Dude, Mr. Toobin, stop dancing around the words and call it like it is:
But the president didn’t just say… the senators’ proposal was unacceptable. … He went even further. He was really playing chicken with the senators. He was saying, “Look, go ahead and pass your law. You pass that law. If it somehow becomes law, I’m shutting this program down. And that’s on your head.”
That is called blackmail. Bush is actually threatening to release the terrorists and blame it on the Senators. Blackmail is blackmail is blackmail, no matter the situation. Call it like it is, dude.
It’s so annoying to read mainstream press articles where they dance around what the real issue is on “terror suspect interrogations.” They use every euphemism in the book. Bush seeks “clarity” on interrogations. Bush wants “wider leeway” in interrogations. Bush wants “tougher interrogations.”
Tougher interrogations, my ass. Bush wants to torture people.
Every single person writing those stories knows what this is really about. They are so queasy about writing the word down on paper, but they’re perfectly willing to have a legitimate debate on whether we should actually do it. That makes no sense. I wish the late Sam Kinison was around now to shout at the reporters, “Say it!!! Just say it!!!!” It’s torture.
Is this really what America stands for? If it isn’t, don’t vote Republican in November. End the madness!
—By Stuart Carlson
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Bush says catching or getting Bin Laden is no longer a priority for him.
to all Bush supporters out there, let me give you an analogy.
a man comes to your house and kills your wife and your son and your daughter. do you go after him, or do you go on a crusade to stop murders in people’s homes?
Professors at Princeton University have done a study showing that the Diebold Accuvote machines have serious security flaws, can be hacked into and have the information changed. Here is the abstract of the study:
This paper presents a fully independent security study of a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine, including its hardware and software. We obtained the machine from a private party. Analysis of the machine, in light of real election procedures, shows that it is vulnerable to extremely serious attacks. For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates. An attacker could also create malicious code that spreads automatically and silently from machine to machine during normal election activities — a voting-machine virus. We have constructed working demonstrations of these attacks in our lab. Mitigating these threats will require changes to the voting machine’s hardware and software and the adoption of more rigorous election procedures.
This is pretty disturbing news. I honestly cannot trust this machine to get my vote right. How can I? Unless it provides me with a printed record of my cast vote, I will not use this machine and will recommend that it not be used in elections.
wow, i mean, wow. Bin Laden attacks the United States in the worst terrorist attack in world history, and the Republican president who wishes to be viewed as a go-getter, the war president, thinks catching the mastermind behind the operation that killed nearly 3000 Americans is not a priority!
Is this for real? Is this the party that America wants to elect in November? A party who’s president thinks it is not important to get the man who killed the most Americans in a single blow?
Meanwhile, Rick Santorum says that terrorists are a greater threat to America than any enemy in the 20th century! That includes the most powerful nation on the planet in 1939: Nazi Germany and the second most powerful nation on the planet with 11,000 nukes: The Soviet Union. Santorum believes that terrorists, which includes Bin Laden, last I checked, are a greater threat to America.
So which is it? If terrorists are a greater threat to America than Hitler ever was, why does Bush not see going after Bin Laden as a greater priority, the greatest priority, I mean, he attacked us in the worst kind of way.
Wake Up America!
Hey it worked the first time, so why not do it again the same way?
Congressman Hoekstra released a report about a month ago, not well researched, based mostly on newspaper sources and lacking research by actual experts in the field, that chided America’s intelligence community for not knowing enough about Iran. This report then goes on to claim several things about Iran’s nuclear capabilities that are just simply false. This is known to many who are familiar to this, but not known to regular Americans. That is the point of Hoekstra’s report. He doesn’t actually care about the truth; he wants a war with Iran and will try and scare enough Americans to continue supporting the Republican party so they win in November and they can have their little war next year with Iran.
Not so fast. UN Inspectors have, this time, come out and publicly disputed this report by Hoekstra. They publicly contend that the report is “outrageous and dishonest.”
Among the committee’s assertions is that Iran is producing weapons-grade uranium at its facility in the town of Natanz. The IAEA called that “incorrect,” noting that weapons-grade uranium is enriched to a level of 90 percent or more. Iran has enriched uranium to 3.5 percent under IAEA monitoring.
The scary thing about Mr. Hoekstra is that his staff are working on another report about North Korea, most likely to chide the CIA for not knowning what he knows, for he knows all. How dare they not see the world through his eyes!
Hoekstra’s committee is working on a separate report about North Korea that is also being written principally by Fleitz. A draft of the report, provided to The Post, includes several assertions about North Korea’s weapons program that the intelligence officials said they cannot substantiate, including one that Pyongyang is already enriching uranium.
It is time for America to put people in power who do not base their foreign policy on ideology, but on fact. This, I thought, was the standard. Why Bush won still befuddles me.
Bruce Ackerman, a professor of law and political science at Yale University brings up a disturbing thought in a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He discusses about the issue of whether this is war, and brings up the example of Jose Padilla, an American citizen stripped of his Constitutional rights when he was accused of being an “enemy combatant.” Mr. Ackerman says:
Consider the case of Jose Padilla. A few months after Sept. 11, the president declared him an “enemy combatant,” and locked him up in a military brig for three and half years. During all this time, Padilla was denied the right to challenge his detention before a military or civilian tribunal.
Yet he was an American citizen, and when he was detained at O’Hare airport, he looked like millions of others – wearing civilian clothes and without any dangerous weapons. Nevertheless, a federal court of appeals upheld the president’s seizure as within his powers as commander-in-chief, and the Supreme Court refused to review this remarkable decision.
This gives the presidency a terrible precedent for the next Sept. 11. We all hope that this attack won’t come for a long time. But the day after the next tragedy, the Padilla case will be invoked to support the president if he sweeps hundreds or thousands into military detention. After a year or two the Supreme Court may intervene on the side of freedom. But perhaps the vote will go 5-4 the wrong way.
It can’t happen to me, we tell ourselves. Very few Americans have done anything to support the Islamo-fascists, whatever President Bush may mean by this dark term. But the next attack may be by home-grown terrorists. All of us are potential Jose Padillas, not a select few.
What will happen to Americans who question Bush’s policies in the case of another 9/11 hitting us? Will the Michelle Malkins of America win the day and set up laws that allow for the forcible detention of Americans with Constitutional rights stripped away from them? The Michelle Malkins of the world would not mind this one bit, methinks.
I think Americans need to think rationally, reasonably, and with patience, making sure they know what they are getting themselves into here, regarding the laws we set up for today’s terrorists. If we lower our standards, the right of habeas corpus, for example, what will it mean when we are hit again?
Can this world get any weirder? The United States Air Force wants to test their non-lethal weapons on U.S. citizens first, though with the caveat that they be unrully citizens in a large crowd.
Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.
The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne.
“If we’re not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation,” said Wynne. “(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press.”
Now, I applaud the AF going in the direction of non-lethal weapons, but…..why would you not want to use it on the enemy first? I think what the Air Force is afraid of is that the weapons won’t be effective enough against the enemies, and they want to see it on an easier target first, “unrully Americans.” So watch out you football fans! Watch out baseball players who rush pitchers and cause an “unrully situation” on the field! The Air Force just might getcha!
Realizing that reductio ad Hitlerum is not enough, Bush now compares the current conflict with the Civil War. When will this ridiculousness end?
Asked about the interrogation controversy, he said legislation should outline “clearly what is acceptable and provide liability protection so interrogators will feel protected going forward.” He was emphatic that people should understand that “as long as the War Crimes Act hangs over their heads, they [interrogators] will not take the steps necessary to protect” Americans.
1. Yes, I am borrowing from Andrew Sullivan who does a “quote of the day” section. And yes, he got to this quote first.
2. Bush actually thinks the ony way to protect Americans is for interrogators to not fear the War Crimes Act……um….if they followed the rules in the War Crimes Act, why should they fear it? Silly rule of law. Who said we had to follow the law?
“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”
Scriptural example of how to react to horrific events and terrorist acts. These are my thoughts
boy the ticking time bomb scenario rears its ugly head yet again:
Imagine a situation where you have a ticking bomb that will kill a school full of innocent children. You have a man with the code to turn the bomb off. You just saw him torture an innocent child for the sheer joy of doing so. You know with absolute certainty that if you pull out his finger nails with pliers, he will give you the correct information and the children will be saved. If you don’t pull out his fingernails with pliers then the bomb will explode and the children will be killed. What do you do?
Clearly, this is an unrealistic hypothetical on a lot of levels, but it is useful because it forces us to confront the basic question of whether or not we are willing to stick by an absolute prohibition on torture regardless of the consequences, or if we are willing to consider the consquences when making our decisions. Are we true Kantians or consquentialists.
you are right, there are far too many unrealistic things in this hypothetical to make it a good enough analogy for real life practice.
Let me provide you with an analogy from scripture and let me see what you think.
Imagine that you are in a city where the rulers have such a hatred for your teaching that they not only take you captive but they burn your books, take those you taught and start throwing them in a pit of fire to burn to death. What do you do? Do you try and stop the murdering of innocents? You could, after all you have the power from God to do so. Let’s look at the example in the Book of Mormon. Turn with me to Alma 14. Amulek says the following:
10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
What was Alma’s response? Was it to go grab their fingernails and get them to stop burning the people to death? Let’s read on.
11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the dinnocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.
12 Now Amulek said unto Alma: Behold, perhaps they will burn us also.
13 And Alma said: Be it according to the will of the Lord. But, behold, our work is not finished; therefore they burn us not.
14 Now it came to pass that when the bodies of those who had been cast into the fire were consumed, and also the records which were cast in with them, the chief judge of the land came and stood before Alma and Amulek, as they were bound; and he smote them with his hand upon their cheeks, and said unto them: After what ye have seen, will ye preach again unto this people, that they shall be cast into a blake of fire and brimstone?
Can you find a more painful and tragic scenario in the scriptures for innocent people? Yet what was the response from the Prophet of the Lord? Did he lower his standards to protect the innocent? Why did Alma sacrifice the innocent in this case?
Let’s look at another example in the Book of Mormon where innocent people are killed and those that could do something about it didn’t, or let me say differently, they didn’t lower their standard. Please turn to Alma 24. Here the Lamanites come upon the Anti-Nephi-Lehis to murder them. Let’s see what happens here. The Lamanites come upon them, slay about 1000 of them while they were prostrated on the ground praising God.
24 Now when the Lamanites saw this they did aforbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had bswollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done.
25 And it came to pass that they threw down their weapons of war, and they would not take them again, for they were stung for the murders which they had committed; and they came down even as their brethren, relying upon the mercies of those whose arms were lifted to slay them.
26 And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were asaved.
Instead of continuing the slaughter, these Lamanites were converted, more than had been slain. What did Ammon do during this time? He had previously faced off against a great number of sheep thieves, killing the leader. He could easily have done a William Wallace speech and rallied the ANLs to fight for their freedom against oppressors. But what did he do? Nothing. He let the slaughter happen. Why? As we see, more were converted than were killed. Let’s continue the story, and see just how the two situations are tied together.
The Lamanites were angry that some of their own had just converted. Their anger led them to go over to the Nephites and quickly murder everybody who lived in the city of Ammonihah, the very town that had just murdered innocent people, throwing them into the flames, in Alma 25. This still did not quelch the anger the Lamanites felt towards the ANLs so they tried to go after them again to murder them. What did Ammon do this time? Did he face them off? No, as we read in Alma 27, this time, Ammon took them to the Nephites. I like what the Lord told Ammon in verses 11 and 12:
11 And it came to pass that Ammon went and inquired of the Lord, and the Lord said unto him:
12 Get this people aout of this land, that they perish not; for Satan has great hold on the hearts of the Amalekites, who do stir up the Lamanites to anger against their brethren to slay them; therefore get thee out of this land; and blessed are this people in this generation, for I will preserve them.
Who will preserve them? The Nephites? Nope. The Lord. In all of this, all this murder of innocents, did the righteous Nephites EVER lower their standard? Never. Not once. Not when innocents were being thrown into a burning pit. Why should we?
Not pleased with foreign entanglements, runaway spending, etc., seven prominent Republicans give their case why Republicans deserve to lose in 2006.
Should Republicans lose in 2006?
This is how low it has gotten. In a new ad debuting today in several targeted states, the Center For Security Policy, a conservative think tank, that uses an Orwellian “peace through strength” motto, claims this.
The ad shows images of the burning Twin Towers and Americans held hostage and concludes by flashing on the screen: “Vote as if your life depends on it. Because it does.”
These five articles show that things are not going well for America under Bush right now. The first article deals with the situation in Anbar province in Iraq, the largest province, which the military now says they’ve lost politically. No one there wants to deal with America, apparently. I wonder why.
Devlin offers a series of reasons for the situation, including a lack of U.S. and Iraqi troops, a problem that has dogged commanders since the fall of Baghdad more than three years ago, said people who have read it. These people said he reported that not only are military operations facing a stalemate, unable to extend and sustain security beyond the perimeters of their bases, but also local governments in the province have collapsed and the weak central government has almost no presence.
Who has been asking for more troops? Oh yeah, those so-called appeasers who dare question the wisdom of Mr. Rumsfeld.
This op-ed basically says that America is not adapting fast enough to face their enemy that is adapting far quicker to America’s strategies. He is a Pakistani journalist.
THE former aide-de-camp to the commander of the British taskforce in southern Afghanistan has described the campaign in Helmand province as “a textbook case of how to screw up a counter-insurgency”.
“Having a big old fight is pointless and just making things worse,” said Captain Leo Docherty, of the Scots Guards, who became so disillusioned that he quit the army last month.
“All those people whose homes have been destroyed and sons killed are going to turn against the British,” he said. “It’s a pretty clear equation — if people are losing homes and poppy fields, they will go and fight. I certainly would.
“We’ve been grotesquely clumsy — we’ve said we’ll be different to the Americans who were bombing and strafing villages, then behaved exactly like them.”
I couldn’t have said it better.
Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have compared the current conflict to the cold war, a decades-long struggle that was ideological and political in nature, though always with a military aspect. But if we’re going to use history and learn from it, it is worrying that America is beginning to repeat one of the central strategic errors of the cold war: treating a fractious group of adversaries as a unified monolith.
At the outset of the cold war in 1949, a senior State Department official, Ware Adams, prepared a critique of America’s evolving policy of containment. While accepting that international communism was a monolith and that diverse communist parties around the world shared aims and goals, Adams argued that Washington was playing into the Kremlin’s hands by speaking of communism as a unified entity: “[Our policy] has endorsed Stalin’s own thesis that all communists everywhere should be part of his monolith. By placing the United States against all communists everywhere it has tended to force them to become or remain part of the monolith.” For example, the memo explained, “in China, the communists are somewhat pressed toward being friends of the Kremlin by the fact that they can never be friends of ours.”
Finally, this last article shows just how free Al-Qaeda is to roam around the mountainous regions of Pakistan, our bestest buddy in the “war on terror”—no wait, the war on evildoers, no wait, the war on Islamofascists.
Can the irony be any clearer? Al-Qaeda finds sanctuary in a country ruled by a dictator who has nuclear weapons and who has fought wars against his neighbors in the past. Not only that but this country was at the heart of the global black market for nuclear technology. No, this country was not Iraq, nor even Iran. It is Pakistan.
The first thing I would do is never lower my standards, irregardless of how low standards my enemy has. Who cares if my enemy chooses to use terrorism to hit me. Why should I lower myself, not necessarily to his standard, but anything below mine. None of us would lower our religious standards, say to take a sip of alcohol, for anyone. Why lower our moral standards?
The best thing America could have done after 9/11 was to put all the money and effort that was diverted into Iraq, put that all in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is America’s greatest failure of the new century, far worse than Iraq, because in Afghanistan, we had the support of the entire world. We could have done anything there. If we asked the world for full assistance, we would have had it.
Put all 150,000 Americans we sent into Iraq, into Afghanistan instead. Completely purge Afghanistan of the evil that has infected that poor country since 1981. Most Afghans alive today have never seen a world of peace. They have seen war for the last 25 years of their lives. Take out Bin Laden. The fact that he is still alive and taunting the United States FIVE YEARS after he attacked us is reprehensible to our leaders. He’s a CAVE DWELLER! How can he escape the mightiest military in the history of the world!
Pour all our money into Afghanistan and turn that country around. Not only will this show the world that we mean business, and that if someone were to attack us, we would completely wipe them out, but it would be the example of what we want the Middle East to look like.
Forget about Saddam. Those who wanted to go into Iraq missed the bigger picture. The irony is amazing. By taking Saddam out, America took out the only thing that kept Iran at bay. Now, by removing Saddam and failing in replacing Saddam’s Baath regime with a stable government, America has handed Iraq to Iran on a silver platter. Leave Saddam be. Let him rot in his palaces.
Focus on Afghanistan. Remember the bigger picture. Iran is our main threat in the Middle East. By keeping the rock in Iraq, and creating a hammer in Afghanistan, you corner Iran far better than by taking both Iraq and Afghanistan out and failing to create stable governments in both countries. Now, Iran, a stable government, has strong influence in both countries, rather than the other way around.
Moreover, a stable and flourishing Afghanistan would be good news for Pakistan and the troubles Pakistanis (especially those tribes that hate Musharraf) have against the West. They’ll finally see that America is not quite as bad as Bin Laden purports them to be. Right now they trust Bin Laden and give him sanctuary in Pakistan. Furthermore, they also agree with the Taliban and give them and Omar sanctuary too, over in Pakistan, our bestest buddy in the war on terror. Oh the ironies! A repressive dictatorship with nuclear weapons that has no control over a region that protects and shelters both the Taliban and Bin Laden, and they are our best ally on the war on terror. If it wasn’t tragically bad, I’d laugh at the irony.
But that’s what I would have advised the president to do.
Ah, I’m glad to see this report has finally come out. It sure took them a long time, and released on a Friday to minimize the public effect, as usual. Here’s a word of wisdom for everybody: keep an eye out on Fridays. That’s when damning information usually comes out of the Bush Administration. Such as this report which proves that Saddam had no connection to Zarqawi, the key reason Bush went into Iraq for in the first place. Well, what do you know. It seems those of us who challenged this from the start were right.
Now when are we going to hold our leaders accountable for their lies?
ABC is releasing a mini-series fictional depiction of what happened from 1993 to 2001 that allowed 9/11 to occur. I’m not going to sit here and say Clinton did his job well at fighting terror (neither did Bush Jr. before 9/11, nor his father, nor Reagan who cut and ran when Hezbollah killed 241 Marines in their sleep!), but if you are making a fictional story, then say so. Don’t portray the film as a docu-drama, or anything close to the truth.
What ABC should have done is create an actual documentary. But for some reason, ABC doesn’t think Americans will sit and watch an actual documentary. Or maybe ABC didn’t have the talent needed to create a real vision of what happened, like so many talented documentary creators have. ABC is about entertainment these days. They’ve given up any notion of being a station where one could learn something of value. So they now fib the facts to “dramatize” and tug at our hearts, create the anger in us at our “enemy.”
The New York Times has reviewed the miniseries, and gets into the whole notion of documentary vs. dramatization. But something caught my eye as I read the review. The New York Times also does not hold back in criticizing the Clinton administration for not stepping up against Bin Laden. In discussing the issue of the sex scandal, the reviewer states the following:
The Sept. 11 commission concluded that the sex scandal distracted the Clinton administration from the terrorist threat. But in hindsight, surely the right-wing groups who drove for impeachment must look back at their partisan obsession with shame, like widows sickened by the memory of spats about dirty dishes and gambling debts.
The imagery is beautiful, but I seriously doubt right wingers who pushed the distraction realize just what they accomplished. In forcing Clinton’s attention on the scandal, were not right-wingers taking the nation’s security at risk? Moreover, I doubt they would even care that their deep passionate hatred of Clinton and their drive to impeach him gave Bin Laden all the breathing room he needed to plan and execute the most successful terrorist attack in history.
The irony is sadly tragic.
Anyone surprised? The Bush administration has released a new video of the plotters of the 9/11 attacks. Hmmm….four days before the fifth anniversary of the attacks. So yesterday, Bush blackmailed America, threatening to release the terrorists back into the world if Americans don’t follow his plan, and today he played up the fear of 9/11 with this new video released.
Will Americans be smarter than fall for this play on our fears yet again? I can only hope, but America’s track record is not very good.
UPDATED: an astute annonymous reader commented on my mistake in not reading the article I linked to carefully. This video was released by Al-Qaida’s production company and not Bush. You still have to wonder why both sides are playing up the fear as the anniversary approaches. I’m leaving up my mistake and not changing a thing. Unlike some of our leaders, I can admit to making a mistake and not try to revise history to erase it.