SOLO-International Press Release: The Anti-American President, Pt. 1

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2009-04-23 03:00

SOLO-International Press Release: The Anti-American President
April 23, 2009

Fewer than 100 days into his presidency, Barack Chavez-Obama is shaping up as treasonous, says SOLO Principal Lindsay Perigo.

"This is a President who has just re-opened the door for the prosecution of those who in good faith advised that the 'waterboarding' of terrorist trash post-9/11 would be legal. That technique subsequently extracted information that saved Los Angeles from a similar attack.

"This is a President who releases classified information about that technique and withholds information about its success.

"This is a President who has outlawed that technique (which, though distressing—oh, poor terrorist trash!—is neither injurious nor life-threatening).

"This is a President who has officially changed the name of the War on Terror to 'Overseas Contingency Operation' so as not to offend terrorist trash.

"This is a President who is willing to sit down unconditionally with the President of the world's #1 sponsor of terrorist trash, Iran, even as that country proceeds with impunity to acquire nuclear weaponry.

"This is a President who preaches nuclear disarmament at the United Nations knowing North Korea is about to fire a long-range missile over Japan.

"This is a President who bows to the King of Saudi Arabia and beams at Hugo Chavez.

"This is a President whose economic policies are significantly similar to Chavez's.

"This is a President on whose watch the Department of Homeland Security fantasizes about 'threats' from war veterans who 'might' become 'right-wing extremists.'

"This is a President who believes anyone who adheres to America's founding ideals is a 'right-wing extremist.'

"This is a President who trashes his country while overseas, apologizing to European socialists (whose countries America rebuilt) and Latin American communists for America's 'arrogance' and 'dismissiveness.'

"The Department of Homeland Security would be better advised to worry about the threat to America posed by its President. He is making it more vulnerable to external attack while personally unleashing an internal attack on its core values.

"Chavez-Obama's credentials as an anti-American may be unimpeachable, but he'd do well to remember that he is not," Perigo concludes.

Lindsay Perigo: editor@freeradical.co.nz

SOLO (Sense of Life Objectivists): SOLOPassion.com


( categories: )

Obama lecturing Netanyahu

atlascott's picture

Obama lecturing Netanyahu is like a brainwashed PolySci college freshman lecturing a doctor of History/ambassador with 30 years of real diplomatic experience.

How can anyone take it seriously? His advice is ridiculous on its face.

Netanyahu cleverly quipped that he would consider negotiating with the Palestinians about a two-state solution as soon as they concede that they support the continued existence of an Israeli state.

It will never happen.

Honest to God, it would be like Mexico pledging the murder of all Americans as its goal and then sending rockets and suicide bombers into California, and then Germany telling us to sit down at the table and make concessions to Mexico.

It is preposterous.

How easy it is for Obama to give this appeasing advice, safe in the White House. Meanwhile, the Israelis fight for their lives, and live in daily fear of an anonymous attack by people to whom Obama wants concessions granted. And this guy is supposed to be smart?

OMG, Obama really is the manchurian candidate!

Marcus's picture

Obama's solution for dealing with Iran? 'Give them what they want and then make a deep bow and apologise for existing.'

Was Obama bin Hussein sent to the US to become President by Osama bin Laden as the follow-up to 9/11? No? You could have fooled me!
..........................................................................................................................

"President Obama will seek today to persuade the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister that the White House’s recent overtures to Iran should be given time to work and that an Israeli military strike against Tehran could trigger disaster...

Mr Obama’s recent offer of talks with Tehran has raised deep concerns in Israel and Mr Netanyahu views Tehran’s nuclear ambitions as an existential threat to the Jewish state. Both men agree that Iran’s nuclear programme must be stopped but have differing opinions on how to to do it, particularly as the Israeli leader sees no link — as Mr Obama does — between the issue of Palestinian statehood and efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear programme.

During his election campaign Mr Netanyahu hinted at his willingness to launch a military strike if Iran refused to halt the programme. This month Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Foreign Minister, said that world powers should take action against Iran if it does not curb its nuclear activities by August."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t...

credibility of the

jeffrey smith's picture

credibility of the government will approach absolute zero

I don't see how these things could improve the government's credibility. Eye

Obama calls for "common ground" between life and death...

Ptgymatic's picture

...and the fact that he'll get away with such a verbal insult to both sides of the controversy damns every spokesperson who will make public comment on his appearance at Notre Dame. What do you suppose he actually has in mind when he speaks of "common ground" between abortion and birth? A late-term abortion??

Even being on the right side of the issue, he offends more than he sustains. If he gets away with this mealy-mouthed equivocation, and Pelosi worms her way out of her flip-flop on torture, credibility of the government will approach absolute zero.

Mindy

The times they are a changing

gregster's picture

"Of course people with actual useful skills or sales experience need not apply. That’s for the capitalist scum in the old ugly racist America. Not the happy cheerful new America that uses taxpayer funds to take over and gut American companies and turn them into lifetime employment packages for the supporters of the Beloved Leader.

And all the while Obama is pushing 60,000 new government jobs, making sure that all of America winds up with the prosperously bankrupt union tick infested economy that California already enjoys.

Meanwhile The Shining One is making sure that Israel doesn’t attack Iran without notifying him, which is much the same as notifying Iran itself. Especially considering some of Obama’s appointees, whose sympathies are not exactly subtle.

Meanwhile everyone on down is pressuring Israel to implement a Two State Solution ASAP, regardless of the fact that would mean creating a terrorist state inside Israel, whose leadership would include Hamas, and which has never demonstrated any willingness to stop being terrorists.

The blackmail card of course is Iran."

By Daniel Greenfield Saturday, May 16, 2009
Sultanknish.blogspot.com

On this one I'm with you, Joe:

Lindsay Perigo's picture

If you're not part of the solution, you *are* the problem!

They don't have to speak out...

Jmaurone's picture

but then, why should they matter to those who fight for freedom? I agree with Rand, "Morality ends where a gun begins." Which makes those who resist, regardless, that much more heroic, and that much more worth my time. If someone chooses not to "fight back," opting for a passive civil disobedience, they get just as much respect from me. If they resist in silence, that's their choice. But if they enable statism, well...Emerson asked why Thoreau was in that jail cell. What was it Thoreau said to Emerson? "Why aren't you in here with me?"

Oy!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I agree with the spirit of your point, but not with the letter. If a person has the opportunity, sure, speak out. However, Linz, you get dangerously close to saying that one has a "duty" to speak out regardless of the consequences. You can correct me if I am wrong in thinking that, but Objectivism is not a duty-bound ethics.

It isn't and I didn't. Dangerously close? Where would *that* get you in the courtroom? Eye

Fact is, folk who could speak out with no or negligible risk, don't, and they repair to the "martyr" excuse. That sucks. They suck.

Joe

Michael Moeller's picture

There are many avenues of using and fighting for one's freedom without the necessity of becoming a martyr. Consider this quote from Rand regarding surviving the educational system/indoctrination:

"Therefore, he can remain impervious to the influence of his educators, if he does some clear and critical thinking on his own--that is, if he neither accepts his teachers on blind faith nor criticizes them blindly. If he doesn't agree, let him answer in his own mind why he disagrees. If his teacher is hopelessly intolerant, the student need not make himself a martyr; but he still learns (even in reverse), preserves his mind, and gets his diploma." (Ayn Rand Answers, pg 176.)

I think this is precisely Rand's point here. She is stating that one does not have to confront and speak out on every issue, especially where the situation is hopeless and one would become a martyr. Further, she implies it is more important to get the education and move on in life than to be penalized by an intolerant teacher. Do you think she is denying the importance of freedom in stating this?

Duty?

Jmaurone's picture

Michael: "My point is simply that one should weigh speaking out in light of their limited time and the hierarchy of their values, which does not demand a "duty" to speak out at the cost of more important pursuits."

If freedom is not at the top of the hierarchy, I don't know what those more important pursuits are.

Joe

Michael Moeller's picture

I have no problem with Bernstein's quote. Indeed, one can maintain one's values in the sanctity of one's own mind if living in a dictatorship, but this does not necessarily entail speaking out against a dictatorship and the cost of feeling the sword. Imagine if Rand had taken it to extreme lengths while living in Soviet Russia, none of us would be discussing her on this forum.

Yes, I am aware of Rand working for the Wilkie campaign, and her many other instances of political activism. That's not really my point. My point is simply that one should weigh speaking out in light of their limited time and the hierarchy of their values, which does not demand a "duty" to speak out at the cost of more important pursuits.

Michael

On Martyrdom

Jmaurone's picture

Michael: "I think there is weight to the "martyr" argument. For instance, if I remember correctly, after Rand graduated she gave tours in a Soviet museum of sorts that promoted Soviet propaganda. Should she have spoken out considering she probably would have lost all chance at a livelihood and perhaps even her life?"

I'm reminded by this of Andrew Bernstein's essay "The Role of Free Will in Anthem in the CliffNotes:

"It would be mistaken to morally condemn the masses for their unwillingness to keep alive their own minds and spirits. They are not evil but are cowed by the authoritarianism of the rulers. The Councils that mandate blind obedience are evil. Rather, the intriguing question raised by the heroic characters is how they manage to keep alive their own minds in the face of such oppressive pressure to conform. Ayn Rand's purpose is not to criticize against the crowd, but to glorify the rare individuals who know, against all teachings and social pressure, that their minds are sacred and not to be surrendered to authority."

Michael: "For instance, should Rand have not taken 15 years to write Atlas Shrugged and fulfill her dreams (and her ultimate happiness) as a novelist, and instead spent her time entirely on political activism? I would consider that a sacrifice on her part."

Are you aware that Rand did, in fact, take time away from her writing to work for the Wilkie campaign, using up her savings in the process? And as a result, after he lost, she had to go back to work she hated because the savings was gone, and delaying work on The Fountainhead?

Linz

Michael Moeller's picture

You wrote: "It's the not speaking out that's the worst thing of all. They'll repair to this thing about 'martyrs.' Bullshit."

I agree with the spirit of your point, but not with the letter. If a person has the opportunity, sure, speak out. However, Linz, you get dangerously close to saying that one has a "duty" to speak out regardless of the consequences. You can correct me if I am wrong in thinking that, but Objectivism is not a duty-bound ethics.

I think there is weight to the "martyr" argument. For instance, if I remember correctly, after Rand graduated she gave tours in a Soviet museum of sorts that promoted Soviet propaganda. Should she have spoken out considering she probably would have lost all chance at a livelihood and perhaps even her life?

Furthermore, I think a blanket duty to speak out fails to take account of a person's time and hierarchy of values. Should one forgo study and a fulfilling career so that they can blog on whatever current event or latest evil crops up in the news? For instance, should Rand have not taken 15 years to write Atlas Shrugged and fulfill her dreams (and her ultimate happiness) as a novelist, and instead spent her time entirely on political activism? I would consider that a sacrifice on her part.

The same is true for other Objectivists and the paths they seek. The thing is, Linz, sometimes there are bigger fish to fry in accordance with one's happiness and hierarchy of values, and time is limited. I would applaud a person who focused on creating a success business or becoming a innovative scientist or wherever their personal desires take them instead of forgoing those things to blog about whether Congress should be investigating steroid use or not.

Michael

Peikoff said it

Sandi's picture

"America versus Americans".

Game on!

The 10th Amendment Centre has a terrific Map outlining the current progress of the state sovereignty bills.

Thanks Marcus, I think it's way more than a flash in the pan

HWH's picture

Like PJ said...The US was founded by religious nuts with guns.

"Art. 10. Right of Revolution: Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the whole community and not for the interests or emoluments of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to, reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."
-- "New Hampshire Bill of Rights" (1784)

Beck thinks that states will pop Obama's bubble

Marcus's picture

Will it work? What's your view?

I'll sue for defamation, says Savage

Marcus's picture

Good on him! I hope he wins Smiling
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From The Times
May 6, 2009

I'll sue for defamation, says US shock-jock Michael Savage, on UK banned list

An American “shock jock” said last night that he was planning legal action against the Government after discovering that he had been on a list of 16 people banned from entering Britain since October.

Michael Savage, who hosts the “Savage Nation” radio show, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he had been defamed and endangered by the decision made by Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary.

“This lunatic . . . is linking me up with Nazi skinheads who are killing people in Russia,” he said. “She’s putting me in a league with Hamas murderers who kill Jews on buses.

“I have never advocated violence. I've been on the air 15 years. My views may be inflammatory, but they're not violent in any way.” ...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t...

Savage...

Robert's picture

is a loud mouthed, uber christian, brow-beating braggart. I would have to know him personally to know whether the radio-persona is manufactured or an accurate reflection of the man.

He's never really exposed a clear vision of the form he thinks capitalism should take. Something that is necessary given the venom he directs at crony-capitalists. Much of that venom has turned out to be deserved, but the ferocity of his attacks makes me wonder whether he doesn't retain some of the Socialism of his youth.

There is no doubt that he is highly intelligent. Which makes me wonder whether he doesn't play to his notoriety for the purpose of ratings. His sincerity only really comes across when he talks about his life experiences. Having listened to them both, Linz is the superior broadcaster. His taste in music is superior also. And Linz is no where near as angry or irrational as Savage is.

That said, Savage has been a patron of some notably noble causes (donating $10,000 to the defense fund of the Haditha Marines). He's also been patron of some Quixotic ones too.

From my point of view, his heart is often in the right place, but his mouth often isn't.

Should we be banning this US 'shock jock'?

Marcus's picture

"The Home Office has issued the latest list of people it believes should not come to the country because they hold extremist opinions...

Home Office officials say Michael Savage, real name Michael Weiner, holds abhorrent views on immigration, Islam, rape and autism, which have caused great offence in America. That may be so. But are we now banning people because we don't like what they think or say; or are we accepting that anyone who responds violently to a view of which they disapprove can effectively veto their right to free speech?"

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/p...

I didn't even know who Savage was until I read this. Does the home office happen to know that he wants to visit soon or what?

I vaguely remember in the past, someone once compared Linz to Savage. Will 'Lindsay Perigo' be the next to turn up on the UK's list of the banished?

I hope this Government is voted out soon, because no matter how socialist the Tories have become I doubt they're going to ban people for simply holding the wrong opinions.

Obama a laughing stock for the Frogs

HWH's picture

That even those whose flag consists of a white cross on a white background consider Obama and the US a laughing stock must be the saddest thing I've ever heard.

In an interview with a member of the French Intel these were some of the comments about this air headed clown now posing as a world leader

One of them is not being infected with Obamamania. "My agency considers him a joke," he confides. "Every day there is some fresh lunacy that we cannot believe. Mr. Bush would often make us angry. But at this man we just laugh."

"In truth, it also makes us sad," he continued. "French resentment towards America is strong, so being able to laugh at your country feels good. But it is such a sad and strange thing to see America - America The Great! - do something so crazy as to elect this ridiculous man."

More here

large format scanner

You don't seem the "Pain-Free" type to me.

atlascott's picture

I don't believe you. You are tougher than seeking a "pain-free" solution.

I think you would piss your career away and walk away from everything you have built at this point--under the right circumstances.

But if, and only if, you could see what was waiting for you on the other side, and it was a value, with a good chance of occurring.

In other words, you require a stronger showing that the mere word of an anarchist on the internet before torching all of your personal accomplishments.

That is, in my estimation, exactly as it should be, and it is as I see things.

I am GLAD that you are in this country, I look forward to your citizenship, and feel better about immigration generally since it resulted in a fellow like you getting here.

Erm...

atlascott's picture

"For instance, I doubt that there is a red blooded male or female on this site who hasn't 'shacked' up with an airhead at one time or other. We'd all be bloody virgins if we hadn't. Sad, but true."

Some of us positively made a sport of it in our younger days...don't know whether that's particularly sad...

No apology was offered.

Robert's picture

OK then; Get fucked! Smiling

I can't speak for anyone else, but I feel the internal conflict every time I hear a bromide or see a cause like the tea parties that I'd love to support for my own long term benefit but realize that there is only 24 hours in a day and short term goals (immigration, career etc.) are more urgent. Settling in a new country and reversing the course of a career takes time, and it is time well spent. And we haven't even covered the issue of filling in the holes in my knowledge.

It's still a touchy subject with me precisely because I give a shit, I know what's at stake and I don't believe that Shrugging is a sure fire way of fixing things pain-free.

Robt

Lindsay Perigo's picture

No apology was offered. Eye

Specifics next time? I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. But I thought it was clear in the context of Joe's thread that I was talking *very* globally and not targeting anyone here.

What I'm hoping is that someone will read the Aphorisms that have clearly pissed a few people off and ask about intrinsicism. *That's* about the biggest sin of all, among Objectivists most of all.

Apology accepted.

Robert's picture

"I actually see you as one of those who *are* prepared to speak out, and believe I have said so many times."

Fair enough and thank you. My apologies for suspecting otherwise.

Though when I ran down the the laundry list, I was shocked to find that I am guilty of or might be accused of (within the balance of probabilities) most if not all of the sins.

So maybe a few more specifics next time? For instance, I doubt that there is a red blooded male or female on this site who hasn't 'shacked' up with an airhead at one time or other. We'd all be bloody virgins if we hadn't. Sad, but true.

As for umbrage, that's for pussies. I was contemplating punching your lights out - like a true native of Tokoroa. Smiling

Robt!!!!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I read it three days ago and was apoplectic. Now I'm just fucking hacked off. A perfect three-for-one: not only does it insult the objectivist, but draws in the partner and the underlying romance that binds them. And for what was this heinous insult a retaliation for? You be the judge: I can only count two people diametically opposed to Linz's point of view. The rest disagree by a matter of seconds rather than degrees.
About the only thing that might not be aimed at me is that Linz singles out objectivists. I do not consider myself one - but only because I haven't consciously adsorbed enough of it yet. But I do do Facebook more often than it is worth, I haven't been particularly active in advancing 'the cause' of late - unless you count expanding my library and reading when I have time. And this spray was posted upon this thread in response to all the nay-sayers of which I'm the only one (AFAIK) who has 'shacked up' with anyone.

None of that was aimed at you. For Galt's sake man! This was a broad global view of Oism globally based on my many years involvement in it. I actually see you as one of those who *are* prepared to speak out, and believe I have said so many times. Clearly you've caught the American disease of premature umbrage. Best you come home now. Eye

Goldberg Corrects Obama on Churchill and Torture

Jeff Perren's picture

Golderg corrects Obama's paper thin recollection of history.

    Asked about his decision to release the "torture memos" and ban waterboarding, Obama said: "I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, ‘We don't torture,' when . . . all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat. . . . Churchill understood, you start taking shortcuts, over time, that corrodes what's best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country."
    [...]
    Regardless, Churchill and Great Britain didn't quite take the firm stand against "torture" that Obama and Sullivan suggest. During the war, the Brits ran an interrogation center, "the Cage," in one of London's fanciest neighborhoods, where they worked over 3,573 captured Germans, sometimes brutally. The Free French movement, headquartered in London, savagely beat detainees under the nose of British authorities. From 1945 to 1947, Colonel Stephens himself ran the Bad Nenndorf prison near Hanover, Germany, where Soviet and Nazi prisoners were treated far more brutally than those at Guantanamo Bay. Stephens was court-martialed, and cleared, for some of the alleged atrocities.

    Of course, none of this remotely made Britain "equivalent" to Nazi Germany.

[Request to Webmaster: Is there any way to implement/allow the blockquote tags? Using UL isn't as good and cite is even worse.]

Blueprint

atlascott's picture

"But if you're asking me for a blueprint..."

Not at all, Joe. Thanks for answering the question. I agree that that is the last stop on this train.

And that's if we're lucky.

Andrew McCarthy on The Issue

Jeff Perren's picture

Andrew McCarthy, one of the world's foremost experts on prosecuting jihadists (he nailed the blind sheik who bombed the WTC in '93), wrote a letter declining AG Holder's invitation to participate on a Task Force on Detention. His reasons are illuminating, not to say thrilling:

    The invitation email (of April 14) indicates that the meeting is part of an ongoing effort to identify lawful policies on the detention and disposition of alien enemy combatants—or what the Department now calls “individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations.”
    I admire the lawyers of the Counterterrorism Division, and I do not question their good faith. Nevertheless, it is quite clear—most recently, from your provocative remarks on Wednesday in Germany—that the Obama administration has already settled on a policy of releasing trained jihadists (including releasing some of them into the United States).
    Whatever the good intentions of the organizers, the meeting will obviously be used by the administration to claim that its policy was arrived at in consultation with current and former government officials experienced in terrorism cases and national security issues. I deeply disagree with this policy, which I believe is a violation of federal law and a betrayal of the president’s first obligation to protect the American people. Under the circumstances, I think the better course is to register my dissent, rather than be used as a prop.
    Moreover, in light of public statements by both you and the President, it is dismayingly clear that, under your leadership, the Justice Department takes the position that a lawyer who in good faith offers legal advice to government policy makers—like the government lawyers who offered good faith advice on interrogation policy—may be subject to investigation and prosecution for the content of that advice, in addition to empty but professionally damaging accusations of ethical misconduct. Given that stance, any prudent lawyer would have to hesitate before offering advice to the government.

Michael

Robert's picture

I agree at the moment that the government does err on the side of the defendent.

However, I fear that if the Austrian economists out there are correct in their prediction about the economic mess that awaits us in the near future, that things will rapidly change given the current administration's philosophical base.

There is ample historic precedent for my fear here. All it would take is for the sort of dissent expressed in the Tea Party movement to begin the process of evolving into a directionless angry mob of the kind that starred in the French Revolution. At the moment this movement has the potential to continue with healthy and purposeful (in terms of reforming one or other of the political parties or forming a credible third party) political dissent. But if the economy goes south and the dollar becomes worthless latrine paper, I suspect that all bets may be off...

Hopefully the mid-term elections will herald the application of the hand-brake to Obama's administration. But there are no garuantees. The Republican party looks to be an unprincipled shambles from where I sit and the bed-rock principles it does hold, I don't necessarily agree with.

Or maybe I just need to go throw back a few ales and ignore the news for a while.

As to my last paragraph, that one was in response to Linz and this line:
"Too many are pussy/penis-whipped, shacked up with airhead partners for whose sake they censor/deny themselves. If partnerless currently, they buy into the conventional folly that such a state is a disaster, to overcome which these Desperate Housewives and Husbands spend inordinate periods of time fluffing around on Facebook for Fluffheads."

I read it three days ago and was apoplectic. Now I'm just fucking hacked off. A perfect three-for-one: not only does it insult the objectivist, but draws in the partner and the underlying romance that binds them. And for what was this heinous insult a retaliation for? You be the judge: I can only count two people diametically opposed to Linz's point of view. The rest disagree by a matter of seconds rather than degrees.

About the only thing that might not be aimed at me is that Linz singles out objectivists. I do not consider myself one - but only because I haven't consciously adsorbed enough of it yet. But I do do Facebook more often than it is worth, I haven't been particularly active in advancing 'the cause' of late - unless you count expanding my library and reading when I have time. And this spray was posted upon this thread in response to all the nay-sayers of which I'm the only one (AFAIK) who has 'shacked up' with anyone.

I probably would have sat on my anger. But I see Linz is expanding on his views, and with feeling, in at least two other threads and its starting to grate.

Robert

Michael Moeller's picture

"I opine that maybe a little more oversight is required, perhaps a clear statement or two from the politicians - of the sort that could be used against them in a court of law if they ever violated it. And for that, I'm a lilly-livered pansy anarchist - so be it."

God no!! I've never thought that of you, you are usually quite solid. I think you raised legitimate questions and concerns. My point was simply that somtimes that is not enough. When you raised questions about the process (eg. legal standards, who signed off on what, were there policy restrictions, etc.) and brought up other examples of government abuse, you seemed to be introducing skepticism in regards to the policy on enhanced interrogations. In this case, I think you needed to take it a step further and examine whether the skepticism is justified by assessing whether the federal statute was met, whether the lawyers acted appropriately, whether "oversight" was enough etc. etc. Indeed, I do share your sentiment; that is, until I delve into the details to see whether the government acted within appropriate limitations.

In other words, not to just be "ambivalent", but to take a firm stand when justified--there is a lot at stake in terms of American defense, politics, and basic morality.

"However, you should keep in mind that my objection was based upon my foreboding that we were mere footsteps away from water-boarding being authorized for domestic civilian issues."

I disagree here. Like the Miranda protections, if anything the government oversteps in the other direction when it comes to criminal defendants. From case law and precedent, I do not think the 5th and 6th Amendment protections will be put in jeopardy any time soon.

"But would you at least agree that the procedure for authorizing water-boarding, or whatever, needs formalizing so that everybody involved knows where they stand?"

That's what I am saying Robert, I think it was "formalized". Bush gave the greenlight and mentioned "enhanced interrogations" in countless speeches, but he obviously couldn't reveal the details because they were classified. I believe Rumsfeld had to authorize them with his own hand to have the interrogations done at Gitmo. The OLC lawyers had to sign those memos under penalties of ethics and disbarment. Congress received full briefings throughout the process. I am not sure what more could be done, honestly. I guess if you mean should all the people receiving briefings sign on the dotted line, ok.

As to your last paragraph, like I said, I think you are solid and would never refer to you as a "traitor or coward". That wasn't directed at me, was it? I also don't know what you mean about your fiancee, was that mentioned on the thread?

Michael

Michael

Robert's picture

I don't recall ever berating the Bush Administration for using torture or enhanced interrogation techniques on genuine terrorists. I can't understand how, from what I wrote anyone could have formed that opinion. Perhaps I didn't express my view clearly enough. In any event, it doesn't matter much. It's not like I'm eligible to vote or anything.

My point was that I am uncomfortable with the current state of affairs. I opined that I was ambivalent to Obama's decision to stop water-boarding people. I opine that maybe a little more oversight is required, perhaps a clear statement or two from the politicians - of the sort that could be used against them in a court of law if they ever violated it. And for that, I'm a lilly-livered pansy anarchist - so be it.

Since reading Robert Bidinotto's volume on law and order, I agree with you that the Miranda statue is a joke. I see that there may be an ideological connection between the hog-tying of the Police with this statue and the hog-tying of the military with the definition of torture. I'll keep that in mind.

I agree with you that Cheney's actions, placing his own head next to those lawyers is very honorable. One wonders why Bush has lost his voice. Perhaps he will clear his throat if the threat to try the lawyers ever materializes into reality.

However, you should keep in mind that my objection was based upon my foreboding that we were mere footsteps away from water-boarding being authorized for domestic civilian issues. And the basis for that foreboding has already been canvassed. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, although I not again that Jeff Perren has likened Obama to Mussolini in another thread.

But any mistake I've made has been in my analysis rather than an error in my principles. You yourself admit to sharing the sentiment I expressed.

Now, you've made a good case for why oversight isn't a cure-all. Fine. But would you at least agree that the procedure for authorizing water-boarding, or whatever, needs formalizing so that everybody involved knows where they stand?

I can't see how this makes me a traitor, or a coward or any of the other fucking nonsense that Linz has been spouting about nobody in particular. Although I will say this: the next arse-clown who questions my fiancees honor, integrity or intelligence -- obliquely or directly and within my hearing -- is only going to be beaten to the hospital by the head-lights of the ambulance he is on. I really couldn't give a fuck what my adversaries here say about me. Involve my fiancee in your disagreements with me at your peril.

Hilton...

Marcus's picture

...from your video clip, none of Obama's arguments make any sense.

How does complaining that he inherited a massive deficit justify him doubling that deficit?

How does complaining about the burgeoning cost of health-care justify spending even more on nationalized health-care?

Maybe his argument is really this: "Hey I'm worse than the last guy, but not that much worse."

But Obama is dead-wrong about that too.

By the way, this is currently no.5 on the video viral chart. Glenn Beck couldn't have said it better.

This is no. 14

Robert

Michael Moeller's picture

Regarding your post "Slippery Slopes", although I share the sentiment, I do not share the approach. Its not enough to pile up other examples of government abuses of power that have or could happen, and then introduce skepticism here. Pointing to other cases does not prove it in this case. One can easily turn around and point to examples where the government did a fine job under much less "oversight". For instance, the Manhattan Project and the decision to drop the bomb were certainly done under a greater shroud of secrecy, should we dig up Truman's corpse and put it on trial because it lacked a vague notion of "oversight"?

This also does not bring into play too much political meddling and micro-managing of law enforcement/military and ramshackling them from seeking justice. Consider Miranda and controls on police interrogation where the Court had to define down "coercion" to the mere fact of being police custody. So a perp who would voluntarily confess under police interrogation is having his "rights" abused and must be begged by the police to get a lawyer and shut up?

Same thing here, the Left is not doing a legal analysis of the federal anti-torture statute, they are trying to define down anything and everything under the sun as "torture". Oh, the Left and others with their weeping concern for the "rights" of accused, well who speaks for the justice of the victims and would-be dead thousands?

And yes, Robert, there is a federal anti-torture statute, so the use of "torture" in "dire" circumstances does not even come into play, i.e. the Bush Administration is claiming that what they did was not torture. This also means that the prosecutors need to prove the actions prohibited by the statute "beyond a reasonable doubt". Furthermore, if you read the standards of the statutue, nothing has been ceded to the government regarding "cruel and unusual punishment".

As to signing off and oversight of the policy, there was plenty of that in this case. Consider that the FBI, CIA, and other intel agencies knew what was going on. The CIA had to provide the facts surrounding the interrogation techniques to the OLC lawyers, who then had to issue legal opinions on whether said techniques complied with the statute (read: "criterion and policy limitiations"). And yes, Rumsfeld and others in the Administrations had to sign off to use this techniques in Gitmo. In fact, Cheney is still "signing off" on the position, so to speak, and demanding the rest of the evidence. I think there is a lot of honor in his position of continuing to speak out and not letting underlings take the fall for this political witch-hunt. To add to the "oversight", Congress was briefed over 30 times and informed on the Administration's legal position regarding these policies. As legislators, if they were not happy with the legal position, it is their duty to speak up and object.

So what would you add in terms of "oversight"?

Like I said earlier, its not simply enough to note other abuses and introduce skepticism. I think you need to delve into the details and see if the policy meets your level of "oversight". Why? Well, its great to speak out against government abuse and be vigilant against the "watchers" intruding on privacy. However, on the flip side, its equally important to applaud and defend those policies that are within the legitimate actions of government and protect individual Americans.

Michael

RE: Honest

Jmaurone's picture

Me:"Anybody ready to do something about this yet?"

Scott:
"Any ideas about what? Honest question, no baiting, i am curious to know what you think the next step is."

HWH:
"Scott, IMO, it's all just part of the equation that the only means one has of answering force is by force...nothing else needs to be noted here dont you think?"

Hilton's post came directly after Scott's, to the minute. Given the topic of the thread, I don't know if that was a response to Scott's question or about torture...but if it was, it's about as close to what I would have replied.

But if you're asking me for a blueprint, the best I can offer with certainty is to quote Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen:
"I'm not a God. I'm just a puppet who can see the strings."

And I don't even have the power of quantum physics at my disposal.

Morally, I can't advise anyone what to do. But I am not a fatalist; I don't think that there is NOTHING that can be done. I just think we're past the point of playing nice, and have been for some time. All I can say is whether you take the path of passive (nonviolent, like Ghandi and MLK) or active resistance (like Daniel Shays, Malcolm X) is up to you. You can be a tax dissenter, you can stop paying your bills to Bank of America, you can throw a burn down the White House. But you have to choose a path if you want change.

His Socialist Labor Commissars

gregster's picture

From Trevor Loudon's blog: "Control of organised labor is a key component of the Obama administration's power plan.

The Communist Party USA's Peoples Weekly World January 31st '09 quoted President Obama as saying;

"I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, it's part of the solution."

Obama wants to unify the labor movement under a centralised socialist leadership, answerable to him.

This will provide President Obama and the Democrats with money and armies of loyal foot soldiers for their battles with the Republicans, "disloyal" Dems and non compliant businesses.

It will also enable Obama to neutralise resistance to amnesty and citizenship for more than 10 million illegal workers currently in the US-which will almost certainly lock in millions of extra votes for Obama and the Democrats.

[...]"

Taliban routs a major Pakistani stronghold

HWH's picture

Just caught this story on Fox and details are vague, but it seems Obama will perhaps be tested sooner than he thought as the Taliban are obviously making a run for Pakistans big red button.

That's the bloody problem with mercy for Jihadists... for them it's not just a question of honorable victory followed by rape and plunder like the grand battles of yore, these guys want you dead for personal religious reasons. If you grant them quarter today they will like McArthur come back and get you tomorrow.

Look how far the Taliban cancer has spread since the days they were merely a ragtag band of backward Bedouins, and now they're already making their first run for Pakistans nukes.

Nothing short of total annihilation will stop this war, and if its not them it's going to be us. This is what Patrick Henry had to say in 1775...and in view of the looming battles to follow, do you think these kind of men still exist today?

"It is in vain, Sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace! -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that Gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

"Aaron, I never expressed

Aaron's picture

"Aaron, I never expressed any views regarding torture one way or the other."

Fair enough. I assumed, reasonably I think, from your calling all Objectivists bloodthirsty for cheering killing pirates that you'd consider torture bloodthirsty, even on those who I'd say warrant it. But I see you haven't explicitly addressed torture, so I'll admit that was wrongly jumping to conclusions if you want to share.

Aaron

It was a joke, bud!

atlascott's picture

It was a joke from the movie "The Karate Kid" - the quote is from the evil karate instructor.

I do not believe in mercy for jihadists.

Mercy in the context of WWI or WWII may have been appropriate, but I agree that there is nothing significant that is contextually relevant and similar between "then" and "now."

A dig? Why?

sharon's picture

"Seriously, glad to see you posting here. However, I don't think anyone here (unless you want to talk to Sharon?) is regarding torture as intrinsically evil. I think everyone agrees with the acceptability of torture being contextual and that it can be justified on confirmed terrorists. Waterboarding, or even less PC 'leaves marks' kind."

Aaron, I never expressed any views regarding torture one way or the other.

You should know better Greg

HWH's picture

that you dont need intelligence, you only need to promise the looters more than they got from the previous demagogue

Frankly it doesn't matter if you're as dumb as a box of rocks, or whether your rap sheet sports 784 lines of crimes, if you promise more and are willing to follow through they will put you in charge..period.

Check this out if you need convincing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Struggling for the 100th IQ point

gregster's picture

Hilton, I'm gonna need convincing from someone that the Oba-shyster is anything near intelligent after seeing that. He is pathetic.

He is heading for one almighty fall. Smiling

I'm all for mercy Scott

HWH's picture

and agree with the Geneva convention which was based on a valid humanitarian notion.

This was confirmed for me last week while watching a brilliant doco on "The Somme", when the French broke through German lines and the French commander remarked how it would be inhumane to execute the captured German soldiers who had simply been doing their duty to defend their country as much as the French soldiers were doing their duty.

However, one has to retain the context of the battle...who was the initial aggressor, and does one have the right to use as much force as necessary to be victorious, and in that regard moderation in war does become insanity, wouldn't you say?

Not so sure

atlascott's picture

While I agree that it is entirely possible to overthink the use of force, careful consideration should be given before using it--and the consequences of doing so.

I am not a proponent of "We do not train to be merciful here. Mercy is for the weak. Here, in the streets, in competition: A man confronts you, he is the enemy. An enemy deserves no mercy."

You're overthinking this

HWH's picture

Scott, IMO, it's all just part of the equation that the only means one has of answering force is by force...nothing else needs to be noted here dont you think?

Honest

atlascott's picture

"Anybody ready to do something about this yet?"

Any ideas about what? Honest question, no baiting, i am curious to know what you think the next step is.

Turning point

atlascott's picture

"Soldiers (uniformed or freelance terrorists) shooting at us in battle don't have the right to more than summary execution; the evidence of guilt is immediate."

Well said, Aaron. That was the turning point in my thinking--the enemy are human. But, the enemy caught fighting us are beyond question bent to the task of killing us. They deserve no consideration and should be shot. Immediately. Unless they offer us some worthwhile use, such as--giving us intel on some other plot, location of cells, etc., then summary execution is the thing to do.

The Geneva Conventions require us to accept the surrender of enemy combatants. But that is more or less a contractual agreement.

After all, they behead our captives. Some waterboarding and a quick death by bullet is a mercy by comparison.

Yep Joe

HWH's picture

As Jerry Garcia said

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.

That would be nice Hilton

Jmaurone's picture

But the sad fact right now is that it's Obama waving his teabags at America.

Actually Joe

HWH's picture

A simple Tea Chest permanently obscuring his teleprompter would upend this dumb shit for good... Trying to make any sense from his ramblings is like an attempt to pick up a turd from the clean side

Hilton

Jmaurone's picture

He needs more than a tea-bag waved in his face...

I had to stop as soon as he went into it, my blood is already boiling; my eyes are going to shoot flames at the screen at the sound of his voice, the smug bastard.

Clueless Claques

HWH's picture

".....the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine.

(Isn't that so painfully obvious watching the moronic "Cue clappers" in the back row)

Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious. In the long run only he will achieve basic results influencing public opinion who is able to reduce problems to the simplest terms and who has the courage to keep forever repeating them in this simplified form despite the objections of the intellectuals." A Hitler

and Obamas favourite line; " ...we've tried that for the last 8 years and it's failed..."

See how glibly he dismisses the massive groundswell of discontent as "folks waving teabags around" and how cowardly he refers to Fox News. He is an embodiment of the most traitorous and disgusting traits exhibited by politicians since Julias Ceasar, and I believe his comeuppance is coming in the form of "folks waving teabags in conjunction with the KASS folk on Fox"

You're being a sanctimonious

Aaron's picture

You're being a sanctimonious prick and this is more evidence that you provide for any of your statements, but after one minute Google search - check http://law.shu.edu/news/guanta... for info on where Gitmo detainees came from. Argue that the authors are biased or awful or whatever all you want, but if you want to argue the actual facts I expect you'll have documentation, of course.

"The Federal govt is wicked, therefore everything they do is suspect."

Cut the bullshit. It's called basic burden of proof. Or do you subscribe to 'guilty til proven innocent'?

"we were allies with the Soviets during WWII"

An atrocious mistake. Not only do you support the insane notion of invading USSR post WWII, you somehow consider the Soviets such great pals during the war..

"I don't care a flying fig for the rights of Afghanis and neither should you."

I don't care a flying fig for much of anything about people I've never met, but have basic respect for individual rights. I guess you subscribe to the notion that rights don't matter if you don't belong to the right collective.

"Your country is at war. Choose a side."

And I've said I'm for torturing known terrorists, not even just pussyfooting around with only waterboarding, I'm for shooting enemy soldiers right after battle, etc. Apparently you want to make me out to be some kind of muslim-lover or pacifist or something, but the caricature doesn't work. If you want me to write you off as a tribalistic Stalin-worshiper I can do that too, but I know you can be smarter and more honest than your latest posts to me.

Aaron

Standards

Jeff Perren's picture

Aaron,

I think I 'get' your position by now. The Federal govt is wicked, therefore everything they do is suspect. Fair enough. (By the way, I hear - gasp - that we were allies with the Soviets during WWII and that a Fascist named FDR was the President at the time. So what in hell were we thinking of invading France and everything...)

But your standard of judgment on this issue is all wrong. I don't care a flying fig for the rights of Afghanis and neither should you. You should be asking only whether or not the actions of the U.S. military (a very different animal from the Executive and Congress) is doing what it is supposed to do in order to protect U.S. citizens. That is their job. Their only job.

Your country is at war. Choose a side.

Evidence?

Jeff Perren's picture

Your sympathy for the poor Afghani is duly noted.

"The problem is that it's incredibly naive and unrealistic to think that most detainees fit this. The US has made its bed with unsavory allies such as Pakistan and the Northern Alliance. The vast majority of Gitmo detainees were not captured on the battlefield, were not even captured by the US, and instead were obtained for reward money by those 'allies'."

Evidence please? Reliable sources? More than "well the Pakis are bad guys (certainly true; they should be on our hit list) so it must be true."

"I wouldn't trust the state

Aaron's picture

"I wouldn't trust the state to RACK ANYONE"

Damned bleeding heart appeaser!

Seriously, glad to see you posting here. However, I don't think anyone here (unless you want to talk to Sharon?) is regarding torture as intrinsically evil. I think everyone agrees with the acceptability of torture being contextual and that it can be justified on confirmed terrorists. Waterboarding, or even less PC 'leaves marks' kind.

The issue I have (and I think Scott, Robert, and some others share this) is with what process or burden of evidence there is for someone being guilty enough to warrant it, and the possible slippery slope of torture becoming applicable to other government 'undesirables' who don't deserve it. You said:

"Like the Gitmo deal, the very IDEA of giving "due process" to thugs captured on a battlefield or on-scene at a battle-zone, WHOM WE COULD'VE SHOT DEAD RIGHT THERE, is sheer MADNESS!"

Agreed. Soldiers (uniformed or freelance terrorists) shooting at us in battle don't have the right to more than summary execution; the evidence of guilt is immediate. The problem is that it's incredibly naive and unrealistic to think that most detainees fit this. The US has made its bed with unsavory allies such as Pakistan and the Northern Alliance. The vast majority of Gitmo detainees were not captured on the battlefield, were not even captured by the US, and instead were obtained for reward money by those 'allies'. Hopefully the ones being turned over are actual terrorists, but there's reason to very suspicious. I do not want some poor sap who just ended up on the bad side of a Northern Alliance warlord to end up in Gitmo getting whatever 'I can't believe it's not torture!' treatment of the day. Tossing out due process for such cases is completely inappropriate. And I hope the 'right wing extremists' still get to enjoy due process if/when their day comes.

Aaron

Did anyone hear...

Jmaurone's picture

Obama's statement today during his Chrysler speech that Americans need to share the sacrifice because and realize that "we're all in this together?" Anyone remember me complaining months ago about a Coke commercial that sang "I woke up this morning and suddenly I realized we're all in this together?"?

Anybody ready to do something about this yet?

Obama's first 100 days

Marcus's picture

Am I the only one

atlascott's picture

who thought his delivery was absolutely flat, and it was clear that he was reading his speech word by word rather than being the brilliant orator he is reputed to be?

And yes, those canned answers could only have come from pre-selected, screened questions.

Careful James

atlascott's picture

"But when we lose sight of what the whole POINT of such protections are, we become enablers of the REAL rights-violators."

Great to see you post, James!

You aren't allowed to say that that there is a danger to condoning torture. It makes you an irredeemable appeaser and part of the problem.

I should be noted that I agree with your great post, and I'd guess Robert does, too.

Yuk!

James S. Valliant's picture

My favorite was the New York Times reporter who asked what has "enchanted" him the most about being Prez!
Well my goodness! He and the Mrs. got to meet the brave troops... (and the Queen, too. Ohmygosh!)

I needed one of those airsickness bags for that!

Wotta charade!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Press conference? No follow-ups, no challenges, just timed-out answers by Chavez-Obama who then goes to the next "reporter" on his list!

And they sit there enraptured!

Think of the hard time they gave Bush!

Thanks, All

James S. Valliant's picture

I'm doing my best to kick this thing's ass, believe me.

Watching Obama NOT answering a single damn question for 60 minutes doesn't help, though. Smiling

James

Michael Moeller's picture

"Let's see, we'd have kept an artificial, super-intrinsic pseudo-ethical bright-line all pristine and pure -- and have thousands of dead bodies on our hands... SAY WHAT?! WHAT WAS THE DAMN POINT OF "ETHICS" IN THE FIRST PLACE? BUYING A SPOT IN HEAVEN OR SOMETHING?"

Amen. Great to see you posting again and all the best with your health. Get well soon.

Michael

Pamela Geller has published Perigo

Sandi's picture

on her prestigious Atlas Shrugs blog!

Congrat's Linz - Nice job

Stellar post indeed, James.

Bosch Fawstin's picture

Stellar post indeed, James. Of all the excellent things you wrote, this struck me most:

"....in my view, the HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATOR is the government official who REFUSES to waterboard someone who may have information about a terrorist attack that could kill thousands of innocent lives."

Absolutely right, they have no right to stop at nothing - Literally - i.e.. water-boarding, in their singular duty to protect us. Strong stuff, James, thanks.

Hope you stick around

HWH's picture

Nice to see you back James. I don't know what it is you're fighting, but whatever it is, just kick its ass already. We need you here mate.

Oh Gawd!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Look at Chavez-Obama waffling on the subject right now!

James!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Welcome back, buddy, and bravo! A stellar post! Thank you!

Hey!

James S. Valliant's picture

Yes, it's me! I just HAD to chime in -- just don't ask how I'm feeling... Smiling

THREE CHEERS FOR LINZ!

I read history. When the word "torture" is used, for me, the rack comes to mind. Shattered bones, a high risk of death and excruciating pain, etc. But... WATERBOARDING?! With an MD on hand!?

Okay, sure, I regard a visit to the OL website as "torture." THIS IS HYPERBOLE and HUMOR. But, it's as though THIS standard of torture, e.g., an evening with an insurance salesman as "torture," is now being used to set policy.

Nope, in my view, the HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATOR is the government official who REFUSES to waterboard someone who may have information about a terrorist attack that could kill thousands of innocent lives.

SHEESH! Talk about getting things UPSIDE DOWN and BACKWARDS!

Let's see, we'd have kept an artificial, super-intrinsic pseudo-ethical bright-line all pristine and pure -- and have thousands of dead bodies on our hands... SAY WHAT?! WHAT WAS THE DAMN POINT OF "ETHICS" IN THE FIRST PLACE? BUYING A SPOT IN HEAVEN OR SOMETHING?

We are not just talking about a suspected criminal in cop custody here, are we? We're talking about deeds and actors outside of our normal, legal jurisdiction.

We're talking about a 9-11 having just happened -- an act of war -- hundreds or thousands dead in one blow.

We're talking about preventing MASS DESTRUCTION -- VERSUS WATERBOARDING?!

Like the Gitmo deal, the very IDEA of giving "due process" to thugs captured on a battlefield or on-scene at a battle-zone, WHOM WE COULD'VE SHOT DEAD RIGHT THERE, is sheer MADNESS!

When the criminal jurisdiction of the U.S. extends to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, then we can talk about "due process" for their thugs. The constitution is designed to protect RIGHTS against government violation -- i.e., to ban, to prevent, to respond to an initiation of force. It is NOT designed to give us the religious ethics of suicidal Gandhi! This is the SAME kind of "logic" behind a ban on capital punishment, behind gun control -- and behind PACIFISM generally.

If WATERBOARDING is inherently suspect, then why isn't KILLING IN WAR MUCH WORSE? One can KILL but not impose discomfort???? Well, how 'bout the cell we keep 'em in??? Aren't we "stooping" there, too?

Nope, using force and violence in response to aggression is GOOD, VERY GOOD, maybe even HEROIC. Yes, of course, it's use by the state must be regulated -- so as TO PROTECT US, i.e., those of us WITHIN the jurisdiction of a rights-respecting state. But when we lose sight of what the whole POINT of such protections are, we become enablers of the REAL rights-violators. No, I wouldn't trust the state to RACK ANYONE, but JESUS F-ing CHRIST, folks, KSM is alive, over-weight and able to complain about his treatment. He sure doesn't look like Lady Anne Askew... (look her up if the reference is unfamiliar to you.)

I know I'm not operating at my best, but I HAD to say something...

Torture Stats Tortured?

Jeff Perren's picture

According to Fox News (via Powerline):

    It turns out that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not waterboarded 183 times in one month by CIA interrogators, as the liberal MSM widely reported. Instead, according to Joseph Abrams of Fox News, 183 represents the number of times water was poured onto Mohammed's face -- not the number of times the CIA applied the simulated-drowning technique on him. Abrams cites a 2007 Red Cross report which states that the terror mastermind was subjected to a total of "five sessions of ill-treatment."

A pity. I would have preferred that the 183 number were accurate.

BTW

Lindsay Perigo's picture

This post of mine on Joe Maurone's Shay Rebellion thread is relevant here:

The trouble with Objectivism is Objectivists, as I was about to explain before the Brandroids (who are not Objectivists) formed their lynch-mob.

Interestingly, in the current debate re the charging of Bush Admin officials over waterboarding, it's taken a conservative, Sowell, to state the argument that Objectivists should be screaming from the rooftops: "Squeamishness is neither law nor morality. And moral exhibitionism is beneath contempt, when it sacrifices the safety of those who live within the law for the sake of self-satisfied preening, whether in editorial offices or in the White House." (See press release thread at top of page). As it is, as far as I know, only Mr. Moeller, Mr. Perren, Mr. Fawstin and I (apologies to anyone I've inadvertently left out) in the whole Oist movement are doing so. While Chavez-Obama seriously kite-flies the ex post facto prosecution—as outrageous legally as it is morally—of Bush folk for waterboarding filth to keep citizens safe, the knee-jerkingly Bush-bashing ARC puts out stuff about the FCC and "fuck" (fine as far as it goes) ... and the weak-kneed TAS puts out nothing.

Too many Objectivists, in my experience, are respectability-obsessed preeners. They're not in the least bit interested in mounting a second revolution. Rand would not recognize them. If Roark were to appear, they'd crucify him. They'd certainly crucify Rand. They crucify anyone who sticks his neck out. Their main concern is not to rock the boat. They're the kind who write to me privately that they agree with me about [insert controversial subject of your choice here], but are too gutless to say so publicly. They are extraordinary in the ordinariness of their "ambition"—kids, mortgage, status, money for the sake of money—and unfussed about how they achieve it. If offered, they'll eagerly accept thirty pieces of silver. The three words they most hate Roark for are: "Not this way."

Too many are pussy/penis-whipped, shacked up with airhead partners for whose sake they censor/deny themselves. If partnerless currently, they buy into the conventional folly that such a state is a disaster, to overcome which these Desperate Housewives and Husbands spend inordinate periods of time fluffing around on Facebook for Fluffheads.

It's the not speaking out that's the worst thing of all. They'll repair to this thing about "martyrs." Bullshit. This is war, and there isn't much time. "If you're not part of the solution, you ARE the problem."

The reason our revolution is on indefinite hold is not the lack of a detailed blueprint—such a thing is not necessary—nor Jefferson's well-rehearsed inconsistencies, but the lack of commitment, courage, comradeship and KASS among those who intellectually grasp that another revolution is necessary.

Not to mention the ludicrous claim by some that an idealistic revolution can be informed by musical nihilism.

Indeed, Jeff ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I've been hearing all about Rosa on Fox for a couple of weeks. One of Matty Sullivan's pin-ups. I'm just waiting for al Qaeda to do to them what they say those nice civil gentlemen from al Qaeda wouldn't dream of doing unless provoked by US imperialists.

IBD On Rosa Brooks, Leftist Defense Appointee

Jeff Perren's picture

Linz, prepare to be very pissed off.

IBD on Rosa Brooks.

    Before she was a far-left columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Rosa Brooks was once counsel to Soros' Open Societies Institute. Now she's the "principal adviser" to Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, the Pentagon's No. 3 official and top policymaker.

    [...]

    In a column last month, she touched on the legal memos issued by the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel on enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, from which valuable information was obtained to thwart plots to hit Los Angeles and destroy the Brooklyn Bridge.

    "How did such dangerously bad legal memos ever get taken seriously in the first place?" Brooks wrote. "Our answer is suggested by the so-called Big Lie theory of political propaganda, articulated most infamously by Adolf Hitler."

    "The Bush administration's big legal lies paved the way for some of the most shameful episodes including the official authorization of torture," Brooks has also written. We still can't understand why pouring water down the nose of someone trying to kill thousands, if millions of us, is torture.

    She has echoed the assertions of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and others that we had it coming on 9/11 and that al-Qaida was an exaggerated threat exploited to invade Iraq. In a September 2006 column titled "Our Torturer-In-Chief," she wrote: "Today the chickens are coming home to roost." Sound familiar?

    She also said "the word 'accountability' isn't in the White House dictionary."

    In 2007, Brooks dismissed Osama bin Laden's group as "little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well-financed and intermittently lethal, but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull." Tell that to the people of New York, Madrid, London or her colleagues at the Pentagon who remember one of al-Qaida's "intermittently lethal" little pinpricks.

    According to her, "On 9/11, they got lucky . . . . Thanks to U.S. policies, al-Qaida has become the vast global threat the administration imagined it to be in 2001." Imagined it to be? This is the person who will be a Pentagon adviser on policy?

So Jeremy ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I don't think it's a bad thing to pause at the thought of human suffering, but to allow that pause to become paralysis gives your enemy a large, undeserved upper hand.

Where do you stand on waterboarding?

KASS Sowell!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Squeamishness is neither law nor morality. And moral exhibitionism is beneath contempt, when it sacrifices the safety of those who live within the law for the sake of self-satisfied preening, whether in editorial offices or in the White House.

Magnificent! And I hope every appeasing wanker on this thread takes it to heart. While you're jerking off, monsters are planning your destruction. Which is fine by me. Except they'll get the good guys too.

Uniformed, versus un-informed...

Ptgymatic's picture

...which are you talking about??

Mindy

No, that's not the source of confusion.

Aaron

Jeremy's picture

The post quoting Sowell answers the question partially--there rules and laws, even in war, which the Geneva signatories are obliged to obey.

The reason there are provisions against shooting a uniformed soldier out of hand is because a few of the Geneva rules state explicitly that once hostilities have ended, or at whatever point in time the holding country feels the soldier is no longer a threat, that soldier must be released back to his home country, physically unharmed. Every soldier fighting for a Geneva-signatory country has the right to expect his treatment at his country's enemy's hands will fall within the Geneva protocols--so long as he himself obeys the protocols.

Of course, that doesn't always happen, but such is war.

Obviously no such expectation exists if captured by our current enemy: you will be tortured, starved, beaten, coerced, shot or beheaded--this is the root of Linz and others' vehemence. And I can't say I disagree with it, so long as not a single American citizen has their rights violated by our government.

A captured pilot that bombed Pearl Harbor may indeed warrant a bullet to the back of the head in your view--and mine, personally, emotionally--but as a soldier in his country's armed forces, that pilot is granted technical amnesty from reprisal if captured. That may sound odd, given the acts those pilots committed, but he's fighting for his country, just like American pilots were when they firebombed Tokyo. The Geneva Conventions allow for a man's patriotism, attempt not to punish a man for fighting for his country, so long as that man is willing to abide by the simple, obvious rules of warfare: civilians will be spared if possible, but can be harried. Spies will be shot, and saboteurs and terrorists. Soldiers will not be tortured, or starved, but can be harshly interrogated. These rules help establish at least some humane guidelines for each country at war, and hopefully reputation will equal reciprocation.

And due to their unrelenting, but not unexpected, flouting of the rules of war, the pirate and "insurgent" have no protection under those rules. Often they rely on our squeamishness, to ill results for our side. I don't think it's a bad thing to pause at the thought of human suffering, but to allow that pause to become paralysis gives your enemy a large, undeserved upper hand.

It's a very complicated issue...

Edited: for personal reading comprehension issues.

Special rules

Robert's picture

To develop a reputation for good treatment is a good military strategy. Enemy soldiers who believe they will survive capture and be well treated are less likely to fight to the death. This only applies when you are dealing with rational men. Jihadists, adherents to the Bushido code, and devoted followers of Hitler did not and do not, so they are very rarely afforded full quarter.

In addition there is a benevolent intention to nations agreeing to rules of war: ensuring the safety of captured soldiers.

Prisoner of war camps like Andersonville and Alton were basically death-camps wherein the lack of attention to sanitation and shelter basically condemned a significant portion of those who lived their to death through exposure, small-pox and malnutrition. It is essentially a case of quid-pro-quo clause as are all 'rules of war' or should I say conventions of behavior. Pirates and Jihadists do not abide by such agreements almost by definition.

As to my stipulation that the US government make clear statements about whom it should torture:
there are obvious benefits to having the government explicitly set limits on what it may do to those it captures: Who watches the watchers? The watched.

And the more eyes on the watchers, the better it is for the watched. Law is to philosophy what equations are to mathematics - a useful empirical short hand, useful for rapidly resolution of problems. If you wish to understand whether or not they are correct and why, you go back and learn how they were derived and in the case of law that requires philosophy ie time and effort that not many among us have.

So there is value in forcing the government to make statements, they demarcate to any observer, regardless of their philosophical sophistication, that any one crossing that legal boundary has done something that is wrong. And the more people able to keep a weather eye on government, the harder it is for government to screw with people.

What about treaties?

Ptgymatic's picture

If we have a treaty with the country to which certain pirates belong, aren't we bound to deal with them accordingly?

Mindy

"Harsh measures are allowed

Aaron's picture

"Harsh measures are allowed to combat Pirates precisely because they present the same type of borderless, blood-thirsty menace that Al Quaeda does. For instance the last lot of Pirates to take a Chinese vessel in the South China Sea were executed on the spot, on TV, by the Chinese Navy. And not a squeak of protest was heard from anywhere."

"Those who choose to live outside those laws, whether terrorists or pirates, can be-- and have been-- shot on sight."

But why even make special rules for the 'borderless'? I don't get the fascination with whether an enemy is a uniformed soldier or ununiformed 'pirate' or 'enemy combatant' or whatever. If someone is an aggressor and warrants killing, it shouldn't matter. It's obvious from various war threads what I think of the injustice of targeting the innocent during war. This looks to be the flip side, the injustice of *not* punishing those who richly deserve it - just because they wear a uniform and are sponsored by a government. Of course pirates raiding ships or terrorists planting dirty bombs should be simply be lined up and shot - but so should every Japanese pilot who attacked Pearl Harbor.

Aaron

This is great.

atlascott's picture

"Those who choose to live outside those laws, whether terrorists or pirates, can be-- and have been-- shot on sight. Squeamishness is neither law nor morality. And moral exhibitionism is beneath contempt, when it sacrifices the safety of those who live within the law for the sake of self-satisfied preening, whether in editorial offices or in the White House."

Great. And in fact, this Sowell quote may be the best thing I have read on this thread, with the possible exception of Linz's press release.

Sowell Weighs In

Jeff Perren's picture

With his usual clarity...

    We have already turned loose dozens of captured terrorists, who have resumed their terrorism. Why? Because they have been given "rights" that exist neither in our laws nor under international law.

    These are not criminals in our society, entitled to the protection of the Constitution of the United States. They are not prisoners of war entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention.

    There was a time when people who violated the rules of war were not entitled to turn around and claim the protection of those rules. German soldiers who put on U.S. military uniforms, in order to infiltrate American lines during the Battle of the Bulge, were simply lined up against a wall and shot.

    Nobody even thought that this was a violation of the Geneva Convention. American authorities filmed the mass executions. Nobody dreamed up fictitious "rights" for these enemy combatants who had violated the rules of war. Nobody thought we had to prove that we were nicer than the Nazis by bending over backward.

    Bending over backward is a very bad position from which to try to defend yourself. Nobody in those days confused bending over backward with "the rule of law," as Barack Obama did recently. Bending over backward is the antithesis of the rule of law. It is depriving the people of the protection of their laws, in order to pander to mushy notions among the elite.

    Even under the Geneva Convention, enemy soldiers have no right to be turned loose before the war is over. Terrorists-- "militants" or "insurgents" for those of you who are squeamish-- have declared open-ended war against America. It is open-ended in time and open-ended in methods, including beheadings of innocent civilians.

    President Obama can ban the phrase "war on terror" but he cannot ban the terrorists' war on us. That war continues, so there is no reason to turn terrorists loose before it ends. They chose to make it that kind of war. We don't need to risk American lives to prove that we are nicer than they are.

    The great Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that law is not some "brooding omnipresence in the sky." It is a set of explicit rules by which human beings structure their lives and their relationships with one another.

    Those who choose to live outside those laws, whether terrorists or pirates, can be-- and have been-- shot on sight. Squeamishness is neither law nor morality. And moral exhibitionism is beneath contempt, when it sacrifices the safety of those who live within the law for the sake of self-satisfied preening, whether in editorial offices or in the White House.

So where are the guidelines?

Ptgymatic's picture

I agree completely, Robert, that due process and evidentiary standards are crucial in this matter. Where are they laid out? What are they? Then, we can get around to "What should they be?" It is easy to come up with the extreme of someone who claims to have set a ticking bomb, and demands their own release in return for the information of its whereabouts.

It's easy to come up with the opposite extreme of someone who has an anti-Obama bumper-sticker...

Where are the existing U.S. standards for this?

Mindy

P.S. Didn't you like my couplet about waterboarding the teleprompter guy?

Having dealt with government

kaiwai's picture

Having dealt with government departments it is difficult not to feel like anarchy would be a damn site better than what we have today.

Posse Comitatus

atlascott's picture

Evidently, Obama understand the Act as well, since he has called for a civil defense force as large and as powerful as the military.

To what ends would such a force be put? None that are good.

"Just a unqualified clear statement on who will oversee the policy, to whom it will apply and that the practice is part of the President's emergency powers - because if it isn't, if its permanent, then there are some serious constitutional conflicts that need to be sorted out in a proper fashion."

And that is the crux of it. Note that this still does not protect again outright ignoring rules, laws, standards, and the Constitution, at which today's politicians seem adept. But at least we would have clear objective standards and the possibility of a redress of grievances when on the word of an Obama Civil Defense Force agent (ACORN?) a citizen with an anti-Obama bumper sticker who refuses to sign a Petition for Social justice is tagged as a terrorist and is detained.

The question Linz puts to those who question torture ASSUMES that you have a known bad guy. Assuming a known bad guy, I think Matty and possibly Sharon are the only ones on the thread who take issue with waterboarding.

Robert raises a separate issue--and an important one--how is it that you come to the knowledge of "known bad guy" and how do you keep the genie in the bottle?

Slippery slopes...

Robert's picture

By what standards are we adjudging the circumstances to the dire enough to require government approved torture?

By what standards of evidence (balance of probabilities? beyond reasonable doubt?) are we to adjudge the person to be a terrorist?

Point me to where these criterion and policy limitations were stated explicitly by Bush. Show me the signatures of those politicians who agreed with it so that they may appear in the dock besides the lawyers who gave their opinions on the legality of the practice.

This is a booby trap that can be disarmed quite simply.

You may have not heard, but there have been two domestic warnings published by the government in the past two months that advise law enforcement to be suspicious of anyone who supports a 3rd party candidate including Ron Paul. Other warning signs are bumper stickers that are critical of Barrack Obama and displaying Revolutionary War flags (like the Gadston "Don't Tread on Me" flag.) In addition, police were observed video taping the Tea Party protests in Tulsa OK and there are reports of covert surveillance by the FBI.

Now, in and of itself, Police surveillance is not a problem. Watching is 99% of their job and good for them. But combined with the warnings and previous instances of the FBI misusing the powers given it by the Patriot Act, and I'm not entirely comfortable with ceding to government the bit in the constitution that states that no US citizen may be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

Others, including many of my adversaries on this thread have noticed how tone deaf the current administration is to the constitution. I seem to remember Obama waxing lyrical before his election about how he thought the Bill of Rights needed to be changed so instead of being full of negative rights (thou shalt not do x) it was full of positive ones (thou may bail out thy cronies, thou shouldst ensure success in the pursuit of happiness, Everybody gets a car and a TV.)

You're happy to give this guy or even the last one, or the one before him a whip and full license to use it as he chooses?

Notice that I'm not asking for much. Just a unqualified clear statement on who will oversee the policy, to whom it will apply and that the practice is part of the President's emergency powers - because if it isn't, if its permanent, then there are some serious constitutional conflicts that need to be sorted out in a proper fashion.

I support the Posse comitatus Act too, am I to be accused of wishing the federal army be abolished?

Kass quote of the week

Sandi's picture

"I believe that the issue of Obama's personal radicalism, including his collaboration with radical, America-hating Leftists, should have been disqualifying."

Andrew McCarthy on Obama.

Not the label

atlascott's picture

It's the company you're in.

I'm with you Robert.

atlascott's picture

Mindy's post was nonsense.

And it is for each of us to decide what is a larger threat, and how we value what is threatened.

In a few years, when US citizens are being waterboarded because they are members of the Libertarian party or some Veteran's group, this conversation will take on more significance.

Linz still seems stuck on "either you advocate use of any torture, full stop, period. Or, you are a lilly-livered, namby-pamby appeaser terrorist enabler."

This despite the fact that you and I have both made it clear that we support waterboarding known bad actors (i.e., captures al Quaeda operatives).

You and I seem to be the only two on this thread to see very clearly where this is headed--because it is headed exactly where every power given to the US government goes.

It becomes a political tool and is used by political tools.

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