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Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:00 PM

Charles P Pierce- The President's worst moment

There's a classic Doonesbury cartoon from the Southeast Asia war period in which Phred The Terrorist is interviewing some Cambodian peasants and asks them about the "secret bombing" of Cambodia.

"Secret bombings?" the farmer scoffs. "There wasn't any secret about them. Everyone here knew. I did, and my wife, she knew, too. She was with me and I remarked on them. I said, 'Look, Martha. Here come the bombs."

This is what came to mind this afternoon when the president actually used the word "torture" when he was talking about how our government tortured people in our name. He used the word. Big fking deal.

Even before I came into office, I was very clear that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values. I understand why it happened. I think it's important when we look back to recall how afraid people were after the twin towers fell and the Pentagon had been hit and the plane in Pennsylvania had fallen and people did not know whether more attacks were imminent and there was enormous pressure on our law enforcement and our national security teams to try to deal with this. And, you know, it's important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots, but having said all that, we did some things that were wrong. And that's what that report reflects.

And then he expressed full confidence in John Brennan, who was hip-deep in the torture regime, and under whose auspices the CIA hacked into the computers of the Senate committee. The above may be the single most revolting thing this president ever said in public. Quite simply, nobody who engaged in torture, nobody who worked to establish a legal rationale for torture, nobody who applauded torture or encouraged it or welcomed its practice, has any right to be referred to by anyone, let alone the president, as a patriot. Most of the torture went on long after we knew that there weren't going to be follow-up acts of terror. Much of it was used to get information with which to gin up an illegal war of aggression against a country that had not attacked us. The lies of Iraq were seeded with torture, and if the president thinks he can use the word and then just walk away from its profound implication in a cloud of banalities, he's been out on the golf course without a hat too long.

Yeesh.
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Presidents_Worst_Moment

124 replies, 10339 views

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Arrow 124 replies Author Time Post
Reply Charles P Pierce- The President's worst moment (Original post)
n2doc Aug 2014 OP
bigtree Aug 2014 #1
Scuba Aug 2014 #2
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #4
Scuba Aug 2014 #6
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #7
Scuba Aug 2014 #8
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #11
Scuba Aug 2014 #14
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #23
Scuba Aug 2014 #29
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #33
Needa Moment Aug 2014 #44
ReRe Aug 2014 #75
Needa Moment Aug 2014 #93
LondonReign2 Aug 2014 #45
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Aug 2014 #38
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #41
sadoldgirl Aug 2014 #59
JDPriestly Aug 2014 #48
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #49
JDPriestly Aug 2014 #54
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #60
Enthusiast Aug 2014 #82
L0oniX Aug 2014 #96
Enthusiast Aug 2014 #112
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #113
Sheepshank Aug 2014 #114
yeoman6987 Aug 2014 #94
JDPriestly Aug 2014 #95
cheapdate Aug 2014 #62
arikara Aug 2014 #100
MADem Aug 2014 #53
Hissyspit Aug 2014 #12
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #13
Hissyspit Aug 2014 #18
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #19
Hissyspit Aug 2014 #20
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #24
sulphurdunn Aug 2014 #32
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #39
840high Aug 2014 #36
bigtree Aug 2014 #16
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #17
bigtree Aug 2014 #25
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #27
bigtree Aug 2014 #35
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #51
sulphurdunn Aug 2014 #40
MannyGoldstein Aug 2014 #72
bigtree Aug 2014 #73
Union Scribe Aug 2014 #84
SammyWinstonJack Aug 2014 #120
supercats Aug 2014 #3
Drunken Irishman Aug 2014 #9
Needa Moment Aug 2014 #46
LiberalArkie Aug 2014 #10
Sheepshank Aug 2014 #115
truebluegreen Aug 2014 #5
cheapdate Aug 2014 #15
obxhead Aug 2014 #22
cheapdate Aug 2014 #34
OnyxCollie Aug 2014 #69
cheapdate Aug 2014 #70
OnyxCollie Aug 2014 #71
ReRe Aug 2014 #77
Enthusiast Aug 2014 #86
L0oniX Aug 2014 #97
SammyWinstonJack Aug 2014 #121
cheapdate Aug 2014 #90
OnyxCollie Aug 2014 #101
cheapdate Aug 2014 #107
OnyxCollie Aug 2014 #108
SammyWinstonJack Aug 2014 #122
Enthusiast Aug 2014 #118
noiretextatique Aug 2014 #109
cheapdate Aug 2014 #116
noiretextatique Aug 2014 #117
cheapdate Aug 2014 #119
ReRe Aug 2014 #124
bigtree Aug 2014 #28
cheapdate Aug 2014 #42
ReRe Aug 2014 #78
Blue_In_AK Aug 2014 #37
QuestForSense Aug 2014 #21
stupidicus Aug 2014 #26
PoliticAverse Aug 2014 #30
conservaphobe Aug 2014 #31
BrotherIvan Aug 2014 #50
LondonReign2 Aug 2014 #92
Skittles Aug 2014 #99
madamesilverspurs Aug 2014 #43
KittyWampus Aug 2014 #47
riderinthestorm Aug 2014 #57
totodeinhere Aug 2014 #63
m-lekktor Aug 2014 #85
Tierra_y_Libertad Aug 2014 #52
BuelahWitch Aug 2014 #76
Solly Mack Aug 2014 #55
BrotherIvan Aug 2014 #56
kath Aug 2014 #79
Enthusiast Aug 2014 #87
OnyxCollie Aug 2014 #102
BrotherIvan Aug 2014 #104
OnyxCollie Aug 2014 #105
BrotherIvan Aug 2014 #111
Fred Sanders Aug 2014 #58
JoePhilly Aug 2014 #110
sadoldgirl Aug 2014 #61
ReRe Aug 2014 #64
tularetom Aug 2014 #65
ReRe Aug 2014 #80
JEB Aug 2014 #66
whereisjustice Aug 2014 #67
DonCoquixote Aug 2014 #68
Uncle Joe Aug 2014 #74
ReRe Aug 2014 #81
BainsBane Aug 2014 #83
DeSwiss Aug 2014 #88
Enthusiast Aug 2014 #89
m-lekktor Aug 2014 #91
QC Aug 2014 #98
Bonhomme Richard Aug 2014 #103
hifiguy Aug 2014 #106
woo me with science Aug 2014 #123

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:30 PM

1. CPP

. . . speaks for me.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:44 PM

2. "... the single most revolting thing this president ever said in public." Yep, and he sure lost me.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:57 PM

4. LOL like he ever had you.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:59 PM

6. In 2008 and again in 2012 I spent countless hours working on his campaigns.

 

I've defended him endlessly in discussions with those on the right. I can't defend this.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:59 PM

7. Uh huh.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:02 PM

8. Apparently in your mind my criticisms of the President ....

 

... in the "safe environment" of DU means that I never supported him anywhere at any time.

That sort of thinking is twisted, and pitiful.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:05 PM

11. The problem isn't criticism - it's constant criticism...

And if he lost you over a comment like that, yes, I doubt he ever had you.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:10 PM

14. I've criticized him when he deserved it, and applauded him when he deserved that.

 

Sadly, there have been many more of the former than the latter.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #14)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:19 PM

23. That's the problem...

You find criticism in things that aren't necessarily worthy of being critical.

Look at this situation - Obama, probably not as articulate as he should have been, mentions torture, admits the U.S. tortured (which is pretty big) and instead, you're done on the wording of his message - not his actions. I know you're not done by his actions because it wouldn't have just ended (your support) the other day if that was the case ... right? I mean, if Obama's actions as president, specifically toward torture, was something you vehemently found repulsive, you would be absolutely done. But you're not, by your own admission, since you were a supporter of his up until his press conference.

So...if a press conference does your support in, I can only assume you'd find no fault in supporting Obama if he continued to employ torture techniques and then went on TV and lambasted the use, demanded an investigation into the last administration and brutally attacked Bush and Cheney for using it - right? That's what it sounds like. The words are what matter ... not the actions as president. Which is ironic, considering those on the left have constantly attacked Obama for his flowery speech not necessarily matching his action.

It's pretty blatant, no? I mean, you knew prior to his press conference Obama was not going to push to prosecute Bush for war crimes because we're already halfway through his second term and nothing on that. Yet, you supported him. You must believe Obama employs at least some form of tactful tactic toward the enemy, and hasn't authorized the use of torture, because clearly this is an issue of importance to you, so, if he did, you would undoubtedly not support him, right? Right. Ultimately, he lost you not by his actions but by his statement and to me, that brings into total question your support for him.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #23)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:31 PM

29. "... not as articulate ..." Total rubbish. And for you to have the temerity to decide what ...

 

... I find to be unacceptable from this President is laughable, especially paired with that "not as articulate" comment.

Now we're done.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #29)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:34 PM

33. Mkay.

Thanks for proving my point, scuba. You're done over a comment - not his actions. That tells me everything I needed to know about your "support". That's pretty laughable in and of itself.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #33)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:50 PM

44. Yeah, I'm new


but I saw Scuba's point validly based, if alone, his appointment of John Brennan. And has made other shamefully questionable appointments in the past. The FCC chairman immediately comes to mind...

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Response to Needa Moment (Reply #44)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 03:02 AM

75. Welcome aboard...

... Needa Moment. Choppy waters right now. Surprised to see no one paused to say hello.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #75)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 10:09 AM

93. why, thank you ReRe...

your welcoming is very kind. Good to have something like that to start out the week with.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #33)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:52 PM

45. OK then

Do you support Obama's specific action-- specific inaction, really-- of not prosecuting those responsible for the torture?

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #23)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:37 PM

38. Not as articulate as he should have been?

His speeches are meticulously crafted, and he is incredibly articulate. If he chose that particular wording, it was because he felt it would do what he wanted it to.

And I think nuance is all of our friends. If somebody says they worked for the President in his election campaigns, I believe them. Personally, I both donated and walked door to door for him in 2008. I didn't do either of those things in 2012, after having seen what he spent the four years he was given doing. I didn't want Romney to win, but after also having seen what Congress did with during that same four years, Romney as boogeyman didn't particularly scare me, since I didn't expect Dems in the Senate to work with him and more than Repubs in the House did with Obama.

Anyone and everyone who either participated in or gave the order for war crimes should have been prosecuted. And sweeping those war crimes under the rug was among a number of things the President did during the last 6 years that was entirely worthy of criticism. He's also done some good things as well - I remember posting complimentary comments towards him in two recent threads.

No one is perfect, no one is utterly beyond the pale. So everyone deserves criticism for the wrong they do, and applause for the good they do.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #38)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:38 PM

41. It wasn't a speech.

It was a press conference. That's a big difference.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #38)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:40 PM

59. I agree wholeheartedly.

The POTUS is excellent with words, This was clearly a "mistakes were made" moment. His further support of Brennan showed it plainly.
As a voter I feel totally justified to criticize the person I voted for. Blind support does not serve any purpose.

And what about that "supporting our President now" thing? He is not going anywhere, he has only two more years to do some work, if Congress permits him to do so.

The support NOW should be for the congressional candidates.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #23)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:11 PM

48. The war criminals who used and authorized torture

against prisoners should be tried. Let a jury decide whether they are guilty as charged.

Punishment is a deterrent to others who would commit similar acts in the future. If a jury decides that what they did was not a crime, so be it. But they should be charged, confront their accusers and either be found guilty or found not guilty. They should have due process. They should learn how precious it is. So should others who might be tempted to torture in the future. They should remember how precious due process is.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #48)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:13 PM

49. Maybe they should...

I'm not debating that. However, Obama is halfway through his second term. If you expected it to happen and now, for whatever reason, gave up on him after that press conference, you're irrationally removed from reality. My point: Everyone should have known by now that Obama wasn't going to move on charging Bush & Cheney. If you supported him last week, you supported him knowing this.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #49)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:18 PM

54. The US investigated and determined that torture took place.

Obama does not have the moral courage to charge those who committed the crimes of torture.

The US government has difficulty charging the alleged criminals because our government, including Bush, Cheney and others condoned the torture, authorized the torture when it happens.

The torture was a violation of international law even if our government approved it.

It is now up to international bodies to deal with those who violated international law in conformance with international procedures for the prosecution of crimes under international law.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #54)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:42 PM

60. And everyone knew Obama was not going to charge...

Neither would Warren or Hillary or any Democrat outside maybe Dennis Kucinich. Hell, you haven't even heard Bernie Sanders demanding charging either Bush or Cheney with war crimes.

If you lost support for the President Friday because you've now come to the conclusion he doesn't back charging the last administration, you're entirely slow on the uptake.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #60)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 05:32 AM

82. It also wasn't necessary to refer to war criminals as patriots.

That was over the top. We do not need to hear the President defending these people.

There is a reason much of the world sees Cheney as Darth Vader come to life.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #82)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 12:05 PM

96. Maybe Obama won't go after Bush because Obama is responsible for continuing the torture?

 

I don't know ...but I do wonder. I guess I'm an Obama hater now ...even after voting for him twice.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #96)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 03:26 PM

112. The President

remains a mystery to me. I cannot understand the love for Republicans and the financial and trade philosophy that is harmful to regular folks. I can only say WTF!

One thing I know for certain. He isn't the guy the Righties® say he is.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #96)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 03:44 PM

113. Do you think he continues it?

That's a pretty major lob to make. You're basically accusing him of something that, if true, would mean, like with Bush, he should receive jail time.

Maybe Obama isn't charging because he knows it's a political non-starter? It's probably why you don't hear Warren or Sanders out there demanding Bush be locked up.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #96)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 04:08 PM

114. 24,000+ posts and you lob out a whopper like that?

 

fucking aye!
big time idiotic, assinine, putrid, lying, fuckwad statment to make. what is with you?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #54)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 11:08 AM

94. If only......

 

It is now up to international bodies to deal with those who violated international law in conformance with international procedures for the prosecution of crimes under international law.



There is no way that the international anything can do anything. We don't fall under any mechanism that would allow for such a thing. Oh sure a foreign country can have a hearing and even found guilty, but then what? Nothing. President Obama should AT LEAST charge Cheney. I know he does not want to charge President Bush.....ok, but then at least charge Cheney and Rumsfeld. That at least si a start.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #94)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 11:30 AM

95. You are probably right. But at least an international body could make a declaration,

review the evidence in the report, invite the defendants to give their evidence and come up with a decision of guilt or innocence. That would not mean a prison sentence but it would set the human rights issues straight and perhaps make some people persona non grata in a few countries. That might prevent some of the criminals from traveling so freely in the world.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #23)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:59 PM

62. I concur, Drunken Irsihman.

Six years ago, president Obama, along with Nancy Pelosi and many Democrats, declared that they would not seek prosecutions against individuals for possible crimes committed under the previous administration.

But now there are people declaring that they're "finished" with Obama, not because of the decision he made six years ago, but because he brought it up again.

Presumably, if the president never mentioned the subject again, they would be happier and he would have a greater support.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #23)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:42 PM

100. Huh?

I think there are a lot of us who are disappointed because we were hoping for some positive change. Yet Guantanamo still exists, drones are bombing wedding parties, corporations own the government who spies on its own people, billions are sent to Israel so they can butcher civilians... really nothing has changed other than the color of Obama's hair.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:18 PM

53. I think you make a fair point. nt

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:05 PM

12. I did, too.

Gonna call me a liar, too?

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #12)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:08 PM

13. If you want.

If he lost you because of that press conference then yes, I don't believe he ever had you. If your support was that easily shaken, then the support was weak to begin with. Wording shouldn't lose you - especially if you felt confident Obama was invested in stopping torture. There was nothing from his comment that indicated anything brutal or hateful or unconstitutional and yet, he's being attacked on the left for his wording and the right for the audacity to admit the U.S. used torture.

Like I said, if your support is officially over because of a comment, and not merely his actions as president, then you really didn't support him.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #13)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:11 PM

18. I didn't say he has lost me.

But I'll be as damn sanctimonious as I want to.

It is NOT ok that the torturers were not held accountable.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #18)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:13 PM

19. Then why are you even replying?

The whole point is that the poster was officially done with Obama because of a fucking comment.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #19)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:14 PM

20. Read my edit.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #20)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:20 PM

24. I don't disagree with your edit.

But we knew Obama was not going to hold them accountable. So, why anyone is shocked by this is beyond me. If you supported him a week ago, you supported him KNOWING THIS. So, it's a bit baffling to me that someone would be done with him because of his statement.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #13)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:33 PM

32. He lost me the day he waved off

 

any serious investigation of the Bush Mob with his "look forward not backwards" bullshit. I worked for his campaign in Virginia.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #32)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:38 PM

39. I respect that reason more than those who lost it over a press conference.

Those who have now somehow realized Bush was not going to be held accountable and lost their support for the President because of it - this far into his presidency - are either really daft or just trying to find a reason to justify their criticism.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:36 PM

36. You don't have to

 

justify your answer. Obama lost me. Period.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:11 PM

16. hey, DU (and DI), is bigtree a supporter of President Obama?

. . . he's lost me.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:11 PM

17. Obviously not.

He lost you.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #17)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:25 PM

25. wow. You really are determined to discredit critics here.

. . . I've been pretty solid in my support for this president for most of his terms. I even took a great deal of my time to defend him into office and in his reelection bid.

I certainly don't think that support should mean blind acceptance of every one of his actions, policies, or pronouncements. He's moved too far beyond what my own views and interests can support. That should mean something more to you, an obvious supporter of Pres. Obama, than just an opportunity for more snark and derision.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:27 PM

27. You asked a question. I answered.

If you're done with Obama, if he's lost you, you're clearly not a supporter. You can't be a supporter of someone you're done with. It doesn't work that way.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #27)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:35 PM

35. ah, but, the hair-splitter in you must realize that your issue with Scuba above

. . . was that he'd never supported the President, meaning, I guess (bracing for more hair-splitting defenses) that his lack of support now was meaningless.

I HAVE BEEN a strong and active supporter of the President in the PAST, and he has moved beyond where my own interests and positions will support on this issue.

That should mean something more than an opportunity for more derision from you, if support of the President is something you actually value.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #35)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:15 PM

51. If it's not about you it's not about you.

I question whether anyone supported Obama if they lost that support over this press conference. If you still support him, fine. That doesn't mean I agree with your criticisms (I think they're out of line) but also realize I never said you didn't support him. If, however, you lost your support for him yesterday over this, then yeah, I question whether you truly supported him.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #27)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:38 PM

40. As a former Obama supporter, I agree.

 

Thanks to Obama, I will never again support any "centrist" democrat, which is just code for corporatist bootlicker anyway.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #25)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 02:05 AM

72. I'll vouch for what you're saying

 

I've received a number of keyboard-lashings from you, and am amazed at the shift in position.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #72)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 02:09 AM

73. you should remember, Manny

. . . you directly challenged me to do better.

Here we are.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #17)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 05:39 AM

84. You sound ridiculous. nt

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Response to Union Scribe (Reply #84)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 08:39 AM

120. No kidding!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:46 PM

3. People Don't Want To Admit...

 

That this President for all the social issues he's supported, is not very far removed from Bush on the economic issues or the military issues. He's at best Bush light.

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Response to supercats (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:02 PM

9. Yup.

How many wars has Obama started? Hell, how many international conflicts has Obama started? You're delusional if you think is as hawkish as Bush. If he was even half as hawkish as your post claims, we'd be fighting wars with Russia, Iran and Syria.

Alas...

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:07 PM

46. I feel pres. Obama has a

sincere, genuine good and decent soul. But I always had wondered what message was being sent his way by our resident evil doers after that security breach just right after he took office

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_U.S._state_dinner_security_breaches

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Response to supercats (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:05 PM

10. I hate to admit it, but in my thinking he became Reagan 5.

Reagan 2 naturally Bush1
Reagan 3 Clinton
Reagan 4 Bush 2
Reagan 5 Obama.

I am sorry I just look at how things were before and after Reagan. If it seems to be a continuation of his policies, oh well.

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Response to supercats (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 04:19 PM

115. Dear Lord, yet another Bush=Obama post

 

so tiresome and so empty on facts

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:57 PM

5. The "folksy" thing, and the "patriot" thing

 

and the warning not to be so sanctimonious about torture...

Absolutely vile.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:10 PM

15. I was astonshished to hear our president acknowledge toture.

Absolutely floored. I'm not a historian, but I suspect this is practically unprecedented in modern times. Presidents have acknowledged past mistakes, but usually after a generation or more has passed. And to use the legally precise term for the crimes which were committed is even more astonishing. There was no obfuscation, he said "torture". There was no hiding what happened with vague euphemisms such as "extraordinary measure".

If someone doesn't agree, as I do, that this was an extraordinary statement to come from a United States president, then we'll just have to disagree.

I don't especially care about the "sanctimonious" part, that's secondary to the astonishing admission this president made in front of the world.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:17 PM

22. It's not the use of the word torture

 

it's the justification for it that many find so upsetting.

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Response to obxhead (Reply #22)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:34 PM

34. That's a justification that millions of Americans,

myself NOT included, find compelling and convincing. I've argued this point many times with my conservative friends and it's an argument for which I've almost never been able to win any concession.

I think that the practice of torture, or "enhanced interrogation techniques" as the Bush administration labeled it, ended under president Obama. I think that the president's decision, supported by Nancy Pelosi and many Democrats, in 2010 to "look forward" and not backward was justifiable ethically as well as in practical terms. Ethically, the accomplishments of the administration, including the passage of health care reform and the prevention of a catastrophic economic depression, are balanced against pursuing what would have been a long, bitter, hyper-partisan, all-consuming, legal and constitutional showdown over war crimes of the previous administration.

I don't like the dismissive language Obama used at all, but as I said, for me that's secondary to the astonishing admission this president made.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #34)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 11:44 PM

69. "...justifiable ethically as well as in practical terms."

 

Fuck that whole Geneva Convention thing.

Fuck this guy, too, while you're at it.

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

The same goes for the pragmatists who attempt to justify excusing torture and letting torturers get off scot-free.

Fucking disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #69)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 12:56 AM

70. How sanctimonious.

The substance of my argument was that there was a choice between pursuing criminal prosecutions or pursuing health care reform, staving off complete economic collapse, and doing the other things that the times demanded.

It was a choice because pursuing criminal prosecutions would have inevitably been an all-consuming plunge into the most bitter and divisive showdown imaginable -- at a time when the country was on the precipice of falling into a depression equal to or greater than the Great Depression AND fighting two full-scale overseas wars.

That was the substance of my argument. You don't seem to have any answer or rebuttal.

Yes, I AM a fucking pragmatist. You think you can just show a tragic picture and that's the end of it. As if there are no choices or tradeoffs in the world. Who are the guards in your photo? Are they among the twelve guards were charged and convicted for prisoner abuses? Yes, that photo is disgusting. The kidnapping, torture, and murder carried out by the United States was disgusting and will be a stain on the country for perhaps all time.

I could show a picture of someone suffering or dying in the United States from a lack of health care. Or a family in America living in a fucking tent. A shocking photo is a piece of the pie but it's not always the whole picture.

Ferdinand I, the Holy Roman Emperor in the 16th century claimed, "Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus", which can be translated as, 'Let justice be done, though the world perish'.

That severe philosophy, which you would appear to support, is not the only view of justice. If in fact the world does perish there would not be much to celebrate.

You need to check your attitude, OnyxCollie. This is a discussion forum.




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Response to cheapdate (Reply #70)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:54 AM

71. Fuck international treaties.

 

http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html

Article 4

Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.

...


I find your attitude to be loathsome and repulsive, cheap date.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #71)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 03:58 AM

77. I don't know what it is....

... about some of us. Some people just don't understand laws, Justice, Geneva Conventions. It's not that difficult of a concept. You do the crime, you do the time. Otherwise, why have all those laws? What happened to all the political platitudes about this being a "Nation of Laws?"

GWB took this country into new territory. That of becoming a "rogue nation," which I always remembered was what we fought against in this world. But he took us there, when he shunned International Law, when he shunned the Constitution. He took us to that new all-time low of ill treatment, in fact torture, of prisoners of war. It was a slap in the face to our troops, because it's highly probable that if they are captured by the "enemy" in one our preemptive invasions, they can expect no better treatment. Proper treatment of POWs was practiced all the way back to George Washington. (Except of course in some POW camps during the Civil War. Andersonville comes to mind.)

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Response to ReRe (Reply #77)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 05:40 AM

86. Thank you, ReRe.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #77)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 12:12 PM

97. Truth, justice and the American way ...was just Superman tv show and comic book propaganda.

 

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Response to ReRe (Reply #77)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 08:57 AM

121. Apparently any criticism of Obama clouds this issue, among others.

Pretty sure these DUers were all calling for prosecution of war crime/criminals/torturers before Obama said we needed to look forward.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #71)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 08:49 AM

90. I'm not going to join you in the gutter, OnyxCollie.

Last edited Mon Aug 4, 2014, 12:25 PM - Edit history (2)

That torture happened is not in dispute. That it's reprehensible is not in dispute. That it is against US and international law is not in dispute. The question I've raised is whether there are practical, and consequential political considerations that justify the president's inaction on war crimes prosecutions -- specifically, what, if any, were the possible consequences of pursuing war crimes prosecutions and do they favor or disfavor that course of action. Justice at what cost? Defeat of health care reform? Electoral defeat and a weakened Democratic Party?

You can't or won't make any attempt to answer, or even recognize, the point I've raised.

You can try to dismiss "pragmatic" concerns and paint them in as ugly a light as you wish. I don't care. You might take it for granted, wrongly I would believe, that the spectacle of an intensely partisan prosecution of US military and security officials for war crimes, even while wars are ongoing, would galvanize widespread support for the Democratic Party. Balderdash. It would be the exact opposite. It would result in immediate and long term electoral catastrophe for voices of sanity and reason in government.

"Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus" -- 'Let justice be done, though the world perish', Eh? No brainer?

There are plenty of others, just like yourself, who love to proclaim loudly "WHY DO YOU LOVE MURDERED CHILDREN!?" during a debate, as if that silences all other questions.

Moral outrage can become self-righteousness. And you refusal to engage in considering opposing positions is nothing more than intellectual cowardice disguised with bluster.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #90)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:42 PM

101. Demanding adherence to norms, laws, and treaties is "the gutter,"

 

but standing on the bodies of tortured enemy combatants to shamelessly promote a politician is a respected action.

Absolutely vile, and completely lacking in morals.

It would be too hard! People might not like us! We better keep the status quo!

Cowardice is such an admirable trait.

The Democratic Party apparatchik is as morally bankrupt as the Republicans.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #101)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 02:09 PM

107. No, not being able to to debate an argument

without "fucking disgusting" and "you should be ashamed of yourself" is in the gutter.

I'm done, You have nothing to say worth listening to.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #107)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 02:14 PM

108. When will those tortured get their justice?

 

When cowards stop worrying about how it might affect their marketability.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #107)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 09:00 AM

122. OH MY DOG!

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #101)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 04:54 AM

118. Plussed, kicked and acknowledged as a fine post.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #90)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 03:04 PM

109. how about that odd concept known as "the rule of law?"

doesn't that mean that criminals are prosecuted for crimes? unless of course prosecution would not be politically expedient. the rich and powerful have a different justice system than the rest of us.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #109)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 10:41 PM

116. How does the "rule of law" help?

The same appeal can be (and actually is) used to advocate for the deportation of immigrants or the arrest and jailing of casual marijuana smokers. The "rule of law" is also the death penalty and the world's highest rate of incarceration. If the "rule of law" is to be held up as some absolute, inviolate standard, then there's no room to pick and choose.

Some people would take the position of Ferdinand I, the Holy Roman Emperor in the 16th century who famously claimed, "Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus", which can be translated as, 'Let justice be done, though the world perish'.

Is that severe maxim always correct? What if the world does perish? Is that justice? I would argue that justice requires consideration of the consequences.

When president Obama took over in January 2010 the United States was fighting two, full-scale foreign wars and the economy was on the verge of falling into a irreversible downward spiral. People were losing their jobs, homes, savings, health insurance, etc. at an unprecedented rate. Against this backdrop, and with the support of Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, the president announced that the administration would "look forward" -- meaning they would not pursue prosecution of former officials for possible war crimes.

When I imagine the spectacle of the incoming administration immediately pursuing war crimes prosecutions against current and former military, government, and security officials, I see it becoming one of the most bitter, divisive, all-consuming political battles of my lifetime.

I think it's likely that the pursuit of war crimes prosecutions would have come at the cost of no health care reform, no Recovery Act, and none of the other things that were accomplished early in the administration.

'Let justice be done, though the world perish'.

The American public is much further right than DU. I think that poll after poll, especially on questions of national security, bears this out. I think that middle American and swing voters would have (and still would) abandon the Democratic Party in hugely significant numbers over a long and bitter showdown over war crimes.

I think such a situation would have significantly strengthened the political right and probably led to them gaining complete control over the government, the consequences of which would affect the country for a generation or more.

I rallied, marched, wrote letters, and sent donations to impeach and prosecute the war criminals. It still makes me mad but I'm not about to abandon my support for the only meaningful opposition to the right-wing GOP over it. I believe I can at least reluctantly understand the decisions that were made.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #116)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 12:24 AM

117. thanks for making my point

The rule of law does not apply to the rich and powerful.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #117)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 08:12 AM

119. You'll get no argument from me over that point.

It's an iron-clad fact. A rich banker can lie, cheat, and steal without consequences. Let a single poor person make one mistake on an application for public assistance and they'll call for her head.

My questions remain. Since we both recognize that the "rule of law" in actual practice doesn't mean shit to the rich and powerful in the United States, why do you invoke it as a remedy for war crimes? Were you only being ironic?

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #90)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 10:32 AM

124. Hey cheapdate...

... "Give me liberty, or give me death!" I don't need to tell you who said that in the 18th century right here in America. That adage is very similar or equivalent to "Let justice be done, though the world perish."

You're saying the world is going to end if we actually practice what we preach, i.e. if we search for justice and let heads roll. If we can't be true to our creed, then alrighty then. We need to change the creed. We need to ditch all our phony platitudes, the Constitution and just rule by edict. Or just change the Constitution to add a new set of laws for those "above the law." NOT!

Damn right. I get real self-righteous and sanctimonious when someone apologizes for high crimes and misdemeanors. We're either a nation of laws or we're not.

It's never to late to do the right thing, cheapdate.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:29 PM

28. he's called it torture twice before

. . . after recovering from the glow of that 'historic' admission of what we already knew, the question immediately became, what will you do to hold the practitioners and their superiors who ordered and approved it accountable?

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Response to bigtree (Reply #28)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:43 PM

42. Previous statements fall short

of the direct statement the president made on Friday. What might be done, we'll have to wait and see. For God's sake, it was two days ago. The Senate report comes out next month, I believe.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #42)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 04:06 AM

78. "Until further notice"...

... I believe is what DiFi said. What that tells me is they (the Senate Intel Committee) has to now work the whole thing over again for presentation, as there were so many redactions.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:37 PM

37. It doesn't mean a while lot for him to admit that

we tortured some "folks" if no one is going to be held accountable for any of it. Count me among the sanctimonious.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:17 PM

21. His choice of words left a bad taste in way too many mouths.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:25 PM

26. I couldn't agree more

 

Ot was the certainty of things like this that convinced me I was making a lesser of two evils choice in the last two pres elections.

What is particularly galling about it, is that the faux masochist is willing to endure anything and everything that his opposition can and have cooked up based on nothing -- like the recent law suit for example -- and yet won't take advantage of this open and shut case to even retaliate -- not that that's the most noble or best reason to pursue it.

His more avid and ardent supporters need to one day realize the fact that he's part of the problem in ways that makes a mockery of their love for the guy, and/or them supporters of the various evils he obviously refuses to give the treatment they deserve.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:32 PM

30. Do people not know that Obama has called waterboarding torture before?

From Nov 2011: Obama Says GOP Candidates Are Wrong, Waterboarding is ‘Torture’

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/11/obama-says-gop-candidates-are-wrong-waterboarding-is-torture/

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:33 PM

31. Fuck Charlie Pierce. nt

 

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Response to conservaphobe (Reply #31)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:13 PM

50. Under the bus!

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Response to conservaphobe (Reply #31)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 09:47 AM

92. Yeah, and anyone like him that tells the truth

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Response to conservaphobe (Reply #31)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:17 PM

99. LOL

you need to rename yourself REALIITYPHOBE

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 06:45 PM

43. Really.

So the President sidestepped from a potential "Sam Yorty" moment and people go nuts.

Whatever.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:08 PM

47. This thread, for some reason, is like fly paper for low count posters.

 

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #47)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:28 PM

57. 6 posts out of 55+ are by posters with less than 1000 posts. The rest have many thousands of posts

 



Not sure how that qualifies this thread as being some kind of low post count magnet.

Besides, I HATE people who denigrate newbies. Those of us with many posts were there once. Not all newbies are trolls. Until they prove themselves as such I give them the benefit of the doubt.

Commenting on a Charles Pierce article isn't a deal breaker for most on DU. YMMV



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #57)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 08:00 PM

63. +1

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #47)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 05:39 AM

85. eh, you don't intimidate me.

I'll post in any thread I like!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:15 PM

52. But..those poor delicate "patriots" were under enormous pressure.

 

What else could they do but commit atrocities on fellow human beings?

They should get medals for their heroic actions (against helpless people) instead of criticism. Wave flag here. They were probably singing God Bless America while doing their patriotic duty.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #52)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 03:49 AM

76. Yes! Think of poor Dick Cheney and his diseased, putrid heart (during 9/11), please!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:25 PM

55. K&R

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:26 PM

56. There is not, nor will there ever be, a justification for torture

If you are willing to justify torture because you are invested in a particular politician and his image, then...

I actually have no words.

I marched against the war. I shouted at the top of my lungs about torture. I am not going to shut the fuck up about it now that the Democratic President has said it is "understandable." It is against my values, which means my party has betrayed my values. I never thought I would see the day when a Democrat tried to gloss over WAR CRIMES.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #56)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 04:26 AM

79. + a brazillion

And then a brazillion more.
great post.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #56)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 05:46 AM

87. I'm with you, Brother.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #56)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:44 PM

102. There are plenty who will try to justify torture.

 

As long as the checks don't bounce.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #102)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 02:04 PM

104. Sadly, they don't get paid

It's the good German drive at work.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #104)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 02:08 PM

105. More likely, it's the good computer algorithm at work.

 

Manipulating social media is the DoD's new focus.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #105)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 03:22 PM

111. I realized that budget must have been cut

Our most pro-fessional posters have kept mum admist all this upheaval. No need to obfuscate any more, just ram it down our throats.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:33 PM

58. What was the second most "revolting"? Can not recall.

"The above may be the single most revolting thing this president ever said in public"

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #58)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 03:11 PM

110. Until next week's worst thing ever said ever

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 07:53 PM

61. Does anyone here really believe that the POTUS

would have admitted to the torture during the last administration, if the report was not going to come out soon?
Well, I for one don't. Of all people Holder will not touch it anyway. Did he not say that he is going to resign this year?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 08:22 PM

65. "OK we tortured some folks, now let's just move on"

Now that the president has actually fessed up to torture, it's no longer possible to move on without some retribution for those who actually commissioned or did the torturing. This will remain a stain on our national honor forever unless we prove to the world that we won't accept this sort of thing.

Of course, the president tried to walk a narrow path between praising the torturers as patriots and admitting that the torture itself was wrong. Predictably he pissed off both supporters and opponents of torture.

I used to think he'd eventually learn that there were people in this country who were going to hate his guts no matter what he did and that he'd stop trying to appease them. But no, after he jumped backwards through his own asshole to avoid call Dick Cheney a war criminal, Cheney's daughter unloaded on him for not calling her draft dodger daddy a patriot often enough.

There's no statute of limitations on war crimes. I hope that someday we will have a president who realizes that the actions of a rogue administration are going to haunt the country until something is done to atone for them and the perpetrators are punished.

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Response to tularetom (Reply #65)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 04:35 AM

80. Exactly!

Nope. "Let's just move on" isn't going to work for me either.

My mind wonders back to the '70s. We used to have bipartisan Congressional Committees who did try to right the wrongs. No more, though. I actually wonder if we had a Democratic Congress if they would hold some feet to the fire. Even PO's, since he let John Brennan (Captain Torture himself) skate when he got caught lying about his agency snooping in it's Congressional oversight committee's computers and e-mails! I am anxious to hear more from DiFi.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 08:45 PM

66. I regard anyone who impedes

 

the prosecution of our very own war criminals as enemies of the USA.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:06 PM

67. the best that can be said is this worst moment, out does previous worst moments - patriot act,

citizen surveillance, drones, Afghanistan surge, spying on the press, etc.

Mr. Obama keeps lowering the bar, doesn't he?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:54 PM

68. sighs and hates to agree

But this was a moment where Obama could have thrown people to the wolves, but uinstead, he is being a good solider, which will mean nothign as both the GOp and yes, Hillary demonize him in 2016.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 02:16 AM

74. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, n2doc.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 04:44 AM

81. K&R

That presser was so disappointing I turned it off before it was over. I don't read allot of Charlie Pierce, but this one I agree with. John Oliver did a pretty good spoof on it too last night on HBO. Thanks for the link, n2doc.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 05:34 AM

83. Why is the worst moment those comments rather than when he decided not to pursue

prosecution of war crimes six years ago? How is it worse to talk about torture than to decide not to prosecute it? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

I have noticed a tendency in this country--for as long as I've been alive--where people worry far more about what a public official says than what they do. I find it bizarre, as though we live in a Twilight Zone where all people care about is what is said on their television sets. If that's all that you people care about, they can spare themselves the agony by not listening to any of it. It takes you all six years to figure out something that has been public knowledge, and you wonder why our country is screwed up? You don't care about the decision, you care that he said "we tortured some folks"? Is government really no more than entertainment to people? All you care about is the President's performance?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 05:49 AM

88. Wonderful sentiments......

 

...and yet I beg to differ.

The single most revolting thing this President has ever said was:

''I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.''

When he decided he could circumvent the ''due process clause'' of the Constitution and kill an American citizen (and his minor son -- several days later) using in-house legal memos as his cover.

- Everyone should have realized in that moment, that we are all at risk. If you still don't see it, you're living in a fantasy world.......

K&R


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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 05:50 AM

89. Kicked and recommended!

Well done, n2doc.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 08:52 AM

91. "he's been out on the golf course without a hat too long." lol nt

Last edited Mon Aug 4, 2014, 12:13 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 12:21 PM

98. Charles P. Pierce never really loved him!!!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:56 PM

103. In the country I grew up in torturers were always the bad guy.

I'm not naive. I am sure we have tortured in the past whether an interrogator that simply lost it or someone who thought they could get away with it.....human nature and bad shit happens.
But.............................when a Government makes torture Official Policy and the nation go along with it.....that is the day that the United States of America begins the slide to the dark side.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 02:09 PM

106. I voted for Obama with great enthusiasm in '08

 

and with enthusiasm in '12. After this sickening statement I am glad I won't have to make a decision about whether to vote for him again as he won't be running. I am revolted by this.

We now have a Democratic party that is in many ways a modern iteration of the moderate Republican party of 35 years ago and a lunatic party that should be locked up in a laughing academy that is surrounded by 25 foot high walls topped with razor wire. Whatta country.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 09:46 AM

123. K&R

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