Civil Liberties Obama Torture

“They Tormented a Clerk” – UPDATED

abu-zubaydah-2

If you read between the lines of Barack Obama’s answer to Jake Tapper’s question
about waterboarding last night, it is clear that the issue of torture is not going to fade away any time soon. Here’s a clip.

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, “We don’t torture,” when the entire British — all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.

And then the reason was that Churchill understood
— you start taking shortcuts, over time, that corrodes what’s — what’s best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.

*******************************************************************************************************************

UPDATE: Commenter “reg” flagged this column from the London Times. It speaks specifically to the issue of the British in WWII, captured spies, and even the incidents of “ticking time bombs.”

*****************************************************************************************************************

Then in this morning’s LA Times there is an Op Ed by Joseph Margulies, a lawyer for Abu Zubaydah. Abu Zubaydah, if you remember, is one of the handful of enemy combatants who has been used to justify the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” a real big fish of terrorism—-and the first person to vanish into a CIA black site.

Or so we were told. Later, however, the WaPo and the NY Times interviewed DOJ officials and former intelligence officers who said that…actually Abu Zubaydah was far from being a leader or an insider; he was “a personnel clerk.” Our bad.

And how did we treat the personnel clerk?

First, they beat him. As authorized by the Justice Department and confirmed by the Red Cross, they wrapped a collar around his neck and smashed him over and over against a wall. They forced his body into a tiny, pitch-dark box and left him for hours. They stripped him naked and suspended him from hooks in the ceiling. They kept him awake for days.

And they strapped him to an inverted board and poured water over his covered nose and mouth to “produce the sensation of suffocation and incipient panic.” Eighty-three times. I leave it to others to debate whether we should call this torture. I am content with the self-evident truth that it was wrong.

Second, his treatment was motivated by the bane of our post-9/11 world: rotten intel. The beat him because they believed he was evil. Not long after his arrest, President Bush described him as “one of the top three leaders” in Al Qaeda and “Al Qaeda’s chief of operations.” In fact, the CIA brass at Langley, Va., ordered his interrogators to keep at it long after the latter warned that he had been wrung dry.

But Abu Zubaydah, we now understand, was nothing like what the president believed. He was never Al Qaeda. The journalist Ron Suskind was the first to ask the right questions. In his 2006 book, “The One Percent Doctrine,” he described Abu Zubaydah as a minor logistics man, a travel agent.

“They tormented a clerk,” writes Margulies. Then he goes on to explain the disintegrative effect that “enhanced interrogation” had on Zubaydah’s psyche.

“Already, he cannot picture his mother’s face or recall his father’s name. Gradually, his past, like his future, eludes him.”
**************************************************************************************************************
PS: Remember when Barack Obama talked about things that are corrosive to a nation’s character….? That’s the kind of thing he meant.

PPS: Oh, yeah, and then there’s the Spanish judge who has just expanded his investigation of torture at Guantanamo. Details and more here on NPR’s Fresh Air.

40 Comments

  • Last night, the soft ball questions seem rehearsed or known in advance, but I thought it interesting that of the harsh interrogation that we have been talking about, the only thing that Obama is stopping is water boarding.

    Obama is leaving everything else on the table except for water boarding.

    (1) Wall Standing.
    (2) Hooding.
    (3) Subjection to Noise.
    (4) Sleep Deprivation.
    (5) Deprivation of Food and Drink.
    (6) Endless Solitary Confinement
    (7) Humiation
    (8) Extreme Cold

    It is clear that the use of torture (as definced by the left) is not going to fade away any time soon.

  • Bullshit…

    You pretend to know what Obama is taking on or off the table based on watching a press conference. You guys are as ignorant as you are desperate. This level of discussion is as pathetic as your lame critique of the questions at the Press Conference. You Don’t Know What The Hell You’re Talking About !!!

    After living in Bush’s ass and licking it up for 8 years, you folks can’t really believe how much things are changing, how much rotteness and incompetence has been exposed, how moronic you look nor that a young black guy could possibly pull it off. And you really, really want him to be as half-assed and corrupt as your guy. Otherwise you’ll be having trouble living with yourselves.

    Sorry to go “meta” here – but the crap I read here and the absolute horseshit being vended by near-total morons and hysterics these days on FOX is actually shocking. Michele Bachman IS NOT an anomoly – she represents the quality of their thought. The rightwing is descending into slow but certain political suicide by virtue of their own stupidity.

  • Eric Holder says: “they are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention”

    Eric Holder is also keeping secret the rendition flights in court, where we kidnap people all over the world and ship them to a country to be interrogated. That way we can keep our hands clean and say we don’t torture.

  • Yeah, clerks know nothing. Well, what about clerks who shuffle the international funds and cash, who pay for bombs, who keep contact lists of “non-military combatants,” who handle communications, who research enemy weaknesses, who aid recruiting, who know future targets…. Islamic terrorists run a major company similar to the Mafia. There are all kinds of positions, and the “clerks” probably know more than somone who was given one specific task. The terrorist “personnel clerk” likely had names of other terrorists that were needed.

    Now, are you going to defend the “clerks” of Enron and Wall Street Firms that the government has gone after?

    – – –

    Churchill was dealing with enemy military combatants, who were in uniform. However, the British shot German spies on sight. Spies conduct their work in civilian clothing within the territory of their opponents. The U.S. hasn’t tortured uniformed Islamic terrorists. However, we could shoot them if they aren’t wearing uniforms to identify their army…right after we waterboard them for information.

    This is a serious war on terror. Some of you act like 9-11 never happened, including the current White House.

    – – –

    There is no foreign or world court authority over U.S. citizens and U.S. military personnel. Our Constitution doesn’t provide for judges who aren’t appointed or elected in this country to have jurisdiction over us.

    – – –

    Many of you won’t be happy until the U.S. allows contol of our laws and authority over our citizens by the United Nations, which might be sooner than you think.

    If only 9-11 never happened, but why couldn’t the Islamic terrorists have selected the U.N. Building rather than the WTC?

    – – –

    reg: You pretend to know what Obama is taking on or off the table….

    That’s a funny statement from a guy who was always among the first to accuse Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove of every horror known to mankind and politics without proof.

    reg, your analysis of conservative concerns is a joke. It’s you who is hysterical and psychotic. Get back on your meds.

  • By the way, to all those who tried the Homeboy video on the other post, and found that only me and my mother were permitted to watch the thing, (and since my mom’s not in the realm of the living, that further limits the situation)….it’s fixed now. This was my first YouTube upload and I somehow didn’t notice that you have to mark your video “public” or nobody can, like…um….see it.

    I recommend taking Dramamine before viewing, however.

    Okay, carry on.

    By the way, Pokey, that just doesn’t make any sense.

    And Woody, there’s piles and piles of proof. I’m telling you, read “The Dark Side.”

    Some of the most moving stuff is from Alberto Mora, the General Counsel of the US Navy from 2001 to 2006, who was devastated by what was authorized and the entirely secretive way all was done. He did everything he could to stop it short of going to the Washington Post.

    Ditto the chief counsels for the Army and Air Force—all of whom were supposed to be consulted and were instead deliberately kept out of the loop.

  • Celeste: And Woody, there’s piles and piles of proof. I’m telling you, read “The Dark Side.”</i.

    Celeste, I don’t doubt your integrity. However, I would rather study the original sources for “The Dark Side” and then sources from a different viewpoint. Apparently, there is top-secret information that the author obtained or information that she made up or pieces of information with which she was selective.

    I love this comment from the NYT book reviewer: No one knows how many people were rounded up and spirited away into these secret locations, although the number is very likely in the thousands.
    So, no one knows but it’s in the thousands. How do you reconcile that except that it’s biased. But, that statement turns into fact with the Left.

    I don’t suppose that Jane Mayer learned anything about Nancy Pelosi and other high ranking Democrats having knowlege of the waterboarding and not saying a word.

  • ” I would rather study the original sources for “The Dark Side” and then sources from a different viewpoint.”

    Which he will do through careful attention to Newsmax articles and Brent Bozell’s website.

    I can’t believe this blithering idiot who treats us to piles and piles of nonsensical wingnut crap is challenging someone elses “original sources.” These crazies get funnier and funnier every day.
    Woody, I’m sure Michele Bachmann has the information you seek. If not, check with that GOPer congresswoman who was sliming Mathew Shepard yesterday.

    The “conservative movement” increasingly reminds me of a Klown Kar…

  • Pokey – you keep harping on the Geneva convention, which applies to POWs, and referencing Holder’s statement that some detainees are not actually POWs. But there’s the Convention on Torture as well, which has broader application and comes into play here. I’m getting tired of your repetitive inattention to what’s being discussed.

    Some communist bastard had this to say about the UN Convention on Torture:

    “The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks 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 will clearly express 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.”

    This leftwing bastard’s name was Ronald Reagan. Your “movement” disgraces him. He seems to have shared the same liberal, moralistic pieties as that other commie, Winston Churchill, who rejected torture as an interrogation method even as London was being bombed. Contemporary conservatives, of course, reject the moral fiber of these men and, in order to save humankind from extinction, have elected to don their Depends.

  • Woody – Obama was correct in referencing Churchill regarding German spies, despite what the wingnut brigades are drooling on their blogs this morning. Did Churchill order the torture of German spies ? Do your intensive research on that one and get back to us, you moronic fuck.

    You can start here, since you’re not one for linking to information that isn’t processed through the Crazy Machine…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/ben_macintyre/article729216.ece

  • I never said that Churchill held spies without torturing them. Protocal said to shoot them. Politics said to hold some of them for trade.

    I didn’t hear Obama referencing Churchill (like I listen to him), but anyone who thinks that a foreign invading army under a nation with a government and boundaries bears similarites to Islamic terrorists with no uniforms, no diplomats, and no boundaries shouldn’t be President of the U.S. Of course, Obama could be like Cynthia McKinney and believe that Pres. Bush bombed the WTC rather than representatives of the “religion of peace.”

    I don’t read the sources that you assume that I do, and you should know by now that conservatives don’t follow the herd, as do liberals, but think and act as individuals.

    Regarding Mayer, I have every reason to dispute her accounts, as she appears to make accusations without substantive support, and others present them as undisputed facts. Once again, try to get this: No one knows how many people were rounded up and spirited away into these secret locations, although the number is very likely in the thousands.

    You assume how Reagan would react today and under these circumstances if he was President. That’s like saying what would MLK, Jr. say (except when I use that example, when it’s okay.) Still, I don’t know if waterboarding, in which there is no permanent harm, is technically torture.

    Although Randy wouldn’t answer the qeustion, and I’m not asking you, most men would do whatever it took to protect their wives and children from death–even torture the predators. Anyone who says to let his wife get killed rather than torture foreign murderers is either not honest or not a man. It looks like you hit two out of two, reg.

  • 16 Nazi spies out of more than 500 were shot by the British. And only a fool would argue that that the Nazis were not a bigger threat to the Brits in ’39-’45 than al Qaeda is to us. That’s why the example of Churchill is deadly to righwing assholes such as yourself. You’re pretty much left with Deadwood Dick Cheney, the guy who was too “busy” to serve in Vietnam despite his supporting the war, and a bunch of intellectual twits like John Yoo who could torture any argument with their elite law school training. A Confederacy of Cowards and Incompetents. Beyond that, your slimy comments reveal you as a drooling nutcase. You make less sense with your idiot drivel each time you come back here.

  • “conservatives don’t follow the herd”

    No, they kiss Rush’s ring and run “apostates” out of their party.

    You are so fucked….and I’m loving it.

  • Woody, with your quote, that you keep posting, you’re completely out in thin air— “No one knows how many people were rounded up and spirited away into these secret locations, although the number is very likely in the thousands.” That guy who reviewed Mayer’s book for the NY Times said that, not Mayer who is a meticulous researcher and very, very careful with any of her factual claims.

    Her sources are excellent—you know, right wing commies from within the military, within the Bush administration, the CIA, the FBI and…oh, yeah…documents.

  • reg, it’s no surprise that you don’t get the point of one of my comments: …anyone who thinks that a foreign invading army under a nation with a government and boundaries bears similarites to Islamic terrorists with no uniforms, no diplomats, and no boundaries shouldn’t be President of the U.S.

    – – –

    Can anyone prove that the British didn’t torture during the war? I mean, afterall, if some unknown can order Air Force One and two F-16s to buzz NYC with the President claiming to know nothing about it, then maybe there was some torture by Great Britain during the war that Churchill denied…sometimes called plausible deniability. And, does’t Obama lie all the time, too?

    – – –

    Once again, reg, you assume that I follow Rush Limbaugh. That’s the problem with you commie, baby killing, dope smoking, uneducated liberals. You pretend to know things that just aren’t so.

    – – –

    Here’s a different take on Jane Mayer and “From the Dark Side” by someone who actually cared to read the attack book.

    …But some of the errors are more significant, reflecting a genuine lack of understanding of legal principles at the heart of her book. In describing the origins of the administration’s excessive executive power claims, for example, she cites “conservative legal scholars” including now-Justice Samuel Alito, who in 2000 told a Federalist Society audience that the president does not control “some executive powers — but the executive power — the whole thing.” This statement, quoted for its apparent drama and radicalism, is actually an innocuous paraphrase of a comment in a famous dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia; Scalia was, in turn, paraphrasing the Constitution itself, which does indeed grant “the executive power” in its entirety to the president. The idea that the president controls the executive branch is totally unremarkable and largely unrelated to the question at the heart of the Bush administration’s executive power claims. That question is not how much control over the executive branch the president has but how much substantive power the branch itself has, particularly when faced with statutes that purport to restrict executive conduct.

    Mayer also blasts Cheney for a comment he made in a speech early in the war on terror, in which the vice president declared that terrorists do not “deserve to be treated as prisoners of war.” This, she claims, was a fateful remark: “Of all the complicated legal arguments made by the Bush Administration in the first months after September 11, none more directly cleared the way for torture than this.” I have no brief for Cheney, but this comment is not evidence of any of his misdeeds. It is a wholly unobjectionable statement of the law. The hard question is what process, if any, a country must grant to captives in determining whether they are terrorists or eligible for pow treatment — a point Mayer elsewhere seems to understand. There is simply no doubt that once reasonably identified as such, a terrorist gets far lesser protection from international law than an enemy soldier who fights according to the laws of war.

    These failures to get basic facts right and to understand the relevant law significantly undermine trust in the author’s reporting on the most secretive affairs of state — affairs that centrally involved the application of disputed legal principles.

    More fundamentally, Mayer is quite selective in her credulity. Her apparent certainty that nothing good can come from an evil like coercive interrogation leads her to dismiss out of hand any suggestion that the cia’s interrogation program may have saved a lot of lives. Her fbi sources say it didn’t produce anything useful, and that’s good enough for Mayer, who expends none of her bountiful skepticism on their own bureaucratic investment in that conclusion — or even on whether they were in a position to evaluate the agency’s take. President Bush and other administration officials have stated unequivocally that the cia’s interrogation program disrupted terrorists’ activities and saved lives. Yet Mayer deals with the possibility that he might be right, and with the moral questions that would pose, by defining the problem out of existence. The old rules worked well enough because her sources say they worked well enough. The cause of September 11 was just a set of errors, not a mismatch between tools and challenges. Nothing really had to change, except that people had to do their jobs better. And those who believed otherwise — except those, of course, whose deviance from the administration’s course on certain points make them convenient heroes — are villainous.

    She is no less selective in her sympathy. She waxes eloquent about the patriotism, for example, of the lawyers who represent Guantanamo detainees and tells about their struggles against social pressures from colleagues and peers. By contrast, her villains are unrelentingly villainous, and the pressures on them are beyond her interest. And it’s not just Cheney and his Rasputin-like counselor, David Addington, and John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales who get this treatment. It’s an unnamed mid-level cia bureaucrat whom Mayer cattily describes as a “tall, pale-skinned, spiky-haired redhead who wore bright red lipstick” and whom cia men hated for her aggressiveness. In Mayer’s account, this woman almost singlehandedly arranged for the snatch, detention, and coercive interrogation of an innocent man named Khalid al-Masri and insisted on his continued detention long after it became clear he had been captured in error. “She thought he seemed suspicious,” Mayer writes. Perhaps. Yet I can’t help but imagine that were we to hear as much from this woman as about her makeup choices, there might be just a little bit more to the story than this. After all, most people — even cia officers with red hair and lipstick — don’t actively want to oppress innocent civilians.

    Along the same lines, Mayer spends an entire chapter on the battle over coercive interrogation in the military between former Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes (the bad guy) and former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora (the good guy). Mora pushed to prevent the liberalization of interrogation rules, and Mayer introduces him as “a courtly and engaging man, with neatly trimmed silver hair, warm brown eyes, and the ability to both listen well and to lead.” By contrast, she makes no visible effort to humanize Haynes or to understand his side of the struggle. He is, for her, nothing more than an apparatchik and a dupe of Addington’s.

    I don’t doubt that Haynes — whom I should disclose is a friend — made big mistakes in office. But there’s more to be said for his tenure than the common wisdom, which Mayer reflects, allows. For one thing, he is almost certainly the reason that no detainee at Guantanamo — or at any military facility — was ever waterboarded. For another, his reaction when olc later rescinded its permissive interrogation memos was altogether honorable. These facts are in Mayer’s book, yet she is so uninterested in him — except as a villain — that they don’t remotely complicate her portrait. Indeed, the most sympathetic words spoken about him in the entire chapter come from Mora himself, who makes clear at the chapter’s end that he sees his foes’ conduct less as evil than as tragic. “These were enormously hardworking, patriotic individuals,” he says. “When you put together the pieces, it’s all so sad. To preserve flexibility, they were willing to throw away our values.”

    The most basic problem with The Dark Side is that Mayer does not acknowledge that the issues America faced, and still faces, with respect to terrorism are hard. It’s obvious to her that we don’t need coercion of any kind, that it’s illegal in all circumstances, and that it doesn’t work anyway. It’s obvious too that the criminal justice process is adequate to handle the challenges of international terrorists based in parts of the world where the writs of the courts don’t reach and against whom evidence is, as often as not, pretty sketchy. And if all this is obvious, then any deviations from the obvious course must be a “war on American ideals” rather than a war against terrorists.

    Mayer hews to her sense of the issues as easy even when her own reporting reveals how hard they are. One of the administration lawyers for whom Mayer harbors undisguised admiration — and rightly so — is a man named Dan Levin, who ran olc on a temporary basis after the previous head, Jack Goldsmith, withdrew the original torture memos and then resigned. Levin was given the unenviable task of replacing these memos with more measured guidance, and in one of the best sections of the book, Mayer describes the analytical rigor and care with which he approached the vague criminal prohibitions against the infliction of “severe pain or suffering” and tried to figure out what they did and didn’t permit:

    Levin went to the dictionary but it wasn’t much help. What was the difference between “suffering” and “pain”? There must be one, or else the [law] wouldn’t have banned them separately. They didn’t teach this in law school. Nor was it an area of Justice Department expertise. Was a broken leg more painful than a migraine headache? If you couldn’t hit someone with a seven-pound hammer, would a two-pound hammer be okay? It seemed to Levin, he told colleagues, that it depended on the person. If severe pain was a crime, was moderate pain legal?

    In the course of this study, Levin actually submitted himself to waterboarding to “help him understand a bit more about whether America had gone too far.” His conclusions about where the lines lay in coercive practices put him at odds with the Bush administration, and top officials prevented him from assuming the job on a more permanent basis as a result.

    But what were those conclusions? As Mayer reports, Levin determined that waterboarding “could definitely be classified as illegal torture unless, in his view, it was strictly limited in terms of time and severity and was closely monitored in a very professional way.” Which is to say that he did not conclude that waterboarding necessarily amounts to torture in all circumstances. The law, in other words, while more restrictive than the Bush administration acknowledged at first, may not be nearly so restrictive as human rights advocates like to imagine. The legal question, in other words, is hard.

    Yet having described Levin’s process with evident respect and reported his views at its end, Mayer still seems to regard the question as an easy one. She later describes the coercive practices at issue as “torture” and warns darkly that they “seemed in danger of becoming normalized.”

    My point here is not to defend waterboarding or other highly coercive interrogation tactics. It’s simply that neither the law of such matters (how far can we go?) nor their prudential dimensions (how far should we go?) are obvious at all. Nor are questions like how much, if any, extra-criminal detention authority the government should have in this fight or whether some sort of alternative trial regime should govern criminal prosecutions. It is simply too easy to tell the story of the war on terror as a “battle for the country’s soul” in which members of one side stood up for American values and “fought valiantly to right what they saw as a dangerously wrong turn” while the other side represented a “terrible departure from America’s ideals.” To frame the question thus, particularly while waving away any notion that America’s toughest actions may have saved lives, is to play with a stacked deck.

    I learned a lot from Mayer’s reporting, and much of it is probably correct. For its impressive detail, its narrative depth, and its disturbing accounts of what is taking place in the invisible recesses of America’s confrontation with the enemy, The Dark Side is a genuine contribution. What it isn’t, however, is either fair or remotely rigorous in its snap assessments of the costs and benefits of both the path America took and the paths it did not take.

    Mayer wrote the book to sell to liberals, who eat this stuff up–not to be completely accurate and objective. You lefties throw a screaming tantrum fit whenever someone says something as simple as, “I would rather study the original sources for “The Dark Side” and then sources from a different viewpoint. Then it’s “Nooooo! We can’t have verification of attacks against Republicans!!! You are so f***ed….”

    reg, you’re a loser here and a loser in life.

  • Celeste, I know that the quote was from the NYT reviewer. If that’s what the reviewer took from the book, then that says the book is weak on support. People “suppose” what happened and with how many because they don’t actually have the necessary facts from the book. See my comment above this one for another reviewer’s critique of the book.

  • “However, the British shot German spies on sight.”

    A display of massive ignorance. Which doesn’t explain your totally clueless response regarding al Qaeda’s threat relative to the Nazis.

    Woody, you’ve absolutely lost whatever semblance of an argument you think you had here regarding the British treatment of Nazi spies and Churchill’s position. It’s well documented, starting with that article I linked. Just because some half-assed racist cracker wants to believe something doesn’t make it so. Which is why your rapidly receding world becomes more miserable every day.

    Go spend some time ponderiing something you can understand, like men grabbing each others asses. Oh…wait a minute. You don’t really understand your fascination with that either, do you ?

  • Incidentally, that twit from Hoover Institute totally tries to skate over the “unitary executive” thesis that Cheney, Addington and John Yoo used to rationalize torture, among other things. Condi hauled this crap out the other day when a bunch of Stanford students challenged her involvement in ordering torture.

    I read a paragraph of Woody’s article and caught the ivory tower, elitist twit lying. Do I need to waste any more time with that crap ? I think not.

  • reg: Which doesn’t explain your totally clueless response regarding al Qaeda’s threat relative to the Nazis.

    What explains yours…a 9-11 denier?

    reg, I know that your not playing football had to be a big disappointment, as it never fulfilled your fantasies about being a quarterback taking the snap directly from the center with your hands pressed tightly between his legs. Just reading that has to make you slobber. It’s clear that you’re the one with effiminate traits, and there’s no doubt in my mind that you talk a lot like your buddies in San Francisco. Tell me if I’m wrong.

    Oh, as an aside and speaking of your pals in San Fran: San Francisco: A Sanctuary City.

  • reg, if you didn’t read or watch anything with lies, then you’d have to cancel all of your left-wing subscriptions, quit watching Obama’s press conferences, and stop reading your own comments.

    Basically what you’re sayng is that you can’t argue the points against the book, so you attack the author and the person who provided the link. That’s a typical loser out.

  • You’re, once more, demonstrating your own analytical incompetence. Wittes attacks Mayer in that first paragraph dishonestly. Here’s John Yoo, co-author of the Bybee memo, on the rationale that the Bush administration was using to justify circumventing the law regarding torture:

    “On December 1, 2005, Yoo appeared in a debate in Chicago with University of Notre Dame professor Doug Cassel. During the debate Cassel asked Yoo, “If the president deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?”, to which Yoo replied “No treaty.” Cassel followed up with “Also no law by Congress — that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo…”, to which Yoo replied “I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.”

    That’s the Legal Brains behind the torture memos.

    You’re fucked, Woody. Totally fucked. Incapable of making any sense or engaging in ratioinal discourse. Go out and play…

  • reg, let me know where you attended law school to gain your legal expertise to determine the proper legal interpretation on the torture interrogations, when most legal scholars don’t know. Oh, wait! That’s right. You’re a drop-out. I guess you don’t really know, but pretend to. You only cut-and-paste something that you don’t understand. Loser.

    reg, I played football until I got to a level with guys who were older and bigger than me. You see, my school asked my parents to let me skip some grades, and I ended up being far younger than others in my classes. Still, I was a better basketball player than most and beat every black player that I played one-on-one. It’s my racial pride, you know.

    Since you claim to be such a stud, maybe you can help someone out with this question: Why are there so few openly gay sports stars? When did you come out of the closet. (I know you’re really effeminate. It just drips out of your writing.)

    Man, do I feel sorry for your wife, having to put on the air of being married to a real man.

  • Woody and Reg, please lighten up, you are offending Pokey’s delicate sensibilities with this name calling and pissing contests.

    Torture, murder and mayhem is OK, but these endless personal attacks are akin to having two kids going at it in the back of your sedan going 70 on the freeway. You stop caring who started it and just want to pull over and spank them both.

  • Woody – you began this thread completely full of your own shit and you are ending looking even smaller and more ignorant.

  • I’m surprised you have time to comment here, given all of that one-on-one basketball with black guys…

    You’re the most ridiculous little shit on the face of the earth.

  • I don’t play them any more. I retired undefeated before I took a shot at the Harlem Globetrotters.

    I hope you’re working on your lisp.

  • Anybody who – because they can’t conduct rational argument and consistently get exposed as a moron – uses gay taunts as their Ace in the Hole, is about as punk as it gets.

    If your athletic skills were as much of a joke as your showing here, you must have “retired” around the age of five. Now go back to your masculine pursuits – on your couch.

  • Second, his treatment was motivated by the bane of our post-9/11 world: rotten intel.

    Make that the bane of our post-Carter world. Carter and the Church commissions pretty much destroyed our HUMINT capabilities, with Clinton adding a bit to the destruction.

  • Churchill was dealing with enemy military combatants, who were in uniform. However, the British shot German spies on sight. Spies conduct their work in civilian clothing within the territory of their opponents. The U.S. hasn’t tortured uniformed Islamic terrorists. However, we could shoot them if they aren’t wearing uniforms to identify their army…right after we waterboard them for information.

    Actually, this isn’t quite true. The British gave the German spies the choice of being shot or turning against Germany (note that under the ICT and US Code on torture, this is torture – the threat of imminent death). The result was so successful that the British controlled the entire German spy apparatus in Britain throughout the war. When new spies were inserted, they were immediately captured and give the same treatment.

    The Germans did the same thing in Denmark, with the equivalent result.

    As for other torture, according to the Guardian, that right wing British news outlet, the UK tortured 3000 German prisoners throughout the war in a hidden torture center.

    But hey, that was the greatest generation.

    I guess it’s time to find some old folks and prosecute them.

  • More bullshit from a little man who imagines himself a “tough guy.

    Crypto fascist shit…

    How about some links, Mr. AK47-Dick

  • Incidentally, I presume John Moore didn’t provide a link to his “evidence” from the “leftwing” Guardian is because they published an article on British torture of German prisoners in a camp AFTER WWII.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/dec/17/secondworldwar.topstories3

    I can find no other evidence of “3000 tortured” by the British other than this:

    http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=246634

    Moore reveals a bit too much of himself…

  • Here’s the another Guardian link I found that refers to 3000 tortured during the war :

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/nov/12/topstories3.secondworldwar

    Money Quote:

    “MI5, the Security Service, concluded that the commanding officer had been guilty of ‘clear breaches’ of the Geneva convention and that some interrogation methods ‘completely contradicted’ international law.”

    Moore is more than welcome to associate himself with the practices of, apparently, rogue officers described in the article.

    After all of this spurious crap, we’re left with the conclusion that professional British intelligence officers who were tasked with interrogating the most high value spies DID NOT use torture. Also, that the spies who were shot were subjected to tribunals and hanged, but this was done within the conventions of international law.

  • I dug the quotes you were referring to up -actually took the time to fact check you, of all people, given that you’re a total waste of time – and I showed that you’re pulling shit out of your ass and ignoring evidence that doesn’t support your crazed, crypto-fascist opining.

    For a fat fascist fuck to call me “consistently offensive” is a compliment of the highest order.

  • I guess it’s time to find some old folks and prosecute them.

    I guess Einstein here has never heard of the term statute of limitations

    Make that the bane of our post-Carter world. Carter and the Church commissions pretty much destroyed our HUMINT capabilities, with Clinton adding a bit to the destruction.

    More wussidom from Moore. Assuming what you say is true – and I don’t buy it, but I’ll play devil’s advocate – The GOP controlled the White House from 1/20/81 to 1/20/93 and again from 1/20/01 to 1/20/09. They controlled the House and Senate from 1994 to 2006.

    Yet the GOP could not improve the HUMINT capabilities. I think that the letter p in Grand Old Party ought to change to a word I won’t print here.

    What a bunch of whining wimps you guys have become.

Leave a Comment