Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, September 22, 2006

Coddling Terrorists

Ever since 9/11, neocons and rightwing nutcases have been trying to make an end run around the Constitution and the Geneva Convention. They’re absolutely certain that every terrorist suspect was caught red-handed trying to kill American citizens. These guilty bastards don’t deserve a lawyer or a fair trial.

Well read this Assholes.

A Canadian citizen (originally from Syria) was arrested in New York in September of 2002 as he was changing planes. He was questioned for 12 days, and then rendered to Syria where he was tortured for ten months. Authorities have now concluded that this 36-year-old computer consultant from Ottawa didn’t commit any crime and wasn’t a security threat.

THIS is why we have a Constitution, the Geneva Convention and access to a lawyer (and family members) for people who are accused of crimes.


Originally Posted at Bring It On!


Blogger Donald Douglas said...

"We" don't have the Geneva Conventions. It's an agreement under international law and is not binding on the U.S. Moreover, what "right wing nut cases" have been trying to make "end runs" around the Constitution? Can't be anyone from the Bush administration, since the Supreme Court has checked executive attempts to circumvent due process for the Guantanamo prisoners in the Hamdan case.

Burkean Reflections

September 22, 2006 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger SuedeCaramel said...


September 23, 2006 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Come on, Donald, you know that Bush, Cheney and Torquemada Gonzales have snubbed their noses at everything from the Constitution to the Geneva Convention ever since January 2001. Bush has acted like a king ever since he got elected in 2000 with the most razor-thin margin in our history. Thank God for our checks and balances -- what's left of them.

Suedecaramel: Thanks for agreeing. So you're from Brunswick, ME. My brother went to college there (I think that's where Bowdoin is).

September 23, 2006 at 1:59 AM  
Blogger SuedeCaramel said...

Hmm...agreed with Tom, not Donald...shoulda checked where my "agreed" was going.

September 23, 2006 at 2:33 AM  
Blogger SuedeCaramel said...

Argh, I keep not paying attention to the comments.

Yes, that's where Bowdoin is, and it's an excellent school. Beautiful place. Woulda gone there myself, but I was too busy getting crappy grades in high school and blaming it on the establishment.

September 23, 2006 at 2:35 AM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

yea, I've been reading about this guy for the last week or so.

donald, you're a fucking idiot.
just like Yoo in that article, trying to make excuses for the U.S. to act like and condone barbaric treatment of prisoners.

you know fucking well what the Bush administration has been trying to do.
at this point, what they are really trying to do, however is find a way to keep Bush and possibly others out of jail.

people like you who want to make excuses for this kind of behavior and act like we don't have to be bound to the Geneva Conventions make me fucking sick.

September 23, 2006 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

tom, they don't understand. and no amount of logic and recounting of facts will change that.

i don't know if it's because they're cowards or intellectually dishonest or just stone-dumb, but we're wasting our time on people who want to disavow geneva and can't cite any of the bush administration assaults on the constitution.

tom, after five years of this convenient blindness or willful anti-american behavior from these people, there's little chance of an epiphany on their part.

if (and i think it's a big "if") this country gets back on track, it'll be despite and over top of these people, not with their good-faith and fair-minded collaboration.

we're talking about people who want to debate how much torture is too much, tom. that's not a debate i'm willing to have with anyone whose ethics and morals are in such a state of decay.

people who want to attack american targets are dangerous. americans who want to gut what it means to be an american are far more dangerous.

fuck 'em.

September 23, 2006 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Any treaty the U.S. signs, the U.S. is bound by.

The reason Supreme Court justices are appointed for life is illustrated by recent events.

September 23, 2006 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SuedeCaramel: I visited Bowdoin/Brunswick a long time ago. Maine’s a really beautiful place (I’m from the East Coast originally).

Mike: Yeah, this story was really shocking because it puts a human face on things that we already knew were happening. Multiply this by thousands and this is what our government has been doing. It’s sick.

Spaceneedl: I’m afraid you’re right. People who are still cheerleading for Bush are probably not gonna change their minds at this point. If somebody wants to keep shredding the Constitution and Geneva Convention, that person is living in the wrong country. There are plenty of police states these people could move to; we don’t want one here. Like you say, it’s pretty bad when they start going into detail about exactly what constitutes torture. I think Gonzales even said that if a person is beaten to the point of organ failure, that qualifies as torture; but anything less painful is not torture. What a shithead. If he was the one being beaten, he’d have a different definition of torture.

Elizabeth: Yup, thank God Supreme Court justices aren’t running for re-election every four years. Any justice who defies Bush would be Swiftboated and replaced by Lou Sheldon or Fred Phelps.

September 23, 2006 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Mike V: Boy, you must be tough with all those four letter epithets -- which obviously are replacing some more multi-syllable words that your mind is unable to conjure. This country is still under the rule of law, for one reason, because the administration LOST on the key interrogation case before the Court. In any case, John Yoo's one of the only commentators these days making any sense. Even John McCain, bless him for his sacrifices to our nation, is wrong on the terror issue here -- it's a no brainer, a state does what it can to defeat its enemies. Raison d'etat (which is French for national interest, to give you a hand there) gives plenty of justification for American actions, and as noted in my earlier comment, international law is not binding on the U.S., and is in fact a creation of the members states of the global community, who then CHOOSE to abide by it. President Bush is not the first president to put the nation's interests above the multilateral, appeasing hoards of the U.N. and other affilated bodies. Bring on the analysis, when you're ready, but leave gutter mouth language back home.

Burkean Reflections

September 23, 2006 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Perhaps good old donald needs to read the constitution.

We are a signatory of the Geneva Conventions. In our CONSTITUTION it says that all treaties entered by the United States become the "supreme law of the land." Need clarification on what that means?

Oops! Looks like we prove you retarded. Again.

September 23, 2006 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger BaxterWatch said...

the problem with the current authority is that they think its better to abuse innocents in order to find the mad men.

Very unChristian like too - Jesus taught better to allow one hundred guilty to go free than to allow one innocent to be imprisioned. When we don't follow that, we become no better than a police state where everyone is suspect and no one is safe.

Frankly, I sit the fence on this one because bad guys aren't going to talk if they aren't pushed a bit. But I end up here:
If you're going to [illegally] torture someone, you better make DAMN sure they were guilty of SOMETHING before you start.

September 23, 2006 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

I don’t know whether it’s technically illegal or not for us to flout the Geneva Convention, but it’s a huge mistake. We can’t afford to keep alienating the rest of the world. Bush’s actions are just asking for more terrorist attacks. Our Chinese and Japanese creditors could tighten the noose. The results won’t be pretty if we keep acting like Rambo and pretending we own the world.

And just for the sake of decency, it’s insane for our government to stoop to the kind of tactics that we’ve always associated with Third World dictators. If we’re better than them, we need to act that way.

September 23, 2006 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Come on Tom, you have making making continual assaults on the President and all you have managed to do is feed the lefties that already agree with whatever you post. You bag on the President and his administration with little or no proof of what you claim they have been doing. Non-citizens have zero protection under our US Constitution and The Geneva Conventions do not cover Enenmy Combatants that were not wearing uniforms of a government and that do not distinguish themselves from the local population.

September 23, 2006 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Brad: You've proved once again that you don't know what in the heck you're talking about! Article VI of the Constitution holds the Supremacy Clause, which requires that national law shall be supreme over conflicting state law. There is no consitutional requirement for the U.S. to abide by international agreements -- we can enter into them if we want, but we don't have to hold ourselves to them should we later decide. We pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) a couple of years back, because it no longer served our interests (see my earlier comments on national interests). Your weak grasp of these nuances is evident (you can't twist the facts to fit your warped thinking), but I'll leave it at that. I've tried to elucidate you previously -- on your old blog -- in your mistaken views on fascism. All to no avail. Name-calling -- of which you're fond of, evident from those earlier attempts to enlighten you -- is one more indicator that there's no deeper analytical ability up there in "Brad's Brain."

Tom: You have a point about decency, but when decency gets our people killed, it's time to not worry about international social norms, and take care of our own. Maybe the Democrats will do a better job of it, as they say. I'm skeptical, though, considering their opposition to most of the law enforcement measures, many now leaked or outlawed, that have proven effective in fighting the terrorist scourge.

Burkean Reflections

September 23, 2006 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Uh, Jon, did you even click on the link in this post? It was about a Canadian citizen of Syrian descent who was rendered to Syria for ten months of torture. They tried to torture him into admitting he had trained in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden. It turned out he'd never even been to Afghanistan. And his torturers finally concluded that he had nothing to do with any terror connections. He was just a computer consultant with an Arabic name.

He wasn't an "enemy combatant." And that's why we need fair trials for people who are accused of terrorist activity -- sometimes they turn out to be innocent.

September 23, 2006 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

"...when decency gets our people killed, it's time to not worry about international social norms..."

well, we have our answer: in this case, it's cowardice. we run from being a nation of laws when our safety is threatened.

never mind the legions of americans who fought and died over generations to preserve the way we do things, instead of cowering behind whoever would promise to protect them.

never mind that the bush administration has made the world a much more dangerous place, yet can't be bothered to secure the borders or our ports.

george bush doesn't give a damn about putting this country's interests first. all he's interested in is consolidating power and giving americans an enemy to be afraid of.

it's a strategy that has worked all too well on the easily manipulated and the cowards in our midst.

September 23, 2006 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Dr. Blogstein said...

Yes, I want terrorists tied up in the legal system, lawyering up and not talking while there's a ticking bomb out there.

You're a nice guy, Tom, but I'm glad that you're not in charge of our security.

September 23, 2006 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dr. Blogstein: Well, I'm glad you think I'm nice, but still...

Yes, it can be a pain when suspects have legal protections. But what was accomplished when Maher Arar (the person in the linked article) was rendered to Syria and tortured? Did that make us safer? When we're in danger it's tempting to speed things up by throwing away legal procedures, but then where do you draw the line? If there's a serial killer on the loose and they catch a suspect, should they just beat a confession out of him and quickly execute him? Where would you draw the line?

September 23, 2006 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Does the GOP know Jesus? A good many of them claim to. But is the Jesus so many of them claim to know... the same Jesus who said "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?

While I am not a Christian, I know that much of what Jesus talked about was love. Sometimes it was a tough kind of love, yes, but I really, really doubt Jesus would have ever condoned torture, killing or bombing. I have read the New Testament multiple times, and in it I have never found support for such activities.

If it wasn't for the Christian fundamentalist voting bloc, I have to doubt the GOP would have as much power as it does today, or that Bush would even be in office. What I do doubt is the sincerity of GOP leaders who want Bible-based law for the U.S., who would like to replace the Constitution with the Bible, and who have turned the Republican party into the nation's first religious political party. When they look at their religion as a tool for attaining their personal power goals, I find it to be nothing short of shameful, and it mystifies me that more devoted Christians aren't ashamed of this radical element within American Christianity, and that they don't attempt to control it. In the same way, I would love to see the Islamic world do something more to control its radical element, which is much more out of control than our Christian fundamentalist movement.

But torture? Killing? I just don't understand it, and I don't buy into that line of thinking. What would Jesus do? It's something I think lots of the more religious Republicans should seriously ask themselves when it comes to our country's foreign policy, and possibly even to our country's death penalty.

Thanks for the link, Tom. That was quite the article! If more conservatives were willing to read things such as that and think about what it really means, they might soften their stance a bit. New Paradigm, indeed...

September 23, 2006 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

I'm sure glad there are people like Jon and Donald out there that want to trash everything that our country stands for.

Ah, then there's Dr. Blogstein, with the ticking bomb strawman.
What a crock of shit.

Read what Powell wrote the other day.
There's more than a few reasons why reasoned men who have actually had experience in these matters feel the way that they do.

Like I said, the legal rangling all comes down now to try and keep little Georgie out of the clink and/or war crime charges come post White House.

Paul Craig Roberts (former Treasury Dept under Reagan) puts it well this week:


September 23, 2006 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Jolly Roger said...

You're mistaken about them thinking that everyone they pick up is a "turrist."

Jesusistan Dominionists see all Muslims as less than human, and they don't give a damn what happens to them once they're picked up, innocent or guilty.

People like Donald Douglas.

September 24, 2006 at 1:56 AM  
Blogger Dr. Blogstein said...

Tom, let me clarify becaue I don't think we're far off. What happened to Maher Arar is unexcusable and everyone involved in that mistake should be tried for attempted murder. This is a serious business and mistakes like that not only make our intellegence community lose a lot of credibility but it makes them lose alot of valuable time. Plus I hope Maher Arar get a huge settlement but no matter what the monetary figure is it wont be close to enough.

However, I do believe torture is necessary in EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES, for instance, in a ticking time bomb scenario.

Recently, according to published reports written by Pakistani journalist Hamd Mir (the only man to interview bin Laden after 9-11) there have been a number of illegals trying to sneak into the US with potassium iodine tablets on their person. (potassium iodine, by the way, is to protect from radiation caused by a nuclear accident or nuclear attack) I sure hope that our gov't is doing whatever the hell it takes to find out why they're crossing into the US with protection from nuclear radiation. And I would imagine everyone in this thread feels the same way.

September 24, 2006 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger fc said...

Amnesty Intl USA has a petition to send to our federal lawmakers asking them to stop the 'compromise torture' bill. You can visit their site or see the top post on my blog...

- fc ( fatcat politics )

September 24, 2006 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

True, "we" don't have the Geneva Conventions. But we did sign 'em. Man, I am not buying a used car from that first commentor.

September 24, 2006 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Yeah, I think more Christians need to ask themselves WWJD. Lou Sheldon, of all people, was one of the loudest and shrillest of the voices calling for all-torture-all-the-time. I don’t know what Bible he’s been reading.

I know there are millions of Christians who are appalled at the neocon agenda, but for some reason they aren’t well organized. They need to make themselves heard if they don’t want “rightwing mouthbreather” and “Christian” to be synonymous in the public consciousness.

Mike: Yup, Colin Powell makes more sense than any of Bush’s neocons. Like you say, he’s had actual combat experience, unlike the gung ho armchair warriors. And yes, the Republican leaders are frantic to keep Bush and Cheney out of jail. If the Democrats capture the House in November, all kinds of investigations will be held and lots of dirty linen will be aired. The Republicans can’t allow this to happen.

Jolly Roger: I’m afraid you’re right; a lot of our War on Tur is just motivated by Christian fanatics who hate competing religions. If you listen to the crazed rhetoric of Pat Robertson and one of those wacked-out Mullahs, their speeches are almost interchangeable. Substitute God for Allah and you almost can’t tell who’s doing the preaching.

Dr. Blogstein: OK, there are probably some rare cases (like the ones you’re describing) where most people would agree with whatever extreme measures are necessary. Unfortunately a lot of people look at all of the Gitmo and Abu Ghraib prisoners through that Ticking Time Bomb lens, just as an excuse to torture ‘em all and throw the key away. I think you’re right that we’re not that far apart, even if we disagree on exactly where to draw the line.

FC: I’ll check that out. I’ve probably signed it already, but I’ll check. I’m on so many e-mail lists, it’s hard to keep track of what I’ve already clicked on.

I.M. Dedd: LOL. Aw, come on, go ahead and buy that used car. You’ll just need lots of insurance.

September 24, 2006 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger yellowdog granny said...

dear goddess, please ...smite them, bip them...kick their asses..thank you ydg

September 27, 2006 at 8:06 PM  

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