Tuesday, March 31, 2009


There seems to be a confluence of events around the Bush legacy of torture, coincident (or not) with Dick Aptonym Cheney's brief return to the human realm wherein he declared the US less safe under Obama.

Asked if he agreed, General Petraeus -- a credible voice, one might argue -- says no. More significantly, an article appears confirming that no useful information was in fact obtained in one of the most famous and highly-touted (by George Bush) cases of water-boarding and other torture techniques. It wasn't the first time it's been said. In fact, Bush continued to claim not only that important intelligence was garnered, but that the victim was an al Queda bigwig, even after he knew both statements to be false. Worse: he pressured George Tenant to keep quiet about it:

"'I said he was important,' Bush said to Tenet at one of their daily meetings. 'You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?'

'No Sir, Mr. President.'

Knock me over with a feather.

A former Bush official opines that Bush "panicked" after 9/11, and that Guantanamo was a major overreaction. In other words, after he finally managed to put down that book, he went nuts, endangering us all. Contra Cheney.

Waking up from a long slumber, some media outlets are actually using the word "torture" to describe what was done (sort of), having for years accepted Bush's avowal that the US doesn't torture simply because he undefined the word.

And now it seems legal action might actually be taken against those who established the illegal and destructive policies. Not in the US, not yet anyway. But somewhere. Given all of the above, it's hardly lefty craziness to think it ought to be done here, too. In fact, in a world in which principles mattered, you'd think conservatives would be the most outraged at this illegal and dictatorial abuse of presidential power. But, most certainly, that's another world.

Having argued here many times that torture is ineffective and that its use has done us great harm, I'm feeling a little vindicated by these recent bits of news. Me, and everyone else who's been paying attention and able to see beyond ideological blindness. And as long as I'm feeling smart, I'll add this: we'll see the resurrection of the economy as a result of Obama's programs. And if I turn out right about those things, how about this prediction: once the economy is clearly on track and jobs are growing, President Obama will do the politically unthinkable and take on entitlement reform and military spending as ways to bring the budget back to balance. Because, as I've also claimed, and continue to believe, I think he's for real. If he does that, he'll end up pissing off the far left and the far right.

Then all he'll have left is everyone else; ie, about 80% of the country.


  1. Tortures like those rule out MI admissions...might have to do a few hundred before you get the real thing... It's cool, the O-man's the one who'll have to explain why he let the next 9-11 terrorists out of jail...My Anthrax and Smallpox are up to date, and I hate tall buildings anyway...


  2. I've said for some years now that Bush needs to be tried for war crimes- there was no reason to invade Iraq at all. Invading and occupying a country without any precipitating event is clearly a war crime. What frustrates me are the people who say we need to stay and put it right. The longer we stay, the worse people hate us there- we ought to back out and pay reparations to rebuild their infrastructure, so long as Americans don't get the rebuilding job. I'm not opposed to jobs for Americans, you understand, just that I think we shouldn't profit by invading another country. And torture? So. Stupid. On so many levels. I hope Bush is tried somewhere, for something- the Secret Service are protecting him now, but it could be argued that trying him for crimes doesn't endanger his life. He's probably safest in jail. In solitary.

  3. Will you try the current Sec State as well? She voted for the war.

  4. Or the current President? I recall he's sending more troops to a country that ends with a "Stan"

  5. I suppose I'd be wasting my time to mention we're talking about torture, here.

  6. You're talking about torture. Ivy wants to arrest and try Bush.

    Try and keep up with the conversation, huh?

  7. You wanta talk about torture, check out what Barney Frank (D,Maryland) is doin to the English Language.....wheres Amnesty International when you really need them???

  8. Look, asshole (for lack of any identifiable name), try to keep up with the logic, okay? Bush ordered torture, which is defined as a war crime. That is something for which people have been tried. Not to mention convicted and put to death. Voting for a war is NOT a war crime, rightly or wrongly. See the difference? Huh? It's really not that hard.

  9. Ivy said, "Invading and occupying a country without any precipitating event is clearly a war crime."

    I'm reacting to that. Is that not allowed on your blog? Post the rules, then. And read your comments.

  10. Okay, fair enough. But until you supply a better sign-off, I may still refer to you as asshole.

  11. Do you know me personally or do you call everyone you disagree with "asshole"?

  12. "Will you try the current Sec State as well? She voted for the war."

    A lot of people did. Who expected George Bush to lie so blatantly? The buck stops in the Oval Office and we have the Downing Street memos to prove it.

  13. So, Ivy--will you try them all? Those are senators--they have access to the intelligence. Everyone saw the same intelligence. Kerry, Clinton, etc. They are all responsible, no? Then they all lied, yes?

    They should all be treated the same, right?


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