Third Party & Independents Archives

Rule of Law Vetoed by President Obama

There are no headlines or pontificating pundits, but the real news that has become crystal clear to any but the most delusional and distracted Americans is that President Obama has no commitment to applying the rule of law where it counts. Certainly, not applying it to the large number of rich and powerful people that have violated our Constitution and plunged the nation into economic disaster.

Again and again we hear the flimsy argument from Obama and his top advisors that he wants to look forward and not backward. This is tortured logic when it comes to delivering justice in a nation supposedly cherishing the rule of law.

The fundamental logic of honoring and applying the rule of law fairly to absolutely everyone is that people who have broken the law in the past must be held accountable and placed into the justice system after they have misbehaved. In other words, there is no actionable rule of law other than by looking backward into past misdeeds. So how can rational and intelligent people follow the logic of Obama and still believe that he truly understands and honors the rule of law?

It is not believable when Obama says he will honor the rule of law in the future. Why should we trust his rhetoric when he refuses to enforce the rule of law for past actions by some of the most powerful people in America?

There is warranted and massive public disapproval of government as evidenced in the tea parties held across the nation last week. How can Americans respect government when it is so evident that the president stubbornly refuses to seek justice and punishment for those that have violated the public trust? Obama’s reluctance to seek justice for those that have damaged the nation undermines his credibility as an honest public servant.

All of this has taken on new importance as official documents from the Bush administration totally support the view that the US tortured prisoners in violation of international and domestic laws. President George W. Bush lied to us. And even before the latest events there were surely incredible amounts of evidence that high Bush administration officials savaged our Constitution. The constitutional balance of powers among the three branches of government has become a fiction.

What Americans have every right to see is a large number of former elected and appointed officials in the Bush administration as well as many in the financial sector being arrested, indicted and confronted with criminal trials. Americans want to see aggressive prosecution and punishment. They want and deserve revenge and retribution, considering the astounding pain and suffering the vast majority of Americans now experience.

We have every right to see in the public limelight what the world saw after World War II when Nazi criminals were tried and punished on the world stage.

This is not happening because Obama seems to have more allegiance to the plutocracy that brought him to the presidency than to the public that has seen thousands of Americans killed in the unjust war in Iraq and now see their families, friends and neighbors suffering loss of jobs, retirement nest eggs, financial security, personal health and homes. When any politician does not enforce the rule of law then I worry that he or she may fear having the rule of law applied to them.

We have witnessed crimes against humanity. We want President Obama to show complete commitment to the rule of law so that the many lying, corrupt and criminal Americans from both the public and private sectors that have caused so much harm are punished. That includes Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and many, many others in the Bush administration, including those that were supposed to regulate the financial sector.

Obama and his underlings seem to say that doing this would be a distraction and a waste of time. Nuts! It is exactly what the nation needs to rebuild confidence in government and the justice system. On the positive side, there are some in Congress showing interest in prosecuting many culprits. But the White House may be exerting pressure behind the scenes to limit their actions.

Applying the rule of law: If not now, then when? Yes, we can and should.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at April 21, 2009 7:40 PM
Comment #280756

Prosecution would necessarily bring in all sorts of things the Obama Administration wants to avoid. For example, the defense would demand the declassification of documents estimating how many innocent lives were saved as a result of information developed in the interrogations. The persecution would probably lead to the creation of heroes, as Democrats learned when they took on Oliver North, who had clearly broken laws but just as clearly won in the public view of what was right and wrong in a larger sense. Really annoyed the elites, but the man built a successful career on it.

Another problem involves collateral damage. Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and other Democrats leaders were fully briefed on the procedures. Only after Jane Harman replaced Pelosi on the intelligence committee did anybody raise even muted objections.

Most important, however, is this rule of law thing you are talking about. You may not agree with the legal reasoning, but the people who wrote the memos have basis for their decisions. The people who carried out the interrogations relied on the law in place at the time and procedures fully briefed to leaders of both major parties in the U.S. Congress.

Finally there is the irony that the guys who planned 9/11 and terrorists actually responsible for the deaths of innocent Americans and innocent Muslims around the world could escape on technicalities, while men and women who made hard choices to prevent further carnage would be punished.

While I love my country for its exceptional morality in extending sympathy to our enemies at the cost of tearing at our own people, I believe that in this case it may go a bit too far.

In the time of deadly crisis after 9/11 some brave men and women balanced the difficult ethical choice between the evil of mistreating some individual terror suspects and allowing thousands of innocents to die. I am glad I did not have to make that choice. I am afraid that I might have made the coward’s choice and valued my own individual moral comfort over the lives of others.

Posted by: Christine at April 21, 2009 8:14 PM
Comment #280780


Lordy, so right and so wrong in one post!

How can those who take the word of high public authorities be counted as being as culpable as the authorities themselves? When the public decides abortions really are murder shall we execute the doctors who performed them en-masse? Really, Joel, isn’t it OBVIOUS that intentionally killing something posessed of a fully viable human genome is murder? Isn’t bathing them in saline solution torture?

In fact, we do trust higher authorities to give us direction in matters of great import. I can see the notion of pressing a prosecution of President Bush- so long as it is fully public and all the records get splashed all over the place. That will be a great opportunity to contrast and compare two utterly different philosophies of governmental responsibility.

That is one thing, but what you are really arguing for is a sort of Roman purging of politics that can only lead to future disaster and an ever increasing political virulence. One of Obama’s responsibilities, one he is actually not doing badly at, is assuring the country it will be governable in the future.

If he follows your course there will be civil war.


Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 22, 2009 10:37 AM
Comment #280798


Oliver North a hero? Boy, that’s an interesting rewrite of history.

Were you referring to his theft of monies to do construction on his house? His involvement in drug smuggling, his aid in the murder of Guatemalan and El Salvadoran women and children, or his arming of the Ayatollah?


While it was certainly outrageous what Bush and Cheney did in the name of defending this nation, as Chief Executives they are given wide latitude in pursuing that agenda. There is a difference between criminality and political policy. Had Hitler won WWII, you’d have seen Truman and Churchill up at the gallows. It may be outrageous to you that supposed crimes against humanity are little more than political fallout that the victors impose on the losers, but that is, in fact, reality. One could hardly call Dresden or Hiroshima moral in any real sense, except in the context of war.

Frankly, the desire to punish Bush has gone a bit far. I have no problem with a truth commission, but it’s a slippery slope to start using criminal law to punish a policy that didn’t engender an internal revolt by Bush’s underlings to save America. It was a bad thing, a very bad thing, but confusing criminality with political policy would not be productive.

Posted by: gergle at April 22, 2009 5:12 PM
Comment #280801

Joel, your article appears to be conflating failed managment of private sector companies, (not against the law) with possible violations of U.S. law and treaties regarding torture, which would be crimes.

As for the torture and warrantless surveillance issues, Obama is now correctly deferring to the Justice Department. The Commander in Chief is the head of the military forces, NOT the LAW ENFORCEMENT offices of the Justice Department, who retain the theoretical independence sufficient to investigate a sitting president, if warranted. I am sure there would be no consensus on whether this theoretical independence actually exists. But, that’s another topic.

I criticized Obama for his words which alluded to his not pursuing crimes by the previous administration. He has clarified his position since then, and says he will not be an impediment to Justice Dep’t. investigation and prosecutions if that is where their investigation leads.

As for Wall St., there may be crimes committed, and from the news, they are being both investigated and prosecuted, as today’s news carries the conviction of a hedge fund manager. The SEC and N.Y. A.G. have many other investigations underway. There will be more prosecutions to come.

Mismanagement of a private corporation without violation of express law, is not a crime. Obama’s position is, that unregulated contributing factors to the meltdown, must be regulated going forward, insuring transparency and oversight, and making it a crime to intentionally subvert those requirements for transparency and oversight.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2009 5:23 PM
Comment #280804

Christine, in saying: “You may not agree with the legal reasoning, but the people who wrote the memos have basis for their decisions.”, you have hit upon the political fulcrum of this issue, not the legal.

Politically, Bush admin. defenders will attempt to argue, as you have, that legal opinion is not a crime. However, legally and Constitutionally, the Administration has NO authority to reverse precedent law, nor bypass the courts where the law and Constitution clearly stipulate the Judicial step in obtaining warrants before surveillance of Americans in the U.S. can take place.

The legal question of whether the President’s legal advisers can be held culpable for advising the president in a manner that directly results in the President violating the law, is not as clear. If they are held to the same oath of office, to protect and defend the Constitution of the U.S., then clearly, a case can be made that their advising the President to circumvent the Constitution is an illegal act, as well as a matter of gross incompetence and ineptitude.

As licensed legal counsel, they cannot rely on a defense of ignorance of the law nor Constitutional requirements and precedents established by judicial review. Though some less learned in the law will attempt to make that political argument.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2009 5:35 PM
Comment #280805

Let’s see; not torturing is “extending sympathies”
HUH??? If I thought that, should I send my sweetie to Guantanomo for Valentines’ day?
Civil war over prosecuting those who violate international law? Only hardcore ideologues would propose that kind of thing for doing what is right. And I think they’ve been voted out….and are otherwise a (tiny) minority now.

Posted by: steve miller at April 22, 2009 5:44 PM
Comment #280806

Let everyone understand that ordering the torture of prisoners DID violate US and international law; period, end of story. From Bush on down there were high level officials who broke the law. There were also countless actions that violated the Constitution.

As to the economic crisis, understand that there were a host of high level officials in the Fed Reserve and a number of regulatory agencies that did not do their jobs and, for the most part, reward their pals in the private sector by overlooking gross misdeeds.

Posted by: Joel Hirschhorn at April 22, 2009 5:45 PM
Comment #280807

Joel said: “As to the economic crisis, understand that there were a host of high level officials in the Fed Reserve and a number of regulatory agencies that did not do their jobs and, for the most part, reward their pals in the private sector by overlooking gross misdeeds.”

Yes, I would have to agree it appears that this could be true. But, again, incompetence without malice of intent is not, in principle, a crime. The case for a crime has to be based on an intentional act to violate a specified law, prohibiting or requiring an action. It’s a pretty tough case to make. That said, are fiduciary regulations and ethical regulations which could also come into play, especially in regard to the Fed. Reserve, SEC, and Congressional Oversight Committees. Whether fiduciary or ethical violations would result in criminal prosecution is doubtful.

I wish I knew more about the laws regarding fiduciary duty and financial institution obligations to investors.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2009 6:06 PM
Comment #280810


Let everyone understand that ordering the torture of prisoners DID violate US and international law; period, end of story.

Do you own US property? Please inform us when you are giving it back to the native americans. You do not have a just or clear title to that land, end of story.

Posted by: gergle at April 22, 2009 7:02 PM
Comment #280812


I am a retired GySgt in the United States Marine Corps…there is only one Marine Officer, past or present, whom I would refuse to salute…but can you guess which Oliver North that would be?!?!

The man lacked honor when he was on active duty, and he lacks honor today. What a nasty man to pin a hero medal on…I wouldn’t touch his lapel or his chest for the pinning.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 22, 2009 7:34 PM
Comment #280818


I offer no opinion re whether or not Oliver North is objectively a hero. I do know that he managed to put the Senate Democrats on the defensive and built a successful career on the reputation and persona created in the confrontation.

We had a similar situation with Republicans and President Clinton when they got him to “explain” himself.


The interpretations are subject to interpretation. These guys were interpreting the law and they make a legal argument. Before you can prosecute, you would first have to firmly establish that the interpretation was criminally in error. That is a high standard. It would probably go to the Supreme Court. IF – and if is the big word – they determine that the interpretations were criminally in error, then you still have to prove the guilty mind motivation.

The bottom line is that even if you are 100% correct in your interpretation, which not as clear to me as it is to you, it would be nearly impossible to prove a case against anybody, since that you would essentially have to create law to start off with and then prove motivation.

I personally believe that the ethical dilemma involved in deciding whether to torture in the hopes of saving lives is a difficult one. I don’t have the faith-based metaphysical certainty that some other have the harsh interrogation would not work. I think it would probably work against me, but maybe I am a physical weakling. But let’s stipulate you are right on the facts of usefulness of torture. You still have to prove that the memo writers also believed as you did and still went ahead, for whatever reason to go ahead.

That is why the Democrats will never really take this to court. What they want is a show trial w/o real meaning.


No matter what else you say, you have my complete respect as a Marine. Now back to the discussion.

Please see above what I wrote to Gergle. I am agnostic about whether or not he is indeed a hero.

Would you salute Jack Murtha after the lies he spread about his brother Marines in Hadithah or do you so distrust the Marines now that you don’t accept their verdicts in this case? I know dozens of active duty Marines who can’t even say the name Murtha w/o the F-work somewhere very close by. I never asked any of them about Oliver North, but I bet they don’t feel as betrayed. Murtha is the former Marine with the least honor these days. But this is a different argument.

Posted by: Christine at April 22, 2009 8:38 PM
Comment #280824


I offer no opinion re whether or not Oliver North is objectively a hero. I do know that he managed to put the Senate Democrats on the defensive and built a successful career on the reputation and persona created in the confrontation.

Ummm, yes, you did.

The persecution would probably lead to the creation of heroes, as Democrats learned when they took on Oliver North, who had clearly broken laws but just as clearly won in the public view of what was right and wrong in a larger sense. Really annoyed the elites, but the man built a successful career on it.

PT Barnum built a career on a fool being born every minute. Jerry Springer built a career on sleeze. Joe Francis built a career on teenage girls stripping at spring break.

Frankly, that has got to be the most idiotic statement I’ve read. Someone waves a flag and he’s your hero. Some think the same thing about Rupert Murdoch. Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.

Posted by: gergle at April 22, 2009 9:41 PM
Comment #280829

Christine, I am no lawyer. But, having taken a couple business law courses, allow me to correct some of your comment’s flawed assumptions.

“The interpretations are subject to interpretation.”

No! They are subject to a comparison with written law. Water Boarding is defined in international and U.S. law as torture. A lawyer who interprets water boarding, as legal in certain contexts and advises the president of the same, will have their interpretation compared to written law. If the lawyer was ignorant of the written law, they may be found guilty of criminal negligence. That lawyer had an obligation to review the written law themself.

“These guys were interpreting the law and they make a legal argument.”

Yes, they were. But that is not usually a valid defense. Just as the man who robs a corner store and shoots the clerk reaching for a weapon, the robber cannot interpret the law to read his particular unique circumstance and action as legal, and hope anyone else will agree with.

Anyone can interpret the law anyway they wish. But, the interpretation of the law by the accused is no defense against criminal acts in the eyes of the law. Only judges are given the power to interpret the law to cover the fact set before them. Lawyers and defendants often attempt to persuade judges on interpretation, where the law is vague in application to the particular fact set of the case before the court.

Interpretation may be a defense in the case of a jury, but pretty rare. It is never a defense for judges unless one can convince the Supreme Court that one’s interpretation is in better keeping with Constitutional intent and legal precedence than the law which indicted them.

“Before you can prosecute, you would first have to firmly establish that the interpretation was criminally in error.”

No, that is incorrect. The investigators would have to establish that there was sufficient evidence in support of an allegation of criminal error, to justify indictment before Congress or a court of law.

“That is a high standard.”

No, the high standard is in getting a conviction, which would require proof beyond a reasonable doubt in the case of a felony crime. Other determinations by Congress as to ethics violations or contempt of Congress carry a lower threshold.

“It would probably go to the Supreme Court.

Convictions would very likely be appealed. Whether such appeals would rise to the Supreme Court or not, is highly speculative.

“IF – and if is the big word – they determine that the interpretations were criminally in error, then you still have to prove the guilty mind motivation.”

Proving motivation is not required for criminal conviction as I understand it. Juries have convicted or acquitted on no more proof than skin color, which is no proof at all of motive. And where motive is concerned, it is impossible to prove a particular individual’s motives. It is possible to prove they had a motive available to them, not that they acted solely on that motive. This is why juries can be swayed by arguments of motive but predicting jury verdicts on motive is impossible, unless the jury is rigged.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2009 1:10 AM
Comment #280832

Sometimes, even in blatant crime, motive is unclear, as in amorality, sociopathology and psychopathology. Motive is the least of the pillars of criminality.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 23, 2009 3:10 AM
Comment #280836

Soon to be out widely is that the prisoner interrogations mainly focused on finding a non-existant,operational link between Al Queida and Iraq to justify the illegal invasion to the American people. These people were tortured to get them to give false confessions in order to gain support for Bushcos Big Oil expansionist foriegn policy . Get a rope.

Posted by: bills at April 23, 2009 5:20 AM
Comment #280843

link to last

Posted by: bills at April 23, 2009 10:04 AM
Comment #280845

bills, that is precisely the purpose torture serves, to acquire false confessions. This is what made torture so successful for the Chinese as a propaganda tool. With torture, you can get almost anyone to say almost anything false.

To attempt to adapt this technique to elicit truth, is like trying to use a butter knife to cut down a Sequoia tree. Wrong tool for the objective.

Bargaining and winning some measure of confidence, or even deception are far better tools for eliciting the truth, when dealing with individuals committed as the interrogator’s enemy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2009 10:23 AM
Comment #280847

“I am a retired GySgt in the United States Marine Corps…there is only one Marine Officer, past or present, whom I would refuse to salute…but can you guess which Oliver North that would be?!?!”

so would you salute that traitor john murtha? publicly passing judgment on those marines at haditha, before they were even allowed thier day in court. i have a few marines in my family, one a gunny BTW. they’re all unanimous in the opinion that he’s an absolute peice of sh#t. will you defend him? just curios, do you put your fellow marines before your politics or after?

Posted by: dbs at April 23, 2009 10:51 AM
Comment #280853


Murtha is a petty thief and a consummate liar, but his service record reflects only that he was a good officer. He served his country well by enlisting toward the end of the Korean Conflict, and advancing the hard way through OCS to become an officer. He left theactive service, but re-entered in ‘66 and went to Nam, where he was awarded a Bronze Star, 2 Purple Hearts and a VN Cross of Gallantry. All his do-baddy stuff, as far as I know, came after he was elected to Congress. He’s not the only one who has gone awry in Congress. We screwed the pooch when we allowed corporations to become citizens, and Murtha fell into bad habits because he could make side money so easily…that makes him a bad person, but a good Marine. On the other hand, most of North’s dishonor besmirched the Corps.

Will salute Murtha because he was a good Marine.
Will not salute North because he was a bad Marine.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 23, 2009 2:00 PM
Comment #280855

Christine, and others,

The killigs at Haditha were surrounded by smoke and mirrors, much like the affair at My Lai, Viet Nam, and appeared to be a cover for someone very like the initial cover story for Lt Calley’s. Although most of the charges have been dropped on most of the protagonists of Haditha, the reasoning behind dropping them had to do as much with Iraqi witnesses not wanting to come to America to testify as it did with the dearth of evidence. It took a long time to uncover the truth about My Lai, and the truth about Haditha may never be known. Congressman Murtha was familiar with My Lai, and was privy to much of the early information coming out about Haditha.

Where is the dishonor in wanting Marines to act like Marines instead of a bunch of street thugs and sociopathic killers?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 23, 2009 2:21 PM
Comment #280858

North Had a great record In Vietnam to, It just has not been Reflected from him since contra and forward. I don’t care for Murtha Either. And Calley his last reported episode was to talk to the BBC about Mai Lai he wanted $25,000 and when he found out there was no money for him he walked away.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 23, 2009 4:20 PM
Comment #280867


You don’t sound like any Marine I have ever met and I know dozens very well. Those who have seen combat understand the chaos of war and Marines tend to be loyal to each other.

Your brother Marines had the charges dropped. You are assuming that they committed crimes because there is no evidence that they did. It is a typical conspiracy theory point of view. Is there anything you can think of that could prove their innocence or are they just all liars up and down the line?

Murtha knew nothing more about the situation than that it happened. He knew less then the general public knows today. He jumped to the guilty verdict before he knew a thing and he did it for political gain. He is a disgrace as a man and a traitor to his fellow Marines. I am a better person than he is and I hope you are too, since few are worse.

But if you assume the worst about the men who were your brothers and allow them no possibility to be innocent, maybe we should ask some questions about that.


Let me first stipulate that it certainly looks like the treatment of some prisoners was excessive. But putting it in the context of the times, and that our country has been kept safe since that time, I think we should move on, as the president originally said. The harsh techniques were suspended years ago. That is my first point and my preferred outcome. It is better for all involved, except maybe the terrorists.

Then to quote an earlier president, “bring it on”. I do not believe this can be successfully prosecuted in a court of law. It will be something like the Plame/Fitzmas debacle, where only one guy tangential to the proceedings was convicted of anything at all and nobody was convicted of the crime actually charged.

As I wrote above, I seriously doubt that the Dems will want to bring this case. Past officials involved in the process include at very least Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry. Pelosi now admits that she remembers “hearing about waterboarding.” Perhaps under oath her memory would improve … or not, in which case she would be in the Libby/Clinton perjury trap. The ironic outcome of the prosecutions may be that the only one caught in the net is Nancy.

Then we would also open the results debate. President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence says that “[h]igh value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qaida organization that was attacking this country.” You and many of the others on this blog who have not seen the actual reports are sure that you know guys like Obama’s Director of Intelligence are wrong or craven.

While I treasure the personal opinions of non-participants in complicated and nuanced matters such as these, I usually prefer to rely on those who were really involved and/or are in positions to know. Many of these better informed opinions would certainly come to the surface in a real trial I doubt if the Pelosi, Leahy, Waxman and the others could tolerate the sunshine.


Notice the word objectively. I did not put that in randomly. What I or you think about objectively LtCol North is of no consequence to what I was talking about. Your emotional reaction is also only of interest to you and maybe those within flinging distance. The fact of the experience is that he was thought to be a hero by a sufficient number of people to embarrass those questioning him and allowing him a much greater influence on the national stage than he would have had absent their persecution.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

Posted by: Christine at April 23, 2009 8:52 PM
Comment #280869


“You don’t sound like any Marine I have ever met and I know dozens very well. Those who have seen combat understand the chaos of war and Marines tend to be loyal to each other.”

my exact point. IMO murtha is not worthy of being called a marine. he threw it away when he turned on those young men for political gain.

“But if you assume the worst about the men who were your brothers and allow them no possibility to be innocent, maybe we should ask some questions about that.”

i coundn’t have said it better. you’de think the very least was that they deserved to be given a fair trial before they were convicted. of course thats hard to do when you’re tried by the media, and at the very least turned on by one of your own. pretty disgaceful is you ask me.

Posted by: dbs at April 23, 2009 9:22 PM
Comment #280873


You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

..but apparently you think you are…

The only persons North embarrassed is Reagan, himself and the marines. It was Fox and other media that gave him a platform. Stupidity knows few bounds.

Posted by: gergle at April 23, 2009 11:30 PM
Comment #280875


There will always be questions about Haditha, so we are all speculating in a subjective way here, even you. And your assumptions about Murtha are also mostly speculation and drivel. That’s okay, it’s your animal and you can ride it to death. But, that many of the original reports out of Haditha were later found to be false is a sure sign of cover-up, and the only real subjective matter is how much cover-up, what is being covered up, and why is it being covered up. Leaders set the tone, and Cheney/Bush was setting a tone of sneakiness, and wanton disregard for the rule of law and the rules of human decency.

I served honorably for twenty years and did two and a half tours in combat. For you to question how much of a marine I was is laughable, ridiculous and ‘childish’.

Your little stab, “You don’t sound like any Marine I have ever met and I know dozens very well.”, is, I assume a goad to make me lose my cool? Bah! You know dozens very well? Well, shoot! In twenty years I knew thousands, and have outlived most of them. Unit reunions are becoming empty halls filled with the ghosts of those we lost in combat and those who have died since. We were brothers-in-arms and stood to each others’ backs, but there were some among us who saved war trophies like ears, fingers or scalps of the fallen foe. You may know a couple of Marines, but you know absolutely nothing ABOUT Marines, or their actions during high stress times of war.

I think you watch too many war movies…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 24, 2009 1:59 AM
Comment #280877


My brother Marines meant enough to me for me to write a little memorium a few years ago. I’ll share it…

All that’r left are ghosts
When I look around me
It’s what frightens me the most
As far as my eye can see
All that’r left are ghosts
All my Marine Corps family
Has been taken by the Host
My mind won’t let me be
All that’r left are ghosts
They’ve been taken one by one
And they are now but only toast
Life ain’t longer any fun
All that’r left are ghosts
Used to be a thousand souls
Half were friends, it was my boast
Dropping as the bell it tolls
All that’r left are ghosts

Posted by: Marysdude at April 24, 2009 2:10 AM
Comment #280880

Christine said: ” It is better for all involved, except maybe the terrorists.”

No. It is not. For one simple reason. There can be no democracy or people’s government when the government prosecutes the citizens for their crimes, but refuses to hold those in government accountable for theirs.

That, Christine, is an authoritarian government, even if elected. Meaning there is not single constitutional rule of law, but, BOTH a constitutional law for the citizens, and a whole other law for those government which they make up as they go along to insure their immunity from prosecution.

Some may wish to live in a nation where government arbitrarily immunizes from the laws of the land expedience, political reasons, or convenience, but, Most Americans would not agree, including me. Roads to authoritarian governments all have this trait in common from Stalin to Fidel Castro, and a few authoritarian democracies too, like Great Britian’s rule in India.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 24, 2009 3:30 AM
Comment #280901


In the absence of proof, you are evidently sure that the Marines engaged in terrible acts of murder.

I believe you when you tell me you were a Marine. You should believe me when I tell you that you are unique in my experience. Maybe I am wrong, but how many of your fellow Marines, retired and active duty, do you think share your opinion about Jack Murtha’s conduct in convincting his brother Marines before he knew the facts? Ask around. I have yet to meet a Murtha lover among the Marines I know. At best some forgive him. At best.

Your attitude surprises me. I am inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to people I knew to be honorable. You evidently either disagree with me about giving the benefit of the doubt or thinking these guys were honorably. Either way, your reasoning is beyond me. You are a unique individual.


Do you consider Harry Truman a war criminal for using the bomb that incinerated thousands of civilians? Are the heroes who stormed Normany war criminals for not allowing German soldiers to live behind them. My father saw some of that BTW. Are the Japanese civilian or the German conscript less worthy than a terrorist who plans the attacks on the U.S. during a time of peace?

You seem like an honest and intelligent man. You must be defining war and emergency differently than I do.

In any case, the “blame” is spread too far. Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry were fully briefed. Can you let them off? People who have seen the evidence, such as OBAMA’S director of intelligence say the interogations produced useful intelligence. Many people in the government were in on it BECAUSE it was the right thing to do under the circumstances - like dropping the bomb or shooting Germans at Normandy.

Now that the country seems safe, we recoil at what was done to make it so. That is natural. We always judge differently from the calm and safety of distance than we do in the middle of a crisis.

In Japan, Truman traded thousands of lives for - maybe - millions. Or maybe the Japanese would have given up w/o a fight. We never know for sure. At Normany we traded German lives - maybe - for American. Or maybe the Germans would have just stayed quietly by themselves “tagged out” so to speak. We never know for sure. Maybe the terrorists would have told us everything we needed to know and seen the error of their ways. Maybe.

We all recoil at being harsh to fellow human beings. I don’t think I would have the courage, moral or phyical, to do what was necessary. But I live near Washington and my daughter lives in New York. I am glad that we are alive and I credit some of our safety to those brave men and women who got the terrorists to talk.

Posted by: Christine at April 24, 2009 5:35 PM
Comment #280908


a girl i went to high school with was a flight attendant on one of those planes. her name was renee’ may.

Posted by: dbs at April 24, 2009 7:45 PM
Comment #280910


“Murtha lover”! Why does that sound so much like an utterance from Lamebrain? I had just said Murtha was a petty thief and a bad man, and that his one redeeming grace was his honorable service while on active duty in my Corps…and you Republicanize that into…”Murtha lover”?

And I thought Lamebrain was an idiot…hmmm…he may turn out to be a genius comparatively speaking…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 24, 2009 9:25 PM
Comment #280912

you can spin it however you choose. he may have served honorably at one time, but what he did to those marines at haditha in the name of politics was a disgrace. you said he was “a bad man”. your words not mine. how can you defend what he did to those young men. at the very least they diserved thier day in court. instead because of that peice of crap they were first tried in the media. they have not been convicted, and all you can say is that it was because the process was corrupt. if you have proof you should provide it, otherwise the entire premise is absolutely disgusting.

Posted by: dbs at April 24, 2009 10:05 PM
Comment #280913


So you dislike Murtha, but you still accept what he did to his fellow Marines.

He evidently served honorably as a Marine and only subsequently betrayed them. I still find that dishonorable.

Of course, you will correctly point out that we will never know the true details of what happened in Hadithah. To me, I give the Marines the benefit of the doubt, sort of that innocent until proven guilty thing. You and Jack Murtha evidently see lack of proof as a sign of guilt; I guess for you they have to proactively prove their innocence.

BTW – this Lamebrain guy you talk about, is that somebody you know and expect that I might know too or are you merely capitalizing a generic insult. I am aware that you think the sentence you wrote is somehow pejorative, but you need to provide additional information to make it so to an ordinary reader. BTW, pejorative means derogatory, which seems to be how you have used lamebrain, but I really cannot figure it out.

All of us non-liberals tremble before the rhetorical dexterity of our betters. We figure that your ideas must make sense because you hold them with such passionate intensity, but we are unable to plumb the depths of your intellect.

Please excuse the simple folk like us, who think it is a good thing to stick with our friends and give them the benefit of the doubt. We just lack the brain power to know, as you can, that some people are guilty before and until we have evidence that indicates it. Maybe that is what you mean by “lame brained.”

Posted by: Christine at April 24, 2009 10:29 PM
Comment #280924

It’s final Jeopardy folks, ok who is this person Lamebrain? clue no 1. A rock band has the same name. clue no 2. I got such a Adrenaline ####.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 25, 2009 11:20 AM
Comment #280935


Brash Lamebrain, the mouthpiece of the Republican party, if not the out-and-out leader of it. I reference him because he uses the same tactics to propel his opinions to his radio show ditto-heads as at least one current, right leaning poster, here at Watchblog. It is not necessarily a bad tactic, but it does get tiresome.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 25, 2009 8:08 PM
Comment #281091


Oh, so I guess you are talking about Rush Limbaugh. If it had been clearer sooner, I could have set you straight sooner. I haven’t listened to him for many years and never listened much. Evidently you are more familiar with him than I am. You can say what you want about the man. I have no association with him and no stake in the outcome of your argument with him. I thought you were debating with me and that is why I answered you. Sorry.

Posted by: Christine at April 28, 2009 11:37 PM
Comment #281132

Lamebrain is like a cancer…it may start in your liver, but sneak into your lungs, blood or kidneys…you don’t have to listen to the titular head of a party to take on his persona, because his persona is insidious…much like that cancer.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 30, 2009 2:12 AM
Comment #281171

I accept the apology…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 30, 2009 10:49 PM
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