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Friday Talking Points [330] -- How Bad Laws Get Made

[ Posted Friday, December 12th, 2014 – 17:29 PST ]

Before we begin, a quick program note is necessary. This column will go on hiatus for the next two weeks, as we bring you instead our traditional year-end "best of/worst of" columns. So join us back here in the new year, after the holidays, when Friday Talking Points resumes on the second of January.

There were two big things going on in the political world this week: the release of the Senate torture report, and the cromnibus bill which kept the government open. For the most part, we're going to cover the torture report at the end, in a very unusual talking points section.

Which leaves us with the subject of how bad laws get made. How do bad laws get made? Quickly, for the most part.

No, that's not a joke. The worst laws nearly all have one thing in common: they are rushed through very quickly, usually because Congress is facing some self-imposed deadline (which is being generous, because what that last bit really should read is: "because Congress wants to scarper off to enjoy yet another multi-week vacation."

This week is no different. Congress wants to leave for the rest of the year. Unfortunately for them, they have something like an entire year's worth of business to take care of, that they've been studiously avoiding, all year long. So in one week, a political debate that should have been spread out over months was squeezed in.

What this means -- what it almost always means -- is that some very bad laws will be enacted under the guise of the must-pass budget bill. There are a whole lot of stinky riders on this cromnibus, to put it in more urban terms. Many of these bad ideas won't fully see the light of day for awhile. This is by design. Remember when Republicans got so upset because a Democratic bill was "too long" and they weren't given enough time to read it to figure out everything that was in it? Well, they seem to have gotten over such whiny behavior, because that's exactly what the House did this week. They produced a monster bill, with many unrelated gifts in it for people with effective lobbyists. They hustled it through because they knew that Democrats wouldn't likely shut the government down over each little odious addition to the main bill. They were right, too.

Of course, Democrats aren't a whole lot better. Harry Reid could have passed all the regular budget bills in the Senate -- or, at the very least, put them up for a vote and forced Republicans to filibuster them. He had all year to do so, and he didn't. He didn't because he didn't want any "contentious votes" in an election year. This is nothing short of political cowardice. If Democrats truly do believe they are acting in good faith for the people of America, then they should be proud to toss their markers on the table before an election, to show the differences between the parties' priorities. They did not do so, and Harry Reid hasn't done so for many years. So there's plenty of blame to go around.

The stinkiest of the cromnibus riders -- the two issues some Democrats did actually mount a defense against -- are a big giveaway to Wall Street, and a provision that essentially guts one of the few remaining limits on campaign contributions. These were the high-profile items, but there are plenty of other bad ideas which will now become law contained within the monster bill. Cutting funding for women, infants, and children, for instance. We'll all be learning about the full breadth of the bad new laws in the coming days and weeks, no doubt. The answer to the future question: "How the heck did that become law?" will be: "It snuck on the cromnibus."

One particular rider worth mentioning is a blatant effort to overturn the will of the voters. D.C. voters, in particular, who just voted to the tune of 7-in-10 in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. That's a pretty hefty margin of support, wouldn't you say? But Republicans -- even those who normally rant and rave about "states' rights" -- decided that the federal government needed to step in and ban this new law from taking effect.

There is a new debate, however, about whether the cromnibus rider will actually do so or not -- a debate which will likely swiftly move into federal court. It all hinges on the word "enact."

D.C.'s marijuana legalization measure was specifically designed to be separate from city funding. This is the reason why it didn't deal with legalizing sales, just possession. The city government was willing and able to fill in the legal cracks afterwards, by passing some commonsense rules and regulations. Congress -- specifically, one angry Maryland House Republican -- is moving to preclude the city government from doing so. But they're using the power of the purse strings to do it -- by banning any funds for implementing the new law. This may not mean that the law won't be implemented, however, since it costs nothing to legalize possession of marijuana. What it will mean is that the city won't be able to do so in any sort of intelligent fashion.

Congress is simultaneously stomping all over the will of the D.C. voters, while also instructing the D.E.A. not to interfere with other states' new marijuana laws. The disconnect is mind-boggling. I asked Tom Angell, the chairman of Marijuana Majority, to comment on all of this. His reaction to the states' rights rider:

Congressional leaders seem to have finally gotten the message that a supermajority of Americans wants states to be able to implement sensible marijuana reforms without federal interference. This legislation greatly reduces the chances that costly and senseless D.E.A. raids will come between seriously ill patients and the doctor-recommended medicine they need for relief. Now that Congress has created political space by taking this important legislative step, there are no remaining excuses for the Obama administration not to exercise its executive power to reschedule marijuana immediately. The attorney general can begin that process today with the stroke of a pen.

Angell was not so positive about the D.C. rider, though:

While it remains to be seen whether the technicalities of this language ultimately prevent marijuana legalization from coming into effect in the District, the effort by some Republicans to overturn the law puts them at odds with not only an overwhelming majority of D.C. voters but with most voters across the country, including their own constituents. Several national polls have shown that even among people who oppose legalization there is still a strong consensus that the federal government should not stand in the way of local marijuana reforms.

While it appears Congress is ready to give states more leeway to implement medical marijuana laws without federal interference, it's not yet ready to give D.C. full autonomy when it comes to legalization. While some of this may have to do with the distinction between medical marijuana (in the case of the amendment concerning states) versus outright legalization (as in D.C.), I think that much of it stems from a general lack of respect for D.C. that Congress has long displayed. The "states' rights" mantra often espoused by Republicans in particular has usually not been extended to the District, as evidenced by past intrusive riders concerning not just marijuana but also issues like abortion and gun control.

Independent of Congress, the Justice Department made their own marijuana news this week, issuing a memo which will allow Native American tribes to decide on their own how to legally treat marijuana. This will doubtlessly lead to some reservations legalizing marijuana on their own, even in states where it is not legal yet. This new federal policy could certainly shake things up in the next few years, and not many people have realized the full implications yet.

But that's a subject for another week. For now, let's get back to the two main issues from the past week.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Both Senator Elizabeth Warren and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earned an Honorable Mention this week, for fighting the good fight against the Wall Street giveaway. While early in the week it appeared that Democrats were going to go down without a fight, Warren took the lead in trying to strip out the worst of the Republican riders on the cromnibus. The provision Republicans added in would allow Wall Street to use taxpayer-guaranteed funds to gamble on things like default credit swaps. In case you've forgotten, this is what almost crushed the American economy a few years back, when things got wildly out of control. The Dodd-Frank legislation reined it in, by forcing the banks to use their own money (and take all of their own risk) to gamble on such things. Now they'll be able to fail spectacularly once again, and have the taxpayers bail them out for bad bets. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that idea?

Warren whipped up what has been called "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," and mounted an effort to stop such a stupid thing from becoming law. Nancy Pelosi also joined in and provided leadership, but Warren is fast emerging as the strongest Democratic voice for Progressive issues on Capitol Hill. While the effort ultimately failed, it did serve a very important purpose: educating the American public about what was going on in the back rooms of Congress. This issue certainly wasn't being covered by the mainstream media before Warren spoke out, but by the end of the week it was in the spotlight in a big way. That is no small accomplishment, in and of itself.

But the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week belongs to Senator Dianne Feinstein. She not only held a years-long investigation of what the C.I.A. had done in all our names, but she pushed very strongly to release a 600-page summary of the report to the American public. She will be losing her committee chairmanship in January, so this was the last chance she had to get the report out there. She had to overcome Republican resistance as well as a White House that wanted to black out so much of the report as to make it meaningless.

What Feinstein accomplished will likely become her namesake in the very near future. Much like the "Church Committee" (named for its chairman Frank Church), we will likely all start referring to the "Feinstein Torture Report" from now on. Dianne Feinstein is no raging liberal (ask any real raging liberal, they'll tell you), and regularly disappoints lefties on many national security issues. But this was her week to shine, and the Feinstein Torture Report has certainly earned her this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

Well done, Madam Chairwoman, well done. The American people deserved to know what had been done in their name. We would not have, without this report.

[Congratulate Senator Dianne Feinstein on her Senate contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren were on one side of the fight to stop a big giveaway to Wall Street this week. But the odd thing is who they were butting heads with, because it was not so much John Boehner or Mitch McConnell as it was President Barack Obama.

Obama normally disdains getting involved with the workings of Congress, to the point where even Democrats regularly complain of his aloofness in legislative matters. This time around, however, Obama used a full-court press. He was personally calling up House Democrats to beg them to vote for the Republican-written cromnibus bill, complete with the Wall Street bonanza. This completely undermined the efforts of Warren and Pelosi to get it removed from the final bill.

The entire process had many Democrats scratching their heads. This is the bill that Obama finally called them up about? This is where he chose to draw his line in the sand? After ignoring many other contentious bills he could have fought for, now he's getting involved, to help John Boehner save face?

Democrats focused on one issue, and they fought hard against it. If they had just a few more votes, they likely could have forced Republicans to drop it from the bill. The more media attention a "Wall Street giveaway" got, the weaker the Republican position became (since the public certainly wasn't clamoring for such a measure). They might have backed off in embarrassment, if the White House didn't twist so many arms in the House.

But that's not how it all played out. Now, this isn't a split in the Democratic Party as large as the divide with the Blue Dogs was, in times past. But it does show an emerging Progressive wing of the party with a few strong voices speaking up for Main Street over Wall Street. Unfortunately, one of those voices is not Barack Obama's. Instead, for fighting against Main Street this week, Obama is unquestionably our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[Contact President Barack Obama via the official White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 330 (12/12/14)

This is going to be the most unusual talking points section in a long while, because each and every one of these came from the mouth of Senator John McCain -- who is not exactly a notable Democrat.

McCain gave an extraordinary Senate floor speech this week, laying out his support for the Feinstein committee report and swatting down all objections -- to both releasing the report and its contents.

McCain's experience with torture is unique, to say the least. He was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He was tortured by his captors. It's hard to argue that McCain doesn't know what he's talking about on torture, because he is the one man in Washington who really does know the subject far better than anyone else, from his own personal experience.

So, this week, all Democrats need to do is to preface any of these talking points with: "I'd like to quote Senator John McCain, just to see if you agree with this prominent Republican on the issue," or something similar. McCain made the strongest case possible, so there's really no need to re-invent the wheel this week -- quoting McCain is all that is necessary for Democrats to make the anti-torture argument.

His entire speech is well worth reading. These are merely the strongest excerpts. Without further ado, allow me to turn this week's Democratic talking points over to none other than John McCain.

 

1
   We are entitled to the truth

The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.

 

2
   Yes, it is torture

I have long believed some of these practices amounted to torture, as a reasonable person would define it, especially, but not only the practice of waterboarding, which is a mock execution and an exquisite form of torture. Its use was shameful and unnecessary; and, contrary to assertions made by some of its defenders and as the Committee's report makes clear, it produced little useful intelligence to help us track down the perpetrators of 9/11 or prevent new attacks and atrocities.

 

3
   Torture produces lies

I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. I know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering. Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights, which are protected by international conventions the U.S. not only joined, but for the most part authored.

 

4
   They don't need an excuse

Will the report's release cause outrage that leads to violence in some parts of the Muslim world? Yes, I suppose that's possible, perhaps likely. Sadly, violence needs little incentive in some quarters of the world today. But that doesn't mean we will be telling the world something it will be shocked to learn. The entire world already knows that we water-boarded prisoners. It knows we subjected prisoners to various other types of degrading treatment. It knows we used black sites, secret prisons. Those practices haven't been a secret for a decade. Terrorists might use the report's re-identification of the practices as an excuse to attack Americans, but they hardly need an excuse for that. That has been their life's calling for a while now.

 

5
   The C.I.A. lied to us

What might come as a surprise, not just to our enemies, but to many Americans, is how little these practices did to aid our efforts to bring 9/11 culprits to justice and to find and prevent terrorist attacks today and tomorrow. That could be a real surprise, since it contradicts the many assurances provided by intelligence officials on the record and in private that enhanced interrogation techniques were indispensable in the war against terrorism. And I suspect the objection of those same officials to the release of this report is really focused on that disclosure -- torture's ineffectiveness -- because we gave up much in the expectation that torture would make us safer. Too much.

 

6
   We can do better

The most important lead we got in the search for bin Laden came from using conventional interrogation methods. I think it is an insult to the many intelligence officers who have acquired good intelligence without hurting or degrading prisoners to assert we can't win this war without such methods. Yes, we can and we will.

 

7
   We are better than our enemies

We have made our way in this often dangerous and cruel world, not by just strictly pursuing our geopolitical interests, but by exemplifying our political values, and influencing other nations to embrace them. When we fight to defend our security we fight also for an idea, not for a tribe or a twisted interpretation of an ancient religion or for a king, but for an idea that all men are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights. How much safer the world would be if all nations believed the same. How much more dangerous it can become when we forget it ourselves even momentarily. Our enemies act without conscience. We must not.

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

64 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [330] -- How Bad Laws Get Made”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As much as I admired Senator McCain for that seminal speech on the Senate floor and as much as I believe he has more credibility than all of the rest of us, combined, on this subject, I wish he had said something about how there can be some semblance of accountability for these crimes against humanity.

    Oh, I'm somewhat familiar with the arguments against prosecution, including the lame excuse of preferring to look forward. But, McCain's powerful words need to backed up with some action that gives meaning to those words.

    What purpose does a Senate report or speech serve if there are no consequences for those who would engage in, condone and justify the use of torture?

  2. [2] 
    dsws wrote:

    The provision Republicans added in would allow Wall Street to use taxpayer-guaranteed funds to gamble on things like default credit swaps. In case you've forgotten, this is what almost crushed the American economy a few years back, when things got wildly out of control. The Dodd-Frank legislation reined it in ...

    Not exactly. The use of explicitly-guaranteed deposits was only a minor factor in making the mess worse. The causes of the disaster are mostly stuff that Dodd-Frank didn't deal with in the first place. Dodd-Frank gave the government the statutory authority to try to unwind financial firms so big and entangled that trying to unwind them would crash the economy, but it didn't actually do anything about too big to fail: the big have just gotten bigger. It didn't do anything substantive about the ratings "agencies" (for-profit firms, paid by the companies they rate, and granted vast power by law while sheltered by the fiction that they're merely exercising their first-amendment right to express opinions): it let the SEC regulate their record-keeping, but not any of the actual activities they're keeping records of. Deposits in bank accounts are explicitly guaranteed by the government, because it was recognized in the FDR era that they function as money, and that banks are vulnerable to bank runs, which leaves the economy vulnerable. With subsequent decades of innovation and deregulation, other assets also function as money and are held in firms that are vulnerable to bank runs, leaving the economy vulnerable. Because that's also recognized, the funds are also guaranteed by the government. But because it was recognized in the Clinton era instead of the FDR era, the guarantees are implicit and don't come with any meaningful regulation. To stop providing those virtual guarantees, the government would have to re-regulate the whole financial sector from the ground up, so that anything that acts like a bank would be called a bank and regulated as a bank. Dodd-Frank didn't do anything like that.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    Dodd-Frank gave the government the statutory authority to try to unwind financial firms so big and entangled that trying to unwind them would crash the economy, but it didn't actually do anything about too big to fail: the big have just gotten bigger.

    What exactly does that mean??

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    I had a hard time trying to follow your entire comment. But, it seems that you find little, if anything, about Dodd-Frank, that is appealing?

    Is that a valid assumption on my part? And, if so, why would you think that?

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    There were two big things going on in the political world this week: the release of the Senate torture report,

    DEMOCRAT torture report...

    Let's call a spade a spade... :D

    Of course, Democrats aren't a whole lot better. Harry Reid could have passed all the regular budget bills in the Senate -- or, at the very least, put them up for a vote and forced Republicans to filibuster them. He had all year to do so, and he didn't. He didn't because he didn't want any "contentious votes" in an election year. This is nothing short of political cowardice. If Democrats truly do believe they are acting in good faith for the people of America, then they should be proud to toss their markers on the table before an election, to show the differences between the parties' priorities. They did not do so, and Harry Reid hasn't done so for many years. So there's plenty of blame to go around.

    Here, here!!

    Both Senator Elizabeth Warren and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earned an Honorable Mention this week, for fighting the good fight against the Wall Street giveaway.

    So, Republicans threaten to shut down the government?? That's bad...

    Democrats threaten to shut down the government??

    That's GOOD???

    we will likely all start referring to the "Feinstein Torture Report"

    AKA The Rolling Stones Style Investigation Feinstein Bush Hit Piece

    I mean, honestly..

    On what planet is a report that doesn't talk to ANY of the people involved and doesn't make ANY recommendations for the future.... On what planet is such a "report" worth anything???

    Democrats focused on one issue, and they fought hard against it. If they had just a few more votes, they likely could have forced Republicans to drop it from the bill. The more media attention a "Wall Street giveaway" got, the weaker the Republican position became (since the public certainly wasn't clamoring for such a measure). They might have backed off in embarrassment, if the White House didn't twist so many arms in the House.

    Actually, this is not entirely accurate...

    What would have happened is that Congress would have been forced to pass just a few month CRomnibus to keep the government rolling..

    When the next round came about, there would be a LOT bigger GOP Representation setting up the CRomnibus and Democrats would have gotten a LOT less than they did in this bill..

    Ya'all don't like this one??

    Imagine what it would have looked like with a GOP firmly in control of Congress....

    I'll get to the TPs later today, but just let me say now what I have said before.

    As much as I respect McCain and his service to this country, his experiences as a POW have absolutely NO RELEVANCE to the issue of terrorists and how to deal with them..

    To put it into proper context, it would be like me claiming my years of military experience qualifies to authoritatively discuss being an astronaut..

    It's Eskimos and oranges....

    Michale
    194

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    What purpose does a Senate report or speech serve if there are no consequences for those who would engage in, condone and justify the use of torture?

    Exactly!!!

    By george, I think she's got it!!!

    The Democrat report serves absolutely NO PURPOSE whatsoever..

    It's simply a last hurrah Bush Hit Piece and DiFi's final TAKE THAT, CIA!!!!.....

    I mean, honestly... What relevance can a report have if it doesn't talk to ANYONE involved??

    It's the Rolling Stones UVofA rape story for the Democrat Party...

    Not worth the paper it's written on...

    Michale
    195

  7. [7] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "What purpose does a Senate report or speech serve if there are no consequences for those who would engage in, condone and justify the use of torture?"

    Perpetual War is well served by the whole charade. Nothing will actually come of it and they can all claim the high road - we don't torture any more and we admit our "failures". It's a bonus if riots and anti-American demonstrations and threats result because they can tell us about how savage The Enemy is.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Perpetual War is well served by the whole charade.

    Charade???

    So.... 3000 innocent people DIDN'T die on 11 Sep 2001??

    Whew!!! That's great!!!

    \sarcasm

    It's a bonus if riots and anti-American demonstrations and threats result because they can tell us about how savage The Enemy is.

    I don't think we need riots to tell us how savage the enemy is..

    All we have to do is ask Nicholas Berg or Daniel Pearl or James Foley..

    Seriously, dood.. No one with more than 2 brain cells to rub together has to be shown how savage the enemy is...

    Michale
    196

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Perpetual War is well served by the whole charade. Nothing will actually come of it and they can all claim the high road - we don't torture any more and we admit our "failures". It's a bonus if riots and anti-American demonstrations and threats result because they can tell us about how savage The Enemy is.

    Sounds like a hysterical Conspiracy Theory, if ya ask me... :D

    Michale
    197

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, on to the TPs...

    We are entitled to the truth

    No.. We are entitled to the FACTS.. Once we have the facts, we can figure out the truth on our own..

    The problem is the Democrat report ONLY disclosed the facts that supported their conclusion.. The report completely ignored the facts that would have prompted the American people to say, "eh?? Yea??? SO????"...

    Yes, it is torture

    Now, I agree with ya on this one..

    Damn skippy!! Call a spade a spade...

    Torture produces lies

    Yes it does.. But since the immediate goal of torture is not intel but co-operation, any lies told won't accomplish anything...

    They don't need an excuse

    Perhaps.. But, by that same vein, terrorists don't need torture propaganda to recruit more terrorists..

    Ya'all can't have it both ways..

    The C.I.A. lied to us

    Yea?? So??? They are the CIA!!! Of course they lie!!! It's in the job description...

    We can do better

    Of course we can. And we have... But circumstances sometimes dictates that we can't... Do you take the risk??? We won't get a 'do over'...

    We are better than our enemies

    Of course we are.. And the fact that we tortured a few scumbags out of hundreds of thousands of scumbags doesn't change that..

    Because, in this particular case, what's more important that WHAT was done is WHY it was done..

    And the WHY is what separates us from the savages...

    All in all, it comes back to what I said before.. McCain's experiences with torture as a POW have little bearing on the torture of terrorists simply because it WAS a POW issue....

    Terrorists are not under the protections of the Geneva Conventions.. Therefore they are treated as spies would be treated..

    You don't think spies are regularly tortured for intel all over the world???

    Michale
    198

  11. [11] 
    dsws wrote:

    dsws,

    Dodd-Frank gave the government the statutory authority to try to unwind financial firms so big and entangled that trying to unwind them would crash the economy, but it didn't actually do anything about too big to fail: the big have just gotten bigger.

    What exactly does that mean??

    During and after the 07 financial crisis, the government said its hands were tied in how it managed the bailout. Dodd-Frank changed the rules on how to deal with bankrupt banks (and other financial firms), so that the government will have more options in how to do the bailout next time. But it didn't change the rules on how banks have to do business enough to make there not be a next time (until the next wave of deregulation), or so that the bailout next time will have been paid for in advance. They were too big to fail, and now they're even bigger.

    I had a hard time trying to follow your entire comment. But, it seems that you find little, if anything, about Dodd-Frank, that is appealing?

    Is that a valid assumption on my part? And, if so, why would you think that?

    During and shortly after the crisis, before there was any hint what Dodd-Frank would contain, I thought a lot about what needed to be done. Dodd-Frank does almost none of it. I don't particularly have objections to what it does, just to what it doesn't.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    During and shortly after the crisis, before there was any hint what Dodd-Frank would contain, I thought a lot about what needed to be done. Dodd-Frank does almost none of it. I don't particularly have objections to what it does, just to what it doesn't.

    Fair enough.

    I continue to believe that Dodd-Frank accomplishes quite a lot to improve the stability, resilience and fairness of the financial system, provided that its opponents are not able to further weaken the legislation as was done just the other day.

    Of course, it is unknowable how Dodd-Frank will mitigate the next financial crisis, I fully admit.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But it didn't change the rules on how banks have to do business enough to make there not be a next time (until the next wave of deregulation), or so that the bailout next time will have been paid for in advance. They were too big to fail, and now they're even bigger.

    I guess I'm just a little more optimistic about the changes in the rules for financial institutions that Dodd-Frank did impose to prevent any financial institution, no matter how big, from threatening the system as a whole.

    I continue to believe that there were bigger factors at play here than the size of financial institutions - more important was the lack of regulation and effective rules of the road that regulators must follow.

    We won't know how effective Dodd-Frank is until it is put to the test. But, we do know that the opponents of Dodd-Frank must be nipped in the bud and, this week, President Obama failed to do that.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But it does show an emerging Progressive wing of the party with a few strong voices speaking up for Main Street over Wall Street. Unfortunately, one of those voices is not Barack Obama's. Instead, for fighting against Main Street this week, Obama is unquestionably our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

    Where's Tim Geithner when you need him!?

  15. [15] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Nice piece CW....BUT

    I do take issue with the Most disappointing democrat of the week award....personally I would have made another "one-off" and declared CONGRESS in it's entirety the MDDOTW. I mean really the whole "cramnibus" bill is nothing more than yet another slap in the face of the electorate. God forbid congress actually does the "will" of the electorate and pass a clean budget for the entire year.

    The simple fact of the matter is that both parties claiming to run the country on our behalf have completely and in no uncertain terms given themselves over to the interests that bought them, or in simpler terms, they chose to serve the ones who bought them over the ones who elected them.

    To be perfectly simple and cravenly political, perhaps the release of the the executive summary of the senate report on torture is perfectly timed to distract the electorate from the very odious riders BOTH parties crammed into the "cramnibus" bill. I would suggest that without the report perhaps many of the "gifts" to the electorate would have received much more "mainstream" media coverage

    So....just because I have to get on a plane.... in my opinion because "congress" only served themselves and the the will of the "briberate" they should be the MDDOTW and, yes Pelosi is included in that.

    and just because I earned it, GO NAVY, BEAT army.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Best set of talking points, ever.

    Just had to say that. :)

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Goode,

    I mean really the whole "cramnibus"

    Ooooo Nice one!! :D

    The simple fact of the matter is that both parties claiming to run the country on our behalf have completely and in no uncertain terms given themselves over to the interests that bought them, or in simpler terms, they chose to serve the ones who bought them over the ones who elected them.

    HERE, HERE!!! Well said!!!

    So....just because I have to get on a plane....

    "I'me getting drunk on as plane...."
    -Dierks Bentley

    :D

    in my opinion because "congress" only served themselves and the the will of the "briberate" they should be the MDDOTW and, yes Pelosi is included in that.

    Couldn't have said it better myself!! :D

    Michale
    198

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, ya'all might get your wish...

    Senate might not pass the Cramnibus.. :D

    Michale
    199

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Both Senator Elizabeth Warren and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earned an Honorable Mention this week, for fighting the good fight against the Wall Street giveaway.

    Wait a tic..

    I thought when a politician threatens to shut down the government in pursuit of their agenda, they are "terrorists" and "hostage takers" and "arsonists"...

    What gives???

    Michale
    200

  20. [20] 
    dsws wrote:

    I continue to believe that Dodd-Frank accomplishes quite a lot to improve the stability, resilience and fairness of the financial system

    The view that it accomplishes a lot, and the view that it leaves a lot left undone, are actually sort of compatible: there was a whole lot that needed to be done, so if it does half of it, that's still a lot.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Absolutely, positively, unequivocally! :)

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    Bringing the idea of torturing within the "ticking time bomb" scenario forward, because I know I am gonna get dinged for it... :D

    I am on record as stating that the "ticking time bomb" DOES occur in the field...

    Let me give you a fictional example and a real world example..

    RULES OF ENGAGEMENT..
    Tommy Lee Jones & Samuel L Jackson...

    Remember at the beginning?? In Vietnam.. Jones' platoon was under fire and Jackson had captured the enemy platoon leader and executed the RO to force the enemy platoon commander to call off the attack..

    A textbook example of torture that, naturally, worked as intended..

    In Tajiq Iraq Lt Col Allen West had intel that his units were going to be ambushed. The intelligence fingered an Iraqi policeman who had "fallen" a couple times while American forces captured him. Col West fired a weapon near the policeman's head and induced him to talk.. Of course, the policeman claimed later that he told West just what West wanted to hear... But units under Col West's command NEVER were ambushed...

    In short, in the field "torture" has proven to be effective time and time again...

    The kind of torture we are discussing is not the kind of torture designed to elicit intel. At least not initially..

    The kind of torture we are talking about here is designed to elicit co-operation...

    Does it work??

    Bin Laden is dead and the US West Coast did not suffer a 9/11 style attack...

    Yea... It works...

    Michale
    203

  23. [23] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Bin Laden is dead and the US West Coast did not suffer a 9/11 style attack...

    Yea... It works...

    Lets see you back that up.

    With the Bin Laden killing, According to the report the CIA knew about the courier since 2002. Hassan Ghul gave up all his info quite easily and long before torture was applied. Once torture was applied “no actionable threat information” Came of it according to internal CIA memos.

    As to the west coast attack, if you are referring to the "second wave" plot against LA, according to the report, the CIA learned of the plot from Masran bin Arshad through normal interrogation. The report stats that CIA interrogators were frustrated that the torture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed only confirmed what they already knew.

    How specifically is the report wrong and what evidence do you have to back that up?

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    With the Bin Laden killing, According to the report the CIA knew about the courier since 2002. Hassan Ghul gave up all his info quite easily and long before torture was applied. Once torture was applied “no actionable threat information” Came of it according to internal CIA memos.

    ANd yet...

    The man who led the United States to bin Laden, a courier known as Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, was mentioned by earlier sources but only as one of many associates bin Laden had years before. Detainees in the CIA interrogation program pushed Kuwaiti to the top of the list and caused the agency to focus tightly on him. The most specific information about the courier came from a detainee, Hassan Ghul, who, after interrogation, strengthened the case by telling of a specific message the courier had delivered for bin Laden to operations chief Abu Faraj al-Libi. Finally, interrogated senior operatives such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who by that time was enormously cooperative, lied when confronted with what we had learned about the courier. That was a dramatic tip-off that he was trying to protect bin Laden.
    washingtonpost.com/opinions/senate-interrogation-report-distorts-the-cias-success-foiling-terrorist-plots/2014/12/09/de5b72ca-7e1f-11e4-9f38-95a187e4c1f7_story.html

    As to the west coast attack, if you are referring to the "second wave" plot against LA, according to the report, the CIA learned of the plot from Masran bin Arshad through normal interrogation. The report stats that CIA interrogators were frustrated that the torture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed only confirmed what they already knew.

    Of course the Democrat report states that..

    But that report is made up of half truths, innuendo and outright BS...

    THAT's the whole point..

    You are relying on a Democrat Hit Piece as your source of information..

    Me??

    I am relying on the statements of the people who were actually there..

    Michale
    203

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    If torture is about cooperation, to what end? Not intell?

    Oh, the END is intel, to be sure...

    OK, no argument on that, you can use it for propaganda purposes...revenge, arguably some form of deterrence, but way back when, the torture advocates were arguing it produces actionable intel fast fast fast!!!! Quicker than a ticking time bomb! Now it takes time, patience, like conventional interrogation does. Soooooo what's good about it?

    It's a tool...

    It's like a tack hammer and a sledge hammer.. Just because a sledge hammer can do the work of a tack hammer, that doesn't mean that the tack hammer is no good..

    Some terrorists would respond to conventional interrogation, some would respond to torture..

    It's a tool, nothing more..

    Which brings me to....

    I see it as a moral issue as you do, but I'm just trying to explore one thing at time.

    Why do you see it as a moral issue??

    Is putting down a rabid dog a "moral" issue??

    Is owning a gun a "moral" issue??

    Is owning a sledgehammer a "moral" issue??

    Now, if we were talking about torture as a means of enjoyment or pleasure, then yes.. I think we would be talking about a moral issue..

    But torturing for co-operation to obtain intel to save lives??

    I don't see that as a "moral" issue anymore than a polygraph or room search is a "moral" issue...

    Michale
    204

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Well, 202 isn't going to push the fund-raising bar, that is for sure.

    Yea, I know.. Working on that :D

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    Who are C,D and E? Are they as confused as F (F being myself).

    C, D and E aren't a who.. They are a what..

    Let me clarify it..

    You a TNG fan?? Of course you are.. Who isn't?? :D

    Captain Picard had been captured by the Cardissians..

    Gul Madred was put in charge of Picard's interrogation..

    Did Madred want to know the Federation Fleet Distributions in the sector??

    No...

    Did Madred want to know the Federation plans for the Starfleet Intelligence Base at Minos Norva?

    No...

    All Gul Madred wanted from Picard is for Picard to admit that there were five lights on the wall..

    That's it..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moX3z2RJAV8

    Torture is not about intel..

    It's about cooperation...

    Michale
    205

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Another perfect example is the torture of Winston Smith in the novel 1984..

    Competent torture is never about intel..

    It's about cooperation.. compliance...

    That's why I shake my head sadly when people claim "They'll say anything to make the torture stop".. Because it really shows that they don't have a clue about the issue..

    I don't say this to be insulting...

    "There is no dishonor in not knowing everything."
    -Subcommander T'al, STAR TREK, The Enterprise Incident

    A subject being tortured can say ANYTHING they want. They can sing I'M AN OSCAR MEYER WEINER til the cows come home..

    But the torture will continue until they are cooperative..

    Until they admit that there are five lights on the wall.. Not four...

    Michale
    206

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    How specifically is the report wrong and what evidence do you have to back that up?

    The report is wrong because it didn't talk to ANYONE in the field...

    My evidence to back it up are the statements from those people who Democrats did not talk to...

    Why are we even debating whether torture is effective or not??

    It's not as if it will change your mind..

    I could convince you 6 ways from Sunday that torture IS effective and DOES produce actionable intel..

    But it won't change your mind about using torture..

    So what's the point??

    Michale
    207

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a completely unrelated note...

    Holy crap, Sony REALLY must have pee'ed in Kim Jung un's Cheerios, eh??

    Michale
    208

  31. [31] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I am relying on the statements of the people who were actually there..

    Who lied to the executive branch and congress. Is their job to lie according to you and are in serious cover their ass mode at the moment. Not exactly a source of reliable information.

    But that report is made up of half truths, innuendo and outright BS...

    THAT's the whole point..

    You are relying on a Democrat Hit Piece as your source of information..

    An accusation that neither you nor the CIA officials you quote have offered any proof of beyond nudge, nudge, wink, wink, believe me but I can't produce anything, classified you know...

    The report is wrong because it didn't talk to ANYONE in the field...

    They were not given access to them. But they did have "summaries of more than 100 CIA inspector general interviews with extensive quotations" of the people who were in the field. Not to mention 6 million pieces of other correspondence, reports, emails and other CIA documents.

  32. [32] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    But it won't change your mind about using torture..

    So what's the point??

    So, we should not ever reply to anything you post for the exact same reasons?

  33. [33] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Competent torture is never about intel..

    It's about cooperation.. compliance...

    So where does this come from? For the entire history of this site you have never brought this up with your many, many ticking time bomb scenarios. It's always been torture is the fastest path to intel. Period. Then a few days ago suddenly it's about cooperation and compliance. What conservative blog told you to change your story :D

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Who lied to the executive branch and congress. Is their job to lie according to you and are in serious cover their ass mode at the moment. Not exactly a source of reliable information.

    I really wish ya'all would make up your minds about lying..

    If it suits the agenda, lying is fine..

    If it doesn't, it isn't....

    Using your reasoning, Democrats have lied about a whole bunch of crap, so their report is one big lie...

    They were not given access to them.

    Bullshit... Two years ago, the investigation finished and Democrats could have talked to ANYONE they wanted at any time..

    But Democrats had already made up their BLAME AMERICA FIRST minds and nothing, especially not FACTS, will change their minds..

    Michale
    209

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Who lied to the executive branch and congress. Is their job to lie according to you and are in serious cover their ass mode at the moment. Not exactly a source of reliable information.

    I really wish ya'all would make up your minds about lying..

    If it suits the agenda, lying is fine..

    If it doesn't, it isn't....

    Using your reasoning, Democrats have lied about a whole bunch of crap, so their report is one big lie...

    They were not given access to them.

    Bullshit... Two years ago, the investigation finished and Democrats could have talked to ANYONE they wanted at any time..

    But Democrats had already made up their BLAME AMERICA FIRST minds and nothing, especially not FACTS, will change their minds..

    Michale
    209

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, we should not ever reply to anything you post for the exact same reasons?

    My mind is ALWAYS subject to change...

    But it requires.. yunno.. FACTS...

    Not the crap that the Democrat Party shovels...

    Michale
    210

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    So where does this come from? .

    FACTS...

    Something I know the Left doesn't really have a passing acquaintance with...

    They were not given access to them. But they did have "summaries of more than 100 CIA inspector general interviews with extensive quotations" of the people who were in the field. Not to mention 6 million pieces of other correspondence, reports, emails and other CIA documents

    Yea, and ROLLING STONE had a gazillion documents as well..

    But, apparently, talking to the people involved would have radically changed the story...

    You can argue all you want.. But, in the aftermath of 9/11, the American people AND DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS demanded that the CIA do something to secure the country.

    The CIA complied..

    And now Democrats, being ungrateful pricks, are blaming the CIA for doing EXACTLY what they were asked...

    Saving ya'alls ass, whether you like it or not..

    Michale
    211

  38. [38] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I really wish ya'all would make up your minds about lying..

    If it suits the agenda, lying is fine..

    If it doesn't, it isn't....

    Right back at you.

    FACTS...

    Something I know the Left doesn't really have a passing acquaintance with...

    your history with the subject is far from spotless as I have proven many times...

    Yea, and ROLLING STONE had a gazillion documents as well..

    And just what are you blabbing about here?

    You can argue all you want.. But, in the aftermath of 9/11, the American people AND DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS demanded that the CIA do something to secure the country.

    The CIA complied..

    And now Democrats, being ungrateful pricks, are blaming the CIA for doing EXACTLY what they were asked...

    Saving ya'alls ass, whether you like it or not..

    Or at least that is what you would like us to believe...

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    All of this happened over 10 years ago..

    "WHAT DOES IT MATTER NOW!!!???"
    -Hillary Clinton

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    your history with the subject is far from spotless as I have proven many times...

    You mean, as you have nitpicked many times...

    Newsflash for ya, pumkin.. A typo doesn't negate the facts..

    And just what are you blabbing about here?

    I know.. It's a bit over your head...

    GOOGLE ROLLING STONE FALSE RAPE STORY...

    Or at least that is what you would like us to believe...

    That is what the facts show..

    Democrats were briefed in on the torture programs..

    No one said a thing then...

    Look, you can argue the definition of 'is' all you want. The fact is, these things happened. They produced actionable intel and this country was made safer...

    You don't like it? Tough... When your Democrats get into power, they can outlaw all this stuff..

    Oh wait.. They WERE in power. And they didn't do diddley squat about it...

    Michale
    213

  41. [41] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The CRomnibus puts us on the hook for a whole lot of derivatives.

    Taxpayers are now on the hook for some $303 trillion.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-12/presenting-303-trillion-derivatives-us-taxpayers-are-now-hook

    The other thing that I haven't heard too many people mention about the CRonybus (and CW does) is that it's raising one of the last limits on campaign contributions to the 2 major parties.

    The reason, I suspect, is that Republicans want to increase the influence of their party and decrease the influence of outside groups (read: Tea Party).

    -David

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Then a few days ago suddenly it's about cooperation and compliance. What conservative blog told you to change your story :D

    I don't agree with michale's argument, but the compliance issue is about how torture is supposed to work; the ticking time bomb is about why it's used in the first place. different questions, different responses, not at all inconsistent. I am however also curious as to why that explanation was not used sooner to counter the position that torture is ineffective. "because i know more than you" may be true, but isn't exactly a winning argument.

    by the way, in orwell's '1984' there was a machine that they hooked up to your head that could make you see things from the 2+2=5 perspective (the star trek adaptation, 5 lights on the wall, was less effective if i remember correctly).

    JL

  43. [43] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    You mean, as you have nitpicked many times...

    Newsflash for ya, pumkin.. A typo doesn't negate the facts..

    Yawn. If by nitpick you mean that if you actually read your linked article, the last half will usually contradict the point you are trying to make, then yes it's a big, huge whopper of a nitpick...

    I know.. It's a bit over your head...

    GOOGLE ROLLING STONE FALSE RAPE STORY...

    I've been following that story but missed the "gazillion documents" angle. Could you link to it? Or is it another example of your vaulted "facts"?

    That is what the facts show..

    You mean the ones you have failed over and over to provide?

    Look, you can argue the definition of 'is' all you want. The fact is, these things happened. They produced actionable intel and this country was made safer...

    And yet they didn't. Neither producing intel that could have and in many cases did come from other methods nor did torture make this country safer due to the increased animosity it created.

    Lets face it your need for torture is a fraud. According to top interrogators, according to the CIA's own internal documents, according to the end results...

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    You are going to believe what you want to believe according to your partisan ideology regardless of the facts...

    Torture DID produce actionable intel.

    This is according to the Directors and Deputy Directors of the CIA thru two different administrations..

    This is established as fact..

    Democrats knew all about the torture programs because they were briefed into those programs.

    This is also established as fact...

    The Democrat report did not talk to ANY of the people involved..

    This is also established as fact...

    These are all facts that you simply cannot refute except with an out of date cherry picked quote here or there (which you still have yet to provide) from people who are either ignorant or ideologically partisan...

    No one, least of all me, has a "need" for torture any more than there is a "need" for a hammer..

    But, if the circumstances warrant it, a hammer comes in real handy at times..

    Michale
    214

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL

    JL,

    I don't agree with michale's argument, but the compliance issue is about how torture is supposed to work; the ticking time bomb is about why it's used in the first place. different questions,

    If it clarifies it better...

    Compliance/Cooperation torture is a strategic...

    TickingTimeBomb torture is tactical..

    Michale
    215

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    due to the increased animosity it created.

    Prove it...

    Prove that there was an increase in animosity towards America and Americans solely and completely caused by the US torturing 3 scumbags...

    You can't.. Therefore your statement is BS...

    Michale
    216

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why are we even discussing this?

    This subject has been done to death.. There are no new accusations in the Demcrat hit piece.. All of this information has been known for a long time...

    Basically Democrats are acting like an evicted tenant who decided to trash the house before they leave...

    Other than getting my comment count up (as worthy result, to be sure.. :D ) this Dem report is a dunsel...

    It serves no useful purpose..

    Michale
    217

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why are we even discussing this??

    All of this has been hashed, rehashed and hashed again years ago...

    The Democrat hit piece contained no new information and there was no reason to release it other than one last IT'S ALL BUSH'S FAULT hurraah...

    Democrats are acting like evicted immature and childish tenants who decide to trash the house one last time before they go..

    Other than getting my comment count up (a worthy result, to be sure) the Democrat hit piece is a dunsel...

    It serves no useful purpose...

    Michale
    217

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whoaa....

    I think I just crossed over to an alternate time line!! :D

    Michale
    218

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    “We know we got important, even critical, intelligence from individuals due to enhanced interrogation techniques"
    -Former CIA Director Leon Panetta

    You are on record as stating that you respect Panetta, that he is an honest man with integrity..

    Soo..... Is Panetta lying now??

    Michale
    219

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sydney siege: Police negotiate with Martin Place gunman, hours after hostages taken in Lindt cafe
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-15/sydney-siege-martin-place-lindt-cafe-hostages-remain-inside/5967340

    "The police should act nicely and bring the terrorist tea and crumpets. That will resolve the situation."
    -Demcorat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Author-TEARS FOR TERRORISTS REPORT

    :^/

    Michale
    220

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    The report is wrong because it didn't talk to ANYONE in the field...

    They were not given access to them.

    Once again, your facts are in error..

    Yes, there was a DOJ investigation that precluded Democrat investigators from talking to rank and file CIA personnel.. But that investigation ended 2 years ago.. Feinstein et al could have talked to people to their hearts content..

    Even if THAT little fact isn't enough to blow your claim out of the water, the simple fact is that CIA higher ups were exempt from the NO TALKING TO rule..

    Feinstein could have talked to 6 Directors and Deputy Directors that had intimate knowledge of the programs ANY TIME SHE WANTED....

    But DiFi didn't..

    Because doing so would have totally demolished the carefully crafted total BS that Democrats are spewing...

    "These are the facts. And they are undisputed.."
    -Captain 'Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

    Michale
    221

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I see it, there are 3 points of contention here..

    1. Is torture to save lives morally defensible...

    2. Did torture save innocent lives..

    3. Is the Democrat report an accurate representation of what actually occurred...

    #1 is an opinion. I happen to believe it is, but respect those who disagree...

    #2 and #3 are fact based...

    Yes, torturing the few terrorists we did torture did save innocent lives and stop terrorist attacks... This is established as fact...

    And no... The Democrat report is not an accurate representation of what transpired because it completely ignores the people who were present during the events in question..

    It's not more accurate than the Rolling Stones "Culture Of Rape" article that relied on self-serving "facts" and totally ignored any exculpatory information...

    How far the Left has fallen that they would put their eggs in such a shaky and fabricated basket...

    Michale
    (ROOM) 222 :D

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ah, yes, Michale ... Room 222.

    Of course, I remember that series fondly, if not so well, anymore. :)

    If you know what I mean and, I'm sure that you do.

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course, I remember that series fondly, if not so well, anymore. :)

    If you know what I mean and, I'm sure that you do.

    I do indeed... :D

    At our age, it's the memory that's the first (or is it second?? :D) thing to go... :D

    Michale
    223

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Terrible things are a staple of wartime..

    "Death. Disease. Destruction. This is what war is all about. It's what makes it a thing to be avoided!!"
    -Captain James T Kirk, STAR TREK, A Taste Of Armageddon

    FDR incarcerated thousands and thousands of American citizens whose ONLY crime was that they were of oriental descent...

    But it was viewed as necessary and it happened. Did it save lives and prevent lone wolf attacks?? We'll never know for an absolute certainty that it did or didn't..

    But, at the time, the threat was real.. It's easy to Monday Morning Quarterback from the safety and security of 80 years hence and be abhorrent..

    But when you have to make the right call or hundreds, thousands or perhaps millions will die???

    Moral clarity goes out the window.. The ONLY thing that counts in war is results...

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a completely unrelated note...

    http://therightscoop.com/mark-levin-to-the-gop-i-am-one-inch-away-from-leaving-you/#comment-1744784519

    Ya'all would be SOOOO proud of me... :D

    Michale
    225

  58. [58] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    You are going to believe what you want to believe according to your partisan ideology regardless of the facts...

    You are just as guilty if not more so. What republican words are used, you will parrot verbatim on this site. This torture report is no different...

    Torture DID produce actionable intel.

    And were did I say it did not?

    I said the intel it gave could have been gotten and in many cases was gotten by other methods.

    TThe Democrat report did not talk to ANY of the people involved..
    This is also established as fact....

    But they did have interviews and internal communications. About six million documents in all…
    Here: is the released summery [senate.gov] You may not like or agree with the conclusions but it's chock full of facts. None of which am I seeing anyone connected dispute.

    This subject has been done to death.. There are no new accusations in the Demcrat hit piece.. All of this information has been known for a long time...

    Basically Democrats are acting like an evicted tenant who decided to trash the house before they leave…

    Ooh, look at the politically biased tripe. What happened to being independent? Politics get in the way? You truly are what you accuse...

    You are on record as stating that you respect Panetta, that he is an honest man with integrity..

    Soo..... Is Panetta lying now??

    Give me the full quote, in context, and I will tell you...

    As I see it, there are 3 points of contention here..

    As you would like to frame it you mean…

    It's not, did torture save lives. It's, was it needed to save lives. And the answer to that is looking more and more like no it wasn't.

    FDR incarcerated thousands and thousands of American citizens whose ONLY crime was that they were of oriental descent...
    But it was viewed as necessary and it happened. Did it save lives and prevent lone wolf attacks?? We'll never know for an absolute certainty that it did or didn't..

    It was a mistake that we learned from. Hopefully torture will go the same way.

  59. [59] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    On a completely unrelated note...

    I will agree rendered comments are a foul plague infecting the internet...

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    And were did I say it did not?

    OK, so we're agreed. Torture did produce actionable intel..

    I said the intel it gave could have been gotten and in many cases was gotten by other methods.

    Not entirely accurate....

    Take your claim regarding the courier.. Yes, we got the name thru conventional sources.. It was one name amongst hundreds of thousands of other names..

    But it was only after KSM was waterboarded and began co-operating with US operatives was it learned the IMPORTANCE of that name..

    But they did have interviews and internal communications. About six million documents in all…

    And they only chose the information that supported their pre-determined conclusion..

    You may not like or agree with the conclusions but it's chock full of facts. None of which am I seeing anyone connected dispute.

    Yea.. Facts like "the sky is blue" and "water is wet"... BFD...

    Ooh, look at the politically biased tripe. What happened to being independent? Politics get in the way? You truly are what you accuse...

    Nope.. I just call em as I see em.. Just like I call conservatives morons when they deserve it...

    There was absolutely NO REASON to release this report. It contained a pre-determined conclusion with ONLY the facts that supported that conclusion and ignored talking to the very people it sought to demonize..

    It's the Rolling Stones UVA rape report for Democrats...

    Long on hysteria and irrelevant facts and short on actual reality..

    It's not, did torture save lives. It's, was it needed to save lives. And the answer to that is looking more and more like no it wasn't.

    Only to those ignorant of what actually went down. Those who were there dispute your claim..

    It was a mistake that we learned from. Hopefully torture will go the same way.

    We'll likely never know if it was truly a mistake or not..

    But it WAS (and IS) war...

    Unicorns and Rainbows will never win a war...

    Michale
    227

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know..

    Dropping missiles and drone-based bombs on terrorists that kill hundreds if not thousands of innocents as collateral damage seems to me to be much worse than torturing 3 mass murders to prevent future attacks..

    Funny how Democrats are beating a path to release THAT report, eh???

    Michale
    228

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You make a good point ... no, you make a very good point.

    The drone program has become extremely problematic and needs to be revisited and substantially reformed.

    And, I just learned that US spending on Afghanistan has now passed the trillion dollar mark. A trillion dollars! For what!!?? For a disastrous policy, that's what. And, four fifths of that treasure was spent under the auspices of the Obama/Biden administration.

    The bad news is that the US will be pouring money into that particular abyss for the foreseeable future ... and beyond, even. Unless its leaders smarten up.

    Worse still, nuclear-armed Pakistan continues to go to Hell in a hand basket, with the acquiescence of many of its government and military officials.

    So much for the grand Af-Pak strategy.

    You don't have any solutions to this formidable mess, do you? At the very least, it calls for a substantial column, or two, here at CW.com!

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, by the way, Michale, none of the above excuses or justifies interrogation by torture.

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    You make a good point ... no, you make a very good point.

    Thank you.. I have my moments. :D

    You don't have any solutions to this formidable mess, do you? At the very least, it calls for a substantial column, or two, here at CW.com!

    I'll get right on it. :D

    And, by the way, Michale, none of the above excuses or justifies interrogation by torture.

    It wasn't meant to be..

    The point was meant to illustrate that the Democrat Report was nothing but a partisan hit piece..

    If DiFi et al truly believed in US excesses, she would have pursued a Drone Report as voraciously as the pursued the torture report..

    Whether torture is justified or not is an opinion and we'll never likely come to a meeting of the minds about it..

    But it simply cannot be said with a straight face that the DiFi report is anything more than a partisan hit piece..

    Michale
    229

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