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Bush's Torture Rationale Debunked


President Bush in September 2006: "We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking.... so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures." (Rich Lipski -- The Washington Post)

Abu Zubaida was the alpha and omega of the Bush administration's argument for torture.

That's why Sunday's front-page Washington Post story by Peter Finn and Joby Warrick is such a blow to the last remaining torture apologists.

Finn and Warrick reported that "not a single significant plot was foiled" as a result of Zubaida's brutal treatment -- and that, quite to the contrary, his false confessions "triggered a series of alerts and sent hundreds of CIA and FBI investigators scurrying in pursuit of phantoms."

Zubaida was the first detainee to be tortured at the direct instruction of the White House. Then he was President George W. Bush's Exhibit A in defense of the "enhanced interrogation" procedures that constituted torture. And he continues to be held up as a justification for torture by its most ardent defenders.

But as author Ron Suskind reported almost three years ago -- and as The Post now confirms -- almost all the key assertions the Bush administration made about Zubaida were wrong.

Zubaida wasn't a major al Qaeda figure. He wasn't holding back critical information. His torture didn't produce valuable intelligence -- and it certainly didn't save lives.

All the calculations the Bush White House claims to have made in its decision to abandon long-held moral and legal strictures against abusive interrogation turn out to have been profoundly flawed, not just on a moral basis but on a coldly practical one as well.

Indeed, the Post article raises the even further disquieting possibility that intentional cruelty was part of the White House's motive.

The most charitable interpretation at this point of the decision to torture is that it was a well-intentioned overreaction of people under enormous stress whose only interest was in protecting the people of the United States. But there's always been one big problem with that theory: While torture works on TV, knowledgeable intelligence professionals and trained interrogators know that in the real world, it's actually ineffective and even counterproductive. The only thing it's really good as it getting false confessions.

So why do it? Some social psychologists (see, for instance, Kevin M. Carlsmith on NiemanWatchdog.org) have speculated that the real motivation for torture is retribution.

And now someone with first-hand knowledge is suggesting that was a factor in Zubaida's case.

Quoting a "former Justice Department official closely involved in the early investigation of Abu Zubaida," Finn and Warwick write that the pressure on CIA interrogators "from upper levels of the government was 'tremendous,' driven in part by the routine of daily meetings in which policymakers would press for updates...

"'They couldn't stand the idea that there wasn't anything new,' the official said. 'They'd say, "You aren't working hard enough." There was both a disbelief in what he was saying and also a desire for retribution -- a feeling that 'He's going to talk, and if he doesn't talk, we'll do whatever.'"'

The Post story also makes it clear that some people with great reality-denying skills remain at the upper levels of the government: "Some U.S. officials remain steadfast in their conclusion that Abu Zubaida possessed, and gave up, plenty of useful information about al-Qaeda," Finn and Warwick write.

"'It's simply wrong to suggest that Abu Zubaida wasn't intimately involved with al-Qaeda,' said a U.S. counterterrorism official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much about Abu Zubaida remains classified. 'He was one of the terrorist organization's key facilitators, offered new insights into how the organization operated, provided critical information on senior al-Qaeda figures...and identified hundreds of al-Qaeda members. How anyone can minimize that information -- some of the best we had at the time on al-Qaeda -- is beyond me.'"

But who are these people? How can they still possibly believe this given all the evidence to the contrary? What are they doing still in government?

Author and investigative reporter Suskind first exposed the rampant fallacies of the administration's Zubaida narrative in his explosive June 2006 book, The One Percent Doctrine. See my June 20, 2006 column for a summary.

But mainstream news organizations, unable to match Suskind's sources, largely refused to acknowledge his reporting.

Indeed, in September 2006, when the White House for the first time publicly acknowledged the existence of a secret CIA detention and interrogation program, Bush had no qualms about putting Zubaida front and center.

In a major speech, he proudly described how Zubaida -- "a senior terrorist leader and a trusted associate of Osama bin Laden" -- was questioned using the CIA's new "alternative set of procedures" and then "'began to provide information on key al Qaeda operatives."

All lies and euphemisms. But all reported pretty much straight at the time by a mainstream media that, if it noted Suskind's reporting at all, did so as an afterthought.

There's no doubt that Zubaida's capture in spring 2002 was what sent the administration down the path to state-sanctioned torture. Last April, ABC News reported that starting right after his capture, top Bush aides including Vice President Dick Cheney micromanaged his interrogation from the White House basement. "The high-level discussions about these 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were so detailed," ABC's sources said, "some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed -- down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic." Bush has acknowledged he was aware of those meetings at the time.

Techniques that created damage short of "the level of death, organ failure, or the permanent impairment of a significant body function" were later authorized in an August 2002 Justice Department memo, known as the Torture Memo.

Just two weeks ago, in a New York Review of Books article based on a confidential report from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mark Danner described the techniques used on Zubaida in harrowing detail.

Here is what Zubaida told the ICRC, via Danner: "'I was taken out of my cell and one of the interrogators wrapped a towel around my neck; they then used it to swing me around and smash me repeatedly against the hard walls of the room.'

"The prisoner was then put in a coffin-like black box, about 4 feet by 3 feet and 6 feet high, 'for what I think was about one and a half to two hours.' He added: The box was totally black on the inside as well as the outside.... They put a cloth or cover over the outside of the box to cut out the light and restrict my air supply. It was difficult to breathe. When I was let out of the box I saw that one of the walls of the room had been covered with plywood sheeting. From now on it was against this wall that I was then smashed with the towel around my neck. I think that the plywood was put there to provide some absorption of the impact of my body. The interrogators realized that smashing me against the hard wall would probably quickly result in physical injury.'"

It goes on and on. Waterboarding -- and Zubaida is one of three detainees known to have been subjected to that notorious torture technique -- was only a part of it.

Bush's personal investment in Zubaida was obvious even in public statements. As early as April 9, 2002, Bush bragged to fellow Republicans at a political fundraiser: "The other day we hauled in a guy named Abu Zubaydah. He's one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States. He's not plotting and planning anymore. He's where he belongs."

In a June 6, 2002, address, Bush called Zubaida al Qaeda's "chief of operations" and said that "[f]rom him and from hundreds of others, we are learning more about how the terrorists plan and operate, information crucial in anticipating and preventing future attacks."

At a Republican fundraiser on October 14, 2002, Bush called Zubaida "one of the top three leaders in the organization."

But according to Suskind, even as Bush was publicly proclaiming Zubaida's malevolence, he was privately being briefed about doubts within the intelligence community regarding Zubaida's significance -- and mental stability. Suskind quotes the following exchange between Bush and then-CIA director George Tenet:

"'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.'"

And on the Guardian Web site today, Brent Mickum, an attorney who represents Zubaida, writes: "For many years, Abu Zubaydah's name has been synonymous with the war on terror because of repeated false statements made by the Bush administration, the majority of which were known to be false when uttered....

"[T]he man described by President Bush and others within his administration as a 'top operative', the 'number three person' in al-Qaida, and al-Qaida's 'chief of operations' was never even a member of al-Qaida, much less an individual who was among its 'inner circle'."

I've written extensively about Zubaida before, and about how the facts of his case as unearthed by Suskind thoroughly undermine the Bush administration's arguments. See, for instance, my Dec. 18, 2007 column, Exhibit A for Torture, in which I suggested that "Bush's Exhibit A in defense of torture may in fact be an exhibit for the prosecution." We learned in December 2007 that the CIA had destroyed videotapes of its secret interrogations -- 92 in all, it turns out, 90 of them of Zubaida. In February 2008, I wrote about how the White House's torture argument had now officially become that the ends justify the means.

Over the years, I've made something of a point of debunking the Bush White House's unsupported assertions that any really useful information was gleaned from torture.

And earlier this year, I got into a back-and-forth with one of the remaining torture apologists, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen. Thiessen wrote a particularly strident Washington Post op-ed on January 22, in which he asserted that President Obama's torture ban would "effectively kill a program that stopped al-Qaeda from launching another Sept. 11-style attack." I explained that Thiessen was making stuff up. Thiessen posted a heated response on the National Review Web site, which I debunked in this post.

Thiessen unsurprisingly responded yesterday to the Post story, calling it a product of "The Left's assault on the CIA program" and warning darkly that "if America is attacked again, those responsible for the disclosure of this information will bear much of the blame."

His attempted rebuttal to the Post's reporting, however, is laughable. "[W]hat Abu Zubaydah disclosed to the CIA during this period was that the fact that KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and that his code name was 'Muktar'," Thiessen writes. "This information provided by Zubaydah was a critical piece of the puzzle that allowed them to pursue and eventually capture KSM....

"This fact, in and of itself, discredits the premise of the Post story – to suggest that the capture of KSM was not information that 'foiled plots' to attack America is absurd on the face of it."

But Thiessen's case falls apart under even the mildest scrutiny. According to the 9-11 Commission report, for instance, the CIA had connected KSM to the alias "Mukhtar" on August 28, 2001 -- seven months before Zubaida was captured, and two weeks before 9/11.

Of course the prime torture apologist remains Cheney, who as recently as two weeks ago asserted in a CNN interview that the administration's interrogation tactics had saved lives. Asked to prove it, he replied lamely: "I've seen a report that was written based upon the intelligence that we collected then that itemizes the specific attacks that were stopped by virtue of what we learned through those programs. It's still classified. I can't give you the details of it without violating classification, but I can say there were a great many of them."

And, finally, in other torture-related news, Marlise Simons writes for the New York Times: "A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said....

"The move represents a step toward ascertaining the legal accountability of top Bush administration officials for allegations of torture and mistreatment of prisoners in the campaign against terrorism. But some American experts said that even if warrants were issued their significance could be more symbolic than practical, and that it was a near certainty that the warrants would not lead to arrests if the officials did not leave the United States."

The complaint names former attorney general Albert Gonzales, fomer Justice Department officials John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, former under secretary of defense for policy Douglas J. Feith, former general counsel for the Department of Defense William J. Haynes II, and former vice presidential chief of staff and legal adviser David S. Addington.

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 30, 2009; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Looking Backward , Torture  
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Comments

Is the American justice system so feeble that we must rely on a prosecutor in Spain to bring charges against those senior administration officials who authorized and encouraged this torture? The evidence that serious crimes have been committed is overwhelming. The U.S. law-enforcement system's inaction in the face of that evidence shows us just how weak and compromised American justice has become. Bravo to the Spaniards! May other law-abiding countries do likewise.

Posted by: AntonioV | March 30, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks so much, Dan, for producing such a fine precis of the Bush Administration's torture policies.

Posted by: Fearguth | March 30, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

More testimony to the thick-headed,cruel, pseudo-macho character of the utterly ruinous Bush/Cheney reign.... How did our cowed and spineless elected representatives let it go so far? How did half of our supposed informed electorate vote for these radically flawed stumble-bums?

Posted by: taji528 | March 30, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, the Post article raises the even further disquieting possibility that intentional cruelty was part of the White House's motive.

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

Right.

Not only because Cheney is nuts, IMO, but also because the use of torture is thought, in some circles, to be a deterrent, a method ostensibly used to "frighten the enemy into submission" (only if the enemy is frightened by the sight of big, stupid, American intelligence kooks losing wars).

Torture is not a method of intelligence gathering.

I just cannot stress how stupid these men are, intellectually vapid posers -- and it shows in their results.

The bigger problem right now is they can't win wars, or figure out why they're losing.

We will continue to decline as a nation, our military, until they're removed, replaced by true intelligence, worthy of this country.

And now Obama is going to Europe to sell an economic package predicated on this Bush-Cheney type think tank "policy," the plans for Aghanistan also reflecting the same mediocrity and true lack of intellectual insight.

Why?

Same failed, stupid elite doing the planning, same intelligence and military advisers who served Bush.

Poor thing.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 30, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

usually ignore froom as his whole career is based on GWB. Just thought I'd peek in, as usual, Froom has nothing else but blah blah Bush. Not many posters here except those who
also just cant seem to move on. Will peek in again in a month to see if Froom's still trying to squeeze a living off the Bush era.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | March 30, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Just can't wait until this kind of thinking spreads to local police departments and state police staffs. Let's torture shoplifters, and they will tell us who is stealing candy a couple of years from now.
And all those guys, to whom long occupations and torture are normal or even commendable, will be coming home to your local police departments, or high-paying jobs in the burgeoning private-secrurity industry.

Posted by: mooser42001 | March 30, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Look at the message those policies sent out. The fact remains that because of these policies and the good work done by the homeland security personnel the country did not have another 9/11.
We are not dealing with ordinary terrorists. These are fully brain washed jihadi fanatics. We should let the agencies like CIA, FBI etc decide how they should deal with them.
Look at what is happening in Pakistan today. Pakistan the kingpin of Islamic terrorism.

Posted by: dvsikka | March 30, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Just can't wait until this kind of thinking spreads to local police departments and state police staffs. Let's torture shoplifters, and they will tell us who is stealing candy a couple of years from now.
---------
See, that's the thing, though, the people are smarter than the "elite," have evolved past their ostensible "leaders."

It's been rejected, hasn't it? And I don't respect, or see, a Dick Cheney type as superior -- same with most others. I see them as insipid morons, just like everyone else.

It seems only a small group embraces this kook torture/supply-side theory as workable.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 30, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Look at the message those policies sent out. The fact remains that because of these policies and the good work done by the homeland security personnel the country did not have another 9/11.
----------

You don't know this, though, this is a spotlight fallacy, isn't it? What about the work of those who advocate against torture, could their ideas have prevented an attack, havoing NOTHING to do with torture?

Which should explain the thinking of the Cheney type elite -- casual associations which have no basis in fact.

Tough work, you get it wrong, you lose everything.

And that is what has happened.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 30, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to Froomkin for continuing to shine a big-ass kleig light on the crimes of the Bush adm...... This goes to the heart of democratic governance, and not to be conveniently forgotten like Ophra's weight gains/losses or plunges/rises on the big board... Geez! Doesn't anyone give a rat's behind that suburb-dads on the goverment payroll were/are being paid to operate in the manner of gestapo agents? If you were ever deprived the blessing of sleep or came close to drowning, you'll know from whence I speak... Froomkin is giveing us an 8th grade Civics lesson. He's doing us a service.

Posted by: taji528 | March 30, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Nice picture choice - the bush swagger. What an idiot.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | March 30, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't think this report is going to change Dick Cheney's mind.

He probably thought he would tell all under torture so why not terrorists?

Posted by: Pensfans | March 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone give a rat's behind that suburb-dads on the goverment payroll were/are being paid to operate in the manner of gestapo agents?
------------
When the surburban Dad you speak of truly understands he too, can be rendered and tortured, he might no longer be able to deny the reality of the war he is losing.

It's a hard game, the world isn't full of enlightened Americans, now, is it?

They dont get it, and when they do, they get scared, going further into denial ---> more torture.

Problem is torture doesn't protect and torture doesn't win.

And then they think they're smarter than everyone else, too.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 30, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Excellent work! This needs to be front page news. The fact that torture does not work needs to be made clear and the majority of the media have not brought this point home. If we want to bring the US back to a point of international respect we have to actively acknowledge that torture doesn't work and change our policies to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Posted by: dchristy56 | March 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

snapplecat is a good example of the kind of cognitive dissonance that rules the pro-torture thinking. "blahblahblah" is what he says, because his mind refuses to let in the information that would prove that he's horribly, horribly wrong about everything.

Why should we "move on" when the crime involved is torture?

Posted by: rick_desper | March 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The notion that we have not been attacked by terrorists since 9/11 is both false and deceptive. There have been several terrorist attacks in America since 9/11 including the anthrax attacks, the beltway sniper, and the midwest pipe bomber. The latter two have been brought to justice, but not before causing a good deal of terror. There have been many attacks against U.S. interests overseas as well, even discounting attacks within the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The evidence which the Bush administration has shown us of attacks they claim to have foiled have been shown to be false. In some cases they claim credit for attacks foiled overseas by foreign intelligence agencies. In some cases they simply lie. Cheney's assertion that there is secret evidence is laughable. It would have been easy for them to declassify that information if they wanted to prove their claims.

President Clinton's national security record is much better than Bush's. Yes, the WTC was attacked in 1993, but the attack was unsuccessful. Our interests were attacked overseas including the USS Cole bombing and several high profile embassy bombings. However, Clinton's administration successfully foiled the so-called Millennium Plot in 1999. The terrorists were captured at the border near Seattle on their way to Los Angeles.

The World Trade Center was attacked in 1993 and then destroyed in 2001. Eight years separated those attacks. And, it's just eight years later now.

Posted by: fletc3her | March 30, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

You have to wonder how sick and twisted the people who continue to support torture are. It reduces us to the level of barbarians and accomplishes nothing. The only "benefit" it offers is a vicarious thrill to the sort of monster who gets off on hurting people to no purpose.

Watch out for anyone you know who supports torture. You'll probably find that something is deeply wrong with them.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | March 30, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

With adults back in charge of the government and a free press no longer cowed by charges of being unpatriotic, this country can return to sanity and rejoin the world community. The Bush Era should be a lesson on how fragile democracy is and how easily totalitarianism can infiltrate a society when ideologues control the entire government. Facts eventually won over lies in this country; however, it was touch and go for far too long.

Posted by: Kaneohe | March 30, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The most important news story of the weekend was that a Spanish Court had opened a criminal investigation of six former Bush administration officials on the charge of torture. Why they did not include Cheney and Bush himself among those being investigated is beyond my understanding. This is long overdue and, again, I state that THIS WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY OF THIS WEEKEND. Forget the economy. Forget GM. This was the most important story. So why isn't it a multi-column headline on the front page of every newspaper in this country?

I am totally disgusted with the media - even the Times and the P{ost. This story is too important to be religated to a column. IT DEMANDS HEADLINES.

Newspapers lost their souls when they backed Bush. Now is the time to regain some of that soul back. TAKE IT!

Posted by: nyrunner101 | March 30, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

History has confirmed the “that’s classified” reply is a haven for cowards, criminals and incompetents.


Today, right now, the righteous Gen Hayden– without revealing a shred of classified information -- can step forward and confirm that: Abu Zubadayh was “number three in Al Qaeda.” That Zubadayh was “Al Qaeda’s chief of operations.” He can confirm that the torture methods used on Zubadayh resulted in authentic, actionable intelligence. Further, Gen Hayden can confirm that actual terrorist operations were disrupted as a direct result of Zubadayh’s torture.

All of the aforementioned claims made on the record, on multiple occasions by Mr Bush or members of his administration. But this will not happen.

The world will have to wait for history to emerge from the murk and fog of time to reveal the details and extent of the cowardice, criminality and incompetence perpetrated by the Bush administration in the name of the American people.

Posted by: FlagRally | March 30, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

As each one of these old stories gets rescued from the memory hole with newfound supporting facts, I can't stop thinking about the Bush apologists and their accusations of Bush Derangement Syndrome. If there ever was a group of people that needed to take a deep breath and do some serious introspection, it is the modern day Republican party. It's completely broken with reality.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | March 30, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Abu Zubaydah disclosed to the CIA during this period was that the fact that KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and that his code name was 'Muktar'. According to the 9-11 Commission report, for instance, the CIA had connected KSM to the alias "Mukhtar" on August 28, 2001
____

First off who say's Suskind is 100% correct? What he has some unnamed sources so what? like they can always be trusted?? Besides even if we got no usable info from Zubaydah if he knew KSM was Muktar he MUST have been in al Queda.. In that case trying to get info from Zubaydah even if it didn't work was a good try.. and KSM? we ALL seem to agree he was the mastermind behind 9/11. So what's the problem with doing everything we can to get him to talk.. and it doesn't sound like Suskind can prove we got no useful info from him..
Look I know Froomkin wants to nail Bush in the worst possible way but give it up.. Bottomline Obama doesn't care.

Posted by: sovine08 | March 30, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Snapplecat07 been drinking the snapple flavored koolaid Rush has been passing out since the Clinton administration, so talk about living off the past. Get a brain snapplecat07 and stop ditto other people's inaccurate rants.

Posted by: tniederberger | March 30, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Did I say "passing" out, I meant "pissing", the problem with snapplecat07 and the other ditto heads is that they are piss slaves to the looney tune full mooners of the wrong wing.

Posted by: tniederberger | March 30, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

yes kaneohe, democracy is fragile... Hard to imagine that our image is now, say, on a level with Putin's Russia... A moron could see that that Bush's faux-swagger, garbled syntax and certifiable stupidity was leading this once great republic off a cliff... What a clunker!!!!

Posted by: taji528 | March 30, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

All of this, and yet NOT A SINGLE TV PARROT TALKING HEAD WILL UTTER THE WORDS "Thats not true Mr. Cheney" when the treasonous outer of a covert CIA agent makes his self-promoting CYA appearances on the NEO-CON propaganda outlet known as "FOX". Sadly, there isn't a parrot talking head ANYWHERE in the MSM that will do it, either.

They want a six-figure check, not truth and transparency.

Posted by: onestring | March 30, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's send Dorthy, the Straw Man, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion (Rice, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld) to GITMO, place them in the 10' X 10' open air cages where they can look at each other and think about what they have done, and waterboard them since it is not torture.

Posted by: chucky-el | March 30, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

What has always been a telling point concerning the use of their methods by the previous administration has been the great extent that those in government went to wrap themselves in the supposedly legality of their actions.

It appears that in this supposedly time of great danger to the United States those in government where greatly concerned about covering their backside.

Executive orders of the President could have been used to implement their methods but this was not sufficient for these patriots.

Posted by: bsallamack | March 30, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Why look any further than Bush's performance as the Governor of Texas: gleeful death-sentences delivered in numbers unimagined by the most hardened of Texans themselves.

Some folks run for office to gain fame; others, to gain a fortune; others, to have their way with wine, women (or men, or children) and song; Bush, to inflict physical pain on other people, and watch them suffer. An ordinary sadist, and not a particularly colorful one. Knowing what we knew, we put him in office and kept him there. this is something to think about.

Posted by: alabama5 | March 30, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who witnessed the gleam in Bush's eye when he enthused about executing prisoners in Texas knew that the torture never really was for the purpose of extracting useful information.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Yoo and most of the other twisted souls who shared their peculiar theology took great personal pleasure in what they did to prisoners in Abu Graib and Guantanamo.

The Bushes - including George, Jeb and Barbara - sincerely do not understand why other people don't share their enthusiam for other people's suffering.

Posted by: northernliberal | March 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney had no problem disclosing classified information when it helped him politically or when retribution was at stake, so why does classification stop him now? If he was correct and it proved his point, he would release details by the bucket full just to embarrass his critics and to fuel the fanatic right.

The notion that torture when used for psychological effect will cow a population of people into submission has been proven wrong over and over throughout history including on the largest scale ever. In WWII the Nazi’s tortured and tortured and wiped out whole villages etc… and yet the French resistance still fought on, the Dutch underground still functioned, the Poles & Russians maintained their fight, the Yugoslav’s etc… SO as a psychological deterant, it is a dead issue, it does not work.

dvsikka the FBI was using their methods and the white house interrupted and imposed their methods on the situation.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | March 30, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

In all seriousness, I believe that Bush knows he did wrong. If a man believes he's completely righteous and was truly at peace with himself, why would he constantly try to reframe history in his favor? There appears to be more than meets the eye going on with this situation.

Posted by: ehperkins1971 | March 30, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

For the record, alabama5 and northernliberal are not in contact with each other. Their 1:00 pm and 1:01 pm postings were not coordinated, but they could not have been random coincidence. Which raises, the question:

If both of us could see the sickness in Bush from as far away as Alabama and Illinois, why couldn't the Congress and the media see it up close in Washington D.C.?

Posted by: northernliberal | March 30, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Great post, Dan. Thanks for telling it like it is. Those who apologize for the Bush administration either cannot admit any facts into their brain that do not agree with their assumptions, or actually think that torture is a good source of information. I'm not sure which is worse.

What some people seem to forget is that we are all Americans and that our country is based on certain ideals that should never be put aside. To do otherwise makes diminishes us greatly and "lets the terrorists win".

Posted by: allenofwoodhaven | March 30, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Bush, Cheney, et.al. deserve to be tried for human rights violations and war crimes and sentenced to prison for the rest of their days. All laws, rules, regulations, policies, etc. promulgated by their administration, including the creation of government departments and offices, should be rolled back and redacted.

Posted by: mhoust | March 30, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

As long as War Criminal Bush is protected by War Criminal Obama, war crimes will be SOP for The United States from now on. This country is over.

Posted by: davidbn27 | March 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh the false moral outrage from the liberal left. Liberals care nothing about their neighbor much less a rat from the middle east. The Washington Post Staff lost all credibility during the past election. They could not do an honest story regarding Obama much less a non sotry such as this. I say try those tactics on Barnie Frank. Have fun Libs as you will be done in 2010 & 2012.

Posted by: Cobra2 | March 30, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Bush’s thinking can best be understood with a bit of background on Consistency Theory:

Step 1: People expect consistency.
Step 2: Inconsistencies create a state of dissonance.
Step 3: Dissonance drives us to restore consistency.

4 different tactics for getting rid of dissonance.

First, deny it. Just pretend like it didn't happen. Ignore it. It is not there, never was, and never will be. "THEY HAVE A PLAN, WE ARE AT WAR...NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY"
Second, swamp the dissonance. Sure this time things didn't work out like we expected, but remember all those other times when it did? The goal here is to overload all that bad dissonance with a ton of good memories and thoughts. "LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID ON 9/11"

Third, change your expectancy. Some people would call this a form of rationalizing.. Here you are trying to alter in some real way something that really did happen. "WE NEED TO TORTURE TO PRVENT THESE KINDS OF ATTACKS"

Fourth, you evaluate the event and Instead of responding with dissonant thoughts ("I can't believe this”) you actually change your evaluation and find the best possible outcome. 'THERE AE NO MORE ATTACKS, SO TORTURE WORKS"

Selective Exposure. We do not seek out information that might be contrary to our existing views. "GROUP THINK IN WHITE HOUSE"

Consistency theory explains Bush's psychology. If you expose yourself to discrepant information (e.g. the hawk reads anti-war articles), you will probably produce inconsistencies which will lead to dissonance, which will lead to mental work. To avoid all this trouble, people "selectively expose" themselves to information when possible. That is, they will seek out things they agree with, but will avoid things they disagree with.

Antigone of Sophocles: "All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only sin is pride."

Posted by: aaronkarmin | March 30, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Isn't possible to be against torture and all the problems it causes, without being hit with that most dreaded of epithets: "lib".

Has Fox News really reduced this country to that?

Posted by: br1963 | March 30, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"However, Clinton's administration successfully foiled the so-called Millennium Plot in 1999. The terrorists were captured at the border near Seattle on their way to Los Angeles."

Oh please. Clinton had nothing to do with it. An customs agent caught a sloppy terrorist driving nitroglycerin over the border.

Let me guess, you give Obama credit for stopping the flooding in ND too. LOL

Posted by: bobmoses | March 30, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

do you have to ruin my day by rerunning the picture of that insipid dolt striding down the flag strewn white house hall while saying to himself, "what a he-man am i"?

Posted by: jimfilyaw | March 30, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

bobmoses...

How many animals did Moses save putting them on the Arch..

RESPONDING to BM..crappy response
"However, Clinton's administration successfully foiled the so-called Millennium Plot in 1999. The terrorists were captured at the border near Seattle on their way to Los Angeles."

Oh please. Clinton had nothing to do with it. An customs agent caught a sloppy terrorist driving nitroglycerin over the border.

==============================
Clinton did have something to do with it.
He has had a competant team...

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 30, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey bobmoses, betya believe in smacking your kid(s), spouse(s) silly in the name of "tough love"... O please, couldn't you hear the massive sigh of relief when Bush/Cheney were shown the door? Because of their blundering reign the country will be picking itself up and dusting itself off for decades...Can't tell me with a straight face that Obama wasn't handed a triple-decker crap sandwich upon assuming the tarnished mantle of these precious fifty states...

Posted by: taji528 | March 30, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Look at the message those policies sent out. The fact remains that because of these policies and the good work done by the homeland security personnel the country did not have another 9/11."

We also weren't invaded by hordes of rabid rhinoceroses. And not a single verified vampire attack during the entire Bush administration....

Posted by: thrh | March 30, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Dan Froomkin,

Can you answer why Feith is mentioned but not others in Rumsfeld's office? My reading has Cambone involved more than Feith? Or is Cambone off the hook?


Posted by: boscobobb | March 30, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I suggest those of you who believe torture provides useful intelligence to read Matthew Alexander's book,"How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq." Turn off "24" and get a copy from your library or local bookstore. You'll not only be better informed, you'll wonder why Cheney isn't in prison.

Alexander (a pseudonymn) shows how true professional interrogators - uniformed US military interrogators - can get results and not torture. Basically the same methods the FBI and CIA were using that Cheney didn't like, so Cheney changed the rules.

BTW, these same procedures have been used successfully by professional and ethical interrogators since WWII. Worked with fanatical Japanese, North Koreans, Chinese, Russians, etc. Produces reliable, actionable intelligence.

Posted by: boscobobb | March 30, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

dvsikka says, "Look at the message those policies sent out. The fact remains that because of these policies and the good work done by the homeland security personnel the country did not have another 9/11."

I can also say that because we kill snipes in America we are safer for it. Snipe hunting is essential in America's security (sic) and long term safety.

Patrick

Posted by: patmatthews | March 30, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Torture policies and procedures concocted by Vietnam-era draft-dodgers (including those who were connected enough to get in the National Guard)trying to show what bad***** they were to make up for being chickenhawks earlier. But once a chickenhawk, always a chickenhawk.

Posted by: Patriot3 | March 30, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

So... can we have Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Gonzales/Ashcroft/Rice charged and arrested yet?

Posted by: CardFan | March 30, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

It seems like Christian-in-Chief George W. Bush did not practice Christian principles. Of course, we have known this all along.

The same people who support W's torture policy still spout off that Obama is neither American-born nor Christian. So much for truthtelling from the religious right.

There is a God. His name is Yahweh. He is just. His judgments are true. He knows Obama's heart. He also knows the hearts of all men. Those spouting the hate and the lies are known.

Posted by: EarlC | March 30, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

>> usually ignore froom as his whole career is based on GWB. Just thought I'd peek in, as usual, Froom has nothing else but blah blah Bush. Not many posters here except those who also just cant seem to move on. Will peek in again in a month to see if Froom's still trying to squeeze a living off the Bush era.
--------------------------------------
Sure, we believe you Snapplecat. Not! I bet you're on this column day after day, writing and seething while the "blah blah blah Bush" truth just keeps getting worse.

Posted by: gposner | March 30, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you George Bush for keeping us Safe and not listening or paying attention to people like Froomkin the liberal. By the way, Mr. President, you look great in that picture!

Posted by: listentothemonkeys | March 30, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I would've given a few years in jail to get a clear running shot at tackling Bush in this picture. I bet his cheerleading ass would've broke down crying in 30 sec flat.

Posted by: theobserver4 | March 30, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

listentothemonkeys: Thank you George Bush for keeping us Safe and not listening or paying attention to people like Froomkin the liberal. By the way, Mr. President, you look great in that picture!

I agree completely.

(As long as you don't count 9/11, Katrina, Iraq, our toppled economy, corporations and government spying on innocent Americans, making the world less safe for Americans and less receptive to Democratic ideals, going in deeper hock to the Chinese to pay for unnecessary wars, increasing poverty, more people without healthcare, higher unemployment, jeez the list just goes on and on...)

Since Bush was only the president and thus had no effect on the prevention or initiation of any of those things, I agree completely!

Posted by: jvill | March 30, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Jay Bybee is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit. William James Haynes was nominated by Bush for the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, but was never confirmed.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are mass graves of captured/surrendered Taliban figheters whom, on Donald Rumsfeld's instructions, were loaded into unventilated vans and suffocated while supposedly being transported back to their homes, crimes for which Slobodan Milosevic spent his last days in a jail cell in The Hague.

There are many stories of captives dying from pulmonary embolisms, the result of having been beaten on their legs to the point that they suffered broken bones, which, left untreated, created the blood clots that migrated to their lungs and caused death.

One can't help but believe that if the true stories were revealed about the torture and murder of hundreds if not thousands of nameless men who had no connection whatsoever to Al Qaeda, that, when compared to the fate suffered by those anonymous people, Rush Limbaugh was right that the water boarding of KSM, Zubaida, and one or two others was little worse than some over-the-top fraternity hazings.

Posted by: bfieldk | March 30, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"The complaint names former attorney general Albert Gonzales, fomer Justice Department officials John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, former under secretary of defense for policy Douglas J. Feith, former general counsel for the Department of Defense William J. Haynes II, and former vice presidential chief of staff and legal adviser David S. Addington."
__________________________________________

An incomplete list, but it's a good start.

Bravo, Espana!

Posted by: mhhaggard | March 30, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Jay Bybee is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit. William James Haynes was nominated by Bush for the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, but was never confirmed.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are mass graves of captured/surrendered Taliban fighters whom, on Donald Rumsfeld's instructions, were loaded into unventilated vans and suffocated while supposedly being transported back to their homes, conduct identical to the crimes for which Slobodan Milosevic spent his last days in a jail cell in The Hague.

There are many stories of captives dying from pulmonary embolisms, the result of having been beaten on their legs to the point that they suffered broken bones which, left untreated, created the blood clots that migrated to their lungs and caused death.

One can't help but believe that if the true stories were revealed about the torture and murder of hundreds if not thousands of nameless men who had no connection whatsoever to Al Qaeda, that, when compared to the fate suffered by those anonymous people, Rush Limbaugh was right that the water boarding of KSM, Zubaida, and one or two others was little worse than some over-the-top fraternity hazings.

Posted by: bfieldk | March 30, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Abu Zubaydah joined a college fraternity.

Posted by: luca_20009 | March 30, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

In hindsight it looks like Al Quaeda was a paper tiger. In 2001/2002 that was not obvious.

Posted by: DCDave11 | March 30, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Abu Zubaydah joined a college fraternity.
*********

SO true...which is just one among many reasons that Froomkin's drivel is sad and scary.

he either joined a fraternity or went to the pool with his older brother

seriously people, we waterboard OUR OWN soilders as part of their training, but osama bin laden is too good for it?

what a laughable and sick position

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, forgot to add that 9-11 was an inside job (Bush and the JOOOS...), Katrina was actually a test of a weather control device built by Halliburton, and Rumsfeld was personally behind the Great Twinkee Shortage of 2003...just for spite.

Posted by: luca_20009 | March 30, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Pot meet kettle. Spain tortures their own Basque separatists. Why doesn't this Spanish judge worry about that?

Posted by: lure1 | March 30, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

In hindsight it looks like Al Quaeda was a paper tiger. In 2001/2002 that was not obvious.
**********

they STILL arent a paper tiger, are you nuts?!?!

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

If we continue to follow the logic of the Bushco apologists, then the next time we apprehend a person who is suspected of bombing a clinic that performs abortions here we should torture them to find out who else is connected, right? What if the suspect is an attractive blonde woman from a "fine, upstanding Christian family?" Will we wrap a towel around her neck and slam her into walls? Shouldn't we be torturing Madoff to find out about accomplices? Torture isn't a slippery slope, it's a full-on cliff, and if we applied it without regard to race, religion and country of origin we'd be in free fall right now.

Posted by: SanDiegoBS | March 30, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Fruitcake Froomkin:

you admit that current government officials strongly believe that Abu-whats-his-name WAS an integral Al-Qaida figure and waterboarding DID provide valuable information but then you willy nilly conclude that these people must be crazy and wrong because of "all the evidence to the contrary"

its a nice little parlor trick, but do you really think readers are so stupid we wont realize that these government officials' statements amount to evidence which you are ignoring in clinging to your own beliefs?

you're such a shill, no wonder there was such consternation among REAL Washington Post reporters that readers might think you you were one of them

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Fei_Hu -

I could really care less about be criticized by someone who can't spell common words correctly. LOL

Posted by: bobmoses | March 30, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Intentional cruelty is why people torture. Period.

Posted by: pdgnz | March 30, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

dummypants...
you are a true blooded fully decorated

Anti Civil Rights
Pro Slavery Republican coward!

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 30, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

If we continue to follow the logic of the Bushco apologists, then the next time we apprehend a person who is suspected of bombing a clinic that performs abortions here we should torture them to find out who else is connected, right? What if the suspect is an attractive blonde woman from a "fine, upstanding Christian family?"
********

god, you're an idiot. look the trap you just set for yourself:

your logic: we shouldnt torture someone because it doesnt necesarrily always lead to correct information. IT FOLLOWS, therefore, that we shouldnt interrogate or even put questions to suspected terrorists if we catch them, because they will probably lie to us and we dont like getting false information.

are you kidding me? you call that counter terrorism policy? put them in a cell and never try to gather intelligence EVER, because some of it might be false? good thing you're not in charge!

and to answer your question: YES, if an abortion bomber killed 3,000 people like the 9/11 terrorists did and was part of a ring that put out videotapes announcing their desire and intent on carrying on similar or more deadly attacks in the future, then YES, waterboard them to get the information

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Fei_Hu -

I could really care less about be criticized by someone who can't spell common words correctly. LOL

Posted by: bobmoses

=====================
REALLY BOB..
Then why did you respond???

OH yeah practicing Compassionate Conservativism..

Did you beat you dog today??

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 30, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

HEY DUMMYPANYs read this

Rummy, Cheney and RR and his entire administration were responsible for the mass murder of 40,000 Guatemalan peasants by a military junta red-lighted by John Negroponte in 1981 at the behest of the Reagan White House; the mass murder of over 100,000 Salvadoran citizens by the White House-anointed Roberto De Abuissante regime; and 45,000 Nicaraguan campesinos and their families by the White House's secretly funded Contras, operated through the CIA from 1981 to 1985. After a cut-off of Congressional funds, the CIA continued to "monitor and advise," but the operation became an Oliver North-run guns/drugs operation flown by his buddies in private aircraft out of Texas, Louisiana and Miami. In 1985, the CIA mined the harbors at Corrinto, Nicaragua, touching off an international outrage. This was ordered by RR in December 1984, crime for which RR could have been arrested in any G-8 country under the Augusto Pinochet rule, a general warrant issued by the Geneva Convention War Crimes Tribunal.

YOU going to deny this too

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 30, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

dummypants...
you are a true blooded fully decorated

Anti Civil Rights
Pro Slavery Republican coward!

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu
*************

HA!! you think im a republican, anti-civil rights??? I VOTE FOR OBAMA!

now, whether i will vote for him in '12 is another matter.

i will not vote for anyone who surrenders our to this point very effective anti-terrorism policies to fruitcakes like Mr. Froomkin and yourself

you obviously have a very twisted view of reality if you cant imagine anyone but a republican believing in robust anti terrorism and intelligence capabilities.

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

dummypants...
you are a true blooded fully decorated

Anti Civil Rights
Pro Slavery Republican coward!

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu
*************

HA!! you think im a republican, anti-civil rights??? I VOTE FOR OBAMA!

=====================
Dummypants you are LIAR..
We have your many postings that say otherwise..

dummypants...I REPEAT

You are a true blooded fully decorated
Anti Civil Rights
Pro Slavery Republican
LIBMO Koolaide Sucking Coward!

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 30, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"seriously people, we waterboard OUR OWN soilders as part of their training, but osama bin laden is too good for it? what a laughable and sick position"

Isn't it amazing how silly other people's positions are when you decide what that position is for them? It's almost spooky how 99% of the time it predicts how much more intelligent you are than everyone else you come into contact with.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | March 30, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

HEY DUMMYPANYs read this

Rummy, Cheney and RR and his entire administration were responsible for the mass murder of 40,000 Guatemalan peasants by a military junta red-lighted by John Negroponte in 1981 at the behest of the Reagan White House; the mass murder of over 100,000 Salvadoran citizens by the White House-anointed Roberto De Abuissante regime; and 45,000 Nicaraguan campesinos and their families by the White House's secretly funded Contras, operated through the CIA from 1981 to 1985. After a cut-off of Congressional funds, the CIA continued to "monitor and advise," but the operation became an Oliver North-run guns/drugs operation flown by his buddies in private aircraft out of Texas, Louisiana and Miami. In 1985, the CIA mined the harbors at Corrinto, Nicaragua, touching off an international outrage. This was ordered by RR in December 1984, crime for which RR could have been arrested in any G-8 country under the Augusto Pinochet rule, a general warrant issued by the Geneva Convention War Crimes Tribunal.

YOU going to deny this too

Fei Hu
*********

try to focus, concentrate and stop hyperventilating...breath...

why would i care about something that happened in gautemala 25 years ago, when we have terrorists who killed thousands of americans in downtown NYC and DC in 2001, and who in no uncertain terms communicate to us their desire and intent to kill many many many more americans, including you and me.

get your head on straight, and then come talk to me

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr.Froomkin,
Tonight CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corp.) will air a Doc about youngsters being recruited by the Taliban in Pakistan. 10 p.m. new york time. More info: CBC.ca .

Whoever has the ability to see this documentary, please do.


Posted by: soulwriterintoronto | March 30, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"seriously people, we waterboard OUR OWN soilders as part of their training, but osama bin laden is too good for it? what a laughable and sick position"

Isn't it amazing how silly other people's positions are when you decide what that position is for them? It's almost spooky how 99% of the time it predicts how much more intelligent you are than everyone else you come into contact with.

Posted by: BigTunaTim
**********

oh so you believe in "torture" if it is defined to include waterboarding!

great, smart choice champ!

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Dummypants you are LIAR..
We have your many postings that say otherwise..

dummypants...I REPEAT

You are a true blooded fully decorated
Anti Civil Rights
Pro Slavery Republican
LIBMO Koolaide Sucking Coward!

Fei Hu
************

who is this crazy person Fei Hu??

im amused how you seem to think that you 100% predict who someone voted for by reading a handful of their posts.

i guess the secret ballot is no more!! lol

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@dummypants: "oh so you believe in "torture" if it is defined to include waterboarding!"

Are we reading the same page? Can someone else translate?

Posted by: BigTunaTim | March 30, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Fei Hu, i am really concerned that someone who seems to have as much verbal energy as you might have a view of ideological diversity of thought among the american electorate which is so fundamentally disconnected from reality. so im going to pull you aside and try to help you out:

the 53% of people who voted for obama didnt agree with him on every issues, indeed many surely disagreed with him on many if not most issues. the same goes for the 47% of americans who voted for mccain/palin.

i actually liked mccain's policies better than obama's -- on balance.

i voted for obama for one reason -- because he is half black/half white.

that was the determining factor for me. now im sure ive already overloaded your frenetic brain with the shocking revelation that people who vote for a president (bush, obama, whoever) can end up having intense disputes with them, so i wont delve into my logic behind putting so much stock in obama's skin color.

i cant, however, to see what kind of meltdown your next post will be lol....

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@dummypants: "oh so you believe in "torture" if it is defined to include waterboarding!"

Are we reading the same page? Can someone else translate?

Posted by: BigTunaTim
************

OKKKKK, we're talking binary decision makingm, there's two possibilities, so ill try to keep it as simple as possible:


you said i "made up" that, while we waterboard our own soilders, some people think we shouldnt waterboard terrorists.

if your not for waterboarding your against, last time i checked.

which side are you on? treat terrorists better than our soilders or not?

again, binary decision making here tim, hard to simplify it for any further.


Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It matters not if Dummypants is Republican or a Democrat. He's an idiot. Period.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

No surprise here. I think many of us have known for a long time that the Bush thugs conjured up this fiction in order to justify these war crimes. So a Spanish court is threatening to endict several of the legal mouthpieces of the Bush administration's torture policy. For those remaining apologists, there's a great movie that you should watch. It's called "Judgment at Nuremberg". I won't give away the plot--but once you start watching it---you'll see why.

Posted by: mlipsius | March 30, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

It matters not if Dummypants is Republican or a Democrat. He's an idiot. Period.

Posted by: arancia12
********

bring a substantive post, otherwise your just being childish.

it does sound like a new bumper sticker though: "Idiots who voted for Obama"

could end up being a big money maker for someone

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

mlipsius:

I know you have probably absorbed your talking point with out actually thinking it through, but put your mind to answering this question sometime:

why should we exempt terrorists from a technique we use on our own soilders during training??

crazy, isnt it?

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Look at the message those policies sent out. The fact remains that because of these policies and the good work done by the homeland security personnel the country did not have another 9/11.
We are not dealing with ordinary terrorists. These are fully brain washed jihadi fanatics. We should let the agencies like CIA, FBI etc decide how they should deal with them.
Look at what is happening in Pakistan today. Pakistan the kingpin of Islamic terrorism.


dvsikka- Your logic disproves the very point that you are trying to make. It is well known that Pakistan tortures, yet they are enduring a barrage of attacks. We have not been attacked because of proactive, pragmatic law enforcement techniques, not because we promoted barbaric sadism in the form of torture. There is consensus among CIA, FBI & other law enforcement professionals that torture does not work.

Posted by: blackindy | March 30, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Waterboarding of our own soldiers, sailors, and airmen is only done in SERE training, Survival, Evasion,Resistance, and Escape training. Only specific career fields get SERE training.

Recently the WaPo ran an editorial by a SERE graduate who said after going through waterboarding, it is torture and it makes those who do it torturers.

I believe there is a great deal of difference between one who volunteers to be waterboarded and one who is foribly waterboarded.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Waterboarding of our own soldiers, sailors, and airmen is only done in SERE training, Survival, Evasion,Resistance, and Escape training. Only specific career fields get SERE training.

Recently the WaPo ran an editorial by a SERE graduate who said after going through waterboarding, it is torture and it makes those who do it torturers.

I believe there is a great deal of difference between one who volunteers to be waterboarded and one who is foribly waterboarded.


Posted by: arancia12
*********

as if anyone should be surprised you can find one person who has gone through to call it torture, considering what an ill-defined and subjective concept it is.


that person is entitled to their opinion, and i do not even disagree necesarrily with it.


its good to see that you at least admit my conclusion was correct: you want to exempt terrorists from a technique we use on our own soilders.

very interesting...and bat crazy...again, just my opinion.

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

bring a substantive post, otherwise your just being childish.

it does sound like a new bumper sticker though: "Idiots who voted for Obama"

could end up being a big money maker for someone

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:11 PM
___________________________________

You finally have a point, Dummy. Only an idiot would vote for Obama and not know that he would do what he said he would do; stop torture, close GITMO.

You might want to throw in with the Idiots who Voted for Bush group. I'm sure they made a bundle before they cut and ran.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

For those remaining apologists, there's a great movie that you should watch. It's called "Judgment at Nuremberg". I won't give away the plot--but once you start watching it---you'll see why.
_______
Speaking of movies there is a great one for you bleeding hearts to watch.. It's called "Taken". I won't give away the plot but don't try to root to hard for the kidnappers!

Posted by: sovine08 | March 30, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing that Shrub and his band of idiots are still torturing, only it's us he's doing it to. His loony tunes administration can't put enough lipstick on that pig to make it look acceptable.

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | March 30, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

its good to see that you at least admit my conclusion was correct: you want to exempt terrorists from a technique we use on our own soilders.

very interesting...and bat crazy...again, just my opinion.

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:23 PM
_______________________________

We don't USE it on our own soldiers in the manner you suggest. You imply it is so harmless we do it to our own. Not quite. Only those who work in career fields where they might be tortured by our adversaries submit themselves to waterboarding.

That does not make it less of a torture. That does not make it right. That does not mean we get good intel. That does mean it is moral. That does not mean it is harmless.

The object is to show them how psychologically and physically damaging it is so they can be prepared in case it is done to them.

I gather you support beheading since our enemies engage in that too. Why not just execute people at will because there the Sudanese do it.

You moral values are slightly skewed. You may wish to review our Declaration of Indedpence, written before the US had a Constitution and was an official state.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I'm sure your razor sharp intelligence can note that this applies to ALL men and not just American men and makes no note of what other men do. Seems to me your moral outlook is decidely un-American.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

bring a substantive post, otherwise your just being childish.

it does sound like a new bumper sticker though: "Idiots who voted for Obama"

could end up being a big money maker for someone

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:11 PM
___________________________________

You finally have a point, Dummy. Only an idiot would vote for Obama and not know that he would do what he said he would do; stop torture, close GITMO.

You might want to throw in with the Idiots who Voted for Bush group. I'm sure they made a bundle before they cut and ran.

Posted by: arancia12 |
***************

Obama closed Gitmo...thats quite a scoop...im sure the WaPo would be interested in knowing that!

I have faith in Obama that he will do what he thinks is necesarry to get information that might protect the american people, including waterboarding terrorists.

his real skill is making ideologues like you think he is buying into your beliefs but inserting enough fine print so he can take the practical measures that make independents like me happy.

also, is your thinking not sufficiently nuanced to realize that i one need not agree with a politician on every issue in order to vote for them? the more you talk the more you sound like a narrow minded ideologue.


also, why are so angry...what did i ever do to you other than maybe have a different opinion?

welcome to american democracy...great as it ever was

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Nothing like watching the torture fans on this board squirm under torture. Ah! Retribution. Ah, the tireless struggle to win some minor point or other over Bush's war crimes.

Yale has a lot to answer for. Its alumnus "legacy" program produces poisonous little twits. Skull and Bones better keep its nose down for a few decades.

Posted by: fzdybel | March 30, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

SO true...which is just one among many reasons that Froomkin's drivel is sad and scary.

he either joined a fraternity or went to the pool with his older brother

-----------

Sometimes, ya know, the pool really isn't a pool.

But it's over your head.

I mean, really, the country is failing, and the stupid kooks can't understand WHY they're losing.

But at least they're now somewhat aware they might have a problem.

Truly, the DUMBEST MEN IN THE UNITED STATES.

Hey, guy, how much did the US lose today?

ROTFLMAO

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 30, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Dummypants,

I was in the military and I was never water boarded, not once. And you do know that people have been put to death for war crimes, more specifically for water boarding American troops. You do know that right? As to AQ being a paper tiger, Bush has elevated them to the status of leaders of the Arab world whereas prior to Bush they were viewed as just ruthless criminals. In essence they have become legitimatized under Bush.

Nice straw man you set up by going from not torturing to suddenly not being able to interrogate any prisoners. What if an abortion bomber is not caught but someone who knows of an abortion clinic bombing group? Should we torture the person with general knowledge? What if they toss us a dozen names and say these are the people I know of who are involved should we pull them in and torture them too and so on until we get to the mastermind, then torture him or her too? What if the names the first tortured person gave us were Bush, Limbaugh, Hannity, the Pope, and Suzie’s mom from down the street?

As to defining torture I find it very telling that the Bush administration did everythig in their power to make torture acceptable. They had legal opinions so it must have been legal. The telling part is that when they were caught they stopped, or rather told us they stopped, when they were caught they destroyed the video tapes and most telling of all, when they were leaving office they rescinded the legal opinions supporting torture. So they knew darn well from day one what was and was not considered torture. They knew and could have cared less.

Oh and the whole I vote for Obama thing is a fraud. It keeps cropping up more and more as poor attempt to show that Obama supporters no longer support him. As in I used to support him but now I don’t. Well, these same people are usually Bush apologists and there is not one chance in heck that an Obama supporter would also be a Bush supporter and currently still be supporting him. No way would they still be supporting Bush. Nice try though.

Time to stop listening to the kool-aid salesmen and come back to reality based living.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | March 30, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

You imply it is so harmless we do it to our own. Not quite. Only those who work in career fields where they might be tortured by our adversaries submit themselves to waterboarding.
***********

"Not quite"? do we do it to our own or not?
oh, you just answered that--we do.

so what if its "field specific"? we also dont waterboard every terrorist who comes down the pike. so much for that attempt to distinguish the two.


"That does not make it less of a torture. That does not make it right."

so you admit that sometimes its permissible to torture, in extraordinary circumstances. nice to see we're making progress here.

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

also, is your thinking not sufficiently nuanced to realize that i one need not agree with a politician on every issue in order to vote for them? the more you talk the more you sound like a narrow minded ideologue.

-----------
One would have to able to understand and verally show knowledge of the greater effects of torture to the democrocic infrastructure before your arguement can be considered legitimate.

Get it?

No?

Point made.

Others get it, btw.

And your type of thinking, considered acceptable in some Washington circles, is why we're losing the wars and the economy...

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 30, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Dummypants,

I was in the military and I was never water boarded, not once. And you do know that people have been put to death for war crimes, more specifically for water boarding American troops. You do know that right?
**********

whats your point?

people have put to death for all manner of things throughout history...many of which we acknowledge as legitimate today.

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The only place "brng it on, retards," works as a successful strategy is against the US Pentagon.

And certain aspects of the CIA, apparently.

All apologies to the developmentally disabled, and the people who love them.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 30, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama closed Gitmo...thats quite a scoop...im sure the WaPo would be interested in knowing that!

I have faith in Obama that he will do what he thinks is necesarry to get information that might protect the american people, including waterboarding terrorists.

his real skill is making ideologues like you think he is buying into your beliefs but inserting enough fine print so he can take the practical measures that make independents like me happy.

also, is your thinking not sufficiently nuanced to realize that i one need not agree with a politician on every issue in order to vote for them? the more you talk the more you sound like a narrow minded ideologue.


also, why are so angry...what did i ever do to you other than maybe have a different opinion?

welcome to american democracy...great as it ever was

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:37 PM
________________________________________

GITMO is closing. Please Google it.

You have every right not to agree with a president on every issue, but it seems a bit juvenile to vote for one with whom you so violently disagree. President Obama has said we don't torture and won't torture. To paraphrase you, you might want to let the WaPo know this administration is still torturing against the president's stated policy.

It would be illogical to think President Obama is "buying into" my ideology. I bought into his. I voted for him because he said he would close GITMO and stop torturing. So far I have no proof he has not done or taken steps to do these things. I do, however, know that G.W. Bush's policy of torture was hidden because he obviously knew how despicable is was, and that it did not work to keep us safe. You might as well say that my morning cappuccino has kept us safe since 9.11.

What makes you think I am angry? I am terribly offended by anyone who thinks torture is acceptable. I am not angry with you. It may be a bit subtle for you, but I can disagree with you without being angry.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

You may wish to review our Declaration of Indedpence, written before the US had a Constitution and was an official state.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I'm sure your razor sharp intelligence can note that this applies to ALL men and not just American men and makes no note of what other men do. Seems to me your moral outlook is decidely un-American.
____
That's for people were are at PEACE with NOT at war with.. If we give ALL men the right of Life , Liberty etc in a time of war it's kind of hard to drop a bomb on them.. no??? Unless you're prepared to call FDR and Truman war criminals that is. Seems to me interogating prisoners is NOT excluded in the Consitution and how far we can go is up to what the current situation says is needed. Much like normally dropping a A-bomb on a city is not a good thing.. but why and when Truman did it was a good idea...

Posted by: sovine08 | March 30, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

whats your point?

people have put to death for all manner of things throughout history...many of which we acknowledge as legitimate today.

----
I think the greater point is people who think as you aren't smart enough to run a war.

And it shows.

Bottom line.

But, then, who do you think is really paying attention to you?

ROTFLMAO

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 30, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Oh and the whole I vote for Obama thing is a fraud. It keeps cropping up more and more as poor attempt to show that Obama supporters no longer support him."
*******

too bad ballots are secret...i'd really blow your mind.

its sad that you cant take people's arguments at face value and engage them substantively on those terms...really sad

also, you may be confused about the definition of "straw man". i suggest listening to just about any obama speech ("those who want to do nothing", "those who think tax cuts will solve everything", etc.). All I did, is point out how the logic that "we shouldnt do X because it leads to misinformation" is as equally applicable to merely asking terrorists questions nicely as to subjecting them to waterboarding.

perhaps you embrace thats logic, and perhaps you cant handle me exposing its absurdity.

i wont question your military service unlike you, i am willing to accept others' good faith in what they are telling me. i simply think that if we can waterboard some of our own soilders we can waterboard terrorists.

i would feel good going on national TV and defending my position, I cant say the same about yours.

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"Not quite"? do we do it to our own or not?
oh, you just answered that--we do.

so what if its "field specific"? we also dont waterboard every terrorist who comes down the pike. so much for that attempt to distinguish the two.


"That does not make it less of a torture. That does not make it right."

so you admit that sometimes its permissible to torture, in extraordinary circumstances. nice to see we're making progress here.

_Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 5:45 PM
______________________________

Have you any idea how stupid you sound? Your silly attempts at something that is supposed to be dialectal logic is pathetic.

I make no admissions. I cannot help what people submit themselves to. Consenting adults do all manner of things that should be not done to non-consenting adults.

That you cannot or refuse to see the difference is truly sad. Or purposefully obtuse.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

GITMO is closing. Please Google it.

Posted by: arancia12
*******

Obama promised to close GITMO in the future.

it is not closing, and has not closed.

Google that

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Have you any idea how stupid you sound? Your silly attempts at something that is supposed to be dialectal logic is pathetic.

I make no admissions. I cannot help what people submit themselves to. Consenting adults do all manner of things that should be not done to non-consenting adults.

That you cannot or refuse to see the difference is truly sad. Or purposefully obtuse.

Posted by: arancia12
**********

"consenting adults"

WOW, did you really go there??

ill take that as the white flag.

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

That's for people were are at PEACE with NOT at war with.. If we give ALL men the right of Life , Liberty etc in a time of war it's kind of hard to drop a bomb on them.. no??? Unless you're prepared to call FDR and Truman war criminals that is. Seems to me interogating prisoners is NOT excluded in the Consitution and how far we can go is up to what the current situation says is needed. Much like normally dropping a A-bomb on a city is not a good thing.. but why and when Truman did it was a good idea...

Posted by: sovine08 | March 30, 2009 5:55 PM |
__________________________________________

EXCUSE ME? Please provide some proof that is intended for those we are peace with. Sorry dude, you are so far off the mark it's scary.

I'm sorry to tell you that you can't simply make up justifications without proof.

Yes, war is evil in all aspects. That does not mean it is avoidable. And yes, dear, firebombing civilian targets is immoral. Torturing people is immoral.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

have a good day everybody.

remember: keep it classy and substantive

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Torturing people is immoral.

Posted by: arancia12
***********

...unless its U.S. soilders

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"consenting adults"

WOW, did you really go there??

ill take that as the white flag.

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 6:03 PM
___________________________________

I'll take that as "you quit." Yes consenting adults. What else do you call a soldier, sailor, or airman who volunteers to be waterboarded? In this country we do not torture our own people and we do not force them to undergo torture. They volunteer, just as I volunteered to go through the CS chamber for chem training.

No one forced me, it was my choice. Now if I pushed your head in the door and made you breath CS gas you might think that is torture, and so it would be.

I have never raised the white flag. Like others here you think you can just make up justifications to suit your purpose.

Doesn't fly.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

My God I love the BDS sufferers...luckily, Froomkin was able to turn into a paying gig, for as long as it lasts (future article..."Paper Goes Missing From My Driveway, Evil Bush-Rovian Cabal to Blame). The rest of you all need to get over it. I mean if it keeps you in your basements cranking off to fantasies of war crimes trials and rights tribunals only to feel a little tingle at the end, all the better.

But someone is still going to have to prepare my sandwich when I go to Subway.

Posted by: luca_20009 | March 30, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Torturing people is immoral.

Posted by: arancia12
***********

...unless its U.S. soilders

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 6:06 PM
_____________________________

We don't torture our soldiers, sailors or airmen. From Merriam-Webster:

1tor·ture
Pronunciation: \ˈtȯr-chər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquēre to twist; probably akin to Old High German drāhsil turner, Greek atraktos spindle
Date: 1540
1 a: anguish of body or mind : agony b: something that causes agony or pain
2: the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure
3: distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument : straining


Sere training is not coherced nor is it conducted for sadistic reasons. Your arguments however, meet #3.

I think you will find that the connotation of torture is that it is forcible.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

have a good day everybody.

remember: keep it classy and substantive

Posted by: dummypants | March 30, 2009 6:05 PM
_________________________

Try following your own advice.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 30, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

EXCUSE ME? Please provide some proof that is intended for those we are peace with. Sorry dude, you are so far off the mark it's scary.
_____
Well how can you say men have the right to Life if in war we are trying to kill them??? If in war we kill the enemy. which we do.. then we are by definition denying them life.. correct???

I'm sorry to tell you that you can't simply make up justifications without proof.
_____
What did i make up?? We do kill men LEGALLY in war and Truman did drop a A-bomb and as far as I know he wasn't charged with a crime for doing it...

Yes, war is evil in all aspects. That does not mean it is avoidable. And yes, dear, firebombing civilian targets is immoral. Torturing people is immoral.
_____
So just that we are clear.. since thousands of civilians were killed.. many by fire.. you think FDR, TRUMAN and LBJ are immoral. Well I don't agree. And I don't think that waterboarding 3 men ALL responsible for 9/11 were 3000 Americans were killed to TRY to prevent another attack makes Bush worse than what those other Presidents felt they had to do.. So while war is terrible... to me Bush is no more immoral than them.

Posted by: sovine08 | March 30, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

The truth is finally coming out! I'm glad I have lived to see this day. May the future be ever brighter, and may we never return to the dark days.

Posted by: mobedda | March 30, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

how do you debunk it when a family member died in those towers?????

Posted by: smokedsalmoned | March 30, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: smokedsalmoned |
how do you debunk it when a family member died in those towers?????
--------
Critical thinking skills sorely lacking above. I bet you never met a fallacy you didn't like.
And maybe you should try to find a country other than the Unites States to live in. We operate on the rule of law here. If you don't like it, please hit the road.

Posted by: bdunn1 | March 30, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Many thanks to Dan Froomkin, supporting journalists, and the aggressive progressives for standing up for the USA Constitution, the Peoples Bill of Rights, and the TRUTH!

Posted by: ghostcommander1 | March 30, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

This does not apply to everyone who posted today, but in general the tone of discourse today is nothing short of appalling. It is possible to make a reasoned opinion without resorting to personal attacks and one-upping each other. A well informed opinion can stand on its own merit.

Please, let's endeavor to treat each poster with respect, and let's encourage that respect with careful and deliberate comments.

Posted by: MillPond2 | March 30, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

My point is dummypants that it is and always has been considered torture. My point is that I ws in the military (1/3 acr b trp) and I was never water boarded, tossing water so to speak all over your blanket assertion that we waterboard our own troops. You do know that the waterboarding exercise you speak of is and always has been related to torture and what our downed/captured pilots might expect? Of course you don't or if you do you just don't care.

I do notice that torture seems to be the biggei that draws out the Bush apologists in droves. I think it is for a couple of reasons first and foremost is that the apologists know, and you can read it in thier posts here, that they really like torture and they know it is for retribution, non-judicial punishment as it were and that the intelligence gathering aspect is simply an excuse or selling point. The other reason they come out in droves to support it is because they know full well that this is the main area that Bush and many of his administration could be sent to prison for. And that frightens them greatly.

If Bush and co were relaly so dead certain that what they were doing was legal, was right, was morally justifiable, they would not have hid it from view, once found out they would not have stopped or re-hidden it, they would nto have destroyed the evidence and they would not have invalidated/rescinded the legal opinions supporting their position.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | March 30, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Sovine08 once again you help prove that republicans and more specifically Bush supporters have a unique heretofore unknown to anyone else interpretation of the consitution. No wonder you guys love torture and breaking laws that for some reason you think only apply when we are at full peace. hint hint we have not been at peace for way over 100 years, we always have trops in the field somewhere fighting some one. Indiand, hondurans, cubans fillipino's germans, vietnamese etc... always yet the contitution has survived largley intact.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | March 30, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Many thanks to Dan Froomkin, supporting journalists, and the aggressive progressives for never giving up the fight for Freedom, Truth, and Justice--The Real American Way!

Posted by: ghostcommander1 | March 30, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

1. Now it is clear why Bush didn't want to ratify the treaty on the International Criminal Court.

2. The Bush admin torture makes us look hypocritical when we accuse Sudan's leaders of crimes against humanity.

3. It is important that Obama took on Cheney's false claims.

When journalists say that enhanced interrogation did not exact useful info, Cheney could claim that the journalists haven't seen the detailed intelligence. Cheney do that with Obama. Checkmate, game over.

Posted by: cyberfool | March 30, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

snapplecat07 says: "as usual, Froom has nothing else but blah blah Bush. Not many posters here except those who
also just cant seem to move on"

People died as a result of Bush/Cheney's lawlessness. When people are murdered you don't just "get over it". We hunted down Nazi btards for decades. And Al-Bashir has been charged by the international court. And Kaing Guek Eav is today charged with deaths under Pol Pot.

No, a civilized society does not turn its back to murder. If these men are guilty of crimes then they must face justice.

Posted by: martiniano | March 30, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Bobmoses:

Maybe you COULDN'T "really care less about be criticized by someone who can't spell common words correctly", but you really should, since your grammar is laughable.

Regards,

Danjiri

Posted by: Danjiri | March 30, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Since anyone advocating torture has chosen to disregard all reason and human decency, I'm not sure why we're supposed to tolerate torture supporters in our society.

We need to start treating this "opinion" for what it is, a sign of a deep and violent sickness that could easily lash out at anyone.

It's legal to express support for torture. It's also legal to express support for lynching of black people. But if anyone did the latter they would eventually lose their jobs and families. The same needs to happen for those who support torture. Because supporting torture and supporting lynching are not all that different. Both are violent and insane. We do not need to tolerate either.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | March 30, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

The Spanish lawyer who filed the complaint, Gonzalo Boye, served eight years in a Spanish prison for collaboration with the ETA Basque terrorists for participating in the kidnapping of Spanish businessman Emiliano Revilla. At the time He was a member of the Terrorist group MIR from Chile. The NY Times somehow neglected to mention that fact. No wonder their stock price is about the cost of their Sunday paper.

Posted by: lure1 | March 30, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The Post is not quite hopeless as long as it has Froomkin. But how does a legitimate newspaper give so much space let alone regular columns to political speechwriters like Thiessen, otherwise known as hacks?

Posted by: skeptonomist | March 30, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

For those that tried to bering to the front Bush and Cheneys criminal acts it was not for trying..

Some 300 journalist and reporters have been murdered and assasinated in IRAQ.

Those that have survived will be bringing up the issues. What we are seeing is the scracth of skin..

It is very deep and disturbing..
We cannot let it go like we did Watergate..

IT was Nixon who fell on the sword for the NEOCONS and took the blame..

ONLY for President Ford to reinstate Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld..

Their first target President Carter..
He was not ruthless and too trusting..

Then they tried Clinton..
He just flat out smarted them

UNTIL the real nightmare was selected..
BUSH II..

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 30, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Republicans=Incompetents

Posted by: plaza04433 | March 30, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

For a better commentary about zubaida and torture see these links:

http://www.pubrecord.org/torture/799-bush-was-obsessed-with-alleged-al-qaeda-operative-abu-zubaydah.html

and this: How Torture Became Admin. Policy During Bush's 2nd Term

http://www.pubrecord.org/torture/791-how-torture-became-administration-policy-during-bushs-second-term.html

Posted by: ThePublicRecord | March 31, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

You might as well read this new story too:

Declassified Senate Report to Reveal New Details of Bush Officials' Role in Torture

http://www.pubrecord.org/torture/797-levin-set-to-release-full-declassifed-report-on-torture-of-detainees.html

Posted by: ThePublicRecord | March 31, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I have no trouble believing the cruelty theory. Just listen to Bush .. remember Katrina? People drowning, people starving in shelters, old women dying in wheelchairs? The only time in that whole disgrace when Bush sounded engaged was in promising harsh penalties for looters. The SOB has a sadistic and punitive nature and it is NO stretch of the imagination to see him reviewing torture tapes and getting off on them.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | March 31, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I was talking to my daughter about this very subject yesterday evening. She had, over the weekend, stayed with a long time friend of the family, but had left discouraged by their beliefs. To put this in perspective, the father of the household is a wonderful man and preacher. His family and we have been friends for a long time and on most issues we see eye to eye.

What the heck does this have to do with this article? This man of the cloth and his family continue to support the policies of the GW Bush presidency and constantly spew hateful and vile things about gays, liberals, and President Obama. It took all my self control to keep from slapping this man silly for his warped mentality.

I served my country, honorably and faithfully. For those of you who have never served, it is difficult to explain the depth of hatred I have for those complicit in the torture and murder of another human being. We are the American military and military veterans, we do not rape, pillage, murder nor torture our enemies. That is what "they" do. It is a matter of honor and principle for those that serve, and a matter of law for those civilians allowed the privilege to command the mightiest armed forces in the world. President Bush did irreparable harm to our military, our international standing, and our ability to conduct future military interventions.

I do not say this lightly, but with all sincerity, he and his cadre of conspirators need to be tried and executed for crimes against humanity.

As the former governor of Texas, the irony of seeing him executed should not be lost on anyone.

Peace.
Rick Beagle

Posted by: RickBeagle | March 31, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

It is still my hope that the Obama administration will get out of the way and allow the DOJ to investigate these war crimes, crimes for which Bush and Cheney should be held accountable. It will be much more humiliating to have our dirty laundry dealt with by other countries. We should show the world that we're serious when we say we are a country of laws, and that no one is above the law. There is plenty of compelling evidence against Bush/Cheney to justify further serious investigation. This, we must do.

Posted by: ggwalt | March 31, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Sovine08 once again you help prove that republicans and more specifically Bush supporters have a unique heretofore unknown to anyone else interpretation of the consitution. No wonder you guys love torture and breaking laws that for some reason you think only apply when we are at full peace. hint hint we have not been at peace for way over 100 years, we always have trops in the field somewhere fighting some one.
________
Well I'm not going to argue whether we have ever been at peace for the last 100 years because it has nothing to do with my argument. You see I didn't say the Constitition only applies when we are at "full peace".. What I said is our Constitution applies only to people we are AT PEACE WITH!!! Because how can we give Life , Liberty and the pursuit of happiness to people we are trying to KILL???

Posted by: sovine08 | March 31, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

More great work, Dan.

I see a pattern emerging here: the lameness of torture apologists' stories. Time after time, they huff and puff a claim about key information discovered, or attacks prevented, lives saved. And time after time, yes, the claim doesn't stand up to scrutiny. And time after time, the scrutiny is seldom intense or involved. And that's the pattern: how quickly these stories fall apart, how little they had going for them.

Now the people who make these stories up are not idiots. Not all of them. Why then do they put out stories that they must know will fall apart under even the mildest scrutiny?

I don't have a good answer to that one. My guess: the story was the pretext to torture, now it's the rationalization for all the torture they did. But that's just a guess. Another: since torture produced nothing of real value, but its apologists deeply don't want to admit that, they're forced to fabricate, and their fabrications have trouble incorporating a kernel of truth; the kernel itself is usually missing. But that's also just a guess.

I'd love to hear some real analysis. Why do the torturers and their apologists keep putting out all these lame excuses? Why so many, so lame, so easily debunked? Why do they keep repeating stories that have already been debunked?

Posted by: jpk1 | March 31, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that a any writer can tell any story from any unnamed source and we have to accept it as FACT??? Froomkin say's it so it must be true??? I mean we KNOW Froomkin is biased so why should he get a pass on showing FACTS?? I mean even he HAD to say there ISN'T AGREEMENT on how valuable Zubaida is. Frookin wrote" "Some U.S. officials remain steadfast in their conclusion that Abu Zubaida possessed, and gave up, plenty of useful information about al-Qaeda," Finn and Warwick writeinformation.." So who is telling the truth? how much is it hearsay? how much is it a person speaking with a gruge against the Bush administration??? Besides this whole article was about the interogation of ONE MAN.. Abu Zubaida. So even IF we got no good information from him this article say's NOTHING about if we got any good information from say Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. I find Liberals believe ANYTHING that supports what they want to believe and anything that contadicts it is ignored, even if what they have is mainly just innuendo anyway...

Posted by: sovine08 | March 31, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

RickBeagle, as a veteran of 24 years, I thank you for your civilized and cogent post. Bravo.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Bush is the biggest IDIOT to ever grace the sit in command. May the shoe throwers of the world converge on his Texas mansion!

RT
www.anonymity.us.tc

Posted by: clermontpc | March 31, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The true test of democracy is how we deal with the Bush Administration officials that authorized torture.

Stu Kushner
http://www.progoffice.com

Posted by: stukushner | March 31, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Unnamed sources? Heck you people refuse to believe things that go against your beliefs/desires when they are said openly or are part of the public record. Like the definition of water boarding for instance. It has historically been torture for years, people have been executed for doing it. Yet when Bush stands before you and says yes what we do it legal we have checked with the justice department so it’s ok, you gobble that up and use it as the cornerstone of your faith. Never once thinking to ask, can we see the legal opinions? Who reviewed them? Are they sound etc… nope you just uncritically accept it and drive the torture truck onwards.

When the torture memo’s are rescinded, publicly by the administration, you still defend the acts that no longer have that rock solid legal support you uncritically accepted before. When these torture ploys are discovered and made public, you unquestioningly accept that they are ok, in spite of the fact that the president goes on and say we don’t torture, but we are discontinuing such and such. You never think to ask wait, if it’s all legal and above board, why do the memo’s need to be rescinded? Why stop the program if it is all legal? No you uncritically accept what you want to believe, what you had been told for years and that’s that. You are more concerned with semen on a blue dress or a sh*tty real estate deal gone bad than you are about the law. By the way White water failed because there were train tracks between the development and the beach. Plain and simple, no nefarious actions, it was just poorly planned and executed.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | March 31, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

BTW sovine the “some officials” Froomkin is referring to in the article are Bushy holdovers. Read the article it is quite clear.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | March 31, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The torture handed out to these killers was nothing compared to the pain of the folks that They should have been hanged until dead. What a waste of taxpayer's money.

I believe the terrorists did kill other Americans by cutting off their heads. Terrorists kill Americans, then hang the terrorists. No soft cell in Gitmo.

What are the kool-aid drinkers going to do when the next attack comes. Invite the killers in for dinner and a free ride back to their homeland?

Posted by: stevemason | March 31, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

BTW sovine the “some officials” Froomkin is referring to in the article are Bushy holdovers. Read the article it is quite clear.

_____
So in other words maybe people with an ax to grind. But let me get this straight.. when a "Bushy" say's something you don't like they are liars.. but when a Bushy says something you do like they are telling the truth. Here's a crazy idea how about someone telling us something they can back up with PROOF!!! This article tells TWO sides one side said Zubaida knew nothing and the other said "'It's simply wrong to suggest that Abu Zubaida wasn't intimately involved with al-Qaeda,' said a U.S. counterterrorism official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much about Abu Zubaida remains classified. 'He was one of the terrorist organization's key facilitators, offered new insights into how the organization operated, provided critical information on senior al-Qaeda figures...and identified hundreds of al-Qaeda members. How anyone can minimize that information -- some of the best we had at the time on al-Qaeda -- is beyond me.'" So you can believe who you want but there is NO more evidence that this guy knew nothing and was no help than there is he was an important member of al Queda and provide a lot of information..

Posted by: sovine08 | March 31, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this report is going to change Dick Cheney's mind.

He probably thought he would tell all under torture so why not terrorists?

Posted by: Pensfans | March 30, 2009 11:56 AM

There is a saying, I first read about in Barbara Tuchman's _The_Guns_of_August_, that was the policy of the Wehrmacht during the First World War, "Let them hate us so long as they fear us." (Oderint dum metuant) attributed to Roman Emperor Caligula. That's Cheney's unstated belief. The German Army never understood why it didn't work in combating partisans, and neither did Dick Cheney. By the way, I don't believe Cheney is insane -- I believe he's Evil!

I can imagine those basement meetings:

Tenet: Well, it turns out we were wrong, this guy is a low level schlepper who doesn't know anything.

Cheney: Yesterday you said you thought he knew stuff. You're just not working hard enough. Get tough on him, he'll talk.

Tenet: But he doesn't know anything.

Cheney: Then he'll be an example of how tough we are.

Posted by: Acharn | April 1, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

No not when a bushy says something he’s a liar, it’s when they support failed policy that makes me dismiss them, When they keep on keeping on even in the face of reality.

And for those of you who say torture them and kill them because they killed ours, how do you know that? We just have the word of who that they are bad guys? We have incarcerated people in our own country wrongly over and over and that was after a trial. Most of these people may be guilty but until it is proven in court all we have is the words of those who turned them in, many times strictly for money or to solve tribal disputes. If they really are guilty then what is so scary about due process?

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 1, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Look at the message those policies sent out. The fact remains that because of these policies and the good work done by the homeland security personnel the country did not have another 9/11.

Sorry. It was NOT those 'policies'.
It was me wearing my lucky elastic band around my left wrist.

Posted by: fortyluv | April 4, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

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