Archive for September 25th, 2008

The Intersection

The AP tells a depressing-yet-somehow-familiar story:

The Iraqi prisoner had valuable intelligence, U.S. special forces believed, and they desperately wanted it. They demanded that expert American military trainers teach them the same types of abusive interrogation techniques that North Korea and Vietnamese forces once used against U.S. prisoners of war.

The trainers resisted, according to testimony prepared for a Senate hearing Thursday; the methods were intended to elicit confessions for propaganda use, rather than gather intelligence. They were overruled and ordered to demonstrate on the prisoner in September 2003, early in the war.

The interrogation went ahead before a lead trainer stepped in and stopped it. He and his team were sent home shortly thereafter.


“In far too many cases, we simply erred in pressing interrogation and interrogators beyond the edge of the envelope; as a result, interrogation was no longer an intelligence collection method; rather, it had morphed into a form of punishment for those who wouldn’t cooperate,” Col. Steven Kleinman said in his prepared testimony.

He headed the small team of military trainers from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency sent to Iraq in September 2003 to help special forces get more information from stubborn and resistant detainees.

“When presented with the choice of getting smarter or getting tougher, we chose the latter,” Kleinman stated.

This is the worst-case intersection of amorality and incompetence.  The Bush administration didn’t care about legality, decency, or even effectiveness – only cruelty and power.

Will we ever wash away the stain?

(h/t dakine)

September 25th, 2008 at 11:39pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Iraq,Prisoners,Republicans,Terrorism,Torture

Penultimate San Diego Air & Space Photoblogging

I think I have just enough Air & Space photos for one more post after this one.
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Return of the wee checkerboard plane.

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Ooo, spooky ghost plane…

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Not sure what kind of plane this was, but does it really matter?

September 25th, 2008 at 11:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: La Jolla/San Diego,Photoblogging

McCain’s Secret Tolerance

Hm, what to make of this…

The fainting couch is needed for Scott Tucker over at BlogCabin. He’s worked up over the reporting by Michelangelo Signorile and Mike Rogers about John McCain’s professionally closeted Senate chief of staff Mark Buse and the hypocrisy it represents, given the Republican nominee’s public anti-gay position on every major issue related to LGBT rights. (BTW, Mike Signorile has audio of an interview by Lisa Keen with yet another former Buse boyfriend who has gone on the record.)


If John McCain is personally inclusive, why can he not be so as a candidate? McCain might consider Buse a family friend and not fire him for being gay, but what about the young gay person working at a DQ with an anti-gay boss — he has no protections from getting axed if that boss learns of his employee’s orientation. It’s not inclusion when it only means the people in your inner circle.


[W]hat are you supposed to call someone who believe in tolerance on a one-to-one basis, but campaigns in support of anti-gay state marriage amendments, the continuation of DADT (“open homosexuality within the military services presents an intolerable risk to morale, cohesion, and discipline.”), hate crimes expansion, ENDA, etc.? A professional anti-gay personal homosexualist? Is that more accurate? Or perhaps…um, a hypocrite?

Hey, remember when Kerry and Biden said that they were personally opposed to abortion because of their Catholic faith, but they didn’t believe it was appropriate to impose their personal religious beliefs on the rest of America?  Maybe it’s the same with John McCain: He just doesn’t think it’s appropriate to impose his own personal tolerance on the rest of America.  And after all, isn’t that what tolerance is really all about?

September 25th, 2008 at 07:00am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Politics,Republicans,Teh Gay

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