All the Vice President’s Men

The Cortege of Satan

The greatest war crime of all is the one that cannot be prosecuted: the war itself.

Fifteen minutes after a hijacked jet smashed into the Pentagon, the NSA intercepted a message tying the morning’s attacks to al Qaeda. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was told of the intercept just after noon. Yet by 2:40 p.m. he was demanding “Best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time. Not only UBL [Osama bin Laden].… Need to move swiftly.… Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

We’ve long known what followed: An 18-month disinformation campaign to justify an illegal war in Iraq. We’ve known about cherry-picking intelligence. We’ve known about the blatant disregard of informed expert advice. We’ve known about the Orwellian abuse of language to hide the truth.

It should come as no surprise that the torture policy, crafted by the same men at the same time and for the same purpose, was no different.

Except in one respect: Torture clearly and unambiguously violates U.S. law. It is one of the highest of federal crimes, carrying the death penalty.

Nor is it a quaint holdover from World War II. While the Geneva Conventions were created in 1949, and ratified by the U.S. in 1955, the enabling legislation — the laws implementing the principles — was signed by President Clinton in 1996, just five years before our story begins. The more recent U.N. Convention Against Torture was signed by President Reagan in 1988, and ratified in 1994.

This is not just living memory. This falls squarely within the professional careers of the people involved.

1. Laying the Groundwork

In December 2001, the Pentagon’s Office of the General Counsel, run by William “Jim” Haynes II, issued three requests, all regarding planned operations at Guantanamo Bay. Two of those requests went to John Yoo, deputy assistant attorney general: whether Gitmo detainees would have the right to challenge their detention through habeas corpus, and whether they would be entitled to POW status under the Geneva Conventions.

The third request was delivered to the military’s Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, which runs SERE — the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program. The request sought information on detainee “exploitation”.

Everything that follows is contained in those requests, and we can presume that much discussion preceded them. The requests to Yoo asked for legal justification to effectively “disappear” detainees, remove them from the reach of the law. And the request to JPRA revealed why.

The SERE program, as we now know very well, is designed to train soldiers to withstand torture techniques expressly prohibited by the Third Geneva Convention. The program presumes that soldiers may be captured by groups that ignore international standards covering treatment of POWs. The training is based, in part, on “Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean war.” More to the point, those techniques were designed “to elicit false confessions.”

In short: by December 2001, the Pentagon’s civilian leadership was looking for an excuse and the means to torture Gitmo prisoners. Whether they intended to gather false confessions, or thought that torture was effective despite evidence to the contrary, we cannot yet say, based on the facts on the record. But given what we know about how the Bush Administration railroaded the Iraq war itself, we have no reason to trust their good faith.

In any event, Yoo issued the requested legal justifications on December 28 and January 9. On February 7, 2002, President Bush signed off on denying Geneva Convention protection to al Qaeda, and denying POW status to Taliban prisoners.

2. The Bybee Memos

Despite stripping Gitmo prisoners of all legal rights — including the right to challenge their imprisonment — they weren’t yet completely disappeared. Torture wasn’t yet permitted, because the War Crimes Act of 1996 doesn’t apply to prisoners, but to their captors. And the legal definition of torture is explicit:

The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering … upon another person within his custody or physical control for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or any reason based on discrimination of any kind.

This is contemporary language, not the “outrages upon personal dignity” of the Third Geneva Convention that President Bush pretended to be befuddled by. More to the point, it is United States law. The specificity of the law explains why Bush Administration lawyers took such pains to write around it.

But Jay Bybee would not sign the torture memos until August 2002. First, the details of the methods requested needed to be researched.

Haynes, the Pentagon’s general counsel, initially sought information about the SERE program in December 2001. By spring, the National Security Council — including Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, and Condoleeza Rice — was reviewing a CIA request for “an interrogation program for high-level al Qaeda terrorists.”

The request was not theoretical. In March, Abu Zubaydah had been captured in Pakistan. President Bush called him “one of the top [al Qaeda] operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.” CIA analysts considered him a low-level logistical operative. And the FBI’s top al Qaeda analyst considered him literally insane.

This much is certain: Abu Zubaydah would become the first prisoner tortured with the blessing of the President of the United States.

In April, Bruce Jessen, the senior SERE psychologist, was circulating a draft “exploitation” for review by senior officials. And that’s when we first see the alarms going off.

Jessen was an advocate for torture, and later went into private practice training CIA interrogators. But his views were not shared by his superiors. The JPRA sent a memo to Haynes in July arguing that “physical and/or psychological duress” are ineffective means of interrogation, because “the reliability and accuracy of this information is in doubt.”

The JPRA’s warning was disregarded. Instead, Yoo was chatting up Alberto Gonzales and David Addington — counsels for President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

We don’t yet know the content of those conversations, but we know one of the memos that resulted from them: The August 1, 2002, memo, written by Yoo, signed by Bybee as assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, and addressed to John Rizzo, the CIA’s acting general counsel.

The 18-page memo details and approves SERE techniques to be used on Abu Zubaydah. That month, Zubaydah would be waterboarded 83 times.

3. The Rumsfeld Memo

The Bybee memo approved the CIA torture of Abu Zubaydah. The next step was to broaden that approval to members of the U.S. armed services — soldiers. And while Abu Ghraib is beyond the scope of the story we’re telling here, it’s safe to say that the “bad apples” fell from a tree planted in the office of the United States Secretary of Defense.

In September 2002, soon after the CIA’s waterboarding marathon, a group of “interrogators and behavior scientists” from Gitmo traveled to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to attend SERE training. Later that month, Addington (Cheney’s legal counsel) and Rizzo (the CIA’s legal counsel), among other senior Administration lawyers, visited Gitmo. A week after that visit, two Gitmo “behavioral scientists” back from Fort Bragg drafted a memo proposing new “aggressive interrogation techniques,” including “those used in U.S. military interrogation resistance training.”

The formal request would be issued October 11 by Gitmo commander Major General Michael Dunlavey. Going up the chain of command, the request was forwarded to General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on October 25.

And that’s when all hell broke loose.

Up until November 2002, the legal discussion surrounding torture appears to have been limited primarily to Bush appointees — much like the parallel discussion about intelligence was directed by Paul Wolfowitz from the Defense department, to the exclusion of conventional channels.

But the military could not be as easily constrained. While the Gitmo torture request was accompanied by legal justification from Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver, Gitmo’s staff judge advocate, she considered her opinion provisional, pending a broader legal review at more senior levels. That broader review was quick and strong: lawyers from all four branches of the military questioned the legality in a flurry of memos.

The military’s definitive judgment would normally come from Captain Jane Dalton, legal counsel to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and she duly directed her staff to “initiate a thorough legal and policy review” of the Gitmo request.

Which Richard Myers promptly blocked.

This was not merely unusual, not even extraordinary — it was unique: “Captain Dalton testified that this occasion marked the only time she had ever been told to stop analyzing a request that came to her for review.”

If you’re looking for a smoking gun — proof that torture was not just a difference of legal opinion, was in fact a plot to circumvent legal opinion — there it is. Richard Myers is a disgrace to his uniform.

Besides, the Gitmo lawyer’s provisional memo provided all the legal cover the criminal conspirators (for that is now what we’re addressing) felt they needed. Haynes, the Pentagon’s general counsel, sent a one-page memo to Donald Rumsfeld on November 27, 2002, recommending that all but three of the eighteen torture techniques in the Gitmo request be approved. Haynes cited the Gitmo lawyer in support, with no mention of the strong objections from senior military lawyers, but referencing discussions with Wolfowitz and Doug Feith.

Rumsfeld approved the Haynes memo on December 2, 2002. “I stand for 8-10 hours a day,” he added. “Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”

4. The Rumsfeld Memo Rejected

The Rumsfeld memo should have ended debate — or what passed for it — but involving the military in torture is not a trivial thing.

Ironically, Gitmo itself revolted. On December 30, 2002, two instructors from the Navy’s SERE school arrived to teach 24 interrogators how to administer “stress positions.” They provided a chart of “Biderman’s Principles,” based on “coercive methods used by the Chinese Communist dictatorship to elicit false confessions from U.S. POWs during the Korean War” — fully consistent with the purpose of SERE to help soldiers withstand torture, not conduct it.

Gitmo commander Major General Geoffrey Miller knew the difference, and three days after the “training” he told the SERE instructors that he didn’t want his interrogators using their methods.

Meanwhile, back at the Pentagon, a situation was unfolding straight out of The West Wing. Alberto Mora, the Navy’s general counsel, wasn’t taking Rumsfeld’s Yes for an answer. Mora repeatedly complained about it to Haynes, but received no response. Finally, on January 15, 2003, Mora drafted a legal memo stating his concerns that the Gitmo interrogation techniques “could rise to the level of torture.”

That got Haynes’s attention. In a phone call that day, Mora told Haynes he would sign the memo — making it official and putting it on the record — unless the techniques were suspended.

Rumsfeld rescinded his torture memo by the end of the day.

Why? If torture was declared legal by the Secretary of Defense, with justification from the Pentagon’s general counsel, what difference would a contrary opinion make? We know the answer, of course: torture was not legal, and pretending otherwise would not change the law. Evidence of a contrary opinion from a senior military lawyer would show that the issue was far from settled.

We’re talking about the Death Penalty, after all.

5. The Working Group and the Triumph of Evil

Rumsfeld was nothing if not stubborn. The day he rescinded his November torture memo, he created a “Working Group” to review — i.e., justify by other means — torture techniques.

It was a setup, of course. Haynes immediately called on John Yoo to dust off the Bybee torture memo and provide a fresh legal opinion repeating many of the same points. Yoo complied with a revised version dated March 14 — five days before the President Bush announced the Iraq invasion.

The Yoo memo provided better legal cover than the Gitmo lawyer’s provisional effort. The Working Group issued its report in April, relying on Yoo for justification, and ignoring attempts by “senior military and civilian lawyers” to have their objections noted. The report no longer mentioned SERE by name, but many of the torture techniques it recommended were straight out of the playbook.

Among the voices in opposition was again Alberto Mora, the Navy’s general counsel, who had stopped the original Rumsfeld memo in its tracks. Mora told Haynes the Working Group report was flawed and should be put in a drawer, “never [to] see the light of day again.” Mora thought it ended there — he never saw the final report, assumed it was abandoned, and only learned otherwise when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke.

But that wouldn’t emerge for two years. Instead, on April 16, 2003, satisfied that the legal bases were now covered, Rumsfeld again approved 24 specific “interrogation” techniques for use at Gitmo. The blanket approval did not cover everything in the Working Group report, but Rumsfeld invited interrogators to request permission for “additional interrogation techniques for a particular detainee” as needed.

Two weeks later, President Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in the ocean west of San Diego and declared “Mission Accomplished.”

6. Malice Aforethought

We’ve lived through Watergate, and Iran-Contra, yet neither comes close to the mendacity — to the attack on our values as a nation — of the events covered here and beyond, and by the most senior members of the Bush Administration. These are not policy differences. This is a highly orchestrated criminal conspiracy to subvert the laws of the United States of America.

And not just any laws. The Geneva Conventions are among the most sacred texts of our secular world, following the most brutal war of the last century. Their high-mindedness should not obscure their enduring practical value: They protect us. They protect our soldiers. They protect our moral standing in the world, which we otherwise work so hard to undermine. And our moral standing is what allows others, despite all evidence to the contrary, to cut us some slack.

Looking forward, nothing would serve our interests more than demonstrating we are indeed a nation of laws, and not men. Ignoring those laws will fool nobody but ourselves.

Ball’s in your court, Barry.

Official Defends Signing Interrogation Memos [NYT]

Dancing in the Dark: A Torture Timeline [Stinque]

32 comments:

9:49 am • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

I think the term you’re looking for in regarding Barry is Moral Turpitude.

9:58 am • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

Nice job, Nojo. Somehow I suspect that Alberto Mora hasn’t landed a cushy job as a federal appeals court judge or tenured professor like the architects of this criminal conspiracy. If my memory of the time serves, he was forced to retire. Here’s a good interview with him from 2006. Among other things, he says:

It was big trouble from the start. I mean this was authorizing what I thought was unlawful activity, an activity that, because of its very nature, would become scandalous. It was bound to create a severe public outcry and backlash were it ever known that in fact the United States was engaged in this practice.

I felt it would also have serious foreign policy consequences to us. I thought it would impair our ability to fight the war on terror successfully because our allies would not tolerate this kind of conduct.

11:44 am • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

[completely edited] Well done, Nojo. Creepy as hell, and makes me wonder who let all the dipshits into leadership positions.

12:05 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@IanJ: Ix-nay on the ypos-tay! (Also, I already e-mailed him about it.)

12:19 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

Oh, hell, the details are always so creepy and outrageous, but we knew. I have no doubt that Dubya made sure he had himself secretly visit some torture dungeon to watch it happening to someone. Probably slapped Saddam around personally, the fucking pyschopath (I mean W).

Not to TJ, but, whats up with this flu thing?

Are we all gonna die? Or, barring that, are we all gonna get sick? Or will there be a panic and runs on grocery stores and shortages and school closings, such that the panic over the flu is way worse than the flu?

Or, and this is the only part that scares me, since its a well known and established fact that the public disaster-preparedness and management people are just as, if not more so, worried about the panic about the epidemic, as about the epidemic, is the news being manipulated to reduce panic, while still telling people to take the pathetic, ineffectual, and futile steps to protect themselves, as if we can, on the basis that if people are at least doing something they think will help they will be less likely to freak out, and anyway, whats gonna happen is gonna happen, so might as well not scare people (kinda like doctors in the old days who would not tell patients that they had cancer)?

Nabisco, calling Dr. Nabisco, what up, dawg? (I watched American Idol and whenever I do I start talking that fake ghetto that Randy talks).

12:32 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

Nabisco, how does one go about getting to the head of the line for a job as corpse-gatherer? I can say “bring out yourr dead.”

12:41 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

TJ/ But somewhat related to the gov’t's abuse of power.

I’m home sick with a cold (hoping it’s not the swine flu), and I just finished watching a documentary called Waco: The Rules of Engagement.

So, I had always believed that the Branch Davidians shot themselves and set fire to the buildings (not necessarily in that order), but this movie convincingly asserts that the ATF and FBI slaughtered those people. The movie tap dances around the polygamy/child molesting issue, but it presents video, interviews, FLIR footage and congressional testimony that has me feeling angry and duped. My only criticism of the movie is that it didn’t include Janet Reno’s eventual apology and her taking full responsibility for the whole mess. And then, what does “take full responsibility” mean when no one is held accountable for this disaster?

I’m confused. Am I turning into a gun nut, into an anti-American, into a ::gasp:: Republican? Did I unwittingly watch some NRA propaganda?

I’m about to watch a movie about a little girl who paints — she has shows and sell her work and stuff. I’m hoping by the end I’ll find out one of her parents has been creating the paintings just like those parents who do their kids’ homework or write their college admission essays.

See you on the flip side.

1:19 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@JNOV:

Don’t recall the exact details (it’s been so long) but that documentary is about 90% B.S. The woman who filmed it was the Michelle Bachman of her day, and the Waco conspiracy crazies were the “9/11 truthers” of their day.

There is a lot to criticize the government for with regard to the Waco situation, especially the initial botched raid which was basically a publicity stunt gone awry. But the BATF did not set the fires intentionally or unintentionally. There are audio recordings of the Brach Davidian leaders pre-positioning gasoline containers to spark the blaze, as well as IR video showing that the blaze began in many locations at once. They were an apocalyptic cult let by a paedophillic madman who was ready to incinerate all his followers before surrendering to the FBI.

Law enforcement learned a lot from Waco, and one of the most valuable lessons was to avoid precipitous actions. Wait them out as long as you have to. Some time later, when law enforecement agencies were faced with a similar sutiation surrounding the Republic of Texas militia movement compound, they were fully prepared to wait as long as necessary for the residents to surrender. And it worked. No blood was shed.

1:23 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

Must we rely on Spanish judges to bring U.S. torturers to justice?

1:27 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009
1:35 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Prommie: No, prolly not, probably. (Para 2): Slightly, yes.

@JNOV: Just don’t read “The Stand”!

*clap, clap* Nojo, damn fine stuff.

@Prommie: During the Spanish flu pandemic, less than a century ago, they were literally going door to door to collect corpses for mass cremation. Oh, and people’s skin turned dark blue and/or black, crinkly to the touch, before they died. So, um, we’re still doing pretty well.

1:43 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Serolf Divad: Okay — thanks for that. My favorite documentaries keep you guessing the whole time and ask you to reach your own conclusions (e.g. Capturing the Friedmans). This one made no attempt to hide bias, which made me suspicious. Some of the audio is damning, like during the initial firefight with the ATF a Branch Davidian was pleading with the 911 operator to get in touch with the ATF and stop the shooting. But basically, it was very one-sided. The first thing they did was humanize Koresh and make him almost a sympathetic figure. They did a good job editing the senators’ questions to make the Dems look pretty bad. And their explanations for the accelerants in the compound was kind of flimsy: they were making Molotov cocktails to throw at the tanks, and when the tanks were tearing apart the compound, they ran over some gas drums or something. And then the tear gas ignited fireballs, and the whole place caught fire. The movie also shows some gruesome footage of the dead. ::shiver::

1:46 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Nabisco: I LOVE THAT BOOK! I read it when I was a kid, and I just loved it! Then my One True Love, Gary Sinise, played the protagonist in the tv move. And I’m already sure I’ve got the funky swine flu from some gov’t lab somewhere, so I’m good!

2:07 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

STINQUE DISTANT EARLY WARNING:

The whole Miss California deal is now officially a thing:

Carrie Prejean, the Miss USA contestant from California who famously declared her opposition to same sex marriage on the pageant stage, will star in a new $1.5 million ad campaign funded by the National Organization for Marriage.

Prejean was roasted by same-sex marriage advocates after she stood up for what she called “opposite marriage” (marriage between a man and a woman) when responding to a question from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton during the pageant. But she’s also become a fresh-faced standard-bearer for the same-sex marriage opponents, who have rallied to her defense.

The National Organziation for Marriage has scheduled a press conference with Prejean in Washington on Wednesday to unveil the new ad, called “No Offense.”

Bad move, NOM. If you want to have an ad entitled No Offense, you need to hire out the Detroit Lions. HEY-YO!

But also: this whole beauty-queen thing in politics has got to stop. Women of all shapes and sizes are most welcome to play, of course. But we gotta make participation in a pageant an automatic DQ. You betcha!

2:08 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Prommie:
Speaking of Yglesias, this is a nice video montage of 100 days of opposition to Obama.

2:20 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Nabisco: What with you being one of the most expert and inside peoples in the US of A on these topics, I have to tell you I am really glad you can offer some general info on how to look at the news and whats going on.

What I am taking away, at the end of the day, from what you’re saying is: 1. it looks like its not going to be deadly, mortality not greatly higher than the usual annual flu situation; 2. it probably won’t even be as widespread as the usual flu, as its coming in totally the wrong season for northern latitude flu epidemics; 3. but panic over it is an issue, and there will be enough cases to possibly create enough panic to close schools and businesses and cause regional shortages of various commodities; and 4. the powers are concerned with perhaps trying to inform the media that over-hyping it would be a Bad Thing.

Have I got a reasonable understanding of the Most Likely Scenario?

Sounds like its time to buy a case of wine.

2:41 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

Now I have “Night on Bald Mountain” running through my brains.

2:45 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009
2:48 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Prommie: I actually don’t know jack, but did have a hand in the pandemic response planning that folks are realizing might be useful and are dusting off to see whether they can take credit for use it. So far the mortality rates are quite low both here and abroad, except in ole Méjico, so that’s a good thing. The best case assumption right now is that we’re likely to end up with a lot of sick people, maybe even higher than normal, but mortality will remain low. As IanJ pointed out on FB, the annual flu kills 36k at a time here anyway; the Ford era swine flu did about the same.

What the health folks are really worried about is if/when the virus goes vacay for the summer, only to reappear in the fall tanned, fit and ready to rumble. John Barry (not the balladeer my folks listened to in the 60s) wrote a good op-ed piece about this in the NYT a few days ago. He also wrote the definitive book on the 1918 pandemic, which I recommend to all Stinquers.

As for the media, the public health folks actually think the frenzied press is a kind of a good thing because (a) it reminds people that we haven’t been wasting our time doing all this planning and (b) more cases turn up because more people go to a doctor. Everyone will be pissed if this wave peters out with little consequence, because then it’ll be like “Y2K yada yada”, but the fact that there is high visibility to the risks is an overall positive.

Fun fact: Wilson’s approach to the flu in 1918 was positively Bushian. First he refused to acknowledge it even as it ravaged our servicemen. Nope, nothing to see here, move along. Then he co-opted the emergency to also crack down on civil liberties and stifle dissent. You were treasonous if you didn’t go out with your face mask on and gatherings of more than two people were considered “mobs” and dealt with accordingly.

2:53 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

Thank you sir. Assuming they have a vaccine for it by fall, that will be in high demand.

On to a cheerful topic. I am sorry, despite his lack of aggression when it comes to war crimes prosecutions, I simply love my Hopey McUnicorn, look at what he said today about Fox News and the Teabaggers:

“When you see, you know, those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we’re going to stabilize social security. Claire (McCaskill) and I are working diligently to do basically a thorough audit of federal spending. But let’s not play games and pretend that the reason is because of the Recovery Act, because that’s just a fraction of the overall problem that we’ve got.”

I mean, thats just beautiful, a president who, well, calls a spade a spade.

2:56 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@nojo:

No dude, YOU win.

This is flat out journalism, bro. Keep it up…and I will blogwhore this around, trust me.

3:10 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Prommie:

If they don’t prosecute, then the next Republican in office will have the torture chambers up and running in no time flat. It’s mostly the same people behind the scenes who carried out the torture that are still in charge.

Also, the same legal rationale that makes it legal to torture foreigners can–and most certainly will–be applied to Americans. A government that kidnaps, disappears and tortures people without consequences can do anything to anyone at any time.

Not to be a drama queen, but those are the stakes.

3:11 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

Nojo, this is a WAY excellent post. Seeing it all summed up so well like this gives me Hope™ that something is gonna be done about it.

3:21 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Original Andrew: Didn’t they already do all that (well, except maybe the “disappear” part) to an American by the name of Jose Padilla?

And I assume there are others that have been disappeared, thus we wouldn’t know of them.

3:26 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Pedonator:

He was an Enemy Combatant And Possibly Ay-rab or At Least Messican, which makes torturing him legal so long as it’s done in good faith, according to the OLC.

3:35 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Original Andrew: The next democrat after Roosevelt didn’t reopen the internment camps.

3:46 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Prommie:

Look at the current leaders of the Retardican Party and tell me that they wouldn’t begin torturing people within two minutes of being sworn in.

Talibunny would have her own personal death squads roaming the streets, and then there’s Mitt “double Guantanamo” Romney, who’d act like he’s playing 24 like a deranged 12 year-old. Huckabee, Jindal, etc, etc.

3:52 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Original Andrew: I was just snarking. I’m in favor of prosecutions, limited, not going after little guys, but I am willing to wait and am not hating on Hopey merely because it hasn’t happened yet, is all.

The GOP had better be over as a viable party, because as you say, yes, noone sane belongs to it anymore, it has become the Nazi party. It is no longer capable nor inclined to abide by the laws of a constitutional democracy. I suspect that its hold on the South will eventually result in secession.

3:57 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Prommie:

Lo siento, I should’ve realized. Torture makes me crabby.

We’ve got to accept though that it is a two-party system, infuriating as it is, and the Repubs (or their successors) will be in control again eventually. It’s inevitable.

4:05 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Original Andrew: But on rare occasions a party has imploded, disintegrated. As it is now, the retardpigfucklicans really are not a “democratic” or “republican” party, they are an authoritarian theocracy party, they can no longer play a legitimate role in a constituitional democracy. Thats why they didn’t play a legitimate role when in charge under Bush, and its why they will be even worse if they gain control again. They regard any period during which they are not in control a crime against them which justifies even greater extremism, with the result that they are spiraling out of control into full-on fascism. Here is where yhou are wrong, prosecutions will not deter further criminal acts by republican administrations, no, it will only increase their sense of victimhood and anger and justification to commit more and worse crimes. Trust me, that is where they are at right now.

4:19 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@Prommie: Did you see this??

h/t – rprtrcub

4:27 pm • Wednesday • April 29, 2009

@SanFranLefty: I hadn’t, but I mostly agree, if they wanted to leave again, well, it would come down to how much they want to steal. Do we still have to pay their citizen’s Social Security? Do they get any military hardware? I would hardly think so. Its not like its marital property, which must be owned by one State or another, this property is owned by a seperate entity, the federal government, and if they want to leave, fine, but, ya know, what with being hard-working, pull yourself up by your boot straps kinds, they’ll do fine on their own, I would think.

The worst part would be the effect on their minorities; of course they will reinstate Jim Crow, abolish all welfare, and encourage all minorities and poors to emigrate to the US. Whoopee, saddle us with all their social failures. That would be a problem, what to do?

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