Meh Culpa

In His Own Defense, Cheney Requests Classified Torture Memos That Appalled Others

Not only that, a 2002 Pentagon memo declared that torture gained unreliable information. Rachel Maddow’s guest, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, agrees with me that the Bush administration was outrageously fearful, more so than was necessary given the level of terrorism aimed at the USA versus the terrorism other countries have lived with.

Lawrence Wilkerson was former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff.  He has written “Some Truths about Guantanamo Bay,” in which he called Dick Cheney ‘evil’  and “‘They’ Have Stolen My Party And I Want It Back.” Wilkerson  has also appeared on Frontline‘s The  Dark Side” where he depicted  Cheney’s reaction to 9/11 as paranoid and claims, rightly I think, that Cheney has misunderstood the nature of our conflict with Al Qaeda.

Personally, I’d like to see a call for Nuremberg Rules.  We have the obligation to prosecute war crimes, whether or they are formulated and committed by our own people.  Unless we hold our leaders to the same standards we hold leaders of other countries, no one will ever trust us again. And they’ll have good reason not to.   They’ll also be able to turn around and say, “Hey, look:  Democracy doesn’t work.”

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April 25, 2009 Posted by | Abu Ghraib, Afghan War, Afghanistan, Arab world, Bush administration, Cheney, Executive branch, Guantanamo, human rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Pentagon, politics, torture, war crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bush Administration Lied about Terrorists Returning to Battlefield

I shouldn’t be surprised.  I mean, Bush, Cheney, the Pentagon, lying all these years. What’s new, right?

(Unless you want to see the whole thing, start the video at about 3:26)

Rachel Maddow, who makes me wish I have cable news, says the outgoing administration (with the help of Susan Crawford)  created “a complete if not cogent argument”  for keeping the terrorists we tortured from being released from Guantanamo.  Holding men you can’t convict certainly isn’t quite the cogent argument, in my opinion. It merely smacks of, oh, an authoritarian government like Egypt’s.  Following the rule of law with respect to torture means actually following the rule of law.  I think we should release people we’ve tortured. It might teach us not to torture. *

I looked up Maddow’s guest, Professor Mark Denbeaux–because that’s what I do, I’m curious–and I found rather interesting material:  “REPORT ON GUANTANAMO DETAINEES: A Profile of 517 Detainees through Analysis of Department of Defense Data“: his statement before The Senate Armed Forces Services Committee in April last year (a Word.doc well worth downloading) in which he said,

[Y]ou don’t have to be a combatant to be an enemy combatant, to be the worst of the worst, to be held in Guantanamo. But you also don’t have to be a member of al Qaeda. It turns out that 60 percent of all those detained in Guantanamo are not even accused by the United States government of being fighters for or members of either al Qaeda or the Taliban.”

Denbeaux’s article CAPTURED ON TAPE: Interrogation and Videotaping of Detainees in Guantánamo, a vivid and chilling discussion of the over 24,000 Guantanamo interrogations captured on tape that made my skin crawl.

NationMaster Encyclopedia on the Web also has a whole slew of articles and books by Denbeaux listed on its site as well. I was hoping they’d lead somewhere, but no such luck. There are synopses in case you’re interested, though. Just move your mouse over the link(s).

* Never mind that the number of released detainees tracked by Professor Mark Denbeaux who have gone back to the battlefield is “tiny.”  We just shouldn’t torture.  Ever.  And we should prosecute those among us who have authorized torture.

Update: (Naturally I found another article after I hit “Publish.”) “SETON HALL LAW REPORT: DEPT. OF DEFENSE DATA REVEALS NO RELEASED GUANTÁNAMO DETAINEE EVER ATTACKED ANY AMERICANS: Dept of Defense’s own data rebuts Justice Scalia’s claim that 30 former GTMO detainees ‘returned to the battlefield’

January 21, 2009 Posted by | Armed Services Committee, Bush administration, Congress, Executive branch, Geneva Conventions, Guantanamo, Senate, torture, war crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meh Culpa: On Arianna Huffington’s desire to fix the Republican party

The other day I saw Arianna Huffington on The Rachel Maddow Show on YouTube.  (No cable.)  I like Arianna, I really do. But Arianna wants to save the Republican party.

Dudette, the Constitution says nothing about a two party system! I think the Republican party should do what it now does best: cannibalize itself.  Let the GOP die an unholy death.  I’ll build the funeral pyre and light the match.

November 15, 2008 Posted by | political parties in the US, politics, RNC, US Constitution | , , , | Leave a comment