Democrats & Liberals Archives

What Kind of Country Are We?

This excellent piece in the Washington Post about Guantanamo begs us to ask a question that has been bugging me for years now: Do we really want to be the kind of country that locks people in prison indefinitely without a reasonable chance to defend themselves?

The author, who is also the lawyer for the prisoners ("detainees"*), makes the point this way:

Throughout the civilized world, the right not to be imprisoned without a fair hearing -- one that provides notice of the charges and the opportunity to rebut them before a neutral decision maker -- is fundamental. It is the hallmark of the rule of law.

Before 9/11, this point was so obvious that you would be seen as a lunatic if you denied it. Welcome to Loony World.

I have heard the arguments in favor of the status quo, and they boil down to this: We can't afford the luxury of giving these people due process because they are terrorists. The logical flaw here should be obvious, but if it's not try substituting rapists for terrorists. You wouldn't let rapists roam free, would you? Don't you want to protect innocent women?

We all remember the infamous Duke lacross case. As shameful as that incident was, the accused did enjoy due process. They were publicly humiliated, but not deprived of their liberty. They weren't locked up indefinitely, or even for a day as far as I know, just because Mike Nifong said that they were rapists. But the government just has to throw the "enemy combatant" label on some poor chump who was picked up overseas, and he can be locked up until the War on Terror is over. In other words, for the rest of his natural life.

A cynic might say that we should be happy to live in the US, fairly safe (ironically) from the whimsies of the US government. Just stay away from airports.

*Great bit of Newspeak this.

Posted by Woody Mena at December 31, 2007 8:27 AM
Comments
Comment #241842

Ah, but there is a difference between an enemy combatant and a rapist. One is an enemy of the state and the other a violator of the law of a state.

Since you are in the mood for substitution analogies, try substituting German POW with Terrorist and see if the analogy still holds true. Sure, you will argue that we don’t have a declared war on terrorism, but then you are talking a semantic issue rather than a policy one. The fact is that a terrorist has declared war upon the United States—why should we treat them like a criminal?

A terrorist with the avowed goal of destroying the United States has chosen the cloak of enemy combatant and just because we don’t have a formal declaration by Congress of war, we should offer them the cloak of criminality? If you asked the denziens of Guantanamo what they want to happen to the United States, you are more likely to get the statement that the “Great Satan” must be destroyed.

We could argue whether the policy of throwing the term “enemy combatant” around or whether specific detainees should be so labeled, and the policy itself is not without problems, but what you propose leaves the government without an adequate means of carrying out its mission, that is the protection of the union.

If you have a better alternative, I would love to hear it.

Posted by: Matt Johnston at December 31, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #241845

…then you should move to Canada. USA is for Americans who love and support this country.

Posted by: Amy at December 31, 2007 12:48 PM
Comment #241846

Matt

Again you ignore the possibility that the people we are holding aren’t terrorist at all but were in the wrong place at the wrong time. To hold people without the benefit of a trial or defense and without determining their guilt or innocence is I feel immoral.

This would be my alternative. Lets allow them a trial with access to a defense and with access to the evidence against them.

Posted by: Carolina at December 31, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #241850

Matt,

“try substituting German POW with Terrorist and see if the analogy still holds true.”

German Pows were held under the rules of the Geneva convention. Something that this administration said up front it wouldn’t apply to “enemy combatants”.
Also there was the belief that someday the war would end, and the German Pows would someday get to go home.
In this nebulous open-ended “war on terror”, the chances of that happening are slim.

Amy,

“then you should move to Canada. USA is for Americans who love and support this country.”

What a crock. America is theoretically about supporting the rights of everyone, not just those we agree with, or agree with us.

Posted by: Rocky at December 31, 2007 1:10 PM
Comment #241854
The fact is that a terrorist has declared war upon the United States — why should we treat them like a criminal?

How do you know whether someone is a terrorist? How do you know whether someone has declared war on the United States? Without independent oversight these are simply claims, not facts.

I just brought up the rape analogy to point out that not everybody who is accused of doing something, be it terrorism or rape or whatever, is actually guilty. That is why we need independent oversight by the judicial branch. We don’t need the full protections of a criminal trial, just a fair hearing in which the evidence is on the table.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 31, 2007 1:56 PM
Comment #241856

Woody, you are absolutely on target here, and the majority of your readers surely know it.

From day one I’ve disagreed with the Bush administration on many public policy matters from environmental regulation, to tax policy, to foreign policy. But those were matters of political perspective, and reasonable people took varying stands on them.

But when the policy of taking lightly the Geneva Conventions was exposed in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, it was beyond my understanding why the support for this administration did not evaporate overnight. The previously established appearance that the administration was willing to risk the career of a CIA operative, and perhaps our national security, for political payback was now coupled with an official memorandum from legal counsel to the president describing the Geneva Conventions as “quaint”, effectively leading to the culture which spawned the despicable conduct at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

This administration ceased to be representatives of any ideology which could be construed as “American”, and became instead international outlaws deserving not only rebuke but removal from power. It has nothing to do with liberal or conservative. It has only to do with right and wrong.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at December 31, 2007 2:29 PM
Comment #241965

Woody, you are wasting your breath
These neanderthals have no concept of “presumption of innocence” nor of the conflict they themselves create
The government is incompetent when it comes to doing ANYTHING, — health care, eductation, whatever, BUT — just because they DETAIN someone and SAYS they’re a Terrorist!! OH MY GOD, IT MUST BE TRUE!! We don’t need no Stink’n hearings — The PREZ said it (or Cheney or whatever rightwing adminstration whacko of the moment) so it MUST be TRUE how can any “right thinking” American disagree???? — Move to Canada if you disagree (you have the first amendment right to do so!)

AGHHHHHHH! some people just don’t understand the concept that being detained does NOT equal being Guilty (and this is after TONS of examples of where people WERE detained AND TORTURED WRONGLY — they WERE NOT TERRORISTS, (but they might be now, and can you blame them????))

Posted by: Russ at January 2, 2008 1:29 PM
Comment #241985

Could we see the “tons of examples” of innocent people being tortured by the US?
Thank you.

Posted by: kctim at January 2, 2008 6:14 PM
Comment #242049

You want ME to provide examples???
You might want to avail yourself of Senate hearings where people who researched the Pentagon’s information that THEY released about the people detained at Gitmo.
And with the RELEASED information, they were able to find that all but 1 or 2 of the hundreds detained were actually captured during battle.
Also, of the HUNDREDS detained, few were shown to have any ties to terrorist activities, — as it turns out MOST of the detained were found to have been handed over to the US by warlords who were collecting BOUNTY for the people they turned in.
The US govt themselves have admitted that they are using “agressive interrogation techniques” (torture — why do you think they are dancing around the whole “is waterboarding torture or not” question?? — WE have prosecuted other countries as war criminals for using this same technique — and yet for loyal members of THIS adminstration — they are not sure — or are unwilling to admit — that waterboarding IS Torture — It has been labeled, identified, acknowledged and treated as Torture for the past 50 years by us and all our allies, and somehow NOW there is some question???) —
The administration themselves have released HUNDREDS of detainees from Gitmo (after subjecting them to “interrogation”) — and most of those released are acknowledged as having had NOTHING to do with terrorist activities, nor groups (not previously anywho, but now, having had their lives ruined by this administration, and probably having nothing to lose, why not join in the fight against the mighty Satan??)

I have limited my arguement to only include those who most likely ARE literally innocent — as you and your ilk have shown your distain for the principle of “presumption of innocence” — as well as you lack of any moral values concerning how YOU treat other people (I really don’t care how atrocious THEY are, MY VALUES, and how I CONDUCT MY standards are not dictated by how THEY operate — they have to face THEIR GOD, I have to face mine, as well as being able to look at myself in the mirror)—= you have repeatedly indicated you have no qualms in torturing, nor denying due process to those you THINK are the bad guys.
However — as NONE of those detained have been found nor proven GUILTY of ANY terrorist activity or alliance — they have only been ACCUSED — technically under OUR RULE of LAW, OUR VALUE system — they are innocent, until PROVEN guilty and therefore, their TORTURE represents TORTURE of innocent people.
Our Strength is not found by trying to out-terror the terrorists, we show greater strength by following our principles, following OUR values — as defined by US (not them) NO MATTER WHAT.
It is a coward, a weakling, a thug who resorts to abandoning their values, their principles “because they did it” — it is TOUGHER to stick by your values — it is “Hard Work” (to quote Bushie the 2nd) — only the truely strong have the COURAGE to do it — This administration, and all those who condone the cowardly, weasely, dispicable actions of this adminstration show themselves to be cowards, weaklings, and sheep of the lowest order.

Posted by: Russ at January 3, 2008 11:14 AM
Comment #242051

Oh, by the way, further about Torture of innocents
What would YOU call, jerking someone out of their daily life, plunking them in a cell in Cuba, cutting off all communication with the outside world, remove ANY hope of getting released, never being told why you were kidnapped and detained, never being told when you might be released —
Not knowing whether your family knows, or if ANYONE knows what has happened to you, not knowing what is happening to your family — wife, children, parents.
That is not torture??
What about the families left behind, not knowing what has happened to THEIR missing loved one, where he is, why he is missing, is he alive, dead, injured, sick — NOTHING — not knowing who to go to find out —
That is not torture??
Our actions are the lowest, most dispicable that can be, and I am totally ashamed and appalled that we are allowing THIS adminstration to commit these crimes.

Posted by: Russ at January 3, 2008 11:21 AM
Comment #242058

Russ
“You want ME to provide examples???”

Uh, yeah. You stated the US was torturing tons of innocent people and I asked for factual examples of that. I did not ask if we had detained some people not captured in battle or how many had terrorist ties or if they were handed over by warlords for money.
And yes, I believe the US govt has admitted they use agressive interrogation techniques, but that does not mean they use them on every prisoner or that they have used them on “tons” of innocents.

I hate to break it to you, but the question of waterboarding is not only about this administration. It is only about this administration to you, because it is a Republican administration. Previous administrations, including your liberal gods clinton and gore, farmed torture out to other countries.

“…why not join in the fight against the mighty Satan??”

The sad part to some, is that I do not believe in Satan, but to me, the sad part is that you believe your own country is Satan, worse than those who wish to destroy it.

“I have limited my arguement to only include those who most likely ARE literally innocent —”

No, your statement was that tons of innocent people are being tortured by the US and I simply asked for factual examples of this, nothing more.
Now, you say they “most likely are” innocent, but yet, you have not shown that they are innocent or that tons of the innocent have been tortured.

“as you and your ilk have shown your distain for the principle of “presumption of innocence””

Yep, me and my “ilk” have cornered the market on not believing innocent until proven guilty haven’t we. By the way, tried to buy a gun lately? You are guilty until you prove your innocent when you try to buy one, you know. I know, its “different.”

“as well as you lack of any moral values concerning how YOU treat other people”

Tell me, what are MY moral values? Why do you worry so much about how I believe? Should you care more about running your own life than you do running mine?

“they have to face THEIR GOD, I have to face mine, as well as being able to look at myself in the mirror”

I have no God and I have no problem looking in the mirror. It would maybe be a problem IF I shared your hypocritical leftist views, but I do not.

“you have repeatedly indicated you have no qualms in torturing, nor denying due process to those you THINK are the bad guys.”

Of non-Americans, yes.

“However — as NONE of those detained have been found nor proven GUILTY of ANY terrorist activity or alliance — they have only been ACCUSED — technically under OUR RULE of LAW, OUR VALUE system — they are innocent, until PROVEN guilty and therefore, their TORTURE represents TORTURE of innocent people.”

No, that shows they have been detained. You have not provided facts which show tons of innocent people have been tortured by the US. You make an assumption that they were.

“It is a coward, a weakling, a thug who resorts to abandoning their values, their principles “because they did it” — it is TOUGHER to stick by your values”

IF you talked with real people instead of only listening to leftist talking points, you would know that “they do it to” is not why alot of people agree with it. They believe their country comes first, its called patriotism and it is a value. They are not abandoning their values, they just have different ones than you and you do not respect that.

“…show themselves to be cowards, weaklings, and sheep of the lowest order”

Yeah, would be better if they would just worry about what the “world” thinks of us and place their own country second to the “world” and called our soldiers murderers, wouldn’t it.

“What would YOU call, jerking someone out of their daily life…”

Ah, I see now. You cannot provide facts, only assumptions, showing innocents were tortured, so now you widen your definition of torture.
Ok, I admit that all sucks for them, but I still would not stop rounding up suspected foreign terrorists in order to save innocent American lives.

“Our actions are the lowest, most dispicable that can be, and I am totally ashamed and appalled that we are allowing THIS adminstration to commit these crimes”

Too bad you weren’t ashamed and appalled when previous administrations did the same things, you would at least have been consistent in your beliefs.
Too bad you are ashamed and appalled when a Republican administration does these things to foreigners, but don’t care when a liberal administration tortures and murders your fellow Americans.
Too bad you don’t respect another persons right to have their own views, beliefs, morals and values.

Too bad you state “tons” of innocent people are being tortured by the evil US, but cannot prove it.
Too bad, as with most leftist views, your statements are based on opinions and assumptions and not fact.
Too bad I am not surprised and expected as much.

Posted by: kctim at January 3, 2008 12:47 PM
Comment #242075

Kctim
Ok, now that you got your panties in a wad, lets get back to reality

You overlooked that my response related to SENATE HEARING TESTIMONY on information RELEASED by the Pentagon regarding what they have ALREADY admitted to.
I do not have in my personal possesion the evidence — I am “merely” someone who is informed on testimony on the facts by those who DO have in their possession the documentation about the activities in question.

These things are common knowledge:
A) the military has admitted to detaining AT GITMO people whom they have later released and acknowledged to be innocent.
B) The military have admitted to performing “aggressive interrogation” on those people detained at Gitmo — it is can be safely inferred that these techniques were visited upon those who were later released – and in fact..
C) People who have been released have testified as to the torture they have been subjected to

You are right that I chose to expand the definition of Torture – we commonly forget that even without “aggressive interrogation” — innocent people who have had their lives ruined by an arbitrary abuse of government power have been no less tortured than if they had been physically abused.

Again, your support of these activities – regardless of whether or not these people have been PROVEN to be guilty – demonstrates a value system that appears to be very limited.

You said:
They believe their country comes first, its called patriotism and it is a value. They are not abandoning their values, they just have different ones than you and you do not respect that.

You are correct – I cannot respect a value system that supports torturing of innocent, ACCUSED people under the banner of “Patriotism” — it is a poor justification and is one that diminishes the word Patriot – and by the way we Prosecuted German Citizens after WWII and rejected that same rationale in the process. — sorry but for me Human rights Trump a false “Patriotism” — ESPECIALLY “Patriotism” that violates the Constitutional VALUES it professes to support!!

You also state:
Ok, I admit that all sucks for them, but I still would not stop rounding up suspected foreign terrorists in order to save innocent American lives.

You again responded to an issue not presented:
I don’t have (Nor stated) an issue with “rounding up suspects” – my issue is with the treatment of those rounded up, but never charged, nor proven to have committed any offense – nor given the opportunity to rebut the accusations. The “rounding up” authority must show cause as to why, give the suspect an opportunity to defend themselves, and then either convict them, prove them guilty or let them go in a timely manner.
Arbitrarily rounding up and detaining forever someone on speculation, rumor, and innuendo is NOT protecting the US.

Playing the fear card and waving the flag is not sufficient justification for indefinite detention and/or torture of fellow human beings.

“you have repeatedly indicated you have no qualms in torturing, nor denying due process to those you THINK are the bad guys.”

Of non-Americans, yes.

Yes this is another place you and I part ways – I believe in HUMAN rights – not the hypocrisy of “American rights” – the system we put in place was to show the world how governments SHOULD conduct themselves, and how Human Rights should be respected, and a MINIMUM set of guidelines as to how the individual is to be accorded protections against the abuses of power by the government.
To limit this conduct to only Americans is hypocritical at best, and does not reflect an adherence to HUMAN rights.

In the next quote you say:
Too bad you weren’t ashamed and appalled when previous administrations did the same things, you would at least have been consistent in your beliefs.
Too bad you are ashamed and appalled when a Republican administration does these things to foreigners, but don’t care when a liberal administration tortures and murders your fellow Americans.

I have no idea how where any of this came from – first of all what makes you think I am only critical of these actions in regard to this administration?? There is nothing in what I have written that would support your accusations.
This debate is about the activities of the CURRENT administration. And this administration has taken these despicable activities to a whole new level and has the audacity to try to legitimatize these activities — so Yea, I am going to protest against them big time — this is the current debate, if you want to talk about some past issue, then provide some info, and I will be happy to let you know my position on it.
I am ASHAMED of EVERY time the American Government (regardless of affiliation) lowers themselves to these activities, I neither condone, accept, nor approve of these actions and feel they diminish us all when they are done in our name.

Also I am very curious about what the heck you are talking about regarding “Liberal administration tortures and murders your fellow Americans”?????
Where did THAT come from?? Can you provide a specific before you presume to claim what I support and don’t support???

Another of your statements is:
Too bad you don’t respect another persons right to have their own views, beliefs, morals and values.

You are right — I have NO respect for someone’s whose “Values” include the torture of innocent people, whose “values” include indefinite detention of people without benefit of due process to PROVE their guilt and reason for detention
You are right — to me these are not “Values” to be proud of — these “values” represent a lack of respect for other human beings, regardless of their nationality —
So why should I respect “Values” that are rooted in NO RESPECT for the value of other human beings who happen to be of a different nationality??

Next:
“the sad part is that you believe your own country is Satan, worse than those who wish to destroy it.”

Au contrair — again attributing to me what is not there— However the actions of OUR administration speak for themselves.
It is BECAUSE I believe in our country That I despise this administration all who try to take us down the lowest path, especially in the false name of “national security” — the methods you defend only provide a false sense of security at best, and result in the destruction of the very principles that we are trying to protect in the first place (so what is the point — you are destroying the country in order to preserve it??)

Next from your writings:
Yeah, would be better if they would just worry about what the “world” thinks of us and place their own country second to the “world” and called our soldiers murderers, wouldn’t it.

Once more, railing against something I have neither stated, implied nor subscribe to.

Just as I wouldn’t resort to Torture because “they chop off heads” neither is my position on torture — or any other inhumane treatment of others — based on what others think — it is based on my own moral compass, my belief in what is right and what is wrong – and a basic believe in the respect for ALL Human beings and what I feel is contained in the system of justice we set up in this country as an example for others to follow.
I believe WE should set the HIGHEST standard in our conduct — I believe that WE Americans HAVE and ARE capable of setting and living by the highest standards — and I fight against ANYONE that acts to diminish that ideal.
I don’t place our country second — I am angry, upset and protesting against this administration and all of those who are destroying the values and ideals that built this country and who ARE diminishing our country and tearing it down to something worse than “second place”.

These are not leftist views – (dismissal by labeling??)
These are my HUMAN views —

Posted by: russ at January 3, 2008 2:30 PM
Comment #242078

Russ,

I hope I never have to share a foxhole with you.

Posted by: BOHICA at January 3, 2008 2:59 PM
Comment #242085

Russ
It takes more than ranting to get my “panties in a wad.” This is all about fun and learning for me.

I did not overlook your response. You stated “tons” of innocent people are being tortured by the US and that there was examples of it. You did not say “agressive interogation,” you said tortured.
I would hope that ALL detainees were interogated and that every means necessary was used to get intel out of those who were believed to have important intel.
As far as our enemy saying they were tortured, so what. At least they still have their heads.

“Again, your support of these activities – regardless of whether or not these people have been PROVEN to be guilty – demonstrates a value system that appears to be very limited.”

The fact that they are there is proof enough for me. I do not distrust my govt for purely partisan reasons and I will always believe in my own country more than I do our enemy.

“You are correct – I cannot respect a value system that supports torturing of innocent, ACCUSED people under the banner of “Patriotism””

Fair enough, most of use cannot respect a value which puts their countrys enemy first and their own country last.

“it is a poor justification and is one that diminishes the word Patriot”

Many feel not doing everything to protect their country and its citizens, diminishes the word patriot.

“sorry but for me Human rights Trump a false “Patriotism””

I realize that. But for me, American lives trump the rights of our enemy, and calling those who put their others before their own, patriots, is laughable at best.

“ESPECIALLY “Patriotism” that violates the Constitutional VALUES it professes to support!!”

Our enemy and non-Americans do not deserve the protection of the US Constitution.

“You again responded to an issue not presented:
Arbitrarily rounding up and detaining forever someone on speculation, rumor, and innuendo is NOT protecting the US.”

I responded, you just do not like my answer: Rounding them up and how we treat them are of no concern to me IF it saves or might save, American lives.
It is not playing the fear card one bit either. I believe American lives are more important than our enemies lives.
And, BTW, I do not feel guilty nor do I feel bad for “waving the flag,” as you say. Proud to be an American may be a dirty quote to some, but it is still alive and well here.

“This debate is about the activities of the CURRENT administration.”

Yes, the past must be forgotten. You may think this administration has taken it to a whole new level, but that is only because of your partisanship. Rendition happened then, but only counts now. Torture happened then, but only counts now. 70+ fellow Americans were tortured and murdered by our govt then, but only the embarrassment of our enemy at Abu G. and torture at Gitmo count now. On and on we could go with the similarities.

“Also I am very curious about what the heck you are talking about regarding “Liberal administration tortures and murders your fellow Americans”?????”

Waco.

“So why should I respect “Values” that are rooted in NO RESPECT for the value of other human beings who happen to be of a different nationality??”

That is the point: I do not expect you to respect their values, just their right to have different values than you. Your heated rants are no different than those who label you un-American for your beliefs and neither accomplishes nothing.

“It is BECAUSE I believe in our country That I despise this administration all who try to take us down the lowest path, especially in the false name of “national security””

If it was BECAUSE you believe in our country, then you would be screaming about what our govt has become, not because of what this administration has done. Instead, you hype things up and take opinion as fact in order to make this administration look worse, all because it is not being run to your liking.

“you are destroying the country in order to preserve it??”

The methods I defend work and I believe it is our govts job to do EVERYTHING possible in order to protect us.
I do understand your “false sense of security” line though. That is exactly what was used to take away our 2nd Amendment rights.

“I believe WE should set the HIGHEST standard in our conduct — I believe that WE Americans HAVE and ARE capable of setting and living by the highest standards — and I fight against ANYONE that acts to diminish that ideal.”

The time to hug terrorists, forgive them and hope they like us, has long since passed. Sometimes, you have to do what it takes to protect your people and to get the job done.
You can pretend nothing is going on and hope no more attacks occurr, it doesn’t bother me one bit. But me, well, I prefer to take actions that work and if that makes me an ass to others, big deal.

“I don’t place our country second — I am angry, upset and protesting against this administration and all of those who are destroying the values and ideals that built this country and who ARE diminishing our country and tearing it down to something worse than “second place”.”

I am angry, upset and protest against our govt, not just this administration, and all of those who are destroying the values and ideals that built this country and who dimish our country in their quest to change it from a Constitutional Republic to a democracy.
I am sick of listening to hypocrits whine about losing their 4th Amendment rights but cheer govt taking their 2nd Amendment rights. I am sick of listening to hypocrits complaining about the poor treatment of detainees, but don’t give a crap about their fellow Americans suffering worse. I am sick of people telling me to forget the past and concentrate on the present so that their candidate will win.
But most of all, I am sick of people wanting me to go vote for the same damn corrupt party of the 90s that took rights, fought in war against countries not a threat to us, killed my fellow Americans and taxes us into submission.

“These are not leftist views – (dismissal by labeling??)”

I do not dismiss anothers views. IF that view is Constitutional, I accept it. If it is not, I don’t.

“These are my HUMAN views — “

These are my AMERICAN views.

Posted by: kctim at January 3, 2008 3:49 PM
Comment #242086

KCTIM
I can see this useless

since you insist on stating my positions for me and listing positions to me I havn’t stated nor suscribe to, nor for you to see how support of Human Rights and Supporting the American Ideal are not mutually exclusive — it is pointless to continue “discussing” this with someone with such a limited viewpoint.

You make my point about the true danger to this country and the ideals that make it great.

It is not the pointless “patriotism” that sees everyone else as “the enemy” and thinking that by being merciless with the enemy will make you stronger and safer.
It is also pointless to discuss this with someone who thinks that upholding the ideal of human rights somehow lowers the American ideal and threatens our way of life and our security.
Or that support of human life somehow means being unwilling to defend the country against the REAL enemies not the percieved ones thought to be hiding under every bed.

I talk about making sure America maintains a high ideal — and you rant about not wanting to defend the country - amazing that any mind can make that leap.

I actually feel sorry for you that you perceive the world in such a fearful way — (I know, I am soft on our enemies, I am naieve, etc — BS but then you have no clue, do you, it is the only way you can respond)

You have sentenced yourself to a sad existance.
Ciao dude, I leave you with your demons.

Posted by: Russ at January 3, 2008 4:17 PM
Comment #242097

Yes Russ, I guess it is useless when one believes their view is the only view and everybody else must believe as you or they are wrong.

I never said human rights and American rights are mutually exclusive. I said I place my fellow Americans rights above everybody else. I am not for torturing other peoples for the fun of it, but preventing terrorism isn’t really doing it for the fun of it now is it. If torturing a hundred suspected terrorists might prevent one American death, then I am all for it.

The true danger to this country are the people who believe they can rewrite the Constitution to fit their agenda, foreign country’s who hate us and terrorists who wish to destroy us.

I do not see everyone else as the enemy. I see our enemy as the enemy. You know, the people who planned 9-11, kobar towers, USS Cole, cuts heads off your fellow Americans etc…
There is a huge difference between the facts which show they are our nations enemy and the assumptions and opinions which lead you to believe “this administration” and people who do not think like you, are the nations enemy.
I’ll stick with the facts.

You talk about “making sure America maintains a high ideal,” and I am talking about protecting American lives. We always worried about the world liking us, so we ignored doing anything about terrorism because it was the so-called high-road, and the terrorists still brought the fight to us.
Sometimes, you got to get dirty IF you want to win. Some of you don’t like to get dirty and some of us know that in order to live in reality, we must.

And don’t feel sorry for me even in the smallest way. I don’t need it nor do I care.
I have been all around this world, seen the good people out there and have worked along side them. I have even fed and protected the very people who wished I was dead and I have seen Americans give their life for this country.
So, the feelings of some armchair general don’t really mean crap to me.

And, while the only demons I have are the ones that came with my fighting for our country, I can assure you that I lead a very satisfying and patriotic existence.

Posted by: kctim at January 3, 2008 5:48 PM
Comment #242103

There you go again
Protecting American lives is mutually exclusive from maintaining our ideals!

No one said anything about ignoring terrorists, coddling them, or pretending like the threat does not exist
YOU are putting those limitations on the options

Not I
I believe we CAN protect against Terrorist
I believe we can fight and win
I believe we can do all that and protect American Lives WITHOUT compromising our ideals!!

THAT is the high road, sorry if it is too much work for you, or too hard to grasp.

I am not limiting the options to
Saving American lives OR
Upholding the American Ideals and Principles!

While you may get dirty in the fight, you don’t have to fight dirty — nor do you have to compromise ideals —
If you compromise the ideals in the fight, you have already lost the fight to the terrorists.
there is nothing left to fight for

I don’t want your protection of my life if it means a life devoid of the protections, rights and ideals represented by the constitution.

Give me Liberty or Give me Death
Your version of protection eliminates the Liberty part of it — you just don’t recognize that if you eliminate the protections for “Them” it is not too much longer before those protections will not exist for YOU.

Its either got to be for everybody
or it will be for nobody.

Posted by: Russ at January 3, 2008 6:46 PM
Comment #242163

Russ
Now that was a post man, excellent job and I thank you for it.

Look, I am not for the US just picking up pedestrians and torturing them for fun nor am I for using extreme torture on all suspects. But, I really do believe our govt should use all means necessary in order to protect American lives.

While I am sure a few of the detainees were completely innocent and did not deserve to be there, I am not willing to sacrafice the whole because of those few. But I am sure our views of what happens down there differs greatly.
I do not believe every detainee is “tortured” for intel, but rather that only those believed to possess valuable information are. The rest are basically prisoners who are treated as America treats its own prisoners. They are given food, shelter, Korans, medical care and are treated humanely, IMO. Is it fair that some are completely innocent? No, but it is something I can accept in order to help ensure the safety of my fellow Americans.
Again, that does not mean that I condone Joe Abdul being picked up at a corner for the hell of it and being stripped of his human rights, but I do not believe that is standard operating procedure. The majority of our detainees are suspected to have terrorist ties and I believe that is enough to justify them being detained.

Believe it or not, but I agree with how you wish to handle the situation, but we can only handle it that way up to a certain point and then we must put our own peoples rights and safety first and start playing rough. I believe the radicals have long passed that point and do not deserve our respect or our compassion and that if the “moderates” do not like the way we are handling the situation, then they need to do something about it, instead of complaining about how we are.

Is the “high road” too much work for me? Not in the least. I teach my kids to always work towards a non-violent solution, but I also teach them that family and country come first and that any means necessary is acceptable in protecting them.

“While you may get dirty in the fight, you don’t have to fight dirty — nor do you have to compromise ideals”

I disagree. Sometimes it is necessary to fight “dirty,” especially when one is fighting an opponent who uses unconventional tactics. If being the most ruthless is going to win a fight, then you better be the most ruthless or you will lose that fight and you will lose ALL of the “ideals” you believe in.

“If you compromise the ideals in the fight, you have already lost the fight to the terrorists.
there is nothing left to fight for”

I agree. But to a great many of us, love of country and its people, is an “ideal” we strongly believe in. If you put the rights of the enemy above your own rights, then you truly will have “nothing left to fight for.”

“Give me Liberty or Give me Death
Your version of protection eliminates the Liberty part of it —”

No, my version realizes that the liberty of Americans is more important than all else. YOU have not lost what liberty you have left, suspected terrorists have.

“you just don’t recognize that if you eliminate the protections for “Them” it is not too much longer before those protections will not exist for YOU”

I am a very strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, so I very clearly recognize this. I see how We the People have given our own govt permission to eliminate the protections our rights give us and watch how they continue to take advantage of our stupidity.
But, the actions of the terrorists and the inaction of the so-called “moderates,” have brought us to the point where the protections of our own must now be placed above theirs.

While “America and its people first,” may not be popular in some circles, it is the position we have been placed in and a position we must accept IF we wish to win.

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2008 10:45 AM
Comment #242354

kctim: I really don’t understand you and it scares me for the future when you make reference to your children. Hopefully they’re rebellious…
I too support the Second Amendment. That’s actually why I (to my greatest regret) voted for this horrible Administration in 2000. I support the Second Amendment because I do not want the government to have the kind of overarching control they’re trying to claim they have the right to exert over the populace. I see the right to bear arms as a “check and balance”. I don’t advocate Revolution yet, but I think it’s important that the public “check and balance” continues to exist because we never know when we’ll need it. (even if it’s a Red Dawn situation, but I’m starting to think it will be a Revolutionary War one…)
I never thought we would NOT be the kind of government that treats the world (and ourselves) with due process and respect - but it’s happening so rapidly. I’m shocked and saddened by the torture. We (AND the rest of the world) have dealt with terrorism before. Terrorism in many parts of the world is War waged by people that feel it’s the only way because they’re so disadvantaged (Britain thought our Colonists were terrorists). In the case of 9/11, it was something that was waged by isolated criminals who needed police action. Defining it as War was done to enrich the defense industry - and it worked to the detriment of ALL taxpayers.
Here are some torture links, but I don’t think you even care:
2005 Forbes
rendition 2007
2005 Washington Post
Those from the first page of a Google search. Let me know if you actually care and I’ll find you something recent.
By the way, you should really see this movie about how we’ve mishandled Iraq: No End In Sight
It may give you an idea about the motivations ($) behind all this….

Christine

Posted by: Christine at January 6, 2008 12:29 AM
Comment #242357

kctim still doesn’t get it
He continues to think that these sorts of abuses only happens to “them” by “us” (them being the “bad guys” us being the “good guys”)
The problem always always always is, KCTIM, when you have the sometimes you do sometimes you don’t is
You stated:
If you put the rights of the enemy above your own rights, then you truly will have “nothing left to fight for.”

AGHHHHHHH You still don’t get it
It is NOT putting the rights of anyone ahead of anyone. It is called making sure EVERYONE gets the rights. Then you don’t have some arbitrary government goon deciding who deserves rights and who doesn’t — THAT is the whole point — WHO gets to decide?? right now you think the right people are doing it (cause they ain’t come for you YET) but how about next week? Next year?

Right now, we determine who is to be punished by a system called “Due process” — it is a PROVEN way (albeit imperfect both ways) to try to ensure that the person to be punished — deserves to be punished — without due process it is totally arbitrary and left up to the discretion of the people/person in power — a very fickle system to say the least. —


The fact that you don’t realize that most of the people picked up and detained at GITMO ARE the “average Abdul” picked up off the street corner shows you havn’t been paying attention.
The Pentagon’s own data shows THAT is exactly what is being done — and there has been testimony before Congress EXACTLY to that point!!

Again, you have no qualms in dealing harshly, or ruthlessly with “the enemy” — the problem is that these things are being done indiscriminately — even you don’t seem to want to take the trouble to MAKE SURE that the people detained and interrogated ARE the Enemy!!
KCTIM — exactly how are we supposed to determine who the enemy is and who isn’t??
It is real easy sitting at your keyboard typing about “them” — just exactly how do you identify “them”? — when you see a guy walking down the street — how do you know??

No, my version realizes that the liberty of Americans is more important than all else. YOU have not lost what liberty you have left, suspected terrorists have.


No, the Constitution is more important than all else — and once the liberties and protections are allowed to be chisled away for anyone, it will happen to everyone.
and you are wrong about us not losing our liberties — we have all suffered loss of rights and protections and liberties in the past 6 years.

Posted by: russ at January 6, 2008 1:36 AM
Comment #242358

that last post will most likely screw you up, a bit of poor editing — sorry bout that

The problem always always always is, KCTIM, when you have the sometimes you do sometimes you don’t is
following that statement should be
Who gets to decide? — who gets to decide who deserves to have protections and who doesn’t??

Posted by: russ at January 6, 2008 1:38 AM
Comment #242463

Christine
I am a Constitutionalist and I love my own country above all others. I teach my kids about responsibility, the Constitution and their country. The fact my beliefs, love of country, the principles it was founded on and that I refuse to conform to what it is becoming, “scares you,” shows just how far our country has fallen.

Just like me, my children are rebellious and they are not sheep. They have been taught to DO what is right, not wait for govt to do it for them. They have been taught that ALL of their rights are worth dying for, not just the ones they agree with. And, like it or not, they have been taught to love their country above all others.

“I too support the Second Amendment. That’s actually why I (to my greatest regret) voted for this horrible Administration in 2000.”

IF this is the case, then you voted blindly for what you were told and not for your rights. I did not vote for this administration, so I have no regrets about it. I did not vote for the previous administration either, which was even more horrible because they tortured and murdered Americans.

“but I think it’s important that the public “check and balance” continues to exist because we never know when we’ll need it.”

When we will need it, is no longer an accurate point. Both sides only care about things when the other side is in power. Are you aware that people were concerned about rendition and torture of suspected terrorists during the 90s? Are you aware that the people concerned today, were the ones who looked the other way then? Are you aware that the ones looking the other way now, were the ones voicing concern then?

“Terrorism in many parts of the world is War waged by people that feel it’s the only way because they’re so disadvantaged (Britain thought our Colonists were terrorists)”

And the colonists went to Britain and killed how many innocent men, women and children?

“In the case of 9/11, it was something that was waged by isolated criminals who needed police action.”

Isolated criminals rob banks or commit random acts of crime. They do not organize large groups of people behind a shared belief and then murder innocents in order to promote their belief.
We ignored them as common criminals and 3000+ Americans lost their lives in one day.

“Defining it as War was done to enrich the defense industry - and it worked to the detriment of ALL taxpayers.”

Then you need to share your facts with the media, any Dem candidate or any celebrity and get the justice system rolling.

Posted by: kctim at January 7, 2008 12:36 PM
Comment #242466

Russ
I get your point, you do not get mine.
IMO, it is, us against them. IMO, my fellow Americans right to live is more important than the “everyones” from other country’s you speak of.
How an “arbitrary govt goon” determines rights for non-Americans, is not as important to me as how he/she respects our Contitution and the rights for Americans.

I understand “due process” just fine, thank you.

“Again, you have no qualms in dealing harshly, or ruthlessly with “the enemy” — the problem is that these things are being done indiscriminately — even you don’t seem to want to take the trouble to MAKE SURE that the people detained and interrogated ARE the Enemy!!”

So what would be a better, more effective way of dealing with this threat? Our enemy praises us to our face and then murders us when they get the chance. Our enemy hides behind innocents and sacrifices them in order to get to us. Our enemy lives amongst civilians.
THEY started this unconventional war and we have had to adopt counter measures as we go along. Mistakes have been made and until somebody comes up with a better way, which will protect American lives, I will not criticize our govt for placing our interests above all others. I didn’t for clinton, I won’t for Bush and I won’t for hillary.

“KCTIM — exactly how are we supposed to determine who the enemy is and who isn’t??”

Thats the million dollar question Russ and until we can determine that, American lives take priority.

“It is real easy sitting at your keyboard typing about “them” — just exactly how do you identify “them”?”

Those who are at war with us and those who sit back and do nothing about it.

“No, the Constitution is more important than all else — and once the liberties and protections are allowed to be chisled away for anyone, it will happen to everyone.”

Again Russ, you afford Constitutional rights to just “anyone” and, right or wrong, I afford them Americans first.

And you are wrong about us losing our liberties in the past 6 years — we have all suffered loss of rights and protections and liberties in the past 15+ years.
Believing it has only been the past 6 years, is exactly why the status quo will win again in 08 and is the reason why this trend will continue.

Posted by: kctim at January 7, 2008 1:09 PM
Comment #242786

Campaign Theme for 2008 Election: Second….Chance!

Why is the US Senate against giving American a Second Chance?

The Senate denied Americans a Second Chance by killing Bills S. 2789 of the 2004 in the 108th Congress and S. 1934 of 2005 in the 109th Congress. It is now sitting on Bill S.1060.

Senate Bill S. 1060 cleared the US House of Representative as HR.1593 with wide bipartisan vote in October 2007. President Bush vowed to sign it as soon as it reaches his desk.

Has the US Senate forgotten that the foundation of America and the US Constitution both owe their existence to immigrants that left their home lands for a Second Chance?

Could it be that the make-up of the Senate will not allow it to truly represent the interest of all American citizens?

Posted by: George at January 11, 2008 10:06 AM
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