Thursday, November 29, 2007

The difference between Pre-emptive vs. Preventive war

Let's make an important distinction between pre-emptive war and preventive war.

Pre-emptive war is what happens when a state targets an enemy that represents an imminent threat of attack. The Six-Day War was a pre-emptive war.

Preventive war is what happens when a state targets an enemy before they can become an imminent threat of attack. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a preventive war.

Here's why this is important:
The war against Iraq was justified primarily as a pre-emptive war. But now the WMD are nowhere to be found.

Am I glad that Saddam is gone? Absolutely. I was in favor of regime change before, during, and after the war. It was enough for me that he had links to that thug Arafat's terror organization. After all, the Bush Doctrine is clear: if you support terrorists, you are a terrorist.

Had POTUS sold it in those terms, I think the American public would have bought it.

But if it turns out that the intel on WMD was cooked, or if it turns out that top-level administration officials lied, or if it turns out that POTUS wanted a preventive war along, but knew we wouldn't buy it, then I fear we've lost more than we gained.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Don't tread on me - Sweet Emotion

Some awesome quotes from Paul.

Brothel Owner Supports Ron Paul

Well, you gotta love this story. The Bunny Ranch is raising money on line to support Ron Paul.

Republican Debates Nov. 28

Is Giuliani exploiting 9/11 to propel himself into the White House?

Gay General, ex Special Forces, served 42 years, asks why neocons have problems with fags in uniform. I love his answer after the candidates responded, "... with all due respect, I did not get an answer from the candidates... American men and women in the military are professional enough to serve with gays... Today, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is destructive to our military policy. Every day the Dept. of Defense discharges two people, not for misconduct...but simply because they happen to be gay. Doctors, pilots, surgeons..."

Here's a good question. Will the candidates repay the $2 Trillion borrowed from Social Security?

ok, well worth watching Romney and Rudy go at it over Mitt's illegal Mexican house cleaner.

More on the "American Dream" and illegal Mexicans.

Is Waterboarding Torture? Duhhhhh. Jesus Christ, Mitt looks good but he just does not answer the goddamn question and he acts like he just did us a freaking favor. Oh, but McCain rips him a new Mormon asshole!

How do they feel about the commitment to the people in Iraq?

AND.. Davis Fleetwood sums up the entire evening. I like this guy. Scruffy, but he's ok.

And.. Where was Chuck Norris during the debates? I knew I saw him in one of the videos I saw. Swear to god. Watching Romney's hairsprayed head explode and then there's Chuck... "No way!" I'm thinking. Sure enough...

It Really, Truly Is Politics as Usual

You can't help but like what Gravel has to say. What he has to say is relevant to both sides of the party fence. In reference to Hillary and Obama, "they're not qualified." He's like our own Ron Paul. I can't stand neocons, but how can you not like Ron Paul on some of the issues? Would be great to get Gravel and Paul together in a debate.

Gravel's talking points: Gay Marriage and more...

WHAT A BUNCH OF LIARS... can't blame the necon's if they jumped all over this

Left or Right, Hippy or Fascist Neocon, you gotta get a load of what went down at the Vegas Democratic Debate. Wolf Blitzer continuously saying, "undecided voters," regarding the people who asked the questions... they were all planted there. Gotta give them credit for thinking along the Karl Rovian line, but Jesus... is there no honesty in politics? Is this the best we have on the left?

Fucking Liars.

power to the people vs give peace a chance

You find some of the most interesting things on Guess who Mike Gravel is.

... ok, the more I learn about this guy, the more I like him. Give the ol' Senator a listen. Yeah he's kookie, but they guy is man enough to call the rest of the sandbox gang liars... and lookie see at what the Democratic party did him, they 86d him. For what? Telling the truth?

Mike's website.

And for those of you who hate Hillary, here's Mike telling her "your lips are moving but your lying" and "she's ignorant, she's ignorant!" "You cannot take a country and say they're terrorists." ... this guy's worth listening to.

Here's an interview with Gareth Porter. You'll want to turn up the volume.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Heroic Image of Giuliani is Not Giuliani

You can read the original post here at
The story of New York's city, of the falling crime rates and the rapid recovery from 9-11 has become Rudi Giuliani's story.

But it's a tale that New Yorkers argue simply isn't true.

Not for 100 years has a city mayor been elected president. Giuliani says his record in New York qualifies him to run the country but may become more of an embarrassment than a selling point.

He calls himself America's mayor and voters everywhere feel a personal connection to the man they think stood up for them and for the whole country on 9-11.

But he wants be a tough guy too. The one whose tough polices and zero tolerance policing slashed crime rates in New York.

Giuliani's campaign revolves around 9-11. He claims that other candidates underestimate the terror threat, that only he will keep America safe.

But, despite many warnings, he did almost nothing to prepare New York for an attack. He admits that on September 11 he didn't know who Al Qaeda was.

At Ground Zero today they are still digging the foundations for the new freedom tower. Before 9-11 the one thing Giuliani had done was to build himself, right next to this site, an emergency command centre

Giuliani spent $60m on the command centre in the World Trade Centre. He installed a humidor for his cigars, monogrammed towels in bathroom, even had private elevator which was handy when he brought his mistress here at the weekends. But he also installed a 600 gallon fuel tank which meant that when burning debris hit the building it went up like a blowtorch.

So Giuliani found himself wandering the streets because he had ignored advice to put his command centre safely underground in Brooklyn. Insisting instead it had to be near City hall.

The World Trade Centre was an obvious terror target. It was also bombed in 1993. Then fire-fighters found their radios didn't work inside the towers.

By 2001 Giuliani had not fixed the problem. So as the towers were collapsing, 121 firemen inside never heard the order to evacuate.

Fire-fighters promise that if Giuliani wins the Republican nomination they will follow his campaign around the country telling their side of the story. [you should really see the firefighter's video]

With his presidential bid so focussed on 9-11 they could do him serious damage.
New York is centre stage in this presidential election. The frontrunners in both parties are based here. So it is New Yorkers that know them best. That may not be to Giuliani's advantage.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bush protecting America from Zombies. "They should be eatin' U.S. Beef!"

"They are a threat to your children David...."

Debate '08: Obama Girls vs Giuliani Girls

The "I Got a Crush... on Obama" video was first posted on YouTube in June 2007 featuring a young hottie seductively singing of her love for Senator of Illinois Barack Obama. Actress and model Amber Lee Ettinger lip-synched the song for the video, and Leah Kauffman (the girl behind the "My Box in a Box" video) provided the vocals.

The concept was the brainchild of 32-year-old advertising executive Ben Relles. "I Got A Crush On Obama" was co-written and produced by Rick Friedrich. Thank you Ben!! Now let's see some more... oh there's more, keep reading.

In May, 2007 Ben Relles placed an ad on the online Craigslist, seeking a music video director. The ad was answered by filmmakers Kevin Arbouet and Larry Strong. Filming began later that same day in New York. Arbouet and Strong co-directed and shot the entire video in about six hours, but the whole film project took about two to three weeks to complete.

The video hit YouTube and had over a thousand views within the first five hours of its posting. By the second day of its posting the American news media had taken notice of the video's growing popularity. Relles, Ettinger and Kauffman were featured on many television news programs.

When asked about the video by the Des Moines Register on June 18, 2007, Obama said, "It's just one more example of the fertile imagination of the internet. More stuff like this will be popping up all the time." Oh! COME ON BORAK... you got a hottie like this strutting around, (lip) singing a song to you in Daisy Duke shorts saying that she has a crush on you and that's the best you can do?

Of course Obama's campaign people have stated they had nothing to do with the video's creation. Well Duhhhh, politicians are usually pretty lame when it comes to marketing like this. Kauffman and Ettinger confirmed this during their June 15, 2007 appearance on Fox & Friends, where they said that the video was not made for support of Barack Obama in his campaign but rather for fun. They also expressed interest in making more videos of the same genre for other candidates of other parties as well. And boy have they EVER.. Keep reading and clicking!

The creators of the "I Got a Crush on Obama" sold two shirts and the red shorts used in the video in an eBay auction. One of the shirts garnered $1000. Proceeds from the auction were donated to the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness. ... I heard they bought a ton of twinkies and Ho-Hos! mmmmmm.... Ho-Hos.

Obama told the Associated Press that the Obama Girl video had upset his daughters and said, "You do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families." Yeah whatevah...

The new Obama Girl video was released on July 16, 2007. This video featured "Obamagirl" Amber Lee Ettinger (I'm in love with you Amber) and two of her friends, played by Amina Sade and Sena Khoda, debating through the song with a trio of girls, Adelina Kristina, Ashley Beach (granddaughter of Republican Senator James Broyhill and Rebecca DiPietro, supporting Rudy Giuliani. God it's a great vid! Way better than the first one. Check it out, you'll love it.

A look at the Democratic candidates - Dennis Kucinich

Most people have no idea who the candidates are or what they stand for. The economic studies behind elections have shown that money doesn’t play as big a role in the result of elections as most people would expect. It actually comes down to a popularity contest.

However not all candidates can win a popularity contest. Well, let’s take a look at each candidate, one at a time, to see who they are and what they are about.

Dennis Kucinich

History - elected mayor of Cleveland in 1977 on the promise to save the city’s municipally-owned electric system which offered customers significantly lower rates than the private utility. A year later, Cleveland’s banks demanded that he sell the city’s 70 year-old municipally-owned electric system to its private competitor (in which the banks had a financial interest) as a precondition of extending credit to the city.

The attempted political blackmail failed as did several assassination attempts. He remembered his parents counting out coins on the dresser and refused to sell the people’s power. In an incident unprecedented in modern American politics, the Cleveland banks plunged the city into default for a mere $15 million despite being offered triple collateral to protect the loan.

The principled stand destroyed his political career. He lost his reelection bid. He was demonized as the mayor who threw Cleveland into default. Fifteen years later, the citizens of Cleveland - recognizing he had saved them hundreds of millions of dollars in municipal power bills and also forced the private utility to keep bills low to compete – voted him into the Ohio Senate.

Congressman In 1996, Dennis unseated a two-term Republican incumbent. He has followed that narrow victory by winning 60 to 70% of the votes in the following elections. Much of those vote totals were achieved because of outstanding constituent services and his successful efforts to save a local steel mill, two neighborhood hospitals and 10th District cities a dramatic - and disruptive - increase in train traffic.

At the same time his reputation as a progressive leader in the Congress grew. He was voted the chair of the Progressive Caucus because of his passionate commitment to peace, human rights, workers rights, economic justice and the environment.

In 2002 the second great challenge of his elected career occurred. After analyzing the “evidence” presented by the Administration in its rush to folly in Iraq and actually reading the National Intelligence Estimate, he stepped forward to help lead 125 Democrats in voting against the blank check for the President to wage an illegal, immoral and ineffective war.

Peace & War: Portrays himself as a “peace candidate” who differentiates between defense (Article 51) and offense (Iraq war). Dennis Kucinich is the only democrat running for President who has voted against authorizing the war in Iraq and against funding its continuation. He has proposed a bold, new policy to re-establish America's place in the world.

Health Care: He has HR-676 The Conyers Kucinich bill to establish a universal not for profit health care system. He says everyone else’s plans keeps Americans at the mercy of the insurance companies. Says it’s the single most important economic issue confronting American families which is lack of affordability and lack of access to health care.

Health care in the US is too expensive and leaves 46 million Americans without insurance and millions more underinsured. Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate for President with a plan for a Universal, Single-Payer, Not-for-Profit health care system.

IMPEACHMENT: Congressman Kucinich has also been trying to get VP Cheney impeached. House Resolution 333 accuses Cheney deliberately manipulating intelligence and deceiving the public to build support for the invasion in Iraq and now Iran. Democratic leaders say that impeachment is OFF THE TABLE, yet over 54% of the public would like to impeach Cheney.

The articles of impeachment site that Vice President Cheney lied about WMDs, citing that Iraq was related to Al Queda. The resolution is against Vice President Cheney and not President Bush because Vice President Cheney led the field of lies and if President Bush was impeached before Vice President Cheny, then we’re all screwed.

He says that there is no explanation on behalf of the Democratic leaders in the face of all the bullshit that’s gone on. Senator Kucinich repeatedly states that “The war was based on lies.” Yet, the democratic leaders do nothing about it. Why?

Dennis’ wife, Elizabeth Kucinich

Is not only a ftotal fox, she’s a total British fox! Being a Yank, I just totally love their arrogently proper and articulatly phrased speechin capabilities. She came from London and received her Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies and Theology and a Master's degree in International Conflict Analysis. Her final exam for her Master's was on "Conflict Resolution in World Politics".

In 1996 she went to India to volunteer at one of Mother Teresa's homes for India's poorest children. Upon earning her bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Kent, she spent 16 months in a rural Tanzanian village and worked as an advocate for regional development and then volunteered with a British Red Cross refugee unit.

Elizabeth, the red headed fox, earned a certificate in Peace Studies from Coventry University; and got a job as a fund-raiser for a seafarer's charity in London. Her volunteer work often brought her to the House of Lords. She married Dennis Kucinich in 2005.
Elizabeth has a great presence and would make an awesome first lady.

Friday, November 16, 2007

LAS VEGAS NEVADA CNN Democrat Debate.. more than just Hillary and Obama

Have you people been keeping up with the Democrat debates? Do you even know who's running other than Clinton, Edwards and Obama? And, who's the fox Campbell Brown? Did they pick her up from the Fox network?

Part I. Illegal Immigration, Clinton "asbestos pantsuit," Obama hits Clinton "not a straight shooter, Clinton again about universal health coverage, Obama again on health care, Clinton again... I think they are doing this on purpose so that the other candidates don't get any time on the air. Am I crazy? Look for yourself. Where were we.. oh, the big talk over each other, people applaud and yell from the audience,.. Obama defends on health care. Next is Edwards, slams Bush, applause, slams Clinton on the war, Social Security "not do anything about the cap" then "raise the cap," Clinton defends.. Biden shakes his head, see how it goes? they take up the time so the other candidates don't get a chance, then the "republican playbook mud throwing mud statement." Wolf FINALLY gets Sen. Biden to speak who comically plays up the victim part, understandably so, "American people don't give a darn about what's going on up here, sub-prime mortgage and son in Iraq." "I'm not going to criticize the three people who always get to talk at these things." people laugh. "It's about Action! Who's going to deal with Pakistan?"

Part II. Biden finishes his speech, "35 years experience, passed crime act..." people clap.. they like him. Clinton accused of flip flopping, yes on Yuka Mt., Yes on the war, Edwards defends "difference between saying two things at the same time" accuses Clinton of speaking with Forked Tongue. Edwards talks about rigged and corrupt elections, "35 million went hungry last year." Senator Chris Dodd, the older guy with the white hair, finally gets to speak. So far we've heard from 4 out of 8 people so far, Dodd's the 5th. "Going to have to get the job done" talks about "the job not being done." "Americans want a president who can lead the country, important to focus on the issues." Then Gov. Bill Richardson, Gov. of New Mexico, speaks. He's the darker one, black hair, Richardson is the Mexican (PAY ATTENTION TO THIS MAN, He's Well worth listening to and nobodies talking about him). Richardson jokes about him not getting any time, people laugh. He goes after all of them, "John wants to start a class war, Borack want's to start a generation war, Clinton doesn't want to end a war and all I want to do is give peace a chance." He questions our plans, on the war, on health care, economic growth. "Let's stop mud slinging, let's debate the issues." AMEN BILL! Wolf asks if they will support the Democratic nominee. Edwards - Yes, Chris Dodd - Yes, Clinton - Yes, Obama - Yes, Kucinich "only if they oppose war as an instrument of policy." Amen brotha! Richardson - Yes, Biden - "HELL No, I wouldn't support any of these guys." ... Biden's plan of joking is rubbing off on me. The next president (all presidents) are voted in by people that like them.. .not on the issues, not on the money. Likabilitynees is the key. Hottie Campbell asks Obama about illegals.

This is the good part. Wolf asks Obama if he supports drivers licenses to illegals. Obama talks... blah blah blah, says the drivers license is a distraction, "they are here to work." Wolf tries again, Obama uses too many words, I understand what he's saying but Wolf wants an 8th grade answer, "this is the kind of question that's available for a yes or a no answer." The public goes wild with laughter. Wolf s

Part II. Wolfe asks Edwards on the drivers licenses for illegals. Edwards says... um, I missed his answer. Sen. Chris Dodd is next, talks... Wolf, "Is that a Yes or No?" .. I think it was a No. Wolf then goes to Obama, "Yes" Wolf tries to go on but Obama holds on. "Fighting for immigration reform." Clinton "No." Kucinich "take issue with the word 'illegal' they are undocumented, says to Cancel Nafta and renegotiate trade agreement with Mexico. Give people pat to legal immigration." Wolf presses, then moves on to Gov. Bill Richardson from NM, "Yes, and I did it. Congress failed to pass immigration. It's a matter of public safety, want more people to be insured. Before 33% of the Mexicans were uninsured, today it's 11%. Stronger relationship with Mexico." Wolf goes on to Sen. Biden, "No." people clap.

John Roberts asks Sen. Chris Dodd about problem with education, can't terminate bad employees because of teachers unions. "What's wrong with paying a good teacher more?" .. good question. Dodd differentiates between rich kids and poor kids progress and teachers who put in 150%. "This is the most important issue!" He's right. "We spend less than 5% of the National Budget on education!" He rants and raves about No Child Left Behind, people love it. He names off his track record. "We aught to have one single debate on education." He's right.

Wolf, goes to Kucinich, talks about the unions. Kucinich basically supports the unions... not an absolute. Unions do not represent workers, they represent themselves. That's not Kucinich speaking, that's me speaking. Wolf asks Gov. Bill Richardson the same thing. Richardson, "Minimum wage of $40,000/year, junk No Child Left Behind, Full Day Kindergarten, hire 100,000 math and science teachers, need college education policy that deals with these huge loans, wants to be the educational president." This man has a lot of good things to say!

Wolf goes on to "Merit Pay" for great teachers, asks Clinton. "I support school base Merit Pay." ... don't know what it means. .... She talks, blah blah blah. Wolf tries to get at the heart of the issue since they are always dodging. "Reward good teachers?" Clinton doesn't answer, says to weed out the bad. "Object to Bush administration." Wolf wants to hear Biden. Biden's wife is a teacher. "Should an excellent teacher be given Merit Pay?

hmmm, can't find part 4.

Part V. Sen. Chris Dodd says National Security is more important than human rights. Clinton agrees completely. (This is stupid, why should it be one or the other?) John Roberts asks Gov. Bill Richardson about Surge. Is it working? Bill Richardson says "No, we have 3800 dead, 60,000 wounded, get the troops out, leave no troops behind." Wolf asks Kucinich if surge is working. Kucinich says no. Says, "democrats in congress haven't done the right thing, not to give Bush another dime!" You Go Kucinich! Mentions how our role in Iraq has played into all of this violence.

Wolf asks Obama, "is Petraeus’ strategy working?" Obama uses more words again, but... "overall strategy has failed." "I will bring this war to a close, talk to friends and enemies." The Fox Campbell Brown asks Kucinich about toys from China, "do the people who voted to open trade relations in China bear responsibilities for what's going on?" Listen up... Kucinich gave an excellent answer, but it's late and I have to go have dinner. Just watch! He goes after John and says "he new better!" The audience loves it! Edwards sticks and moves, talks and talks... I liked Edwards more before watching this debate. He's giving stereotypical answers that politicians are known for.

Part VII. Can't find 6. Hottie Brown asks Clinton about the gender card. Clinton says "she is being attacked because "I'm ahead." The audience loves it. "I feel very comfortable in the kitchen..." Good answer.

Part 8. All the candidates are now seated. Now the voters get to ask questions. ... uh oh... first contestant is Christopher, an Iraq War vet, 3 tours, they ask about going to war in Iran. Chris agrees it’s a mistake to go into Iran. She wants to know what the democratic contenders think. Joe Biden goes first… lots of words for a mom who’s concerned her son. … I like Biden, but too many words. Slams Bush, but yaddy yaddy yaddy. Doesn’t answer her question. Clinton was the only one who voted for the resolution. … I don’t think Wolf likes Clinton. .. She talks… good God she keeps talking. Too many words for the common man. Edwards is next. “Thank you Christopher.” … he scores points. “It’s important to stop Bush, Cheney and the Neocons..” Amen Brotha! Obama is next… following in Edwards footsteps of thanking Christopher. … more words, these guys forget they’re talking to a mom who’s the average American. They don’t listen and they don’t address the specific issue. They answer with their prepared answers… which reminds me of what happened to Ms. Teen S. Carolina.

Can’t find part 9.

Part 10.

Part 11. Question about the supreme court and abortion. Good question and good answers.

Part 12. .. Diamonds or Pearls.

All good stuff. Do your due diligence and watch the debates.

"Dennis Kucinich, you voted against the Patriot Act" ...."Thats because I read it"

Although he received the least amount of time of any of the seven Democratic Presidential candidates during last night's CNN debate -- less than six minutes of the two hours -- Dennis Kucinich made the most of it with crisp answers to questions about the war in Iraq, China Trade, the Patriot Act and other issues.

This is well worth watching, whether you like the guy or not. In fact, it's good to watch all of the candidates in action.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Nutshell Issue - The United State's Next Attorney General

What's Going On
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Tuesday vote for the president's choice to be America's next Attorney General, retired federal judge Michael Mukasey.

The Issue
Mukasey's stance on torture. Some Democrats on the Judiciary committee say they will vote against Mukasey because of concern about his testimony regarding an interrogation technique that could be considered torture.

Some History
In 1984 the Convention Against Torture was created in order to set a global precident for the treatment of other human beings during a time of conflict. Their opening statement is as follows:
"Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, Recognizing that those rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person, Considering the obligation of States under the Charter, in particular Article 55, to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms..."

135 Nations, including The United States, have ratified this precident. At the convention they have defined torture as "severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

These words... these statments were supposed to mean something when they were put forth. At the time, they were to help guide us during harsh times of war when we tend to forget such ideals.
Back to the Attorney General.

Alberto Gonzales was appointed to the post as Attorney General in February 2005 by President George W. Bush. Under Gonzales's leadership, the Justice Department and the FBI have been accused of improperly, and illegally, using the USA PATRIOT Act to uncover personal information about U.S. citizens.

Gonzales' inability to explain his role and influence in the dismissal of seven U.S. attorneys led several members of the United States Congress from both major political parties to call for his resignation. Through his testimony before Congress on issues ranging from the Patriot Act to U.S. Attorney firings, Gonzales commonly admitted ignorance.

For example, in response to a Washington Post article which stated that Gonzales was told about FBI violations involving the Patriot Act, Justice officials "could not immediately determine whether Gonzales read any of the FBI reports in 2005 and 2006"

On August 27, 2007 Gonzales announced his resignation as Attorney General, effective September 17, 2007.

Which leads us to the next Attorney General appointed by George W. Bush, Michael Mukasey. On September 16, 2007, various publications reported that Mukasey accepted Bush's offer to replace Alberto Gonzales as the Attorney General.

As of November 1, 2007 five senators –

  • Christopher Dodd of Connecticut,
  • Joseph Biden of Delaware,
  • John Kerry of Massachusetts,
  • Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts
  • and Bernie Sanders of Vermont

had all announced their intention to vote against Mukasey's confirmation due to concerns about his stance on torture. Mukasey's confirmation as attorney general next week will apparently hinge on his refusal to state that water-boarding (drowning torture) is indeed torture.

The Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Michael Mukasey's nomination is scheduled for Tuesday, November 6, 2007. The announcement came a day after Mukasey replied via letter to the committee, to questions and requests for clarification.

Leahy and the other nine Democratic committee members had indicated the week before, via letter, to Mukasey that they were "deeply troubled by your refusal to state unequivocally that waterboarding is illegal during your confirmation hearing..."

By holding an unusual Oval Office meeting with journalists on November 1, 2007, President Bush signaled his concern that the nomination which was previously judged to be a sure bet, is in peril, primarily over what is and is not considered illegal torture.

Mukasey has refused to state an unequivocal legal position on the interrogation technique known as waterboarding

There are several concerns on multiple levels, the first and foremost being why does Mukasey not admit that waterboarding is torture? A follow up question would be why do so many people think it's acceptable for Americans to conduct torture when the history of our own country has shown that it is a deplorable act that the American people and historical American governments have defined as being unacceptable.

The CIA claims that they do not utilize torture, yet they still conduct water-boarding in the pursuit of their own goals. Yet, Senator John McCain, himself a torture victim during the Vietnam War, states that water-boarding is a "very exquisite torture" that should be outlawed.

Counterterrorism consultant Malcolm Nance trains soldiers on water-boarding so that they will know what to expect if they are ever captured. Nance states that water-boarding is indeed torture and goes against everything that the United States stands for.

... yet sycophants continue to parrot that it is ok to torture.

Yet what of our own Constitution? What of the Geneva Convention? What of the 1984 Convention Against Torture that the US has signed on board with?

Are ideals and morals something to be shelved when it is too inconvenient to grapple with as our cognitive dissonance prevails? Do we set these same values next to our coffee, to be pulled down and presented as virtues that we hold sacred only when we are pointing the fingers at others that are in the way of our economic growth?

How hard is it for us as Americans to walk the moral talk?

Torture And The Law. Which One Are Americans Above?

First, it would be prudent to question if our policies regarding torture come from a valid source? If we are going to be dismissive of such strong concepts as torture, would it not be proper to delve into the fundamental principles that hold our society together?

If this is the case, then we must ask, “should we or should we not adhere to the precepts that lie within the Geneva Conventions?” Below is Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Convention document. It's rather interesting, care to look?

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
Adopted on 12 August 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War, held in Geneva from 21 April to 12 August, 1949

Article 3
"In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict. "

Pretty powerful words. In fact, so powerful the they were accepted by all Western Nations at the time. ... at least in print. Gandhi had an intersting explanation about how Article 3 was to set standards for soldiers in the treatment of others on the battlefield.

As Gandhi said in reference to Article VI of the Geneva Conventions
In general, common article 3 is implemented by setting standards in military manuals, by offering training to armed forces of humanitarian laws, enacting national legislations and by fixing accountability on individuals who are responsible for violating common article 3.

Second, would it not be prudent to review the laws of our country? Should we or should we not adhere to the Articles within our own U.S. Constitution? Specifically Article VI.

The U.S. Constitution
Article VI
"... This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

What this means is that since the United States took part in the Geneva Conventions treaties, "all treaties made... under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land" that we are then bound by these same principles.

With so much debate over Ballot Measure 50s infringement on Oregon's Constitution, one would think that the same adherents would be up in arms as to a violation of the US Constitution.

Is it appropriate to ignore Articles within the Constitution for the sake of argument when it is merely convenient? Are there any more principles that Americans still believe in and stand for? Do the words created by our founding fathers mean nothing? What are our values?

At present, at least one large and vociferous group of people have made it extremely clear where their morals, values and principles lie. Would it be prudent to examine our own values before making rash conclusions based on emotional currency?