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Our image in the Muslim world would probably improve if we stopped killing so many Muslims.
Mark Benjamin had a nice overview of our torture program based on a look at various government documents. An excerpt:
The documents also lay out, in chilling detail, exactly what should occur in each two-hour waterboarding “session.” Interrogators were instructed to start pouring water right after a detainee exhaled, to ensure he inhaled water, not air, in his next breath. They could use their hands to “dam the runoff” and prevent water from spilling out of a detainee’s mouth. They were allowed six separate 40-second “applications” of liquid in each two-hour session – and could dump water over a detainee’s nose and mouth for a total of 12 minutes a day. Finally, to keep detainees alive even if they inhaled their own vomit during a session – a not-uncommon side effect of waterboarding – the prisoners were kept on a liquid diet. The agency recommended Ensure Plus.As far as I know there is no new reporting in it, but Benjamin synthesizes the evidence well, and presents it in a very readable, compelling way.
We had an actual debate and vote on the war in Afghanistan. It lost, but it’s very useful to spend time discussing what exactly the hell we are doing over there, no matter what smug dumbasses like Candy Crowley say. Yes, that Candy Crowley.
Remember when this passed for heinous scandal? When juxtaposed with the still-ignored war crimes of the successor White House it really highlights the depraved values of our political and media establishment. Obligatory Chris Hayes link here.
It’s a tribute to the effectiveness of the neocon’s relentless fearmongering that we now postulate everyone in Guantánamo is a terrorist. Note how simply even the formality of “alleged” or “accused” is bypassed:
Cycle forward a year and a half, and we find Goldfarb with William Kristol providing the public relations “brains” for Liz Cheney’s Keep America Safe. Last week they launched a new attack line, going after the “Gitmo 9”-a group of lawyers, now working for the Obama Administration, who “voluntarily represented terrorists.”
Leftover links. I linked to this Thursday but wanted to highlight the following as well:
All crises end - this is actually Larry Summers’s famous line. We avoided a Great Depression primarily because, compared with 1929-31, we have a government sector that is large relative to the economy - and which does not collapse when credit goes into freefall. What exactly did the Obama administration do in ending the crisis that a Clinton or McCain administration - or even Bush - would not have done? The most plausible answer is: Nothing.Also see this from Johnson.
John Roberts may be too delicate a petal to serve in public office. It’s really amazing what wimps conservatives are when they’re out of power. The Supreme Court traditionally attends the State of the Union address, but not until a Democrat is president do the right wingers on the Court find spectacle jarring. Suck it up, cupcake.
I wouldn’t have a problem with blanket non-attendance by the Supreme Court, or even a particular justice never showing up under any circumstances. The various rituals and pageants of our political system set my teeth on edge. I have no use for the nominating conventions of either party, never watch the SOTU address, etc. I’d rather read about stuff like that in the paper the next day and not waste my time wading through huge swaths of formalized bloviating and contrived applause on the off chance that something of substance will be said. I have no problem with anyone who wants to skip all that. I’ve got your back, baby. It’s the transparently political nature of the objections in cases like this that make me nuts.
Karl Rove is one of those people who does not deserve to be part of our discourse. His thoughts on anything that are not preceded by the words “so help me God” are irrelevant. That he can look at our torture methods and blandly say “they’re in conformity with our international requirements and with US law” - without explaining how they are not in plain violation of the Geneva Conventions or Convention Against Torture marks him as someone who is not even attempting to make an honest contribution to the public discourse. And how any interviewer can let a statement like that pass unchallenged is beyond me. If you’re going to give a scumbag like him a platform, for God’s sake do your homework.
Here is this week’s face of corruption.
I WISH I COULD WRITE LIKE Jon Walker:
Senate Democrats plus Joe Biden do technically have many tools at their disposal to pass health care reform, if only they have the will needed to play hardball. This is something Democrats should keep in mind because constituents will ask “what have you passed to help us?” not “how well have you protected the stupid broken traditions of Congress that we hate and don’t even understand?”