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Two stories from today's news highlight the hubris of the U.S. executive branch as regards its assumed right to conduct unrestrained surveillance of its citizens, and engage in torture in violation of all laws.

Both Emptywheel at Firedoglake and Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com have done a stellar job tracking the Cheneyesque descent (H/T EW) of the Obama Justice Department when it comes to the question of executive privilege over classified material, especially when it comes to the courts. We already have witnessed the spectacle of the U.S. pressuring a British court on the suppression of documents in the Binyam Mohamed case.

As the Guardian reports it, "UK officials provided the CIA with information used in Mohamed's interrogation in Morocco, where he says he was tortured." For all the frenzied attempt to hide secrets, demands for an investigation grow in Britain.

Ministers yesterday came under increased pressure to set up an independent inquiry into the role of British security and intelligence agents in the US practice of rendering terror suspects to foreign prisons to be secretly and inhumanely interrogated.

Back in the U.S., it's a similar story. In the al-Haramain case, now in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco under Judge Vaughn Walker, an Islamic charity was targeted as "terrorist" and subjected to warrantless wiretapping... or was it that it was caught up in a data-mining sweep under illegal mass surveillance and a "terrorist" case built out of whole cloth? We can't be sure, and partly because the government won't release its documents, and al-Haramain's suit cannot go forward. It's even stranger when the primary document, a log of calls, was initially and mistakenly released to the plaintiffs, who returned it, and now can't get it back in order to pursue their case.

The Quest for Unlimited Executive Power Under Two Administrations

The position taken by the Department of Justice in the latest filing in the case is Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft-Gonzalez-kind outrageous, making preposterous assertions about executive power. Greenwald caught the situation perfectly:

The brief filed by Obama on Friday afternoon (.pdf) has to be read to believed.  It is literally arguing that no court has the power to order that classified documents be used in a judicial proceeding; instead, it is the President -- and the President alone -- who possesses that decision-making power under Article II, and no court order is binding on the President to the extent it purports to direct that such information be made available for use in a judicial proceeding....

... after a few symbolic (and potentially important) decrees in the first week, which I praised at the time -- the Obama administration's approach to civil liberties, constitutional protections and the reining in of executive power abuses has been absolutely abysmal.  None of this has anything to do with complaints that he hasn't yet done enough.  It's the opposite:  these are all affirmative, even extraordinary, actions undertaken by the Obama DOJ not merely to copy, but in the Al-Haramain case, virtually to surpass, the worst aspects of the Bush/Cheney/Addington use of extreme secrecy and assertions of unlimited executive power.  

The twistings and turnings of the al-Haramain case are being reported and dissected in excruciatingly minute but important detail by Emptywheel and her cohort of experts over at FDL, and the reader is kindly directed there to hear the latest news, e.g., "On Friday, Obama's DOJ submitted four new declarations--presumably to correct the 'inaccurate' information provided in May 2006." What might that "inaccurate" information be? Head on over to EW at FDL and see what the cognoscenti think.

Did I say "Two"? I Meant "Ninety-Two".

In the other big news of the day, the ACLU revealed that the CIA now admits that it destroyed not two, as previously revealed, but 92 interrogation videotapes of "high-profile" prisoners in their custody. The revelation came as part of the ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the ACLU to obtain documents from the CIA. The case is in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.

The admission of greater destruction of evidence came in a letter today from the U.S. attorneys to Judge Alvin Hellerstein. Noting that John Durham's criminal investigation into "the destruction of certain videotaped interrogations of detainees by the Central Intelligence Agency" is essentially over, and that the court will likely order an identifying list of destroyed records, with "summaries, transcripts, or memoranda" regarding these records "and any reconstruction of the records' contents," the government, agreeing to gather the appropriate materials, made the following comment:

In the meantime, the CIA can now identify the number of videotapes that were destroyed.... Ninety-two videotapes were destroyed. This information is included in the CIA Office of Inspector General's Special Review Report, a redacted version of which was previously produced to the Plaintiffs. The CIA will unredact this information from the report and produce it to the Plaintiffs.

Finally, we note that certain of the information ... may be classified or statutorily protected from disclosure, such as the names of CIA employees who have reviewed the tapes.

The government also promised to identify and witnesses who have seen the tapes or had custody of them prior to their destruction.

One wonders why it took that long to make the admission, and we can suppose that Durham already knew something of the amount of destroyed material, as part of his investigation, and that the CIA is doing its best to organize a limited hangout of some sort. I note what the government notes, i.e., that "certain of the information ... may be classified or statutorily protected from disclosure." It remains to be seen how far they will go in hiding more of their crimes.

The Crime of Destruction of Evidence in its Historical Context

I think there are two places in which we have the CIA on record, in-house, so to speak, re taping coercive interrogations (torture). In the KUBARK manual, audio taping of interrogations is recommended, as helping with planning and ongoing interrogations. They had lots of uses for such recordings, as this snippet from KUBARK (CIA counterintellgence interrogation manual, 1961) indicates:

A session with the witness may be recorded. If the witness denounces the interrogatee there is no problem. If he does not, the interrogator makes an effort to draw him out about a hostile agent recently convicted in court or otherwise known to the witness. During the next interrogation session with the source, a part of the taped denunciation can be played back to him if necessary.

Much more recently, in the minutes to the 10/02/02 "counter-resistance strategy" meeting with LTC Beaver, other DoD personnel, and Dave Becker of DIA and CIA general counsel John Fredman, we get the following exchange:

Becker: Videotapes are subject to too much scrutiny in court. We don't want the LEA people in aggressive sessions anyway. [By "LEA," they mean "law enforcement agency", and most particularly, the FBI. - Valtin]

LTC Beaver: LEA choice not to participate in these types of interrogations is more ethical and moral as opposed to legal.

Fredman: The videotaping of even totally legal techniques will look "ugly".

Becker: (Agreed)

As many have noted, there are thousands of hours of videotape, and not only of CIA torture. There were likely lots of tapes made at Guantanamo, too (and many likely also destroyed).

The destruction of interrogation evidence was a primary consideration of these criminals from very early on, as evidenced by this story, now little remembered from last June:

The Pentagon urged interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to destroy handwritten notes in case they were called to testify about potentially harsh treatment of detainees, a military defense lawyer said Sunday.

The lawyer for Toronto-born Omar Khadr, Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, said the instructions were included in an operations manual shown to him by prosecutors and suggest the U.S. deliberately thwarted evidence that could help terror suspects defend themselves at trial.

Put this all together with the supposed "disarray" of Guantanamo files, and we have a massive cover-up of crimes of a magnitude we have yet to fathom. One thing is for sure, the amount of destroyed tapes and material is far more than even this limited hangout will attest.

The destruction of evidence -- in this case amounting to obstruction of justice -- is nothing new for the CIA. In the early 1970s, the Director of Central Intelligence, William Colby, along with the head of the CIA's Office Technical Services destroyed most of the agency's MKULTRA files, as then-CIA chief Admiral Stanfield Turner admitted to a Senate panel in 1977. MKULTRA was a massive mind control, "behavioral modification" program. It ran, officially, from 1953-1964, and included even "terminal" experiments with the use of drugs on unwitting subjects. The results of its various studies were incorporated into the CIA model of coercive interrogation, codified in its KUBARK counter-intelligence interrogation manual in the early 1960s. This manual was only declassified in the 1990s. The National Security Archive describes some of the relevant sections in that manual. Warning: those who read this may suffer vertiginous deja vu, thinking of various headlines and exposes in the past seven years:

Under the subheading, "Threats and Fears," the CIA authors note that "the threat of coercion usually weakens or destroys resistance more effectively than coercion itself. The threat to inflict pain, for example, can trigger fears more damaging than the immediate sensation of pain." Under the subheading "Pain," the guidelines discuss the theories behind various thresholds of pain, and recommend that a subject's "resistance is likelier to be sapped by pain which he seems to inflict upon himself" such rather than by direct torture. The report suggests forcing the detainee to stand at attention for long periods of time. A section on sensory deprivations suggests imprisoning detainees in rooms without sensory stimuli of any kind, "in a cell which has no light," for example. "An environment still more subject to control, such as water-tank or iron lung, is even more effective," the KUBARK manual concludes.

Government Secrecy and the Struggle for a Free Society

Secrecy is almost always used to protect crimes from the public. It is shameful that an administration that prides itself on transparency -- indeed, Attorney General Holder released today the text of the missing Office of Legal Counsel memos from the post-9/11 era -- has, when it comes to torture and wiretapping, committed itself to such an abysmal recrudescence of Bush-era claims of executive supremacy.

It is not enough to ban waterboarding, as the government has now announced, when abusive techniques of interrogation, including sensory deprivation, isolation, sleep deprivation and manipulation of phobic fears is still part of the U.S. arsenal of interrogation techniques, as in the current Army Field Manual.

The CIA is almost an entirely different story. As a rogue element in government, recipient of untold billions of dollars and influence in far-reaching parts of government and society as a whole, it is ceased being, if it ever was, an agent of the democracy it claims to serve, and is instead one of the most dangerous, out-of-control elements inside government. One can only hope that the Durham investigation comes to the necessary conclusions, and that criminal prosecutions begin the restoration of law and order throughout the government.

What seems likely, though, is that the entrenched powers will fight a tooth-and-nail struggle against any restriction upon their freedom of action. Only a period of social struggle, such as occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, will provide the sufficient societal impetus and defense to fight back against these anti-democratic interests and the law-breakers that enable them. One way to begin this fight would be by supporting the call for prosecutions initiated by the National Lawyers Guild and a number of other prominent individuals and groups. If one cannot bring themselves to support that, then one must at a support the call for investigations coming from the Congressional offices of Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. John Conyers.

Wiretapping, Torture, Stonewalling by government, and Obstruction of Justice by the agencies and players involved -- Watergate was not easy, and this will not be so either. But I feel the tide turning, and we must complete what the Vietnam and Watergate eras failed to achieve: a social revolution in how power is conducted in this country, and an end to militarism and imperialist foreign policy as the raison d'etre for U.S. power.

Also posted at Invictus

Originally posted to Valtin on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:53 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (30+ / 0-)

    Events are beginning to move much more quickly, and I think they will move even more quickly yet.

    On the agenda: Walker's ruling in the al-Haramain case, Durham's criminal investigation results viz the CIA destroyed tapes, and the release of the Senate Armed Services Comm. unredacted report on DoD torture.

    On the near horizon later this year: the release of a DoD Inspector General report on drugging of prisoners, and possible release of an unredacted CIA Inspector General report on torture by the CIA (a report now about four or five years old).

    We live in interesting times.

    War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

    by Valtin on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:56:33 PM PST

  •  Obama Justice Department? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, JG in MD, ericlewis0

    Still full of loyal Bushies with a brand new AG.

    Let's see how many cases the Obama administration actually pursues in some extremely long time frame - like say a whole month after Holder is in office.

    These are important issues; I don't deny that.  Blaming Obama for the actions of a bunch of Bush holdovers is really starting to piss me off.  These cases might wind up settled in a way you like considerably better.

    Might be nice to give the guy a chance.

    Just sayin.

    Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    by UneasyOne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:06:37 PM PST

    •  And why are you assuming that this is all (5+ / 0-)

      because of Bush holdovers?

    •  I'm certainly not the only one feeling this way (12+ / 0-)

      Here's an Al-Haramain attorney from a story in the SF Chronicle:

      The government's temerity in this case has never ceased to amaze me.  What's amazing is that this is the Obama administration now.

      Let me ask you, Uneasy One, did you actually go and read the brief Greenwald linked to, and which I reduplicated in the diary. It comes from Obama's DoJ. Plenty of these things have already happened, and either Obama has taken no affirmative steps to turn around the supposed actions of this Bush rear-guard -- which makes him and/or Holder about the worst managers you've ever seen (and I don't think they are) -- or, you have to assume that Obama has adopted a view of the executive that smacks of that of a number of past presidents since Nixon.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:13:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, what would you call a long time-frame? ... (14+ / 0-)

      ...A month ago, some folks here were excoriated for suggesting that, at best, the Obama administration was making a mistake by taking the same tack as the Cheney-Bush administration in several inter-related matters having to do with torture and state secrets. Diarists were called "shameful" and "stupid" for questioning what was going on. Clearly, they were told, when the new Attorney General was confirmed, he would put the kibosh on these holdovers' sneakiness.

      Instead, the arguments are much the same as they were when Cheney-Bush (and Mukasey) still held the reins.

      Now, what is it exactly he would have to do in these high-profile cases - like al-Haramain - which has been working its way through the courts for years? Would he, as the boss, have to let his subordinate Bush-lovers keep doing what they were doing? Or could he just say to them: stop it and stop it now until I personally review these high-profile cases with trusted members of my new team?

      The number of people giving Obama and Holder a pass for this is really starting to piss me off.

      "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." -Flannery O'Connor

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:20:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about giving him a lousy month? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety

        Then I'll jump in on your side.

        Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

        by UneasyOne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:23:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You mean ... (13+ / 0-)

          ...I guess, another month, since Holder was confirmed on February 2.

          "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." -Flannery O'Connor

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:25:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You win (2+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            freakofsociety, JG in MD
            Hidden by:
            BentLiberal

            It's a known fact that Obama lusts after being the torturer in chief and following in Bush's footsteps re civil rights.  He's gonna be a bigger war criminal than Bush, I'm sure.

            Undoubtedly Holder has already replaced all those loyal Bushies, despite the civil service laws and will fail to quietly work out things to your liking.

            WOE IS EVERYBODY!

            Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

            by UneasyOne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:36:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are speaking out of ignorance (9+ / 0-)

              To some of the most informed bloggers there are on this subject.

              And believe me we all share your pain (evidenced by your lashing out) that Obama's administration has faults on this issue.

              But it does, sorry.

            •  Nobody (at least nobody with any brains) is ... (10+ / 0-)

              ...saying Obama is going to worse than Bush in this matter.

              But if you aren't disturbed by the accumulating pile of evidence in more than one case so far, you're not paying close enough attention.

              Remember back in November when so many people throughout wwwLand said we shouldn't criticize Obama's picks for the Cabinet because it would he who sets policy, not those he chose to fill those posts. This, of course, was ridiculous, as if Cabinet members throughout American history have been no more than robotic cogs.

              The issue is that Obama is now in power. And he's done some very good things. In these matters, however, the record is not shaping up too well. Perhaps it will all be turned around by the 4 of July, but in the meantime, I'm glad people like Glenn Greenwald, Marcy Wheeler, Valtin, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse and others - some with a long-standing reputation for monitoring these matters - are still doing so even though a new administration has arrived.

              "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." -Flannery O'Connor

              by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:53:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And we're mighty glad (4+ / 0-)

                you're here with us, too, MB!

                War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                by Valtin on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:02:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Seriously, I am glad too (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                freakofsociety

                Don't want to gloss anything over.  What I object to is the repeated assertions that this is happening at the behest of Obama and/or Holder.

                But I am betting that the DOJ ship will turn around - as soon as Holder gets a firm grip on things.  Obama is - so far - more progressive in most areas than most of us expected.  What he could fix immediately by executive order, he fixed.  DOJ will not be turned around overnight.

                Six months from now - and probably much sooner, if that hasn't happened, I promise to publicly admit my mistake.

                Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                by UneasyOne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:21:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  And a serious question (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  freakofsociety

                  Do YOU - or anybody else here - think you could turn this DOJ around in 27 days?  And without raising a total s***storm?

                  Watch it happen - but not next week.  If the torture was ongoing, I would make no excuse.  Far as we know, it isn't.

                  Obama has a plan - but this is probably the most Bush-corrupted department of the government.

                  Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                  by UneasyOne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:36:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "If the torture were ongoing..." (5+ / 0-)

                    Far as we know, it isn't.

                    And what are your sources, btw?

                    Here's mine, from the Guardian:

                    Mohamed will arrive back tomorrow in the UK, where he was a British resident between 1984 and 2002. During medical examinations last week, doctors discovered injuries and ailments resulting from apparently brutal treatment in detention.

                    Mohamed was found to be suffering from bruising, organ damage, stomach complaints, malnutrition, sores to feet and hands, severe damage to ligaments as well as profound emotional and psychological problems which have been exacerbated by the refusal of Guantánamo's guards to give him counselling.

                    Mohamed's British lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, said his client had been beaten "dozens" of times inside the notorious US camp in Cuba with the most recent abuse occurring during recent weeks. He said: "He has a list of physical ailments that cover two sheets of A4 paper. What Binyam has been through should have been left behind in the middle ages."

                    [U.S. Army] Lieutenant colonel Yvonne Bradley, Mohamed's US military attorney, added: "He has been severely beaten. Sometimes I don't like to think about it because my country is behind all this." . . .

                    Or this, from Andy Worthington, who has been reporting on Guantanamo for years:

                    In addition... those who refuse to leave their cells to be force-fed voluntarily are "beaten and forcibly extracted from their cells," another hideous procedure that is part of the very fabric of Guantánamo, carried out by teams of five heavily armored guards, responsible for quelling even the most minor infringements of the rules, who, over the years, have been responsible for attacks so severe that prisoners have ended up with broken limbs.

                    This is, I’m sure you’ll agree, a far cry from the "humane treatment of prisoners" required by the Geneva Conventions, and it is crucial, therefore, that those concerned with the treatment of the prisoners at Guantánamo maintain the pressure on the new President to demonstrate that he is keeping to his word.

                    Or you could read Center for Constitutional Rights new pamphlet: Conditions of Confinement at Guantanamo: Still in Violation of the Law.

                    I'd like to know what, besides your own opinion, you are relying on to back your assertions.

                    War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                    by Valtin on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:59:27 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  From your source (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      freakofsociety

                      emphasis mine:

                      The descriptions of ongoing, severe solitary confinement, other forms of psychological abuse, incidents of violence and the threat of violence from guards, religious abuse, and widespread forced tube-feeding of hunger strikers indicate that the inhumane practices of the Bush Administration persist today at Guantánamo, despite President Obama's Executive Order, and should be remedied immediately.

                      Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                      by UneasyOne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:30:42 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Words and deeds (5+ / 0-)

                        You could have also emphasized the last clause, "and should be remedied immediately."

                        You chose not to, because it points to the main point: it's not being remedied. Further, let me ask you, why doesn't the Obama administration allow any human rights group to inspect Bagram? Only the ICRC has been allowed, and they must keep the results of their inspections confidential.

                        Is this openness? Is this change?

                        You obviously, also, have not read my writings on the Army Field Manual, or you would know how flawed I believe the EOs to be.

                        War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                        by Valtin on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:51:33 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Of course it should be stopped (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          freakofsociety, Valtin

                          You don't think it will be?  Seriously?

                          Put me down in favor of stopping all the abuse ASAP.

                          Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                          by UneasyOne on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 03:26:55 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Will it be stopped? (0+ / 0-)

                            I really don't know. I hope so, hence my work. But do not underestimate the influence of certain layers in the military and intelligence forces/agencies.

                            War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                            by Valtin on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:36:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  please, can you provide any facts to support (5+ / 0-)

                  your theory?

                  Many of us have read the legal briefs, listened to oral arguments, and kept up with press releases from the OBAMA DOJ saying yes, this is our position.

                  The Obama DOJ has appointed a former bush DOJ attorney to head the Guantanamo status reviews. So, they are keeping Bush lawyers.

                  Do you have to wait until any of these newly hired bush lawyers in the obama doj have retired before the statements issued by the Obama DOJ are truly seen as thoroughly vetted positions of Obama?

                  Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

                  by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:36:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  All Republican lawyers are not corrupt (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    freakofsociety

                    Bush fired some for that lack of partisan corruption - remember?

                    "Keeping" Bush lawyers (who are civil servants and can't be fired at will) is not "hiring" Bush lawyers.

                    These cases were prepared before Obama even took the oath.

                    Of course I can't prove the future.  All I can do is notice the pattern.  As I have said, if Obama turns out to be as bad as this case, I will admit it publicly.

                    Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                    by UneasyOne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:46:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  in the cases that we are discussing, (4+ / 0-)

                      the Bush DOJ filed the original pleadings. Then the Obama DOJ adopted the pleadings as THEIR OWN. they argued them in court, they filed subsequent pleadings continuing to advocate Bush DOJ arguments. The Obama DOJ press person for AG holder said yes, this is our position. They told the courts that the Obama DOJ thoroughly vetted the arguments.

                      So, yes, there is a pattern of facts i can point to , but i don't know what pattern you are referencing..

                      Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

                      by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:06:41 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Drive-by HR - coward (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              freakofsociety

              I've got donuts too - but I wouldn't bother with the likes of you.

              So you disagree.  Plenty of others do and they have the guts to say why.  We strongly disagree, but they have the guts to argue.

              Myself, I've seen enough hand-wringing over one action or another of Obama's on this site from the day he took the nomination to feel it's premature to panic about it.  I had the guts to argue that position in the face of almost universal scorn and disagreement.

              You, on the other hand, are just chickenshit.

              Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

              by UneasyOne on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 03:12:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've made plenty of responses to you (0+ / 0-)

                in this diary.

                That you've chosen not to see them is telling, and consistent with your behavior on this issue in general.

                The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

                by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:37:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  One - long after the unexplained HR (0+ / 0-)

                  Feel free to toss another - might read the FAQ first.

                  Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                  by UneasyOne on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:14:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oops - missed one. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                    by UneasyOne on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:16:10 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Again, you're (0+ / 0-)

                    full of shit.

                    My two responses to you in this diary were made withing 5 minutes of each other.

                    The HR was made in the same time period - look it up.

                    You know, if you lie about stupid stuff like this, I wonder if there's anything you're accurate about, at all.

                    The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

                    by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:30:52 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I was wrong about the time (0+ / 0-)

                      The HR was abusive,unexplained and unwarranted.  I confess I didn't look carefully for other posts of a drive by HR.

                      Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                      by UneasyOne on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:02:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Ascribing this type of behavior (0+ / 0-)

                        You win

                        It's a known fact that Obama lusts after being the torturer in chief and following in Bush's footsteps re civil rights.  He's gonna be a bigger war criminal than Bush, I'm sure.

                        ... to Meteor Blades, a thoughtful and conscientious writer here at dkos, is beyond the pale.

                        He said no such thing. He's praised Obama for multiple things. I'm tired of people saying made-up shit about people and I'm starting to HR it. You were not singaled out personally, believe me.

                        The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

                        by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:49:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  p.s. (0+ / 0-)

                        I pulled back the HR because I think it's served its purpose by now and I can tell it really bothers you.

                        The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

                        by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:52:13 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (8+ / 0-)

        Willful blindness, and even more, unawareness of the only hypothetical left to them: Obama is not in control. (Or Obama is indifferent, which I don't think anyone believes.)

        Whichever it is, we are in a heap of a fight and a pile of trouble.

        War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

        by Valtin on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:30:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How familiar are you with the details? (5+ / 0-)
    •  The problem is that some of these men, (8+ / 0-)

      about 50, are on a hunger strike, so, as I understand it, they are being strapped down twice a day and a tube is being pushed up their noses and down into their stomaches, without anesthetic. Many of them are reported to be in critical condition. They don't have time to wait.

          Standing for justice and accountability,
                      For Dan,
                      Heather

    •  I hope your theory (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin

      that  these cases will all wind up being settled favorably in the future bears fruit. I genuinely hope so.

      What I don't understand is why you are chastising people to remain silent about injustices and bad policies that are happening right before our eyes.

      Actions, not words, are telling.  You've offered words that say things will be alright in the future.

      Many have learned that judging actions is the only true way to measure progress. The people in these diaries will warmly embrace and praise the Obama administration if and when it displays positive action in regards to these issues, as many of us have in other areas that the administration has thrived in.

      The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

      by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:24:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NEVER said that! (0+ / 0-)

        What I don't understand is why you are chastising people to remain silent about injustices and bad policies that are happening right before our eyes.

        I said that after 27 days of a new AG, it is premature to assert that this is the will of Obama/Holder.

        Others managed to attack my actual positions - why not try that.

        Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

        by UneasyOne on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:22:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That *is* telling people to remain silent (0+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Hidden by:
          UneasyOne

          Your whole position is: be quiet they've not had enough time.

          My position is that actions being taken are wrong, and I applaud the people that point that out.

          If it's not pointed out, then the danger is they will think they can continue to get away with it.

          We have to speak out and let them know that allowing the Bush tactics to continue isn't going to fly with us.

          The people that said that to you received petulant, strawman tantrums as responses from you, where you claimed that they said Obama could do nothing right and they were a bunch of hand-wringers.

          In fact, the people you've ridiculed are very near experts on the rulings and the issues, i.e. they've read them, and have something to base their opinions on.

          When I got to the 3rd of your similar childish responses, I HR'd it.

          I finid it amusing that you ask for responses against your positions while you feel free to post ridiculous, petulant straw men for your "repsonses."

          The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

          by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:38:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

            I told no one to remain silent about abuse - period.

            The strawman is your argument.  All I assert is that it ain't the Obama/Holder Justice Dept yet; that changes will be made; that they deserve a little time to take over from the most "Loyal Bushie" ridden Dept of government before we assume that they intend to continue on this course.

            By all means, scream at the top of your lungs about the abuse.  If you think I accept it, you're out of your tree.

            Stop twisting what I say so you can argue a position I never took - and any more personal attacks about "childishness" etc will get you a donut of your own.

            Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

            by UneasyOne on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:58:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What I got from your posts (0+ / 0-)

              is that you were "pissed off" about people posting diaries like these.

              If you're not pissed off about that, then I read your post wrong.

              I think we have no choice but to call this out as we see it. As you say, Obama and Holder may come out later and stake out a new position. I hope they do.

              But until they do, I'm judging them on their actions, since they are not saying much of anything about it.

              The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

              by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:42:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Like these"? Yes (0+ / 0-)

                Rather that people can post what they want, but...

                Look.  I'll spell it out:

                To the extent that anyone reports, highlights, exposes, decries,or condemns injustice.  I cheer. I believe that it should be stopped yesterday, if not sooner. Anyone who is working in any way to bring an immediate end to the abuse has an ally in me.

                What I am pissed about is the expectation of a magic wand that Obama is supposed to wave to instantly end the horrors of the Bush years and the assumption after a whole 28 days that nothing will change.

                There WILL be openness - and that kind of crap can't survive the sunlight.  There WILL be change.

                Don't ignore the problems; Do give him a few months to turn things around before you lay eight years of Bush evil at his feet.

                That's all.  You either get it or you don't.  Even if you get it, you likely will still disagree.  Your privilege - but I'm done.

                Ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                by UneasyOne on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:54:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're doing the same thing again (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:
                  UneasyOne

                  These kind of ridiculous strawmen make you look ignorant:

                  Do give him a few months to turn things around before you lay eight years of Bush evil at his feet.

                  This is absurb. This diary hasn't done that. I've not said that.

                  The one valid point that you have - that they've not had enough time - is okay, as far as it goes. It's arguable, I'll grant you that.

                  But when someone doesn't agree with you on it, you pull shit like this:

                  Do give him a few months to turn things around before you lay eight years of Bush evil at his feet.

                  and this:

                  Yes, of course Barack is incompetent (

                  He hasn't stopped the recession, the DOW is falling, right after he was sworn in, the Feds raided medical marijuana stores, the war goes on, and now this shit.

                  Why in hell did we elect him anyway?

                  and like this:

                  It's a known fact that Obama lusts after being the torturer in chief and following in Bush's footsteps re civil rights.  He's gonna be a bigger war criminal than Bush, I'm sure.

                  Undoubtedly Holder has already replaced all those loyal Bushies, despite the civil service laws and will fail to quietly work out things to your liking.

                  WOE IS EVERYBODY!

                  You pissed and moan because I didn't argue with you on your "points"

                  And yet look at the kind of posts you make? Falsely accusing your fellow commenters of equating Bush with Obama in an "you're either for us or against us" fashion that is nauseating.

                  I'm glad "you're done" because I'm tired of reading your garbage.  And the HR removal stands.

                  But if you keep up with kind of gutter posting, look for lots more HR's.

                  Good night sir or madam.

                  The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

                  by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 09:07:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  lol! (0+ / 0-)

                  Guess reading your own posts kind of hurts, eh?

                  And here I had been a nice guy and removed the HR. Guess I learned my lesson - no use reasoning with you. I won't make that mistake again!

                  The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

                  by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 09:25:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  i mentioned a pending constitutional crisis (7+ / 0-)

    few weeks ago with the al-haramain case. will be interesting to see how far obama pushes. cripes, even if obama wants to take a stand on state secrets, this is the wrong case on the facts alone.

    Also, how is this consistent with the US Supreme court decision of Reynolds?

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:11:00 PM PST

  •  My friend, (5+ / 0-)

    I am back from DC, but with a tenacious case of the flu, so I will only stop by to say that I will email you tomorrow morning. I think the trip has created a hopeful opening. Sorry to be cryptic.

         Standing, as always, with you,
         for justice and accountability,
                   For Dan,
                   Heather

  •  Long hard struggle for sure. Social unrest (5+ / 0-)

    like the 60's and 70's?  I think the only thing that can approach that would be based on economics.  When enough people are starving, then the upheaval will start.  People need to connect with the money spent on imperialism that could be used here at home.  Obama's budget is actually a backward step to social programs in this country.    

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:24:24 PM PST

  •  let's explore the Yoo memo release. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, Valtin

    That seemed to me like a small signal from Holder that he is trying. Maybe he needs our help to get the MSM to understand the outrageousness of what was done.

    friend good, fire bad.

    by ericlewis0 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:30:29 PM PST

    •  I recommend your comment for initial suggestion (3+ / 0-)

      but I don't think it's meant as a signal. After all, it reflects on the past administration, and it's unlikely that Holder will be as adamant as the past re the unitary executive. Only when it comes to "national security" will he hunker down, at the behest of DoD and CIA, who really call the shots.

      Think about it, Holder (and for some, like Uneasy One above, Obama), are so weak they need our help in getting out their real message.

      Sounds like a plot line from 24.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:04:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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