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CIA Covert Detention Acknowledged
September 6, 2006 2:50 PM   Subscribe

FROM SECRET PRISONS TO GUANTANAMO President Bush announces the transfer of 14 al-Qaeda terrorist suspects previously held by the CIA in a secret detention program to the Guantanamo Bay naval base. This is the 1st public acknowledgement of such a program (though in November of 2005 the Post broke the story of its existence). Bush calls CIA interrogations "tough" but fully legal, and that they staved off new terrorist plots.
posted by punkbitch (97 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
You lost.
posted by xmutex at 2:52 PM on September 6, 2006


how bout that reads "saying that they staved off new ..." instead. ok everybody? just pretend...
posted by punkbitch at 2:52 PM on September 6, 2006


I saw his press conference today while flipping channels and I haven't seen him speak live in quite some time. I was taken aback by the condescending tone of the speech. It was as if he wrote it aimed at 12 year olds. A lot of it sounded like "we do harsh things to bad people so we can save thousands of lives" and would follow up every statement with "and I can't say anything specific about that because, as I said, it helps terrorists attack us".

It was all so simplistic and silly, as if I was being talked down to by a parent that didn't think I understood how the world worked.
posted by mathowie at 2:56 PM on September 6, 2006 [2 favorites]


damnit! that title link was supposed to go here. maybe i'm drunk...
posted by punkbitch at 2:56 PM on September 6, 2006


mathowie, hasn't he been like that since the days of "It's hard work"?
posted by rxrfrx at 2:56 PM on September 6, 2006


"The United States does not torture," Bush declared. "I have not authorized it, and I will not authorize it."

... so Bush believes that he can authorise torture?
posted by kaemaril at 2:58 PM on September 6, 2006


mathowie - I was actually struck by the same tone when I saw him give a speech a few weeks ago, except to me it sounds very defensive, as well (on the defense is not a bad place for him to be right now, actually).
posted by muddgirl at 2:59 PM on September 6, 2006


It was all so simplistic and silly, as if I was being talked down to by a parent that didn't think I understood how the world worked.

I heard Bobby Kennedy on the radio over the weekend reckon that this tone is because that is how the concepts were explained to him.
posted by birdherder at 3:01 PM on September 6, 2006


ahh, good old NDR. see, that's what my tax money in germany pays for. no wait, I haven't paid taxes there in a while. anyway, it's too bad another joke is lost in translation: the guy has a german accent and it's that of a farm worker. think cletus and brandine on the simpsons.
posted by krautland at 3:02 PM on September 6, 2006


i saw an amazing video of him trying to say 'totalitarianism' at a veteran's conference last week. I saw it somewhere...
posted by punkbitch at 3:04 PM on September 6, 2006


mathowie, I've always felt he spoke like that. Like he's talking to a group of naughty 3rd graders. It's painful to listen to and I usually have to turn the radio off when he comes on.
posted by Eekacat at 3:04 PM on September 6, 2006


Jane Harman was on CNN and said she and other Senators are not allowed to reveal what Bush just revealed--they would be punished they were told.

And when Bush talks about torture it doesn't matter---they changed the rules so that whatever they do isn't torture, according to Gonzales.
posted by amberglow at 3:05 PM on September 6, 2006


I think the prez has been pretty much sidelined. There are many Republicans who don't want him to campaign for them in the mid terms, and many are trying to distance themselves from the administration. In MN we have an open Senate race and the Republican who is running (M. Kennedy) was/is a US Representative who overwhelmingly voted with Bush, but is trying to tout himself as an centrist who works with Democrats and has disagreed often with Bush... In politics you are only as good as the amount of political leverage you have, and right now Bush has very little. Everyone say lame duck.
posted by edgeways at 3:06 PM on September 6, 2006


It was all so simplistic and silly, as if I was being talked down to by a parent that didn't think I understood how the world worked.

You're just noticing this? Actually most of the time he just seems out of it, but there is this condescending tone about him. I remember one comment in particular where he said "If you don't agree with us on X you just don't understand how the world works" I think it was about bombing being tough Iran or something. It would never occur to this guy that it was possible that he was wrong about it. Believe it or not, whenever I feel strongly about something I always ask myself if it's possible that I'm wrong, or that the source is biased. For bush that's not even possible.

And he's just so damn stupid. It's just embarrassing as an American to be lead by this guy!
posted by delmoi at 3:08 PM on September 6, 2006


It's painful to listen to and I usually have to turn the radio off when he comes on.

Same here. Or else, I replace his speaking voice with the "wa-wa-wa" of the 'adult-speak' in a Peanuts television cartoon.
posted by ericb at 3:10 PM on September 6, 2006


“He said he could not describe these methods because doing so might help terrorists resist future questioning.”

Rarely has the ‘piss on my head and tell me it’s raining’ metaphor been so appropriate. Stunning. Truly.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:10 PM on September 6, 2006


I heard the first half of this on the radio and was struck by all of the inconsistencies. Hasn't he catagorically denied the existence of the secret detainment centers? There are other contradictions, like his continued insistence that anyone at Gitmo belongs there despite detainees being released without charges.

And the way he kept referring to Kaleed Sheik Mohammed (forgive me if that's misspelt) as KSM... is Bush really so simple?
posted by lekvar at 3:11 PM on September 6, 2006


There are many Republicans who don't want him to campaign for them in the mid terms, and many are trying to distance themselves from the administration.

"President Bush's unpopularity -- due largely to the war in Iraq -- seems likely to affect GOP candidates in congressional midterm elections in November, according to a CNN poll released Wednesday.

Fifty-five percent of 1,004 Americans said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who has supported Bush administration policies, according to the poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of CNN. Forty percent said they would be more likely.

Asked a similar question in 1994 regarding President Clinton, 51 percent of Americans said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had supported the Democratic administration."

[CNN | September 06, 2007]
posted by ericb at 3:11 PM on September 6, 2006


Moving guys like Khalid Sheikh Mohammad to Guantanamo puts pressure on Congress to pass the torture-authorizing legislation. Why's that? Because the Supreme Court has ruled that the Gitmo detainees need to get some kind of day in court, AND Muhammad has been tortured, AND the SC has ruled that we're not allowed to torture.

So, Congress might be faced with letting terrorists go free, or OK'ing torture. Bush is playing chicken.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:14 PM on September 6, 2006


I heard Bobby Kennedy on the radio over the weekend reckon that this tone is because that is how the concepts were explained to him.

you know, this seems quite believable to me. except he leaves out the eye-rolling and sighs that accompany cheney/rove/rice/rumsfield's attempts to explain things to him.

It's just embarrassing as an American to be lead by this guy!

when he locked up the primaries in 2000, my 1st reaction was "fuck you, republican party, for insulting my intelligence by putting up this idiot."
posted by lord_wolf at 3:17 PM on September 6, 2006


Mr Bush also said he was asking Congress to pass urgent legislation[....] He said the laws must make it explicit that US personnel were fulfilling their obligations under the Geneva Convention.

Don't we already have a law for that? I'm pretty sure it's called the Geneva Convention.

"The United States does not torture," Bush declared. "I have not authorized it, and I will not authorize it."

Except for waterboarding, sleep deprivation, use of attack dogs, "extraordinary rendition" so some other country can do the actual torturing on our behalf, and the rest of the "alternative set of procedures" they're only now getting around to acknowledging. Oh, and the 'unauthorized' beatings and rapes and murders that somehow managed to spontaneously occur at both Abu Ghraib and Bagram. Other than that, no torture. Nuh-uh.
posted by ook at 3:17 PM on September 6, 2006


I can't recall a time when the tone of Bush's voice didn't sound like he was belittling anyone who disagreed with him. That is, when he doesn't sound like he lacks comprehension of the very words coming out of his mouth.

In other news, the Katie Couric interview with the arrogant sot is only moments away, and you can watch it on the internet!
posted by ZachsMind at 3:18 PM on September 6, 2006


Lest we forget the rhetoric coming from the Republicans after Washington Post reporter Dana Priest originally revealed these secret Black Site prisons in November 2005. And all along it appears that Republican senators -- or Dick Cheney -- who provided the information to Dana Priest.

Ah -- but when it's politically expedient to talk about them, the President does so. Remember folks, be "vewy, vewy afwaid.' We've got an election coming in 9 weeks time.
posted by ericb at 3:21 PM on September 6, 2006


Mr Bush said the CIA had used an "alternative set of procedures", agreed with the justice department, once suspects had stopped talking.

What does this mean?
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:23 PM on September 6, 2006


*were/was the one who provided the information*
posted by ericb at 3:23 PM on September 6, 2006


"This programme has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they have a chance to kill," the president said.

Or this? Is this a line from Majority Report or what??
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:25 PM on September 6, 2006


The United States does not torture, Bush says....

That's why Bush has JUST SENT yet another bill to Congress which would legalize torture. Although the press is only talking about the bill legalizing kangaroo trials for people the U.S. has kidnapped (a trial where the defendant doesn't get to know the charges against him, see the evidence against him, or present any evidence of his own can't be called anything but a kangaroo court), the bill would also legalize the U.S.'s current practices of psychological torture. The bill redefines torture (again) to be only severe physical pain, and to not include any of the myriad other ways in which man can torture man, such as sleep deprivation, continuous light or darkness, extreme hot/cold, extreme noise, being shackled to the floor in a squatting position for 12 hours at a time, etc. etc.

George Bush is - at the same time as he says the U.S. doesn't torture - amending U.S. law to permit the above. Indeed, when he signed the last bill about torture, his signing statement said he didn't even consider the minimal torture restrictions there to be valid.
Mr Bush also said he was asking Congress to pass urgent legislation[....] He said the laws must make it explicit that US personnel were fulfilling their obligations under the Geneva Convention.
The bill George Bush just sent to Congress would modify (reduce) the U.S.'s obligations under the Genva Conventions. It specifically changes the U.S.'s treaty obligations under the Conventions. So what Bush is saying is, "We must change the laws of the United States to fit what we are doing."

The very public and time-coordinated announcement by the Army that they will amend their field manuals to prohibit torture is intended to confuse the issue further. The CIA will be doing most of the torturing, and they've made no such announcement.

I honestly do not know how far the United States has to fall before any significant part of the population starts to push back. I believe, unfortunately, that there is no such limit; I think the fall is actually self-reinforcing. Once the U.S. goes past a certain limit, it will be so dangerous to speak out against it (you'll disappear), that no one will and people who previously spoke against it will fall silent.
posted by jellicle at 3:25 PM on September 6, 2006


C-span has the video of the speech and indeed, condescending appropriately describes it. Yet it is better not to be distracted by George the designed willing scapegoat.

There is also a stunning contradiction : the claim is that not letting terrorist know where some of the alleged conspirators were detained helped protect US from attacks. Clearly the revelation that they were and STILL are in custody of US (as they are being apparently moved to Guantanamo) is likely to arise the attention of other "terrorists" and have them attack US or menace to.

It so glaringly stupid..there was no need to reveal this secret AND on a massive public scale as it is only likely to solitic more hate toward US ; also admitting "tourture" doesn't solicit love either, but on the contrary it justifies it !
posted by elpapacito at 3:26 PM on September 6, 2006


leftcoastbob, that's the latest talking point. Decreased terror prosecutions/convictions just means that we've been "detaining" people before they have the opportunity to carry out that deadly plot that they were certainly going to complete. Rawstory had a link to Fox up the other day where the Fox guy was spinning this line.
posted by rxrfrx at 3:27 PM on September 6, 2006


It so glaringly stupid..there was no need to reveal this secret AND on a massive public scale as it is only likely to solitic more hate toward US

It's all old news -- as above.
posted by ericb at 3:28 PM on September 6, 2006


"Marty Lederman writes that the bill President Bush sent to Congress today is 'an attempt to authorize the CIA to engage in the sorts of "enhanced" interrogation techniques — e.g., hypothermia, threats of violence to the detainee and his family, prolonged sleep deprivation, 'stress positions' and waterboarding — …and to immunize such conduct from any judicial review." [source]
posted by ericb at 3:32 PM on September 6, 2006


He said those held in the CIA system have included "the key architects" not only of the Sept. 11 plot but of the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000, the truck bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and other attacks.

And the second shooter on the grassy knoll...

So does this mean *Mission Accomplished* let's all go home now?
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:33 PM on September 6, 2006


The other thing I like about Bush's speaking mannerisms - aside from the "my-God-you-people-are-so-STUPID" tone - is his a+b=c logic: "Terror is bad. I am hard at work to protect the American people. Therefore, I will do everything in my power to stop the terrorists" (/paraphrase). It's as if someone needs to sketch out the train of thought for him in precise detail in order to follow it to the conclusions they want to emphasize. Otherwise he might get lost.


I also love the irony of the fact that the biggest failures of this administration have been failures of intelligence. No shit! I mean, look who we've got leading the charge - the moron-in-chief himself.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 3:33 PM on September 6, 2006


"Maybe I'm missing something. But President Bush's announcement today of the transfer fourteen accused terrorists from secret prisons abroad to Guantanamo Bay seems pretty elementary in terms of political strategy, no?

As we speculated last night, President Bush wants to gin up a hail mary pre-election political fight over the constitution (no pun intended) of military tribunals for accused terrorists. This election-timed stunt is intended to put fourteen faces on the president's fight over the rules for his kangaroo courts.

So now, you're either with Bush or you're with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed."

-- Josh Marshall
posted by ericb at 3:36 PM on September 6, 2006


This is another layup for the House and Senate Republicans to give them an easy win against the Administration. He knows that he can't get this passed, Republicans are saying that they don't think that this is right, etc etc.

It allows the Republicans to look like they're really trying to go against Bad Bad Bush, and those silly Democrats, just can't get it done. The sad part is that it'll probably work.
posted by gregschoen at 3:36 PM on September 6, 2006


"I am a bit confused, too. I thought the administration and its lackeys claimed it was treasonous to publicly discuss these secret prisons. I thought that the administration and its lackeys were pushing for journalists to be prosecuted for reporting about their existence. I thought that we were disloyal Americans for talking about such secret prisons. Are the administration's past statements no longer operable now that there is an election two months away?"

-- a TPM reader in response to Josh Mashall
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just a thought: if a mefite stopped posting tomorrow, and six months hence a story came out that named the mefite as a detainee who is still at Guatanamo, and their husband/wife posted here to tell all of you about it -- would you assume that the mefite was a terrorist, or a political prisoner?
posted by davejay at 3:39 PM on September 6, 2006


He said those held in the CIA system have included "the key architects" not only of the Sept. 11 plot but of the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000, the truck bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and other attacks.

But what about Bill Clinton? It was really all his fault.
posted by homunculus at 3:43 PM on September 6, 2006


...since the days of "It's hard work"?

Harry Shearer's song "Hard Work" [mp3].
posted by ericb at 3:50 PM on September 6, 2006


Has anyone watched the 2 minute excerpt from the Couric interview? Not 5 seconds after she asks him about the war on terror the words 'Iraq' come out of his mouth. Enough is fucking enough already. The whole country should be so fuming mad about this blatant deceit that his limbs should no longer be attached to his body.
posted by jimmythefish at 3:51 PM on September 6, 2006


Yeah I have always thought Bush has been gratingly condescending in his speech, very hard to listen to for that, let alone all the other problems with what comes out of his mouth. I think Rumsfeld sounds this way too. Must be very hard for some of the reporters to sit there and listen to this tone.
posted by zoinks at 3:55 PM on September 6, 2006


after she asks him about the war on terror the words 'Iraq' come out of his mouth. Enough is fucking enough already

The tide seems to be turning on the Adminsitrations' attempt to link the 'War on Terrur' with the War in Iraq. According to today's CNN poll a majority of Americans now view them as separate events.
"Asked whether the Iraq war is part of the U.S.-led war on terror, 53 percent said they believe it is a separate action, while 45 percent said they believe it is connected, as the Bush administration has repeatedly insisted."
posted by ericb at 3:57 PM on September 6, 2006


mathowie writes "I saw his press conference today while flipping channels and I haven't seen him speak live in quite some time. I was taken aback by the condescending tone of the speech. It was as if he wrote it aimed at 12 year olds."

Is this the first time you heard him speak? He speaks that way at all his press conferences.
posted by clevershark at 3:59 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


'Bush calls CIA interrogations "tough" but fully legal, and that they staved off new terrorist plots.'

Virtually everything substantive he's said during his administration is an utter lie. Why would this be the start of anything different?
posted by clevershark at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2006


Keith Olberman: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"
posted by muckster at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2006


ook writes "'extraordinary rendition' so some other country can do the actual torturing on our behalf"

Think of it as "outsourcing" by the CEO President(tm).
posted by clevershark at 4:06 PM on September 6, 2006


would you assume that the mefite was a terrorist, or a political prisoner?

Well, that depends on whether or not said mefite was an Arab and/or Muslim, doesn't it.
posted by sonofsamiam at 4:10 PM on September 6, 2006


Regarding jellicle's post above, a while back I posted this. And while I know it would never happen, I would still love to see someone actually ask the question during a press briefing.

"Sir, if you believe that the techniques you are using are not torture, but merely enhanced interrogation, would you be willing to undergo it yourself? What about one of your family members?"

I would pay cashey money to see that.
posted by quin at 4:12 PM on September 6, 2006


i saw an amazing video of him trying to say 'totalitarianism' at a veteran's conference last week. I saw it somewhere...
posted by punkbitch at 3:04 PM PST on September 6 [+] [!]


Oh god, I saw that too and I felt a sense of extreme laughter and overwhelming embarrassment, so of course, I had to share it here
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 4:17 PM on September 6, 2006


According to josh marshal the idea is by moving these people here, anyone who wants to close gitmo wants to see these people released.
posted by delmoi at 4:23 PM on September 6, 2006


It was all so simplistic and silly, as if I was being talked down to by a parent that didn't think I understood how the world worked.

Douglas Rushkoff pointed this out back in 2000. From a nuerolinguistic programming persepective, Bush speaks like a fatherly authority figure.
posted by drezdn at 4:26 PM on September 6, 2006


Actually the word he used was lawful, not legal. I noticed this distinction months ago when he was speaking about the NSA wiretap program.

Websters has the two words listed as such:

"LAWFUL may apply to conformity with law of any sort (as natural, divine, common, or canon) . LEGAL applies to what is sanctioned by law or in conformity with the law, especially as it is written or administered by the courts ."

Just sayin' it's a curious distinction for the President to use concerning behavior for which the US already has very specific laws.

posted by tvjunkie at 4:41 PM on September 6, 2006


Bush speaks like a fatherly authority figure.

Yup--that drunk and abusive dad whose every move is either slurred or a slap.
posted by amberglow at 4:42 PM on September 6, 2006


Washington Post today, before the speech: GOP Senators Differ With President on Military Trials--Key Republican senators have drafted a legislative plan for special military trials of suspected terrorists that diverges from a recent Bush administration plan by granting defendants rights that the White House has sought to proscribe, government officials said yesterday.
Under the lawmakers' plan, any future military trials of the nearly 200 eligible U.S. detainees held in military prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other locations around the world would be governed by a law that explicitly ensures that defendants have the right to know the evidence against them. ...


We'll see what they say now.
posted by amberglow at 4:46 PM on September 6, 2006


What the fuck is with the hoopla and clapping when Bush says he's authorized the moving of some prisoners from secret prisons to Guantanemo?
posted by odinsdream at 4:47 PM on September 6, 2006


delmoi writes "According to josh marshal the idea is by moving these people here, anyone who wants to close gitmo wants to see these people released."

A bit like the guy who's found guilty of killing his parents, and then begs the judge for mercy on the grounds that he's an orphan.
posted by clevershark at 4:48 PM on September 6, 2006


"...anyone who wants to close gitmo wants to see these people released." - delmoi

Yeah, that’s the truly dangerous part of that equation. It’s not the “Suspend the constitution! Cry Havoc! Let slip the black helicopters!” kind of totalitarianism that we have to worry about. It’s this slow “Don’t force the issue” sort of concession thing to avoid really ripping up the country. I’ve really had enough of it. There is no excuse for supporting this administration from any principled position I can fathom. One can make a case against them using liberal or conservative values. They do not represent the political will, nor the social order of this country. This truly represents the yawning precipice before us (granting of course, the downward slope of things before). I’m with jellicle I don’t think there is any coming back from letting this go. More so than even the eventual redefinition of the 2nd amendment that lies along this path - (only terrorists have guns) (although by that time, mostly a moot point).
posted by Smedleyman at 4:49 PM on September 6, 2006 [2 favorites]


delmoi writes "nyone who wants to close gitmo wants to see these people released"


Yeah that is a possible spin among who knows how many others. Yet mere thinking for a minute spills these other spins

1. these "masterminds" are more of a threat NOW that will be exposed as not-death...more martirs, more leaders to follow , more war to save them
2. if in 3 years of torture you haven't pulled any good info out of them (and some know torture MAY produce some result, but not data the victim doesn't know) then all the info you are getting is 3 or more years old. Any half decent organization has already considered them death and moved on.
3. if these "superterrorist" were to be liberated they would just be shot on sight by anybody knowing them, in fear they have some nucular spy in their ass. They wouldn't do much rejoining and they will certainly be used as heros in prison.


ericb writes "This election-timed stunt is intended to put fourteen faces on the president's fight over the rules"

That is also plausible, somebody to hate and that justifies extreme out of the ordinary measure, dishumanization of enemy by showing faces that after 3 years of torture are plausibly mad, ideologically wacko and want to tear your face off . Scarey, protect me Great Leader !
posted by elpapacito at 4:53 PM on September 6, 2006


also, the information received while they were being tortured for it in the secret CIA prisons is not at all admissable in any real court, so Bush needs these kangaroo courts.
posted by amberglow at 5:08 PM on September 6, 2006


Faces like this ...



Boo! Badman, boogeyman!

Isn't there something in the Geneva Conventions about not photographing prisoners? Fuck -- it's only a minor point of the Conventions. But what did he mean?
"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld added: 'The Geneva Convention indicates that it’s not permitted to photograph and embarrass or humiliate prisoners of war.'"
posted by ericb at 5:09 PM on September 6, 2006


Ron Jeremy is a terrorist?!!!!!
posted by tkchrist at 5:22 PM on September 6, 2006


Well, he's reputed to have a Weapon of...

Oh, I think I've changed my mind, I'll let that one go.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:34 PM on September 6, 2006


The Bush Administration is a 100%, classic, unmistakable, alcoholic family. Daddy is impaired, ineffective, and utterly lacking in self-awareness, while Mommy sits offstage, pulling the strings via passive-aggressive shaming and manipulation. Daddy can't deal with his own failings so he projects them onto the kids, the neighbors, the kids' teachers, etc.

There has not been a *single* fault Bush has pointed out in either his domestic or international "enemies" that hasn't made more sense as a coded confession. Really, really, really sick stuff. And it's not just a metaphor - that's what it really *is*.

That's my two cents.
posted by facetious at 6:01 PM on September 6, 2006


Yet don't be fooled into thinking there is a -single- point of failure and that point is George Boy , or anybody else.
posted by elpapacito at 6:11 PM on September 6, 2006


Also faces like:

No, really
Where do you see broadcast news coverage (from the US) that is anywhere near as in depth?
posted by Smedleyman at 6:26 PM on September 6, 2006


i saw an amazing video of him trying to say 'totalitarianism' at a veteran's conference last week. I saw it somewhere...
posted by punkbitch at 3:04 PM PST on September 6 [+] [!]

Oh god, I saw that too and I felt a sense of extreme laughter and overwhelming embarrassment, so of course, I had to share it here
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 7:17 PM EST on September 6 [+] [!]


link that works:

the terrorists of tola-tera-ter toltalatarians
posted by quonsar at 6:44 PM on September 6, 2006


The USA government has been infected with crooks, cowards, and cheats. The upcoming election is a chance to make a difference. Elect someone — hell, anyone! — who is honest, open, and smart. Time to send use the electoral immune system!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:47 PM on September 6, 2006


Meanwhile, key GWOT ally Tony Blair is leaving office and Pakistan is busy denying that it cut bin Laden a deal.
posted by mkultra at 6:47 PM on September 6, 2006


Heh, "alternative interrogation".
posted by Eekacat at 6:57 PM on September 6, 2006


"I saw his press conference today while flipping channels and I haven't seen him speak live in quite some time. I was taken aback by the condescending tone of the speech. It was as if he wrote it aimed at 12 year olds. A lot of it sounded like "we do harsh things to bad people so we can save thousands of lives" and would follow up every statement with "and I can't say anything specific about that because, as I said, it helps terrorists attack us".

It was all so simplistic and silly, as if I was being talked down to by a parent that didn't think I understood how the world worked."

Gawd, Matt, I don't know if you've already been piled-on for this, but have you not been paying attention? That's how Bush has talked since 1999, and it's worked because most people think he's "conversational." That's where all of the resentment over "Bush is a moron" comes from— he treats us like morons, so people assume that he is one too.
He's just got a depressingly accurate take on the type of rhetoric that most resonates with American voters.
It seems that no one ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public either.
posted by klangklangston at 7:22 PM on September 6, 2006


NYT news analysis hits nail on the head for me. More triangulation - where we, as country get sharp point of driangle rammed up our asses.
posted by lalochezia at 7:34 PM on September 6, 2006


The publicly-announced transfers of formerly secret prisoners may actually signal a ratcheting down of the perceived terrorist threat.

Apparently there are far fewer terror prosecutions and substantial convictions than meet the eye (or ear): see Bruce Schneier's blog post, Scorecard from the War on Terror and its source analysis, Criminal Terrorism Enforcement in the United States During the Five Years Since the 9/11/01 Attacks. [via Boing Boing]
posted by cenoxo at 7:36 PM on September 6, 2006


That's where all of the resentment over "Bush is a moron" comes from— he treats us like morons, so people assume that he is one too.

Bush acts just as stupid as he thinks we are.
posted by interrobang at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2006


"We tortured an insane man"
posted by homunculus at 8:21 PM on September 6, 2006


Also from yesterday's Christian Science Monitor (citing the same analysis), After a surge, US terror prosecutions drop to pre-9/11 levels.
posted by cenoxo at 8:21 PM on September 6, 2006


Whoa! Shortest summary of lalochezia's link @ NYT: Bush is challenging Congress to restore to him the authority to put the United States’ worst enemies on trial on terms he has defined.

Goddamn, but isn't that how freakin' Mussolini got his start? Got himself fucking elected to be dictator? Doesn't it sound goddamn just like
After rigged elections in 1924 gave to Fascism and its conservative allies an absolute majority in the Parliament, Mussolini cancelled all democratic liberties on 3 January... A secret police... system of quasi-legal repression... total control of the regime upon Italians who, in their majority, either resigned or welcomed the dictatorship...
And keee-rist, if that didn't lead to
Mussolini's fascist state... would provide a model for Hitler's later economic and political policies. ...the breakdown of positivism [factuality of science] and the general fatalism of postwar Europe were also factors.
And not to be overly scary, but hey, try this
In the beginning Mussolini was given support from all political spectrums in Italy, from lefists to democrats. Unbeknownst to them, he was dismantling parliament democratically with legislation that they had approved. By 1926, he had complete control over the Italian government and people.
Doesn't this all sound like history repeating itself? The rigged elections, the rigged need for war, the support by naive or stupid or corrupt politicians, the laws that remove laws about what he can do?

Forgive me for wikipedia-ing you again:
Fascism is a radical political ideology that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.
we need to genericize the term for wikipedia references. "to use wikipedia as a source." Howzabout 'peeding?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:52 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Goddamn, I've done gone scared myself.

Someone hold me.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 PM on September 6, 2006


you know what, the world has it's share of trouble. but i know what can make it all better. jesus. or pie, eeerrrr jesus pie, or maybe just a nice big o' slice of pie , yeah, pecan pie, hell i would even share it with jesus. thats just the kind of guy i am.
posted by nola at 9:01 PM on September 6, 2006


Get past the netlooniness.. and it gets scary.

And search for "Grand Cross of the German Eagle" to find a surprise, here.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:06 PM on September 6, 2006


"The president declined to disclose the location or details of the detainees' confinement or the interrogation techniques.
"I cannot describe the specific methods used — I think you understand why," Bush said in the East Room, where families of some of those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks heartily applauded him when he promised to finally bring the perpetrators to justice."

I am gobsmacked at the concept of approving of a statement like that from a public representative. If it was someone I loved who died in those towers I'd want blood too. But I'd rather see OMB dancing on my brother's grave than have his (hypothetical) death be used to justify something like that. Appalling that - even if he's completely on the level - he would phrase it that way given the potential inferance.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:23 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Goddamn, I've done gone scared myself.

Well, ya scared me to. Thanks fucker.

we need to genericize the term for wikipedia references. "to use wikipedia as a source." Howzabout 'peeding?


Seconded. And it has a nice double entendre-ish aspect for people who don't like Wiki links: You just peeded all over this thread.
posted by quin at 9:35 PM on September 6, 2006


...that would be a good match for farking up a thread.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:12 PM on September 6, 2006


whenever I feel strongly about something I always ask myself if it's possible that I'm wrong, or that the source is biased. For bush that's not even possible. ... It's just embarrassing as an American to be lead by this guy!

Yes -- his utter certainty, his "I sleep soundly at night" statements, his evangelical determination to make decisions affecting millions without self-reflection or healthy doubt. In another place and time he'd be a garden variety dictator. (And yes, yes, in many ways the effects are the same.)

Actually, in recent months he does seem to have started (barely) to have a vague sense that reality is not matching up with, you know, his (internal) reality. But it's more like frustration -- goddam it I'm gonna make these two realities fit together! -- than any idea that he might be off.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:04 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


PS This thread and the 9/11 thread are "killing my high," as the kids say.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:06 PM on September 6, 2006


This is exactly what it felt like to be dealing with Nixon as president.

And that "I sleep soundly at night" line always made me think "yeah, so does my boa constrictor, asshole".

The best thing the US could do today would be to establish a truth commission, sans prosecution, to publicly document the actions of our government in the collapse of the elected government of Iran in the 50's, and our full and complete interactions that helped place the Shah in power in Iran.

Then we might have a chance of starting a new relationship with one of the influential forces of the new Islamic political base in the middle east.

We have been a primary influence in the middle east since the end of WWII, and the American public needs to understand exactly what our representatives did, and our past actions need to be made transparent. The people who have had these outside influences inflicted on them don't need to have it explained to them, they have family histories that include abuses from opposing authoritarian dictatorships that had our support, they know this stuff in their bones.

But if we take a good hard honest look at our past actions, state truthfully what happened, then announce that we will move forward in our future relationships acknowledging past errors, then we might have a chance to build a new world, or at least help some other people build a new corner of this world.

There are 60 million Iranians who are literate, educated(relatively), and apparently living their own lives despite being in a theocratic dictatorship, and 300 million Americans who are supposedly literate, wealthy(realtively), and somewhat educated, live their own lives despite their own government.

Enough with the secrets.

Throw open the archives. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.
posted by dglynn at 12:25 AM on September 7, 2006 [2 favorites]


When Bush said this almost 6 years ago:
If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
people thought he was kidding.

Ha ha, only serious.
posted by oncogenesis at 12:31 AM on September 7, 2006


This morning Laura Ingraham was spinning the speech as a triumph that put the ball squarely back in the whining Democrats court.

"I just think, that, wow--that was a great speech. Maybe not the sharpest rhetorically, maybe--but the substance of it...This will really put the lie to all the people who've been saying that the administration's been sitting on their hands..."
posted by Iridic at 8:00 AM on September 7, 2006


EU demands to know location of CIA prisons.

Military lawyers question Bush plan for trials.

Keith Olbermann on Bush's "terror" speech.
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on September 7, 2006


Nice to see the JAG position on this. I figured, but it’s very nice to see.

/If I fark too long I find it hard to ‘peed afterwards.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:39 PM on September 7, 2006


“You get to the end of the trail, then yes sir, you do,” Black responded.
(Fuckin’ A)
posted by Smedleyman at 12:41 PM on September 7, 2006


ericb writes "Boo! Badman, boogeyman!"


Ochalan in that state evokes compassion , not hate. Osama, on the contrary, dress finely.
posted by elpapacito at 5:28 PM on September 7, 2006


Pentagon Spends Billions to Outsource Torture
posted by homunculus at 6:05 PM on September 7, 2006


In other terrorism news: Republican Rift Over Wiretapping Widens
posted by homunculus at 6:13 PM on September 7, 2006


The powerful and wealthy are a little unnerved by what's gone down with HP. The idea starts to lose its appeal when you see how it can be applied against one's own kind.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:53 PM on September 7, 2006


dlynn, this is much worse than Nixon. Nixon had an active investigative media, and an active, investigative Senate--Bush doesn't have to worry about either.
posted by amberglow at 3:00 PM on September 8, 2006


Chicago Tribune today: Bush plan vague on torture, evidence--Tribunal judges would decide if detainees had been abused, coerced
posted by amberglow at 3:20 PM on September 8, 2006


from FindLaw: ... U.S. officials may incur liability for grave violations of international law under the 1996 War Crimes Act, and Geneva and the Nuremberg Charter exclude any form of immunity for war crimes. Obedience to orders is no defense to such charges, though it may mitigate the severity of punishment. Geneva Common Article 1 imposes the positive duty to respect and ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions in all circumstances on all parties.

Additionally, the doctrine of command responsibility requires that where a commander knows, or should have known, that his troops are committing war crimes and fails to prevent them, he is liable for their actions.

According to Newsweek, President Bush signed a secret order authorizing the CIA to set up the black sites.

posted by amberglow at 7:31 PM on September 8, 2006


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