Archive for category Hypocrisy
Last Friday, President Obama informed a White House press conference that the U.S. government has engaged in torture as a matter of policy. Not that he plans to do anything about that. In fact, he hasn’t even banned every torture technique in use by the CIA and the military.
“We tortured some folks,” he said. “We did some things that were contrary to our values. I understand why it happened. I think it’s important when we look back to recall how afraid people were after the twin towers fell, and the Pentagon had been hit, and a plane in Pennsylvania had fallen, and people did not know whether more attacks were imminent, and there was enormous pressure on our law-enforcement and our national security teams to try to deal with this.”
The fallacy here, whether or not it’s intentional, lies in the fact that torture (in addition to being a crime under federal law) is not an intelligence interrogation technique. The experts will all tell you that torture is good for one thing only: extracting false confessions. The Bush administration employed torture to get some detainees to say what they wanted to hear, namely that Saddam Hussein’s regime was tied in with al-Qaeda. For example the torture of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a Libyan national captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, provided false information regarding chemical weapons training between Iraq and al-Qaeda that was used by the Bush Administration in their efforts to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq. Al-Libi recanted in January 2004. This sort of thing is what they now call “faulty intelligence” instead of lies.
President Obama is getting credit simply for using the dreaded “T” word that the media usually avoid by talking about American “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Of course reporters are not afraid say “torture” to describe what China does to prisoners, for example, even if it’s the exact same thing the CIA did.
On FDL, Jeff Kaye picks up on something important. Here’s what else the president said, referring to the still-secret Senate Select Committee torture report (emphasis added):
And it’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. And a lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.
But having said all that, we did some things that were wrong. And that’s what that report reflects. And that’s the reason why, after I took office, one of the first things I did was to ban some of the extraordinary interrogation techniques that are the subject of that report.
Only “some of the extraordinary interrogation techniques”? Not all? Was this merely a slip of the tongue by the President? No one in the press corp seemed to notice, and no one took him up on the issue… though it is very much worth noting that Jeremy Scahill reported in July 2011 on the CIA’s continuing use of black sites and torture in an important article in The Nation. Others had surmised as much even earlier.
Apparently President Obama, whether he meant to or not, has confirmed for the record that torture is still practiced by the U.S. government.
Obama Admits He Banned Only “Some” of the CIA’s Torture Techniques
Fox Gives Liz Cheney A Platform To Attack Obama For Mentioning Torture
White House To Make Torture Report ‘Impossible To Understand’
Mike Lee, sophomore senator from the embarrassed state of Utah, gets a full, ten minute standing ovation with chants of “we like Mike”, “we like Mike!
With children and mothers all around, this man, who stood up against labor laws which have prevented children from child labor got a longer standing ovation then president Eisenhower probably ever got at a speech.
Watch as much as you can stand:
The YouTube videos of Sir. Lee saying that anti child labor laws are unconstitutional no longer exist, but there are at least two websites that are trying to provide them:
I was present at a “tea party” “event” at the State Capitol, took pictures, and gave this account on this blog. Mike Lee was there, running for office. There was so much wind blowing and the dust was so thick that all of us almost choked and an American flag hit me so hard, I almost got knocked out.
But there is a better account of the scope of the deceit. I only observed three buses, but the original Tea Party, which was a TRUE grass roots movement, got the story right:
We should band together!
Update: The Deseret News had this story: Hundreds rally for Sen. Mike Lee despite low approval numbers
From the article:
“I do not approve of him and I do not think he is fulfilling the best interests of his constituents,” said Mel Walker, who held a sign that, at one point, was ripped from her hands by Lee supporters.
Sounds about right. I lost numerous “IMPEACH BUSH” signs in that manner.
First of all, let’s remember where the so-called Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) came from. It was invented by the right-wing Heritage Foundation.
That was then, this is now. These days, Heritage president and former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint is on a campaign to convince Republicans to shut down the government in order to defund the Affordable Care Act. According to DeMint:
“This might be that last off-ramp to stop Obamacare before it becomes more enmeshed in our culture.” The law “is not about getting better health care,” he continued. Uninsured Americans “will get better health care just going to the emergency room.”
This was a myth when George W. Bush said it, and it’s still a myth.
The so-called “free” care at emergency rooms is a result of The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act or (EMTALA), which requires hospitals that accept Medicare or Medicaid funding to treat patients for emergency medical conditions regardless of legal status or ability to pay. But EMTALA only applies to medical emergencies like heart attacks or serious injury. It does not offer any treatment for chronic conditions, leaving the millions of Americans with diabetes who need regular access to medication to stay alive, or asthma patients, or women diagnosed with breast cancer without access to care.
The right-wing keeps saying “just go to the emergency room,” and there is not enough push-back on that from the reality-based community.
I am about out of energy for this week. But I do have the smoking remains of an irony meter sitting in the corner crying to be heard. And a tiny little mangled… something. Something Confucius might have called Ren. Something I almost forgot about. Read the rest of this entry »
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Peacefully grant the State of Utah to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
We the people of the great state of Utah, do see that in today’s world the Federal Government has not led our citizens justly and with honor. We therefore as free men and women of our great state do believe that it is time to take matter upon ourselves to ensure our continued freedom, and to enact our own laws and here buy govern ourselves without the federal government’s involvement in our internal matters from this day forward.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin: 1775
Created: Nov 11, 2012
[Typos in the original]
As of today, people from 40 states have filed petitions on whitehouse.gov asking to secede from the Union. Four of the petitions have already garnered the 25,000 signatures required for a presidential response, including Louisiana, Texas, and Florida — all members of the old Confederacy.
Next time a right-winger calls me a traitor, I’ll be sure to ask if they signed a secession petition!
UPDATE: Jon Stewart Mocks Secessionists: ‘Stop. Wait. Don’t Go.’ (VIDEO)
UPDATE: Twenty five percent of registered Republicans want their state to secede from the United States, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling.
The Bush administration cited MEK as a reason to invade Iraq
Four years after Sarah Palin famously accused then-candidate Barack Obama of “palling round with terrorists,” it can be said truthfully. Last Friday, news leaked that the U.S. State Department is going to remove the Iranian terrorist group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
MEK’s ideology is a mixture of Islam and Marxism with cult-like practices. The group once called itself “the People’s Holy Warriors of Iran.” They supported the Islamic revolution in Iran and later allied with the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. During the 1970s MEK conducted numerous attacks on American officials, including an attempted assassination of the U.S. ambassador in Tehran. Six Americans were killed. It has been listed as a terrorist organization since 1997. The MEK fought in the Iran-Iraq War, made use of chemical weapons, and brutally put down Iraqi Kurdish people in the early 1990s. The Bush administration cited Saddam’s support of MEK as a reason to invade Iraq, and the group was forcibly disarmed by the U.S. Army. In recent years, the MEK is believed to be involved in a wave of terrorist attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists.
The Obama administration’s decision was made with bipartisan support. MEK has many prominent U.S. political figures on its payroll, including Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani, Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, former National Security Advisers Frances Townsend and General James L. Jones, and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.
Note to all U.S. Attorneys: Everyone associated with MEK can be charged with providing material support for terrorism, a federal crime under the USA PATRIOT Act (18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B) punishable by 15 years in prison.
Now that the United States has de-listed the MEK as an international terrorist group, our government can overtly fund them to conduct terrorist attacks on Iran. According to some reports, MEK has received covert U.S. and Israeli assistance for years.
[W]ith the MEK, we have a group that, at least according to some reports, appears to have intensified its terrorism, and yet they are removed from the list. Why? Because now they are aligned against the prime enemy of the US and Israel – and working closely with those two nations – and are therefore, magically, no longer “terrorists.”
UPDATE: It’s official: U.S. Takes Iranian Exile Group MEK Off Terror List