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Posted by Rick · May 11th, 2004 · 37 Comments

I was reading De Novo today when I ran across an interesting article that I thought might provoke our history buffs. That article, itself, was inspired by one from Professor Volokh of The Volokh Conspiracy and summarizes what Volokh asked this way:

The question is: Since 1960, which Cabinet-level officials or CIA directors have had massive failures that were regarded as such during their term in office?

And as I read the article, it came to a discussion of Abu Graib. My intent in the current blog article was to take issue with PG’s assessment that

In some ways, I would consider the calls for resignations over the Abu Ghraib scandal to be a sign of advancement in the United States. We are now able to recognize outrages as such, and to demand accountability from our leaders, instead of ignoring them as the natural consequences of war.

To me, this seemed a bit of an over-reaction. After all, how is it “a sign of advancement in the United States” to make scapegoats of high-level officials when someone at some very low level does something, however hideous, which embarrasses the United States? (There’s also the incorrect statement that we’re “able to recognize outrages as such,” but that’s a diversion we’ll have to take in another blog article.)

However, in the first sentence of the two I just quoted from PG, was a link to a story from the New Yorker titled “Torture at Abu Ghraib.”

The article is — to say the least — chilling. I would personally recommend that anyone interested in reacting to this blog entry consider reading the New Yorker article first. The article quotes from reports written by generals who were, at various times, sent to investigate the horrific, and apparently quite common, mistreatment of prisoners who were abused in ways that I didn’t hear about on CNN or Fox. (I should add that this does not mean they weren’t reported there. I did, in fact, know that these stations reported some of the things that happened — prisoner’s being forced to masturbate in front of other prisoner’s who were made to kneel and act as though they were ready to receive the results, though — I don’t recall these acts were described in the news stories.)

I think it’s important to recall as American viewers of the news reports that a) these atrocities were not done to, but rather by our fellow citizens and b) we saw (mercifully) “censored” images on the news. I’ve no doubt that the un-censored, fully-graphic and therefore much more horrifying images have circulated in the Middle East. Frankly, if I’d seen images like this of Iraqis perpetrating these acts upon Americans, I’d probably be more blunted in my criticism of the Bush Administration’s tactics; I’d be much more inclined to support strong action. (I use hedge words like “probably” and “more inclined” because our presence in Iraq right now is, after all, the result of having been tricked by our President into fighting a war we have no right to be fighting; causing us to be present within a country we have no reason occupying. And now that we’re there, we don’t know what to do; all we were after was oil, but we got a troubled country that we cannot fully conquer. That has to be taken into account.) And, from what I understand, the Iraqis are more sensitive to the types of things perpetrated here than would be a bunch of Wyoming hicks who left a small gay boy wrapped in a barbed-wire fence.

Still, that would not be a reason, in my estimation, to call for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld anymore than I think the heroic “I was only following orders” defense by the soldiers who perpetrated the crimes should be accepted. (To their credit, this story came to light because some lower-level soldiers were rightly horrified at what they saw as grossly immoral and illegal behavior. I think a “reasonable person” standard should result in convictions for the soldiers who were involved in these heinous acts; I don’t think any reasonable person would have felt what was done was acceptable — we wouldn’t think it reasonable for al Queda or any other enemy to do it to our soldiers; it should not be acceptable for us to do it to them. Of course, I’m not Republican Senator Inhofe, who contradicts the generals who did the investigation by saying these people were “murderers…terrorists…insurgents,” although General Taguba says differently — the Republican Senator, who is “outraged” that civilized people are outraged, and thinks that the prisoners should be grateful that they are prisoners of Americans.)

I can hear some of my regular readers gasping for breath as I write this paragraph. Let’s make no mistake: I’m not now and never have been any fan of Donald Rumsfield. I thought the guy should never have been hired. So why would I defend him now?

Well, first of all, I’m not. I said that what I wrote about above would not be a reason to call for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. If we fired everyone who was in charge every time some lower-level people did something wrong, most of our leaders would not last for more than five minutes. Well, okay, that might be a little hyperbolic. But some lower-level schmuck is screwing up something daily. Significant somethings are possibly happening less often than that, but still too often. Unless there is evidence that higher-ups were aware and did nothing, or were otherwise involved in some way, it would not make sense to me (nor would it seem fair) to ask them to step down everytime something bad happened. But even if Rumsfeld were unaware, I might think we’d be justified in asking him to resign if he should have been aware.

And that, I think, just might be the case, after reading The New Yorker story. The New Yorker notes that

A fifty-three-page report, obtained by The New Yorker, written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February.

This, however, appears to have been something of an “after the fact” report. Just as I said it would seem unfair to ask Rumsfeld to resign on the strength of something of which he was unaware, so it would seem unfair if he were asked to resign based on a report which only made him aware of the events after they occurred and after, one assumes (and hopes), they had been stopped. But,

The 372nd’s abuse of prisoners seemed almost routine — a fact of Army life that the soldiers felt no need to hide.

And they did not hide it.

[One of the soldiers] testified that he told his superiors what had happened, and assumed that “the issue was taken care of.” He said, “I just didn?t want to be part of anything that looked criminal.”

So “superiors” were aware of the problem, but just how high up were these superiors?

Myers, who was one of the military defense attorneys in the My Lai prosecutions of the nineteen-seventies, told me that his client’s defense will be that he was carrying out the orders of his superiors and, in particular, the directions of military intelligence. He said, “Do you really think a group of kids from rural Virginia decided to do this on their own? Decided that the best way to embarrass Arabs and make them talk was to have them walk around nude?”

In letters and e-mails to family members, Frederick repeatedly noted that the military-intelligence teams, which included C.I.A. officers and linguists and interrogation specialists from private defense contractors, were the dominant force inside Abu Ghraib….

Frederick’s defense is, of course, highly self-serving. But the complaints in his letters and e-mails home were reinforced by two internal Army reports — Taguba’s and one by the Army’s chief law-enforcement officer, Provost Marshal Donald Ryder, a major general.

The story goes on to point out that General Taguba recommended that numerous military-intelligence officers and civilian contractors be fired and have security clearances forever revoked.


Taguba?s report…amounts to an unsparing study of collective wrongdoing and the failure of Army leadership at the highest levels. The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which Army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated, and in which much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees. Interrogating prisoners and getting intelligence, including by intimidation and torture, was the priority….

Captain Robert Shuck, Frederick’s military attorney, closed his defense at the Article 32 hearing last month by saying that the Army was ?attempting to have these six soldiers atone for its sins.? Similarly, Gary Myers, Frederick?s civilian attorney…would argue at the court-martial that culpability in the case extended far beyond his client. ?I?m going to drag every involved intelligence officer and civilian contractor I can find into court,? he said. ?Do you really believe the Army relieved a general officer because of six soldiers? Not a chance.?

And Gene over at Just As I Thought quotes Cohen of The Washington Post:

[Rumsfeld] certainly should have known that a scandal was brewing in Iraqi prisons, and he should have bothered to read the Pentagon report detailing what went wrong. Instead, the Pentagon tried to delay CBS?s ?60 Minutes II? from showing pictures of prisoner abuse and then, in an amazing public relations offensive, sent the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Richard B. Myers, on three Sunday talk shows to announce ? a little bugle call here ? that he had not read the report either. It had been available since March.

Could all of this have happened without Rumsfeld having a clue about what was going on? It’s possible that it did. But as vast, far-reaching and routine as these activities appear to have been, that Rumsfeld was unaware is unconscionable.

And, to my mind, unbelievable.

Categories: The War President


37 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gene Cowan // May 11, 2004 at 8:58 pm

    Credit where it’s due — that last quote on what Rumsfeld should have known was from Richard Cohen’s column in the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5837-2004May5.html). I quoted it in my blog, but I didn’t write it myself.

  • 2 Rick // May 11, 2004 at 9:47 pm

    My apologies. I did notice that it was blockquoted on your site and I intended to point that out (which explains the original typo in my post — I was dinking with the wording and forgot to go back to it before inserting another paragraph earlier in the entry).

    Those reading this comment, though, won’t see that typo, because I’m going to fix it as soon as I post this! 😉

    The primary reason I quoted you quoting someone else, by the way, is so my readers wouldn’t have to subscribe to the Washington Post to see those words — and to refer them to your blog, which I liked.

  • 3 Nat // May 11, 2004 at 10:06 pm

    Oh puhleaaaazzze.

    Why don’t we take these nice terrorists and put
    them in The Four Seasons? Isn’t that the logical
    extension of all this? Yeah, let’s not try to
    get any information out of these mass
    murderering swine who would have NO compunction
    in lopping your dome off your shoulders. None.
    Yeah, we musn’t “mistreat” them so let’s give
    them 4 squares, Internet access and color TV
    while they plot how to incinerate New York.

    You people are going absolutely bonkers on this.
    And for what? It’s obvious that you have only
    one goal in mind and that is to attempt to smear
    the President.

    For you to people to take a stand, with the
    terrorists and therefore, ipso facto, against
    the United States is UNCONSCIONABLE. But, as we
    have seen too many times, no level is too low
    for a Liberal to stoop in their obsessive
    pursuit of political power.

    I hope the American people see through this
    subversion and punish the Democrats in the
    voting booths. This is the dirtiest, vilest
    political campaign I have ever seen in my
    lifetime. It is loathesome.

    Do you people no sense of loyalty to America? Do
    you have ANY sense of decency at all?

    For shame.

  • 4 Nat // May 11, 2004 at 10:16 pm

    You Liberals smugly preen and posture that “we don’t do that sort of thing” when talking about the alleged prisoner abuse. You just love to feel sooooo superior.

    Well let me tell you that I think that YOUR conduct in all this is un-American. Americans allow people to submit to a Justice system before their guilt or innocence is determined. But you people have already appointed yourselves prosecutor, Judge and Jury and you’ve given the accused no counsel or chance for a defense. THAT is un-American.

    I hope all the hate you people have in your hearts builds really bad karma for you in November.

  • 5 Rick // May 11, 2004 at 10:18 pm

    Why, Nat, am I not surprised that you posted the comment above in spite of my pointing out the following to you in the comments to the “Permissions and Punishments” post that Bob had put up?

    Most of the prisoners[]?by the fall there were several thousand, including women and teen-agers?were civilians, many of whom had been picked up in random military sweeps and at highway checkpoints. They fell into three loosely defined categories: common criminals; security detainees suspected of ?crimes against the coalition?; and a small number of suspected ?high-value? leaders of the insurgency against the coalition forces.

    So, as I told you before, reports The New Yorker.

    Not that this really matters. It’s difficult for me to imagine anyone (well, okay…maybe you) who would think this sort of treatment doesn’t say as much about our humanity as it does about anyone else’s, terrorist or not.

    Of course, it makes perfect sense for you to defend what happened while simultaneously asking if we have no sense of decency.

  • 6 Nat // May 11, 2004 at 10:38 pm

    This is futile.

    So says “The New Yorker”? A hard-left magazine that has some of the meanest, bitterest, anti-Bush editorials of any leading publication? Hedrik Herzberg, anyone?

    You are quoting another extreme leftist, Seymour Hersh, a man who made even the affable Bill O’Reilly uncomfortable when he appeared on his show with just a running screed of vicious, nasty comments with no let up. Hersh is a professional muckraker with a twist. During Democrat Administrations he goes into hibernation.

    Hersh had NOTHING to say during the investigation of Clinton’s provision of US nuclear technology to the Communist Red Chinese. He was remarkably incurious about the Wesley Clark shenanigans in Kosovo. The man is a supreme hypocrite. His outrage is reserved only for Republican Administrations.

    And therefore you have to discount him as lacking objectivity.

    I find it strange how you keep presenting arguments in the exact same manner that you protestingly accuse me of doing. I suppose, having wondered into in this viper’s nest, I should have expected it.

  • 7 Mark // May 11, 2004 at 11:25 pm

    Onward Christian Soldiers!

  • 8 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 12:34 am

    Just out of curiosity, Nat, have you ever written or said anything that put forth a logical argument and did not involve evading issues by attacking reputations, slinging mud or otherwise engaging in some kind of personal attack?

    It may be the case that some of the magazines and/or journals and/or newspapers and/or people you attack are what you’d consider “left.” (Maybe, for some of them, I’d even agree with you.)

    But, by implication, you seem to be saying that only those who are not what you consider “leftists” are able to tell the truth and/or are honorable and/or are saying anything at all worth considering.

    And that’s just not — if you’ll pardon the expression — right.

    How about trying to meet some issues head on, with some facts, rather than with a smear campaign.

    And, at the same time, let’s just suppose I go ahead — even though the news reports I read and saw on television (which isn’t leftist, by far) said differently — but let’s just go ahead and assume for the sake of argument that you are correct. Let’s say the prisoners were all terrorists. Let’s even say they’re the worst sort of terrorists.

    Even if we do that and then become outraged (as you and Republican Senator Inhofe indicate you are) over the fact that people are outraged at the inhumanity of the treatment these prisoners of war received is to endorse that inhumanity. It does not matter if these prisoners were the worst kind of terrorists. That does not justify stripping them naked, forcing them to masturbate and/or to simulate performing sex acts on one another.

    Frankly, to say otherwise seems to me to show a serious sadistic streak. (And if you think calling this sadistic is out of line, please explain: What, exactly, was the purpose of photographing them? To create mementos or trophies?)

    Saying this is acceptable also impliedly endorses the idea that might, and not morality, makes right. Once you’ve said that, then there’s nothing wrong with what the terrorists do to us, either. Being outraged that some of us are outraged over the the inhumane treatment of prisoners seems to say that the only thing that determines what’s okay is who is stronger.

    Personally, I’d rather adhere to a code that says morality, and not might, makes right.

    P.S. Since when did “muckraker” become a bad thing?

  • 9 abi // May 12, 2004 at 1:47 am

    Quoth Nat:

    Why don?t we take these nice terrorists and put them in The Four Seasons? Isn?t that the logical extension of all this? Yeah, let?s not try to get any information out of these mass murderering swine who would have NO compunction in lopping your dome off your shoulders.

    Also quoth Nat:

    Americans allow people to submit to a Justice system before their guilt or innocence is determined.

    I’ve looked and looked, but I haven’t seen any evidence of any form of trial for the detainees in Abu Ghraib. Wouldn’t that make them innocent unless and until their guilt is determined? Surely calling them “terrorists” and “mass murdering swine” and advocating their maltreatment is then, to use Nat’s own term,


  • 10 Nat // May 12, 2004 at 6:04 am

    “How about trying to meet some issues head on, with some facts, rather than with a smear campaign.”

    Touche, my good friend. You also need to examine your approach. For example, I don’t see any of you posing the totally legitimate question as tp whether we should determine if there is a point at which it is necessary to subject prisoners to a certain amount of discomfort in order to gain information that MIGHT JUST SAVE AMERICAN LIVES.

    Taking their clothes off and having them parade around naked strikes me as a minimal degree of discomfort. Far worse than this takes place, each year, in hazing ceremonies on college campusese throughout the world. Yet the feigned “outrage” of the left is reserved only for our last line of defense … the very people standing between us and an enemy that is determined to destroy us by fair means or foul.

    Do you think if any of those lovely prisoners had access to a nuclear weapon they would hesitate, for one moment, to detonate it in Manhattan? Yet, you Liberals are all too anxious that these people be acorded some sort of hospitality far beyond their status.

    The Liberals entire approach to this matter confirms my theory that Liberals would rather have a nuclearly devastated United States presided over by a Liberal Democrat than a healthy, happy, prosperous, secure and free nation presided over by a Republican.

  • 11 Mark // May 12, 2004 at 6:46 am

    John McCain should know something about torture of prisoners. McCain says research has shown time and time again that torture gets absoutely nothing of value from prisoners. Those who are tortured will lie and tell their captors whatever the captors want to hear.

    Cooked intelligence was used as the justification for this war-for-profit scheme in the first place.

    Getting bad intelligence by torturing prisoners will only place the men and women of our armed services in even greater danger.

    McCain, who is absolutely furious over what has happened at the hands of Americans in Iraqi prisons, has been quoted as saying that while he was tortured, he was never subjected to sexual humiliation. It seems that his captors at least had more class than the clowns we have in military intelligence and the independent contractors (VASTLY more expensive than military personnel) that they hire.

  • 12 Mark // May 12, 2004 at 7:01 am

    I have an acquaintance who worked in a prisoner of war camp the United States operated in Louisiana during World War II. German captives, including ones pulled from the famous incident in which we captured a German submarine that the Germans believed had sunk, were held there.

    This fellow related to me, some years ago, that one of the reasons Americans were treated relatively well in German P-O-W camps was that the Germans were aware of how their prisoners were being treated here.

    The man I worked for during undergraduate school had been a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II, and he had told me that he was treated relatively well — considering he was a prisoner (he later escaped, for what it’s worth).

    Do the stepford neo-cons really not believe that what our people have done in Iraq is not going to come back and bite us? Do they not think that Rumsfeld, who was warned by the Red Cross long ago that things were amiss in prisons run by Americans, is doing a “superb” job, as Shrub says?

    There was a time when I didn’t think educated people could be so gullible and blind. Now I’m beginning to wonder.

  • 13 Nat // May 12, 2004 at 7:08 am


    Your “concern” for these murdering swine is beyond ridiculous. They are very BAD people. They want to kill you. They want to dismember you, bomb you and eviscerate you. They HATE you. And yes, they wouldn’t hesitate, for a second, to torture you. Can you get that through your Liberal data screen?

    This isn’t some game. This is deadly serious. The actual existence of our country is a stake here. And all you want to do is bleat about the treatment of filthy, murderous vermin whose SOLE intent in their miserable, stinking, perverted minds is to visit mayhem and destruction on Americans?

    I’m shocked.

    As for McCain this is nothing more than payback for getting beat in the 2000 Republican primaries.

  • 14 Mark // May 12, 2004 at 7:28 am

    People wanted to kill invaders who occupied their country without provocation. How dare they? That’s about as immoral as it gets, in a neo-con’s book.

    It would be laughable if not for the fact that some, apparently, actually swallow this tripe. Well, I guess some swallow it, and others gobble it up like there’s no tomorrow.

  • 15 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 7:28 am

    Yes, Nat. You’ve nailed it. I would love nothing more than to live in “a nuclearly devastated United States.” Heck, I wouldn’t care who was President, so long as the city I live in could be nuked. Would I have to be dead, too? Because I’d really like to bathe in the radiation.

    There’s absolutely nothing absurd about a comment like that, is there? Your intelligence — the way you so quickly figured out that this was my earnest and sole goal — overwhelms me.

    Naturally, being dead — or, should I be so “lucky” as to survive — living in a wasteland…this is the goal of my life.

    I can only assume that — surprise! — you didn’t read my comment. Because surely you recognize that this is, again, a personal attack. There is no way to avoid the interpretation that you are calling me an insane idiot. Because I’m pretty certain that, like me, you don’t find living in “a nuclearly devastated” land to be the aspiration of sane and intelligent people.

    Someone who had actually read my comment might begin to wonder: “What do these fellow citizens of mine who I’ve been insulting and calling names see and think about things that differs from the way I see and think about things? How can I understand them? Is there a common ground? Can we live together in peace and treat one another with the respect envisioned by the Founders of the United States?” If, as seems to my insane and idiotic brain to be the case, you, Nat, believe that I’m wrong in my understanding, it seems to me that you might first try to understand my views and then try to convince me that your views were correct. You might pose actual arguments. We might not be able to agree in the end, but perhaps we’ll be able to reach a compromise agreement or understanding. And, if not, perhaps we can recognize that intelligent people don’t always agree and we can nevertheless treat one another with the respect due a fellow citizen in a free and open society.

    I can tell you this: Although you give me little reason to respect you, or your views, nevertheless, I don’t think that you are an insane idiot. I do believe you are incredibly rude. I do believe that you are unable to debate fairly. I do believe that your actions are demonstrative of the reason there’s such a schism in our country today. But I’m working on trying to develop and maintain some kind of respect for you, to understand you and to see if either there is some way I can help you see why what I think is right is right, or, perhaps, learn whether I should see some things differently myself. My gut feeling is that neither of us is 100% right. Have you entertained that as a possibility?

    Are you aware that, regardless of who is in office, the United States is, theoretically, a government of all the people? Did you know that the reason the system of government we have was put in place deliberately to prevent the majority from ignoring and “lording it over” the minority? It was built to ensure that the minority and the majority would be able to live civilly together in a society that would maintain the greatest levels of freedom for all — not just for the majority. (And, frankly, if I’m right about my beliefs, the majority will not remain free the way things are going — not necessarily because evil people don’t want us to be free, but because of our not thinking through what we’re doing with our laws. If true, this should concern you.)

    And given that “the minority” in this country today — as evidenced by the last election — is nearly the same size as “the majority,” it would seem to me that the true and patriotic Americans — such as you, no doubt, pride yourself on being — would attempt to work within the framework of that government to live as the Founders of the country hoped we could.

    Or — to put things to you exactly the way you talk to me and the others — do you hate the United States so much — do you hate our form of government so much — do you hate the ideals of the Founders so much — that you find this impossible?

    I hope not. But I honestly don’t know.

    What I do know is that I don’t think you’re an insane idiot who would rather live in a war-devastated country lead by a right-wing, ultra-conservative Republican than in a free and prosperous country of laws run by a liberal Democrat. So, unlike you, I don’t even have a theory analogous to yours.

    In my way of understanding the world, people don’t make decisions like that. “Hmmm…nuclearly devastated United States presided over by a Liberal Democrat…healthy, happy, prosperous, secure and free nation presided over by a Republican. Hmmm…well — hands down — the nuclearly devastated land is where I want to live.”

    Perhaps being forced to simulate sex acts with other men seems like minimal discomfort to you. I don’t know what kind of world you come from. For me it wouldn’t be so minimal. For Iraqis, I’m told, merely being naked in front of other men is not “minimal” discomfort.

    You might find this an interesting read, by the way: Convention between the United States of America and other powers, relating to prisoners of war. Signed at Geneva, July 27, 1929; ratification advised by the Senate, January 7, 1932; ratified by the President, January 16, 1932, ratification of the United States of America deposited with the Government of Switzerland, February 4, 1932; proclaimed, August 4, 1932.

    Let me know when you’re interested in a discussion that doesn’t include calling one another insane or implying that we are idiots or enemies, rather than co-citizens who disagree on issues.

  • 16 Bob // May 12, 2004 at 8:03 am

    Please consider before replying that “We the People” have historically considered ourselves a peaceful people. Isn’t that why we have a Department of Defence as opposed to the old “War Department”?

    We are, or once were, the strongest military power in the world and we just acted with little or no support from nations like us to invade another country. Have we transitioned to a “war” department?

    We’re Americans, we’re supposed to stand for SOMETHING. Degrading prisoners is NOT what we stand for. Doing end arounds the Constitution is NOT what we stand for. Invading sovereign nations alone is NOT what we stand for.

    Would Reagan have handled it this way? How about Eisenhower? I find it hard to believe that those presidents would attack alone. It would be more than an “American” cause and it would STAND for something.

    The ridiculous amount of energy spent here on insulting people’s values and intelligence does not address the basic issue…what are we? What do WE stand for?

    WE the people elected this government. Is this the government we intended when we voted? Honest question folks, not meant to bait imbeciles.

    “Protecting” democracy is noble, “protecting” democracy outside of the democratic process is illegal.

    “Protecting” democracy IN a democracy is difficult but has been done and can be done, especially when you consider the sacrifices we’re asking of our military on a daily basis.

    Don’t we owe it to them so they return to a government “by the people”?

    And I don’t care what our narcissistic troll thinks about anything, I address this to our intelligent and thoughtful readers. I suggest we boycott the troll. He needs your replies more than we need his insults.

  • 17 Bob // May 12, 2004 at 9:04 am

    Cut to a close-up of Jack Nicholson’s beady eyes, boring straight into the smirking simpleton that is Bush, and then scanning over the pro-Bush American voting public, so inured and sheltered and flag waving and sucking down SUVs like baby seals. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!

    And what is that truth now? What have these photos, these glorious wartime atrocities, accomplished? Why, nothing short of guaranteeing that the United States has never been so violently hated among Middle Eastern nations as it is right now.

    Nothing short of massacring any last vestige of remaining 9/11 sympathy. Nothing short of supplying a whole new generation of enraged terrorists with all the proof they need that their cause is entirely valid and just.

    And nothing short of proving, for the 10,000th time, that BushCo has dug us a grimy, violent, blood-soaked hole so deep we may never fully emerge

    THAT is why you don’t humiliate prisoners.

    Source: http://sfgate.com/columnists/morford/

    His article is titled “Genital Torture for Dummies”. Please read the whole thing before commenting. Even if you don’t agree you’ll have to admit this guy can write.

  • 18 abi // May 12, 2004 at 9:29 am

    I miss Nick.

  • 19 Nat // May 12, 2004 at 9:54 am


    To have any vestige of credibility you have to do for others what you ask others to do to you. You want questions answered, fine. Then you must also answer questions posed to you.

    I posed 10 questions on this board yesterday. NOT ONE answered. Nobody on your side wants to discuss the wretch that you dredged up for a nominee. No one wants to condemn the racism of Grand Wizard, Robert Byrd. No one wants to use the word “hypocrite” for Senator Kennedy whose “outrage” for the prisoner treatment is totally disproportionate relative to his outrageous conduct in connection with the death of Mary Joe Kopechne.

    If Kennedy had shown half the concern for Mary Joe as he does for these hardcore killers in Iraq, then Mary Joe would be alive today.

    Where are YOUR answers? Where is Mrs. Kerry’s tax return?

    As far as understanding your philosophy goes, I think I understand it pretty well as it is splashed all over this site. It is not your philosophy so much as the tactics that inflame me. The constant outpouring of criticism of our President, IN A TIME OF WAR, makes me absolutely furious. You people are consciously giving aid and comfort to the sworn enemies of this country. Republicans have never, in a time of war, acted like this. They even gave your precious Liberal idol, the rube from Arkansas, support with his intervention in the Balkans.

    Of course, when Clinton bombed Serbia into rubble and thousands of civilians were killed – there was not a peep from you and your Liberal pals.

    If ever there was a time when people needed to set aside their political agendas in order to present a united front to a fearsome enemy, this is it. Instead what do you Liberals do? You whine, you carp, you criticize. You heap opprobrium on the President’s head as if you Grand KKK Wizards, Chappquiddick Swimmers and Global Crossing exploiters were somehow morally superior.

    But I tell you what. I believe a backlash is building against Liberals and your party of hate. If you people continue to mouth your hatred in our faces much longer, I see a 45-5 landslide victory for George W. Bush in November.

  • 20 Mark // May 12, 2004 at 10:27 am

    I believe Nat, who refuses to answer questions, will not condemn Republican sex-a-holics, and obviously aadmits that he lies about Kerry (otherwise he’d try to get the $5,000 I offered for proof of the botox claim), may have a point.

    That building backlash against Liberals is probably why Shrub’s ratings are dropping like a stone, why more people than not in this country think the whole Iraq thing was a big and serious mistake.

    In the alternate universe of a neo-con, it must make perfect sense.

  • 21 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 11:18 am

    My apologies, Nat. I didn’t realize the questions posed to other people were actually directed at me.

    You see, I’ve stated on this blog (more than once, I think) that I didn’t vote for Kerry. I don’t particularly like Kerry. For me, this election, like too many others before it, will boil down to voting for “the lesser of two evils.” Additionally, most of your questions seem to be aimed at Democrats, but since I’m not a Democrat, I didn’t feel an answer was “required” of me.

    Additionally, this blog — and you might have recognized this, because even before you showed up here it’s been this way — has been discussing current events and issues of import to many of us today. The way much ancient history (about people and parties that I’m not even involved in) got into the discussion is that you “dredged” them up. They were never part of anything I said.

    I’ve responded to some of the comments you’ve made with facts and evidence. I’ve chosen not to respond to comments which are mere devices of ad hominem, character assassination, invective, changing the subject (although I’ve frequently tried to steer conversations back to the subject from which you keep steering us), name-calling, or insults. I’ve repeatedly requested you to do the same, all the while indicating that if you wish to continue with these devices, you may; I’ve never demanded civility, or any other particular kind of response, of you.

    You, on the other hand, a guest on my blog, have demanded that I answer questions which are of no interest to me, have nothing to do with this blog (having never been raised by anyone but you) and which, if they were answered, would have absolutely nothing to do with the issues some of us have been discussing.

    You do not — so far as I can see, never have — respond to anything anyone raises here which is consonant with the initial posts on the blog to which “comments” are conventionally interpreted as responding. Instead, you bring up issues involving people who did things before I was a conscious, thinking participant in our republic. You appear to think these things from years and years ago (one, at least, from more than 35 years ago) are more important than anything happening today. You berate me for the silence you say I exhibited in the days before blogs existed. One wonders how you concluded I was silent. For my part, I was unaware you even existed.

    This isn’t The History Blog. If your interest is in debating history — and some of us have deigned to do so with you periodically when it seemed to have some application or when we desired to do so — you might want to visit a history blog.

    If I’m mistaken and your historical points actually have some application to the issues being discussed here then, by all means, bring them up. Perhaps as an additional courtesy (or perhaps just in case we’re actually the dullards you seem to think we are) you might explain what the connection is. (Would you like me to explain to you what the meaning of “is” is?)

    But let’s take an example of why I have not chosen to stop discussing the issues I’ve raised and, instead, answer your history questions.

    Let us suppose that absolutely everything you said about Kennedy is true (I think that’s a safe bet; I’m not an expert, but from what I heard, I would think Kennedy should have been jailed for a very long time over the death of Kopechne). In what way does that change the situation regarding the issues I’ve been discussing? What impact does the senseless death of Kopechne who should not have been submerged in a car by an apparently self-interested politician have upon the senseless deaths of American soldiers who should not have been submerged in a sovereign country by an apparently self-interested politician?

    Let’s take another favorite item of yours. Let’s suppose that I find the semen-stained dress and give it to you (since you so seem so set upon this). How does that alter the fact that blood-stained uniforms are much more painful to American families than that dress could ever be? At least Monica chose to have her dress stained. I do not believe any of our sons and daughters — and certainly not their parents, brothers and sisters — chose death. And if they were willing to die (which is not the same as “choosing” to die), it was because they believed a President who some people say either lied to them or made a colossal mistake.

    Finally, let me make sure I understand something of what you’re saying: You would like the opposition to shut up. It’s imperative, after all, to present a united front against the enemy.

    Are you saying that we should be endeavouring today to restore and fashion a single outlook? A single will in the nation? Perhaps the press (and blog writers) should pursue no other end than this: our reporting, our information, our counsels, and our conscious influence — all of these are of real service only if they cooperate in the effort to attain to the goal set before us. After all, never must criticism be an end in itself. We who free criticism from the moral duty of placing it in the service of a general, recognized and pursued life task are treading the path which leads to Nihilism and Anarchy. Is that what you’re saying? I mean, it’s completely out of the question that under the cover of criticism support should be given to activities which one can only characterize as treason to the interests of a people’s own life. Right?

    Am I finally understanding you?

  • 22 Nat // May 12, 2004 at 12:02 pm


    I, and my fellow Conservatives, become enraged when we see people of the moral stripe of Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd grandstanding and fulminating in front of the TV cameras, when OUR KNOWLEDGE of history shows that these people have either committed crimes against humanity or belonged to organizations that advocated racial division. It is the rank hypocrisy of what we see that offends us.

    You’re a lawyer, or at least, a budding lawyer so let me pose this to you. I’ve often heard lawyers speak of the “but for” argument. Regarding the topic of Iraq in which you continuously engage in the unproductive act of second-guessing our involvement (we’re there so let’s deal with that reality), let me ask you the “but for” question. But for our involvement in Iraq, would we be safer as a nation with Saddam Hussein still in power?

    As you know, Saddam’s game was to have hidden, but quickly re-constitutable nuclear and chemical facilities. Knowing that bin Laden, and who knows who else, is out there shopping for WMD, would the United States be better or worse off if Hussein had not been toppled? Of course, you’re soooo compassionate about these poor little prisoner people – what would be the status of those in Iraqi jails if Hussein was still in charge? Where was your caring for them then? Is your memory that short that you don’t remember that Hussein had people put into a human shredder with a just a wave of his hand?

    Just remember this, good buddy. When Achmed, Abdul and Ali come for you, because Liberals have enabled them and appeased them and Kerry has opened up our borders to them, and they burst into your home, because you’re a Jew and you know how they feel about that; just remember to explain to them how you “understand” them and how you fiercely criticized all those bad Republicans who tried to take them down and then just see how that resonates with Achmed, Abdul and Ali.

    This isn’t an issue where the choice is Democrat or Republican although Liberals are trying to make it into that. This is a choice between life and death. Our freedoms versus their 7th Century ideology. WE ARE AT WAR and THEY are the ones who have declared war on us. We either defend ourselves and overwhelm the enemy or we lie down and let them have their way. That’s the stark choice we face. And if one of these murdering swine is forced to stand there without his jammies on, believe me, I DON’T CARE. They asked for this.

    The people of this country need to stand behind the leadership. Foreign policy begins at the water’s edge. The time for old Senate fools to be grandstanding in front of the TV cameras is over. We’re in a fight for our lives and I’m putting all my money on the only hope we have for survival, as a nation, and that is a second term for George W. Bush.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express myself on your weblog. This is an opportunity that would not exist if those murderous swine that Kennedy and Byrd et al want to protect from a little draft, were to have their way.

  • 23 abi // May 12, 2004 at 12:15 pm

    Quoth Nat:

    The constant outpouring of criticism of our President, IN A TIME OF WAR, makes me absolutely furious.

    Oh, did Congress declare war? When, and on whom? I must have missed this one. Please post a link, because Google seems to have missed it as well. (What? The President declared war? Well, he can say what he likes, of course, but I seem to recall that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution reserves the declaration of war to Congress. Anything else is just rhetoric.)

    Absent a legal state of war, it is my duty – all of our duties – as citizens to question and consider the decisions our elected representatives make. Although they have achieved high office, they are still fallible, and it is our job to help them correct their inevitable errors.

    I’m sorry if that makes you angry, Nat, but it’s my job as a citizen. The only societies where citizens are not allowed to question the government are dictatorships. So embrace that questioning attitude – it is our only true defense against tyranny.

    One way, if you are bound and determined to get the nation to speak with a single voice, would be to approach national debates in a spirit of compromise and fraternity, acting as though those who criticise your side of the issue (which is different than criticising you, by the way) are your fellow Americans, and due the same respect you give the people who agree with you. That way both sides can come to a mutually agreed approach, and speak as one. Such things cannot be imposed in a free society.

    I know you feel that no such courtesy is being extended to you. So here’s a golden opportunity for you to take the moral high ground. If you won’t respect your opponents for their common humanity, or because as a Christian you are called to love your neighbor as yourself, can you find it in yourself as a patriot to respect them for the good of the nation?

  • 24 Mark // May 12, 2004 at 12:19 pm


    I’m prone to agree with the United States Army War College, which says the stupid Iraq mess was a huge mistake because it drained the resources needed to fight our real enemy — Al Qaeda.

    Iraq had NO weapons of mass destruction since the early 1990s (we know they had them before that, because we gave them to them), they had NO connection with Al Qaeda, and posed NO threat to the United States.

    Invading Afghanistan? Maybe that made sense. Colorable arguments could also be made for invading Saudia Arabia (where democracy is a way of life, right?) and Pakistan, two states from which Al Qaeda gained much of their strength and support.

    Invading Iraq? The Army War College says it was a huge mistake. I agree.

    Yes, Nat, we are LESS safe today than we would have been had we not invaded Iraq. We could have used those resources to go after Al Qaeda and their friends (Iraq was not among these).

    But could Shrub’s military contractor buddies have made as much money from no-bid government contracts going after Al Qaeda? Not as easily. So the decision for Shrub’s handlers was clear. Profits above the safety of Americans at home and abroad. That’s neo-con patriotism for you!

  • 25 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 1:01 pm

    Nat said,

    I, and my fellow Conservatives, become enraged when we see people of the moral stripe of Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd grandstanding and fulminating in front of the TV cameras, when OUR KNOWLEDGE of history shows that these people have either committed crimes against humanity or belonged to organizations that advocated racial division. It is the rank hypocrisy of what we see that offends us.

    Nat, I’m not going to disagree with you. I don’t have to disagree. You’ll possibly consider me sarcastic, but I can assure you that I haven’t driven my car off any bridges into rivers, either with, or without, passengers. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with whatever you allude to regarding Byrd, so I can’t comment on that specifically. I can say that I don’t know Robert Byrd, sir, and [yet] I know that I’m no[t] Robert Byrd.

    The point is that whatever these guys have done does not impugn my views or my arguments. Even if — speaking purely from the point of view of logic — it were appropriate to argue that their reputations negated their arguments, their reputations do not negate my arguments.

    But, of course, reputations only rarely impact logically-built arguments and (to my knowledge) almost never those that are based upon syllogism, deduction and fact — even those based on induction, to my knowledge, are safe from character-based defects. Reputations would only be a factor to the extent that one could show that the reputations raised a reasonable suspicion that someone was playing fast and loose with the facts. Yet even in that scenario, the proper disputation is not “Well, when so-and-so says this is the way things are, you can’t believe him, because he’s a pinko!” (Or insert some other personal attack/character assassination, etc. of your own choosing.) A proper disputation is “Well, when so-and-so says this is the way things are, you can’t believe him because we found the bodies!” (Or insert some other piece of evidence here.)

    You’ll note that I have never had a problem agreeing with you on points with which I agree. (You, on the other hand, are apparently always right — no pun intended.) You’ll note that sometimes I even go ahead and assume that you are correct — even if I don’t know it for a fact. Yet I remain unconvinced of what I believe your main conclusions to be so far:

  • The President is doing a fantastic job for our country.
  • This is a necessary, perhaps even noble, war (Abi’s correct observations regarding terminology notwithstanding).
  • Liberals are always and forever idiots.
  • Liberals do not care about destroying our country, so long as they get to have other Liberals (your use of capitalization honored) running things.
  • Silence (of those with opposing views) is golden.
  • Insults and name-calling utterly destroy any arguments against which they are used, regardless of the presence or absence of facts or evidence (one way or the other).
  • And, of course, you’re very good about insisting that your historical questions are answered. But you never answer anyone else’s.

    In trying to understand you, I laid out what I thought you were saying about opponents to the President and/or the war. I asked if I understood you correctly.

    You did not answer.

    As to the “but for” test you wished to apply… The question you posed seemed somehow meant to indicate that “but for” our invasion of a sovereign nation that had not attacked us, which did not appear to have the ability to attack us, which is thought not to have been on friendly terms with al Queda at the time we attacked it and which we only invaded after telling the rest of the world we didn’t give a damn if they wanted to join us or not, we wanted to do it, we would be less safe today.

    When Clinton shot missiles at Osama bin Laden and was accused of “wagging the dog” for doing it, he missed his target. When Bush attacked the terrorists who brought us 9/11, he missed the entire country. Until he did this, everyone believed (because Bush’s Administration told them so) that al Queda was in Afghanistan. We were very well aware that Iraq was not involved in 9/11.

    So I submit that “but for” Bush having taken us to war with the wrong country, we might actually be safer today. Even assuming Iraq itself was capable of and involved in terrorist attacks upon the United States — and there’s been no evidence of that — when you’re fighting a bear for your life beneath a tree, you don’t attack the nest of killer bees on the branch over your head.

    Now, of course, it’s entirely possible that Bush is a greater mastermind than anyone has realized. Perhaps he recognized that what we’re seeing today would happen: Attack some independent pseudo-Muslim leader and his country, and al Queda will come swarming to you. By attacking a sovereign nation which had not attacked us, Bush was able to get what he wanted and draw al Queda into a country where they were reportedly unwelcome before so that we could fight them.

    Oil and terrorists. What more could we ask?

    Except, maybe, that you, who are so demanding that I answer history questions about people and parties in which I have no interest or connection, might answer the one I posed in my last comment to you.

  • 26 Nat // May 12, 2004 at 1:59 pm


    I’ve been going to the same Church for 22 years. The 2 successive priests at this church have been good men but not overwhelming intellectuals or particularly entertaining homilists. However, I remained convinced that if I stayed with it, one day I’d be rewarded. And I was. A few years ago a lay person joined the Church and, during Sunday School, he began to open scriptural passages and bring text to life for us that we had covered a 100 times before and never understood. It was well worth the wait.

    I KNEW if I kept visiting here that I would ultimately receive some sort of reward and, in fact, this happened with your paragraph on reputation. You did a nice job. It’s well written and the thoughts are fresh and original. I shall use it in my work and gain corpocrat debating points with it. So thanks for that.

    Regarding your speculation as to President Bush’s motives for the Iraq invastion you may have, unknowingly, stumbled into the truth. You see, I think that all the noise and the blather is obscuring what is actually intended here.

    If you take the global view from 60,000ft, you would have to ask yourself the question why is the Middle East in turmoil and what can we do about it? We could easily have gone into Iraq, deposed Hussein, installed a dictator of our choice and on our payroll and left town. That’s been our MO in the past.

    But that doesn’t solve the long term problem. The long term problem is that you have a bunch of autocracies in the Middle East who exist by virtue of the fact that they can use Israel as a convenient whipping boy. As each generation grows up give them somebody, other than yourself, to hate and this distracts their attention from your own hegemonic control and the lack of democratic freedoms in your own little sandpile.

    Until we face that problem, Arab terrorism is never going to be solved. But what if an actual working democracy was installed in an Middle East country? What then? What if it worked and the people of surrounding countries saw that? And began to demand the same rights, freedoms and prosperity for themselves? It’s really a breathtaking idea.

    This is what Bush is trying to accomplish. To break the cycle of Mid East violence we have to find a way to replace these despotic regimes. And if one falls to freedom, the others are more likely to follow.

    The problem is you people keep thinking you’re smarter than Bush. The reality is he’s 10 steps ahead of you.

  • 27 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 2:11 pm

    I don’t believe George Bush has stated that this is his line of reasoning.

    If it is, we have a bigger problem than the one we’ve been fighting over.

    The President of the United States doesn’t have the authority — either legal or moral — to deceive the American people, Congress and the rest of the world in order to invade sovereign countries on a pretext because he believes (whether via private conversations with G-d or because he came to this conclusion himself) that the best way to achieve our goal is to overthrow their governments.

    I completely agree with the United States supporting Israel, even to the point of helping defend them if they are attacked. That support does not extend to pre-emptive strikes against other countries.

    It’s not our place to tell other countries what form of government they are allowed to implement, particularly when most of their people are asking us not to.

    The world is not our oyster. And we’re too big and clumsy to be the sand that helps it to create a pearl in the Middle East.

    I’m glad to see your interest in winning “corpocrat debating points” — whatever those are.

    Me, personally, I’m interested in making my world a better place to live for me and your children.

    Oh, that and seeing if you were ever going to answer that question…

  • 28 Nat // May 12, 2004 at 5:35 pm

    I’m tired of this canard that Bush “deceived” the nation.

    That is a LIE! A contemptible lie.

    I’d like to remind you that the invasion of Iraq was authorized by a United Nations resolution and by a vote in the Congress of The United States. You people keep trying to say that Bush acted unilaterally and that is false.

    Furthermore, the British, the Australians and other allies agreed with us to the point where they sent military assistance and troops. I know you people are trying to characterize the invasion differently but maybe, just once, you could defer to the actual facts.

    The invasion was authorized based on actionable intelligence. I believe the expression Tenet used was “slam dunk” regarding the WMD. You people try to twist that into an allegation that we are in Iraq for the sole purpose of boosting Haliburton’s profits.

    Bush acted very reasonably on the premise that he would rather deal with the threat on their soil than on ours. What is unreasonable is that you people constantly impugn him and impute less than honorable motives for the action.

    I guess we should have never liberated Europe, huh? By your twisted logic, those people were much better off under Hitler. I guess the Panamanians should have been happy to keep Noriega, huh? Likewise the nice people in Grenada SURELY preferred a Castro-like government according to your very peculiar rationalizations. Oh, and your precious idol Clinton should never have disturbed that nice tyrant, Milosevic.

    We are in Iraq for the same reasons we went to Europe, Japan, Panama, Grenada and Serbia. For the same reason we toppled the apartheid regime in South Africa. Freedom. And to remove the encumbrances to freedom. I know you people who view the world through your lense of Bush-hate don’t care for ethereal concepts such as democracy, but people in Europe, Japan, Grenada, Panama, South Africa and Serbia seem to have taken to it pretty well.

    And your question was ………….?

  • 29 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 6:17 pm

    I don’t remember ever saying Bush acted unilaterally. Can you include my quotes next time when I do something silly like that?

    My recollection — which, surprise!, we’re able to check by just looking at my comment higher up on this very page! — was that I said that if what you said was true, he deceived the American public, Congress and the rest of the world.

    You said Bush acted unilaterally. Not me.

  • 30 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 7:37 pm

    Incidentally, the question is still where it was when I asked it.

  • 31 nat // May 12, 2004 at 7:58 pm

    “Incidentally, the question is still where it was when I asked it.”

    Oh, now it’s Mr. Enigma.

    You have a question … please re-state it or provide a link to its original location.

    Thank you.

  • 32 Nat // May 12, 2004 at 8:08 pm

    Tremendously interesting interview on the Dennis Miller Show on CNBC tonight. Respected author Michael Barrone was interviewed by Dennis’s and he outlined a consistent theme running through Bush’s entire legislative program and that was ….



    ta da!

    You people with all your scorn and your supercilious, snippy attitudes are not even stopping, for one minute, to give Bush the credit he deserves.

    YOU people need to be “accountable” for your arrogance and false accusations.

  • 33 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 8:09 pm

    It was in the post you claimed to like so much earlier today.

    Hmmm…I just realized, it was near the end of the post; maybe you didn’t read it. In fact, I just realized that I mentioned it at the end of the next comment I made after that, as well.

    So…you’re only reading the beginnings of my posts?

    Cut-and-paste from above (so you don’t have to try to read my entire post for the first time):

    Finally, let me make sure I understand something of what you?re saying: You would like the opposition to shut up. It?s imperative, after all, to present a united front against the enemy.

    Are you saying that we should be endeavouring today to restore and fashion a single outlook? A single will in the nation? Perhaps the press (and blog writers) should pursue no other end than this: our reporting, our information, our counsels, and our conscious influence ? all of these are of real service only if they cooperate in the effort to attain to the goal set before us. After all, never must criticism be an end in itself. We who free criticism from the moral duty of placing it in the service of a general, recognized and pursued life task are treading the path which leads to Nihilism and Anarchy. Is that what you?re saying? I mean, it?s completely out of the question that under the cover of criticism support should be given to activities which one can only characterize as treason to the interests of a people?s own life. Right?

    Am I finally understanding you?

    There ya go!

    P.S. All you have to do to hold me accountable is show me where one of my accusations against Bush has been false.

  • 34 Nat // May 12, 2004 at 9:38 pm

    Nick Berg was murdered by Al-Zarqawi – a bin Laden lieutenant financially subsidized by Iran.

    Oh but, you people claim there was NO connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Queda. Sometimes I wonder about your level of intelligence. You can’t even put 2 and 2 together.

    Regarding your question the answer is: Yes. And I’ve suspected, for sometime, that you are a closet anarchist. This confirms it.

    It’s been an American tradition for almost 200 years that our disagreements ended at the water’s edge. It’s a disgrace that Daschle, Kennedy et al have abrogated a tradition that dates back to The War of 1812.

    For shame.

  • 35 Rick // May 12, 2004 at 10:46 pm

    So you’re saying that I did correctly characterize your view when I said,

    You would like the opposition to shut up. It?s imperative, after all, to present a united front against the enemy.
    Are you saying that we should be endeavouring today to restore and fashion a single outlook? A single will in the nation? Perhaps the press (and blog writers) should pursue no other end than this: our reporting, our information, our counsels, and our conscious influence ? all of these are of real service only if they cooperate in the effort to attain to the goal set before us. After all, never must criticism be an end in itself. We who free criticism from the moral duty of placing it in the service of a general, recognized and pursued life task are treading the path which leads to Nihilism and Anarchy. Is that what you?re saying? I mean, it?s completely out of the question that under the cover of criticism support should be given to activities which one can only characterize as treason to the interests of a people?s own life.

    (I’m asking again because you threw me by the bit about “closet anarchist.”)

  • 36 Mark // May 13, 2004 at 7:05 am

    Yes, Nat. We remember how all of the Republicans wre solidly behind Clinton’s successful efforts in the Balkans, and his attempts to kill Osama bin Laden (something Shrub hasn’t even thought to try to do), right?


    Read your history. Read the words of the person you worship so, Shrub. Read the words of Republicans who served under Shrub who were so disgusted by the lies that led us into this war that they had to speak out (O’Neill, Wilson, even Powell is starting to speak).

    Have you noticed, Nat, that the only person in Shrub’s administration who has actually been to war (Shrub likes to tell people he’s “been to war,” but all he did was get a dental exam in Alabama) — the only person in that group who has been to war, Powell, was against this travesty from the start?

    Republicans like John McCain who have been in combat are outraged and disgusted by what we have been doing to Iraqi prisoners. While drug-addicted draft dodgers who have legions of brain-dead lemmings who listen to the radio say that things like murder and rape are nothing more than a fraternity prank.

    If putting our soldiers in harm’s way based on a pack of lies, if calling murder and rape nothing more than fraternity pranks — if these things are examples of Republican morals — I would like to know where Republicans GET their morals, so that I could caution those I care for to stay away!

  • 37 Mark // May 13, 2004 at 8:07 am


    Your comment about Iraq not cooperating with the U.N. is another of the lies that neo-cons push, and I’m sure you know it’s a lie.

    Remember Hans Blix? He’s the U.N. inspector who spent a ton of time in Iraq looking for this massive stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that Shrub assured us he “KNEW” were there. Blix couldn’t find them.

    David Kay, a member of Shrub’s administration, said that Blix must be blind. The weapons HAD to be there, Kay said. So Kay went over after the invasion and spent a TON of U.S. taxpayer money and had at least 400 soldiers assigned to him. The searched high and low. Guess what? Kay said, “Gee, there were no weapons after all! We looked everywhere, we can’t find them!”

    Barf bags should come as a standard accessory with every visit to a neo-con web site. The hypocricy, duplicity, and brazen mendacity should be enough to make any decent person toss their lunch.

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