Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I could go on about this blowhard, but I'll let Maureen Dowd (and her Bush family sources) in today's NY Times column.


JIm said...

Obama has already done damage by releasing the enhanced interrogation methods. Let him release the results as Cheney urges. Obama and the liberals are convinced that Cheney and the previous administration are evil, so let them release the results so the American people can decide for themselves.

John M. Lally said...

I think there are a lot of people in Congress who would like to tell Cheney and Limbaugh to shut up about releasing documents. Obama has clearly stated that he wants to look to the future and not the past. He has signalled that he's not interested in prosecuting Bush and Cheney for their war crimes. Cheney is the one who keeps popping up demanding investigations and the release of documents. He might well talk himself into a conviction.

John M. Lally said...

By the way, I think they should release Saddam Hussein's memos on the effectiveness of torture.

JIm said...

Obama has released only half the story. We should have the rest of it. Cheney is a breath of fresh air after listening to Pelosi wax eloquent that she was shocked at water boarding. I hope Cheney continues to speak out, if for no other reason that it annoys liberals.

John M. Lally said...

That's what I like about you right wingers,

You'll launch illegal wars, commit war crimes, overthrow governments, insult allies, and offend races and nations of people for the sole purpose of pissing off liberals.

JIm said...

If you refer to Iraq, Congress including Democrats voted for it which makes it legal. If you mean waterboarding as a crime, it was not classified as torture at the time. Liberals Pelosi, Rockerfeller and Reid were fully informed and apparently approved. I am unaware of the Bush administration insulting allies. I am aware that countries who changed their governments from liberal to conservative improved relations with the US. Canada, France, Germany are examples. If we offended races and nations of people for going after and killing Islamic terrorists, that is just the price of staying alive.

John M. Lally said...

The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention Against Torture. It marked a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States clearly expressed United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today. The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called "universal jurisdiction." Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Since the proprietor linked to the dreadful Maureen Dowd, why not let The Body weigh in.

Jesse Ventura on Larry King:

Jesse Ventura: I would prosecute every person who was involved in that torture. I would prosecute the people that did it, I would prosecute the people that ordered it, because torture is against the law.”Larry King:

You were a Navy S.E.A.L. Jesse Ventura:

Yes, and I was waterboarded [in training] so I know…It is torture…I’ll put it to you this way: You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.

An aside, at the risk of getting all pedagogic, Congress DID NOT declare war on Iraq. The last constitutional declaration of war was in December, 1941. Welcome to the national security state.

JIm said...

Butch, You might want to check your facts.

Senate approves Iraq war resolution
Administration applauds vote
Friday, October 11, 2002 Posted: 12:35 PM EDT (1635 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.

Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.

The president praised the congressional action, declaring "America speaks with one voice."

• "The president is authorized to use the armed forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, and (2) enforce all relevant United Nation Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

• The resolution requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of any military action against Iraq and submit, at least every 60 days, a report to Congress on the military campaign.

• The resolution does not tie any U.S. action to a U.N. resolution.

JIm said...

Are any of you "Read them their rights" Liberals feeling uncomfortable with the Obamasiah's evolving terrorist policy? He is beginning to make me feel better, at least about pursuit of terrorists. Who knows with this kind of "Hope and Change" we could be back to waterboarding in the near future.

MAY 14, 2009 Obama Considers Detaining Terror Suspects Indefinitely Article

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is weighing plans to detain some terror suspects on U.S. soil -- indefinitely and without trial -- as part of a plan to retool military commission trials that were conducted for prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The proposal being floated with members of Congress is another indication of President Barack Obama's struggles to establish his counter-terrorism policies, balancing security concerns against attempts to alter Bush-administration practices he has harshly criticized.

Obama Administration Manages Detainee Policy
WSJ's Justice Department reporter Evan Perez discusses the Obama administration's efforts to create a detainee policy in line with both national security concerns and the critiques Obama raised during his campaign.
On Wednesday, the president reversed a recent administration decision to release photos showing purported abuse of prisoners at U.S. military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Obama cited concern that releasing the pictures could endanger U.S. troops. Mr. Obama ordered government lawyers to pull back an earlier court filing promising to release hundreds of photos by month's end as part a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The decision to block the detainee photos contrasts with the administration's release last mon

Butch in Waukegan said...

Jim can cite CNN & Fox, but the constitution clearly states that Congress has the power to declare war. (Article I, Section 8).

There are reasons that Bush and the Congress crafted a “resolution” rather than a “declaration”.

One is that it is not certain that there was enough popular support for an outright declaration.

Another related, and more important reason, is it allows political wiggle room for Senators and Congressmen. If the war becomes unpopular they can claim that they voted for “supporting the President”, not for the war. Hillary and John Kerry come to mind.

Since WWII congress has ceded its power to declare war to the executive.

Welcome to the imperial presidency and the national security state.

Anonymous said...

Dear MDL:

Thanks for passing along Dowd's column, which I missed. Cheney is typical of the ways in which rightwingers are instantly ready to reveal their deeply rooted anti-Americanism whenever the Democrats take over. Come to think of it, they're unpatriotic even when they're in power---outing covert US spies, doctoring intelligence, eavesdropping on American citizens without bothering with warrants, etc. Cheney is a criminal. They should stick him in a supermax with the Gitmo alumni.

JIm said...

Anonymous, You are behind the times as far as outing covert spies. Richard Armitage, a deputy of Colin Powell, outed Plame.I suspect Powell was well aware of that for two years, as other people in the administration twisted in the wind. So much for Powell's loyalty. As far as sticking Cheney in Gitmo, that is what one would expect from a Liberal Progressive government to do with people who dissent. It might happen yet.

Butch, Your citing of a declaration of war vs. a resolution is a distinction without a difference. Congress both Democrats and Republicans voted for it. War ensued. That is the way representative government works.By the way the quote was from a WSJr. reporter Evan Perez. The WSJ is considerably more objective than the NYT. They will probably be in business longer too.

JIm said...

Surprising to me, Democrat, Chuck Schumer said it pretty well.

Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 8, 2004, Schumer stated:
"And I'd like to interject a note of balance here. There are times when we all get in high dudgeon. We ought to be reasonable about this. I think there are probably very few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake.
"Take the hypothetical: If we knew that there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we believed that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is most Americans and most senators, maybe all, would say, 'Do what you have to do.'

"So it's easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used. But when you're in the foxhole, it's a very different deal."

John M. Lally said...

For the sake of argument (though I'm not conceding the point), let's say that there may be some excuse for torture. Fine. Let the Defendants raise their defenses at trial. If they are valid defenses, they shouldn't be punished.

After all, a murder suspect isn't entitled to dismissal of charges just because he claims it was "self defense". He gets to raise that defense at trial, but it's not an automatic get-out-of-jail card.

Cheney's invited an investigation into this matter. So why not let it go forward?

JIm said...

You assume that non US citizens, captured on the battle field, should enjoy a US citizens right to trial by jury with full disclosure of sources/methods and Miranda rights. We did that in the 90's with disastorous results. The attacks became increasingly daring and deadly. Lincoln, FDR and Clinton did not do it, because it would have been stupid and dangerous. Clinton just used rendition to let others do our dirty work. Obama still has the power to use rendition and maybe he has or will.

John M. Lally said...

No. I believe that US Officials suspected of war crimes should be subjected to investigation, and if the investigation substantiates the charges, then trial.

JIm said...

If Bush officials are open to charges, surely Obama and or others in his administration will be open to charges for actions in Afganistan and Pakistan. The cost of one party losing an election will include investigation and charges by the winning party. This is how it is done in many autocratic countries. Maybe it will become a new American tradition. It would be an example of "Change" but necessarily of "Hope". Of course charges against government officials would have to include congress persons who did nothing to oppose the policy.

John M. Lally said...

In autocratic countries, the autocrats do not allow investigations into their war crimes. We should be better than that.

John M. Lally said...

Letter From CIA Denying Cheney’s Request For Torture Intel


The CIA is refusing to release the torture memos requested by Cheney. They cite the [Bush] policy that information will not be released if it is the subject of pending litigation.

(Do you think the CIA might still be a little sore about Valerie Plame?)

JIm said...

If the CIA is sore about Valerie, they should take it up Armitage, the leaker, a Democrat or Powell a supposed Republican who voted for Obama.

Curtis Faville said...

I remember exactly the mood of the country when Bush & Cheney & the Wolf were pounding on the war drums.

Courageous members of Congress knew the Iraq diversion was a crock, but they were conflicted. If the Administration went to war "without" their support, they knew they'd be labeled as unpatriotic and not in support of "the troops". Many capitulated, and voted against their conscience to support the resolution. They knew--we all knew, really--that the "evidence" against Hussein was concocted. The UN knew. Powell knew, but he was following orders. The CIA and the Pentagon had been manipulated and bullied into making up false espionage reports.

With respect to torture, there is a difference between battlefield torture, and the torture of covert, terrorist infiltrators in a peaceful setting. But if you capture someone who's planning, or has already committed a terrorist act, you don't treat them as "soldiers" but as spies. You jail them, then try them. Bush II created a special grey area--neither battlefield, nor covert terrorist, and said we can treat these people like captured soldiers because we're in a "war on terror". Bush II was very careful to keep repeating that mantra over and over and over, because it was the centerpiece of his administration's foreign policy. "War" footing justifies almost anything. "We're at war! All civil rights and privileges are suspended! Duck and cover! Anyone who disagrees is committing treason!" Blah blah blah.

I've never been an admirer of Pelosi. Was she briefed before the crimes? Probably.

Obama has thrown the Repubs an olive branch--he doesn't want to wallow in past sins. But the Neo-Cons see an opening, and they're like rabid dogs. Divert! Slow down the Obama bandwagon. Make everyone complicit.

The first thing you know, the Neo-Cons will have us believing that Kerry and Reid and Pelosi were responsible for the Iraq war. Now that will be interesting to see!

JIm said...

Whether neo cons or conservatives want to use Pelosi to force the nation to make an informed decision to use or not use enhanced interrogation methods when necessary at the president's order or they simply want to slow down or derail an out of control big spending, big govt, govt. controlled health care like the UK and Canada, it is all good. It is called politics. You use what you can to win. The US govt. is in the process of bankrupting Medicare and social security. Big Al's lock box is not there. Govt. can not run the post office at a profit but they want you to believe that they can run our health system and reduce costs. Health care is rationed in the UK and Canada. Govt. decides who lives and dies. We do not need this in the US.

John M. Lally said...

The post office is a private corporation.

JIm said...

John, Wrong again.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the United States government (see 39 U.S.C. § 201) responsible for providing postal service in the United States.

Within the United States, it is commonly referred to as the Post Office, Postal Service, or U.S. Mail.

JIm said...

Hey Mike, Do you still feel sappy?

Thursday, January 4, 2007
Michael Lally

"I don’t know about you, but I can get really sappy about some stuff. I always was “a sentimental Irishman” but as I age, even more so.

Like a lot of men, I never cried for decades—now I cry at commercials!

And I got a little teary eyed today, watching the first woman become Speaker of the House.

Her speech was pretty good too, and the mentions of, and concessions to the children (inviting them up to the podium to touch the historic gavel), I bet have never been a part of that tradition before."

Lally said...

Yep. And the US Post Office when it was a branch of the federal government was efficient and financial stable until Republican moved to privatize it and settled on the partial solution that has led to this. As for the CIA, well, we all know how reliable they are as a source of truth.

JIm said...

Darth Cheney is the most valuable Republican in this time of Republicans in the wilderness, according to Bill Krystol. I prefer having Darth than Nancy on our side. There is a lot to say for honesty vs. dishonesty whether if is popular or not.

“and while most senior Bush alumni were in hiding, Dick Cheney--Darth Vader himself, Mr. Unpopularity, the last guy you'd supposedly want out there making the case--stepped onto the field. He's made himself the Most Valuable Republican of the first four months of the Obama administration (ably assisted by a few bold denizens of the Hill like the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, Pete Hoekstra).

JIm said...

Former Clintonista Leon Panetta takes issue with Nancy. Gee whizz, are even those Democrats that are level headed abandoning SanFranNan?
Mr. Panetta whom I suspect you once thought has an honorable man takes issue with your interpetation.

"Panetta, President Obama's pick to run the clandestine agency, wrote in a memo to CIA employees Friday that "CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing 'the enhanced techniques that had been employed,'" according to CIA records.

"We are an agency of high integrity, professionalism and dedication," Panetta said in the memo. "Our task is to tell it like it is—even if that’s not what people always want to hear. Keep it up. Our national security depends on it."

In the pep talk style memo entitled "Turning Down the Volume," Panetta encourages CIA employees to return to their normal business and to not be distracted by the shout fest Pelosi's remarks created. "

John M. Lally said...

Dang! I am wrong about the Postal Service.

JIm said...

John, It is refreshing to see someone admit when they are wrong even if it was very small thing.

epaminondas said...

2/3 of congress never declared War and yet a War happened in Vietnam. !00's of thousands perished. How many psyches were torn to and left to suffer unattended; living with the haunting nightmare of what their country led by The then Sec. of Defense, Macnamara had them execute, and finally left many of them to lie in the gutter in despair?The constitution and the very principles that beat in the heart of every human with compassion is a used square of toilet paper used to wipe up a diarreah of horror that both parties exude at the bidding of The Banks and the Military Industrial Complex.

epaminondas said...

2/3 of congress never declared War and yet a War happened in Vietnam. !00's of thousands perished. How many psyches were torn to and left to suffer unattended; living with the haunting nightmare of what their country led by The then Sec. of Defense, Macnamara had them execute, and finally left many of them to lie in the gutter in despair?The constitution and the very principles that beat in the heart of every human with compassion is a used square of toilet paper used to wipe up a diarreah of horror that both parties exude at the bidding of The Banks and the Military Industrial Complex.

Curtis Faville said...

The weakness, failure and incompetence of Pelosi, is no argument in favor of the principles espoused by the Republicans during the Bush II years.

If I had the chance, I'd certainly not have chosen Pelosi to be head of her party in the House. Obviously, her official positions are worlds apart from the opposition; you live with what you get in politics. We lived Newt Gingrich, I guess you guys can live with Pelosi for a while.

JIm said...

It seems that Darth Cheney is more honest and honorable than the NYT's author, Maureen Dowd as well as Nancy Pelosi.

"NEW YORK — New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has admitted to using a paragraph virtually word-for-word from a prominent liberal blogger without attribution.

Dowd acknowledged the error in an e-mail to The Huffington Post on Sunday, the Web site reported. The Times corrected her column online to give proper credit for the material to Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall."

JIm said...

Darth Cheney is apparently on a comeback. His numbers are up 20% since January. He trails Obama by 20-25%, but Obama flip flops on national security have not been pretty. Welcome but not pretty.

May 21, 2009
CNN Poll: Favorable opinion of Dick Cheney on the rise
Posted: 10:14 AM ET

From CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser