Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

President Bush is no Nazi torturer

Let me be clear: I do not condone torture and have been critical of many of the techniques used by the Bush administration to squeeze information out of terrorism suspects. But I have to take exception to the post by my colleague, Katrina vanden Heuvel, who seizes on a newly released – and thin – report by Physicians for Human Rights to condemn the Bush administration for “human experimentation” on some terrorism detainees.

The “proof” of this experimentation, according to PHR and vanden Heuvel: The Bush administration enlisted doctors to monitor the effects of various “enhanced interrogation techniques” on prisoners. Vanden Heuvel stops short of equating the Bush administration actions with Nazi atrocities. She writes: "Granted, this 'research' was not the Frankenstein stuff of Dr. Mengele -- the experimentation seems to have been conducted in order to determine how sadistic American torturers could be before they crossed into illegality." But this qualifier seems acutely insincere. By raising the specter of Mengele, vanden Heuvel makes her point clear: Bush and company were “sadistic American torturers” who used “interrogation victims as guinea pigs.”

She’s wrong. Mengele and his cohorts performed grotesque operations that left his victims with permanent physical, emotional and psychological scars -- if they were lucky enough to survive. Most did not. Sometimes death was the objective; he would at times kill his “patients” so that he could get right to the business of dissecting the body. This is monstrous. This is evil incarnate. This is not what the Bush administration did.

There is no evidence that I’m aware of to suggest that the Bush administration subjected prisoners to waterboarding or any other mode of torture simply to see how their bodies would react. Instead, the administration engaged in a profoundly misguided attempt to extract information it believed could help to prevent the next Sept. 11. The ends, in the minds of Bush and his operatives, justified the means. The means, in turn, were justified by lawyers who adopted cramped and often distorted interpretations of the law. At one point, the lawyers blessed enhanced interrogations as long as they stopped short of causing organ failure or death. This, to my mind, is absurd and legally incorrect. But if this is the legal approach you’ve adopted, then it makes sense to make sure you don’t cross this line. How do you do this? By monitoring the effects of individual and combined techniques on the subjects. These weren’t experiments to gratify a sadistic streak; they were efforts to ensure the interrogations remained “legal” and “humane.” That’s important, both as a matter of law and as a matter of fact. And it is what distinguishes the misguided acts of a president intent on protecting his country from another devastating attack and the impulses of a psychopath who whiles away the hours by making lamp shades out of human skin.

By Eva Rodriguez  | June 9, 2010; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodriguez  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Americans want to do something on climate -- just not the right thing
Next: Boys who prey together -- become men

Comments

Bush is a fascist enemy of freedom.

Posted by: dennisnickell | June 9, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh for god's sake, drop the journalistic ADD and get on the real point: Bush illegally made torture by American personnel systematic. He knew full well it was illegal, immoral, and he should have known it's not as effective.

Bush needs to be prosecuted for it along with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and everyone else who authorized it.

That Obama has indicated he will not pursue prosecution of the Bush administration failures is perhaps his biggest mistake.

May Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all of the other administration torture-loving criminals share a cellblock in Leavenworth.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | June 9, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh for god's sake, drop the journalistic ADD and get on the real point: Bush illegally made torture by American personnel systematic. He knew full well it was illegal, immoral, and he should have known it's not as effective.

Bush needs to be prosecuted for it along with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and everyone else who authorized it.

That Obama has indicated he will not pursue prosecution of the Bush administration failures is perhaps his biggest mistake.

May Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all of the other administration torture-loving criminals share a cellblock in Leavenworth.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | June 9, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"At one point, the lawyers blessed enhanced interrogations as long as they stopped short of causing organ failure or death. This, to my mind, is absurd and legally incorrect. But if this is the legal approach you’ve adopted, then it makes sense to make sure you don’t cross this line."

In order for the experimentation to 'make sense,' those conducting it must implicitly condone the policy whose boundaries it is designed to determine. No, the Nazi death camps are not the best analogy, but this experimentation is/was still morally wrong.

Posted by: bokonon13 | June 9, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rodriguez,
The Nazis also were able to justify their crimes in the names of self-defense. Stalin in the Soviet, Union, Recently, Pinochet in Chile, Videla in Argentina. None of them made lamps of human skin. Therefore, they should be excused?
Once, Pinochet sad he couldn't be a murderer because he never killed anyone, he meant himself. History has judged him differently so is with Bush.

Posted by: Baccus0902 | June 9, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Ms. Rodriguez needs to familiarize herself with the stipulations of 45CFR46, the Common Rule, in order to understand the nature of the violations that might have taken place with regard to collecting data on unwilling subjects who neither gave consent nor were properly informed, Given that it is US law, that is.

Posted by: danalawrence | June 9, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The American people obviously aren't buying the argument that Bush is Hitler Lite, and they are tired of hearing this dumb argument. If those who keep trotting out this lame argument wanted to do something constructive, they could get the UN to indict Obama for war crimes for dropping Drone missiles on innocent civilians.

Posted by: dakotadoug83 | June 9, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse


"I feel your pain."
~President Bill Clinton

"I cause your pain."
~Warpresident Bush

Posted by: motorfriend | June 9, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Rodriguez: Go back to mexico.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | June 9, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Methinks the lady doth protest too much! First of all, Van den Huevel didn't equate Bush with Mengele, so why a column implying she did?

Second, the lengths to which the Bush administration went to conceal public awareness of these activities (like destroying nearly all the CIA interrogation tapes) makes clear it knew there was no justification--legal or moral--for torture.

And third, even if we grant Rodriguez's point, she fails to offer ANY justification for Bush's policy--because there is none.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | June 9, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Lamp shades made of human skin? Using such a canard makes Rodriguez no better than the writer (vanden Heuvel) that she is criticizing. A certain US serial killer in Wisconsin, Ed Gein, was known for ghastly human skin trophies, but Mengele's supposed human soap and lampshade predilection was debunked as false long ago. Mengele was a monster, sure, but repeating exaggerated claims is a pathetic way to try to burnish Bush's tarnished reputation. Because no matter attempts Rodriguez and other Bush apologists might make to airbrush history, Bush will always be remembered as an incompetent leader who legalized torture under the US banner. That fact will never be scrubbed out of the history books.

Posted by: obeah | June 9, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I understand here. Since the leftwing nutjobs accused Bush of all sorts of crimes he didn't actually commit, the rightwing nutjobs are going to forgive Bush for all the crimes that he did actually commit.

I sure am tired of nutjobs.

Posted by: barferio | June 9, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I have read 'The Gulag Archipelago'. Sadly, the only difference between what we did in Guantanamo and what the Soviets (admittedly) did is in the scale, that is the number of victims. But the techniques were the same.

So, I hate to point out that as long as you let Bush and that kind off with excuses, you are condoning torture.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | June 9, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

.
.
.
.
.

Maybe not... but he is by far the worst President of the modern era.

Hands down.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
.

Posted by: A-Voter | June 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The notion that "human experimentation", rather than torture, abduction, or organ failure-like pain would be the thing to get Bush is not surprising. Even in a world of grand juries, special prosecutors, and congressional investigations nothing is as blunt a weapon as an American IRB.

Posted by: mmll | June 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

You can only make this kind of argument if you are willing to put yourself and your loved ones through torture in the name of "defending the country," etc. Torture, committed in any name, is illegal and a crime against humanity. Stop making excuses for Bush and his cohorts.

Posted by: motherforobama | June 9, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Bush admitted last week that he approved the torture of one prisoner and he would do it again. The reasons why he did are irrelevent. If I burglarize a house or business because my children do not have enough to eat I will still be arrested and tried if I am caught. None of us has the right to pick and chose the laws we obey. Torture is against the law. Bush confessed to torture and therefore Bush confessed to breaking the law. He should be tried for breaking the law. It is that simple.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | June 9, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

This column is an annoying waste of time.
Bush wasn't Mengele, and I know of nobody who said he was similar to him or other Nazis.
Bush was, however, a torture enabler, and that violates our Constitution, human rights and the dignity of prisoners subjected to the torture, some of them innocent.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | June 9, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Bush should have attended his Army Reserve training sessions, and therefore would know that torture is wrong. This will be harmful to our soldiers who are captured in future conflicts. Foreign countries will be referring to the Bush/ Chaney standards of torture.

Posted by: tmd678 | June 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"President Bush is no Nazi torturer"

Dear Eva,

You've missed the point of the Iraq War, and, it seems, of life itself:

30,000 on our side alone burned, maimed, mentally ruined, suffering excruciating pains, all for nothing anywhere near being worth that price.

Plus 5,000 dead and their families tormented.

What they suffered was caused by the neurotic fantasies of George Bush - and he's not a torturer?

Posted by: norriehoyt | June 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Pure and simple Bush, Cheney, & Rumsfield are ALL TRAITORS to the American Constitution. There is NO EXCUSE that allows the President to IGNORE the laws of America just because he choose to!

An American president does not have diplomatic immunity in America...Put them ALL on trial for War Crimes, Crimes Agents humanity & TORTURE!!

Bush & Cheney should be held accountable for the "NO BID, SECRET CONTRACTS" Their activity was and is criminal!! BILLIONS & BILLIONS of our tax payer dollars are MISSING from Iraq?

Wheres our money Republicans???

Republicans know to release the name of an under cover CIA agent is an act of treason under law that is fact!!!

Former vice president Dick B. Cheney...A man who avoided the draft 5 times, but is O.K. at sending other young men to war!!!

Dick B. Cheney A man who hide out (coward) in a bunker after the 911 attack!!!

Dick B. Cheney A man who NEVER ONCE met the coffins of soldiers returns home from war, but his daughter would criticize President Obama for spending the entire night meeting the coffins of our dead hero's and spending time with their families...

Dick B. Cheney A man who would let his friends take the blame for his own wrong doings!!!

What a typical Republican Dick Cheney really is!

It's simple Dick Cheney is a TRAITOR to America and should spend the rest of his worthless life in prison OR spend a short amount of time in front of a Military firing squad for TREASON!!

Posted by: imZandor | June 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Bush said he was glad he waterboarded KSM and said he'd do it again... He's laughing at all you bleeding hearts so worried about the well being of a man who MURDERED 3000 AMERICANS!!! See here's the difference.. Nazi's tortured innocient people.. Bush waterboarded a MONSTER!!!

Posted by: sovine08 | June 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse


I agree!

Bush didn't authorize torture! He authorized "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" or EIT.

Hitler's belief that Jews were "terrorists" was flawed, but our belief that Muslims rounded up by bounty hunters without any documentation of their criminality was based on "sound intelligence."

When we poured water down the breathing aparatus of a Muslim, we did it in the name of "freedom" and keeping The Homeland "safe." Hitler's belief that he was keeping The Fatherland safe from International Jewry was flawed.

The technicians who became expert in EIT and administered the "technique" were careful to explain to their subjects that they need not fear organ failure. This gave them peace of mind, and they willingly signed the permission forms.

The "doctors" who obtained data from the "technique" for further refinement were only trying to perfect the "technique" for future use. Hitler's doctors were gathering data for future refinement of their techniques also, but in a bad way.

Even though international and U.S. law forbade the use of torture, it clearly stated that only the "techniques" used by Hitler were illegal and that any practioner of EIT who was not "as bad as Hitler" was exempt from prosecution.

Even though these "techniques" were unknown to the American and German people at the time they were used, Americans later endorsed the use of EIT and were, in fact, wildly enthusiastic and sought more widespread use of the techniques.

Our courts have held that any law can be circumvented at any time through the "technique" of semantics. Justice Antonin Scalia demonstrated this technique in a radio interview in which he said that torture was not "cruel and unusual punishment" under the 8th Amendment if it was used in the "interrogation" process before conviction. After conviction, it would be illegal as "punishment."

Now, do you see?



Posted by: motorfriend | June 9, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Lots of self serving blather here.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 9, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

vanden Huevel is a garden variety 'ends justify the means' communist so it is no surprise she would spare no amount of hyperbolic atmospherics to trash a targeted person whther that be be a former president or whoever. Nothing this woman says or writes should ever be taken seriously except as a threat. Her one weakness is that she's a rich communist who thinks it's trendy to advocate the overthrow of the American system of government...kinda like a Sean Penn revolutionary. She's the same ideological dilletante that Lenin said were useful idiots that would eventually hang by the rope given to them by the committed communists. She's a loser and those who follow her are losers too.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | June 9, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Far be it from me to defend Ms. vanden Heuvel.

However, I think the term "Nazi" gets so frequently bandied about these days because of its ubiquitous use by the Right. It seems to me the Left is merely responding in kind.

Posted by: Itzajob | June 9, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

The only reason Bush is no Nazi Torturer is that he was torturing hapless fanatic Moslems rather than Nazis. The fact is that the term "enhanced interrogation" was lifted out of an instruction book that was lifted from the same sources used by the North Koreans, Chinese, Soviets and yes, the Nazis.

You can dress it anyway you want to but it was torture; illegal explicitly by US law, illegal by International Law, and unconscionably immoral by any moral code except perhaps for Inquisitorial Catholicism which can justify just about anything if it is aimed at "saving the soul."

Bush knew it was illegal, which is why he denied he was using these techniques even as he ordered, personally, many of the "renditions" and sessions in which they were practiced. He knew it was immoral because he repeated the famous speeches of Ronald Reagan condemning the practice.

As for whether the torture was experimental or not, that is a pure red herring. Whether it is torture or not doesn't depend on whether Mengele types were running it, nor on what the intent of the torturers was. There is no 24 scenario that can justify international war crimes and crimes against humanity.

If we had gotten Hitler in our hands and tortuered him we merely would have been descending to his level. Bush and his fellow henchmen should be in jail now waiting trial.

Posted by: chris_holte | June 9, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that we are debating which degree of torture slips you from "tough" to "Nazi". Shephard Smith, of Fox News said it so well, " We do not torture! The United States does not torture." Folks, torture is torture, murder is murder. Someone has put hurt, fear, terror, and pain to someone to obtain information. Someone killed someone with something or somehow. It doesn't matter and the degree does not matter, the end results are still the same.

Posted by: optodoc | June 9, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I am so relieved to know that the Bush-Cheney level of torture did not rise to that of Hitler's regime. This is a very nice standard by which we can judge Bush.
I think I would rather have a somewhat higher standard for my country.

Posted by: billaldridge | June 9, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Eva Rodriguez is intellectually dishonest.
Shame on you Ms Rodriguez for defending Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: Mickey2 | June 9, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rodriguez, no doubt unwittingly, has provided the perfect epitaph for the Bush administration. From this day hence, let it be known that “George Bush wasn’t as bad as the Nazis!”

Posted by: codexjust1 | June 9, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Least you forget, and apparently you have, over 30 recorded deaths from Guantanamo
"detainees".
Since there is no official death certificate
listing the cause of death, are we to assume that they died of natural causes.?

The key words were "organ failure or death,
so it's o.k. if I jam needles or bamboo shims under finger and toe nails of American citizens and as long as I don't cause organ or body failure, it's not torture right, just sadistic behavior!

Posted by: victorlove1 | June 9, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

There are upwards of a million people dead, who died horrible violent agonizing deaths in Iraq. Many millions made refugees who died in refugee camps, or have been reduced to begging in the streets. Bushco has changed what America is, so now torture is routine and accepted.
Suppose for a second that you were Karma. What would you do to a government - to a people - who did this?
Gore Vidal is right: the American experiment can now be classified a failure and we will soon take our place between Brazil and Argentina - where we belong.

Posted by: jiji1 | June 9, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

As one of the report authors, I'd like to comment that Katrina vanden Heuvel summarized our report extremely well, including the issues discussed by Eva Rodriguez. We never raised the Mengele analogy, because it is so easily misunderstood. But, in response to the horrors of the Nazi doctors, the US military, at the trial of these doctors, adopted the Nuremberg Code, which has been the foundation of human research ethics since. This Code begins "The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential." It goes on to assert the other fundamental principle of research ethics, to avoid or minimize harm.

We claim that the CIA -- by gathering data on the "enhanced interrogation" torture techniques, and by using that data both to modify the techniques and to justify the program -- was engaged in research, meeting the accepted definition of "the gathering of data for the purpose of creating generalizable knowledge." This research violated the ethical constraints which the CIA itself had adopted.

In other cases, they apparently systematically varied the techniques to which people were subjected and studied the effects. This is experimentation.

We further claim that the prime motivation of this research was NOT the safety of the prisoners, but the safety of their torturers, to protect them from future legal liability for torture. That is, the data was collected because collecting this data could be used as a defense against claims that they intended to cause harm.

One more point. You correctly say that Mengele "left his victims with permanent physical, emotional and psychological scars." While in no sense making a comparison of the CIA and Mengele, it is important to say that other reports by Physicians for Human Rights and others have demonstrated that the US techniques frequently caused "permanent physical, emotional and psychological scars." Furthermore, in an appendix, we show that the CIA had available to them at the time a set of studies done of the military SERE program on which the CIA based their efforts which strongly suggested that these techniques would cause harm. They chose to ignore these studies in favor of the spurious research and junk science that they hoped who protect them.

As a society we cannot let them get away with this misuse of health professionals, and of research.

Posted by: stephen_soldz | June 9, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that we are debating which degree of torture slips you from "tough" to "Nazi". Shephard Smith, of Fox News said it so well, " We do not torture! The United States does not torture." Folks, torture is torture, murder is murder. Someone has put hurt, fear, terror, and pain to someone to obtain information. Someone killed someone with something or somehow. It doesn't matter and the degree does not matter, the end results are still the same.

Posted by: optodoc | June 9, 2010 4:51 PM
===================================

Bush tried to make such actions as standard operating procedure and while understandable, it's scary and offensive.

I think the two key words in Ms. Rodriguez' post is misguided and psychopath. Rodriguez thinks President Bush was misguided while Ms. Van den Huevel and the Nation think Bush is the psychopath and perhaps the terrorists are the ones who are misguided.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 9, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

So Ms. Rodriguez you think it was "insincere" to state that "the experimentation seems to have been conducted in order to determine how sadistic American torturers could be before they crossed into illegality"? when that is exactly what they were doing? They were also trying to lay more false groundwork to enable Bush's Boyz to squeak by the illegal and immoral quagmire they were in. The simple fact is Bush is not a Nazi Torturer, he's an American Torturer, in fact the Torturer in Chief, or the Torture Decider as he would probably call himself. They didn't torture "simply to see how they would react" they Tortured simply to extract false confessions from their victims. Pure and simple the Bush Cabal decided to torture people like lab animals, decided in minute detail what to do to them, how long, and how hard and then used Doctors (I use the term loosely) to gather data on the victims as they were being tortured to determine how much more torture they could administer. Torture is known, by our intelligence agencies and every intelligence agency in the world to be effective at one thing and one thing only: to extract FALSE confessions. Nice try at trying to clear Bush's name but you can see from the response here that you seriously missed the mark, thank heavens. You can now go sit with Gerson and Theissen in the corner with your own dunce cap on.

Posted by: Watcher1 | June 9, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Let me by Crystal here.

Bush is a Nazi Torturer.

And so is Cheney.

Period.

Full stop.

Now send them to the Hague for the International War Crimes they and Woo authorized and hold the trials.

Posted by: WillSeattle | June 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Um, hate to break this to you Ms. Rodriguez, but if you find yourself in a semantic exercise while trying to contrast US policy with that of the Nazis, we've already gone too far.

And your "defense" makes that all the more clear.

"Don't let the terrorists change our way of life"

Should have been:

"Don't let Bush/Cheney change our way of life"

Couple of true Patriots, there.

Posted by: Thinker_ | June 9, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Left-Wing Icon Daniel Ellsberg: 'Obama Deceives the Public'

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,699677,00.html

Posted by: yx88hc | June 9, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Nah, Bush isn't a NAZI torturer, in the sense that he ordered human experimentation.

No, he's only a garden-variety torturer, as he -- merely -- violated the Geneva conventions and accepted standards of international law.

So to sum up: Nazi torturer, no. Run-of-the-mill torturer, yes.

Glad we got that cleared up.

Posted by: Gladiator2008 | June 9, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Rodriguez is a bloody ignorant idiot.

Posted by: apteryx05 | June 9, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

The "command" authority of the electorate in our replublican government is not an estoppel against delivering our elected officials for prosecution, any more than it's an immunity for the People's own guilt. We elected these monsters when we knew their beliefs, and we re-elected them when we knew their deeds. We're in it, up to our eyeballs. It's easy enough to pretend their authoritarian techniques absolve us of republican responsibility, but nothing can, until we yield back that onerous birthright prospectively, by Constitutional amendment.

Why not introduce it, Ms Rodriguez? "The People of the United States, declaring themselves to be morally incompetent, do now absolve their government of all duty." It's what you came to ask us to do, isn't it?

Posted by: CarterNicholas | June 9, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

When I read about these physicians, I thought I was going to puke. I still think I may.

If there is one thing I know well, very well, it is Nazism. I have studied it for decades, published three books on the subject, numerous articles, all of them still widely read.

And, yes. What we did was nazistic. I think I'm going to be sick.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 9, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Mengele's experiments weren't to satisfy a sadistic streak. They were to help his nation defeat its enemies. And I'm sure all efforts were made to assure that the experiments were "legal" and "humane." Still, I'll grant your point: Bush not as bad as Mengele. High praise indeed for an American President.

Posted by: AlanSF | June 9, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe not.

But the net result of his administration's policies and pratices have turned what used to be a 15 minute check-in at the airport, into some ungodly combination of high-tech xray strip tease try outs complete with a dose of damaging radiation, togther with insulting pat down and questioning, to which previously we only subjected criminal suspects.

I don't doubt that they had good intentions, but it's hard to imagine much worse implementation of policy goals.

Reminds me of pharmaceutical company commercials with side effects worse than the original condition.

Posted by: smrtmx | June 9, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Pure nonsense.

What on Earth has Hiatt done to the once-great WaPo? This drivel is supposed to pass for a thoughtful, robust intellectual debate? Ms. Rodriguez has the intellectual rigor of a 3rd grader ("no he didn't"..."did too!"). Many of the commentators here are serious, thoughtful people. C'mon Fred: Pick anyone to replace this lightweight!

Posted by: wiltonsjs | June 9, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Bush apologists really have problem understanding that torturing prisoners and experiments on prisoners are against the law, and comparisons to crimes of Nazi Germany are inevitable, because they are parallel.

Make all the excuses you want, Bush is war criminal.

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | June 9, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Bush is not a Nazi - but he surely was a torturer. Only an All-American one. And we all are going to be forever held responsible for putting and keeping this man and his administration in power. God help us.

Posted by: alfa73 | June 9, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Mengele is not the point. For one thing, he was a Ph.D., not an MD, and had no interest in "science" as we might recognize it.

That is not the case with some Nazi physicians, who did, indeed, dispassionately observe certain procedures to determine their effects, biochemical and other.

At what temperatures, for example, will the vital organs give out?

The scientific community inherited this information and has used it. This is not a secret.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 9, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Your first problem was giving one scrap of legitimacy to Katrina Van den Huevel. She has no legitimacy whatsoever. During the administration of President Bush we had not one attack by terrorists on our soil after 9/11. These terrorists want to kill American men, women, and children. Torture? John McCain was tortured by the North Vietnamese. What he experienced was torture. We need to get information from these animals to protect our people. If that means getting tough with them so be it. But believe me they will never experience what John McCain experienced.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 9, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Your first problem was giving one scrap of legitimacy to Katrina Van den Huevel. She has no legitimacy whatsoever. During the administration of President Bush we had not one attack by terrorists on our soil after 9/11. These terrorists want to kill American men, women, and children. Torture? John McCain was tortured by the North Vietnamese. What he experienced was torture. We need to get information from these animals to protect our people. If that means getting tough with them so be it. But believe me they will never experience what John McCain experienced.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 9, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Talk about parsing your sentences. Ms. Rodriguez could easily give lessons to former President Clinton."Profoundly misguided attempts to elicit information" is absolute idiocy.The means were approved by attorneys. So with the endorsement of their own attorneys all of a sudden it becomes ok. Before now I really did not see how the analogy with Nazi Germany worked. Although I have always considered W., Cheyney, Addingon, Rumsfeld and Yoo as war criminals, Ms. Rodqriquez has confirmed my belief. It is hard to imagine that The Post would do so, but are you sure this piece was not written by the staff of The Onion?

Posted by: amsteingold | June 9, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Bush has been out of office for 18 months, and yet people are still speaking of him in the present tense, as if he's still torturing people. I guess THAT'S what Obama meant when he campaigned under "Yes, we can!" He was AGREEING with Bush. NOW you know why Guantanamo Bay is still open.

Posted by: huguenotklj | June 9, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

So, Ms. Rodriquez thinks the difference between Nazi torturers and American torturers is simply intent. The intent was just to torture and not to experiment.

The doctors Bush enlisted to monitor torture may not have performed acts but they monitored to see how much a human body can take before it dies. The intent was to track just when the "organ failure" and "death" noted in the Bybee memo was reached. This was not in order to protect a detainee, it was to give torturers a benchmark so they would always stay on that thin little ledge between mere torture and murder.

This is almost more devious and disgusting than the outright torture the Nazis conducted.

Posted by: arancia12 | June 9, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Of course Bush was a Nazi torturer. Bush, Cheney and their fellow criminals should be in prison. Their defenders are hoping that time can allow them to rewrite history. That will never happen.

Posted by: revbookburn | June 9, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

arancia12

The doctors Bush enlisted to monitor torture may not have performed acts but they monitored to see how much a human body can take before it dies.
------------------
Again, Nazi doctors performed the same function during the Holocaust. Their goal was to advance science. We have been the beneficiaries of their "note-taking." That is, the international community availed itself of the nazi doctors' findings.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 9, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

These days it is impossible to be anything but a Nazi; one simply cannot disagree with another's position without acquiring Herr Goebbel's attributes. President Bush was elected in 2004 by virtue of a majority vote; he was no Adolf Hitler.

You would think, at a time when we remember D Day, that doing such things would disgust the most restive debater. Alack and alas, these tactics have become de rigeur.

Posted by: Martial | June 9, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Why did you even write this stupid column?

Posted by: veerle1 | June 9, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Why did you even write this stupid column?

Posted by: veerle1 | June 9, 2010 6:48 PM

==========================================

Maybe she thought that Van den Huevel's column was just as asinine?

Posted by: bbface21 | June 9, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Who is this Rodriguez woman, and why should anyone care what she thinks?

Posted by: turningfool | June 9, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

These days it is impossible to be anything but a Nazi; one simply cannot disagree with another's position without acquiring Herr Goebbel's attributes. President Bush was elected in 2004 by virtue of a majority vote; he was no Adolf Hitler.

You would think, at a time when we remember D Day, that doing such things would disgust the most restive debater. Alack and alas, these tactics have become de rigeur.

Posted by: Martial | June 9, 2010 6:46 PM

=====================================

The bright side is that it's a small minority opinion. I agree when you think your political opponents are an enemy it just corrupts the entire debate.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 9, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

That was one disingenuous StrawMan, Ms. Rodriguez.

How do you feel about what they actually did?

Was it despicable and dishonest or are you OK with it?

Posted by: vigor | June 9, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Bush said he authorized waterboarding of one Islamoid who killed 3,000 Americans to save several thousand more from Islamoid plots. The interrogation worked. The 9/11 Mastermind gave up two more major plots well underway and the names and locales of many, many major Muslim terrorists involved.
The plots were stopped, the Islamoids working for KSM were killed or arrested and in turn the arrestees gave up more Islamoids.
Bush said he would do it again, and the public approves.
Something enemy loving Lefties find absolutely unfathomable - believing that enemy rights from having any discomfort trump stopping the butchery of Americans by a foreign enemy. IN their strange Lefty world, butchery of Americans is not a bad thing as long as Rule of Law properly indicts and convicts the "alleged maimers and killers" - but that taken action to prevent such carnage is "unspeakably evil"!!!

Rodriguez herself falls prey to this:

"Instead, the administration engaged in a profoundly misguided attempt to extract information it believed could help to prevent the next Sept. 11."

Actually, the 9/11 Mastermind did squeal like a pig and several pending 9/11s were prevented.

Bush knows that a public that thought it was worth FDR and Truman burning or blasting 3 million Japanese civilians to death or severely maiming them while slowly starving them - all to save 1 US soldiers life for each 3,000 casualties inflicted - did not hurt Truman or FDR's long-term reputation.
So making the 9/11 Mastermind pretty uncomfortable because he wouldn't talk, in order to save another 3,000 innocent lives, ranks far more in the "morally acceptable region" than what FDR and Truman did.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | June 9, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Martial:

These days it is impossible to be anything but a Nazi; one simply cannot disagree with another's position without acquiring Herr Goebbel's attributes. President Bush was elected in 2004 by virtue of a majority vote; he was no Adolf Hitler.

You would think, at a time when we remember D Day, that doing such things would disgust the most restive debater. Alack and alas, these tactics have become de rigeur.
---------------------
I agree, for the most part. I can see no traces of Nazism in George Bush, although I
detest his "politics," such as they have always been.

However, the activities of these physicians are, in fact, parallel to those of Nazi physicians during the Shoah. See my postings above.

On another note, the rational discourse you seek on other threads can only occur in spurts. It cannot be maintained unless you can connect with a few like-minded souls and confine your postings to THEM, for the most part.

I do not say that you all must agree on all issues, but you must all be willing to concede points. You are willing to do that, so are a few others.

You might want to give it a try.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I love the way you argue that Bush is no Nazi torturer; not that he didn't torture but the DEGREE of torture that he ordered/condoned.

I take it you failed debate class.

Posted by: ostrom808 | June 9, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Of course Bush wasn't a Nazi torturer. He was too young to be a Nazi. Way too young. His dad was 20 in WW II. Too bad he just announced proudly that he had water-boarded prisoners and would do it again. Tape and video just make life SO complicated. Who do you believe, Rodriguez or your lying eyes?

Posted by: m_richert | June 9, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

idiot boy is not nazi torturer. he is an american torturer and that is much, much, worse. We used to be one of the countries who frowned upon such behavior when it was performed in other countries. it is a dark day indeed that we are one of those other countries.

Posted by: spike591011 | June 9, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Carter Nichols,

I don't believe Americans voting for Bush "knew" he was going to violate the oath of office and break both the international and federal laws.

Bush campaigned on "no regime change or nation building" and "no country has the right to tell another country what kind of government they should have."

So, again, I don't think the public "knew" they were electing a liar.

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | June 9, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the banality of evil.

It's curious how the wifebeaters and roadragers are still supporting what Bush did here.

Posted by: barferio | June 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Rodriguez wrote "Let me be clear: I do not condone torture and have been critical of many of the techniques used by the Bush administration to squeeze information out of terrorism suspects. But...."

Yeah, sounds like those despicable conversations where a person says "I'm not a racist but..."

Shame on you Rodriguez that you would be on here still apologizing and finding excuses for the fascist buffoon Bush.

Resign Rodriguez! You are a disgrace!


Posted by: rasterfreeart | June 9, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

ONCE AGAIN...


Do realize that we now have an entire industry devoted to demonstrating that George Bush is "not as bad" as you-know-who?


I would hope that America has standards a bit higher.

WHAT DO YOU SAY when someone says "How long are you going to blame George Bush for...?"

The answer is thirty years.

Posted by: rbdave | June 9, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Madame Rodriguez--I will accept your contention that Bush was not into "experimentation" Mengele style. But thanks for confirming he sanctioned (ungodly, illegal, immoral) torture. However, you don't seem all that concerned about that.

Posted by: axolotl | June 9, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh for god's sake, drop the journalistic ADD and get on the real point: Bush illegally made torture by American personnel systematic. He knew full well it was illegal, immoral, and he should have known it's not as effective.

Bush needs to be prosecuted for it along with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and everyone else who authorized it.

That Obama has indicated he will not pursue prosecution of the Bush administration failures is perhaps his biggest mistake.

May Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all of the other administration torture-loving criminals share a cellblock in Leavenworth.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | June 9, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

This is a great post. The only thing that I would add is that I hope that there is a special place in Hell reserved for the Bush administration's pro-torture folks, complete with waterboards and 24/7 loud music and stobe lights.

Posted by: janouzpoha | June 9, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

The Bush derangement syndrome is alive and still thriving. The word 'Bush' in a WaPo headline brings out the roaches in full flare.

Posted by: store16 | June 9, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Bush is no Nazi torturer. He's Muslim torturer, who would do it again.

Arrest that human filth!

Posted by: lichtme | June 9, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Too bad your kids and grand kids aren't going to Iraq or Afghanistan. You'd probably (maybe) feel a little bit different about the interrogation techniques. Easy to sit here with your trust fund checks. You're not going to die! Do you really think that the American independents really give a good d**m about what you think sitting in your "safe" apartment, or more likely your mom and dad's condominium purchased for your safe butt? Get real!!

Posted by: Fergie303 | June 9, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree with lichtime that Bush is no Nazi torturer. He's Muslim torturer, who would do it again. In the end, Bush = Nazi

Posted by: MysteryMovesWashOut | June 9, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

You're full of it, dear. You're splitting hairs that shouldn't be split. George Bush and Josef Mengele were both "profoundly misguided." Both Bush and Mengele committed war crimes. The only difference is that one was a Nazi and the other was a Republican. And this mitigates damages... how, exactly? I think the Republican Party has a lot to answer for. "I'd do it again" is NOT the correct answer!

Posted by: rbmurals | June 9, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Is WaPo desperate? Why would they publish such vacuity masquerading as profound thought? WaPo could have saved themselves some money by asking any number of the reactionaries who daily rant here to publish their thoughts on the esteemed Ms. VandenHeuvel's column. They would have been just as slanted, just as right winged and just as short on facts as Ms. Rodriguez's emotional rant... and a lot cheaper.

You can rant all you want, Ms. Rodriguez, but Physicians for Human Rights has international respect and is simply one more internationally respected organization to condemn the Bush Administration.

Secondly, to equate all Nazi tactics to Doctor Mengele's is a huge jump and an absurdly broad generalization. The Nazis tortured by degree just as the Bush Administration did.

Thirdly, doctor Mengele had his position in Nazi Germany because he affirmed medically and scientifically all that Hitler wanted affirmed. Just as John Yoo and Jay Bybee affirmed torture as an acceptable method of interrogation for the Bush Administration. They did what the leaders wanted.

i want a different nation than you want, Ms. Rodriguez. I want a nation that is grounded in human rights and extends that philosophy to all human beings as the US has said it does for the last thirty years. It has condemned untold numbers of nations for "human rights" violations and I expect our country to practice what it preaches.

Last, Ms. Rodriguez, for decades we have always regarded torture and murder and the turning of arms on their own citizens because they are protecting the nation from a grave threat as the mark of Nazi totalitarian right wing regimes.

The Bush Administration was a right wing regime that tortured and spied upon its own citizens under the excuse that it was protecting the nation from a greater evil and thus extreme measures, including spying upon its citizens, murder and torture were warranted.

Ms. Rodriguez, study the writings of other right wing reactionaries. Study George Will. He doesn't get emotional. One crazy generalization follow another until he reaches his conclusion. It's crazy but it's all threaded together logically like weaving a basket.

All you've given us emotional screams that most of the reactionaries posting here daily could give us. This is not writing, this is posting or blogging but this vacuous screed is unworthy of a major daily of the status of WaPo.

Posted by: flamingliberal | June 9, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Torture is torture Ms. Rodriguez. Your a scik puppy for defending it. Take a good hard look at yourself you sick b*%ch

Posted by: Chops2 | June 9, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The only one to bring up the "Nazi torturer" smear was Ms. Rodriguez, as a straw man she could knock down (even with her limited intellectual capacity). Somehow in her twisted mind, this makes Bush's torture okay, if it didn't rise to the level of Dr. Mengele. Pardon me while I vomit!

Posted by: thrh | June 9, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Fergie303 writes:

"Too bad your kids and grand kids aren't going to Iraq or Afghanistan. You'd probably (maybe) feel a little bit different about the interrogation techniques. Easy to sit here with your trust fund checks. You're not going to die! Do you really think that the American independents really give a good d**m about what you think sitting in your "safe" apartment, or more likely your mom and dad's condominium purchased for your safe butt? Get real!!"

--------------------------------------------------

Too bad you weren't *in* the military during this period, as I was, and still oppose torture. See how useful that analogy is?

Fergie303, during WWII, when the US faced *much* worse threats than a few amok terrorists, we managed to avoid torturing German agents held here in the US. I find it sad that we have become a nation of spineless wimps who run for Mommy's skirts the moment that things get a bit difficult.

Though there will always remain those few whose morals easily and comfortably tolerate torture of their enemies - one reason I am very glad that Dr. Krauthammer no longer practices medicine and isn't bound by the Hippocratic oath.

Posted by: iamweaver | June 9, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Just ask Nancy "we should do more" Pelosi what she thinks.

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | June 9, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

True, Bush was not operating on the level of Mengele (nor Lincoln, Washington, Grover A. Cleveland or Benjamin Harrison). Bush STARTED a war for no reason on Earth, forever staining our history books. The tens of thousands who died and all the grief he caused will never be atoned by one tossed shoe. Mengele in his special spot in hell will have an American neighbor.

Posted by: psst_limbaugh_keep-ranting_satan | June 9, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

obama is the fascist. he is a disease on america that will plague us for generations. his pathology is 1000x worse than what anyone here "thinks" bush was.


Posted by: skeptic11 | June 9, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

WHAT DO YOU SAY when someone says "How long are you going to blame George Bush for...?"

The answer is thirty years.

Posted by: rbdave | June 9, 2010 7:58 PM

===================================

Judging from the comments I would say the answer to your question is they would blame George Bush for the rest of their lives.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 9, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Rodriguez needs to learn a little history: such as the fact that the Nuremberg Tribunal concluded that of all the crimes of the Nazis, the paramount one that subsumes all the others is -- initiating a war of aggression.
I guess it doesn't matter to her that torture (however defined) is illegal, not "just" under international law -- but under U.S. law, also. And the same U.S. law calls for the DEATH PENALTY for any U.S. citizens (including political "leaders") who commit it.
By the way, Rodriguez, during and after WWII Germans and Japanese were put to death by the U.S. for torture.
This columnist is explicitly advocating immorality and is disgusting....

Posted by: 88x-ray | June 9, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

President Obama PLEASE KICK NEOCON BUTT..

Prosecute Bush and Cheney..
After you Waterboard them 200 times.

Posted by: godwithfire55 | June 9, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse


Sweetie,

it if quacks like a duck...

Posted by: whistling | June 9, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Bush said he would do it again because he knows that is a popular sentiment in the U.S. Sad but true, the Pew research poll from last year showed only 25% of Americans said torture should "never" be used. In other words, 75% of Americans would approve it under certain circumstances.

Those who say torture "never" works need to think that through a little more. Obviously, the CIA does think it works and were able to convince Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and a whole lot of other people that it does. I don't think this program was carried out over CIA objections. And remember, John McCain himself provided info to his captors as a result of torture.

I am not condoning torture, but I hear an awful lot self-proclaimed experts acting as if the nation is against it when in fact it is not, and acting as if it never works, which is probably false. The legal case is clear cut (it is illegal).

Posted by: allknowingguy | June 9, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse


This little dunce thinks torture is 'absurd'.

She thinks the writer in question, who writes very clearly is "acutely insincere". Which is a dumb statement.

As for whether the doctors who agreed to do the "observations"....who knows whether they were sadistic or not? Surely good doctors would not agree to watching torture...even if it's called 'oh gosh, just up to torture' by the
Cheney followers.

The Washington Post has some of the worst writers in the business.
This is too silly to be disgusting.

Posted by: whistling | June 9, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

>"President Bush is no Nazi torturer"

No, but he is the one president who came closer to that definition than any president before him or after. Bush took the step down that slippery slope and, to our horror, didn't seem to care that he was heading down such a slope as many warned him. His VP defended the actions. History has shown that once you make the step in that direction it gets easier to justify torture.

There were discussions on WaPo's blogs about torturing suspects of child kidnappings. Luckily, America, after light was shown on what Bush's administration was allowing, drew back.

God Bless America, and God Help those in the Bush administration who will have to answer to a high authority for their transgressions against morality.

Posted by: Fate1 | June 9, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

"Bush is no Nazi Torturer" - A proud boast, indeed.

Posted by: ejs2 | June 9, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

"Bush is no Nazi Torturer" - A proud boast, indeed.

Posted by: ejs2 | June 9, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Martial:

These days it is impossible to be anything but a Nazi; one simply cannot disagree with another's position without acquiring Herr Goebbel's attributes. President Bush was elected in 2004 by virtue of a majority vote; he was no Adolf Hitler.

You would think, at a time when we remember D Day, that doing such things would disgust the most restive debater. Alack and alas, these tactics have become de rigeur.
---------------------
I agree, for the most part. I can see no traces of Nazism in George Bush, although I
detest his "politics," such as they have always been.

However, the activities of these physicians are, in fact, parallel to those of Nazi physicians during the Shoah. See my postings above.

On another note, the rational discourse you seek on other threads can only occur in spurts. It cannot be maintained unless you can connect with a few like-minded souls and confine your postings to THEM, for the most part.

I do not say that you all must agree on all issues, but you must all be willing to concede points. You are willing to do that, so are a few others.

You might want to give it a try

___________


Courtesy is required when someone who has put off a billion vital matters to speak to you stands before you; you cannot hear Speaker Pelosi or Senator McConnell if you shout too loud. Part of the fun online by contrast is the lack of reasoned discourse! Where else can you have someone tell you they want to crucify you or think you are an elderly Jewish, Black homosexual man who abuses turtles in his spare time?

President Bush's enhanced interrogators resembled Nazi torturers, Spanish Inquisition factotums, Castro's assistants, Stalin's thugs, Mao's monsters, Hirohito's rats, Pol Pot's followers, and McCain's Vietcong warders. Torture endangers freedom; it predisposes no more to fascism than it does to any other form of dictatorship.

Posted by: Martial | June 9, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse


Bush knows that a public that thought it was worth FDR and Truman burning or blasting 3 million Japanese civilians to death or severely maiming them while slowly starving them - all to save 1 US soldiers life for each 3,000 casualties inflicted - did not hurt Truman or FDR's long-term reputation.
So making the 9/11 Mastermind pretty uncomfortable because he wouldn't talk, in order to save another 3,000 innocent lives, ranks far more in the "morally acceptable region" than what FDR and Truman did.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | June 9, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

___________

The Japanese were most horrific for the same reason the Nazi's were most horrific-- aggressively conquest of an entire continent. Had the Nazi's not engaged in aggressive conquest of an entire continent there would have been no Holocaust; the 600,000 Jews would have gone elsewhere just as they had for many centuries. Read up on the rape of Nanjing, what happened in Bataan, and all other manner of Hirohito's horrors.

Posted by: Martial | June 9, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Ms Rodriguez just twisted herself in the pretzel that W. nearly choked on.

Posted by: turkerm | June 9, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Let me by Crystal here.
Bush is a Nazi Torturer.
And so is Cheney.
Period.

Full stop.

Now send them to the Hague for the International War Crimes they and Woo authorized and hold the trials.
Posted by: WillSeattle
==================
Let me be equally Crystal clear.
75% of the public approves of what Bush did in interrogating the 9/11 Mastermind who butchered 3,000 people in America to save thousands more in major plots underway in London, Singapore, and LA.
That is 75%, even with 60% of the country detesting Bush a year after he left office.

Let me be Crystal clear about what would happen if Leftists who are Islamoid enemy lovers here gave orders to arrest and send to Europe the people that got the terrorists to reveal the major plots, save thousands of lives, info to decimate Al Qaeda and stop attacks here for 8 years ---

Try it and the country would be up in arms.
Riots. Places burning. Revolt.

As things stand, the country is scared and angry about our economic decline. Progressive politicians are being met with hatred and vitriol for "going too far". Other times in America, the 1820s, 60s, 1910s, 1960s saw systemic violence against events - so it is hardly unthinkable.

Conditions are bad now, and could get worse with more jobs lost and major new taxes coming, the "stimulus" ending. All it takes is one major new precipitating event. Like subverting democracy by trying to criminalize the policies of the out of power Party. Or placing whole new sectors of America under socialist control and taxed and regulated in every aspect. as Obamites are now angling to do with the energy sector.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | June 10, 2010 4:58 AM | Report abuse

How thin must a hair be before it becomes too thin to split?

Posted by: formerrepublician | June 10, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

So they did torture (and imprison innocent people without access to due process), BUT they're not as bad as Mengele and the Nazis? Whew! I feel much better now!

Posted by: CynicalC | June 10, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Eva,

Don't let these comments get to you. I agree with you that President Bush is no Nazi torturer. He's an American torturer, and he's going to prison. Thanks for clarifying!

Tyler

Posted by: TylerHealey | June 10, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The only thing sadder than this article, and the one it refers to, are the comments attached. Bush has moved on, there's a new president, new issues and yet this "story" continues. It has moved from Bush being a mire torturer, to a Nazi, to Mengele, to Vlad the Impaler, the leader of the Spanish Inquisition, Stalin's Purge, and a giver of small pox infected blankets to the Indians.
Recent reports indicate he was seen with an apple in the Garden of Eden though it may have been Cheney.

The rage is disproportional to this nanosecond of history.

Posted by: flyover22 | June 10, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

If you have to call on lawers to provide legal cover for what you're about to do to other human beings, you're on the wrong track.

If you have to call on doctors to make sure that what you do to other human beings don't cause organ failure, you're on the wrong track.

You know that torture is legal in North Korea?

That's right, kim Jong Il askes his best lawers to provide legal cover for it.

Torture might be legal in Nort Korea, Belarus, Egypt, Zimbawe, and the United States. But it's still a crime against humanity.

Posted by: Supertzar | June 10, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Lets stop calling "enhanced interrogation techniques" "torture" please.

"Standards of Conduct under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340-2340A. That statute prohibits conduct "specifically intended to inflict SEVERE physical or mental pain or suffering."

Geneva, Article I says: "torture means any act by which SEVERE pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person…”

Please note the use of the adjective SEVERE.

The CIA version of "waterboarding" (the worst technique) in which no water is allowed into the throat and IF that happens - stopping the procedure.. is mostly certainly extremely uncomfortable. It is however NOT torture.

The same version is used in SERE training of our Marines. We don't permit torture of our Marines nor do we torture detainees.

If you wish, forget the 57% of Americans who think waterboarding is just fine...
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's approval of waterboarding.. 2002 til 2006 weakens any claim that the CIA version is "torture". Pelosi even in early 2008 described the techniques as "enhanced interrogation tactics" something she must have believed in.

In any mythical Grand Jury investigation the Left can invision, who will be the key witness for Bush, Cheney, or Yoo’s Defence ?

A liberal grandmother from San Francisco.

Case dismissed. NOT "torture".

Posted by: pvilso24 | June 10, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

So is that our new international standard for defining war crimes--whatever falls short of Nazi atrocities is okay?

There is simply no way to defend the torture or extrajudicial killing of prisoners (and yes, more than 100 detainees in Afghanistan alone have died in US custody, some immediately after being tortured for information or merely tortured.) Even an amoral argument based on national security doesn't work because the #1 draw of foreign fighters & suicide bombers to Iraq has been to avenge what they believe to be the systematic torture of their coreligionists.

Teenage graffiti taggers are "misguided," as you put it; adults who intentionally hurt helpless prisoners--even known monsters--are something else. No, Bush isn't a "Nazi torturer," but by that standard neither was Pinochet, or Franco, or Assad in Syria, or even the current regime in Iran. Do we give them all a free pass now as well? We need to define acceptable behavior by what it is, not by what it isn't; and what the Bush team did fails that definition in every way.

Posted by: SageThrasher | June 10, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

What, yet another liberal (vanden Heuvel) who describes political opponents as nazis? That's about as surprising as dung in a cow pasture. Liberals routinely try to besmirch anyone who dares differ with them as nazis, klanners, racists, etc. This is an attempt to marginalize and stifle dissent. The irony is that liberals resort to cries of "McCarthyism" when they employ the same tactics.
Liberals - bad ideas, vile and odious human beings.

Posted by: scvaughan | June 10, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Bush et al condone torture. Plain and simple. No qualifier needed.

Posted by: jckdoors | June 10, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Bush and Company crossed the line regarding treatment of prisoners and humans in general. You can try to suggest stepping over the line of permissibility is not so bad if you don't go as far as the Nazi's did, but that is not how the law works. Prisoners actually died because of some of the abusive treatment. The US public remains an accomplice to these acts because we did nothing to stop and nothing to prosecute those responsible for them.

We are the government. The government acts in our interests. If we accept its actions and behaviors as legal we are as guilty as those who carried them out. We have shielded them from prosecution.

The issue is not degree, but right to do this. I would maintain the US government and its employees were never given that right regardless of what poor legal advice was used to justify it. This nation should be up in arms about it. Not saying or doing anything means the next time a leader wishes to step over a legal boundary all they need to do is get poor legal advice as justification for doing so. If there is no accountability and no responsibility, expect more of the same in the future. The precedent has been set to do just that.

Posted by: PJW5552 | June 10, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"President Bush is no Nazi torturer"

Yes, he is.

Posted by: MarkThomason | June 10, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh for heaven's sake, Ms. Rodriquez, you are using legalese to defend Bush and Cheney and their torture policies just as they used Addington and Yoo to make what they did seem legal and moral. Just because the Bush admin didn't make lamp shades out of detainees, doesn't make what they did any less heinous and what makes what they condoned totally unexceptable and reprehensible is that we are the United States of America who is supposed to have a moral compass. Long before the Geneva Convention, George Washington was against torturing his prisoners. Do you think that 9/11 was the only time this country has faced a mortal enemy? Cheney is a sadist and Bush just didn't care as long as he could hear Pomp and Circumstance played when he entered a room.

Posted by: creatia52 | June 10, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The use of wild exageration to make a point is usefull until you have done it so often the public no longer believes anything you say.

Posted by: almorganiv | June 10, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

An "experiment" should be defined before there can be discussion on whether it has occurred. Since an experiment is something that tests a hypothesis, an experiment would not have occurred if the Bush administration administered with foreknowledge of their results based on valid past experiments. But the Bush administration used several techniques with no such foreknowledge. They simply hoped that torture would yield results. Therefore, they conducted experiments. On the contrary, there was considerable knowledge that torture would not yield correct information. So in ignoring the negative results from previous experiments, the Bush administration decided to test the hypothesis once again. And that's why the Bush administration engaged in human experimentation, albeit entirely unscientific.

Posted by: mikehaas | June 10, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Rodriguez misses the point. Bush and Cheney used torture techniques perfected by North Korean and other communists not to extract useful information, but to get confessions used for propaganda. Bush and Cheney must also have known that torture victims will say anything to stop the pain. Their torture was not to extract information, but to get statements used to justify invading Iraq.

Posted by: krodolfo | June 10, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

How would "Torture" gather information to justify invasion?

What this shows is that otherwise informed intelligent people are so warped by Bush derangement syndrome that their brains pop out. There is no conversation to be had as it's tenets are held with theological fervor!

Posted by: xxbingo2001 | June 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Any president who approves pressuring a prisoner to admit guilt by torturing his children, to include "crushing the child's testicles," is as bad -- or worse -- than a Mengele.

Posted by: SheilaSamples | June 10, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The number of misinformed or uninformed people on this website is pretty frightening. At least get your facts right before you start hurling accusations about torture and criminal behavior. The only people who were subjected to the "enhanced interrogation techniques" were three al Qaida prisoners, one of whom was the mastermind of 9/11 and the other was responsible for the bombing of the U.S.S.Cole. None of these individuals was interrogated to coerce confessions. The U.S. government was seeking information from these individuals about planned attacks and about how al Qaida did its dirty business. And, all are still alive, fat, and happy, living the good life in Gtmo (it sure beats a cave in the mountains of Afghanistan)and awaiting their fate before a federal court or military commission.

Posted by: twinkletoes1 | June 10, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

People need to define torture to keep from making assumptions. I define it as any activity likely to cause long-term physical or psychological damage to an ordinary person.

Now, one can affect people's mental conditions with various foods. Does that constitute torture? Wouldn't you need to monitor the effects? There is a difference between observation and experimentation.

And no, our waterboarding technique is not simulated drowning -- it works on the limbic system, as does a technique used in emergency rooms to slow heart rates.

Posted by: MaryMc1 | June 10, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company