GOP Intelligence Ranking Member Calls For Release Of Torture Info

The Hill reports:

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) has called on the intelligence community to declassify documents showing what certain members of Congress were told about harsh interrogation techniques employed in the war on terrorism.

. . . Hoekstra's letter is the latest step in a campaign to associate Pelosi with the harsh interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects. The hope is to tie up potential probes into Bush administration officials over what some on the left call wrongdoing during the war on terrorism.

Hoekstra says "The American people should be given the full picture on what was known and agreed to on Capitol Hill on a bipartisan basis about the enhanced interrogation program[.] Sounds good to me. Time for a Truth Commission.

Speaking for me only

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    Roll the dice (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Saul on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:05:47 AM EST
    Although some Democarats will look bad in this investigation, I feel we will see find out more against the Republicans than the Democrats.  Plus it will make Obama look good.  Not afraid to expose those on the Democrat side.

    What secrets will we really find?
    I say go for it.

    When I watched Frontline several years back a series  called the Dark Side  showed how Cheney would visit the CIA on an almost weekly basis something no VP has ever done.  You will see in this documentary how the CIA would come to Chenney and tell him there is no evidence of Iraq being involved in 911.  Chenney would direct them to go back and investigage it again you probably missed something.  He kept doing this until they produce what Chenney wanted.  The guy that did it said he regretted making the report that favor Chenney side.  He said he should have resigned.  The pressure was too much.

    I forgot about that Frontline (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:52:45 AM EST
    thanks for the remind!!!

    Frontline Web site (none / 0) (#56)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:04:19 PM EST
    has the transcripts and may have video.

    The Dark Side (none / 0) (#68)
    by Saul on Tue May 12, 2009 at 03:56:56 PM EST
    Here is the link The Dark Side you can view it here on line.  About 90 min

    The Dark Side (none / 0) (#67)
    by Saul on Tue May 12, 2009 at 03:55:30 PM EST
    Here is the link the Dark Side  you can view it here on line.  About 90 min long.

    The Dark Side (none / 0) (#69)
    by Saul on Tue May 12, 2009 at 04:00:04 PM EST
    Here is the link The Dark Side you can view here on line.  About 90 min

    What if these documents do not (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:48:30 AM EST

    Cheney and his daughter today on Morning Joe keep insisting that there are documents that prove that the torture program was effective and saved lives.  But everything we know so far suggests that there are no such documents.

    So what if there is no record that the Democrats were actually briefed on what the Bush Administration was really doing?

    See because I am thinking now that they are all calling for documents that don't really exist and will insist that the Obama Administration is withholding these fictional documents - and of course stir up their nutty base with consipiracy theories that they hope will bleed over into the mainstream of thought.

    I wish that Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest would come to some agreement about lifting the ban on these people talking about what they know and go out and start talking about exactly what they said and back their comments up with notes and documents that they preserved in their files.  A truth commission is fine, but I think they have to get on this much faster than a truth commission would be able to respond to these charges.

    Then that should bne stated (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:50:41 AM EST
    "No such documents exist."

    Yes of course, but that still (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue May 12, 2009 at 09:03:41 AM EST
    doesn't end the argument as the Cheney crowd will then claim that the Obama Administration is lying.

    Its a neat trick really...

    That's why I think they should just go ahead and refer Cheney's case to a prosecutor and be done with this political debate.

    Why Obama thought that he could keep this issue from being political by handling it exclusively through political channels is well beyond my comprehension.


    Face the Nation interview (none / 0) (#72)
    by joanneleon on Tue May 12, 2009 at 05:31:07 PM EST
    During the interview on Sunday, Bob Scheiffer did a follow up question when Cheney mentioned the memos he wants released.  Scheiffer said Eric Holder had said that he knew of no such documents.  Cheney said he knew they had existed and had last seen them in his (VP) files.

    If you have a look at that segment, it's interesting to watch Cheney's body language when he answers.  At that moment I began to wonder if these memos exist at all.  But one would think, since Cheney made a formal request for them in the National Archives, that the documents are indexed or something, and registered in some type of govt. system used to keep track of documents, and that Cheney could not have put in the request if the documents are fictitious (and therefore maybe my hunch cannot be true).


    Would not be surprised if (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:57:02 AM EST
    Cheney has a personal copy of what he is talking about, but is waiting until the official copy is declassified. If the official copy does not exist, he will produce his own copy.

    I suspect that what it documents is information they received and deemed useful for something, perhaps just learning more about Al Queda, but that it will still be a stretch to say it actually prevented an attack.  Even though putting the discussion on the terms of efficacy of torture rather than morality is infuriating, it will be done in the media.

    In any event, I think the administration should do all possible to expedite Cheney's request.


    Based on what we know so far, (none / 0) (#25)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue May 12, 2009 at 09:24:31 AM EST
    no such documents exist that would have any credibility.  Everything we have heard to date suggests that the only people who felt that torture "worked" were either coersed or delusional members of Cheney's cabal.  

    Did Cheney and his cabal write themselves a memo a la the OLC memos saying, "Torture worked!"?  I am sure they did.  The paper trail wouldn't be complete if they didn't.  But that doesn't mean that any such memo is verified or accurate.

    That's like me insisting that people believe that I am a supermodel because I might have written that in some old journal as a teenager.  For the record, I never wrote that, but you understand what I am saying right?


    No credibility, for sure (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Tue May 12, 2009 at 10:35:40 AM EST
    in the eyes of the sane and humane part of the world.

    But if what Cheney is talking about exists, let's get it out in the open. I know Cheney will spin it in his own twisted way, but I am happy to have that debate.

    You're not a supermodel?


    Sure I'd like to see all the (none / 0) (#37)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:50:10 AM EST
    documents released too, but I was just raising the possibility that the GOP's response will be to say that there is something that never existed missing.

    And I didn't just think this up on my own either.  I saw a really disturbing exchange between two Republicans on TV a couple of weeks ago that centered around their belief that the Obama Administration was not above destroying documents - typically Republicans were projecting on others what they are most likely to do themselves.  I was ready to reach into my TV set and shake them saying, "That's what you people do!"  I felt then that it was a harbinger of things to come and now as more calls from their side come out calling for document releases that controvert everything else we are hearing, I can't help but think that they are planning in going with the strategy of clouding the debate with fake conspiracy theories.

    Oh and no on the sm thing.  


    Of course (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:23:36 PM EST
    But this assumes that Democrats have clean hands in all of this (which I highly doubt).  Yes, the Republicans could argue that a non-existent document that proves their point wasn't released (which I know they wouldn't think twice about), but conversely, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dems wouldn't release something counter to their argument (and making Cheney's point),and then denying any such document was in their records.

    In other words, I don't trust any of 'em on this.  This issue is now political and we will only see what they want us (and any Truth Commission) to see.


    I am not assuming anything (none / 0) (#52)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:47:43 PM EST
    about the Democrats.  Not at all.

    I am saying that the least credible and most insane people this country has ever had the misfortune to have in power are making claims that I think should be considered with great care.  These are the same people who said Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons that were trained on the United States.  They are the same people who said that - aw hell do I really have to review their entire record of falsehoods here?  Sheesh.  It is amazing to me how many people still give credence to anything that comes out of these people's mouthes.

    Fine if there are documents, tapes, handwritten letters etc. proving anything they've said beyond any reasonable doubt, then I'll accept what they say, but they better come up with a lot more than these random accusations before I'm going to allow them any sort of legitimacy in my assessment of the situation.


    I think (none / 0) (#53)
    by jbindc on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:56:25 PM EST
    you make excellent points, but the fact is, if the Dems didn't have anything to hide, then ALL the documents would have been released, if only to shut Cheney and his minions the heII up. By dragging their feet on this, the Dems put the Republicans in the position of "being right" - that is, the ones who want openness and transparency. (Whether they ARE right is a different story; what matters now is the PR story).

    I believe there ARE documents that may show that "harsh interrogation techniques" resulted in actionable intelligence, and those documents also show that Pelosi, Reid, and maybe even Biden (as head of the Foreign Relations Committee) knew more about this then they have let on.


    All certainly possible - but also (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:01:39 PM EST
    possible is that the reason that they haven't disclosed those briefings yet is that they are still assessing the national security implications of doing so.  We'll see.  My inclination were I Pelosi or Harman would be to get it all declassified as soon as possible so that I could mount a vigorous defense of my role in that process.  But Obama would have to agree with me as would all the security people who have way too much control over our political process at the moment imo.  See another constituency that I am not inclined to believe without tons of back up evidence to their claims are the people in the intelligence apparatus.  So we'll see - I hope.

    Just my assessment of (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 09:15:07 AM EST
    the political emotional climate, but Obama isn't coming off as flakey or nutsy with Independents and a pretty good chunk of Conservatives.  He hasn't done much of anything to stir up his nutsy base (which has chapped some of that base to include me...heh).  I don't think the American people are ripe for believing that giant lie, but who knows for certain?

    heres my problem with a truth commission (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:59:24 AM EST
    it will not settle the argument. I just posted this in the previous thread:

    this morning and saw a conversation that illustrates Digbys point perfectly.  one of the Cheney daughters and some other people.  they have the talking points down to a frightening smoothness.

    I am starting to think, and I hope others are as well, that the only way to win the argument with them as to whether what they did was torture and illegal is to have some prosecutions.  we need to show them they are wrong and we are right and what the did was indeed illegal.  I am starting to think that is the only way to win the argument.

    on the show (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:00:11 AM EST
    Each time that these vacuous, morally bankrupt arguments are repeated, they must be rejected.  The Morning Joe crew isn't quite up to the task (Mika Brzezinski just told Andrea Mitchell that President Obama is "having things both ways" by not releasing all information about torture because, if it "works", most Americans would support it), so I'll explain again why Cheney is wrong (the Morning Joe-ers told Liz, after she finished her nauseating act, that her father must be proud of her).

    As Eugene Robinson tried to point out on Morning Joe (Liz Cheney bullied him off his position pretty effectively-not with substance, but simply with condescension), the defenders of torture are trying to complicate a simple issue.  Waterboarding is torture, and torture is a crime under our laws.  The arguments Liz Cheney and others make are either attempts to excuse a crime, or distractions, or both.  Saying that torture "works" doesn't mean it's not a crime.  I would have thought that was obvious, but somehow, defenders of torture keep repeating this transparently insufficient "argument".

    What we're witnessing is the latest example of the traditional media's failure to call out liars.  When the traditional media is presented with one group of people arguing it's ok to commit crimes and another insisting that it's illegal to commit crimes-that's why we have laws-, all the media does is throw up its hands and say "well, there are two equally valid points of view here".



    Thanks (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 12, 2009 at 12:15:41 PM EST
    for your post. It explains my post below more fully. The GOP is winning the war of words.

    As they almost always do, (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Anne on Tue May 12, 2009 at 12:27:33 PM EST
    because the Democrats cannot EVER seem to get their ducks in a row and get out there with the right message.  Not even when they are on the same panel with a Republican - they just waste airtime dithering.  Honest to God, do they not even do the normal human thing of talking to themselves in front of the mirror, or in the car, until they get it down?

    It's really just so frustrating to be listening to them and watching them flail and flounder and stumble; there really is no excuse.


    Howdy and I have created a bond (none / 0) (#58)
    by Iamme on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:07:48 PM EST
    Howdy I do agree.  If its against the law then its clear.  

    However there are some of us that would violate some laws to preserve the greater good.  Sometimes the end does justify the means even though it only lives up to the moral standards of half of the American people.

    Morally bankrupt only applies to the half that the standards don't measure up.  The other half says thank god someone had the courage to do it.

    I for one would take my X years in prison if I truly believed lives were saved because of it.

    Vigilante's violate laws but I bet no one is upset that group of muggers doesnt ride the subway anymore.


    Here's what I want: (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Anne on Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:30:42 AM EST
    I want to know what happened.  What people knew, which people knew, and when they knew it.  I want timelines and charts.  Powerpoint would be a nice touch.  Yes, I want the truth - or as much of the truth as it is possible to get - and I don't want to settle for less.

    I want the people who made these decisions to be exposed, and to understand that they don't get to hide from the consequences, whether those are legal, moral or social.  

    I don't care if the people who were part of this were Republicans or Democrats: they are Americans and they need to account to the American people for their actions.  Not only do we deserve that, but the country deserves it.

    I want people to understand and know without a doubt that just because you think you're oh-so-important it doesn't mean the laws don't apply to you.

    What I would really like is to see some leadership, as opposed to political horse-trading and rationalizations about agenda being more important than holding people accountable.  If Obama should stand up and say we need to get to the truth, and Republicans threaten to sink Obama's legislative vision, I want to see and hear some meaningful pushback that puts those people in their place and makes them look like the opportunistic whiners they are.

    I want to hear a coherent, cohesive, focused and incisive argument from Democrats that eliminates the frame that if we can show that torture is effective, we can justify its use.  It was and is illegal, and that is the only argument.

    I'm tired of the hand-wringing and finger-pointing, the mush-mouthed equivocating, and flip-flopping galore, but I suppose I should get used to it, because I think that's all we're going to get.

    I agree with everything you said (none / 0) (#36)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:37:12 AM EST
    but I have decided that would still not settle the argument with the torture defenders and the portion of the population that is inclined to believe them.
    as that blogger said in the snip I quoted:

    When the traditional media is presented with one group of people arguing it's ok to commit crimes and another insisting that it's illegal to commit crimes-that's why we have laws-, all the media does is throw up its hands and say "well, there are two equally valid points of view here.

    the only thing that is going to shut them up is a conviction in a court of law.
    other wise it will just be a replay of the global warming "argument" or the "evolution" argument.


    Hmm (none / 0) (#43)
    by Iamme on Tue May 12, 2009 at 12:51:04 PM EST
    Interesting point of view.  All the excruiating details made public.  I can agree that it is one way to approach it.  Speaking only for me I think the opinions have already been formed.  They dont have, destroyed, do have, wont show the documents.  Showing me one piece of the puzzle will only confirm or deepen the suspicions of my opinion.  If they told me Pelosi didnt know I would think there was a Democratic cover up.  If they told me she did indeed know then it would only confirm what I already believe.  I do agree that if thats what you want you should have it but I dont think we will ever approach that level of detail.  

    Given the fact that we won't approach that level of detail in my own opinion I dont think its worth the time and effort.  It would take two or three years and we have much bigger fish to fry right now.  

    Sure if we can get the level of detail necessary spend the money and time but the general consensus in this thread which I believe to be accurate is that we will only see portions of the whole story and that is not sufficient.

    I dont have alot to say for Obama.  However, I think his move here is actually brilliant.  All the democratic supporters want to fry Bush and Chenney and thats where the focus is.  If he leaves you dangling in the wind with no further detail then it will stop there.  Another deepening of the commitment to the party.  98% of the threads here name Bush and Chenney and then add "if there were others".  Bush and Chenney carry a repbulican moniker.  We dont know which party affiliation "the others" have.  So he is using this to his advantage with great effect.


    Once (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 12, 2009 at 07:55:30 AM EST
    again, the GOP is winning the war of words. If Obama had done the right thing from the beginning we wouldn't have to listen to people like Hoekstra. Now if Obama does a 180 and changes his mind then he going to look even more like a wimp and someone the GOP can continually run a truck over or he's going to look like the Dem's did it too if he doesn't change his mind. He's cornered himself with his stupid post partisan unity crap.

    Absurd (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 12, 2009 at 07:57:51 AM EST
    If Obama calls for a Truth Commission or supports one, he looks weak? That is just plain absurd.

    He's (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:00:49 AM EST
    said he's against it before. Right? Isn't he afraid it'll stifle his "agenda"?

    Nonsequitor (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:04:39 AM EST
    I did not say it would not be a flip flop, I said it would not make him look weak.

    you said it would. your statement is absurd.


    Don't (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:08:10 AM EST
    you think he looks like he's caving into the GOP once again? That's what it looks like to me. If he changes his mind NOW after the GOP has been calling for a commission, then he looks like someone who constantly caves to the GOP.

    My point is that all of this could've been avoided if he had acted like a leader on this issue from the beginning. He could have called for investigations from the beginning and what the GOP is now saying would look stupid.


    You kidding? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:42:50 AM EST
    An investigation that's primarily going to focus on crimes of a GOP administration would look like he's caving to the GOP?  That's a pretty strange alternate universe.  People like Hoekstra are doing nothing more than bluffing.

    In any case, Obama is highly unlikely to go along with the idea unless not having a commission becomes such a huge deal that not having one itself becomes a distraction.

    He's not kidding that he's only interested in moving forward, and that's what he's doing, other than the occasional verbal jab.  It mystifies me why he doesn't see that farther down along the line, not dealing with this harshly will eventually have terrible consequences with some future administration.


    Alternate Universe Indeed (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by daring grace on Tue May 12, 2009 at 10:06:12 AM EST
    Thanks for pointing that out: how would it be seen as 'caving' to the GOP when essentially the investigation would be focused mostly on GOP leaders. And GOP leaders are already demanding greater transparency about the torture program. The president and congress could be giving them what they are saying they want--not just a few selected documents, but a thorough examination of what happened.

    I've written to the White House and both my senators expressing my desire that this torture program be investigated (and perhaps, ultimately) prosecuted, because I believe that's the only way we truly 'move forward' from this. Otherwise, it lurks in our background haunting us and our future, and leaving the door open for it to occur again.

    Obama has plenty of political capital to make this happen--or even to just (ostensibly) stand aside and let Congress make it happen. Or let Holder make it happen.

    I saw a poll that had Obama's approval rating up from April to May to 66%. And with his already stated reluctance to foster this, and his ostentatious attempts to enact post partisanship, he's got a fair amount of cover from most kinds of criticism related to party.


    Well (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 12, 2009 at 12:25:57 PM EST
    Obama apparently doesnt believe that he has any political capital the way he acts.

    Not Sure (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by daring grace on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    if he doesn't believe he has the capital or he doesn't want to spend it on this, or, or...

    I'm a supporter of his who is still enthusiastic about most of what he's done and says he plans to do.

    But this evasion of our sorry practices regarding torture (and illegal confinements) is really infuriating me. With him. And Congress.


    But here's (none / 0) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 12, 2009 at 12:18:16 PM EST
    to problem. It's not going to focus strictly on the Bush Administration. The GOP is already muddying the waters due to Obama's lack of leadership on this issue. Look at how they're going after Pelosi saying that she knew about it.

    I agree with your last paragraph 100%.


    Knowing about it (none / 0) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:03:49 PM EST
    is one thing.  But it doesn't hold a candle to doing it.

    Oh (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 12, 2009 at 03:06:21 PM EST
    I agree. I think prosecutions are the best way but in reality it looks like nothing is going to be done.

    No mystery (none / 0) (#70)
    by cal1942 on Tue May 12, 2009 at 04:20:34 PM EST
    It mystifies me why he doesn't see that farther down along the line, not dealing with this harshly will eventually have terrible consequences with some future administration.

    A visionary he's not.


    Politicians Aren't Visionaries (none / 0) (#73)
    by daring grace on Wed May 13, 2009 at 11:53:12 AM EST
    But it doesn't take a visionary to see the consequences of this down the road.

    Just a reasonably savvy pol, which he has proven to be.

    So I'm assuming it sees it and thinks he can evade it or some other such nonsense.


    It's because (none / 0) (#74)
    by cal1942 on Thu May 14, 2009 at 08:37:26 AM EST
    he's a manager not a leader.

    No I do not (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:09:42 AM EST
    It looks like he would be doing the right thing.

    I'm sorry, but I am not invested in the image of pols as principled actors. Never was and never will be.


    Well (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:12:14 AM EST
    I'm not so invested in that but Obama certainly looks more spineless as the days go by. I don't have a problem with pols changing their minds as long as they can say WHY they did it. How is Obama going to explain this other than the GOP now wants an investigation?

    SOP for pols (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:14:50 AM EST
    Obama is what he is. It is the life he has chosen.

    What Obama is (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Dadler on Tue May 12, 2009 at 10:30:44 AM EST
    I still can't figure it out.  I do, however, constantly remind myself he was the product of the most exclusive and expensive h.s. education one can get in Honolulu.  I still think he spent far too much of his life struggling to get into the "in" crowd, and it is just not in his nature to do anything that will get him expelled from that crowd.  Anything that feels like it will bring a partisan battle, that will force him to be loud and unsparing, is just anathema to him.  He seems to me, when it really matters, with the MOST important issues, he is a consumate fence sitter.  That, to me, is what will keep this issue from gettting the full airing it requires, whether with prosecutions (highly unlikely) or a truth commission (almost as unlikely).  I think he would prefer to do nothing, but if someone else wants to lead and do so, then he might just follow along.

    Not a good trait for any type of leader, much less POTUS.


    I'm sure he'll find a way (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:15:08 AM EST
    I know he is a new president, but on the things he has "changed his mind" about so far he hasn't been short on really good words.

    The only thing (none / 0) (#6)
    by lilburro on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:07:11 AM EST
    is that the documents Hoekstra thinks are so damning are admittedly not necessarily accurate.

    This is why I think we need to start cracking some skulls - somebody needs to pay for techniques used or at least the lying and lack of transparency in the whole process.  If there are no consequences for making up your side of the story, you will just continue to do so.  Why not?  I guess the answer is a perjury charge.  But if the CIA which supposedly has the master records says they're not sure what happened, what are the chances of anyone being convicted for perjury?

    Heads must roll for some of this stuff.  Esp. the CIA videotape destruction.  Although that's another story.

    Of course, whatever the CIA told Congress is going to pale in comparison to what they demonstrated to the NSC.  I'm sure a Truth Commission would show us exactly how weakened our legislative branch has become.

    The only thing is (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:08:34 AM EST
    if you release SOME documents, you have to open up all the documents.

    In other words, a Truth Commission.


    Well, this is a start (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lambert on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:22:00 AM EST
    I'm sure that the lizard-back-brained Republicans think this latest ploy will be an advantage for them. But, as I've been saying, the Village is a sack of pus waiting to burst. It doesn't matter which hand holds the needle and pricks it. What matters is that the infection is recognized and gets cleaned out. Right now, the whole body politic is infected, and because the peasants don't have the transparency to hold anyone accountable, no trust is possible. Yes, Truth (and Reconciliation), the Hague, whatever, as long as the full story comes out. Heck, if it makes the Republicans look good, so be it.

    Amen (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:50:21 AM EST
    I could not care less which party looks better. Call their bluff and let's get to the truth.

    Thanks a lot (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:54:34 AM EST
    I haven't had breakfast yet......bleh

    I see what you're saying. (none / 0) (#14)
    by lilburro on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:34:02 AM EST
    From Public Record:

    In May 2005, just a few months after the CIA briefed Congress on interrogation methods, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, requested "to see over a hundred documents referred to in [Helgerson's] report on detention inside the black prison sites," New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer wrote in her book, The Dark Side. "Among the items Rockefeller specifically sought was a legal analysis of the CIA's interrogation videotapes.

    "Rockefeller wanted to know if the intelligence agency's top lawyer believed that the waterboarding of [alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu] Zubaydah and [alleged 9/11 mastermind] Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, as captured on the secret videotapes, was entirely legal. The CIA refused to provide the requested documents to Rockefeller.

    Maybe playing incidents like these off of each other will yield an understanding of what happened, and what was actually happening in the meantime.

    I think Hoekstra is full of sh*t.


    A different view (none / 0) (#29)
    by Iamme on Tue May 12, 2009 at 10:52:40 AM EST
    Get to the bottom of it sure.  As long as ALL who have their hands dirty regardless of party affiliation get spanked. In the public eye?  Maybe not such a good idea.  I am not sure I want my family business aired for all to see.  I am sure not everyone in this thread would like their family issues aired publicly.  I have issues like everyone else but I will absolutely not make them available for everyone to see.  It shows a lack of respect for the people involved and only accerbates the emotions of the people be publicly flogged.  I for one, dont want my boss drawing a crowd and then chewing my azz.  I suspect no one here would like that much either.

    How much more recruitment ammunition do the nutjobs in the world need to make even more hate us.  The argument of see we are cleaning it up will never make it to the recruits.  It will be spun to and even higher degree of "they are truly devil infidels just look at this" (carefully spun by the Jihadist of the day).

    Clean it up.  OK.  Publicly not so good an idea.  


    utter nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 10:55:16 AM EST
    cleaning it up publicly is the only way to repair or image in the muslim world.
    they are waiting to see what this administration does.

    I always felt that cleaning up (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:00:59 AM EST
    publicly is the only way to hope to attempt to ensure that we don't do it again as well.  Cleaning it up publicly affects the evolution of the social conscience of the tribe called America!  It needs to be affected too.

    Repair our image in the Muslim world (none / 0) (#44)
    by Iamme on Tue May 12, 2009 at 12:59:25 PM EST
    That would be nice.  However it is not a requirement for me until one thing happens.  When I see the Muslim world doing something about their image.

    Say what you want about torture good, bad, or indifferent.  However I have never seen any Americans publicly beheading any muslims.  I have never seen any Americans hang dead muslims from bridges.  I mean for Christ sake.  I cant read any news page without hearing about some bomb going off some where killing their own people. I really dont think they care that much about "our image".

    It takes two to tango.  If we are doing all the giving then its a one way street.  In my opinion I would not go down that street.  If the Americans and Muslims jointly agreed to clean up both ends then I would be at the front of the line banging the drum of unity.  

    Here is where the people here like to roast me.  If there is not some give and take then I dont believe in giving.  Clean up our act while they still rape, destroy schools, publicly behead, display corpses, and treat their women that way.  I say NO.


    they did it first (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:05:38 PM EST
    or "they did it more" or "they did it worse" is not an argument.

    True, but (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:20:10 PM EST
    despite what the Bible says about turning the other cheek, that's not always a reasonable option, either, no?

    of course not (none / 0) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:21:50 PM EST
    I was just making the point that just because we are dealing with heathen barbarians doesnt mean we have to act like  heathen barbarians.

    Yes, I know (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:25:58 PM EST
    and I agree.  But if the heathen barbarians attack us, as they have several times, should we try to play nice with them and try to compromise?  I don't think so.  The problem is, we went after the wrong heathen barbarians.....

    Then let me refine my position (none / 0) (#50)
    by Iamme on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:26:25 PM EST
    Until this person sees progress at the death and destruction visited upon people by the muslims we are according to you so desperately trying to please I will not sail the good ship lollipop and spread sugar throughout the world.  

    Turn the other cheek.  Clean up your own side of the street are two very good arguments.  

    The only way to really clean this up globally is to go in full force no hands tied behind our back and conquer the rat bastards.  

    Should we have played nice with Hitler.  Should we have played nice after the imperial Japanese Navy shot the crap out of us.

    War is a messy thing.  You do what you have to so that you win and get it over as quick as possible.  Dropping an atom bomb was a horrific thing.  Even after the devastation of one bomb the emperor would not bend.  I guess more peopel had to die.  After two of them the emperor of Japan shouted that he surenderred and the killing and horrific war STOPPED.  Not until then.  the current war will not stop now by "cleaning up our image".  

    We are at WAR people.  Your democratic president is sending more troops in.  You think he is doing that because there are nice people living there and we are going to attend garden parties?  Do what you have to and end the war.  Be it horrific or not.  This is not a fight using the queens rules of fair play.  Just end it.  Doing so will result in far less bloodshed than otherwise.  

    So that is my argument.


    "The Muslims" (none / 0) (#57)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:06:18 PM EST
    Great argument, but I've heard it before.  During the Crusades in the 12th century.

    These are public servants (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by lilburro on Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:02:04 AM EST
    not family members.  Tax funded public servants.

    To lilburro: Jane Mayer wins (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by oculus on Tue May 12, 2009 at 05:30:39 PM EST
    New York Public Library's 2009 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism for "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals."  The award is presented each year to a journalist whose work has brought public attention to important issues.  (NYT.)

    Yup, and when you are (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:05:54 AM EST
    representing the "public", your discussions and decisions made in that context are NOT private if they come into question!

    No USer Jury Would EVER Convict (none / 0) (#42)
    by tokin librul on Tue May 12, 2009 at 12:49:19 PM EST
    Busheviks or anyone else who claimed to be 'protecting' the country by means of the abuse of rag-haids, even if they died in the process.

    No official (Lee-Hamilton-led) Commission will ever reveal enough to assign blame for the crimes committed.

    If Obama actually had the temerity to actually prosecute anybody, he'd be just invitinig the same fate at the end of his administration, or even before.



    Depends where you pick the jury. (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Ben Masel on Tue May 12, 2009 at 01:35:45 PM EST

    Yeah! (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:11:55 PM EST
    We'll do it gladly!  I can just see Dick Cheney trying to explain why it was legally OK to torture people to the farmers in my town.

    Unanimity? (none / 0) (#65)
    by tokin librul on Tue May 12, 2009 at 03:13:44 PM EST

    It would be inmpossible to empanel a jury in any state where there probability of seating at least 3 or 4 Busheviks/Obama haters would be nil.

    46-47% of voters (likely jurors) voted AGAINST "the Prez." Of 12 jurors, therefore, predictably, 3-5 of them would NOT CONVICT any Puke for such acts...


    It's unlikely that (none / 0) (#60)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:18:30 PM EST
    Obama's supporters are going to force him to take this on.  If Obama is pushing the "let's move forward" meme because he's protecting congressional Democrats, then his administration will block both a Truth Commission and prosecutions.  Cheney and other Rethugs are muddying the water with their focus on whether or not torture works and their claims that Obama is hiding the proof that it does work.  That discussion is a distraction that delays the push for accountability and retribution, and provides more time for people to become desensitized to what happened. If we wait too long we lose our momentum.  Torture will be old history and people will want to forget all about it.  After all, Obama has already committed to ensuring that we don't use torture again.  Short sighted people will think that's good enough, in spite of the clear pattern of lack of accountability leading to further wrongdoing by government officials.  In reality, our historical inability to prosecute high level unethical and illegal activities degrades our democracy and make a laughingstock of American justice and the rule of law. From President Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon in 1974 to Ronald Reagan and Oliver North's Iran Contra scandal/presidential election fraud in 1980 and electronic election fraud in 2000 and 2004, the lack of accountability at high levels of government has simply encouraged repetitive and increasingly dangerous lawbreaking.  If Obama gets his way, torture will become just one more in a long string of government abuses swept under the Oval Office rug, which means we are doomed to repeat these dangerous totalitarian actions done by our government in our name.  

    Given the electorate's unwillingness to pursue this, perhaps the only other recourse we have is to utilize our foreign allies to pressure the Obama administration into doing the right thing and upholding the rule of law.  

    I am starting to think (none / 0) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 02:21:51 PM EST
    if anything happens it will originate in another country beyond the control Obama or the US government.

    which might be better in the long run anyway.


    been down this road already in here (none / 0) (#63)
    by Iamme on Tue May 12, 2009 at 03:06:05 PM EST
    Having another country do this for us is not better for America.

    But I do like how you stick to your beliefs howdy.


    I agree that it would (none / 0) (#66)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 12, 2009 at 03:25:31 PM EST
    not be better.  but maybe the only way.