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View Diary: Olbermann Reports on Tracheotomy Kits for Waterboarding (131 comments)

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  •  Olbermann has gone off the (0+ / 0-)

    deep end on torture reporting.  He spent fifty minutes on Countdown pontificating about torture on Thursday or Friday of last week.

    This is a losing political issue.  The percentage of people approving the investigation has dropped from sixty-forty to about fifty-fifty in a very short period.

    Obama is right.  This is a distraction from the economy, health care, education and environmental issues.  The new President is not going to be involved in torture as a means of eliciting information.  

    Why are so many liberals involved in damaging the agenda of a new President?  I am a hard core liberal, but I fail to see the need for an academic debate about torture at this time.  The political establishment, and apparently the electorate, doesn't have much interest in holding people accountable for roughing up a few bad actors who were responsible for killing over 3,000 innocent civilians.  

    •  If we don't punish now (15+ / 0-)

      Then it will be easier next time; easier both to commit the crime and easier for everyone else to look the other way in the name of "healing".  Precedent will be on the side of future torturers.

      I heard (sourced by Fox Radio, sorry) that next month Obama is releasing pictures courtesy of an ACLU FOI request.  Hope it's true.

      Obama is saying that he wants to look forward instead of backward, but he keeps providing fuel for the fire.  I think he wants Americans to force his hand and demand justice.  At least, I hope so.

      I mean it's like these guys take pride in ignorance! It's like they like being ignorant.

      by math monkey on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 07:26:48 AM PDT

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      •  I think so too (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattman, KenBee, JVolvo, antboy

        Especially when you consider that the GOP has been fighting him all the way.  If he lets more information out, and gives time for the outrage to build, the GOP will either have to give up, or become history.

        I still don't understand why they don't cut the Bush administration loose, and just say "they were wrong".  They might lose some of their base, but not that much - especially when you consider that the authoritarian part of their base would rather die than vote anything other than Republican.

        "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

        by Diogenes2008 on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 07:35:24 AM PDT

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    •  the Iraq war was a losing issue too.....right? (8+ / 0-)

      It's a good thing democrats held off criticizing the build-up to the Iraq war. Otherwise, they would be in real trouble right now......or maybe not.  

      Explain how this damages the Obama's agenda? Seems like it is possible for him to deal with this with an independent prosecutor, while focusing his own attention on the pressing matters.

      By the way, "roughing up" is a terrible spin on the use of torture.

      •  Just look at the number of diaries (0+ / 0-)

        involving torture that have appeared as recommended diaries for the past couple of weeks.  It has become the most important issue for many liberals. Olbermann leads with a long torture segment nightly. Obama can walk and chew gum, but he can't do everything on the liberal wish list at once.  

        Roughing up does not equal torture.  But it wasn't an attempt at spin.  There is a time and a place for everything.  This isn't the time for a torture accountability investigation.  

        •  To quote my ancestor, just prior to 7/4/1776, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Obama Amabo, Coilette

          "the time is not only ripe, it's rotten."

          This isn't the time for a torture accountability investigation.  

          My Karma just ran over your Dogma

          by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 09:50:14 AM PDT

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        •  When is the time? (0+ / 0-)

          This reminds me of the debates on environmental regulations. Not now while the economy's bad. Then, not now we could derail the recovery. To not now, it will cause a recession. There never really is a perfect time in which you will avoid pressing issues, either domestic or foreign policy related. Priorities are important, but this is something that could be handled pretty quickly on the president's end. Obama could appoint a special prosecutor to "look into it" and not spend any more time of his own on it. Sure, some of the public's attention is diverted if details leak out, but there would be plenty of time for the investigation to occur before the focus would return.

          Maybe "spin" was a poor word choice, but from the context it appeared that you were downplaying the severity of the treatment to make your point.

          •  A great point.. (0+ / 0-)

            When the toxicity of 9/11 is taken out of the system.  That would happen with the death or capture of OBL.  Dems, Indys and moderate Repubs could deal with the subject rationally at that time.

            IMO, the crazies like Bachmann will never approach a torture investigation on a reasonable basis.  

            •  And frankly if Banana Republicans... (0+ / 0-)

              ...like Bachmann want to take up the pro-torture mantle, good luck to them.  I suspect it won't garner many votes in the long run.

              "He who fights against monsters must see to it that he does not become a monster in the process."

              by Obama Amabo on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 10:53:22 AM PDT

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    •  a "few bad actors"? (6+ / 0-)

      are you serious? we're talking about torture. Go watch "Standard Operating Procedure," or "Taxi to the Dark Side" and get really comfortable with what torture is and what it looks like.

      This should not be about "political expediency," especially given the undue weight Fox News and the right wing echo chamber seem to have in America.  

      "a few bad actors"?!? hahaha, that's like calling calling Stalin "irascible"

      •  Drop over to youtube and watch (0+ / 0-)

        all of those people jumping out of the top floors of the Trade Towers.  That is undisputable torture.

        •  You are EXPOSED...liberal my ass...n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldjohnbrown, Obama Amabo, Coilette
        •  Oh, geez...*palm plant* (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          middleagedhousewife, Coilette

          "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." - John Conyers

          by Remain calm on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 09:20:45 AM PDT

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        •  And so we should aspire (5+ / 0-)

          to match the depravity of every criminal?  Why not stop with torture in response to 9-11?  Let's take every drunk driver who has killed someone else in an accident and run them over repeatedly with our cars.  Couldn't disagree more with your thinking here!

          With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

          by GN1927 on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 09:36:42 AM PDT

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          •  I am not advocating torture, and (0+ / 0-)

            there will come a time for accountability.  It just isn't now from a political point of view. The Repubs will end up with a field day with a replay of 9/11.  The objects of torture at Gitmo are not heroes.  Rachel and Olbermann are doing liberals a great disservice with their obsession about torture investigations.  

            •  This is not a purely political or partisan (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Coilette

              question.  It's about whether it is okay for the government to decide that an instance of lawbreaking justifies those intrusted with enormous power over us to break laws in turn.  This should not be a partisan discussion nor does the innocence/guilt/likeability of those being tortured even have any bearing on this issue.

              This is a nation of laws, and we have law enforcers who have demonstrated an ability to obtain information without resorting to criminality themselves.  Those who did otherwise should be prosecuted, period.

              Anyone who has a problem with us taking the strongest precautions against becoming a banana republic in which torture is prevalent is more than welcome to move to any number of countries in which there are no restraints against torture nor accountability for torturers.  But this country will be better than that.

              With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

              by GN1927 on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 10:40:19 AM PDT

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            •  Really!?? And this is because you already know.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pete Rock

              ...what those investigations would produce?  Or else I assume you would maintain the same position even if such an investigation were to provide proof:

              1.  That much of the waterboarding was done specifically in hopes of forcing a false confession to the existence of a Saddam/al Qaeda connection?
              1.  That the torturers at abu Ghraib were obeying explicit instructions, and acting with the knowledge of the Sec. Def.?
              1.  That one or more of the 100+ who died during captivity did so while being tortured?
              1.  That some of those who died were deliberately tortured to death in front of other interrogation subjects in order to make them more "compliant"?

              Again, you are either someone who:

              1.  Knows in advance precisely what such an investigation would produce, or
              1.  Doesn't care what horrors it might produce, or
              1.  Is woefully lacking in imagination as to what it might produce, or
              1.  Is a troll.

              "He who fights against monsters must see to it that he does not become a monster in the process."

              by Obama Amabo on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 10:49:11 AM PDT

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            •  Response to the joker "Harleyhog" (0+ / 0-)

              I fail to see the need for an academic debate about torture at this time.

              You and me both. We have had plenty of academic debates, now what we need is a special prosecutor operating under war criminal statutes and conventions the USA signed onto in 1949 and more recently.

              We can take care of our own cream of the crop half dozen suspects, plus Cheney and others playing an indisputable executive commanding role in this.

              It is possible a few will be exonerated or charges largely reduced. Some may get the maximum punishment. Some crimes we haven't even uncovered yet and linked up to the major ones based on the sytematic widespread torture regime will be revealed and settled also..

              The objects of torture at Gitmo are not heroes.They are not "objects of torture", they are human beings.

              cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

              by Pete Rock on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 08:59:00 AM PDT

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        •  where do you draw the line? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927

          This explanation could be used as justification for anything. Should we really become that which we supposedly abhor? Because that is what you just suggested.

        •  Oh it's you again (0+ / 0-)

          You want to spam the same argument every thread, I'll just go with my counter.

          Why don't you just promote genocide to keep us safe?  You obviously couldn't care less about the moral consequences.

        •  Of course, the CIA destroyed their torture tapes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hopalong

          Otherwise you could drop over to Youtube and watch the CIA indisputably torturing.

          In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H.L. Mencken

          by Simian on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 11:40:46 AM PDT

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    •  It's simple. Torture goes to the heart (0+ / 0-)

      of what it means to be an American.  If we allow torture, we will have exposed ourselves to the world as indisputable frauds.

      Wealth doesn't go the the heart of what it means to be an American.  Nor does health care.  We can ignore torture in order to attend to the economy and health care and whatever other social programs we might like to see, but in doing so we will have ceased to be Americans.

      Besides, the "distraction" argument is a canard.  Obama can appoint a special prosecutor and get out of the way.  Then nobody is spending time on it except law enforcement.

      In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H.L. Mencken

      by Simian on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 11:45:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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