Erasing History: Trump Administration Returning CIA Torture Report To Be Destroyed

from the awful dept

Over the last few months, a battle has played out over what will happen to the 6,700 page “CIA Torture Report” that the Senate Intelligence Committee spent many years and approximately $40 million producing. The report apparently reveals all sorts of terrible details about how the CIA tortured people for little benefit (and great harm in other ways) and lied to Congress about it. While a heavily redacted executive summary was released, there is apparently significantly more in the full report. And if we, as a country, are to actually come to terms with what our nation did, this report should be made public and there should be a public discussion on our past failings.

Instead, it looks like the report is going to be returned and destroyed. Senator Richard Burr has been against the report from the beginning, and ever since he took over the Senate Intelligence Committee he’s demanded that the administration return the report, arguing (totally against all evidence) that it was a work product of the Senate Intelligence Committee not meant for distribution to the executive branch. Of course, that’s the exact opposite of what Senator Dianne Feinstein — who spearheaded the effort to create the report — has said. The intention was to understand what the CIA did and make sure the same mistakes were not repeated. And, in fact, Feinstein asked the executive branch agencies to put the document into their own records — which would make the report subject to a FOIA request.

The previous administration did not give the report back to Burr, but did block those in the executive branch from reading it or from putting it into their records — which has so far stymied FOIA requests. And now, the Trump administration has started returning the report to Burr to destroy:

The Trump administration has begun returning copies of a voluminous 2014 Senate report about the Central Intelligence Agency?s detention and interrogation program to Congress, complying with the demand of a top Republican senator who has criticized the report for being shoddy and excessively critical of the C.I.A.

The Trump administration?s move, described by multiple congressional officials, raises the possibility that copies of the 6,700-page report could be locked in Senate vaults for good ? exempt from laws requiring that government records eventually become public. The C.I.A., the office of the Director of National Intelligence and the C.I.A.?s inspector general have returned their copies of the report, the officials said.

This is problematic on many, many levels. Feinstein had even asked Obama to declassify the report, before leaving office — something he refused to do. Feinstein is not at all happy about this turn of events.

?I?m concerned and disappointed that Chairman Burr demanded the return of copies of the classified edition of the torture report. The fact that he would take this divisive action without notifying or consulting with the Democrats on the committee is a departure from the bipartisan nature of this committee. It?s particularly troubling he would take this divisive action while the committee is conducting its Russian investigation.

?The committee voted in March 2009 to initiate a report on harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA on detainees during the Bush administration. After almost four years of hard work, the committee approved the report in December 2012. The CIA was afforded the opportunity to respond and where appropriate, changes were made and the CIA?s responses were included in the footnotes. The committee then voted to declassify and release the executive summary and the findings and conclusions in December 2014.

?Chairman Burr?s assertion that he, today, has authority over a final Senate report completed prior to him assuming the chairmanship is both alarming and concerning. This creates a dangerous precedent that a current chairman could question acts of previous congresses and countless historical reports and records and essentially nullify reports produced by a prior congress under a different chairman.

?No senator?chairman or not?has the authority to erase history. I believe that is the intent of the chairman in this case.

?I?m profoundly disappointed that CIA Director Pompeo would approve this action. Members, including myself, carefully questioned him during his confirmation process about his views on torture. He clearly stated his opposition to torture and made a commitment to read the full classified report. I very much doubt that he has had an opportunity to fulfill that commitment.

?The report is an important tool to help educate our intelligence agencies about a dark chapter of our nation?s history. Without copies of it, the lessons we?ve learned will be forgotten. The intelligence agencies have a moral, if not legal, obligation to retain every copy of this report for posterity.?

Senator Ron Wyden put out an even stronger statement:

?Attempts to erase history are the tactics of the insecure and the power hungry and have no place in a democracy. The torture report is a historical record that belongs to all Americans,? Wyden said. ?This unprecedented move by Chairman Burr and the Trump administration could serve only one purpose — to pave the way for the kind of falsehoods used to justify an illegal and dangerous torture program. For the sake of future generations of Americans, this report should be immediately returned to the government agencies who gave it up, disseminated widely within the government and most importantly, declassified for the American people.?

Assuming Burr gets back his copies and does, in fact, destroy them, there are still two possible other copies out there. The Trump administration (unlike the Obama administration) did, in fact, give a copy to the courts as was ordered by the judge in a case about the torture program. The other copy was apparently “preserved” in the Obama archives, where it will be kept for 12 years before it might be declassified. At this point that copy is, perhaps, the only chance that this detailed report won’t be completely deleted from history.

Of course, the other possibility… is that someone along the way who had access to the report has kept a copy of it and decides to leak the report to the press. This would be doing a true service to history and help preventing future shameful episodes involving torture. Hopefully someone out there with access to the report — and a conscience — does the right thing.

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Comments on “Erasing History: Trump Administration Returning CIA Torture Report To Be Destroyed”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Obama

||> “So…what’s Obama’s motivation on that one?”

Yeah, Trump is the headline bad-guy in this TD essay — but Obama certainly qualifies as the bad guy President in all this.

Obama– “… did block those in the executive branch from reading it {the full report} or from putting it into their records — which has so far stymied FOIA requests.”

In contrast, Trump is merely complying with a formal Senate request… after giving a full copy of the report to the courts upon their formal request for it.
Loose cannon Trump politely cooperating with the other two Federal branches must be condemned here. Trump bashing is a daily reflex.

And just what did Obama/Feinstein/Wyden actually “do” with the full information they learned from this report in December 2012 — Nothing !
Just a few mild Tsk-Tsks for publicity. The CIA remains unscathed.

(and it’s outrageous that Feinstein took 4 years & $40M for this report — she was in no hurry for truth and obviously considers it a routine matter of little real importance… except for political leverage)

orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

Re: Re: Obama

Trump is the current guy taking the current action, as reported. Why would Obama be the headline now, as in countless past articles, when he isn’t the one returning a report someone wants to destroy? The bad guy here, as pointed out, is rather Burr. But Trump is pretty authoritarian so sure he will go along on this one.

Feinstein… is one member of a committee. And it takes time for a committee to pry anything out of various agencies like the CIA. There are articles here and all sorts of places about this report specifically, and all manner of other things in general. Some agency doesn’t want to respond, they have all sorts of tactics, and there is no real way to compel them.

Political leverage… against torturers? Sure, why not?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Obama

Obama was President when Feinstein started this stuff on 9 March 2009; Trump just showed up a few months ago and had absolutely nothing at all to do with it– Trump is the new janitor having to sweep up the Obama debris from this longstanding Potomac mess.

Feinstein & Obama were running the whole show for 8 years (…and Feinstein was not just some ordinary committee ‘member’– she was the powerful Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee). It was all Feinstein’s idea to put a leash on the CIA. It failed. The CIA worked for Obama and he had no interest in leashing it, as the sorry 8 year history of this CIA Report fiasco demonstrates.

At this point in time the full CIA report is irrelevant and its final disposition is unimportant. Nothing has changed or will change in the CIA as a result of this report. Obama/Feinstein & Congress ultimately chose to do nothing. Trump has a full issues platter and is unlikely to open up this can of worms again.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Obama

Obama was President when Feinstein started this stuff on 9 March 2009; Trump just showed up a few months ago and had absolutely nothing at all to do with it– Trump is the new janitor having to sweep up the Obama debris from this longstanding Potomac mess.

Feinstein & Obama were running the whole show for 8 years (…and Feinstein was not just some ordinary committee ‘member’– she was the powerful Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee). It was all Feinstein’s idea to put a leash on the CIA. It failed. The CIA worked for Obama and he had no interest in leashing it, as the sorry 8 year history of this CIA Report fiasco demonstrates.

You seem confused about how news works.

See, "news" refers to things that are currently happening. Often involving present-tense verbs.

At this point in time the full CIA report is irrelevant and its final disposition is unimportant.

Speak for yourself, toady.

Nothing has changed or will change in the CIA as a result of this report. Obama/Feinstein & Congress ultimately chose to do nothing.

Yes, and many of us see this as a problem. That is why we are still discussing news that is pertinent to the issue. If you do not wish to participate in such a discussion, well, the good news is that you’re not.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Thad's Rules

He’s not self appointed. We pay him, and a dozen or three others. The issue is that the pay is so pecuniary, so minuscule, that even if they went looking for that pay with an electron microscope and a forensic accountant, it could not be found.

Also, he did a fairly good job describing the difference between current events (news) and recent history (anything Obama did as president).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Thad's Rules

Quality journalism requires CONTEXT (relevant factual background) to the news consumer … not just some isolated, subjective snapshot of current events on a complex news story.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Thad's Rules

Quite correct. Blog opinion does not inherently require facts. TD has never formally maintained that it presents facts/truth here, nor that it seeks such.
Therefore, it is generally pointless to discuss the factual validity of blog entries here since authors’ opinions are immune from factual requirements.

relax… it’s just a blog

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Thad's Rules

Quality journalism requires CONTEXT (relevant factual background) to the news consumer … not just some isolated, subjective snapshot of current events on a complex news story.

Yes, if only Techdirt had written about this subject before, had a series of previous articles organized under an easily-sortable tag, and linked to that tag in the very first sentence of this newest article. And then linked to eight of those previous articles, individually, over the course of the article.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Obama

If you were to peruse the Torture Report tag, you would find that Techdirt has put Obama’s name in accompanying headlines as far back as August 2014 and as recently as January 2017 (not counting a headline from February 2017 that names both Trump and Obama).

If you are confused as to what has happened since January 17, 2017, that would result in Techdirt beginning to put Trump’s name in headlines instead of Obama’s, there is a nice young man who frequents this comments section who is extremely proud of his ability to explain to people that elections exist. I recommend that you seek him out, if you don’t mind listening to him scream that he TOLD YOU SO, forever.

David says:

Re: Re: Re: Obama

You are thinking of this in the wrong way.

When I first had to change a light bulb on the decades old Mercedes of my girl friend, I remembered in trepidation what a chore it was to change a bulb on her previous car, some Honda or so: I had to consult the car manual to figure out where to go through the wheel casing.

So I opened the hood. All the lamps were in one place, a plastic box embossed with the lamp types. It had a lever to unclamp and all the bulbs folded out readily accessible. It was a love declaration of the engineers to the unknown car mechanic, better than you could have hoped for or even imagined.

In a similar vein, the constitutional scholar Obama left his office as a love declaration to an unknown power-hungry autocrat, better than such a one could have hoped for or even imagined.

I don’t think Obama was preparing for any specific power-hungry autocrat here. He just wanted to do his best to make sure that there was as little limit to a further downward spiral after him as possible. It probably gave him warm fuzzy feelings without anybody particular in mind.

Feel free to find an explanation better fitting the facts. It would be less depressing.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: "EVERYONE supports Torture."

I don’t.

I actively abhor the use of torture, and would denounce it even to be applied to my personal worst enemy. Or any given public enemy.

I even abhor those things we don’t regard as torture, even though they are cruel, inhumane policies and customs that are sometimes used to motivate confessions or behavior, things like the Wookie rooms in Camp Delta, or mass prisoner abuse by guards, or the silent condonation of inmate-on-inmate rape in the US prison system.

So no. I don’t support torture, and I harbor contempt for anyone who does.

seedeevee (profile) says:

Feinstein's Husband has another war to sell you

That disgraceful piece of shit – Diane Feinstein – could have placed it into the Congressional Record whenever she wanted.

She is just covering her ass over her pathetically bad support of the current wars and her non-existent oversight of the last two Administrations and their pro-torture policies.

Bruce C. says:

Re: Feinstein's Husband has another war to sell you

That disgraceful piece of shit – Diane Feinstein – could have placed it into the Congressional Record whenever she wanted.

>She is just covering her ass over her pathetically bad support of the current wars and her non-existent oversight of the last two Administrations and their pro-torture policies.

Let’s conduct a thought-experiment here. Say Sen. Feinstein publicly released the report when she headed the intelligence committee. It’s clear the report contains a fair amount of classified material, so by publishing classified material, she immediately loses the security clearance that allows her to be a member of the intelligence committee in the first place.

Some may call her decision not to publish cowardly, others may call it pragmatic given the consequences she would have suffered. Personally I kind of wish she had the ‘nads to at least publish it during the last session of congress prior to the new congress being sworn in. But I can’t really blame her much if she didn’t. She’s a career politician and she obviously wasn’t ready to end her career just yet.

That One Guy (profile) says:

"The only history allowed to exist is history that we like"

“I’m profoundly disappointed that CIA Director Pompeo would approve this action. Members, including myself, carefully questioned him during his confirmation process about his views on torture. He clearly stated his opposition to torture and made a commitment to read the full classified report. I very much doubt that he has had an opportunity to fulfill that commitment.

Sucks to be so blatantly lied to, doesn’t it Feinstein? Now you know what that feels like.

“The report is an important tool to help educate our intelligence agencies about a dark chapter of our nation’s history. Without copies of it, the lessons we’ve learned will be forgotten. The intelligence agencies have a moral, if not legal, obligation to retain every copy of this report for posterity.”

And this I suspect is the main reason for the attempt to destroy the report. Destroy those ‘lessons’ so they can do the same thing again without having to deal with a pesky report undermining their claims about how it’s ‘necessary’ to torture, and how it’s so very ‘effective’.

The pro-torture people are attempting to destroy history so that they can repeat it. They were already vile and disgusting individuals before, if my suspicions are correct that just amps it up.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Historical Revisionism

This is worse than barbarism. At least barbarism enjoys the pretense that through cultural inexperience, they don’t know any better, or don’t know why it’s prudent to care.

This is ignoring the truth of the matter when we have experience to draw from. The US should be mandating a policy never to torture again, with stiff penalties. Instead we’re trying to forget history. We’re trying to retain inhumane practices. And we’re doing it for the perverse satisfaction of a few officials.

We’re doing it at the expense of the nation’s moral integrity. We’re the police state we feared for the last century. We’re the corporate feudal state we were trying to climb away from with elected officials and guaranteed rights. We’re just another puppet regime, now.

There is no pragmatic reason to torture, ever. And there are plenty of reasons to treat our prisoners humanely.

It confounds me why is torture is still even a controversy. Why is it the report not declassified? How can people still pretend it was a good idea, or necessary, at the time. All it shows is how dispicable we Americans become when we’re frightenened. It shows the US as a state of cowards and degenerates.

The CIA Extrajudicial Detention and Interrogation Program remains an indictment of the United States government, and of the voters who ignored the program, let alone those who try to justify it as acceptable. It remains a symptom of how things have gone very wrong here in the US.

And since we couldn’t figure it out, now we have Trump killing NATO and trying to end the world by ecological collapse, again for personal ego. Rome is burning, my friends, only Trump can’t be bothered to strum a lyre.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Historical Revisionism

Another deranged socialist who does not appreciate he is safe enough to spout his idiocy in public. “It shows the US as a state of cowards and degenerates.” Speak for yourself, foreigner. If you’re not in the US, shutup, no one cares about the stupid opinions. If you are in the US, leave and shutup. “Kiling NATO” indeed, by asking them to pay. “Ecological collapse” based on NOTHING AT ALL other than the end of US taxpayer funding of a leftwing religion.

It is only through the high moral standards and proud sacrifices of American Patriots that you have any ability to speak at all. Go live with the Taliban, or ISIS, and then spout your mouth off about your idiot opinions. Respect your betters.

God Bless America.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Historical Revisionism

Isn’t a beautiful world we live in when it is OK to be a proud American? When it is not just OK, but GREAT to see President Donald J. Trump shove his way to the front of a group of less important politicians. When we can laugh at the religion that inspired the toothless Paris agreement and laugh at the reaction of the privileged globalist class when we show it for what it is. What a great world. American moral standards, America first, from sea to shining sea. Beautiful, yes? The only thing that will be better is when the leftist wall of hate and shame collapses on itself in the next election, and Trump has a super-majority in both houses. Wow, that will be quite a beautiful world, no? Coming soon, and you hateful globalists are making it possible with your stupid arguments.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Terrific Poe. The Best Poe

Yes, I think I understand your feeling. Posters on this site, especially frequent posters (like you) have trouble accepting how Americans (or other non-liberals) actually see you. For example, many of the same frequent posters (maybe even you) call me Shiva, as if he is alone in his criticism and condemnation of this site. The frequent posters on this site really believe they live in the hateful and preposterous liberal bubble they so frequently promote and defend, and no one and nothing else exists. They feel “safe” here spouting their liberal wackiness.

“This is worse than barbarism. At least barbarism enjoys the pretense that through cultural inexperience, they don’t know any better, or don’t know why it’s prudent to care.”

“Worse than barbarism”? You see, ordinary Americans (and many others) see you as a wack job wearing a tin hat spouting jibberish. I grant you that not too many of us come here, mostly because of the “Streisand” or “Masnick” effect, akin to wrestling with pigs in shit. “Worse than barbarism”? Waco Daco, as they say in Texas. I come here as a community service, trying to give back to the great country (America) that has given me so much. Someone should try to clean up this liberal toilet and flush the liberal and un-American ideology it so fervently promotes. Messy job, though.

You should get out more, expose your ideas in less sheltered venues, listen to the feedback you get. Come on into an American bar where we eat bull nuts (maybe Greely, Colorado, for example) and try to peddle your globalist ideas about “worse than barbarism”. We’ll have a debate with you that you just might find enlightening.

Come out of the dark, “safe space” of TechDirt and stand up for your ideas in public, that’s my advice. Maybe hearing from other normal people would help you. Really. This is my Buddhist thought for the day. Be kind, I am being kind to you, sincerely. It could help you, really. Real people and actual human contact could help you recover from your unhealthy liberal tilt.

You buy the beer, I’ll buy the nuts. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Terrific Poe. The Best Poe

Perhaps this might help you consider an alternate point of view. I believe I can say with certitude that should your life, or the life of your family, be under immediate and public threat by a gang of murderers you would abandon your argument altogether. I think it likely (assuming you are normal) that you would resort to making a captured gang member uncomfortable to save your immediately family. Perhaps not, I don’t actually know you. But assuming you care for yourself and your family (like the rest of us) much more than for a murderous gang that you never met, I expect that you, like all normal people, would abandon your characterization about “worse than barbarism”. It is only a small extrapolation to understand that we entrust our political leaders with our safety and our family’s safety. It is a difficult area, torture of combatants, to be sure, fraught with moral dilemmas. Getting on your high globalist horse to preach to others that protecting your family (or country) is “worse than barbarism” trivializes the issue. Tough issue. It’s good that we have strong leaders like President Donald J. Trump and Mad Dog Mattis to rely on. Great leaders, tough job, as an American, I support them both. Think about the real world a little, it may well color your thinking is a direction more familiar to the rest of us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Terrific Poe. The Best Poe

Another therapeutic exercise to help you overcome your liberal bias would be to consider what was said on this very site about the defamation case against TechDirt and Michael Masnick. You remember how everyone was totally dismissive, continued to bash the Email guy, and expressed their CERTAINTY regarding an immediate and favorable outcome? That was January, right, and this is June? Of course, maybe you will imagine that this is the legal system being perverted by an evil “troll”, your favorite self-comforting fairy tale, or that I am a “troll”, or .. Whatever. Maybe, just maybe what is done here is wrong, and the real world is going to intervene to make it stop and to force restitution for the injuries caused. I know you all find that far fetched, but meditate on it a little. It’s possible things are more serious than you thought, and your assessment regarding risk was wrong, right? Self examination will put you on the path of the road to recovery. Try it. Get over your “groupthink”.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Terrific Poe. The Best Poe

You remember how everyone was totally dismissive,


continued to bash the Email guy,

I think you mean "the EMAIL guy", but yep. Hell, I’ll bash him right now: seriously, fuck that fucking guy.

and expressed their CERTAINTY regarding an immediate and favorable outcome?

Nope, I don’t remember that last thing happening at all. Most commenters here don’t get their ideas about how the legal system works by watching Law and Order reruns, and are aware that in real life, legal proceedings take time.

In fact, a thing I do remember being brought up, invariably, in every single conversation about this subject, is that Ayyadurai and Harder’s goal is to stretch these proceedings out as long as possible, in order to bankrupt Floor64. Because, you see, lawsuits take time and money, even meritless ones.

I remember people expressing hope for an immediate and favorable outcome. But I don’t recall one single person, let alone "everyone", expressing all-caps "CERTAINTY".

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Terrific Poe. The Best Poe

So, simple question, Thad. How certain are you that TechDirt is in the right? No doubt there are false, hateful and damaging statements made on this web site, recently by you, about Jeff Sessions (see your comments below). Are you sure that is OK? Perhaps you stepped over the line, perhaps TechDirt stepped over the line with the Email guy and Jeff. Do you think there is ANY CHANCE of that? That was really my point. Are you SURE you are not breaking any laws and cannot be held liable for the damage you are certainly causing to the reputation of the Email Guy and (recently) the Attorney General of the United States? Very sure? Not any pause for reflection at all?

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Terrific Poe. The Best Poe

Wow. Evidently I struck a nerve. You seem to be processing something. And I don’t think it has much to do with anything I’ve posted in this comments section.

You may have good reason to appreciate the United States government. You may have some positive experiences with agencies that you use to inform your opinion of the state institution as a whole, or of the people of the United States, and in that regard you may find it difficult to hear criticism of the US, even when it is based on factual information. If this is the case, you may want to stop reading, Anonymous Coward, because it just may hurt. You may think I’m attacking you when I’m not. But yes, I am very angry at my country and I seek every day to set it right.

Firstly, I don’t base my ideology on what’s popular, or what people will think of me. I know that a lot of Americans (at very least sixty-three million of them!) disagree with me. Plenty of them do it just to spite me (or more accurately to spite certain ideological identities that share some of my positions.) So I don’t care if you think I’m a wingnut or I’m paranoid or whatever. Think what you want. Others have thought worse.

Secondly torture continues to be an atrocity. It’s is beyond the moral event horizon of what a civilized nation acceptably does.

Anonymous Coward, I get that you might think that if someone is terrible enough, or did something heinous enough to you or yours that torture is justifiable. I may not agree with you, but I understand that you could think that way.

But states don’t get to be angry. The government is separate from the individuals in it. Much the way a police officer should not be able to shoot someone out of spite, an official should not be able to assert the power of his office to satisfy a personal grudge. Rather the state is obligated to adhere to reason, to impartiality and to utilitarian action at all times.

And granted, officials often will abuse their power, often to attack or destroy rivals, but this is regarded as abuse and corruption. And when something like this is done in the name of the state, it is regarded as a failure of government to govern.

And then is no gang of murderers or whatever you want to call bad guys. That’s an excuse. It’s presenting the notion that we can separate human beings into those we like and those we don’t like. Remember that as soon as you outlaw a people, not only can you be outlawed as well, but you are an outlaw to those people, and they owe you no quarter, just as you have given them none. So, for instance, at the point that US policy is causing suffering and death to a given people in the Middle East, and we show them no concern, they cease to owe us any respect, certainly not to (say) refrain from using suicide militants to attack us.

Crimes are as much a failure of the state as they are a failure of the criminal. With a perfect justice system, we’d actually take into consideration all instances in which necessity or insanity apply. But in the United States, we don’t even hire enough public defenders, and we encourage the police, prosecuting attorneys and forensic testers to lie in order to secure convictions. So here in the United States, your gang of murderers are just as likely to be civilians in the wrong place.

And there is no purpose for a state to torture anyone, no matter who they are. Torture doesn’t yield reliable intel. All it does is wreck the minds and bodies of human beings who (in the US torture programs) don’t even get access to due process anyway.

So yes, the US torture programs are worse than barbaric, because the United States does know better.

The United States has tortured, though, and continues to do so. And that makes cowards and degenerates of all of us Americans: For letting it happen; for not stopping it; for trying to justify it; for not bringing redress to those who were tortured; for not committing to never doing it again; for continuing to torture. We should be dog-piling on those who’d dare torture like American flight passengers on a hijacker.

But we don’t, and the United States continues to torture to this day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Terrific Poe. The Best Poe

Well, I did like your phrase about dog-piling like American flight passengers on a hijacker. That does sound patriotic, and American.

Say, for example, you capture an enemy combatant, like an ISIS leader who planted a nuclear device in NYC at a hidden location. Would you make him very comfortable? Would your morality prevent you from making him uncomfortable at all? Would you give him an attorney and wait for his day in court?

Might you threaten him, or try to force him to reveal the information that would save American lives?

Tell us, oh wise one, where would YOU draw the line?

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Ticking Time Bomb

Yes, the infamous ticking time bomb scenario, the pro-torture equivalent of It’s only a theory. It was made popular to the public by the TV series 24, and even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued that we wouldn’t convict Jack Bauer for saving the world, would we? We even have a Wikipedia page for the Ticking Time Bomb.

Firstly, since incidents of Abu Graib prisoner abuse scandal in 2003 we have encountered not one ticking time bomb scenario. Zero. Nada. Zilch. The way the CIA used torture in its black sites didn’t even try to render short-term operational intelligence in the first place, so US torture programs would have been useless in the Ticking Time Bomb.

Secondly, the scenario presumes that torture consistently produces reliable intel (quite the opposite), that the enemy combatant in question has the intel you want (e.g. the location of the TTB or it’s defusing protocol). We’ve tortured a lot of people who didn’t know crap, and who didn’t do anything, and in some cases were citizens of the United States who got mistaken for the enemy. And we kept torturing them even when it was evident that they were the wrong guy for much the same reasons prisons like to obstruct the efforts of wrongfully convicted inmates trying to prove their innocence.

What would I do regarding our hypothetical captured terrorist leader? I would make him comfortable. I’d make sure he was cared for and got what he needed. I’d show him that here in this society we treat people with respect, even if they are a sworn enemy. This process does turn hearts and minds. And it is consistent with Geneva protocols regarding POWs. And we’ve had forty years of cold war Soviet captives who we did treat this way to hone this process so that it yields intel rather quickly.

Yes, the temptation is there to beat the crap out of our enemies and throw them in a dank dungeon. But mind you that’s a temptation. That’s something someone does out of rage and frustration and hatred. It’s not what a nation does. It’s the antithesis of the America that I was raised to believe in.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Ticking Time Bomb

“I would make him comfortable. I’d make sure he was cared for and got what he needed. I’d show him that here in this society we treat people with respect, even if they are a sworn enemy.”

So, you would not try to defend yourself or your own family. You would not apply pressure to stop the “famous” ticking time bomb. Ok. Fortunately, you live in America, a free society, and can make your own choice. You don’t have to defend it all, if you choose not to. You can do nothing and depend upon the valor, bravery, dedication and love of country displayed by the proud Americans who defend their freedom with their own blood and guts.

Spout whatever passive idiocy you like, my spineless and deluded fellow poster, the rest of us will defend your country from these actual barbarians for you.

God bless America.


Re: Re: Re:9 Ticking Time Bomb

Revelation 19: 11-16 reads…
11) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12) His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written THAT NO ONE KNEW EXCEPT HIMSELF. 13) He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15) Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16) And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. [New King James Version]
The REAL CRUX of Islam, is the Muslim/ Islamic CONFUSION over who Muhammad actually was, and WHY he introduced his “DOCTRINE” to the world! And!… if properly assessed and addressed, and our P-R-O-O-F-S of/ for the basis of/ for this confusion communicated to Muslim/ Islamic peoples through our global institutions!… and, likewise, to the rest of our inquiring communities worldwide!… our planet would realize a remarkable change!
This matter of “RADICALIZATION”, is– to me!– a R-E-A-L PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE!… when an entire “faith population” on our planet is living under the DELUSION that a would-be, self- styled “faith leader’s” “religion”, IS SANCTIONED BY GOD! And, it’s akin to our populations centuries ago, when millions of people believed the world was flat! And it was NO LESS a PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN back then, than what the global Muslim/ Islamic “PISTIOPATHY (from the Greek word, Pistis)” is today! Simply put, when people around the world began to realize that the earth was indeed round, then the societal worldview began to evolve for the better!… and the “para-dogmas” structured around the old way of seeing the world, no longer had value, and social acceptance!
ALL OF US ARE STUPID OF MANY THINGS!… and, if we could– somehow– learn of that of which we are inherently stupid, our lives would improve!… dramatically!!
The ensuing personal findings, and resolve, are– I suggest!– the “T-A-C-T-I-C-A-L F-R-O-N-T L-I-N-E” that the “international community of interests” should be employing and deploying in their respective, and collective campaign/ s, re Muslim/ Islamic indoctrination!… AND!… for use against the likes of ISIS! And– I suggest!– should be used in place of any anticipated Trumpian and GOPic “REACTIONS” to any ISISic aggressions! And, in the process of REACTING to such, causing further “COLLATERAL DAMAGE”!… and continued impetus for the “PSEUDOCAUSE” of “PSEUDO-MUSLIM/ PSEUDO-ISLAMIC” EXTREMISTS, AND THEIR EXTREMISM!!
And so… for those who may wonder about Islam… and its place in the world!… I offer you the following…
Jesus Christ and Muhammad
In an attempt to ascertain the Biblical TRUTH concerning the veracity of the “claims” attributed to the said prophet Muhammad (by whomever, and whenever), and afterupon my examination of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, and the Quran, I happened upon a couple of remarkable Chapters, and their Verses, within the New Testament’s Book of Luke (although, found elsewhere, within the New Testament!), attributed to Jesus Christ!
In Chapter 16, Verse 16, we read:… “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed UNTIL (my emphasis) John (i.e., John the Baptist!).”… and… within the Book of Luke, Chapter 7, Verse 28, we read:… “I say to you, among those born of women, there is NO ONE GREATER (my emphasis) than John (i.e., John the Baptist!)”! [Gideons Translation]
Simply stated, if the claim on page 8 of the book titled, The Quran Translated: Message For Humanity, is correct (and, which reads:… “… Being the last of these Prophets, Muhammad was to be God’s FINAL Messenger!…”… and thus, ULTIMATE Messenger!), then, the words attributed to Christ within the Book of Luke, Chapter 7, Verse 28 are UNTRUE! And so!… revealing Christ as “CONFUSED”– at best!… or worse!… A LIAR! But!… if the words of Christ within the Book of Luke, Chapter 7, Verse 28, and within Chapter 16, Verse 16, are TRUE!… then!… not only was Muhammad NOT the greatest of the Prophets, he (Muhammad!)– AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY!– COULD NOT HAVE BEEN A PROPHET, A-T A-L-L (i.e., as such are described within the pages of the Holy Bible!)! For!… and apart from Christ’s words in Luke 7: 28 (extolling praise, glory, and the SEAL OF FINALITY on John the Baptist!)… how could the Law and the Prophets be up UNTIL John, yet– nevertheless!– a subsequent prophet (and yea!… supposedly!… THE GREATEST PROPHET!) is revealed some six hundred years after the fact, of the time of Christ (see, Quran, CH 33: 41… and note: With the exception of Ahmadi Muslims, “Khatamu ’n-Nabiyyīn”– “Seal of the Prophets”!– is interpreted by Muslims to mean, that Muhammad was the last of the prophets sent by God!… i.e., the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!)?
And thus, the “battle”… then!… OBVIOUSLY!… is between the claims PROFFERED by this self-styled prophet of God (Muhammad!), and the claims CLEARLY ATTRIBUTED to Jesus Christ! And as for the said appearance of Archangel Gabriel to Muhammad to bestow upon Muhammad a SPECIAL PROPHETIC DISPENSATION (as outlined in the work, The Quran Translated: Message For Humanity!), such an act by Gabriel (something not mentioned in the Bible!) would put Gabriel in conflict with the words, and will, of Jesus Christ!… and– ultimately!– in conflict with GOD! And so, I-F the said prophet Muhammad did in fact receive a visit from an Angel, I’d strongly assert that that Angel, was someone OTHER, than Gabriel!
And so!… there can be only ONE!… C-L-E-A-R!… resolve to this “epistemologic dilemma”!:… either Jesus Christ, or Muhammad, was “CONFUSED”!… or!… A LIAR! For!… God is not “confused”!… and God is not a liar! But!… as there is O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M-I-N-G E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E for the veracity of the claims put forward by Jesus Christ (e.g., the scientific evidence found at, h-t-t-p-s://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=eCtDqCuhWNM), the “CONFUSION”!… or, DISHONESTY!… ISN’T CHRIST’S! As 1 John 2: 22 states (a verse, prepared 600 years before the “advent” of Muhammad!):… “Who is the liar? It is W-H-O-E-V-E-R D-E-N-I-E-S that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the A-N-T-I-C-H-R-I-S-T!– denying the FATHER, and the Son.” [NIV] And further, Acts 4: 12 states (a further verse prepared 600 years before the “advent” of Muhammad!):… “Salvation exists in NO ONE ELSE, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given to men (and including the name, Muhammad!) by which we must be saved.” [Berean Study Bible]
GOP Radicalization
But with regard to the “CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE R-E-A-C-T-I-O-N” to Islam, generally!… and regarding the view of the “self-avowed/ averred” “CHRISTIAN RIGHT (and its supporters… e.g., the said, ‘Christian Right-wing GOP’!)”, that T-H-E-S-E have a “DEVINE/ SACROSANCT DISPENSATION (i.e., one ‘blessed by God’!… AND YEA, ‘A RIGHT AT THE HEART OF THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHRIST’!… leaving aside for the moment, those claiming a ‘SACROSANCT HUMAN RIGHT’!– in deference to the non-Christian, Humanist members of the GOP!)” to bare arms in defence of themselves (e.g., against the likes of ISIS!)!… and, IN “DEFENCE” OF THE DOWNTRODDEN OF THE WORLD!… such– I suggest!– is S-U-S-P-E-C-T! And!… begs the question:… “IS THEIR ‘DEVINE POSTURE’ AND ‘DEFENSIVE POSITION’ JUSTIFIED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST?” Well… let us examine (i.e., those who profess Christ!… but!… etc.!) a few further New Testament passages, to find out!
In Matthew Chapter 05, Verse 38, Christ states: “You’ve heard that it has been said: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, THAT YOU NOT RESIST (PHYSICALLY CONTEND WITH!) EVIL: WHOSOEVER SHALL HIT YOU ON ONE CHEEK, TURN TO THAT ONE, ALSO, THE OTHER.” In Matthew Chapter 10, Verse 16, Christ states, “Be aware!… I send you out AS SHEEP, in the midst of wolves; therefore, be as wise as serpents, BUT HARMLESS AS DOVES.”
Next, the ensuing is a question put to Christ from a Pharisaic lawyer… in an attempt to catch Jesus in some act of pompous pontification, and religious sophistry! In Matthew, Chapter 22, Verse 36, the Pharisaic lawyer asks: “Master, which is the GREAT COMMANDMENT in the Law?”; V37) Jesus said unto him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND”; V38) “THIS IS THE FIRST AND GREAT COMMANDMENT”; V39) “AND THE SECOND IS LIKE UNTO IT!… ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, AS YOURSELF'”; V40) “ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS, H-A-N-G A-L-L T-H-E L-A-W, A-N-D T-H-E P-R-O-P-H-E-T-S!”
Next, are the words of Paul to the Ephesians, concerning the Christian’s struggle with evil: In Ephesians Chapter 06, Verse 12, Paul states: “FOR WE (CHRISTIANS!) W-R-E-S-T-L-E N-O-T A-G-A-I-N-S-T F-L-E-S-H A-N-D B-L-O-O-D; BUT, AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES.”
Next, in advance of His anticipated sojourn to the Garden of Gethsemene, Jesus sought to convey an important message to His entourage– and, to all others who might bear witness (then, and in the future!)!– about the error of physically resisting/ contending with evil, in an effort to vanquish it! And!… in His preparation!… set in motion the ensuing means, whereby, His message to be told, could be manifest!
In Luke, Chapter 22, Verse 36, Christ states to His entourage:… “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it!… and likewise, a knapsack! And let the one who has no sword, sell his cloak, and buy one (a sword!)”; V37) “For I tell you, that this Scripture must be fulfilled… in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.'” “For what is written about Me, has its fulfillment”; V38) And they said (those with Christ!): “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And He (Jesus!) said to them: “It is enough”; V39) And when Jesus came out, He went (as was His custom!) to the Mount of Olives; and His disciples followed Him.
Subsequently, and upon completion of His efforts in the Garden of Gethsemene, Jesus stood ready to confront the evil advancing upon Him and His followers. In Matthew, Chapter 26, Verse 46, Jesus states: “Rise, let us be going. See… My betrayer is at hand”; V47) While He was still speaking, Judas came (one of the original twelve disciples!)… and, with him, a great crowd… with swords, and clubs… from the Chief Priests… to the elders of the people; V48) Now the betrayer had given them (those with Judas!) a sign; and, saying to them (those with Judas!): “The one I will kiss, is the man… seize Him”; V49) And he came up to Jesus, at once, and said: “Greetings, Rabbi!”… and he (Judas!) kissed Him (Jesus!); V50) Jesus said to him: “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they (those with Judas!) came up, and laid hands on Jesus… and seized Him; V51) And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, drew his sword (i.e., Simon… Peter… see, John 18: 10)… , and struck the servant of the High Priest… cutting off his ear; V52) Then Jesus said to the one (Peter) who drew the sword: “PUT YOUR SWORD BACK INTO ITS PLACE. F-O-R ‘A-L-L’ W-H-O U-S-E T-H-E S-W-O-R-D, W-I-L-L P-E-R-I-S-H B-Y T-H-E S-W-O-R-D”; V53) “DO YOU THINK THAT I CAN’T APPEAL TO MY FATHER?… WHO WILL, AT ONCE, SEND ME MORE THAN TWELVE LEGIONS OF ANGELS!”; V54) “BUT HOW, THEN (if God were to do this!… Jesus continued!) SHALL THE SCRIPTURES BE FULFILLED?”… THAT THUS, IT MUST BE SO (i.e., that the prophesied events should happen in the manner, as was prophesied!)?”
An interesting response to His disciples– to say the least!… and, after having compelled them to buy, and bring the weapons, in the first place! And!… at a time, of the greatest physical threat to the life of Jesus!… that would lead to His very crucifixion! But!– and as it turned out!– to teach them (and all who would eventually receive these actions, and words!), an important lesson:… VENGENCE IS GOD’S PREROGATIVE!– NOT MAN’S!; VENGENCE IS NOT THE RESERVE OF THOSE CLAIMING CHRIST!; AND, IT IS NOT TO BE METED OUT, IN THIS WORLD! And!… Jesus adds an additional reinforcement, in the Book of John…
In John, Chapter 18, Verse 36, Jesus states: “MY KINGDOM ‘IS NOT’ OF THIS WORLD!… IF IT WERE, MY SERVANTS ‘WOULD HAVE FOUGHT (and I’ll add here… when Judas and his gang met Christ!)’, THAT I MIGHT NOT BE DELIVERED OVER TO THE JEWS!…”
And so, are we (who profess Christ!) to adopt the view… today!… in 2017!… that THIS WORLD (the world that Christ declared was NOT His Kingdom!), IS TO BE MADE HIS KINGDOM!… IS TO BE MADE “OUR” KINGDOM!… THROUGH BLOODSHED?… AND NUKES? AND!… AS IF!… CHRIST’S SECOND COMING, AND HIS HEAVENLY SPIRITUAL KINGDOM, HAD ARRIVED!
And further… and in a perverse– SATANIC-BACKED!– attempt to subvert the simple story of the AGAPE LOVE of Jesus Christ for God, and for mankind, the following Bible passage is often cited as some kind of “DEVINE SUPPORT” for the position, that “CHRISTIANS” should “BATTLE EVIL THROUGH THE FLESH”!
The questions to be asked here, are these: “Is the ‘laying down’ of one’s life for one’s friends (AS A CHRISTIAN!), the same as TAKING THE LIFE OF ANOTHER, OR THE LIVES OF OTHERS, IN ONE’S DEFENCE OF ONE’S FRIENDS?” “And, if so, how can/ does such a parity remain CONSISTENT, with the totality– A-N-D C-L-E-A-R!– teachings, of Jesus Christ?”
Simply put, given all of the aforenoted Scriptures (and those unstated!), there can be ONLY ONE INTERPRETATION of/ for John, Chapter 15, Verse 13… and that is: “OUR ‘LAYING DOWN’ OF ONE’S LIFE FOR A FRIEND– I.E., AS A TRUE CHRISTIAN, AND IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD!– MUST BE IN THE MANNER, OF JESUS CHRIST (I.E., ‘W-I-T-H-O-U-T’ T-H-E S-H-E-D-D-I-N-G O-F T-H-E B-L-O-O-D, O-F A-N-Y O-T-H-E-R)!”
Nevertheless!… if we– as professing Christians!– have acted violently in defence of a friend, we have Christ as our propitiation for our sin!… i.e., upon our repentence of our respective impassioned thoughtless act! Otherwise, we invite God’s wrath!… A-N-D C-E-R-T-A-I-N J-U-D-G-E-M-E-N-T, A-N-D R-E-T-R-I-B-U-T-I-O-N!
All You Need
Terrorists, and Terrorism, A-R-E N-O-T “THE PROBLEM”!… A-R-E N-O-T OUR “TARGET”! They’ve never been “THE PROBLEM”!… nor, will they ever be “THE PROBLEM”!
However distasteful one might find– and for example!– what I’ll term, ISISic Muhammad_Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy (or ISIS-MSBP!)… and ISIS-born Marahiq-Muhammad_mujahidization (i.e, and a.k.a., Preteen-Muhammad_mujahidization!) of Marahiq-Muhammad_mujahideen/ Preteen-Muhammad_mujahideen suicide bombers!… what’s WORSE, is the PREMEDITATED “POLITICORADICALIZED COLLATERAL MURDER” OF RADICALIZED CHILDREN, as a “REACTIONARY TREATMENT” of the “SOCIAL SEQUELAE” of “ISISic RADICALIZATION”, generally!
The key question to ask ourselves today, in the aftermath of Trump’s “win”, is:… Will ISIS’ reaction be greater to Trump, than such would have been to Clinton? And let’s not be confused!… terrorists watch the news!… and these have heard the claims, and the hyperbole!… and have gauged the rhetoric! H–l!… ISIS was using Twitter!… i.e., until the “plug was pulled”! These have assessed how Trump may respond to their campaigns… versus how Hillary may have responded! And!… these are preparing for their “counter retaliatory responses” to any Trumpian measures to be effected in the future! And!… these respond most agressively when they are under threat! It’s what they do!… it’s who they are!
And don’t forget… it was the George W. Bush fashioned collateral damage against innocent lives over there… wherever!… that G-A-L-V-A-N-I-Z-E-D otherwise non-aggressive souls into others’ worst nightmares!… wherever! And… it remains to be revealed, to what extent the “tactical offensives” mounted against the “bad guys (AND, SUBSEQUENT COLLATERAL DAMAGE!)” by the military minions to Barack Obama, will fare any better in our histories to be told (i.e., have “c-o-r-r-e-c-t-e-d ‘THE PROBLEM'”!)! And so… the long, and the short of it, is:… Will Americans favor Trump’s “body-bag detail (wherever!… however!… of whomever!… and whenever!)”≠?… or, what would have been that, of Hillary Clinton’s≠? Because… let’s face it!… the terrorists haven’t quit!… and they’re on their way! And although Trump appears… to some!… to be a kind of “stalwart defence (though, perverse!)” against the “DARK ARTS” of “you know who”, is his “defense” more of the “same old, same old” of yesteryear (i.e., a repeat of the evils of by-gone years!… a repeat of history!)≠? In other words, will Donald Trump become, “Mr. Deja Vu”≠?
T-H-E-R-E W-I-L-L B-E N-O J-U-S-T-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N B-Y G-O-D F-O-R T-H-O-S-E W-H-O P-R-O-F-E-S-S C-H-R-I-S-T, F-O-R T-H-E-I-R H-A-V-I-N-G A-B-A-N-D-O-N-E-D T-H-E M-E-S-S-A-G-E O-F J-E-S-U-S, T-H-A-T T-H-E-S-E (C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N-S!) C-O-N-T-I-N-U-E T-O L-O-V-E O-N-E A-N-O-T-H-E-R– A-N-D Y-E-A, T-H-E W-O-R-L-D!– D-E-S-P-I-T-E T-H-E E-V-I-L-S C-O-N-F-R-O-N-T-I-N-G T-H-E-M!
As 1 Corinthians 13: 1- 3 states: 1) If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have L-O-V-E, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal! 2) If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have L-O-V-E, I am N-O-T-H-I-N-G! 3) And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have L-O-V-E, it profits me N-O-T-H-I-N-G!
As a footnote– AND P-L-E-A!– to our B-E-L-O-V-E-D Islamic brothers and sisters, and to the Global Muslim Community (leaving aside, for the moment, those who are of other faiths!)!… remember!… Islam attests to the existence of the person of Jesus Christ; however, the Old Testament (the Testament and Bible of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!… and to which, Islam subscribes!) D-O-E-S N-O-T A-T-T-E-S-T T-O T-H-E P-E-R-S-O-N O-F M-U-H-A-M-M-A-D! And a Testament, and Bible, that preceded the birth of Jesus Christ!… and, that preceded His New Testament!
One can only speculate (save, God’s intercession, and forensic revelation!) as to why Muhammad/ Muhammadism/ Islamism/ Muslimism emerged! Possibly the encroachment of Judaism!… and possibly the additional encroachment of the “Roman Catholic movement (the latter of which, St. Paul… in tears!… warned the first century Christians, would arise! And!… which took the lives of many Christians, and non-Christians, alike! And!… in the name of God, and Christ!)”! But!… whatever the reasons!… the words of Christ are clear!… J-O-H-N T-H-E B-A-P-T-I-S-T was THE ONLY F-I-N-A-L!… AND G-R-E-A-T!… P-R-O-P-H-E-T O-F G-O-D! Praise be to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!… and to His Son, Jesus Christ!
Please!… no emails!

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 valor, bravery, dedication and love of country

Torture is none of these things.

Harming your captives is none of these things.

It’s curious how eager you are to decide that others are actual barbarians when you are the one advocating savagery.

Perhaps these words mean something different than what you imagine them to mean.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Speechless

I was just caught off guard by your categorizing as equally “barbaric” two very different things: the application of un-named and un-specified “torture” to captured foreign combatants, and their exploding a bomb amongst innocent children and parents at a musical event. Two different things, right? No? Same thing?

Now that you have been “refreshed” (are you a lady?) please tell us again how these things are equivalent. We’re interested, really, I know you have a lot to say.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Terrific Poe. The Best Poe

Eloquently put, I mean, for you Thad. You managed to string together 8 words, that’s more than usual. And what did you express? Hmm. The obvious fact that I am posting anonymously, as so many do on this site, that took five words. Well, you got me on that one, don’t you, you tricky devil you. That’s hard to refute. The other three words are not worth assessing. Is your name really Thad, and is your profile accurate? I ask because of your comments about Jeff Sessions, and how if you are indeed an American, you could (and should) be held personally liable for your defamatory remarks. I hear that the government (that includes Jeff) is really good at unmasking people. Just saying.. are you for real, Thad?

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well, Democrats have turned into far-right fringe lunatics, pushing the Republicans off the fringe. They are not exactly the same, but clearly both are far to the right of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower.

Defining themselves in terms of the "opposite" party has not done much for sanity in politics. Sometimes I’d wish to cut both parties off from news about any of the other party’s politics and proposals.

Maybe that would stop them from doubling down on one another’s stupidities.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Kang and Kodos

This is the natural end result of a first-past-the-post elections and the two-party system that is consequential to FPTP. CGP Grey’s YouTube videos on democracy are a great primer on the subject.

Sadly, having only two parties serves both parties, so there’s no way we’re going to get reform without heavy grassroots pressure for it. We’re struggling to address even the electoral college.

Personanongrata says:

Spineless in Imperial City

Erasing History: Trump Administration Returning CIA Torture Report To Be Destroyed

If Feinstein and Wyden (etal) had half a spine they would enter a copy of the full unadulterated Torture Report into the senate record.

Italicized/bold text below was excerpted from the website a report titled:

Senator Who Put Pentagon Papers Into Public Record Urges Udall To Do Same With Torture Report

Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution establishes an absolute free-speech right for members of Congress on the floor or in committee, even if they are disclosing classified material. It states that “for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”

The last time any senator did anything nearly so grand was in 1971, when Mike Gravel, two years into his 12 years representing the state of Alaska, entered 4,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record just before the U.S. Supreme Court lifted an injunction on publishing them in the press.

Liberating the Torture Report and releasing it into the wild for public perusal is the first step in bringing accountability to those war criminals within the US government responsible for the authorization, implementation and cover-up of innumerable acts of torture.

A partial list of US government war criminals in need of trial before their peers:

George Walker Bush, Richard Bruce Cheney, George John Tenet, Jay Scott Bybee, Alberto R Gonzales, John David Ashcroft, John Choon Yoo, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Vincent Hayden, Barack Hussein Obama II, Robert Michael Gates, Donald Henry Rumsfeld, John Owen Brennan, Susan Elizabeth Rice, Leon Edward Podesta, John Forbes Kerry, Hillary Dianne Rodham Clinton, Colin Luther Powell, Eric Himpton Holder Jr, etal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

How you must hate America and American Patriots, like Jeff Sessions, to compare a real ISIS bombing to something associated with the name of the Attorney General of the United States. You commit a unique type of focused, individual terrorism at TechDirt with your disgusting comparisons, just as you have done to so many others. TechDirt is little more than a database of defamation, as you demonstrate (again) publicly.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Well, I am not an attorney, but I certainly see completely undeserved and hateful defamation when I read your post. I assume the two of you are not American (at least I hope you are not) so you believe you can avoid the consequence of defaming senior staff to President Donald J. Trump by name and specific attribution. If I understand it, your belief is that can you can smear anyone to any extent on this site, and no one can do anything about it. At least, that is what you appear to be acting out with your fake apology. You believe everything you do here is totally without consequence. Maybe you are right, but I certainly hope not.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think you should apologize for saying that. It is not true at all, and very damaging to his character. It’s just not right for you to say, at all, not funny. Gruesome in a very undeserved way. Say you are sorry.

You’re right, I was mistaken. Sessions did not actually defend the 16th Street bombing. I confused that case with the one where he tried to persuade a subordinate that investigating a lynching was a waste of time. I sincerely regret the error.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Blowing up little girls

Might I remind everyone of our very active drone strike program in Pakistan. The one in Afghanistan is still active but winding down. Trump is looking to expand the use of drone strikes into other theaters of combat, potentially even to be used locally in police actions.

The CIA programs blow up plenty of little girls. The pilots call them (that is children dead from stinger blast) fun-sized terrorists the way they call the slain bugsplats.

Obama could have stopped blowing up little girls with drone-strikes at any time, and didn’t.

Trump could stop blowing up little girls today. But he wants to blow up even more little girls.

So the United States is pretty darned fond of blowing up little girls, considering that we keep doing it, for really no reason whatsoever (we don’t actually successfully kill that many persons-of-interest considering how many little girls we blow up. It’s about 50 civilians per one POI. Considering a typical demographic spread, we could compute the number of little girls per POI from there.

If Trump really wanted to MAGA, that would be one way he could do it. By stopping our CIA drone-strike programs, at least it would make the United States slightly less awful.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Blowing up little girls

This is a totally false (and disgusting) comparison. Sending a suicide bomber to a children’s musical concert cannot be compared to the US Military striking ISIS combatants. Have you seen ISIS videos of beheadings and torture of innocents? Are you seriously trying to equate US Military action against these foreign combatants with suicide bombers at Ariana Grande concerts?

War is awful. No doubt. But defending cowardly ISIS attacks on little girls listening to music by equating ISIS to the US Military is jut plain crazy. You’re not American, right? Tell the truth for once.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Blowing up little girls

I’m not defending ISIS attacks on little girls.

I’m saying that the United States massacres little girls too.

A lot.

The CIA drone strike programs do not strike ISIS combatants. They attack Afghani and Pakistani civilians.


Men. Women. Children. Grandmothers. Infants.

Little girls.

So yes. It compares.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Blowing up little girls

And your solution to killing self-declared enemy combatants on their own soil without hurting anyone around them is …? Do you understand that the people in the US government and the people in the US military have morals, too? Do you understand that they are human, that they do their best, given the circumstances? Do you understand that their job is to protect Americans against those who declare their hatred of America and express their murderous desire in horrible disgusting ways? You are a pompous self-loving self-aggrandizing idiot. God Bless the USA, and those who serve it (not you).

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Good Moral Men

So in other words we shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads because real men with real morals are acting in good faith are taking care of business and keeping us safe?

Have you learned nothing on this site?

Remember that proclaimed men of God engineered the CIA torture program. We’ve seen how easy it is for the morals the well-meaning can be twisted to accommodate atrocity. Especially when lured by sweet, sweet well-paid government contracts.

Regarding our drone strike programs, in actuality they are wrecking the hearts and minds of the pilot teams who fly them. The pilots spend days (in shifts) monitoring a neighborhood from drones, watching the individuals within them getting on with life. And then a decision comes from someone they never met that all those people have to be burned. And they’re left pulling the trigger that launches the Hellfires. And then they get to fly down close to make sure all the little girls are adequately dead.

It doesn’t help they’re treated like trash by their superiors in ways that no jet pilot ever was.

The drone strike program is the end result of our no-assassinations policy as established in the 60s. Instead we do targeted killings. That is to say rather than hitting someone with a sniper bullet or a covert operative with poison or a silencer, we hit them instead with a bomb that destroys three blocks around them.

It doesn’t help that we have the technology to make drone snipers, and instead we still bombard civilian areas with Hellfires.

That’s not moral. That’s not doing their best. That’s how we treat brown-skins we know we can bully, rather than opposing superpowers with nukes pointed at us.

You may be happy to live in an America where we piss wherever we want and beat down anyone smaller than us who objects, Anonymous Coward, but that’s not my America. It’s certainly not an America that Jesus would bless.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Good Moral Men

“Have you learned nothing on this site?”

Well, I learned that you have only empty arguments, that’s one thing. I learned you are unwilling to protect yourself, your family, or your fellow Americans from the barbarians at the gate. I learned you an apologizer to the world on behalf of the terrorists that pray and act out for the destruction of our society and the imposition of their violent and oppressive religious beliefs.

You do seem to be able to write, but you also seem unable to think like a rational being. Someone attacks you and dedicates themselves to eradicating your society, and you worry that America is so large that it should not “beat down” anyone smaller than us. EVERYONE is smaller than us. Why is that? Because we have the BEST IDEAS in the world.

You are so comfortable and philosophical that you forget that freedom does not come free. Just because you are unwilling to pay the price for freedom does not mean that it does not have to be paid. Someone has to do it.

Your passive ideas will not save the country that protects you from the violent religious extremists hell bent on destroying it.

It’s not YOUR America. It’s OUR America, you just have the pleasure to live in it. God bless America and those who serve it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Good Moral Men

“We should be dog-piling on those who’d dare torture like American flight passengers on a hijacker.”

You remember this, this is your quote. I like it, I believe it reflects my personal ideas about America and Americans. Take the situation you describe, a hijacker hell bent on using a plane to destroy something in America.

We all feel, it, right? A love of country, and spirit of self-sacrifice, an understanding of the greater-good, a respect for all the fallen who have come before us. We “pile on” hijackers, absolutely, proud in the meaning of our death and joined by our fearless fellow Americans around us. An honorable death, dedicated to ideas, ideals, convictions and heart-felt beliefs, our self-sacrifice carrying a meaning greater than our own life.

Unfortunately, you only seem to be able to apply this principle to those who would “dare torture”, by which you seem to mean American politicians and American armed forces trying to protect our country.

You do understand that terrorists mean to torture us, right, not our own politicians? Our own politicians and armed forces do not want to torture us, they want to serve us, within their abilities. Would you agree we should “pile on” terrorists, or would you like to continue your lunatic rant about drones and condemning those who protect us?

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 We have to earn our white hats. But we don't.

We have demonized terrorist organizations enough as it is. That they choose to act like savages, that they have ideologies that conflict with mine, that they enslave their own and those people they conquer is not lost on me. That our captured soldiers can expect poor quarter from them only steels the resolve of our own soldiers.

But how we treat those that surrender to us is not about justice. It’s about who we are, and how we treat the least of us. When we treat enemy combatants well, they’re going to be more willing to surrender. But when we torture them, when we kill their civilians, when we replace their democracies with puppet dictatorships, this only steels their resolves. It sends more desperate young people into recruitment.

It also makes ours a nation that tortures. It’s hard to pretend we’re the good guys when we don’t behave like good guys. You seem to be of the opinion that we’re good guys just because our hats are white. No, we’re good guys because we treat people well. And if we don’t treat people well, we cease to be good guys.

Given the policies of the US, they have good cause to hate us, because we’re reckless brutal bullies who torture and kill indiscriminately. They don’t hate us for our freedom, they hate us because we’re assholes.

And I’d really rather live in a nation of non-assholes. It was what I was taught as a kid we were supposed to be.

What do you teach your kids?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 We have to earn our white hats. But we don't.

“When we treat enemy combatants well, they’re going to be more willing to surrender.”

I divorced the last lady that made this type of argument years ago. She was gifted at couching everything in what could appear as rationality to the casual observer, and then sprinkle something totally outrageous and unbelievable.

“Willing to surrender”? Suicide bombers “willing to surrender” if we treat them better when they do. That’s your argument.

Come on, you are my ex-wife, right? You’ve hunted me done to torture me further with your ridiculous arguments. On the other hand, maybe you have the same mental disease she did. I thought it only affected ladies (and not even all of them) just before their period. Ever watch “Raymond”? That’s what I mean.

Willing to surrender. Incredible expectation to apply to a suicide bomber.

Does anybody anywhere buy this argument?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 We have to earn our white hats. But we don't.

Ok, sorry, maybe my mistake. I was sure your profile picture was of a man, but upon closer inspection it could be a picture of a lady. I thought you were posing as a man, which I think would be pitiful, but perhaps not, it could have been my mistake to think you were a man at all. Sorry. I should have taken some cues from your words, “pretty little heads” was a dead giveaway. Angry short-haired lady, I get that now.

Anyway, that being said, your argument is without merit. It is divorced from reality. It imagines that there is another world where ideals can rule the day and everyone is safe automatically. We all have ideals, the bravest among us wear uniforms that reflect our ideals. Freedom is earned for the rest of us by those proud Americans in uniform.

You seem to have never embraced the “proud to be American” state of mind. Are Americans perfect? No. Is the American system the best system in the world? Absolutely, by demonstration, repeatedly, and with a long history. Name a better one. Don’t imagine one, name one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 We have to earn our white hats. But we don't.

No, that is not my plan, that was a little fantasy I created on behalf of someone who thought I was Shiva. About that: you remember the combination “swearing in” and “swearing to” ceremony, where Shiva becomes first POTUS and then subjugates himself to Melania for all eternity? What do you think if Melania is holding a genetically modified Persian cat, kind of like Dr. Evil, but it can be pink and it’s name can be pussy. And then we cut back and forth between the cat’s eyes and Melania’s eyes, wondering which of them feels more like the ruler of the entire universe. Striking, no?

Anyway, back to your point, what’s my genius plan? Elect President Donald J. Trump (I even gave him money), publicly support him as best I can, and try to stamp out stupid un-American lunatic ideas when the opportunity arises.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Ah the “patriot” – oh so ‘brave’ and ready to take on any external ‘threat’ because America is strong ™. But when it comes to any slightest bit of accountability and suddenly America is too weak and will be utterly destroyed if it shows one iota of conscience or accountability to those in power.

True patriots stand for rights – sycophants for power can go fuck off. There are plenty of countries trading freedom for ‘security’ so go to them instead.

Anonymous Coward says:

The Report Is Taxpayer Property

The idea of destroying a report that cost $40 MILLION dollars and years of hard work to create makes my blood boil. That report was created using my tax dollars and the dollars of other US citizens. I think we have a right to see it. The people have a right to know what their government is doing. The fact that they don’t want us to see it speaks volumes. I don’t care who is embarrassed by it. If it isn’t something to be proud of, maybe we shouldn’t be doing it, right?

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: The Report Is Taxpayer Property

You don’t seem to understand how paying for things works.

When you spend money, you get a thing in return. $3 trillion for something that is worth $3 trillion is not a greater expense than $40 million for something that is covered up and never disclosed. Do you see the difference? Come on, you’re a free-market guy; I’m sure you understand the concept of exchanging value for equal value.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The Report Is Taxpayer Property

Yes, you’ve pinpointed my philosophy of life. So, let’s see: you are asking me, should I “redistribute” $3T of American Wealth to other countries because I get … uh? What do I get? No contribution at all from the two largest polluters in the world, India and China? They can wait a decade, but America needs to pay now, be penalized now, lose jobs now and apologize because really we should be paying more? How about this: America keeps the $3T and invests it to actually develop better technologies in America. Then, in the future, when the third world needs help not to completely crap on itself, we license our technology at a reduced rate. That’s generous, right? That way, more gets done, the government is less involved, and everybody wins! Free Market! Yay!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The Report Is Taxpayer Property

Dude, we would have gotten JACK for our $3 trillion from the Paris Agreement. Even the people pushing it acknowledged it wasn’t effective OR binding in any way, and was just a vehicle to introduce legislation to force the government to implement environmental “rules” which would never be politically viable as laws.

Pay attention for a change sometime.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: The "Mean Girls" of TechDirt

“Wow, look at all the history you have erased in the form of hidden comments”

So, on top of everything else, you don’t know what the words “hidden” and “erased” actually mean.

But, hey, at least you’re familiar with films made for teenage girls. I wonder if that’s a hint as to why you overcompensate by obsessing over masculinity – you lack it yourself?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The "Mean Girls" of TechDirt

Maybe you should educated me, since I don’t watch American news channels and I don’t understand why a reference to a teen comedy from 2004 would be relevant to current news reporting. A shortcut to help those with less educated outlooks to help them understand basic concepts, perhaps?

Although, it’s hardly surprising that you’re a Fox viewer.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The "Mean Girls" of TechDirt

The funny thing is that he admits he’s not even thinking for himself – it’s OK that he’s referencing a movie for teenage girls, because someone on a show he watches does it.

With that as his defence, it either means he’s thinking whatever Fox News is telling him to think, or he’s freed from admitting his more embarrassing pastimes because someone more famous than him does the same thing. In his mind, blindly copying the TV is enough.

I note that he’s not come back to explain the reference for anyone who doesn’t watch Tucker Carlson, he thinks that stating this is enough on its own. Very strange, but it fits with the weird, obsessive persona.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The "Mean Girls" of TechDirt

I remember Mean Girls being a pretty good movie, though I only saw it once. Tina Fey knows how to craft a joke.

Nothing wrong with liking something even if you’re not the target audience; Lord knows I watch enough children’s cartoons that I can’t cast any stones in that respect.

If you think Tucker Carlson is a smart man, though, that is something you might want to keep to yourself.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 The "Mean Girls" of TechDirt

I’m not a fan of Mean Girls but I’m fairly omnivorous in my film habits. I’ll watch anything from kids movies to movies that have been justifiably banned for their extreme content. I certainly won’t disparage anyone else for doing so, lest my guilty pleasures get exposed as well.

I only bring it up, as this particular coward has been very keen on attacking the perceived masculinity of other people here, and that seems particularly notable in the context of someone referencing a movie made explicitly for teen girls.

As for Tucker Carlson, I only vaguely know who he is from mentions by Americans on the internet. Knowing where he works, I can imaging he’s a poor specimen of humour and honesty, but I have no desire to jump through the required hoops to find out for sure.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The "Mean Girls" of TechDirt

For what it’s worth, chubby, Melania Trump/Shiva Ayyadurai fanfiction is not “history”. It’s the sort of garbage sold to middle-aged women with no jobs other than to recline in hammocks and masturbate in the sun.

Come to think of it, that probably struck a nerve there…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The "Mean Girls" of TechDirt

Why, thank you, that’s quite a compliment. Do you know how big the market of middle-aged women with no jobs other than to recline in hammocks and masturbate in the sun is? Big, for real, and they have money to spend (they get more sex than any of you frigid “Mean Girls”) One more thing about the Melania/Shiva wedding ceremony – the sound. I’m thinking Pink’s “True love” for a sound track, with a subtle “purring” track just under the music, coming from the pink Persian. Then, subtly, the camera pans to Melania and you can see it’s not the cat purring, but Melania herself – cool, no?



The “flagging” of otherwise FREE EXPRESSION by a handful of Nettrollians within a CYBER GATED COMMUNITY, is a breach of Digital Human Rights!… and, will be deemed so, over time! And just because the dissenting numbers exist within a site to defeat a given expression, DOESN’T MEAN THAT THE DISSENT IS VALID, AND SOCIALLY HELPFUL! Therefore, I would ask that you scrap this “GANGSTA COMMENT LOGGING” style, and replace this with a SANE APPROACH to Public Expression!
Please!… no emails!

PaulT (profile) says:



Oh, is that what you call an open site that doesn’t require you to identify yourself before posting? A feature that you always take advantage of, even as you insist that people you didn’t supply an email address to don’t email you?

Welcome back, a shame your sanity chip wasn’t installed during your absence.



Open?… to whom? To the “flagger community”, yes! But dare some lone voice object to this NETTROLLIAN GATED CLIQUE, then the FLAGGER GANG is at the ready to call for mommy Mike! The issue is “flagging”!… with or without the Anonymity of the “flagger”! As for my SANITY, the SANE would have made the distinction I’ve just rendered! And… again!… my signoff is an effectation!… AS YOU DON’T HAVE MY EMAIL ADDRESS IN ORDER TO SEND ME SOME RIDICULOUS COMMENT! And you’ve got the audacity to question MY SANITY! What a maroon!… and no, not the color!
Please!… no emails!

Anonymous Coward says:

The long, but not easy, view

Hey leakers, if you really want to make a difference for the sake of history, and US values, now is the time.

Forget Trump, forget Russia, forget dreams of bathing in hot takes from Twitter. The USG wants this report to disappear not because it makes them look bad, it’s so they can do it again.

I admit, it’s easy for me to say. Whoever is responsible will break a whole host of laws. They would likely be the next Snowden, a fugitive who will never see their home again. They will be called a traitor, and vilified for who knows how long.

But if this be treason, make the most of it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wyden, a person who has never done anything more than flip his lips in furtherance of anything, although he could always do more, is continually placed upon a pedestal by Mike as if the man is some kind of super person over and above everyone else in his care or his abilities. And yet, when a person never does anything more than flip his lips, like Wyden, that person is actually below average in care and ability. So what is the “real reason” he keeps trumpeting the virtues of Wyden? Perhaps for the same reason he currently also trumpets the virtue of Feinstein. It just goes to prove, that no matter a person has done, or in the case of Wyden, hasn’t done… if you are jew, you will eventually be put upon a pedestal by some other jew, and undeservedly so. Go ahead and hide the post, Mike, you are the only one who ever does that.

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