Monday, April 28, 2008

Torture Nation! Plus, some bloggy introspection with a little despair thrown in for good measure.

The second anniversary of Barking Rabbits is fast approaching. This is of absolutely no importance to anyone, of course. I am just amazed that the time has gone by so fast, and that I have been able to come up with enough material to fill two years worth of postings. Not necessarily, “good material” or “interesting material”. Just “material”…

I wish I had the incisive wit to have a really funny, snarky blog like, say, Sadly, No! Those guys are really hysterical at times, and the comment section is even better sometimes. I wish I could do that. Mostly, however, what gets me in the mindset to write something is when I finally get upset about something enough to actually formulate a readable post that isn’t just a rant that doesn’t ever manage to include a point. Rants for the sake of rants relieve the tension and stress, but it hardly meets the criteria for being interesting enough for others to read it as well. I’ve always tried to keep that in mind. No matter the subject I post about, I wanted it to be such that someone else might also find it interesting and worthwhile spending a few minutes looking at.

I just read some more information on John Yoo and his legal memos which allowed people in the employment of the United States of America to torture subjects who haven’t even been legally charged with a crime, must less actually shown to be guilty. This just is so sick…

“It increasingly appears that the Bush interrogation program was already being used before Yoo was asked to write an opinion. He may therefore have provided after-the-fact legal cover. That would help explain why Yoo strained to take so many implausible positions in the memos.

Lawyers had told Bush administration officials that some of the techniques already in use were illegal, even criminal. In fact, a senior Pentagon lawyer described to me exchanges he had with Yoo in which he stressed that those using the techniques could face prosecution. Yoo notes in his Pentagon memo that he communicated with the Criminal Division of the Justice Department and got assurances that prosecutions would not be brought. The question becomes, was Yoo giving his best effort at legal analysis, or was he attempting to protect the authors of the program from criminal investigation and prosecution?

In any case, Yoo kept the program running. Even the man who came in to run the Office of Legal Counsel after Yoo's departure, Jack Goldsmith, has written that he understood Yoo's project this way. Goldsmith also rescinded Yoo's memos.”

The people at the top knew this was illegal and immoral. Yet, they proceeded to find legal cover, however flimsy, so the perpetrators could not face future prosecution. Hey, I got news for everyone. If you are doing something for which you feel you need legal protection in the future, you probably should not be doing it! How difficult a concept is this to grasp? And yet, we have the entire White House crew personally involved in the day-to-day decision making for who to torture and how to torture them.

I don’t have a link for this one, but I saw this on Countdown the other day. Someone had the nerve to ask ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft about waterboading. In public! The question was something like, please explain how the U.S. prosecuted Japanese Army soldiers and officers after WWII for using the same technique on our soldiers, to attempt to find out information they thought would be valuable to the cause of the Japanese Imperial Army, that we are now condoning and using on prisoners. Ashcroft got all huffy, apparently, and objected to the question on the following grounds. The Japanese torturers actually FORCED water down the throat and windpipe of the U.S. military personnel undergoing this “enhanced interrogation technique”. Where WE, the good guys in this war, only “pour” the water down the prisoners throat and windpipe.

That was the distinction used by the TOP legal official in the U.S. government
was making: “forcing” vs. “pouring” water down the nose and throat of someone such that they believe they are drowing. And Ashcroft actually had the balls to act upset that the questioner, plus about 80% of the rest of the country, could not see this distinction.

And conservatives accuse liberals of “moral relativism”?!? Mother of God… What kind of person could seriously make this argument and not expect to get laughed at in his face, much less the ex-A.G. of the United States? And that brings up another point, is that he did it because he felt that no one would call him on it! It’s only those traitorous liberals that would object to such a reasoned, rational argument!

I think I have found a good excuse for not to be able to be really humorous and snarky about these kinds of events. They are just too mind numbing to even comprehend that our government, the United States of America, is a bunch of thugs and liars, much less make jokes about them. All I see is despair and disillusionment.

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