Sunday, October 01, 2006

Torturous

One of my Democratic friends was railing again last week against the ruination of America brought on by Bush and his minions. My usual response to this tirade is to advise her, in various ways, to chill out. Things aren't that bad, I say. Stick around a bit and watch them change.

But last week I didn't have it in me to argue. What brought me down was passage of the administration's pro-torture bill. As time allows, I've been struggling to understand the full impact of the bill. I haven't got through it all yet, and I still hold out some hope that I am misunderstanding much of this. But the search is profoundly discouraging, and I am losing hope. I keep thinking: The war on terror is over, and we have surrendered.

I've been critical of this country at times, but I have never felt ashamed to be an American. Now I feel shame.

18 comments:

billings conservative said...

I think we will rue the day that we passed this bill--for many reasons. The breath of this bill is so wide that it would seem that anyone who fails to agree with the administration falls into the category of a terrorist and can be held with no end in sight--or have worse happen to them.

Anonymous said...

So far, it's all just words. I can forsee law enforcement agencies telling bush and his nazi pals to take a hike when it comes to actually ENFORCING any of this crap, just as a few sheriffs here in Montana did with the background check stuff. I don't fear bush and his nazi minions yet. They are cowards. And people certainly have the right to self-defense ESPECIALLY if it violates their Constitutional rights, which I think this latest malarkey clearly does. I think that bush will have as much success here at home as he has had in Iraq. But you are quite right. This latest outrage is the legal equivalent of the enabling act passed by Germany under Hitler, if not worse. But this ain't Germany, and the moron in the white house ain't Hitler. These bozos like bush, condi, the dick, and co. truly are morons and not to be feared. They should simply be in jail. Keep your powder dry just in case. I look forward to seeing just what the bring-it-on boy's got! Hell, he'll probly go AWOL this time too when things get hairy! Once a coward, always a coward.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

DMerriman said...

Don't worry about being ashamed of being an American, David - I doubt that it actually means anything any more. The "interrogation" bill is just what our gummit is ready to do to OTHER folks it actively doesn't like. For us mere citizens we have:
a shiny new warrantless wiretapping bill, PLUS
a proposal to allow non-combatant U.S. citizens to be seized and tossed into a MILITARY prison, AND
a national ID card system.

The Bill of Rights is disappearing faster than beer in a frat house...

T said...

Thanks for waking up, here, have some coffee. But its too late, you open your eyes only to see the beginning of the end.
Tony

Eric said...

David, what's it going to take before you realize that we're in a war? Another twin-towers attack?

David said...

Eric,
We have been in many wars without endorsing torture. In fact, evidence suggests that we have been so successful at war in part because our enemies know that we treat prisoners humanely. They would rather surrender to us than die fighting us. Why throw that advantage away?

Anonymous said...

War? That's a laffer, eric. The Presidunc had it right the FIRST time he opened his stupid mouth. It's a CRUSADE! Terror is a tactic, NOT an enemy! Little king george wants to defeat Islam. And there are ONLY bout a billion Muslims throughout the world. And there are in every country. So, in essence, the moron in the white house has declared war on the world! Not the brightest move, but then again, no one has ever accused little georgie of being the brightest anything! And now, we have war criminal herr henry kissinger advising king george. Herr henry wants to re-fight Vietnam. I know, I think it's incredible too. But I think that the American people are finally figuring it out, and determing just WHO the real enemy is! And his name starts with "g". Sorry, eric, but we're not all bedwetters like you. Some of us are not afraid of terrists to the point where we willing give up our freedoms! Don't worry. We'll keep you safe too, like we true defenders of freedom always have! You can thank us later!

LK

billings said...

My father was in the 3rd Army (Patton) in WWII. Saw plenty although he didn't talk about it. In the 1970's he became a good friend with a fellow who served in the German navy. He told my father that when they surrendered they made darn sure that it was to the US or Britain--no way did they want to surrender to the Russians. Humane treatment made a difference there I think.

Chuck Rightmire said...

Eric: Do you have any idea what war is? We're not in a war except for our self-created idiocy in Iraq. As far as terrorists go, we are dealing with criminals and we should treat them as such. For instance, I just read a suggestion in The Week that if Osama is caught he should be paraded through and tried as a murderer in every nation in which Al Quaida has claimed a terrorist strike. Far more effective than giving him miltary status. And we have made serious mistakes in war. Maybe not torture, but we have killed Americans (in Butte and elsewhere during WWI) and interned them (during WWII) claiming war powers. We regret those actions now. Get real. Use your noggin for something besides a Baby Bush hatrack.

Pete Hansen said...

Now now Chuck. Don't diminish the logic of your words by name calling. I agree with much of what you say and, here are some further thoughts.
1. Nothing rankles my butt more than hearing about "The Rules Of War."Haven't we, or rather the "suits" in Washington learned anything about war? Such "rules" by MacNemara and other "whiz kids" who were safely 10,000 miles or more from the shooting came up with those Rules." And GWB and his Dad have listened to the same B.S..
2. I call it the "John Wayne" mentality wherein the guy in the white hat lets the bad guy in the black hat shoot first!
3. Had it not been for the "Suits" advising Daddy Bush that it was time to stop the shooting so the rest of the world would love us (NEVER HAPPEN), we wouldn't be in Iraq in the second place!
4. Had the war gone the otherway and miles and miles of our vehicles had been burning along the roads, with the bodies of our guys laying everywhere, do you suppose Saddam would have called a "Whoa?" NOT! He'd have been a hero worldwide!
5. In WW2, which we won by, as General Patton said, killing more of the other bastards than we lost, there were no "rules of war," and we won.
6. As has been said, "Never start a war unless you plan to win it." More that 2,300 of our guys aren't being given that chance.
7. We have a "Kickass Military" that "The Suits" refuse to let do what they've been trained for and, what they know how to do best!
8. I hope that someday, we get a President who, if war is necessary, just says.."Go get em and let me know when you're done."
9. It really gripes me to see and hear the U.N. and American Red Cross as well as that anti American organization, "Amnesty International" expressing "outrage" over our treatment of those who would murder our citizens by the millions, yet, be stunningly silent when the bodies of our tropps are publicly stomped on, dragged and burned among cheering throngs, with not a peep out of them! And, to see Israel, who by the way, sure knows how to fight a war, backtrack in Lebanon because of the assurance of the U.N. that U.N. forces with contain and disarm the Hezballa terrorists (not insurgents) who have never lived up to any U.N. agreement. But then, the U.N. suits are well out of range of the terrorists rockets!
Enough. my fingers are tired and probably, so are your eyes. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Pete, your fingers obviously outlasted your brain!

LK

Jim Larson said...

Our liberties have been assaulted by well-meaning presidents before, and they will be again. It is the nature of the executive branch to erode the personal liberties of Americans.

Thomas Jefferson was one of the most effective advocates of personal liberty that the world has ever known. He was also one of the most autocratic presidents to ever hold the office. His assault on the judiciary is a study in tyranny.

John Adams' brilliant defense of the British soldiers who pulled the triggers at the Boston Massacre should be a part of every child's education, yet he signed in to law the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

Even champions of liberty are tempted to suspend it when it interferes with their excercise of power. That's why our system of checks and balances is so vital to our liberty.

Pete Hansen said...

Hey LK! Stick it in your ear!

Chuck Rightmire said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, Pete, but World War II was fought under the Rules of War as spelled out in the Geneva conventions. We treated the captured enemy, generally, in humane ways (although there were some times when emotions got out of hand). I remember my uncle (who was a WWII MP) talking about our treatment of prisoners. If not fighting in uniform or by forming lines of combat is what it takes to be soldiers then a lot of our revolutionary heroes were not soldiers, particularly in the early years (I refer you to the recent prize winning 1776). And you really don't seem to understand that Daddy Bush knew what he was doing in the first Oil War. He was a foreign relations expert and he realized that what would happen in Iraq is what is happening there today, a mess. It probably will not be solved by anything more than a strongman of the Hussain type able to bring the heel down on three conflicting cultures.

Dave Rye said...

In WW II, the U.S. government put five German spies, captured after landing on our Atlantic Coast, in the electric chair. FDR approved the executions.

Chuck Rightmire said...

Dave: Spies are different from soldiers. All nations put to death enemy infiltrators who are not wearing uniforms. Maybe we should do that to the criminal now?

Steve T. said...

Pete-
"9. It really gripes me to see and hear the U.N. and American Red Cross as well as that anti American organization, "Amnesty International" expressing "outrage" over our treatment of those who would murder our citizens by the millions, yet, be stunningly silent when the bodies of our tropps are publicly stomped on, dragged and burned among cheering throngs, with not a peep out of them! And, to see Israel, who by the way, sure knows how to fight a war, backtrack in Lebanon because of the assurance of the U.N. that U.N. forces with contain and disarm the Hezballa terrorists (not insurgents) who have never lived up to any U.N. agreement. But then, the U.N. suits are well out of range of the terrorists rockets!
Enough. my fingers are tired and probably, so are your eyes. Best wishes. "

Pete- I've debunked your ridiculous assertion about the Red Cross and Amnesty International before. You're very Coobsian in your ability to repeat things you know to be false.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Anonymous said...

I note that when we turned over Abu Ghraib prison to the Iraqis, the inmates were screaming to have the Americans back. I wonder why...