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Call for Holder to Investigate Torture Authorization

Investigate, and if necessary prosecute.

Sign the petition here.


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Comments (22)

Alan:

Prosecute? For what? Advice? How do you decide what law to prosecute advice under without making a mockery of the entire judicial system of courts and laws?

Mac Lorry:

Even Obama agrees that defending the United States from terrorists justifies lobbing hellfire missiles into homes where women and children are often present even though those homes are in Pakistan, a nation that's said to be an ally. Can you imagine the mental anguish these women and children suffer knowing that in the cold black sky a terrible predator stalks men who may enter their home and when it strikes it cares nothing for the innocent lives it snuffs out. Yet in lunacy beyond comprehension Obama and many on the left believe that defending the United States from terrorists does not justify even slapping the face of the very masterminds of terror. They worry that any perceived mistreatment of prisoners puts our own solders at risk for torture, yet in over two hundred years of wars only Nazi Germany has ever treated U.S. prisoners according to the rules of war. They worry that any perceived mistreatment of prisoners is a rallying cry for our foes, yet the injustice of hellfire missiles snuffing out innocent lives rings out far louder. They believe information from torture is of no value, yet many witnesses credit such information for stopping attacks on the United States and call for release of documents detailing those successes. They worry that releasing such information will weaken them politically, yet in the aftermath of another attack that information will be released at far greater political cost.

Patrick:

Mac Lorry:

I agree with you - although even Nazi Germany on occasion killed American soldiers after they were captured rather than taking prisoners:

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=51055

The fact that the left is playing politics with this issue is obvious. I have often pointed out the Predator strikes inside of Pakistan as an example of their hypocritical stance on this issue. There is NO good that can can come out of this because now the CIA will become far too risk adverse at the worst possible time. We need good intelligence in areas like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran and who in their right mind is going to stick their neck out for Obama to get it? But we all know that all good Marxists love a good show trial. It will be one more example that we have truly become a banana republic.

This also shows that Obama simply is not a very strategic thinker. It is one thing to campaign on an issue like this and clearly his left-wing base had every expectation that he would follow through. But once in office I think he was beginning to think better of the issue because I suspect some of what he has seen he has found sobering when it comes to issues of national security. But he needs support to implement his radical agenda so he thought he could mollify these people by releasing the so-called "terror memos" and that it would be enough. But he ended up just throwing red meat at his rabid supporters and it only increased their appetite for blood. Cheney than called his bluff by calling for the release of memos that would show the effectiveness of the program (which the CIA and Obama's own DNI have corroborated). Then you had liberal Democrats in Congress renewing the call for investigations and than conservative Republicans have come back with credible accusations that prominent Democrats (including Pelosi) were briefed about these enhanced interrogation techniques and signed off on them or at the very least had no objections to their implementation (including waterboarding) and this account has been backed by a Washington Post article and will probably be confirmed once the minutes of those meetings are declassified. I believe a few lawsuits have already been filed calling for the release of that information.

The net result of all this is the Obama Administration has completely lost control of this entire issue and it is spiraling out of control and the resulting chaos will damage this country's national security at the worst possible time. And they are compounding this damage by releasing photos of alleged misconduct of prisoners in US custody (again mostly isolated incidents which the military were already actively investigating before the stories broke in the press) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bringing up an issue AGAIN which is not new is a horrible idea and is partisan politics bordering on treason in my view. It puts the lives of our soldiers who are actively engaged in operations in jeopardy. Images like this will not play well for us in the region even with a new president in the White House. I can hardly believe they are being so stupid but I am not sure that it really surprises me. Obama is following one of the primary rules of thuggish leadership - continually demonize and bash your enemies (in this case George W. Bush) because it distracts people from focusing on the bad things you are currently doing.

Mac Lorry:

Patrick,

Let me just add that the ban on torture is based on a pipedream held by many professional military men. That pipedream is that if the Unites States plays by some prearranged rules of war than some future foe will play by those same rules of war. History shows that's not the case with the one exception of Nazi Germany. It's now time for reality based thinking and enhanced interrogation techniques should be authorized for the purpose of gaining information that has the potential to save American lives.

My main point is that if defending the United States justifies stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into homes with women and children present, and located in a nation that's said to be our ally, it also justifies applying enhanced interrogation techniques on the very masterminds of terror. If we worry about future retribution for using enhanced interrogation techniques, we should worry far more about future retribution for stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into homes with women and children present. It's lunacy to think one action is justified and the other is not, that one action risks retribution and the other does not, that one action is a war crime and the other is not.

Patrick:

Mac Lorry:

I totally agree with you. I think we both recognize that we are at war with people who will destroy this nation if given the opportunity. That is why pointing out the left's ridiculous position on this issue is important to the overall debate. It is easier to use the waterboarding issue for political purposes because the Democrats know that a lot of people out there are not looking at the big picture. You cannot tell me that these stealth attacks don't risk retribution every bit as much as roughing up a detainee a little bit to get valuable intelligence information - I refuse to believe that. The left are being far too dishonest about all this. They even make false and bogus comparisons to what the CIA did to a small group of people versus what the Japanese did to American POWs is WW2. That is patently dishonest - especially when KSM told the International Red Cross that his captors told him specifically that he would not be killed so the comparison between what our own people go through in SERE training and what the CIA did is all the more valid - the uncertainty aspect of the consequences of the procedure were lifted for both trainee and detainee.

I support military strikes on the enemy and enhanced interrogation because nothing less than a complete and total effort to defeat the enemy is required. When reading the so-called "terror memos" I saw a deliberate effort to avoid what is commonly accepted as torture. In a recent interview on MSNBC with Cheney's daughter the interviewer badgers her with the notion that the memos lay out how far the interrogators can go with the clear and false implication that there was a desire to go beyond what was required to achieve their goals when in fact the memos show the opposite. The idea is to probe the limits without crossing the line into torture. And unlike our enemies, this is not done for sport or for fun - there is a valuable end goal and that is to save American lives.

Lee Ward:

Somehow - before the neocons gained power in Washington - our nation was able to defend itself without compromising our principles and values.

Once the "values voters" elected Bush the moron it became necessary to cast aside our principles, our Constitution, the Geneva Convention... etc.

Once it became obvious that the nation was headed down the wrong road it became clear to the majority of Americans what we had to do to rectify the situation - put the Democrats back in power and run the pathetic, frightened, terrorized Republicans out of town.

That much has been accomplished. Now we have to continue to steer the nation back on track.

Patrick:

Lee:

Well, apparently we were not able to defend ourselves on 9/11 without taking additional measures so the response to that has led to nearly eight years of safety despite concerted efforts on the part of our enemies to strike again. And it does not surprise me the you choose to ignore the salient points that Mac Lorry and I have made regarding the hypocrisy of the left's position on this issue. And that is choosing to ignore one type of action and politicizing another that is far less heinous. We also aren't hearing all that much about extraordinary rendition either but as this was a policy started by the Clinton Administration it is not surprising that one would ignore such an inconvenient truth.

Your out and out willingness to childishly call Bush a moron (clearly he is not) makes it hard to debate people like you in a serious fashion. And Obama's own AG Eric Holder opined shortly after 9/11 that detainees at Guantanamo were not subject to the protection of the Geneva Conventions. Try reading this link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122731301791449521.html

What do you have to say about that Lee? Of course, anything a liberal says comes with an expiration date and their dishonest supporters are willing to forgive them for changing their positions on the issue when it is politically expedient for them to do so. For the left it is all about power and the American people be damned. As such, I do not trust Democrats on issues of national security. So spare me your faux morality - you are too dishonest to defend the principles you claim to hold dear...

Lee Ward:

I hold the Geneva Convention dear, and in the best interests of our nation.

That means stopping Republicans from lying this nation away from its core principles again.

Pathetic, frightened little children got into high places in the government and lead us astray. It wasn't necessary to torture - and those who authorized it should (And will) be held accountable for their actions.

Luckily, the majority of Americans recognized that Republicans over reacted to 9/11 - and now the pendulum is swinging back.

Patrick:

Lee:

Answer the question! Do you think Eric Holder was right when he said that detainees at Guantanamo did not deserve the protections guaranteed under the Geneva Conventions? The ONLY reason we are even having this discussion is that you don't like Bush because there is ample evidence based on the fact that Democrats approved the enhanced interrogation techniques that were used (including waterboarding) that we would have done what we did REGARDLESS of who was president at that time. You only want to hold Bush and his fellow Republicans responsible for what you consider to be torture but I hear no calls to hold Democrats who held similar positions on the issue (including Pelosi and now VERY interestingly Holder) at the time the decisions were made. I have far more respect for those who aren't changing their tune now that the political winds have shifted because at least they are being honest about what they believe in. This lack of conviction gives me no confidence that Democrats will make the right decisions when it is time to make them.

Do not think for minute that people are supportive of your position about this. Voters may have been less enchanted about the Iraq War but polls show most Americans are not as squeamish as the far left is about how detainees were handled after 9/11. A recent Pew Research poll showed that 71% of Americans believe that there are circumstances under which torture (not just enhanced interrogations, but actual torture) is justifiable to get information from captured terrorists.I also think that the polls show that most Americans do not support investigations and trials for the prior administration. The election in 2008 was about other issues so don't try to draw any greater inferences out of those results because you and your supporters who seem to have a disquieting amount of influence over this administration are going to stray down a very dangerous path and the American people will pay a heavy price for that kind of hubris.

Lee Ward:

If Democrats authorized the use of torture then they should be investigated.

its my understanding that the authorization came from the President's administration-- and that's the pertinent question.

You can ask my opinion on whether or not you should rob a bank -- and even if I recommend that you go ahead and rob the bank -- you are the responsible party if you follow through and commit the robbery.

It's so simple even a moronic Republican should be able to understand it.

Regardless of who knew what and when - as far as the law is concerned - the people who authorized torture are the ones responsible.

That's Rumsfeld, Rice, Cheney, and possibly Bush, as far as I know. Holder didn't authorize anything.

Nice try though - if you keep throwing up strawman arguments maybe people won't notice you're changing the subject.

At least, the Republicans won't :)

Lee Ward:

And even Blubbering Boehner agrees that it is indeed torture:

"Last week they released these memos outlining torture techniques. And that was clearly a political decision"

Addressing the issue of torture is a national concern, not a political concern.

Patrick:

Lee:

Do even you know what a straw man argument is? Decisions that are often made or not made are often done or not done as result of the support proposals receive or don't receive from the opposition party. You have NO RIGHT to object to something after you have been briefed and remained silent. It is the duty of those briefed to speak up if they object and disagree with what is being proposed. Do you know for a fact that if Democrats objected to all this that enhanced interrogation techniques would have proceeded as proposed regardless? The Iraq War went ahead because enough Democrats voted for that resolution too. Ignore the facts at your own peril. We (at least for now although it seems to be eroding daily) still have democratic process whereby all points of view are allowed to be heard and I honestly believe that even those in the minority can exert a lot of pressure and influence policy decisions.

A classic example of a straw man argument is when Republicans opposed Obama's reckless spending proposals and Obama said in many speeches that he and his fellow Democrats were trying to do something to jump start the economy and the Republicans wanted to do nothing. That was a straw man argument and it was patently false because the Republicans presented a counter spending bill but were completely stiff-armed by Obama because as he childishly bragged "I won." He claimed that the stimulus package was needed immediately and his advisors claimed unemployment would not rise above 8% as long as his proposal passed. We are above that level now and it will likely go a fair bit higher. How is that working out for us? Many economists claim he has made the problems worse rather than better.

The bottom line is this: Obama's own hand-picked AG supported and advocated the position that Guantanamo detainees did not warrant Geneva Convention protections and that opinion had broad bipartisan support at that time. Other than using enhanced interrogation techniques, prisoner treatment at Guantanamo has been proven to be very humane and well within international guidelines and norms. Yes, Holder did not approve the policy but it is an insight on how he would have approached the issue at the time the decision was made and it is all too convenient that you ignore that fact. If you don't agree with his position that I find it very hypocritical for you to support him now if he goes ahead with an investigation. And in any case, I think the evidence will show that Democrats supported the policy and I will call out all of them (and I will expect you to do likewise) if those who knew and approved of the actions in question try to have it both ways. And if Holder does go through with all this I think he should be forced to step down because he will have been proven to be a dishonest person who cannot even be consistent with his own beliefs. As the architect of the Marc Rich pardon and his role as one of Janet Reno's close assistants his credibility is already shaky at best.

Lee Ward:

Listen to the Republican talking about 'rights' - that's a joke.

What's called for is an investigation into what laws were possibly broken and when, and by whom.

It's that simple.

To my knowledge, that investigation won't be limited to Guantanomo - so your strawman argument is indeed that - irrelevant to the question at hand - just a smokescreen to distract from the real question. Besides, I'm pretty sure Holder didn't authorize the torture.

It is likewise irrelevant what any Democrat knew back then or might say now (see "bank robbery" example above) assuming that were are indeed limiting the investigation to who authorized the torture, not who knew or might have suggested it was okay to break the law.

Who broke the law (if anyone) is the question.

Patrick:

Well, there is considerable disagreement about whether what was done was actually torture. If we do this to our own military personnel is that also torture? Is it logical to assume that since we did this to our own people that was part of the argument as to why this type of interrogation technique was appropriate for terrorist detainees? I think what was done was carefully thought out and measured and there is no evidence to indicate otherwise. This is merely criminalization of the policy decisions made by the prior administration. And you never addressed the hypocrisy of allowing missile strikes in sovereign nations like Pakistan but drawing the line at tough interrogation of murderers who have knowledge of future terrorist operations. THIS IS POLITICAL - nothing more.

It is not irrelevant as to what Democrats knew - especially if some of these same people who knew and approved of the decisions that were made are now advocating the investigations. The United States is not a dictatorship - people (especially our elected officials) can have opinions and influence on this country's top leadership and if they don't provide opposing opinion than I have every expectation that they will support the decisions made by those people. I have no respect for lying backstabbers - especially those who are doing it merely for partisan political reasons. Why did Holder in 2002 give his opinion about how Guantanamo detainees should be classified? He wanted to contribute his opinion because he felt it carried weight to the debate and he was correct to do so because it is important for there to be bipartisan support as often as possible especially when it involves issues of national security. If he was AG at the time I assume that would have been his recommendation and you cannot ignore the fact that his opinion would have also opened up the way to interrogation of terrorist detainees because Geneva Convention standards do not allow such questioning. Do we know what line he would have drawn to get intelligence information because he clearly wanted the option to interrogate terrorist suspects? What is the mythical method short of waterboarding that will yield the same level of cooperation? Do you know for a fact that extreme efforts weren't made to get this information before the decision was made to use waterboarding?

Again, there is nothing good that can come from this investigation. A prosecutor still has discretionary ability about whether to prosecute or not EVEN IF LAWS MAY HAVE BEEN BROKEN because the consequences of doing so can outweigh the benefits. A partisan witch hunt WILL do irreparable damage to the remaining threads of bipartisanship that remain and will cause grave damage to our nation's intelligence apparatus. We still face huge threats all around the world and we need our intelligence agencies to take risks and be bold to get the information we need to make policy decisions that will prevent future attacks on us or our allies.

Lee Ward:

There is no bipartisanship to salvage. Patrick. Republicans had their chances and they blew it. They became the party of "no" - they advocated doing nothing - and succeed at marginalizing themselves.

The future of the GOP lies in obstructing progress as much as possible and hoping the economic conditions worsen in time for the 2010 elections.

They plan to do nothing, and hope Obama fails.

Such leadership - such outstanding public service. 41 Republican Senators sitting on their hands instead of rebuilding this nation - or becoming obstructionists if they do anything at all.

On with the show...

Patrick:

Lee:

There was NEVER any attempt by Obama to listen to Republicans on ANYTHING. After all, Obama said "I won" and that was the end of any Republican contributions to the stimulus package or anything else for that matter. Bush did FAR MORE in his first term to reach out to Democrats and that included a partnership with Ted Kennedy on education legislation. The Republicans are not proposing doing nothing and I cannot believe you are that stupid to actually believe that. Obama and the Democrats are ramming through legislation without proper debate and it is wrong for you to claim that the GOP wants Obama to fail. Rush Limbaugh said that but even then the context was left out. Socialist policies are proven failures and there is no reason to believe such policies are a good course of action for the country. We want success but that will only come from proven and prudent policies. Unsustainable government spending and crushing debt will not bring economic prosperity. That is a fact. It is the GOP's responsibility to push back against policies that will bankrupt and ultimately destroy this country and what made it great. People should not be punished for their success. Redistribution of wealth is not the American way so why shouldn't we oppose that goal? You cannot talk about past American greatness when the policies being proposed and enacted by Obama did nothing to contribute to what made this nation great in the first place.

Lee Ward:

Blah blah blah.. destroying this country, blah blah blah.

Seriously - that's the kind of crap that is sinking the GOP.

All the GOP knows how to do is fear mongering... the sad thing is that you may be stupid enough to believe that Obama the Terrorist-Loving Socialist is actually going to destroy this country.

There's no room for tiny minded, frightened idiots, Patrick, so it's become to move on and get on with business without the bipartisanship Obama hoped to include.

There is no - ZERO - NO - hope whatsoever for a constructive dialog on health care. Republicans won't moderate thier position, they won't work towards a solution - they'll drag their feet and try to make any effort at solving the problem fail/

America elected a President who vowed to fix the health cares system. It's become necessary to cast aside the Republicans in order to do that.

THAT is the fault of Rush Limbaugh and John Boehner and the rest of the Republican leaders who decided the only hope for the party was to make Obama fail.

Good luck with that one.

Lee Ward:

And it was such an opportunity lost for the red team. Obama was foolishly going into this believing that he could bring Dems and Repubs to the table and forge a compromise.

Fuggedaboutit... why compromise? That was my point back before the election. Bush used reconciliation to ram tax cuts for the rich down our throats - why bother doing anything differently from the way Bush handled things?

Yes, America was sick and tired of the bickering - and the solution is to vote more Republicans out of office - thanks to the actions of the GOP since Obama gained office it's become obvious that's the solution.

Mike:

Lee,

If all republicans are voted out, who will you have to pass off the blame?

Who could Obama blame? He sure has done a good bit of Bush bashing while in office. A real class act this guy.

I apologize for America!

Lee Ward:

"If all republicans are voted out, who will you have to pass off the blame?"

Stay tuned - in 2010 will figure that out.

And speaking of blame -- I see the right wing WackoSphere is busily blaming Barack Obama for the flyover snafu in New York today.

Do you idiots really believe Barack Obama scheduled and authorized - or even had knowledge - of the flight taking place?

The GOP is being slowly reduced to a bunch of chattering morons.... and the more that the morons chatter like monkeys the more that thinking Americans are changing their voter registration from Republican to "Independent."

Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin must be on the DNC payroll...

mike:

I notice left wingers love to use words like morons, idiots, stuff like that.

Limited vocabularies cause this phenomenon.

Patrick:

Lee:

You know damned well you would be blaming George W. Bush for the flyover fiasco if it was his White House Military Office that was behind it. Liberals personally blamed Bush for the "Mission Accomplished" banner so we know how they work when it comes to things like this. The Lower Manhattan flyover was an utterly stupid thing to do and I won't rule out that Obama knew about it because it is the kind of clueless thing he would do. The guy cannot speak without a teleprompter in front of him and he is too dumb to ad lib when something goes wrong with it. I have seen so many stupid gaffes in the first 100 days that I will not concede the point that he is anywhere near as smart as liberals and by extension the media are portraying him to be.

And don't pull that GOP fear-mongering crap because the Democrats have that playbook down to a science whether it is scaring seniors into believing that Republicans will take away their social security and medicare or the claiming that the economy wold slip into a depression if the so-called "stimulus" bill wasn't immediately passed whether anybody in Congress read it or not.

And when did the Democrats ever moderate their position for the Bush Administration? It was war from day one but there was greater anecdotal evidence that Bush tried to work with Democrats especially early on. The difference between the two parties is the depth of what is being proposed and the amount of debt that will be heaped on to pay for it. The Republicans are offering solutions but Obama isn't listening because of his arrogant "I won" stance and that position is evident in every decision he has made since he took office. The first thing he did was overturn the ban on taxpayer funds to fund foreign abortions which was a definite stick in the eyes of conservatives and that was just for openers. Everything he does is designed to antagonize conservatives. He won't even defend the country when he is traveling abroad - it is all about bashing his predecessor and America's past policies just so he can make himself look good. He is still the President of the United States and it is high time he take ownership of our country's unparalleled history - especially when it comes to the generosity of the nation and its people. I am tired of being apologized for because even in victory we have not sought treasure in return - we have in fact spent our own money to rebuild and make the counties we defeated better than they were before. I don't want Obama representing us as if we are all hanging our head in shame for the things we have done as a nation. We are not perfect but I am a proud American. What I am ashamed of is our president who cannot be bothered to stick up for the country that elected him.

There is no doubt in my mind as to where Obama was every Sunday when he was living in Chicago - he was front row center for every single one of Jeremiah Wright's sermons. If you bought his lame and tortured explanations about that whole sorry episode than you are even dumber than I thought because it was patently obvious Obama was lying and he agreed with EVERYTHING that lunatic ever uttered. The way he has governed thus far pretty much proves that he agreed wholeheartedly with Wright's view of our country and the world.


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