Democrats & Liberals Archives

Senate Releases Torture Report

The US Senate has recently released and declassified a report investigating the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs. I have not had an opportunity to actually look at the report so I will not comment on its details.

There a lot of things that this country did that many wish were not publicized. I have the opposite view. It is important to publicize these things in order to serve as a reminder to any future decision-makers that their decisions will be scrutinized by the public. In the long run, I always come down on the side of more transparency for those who seek it because transparency is the greatest check on government overreach.

It is my hope that these techniques are never used by this country ever again. They were despicable when they were employed by our enemies during the Second World War or by our Cold War adversaries and they remain despicable today. I do not personally believe that these techniques yield anything useful that cannot be obtained with traditional interrogation methods. But even if they did, I would still come down against the use of torture. The USA is the greatest nation that has ever existed and one of the things that makes us so exceptional is the esteem we hold for American values for things such as human rights. I am proud to be an American because we do not stoop to the dirty tactics of our enemies. Our moral high ground should not be pissed away like it was in the aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

The report:

CIA Torture Report by Amanda Wills, Mashable

Posted by Warren Porter at December 9, 2014 12:02 PM
Comments
Comment #386424

Politics as usual. Senate Democrats, including Feinstein were present at hearings on what was being done. But, now she has a conscious. It came out today because of the Gruber hearings. Further evidence that foreign nations can no longer trust this administration.

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 9, 2014 3:11 PM
Comment #386426

The constant reference in the release of this document is the use of the phrase of torture. There is great disagreement about the use of waterboarding and torture. Yet the use of torture is used as a synonym of waterboarding. The Gruber hearings are more torture that waterboarding. He takes our money, into the millions, and calls us stupid. He hoists a so called health reform package onto us. This he called health reform. His health is the only one that was healed. He should be on his way to prison. And the many members of congress that are complicit with Feinstein’s report and Guber’s rape of our wallets should be on their way to a federal prison and not the country club type. Gruber is a goober. Feinstein is a poorsteirn. They both are frauds

Posted by: tom humes at December 9, 2014 3:27 PM
Comment #386427

“It is my hope that these techniques are never used by this country ever again.”

I can imagine circumstances during times of national peril when any method necessary should and will be used.

For example; I applaud Harry Truman for using nuclear bombs to defeat Japan. He knew that thousands of innocents would be killed and even more would die from radiation exposure. Yet, he considered it more important to end the war and save American lives.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 9, 2014 3:30 PM
Comment #386428

Warren, the president takes an oath; “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The constitution does not specify what the president may or may not do in carrying out that defense of country. I want my president, with the advice of congress and the joint chiefs, to do anything and everything necessary to carry out his oath and defend the country.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 9, 2014 3:38 PM
Comment #386429

Any meaningful conversation on the CIA and their techniques is completely tainted by the politics of this report.

Posted by: George in SC at December 9, 2014 3:45 PM
Comment #386431

Let’s see…thousands killed on 9/11; politicians on both sides, “do whatever it takes”. Shep Smith on Fox News was outraged at the report of torture of our enemy; 5 seconds later he is talking about another beheading by ISIS. Okay….

Let’s see…a Democratic controlled committee comes out with a report on torture. Released on he very day Gruber is testifying…do you reckon it’s politics?

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 9, 2014 4:00 PM
Comment #386432

Here is another phrase I detest and used by far too many people. “So it never happens again”. Rest assured it will happen again, without a doubt. It always does.

Posted by: tom humes at December 9, 2014 4:18 PM
Comment #386433

Anyone defending war crimes should be ashamed.

Torture is a war crime. Waterboarding is a war crime. Torture is clearly against the US and international law, it violates the oath politicians and soldiers take, and it profoundly dishonors the country.

It profoundly dishonors the country.

Legal orders, war crimes, and torture were not just an abstract idea for me. It was a very real concern when I was an officer and a B-52 Radar Navigator (bombardier) in the military. There was considerable time spent training on what constituted a lawful order, the Geneva Convention, why torture was wrong, and it included a brutal few days of training with a simulated Prisoner of War experience.

Those CIA officers had a legal and moral obligation not to torture prisoners, and the Bush administration officials had a legal and moral obligation to actively oppose it.

To see so many Americans justify this is just awful. To see a people so weak, so fearful, so lacking in confidence in the strength of their country’s ideals, and so readily willing to go to the dark side is disheartening.

Posted by: phx8 at December 9, 2014 4:27 PM
Comment #386434

Anyone not willing to to what ever is necessary to defend their country should be ashamed.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 9, 2014 4:30 PM
Comment #386435

I find it interesting that some find killing the enemy OK, but torture to save lives is forbidden.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 9, 2014 4:37 PM
Comment #386436

Oh boy, here it goes. A lot of people are pointing out the obvious: you can not condemn breaking the law, but not prosecute the lawbreaker. Obama and the administration has a duty to prosecute the people who tortured prisoners; that includes individuals in the CIA, and in the Bush administration, Yoo, Addington, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, and Bush.

Obama has issued fewer pardons than any other modern president. Guess what? Time to sharpen that pardon pencil. Otherwise, this issue will drag the country down into a multi-year nightmare of recrimination and reliving a dark period in the American past.

Posted by: phx8 at December 9, 2014 4:45 PM
Comment #386437

Isn’t it interesting that some would never use torture to save the country from an enemy, but readily agree to dismember a fetus fully capable of feeling pain.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 9, 2014 4:48 PM
Comment #386438

Obama and this administration cannot prosecute anybody for this. Why? Because they have done the same thing, and they know it didn’t all just start under Bush.

IF people weren’t blind partisan hacks, they would have the integrity to acknowledge that.

Posted by: kctim at December 9, 2014 4:51 PM
Comment #386439

In Vietnam at one point we had an ARVN unit with us when we captured a VC. The ARVN commander waterboarded the prisoner. We got vital information from him that no doubt saved American lives. Maybe mine. I don’t consider waterboarding to be torture.

Posted by: tdobson at December 9, 2014 4:52 PM
Comment #386440

Shoot Royal, I find it interesting that some would never use torture to save the country from an enemy, but eagerly agree to lynch their own police officers based on lies.

Posted by: kctim at December 9, 2014 4:55 PM
Comment #386441

kctim,
Obama stopped the renditions and torture. However, that does not relieve him of the obligation to pursue and prosecute the people who broke the law. No one wants this, but it happened and we are being forced to deal with it. It reminds me of the situation with Nixon and Ford and that pardon.

The Obama administration will hope this will go away by itself, maybe get swamped by another story- any story at all!- anything will do!- I am sure they are hoping for that. It would be a bitter pill to swallow if the Obama legacy included pardons for war crimes committed by Bush, Cheney, individuals in the CIA, et al.

Posted by: phx8 at December 9, 2014 5:12 PM
Comment #386442

He would have to pardon a lot more than just them, Phx8. Do you really think Hillary needs ol Bill being pardoned?

Obama stopped the renditions and torture? LOL!
I know you guys are going overboard with all this ‘defend Obama at all costs’ BS, but there is no way that is true and I think you know it.

Posted by: kctim at December 9, 2014 5:36 PM
Comment #386443

At the time of the waterboarding, loud music, sleep deprivation, using a bucket to take a dump; none of these things were considered torture. Feinstein and other Democrats sat in at least 30 meetings, where they knew exactly what was happening and agreed to it. But now they are outraged. Obama has used drones to target and kill American citizens who are fighting for ISIS. Does anyone have a problem with that??? Those ragheads are beheading American aid workers and journalist, but we worry about how much sleep they get. It’s always the same with the left; if you question their patriotism, they scream and cry, but they are the first to accuse the US military of war crimes. They brag about how supportive they are of the police; yet they are the first to condemn every cop in America for racism. It’s always the same; the left is ALWAYS on the wrong side. They support the protests that burn and loot businesses. They supported the nasty “occupy wall street crowd”, who were nothing more than a fart in the wind.

Some people take the opposing view just for the sake of an argument; but the left is just plain ignorant. Always on the wrong side of history.

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 9, 2014 5:45 PM
Comment #386444

It is always dangerous to judge things done in a state of danger and uncertainty when we are safe and certain. Back in those days, we were worried about new attacks. That is why even Nancy Pelosi (whose memory fails her) accepted some of the robust techniques.

The hard question is whether the techniques worked. If simulating drowning of a few murderers can prevent the fiery death or dismemberment of thousands of innocent people, is it moral NOT to do it?

Some folks say it does not work to get information. The CIA seems to think they got actionable intelligence that pieced together helped them kill bad guys like Osama bin Laden and save many lives. The bad guys do not want to tell. They try to lie. But lies have patterns and compared to other information can yield results. I know that I would be more likely to talk if I feared discomfort than if I was just asked nicely. But maybe these guys are made of sterner stuff than a wimp like me.

We also need to ask about today’s solution. We no longer capture these guys. Now we blow them apart with drones. It is not a pleasant experience. I bet it hurts more than sleep deprivation and it is more permanent. Personally, I might prefer the water.

Posted by: C&J at December 9, 2014 6:01 PM
Comment #386445

Holder already investigated and found no evidence to charge anyone of torture.

The Democratic controlled investigation called NO CIA people involved in the interrogations to testify.

How do you conduct an investigation without questioning the people involved?

Feinstein and Obama had to get this information out for one last dig at Bush before the Democrats are irrelevant. And in just a couple weeks they are definitely irrelevant.

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 9, 2014 6:16 PM
Comment #386446

Sam Jones,
Why would anyone want to spend time on the Bush administration right now as a way of gaining political advantage? That makes no sense. When it comes to this torture report, a lot of Democrats have been running interference for the Bush team in the Senate and in the Obama administration, which is why is has taken six years to finally release this report. It took Senator Udall threatening to read the entire report into the Senate record- a totally legal maneuver, by the way- to force this report to finally be published.

The Democrats in the Senate still have the filibuster, and Obama has veto power and the power of the Oval Office. In two years the Democrats are highly likely to control the Senate again, just because of the math if nothing else. Why would you think they are irrelevant?

Posted by: phx8 at December 9, 2014 6:51 PM
Comment #386447

phx8
As a prophet you have a dismal record. Look in the mirror and see what comes out of your mouth. The democrats with the filibuster power is so nil that you cannot understand how government works. The present congress will be in session for only a couple of weeks. You have no information about what is going to be filibustered. Republicans will only delay until the Senate is in the hands of the Republicans. Actually I am writing all this to show how ignorant you appear to be. It does not take me an essay of SD size to show it. I’m tired and going to bed. Blackhawks won and that is 7 in a row and I am pleased.

Posted by: tom humes at December 10, 2014 1:13 AM
Comment #386451

Warren Porter, you should be ashamed of yourself for equating what Japan and Germany did to our troops in WWII to what the CIA did after 9/11.

You’re also showing that classic liberal hypocrisy by ignoring what Bill Clinton and that shemale Janet Reno did to those 80 some men, women, and children in Waco Texas.

I wish liberals would crawl back into a hole and rot away like decent garbage. Selfish little babies, thinking they can destroy their way to the top.

It’s sickening.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 10, 2014 12:49 PM
Comment #386452

Welcome to conservative newspeak. Torture is protection, racism doesn’t exist because I don’t see any, healthcare is bad for people and the economy, I am righteous therefore I am always right, war is peace, bad is good, up is down, black is white, and on and on and on.

I wish conservatives would crawl back in their holes and rot away instead of trying to teach everyone their newpseak.

Thanks Warren for getting something out there quickly but I’m afraid that the conservative newspeak people will try to make you the villain for just saying let’s try to find out what happened and oh yes let’s try to do so in an attempt to stop it if ever we, as a country, are crazy enough to let neo-cons and false patriots guide our thinking ever again.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 10, 2014 2:11 PM
Comment #386454

If this story won’t go away by itself, then Obama will have to issue pardons. We have identified crimes, but not the criminals. They are still being allowed to hide their identity behind redactions, although the crimes are specified in awful detail. And I don’t think anyone believes the White House was uninvolved.

To the Senate’s credit, not one Democratic or Republican Senator attempted to justify or excuse torture. Their moral compasses are in good working order.

The only attempts to justify these war crimes seem to be coming from the people who committed them, along with the far right fringe.

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2014 4:32 PM
Comment #386455

The person who would not do anything necessary to preserve their liberty and freedom is deserving of neither.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2014 5:47 PM
Comment #386456

The person who would do anything necessary to preserve their liberty and freedom, including torture, is deserving of neither.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 10, 2014 5:55 PM
Comment #386457

The question is what we got from it. If I believed that torturing a guy like KSM would save even one innocent life, I hope I would have the courage to do it myself.

My moral compass tells me that if I can save dozens or hundreds or thousands of innocents from painful death, it is better than saving a couple of terrorist discomfort.

We have not identified crimes. We have identified procedures legal at the time. Nobody needs a pardon.

Consider the drones, BTW. We no longer slap terrorists but we blow them up in fireballs. I bet that hurts more and it is more permanent.

So let’s get over this moral thing. I would torture KSM if I thought I could save your lives. I am appalled that you would not do that for me and others.

Posted by: C&J at December 10, 2014 5:58 PM
Comment #386458

Blowing them up along with innocent people is more humanly better than pretending to drown one person.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2014 6:24 PM
Comment #386459

Rich, that is a strange moral code. Life is precious. Liberty and freedom are precious.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2014 6:30 PM
Comment #386460

Is it better that an entire nation be put at risk than to torture terrorists for information to prevent it?

Let’s see a show of hands of those willing to do whatever is necessary to save their own lives and the lives of their families and nation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2014 6:38 PM
Comment #386461

I am willing to bleed, suffer and die for my family and nation. Should I not be willing to inflict the same upon my enemy?

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2014 6:41 PM
Comment #386462

I should have stated the comment #386458 as a question. I meant it as a dig to our liberal commenters R.F. Sorry. Let me state it better “Is blowing them up along with innocent people better than pretending top drown them????”

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2014 6:43 PM
Comment #386463

That’s pretending to drown one person????

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2014 6:44 PM
Comment #386464

We know men by their acts.

How do we know the ISIS guy who beheads helpless prisoners on camera is a bad guy? After all, he may be motivated by many noble beliefs. He may believe he is doing good. He may believe the snuff films of the executions will encourage payment of ransom money for the other hostages, and that will bring in millions of dollars will go to good causes, and possibly save hundreds of lives of his fellow believers, including women and children. He probably believes in Islamic State exceptionalism. Perhaps he is exceptionally pious. So how do we know the ISIS guy is a bad guy?

Because he beheads helpless people on camera.

We know men by their acts. We know countries by their acts, too.

C&J, would you behead a helpless Islamic State prisoner on camera if doing so would save lives? Would you execute an American aid worker on camera if it would save lives?

Torture is illegal. Period. Procedures used during the Bush administration were illegal because they were torture, and they violated national and international law.

Drones are used against enemy combatants in the field. Torture is conducted against prisoners who have already surrendered, are unarmed, and at the mercy of their captors. The conduct for their treatment is codified under national and international law.

WW, I have no idea how you managed to drag Waco into the discussion.

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2014 6:47 PM
Comment #386465

Glad you clarified that Rich…thanks.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2014 6:50 PM
Comment #386466

I wonder phx8 if it were people in your family getting beheaded you would think the same way? Same question to you speaks and any other liberal.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2014 6:52 PM
Comment #386467

phx8

I suppose he does what he thinks is right. If he is morally certain, I can respect his motivations and want to kill him even more. I would argue strongly against using anything like that for punishment. The idea is that the moral idea is using violence against the few or the one to save the many innocent lives.

We are dealing with moral dilemmas. If you choose to let hundreds of innocents die horribly rather than make one bad guy uncomfortable, I have a moral problem with both your logic and you weakness. We would know you by your acts and your failure to act. We do not have a clean moral choice.

Re torture being illegal - legal or not is a legal issue, not a moral one. They were not illegal under the interpretation at the time. Drones are currently called legal. Someday in the future a new Senate committee might decide that is illegal.

Posted by: C&J at December 10, 2014 6:57 PM
Comment #386468

Human lives are cheap when compared to ideals and principles.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2014 6:57 PM
Comment #386469

Liberal thought:

I am not willing to inflict pain and suffering upon my enemy. I will capitulate rather than resort to extreme measures. It is better to live as a slave than to torture terrorists.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2014 7:00 PM
Comment #386470

Ideals and principles mean nothing if purchased at the expense of liberty and freedom.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2014 7:02 PM
Comment #386471

So, Speak4all, are you saying almost 90 people didn’t get burned to death after weeks and weeks of physical torture at the hands of the ATF and FBI? Are you saying that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed can’t raise his arms over his shoulders because of the injuries he sustained while in captivity?

In a small number of cases guards cut off women’s breasts. Answer The German doctors did cruel medical experiments that they hadn’t tested on anyone else. Answer Tied them to a post and tore the flesh off their backs with a stick wrapped with barbed wire Answer They shot them, put them in giant ovens, did horrible medical experiments on them, put them in gas chambers, starved them, whipped them, and hung them.

http://www.answers.com/Q/What_torture_devices_were_used_in_Nazi_concentration_camps

Where did Warren Porter read anything like that in this report? Oh, that’s right, he didn’t read the report, but that doesn’t stop him from equating Americans to Nazis and the kōgun.

How much longer will it be before the rabid leftists use this opportunity to slander and malign the people who devote their lives to protecting this country. It’s happened before and it destroyed our human intelligence networks around the world. Are you still going to portray your smug indifference when people, innocent people who never set foot in your so-called torture chambers, start getting killed because of this report?

Are those people’s lives worth this cheap, political trick?

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 10, 2014 7:06 PM
Comment #386472

Warren

You have to be alive to have morals and principles. conflicts are messy and existential conflicts are terrible. There really is no moral way to conduct such a conflict. The only way to get out is to avoid them, which is not always possible.

The definition of torture has become too broad, IMO. Making someone feel uncomfortable and fearful is probably not torture. But let’s leave that aside. If we can save many innocent lives but hurting a few bad guys, I think it is immoral not to do that.

Posted by: C&J at December 10, 2014 7:08 PM
Comment #386473

To my conservative brethren; the outrage from the left, concerning torture, is nothing more than a smokescreen. The left is looking for anything, any straw they can gasp, to change the subject that the American people have completely rejected the ideals and goals of liberalism. We are barely a month beyond one of the most devastating elections the Democratic Party has ever witnessed. So we have to endure the counterfactual claims of the delusional mind. Stop and think about this for a second; the same people who advocate and encourage the dissecting and slaughter of fully developed babies, who encourage the use of drones and missiles to blow up American citizens, the same people who advocate the theft and destruction of private property by rioters, and the same people who supported the rape of women by the animals representing the 99% Wall Street protestors, are the same ones concerned about the fabricated torture of the enemies of America.

It is either hypocrisy to the ultimate degree, or it is nothing more than an attempt to transform the subject of rejection to a false outrage. No matter, the left is guilty of perfidy.

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 10, 2014 9:44 PM
Comment #386474

Yes, where was the outrage when they were doing the same sleep deprevation, noise polution, withholding of sustainance FROM CHILDREN in Waco TX.!?

This faux outrage reeks of hypocrisy. Shame, shame on those that thought they needed to publish this report under the guise of repentance, when they can’t even begin to admit their own complicity in the torture and death of children they took an oath to protect!

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 10, 2014 9:56 PM
Comment #386477
The constitution does not specify what the president may or may not do in carrying out that defense of country. I want my president, with the advice of congress and the joint chiefs, to do anything and everything necessary to carry out his oath and defend the country.

The sole reason we even have a Constitution is so we can limit the government’s power.

you should be ashamed of yourself for equating what Japan and Germany did to our troops in WWII to what the CIA did after 9/11.
Waterboarding and other techniques used by the CIA in the last 13 years were also used by Japan, Germany, the USSR and other autocratic regimes during the 20th century. This is a fact.
Ideals and principles mean nothing if purchased at the expense of liberty and freedom.
Liberty and freedom are the very principles I am talking about.
Are you saying that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed can’t raise his arms over his shoulders because of the injuries he sustained while in captivity?
It appears that Abu Zubaydah lost his left eye in captivity. Gul Rahman died. The violence inflicted upon these prisoners was significant.
Where did Warren Porter read anything like that in this report
I never claimed the CIA used all techniques used by our autocratic foes from last century. I only said that some CIA techniques (notably waterboarding) were used by those foes.
How much longer will it be before the rabid leftists use this opportunity to slander and malign the people who devote their lives to protecting this country. It’s happened before and it destroyed our human intelligence networks around the world. Are you still going to portray your smug indifference when people, innocent people who never set foot in your so-called torture chambers, start getting killed because of this report?
TThe harm was already done the moment the decision was made to torture these prisoners. You are right that the consequences of that decision are downright dangerous. Many lives are now put in jeopardy because the Bush administration could not be bothered to treat these prisoners humanely.
Are those people’s lives worth this cheap, political trick?
The only way to save these lives in the future is to ensure that what happened 10 years ago never happens again. That won’t happen without bringing those awful acts to light in the public sphere. Greater transparency is always a great check on government overreach.
You have to be alive to have morals and principles.
Is there no such thing as martyrdom?
Making someone feel uncomfortable and fearful is probably not torture.
This is not about being uncomfortable. This is about causing physical injury to human bodies.
If we can save many innocent lives but hurting a few bad guys, I think it is immoral not to do that.
The price we pay is not just “hurting a few bad guys”. We pay with our hard-earned reputation. We pay with the lives of our own citizens who may be taken prisoner at a future date. We exchange the morals and principals on which this nation was founded in a cheap bargain for a handful of human lives.
To my conservative brethren; the outrage from the left, concerning torture, is nothing more than a smokescreen. The left is looking for anything, any straw they can gasp, to change the subject that the American people have completely rejected the ideals and goals of liberalism.
If it is a smokescreen, then why doesn’t the right call the Left’s bluff? Let’s just admit that what happened during the Bush administration was wrong and promise to never let it happen again. Let Obama pardon the Bush administration and we can all put this issue behind us and move on to all those other issues.
Yes, where was the outrage when they were doing the same sleep deprevation, noise polution, withholding of sustainance FROM CHILDREN in Waco TX.!?
This analogy doesn’t fit. Those people in Waco weren’t detainees in US custody. Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2014 11:17 PM
Comment #386478

Warren

We can do lots of things w/o lots of other people talking about it. It would have been better not to publish this report.

It is funny that we sometimes get the argument that if we do things like this, our enemies will do as we do. I wish they would be so gentle.

I just cannot get upset about getting somebody like KSM to give us lead about where we can find his evil friends. Maybe it is a moral flaw, but I really do not care how they found out. My question would be only what worked. If I saw the guy drowning in the river, I would not bother to toss him rope if I didn’t think he would use it to hang himself. Presumably he would get those 72 virgins that his benighted beliefs tell him he will get to rape in the afterlife. I will not pretend to respect such things.

Posted by: C&J at December 10, 2014 11:31 PM
Comment #386479
We can do lots of things w/o lots of other people talking about it. It would have been better not to publish this report.

The fact that we are uncomfortable with people talking about these things is indicative that we we shouldn’t be doing them.

It is funny that we sometimes get the argument that if we do things like this, our enemies will do as we do. I wish they would be so gentle.
Rather than talking concretely about our current enemies, I refer abstractly to enemies we may encounter many decades from now.

Re: KSM
The man is despicable and I would have no problem making his life uncomfortable, but physical injury should be off-limits. Our Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment and these sort of things degrade human dignity. Despicability is no excuse to deny someone the rights endowed unto them by the Creator.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2014 11:43 PM
Comment #386480

“Our constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment” but they aren’t covered by OUR Constitution at that matter they are not covered by the Geneva Convention because they are ununiformed combatants. One question Warren, Would you rather be blown up by a Drone, or Water boarded? Which is worse using a Hell fire missal and killing not only the target but also innocent people or water boarding one person?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 12:00 AM
Comment #386481
they aren’t covered by OUR Constitution

Do our rights come from the worldly institution of government and a piece of paper written 240 years ago? Or do our rights come naturally from our Creator?

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 11, 2014 12:08 AM
Comment #386482

Our rights come from OUR Creator, but when someone infringes on those rights what are you going to do Warren, kiss their butt? Or are you going to do anything in your arsenal to get those rights back?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 12:14 AM
Comment #386483

Warren Porter, that was the lamest defense of your position I could ever imagine. You’ve given up! You sound like you would sell your grandmother for an illusion of security.

You can’t bring yourself to admit the attrocities that were perpertrated on the American soldier in the second world war. You think this faux torture outrage relates at all to what Germany did to people? You want to blame Bush so bad you don’t even acknowledge the horrid things they did.

I only said that some CIA techniques (notably waterboarding) were used by those foes.

If those soldiers were only that lucky, Warren Porter! Do you think now that this report is public it will make any difference to the people who are sawing off heads?

And to top off your incredible state of denial you claim the Branch Davidian group was free to go shopping and visit the neighbors during their weeks long ordeal at the hands of federal government!

Those people in Waco weren’t detainees in US custody.
Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2014 11:17 PM That is an incredibly ignorant statement!

Do you honestly think that is a valid argument? That’s laughable! You honestly believe they weren’t in the custody of law enforcement? Unbelievable!

You should admit you went overboard with comparing the CIA to Nazis. But you can’t, can you. That would put a dent in your clumsy argument. That would mean you would have to admit there are worse things than spraying someone with water.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 12:25 AM
Comment #386484
It appears that Abu Zubaydah lost his left eye in captivity.

I can’t find any record of this. Can you provide documentation saying this is true?

Wait, you said “it appears” he lost his eye. First, did he really lose an eye? And second where is the documentation of it happening while he was in captivity?

I can usually find this kind of stuff when I know what to look for, but I can’t find anything that says he lost an eye in captivity.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 12:48 AM
Comment #386486

Warren

Of course I am uncomfortable with what is being done. I would be uncomfortable with details of a medical operation that saved a cancer patient or amputated a gangrenous limb and I would be unhappy if someone wrote a report that described the process in gory detail that scared off people who needed the operation and resulted in delay and death.

I know how this works. If you detail almost anything like this, it will seem terrible. It looks at the one side. The side you don’t see are the innocent people who were not killed or mutilated because of the procedure.

Re our enemies - I really do not believe any body will do cruel things like this because of this. I would expect a future enemy to do this. Recall how SMALL this program is in terms of individuals. There are many thousands of prisoners. Dozens of them are involved in these harsh methods.

Re KSM - we would all be okay with blowing this guy up in a drone attack. That is more harm than water.

Posted by: C&J at December 11, 2014 7:08 AM
Comment #386487

This was my opening statement from yesterday:

To my conservative brethren; the outrage from the left, concerning torture, is nothing more than a smokescreen. The left is looking for anything, any straw they can gasp, to change the subject that the American people have completely rejected the ideals and goals of liberalism.

The response from Warren Porter was lame and did not deal with the content of the paragraph, only the opening statement. Can you deny the examples I gave as not being worse than the so-called torture of our enemies. You made this comment, “Despicability is no excuse to deny someone the rights endowed unto them by the Creator”, and you ask this rhetorical question, “Or do our rights come naturally from our Creator?” You invoke the Constitution and the Creator. Here I the problem I have with your argument; if you invoke the Constitution and the Creator, you are implying you believe in the Constitution and the Creator. I know you are Jewish and therefore do not accept the New Testament as the inspired Word of God, but I assume you believe in the Old Testament, or you would not mention the Creator. I used the example of the left having no problem with the dismemberment and murder of US citizens separated from the rest of us, only by the first breath taken…babies. You claim they are nothing more than pieces of flesh, yet God said of Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

If you invoke the Creator, then you must invoke the whole Word of the Creator. Where is your outrage over the deaths of multimillions of babies? Where is your concern of them? It is also fact that many of these late term abortions resulted in births of live babies who had scissors inserted into their brains in order to kill them. Or to have their limbs dismembered. Where is the outrage? No, there is no outrage; in fact, you would defend the right of organizations like Planned Parenthood to do these things.

You then invoke the Constitution; but that’s assuming the left believes the Constitution. But the left does not believe the Constitution. To the left, it is nothing more than an evolving document.

It is for this reason that I say the left is hypocritical.

Yesterday, Ed Henry, a Fox News WH correspondent, asked Josh Ernst (WH press sec), to explain he justification of Obama’s condemnation of the CIA’s interrogations and at the same time using drones to kill terrorists along with innocent civilians. The WH response was that they try their best to get proper intel and try not to kill innocent civilians. This was a lame response; innocent civilians ARE being killed as collateral damage, and yet it is okay with the left for this to happen. Should Obama be tried for war crimes because he is responsible for killing innocent civilians?

Respond when you can do so logically.

This is Warren’s response:

If it is a smokescreen, then why doesn’t the right call the Left’s bluff? Let’s just admit that what happened during the Bush administration was wrong and promise to never let it happen again. Let Obama pardon the Bush administration and we can all put this issue behind us and move on to all those other issues.

Warren, you are asking conservatives to confess to a crime that was not committed. You show us the proof that what the US was doing was a crime. After 9/11, did the DOJ report that interrogation of our enemies was a crime? Feinstein and other Democrats sat in on the briefings of these interrogations; can you offer evidence that these Democrats questioned the legality of the interrogations or did they demand these interrogations to be stopped? The answer I no.

You go on to make this comment:

The sole reason we even have a Constitution is so we can limit the government’s power.
Posted by: Sam Jones at December 11, 2014 9:17 AM
Comment #386488

Warren, you claim the sole purpose of the Constitution is to limit government’s power.

Yet the left recently defended Obama’s EO to grant amnesty to5 million illegals. An act of which Obama himself declared on numerous occasions that it was unconstitutional to do. Once again hypocrisy. Is the Constitution’s goal to limit only the power of republicans and no Democrats?

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 11, 2014 9:26 AM
Comment #386489

Phx8

“So how do we know the ISIS guy is a bad guy?”

Seriously man?
We know he is a bad guy because he has beheaded American citizens. Because he has murdered our supposed allies in cold blood. Because he has declared that he is fighting some kind of holy war and that we are in his way.

We know he is the bad guy because by his acts, he is our enemy.

“Torture is illegal. Period.”

So is speeding, but if your loved one has a life and death emergency, you’re going to do what it takes to get to the ER.

I’m not big on torture, but since we’re talking about terrorists and not American citizens in this case, I’m not concerned.
What gets to me is the politics you guys are playing with this.

Posted by: kctim at December 11, 2014 9:43 AM
Comment #386490

So it was just dandy when GWB decided to pretty much decimate the civilian population of Iraq but now we get all sanctimonious when some innocent civilians are killed by a drone strike? The cognitive dissonance required for that logic is beyond the grasp of any liberal commenting here but obviously no big deal to many conservative commenters. IOKIYAR.

The drone program used now is still imperfect but the number of civilian casualties caused by this incursion has been greatly reduced when compared to invading a country and the subsequent carnage that takes place from that action.

To equate the Branch Davidian leader that held his followers captive with force and defied law by doing so as some kind of martyr is just silly. That nut case was just that, a nut case. Anyone supporting the nut case should get themselves some serious assistance in the area of mental stability, he was a crazy man.

I have a suggestion for any conservative commenters that are conflicted about the report, the scrutiny it is receiving and their inability to process that information.
Let it Go

Posted by: Speak4all at December 11, 2014 10:09 AM
Comment #386491

kctim, I refuse to have a conversation with phx8. He is an illogical political hack, who simple makes untrue blanket statements that make no sense.

There were no reports that what the CIA was doing after 9/11 was in fact torture. We find the very opposite to be true. The DOJ sanctioned the interrogations and the Democrats, at the time, approved of them…including Feinstein.

The Document released by Feinstein is nothing more than another political hack job. It was not bi-partisan; it was a purely Democrat assessment. There were NO CIA(that were involved) top officials interviewed. How can you make a assessment of the interrogations, without interviewing the supervisors involved in the interrogations? $40 million was spent for the purpose of creating a Democrat document attacking the CIA and Bush. There are no political hacks on WB worthy to untie the shoestrings of these patriot Americans who defend our rights.

The release of the documents have without a doubt hurt our relationship with our alleys, and put the lives of many people in danger. Not to mention, these documents, will be a recruiting tool for ISIS and Al Qaida. This is nothing more than a last minute attempt to create a crisis for the incoming Congress and a last chance to blame Bush. The left will no doubt argue that it would also create a crisis for Obama; but let’s remember, Obama has never taken responsibility for any crisis that has taken place. If the release of these documents causes the death of Americans or our alleys; Obama will simply continue to blame Bush.

Remember, “Never waste a crisis”,

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 11, 2014 10:21 AM
Comment #386492

So we are to assume the death of thousands of collateral damage civilians is alright, but the inconvenience of America’s enemies is horrific.

It reaches the same logical conclusion that since the Branch Davidian’s were led by a “nut case” and “crazy man”; it was okay to burn dozens of people to death, without Constitutional rights.

The left is always on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the Constitution, and on the wrong side of morality.

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 11, 2014 10:31 AM
Comment #386493

I refuse to have a conversation with SJ. He is an illogical political hack, who simply makes untrue blanket statements that make no sense. FIFY (including the misspelling)

OK all together now conservatives. Let it Go, Let it Go. You will be much better for it.

The inability of some conservative commenters to understand the implications of what they are supporting is what puts them on the wrong side of history, our Constitution and our morality. Let’s just wait and see what time does for this festering pile of sanctimonious righteousness.

George Washington’s ideas about this subject

Posted by: Speak4all at December 11, 2014 10:51 AM
Comment #386494

The collateral damage of 100’s of innocent men, women and children by Drones to kill one target is fine in Speaks eyes but the pretend drowning of 3 prisoners to get information is a horrific war crime. I’d much rather be a prisoner today then I would back in Washington’s days, talk about harsh treatment!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 11:33 AM
Comment #386495

Sam

Phx8 is a good guy, I’ve known him on here for years. He is highly intelligent, has interesting life experiences and posts many valid points.

Now, even though he has kind of gone off the deep-end lately with his ‘defend Obama at all costs’ and ‘evil right wing conspiracy’ rants, having discussions with him is well worth the effort.

Do what’s best for you though, my friend. While I may not post every day, I do read every day, and I always look forward to your posts. Keep up the good fight.

Posted by: kctim at December 11, 2014 11:42 AM
Comment #386497

It’s as if they are daring President Obama to grant pardons or suffer the consequences of international law taking the matter into their own hands. We knew all along that none of this would finish good. It’s not a good thing when a former president and vice-president can’t travel outside of their country because they are considered criminals.

How’s the undercarriage of that bus looking George?

Posted by: Speak4all at December 11, 2014 12:01 PM
Comment #386498

I suggest you watch the interview with Cheney instead of reading what some hack wrote about it. You would have a different view of what was ACTUALLY said, Speaks. I sure if Bush or Cheney wanted to travel outside of this country they could.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 12:35 PM
Comment #386499

I am ready to hear Speak4all, phx8, and Warren Porter condemn FDR for using enhanced interrogation techniques during WWII.

What? FDR wasn’t a war criminal? FDR’s hands aren’t covered in the blood of hard-bitten Nazi agents turned and used to deceive Germany?

What’s good for the goose… as they say.

C’mon you guys! Your slip is made of pure, 100% hypocrisy and it’s showing. If you condemn Bush for this then you also must condemn FDR with the same rabid fanaticism.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 12:49 PM
Comment #386500

I would condemn anyone that uses torture. No rabid fanaticism here though just a true need to understand, that’s all. Rabid fanaticism seems to be coming from the right.

Just go ahead and list the countries that George and Dick have visited since they left office, not many from what can be gathered.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 11, 2014 12:55 PM
Comment #386501

kctim,
Thank you for the kind words.

I really don’t think I ‘defend Obama at all costs.’ I believe the drone strikes are constitutional and fall within his powers as CIC, but I certainly think it is worth discussing. Objections anytime American citizens are killed by our country abroad are definitely in order. Same goes for questioning the extent of a president’s war powers. Again, I think Obama is on sound footing, but it is good to bust his chops over this.

Issues with the NSA are still seriously troubling. Not nearly enough has been made of this, but it is difficult to do when everything is classified. We have to depend on Democrats and Republicans doing the right thing, but it is too easy for both parties to hide excesses.

The issue of torture is a big problem for Obama. Contrary to what Cheney and others may say, this report is factual. It is documented. And it is bipartisan. A lot of people on both sides of the aisle wanted to sweep this nightmare under the rug, but a few good men, including Udall from CO, would not let it stand. Obama can hope the story fades away, but he may be forced to pardon some people.

Torture is immoral. Torture is illegal. Torture violates national and international law, and it is a violation of human rights. It is a war crime, and it is inexcusable.

When I went through SERE training…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival,_Evasion,_Resistance_and_Escape

… there was no waterboarding. That was over the top. After three days of freezing rain and almost no food in the mountains (Survival), we were chased (Evasion), captured or brought in, and went through a simulated POW experience (Resistance).

There seems to be a lot of effort to downplay the effects of sleep deprivation, noise, isolation, darkness, having a bag over one’s head, stress positions, confined spaces for long periods of time, constant verbal abuse, and so on. Even when it I went through it with guys on my side who were only pretending to be bad guys, and even though it was a training situation, it was very realistic and it was VERY unpleasant.

One guy broke down from what I just described. Another was claustrophobic and could not stand being kept in a small dark box for a couple of hours. The incessant loud disorienting noise was bad, but unlike Waco, we could not use earplugs. Torture is also really bad for the people administering it. The guys at SERE who were pretending to be bad guys had to be constantly rotated out to prevent anyone’s sadistic impulses from running wild. It’s really evil stuff.

The US learned a lot from the North Koreans during the Korean War. Ever see the movie “The Manchurian Candidate”? The US had never seen anything like this before. The North Koreans found ways to completely and totally break POW’s. The important thing is to destroy resistance, and that is a psychological matter.

Inflicting pain is not effective because the prisoner will say anything- anything at all- to stop it. It is not at all surprising that no effective information came from the torture during the Bush years, no matter how many times it was done.

Well, torture is wrong, and it is disappointing to see Americans actually come out in favor of it.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2014 1:14 PM
Comment #386502

The government an torture and burn children to death because they had earplugs. The people who torture and saw people’s heads off should be protected because they are not allowed to have earplugs.

Do you realize what lengths you are going to to propagate this witch hunt?

It is not at all surprising that no effective information came from the torture during the Bush years


Prove it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 1:23 PM
Comment #386503

My time is tight right now with exams and whatnot to do. I won’t be able to thoroughly answer any additional questions addressed to me. Hopefully, other WatchBlog liberals can provide responses instead.

I can’t find any record of this. Can you provide documentation saying this is true?

Please look at pages 137 & 138 from the scribd document I shared in my original article. Footnote 651 is particularly relevant.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
Here’s your logic: God knew Jeremiah before Jeremiah was conceived. Therefore embryos and fetuses cannot be legally distinguished from birthed humans, but sperm and ova can be legally distinguished. I do not see how the premise leads to the conclusion. A simple interpretation of the premise might lead one to conclude that person-hood begins before conception, but that leads us to the absurd result of endowing sperm and ova with the same rights as human beings. Another interpretation of the premise leads one to conclude that the either the verse is specific to Jeremiah, but not to humanity as a whole. A more nuanced interpretation may note that the verse is really talking about God’s omniscience and foreknowledge rather than the sanctity of human life. There’s a lot more that can be said on the topic of abortion and if you stick around long enough, I guarantee that we will have a full debate at some point on the topic, but I really cannot engage in a full on discussion right now.
You then invoke the Constitution; but that’s assuming the left believes the Constitution. But the left does not believe the Constitution. To the left, it is nothing more than an evolving document.
Just because one reinterprets the Constitution in order to adapt it to modern society and technology does not mean one does not believe in it. The left believes in the spirit of the Constitution many times more strongly than the right.
innocent civilians ARE being killed as collateral damage, and yet it is okay with the left for this to happen. Should Obama be tried for war crimes because he is responsible for killing innocent civilians?
Reminds me of what Robert McNamara said in Errol Morris’ film, “The Fog of War”:
“LeMay said, “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” And I think he’s right. He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?”
War is messy. People are imperfect. Humans make mistakes. I am not interested in prosecution of past actions. I want assurance that these techniques (waterboarding, etc) will never be used again.
Warren, you are asking conservatives to confess to a crime that was not committed. You show us the proof that what the US was doing was a crime. After 9/11, did the DOJ report that interrogation of our enemies was a crime? Feinstein and other Democrats sat in on the briefings of these interrogations; can you offer evidence that these Democrats questioned the legality of the interrogations or did they demand these interrogations to be stopped? The answer I no.
It is not you nor the DOC that gets to define what is or is not torture. Waterboarding is illegal. Period. The law defines torture as “an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.” Waterboarding clearly inflicts severe physical or mental pain and suffering.
Warren, you claim the sole purpose of the Constitution is to limit government’s power.

Yet the left recently defended Obama’s EO to grant amnesty to5 million illegals. An act of which Obama himself declared on numerous occasions that it was unconstitutional to do. Once again hypocrisy. Is the Constitution’s goal to limit only the power of republicans and no Democrats?

This makes no sense. Firstly, I repeatedly said last month that Obama’s EO was a dangerous precedent. Secondly, Obama is not the final arbiter of what is and isn’t Constitutional. He could have been wrong before and correct now. Thirdly, just because the Constitution limits the Government’s power doesn’t mean the government has no power. You cannot take what I write, stretch it into a pretzel and claim hypocrisy.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 11, 2014 1:43 PM
Comment #386504

WW,
It is in the report. After the first six-page section, the following 19 page section provides a summary. Warren has posted the report at the top of this article. The next section includes a helpful table of contents.

The second section, the 19 page section, will not properly cut and paste into a comment. It is right at the top of this page. Please look.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2014 1:53 PM
Comment #386505

Speaks, Why are you worried about Bush and Cheney’s travel habits??

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 1:59 PM
Comment #386506

I am not worried but it would appear that they are. Go ahead list the countries that those two have traveled to since leaving office. There’s not much that worries me about Bush and Cheney now, thank goodness.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 11, 2014 2:14 PM
Comment #386507

It made no mention of how he received the injury to his eye. You imply the CIA damaged his as a method of torture and refused to treat it resulting in it’s loss.

Considering the fact that other detainees received treatment and were relieved of stressful situations because of broken bones received during excape attempts puts your implication in the exaggerated fiction catagory.

Well, torture is wrong, and it is disappointing to see Americans actually come out in favor of it.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2014 1:14 PM

I’m still waiting for your condemnation of FDR, phx8.

If Bush Is a War Criminal, Then So Are Truman, LBJ, Nixon and Obama

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 2:17 PM
Comment #386508

Speak4all’s comments reminds me of the children’s toy called a pinwheel. It makes a lot of noise when the wind blows but is otherwise completely useless.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 2:24 PM
Comment #386509

Your protestations of my comments on this website only serves to point out your inability to refute any contention I make. Talk about lots of noise with no substance, you are a prime example of that. As I have said before, you are a silly little man.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 11, 2014 2:42 PM
Comment #386510

Addressing the misplaced and short-sighted reason this document was released, the fantasy that the release will insure this won’t happen again:

As the narrator of Tim O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story” puts it:

“A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.”

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 2:43 PM
Comment #386512

Do you have a mirror instead of a monitor on your computer, Speak4all? You could be speaking to yourself in your last comment. You are constantly doing the same thing your post accused me of.

Really, you’re projecting your own shortcomings!

My contention is Democratics are hypocrites. This entire episode demonstrates that. You are unable to refute it so you call me names. I won’t lower myself to your level and call you an ignorant, uncommitted, partisan hack that has no original thought process capabilities. I just won’t do it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 2:51 PM
Comment #386511

WW,
No, I’m not going to change the subject.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2014 2:51 PM
Comment #386513

The hypocrisy of the left in full view, lit up with search lights for all to see.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 2:54 PM
Comment #386514

I believe that saving many innocent lives is worth the lives or the pain of a few bad guys.

There those who say that it doesn’t work. The CIA professional disagree. I think of it my own terms. I am much more likely to divulge information I don’t want to tell when under threat. I also know how the process works. You don’t try to get confessions. That would gain us nothing. You ask; they lie. But people lie in patterns and when you have the pattern and other information, you can figure lots of things out. That is what works.

Anyway, I do not believe anybody is craven enough to sacrifice hundreds of innocent lives in order to treat gently a few terrorists.

I would do it to save your lives. I am upset if you are too weak to do it to save mine. It is a moral dilemma, but one that we cannot just dismiss.

Posted by: C&J at December 11, 2014 3:06 PM
Comment #386515

The subject is Torture. The left puts Bush front and center for splashing people with water, but can’t bring themselves to hold Clinton to the same standard for far worse behavior.

The left condones the torture and murder of children huddled in basements, but when confronted with that reality it’s called “changing the subject”!

It’s no wonder the left is considered morally bankrupt. The stench of hypocrisy is blatant and overpowering. Protect the party, phx8. Protect the party at all costs, right?


Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 3:06 PM
Comment #386516

Speaks, I could care less where Bush and Cheney travel to. I’m not concerned about their travel habits nor will I be about Obama’s when he leaves office. You sure seem to be.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 3:06 PM
Comment #386517

I think the question of whether a practice is torture should be decided by whether we’d apply that definition if the procedure was inflicted on an American, civilian or soldier. That vastly simplifies things, in my view, weeds out this tendency to assign prisoners under our care to some separate category.

Just about every person who I’ve heard about undergoing Waterboarding has come back from it calling it torture, even when they had it done to them of their own free will. So, It’s torture. We defined stress positions, sleep deprivation and other such treatments as torture when we prosecuted Gestapo officers for it. That should make that simple.

If we can imagine an American soldier having tubes shoved up his rear end to force food and water up there… should it really be called anything else but torture, I mean, that’s not even difficult.

The folks on the right these days just can’t admit when they’ve gone too far. They’ve confused a lack of inhibitions in the pursuit of a cause with dedication to the principle behind the cause.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 11, 2014 3:31 PM
Comment #386518

Stephen, Are you comfortable with a Drone with a Hell Fire Missal blowing up a target and killing innocent men, women, and children? What would you rather have done to you, the Hell Fire or the water boarding?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 3:46 PM
Comment #386519

Once they murdered over 90 men, women, and children in the name of protecting those children they lost all claim to the high ground. They’re making an issue of this, not because it’s right or wrong, but because they think they can make the opposition look bad and maybe get themselves voted back into power. Period.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 4:58 PM
Comment #386520

You began your existence on this blog at a considerably less level than you give yourself credit for and you have done nothing but diminish your credibility in your most recent comments.

I really don’t care about Bush and Cheney’s travel problems but it would appear that they have many. Glad you won’t be concerned with President Obama’s travel however given that everything else he does seems to ruffle your ancient feathers, I doubt you’ll be able to fulfill that statement. Hey where’s that list of the countries that Bush and Cheney have been able to visit. Rightwingnutistan does not count as a place except in the minds of right wing nuts.

Oh and BENGHAZZZZIIIIII!!!

Posted by: Speak4all at December 11, 2014 4:59 PM
Comment #386522

Speaks, You and you alone are the one who is so worried about what countries our former president and vice president are able to go to. As far as Obama goes, as long as he is in office yes I am concerned after that I could care less what he does, he will be a private citizen just like Bush and Cheney. Don’t worry about my credibility worry about your own because yours is lower than whale crap.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 5:32 PM
Comment #386523

Stephen

I think most Americans actually in danger of being grabbed by the bad guys would feel very relieved if they really believed the bad guys would treat them the way we treat prisoners.

That would mean that there would be no reason to fear beheading or execution. An ordinary soldier would have no fear of significant pain. He would expect to get regular meals and medical care. Yeah, we wish they would treat our guys like we do theirs.

The number of people affected by the robust methods was very small. None of them were ordinary guys.

Speaks

The Libyan situation was handled reasonably by Hillary et al. Few people have a problem with that part. Reasonable people object to Susan Rice’s comments. If you are being charitable, you would say she was very gullible and had little understanding of the situation. Less charitable would be worse.

Posted by: C&J at December 11, 2014 5:32 PM
Comment #386524

The credibility comment was directed to the weary one. And again I repeat I do not care about Bush and Cheney’s travel restrictions that they have brought upon themselves.

CJ go read up on what the CIA and NSA told Susan Rice to say and then get back to me on that. Fer cris sakes do you think she just decided to give out that information all by her little ‘ol self. C’mon man you know better than that.

It always reminds me of that strange thing that middle eastern women do with their uvula to get that strange sound when I hear the blonde bimbos talk about benghazi on fox. Except I think the middle eastern women make it sound somewhat melodious while the blonde bimbos sound like, well blonde bimbos.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 11, 2014 5:53 PM
Comment #386525

Willie,

Let’s assume for a moment that had Eric Garner surrendered without a fight he would still be alive.
Now, if this is true, then is it possible that if David Koresh had also done so the “Branch Dividians” would still be alive as well?

Royal made the comment that there is nothing in the Constitution about torture, however;

From wikipedia,

“Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, includes the Treaty Clause, which empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the United States and other countries, which become treaties between the United States and other countries after the advice and consent of a supermajority of the United States Senate.”

The United States has signed and radified several treaties throughout the last century on the subject of torture.
We made aggreements and broke them.

Just how exceptional is that?

And while we’re on the subject;

Why hasn’t anybody here addressed the fact that there were over two dozen innocent men caught up in this, one of whom died from exposure because he was forced to sit on concrete with no pants on overnight.

How many innocents are too many to torture?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at December 11, 2014 5:58 PM
Comment #386526

Speaks

I assume that Susan Rice is as smart as I am and has at least as much expertise in these sorts of things. If I received talking points such as that, I certainly would not have gone on with such certainty. She knows or should know that in a developing situation like that, you have to let all the pieces fall in.

I do not think it is a coincidence that she did the talking. I bet they could not get a career professional to do that. I bet they could not get Hillary to do it. I am not a Hillary fan, but she had too much integrity or at least was smart enough to avoid it. An honest professional would have ducked that for sure and resigned if forced to do it. It was very unprofessional. That explains why you had the UN Ambassador do the talking instead of the Secretary of State or anybody in the line of actual authority. Did that not strike you as strange?

I do not blame Hillary or DoD. We sometimes go in harm’s way to do the jobs that need be done. We hope and believe we will come safe home, but not always. But the idea that spontaneous demonstrators against a video nobody saw bring with them sophisticated arms and a plan to attack is more than a reasonable person could believe and certainly more than she should repeat.

Posted by: C&J at December 11, 2014 6:22 PM
Comment #386527

Rocky, The catch phrase is OTHER COUNTRIES, ISIS, and others like them are NOT a country. Although I don’t like the fact, if it is fact, that some man died from exposure while sitting on concrete naked. I don’t like the idea either of innocent men, women, and children that are killed in Drone attacks. If water boarding one person will save those killed by Drones collaterally then so be it. If one person being made uncomfortable saves a hundred lives so be it. Maybe nobody has addressed the two dozen innocent men because no one has really addressed the innocent dozens killed by Drones.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 6:26 PM
Comment #386528

“I bet they could not get a career professional to do that. I bet they could not get Hillary to do it. I am not a Hillary fan, but she had too much integrity or at least was smart enough to avoid it. An honest professional would have ducked that for sure and resigned if forced to do it. It was very unprofessional. That explains why you had the UN Ambassador do the talking instead of the Secretary of State or anybody in the line of actual authority. Did that not strike you as strange?”

Kinda like Colin Powell?

Rocky


Posted by: Rocky Marks at December 11, 2014 6:27 PM
Comment #386529

Rocky

Powell was on solid ground based on decades of intelligence. His opinion was shared by most of the people who studied the issue, including Democrats in the Senate. That he was mistaken does not impinge his integrity. But even with all this said, the fact that he did it certainly did affect his reputation.

The Rice affair was an unforced error. The proper response would have been to be a little less precise and admit that there was general confusion. I think that is what she would have done had this been a few months before or after.

Posted by: C&J at December 11, 2014 6:44 PM
Comment #386530

My understanding of what happened in Waco TX. is quite different. David Koresh wasn’t standing in the street. His community was assaulted much the same way you see other SWAT tactics in other situations. Dead of night/early morning tactical assaults without prior warning.

Except there was warning, from a sympathetic observer, that they were coming. The invasion was repelled. The Branch Davidians were justified in repelling the tactical invasion as per the verdict in the trial.

They were held captive by the federal government and subjected to the same “torture” we are talking about in this report. For weeks they were deprived of sleep, food and water, heat, quiet, tear gas! Ultimately, put to fire and death. CHILDREN!

Hypocrites all who use this report for political gain and completely ignore what happened to those innocent children and families in Waco, TX. Hypocrites all who turn a blind eye to these instances when Democratic’s are responsible and then instigate this issue under the guise of pompous self-flagellation. Hypocrites all who use this report as an excuse to condemn political opponents.

Innocent people died when Abu Grahb was exposed. The left made that an issue to embarrass Bush and an innocent reporter got his head sawed off. A direct result of an instance that mirrors this one. Now, again, people are going to die. All for political gain. It’s truly a disgusting excersize. Anyone who supports the public release of this report and justifies it with this pie-in-the-sky feel-good bullshit idea that it’s going to keep it from happening again is delusional at best, or a sociopath that likes seeing people’s heads rolling in the sand.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 6:55 PM
Comment #386531

“Kinda like Colin Powell?”

Priceless retort, Rocky.

Posted by: Rich at December 11, 2014 7:37 PM
Comment #386532
They’re making an issue of this, not because it’s right or wrong, but because they think they can make the opposition look bad and maybe get themselves voted back into power. Period.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 4:58 PM

You are correct Weary. The left is so upset at losing so badly in this past election. They have convinced themselves the reason they lost was because the voters did not really understand what they were trying to do to for America. The goal of Democrats is to now create as much chaos as possible. This document released by Feinstein was released for the purpose of giving the CIA a black eye, simply because Feinstein had a grudge against the CIA. It was a strictly Democrat document with no interviews with any CIA leadership. A conclusion was made on only part of the facts. Eric Holder (as far left as one can go) has conducted an investigation of every aspect of the EITs, and has found NO cause to bring any charges. This makes the left furious. These documents have allowed the political talking heads to set the talking points and the left puppets simply repeat what they hear. All of it is the direct result of the Democrats shellacking.

Here’s your logic: God knew Jeremiah before Jeremiah was conceived. Therefore embryos and fetuses cannot be legally distinguished from birthed humans, but sperm and ova can be legally distinguished. I do not see how the premise leads to the conclusion. A simple interpretation of the premise might lead one to conclude that person-hood begins before conception, but that leads us to the absurd result of endowing sperm and ova with the same rights as human beings. Another interpretation of the premise leads one to conclude that the either the verse is specific to Jeremiah, but not to humanity as a whole. A more nuanced interpretation may note that the verse is really talking about God’s omniscience and foreknowledge rather than the sanctity of human life. There’s a lot more that can be said on the topic of abortion and if you stick around long enough, I guarantee that we will have a full debate at some point on the topic, but I really cannot engage in a full on discussion right now.

Warren, you make some valid points, but we are not dealing with sperm and ova; we are dealing with the combination of the two, which results in life. The question then becomes, can we legally distinguish between life and birthed humans? If we break down the quote from Jeremiah:

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Jeremiah was “sanctified” and “ordained” by God before he was born. Sanctified (qâdash) to “appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate”; ordained (nâthan)to “apply, appoint, ascribe, assign”.

I think you miss the point; I am not trying to use the Old Testament to prove a baby in the womb is a person; even though that is what I believe. The point is that God had a plan, a destiny, a will for Jeremiah before he ever came forth from the womb. Even while still in the womb, God recognized Jeremiah as a man with a destiny. Now the question becomes; do all persons in the womb have a destiny? What would have happened if Jeremiah had been aborted. Would it have been God’s will that he was aborted and cast into the trash? Certainly not, because God had a purpose for Jeremiah. Now it comes to all humans within the womb; does God have a will or destiny for all humans. The Bible clearly teaches that God has a will for all men. If that’s true, then God’s will is that all babies be born. Listen to these great words of the Psalmist in Psalm 139:

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

In these verses the psalmist is speaking of the time when he was in the womb.

The whole purpose of bringing up abortion is to compare the left’s outrage of EIT’s and yet rejoicing at the use of abortion to destroy millions of lives. The left calls conservatives racists, and yet it is the left who has encouraged the abortion of black babies. The goals of Margaret Stanger, to decrease the birth rates of blacks, have been met. Abortion is much higher among blacks.\

Warren, you can twist the Word of God to fit your preconceived beliefs, but it doesn’t change the facts. God considers a child in the womb as a human being. There will be a lot of liberals in a for a big shock when they stand before Jehovah!

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 11, 2014 7:47 PM
Comment #386535

C&J,

Perhaps, you should read the actual transcripts of the Rice presentment of the CIA assessment. You will find that they were not presented with certainty. For example, “Putting together the best information that we have available to us today…..What we think then transpired in Benghazi …”

There is no assertion of definitive intelligence supporting the description of the events at Benghazi. It was this is what we (CIA) happened.

Now, contrast that with the Powell presentment to the UN. It was filled with certainty. Multiple sourced intelligence supporting the assertions against Iraq. No doubt, no hedges. It wasn’t we “think,” it was we definitely know.

As for Powell’s opinion about the UN speech and the intelligence that supported it: “Asked by Ms. Walters how painful this was for him, Mr. Powell replied: “It was painful. It’s painful now.” Asked further how he felt upon learning that he had been misled about the accuracy of intelligence on which he relied, Mr. Powell said, “Terrible.” He added that it was “devastating” to learn later that some intelligence agents knew the information he had was unreliable but did not speak up” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/09/politics/09powell.html?_r=0

Posted by: Rich at December 11, 2014 8:22 PM
Comment #386536

Rich

You just don’t do what she did. It was (in the parlance) not useful for her to do that.

The other thing is that she did not need to go on the news that fast. Powell was working within his usual portfolio. Rice was not. Again, why do you think that the UN Ambassador would be talking about State Department operations?

Let’s just ask the honest questions. Does anybody really believe we would have been in such a rush had this not happened during the election season? Why did the Obama ally (Rice) go on instead of the person with the specific responsibility (Hillary)?

It may point to a more serious problem, however. Obama concentrates power on the West Wing much more than Bush or others. You have Rice and Valarie Jarret pushing beyond their competence. Obama has appointed more political ambassadors than Bush or others and appointed political people way down into the bureaucracies. Some political appointees are great. But they do not have the experience needed at times.

All this is inside baseball and I don’t suppose most people really care very much, but there is a serious leadership problem. Our government does not serve only the current occupant of the WH. The government takes orders from the president and works to make the U.S. successful. The personal success of the current president matters only to the extent that it enhances that.

When Bush left office, I was willing to throw him under the bus in specific places if it would help the U.S. The same will happen to Obama and should. It is one of the duties of the guy leaving.

As far as I am concerned, however, this story is finished. Everybody who is informed knows about Rice and Jarrett. They have no future after Obama. Well … they will make the big bucks on the lecture circuit, but will never again hold comparable positions of authority.

Posted by: C&J at December 11, 2014 8:56 PM
Comment #386537
He added that it was “devastating” to learn later that some intelligence agents knew the information he had was unreliable but did not speak up”

What happened to “Bush lied!”? Lying is a willfull act of dishonesty. You know, like “keep your doctor”?

The left was foaming at the mouth for years that Bush lied with the intent to getting us into a war in Iraq. Now you use the fact they were misled (the truth) to justify the same mistakes made by your sainted Democratics.

“Rice lied when people died!”

And trying to make us think she did all this in a vaccume? That someone handed her a piece of paper and she read what was on it at the U.N.? That she alone made this assumption on what the CIA told her at the moment?

Does my head hurt because I just rolled off a turnip truck, or am I thought to be too stupid to see the hypocrisy?

Hey! Who’s changing the subject now? Is the conversation about this report making people uncomfortable? Is it all of the sudden looking a little foolish compared to what Clinton and Reno did to those children?

WW, I have no idea how you managed to drag Waco into the discussion.

Maybe I’m not as stupid as you think I am.


Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 9:04 PM
Comment #386538

Oh, please! Tell us more about Waco! By all means prove, you are not as stupid as we think! Don’t stop now!

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2014 9:40 PM
Comment #386539

C&J,

Regardless of your opinion as to the propriety of Rice serving as spokesperson for the administration on the Sunday news programs, the assertions that Rice deliberately mislead the nation as to the nature of the attacks is patently false. Contrary to your assertions, she did not present the CIA assessments as factually corroborated and definitive.

Rice said in all the interviews that investigations were just beginning and we should not jump to conclusions too soon.-“Obviously, We Will Wait For The Results Of The Investigation And We Don’t Want To Jump To Conclusions Before Then.” Rice repeatedly stressed to host Bob Schieffer that the United States was conducting an investigation of the attack and that “we’ll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions”

Posted by: Rich at December 11, 2014 10:55 PM
Comment #386540

Ok then, subject changed!
It’s getting pretty dirty under that rug.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2014 11:04 PM
Comment #386541

Rich

She did a poor job. I would have done better and you might have too. For such a smart woman, she does lots of dumb things. You know she was assistant secretary of state for African affairs when the Embassies in Africa were bombed. She went on the shows then too.

It is a source of some speculation for me. We have people like her who just are not that good and yet they keep on coming back. I don’t understand Hillary’s popularity, but I can see that she is smart. I don’t like Nancy Pelosi, but I see she is a great fundraiser. Most of the time I can figure out why somebody gets ahead, for good reasons or bad. Rice and Madeline Albright are just mysteries to me. I mean, they are smarter than the average person, but not enough to justify their exalted positions.

Posted by: C&J at December 11, 2014 11:16 PM
Comment #386542

Willie,

“His community was assaulted much the same way you see other SWAT tactics in other situations. Dead of night/early morning tactical assaults without prior warning.”

Except as reported by “Frontline”, even though the raid by ATF took place on a Sunday morning they were warned. It seems that the ATF asked directions from a postal worker who warned the compound.

Now, that said, Koresh had 50 days after the FBI showed up to surrender. In his arrogance, he refused.

Given the right’s whining about how Garner should have just given up, I think Koresh had plenty of time to save the lives of his people.

KAP

“Maybe nobody has addressed the two dozen innocent men because no one has really addressed the innocent dozens killed by Drones.”

So this is what you’re going with?
You guys made so much about us being in a war, and people die in wars, and “collateral damage” and all.

The bad guys are either criminals (which is what I believe they truly are), and they have rights, or they are POWs, and they have rights. “Enemy combatants” is just a cop out.

Rights don’t stop at our borders. We either believe all people have rights or we’re no better than who we fight.

Now I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I’m pretty sure we use drones so that we don’t put the men and women of our military in harms way. Having said that, I’m quite sure we could put some boots on the ground if you like, and accomplish the same results, but I am also quite sure we would be adding some of our own to the casualty list.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at December 11, 2014 11:17 PM
Comment #386543

Kap,

Oh, and BTW, from the Guardian;

“A man named Gul Rahman, suspected of ties to al-Qaida and its Afghan allies, was shackled to the wall of his cell in November 2002. He was wearing nothing but a sweatshirt. All his other clothing was removed after he was found to be “uncooperative”; his uncooperativeness came after he received, per a CIA cable to headquarters, “48 hours of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness, isolation, a cold shower and rough treatment.”

Rahman was found dead the next day. According to the committee, a CIA autopsy determined that Rahman had mostly likely died from hypothermia, in part because he “was forced to sit on the bare concrete floor without pants.”

Doesn’t sound like they got much from him.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at December 11, 2014 11:23 PM
Comment #386544

Rocky, Granted Drones do save our military. I agree there is collateral damage. So you say it’s better for dozens of innocent people to die for one target than it is to capture the target and save innocent lives. You guys don’t want war yet you are willing to kill innocents for one guy so there is no enhanced interrogation or questioning of him/her.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 11:31 PM
Comment #386545

Rocky, I have no pity on Al Qaida, ISIS, or any other terror organization persons. I’d like to round them all up and put them on a ship and sink it and let them die like the rats they are.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2014 11:38 PM
Comment #386546

Waco:
A firefight leaves 6 members of the cult dead and five agents of the federal government. The feds fire tear gas into the compound until they run out, then bring in more and fire that too.

David Koresh: “I’ve got a good feeling about this!”

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2014 11:56 PM
Comment #386547

Rocky, sitting thinking about my last comment and you know I think that would be an answer to how to deal with the problem. Innocent lives would be saved, we wouldn’t have to worry about enhanced interrogation and we could test the new laser cannon that Navy is developing.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 12, 2014 12:02 AM
Comment #386548

Rocky Marks, I guess you choose to ignore what happened during those 50 days.

The subject is torture, your own words:

“48 hours of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness, isolation, a cold shower and rough treatment.”

Let me fix it for you

48 hours 50 days of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness brilliance, isolation, a cold shower and rough treatment Fire and death.”
TO CHILDREN!!!

You and yours can’t bring yourself to find anything wrong with that, but you can get on your almighty high horse to support terrorists who would just as soon slit your throat!
FOR POLITICAL GAIN!!!
That absolutely makes no sense to me.

For every one of you who support the release of this document, When the innocent victims of this move get splashed across the airwaves, I want you all to come back to this post and tell us how their executions make you “feel”. Why do I get the feeling the Democratics who instigated this would be able to tell themselves it was worth it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 12, 2014 12:18 AM
Comment #386549

Willie,

“Let me fix it for you

“48 hours 50 days of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness brilliance, isolation, a cold shower and rough treatment Fire and death.”
TO CHILDREN!!!”

The difference which apparently you refuse to accept is that those children could have left that compound at anytime of their own free will. They were not shackled to a wall or locked in a cage.

The same can’t be said of the 26 innocent men in the report.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at December 12, 2014 7:28 AM
Comment #386550
The same can’t be said of the 26 innocent men in the report.

Rocky

???

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 12, 2014 8:38 AM
Comment #386551

Warren, hope the exams go well for you. Perhaps when you get time you can address how this posting has strayed so far from the original meaning.

Let’s talk about some crazy man in Texas that convinced gullible people he was some kind of prophet but just ended up being the crazy man he was and wanted to take the lives of innocents with him.

No, I got it let’s talk about Susan Rice and how stupid she is. After all as two bit commenters on a rather insignificant blog we are superior in knowledge to her. Sure, you conservatives give yourself a lot more credit for intelligence than you really should but hey it’s easy from here.

Now wait a minute what about the IRS scandal, or perhaps Fast and Furious, or maybe birth certificate nonsense.

And then there is always the discussion about godspeak nonsense and the assertion that liberals look forward to aborting fetuses when all they really support is the right of a woman to make the decision that only she can make regarding the birth of a child.

What conservatives miss is that Warren posted something that really just said I haven’t read the report but I don’t like the idea of torture in the name of our country. But now they would like to focus his post on the nonsense made up scandals that conservatives have been trying to use for a long time. I think you are missing the point that the real scandal is that you have a former president and vice-president that are eventually going to be charged by international law for their crimes unless our sitting President helps them out and absolves them. And there are many others that have culpability in that regard. I don’t doubt that some of the conservatives commenting here are culpable and that is why anything, anything but a true discussion about their culpability is what they seek.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 10:33 AM
Comment #386552

Well, now that we have seen conservatives on WB and in the media come out in a full throated defense of torture, then I suppose we will no longer hear about American Exceptionalism. We are in the same company as North Korea, communist regimes, and dictatorships. Perhaps we differ because we had really good reasons to torture people- sometimes, anyway- as opposed to the communist regimes and dictatorships, who did not have good enough reasons. They did it to protect their own countries, and we all know it is only ok to torture if it is done to protect American. And, knowing beyond question that torture is illegal according to both American and international law, and unconstitutional too, I guess we will no longer hear Obama being criticized for being lawless, unconstitutional, a dictator, a king, and so on-

Although in conservative parlance, that may actually be intended as a compliment.

Posted by: phx8 at December 12, 2014 11:09 AM
Comment #386553

This is why people think conversations with phx8 and Speak4all are pointless.

Your comments are based in ignorance. Nowhere in this thread did I, or anyone else,

come out in a full throated defense of torture

Who brought up “fast and furious”? Speak4all did!
Who brought up the “birth certificate”? Speak4all did!

You think you’re defending your party, but you’re only embarrassing yourselves. Your party needs confrontation to remain relevant. God help you if your MSM turns on you. Your party wouldn’t last a day.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 12, 2014 1:08 PM
Comment #386554

Normally when people find themselves in a hole they stop digging if their intention is to remove themselves from said hole. Not so for some hardcore conservatives, their inability to understand that they are on the wrong side of history, the constitution and any morals are only exceeded by their adamant refusal to use any logic or common sense. This is why some commenters think conversations with this type is pointless. Liberal, progressive and democratic principles will be around long after the neo-cons and false patriots are nothing but a footnote in the dustbin of history.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 2:12 PM
Comment #386555
Sam

Phx8 is a good guy, I’ve known him on here for years. He is highly intelligent, has interesting life experiences and posts many valid points.

Now, even though he has kind of gone off the deep-end lately with his ‘defend Obama at all costs’ and ‘evil right wing conspiracy’ rants, having discussions with him is well worth the effort.

Do what’s best for you though, my friend. While I may not post every day, I do read every day, and I always look forward to your posts. Keep up the good fight.

Posted by: kctim at December 11, 2014 11:42 AM

kctim, are you sure you want to stick by this. I personally think him and Speak4all are both Neanderthals. phx8 is a radical liberal who has gone over the edge, and Speaks4all simply quotes conservatives and claims the quotes for himself (no original thought), and is also over the edge.

I is a complete waste of time trying to discuss anything with either of them.

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 12, 2014 3:29 PM
Comment #386556

“The drone program used now is still imperfect but the number of civilian casualties caused by this incursion has been greatly reduced when compared to invading a country and the subsequent carnage that takes place from that action.”

Speaks believes killing innocent people can be justified, however torturing terrorist to prevent innocent people from being killed can not. Interesting.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 12, 2014 3:59 PM
Comment #386557

Oh no’s. A radical conservative thinks I have gone over an edge somewhere. Quick to the fainting couch, as I do my best pearl clutching on the way there.

Your protestations of my comments only serves to point out how little you are able to comprehend. I am not surprised. You have displayed a minimal amount of intelligence in your short time here. Although some of us have our suspicions that you have a very familiar commenting style as someone who commented here under the handle Conservative Thinker. They too did not last long, I expect the same from you. But thanks for thinking about us and we will keep you in our thoughts.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 4:02 PM
Comment #386558

How did you feel about GWB’s unnecessary incursion into Iraq, I don’t remember you protesting all of the innocent civilians that were killed then in far greater numbers than the drone program has produced. You have no leg to stand on in this argument since your footing is based on the lies, misinformation and downright absurdity that the Bush administration used to start an unnecessary war against a country that was not a threat to us. Torturing anyone or anything is abhorrent. But I guess you don’t really care about that as long as it protects your sorry ass not that it seems to be worth protecting in my estimation.

What exactly is the problem with the drone program if we are losing none of our armed forces and have greatly diminished the civilian casualties when compared to the Iraq war?

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 4:09 PM
Comment #386559

Never mind, we know why. Because Obama.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 4:11 PM
Comment #386560

It has become obvious what the liberals are attempting to do with all the talk about the torture of terrorists.

If I were them I too would do anything in my power to redirect the nations attention from the latest election drubbing they have taken. Having suffered a national disavowal of their politics, they must resort to impugning the reputation of the agencies responsible for the nations safety.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 12, 2014 4:14 PM
Comment #386561

There seems to be a lot of confusion on the part of conservatives concerning the difference between torture and the use of air power, including drones, bombardment, or other forms, and at what point use of air power becomes a war crime.

“To be legal, aerial operations must comply with the principles of humanitarian law: military necessity, distinction, and proportionality:[1] An attack or action must be intended to help in the military defeat of the enemy; it must be an attack on a military objective, and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.”
Wikipedia, “Aerial Bombardment and International Law”

Torture, on the other hand, is unquestionably considered a grave crime. Not only is it immoral, it is a clear violation of American and international law.

Posted by: phx8 at December 12, 2014 4:15 PM
Comment #386562

Meanwhile, the big story continues to go nearly unnoticed. Oil dropped to @ $57 today. The DJIA tanked.

“… if OPEC continues to flood the market, other shale gas producers were also at risk of collapse.

“So, now the price of oil is down where it is, the shale gas producers might find they are unable to service their debt, so there would be a lot of non-performing loans.

“By some reports, $15 trillion of funds has been lent to this business, so it may well be in fact that it’s not the oil companies that are in trouble, it’s the banks.”
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-11/oil-price-drop-claims-first-wa-victim-red-fork-energy/5962020

I think that quote exaggerates the danger. But there is no doubt, if the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Iraqis continue to flood the market with cheap oil, it will hurt the big oil companies, but it will destroy the shale oil industry. Oil fracking will die a financially noisy and gory death, along with the dream of American energy independence.

Posted by: phx8 at December 12, 2014 4:30 PM
Comment #386564

It has become obvious what conservatives are doing with all of the talk of turning attention away from the grave disorders of the Bush/Cheney era and need to talk about anything, anything, and I do mean anything else. Sorry but we would rather keep the conversation focused on how you guys feel about your heroes becoming international outlaws unless President Obama comes to their rescue.

Anyone who supports this whole torture fiasco probably spent their early years tearing the wings off of flies with gleeful smiles and grunting noises.

With that said I would like to complement the IT staff here at WB. There are less and less spam comments making it through and that is a direct reflection of their hard work. Thanks, and let me know if my comments are out of line and need to be reeled in, I lose track of that in the heat of the discussion.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 4:35 PM
Comment #386565

phx8 you seem to have a handle on this oil price drop. I was telling a friend at work that as far as I know the Saudis could give away oil for free without suffering. They have spent the last 30 years investing trillions in the markets and industries that use their oil and don’t really care about the oil except as a means to an end. What do you think?

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 4:38 PM
Comment #386566

Is cutting off the head of an innocent reporter a violation of international Law? Isn’t it immoral to do that? We are not fighting a war with uniformed men and women but we are fighting a war with cowardly ununiformed men that hide behind women and children and use them to do their dirty work and care nothing about life. As long as these cowardly men stay on the other side of the world and do their dirty work and if we capture one we are to treat him humanly according to the liberals. But let them come here and kill and we will probably hear a different tune from those same liberals.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 12, 2014 4:39 PM
Comment #386567

Liberal talk is very cheap. Elections however have consequences.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 12, 2014 4:39 PM
Comment #386568

Yes elections do have consequences. So far an executive action on immigration that was long overdue. And it looks like the combined CR and omnibus is set to pass the senate, keeping the government functioning until next year some time. I know, I know you want to tell me you just wait were gonna get that Br’er Rabbit but good some day, just you wait and see.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 4:50 PM
Comment #386569

Silly little boy. A month ago libs were crying about lack of cooperation in congress.

Republicans will soon take charge of the senate with gains in the house and in state government. You believe this is good for liberals? Fine, next time vote Republican.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 12, 2014 4:57 PM
Comment #386570

Speak,
Exactly. The Saudis can flood the markets and easily absorb the losses for years, thanks to all of their investments abroad. Flooding the markets preserves their market share. Apparently the Kuwaitis and Iraqis are in on this too.

What that means for us is a disaster in some energy industries: solar power, wind power, development of the electric car, and especially anyone involved in shale oil and oil fracking. It will mean disaster for some regions that rely on shale oil businesses. It will cause a lot of bankruptcies, and it will result in the end of the dream of American energy independence.

Some parts of the dream will still be viable. Thanks to government imposed CAFE standards, cars are very fuel efficient and becoming even better. And the difficulties for some regions and industries will be balanced out by the increase in consumer spending, which will be spread across the entire economy.

The real tragedy will be the way this drop in oil prices kills our ability to deal with Global Warming. We will go back to being addicted to cheap oil, back to sending American soldiers to die and dollars to be squandered in the Middle East, all for that foreign oil.

The Saudis/Kuwaitis/Iraqis know exactly what they are doing, and our politics and economic system render us powerless to fight back.

Posted by: phx8 at December 12, 2014 4:57 PM
Comment #386571

phx8 thanks for confirming my suspicion. I really feel like the efforts that President Obama has made towards renewable energy is what scares the bejesus out of the Middle East money men. They can handle the problems of the fracking oil by letting it gain ground and then decimating the oil market with their cheap oil until it is no longer feasible to use that method for oil but just when it looks like it’s done for they will raise the price of oil to get the oil barons in our country’s chops licking again and ready to make more oil here in the states. They could play this game for a long time. Renewable energy however is something they never thought the people of the United States and the rest of the world would accept because they have waged a campaign against this for years, successfully I might add. But President Obama has been persistent in his efforts to make the renewable energy market a viable commodity. Let’s just hope the conservatives don’t let that investment go to waste and start bowing down and kissing up to the sheiks again (I’m looking at you GWB).

RF, I know. Just you wait and see we’re gonna get that Br’er Rabbit some day, just you wait. You guys haven’t a clue of what is really happening. You just want to get in the way much to your own demise.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 5:10 PM
Comment #386572

Silly crybaby. Can’t stand it when congress doesn’t work and can’t stand it when it does. What a pity-potter.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 12, 2014 5:15 PM
Comment #386573

Silly old man, and I say that knowing full well I am probably older than you. But like the saying goes “there’s no fool like and old fool” you live up to that description very well. It looks like we are back to that point of you calling me names and just acting like a 2 year old. Time for me to go. The weekend is upon us. My 15 year old grand daughter cheerleader has two games tonight, I need to dry rub a 14+ pound beef brisket in preparation for grilling tomorrow and then several hours in the oven slow roasting. This turns into the most mouth watering beef au jus you have ever eaten (or at least I’d like to think so). I also have a 3 year old and a 4 year old to help out so I don’t think I need RF’s 2 year old act as they provide much better entertainment and exhibit a greater degree of intelligence than he does.

Thanks again phx8, I’d like to hear some more from you about commodities in general. To bad you don’t start posting here, your insight is definitely needed here. I’ll be checking back but it’s kind of hard typing with your hands full of dry rub and grandchildren wanting to play.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 12, 2014 5:26 PM
Comment #386574

For years the goal of liberals and the current administration has done all in its legal power to curb our fossil fuel development in hopes of driving up prices to make alternative energy more competitive. They have failed.

The entire world benefits from lower oil and natural gas prices. Liberals have a record of failure.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 12, 2014 5:28 PM
Comment #386575

Be sure to thank our oil industry for providing the energy to beef producers and all the others involved in bringing you brisket.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 12, 2014 5:34 PM
Comment #386577

“Meanwhile, the big story continues to go nearly unnoticed. Oil dropped to @ $57 today. The DJIA tanked.”

Thanks, phx8, for bringing up an issue of real importance to our economy and national interest.

If it is true that the Saudis are attempting to drive competitor oil producers and alternative energy producers out of the market, it is an act of state economic warfare.

Many seem to be ignorant of the fact that the gains made by US oil and alternative energy producers may be destroyed by the Saudis’ flood of artificially cheap but high grade oil into the market. It is an unexpected full court press by the Saudis.

It is time for both sides to get their heads out of the sand and realize that once again, our “friends” the duplicitous Saudis have stabbed us in the back. Whether it is terrorism or oil, the Saudis always seem to be lurking in the background. Yet, the US always gives them a pass. Whether its GW Bush kissing and holding hands with the Saudi King in the Rose Garden or Obama bowing deeply to the King, the message is always clear: the US desperately needs positive relationship with the Kingdom.

While, I suspect that the relationship is more nuanced than that (the precipitous drop in oil prices severely damages the Russian economy), it is time for the veil of secrecy to be taken down. Are the Saudis our allies or a wolf in sheep clothing?

As for the topic of this thread, it is illegal for the US government agencies to use torture. That has never been in dispute. The GW Bush administration accepted that premise. The debate is on the definition of torture. The Detainee Treatment Act passed in 2005 and signed into law in 2006, reaffirmed the general premise and defined acceptable interrogation practices as those contained in the U.S. Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations. It also did one other thing, it gave immunity from prosecution to those whose acts were officially authorized or determined to be lawful at the time.

Conservatives seem to be upset about something that a Republican controlled Congress deemed unlawful in 2005.

My suggestion is to amend the Detainee Treatment Act to include more specific definitions of torture rather than relying reference to the Army manual for interrogation.


Posted by: Rich at December 12, 2014 6:51 PM
Comment #386578

Whether fracking continues or not doesn’t really matter; the US (no thanks to the anti-fossil fuel left) will always be in a position to produce our own oil and gas. The American people now know that liberals have been lying to them for years with their reasons for not using our own resources.

Royal Flush, liberalism and the Democratic Party are falling apart. This false outrage over EITs is meant to be a reason for the voters to once again place Democrats in the drivers seat; but there is a problem. Polls show the American people were in favor of torture in 2009, in 2012 from the Huffington Post, and from the Washington Post in “>2014, by 71%.

Feinstein has destroyed her legacy, the American people are not going to be happy with the Democrats for this little stunt, and I predict a continued downhill spiral for Democrat politicians.

Regarding the “Conservative Thinker”, I don’t believe I know him, but I like his handle.


Posted by: Sam Jones at December 12, 2014 7:07 PM
Comment #386579

RE cheap oil - I have been talking about the American energy boom for years. We have broken OPEC. The lower prices will be generally good for our economy, a stimulus much greater than the Obama stimulus, with the added advantage that we don’t need to pay it back.

Fracking has developed remarkably. They can make money now at $50. Frackers will suffer pain from low prices, but these operations are generally small. They can be ramped up and down much easier than the big oil.

What has fracking accomplished for sure? Fracking caps the price of oil. Absent major war, we can reasonably sure that oil will never again go over $100 a barrel and will often be much less.

Since 1972, we have had to manage energy scarcity. For the next generation we will be managing energy abundance. That is not necessarily easier.

We will have oil and gas as a bridge to the future. Meanwhile, solar and others are developing. President Obama is getting in front of this, but like the rooster calling for the sunrise, it will happen no matter what.

The most important factor in the oil equation may by the geopolitical consequences. Those little pucks in the Middle East have lost much of their power over us. President Obama has much more leverage. We can give the middle finger salute to those mofos.

Posted by: C&J at December 12, 2014 7:50 PM
Comment #386580

Rich,
The Saudis are acting in their own self-interest. The US consumes a lot of crude oil. They want to make sure it stays that way as long as they have any crude to exploit. Global Warming is a real concern for the Saudis/Kuwaitis/Iraqis. They are not stupid. They know 2014 will probably become the warmest year on record. The Japanese Weather Bureau just declared the official recognition of an El Nino, which means 2015 might be even warmer. Meanwhile, Tesla has developed a revolutionary electric car which will produce vehicles for the middle class in the next couple of years. The Saudis/Kuwaitis/Iraqis want to stop this right now, and they can do it by flooding the markets for a year or two or three. I don’t see them as good guys or bad guys- just people acting in their own national interest, even if that interest results in Global Warming which threatens every single one of us over the long-term.

The question is, what is in our national interest?

Posted by: phx8 at December 12, 2014 7:57 PM
Comment #386581
The Japanese Weather Bureau just declared the official recognition of an El Nino, which means 2015 might be even warmer.

Quick note: The El Nino (ENSO) we are observing has arrived months later than forecasted and is much weaker too. Other oceanic oscillations (notably the arctic oscillation known as AO) indicate a cold and snow winter, especially in the Eastern half of North America. This winter will be colder than average, but not as cold as last year. 2015 is unlikely to break any records. ENSO might get its act together in 2016, but that’s a long way off.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 12, 2014 8:26 PM
Comment #386582

Hmmm, the Farmer’s Almanac predicted the same thing for this winter.

Posted by: George at December 12, 2014 8:53 PM
Comment #386586

C/J writes; “What has fracking accomplished for sure? Fracking caps the price of oil. Absent major war, we can reasonably sure that oil will never again go over $100 a barrel and will often be much less.”

I have yet to hear anyone speak of the boon to all humanity, and especially poor and developing countries, of cheaper energy. It translates to lower food costs. Many will not starve or go hungry because of cheaper energy.

American development of fracking is a tremendous Christmas present to the world.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 13, 2014 1:41 PM
Comment #386589

Royal, and you won’t hear any from the left “speak of the boon to all humanity”. First, the left talks about their concern for the downtrodden and poor, but it’s only talk. Secondly is the left’s absolute hatred of fossil fuels. In their minds, this boon is the worse thing that can happen to humanity. They believe Al Gore’s claims that we are past due for the world to end and all humanity die. If you put the increase of fossil fuel production and the lower cost of all things for all people up against the belief that global warming is fact and not myth; then global warming wins every time. Yes, American fracking has broken the backs of terrorist sponsored middle-east oil. That is, until Obama and the Democrats find another way to stop production through another government agency.

Posted by: Sam Jones at December 13, 2014 2:57 PM
Comment #386591

So true, and so sad Sam. A very Merry Christmas to you and all you love.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 13, 2014 3:12 PM
Comment #407073

Pretty helpful material, much thanks for this article.

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Comment #411017

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