Showing posts with label CIA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CIA. Show all posts

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ye shall know them by their T-shirts

con·ser·va·tism \kən-ˈsər-və-ˌti-zəm\ n (1832) 1 capitalized a: the principles and policies of a Conservative party b: the Conservative party

2a: disposition in politics to preserve what is established b: a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage)

3: the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change

SUPPOSE A SPACE ALIEN landed somewhere in these United States tomorrow and began studying our culture, our media and our politics.

Considering what passes for "conservative thought" at the beginning of these new Dark Ages -- and assuming the existence of an English-to-Zorkonian version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary -- our visitor might end up making some very wrong assumptions about what America has been all about these past 232 years.

And he'd probably report back to the home planet that there's this embattled fellow in Chicago, name of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who is a prophet sent from God and suffering much the same fate as his Old Testament namesake from this earthling spiritual guidebook -- "The Bible," it is called.

He would relay that "conservatives" are a fierce and violent lot who apparently hate everyone and everything, seek to kill as many real or imagined "enemies" as possible and are prone to being tendentious braggarts. Also, the Zorkonians would learn -- to their utter horror -- that conservatives' artistic and cultural output resembles Klingon opera as much as anything

And these "conservatives" even may harbor a taste for gagh, not to mention bloodwine.

Likewise, the scout from Zorkon would report that the United States' "conservative" goverment apparently is dedicated to ceaseless war and employs torture against enemy prisoners, a practice widely celebrated by American conservatives.

Great. These earthling ideologues seem to harbor all the worst traits of the Klingons and the Cardassians.

Preliminary recommendation: A mandatory quarantine of Earth, with no outside contact permitted. Also, continue close observation; reserve the right to launch tactical photon-torpedo strikes against the "United States" region if the Americans develop warp-propulsion technology.

IF A SPACE ALIEN came down from the heavens tomorrow, could we -- would we -- blame him for thinking such about our country seven years into the Shameful Administration? Could the last two or three thoughtful conservatives blame a total outsider for equating their political philosophy with intellectual softness, rhetorical inconsistency and rank barbarism?

Can a movement whose proud members are apt to decry legal abortion while defending waterboarding while wearing a "Rope. Tree. Journalist" T-shirt be taken seriously . . . even a little bit?

I don't think so. Not unless one is a political and cultural anthropologist conducting a study on how modern conservatism got from William F. Buckley to Benito Mussolini (with a dash of Mao Zedong-style cultism thrown in) in 50 short years.

at this point, I could launch into multiple pull quotes from multiple outrageous columns by Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Jonah Goldberg or any number of lesser lights from the farm teams of "conservative" punditry.

Oh, what the hell. How about just a couple from WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah, who doesn't just tolerate waterboarding -- he hearts it:

It was used successfully to learn about terrorist operations planned by two of al-Qaida's top operatives – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, involved in the planning of the 9/11 attack, and Abu Zubaida, another leader of the terrorist organization.

Apparently both of these mass killers endured many hours of coercive interrogations without talking. But they sung like canaries after a few seconds of waterboarding.

In both cases, there is reason to believe planned terrorist attacks were foiled as a result of this technique.

Nevertheless, there is a growing chorus of opposition against any further use of waterboarding in similar or even more dire scenarios.

Let's use our heads for a minute.

Imagine American law enforcement or military authorities have captured a terrorist mastermind who has knowledge about an imminent nuclear detonation in an unknown American city. He knows the time, the location and the details about the warhead.

The bomb could be going off at any minute. It could kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Would you really want waterboarding to be banned under all circumstances? What alternatives would you suggest for quick results? Should we call in top negotiators from the State Department? Should we play loud rap music? Should we force the prisoner to listen to Hillary Rodham Clinton speeches?

While I also find those experiences unpleasant, I don't think they would produce the needed results in time to defuse the bomb.

Let's not tie the hands of future Jack Bauers who will need to do what they have to do to save lives.

I personally think Mohammed and Zubaida got off way too easy with waterboarding.

I would personally have performed far more unpleasant procedures on them without a twinge of guilt in my conscience. Real torture techniques would have been appropriate in both cases.
BUT ABORTION, on the other hand, is icky and an abrogation of God-given rights:
Tell me, where is due process for those unborn children sentenced to death while still in the womb?

Some abortion advocates have tried to suggest that Roe v. Wade – an arbitrary and capricious attempt by the Supreme Court to exceed its constitutional limitations and legislate – is itself the due process for unborn babies.

Once again, however, the Constitution trumps that poor excuse for an argument.

"Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense."

Roe v. Wade is, thus, a sham – a house of cards. It was an artificial attempt to make abortion a right by citing a "right of privacy" that is itself nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Roe v. Wade created rights where none existed and abrogated those that were enshrined as unalienable.

I rest my case.

But I will not rest entirely until this nation is awakened to abortion as both a national tragedy as well as a constitutional threat to all of our God-given rights – as well as an endangerment to the lives and liberties of our posterity.
OBVIOUSLY, Joseph Farah is just making this s*** up as he goes.

By what stretch of what dictionary-conservative (as opposed to "Do what thou wilt" fascistic "conservatism") definition does someone reason that God-given rights apply more to cute little fetuses than scum-sucking Islamic terrorists?

If the rights asserted in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the U.S. Constitution emanated from a Creator -- as went the Founders' contention -- by what authority do today's addle-minded right-wingers proclaim that God-given rights and God-bestowed dignity is the birthright of unborn baby and me, but maybe not thee?

They proclaim it by their own authority, that's how. Run like hell when you see folks with hate in their eyes and blood on their hands trying to wrap the Almighty in an American flag.

Run, because there's no unbridgable difference between them and European fascists of old. Run, for while they love to decry hip-hop culture and ghetto thuggery, they emblazon a Caucasian version of "tha gangsta life" on their "conservative" apparel and try to rebrand a Mad Dog philosophy as Chardonnay and canapés.

Mordor and mammon: They go together like fire and brimstone. What a conservative concept.

HAT TIP: Catholic and Enjoying It

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's a lock: Death a winner in '08

Great. It looks like it's pretty well official now.

The November election will be the Party of Abortion and Sex squaring off against the Party of Greed, Eternal War and Torture.

The U.S. Senate -- or was it the Roman Senate . . . I forget -- today voted largely along party lines to restrict the Central Intelligence Agency to interrogation techniques approved in the Army field manual. In other words, no waterboarding, no torture of any sort.

NOW THE BILL goes to Caesar President Bush who, as head of the Party of Greed, Eternal War and Torture, has vowed to veto it. Joining his fellow Greed, War & Torture senators in voting against the anti-torture legislation was presidential candidate John McCain, who had very nasty things done to him at the Hanoi Hilton many years ago.

(For those of you under 35, the Hanoi Hilton was not a five-star hotel. But it was in Vietnam.)

Meanwhile, after breaking from his fellow Abortion & Sex senators to vote in favor of torture, Nebraska's allegedly pro-life Ben Nelson was reported to be unavailable for comment due to overwhelming confusion.

The Associated Press has the depressing details:

Congress on Wednesday moved to prohibit the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects, despite President Bush's threat to veto any measure that limits the agency's interrogation techniques.

The prohibition was contained in a bill authorizing intelligence activities for the current year, which the Senate approved on a 51-45 vote. It would restrict the CIA to the 19 interrogation techniques outlined in the Army field manual. That manual prohibits waterboarding, a method that makes an interrogation subject feel he is drowning.

The House had approved the measure in December. Wednesday's Senate vote set up a confrontation with the White House, where Bush has promised to veto any bill that restricts CIA questioning.

Arguing for such restrictions, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the use of harsh tactics would boomerang on the United States.

"Retaliation is the way of the world. What we do to others, they will do to us — but worse," Rockefeller said. "This debate is about more than legality. It is also about morality, the way we see ourselves ... and what we represent to the world."


Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, backed by Senate Republicans Olympia Snowe of Maine and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, inserted the provision in December into a bill providing guidelines for the running of U.S. intelligence agencies this year.

The 19 approved interrogation techniques in the military field manual include "good cop/bad cop," "false flag" — making prisoners think they are in the custody of another country — and the separation of a prisoner from other prisoners for up to 30 days at a time.

It prohibits military interrogators from hooding prisoners or putting duct tape across their eyes. They may not be stripped naked or forced to perform or mimic sexual acts. They may not be beaten, electrocuted, burned or otherwise physically hurt. They may not be subjected to hypothermia or mock executions. It does not allow food, water and medical treatment to be withheld, and dogs may not be used in any aspect of interrogation.

Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, voted against the measure Wednesday.

LET ME ATTEMPT to get this straight. And, please . . . bear with me here.

Come November, as a Catholic who believes what his Church teaches, I am somehow expected to vote either:

* For the Party of Abortion and Sex in order to put an end to the Party of Greed, Endless War and Torture's relentless pursuit of . . . well . . . greed, endless war and torture.

* Or, alternatively, for the Party of Greed, Endless War and Torture in order to keep the Party of Abortion and Sex from getting its grubby, K-Y jelly-smeared hands on the Supreme Court, which someday is supposed to put an end to Roe v. Wade. But hasn't yet after 35 years, despite enough Republican appointments to supposedly have done that already.

UMM HMM. I think I get it now.

How about this instead? How about -- as a Catholic who believes what his Church teaches -- I tell both parties to go to hell.

And then spend my time trying to figure out how to survive the long, ugly decline of an empire that lost its soul, then lost its mind.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Godwin's Law goes way of Geneva Conventions

You know, it's impossible to abide by Godwin's Law -- the unofficial law of argument that he who calls someone a Nazi automatically loses -- when so many people in this country are acting like Nazis.

First in the ranks of goosestepping disciples of evil would be
the government of the United States of America. Specifically the Bush Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Consider, for example, this testimony before Congress by CIA Director Michael Hayden, as reported by MSNBC:
Congress is considering a bill that would restrict the CIA to only those methods authorized by the Army's field manual for interrogation. Hayden said that would make no sense. The Army's interrogators are young people with limited training, while the CIA's interrogators are highly trained, he said.

The Army interrogates a broad range of people, while the CIA's program is tailored to a specific group of terrorists. It would make no more sense to apply the Army's interrogation manual to the CIA than it would to apply the Army's grooming standards or its rules on sexual orientation, Hayden said.
YES, THE CIA has goons quite skilled in the black art of torture. They can do this, because they are highly trained for it.

Just like the SS.