Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Bring On The Waterboarders!": Is Cheney's Defense a Very Stupid OFFENSE?

'Cause That's What It Looks Like To The Rest of Us!

Rachel Maddow is right on top of it: Cheney now seems to be prepping for a defense. Shades of "Judgment at Nuremburg." The problem for Cheney is he can't use the excuse of the Nuremburg defendants - "I was just following orders"- simply because he was the one who probably GAVE the orders.

Three reasons why Dick Cheney is stupid:

1. He should have shut up and faded away like any good former vice-president. He hates President Obama and his only stance is "He's soft on terrorists." Stupid. Very stupid.

2. He very obviously defends the use of torture.

3. The papers he requested may prove to be irrelevent to the case, but the TIMES they were written are certainly no coincidence. Does his arrogance block out all the facts surrounding his case? Who knows? Has one of his minions managed to destroy key evidence?

Thanks to the New York Times, you can link up with 24 of the torture memos and read what all the fuss is about. Or, you can click on one of the links below to get the exact memo you want. Anyway, there's nothing like sitting beside your little child's bed and reading them a lovely torture memo!


John C. Yoo
Yoo's Memo on Avoiding Geneva Conventions (PDF document)

JAN. 25 Alberto R. Gonzales,
Gonzales's Memo to Bush (PDF document)

JAN. 26 Colin Powell

Powell's Memo to White House (PDF document)

FEB. 2 William H. Taft IV,
Taft's Memo on Rejection of Geneva Conventions (PDF document)

FEB. 7 George W. Bush
Bush's Directive on Treatment of Detainees (PDF document)

AUGUST Jay S. Bybee
Justice Dept. Memo on Torture (PDF document)
Letter by Author of Memo on Torture to White House Counsel

Dec. 2
Defense Dept. Memo on Afghanistan Detainees (PDF document)


MARCH A memorandum prepared by a Defense Department legal task force drew on the January and August memorandums to declare that President Bush was not bound by either an international treaty prohibiting torture or by a federal anti-torture law because he had the authority as commander in chief to approve any technique needed to protect the nation's security.

APRIL Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld's Memo on Interrogation Techniques (PDF document)

And as we all know, as with roads and Rome, all these memos lead to Dick Cheney.

You know he'll never cop a Truman and say "the buck stops here."

The segment of video from Rachel Maddow's show is rather long (12 min) but worth the listening/viewing power.

Torture: WWBD? (What Would Benedict Do?)

'Tis a coincidence: that the spiritual leader of the world's largest Christian Church could trace part of his ecclesiastical heritage back to Roman Catholicism's darkest sin: The Inquisition. And today, during a time of deep inner reflection upon the subject of torture, the Catholic Church is presided over by one Benedict XVI, for at the time of his election as Pope, Benedict had been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The CDF is the child of the INQUISITION:

(From wikipedia)
A form of torture similar to waterboarding called toca, and more recently "Spanish water torture", to differentiate it from the better known Chinese water torture, along with garrucha (or strappado) and the most frequently used potro (or the rack), was used infrequently during the trial portion of the Spanish Inquisition process. "The toca, also called tortura del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had the impression of drowning". Wlliam Schweiker claims that the use of water as a form of torture also had profound religious significance to the Inquisitors.

A strange man, Benedict XVI: forced to be Hitler Youth, then an infantry man during WWII, he palled around with the likes of Hans Kung, a liberal colleague and both closely associated with the ideals of Vatican II. But, as they say, "something changed," and he started listing to the right, concentrating on the "traditional" church and resisting any change.

Like his predecessor, Benedict XVI maintains the traditional Catholic doctrines on artificial birth control, abortion and homosexuality.
In addition to his native German, Benedict XVI fluently speaks Italian, French, English, Latin, and also has a knowledge of Portuguese. He can read Ancient Greek and biblical Hebrew.

Strange: knowledge of "Ancient Greek and biblical Hebrew" has been the undoing of card-carrying Fundamentalist and Evangelical "scholars" because it is in reading the Bible in its nearest (and "purist") form of translation that a person realizes that what may actually have happened and what was written are two very different things: unless God purposely inspired errors and inconsistencies. Benedict would have noticed that "homosexuality" as we know it today, was NOT in the Bible's lexicon, and that the Greek word "arsenakatoi" (sometimes translated as "sodomite") was a fairly obscure Greek-Hebrew portmanteau slang word for "temple prostitutes."

But enough of the etymology of sodomy, let's focus on The Church and "torture." According to sources, the Catholic Church did not stop torture as a by-product of The Inquisition until the 19th century. So torture was recognized as a means of gaining information (or a recanting of beliefs) for over 700 years. Of course modern day popes decry torture and err on the side of the humane treatment of prisoners. BUT the gradual involvement of the Church in American politics casts doubt upon the depth and sincerity of this ideology.

Benedict XVI has caused consternation amidst the Muslim world with his rhetoric about Islam and Mohammed. If he were to decide the efficacy of torture against a Al Qaeda or Taliban terrorist, would he give thumbs up...or down?

Just a thought.

Now... (as Andrew Sullivan would put it) a mental health break: