Drum on Bernstein and Isikoff on the Bushies on Torture

Kevin Drum, in  Lying About Torture, Part 2:

A few days ago, Jonathan Bernstein pointed out that former Bush/Rumsfeld speechwriter Marc Thiessen was continuing to claim that the torture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed in 2003 helped foil a terrorist plot to crash an airplane into a Los Angeles skyscraper. This was obviously a lie. Why? Because the cell leaders of the LA plot were arrested a year before KSM was captured.

Apparently this kind of crude, low-rent deception isn’t limited to Thiessen. It turns out that the same sort of clumsy lying was also part of the CIA’s classified “Effectiveness Memo,” which the Bush administration relied on to bolster its legal case for torturing terrorist suspects.

Sigh. If there’s a better summary than “crude, low-rent deception” to describe the Bush administration’s whole approach to the justification of state-sponsored torture, I’d like to hear it.

9 Responses to “Drum on Bernstein and Isikoff on the Bushies on Torture”

  1. shcb Says:

    Huh, wonder how that could be? What a simple minded boob.

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    No, I don’t think “simple minded boob” covers it. The Bush administration’s whole approach to justifying state sponsored torture has been demonstrably and intensely calculated, it has been demonstrated that tthey were complicit in the torture in the most extreme sense of the word. This is one of the few places in life that is black and white, you are either pro torture or anti-torture, and if you are pro-torture and an accessory to the act then you should face the legal consequences. That pathetically little action has been taken against against the Bush administration’s human rights outrages is a damning insight into the morality of the American people. Clearly, the majority would support the Roman’s who crucified Jesus. America, a nation of ugly-minded false Christians.

  3. shcb Says:

    Maybe so, I talking about this guys logic that just because we arested a key figure the terror plot ended.

  4. knarlyknight Says:

    It doesn’t say “a key figure” it says “the cell leaders of the LA plot were arrested a year before KSM was captured”

    Common sense says that if there were multiple arrests of leaders then the remaining “evil-doers” will be seeking a less compromised plan. If not, they aren’t much of a threat due to thier own idiocy. But I guess they only had to be smarter than the Bush administration, which helps (slightly) to explain the successful 911 terror attacks that happened on Bush’s watch.

  5. shcb Says:

    So if a captain is killed, doesn’t the lieutenant take over until another captain can be moved into place… in a years time. If the lieutenant is captured doesn’t the sergeant carry on with the mission? I don’t know, maybe he is right, maybe the cell collapsed, I don’t know the particulars but to make the assumption that the cell collapsed shows an ignorance of how military operations are carried out.

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    Military? I thought we were talking about terrorists and their supposed devious plots. This ain’t WWI.

  7. shcb Says:

    No, this war isn’t WWI, of course WWI wasn’t WWII, the War Between the States wasn’t the American Revolution or the Boer war or the Spanish American War, they are all different, they are all wars.

  8. knarlyknight Says:

    yes, those were wars in the classic sense of the word “war”. Strange that you didn’t mention Vietnam or Korea, in terms of relevence.

    Those kinds of wars should not be confused with other kinds of wars such as “an active struggle between competing entities” e.g. a diplomatic war, or with wars that are “active struggles against things that are injurious” e.g., the war on drugs or the war on poverty.

    The war on crime fits into the latter category too, and as terrorism is a criminal activity, albeit motivated perhaps more by ideological agendas than profit, it is still a crime (crimes can be ideologically motivated) and as such it fits into the latter category.

    Now the invasion of Panama or Iraq #2 can be argued to bridge the categories, but a war on terrorism just doesn’t cut it no matter how bellicose your leaders speak about it.

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    If this is true, it may be too difficult for you to believe, shcb:

    …The Bush regime was determined to vitiate habeas corpus in order to hold people indefinitely without bringing charges. The regime had acquired hundreds of prisoners by paying a bounty for “terrorists.” Afghan warlords and thugs responded to the financial incentive by grabbing unprotected people and selling them to the Americans.

    The Bush regime needed to hold the prisoners without charges because it had no evidence against the people and did not want to admit that the U.S. government had stupidly paid warlords and thugs to kidnap innocent people. In addition, the Bush regime needed “terrorists” prisoners in order to prove that there was a terrorist threat.

    As there was no evidence against the “detainees” (most have been released without charges after years of detention and abuse), the U.S. government needed a way around U.S. and international laws against torture in order that the government could produce evidence via self-incrimination. The Bush regime found inhumane and totalitarian-minded lawyers and put them to work at the U.S. Department of Justice (sic) to invent arguments that the Bush regime did not need to obey the law.

    The Bush regime created a new classification for its detainees that it used to justify denying legal protection and due process to the detainees. As the detainees were not U.S. citizens and were demonized by the regime as “the 760 most dangerous men on earth,” there was little public outcry over the regime’s unconstitutional and inhumane actions.

    As our Founding Fathers and a long list of scholars warned, once civil liberties are breached, they are breached for all. Soon U.S. citizens were being held indefinitely in violation of their habeas corpus rights. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui an American citizen of Pakistani origin might have been the first.

    Dr. Siddiqui, a scientist educated at MIT and Brandeis University, was seized in Pakistan for no known reason, sent to Afghanistan, and was held secretly for five years in the U.S. military’s notorious Bagram prison in Afghanistan. Her three young children were with her at the time she was abducted, one an eight-month old baby. She has no idea what has become of her two youngest children. Her oldest child, 7 years old, was also incarcerated in Bagram and subjected to similar abuse and horrors.

    Siddiqui has never been charged with any terrorism-related offense. A British journalist, hearing her piercing screams as she was being tortured, disclosed her presence …


    … Dennis Blair, director of National Intelligence told the House Intelligence Committee that it was now “defined policy” that the U.S. government can murder its own citizens on the sole basis of someone in the government’s judgment that an American is a threat. No arrest, no trial, no conviction, just execution on suspicion of being a threat.

    This shows how far the police state has advanced. A presidential appointee in the Obama administration tells an important committee of Congress that the executive branch has decided that it can murder American citizens abroad if it thinks they are a threat…

    …What defines “threat”? Who will make the decision? What it means is that the government will murder whomever it chooses.

    There is no more complete or compelling evidence of a police state than the government announcing that it will murder its own citizens if it views them as a “threat.”

    Ironic, isn’t it, that “the war on terror” to make us safe ends in a police state with the government declaring the right to murder American citizens who it regards as a threat.

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