Diplomacy and Torture

It’s understandably difficult to calibrate proper diplomatic behavior when your best idea of how to treat your enemies is to waterboard them.

Just in case you don’t know what waterboarding is, here is a refresher. You force your enemy to lie on his back. Then you place a sponge or some other type of porous cloth over his nose and mouth. Then you pour water onto the sponge or cloth so that your enemy cannot breathe. It’s called simulated drowning. Journalist Christopher Hitchens has undergone the procedure so that he could write about it authoritatively. He says there is nothing simulated about it. You are being drowned for 20 seconds at a time.

With that as our cozy backdrop, let’s discuss the latest offense Obama has given the far right, for whom he can do no right. He actually shook hands with Cesar Chavez! Oh my! He didn’t read Daniel Ortega the riot act after Ortega ranted about America for 50 minutes. Treason!

The problem conservative are having is that Obama takes quaint phrases like “disagree without being disagreeable” and puts them into action. He really means it. As a result, he behaves like a gentleman with leaders of other countries, even leaders with whom we strongly disagree. Anyone watching the body language of Obama when Chavez handed him an anti-American book as a “gift” could see that the President was basically saying “thanks for the book, now go back and sit the hell back down in your seat and stop wasting my time.” Did he need to actually say that? No.

As for Ortega, why should Obama stoop so low as to go tit for tat with a thug leader? I hate to break it to you folks but this is not the playground behind the elementary school where you have to prove you can’t be bullied around. By not dignifying Ortega’s attack with a similar  response, he left the Nicaraguan President looking like a silly extremist. The only folks upset about this are your macho swagger guys, Scarborough, Buchanan and Cheney.  Obama’s only response to Ortega showed how foolish the 50 minute tirade was:

To move forward, we cannot let ourselves be prisoners of past disagreements. I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old. Too often, an opportunity to build a fresh partnership of the Americas has been undermined by stale debates. We’ve all heard these arguments before.

via Obama Endures Ortega Diatribe – First 100 Days of Presidency – Politics FOXNews.com.

Putting aside some historical inaccuracy (Ortega referenced the Bay of Pigs which occurred before Obama was born, not when he was three months old), Obama said all that needed to be said.

So, admittedly after eight years of acting like cowboys, the Obama approach to diplomacy may be a bit hard to swallow. Now the question is how do we deal with one of the consequences of our former shoot-first-ask-questions-later style of international relations? If you think the economy and two wars was a major turd left on our door step by Bush, you ain’t seen nothing yet. We are now getting details on how the former administration framed a legal defense of torture so that the savage practices could go on unchallenged.

Let’s first deal with the criticism that Obama’s decision to release the legal briefs “allowing” for torture has made us vulnerable. What baloney! The fact that the primary cheerleader in this meme is Dick Cheney tells you what hogwash it is. For starters, the legal memos don’t tell us anything all that new. They just tell us how premeditated all of these shenanigans were. Secondly, are we really so naive to think that Al Quada did not know our interrogation techniques? You don’t think there were communication networks that allowed for leaks out of Gitmo to the terrorist community? Do you really think Osama and his henchmen were telling their followers, “we have no idea what will happen to you if you fall into the hands of the infidels. Don’t worry, it won’t be too extreme.” Come on! Get real folks. I have to laugh when I see the likes of Cheney and Joe Scarborough acting like we’ve given away major secrets to the enemy. And in this case, does knowing that you’re going to be waterboarded make the experience any less terrible? It still sucks to be drowned for 20 seconds at a time whether it’s a surprise or not.

Then of course there is the whole debate on the effectiveness of torture. Many experts on the subject say that we don’t get reliable information from the practice. If we compare the practice to what was done to US airmen during the Korean War, we see one of the fundamental problems with our approach. In the Korean War, a form of water torture was used to force airmen to lie. It was NOT used to get the truth out of them. Hence there is a strong likelihood that waterboarding will get the prisoner to say anything that will bring him relief, not necessarily the truth.

President Obama has himself in a bit of a pickle right now, not because he released the torture memos (which would probably have been requested by an international inquiry anyway) but because he has been inconsistent on how we should move forward. His initial stance was that he wanted to end the practice of torture and then move on. He wanted to look to the future and not punish people for the past mistakes. Of course this had the far left apoplectic. This stance reached its most unequivocal point this past Sunday when Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told George Stephanopoulos that neither the practitioners of torture nor the architects of the program would be prosecuted. But within the past forty eight hours, Obama has backpedaled on this, now saying that those who were “just following orders” should not be prosecuted but the folks giving the orders might be subject to scrutiny by the Justice Department (i.e. Eric Holder). Of course the list of  folks giving the orders could extend all the way up to the former occupant of the Oval Office.

This leaves us on the precipice of a situation far more divisive than our current economic or foreign relations policies. I am not sure this country can handle the prosecution of our former Vice President and potentially our former President for war crimes. In 1947 we prosecuted and convicted a Japanese officer for the very acts that the recent legal memo disclosure details. We have committed acts that we once felt were criminal when committed by our enemy. With that said, I have to say that I liked Obama’s original stance on this. We stop doing the wrong thing and we move on. The far left says that if these crimes go unpunished, we will have learned nothing and history will eventually repeat itself. That may be true but my greater fear is that our country currently in so much distress, cannot afford to immerse itself in years of  self recrimination. And while I would lose no sleep over Dick Cheney going to jail, my heart would go out to George W. Bush. As I’ve stated in other posts, Bush will receive his reward or his punishment from the judgment of history and that judgment is profound and long-lasting.

If the international community chooses to prosecute us, so be it. But we, as a nation have a lot of healing to do.  I don’t see how we can heal if we open the wounds of our former criminal activity and potentially make George W. Bush the first former President to be tried, convicted and sentenced for crimes against humanity.


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62 thoughts on “Diplomacy and Torture

  1. Very well stated about Obama’s actions in South America. I am not convinced that prosecutions are not in order. You have to do so cutting before you can heal from cancer. Although it might be painful for our country, we might need a strong reminder about our own rule of law and what we stand for. I still talk to WAY too many people that think waterboarding is justified for THOSE people. Scary.

  2. Let the Rabbit address Latin American diplomacy first. Rutherford needs to know the difference between TV/ Radio talk shows and issues that are truly resonating with The People. As shown in his posts about the Tea Party, Rutherford really only knows The People through the liberal trough he feeds off of, MSNBC, or when he occasionally tunes into the enemy, FOX. In other words, Rutherford, tucked away in his subdivision of 2,600 square feet McMansions, has no clue what truly fires up the Americans people.

    The Rabbit totally agrees with your comments on Latin America and thought the right wing press was off the mark and rather juvenile. I think most people do. It was as if they wanted President Obama to give Chavez a Stone Cold Stunner (a professional wrestling move). When that neo-Mussolini asshole pulled his cheap stunt with the book, what the hell would any grown up do? Physically fight him? While I thought Obama’s dismissive comments about the benign nature of Venezuela foolish (a few missteps and we could have nukes aimed at us one day from Caracas), I think he handled those socialist clowns about the same way any President would.

    In fact, I found his European “tour” to be much more troubling. In that case it was important he came back home with tangible results. He went over there as a European sycophant, falling over himself with nonsensical apologies, and gained nothing in the short term. No extra troops. Not even a remote consensus on bail out stuff (cool with me). You know it’s bad when there are reports of the French President mocking you as a wimp.

    Lastly, it WAS a bow. Our president, who wing nuts claim is some sort of closet Muslim, bowed to the King who is the steward of Mecca. Hilarious. Maybe I would have blatantly lied about “the bow” too. The information revolution cracks me up sometimes.

  3. “R”,

    The contrition and Blame America tour that Obama played during his narcissistic rock tour recently in South America was revolting to many Americans, myself included. I admit I now hold Obama in very low regard and am convinced he is a dangerous fraud and megalomaniac. I would like to think I at least gave the man a chance for approximately 100 days, but I see absolutely little good in this man, in his plans or his path.

    I have no respect for a man that has been offered much and taken every opportunity, while offering little or nothing in return but the phony pandering to the worst of perceptions to make himself likable. Who would openly criticize the very country that has defended the world from tyranny for at least 100 years, shed its blood and given of its fortune more so than any civilization in the history of man, provided him the opportunity to be leader of the free world. To think of himself as worthy to offer these apologies is beneath contempt.

    Frankly, Obama’s false piety and sanctimonious nature make me retch and I find him revolting; like a spoiled and ungrateful brat who would sell his own grandmother to further his self-serving ambitions and conceit. I believe he truly is evil.

    And I wonder what convenient excuse the left will think of the “torture of water boarding” if tens of thousands of Americans are left dead on the streets from their own Dear Leader’s naivety. As if somehow in the most extreme of circumstances, a few minutes of a terrorist being scared and uncomfortable to extract information the equivalent to having a fellow citizen’s head sawed off as we have witnessed on several occasions.

    I fully admit my own raging internal fight with the fact that there is a large part of America that I downright hate anymore – who I believe lower than whale shit and worthy of scorn.

    I hope that is the Hope & Change the left was looking forward.

  4. God damn. I’m cracking up. First of all, Rutherford has no clue about water boarding, or interrogation as a whole. He is simply parroting stuff he hears by the left. Wafting someone else’s fart in our face, his analysis doesn’t really even address the business end of the controversy itself. While I agree with his conclusion (damn did it take forever to get there), his long winded bla-bla is actually a short cut.

    1. Crime against humanity? Do you realize that hundreds of thousands of Americans have been water boarded? While the confining walls of the McMansion limit you to only one media man’s experience, I’ve known dozens of people who have it done to them. It’s standard fare in survival training. As I recall, a lot of Airman had it done. Of course, the Rabbit lucked out due to the effeminate nature of his job for most of his enlistment. Never went through that shit. What about Rabbit’s old military buddies? Has this “torture” led to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome? They said it sucked! They said it was horrible! And then cracked up about it. Hell, under your new definition of torture, on second thought, I think I have been tortured before. We had to go into a small room, take our masks off and get gassed. Rabbit’s eyes puked mucus (I swear it’s possible) and my lungs burned like I inhaled a million microscopic razor blades. In the back of the height line, I had to wait until every person said their name and social security number. By the time it got to me, I was convinced I was puking blood out of forever ruined lungs. Finally, they let me out and I was guided to a giant garbage can that was used as a collective pool of snot where I drained my eyes, nose and mouth. The reason for this? A small does of torture to remind us the importance of properly donning our masks.

    2. Waterboarding was no secret. Everyone knew about it. We new about it. You knew about it. The Congress Cowards, briefed about every detail, didn’t say one word.

    3. Dude, have you forgotten how fucked up 9/11 was? A mushroom cloud couldn’t be ruled out for God’s sake. 3000 Americans were slaughtered. Young couples had to jump out of the World Trade center holding hands, there bodies raining down on cars and then bursting like water balloons. Both the financial and military epicenter of the world were smashed. Some nut case was going around spreading weaponized Anthrax. Meanwhile, dozens of other attackers were unleashed on our nation. What would you have done President Rutherford? Seriously, attacks are imminent. What would you do???? What? And now, the President, safely removed by more then a half decade, wants to start a fight over an issue even experts in the field have no consensus on? So you think waterboarding to be torture. I can respect that. But to arrest the people who helped make these decisions? Are you kidding me? That’s just wrong, man.

    4. I swear to God, this is nothing more then a massive rookie mistake by a President who tries to please everybody. The flip flopping within a 48 hour period is proof of this. Even you seem to be aghast over these minor league miscommunications. There is no way Obama is this stupid. Either that or he truly hates 50% of this country, wants us divided and wants the operational effectiveness of the executive branch and the CIA forever damaged.

    For you toss around the phrase “crimes against humanity” cheapens the experience of every person who has endured real torture. To use some random trial of an enemy Jap (I’m sure he did much more then what you say) as an example of hypocrisy is silly. Dude, that was an era when we rounded up Japanese Americans and put them in fricking concentration camps, for God’s sake. Maybe we should arrest the senior citizens who had something to do with that while were at it.

  5. Rabbit, I think my McMansion clocks in at about 3000 square feet but thanks for the estimate. Have no worries, if my luck doesn’t change in the next 18 months, I’ll be living in a McBox under a bridge somewhere.

    If you’re saying America (the real Americans whom you know and to whom I’m totally oblivious) really isn’t worked up about Obama’s behavior in South America, then I’m glad to hear it. I do tend to believe that the Joe Scarborough’s of political punditry represent a large part of real America, just as I think Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow represent another large part of real America. Still I am relieved to hear from Rabbit, my trusty field reporter in Real America that the Latin American Summit was much ado about nothing. 🙂

  6. Tex, I’m not sure you actually read the post. You assume waterboarding works. What makes you so sure?

    Words like “fraud”, “megalomaniac”, etc. make you sound more heart on sleeve than the worst whining liberal. Put your emotions in check and give me an analysis on where Obama has gone so wrong. Of course the problem here is we disagree at square one. You don’t think we have anything to apologize for, hence any apologies Obama gives must be out of line.

    I’ve just this minute noticed a new lecture on the efficiency and effectiveness of waterboarding come in from our ex-CIA agent Dead Rabbit. I’ll be back to comment more after I digest his “disclosure”. 😉

  7. President Rutherford. Will you take this hypothetical quiz? The CIA has 3 prisoners you know have information of an imminent attack on a heavily populated area in America. Normal questioning isn’t working. All we get back is Allahu Akbar

    1. Can we deprive them of sleep?
    2. Can we play “good cop” with some sexy ass blonde, showing her inner thighs?. Mmmm

    10 hours gone by. People are going to die soon in the thousands.

    3. Can we put a caterpillar in a potato sack and put the sack on their head?

    3 hours more hours have gone by.

    Allahu Akbar

    4. truth serum?

    Can we waterboa…………..too late. A plane has smashed into a University of Michigan football game. 22,000 of brightest and best Americans were killed on impact. 10,000 more were melted from the fire. 5,000 more were trampled.

    Oh yeah. This happened at Rutgars, UCLA and Wisconsin.

    In one hour, we lost more people then we did in all of World War II.

  8. Rabbit,
    1. I could have said “war crimes” instead of “crimes against humanity”. Same difference. If George winds up in the slammer that will be the charge. I didn’t choose the jargon, it’s what we call this stuff.

    2. I already acknowledged that waterboarding was no secret. What I neglected to say, and where you have me dead to rights, is what incredible hypocrites so many of our congressmen are to cry foul now when they knew about this stuff for the past 8 years. The only excuse I can give them is fear of retribution. It’s a documented fact that journalists had sources who told them “just wait until January 21 and I’ll tell you everything you want to know. I can’t talk now.”

    3. 9/11 had us all scared sh*tless. Agreed. But I’m sorry dude, it’s what we do when we’re up against the wall that is the true measure of our morality. It’s easy to respect civil rights and common decency in peace time. The test comes when you’ve had planes turned into missiles. When it comes to torture, in my opinion, we failed the test. In a time of crisis we depend on our leaders NOT to act like they are scared to death. That is what our government did post-9/11. They acted scared to death and enacted measures that smell of panic, not of deliberative, carefully considered tactics. Whether it was attacking a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, or whether it was playing Jack Bauer, we did stuff we didn’t need to do.

    4. I am annoyed by the flip flopping but Obama knows this is one flaming hot potato and he doesn’t want himself or his country to get burned. As I said in the piece, you grossly overestimate the extent to which this compromises the CIA. If we keep torturing people, we continue to make a recruiting poster for jihadist-wannabes. If we stop torturing, we maybe lose some of our tough street cred, but we have our self respect restored.

    One other glaring omission from my article that I would like to correct: In no other country on this planet would anyone take this hard a look at themselves and struggle with the morality of their behavior. Other countries torture without a second thought. I am very proud to live in a country that has the freedom to debate issues of morality.

    By the way, if I have one fault as a writer it is verbosity. Sue me. 🙂

  9. I reject your hypothetical for a couple of different reasons.

    1. You’ve been watching too many damn episodes of “24”. Just yesterday, I heard an ex-CIA say that we almost NEVER get an interrogation that will stop an imminent attack. It’s TV adventure fiction. If you’re saying we should torture to prevent a long term situation then you have to rephrase your entire premise.

    2. This same ex-CIA said that the nature of Al Quada and other terrorist groups is that the left hand often does not know what the right hand is doing. So torturing person-A will get you squat about what person-B is about to do.

    But ok, I’ll play your game. I pick choice 2. I’d give up my own mother for some inner thigh and regions further north. 🙂 (Note to wife: you’re not reading this right now.)

  10. You assume waterboarding works. What makes you so sure?

    The damn Director of the CIA said it worked. The interrogators said it worked. Khalid Mohammed said it worked. Common sense says I scare you bad enough, and I can make it work. You’re hopelessly naive Rutherford. A real rube.

    Words like “fraud”, “megalomaniac”, etc. make you sound more heart on sleeve than the worst whining liberal. Put your emotions in check and give me an analysis on where Obama has gone so wrong.

    Why would I expect a fool to understand that Obama beneath contempt to criticize the very country that made him, on foreign soil, in a republic of bananas like Chavez, Castro; as Obama sat with sit thumb up his ass, as a Marxist thug from Nicaragua charged America with a century of terrorist aggression in Central America?

    Or how about Obama sucking this thumb as Ortega accusing us of inhumanity toward Fidel Castro’s Cuba? Is that some kind of joke?

    As I said, that commentary about Obama proves he is beneath contempt and about the equivalent of the ungrateful children who would shoot their own mother. Of course, I do remember Obama throwing his own grandmother off the cliff after his sperm donor for a daddy and filthy hippie of a mom all but abandoned their parental duties. It is a pattern and common amongst the megalomaniacs.

  11. Yeah. George Bush gets jailed for fricking water boarding a terrorist after 9/11. If that ever happened, which I’m certain it won’t, I would bust out my John Locke books and forever change my relationship with the current Federal Government.

    Red Rover Red Rover
    Send Revolutionary Rabbit Right Over

  12. Excuse my possible ignorance, but was waterboarding actually illegal by American standards when we were using it?

    Exactly what crime was committed?

    Don’t just say “crimes against humanity” or “torture.” I’m talking about citing a law that we officially recognized at the time.

    And this isn’t a sarcastic rhetorical question. I don’t know what law was broken by these people who may be prosecuted.

  13. Right after I go Sam Adams, Obama makes a move in which I agree 100% with him. The dastardly deeds of the credit card companies are unethical, unchristian, unconscionable. Sneaking interest rate hikes on the sly. Lowering credit limits on the sly. Penalities on the sly. Intentionally wordy contracts which can be broken at will when it suites the company. I’m not using this as an excuse for some of my C Card abuses in the past (plus I’ve never defaulted). My brother works for a non profit debt management firm. I can’t believe the things he tells me that these companies pull. Some change I can believe in.

    You guys can probably tell I took a “rest and relaxation” sick day. I don’t mean this with the slightest amount of sarcasm or disrespect. Tex, R, I don’t know how you do it. One day and I find myself just sitting here stewing over politics. I can’t imagine being unemployed right now. I don’t know how you guys do it. I better have some roof jobs this summer.

  14. Rant…not even really meant to be read.

    The shock of Obama actually looking back over water boarding is sinking in. From the very bottom of my soul, I can’t believe he is doing this. I just can’t believe he is doing this.

    He is so so so much worse then I thought he’d be. As a country we can’t even agree that water boarding is torture to begin with. And he wants the people protecting our country the best they could arrested for it?

    I’m utterly speechless. It’s getting to the point where I’m not sure I can be a part of the debate, be apart of the discourse.

    I can see an argument over water boarding itself. But to divide our country over this?To go backwards? The terrorists will certainly win. Now R will say this is our great duty. But again, R, we are not in agreement that water boarding is even torture. Thousands of serviceman has been through it. You have to at least admit its not cut and dry. If it’s not cut and dry, then this nothing more then vengeful politics.

    Seeing Pelosi lie about what she knew makes me sick.

    If they go through with this I am done even trying to understand the other side. I will retire from the forum. I will retire from politics.

    I’m going to my old hood to play softball again tonight. Maybe I’ll just join back up with my local tribe..ie.. my family, my immediate friends….and just give up on America. You win Rutherford. You win.

  15. Rabbit, 😆

    I can’t imagine being unemployed right now. I don’t know how you guys do it. I better have some roof jobs this summer.

    My unemployment was supposed to be my lazy ass sitting in a medical classroom right now. Bored as hell actually. We’ll give it a go again this fall.

  16. You don’t think we have anything to apologize for, hence any apologies Obama gives must be out of line.

    Not to any nation in Europe. Not to any nation in South America. Possibly to Mexico (but I think we’ve made that up), but that is it. Seriously, we bailed Europe out of two World Wars and payed for the rebuilding after both! Europe owes us about what our deficit is right now.

  17. It depends on how you define imminent. If imminent is a couple of hours, than I agree. If imminent is weeks or months (I don’t really have the definition in front of me), than I disagree. And as for person A not knowing what person B is doing, I would also agree. Unless that person happens to be a top Al Qaeda official. And we have captured several of those.

  18. One other glaring omission from my article that I would like to correct: In no other country on this planet would anyone take this hard a look at themselves and struggle with the morality of their behavior. Other countries torture without a second thought. I am very proud to live in a country that has the freedom to debate issues of morality.

    I agree!

  19. Rabbit,
    I know how you feel; every once in a while I am hit by the enomorsity of what we are facing (the whole pacifist, liberal, France-is-my-role-model world). I believe that in the end, we will lose,, it goes with where I think the world is going and how it will look at the apocalypse stage. I get a lot of comfort by knowing that what happens on Earth doesn’t matter. But their is always the chance that God will shine on us, and we will win, for a while.

  20. which would probably have been requested by an international inquiry anyway

    One thing we have to realise, the day we are controlled by international opinion is the day the US turns pacifist. We can’t throw international opinion out the window, but we have to be ready to fight the world if we have to. The UN has no control over our enemies, it better not have control over us. The UN is a useful tool for those that know how to use it, nothing else. We defend our allies to the death, fight our enemies to their death, climb up the ladder of success as fast as possible, and better the world when we can find a pain free way to do it. And we do those in that order. The governments only job is to protect us, the rest got added in. If we have to, we need to be ready to cut down to the essentials.

  21. Why do you think I advocate Obama just leaving this stuff alone? The Wall Street Journal editorial (although I don’t completely agree with it) spells out the deep trouble this investigation will get us all in.

  22. C’mon Tex. You’re back to the Chamber ad hominem attacks. Obama has often acknowledged that his story could not have happened in any other country. While he was in Europe earlier this year he b*tchslapped the Europeans for being overly anti-American.

    You listen to Obama selectively to reinforce your vision of him as some sort of demon. Open your ears man!

  23. Red Pill, this is one of the problems. Not only can the collective “we” not agree on what to do about the current situation, we can’t even agree on the basic facts. I need to get to bed but I will post objective citations tomorrow to try to answer your question.

    My laymans take on it is this: Waterboarding was defined as torture in the Geneva Convention (as far as I know) and therefore its use by us is an international (if not a domestic) crime.

    I’ll try to find more detail tomorrow to lend to a more intelligent answer.

  24. Tex beat me to the punch on answering this but Tex is not unemployed. He’s on leave by choice. I am not unemployed. I am employed but not making any money. I am taking two distance learning courses, networking like crazy and of course blogging so I stay very busy. Truth is if I didn’t have the financial ticking time bomb staring me in the face, I’d be the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

  25. First Rabbit, you can’t give up. Liberals did not give up from 2000 to 2008. Much to your chagrin they kept complaining and yelling and screaming. While I disagree with many of your opinions, it is vital that you keep yelling and screaming. That is the only way this government can function as it was intended.

    I’ll tell you something. One reason I wrote this piece, particularly the part about torture is that this whole affair pains me too. I don’t want to see my country go through this agony. It’s like having your son or daughter arrested for some crime and having to endure the trial and all the other fallout. Despite all my “ideals” I truly just want this to go away. I want to go back to debating the economy and the Afghanistan war. As more and more is revealed, and if we are honest with ourselves, we will become more and more ashamed of where our country went the past seven years. Who wants to be ashamed of one’s country? I don’t. But I’m telling you, the way this is shaping up, it makes Nixon look like a petty misdemeanor and Clinton’s blow job look positively Disney.

    Open your eyes and grit your teeth. It’s going to get very ugly. But whatever you do, don’t give up.

  26. Solar, your point only holds true if we refuse to enter into international codes of conduct. Once we do that, we cannot violate them and not expect to be held accountable. Does Europe owe us a lot. Damn right. Unfortunately your perspective is analogous to the parent after years of sacrifice robbing their adult child of all their money and using as a defense, “You owe me.”

    It doesn’t matter what Europe owes us. We signed agreements and we are bound.

  27. we are not in agreement that water boarding is even torture. Thousands of serviceman has been through it.

    Rabbit how can you argue action detached from intent? The “thousands” of servicemen that went through it, actually were going through SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) training.

    This was training designed to prepare servicemen for the possibility that they might be captured and tortured by the enemy. SERE training included waterboarding. The idea was to try to toughen our guys up so they wouldn’t spill the beans if captured and tortured by the enemy.

    These SERE “instructors” were then commissioned to apply these same techniques to OUR enemies. When we do it to our own it is to prepare them for survival of torture. When we do it to our enemy, it is torture!

    How can you not tell the difference between the two scenarios?

  28. C’mon Tex. You’re back to the Chamber ad hominem attacks. Obama has often acknowledged that his story could not have happened in any other country. While he was in Europe earlier this year he b*tchslapped the Europeans for being overly anti-American.

    Oh horseshit. You’re back to your drivel of logical fallacy abuse when you don’t have a coherent retort.

    Obama is a megalomaniac, consistently needing his ego stroked. In Europe he didn’t bitch slap anybody as he dredged on about America’s multitude of sins. Obama was too busy getting his chrome sucked from the flaccid and cowardly Euros (with a smile on his face), and sucking Saud balls thru the proverbial Arab garden hose while blowing the King. It made me ashamed for him since he doesn’t have the sense to have shame.

    Obama has absolutely no moral authority, and damn sure doesn’t have the authority to be an apologist and critic of the greatest nation on earth. He’s the waffling and contradictory George Soros lackey and rube – and a wet dream for the MSM.

    Obama’s despicable, a buffoon off the cuff, and a lightweight – just like I knew he would be.

  29. The damn Director of the CIA said it worked. The interrogators said it worked. Khalid Mohammed said it worked. Common sense says I scare you bad enough, and I can make it work. You’re hopelessly naive Rutherford. A real rube.

    And you my friend will learn as more of this comes out that you are hopelessly misinformed.

    One of the men charged with interrogating Abu Zubaydah has indicated that all of the useful information he provided was BEFORE he was tortured, not during, not after. In fact, everything he said during torture led to dead ends. Here is the FBI interrogator’s quote:

    It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.

    We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counterterrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives.

    There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics.

    Tex, do more homework before you start calling folks naive rubes. Bottom line is that your world in which the US can do no wrong is falling apart in front of your eyes and it hurts like hell. I hope we can get through this without too much lasting damage, but I’m not sure we can. It’s a damn shame.

  30. “critic of the greatest nation on earth.”

    That, Tex, is why my heart goes out to you, seriously. Our great nation has made some major moral blunders. In trying to do the right thing, in trying to protect us, our nation had lost its way. The time has come for confession and possibly punishment, It is a sad day for us all.

  31. And you my friend will learn as more of this comes out that you are hopelessly misinformed.

    One source of many and probably a Rahm payoff as Obama waffled from one day to the next trying to decide to pursue this, or not. Have to prevent the Prophet from looking the dope, which is exactly what Rahm’s job description. That little imp is sheer evil too. No telling how deep you had to dig from your godless sources like PuffHo to dredge that up. I’ll choose to believe this:

    “The Central Intelligence Agency stated today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of ‘enhanced techniques’ of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) — including the use of water boarding — caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.”

    Tex, do more homework before you start calling folks naive rubes. Bottom line is that your world in which the US can do no wrong is falling apart in front of your eyes and it hurts like hell.

    Wasn’t me that was terrified by and whining about the tea parties “R”. I think you are going to find what you perceive in your sheltered world about things really going your way, and what is reality are very much opposed. What’s the old adage? Be careful what you wish for? I predict your world of excuses and nothing but criticism coming to an end. Now you have to perform and so far, the results dismal.

    And I am now more convinced than ever that the progressives were hoping that a second attack on the USA would bring Bush down politically. That’s how despicable I think you folks. 😮

  32. world in which the US can do no wrong is falling apart in front of your eyes

    It is, actually. But it is being led by the people. We are becoming a nation without a moral or ethical norm. That is bad, and getting worse.

  33. The governments only job is to protect us, the rest got added in.

    Please point out the place in the Constitution where it says the above. The oath of office that the President takes is to protect the Constitution, not the people.

  34. The point of the Constitution IS to protect the people. Why do you think we have a government? So people like me can argue politics?

  35. It is one thing to sign the Geneva Convention, it’s another to allow the UN to declare wars for us, tell us when we can’t declare wa, and prosecute US citizens at will. George W. Bush is a US citizen and has all of the rights and restrictions thereof. It is President Obama’s job, as well as Congress’s to protect him from people that would wish him less than well. Unless significant evidence is supplied that Bush commited “crimes against humanity”, the UN has no buisness interfering.

  36. I am officially volunteering to be water boarded if Obama agrees to stop hurting us.

    Who the hell would release negative propaganda on his own country as Commander and Chief when American troops are in combat zones????????

    I want to start water boarding clubs all over the U.S. and invite the press. I need medical staff present and former vets that have been in charge of administrating the “torture”. We will all go through the process and then go out for beers.

    Our clubs will meet with great fan fare every Friday night. Waivers will be signed.

    Tex, will you be my first medical guy?

    Don’t get me wrong. I know water boarding is BITCH!

    Bring it on motherfuckers!!!!
    Water board me!

  37. Tex, will you be my first medical guy?

    Can I administer too? Of course, that won’t be as enjoyable as say water boarding “R”, but just the thrill of saying I’m a water boarder sends tingles down my leg. 😛

    Come on Rabbit – you know that simulated drowning for 20 seconds ranks right up there with the Bataan Death March, sawing off people’s heads, and the notorious naked pyramid.

    Of course, it is becoming apparent why the Left is making this an issue. I could have guessed and am only surprised it took this long. When Big O saw the poll numbers giving him the big “F.Y” about pursuing this, like Clinton when the polls said no, Big O changed his mind (for the third time).

    The left is obsessed with the past because their guiding the future now looks so bleak. Big O has invoked Saul Alinsky’s ghost and America, while still liking him personally, is saying “Hey, this sucks!”

    Trust me. It will take a little longer with Big O than it did Jimmah, but even his facade and incompetence will begin to grow thin when the poor still find themselves poor. Caesar is running out of cash to subsidize votes.

  38. With the mood I’ve been in lately, if the Dead Rabbit was to be in charge of water boarding “R”, “R” would find the water to be slightly salty with subtle notes of ammonia.

  39. Dead Rabbit 😆

    I say piss on ya Jeananne Garofalo!

    Which, let’s be very honest about what this is about. It’s not about bashing Obama, it’s not about taxes, you have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, you don’t know your history at all. You are about hating any conservative folk, including the one that just left the White House. That is bigotry and elitism straight up.

    You in Hollywood are nothing but a bunch of shit eating maggots. And there is no way around that. And you know, you can tell these type of left wingers anything and they’ll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become — it’s like showing Frankenstein’s monster fire. They become confused, and angry and highly volatile.

  40. R
    You slipped on the keys with Cesar as opposed to Hugo unless I’ve missed a story which would be interesting since your post was written on the annie of the formers death.
    As a Right of center kind of guy I have no problem with O’s response to Ortega. I also think the “handshake” was a no win situation for Obama. I would stress though that Obamatrons that wish to spin it all as diplomacy are at least equally as wrong as wing nuts that think it hails the fall of America.
    On the diplomacy front w/ Latin America. Obama hasn’t set any stage and the USA is in as poor a position with the southern neighbors as ever. At best we are slowly firming up new ties with new guys (® ™I2TF2009). Brazil,Chile and Argentina will be our new friends and Hugo and the alba(trosses) will devolve into the joke that they are.
    As for waterboarding. Contrary to everything ever said about torture it actually does work. It’s all a matter of what result you’re looking for. For truth and answers. Not so much imo. For fear, two thumbs up. As for the whole moral high ground crap. We never had it so stop it.
    R in closing I like to say I appreciate your point on prosecution. We are not currently party to under the authority of any of the international kangaroo justice systems but yeah it’s not good. As for what’s happening now I think it is sadly more about political diversion and base appeasement by the eternal campaigners minions than healing intent stuff.
    I’d also say that Cheneys somewhat vociferous rants about ALL the documents being released is something all should consider. In opening Pandora’s box O& the Boys have miscalculated. I can’t imagine Cheney is so welcoming of a public beating therefore I can’t buy into the hysteria.

  41. Alfie, I’m LOL’ing in embarrassment here over the Chavez slip. The only thing more embarrassing than my initial mistake is that you are the first of my supposedly intelligent readership to call me on it. Then again, maybe Rabbit and Tex were showing me a rare moment of mercy. As for making the Cesar/Hugo mixup on the anniversary of the former’s death, that is a weird coincidence indeed!

    Loved your comment on the effectiveness of waterboarding. As for Cheney, I now know who is the most incompetent man in the United States right now. …. Cheney’s attorney. Why hasn’t Cheney’s attorney called him on the phone and said, “Dick shut fhe f*&k up. There is a chorus of folks who think you committed criminal acts. Why are you fanning the flames?”

  42. “R”,

    is that you are the first of my supposedly intelligent readership to call me on it.

    😮 You cut me to the quick.

    The Cesar Chavez comment from the original? Hey, I was being nice and not some pedantic pr*ck. I knew who you meant and figured you knew Hugo’s name. I actually worked for the man for a time – indirectly.

  43. I actually worked for the man for a time – indirectly.

    Now you’ve got me really intrigued! First which “him” do you mean? Cesar or Hugo? And in what capacity did you indirectly work for “him”?

  44. LOL Well good Tex, I see you took the time to listen to Ms. Garofalo. 👿

    I hope you noted that I identified Janeane’s take as extremist. My only point was that if an extremist white girl comes up with this assessment, there might be a shred of truth to it, even if it is not the whole ball of wax.

  45. LOL …. you two (Tex and Rabbit) crack me up. I see a phenomenon reemerging from our days in the Chamber. Back then I could not identify it because I took you two mostly for a couple of conservative loons. But once you came visiting here and argued articulately and toned down the ad hominem attacks, I had to reevaluate my position and now I have figured out the modus operandi.

    You two stay civil and argue a very good case UNTIL your world starts to crumble down around you. At that point, reason goes out the window, the quality of the argument deteriorates rapidly and you start to engage in fantasies of blogocide (murder of a blogger?) Now back in the Chamber the primary topic of debate was the election and since your “team” didn’t stand a snow balls chance in hell of winning, all you could do was flail around helplessly spitting venom in every direction.

    Now, we have reached that point again. Simple logic and reason tells you that your country went down the wrong road. They’ve gotten caught with their hand in the cookie jar and with no reasonable defense left, we’re back to insulting Obama’s mother and calling for Rutherford’s torture.

    When your rhetoric deteriorates gentlemen, it ought to be a clue to you that something has gone terribly wrong with the folks and institutions you are defending.

    P.S. Rabbit, I’m particularly disappointed in you since you seem to more or less agree with my assessment of the South American situation yet you let your brother Tex go off the deep end on this topic without challenge. I wonder if I shall ever find the topic that prompts the two of you to have the integrity to go off on each other and at least temporarily break the bonds of conservative brotherhood?

  46. I wouldn’t say I was terrified by the tea parties. For the most part I found them a nuisance much like a fly that keeps buzzing around your head and you can’t swat it. 👿

  47. OK Red Pill, first some common sense and then a bit of research.

    Common sense: police take you into custody and without provocation beat you to a pulp. Your attorney if he or she is any good, files a criminal complaint of police brutality. Case closed. The cops can’t beat the crap out of you to get to the mob boss you work for.

    You’re kinda kinky and you invite a girl over for some fun, which consists of tying her down and suffocating her just enough to scare her but not enough to cause any permanent harm. Do you think the police tell her to forget about it when she files a complaint against you? Waterboarding is by definition at the very least assault (threat) and probably battery (actual attack).

    Now the research. If we go along with this concept that we have been at war, then KSM and Abu Zubaydah were prisoners of war. Under the Geneva Conventions to which we are a signatory the following is prohibited:

    (a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
    (c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; [1]

    Surely, if waterboarding is not (a) then it is (b). The treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was clearly (b).

    Let’s say you don’t care about no friggin Geneva Conventions. Let’s go to simple US Federal Law.

    Title 18 Chapter 113C of the US Federal Code defines torture as “the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;” and dictates a prison term for committing the act. [2].

    So I think the answer to your question is, yes, it was illegal.

  48. You seem to be calling the Dead Rabbit a hypocrite. Yet, the mention of, say, the impaling of a third term fetus while it squirms in agony makes you yawn. Liberals roll their eyes at such talk. And you think i am barbaric?

    As for the South American goon who punked Obama out by encroaching on his personal space with a blatant piece of propaganda, I feel Obama had no choice but to take his bitch slap. Tex believed he should have fought back. Not a point worth battling Tex over considering we both agree the reason this stuff happened is related to Obama’s humiliating posture in Europe.

    If Chavez is willing to come close to physically pushing Obama around, imagine the clandestine activity going on behind Obama’s back to secure his life long dictatorship. That dude seems unstable to me, too.

    By the way Rutherford, I’m just curious. Was it a bow?

  49. As waterboarding is not specifically mentioned in any of those laws or conventions, at best you have shown them all to be open to considerable interpretation on that issue.

    I appreciate the effort, though.

    “Common sense: police take you into custody and without provocation beat you to a pulp. Your attorney if he or she is any good, files a criminal complaint of police brutality. Case closed. The cops can’t beat the crap out of you to get to the mob boss you work for.”

    This example is terrible. I asked about waterboarding, which doesn not involve getting the crap beaten out of you. It involves messing with someone’s head by pouring water over their face, making them think they are in mortal danger when they are not.

    Let’s try another example similar to yours, that employs head games instead of beatings. And is used in interrogation rooms every day.

    The police take you into custody. They vigorously interrogate you for hours on end in a hot, cramped room. They tell you that they have your fingerprints at the scene when they really don’t (this is legal, BTW). They tell you they found witnesses that place you at the scene, when they don’t (this is legal). They tell you that, based on the evidence they don’t really have, they are going to prosecute you, and you could potentially get the death penalty, or go to a federal pound-you-in-the-ass prison for a long, long time. They tell you that if you enact your constitutional rights to having a lawyer present during your interrogation that all potential deals are off.

    Then they offer you a deal that can make all that evidence that they don’t have go away, if only you give them the information they are looking for.

    Sure, it’s not holding a guy down and pouring water over his face to make him think he’s going to drown. But it is still screwing with someone’s head, getting them to think they are in mortal danger when they are not, in order to get them to give up information.

    Is that being tortured?

  50. And by the way, how quick you jump on the “cool, calm and collected” train after your nasty emotionalism during the Tea Parties. I just went back and read the utter spew you wrote and had a good laugh reading your latest pompous proclamation of “keeping it civil.

    As for my comment about urinating on you, it was more of a joke. Kind of like your tea bagging funny, the difference being I didn’t get my quip from 10,000 instances on MSNBC.

  51. Oh, sorry Alfie. No, that was certainly not my intent. 😆

    That was a direct response to knucklehead’s tacit put down of “supposed” intellect statement.

    I was simply inferring that I knew who was Rutherford was referring to, and have in fact sometimes made the same mistake calling Hugo, Cesar.



  53. Hugo. Since he calls the shots for PDVSA, and PDVSA had partial ownership of the company I worked for, I tease that I indirectly reported to Hugo.

  54. Mick,
    First, you don’t need to shout.

    Second how many people would kill the rapist of their daughter but don’t because they believe in letting the law take care of things? If your parents were being held by a terrorist on 150 Madison Ave and when we waterboarded his associate he pointed us to 25 Main Street just to get us to stop torturing him, where would you be then?

    Either you believe in a nation of laws or you don’t and waterboarding (and other forms of torture) are not proven to be effective.

    Regarding SERE training, I address that earlier in this thread. It makes no sense to point to it. The intent for SERE is entirely diffeent from the intent for torture of our captured enemies.

  55. Rutherford,

    Where would the terrorist be? Its not like we just let him go. I have no doubt that the first answers we get from a terrorist are going to be wrong, but I also have no doubt that we increase the chances of getting results by waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods (personally, I think extreme sleep deprivation would be more effective).

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