Gun's don't kill people. People with guns kill people.


"No body could have done a better job than Obama, with the economy he was handed —including me!" —Bill Clinton—

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Hilarious Aspects Of Torture

Clowns of the Right find torture funny! Which begs the question: If these torture techniques are so laughable, why did over 100 people die while being tortured?

Ignoring the fact, that 100 people died, during "enhanced interrogation", the seriously psychopathic response of the right wing's Conservative media leaders, laughing at the idea of torture, as outlined in the recently released "torture memos", shows how far the right has fallen. These bloviating demagogues lack any sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. They are sociopaths, of the highest order.

Selective amnesia aside, if the techniques are so useless, as to make these clowns laugh at the pain of others, then the techniques are ineffective any way so why use them? Yet in the next breath these same clowns, point to, the dubious claim that these techniques saved Los Angeles from a devastating attack. Never mind that the Bush administration had already thwarted the Library Tower attack in February 2002 -- more than a year before Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in March 2003. What did they gain? Information that Mohammed knew they already had anyway!

So, are these methods of torture, serious tools to extract life saving information from recalcitrant terrorists prisoners? Or are these methods of torture, as harmless and laughable as a fraternity hazing ritual?

If their are not deadly serious, useless and laughable, as Limbaugh, Beck, Liddy and others claim, because, they worked, and saved Los angeles, then they are torture and are illegal.

And if they're as harmless—again the 100 deaths aside—as a frat boys hazing then they are useless so why bother with them at all? Which all of these afore mentioned clowns have said, (torture) should be used.

According to Peter Finn and Joby Warrick of the Washington Post, In 2002, "The military agency that provided advice on harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as "torture" in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon's chief lawyer and warned that it would produce "unreliable information."

"The unintended consequence of a U.S. policy that provides for the torture of prisoners is that it could be used by our adversaries as justification for the torture of captured U.S. personnel."

Even House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) dropped the widely used euphemisms such as "harsh interrogation tactics"and used a more succinct term: "torture", to describe waterboarding and slamming detainees into walls, the Bush administration used for intelligence gathering. His only regret seemed to be that we are exposing our dirty laundry before the world and giving our enemies knowledge of the techniques, which is laughable to suppose that they don't already know how we treat captured terrorists.

The Right wing has repeatedly excoriated the left as, "moral relativists", on the issue of gay rights and abortion. They have pontificated for decades, about how the fabric of this Nations "values" have been shredded by an assault of "Moral Relativism". So what is their response to the abrogation of the Constitution and America's long standing defense of "human rights"? Mockery, laughter and distain.

These phony patriots are beneath contempt. Crybaby, born again, Glenn Beck wails his crocodile tears of rage at tax hikes and the decline of America, who he claims to love so much it hurts, and laughs at the infliction of real pain on defenseless human beings, which violates the Constitution, which, is the foundational document of this nation. Will the real Glenn Beck please stand up?

These hypocrites who call themselves born again, "evangelical Christians" are the new Pharisees so bloated with their own sense of self righteousness they are blinded to the hollowness of their own reprehensible pomposity.

So let's be clear, these so called, "enhanced interrogation methods", are torture according to the Constitution, International law, the U.S. Army, and the majority of humane and civilized nations. And if you have one shred of humanity, like U.S. Army Spfc. Alyssa Peterson they are decidedly not funny.

Commentary: This post is dedicated to the memory of Alyssa Peterson who refused to participate in the torture of Iraqi prisoners and was one of the first female soldiers to die in Iraq. Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Ariz., native, served with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne. Peterson was an Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to the prison at our air base in troubled Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq. According to, "official records", she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a "non-hostile weapons discharge." Read her full story, U.S. Soldier Kills Herself -- After Refusing to Take Part in Torture at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-mitchell/us-soldier-killed-herself_b_190517.html

Let the DOJ know your views about appointing a Special Prosecutor to investigate the authors of torture at: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Chilling Effect of Torture On The Constitution

The Republicans are falling all over themselves about the recently released Torture Memos. Their claims range from: these were policy issues, and prosecution of policy differences will set a bad legal precedence. To: releasing the memos has informed our enemies as to the limits of our depravity. To: they worked. Murder works to rid oneself of an antagonist, but it is still illegal. Robbery works to alleviate one's stressed financial circumstances, but it is still illegal. Many things that work and may be expedient are not allowed by a lawful, civilized society. What is at stake is our Republic and the rule of law.

Even anti-torture stalwart John McCain has said: "that prosecution of lawyers who wrote the memos will have a "chilling effect" on the legal advice given the President". John, how about the "chilling effect" on the Constitution if these law breakers go unprosecuted?

No where among their sophistic arguments have any of them bothered to mention that, torture is illegal. It was illegal when the memos were written and its illegal now, according to our Constitution and according to International law. None of them have bothered to mention that this nation was founded to protect "human rights" not trample them, which is what we are supposedly defending in Iraq.

The fact is, "legal opinions" contrary to established law, are not law. These memos are at best, rationales to circumvent the law. At worst they are the deliberate contrivance of the power hungry to impose their views as law and trample the Constitution and international law.

As for the idea that these were junior lawyers running amok writing these memos to lead the administration astray is absurd on its face. Just as absurd as the 12 soldiers who were hung out to dry as "bad seed" running amok at Abu Gharib without direction. Which in retrospect, points to the reprehensible lack of moral courage on the part of the authors of these "policies" who permitted those twelve to take the full brunt of punishment, to cover themselves and their culpability. As a matter of fact a newly declassified narrative shows that the small group of Justice Department lawyers who wrote memos were not operating on their own but, at the direction from top administration officials, including Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.

It was the same arrogance of superior thinking that led us into an ill advised war that has bankrupted this country both morally and financially. These were not legitimate "policy decisions" these were deliberate attempts to circumvent the law. Just like the lies about Iraq were the means used to justify the invasion of a sovereign nation. The memos were the means to ignore the law.

John McCain is right about one thing--if America exhibits the moral courage and conviction to refocus and prosecute those who have broken our laws with impunity, it will have a chilling effect on future law breakers.

But then, isn't that why we punish those that break the law?

To make them think twice.

Commentary: For decades the Republicans have said that government doesn't work and every time they gain power have set out to prove the point by sabotaging it with their policy decisions.

Keep the pressure on to appoint a Special Prosecutor at the DOJ.

I am afraid if the Senate forms a "truth commission" it will wither in the morass of the political inaction. I lay the blame on Republicans often, but the Democrats are just as culpable by virtue of their acquiescence.

Let the DOJ know your views about appointing a Special Prosecutor to investigate the authors of torture at: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama Sends A Terrible Signal To Dictators

Photo: The AP

The far right's Newt Gingrich, ex professor of history, and Speaker of the House under Ronald Reagan, saw fit to pontificate on a handshake between two heads of state saying, "I think it sends a terrible signal to all of Latin America, and a terrible signal about how the new administration regards dictators."

Excuse me? A terrible signal to dictators? Whose dictators are we talking about?

Newt, perhaps you've forgotten how the US, through the CIA has helped to overthrow numerous democratically elected Latin American governments and helped install military dictatorships that in turn slaughtered their own people. How about the U.S. sanctioned assassination of Salvador Allende in Chile. Remember who we put in his place? Agusto Pinochet, who imprisoned well over a hundred thousand Chileans and used torture and rape as methods of interrogation, and terminated civil liberties, abolished unions.

Newt, for the record, US interventions date back as far as 1846, but here are a few of the more recent interventions, you might personally remember, since they happened on your watch and you being such a history buff and all. Remember?

U.S., seeking a stable base for its actions in El Salvador and Nicaragua, tells the Honduran military to clean up its act and hold elections. The U.S. starts pouring in $100 million of aid a year and basing the contras on Honduran territory.
Death squads are also active in Honduras, and the contras tend to act as a state within a state.

The CIA steps in to organize the contras in Nicaragua, who started the previous year as a group of 60 ex-National Guardsmen; by 1985 there are about 12,000 of them. 46 of the 48 top military leaders are ex-Guardsmen. The U.S. also sets up an economic embargo of Nicaragua and pressures the IMF and the World Bank to limit or halt loans to Nicaragua.

Gen. Torrijos of Panama is killed in a plane crash. There is a suspicion of CIA involvement, due to Torrijos' nationalism and friendly relations with Cuba.

A coup brings Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt to power in Guatemala, and gives the Reagan administration the opportunity to increase military aid. Ríos Montt's evangelical beliefs do not prevent him from accelerating the counterinsurgency campaign.

Another coup in Guatemala replaces Ríos Montt. The new President, Oscar Mejía Víctores, was trained by the U.S. and seems to have cleared his coup beforehand with U.S. authorities.

U.S. troops take over tiny Granada. Rather oddly, it intervenes shortly after a coup has overthrown the previous, socialist leader. One of the justifications for the action is the building of a new airport with Cuban help, which Granada claimed was for tourism and Reagan argued was for Soviet use. Later the U.S. announces plans to finish the airport... to develop tourism.

Boland Amendment prohibits CIA and Defense Dept. from spending money to overthrow the government of Nicaragua-- a law the Reagan administration cheerfully violates.

CIA mines three Nicaraguan harbors. Nicaragua takes this action to the World Court, which brings an $18 billion judgment against the U.S. The U.S. refuses to recognize the Court's jurisdiction in the case.

U.S. spends $10 million to orchestrate elections in El Salvador-- something of a farce, since left-wing parties are under heavy repression, and the military has already declared that it will not answer to the elected president.
Source http://www.zompist.com/latam.html

Finally Newt, what more terrible signal could this country send than the fact that this nation engaged in torture under the "dictatorship of George W Bush and the Dick, Cheney? Now every two bit dictator can just point to America and say; "see they do it too".

It's hard to tell whether Newt's revisionist history is just his memory gone bad, or another far right, in your face, assault on our intelligence, as for me I say the latter.

Latin American dictators, Newt? You should know, you helped establish enough of them. Or as they say: "One man's dictator is another man's military junta".

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Banks Balk At Repaying Bailout Loans

It seems as though there are more and more things in the course of a day that make my blood boil with rage.

This is one of those days.

What triggered the sudden burst of anger, was a story in the New York Times, that was headlined: Showdown Seen Between Banks and Regulators.

The lead in read:

WASHINGTON — As the Obama administration completes its examinations of the nation’s largest banks, industry executives are bracing for fights with the government over repayment of bailout money and forced sales of bad mortgages.

It went on to say:

"Some of the healthier banks want to pay back their bailout loans to avoid executive pay and other restrictions that come with the money. But the banks are balking at the hefty premium they agreed to pay when they took the money.

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and two other executives of large banks raised the issue with Mr. Obama and the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, at a meeting two weeks ago.

“This is a source of considerable consternation,” said Camden R. Fine, who attended the White House meeting as president of the Independent Community Bankers, a trade group of 5,000 mostly smaller institutions, many of which are complaining about the repayment requirements."

What? Are they serious? Their chutzpah is outrageous! I am literally shaking with outrage.

These, usurious, pirate captains of the Banking Industry—who for decades have put, onerous, unconscionable, exorbitant rates of interest and conditions on the average credit card holder; these bankers who foreclose and throw people homeless into the streets without conscience; these bankers who have brought this Nation's financial system to a screeching halt, and that have thrown millions into the unemployment roles—are upset that they have to pay back loans made to them by the taxpayers of this Nation?

Commentary: I want to scream in their pasty, putrid faces that they are traitors by selling out this Nation. I want to spit on them and their smug sense of, privileged, gated, entitled existence, I want to tell them they are whores and they don't deserve the rewards and trust that this Nation has bestowed on them. I want to tell them to beg in the streets and wonder where their next meal will come from. I want to tell them to their face that they are beneath contempt!

But that's just me. How do you feel about it?

TO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: Do not negotiate with these Capitalistic terrorist thugs. Nationalize their banks and fire them without one penny of compensation! Do it now!

To the rest of you to make yourself heard go to:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is America A Terrorist Nation?

"Collateral damage," sounds like an accidental, or unintentional injury inflicted by an innocent party like in an auto accident. No fault! It just happened! It was an accident! How could we have known?

Take a close look at the "collateral damage" caused by this American Nation. Do you see the anguish? The bloody stump? The Pain? The terror in their eyes? America did that! You and I did that! Now multiply that by tens of thousands.

American's have a disturbing penchant for deflecting reality, take the expression, "collateral damage" or how about, "enhanced interrogation" or "rendition" they sound benign. Clinical! Sterile! Unemotional! But the consequences are real and terrifying.

The ugly truth is America and the American people let George Bush—with our tacit approval—spend in excess of three trillion dollars to unjustly, without provocation, invaded Iraq and over the last six years deliberately kill and maim over one hundred thousand citizens of Iraq. Accidental? Unintentional? A mistake?

Three trillion dollars is no accident. Three trillion dollars is premeditated. Three trillion dollars is intentional. Three trillion dollars is deliberate. Three trillion dollars maimed this boy and has killed and maimed thousands of children like him.

I didn't know! Just won't cut it. It sounds too much like the Good Germans who didn't know that Hitler was killing and torturing 12 million people in his, so-called, labor (death) camps

The far right, war mongers in America will say, "it's part of war", or they will question the photo's authenticity, or they will ask: who wounded the child? American's or Iraqi insurgents? Like in their small reptilian brain that the distinction somehow it makes a difference. Ask the child if it matters who blew off his leg?

These are the same self-righteous, "twisted Christians" that cry over unborn fetuses and are stone-hearted when it comes to the undeserved pain and suffering of an innocent child, that happened to get in the way. Where is their "Christian conscience for this boy and thousands like him? They will split hair's as fine as any Pharisee.

They will rail at anyone, that suggests that this Nation can do anything wrong, wrapped in the flag and spouting their simple-minded jingoist mantra, "my country right, or wrong".

This country is becoming an ugly, empty shell of itself. A grotesque caricature of it's former glory. Where is our devotion to "human rights"? We no longer understand the connection between our "human rights and freedom. Our freedom springs from those right's not the other way around.

So, what are we defending by murdering innocent children? Freedom? Who's freedom—and at what cost—our soul as a Nation? Have we made Faustian deal with the devil?

We have subverted our language to such an extent we no longer understand that "collateral damage" means the death of innocent children—and that President Bush committed this foul murder in our name. That he and his cabal of power lied us into this war and have scandalized us and tarnished our name and sullied the legacy of this Nation. He has defamed all who have given their lives in defense of our Constitution and the "human rights" which it enshrines, for the world to emulate.

Has America become a terrorist Nation? Are we becoming what we seek to destroy? Maybe its past time for some soul searching and introspection and to bring those truly responsible to justice.

Commentary: Shame on us all for allowing this to happen in our names and not having the courage to speak out. It's not too late to do the right thing!

Sign the new petition demanding that Bush and Co. be indicted now.