The Latest Tall Tale on the Iraq Supplemental: Bush Can Fund Despite Congress Not Funding

The latest tall tale on Iraq is from Dem apologists -- that even if Congress elected to not fund the Iraq Debacle, President Bush could unilaterally fund the Debacle through invocation of the Feed and Forage Act of 1861 (41 USC, Section 11.) This is the misconception of folks who simply do not understand how the Constitution and the law works. Let's consider the language of the Food and Forage Act:

(a) No contract or purchase on behalf of the United States shall be made, unless the same is authorized by law or is under an appropriation adequate to its fulfillment, except in the Department of Defense . . . for clothing, subsistence, forage, fuel, quarters, transportation, or medical and hospital supplies, which, however, shall not exceed the necessities of the current year.

Consider the implications of the interpretation being forwarded by some that this grants the President unlimited power to fund the war unilaterally. It would make the law plainly unconstitutional as it would violate the the express separation of powers, the statements of the Federalist Papers, uncontroverted by any and all writings by scholars, conservative or liberal. In short, it is an argument that is only made to excuse the inaction of the Democratic Congress. NO Republican I know of has made this argument. Only enabling Democrats. Very telling.

But let's pretend this is a serious argument, not merely excusemaking. The plain language of the statute says that the power is only for "for clothing, subsistence, forage, fuel, quarters, transportation, or medical and hospital supplies." It does not provide any power for combat expenditures. Moreover, it is clearly designed as an emergency measure, in place of Congress having the time to act and is designed to be covered by future appropriations of Congress. It is, in sum, a stopgap measure.

It does of course, make clear that the troops can not be "abandoned" in the field - the President can always provide for their food, clothing, health, etc by invocation of the Food and Forage Act. But he will not have to. Congress will always provide for that and has. But the idea is the President can fund combat operations by recourse to the Food and Forage Act and that is plainly and unequivocally false.

But don't take my word for it. Read this:

On January 17, 2007, Robert Sunshine, the assistant director of CBO, testified before Congress that "The authority of the Feed and Forage Act is limited to obligations for items meant to sustain troops in the field, such as subsistence, clothing, fuel, quarters, transportation, and medical supplies. It cannot be used to purchase additional weapons or to support military hardware." His testimony states that items meant to sustain soldiers during an ongoing military engagement could be purchased with this authority. These items include but are not limited to those outlined in the original law (ie clothing, fuel, etc.). Sunshine states this authority does not extend to items such as additional weapons or military hardware because they are not related to maintaining soldiers in combat zones.

. . . The Feed and Forage Act is referenced in an 1868 Supreme Court case that found that the Secretary of War had lacked the authority to agree to financial arrangements that promised future payment. Despite this verdict, Louis Fisher of the Congressional Research Service cites a description of the purpose of the act within the dissenting opinion in this case: "It will thus be seen that the contracts for the subsistence and clothing of the army and navy, by the secretaries, are not tied up by necessity of an appropriations or law authorizing it. The reason of this is obvious. The army and navy must be fed, and clothed, and cared for at all times and places, especially when in distant service."

Taken together, these two interpretations of the law (as well as a literal reading of the original language) would point to the military having authority to provide for the humanitarian needs of soldiers during an ongoing conflict when appropriations are lacking, but not the authority to procure goods and services directly related to continuing soldiers war-fighting capabilities.

Now that that is clear, let's consider another argument that is often bandied about - that the President can shift appropriated monies to pay for the Iraq War. This is also balderdash and demonstrates a complete ignorance of the Constitution and Congressional appropriations. It is often said that Bush did just that when he shifted when General Tommy Franks shifted resources from the Afghanistan theater to preparation for the Iraq invasion. I have never seen an argument that sustains the claim, one citing the appropriation violated, etc. But let us assume it is true for the sake of argument. Subsequently, the Congress adopted the policies of the President on the matter and chose not to object to any alleged misuse of the appropriation. Indeed. it is not like Bush coulod not have gotten whatever he wanted from the Rubberstamp Republican Congress. The example is extremely unconvincing.

Let's do a review of some basic Constitutional law and the separation of powers shall we?

[T]he relevant enumerated Article 1 powers:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or officer thereof.

After listing these powers, the law professors summarily conclude that

The provisions plainly set forth an extensive role for Congress that goes far beyond the initial decision of declaring war and subsequent decisions regarding its funding. This mass of war powers confers on Congress an ongoing regulatory authority with respect to the war.
. . .

The law professors then miscite the Steel Seizure Cases to support their argument that "the President is bound by statutory restrictions in wartime." Of course the President is bound by constitutional statutory restrictions. But the law professors wrongly imply that the Steel Seizure Cases support their argument that the Congress can impose statutory restrictions on the SPECIFIC conduct of military operations, as opposed to general rules governing the military. The Steel Seizure Cases simply do not stand for that proposition. Nor do Rasul, Hamdi and Hamdan, also cited by the law professors. Instead, Justice Jackson's concurrence, which the law professors fully endorse, expressly limited its holding to DOMESTIC restrictions:

We should not use this occasion to circumscribe, much less to contract, the lawful role of the President as Commander in Chief. I should indulge the widest latitude of interpretation to sustain his exclusive function to command the instruments of national force, at least when turned against the outside world for the security of our society. But, when it is turned inward not because of rebellion, but because of a lawful economic struggle between industry and labor, it should have no such indulgence. His command power is not such an absolute as might be implied from that office in a militaristic system, but is subject to limitations consistent with a constitutional Republic whose law and policymaking branch is a representative Congress. The purpose of lodging dual titles in one man was to insure that the civilian would control the military, not to enable the military to subordinate the presidential office. No penance would ever expiate the sin against free government of holding that a President can escape control of executive powers by law through assuming his military role. What the power of command may include I do not try to envision, but I think it is not a military prerogative, without support of law, to seize persons or property because they are important or even essential for the military and naval establishment.

Justice Jackson's differentiation between domestic and external restrictions on the Commander in Chief power is consistent with the arguments we raised regarding President Bush's violation of FISA, and it is completely in line with the understanding of the Federalist Papers.

For example, in Federalist 74, Hamilton wrote:

THE President of the United States is to be "commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States WHEN CALLED INTO THE ACTUAL SERVICE of the United States.'' . . . Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand. The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength; and the power of directing and employing the common strength, forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority.

In Federalist 69, Hamilton described the division of the war power thusly:

The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the DECLARING of war and to the RAISING and REGULATING of fleets and armies, all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.

And the Federalist Papers also speak to the REAL questions, the ones the law professors avoided in their mad rush to defend the idea of Congressional micromanagement of the Iraq war, to wit, can Congress end the war, and if so, how? The Federalist papers provide the answer. In Federalist 24, Hamilton wrote:

that standing armies [need not] be kept up in time of peace; [n]or [is] it vested in the EXECUTIVE the whole power of levying troops, without subjecting his discretion, in any shape, to the control of the legislature. . . . [T]he whole power of raising armies was lodged in the LEGISLATURE, not in the EXECUTIVE; that this legislature was to be a popular body, consisting of the representatives of the people periodically elected; . . . there [is], in respect to this object, an important qualification even of the legislative discretion, in that clause which forbids the appropriation of money for the support of an army for any longer period than two years a precaution which, upon a nearer view of it, will appear to be a great and real security against the keeping up of troops without evident necessity.

Here Hamilton states clearly that the power to end wars resides in the Congress most clearly through the power of the purse and the EXPRESS requirement that no appropriations for a standing Army last for more than two years. In this way, any war would require a de facto reauthorization from the Congress every two years by its decision to fund the war.

In Federalist 26, Hamilton wrote:

Let us examine whether there be any comparison, in point of efficacy, between the provision alluded to and that which is contained in the new Constitution, for restraining the appropriations of money for military purposes to the period of two years. . . . The legislature of the United States will be OBLIGED, by this provision, once at least in every two years, to deliberate upon the propriety of keeping a military force on foot; to come to a new resolution on the point; and to declare their sense of the matter, by a formal vote in the face of their constituents. They are not AT LIBERTY to vest in the executive department permanent funds for the support of an army, if they were even incautious enough to be willing to repose in it so improper a confidence. . . . The provision for the support of a military force will always be a favorable topic for declamation. As often as the question comes forward, the public attention will be roused and attracted to the subject, by the party in opposition; and if the majority should be really disposed to exceed the proper limits, the community will be warned of the danger, and will have an opportunity of taking measures to guard against it. . . .

What is clear is that all this legal tapdancing gets us nowhere. To end the war, the Congress can do one of two things, or preferably both: it can repeal the Iraq AUMF, and/or it can refuse to fund the war. This sophistry from Democrats, politicians and legal scholars, does neither us nor our principles credit.

< Cheney's Commencement Address at West Point | Chandra Levy Update >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Lacking the law degree necessary to follow (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:31:02 AM EST
    completely, but thanks for posting/reposting this. I too have started to hear rumblings about feed and forage somehow allowing the President to do whatever he wants. It seems clear to me that he can't; not without cash from Congress.

    He is fully capable of keeping his troops (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:33:58 AM EST
    alive and well though if Congress defunds a war!

    He May Be (none / 0) (#11)
    by talex on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:55:54 AM EST
    I remember reading a few months ago when trying to debunk the F&F meme that was going on at dkos something about how Clinton used the Treasury Department to further fund the troops in Bosnia during the Newt shutdown of the government. some kind of 'creative' financing was used.

    What the Food and Forage Act (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:32:36 AM EST
    has always meant to me is that we need never be frightened of defunding a war, the troops will always be provided for!  They will have all they need to stay safe, alive, and well so for God's sake defund this stupid thing PLEASE before thousands more people die!

    Me too (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:37:18 AM EST
    but it's been convenient for some cave in Democrats to pretend that it allows the President to ignore Congress anyway. It's an arguement that relies on ignorance of the obvious intent of the legislation, as BTD seems to have demonstrated here.

    When You say Democrats (none / 0) (#12)
    by talex on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:57:32 AM EST
    are you referring to Dems in congress or citizen Dems?

    How Does All This Stupid S**t Get Started? (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 27, 2007 at 12:00:17 PM EST
    Both arguments and how we and the Dems are completely helpless and at the mercy of Bush, have been all over the progressive webs. They have been disrupting each and every thread on the subject of Iraq funding. A new one is also starting to sprout wings and grow. It now seems that Webb, who has been in Congress for 5 months, because he was part of the military is more knowledgeable about Congressional funding then Senators like Feingold and Leahy. Since he voted for the Capitulation Bill, it must have been the right thing to do. He is the expert to be trusted.

    I'm sick and tired of so called political activists providing excuses and cover for politicians when they fail to do their jobs. Republicans don't have to defeat us. We defeat ourselves.

    Thanks BTD for debunking the current nonsense.

    LEt's be honest who is spreading this BS (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:43:33 PM EST
    Obama supporters.

    Why? I actualy have no idea. Obama now supports not funding the war past a date certain. They have not gotten the memo yet apparently.


    But Bush will abandon the troops in Iraq! (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:59:18 PM EST
    Webb (none / 0) (#41)
    by talex on Sun May 27, 2007 at 05:17:02 PM EST
    having been the SecOfNavy certainly has that experience over others in Congress with the exception of Warner who was also the SecOfNavy.

    The both of them would have actual working knowledge of the way money is allocated through a branch of the military and in the DoD which they are a part of.

    So the people that are saying he is more of an expert are only stating fact.


    "Subsistence" (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Ben Masel on Sun May 27, 2007 at 12:21:28 PM EST
    as defined in my 1860 Websters

    1.  Competent provisions; means of supporting life.

    2. That which provides the means of living; as money, pay, or wages.

    My other favorite new defense (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by andgarden on Sun May 27, 2007 at 02:15:04 PM EST
    is that, even without funding, Bush will leave the troops to rot in Iraq. Therefore, it is claimed, we have to fund the war.

    I don't really agree with this. n/t (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:39:45 AM EST

    Feed and Forage Act (none / 0) (#8)
    by talex on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:49:54 AM EST
    Actually at dkos, and so I imagine at other Lefty Blog sites, the topic of the F&F was initially presented as part of the rant that even if we did cut-off funding that Bush would continued the war under the F&F to show his disregard for the laws. It obviously was not perpetuated at dkos by 'apologists'. In fact a column in The National Journal was the first responsible that I know of for starting the false meme.

    And that column was probably spurned by the republican holdup in the 2005 supplemental where:

    Secretary Rumsfeld's letter stated, "I am advised that the Army's operating funds will be exhausted in early May. The Army does not have sufficient funds to continue operations through May. Without the funds provided in the supplemental, we will have to urgently move funds, seriously disrupting other activities, and may need to invoke the Feed and Forage Act to sustain our deployed forces."


    Of course knowing how Rummy lies he was probably threatening something that he knew could not be done.

    Now 'apologists' may have since adopted that wrong meme but it was the Left who were ranting about it as another sign of Bush's lawlessness.

    I btw was the first that I know of to actually look up the F&F and debunk that meme at dkos.

    To make the understanding of the F&F easier one only has to look at this passage:

    The Feed and Forage Act is legislation passed by the United States Congress that allows the Military Departments to incur obligations in excess of available appropriations for clothing, subsistence, fuel, quarters, transportation and medical supplies. This provision is codified in Section 3732 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. § 11). It also authorizes incurring deficiencies for costs of additional members of the Armed Forces on active duty-beyond the number for which funds are currently provided in DoD appropriations (Title 10 U.S.C.).

    This authority requires Congressional notification and does not permit actual expenditures until Congress provides an appropriation of the required funds.

    That pretty much sums it up. Regardless of the use for the F&F money it requires 'congressional appropriation'.

    That's quite (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:51:22 AM EST
    Legal argument (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ivyfree on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:55:20 AM EST
    I am not sure making any legal argument is valid with this president. For the purposes of discussion, yes.  But for understanding his behavior? This president has not, throughout his entire lifetime, shown that he is constrained by any legalities. Witness his moving 700 million dollars allocated by the Congress for the Afghanistan campaign to his Iraq invasion.  It doesn't matter what legislation the Congress passes or repeals.  The president will do as he chooses and dare Congress to do anything about it- and then skedaddle to his property in good old extradition-free Paraguay, guarded by Secret Service agents we fund.

    Do you have some examples (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 27, 2007 at 12:00:44 PM EST
    on congressional funding where this is true?

    Do you think thrt Congress has tested your premise?

    That is the enabling Dem copout on the issue.

    I do not accept your premise.


    He Did already (none / 0) (#39)
    by talex on Sun May 27, 2007 at 05:08:23 PM EST
    moving 700 million dollars allocated by the Congress for the Afghanistan campaign to his Iraq

    Translation: Money for Afghanistan was congressional funding - and it was already moved to Iraq.

    And then there is the money spent in Iraq that nobody ever mentions. The money allocated by congress in the regular Defense Bill that is used to run regular operations and campaigns.

    Remember what Buhs has been asking for over the 4+ years is a Supplemental. Meaning to 'supplement' (i.e. added to) what is already being spent.

    Now how much of the actual Defense Budget Bush could actually shift around is unknown to me at this time but Gates said earlier this month that they had already started shifting DoD money to Iraq while waiting for congress to pass a bill.


    He may have to do things that cause him (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 27, 2007 at 12:01:26 PM EST
    to fight back unfairly but first Democrats have to fight.  I'd rather go down in flames with a spine than without one if the only option is going down in flames.

    About One Thing (none / 0) (#17)
    by jarober on Sun May 27, 2007 at 12:28:55 PM EST
    This is all about one thing that TL is still in utter denial about:

    If Congress decided to defund the war, that same Congress (and the Democratic Leadership) would get to "own" the "Last helicoptor from Baghdad" footage that would be broadcast on all the news channels - as well as any radical Sharia excesses that followed.

    Reid and Pelosi know this - the anti-war left is in utter denial over it.  

    jabobster! (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Edger on Sun May 27, 2007 at 12:53:29 PM EST
    I always had faith in you. I knew you'd be good for something someday!

    Think of it!

    Advice from a rethug that the Democrats should be more concerned with their own political hides that with the lives of the troops you guys claim to support.

    Wow. IOW they should act like rethugs?

    Now you're thinking!

    Do you have any more words of wisdom to pass on this morning?


    Reliable (none / 0) (#19)
    by jarober on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:36:33 PM EST
    I can always count on Edger for ad hominem   attacks.  Here's a tip: Calling the opposition "Rethugs" is not a way to engender debate - rather, it's a way to completely marginalize yourself.

    The main reason I still read this site and comment here is that the authors (as opposed to many of the commenters) are aware of the difference between argument and demonization.  For the most part, that difference is completely lost on Daily Kos and Eschaton - and on the other side, by idiots like Ann Coulter.  

    So congratulations, Edger - you're as useful to the debate as Ann Coulter is.


    we've learned the lesson (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Sailor on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:46:25 PM EST
    Calling the opposition "Rethugs" is not a way to engender debate
    there is no debating with people who have reduced the US to illegal wars, torture and a trashed constitution.

    Repubs, a different matter, rethugs, why bother.


    And another thing... (none / 0) (#21)
    by jarober on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:50:18 PM EST
    I find it somewhat amusing that so many people thing Republicans support the war for political reasons.  If the war is so unpopular, how does that work, exactly?  The thing being trumpeted is that "the public voted for change" - so if Republicans are backing the war, and the public has a contrary view, that's certainly not a "political" rationale.  Rather, it looks an awful lot like sticking to your principles in a difficult time.

    You might disagree with those principles, and that's certainly fair - but there it is.  

    My point is that the Democrats are the ones who are mostly engaged in political games over the war at the moment (and yes, the Republicans certainly played games when it was to their advantage to do so).

    Back in 2003, Bush should have created a "war cabinet" with members of the opposition.  It was his mistake not to do so.


    Sigh (1.00 / 0) (#23)
    by jarober on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:53:20 PM EST
    Again with the "illegal war" meme?  Since Congress duly authorized the war, how is it illegal?  Under our Constitution, that's how it works.  There's no supra-national body that has a veto over the actions of the US Congress.

    As to torture, you might want to look here to get an idea as to what torture actually is, as opposed to what happens at Gitmo.


    On the war (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:41:06 PM EST
    You are correct.

    On torture, you are not.

    The UN Convention on Torture makes clear that what we have done in Gitmo is torture under the Convention.


    One for two. Not him, you. (none / 0) (#45)
    by KM on Sun May 27, 2007 at 06:20:22 PM EST
    I thought you meant under US law (none / 0) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 27, 2007 at 07:05:43 PM EST
    Double sigh (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by KM on Sun May 27, 2007 at 06:18:53 PM EST
    Illegal under international law.  

    Oh, and something else.  Illegal under the U.N. Charter, inter alia.  Hence illegal under U.S. law.

    Under our Constitution, that's how it works:  Article VI:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    No need for supra-national bodies with vetoes....


    Jarober (1.00 / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:26:06 PM EST

    But we put panties on their heads!!

    There. See??? You don't even know what evil is!!!!


    That is just dishonest (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:42:24 PM EST
    Waterboarding, rendition bodily injury to the point of organ failure. DEATH! In custody!

    Jim, you think torture is fine. Be honest and stop the dishonesty.


    There is a reason for that. (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Edger on Sun May 27, 2007 at 05:14:13 PM EST
    The meaning of torture:
    It has rather everything to do with asserting power. Absolute, unchallenged, uncontested power to do anything to anyone:

    The Talisman of Torture

    "Because in the end, you will find that this torture is not about intelligence gathering, or ticking bombs or any other such nonsense. It is a talisman. A talisman of power. A government that can torture and do it with impunity can do anything. No law stands in its way. The very idea of the rule of law crumbles into dust. It means brutal tyranny." At the time, I thought this was a bit crazy, but I knew what the Argentines had gone through and I respected the comment. As time progresses, I see exactly what he meant. Indeed, the experience of the bar in Argentina and Chile from the seventies and early eighties is perfectly on point for America today. First they introduced torture. And getting away with it, they have begun systematically to defy the notion that they are subject to the rule of law. We see this every day in dark figures like Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, and Dick Cheney. Torture, as my Argentine friend said, is but a talisman.
    "A government that can torture and do it with impunity can do anything. No law stands in its way. The very idea of the rule of law crumbles into dust." fits perfectly the vision of the republicans and of Bush supporters.

    edger (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 28, 2007 at 08:54:45 PM EST
    Posted by edger at December 4, 2005 08:12 AM

    Quoted from my previous comment.)Insurgents don't use car bombs to kill civilians or give booby trapped dolls to children. That is terrorist work, edgey.

    (edger's reply)That is not "terrorist work" in the way you try to twist it to mean, at all. It is the work of the Iraqi people - the very people BushCo thought would throw flowers - fighting to kick the US out of Iraq":

    Yes edger. We understand your taste in government.

    And what you would like to do.

    Do we offer them respect? Absolutely not. We do our best to marginalize and get rid of them.

    edger (none / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 28, 2007 at 08:48:41 PM EST
    I think we have never defined torture.

    I remember making that point time and again.

    And as long as you don't you're not going to fix the  problem.


    Evil (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by KM on Sun May 27, 2007 at 06:29:46 PM EST
    Those poor weenie Iraqis.  Getting all worked up about panties and butt pyramids.

    Let me illustrate torture by example, every last one of them from "the treatment of prisoners in Iraq", and many of them carried out multiple times by different people in different parts of Iraq:

    Asphyxiating detainees. Pulling detainees' arms out of their sockets. Putting lit cigarettes into the ears of bound and blindfolded detainees. Repeatedly punching detainees in the face. Beating a detainee with a heavy flashlight 30 times and kicking said detainee so hard he comes off the ground. Crushing detainees' testicles in your hand. Forcing detainees to sodomise one another (and forcing others to watch videotapes of it). Forcing one detainee to masturbate into the open mouth of another. Administering electric shock.  Administering involuntary enemas.  Beating detainees with a chair and a broom. Running across the room and jumping on detainees piled up on the floor.  "Waterboarding."  Stomping on detainees' fingers and feet. Forcing detainees to crawl on hands and knees with guards on their backs. Having dogs attack and bite detainees. Putting detainees in a body bag and packing them in ice in the shower for up to 24 hours. Raping female detainees and photographing the rape of teenage boy detainees. Forcing detainees to eat out of a toilet.  Throwing handcuffed detainees from a moving car. Banging detainees' heads against a steel bar. Slamming detainees' heads into walls. Covering detainees with excrement. Pushing detainees' heads into urine. Urinating on detainees. Throwing pepper in detainees' faces. Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees. Sodomising detainees with a chemical light. Biting detainees.  Beating detainees to death.

    And then of course there's just plain murdering detainees.

    Sure, it's all about the panties.


    A detail. (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 28, 2007 at 08:56:27 PM EST
    And we have identified, indicted, tried, convicted and punished.

    Think of rethug (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:52:29 PM EST
    as a term of endearment, jarobster.

    It's nostalgia really. I've always been interested in things that used to exist, like dinosaurs and dodo birds.

    You know? ;-)


    Hmm (1.00 / 0) (#24)
    by jarober on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:56:48 PM EST
    I had a long conversation with my brother in law two days ago - he and I mostly disagree over the war.  It was a civil conversation though, without name calling.

    Now, who do you suppose made me consider ideas contrary to my own more - you, with your consistent resort to name calling, or him, with reasoned arguments?

    If you want to actually convince people, your approach doesn't work.  But heck, it doesn't look like you care much about that.  You seem to have decided that people who have a different opinion from yours are simply evil.  You've become what you claim Republicans are, Edger.


    jarob, (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Sun May 27, 2007 at 02:02:07 PM EST
    I gave up trying to educate the ineducable long, long, ago. On reflection, I suppose I'm not surprised you hadn't noticed, though.

    I apologize if I seemed to be trying to again.


    There will always be (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Edger on Sun May 27, 2007 at 02:08:00 PM EST
    that one third that I shouldn't expect much from.

    We are a young nation (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:11:56 PM EST
    Our communal emotional and social intelligence times the global natural occurance of personality disorders equals 30% ;)

    Tracy (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:27:08 PM EST
    Shorter - America bad. America evil.

    I read Tracy's comment 3 or 4 times, jim (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Edger on Sun May 27, 2007 at 06:11:22 PM EST
    No matter how hard I try I can't get that meaning out of anything she said.

    The only conclusion left is that that is your opinion of America.


    Now that explains a lot (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun May 27, 2007 at 07:01:58 PM EST
    like why Jim hates American values and traditions such as rule of law, democracy, checks and balances, the constitution...


    Edger - Like this?? (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:29:12 PM EST
    First of all, (none / 0) (#67)
    by Edger on Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 03:18:25 PM EST

    Do we offer them respect? Absolutely not. We do our best to marginalize and get rid of them.

    Exactly! (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edger on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:41:30 PM EST
    Yeah, cuz it has been just one cake walk (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:10:01 PM EST
    after another and we have won won won.  Yup, if we lost in Iraq it would be because of the Democrats.

    Tracy (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 27, 2007 at 04:30:05 PM EST
    If we lost??

    Good heavens. Didn't you see Reid say the war is lost??


    it is jim (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by cpinva on Mon May 28, 2007 at 03:56:06 PM EST
    if you'd get those blinders off your eyes, you'd have seen it. but then, to be other than narrowly focused would be to admit that the current occupant of the white house, and his congressional enablers, have been wrong ever since the USSC selected him in 2000.

    he's been wrong on, well............everything, since first he put his hand to the bible, and swore to uphold and defend the constitution. in his entire life, he's not had an original thought, when he wasn't either drunk or on illegal narcotics.

    his administration is more than mere delusions of adequacy, he's taken this country down a thematically dull and morally bankrupt path, one that will require years of work to remove us from.

    thanks to his stellar ineptitude, and the complicity of a republican congress, our military is in the worst shape it's been in since just before wwII, and we don't have a draft to make up for the shortage in manpower. right now, it's stuck in the quagmire of iraq, with no legitimate plan to get it out, the "surge" notwithstanding.

    that would be your man and party jim and jarober; they've raped and pillaged our country and our military, to feed their egos and their friend's wallets.

    expecting the dems, with barely 5 months as the bare majority party in congress, to clean up the mess left them by 6 years of callow incompetence, is a strawman.


    cpinva (none / 0) (#54)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 28, 2007 at 11:02:07 PM EST
    expecting the dems, with barely 5 months as the bare majority party in congress, to clean up the mess left them by 6 years of callow incompetence, is a strawman

    Ah, now cponva starts the excuse cycle....

    Robert Novak reports on the continuing saga of Democratic corruption in the House of Representatives. As usual, the main protaganist is Rep. John Murtha, who smuggled into the intelligence authorization bill two earmarks. The beneficiary is a contractor headquartered in Murtha's hometown, whose executives are big contributors to Murtha's campaigns.

    I mean... speaking of shame and all that...


    Of course (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 28, 2007 at 02:35:15 PM EST
    And Republicans lost it!  Now they are like doctors squeezing the heart of their dead patient with their own hand and claiming that's proof of live.  I know it hurts Jim, I'm sorry buddy.