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July 21, 2007


Why does George Bush hate America?

The Organization of American States (OAS) is in a process to review the Gitmo existence of detainees. And a Republican on SSCI has asked whether the EU commission investigating overflights and prisoner secret sites there began its investigation based on a spy's having leaked the story to the folks in Europe; likely the response to the linked letter would involve a congressional committee. Clearly, prisoner treatment is problematic in Latin America and Europe views of US. Diplomats are always the most exposed in the repercussions of policies that transgress Geneva Conventions.

Among the objectives of this EO, it seems, is sticking it to the CIA, which has the job of determining which tactics are acceptable. I hope they don't rely too much on the EO's statement that it creates no liability. It's not the only governing law.

More generally, what blackness lies at the heart of Dick Cheney's soul that he is obsessed with torturing others? What demons so threaten him that he must redirect them onto those he hates and fears? A competent Congress would need nothing further to justify impeachment of both Black Dick and Lil' George than the purported legalization of torture. And these guys want to send those who would legalize marijuana to jail for twenty years. Guess they have their priorities straight, man.

This executive order is a complete circle jerk. Read closely, and in light of the way that you know Cheney and the Administration will, it neither clarifies anything nor accomplishes anything. In addition to the "secret list of tortures", I see nothing that indicates that Bush is repudiating the unfettered power he has previously claimed by signing statement to ignore the MCA and do whatever he wants at his discretion. Also, and I am curious if anyone else had the same reaction, I was struck by the somewhat awkward and repeated use of the limiting phrase "a program" followed by "the program" Which program exactly? Are there other programs? How many programs are there? This "a program" ruse was clearly used to game congress and the people on the wiretapping issue; where it turns out there are multiple programs and the Administration is constantly shining your apple by telling you how superb everything is with "the program", but they are talking about a different program than you are. How hard is to just to just fucking say "the US is going to stand on the high ground and adhere to the full standards of conduct under both American and International law; as the US has always done and is expected to do". This new EO is just another to cute by a half method of clouding the consideration so that they can continue doing whatever the hell they want.

A bit of a long-winded post on the negotiation of what was sold as "no torture" language in the Senate ...

Interrogation Techniques : S.3861 vs. S.3901

Long story short, the WH pwnded McCain and the rest of the Senate.

The bottom line is at 18 USC 2340(2) and 18 USC 113 -- and there is no way that waterboarding is "torture" to the statutory definition.

cboldt - The disgusting upshot of that horsemanure you remind us of is that most all of the MSM still refer to McCain, Spectre and Graham as the the principled renegades that stood up for what is right. The perfidy continues it's relentless march on and on and on....

why would bush change now? the fact is he hasn't, in spite of how the media would like to package him at present... it is just more smoke and mirrors. thanks ew for pointing out more of the bs coming from this admin.


most of the men in the field think that harsher methods do work with stubborn or well trained resisters. That is why they want to do it, and will continue to do it.

An example or two of where a shower, clean clothes, a nice cot and a hot cup of tea and sandwiches did the same thing isn't going to convice them otherwise.

I just wish the insurgents wouldn't cut off our men's heads and burn them alive. Maybe then we would have a starting point for better treatment of insurgent prisoners.

So, basically, the us congress generally favours torture in certain contexts, rather than confronting the Whitehouse..

You know what - this isn't even funny anymore. I mean, really. How is it possible that I do not see every single congressperson humiliated in person by their respective constituencies over this?

Jodi - Are all the experts in the field women then? Because experts dating back decades have consistently found and opined that torture does not reliably produce useful information. It is not that it never works, rather that the frequency of it working is so pitifully low as to render it effectively not only useless, but counterproductive.

Peace works. Einstein knew it could and would. It's only simple minded, black and white thinking authoritarian types that don't understand the idea that you "reap what you sow."

That statement is a fact. What you put out, you create. We are powerless as long as we think our power lies in the subjugation of "bad guys". Once we accept that the power of the United states exist through our inherent effectiveness, our power is that people want what we have, will emulate the best of what we have created.

Our weakeness is that we have reinforced power and control as a means to get what we have. We have confused the message. Democracy is what brought us wealth and prosperity. Not capitalism. The american dream is what gave us that boost above the rest. As long as we hang on to the tired ideas of the past, we will continue to reinforce, role model and build violence as a way to solve problems. It works in the short run but has long term consequences. One of which is the likes of Bush/co. People in power who will never suffer from it's use on them will see it as a fast solution to a problem that might make them uncomfortable if they were to use a real solution.

We have our part in it. The most powerful thing we could do is accept this truth, and role model solutions. Then the world will follow. But it won't happen immediately. It won't be about "controlling the bad guys" so they stop using power and control. It would be a long term solution. Like a savings account is a long term solution. You feel poor today, when you put that money away, the crunch is still on, it hurts a little, but it's what works in the long run. Same is true for violence. It's hurt a little not to use it. There are short term consequences. There is an uncomfortableness to refusing it's use.

But in the long run, it is the solution.

Be the change you wish to make in the world.

"and there is no way that waterboarding is "torture" to the statutory definition."

What an unmitigated, self-justifying, hypocrite.

Being held underwater until you almost drown, long enough so you believe you will drown, isn't torture?

Try it, tough-guy, we will wait patiently for a truly qualified opinion when you are done spewing out all that water in your lungs.

If you survive.

If we had fed them when they were children, then we wouldn't be compelled to torture them when they grow up...

Katie is absolutely right, PEACE WORKS. It makes friends for us, not enemies. But it does nothing for the war profiteers, they HATE Peace, as a world goal.

But because it is not the more financially profitable option in the short term, guns and bombs and mines bring in the cash much more quickly.

And that is the underlying premise of our entire government, as long as these no-bid, book-cooking, gun-running war profiteers have their man in the VP's office, with his hand buried way up inBush's sock-puppet.

"most of the men in the field think that harsher methods do work with stubborn or well trained resisters."

Do you have the transcripts of the interviews? How is it you have that information?

BTW, until you answer, I will be asking you these questions each time you post your 'salient' comments, Jodi.

Torture doesn't elicit the truth.

Torture elicits confessions.

Think about it, Jodi.

Earl of Huntingdon - Godwin Law alert, historical analogies to follow! Cheney and BushCo doesn't want the power to torture as a way of obtaining intelligence, or even as a way of getting more "reliable" information from someone who was waterboarded, buried alive, or otherwise slowly driven insane by techniques that do not amount to "intentionally inflicting serious bodily injury". Cheney and Bushco want the power to torture, both abroad, and, eventually, in the United States, for the same reason that Saddam or the Gestapo or the KGB or any other secret police state wanted to torture - as a way of terrorizing the population into compliance, for fear that they may end up in Abu Ghraib, or the Lubyanka, or even a concentration camp. When do the tactics that are so important in the War on Terror become "part of the law-enforcement toolkit" in the War on Drugs, or the War on Crime? Bushco depends on the creation of fear and its effective exploitation through the media and government institutions like the Department of Homeland Security - and by the way, the word "homeland" as a synonynm for the United States emerged very quickly after 9-11, I have always been struck at how quickly the government and the media were to adopt the "heimat" concept that Goebbels used to masterly effect in the Third Reich - but it would not be the first time that Bushco has adopted techniques with a fascist provenance..... torture and secret prisons, for example.

OT, but still, something that has been bothering me all week - Bush's deranged detachment complimenting the Iraq War veteran who lost both his legs in combat. "That's great, we're going to get this guy some new legs!" Uhh, no, Mr. President, he is not going to get new legs. He is going to get mechanical prostheses that will slide over the stumps that used to be legs, assuming of course, that the VA will spring for the best quality prostheses, and not some kind of Ahab-like pegleg. Bush seems to have the same type of pathological lack of empathy that his mother the Bargoyle demonstrated during Katrina - after all, "it's not like we have a health care crisis in this country, you just go to an emergency room!" David Brooks is on Press the Meat right now talking about how engaged and confident Bush is about the war and his administration - somehow, I doubt that Timmeh will flash these "gotcha" moments for Brooks to explain how they show Bush's intelligence, resolve and compassionate conservatism.

-- Being held underwater until you almost drown, long enough so you believe you will drown, isn't torture? --

Read what I wrote, with more care. You might even bother to read the link I provided.

I'm pointing out that people are using smoke and mirrors to assert a point, and I'm doing so with some citations and particularity -- and you decide to call me out as "try it toughguy."


I wonder why the congress and military think this is OK?

"and you decide to call me out as "try it toughguy."


Losing the rational, objective clarity?

Why you gettin' all jiggy here?

Try that at JOM and see what happens

The "asshole" comment kinda reinforces the "tough guy" comment. Two wrongs don't make a right. And power and control is power and control, is power and control. Whether it is used by dems or republicans. It's a way of interacting by use of punishment instead of validity.

Clearly, at least to me, cboldt was not advocating that waterboarding is not torture; he was exhibiting how the Cheney/Bush Administration disingenuously and semantically claims it is not torture. Oh, and by the way, 'waterboarding" does not involve actually "being held under water"; rather it is simulated drowning (very unpleasant and terrifying nevertheless) by pouring water over the face of the suspect while inclined on a body board, often over a cellophane cover of the mouth and nose.

OOHHH, the term "tough-guy"is SOOOOO provocative!! Downright hateful,huh?

"Losing the rational, objective clarity?"


""and there is no way that waterboarding is "torture" to the statutory definition."

You call that rational and objective?

Sounds like an attempt to justify an unjustifiable act of torture.

So when you post something so ludicrous as that statement, you just expect us al to consider it rational?

Just another neocon wannabe whose balloon is about to pop.

-- Sounds like an attempt to justify an unjustifiable act of torture --

Yeah, it does. And you didn't use an appropriate amount of care before accusing me of making the justifcation.

--Try that at JOM and see what happens --

I have. I've called a number of posters there "assholes." And I still think they are.

-- he was exhibiting how the Cheney/Bush Administration disingenuously and semantically claims it is not torture. --

You are correct. My original post even had some clues, like "sold as 'not torture'" and "the WH pwnded McCain and the rest of the Senate"

A curious reader would check the cited statutes (I didn't write the damn things, I just observed them) and reach the same conclusion I did. Waterboarding doesn't cross the line expressed in those statutes.

And instead of returning fire -- I'll just ignore the assholes here, just like I ignore the assholes elsewhere.

hmmm more power and control. Validity works better. Cboldt I went to your link a while back. Good posts, lots of references and links, full of good information. But you are engaging in a method of argument as is JEP that does not rely on validity but on punishment. We get further as a species when this behavior stops. Do what you please, I am pointing it out for the sake of the discussion on torture. Same methodology just more weak in intensity. Truth is the most powerful speaker of all. Name calling dilutes the truth. Same is true with torture. You never really know what you are going to get.

"The bottom line is at 18 USC 2340(2) and 18 USC 113 -- and there is no way that waterboarding is "torture" to the statutory definition."

Well, lets clarify this, Cboldt, from this ambiguous sentence, we might assume you are in agreement with those who do not consider it torture, do you agree with this assessment, or were you pointing out (so ambiguously) that you do not agree with it?

Please just answer me one qquestion, for true clarity.

Do you personally believe waterboarding is torture?

Regardless of how you interpret the statute, do you personally believe waterboarding is torture? And do you defend the right of this administration to use this method?

If not, forgive me, I misjudged you.

If so, then, tough-guy, try it first before you deny it is torture.

"Tough-guy" isn't name calling, it is putting my contempt for anyone who thinks thay can judge the suffering of others from afar into a simple statement.

Since when is the term "tough-guy" "name calling?" It is meant as a challenge, not an insult. I didn't say "jerk" or "idiot" or "a-hole" (although I think the "hypocrite" remark was quite accurate, if I read the post correctly).

If I misinterpreted the post, and it actually was not excusing or approving of waterboarding, then I stand corrected.

But if I read it right, I stand my ground, anyone who makes flat statements about other people's suffering needs some lessons in humility.

-- Name calling dilutes the truth. --

I didn't start it. I left a link to useful information and analysis, made a statement of objective truth (waterboarding doesn't result in the harm stated at the statutes I cited - read the statutes for yourself), and got called a hypocrite and "try it tough guy" as a reward. Not a "what do you mean?" To which I would answer - "It's a statement of objective truth - read the statute."

Enough of this subject. I don't have any more constructive material to add on the substantive discussion, and have fully expressed my justification for being pissed off at being called a "hypocrite" and "tough guy."

And as for your assessment (or was it a quote?) that waterboarding does not fit the list, do you know what near-drowning does to the vacuoli in the lungs?

If damage to internal organs qualified something as torture, then waterboarding fits on that list.

If you want to dwell on technicalities, does this fit your criterion?

Jep, I appreciate your comments. I am simply pointing out a dynamic. Using the term "tough guy" is speaking to him "personally" rather than his point. That's all I am saying. No judgment of anyone on this board, but I am pointing out the dynamic that when we steer away from the facts we lose the point, we muddy the water. I have done it many times before. So I am no angel in this regard. But it makes the point that behaving like a "tough guy" which is what power and control is all about (it's an attempt to lash out at someone else). Lashing out loses the important valid messages. The lashing and all the emotion it causes replaces the facts. Sometimes we need emotion but emotion that is supported by facts brings the most powerful motivation.

My apologies, cboldt, maybe you and Cheney weren't aware that lungs are internal organs...

-- you post something so ludicrous ... Just another neocon wannabe ... maybe you and Cheney weren't aware that lungs are internal organs --

You have cemeneted my opinion of you.

Why JEP you are so right. Lungs ARE internal organs. This is a fact. And it's very hard to live comfortably or even think when we can't use our lungs. It affects the brains ability to think and use the cognitive reaches of the brain. It's a longer haul to the frontal lobe and takes more oxygen, which factually contributes to the inaccurate information that often happens as a result of torture.

Using the term "tough-guy" points out the hypocrisy in two words. It wasn't name calling, it was efficiency of language.

And if we do not get pasionate about these issues, and "lash out" just a vehemently, even moreso, than these Bush enablers, we are their victims.

We've got every reason to be mad as hell, when someone tries to tell us that torture isn't torture. This pernicious reframing of the truth to fit the need, just like the Downing Street Memo, has got to be met head-on with immediate response.

So when I throw the tyerm "tough-guy" in a post about hypocritical views of torture, I'm just fighting fire with fire.

As long as "our side" thinks moral high-ground is being a willing victim, we won't make more headway in this political scene.

Do you happen to reacall "kick their soft teeth down their whiney throats"?

Allen may be toast, but the legacy of Republican bullyism he expressed in that callous, partican comment lives on, and letting them continue to run roughshod over us while we quietly abide, is nothing moer than cowardice.

To me, it is muchmore profane to call someone "a.hole" than hypocrite, because no matter how much we use that term, no one is exclusively an "asshole", but some folks are no doubt, hypocrites.

Katie, are you protecting the innocence of the Left Wing blogosphere (HAH!) or are you just expressing your own disdain towards personal "attacks?"

A perfect tool to keep the "insurgents" fighting a never ending war; refuse to disavow torture of captives. Some (or most) of those torture victims are their family, friends, and neighbors accused by political or social rivals of being a OBL sympathizer or AQ or whatever the U.S. pays MONEY for this week.

A never ending paycheck for the Big Dick and friends.

You have cemeneted my opinion of you.

Locked in concrete, huh? Never to be moved...

At least you are an honest conservative.

I bet you know many others, much closer to you, who you've relegated to that concrete heap. They probably all love you dearly, but they know how misguided you are.

How many of your friends and family know thatyou are the one with a concrete perspective. In a constantly changing world, that can prove to be quite disempowering.

Does it matter to you whether lungs are internal organs? Or does it matter so much more that I called you "tough-guy?"

Your response seemd to be only about yourself, and myiclusion of you on the same line with Cheney, not whether my point is valid.

Now, tell me, do you believe lungs ARE internal organs?

Maybe that would be easier to get a straight answer about.

"Enough of this subject."

was than an official royal edict, or more wishful projection?

-- Your response seemd to be only about yourself --

It was about how I took your words, and I observe that you're persistent in piling on criticism based on assumption.

You can reply if you want, but I intend to ignore you (in the sense of "not reply" not in the sense of "not read.")

One last note to Katie;

Facts trump spin, every time, unless the spinners drown out the truth.

So what are the options when that occurs? Seems there are only two, either find a way to shut THEM up or be even MORE passionate.

Do you think we can shut these neocon wannabes up?

So what is the logical conslusion?

"Passive resistance" truly is an oxymoron, and alousy policy, when you are dealing with bullies.

"criticism based on assumption"

you assume my convictions are assumptions...

JEP - This is a lot of invective hurled against a person who never said or intimated what you claim in the first place. Now you seem to attack people like Kati Jensen that are simply trying to diffuse what has turned into a useless and counterproductive argument. I stand by my assertion that you misunderstood cboldt's original comment, and cboldt also stated unequivocally that was the case when he (I think he) stated "- he was exhibiting how the Cheney/Bush Administration disingenuously and semantically claims it is not torture. --
You are correct." This has devolved into an irrational attack on someone that, as far as I can tell, pretty much agrees with you on the original point. The group of folks that are regular and effective commenters here, which includes both of you, are wonderful and somewhat of a treasure. If we are to be at each other's throats, let us make it over a serious disagreement; and I personally do not see that here

Still haven't answered those two questins, though, "do you know what near-drowning does to vacuoli in the lungs" and "do you believe lungs are internal organs?"

And why? Because to answer either question puts you at risk of proving your own ignorance TO YOURSELF, and that is something a concrete personality can not do.

Admission of wrongheadedness is the last thing any of you Bush enablers are capable of, right up to the Codpiece in Chief.

Our entire sustem of democratic government would collapse if it depended on you people changing your minds to match the needs of the moment, insteads of trying to manipulate reality to match your own needs.

Waterboarding isn't torture?

Say it again. Repeat it to yourself, again and again, and do everything you can to avoid considering whether you might be wrong. Because to face the sad truth of your denial, you will probably have to experience an emotional and psychological collapse first.

When you create your own truth, you set yourself up for failure. You and your ilk are so brainwashed by this false-truth you so self-righteously defend, you can no longer consider any options without a total meltdown.

So be it.

(now there's my version of a Royal Edict for you!)

bmaz, the next democratic administration will need effective diplomats to replace all the career diplomats who resigned in the last six years. you're good at it. i support your effort.


how did I attack katie? I thought we had a reasonable dialogue, and not much hostility?

You are reading much mnore vehemence in my words than I intend.

And if I moisread Cboldt, why won't he clarify whether he supports torture, if I am missing something here, pleas elucidate.

READ THIS, bmaz, Carefully..
"A curious reader would check the cited statutes (I didn't write the damn things, I just observed them) and reach the same conclusion I did. Waterboarding doesn't cross the line expressed in those statutes."

I did exactlythat, and came up with a totally different conclusion. And I still challenge our sutble provocatuer to be forthcoming about it, how can the statue clearly define torture as damage to internal organs, or causing the fear of death, and he makes this statement?

It just makes me angry when someone so casually reads and references material, and misses or ignores the maiun point. If people like cboldt didn't so casually write this off as "non-torture" then the public might not be so confused about it.

So please, bmaz, I think we disagree on cboldt's motives, and while I admit I may be completely wrong here, I just don't see how ANYONE can casually write OR READ those words, "Waterboarding doesn't cross the line expressed in those statutes." and claim to any knowledge of the truth, about internal organs or about waterboarding.

Shouldn't the logical conclusion from reading the statute be "since waterboarding can cause damage to the lungs, it should be considered "torture" But instead, he ignores the clear evidenc of that favct, and just because the word "waterboarding"isn't actually referenced, he claims it doesn't fit the criterion for torture.

This kind of subtle framing, and our passivly abiding it, is what got us into this mess in the firwst place.

Waterboarding IS ytorture, by the very definition cboldt used, and now that it has been pointed ot to him, he's taking the "poor me, i'm the victim of a blog attack" posture.

nd, bmaz, you apparently agree.

I am talking about a method of interacting that feeds the thinking behind torture. Of which, the underlying foundation is that you have to be "mean" to be heard. That you have to cause pain to be powerful. My stand is that peace works. Facts stand tall. Staying out of emotion attracts instead of repels. In the short run, the emotional attack appears more powerful. In the long run, calm use of facts with supporting emotion is powerful.

I am not attacking you. I am paying attention to the dynamic underneath the content of the discussion. The dynamic is, in my humble opinion, the same type of philosophy that feeds the idea that torture makes us stronger. In the end it weakens our integrity and makes us weaker as a nation. Same idea behind not attacking the trolls.

My point was more pointed to cboldt than to you, but it gave me the chance to expand on the dynamic. I am taking a broad big philosophy and applying it to the very specific small case. Some of those reading this string of posts will "see" the dynamic and agree with the idea behind it. Some will not. That's okay. This philosophy or idea is probably one of the most contentious ideas about being human.

For instance, I use to say I believed in peace but I yelled at my kids. I have learned that power and control used in any form weakens my integrity. I will yell sometimes but not to cause fear unless fear is warranted to save lives. If I am using fear to motivate someone to change or else I will hurt them by calling them names or intimidating them, then I am engaging in power and control.

I tend to take this concept farther than many folks do, but I work with survivors of trauma and violence and I work with men who are violent. In both cases, I know that my role modeling peaceful interaction is the only way to undo their reliance on internalize power and control.

The behavior develops because we have internalized these types of behaviors as powerful ways of interacting. We have learned them, but they have grave consequences. We often use these techniques without regard to the consequences. In my humble opinion war, torture, domestic violence, gang violence, are all in part, due to internalized power and control. The same philosophy that had our president in his best cowboy form saying "bring it on." It is the same philosophy behind capital punishment and jail. It's the same philosophy behind spanking our children. It's the same philosophy that supports a nuclear build up of weapons. Somewhere, somehow we have to become aware of this philosophy that so many of us subscribe to without awareness. Even on a small scale the philosophy lives. I was just trying to make a simple point, but I know I stepped in a big cow patty here.

And if folks disagree with my observations, and they will, that's okay. I am not out to change you, just pointing out an idea or a different paradigm, so to speak. It's a very unpopular paradigm, I might add. The behaviors of power and control are are really an integral part of the american experience:

1) using intimidation: yelling, size, weapons, slamming. Creating fear.
2) Name calling or mind games. Any put downs or attempts to one up someone else.
3) Isolation: putting someone else out of the pack, not allowing them to be with others by using fear. In cults they would say "don't talk to those people they are sinners and will cause you to go to hell." In d.v violent people will put down friends and relatives so as to isolate the person being battered.
4) minimize,deny and blame. Minimize use of power and control. Deny that it happened at all, or blame the use of power and control on the recipient.
5) objectification of human beings. Seeing any human (even republicans) as objects or stereotypical roles instead of as individuals and human beings.
6) King of the castle. Use of the idea, it's my country, my house, my life I can do whatever I want. This is the idea that our behaviors do not have consequences outside of our "domain" on the greater whole.
7) financial. Using money to keep people in submission.
8) coercion and threats. This is using the threat of punishment or behavior that will be painful to fear someone into doing what you want.

One interesting point, the military uses these techniques in basic training. Cults use these techniques. One or two uses doesn't cause a riot, but my point is about awareness. We use them sometimes without even realizing it.

Power and control and internalized power and control refers to the use of these techniques to motivate change. These behaviors lend themselves to escalations of violence. They don't "cause" violence but are often correlated with violence.

Sorry for the long winded explanation.

We're on the same team. Chill.

bmaz, thanks for your 13:30.


this is my last post about this subject, and I have been looking closely at your post.

If you are trying to tell us, as Bmaz puts it, that they worded this JUST SO THEY CAN do their waterboarding, and that is what you were pointing out, that they have worded it vaguely to allow them to torture, then you should have done more than "hint" at your own opinion.

And if this was the case, again, paint my face red and call me foolish.

But I really want to know, your post does not clarify this, when you wrote those words, "The bottom line is at 18 USC 2340(2) and 18 USC 113 -- and there is no way that waterboarding is "torture" to the statutory definition" were you aware of the damage that can cause to the lungs?

If so, then how could you make that statement? But if you were not aware of it, and now you are aware of it, wouldn't it be prudent to, at least if you want to live up to Bmaz' perception, to acknowledge that you might not have the whole picture and that your statement was something of an uninformed assupmtion?

If a commoner, IANAL like me can present you with a serious question like that, shouldn't it at least get a response on its own merits, not based on the wordsd "hypocrite" or that new four-letter word, "tough-guy".

OK, lets try it this way.

Take out the hypocrite reference, and the tough-guy reference, if I had said this instead, "Cboldt, are you aware that waterboarding can cause organ failure and permanent lung damage?" would you have even responded?

Without those words added to my comment, you would have never even responded. You still haven't answered those two very clarifying questions, which, bmaz, are quite germane to our entire discussion.

If organ failure and injury can be caused by waterboarding, and those are listed as definitions of torture, then why isn't waterboarding torture in your book, Cboldt?

No offense meant to anyone here, but sometimes ambiguity in our language can create the situation we just experienced, and I still am not certain if that is what happened.

We never know the real political mindset of anyone who comments her, just reading one or two post. Clearly, some of us are much more passionate and urgent about the past six years than others.

So if I offended anyone, I sincerely apologize.

My only agenda is seeing this horribly flawed Bush era transition into a better one. I hope most of you have the same agenda.

And, cboldt, if you do share that agenda, then I have totally misread your perspective. But regardless of that, I am right about waterboarding, and that the very references you provide suports my contention.

Alright, and this is my final involvement in something I should have never set foot in in the first place. 1) I still maintain that you misunderstood cboldt in the first place 2) I think, as I stated, and quoted, above that cboldt stated that you were misinterpreting what he actually was saying 3) The traditional practice of waterboarding does not involve what you are claiming as to actual near drowning. It is despicable, and it IS torture, without any question; but it is not what you have been saying. 4) I, and I would hazard a guess that cboldt would agree, think that the statute is bullshit and that the way that Cheney/Bush use and interpret it is bullshit; but, nevertheless, under 18 USC 2340(2) in light of the fact that traditional waterboarding does not produce the damage you allege, because it does not involve the actions you allege, it is extremely easy to see how it could be argued to not be torture under 18 USC 2340(2). 5) I fully understand what waterboarding is and absolutely believe it is torture and, again, I am going to go out on a limb and hazard a guess that cboldt agrees with this too. The point is that Cheney/Bush have rigged the jig so they can disingenuously argue that it is not torture under their tortured definition. Last pun intended.

To those who haven't reached a conclusion yet, I make a prefatory statement. The interrogation limits established by the DTA represent a radical departure from what there before. They are statutes. They are amenable to be tested in court, which means that to be in violation of the statute, one must meet every element recited in the statute.

Read the statute carefully, paying particular attention to words such as "prolonged," and the definitions for "serious" and "severe."

If I am right, that waterboarding does not result in a degree of physical harm represented by the threshold stated in the statute, then the statute is a problem.

Even if I am wrong, and waterboarding in fact results in serious and permanent loss of function, consider that the statutory framework sets certain requirements.

I just urge the careful reading of the statutes. They say what they say, and it isn't necessarily YOUR interpretation that will prevail if/when the statute is tested.


do you now what cboldt's favorite blogs are?


"in light of the fact that traditional waterboarding does not produce the damage you allege,"

traditional waterboarding?!?!?!?

Now we got multiple levels of waterboarding egregiousness?

This is what I mean by these framing tricks being the problem in the first place. If bmaz is just defending cboldt, that would be fine, but by defending him, it perpetuates the same subtle lie.

WATERBOARDING IS TORTURE! And no amount of careful application of water to the lungs can be reliably trusted not to cause damage.

Isn't that something of a no-brainer? Or is it just me.

Asked another way, before I depart for the airport, "Are the statutes okay as they are? (because "I think they cover waterboarding" or whatever treatment you assert doesn't rise to THAT level)

"and I would hazard a guess that cboldt would agree"

maybe not, Michelle Malkin is one of his favorite bloggers...

at least according to Technorati...

honest to gosh, this is my last word on it.

Subtle influences are much more powerful sometimes, especially with peaceful folks, than diatribes and passinate pronouncements.

But those subtle influences can also be pernicious, tamping down our passions with ingenious, serpentine sublimation, like cboldt taking the "moral high ground" after tossing out a very questionable opinion as a statement of fact.

After googling cboldt a little bit, I think I may have been right all along in this little debate.

"By their fruits ye shall know them..."

"We're on the same team. Chill."

Katie, check out that link I provided. You may change your mind...

Jep, we are on the same team. All torture is ineffective. Waterboarding is especially ineffective because it can affect the thinking of the person being tortured. It affects access to the cognitive, rational part of the brain. So, the information gotten by using torture is not always accurate. I believe that torture reinforces the use of power and control. It reinforces the notion that we should "respect" those who can hurt us. Three, torture creates an emotional uproar in that, many people have a moral objection. That said, it can reflect negatively on the country using. It seems to conflict with our morals and values, but this could probably be argued and is my opinion. I read his posts. I disagreed with his diary, but I see that he used facts for the discussion.

I also agree that intellectualizing can be used to "hide" aggregious behavior.

No argument here. I just wanted to make a little ironic observation about power and control. That's all.


The piece on PBS about the Inquisition indicated that they had 99+% success getting confessions, true or not.
It shouldn't be done for confessions, for sure.

But if there is a bomb or an arms cache somewhere, it is useful. Less so for finding the victim's comrades. Efficacy would vary from individual to individual.
I would think "reliability" and success would depend on the ability to verify the results.

Yes it can be counter productive turning the general population against the troops and their country. This happened in Israel and they go back and forth with their laws.
The question then becomes one of immediacy and choice.

The problems really arise when it becomes the answer for every situation.

I hate the idea intellectually and morally, but when the question is hypothetically posed to me. ~Your brother is wounded, and buried alive, and only has 4 hours of air left, and this guy knows where he is, but won't talk, and just laughs about it, what do you want to do?~

I would say "give me the hot iron."

I am willing for my God to judge me as an imperfect soul.

Of course it remains to be seen if I could really do it.

My google search looking for cboldt's credentials has gotten my tinfoil hat a-twitchin', I think there has been a deliberate, concerted strategy of trollism unleashed on ALL the left-leaning and centrist blogs, there are new trolls, both subtle and outrageous, popping up quite methodically around the web these days, and after seeing where cboldt's loyalties are (his list of favorite blogs would make Alito look like a leftie) I got the funny feeling that there's been some discussion amongst those righrtwing bloggers about just this strategy.

Anyone else seeing a serious uptick in anti-bloggers lately?

Wouldn't it be nice if we could go over to the blogs cboldt has listed in his favorites and post the Truth, it would make them even madder tha we get when these trolls post their lies...

But, since knowing this is a buried thread now, and that few will read it, I will add, this conversation here today really opened up a new area of suspicion in my little conspiracy-theory pea-brain.

I'll gather some of the trolls' blog names sometime later, and post them in a few places, I think this new effort to discredit the REAL blogosphere is futile, but I do believe they are trying.

"~Your brother is wounded, and buried alive, and only has 4 hours of air left, and this guy knows where he is, but won't talk, and just laughs about it, what do you want to do?~"

They want you and everyone else to live as if this moment is constantly upon us.

But do you really think allthis torture talk is about impending nuclear disaster, of saving the lives of buried victims?

What a joke. More often than not, the torture is committed because THE VICTIM REALLY DOES NOT KNOW ANYTHING! And as they consistently assert that truth, they get tortured to make them confess to whatever it is the interrogators want admitted to.

Those "48 Hour" scenarios are just fiction. But obviously the Bush beast has convinvced some of you it is with us every moment.

I think it might be safe to say, that, when God does weigh that balance (Rev. 11-v18, be sure and read the last few words carefully), He will show us all that torture has hurt many more innocent people than it has saved.

Do you really think they have given up on torture?

As you note,

"The document prohibits a range of abuses, including "intentionally causing serious bodily injury" and "forcing the individual to perform sexual acts," as well as mistreating the Koran."

note the word "intentionally"

I think that's a loophole big enough to drive a truck through. Litigating "intent" is always problematic.

and don't even think about the phrase "forcing the individual to perform sex acts"...what about having sex acts performed on them. as in "I didn't INTEND to put an object in the shackled person's rectum." The detainee wasn't forced to perform a sex act, it was performed on him.

yeah, I'm cynical.
I think some cynicism is called for.
I don't think they've stopped doing torture.
These types of crimes have very high rates of recidivism because the need to hurt escalates as the sadistic thrill gets harder and harder to achieve. We're talking about humans who have been in this atmosphere for years.

This is a CYA not an end to the torture.

"Alright, Stan, listen to me. You have to see the Gambinis in action. These people, they love to argue. I mean, the Gambinis live to argue."

~ Billy Gambini
"My Cousin Vinny"

JEP, Jodi, aka SS, has learned NOTHING from the multpiple threads on the subject of torture at TNH. SS comes back to the same starting point everytime... if someone was holding a remote-controlled dirty bomb over my brother's head. You are not going to get anywhere with SS.

You infer cboldt is a troll too. You may be right. And if you are, will you have at it or recognize that there is little to be gained from that debate?

"most of the men in the field think that harsher methods do work with stubborn or well trained resisters."

Do you have the transcripts of the interviews? How is it you have that information?

BTW, until you answer, I will be asking you these questions each time you post your 'salient' comments, Jodi.

Semanticleo - Don't waste your fingers and keystrokes; there is no such credible data.

Air travel successful, now 800 miles from where I started, albeit 2 hours late.

I'm generally transparent about where I stand and why, and I tend to provide links or other citation, with analysis where appropriate, to support my findings and conclusions.

I've never made a secret of "being a rightie," have posted here from time to time for months, and have no intention or interest in posting items for the purpose of being disruptive.

I can spare you lots of effort "googling" for my point of view, and left this link in another thread here within the past few days ...

Table of Contents to cboldt posts hither and yon

Frankly, I am surprised that JEP would appear to defend the statute that I think represents a serious problem - or at least would be hostile to having the statute pointed out with a statement that I think waterboarding doesn't reach the threshold of harm expressed in the language of the statute.

The detainee experiences dying when waterboarded - suffocation by his own gag reflex while consciously struggling for air, as if being held under water.

It's not humane treatment.

Anybody who clicked on the link in my first post on this thread would see the "list of favorites." That's hardly a "discovery." But it's a wide diversion from the substance of the post, and represents ad hominem (or however it's spelled).

If anybody thinks the righty blogs somehow decided or impulsed me to post here, well, ROTFL. The righty blogs don't particularly like when I find President Bush playing "hide the ball." Any body who would pick me to go out on a blog disruption mission is stupid. There are plenty of posters who are reliable and skilled at disrupting. I'll refrain from naming the ones I see as "good at that," but I'm not "good at that."

The blogs that I find most useful and consult most often are Bashman's HowAppealing, Denniston's ScotusBlog, Balkinize (I disagree with more than half of the conclusions, but the material is exceptionally well researched and presented), Bobby Chesney's NatSecLaw.typead.com, FAS, JURIST, confirmthem.com, NRO Corner (more for news), and Volokh. I also check Washington Post and Times for news, and of course, follow links from the above stuff to wherever they lead.

I visit Patterico, Beldar and TalkLeft occasionally, but not daily (have contributed to each). I read JOM and TNH daily. I still check the general topics posted at FreeRepublic and it's splinter board, WideAwakes, daily. I occasionally post in the Senate thread at WideAwakes.

I haven't read Malkin in weeks at least, probably months. I haven't read BigLizards for weeks either, I disagree with Dafyd's immigration point of view, and find most of his legal analyses to be amateurish, or based on news and lacking careful review of source documents.

Unfortunate that it needs to be said, but my opinion is just that - mine, and opinion. It's not worth ANYTHING in an analysis of objective reality (however close once can get to that).

I do appreciate having errors of fact, lapses in logic, etc. being pointed out. I make plenty of mistakes.

To focus, wonder, or obsess about my opinion will take energy that is better put to looking at the facts, like statutes, what the PTB are saying / doing, etc.

The words of a statute don't change because they're presented by a righty, or a lefty - or for that matter, presented by an asshole or a diplomat. I read 'em all, and try to sort the fact from the fiction; and I try to figure out how the real power levers (and statutes are among the sets of real power levers) are arranged.

cboldt, I came to the conclusion that you are, if not a troll, at least a sympathizer with trolls, because of your various posts on the Plame/Libby mess. That's based solely on your comments here. If that's a misreading, then your commenting style needs adjusting to better reflect your opinions.

Here's a free clue in the form of an observation followed by a question. JEP got upset with me, and expressed ZERO concern over the statute. Now, which is more important? My opinion? or the statute?

I'll simplify your "troll" analysis. I'm much more a righty than a left = troll count No. 1. I don't think Plame could possibly be covered by the IIPA = troll count No. 2.

See, you assign troll points based on whether or not somebody agrees with your conclusions. I assign troll using a completely different metric.

I think Libby lied = anti-troll point
I think Fitzgerald did an ethical and fair job = anti-troll point
I think Libby misconstrued the sentencing guidelines = anti-troll point

See how that works? It's not how I present it, it's the conclusion? Well, I don't use that kind of metric to pigeonhole people in the asshole or troll box. I thnk Sndy Levinson is not a troll, and I disagree vigorously with his points of view and conclusions.

People who flip out things like "royal edict," "irrational", or who deliberately shift the ground of discussion to score a "win," or otherwise stifle advancing the discsussion - regardless of whether I agree or disagree with their point of view -- those are the ones I see as trolls.

cboldt, if I needed a defense lawyer, I'd certainly be interested in your considerable skills. Outside a court room, however, I find a lot of your comments (to be kind) to be lacking context. I took this from your link. Here's your first statement in a recent comment at JOM:

"Just as Libby's lies were immaterial to the outcome of an IIPA violation case because there was no IIPA violation:

I don't accept your finding wrt the IIPA, but IANAL, so I'm not going to argue with you about the law. Your statement, however, leaves the very strong impression that what Libby, and Armitage and Fleischer, and Rove and all the rest of the high-level-clearance-possessing leakers did, was consistent with their responsibilities as highly paid public servants?

That's wrong. It's flat forehead obvious that they put party above law and country. All your written comments appear aimed at insulating them from the very understandable consequences of their treasonous actions.

It sounds to me as though the problem is we need better laws about prosecuting those who leak classified information, yet you're silent on that. You're always so careful in your statements to only take a position about Plame's clearance wrt the IIPA. As you are very well aware, it's a bigger question than that. Your precision with your language strongly suggests to me that you agree that Plame's identity was classified when they leaked it. Her identity didn't find its way into Novack's column oby accident, but you don't appear to want to hold anyone accountable.

Here's your second sentence:

"Clinton's lies were immaterial to the outcome of Jones's civil case claiming damages because there were no damages."

You're equivocating between Clinton lying about getting bj's from a consenting adult, and Bush lying us into spending $270,000,000/day of our tax dollars to get more than 3,000 US soldiers killed and to make Iran and Russia more dominant in the region.

Had I ever read anything from you where you held Bush and his administration responsible for ANYTHING, I would reappraise my general opinion of the relative value of your comments. Since, I haven't, my humble opinion is that you take pleasure in squandering your prodigious legal skills to camouflage and obscure the cash value of your positions.

In contrast to your permanent spin, on Thursday emptywheel, bmaz, Mary, and others all pointed out that Judge Bates made some sound legal points in his decision about the Wilson's civil suit. It's this consistent quality in their comments which makes me treasure them so.

I do not consider myself in any way an expert on your opinions, so if you have examples where you have held the Bush administration accountable for anything, I am eager to see them and perhaps revise my opinion.

Boo Radley - Thank you for your kindness (mostly undeserved), and I agree with you regarding cboldt's take on Plame-Wilson. Quite frankly, I agree with pretty much everything you said (technically the quote Re: Clinton is legally correct, but the reason there were no damages is that the court found there was no cognizable claim). But on the narrow question at issue today, he is correct that the statute is bad, was crafted intentionally bad (there were many of us saying so at the outset) so that the Administration had the disingenuous cover for it's desire to torture in an effectively unfettered manner; at a minimum, with cover under the statute. Sadly, and despicably, I think cboldt is right that they have clear cover for the conduct commonly referred to as "waterboarding" In fairness to JEP the conduct, or method, he was describing, which contemplated actual prolonged submersion in water, induction of water into the lungs and resulting damage, which is different than what I understand waterboarding to be, would arguably constitute torture even under this lame statute. If you are going to be fair though, then you have to at least attempt to be fair consistently (I say that in general, not as to you or anyone in particular). I thought here, today, his point about the statute was well taken and if it is infuriating, and it is, the fury should be directed at the statute and the GOP torture freaks that crafted it.

-- Your precision with your language strongly suggests to me that you agree that Plame's identity was classified when they leaked it. --

I think she was NOT covert. And if her employment with the CIA was classified in 2002, it was a misclassification - not as bad as the CIA saying the CIA letter that Plame had introduced to the Congressional Record is classified (yes, as it sits in the Congressional Record), but the same idea.

I don't buy a connection between outing Plame (even if she was covert) and the war in Iraq.

Clear enough? My belief on those points is one reason TNH posters consider me an irredeemable troll.

As for my posts not containing enough context - sometimes the context is in surrounding messages or the topic at hand, and sometimes my comments aren't geared to a non-expert reader.

As for my comparison of the Libby and Clinton/Jones "perjury" cases (and now Rita too) is to squelch the utterly bankrupt notion that perjury can be excused "because it's just about sex," or "there was no underlying crime."

As for holding Bush responsible for something, I think it's his doing that the interrogation statute reads as it does.

As for the general opinion of me, held by people who frequent TNH, I assume you would despise my positions on the whole. You're lefties, I'm not a leftie. I don't give a shit about that, but arguments and understanding of issues advance when substantive posts are treated substantively - or ignored. I don't call out idiot posts I see on this board, and I rarely assert points of disagreement.

The post I got cranked up over was on the torture subject, and JEP jumped to (what happened to be false) conclusions and in the process he was personally insulting. He was also focused on my opinion, which doesn't mean squat, instead of the language in the torture statute, which few people seem to think is a problem.

In hindsight, I probably should have avoided posting here on the IIPA subject. You want echo chamber? My posts won't meet that standard. If my posts are unwelcome here, just say the word.

There are at least two ways my volume of posting here can be reduced. I don't want to be a bother and will respect a "get lost," and if the place is unpleasant for me, I won't post.

Read my "Scamming the Sham" essay to get a handle on my opinion of the WH using the legal process to get a phonied up bill of health for a political dirty trick.

I don't post on Wilson's civil case because it hasn't captured my interest, I haven't studied it, I don't read posts on the subject, etc.

And on rereading your post, I am quite sure you would find me to be a loathsome creature. I can live with that. I don't care. But you don't need to say so (you take pleasure in squandering your prodigious legal skills to camouflage and obscure the cash value of your positions. ... In contrast to your permanent spin), unless your object is to stifle my posting.


you no doubt by now have noticed some busy participants out trying to maintain what they consider the proper tenor of this blog.

They lash out at anyone they think is not toeing the line. (their line)
It is kind of a built in Blog Political Correctness. Like the Taliban enforcing their codes.

Essentially it allows the less able or maybe at times just the time limited people to ignore the points you have made.

After a while your name alone is enough to cause an outbreak of outrage, no matter what you say. That is why it sometimes seems that they didn't read the print. (They didn't or couldn't understand it.)

And finally you will find that they will graduate to the potty mouth treatment. How does the old saw go? ~Profanity is the manner in which a weak mind attempts to speak forcibly.~

But still I maintain that I can learn somethings of interest here if I don't mind the chaff. I believe that it is important to know what everyone is thinking.



Start there.

I could give you a simple axiom:

Harsh times make harsher people.

If I was of a disruptive nature, I would have mocked the use of "equivocate" where the writer meant to use (I think) something in the nature of "draw equivalence."

On reflection of the exchange, it's clear that I mistook the intended meaning of "lack context" too -- as a statement that the statements or conclusions in my posts aren't supported -- where the observation/gentle complaint was that the statements are clear, but the statements are "lacking" because they don't extend into the (e.g., geo-political, political) ramifications or a broader opinion.

Very common on politically-focused blogs, both left and right, where if one does not express an opinion, an opinion will be imputed. Likewise with motive.

I respect the tenor of this blog (meaning I don't aim to disrupt it in a way detrimental to the blog operators - not that I agree with their ultimate conclusions or opinions), and I extend that same kind of respect to others. It's not my house. If my posts come off as sterile observations, and short on blunt conclusions and personal opinion, that's because I aim for them to be taken that way. Sometimes I have a firm conviction and/or opinion on a point, but not always.

My posts don't get jumped often, because I choose to not participate or contribute in places where my posts get jumped (or where signal to noise sucks badly). See posting history. I don't think (this is what's in my head now - not objective reality) the appearance of my handle under a post will automatically cause a visceral negative reaction - except, at this point, to a few posters at JOM.


Neither your linking, or your thinking, work.

Try again.

A homily from me: "When things are at their worst, people are at their best."

"...Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts [...] there was something wanting in him--some small matter which, when the pressing need arose, could not be found under his magnificent eloquence. Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can't say. I think the knowledge came to him at last--only at the very last. But the wilderness found him out early, and had taken vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude--and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core..."

~ Heart of Darkness

> think she was NOT covert. And if her employment with the CIA was classified in 2002, it was a misclassification - not as bad as the CIA saying the CIA letter that Plame had introduced to the Congressional Record is classified (yes, as it sits in the Congressional Record), but the same idea.

How would you explain that no one knew what she did or where she actually worked before it was leaked? Even the neighbors, when asked as part of the investigation, only had known she was an 'energy analyst'. That's a point towards covert, even if you're discounting the statement from the agency that said she was covert.
Also, if you've read Wilson's book, you'll have noticed that she didn't tell him what she actually did until she had clearance to do so, and had had his credentials checked.

cbolt is not a troll. cbolt is a righty whose observations I take as iconoclastically welcome in these environs. He should be welcome with open arms at this space because he advances arguments based on the merit of factual observation even if the majority of us don't agree with him. Please do not go away cbolt. I am a devout leftie who fully appreciates your take. bmaz is right JEP and you need to chill because it's fogging your clarity. And Jodi, you are no cbolt. You are exactly what he defined as a troll.


just copy the next line into your browser address to find the start of my answer.




you give homilies,

I give Axioms.

bmaz, I had no problem with cboldt's legal position on waterboarding.

cboldt, you completely ignored what I wrote above: "It's flat forehead obvious that they put party above law and country. All your written comments appear aimed at insulating them from the very understandable consequences of their treasonous actions."

You reveal your intense subjectivity most profoundly in what you choose to ignore and in what you choose to address.

"If I was of a disruptive nature, I would have mocked the use of "equivocate" where the writer meant to use (I think) something in the nature of "draw equivalence."

You are mocking my word usage, but you want to disguise it up as though you are not. In the context of responding to my comments, your "If I was of a disruptive nature" was simply disingenuous and so typical.

"If my posts come off as sterile observations, and short on blunt conclusions and personal opinion....

Certainly not, cboldt, just the opposite, your comments appear as vigorous, very sharp, well informed defenses of highly paid public servants in the Executive Branch. Just as when you said you were not mocking me, you place your "very firm convictions" and "opinions" behind a veil that you intentionally mislabel as "objectivity."

The core conservative value of individual responsibility does not just begin and end with Pat Fitzgerald. It applies to Dick Cheney too. As I stated above, your consistent failure to apply it to Cheney and his well educated thugs, blatantly reveals how deeply biased your comments often are.

"To those who have been given much, much will be asked." You are very intelligent, I don't even understand your mocking of my use of "equivocation." I am concerned, however, that other commenters, Jodi being a terrific example, read your comments as a license to continue enabling Cheney's lawlessness.

I'm going to use your recent post to make exactly the same points I asserted above, but restated in different terms.

-- you completely ignored what I wrote above ... All your written comments appear aimed at insulating [Bush/Cheney et al] from the very understandable consequences of their treasonous actions. --

The series of posts you were reviewing at JOM were making a point of law, not a point of politics. The point of law being that false statements, perjury and obstruction can be (and were in the Clinton and Libby cases) well-founded regardless of presence or absence of underlying crime.

I stand by my style of presentation of legal principles there (and elsewhere), and will probably continue in that style, even though you are critical of it because you hold that it amounts to pro-administration propaganda for what it doesn't say (your quote reproduced above in this post, and your contention reiterated in the following statement of yours).

-- You reveal your intense subjectivity most profoundly in what you choose to ignore and in what you choose to address. --

Most people understand the difference between making a legal point and making a value judgement.

Just the same, I can't prevent any reader from fabricating a value judgment and assigning it to me, even where I don't make one (or even where I haven't learned enough to have a reasonable basis to form one), but don't expect me to respond to unfounded praise or criticism, or to directly express a value judgement.

It's not that I don't have or make value judgments, but doing so on political boards tends to be inflammatory, and it's my preference to make useful contributions without asserting value judgments. There are plenty of people at each others throats on the value judgement stuff, many of them operating from false legal premises or tenuous factual basis. From time to time, I point out the false legal premise, etc. - which naturally will favor one side or the other. At various points, my "don't post a correction" device is overcome.

For example, on my own initiative I researched the contentions that Clarice Feldman used as the premise for her article, The Potemkin Prosecution (Part One). I found they were false, and said so at various times and places. See post at FreeRepublic on April 2, 2006 and a more direct accusation at one of my blogs on March 22, 2007.

More recently, at the request of a poster "Barney Frank," I researched sentencing law in this July 17, 2007 thread on The Next Hurrah. My conclusion was that Marcy was right, and Beldar was wrong.

In hindsight, it was a judgment error on my part (my "don't post" device was too easily overcome) to expound at TNH on my rationale for discounting the evidence that Ms. Wilson was under the protective umbrella of the IIPA. And probably an error in judgement to expound on my view of sentencing law too.

I have independently researched many of Marcy's contentions too. Just for the record, I comment on a small fraction of the seriously substantive mistakes or leaps of conclusion that I find (as in, one's value judgement is at risk if you correct the error or hold a conclusion in abeyance until less equivocal and/or ambiguous evidence is available).

In conclusion, and mindful that this missive is a cheap defense reaction on my part, "I hear you." I'll set my "don't post here" device to a higher threshold. Advice taken, and appreciated. Thank you.

-- How would you explain that no one knew what she did or where she actually worked before it was leaked? Even the neighbors, when asked as part of the investigation, only had known she was an 'energy analyst'. That's a point towards covert, even if you're discounting the statement from the agency that said she was covert. --

There are pieces of evidence on both sides of the conclusion. If the neighbors didn't know she worked at the CIA, then they didn't know. But "worked at the CIA" is different from "knowing what she did there." She's not covert if enough non-cleared people know she works at the CIA.

I haven't seen firm evidence as in affidavits or other statements from people who DID know she worked at the CIA (other than Vallely who heard it from Wilson), so my conclusion is short on evidence - but not totally void of evidence. I've expressed how I've weighed the evidence and concluded that she's not - in part that the CIA, Fitz and even Plame herself are blowing too much smoke. When people chronically blow smoke, they lose the benefit of the doubt (from me) on that point. I gave that, and other reasons in the other thread.

-- Also, if you've read Wilson's book, you'll have noticed that she didn't tell him what she actually did until she had clearance to do so, and had had his credentials checked. --

Good point to reinforce the difference between "knew what she did" and "knew she worked for the CIA." When did she tell him she worked for the CIA? According to the Vanity Fair piece, she disclosed this on their third or fourth date, as they were starting a session of heavy petting.

I'm emphatically not saying that her telling Wilson would, without more, amount to destruction of her coverage, but Wilson's statement "she didn't tell him what she actually did until she had clearance to do so" is an irrelevant and non-responsive diversion, more smoke.

I'm no medical doctor, not even a nurse, but I did some research into JEP's contention. He's making leaps and arguments that serve his cause badly. He's not arguing that the statute goes too far; and in a sense, he's arguing that the statute is acceptable because he concludes (in error, I hold) the statute covers waterboarding.

"Torture" doesn't hinge on the difference between "internal" and "external" injury, the statute doesn't use either word, except the implied "external" associated with "disfigurement." Second, "torture" doesn't attach on every injury (or else the bruises associated with violent arrests become torture), but imply a threshold between permissible and impermissible extent/duration of injury. The interrogation and war crimes statute aim to draw that line with specificity.

In order to constitute "serious" physical damage, the harm must be protracted loss or impairment of function, in this case, lung function. I say "at least" because the "protracted loss or impairment" phrase is associated with "serious" harm of a level that triggers an "intentional infliction" offense, but torture requires the damage to be "severe." Maybe "serious" and "severe" are the same, but I think most people take "severe" as representing a greater magnitude of harm than "serious."

At TPMmuckraker, JEP cites to http://lungdiseases.about.com/od/generalinformation1/a/drowning_lungs.htm for the accurate proposition that drowning (or near drowning, since the victim isn't drowned outright to death) results in washing away or damage to lung surfactant.

Washing away or damage to lung surfactant is reversible (see Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in general), and therefore is not expected to result in protracted (long term) loss of lung function. Most near-drowning victims recover their lung function. The body manufactures lung surfactant.

See also:
Submersion Injury, Near Drowning : Article by Suzanne M Shepherd, MD
Near-Drowning: Information from Answers.com
Near-drowning in an adult: favorable course after a 20-minute submersion

It is suggested that prolonged submersion in cold water is also a treatable and completely reversible condition in adults. In our patient without neurological sequelae the pulmonary function studies after 3 months show complete recovery from the mechanical impairment. After a follow-up period of 11 months only mild abnormalities of gas exchange persist.

There are many links to near-drowning prognoses from that last.

One who is litigating a torture or "intentional infliction" claim, based on waterboarding incidents, should not be confident of prevailing under the current statute, because their position depends on convincing a judge that a 3 month recovery time (and that's for prolonged submersion) is, as a matter of law, "protracted impairment of function," or, in the alternative, that any longer-term change in function (say < 5%) represents, as a matter of law, impairment.

I omitted a paragraph by accident ... Same conclusion, but this idea may be necessary for some readers to take away the point I am attempting to convey.

In order to meet the extent of injury required to trigger application of the "Intentional Infliction" (and as extended above, torture) crime, the interrogation technique that causes the washing away (by salt water) or inactivating (by fresh water) of the surfactant on the alveoli must result in protracted loss or impairment of lung function. If the damage is not protracted loss or impairment of lung function, then the statutory threshold has not been met, and therefore the interrogation technique does not meet the statutory definition of torture.

And I am ROTFL at being labeled "some arrogant neocon troll."

JEP - Between the two of us, you are the more arrogant one. My posts help your cause, and you're so closed minded, paranoid ("he's a troll") and satisfied that your overt hostility and half-baked technical defense (surfactant loss) effectively address the issue, that you still reject -- out of hand -- the contention I presented in the first place. The contention being that waterboarding (near-drowning involving massive aspiration of water - not the "cellophane over the mouth and no aspiration" variety of waterboarding) doesn't cause a harm that rises to the level of "violation of the WH-promulgated torture statute."

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