Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Torture Never Stops.

When pol pot and the khmer rouge used waterboarding, I guess they were just gathering valuable information. The spanish inquisition may have used a different rationale. The japanese soldier, who was sentenced to 15 years hard labor by "the greatest generation" for WAR CRIMES for waterboarding, may have been using it for information on attacks with weapons of mass destruction (see hiroshima and nagasaki). United States soldiers have been court-martialled for waterboarding north vietnamese soldiers. I can only assume they were using the "torture techniques" to obtain useful information.

Fact is the techniques used by the bush era inTERRORgators are and have been a CRIME.

The third Geneva Convention reads

"No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatsoever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

The federal statute, which implements the 1984 Convention Against Torture, reads

"(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

(C) the threat of imminent death; or

(D) the threat that another individual will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.

There' a rationale being used by people, like dick's daughter liz (I'm not kidding), that US soldiers have to endure these techniques, not at the same intensity of curse, as part of their training, so it can't be torture. This is pretty ridiculous since the SERE training referred to is meant to ready soldiers for possible tortures by the enemy. Torture defender peggy noonan thinks we should "keep walking and not look back". Drug addled limbag thinks mccain's signing of a statement he did NOT mean because of torture is proof that "it works".

Granted face slapping, water boarding, extreme stress positions and sleep deprivation (as much as 11 days straight) aren't as disgustingly vile as the fatal anal gluing and diarrhea inducing of homosexuals that's going on right now in the nation that we "brought freedom to" by Iraqi militias. The fact remains that it is and was illegal. Ex vice dick says release all the torture advocating memos, perhaps because he shredded any dissent along with evidence of anyone he met with as the vice president of the United States. Looks like the shredders may have missed the "anything for a link between iraq and al qaeda" torture is pushed. I'm gonna have to side with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she said "It won’t surprise you that I don’t consider him [dick] a particularly reliable source." Maybe we should waterboard him, have dogs snap inches from his "manhood", throw him against the wall 20-30 times, chain him up naked, cover him in excrement, in a stress position and keep him awake for 2 weeks by slapping him, while blasting hannah montana into his hood to find out what really happened. Our Country's moral "compass" and standing depends on it, which, of course, directly relates to Our National Security. Did I leave out putting him into a small coffin-like box and dropping insects in, telling him they are poisonous. But why stop at dick, repeat for tenet, rice, ashcroft, yoo, rummy, gonzales, powell (yeah I said it), their deputies and let's not forget "the decider" at whom the buck stops. Or at least it did when Presidents of the United States took responsibility for their actions.

It is the Department of Justice's job, not the White House's, to find out if a crime was committed and who committed it. It is Not the Justice Department's job to be used as the president and his party's legal rationale lap dog, like we saw it reduced to for the eight years prior to the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

A couple of other opinions:

Krugman is on it!: "America is more than a collection of policies. We are, or at least we used to be, a nation of moral ideals. In the past, our government has sometimes done an imperfect job of upholding those ideals. But never before have our leaders so utterly betrayed everything our nation stands for. “This government does not torture people,” declared former President Bush, but it did, and all the world knows it."

Vanity Fair: Have any attacks on America been disrupted thanks to intelligence obtained through what the administration still calls “enhanced techniques”?

“I’m really reluctant to answer that,” Mueller says. He pauses, looks at an aide, and then says quietly, declining to elaborate: “I don’t believe that has been the case.”

“Jim [Psychiatrist and "harsh tactic advocate mitchell] believed that people of this ilk would confess for only one reason: sheer TERROR,” said one C.I.A. official
- From a great piece at the New York Times (I thought it was the enemy that used "terror")

"They were well aware, these people, Rumsfeld, Sanchez, all of them and were well aware of these policies and these memorandums while these soldiers were being accused....five years ago. And if it was okay Mr. Former Vice President, if you're saying that this was necessary today and that it produced good intelligence..where were you five years ago stepping up to the plate and saying hold on, we can't discuss this because this is classified information, but these soldiers did not design these techniques? Where were all of those heros then to step up to the plate and defend these soldiers and to defend me?"
former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski about how the torture at Abu Ghraib was a direct result of policies which were crafted by the higher ups in the Bush administration

"We are America! I don't give a rat's ass if it helps," Smith declared. "We are America! We do not fucking torture!" Shepard Smith of faux "news"

Frank Zappa: ... then it goes into a song called "The Torture Never Stops".
Which is about what?
Frank Zappa: Er, it's about torture not stopping.
- Zappa On Air, Nuggets, No. 7, April 1977(I guess I owe gail money for that quote not to mention the title)

To Progress.
David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ USA

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The (latest) speech on the US economy, the "right wing", and accountability

The President recently gave a speech at Georgetown University on the US economy. It was, as he put it, "prose, not poetry". The speech is heavy and dense, but reassuring. As a republican "leader" suggests his State secede from the Country they claim to love so much, it's reassuring to see a President display such an understanding of what's going on, while explaining his administration's plan to fix and build Our economy. The speech explains, in detail, how we got here, why banks are important, and why governments spend to inject revenue into a recessing economy. Agree with him or not, it's nice to see someone firmly at the helm. Not to mention an elected official that treats the American public as if We were adults. There's a good chunk of Us who are (from time to time).

I would bet that the vast majority of "teabaggers" that protested on tax day will see their taxes Go Down as a result of the Obama budget. I wonder how many will turn down their stimulus check/credit. Part of the in-cohesive and almost inexplicable rationale for the protests was Constitutional rights. No need to go into the last eight years' depletion of Our rights, but which "Constitutional" rights are "tea baggers" getting taken from them? True a recent leaked NSA report targeted "right wing extremism". If there had not already been a report from the NSA on "left wing extremism", I would undertsand the right's fear of a politically motivated attack on free speech, akin to the last administration's on the left's. They are being lied to by the likes of joe the "plumber" and shawn insanity. And it isn't the first time. Maybe that's why there are less of them. Perhaps that is something that could be further realized if the Obama Administration would do something to hold george w. bush jr.'s failure of an administration accountable.

With detailed torture memos being released and Administration officials saying that CIA interrogators will Not be prosecuted (Watch Olbermann's Special comment) I can only hope Attorney General Holder is building a case against those interrogators' superiors. As it is we are stilling waiting for President Obama to prove that he is reinstating Habeus Corpus, the Bill of Rights (Amendment 4 specifically) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). While in fact, we've seen some proof of the opposite. Glen Greenwald is a Must read when it comes to these issues, especially FISA. Maybe we should stage a Whiskey Rebellion until we get what we want. I'm kidding, of course.

Darwin help Us.
David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ USA

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Fear, the Froth, and the Teabagging.

These are truly scary times for people. No, I'm not referring to the fear that republinuts (Read Krugman!) want to "tea bag" (NSFW) me in my sleep. Over the last month there have been 8 mass killings by Americans on Americans claiming 53 lives. Not to worry, the vast majority of the domestic terrorists' weaponry was registered with the proper authorities. The murderer that killed 3 people in Pittsburgh was said to be "afraid Obama was gonna take his guns away", even though it looks like under President Obama the assault weapons ban debate will fade away. I wonder how this racist gunman got that idea? Talking clown glen bark put Obama in a nazi uniform in his magazine and pretended he was President Obama pouring gasoline on the average American. The fox "news" channel is not only endorsing and encouraging "tea bag" protests of the three month old Administration (something no one in the "liberal" media ever did during any protests of failure 43 and there were hundreds of thousands, if not Millions of us), but they are organizing fundraisers for them. Now that's fair and balanced. The hypocrisy of hearing the people that called me anti-American and unpatriotic for protesting the decisions of the last administration now saying that dissent is the highest form of patriotism makes me physically ill.

But is their frothing up fear and frustration among people who have lost their jobs (another 600,000 last month), their homes, and their retirement wise, rational, or even justifiable. Congresspeople calling for people to be "armed and dangerous" in their "revolution" should realize their words can lead to actions, intended or not. Disturbing the peace is not the only reason you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. It's also to protect people from getting killed in the resulting chaos.

President Obama has seen a "glimmer of Hope" in the economy lately, but people are still losing their jobs, failing on the mortages and realizing the deep hole that once was their life savings. I don't think we're at France's G20 protest violence level (they burned a hotel down) or that of the protests in Thailand but, to be sure, Americans are angry. Corporate lobbyist, media sponsored protests, against bringing the tax code back to "what it was under Clinton for the rich" (10% less than under raygun) while cutting taxes for everyone under $200,000, are not going to qwell that anger. They are only exploiting it.

The Squid says: "Hey fox "news"! Go 'tea bag' (NSFW) yourselves!"
The activists that participated in the Boston Tea Party in 1773 are rolling in their graves. Oh and, by the likes of glen bark's standards, Thomas Paine was a Socialist.

"if you are planning simultaneous tea bagging all around the country, you’re going to need a Dick Armey." -David Shuster 4/13 on MSNBC

Give Hope a Chance.
David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ USA