Protect our protectors

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So let's sum it up.

The Obama administration wants to close the enemy combatant prison at Guantanamo Bay, doesn't want us to use the words "war on terror," and has suspended the trials of suspected terrorists.

Yet, the administration has released secret memos detailing U.S. interrogation methods for our enemies to digest and adjust to, and is on a witch hunt to demonize and possibly indict the people who were trying to protect us.

Could our enemies have asked for more?

Talk about torture: The Obama administration seems prepared to beat the United States over the head, flog the Bush administration - and stab our intelligence officials in the back - by creating a Nuremberg-style climate surrounding our interrogations of some of the world's most ruthless terrorists.

We're not yet convinced that any of the enhanced interrogations met a reasonable definition of torture. But the self-loathing far left is certain that this country is bad, and that any loud music or physical discomfort the detainees experienced is "torture."

The techniques include forced nudity, sleep deprivation, cramped confinement, waterboarding (which has been part of some U.S. military training) and putting an insect such as a caterpillar inside a suspect's enclosure.

Certainly compared to what our enemies have done, this is hardly torture - which is normally described as leading to severe or lasting injury.

"Let's not get too sanctimonious about how awful it was that we indulged in these techniques," says commentator Christopher Buckley, "after watching nearly 3,000 innocent Americans endure god-awful deaths at the hands of religious fanatics who would happily have detonated a nuclear bomb if they had gotten their mitts on one."

Moreover, if extreme measures that don't result in injury protected perhaps hundreds of thousands of American lives, they are inarguably useful.

Bush-era memos detailing the valuable information extracted from the world's worst terrorists have not been released, interestingly enough; no sense in embarrassing the terrorists, who sang like a little girls' choir. But Obama's own Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has said the interrogations yielded "high-value" information - information that one can easily presume saved American lives while causing the terrorists some discomfort.

Yet, the hysteria is building for possible indictments of top Bush administration officials, including lawyers who advised the administration and CIA.

What damage will such a witch hunt do to current and future intelligence gathering, if our agents in the field and those advising them have to fear an ungrateful nation and a political show-trial for their trouble?

The president could have nipped all this hysteria in the bud, if he had just stuck to his initial policy of looking forward, not backward. Within a day he was washing his hands of the whole issue, leaving it in the lap of his attorney general - red meat for the frothy left.

This is too important to delegate. The president needs to protect the people who protect us. Institute whatever interrogation policies you want going forward. But don't change the rules after the game is over and hold our protectors to standards that weren't in force at the time.

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 02:36 am
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Obama's methods of protecting

Obama's methods of protecting our country were already tried by the Clinton administration...except the part about acting like a third world leader. We wound up with two attacks on the world trade center, the second of which was disastrous. Now America gets to live through the same thing all over again. Thank you MTV and socialist voters. So this is the change you can believe in. Wouldn't you have preferred a change that was an improvement? Didn't all of this happen just 76 years ago in Germany?

GGpap
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GGpap 04/24/09 - 02:37 am
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ACES, "Certainly compared to

ACES, "Certainly compared to what our enemies have done," ah, I see, another, he did it too PLAYGROUND RETORT! Water boarding, which was authorized by the Bush administration and documented as well, was outlawed by the U.S. Congress in 1947, and several Japanese military personnel were tried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years following WWII. One source, discussing this issue can be read in the Washington Post, 10/5/06, "In 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer with war crimes for carrying out another form of water boarding. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk." I do not believe that this Congressional legislation has ever been rescinded; and if not, it is hypocritical to try to make torture acceptable "because they did it too." Further, regardless of whether the law was rescinded, torture has been verboten by the Geneva Convention, and anyone that would dare try to make the claim that water boarding is not torture is just much too far right to see the handwriting on the wall. GGpap

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 03:00 am
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What was the uniform the

What was the uniform the radical Islamists were wearing? What country is recognized as the home of radical Islam? How does the Geneva Convention apply? Isn't this the kind of blind following a previous charismatic leader received in 1933? You sure seem to pick and choose the history you're willing to recognize GGpap.

GGpap
528
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GGpap 04/24/09 - 03:33 am
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PT, the history has nothing

PT, the history has nothing to do with the FACT that AMERICA has never publicy condoned torture. GGpap

pthsssh
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pthsssh 04/24/09 - 03:38 am
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ACES - Thank you for another

ACES - Thank you for another excellent and factual opinion. I've been through survival school. I'd welcome the treatment at Gitmo compared to that. GGpap - anything that you can do 150+ times to somebody that doesn't leave a mark or any physical damage is not torture in the real world. Take off your rose colored utopian glasses and embrace reality for a change.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 03:40 am
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GGpap, America has never

GGpap, America has never published military secrets until the NY Times did so during the last administration and America never condoned prosecuting the previous administration because of political differences...as is the current administration's procedure. America has always condoned national defense. Now, all of a sudden, torturing an enemy to stop thousands of American deaths is a bad thing. History certainly has nothing to do with it. Tomorrow, the definition will be a different story.

_SisterAbdullahX_
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_SisterAbdullahX_ 04/24/09 - 04:57 am
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American leaders have never

American leaders have never bowed to foreign kings either, but it seems that times area changing.

GACopperhead
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GACopperhead 04/24/09 - 06:03 am
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Torture is torture, and

Torture is torture, and practicing it makes us exactly the same as the radical Islamists, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pott and Hitler. I think these people are exactly who Bush, Chaney and PT should be linked with. If you choose to be like these people, you should suffer the same consequences they suffered, historically and legally. The sentence should be life in prison, and only God will judge them at the time of their death.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 04/24/09 - 06:06 am
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Shutting people up in a

Shutting people up in a "small enclosure" like a coffin-sized box with or without caterpillars is torture. Depriving people of sleep for days & weeks on end is torture. Not only did the FBI object to torture - so did the Army, Marines & Air Force. The civilian leadership including Cheney, Rice, Ashcroft, Gonzalez & Rumsfeld overruled the FBI & military officials including Navy lawyers who objected to the practice of torture which began in Guantanamo, was spread to Afghanistan & came to the attention of the U.S. public & the world at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. There simply is no excuse for this behavior. It is a perversion of everything this country stands for. There can be no moving forward until United States faces the torture it perpetrated in its recent past. It is Democrats in Congress who are pushing for investigation. President Obama would prefer to move on, but ultimately the judgment of whether or not to charge high level former U.S. officials with war crimes rests not with President Obama but with the Attorney General. I & many other Americans want the issue of torture fully investigated. No actionable intelligence was gained from torture. None! Dick Cheney is a liar.

shaglorious
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shaglorious 04/24/09 - 06:06 am
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Some of our own servicemen

Some of our own servicemen and women are trained with these very techniques. I wonder why if it is so harmful? I wonder what we are preparing them for since we have nothing to worry, our enemies are sooooo compliant. I say TAKE NO PRISONERS!!! It is far too much trouble and far too expensive because of the liberals in this country.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 06:49 am
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Keeping people in prison is

Keeping people in prison is torture. Sitting next to a fat person with gas on a plane is torture. Listening to almost all rap "music" is torture. Knowing that people that feels all of these things makes people executing them comparable to radical Islamists, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao and Hitler is torture, (and they're still allowed to vote). Reading posts by these same people is torture. Lowering the definition of torture to mean you can prosecute the opposing political party because you happen to be in power right now is torture. Being too stupid to realize when you're out of power, the party replacing you can pull the same stupid trick on you has got to be torture.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 06:54 am
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Oh yeah, Cain. The United

Oh yeah, Cain. The United States stands for groveling and capitulation. That's the reputation we've always had. So, ever heard of history? Ever notice the United States was never referred to as that little "shrinking violet" country sitting over in the corner with the other little shrinking violet countries? The U.S. has always been about national defense. When you were in the interrogation business, what techniques did you use? Make them read your posts? That had to called torture.

TechLover
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TechLover 04/24/09 - 06:55 am
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PT: Talk about the blame

PT: Talk about the blame game. So BOTH WTC bombings were Clinton's fault. Let's see, first bombing was February 26, 1993. Clinton had been President since January 20. The second bombing was September 11, 2001. George W Bush had been President since Jan 20. Clinton was in office a little over a month, W was in office for almost 8 months. If you lay the blame for the first bombing on Clinton, you have to lay the blame on W for the second. If you blame Clinton for the second bombing, you have to blame GHW Bush for the first.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 07:00 am
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Yeah TechLover, good point.

Yeah TechLover, good point. They were both Bush's fault. He should be brought in and prosecuted for planning them to make his friends rich.

TechLover
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TechLover 04/24/09 - 07:09 am
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PT: I SAID, if you blame the

PT: I SAID, if you blame the second bombing on Clinton, then you have to blame GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH for the first, NOT GEORGE WALKER BUSH. You are a flaming idiot.

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:25 am
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patricia thomas, have you

patricia thomas, have you ever been water boarded? it is telling that mccain was strongly against torture -- he endured it. he knows how damaging it is to our cause of freedom in the world. you make the assumption that torture is the only way to obtain the high value information, but many in the law enforcement business say that torture is one of the worst methods for obtaining information. often producing false confessions. besides all that, it does not matter what information is obtained, a civilized society operating on the rule of law should not torture anyone, treaty signatories or not. the geneva convention does not only apply when both parties are signatories, it applies to us as a treaty signatory. and lastly, why is it that the right wing always complains about the moral relativism of the left, but when it comes to torture, you have to consider the circumstances, the information gotten, etc, etc, etc. WHO WOULD JESUS TORTURE?

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:28 am
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Patricia, I do agree with

Patricia, I do agree with your 7:00am post. The first time you have made any sense. The forced confessions to find a link between 9/11 and Iraq -- later found to be false -- were all about Bush and Cheney's burning desire to get into Iraq for profit. They should both be locked up for the rest of their lives.

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:29 am
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Along with their crackpot

Along with their crackpot team of lawyers and neo-cons, Rove, Wolfowitz, Gonzales. Lock 'em all up and throw away the keys.

shivas
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shivas 04/24/09 - 07:30 am
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And to add insult to injury,

And to add insult to injury, Obama wants us to give-up torture! Let's bring back Bush so we can relieve all of his foreign policy successes!!!

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:33 am
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funny that many of the right

funny that many of the right wingers complaining about obama's actions have as an integral part of their faith the belief that confession is good for the soul. i guess they only believe that it's good when it is done in the dark with a closeted priest.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 07:33 am
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History challenged TechLover?

History challenged TechLover? Wasn't Bush I involved in national defense and didn't Clinton run on a platform of destroying our army and blocking the exchange of information between law enforcement agencies? And didn't the Dem party spend months in court trying to steal the election from Bush II so he didn't get to get any turnover? Wasn't a lot of intelligence "misplaced" to keep it from Bush II's people? Wasn't Bush II left blindered and shackled by the out going administration? Comparing the incoming Clinton administration situation and the incoming Bush II administration situation makes no sense.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 07:35 am
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Yeah joe hill, very brown

Yeah joe hill, very brown shirt of you. Obama can do no wrong. That's always been a good approach for the Dem. I guess you think he should be treated the same when he leaves office.

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:36 am
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Bush II was "blindered" and

Bush II was "blindered" and shackled by his ignorance and trust in the neoconservatives.

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:38 am
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That assumes that Obama will

That assumes that Obama will have a disregard for the rule of law same as Bush and Cheney. If so, then sure. But I doubt that a constitutional law scholar of the caliber of Obama will have such disregard for our laws.

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:40 am
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What did I write that you

What did I write that you consider "brown shirt"? That people who broke the law should be prosecuted?

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 07:44 am
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shivas, when the French

shivas, when the French socialist government blocked Bush and fought his attempts at trade, the French people threw them out of office and replaced them with a conservative leadership, and when the German socialist government blocked Bush and fought his attempts at trade, the German people threw them out of office and replaced them with a conservative leadership. Were these some of the foreign policy successes you were referring to? I don't recall Bush bowing and scraping to any dictators. Is this a foreign policy success?

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/24/09 - 07:45 am
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That regardless of what Oama

That regardless of what Oama does to this country, he should be followed blindly.

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:47 am
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where did i say that? can't

where did i say that? can't find it.

joe hill
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joe hill 04/24/09 - 07:48 am
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oh, i get it. anyone who

oh, i get it. anyone who believes in the rule of law is "blindly" following obama and what he does to this country.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 04/24/09 - 07:49 am
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Indict Chris Dodd, Barney

Indict Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi for crimes against America.

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