A Rogue State
September 26, 2006 10:26 AM   Subscribe

A Rogue State. Matt Yglesias sums up what America has become after the McCain "Compromise."
posted by empath (48 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
United States of America - We Torture!
posted by nofundy at 10:32 AM on September 26, 2006


Et tu, Yankee?
posted by fairmettle at 10:34 AM on September 26, 2006


It's funny how Bush is condemned in no uncertain terms by the very words he himself used, and a mere three years ago to boot.

Straight-shooter, my ass. John Kerry wishes he was able to flip-flop that much.
posted by clevershark at 10:36 AM on September 26, 2006


It’s like watching a slow-motion replay of the disintegration of the Soviet Union- only this time, it’s us.
posted by Jatayu das at 10:38 AM on September 26, 2006


...and it aint in slow motion either...
posted by Elim at 10:39 AM on September 26, 2006


United States of America - We Torture!

It's not torture, it's freedomboarding!
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:41 AM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


Rogue state? Yeeeeehaaaawww!

Makin’ their way,
the only way they know how
that’s just a little bit more
than the law will allow


“This is, to the conservative mind, a weakness. In their view, cheating is a good thing, and America's historical difficulty in cheating constitutes a problem.”

uh, Neo-conservative. I don’t get how some folks can argue (in other quarters) the ret-conning of American history by this administration, yet maintain that the neo-conservativism now = conservativism.
By the same token - the Democrats favored slavery.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:49 AM on September 26, 2006


We tried the Japanese for war crimes for waterboarding US soldiers during WW2.
posted by orthogonality at 10:50 AM on September 26, 2006


The idea that anything would change in interrogation procedures if the anti-torture group actually won is risible.
posted by topynate at 10:53 AM on September 26, 2006


Orthogonality: citation pls. This would be useful.
posted by lalochezia at 10:55 AM on September 26, 2006


"It’s like watching a slow-motion replay of the disintegration of the Soviet Union- only this time, it’s us."

It would be a good idea to keep in mind one of the main things that brought down the Soviet Union - A stateless Moslem army that bankrupted the country by keeping them mired in an unwinnable war in the Middle East. In fact the same stateless Moslem army we now know as Al Qaeda.

Bush likes to brag about how Al Qaeda hasn't attacked us since 9/11, when in fact they're beating us the same way they beat the Soviets.
posted by Ragma at 10:57 AM on September 26, 2006 [4 favorites]


orthogonality writes "Japanese for war crimes for waterboarding"


http://robinrowland.com/garret/2005/11/waterboarding-is-war-crime.html
posted by orthogonality at 11:05 AM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


...and it aint in slow motion either...

Plus it's on re-wind with the disintegration is running in reverse, so it's like watching the Soviet Union reconstitute itself from the slime of its rotting corpse.
posted by y2karl at 11:05 AM on September 26, 2006


It would be a good idea to keep in mind one of the main things that brought down the Soviet Union - A stateless Moslem army that bankrupted the country by keeping them mired in an unwinnable war in the Middle East. In fact the same stateless Moslem army we now know as Al Qaeda."

Myths. The Soviet defense budget during Reagan's tenure expanded only in the single digits. The USSR was not "bankrupted" by Afghanistan -- it was already collapsing, had been for years. And al qaeda didn't exist until long after the Soviet withdrawal. The USSR was defeated by a broad range of forces, out of which the Taliban coalesced.
posted by words1 at 11:07 AM on September 26, 2006


uh, Neo-conservative. I don’t get how some folks can argue (in other quarters) the ret-conning of American history by this administration, yet maintain that the neo-conservativism now = conservativism

Well since conservatives and neo-conservatives are in the same party and considering that party loyalty seems more important than morals, I completely understand why people think this way. Ultimately, winning the next election is more important than... well... anything else.
posted by Vindaloo at 11:10 AM on September 26, 2006


Has this passed the senate yet? I was under the impression that while it might pass the senate, it could be held up for the rest of the week until it goes out of session next week. The Dems have said they wouldn't filibuster, but so far I haven't heard that it passed. Did it pass this morning?

Otherwise nothing has changed yet. I'm still holding out hope (but not too much, from what I've heard)
posted by delmoi at 11:25 AM on September 26, 2006


It's not torture, it's freedomboarding!

Ha ha! Oh holy shit...
posted by BobFrapples at 11:55 AM on September 26, 2006


words1 writes "The USSR was defeated by a broad range of forces, out of which the Taliban coalesced."

I don't think "coalesce" means what you think it means. Either that, or your premise is highly questionable.
posted by clevershark at 11:58 AM on September 26, 2006


The GOP kabuki positioned "maverick" McCain as somehow opposing torture and "independent" of Dubya while behind the curtain the old fool bends over and grabs his ankles again.

Party loyalty above all comrade!

Dear Leader is omnipotent and omniscient and cannot be wrong!
posted by nofundy at 12:02 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Anyone else get the feeling that in a couple of years Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc. are going to have to stay in the US lest they get arrested and tried for war crimes?

Kinda like how Kissinger was wanted for Cambodia.
posted by quin at 12:11 PM on September 26, 2006


Has this passed the senate yet? I was under the impression that while it might pass the senate, it could be held up for the rest of the week until it goes out of session next week. The Dems have said they wouldn't filibuster, but so far I haven't heard that it passed. Did it pass this morning?

Senate Dems have already said they're not going to block or filibuster the bill. It's likely that this is an essential bill for the White House to pass before the elections. Once the elections are over, there's no risk to Democrats in blocking it, and if they take over part of Congress the investigations they open will almost definitely reveal that illegal actions occured that this bill is- retroactively, mind you- trying to legitimize.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:13 PM on September 26, 2006


Frankly I'm at a bit of a loss as to what makes McCain a "maverick" at all since 2001, unless "maverick" has come to mean "generally-liked spokesman for authority."
posted by clevershark at 12:18 PM on September 26, 2006


Frankly I'm at a bit of a loss as to what makes McCain a "maverick" at all

He sometimes doesn't totally crap on gay rights.
posted by psmealey at 12:22 PM on September 26, 2006


He sometimes doesn't totally crap on gay rights.

Yeah, he sucks Bush's dick all the time, but still panders to the Evangelicals.
posted by interrobang at 12:24 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]



failure
google and the whitehouse say so, it's gotta be true.
posted by andywolf at 12:38 PM on September 26, 2006


that should be failure.
posted by andywolf at 12:39 PM on September 26, 2006


this bill is- retroactively, mind you- trying to legitimize

How is that even legal? "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:45 PM on September 26, 2006


Senate Dems have already said they're not going to block or filibuster the bill.

They have agreed not to filibuster(!) but there are a few other ways to block it. They only have five more days to get this through, and it could be amended to death. Like I said, doubtful, but it could happen.
posted by delmoi at 12:56 PM on September 26, 2006


How is that even legal? "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

When you control the suprime court, everything's legal!
posted by delmoi at 12:57 PM on September 26, 2006



Well, he unsigns treaties
why not retroactive laws? wait a minute, this is from 2002 "A simple three-sentence letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan formally ended U.S. participation in an agreement to create the world's first permanent tribunal to prosecute war crimes, genocide, and other crimes against humanity." I wonder if they were planning on torture from the start... hmm
posted by andywolf at 1:27 PM on September 26, 2006


Bill Clinton passed an ex post facto tax increase, so there's precedent on the other side of the aisle. I'm pretty sure it got past the Supremes, too.
posted by Malor at 1:27 PM on September 26, 2006


Let me amend that... Clinton SIGNED it, Congress passed it. Preview is good.
posted by Malor at 1:28 PM on September 26, 2006


Congress passed it.

Then it was a Republican controlled congress, no?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:37 PM on September 26, 2006


The USSR was not "bankrupted" by Afghanistan -- it was already collapsing, had been for years. And al qaeda didn't exist until long after the Soviet withdrawal.

Two things you should do IRL: 1) Ask a Russian person their thoughts on Afghanistan (even better, a veteran of that war), 2) Look up the word "symbolism."
posted by bardic at 1:43 PM on September 26, 2006


How is that even legal? "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

That's not an ex post facto law. An ex post facto law punishes you for something that was legal when you did it. A law that says you can't be punished for something that was (at least maybe) illegal when you did it is fine and dandy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:44 PM on September 26, 2006



“Well since conservatives and neo-conservatives are in the same party and considering that party loyalty seems more important than morals, I completely understand why people think this way.”

Well...I’m a conservative. I haven’t been a Republican for quite some time. And I’m in opposition to a good deal of what the Republican party has done of late.
(From a general principle you cannot infer any particulars, but those which the principle itself assumes as foreknown. Evidence of the particular case, cannot itself be taken for true without exception - and indeed, you have my particular case to refute the general principle)
So...not all men Socrates. Some men Smedleymen.

So understand that thinking all you will - just recognize it’s incorrect and feeds into the distortion fomented by the people who are, I’m assuming, your opponents.
(And really how can you say that knowing the alternative - that liberals support the terrorists?)

/Not so sure myself there are any lines at all anymore. I heard the local lefty talk radio (Al Frankin) yesterday at my mechanic and there was an ad sponsored by the Dept. of homeland security - wtf?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:57 PM on September 26, 2006


Conservatism is a philosophy Republicans espouse while seeking power.

A rogue torture state and neo-conservatism, on the other hand, are what Republicans do with total power.
posted by BillyElmore at 1:58 PM on September 26, 2006


I'm really hoping that Gordon will withdraw us (the UK) from such a close alliance with the US. I just feel ... dirty associating with this sort of administration.

I used to think that Chirac's ideas about the need for a multi-polar world [pdf] to contain the US were pretty stupid. Now I think they were just ahead of their time.
posted by athenian at 3:08 PM on September 26, 2006


Nothing the Republican party has done since coming into power bears any resemblance to 'conservatism' as I (used to, at least) understand it. This extends throughout the entire party, not just the neocon leadership, not only have they been on board with the neocon program, they've taken the opportunity give their bodies record levels of pork and blamed the debt on 9-11.

I've probably said it before here, but I will not be voting Republican again, for any office.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:51 PM on September 26, 2006


Hi delmoi, I talked to one of my senator's aides in DC this afternoon. Senator Bingaman's aide said that the final language of the 'Military Comissions' bill hasn't yet been written and it hasn't yet come to the Senate floor. He also said that Senator Bingaman was quite concerned about the whole thing.

Hi ROU_Xenophobe, IANAL, but please note that Wikipedia says, "Conversely, an ex post facto law may decriminalize certain acts or alleviate possible punishments (for example by replacing the death sentence with life-long imprisonment) retroactively."

Hi Smedleyman, BillyElmore and sonofsamiam, every real conservative I know has left the Republican party at one time or another since we invaded Iraq. When my mother left, she was called a traitor. She said she was a patriot to her country before her party.
posted by taosbat at 6:53 PM on September 26, 2006


The man who authorized those techniques [waterboarding] at the Singapore YMCA, Lt. Col. Sumida, was sentenced to hang.

Can we start moving in this direction? This is how torturers should be treated.

In place of actual hanging by the neck until dead I'll be pretty much satisfied with simple life imprisonment without any chance of parole.
posted by flug at 7:41 PM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


athenian writes "I used to think that Chirac's ideas about the need for a multi-polar world [pdf] to contain the US were pretty stupid. Now I think they were just ahead of their time."

By early 2004 I was quite convinced that the US had blown it for the whole concept of "superpower"... lacking a counterweight the last superpower left had already started consuming itself. Meantime China was already busy making itself a regional broker and selling Western economies the rope that will later be used to hang them, as the saying goes.
posted by clevershark at 8:25 PM on September 26, 2006


Well let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this isn’t blatant hypocrisy – perhaps they’re suggesting a change of definition. In which case it’s totally ok to waterboard Americans, cause it’s not torture.

I usually just show them slideshows of my last vacation, but it’s nice to know I (and the rest of the world) have options.
posted by dreamsign at 8:50 PM on September 26, 2006


Yup we hung people (Japanese) for waterboarding after WWII. I like to throw that out to all of my GOP coworkers. 1949.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:34 AM on September 27, 2006


AT LEAST WE DIDN"T CUT OF F THEIR HEADS STFU LBIRUL
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:53 AM on September 27, 2006


That's not an ex post facto law. An ex post facto law punishes you for something that was legal when you did it. A law that says you can't be punished for something that was (at least maybe) illegal when you did it is fine and dandy.

Out of curiosity, from a legal point of view, is this sort of thing (i.e., leagalizing certain forms of torture) on par with repealing prohibition? Saying, yes, last year it wasn't legal to make whiskey and we could have imprisoned you for it, but we passed new legislation (in this case, a constitutional ammendment, does that change anything) and now it isn't a crime anymore?
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:06 AM on September 27, 2006




Congress moves to authorize torture.

The House voted 253-168 to approve legislation on military commissions that authorizes torture and strips detainees of the right to challenge their detention. Also voted down was a measure by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) which called for an expedited judicial review of the constitutionality of the commissions, and required the bill to be reauthorized in three years to ensure congressional oversight in evaluating the effectiveness of the commissions. The Senate is expected to approve nearly identical legislation tomorrow.
posted by taosbat at 9:13 PM on September 27, 2006


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