Richard Cohen Rides To The Rescue

I wondered for a moment if Richard Cohen wrote his column today as a favor to Joe Klein, to distract one Villager's imbecility with another's. But then I remembered that Cohen is the worst columnist in America:

This business of what constitutes torture is a complicated matter. [Patrick Fitzgerald]managed to put Judith Miller of The New York Times in jail -- a wee bit of torture right there.

I defended Judy Miller's invocation of the reporters' privilege at the time. But I never confused her detainment for civil contempt as torture. But for imbeciles like Cohen, the issue of torture is "complicated." It is not enough to say that Cohen is immoral, which of course he is. It must be said he is an idiot. There is no better example of the white man's privilege than Richard Cohen, who should not have a job writing for anybody.

Speaking for me only

< Logrolling In Our Time | 2010: A Base Election With A Dispirited Dem Electorate >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    for Cohens ilk (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:20:12 AM EST
    torture is complicated.  they must do an intricate dance around the fact that they enabled it and still try to come off looking like "serious people".

    good luck with that Dick.

    The absence of a comma (none / 0) (#67)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:54:09 PM EST
    gives your statement a different meaning. Either, of course, works just fine in this case.

    good luck with that Dick.

    good luck with that, Dick.


    it occurs to me that if newspapers (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:31:38 AM EST
    are in so much financial trouble, the first thing they should cut are the high priced dinosaur columnists.

    Ugh...you made me look. (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Anne on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:12:26 AM EST
    What did I see?  A complete waste of space, which come to think of it, probably also describes quite accurately the area where Richard Cohen's brain is supposed to be located.  I can't even believe he gets paid for this idiocy.

    Cohen seems unable to comprehend that anyone with arms, legs and permission can physically hurt other people, can beat them, inflict pain on them, can make them believe they are drowning; it takes more time, more preparation, more thought, more intelligence to obtain information in other ways, but it appears from various reports that it can be done.  Unless I have missed something, I don't believe we captured anyone who revealed under torture that we were moments away from some cataclysmic terrorist act, but I do believe we "learned" things from torturing people that sent us chasing after wild geese and proved to be a colossal waste of resources.

    For me, Cohen is a perfect example of someone who has let fear determine what his principles are - or make him question whether he even has any - which means he succumbed to the very effective psychological campaign waged by the last administration: see, Richard, it is possible to make people say and do things they never thought they would without ever laying a hand on them - your column is proof of that.

    It's interesting to me that Cohen has been so mind-f**ked by the Cheneys and Yoos and Bybees and Addingtons that he just assumes as a matter of course that anyone we detain is guilty of something or knows something that might be torture-worthy; he never seems to consider the possibility that these "enhanced" interrogation techniques were used against people who were guilty of little more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

    He is a complete and utter fool.

    Actually there is some infiornation available (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:00:11 AM EST
    from an ex-CIA guy who may know more than the various journalists...and I don't think anyone outside of the "48" types believe that EIT's are designed to "find the bomb before it goes off in two hours." All information, even volunteered information must be vetted for accuracy and truthfulness.


    BRIAN ROSS: And did it make a difference in terms of--
        JOHN: It did. The threat information that he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.
        BRIAN ROSS: No doubt about that? That's not some--
        JOHN: No doubt.
        BRIAN ROSS: --hype?
        JOHN: No, no question. No question.
        BRIAN ROSS: And in terms of the actual planned future attacks?
        JOHN: Yeah, we disrupted a lot of them.

    Link to ABC News


    Some additional discussion (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:07:22 AM EST
    about this ex-CIA guy who knows so much.

    This is the same guy who went on TV to claim that Abu Zubaydah had been waterboarded once, ever, and that he gave up after 30 seconds and immediately started spilling the beans.

    Justice Department documents that were disclosed earlier this year reveal that Abu Zubaydah was actually waterboarded 83 times - in a single month.

    This "source" has no credibility to any thinking person.


    Key phrase is (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:12:02 AM EST
    "thinking person."

    If you read the article (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:21:02 PM EST
    UPDATE: U.S. Government documents released in April 2009 indicate that Kiriakou's account that Abu Zubaydah broke after only one water boarding session was incorrect. According to a footnote in newly released, previously classified "Top Secret" memos, the CIA used the water board "at least 83 times during August 2002 in the interrogation of Zubaydah."

    Following the release of the documents, Kiriakou said: "When I spoke to ABC News in December 2007 I was aware of Abu Zubaydah being water boarded on one occasion. It was after this one occasion that he revealed information related to a planned terrorist attack. As I said in the original interview, my information was second-hand. I never participated in the use of enhanced techniques on Abu Zubaydah or on any other prisoner, nor did I witness the use of such techniques."

    ABC News Link

    Believe what you like. The man said the above.


    Uh huh (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:24:16 PM EST
    Clearly this man's "second-hand" information is simply not credible.

    Kiriakou doesn't know (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by MKS on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:38:24 PM EST
    what he is talking about--by his own admission he was not involved in the interrogation.

    He was a team leader (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:27:24 PM EST
    He was there.

    But if you choose to not believe......


    Hmmm. I am reminded of the poster (none / 0) (#61)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:32:11 PM EST
    I think it was Realitybias-- on the Orange, who posted, day after day, about the evils of circumcision.

    Wow (none / 0) (#65)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:40:24 PM EST
    Even when he says his information is second-hand, even when he was something like a thousand miles away, "he was there"!

    He said it took 30 seconds of waterboarding to break the guy, when he was actually waterboarded 83 times in a month.  Gee, how could anyone doubt his claims?


    He was there (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 03:03:39 PM EST
    John, you were involved in the capture of Abu Zubaydah?
    I was.


    we-- we raided each one of those sites and found him in one of the-- in one of the houses.


    And after you captured him what was your security like to keep him under-- lock and key?
    (LAUGHS) The security was I tore up a sheet and tied him to the bed.
    You did?
    Yeah. That was about all we could do in those initial hours. The idea was we wanted to get him
    to a-- to a place where he would be safe, where he could recover from his wounds, and where we could begin interviewing him.


    So you were in the room that whole time.
    Yeah. In fact, I was the first person that spoke to him when he came out of his coma.


    We knew he was full of information.
    And-- and we wanted to get it. One of the reasons why it was of such-- importance to us that night is the room where-- where he was when the raid began had a table in it. And on the table Abu Zubaydah and two other men were building a bomb. The soldering arm was still hot. And they had the plans for-- for a school on the table. So we knew that there were-- immediate threats that he could-- he could help us with.

    ABC News


    And? (none / 0) (#70)
    by MKS on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 03:34:03 PM EST
    Was he there during the actual interrogation?  Not the capture, but the interrogation.  And, more specifically the interrogation that used torture.  This guy has admitted he was not there for the waterboarding....

    And his second hand information contradicts the first hand account of the interrogators...

    Everyone has their own facts:  the conservatives can never be proven wrong--they just invent new facts to replace the discredited ones.  


    If you want to say that the CIA is (2.00 / 0) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 06:06:39 PM EST
    lying there can be no discussion. I gave you the article. BION.

    In your mind it is not.. But..... (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:31:48 PM EST
    I see no reason for him to have lied. Especially in 12/2007.

    Lied? (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:32:54 PM EST
    did not know what he was talking about?

    this is the eternal question about you too.


    Nice snark (none / 0) (#50)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:23:30 PM EST
    I wondered how long it would take.

    the man was wrong (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:32:14 PM EST
    Listen to him.

    I did (none / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:27:09 PM EST
    "When I spoke to ABC News in December 2007 I was aware of Abu Zubaydah being water boarded on one occasion. It was after this one occasion that he revealed information related to a planned terrorist attack.

    Your defense doesn't help the poor guy (none / 0) (#53)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:42:10 PM EST
    all you are doing is exposing his lack of basis for his supposed knowledge.

    Read the article including the (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:23:41 PM EST
    transcripts. He rings very true.

    He didn't know the basic facts about (none / 0) (#73)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 04:24:19 PM EST
    how many times the prisoner was waterboarded. Not a good start. What else doesn't he know? You're not doing a good job in rehabilitiating the witness.

    I read the enire article (none / 0) (#74)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 06:04:22 PM EST
    including the transcripts... It all rings true to me. Again, in 12/2007 there would be no pressure to lie.

    But please feel free to believe what you wish. And you still haven't answered my question.

    And another one would be, if you call EIT's torture and reject the use of them totally, why do you care what the CIA said they learned? Are you afraid that that would prove EIT's are justified in some cases??


    you may find the witness credible (5.00 / 0) (#77)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 06:33:08 PM EST
    but you have not addressed the issue of the basis of the witnesses knowledge or the lack of basis. A witness can generally testify to what they know, but they have to estabish what the basis is of their knowledge. Its called a foundation. If a witness testifes they saw something, that testimony can be tested by checking the accuracy of the testimony.

    Your witness has a problem in this area. He clearly does not and did not know all the facts. He did not know the basic fact - how many times was the prisoner water boarded. This witness claims to have knowledge about this event, but there are facts about this event that he should know and doesn't. This leads to the basic question- what else doesn't he know?

    Who said I care or don't care what the CIA alleges they learned or didn't learn and why is this important? I am a skeptic and don't take much at face value. I certainly don't take at face value the testimony of someone who has an axe to grind - like trying to establish a nullification defense- "we may have broken the law, but we accomplished valuable things".

    And I did answer your original question. You just didn't like my answer.


    I do not consider this a legal matter (2.00 / 0) (#78)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 07:00:23 PM EST
    but I understand why many on the blog would. I also understand that the bias we all have colors our beliefs. I have read both articles and see no reason to not believe that the prisoner cracked as noted, then regrouped and was waterboarded again and again, all without the knowledge of Kirkiakou who, in his new position, had no "need to know."

    Mr. Kiriakou, who was not present for the waterboarding but read the resulting intelligence reports, said he had been told that Abu Zubaydah became compliant after 35 seconds of the water treatment.

    Link to NY Times article.

    Kiriakou did not take part in the EIT's so it is hard to see why he would think it necessary to construct a defense. Of course he was part of the team guilty of capturing the terrorist. Bad life style choice?

    Of course the Obama administration, in order to silence their Left wing base, have decided to destroy what little is left of the CIA. Democrats have done it before. (Church Committee)

    BTW - You challenged me and I answered your question. You have not returned the favor. Again. If you believed that a prisoner had information that would save lives, what is your bottom line? Would you just accept his refusal to talk??


    you don't consider torture a legal matter (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 08:19:23 PM EST
    Well there is the fundamental flaw in your thinking.

    I did answer your question. But I will give you a hint. The world is not binary. Its not either we torture and we get the info or we don't torture and we won't.

    This, of course, betrays another fundamental flaw in your thinking.


    You see, I dojn't buy the premise so I don't (2.00 / 0) (#80)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 07:04:25 AM EST
    buy the bit. EIT's are nasty and mean and effective in softening up terrorists for the "good cop" and should be used with great care and supervision, but they are not torture.

    And no, you didn't answer, you referred to BTD's evasion.

    And whether you want to believe this or not, the current administration has put us into a "no" position.


    put on your reading glasses (none / 0) (#81)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:47:00 AM EST
    and try again.

    I adopted BTD's answer as to why the prisoner abuse you endorse is torture (why do you hate American values Jim?). The methods you endorse were always defined as torture, until Dick Cheney ordered the Bush legal team to define deviancy down. However, changing definitions to make the illegal "legal" is trait of totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.

    I gave a different answer as to your question of "omigod what do we do if we can't torture?"

    The prisoner abuse that we did was a wee bit more than bad cop good cop. Your fooling yourself if you believe that. I guess this means (to steal a phrase) you can't handle the truth! Poor Jim caught between the Scylla of paying lip service to the glories of America and the Charybdis of his authoritarian impulses. Such a dilemma. What to do?



    Answer the question Molly (none / 0) (#82)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:57:52 PM EST
    Of course you won't because it is wrong to not do everything possible to save your fellow citizens lives..

    So thanks for the snark, I'll just put you down as "Declined to answer but we know the answer."


    Its not binary Jim (none / 0) (#83)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    Its not either we torture to get the info or if we don't torture we won't.

    Are you truly incapable of understanding that?


    Yes, I understand (none / 0) (#84)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 02:42:26 PM EST
    My question laid out a defined situation. Your answer evades that by claiming the world isn't binary. Now, using what I laid out, will you answer the question?

    If you understand it is not binary (none / 0) (#85)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 02:44:32 PM EST
    then you understand you are offering a series of false choices which serve no purpose.

    Pretty simple (none / 0) (#86)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 04:40:26 PM EST
    The choice I offer is not false. Let's review.

    You have a prisoner that you believe has information that, if he tells you, will save lives. The information is not necessarily time sensitive, but the time frame is not open ended.

    He refuses to talk.

    What will you do?


    handle it the same way we did in WWII (none / 0) (#87)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 08:31:58 PM EST
    Not the same (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:24:08 AM EST
    WWII was a conventional war...

    And we did hang some Germans who were spies.. And so did the Brits, only they hung a few and turned the rest into double agents.

    Now. Please answer the question.


    Hanging is not torture (none / 0) (#89)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:58:42 AM EST
    unless you want to take the position the death penalty is torture. Nor is it prisoner abuse - again unless you want to take the position the death penalty is prisoner abuse. The death penalty is not outlawed by US law or the torture convention outlawing torture endorsed by that well known liberal wuss Ronald Reagan.

    Moreover under your sceanario

    a prisoner that you believe has information that, if he tells you, will save lives. The information is not necessarily time sensitive, but the time frame is not open ended.

    If you hang them, you ain't going to get the info. I think my the men and women of my father's generation who served in WWII
    intuitively understood that little problem (even if you don't understand that hanging would be at cross purposes with your information gathering) and I don't think that is the method they would have used.

    As for WWII being somehow different, you are incorrect. And it doesn't appear to me that the interrogators of that era agree with you

    When about two dozen veterans got together yesterday for the first time since the 1940s, many of the proud men lamented the chasm between the way they conducted interrogations during the war and the harsh measures used today in questioning terrorism suspects.

    Blunt criticism of modern enemy interrogations was a common refrain at the ceremonies held beside the Potomac River near Alexandria. Across the river, President Bush defended his administration's methods of detaining and questioning terrorism suspects during an Oval Office appearance.

    Several of the veterans, all men in their 80s and 90s, denounced the controversial techniques. And when the time came for them to accept honors from the Army's Freedom Team Salute, one veteran refused, citing his opposition to the war in Iraq and procedures that have been used at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

    "We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

    "We did it with a certain amount of respect and justice," said John Gunther Dean, 81, who became a career Foreign Service officer and ambassador to Denmark.

    The interrogators had standards that remain a source of pride and honor.

    "During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone," said George Frenkel, 87, of Kensington. "We extracted information in a battle of the wits. I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity."

    Now I have answered the question several times, this last time in great detail. I would not torture, I would not violate the law. The people you seek to defend, did.

    What's more, their superiors who authorized the torture did as well and knew they were violating the law. Torture is notorious for producing false confessions and I think that is exactly what they wanted- any corroboration -true or false- that it was necessary to invade Iraq. Cheney and company didn't care, they just wanted to justify  it.  

    PS: my preferred method would get results. Yours would probably get a false confession. I would accomplish the goal and be the heroine of this little fanatay of yours... you would just get more Americans killed.


    So you believe that you are not (none / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:43:52 AM EST
    your brothers keeper. That you would let people die rather than try all avenues to obtain that information.

    Do I have that right?

    BTW - The hanging of some was to turn the others into useful double agents, not obtain information.

    And hanging is not torture? Hmmmm... Are you aware that people are claiming threats are torture?? How much more so would be a sentence!

    And your preferred method....??? The base of the question is that the prisoner will not talk. Now you can delude yourself forever by saying, well I would do this, but the practical fact is the prisoner will not talk using "approved" techniques.

    And we again have the claim that the information obtained by using EIT's would be "false." Why would that be any more "false" than  information gathered through "approved" methods? And remember. ALL information is vetted no matter how it is obtained.

    Molly, I think we have beat this horse into dog food and neither of us is going to change. I would do whatever is necessary and as a last resort, you would not.

    But at least we can argue our points without personal insults and attacks. And that is something that is becoming unusual.

    Have a good day.


    last response (none / 0) (#91)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:16:22 AM EST
    I am familiar with the twenty committee aka XX committee and their methods- you misrepresent them for your own ends. First off it was British operation. 2ndly they were spies and under the laws of war were subject to the death penalty. They were offered a reprieve based upon cooperation. Not the same thing as what we did at Gitmo or Abu Gharib.

    There is a bit more going on with the "threats as torture claims" than you cite or allow.

    As I said before, you are presenting a false choice, why I bothered to take you seriously I do not know. You present me with "your method in my fantasy didn't work, therefore you must use mine." That is an absurd false choice. Its a moronic version of Calvinball. There is no

    ... practical fact is the prisoner will not talk using "approved" techniques.
    except in your game of Calvinball. The fact is the methods I cite have been proven to work- only in your Calvinball universe do they always fail.

    thank you for your clarification. (none / 0) (#93)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:48:31 AM EST
    My memory is getting old.

    I read Bodyguard of Lies when I was 14 (none / 0) (#95)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:39:02 AM EST
    which I suspect you may have read and if not, you probably would have enjoyed it

    Heh (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:11:37 AM EST
    EIT means phyisical and mental abuse of prisoners (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:55:02 AM EST
    Don't pussy foot around Jim. Call it what it is. The fact you (and your allies) feel the need to sanitize it by giving it a new name Enhanced Interrogation Technique and then a even more sanitized TLA is most telling.

    You are talking about abuse of prisoners. What we used to call torture.

    A rose by any other name still smells... and the stench from this one can be smelled a mile away.

    If you favor this policy, then you favor prisoner abuse. So go ahead and admit it. Be honest.


    Please. As you know, I didn't pick the (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:30:12 PM EST
    term, so I see no need to defend it.

    Are temperature extremes, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, interrogation by females (violating cultural "norms"), threats....abuse? Of course. Torture? No.

    BTW - I see you didn't answer my "what would you do" question. Now, it is your turn to be "honest" as you directed me to be.


    Well (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:31:40 PM EST
    They USED to be torture, before the Bush Administration did it.

    At least according to the Convention on Torture, which Ronald Reagan signed.


    Not to be flip (none / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:34:03 PM EST
    But this administration does claim to put high value on "change."

    Indeed (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:35:24 PM EST
    My mindless flag waving for this Administration is kept to a bare minimum.

    Well how did we survive (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:40:45 PM EST
    not using torture to extract information about Germans using heavy water in WWII? How did my Dad and others survive the terror of V1and V2 rockets in England without the OSS torturing information about when and where they would be launched?

    How did we survive the cold war without torture?

    PS: If you don't want to defend the sanitized phrase and TLA for torture, don't use it. If you willing to use the phrase and TLA in your spoken and written speech, then you best be willing to defend them.

    BTD answered the torture part below. I adopt his answer.


    Frankly I don't have to defend anything (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:50:11 PM EST
    to someone who won't answer my very simple question.

    But I did James, I did. (none / 0) (#72)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 04:22:20 PM EST
    Perhaps the Internet (2.00 / 0) (#76)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 06:25:44 PM EST
    ate your answer... alas, I do not see it.

    I know what torture is: (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:22:06 AM EST
    Reading Cohen's columns.

    We Could Uncomplicate Torture for Cohen . . . (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Doc Rock on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:34:13 AM EST
    . . . with a board, some restraints and a lot of water, plus high decibel white noise, bright lights, and a refrigerated room for a few decades.

    I sincerely think torture apologists (none / 0) (#5)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:51:25 AM EST
    are cowards. There is a difference between fear and cowardice. To justify torture as protection is cowardice.

    Fear is natural, an emotional response to a threat. Cowardice, on the other hand is a personality trait. this trait in a leadership position is poisonous. Columnists can influence too many with their cowardice.

    And the worst part is... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:09:35 AM EST
    there really is no reason to be cowardly...the threat  of falling victim to political murder is so overblown its not even funny.

    We could simply bring our troops home to ensure more safety from political murder than a million torture sessions could provide.


    Would that have worked on the morning (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:37:39 PM EST
    of 9/11?


    Defense can never assure safety.


    Nothing can assure safety... (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:51:56 PM EST
    Riddle me this...if we never stationed troops in Saudi Arabia, if we never staged a coup in Iran, if we never got mixed up with the mujahadeen...would there have been a 9/11?

    You have to go back to (2.00 / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    the Cold War....

    On the other hand, if Carter had protected the Shah.

    If we had not ran from Lebanon.... If we had not decided to bleed the Soviets in Afghamistam...If we had not left Blackhawk down...

    What we are seeing is the mess left over by the destruction of the Ottoman empire... So let's blame the the Brits and the French.

    My fantasy solution..... split Iraq into 3 parts.. Take out the current regime in Iran and tell the new boys they have oversight on the Shia part of Iraq.


    My fantasy solution... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:13:18 PM EST
    give peace and live and let live a chance starting today....and come what may.  I think you might be surprised at how retreating our empire to our borders will reduce the motivation of some whackjobs to travel over the Atlantic or Pacific to take some of us down.

    And if I'm wrong we can always fuel up the aircraft carriers again.


    I wish you were right (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:34:56 PM EST
    Unfortunately the issue, as much as everything else, is religion and culture and the radicals aren't going to wait for our best weapons, rock n' roll and blue jeans, to take effect. They see it as losing power and no "ruler" will put up with that if they think there is a way to stop it. They will use the ignorance of the masses to do their bidding by teaching a warped version of Islam.

    If you believed that a (2.00 / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:08:54 AM EST
    prisoner under your control had information that could save the lives of your fellow citizens, what would you be willing to do to obtained that information?

    And let's don't say it's "gonna explode in two hours.." let's just say you believe that the threat is believable and the timing uncertain, which is much more realistic situation.


    Jack Bauer returns (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:10:49 AM EST
    Not flashy enough... (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:32:50 AM EST
    We need to bring back Torquemada! Now that man's enhanced interrogation techniques were wicked cool! Oh, and effective! Geez! the Jews or the Moors would control Spain now if not for him!

    Oddly enough,,, (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by desertswine on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:11:41 PM EST
    I was reading an article this am about the Amboyna massacre. (The Free Dictionary)

    Dutch East Indian Co. v. British East India Co.

    The Dutch at Amboyna suspected that the British were about to attack them and assassinate their governor. The Dutch were in command of the fort ("castle") Victoria on Amboyna in 1623 when a rumour reached them that the Japanese mercenary soldiers (samurai) that the Dutch East Indian Company had hired, plus several Englishmen were conspiring to take over the fort. To find out the truth, they tortured several Japanese and Englishmen. Torture consisted of having water poured over the head, round which a cloth was draped. This was the usual torture in the Dutch Indies at the time. If the suspect did not confess after that, burning candles were held under his arm pits. According to Dutch records all suspects confirmed that they were guilty as charged, with or without being tortured. Since the accusation was treason, all the accused, ten Englishmen, nine Japanese and one Portuguese, were sentenced to death. On March 9, 1623 they were beheaded. The head of the English captain Gabriel Towerson was stuck on a pole for all to see.

    It is not comforting to see that we have advanced morally not one iota since 1623. Have we passed the burning candle stage yet. I think so.


    Make him watch Fox TV? (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by oldpro on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:24:17 AM EST
    or certain reality shows favored by Jeralyn (which I would find torturous and would give up my mother in five minutes)?  Or maybe the TV evangelists?  How about a dose of bad country music (ya know, "the dog died and the Chevy won't start")?

    Or even a helping of my neighbor's infamous tuna casserole?


    I would use techniques that work (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by MKS on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:41:36 PM EST
    and that do not make us terrorists....

    Conservatives now say going into Iraq was justified because Saddam Hussein was torturing his own people.  So, we had to invade Irage to show him how to do torture correctly?


    The ticking time bomb scenario (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:44:36 PM EST
    puts a premium on accurate information....Torture will get you information--most likley inaccurate....And, since there is no time to vet the torture-obtained information, any terrorist in custdoy would just tell you a story knowing that you did not have time to figure out the truth before the attack.

    So, with more time, what to do?  How about getting accurate information the way it was done routinely by the U.S. Army in every war until the Iraq war.


    How about the English in WWII (2.00 / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:18:04 PM EST
    They turned German spies by hanging a few and giving the remainder a choice...

    As I said. All information must be vetted for accuracy and truthfulness.

    And I excluded the "ticking bomb."


    Not buying it (none / 0) (#71)
    by MKS on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 03:50:12 PM EST
    I have heard this brouhaha about Churchill and alleged English torture during WWII--and I do know that your take is hotly disputed.

    I also know the real intelligence victories in WWII were not by torture but by deception and code breaking.....Patton commanded the dummy force in England that was to invade at Calais....So fooled was the Wehrmacht that the Germans still thought, even well after the D-Day landing, that Normandy was a great diversion, leaving many of their Panzers in reserve.  It took the Allied forces a long time to break out of the coast--a strong counter-attack with all available German forces could have caused real trouble...

    We broke the Japanese code--and that is how we beat the Japanese at Midway....

    But scrape away at the barrel bottom trying to find some instance of the Allies torturing somebody to justify current, Bush-era torture practices....


    Torture debate is a loser for Democrats... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Slado on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:52:04 AM EST
    Obama and liberals.

    Cohen has figured that out.  

    The tactics (EIT's to Cheney; torture to liberals) worked.   That liberal myth is dead.  Most on here will pretend it isn't but it doesn't matter now.   In the court of public opinion the verdict has come down.   The tactics worked.  

    So now the question (and a very legitimate one at that) is do we want to prosecute the people that got information that more then likely saved American lives because we believe that tactics however futifull where criminal?

    That is the political question and for all the moral grandstanding it is one the American people will answer very clearly. No.

    The Bush administration is part of history.  20 or 30 years from now history will judge it properly.  Obama has cancled the program it and that is that.

    There is no political will for investigations and nothing is going to come of this.   Even in the unlikely event that it does it will be yet another political loser for democrats who will have enough problems on their hands in the next couple years.

    Cheney wins.  Move on

    Cheney wins? (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:55:34 AM EST
    Heh. Please. Trot out Dick Cheney every day for the rest of his life.

    Make the Dems' day.


    Politically he is winning (none / 0) (#55)
    by Slado on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:57:55 PM EST
    He asked for the reports to be release and the Washington Post confirmed that he was right.

    Techniques worked.  Period.

    The majority of Americans are not goign to support a witch hunt that rounds up a few lower level CIA employees because they roughed up some terrorists to get good information.  

    Sorry.  That is a political loser for the president.  Either way he looses.  He loses moderates and the right for doing anything and he loses the left for not doing enough.

    Lose, lose, cheney wins.


    Wow (none / 0) (#58)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:15:56 PM EST
    I guess you figure by repeating "techniques worked" enough you can make it true.  You're very transparent.

    Heh (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:33:19 PM EST
    Trot him out every day please.

    You have a good point (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:03:40 AM EST
    Obama is at 42% by Zogby and 45% by Rasmussen. I was at a town hall last night and healthcare is just one item that people are upset about.

    what were the others (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:04:58 AM EST
    I can (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:18:51 AM EST
    tell you that around here it's everything: jobs, the price of healthcare, the school funds being cut, dumping money in the middle east when people here are going without etc. Everybody is mad about something but not everybody is mad about the same thing.

    you know (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:29:46 AM EST
    I try hard to not the the one who yell racism at every criticism but I do wonder why these people spent the last 8 years in a coma only to wake up the day after the first african american president was elected and realize everything sucks.

    Because the economy was in pretty good shape. (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:38:49 PM EST
    That's why.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:57:55 PM EST
    but they arent complaining about the things that Obama does like Bush and while things weren't that great under Bush they're becoming worse by the day after the collapse of a year ago.

    Don't worry. THey are mad at Sonny our GOP governor too. I'm sure that racism does play some part but I don't really think it's that much with these people. The GOP is using these people by lying to them and scaring them. Unfortunatley, they are unable to discern the truth from the lies.


    Torture (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:12:54 AM EST
    Not enough of it apparently.

    Don't know, but (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:13:59 AM EST
    Zogby uses likely voters, Rasmussen uses registered voters who say they will vote in the next election.

    Obama would be wise to shut this down, stop health care (rewrite a definitive single payer plan) stop cap and trade and concentrate on economic reforms. That is were the middle is at.


    True, the base Republicans are (none / 0) (#44)
    by MKS on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:48:47 PM EST
    showing up for the Townhalls....And, simply put, they are made that they lost the election....hence the birthers, deathers, socialistas, etc.

    The townhalls do not accurate reflect people's views....Interesting how conservatives never admit defeat.  If they do admit and internalize it, they change their minds--because they always have to be a "winner."

    Zogby....Ha!  Rasmussen....no bias, there.  But Gallup has Obama at 52% today which is a drop, but let's see where everyhting stands in a year with a good economy.


    With a good economy (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:06:08 PM EST
    Yes, that will be the question.

    I for one don't give a sh*t... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:12:52 AM EST
    what it means politically for Dems or Repubs or anyone else...nothing less than what is left of the soul of our nation is at stake...if its not too late to save this b*tch already.

    I respect your opinon (none / 0) (#54)
    by Slado on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:55:24 PM EST
    but doing my right wing BTD impression however I'm sticking to the politics.

    And politically this is a serous loser for Obama.  That is why Gates continues to lie daily and say the AJ is the one driving this.   As if the AJ would prosecute the CIA without telling the boss.  Please.

    This a pure political move that will blow up in their face either way.

    They will piss of moderates and right wingers for prosecuting CIA people or they will piss off liberals for investigating and doing nothing.

    Why they let this happen is beyond me.

    What's so pathetic is it's not because they believe like you that it was really torture.  No, it was simply because they thought they could buy off their base with talking tough about it and doing nothing.


    I have to agree with you... (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:10:32 PM EST
    about the Dems motivations here, and also agree that it is a pathetic attempt at distraction.  But at least we might get a sliver of the truth in the process about just how dirty the CIA rolls...and it beats any number of distractions they could have come up with...like a new "tough on crime" initiative or something.

    Then you don't accept the (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 02:38:20 PM EST
    results of the previous investigation??

    "The tactics worked" and (none / 0) (#20)
    by NYShooter on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:16:20 AM EST
    "...saved American lives"

    So why are we pussyfooting around?

    One unmanned drone, one thermo-nuke

    Bye-bye-Muslim terrorists

    Hello oil!

    Yeah, that's the way "real men" would do it



    "Hey, it's OUR oil. (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:26:20 AM EST
    They're just closer to it."

    Gallagher from the 1970' or 80's. Never thought it would become a political philosophy.


    Don't ever think for one minute (none / 0) (#25)
    by oldpro on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:30:02 AM EST
    that it's not an option being considered or recommended by someone, somewhere, in the halls of power.  Seriously.

    stinque.com (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:43:21 AM EST
    for whom my esteem rises almost daily has a great take on Cohen today.