The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

Good Luck With That

Posted by Bill Nance on November 24, 2009

FORT WORTH, Texas – An Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people during an attack on his Texas post will likely plead not guilty to the charges against him and may use an insanity defense at his military trial, his attorney said Monday.

I realize a good advocate has to be aggressive on behalf of his client so I’m certainly not surprised. And normally I’d have a lot more willingness to buy that defense. I mean who the Heck but a crazy person after having spent all those years in the army suddenly goes postal like this?  Some things you just have to be crazy to do. But given the history of his ravings on Islam and his anger at Muslim soldiers deploying to the sand-box, I’m not buying it and I’m reasonably sure a court-martial won’t either.

Sorry counselor, your client is gonna fry. -This is my sad face :

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Posted in Crime, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Color Me Disgusted

Posted by Bill Nance on April 22, 2009

Practically every blogger on the internet is writing about the torture memos recently released by the Obama Administration which show a deliberate, concerted and widespread policy of torture of detainees in American custody. I won’t be doing so often as I think others have and continue to do a much better job. But the video below particularly disgusted me.

To defend these practices and to compare the behavior of barbaric thugs with whom we are war to our own behavior, therefore attempting to justify violations of U.S. law, international treaties and all standards of basic human decency is nothing short of barbaric in itself.

This video captures the type of thinking these fools and cowards use to justify such things.  Mind you, this is not some idiot on talk radio or a pundit, this is a United States congressman.

If the words don’t ring any bells for you, I suggest you look at the defense used by Nazis at the Nuremberg trials.

The methods used by the Gestapo and others, many of which are virtually identical to what was revealed in the document released a few days ago were all legal under German law and indeed violated no then-existing international agreements. This is the defense used by the Nazis. The acts were legal under German law and the torturers were “just following orders and policy.”

The standards set at Nuremberg was that “just following orders” was no excuse, nor were laws tailor-made to expressly viiolate all standards of civilized conduct.

The architects of this policy should be prosecuted for war crimes. I’ve no particular interest in going after the torturers themselves until this is done. I want no more Abu Ghraib prosecutions where a few low-level stooges stand in for people far more culpable.

Prosecute, Mr. Holder.  Let the torturers and their cowardly defenders howl all they want. If you do not, the United States will forever be dishonored -and rightly so.

Posted in Creeping Fascism watch, Crime, National Security, Politics, Right-Wing Nut-jobery, Terrorism | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The GOP: Party For Torture

Posted by Bill Nance on January 22, 2009

If you were on the Senate Judiciary Committee a few decades ago, a time during which the United States faced the very real threat of nuclear annhialation, it would never have occurred to you to hold up the confirmation of the top law enforcement official in the country because he said torture was a crime.

Fast forward to yesterday, when we face no remotely comparable threat and that’s exactly what GOP members of that committee have done.

Eric Holder, nominee for Attorney General of the United States had the nerve to say that waterboarding is torture. -Something absolutely no one outside the ranks of the GOP would disagree with. But apparently that means no confirmation for him, at least if the GOP has its way.

Even Senator Lindsey Graham (R- SC), who is trying to be at least somewhat conciliatory said:

“If we’ve committed — if we’ve made mistakes in the past, let’s clean them up. But this idea of criminalizing policy differences would be bad for the country and would create a bad precedent.”

Torture is and has always been against the law in this country. No policy paper written by a White House counsel, like John Yoo, has the authority to unmake those laws or to ignore treaty obligations. To ask the Attorney General not to enforce laws which have been broken is not just a matter of politics, it’s a crime: Obstruction of Justice.

There must be no compromise on this issue. While personally I think the torturers themselves may have some defense in that they believed their orders to torture were lawful, it’s not altogether clear. The Nuremberg trials made quite clear that “just following orders” is no excuse. Every officer in the United States military is taught this.

The GOP stood by and applauded when Torturer in Chief George W. Bush and his accomplices implemented torture as the official policy of the United States. Today they are trying desperately to prevent an open, transparent investigation of these crimes by labeling such investigations “witch hunt.”

Graham has it completely wrong. The implementation of torture on the orders of the Bush administration was not a “policy difference,” it was a crime. To ask the Attorney General to turn a blind eye to this because it would be politically embarassing to the GOP is nothing short of disgusting. -Yet another example of the complete moral corruption of the Republican Party.

Let there be no mistake, no minced words, no euphemisms: Waterboarding is torture.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Getting Waterboarded // Current“, posted with vodpod

Posted in Law & Order, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

They Just Never Give Up

Posted by Bill Nance on January 21, 2009

In case you were wondering why it is that the Bush administration not only screwed up everything it touched, but repeated its errors again and again, this article by Peter Wehner gives ample evidence of the causes of this clusterfuck of an administration.

The Juice:

As George W. Bush spends his last few hours as President, many of us who worked for him and deeply admire him are filled with mixed feelings. It is hard to see him leave the scene with approval ratings hovering at 30 percent, with the nation clearly weary and ready to turn the page. All of us hoped he would leave the Presidency with an outpouring of gratitude and affection from the nation.

It was not to be, and it would be silly and misleading to pretend that this did not matter at all. How could it not? Yet most of us have the conviction — a fairly deep one, actually — that President Bush will be looked upon by history favorably and that his decisions will be, in the main, vindicated. The obvious question concerns what we see that most of our fellow citizens do not. Why are we convinced that Bush’s presidency will be judged a success when so many people right now consider it to be a failure?

The answer, I think, is several fold. For one things, it is rooted in the belief that on the most important issues of his presidency — keeping America safe after the attacks of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our broader struggle against militant Islam, the appointment of two Supreme Court justices, and more — Bush got it right or mostly right.

This doesn’t mean that there weren’t serious missteps along the way — failures in judgment, personnel, execution, communication, and persuasion. In Iraq especially, we were much too slow in recognizing the nature of the conflict and adjusting to it. Yet despite those mistakes, it is certainly possible that Iraq will end up very nearly as we initially hoped it would: free and self-governing, an ally of America instead of an enemy, a counterweight to Iran, the place that gave rise to an Arab uprising against militant Islam, and a nation that eventually helps to reshape the political culture of the Middle East. If this in fact occurs, the verdict on Bush dramatically shifts. What was widely seen as his greatest failure while in office will be seen as a significant, and even history-shaping, success. As Ambassador Ryan Crocker has said, how we leave Iraq will matter a great deal more than how we got into Iraq.

Whatever you do, DON’T take responsibility. That has been the mantra of the Bush years. That lack of acceptance has meant the same mistakes get repeated over and over. And the gist of Weher’s article is that this type of approach, to never question whether one might be wrong is good management. -No wonder bush was such a disaster with such nincompoops serving as Deputy Assistant to the President.

Remember this?

President Bush is responsible for “keeping us safe after 911?” Really?  So let me get this straight. We haven’t had another attack here since 911, therefore Bush is vindicated? That’s called a logical fallacy folks. There could be dozens of reasons why no attack has come, none of which necessarily have anything to do with Bush in particular.

First, let there be no mistake: NO American president would have failed to go into Afghanistan. Jimmy “dufus” Carter would have invaded. The public wouldn’t have stood for anything less and a clearer case of causus beli never existed. -When you can get the French to go along… well, you get the idea. So this is no Bush triumph. You don’t get to claim success based on something which absolutely anyone in the office would have done. As for the other possible reasons for no attacks? Who knows. But claiming that the Bush Administration is specifically responsible for this does not follow. Trying to claim it does is illogical and belies all the evidence of incompetence in every other possible arena.

Bottom line: We haven’t been attacked for any number of reasons, none of which can be laid at the feet of GWB. Maybe we’ve just been lucky. God knows the Bush administration’s “security theatre” we see in airports hasn’t kept us safe at all.

Similarly, the wholesale destruction in Iraq, the strengthening of Iran, the neglect of the main enemy based in Afghanistan, will never be vindicated.

George Bush is responsible for throwing out 12 years of Pentagon planning for how to invade and occupy Iraq. Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki testified to this fact before the war and was promptly forced into retirement for daring to call the emperor naked. The absolute clusterfuck of post-invasion Iraq has led to perhaps hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, a fractured polity and a new ally and power base for Iran, which, unlike Iraq, actually does pose a potential threat to U.S. interests.

I supported the war and I still think it was the right thing to do. This had nothing to do with WMDs possessed at the time by Iraq, I hasten to add. I stated at the time this threat was overblown in the extreme, and I thought Colin Powell’s testimony befiore the UN was laughable. If little ‘ole Bill Nance can figure this out, the fact that Bush didn’t is all the more damning.

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Katrina and the TARP, which has mystically disappeared $350 BILLION, to Harriet Miers and “Bring it on,” the Bush presidency has been the most colossal disaster in American History.

Anyone who thinks this president will be “vindicated by history” needs to get off the crack pipe.

Posted in afghanistan, george bush, humor, Iran, iraq, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »