If you can’t view the MP4 video above, click below:
The US intelligence community’s spokespeople are trying to get out in front of the release of a highly critical report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs (read: torture), but former CIA director Michael Hayden is not really helping with patronizing, sexist comments like this.
“That sense that the motivation for the report may show deep emotional feeling on the part of (Sen. Dianne Feinstein), but I don’t think it leads you to an objective report,” Hayden said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Pushed by Fox host Chris Wallace, Hayden said: “You’re asking me about a report that I have no idea of its content. No one responsible for that report has spoken a word… so it’s very hard for me to make a judgment.”
It’s amazing how conservatives’ loud reverence for the US Constitution goes right out the window when they get a hankering to torture somebody. From South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham today on Twitter:
If captured, I hope Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes.
The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to “remain silent.”
This guy is no random Twitter troll — he’s an elected official, seriously suggesting that a US citizen should be stripped of his constitutional rights. Unreal.
For all that right wing Constitutionism, they seem to have very little faith in it when the rubber hits the road.
It’s all a bit of a blur, isn’t it? That little-remembered century—1600 to 1700—that began with the founding (and foundering) of the first permanent English settlement in America, the one called Jamestown, whose endemic perils portended failure for the dream of a New World. The century that saw all the disease-ridden, barely civilized successors to Jamestown slaughtering and getting slaughtered by the Original Inhabitants, hanging on by their fingernails to some fetid coastal swampland until Pocahontas saved Thanksgiving. No, that’s not right, is it? I said it was a blur.
Enter Bernard Bailyn, the greatest historian of early America alive today. Now over 90 and ensconced at Harvard for more than six decades, Bailyn has recently published another one of his epoch-making grand narrative syntheses, The Barbarous Years, casting a light on the darkness, filling in the blank canvas with what he’s gleaned from what seems like every last scrap of crumbling diary page, every surviving chattel slave receipt and ship’s passenger manifest of the living and dead, every fearful sermon about the Antichrist that survived in the blackened embers of the burned-out churches.
Bailyn has not painted a pretty picture. Little wonder he calls it The Barbarous Years and spares us no details of the terror, desperation, degradation and widespread torture—do you really know what being “flayed alive” means? (The skin is torn from the face and head and the prisoner is disemboweled while still alive.) And yet somehow amid the merciless massacres were elements that gave birth to the rudiments of civilization—or in Bailyn’s evocative phrase, the fragile “integument of civility”—that would evolve 100 years later into a virtual Renaissance culture, a bustling string of self-governing, self-sufficient, defiantly expansionist colonies alive with an increasingly sophisticated and literate political and intellectual culture that would coalesce into the rationale for the birth of American independence. All the while shaping, and sometimes misshaping, the American character. It’s a grand drama in which the glimmers of enlightenment barely survive the savagery, what Yeats called “the blood-dimmed tide,” the brutal establishment of slavery, the race wars with the original inhabitants that Bailyn is not afraid to call “genocidal,” the full, horrifying details of which have virtually been erased.
The Dumbest Man on the Internet resorts to a flat out lie today, and is rewarded with a headline link at Drudge Report: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information From Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden (Video) | the Gateway Pundit.
Yes, waterboarding worked.
Today on Meet the Press Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta admitted that information gleaned from waterboarded detainees was used to track down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and kill him.
“The real story was that in order to put the puzzle of intelligence together that led us to Bin Laden, there were a lot of pieces out there that were a part of that puzzle. Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used. But the fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that.”
Jim Hoft is such an amazing dimwit that he actually includes the quote that exposes his own brazen lies.
First, Panetta did not even use the word “waterboarding,” and he certainly did not say that information from waterboarding “led to bin Laden.” Hoft simply made that up out of nothing. Panetta specifically said that most of the intelligence that led to bin Laden was put together without using torture.
Second, Panetta’s very next sentence, directly following the section that Hoft clipped for his misleading video, was:
I think we could have gotten bin Laden without that.
This is an absolutely blatant, in your face example of how the right wing blogs tell each other lies, circulate them, and turn them into unquestionable articles of faith. It’s a microcosm of the reality-denying reactionary sickness at the heart of the conservative movement.
Here’s the clip from NBC of Panetta’s actual statement, including the critical sentence that Hoft edited out.
Reuters reports today that a nearly three-year long investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee has found little or no evidence that “enhanced interrogation” techniques yielded any valuable intelligence, or led to counter-terrorism breakthroughs.
People familiar with the inquiry said committee investigators, who have been poring over records from the administration of President George W. Bush, believe they do not substantiate claims by some Bush supporters that the harsh interrogations led to counter-terrorism coups.
The backers of such techniques, which include “water-boarding,” sleep deprivation and other practices critics call torture, maintain they have led to the disruption of major terror plots and the capture of al Qaeda leaders.
One official said investigators found “no evidence” such enhanced interrogations played “any significant role” in the years-long intelligence operations which led to the discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden last May by U.S. Navy SEALs.
Unfortunately, it’s no longer shocking to hear Republican presidential candidates enthusiastically endorse the use of torture to gain information from terror suspects. At Saturday’s debate, the audience erupted in applause each time a candidate promised to waterboard the hell out of Al Qaeda.
After that spectacle, Sen. John McCain was moved to tweet:
Very disappointed by statements at SC GOP debate supporting waterboarding. Waterboarding is torture.
President Obama also criticized this rush to embrace torture:
Obama also criticised the Republicans candidates on Monday.
“They’re wrong. Waterboarding is torture. It’s contrary to America’s traditions. It’s contrary to our ideals,” the president said.
“If we want to lead around the world, part of our leadership is setting a good example. Anybody who has actually read about and understands the practice of waterboarding would say that that is torture. That’s not something we do.”
Despite the scintillating personalities of the candidates and the compelling logic of their forward-thinking, innovative policy ideas, I find myself with a puzzling lack of enthusiasm for another performance of the 2012 Republican Clown Car.
Yet, there it is, and here we are.
Streaming video is here.
A 20-month old infant with a terminal disease died this week, after his parents sued the Canadian government to allow them to perform a tracheotomy to keep him alive: ‘Baby Joseph’ Dies at Home After Long Treatment Battle.
The “pro-life” movement seized on this case, because they believe God wanted this poor baby to suffer as long as possible, even though there was absolutely no hope. The child had Leigh Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes increasing degradation of the nervous system; there is no cure, and the only prognosis is a very short life of misery and suffering.
Which they made even worse by forcing the child to undergo a tracheotomy.
What kind of heartlessly selfish fanatic could possibly inflict such torture on a helpless child?
Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schiavo and co-director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network that helps disabled people like Terri and Joseph receive appropriate medical care, also commented to LifeNews on Baby Jospeh’s passing. Like Pavone, the Schindler family was instrumental in helping Joseph’s parents obtain the tracheotomy to allow him to breathe easier. Schindler traveled to London, Ontario on two occasions to join the family of Baby Joseph.
“It was a privilege and an inspiration for me to meet the Maraachli family and see their dedication to care for and love their precious boy, regardless of his disability,” said Schindler. “All the parents wanted was to bring their baby home. By their example, they showed the world what it means to love unconditionally. May we all learn from their example.”
Brother Paul O’Donnell was active in helping Joseph and his family and he told lifenews.com previously about his experience.
“I was privileged to be one of the first American supporters of Baby Joseph and the Maraachli family. We assembled a team of pro-life and anti-euthanasia leaders and mounted a grass roots campaign to have Baby Joseph transferred to a hospital in the U.S,” O’Donnell recalled. “Baby Joseph remains a sick little boy and his time on earth may indeed be short. However, when he eventually dies, it will be God who decides when and not the courts and doctors. Now this little one will have precious time with his family, surrounded by love.”
It’s amazing to watch one potential Republican presidential candidate after another melting down in public. Yesterday it was Rick Santorum’s turn: Santorum: John McCain wrong on torture.
Rick Santorum said Tuesday that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, “doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works.”
Speaking on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Santorum, the presidential hopeful and former Pennsylvania senator, says McCain is misguided in his stance against the enhanced interrogation techniques sanctioned during the Bush administration but discontinued by Obama’s White House, which has labeled them torture.
“Everything I’ve read shows that we would not have gotten this information as to who this man was if it had not been gotten information from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation,” Santorum said, referring to the courier that led Americans to Osama bin Laden. “And so this idea that we didn’t ask that question while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being waterboarded, he doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative.”
Today Santorum tried to backpedal, but didn’t retract his enthusiastic endorsement of torture: Santorum says he meant ‘nothing ill’ toward McCain.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said he meant “nothing ill” toward Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) after suggesting that the Arizona Republican “doesn’t understand” enhanced interrogation.
Santorum wouldn’t back off his assertion that McCain was wrong for opposing the use of enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against suspected terrorists.
But Santorum, a likely Republican presidential candidate, said he didn’t mean to disparage McCain, who endured torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.