Contempt of Congress

If for no other reason, I have to post this for the title:

Gonzales to Schumer: Blow Me

Josh Marshall posts the telling Ashcroft-hospital-visit-question video clip, and points out what’s really wrong with this picture. This isn’t a congressional witch-hunt, or political theater, it’s congress doing their job, and Gonzales demonstrating that he — the Attorney General of the United States — simply doesn’t give a damn about pesky checks and balances. I think the only reason he even shows up to these hearings is because refusal to appear would create enough drama for CNN to write a headline that might actually get the public’s attention.

Josh says:

It really requires stepping back in this case to take stock of this exchange. Testifying before Congress is like being called to testify in court. You have to answer every question. Every question. You can fudge and say you don’t remember something and see how far you get. Or you can invoke various privileges. And it’s up to the courts to decide if the invocations are valid. But it’s simply not permitted to refuse to answer a question. It is quite literally contempt of Congress

And what does the Constitution say that we do when the Executive Branch is in contempt of Congress, class?

84 Responses to “Contempt of Congress”

  1. jbc Says:

    Good lord.

  2. enkidu Says:

    Well, last time he used the “I’m a forgetful pin head, a low functioning moran” defense (note to spelling nazis, intentional typo… go to Google, type in “moran”, click Images, look for the redneck bushbot, yeah, thats yer base, bushy)

    Impeachment is the cure for our Constitutional crisis.

  3. ymatt Says:

    I also love (in the sense that I detest) how all these Whitehouse staffers invoke executive privilege without even the backbone to speak the words. When pinned to the mat on why he won’t answer questions, Gonzales says:

    “…this was related to the activities that existed while I was in the Whitehouse, and because of that, with respect to your specific questions, I’ll go back and see whether or not I can answer.”

    That is an incredibly obtuse, slithering way of saying that his allegiance is to the President rather than the Constitution of this nation. Utterly pathetic.

  4. enkidu Says:

    BBC has a real audio stream of a program on American Fascism. They investigate why most Americans know nothing about a right wing(nut) plot to overthrow FDR.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/document/document.shtml

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler
    or search wiki for “Business Plot”

    Prescot Bush (dumbya’s granpappy) was a nazi banker and fascist nutjob. Synchs up perfectly with rwnj’s whole “I’ll be the Master” wingnuttery.

    There are a couple reasons why most of Duhmerkkkuh (as opposed to the real spirit of America) have heard nothing about this: the cabal of ultrawealthy anti-Americans covered it up. Note how the reporter is amazed how small the amount of surviving docs is… they have been scrubbed. The rwnjs repainted themselves as patriots (and I dare say FDR let em off the hook so he could rebuild the country and lead us to victory in WWII). The other reason is rwnj Duhmerkkkuh simpy won’t Believe anything that puts right wing anything in a bad light. Ever.

    Besides, you have to love a story where the hero is named “Smedley”.

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    enkidu, – a little more on that:

    The following addition to the essay 9/11: a 7-Man Job, shows that American media has always been complicit in backing powerful conspirators in their coups against democracy:

    A BBC documentary shows that

    there was “a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing American businessmen . . . . The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.”

    Moreover, “the tycoons told General Butler the American people would accept the new government because they controlled all the newspapers.”

    Hmmm, just think what could have happened if the neo-cons controlled the media now, why they might have been able to blow up Manhattan skyscrapers and blame it on Iraq!

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    Links in previous didn’t paste, if interested sources are found within this:

    http://www.911blogger.com/node/10208

  7. knarlyknight Says:

    and in a twisted sort of way you can see how it all fits with FEMA on 911 (i.e. refer to the Ollie North questioning “and plans were established to suspend the Constitution…” near the end of the embedded video…)

    http://www.jonesreport.com/articles/240707_fema_911.html

  8. shcb Says:

    This is all interesting, I’m sure as you are all dedicated Bush haters, and I use the term hate advisedly in this case, this is a heart warming experience for you. But as in most cases of bigotry there is little substance with blind rage replacing any serious thought to the issue.

    The first point Josh misses is that testifying before congress is like being called to testify in court. It isn’t. yes congress has some subpoena powers and yes you can be held in contempt for not answering questions but congress has no power to send you to jail, that is the role of the judiciary. Our government is a tripartite, with the three branches being equal, with none of the three above the others. Congress doesn’t have oversight powers of the other two branches like it does of say the transportation department. I’m not sure what Chucky is asking about, Ashcroft in the hospital? But if it is has to do with something Gonzales did as a staff member of Bush then he is absolutely right that he is under no obligation to answer questions by congress, unless of course there was a crime committed, and even then congress is limited. Similarly it would be inappropriate for the President to demand information from one of Chucky’s staff. Now in practice the tripartite situation is not exact. In Federalist 48 Madison says of the separation of congress and the executive and judicial branches;

    [It is equally
    evident, that none of them ought to possess, directly or
    indirectly, an overruling influence over the others, in the
    administration of their respective powers. It will not be denied,
    that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be
    effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.
    After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes
    of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive,
    or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some
    practical security for each, against the invasion of the others.]

    About congress he writes;

    [Its constitutional
    powers being at once more extensive, and less susceptible of
    precise limits, it can, with the greater facility, mask, under
    complicated and indirect measures, the encroachments which it
    makes on the co-ordinate departments. It is not unfrequently a
    question of real nicety in legislative bodies, whether the
    operation of a particular measure will, or will not, extend
    beyond the legislative sphere. On the other side, the executive
    power being restrained within a narrower compass, and being more
    simple in its nature,]

    [Nor is this all: as the legislative department alone
    has access to the pockets of the people, and has in some
    constitutions full discretion, and in all a prevailing influence,
    over the pecuniary rewards of those who fill the other
    departments, a dependence is thus created in the latter, which
    gives still greater facility to encroachments of the former]

    His summation is that while equal, the congress naturally possesses more power than the other two branches and while the shear number of congressmen and senators will tend to lessen this problem congress should also be looked at as a whole, like a king. He doesn’t really offer a lot of concrete solutions to the problem just sort of warns the people they need to be vigilant of an overreaching congress.

    As a cabinet member the AG has more of a responsibility to appear before congress than a staffer since his position is constitutionally mandated, but if the question is about something other than his capacity as AG he can answer if he chooses but he doesn’t have to.

    The more I think about this I think I recall this exchange, wasn’t it a bunch of months ago? During hearings for something more serious than a visit to the hospital. As I recall Chucky put on his sad face and asked these questions that made little or no sense to the matter at hand, questions he knew the AG would not answer so he could have this clip, and the AG responded, knowing this was just how the game was played, that is why you see that little grin on his face. That grin is him saying, “I sure wish Fred Thompson was asking these questions, at least he really is an actor.” As usual when a liberal says something isn’t, something like “This isn’t a congressional witch-hunt, or political theater” it probably is.

  9. ymatt Says:

    If there’s one thing I hate, it’s having my argument dismissed because of who somebody thinks I am. “… when a liberal says something isn’t… it probably is”? Do I ever dismiss you as a rethuglican or whatever other dumbass terms enkidu comes up with? I really cannot stand that bullshit, from either “side”. “Dedicated Bush hater?” I didn’t vote in 2000 because I thought Gore and Bush were equally unappealing (at the time) — it’s been Bush’s steady and massive ruining of everything he touches since then that makes me hate him now. Do you really think I just have some blind hatred of the man because he’s… I dunno, from Texas? Where I live?

    And it’s just nonsense that AG can say whatever he does or doesn’t like before Congress. No, Congress is not literally a court, but failing to answer questions before Congress is contempt, and as such can be referred to a prosecutor. A prosecutor which, in this case, would be a Bush appointee! The reason why this isn’t theater is twofold.

    First, there is a relevant case here with the attorney firings. Tony Snow loves to point out that no allegations of illegal actions have been made, but that misses the point. There are plenty of things that are legal, but completely unconscionable… such as the attorney general pushing political agenda with appointee firings. The point here is to make the public aware of these actions, because that is how government oversight works, and the public needs to be aware just what their voted representatives are doing in their name.

    Second, and at this point more importantly, Gonzales is at the center of a number of issues where trust is very much a concern. On the domestic wiretapping issue, he has been essentially telling the Congress, and Americans, time and again that they must trust that the administration is doing the right thing and nothing illegal is happening. When the person giving those assurances is caught lying — and now we learn in fact lying about the program in question — that is enormously important. I would argue that we never should have granted that trust to begin with because “trust” is not now checks in balances in our government work. But trust has now been broken and it is vital that the public — not an off-the-record, closed-doors inquiry — hear exactly what is going on in the Whitehouse.

    Executive privilege is just that — a privilege. I understand that a president must have advisors that can speak freely, but they must also accept that when they have demonstrated that their decision making has failed in very important ways and is continuing to fail, the public has a right to know, and to hold those responsible to account. As one of the commentators in jbc’s last podcast points out, we are essentially already in the middle of impeachment proceedings. The point of such proceedings is to pull all of this information out and lay it on the table so we can decide if the President has violated his oath, not simply the letter of the law. I just wish they’d make it official.

  10. enkidu Says:

    gee, ymatt, isn’t hate kind of a strong word?

    I am just enjoying prodding rwnj and lefty by labellng them (just as they label me and you – indeed any one who disagrees with the Codpiece in Chief – a ‘lib’ etc).

    However please be advised that use of my trademark “Rethuglican™” is a copyright and trademark violation. Use of the ASCII or hexidecimal representation of “Rethug™” “Rethuglican™” or (the much more cute and cuddly) “Thuggle™” is a possible violation of the DMCA act of 1998, punishable by being locked in a man sized safe in with Jeff Gannon for an evening or two.

    Please cease and desist in the use of my trademarks or face the wrath of my vicious (and possibly rabid) lawyers.

  11. enkidu Says:

    o dear, spelling nazi alert! ah misspelt a wyrd!
    get lefty on the speaking tube commander rwnj! all hands on deck!
    prepare salvo of non sequiturs and a severe grammar lesson!

  12. ymatt Says:

    No, I really do hate it.

    It is counterproductive, insulting, immature, and in the conext of the present debate, dangerous. And “they did it first” is the worst kind of schoolyard justification. As soon as you start arbitrarily classifying a group of people and deeming them unworthy of contributing to the debate, you’re starting down the road to much worse things. The only reason a person makes a statement like that is to make themselves feel or seem more powerful at their expense. If you have an argument, make it with reason.

  13. shcb Says:

    Matt,

    You and John are the most reasonable folks here, I didn’t want to anger you. This is just an observation I and others have made over the years that liberals in general and some conservatives, the religious right in particular tend to claim what they are doing is what their opponents are doing to deflect criticism from themselves. Dick Morris made an art form of this during the Clinton administration, attack the attacker. I didn’t dismiss your argument I refuted it in some detail, I just added a couple observations as well.

    You and the other guys have stated many times that everything (or nearly everything) this administration has done has been a failure, but that is just an opinion. I don’t think many people think Bush has been the failure you do, they probably don’t think he has been as much of a success as I do either. So I don’t think there is a huge clamor for impeachment. For one thing, I don’t think the Democrats in congress really want to expose their arguments to that kind of scrutiny. They know that most of their charges are either false or so thin normal people would have the sense to say “what are you guys thinking?” if they actually thought about what the Democrats are saying in more detail than a bumber sticker.

    Even if he is doing as bad a job as you say, that isn’t grounds for impeachment, Carter was one of the worst presidents we have ever had, but he wasn’t impeached. So many of the items you blame Bush for are allowed by law, law congress passed, another congress to be sure, but this congress could vote to repeal things like warrantless wiretaps, Bush might veto, but that is politics, you then try and have the Supreme court overturn the law, they may not agree with you, that’s politics.

    This is just my opinion, but I think the reason you so badly want Bush impeached is simply because we impeached your guy.

    Again, sorry if I offended you I meant those comments as more of a general observation than a personal attack.

    One last thing, I don’t think Bush has imposed executive privilege much has he? He certainly hasn’t taken $8 billion (or was it trillion) worth of coal off the market without congressional approval or anything like Clinton did. If he invokes EP in the case of congress questioning staffers, he would simply be reinforcing a privilege he, and all presidents already have.

  14. ymatt Says:

    Nah, Clinton isn’t my guy. I thought he was a vaguely corrupt, sly career politician who at least seemed to not screw up the really big stuff. If anything made me side more with him, it was the travesty of seeing him dragged through the mud for lying about a personal issue.

    jbc and I had a fairly length conversation about this the other day. I was against impeachment really up until the last few days. I feel like the time to throw an elected official out for his actions is in the voting booth. What turned me around was the recent floutings of the constitutional checks and balances.

    That balance of power has been taking a number of hits over the past few years, but it’s always been (disappointingly) through a complicit Congress. This, however, is a case where Congress is finally attempting to assert its Constitutional powers and the President is simply saying “nope, that doesn’t apply to me”. I don’t care who’s in power, that is an incredibly dangerous precedent. What would you be saying if it was Clinton (either of them) doing exactly the same thing? I’d be just as furious personally.

  15. shcb Says:

    Yea, I wasn’t for impeaching Clinton for the reason he was impeached, but he should have been impeached for a lot of other reasons. I likened it to getting Capone on tax evasion. If you would , please give a few minutes thought to the possibility the Democrats are either wrong or lying. I really don’t think Bush or Cheney are bad guys and from what I have seen, heard, and researched on my own I don’t think they have done anything wrong, at least within the realm of politics in Washington. It’s good to have a rational discussion for a change.

  16. ymatt Says:

    I guess I’m not sure about what the Democrats would be lying or wrong about here, with respect to AG, the contempt of Congress citations and such. What are you referring to?

    I guess I’m also not sure what you mean by “political” wrongdoing. We have very good reason to believe that there has been a lot of hugely questionable decision making on a vast number of issues, and that is the situation where executive privilege breaks down.

    It has been the case I believe, since executive privilege has been asserted (and it is that: an assertion, not a legal right), that confidentiality of discussion in the Whitehouse must be weighed against the seriousness of possible wrongdoing. To be honest, I must have missed the executive privilege case you mention for Clinton, but I think in this one it is very much in the public’s interest to be able to hear answers to the questions being asked.

  17. Craig Says:

    Conspiracy-seekers love to play up conjecture and whatever pieces of truths are available to make the case for a much bigger story. A “planned coup”? Yeah, kinda like I have a plan to be a multi-millionaire by next year.

    Let’s check on a couple of other sources, such as The Straight Dope and The Economist:

    A fascist plot to take over the White House? Oh, wait, you mean the one that allegedly happened in 1934.

    Smedley Butler’s story was nutty–hey, even the guy’s name was nutty–which is one reason you don’t hear much about it today. Apart from that congressional committee you mentioned, most people at the time didn’t take the plot seriously, and even now we don’t know whether it was a scam, a pipe dream promoted by a few wealthy yo-yos, or an honest-to-Jesus conspiracy to overthrow the government. But something was definitely up.

    Butler was a much-decorated general in the U.S. Marines. Outspoken, hardworking, and unpretentious, he was beloved by his men and influential with veterans. After retiring from the military in 1931, he urged Congress to accelerate payment of a bonus for World War I vets, many of whom were then out of work due to the Depression.

    In 1933 Butler was visited by two officials in the American Legion, the veterans’ organization, who tried to recruit him to give a speech at an upcoming Legion convention urging the U.S. to return to the gold standard. (FDR had recently decoupled the country’s money supply from gold to boost the economy.) Butler demurred, but one of the men, Gerald MacGuire, kept pestering him, flashing an impressive bank book at one meeting, offering the general 18 thousand-dollar bills at another, and arranging a visit from Singer sewing machine heir Robert Clark, who urged Butler to give the speech. Rebuffed, MacGuire went off to Europe on a fact-finding trip but approached Butler with a new scheme in 1934: He and his wealthy backers would organize an army of 500,000 veterans to make a show of force and persuade the overworked Roosevelt to accept the “assistance” of a “secretary of general affairs,” who would run the government while the president stayed on as figurehead. The proposed SecGenAff? Smedley Butler.

    Appalled at the idea of becoming the first U.S. dictator, Butler confided in journalist Paul French, who met with MacGuire and confirmed the outlines of the plan. A House committee got wind of the plot and held hearings. After taking testimony from Butler and French, the committee summoned MacGuire, who answered evasively. Robert Clark was never called; testimony by his attorney was limited to financial dealings with MacGuire. The big names who’d been implicated (for example, the J.P. Morgan and du Pont interests) denied everything or kept mum. Press coverage was dismissive–Time ran a story headlined “Plot Without Plotters.” The committee issued a report saying Butler’s story checked out, but few paid much attention. With that the matter died.

    Dumbfounded later commentators have tended to ask the same question you did: How could America ignore a potential coup? (One plausible answer: fat cats controlled the press.) A more pertinent line of inquiry is: What went on here? The possibilities:

    Butler was lying, deluded, etc. Nah. Browse through the testimony and you find that the committee did, as claimed, corroborate the essentials of the general’s story.
    A number of U.S. plutocrats really did conspire to depose the president. It’s not out of the question. Though the idea of a popular revolt financed by zillionaires seems harebrained now, it was less so in the 1930s. In Europe jobless veterans were a potent political force, and enlisting respected military leaders in right-wing schemes was a common ploy–witness von Hindenburg in Germany and, a little later, Marshall Petain in France. The New Deal polarized the nation; many in the moneyed crowd really did fear FDR was opening the door to Bolshevism.
    MacGuire was a con artist. Butler himself wondered whether MacGuire was using Clark’s paranoia about losing his fortune to wheedle cash out of him.
    The plot never got further than a small cadre of screwballs. The simplest explanation in my book. Though MacGuire dropped lots of big names, Butler had contact with only three conspirators–MacGuire, Clark, and the other American Legion official who’d tagged along on the first couple visits. Clark had a reputation as an eccentric. MacGuire was well wired, predicting political developments with uncanny accuracy, but that proves little in itself. Maybe the plotters figured if they got Butler on board everybody else would fall into line. Who’s to say they wouldn’t have? Look at the bridge club’s worth of geniuses who got us into Iraq.

    And then this:

    Those who doubt Butler’s testimony claim that it simply lacked evidence.

    Historian Robert F. Burk: “At their core, the accusations probably consisted of a mixture of actual attempts at influence peddling by a small core of financiers with ties to veterans organizations and the self-serving accusations of Butler against the enemies of his pacifist and populist causes.”
    Historian Hans Schmidt: “Even if Butler was telling the truth, as there seems little reason to doubt, there remains the unfathomable problem of MacGuire’s motives and veracity. He may have been working both ends against the middle, as Butler at one point suspected. In any case, MacGuire emerged from the HUAC hearings as an inconsequential trickster whose base dealings could not possibly be taken alone as verifying such a momentous undertaking. If he was acting as an intermediary in a genuine probe, or as agent provocateur sent to fool Butler, his employers were at least clever enough to keep their distance and see to it that he self-destructed on the witness stand…MacGuire repeatedly perjured himself…Butler may have blown the whistle on an incipient conspiracy…”
    Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.: “Most people agreed with Mayor La Guardia of New York in dismissing it as a “cocktail putsch… As for the House committee, headed by John McCormack of Massachusetts, it declared itself “able to verify all the pertinent statements made by General Butler” except for MacGuire’s direct proposal to him, and it considered this more or less confirmed by MacGuire’s European reports. No doubt MacGuire did have some wild scheme in mind, though the gap between contemplation and execution was considerable and it can hardly be supposed that the republic was in much danger.”
    Historian James E. Sargent reviewing “The Plot to Seize the White House” by Jules Archer: “Thus, Butler (and Archer) assumed that the existence of a financially backed plot meant that fascism was imminent and that the planners represented a wide spread and coherent group, having both the intent and the capacity to execute their ideas. So when his testimony was criticized and even ridiculed in the media and ignored in Washington, Butler saw (and Archer sees) conspiracy everywhere. Instead, it is plausible to conclude that the honest and straightforward, but intellectually and politically unsophisticated, Butler perceived in simplistic terms what were in fact complex trends and events. Thus he leaped to the simplistic conclusion that the President and the Republic were in mortal danger. In essence, Archer swallowed his hero whole.”

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    Good post Craig. Thanks.

  19. shcb Says:

    Matt,

    The Clinton case I was referring to is the Grand Escalante-Staircase National Monument. In 1996 Clinton took 2 million acres over by executive order, removing something like 8 billion dollars worth of low sulfur coal off the market without congressional debate. The other large deposit of this prized coal is in Indonesia this coal is controlled by James and Maktar Riadi, the Indonesian businessmen that funded Clinton through his rise to power from Arkansas to Washington. But that is old news, not really all that relevant here other than refute any statement like “this president is abusing his powers more than any past president.”

    What the Democrats could or are wrong about here is when it is appropriate for congress to try and force a staff member of one of the other branches of government to answer questions. You are right, the level of infraction needs to come into play when assessing the appropriateness of oversight of one branch over another. The firing of the prosecutors is within the powers of the president alone. Unless there is something that would lead someone to believe there was quid pro quo here and there doesn’t seem that way. The only possible one I can see is in the Duke Cunningham case, and he has pled guilty so I don’t know how there could be a conflict of interest there. The Justice department is an extension of the executive branch, so what these prosecutors do is a reflection of the President. As such the president can fire them at will. As Clinton did when he fired them all at one time. So what the democrats are doing is blowing this and other incidents up to make them seem more serious than they are so they can extend their oversight into areas that are inappropriate. That is the reason I included the second and third quotes from Federalist 48 in the post above.

    The appropriateness of oversight of one branch or the other is what Madison is referring to in the first quote from Federalist 48. Since most Americans don’t even know of the existence of things like the federalist papers, the Militia Act of 1793 (or was it 92?) or many other of our founding documents they can be easily swayed in their opinions by folks that stand with authority and say, “ this is unconstitutional, this isn’t what the founding fathers meant.” If you have never read the Militia Act you would think Bush was at fault for the Katrina mess, you can’t understand the separation of powers without reading Federalist 48 and maybe 51.

    What I find in many of the posts here on Lies and other left wing blogs is someone posts a link to an opinion piece where someone says something like “warrant less wiretaps are illegal” without giving any back ground of how they came to that conclusion. Instead they just go on and on about how the constitution is being wrecked because the president is doing something illegal. Which of course shows ignorance on the part of the writer since generally speaking the a law can be unconstitutional but an action by an individual can’t, an action that breaks statute law is simply illegal.

    By contrast well done conservative talk radio like Mike Rosen will say “ it is legal because of Title 50, chapter 36, sections 1801, 1802, and 1809.” And by and large I find my side right more times than yours. So much so that when my side is wrong they will usually admit it instead of loose credibility.

    Back to the firings of the prosecutors, how is the firing of 8 of the nearly 100 federal prosecutors such a dire crisis when there is a line of people to fill those positions, three of those “fired” were going to quit soon anyway, and Clinton fired 100% of them a few years back giving the whole lot 10 days to make the transition and the country survived just fine. You see where I’m going here, it’s not a big deal but Democrats are making it one. The Democrats have stated they were going to bury this administration with charges and investigations for the remainder of it’s existence to bolster their chances of a sweep in the next election. This is one example. The real danger here is that legitimate investigations like the Pat Tillman affair get lost with juvenile behavior like this.

  20. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,
    LOL. You want the Tillman thing investigated? So you are IN FAVOUR of investigating the little conspiracy theories and AGAINST investigating the big conspiracies.

    I also find it hard to believe that after all you have said against those who do not support the war that you would now go and undermine military morale by persecuting those who might have been responsible for the fragging of a soon to be peacenik, or the possible cover-up. Completely out of character for you, so I assume you were joking.

  21. shcb Says:

    No not kidding, there is a little new info that might suggest it was a murder from a fellow soldier that Tillman may have been needling. A coroner or whatever they are called in the military said there were three holes in his forehead similar to what an M-16 at close range would produce. Seems like a simple thing to prove or disprove, exhume the body, look at photos, that sort of thing. I’m not ready to kick Bush out of office for a cover-up if it exists, but an investigation is in order. Re-read my post, my point is there are no real “big conspiracies” only contrived ones.

    I’m not worried about moral, from what I understand, one of the most important things in battle is trust of your fellow soldiers and the trust that your superiors will provide you with men you can trust, if someone killed Pat it is important to moral that the truth be told. If this coroner is lying it is equally important he be court-martialed for the same reason.

    This doesn’t change my opinion of those against this war one iota. This is just an isolated case that happens in every war.

  22. knarlyknight Says:

    and what of the supposed cover-up memos?

  23. shcb Says:

    That would depend on the memo, understand I give the military and police a much broader latitude than I do say a school board even though any close knit group like that will tend to circle the wagons and cover their behinds when times get tough. The reason I give these groups more wiggle room is because they are in a high stress, dangerous job that I don’t have the courage to do on a day to day basis. That said even I have my limits to incompetence and corruption in these groups.

    The way I see it there were three points where cover-ups may have occurred, the military said Tillman was killed by enemy fire and then said a couple weeks later he was killed by friendly fire. I will give them a pass on that one, the fog of war, trying to protect the family, the army, whatever, they get a free pass. If the memo you are referring to was a cover-up to minimize the effects of a friendly fire incident, maybe someone was just plain trigger happy to the point of incompetence and the brass was covering for letting someone like that in the field, I would probably grudgingly give them a pass unless it was blatant, judgment call. If this coroner is right, and it was obvious this was a murder, and he sent evidence up the chain of command and they ignored it, heads should roll.

    Your question was simple, but the answer isn’t. I’ve tried to be brief, but let me know if that doesn’t explain it well enough.

  24. knarlyknight Says:

    I hate this article: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/26/ap3958728.html

    The article states that: “Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.”

    Not exactly “cover up” memos, my apologies. Still, it is interesting to see how quick you are to construct conspiracy theories and to note YOUR WILLINGNESS TO GIVE YOUR MILITARY FREE PASSES TO TELL YOU LIES.

    And a little more grist for the mill, of which I am simply posting FYI without any critical thought:

    Here’s a Prison Planet rumour for ya: “According to Daily Kos, Wesley Clark appeared on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown last night and stated that “the orders came from the very top” to murder Tillman as he was a political symbol and his opposition to the war in Iraq would have rallied the population around supporting immediate withdrawal.”

    More recently, the AP says this:
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – As bullets flew above their heads, the young soldier at Pat Tillman’s side started praying. “I thought I was praying to myself, but I guess he heard me,” Sgt. Bryan O’Neal recalled in an interview Saturday with The Associated Press. “He said something like, ‘Hey, O’Neal, why are you praying? God can’t help us now.’”

    Tillman’s intent, O’Neal said, was to “more or less put my mind straight about what was going on at the moment.”

    “He said, ‘I’ve got an idea to help get us out of this,’” said O’Neal, who was an 18-year-old Army Ranger in Tillman’s unit when the former NFL player was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in April 2004.

    O’Neal said Tillman, a corporal, threw a smoke grenade to identify themselves to fellow soldiers who were firing at them. Tillman was waving his arms shouting “Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!” again and again when he was killed, O’Neal said.

    A chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman’s death later described this exchange to investigators conducting a criminal probe of the incident. But O’Neal strongly disputes portions of the chaplain’s testimony, outlined in some 2,300 pages of transcripts released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

    The chaplain told investigators that O’Neal said Tillman was harsh in his last moments, snapping, ‘Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God’s not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling …”

    “He never would have called me ‘sniveling,’” O’Neal said. “I don’t remember ever speaking to this chaplain, and I find this characterization of Pat really upsetting. He never once degraded me. He’s the only person I ever worked for who didn’t degrade anyone. He wasn’t that sort of person.”

    The chaplain’s name is blacked out in the documents.
    … continued at: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070729/D8QM1Q380.html

  25. knarlyknight Says:

    Okay, here is a little conspiracy over a possibly forged picture in the NIST report (people are trying to determine where the picture actually came from and why it appears so warped (or as you might say, appears to be a contrivance of a nonexistant big conspiracy).

    All that is being asked by researchers are for details of the picture in the NIST report to be released so as to: “lay to rest speculation that the photo was altered in any way”

    http://www.911blogger.com/node/10295

    Then again, why bother… everyone knows that explosives were used in the buildings, even Bush has said so:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=320_1185036933

    So eventually, there will only be one…(contains a collection of ommissions, distortions and other LIES mixed with some likely and supposed lies:)

    http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/07/28/and_then_there_was_one_the_final_holdout_11

  26. shcb Says:

    I wouldn’t put too much stock into lawyers congradulating each other, they routinely look at cases as simply something to win or loose without any ideology attached. Why is it a rumor of what Kos said that Clark said, isn’t there a tape? I don’t think anyone gave an order to kill Pat, too much risk, not enough reward, certainly not to an entire unit.

    So O’Neal would be a prime suspect if this were a murder and the chaplain it would seem would be impartial. I say we dig up the body and see where he was shot. See the difference between me and you is I don’t immediately try and tie it to the president.

  27. knarlyknight Says:

    Used the term “rumour” loosely, only because I did not check the source and simply quoted PP. Quoting PP requires such qualification in present company.

    Didn’t realize O’Neal was a suspect, you don’t think the friendlies that were firing on Tillman and O’Neal et al from 10 – 50 yards out would be the prime suspects? One would hope that a Chaplain would be impartial, but from the info provided it is hard to say one way or the other plus how can a person believe that there even was a Chaplain as reported by the military liars? Certainly O’Neal claims he never spoke to any such Chaplain. Not saying there wasn’t one, just saying I ain’t believing anything the military tells us unless it is verified. No “Free Passes” here.

    As for your stated difference between me and you and ties to the president, that is simply another shcb false accusation (aka another shcb lie.)

  28. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    Rumors are ok, you just usually include links, I’m not really questioning it much, it sounds like something Clark would say.

    I would think O’Neil would be a suspect, if Tillman was badgering him in one of the most stressful situations a person can be in, that would be motive, he had opportunity, and a gun in his hand, means. That would make him a suspect. If others were as close as you say, sure they would be suspects as well. I haven’t read enough about it to know how far the friendlies were. I saw a reenactment on the History channel and they showed the friendly fire coming from a road below Tillman and O’Neil at maybe a couple hundred yards. But that was just a reenactment.

    Your last statement, my comparison of you and I, It’s not a lie just an opinion. And a pretty will founded one.

  29. knarlyknight Says:

    Your comparison of you and I is not accurate at all for two reasons.

    First part is that you say that when something happens you do not immediately try to pin it on the president. To the contrary, you choose to excuse as coincidence or mis-handling by underlings (the buck never stops at the presidents desk) and take leaps of logic and do numerous other back flips to never pin anything on the president, unless *perhaps* it is an lesser sin of two possibillities or the like.

    Second part is that you say that when something happens the first thing I try to do is pin it on your president. To the contrary, if something or someone suggests there might be high level complicity in a malfeasance, I would like a proper investigation please. No need to pull a year (months?) long “Impeach Clinton” debacle for going AWOL at the National Guard or for arriving in a fighter in full costume to give a speech about the end of major Iraqi combat operations under a Mission Accomplished banner upon an aircraft carrier sitting off San Diego Ca., but perhaps a few questions about reading my pet goat was more important than taking command when America was attacked on 9/11 might be in order.

    In other words, myself and I sense a (rapidly growing) number of Americans would simply like proper and real research and investigation. I.e. the press should ask questions such as those that would have revealed faults in WMD and other claims in (the president’s and) the media’s bandwagon rush to war in Iraq. I mean if Michael Moore was 100% accurate in his Academy Award acceptance speach for Fahrenheit 911 surely the mainstream media in America should have had some inkling. (Apparently not.) Also, taking 9 months to apoint an investigation after the 911 debacle (compare to approx 7 days for a commission to investigate attack on Pearl Harbour, murder of JFK, etc.) and then under-funding it (what was it, 1/10th of the funding as for the commission investigating Clinton’s blue dress?) is nothing but contempt of the American public. And when finally established under intense pressure mainly from Jersey Girls and other victim families, a biased 911 commission was sold to the public as bi-partisan and independent commission (e.g. Philip Zelikow, a virtual member of the Bush administration was responsible for directing what would and what would not be researched by the 911 Commission staff researchers!! wtf?) well that is another example of a free pass for this administration and another slap in the face to the American public and victim families. It is not about trying to pin things on the president, it is all about the failure of your institutions (media, congress, often the courts, etc.) to function.

  30. ymatt Says:

    Excellent rejoinder, knarly.

  31. shcb Says:

    Knarly,
    In many ways this is the classic example of blaming your opponent of doing the things you do while denying that you do them. For the most part when I defend the president I give well thought out reasons for doing so. You say leaps of logic to defend him, but you guys regularly dismiss items I present as fact without supplying any fact based rebuttal. Point in case, I have asked repeatedly for a lie GWB said in regards to WMD, no answer. When you guys have brought up that GWB “stole” the election in 2000, I have given you the Florida statutes that show the Florida Supreme Court was wrong and the US court was right, no answer. In this case the discussion simply died only to be resurrected a few weeks later with you guys bringing up the same points, as if my fact based rebuttals had never been posted. If I’m wrong show me where, I don’t mind learning a thing or two. One of the reasons you are have this opinion of me is because by and large I agree with what the president is doing in this war against the Islamofascists. Where I have been critical of him have been in areas like border control and immigration, things we haven’t discussed in great detail. Then you imply you are just the opposite, I simply point to all the leaps of faith you have jumped to in your 911 conspiracy theories to connect the dots to Bush and Cheney.
    You and your ilk don’t want a proper investigation, you want an investigation, any investigation that will end in the impeachment of the president. Anything less is not good enough. Most of the investigations you guys want only take a couple minutes anyway, “does the president have the power to fire 8 prosecutors?” “yes”, investigation done.
    Thanks for making my point with that long sentence where you tied the impeachment of Clinton to Bush. I have said a couple times most of your and your ilk’s anger at his president stem from the impeachment and the 2000 election, not substantive issues.(Bush wasn’t involved in the impeachment, he was in Texas making friends with Democrats, something else he and I disagree about)
    That carrier landing, as much as that event pissed you guys off, he should do one every week. Remember, FDR and John Kerry did nothing for 45 minutes after the news of the first plane hitting the towers and Pearl Harbor. Maybe that should be in that film clip you provided, with a stop watch below each of the three split screens.
    I didn’t see Moore’s acceptance speech, but I can imagine what he said, I doubt it was 100% correct, even if it was, it was Monday morning quarterbacking, why didn’t the media do a better job of investigating the WMD faults before we went to war? Because we were all relying on the best information available AT THE TIME. I refer you back to my elementary school kid comment.
    Thanks again for making one of my points above, investigations were started immediately, we knew right away, within a few days, who did it, where they were, what their motives were etc. We didn’t start the investigations you wanted until later, so in your mind no investigations at all were started until later.
    Failure of our institutions? In 200 years we went from nothing to the greatest country on earth and haven’t looked back. Failure? We have a media that is free to criticize whoever they want, we have the best and most enduring constitution on the planet. Is it perfect, no, but to paraphrase Churchill, it’s the worst form of government in the world, except for all the rest.

  32. shcb Says:

    does that get high grades as well Matt?

  33. TeacherVet Says:

    It gets rave reviews from all in my household.

  34. shcb Says:

    Hey! Good to hear from you again, we were getting worried about you, did your surgery go well?

  35. TeacherVet Says:

    Two of them so far, one more to go in a few weeks, and recovery is going well. My wife printed out some of the posts and brought them to me at the hospital – you certainly haven’t needed any help in defending yourself! Squashin’em like bugs. It was obvious when you won each debate – when they forego any argument and respond only with the childish stuff, you know you got’em.

    The hospital’s only available news channel was CNN. I watched it for three days, then didn’t turn it on for the rest of the six week stay except to watch the real, less malicious cartoon channel. I reread the entire Dark Tower series and The Stand, preferring King’s fiction to that on the unbalanced network.

    Keep it up – I’ll be doing more reading than posting for awhile. I retired from teaching due to the lengthy recovery period, but now I’m starting to regain some of the 20 pounds I lost during that time and they have me back in the classroom.

  36. TeacherVet Says:

    You & LB weren’t compassionate enough about the Libby affair, though. With everyone in “this administration” (probably including the White House cook & the kitchen mice) having been accused of every crime imaginable, they only had one prize in their trophy case, and it was legally tarnished by the shrub. You gotta feel sorry for extremist lefties – all that effort….

    OT, but I was sorry to read of your family’s tornado experience. It’s been 16 months since our own home and property were hit, and we’re still under repair. I still can’t believe Bush would do that to us :)

    Keep posting, rwnj.

  37. ymatt Says:

    Oh yes, and “squashin ‘em like bugs” isn’t childish at all.

    I wish we could have some political debate like adults, rather than treat it like a football game. By making a big deal out of people’s partisan name-calling, you’re just amplifying that noise. Focus on the signal instead.

    And as for your rebuttal, shcb, that those on the other side of the argument as you just ignore your fact-based points, I think that has a lot to do with the fact-based points that you tend to bring up. For example:

    I have asked repeatedly for a lie GWB said in regards to WMD, no answer.

    Yes, you are correct, GWB did not ever explicitly lie about WMD in Iraq. But that misses the point. The general point that I’m guess you’re trying to rebut there is that “Bush got us into Iraq on lies”, and I contend this is correct. Cheney and Condi repeatedly evoked images of mass death within our own borders if we did not attack. More or less everybody within the administration made it clear that Iraq and 9/11 were directly linked. Despite these same people claiming that they never technically said these things, if you look at polls from the pre-war months, you’ll see that the public certainly didn’t interpret it that way. And every piece of information that has come out about the internal workings of buildig the case to invade suggests that intelligence was selected and filtered very carefully to support a case for war. So you could say that the administration “chose evidence to craft a case for invasion that was much much stronger than was objectively supported by evidence, and advice of knowledgable persons”, but I choose to simply call this “lying”.

    And this also misses a perhaps even more important argument. At some point, I don’t actualy care if the President was lying or not. Even if he was the completely innocent victim of the CIA handing him data the forced him to declare war (which is nonsense), the buck still stops at his desk as far as I’m concerned. The Iraq war is a failure. The War on Terror is a failure. Protection of Constitutional rights has failed. The response to Katrina was a failure. We have failed to live up to international standards of diplomacy and military conduct. I’m goddamn tired of the President’s advisors giving statements like “mistakes were made” and “things will be done differently”, while we’re supposed to accept that there is essentially no blame to be laid. The Commander in Chief is responsible for the prosecution of war. The President of the United States is responsible to protect our Constitution. I don’t care if he’s lying or honestly even if he’s broken specific laws — he has failed at his job. I cannot at all see how that’s just me “blaming everything on the President”.

  38. TeacherVet Says:

    Thanks, Matt, for pointing out my childish comment; and you’re absolutely correct, although I was merely pointing out that the little derogatory snips constitute concession. Your comments from July 26, 10:10 am in this string were right on the money. I share your wish for adult political debate, but I’m afraid it’s a pipe dream since those who “only enjoy prodding” do so only because they appear to have no viable arguments.

  39. shcb Says:

    TV,
    Thank you for your kind words, I am glad you are recovering as well as can be expected. We have fiends that are retired teachers and I sometime think they are busier than when they taught full time. They sure seem to enjoy it more. It does take a long time to recover from a tragedy like a tornado, but we all do with perseverance and hard work. If you’re interested here is a link to an article the Rocky Mountain news did on my sister and her family a few weeks ago.

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/other_sports/article/0,1299,DRMN_42_5627725,00.html

  40. shcb Says:

    Matt,
    My main thrust in trying to get one of you guys to admit Bush did not tell a lie is because this is how semantic infiltration works. You say he lied, the argument is over, a lie is pretty much black and white. If you say Bush deceived us, that gives the impression that it is more of an opinion since many times deception is in the eye of the beholder. Lies seldom are. So by finally getting you to admit he didn’t lie your argument has lost that flavor of black and white and moved into gray.

    But let’s move on to your opinion that Bush got us into Iraq on lies. I just don’t see it that way, I think he acted in a manner he thought was best for this country, more over I think it was a path that was best for this country. When you are critically looking at things in the past it is important to remember what was happening at the time, it is unfair to look at things with what we know now and blame people for decisions they made then. Now of course that was a long time ago and we all have lives so putting things in perspective is sometimes a little hard without doing a lot of research.

    As I recall, at that time every intelligence agency in the world thought Sadam was building nukes and poison weapons. Sure there were dissenters, there always are. Sure the information was filtered, as it should be. The disinters said there were no WMD, others said there were, Bush looked at both sides and also factored in the other advantages of invading Iraq like installing a democracy in the middle of Mid East. He also factored in the negatives like loss of troop lives, thank God the predictions of the pessimists were wrong there too, there were estimates of 10,000 fatalities just to take Baghdad alone. I really think Bush thought the prudent thing to do was remove the risk, and I agree. So when you say he “chose evidence…” I think you are only looking at this as are there WMD or not, and the decision had many other factors. Plus the WMD factor was such that I don’t think we could afford to take the chance. Even if the possibility was only 20 percent we had to act. And I think that is true with Iran today.

    Ah, the absolutist opinion, everything this administration has done has been a failure. I guess that depends on whose score card you are using. I am enough of a realist to understand some things may not be a total success, but that doesn’t make them failures either. I also like to place blame where it belongs and not blame people for things out of their control. So let’s go through your list.

    The war is a failure. Read the piece above from the guys at Brookings, yes it hasn’t gone as well as we would have liked, TV’s reconstruction after the tornado hasn’t gone as well as he would have liked, but he doesn’t quit. Most of Iraq is relatively quiet, they have had free elections, women are in government and there is no threat of Sadam possessing WMD. My scorecard doesn’t call that a failure. I haven’t heard of anyone having their rights trampled, although constant monitoring by the people is always required, with or without the Patriot Act. Many terror attempts have been stopped, a few of those would not have been stopped without the Patriot Act. After reading all these posts for the last few months, I’m not sure anyone here has studied the constitution enough to know if their rights were being trampled or not anyway. Which brings us to Katrina, you say it was a failure, New Orleans was a failure but not by Bush, the Superdome was evacuated by sundown after Bush got the ok to send in troops. Read the Militia Act before you criticize too much. The president hasn’t failed, he hasn’t won either, he’s just done a very difficult job as best he can with more opposition than he deserves from people he is trying to protect. From listening to his speeches, he has never had any illusions of being the president that won this war, he realizes there is little glory for him, that someone else will get to stand up on the podium and say, “the global war on terror is over” so he just does what he can when he can do it. He and Cheney are just good honest men, at least by politician standards, doing a difficult job.

  41. ymatt Says:

    As I recall, at that time every intelligence agency in the world thought Sadam was building nukes and poison weapons. Sure there were dissenters, there always are.

    Well, in this case the dissenters included basically nearly all of the UN, and specifically the UN inspectors whose job it was to keep tabs on this. I distinctly remember a huge amount of dissent at the time, and the only way much of this was quieted was through all the talk of mushroom clouds. I agree with you that Bush did think that he was doing the right thing overall. But I maintain as a matter of simple fact that he misled the public about his true motivations in invading. No it wasn’t flat out lying, the world is never black & white, and he’s not that dumb. But deception here is just as bad.

    Ah, the absolutist opinion, everything this administration has done has been a failure. I guess that depends on whose score card you are using. I am enough of a realist to understand some things may not be a total success, but that doesn’t make them failures either.

    Ah yes, there I go using words less than rigorously. Instead of saying “failure”, I should have said:

    Bush’s war, launched under pretenses that have been proven incorrect, has turned the international community against us, unleashed a bloody civil war, strengthened Iran’s extremist elements of control, cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, and has been a recruiting boon to terrorist organizations in the middle east. But at least we removed from power a cruel, if weak, dictator who posed no direct threat to us and Iraqis are now able to elect sectarian government representatives who do nothing to bring the nation together.

    If we can’t agree that all that is, on balance, a really bad tradeoff, then I think the argument is simply over between us. If you really think that Iraq isn’t so bad in the end, you’re too far separated from reality for me to continue trying to convince you otherwise.

    …he’s just done a very difficult job as best he can.

    And he has completely sucked at it. This isn’t art class where doing your best is all that matters. When things go wrong that the President is responsible for — especially when there is much evidence that much of the shortcoming was directly the fault of Bush or Bush’s appointees — that’s means he’s failed.

  42. knarlyknight Says:

    hi TV, glad you’re getting okay. Mind, body, spirit – keep them pure and all in balance and things will be all right. Pure whiskey helps me balance…

  43. knarlyknight Says:

    ymatt, your last post (August 6, 5:47 am) just about says it all, and succinclty too. kudos.

  44. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, please stop asserting that you alone are the fact giver and start actually providing some facts that aren’t warped out of shape by rationalizations, or simply give some facts to back up your assertions or accusations.

    For examlple, your dismissing Michael Moore of Monday morning quarterbacking about the lead up to the Iraqi war is about as ignorant a comment as you have ever made. He was screaming about the government and mainstream media deceptions for months beforehand. If you have something that disproves this, bring it forth, but obviously you do not.

    Re: Florida election, it goes deeper than Katherine Harris appointing Bush, but perhaps Republican blinders prevent you from seeing that easily hacked black boxes controlled by strongly Republican companies and a multitude of stacked decks for poll taking in places such as Ohio and evidence such as the first time in history the most statistically reliable exit polls have been totally wrong (statistics that were easily explained – incorrectly – to simpletons by FOX News, with the further intelligent debate being buried by mainstream news), and it goes on for a long time but that is an old problem which few in your country will care about until later next year. In Canada, we have a fantastically reliable and nearly foolproof system utilizing the most modern pencil, paper and envelope technology.

    You say that investigations were started immediately into 911 attacks and within days you knew who did it. Seems to me that the networks were theorizing about OBL within an hour or so of the first attack and the FBI posted a table of 19 photographs of the Arab hijackers on the same day (correct me if you have a source indicating I am wrong on that, but it was very soon after the attacks.) Yup, that was a pretty quick investigation all right. Much like the lynchings they used to do in the south when Johnny ran home to say his date got raped by a scary black dude. Your supposed investigations are anything but convincing. A) Osama bin Laden denied responsibility for the attacks, why would he do that if they were such an enormous success – then later a widely disputed video was found much much later which allegedly contains his confession although the fat bin Laden in the video might be hard to convince a jury of it being authentic. Further, a senior FBI official has stated there is not enough evidence to link OBL to 911, and his wanted poster still has not been updated for the 911 attacks for that reason: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm

    You want more? The Taliban offered the US that they woudl deliver bin Laden to a neutral state (Belgium would have been good) if the US would provide them with evidence (any evidence) that he was responsible, but that was refused perhaps because that would interfere with neo-con plans… Whatever those neo-con plans were, maybe we should ask a documentary filmmaker to make an Oscar winning documentary about that, oh wait he already did…

  45. knarlyknight Says:

    It’s funny that you mention FDR and Kerry did nothing after Pearl Harbour and the first 911 attacks. First, wtf did it matter what Kerry did or did not do, and please stop dragging partisian politics into this, I don’t care much for your so-called Democrats either.

    Second, I don’t know how valid they are, but I hear that declassified docs (blurb in next paragraph) suggest that FDR had a pretty good idea about what was occurring on Dec 7, and if true that provides a peculiar similarity: FDR being a “knowing president” having nothing better to do than let the Pearl Harbour attack unfold, and the current one who had something silly to do (read My Pet Goat) rather than get engaged with the situation that EVERYONE KNEW was of highest priority.

    On November 25, 1941 Japan’s Admiral Yamamoto sent a radio message to the group of Japanese warships that would attack Pearl Harbor on December 7. Newly released naval records prove that from November 17 to 25 the United States Navy intercepted eighty-three messages that Yamamoto sent to his carriers. Part of the November 25 message read: “the task force, keeping its movements strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall attack the main force of the United States fleet in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow.” http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=408

  46. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,
    ymatt is very patient with you , in trying to reason with you about Bush’s lies. I agree with ymatt on the deception part, and not with you about whether “deception” is a matter of opinion or not – since the verdict is that the deception worked on the American people and that is de facto lying to the people. It is really that simple.

    Also, on other threads on this site I have twice provided you with listings of Bush lies including WMD lies. Please stop saying you have no evidence, that is simple willful ignorance. They are easy enough to find, I am not digging them up again or doing a third google search on your behalf.

    By the way, border control and immigration are not separate issues from the war on terror, at least in terms of the Bush/Cheney “war that will not end in our lifetimes” paradigm. I haven’t formulated an opinion on whether the neo-cons are taking the appropriate actions on border control and immigration, but if we enter the “logic” of their claims in the paradigm that there is a real war on terrorism, then securing border and getting a handle on immigration should be of the highest priority. The fact that they are not being treated as such is strong evidence that your adminstration is more serious about bombing and occupying other lands than your security.

    Do not bother with your tired and fallacious fight them there so we do not have to fight them here nonsense, if the terror threat is as big as your leaders have said it is then the evildoers (cartoon speak) probably have plenty of resources to do both – so there are probably many reasons to secure your homeland first and foremost.

    You thanked me for linking Clinton impeachment in with Bush, which was a silly statement for you to make since my point was straightforward. To recap, it is not about Clinton it is about the dismal failure of your country to dedicate sufficient resources to properly investigate the supposed most critical “homeland security” issue that Americans supposedly face (“terrorism”) and how preposterous the funding for that political investigation into such a critical national security matter was in comparison to the (relatively) enormous cost of the proceedings against Clinton for lying about sexual relations. Well, I guess you Americans have your priorities and that is not my call. I’m just saying, on the one hand you got death and destruction on a near unimaginable scale, on the other you have a lie about a blow job. My understanding is that the all in costs of the political investigations were something like 10 or a hundred times more in getting to the bottom of what went on under the presidents desk than in determining the facts involved with the 911 operation in the skies above Manhattan and elsewhere.

    You claim there must be leaps of faith in believing a 911 conspiracy, yet you:
    (A) fail to understand that the official explanation (conspiracy theory) about a group of evil Arabs – led by a former CIA affiliated individual Arab with close (family) ties to the Bush regime – requires huge leaps of faith

    (one example is the Final NIST report which is assumed by the mainstream media, and therefore many Americans, to be scientific merely because it is put out by official government scientists,

    yet it is:
    (i) simply another tool of the Bush administration which has been lambasted for severely manipulating scientific results for political purposes (e.g. this skewed pro-Bush article from the NY Times http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=technology&res=9F05E3D9123AF93AA25753C1A9629C8B63 states that “This year, 48 Nobel laureates dropped all pretense of nonpartisanship as they signed a letter endorsing Senator John Kerry. ”Unlike previous administrations, Republican and Democratic alike, the Bush administration has ignored unbiased scientific advice in the policy making that is so important to our collective welfare,” they wrote. The critics include members of past Republican administrations.”)

    it (the NIST Final Report) is also: (ii) full of ommissions, contradictions, and assertions that are questioned by independent scientists and that have not been supported by any empirical or repeatable experiments

    (e.g. #1 – very unusual looking yellow molten metal streaming and dripping out of the initial collapse area of the WTC immediately prior to its collapse, is attributed by NIST as molten aluminum mixed with other materials such as office furnishings … however they provide no scientific basis for this bizarre assertion and when trying to replicate this assertion by melting aluminum and stirring all kinds of materials including glass, Stephen Jones and colleagues found that, first – it did not mix in, and second – that it continued to look like silver grey aluminum when poured, and the only way they could replicate the appearance of the material dripping out of the WTC was to melt steel (with Thermite);

    e.g. #2 – computer models were built and initially run with most probable input variables, such as 3 inches being the likely maximum amount of sagging of steel floor joists but when those variables did not result in a computer simulated collapsed the variable were tweaked until the “observed results” i.e. collapse occurred which required some undefendable inputs, such as a 48 inch sag in the steel joists, undefendable except by their unscientific circular reasoning that they must be valid because that produced a collapse in the computer simulation and we all know that the WTC collapsed; e.g. #3 – avoiding and delaying an explanation of how WTC 7 fell, when that is the most disturbing and

    e.g. #4 – refusing to look at the undisputed evidence of molten steel remaining in the rubble for weeks after the collapse, thereby excluding a huge piece of data that does not fit with their theory of collapse;

    e.g. #5 the hat trusses that held perimeter columns to the core columns precluded the collapse occurring as they said it did (they’ve abandoned their “pancake theory” put forth earlier);

    e.g. #6 failure to account for horizontal ejection of large materials including steel beams during collapse;

    e.g. #7 failure to account for total kinetic and potential energy to account for the (undisputed) extensive pulverization of much of the concrete and office materials; #8 much, much more if you look, all these examples and hundreds more are summarized and referenced back to original sources in the David Ray Griffin book, “Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory” available at your library or at Amazon.

    And you claim there are leaps of faith “in your 911 conspiracy theories to connect the dots to Bush and Cheney” (in all due respects, it is you who has this pre-occupation with where there may be, or where I may suspect there are, links to Bush and Cheney, as I am quite content to have a real investigation connect the dots for us all), yet you

    (B) fail to recognize the significance of the scientists and other experts seeking proper answers, such as the 135 – to date – professional independent architects and structural engineers who have petitioned for a REAL investigation
    (refer to http://www.ae911truth.org/ )
    and you discount virtually any source that does not appear or meet with Faux News or lesser propogandists’ approvals, such as any of the new studies in a journal available for peer reviews by other scientists, such as Dr. Grabbe’s recent article, or the one by Kevin Ryan’s in June which contains these three passages about the infamous “squibs”:

    “These bursts were ignored by government investigators for a period of several years, as was all other evidence for the demolition hypothesis. But after being forced to field many “frequently asked questions”, NIST’s Shyam Sunder finally provided a semiofficial explanation. In a March 2005 article by Popular Mechanics, Sunder called these bursts “puffs of dust”, and explained “When you have a significant portion of a floor collapsing, it’s going to shoot air and concrete dust out the window. Those clouds of dust may create the impression of a controlled demolition, but it is the floor pancaking that
    leads to that perception.”[5]

    Unfortunately for Sunder, NIST was forced to abandon that answer, in the summer of 2006, saying “NIST’s findings do not support the ‘pancake theory’ of collapse.” In an attempt to maintain their faltering fire-induced collapse hypothesis, NIST tried to retain the essence of the explanation, despite having forsaken pancaking floors. They did so by saying “the falling mass of the building compressed the air ahead of it—much like the action of a piston—forcing smoke and debris out the windows as the stories below failed sequentially.”[6]

    Although the piston analogy might have made some minimal sense for the discarded pancake theory, it does not work at all for NIST’s current pile-driver theory. A piston is a sliding shaft that fits within an enclosed cylinder, whose action within the cylinder causes the volume and pressure to change. But the WTC buildings did not have sections acting like pistons at any time before, or during, their disintegration. Without pancaking floors, there is no internal shaft to slide down within the “enclosed cylinder” of these tall buildings.”

    (refer http://www.journalof911studies.com/ )

    )

  47. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,
    ymatt is very patient with you , in trying to reason with you about Bush’s lies. I agree with ymatt on the deception part, and not with you about whether “deception” is a matter of opinion or not – since the verdict is that the deception worked on the American people and that is de facto lying to the people. It is really that simple.

    Also, on other threads I have twice provided you with listings of Bush lies including WMD lies. Please stop asserting that you have been given no evidence, that is willful ignorance. They are easy enough to find, I am not digging them up again or doing a third google search on your behalf.

    By the way, border control and immigration are not separate issues from the war on terror, at least in terms of the Bush/Cheney “war that will not end in our lifetimes” paradigm. I haven’t formulated an opinion on whether the neo-cons are taking the appropriate actions on border control and immigration, but if we enter the “logic” of their claims that there is a real war on terrorism, then in that paradigm securing borders and getting a handle on immigration is of the highest priority. The fact that they are not is strong evidence that they are more serious about bombing and occupying other lands than they are in your security. Do not bother with your tired and fallacious “fight them there so we do not have to fight them here nonsense”, if the terror threat is as big as your leaders have said it is then the evildoers (cartoon speak) probably have plenty of resources to do both, so there is probably plenty of reasons to secure your homeland first and foremost.

    You thanked me for linking Clinton impeachment in with Bush, which was a silly statement for you to make since my point was straightforward. To recap, it is not about Clinton it is about the dismal failure of your country to dedicate sufficient resources to properly investigate the supposed most critical “homeland security” issue that Americans supposedly face (“terrorism”) and how preposterous the funding for that investigation into a critical matter of national security was in comparison to the (relatively) enormous cost of the proceedings against Clinton for lying about sexual relations. Well, I guess you Americans have your priorities and that is not my call. I’m just saying on the one hand you got death and destruction on a near unimaginable scale, on the other you have a lie (deceptions?) about a blow job. My understanding is that the all-in costs of the political investigations were something like 10 or a hundred times more in getting to the bottom of what went on under the presidents desk than in determining the facts involved with the 911 operation above Manhattan etc.

    You claim there must be leaps of faith in believing a 911 conspiracy, yet you:
    (A) fail to understand that the official explanation (conspiracy theory) about a group of evil Arabs – led by a former CIA affiliated individual Arab with close (family) ties to the Bush regime – requires huge leaps of faith

    (one example is the Final NIST report which is assumed by the mainstream media, and therefore many Americans, to be scientific merely because it is put out by official government scientists, yet it is:

    continued next post…

  48. knarlyknight Says:

    the NIST report is …
    (i) worthy of great scrutiny and suspicion (but not a priori dismissal) as being simply another tool of the Bush administration which has been lambasted for severely manipulating scientific results for political purposes

    (e.g. this skewed pro-Bush article from the NY Times http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=technology&res=9F05E3D9123AF93AA25753C1A9629C8B63
    states that “This year, 48 Nobel laureates dropped all pretense of nonpartisanship as they signed a letter endorsing Senator John Kerry. ”Unlike previous administrations, Republican and Democratic alike, the Bush administration has ignored unbiased scientific advice in the policy making that is so important to our collective welfare,” they wrote. The critics include members of past Republican administrations.”)

    it (the NIST Final Report) is also:

    (continued)

  49. knarlyknight Says:

    (ii) full of ommissions, contradictions, and assertions that are questioned by independent scientists and that have not been supported by any empirical or repeatable experiments

    (e.g. #1 – very unusual looking yellow molten metal streaming and dripping out of the initial collapse area of the WTC immediately prior to its collapse, is attributed by NIST as molten aluminum mixed with other materials such as office furnishings … however they provide no scientific basis for this bizarre assertion and when trying to replicate this assertion by melting aluminum and stirring all kinds of materials including glass, Stephen Jones and colleagues found that, first – it did not mix in, and second – that it continued to look like silver grey aluminum when poured, and the only way they could replicate the appearance of the material dripping out of the WTC was to melt steel (with Thermite);

    e.g. #2 – computer models were built and initially run with most probable input variables, such as 3 inches being the likely maximum amount of sagging of steel floor joists but when those variables did not result in a computer simulated collapsed the variable were tweaked until the “observed results” i.e. collapse occurred which required some undefendable inputs, such as a 48 inch sag in the steel joists, undefendable except by their unscientific circular reasoning that they must be valid because that produced a collapse in the computer simulation and we all know that the WTC collapsed;

    e.g. #3 – avoiding and delaying an explanation of how WTC 7 fell, when that is the most peculiar and from the NIST perspective most troubling matter of all to settle (their reason for the delay in investigating WTC 7 was lack of funds !)

    e.g. #4 – refusing to look at the undisputed evidence of molten steel remaining in the rubble for weeks after the collapse, thereby excluding a huge piece of data that does not fit with their theory of collapse;

    e.g. #5 the hat trusses that held perimeter columns to the core columns precluded the collapse occurring as they said it did (they’ve abandoned their “pancake theory” put forth earlier);

    e.g. #6 failure to account for horizontal ejection of large materials including steel beams during collapse;

    e.g. #7 failure to account for total kinetic and potential energy to account for the (undisputed) extensive pulverization of much of the concrete and office materials;

    #8 much, much more if you look, such as in the book Debunking 911 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory.

    And you claim there are leaps of faith “in your 911 conspiracy theories to connect the dots to Bush and Cheney” (in all due respects, it is you who has this pre-occupation with where there may be or where I may suspect there are links to Bush and Cheney, I am quite content to have a real investigation connect the dots for us all), yet you

    (continued)

  50. knarlyknight Says:

    (B) fail to recognize the significance of the scientists and other experts seeking proper answers, such as the 135 – to date – professional independent architects and structural engineers who have petitioned for a REAL investigation

    (refer to http://www.ae911truth.org/ )

    and you discount virtually any source that does not appear or meet with Faux News or lesser propogandists’ approvals, such as anything about new studies in a journal available for peer review by other scientists, such as Dr. Grabbe’s recent article, or the one by Kevin Ryan’s in June which contains these three passages about the infamous “squibs”: “These bursts were ignored by government investigators for a period of several years, as was all other evidence for the demolition hypothesis. But after being forced to field many “frequently asked questions”, NIST’s Shyam Sunder finally provided a semiofficial explanation. In a March 2005 article by Popular Mechanics, Sunder called these bursts “puffs of dust”, and explained “When you have a significant portion of a floor collapsing, it’s going to shoot air and concrete dust out the window. Those clouds of dust may create the impression of a controlled demolition, but it is the floor pancaking that leads to that perception.”[5]

    Unfortunately for Sunder, NIST was forced to abandon that answer, in the summer of 2006, saying “NIST’s findings do not support the ‘pancake theory’ of collapse.” In an attempt to maintain their faltering fire-induced collapse hypothesis, NIST tried to retain the essence of the explanation, despite having forsaken pancaking floors. They did so by saying “the falling mass of the building compressed the air ahead of it—much like the action of a piston—forcing smoke and debris out the windows as the stories below failed sequentially.”[6]

    Although the piston analogy might have made some minimal sense for the discarded pancake theory, it does not work at all for NIST’s current pile-driver theory. A piston is a sliding shaft that fits within an enclosed cylinder, whose action within the cylinder causes the volume and pressure to change. But the WTC buildings did not have sections acting like pistons at any time before, or during, their disintegration. Without pancaking floors, there is no internal shaft to slide down within the “enclosed cylinder” of these tall buildings.”

    (refer http://www.journalof911studies.com/ )

    )

  51. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    I’m going to have to get back to you, I need to finish with Matt first. My god man, did you get any sleep at all last night? :)

    I will leave you with one small thing to chew on, all the money spent on the Clinton impeachment. The number that is touted by the left, I believe it was around 40 or 50 million, was for all the investigations of the administration, not just the blue dress and BJ’s. (Who’s being deceptive now?) While Clinton was only convicted of lying under oath in a court of law, fined $80k and lost his law license, there were numerous (5 or 6 I believe) other convictions including Jim McDougal, a former governor of Arkansas. This conviction to money spent ratio is about normal for white collar crimes like the ones we are discussing. This is especially true when you consider that somewhere around 90 key witnesses either died or fled the country, mostly to Indonesia. Squash’n ‘em like bugs.

  52. ymatt Says:

    You’ll “finish” with me by debunking an irrelevant point attributed to “the left”? I’ve never said a word about the cost of the impeachment trial and I can’t say I much care.

    How about you finish me by responding to my actual post? But maybe you agree with my assertion that the argument is over between us since you still believe that Iraq is not a failure. If that’s true, all of this discussion of executive privilege and outing of CIA agents and jailing of possible innocent people etc etc is pointless, as for you it basically comes back to “but we’re doing the right thing” whereas for me it comes back to “we have extaordinarily fucked up”.

    Although maybe we can still agree that this wiretapping nonsense that I blame both Democrats and Republicans for passing is truly horrendous.

  53. shcb Says:

    Matt,

    I’m not going to concede your points just so we can continue our discussion. Especially since they are so simplistic and one sided. I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to take them point by point right now but let me give you an example. The assertion that our actions in Iraq have created more terrorists. This is probably true, the question is to what degree, they don’t apply for a terrorist license, there is no governing body to keep track, so I’m not sure how we determine the numbers. I’m guessing the rise in numbers in Iraq has more to do with relocation than creation. Even if we have created a lot more terrorists by invading Iraq, what is the alternative, leave the original terrorists be? It’s my contention that not taking the fight to them somewhere would have convinced them we were the paper tigers they thought we were (as you are doing now). They would have said we have all the courage in the world to bomb remote mountain tops but lack the political will to fight among women and children. This lack of resolve would have been seen as a weakness and would also have been a powerful recruiting tool. Admittedly, the fighters they get from our show of strength are of higher quality and resolve than the fighters they recruit from our show of weakness, the numbers are probably higher with a show of weakness since the less courageous also jump on the bandwagon. How this all shakes out I don’t know, but I do know it is more complicated than just saying “we have created terrorists so we have failed.”

  54. shcb Says:

    I was responding to Knarly with the Clinton remark

  55. shcb Says:

    Why would the argument between us be over if I fail to agree Iraq has been a failure? Isn’t that what the argument is about?

  56. ymatt Says:

    Even if we have created a lot more terrorists by invading Iraq, what is the alternative, leave the original terrorists be?

    Of course not. We attacked the original terrorists where they were: Afghanistan. I know you’re going to refute this, but it really is true (as certain as it’s possible to be) that Iraq, prior to our invasion, was not a terrorist haven, and in fact Saddam was hostile to these elements — this is part of how he managed to keep the country together with all its sectarian divisions, say what you will about how horribly evil he was otherwise.

    How this all shakes out I don’t know, but I do know it is more complicated than just saying “we have created terrorists so we have failed.”

    That is not what I said, and just because something is “complicated” doesn’t make it untrue. That is one element of my explanation of how we have failed, although it’s an important one since Bush has repeatedly falsely asserted that fighting terrorism was a justification to invade Iraq.

    If we had, for example, created more terrorists by invading, but quickly managed to create a stable, prosperous, democratic Iraq with minimal bloodshed (military and civilian) then that would not be a failure. Of course that is laughably implausible, but the point is that it is the cumulative effects of our invasion that make this a failure. I simply don’t see how you can deny this.

    And no, I had hoped that the argument was not about if Iraq has been a failure or not. To be very honest, up to this point I thought your point of view was that although Iraq is a failure, that failure is essentially not the fault of the Bush administration. My primary argument has been to point out that the Bush administration is fundamentally responsible (and to blame as well), and this same incompetency continues to manifest itself in other misguided policies and power-grabbing tendencies.

    But if the issue for you is that you need to argue against all these poor deluded people who don’t realize that Iraq was a great decision, then I really do think I’m done. If we can’t agree on the same reality that we live in, then I can only quote a line from from Baron von Munchausen:

    “Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I’m delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.”

  57. shcb Says:

    Matt,

    As always it is a joy to spar with you, but I think this may be getting too convoluted to continue without starting over. The direction I was going is that Iraq has not been a failure, not a total success either, maybe 7 or 8 on a scale of 10, I assume you would put it closer to 2 or 3, therefore Bush has not failed in this area, then I would take your other examples and go through the same exercise. I would eventually come to the conclusion that while Bush certainly isn’t in the top 10 percent as an effective president, but he isn’t in the bottom ten percent either, maybe in the 70 or 80 percent range.

    I won’t waste a lot of time with this, you know my views, but stopping at Afghanistan would be like stopping with the near destruction of the Japanese navy at Midway figuring that made it even. You don’t win wars that way. You don’t hit the showers if you are up three touchdowns in the first quarter, you finish the game with the same intensity you started. Iraq was simply the softest target with the highest reward to risk ratio.

  58. ymatt Says:

    Yeah, beleving Iraq is 7-8/10 versus 2-3/10 (I’d really put it at more like 1-2, if not negative, since we’ve substantially made many of the things we supposedly invaded for worse) amounts to us still disagreeing about the nature of reality.

    I won’t waste a lot of time with this, you know my views, but stopping at Afghanistan would be like stopping with the near destruction of the Japanese navy at Midway figuring that made it even.

    My mind reels at the inaptness of the analogy. It’s not a matter of “getting even”, it’s a matter of doing what’s effective. Stopping at Midway would have left intact the huge Japanese industrial capability to make war, and the national will to prosecute a full-scale war against the US, and the intent to dominate much of at least southeastern Asia. Afghanistan harbored terrorist groups with no capability to prosecute large-scale war — only limited attacks of terror. Iraq had absolutely zero to do with even that. You seem to want to cast this war into romantic notions of great conflicts of the past, fighting for freedom and the American way with large-scale military action against bad guy nations, but that’s just not the conflict we’re in, and those tactics do far more harm than good, as we have now spectacularly demonstrated.

    You don’t win wars that way. You don’t hit the showers if you are up three touchdowns in the first quarter, you finish the game with the same intensity you started.

    And that’s an excellent argument for us, say, continuing the fight in Afghanistan with intensity rather than allowing the Taleban to recover there, and the leadership to flee to Pakistan.

    Iraq was simply the softest target with the highest reward to risk ratio.

    Again, a fundamental disagreement on the nature of reality. That statement is simply not true. There was in fact very little reward, and extremely high risk, which was pointed out by much of the world at the time, but ignored.

    I think I’m done here. I admire that you’re capable of arguing in a civil fashion, but I believe that you have deeply deluded yourself somewhere along the way, and there’s just nothing I can do about that (as you may feel about me).

  59. shcb Says:

    Matt,
    The analogy of Japan to the war we are fighting isn’t that far off, it of course isn’t the same, if it were it would be an example not an analogy. The threat is equal but different, in the 1940’s you needed a huge military industry to destroy a city in a far off land. You needed ships to transport men and equipment, hundreds of aircraft dropping hundreds of tons of ordinance to destroy even one large target like an oil refinery. Now an entire section of a city can be destroyed with a single bomb in the back of a rental van. It does still take a nation state’s resources to produce that bomb or a huge investment to purchase one on the black market. This is the reason Iraq and Iran were and are high priority targets. So no, there probably won’t be any massive troop deployments by the Arabs unless it is against Israel, but the threat is still real. Japan wanted to rule a large part of the world they live in with an iron fist, so do the terrorists, Arab groups have tried to exterminate the Jews since the State was formed, now the Japanese didn’t want to exterminate the Jews but their allies did. Arab leaders have said repeatedly that they want to drive the infidels out of all Arab territories, experts I have listened to say they mean all traditional territories, these include the mid east through Spain, Portugal and parts of France, sounds like quite an empire to me.

    Their tactic isn’t large scale war, they don’t have that capability. They will use terror and unconventional tactics aimed at high priority targets. A nuke would be their ultimate goal, the president of Iran has stated publicly he will use one if he has access to it. Evidently you don’t listen to the presidents speeches very well, he stated early on that this war would be won using varying tactics that would include large scale military actions and more sinister black ops often times at the same time. Large scale military tactics removed the threat of Sadam, police have arrested terror cells, and I’m sure more than one would be suicide bomber has woken up dead with his throat slashed without is neighbors hearing a peep. You are underestimating this enemy; you are understating the importance of what we have done in Iraq, and what victory there will mean.

    You guys keep saying I am out of touch with reality, maybe so, maybe not. The reality is these people want us to convert or die, they said so, don’t you guys listen? Of course not, that would force you to come to grips with things you find distasteful.

  60. knarlyknight Says:

    Shcb is a scaremonger. Any threat to “convert or die” would be an indictable offence. Terrorists can be dealt with through Inter-Pol.

    Shcb says: “I’m sure more than one would be suicide bomber has woken up dead with his throat slashed without is neighbors hearing a peep.” I think you forgot an important word in that sentence: alleged. You are now also on record as supporting murder, as supporting lynchings.

    People like you are trying to push civilization backward into the dark ages before we had the rule of law to support the most basic of human rights.

    Saddam was not a threat to America, except in the minds of paranoid freaks and dark political forces who prey on the fears they can create in so many easily manipulated people.

  61. shcb Says:

    Knarly,
    Who is going to indict? Inter-Pol is going to waltz into Iran and arrest the president, or a half dozen religious leaders, I don’t think they have that many agents with a death wish. And then what, you’re going to try them under whose laws? England’s, the US? You can’t try them under Iranian law, their law is based on the Quran and guess what it says, or at lease what they say it says. Next you are going to give them a lawyer who is going to say they have the right to free speech under the constitution of the US. At which point I scrunch up my face and say “Huh? They aren’t citizens” and you say “it makes perfect sense to me” it is about this point you say I am delusional or out of touch with reality or whatever you have substituted for stupid since I got on you about calling me ignorant. This is war my friend, war has different rules, that is why the founding fathers of my country were so careful to separate police and civil law from the military (which is why Bush could not move troops into New Orleans without approval).

    [People like you are trying to push civilization backward into the dark ages before we had the rule of law to support the most basic of human rights.]

    Your homework assignment is to reread that statement ten times and see if you can tell me what is wrong with it.

  62. NorthernLite Says:

    It must suck to live life full of fear and paranoia.

    If you are so scared of terrorists, you’d think you’d be a lil more pissed off about the fact that your country took its eyes off the prize and went into Iraq – a secular society with no tolerance for fundamentalism – instead of committing all your might and resources into finding the perpetrators of 9/11, Kenya bombings, etc. in Afghanistan. You continue to support a war that serves as the ultimate terrorist recruitment tool.

  63. ymatt Says:

    The threat is equal but different, in the 1940’s you needed a huge military industry to destroy a city in a far off land. You needed ships to transport men and equipment, hundreds of aircraft dropping hundreds of tons of ordinance to destroy even one large target like an oil refinery. Now an entire section of a city can be destroyed with a single bomb in the back of a rental van.

    No, terrorist attacks have always been possible. What you need a huge military for is to impose your will on another nation. The point of dropping bombs is to disable the nation’s capability to make war, and thus their ability to resist invasion. Are you honestly trying to say that because a full-scale war contains destruction of buildings, and a terrorist can also destroy buildings, that the size of the threat is the same?

    It does still take a nation state’s resources to produce that bomb or a huge investment to purchase one on the black market. This is the reason Iraq and Iran were and are high priority targets.

    Iraq had no capability to make nuclear weapons. Even if it did, it had absolutely no way to get them anywhere near the United States. Iran also has absolutely no way to get them anywhere near the United States, but they certainly pose a greater regional threat than Iraq ever did, and I hope we treat that threat seriously (note: that does not mean invasion). So even on the scale of large-scale terrorist attacks (which is miniscule compared with the scale of all-out war), Iraq was not at all a threat that required invasion.

    Japan wanted to rule a large part of the world they live in with an iron fist, so do the terrorists

    Yeah, and I’d like to be able to make myself invisible. Neither intention means anything unless there is some reason to believe it is possible. You simply cannot impose your will on another nation without large-scale war. For example, Iraq invaded Kuwait. They did with with tanks and troops, not by blowing up a building occasionally. The world pushed them back, and that was the end of that.

    Arab groups have tried to exterminate the Jews since the State was formed, now the Japanese didn’t want to exterminate the Jews but their allies did. Arab leaders have said repeatedly that they want to drive the infidels out of all Arab territories, experts I have listened to say they mean all traditional territories, these include the mid east through Spain, Portugal and parts of France, sounds like quite an empire to me.

    Oh no, the Islamofascists are going to take control of southern Europe! Are you kidding me?

    Their tactic isn’t large scale war, they don’t have that capability. They will use terror and unconventional tactics aimed at high priority targets.

    And they will thus pose no threat to the American way of life unless we do it for them.

    A nuke would be their ultimate goal, the president of Iran has stated publicly he will use one if he has access to it.

    Yes, and the UN is keeping an extremely close eye on that situation. It’s too bad that us invading Iraq did nothing but strengthen Iran’s position in the region and its ability to flout international law.

    Evidently you don’t listen to the presidents speeches very well, he stated early on that this war would be won using varying tactics that would include large scale military actions and more sinister black ops often times at the same time.

    He did say that, and he also said that we would be greeted as liberators, and a whole bunch of other things that we now know to be completely wrong.

    Large scale military tactics removed the threat of Sadam

    What goddamn threat?

    You are underestimating this enemy; you are understating the importance of what we have done in Iraq, and what victory there will mean.

    Which enemy are you talking about exactly? Al Qaeda, which we have made stronger? Iran, which we have emboldened? Saddam and his minions, which Bush clearly OVERestimated vastly and had nothing to do with attacks on our soil? All of those “enemies” had good reason to hate each other, and yet somehow I’m guessing you put them all in the same “Islamofascist” boogeyman category. And none of them posed or pose a direct threat to the United States. In an older thread, you never did explain how exactly any of these groups might impose their will on the United States. You only repeat the meaningless mantra that “war has changed” and that somehow that justifies whatever enormous mistakes the President has made.

    You guys keep saying I am out of touch with reality, maybe so, maybe not. The reality is these people want us to convert or die, they said so, don’t you guys listen? Of course not, that would force you to come to grips with things you find distasteful.

    You need to come to grips with the fact that the real world is more complex than your fantasy world where we swoop in on land, air, and sea to kill all the sinister foreigners who dare threaten us. I am good and completely sick now of being dropped into that fantasy world as the starry-eyed pacifist. I want to what’s best for America as much as you do, and I understand that it is unfortunate fact that military action will remain part of that for the foreseeable future. But the world is more than us-versus-them and using our military irresponsibly can be just as damaging to our interests as inaction.

  64. knarlyknight Says:

    The more people start to understand that the “fantasy world” of the paranoids is mostly bogus, the more incentive for a false flag attack in America or the western world to revive and again advance the argument “see, we were right all along, you should be very afraid of these terrorists and let us go to foreign nations with our armies and kill them all.” shcb will be the one with the bullhorn.

    Whether or not 911 was an inside job the response to it was precisely what the “terrorists”, whether they be cave dwellers or traitors within Washington, wanted: (1) a U.S. military response that would (for the cave dwellers) demonstrate the U.S. as an oppressor which is extremely valuable as a recruitment tool (and for Washington dwellers) allow huge increases in military spending; and (2) to make Americans aware of the their own perceived oppressed plight (for the cave sweelers) and to TERRIFY Americans into supporting an expanded military and loss of freedoms that make them hard to govern.

    As for the homework assignment shcb, it was the idea that was important not the exact historical accuracy. When the rule of law Roman, British French or otherwise came into effect, the events leading up to the Magna Carta, and when certain human rights were first expressed (religiously, or in France circa the French revolution, within British Law, or your Bill of Rights) is not relevant to the idea which I expressed: you would like King George Bush and his henchmen to have the same authority to murder as did the tribal leaders and certain Kings of ages past. In contrast I appreciate the idea that we are nations ruled by laws not Kings.

  65. knarlyknight Says:

    Funny I should express the sentiment in my first paragraph, log out and then read this:

    http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2007/08/how-can-you-not-get-it.html

  66. shcb Says:

    Knarly,
    Why do you make everything so difficult, the answer to your homework is your statement describes the radical Islamic Terrorists not us.

    NL,

    This answers a part of Matt’s issues as well, we are not committing all our resources in Iraq, we are still fighting in Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Indonesia we have stopped attacks starting in Holland or maybe it was Norway, England, and Germany as well as home grown attacks. Believe it or not we can multitask.
    Matt,

    This is an unconventional war against an enemy that doesn’t want our property or our resources, they just want converts to their religion, or dead bodies, doesn’t matter which, when all the world is Islam, with the rule of law being the rule of the religion, then you can rule people, now of course this is not possible, but that won’t stop them from trying. Several European countries are already largely Muslim with a large section of this population not assimilating to their new home countries. Every now and then a little nudge will be needed in the form of a few hundred or a few thousand people being killed. At some point they hope people will say “well, what is really wrong with women covering up at the beach a little bit, if that is all that is needed to stop the terrorist attacks, then it will be, “who are we to criticize a religion for female circumcision” and so on. I’ve already heard on this site that maybe supporting Israel isn’t worth the effort or the risks.

    Iraq had no capability to produce a weapon, but they certainly had plans and the raw material to. I heard an interview with Sadam’s head scientist for the nuclear weapons program. He said the program had been on hold for 8 or 10 years while the sanctions were in place, and they were just waiting for them to be lifted so the program could be restarted in earnest. In the meantime he was doing whatever research he could that would be helpful to the program without going out of the UN guidelines.

    The RITs do have a delivery system up and running, they had a test run not too long ago with a 75% success rate, had it not been for Todd Beemer and friends, it would have been 100%. Why would you limit yourself to not invading Iran if you are serious about our security? That doesn’t mean we have to invade, but why limit us?

    The UN is watching Iran, do they have to set an appointment to inspect sites like they did in Iraq? How many of the countries in the UN are on the take this time? If they find something what are they going to do about it, send in the troops that protect the pope? Maybe Belgium can send the 10% of their troops that aren’t as overweight and slow as me. Do as you wish, but I don’t trust the UN. I remember sitting in my kitchen all one day watching Iraqi citizens cheering our boys and that one big guy with the sledge hammer trying to knock the statue of Sadam down, I remember seeing thousands go to the voting booth, showing their blue finger with pride. They of course have to be careful, there are still people that will kill you for being friends with the Americans. A bunch of folks, you guys included, want us to pull out early, that would leave anyone friendly to us very vulnerable.

    Which enemies? I’m talking about all the above, to one degree or another maybe as much as 50% of the Muslim religion while they may not like each other, “an enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

    How do they impose their will? Well one little attack killed 3000 people and could have easily killed 10,000, it sent our economy into a two year tailspin, ten dollar a gallon gasoline, destroying our friends, the Jews. There was a kid that flushed a Quran, he is being prosecuted for a hate crime, yet a guy that throws elephant shit at a cross is celebrated. I know these aren’t earth shattering events, but this is how it starts. If you stand up to the bully when he is just starting out, you will suffer less than if you wait until he has real power.

  67. enkidu Says:

    I have been on vacation for a bit and haven’t had time to read the posts here…

    welcome back TV! glad to see they were able to remove your head from your @$$ (one more operation to go eh? how does that work?) I see you are up to your old tricks of demanding librls ‘debate’ you on your terms (so anyone who disagrees with a Rethugglican™®© is a “bug”?)

    shcb, $10 a gallon gas? you really do live in a dark and scary fantasy of your own imagination.
    boo!

    The US has nearly 6000 fusion nukes ready right now. And another 6000 on ice (ie without the expensive triggers etc) I was reading somewhere else that the Russians/old USSR actually has slightly more kilotons of insane destructive power (tho this may be more mil/ind FUD, I would certainly question their ability to actually deliver all that gigadeath)

    The Iraq war is a lie, Osama bin forgotten is still trying to kill us all and is a heck of a lot closer to toppling Musharef than Saddam ever was to gaining nukes of any sort.

    But just keep making shit up to smear any IND or DEM who doesn’t think the sun shines out of bushy’s @$$. Hilarious.

    Frickin 13%ers. Morans.

  68. shcb Says:

    Enkidu,

    So pleasant to have you back. Just as an aside, I know a lady that grew up in Baghdad, she has been in the US for thirty odd years but still has relatives in Iraq. When I was talking to her a month of so ago the subject turned to the war, her solution is to use a large portion of those nukes starting in North Africa and work our way through the Mideast into Pakistan, including Israel and just start over. I don’t agree with that, but I thought the perspective of a native was interesting.

  69. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    You said you have given me proof Bush lied about WMD on a couple occasions, I sure don’t remember that, and since this has been a point of contention for me all along I think I would have noticed. Unless you had it hidden in the middle of one of your 911 conspiracy sections. I tend to just skim through those or ignore them altogether. The only thing that even would come close to proof is the Downing Street Memo and before you make that jump you actually need to read it, not just use the opinion of someone who has read it. Trust me, if there were actual proof it would be splashed all over every paper in the world, CNN would be 24-7 with coverage, Wolf and Larry would be shaking their heads saying “this is the end of civilization”.

    I just re-read your post, so the list of WMD lies is in one of your hundreds of links? No wonder I missed it.

  70. TeacherVet Says:

    Hey, Inkgaydoo, welcome back to you, too. I hope your ever-pleasant personality was bearable for your family. I don’t remember making any demands; you’re welcome to make an ass of yourself anytime, and I certainly wouldn’t expect you to be capable of engaging in debate.

    shcb might have been thinking of the price of bottled water, if he can find it at $10 a gallon. He certainly wasn’t referring to $5,000 a gallon printer ink.

    The reason you avoid actual debates is quite obvious with statements such as “The Iraq war is a lie.” The Iraq war is actually true; I heard something about it on the news last night. Saddam did finance “gigadeath” in incremental doses to our biggest ally in his neighborhood. There is no credible evidence that OBF is even alive, but he’s “still trying to kill us all”? boo!

  71. ymatt Says:

    shcb, I’m not going to answer again your assertions about the threat Saddam posed or the effectiveness of the UN or anything — I’ve done that before, and you clearly have decided on a set of facts that support your opinion. But what I do want to answer is this:

    …when all the world is Islam, with the rule of law being the rule of the religion, then you can rule people…

    Several European countries are already largely Muslim with a large section of this population not assimilating to their new home countries. Every now and then a little nudge will be needed in the form of a few hundred or a few thousand people being killed. At some point they hope people will say “well, what is really wrong with women covering up at the beach a little bit, if that is all that is needed to stop the terrorist attacks, then it will be, “who are we to criticize a religion for female circumcision” and so on.

    Which enemies? I’m talking about all the above, to one degree or another maybe as much as 50% of the Muslim religion…

    If you stand up to the bully when he is just starting out, you will suffer less than if you wait until he has real power.

    shcb, I’m really disappointed in you.

    To me, an argument is about reducing a disagreement to a core truth — a fundamental difference in opinion or fact from which the larger argument arises. I had believed that our difference in opinion lay in how the President has dealt with the mistaken decision to invade Iraq. Then I saw that, beneath that, you disagreed that the war was in fact going badly. But now I think we’ve come to the real core, and I’m afraid I had previously given you far too much credit.

    You are scared of Muslims, and you’ve demonized them all (sorry, “as much as 50%” of them). Everything else stems from that belief, and it justifies any collateral damage in the Middle East, as it’s full of people who you believe are less than human. I’m sure you’ll refute the terms I’m using, but I think your beliefs are clear. Your vision of America being slowly corrupted is (and I really do hate to break Godwin’s Law) identical to the picture painted of Jews by the Nazis to spread fear and distrust — that’s not an analogy, it’s a direct comparison.

    I hope you think deeply on this, and can realize that the people we are fighting are a very few. I think you may have half-heartedly agreed that despite the bluster, those who say “death to America” have no ability to substantially harm us or impose their will on us. The real threat, that has actually begun to take hold, is the slow corruption of our own ideals of respect for our fellow man and personal freedom — see the lies.com post just after this for an example.

    I refuse to debate xenophobia with you.

  72. NorthernLite Says:

    SHCB says, “Believe or not, we can multi-task”

    Agreed. You have managed to fuck multiple things up at the same time. And if you had sent 160, 000 troops into Afghanistan 6 years ago, the Taliban wouldn’t be making the resurgence that they are and some actual progress might be evident.

    $10/gallon of clean water is what Iraqi’s are paying right now, the one’s that can afford it anyways. Ok, it might not be 10, but clean water and electricity are extremely scarce

    The price of oil has increased almost 100% since the invasion of Iraq. Someone and his pals are sure getting rich. What’s that guy’s name with major ties to the oil industry? I think its George W. something…

  73. NorthernLite Says:

    And since you were told that Iraq’s vast oil wealth would finance the country’s rebuilding, aren’t you at least a little bit ticked off that 2 billion of your tax dollars is dissapearing down a black hole on a monthly basis? Where is all of Iraq’s oil revenue going?

  74. shcb Says:

    Matt, let me clarify a bit, maybe this will restore a little faith in me of being a reasonable guy just misguided (in your opinion). I don’t hate all Muslims or even the 50%, I’m just saying they hate us enough to support the radicals to a largely varying degree. I saw a documentary on the sinking of the Bismarck once, one of the surviving German crewmembers said that they hated the British and wanted nothing more than to kill the Brits even though almost none of the crew had ever been to England or met a Brit. In my opinion this is the way many common Muslims in that area think of us, decedent and immoral. They think this because that is all they have been told, anyone that says otherwise is beaten or killed. I sense there is a growing number of brave souls in the religion that are trying to change that perception and I am confident they will succeed. But until they do we may have to protect ourselves from the percentage of people who won’t hate us in a few years but do now for no reason other than who we are. The radicals we have to kill, but I think that number is way below one percent of the population. And at some point the good people in the Muslim world will police themselves of these bad apples like the Christians do now.

  75. shcb Says:

    NL ,

    One of the arguments I have heard is that just keeping the oil flowing in that area of the world keeps that price down to the point that we are being paid back to a certain percentage even though we aren’t getting any hard currency. I guess that makes some sense, although I think you could massage those numbers pretty easily.

  76. ymatt Says:

    So because many in the Middle East have been propagandized, that justifies a generalized war against “them”? You don’t see how counterproductive that is? You don’t see the irony in you decrying that Muslims are moving into western countries, bringing with them their dangerous culture?

    That didn’t help change my opinion much.

  77. knarlyknight Says:

    It is peculiar how a squished bug can continue to emit such strongly offensive odors.

  78. enkidu Says:

    TV – I did ‘debate’ you very politely and thoroughly when I first started posting here (I think I have registered at a few other sites, mostly for things like thanking Wes Clark when he shows up for a blogchat). You made some hysterical rwnj-style claims about “we found teh WMDz!!!1!!1!” But it was all bullshit. Your radical partisanship is a detriment to the war on extremism.

    The Iraq War is a lie: it was ‘justified/sold’ on a pack of thin lies and continues because w is too stupid or stubborn to admit these awful truths and pay the piper (resign, dick too).

    TV – many thanks for the well wishes as to my family vacation. We are having a great time. Funny how the Rethuggle™®© brothers are all suddenly Independents. But sadly my father continues to make racist jokes (tho now it’s mostly about Evil Mexicans! rather than ‘n-word’ jokes). I just try to keep the kids away from him when he gets on a tear. I love and honor the good things about my father, just wish he didn’t have that lil racist stream in him. If wishes were ponies… or nickels…

    TV, I think it is hilarious that your name for me is now Engaydo.
    Is that really the best you can do?

    So many R’s are so conflicted and hypocritical… you sure you aren’t Bob Allen of FL? Mark Foley? Ted Haggard?

  79. enkidu Says:

    ooops “Inkgaydoo”

  80. TeacherVet Says:

    According to wordnet.Princeton.edu, the primary definition of your emphasized syllable is: “cheery: bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer.” Does that not describe you to a tee?

    Your dad categorizes, labels and denegrates. His son… categorizes, labels and denegrates. Conflicted and hypocritical?

    “The Iraq war is a lie” remains a very quaint statement.

  81. shcb Says:

    Matt,

    No I don’t see how that is counterproductive to my objectives. My primary objective is self preservation. My secondary objective is to convince the to not hate me. If my objective was to simply kill them at all costs then that would be ridiculous. But to kill the ones that want to kill me really, really bad and error a little into the group that wants to kill me just a little is just prudent in my view. They have free will and can stop killing us at anytime. As far as the irony of the invasion of Arabs into Europe, I assume you are talking about the settling of the American west. I can’t undo the past and it may be ironic, but it is still only right to protect your culture and decide who comes into your country and who doesn’t.

    Knarly, I had ham and beans last night, be careful of what you wish for, I just may come to your house tonight and show you how bad a bug can smell, squished or not.

  82. ymatt Says:

    Just to be clear, no, the irony I was referring to was that you are criticizing the propaganda that paints American culture as dangerous while espousing the same kind of broad generalization about Muslims moving into western countries.

    As for the rest of your post, thank you for reinforcing that we have come to our core disagreement. I truly do either disagree with or deplore everything you just said.

    I’m taking a break for a while I think.

  83. shcb Says:

    Matt,

    Very good, good debating you as always.

  84. knarlyknight Says:

    matt, ditto disagree and double ditto the deplore. thx for “flushing out” the core of their mistaken beliefs, well done.

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