Posts filed under 'Bush'

IOKIYAR In Action

Democratic opposition to domestic spying by a Republican president: 73%.  Democratic opposition to domestic spying by a Democratic president: 70%.

Republican opposition to domestic spying by a Republican president: 50%.  Republican opposition to domestic spying by a Democratic president: 77%.

Of course this refers only to Democratic and Republican voters.

August 17th, 2013 at 12:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Democrats,Obama,Politics,Polls,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers

With Democrats Like These…

Thank God we got those crazy security state Republicans out of the White House, right?

…Right?

December 13th, 2012 at 07:23am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Democrats,Obama,Terrorism,Wankers

Technically Not Hypocrisy

I mean, as long as Brownie is consistent in his support for slow and ineffectual responses to natural disasters, then who am I to criticize?

October 31st, 2012 at 07:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Obama,Republicans,Wankers

This Surprises… No One

Worst. President. Ever.

While [the pre-August 6 PDBs] are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

History will not be kind.  I just wish Bush’s punishment was something a little more… substantive than the scorn of future generations.

September 11th, 2012 at 11:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Terrorism,Wankers

The Joy Of Partisanship

One of my biggest disappointments since Obama’s election has been not just Obama’s despicable betrayal of Democratic ideals, but liberals and Democrats’ complete willingness to overlook those ideals simply because he’s nominally a member of the same team.  Conservatives did the exact same thing when Bush was president, but I had really hoped progressives were better than that.

When loyalty trumps principles, those principles become meaningless.  And right now neither party has any recognizable principles other than supreme executive power and blind loyalty to moneyed interests.

March 14th, 2012 at 07:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Foreign Policy,Obama,Politics,Prisoners,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers,War

I’m Not Sure They Thought This Through…

From a HuffPo story about how the peculiar Mormon practice of retroactively “baptizing” dead people (often Jews) as Mormons might affect the Florida GOP primary:

Any Mormon may baptize any person posthumously. Church members have performed the ritual on Buddha, Catholic popes, 9/11 hijackers, William Shakespeare, Joan of Arc, Elvis Presley, President Obama’s mother and even reportedly Jesus Christ.

So… That means that it was Mormons who attacked the United States on 9/11.  I can only assume Dubya didn’t know about this, otherwise he might have tried to invade Catholicism.

1 comment January 26th, 2012 at 07:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Religion,Romney,Terrorism,Weirdness

The Inspirer

April 1st is almost five months away, so I have to assume that James Rosen was dead serious when writing his ridiculous column about how George W. Bush deserves credit for “inspiring” the Arab Spring because he single-handedly created the idea that Arab countries can have democracy too.  Seriously, I’m not kidding.

The idea that Dubya’s Soaring Democracy Talk “inspired” Middle Eastern Muslims to do anything other than join al Qaeda is laughable and pathetic.  It’s like me taking credit for the Giants winning yesterday because I told them they just had to beat the Patriots.

November 7th, 2011 at 08:08am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Foreign Policy,Media,Republicans,Wankers

Oh No, Anything But That

Yeah, that sure would be a shame if the DOJ division in charge of upholding civil rights was staffed by people who actually believe in them.

As opposed to, y’know, the exact opposite.

September 14th, 2011 at 11:32am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Wankers

Because That Worked Out So Well The Last Time…

Andrea Tantaros brags about what an awesome decisive straight shooter Michele Bachmann is.  Um, our last president was a decisive straight shooter too, and the country still hasn’t recovered.  A decisive straight shooter is not such an asset when they’re wrong all the time, about everything.

Besides, I think she’s being unfair to Obama: He knows exactly what he wants, he just has to put on a show and pretend that he wants the exact opposite.  Then he pragmatically “compromises” back to his true position.

June 30th, 2011 at 11:26am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Media,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Windication!

As I predicted, Republicans are hailing the death of Osama bin Laden as a great victory forGeorge W. Bush.  Only.  Also.

Because, after all, without Dubya’s decision to use military force against terrorism, we never would have killed bin Laden… with a small strike force in a heavily-fortified compound in a military town in a country we didn’t invade.

And without Dubya’s decision to use torture against detainees, we never would have found him… after torture didn’t work.

So if the right wants to give Dubya credit for killing bin Laden three years after he left office, does this mean that they’re finally ready to give him credit for the deficit and economic slump too?

May 3rd, 2011 at 08:03am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Bush,Economy,Iraq,Obama,Palin,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism,Torture,Unemployment,Wankers,War

The 99.99% Doctrine

Why is it that the Cheney Doctrine dictates that “If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response”, yet we need a 99.99% level of certainty that climate change will completely disrupt the world as we know it before we can take even the most modest and incremental steps to reduce carbon emissions?

2 comments February 2nd, 2011 at 11:32am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Environment,Iran,Iraq,Politics,Republicans

Bush/Obama’s Great Triumph/Failure

So which is it?  Is the revolution in Egypt a soaring vindication of Dubya’s belief that the citizens of the Middle East yearn for democracy and freedom? Or is it a telling indictment of Obama’s weak Islamist-coddling foreign policy?

I don’t think it can be both, but maybe my brain just isn’t limber enough.

January 30th, 2011 at 01:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Foreign Policy,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Wankiw Of The Day

Dubya’s former economics adviser, Greg Mankiw, offers up some 100% bullshit right-wing talking points in the guise of “advice” for Obama on how to go along to get along with Republicans even better than he is already:

FOCUS ON THE LONG RUN Charles L. Schultze, chief economist for former President Jimmy Carter, once proposed a simple test for telling a conservative economist from a liberal one. Ask each to fill in the blanks in this sentence with the words “long” and “short”: “Take care of the ____ run and the ____ run will take care of itself.”

Mankiw then goes on to argue for Austerity Now!, and to explain that it’s the liberal economists who are shortsighted, not the conservative economists who had no problem with deficits when his boss was running them up, and who completely failed to predict the housing bubble and financial crisis.

THINK AT THE MARGIN Republicans worry about the adverse incentive effects of high marginal tax rates. A marginal tax rate is the additional tax that a person pays on an extra dollar of income.

From this perspective, many of the tax cuts you have championed look more like tax increases. For example, the so-called Making Work Pay Tax Credit is phased out for individuals making more than $75,000 a year. That is, because many Americans lose some of the credit as they earn more, the credit reduces their incentive to work. In effect, it is an increase in their marginal tax rate.

From the standpoint of incentives, a tax cut is worthy of its name only if it increases the reward for earning additional income.

Wow.  I think he just argued that the tax structure needs to be turned completely upside down, with marginal rates getting lower for the higher income levels, because people just won’t have any incentive to make more money if the government might take some of it.

Which makes perfect sense when you remember how the economy completely ground to a halt during the Eisenhower era of 91% marginal tax rates for the highest income brackets.  Yep, the rich just threw up their hands and stopped working, and everything just fell apart from there.

STOP TRYING TO SPREAD THE WEALTH Ever since your famous exchange with Joe the Plumber, it has been clear that you believe that the redistribution of income is a crucial function of government. A long philosophical tradition supports your view. It includes John Rawls’s treatise “A Theory of Justice,” which concludes that the main goal of public policy should be to transfer resources to those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

The goal is not to spread the wealth, the goal is to provide a safety net for the millions of people who are left out of your Ayn Randian free-market bonanza.  You callous soulless bastard.

SPREAD OPPORTUNITY INSTEAD Despite their rejection of spreading the wealth, Republicans recognize that times are hard for the less fortunate. Their solution is not to adjust the slices of the economic pie, as if they had been doled out by careless cutting, but to expand the pie by providing greater opportunity for all.

Since the mid-1970s, the gap between rich and poor has grown considerably. One of best analyses of this long-term trend is by the Harvard economics professors Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz in their book, “The Race Between Education and Technology.” The authors conclude that widening inequality is largely a symptom of the educational system’s failure to provide enough skilled workers to keep up with the ever increasing demand.

Educational reform, therefore, should be a high priority. To be sure, this is easier said than done. But research suggests that one key is getting rid of bad teachers. In a recent study, the economist Eric Hanushek says that “replacing the bottom 5 to 8 percent of teachers with average teachers could move the U.S. near the top of international math and science rankings.”

So instead of a safety net, all we have to do is make it easier to fire teachers, and maybe have some nice school vouchers too.  Yes, I’m sure that will totally fix the problem of their being five unemployed people for every job opening, because if those unemployed people are more educated that will just magically create more job openings.

Believe me, I’m all in favor of education and education reform, but I would rather see it done through a less localized funding base for public schools so that low-income areas aren’t permanently trapped in poverty because they don’t have enough of a revenue base to fund decent schools.  I would also like to see everyone get the opportunity to go to college without having to bury themselves in debt for the rest of their lives.

DON’T MAKE THE OPPOSITION YOUR ENEMY Last month, when you struck your tax deal with Republican leaders, you said you were negotiating with “hostage takers.” In the future, please choose your metaphors more carefully.

Republicans are not terrorists. They are not the enemy. Like you, they love their country, and they want what is best for the American people. They just have a different judgment about what that is.

No, they have a different judgment about who “the American people” are, i.e., corporations and the superrich.  They truly do not give one damn about the rest of us, and they’ve proved it again and again.

The only thing more painful than reading this dreck is picturing Obama reading it and thoughtfully nodding his head in agreement.

January 3rd, 2011 at 08:15am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Economy,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

DOJ’s Double Standard

Torture and destruction of evidence by the Bush administration: Bygones!

Wikileaks exposure of embarrassing information: Must be prosecuted at all costs, no matter how flimsy the case might be.

December 13th, 2010 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Dubya sure does love his waterboarding:

George W. Bush reveals in his memoir, Decision Points, that he personally waterboarded VP Dick Cheney.

(…)

“Dick was so in favor of waterboarding, that I thought he should experience himself to see what it was like.  He thought it was a very effective tool.”  Bush went on to say that after waterboarding Cheney as a “test” he used it on two other occasion to get the Vice President to keep his mouth shut on certain issues.

“Dick was making me look bad a few times with the press. He was too arrogant.  So, I had to waterboard him to get him to shut his pie hole!”

(…)

Dick Cheney, who hasn’t read Bush’s book yet, said that “Bush went a bit overboard with the waterboard stuff.  He got a little waterboard crazy.  He wanted everybody waterboarded, Andy Card, Karl Rove… one day he even wanted Laura waterboarded.  I’m sure he’s waterboarding his staff in Crawford to keep them in line.”

Bush said that when he sees Cheney next month at a conservative conference in New Orleans, ‘I’d love to take an hour or so and waterboard Dick again.  I had so much fun waterboarding Dick.  It was a hoot!”

Bush said that he, personally, was never waterboarded, but “if I ever do anything wrong, I wouldn’t mind.  But I’ve never done anything wrong.  I have no regrets.”

I just hope there aren’t any photos of Dick Cheney naked, wearing nothing but a hood and some electrodes…

November 10th, 2010 at 11:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Torture,Weekly World News

Karl Rove Hates Lightweights

I think it’s hilarious that the guy who masterminded George W. Bush’s rise to the White House is so offended by the idea of unqualified nitwits like Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell running for office, especially the oval one.  Maybe if he’d held that view 10-15 years ago we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.

October 28th, 2010 at 06:47pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Elections,Palin,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Wankers

Wanker Of The Decade

Bad enough that what Dubya misses most about the presidency is being “pampered” and having other people clean up after his dog, but now he tells us that his biggest regret is that he failed to subject Social Security to the cruel whims of the stock market.

That’s just lovely.  He misses being treated like a lord, and regrets that he couldn’t send more elderly people into poverty.  Nope, I still don’t miss him yet.  Not now, not ever.

October 22nd, 2010 at 01:01pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Politics,Republicans,Social Security,Wankers

Strategery! Part I

Steny Hoyer explains that the Democratic strategy this year will be to run against the disastrous Bush policies that the Democrats completely failed to oppose.  Combine that with a message about how the Democrats can’t get anything done because of Republican opposition, and that should be a winning message for sure.

July 14th, 2010 at 07:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Elections,Politics

Now They Tell Us…

As much as I would like to join Teddy in making fun of the conservative movement for relentlessly cheerleading the Bush administration when it was in power and now complaining that it wasn’t truly conservative, I can’t help but see parallels in all the progressives who are rationalizing and cheerleading Obama’s Republican healthcare bill, energy policies, and pretty much everything else.  Which is especially embarrassing because Obama is far more conservative than Bush was ever progressive.

I wonder, when they’re surveying the wreckage of the Obama administration 3-7 years from now, will his progressive apologists choose that moment to finally tell us that he failed because wasn’t really much of a progressive after all?

April 5th, 2010 at 07:16am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Democrats,Media,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Wankers

Rove Chides Self For Not Lying More Effectively

Poor Dubya – Karl really let him down:

While defending the administration’s handling of Iraq, Rove concedes that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction damaged the administration’s credibility. And he blames himself for failing to set the record straight.

“When the pattern of the Democratic attacks became apparent in July 2003, we should have countered in a forceful and overwhelming way,” he writes. “We should have seen this for what it was: a poison-tipped dagger aimed at the heart of the Bush presidency.”

If only he had done more to convince America that Iraq really did have WMDs.  Maybe he should have given Dubya’s little “Where are the WMDs?” sketch a happy ending or something.

March 4th, 2010 at 07:10am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Rove,Wankers,War

Same As The Old Boss

The more things change, the more they stay the same…

A Pomona College student filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging that he was abusively interrogated, handcuffed and detained for five hours at Philadelphia International Airport in August because he carried a set of English-Arabic flashcards as part of his college language studies.

(…)

According to the suit, George, a college senior from Montgomery County, Penn., majoring in physics and Middle Eastern studies, was returning to school when TSA screeners saw his flashcards. A supervisor asked him his views on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, whether he knew who carried them out and what language Osama bin Laden spoke, adding, “Do you see why these cards are suspicious?,” the suit alleged.

Apparently “Arabic” still automatically equals “terrorism”.

February 11th, 2010 at 11:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Obama,Terrorism

Environmentalist Of The Year

Osama bin Laden, who is so committed to the cause of preventing climate change that he’s willing to try to bring down the United States to save the Earth.  Awesome.

Of course, if he really wanted to do something constructive for the planet, perhaps he could have refrained from doing everything humanly possible to guarantee George W. Bush a second term…

(Also, there’s the little detail that taking down the US wouldn’t actually stop global warming.)

January 30th, 2010 at 01:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Environment,Terrorism,Wankers

Republican Strategy In A Nutshell

Hey, can you hold this flaming bag of shit for me?

Don’t worry, I’ll take it back and refill it when you’re done.

H/T J-Ro.

January 22nd, 2010 at 11:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans

Chickens, Meet Roost

Hey, remember all those no-bid contracts to reconstruct Iraq, and all the shoddy work by connected profiteers like Halliburton & KBR?  The Iraqis do.

Iraq’s Baghdad Trade Fair ended Tuesday, six years and a trillion dollars after the American invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, and one country was conspicuously absent.

That would be the country that spent a trillion dollars — on the invasion and occupation, but also on training and equipping Iraqi security forces, and on ambitious reconstruction projects in every province aimed at rebuilding the country and restarting the economy.

Yet when the post-Saddam Iraqi government swept out its old commercial fairgrounds and invited companies from around the world, the United States was not much in evidence among the 32 nations represented. Of the 396 companies that exhibited their wares, “there are two or three American participants, but I can’t remember their names,” said Hashem Mohammed Haten, director general of Iraq’s state fair company….

(…)

American companies are not seeing much lasting benefit from their country’s investment in Iraq. Some American businesses have calculated that the high security costs and fear of violence make Iraq a business no-go area. Even those who are interested and want to come are hampered by American companies’ reputation here for overcharging and shoddy workmanship, an outgrowth of the first years of the occupation, and a lasting and widespread anti-Americanism.

Apparently the Iraqis are not stupid.  Who knew?

1 comment November 13th, 2009 at 07:01am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq

Wanker Of The Day

Liz “Sprinkles” Sidoti apparently misses the good old days:

Obama has been a constant presence in the mass media as he expands the bureaucracy’s reach into the private sector…. In doing so, he has created a quandary. Put aside for a moment the question of whether government is actually intruding into people’s lives more than before. The point is that many people feel like it is — in part because Obama doesn’t stop talking about his goals. If President George W. Bush got slapped around for being inarticulate, is Obama obnoxiously articulate?

That was so awesome when Dubya hardly ever talked about his goals at all.  And everyone loved having a president who was an incoherent idiot and having one who is smooth and eloquent totally sucks!

October 15th, 2009 at 09:08pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Media,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Quote Of The Day

The comedic stylings of Dana Perino:

For two years, the Democrats have charged that Republicans are the “party of no,” and that’s grated on many nerves. Republicans have been talking about their proposals so much their faces are nearly blue. They’ve offered ideas to address the challenge of improving health care in America, but because they don’t have the bully pulpit and can’t get a word in edgewise, their ideas get lost.

Ah yes, those poor, poor Republicans, always ignored by the media, completely unable to ever get any coverage or appear on any of the talking head shows.

Special Bonus Quote:

As a good friend from North Carolina used to tell me, “Nobody likes change except a baby.”

That explains why Obama was crushed in a landslide defeat last year.  More than anything else, Americans want to maintain the status quo, because it’s TOTALLY AWESOME.

September 28th, 2009 at 07:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Media,Obama,Politics,Quotes,Republicans,Wankers

Wanker Of The Month

Shorter Broderella: Rule of law is too partisan.

First, let me stipulate that I agree on the importance of accountability for illegal acts and for serious breaches of trust by government officials — even at the highest levels. I had no problem with the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon, and I called for Bill Clinton to resign when he lied to his Cabinet colleagues and to the country during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

(…)

I am not persuaded by former vice president Dick Cheney’s argument that this is simply political revenge by the now-dominant Democrats against their Republican predecessors. For all the previously stated reasons, there is ample justification for seeking answers apart from any partisan motive.

Nonetheless, I think it is a matter of regret that Holder asked prosecutor John H. Durham to review the cases of the agents accused of abusive tactics toward some captives.

I realize this is a preliminary investigation, not a decision to prosecute anyone. And if it were to stop at that point, no great harm would have been done. But it is the first step on a legal trail that could lead to trials — and that is what gives me pause.

Cheney is not wrong when he asserts that it is a dangerous precedent when a change in power in Washington leads a successor government not just to change the policies of its predecessors but to invoke the criminal justice system against them.

Not investigating or prosecuting war crimes is kind of a dangerous precedent, too…

Looming beyond the publicized cases of these relatively low-level operatives is the fundamental accountability question: What about those who approved of their actions? If accountability is the standard, then it should apply to the policymakers and not just to the underlings. Ultimately, do we want to see Cheney, who backed these actions and still does, standing in the dock?

Well yes.

In times like these, the understandable desire to enforce individual accountability must be weighed against the consequences. This country is facing so many huge challenges at home and abroad that the president cannot afford to be drawn into what would undoubtedly be a major, bitter partisan battle over prosecution of Bush-era officials. The cost to the country would simply be too great.

Accountability is just too hard and it’ll make the Republicans upset, so why bother.  Now, a witch hunt against a Democratic president for getting a blow job, that’s okay.

When President Ford pardoned Nixon in 1974, I wrote one of the few columns endorsing his decision, which was made on the basis that it was more important for America to focus on the task of changing the way it would be governed and addressing the current problems. It took a full generation for the decision to be recognized by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and others as the act of courage that it had been.

Awesome.  Can you imagine what kind of mess this country would be in if Nixon had been held accountable instead of getting off scot free and allowed to rehabilitate his image as a statesman?  Why, it might even have discredited anyone who worked in his administration, and I don’t know if our country could afford such a terrible loss.

September 3rd, 2009 at 07:21am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Media,Republicans,Torture,Wankers

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Once again, the Weekly World News gets there first:

Dick Cheney is writing his memoirs. Weekly World News has acquired an advance look at the torrid tale of his relationship with President Bush.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney surprised the world by saying he would publish a memoir. For years he has been famous for his obsession with privacy. Now, turning a new leaf, the former Vice President has been seen walking along the beach handwriting his book while sipping mint juleps. He writes everything down in cursive on parchment, a detail he says his publishers must recreate in the release of the book.

The book is set to focus on his relationship with President Bush, describing first their interdependent closeness which in time turned into a cold distance. He writes “it was a cold day that October morning. I came in for the morning briefing with an extra mocha latte for George. It took an extra twenty minutes out of my morning, but he liked them and I know he’s been under stress. I went to hand it to him, but he didn’t notice. He was too busy reading popularity polls. ‘Here you go Mister President, your favorite.’ All he could be bothered to say was a quick ‘Thanks’ before going back to his paper. I felt so stupid, standing there waiting for his approval. Quickly I excused myself from the Oval Office, went in the bathroom and cried. I was so mad, so hurt, I wanted to shoot a man in the face.”

Later in the book he writes “Things had been so different between us, I didn’t know who he was anymore. It was like those days on the ranch had never happened. Where was the warm cowboy who never cared what people thought and would laugh with me while starting a war. Standing in front of me was a Washington apologist who lived and died by his approval polls. Had that man even existed? Was it all just a beautiful dream? No. It was real. I knew because I still had the flower in my breast pocket. The one he gave me.”

It’s a sad, touching, beautiful story.

August 19th, 2009 at 11:31am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Weekly World News

What. I’ve. Been. Saying. (Again)

Almost four years ago, I observed that “Bush’s claim that he had to take extraordinary measures to fight terror is at odds with his resolute unwillingness to take ordinary measures against terror.”  Apparently the intel inspectors general agree with me:

We’ve known for years that the Bush administration ignored and broke the law repeatedly in the name of national security. It is now clear that many of those programs could have been conducted just as easily within the law — perhaps more effectively and certainly with far less damage to the justice system and to Americans’ faith in their government.

That is the inescapable conclusion from a devastating report by the inspectors general of the intelligence and law-enforcement community on President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program. The report shows that the longstanding requirement that the government obtain a warrant was not hindering efforts to gather intelligence on terrorists after the 9/11 attacks. In fact, the argument that the law was an impediment was concocted by White House and Justice Department lawyers after Mr. Bush authorized spying on Americans’ international communications.

(…)

So why break the law, again and again? Two things seem disturbingly clear. First, President Bush and his top aides panicked after the Sept. 11 attacks. And second, Mr. Cheney and his ideologues, who had long chafed at any legal constraints on executive power, preyed on that panic to advance their agenda.

It is absolutely criminal that these people are not being treated as criminals.

July 17th, 2009 at 09:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans,Terrorism,Torture,Wankers

Tell Me Again Why I Voted For Obama

This is just horrrible:

The Obama administration has objected to a provision in the 2010 defense funding bill currently before the Senate that would bar the military’s use of contractors to interrogate detainees.

The provision, strongly backed by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), describes interrogations as an “inherently governmental function” that “cannot be transferred to contractor personnel.” It would give the Defense Department one year from the bill’s enactment to ensure that the military had the resources to comply with it.

(…)

Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates “are as serious as a heart attack on this,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Fantastic.  Because that whole contract interrogators idea worked out sooo well.

This moment, in which the Attorney General of the United States claims to be considering the possibility of allowing our laws against torture to be enforced seems a good one in which to reveal that I have seen over 1,200 torture photos and a dozen videos that are in the possession of the United States military. These are photographs depicting torture, the victims of torture, and other inhuman and degrading treatment. Several videos show a prisoner intentionally slamming his head face-first very hard into a metal door. Guards filmed this from several angles rather than stopping it.

(…)

Were these Abu Ghraib photos all made public, but those from other times and places kept hidden, and were we unaware of the executive orders, Justice Department memos, presidential signing statements, congressional reports, Red Cross reports, presidential and vice presidential televised confessions, and so forth, the military could still claim this was the isolated work of a few “bad apples”. But we would have a better understanding of what that work was. And making these images available to the public, or merely to a special prosecutor, would suggest an interest in seeking accountability for those responsible but not present in the photographs. On the other hand, hiding the evidence while prosecuting the soldiers who posed in some of the photos looks increasingly like scapegoating for the benefit of the Military Intelligence, CIA, and contractors who instructed the soldiers, as well as the commanders all the way up to the Secretary of Defense who encouraged torture, the lawyers who sought to provide immunity, and the president and vice president who gave the authorizations….

I very much hope that AG Holder is allowed to pursue his investigation into this, but given the administration’s stance on contractors, it’s pretty hard to imagine that he won’t find some excuse to avoid it, or else just quietly drop it or turn it into a whitewash.

Obama is doing a really piss-poor job of earning my trust.  In fact, at this point it would be more accurate to say that he’s earning my distrust.

July 16th, 2009 at 10:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Iraq,Obama,Torture,Wankers

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