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Sorry, folks, can't gloss over this one just because we
have a great guy as President. not possible.

It's obvious now why Ms. Pelosi took impeachment off the table
back in early 2006;

Because obviously any investigation of the bush
administration for the fraudulent war in Iraq would likely directly lead to democratic complicity with the war, and further, with "enhanced interrogation techniques".

IMHO, Pelosi preemptively taking impeachment off the table destroys her credibility forever. this action stomped on the whole notion of checks and balances and calls into doubt the very credibility of our governing system.

here's some thoughts from David Swanson on torture:

First, torture DID work. It forced false agreement with war lies, helping to launch a long-desired illegal war. And it persuaded many Americans that some very scary and very foreign people were out to get them, people so scary that they had to be tortured in order to talk with them, people whose every false utterance, aimed at stopping the pain, instead generated color-coded horror warnings.

Second, torture has boosted recruitment for anti-U.S. organizations tremendously, horribly damaged the United States' image, stripped U.S. diplomats of the power to address human rights abuses abroad, as well as stripping U.S. citizens of a clear moral right to protest being tortured, and set an example that has spread far and wide. Torture has brutalized participants and witnesses, and we are all witnesses, and it has destroyed lives both through torture to the point of death and through torture to the point of unbearable life.

Third, if you're going to violate particular laws and treaties, you can either repeal them and leave all the other ones intact, or you can simply proceed criminally, thereby assaulting the whole structure of law, leaving everyone in doubt whether ANY laws will be enforced against important people. Our government has taken the latter approach and redefined crimes as "policy differences," which is why torture is ongoing and no criminal penalty will deter its future expansion or the commission of other crimes of whatever sort by high officials.

Fourth, if torture had produced life-saving information, we would have long since heard that fact shouted from every television studio. In fact, we did hear such claims made. They just all turned out to be fictional.

This basically reinforces the repuglican view of the unitary/Nixonian exec., i.e. if it's the president's policy, then it's legal. shut up and go away. IF this is how we're going to run things, I'm no longer sure why we even NEED a congress-- seems superfluous at this point. nothing but a feeble formality.

As far as the democrats "not knowing" about torture, this from GG puts that nonsense to rest:

Jay Rockefeller was one of the key Democrats briefed on the torture methods who never objected. But it's far worse than that. In September, 2006, Rockefeller was one of 12 Senate Democrats to vote in favor of the Military Commissions Act, one of the principal purposes of which was to explicitly authorize the CIA's "enhanced interrogation program" to proceed (even though it continues to be illegal under the Geneva Conventions). Thus, not only did Rockefeller remain silent when continuously briefed on illegal torture methods by the CIA, he then voted to legalize those methods by voting in favor of one of the most Draconian laws in modern American history. That law also retroactively immunized government officials from any liability for past lawbreaking.

Rockefeller is not just any Democrat. He is the individual whom the Democratic Senate caucus thereafter elected -- and still chooses -- to lead them on all matters relating to intelligence. Just consider how compromised he is and they are when it comes to investigating abuses by the intelligence community over the last six years. Rockefeller was complicit in all of those abuses, and the Democrats voted for him -- and still support him -- as their Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. How can Rockefeller possibly preside over meaningful investigations into conduct and policies -- including the destruction of the videotapes and the conduct which those videotapes would reveal -- of which he approved? And how can Senate Democrats pretend to be outraged at such policies when the leader they chose supports them?

Note the retroactive immunity part of the deal. and that's why all of the talk about prosecution is a farce.

Voting in favor of the MCA and thinking the CIA would play nice after getting this approval is a farce. not believeable.

Anyone thinking this is not being looked at by world leaders should heed this:

The King of Jordan said it best. The Middle East is watching to see if America goes by the rule of law. It will determine a lot on how groups work with the US. Also, many of our European Allies would not give us critical information due to the torture.

That's just for starters.

My emails to Ed Schultz, Thom Hartman, etc., will be going out shortly.

http://www.counterpunch.com/...

http://www.salon.com/...

http://features.csmonitor.com/...

Originally posted to Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 08:48 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I can't agree that (6+ / 0-)

    It's obvious now why Ms. Pelosi took impeachment off the table back in early 2006

    I can say that it's suspicious enough to warrant investigation.  Investigate and let the investigation go where the facts dictate.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by beemerr90s on Sun May 03, 2009 at 08:58:35 AM PDT

    •  OK. But Who Is Doing the Investigating? (3+ / 0-)

      a true independent prosecutor?

      doubtful. just how can you can expect me, or anyone to think Pelosi and the rest of the democrats have much credibility here.. not after going along with basically everything bu$hco demanded for eight years, and not after what happened last Thursday.

      and I've seen these "investigations" before.. the take months, and end up producing zilch. I hope the democrats don't actually think they're going to get away with this.

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:09:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't expect anyone to think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Knarfc

        Pelosi, et al, have credibility.  I do expect better than assuming the worst, void of facts.

        I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

        by beemerr90s on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:12:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Facts?? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          One Pissed Off Liberal, radmul

          just how do we get facts when this is all done behind closed doors.. top secret?

          you're skipping over the larger context; the fraudulent rush to war, the deaths of millions of innocent people, the outing of an active CIA agent (treason, by any definition), the rip off of our Treasury to the tune of around $2 Trillion..

          the democrats went along with this whole sordid, pathetic farce. after all of this and more, I'm supposed to give Pelosi the benefit of the doubt?

          taking impeachment off the table prior to the end of the bush administration is OK with you?

          what about Rockefeller?

          The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

          by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:23:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I skip over nothing. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Superpole

            This whole thing stinks to high heaven.  I believe it must be investigated.  If it isn't, what are we to do?  A lynching?

            Actually, my earlier statement did not go far enough.  Not only do you assume the worst, but you seem to accept it as fact.  Sorry, but I won't do that.  We need to keep digging in pursuit of the truth.  I expect that we will eventually find Democrats caught up in it.  I'm fully for them to feel serious consequences, political and legal.  I'm not ready to throw them all under the bus w/o a factual basis.

            No, taking impeachment off the table is/was absolutely not ok with me.  If you can show me the evidence that she did it quid pro quo, or for whatever nefarious reason, I'll be happy to go after her.  Actually, right now I'd be happy to have her tossed out as Speaker, or even voted out of Congress.  

            Your sentiments are in line with mine, but I'd be a lot more willing to go along if we had the facts that are at this time still hidden from us.

            I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

            by beemerr90s on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:49:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How Long Have you been watching (0+ / 0-)

              politics in our country?

              30+ years here.

              I'm not "assuming" the worst.. I know the worst has happened.

              just tell me what can be worse than:

              **not one but two illegal wars.

              **2 Trillion ripped from our Treasury for these wars.

              **Unprosecuted Treason (Plamegate).

              **Pelosi taking impeachment "off the table"

              **abu Ghraib

              **Gitmo

              need I go on?

              The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

              by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 06:38:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And your proposal is to do what, exactly? (0+ / 0-)

                I've been around as long as you have.

                You name all of these items that were not the original subject.  The subject was Pelosi.  I've already answered that I think it stinks, and that I want facts.  Also that I'm happy to get rid of Pelosi right now for what we do have facts about.  Prosecution, however, requires a legal basis.  Tell me what that is.

                I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

                by beemerr90s on Mon May 04, 2009 at 03:51:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I should have said that the subject was Pelosi (0+ / 0-)

                  AND the other Dems that were supposedly "in the loop" on the torture.  We don't know what they were told in those briefings.  If you know, please tell me, and bring some proof.  Otherwise, you're yelling at clouds.

                  I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

                  by beemerr90s on Mon May 04, 2009 at 04:01:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Oh I See (0+ / 0-)

                  so Pelosi being the Speaker of the House, plus whatever major committees she heads up/sits on, has NO power.. NO concern for the rather glaring problems I listed?

                  this is getting absurd.

                  let's cut to the chase here.. since so many of you either believe the congress is totally powerless, or constantly apologize for their incompetence/corruption/mistakes-- WHY even have a congress?

                  is a pretend congress better than the real thing? how so?

                  The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

                  by Superpole on Mon May 04, 2009 at 05:27:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, I can certainly agree that this is (0+ / 0-)

                    getting absurd.  I never said that I had no concern about those other problems.  You have changed the subject, and made absurd statements that you seem to be attributing to me.  You'll have to find someone else to argue with, because there does not seem to be a point to this.

                    Regards.

                    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

                    by beemerr90s on Mon May 04, 2009 at 05:39:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Until Pelosi Discloses Otherwise (3+ / 0-)

    I've got to agree with Superpole.

    •  Here's One of the Problems (0+ / 0-)

      we're being totally shut out from what our so called government is up to.

      first they get together and decide to have "closed door" meetings with senate democrats so bush minions can inform them what is going on with the interrogations.

      of course all of this is "secret", how convenient.

      second, the actual democrats in the meetings now claim to know nothing about the torture, even tho' Rockefeller and other senate democrats went along with the CIA's MCA authority.

      again, what was the purpose of the MCA:

      one of the principal purposes of which was to explicitly authorize the CIA's "enhanced interrogation program"

      huh? sorry, this just doesn't add up. this is classic political cover up bogusness.

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:14:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have no problem with following the evidence (0+ / 0-)

    where it leads, as long as it doesn't devolve into "The Drumhead".

    -7.25 -8.15 Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc

    by mydailydrunk on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:10:53 AM PDT

  •  Who were the other eleven? (0+ / 0-)

    In September, 2006, Rockefeller was one of 12 Senate Democrats to vote in favor of the Military Commissions Act,

    Is the diarist implying that all Democrats, including those who voted against this act, are complicit?

    •  LOL!!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      One Pissed Off Liberal

      isn't twelve ENOUGH???????

      please, you have to be kidding me.

      as far as the rush to war, the total lack of checks and balances by the "democrats" the entire eight years of the bu$hco disaster- yes, I conclude that many democrats were complicit-- and for the same old obvious warprofiteering reasons.

      yet you here who claim to desire "change" insist on keeping these buffoons in office.. for decades.

      the bar looks pretty low, folks.

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:27:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What should Congressional Dems have done? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    I'm just curious what their course of action could have been, since the information was classified and nobody the president didn't deem worthy was legally entitled to hear the info.

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:21:02 AM PDT

    •  They can go public using the speech & debate (4+ / 0-)

      clause, as Mike Gravel did with the Pentagon Papers.  Congress members have absolute immunity under the Constitution as long as the discussion is relevant to some legislation, or to the responsibilities of a committee.  Too bad so many are spineless.

      •  Isn't that prosecutable? (0+ / 0-)

        ..revealing classified info and all that?

        I agree they should have done it, but might it have been an opportunity for W to get rid of top Dems by charging them?

        How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

        by rhetoricus on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:38:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not on the floors of Congress. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skrekk, rhetoricus

          I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

          by beemerr90s on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:51:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're Joking, Right? (0+ / 0-)

          bush/cheney et al are responsible for treason, i.e. the outing of an active CIA agent.

          you really believe they CARE about any laws????

          this is astonishing to me.

          The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

          by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:31:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, of course they don't (0+ / 0-)

            ..but they used existing laws as a pretext to prosecute those who refused to cooperate with their psychotic agenda.

            How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

            by rhetoricus on Sun May 03, 2009 at 01:03:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They DID?? (0+ / 0-)

              ..but they used existing laws as a pretext to prosecute those who refused to cooperate with their psychotic agenda.

              help me out.. exactly who in the democratic party did they prosecute and send to jail?

              or are you talking about the "terrorists"?

              The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

              by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 01:31:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  None (0+ / 0-)

                ..because no Dems in Congress ever really stood up to them.

                I was specifically referring to reporters, but wondering if similar measures could have been taken against Dems in Congress, especially given the fact that for most of the period, Dems in Congress had NO power. There's no way a GOP-dominated Congress would have backed Pelosi or Rockefeller's play to expose classified info in the act of protesting against it.

                How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

                by rhetoricus on Sun May 03, 2009 at 06:26:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  J. Miller? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rhetoricus

                  you're upset about that?

                  a woman who willingly allowed herself to be used as a propaganda TOOL by Cheney during the run-up to the war in Iraq?

                  Please. gimme a break.

                  The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

                  by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 06:42:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, that's what I get (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Superpole

                    ..for googling while doing other things.

                    This is the story I was looking for.

                    Thomas Tamm, for example, is also still being harassed by the DOJ for his revealing of an illegal program.

                    This ruling didn't help whistleblowers much, either.

                    You can also ask Jesselyn Radack, Valerie Plame, Sibel Edmonds, Jill Simpson and others how well things went for folks who stood up to Bush's criminal exploits.

                    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

                    by rhetoricus on Sun May 03, 2009 at 07:16:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Understood and thanks for (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rhetoricus

                      the links..

                      didn't intend to slam you.. I have little patience for empathizing with tools like Miller. millions are dead from this, so IMHO she has zero cred and gets no sympathy from me.

                      on the larger issue of whistleblowers.. sort of academic considering our congress is so utterly corrupt.

                      Henry Waxman? his request/website for whistleblowers regarding the massive fraud committed in Iraq-- where did this end up?

                      nowhere. the same fate awaits the "investigations" into torture.

                      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

                      by Superpole on Mon May 04, 2009 at 05:26:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're 100% right about Miller (0+ / 0-)

                        ..and I would not knowingly defend her for any reason, EVAH. I agree with everything you've said on this thread, btw.

                        I actually think there must have been something Rockefeller, Pelosi et al. could have done (perhaps even asking the rhetorical question on the floor: "If we are apprised of activities that are classified but likely illegal, what is our course of action?").. I was just asking the academic question of what course of action they should have taken, given the GOP rule of the Congress and DOJ.

                        I had higher hopes for Waxman. He still won't depose Sibel Edmonds. Nothing about the disappearing 10 billion+ in Iraq.

                        Change we can believe in, alright.

                        How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

                        by rhetoricus on Mon May 04, 2009 at 08:02:57 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  It's protected under the Constitution, and the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superpole

          Gravel case established precedent for revealing classified information.  They have immunity, but choose not to exercise it for blatantly political reasons.  The worst that would happen is that they wouldn't get any committee assignments again.

      •  Congress Isn't Fooling Everyone (0+ / 0-)

        nice try, but it's not working.

        The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

        by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:56:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You Don't Know? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divitius

      bush: "oops, there are NO WND's in Iraq".

      The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

      Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

      regarding the pathetic outing of Ms. Plame:

      The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

      More on war making/funding powers:

      To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

      To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

      To provide and maintain a Navy;

      To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

      the notion the congress is "powerless" to stop the unitary exec is a joke. congress is clearly selectively exercising their considerable power.. for all the wrong reasons.

      what happened last Thursday? was the senate "powerless" then?

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:46:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Democrats should have withheld funding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superpole

      This could even be done in closed sessions.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:06:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly, Look (0+ / 0-)

        congress has wayyyyyy more power than people here apparently realize.. or maybe they want to pretend otherwise.

        either way, it's lame.

        The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

        by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:32:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And BTW, Congress Stopping (0+ / 0-)

        the funding for the vietnam quagmire was the method used to finally end it-- not that millions of people who were in the streets protesting and getting their heads cracked in.. although all of that did sort of make the "business community" nervous.. bad for business and all.

        The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

        by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:41:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Weren't Dems Briefed Under National Security (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole, divitius

    restrictions that prohibited them from even discussing the facts with their staffs? I'm positive that was the case for certain issues.

    I think the real problem is not the vulnerability of Democrats to legal trouble as much as donor and other pressures from big money, big military and big intel.

    I'd bet part of my house, even in this market, that not very many Dems would be criminally liable even with an ideal prosecution program.

    Basically, the empire flatly will not permit serious pursuit of this matter.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:36:17 AM PDT

    •  It's Not Just About (0+ / 0-)

      being "criminally liable".. the problem is the bogus cover up attempt.. esp. with the fact Rockefeller approved the MCA along with several other democrats.

      the "we didn't know" baloney sounds just like bu$hco speak, in fact it IS bu$hco speak.

      I think the real problem is not the vulnerability of Democrats to legal trouble as much as donor and other pressures from big money, big military and big intel.

      correct; so let's stop the charade; i.e. "the dems are different" when it comes to many major issues/problems.

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:17:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Pelosi and other Dems. were clearly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beemerr90s, Superpole, divitius

    complicit in the false run-up to the war and/or torture, then an independent prosecutor should pursue ALL individuals who took part and put their blessing on what was happening. NO ONE is above the law. Period!

    •  Agreed, But What (0+ / 0-)

      do you mean by IF ????

      the democrats WERE complicit with the bogus wars on terra.. so much so they turned their heads from the stinking outing of Ms. Plame and let them get away with that one.

      huh?

      again, just how low is the bar. One MM off the ground?

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:19:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Also (0+ / 0-)

      what about the retroactive immunity part of the MCA approved by Rockefeller and several other dems?

      you don't see how that is one giant "get out of jail free" card for everyone involved??

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:21:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beemerr90s, divitius

    ... I think it's important we get this one right.

    emptywheel had some interesting things to say about this in buhdydharma's diary.

    The entire thread is interesting and shows various sides to this issue.

    I think there's two things to keep in mind -- one is that the Repubs will throw mud about Dems in order to distract from their actual crimes, and the other is that complicity is not the same as breaking the law.

    We need to have the whole story come out on this -- both the law breaking and the enabling.  As emptywheel says in the thread, Pelosi, et al. could have stood on the floor and risked their careers to stop this -- but they didn't.

    •  We're Not Going to Get (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nightprowlkitty

      this one "right".

      please look at the context here.. starting way back with the ripoff of black voters in FL during the 2000 election.

      go from there, follow the money, including the phat contracts to war profiteering and security contractors in democratic districts.. and tell me how the dems have one shred of credibility.

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:34:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Superpole

        ... I'm not talking about credibility here.

        I'm talking about criminality.

        Two different things.

        I think it's important for all this information to come out.  Your diary is one part of helping to illuminate the dynamic that brought us to this sorry place.

        •  Thanks But (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nightprowlkitty

          OK help me out.. you're still struggling with whether the enhanced techniques were torture or not... or "legally" torture?

          sorry.. this all looks like parsing to me.

          it's torture; Obama and Holder said so.

          ultimately getting to criminality, vis-a-vis prosecution and jail terms most certainly is tied to the credibility of the people now saying they are "concerned" and are putting a stop to the practices in question.

          Obama has already stated rendition "may have to happen under certain circumstances".. which unfortunately again means no transparency and again points to lack of credibility... because the practices are not being stopped.

          The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

          by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 01:40:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... if I was being unclear.

            No, I'm not struggling with whether or not "enhanced techniques" were torture -- they ARE torture.  Period.

            And no, I'm not trusting in any politician at the moment who is "concerned" about this, including Obama.  There have already been reports that torture has continued in Gitmo and who knows what's going on at Bagram.  And as Valtin has pointed out over and over again, certain sections of the Army Field Manual still allow forms of interrogation that fall under the definition of torture.

            On the question of rendition, I just don't know enough to respond with any sense.  I do know there's a difference between rendition and the kinds of extraordinary rendition Cheney/Bush were involved in promoting.

            So to me these are two different subjects -- prosecuting the crimes already committed by the Cheney/Bush misAdministration and making sure these practices do not ever continue, which means transparency and, I believe, investigation of our intelligence agencies, something that was tried and which failed miserably in the 70's.

      •  P.S.: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Superpole

        I'll never forget the vote in the Senate over what happened in FL in 2000 -- not one vote, not one, to right the injustice.

        •  Well, I'm with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nightprowlkitty

          you my friend.. that was indeed a sad day for our country.. not just what happened in FL, but the sad fact not one non-black congressperson stood up in solidarity with the black caucus when they stood in congress to protest what happened.

          NOT ONE fellow white congressperson.

          that whole situation is a rather large indicator of how low the bar is.

          The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

          by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 01:43:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Congressional oversight has two (0+ / 0-)

    "enforcement" mechanisms: public exposure of negligence and malfeasance to embarrass and prompt a cessation; terminating programs by removing funding.

    The Bush Administration circumvented these mechanisms by briefing members of Congress in secret and making them promise to keep what they were told secret and by, routinely, shifting funding from regular appropriations to continue doing what they wanted.  (example: moving funds from the Afghanistan program to planning the invasion of Iraq).

    Legislators have no enforcement powers other than that.

    Impeachment was vitiated as a meaningful process by the introduction of term limits.  If the official was going to be removed anyway, why bother throwing him out?  See?

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:17:26 AM PDT

    •  NO, I Don't See (0+ / 0-)

      you're educated, but you appear to be making feeble excuses.

      and what you're saying does not do anything to reinforce the concept of checks and balances. in fact, what you're saying more or less undermines the constitutionally mandated powers for the congress, so either throw out the Constitution, get rid of the superfluous congress-- or both.

      but let's stop pretending the system works; it doesn't.

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:38:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I'd suggest re-thinking the term (0+ / 0-)

        limit for the executive.
        If the electorate just acts as a rubber stamp, then elections are meaningless, regardless.  But, if the electorate is attentive and evaluates performance, then the original arrangement is preferable.

        Impeachment acts as a check on a long-term appointment.  It obviously doesn't seem worth the effort if the person is slated to be removed anyway or is just holding down a figure head position.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:59:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Term Limits? (0+ / 0-)

          requiring an amendment to the Const.?

          forget it. and this is getting off topic. i.e. democrats are complicit with war profiteering and torture and that means no prosecution for those responsible.

          The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

          by Superpole on Sun May 03, 2009 at 01:33:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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