Congress creates contrived outrage over “torture”

Following the contrived outrage over the AIG bonus scandal, which many politicians knew about well in advance, the next phony outrage story is over alleged “torture” of terrorist prisoners by waterboarding.

Congress, led by President Obama, is doing a fine job of manufacturing outrage over something they were briefed on dozens of times.

Fox News reports:

Republicans, hoping to turn the tables on Democrats who are open to prosecuting Bush-era lawyers for justifying “enhanced” interrogation techniques, are seeking to reveal the names of those lawmakers who were briefed on the tactics as much as seven years ago.

FOX News has learned there were more than 30 meetings and briefings with members of Congress on the subject since 2002.

The first such briefing dealt with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the Al Qaeda operations chief who ran the training camps in Afghanistan where the Sept. 11 hijackers were trained. Sources said California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, now the speaker of the House, attended the meeting with then-Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla. (who later became CIA director), and she did not raise any objections.

The briefings were given to the chairmen and ranking members of the intelligence committees in the House and Senate until 2006. That could cover Sen. John Rockefeller, W.Va., and Rep. Jane Harman, Calif., both Democrats, as well as Sen. Pat Roberts, Kan., Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C., Sen. Richard Shelby, Ala., and Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Mich., all Republicans.

Defenders of the interrogation program note that if Congress had wanted to kill the program, all it had to do was withhold funding, which didn’t happen.

Did any of the spineless cowards in congress stand up on their principles to speak out against what they perceived as “torture”? No, they did not.

Glenn Beck elaborates:

Representative Pete Hoekstra, Republican from Michigan, also wrote today in the Wall-Street Journal shedding light on how much congress has known for years about so-called “harsh” interrogation techniques:

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair got it right last week when he noted how easy it is to condemn the enhanced interrogation program “on a bright sunny day in April 2009.” Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.

George Tenet, who served as CIA director under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, believes the enhanced interrogations program saved lives. He told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in April 2007: “I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

Last week, Mr. Blair made a similar statement in an internal memo to his staff when he wrote that “[h]igh value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country.”

Yet last week Mr. Obama overruled the advice of his CIA director, Leon Panetta, and four prior CIA directors by releasing the details of the enhanced interrogation program. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has stated clearly that declassifying the memos will make it more difficult for the CIA to defend the nation.

It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

So if congress knew, including then-Senator Obama, why the manufactured outrage today? Could it be perhaps that the members of congress who knew about these techniques, yet sat idly by, are now speaking out merely for political reasons?

No, of course not, I’m sure it’s that they just now found their spines and decided to stand up for their principles they’ve been hiding in the back closet for several years.

  • These fools who stated they new nothing about these interrogations,please, lets water board them!

  • D.D.Mao

    It seems the term “INTERROGATION” AND “TORTURE” are being blurred and used interchangable in this discussion.

    If war is unthinkable in the existing world that is not only a threat but one who attacked you surrender is the only possible solution.However lets not counteract the faintheartedness and the pusillanimous of the American left with a lack of civility,moral standards or an abdication of responsibility that is not only needed but demanded from the American right. It sadly seems however that the current CLUELESS GOP gets it’s ideas by reading white papers by Joe the Plumber.

  • Bill Hedges

    “CLUELESS GOP” ??

    DDMao

    I do not have the in-depth vocabulary & phrase conception knowledge that you have. I will say I do not grasps totally what you wrote.

    But for some strange reason I am disheartened by your comment. And don’t see its justification after reading Nate’s article

    It may be my lack of mastery of the English language causing my ignorance to not “get your complete meaning”.

  • D.D.Mao

    I am stating that while I don’t agree with the cut and run left (surrender is the only option)we on the right SHOULDN’T have a lack of civility or morals (IE: torturing)to accomplish our goals.

    As far as CLUELESS GOP I meant the Republican/Conservative members of Congress don’t have a twit of an idea as to leadership nor can convey ANY IDEAS to the American people as to what they stand for or what direction they want to take the nation.This is shown by the recent attacks by the liberal left against Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Parties being formed from the ground up.(IE: my reference to policy papers being written by the base)

  • Bill Hedges

    DDMao

    For the part I disgree with you on, I have stated my own stance on torture. And will retire from the futher discussion

  • D.D.Mao

    I guess we agree that we disagree on the subject of torture.

    With Respect…….D.D.Mao

  • JD

    I posted this on the other article but since this article is also about torture, I thought is a good idea to post it here too.

    I have been gone for the past couple of weeks but on my travels I saw a girl that was wearing a wrist band that said…

    WWJD

    Now I thought those had gone out of fashion too but It got me thinking as I read this article.

    What would Jesus do? Do any of you on here believe that Jesus Christ would support water boarding?

    I guess this is relevant if you are a christian or not but just a thought. It would be curious to hear everyone’s answers.

  • Bill Hedges

    jd

    Nate wrote_

    “So if congress knew, including then-Senator Obama, why the manufactured outrage today? Could it be perhaps that the members of congress who knew about these techniques, yet sat idly by, are now speaking out merely for political reasons?”

    Seems phasible to me.
    …..

    I can not speak for the big J.C…BUT IF i MUST. There would be a No bandage rule for torture. As well as mental anguish.
    …..

    Comparing our torture to theirs. Jesus is ahead on points. If such can be said of war ! And said of Gods ! Terrorist God must surely be angry with explosives scrapped to children and women, beheadings, etc..In today’s 2 wars.
    …..

    Jd actual statement_

    “What would Jesus do? Do any of you on here believe that Jesus Christ would support water boarding?”

    Well in Bible, J.C. kicked property and kicked bad people out of church ! Yeah, I could see J.c. waterboarding to save lives under certain conditions.

  • D.D.Mao

    Bill…………You mentioned once before you dabbled in drugs while in college.Me thinks you should put down the pipe before you make any more preposterous statements such as you did in your 1:57 A.M. post.On one side of the political spectrum we have a MAN who his followers believe is the MESSIAH and on the other side you want to USE Jesus for condoning torture.The only torture JESUS condoned to save lives was his own on the cross to save our SOULS.

    I find it belligerent and delusionary that you would even think of using the bible for peddling your embroidered interpertation on torture.Please refrain from your tsunami of ignorance when it comes to using the Good Book to further your “Auseinandersetzung”.

  • Bill Hedges

    DDMao

    Getting personal. Ignoring my bibical example

    Go to Hell.

  • D.D.Mao

    Bill……..Your example is asinine and deserves to be ignored!

    “Brevior Vita es Quam Pro Futumentibus Negotiam Agendo”

  • Bill Hedges

    DDMao

    Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri? Die dulci fruere.

  • D.D.Mao

    Bill………..LOL ! The only smoke being blown is by you.

    “Infans Jesu invidit assinum”

  • Bill Hedges

    DDMao

    Let me give you some fresh ammunition. Am sure your insulting me with ease your personal family problems. Wheather showing off in Latin or use of your $1,000 words. Your cries for help are heard by me. And wish you the best.

    1. I am overweight.
    2 Full disability for diabetes
    3. 55G20 in army

    If you need more, let me know.

    Maybe this is help
    …..

    Maybe this will give you a moment rest

    http://patriotsforamerica.ning.com/video/taps-like-youve-never-heard-it

  • Bill Hedges

    DDMao

    I have a comment that has not cleared. Your desire to have a insult fight is amusing.

    Be a man of your word..”Bill……..Your example is asinine and deserves to be ignored”

  • Bill Hedges

    Please add you will ignore me

  • bones

    If Jesus ever used or even advocated any kind of coercive techniques for interrogation on any person, I missed that part in the bible.

    Abusing property and kicking people out of a church is not waterboarding. Heck, I’ve destroyed property and kicked people out of my house, I’ve even been in a fight. But please don’t take that as evidence that I’d advocate waterboarding. That’s not a sensible line of logic, whether it’s applied to man or the son of God.

  • Bill Hedges

    bones

    Addind words to what I wrote is only useful to add meaning that was not intended.

    DDMao finds it neceassay. So be it

    “Well in Bible, J.C. kicked property and kicked bad people out of church ! Yeah, I could see J.c. waterboarding to save lives under certain conditions.”

    Most noteabible_”Yeah, I could see J.c. waterboarding to save lives under certain conditions.”

    God did use violents.

  • Bill Hedges

    bones

    I am not applying my logic to your circumstance. I was responding to jd…”What would Jesus do? Do any of you on here believe that Jesus Christ would support water boarding?”

    DDMao doesn’t like my opionion. Lucky for me I have right to it even as a “idiot”. I believe he used that word

  • D.D.Mao

    Bill..Obviously bones didn’t find any WORDS ADDED because he came to the same conclusion as I did.You must be using the King Bill version Bible.However it will be my pleasure to ignore ALL your post!

  • Bill Hedges

    bone

    DDMao wrote..”you want to USE Jesus for condoning torture”

    I have explained how I was answering jd question…”What would Jesus do? Do any of you on here believe that Jesus Christ would support water boarding?”

    DDMao kind of lost it. This may show what kind of man he is. Will he admit his error ? I wonder ?

  • Bill Hedges

    DDMao

    Thanks….I try to stay away from vugarity

  • Bill Hedges

    D.D.Mao Apr 27th, 2009 at 7:58 am
    … “and on the other side you want to USE Jesus for condoning torture.”

    “I find it belligerent and delusionary that you would even think of using the bible for peddling your embroidered interpertation on torture.”

    Added words. Your interpretation out of context to question I was answering from jd……”What would Jesus do? Do any of you on here believe that Jesus Christ would support water boarding?”

  • i have respectfully sat back and listened, or read. I still hold my original opinion which is, water boarding is not torture. Does it brake bones? Has anyone died from water boarding? What kind of harm or damage does it cause?

    This next comment may not seem very lady like, I apologize in advance. If I had a family member in one of those towers or on one of those plans, I would want every coward who took part in these terrorist attacks water boarded or worse. If there is a concern with if the person was being falsely accused of terrorism then why does the gov’t not perform a lie detector test. And don’t give me the crap that its not accurate, that was so 20/30 years ago and you know it. It’s time the courts reviewed lie detector tests again.

    If the person is found to be a terrorist then yes, water board them. Mohammad help them b/c if I were to get my hands on them I wouldn’t hesitate to do much worse.

    I’m sorry if you feel I’m being harsh, but innocent people lost there lives. Yet there are terrorist that are said to be tortured b/c they were forced to eat a happy meal, or in one instances one of the terrorist who had a fear of poisonous insects was interrogated by a caterpillar being placed in his cell. However, it came out last week that these were acts of torture. Please. Remember, these men were plotting terrorist acts, your life could have been one that was lost by the actions of a terrorist, but oh no, we have to look out for there safety.

  • Bill Hedges

    CG

    Fact have been coming out of both sides of Congress and parties knew of waterboarding and was pleased. Now those records are being hide. Our GREAT House leader, no matter what she says,,, lies, saying she did not know.

    Repeatily told by Bush adminisreation. But as in most cases,,,lies,,,is Democrat response.

    They even said many were happy about the water treatment. Lives were saved. No one of the 4 or whatever killers were hurt.

  • Bill Hedges

    One unclaasified bit of information coming out was plan to blow up Boston Bridge. Terrorist information lead police to house where plans for blow up was found.

    Other acts in Califoria were found out

  • D.D.Mao

    Conservative Gal……..It’s good to hear from you again and except for the lie detector test I believe all your other points have been mentioned.While probably many terrorist use the term “received torture” as a properganda tool I’m sure bones and myself aren’t talking about “happy meals” nor “bugs”.We brought up the point that in order for it to be effective there must be some pain or discomfort experienced.I can’t speak for bones but I believe he said it’s a matter of morals which I have to agree with.As far as getting information through coercion (or is it inflicting revenge?)…….with my temper thats the main reason I never joined any Police force LOL.

    Always look forward to your insight and input…….DDM

  • JD

    CG, the question is if we should be playing by their rules.

    Look if it isn’t torture, I would suggest that the members of youdecidepolitics.com take it upon ourselves to test it out.

    If we can find a willing participant, lets water board them and see what they think. I mean it is easy to not call it torture when it has never happened to you but I have a feeling that when the bag is over your face and you think you are the one drowning than a different tune will be sung.

  • bones

    JD, that idea’s solid right up until we get to the phrase “willing participant”. Consent is the difference between sweet lovin’ and rape

  • Bill Hedges

    JD

    I believe it was the C.I.A. that waterboarded eachother.

  • D.D Mao, thank you, I enjoying hearing your opinion on subject matter as well.

    “While probably many terrorist use the term “received torture” as a propaganda tool…”

    If by terrorist your referring to there ACLU lawyers and members of congress who think that some of the acts I mentioned above(bugs, happy meals) are torture, then you’d be correct. I guess they feel that they can add these items to the “list” of torture and no one will ask questions.

    JD, knowing that I was not at risk of dying I would not have a problem with being water boarded. That’s right JD, I said it, I would gladly take on for the team, although I wasn’t plotting to kill like your friends the terrorist. These man have American blood on there hands and you think we should treat them like rock stars. I would love to see your attitude on the subject if one of your family members was lost on 9/11 or to any other terrorist act.

  • Bill Hedges

    Jd

    “CG, the question is if we should be playing by their rules.”

    We do not play by there rules. Our uniformed solders do not shot in beteen the legs of women and children, plant bombs on the same, blow up market places, use planes as bombs, etc..

    We used methods appoved by President and members of both Houses and parties on limited number of terrorist with cause to believe they had information. And saved American lives with no harm to terrorist under Doctor supervision.

  • D.D.Mao

    Conservative Gal…………LOL..No I wasn’t thinking of the ACLU or Congress when I said terrorist but hey you have a point there also. No I was thinking of the actual terrorist who know enough that yelling “I was tortured by the Americans” would be repeated and accepted WORLD WIDE as properganda………even by inflicting a Happy Meal on them.

    Saddam Hussein was given Cheese Doodles while a prisoner and liked them!

  • D.D.Mao

    I just read the most interesting article from the “American Spectator” and is by George Neumayr. Yesterday JD tried to put the right who support torture on a fence by asking the question “What Would Jesus Do?”.Today I’ll ask him a question….If the American left is against torture on the grounds that it inflicts excruiating pain and is immoral why are they in favor of abortion and euthanasia? Are the American Liberal left only for torture on the INNOCENT?This would explain not only their support of abortion and euthanasia but why they are against CAPITAL PUNISHMENT and letting terrorist slide.

    On the flip side of the arguement the article gives a quote from St. Paul which says….”One may not do evil so that good may result from it”. Something for the right to ponder.

    The article “Obama’s Torture Policy for the Unborn”can be found at:

    http://www.spectator.org/archives/2009/04/23/obamas-torture-policy-for-the/

  • bones

    I couldn’t speak for anyone else in the country, but as someone who is against torture, in favor of legalized euthanasia, and in favor of legalized abortion, I think the way you wrote some of that shows a severe misunderstanding of my values and the motives behind my vote.

    For instance, though I feel strongly that abortion must be legal, I am not in favor of abortion. I think abortion is a terrible tragedy whenever it occurs. But neither am I in favor of allowing the government to force a pregnant woman through all the stages of pregnancy and birth (both of which always hold extreme health risks and long term health consequences to the mother). A process with so many risks and consequences must be endured voluntarily.

    Were I a woman, I would never have an abortion. As a man, I can only avoid having sex with a woman who would abort my child. But when it comes down to it, birth doesn’t just happen. Pregnancy and birth are both sacrifices and gifts that a mother makes for her child. I wouldn’t force that on anyone. Find a way to avoid that forced labor (pun not intended) and I’d probably be for it.

    So that’s the complicated, and perhaps inflammatory issue. Euthanasia is simpler. I believe in the right to die. I know a woman with ALS, a truly horrifying disorder to be struck with. Within the year she may hit the worst part – when she cannot move her arms, legs, head, or even eyes. She will have similar capacity to a coma patient, only she will remain aware.

    Were I in her position, I do not think I would wait to endure that stage. I certainly respect her right not to.

    So again DD, I speak only for myself. But if you wanted to know how I sleep with myself at night, now you know

  • Bill Hedges

    bones

    I am taken aback.

    One second till birth, there is a Doctor who will abort for $7,000…Never, I plead with you ,tell me how you think our water boarding is wrong..after what you wrote. Please. I do not want to be kicked off this site for what I would write.

  • bones

    I don’t believe that doctor is a friend I’d like to have, Bill, and neither do I believe he’s practicing legally. But I also seriously doubt he’s ever performed an abortion one second before birth. In any case, I don’t really believe a late term abortion is worse than an early term abortion. The loss of life is exactly the same, and the pain is inconsequential to me. Murder isn’t less wrong when it’s less painful.

    As for waterboarding, I think coercive interrogation on the whole is a morally grey area with a broad spectrum. I don’t think waterboarding is universally wrong, but on a man who has not stood trial (and is, I assume, innocent, since he has not been proven guilty) it is cruel and unusual punishment for a crime he has not stood trial for.

    I know, speaking on issues of morality is always likely to turn into shouting matches. I had no desires to make you accept my reasoning Bill, I was only seeking to explain it

  • Bill Hedges

    bones

    I have a video. Will put in next comment. Do not know when it will clear

  • Bill Hedges

    bones

    I provided 3 links. Have no idea when it will clear. As I recall “performed for Mother’s health”. Some Doctor abuse that term to give pre-birth abortion. One Doctor charges $7,000 for that “term” for death of highly viable baby. Leaving on table to die.

    I seriously don’t want to talk about waterboarding…Fair enough… Your views on mother’s health and birth are very old knowledge. I am not in medical field but have been closely involved in watching. Talked wih Doctor.

    You have your view on that. Your right. Just leave me out..Please. I have a problem with it as we have just discussed.

  • Bill Hedges

    bones

    ” but on a man who has not stood trial (and is, I assume, innocent, since he has not been proven guilty) it is cruel and unusual punishment for a crime he has not stood trial for.”

    I do not recall this being discussed before. Maybe I missed it. A uniformed solders in normal battle I would never water board. For example, John McCain should not have been tortured. G. Convention or not.

    Non uniform terrorist who plan bombings, not on war grounds, but on American cities, are spies. Right of trial does not apply to interrogation.. Anybody knows NAACP or some group would have had it brought to the courts. They fall under military law.

    Innocent unborn children and innocent Americas I care about. Minimal distress of non caring murdering terrorist that saved lives is good in my book. Obama needs to release the savings of lives which has come out in limited amount. Name a Country who wouldn’t. The B/C about leading by example is B/C..

    If you disagree, fine. Your right. You don’ have to justify your opinion to me. I rather you not.

  • bones

    If you’d rather I not, Bill, than I won’t. I consider these all complicated and morally grey issues, weighing between two evils and having to choose one of them. I don’t blame anyone for where they stand, but it certainly effects my vote.

  • Path

    Again I came late to the party but i’ll go ahead anyways.

    What would we as a country say if they captured one of our soldiers? Kept him awake for 11 days straight in stress positions and waterboarding him at least 183 times in a month? I know they’ve done worse. You don’t have to remind me but we are supposed to hold the moral high ground. I don’t care if it is a ticking bomb scenario or not. We don’t torture. I think there should be non partisan investigation (by whom i don’t know) just so we know fully what happened and make sure nothing else is hiding we don’t know about yet. However, I don’t think there should be prosecutions on either the interrogators or the layers who wrote the memo. They thought they were helping America but they were not.

    In the future most of these matters need to be treated differently. We should treat al qaeda like any other criminal investigation. The FBI has the experience do handle this. That’s their job. Do you think the FBI tortures the people they investigate? No. they have developed other interrogation techniques that they have mastered over their existence. That’s what makes me so mad. They didn’t even TRY the other less harsh methods.

  • D.D.Mao

    Path……..If you had been following this thread you would know I’m against torture.HOWEVER IN NO WAY IS TERRORISM A CRIMINAL ACT NOR SHOULD IT BE TREATED AS SUCH.It is a military matter NOT CIVIL.!

  • Path

    Um yea torture is illegal. We’ve signed many treaties against it. I’ll go look them up in a bit. Time to go out and mingle for the night. 😉

  • Bill Hedges

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJygJQNQHkw&feature=related

    path

    “Um yea torture is illegal. We’ve signed many treaties against it. I’ll go look them up in a bit. Time to go out and mingle for the night”

    Where is look-up

    Does G convention apply when one party has not signed ? What treaties apply ?

  • Path

    Article 5 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights says quite simply, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
    If they do it on U.S. land they have to follow the constitution which says Amendment 8 “…nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted”
    U.N. Convention Against Torture and the U.S. Army Field Manual all prohibit torture against anyone.

    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/01/12/6339