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June 21, 2007

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we have seen the enemy, and he is US

which really fucks up the day for people like myself who are dedicated to Sun Tzu's principles of warfare ...

It happens so often, you'd think they'd learn: When you do wrong, it's usually because you are wrong.

When you find yourself doing something that people--even you--usually regard as wrong, it's time to take a look at your objectives and goals, and at who's giving you your instructions.

a friend of mine said that the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' manual was compared to the manual the Gestapo used and they are very, very similar. (Particularly noted: the preference for waterboarding as a way to get people to 'confess'.)

This is not good.

For those inclined to doubt Bush's involvement I'd just suggest that he could have stopped it at any time after January 2004 when he first learned about Abu Ghraib. That he has not shows his complicity.

The SERE techniques were apparently based on the Chinese and their proteges, but the homoerotic aspect of our treatment of Muslim detainees seems to me to be particularly Western, with antecedents in Naziism,the views of some scholars of the Arab world about how specifically to humiliate Arabs into cooperating, and, I have read, advice from those with intimate knowledge of the Arabs, namely the Israeli security services.

As for what it says about projection of what one cannot face inside onto others, I leave that to Glenn Greenwald's new book, the late M. Scott Peck, especially his excellent "People of the Lie" and Digby, who has extensively written on the topic.

To me this is a prime example of the "evil wrapped inside of incompetence inside of evil" nature of Bushco. You start with the initial evil of torture, then you move on to the "incompetence" that the torture does not even "work" (if work = results in actual useful intelligence), and then top it off with the return to evil in that it provides the "show trial" type of confessions and BS that they can then use propagandize their own population.

So you have "debates" about Jack Bauer scenarios by "reasonable" people (such as Associate Justice Scalia), when in fact your country is torturing people to provide political cover and generate soundbites for partisan gain and maintenance of political power, which they primarily use for enriching and securing the privilege of entrenched elites. All-in-all, it is one hell of a game.

Surely incompetence, since anyone who had paid attention to the debates on treatment of prisoners in the US, and especially Philip Zimbardo's work, would have known. Which leads one to believe that the architects of this knew very well what they were doing. As he said, it's not so much bad apples as bad barrels, which come from bad barrelmakers, and BushCo is full of those.

Pogo's observation seems to apply: We have met the enemy, and he is us...

Re: Waterboarding-I am a veteran. Served in US Navy in early 70's as flight crew on P3 Orion ASW and patrol aircraft, operating out of Cubi Point in the Philippine Islands, Utapoa, Thailand, and Cahm Ran Bay, Vietnam. All flight crew that were to serve in the war theater had to attend SERE. The one I went to was in the mountains east of San Diego, and it was similar to the one described in the Salon article, except it was for only 3 days, and the extreme humiliation was not used. We were kept in a POW camp, concertina wire, machine gun towers, the works. By the end, you BELIEVE you are a POW! Waterboarding was used; I was strapped to a board and something like a towel was tied over my mouth and nose, and water was poured over it. Trying to breathe results in inhaling a water-air mixture that set off a panic reaction, even when I consciously knew that I was not drowning. Very scary, some people broke, and we never saw them again. Waterboarding is in my opinion, torture plain and simple. It leaves no marks, but the extreme mental and physical reaction it causes is real and inhumane.

All I ask is that those involved in torture be waterboarded, and waterboarded, and waterboarded before being led away in strait jackets to Gitmo for life.

freepatriot--my sincere apologies. I did not see your bolded words--and we have met the enemy and he is US is quite splendid. apologetically-mm

Another great post Mimikatz. You are on a roll. I am glad that you brought up this topic.

Bush says we don't torture again parsing "torture". Torture and humiliation are proven to not produce actionable intelligence only to break the person. Jack Bauer is a myth. Real intelligence professionals know that. Its more than amazing that a Supreme Court Justice - Scalia - says its OK. What does it say about our society that a Justice says its OK and the Administration practices it and we the people accept it?

Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, renditions, etc did not happen by accident. They were an essential part of this Administration's policy and we can be certain that George W Bush knew about it and sanctioned it. Rumsfeld, Tenet, etc carried out this policy. And we can also be certain that they created enough "plausible deniability" to not be held to account.

The country has been plunged to depths of depravity that it will take at least a generation of concerted remedial effort to get it back on track. Elections do count. Packing of courts with ideological soul mates count. That's why opposition at all levels - political, cultural, legal, etc - is so essential today.

We are undoubtedly paying the price of a few hanging chads.

Thanks M. All the more reason that impeachment is necessary to clean house, not just of Bush/Cheney but of all the rotten time-delay bombs he has left planted within the system.

Mimikatz--Thank you. This is, after all, the administration and party that does make its own reality. In their parallel universe, it does seem that evil is good, good is evil, and we are not wearing the white hats. It is so warped--how do you write about it so clearly?

Take a look at this story, or google for some earlier ones and ask yourself why its reported by UK's Times Online, but not really "newsworthy" in the country that sponsored this man's treatment.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1940199.ece

Story about a biploar chef (native Moroccan, worked for the prior 16 years as legal resident/chef in England) who went, over five years ago, to Pakistan in a manic phase attempt to raise money for his young son's heart operation. Pakistani police sell him to the US for $5,000 and *ultra-super-duper-secret* info from Some Guy, states that the chef is actually a high level al-Qaeda operative who was at an al-Qaeda training camp during XYZ.

The chef gets purchased (known other places as human trafficking) and abused in a few locations, ending up for 5 years at GITMO (reports are that about 3 of those 5 years were spent in solitary). When his lawyers can get the super secret story (the kind of highly classified info that you can be convicted on without the military having to reveal in the MCA tribunals), it's pretty daggone easy to prove that, while he was supposed to have been at an al-Qaeda camp, running things pretty much, he was instead doing chef stuff in Mayfair.

But hey- someone made $5,000 off the sale.

As the tribunals gear up, the US pretty much sneaks the chef out of GITMO in the middle of the night, taking to him to Morocco and attempting to get Moroccan officials to charge him with something, anything. But the UK press is breathing down everyone's neck and he eventually gets released by the Moroccans.

That's the "worst of the worst" that Rumsfeld claimed were in every cell at GITMO.

Truly, what shall it profit a country if it shall dominate the world but lose its own soul?

We read that and weep. The Bush thugs read it and say, "What's this about profit?"

Mary @ 17:02

It isn't newsworthy because Someone High Up in DC says it isn't. That anyone thinking about it, with access to the liberal/progressive blogs or the foreign press, would know that it can't possibly be true, doesn't bother said Someone High Up in DC. They control the news coverage - indirectly.

Let us set the premise.

You have just taken a captive.
a. You want him to confess his misdeeds.
b. You want him to confess that Bush is behind 911.
c. You want him to confess that AQ and Saudi Arabia is secretly backing Hillary Clinton for President.

d. You want him to tell you where he has buried your loved ones under 6 feet of dirt in a piece of 4 foot sewer pipe. They have maybe at this time 4 or 5 hours or air left.
e. The captive knows exactly where a 1 mega ton nuclear device surrounded by 200 pounds of Stronium 90 is located in a major, major city. It will go off at 11 AM tomorrow on a Wednesday.

Now lets forget the water boarding.
We have better stuff and we aren't worried about scars or organ integrity, or for that matter sanity. I will be discrete and not labor over these devices, but many can be obtained at any local hardware store or a friendly Walmart.

A. Who wants to get this poor captive a good ACLU lawyer?
(If you do then do not continue the questionaire.)

B. Who thinks that by using a nothing is barred approach to questioning the captive that we can get useful information and perhaps save our loved ones and stop the deadly bomb.

(I will now give a spoiler and say that in my opinion the no holds barred approach is useless and shouldn't be used for a., b., and c. Because you can get the captive to tell you anything you want.)

But how about where the obtained informatiom is something that you can go and check on and radio back relatively quickly whether the captive lied or not?

Anyway-

A. ?
B. ?

You think the questions unfair? So is War. So is Terror.

[I'm violating my own advice here and I will probably regret it]

Jodi,

Just stop. Your questions aren't unfair. They are inane. Torture is wrong and should be illegal. I could point out that in both cases that you cite, there are proven ways to get the information that work better than torture, but you would just keep trying to come up with sillier and sillier scenarios to get people to think that torture is OK. Instead, I'll leave you a challenge.

There is a moral and responsible course of action for people who believe that breaking the law is justified due to some exigent circumstance. That course of action is to break the law, save the world, and then turn yourself and accept the punishment for breaking the law. My challenge to you is this: Come up with a scenario that demonstrates the need for legalized torture. That is, a situation that is common and for which no other means can be used. In devising your scenario, you need to be sure that you would not object if you were personally subjected to the torture because the torturer mistakenly believed you were involved in the scenario. Just to be clear, taking your "ticking time bomb" example above, you need to be willing to say if the authorities erroneously believed you knew where the bomb was, you are supportive of their right to torture you.

Why is Marcy still allowing Jodi to post on this site?

My suggestion to a country held captive by a life threatening event is to use what works. One thing we know for certain is that torture doesn't always work. If time is of the essence, and the person before me cares not if he dies I don't really have time for one lie, do I?

Do what works, validate the truth. Validate the reality. Do your best to be a truth seeker.

That's really all we would have time for in my humble opinion. Oh yea, last but not least, accept what you can and cannot control. Maybe they will lie to you if you torture, maybe they will lie to you if you don't. What do I want in my heart and soul as I meet my maker.

I am certain of my answer, are you??

Oh yea, and that's the difference between the democrats and the republicans. We kinda care about what is in our hearts and soul stuff. You know the stuff worth dying for?? Morality. We care about that. It's more than lip service for us.

Let's set the real world premise.

You're an Afghan warlord. The US drops flyers telling you how you don't have to wait for Carlton Sheets to become wealthy - all you have to do is turn in some "bad guys" for cash to the US.

So you go roust a baker out of his home - he's not from your tribe. Or a Chinese Uighur - no one has even figured out that guy's name. You then engage in human trafficking with your cash flush new American friends and sell off the terrified baker.

In addition to violating laws regarding human trafficking, the US soldiers disappear the baker into detention and beat him for awhile, some hypothermia, a translator who doesn't speak the languages all that well either - if you have one. Meanwhile, baker's wife and two young children now have no male and no income earner - let's not worry about them right now.

Baker has a liver condition but no one can really communicate that and besides, when you've been disappeared into foreign hands and armed interrogators are beating, shackling, stripping (with full gloss photos to accompany) humiliating, terrifying and hurting you - it tends to de-prioritize.

Baker gets shipped to a couple detention sites and must be a really bad dude who should get roughed up really well - bc he's just not saying much.

Off to GITMO, where he is quite literally disappeared for a couple of years while the military and DOJ fight the release of even names. CIA interrogators and other say- hey, not a terrorist. But guess what - now we've engaged in serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions, torture conventions, war crimes act, UCMJ, standards of decency and morality, and just a long list of garden variety criminal laws.

So if anyone says the Baker was just a mistake, just a Baker, then there are crimes that were committed against him. So - the military and DOJ can't say he isn't an "unlawful enemy combatant" or there would be bad consequences. SO maybe - oh, here's what they'll do - they'll say "let's just keep him here forever with no legal access and declare him an enemy combatant" Then those darn ACLU lawyers start to push.

Meanwhile, sure enough, a ticking time bomb has gone off. Baker has been gone for 4 years now. His much younger brother was sent to the village to find him and instead finds his raped wife and starving, ill child. The much younger brother very willingly straps on a bomb and goes to blow up what he sees as evil people who sold his brother off as a slave into perpetual abuse.

Jack Bauer to the rescue - that one will resolve itself in 24 hours easily.

Brava!! BRAVA!!! And the movie ends with more violence and more violence. OHHH feeling like hero's now.

Mr. Bush's latest dodge regarding Guantanamo I take to be posturing for the 2008 election. He proposes "closing" Gitmo, even while he's investing over $100 million to upgrade the "court house" and related facilities, and moving his prisoners to "other sites".

Congress, I hope, will remember that the issue is not closing the facility, but ending Mr. Bush's retention practices. These deny his prisoners any form of due process or a day in court, while holding even admitted innocents indefinitely, while he tortures others. It is those practices that must end; moving them to new, more exciting addresses merely perpetuates them while deferring accountability.

I did a post over a year ago on the National Journal's then-exhaustive review of prisoners at Gitmo, and read some of the studies. A large number were sold to the gullible Americans by Afghans and Pakistanis and others for money when they had no involvement. The did report some specific cases.

To answer Jodi:

Looking largely at the practicalities,

(a) You want someone to confess their misdeeds. Why? Are you the police? Are you planning to try them in a court that observes due process? Or are you punishing religious heretics? Bullying your little brother? I'd say no torture in any case.

(b) Want someone to confess that Bush is behind 9/11. Do they really know that or do you just want them to say that? Are you planning to use this as evidence for some purpose? To convince others perhaps? How do you know they know he is behind 9/11, and if you know, why do you need his confession? If you just want them to confess for a show trial, it probably won't be persuasive to anyone else. No to torture on all counts here.

(c) AQ and Saudis helping Hillary Clinton. Ditto.

(d) Your family buried in a sewerpipe. Ah, the "CSI" plot. I assume I am the police, and not just some middle-aged woman trying to hold a crazed psychopath? Because if it is really me, I would call the police, not mess with him. But does this ever really happen? I don't think so. Even if you do torture, how can you trust what they say? And you have jeopardized any prosecution. No again.

(e) The 1 megaon device. The "24" plot. Again, this simply does not happen in real life.

The only real "ticking time bomb" case I ever read of happened in Sri Lanka, during the civil strife there. One faction had planted a bomb in a railway station and they had three suspects. Torture was not used, but an interrogator pulled out a pistol and shot one in the head. The other two talked. I'd still hold the interrogator for trial, even if he does get off.

The undiscussed problem here is how these torturers among us are going to be reintegrated into society afterwards, if they are. Remember the aftermath of Vietnam? I think we have our own ticking time bomb here.

Jodi is suffering withdrawal symptoms; his/her favorite Jack is off the air for the summer. Perhaps s/he can go halvesies with Antonin and they can rent the entire first season for the summer. Fictional characters aside, neither seems interested in establishing defensible detention and interrogation practices.

Mr. Bush's detention and interrogation practices seem to be the brainchild of Big Dick, and seem designed to send the message that there's literally nothing he won't do to his enemies. It's a contest to see who's bigger, usually played by guys who aren't really in the running to win that sort of contest.

That those practices are a gross violations of law is exactly the point Mr. Cheney wants to make. That doing so exhausts our friends more than our enemies is irrelevant, as is that it is enormously expensive financially and morally and legally. That it produces no useful information doesn't matter; it's purpose is intimidation.

As Larry Johnson and others who know such things point out, ticking bomb scenarios rarely happen. When they do, the people within reach rarely have anything useful to cough up before that ice pick hits their eyeball. Torture degrades everyone who uses it or its fruits, while giving them a false sense of power and security. But the latter is really what these machinations are all about.

Bushco is well aware of the potential of torture to produce false confessions, and the usefulness of the same in its propaganda. It's not a bug, but a feature, and probably one that helped sell them on the whole idea.

It's already worked splendidly for them at least once. Do you remember the story of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi? He was an al Qaeda operative captured before the Iraq invasion whom we gladly tortured and who in return told us that Saddam had helped train al Qaeda in the use of chemical weapons. This bit of "information" was used enthusiastically by Bushco propagandists even though DIA and CIA had already discredited the story. It appeared in speeches by Bush and in Powell's famous presentation to the UN.

Torture was just another way the self-styled neocon warriors intended to make their own reality in the 21st century. They did not give a damn if there really was a family in the culvert or a ticking nuke in New York. What they wanted was the show trial afterward, the terror inspired in the hearts of the populace, and the free rein to rule without restraint.

Posted by: Mimikatz | June 21, 2007 at 19:45

I think your response is more than Jodi deserves but I'm glad you posted it for others who come here to read your post, and read jodi's devil's advocation and your reasoned response.

Suppose I am alone on a bridge and a man comes up with a dirty bomb in a suitcase and tells me they have my mother captive. I can chose, save my mother or have a million people die in Manhattan from a dirty suitcase bomb. Nevermind, I'm just poking fun at the absurdity of the premise. Suppose...

Do we have any recent poll numbers on Americans in favor of torture? as an intelligence collection method? as a last resort for the WMD scenario? I just want to know how many Americans George Bush and his Imperial Presidency have deluded into believing torture is an American value.

Neil, I second that -- thank you Mimikatz. Although it's OK to ignore Jodi's posts, yours was a perfect response.

Mimikatz,

you are brave enough to answer the questions, and I won't characterize you any further than that.

My own answers as I indicated a., b., c. - No.
d., e. Yes.

Sure some of these appear in plot lines. They say that Art mimics Life and Life mimics Art as well.

And for everyone, I beieve that these kind of questions will have to be answered more and more in the future. At the present time America seems very safe, and there is wishful thinking that if we are only nicer, then the bad people will be nicer too.
But when that wishful thinking gets blown up with the next bomb, then the Public will look hard at those thinkers.

I say that because the Democrats will probably have the next President who will have do deal with some hard choices that ACLU lawyers aren't going to be very useful for.

i'll take the ACLU over a filthy piece of puke like you jodi any day of the week, any week of the year.

you have lost if you have to resort to torture.

torturers and the ones who approve torture are the scum of the earth.

Truly, what shall it profit a country if it shall dominate the world but lose its own soul?

It would profit us the world. And that's OK by me. But it doesn't seem to me like we're doing a very good job of domination.

Seriously. If we wanted to dominate, we'd start nuking countries that refused our orders. And then we'd have peace in the middle east, because everyone would be dead. And we wouldn't need to feel bad about it, becuase there wouldn't be anyone left to speak out against us.

The real problem with the Iraq invasion is that even the military guys should have known it would never work the way we tried to do it... and if the goal was always to wage offensive war, annex the territory, and steal the oil under it, we should have used nukes. This invade/occupy/private security/private oil extraction plan is amateur bullshit. We didn't have enough people to execute the plan with ground troops. If they really wanted to own Iraq, they should have nuked the population. What Rummy did, and what we're doing now, is a half-assed waste of time and money.

If the Chinese had invaded Iraq, there would be no civil war, because they would have just killed everyone outright. Scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners. We tried to be touchy-feely and convince the American people that this was morally the right thing to do- and look where that got us as a country. That's not "domination," that's making yourself a whore to the marketing firm. If you're going to "dominate," you don't let the other team score any points at all.

Domination is when you kill everything that moves within 5000 miles of Riyadh.

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Timing is everything, and so out comes the General, talking to Seymour Hersh--because he's long had something to say, and the present moment (at long last!) favors his doing so. And out comes the CIA, publishing its "crown jewels". Further testimonies from other bureaucrats, in and out of uniform, seem to be flying all over the place....And to what good end, we may wonder?

I read these "revelations" as recent moves in the bureaucratic war against Cheney, because they point to Cheney as the genius who originated the whole thing. And given the mediocrity of Cheney, and the utter futility of extra-legal proceedings in general, and of torture in particular, Cheney, logically, is indeed the "proximate cause" of all these fruitless deeds.

But we should also notice that Bush is never targeted, although his profile as a sociopath and sadist, from the age of ten forward, is a matter of public record. It's as if Bush and his handlers were letting the "revelations" flow toward Cheney as the nearest, and most plausible, fall-guy.

We can be thankful, up to a point, that Bush, in his florid narcissism and his utter lack of loyalty, is letting the information flow for whatever motive may suit him. But we should never let him direct our thoughts on the subject. We should do the much harder, much more boring thing--tracking all this brutality to its rightful and brutal source.

I call it a "boring" thing because Bush is totally boring. To be boring is his most cherished mode of disguise and self-denial (his only remaining form, perhaps, of self-presentation). Cheney, by contrast, is downright colorful: who else would shoot his hunting-partner in the face?

Yes, I think the world is seperated by those who think that changes in life should come from kicking ass and those of us who face reality by recognizing what we can control and what we cannot.

Kicking butt to facilitate change only emulates what is not working in society. What you focus on grows. I am tired of the liberal view being presented as if the concept is about being "nice" and "wimpy". I can't imagine how the right wing see "jesus". He must look like a wimp to them. To me, Jesus was the ultimate perveyor of wisdom and truth. The one thing we can control is our own dignity, our own response to humiliation and degradation. To me that is the ultimate power position.

The concept is about "truth" and "honesty". It's not about "nice". You can't make a serial killer not a serial by being "nice". But you can make sure that you don't lose your own dignity or your life when you deal with a serial killer.

Our positions are multilinear while the right wing lives in flat land. If you "be mean and bad then the world will fall into line, you will be in control and no harm shall come your way, and if you die fighting to make others do it your way you are a hero". Ugh, I'd rather be dead. I would be spiritually dead. In fact america is almost spiritually dead. The leader of our country presents as if he has a connection to god when in fact, he is the exact opposite. In that sense Bush's behavior fits revelations. He is the fake, he is the phoney.

Over and over again, the universe has shown us that the Bush way is the way to destruction. America was blessed by god, the universe because of it's self evident truths, not because we kicked ass, or took over the american indians, or tortured people or made the world fear us.

We were attractive to others because we upheld certain truths in constitution and the way we approached disagreement(democracy). Once we lose that which the universe ordained was effective we lose our position in the world. We have lost our vision, we have lost our attractiveness. We need to get back to the basics that made this country great. The reasons that our higher power blessed us to begin with. And it wasn't kicking ass that made us great. Yes, we won wars, but that is not what the universe was validating.

Perhaps the right wing just does not have the brain capacity to process the concept of truth. There are things we can control and things we cannot control without damaging our integrity, our values and our morals. For the liberal, those values are more important than control, more important than the short term picture. For liberals the solutions are about what is best for the long run, the big picture, the universe. And most liberals understand that the solutions do not lie in power and control over other people. We have a true faith that says we don't need to do that. That our way will be validated by the universe with or without violence.

This is not a matter of just faith, it is a matter of fact.


Jodi,

I'm still waiting. I answered your question. Torture is wrong in every case. Why can't you answer my question? When is it ok to torture you by mistake? I'm asking the question because I want to know if you believe in the Golden Rule. You advocate torturing innocent people (or do you not believe in innocent until proven guilty?). Do you like torture because you think it would be exciting to be the torturer or are you so fearful that you're willing to inflict pain and suffering on others to assure your peace of mind?

I happen to know someone who is trained in interrogation (by the US Army). He says that the best way to get useful information is to be nice to the person being questioned. They'll tell you what they know, sometimes without realizing how much they're telling you.
Torture gets you what they think you want to hear.

And that '24' scenario all the advocates of torture keep bringing up? If that actually happens here, then all the shiny new security that Bushco has sold us is just tinfoil over cardboard.

I happen to know someone who is trained in interrogation (by the US Army). He says that the best way to get useful information is to be nice to the person being questioned. They'll tell you what they know, sometimes without realizing how much they're telling you.
Torture gets you what they think you want to hear.

And that '24' scenario all the advocates of torture keep bringing up? If that actually happens here, then all the shiny new security that Bushco has sold us is just tinfoil over cardboard.

sorry, #$^&*computer gave me the 'type this string' thing twice, without indicating the post went through.

Is there anything that, as Americans, we should more vehemently oppose than torture?

WC

I admire your effort to engage in rational debate with propagandists. These authoritarians don't believe in the Golden Rule. In their world they are above what they themselves proclaim. We have Bork the anti-tort kingpin being all for tort when it has to do with his own personal opportunity to gain. So he's against tort for everyone except him and his buddies. This Jack Bauer scenario that the authoritarians propagate as Brit Hume did at one of the Repub debates is a red herring as we all know. No serious intelligence professional will agree that torture provides actionable intelligence. Real intelligence is obtained by winning over the suspect and getting them to talk. Torture only provides "confessions" required by the torturer. That's why they were used by the communists so they could get their show trials.

The fact that the Jodi's of the world support torture for everyone except themselves is just part of their propaganda shtick. That's why we need to take on their propaganda head-on and counter it. Of course they have the advantage that they are better organized and have been doing it for decades and are in cahoots with the corporate media. We need to do better.

Brendan,

the answer I would guess is because Marcy is not afraid of a free flow of ideas. In fact if you think about it a bit, Marcy wouldn't have much to write about if she wasn't interested in discussions where she disagrees vehemently with one or more sides.

I have made a previous offer that when the heading of this blog says "Please, ONLY really Liberal people should make comments below." or something similar, I will pack up and catch the next shuttle.

William Ockham,

sorry. Saw your first comment, and then something came up and I forgot it.

I think torture is wrong too. Further it is horrible and terrible. Now why have I said the things I have said earlier. Well I believe that sometimes we have little choice in what we must do.
To save lives sometimes it is necessary to lose lives, and suffer horrific injury. Our rescue workers, our firemen, our policemen, and our soldiers realize this, and continue with their jobs and mission despite the risk of loss of life or the chance of suffering severe life altering injury.
Sometimes their job involves killing and seriously injuring the enemy to save themselves, to save innocents, to achieve their mission.

Sometimes the job may require some things that normally would turn our stomach. Including questioning an enemy to gain quick information that may help. And yes this is fraught with risk, just as there is collateral damage from any firefight, or any bombing.

We allow our policemen to have lethal weapons even though in some instances despite best practices innocent people die, or the weapons aren't used as they should have been, or an event occurs that was not anticipated. Sometimes there are errors of judgement or even periods of serious breakdowns of discipline.

No I don't want to be killed by a Policeman's 9MM Glock by mistake, and I don't want to be tortured by mistake.

... but I will not take that Glock away from the Policeman and I will say that there are times that information must be gained quickly.
Both the Police and the Soldiers and the others should be trained so as to be able to know when and where and what they can do. They must be taught to understand the inherent dangers of their own violent actions and how to take the best precautions against error or overacting.

William,

I guess it ends up with everyone doing his or her best. And after the fact if mistakes are found to be made, then as usual we modify our rules and our behavior to try to avoid future error.

once again shit stain, your "beliefs" are a joke

we always have MUCH CHOICE in what we do

lazy shit stains such as yourself who are willing to trade your morals for saftey often say that they "Had little choice in their actions" to cover up for their failure to stand up for what they claim are their moral beliefs

hewre's a clue

if you abandon what you call your "Moral Beliefs" in the face of danger, then you didn't really have any "Moral Beliefs" in the first place

you just had some convieient lies that you told yourself to make yourself feel better

if you can't stand up for your moral values when your life is on the line, you ain't GOT moral values

mouthing the words doesn' mean shit

if you can't defend your faith under the worst conditions, you're just a shit stain

and btw shit stain. I'm still waiting for your brilliant explanation of why scooter libby lied to the FBI if he didn't want to obstruct justice

why ain't you answered that question, or a lot of other hard questions you've been asked ???

PS: I already know why, cuz you're a ahit stain

No I don't want to be killed by a Policeman's 9MM Glock by mistake, and I don't want to be tortured by mistake.

Yuo'd rather be shot deliberately, or tortured deliberately?

Because that's what you're telling us.

We'd rather avoid torture completely, because it has no uses other than hurting people. The person torturing is damaged as surely as the person being tortured.

-- And if you really think '24' is connected to reality in any way, I can show you where it's filmed. In a couple of warehouses, down the street from where I live. (At the moment, not in production. Improves traffic considerably, I must say.)

Jodi confuses use of force in self defense and torture.

The use of force in self defense is moral as long is the force is proportional to the threat. In other words, you can't blow someone's head off for trespassing on your land but you can shoot to disable a preson who demonstrates a clear, apparent and imminent threat to your person.

Torture has no moral justification. It is always cruel and unusual punishment. Hmm, 'cruel and unusually punishment.' I'm trying to place it. It is an ancient reference to a quaint convention or some outdated bill of rights?

Anyway, I didn't come here today to debate torture, I came to say I'm jonesing for a new emptywheel post. I hope all is well for EW and all is well at the emptywheel homestead. Here is some news that may lift the spirits of those who post here. I have it on good advice that the lead prosecutor in the Libby trial printed off a bunch of emptywheel postings during the trial and read through them on a plane ride as a way to refocus and gain new perspective. The lead prosecutor found the postings smart, insightful and offered this comment on the writer "She's really smart." I had to concur.

"I have made a previous offer that when the heading of this blog says "Please, ONLY really Liberal people should make comments below." or something similar, I will pack up and catch the next shuttle."

oh jodi you simpering whiny ass titty baby.

the comment section should be reserved for only people in touch with reality. you relinquished your grasp on reality a long time ago.

by the way, here's your hat what's your hurry. godspeed.

katie: good point. I guess what I left out that I should have written before was: if the Bush admin had been honest about their intentions w/r/t Iraq, they never would have been allowed to do what they have done. they had to try to justify it some other way- thus the bullshit and lies.

But the bullshit and lies handicapped them to the point that they couldn't accomplish the plan- and here we are...

" But when that wishful thinking gets blown up with the next bomb, then the Public will look hard at those thinkers. "

wrong again !!!

the Public will look at the asswipes that are supposedly protecting this country and its citizens.

we have been unable to look at the bozoes that were supposedly employed by the usa taxpayers for failing the usa miserably on 9/11 due to the mendacity of the bushnazis - i wonder why.

when the next bomb goes off, maybe we will have adults in charge and the incompetents will be fired and brought up on charges - as everybody should have been on 9/12.

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