Free Markets, Free People

About Those Torture Memos…

Well, this is an unexpected revelation.  In all the imbroglio about the “torture memos” and the possibility that the justice department may look into torture indictments of various officials, Rep Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) writes that it’s a bit hypocritical for Congress to escape scrutiny.  Apparently, they knew all about it.

It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses…

Members of Congress calling for an investigation of the enhanced interrogation program should remember that such an investigation can’t be a selective review of information, or solely focus on the lawyers who wrote the memos, or the low-level employees who carried out this program. I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques.

Hmmm.  That actually might be interesting to see.  Very interesting.

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36 Responses to About Those Torture Memos…

  • The media will cover for them somehow.

  • Does it strike anyone else as ironic that is at the vanguard of all this?  Weren’t they originally founded on the idea that we should just smack a president on the wrist for wrong doing and … move on?

  • Petard:  hoisted.

  • Members of Congress dissemble???

    Like Captain Renault, I am shocked, shocked there is dissembling in the House and Senate.  It will be fun to hear them squeal. 

  • Well, one bright spot is  Pew says 86% of Americans know that the Democrats control Congress versus only 70% in 2008. 

    • Obama is perpetually in campaign mode because that is where his talents lie (pun intended) and that is really all he knows.  Unfortunately for him, the actual campaign is over and now he has to govern, a concept that he is not familiar with.  So what he does is perpetually raise the spectre of Bush, who would rapidly become “old news” if he didn’t, so that he can extend his campaign because that is his comfort zone.

      I could be wrong, but I doubt it.  If not, expect this to drag on and on and on, with O periodically bringing up Bush to feed the fire.  Bush was the focus of his campaign for President (McCain was just a proxy for Bush).  Bush is the only villain really safe and durable enough for him to campaign against perpetually.  His attempt to switch to Corporate CEOs turned out to be a wash, because he rolled them too easily.   His attempt to switch to Limbaugh turned out to be far too dangerous.  His few swipes at the Congression Republicans are far too likely to backfire, given his moral preening about bipartisanship during the campaign and the fact that it really just looks too much like smacking around a quadraplegic kid in wheelchair.

  • Yesterday Sen. Levin (Trash-MI) released a ginned-up report that “proves” that the enhanced interrogation techniques somehow caused abuse of prisoners.  I wonder if he, as ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, knew about the program.  I’m betting that he did.  So, doesn’t that make him an accessory to any “crimes” committed under the program?  I’m also curious how retard like Lyndie England somehow found out about the top secret program, because apparently Levin is arguing that she abused prisoners because of it, NOT because she and the other buffoons in her outfit were… well.. buffoons.

    I can’t decide what TAO is up to.  Is he engaging in some political theatre by promising show trials?  This would temporarily appease his rabid base who apparently will only be satisfied when George Bush (snarl!) is burned at the stake.  Further, it maintains the role of Bush as our national bete noir, the Goldstein that can be trotted out to make TAO look good in comparison.  Or, is he acting in “good faith” from a genuine belief that Bush admin officials really broke the law and ought to be punished for it?

    I heard Sean Hannity talking with Mark Levin.  Levin posed an excellent question that I wish somebody would ask the jug-eared idiot:

    How does preventing another 9-11 in Los Angeles (which the “torture” of KSM apparently did) NOT represent our highest moral values?

  • I just find it amazing that a guy who probably couldn’t qualify for a secret clearance much less TS is releasing information classified TS.

  • Obama is setting himself up as a magnanimous unifier when he proactively pardons Bush et al, to put it behind us, moving forward with Hope and Change. 

    • Hmmm…. Interesting idea.  I don’t think that’s his idea, though, as I have yet to see ANY magnanimous behavior from TAO.  Further, his base would never forgive him: they don’t want Bush (snarl!) pardoned: they want him drawn and quartered.

      • actually I think they want him waterboarded and placed in a small cell with a fuzzy caterpillar.

  • I would like to see someone ask Obama and some of the Dem senators questions like these

    Regarding torture
    Are you contending that it is okay to tear an unborn child limb from limb in an abortion but it isnt okay to put a terrorist in a confined space?
    Are you contending that it is okay to suck an unborn childs brain out of its head but it isnt okay to make a terorist stand in a stress position?
    Are you contending it is okay to snuff the life of an unborn child to make it’s mother more convenient for a few months prior to giving it up for adoption but it isnt okay to put an insect in a cramped space with a terrorist to try to save thousands of lives?
    Please enlighten us.

    • While I’m sure that they wouldn’t care to have to answer those questions publicly, privately they would say “yes” without a single qualm because, as far as they are concerned, unborn children have no more value – no more HUMANITY – than a cyst or fingernail clippings.  Indeed, according to great Catholic theologians like Bishop Nancy Pelosi or Cardinal John Kerry, abortion is even religiously sanctioned (though there are a few right-wing conservative extremists like Pope Benedict who disagree).

      Terrorists, on the other hand, are human beings.  More, they are human being who are simply lashing out at American imperialism due to the poverty they’ve suffered as a result of unfair capitalist economics, so we must be extra humane to them.

    • Follow-up:

      While I understand the root of your post, I have to say that it rather compares apples and oranges; you might as well ask them to juxtapose their opinion about capital punishment with their opinion of “torture”.  Yes, it is nauseating that libs who don’t blink at abortion also wring their hands over treatment of scumbag terrorists and mass murderers, but it seems to me a diversion to bring that up; do we want to argue about “torture” or about abortion?

      What I’d like to ask the members of Congress who gleefully plan to prosecute Bush (snarl!) and members of his administration is what they knew and have known for years about the program and why, if it is so morally objectionable if not outright illegal, they didn’t at least vigorously protest and at most try to impeach Bush at the time?  If silence can legally be construed as consent, doesn’t their past silence make them accessories to the “crimes”?  Or do they claim – as they did about the AUMF and the Patriot Act – that Bush somehow lied or bamboozled them?  I suspect that this is the tack they will take.

      • If silence can legally be construed as consent, doesn’t their past silence make them accessories to the “crimes”?

        Yeah, but the Constitution prohibits trying them criminally.  You know, the really important part of the Constitution, not one of those silly Amendments Afterthoughts found in the Bill of Rights Suggestions.

        So, hey, no problem, right?  The Constitution is sacred useful.  And the press will certainly handle the PR aspect of the whole thing.

        • OK, my strikethroughs didn’t take.  That lloks even more stupid than it probably actually is. 

          Consider the words “Amendments,” “rights,” and “sacred” as struckthrough.

  • “Apparently, they knew all about it.”

    There is nor never was any “apparently” about it.  The Gang of Four (which was oddly 5 people…or 5 odd people..whichever) included Nancy Pelosi, Jane (my phone is bugged) Harman, Bob Graham, John Rockefeller and Pat Roberts. All were briefed on the then current methods including waterboarding, there was no dissent….that is until it became politically opportunistic to do so. Even at that, the boiler plate responses of “golly, I was there I think but, gee-wiz, I sure don’t recall them talking about that” is the company line now.

  • I’m still torn, i know the government shouldnt be cutting off limbs or pulling out fingernails, but is waterboarding really torture. I cant decide on that. I know it can have psychological effects, but i think scary dreams for the rest of your life it worth preventing a terror attack. Then again i feel like Bruce, i dont want to go and give the government any right to decide who can get tortured. Im just totally not sure about all this.

  • This wasn’t a secret.  It was reported in the WashPost two years ago that the “Gang of Four” which included Nancy Pelosi were briefed.  An unnamed official said that there were NO objections raised on CIA techniques (including waterboarding) and in fact they wondered aloud if the methods were harsh enough.

    Nancy Pelosi and Bob Graham now say they don’t remember the multiple, hour-long briefings.

  • Apparently, we are all passengers on the space shuttle re-entering earth’s atmosphere and have just discovered the computers are down and the pilot lied. He’s really a janitor. Some guy named Soros snuck him in.

    Torture? Probably, just a vehicle to facilitate the crash.



  • AP News story
    Seven year old James Watson was charged today with domestic terrorism after he locked up his classmate 6 year old Susie Que in a school closet with a frog.  Ms Que, through an ACLU spokesman stated that they are going for the maximum penalty allowed by law and that they would be seeking civil reparations for PTSD, and lifelong tramatization following the event.   The Obama administration had no comment on this domestic terrorism case.  Peta demonstrated outside of the jail where Mr Watson is being held and demanded the death penalty for cruelty to animals.
    In other news, Chicago was victim of a nuclear attack.  President Obama is saddened by the attack on his home town and apologized to Canada for the radioactive american debris that is polluting Canadian airspace.  Promises of reparations have been made.  No group has claimed credit for the attack but anonymous sources stated that DHS Janet Napalitano is looking very hard at the now disbanded Boy Scouts of America as culprits.  The Boy Scouts were convicted of hate mongering against homosexuals and Ms Napalitano has indicated that with their militaristic ties they are high on the list of possible suspects.
    No word if the subjects from Guantanomo who were released in the Chicago area survived the blast but President Obama and other administration officials state that they are hopeful none of the people who were forced to relocate to the Chicago region were injured.

    • “The Obama administration had no comment on this domestic terrorism case”

      Should read –

      The Obama administration had no comment on this man-caused disaster case, or would it be ‘child caused’?

  • dribble, dribble, dribble…every day the press will dribble it out, to make sure one less Yahoo headline is about the economy, or Obama.

    oh, and the photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib also included sex acts between guards, i.e. the two chicks and the guy. I wonder why those photos were never released to the public? And did Rummy tell them to do that, too?

  • why isnt this torture?

    Why is it okay to pull babies in the womb apart limb by limb during an abortion but not okay to make a terrorist stand in a confined space?
    Why is it okay to stick scissors in the back of the head of an unborn child and then suck their brains out and not make a terrorist stand in a stress position?
    Why is it okay to kill unborn children because the “mother” doesnt want to be inconvenienced for a few months but it is okay to put a terrorist in a room with bug to save thousands of lives?

  • “such an investigation can’t be a selective review…or solely focus on the lawyers who wrote the memos…”

    Wanna bet?

  • Hey your buddy Shep Smith is channelling me now:
    “We are America!” he shouted, slamming his hand on the table. “I don’t give a rat’s ass if it helps. We are AMERICA! We do not f*cking[1] torture!”

    [1] Censored for the sensitive.

    • Unless it’s been approved by Congress and the White House, of course.

      After which we’ll be sure and prosecute anyone who thought our approval meant they wouldn’t be prosecuted later.

      We, meanwhile, will be sure to say “We’re SHOCKED!  SHOCKED! to find there was torture going on!”

  • This is good…..lets press to have Pelosi prosecuted for war crimes

    • Oh!….damn right, to paraphrase Johnny Carson, (if there is anyone here old enough to know what I’m talking about) I’d give a years wages to look under that shroud.