June 09, 2004

Well, Ashcroft Said It Was OK!!

Here's some reading on the whole torture thing.
Memo Says Bush Not Restricted by Torture Bans;
Bush Didn't Order Any Breach of Torture Laws, Ashcroft Says.

If you don't want to read it, here's the quick sum-up: Ashcroft has said, this week, that the President "'made no order that would require or direct the violation' of either the international treaties or domestic laws prohibiting torture." Good. Last year, Ashcroft's department published a memorandum that said the President has no obligation to follow such treaties or laws. So Ashcroft's not saying "the President didn't order the torture," he's saying "the President didn't order any torture that, in our opinion, he's not allowed to order." That's a big difference, especially since he's said the President can order any torture he wants to. Given the circumstances of a slipping Presidential approval rating and upcoming election, wouldn't you think that, if Bush hadn't ordered any torture at all, Ashcroft would've said "President Bush never ordered torture," instead of "President Bush never ordered torture that violates treaties or laws," ESPECIALLY in light of the recent discovery of this memorandum? Certainly...if that were the case.

The justification for allowing the President to order torture that would otherwise violate international treaties or domestic laws seems pretty tenuous. Actually, it seems barely justifiable, and if it weren't for having seen this administration try to justify an entire war on shaky evidence, I'd have trouble believing Ashcroft could actually get up in public and pretend to be serious in his legal assessment. We're at war, and the President is in charge of the conduct of the war, so he's not bound by treaties prohibiting torture. OK. Surely we can't hold Saddam Hussein accountable for his torture either, because Iraq was at war when he committed those atrocities. Surely we can't hold Hitler responsible for the Holocaust, because Germany was at war. Some may counter that those nations deliberately and wrongly went on the offensive to create those wars. So did we. Ah, but they were...evil! So are we. Seriously. So what's the difference? Why is ousting Saddam a good thing? Why isn't anyone invading our country to oust Bush? How can we justify the prosecution of other nations' leaders for war crimes? Is the President, by virtue of being in charge of a war he created, bound by NO law or treaty? It would seem the case.

Here's another thought: we're not at war. We haven't declared war in 50 years. Not in Nam, not in Iraq, not in Somalia, Kosovo, Iran, Nicaragua, anywhere. So you don't get to say "he's in charge of the war:" there's no war to be in charge of. There's undeclared military action without provocation or justification. Ah, the high moral ground we possess. Thank God Saddam Hussein's out of power: the world's much safer now!

Here's another thought: Clinton wasn't impeached for adultery, remember? He was impeached for lying, because the other side couldn't stand him. Why hasn't the other side decided to do the same to this guy? Have we the beginnings of a one-party state? Hyperbole? Perhaps. But why? Why don't we fight? Why did we learn the wrong lesson from the Republican surge? Who's running this goddam show?

Here's another thought: five days of mourning for Reagan? Constant news coverage? Why don't we just have the richest 1% mourn for five days and let it trickle down?

Here's another thought: I'm right, and you're either with me, or you're for the terrorists and all the sushi-eating Howard Dean-buttfucking Vermonters.

Here's another thought: If we're just going to sacrifice all the liberties we're supposed to be struggling to protect, we might as well just save the lives and money and surrender now, convert to Islam, buy stock in veil companies, and learn Arabic.

Here's another thought: Bush hasn't done anything to reduce the problem of terrorism. In fact, he's cut funding for first responders (police, EMTs, and firepeople of either or both sexes) across the nation. The Homeland Security Agency has failed to do anything at all except to point out that duct tape makes you immune to radiation, and red is a scarier color than orange. Invading a sovereign Arab nation is unlikely to endear many Arabs to our cause. Picture if Saddam had invaded Canada last year. Would you have converted to al Queda? So I'm curious: what exactly has he done that makes him so strong in the war on terror? Cut funding for anti-terrorism and invaded a state that posed no national or terrorist threat to us. Sweet! If the war on terror is nearly as important as Bush makes it out to be, voting for Bush is morally indefensible.

Here's another thought: fuck Diebold.

Here's another thought: during Reagan's funeral, George W. Bush will be sitting next to Bill Clinton. On Clinton's other side will be George H. W. Bush. Then Carter and Ford. Picture Clinton sitting between those two Bushes! That's a once-in-a-lifetime entertainment opportunity!

I'm out of thoughts. That's it.

Posted by Chris at June 9, 2004 10:38 PM | TrackBack

The war on terror is a big fat farce. It's the bogeyman we talk about to scare us into an irrational frame of mind that allows us to believe that it somehow makes sense to limit our freedom in order to increase our freedom. Sadly they obviously think that we're all retarded...sadly they're mostly right- a vast majority- VAST as in more than (wild guess coming up) 80% have been sucessfully trained to think in choice a or choice b terms. The beauty of the war on terror farce is that it is self perpetuating...we are actually increasing the chances (yes another guess based on my theory of 'terrorism') of further attacks on either our land or our people via unconventional means. I've said it before here and I'll say it again...American Revolutionaries by today's standards would be considered terrorists. Desperate cunning acts of people who know better than to fight in a manner in which it was almost certain that they would lose-

Posted by: Dana at June 11, 2004 10:55 AM

"If we're just going to sacrifice all the liberties we're supposed to be struggling to protect, we might as well just save the lives and money and surrender now, convert to Islam, buy stock in veil companies, and learn Arabic."

This is the greatest thing ever. Yup. Hyperbole at it's very finest. Applause. It's going in my sig block, appropriately quoted, of course.

Uriah Maynard

"If we're just going to sacrifice all the liberties we're supposed to be struggling to protect, we might as well just save the lives and money and surrender now, convert to Islam, buy stock in veil companies, and learn Arabic."
--Chris Blood

Posted by: Uriah at June 11, 2004 11:06 PM

Amen. I've been tempted to write a thesis on the parallels between the current US policy and the Third Reich. Methods etc., but more the propaganda. We're genius not because we're at "war" but because we're at "war" and the majority believes we SHOULD be. Crazy scary group think. God Bless the US baby!

Check out Inventing Reality by Parenti. It looks at a lot of that. Interesting read.

Posted by: Tim at June 12, 2004 07:12 AM

Some interesting thoughts.

In the first Gulf War (1990-91), we operated with the sanction of the UN, and then were domestically authorized by Congress to use force, mostly just to keep some of the hotheads saying "We don't take orders from some namby-pamby United Nations!".

Still not an actual declaration of war, but certainly a hell of a lot more justified than this current bullshit.

By the by, check out S89 and HR163 over at http://thomas.loc.gov . It's fairly old news at this point, but still worth mentioning. It actually caused me to write letters to my congressmen, asking them to oppose those bills.

Posted by: Nabil at June 15, 2004 11:17 AM

I enjoyed the reading, I now get my news from the daily show and The Root Beer Blog. I am really not very learned when it comes to politics so I can't comment. I wonder how much of this reagan stuff is pushed through by Dub-Ya, so that when his Daddy dies he'll get the same treatment. Fag.

Posted by: Adam at June 15, 2004 06:21 PM

I'm one of those 'we don't take no orders from that thar un U.N.' hotheads.

Anyhow I'm in total agreement with those opposed to this iraq shit and have been from the start.

Posted by: Scruffy at June 15, 2004 08:38 PM

whoa! there's bubbles n shit up on the top!

Posted by: Dana at June 20, 2004 10:56 AM

Nice Head, dude! ;)

Posted by: Tim at June 20, 2004 11:44 AM

Well, I must say, I do love head.

Posted by: Chris at June 20, 2004 12:14 PM

Fizz Master!

Bubbles up my nose
Syrupy goodness, soda
Through carbonation.

Posted by: Nabil at June 23, 2004 06:33 PM

So, any plans to write up Fahrenheit 9/11?

Posted by: Nabil at July 6, 2004 03:07 PM

Are you dead?

Posted by: Uriah at July 17, 2004 10:21 AM
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