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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 26, 2009 8:40 AM. The previous post in this blog was Countin' flowers on the wall. The next post in this blog is Who asked for it?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Straight from the top

Here's an important story that could be lost in the more pressing stories of the week -- Michael Jackson still being dead, Oprah and Obama, and now the whole Teddy Funeral:

There's now hard evidence that the torture that America inflicted on detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan was actually being directed, in great detail, by officials in our nation's capital. It was not just the work of rogue personnel out in the field -- quite the opposite.

Read this document -- even the heavily censored version -- and weep for our country.

Comments (22)

Very interesting reading indeed.

Summed up at the end of the article:

But defenders of the program say the tight rules show the government’s attempt to keep the program within the law. “Elaborate care went into figuring out the precise gradations of coercion,” said David B. Rivkin Jr., a lawyer who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. “Yes, it’s jarring. But it shows how both the lawyers and the nonlawyers tried to do the right thing.”

As leaks about the program led to public accusations of torture, court rulings and Congressional action, the paperwork flowing between nervous C.I.A. and Justice officials steadily grew.

In June 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners who were members of Al Qaeda were entitled to the Geneva Conventions’ protections against humiliating and degrading treatment, and “outrages on personal dignity.” John A. Rizzo, the C.I.A.’s top lawyer, asked the Justice Department whether treatment at the agency’s secret prisons passed that test.

Mr. Bradbury of the Office of Legal Counsel wrote a 14-page response, assuring the agency that none of the conditions — the blindfolding and shackling, the involuntary shaving and the white noise — violated the Geneva Conventions’ standards.

“These are not conditions that humans strive for,” Mr. Bradbury wrote. “But they do reflect the realities of detention, realities that the Geneva Conventions accommodate, where persons will have to sacrifice some measure of privacy and liberty while under detention.”

Even Ronald Reagan, the god of conservative repugs, worked to disallow torture to be used. " Convention Against Torture which compels the U.S. to prosecute anyone authorizing torture; that the Treaty proclaims that "no exceptional circumstances whatsoever . . . may be invoked as a justification of torture"; and that Reagan himself said the Treaty "will clearly express United States opposition to torture", so proclaimed Reagan.
And also, will we ever know how many died while in the hands of of our jailers?
Even in Portland dieing while incarcerated does not earn a blink of the eye of the judicial. Civility does not seem to the make-up of Amerika.

Dick Cheney's been running his mouth non-stop about all this and he always puts these war crimes in the noblest possible light. You know: How much he's concerned about our safety as a nation.
The problem for him is that he always focused on things that hurt or killed people as opposed to worrying about container ships or the more mundane stuff.
My conclusion is that Dick Cheney is just another Level 1 psychopath who used his lack of genuine emotions to rise to the top and inflict pain on other living things.
In short, this isn't some noble cause. It's a convenient excuse for him to do what he really likes doing. You also see it in his love of shooting little birds. Dozens and dozens of them. I also question whether or not he had a dark-side moment when he shot the lawyer.

The statistics in this one article I read, have around 6% of the human race as psychopaths. Most of those are second level support types who often succeed but don't have the chops to hurt us badly.
By the way, this is not an attitude-type thing. This is brain chemistry - tests show that these people's brains do not respond in emotional areas where normal people do, unless they realize getting emotional will help them.

Once you buy into this theory - and I have - it explains the behavior of many top leaders in world history. The key is to have a system in place that controls their dark, souless desires. Clearly, the Bush administration fought any such controls, and the result was that people like Dick Cheney were free to kill or maim hundreds of thousands.
Now we have the United States known all around the world as a country that takes detainees into the little room and tortures them up to and including death.

You may wonder why Dick Cheney wasn't in that room himself if he's so twisted? I bet in some instances he was, but these people are also often extremely sensitive about their own safety - you could say cowardly. That explains Cheney spending months down in a secret location.

The reason we see Dick Cheney so energized and vocal right now is that he has lost a lot of his power to hurt people. The joy he derived from inflicting pain is all but missing and it's driving him crazy.

No, weep for the 3000 plus who died on 9/11/2001. Would you have weeped if the plans these people hatched came to fruition?

So weep away over the swine that you feel were mistreated.Rejoice in the fact that there are folks walking around today, because of the info these vermin gave up.

Really you should thank whatever religious honcho you believe in that there are people in the country who'll defend the country against all enemies foreign and domestic.

There is nothing anyone can say or do to make this right.

God I hope this is true. Please please please. Because it therefore means we were kept safe by design for 7 straight years. Thank you George Bush. Thank you Dick Cheney. Weep because they're now gone, replaced by jejune clueless inept children.

We used to be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Not the Land of the Scared and the Home of the Safe.

Torture is absolutely immoral and reprehensible. It is never justifiable.

That we can even be debating it, with one side not only making claims for its practical value but casting the torturers as heroes, shows what a dark path Bush/Cheney led us down. That band of criminals masquerading as a presidential administration did incalculable damage by claiming that something which any civilized person finds abhorrent is actually a rational and permissible instrument of state policy. Now a good chunk of Congress and most of the popular right-wing demagogues defend an indefensible evil, and many average Americans commenting on blogs go along with that evil way of thinking, all the while fancying themselves super-patriots and the only ones who are truly sympathetic to the victims of 9/11.

A stark moral line has been crossed, and the act of crossing that line has been widely defended. I wonder if this country will ever be able to come back.

Who was keeping us safe from Jan 20, 2001 until Sept 10, 2001. Where these the same people who FAILED on 9/11/2001?

Why does the "keeping us safe" clock ALWAYS start the day AFTER a colossal failure?

How does torturing some poor b**tard make anybody safer? This sort of interrogation doesn't produce information of value. It certainly didn't in this case. It's sadistic. It's Dick Cheney and his Trained Chimp.

How does torturing some poor b**tard make anybody safer?

It doesn't. Everyone with an IQ over 50 knows it, which explains why it is so popular with the GOP.

Sorry, it didn't phase me. I wish we could see the 'torture' manual for Al Qaeda, I figure it would read something like this.

Smash fingers.
Smash knuckles.
Smash kneecaps.
Cut off ear.
Cut off finger.
Cut off tongue.
Cattle prod to leg.
Cattle prod to genitals.
Cattle prod up the rectum.
Cut out eyeball.
Cut off head.

Sorry Jack, while two wrongs don't make a right - what we were doing isn't torture.

Were the "officials in our nation's capital" deriving their script from "24," or vice versa? But even "24" found a conscience during the season recently completed, after its "creative" progenitor had moved on.

Have we seen the close of the degeneration in national government from a president who was an actor to a presidency that mimicked television fiction?

Daniel Pearl knows Torture. His family has the tape.

Yes, and the best response was to become torturers ourselves. That made everything right.

I'm shocked by the cavalier attitude so many take towards the consequences of torture. It's as if some feeble argument fed to them by tough-talking phonies, will mitigate the damage to our national soul.
They have no idea what ghastly shop of horrors we've entered here. Yet millions of right-wing Americans have embraced the stupid, taken out their shiny quarters, and bought some candy made of poison.

Where is the national shame? That is the sickest part of this. Our parents, grandparents, and our country didn't sink to the level of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan after Pearl Harbor. WTF is wrong with us?

I'm shocked by the cavalier attitude so many take towards the consequences of torture.

Call it the "24" syndrome.

Not only is torture shameful, it's widely considered to be ineffective by career military interregators.

The problem is simple: people who are tortured will say anything they they think their torturer wants to hear. They fabricate plots, inflate the importance of peripheral actors, and invent storylines based on the questions they're asked.

Who knows all the wild goose chases we've gone on to follow up on bogus leads extracted from tortured prisoners? Who knows what we've missed, how our behavior has helped recruit our enemies, or how much more effective we could have been without torture? It's tragic.

If torture actually worked, we could debate whether the tarnish on our national legitimacy is worth the improved security, but torture doesn't work. All we did was waste valuable resources, and risk the future of our country, to satisfy our collective bloodlust.

Townsend Admits CIA Documents Don’t Back Up Cheney’s Claims About Torture

- -

Deluded people's words (each time, it seems) bring back to mind the horribly grotesque expressions in the 'tv news' images. The emotion-clogged 'human interest' story in which we see a couple in their advanced age who could be our greatgrandparents, or who could be our grandparents, or who could be our parents, (but we never see ourselves or 'our' own), facing the camera sobbing if they are cognizant mentally, else otherwise looking blank-faced, hollow, empty-eyed and pitieous, in the aftermath of having 'lost' their life's entire 'savings.' and purpose. It is the disheartened fallen face of folks who have been scammed in fraud, who were promised the samaritan's redemption of good karma or were promised double-their-money-back or some other lie that moved them to withdraw their nest egg from their bank account and hand it over to the con. And their money and the con are long long gone when the camera finds the victim looking dazed and deadened soul.

Often the 'news story' is that the feeble-minded victim(s) held hope that they were altruistic or benefic by largesse ... and held hope ... and held hope ... and bereft of all their property and prudence had nothing left to hold but hope ... and held hope -- and sure, you know the story, the con has gotten clean away. Cleaner, farther, happier the longer that the victim stood hoping, silent, and deluded. Self-deluded. And that's the picture tormenting my mind: the face of self-delusion inconsolable, the dawn of recognition they have themselves to blame, that they and everything and all their purpose and its promise got 'taken.' Facing in the camera completely crushed, wishing wishes they could turn back time and stop the dawn.

Often these sad victims are so downcast they can't even get up the indignation to report the crime. They don't go to the police; often the police find them along the tracking trail of frauds, and firm direct interrogation has to draw out their reluctant-said admission. 'Yes, they were also victimized ... but the con seemed such a decently believable good person ... please don't blame them for a stupid gullibility.' As they blame themselves enough, beyond regret, beyond haunting hell sickening their head, standing there, and later blame themselves deeper -- sleeping, waking, eating, breathing, every living hour. Don't blame them any more, they say, they blame themselves enough for lapsing stupid. Often these sad victims are so broken that they even lack the heartfelt passion to get angry, get revenge, get prosecution Justice and get closure and get over it.

The saddest face and forlorn-most that tv ever offers -- "the agony of defeat." And they typically or 70- or 80-something 'seniors' now demoralized and destituted, lost from all they ever worked and wished for. Their whole lifelong, greets them with their life shortening.

Their delusion destroys every human kindness. First in themselves, inside, where they can never find faith or trust or hope again, beneath scars and scabs and callouses of cynicism; and then in every lateral direction around them where they turn to us, eyes and empty soul pleading, 'say it isn't so, say I haven't wronged myself, my life, in self-delusion.'

These are the people -- I can just see them -- behind the words found here and elsewhere which recite the liars' legend of nine-eleven op. At first, when we are no longer fooled, we feel like shouting at and slapping those sufferers still victim of the con, to say, SNAP OUT of it! It was a hoax, a fraud, a con job you are fallen for! Don't buy the delusion!

But as they go on mindlessly, menacing, mumbling the propaganda prayer: "remember 9/11 -- murder every moslem residing in THEIR land atop OUR oil" -- we begin to see that lie is all they're living for, self-consumed inside the myth of false reality, and we can only feel the saddest lonely sorry for them in neurotic hell, in heads and lives a hollow shell of empty television, nine-eleven nightmares, and their Bush betraying them.

Look! Good people, slap your forehead and snap out of it! The evidence is and ever will be that Bush betrayed us. The 3 Towers falling down blasted out more energy exploding than gravity could force for all the world -- Bush buried those three thousand bodies. The hole in the Pentagon is where a missile cruised into it -- you must admit the plane don't fit -- Bush buried the surveillance videos. Two craters in the Pennsylvania countryside, (whereas an intact plane could not hit ground in separate parts), are seen as found: too small, too empty, too ridiculous to fool anyone -- all there is to "let's roll" is ... more Bush b.s.

(As an easy way to get a grip, I put a 'Bush' handle on it. But in-person Bush's part of nine-eleven was merely to be figurehead -- playing the role of president on tv. Real nine-eleven strategy, tactic, and logistics, (that's the category Bush was in, positioned as the POTUS -- one pawn-size detail in preparing the 'logistics'), was all conceived, arranged and conducted by more influential depraved sociopaths controlling Bush, (and Cheney, too, for that matter): namely Bush's Daddy. & the club of Kissinger and David Rockefeller and sadistic Saudi Royals -- all of them aiming to autocracy, petroleum totalitarians, going back together before Jughead Jr. Bush was even born, approximately. We'd have to ask them when they first got sick. Daddy B. killed his first two victims in Sept. '44, stabbing his aircraft crewmates in the back by bailing out of the pilot seat without telling them -- he parachuted, they died crashing down to Davy Jones.
[ ]
And the White House where he was Vice-President in residence, in early 1980s, ordered out to Army Special Forces for a report 'brainstorming' (hypothetically) what could stop someone from crashing a plane into the Twin Towers ... since the question was on Daddy B's mind, 20 years in advance. So there is some quick diabolic 'evidence' and somehow somewhere, along the way, he went demonic on America, but we'd have to ask him and the others when they first got mentally diseased. For now just watch yourself that you don't get the hate infection. And in any way that you might find, if you can, help We the People haul them in for questioning ... there's been a mass murder and we'd like to ask what Big Bush knew, and when, and where he disappeared to undisclosed, nine-eleven morning, from the investors group for Carlyle he was meeting with in downtown Wash.DC's Ritz Carlton Hotel.)
[ ]

The alibi of Daddy B is most suspect, since he (and Ronnie Raygun) installed the kangaroo Justices Supreme, who installed Jughead Jr in position in 2000. Within months came the 'excuse' of nine-eleven which has been the single means to 'justify' such extenuated ends that must surely be the wetdreams of any Texas oilman since 1950. Mainly: Taking over all the oil in the world. But including eavesdropping on this blog, every email, telephone, fax and conversation -- here and everywhere on Earth, making a list and checking it twice to spot any budding Biggie rising rival to his power. He is, after all, King of the CIA, starting from inception (1948), working up the ranks, putting his name on the Headquarters building, and sending those spy-guys out doing what he says any where he says any time he says. Pulling rank on the CIA carries a lot of sway.
[ ]
Daddy B recruited Cheney during their freshman year in Congress together, 1967. And he spotted and recruited Rove the college wunderkind, in 1973, and put him on the payroll babysitting Jr ever since. Starting with all 7 billion suspects for the crime of nine-eleven, and eliminating everyone without the motive, means, or opportunity, you then are left with only one man standing in the world with the required elements.

It seems that all the loyal Junior Bush and Cheney voters and supporters should have no problem with letting those two plea bargain off the hook, and so supporting prosecuting Poppa. & the club of codgers. (1920s: The hatest generation?)

Except, of course, first the 'loyalists' would have to bring themselves to face themselves admitting they got 'taken' falling for the tv Lies of Nine-Eleven. And the saddest thing to see, in their faces and their words, is that they can't admit that they were conned to willingly hand over their freedom birthright in this country, and any treasure that gave purpose in their life. To a neurotic nut-job Napoleon, as blackheart as a Texas oilman.

Who loves America so much he bought a spread in Argentina-Paraguay, building out a massive compound there -- the Bush family getaway .... [ ]


This business should be an immense source of national shame and measures should be taken in all the involved services to be sure it never happens again.

Most importantly, we need to confront and reverse the position announced by the Atty General vacating the legal heritage of Nurenberg. If we don't, then the "I was only following orders," defense has been restored in the US. That should NEVER be allowed to happen. Some conduct is abhorrent to any moral being and must NEVER be excused, the principle the Greatest Generation worked and bled to defend.


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Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
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Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
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Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
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Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
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Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
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Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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