despite apparent promises to end the abuses, has not lived up to expectations. Guantanamo is still open (he said this week he would push to close it), and reporter Jeremy Scahill has exposed the CIA’s continued participation in interrogations in a secret prison beneath Somalia’s National Security Agency. Scahill’s reporting reveals that the administration has simply outsourced torture â€" hardly an improvement over the Bush years. Of course, Obama also claims the power to kill people and to detain them indefinitely in a military prison without due process.

“The Obama administration has ended the most inhumane treatment of detainees,” the report states, “though some troubling questions about current policies remain unanswered. But it is unclear whether it has taken sufficient steps to prevent a future administration from resorting to torture or cruel treatment.”

When it comes to conserving the national-security state, it matters little which party is in power.

This column originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation. 

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  1. We can only hope that someday, when these people are traveling abroad, they will be arrested and brought before the International Criminal Court.

    WTF? Since when would a liberty-minded person invest any authority whatsoever in an "International Criminal Court"?

    1. We also know the ICC (and international tribunals in general) will be used for political ends. It was so vitally important that Pinochet be tried in Spain, for reasons I can't detemrine, but East Germany's last communist leader was exiled to Chile.

      And God knows nobody would suggest charging Gorbachev for what he did in Latvia and Lithuania in January 1991.

      1. Exactly. Like that would never be abused. Let's nt pretend like most other countries in the world have any moral authority what so ever.

    2. If you think Cynthia`s story is inconceivable,, 2 weeks ago my cousins step dad basically also earned $5190 workin a fourteen hour week in their apartment and their co-worker's aunt`s neighbour has been doing this for eight months and recieved a check for over $5190 part time from there laptop. follow the information on this link... http://WWW.DAZ7.COM

      1. I'll bet your cousin's step-dad's co-worker's aunt's neighbor knows Kevin Bacon too!

      2. Actually, I found Cynthia's story to be fairly believable.

  2. The most obvious reason to discount claims that good information has been tortured out of detainees, but cannot be reported due to national security concerns, is that these same politicians are only too happy to trumpet even the most minor success stories which seemingly violate national security restrictions. It's hard to imagine them suddenly caring about national security if they had discovered something actually important.

  3. Fuck international treaties. The reason they should be brought to justice is because they tortured people, not because a bunch of politician signed sone treaty saying it should be illegal. And they should be tried in the U.S., not some bullshit international court.

    1. The US is not a states party to the ICC.
      The American Servicemembers' Protection Act should be extended to cover all US citizens and not just those in the military.

      1. Exactly.

        The ICC has no right against double jeopardy, there is no power of pardon that I know of, and it lets you be "tried beyond seas" for things supposedly committed in your country.

        1. Here in the US there is no REAL protection against double jeopardy due to independent sovereigns etc. Look at cases like Rodney King for an example. Try the case in state court. Lose. Try it in federal court. Same incidents being tried in court, just different wording on the charge sheet.

          1. They don't even have to bother with that, they can just pile different charges on you for the same incident, then wrap it up in one trial. Something will stick, even if they just catch you changing the way you say something to the police over the course of a few days.

    2. "And they should be tried in the U.S., not some bullshit international court."

      All of this prosthelytizing sounds great but it's not going to happen. Most presidential administrations, Senators, Representatives, their aides, and most of K street, and half the lawyers going back for decades should be tried and hung for treason and violating our contstitutional rights and liberties so good luck with that.

    3. Fuck international treaties. The reason they should be brought to justice is because they tortured people...

      Exactly. My 24 year old son is a Marine, a sergeant in counterintelligence. The day before deploying to Afghanistan for the third time, in reply to a NY state senator's question (about the Boston bombing suspect)"who wouldn't use torture on this punk?" he wrote:

      Well Senator Greg Ball, you fucktard, maybe the reason the US shouldn't torture him is because that is not what we do as Americans. Maybe all people, to include US citizens, non-citizens, terrorists, murderers, and rapists are entitled to a fair trial because that is a fundamental right this country was founded upon. It is scary to me, that as a government official, Senator Bell lacks the competency to realize torturing one terrorist creates another thousand. It's also scary to me that he is in a position of authority to influence the laws and policies of New York State. I hope that Greg Ball doesn't have a job when he wakes up, is stripped of his US citizenship, and deported to a country which shares his same view on torture. Greg Ball, you "red blooded American" as you call yourself, it seems like you would find yourself a more comfortable home in Syria, Iran, or Afghanistan.

  4. I say roll that beautiful bean footage!

    1. This is my favorite anonobot comment ever.

      1. It is delightfully off topic and Zenfully funny.

  5. I would be ok with a Rand Paul president running everyone involved with this including both former presidents through the justice system here. Unfortunately he will probably only have one term so he might as well get his money's worth.

  6. Wow

    The teachers union spent $380,941 on lobbying in the first three months of 2013 ? more than twice as much as the next-highest lobbying organization, SEIU Healthcare 775 NW, and far more than every other K-12 education group combined, according to disclosure documents.


    Well, that's one substantial difference between teachers' unions and cop unions around here. We don't spend jack. Teachers otoh are greasing the political skids with lots of filthy lucre

    From 2006-09, the union's first-quarter lobbying spending reached more than $400,000 each year as the Legislature worked to define basic education paid for by the state and then made budget cuts due to the recession.

    1. [Police unions] don't spend jack.

      They don't spend it on lobbying because they need to save it for union lawyers to get cops out of any legal troubles that they might encounter.

      1. right. Well, yes. Due process matters. Cops, just like any defendant have the right to due process. I've had two good friends charged with bogus assaults in the last couple of years and both were exonerated in court. And yes, they had union lawyers. Teachers, unlike cops, are not routinely put in situations where they are expected to use force, up to an including deadly force, they do not make felony stops, make arrests, etc. THe nature of our job is such that we are going to be exposed to penal liability and we deserve (and generally get) the best legal defense

        1. THe nature of our job is such that we are going to be exposed to penal liability and we deserve (and generally get) the best legal defense[.]

          It isn't the "best legal defense" that protects cops from wrongful prosecution, but the double standard those on your side of the blue wall won't admit exists. Cops don't get charged with the equivalency. Fuck, cops don't even get investigated with equivalency. That's why you don't need to lobby beforehand. There's no point in fixing the law in your favor when there are already those on the inside willing to overlook the crime in favor of status blue.

          1. ^This

            1. It's utter rubbish. We get held to a high standard, and like I said I've had friends who have been indicted and tried.

              Here is one standard (double) that does exist. When juries consider credibility, they tend to believe cops. THAT is why it is often hard to convict cops.

              Well, guess what? TUff shit. That's our system... it's juries that are empowered to make that judgment and fortunately, juries know what I know - that cops are overwhelmingly trustworthy, and that it;s a difficult job we do well.

              We get investigated PLENTY. Look at the Seth Adams case. THREE different agencies investigated that shooting. That's typical.

              You just don't apply the proper metric to determine as to whether a shooting is justified. You can't look at case law and the constitution, and then look at the fact pattern, DNA, etc. and come to any logical conclusion other than "justified" which is what all 3 investigations came to.

              Another double standard is we are often subject to two CRIMINAL TRIALs, double jeopardy be damned, a la rodney king.

              But cops are given plenty of scrutiny and plenty of oversight and prosecutors properly apply the law in reviewing uses of force, which is why they charge or don't charge - evidence and case facts, not vitriolic anti-cop rantings

              1. Dunphy I've got two cops in my family so you can save it. I know better.

              2. And yet there are stories every week of cops who are for all intents and purposes found guilty of crimes that normal people go to jail for, yet they don't even lose their jobs, let alone see the inside of a cell.

              3. "We get held to a high standard"

                No, you don't.

                Why do you say such obviously stupid shit?

              4. "Here is one standard (double) that does exist. "

                Availability of conviction information in non-cop cases vs cop cases.

                1. ""Here is one standard (double) that does exist. "

                  Paid leave during investigation.

                2. "Here is one standard (double) that does exist. "

                  Use of union contracts and threat of strike to avoid criminal convictions.

                  1. Shall I continue Dunphy?

    2. The teachers union spent $380,941 on lobbying in the first three months of 2013 ? more than twice as much as the next-highest lobbying organization,

      That's ok because kkkorpurashuns that call themselves unions are people.

  7. Great case. Perfect example of how a citizen witness getting involved with helping to quell/solve crime, especially inchoate crimes is often so helpful and leads to great results. A 911 call from him about "suspicious males", a terry stop by officers using proper high risk gun drawn cautionary procedures and meat and potatoes investigation leads to warrant suspects/burglars being taken off the streets. I am proud to work for an agency and in a community that values its police and routinely calls us with intel, suspicious activity calls and that gets involved by taking down license plate #'s. etc. They also attend "citizen academies" , do ride-alongs and remain active in THEIR police dept, working with us to protect communities.

    Anyways, street cops live, eat, and breathe reasonable suspicion. Contrast THIS (a good terry stop) with the bullshit NYPD does.

    1. I am not an anti-cop guy Dunphy. I am friends with lots of good cops, and know lots of bad ones. I am aware of the good and bad that they do. I mention this because the cheerleading wears thin, even on me.

      It is good that you post stories about the good that cops do, but please, leave the Rah! Rah! out of it. Just let the actions speak for themselves.

      1. Sorry, I know it grates on some, and I appreciate the honesty and the advice. However, when pushed, I push back. As long as there are people who post such Anti-cheerleader cop stuff, I will be a cheerleader for cops (good cops) and I will be a critic of bad cops. It's what fairness demands. Cops are , on the whole, pretty awesome. That's what I believe. I'm not going be dishonest and hide that away out of sensitivity.

        If it grates, I apologize but just consider it's one lonely voice in the wilderness here. There is PLENTY to counterbalance it, to put it mildly.

        Day in, day out, they are out there, and on the whole, doing god's work, and doing it with restraint and compassion.

        But again, I appreciate the advice, but I gotta give props to the men and women I love

        1. "However, when pushed, I push back. "

          Isn't that the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do?

          Yes, actually, it is, which says everything anyone needs to know about you.

          1. And by the way fuckhole, nobody "pushed" you.

            Your stupid ass posted more of your stupid copsucking rah rah garbage, and were told to shut the fuck up.

            You pushed, and got pushed back, and are making excuses.

  8. Just caught some of Fox News Sunday - debate between Repub and Dem moutpieces on Benghazi. The Dem blamed Repubs for lack of public hearings by eyewitnesses and blamed repubs for not having enough security in place.

    If anyone watches any of the other sunday shows, I'm curious to know if those same taking points are being used by all of the Dems

    1. The other Sunday shows (excepting maybe CBS) aren't going to cover Benghazi. "What difference, at this point, does it make?" It is ancient history and not part of our national conversation.

      1. Yeah, if the Repubs are trying to gin up a controversy to impeach Obama they should hire a chubby intern to give him a BJ.

        1. Palin's Buttplug| 5.5.13 @ 10:49AM |#
          "Yeah, if the Repubs are trying to gin up a controversy to impeach Obama they should hire a chubby intern to give him a BJ."

          Gee, shitstain, you seem to do so about the read team by just posting crap.

        2. Why would the Republicans pay you to do what you already do for free?

    2. More information is now starting to come out about precisely who orchestrated the Benghazi lie.

      The initial concerns about the first (and accurate) CIA report were stated in an e-mail by a State Department spokesman named Victoria Nuland. Very shortly after this, follow-up e-mails backing up Nuland were sent by Ben Rhodes, an adviser to Obama on national security and foreign policy. This pretty conclusively shows that the coverup came from the highest levels of the administration.

      A meeting at the CIA was then rather quickly convened, and broad changes to the initial report were made by Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA.

      As for Sam Bacile's stupid YouTube video, it is never mentioned anywhere in any of the CIA drafts regarding the incident, or in any correspondence coming from anyone in the agency. That fabrication clearly was concocted out of whole cloth by the administration and/or the State Department.

      1. Does anyone know how many views the Bacile video on youtube had prior to the attack?

        There are bound to be a zillion anti-muslim videos on youtube. I am guessing the admin picked one with lots of views and used it, but even then, how many people actually watch that crap? A few hundred at most maybe?

        1. I'm guessing that someone at state or the CIA produced the damn thing as a flase flag and was just waiting for the right time to publicize it.

          Bacile was either an operative or a stooge. Most likely an operative.

      2. I don't care about the Youtube video. I care about the QRT not being sent to get our people, when they were calling for help in the 6 hours before they died. I care that any takeoff was scrubbed because Obama didn't want to have another Desert One, and so let those men die.

        1. This. I'm hearing that there was a force capable of rescuing those people, with the means to get there in time. If that is true, then Obama shares responsibility with the people who attacked the consulate for the deaths of those people.

        2. I don't care about the Youtube video. I care about the QRT not being sent to get our people, when they were calling for help in the 6 hours before they died.

          Nope. Red herring.

          No way you can put an op together that fast. Simply not doable, particularly with sketchy information.

          No, the real issue here was the cover up. They were talking about that tape 10 days after the incident. CLEARLY there was a media misinformation campaign going on for purely political purposes. It should have been Watergate big, but the media, being in the bag, refused to investigate.

          Romney was given PERFECT opportunity to blow it wide open during the last foreign policy debate, but refused to bring it up (taking the high ground?). Hence, Obama continues to occupy the White House.

    3. If anyone watches any of the other sunday shows, I'm curious to know if those same taking points are being used by all of the Dems

      ABC is focusing on gun control, gay athletes and polishing Buffet's knob.

      You know the important news.

      1. We had CBS on. Wasn't watching but I heard the intro to one show being all about gay athelets.

  9. I know the California rail boondoggle gets all the attention but this crap happens elsewhere - coming soon to Atlanta, right after we get done buying a billionaire a new stadium for his football team.

    1. Maybe Atlanta can spend billions for a home for a third future Canadian NHL team?

    2. Miami was just spared spending hundreds of millions of dollars on renovations to Sun Life Stadium (Dolphins). Ross is having a hissy fit over it, calling the legislature dysfunctional for not giving ~$200M to a billionaire to make improvements to his own stadium. It's funny watching the politically connected get told to spend their own fucking money. It's like watching a 2 year old get told he can't have that new toy he saw in the Walmart.

  10. From the 24/7 link: Obama Blames Mexican Violence on American Taste for Drugs and Guns

    Quote from the pres: "Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,"

    The jug-eared king of shitweasels tells another whopper. I think this S.O.B. would lie if the truth served him better.

    He failed to mention that of the small minority of guns that come from the united states a large portion of them are in Mexico courtesy of himself and the U.S. Justice Dept. . Funny that.

    1. The audacity of a dope.

    2. To paraphrase anonobot, roll that beautiful dumbass footage!


  11. How about this as part of the national conversation?
    "End for tax-free online shopping?"
    "The Senate is expected to pass a bill Monday making it easier for states to collect sales taxes for online purchases."
    It's moving, so it'll get taxed.

    1. There are apparently a few corruption stories brewing about McDonnell, Cuccinelli, and McAuliffe. The GOP ones are related; it seems that some CEO paid $15K for the wedding of McDonnell's daughter and the Governor doesn't see what the big deal is (hint to McDonnell: it's a big deal). Cuccinelli also recused himself from prosecuting the former chef of that CEO. I don't know what the McAuliffe story is, naturally I'm not hearing it on the local NPR station.

      1. Eh, they haven't found any actual quid pro quo on the McDonnell money. I mean, I'm sure they're looking really hard, because they need it to get McAuliffe elected.

        McAuliffe's corruption is very Clintonista: the first and only time he invested in a company he turned a hundred thousand into eighteen million and has yet to repeat this amazing savvy play. It wasn't cattle futures though, it was something else.

        1. It may not be required by state laws, but anyone in office needs to be aware that even the perception of corruption has to be avoided. A $15K gift might be nothing to the giver, and maybe even to the receiver, but it looks foul as hell.

          1. How does it compare to an $18MM gift?

            1. To me, it's the same. I'm a federal bureaucrat, and they seem to think my judgement will be suspect if I accept more than $20 worth of stuff from a contractor.

              1. That likes saying that someone who robs 1 house and someone who robs 1200 houses are the same.

                1. Not by degree, but a robber is a robber, no? A five-figure gift is pretty significant. We're talking about a fifth or so of the median income here.

          2. Yeah, but it's the same old shit: I know the media will dig very hard for Republican corruption. They're really really good at finding out when a Republican has cheated on their taxes, or taken illegal donations, or cheated on their wives.

            Not so much with the other team.

            1. Sure, but the benefit of being on neither team is that I can flay them equally when I become aware of something wrong.

              1. Eh, on issues of importance to me, McDonell has been decent to good. He has streamlined the pardon process, allowing a lot of people to get their rights back. He's also been real good on guns.

                And honestly, unless I see something he actually did in return for the wedding being paid for, I'm not ready to flay him for allowing someone to pay for his daughter's wedding. Pretty sure that's not against the law.

                1. It doesn't seem to be. Virginia law is particularly lax on these issues, but as libertarians we know that there's often a difference between legal and right. When you hold an office of public trust the standards are different. You need to be above reproach, not just legally okay.

                  1. You need to be above reproach, not just legally okay.

                    If only that were so.

                    Nothing, so far as I know as of this day and time, has come to light indicating that anyone has broken any laws in this matter. Maybe the laws need to be changed, but as of right now, everyone is in full compliance with them.

                    1. Read it again. I have higher standards for people in offices of public trust than "didn't break the law." If that's too much for you, you're free to remain a private citizen.

                    2. I'm also free to not care about winning the vote of Xenocles, it's not like you moral code is the binding system of the day.

                    3. Nobody else cares about winning my vote anyway. But if you're here, you're probably in the same position.

                    4. So no one is allowed to stay at people's homes? No one is allowed to accept bottles of wine? Or you're morally bankrupt? Come on.

                      Because that's the big controversy here from what I've seen. Some rich guy lets GOP politicians ride around on his corporate jet, and lets them stay at his home. OK, so I assume he's getting something in return for that. That's the part that interests me.

                      I want to know what the governor is doing for this guy in return. Until I see what that is, I'm not willing to pass judgement. Hell, for all I know this guy is bribing McDonnell to loosen restrictions on the dietary supplements he sells. Which from my perspective, is just one more example to trot out to show how regulation doesn't work as designed.

                    5. Bit of a difference between an overnight and a gift worth more than most people's monthly pay, don't you think?

                      So the guy has to go four years foregoing the lavish gifts of people who have a lot to gain by his favor? Cry me a damn river.

        2. It wasn't cattle futures though, it was something else.

          It was Worldcom, right?

          1. I don't know. Would be great if a reporter could be pulled off the task of tracking down when and who let the Cooch sleep in their guest room one night and actually discovered how Terry McAuliffe, who did not ever work on Wall Street, made back 180 times what he put into a company the first time he ever made a big investment. Seems to me that could be a real interesting story.

  12. Whether or not torturing someone results in relevant information is beside the point, of course, but these people that say that it led to little or no information are foolish. Of course it did. Just as not torturing someone would have. The difference is that there would be considerably more wrong information gathered through torture.

    Torturing someone is obviously wrong and the US agreed that it was. That's really all that matters when discussing torture; not whether or not it led to fruitful information. Common sense tells us that it did and common sense tells us that it led to a higher rate of misinformation.

    The US needs to stop this, and force feeding prisoners is indeed torture. That the last two regimes, and probably all the ones before it, keep sanctioning torture is atrocious. It should be covered every day on the news until it ends.

  13. "It is reasonable to note that those former officials have a substantial reputational stake in their claim being accepted."

    Let's not forget current officials and Senators that were on the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time including democrats like Feinstein, Rockeller, Durban, and Levin. IT's CYA all the way down. Quite frankly the NYT is not the messanger that's going to cause any consternation over this. That would be like making Al Gore the face of the GW movement. There;s no real credibility there.

  14. Like most other issues the opponents in the media and in Washington aren't really looking for anything to be done. they just want to play to their key democraphics. This is fairly obvious by their refusal to specifically define torture. The word torture can be used for a vast array of unpleasantness. As long as it's not specifically defined though, both sides win. Opponents can pretty much call anything they don;t like torture and proponants get all sorts of wiggle room as long as they don't leave marks.

  15. The issue of torture is a steaming pile of monkey shit on BOTH sides of the argument.

    On the one hand, you gotta say, Bush and later Obama brought this shit on by claiming powers they didn't/don't have. IMHO, there are two options for those captured in time of war (not that war was declared, which further pollutes the waters). They are either POWs, with all the rights and privileges thereof, or they are war criminals who get the due process of military tribunal. Those are your options, unless congress passes legislation defining a third. Indefinite detention on foreign soil to circumvent the law is utter cock!

    On the other hand, I am sick to death of agencies and reporters accusing us of torture without ever defining what torture means. And Richman, I declare you guilty of the progressive tactic of playing loose with the facts to support your narrative. You NEVER discuss what constitutes torture, you simply claim it happened. And occasionally let the mask slip.

    At the moment 100 of the 166 prisoners are conducting a hunger strike, and 21 are being force-fed by nasal tube, which in itself has been called torture and is condemned by the task force.

    Really? A person who can be legally shot and killed on the battlefield one minute, is being tortured by being force fed the next? What kind of logic is that? It ruins all credibility to the claim torture happened at all (although it may very well have).

    1. Are the following torture? (My opinion italicized)

      Detention? no
      Questioning? no
      Sleep deprivation? no
      Playing loud music? no
      Beating? yes
      Inflicting permanent damage? yes
      Inflicting physical pain? yes
      Force feeding? no
      Making endure cold/hot temps? only if it threatens physical harm, no if simply comfort
      Waterboarding? borderline, probably at the limit
      Being forced to stand in stressed positions? no, I had teachers do this

      Bottom line Sheldon. You don't get to make claims that the US participated in torture without defining your terms.

      Torture- Inflicting physical pain.

      1. I think the waterboarding is a no no because of potential for abuse. 30 seconds probably not a big deal. I'm sure there are people who sould chose 30 seconds of that over two weeks with their in-laws given the choice. 5 minutes though, definately unacceptable. Given that short window I'd say just don't do it. I agree though, that the semantic sophistry in the way the word is used is pretty lazy. That sort of obfuscation is normally reserved for weak arguments. Which shouldn't be necessary when talking about truely cruel and inhuman practices.

        1. You ever read Christopher Hitchens' article on waterboarding? He actually underwent waterboarding to see how bad it was.

          You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it "simulates" the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning?or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure. The "board" is the instrument, not the method. You are not being boarded. You are being watered. This was very rapidly brought home to me when, on top of the hood, which still admitted a few flashes of random and worrying strobe light to my vision, three layers of enveloping towel were added. In this pregnant darkness, head downward, I waited for a while until I abruptly felt a slow cascade of water going up my nose. Determined to resist if only for the honor of my navy ancestors who had so often been in peril on the sea, I held my breath for a while and then had to exhale and?as you might expect?inhale in turn. The inhalation brought the damp cloths tight against my nostrils, as if a huge, wet paw had been suddenly and annihilatingly clamped over my face.

          1. Unable to determine whether I was breathing in or out, and flooded more with sheer panic than with mere water, I triggered the pre-arranged signal and felt the unbelievable relief of being pulled upright and having the soaking and stifling layers pulled off me. I find I don't want to tell you how little time I lasted.

            Even 30 seconds sounds like torture given this description.

            1. Sounds pretty f'd up. It did sound as though he was able to hold his breath at first though. Which most people could probably do for 30 seconds. Like I said though. I think it should be off limits. My problem is with using semantics as an argument tool. Rather than saying water boarding is inhumane and cruel on it's own merit which it is, the simple argument was to ask if it's"torture" over a new d over again. And of course it is. The problem with that is that listening to a group of 5 year olds practicing the violin is also considered "torture" as is most extremelly unpleasant experiences including my in-law visit above. If you want to use the semantic argument, that's fine, but only if you are willing to define the word. That's a critique of intellectual laziness, not a critique of opposing actual abuse.

              1. Over and over. Stupid touchpad.

                1. One of the reasons I think these things matter so much is that not long after tge Patriot Act was sign I heard some deputy call some kids who were knocking over mailboxes in the neighborhood terrorist. Pre-Patriot Act wouldn't have given that much thought, but if you're going to suspend civil liberties in cases of "terrorism" you damb better define what "terrorism" means. Same thing applies if you're going to potentially persecute interrogators.

                  1. but if you're going to suspend civil liberties in cases of "terrorism" you damb better define what "terrorism" means.

                    I have a problem changing the rules for certain types of crimes.

                    Yes, murdering someone who slept with your wife IS different than a terrorist who sets out to kill innocent people. The distinction should be applied in the sentencing phase.

                    Changing justice system procedure because one act is perceived as more heinous than another is an abomination of everything I hold sacred.

              2. It did sound as though he was able to hold his breath at first though. Which most people could probably do for 30 seconds

                In the article, Hitchens mentions that the longest he'd ever heard of someone lasting is 2 minutes, and even that is just a rumor. People apparently don't last very long under these conditions.

                My problem is with using semantics as an argument tool. Rather than saying water boarding is inhumane and cruel on it's own merit which it is, the simple argument was to ask if it's"torture" over a new d over again.

                I agree.

      2. Inflicting physical pain? yes

        Being force fed is incredibly painful.

      3. If you think having a feeding tube forced into your nose, down your esophagus, and into your stomach isn't torture, it pretty much shows you've never been through that sort of thing. It is a very unpleasant experience. Also, sleep deprivation, if taken to an extreme, has caused death in animal studies. It's not at all harmless. Your definition of torture as solely being the infliction of physical pain is extremely limited and inadequate. I tend to agree with the UN definition of torture:

        "torture means 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 or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

        1. I'd go even farther than that. If you're laying hands on a prisoner except to relieve some immediate safety issue, you're wrong. If you're maintaining a prison in conditions such that prisoners' basic health is degraded and those conditions are not necessitated by your logistical situation, you're wrong.

          1. The common thread that I'm able to pick up when I look over examples of torture and enhanced interrogation techniques is physical manipulation of the body, and I don't just mean putting someone in handcuffs. Playing music continuously and sleep deprivation seem to fit this definition as well.

      4. Force feeding? no

        There was a thread a few days ago on Gitmo. Here's Ken:

        I had the same procedure done to me once--not because I was a hunger striker but because they were afraid I was hemorrhaging profusely into my stomach.

        They take a tube and they shove it up your nose, and then it goes down into your esophagus. In my case, like in most others, it doesn't go through all those u-turns gently...

        But the worst of it was that when you've got a big, thick tube going up your nose and down your throat, it feels like you're being strangled. It's just that you're being choked from the inside of your throat instead of having someone cut it off by wringing your neck. It probably doesn't need to be said that it also makes you feel incredibly nauseated.

        They brought two giant orderlies into the ER to hold me down--so I'd stop screaming about how I was choking to death and stop trying to pull the tube out of my nose and up out of my stomach.

        As big as the orderlies were, and as bad off as I was at the time (I'd lost almost 70% of the blood in my body by that time), I remember thinking I'd rather take a swing at them, and hit them with something in the ER big and heavy--rather than have to sit there with that tube in my nose for one more second.

        They're doing that to those hunger strikers every day?

        Yeah, that's torture.

        1. And HM posted this right below me. Ergh.

        1. Yeah, even without reading that I would have assumed that method was pretty horrible and unacceptable.

        2. Yep, many medical procedures aren't pleasant. I imagine an emergency tracheotomy would suck too, but it's not torture, and you can bet your ass I'd want it performed to save my life.

          Their option, is simply to eat. Remember, these are prisoners. They do not have the rights of ordinary citizens, which seems to be the claim of this "task force".

          1. Did you not above state that inflicting physical pain was torture? Maybe you did not just read the same description I just did.

            1. Incidentally the lawyers that vetted water boarding defined torture as phsical pain constant with that felt during organ failure. So I would assume some infliction of physical pain like slapping and roughing up would be "acceptable" under their definition.

              1. Incidentally the lawyers that vetted water boarding defined torture as phsical pain constant with that felt during organ failure.

                What the fuck? By this definition, couldn't you pull off a person's finger nails and it wouldn't be torture?

                  1. "In the view expressed by the Justice Department memo, which differs from the view of the Army, physical torture "must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." For a cruel or inhuman psychological technique to rise to the level of mental torture, the Justice Department argued, the psychological harm must last "months or even years.""

                1. couldn't you pull off a person's finger nails and it wouldn't be torture?

                  That would involve compromising the skin around the nails. Skin is the largest organ.

              2. So I would assume some infliction of physical pain like slapping and roughing up would be "acceptable" under their definition.

                As a pilot, I had to undergo resistance training. That's the baseline for me. It isn't torture if we'd do the same thing to our own folks for training. I can't go into specifics, there was some physical stuff (not involving pain), but no hitting.

                1. The difference is that you consented to the training. You signed up for it. It's the same thing with your reference to medical treatment earlier. I have to obtain your consent for medical treatment and if you tell me to stop because you are uncomfortable or for any other reason, I have to stop. I also have a responsibility to try to alleviate your pain as much as possible. In regards to your tracheotomy example above, we administer local anesthesia to the area and the procedure is usually done under general anesthesia. We don't hold the patient down and tell them to bite down on a bullet.

                  1. And, AGAIN, you seem to believe that prisoners have all the rights under the Constitution that a free American citizen has. That is simply not the case. If it were, you would not be able to detain him at all. You are depriving these people of their rights simply by holding them. Same holds true for any prisoner arrested under our judicial system.

                    THEY DON'T HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS YOU OR I. They are either POWs or War Criminals. Either way, their rights are limited in some way.

                    Playing mind games to extract information is not torture. The UN definition is ridiculous as once you claim there is such a thing as mental torture, one can claim EVERYTHING is mental torture. (Which is exactly what's happening, I might add.)

                    As I said below. The forced feeding is a medical procedure. They are not doing it for the purposes of causing pain to extract information. While it may hurt, it's not torture.

                    1. But that's the freakin' point, FdA, the U.S. government refuses to classify them as POWs, which would accord them certain rights, and, as of yet, no detainee has been charged with war crimes.

                      I don't disagree HM. I pointed this out in my first post above. I believe I called it "cock".

                    2. Liberty for me, but not for thee. Lovely.

                    3. Liberty for me, but not for thee. Lovely.

                      Not sure where you're getting that from Sam. Would you claim a criminal has the same rights you do? How do you figure a POW should?

                    4. Right to due process. Right to a fair and speedy trial. Right to not be tortured. Right to not be held incommunicado. Right to not be lost in a system that moves slower than the continental ice shelf in Antarctica.

                      I'm a natural rightser. Natural rights, being natural, apply to everyone. Imprisonment is only as legitimate as the means used to improson a person.

                    5. Yeah, you might want to read my first post instead of jumping to conclusions, my friend.

            2. Did you not above state that inflicting physical pain was torture?

              Inflicting pain to extract information, is one thing. Inflicting pain to save that person's life is another.

              You could argue that a person has the right to kill himself, and I'd agree with you, under normal circumstances, but a prisoner forfeits a portion of their rights when captured.

              From a military standpoint, I'd only force feed those who I thought had the potential to provide further intelligence, letting the others exercise their right to starve.

          2. You keep mentioning how prisoners lose rights but the right to extinguish your bodily processes that sustain life is a right not recognized for most Americans.

            I wish prisoners were allowed to commit suicide if they so desired.

      1. If they're doing that every day to these people, it's torture. Not only that, but if someone wants to starve himself to death in protest, I don't think you have the right to stop him.

        I had jaw surgery when I was 18. I wasn't going to be able to eat for a few days after the surgery, so they inserted a feeding tube. I was unconscious when they inserted the tube, so I didn't have the experience that Ken did, but I woke up in the middle of the night and thought I was suffocating to death. They had me hooked up to a heart monitor, and I started freaking out so badly that my heart rate jumped over a hundred points in about 4 seconds.

        I can't imagine how bad it would have been if I'd been conscious and fighting while they tried to put that in.

      2. I had this done to me when I was about 9. Had the tube going through my nose and into my stomach for 9 days.

        I remember it being awful when it first went down, but I in no way felt like I was choking for 9 days. From my memory it wasn't nearly this bad.

    2. A person who can be legally shot and killed on the battlefield one minute

      And yet they weren't shot and killed on the battlefield. Were they ever on a battlefield?

      According to the latest opinions I've seen, you and I can be legally dronestruck in our beds tonight. So if you are hauled off and locked in a dungeon for 10 or 20 years you wouldn't complain?

      And you miss one of the most important points here - these prisoners are said by the US government to be evil, heartless, sub-human terrorists but nobody is allowed to challenge that assesment in any meaningful way.

      Assuming one or more of these people is innocent, I would call the indefinite detention itself torture.

  16. All this hand wringing about torture from the left and it's defense from the right is grotesque. Both sides are culpable for what has happened and are reaping what they've sown.

    The both sides have spent years shredding the Bill of Rights to suit their ideological agendas. There are no more absolute rights, only what is politically convenient at the moment and they wonder how the hell this could happen? When the rights of your own citizens are fungible it naturally follows that the treatment of your enemies are going to be as well. By advancing themselves in a "ends justify the means" manner, they made this sort of thing inevitable and now they get the vapors? Disgusting.

    The progressives are almost defined by their propensity for doublethink, but the right which is totally up in arms (heh) about gun control at the moment, while simultaneously defending "enhanced interrogation" are particularly oblivious to the inherent conflict of demanding the respect of absolute rights while denying them to their opponents.

    No one should be shocked that a nation that abandoned their principles for the sake of expediency now finds itself engaged in torturing its enemies.

    They want to fix that, they need to take a hard look in the fucking mirror first.

    1. Well said Naz.

    1. Heh. They are going after teenagers the article says. How long before they are cruising H&R? And when they do, how far back will they go?

      They can kiss my ass.

    2. The kid should have been arrested... for bad taste.!

    3. Thoughtcrime does not entail death. Thoughtcrime is death.

  17. OT: Look to Japan for our future

    Abe, 58, returned to office in December for a second term as prime minister and is enjoying sky-high support on the back of his "Abenomics" recipe for reviving the economy through hyper-easy monetary policy, big spending and structural reform.
    However, sweeping changes proposed by Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in a draft constitution would strike at the heart of the charter with an assault on basic civil rights that could muzzle the media, undermine gender equality and generally open the door to an authoritarian state, activists and scholars say.
    The draft deletes a guarantee of basic human rights and prescribes duties, such as submission to an undefined "public interest and public order". The military would be empowered to maintain that "public order."

    First, Keynesian insanity, and now a slide back into authoritarianism. It's like looking in a mirror. Also, I think Tulpa just applied for Japanese residence.


  19. Gabby Giffords gets profile in courage award for advocating gun grabbing.

    1. I hope she nevers falls in a well. She'd probably get the Medal of Honor for that feat.

      1. good one

    1. What a fucking shitweasel. Dont read the speech unless you have aspirin handy.

      He said we live in a democracy at least 4 times before I quit reading. The whole speech is drivel.

      I wonder if that fuckstain actually believes any of that shit.

      1. He's more of a propagandist than a president.

        On the bright side, this is the first comment that isn't spam.

        Ignore the voices that point to the government for our problems?? Yeah, the problem is that our "government" has been serving only the wealthiest among us and has built up a police state around the rest of us... And by the way moron (Obama), this is a Representative Republic... not a Democracy. Perhaps you should go back to that remedial stankschool Harvard and tell them that instead of coddling little rich kids and affirmative action wet rags (such as yourself) they should provide a proper education. You and all your kind make me utterly sick with contempt and should be thrown out of this nation by your lips!

        Goddamn right.

        1. You and all your kind make me utterly sick with contempt and should be thrown out of this nation by your lips!

          I didn't read the whole thing before posting, and Brooks pointed out that this may be racist. I assumed he was talking about politicians. Oops.

    2. "I spend most of my time these days in Washington, a place that sorely needs it. "

      Say *what*?

    3. And the result is that we sometimes forget the larger bonds we share, as one American family.

      And Barack is the Pater Familias of the American family.

      Obey your father!

      That's what citizenship is. It's the idea at the heart of our founding?that as Americans, we are blessed with God-given and inalienable rights, but with those rights come responsibilities?to ourselves, to one another,

      Yes. Don't fuck with me, I don't fuck with you. Straightfoward, easy to remember.

      Still, you'll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works

      If a person knows the government is the root of their problems, why wouldn't they gum up the works? If government is the problem, isn't in their interests to ensure that it doesn't function?

      or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner

      "The Arab Spring was a victory for freedom!"

      You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can't be trusted.

      Anarchists aside, what we actually say is that a republic is the least bad of the many bad options available by which men may be governed.

    4. obama speaking truth to power

      dissent is patriotic!

  20. Scourge of the NRA

    Shot just two years ago, she has instead become ? with the Newtown parents ? the nation's most moving and effective crusader against a lunatic gun culture that enables terrorists and the mentally unhinged to get killing machines without so much as a five-minute background check.

    Today at Dorchester's Kennedy library, Giffords receives The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award from Caroline Kennedy, whose father and uncle were shot in the head, too, and killed.

    Funny, the weapons used in those shootings would have been completely unaffected by any of the legislation recently proposed. Baby steps, I suppose.

    1. Jesus, what a poorly written article. Dripping with hyperbole, scare tactics, conflation, and stupid.

      Then I came across this nugget on the Eagan...
      In 2007, Eagan appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz to discuss her columns regarding the physical appearance of Hillary Clinton and the fashion sense of the wives of Republican Presidential candidates.
      ...and it occurred to me that she only takes the thought-provoking, hard-hitting stories.

    2. There is a background check system in place. Not only would the weapons have been completely unaffected, but absolutely nothing would have changed. Nothing would be different.

    3. I didnt get far in the comments, but every single one I read was lambasting her. Who let that woman have access to a keyboard?

    4. Funny that Oswald was a supporter of gun control.

    5. How do you say, in a single sentence:
      Gee, it's really bad some idiot shot you.
      And then:
      STFU; you have no authority to make any comment on the matter at all. Get lost!

  21. NPR Exercises ZERO Journalistic Integrity with Drone Article

    Caption under picture: "A model of a drone is hoisted in the air at a protest of the U.S. military's use of drones during a demonstration on April 3 in New York."
    Not Obama Administration's use of drones...because the military is an autonomous entity that makes their own rules and has fuckall to do with civilian leadership.

    "When Barack Obama became president, he inherited the targeted-killing program from the Bush administration."
    Even with NPR's unabashed POTUS-fluffing, how did that slip by the editor?

    "The number of targeted killings has dropped since last year, and Boyle says it could mean the administration is beginning to rethink the policy and step back from future drone strikes."
    They'll be stepping back at 11:59 PM on Jan 19, 2017 when proglodytes become "concerned" about drone-murdering innocent browns attending weddings and funerals.

    1. Buh-buh-buh-but Buuuuuuuuuuuuush!

      It never gets old. I'll probably be hearing it for fucking decades.

    2. ""When Barack Obama became president, he inherited the targeted-killing program from the Bush administration."
      Even with NPR's unabashed POTUS-fluffing, how did that slip by the editor?"

      Now, I'm gonna go with stupidity over evil intent almost always.
      Not there.

  22. In other news:

    "There is a war going on against law enforcement in this country, and the other side is better armed than we are," the chief said. "Thirty-six police officers have been killed this year alone in this country. (A law enforcement website said 16 were killed with guns.) The guns Gilkerson fired and everything in his car is perfectly legal to buy and own."

    Stanko took the police chief job here 13 months ago. Before that he was police chief in Waite Hill for 15 years. In his remarks Friday, he first stopped short of taking a position on banning weapons like the AK-47, but reconsidered.

    "These AK-47s have got to go," he said. "I could have lost two officers out there."

    How many traffic stops do those guys conduct on a daily basis which do not result in shootouts?

    But OFFICER SAFETY demands the confiscation of all those ultra-scary AKs, immediamente!

    1. Police officers have killed 81 people this year alone. go fuck yourself chief.

    2. If 32 have been killed so far, then that means the number of cops who will die by the end of the year is about 70. How many cops are there in this country? And what is their death rate?

      Well, I'm glad you asked, me! Let me answer.

      The on the job death rate for police officers is 1.56 per 100,000 a number which is less than half of the average mortality rate OF ALL JOBS. That means that not only is police work not dangerous, it's safer than the majority of jobs you can do in America. The death rate is 1/50th that of loggers. Taxi drivers have a higher on the job fatality rate than cops do.

      Being an officer is not dangerous, Dunphy's protestations aside. Fuck them and their whining.

      1. Not to mention half of cop deaths are caused not by shootouts, but my traffic accidents.

        I've long held the single biggest issue with regards to law enforcement's public image is that most people get their view of the police from TV shows and movies.

        If they were realistic, the big shocker death at the season finale of a police procedural would be the character rolling his cruiser and breaking his neck because he wasn't wearing his seat belt.

        The last one of one of the local agencies cops to die on the job thought his cruiser was in Drive, but it was in Reverse. He backed it into a storm retention pond and drowned. I'm sure he was a decent guy, but he didn't die a heroes death, anymore then some airman who gets himself run over by a forklift in Germany is some kind of war hero.

        1. The Wire was incredibly realistic in that regard. The only cops that got shot were one that was shot because she was with a snitch and the shooters didn't know she was a cop, and the second one that got shot was killed accidentally during friendly fire by a police officer.

          The truth is this: Most criminals know that shooting a cop is a bad fucking idea. This is especially true of organized crime where no one wants the police to come down on them, so they try not to hurt any police officers.

          There is no 'war' as that police chief claimed because criminals would rather keep their heads down and make money than go to war with the state.

        2. *Not to mention half of cop deaths are caused not by shootouts, but my traffic accidents.*

          Get around, do you?

  23. Fucked again by the poor comment nesting.

    [insert Nelson Muntz laugh]

  24. I suspect the new Bush Library in Dallas might have a torture wing where they might put artifacts like the waterboarding tables and Abu Grahib torture pictures and hoodies.

    It would certainly be something Texans would enjoy.

    1. And the Obama library will have all of its architectural flaws blamed on the Bush library.

    2. The way the future Obama library will have pictures of kids given drone due process?

      1. And pictures of him granting legal immunity to those responsible for the torture wing.

    3. "It would certainly be something Texans would enjoy."
      Clearly you've never been.

      Holy fuck, you're one ignorant motherfucker.

    4. Palin's Buttplug| 5.5.13 @ 7:35PM |#
      "I suspect the new Bush Library in Dallas might have a torture wing where they might put artifacts like the waterboarding tables and Abu Grahib torture pictures and hoodies."
      These would be shown as the prototypes that Obozo perfected?

      "It would certainly be something Texans would enjoy."
      What an absolutely *stupid* comment! But, hey, it's shreek, so it's expected.

  25. You and all your kind make me utterly sick with contempt and should be thrown out of this nation by your lips!

    I, uhh...

    1. I assumed he was talking about politicians. Looking back at that, I may have accidentally posted something very racist. My apologies.

    2. Where is that quote from?

      1. I posted a quote from someone attacking Obama and didn't realize it may have been super racist.

        1. Ah. Forgiven.

        2. No one can ever criticize the one, unless they are super racist. The science is settled.

  26. Cokie Roberts slams Obama's lack of effort on gun control:

    1. That is right failed because the pres is a lying shitweasel, not because of the transparent mendacity of it's proponents and the uselessness of it's substance.

      Ok, it really was all of that, but no matter.


        Yes, this whole political crapshoot was always a waste of time.

        1. It was anything but a waste of time.

      2. Just send those damn NRA members to Gitmo.

        Send em to Gitmo!

  27. Goddamn Winstream to hell!

    1. That should read, Goddamn Windstream to hell!!!

  28. My apologies.

    Not necessary. I thought it was pretty amusing. But I suspect all the dogs in the neighborhood are barking.

  29. And I definitely thought it was a reference to career choice, not race.

    Like maybe a, "How do you know if a politician is lying?" reference to lips.

  30. Oh, look; more pigs who believe they should decide who gets to own a gun.

    More than 50 Iowa sex offenders have permits to carry guns in public thanks to a two-year-old law that makes it harder for sheriffs to deny permits.

    The Des Moines Register reports law enforcement officials and some state lawmakers are worried about armed sex offenders.


    A law changed two years ago makes it harder for sheriffs to use discretion to reject applications for permits to carry weapons. Before 2011, many gun permit applications from sex offenders were denied by sheriffs because the applicant was a sex offender.


    Rob Burdess, a Newton police detective and the president of the Iowa State Police Association, said he's not sure sex offenders should be allowed to have gun permits when people with felonies or domestic abuse convictions are denied.

    "If they're on the sex offender registry, they're already a safety concern in one aspect," Burdess said. "Who's to say they're not a safety concern with weapons? They've already shown propensity to be sexually violent, so the escalation can be the use of weapons."

    1. This is a deliberate lie by Burdess. He must know the majority of people on sex offender lists are guys having consensual sex with their slightly underage girlfriends and people pissing on trees and the like. Typical of the political class.

  31. Most of the sex offenders who have obtained gun permits in Iowa were convicted of misdemeanors such as lascivious conduct with a minor.

    A law changed two years ago makes it harder for sheriffs to use discretion to reject applications for permits to carry weapons. Before 2011, many gun permit applications from sex offenders were denied by sheriffs because the applicant was a sex offender.

    One of those nonviolent dopes might jump out of his car with an AK-47, and we just cannot expose our noble law enforcement troops to that level of risk.

    1. There is a distinction made between sex offenders and felons and domestic abuse convictions.

      I cant find all the info I need, but it seems the registry has different levels depending on the seriousness of the offense. I see lots of complaints about children being put on the list also.

      Apparently there are lots of people on the registry who are not convicted felons. This is just an attempt to expand the number of people who cant have guns.

      1. Hell, just being accused of domestic violence is enough.

        Due process? What's that? Don't you watch TV, women are being abused.

  32. Consequences, schmonsequences.

    HiViz Shooting Systems, which manufactures sights, recoil pads and other shooting accessories has announced it is moving its core operations to Laramie. Governor Matt Mead congratulated HiViz and welcomed the company to Wyoming.

    HiViz Chief Executive Officer, Phil Howe, who started and has operated the company for more than 16 years said HiViz will relocate to the Laramie River Business Park II. The move from Fort Collins, Colorado will occur over a period of time to ensure uninterrupted service to existing HiViz customers. HiViz is working with the City of Laramie and the State of Wyoming on building plans. Construction could begin as soon as this summer.


    According to Howe, HiViz leadership selected Laramie because of its strong support of shooting sports manufacturing and supply chain industries and also because of its close proximity to the present HiViz facility. This proximity provides existing employees the opportunity for a manageable commute while they evaluate relocation options.

    Howe said the company also considered Wyoming's many advantages for business, including tax structure, resources from the University of Wyoming, favorable location, proximity to market and lifestyle.

    1. Are you saying we need to ban some stuff? Isn't that what we elect representatives for? So that you don't have to worry and everything that you can even imagine that might be dangerous to the childins will be banned?

      Rest assured, soon everything will be banned, and the snowflakes will be safe, because government loves us. They are like invisible sky gods, only real, and they need moar revenue to keep their god like powers.

  33. Anyone see Richard Gere? Gerbil Pagent

    1. It seems like California has already banned it.

  34. Dating website for inmates

  35. The Malaysian ruling party are celebrating so hard, they are wearing PJs

    1. They must be related to the late night Walmart shoppers here in Balmer.

      They do wear fuzzy slippers with the PJs, no?

  36. Global Warming Alarm: Continued Cooling May Jeopardize Climate Science And Green Energy Funding!

  37. Tornado spike in 2011 attributed to climate change. So what to make of this year's tornado drought?

    1. That was just weather, until we want it to be related to climate. Also, the current cooling proves climate change, like the previous warming proves climates change, like the cooling before that proved climate change. And until humans, climate never, ever changed. Just send government all of you money so they can protect you from the impending apocalypse. It's almost too late!

  38. While not a complete failure as visceral eye-candy, Iron Man 3 substitutes schmaltz for inspiration and novelty. It's disappointing that what appears to be the franchise's last chapter goes out not with a bang, but with a shrug.

    1. The villains are all wrong, the motivations are muddy, even the gadgetry is off. And the swaggering genius at the center of it all has become a preening fool.

      1. So, should I go see Iron Man 3?

        1. It has a 78% on rotten tomatoes.

        2. I'm more in favor of waiting 5 years to see a movie on Netflix so that Hollywood scum can scrounge for breadcrumbs at the feet of their current crony masters in DC.

  39. Anyone play Rainbow Moon?

    1. It's only on PS3?

      1. apparently. A friend of mine has been raving about it, but I'm not usually into Japanese RPGs

        1. I looked it up on Gamespot, but it appears it's only on PS3. I'm an RPG fan, but game on PC.

          1. The closest I've gotten to an RPG lately is managing a team on FIFA13

            1. You need a serious dose of Skyrim.

  40. Here's another NYT article, the absence of which in the line-up of H&R stories I find curious.

    1. They only have so many eyes. But it's nice, unlike most news sites, that they actually pay attention to what their readers are posting here.

    2. But remember, social sciences are TOTALLY the same as real science. That's why someone can get away with faking results for almost a decade while getting published in peer reviewed journals.

      Because social science is totally legit.

    3. He insisted that he loved social psychology but had been frustrated by the messiness of experimental data, which rarely led to clear conclusions.

      Facts and data are so messy. Everything should be neat and pretty and elegant. It doesn't need to be accurate, just needs to have an air of truthiness.

      1. Dude, best part:

        Stapel was an academic star in the Netherlands and abroad, the author of several well-regarded studies on human attitudes and behavior. That spring, he published a widely publicized study in Science about an experiment done at the Utrecht train station showing that a trash-filled environment tended to bring out racist tendencies in individuals. And just days earlier, he received more media attention for a study indicating that eating meat made people selfish and less social.

        Huh, I wonder why the media and fellow academics were so willing to believe the lies of this person. What about his claims might have appealed to them?


    Game of Thrones:

    Joffrey has the show's all-purpose whore, Ros, strung up and uses her for crossbow practice. Ros-haters the world over cheer. Feminists shriek in outrage at this perpetration of RAEP KULTUR.


      1. Figures you love whores.

        1. I'm WATCHING IT NOW.

    1. Ban Archduke Pantspam.

      Sorry, Archduke. I couldn't resist.

    2. I hope you are sending all of these to your concerned reps, so that they can get right on to letting their toadies write this stuff up.

  42. In case anyone is still on the fence, Amanda Marcotte is COMPLETELY FUCKING INSANE!

    Mitt Romney gave a college address where he said that he believes college students should have a lot of children. Amanda Marcotte responded by claiming that he is using veiled eugenicist arguments.

    1. Quite literally, the "quiver full" argument is that since the right can't win by persuasion, they should breed submissive followers.

      I would like one person, just one, who has ever been persuaded by Amanda Marcotte, to present themselves, so they can receive the shame and derision they so richly deserve.

      Then again, it's not okay to make fun of the mentally deficient.

    2. What the actual fuck?

      And as pointed out in the comments, this is really ironic considering that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and a hero to many feminists and pro-choicers, was an admitted racial eugenicist.

  43. Wow, I was just watching an episode of No Reservations, with Anthony Bourdain. I always liked the guy because he's a real adventurer and partier, but I started paying attention to his politics and now am more than a little disappointed.

    He was in Columbia on this episode and I was surprised to see a Columbian that he was drinking with in a bar, bring up the WOD. Basically, the Columbian guy articulated a very Libertarian point of view, which was ... Ok, the problem is the WOD, we have a 2 sided issue, one is personal issue, drug addiction, the other is the WOD. One issue, we can never get rid of(people love drugs, there will always be those who have a problem), and the other, the WOD, which is worse and we can get rid of.

    I expected a better response from Bourdain, but after trying to agree with the guy, he just came right out and said, the problem is that the USA will never, never legalize drugs, so it's your problem.

    Liberals are soooo fucking tolerant and love civil rights.

    1. He made the same point on his "Parts Unknown" episode from Colombia last week

      1. Wonder if it was the same episode?

        1. Love Bourdain. But not his politics. Actually, that's true of a lot of people I know. Bourdain is a former heroin addict, who also did methadone maintenance for a while as well. So, he KNOWs him some addiction. Despite that he is no more a drug legalization than he is a guy who supports gun rights. He's your basic, back east big city garden variety liberal

          1. He is against stupid food bans tho

            1. Yea, he's a righteous foie warrior. As a libertarian, and being pro and anti so many causes that are in a distinct minority, especially as compared to the viewpoints of liberal musicians, teevee folks, and movie makers, one becomes resigned to the weirdness.

              For example, as a guitarist and musician myself, as well as a lover of music, I adore Rage Against the Machine. Heck, "killing in the name" is one of my favorite songs ever by any band. But their politics, quasi-marxist, are ridiculous. Killing in the Name is a great anti police brutality anthem, though.

              "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me". Is there any better line in any rock song?

              It pretty much DEFINES rock rebellion.

            2. So is Sean Hannity...what's your point?

              1. ugh, that was in response to ArchPants

    2. I expected a better response from Bourdain, but after trying to agree with the guy, he just came right out and said, the problem is that the USA will never, never legalize drugs, so it's your problem.

      And when they try to ban firearms, we can expect liberals making the same argument about all the back yard gun smiths that start opening up in northern Mexico.

      "Sure it's terrible that the ATF is clamping down on Mexicans and Northern Mexico has been turned into a warzone by American gun policy. You can't expect us to change our gun policy though, so you're really just going to have to deal with it."

    3. Bourdain is a leftist douchebag. I've watched that show for the last few years and there isn't an episode that he doesn't flavor with his left-wing horseshit.

      I like the show because he goes to interesting places (some places I've been, which is cool) and does interesting stuff, but his hipster commentary on how much more "real" things are (where ever) is fucking lame and entirely misses the point of travel and experiencing other cultures.

  44. Sorry dude, sometimes you jsut have to roll with it. Wow.

  45. Sounds liek ap etty solid plan dude. WOw.

  46. What is the "United States of America" that supposed terrorists threaten? It is an agreement. Which the government, not the supposed terrorists, has broken.

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