Posts filed under 'War'

Great Moments In Journalism

Jeffrey Goldberg discovers that people who were tortured by Saddam Hussein think that the US deposing him was a good thing.  Such insightful reporting, and such a surprising result!

April 9th, 2013 at 11:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Media,Wankers,War

Selectively Small Government

Funny how Republicans and conservatives are all about small government when it comes to guns, regulating or taxing rich people and corporations, or helping the poor, the sick, and the elderly, yet they can’t get enough government when it comes to voting and registration requirements, security theater, domestic spying, immigrants, drug laws, prisons, abortion, or anything to do with the military.

Why, it’s almost as if “small government” is just a convenient excuse for letting moneyed interests have whatever they want at the expense of everyone else, rather than a bedrock principle conservatives sincerely believe in.

September 5th, 2012 at 07:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Prisoners,Republicans,Taxes,Terrorism,Unemployment,Wankers,War

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

The One Topic On Which Pat Buchanan Is Good

The money quote:

How have Americans benefited from all this war? How have the Chinese suffered these 20 years by not having been in on the action?

Excellent questions, for which I have yet to hear answers.

February 29th, 2012 at 07:56am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Foreign Policy,Iraq,Republicans,War

Why I Can’t Support Obama

Glenn Greenwald and Taylor Marsh helpfully explain why it is impossible to view Obama as a Democrat in any meaningful way other than “less insane and slightly less awful than the Republican candidates”.

No, I’m not going to support Ron Paul or any of the other Republican candidates, but as Taylor Marsh puts it, “Pres. Obama has helped Democrats deliver a climate that this party has threatened since the ’70s would happen if I didn’t vote for them.”

January 3rd, 2012 at 07:11am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Choice,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Foreign Policy,Obama,Politics,Prisoners,War

Simple Answers To Simple Questions

Was it worth it?


June 29th, 2011 at 07:59am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Economy,Iraq,War


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

Joe Lieberman: Warmonger, Liar Or Sexist?

Okay, I know he’s all three, but which is he more?

Just as the sun always rises in the east, so too does Joe Lieberman always lie about Iraq and WMD.

This morning Lieberman told Morning Joe that:

LIEBERMAN: …the evidence is very clear that [Saddam] was developing weapons of mass destruction…Charles Duelfer conducted the most comprehensive report on behalf of our government…he found, and proved I think, that Saddam…was developing chemical and biological weapons.

Lieberman followed up this embarrassing performance with snide condescension toward Arianna Huffington, who was also on the program:

HUFFINGTON: Well, based on this completely unfounded assumption, I sincerely hope for the sake of the country that you do not become Secretary of Defense.LIEBERMAN: Now Arianna, these are not unfounded. Go read the Duelfer Report.

HUFFINGTON: There is nothing in the report that proves anything that you have said.

LIEBERMAN: I don’t think you’ve read it, sweetheart.

Wow.  That is a virtuoso performance right there.  Good fucking riddance to this evil tool.  (Click through for more detail on just how dishonest Lieberman is about WMDs and the Duelfer report)

January 21st, 2011 at 11:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Lieberman,Politics,Sexism,Wankers,War

False Equivalency Of The Day

Floyd Abrams, comparing the WikiLeaks cables to the Pentagon Papers:

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg decided to make available to the New York Times (and then to other newspapers) 43 volumes of the Pentagon Papers, the top- secret study prepared for the Department of Defense examining how and why the United States had become embroiled in the Vietnam conflict. But he made another critical decision as well. That was to keep confidential the remaining four volumes of the study describing the diplomatic efforts of the United States to resolve the war.

Not at all coincidentally, those were the volumes that the government most feared would be disclosed. In a secret brief filed with the Supreme Court, the U.S. government described the diplomatic volumes as including information about negotiations secretly conducted on its behalf by foreign nations including Canada, Poland, Italy and Norway. Included as well, according to the government, were “derogatory comments about the perfidiousness of specific persons involved, and statements which might be offensive to nations or governments.”

The diplomatic volumes were not published, even in part, for another dozen years. Mr. Ellsberg later explained his decision to keep them secret, according to Sanford Ungar’s 1972 book “The Papers & The Papers,” by saying, “I didn’t want to get in the way of the diplomacy.”

Julian Assange sure does. Can anyone doubt that he would have made those four volumes public on WikiLeaks regardless of their sensitivity? Or that he would have paid not even the slightest heed to the possibility that they might seriously compromise efforts to bring a speedier end to the war?

Can anyone tell me which war Assange has delayed the end of?  Was there anything in the diplomatic cables he released that will prolong our occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan?

1 comment December 30th, 2010 at 07:07am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Iraq,Politics,Wankers,War

David Broder Is Morally Bankrupt And Stupid

He actually believes that war with Iran, or at least the serious threat of it, is the best possible way to stimulate our economy.  As David Swanson points out, he’s completely full of it… as usual.

Swanson also reminds us how very much more Europeans get in return for their supposedly crushing tax burden, and how much we’re being hurt by our politicians’ stubborn refusal to even contemplate cutting our massive defense budget instead of Social Security.

November 1st, 2010 at 07:52am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Economy,Iran,Iraq,Media,Unemployment,Wankers,War

Juxtaposition Of The Day

Item 1:

A Defense Department survey of military service members finds that a majority of them would not object to serving alongside openly gay troops, according to multiple people familiar with the findings.

Item 2:

An Air Force Academy survey found that 41 percent of cadets who identified themselves as non-Christian said they were subjected to unwanted proselytizing at least once or twice last year.

Tell me again who it is that’s undermining morale and unit cohesion?

1 comment October 29th, 2010 at 07:59am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Polls,Religion,Teh Gay,War

The War On Terror Really Is Global!

Joe “You lie!” Wilson defends himself against his opponent’s accusations that he’s taking vacations at the taxpayers’ expense:

In one ad, Miller accuses Wilson of taking congressional junkets to locales such as France, Costa Rica, Greece, and Italy.

Wilson said Tuesday the trips “were all military trips to support our troops in combat zones and to show respect for veterans. Every trip that I’ve been on has been to support our military. It’s been with the Foreign Affairs Committee to learn of how I can back up our efforts to make sure our troops are protected around the world.”

He added, “When you arrive in country and you are presented body armor, this is not a vacation. Obviously, I consider it an insult to me, it’s an insult to our troops. If I’m on vacation (visiting the troops) the implication is the troops are on vacation. They are not. They’re defending the families here at home, by defeating the terrorists overseas.”

Ah yes, the deadly combat zones of France, Costa Rica, Greece and Italy.  Rob Miller should be applauding Wilson for his courage in visiting these dangerously unstable locales!

Oh, and bonus chutzpah points for pretending Miller’s ad insults the troops more than using them as vacation props does.  Well played.

October 21st, 2010 at 05:57pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers,War

If You’ve Got Nothing To Hide…

Google’s Eric Schmidt thinks online anonymity is too “dangerous” to be allowed:

Speaking on a panel at the event, Schmidt argued that anonymity on the Internet is dangerous. “In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you,” he said.

Schmidt took the stance that governments may eventually put an end to anonymity. “We need a [verified] name service for people,” he said. “Governments will demand it.”

He expanded on his thoughts in a separate interview.


“[I]f you are trying to commit a terrible, evil crime, it’s not obvious that you should be able to do so with complete anonymity. There are no systems in our society which allow you to do that. Judges insist on unmasking who the perpetrator was. So absolute anonymity could lead to some very difficult decisions for our governments and our society as a whole and I don’t think we want that either.”

This sounds an awful lot like arguing that the police should have everyone’s DNA and fingerprints on file because we’re all potential criminals.

August 11th, 2010 at 07:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Technology,War

Keep On Winning Those Hearts And Minds

Yes, this sounds like just the kind of guy we need running CentCom…

General James Mattis, the current head of the US Joint Forces Command and who previously led troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, had widely been tipped as the next head of Central Command. President Barack Obama must formalise the nomination, which then goes to Congress for approval.

“You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Centcom, as it is known, oversees operations in a volatile swathe of the world that covers 20 countries and stretches from Egypt across the Middle East and into south and central Asia.

Robert Gates, the defence secretary, praised the four-star general as “one of the military’s most innovative and iconoclastic thinkers.”

Mr Gates also dismissed concerns about his 2005 comments, saying Mattis had learned his lesson.

Gen Mattis was reprimanded at the time by the Marine Corps for telling a conference in San Diego, California: “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up front with you, I like brawling.”

During a discussion panel he said: “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil.

Fantastic.  So out gays can’t serve in the military at all, but out sociopaths can become four-star generals and be put in charge of two simultaneous wars.

July 9th, 2010 at 11:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Iraq,Wankers,War

Antiwar Crusader Glenn Beck

If I had to guess at the turning point at which Glenn Beck began to have serious doubts about war and out-of-control military spending, I would bet that it was the inauguration of Barack Obama.  And as soon as we get a Republican warmonger back in the White House, I expect he will suddenly be okay with it again.

3 comments April 20th, 2010 at 11:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Iraq,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,War

Lament Of The Day

If the Catholic Church were as tolerant and protective toward gays as they are toward pedophiles, same-sex marriage would be legal in every state by now.

And if it were as committed to peace and compassion as it is to outlawing abortions, we probably wouldn’t have invaded Iraq, and the healthcare reform bill would have contained a public option at the very least.

1 comment March 27th, 2010 at 11:08am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Choice,Corruption/Cronyism,Healthcare,Iraq,Politics,Religion,Republicans,Teh Gay,Wankers,War

Upping The Ante Against DADT Repeal

Accusing gay troops of damaging unit cohesion is so 2009.  If you really want to make the case against DADT repeal, accuse them of allowing genocide.


March 19th, 2010 at 11:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Teh Gay,Wankers,War

No One Could Have Anticipated

Because only gay officers would ever sexually harass their subordinates…

Rep. Massa, an upstate Democrat, resigned his seat after admitting to “inappropriate” behavior with young male aides – groping and unwanted advances, the complaints alleged – that he described as a carry-over from his days as a career Navy officer.

Then former shipmates emerged last week with stories that Massa tried to grope, “snorkel” and ogle those of lesser rank.

“It’s a cautionary tale” of a superior officer allegedly seeking to prey upon subordinates that argues against repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, said Elaine Donnelly, head of the anti-repeal Center for Military Readiness.

“That kind of abuse would become far more frequent” if gays were allowed to serve openly, Donnelly said.

That is such homophobic bullshit, right up there with all the arguments against gay priests/teachers/scoutmasters that equate homosexuality with pedophilia.  There has never been any shortage of straight sexual harassers, and tolerance for gay servicemembers doesn’t mean tolerance for abusive ones.

March 15th, 2010 at 07:03am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans,Teh Gay,Wankers,War

Epic Optics Fail

Sure, that’s a great idea to publicly embrace a company whose reputation is so corrupt and bloody that it had to CHANGE ITS NAME.  How could that possibly backfire?

The Republican National Committee plans to hold an April fundraiser at a Moyock, N.C. compound owned by the military contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater, Politico reports.

According to an RNC fundraising document uncovered on Wednesday, RNC “Young Eagles” — party major donors under 40 — will meet at the facility in the spring.


It was recently reported that Blackwater employees took hundreds of firearms from both the U.S. Mmilitary and Afghan police forces using the South Park alias “Eric Cartman.”

Brilliant!  Hey, maybe KBR can handle the lighting.

March 4th, 2010 at 08:30pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,War

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

Maybe Now Someone Will Do Something

It never used to be a big deal that our children are overweight and undereducated, but maybe that will change now that we’re confronted with the horrifying cost of our neglect:

The biggest long-term threat to U.S. national security might not be terrorists or weapons of mass destruction. According to a group of military leaders, it’s homegrown obesity, ignorance and criminality, which together make seven of 10 target-age recruits ineligible to serve in the American armed forces.

“It’s not just disturbing. It’s a call to action,” James A. Kelly, former deputy assistant secretary of defense, said Thursday during a telephone news conference from Washington.

Kelly is one of nearly 100 former and current military leaders who came together last year to form an organization called Mission: Readiness to draw attention to the status of potential recruits. In a study it calls “Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve,” the group says Pentagon analysts have concluded that 75 percent of people ages 17 to 24 could not qualify for military service because they are obese or have some other health problem, lack a high school diploma or have a serious criminal history.

Won’t someone please think of the military?

3 comments November 7th, 2009 at 02:25pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Education,Politics,War

The Absurdity Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Exhibit 267

“I am gay” gets you discharged immediately, but “I am autistic” doesn’t.

Also: Epic Recruiting Fail.

(h/t La Lisa)

July 6th, 2009 at 07:33am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Teh Gay,Wankers,War

Epic Messaging Fail

This is just foolish on so many levels:

Democrats plan a July 4th ad campaign to punish House Republicans who voted against the $100-plus billion Iraq and Afghanistan war supplemental — emulating GOP attacks against John Kerry and other Dems who voted against Bush war bills.

A series of 60-second radio ads will run during drive time from July 1 through July 8, according to a script provided to POLITICO — and they have the support-our-troops ring of GOP spots.

They’ll target seven Republicans seen as vulnerable in ’10, including Reps. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R-Pa..), Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Mike McCaul (R-Texas), Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

The Terry script:

Around here, we recognize Independence Day with parades … and picnics … maybe a few fireworks. But July Fourth is about more than that.

It’s about remembering those who fought for our freedoms. And those still fighting today.

Congressman Lee Terry used to understand that.

When George Bush asked, Congressman Terry voted to fully fund our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, last year he said, quote, “We must give our military every resource it needs.”

Seems like Congressman Terry is playing politics now …

Last month Congressman Terry voted AGAINST funding for those same troops.

It’s true: vote No. 348 – you can look it up.

“Republicans never hesitated to criticize those who voted against the previous supplemental bills that included funding for the troops, but now that they are trying to score political points, Republicans’ votes have conveniently changed,” said DCCC executive director Jon Vogel.

Yes, I appreciate the “Were you lying then or are you lying now” gotcha here, but do the Democrats really want to brand themselves as the Stay-In-Iraq-Forever Party?  They could have easily circumvented that pitfall – and secured a lot more progressive Democrat votes – by simply including a withdrawal timeline, but they didn’t, and I still don’t understand why.  After all, Obama did provide such a timeline during his presidential campaign, is it no longer operative now?  Why raise doubts about his stated commitment to get us out of Iraq, especially when it came so close to making the supplemental unpassable?

Of course, even if the supplemental hadn’t been written by morons ($108 billion to bail out the IMF?  WTF?), we’re still left with the Democratic Party embracing the GOP’s voting-against-war-funding/war-prolonging-is-like-personally-shooting-the-troops-in-the-head framing.  And while there is some poetic justice to seeing Republicans hoist by their own petard, it’s really not an argument our side should be validating.  I can’t wait to see the 2010 campaigns against Terry et al. where the Democratic challengers make a big deal about how the Republicans refused to vote to prolong the war.  I’m sure that’ll go over well.

June 27th, 2009 at 11:46am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Iraq,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,War

The Most Important Legislation EVAR!

According to Joe Lieberman and his BFF Lindsey Graham, there is no higher legislative priority than ensuring that photographic evidence of war crimes never sees the light of day.

It is so heartwarming to see someone standing up for the torturers.  Truly, they are an inspiration to us all.

June 9th, 2009 at 09:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,Lieberman,Politics,Republicans,Torture,Wankers,War

I Mean, Aside From That…

If only there were some way to reduce suicides among our combat troops – but how?

For more than two hours, Chiarelli, Army personnel chief Lt. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle and a roomful of other generals combed through the facts surrounding a dozen of the Army’s latest suicides, with commanders from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa and bases throughout the United States participating in a video teleconference.

Such meetings are one piece of a broader effort to arrest the Army’s rising suicide rate, which has surged to record levels in the past year. In 2008, 140 soldiers on active duty took their own lives, continuing a trend in which the number of suicides has increased more than 60 percent since 2003, surpassing the rate for the general U.S. population.

To deal with the problem, the Army has added to the ranks of mental health and substance abuse counselors. The service also required all units to cease operations for two to four hours to talk about suicide prevention in February and March.

Chiarelli’s monthly meetings are the Army’s way of sleuthing out patterns and identifying new policies to deal with the trend. In the most recent meeting, conducted last week, commanders were brutally candid about what went wrong — a mental health screener who missed signs of distress; the failure to take notice when a normally reliable infantryman with three combat tours didn’t show up for an Army school; the dangerous interactions of drugs, dispensed to help soldiers deal with combat stress, with caffeine and alcohol.

It’s too bad there isn’t some easily identifiable root cause behind this alarming trend…

Many soldiers are now in the midst of their third or fourth combat tour, and Army surveys show that mental health deteriorates with each one. Senior Army officials said they are focusing more resources, including extra mental health counselors, where troops are returning from multiple deployments. This year, Fort Campbell, Ky., which is home to the frequently deployed 101st Airborne Division, has had 14 suicides.

“We probably don’t know how many mental health care providers we need after eight years of war and three and four deployments,” Chiarelli said.

I guess it’ll always be a mystery.

(Am I the only one who thinks this is like reading about managers at an unshielded nuclear power plant trying to figure out how to reduce the incidences of cancer among their staff?)

1 comment May 23rd, 2009 at 12:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,War

So Is That, Like, $1 Million Per Electrocution?

Well, this is disgusting yet unsurprising:

The U.S. Army paid “tens of millions of dollars in bonuses” to KBR Inc, its biggest contractor in Iraq, even after it concluded the firm’s electrical work had put U.S. soldiers at risk, according to a source close to a U.S. congressional investigation.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee plans to hold a hearing on Wednesday to examine KBR’s operations in Iraq, and question why the Army rewarded the Houston-based company.

The panel says KBR has been linked to at least two, and as many as five, electrocution deaths of U.S. soldiers and contractors in Iraq due to “shoddy work.”

Investigators believe hundreds of other soldiers may have received electrical shocks, the source added. The Army is investigating.


Military reports have criticized KBR’s work in Iraq in recent years. Yet afterward, the company received “tens of millions of dollars in bonuses,” said the source, who declined to be identified.

“We want to know why,” the source said.

Um… bonuses are supposed to be a reward for exemplary work, right?  Perhaps the military has adopted the same standards as the corporate world applies to executives.  Electrocute some troops, run a company into the ground, good job, here’s your bonus.

I hope the committee invites some family members of troops who were electrocuted – I’m sure they’ll be very interested in hearing why that warranted a financial reward.

1 comment May 20th, 2009 at 11:54am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,War

Don’t Bogart That Suffering

And all this time, I thought suffering was a bad thing:

Suffering is a gift, not a problem.  It’s temporal happiness that’s a curse. When life is easy and unthreatened, the cancer of self-centered contentment can take over our spiritual life.  When that happens, suffering is the greatest gift that God can impart to us.


Isn’t it ironic that our happiness-seeking American culture is doing all in its power to avoid suffering–the true source of blessing?  We even do it through bailouts, and printing endless streams of fiat money. We want happiness without difficulty, the good life without pain.  But that pursuit will also mean life without God, character, heaven, or true peace. Self-centered worldly avoidance of pain is killing our spiritual and corporate life.  Only the gift of suffering can awaken us and point us to the true source of blessedness.

Okay, I’m sold: Suffering is Teh Awesome.  But why should its benefits be limited to ordinary citizens and those lucky duckies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Hellraiser movies?  Shouldn’t the upper classes be allowed to share in its blessings too?  Surely we owe them some tax increases at the very least.  True, it might deprive the lower and middle classes of some of their suffering, but they’ve had so much that they can afford to sacrifice a little for the sake of fairness.

And what about those noble heroes who have selflessly spread so much suffering to so many?  They’re entitled to a better reward than the curse of wealth, power, and permanent comfort.  Surely we can give the Masters Of The Universe who crashed the economy the gift of unemployment or at least steep pay cuts – maybe even jail time for the truly worthy.  And it would be churlish not to offer the torturers and war architects of the Bush administration prolonged prison sentences as a token of appreciation for all the concentrated suffering they’ve bestowed upon the world.

Of course, their natural modesty and humility will require them to protest this largesse as simply too generous, but we really must insist.  It’s the least we can do for them after all they’ve done for us.

It’s their due.

May 16th, 2009 at 01:39pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Iraq,Media,Torture,Wankers,War

It’s Not A Bug, It’s A Feature

As I’ve said before, the fact that torture does not provide actionable intelligence was never a deterrent for the Bush administration, since they were a lot more interested in propagandizable intelligence.  False confessions are what torture gets you, and that’s just exactly what BushCo. wanted:

“There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used,” the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity.

“The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there.”

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubeida at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Mohammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document.

Jim White actually speculated about this on Sunday, and now it’s confirmed.

Amazingly enough, Zubeida and KSM were able to resist – possibly because they had no idea what their torturers were talking about.  And in the end, it didn’t really matter, since we ended up invading Iraq anyway.

April 22nd, 2009 at 06:12am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Prisoners,Republicans,Terrorism,Torture,War

Conservatives Switch Sides In War On Terror

Apparently it is now unacceptable for the DHS to focus on violent extremists if even a handful of them are troops and veterans.

Republicans are now arguing that, for politically correct and politically expedient reasons, we should ignore this possible domestic terror threat identified by George Bush’s FBI and George Bush’s Department of Defense.

I understand that it’s politically correct, and fun political fodder, for Republicans to express false outrage over a new Department of Homeland Security report that noted, among other things, that right-wing extremists were trying to recruit US military members. But are the Republicans really now saying that Homeland Security should not keep an eye on terrorists’ efforts to recruit former US military members?

Yes, they are.


The Bush administration’s FBI and DOD documents thousands of cases of US soldiers being members of far-right extremist groups. Yet the Republicans are now saying that our anti-terror organizations should not keep an eye on this potential domestic terror threat because it wouldn’t be politically correct.

….Republicans don’t think the Dept. of Homeland Security should be paying any attention at all to domestic terrorists’ efforts to recruit members of the US military, because they think “defending the military” will earn them political points, even if it means risking another Oklahoma City style terrorist attack, killing hundreds of thousands of Americans in the process. Saving the country from another Great Depression or another major terrorist attack has taken a back seat to earning political points.

In other news, prominent conservatives have objected to repeated descriptions of the sky as “blue,” arguing that it is the height of presumption to claim that the heavens themselves lean Democratic.  House Minority Leader John Boehner has demanded an immediate halt to this baseless attack on the Republican Party’s legitimacy.

April 16th, 2009 at 08:44pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans,Terrorism,War

I Agree With Newt!

He may not be right in quite the way he thinks, but he’s right all right:

Reacting to President Barack Obama’s speech in Prague, Gingrich called the plan for a Global Summit on Nuclear Security a “wonderful fantasy idea,” saying Russia and other nations can’t be trusted.

“What are they going to promise, and why would we believe them?” Gingrich said. “It’s very dangerous to have a fantasy foreign policy, and it can get you in enormous trouble.”

That is so true.  Look what happened when we had a foreign policy based on the idea that you can bully, bluster, and invade countries to make them do anything you want.

April 5th, 2009 at 01:24pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Foreign Policy,Iraq,Republicans,War

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