The Ministry of Shadows

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Whitewashing Torture?

Friday, Apr. 17, 2009 3:49 AM

I'm disappointed that the Obama Administration is choosing not to prosecute CIA officers and military personnel who engaged in torture under the Bush Administration.

However, I also understand that the real problem does not rest solely at the feet of such personnel, but with the theories of the 'unitary executive' and 'extraordinary powers' in a time of war, as well as the Justice Department memos espousing the legality of such techniques.

It's a subtle distinction between 'just following orders' and the equally necessary process of discrediting the architects of this disgace and their 'theories' on executive power, such that the future of leadership in this country won't come to be defined by a bunch of pushme-pullyu executive orders every election cycle.

At least, that's how I'm hoping it's going to play out.

If, on the other hand, this is nothing more than Obama sweeping Just One More Bush Mess under the carpet, then he's lost any moral authority to lead this country, just as the thug who preceded him did.


Torture apologists are still insisting that the release of the memos on the subject 'aids the terrorists' and risks the nation's safety in a 'ticking time bomb' scenario, because, apparently, terrorists will train themselves to resist these techniques.

And they say that with a straight face, even though the results from a 'top-ranking al-Qaeda figure' like Abu Zubaydah have been examined and found to be full of lies.

Torture does not produce reliable results, and it's illegal.


Pat Robertson is joining the How Dare They Spy On Me! parade, perpetuating the lies that the DHS report targets conservatives, veterans, pro-life advocates, and just plain folk who happen to disagree with current U.S. policy.

Oh, and it's all the fault of some liberal or pervert buried deep in the DHS closet.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, the fault, dear Reverend, lies not in the stars, but in ourselves. It was a fearful government and a fearful populace that created the Department of Homeland Security, who looked the other way in regards to illegal wiretaps, and who now just can't stand the fact that this whole enemy-of-the-state mentality is catching up to them.

But the kicker is Robertson's suggestion for action: flood the DHS hotline with complaint calls.

"And if you jam up their lines, good for you!" he adds.

Okay, look, nimrod - someone cut fiber optic lines here in the Bay Area last week, knocking out 911 services among other things - and because the phone lines are perceived as critical national infrastructure, it's a federal crime that will likely result in charges of domestic terrorism.

Conducting what is essentially a denial-of-service attack on DHS isn't exactly the smartest thing to do.


Eight members of the police force in Strathclyde, Scotland, list 'Jedi' as their religion on official forms.

Roughly 390,000 people in England and Wales listed their religion as Jedi during the 2001 Census; 14,000 people in Scotland did the same. The Office for National Statistics does not recognize the Jedi as an official faith, and tallied them along with Atheists.



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