Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Torture Crack In The Bush Administration

When the NY Times felt compelled to write an anti-torture op-ed which called for the impeachment of federal judge Jay Bybee, he who was instrumental in writing the Torture Memos, it was a happily ironic moment. "Happily" because it would duly trigger a major turning point in Obama's stupid See-No-Evil policies regarding sins committed in our names; "ironic" because the New York Times chose not to at least acknowledge its past prominence in warmongering and rah-rahs in support of torture. My thought upon seeing the op-ed was this:

"Ah-ha! Finally #*@%-$^ gettin' somewhere. NYT thinks it's time for CYA."

Torture, as long predicted here, is the aperture in which to shove the crowbar for rupturing the Bush Administration asunder, and that vulnerability is sufficiently appreciated by the perpetrators. The fact that they can in domestic and international law be taken all the way down (in theory) to an execution chamber is why Dick Cheney regularly emerges to warn What Will Happen if we reverse torture policy. Now, he may sincerely believe the Taliban will attack Lake Placid and al-Qaeda will invade Wyoming. But primarily he's just trying to cover his ass and understandably so. If you were guilty of ordering war crimes, you might play a little CYA, too.

Senator Russ Feingold is on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and he's angry on both moral and turf grounds. He seemed the best hope in view to get the crack spreading out into a real Ass-Raping of the Evil-Doers, so I've occasionally written his staff to rant about the evils of torture, and have signed every petition about it I've come across. Here's what The Crowbar had to say recently when counter-punching a Sunday Talking Head:

"Part of what troubles me are the lawyers -- we should see their law school degrees -- who consciously wrote these memos justifying and explaining full well those outrageous arguments," the Wisconsin Democrat said on Tuesday in reference to the Bush-era torture memos released last week. "I cannot join the president, or his spokesman, or [chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel, who said we aren't going [to prosecute these people]. I can't. I just disagree with them."

"If you want to see just how outrageous this is, I refer you to the remarks made by Peggy Noonan this Sunday," he said, referring to the longtime conservative columnist's appearance on ABC's This Week. "I frankly have never heard anything quite as disturbing as her remark that was something to the affect of: 'well sometimes you just have to move on.'"

"It is truly horrifying and unforgivable that anybody operating under the auspices of the United States of America had involvement in any of this," he said. "So I'm not even completely ready to [cede the argument] that people who devised these techniques should be off the hook. I understand the argument. I also remember when people said that they were just following orders. So that troubles me and I am thinking about it."

Obama advisors like Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod have suggested that prosecution of Bush officials is likely off the table due to political sensitivities, to not looking backwards, to Jupiter not yet being aligned with Mars, etc. Right. These two men are devout Jews, and yes, I am explicitly pointing out an inherent religion-based pro-torture bias against Muslims on the part of the Obama Administration. On the part of our entire paranoid country.

Look. We haven't been torturing Evangelicals and Born-Agains in our midst, and do thousands of them not espouse fiery cataclysms on the District of Columbia on a weekly, if not hourly, basis? As these dangerous assholes stock up on assault rifles for probably a dozen Church Shoot-Em-Ups over the next year, why, may I ask, have electrodes not been placed on their genitals in order to save their future victims?

And god help us if we were to ever torture a single Jew for, I dunno, plotting to take over the international banking system. Because then there would be books! Movies! Ongoing outrage, in memoriams, anti-defamations and never-agains ad infinitum. Even if they've trade-marked the Holocaust, why are we not torturing an Israeli security encryption provider which spies on federal and local law enforcement agencies which use its services? (Note: I refer to a company in my profession.)

We torture Muslims. Not Xtians. Not Jews. Bowing to pressure from the left and after being outed by Feingold, the New York Times reported today that White House "aides did not rule out legal sanctions for the Bush lawyers who developed the legal basis for the use of the techniques." There's a long way to go from here to hand-cuffs, much less ass-rapings or executions, but the crack is getting closer to the source. And now it's going to speed up.

UPDATE: Feingold responds to Obama's statement that he is open to prosecutions of some Bush officials:

“I am pleased that the president made clear that he has not ruled out investigations or prosecutions of those who authorized torture, or provided the legal justification for it. Horrible abuses were committed in the name of the American people, and we cannot look the other way, or just ‘move on.’ The final decision will be up to the attorney general and the president, but I urge the Justice Department to take this matter very seriously."


Still Life Living said...

Marc, if you kick my ass again, I'm gong to regret it. You write so smugly, like you know all this stuff. You have two kids -- you don't have the time (at least not in this society). Yeah, I know what you said about the multi-dimensional IQ and the puppies in outerspace, but this is the first time you have mentioned Xtians. If there is a war on Xmas, I am holding you responsible. Pimmelkopf!

MarcLord said...


I'm "gong" to regret it too. And I have plenty of time to know this stuff. Just not enough time to write about it...

Anonymous said...

Good post. It hits the nail squarely on the head. Are you watching Rachel after Keith out there? She's not letting go. Sign up so she can interview you. Every time I see Cheney on TV I puke.

A. Peasant said...

yes please do let rachel maddow interview you, that's a great idea.

MarcLord said...


thanks and i take it there's some way to sign up for Rachel. this has teeth on it. re: Cheney, have you ever asked yourself, "Why are they giving air time to this disproven motherfucker?"

MarcLord said...


if that actually happened i would so totally fall on my face. i'd have to look down at my 3x5 card to read the phrase, "Torture might be fun for some people, but it doesn't work."

A. Peasant said...

no you would not ;)

"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." Luke 12:11-12

Bee said...

Well, you know I was pleased as punch yesterday to see my pet theory shaking out. I've been thinking about it some today. I've seen calls for at least congressional hearings, but I don't want that. Those tend to become cicuses with some low-level schmuck taking the blame. I want real, warrants-served-by-federal-marshalls-with-handcuffs prosecutions, and I want airtight cases with guaranteed convictions, and I want them on a high level. As in, all the way to the top, baby.

MarcLord said...


quick with that Bible, aintcha? and true. thanks for the yes we can.

MarcLord said...


it's the perfect raw meat for the backyard grill of Congress. but they've got blood on their hands they don't want the peeps to see and it will be tricky for them to hide it in front of perky witnesses who can point the blood out. Congress is conflicted.

Obama skipped right over to the AG like a point guard passing the ball down to his power forward, citing reference to legal framework. Which, uh, roundly rejects torture. After due consideration and backing down into the paint I'd expect said AG to bring it and at minimum hire a Special Prosecutor. Pass to the center cutting to the rim for a slam dunk. Maybe that's too optimistic but the legal play is open and it's easy.

Naj said...

Marc, did you see the video of Iran's Shah I posted on my blog?

Suddenly, it made me think of why all the world-lefties called him Brutal ... he WAS too the victim-to-be of the Israel lobby ...

This archive was SUCH A REVELATION to me.

Jon said...

In other news, the guy accused of the "Craiglist murders" says those murders happened in the past, and it's time to move on.

MarcLord said...


no I hadn't but will be right over to view. Thank you and I hope you like your new play-space.

MarcLord said...


and still the liberal media refuses to admit how fun torture can be!