Since the California Supreme Court ruled AGAINST an amendment based on hate and exclusion in determining that the state cannot limit marriage to a male and a female, the hate loonies have been on overdrive. Some want to make this about Democrats vs. Republicans: that Democrats would force gay marriage down our throats vs Republicans who will make the Constitution a strait jacket and a vehicle for any hatred they wish to inflict. This letter in The News Times (Danbury, CT) and the comments that follow is a good example.
But this issue isn’t blue vs. red. It’s about what America truly stands for vs. those who want to use the constitution for its own hateful purposes.
That representatives of us, the citizens of the United States of America were DIRECTED by senior members of the Bush Administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. and with Bush’s full blessing) in secret meetings we now KNOW were held and chaired by former NSA director, Condoleeza Rice (now flunking her way through YET another job as Secretary of State) to perform waterboarding on multiple detainees/arrestees is against our Constitution, against what we claim to hold sacred, and AGAINST U.S. law.
For Republicans who LOVE to present themselves as the moral authority (with their 2, 3, 4 ex-wives, multiple mistresses and other extracurricular sex partners – or whatever the hell Larry Craig was up to in airport bathrooms) yet who can’t think about upholding this nation’s laws and Constitution et al, this is about the most atrocious “sin” I can imagine.
But for Americans as a whole, and certainly for anyone who has read and embraced our Constitution, have a CIVIL, ETHICAL, and MORAL obligation not simply to impeach the Bush Administration as a whole, but to arrest them immediately on charges of war crimes – and I would suggest they more than meet the criteria for charges of treason as well – and try them fairly in a court of law.
To do anything less is immoral and yes, unAmerican. If not, we need to perhaps charge ourselves with a complete patriotic failure.
People who can’t catch a rather distinctive man of 6’4 and extraordinary means named Osama bin Laden KEEP ACTING like it’s Mom and Pop America that needs to be locked up. Ay carumba! Reported at Common Dreams and filed under the Rape and Plunder of Civil Liberties:
The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation€™s most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea€™s legal authority.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department will activate his department€™s new domestic satellite surveillance office in stages, starting as soon as possible with traditional scientific and homeland security activities €” such as tracking hurricane damage, monitoring climate change and creating terrain maps.
Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement once privacy and civil rights concerns are resolved, he said. The department has previously said the program will not intercept communications.
Someone with a brain FINALLY has endorsed the end of a policy that, to this day, sickens me to my core: the ridiculous rule enacted as one of the first actions of the Clinton White House (and I’m sure it was, as enacted, NOT their idea because I can fault the Clintons for many things, but homophobia never seemed like one of them) to force homosexuals in the military deeper into the closet.
Barack Obama has now come out against it. Exactly how the problem – one that has seriously hurt troop as well as intelligence/translator levels since Bush began his war of wars – would get fixed to give gays equity is yet to be seen. But damn, it’s time to end this sucker.
Not just three trillion dollars spent – in fact, I suspect the figure is more than four times that – but three trillion lies!
Today, as we mark that dark mid-March day in 2003 when President Bush, complete with a raised fist pumping air like he was about to go into the final playoffs to give “’em one more for the Gipper…” gesture and dispatched the first soldiers off to war, the cold, harsh light of day makes it a heluva lot easier to see all the lies.
After all, it was not just one single lie that Bush used to get us into Iraq but a multitude of them, including:
weapons of mass destruction everywhere>
doctored intelligence reports that led to the outing of CIA covert operative, Valerie Plame Wilson, because Bushies did not like that Wilson’s husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, would not pretend Niger “yellow cake” uranium story was true
Saddam was about to launch a campaign to make kittens and puppies in perfect little American suburbia all sick
the war would take a few days to a few weeks, completely pay for itself, and there is “absolutely no way” to lose it
the entire world sees the war as right which is why we had to pay them and bully them into joining the “coalition of the willing”
actions in Iraq certainly won’t distract us from catching Osama bin Laden, regroup al Qaeda, or exhaust our resources for the global war on terror
As a sad and sick followup to my previous post re: torture, the Discovery Channel, which previously purchased the rights to broadcast an independent documentary – “Taxi to the Dark Side” that details the torture and death by American troops of an innocent young Muslim cabdriver, has dropped the broadcast, claiming the subject is too controversial.
Now, if you know anything about TV and ratings, controversy is a good thing. So one must wonder WHY they did it, and hope to hell SOME network can obtain the rights from Discovery and its corporate whores to show this film.
If is not just our “right” but our OBLIGATION to understand what is being done, like torture, in our names, by our government, funded by our tax dollars. We may hate to hell what we see and it may make us sick, but we HAVE to know.
Eight years ago, almost all Americans would have been sickened by the very concept of “good and great America” employing the same kind of torture techniques made infamous during the Spanish Inquisition and for which we prosecuted countless Germans, Japanese, and others. Indeed, Saddam Hussein’s “terrible torture chambers” were one of the 417 justifications Bush gave for going to war in Iraq yet now that we’re in Iraq (and elsewhere around the globe) doing the torturing, torture is somehow a “good thing”.
you have the Justice Department’s Mucasey claiming something like waterboarding is really no worse than getting a little water up your nose while swimming,
we hear one of the senior Supreme Court associate justices, the rotten-to-the-core Antonin Scalia, insist that it would be wrong to “prohibit torture” as a tool to advance our goals – “Fuck the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment” is what Scalia means – scary
reports that conflict ALL known studies saying that torture actually produces useful intelligence information when the exact opposite has been proven
AND – worst of all – that we should not DISCUSS the torture being done in our names, implying that to do so is anti-patriotic, even anti-American (as if patriotism has never meant anything more than being a blind, deaf sheep to the crown)
In fact, listen to the Bushies, the Pentagon, the neocons and others, and the only thing wrong with torture is if even a single American citizen deigns to question whether torture produces any truths, is not simply legally wrong but morally abominable AND is a terrible statement about what the United States has become, such Americans want their tax dollars and their names attached to such practices that drives hate toward us the world over.
By making excuses why WE must torture others, we give the entire world an excuse for why they should do it, too. Up until Bush rode into office on the back of fraudulent voting machines, there was the general perception that civilization and humanity as we know it is constantly advancing. Sadly, this seems no longer to be the case, not in whole and not even in part.
Helen Thomas seems to think that the latest Bush fruit does not fall too far from the Tree of Ignorance from which all Bush-Cheney seedlings grow. God help us with all these attorneys general in Bushdom.
At this rate, by the end of next week, we’ll learn that waterboarding is not only NOT torture, but a fun game the whole family can play. Just like snowboarding, but with more people – who don’t like you – involved AND you risk doing more than breaking a limb.
The Government of Canada has disclosed that the Canadian military in Afghanistan have stopped handing prisoners over to the government of Afghanistan after monitors found evidence that those prisoners were being abused and tortured. Notably, this decision was made by the commander of Canadian forces in Afghanistan, and that person deserves another star… or whatever it is that signifies advancement in the Canadian Armed Forces. Another maple leaf maybe? Well another honorific insignia anyway! But, as is my wont, I digress!
The prisoner transfers were stopped after Canadian monitors visited a prisoner who showed injuries from being beaten and given electric shocks. The monitors were actually able to find the instruments used to torture the prisoner after he told them to look under a chair in his cell, where they located an electric cord and a rubber hose. Continue reading →
Newsweek has published an article titled “Fishing for a Way to Change the World” which is a lengthy excerpt from author Jacob Weisburg’s book “The Bush Tragedy”
I am simply amazed at the utter lack of sense or reasoning which the following revelation demonstrates as relates to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cheney and Libby believed that Iraq’s potential to produce a smallpox weapon necessitated universal vaccination of the general population, something that hadn’t happened in the United States since 1972. On the other side of the argument was Donald Henderson, the heroic epidemiologist who led the WHO smallpox eradication program and later became Bush 41’s science adviser. After the anthrax attacks, HHS brought Henderson in as a consultant to help develop emergency plans.
When I visited him at his office at the Center for Biosecurity in Baltimore, Henderson recounted a surprise, unpublicized visit he paid to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta with Cheney and Libby on July 18, 2002. Henderson flew down with them on Air Force Two and spent most of the trip explaining to the vice president and his chief of staff why he and other epidemiologists thought a massive vaccination program would be a terrible idea. Even medical professionals were horrified when they saw the range of normal reactions to a vaccination: grotesque scabs, lesions, and pustules. Henderson showed me a pamphlet that HHS distributed to hospitals to document the abnormal reactions: blackened limbs, uncontrolled swelling, and a reaction called progressive vaccinia, in which sores cover the body from head to toe. Continue reading →
I’ve been watching Morning Joe on MSNBC a bit recently, and Joe Scarbororough has come out full bore defending waterboarding against his guest host, Mika Brzezinski and roving reporter David Shuster.
I have yet to locate video or the transcript from this mornings show, but in watching it live I found myself a bit flustered at one of the mutually agreed upon determinations by the protagonists. It seems that everyone agrees that it is a good thing that we as a nation are having this debate about whether or not we should employ torture in order to gain intelligence. To which I say poppycock!
The thought that we as a nation have been brought to the point of parsing what is or is not torture, and debating whether or not our national policy should allow for this or that technique is disturbing from my point of view for several reasons. Continue reading →
If Missouri is still the “show me” state, then its elected idiot, Kit Bond, is apparently determined to show HE is something less than human with his pronouncement today that waterboarding isn’t torture, that it’s more like “swimming”. This is like the ex CIA agent this week who said the practice was “a little uncomfortable”, even after he admitted that he could withstand it for less than a minute.
I say this with complete sincerity after MUCH thought: anyone in our government promoting waterboarding and other torture techniques as something OTHER than torture must undergo the procedure and preferably in a format that – just like the Muslims and others we routinely subject to this practice – does not coddle and comfort the test subjects knowing that, unlike the Muslims, they’ll be rescued before they actually die.
Anyone catch Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” last night where it was revealed dear Lou Dobbs, who champions the fear that a poorly educated Mexican may take your job but NOT your corporate masters who sell it overseas, is using illegal aliens (at a discount price, of course) to make his precious little daughter happy at her horse shows?
This after Dobbs made the most ridiculous appearance ever on “Democracy Now” with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez yesterday.
Oops. What IS it with the “moral” and “family value” Republicans who can’t keep their zippers up at the same time they insist anyone else engaging in much less heinous behavior deserve to be struck dead by God AND the American system? There is absolutely nothing wrong with being homosexual and by no means is homosexual synonymous with pedophile (most of whom are heterosexual, btw) – unless, of course, you’re a gay who insists that other gays deserve to be stoned – but am I the only one who wonders if Craig may have pulled this on one or more unsuspecting males below the age of consent?
In a December 2nd article, accompanied by graphic audio accounts of gay sexual encounters with Craig, the Idaho Statesman (owned by McClatchy Newspapers) provides the names and stories of four men who appear to undercut Senator Craig’s claims that what happened in a Minnesota washroom was due to him being a victim of “profiling.”
We’re not familiar with older, tall white guys from Idaho being “profiled” a whole lot, and apparently the long-standing rumors about Craig are once again being confirmed. Craig has shunned and ridiculed the Idaho Statesman since it first began exploring Craig’s hypocrisy on his sexual preferences (he has been a big anti-gay stalwart). But the newspaper has kept on the beat, so to speak, and documents its article about the post-Minneapolis revelations about Senator Craig with graphic audio clips.
John Howard was Bush’s “bestest buddy” after lap dog Brit Tony Blair. He was a disaster for Australia and the world, though certainly, not as much as Bush himself, someone America did not succeed in ousting although there remains much evidence he won neither the elections of 2000 and 2004.
His successor is far more moderate (gee, I wonder what it is like to have a fair election somewhere, when who you vote for is who, through winning the real votes, actually gets named president), not fond of these follies in the Middle East, and friendly to FINALLY apologizing to the Aboriginals for the great atrocities committed in the colonization of his land. Unfortunately, the aborigines, like the people of Tanzania et al, cannot be brought back, their lives, lands, or fortunes or destinies restored to them. But with America what it is, I find it harder to note the atrocities of others.
Nods and huge thanks to the people of Australia. Let America follow you in sanity and democracy.
I’m calling foul on a new effort to make another law which details which techniques may or may not be used by American interrogators.
This new effort is being represented as some sort of torture litmus test for the Congress. Will they or won’t they pass a law specifically labeling waterboarding as torture? If they do will the President veto that law, and if he does can the Congress override the veto. Will they or won’t they pass a law which, in effect, makes Mukasey’s massive hedge on waterboarding moot. The way I see it, all of this is at best academic, and at worst a platform that may set the legal foundation for American interrogators to torture at will, depending on what torturous techniques have or have not been specifically outlawed by Congress. Continue reading →
From Ramsey Clark, an appeal to action in advance of plans against war with Iran and acknowledging that Rep. – and Democratic presidential candidate – Dennis Kucinich’s priority resolution to be presented on the floor tomorrow (Tuesday) calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Read the rest of this letter from Clark here.
President George Bush plans to attack Iran. From coast to coast, the people of this country are demanding impeachment, which may be the only way to stop him. We are acting now because a failure to impeach Bush with Vice President Cheney and other civil officers for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity may condemn the world to war without end. Has he not made it clear that he intends to attack Iran?
Again and again he has threatened Iran with attack if it does not abandon its nuclear program and act to please him. The threat, like the use of force against a nation, is a violation of Article 2.4 of the Charter of the United Nations just as the threat of assault, like assault itself, is a crime in all legal systems. President Bush has unilaterally imposed the most comprehensive economic sanctions within his power against Iran, excepting of course the purchase of Iranian oil. Sanctions are crueler than the colonial whipping post because they harm infants, children, the elderly and the infirm.
When President Bush decides to launch missiles at Iran, he will proclaim the necessity for his action to prevent nuclear terrorism, and save freedom and democracy. “This government does not torture people,” President Bush assures us despite Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, rendition, the staunch defense of torture by his legal advisers throughout his Presidency and what We the People know, as he knows we know. We are being told that truth is what the Decider says it is. As with Iraq before, he now says Iran is a nuclear threat to the U.S. and brooks no dispute of his decision. …
Failure to act will place the United States and much of the rest of the world in great danger of spreading war and violence resulting from a direct attack ordered by President Bush against Iran, retaliation by Iran and the fueling of existing tensions and conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region.