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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 26, 2006 9:11 AM. The previous post in this blog was Got to find me a place in the sun. The next post in this blog is One last question. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Misguided liberal

Darn that Bob Herbert -- shooting his mouth off in The New York Times and getting it wrong again:

This is a spooky time in history. It’s one thing for tyrannical regimes like the old Soviet Union and Communist China to bulldoze the very idea of human rights and human decency by engaging in such atrocities as detention without trial, torture and other forms of state terror. It’s something else completely when the United States, the greatest symbol of liberty that the world has ever known, begins to head down that hellish road.
Bob, you must be kidding.

"Begins"?

Comments (16)

There you go again being unpatriotic, Jack. Remember, we're not supposed to question these things -- that's what the terrorists want us to do. We must torture in order to defend our freedoms!

ellie's comment, and the very real and bizarre sentiment it channels, reminds me of something i was taught early on by my fundamentalist christian family: you can't question anything about your religion (ie: the bible and whatever you're told at church) because it's actually satan and the forces of evil that plant those seeds of doubt in your mind. therefore, questioning itself is evil and will make you evil too. that's the exact same argument made by the fundamentalist conservatives about the iraq war, the war on terror, weapons of mass destruction, torture, you name it. how can you argue with something so completely ridiculous and outside the scope of all logic?

Up is down, right is left, wrong is right and W's on his hands and knees in the Oval Office, licking the last vestiges of a near-beer he spilled back in his Daddy's day.

Ahh.

Didn't THAT taste good!

More on Dawn's point...

I'm going to pick up a copy of John Dean's new book Conservatives without Conscience, which describes contemporary conservatism going off the rails... they've ressurrected the authoritarian rule of government, which at least 30% of this country NEEDS in power. The kind of government and rule-affirming tactics that Communist Russia and China and many dictatorships have employed in the past. The covering up, the classification of normally benign meetings, the corruption, the obstruction, the cronyism, the downright nasty LIES. But they want you to look the other way... hey look, there's Paris Hilton. Let's talk about what she's wearing this Fall...

Enemy combatants can be U.S. citizens... you can be held without knowing why and without seeing evidence before trial. You can be tortured within inches of your life, even if they're only 20% sure you're guilty of anything. You can be whisked away to some country without 'quaint' laws like ours, just so they can break out the real sick sh*t on you. God bless this mess.

I think our country needs a refresher course on the concepts of justice, law, civil rights and liberties... and why our country's 'city on a hill' principles have been eroded by the crazed authoritarians.

I fully agree with this post, and the post yesteday regarding President Clinton vs. Fox "News". I have made this comment before, but I know the behavior by our federal govt. must be really serious and vile to get a post on this blog. Local issues are usually the order of the day around here--and I like it that way.

I will agree Bush is a dumbass, but since when is it policy for any country to pick up war combatants and put them on trial (other than for war crimes)? It didnt happen in WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam...POWs were held until the fighting was over, then released to their respective governments.
As for "torture"...hey, if depriving some jackass of food and sleep gets an answer to where more of his buddies are, or what they are planning to do. So be it. The dopey soldiers who went over the line, they should be punished. But I dont agree with the wingnuts that think Bush ordered the "torture" from the Oval Office.
And I hardly seen any of this as a "slippery slope" toward a police state here on our soil.

Hi Jon. Read some history. Any history. For starters...

In WW2, thousands of German soldiers surrendered to the US because they knew the US would give them a meal, a cot and no electric chair or electric cord (tied to their testicles like US goons at Gitmo). They knew US was not THUGS and GANGSTERS like Saddam. Not... Like... Saddam.

Yesterday's NYTimes (IHT globally) ran an op-ed from a former WW2 soldier who wired a soundspeaker to a US tank and got several thousand Germans to surrender -- saving countless US lives -- like your ol' Uncle Ernie, perhaps.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/25/opinion/edhadley.php

History. Because a modem is a terrible thing to waste!

Jon-

At this point in the game, with the outright failure of nearly every BushCO endeavor (especially our disasterous foreign relations), you're not going to juke anyone with that "I know Bush is a Dumbass, BUT..." line. There is no but. You were duped, and I'm guessing your ego can't deal with "We told you so... for six years". Blasted libruls.

Isn't it obvious this issue is toxic around the world? You're cherrypicking the least offensive torture methods to illustrate, what, that OVER THERE we don't abide by our once agreed-upon values? Most of those detainees(some domestic) haven't been brought up on any charges, many were sold to the U.S. by tribal warlords. Many have been tortured with little to no evidence that they were any threat. Are you telling us you trust Bush and the nodding Republicans use of torture is healthy, lawful, productive, popular, and justified?? Not going to happen.

The right wingnuttery (and their apologists) have done enough to enable these f-ups. Do us a favor and know when to say when. It's not a slippery slope? Because it doesn't interfere with your TV time or the ability to buy a cheap TV? Wake up.

I picked those because those are the ones that are used most of the time. The really ugly stuff was only done by a handful of idiot soldiers, and they were brought up on criminal charges. Are you saying that all the soldiers over there are criminals? Statistically, I would bet there is just a percentage relative the same percentage in the general population.
As for the detainies being "brought up on charges"...they are captured prisoners.
I wasnt aware that we are supposed to charge them with anything. What exactly should they be charged with?

Enemy combatants can be U.S. citizens... you can be held without knowing why and without seeing evidence before trial.

Without knowing why? Are you serious? If you are captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq, shooting at US soldiers, there is no trial that has to be given. You get what you deserve. I dont care if you are a US citizen or not. Its not like they were robbing the "Quickie Mart" downtown. And last I checked, the Geneva Conventions protections make exceptions for those who are not uniformed soldiers, and not fighting for a particular governmental body.

This isnt a video game, folks. This is a war. We dont have to play nice.


Jon,

I'm sorry, but your lack of reading up on this subject is very apparent. TORTURE HAS BEEN A BUSH POLICY DECISION, not just the actions of a few soldiers. Why else do we snatch people up, in America or elsewhere, and fly them to rendition operations in countries to brutally torture them? Why are there parallels between prisoner treatment at Guantanamo and Abu Grahb? They can interrogate and hold them in military prisons with Red Cross access or some semblance of justice available to them....but they don't. Are you telling me that a few rogue soldiers decided that was best? No, this is a failure of leadership that has Bush, Cheney and Rummy all over it.

You want to believe so badly that we're just tickling guys' toes with feathers. Why are we so secretive? Why do renditions in countries with barbaric torture capabilities? Why does this administration need to rush a 'compromise' through congress that may retroactively get him off the legal hook? Everything IS NOT on the up and up here.

#1-Torture is proven not to work, as it often provides false information.
#2-Torture puts us in some pretty seedy company, countries we've collectively derided for their torture policy.
#3-Because we've stooped this low, the entire world calls 'bullshit' on our supposed moral high ground, thus making us weaker diplomatically. We're losing our leverage in every negotiation with any country over any issue. Hooray!
#4- If the terrorists/combatants/suspects realize we're not the good guys we once were, why would any of them lay down their arms to spill their guts? The hardcore guys aren't going to get captured alive now, you realize.

Jon, we DO have to play nice. Cowboy Diplomacy gets us nowhere fast. How are we safer if the world detests our administration and the way we deal with allies and foes alike? (the NIE report validates this) Please realize you're repeating the empty rhetoric... it's NOT different now, we don't have to give up freedoms or cede our moral high ground because of a security threat. Al Qaeda is not a country, they're a bunch of thugs with nothing but their brain and an agenda. No Democrat is saying you can't interrogate them or keep us safe....

Reading up where? Blogs? Al-Jazeera? Indymedia?
Was there a White House memo I missed?
I am saying "rogue" soldiers are taking things to the extreme, beyond policy.

And please cite ONE freedom we as citizens have given up. I am not aware of any I have lost.

The hardcore guys aren't going to get captured alive now, you realize.

Fine. Problem solved.

Here is a link the Army Intelligence interrogation guidelines.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/policy/army/fm/fm34-52/

This is a link to an article on the new guidelines.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-09-06-interrogation_x.htm

Jon, you really wowed me with your insightful reply. Unfortunately, it's hard to defend a position while simultaneously claiming ignorance (intentionally or unintentionally).

In spite of the documented facts and accounts available to you, you're buying the over-simplified spin being peddled out there. Sir, I don't read Indymedia or Al-Jazeera, and you're not going to get any sense of what's going on in local, network or cable news either... that's just a fact. You have to work a little harder these days to stay informed. NYT is still the paper of record, and the blogs do a good job of providing links to stories buried in our country's papers on page A21 that should be on A1. You can't deny the objective reality of seeing/hearing something from the horse's mouth on C-Span, YouTube, Media Matters for America, or Crooks and Liars.

"In spite of the documented facts and accounts available to you, you're buying the over-simplified spin being peddled out there"

TK's right, Jon, you ignorant fool, you should buy HIS over-simplified spin being peddled in here.

Oh Ricky, way to swoop in with your trademark ad hominem diversion. So what exactly, assuming you actually want to talk nuts 'n bolts, is your position on the issue? Do you have an informed opinion at all? Actually, I think it's just getting hard for you guys to defend the Republican's actions when each day brings more damning evidence to light. Rough crowd, eh?

Man I hope you and Jon aren't some GOP-paid blog trolls... how else do you explain the outright denial of reality.

"Man I hope you and Jon aren't some GOP-paid blog trolls"

I think at least a few of these guys who post on bojack.org are. Many times have I asked if they are being paid to propagandize, and never have I gotten a response, denying or affirming. Many use the Bill O'Reilly technique of saying "I'm no Bush fan, BUT everything he's doing is perfectly fine, and anyone who says otherwise is a whiny liberal." It seems canned, calculated and rehearsed, and like it's being done for pay rather than coming from the heart.

How'bout you, Jon? Do you get compensated to use the Bill O'Reilly spin technique in this blog?

I will be astonished if there is a response.


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