Can’t repeat that post title enough. So sad. So wrong. So un-American.
Last night Rachel Maddow had two very good segments on the subject, first with guest Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind (The Price of Loyalty & The One Percent Doctrine) and later with former interrogator Col. Steven Kleinman. Both worth checking out below. You’ll leave with two inescapable conclusions: a) we used techniques we knew would elicit false confessions and b) torture became “policy” not to keep us safe but to justify the bogus reasons for invading Iraq. The greatest, best country God has ever given man on the face of the Earth, right, Sean?
ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports from Capitol Hill: Sen. Patrick Leahy pledged today that if he cannot get the votes to create a bipartisan commission to investigate U.S. torture policy under former President George W. Bush—and regardless of calls by President Obama that any inquiry be bipartisan—he’ll conduct his own partisan inquiry in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Note that Senator Leahy attempted back in February and March to hold bipartisan hearings on the subject but was forced to admit failure due to a complete lack of any Republican cooperation.
President Obama appears to have moved from a stance of just wanting to move on to recognizing the need to leave open the possibility that justice department lawyers involved in the production of the famous torture memos be investigated. However he stated that he felt that any investigation should be undertaken by an independent commission similar to the 9/11 Commission.
Obama also stated that he would like Congress to “examine ways that it can be done in a bipartisan fashion, outside of the typical hearing process that can sometimes break down and break it entirely along party lines.”
I think this sounds great but what, realistically, is the possibility of the Republicans being willing to embark on a bi-partisan investigation of the previous administration’s lawlessness? Somewhere between “none” and “fat chance” I’d say.
Clearly the situation must be investigated. I do, on a pragmatic level, see Obama’s point of wanting to either just move forward or have a joint effort by both parties to get at the truth. But moving forward, burying the situation so to speak, would have the same effect as letting a deep wound heal over with no antibiotics. Next thing you know, you’d have a full blown, putrid, caustic boil on your hands. Obama should heed his own words when he said that we don’t have to abandon our principles to keep our country safe. And our principles demand that crimes against persons that were at least partly committed to further the previous administration’s political agenda must be investigated.
And this statement issued today by Senators Graham, McCain and Lieberman illustrates the futility of looking for a bipartisan solution.
Moving in such a direction would have a deeply chilling effect on the ability of lawyers in any administration to provide their client - the U.S. Government - with their best legal advice. Providing poor legal advice is always undesirable, and the Department of Justice is currently conducting an internal ethics review of the OLC memos, but that is a quite a different matter from making legal advice with which we may disagree into a crime.
That is a load of bull, by the way. The Justice Department lawyers did not provide their best legal advice. They disregarded their commitment to provide impartial and objective advice based on the law and deliberately skewed the law to suit the interests of their “clients” - the Bush/Cheney administration.
So hurray for Senator Leahy! I think we will all be looking to him for some badly needed leadership in this area.
I signed up for the Glenn Beck newsletter yesterday and today my email box is stuffed with stupid:
On Today’s Program
Glenn takes some callers eager to celebrate Earth Day by cutting down trees live on the air. There’s nothing better than the sound of a good chainsaw blazing away on Earth day. Check out this call from Tim in Cleveland, who is cutting down trees in Ohio.
Mike in Tulsa celebrates Earth Day by running all of his lawn equipment at the same time.
God, I hate these people.
[TRANSCRIPT OF CALL WITH TIM BELOW THE FOLD—5:05pm AUDIO ADDED]
Thers, the righteous proprietor of Whiskey Fire and part-time blogger at Eschaton, turned a very special number today, so since he’s been a very good friend of Rumproast and has sent oodles of traffic our way, I’m going to do something special today in his honor. Thers is renowned for his posts featuring gaudy GIF animations (an affliction he’s passed onto our own marindenver), so your job is to find truly horrible/disturbing/ridiculous happy birthday GIF animations and post them in the comments as a “tribute” to him. I’ve “turned on” the ability to post images in comments for the day. Three rules: 1) nothing that’s NSFW, 2) nothing wider than 480px (if you don’t know how to check that, please don’t post) and 3) don’t post images anywhere else on the blog. Now get to it, rubes, and don’t forget to send your best to Thers while you’re doing so.
p.s. To post an image, click the “code” button above the comment box, drop the URL for the image in between the tags (no spaces), and change the word “code” to “img” in both tags. Of course, you can do this manually after you see the formatting.
p.s.s. Please click “preview” before submitting a comment so I’m not fixing mistakes all day. Thank you kindly.
Every year around February, I start to think of one thing. By the beginning of April, I’m obsessed. When mid-April arrives I invariably make the mistake of telling co-workers what’s on my mind. They take a step back, give me that “Should we get the net?” look I’ve come to know so well and ask caring, sharing, completely non-judgmental questions such as “You’re going to what?” and “Why?” and of course “Are you CRAZY?!” Friends who share my predilection report similar responses.
I don’t normally much care for extreme sports tomfoolery, but, goddamn, Danny MacAskill is both extremely talented and 100% certified batshit crazy. If your jaw doesn’t drop a few times while you’re watching this, it must be wired shut.
From Glenn Beck newsletter today: “Earth Day is tomorrow! Celebrate by cutting down a tree with a chainsaw or leaving your lights on.”
Bash a golden-cheeked warbler to death with a rock! Pour toxic chemicals into a local pond or stream! Run a hose from your car exhaust into the ventilation system of your neighborhood elementary school! It’s funny because it’s stupid!
I bet a lot more Americans will die from terrorist attacks under the Obama administration than under the Bush administration.
Remember how Palestinians were allegedly dancing in the streets after 9/11? If a terrorist attack happens in the U.S. during Obama’s presidency, it’ll be wingnuts doing the dancing. And with great vigor. [via Twitter Room]
And the world turns for the ongoing soap opera that is the Republican Party these days.
What have they been up to?
Well, Newt Gingrich (good old Newt!) is all ZOMG!! ZOMG!! Obama shook Hugo Chavez’ HAND! Quoth the Newt:
“Frankly, this does look a lot like Jimmy Carter. Carter tried weakness, and the world got tougher and tougher, because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators – when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead,”
Not wanting to be left out, Senators, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and John Ensign of Nevada,put their 2 nanocents worth in saying that for Obama to greet Chavez was “irresponsible.”
By now being accustomed to the teapot tempests that follow his every move, Obama addressed the issue at a press conference:
“It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States,” Obama told reporters at a news conference. “I don’t think anybody can find any evidence that that would do so. Even within this imaginative crowd, I think you would be hard-pressed to paint a scenario in which U.S. interests would be damaged as a consequence of us having a more constructive relationship with Venezuela.”