Tag Archives: Torture

…without waterboarding?

Huh, would you look at that..

Washington (CNN) — Senior Obama administration officials revealed late Tuesday they’ve secretly gained the cooperation of family members of Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab to help get the Christmas Day airline bomb suspect talking.
The cooperation effort has led to actionable intelligence that could help prevent terror attempts on U.S. soil, the senior officials said.

No torture, no waterboard,no stress positions,no violation of human rights or our own laws… and he’s actually talking and without a military tribunal to boot!

The senior administration officials said that since AbdulMutallab began talking to investigation again last week, he has been cooperating on a daily basis. The officials added the information gained from the interrogations has been disseminated throughout the intelligence community.

One of the senior Obama officials, who bluntly said the Republican attacks have “frustrated the hell out of me,” asserted that gaining the trust of the family was the best way to handle the case and helped the administration gain valuable intelligence from the suspect, who is believed to have ties to an al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen.

“It could be used to disrupt other attacks,” one of the senior Obama officials said of the intelligence gleaned from AbdulMutallab in the interrogations, who added the president has been getting regular updates on what the suspect has been revealing.

The Republican response so far is to complain that President Obama has wasted these 6 weeks, but let’s have some truth for once shall we…

U.S. military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who in the past six weeks have killed scores of people, among them six of 15 top leaders of a regional al-Qaeda affiliate, according to senior administration officials.

The operations, approved by President Obama and begun six weeks ago, involve several dozen troops from the U.S. military’s clandestine Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), whose main mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists. The American advisers do not take part in raids in Yemen, but help plan missions, develop tactics and provide weapons and munitions. Highly sensitive intelligence is being shared with the Yemeni forces, including electronic and video surveillance, as well as three-dimensional terrain maps and detailed analysis of the al-Qaeda network.

I know some were worried about AbdulMutallab being mirandized and like John McCain, were trying to attack for Eric Holder for his decision and I guess prosecute him for treason(ok, not the treason part-or are they) but it looks like they can put those feary-tales to bed.

“It is also my understanding that Mr. Abdulmutallab has provided valuable information. Is that correct?” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein asked.

“Yes,” Mueller replied.

Mueller then confirmed that the interrogation has continued despite the fact that the suspect had been advised of his right to have a lawyer and remain silent.

Now this is something I also found to be of interest

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, politicians and the courts have wrangled with the thorny question of how to treat suspected terrorists. The Supreme Court has not weighed in on whether the government has the right to hold a civilian as a military prisoner, and both times it appeared the court would get the chance to decide, President George W. Bush opted instead to bring the cases in civilian criminal courts

George Bush was hard on terror; he, Dick Cheney and those like them are the only ones who can keep us safe. President Obama, following their plan makes us look weak to our enemies though and thus makes us more vulnerable to attacks. How does that work?

The fact is we have a 100% success rate in trying terrorists in civilian court and as far as I know the only ones walking around and back to their old tricks, are walking around because Dick Cheney released them! We’ve killed or captured more terrorist leaders under Obama’s 1st year than we did in the last year of Bush. We’ve had more ‘drone-launched missile strikes’ in President Obama’s 1st year than in Bush’s last 3 years. We are spending more money to “expand secretive Special Operations units, deploy more unmanned aerial drones” , but somehow it’s not good enough because President OBama doesn’t torture, because he doesn’t throw everyone into a military tribunal, because he  treats people as the laws this country was founded on tell him to treat people, so  he is still weak on terrorism. If anything, the increased drones attacks,increased terrorist casualties, successful interrogation of a  terrorist should prove that not only is he not weak on terrorism, but that he’s doing something pretty right.

Alas… like the elusive Osama Bin Laden tape that surfaces only after some major event has happened, I expect a carefully worded press release from the most elusive of all creatures, Dick Cheney. Fox news and the conservative blogosphere need something to come after Mr. Obama on since he ate them for lunch at the GOP retreat last week, coupled with this new information on the lack of torturing actually working and Cheney is probably being roused from his slumber now.

I don’t expect anyone from  the right to commend the President for a job well done,that would be ridiculous and let’s face it, the halfhearted attempt would come out more condescending than anything else. The GOP for all it’s glory has painted themselves into a corner. In their quest to dismiss this President, they have painted him as a weak, incompetent, unintelligent, lying, dangerous,socialistic,Nazi-like, thief looking to steal your money to give it to the poor and your guns to give them to the Muslims.  I’m sure there is something to nit-pick about and if not, they can take a page out of a GOP strategists memo and just lie, but I thought this was a pretty good job of getting the guy to talk without having to drown him 1st.

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The fear of a healthy America…

There is a great discussion going on on the muchedumbre forum..

“Fear here… I got fear here… 1 trillion dollars… get your fear…

sorry, 900 billion… like any of us really know the difference…

So, is Obama simply repeating the mistakes of Bush II by selling important things to the American people with fear?

fear here, fear now.. we must stop it.

Well, we must stop it when it is President Obama doing the mongering, when it is a Democrat’s agenda, when it is an issue that 70% of the country’s population want.

We are being led to believe that the ‘fear’ the President it ‘mongering’ on the rise of insurance prices, the crippling effect that the uninsured have on the medical system, and the eventual crash of medicare/medicaid  is just fanciful and over-the-top unnecessary rhetoric. But this isn’t about the country, this isn’t about helping the 70% majority get what they are begging for,the Republican’s  only goal here is to stop Obama by ending his hope of healthcare for everyone. The idea behind  stopping the healthcare reform the President is asking for is that it will  bring his popularity down enough for Republicans to  hope for a chance to win a majority of congressional elections is 2010. This isn’t about you or me to the Republicans, this is about beating Obama and winning congressional seats. Just ask Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). He isn’t afraid to admit the Republican agenda.

“When you tell people that the mortality rate in Canada is 25% higher for breast cancer, 18% higher for prostate cancer, you know, they say why in the world would we emulate a system like that?”

Of course they are telling them a lie, because that is not the system we are trying to emulate.. but what good is a little truth when your goal is fear. Why bother with the truth when the  the mortality rate for mortality is 3% higher in the United States than Canada? Because then, you lose your argument all together.

This idea of pretending that our healthcare system would suffer or the bonus-cuts the poor and destitute health insurance CEO’s would have to endure are not the issue, is ridiculous. The issue is to do what it takes to win at all costs.

“I just hope the President keeps talking about it, keeps trying to rush it through. We can stall it. And that’s going to be a huge gain for those of us who want to turn this thing over in the 2010 election.”Sen. James Inhofe

The majority of us who support a public plan and are willing to pay for it, are sadly not as important as those who donate millions to coffers of our elected officials both Democrat and Republican. Oddly enough, the ones taking the most money from Phamra and Big Insurance are the one blocking reform by calling for bi-partisanship. Which in this case means a bill so watered down and useless that it will do more harm than good. And yet to call them on this, to explain the immediate need for reform, to try and give a democracy what it’s demanding.. is to be out there ‘fear mongering’ and scaring the public and this just isn’t to be born!

We had to wire-tap our own citizens for fear that the terrorists were  making covert plans over the wires.

We had to torture  subjects who were captured for fear that they might  know something. In order to do that though, we had to change the wording of strict Geneva convention guidelines to change these POW’s into ‘enemy combatant’ for fear that the laws may protect them.

We had to detain  combatants  in secret holding facilities all over the world for fear that they would escape or worse, join together and become a ‘super-terrorist cell’.

We could not try these combatants  in our own courts on our own soil for fear that they would  get off and be released into the population and begin collaborating with one another on another attack.

We could not house these combatants in our own maximum security prison system for fear that they may do what no one else has done, and escape.. or for fear that they would join in with the other extremely dangerous inmates housed with them and created new terrorists  networks.

We were even told to vote for the Republicans because they tried  to make us fear that they were the only one capable of keeping us safe in these uncertain times.

It’s telling that when these issue were brought up and the fear mongering was pointed at as an unnecessary tactic, he reply from the same people complaining about the supposed fear mongering President Obama is spreading, was

“So the Prez tells you stuff that you don’t like and don’t want to hear, and for his trouble of actually treating you like an adult and not sugar coating it, you call it “fear mongering.”


It’s legitimate and warrants some extra consideration.

That’s almost as “fair” as the people deciding the fate of the health reform being recipients of millions of dollars from the insurance companies… but not quite.

The scary idea that some Republicans are trying to make into some kind of truth, that once this reform is enacted, our elderly will be put out to pasture, is some of the most ridiculous and preposterous yet to be voiced in this debate. In country where a doctor is criminally punished for aiding terminal patients with only hours to live in excruciating pain, it’s asinine to believe that we would all of a sudden kill off an entire segment of our population. But fear is what the Republicans peddle to get their way, even if their way goes against what 72% of the population and 50% of their constituents are asking for.

The scariest part of all.. is that we and the Democrats in Congress will let them get away with it.

The only thing there is to fear here is the money Republicans and some Democrats will lose from the Health sector if they don’t get out and pimp for them now.

Oh…and to the Republicans who complain that bureaucrats should not be involved in the decisions between a doctor and patient, first I ask, is the  17 year old high school student working after school and weekends at the insurance call center denying  the care your physician is asking for now, doing that job any better?.. and then I say to those crying a whoa is me over politicians not being a deciding factor in the doctor/patient conversation.. Thank You for joining the ‘Pro-choice’ movement, the ‘Pro-medicinal marijuana’ movement and the ‘pro-assisted suicide’ movement, can we count on your support in 2010?

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Torture; paybacks are a bitch..

There has been a lot in the news about torture over the last few months. Did the US torture? If so, who authorized it? Do we punish the persons who actually did the torture? Do we punish the ones who authorized it? These are all questions that in all likelihood will piss people on both sides off when they are answered.

The “Jack Bauer” scenario is the most prominent reason given for torture.

A  bomb is about to detonate in a heavily populated metropolitan area, a person who knows the whereabouts of this bomb and other details of the plan is captured and he is not talking.

Pop-quiz asshole! What do you do?

Both sides answering this question have valid opinions.  One side screams to torture them until they spill every ounce of information they have. The other side points to this and says “But you don’t know if the information  is real. They could just be telling you anything and while you are out on that Easter egg hunt trying to confirm the information, valuable time will be wasted.” They are the ones who want to use tried and true interrogation tactics in this scenario because they believe those tactics work and they also believe that a time of stress and crisis is when it’s most important to stick to our values.

I agree with both sides.

I guess I’m in the ‘if all else fails‘ camp.

Obviously ‘normal’ police method interrogation works. We’ve seen it’s success across the country on a daily, if not hourly basis. When people are caught for their crimes they want to talk, they want to explain,  they want you to understand why they did what they did but they need to be nudged into it.  That’s where a seasoned detective comes in.  If this type of ‘non-enhanced’ technique did not work, no one would ever confess… but they do.

But does torture work? Dick Cheney says it does. In fact he says that we actually faced a ‘Jack Bauer’ scenario and torture is what stopped this ‘second wave’ from happening.  The Head of the FBI says this is untrue, The CIA says this is untrue, and others who have seen the memo’s Cheney is quoting  say this is untrue.  Dick Cheney has also heralded the capture of KSM as proof of tortures value. That has  also been called into  question by the actual interrogator.

Look, it’s not that you won’t get someone to talk by torturing them, I don’t think anyone is debating that point. It’s just that you will get them to talk about everything they think you want them to talk about, whether true or not.

Every example that Dick Cheney uses as his proof has since been found to be lacking in the ‘proof’ arena, and just like he now says Saddam didn’t have anything to do with 9/11.. maybe sometime in the future he’ll change this ‘torture worked’ storyline. Since it looks like he could be tried as a war criminal though, I doubt he’ll ever say that. What he will do is make sure everyone and anyone is aware that this was George W. Bush’s plan.  That’s also  turning out to be just another of Cheney’s fantasies though.

SCHIEFFER: … somewhere down the line. Did President Bush know everything you knew?

CHENEY: I certainly, yes,have every reason to believe he knew — he knew a great deal about the program. He basically authorized it.I mean,this was a presidential-level decision. And the decision went to the president. He signed off on it.

The problem I have with any of this “torture question”, is the hypocrisy of it. The,

“We don’t torture because we changed the definition of torture so we could torture legally”…

…is where I call foul. What made it ok for Jack Bauer to torture the terrorists in 24(besides the whole “it’s a TV show”), was the fact that he was willing to stand up to Congress and lay it all out on the table and take whatever punishment they doled out. That’s when, in my opinion, it’s ok to torture someone for information in the “ticking time-bomb scenario”.If you feel that what you are doing is not only right, but your duty as an American and you are so sure of this that you are willing to face the consequences afterward, then have at it and get all the information you can.

But just like lying about a blow job got a president impeached, lying about torture and your role in it should at least get you a public hearing.

It’s not the acts themselves that bother people, I would wager that if a “Jack Bauer” situation was being played out in real life an overwhelming majority of Americans would either turn a blind eye or slap the interroagtor on the wrist for their actions. But when you lie about, mislead others into believing your lie and then try and cover up your lie.. then the jury isn’t the only one who knows you were committing a crime.

Of course I will be ask …

“What if someone had your child, wouldn’t you torture them to find them?”

Yes… yes I would and if they harmed a hair on my child I would follow them home and cut them up into little pieces….slowly. But, when the police came to arrest me it would only take that seasoned detective about a minute to get me to talk. I would want tell him why did what I did. I would explain what I did to him and my subsequent jury. I would make them live through the horror  I and my missing/harmed child lived through and I would hope for  jury nullification.

Torture for the use of  gaining information, in my opinion is a crap shoot. It might work and it might not. The worst part about this ironically is the ‘ticking time-bomb scenario’. In that scenario there is no time for proper interrogations to be used, no time because the bomb is set to go off at any minute. Yet, there is time to investigate the false confessions which all agree are a part of the torture process? I don’t think so. If there is no time for mistakes then why chose the path which will ensure the most mistakes? It’s for this reason I am going more and more to the side of a “No Torture” policy for information gathering purposes.

That is not to say I am against torturing for punishment..

I will have to turn in my ‘liberal’ card for a month by saying this, but I think there are actual justifications to torture people, but in my world those reasons have to do with their crimes and not to get information out of them. Don’t believe there is a crime that the deserved punishment is some form of exquisite  pain upon the person guilty of the crime?

NEW ORLEANS —  Authorities say a 17-year-old teenager was charged with aggravated rape and first-degree murder of an 8-month-old child.

This is not a ‘redeemable’ child, this animal (because he is most definitely not a man or a human) who at the ripe old age of 17, already has convictions for  “drug possession charges; obscenity; battery on a correctional officer; three counts of battery on a school teacher; theft; weapons charges; and assault” in my opinion is worthy of a life of exquisite pain upon his conviction.

Not ‘torture-worthy’ enough?

CASSVILLE, Mo. —  The two men charged in rape and murder of 9-year-old Rowan Ford had their first brief court appearance Tuesday.

These men, one the child’s step-father, have been charged with ” first degree murder, sodomy and rape charges in connection to the death of Rowan Ford of Stella.” Whose body they just dumped in cave like a piece of garbage that they were done with using.

I  think they could to with a little ‘waterboarding’ just for the fun of it.

Torture for investigative purposes won’t give us the real-time intelligence we need in a ‘ticking time-bomb’ scenario.. but it will damn well make us feel better when we use it for the sole purpose of… ‘pay backs are  motherfucking bitch!’

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