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Kucinich Introduces Articles of Impeachment of George W. Bush

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JenniferMaxwell
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50 posted 06-16-2008 06:29 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

If Bush, Cheney, etc. are pardoned by the next President, of course there's no way they can ever be put on trial. Any doubt in your mind what McCain would do if he's elected and there's even a hint of Bush or Cheney being prosecuted?
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51 posted 06-16-2008 09:09 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Jennifer Maxwell,

                          Great reason to vote Democratic, isn't it.  

     I believe a pardon requires a prior conviction.  You might try checking out Bugliosi's book.  If anybody pardons George Bush after hearing that case laid out in court, I'd be quite surprised.  But who knows.  It would also lay out quite a case against potential co-conspirators as well, such as the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense and our Current Secretary of State, Dr. Rice.

     Read the book, check out the case.  It's very clear and direct and Bugliosi was a superb Prosecutor.  Ask yourself if Senator McCain would be willing to put his career on the line for a pardon like that, anyway.  Gerry Ford, yes.  John McCain, I'd give it a resounding maybe.  Sort of.  Yes and no; and would it help him get re-elected, assuming he was elected in the first place.

Sincerely, BobK.
Ron
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52 posted 06-16-2008 09:49 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Bush has already been pardoned. By the American electorate, in 2004.

Personally, I think anything after that is just sour grapes.


JenniferMaxwell
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53 posted 06-16-2008 09:57 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell


Bob K, I don't believe a prior conviction is necessary. What comes to mind is Ford's pardon of Nixon.

I think if you actually check the 35 articles, Ron, you'll find some events never happened, or were never brought to light until after 2004.

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54 posted 06-16-2008 10:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, you certainly have much more free time on your hands than I do! When I am able to take two weeks off work to respond to the barrage you lay down, I will  

As far as Jennifer's article is concerned, the issue of whether jennifer is worth listening to or not is not the issue. She provided a link which began by stating that all Bush supporters, few that we may be, have no problem with torture and concentration camps. Yes, that is an insult and a personal one. I have provided links before which could be considered prejudicial to certain Democrats but you have never heard me say, or provide a link that says, that all Democrats are evil, vicious, or Huns gone mad by virtue of being Democrats. If you were to say that all Nebraskans were child molesters, don't be surprised if some Nebraskans find it offensive.

One of the interesting things about the supreme court decision is the headlines it generated. BUSH DEALT CRUSHING DEFEAT! SUPREME COURT SPANKS BUSH! DECISION MAJOR BLOW TO GEORGE BUSH! My God they all sound like a bunch of giddy first graders, yelling out "Take that, Georgie!" "Stick that in your pipe, Mr. you-don't-listen-to anybody." "How about dem apples, GW?" It's a Keystone Cops, or in this case, Keystone News Agencies, scenario.

We are basically doomed. Hitler's people used to make the Jews dig their own graves before shooting them. We are digging our own grave now and too many people are too blind to see it. Pardon me if I don't offer congratulations...
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55 posted 06-16-2008 10:55 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

           Great rhetoric, but the reality of it has not been tested. A significant proportion of the electorate still believe, I suspect, that Iraq was responsible for 9/11.  I know they did in 2004.  The whole case has not been laid out and publicized.

     We have politicians who believe it's okay to torture people, such as our President and our Vice President and our former Secretary of Defense.  We have politicians that believe that no warrant at all is needed to wire-tap citizens of this country, even one that can be easily obtained three days after the event and in virtual secrecy and with almost total absence of evidence.  And we have a government which is following a policy of preemptive warfare using cases so pitifully weak we have been forced to fabricate the very case we use to justify our actions.  We have squandered the good will we built up in the world.

     Should we need allies in the future against more credible threats, think of how much more difficult they may now be to enlist.  We have gained ourselves the reputation of international liars and bullies for a purpose that to this day remains a complete mystery to me.    I could see no advantage at the beginning.  I saw no advantage to be gained along the way, despite the attempts of some very persuasive people.  And I see no purpose now.

     I find myself stupefied to imagine that you could tolerate turning this amount of control over your personal life to to anybody, given the number of civil liberties this administration has been feeding into the wood-chipper of history, Ron.  Sincerely, BobK.
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56 posted 06-16-2008 11:15 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

          Sorry.  I did think you deserved a response and I took a few days to write you one.  You may not have noticed the time lag.  I thought you were worth responding to, especially since you'd tried to read a Washington Post article.  Didn't mean to overwhelm you with volume.  If you read the replies, much of the length is from restating your stuff.

     As for the court decision, you're focusing only on the part of the press that gets you steamed when you start fuming the way your are here.  I happen to agree with them in this case, mind you, but you might try some other source material which seems to reflects your point of view before you start thinking the whole world is against you and your pet goat.  I mean President...   Sorry.

     I'll see what I can dig up.

     The torture stuff and the holding without charges or trial or right to see evidence in a death penalty case is really pretty soviet-union-1935, I think.  And I think you probably remember those films too, from the fifties, and thinking (at least I was thinking) thank goodness this is America, and Nobody would allow anything like that to happen here.  And here we are fifty  years LATER and we're trying to pretend that stuff we thought was foul Russian communist behavior that only happened in communist and fascist dictatorships with secret police is really Okay because NOW WE'RE DOING IT.

     Doesn't fly with me, Balladeer.  I remember how much those dictatorships scared me back then, and I don't want to have one here now, thank you very much.

Best to you, BobK.


P.S.


Here's the link to the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal for June 13th.  I think you will find that the editorial supports your point of view.  Now maybe you can calm down enough and consider both sides instead of imagining the sky is falling.  None of us lefties wants to destroy America, despite what you're inclined to think.  We live here too.  
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121331916222970351.html

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57 posted 06-16-2008 11:32 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, that's not even great rhetoric. What torture are you referring to that all of these politicians are endorsing? The loud music? The lack of sleep? What citizens have been wire-tapped besides those with resonable possibilities who communicate with foreign unknows? Which of your civil liberties have gone into the wood-chopper, Bob? Which ones do you recognize that you don't have now that you had before Bush? His wire-tapping and surveillance was good, solid common sense that I believe the majority of Americans supported. Yes, someone like you, for example, can turn it into a doomsdays scenario where Aunt Mabel has to worry every times she picks up the phone that the FBI may be listening but the fact is she has no worries and neither do the rest of us. Now, foreign operatives in the US trying to communicate with clandestine overseas agents, they do have reason to be concerned but, then again, we don't want their rights violated, either, do we? Or should we say that terrorists agents planning sabotage against the US have rights, too, that we dare not violate? Let them communicate freely, without fear of being discovered, rather than take a chance on violating their rights because THAT would be the real crime.

As far as Clinton not taking Bin Laden into custody because he had not violated any of our laws, bully for him. Forget the fact that he considered Bin Laden a grave and serious threat to the US and could have neutralized that threat, he didn't because he was a fine, upstanding citizen. I'm not exavtly sure how many of the people who died in the WTC or their families, or the people who died in the embassy bombings and their families, or the people who died on the USS Cole and their families would agree with you but I will be a little surprised if these people all get together and have a "God Love Bill clinton" Day as a tribute to his strict adherence to the laws of the land.

With your way of thinking, there would be no United States because there would have been no Boston Tea Party, illegal act that it was. You wouldn't consider condoning an illegal act, would you, sir? We could be sitting around sipping tea every afternoon at 4, smug in the fact that our founding fathers broke no laws. What a comforting thought......
Ron
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58 posted 06-17-2008 12:37 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I think if you actually check the 35 articles, Ron, you'll find some events never happened, or were never brought to light until after 2004.

Some, Jennifer? Shouldn't a fair and just charge be entirely accurate?

Don't get me wrong. I think a lot of the accusations are valid. But they were valid prior to the 2004 election, too. And I think a lot of the accusations are utter nonsense. The list is basically a throw-everything-in-a-pot goulash, with the hope something might actually be edible. It sort of reminds me of some relationship arguments I've had, where everything I've done wrong for the past five years is suddenly laid at my feet in space of five very heated minutes.  

The time to beat Bush was in 2004. No one is more sorry than I am that Bush was re-elected. But he was re-elected. The losers need to deal with it.

quote:
We have politicians who believe it's okay to torture people, such as our President and our Vice President and our former Secretary of Defense.

LOL. Watch those dependent clauses there, Bob. Does it really surprise you that our politicians want to torture the President, VP, and Secretary of Defense?  

quote:
We have politicians that believe that no warrant at all is needed to wire-tap citizens of this country, even one that can be easily obtained three days after the event and in virtual secrecy and with almost total absence of evidence.  And we have a government which is following a policy of preemptive warfare using cases so pitifully weak we have been forced to fabricate the very case we use to justify our actions.

You're right, Bob. I agree completely.

What you seem to be ignoring, however, is that those politicians were elected. That government of which you speak wasn't one imposed on us by force. We chose it. You and I. And everyone else. Don't blame them for giving us what we wanted.

quote:
His wire-tapping and surveillance was good, solid common sense that I believe the majority of Americans supported.

Yep. That's what I just said to Bob, Michael.

And the majority of Americans are horribly, horribly wrong.

quote:
Yes, someone like you, for example, can turn it into a doomsdays scenario where Aunt Mabel has to worry every times she picks up the phone that the FBI may be listening but the fact is she has no worries and neither do the rest of us.

It's interesting, Mike, that you would go on from this to talking about the Boston Tea Party and conjecture we could all be sitting around sipping tea had our founding fathers been a little different. Your apparent trust in authority would probably have served you well in a society characterized by love for and blind loyalty to a benevolent monarchy. Fortunately, I think, our founding fathers didn't share your trust. On the contrary, our whole system of government, all the checks and balances built into our system, is a direct result of their distrust. They didn't believe in the protection of benevolence. They believed in the protection of law.

I honestly hope that you're right and I'm wrong, Mike. I hope no one in authority ever abuses the carte blanche power you (and the majority of Americans) have given them. Personally, though? I'd still feel a lot more comfortable being protected by law, not the good will of some guy I'll probably (hopefully!) never meet.

When push comes to shove, though, we usually get exactly what we deserve.


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59 posted 06-17-2008 05:49 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




Dear Balladeer,

          I've tried to answer at least the beginning of the barrage of comments from your last posting.  I'm going to have to work my way through them slowly and methodically. I'll try to supply the best references that I can.  You are not going to be happy about recent news about President Bush and his stance on torture.  Apparently he's decided to admit that he has been ordering torture, as have his pals from the top since very early in the first administration, despite his straight-faced statements to the contrary
JenniferMaxwell
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60 posted 06-17-2008 08:00 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/04/14/BL2008041401428.html
Bob K
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61 posted 06-17-2008 06:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

quote:
  Balladeer

Bob, that's not even great rhetoric. What torture are you referring to that all of these politicians are endorsing?  The loud music? The lack of sleep?




Dear Mike,

     If you want me to be brief in response, youíre going to have to be focused in what you want me to respond to.  When you use the tone you use here about sleep deprivation, you show you are unaware that it will produce psychosis and death in some circumstances, and that the disorientation it brings after several days that it can cause hallucination  and paranoia are effects you apparently pass off lightly.  Perhaps you believe youíre too tough for something as wimpy as a week or two without sleep to shake you up.  Perhaps you should research it before you listen to Rush Limbaugh and Donald Rumsfield.  Donald Rumsfield is the guy who thought that stress positions held for long periods werenít torture, either.  If you remember, he said he often spent the whole day standing in front of his desk and it was no problem for him.  

     Am I right in recalling good old smiling Rush tossing in a few similar words as well?

     Both gentlemen seem to have taken upon themselves the luxury of forgetting things that a person of conscience cannot forget.  You, in particular, should know better; as a Vietnam era vet, who could forget the stories of the infamous North Vietnamese Tiger Cages, where some of our POWs were kept?  Too short to stand up, to narrow to lie down?  A lot of guys spent months and years in complete agony in those things, didnít they?  Anything more than the first ten minutes was torture, and we knew it.  Now Rumsfield
thinks he can get away with flip remarks about stress positions as though they werenít torture at all.  Have you ever tried to sit for an hour on your heels without moving, the way people do when they learn to sit zazen?  In Japan, they have people in the temples and who thwack you with a bamboo cane if you move during the hour; but at least you know there will be an end you can look forward to.  You are supposed to keep your back straight.  

Even though the amount of time you do this for is strictly limited, and there are meditations you are supposed to be doing that help you focus and get beyond the particular physical effects of the experience, people emerge different, altered from these experiences.  And these experiences are designed with millenia of experience to help.  Nobody is yelling at them, and there is no sleep deprivation, and there are none of the other events that make incarceration so very special.  AND YOU CAN LEAVE ANY TIME YOU WANT.  Nobody is forcing you to do any of it, and you believe there is meaning to everything you are doing.

     Not with torture, Mike.  There is no higher meaning to it.  You try standing on top of a narrow box, trying to keep your balance with a hood over your head so you canít see and wires connected up to your genitals, Mike, with somebody telling you that if you didnít keep your arms outstretched straight from your shoulders your liberators were going to connect the juice.  Turns out this guy wasnít even working for Al-Qaeda.  Actually, in Iraq, none of them were.  There were some ex army folks, and some Saddam die hards, but no Al Qaeda.  It turns out the guy in the pointy-hat eyeless hood wasnít a terrorist either.  We turned a bunch of apparently decent american kids into torturers so we could punish a car-jacker.  I donít particularly care what you think the car-jacker deserved, Mike; Iím reasonably sure weíll disagree about that.  Do you think the American kids deserved being transformed that way?

     It turns out there are a lot of articles about torture and the United States administration on Google.  Some of the more recent ones seem to be having the President say, Sure we were torturing people, and I ordered it.  Me and my White house friends,  Condy Rice and Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfield.  The darned CIA was such a bunch of chickens they made us OK every turn of the screw on every one of the important interrogations because they seemed to have some odd lingering feeling they might have been doing something...what was that word...I know itíll come back to me...Oh yes...Wrong!  I had that word right on the tip of my tongue.  I never can seem to remember that darned word.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/node/8232

http://www.ccrjustice.org/newsroom/p ress-releases/highest-level-bush-administration-officials-approved-discussed--post-911-torture-program

http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/800

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=59528§ionid=3510203

     I would suggest to you that the tortures that these officials endorse are the tortures that the President has in some of these articles acknowledged giving point by point permission for applying.

Though he has at other points said very clearly that the United States does not torture; and though the people who were carrying out the orders were evidently unsure enough of the legality that they required step by step instruction and orders not only from the President but from Condy Rice, and The Vice President and the Former Secretary of Defense, all people who apparently felt that torture was more effective than the professionals they were directing to use it.

     Perhaps you should not only check out the references I have supplied on this point but also check for yourself about current articles that cover this point.

     Should you wish for a definition of torture itself, the most recent one I have found is this

http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/18usc23402340a2.htm.

     It requires some concentration.

     Best from here, Bob K.


[Edit - Fixed links that caused huge horizontal scroll - Ron]


[This message has been edited by Ron (06-17-2008 07:33 PM).]

Bob K
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62 posted 06-17-2008 08:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Ron,

          Thank you for the edit.  I didn't know about the Scroll.  Hope you're still following the progress of this interesting (to me at least) discussion.  Sorry about the dependent clauses.  Sometimes I just don't see them until somebody points them out.  When I do see them, sometimes I find they make for very good writing, though I have to go back and edit the rest of the piece just to find some way of including the absurdity into the piece, especially if they happen in a poem.

Best, BobK.
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63 posted 06-18-2008 01:04 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When you use the tone you use here about sleep deprivation, you show you are unaware that it will produce psychosis and death in some circumstances,

Ok. Have you heard of that happening to any Gitmo prisoners or others in Iraq? Have you heard of ANY prisoner being permanently damaged by the "torture" our evil Bush and military has meted out? Me, neither. Or do you say that maybe we damaged them psychologically with all that abuse? Maybe they have bad dreams, who knows? What a shame that would be.

How about the lieutenant who was relieved of duty for firing a pistol over an insurgent's head to get information that prevented an attack on his unit scheduled for the next day? Was that justified or was the louie way out of line, scaring the little fellow that way and possible causing hearing problems with the gunfire? Maybe those prisoners at Abu Ghrab, that we are so mightily attacked for, will never get over the experience of having panties placed over their heads, either. It could even cause some of them to turn gay later on in life, who can say? You are going to compare the boxes in Nam with this? Well, if it's another reason to go after Bush, why not? Pot shots are free and plentiful enough.

You seem to have this curious notion that I get all of my speaking points from Limbaugh. Believe me, Bob, I have my own mind and do not need to go searching for someone to tell me how to think. If there were no Limbaugh, I would still be saying the same thing. The fact that he and I agree on many things (along with a couple of million others) doesn't mean my words are not my own. I assure you they are.
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64 posted 06-18-2008 04:14 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

quote:

First Bob:
When you use the tone you use here about sleep deprivation, you show you are unaware that it will produce psychosis and death in some circumstances,

Then Balladeer:
Ok. Have you heard of that happening to any Gitmo prisoners or others in Iraq?



     Actually, Balladeer, this is part of the problem.  There have been reports of deaths in Iraq as a result of the treatment of the prisoners there.  Along with the Abu Garib photos is at least one of a soldier giving the ol'
Thumbs Up over a dead body in a body bag.   I remind you that none of the Abu Garib people or even the Iraqis at that time were Al Qaeda, so no matter how often they were tortured, they couldn't have given any information about Al Qaeda but lies.

     I remind you that any torture of anybody in Iraq for information about Al Qaeda was sick sadistic and useless.  There was no information about Al Qaeda in Iraq because Al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq.  The President knew that.  The CIA itself was so uncomfortable about it that they demanded step by step blow by blow orders to proceed; they would have stopped otherwise.  Evidently they knew better.  So yes, not only have I heard about it in Iraq, but so have you, if you've followed up on the references I've offered so far.  If you haven't, why are you asking me for more?  I spend time digging these things up, so I know when I say something, I'm actually saying something meaningful.

     As for Gitmo, that seems to be part of the problem.  Released prisoners do seem to have some reasonably nasty things to say about Gitmo.  

     Let's start simply:
http://www.forbes.com/work/feeds/afx/2005/06/24/afx2110388.html

     In this 2005 article from Forbes, the the magazine reports that the United States has fulfilled its responsibility for reporting that it has tortured people in Afghanistan, in Iraq and at Gitmo.  The U. N. Thanked the U.S. for fulfilling its obligation to do so.

     This following gentleman's letter was declassified in 2007 and was reprinted in The Los Angeles Times.  It speaks for itself, is short and to the point:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-dossari11jan11,0,4240384.story?coll=la-opinion-center

     And here's a short piece from USA today about a guy that Gitmo shipped to an other country to pursue a line of questioning that apparently required the use of a scalpel on the guy's genitals.  I don't know if this would fall into the realm of "something happening to a guy at Gitmo" or good old Republican privatization or sub-contracting.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-06-10-torture_N.htm

     There seem to be a number of articles about this unfortunate guy around recently, so perhaps you could check any questions you have with them.

     If you have the stomach for it, Balladeer, you can pursue this line further yourself.  There were 67,900 responses to the question "Has the U.S. tortured people at Gitmo?" and I don't think I got more than 20 or 30 entries into it.  I skipped over the ones that I thought you find most clearly biased, of course.  

     I would rather you look through the rest of them, frankly, since I have more than my share of nightmares that come looking for me.  I don't think I need to go searching for the details of nightmares to show you.  

quote:

Have you heard of ANY prisoner being permanently damaged by the "torture" our evil Bush and military has meted out? Me, neither.


     The only reason that I can imagine you haven't heard is that you actually haven't looked beyond Fox and Rush Limbaugh and the somewhat limited conservative orbit.  I am familiar with those guys, Balladeer.  I've listened to them, I've read them and I've thought about them.  I continue to do so.  It's a point of pride with me.

     When Bush and his guys were publicly denying they were torturing people and that torture wasn't their policy, I could understand why you might want to believe them.  But now Bush isn't even trying to deny it.  In fact, now he's saying that he never denied he was torturing people.

     When you try to be funny and sarcastic and talk about the 'evil President Bush," all humor has gone out of it for me.  I don't think it's even remotely funny.

quote:

Or do you say that maybe we damaged them psychologically with all that abuse? Maybe they have bad dreams, who knows? What a shame that would be.



   Actually, Balladeer, one of the things that the constitution does try to protect us against is being at the mercy of people who wish to subject us not to punishment, but to cruelty and cruel punishment and unusual punishment.  And to pass such things off cavalierly, "what a shame it would be," is to miss the natureóI believeóof that prohibition.  

     What I allow to be done without the turn of a hair to my worst enemy is something than can ultimately be done to my child without my having recourse to the support of my fellow citizens.  I have already shown with my willingness to begin bargaining them away, starting with the least of them, that they are all expendable to me, and I have no leg to stand on.  I have declared we are all despicable to each other on the most basic of levels.

quote:

How about the lieutenant who was relieved of duty for firing a pistol over an insurgent's head to get information that prevented an attack on his unit scheduled for the next day?



     How about that Lt, Balladeer.  I'd really like to meet that man.  What was his name?  What was his unit?  Where was he assigned?  Who was his CO?  And who gave him his training?

     I remember Ronald Reagan talking about a welfare queen, complete with Cadillac during a major policy speech, a real convincing and sincere speech it was, too, except nobody could ever get the Gipper to cough up the name of the lady he was talking about.  Never happened.  Never was such a lady, but it played well to every Republican club in the country and to everybody who was feeling an economic pinch that there were these people sponging off us, the good folks, and if we could only get Them, then everything would be fine.

     So what was that Lt's name, there, Balladeer, I'd like to write him and ask him about his experience and ask him exactly what did happen.

     Because, first, this Lt. would have to be able to know that this insurgent was an insurgent and not somebody else.  And then your Lt would have to be able to speak enough arabic to be able to ask the question in the first place.  And then the Arabic would have to be in the right dialect, because there are a lot of dialect of arabic in the middle east and a guy who speaks one can't necessarily understand another, so it would be an incredible co-incidence that your Lt would know any arabic at all and then happen to know the dialect that your captive spoke and then was fluent enough to make himself understood.

     Unless there was one of those interpreters around.  Remember those interpreters you were talking about the other day that Bill Clinton didn't fund?  Well, it turns out that the Republicans didn't fund them either, actually, so there never were very many of them, and the ones that we did have access to were from Detroit or Buffalo and the FBI and the CIA were somewhat suspicious of them, or they were from IRAQ, and the locals over there were suspicious of them.  So the interpreters were very scarce and the Lt's always had a difficult time trusting them, and the interpreters were frequently off doing their own thing, which involved making sure that their former neighbors didn't kill them for spending time with the Americans.

     So how did this extraordinary Lt find out that this Iraqi guy was an insurgent and not a shoemaker without anybody to do a decent job of translation, and why aren't you giving me references instead of telling me this story anyway? Huh?

     People always talk about this sort of last minute thing.  I'd have to look up the reference for you, Balladeer, and I'm truly referenced out right now, but apparently they're very fond of the show 24 at the White House, and even make reference to it when talking about the torture issue sometimes.  As though everything about real life was a clear as an episode of 24, and you knew you had the right suspect and you knew you had the right leverage.

     I live about six blocks from Hollywood, Balladeer, and they could make you believe even the garbage needs special sauce and should be served under a silver dome.
It hits you just as you step on to those glittery sidewalks.

     And am I going to compare the tiger cages in Vietnam to this?

     Well,  when Donald Rumsfield compares his preference for standing at a desk all day when he can take a break any time he wants for coffee or water or to use the WC to being forced to stand blindfolded on a box with your genitals wired and your arms held out cruciform with the threat that if they dropped you'd be juiced and says He does Stress Positions All Day So What's The Problem Jack (A paraphrase, actually, but with the same basic meaning), why then yes, Balladeer, I do.  

     Let's see:

Rumsfield;  voluntary, is not a prisoner, improves his health, takes breaks when he wishes, free access to water and toilet, may move arms and legs freely and is unrestrained, and is free to make his own schedule, pain is not a factor.

Tiger cages:  Not voluntary, is a prisoner, health deteriorates, breaks are at the discretion of captors, water is at the discretion of captors, toileting at discretion of captors,  Arm and leg movements are restrained by cage, schedule is at the discretion of captors, pain is extreme factor.

U.S. Captive Held in Stress positions (or any others, for that matter):  Not voluntary, is a prisoner, health deteriorates, breaks are at the discretion of captors, water is at the discretion of captors, toileting at discretion of captors,  Arm and leg movements are restrained by cage, schedule is at the discretion of captors, pain is extreme factor.

     So yes, much more like Tiger Cages than Donald Rumsfield.  I remind you, the reason I offer the comparison is because Rumsfield compared his own suffering from his grueling day standing at a desk in an air conditioned building with holding forced stress positions at Gitmo.  Not air conditioned.  In Cuba.  

Yours, Bob K.
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65 posted 06-18-2008 07:07 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Again with the Limbaugh routine. I'm afraid that's getting a little too tiresome for me, Bob.
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66 posted 06-18-2008 08:14 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Balladeer,

          I bust my can trying to respond to you, searching out answers to your sarcasm about how nobody was every hurt of U.S. torture, getting statements by the President himself and by various groups of researchers that pretty much respond to what you've said, and all you can say is that you're tired of me bringing up Rush Limbaugh.  The single thing that you can comment on is that my comments about Limbaugh are tiresome?

     I must then say I'm sorry for having hurt your feelings here.  I was not trying to do so.  I must have given pretty great offense for you to have ignored so much of the heart of what I said and to have focused so completely on a man that does really bother me personally.  If I were a better person, I would not be so bothered by him, and it is a mistake on my part to take out my pique at the man on you.  While you do at times echo and seem to delight in making the same sort of statements that he does, I know that you are a man with a good heart and that you don't bear the malice that I believe he does.

     I was attempting to respond to your comments about torture, made in a previous posting.  I believe they were made without full consideration of the real consequences of what President Bush has gotten this country into.  I do not say that my trouble with President Bush reflects a dislike with all Things Republican.  I draw a sharp line between the policies of this President and his father, for example.  I could recognize an attempt to govern for the sake of the country in his approach; though I had my disagreements with him, I had respect for him as well.  As I did for Gerry Ford.  I loathed Nixon, but I admired his making peace with China, so I felt there were at least some grace notes.

     I can't imagine what it must be like  for you, feeling yourself I suspect having to defend this President as a matter of duty and principle as more and more becomes clear about him and the damage he has done not only the country but the Republican Party as well.  As John Ashcroft said when he told the cabinet about the decisions to torture prisoners (and for this, I confess, I have had to add a certain admiration to my general dislike of John Ashcroft), "History will not judge us lightly."

     I am very sorry to have hurt your feelings, Mike.  I know you claim never to have had any, or to have a skin like a rhino, but I confess I have never believed that, and I know that saying I'm sorry is right here.  Yours, BobK.

    
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67 posted 06-20-2008 12:21 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Folks,

     Having waited several days for a continuation following my apology to Balladeer, I decided needed to push on here myself.  I did not wish to leave this thread with the impression that, while I am always sorry to have hurt the feelings of anybody and especially of Balladeer, whom I admire in many ways, that I felt that I was conceding facts on this subject.  The use of torture by the Bush administration is and has been real; and they have attempted to cover this up.  We are, as  the link below will show, signatories to the 1984 Convention against Torture, which is very clear about what torture is.  Once we began this particularly onerous ďwar on terrorĒ we broke that convention by shifting the definition to something narrower and more convenient to us.  An attempt to bring us back in compliance with that convention this year by the Congress was vetoed by The President.  Apparently the same conventions that keep everybody else from waterboarding are simply too difficult for us to live with.
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/041508a.html


     The mere description of what The President and his Administration are actually doing in the name of The People of The United States can be offensive.  The picture of a group of government officials sitting around a table deciding which torture techniques are to be applied minute by minute  by torturers in the field is so grotesque as to border of satire.  Were this fiction, it would be almost impossible to write realistically because the premise that American Secretaries of State and Defense, An American Vice President and apparently others with either approval or perhaps the presence of the President himself would sit around and give literal step by step instruction to reluctant interrogators something is out of  Dostoyevskiís The Grand Inquisitor.  It sounds like an untalented production of the blood drenched Jacobean drama, The Duchess of Malfi being done as a soap opera.
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/34879prs20080412.html


     I have been accused in the thread above of exaggerating the effects of torture on prisoners and detainees under U.S. control in Iraq and in other situations.  You can check for yourselves simply by scrolling back.  Comments about me are never a pleasure, but they are a part of the cost of speaking up as I think needs to be done. The comments about the seriousness of the offenses against captives, however, whatever their actual level of guilt, seriously rankles.  Once I have taken anotherís freedom, even if it is for the purpose of punishment, I have assumed responsibilities toward them.  Those responsibilities are greatly magnified if they have not been proven guilty of any crime, as is the case with many of our detainees.
http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/06/the_captured_on_the_battlefiel.php
http://www.slate.com/id/2136422/


     To those who suggest that the effects of that torture were not severe, I can only say that I am blankly puzzled by a stance such as that.  To those who urge that I moderate my opinions because what I am doing is something called ďBush BashingĒó which I had previously thought was a term reserved for tossing humorous barbs in the Presidentís directionóand might be damaging to  the President, I say, ďDonít be silly!Ē  At most I am being descriptive of the manís actions and the actions of his administration, and the consequences of those actions.  Even at their most disgusting, defenses of torture that I have seen donít extend to their use on a general population.  Many or perhaps even most of the detainees, as you can see from the links above, we hold not only havenít been charged but in all probability arenít guilty of any connection with Al Qaeda or any insurgent group.  Yet we seem to be happily torturing them with the rest of the populations of Gitmo and some other prisons.  To what possible purpose could we be doing this?  Are we hoping that by torturing farmers and petty thieves, they will give us the secret of mental peace?  Perhaps they will tell us where Judge Crater has gone?  Whatever else we are doing, we are certainly creating the core of a committed and enraged resistance to America where none existed before.  If somebody tortured you for no reason, I cannot believe they would earn your undying love and affection.  They would certainly not earn mine.  I donít think itís Bush Bashing to point that out.

     Not to mention what the act of torture does to the people who are around it and who administer it and who ignore they fact that itís going on.  Recently a new wave of pictures has been released from the Abu Gharaib atrocities.  These are a bit more raw than the first.  In them you can see that the victims are not about to be walking around with happy faces any time in the foreseeable future.  In fact, some of them are extremely dead.  Should you wish to quibble with my use of the adjective and correct me and say, ďDead is Dead,ĒĒ anything else is a wasted word, I urge you to look at the pictures first.  This time, I urge you to look at Ms Englandís face, and the face of the other Americans you see, and look at what this experience seems to have done to them.  Or simply imagine it, since it might be a very good idea not to look at the pictures at all.
I know that Iíve spent some time over the past night or two wishing I hadnít.
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/multimedia/2008/02/gallery_abu_ghraib?slide=10&slideView=11

     If thereís any interest in continuing this thread, I wanted to respond to Balladeer question about whether my ó and by extension, our ó civil rights have actually been abridged during these past several years.

     Even more than the sound of my voice yammering, though, Iíd much rather hear anything that anyone else has to say, since I donít find myself all that original and I can almost always predict my own point of view.  I canít tell you how boring it is knowing how the mysteryís going to turn out before Miss Marple has the meeting in the library.  Save me from the Butler, folks!  Tell me stories about the milkman and the tycoon and the archeologist in the pantry with the
Swami.  Whisper to me the true story of what theyíre doing out there in the paddock with the pony.

     Your Truly, Mr Bob
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68 posted 06-20-2008 07:04 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I just wanted to follow up on the question about a prior conviction being a requirement for a pardon. Found this quote today from Bugliosi in The Nation:

ďNo other American President has been prosecuted for any crime--there's no history of it. That doesn't mean they can't be. The closest we came to it was in 1974, when Nixon resigned and there was a great demand that he be prosecuted for the crimes he committed while he was in office--obstruction of justice, wiretapping, perjury. The threat of this was so real that President Ford stepped in and pardoned him. I think that was closest we ever came.Ē
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080707/story

Bob K, I think your discussion posts have been fair, well reasoned and supported by evidence from credible and often multiple sources. Iíve learned a lot from reading this thread, a lot about people as well as the discussion topics.

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69 posted 06-20-2008 08:33 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear J.M.,

          I yield to greater knowledge.  
    
     Nixon did resign under a cloud with every appearance of prosecutions about to begin and with charges laid against his appointees.  I don't recall if Nixon was an "unindicted co-conspirator," but the likelihood of charges being filed seemed very high.  The pardon felt very much a preemptive strike.

     You are still right.

     Sincerely, Bob K.
  
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70 posted 06-20-2008 10:32 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

The way I see it, thatís the flaw in Bugliosiís dream - if McCain is elected thereís no doubt in my mind he would, without hesitation, pardon Bush.

Iím still trying to put the pieces together but my thinking is:  First of all, why McCain? Heís old, has major health issues, has no charisma or appeal, canít even fill a hall when he speaks, is known for a temper that borders on out of control rages, and really doesnít seem to know very much about a lot of things. The only reason I can think of right now as to why the Republicans might want him as a candidate is that heís so indebted to Bush for helping him raise campaign funds, etc.,  that indeed he would pardon Bush for any and all crimes for which he could be prosecuted. As for worrying about a second term if he was elected and did pardon Bush, well, I think one brass ring would satisfy his ego.

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71 posted 06-21-2008 08:13 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
if McCain is elected thereís no doubt in my mind he would, without hesitation, pardon Bush.


I donít think McCain could pardon Bush Jen even if he wanted to, as long as the case remains one of impeachment that is, article 2 of the Constitution expressly forbids it.

ďThe President, furthermore, may grant pardon or reprieves, except in cases of impeachment.Ē

JenniferMaxwell
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72 posted 06-21-2008 10:20 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thatís right, no presidential pardon for impeachment. What I was trying to say, and Iím sorry I didnít make it clear, is that if Bush leaves office, is never impeached, then the next president can, as Ford did with Nixon, pardon him for all crimes committed while in office, making it impossible for him to be indicted/prosecuted in a criminal court.

What Bugliosi would like to see, as I understand it, is to have Bush tried for murder rather than being impeached. If impeached and convicted, the punishment is removal from office. In a murder conviction the punishment is much more severe, including life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

Nice to have you back again, Grinch. You've been missed.

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73 posted 06-21-2008 12:46 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Thanks Jen itís nice to be back, even if it is a brief visit.

I understood your point perfectly and I rather think Kucinich probably does too, as odd as it may seem I think he realises that thereís more chance of a successful conviction of Bush after he leaves office than while heĎs still there. Impeachment law certainly allows for this and the timing certainly points towards that conclusion.

Impeaching an incumbent President isnĎt an easy thing,  getting a two-thirds majority to convict is a task of another magnitude altogether. Remember impeachment is simply an agreement that there is a case to answer - a conviction is still required.

If Kucinich continues to push for impeachment after Bush leaves office the incoming President canít act to interfere with due process.

If I were Kucinich thatís what Iíd do.

If I were Bush Iíd prefer impeachment sooner rather than later, while in office he would almost certainly win - a president, however wrong, is still a president. Once out of office however I donít think heíd have a  feline in Hades chance of explaining away the evidence against him.
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74 posted 06-21-2008 10:23 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Sorry, Grinch, not sure I quite understand, blonde you know. If impeachment is in process at any stage, the incoming president canít pardon? Just say yes, and let me dream. Seriously, is that what you meant? Would that apply now the articles have been presented and referred to committee?


 
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